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Biden said the US will 'hunt' down ISIS-K over deadly Kabul attack, but his options are limited

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 3:40pm
President Joe Biden walks away after speaking about a deadly attack in Kabul that killed at least 13 US service members and dozens of Afghans.
  • Biden vowed to hunt down the ISIS-K militants responsible for a terror attack in Kabul.
  • But the US withdrawal has left him with less resources to pursue the terrorist group.
  • "Biden has simultaneously empowered terrorists and crippled our ability to watch or neutralize them," one expert said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Biden on Friday vowed to hunt down the ISIS-K terrorists responsible for attacks in Kabul that left 13 US service members dead and injured 18 more, while also killing and wounding dozens of Afghans.

"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down, and make you pay," Biden said.

"We will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose and the moment of our choosing," Biden said. "Here's what you need to know: These ISIS terrorists will not win."

Biden said he's asked the US military for options to strike ISIS-K (Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate) assets, leadership, and facilities.

But it's unclear precisely how Biden will make good on this pledge. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has drastically reduced its intelligence and military capabilities in the region. In early July, the US pulled out of Bagram, the largest air base in the country that was largely the hub of the war. Bagram is now under Taliban control. And ISIS-K is decentralized group that largely operates via small cells, making it an elusive target.

"As a result of the hurried nature of our withdrawal and the resulting collapse of the Afghan government, our intelligence network across the country has been decimated - our 'eyes' are largely gone and our 'ears' and severely limited," Charles Lister, a senior fellow and the director of the Syria and counterterrorism programs at the Middle East Institute, told Insider.

"The challenge here is that ISIS-K isn't a territorial entity; it operates as a movement of semi-autonomous cells, each of which is largely unaware of the whereabouts and activities of the other," Lister added. "For the US to effectively identify, track and target such a complex, concealed and small target would require an extensive layered intelligence and military capability - and we gave that up several weeks ago."

-CBS News (@CBSNews) August 26, 2021'Beyond the realm of reality now'

White House press secretary Psaki told reporters the administration's approach will not represent prolonging the war.

"What we are talking about here is avenging these deaths from terrorists. We're not talking about sending tens of thousand of troops back for an endless war that we've been fighting for 20 years," Psakis said.

Meanwhile, the US military is maintaining it has the capacity to retaliate.

"We have options there right now that we can ensure the commander has the ability to take action as those opportunities present themselves," US Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor said at the Pentagon on Friday. But Taylor would not go into detail.

-CBS News (@CBSNews) August 27, 2021

In recent days, the US military said it had AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, MQ-9 Reaper drones, F-15 fighters, AC-130 gunships, and F/A-18 fighters from the USS Ronald Reagan flying over or near Kabul. A strike against ISIS-K could potentially involve these assets.

But there are still open questions as to whether the US can pull off a substantive response.

"We'd have to be exceptionally lucky to get at something meaningful, without otherwise taking substantial risks in exploiting covert operatives on Afghan soil," Lister said. "The dispersed and cellular challenge like ISIS-K requires constant air surveillance and an extensive and ground force effort - and that really is beyond the realm of reality now."

-Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) August 27, 2021

While defending the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden has repeatedly stated that the US has developed "over-the-horizon" capabilities that will allow it to "keep our eyes firmly fixed on any direct threats to the United States in the region and to act quickly and decisively if needed."

The president "really ought to be more truthful about what that means right now," Lister said, noting that the "closest US airbase to launch aircraft to Afghanistan is in the Gulf, over 1,000 miles away - meaning it'll take a Reaper drone at least six hours to get to Afghan airspace before being able to conduct a strike."

Larger aircraft offer a faster response rate, Lister said, but would still "rarely be sufficient" if dealing with a "time-sensitive target."

"In choosing to quit Afghanistan in the manner of his choosing, President Biden has simultaneously empowered terrorists and crippled our ability to watch or neutralize them," Lister said.

'Our work is not done in Afghanistan'

Leon Panetta, who served as both the CIA director and defense secretary under the Obama administration, told CNN on Thursday that the "bottom line is that our work is not done in Afghanistan." Panetta suggested the US would have to send troops back in to combat ISIS-K.

"We're going to have to go after ISIS. I'm glad the president said that we're going to hunt them down and make them pay a price for what they did in killing our warriors and we should. We're going to have to go back in to get ISIS," Panetta said. "I understand that we're trying to get our troops out of there, but the bottom line is we can leave a battlefield but we can't leave the war on terrorism which still is a threat to our security."

Biden has consistently defended his move pull US troops from Afghanistan and end the longest war in US history, but he's been the target of bipartisan criticism over his administration's handling of the withdrawal. But there are still those in Washington who continue to back Biden's decision.

"Just think about the epic size of this policy failure. Twenty years of training. More than $2 trillion worth of expenditure. For almost nothing," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the New York Times this week. "It is heartbreaking to watch these images, but it is equally heartbreaking to think about all of the effort, of lives and money we wasted in pursuit of a goal that was illusory."

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The 7 places to buy the best bras, plus how to measure yourself and expert tips

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 3:27pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • Choosing the right bra is a super subjective process, making it difficult to recommend just one.
  • We are currently in the process of re-testing dozens of bras in varying sizes and styles.
  • In the meantime, we offer expert advice on sizing, care, and more just below.

If you're someone who chooses to wear a bra, you already know how much an ill-fitting choice can affect your day. The straps may fall down, the wires may dig into your ribcage, and the cup gaping can make your breasts feel unsupported. Unfortunately, most of us are set up for discomfort, because so few of us actually know our correct bra sizes. And since so many of us are now shopping online for our undergarments, we're stuck in a perpetual loop of buying bras that fit fine but not great.

In order to make the process a bit more streamlined, and to help you wade through the thousands of bra styles out there, we are constantly testing and re-testing dozens of bra styles in sizes AA up to I. We also chatted with lingerie expert Cora Harrington, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Lingerie Addict, to discuss how to find your perfect size, how to care for your bras to make them last, and more. Check out her advice in our FAQ section below.

Where to buy the best bras in 2021: The best bra overall

Face it — today's standard cup sizes aren't always exactly what your body needs. And luckily, at ThirdLove, no one is expecting you (or your breasts) to fit into a predetermined mold. In just 60 seconds, Thirdlove will help you find a bra that feels as though it was actually tailored to your body, all without your ever having to leave the couch, thanks to the brand's fit finder.

Although the T-Shirt Bra is the classic choice, ThirdLove has plenty of other fantastic options for you to choose from as well, including a racerback, a lace racerback with a front closure (which is beautiful, by the way), and another personal favorite, the lace balconette (for special occasions).

Several other women on the Insider Reviews team have tried ThirdLove's bras and love them. Since we're all a range of sizes and shapes, it's impressive that we all love these bras. Insider Reviews senior reporter Mara Leighton especially appreciates that the 24/7 Cotton T-Shirt Bra felt supportive without being restrictive and that "the ultra-thin memory foam cups form nicely to the body, and the material is breathable enough to auto-regulate." 

What to buy: 

24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra (small)24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra (small)24/7 Classic Strapless Bra (small) The best bra for large cup sizes

Chantelle, a cult-favorite brand for shoppers with larger busts, is a family-owned French lingerie company with sizes that range from bands 30-44 and cups A-H. Its bras are supportive and offer a more natural and less bulky look than many of the other brands that cater to larger cup sizes. And, they skip the common flaws found in mass-produced bras for this size range — they don't drop low or spread you out.

Chantelle bras are functional, but they're also undeniably pretty, unlike many of the options available to women over a C-cup. You can find opaque T-shirt bras and multifunctional bralettes as well as beautiful lacy options — all of which prioritize the support, shaping, and structure a larger bust needs.

Chantelle prices tend to be on the higher side (typically $52-$120), but a high-quality, supportive bra that respects your natural shape justifies the cost. All of its products are handmade in Chantelle-owned factories so there is complete control over the quality.

What to buy: 

Essential T-shirt Bra (small)C Chic Sexy Underwire Bra (small)211 Honore Underwire Bra (small) The best budget bra

High prices don't always correlate with high quality, and similarly, budget buys don't mean budget quality. No one knows this better than Hanes, the classic underwear brand that makes one of the best wire-free bras on the market.

Whether you want to call it a bralette or a wireless bra, you'll certainly call it supremely comfortable. The Comfort Wire-Free bra line by Hanes is one of the sturdier bras you can buy. Sure, it's not made of sexy lace, but as a result, it can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. It doesn't lose its shape or stretch out in unattractive ways after several cycles in the washing machine, and because it doesn't have an underwire, it's incredibly lightweight and flexible. Because the Wire-Free bras are fully adjustable, they also stay put quite well.

What to buy:

Comfy Support ComfortFlex Fit® Wirefree Bra (small)Women's No Show Comfort Flex Fit® Wirefree Bra (small)Oh So Light Foam ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra (small) The best for atypical breast shapes

While aesthetics and functionality don't always go hand in hand when it comes to your underthings, Natori is certainly the exception to that rule. Flirty and fun, Natori's signature Feathers lace adds the right touch of femininity to this pretty piece of lingerie. Best of all, perhaps, is that the Feathers bra seems to be particularly useful for women with atypical bra sizes or breast shapes.

If you're not into the Feathers bra, though, Natori is known for other bras that don't skimp on style. The comfortable T-shirt design is also plenty supportive, and also looks very cute. While most bras that accomidate large cup sizes aren't always the prettiest, Natori's undergarments are the exception to the rule. 

What to buy:

Feathers Bra (small)Bliss Perfection Contour Underwire Bra (small)Revelation Contour Underwire Bra (small, Preferred: Natori) The best convertible bra

Strapless bras in and of themselves are always a bit of a struggle, what with constant slippage and the seemingly never-ending need to adjust and readjust their fit. But with the Wacoal, you can bid your fidgeting days adieu.

A favorite is the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra. Part of the secret of this great bra is that it's not just strapless — it's actually convertible. The removable straps can help keep you supported, but so too can the gripper strips inside the top and bottom edges that make sure that the bra stays adhered to your chest, and doesn't begin wandering down. The back and side boning also helps the bra maintain its shape, while the mesh back keeps you comfortable.

What to buy:

Staying Power Wire Free Strapless Bra (small)Red Carpet Strapless Bra (small)Halo Lace Strapless Underwire Bra (small) The best bralettes and wire-free bra

If you're sick of spending $50 to $100 on each bra you buy, take a look at Lively. All of the startup's bras and bralettes cost just $35 apiece. The underwire push-up bra and the push-up bra without underwire are both incredibly comfortable. The padding is subtle and not excessive like the push-up bras from Victoria Secret and other brands. You get a slight lift without feeling like you're going to fall out of your bra.

The no-underwire version is surprisingly supportive, too. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought I'd need to return it immediately, but it's turned out to be one of my favorites. The wide band gives the support I need and the lack of wires makes it super comfortable for all-day wear.

We also tested the No-Wire Strapless Bra and were thrilled with how supportive it was and how little we were distracted by it throughout the day. Senior reporter Connie Chen writes, "Though I could still tell I was wearing a strapless bra throughout the day, I certainly thought of it much less often than I usually do because it wasn't painful to wear and I didn't have to constantly wriggle around self-consciously to readjust its position."

What to buy:

The Busty Bralette (small)The Ribbed Busty Bralette (small)The Smooth Lace Busty Bralette (small) The best lounge bra

True & Co.'s True Body Collection is full of soft, wire-free bras that are perfect for lounging. Sizing ranges from 32A to 42DDD/F, and while it won't give you as much support as a traditional wire bra, it does promise up to an inch of lift. 

One of our favorite styles from the True Body collection is the V Neck Racerback. The bonded technology means no elastic or bulky, line-disrupting seams. The wire-free channel lends support like underwire without the wire, and the "super lift fabric" (a tightly knit blend) provides the noticeable lift and support.

Most True Body bras come with removable pads, and range in colors from nudes to bright patterns. And after many less-than-careful loads of laundry, I haven't seen any noticeable change in performance or look. 

What to buy: 

True Body Lift Scoop Neck Bra (small)True Body Lift Mesh Triangle Bra (small)Lift V Neck Racerback Bra (small) Frequently Asked Questions How can I figure out my bra size? 

Measuring yourself for a bra can be a little difficult, so if you have the ability to get fitting in-person, Harrington suggests you go for it. But if not, you can do it yourself — or grab a friend or partner to help you out. The only thing you need is a soft measuring tape. It's also important that you wear an unlined or an unpadded bra in order to get the proper measurements.

"Start by measuring around the fullest part of your rib cage," Harrington says. That is typically directly under the fullest part of your breasts, where the band of your bra rests. Write that number down. Next, measure around the fullest part of your breast, which Harrington notes is typically around your nipples. "If you have softer breast tissue or more pendulous breasts, which happens as you age or after breastfeeding, your tissue may be softer," Harrington says. "So you may have to lean forward slightly to get an accurate measurement." Once you have it, write it down. 

The first number, which is the one around your ribs, is your band size. Some brands, especially those catering to smaller breast sizes, may use what Harrington calls the plus-four method, which just means that they add four to your rib measurement to get your band size. But if there isn't a note for that, then the measurement itself is your band size. 

Your cup size correlates to the difference between your first measurement and the second. A one-inch difference means your an A-cup, a two-inch difference is a B-cup, and so on. Harrington is quick to note, though, that these measurements are for US sizing only, so make sure to check conversion charts if you're buying from international brands. 

How should a bra fit? 

A proper bra should fit comfortably, with the bras neither digging into your shoulders or slipping off of them. Your breasts should fill the cup with no gaping or spilling. And the gore of the bra, which is the center strip of fabric and wire between the two cups, should lay flat against your chest.

How often should I wash my bra?

"Ideally, you should be washing your bra after every two or three wears," Harrington says. If your bra is particularly sweaty, like after a hard workout or a long day outside in warm temperatures, you should wash it immediately.

How do I wash my bra?

Hand-washing is ideal and is actually not as hard as you think. Fill a clean sink or basin with cool to tepid water — just not scalding hot, as that can damage the bra. Add a cap of detergent. You can get specialty lingerie washes, but a non-scented detergent that's marketed for sensitive skin is also fine. Toss in your bras and use your hands to swirl them around the water and detergent. (You can use a toothbrush on areas that need extra attention.)

Let them soak, and then rinse with cool water. Just make sure not to wring them out — you can damage the elastic if you do. Then, just toss them over your shower rod, or on a drying rack, and let them air dry. 

Can my bra go in the laundry?

Harrington does say you can toss your bras in the washing machine, so long as you proceed with caution. "You should put your bras in a lingerie wash bag, so they don't tangle," she says. "And make sure the cycle is on gentle or handwash, and that it's using cold water." You do still need to air-dry, though, as the heat from your dryer can really ruin the fabric and elastic of your bra. 

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AOC and 63 other Democrats slam the Supreme Court over eviction-ban ruling, saying it risks 'needless loss of human life'

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 3:27pm
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • The Supreme Court struck down Biden's eviction ban by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday.
  • Over 60 Democrats, led by AOC, Cori Bush, and Ayanna Pressley, said that would cause needless death.
  • They cited the surge of the Delta variant as a major concern.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Three weeks after President Joe Biden announced a 60-day eviction ban, the Supreme Court struck the extension down by a 6-3 vote. A group of Democrats immediately called on Congress to issue a new ban and protect renters from COVID-19.

A day after the high court's Thursday ruling, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, and Jimmy Gomez led over 60 Democratic colleagues in calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to work with them in extending the eviction ban. Their letter urged Congress to pass legislation on a new moratorium, saying the Delta variant "continues to claim thousands of lives" and now is not the time to leave renters vulnerable.

"The impending eviction crisis is a matter of public health and safety that demands an urgent legislative solution to prevent further harm and needless loss of human life," the letter said. "Allowing an eviction crisis to take hold will only erase the gains we've made and put our recovery further out of reach."

-Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) August 27, 2021

The Democrats said evictions have disproportionately affected Black and brown communities, which continue to bear an undue portion of the health and economic crises. They cited a Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey that found Black, Latino, Asian, and Indigenous households were more likely to report being behind on rent payments.

Insider reported last month that according to Princeton University's Eviction Lab, eviction rates were higher in areas with lower vaccination rates.

The legality of the eviction ban issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been debated for months. Several courts have ruled previous extensions of the ban unconstitutional because the CDC does not have the authority to impose a nationwide ban, which landlords say has cost them billions in unpaid rent. But Congress would have that authority.

In the lead-up to Biden's new moratorium announcement this month, progressive lawmakers were insistent on giving renters continued pandemic relief, going so far as to sleep on the steps of the Capitol until an extension was implemented.

"I knew I could not leave without doing whatever I could to save lives," Bush, who was once homeless, told Insider.

Many Democrats on Friday voiced their opposition to the Supreme Court ruling on Twitter, with Rep. David Cicilline saying Congress should vote on an eviction-ban extension.

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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said the company would pledge money towards Black Lives Matter last year, but it has yet to fulfill that promise

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 3:20pm
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins
  • Cisco has not fulfilled a commitment it made last year to donate to various racial justice groups, the Washington Post first reported.
  • The Cisco CEO tweeted last year the company would give $5 million to racial justice group Black Lives Matter following the George Floyd protests.
  • The company distributed the $5 million to racial justice organizations adjacent to the Black Live Matter movement.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in a 2020 tweet that he and Cisco would be donating to Black Lives Matter - a promise that has yet to be met with action a year on, according to the Washington Post.

The Silicon Valley tech company committed $5 million to several racial justice organizations, like the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black Lives Matter. As of August 2021, it gave money to the two former groups, but not the Black Lives Matter organization, the Post reported.

"We need ACTION to eradicate racism, inequality, and injustice," Robbins said in the tweet. "This is just the beginning."

-Chuck Robbins (@ChuckRobbins) June 1, 2020

The company did not explain why it withheld funds from BLM.

"After further consideration and assessing where we'd have the biggest impact, Cisco committed funding to several social justice organizations including NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Equal Justice Initiative," Cisco's chief inclusion and collaboration officer Shari Slate said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Tech companies like Cisco have struggled with diversifying their employee base, which mostly consists of white males. Cisco also fired a handful of employees who posted offensive anti-BLM comments during virtual meetings discussing the movement, stating that the company "does not tolerate" racism.

Race and the Black Lives Matter movement were "regular agenda items almost every week" at Cisco last June, Corporate Social Responsibility Content strategist Jennifer Boynton said in a 2020 blog post shortly after Robbin's donation announcement.

Last summer, the country was rocked by protests over the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer. Floyd's death renewed conversations and debates on police brutality and racism, including in corporate America. Shortly after, various high-profile corporations came out denouncing systemic racism in the country, developing plans and initiatives to address problems within their company and outside in the community.

Only eight companies, including Apple, Amazon, and Google, said they made contributions to nonprofits directly associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, which picked up last summer following Floyd's murder. Over 36 corporations pledged 4 percent of their total grants to racial justice organizations and broad civil rights groups, the Washington Post analyzed.

As of publication, neither Chuck Robbins, Cisco, nor the Black Lives Matter organization have provided further comment on corporate donations to racial justice initiatives.

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January 6 commission gives 15 social media companies 2 weeks to turn over records related to Capitol riot

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 3:05pm
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks during a hearing by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.
  • The January 6 committee is seeking records from 15 social media companies in a wide-ranging probe.
  • In 2 weeks, lawmakers want to see documents and communication about misinformation and extremism.
  • The companies include mainstays like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and sites like 8kun and Gab.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 assault on the US Capitol is demanding that 15 social media companies turn over records to lawmakers within the next two weeks, the commission announced on Friday.

"[The committee] is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the attack and relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations," said Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, according to a press release.

The commission is seeking records related to misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic extremism, and foreign influence, including "data, reports, analyses, and communications stretching back to spring of 2020," the release said.

The commission sent essentially identical letters to 15 companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Tik-Tok, Reddit, Snapchat, Telegram, Twitch, Zello, 4chan, 8kun, Gab, Parler and

Each company has until September 9 to respond to the records request.

The letter also names "domestic violent extremists, including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, militia violent extremists, sovereign citizen violent extremists, QAnon, or other extremists associated with efforts to overturn the 2020 election" as an area of interest.

Each company is being directed to turn over all "documents and information" pertaining to these topics since April 1, 2020, including whether policies or algorithms have been implemented or considered in response. The commission is also requesting documents pertaining to law enforcement actions as well.

This is the second time the commission has issued a records request this week. On Wednesday, lawmakers requested seven federal agencies and the National Archives to turn over records related to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. They're also seeking records of his communications with his family, top staffers, and right-wing activists and media personalities. In response, Trump has claimed that these records are covered by executive privilege, even though that will ultimately be up to the Biden administration to decide.

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We asked 12 style experts to share their favorite work bags - these are the totes that hold just about everything

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:59pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • A great work bag is essential for professionals who commute to an office or work remotely.
  • Organization, size, and aesthetics are all important factors when choosing a work bag.
  • Ahead, experts in fashion, beauty, media, and tech share their go-to work bags.

Working from home may still be an adjustment for some folks, but many professionals are quite familiar with the realities of working on the go. It could mean running around to meetings all day while barely stepping foot in your office, answering emails from a coffee shop, or meeting a deadline while 30,000 feet in the air. A good work bag will make your life easier and organized when you're mobile, especially stylish ones that make you feel confident just by carrying them.

Sourced from professionals across the fashion, beauty, media, and tech industries, the work bags ahead are praised for their size, structure, quality, and appearance. They carry essentials you'll need on any given work day, act as "a mobile office," and are absolutely instrumental when your desk isn't available.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyHere are the best work bags, according to experts: Proenza Schouler Large Leather Ruched Tote

"They call me the 'bag lady' because I come to work with two to three bags. I carry a smaller bag that works with my look and my work bag is big enough to carry my laptop, notebook, a toy or activity for my son, and sometimes an extra pair of shoes. I love this Proenza Schouler shape and color combo of black and gray that works with almost everything I wear. The felted part adds some dimension, and the leather is buttery soft, yet has structure." 

— Sherri McMullen, Founder and CEO of McMullen

Large Leather Ruched Tote (small) Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag

"I love this Dagne Dover carryall. It's made from neoprene which is super comfortable, flexible, and easy to clean — which is important when you have two kids. It also can hold everything — my computer, important documents, clothes, whatever I need it for — so I don't need to carry multiple bags, and it has a ton of internal pockets, making it easy to stay organized even when life is messy. And of course, it looks good. This bag fits seamlessly at the park, playdate, office, or at a dinner."

— Alexandra Bonetti, Founder and CEO of Talent Hack

Landon Carryall (Medium) (small) Telfar Large Black Shopping Bag

"First and foremost, I love that it's a bag by a Black designer. There is something so powerful about being a Black designer while carrying a Black designer bag to work. It gives me an extra boost of Black magic! Aside from that, I just love how big the bag is. Because I now work from home, my work bag acts as a mobile office when I have to go to meetings and fittings. This bag has the perfect amount of space and heavy-duty straps that can carry the sometimes heavy load. The sleek and classic shopper shape is sure to stand the test of time." 

— Danielle Williams-Eke, Design Director at 11 Honoré 

Large Black Shopping Bag (small) Cuyana Oversized Double Loop Bag

"My absolute favorite work bag is my Cuyana bag: It has a few interior pockets and fits everything I'd need for a work meeting — my laptop, charger, phone, wallet, keys, etc. — without feeling bulky. I love how chic and streamlined it is."

— Lauren Caruso, freelance fashion editor and creative consultant

Oversized Double Loop Bag (small) BagsinProgress Bucket Tote

"I own a series of bags from BagsinProgress (BIP), and this one is my favorite. It's durable and well-functioning, with multiple pockets and an adjustable strap. The quality of the nylon that this bag is constructed from allows it to hold shape beautifully, and it transitions across a variety of settings and occasions while remaining refined."

— Miyako Nakamura, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of M.M.LaFleur

Bucket Tote (small)

This item is currently out of stock.

Etienne Aigner Irena Fringe Satchel

"I found this bag a few years ago via Goop and I continue to use it as my go-to work bag. It fits everything from my laptop to product samples, while being a more elevated option than a backpack. The woven leather wears really nicely over time. It has multiple interior pockets —  one with a zip that holds my card and any important items, and two smaller pockets for pens, lip balm, and The Comb No. 001 by Crown Affair. It's the perfect size to fit everything I need while not being absolutely massive.

— Dianna Cohen, Founder and CEO of Crown Affair

Irena Fringe Satchel (small) Khaite The Florence Quilted Tote

"I'm usually a utilitarian, picking pieces that transition from season to season. But after a year of zero 'office' accessories, I'm dreaming of something that's super luxe and screams 'fall.' After all, it's like we're dressing for the first day of school again. I'm loving the Khaite Florence Tote; it's done in the most luxurious quilted suede and has thoughtful, functional details like a structured shape, protective brass feet, and a zippered pouch for the important stuff like keys, access badges, and hand sanitizer. It's perfect for work travel (slides perfectly under the seat in front of you). The only question you might be asking is: suede, really?! Sticky fingers and smudges are nothing a little Scotchgard can't handle. Moms know." 

— Taylor Tomasi Hill, Creative and Fashion Director of THE YES

The Florence Quilted Tote (small) Chanel 19 Bag

"I carry all the necessities in here, plus am able to add my mophie, computer charger, and light makeup. I have a tendency to stuff my bag but with this size, it keeps me organized versus overpacked." 

— Sandrine Charles, Founder and Owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting and Co-Founder of Black in Fashion Council

19 Large Handbag (small) Saint Laurent Medium Museum Briefcase

"When I'm running around the city attending back-to-back meetings, it's essential that I have everything I usually keep on my desk at my fingertips — and that's where this beauty comes in. It's perfectly shaped to hold my laptop, a mini umbrella (just in case), and my 'toolkit': Aquaphor, lipstick, hand sanitizer (even before it was cool!), and an RxBar ... because I'm always hungry and I'm terrified of a mid-meeting stomach growl. My favorite part of the bag is that it's incredibly durable (thanks to its croc-embossed exterior), so it looks perfectly new even though it's been through a lot of tough meetings with me."

— Daniella Pierson, CEO + Founder of the Newsette

Medium Museum Briefcase (small) Vintage Gucci Bag

"I love this bag because it was from my mother. She passed it on to me a few years back, and it's perfect to carry my laptop, notebook, and any pens and papers that I might need. As it's light and does not allow me to carry many things, it's an ideal way to prevent packing unnecessary items. I also adore the vintage feel, and the fact that it goes well with any look I wear."

— Gisela Assis, Co-Founder of LAPIMA

Ophidia Cut Out Handle Bag GG Coated Canvas Medium (small) Celine Medium Cabas Phantom

"My husband bought this bag for me a couple of years ago; it's a bag that I carry the most through every season and keep coming back to. It's the perfect size for everyday errands, meetings, carrying your laptop, and despite its light color [Kleinman wears the off-white color which is no longer on Celine's e-commerce site] has been pretty much stain-resistant. It's extremely durable, and I've found that it can hold more weight than you might expect. It also goes pretty nicely from day to night! I bought a bag-organizing insert for it on Amazon to hold my phone, keys, makeup, and accessories."

— Lauren Kleinman, Founder of Dreamday and Co-founder of The Quality Edit

Medium Cabas Phantom (small) Von Holzhausen The Large Shopper

"I came across an article about this brand (on Twitter of course) and was immediately drawn to the designer's mission to 'reinvent leather' for the fashion industry. The bag is made with a high-quality sustainable leather alternative that looks beautiful and chic IRL, and is super easy to clean (a perk of the vegan leather alternative that I was happily surprised by). It's much easier to spend on a big-ticket item when you know it has a low carbon footprint and is ethically made."

— Siobhan Murphy, Consumer Communications Lead at Twitter

The Large Shopper (small) Read the original article on Business Insider

The 27 best enemies-to-lovers books to read if you love 'Pride and Prejudice'

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:45pm
Some of the best enemies-to-lovers books include "Pride and Prejudice," "The Hating Game," and "Red, White & Royal Blue."

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Enemies-to-lovers books involve two characters (usually polar opposites) falling in love.
  • We rounded up the best enemies-to-lovers books, from classic period pieces to modern rom-coms.
  • Want more books? Check out the best fantasy series and historical fiction books.

Out of many romantic tropes, the enemies to lovers' romance may reign supreme. Whether they're YA rom-coms or period dramas, these novels feature a budding romance between two opposing characters (Think: Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's initially contentious relationship in "Pride and Prejudice").

While the plotlines and locations may vary - a dreaded wedding in a foreign country, the bucolic British countryside, a free honeymoon, or international relations - the passion, tension, longing, forbidden love, and self-discovery make these stories irresistible to readers.

We've seen it in movies - namely, every '90s high school plot - but you'll get the full enjoyment of a slow-burn romance via book.

Below, you'll find TK enemies-to-lovers books that will scratch your itch, from classics like "Wuthering Heights" to new summer reads like "The Hating Game".

The 27 best enemies-to-lovers books:

Descriptions are provided by Amazon and lightly edited for length.

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.99

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. 

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all, the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

"Beach Read" by Emily Henry

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.36

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until one hazy evening, one thing leads to another, and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book, and no one will fall in love. Really.

"The Spanish Love Deception" by Elena Armas

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.99

A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or, in other words, a plan that will never work.

Four weeks wasn't a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic — from NYC and all the way to Spain — for a wedding. Let alone someone eager to play along with my charade. 

But that didn't mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6'4 blue-eyed pain in my ass standing before me: Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date, right after inserting his nose in my business and calling me delusional and himself my best option. 

Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister's wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences?

"Poison Study (The Chronicles of Ixia Book 0)" by Maria V. Snyder

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.59

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace — and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so, Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dusté, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia, and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again, and choices must be made. But this time, the outcomes aren't so clear.

"A Touch of Darkness" by Scarlett St. Clair

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.54

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world, and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. 

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead, and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone's failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows — and it's forbidden.

"The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.19

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can't understand Joshua's joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy's overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head, and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job… But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn't hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

"Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.98

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood — those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and she is betrothed to one of his sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard — a growing Red rebellion — even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

"Beautiful Disaster" by Jamie McGuire

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.90

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants — and needs — to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis's apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. 

"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.97

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius ― his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper  and more dangerous than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? 

"The Shadows Between Us" by Tricia Levenseller

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.99

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.

2) Marry him.

3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King's power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she's going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra's not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen ― all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

"The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton (Bridgerton Book 2)" by Julia Quinn

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.19

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London's most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry — he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield — the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate's the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands — and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate's determined to protect her sister — but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

"The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.99

Of course, I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. 

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered, and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. 10 years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans — especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him — and face the consequences.

"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte

​​Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.36

Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before. What unfolds is the tale of the intense love between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. 

Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal are visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

"The Unhoneymooners" by Christina Lauren

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.44

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: From inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion… she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell — determined to put on a brave face. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren't affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there's a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, 10 days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is… Olive doesn't mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

"If I Never Met You" by Mhairi McFarlane

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.72

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling — not only because they work at the same law firm, and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles, and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. 

When news of her ex's pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn't believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It's the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. 

With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment — and jealousy — of their friends and colleagues. But there's a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend...

"Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)" by Shelby Mahurin

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.59

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation — marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

"The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)" by Holly Black

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.99

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

"Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1)" by Leigh Bardugo

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.99

Ketterdam: A bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price ― and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction ― if they don't kill each other first.

"Bully (Fall Away, #1)" by Penelope Douglas

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.40

My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me by a friendly nickname. No, he'll barely even speak to me. But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I was humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went away for a year just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way I'll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

"A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)" by Sarah J. Maas

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.80

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he's not a beast all the time.

As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

"To Kill a Kingdom" by Alexandra Christo

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.89

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of 17 princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most ― a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian's heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby ― it's his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she's more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good ― but can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind's greatest enemy?

"Punk 57" by Penelope Douglas

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.99

Misha: I can't help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me. In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed. It didn't take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever… And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us. 

We only had three rules: No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it? Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name's Ryen, loves Gallo's pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances? F*ck it. I need to meet her. I just don't expect to hate what I find. 

Ryen: He hasn't written in three months. Something's wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch. Without him around, I'm going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It's my own fault. I should've gotten his phone number or picture or something. He could be gone forever. Or right under my nose, and I wouldn't even know it.

"From Lukov with Love" by Mariana Zapata

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.99

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After 17 years — and countless broken bones and broken promises — she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she's spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including Ivan Lukov.

"From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1)" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.65

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy's life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

The entire kingdom's future rests on Poppy's shoulders. But when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard, honor-bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

"These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)" by Chloe Gong

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.98

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is 18-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang — a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette's first love… and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns — and grudges — aside and work together, for if they can't stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

"The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom, #1)" by Danielle L. Jensen

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.49

The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom enriches itself and deprives its rivals, including Lara's homeland. So when she's sent as a bride under the guise of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture its impenetrable defenses. And the defenses of its king.

Yet as she infiltrates her new home and gains a deeper understanding of the war to possess the bridge, Lara begins to question whether she's the hero or the villain. And as her feelings for Aren transform from frosty hostility to fierce passion, Lara must choose which kingdom she'll save... and which kingdom she'll destroy.

"Paper Princess (The Royals, #1") by Erin Watt

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.14

Ella Harper is a survivor ― a pragmatic optimist. She's spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she'll climb out of the gutter. After her mother's death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons, who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to where she came from.

Reed doesn't want her. He says she doesn't belong with the Royals. He might be right.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wendy's is launching a new french fry that holds up better for drive-thru and delivery orders

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:45pm
  • Wendy's just announced an update to its french fry recipe.
  • The new fries were four years in the making, designed to withstand drive-thrus, according to CNN.
  • Drive-thrus and delivery exploded during the pandemic and are still thriving.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Wendy's just announced that it updated its french fry recipe after four years in development as first reported by CNN, with the new fries rolling out right now in the US.

The new Hot and Crispy fries were designed specifically to hold up better for drive-thru and takeout customers. To get the final product, Wendy's tested more than 20 different shapes before reaching the winning design. The thicker side is made to keep heat in, while the thinner side stays crisp. The new shape is also able to withstand dipping in sauces or a frosty, Wendy's said.

Read more: How a tiny food-tech startup convinced industry heavyweights like Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell to rely on it to fight a labor shortage

Wendy's last updated in 2010 to add sea salt.

"This is probably the most complex project I've worked on in my entire career. We took the route that was harder - but it was the right one for us. We were able to deliver a crispier fry, that is preferred nearly 2:1 over our biggest competitor McDonald's," Wendy's VP of culinary innovations John Li said in a release.

The increase in drive-thru and delivery demand "accelerated the need for a better and more dependable fry," Wendy's said. Drive-thrus in particular exploded over the last 18 months as dining rooms closed and chains relied on other ways to serve customers. Typically, drive-thrus account for 70% of sales at fast-food chains. But in 2020 chains like Wendy's and McDonald's said it was closer to 90%.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its variants are still ongoing, but many places in the US have attempted to return to normal life. The reign of drive-thrus is nowhere near over, though, as McDonald's, Starbucks, and Taco Bell all emphasized how crucial they are to business in just the last few weeks.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at

Read the original article on Business Insider

Marine officer says he was relieved after video calling out senior military leaders for failures in Afghanistan

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:42pm
US service members walk off a helicopter on the runway at Camp Bost on September 11, 2017 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
  • A US Marine Corps battalion commander called out senior military leaders in a video on social media.
  • Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller demanded accountability for senior leaders for failings in Afghanistan.
  • Scheller acknowledged that he put his career on the line by posting it. He was relieved of duty Friday.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A Marine Corps battalion commander posted a video on social media Thursday demanding accountability from senior leaders for failures in Afghanistan. He said he was relieved of duty Friday afternoon.

"I'm making [this video] because I have a growing discontent and contempt for my perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy level and I want to specifically ask some questions to some of my senior leaders," Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said in the video, appearing in his uniform.

Scheller, who commands the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, acknowledged that he was putting his military career of 17 years on the line.

"I think that what you believe in can only be defined by what you are willing to risk," the infantry officer said.

The situation inside Afghanistan has deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks. The Taliban took over the country, the US and its partners are scrambling to evacuate people, and people are dying. On Thursday, an ISIS terrorist attack killed 13 US troops and scores of civilians.

Last week, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger wrote a letter to the force acknowledging that some Marines may be struggling with questions of whether or not their service and sacrifice was worth it.

"You fought to defend your country, your family, your friends, and your neighbors," he wrote. "You fought to prevent terror from returning to our shores. You fought for the liberty of young Afghan girls, women, boys, and men who want the same individual freedoms we enjoy as Americans. You fought for the Marine to your left and the Marine to your right. You never let them down."

Responding to the letter, Scheller said that people are not upset "because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down."

"People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying 'we messed this up,'" he said.

Scheller called attention to remarks from the secretary of defense suggesting the Afghan forces could withstand the Taliban and questioned the advice senior military leaders have been giving the president.

"I'm not saying we've got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, 'Hey, it's a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone.' Did anyone do that? And, when you didn't think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, 'We completely messed this up?'"

He said there have been questions about whether or not US military personnel who died in the war did so in vain.

Scheller said that "potentially all those people did die in vain if we don't have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say 'we did not do this well in the end,'" adding that "without that we just keep repeating the same mistakes."

"We are aware of the video," Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger told Insider. "This is obviously an emotional time for a lot of Marines, and we encourage anyone struggling right now to seek counseling or talk to a fellow Marine. There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, and it's not social media."

Reflecting on the risks to his military career in calling out senior leaders, Scheller said: "I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, 'I demand accountability.'"

Friday afternoon, Scheller posted another social media post announcing that he had been relieved due to a "lack of trust and confidence."

Scheller began his career with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, which is one of the units currently supporting evacuation efforts in Kabul. He indicated in the video that he knows one of the people killed in the deadly attack at the airport Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Insiders reveal what it's really like working at Amazon when it comes to hiring, firing, performance reviews, and more

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:35pm
Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy.
  • Insider is investigating Amazon's workplace amid a major effort to unionize the company.
  • The e-commerce and cloud giant has a complex performance-review system some employees say is unfair.
  • Amazon is investigating allegations of gender bias in its Prime division after Insider reporting.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Amazon is the second-largest US employer and still one of the fastest-growing in the country. It offers income and benefits to well over 1 million people, and it's been a source of jobs and shopping convenience during the pandemic.

With that level of influence, Amazon's operations have come under intense scrutiny, which has prompted a nationwide unionization effort. The following covers everything you need to know about what it's like to work at the company.

How Amazon culls its workforce Under outgoing CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon's cloud unit has built up an impressive roster of cloud security partners - but they often also work with competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Insider is investigating Amazon's system for improving, or ousting, employees deemed underperformers. Once managers label workers as struggling, they are put on a "Focus" coaching plan. If they fail there, the workers are moved to another program called "Pivot," and then finally to an internal company jury that decides their fate at the company.

The system has been criticized by some current and former employees, who say it is unfairly stacked against them and can encourage managers to give bad reviews to good staff. Amazon says it gives managers tools to help employees improve and advance in their careers. "This includes resources for employees who are not meeting expectations and may require additional coaching. If an employee believes they are not receiving a fair assessment of their performance, they have multiple channels where they can raise this," a company spokesperson said recently.

Amazon has a goal to get rid of a certain number of employees each year, which is called unregretted attrition. Some managers at the company told Insider they felt so much pressure to meet the target that they hire people who they intend to fire within a year.

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The company has been hit with allegations of bias

There's been a rash of lawsuits filed against Amazon alleging gender and racial bias. In May, five current and former female employees sued the company Amazon, claiming "abusive mistreatment by primarily white male managers."

In February, Charlotte Newman, a Black Amazon manager, filed a suit alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment. And last year, a high-profile female engineer called on the company to fix what she saw as a "harassment culture," Insider reported.

"We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "We immediately investigated Ms. Newman's sexual harassment claim and fired her harasser."

The investigation resulted in "corrective action and additional training requirements for those in her reporting line," the spokesperson added. "We also reviewed Ms. Newman's interview process, leveling and onboarding, and determined that she was properly placed in her role at the company. We are currently investigating the new allegations included in the lawsuit."

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Amazon's warehouses churn through workers Robotic Amazon warehouses use robots to ferry shelves of items around the warehouse floor. Above, a photo taken in an Amazon warehouse in the UK.

The company's fulfillment centers employ hundreds of thousands of people, offering pay and benefits that are competitive versus other retail-industry jobs. But the work can be grueling, some staff don't stick around long, and there are growing efforts to unionize this modern blue-collar workforce.

Amazon warehouses are partly automated, using robots that zip around the shop floor fetching pallets of merchandise and bringing them to employees who pick the correct items and pack them for shipping. The company hires thousands of extra temporary workers each year to support a surge in orders during the holiday shopping period.

During the pandemic, online orders have jumped at an unusual time for Amazon. It prompted an unprecedented hiring spree last year but caused tension with workers concerned about entering warehouses that could spread the virus. These issues came to a head earlier this year, when employees at a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, voted on whether to form a union. The effort failed, but there's a bigger union push gathering steam.

In his final shareholder letter as CEO earlier this year, Jeff Bezos defended Amazon's working conditions, but said the company needed "to do a better job for our employees."

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Amazon's delivery network relies on thousands of drivers

The company partners with UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service, but it also operates a massive fleet of in-house delivery vehicles. These vans are driven by a combination of employees, third-party courier services, and contract workers.

Amazon is known for imposing strict time constraints on drivers and tracking how many times they stop and how fast they drive. While the company factors in break times - a 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks - some drivers say they either can't or don't want to take them.

Earlier this year, a US lawmaker tweeted that Amazon workers have to pee in bottles. The company denied this, but multiple drivers confirmed it was part of the job. Amazon later apologized and said drivers have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic and being on rural routes, adding that the issue has been exacerbated by closed public bathrooms during the pandemic.

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How to get a job at Amazon Job seekers line up to apply during "Amazon Jobs Day" at a fulfillment center in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 2017.

Amazon remains an important employer that is growing quickly. Unlike some of its Big Tech rivals, the company offers a range of positions, from highly technical roles to blue-collar jobs. It's recruiting methods range from massive job fairs to tough one-on-one interviews.

The company ranks among the top employers among technical students. In a survey published last year, Amazon came 10th in a survey of engineering students, beating out Intel and IBM but trailing Tesla and SpaceX.

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BlackRock plunges headfirst into China with debut mutual fund offering, shrugging off Beijing's regulatory onslaught

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:34pm
New York headquarters of BlackRock
  • BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is launching its first mutual fund offering in China, according to Bloomberg.
  • The fund will target sectors that are seeing swift growth in China, including energy, retirement services, and digital transformation.
  • The new fund comes as regulators ramp up their efforts against firms from tech to tutoring.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is launching its first mutual fund offering in China even as the government's regulatory campaign continues to escalate, according to a Bloomberg report.

The China New Horizon Mixed Securities Investment Fund's debut is slated for August 30, coming two months after China's securities regulator gave BlackRock a license to sell its products to Chinese investors. The fund will hit on sectors that are seeing swift growth in China, including energy, retirement services, and "digital transformation," according to Bloomberg.

"BlackRock's first fund is coming right in time to catch a big wave of launches in the second half of the year," Sun Guiping, analyst at Shanghai Securities Co., told Bloomberg.

The new fund, as well as a separate quant product aimed at the wealthy, comes at a sensitive time in China, as regulators ramp up their efforts against firms from tech to tutoring.

In remarks last week, President Xi Jinping made clear his intention to crimp "excessive incomes" while "encouraging high income groups and businesses to return more to society." On Thursday, China's tax authority launched an investigation into wealthy tax dodgers, which some analysts said represented the leading edge of implementing Xi's "common prosperity" vision.

In this political environment, BlackRock is working with Chinese partners to roll out its new products. The investment fund will be distributed by three Chinese lenders, while the quant product is a joint venture with China Construction Bank and a state-owned Singaporean investment company, according to Bloomberg.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Live updates: At least 169 Afghans, 13 US troops killed in blast by Kabul airport; Biden vows revenge

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:26pm
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the August 26 twin blasts by Kabul airport.
  • At least one explosion went off near Kabul's airport on Thursday, causing US and Afghan casualties.
  • The Pentagon initially reported two explosions but updated the count on Friday.
  • Evacuations resumed after the blasts, but countries said they will end up leaving people behind.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An explosion near the airport in Kabul on Thursday killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members, according to the Pentagon and Associated Press.

The Pentagon initially reported two blasts, but updated their count on Friday, noting they believe only the explosion at the Abbey Gate occurred.

The blast is believed to have been carried out by ISIS-K, the Islamic State group's Afghanistan branch, according to US officials.

Evacuations have resumed, but countries acknowledged that they will end up leaving people behind as the August 31 deadline to withdraw approaches.

American forces carried out a drone strike against ISIS-K on Friday night. Members of ISIS-K stand in front of their weapons as they surrendered to the government in Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan on November 17, 2019.

"U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties," Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a US military spokesman, said in a statement.



Biden was briefed that another terror attack in Kabul is 'likely' following bombing that killed 13 US service members U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House on August 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. At least 12 American service members were killed on Thursday by suicide bomb attacks near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

President Biden was briefed about another "likely" terror attack in Kabul following Thursday's deadly blast. 

This comes one day after the explosion at the Abbey Gate outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, which killed 13 US service members, according to the Pentagon, and at least 169 Afghan citizens, per the AP, as of Friday. 

The US has four days before the evacuation deadline of August 31. 

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Two Brits were killed in Thursday's attack, UK Foreign Minister says People wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 24, 2021.

Two British nationals were killed in Thursday's Kabul attack, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday.

The child of a third British national was also killed in the attack, Reuters reported.

There was only one explosion near the Kabul airport Thursday, Pentagon said Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

Maj. Gen. Taylor said there was only one explosion near the Kabul airport on Thursday.

"I can confirm for that we do not believe there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber," Taylor said in a press conference Friday.

Initial reports from the Pentagon Thursday said there were two explosions, but now the information has changed.

"We're not sure how that report was provided incorrectly but we do know it's not any surprise, that in the confusion of very dynamic events like this can cause information sometimes to be misreported or garbled," he said.

The US reportedly gave the Taliban a list of Afghan refugees Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint that was previously manned by American troops near the US embassy, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 17, 2021.

Military officials said they were concerned that US officials gave the Taliban a list of names of Afghans and Americans to be allowed access to Kabul's airport, Politico reported.

One anonymous defense official told the outlet: "Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list. It's just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean."

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Kabul hospital staff who finished their shifts came back to help after the airport attack, NGO head says Injured people are carried to a hospital after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26, 2021.

Off-duty staff came back to help a Kabul hospital that was "overwhelmed" after the two deadly blasts.

The head of the nonprofit Emergency, which runs the Kabul Surgical Centre, said the hospital had a "massive influx" of patients, and staff whose shifts had ended worked through the night.

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The death toll rose to 95 Afghans and 13 US service members Two boys embrace each other as they weep in the parking lot at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, in Kabul on August 26, 2021.

On Friday morning, an official who wished to remain anonymous told the Associated Press that at least 95 Afghans had been killed in Thursday's bombings in addition to the 13 US service members who were killed, bringing the death toll well past 100.

The UK said it might destroy or abandon military equipment so it can fit more people on jets Passengers evacuated from Afghanistan disembark from a British Royal Air Force (RAF) jet on August 21, 2021.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC on Friday morning: "We have taken some decisions that no doubt will play out in a few days in order to get more Afghans out and more British nationals. We've squeezed the timetable for getting our military out, which might mean we have to leave equipment behind."

He also the BBC that equipment might be destroyed.

He also said on Friday morning that the UK would be finishing its evacuations in a matter of "hours," and acknowledged that would mean leaving people behind in Afghanistan.

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Evacuation flights airlifting people out of Kabul resumed on Friday morning Residents in Kabul told the AP that they saw several flights taking off on Friday morning, hours after a string of suicide bombings devastated the area outside Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Evacuation flights airlifting people out of Afghanistan resumed on Friday morning, per the AP

The news outlet spoke to Kabul residents, who reported seeing several flights leaving Kabul on Friday morning. 

The flights resumed a matter of hours after two deadly suicide bombings decimated the area outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Biden vowed in his address to the nation on Thursday that he would get Americans and their Afghan allies out of Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that since August 14, more than 82,300 people have been safely airlifted out of Kabul. He added that this number includes more than 4,500 US citizens, and estimated that there may be 1,500 US citizens left in Afghanistan that need to be evacuated. 

Meanwhile, the UK said on Friday morning that it has entered the last stages of its evacuation process in Kabul and that the British processing center for eligible Afghans is now closed, per Reuters.

Vice President Kamala Harris paid tribute to the American service members who were killed in the Kabul suicide bombings, calling them 'heroes' US Vice President Kamala Harris paid tribute on Thursday to the 13 fallen soldiers who were killed in suicide bombings outside the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul on August 26.

Vice President Kamala Harris on August 26 paid tribute to the 13 American military members killed in deadly suicide bombings that took place outside the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Harris called the service members "heroes" who died saving countless lives in a statement released on Twitter.

"Doug and I grieve for the Americans we lost, we pray for the Americans injured in the attack, and our hearts go out to their loved ones. We also grieve for the Afghan civilians killed and injured," Harris wrote. 

"Our country is grateful to our women and men in uniform, and in particular, those working today to get Americans and our Afghan partners out of harm's way," Harris added. "We will complete that mission. Today, we honor those who gave their lives in service to their nation. We will never forget." 

Separately, the White House announced that US flags will be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Monday to honor the service members who died in the suicide bombings. 

"As a mark of respect, starting today the United States flag will be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations and on all naval vessels of the federal government and the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on August 26

The White House says it is 'not a day for politics' amid calls for Biden's resignation after the Kabul suicide bombings White House press secretary Jen Psaki on August 26 dismissed calls from GOP lawmakers for Biden to resign, saying that a day when US military members have died is "not a day for politics."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on August 26 dismissed calls from GOP lawmakers for President Joe Biden to resign over the suicide bombings outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed at least 13 US military members and dozens of Afghans. 

"I would say, first, this is a day where US service members — 12 of them — lost their lives at the hands of terrorists," Psaki said.

A 13th service member was declared dead following Psaki's remarks. 

"I can confirm that subsequent to Gen. McKenzie's remarks, a thirteenth US service member has died from his wounds suffered as a result of the attack on Abbey Gate," a spokesperson from CENTCOM said. 

Biden is facing calls to resign from at least 20 House Republicans and conservative figures like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn



Biden says he has ordered a retaliatory strike on ISIS-K after the suicide bombings at Kabul airport President Joe Biden vowed retaliation on ISIS-K after the suicide bombings at Kabul airport.

President Joe Biden said on August 26 that he had ordered US military commanders to develop plans for a retaliatory strike against ISIS-K, the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate that claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bomb attacks near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The US military will be developing operational plans to "strike ISIS-K assets, leadership, and facilities," said the president on Thursday, following a string of suicide bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 13 American military members and dozens of Afghans looking to seek refuge on airlifts out of the country. 

"We will respond with force and precision in our time, at a place we choose, in a manner of our choosing," Biden said in his address.


The attack has left more than 100 people dead Taliban fighters stand on a pickup truck outside a hospital as volunteers bring injured people for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed dozens of people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021.

On Friday morning, an official who wished to remain anonymous told the Associated Press that at least 95 Afghans were killed in Thursday's bombings in addition to the 13 US service members who were killed, bringing the death toll well past 100.


The death toll for US service members grows to 13 Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

At least 13 US service members were killed, and at least 18 were wounded, as of Thursday evening — updated numbers from earlier on Thursday. 

The news of the thirteenth US service member's death came hours after Commander of US Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie's announcement that 12 had been killed.

"I can confirm that subsequent to Gen. McKenzie's remarks, a thirteenth US service member has died from his wounds suffered as a result of the attack on Abbey Gate," a spokesperson from CENTCOM said. 

CENTCOM said that those injured are being transported via air "on specially equipped C-17s with embarked surgical units."

"We continue to provide the best possible medical care to those injured. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the injured and to the friends and family of those who were killed," CENTCOM concluded. 

Biden addressed the nation on Thursday following the attack in Kabul US President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House on August 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. At least 12 American service members were killed on Thursday by suicide bomb attacks near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden assured the American people that the US citizens will continue to be evacuated despite the attacks in Kabul on Thursday. He said that the attacks were more reason to evacuate Americans by the August 31 deadline. 

"We will rescue the Americans. We will get our Afghan allies out. And our mission will go on," he said.

The President also promised to exact retribution on those responsible for the attack: "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

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Recent bombing heard in Kabul said to be controlled explosion by US military, a Taliban spokesman said Suhail Shaheen of the Taliban's political office during a press conference at Radisson Hotel, Moscow on July 9 2021.

Reports of a recent blast heard in Kabul is said to have been a controlled explosion set off by the US military in an effort to destroy ammunition, a Taliban spokesperson said

There have been no further confirmations of other bombings in Kabul by the Pentagon at this time. 

Biden will speak Thursday evening following terror attacks in Afghanistan that killed 13 US service members U.S. President Joe Biden pauses while giving remarks on the worsening crisis in Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House August 16, 2021.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on Afghanistan on Thursday evening following multiple deadly explosions at the Kabul airport. 

The president is set to speak at 5:00 p.m. ET and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will brief reporters at 5:45 p.m. following Biden's speech.

Biden's address comes after Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., a top commander of US Central Command, warned that the ISIS-linked terror attacks are likely to continue amid the ongoing evacuation in Kabul.

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Witnesses describe scenes of horror following attacks at Kabul airport A US Black Hawk military helicopter flies over the city of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, August 15, 2021.

Witnesses described scenes of horror and chaos Thursday in the aftermath of multiple deadly bombings outside the Kabul airport. 

The attacks — believed to have been carried out by the Islamic State terror group affiliate, ISIS-K — rocked the entrance to an airport that has been the stage of desperation and heartbreak over the last two weeks. 

"There was a very strong and powerful suicide attack, in the middle of the people. Many were killed, including Americans," a witness who only identified himself as Jamshed told Reuters

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Afghan interpreter who witnessed Kabul explosions says a baby girl died in his arms as he tried to save her A view of a hospital as unspecified number of casualties reported after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.

An Afghan interpreter who was at the scene of the first explosion outside the Kabul airport on Thursday said a baby girl died in his arms as he tried to save her.

"There was a lot of traffic. I had to get out and pick her up again," he told CBS News. "I took her to the hospital, but she died on my hands. ... I tried. I did my best to help her."

The baby girl has not been publicly identified.


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Top US general warns ISIS-K attacks likely to continue in Afghanistan and that the US will pursue those responsible Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of US Central Command testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April 2021

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of US Central Command, on Thursday confirmed that terror attacks in Kabul killed at least 12 US service members.

The death toll was later updated after a 13 service member died. 

"I can confirm that subsequent to Gen. McKenzie's remarks, a thirteenth US service member has died from his wounds suffered as a result of the attack on Abbey Gate," a spokesperson from CENTCOM said. 

At least 18 other service members were wounded and attributed the attacks to ISIS-K, the Islamic State's affiliate in Afghanistan.

"The threat from ISIS is extremely real," McKenzie said. "We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks, and we expect those attacks to continue."

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US will keep evacuating all Americans and allies despite Kabul bombings, top general says Kabul airport

The US will continue to evacuate Americans and allies despite multiple deadly bombings outside the Kabul airport, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of the US Central Command, said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"The plan is designed to operate under stress and under attack," he said. "And we will coordinate to make sure it's safe for American citizens to come to the airfield. If it's not, we'll tell them to hold and work other ways to get them to the airport. We'll continue to flow them out until the end of the month."

McKenzie said the mission is to evacuate US citizens, third-country nationals, special immigrant Visa holders, US embassy staff, and Afghans at risk.

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US troops were killed in an explosive attack at Kabul's airport, Pentagon says US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan

Multiple US service members were killed in the deadly attacks at the Kabul airport on Thursday. 

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said in a press conference on Thursday, that at least 13 US service members were killed, and 18 others were wounded.

Thursday's deaths mark the first US military combat deaths in Afghanistan since February 2020.

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A map of the Kabul airport shows the choke points that make people trying to flee Afghanistan so vulnerable to attacks

A map of the Kabul airport clearly shows the overcrowded areas that were vulnerable to attacks like the ones seen on Thursday. 

The Abbey Gate was flooded with desperate Afghans attempting to flee the country. 

The Baron Hotel was being used by Canada and the United Kingdom to collect Afghans approved for evacuation. Last week, American helicopters transported 169 Americans from the hotel to the airport. 

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What is ISIS-K? The Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate is the Taliban's enemy and threatens US evacuations Members of ISIS-K stand in front of their weapons as they surrendered to the government in Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan on November 17, 2019.

ISIS-K, the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate, is thought to be behind deadly bombings in Kabul on Thursday.

ISIS-K — the Islamic State in Khorasan Province or ISIS-Khorasan — are known to be sworn enemies of the Taliban. 

They remain a threat as evacuations in Kabul continue over the next five days. 

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There were multiple explosions during a 'complex attack' outside Kabul airport amid evacuations, Pentagon says People who want to flee the country continue to wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 25, 2021.

There were at least two explosions just outside the Kabul airport as Americans and Afghans waited to flee the country. 

The Pentagon confirmed that it was "a complex attack" that resulted in US and civilian casualties and is warning of more potential terrorist attacks. 

At least 95 Afghans and 13 US service members were killed according to the Associated Press. An additional 18 service members were reportedly wounded.

The first explosion took place at the Abbey Gate and the second was at the nearby Baron Hotel. 

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The lucky ones: Photos show Afghans arriving in Virginia after evacuating Kabul

More than 8,600 lucky Afghans arrived at Dulles International Airport in Virginia as of Wednesday, according to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

The evacuees were then taken to Dulles Expo Center in Fairfax County, a 100,000 sq.-ft. convention center that was turned into a shelter.

But the shelter is only temporary. After they have been given medical assistance, refugees will be taken to military installations across the US.

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Germany, Canada, and Belgium have finished evacuating people from Afghanistan as the US scrambles to get people out of Kabul Men stand behind barbed wire fencing at the Kabul airport.

As the US faces a hard evacuation deadline of August 31, Germany, Canada, Poland, and Belgium have completed their evacuation missions from Kabul.

The Czech Republic finished their evacuation efforts last week, and France is set to complete theirs before the US

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The US has 5 more days to get people out of Afghanistan, but Taliban and ISIS attacks are preventing people from reaching the airport People who want to flee the country continue to wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 24, 2021.

The Biden Administration has five days until the evacuation deadline of August 31, which the president chose not to extend on Tuesday. 

But mounting threats and two bomb attacks are making the situation in Kabul even more dire than before.

Thirteen US service members and at least 95 Afghan casualties have been reported as a result of Thursday's blasts, according to the Associated Press.

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The Pentagon says thousands of ISIS-K prisoners went free after the Taliban seized Afghanistan

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:21pm
Members of ISIS-K stand in front of their weapons as they surrendered to the government in Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan on November 17, 2019.
  • Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said thousands of ISIS-K prisoners were released in Afghanistan.
  • He blamed Afghan forces for their lack of resistance as the Taliban took Bagram Air Base.
  • ISIS-K claimed responsibility for a bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday that left scores dead.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a press conference on Friday that thousands of ISIS-K prisoners were released in Afghanistan after the government fell to the Taliban two weeks ago.

"I don't know the exact number. Clearly, it's in the thousands when you consider both prisons, because both of them were taken over by the Taliban and emptied. But I couldn't give you a precise figure," he said in response to a reporter who asked how many how many prisoners were left at Bagram Air Base.

Kirby said the US military was turning over its entities to Afghan security forces and blamed them for a lack of resistance as the Taliban advanced.

"And as for emptying out, remember we were turning things over to Afghan national security forces, that was part of the retrograde process, was to turn over these responsibilities. And so they did have responsibility for those prisons and the bases at which those prisons were located," Kirby said. "And of course as the Taliban advanced, we didn't see the level of resistance by the Afghans to hold some territory, some bases, and unfortunately those were the bases the Afghans didn't hold."

Among the thousands of prisoners released from Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram and a separate prison, Pul-e-Charkhi, were also senior Al Qaeda operatives and Taliban fighters.

ISIS-K likely carried out Thursday's bombing outside the Kabul airport

ISIS-K, the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate, claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul on Thursday that killed at least 13 US service members and wounded 18 more. More than 170 people were killed and at least 200 were wounded in the blast, an official with Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health told CNN.

Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

The Taliban and ISIS-K are sworn enemies. They've been fighting for years. ISIS-K, which arose in 2015, views the Taliban as apostates and not devout enough it terms of its adherence to Islam.

Though ISIS-K fighters were released during the Taliban's final, rapid push for control of the country, the Taliban also made a point to execute ISIS-K's former leader in the process. After the Taliban marched into the capital, Abu Omar Khorasani - the former head of the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate - was taken from Pul-e-Charkhi by Taliban militants and promptly killed alongside eight other ISIS-K members, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Experts say ISIS-K has an interest in generating chaos in Afghanistan to embarrass the Taliban and undermine its legitimacy.

The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan "puts significant pressure on ISIS to demonstrate its continued relevance to global jihad, which will make ISIS more dangerous as it attempts to prove the organization's capability and relevance," Jennifer Cafarella, a national security fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, told Insider.

"ISIS will attempt to erode the Taliban's governance and attack the Taliban's religious legitimacy on the ground," Cafarella added.

The group is assessed to have somewhere between 1,500 to 2,000 fighters in Afghanistan, according to a UN report from June, though its numbers may have been bolstered by the recent prison breaks.

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The father of one of the Marines killed in the Kabul bombing says 'Biden turned his back on him'

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:19pm
Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.
  • The father of one of the US Marines killed in the Kabul suicide bomb attack has placed blame on President Joe Biden.
  • "I blame my own military leaders," Steve Nikoui told The Daily Beast. "Biden turned his back on him. That's it."
  • Nikoui's son, Kareem, was among the at least 13 American troops killed in the Thursday attack.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The father of one of the US Marines killed in the suicide bomb attack outside of Afghanistan's Kabul airport put blame on President Joe Biden, saying that the commander-in-chief "turned his back" on his son.

"They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security," California dad Steve Nikoui told The Daily Beast on Friday in reference to his young Marine son, Kareem Nikoui, who the news outlet identified as among the at least 13 American troops killed in Thursday's attack.

"I blame my own military leaders," Nikoui said. "Biden turned his back on him. That's it."

Nikoui told the news site that his son had been stationed at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport where the US and NATO allies have been carrying out ongoing evacuation efforts, and had no idea whether his son was alive or dead following the attack.

"I stayed home from work yesterday because there was that attack and I knew he was there," Nikoui said. "So all day, I was glued to the TV."

Nikoui said that in the evening heartbroken Marines showed up at his door to deliver the horrific news that his son had been killed in the bombing, which the Pentagon believes was carried out by ISIS-K.

The Marines, Nikoui said, "were more choked up than me."

"I was actually trying to console them," he said. "But at the same time, I just wanted them to get out as soon as possible so that no one from my family came back and saw them. I thought it appropriate that I be able to tell them."

The devastated dad, who explained that he's "still in shock," said that Kareem "loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine."

Meanwhile, Maxton Soviak, a US Navy medic from Ohio was identified by the Sandusky Register as another one of the US service members killed in the attack.

A woman who identified herself as Soviak's sister on Instagram made an emotional post about Soviak Friday.

"I've never been one for politics and i'm not going to start now. What I will say is that my beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother was killed yesterday helping to save lives," the post read.

The post continued, "He was a f--king medic. there to help people. and now he is gone and my family will never be the same. there is a large Maxton sized hole that will never be filled. he was just a kid. we are sending kids over there to die. kids with families that now have holes just like ours. i'm not one for praying but damn could those kids over there use some right now. my heart is in pieces and I don't think they'll ever fit back right again."

More than 160 Afghans were also killed in Thursday's attack in Kabul.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15 after the stunning collapse of the Afghan government.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How much is a life worth? Refugee advocates ask Biden to waive fees for fleeing Afghans

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:14pm
Refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan August 27, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia.
  • Humanitarian parole allows vulnerable people to come into the US while they apply for legal status.
  • The Biden administration recently announced it would admit some Afghans under the policy.
  • But refugee advocates say the cost of applying is out of reach for many who need help.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

It was not easy to get out of Afghanistan, even before the Taliban took over, with most of the country's neighbors having closed their borders to prevent an influx of refugees.

After the terrorist attack outside the airport in Kabul, it is only harder.

Indeed, it's not even clear the US will be evacuating anymore of its former Afghan allies, much less the many others who fear persecution.

But Afghanistan will not be cut off from the rest of the world forever, nor will the crisis there end tomorrow. And there is one thing the White House could do right now that would address one additional hurdle: eliminate the $575 filing fee for those coming from a country where the per capita income is only just over $500.

Paying the fee, of course, does not guarantee an application will be successfully processed. And for large families in the US seeking to sponsor relatives back in Afghanistan, the fees can add up.

In an essay for WHYY, a public radio station in Philadelphia, Cathryn Miller-Wilson, executive director of HIAS Pennsylvania, highlighted example of a family with 22 relatives, "one of whom was executed by the Taliban this week," who "would need to raise $12,650 within days" just to pay for their applications

Even allowing those people to file at all was a belated victory.

In April, refugee resettlement agencies called on the Biden administration to circumvent the immigration bureaucracy - a backlog of some 17,000 Special Immigrant Visa applications - and allow vulnerable Afghans to apply for "humanitarian parole;" they also called for immediately airlifting them out of the country.

That advice was not heeded until after Kabul fell to the Taliban. It was then that the administration changed tack, allowing at least some Afghans to come to the US on this rarely used "parole."

As US Citizenship and Immigration Services explains, parole is available to those who face an "urgent humanitarian" situation; it does not provide permanent residency or any other legal immigration status, but does allow those who receive it to escape immediate danger and then apply for asylum once in the US. Although US officials say they will refer parolees to refugee agencies for further assistance, they are not eligible to receive the government benefits as refugees - compounding the financial burden on them and their families.

USCIS does have a process for requesting that the fee be waived, provided one demonstrates financial distress. But it's not guaranteed, and it's another bureaucratic hurdle that advocates say is not justified during an emergency.

Anneke Kat, a community engagement specialist at HIAS Pennsylvania, a refugee resettlement agency, said her group is asking USCIS to get rid of it altogether.

"[We're] asking the administration to waive those fees and remove this really obvious barrier to being able to even engage in the system," she told Insider.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

The Supreme Court struck down Biden's eviction ban, but these 7 states and DC are stepping up to protect renters

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 1:50pm
Biden's latest eviction ban was just struck down by the Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court struck down Biden's eviction moratorium on Thursday.
  • That leaves a handful of states, such as New York and California, with eviction bans in place.
  • At least 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction in the next few months, per Census Data.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Supreme Court dealt the Biden administration a fresh blow on Thursday evening when it struck down a nationwide eviction moratorium, imperiling millions of renters struggling to catch up on their monthly payments. It leaves just a handful of eviction bans in place at the state level.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its authority by imposing a fresh moratorium tailored to areas struggling with high caseloads from the Delta variant. The court's conservative justices said it was up to Congress to renew the moratorium, with three liberal justices in dissent.

Now, around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, which makes up about 16% of all renters in the US, per data from the Census Bureau.

The Biden administration issued the eviction ban on August 3 after progressives led by Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri stepped up pressure on the White House and demanded it. The moratorium was intended to last until October 3, with President Joe Biden saying the main goal was to allow time for the distribution of $46 billion in emergency rental relief aid from his stimulus package.

Data from the Treasury Department shows only around 11% of that federal money has reached renters. States and municipalities are grappling with low staffing, onerous documentation requirements, and stubborn landlords who refuse to accept the aid among other bureaucratic hurdles.

According to legal information resource site Nolo, seven states and DC still have some eviction bans of their own still in effect, which aren't affected by the Supreme Court's ruling. You can scroll over each state to see more details about the ban:

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Those states have different approaches to their moratoria. New York has a full eviction ban in place for only four more days, set to expire on August 31. Neighboring New Jersey's ban is more open-ended, intended to last through two months after the end of the emergency.

The District of Columbia has a plan to gradually phase out their ban, allowing progressively more legal action by landlords over the next several months.

Studies increasingly indicate that states with eviction bans have lower COVID-19 caseloads compared to those that don't. "There's plenty of research that shows eviction moratoria prevents case growth in states where an eviction moratorium was in place versus states where moratoriums were limited," Paul Williams, a housing expert at the Jain Family Institute, told Insider.

Democrats who favor an extension of the federal moratorium appear to have their hands tied because they don't have enough votes to pass a renewal in either the House or Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that Democrats "will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home" and attempt to speed up the delivery of rental relief.

But that may not come fast enough for millions of unemployed people who are on the verge of losing all their income from federal jobless aid after Labor Day. Democrats also don't have enough support for a renewal.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rivian files for IPO, with the Amazon-backed EV maker reportedly seeking $80 billion valuation

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 1:48pm
Rivian has racked up billions in investment from investors like Ford and BlackRock.

Rivian, the electric vehicle manufacturer backed by Amazon and Ford, has confidentially filed for its upcoming IPO, the company said in a press release on Friday.

Rivian has built a line-up of electric pickup trucks that it plans to begin delivering to customers later this year. Additionally, the company developed an electric delivery van for Amazon and entered a contract with the e-commerce giant to deliver 100,000 vans by the end of this decade, with 10,000 vans expected to be delivered by the end of next year.

The EV maker is reportedly seeking a valuation of up to $80 billion when it goes public, according to Bloomberg. The company is aiming for an IPO debut around the Thanksgiving holiday in late November, the report said.

Rivian has raised more than $10 billion since its inception from various investors, including T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, Ford, and Amazon. Rivian's last funding round valued the company at about $28 billion, according to media reports.

The company is seen as one of the most viable competitors to Tesla's dominance in the EV space, in part thanks to its refined designs, unique vehicle features, and expected long battery range.

Rivian's expected public debut later this year will top off a busy year for IPOs, with high-profile names like Robinhood, Didi, and Oatly completing their offerings earlier this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This subscription service matches your preferences against brews from 400+ roasters to find you the very best cup of coffee

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 1:48pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Trade Coffee Co. is our favorite coffee subscription service.
  • When you take its online quiz, you get matched against 400+ roasters across the country to find your perfect brew.
  • There are frequent discounts; currently, you can take 15% off your first bag and get free shipping too.

If you want to learn how to profile your ideal cuppa (and maybe self, while you're at it), there may be no better way than with the help of Trade Coffee.

Trade is a coffee subscription service (our top-rated one, in fact) that matches your coffee preferences with more than 400 coffee brands and roasters to create a curated subscription of beans you'll love. You answer a seven question quiz about how you like your coffee, and Trade matches you with roasters around the country that fit your ideal profile.


Depending on your profile, Trade may match you with The Classics, which is their best value plan at $25 for two 12-ounce bags. Then there's The Hookup for those seeking something "surprising and unconventional" at $15 to $22 per 12-ounce bag. While the prices are more expensive than what you might be used to, Trade runs a good amount of discounts - right now, it's offering 15% off your first bag, and shipping is always free.

How it works

The process, intimidating at the outset, perhaps, is so thoroughly yet tidily detailed that it's a breeze.

What we like most about the selection and customization process is how unassuming it is. You don't feel like you're diving in headfirst with a sommelier who's just out to make you feel uninformed. Instead, you get a clean page layout with four options to identify your level of java snob-hood from newbie to nerd.

Here's what Trade's coffee matchmaking quiz looks like Review of Trade Coffee Co.

Some of us on the team tested Trade's coffee, others tried equipment. Below is a short roundup of what each of us tested along with our findings and tasting notes.

Petunias Espresso by Revelator Coffee Co.

I went for the "surprising and unconventional" choice because you only live once, as they say. I'm rarely able to place undertones within things like coffee, wine, or beer. "Enjoyable" and "not enjoyable" are my usual descriptors, and to each our own, I always believe, but this was something I could savor, and did I ever.

A bitter, velvety dark chocolate tone was punctuated by hints of red stonefruit (cherry, I suppose) as vividly as any beverage ever delivered flavor to my palate. Okay, maybe it wasn't all that distinct (at least not for me), but it was different, and each and every morning, while the bag lasted, the thought of that thick crema greeting my tongue was enough for me to peel off the sheets and (almost) make it to work on time. Now that's something.

I'd be happy to wake with this sensation every morning for the rest of my life, and therein am seriously considering one of these subscriptions for myself. My benevolent overlords might appreciate this motion, too, should it continue to deliver me to work on time. — Owen Burke, senior reporter

Leftist Espresso by Gimme!

I rarely go a day without coffee but typically settle for the brew in our office. The Gimme! Leftist Espresso was a nice change to my routine and provided a strong and sweet batch of coffee. I received the whole bean bag and decided to grind it into medium grounds to use with my French press.

Since it's a light-medium roast, it was smooth and had a higher level of caffeine — meaning that I only had to have one cup to get through my morning to-do list. The actual coffee was a treat, plus I felt like it was made especially for me after using the "Get Matched" quiz on the Trade website. — Megan Foster, former editorial fellow

Cold Brew Coffee Bags by Trade Coffee Co.

Typically, I use this cheap, utility-first plastic cold brew bottle to make a quart of cold brew at home, so I decided to try this on-the-go option. One reusable Trade Cold Brew Bag can make up to five batches per 12-ounce bag of coffee (and $9.50 gets you 20 bags).

Pretty much all you need is the Trade cold brew bag, some coffee, and a glass on hand (the company notes that mason jars work well, and I'd agree). You'll still have to wait 12 to 18 hours for your cold brew, but it's easy, mobile, and the bags are made from corn-based fiber and blessedly compostable. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

The bottom line

If you're already spending $10 to $15 on a 12-ounce bag of coffee and you want to learn how to pull a better shot of espresso, make cold brew, or just learn a bit (or a lot) more about making coffee in general, then Trade Coffee might be for you.

It also makes an excellent gift for the coffee lover in your life (or soon-to-be coffee lover, once they get matched by Trade to their ideal roast). 

Subscribe to Trade Coffee Co. or explore single matches, starting at $12.50 per 12-ounce bag  Read the original article on Business Insider

'No contracts, no snacks': Danny DeVito joins striking Oreo factory workers in calling for a boycott of Nabisco treats

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 1:47pm
Striking Nabisco workers are calling for a consumer boycott of the popular cookie and other Nabisco snacks.
  • Danny DeVito and striking Oreo factory workers are calling for a boycott of Nabisco products.
  • Workers are demanding better pay and pushing against Nabisco's proposed 12-hour shifts.
  • Boycotts rarely impact a company's sales, but they can damage a company's reputation.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Workers in every major Oreo-manufacturing factory in the US are striking, and their call for a boycott of popular Nabisco products like Oreos, Ritz Crackers, and Triscuits was recently bolstered by the support of the famous actor Danny DeVito, Yahoo Finance reported.

"Support Nabisco workers striking for humane working hours, fair pay, outsourcing jobs. NO CONTRACTS NO SNACKS," the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star said in a tweet that garnered 160,000 likes.

-Danny DeVito (@DannyDeVito) August 18, 2021

Over 1,000 Nabisco workers are striking over contract negotiations, with the company's proposed 12-hour shifts becoming one of the most contentious sticking points for workers. Workers are also demanding better pay and an end to outsourcing to Mexico.

Although public figures with large followings such as Danny Devito and Bernie Sanders have tweeted their support for Nabisco workers, boycotts usually fail in undercutting a targeted company's sales, according to The New York Times.

Although boycotts can damage a company's brand, a fast-moving news cycle and constant barrage of information from social media often leads boycotts to fade within a few days if they don't have strong and sustained participation.

Mike Burlingham, a worker at the Portland bakery and the vice president of the local union, told Insider's Juliana Kaplan that the unions had recieved strong support for the strike and that anger had been simmering among workers for a long time.

Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, said it's bargaining in good faith with union leadership and that it was disappointed in workers' decisions to go on strike.

"If Nabisco can rake in billions of dollars in corporate profits, they can afford to treat their workers with dignity and respect," Bernie Sanders said in a tweet.

Read the original article on Business Insider

CVS limits the number of COVID rapid tests a customer can buy as cases of the Delta variant spike

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 1:36pm
  • CVS is running out of at-home COVID-19 tests due to an increase in demand.
  • Customers are limited to buying four tests in-store and six online at a time.
  • The Delta variant continues to surge as many Americans return to the office or go back to school this fall.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

CVS is limiting the number of at-home coronavirus tests customers can buy amid surges of the Delta variant across the US.

Originally having been able to purchase an unlimited number of tests, customers are now only allowed to purchase a maximum of six at a time from the CVS website or four at a time while shopping in-store, according to an email sent Friday from a CVS spokesperson. The tests are still available without a prescription.

The purchasing restraint is caused by manufacturing delays from suppliers of the tests. The limited tests include the Abbott BinaxNOW and Ellume at-home tests, the CVS spokesperson told Insider.

"Abbott has continuously been manufacturing tests, and we have been scaling up manufacturing as we saw demand increase when Delta became the dominant strain and new CDC guidance called for a re-prioritization of testing," a spokesperson from Abbott Laboratories told Insider in an email. "We're hiring people and turning on parts of our manufacturing network that were idled or slowed when guidance changed and demand plunged."

Ellume is experiencing similar issues, telling Bloomberg they are "scaling production and working with retailers to ensure consumer access to its tests." Ellume did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

CVS cites "high demand" as a reason for the shortage of the tests. Abbott says they expect some supply constraints as they try to meet this increased need in tests. Demands for testing have grown as people return to school or the office this fall.

"We're continuing to work with our suppliers to meet customer demand," a CVS spokesperson said.

As coronavirus continues to spread, at-home testing is a popular option for those looking for quick results. The Delta variant is now responsible for most of the cases in the US and spreads faster and more easily than the earlier-detected versions of the coronavirus.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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