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3 Advertising Trends to Watch in 2022

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 3:04pm

These are boom times for digital advertising. While the pandemic decimated the economy, the job market, and consumer confidence, it seems to have done little to quash a bonanza in digital ad spending. We forecast the US digital ad market will reach $239.89 billion this year, up 13.6% from 2021.

To help you stay ahead in 2022, we've compiled three trends in the advertising industry to keep your eye on.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to update your Firefox browser on a PC or Mac

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 3:03pm
It's important to update your Firefox browser when new software is available.
  • You can update Firefox with just a few clicks on either a Windows PC or a Mac.
  • In Windows, choose Help then About Firefox from Firefox's three-line menu; if there's an update, you will be able to install it.
  • On a Mac, open About Firefox from the Firefox menu in the menu bar and look for any available updates.

It's important to keep up with the latest version of Firefox. The browser is updated frequently, and each revision squashes bugs, improves security, and sometimes introduces new features. 

If you want to make sure you're running the latest version of Firefox, the process is similar whether you are using Windows or a Mac. By default, Firefox checks for updates and installs them automatically. But if you want to make sure the latest update is installed right away, you can do it with a few clicks.

How to update Firefox on Windows

1. In the Firefox browser, click the three-line menu at the top right of the screen.

2. In the drop-down menu, choose Help, then About Firefox

Open the Firefox menu from the three-line menu.

3. In the Firefox pop-up window, you should see an update status message under the Firefox Browser title. If the browser is running the latest version, it will say Firefox is up to date. Otherwise, it will say Restart to Update Firefox. Click that to install the updates and restart the browser. 

If there's an update available for Firefox, you'll see it here.How to update Firefox on Mac

1. In the Firefox menu bar, click Firefox, then choose About Firefox

2. In the Firefox pop-up window, you should see an update status message under the Firefox Browser title. If the browser is running the latest version, it will say Firefox is up to date. Otherwise, it will say Restart to Update Firefox. Click that to install the updates and restart the browser. 

To install an available update, click Restart to Update Firefox.Read the original article on Business Insider

The US is adding millionaires at the fastest rate this century while the 'quiet fleecing' of American workers' pay continues

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:51pm
Luxury yachts and sailboats at Kalkara marina in Malta.
  • In 2021, the US added 2.5 million millionaires, the most of any country since 2000.
  • It's a signal of the "quiet fleecing" of the American worker that's been keeping wages down for decades.
  • A recession could worsen inequality across the globe.

As Americans are grappling with rising prices across the economy, the rich are getting richer. 

In 2021, the US added 2.5 million "new millionaires," according to Credit Suisse's annual wealth report released Tuesday, accounting for nearly half of the global increase of 5.2 million. 

Per the report, this growth marked the "largest increase in millionaire numbers recorded for any country in any year this century and reinforces the rapid rise in millionaire numbers seen in the United States since 2016." 

But meanwhile, American workers are receiving a smaller and smaller piece of the economic pie, resulting in a "quiet fleecing" that's been keeping wages down for decades.

"For much of the last 40, 50 years it's been close to zero wage growth or compensation growth for typical workers," EPI economist Elise Gould previously told Insider. "Those trends in hourly wage growth have profound consequences for American living standards and how well people in this country are able to make ends meet. And I think that the growing economy has not universally translated into broadly shared prosperity."

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Coined by the Economic Policy Institute, "quiet fleecing" refers to the decades of stagnant wage growth in the US despite rising productivity and costs of living. 

In theory, workers' wages should rise in tandem with their productivity and keep up with inflation. And up until the 1970s, that was generally the case in the US. But then something changed. The wages of the 1% began outpacing economic growth and inflation, while the pay of the average worker fell behind.

"Quiet fleecing" means lower wages for Americans while the millionaires thrive

For workers, "quiet fleecing" has resulted in decades of wages that haven't kept up with the rising costs of healthcare, housing, and food. At the same time, CEOs were paid over 350 times as much as the typical worker in 2020.

Over the past decades Gould attributes the rise of "quiet fleecing" to factors that include stagnant minimum wage laws, the decline of unions, and the CEO-employee pay gap. 

But more recent developments haven't helped matters either. 

Per the Credit Suisse report, the top one percent's share of global wealth rose for a second consecutive year in 2021 to 45.6%, up from 43.9% in 2019. The report attributes this to rising stocks and home values in 2021.

Though growth in emerging markets has contributed to a slight decline from the near 50% seen at the turn of the century, the one percent's share of global wealth hasn't fallen below 40%. And the report notes that some factors helping drive improvement — particularly growth in China — may not be able to be counted on moving forward.

To some degree, one might argue the growth in US millionaires for instance, points to a rising economic tide that is lifting all workers. But when this wealth is driven by growth in home and stock values — things many Americans do not own — these developments can exacerbate inequality. 

A recession could make "quiet fleecing" worse

This inequality could be among the reasons some Americans are "quiet quitting," "acting their wage," or joining the Great Resignation. It could also be fueling the rise in labor organizing this year. There have been roughly 180 strikes in the first half of 2022, up from 102 in the same period last year. 

As the Federal Reserve and central banks across the globe raise interest rates to combat inflation, there is the risk that they could go too far. The consequences could be inflicting an economic downturn of an unnecessary scale, hurting working workers, and ultimately making "quiet fleecing" and inequality worse. 

"It is inexcusable, bordering on dangerous for the Fed to be raising rates so aggressively," former Fed economist Claudia Sahm wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Is 4 percentage points on US core inflation really worth destabilizing Europe and pushing us into a global recession? No, it is not."

But according to US Fed Chair Jerome Powell, even if raising rates brings some "pain" for the average worker, falling to corral inflation would mean "far greater pain later on."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Yale Assure Lock 2 series is smaller and smarter, thanks to support for any smart home platform

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:45pm

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The Yale Assure 2 Lock lets you unlock a door using the keypad or phone. It also supports Wi-Fi, Apple Watch, Z-Wave, and Matter.
  • Yale's new Assure Lock 2 series of smart locks can be controlled via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
  • The Assure Lock 2 will also support Matter, the upcoming smart-home protocol.
  • Matter aims to bring compatibility to various home automation standards like Alexa and Google Home. 

Lock manufacturer Yale announced its next generation of smart locks, the Assure Lock 2. In addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the Assure Lock 2 series is also one of the first products to support Matter, the upcoming internet-connected smart-home protocol that's being adopted by Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and many others.

Matter promises to bring interoperability to all the competing smart home technologies. That means all Matter-compatible devices will support whichever platform you're using, whether it's Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and others.

Some existing products could also receive software updates to make them Matter compatible. For example, Apple recently updated the Apple TV with tvOS 16, which adds Matter support to the TV streaming device. The previous version of the Assure Lock will also support Matter.

The Yale Assure 2 Lock can be operated remotely, so a homeowner, for example, can allow entry to a dog walker or guests, when they're away.

Assure Lock 2 provides keyless entry through a phone, Apple Watch, or the embedded digital keypad. When connected through Wi-Fi, it also allows remote unlocking and notifications via the Yale Access smartphone app or a voice assistant (Alexa, Google, and Siri) — ideal for early-arriving guests, for example. The previous generation required a separate standalone device for Wi-Fi, but Assure Lock 2 can be purchased with or without a Wi-Fi module.  

The Assure Lock 2 is also smaller and has a more modern design when compared to its predecessor, which Yale's Jason Williams, the president of US Smart Residential at Assa Abloy (Yale's parent), described as "not very sexy."

In a demonstration, Yale showed us installation is as easy as any home lock. Yale says the Assure Lock 2 better fits doors and holes of varying thickness and size. Power is provided by replaceable AA batteries, and the lock will come in three finishes: black, bronze, and nickel.

The Yale Assure Lock 2 smart lock comes as keypad or touchscreen models, and keyed or keyless.

At launch, the Assure Lock 2 will be available in two versions: one that supports Bluetooth and Apple HomeKit ($180 for either a keyed or keyless touchscreen model, and $160 for a keyed or keyless physical keypad model), and another that supports Wi-Fi ($260 for keyed/keyless touchscreen and $240 for keyed/keyless keypad) — all models support Bluetooth and HomeKit out of the box.

Coming soon is a version that supports the Z-Wave home automation protocol ($210 for keyed/keyless touchscreen and $190 for keyed/keyless keypad). The locks will be available from Yale and retailers like Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Amazon.

While the Assure Lock 2 is one of the first Matter-compatible devices, availability is contingent on when Matter is ratified. But users can add it down the road via the Matter Smart Module ($80). Users can also add the Wi-Fi Smart Module ($80) separately. The good news is that both modules are compatible with the previous Assure lock.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How a rusted '60s Beetle is restored and customized

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:30pm
  • MetalMorphosis Customs rebuilds and completely customizes classic Volkswagen vehicles.
  • The restoration process for a Beetle named Paisley took 1,200 hours.
  • Cate and Rodney Culp design, install and customize every detail of the interior and exterior.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Cate Culp: So today, we're going to be looking at Paisley, it's a 1960 Euro beetle and this car was built for our charity beetle promotion. And this car was probably one of the worst that we've ever tried to restore. We'd call it more of a resurrection than a restoration because we very rarely put anything back to stock.

This particular build was 1200 hours in total. And that was done over 105 days.

The first step really is the design phase and that's all for me, I usually sit down and decide exactly how I want the car to look, what size engine is going in, and all that sort of thing. And then I work with an artist to create a rendering, so we have a visual of exactly what the car's going to look like once it's done.

Once we have a clear idea of what we're going to do with the car, first it goes to blast so we can get a really good idea of how much metal work needs to be done.

Rodney Culp: We normally strip the car down to just a bare shell of a car, no wiring harness, no glass, no anything like that. And then we have a person come in and media blast it. Usually it's walnut shell, or some kind of plastic media to take all the paint and body filler out of the car and get back down to bare metal. And then from that point, we put it in a sealer, which seals the metal and keeps it from rusting. 

Cate: Once it comes back from blast, we make a sort of a full list of the amount of metal work that needs to be done so any replacement panels that we need to purchase to go into metal work.

Rodney: We're cutting out the old rusted sheet metal. And then we're welding in either replacement panels or panels that we've made ourselves here that you can't get sometimes.

What we're trying to do is make it as flat as possible, make the curves as smooth as possible. We'll use sanding blocks, we use a couple different ones, we use the dura block, which is a brand that we use and bunnings blocks, we use some of those and they're perfectly flat, perfectly straight and that gives you all the nice curve lines.

The paint process can be pretty lengthy, depending on how many colors you have. We mix it according to what the manufacturer uses. Normally, it's four parts paint to one part of a hardener, and then one part of a reducer to kind of thin it out so you can spray it and we used to spray two to three coats of the base color on that and let it dry between coats. Normally it's 15 to 30 minutes between coats. And then once you do that, then you start applying your clear coat.

Cate: The exterior color is Volkswagen blue, which is actually an original Volkswagen color. But it didn't come in until like 66-67. And we've just put it over a black base. So it looks a little bit darker than most people would recognize the color.

After it's painted, we usually do all of our wiring and that sort of stuff. And then we'll go into assembly, putting in all of the lights, and you know, fenders, running boards, everything else goes on.

Cate: The interior process is more of an evolving process as I do it. I have a basic idea of what I want to achieve. There's a lot of time that's spent, like finding the correct materials so that everything is cohesive. Everything in our builds, interior-wise, is full custom. So I will patent everything out and construct everything from scratch. So no two cars that I do interior-wise are the same. 

Door panels are actually my favorite part of the interior, because they're very easy. There's not a whole lot of sewing involved in them,  it's basically just cutting a panel to fit the door and then covering it. The ones that went into Paisley had a very cool little pocket design on them, which I hadn't done before. So there was a bit of a bit of a process trying to work out how to engineer that.

The steering wheel was actually really basic, it was a half rep steering wheel. The front part just comes off and we can just wrap the front in leather. The Center for this steering wheel, we actually set out to have engraved. We sent that off to a man in Washington state and he hand engraved all of those details for us. 

Headliner is probably, I always say it's my least favorite part but when I'm actually doing it, I find it quite enjoyable… It's really just a matter of getting in there and starting to glue the leather into place and then you know, meticulously wrapping and undoing it when it's not right, stretching it to make sure that there are no wrinkles in it. 

The embossed leather was done at the tannery.  And then we just wanted to carry that through. So it seemed like a good idea to get the engraving done, which is done in the same sort of style of pattern as the embossing on the leather. And then we also have the Paisley design on the side of the car, which is like a vinyl wrap in the trim line. So that sort of flows through from the exterior to the interior and also into the engine bay.

I think I bring a lot of that into the design work of the cars that we build. So that's probably the one thing that most people will sort of say stands out most about what we do is the amount of attention to detail that we put into them. 

So with the charity builds, all of the money that we raise helps to keep kids in school, we have an orphanage in Indonesia, we sent 182 kids to school this year, and all of the funds that we raise from our charity builds goes to that education fund.

Rodney: It went to a gentleman in North Georgia. He's already drove it, you know a bunch and taking it to its first show and it won three different trophies and promoters' choice, so he's pretty excited about it.

When it's all done, I like driving them. So that's the best part for me. I mean, we don't definitely don't do it for the money, but I enjoy taking something that somebody would have crushed or thrown away. And then we built it into something that's back on the road again and everybody can enjoy it and appreciate it. 

Cate: There's a kindness to the cars that appeals to me. There's a gentleness to them that appeals to me. I think they don't pretend to be anything that they're not. There's so many ways that you can build a Volkswagen, so that they look alike, or they look different. But at the end of the day, they're still a beetle, and they still have that same energy. And I think the energy of those cars is what really appeals to me.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 2022 NFL season continues with a big Week 3 matchup between the undefeated Bills and Dolphins — here's how to livestream games all season long

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:18pm

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Bills quarterback Josh Allen delivers a stiff arm to Rams safety Nick Scott while leading his team to victory in the first game of the 2022 NFL season.
  • Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season features a key matchup between AFC East rivals with Bills vs. Dolphins.
  • Throughout the season, HD antennas and streaming services offer select NFL games without cable.
  • NFL+ is a new streaming service that lets you watch local and primetime games on your phone.

The 2022 NFL season enters its third week with just six teams remaining undefeated. Two of those teams will face each other as the Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in a Sunday afternoon game that will also decide the AFC East's leader.

Meanwhile, this week's Monday Night Football game features a matchup of NFL East rivals as the undefeated New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN and ABC. Monday Night Football's ManningCast with Peyton and Eli Manning will air on ESPN2 alongside the game, with a guest list that includes Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, NBA star LeBron James, and Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

Throughout the regular season, NFL games are spread between Fox, CBS, ESPN, NBC, Amazon Prime Video, and the NFL Network. To help you catch games all season long, we've broken down all your options to watch the NFL without cable, along with a schedule for this week's games.

NFL week 3 schedule

Game

Date and time

Channel

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

September 22, 8:15 p.m. ET

Prime Video

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Fox

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

CBS

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

CBS

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

CBS

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Fox

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Fox

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

CBS

Las Vegas Raiders at Tennessee Titans

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Fox

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders

September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Fox

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers

September 25, 4:05 p.m. ET

CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

September 25, 4:25 p.m. ET

Fox

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks

September 25, 4:25 p.m. ET

Fox

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

September 25, 4:25 p.m. ET

Fox

San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos

September 25, 8:20 p.m. ET

NBC, Peacock

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

September 26, 8:15 p.m. ET

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2

How to watch NFL games without cable

You can watch select NFL games without a cable subscription via live TV streaming services and platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Paramount Plus, Peacock Premium, and NFL+. You can also watch local NFL games with an HDTV antenna.

Here's a chart detailing which NFL games are included on every major platform:

Note: This chart is for local in-market and national broadcasts only. Out-of-market games are not available with these services.

 AFC afternoon games (CBS)NFC afternoon games (Fox)Sunday Night Football (NBC)Monday Night Football (ESPN)Thursday Night FootballNFL Network gamesAntennaYesYesYesNoNoNoSling TV Orange + BlueNoYesYesYesNoYesHuluYesYesYesYesNoYesYouTube TVYesYesYesYesNoYesFuboTVYesYesYesYesNoYesParamount PlusYesNoNoNoNoNoPeacock PremiumNoNoYesNoNoNoAmazon Prime VideoNoNoNoNoYesNoNFL+ (mobile only)YesYesYesYesYesYesHere's a detailed breakdown of all the services you can use to stream NFL games without cable:HDTV Antenna

You can purchase an antenna, like this Channel Master model, to add to your TV for about $25, giving you access to local channels within a certain distance. For more recommendations, check our guide to the best digital antennas

An antenna lets you watch all the regional games broadcast from wherever you're located. You also get the Sunday Night Football matchup that airs on NBC. Because it's only a one-time payment, this is a great option if you're solely interested in watching the team in your area.

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
What you don't get:
  • Out-of-market games
  • Monday Night Football
  • Thursday Night Football
  • NFL Network games
Sling TV

If you're looking for a live TV streaming service to watch football, Sling TV is a great budget option that gives you most of the channels you need at a cheaper price than Hulu or Fubo TV.

There are three different plans, depending on what channels you prioritize. Sling Orange and Sling Blue each cost $35 a month, while the combined Sling Orange + Blue plan costs $50 a month. Additionally, you can purchase the Sports Extra package to add NFL RedZone to your plan for $11 a month. 

The Blue plan has NFL Network, as well as Fox and NBC in select markets, while the Orange plan has ESPN. We recommend going with Sling Orange + Blue to get access to the most NFL content Sling offers all season long.  

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox (select markets)
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC (select markets)
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • NFL Network games
What you don't get:
  • Local games on CBS
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • Out-of-market games
Hulu with Live TV

In addition to all of its other offerings, Hulu + Live TV has nearly everything you need to stream NFL games for $70 per month.

Hulu + Live TV gets you access to all local NFL games in your area, with the exception of any blackouts. In addition, you get ESPN and NFL Network. The service costs $70 a month and even comes with a Disney Plus and ESPN+ subscription for no extra cost. You can also add the Sports add-on package to get NFL Redzone for an extra $10 a month.

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • NFL Network games
What you don't get:
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • Out-of-market games
Fubo TV

At $70 a month for the Pro plan, Fubo TV offers the same selection of NFL games that you can find on Hulu + Live TV. It boasts all the network and cable channels you need to watch local and primetime games. You can also spend an extra $11 a month to add the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone package.

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • NFL Network games
What you don't get:
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • Out-of-market games
YouTube TV

YouTube TV is another service that offers access to local and primetime NFL games. It costs $65 a month, but new members can get their first three months for $55 a month. Additionally, the service announced an agreement with the NFL to offer NFL Redzone as an add-on included in their Sports Plus package for an additional $11 a month.

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • NFL Network games
What you don't get:
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • Out-of-market games
Paramount Plus

If you're just interested in watching locally televised AFC home games, then a Paramount Plus subscription could be all you need. The service lets you stream live CBS television, as well as a growing library of on-demand shows and exclusive titles. 

Paramount Plus is available for $5 a month with commercials or $10 a month with ad-free on-demand streaming. With that said, all live broadcasts, including NFL games, still feature commercials with the ad-free plan.

What you get:
  • Local games on CBS
What you don't get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • NFL Network games
  • Out-of-market Sunday afternoon games
Peacock Premium

Peacock won't be streaming any exclusive games during the 2022 season, but Premium subscribers ($5/month) can stream all the NFL games being broadcast on NBC on Sunday nights.

What you get:
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
What you don't get:
  • Local games on CBS
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • NFL Network games
  • Out-of-market Sunday afternoon games
Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is now the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football, with regular season matchups starting September 15. Thursday Night Football has expanded to 16 games this season, with former Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels joining ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit in the broadcast booth.

Fox Sports personality Charissa Thompson will host Prime Video's NFL studio coverage alongside NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, All-Pro corner back Richard Sherman, and retired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

A standalone Amazon Prime Video membership costs $9 a month, and the service is included as part of an Amazon Prime subscription for $139 per year or $15 a month.

What you get:
  • Thursday Night Football games
What you don't get:
  • Local games on CBS
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • Sunday Night Football games on NBC
  • NFL Network games
  • Out-of-market Sunday afternoon games
NFL+

If you're only interested in streaming NFL games on your phone or tablet, a subscription to the newly launched NFL+ service is your best bet. The platform will let you watch in-market games, playoff games, and all primetime broadcasts for $5 a month or $50 per year.

To access games, you'll need to ensure that your location services are activated on your phone or tablet. NFL+ subscribers also get access to a large library of documentaries and shows from NFL films and the NFL Network, all of which can be found in the NFL app. 

NFL+ Premium is also available for $10 a month. This plan lets you watch replays of games after they air, and provides access to game film that's usually reserved for coaches and analysts.

What you get:
  • Local games on Fox (mobile only)
  • Local games on CBS (mobile only)
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC (mobile only)
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN (mobile only)
  • Thursday Night Football games (mobile only)
  • NFL Network games (mobile only)
What you don't get:
  • Out-of-market games
ESPN+

ESPN+ doesn't offer NFL games every week, but there are a handful of games that will be streamed on the service during the season. Those include select Monday Night Football games, the NFL's annual game in London, two Saturday games, and a wild card playoff game.

ESPN+ also offers the weekly recap show "NFL Primetime," which features ESPN personality Chris Berman and broadcaster Booger McFarland reviewing highlights of Sunday's games each week. Exclusive editorial content from ESPN's top football analysts is also available to ESPN+ subscribers on ESPN.com throughout the season.

ESPN+ costs $10 a month, and can also be bundled with Disney Plus and Hulu starting at $14 a month. The price of the Disney bundle will increase on December 8, however, depending on which plan you choose.

What you get:
  • Monday Night Football games on September 12, 19, and 26, as well as December 19 and January 2
  • The NFL's annual game in London on October 30
  • Two Saturday games on January 7, 2023
  • A wild card playoff game on January 16, 2023
What you don't get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football games that aren't listed above
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • NFL Network games
NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket lets NFL fans watch every out-of-market Sunday afternoon game. This is a great option if you want to follow games from other teams outside your local area. That said, the service is only available in select regions.

There are two separate plans available: The NFL Sunday Ticket base plan costs $293.94 total for the season. There is also the NFL Sunday Ticket Max plan for $395.94 for the season.

In addition to the normal features, NFL Sunday Ticket Max adds in NFL RedZone and the DirecTV Fantasy Zone, which is a new channel solely dedicated to watching games through the lens of fantasy football.  A fun feature included in both plans is that you can watch four games at once on your screen

What you get:
  • Out-of-market Sunday afternoon games
What you don't get:
  • Local games on Fox 
  • Local games on CBS
  • Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • Monday Night Football on ESPN
  • Thursday Night Football games
  • NFL Network games
Read the original article on Business Insider

Lumber falls after mortgage rates solidify their move above 6% amid hawkish Fed rate hikes

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:04pm
A discounted batch of planks is seen as people shop for lumber at a Home Depot store in Alhambra, California on May 4, 2022.
  • Lumber prices extended their 2-day decline to 10% after the Fed hiked interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday.
  • The aggressive interest rate hike from the Fed helped solidify the recent surge in mortgage rates to above 6%.
  • "The lumber market continues to be in a state of overall malaise as buyers anticipate lower overall demand going forward," Sherwood Lumber told Insider.

Lumber prices fell 6% on Thursday, extending their two-day decline to 10% after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by another 75 basis points.

The aggressive interest rate hikes from the Fed have helped solidify the ongoing surge in mortgage rates, which jumped above 6% for the first time since 2008 earlier this month and have doubled over the past year. On Thursday, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate surged another 27 basis points from last week to 6.29%, according to data from Freddie Mac.

The surge in mortgage rates have taken a significant bite out of home sales, which has in-turn led to price cuts and has dented homebuilder sentiment.

"The lumber market continues to be in a state of overall malaise as buyers anticipate lower overall demand going forward. Many yards are trying to pare their inventories to minimum levels and have really no fear of price upside," Sherwood Lumber's director of risk management Steve Loebner told Insider. 

"This has taken all of the urgency of the past two years out of the market. We have had a few supply and transportation scares which caused short term rallies, however these have all been quickly shrugged off. Home prices are resetting to reflect the higher mortgage rates and this is a process which can take some time," Loebner said. 

But the housing market hasn't completely fallen apart, and after a more than 70% decline from its record high, lumber prices can still catch a bid going forward.

"There is still a solid backlog of demand on existing single and multi-family [housing] projects... Multi-family demand in particular has been very robust and many traders report near record backlogs of projects on the books which will be starting over the next few quarters. We have also started to see some modest [lumber] production curtailments, which over time will become more prevalent if pricing remains depressed," Loebner said. 

Steady demand for the essential building commodity, combined with declining supply due to potential production curtailments could ultimately spell upside for lumber in the future, at least as long as demand holds up. 

"We are in for a slower grind and a more challenging market environment. However with many of the benchmark commodity lumber items already down approximately 70% from their levels earlier this year, the pervasive bearish sentiment, and the likelihood of less supply, traders would be well advised to consider the risk/reward of being overly negative at this point," Loebner concluded.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Newt Gingrich, who 'broke' Congress, returns to raise support for Kevin McCarthy's midterm strategy on Capitol Hill but dodges questions about testifying in the January 6 probe

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:03pm
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Washington, DC, on July 25, 2022.
  • Newt Gingrich referred reporters to his lawyers when asked about the ongoing Jan. 6 investigation. 
  • "I don't talk about it. At all," he told congressional reporters at the US Capitol.
  • House investigators have asked Gingrich to testify about advice he gave Trump's 2020 election team.

Famously chatty former House Speaker Newt Gingrich clammed up Thursday when asked whether he would cooperate with January 6 committee investigators probing Trump's alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, repeatedly telling reporters to talk to his attorneys. 

—Kyle Stewart (@KyleAlexStewart) September 22, 2022

 

"I don't talk about it. At all. Period," the former Georgia lawmaker told congressional reporters. He reportedly shot down other inquiries about potentially sharing insights into the deadly siege at the US Capitol with "I don't know"s and "no comment"s. 

Gingrich, who was in DC to help House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sell a retooled reelection strategy to rank-and-file Republicans ahead of the fast-approaching midterms, is just one of the dozens of Donald Trump-aligned witnesses House investigators want to hear from before shutting down their sweeping project. 

Gingrich returned to the hallways of a bitterly divided Congress, a continuing discord he's often blamed for creating during his time as House speaker from 1995 to 1999.

Others who have yet to appear for questioning or have fought against testifying publicly include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone, as well as McCarthy and other House GOP subpoena dodgers.

Investigators wrote to Gingrich earlier this month seeking clarification about emails that allegedly showed him urging the Trump campaign to air TV ads repeating false claims about the election.

"The goal is to arouse the country's anger through new verifiable information the American people have never seen before[.] . . . If we inform the American people in a way they find convincing and it arouses their anger[,] they will then bring pressure on legislators and governors," purportedly wrote to Trump White House aides seeking to undo Joe Biden's lawful victory. 

Investigators announced Wednesday that they'd finally heard back from another high-profile person of interest, conservative activist Ginni Thomas. The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who landed on the select committee's radar after messages she sent to various state lawmakers urging them to support Trump's baseless claims of election fraud became public, reportedly agreed to talk to the committee in the coming weeks. 

The committee's next public hearing is scheduled for September 28.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The dollar is sliding against the yen after Japan's market intervention, but the yen's advance won't last long, analysts say

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:59pm
A money changer counts Japanese Yen notes in Singapore.
  • The US dollar dropped against the Japanese yen on Thursday after Japan intervened in the currency market for the first time since 1998. 
  • Japan is trying to defend the yen's value which has dropped 25% against the greenback this year. 
  • One analyst said the timing was "very poor," following immediately after the Fed's latest rate hike. 

The US dollar sank to a two-week low against the Japanese yen Thursday after Japan dumped dollars to defend its battered currency, but the yen's gain is unlikely to last long with the Federal Reserve committed to aggressive interest rate increases, analysts said.

The dollar lost as much as 2.6% when it hit 140.33 against the Japanese yen, the lowest level since September 6. But the dollar narrowed the loss to 1.2% to buy 142.23 yen. 

Japan's first intervention in the currency markets since 1998 was acknowledged by the US Treasury Department.  

"The Bank of Japan today intervened in the foreign exchange market. We understand Japan's action, which it states aims to reduce recent heightened volatility of the yen," the Treasury said in a statement. It was Japan's first currency market intervention since 1998.

The dollar this year has climbed 25% against Japan's currency, underscoring the greenback's broad strength against major currencies as the Federal Reserve aggressively raises rates to combat inflation. The US Dollar Index has gained about 16% during 2022. 

The Fed on Wednesday issued its third straight increase of 75 basis points. The Bank of Japan at its meeting Thursday kept rates at minus 0.1% and reiterated its long-standing policy of buying 10-year bonds daily, moves  aimed at holding the 10-year yield at 0.25%. The BOJ has been controlling its yield curve since 2016  in an effort to increase inflation. 

The "timing of this was very poor, wasn't it? Just hours after the BOJ's inaction, you decide to buy huge amounts of yen with your dollar reserves. The government has so much [in] foreign reserves and it will need to repeatedly buy more and more yen in order to defend its value," Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com, wrote in a note. The yen this year hit a 24-year low against the dollar. 

"For the government's intervention to be more effective, the BOJ will need to close its diverging monetary policy stance with the US Federal Reserve (and other major central banks around the world," he wrote. 

While Japan's 10-year bond yield hovers around 0.25%, the US 10-year Treasury yield soared past 3.6% on Thursday, the highest since 2011. The higher yield makes owning US debt more attractive to holders of foreign currencies and weighs on the yen's value. 

The BOJ "has again extended its increasingly lonely run of dovish policy," Mark Haefele, UBS Global Wealth Management's chief investment officer, said in a note. "Alongside growing rate differentials, Japan's weak trade balance (in part due to elevated energy prices) has also contributed to the yen's weakening. We see upside risk to USDJPY in the near term." 

The yen's jump on the back of the Japanese Finance Ministry's intervention "may not be the last," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. "Interestingly, the level the pair reached was only a little shy of that in 1998 when it last intervened, prompting further speculation about whether this is the unofficial line in the sand," he said. 

"That has been denied but the rate check also occurred around 145 so perhaps there is more to it than just volatility. It will be interesting to see how keen traders are to put that to the test in the future," he wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Yogurt company Siggi's will pay one person $50,000 to move to Iceland and follow a 4-day work week as its 'Chief Simplicity Officer'

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:53pm
Iceland has topped the WEF’s list for 13 years in a row.
  • Dream job alert: Yogurt company Siggi's is hiring for a "Chief Simplicity Offi-skyr."
  • The person will be paid $50,000 to move to Iceland and follow a four-day work week there.
  • The goal is to show "what a simple life in Iceland can look like and the key learnings that can be applied here in the U.S."

If you want a four-day work week, you won't find it many places in the US, but you may have better luck trimming a day off your schedule in Iceland.

Dairy company Siggi's, which makes Icelandic-style yogurt, is looking for someone to do just that. It's hiring for a freelance role it calls Chief Simplicity Offi-skyr, riffing off of the name of traditional Icelandic yogurt, skyr. The lucky person will be paid $50,000 to move to Iceland and take up a four-day work week.

"The past few years have encouraged people to redefine what they value most," Siggi's wrote in the job post. "This culture shift is rooted in the idea of freedom and flexibility. As a result, many are seeking a simpler way of life, including moving out of big cities or prioritizing remote work."

The job is part of the company's latest campaign, which proclaims that "less sets you free."

"Iceland boasts high living standards, friendly people, beautiful nature, and a rich culture; it is consistently ranked as one of the top five happiest countries in the world," the job post continues. "So, as we see a culture shift to focusing on a simple lifestyle, we could learn a thing or two from this Scandinavian country!"

Iceland conducted two major four-day work week trials in recent years that proved to be an "overwhelming success," with productivity levels remaining the same or increasing, and workers reporting less stress and greater work-life balance.

The Chief Simplicity Offi-skyr's job will be to "bring to the forefront what a simple life in Iceland can look like and the key learnings that can be applied here in the U.S."

According to the job post, they'll do this by "documenting the mission of simplicity and living in the way that initially inspired the Siggi's brand" and "identifying the best ways to truly live a simple life and bringing that forth with photography, research, etc."

The CSO will also create content for the company's social media, suggest new yogurt flavors inspired by traditional Icelandic cuisine, and document their time exploring the Northern Lights, waterfalls, glaciers, and other natural wonders in Iceland.

Applicants must have a valid passport, strong writing and photography skills, and "a desire to live a simple life."

Outside of Iceland, a four-day work week pilot currently underway in the UK is also showing positive signs. At its halfway point this month, the 70 participating firms were asked how they were faring so far with the new schedule.  Of the 41 that responded, 88% said it was working "well" for business so far, and 86% said they're "likely" or "extremely likely" to consider keeping a four-day work week after the trial ends.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Are you guilty of returning clothes bought to wear once? Some say you should be punished for 'wardrobing' — a practice that costs retailers $12.6 billion annually

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:51pm
  • Nearly half of Americans believe 'wardrobing' should be a 'serious illegal offense,' a new survey found.
  • Some see it as frugal, while others say it's harmful to consumers and retailers.
  • Over a third of Americans say they'd be more likely to practice wardrobing during a recession.

If you've left the tag on a new shirt with the intention of returning it after wearing it out, you're not alone — but some Americans think you're basically a criminal. 

In a September study of 2,000 adults, market research company OnePoll found that 46% of survey respondents believed the practice — known as "wardrobing" — should be considered a "serious illegal offense."

Wardrobing may seem like a harmless way to recoup some quick cash, but research shows that less than half of all returned goods can be resold by companies at full-price. According to a 2021 study by the National Retail Federation, acts of return fraud like wardrobing amount to $12.6 billion in lost sales for retailers. 

Whether you're wardrobing or committing "friendly fraud" — the practice of calling your bank to request a refund on a charge — 55% of respondents said they believe the money-saving tactics are harmful to consumers and retailers, according to the OnePoll survey.

"The bottom line: friendly fraud is damaging to both loyal customers and retailers," said Oksana Balytsky, director of product marketing at Forter, an e-commerce platform company specializing in fraud protection that OnePoll conducted the survey on behalf of. 

As a possible recession looms over the American economy, wardrobing and friendly fraud could become more prevalent among shoppers: 39% of respondents to the OnePoll survey they would be more likely to commit such offenses in a recession, while 36% maintained that they would never practice wardrobing or friendly fraud.

OnePoll's survey also revealed that a third of adults believe filing a charge back claim with their bank is a more convenient solution than dealing with the customer service of a retailer. Fifty-five percent suggested better customer service as a way to combat friendly fraud.

The respondents also shared their thoughts on the behavior of creating multiple email addresses to take advantage of discounts or free trials, with 43% and 40%, respectively stating they believe these are "serious crimes."

 

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard have been left 'traumatized' after being 'thrust' into political firestorm 'without their consent': lawyer

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:41pm
A bus carrying Venezuelan migrants from Martha's Vineyard arrives off of a freight ferry in Woods Hole.
  • Migrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard have been left "traumatized," a lawyer told Insider.
  • "They're scared, they're traumatized, and they don't know what's going to happen next," the attorney said.
  • Dozens of migrants were flown to Martha's Vineyard in a move planned by Gov. DeSantis last week.

The migrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have been left "traumatized" by the stunt that "thrust" them in the middle of a political firestorm "without their consent," said a lawyer for the group that has filed a class action lawsuit on their behalf

"They're still in a vulnerable place," Jacob Love, a staff attorney with the Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights nonprofit, told Insider of the 49 migrants who DeSantis sent on two chartered planes to the upscale liberal island off the coast of Massachusetts from Texas last week.

"They're scared, they're traumatized, and they don't know what's going to happen next," Love said. "It's going to take them a long time to get over this."

The immigrants, who are mostly Venezuelan, have since been relocated to a military base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, that's designated as an emergency shelter as they try to figure out their next moves while "living in limbo."

"Not only are they traumatized because they had to sort of figure this out on the ground when they got there [to Martha's Vineyard], but they have no clue what's going to happen in them going forward," Love said. 

Love added, "There's just a lot of uncertainty."

Lawyers for Civil Rights has filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of a group of the migrants against DeSantis and other Florida officials, alleging that they carried out a "scheme to defraud vulnerable immigrants to advance a political motive."

The suit says that the migrants were persuaded with $10 McDonald's gift certificates and false promises of employment, housing, and other assistance to get them to board the planes out of San Antonio, Texas. 

The migrants say they were told they were flying to Boston or Washington, DC, before they were dropped on a tarmac at Martha's Vineyard, says the suit.

"When they landed and realized there was no one there waiting for them, they panicked," Love said, adding that the migrants were "shocked" and "scared" as they tried to no avail "to call the various recruiters who they had spoken to."

"Luckily," Love said, Martha's Vineyard locals quickly mobilized to support the migrants. 

The migrants have now been "thrust" at the center of "a national conversation about immigration" in the United States and "are scared," said Love. 

"They know that this is politically fraught. They know that this is a hot-button issue. They know that there are a lot of angry people out there, you know, who have strong feelings about immigration in this country," Love said. 

The lawyer continued, "They've been used as pawns, without their consent, to make a point about immigration and the federal government."

"That's part of the reason people are worried because they didn't sign up for this," he said. 

But at the moment, the migrants' biggest concern, said Love, is "where are we going to go from here?"

"People are definitely uncomfortable and uneasy and scared about what's going to happen next," Love said. "They're not able to stay on the [military] base forever."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Secret clause in Putin's mobilization decree may allow him to draft up to 1 million reservists, an independent Russian outlet reports

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:32pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • A secret clause in Putin's mobilization decree allows one million to be called up, a new report says. 
  • The Kremlin denied the report, maintaining that 300,000 reservists will be drafted. 
  • The West says Putin's partial mobilization shows he's failing in Ukraine. 

A hidden clause in Russian President Vladimir Putin's partial mobilization decree permits the country's defense ministry to draft one million reservists, according to a report from Novaya Gazeta Europe, which cited a source in the presidential administration. The Novaya Gazeta is an independent newspaper that's been banned in Russia amid Putin's crackdown on freedom of information and the free press, but continues to publish out of Riga, Latvia. 

The seventh paragraph of the decree is redacted and designated "for official use," according to the report. 

The Kremlin denied the report, maintaining that 300,000 reservists would be called up. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the report "a lie," per the state-owned news agency RIA, but declined to disclose the contents of the seventh paragraph of the decree. 

Russia has suffered major troop losses in Ukraine over the course of the war, which began in late February. The Pentagon in August said the US estimates the Russian military has seen up to 80,000 casualties in the war so far. 

Some experts believe the decree is vague enough to draft those with little to no military training, as some Russians are now maintaining they lack.

Western leaders and officials said Putin's decision to announce a partial mobilization stood as an acknowledge that Russia is "losing" or "failing" in Ukraine. In the days leading up to the announcement, Ukrainian forces made significant gains in a blistering counteroffensive in the north and south of the country. 

"President Putin's call to partially mobilize Russian citizens, directing them to fight in Ukraine, reflects the Kremlin's struggles on the battlefield, the unpopularity of the war, and Russians' unwillingness to fight in it. President Putin is not operating from a position of strength; rather, this is another sign of his failing mission," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with Reuters said that the Russian leader's speech "demonstrates that the war is not going according to President Putin's plans," adding that "he has made a big miscalculation."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Chinese Tesla rival Xpeng launched 'the world's fastest-charging electric SUV.' See the sleek, $43,800 G9.

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:24pm
The Xpeng G9 electric SUV.
  • Chinese electric-car startup Xpeng launched the G9, its latest SUV. 
  • It promises to be the world's fastest-charging electric SUV, claiming to add 124 miles of range in five minutes. 
  • It goes on sale in China and Europe starting in October with a starting price of $43,800. 
Chinese electric-vehicle startup Xpeng on Wednesday launched the G9, a sleek, fast-charging SUV that should help it compete with Tesla, BYD, and other EV heavyweights.Xpeng G9.The young company unveiled the G9 last year but just announced new details about the tech-packed model as it prepares to start customer deliveries.Xpeng G9.Depending on the specific version chosen, the G9 will cost buyers between $43,800 and $66,400 in China (at current exchange rates).Xpeng G9.That pricing matches Tesla's popular Model Y, more or less. In China, Elon Musk's small SUV costs around $45,000 for a base model and $59,000 for a sportier version.Xpeng G9.Xpeng also has its sights set on Europe and says you'll be able to buy a G9 in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands.Xpeng G9.

Read more: We got an early look at the 557-horsepower Blazer EV SS: See Chevy's $66,000 answer to the Ford Mustang Mach-E

Anyone who's considered buying an electric car knows driving range is everything these days.Xpeng G9.The G9 doesn't disappoint on that front, according to estimates Xpeng provided.Xpeng G9.The SUV promises to travel an impressive 702 kilometers (436 miles) per charge in its longest-range trim.Xpeng G9.Base models can drive 570 kilometers (354 miles) between fill-ups, Xpeng says.Xpeng G9.Charging up should be a breeze, too. According to Xpeng, buyers won't need to sit and wait for ages while their EV slowly replenishes its battery pack.Xpeng G9.Xpeng claims the G9 is the "world's fastest-charging electric SUV."Xpeng G9.

Read more: I drove a Tesla for the first time after testing 14 other electric cars. Now I get why people are so obsessed with Elon Musk's vehicles.

Some models will be able to add 124 miles of driving range after just five minutes plugged into one of Xpeng's high-powered charging stations.Xpeng G9.Like Tesla, Xpeng is building out its own charging network. It has 1,000 locations in China and plans to add another 500 stations featuring its highest-powered plugs in 2023.Xpeng G9.Tesla owners can expect to add up to 200 miles in 15 minutes of charging at a Supercharger, the company says.Xpeng G9.Lucid Motors, a startup, says its debut luxury sedan can add 300 miles of range in 22 minutes, under optimal conditions.Xpeng G9.Standard G9 models aim to recharge their battery packs from 10% to 80% in a brief 15 minutes.Xpeng G9.The SUV will also have bidirectional-charging capability, allowing it to share battery power with outside appliances and devices.Xpeng G9.The G9 won't lack power either, with the all-wheel-drive performance model promising to hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds.Xpeng G9.

Read more: Ford's new Mustang has crisp looks and a feature that lets you rev the engine from outside the car

In addition to speedy acceleration, solid range, and impressive charging speeds, the G9 gets smooth, upscale styling with flush door handles.Xpeng G9.The interior looks sufficiently swanky.Xpeng G9.It includes calf rests for front passengers…Xpeng G9.… an expansive touchscreen …Xpeng G9.… and colorful ambient lighting throughout.Xpeng G9.The steering wheel has an unusual two-spoke design, rather than the usual three.Xpeng G9.Xpeng also equipped the G9 with its latest semi-automated driving feature, which rivals Tesla Autopilot.Xpeng G9.

Read more: I used Tesla's Autopilot for the first time and found it makes a long drive bearable — as long as you remember what it can't do

It promises to navigate highways (including interchanges), change lanes, and automatically drive to saved parking spots.Xpeng G9.The G9 goes on sale in China in October, followed by international markets.Xpeng G9.Read the original article on Business Insider

Putin is personally giving orders to his generals on the battlefield as dysfunction grows, according to US intel

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 1:20pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, oversees the "Caucasus-2020" military exercises at the Kapustin Yar range near the city of Astrakhan on September 25, 2020.
  • Putin is personally giving orders from Moscow to battlefield leaders in Ukraine, a new report says.
  • Citing US intel, CNN reported that Putin's decision-making has caused confusion among officers.
  • Russian forces have faced numerous setbacks throughout the war, especially lately amid Ukrainian advances.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is personally giving orders directly to his generals on the battlefield in Ukraine, causing confusion within his military leadership, according to a new report.

CNN reported Thursday that intelligence intercepts have captured Russian military officers arguing about strategy, tactics, and Putin's decision-making from Moscow, even voicing their frustration with loved ones back home in Russia. The report cited multiple unnamed sources familiar with US intelligence. 

In the face of ongoing Ukrainian advances, which appear to have taken a toll on Russian forces, top Russian officials have responded by shifting the blame from Putin and pinning the blame on others, the report said. 

"Kremlin officials and state media pundits have been feverishly discussing the reasons for the failure in Kharkiv and in typical fashion, the Kremlin seems to be attempting to deflect the blame away from Putin and onto the Russian military," a senior NATO official told CNN. 

Since the start of September, Ukrainian forces have liberated thousands of square miles of territory that was previously occupied by Russian troops as part of a counteroffensive in the country's south and northeast. In some cases, the speed of Ukraine's advances in the northeast Kharkiv region seemingly stunned Russian troops, forcing some to flee in panic and abandon their weaponry. 

In response to battlefield setbacks, Putin delivered a rare televised address on Wednesday in which he announced a partial military mobilization — a move that could see hundreds of thousands of reservists drafted to go fight in Ukraine. During his speech, Putin also threatened to use nuclear weapons and baselessly accused the West of provoking him. 

Western officials and conflict analysts have said that the mobilization announcement is unlikely to have any near-term impact on Russia's nearly seven-month-long war in Ukraine and noted that the move comes from a place of ongoing military desperation rather than success. 

"Putin is not operating from a position of strength; rather, this is another sign of his failing mission," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late Wednesday night. "We have every confidence that the people of Ukraine will continue to demonstrate resolve and bravery on the battlefield in support of their sovereignty and independence."

Some experts have said Putin's mobilization efforts are likely to encounter significant challenges.

"Russia will struggle to mobilize a significant number of troops quickly. The 300k figure [of reservist troops] strikes me as unrealistic," John Hardie, an expert focused on Russian foreign and security policy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained in a statement shared with Insider. "Russia's is not a mass-mobilization military like the Soviet one; it's not built to quickly intake a large number of mobilized personnel."

The mobilization announcement came one day after Kremlin-backed pro-Russian separatists in four occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced they would hold referendums on joining Russia later this week, which officials in Ukraine and much of the West have slammed as a total sham. They said they would not accept the outcomes of any such vote. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top economist El-Erian says the Fed could have avoided 'higher, faster, longer-lasting' rates and elevated recession risk if it had acted sooner

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 2:09am
Top economist Mohamed El-Erian said many have lost faith in the Fed.
  • The Fed raised interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday, marking its third straight rate hike.
  • It signaled more hikes ahead to tame inflation, but the move risks tipping the economy into recession.
  • El-Erian said higher, faster hikes and elevated recession risks could have been avoided.

Higher interest rates that rise faster and last longer, as well as the elevated risk of an economic recession, could have been avoided if the Federal Reserve had acted sooner to curb inflation, top economist Mohamed El-Erian said on Wednesday.

His comments came after the Fed on Wednesday hiked interest rates by 0.75 percentage points for the third time in a row to tame rising prices. Higher interest rates discourage borrowing, thus cooling demand throughout the economy, but the move risks slowing growth so much the economy could slide into a recession.

"Rates that go higher, faster and stay there longer" and the elevated risk of a recession could have been avoided had the Fed responded in a timely fashion to cool inflation, El-Erian wrote in a tweet on Wednesday after the Fed's rate decision announcement.

—Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) September 21, 2022

 

 

The Fed has already hiked rates five times this year, with larger increases taking place at a faster pace over the months, as it races to quell inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June. Inflation cooled in the months following, but was still high at 8.3% in August.

"Rather than lead markets in battling inflation, the Fed has been forced to follow them," El-Erian wrote in a separate opinion piece for CNN published on Wednesday ahead of the central bank's rate announcement. "Yet, because it has been so late in responding, the Fed will be aggressively hiking into a weakening domestic and global economy."

The situation has caused many to lose faith in the central bank, and there is risk that politicians, companies, and households could think of the Fed "as part of the problem and not part of the solution," added El-Erian, who is the chief advisor to Allianz and the president of Queens' College at Cambridge University in the UK. He was previously the CEO of US bond-fund giant Pimco.

"There is an increasing number of economists warning that the Fed will tip the US into recession; and a growing number of foreign policymakers complaining that the world's most powerful and systemically important central bank is pulling the rug out from under an already fragile global economy," he wrote on CNN.

Jerome Powell, the current Fed chair, admitted in a congressional hearing in March that the central bank should have acted earlier.

"Hindsight says we should have moved earlier," Powell said, per Bloomberg. "It's just taking so much longer for the supply side to heal than we thought."

Last month, Powell warned that cooling inflation "will bring some pain to households and businesses."

The Fed did not respond to Insider's request for comment that was sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former official says Trump ordered staffers to find 'murderers,' 'rapists,' and 'criminals' at the border and 'dump them into Democratic cities'

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 12:59am
Miles Taylor shared an old Twitter thread on Wednesday that detailed some of the "unethical" things that former President Donald Trump had asked him to do while in office.
  • Miles Taylor said Trump wanted criminals found at the border to be sent to Democrat-run cities.
  • Taylor said Trump specifically wanted "murderers" and "rapists" to be identified and bussed out.
  • Taylor said it didn't take a lawyer to "recognize this would likely be very illegal to do."

Miles Taylor, the Department of Homeland Security's chief of staff during the Trump administration, said this week that former President Donald Trump once asked his team to find murderers, rapists, and criminals at the border and to have them sent to Democrat-run cities.

Taylor made this statement during an appearance on CNN this week while weighing in on how Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' have been sending migrants to places like New York and Martha's Vineyard, respectively.

Taylor is best known for penning a 2018 op-ed article in The New York Times that said there was a "resistance" within the Trump administration. He has since become a vocal critic of the former president. 

"In January and February of 2019, Donald Trump directed us to go and take immigrants from the border and, quote, 'bus and dump them into Democratic cities and blue states,'" Taylor told CNN.

"But he was much more specific," Taylor said of Trump. "He wanted us to identify the murderers, the rapists, and the criminals, and, in particular, make sure we did not incarcerate them, and we put them in those cities." 

Taylor elaborated on what his team did next. 

"It doesn't take a lawyer or a genius to recognize this would likely be very illegal to do. But put aside the murderers and the rapists and the criminals — could you take people from the border and just dump them into blue states?" he said. "We went, and we asked the lawyers, and they told us: 'No, the federal government cannot do that.'"

Recalling that his team had told the White House that it would be "illegal" to carry out Trump's plan, Taylor said that DeSantis and Abbott were "walking into the same problem" with their recent efforts.

On Wednesday, Taylor re-tweeted a thread from November 2020 in which he had detailed the "foolish, unethical, un-America, and/or illegal things" that Trump had asked him to do while in office. At the top of the list was what Taylor said was an instruction from Trump to "bus thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants (especially those with criminal records) to Democratic sanctuary cities to create instability and strife."

"DeSantis & Abbott are resurrecting zombie Trump policies that we said were illegal (one of the reasons I quit & warned not to re-elect him)," Taylor wrote in his tweet on Wednesday. "Trumpism is very much alive — and his acolytes are taking it to the next level."

Representatives for Trump, DeSantis, and Abbott did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Michael Cohen says New York investigation will 'ultimately terminate' the Trump Organization: 'This is going to put an end to the entire company'

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 12:24am
Former President Donald Trump and his children (from left) Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Jr.
  • Michael Cohen said the New York probe into the Trump Organization would "end to the entire company."
  • Cohen said investigators have what they need to "ultimately terminate" the company.
  • Cohen predicted that one or two of Trump's children may have to "fall on the sword for him."

Former President Donald Trump's one-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen believes the investigation into possible fraudulent practices in the Trump Organization would be what puts "an end" to the company. 

Cohen, who worked for Trump and was his fixer and confidante for a decade, spoke to MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Wednesday, weighing in on the ongoing probe in New York into the Trump Organization.

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to felonies, including tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and bank fraud. He was sentenced in December that year to three years in prison and was disbarred in February 2019 by the New York Supreme Court.

Cohen told MSNBC that the investigation sparked by New York Attorney General's $250 million civil lawsuit against the Trump family would "ultimately terminate the Trump Organization — Donald, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Weisselberg, McConney, and the rest of them."

"This is going to put an end to the entire company," he added.

Cohen made reference to Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's former chief financial officer, who in August admitted to orchestrating a payroll tax-dodge scheme at the organization, and Jeff McConney, Weisselberg's right-hand man.

"I've been sitting on the mountaintops yelling for three-and-a-half, four years, which is that the Trump Organization is a criminal enterprise and that I got thrown under the bus by dear old Donald," he said. 

Cohen also posited that one or two of Trump's children might have to "fall on the sword" for their father. Trump's three eldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump — are listed in James' lawsuit.

Recalling the shoutout he received from James when she announced the suit on Wednesday, Cohen said he felt that he was "finally getting recognition" for his role in the probe. James is also seeking to bar the Trumps from conducting business in New York and has accused the former president of inflating his net worth by billions.

Representatives at Trump's post-presidential press office and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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Trump baselessly claimed he could have declassified documents just by thinking about declassifying them

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 11:14pm
Former President Donald Trump is currently under investigation by FBI over whether he broke any of three federal laws with his handling of classified documents the agency found at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Trump claimed that he could instantly declassify documents during his time in office.
  • Trump said that, as president, he could get documents classified just by thinking about it.
  • Declassification requires paperwork to be filed — even if it's ordered by a sitting president.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday baselessly claimed to Fox News host Sean Hannity that he could have declassified top-secret documents just by thinking about doing it during his time in office.

During a lengthy sit-down interview that aired on Wednesday night, Hannity asked Trump if there was a "process" that he went through to get the documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home declassified.

Trump is currently the subject of an FBI probe into whether he broke any of three federal laws — including the Espionage Act — by keeping the documents at his Florida residence. During the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago on August 8, the agency seized 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked "top secret."

"There doesn't have to be a process as I understand it, and, you know, there's different people saying different things," Trump told Hannity.

"But as I understand, that doesn't have to be. If you're the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying: 'It's declassified.' Even by thinking about it. Because you're sending it to Mar-a-Lago, or to wherever you're sending it," Trump said.

He went on to claim that he understood that "there can be a process" to declassify documents but that it didn't necessarily apply to him because he was president then. 

"You're the president, you make that decision. So when you send it, it's declassified. I declassified everything," Trump claimed, adding that he believed the National Archives and Records Administration was run by a "radical left group."

—Acyn (@Acyn) September 22, 2022

 

Trump's claim to Hannity is erroneous. While sitting presidents can declassify documents, there is a process to get these documents declassified that involves proper documentation.

Leon Panetta, an Obama-era defense secretary, told CNN's Jake Tapper in August that there is a procedure involving paperwork from multiple agencies to get confidential information — like the files found in Trump's Florida residence — declassified.

"If presidents want to declassify, they have to follow that process which basically requires that it be referred to the agencies that are responsible for classifying that material," Panetta told CNN. "They have something to say as to whether or not that material should be declassified."

"So there is nothing that I'm aware of that indicates that a formal step was taken by this president to, in fact, declassify anything. Right now, this is pretty much BS," he added.

Trump's lawyers are attempting to get themselves out of having to hand over information about whether the documents were formally declassified.

In a letter to Judge Raymond Dearie — who was appointed, upon Trump's request, as a third-party neutral investigator — the former president's lawyers asked that he not have to hand over evidence about declassification in case such information becomes part of his defense in a subsequent indictment. This refusal to provide evidence earned a solid rebuke from Dearie, who told Trump's lawyers that they cannot "have your cake and eat it."

Meanwhile, a federal court has given the go-ahead to investigators to resume their review of classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago, following a successful application by the Department of Justice against District Judge Aileen Cannon's decision to halt the probe into the documents. 

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Putin has been called a 'master procrastinator' but experts say he wanted to avoid mobilizing troops 'at all costs' due to how unpopular it would be in Russia

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 10:15pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin during his visit to celebrate the 1160th anniversary of Russian statehood in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
  • Putin announced Wednesday he was calling in reserves, prompting protests in Russia.
  • Experts said Putin wanted to avoid the move, but also wanted to bolster his military.
  • The move could weaken support for Putin's regime as Russians are exposed to the reality of the war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial military mobilization was decried by some as too little too late, but that may be because he had desperately tried to avoid this outcome and thought he could succeed in Ukraine without it, experts said.

Putin said Wednesday he was calling up 300,000 reservists and threatened nuclear options after the Ukrainian military made major gains in recent weeks. The Russian president has found his forces short on manpower while Ukraine, on the other hand, ordered a full military mobilization within days of the invasion in February.

"He's a master procrastinator," Michael Kofman, a military analyst of Russia studies at the Center for Naval Analyses told Puck's Julie Ioffe this week. "He procrastinates and procrastinates till the options go from bad to worse."

Experts told Insider it could take weeks or months for Russia's partial mobilization to bear fruit, as the reservists need to be trained, equipped, and deployed. They also said taking such action at this stage in the war shows things are going so poorly for Russia that Putin is anxious for something that could turn the tide.

"In hindsight, he should have done it sooner. Absolutely," Robert English, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, told Insider, adding that an earlier mobilization of troops wouldn't have looked so desperate.

But, he said, Putin had thought he could succeed in Ukraine without taking this step, which comes with the risk of inspiring backlash among the Russian people.

"This is something he wanted to avoid at almost any cost. Because up until now, the war has been kind of a television war for Russians," English said, adding that most well-off people in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg have largely been able to tune out the war and go about normal life.

"But when you mobilize reservists — even if you target the poor, the rural, the provincial, the minorities, and still avoid the upper middle classes in the big cities — it still will touch them more directly," he continued. "The fact that he's resorted to that shows a certain desperation, that they're afraid of another big Ukrainian breakthrough that could be coming in a week or two."

If Putin was afraid of the fallout from calling up reservists, it appears to have been warranted. Since the announcement, Russians have flooded the streets in protest with chants of "no to war," an unusual sight in the country. Around 500 people had been arrested as of Wednesday evening, according to OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group.

Mobilizing troops could threaten support for Putin's regime

The outcry could ultimately threaten Putin's place as Russia's longtime leader, according to Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and a historian of the Soviet Union and US-Soviet relations.

"The one kind of thing he had going for him, so to speak, was that the war was not really being visited on most Russians," Miles told Insider, adding that Putin and his "massive state media apparatus were able to present an extremely sanitized, different version" of the war.

For one thing, Putin and Russian media had avoided even calling it a war, instead using the president's description as a "special military operation."

But even before the mobilization — and after Ukraine's successful advances — Russian media recently started to veer from the consistently positive coverage of the war, and published criticism of the military fumbles and failures of leadership, Miles said.

Now, calling up people to fight who may not want to risks further weakening support for Putin's regime.

Daniel Treisman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose work focuses on Russian politics and economics, agreed Putin has sought to avoid mobilizing troops due to how unpopular it would be, noting the protests show it's clear that Russians hate this development.

"That Putin would do this shows how badly he feels the need right now to change the momentum, which has been all in Ukraine's favor," Treisman told Insider in an email, noting it will take weeks to deploy the new units.

Treisman also noted that in addition to announcing that draft Putin introduced tougher penalties for draft dodging, suggesting he was prepared for the people to resist.

"There's a danger that the draft will be seen to fail and undermine still further the sense that Putin is in control at home," he said.

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