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Putin's nuclear threats indicate the president is increasingly aware of how limited his military options are in Ukraine, Russia expert speculates

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 10:04pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    • Vladimir Putin on Wednesday escalated his war in Ukraine with a direct threat of nuclear warfare.
    • But experts say the threat indicates that Putin is running out of military options.
    • Putin is increasingly "aware of how limited his actual military options are," one expert said.

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to use nuclear weapons in a brazen escalation of his war in Ukraine.

But the Russian president's audacious warning is less a show of legitimate strength, and more a sign that Russia's military is faltering, according to experts.

On Wednesday, more than seven months into the war, Putin announced a partial military mobilization in an effort to address Russia's manpower problem amid a spate of recent Ukrainian victories. During his televised speech, the president also baselessly accused the West of threatening to use nuclear weapons and responded with an acknowledgment of Russia's own nuclear arsenal. 

"To those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries," he said.

"And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff."

Putin's nuclear threats are a scare tactic aimed at Ukraine's allies.

Amid mounting military losses, deteriorating troop morale, and shifting public sentiment, it makes sense why Putin would turn to his warheads, said 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 poor performance of Russia's military on the battlefield in Ukraine has been an important reminder that any claim to great power status Russia may have is predicated almost entirely on its arsenal of nuclear weapons," Miles said.

Putin's message, Miles posited, is also directed at Ukraine's global supporters. 

"Putin has tried and failed many a time to break the resolve of Ukraine's supporters, and his latest threats are no different," Miles said. "It is clear that he is growing more and more aware of how limited his actual military options are in this war."

Ukraine earlier this month amassed one of its biggest victories yet, launching two concurrent offensives in the northeast and south in an effective effort to reclaim occupied territory. Reports from the front lines indicated that Russian troops fled as the country's military buckled under Ukraine's powerful performance.

"The Russians are dispirited, disorganized, and unmotivated, just trying to stay alive," Robert English, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, told Insider. "The Ukrainian fighting spirit and the American arms industry have teamed up to thwart [Putin's] plans in a big way."

Russian prospects remain grim, especially given the West's ongoing military support to Ukraine. The country's most recent offensive, while executed by Ukrainian forces, was made possible thanks to US and UK intelligence, strategy, and weapons.

"As long as the west is supplying more and better weapons — and we are supplying more and better weapons — the pressure on Russian forces is only going to grow," English said.

A Russian nuclear missile rolls along Red Square during the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.Experts think it unlikely that Putin will act on his threat.

Putin's threat of "civilization-extinguishing capabilities," as Miles put it, doesn't mean the US or any other Ukrainian ally should turn and run. 

"It is one thing to make threats — it is another to actually put these weapons to use in a way which serves the Kremlin's goal," Miles said.

A Russian demonstration of a nuclear weapon would be unlikely to break the West's will, he said, and could even bolster it further. Meanwhile, using a weapon in Ukraine itself would have devastating consequences for Ukrainian troops — but Russian soldiers fighting in the country would pay the price as well. 

Multiple experts previously told Insider that Russia was unlikely to use nuclear weapons, even if it made the threat. Miles added that the logistics alone make the prospect low-risk. 

"Russian nuclear weapons are staged in hardened shelters across the country, including in the far west near Ukraine," he said. "The process of transitioning to readiness, mating warheads to delivery platforms, would generate a great deal of observable phenomena for U.S. intelligence and an opportunity for Washington to make it explicit to the Kremlin just how bad an idea that would be."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russian soldiers who desert their posts could face up to 10 years in jail under legislation that passed the lower house of parliament a day before Putin announced 'partial mobilization'

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 10:00pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, on September 21, 2022.
  • Russia's lower house of parliament approved a bill that toughens punishments for soldiers.
  • The bill increases jail time for soldiers deserting their posts and adds a reference to "mobilization."
  • The law was approved just a day before President Putin announced a "partial mobilization."

Russia's lower house of parliament passed legislation increasing jail time for soldiers who desert their posts or surrender without authorization.

The State Duma passed the bill on Tuesday that increases jail time for soldiers who desert their unit from five years to up to 10 years. The law needs approval from Russia's upper house known as the Federation Council and a signature from President Vladimir Putin — both of which are often seen as formalities.

The bill passed just a day before Putin announced plans for a "partial mobilization" of the country's military reserve forces, drafting about 300,000 reservists, according to The Washington Post.

Part of the bill includes an amended phrase that states soldiers will be punished if they desert their unit "in the period of mobilization or the state of martial law, as well as during wartime or while armed conflict and combat activities are underway," according to a translation by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

A previous version of the bill only referenced times "during armed conflicts or military actions," Radio Free Europe reported.

Other amendments specify a prison sentence of up to 10 years if soldiers refuse to go to combat, disobey a commander's order, or surrender to the enemy without authorization.

The bill and the partial mobilization present another sign that Moscow is escalating its war in Ukraine, even as some soldiers are expressing exhaustion from the seven-month-long invasion.

Just days before Ukrainian forces recaptured the city of Izium, a group of Russian soldiers began drafting letters that expressed "moral exhaustion" and requests to their commanders to leave their posts.

"I refuse to complete my duty in the special operation on the territory of Ukraine due to lack of vacation days and moral exhaustion," one soldier wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Putin's call-up won't make a dent in Ukraine for months and is already sowing panic at home with protests and people racing to get out of the country

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 9:53pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during an event to mark the 1160th anniversary of Russia's statehood in Veliky Novgorod on September 21, 2022.
  • Putin on Wednesday announced a partial military mobilization order seven months into the Ukraine war.
  • But experts say the move is unlikely to bolster Russia's struggling military performance.
  • Mobilization of troops takes time, training, and infrastructure  — all of which Russia is lacking.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilization of Russia's military in an effort to combat the country's glaring manpower problem amid the war in Ukraine. But more than seven months into the conflict, Putin's late-in-the-game decision is unlikely to change the tides of war anytime soon, according to experts.

Putin launched his unprovoked war against Ukraine in February, but it took seven months and a series of recent Ukrainian victories for the president to publicly escalate his country's war efforts.

Russia experts and foreign countries alike are in agreement that Putin's Wednesday morning speech — which included threats of nuclear force — was a sign that the country's invasion is going poorly, and Putin knows it. 

The president announced this week that Russia will call up 300,000 reservists to join the fight, but mobilization at that level can take months to produce results, according to experts. Ukraine, on the other hand, ordered full military mobilization just days after the war began and is just now reaping the benefits. 

"It's really difficult to imagine a way in which this actually has a big impact on the battlefield," 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, told Insider.

It could take more than a month for reservists to deploy

One of the major obstacles to Russia's mobilization aspirations is the country's depleted military infrastructure.

"It's one thing to call up reservists, but to make them combat effective, you need to run them through a training process of some sort that takes several weeks at least," Miles said. "But the Russians have basically cannibalized their capacity to do that."

As Russia first began to confront its personnel problem early in the war, military divisions that lacked manpower turned to the country's training infrastructure, Miles said. Officers who had spent years working at training facilities were suddenly thrust back into combat roles and forced to take their training equipment with them.

"As a result, all of those training resources are empty," Miles said, which means Russia will be forced to send "under-trained" people to the frontlines.

The country will also have to contend with the bureaucratic logistics of mobilization: "We haven't seen a lot of evidence in the last six months that they can do that," Miles added.

A Ukrainian soldier inspects ammunition left by the Russian troops in the recently retaken area close to Izium, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.Russian soldiers' motivation is weakening, while Ukraine's is 'sky-high'

Even if Russia can train and deploy hundreds of thousands of troops in the coming weeks, it may not be enough to address the underlying issues plaguing its war effort, according to Robert English, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe.

"It's not a problem that a few hundred thousand troops can solve. That's sort of a finger in the dike of something bigger that is very shaky right now," English told Insider, explaining that another successful Ukrainian counteroffensive could collapse Russia's goals.

In addition to needing more manpower, Russia is also at a technical military disadvantage, he said. The US and the rest of the West have provided Ukraine with an abundance of military aid in the form of weapons, training, and intelligence, all of which Russia is struggling to match. Whereas Ukrainian attacks are precisely targeted to hit Russian command posts or artillery holds, Russia's are much less reliable and scattered, English said.

He also agreed it could take several weeks or months to prepare the reservists, and even then they're unlikely to be as effective as their Ukrainian counterparts.

"These people being called up, don't want to be called up," English said, adding that the new soldiers will compound a military that reports have described has demoralized nearly since the war began.

"The Russian motivation is weakening among the ordinary soldier. The Ukrainian motivation is sky high," English said, adding that between disparate levels of morale and advanced military power, one Ukrainian soldier is worth as much as five Russians.

And while Putin has only called up a few hundred thousand soldiers, for now, it's going to take a lot more than that for Russia to address the imbalance with Ukraine, he added.

An activist participates in an unsanctioned protest at Arbat Street September 21, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.Resistance from the Russian public is growing

It's not just military experts who have their doubts about Russia's mobilization. The Russian people are increasingly wary as well.

Throughout the war thus far, Putin has benefitted from the realities of warfare remaining contained in Ukraine, seemingly out of sight and out of mind for the Russian public. But Wednesday's announcement was a wartime wake-up call, Miles said. 

Russians across the country took to the streets following Putin's speech, sparking protests and chants of "no to war."  OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group, reported more than 500 arrests in various cities as of Wednesday evening in Moscow. 

Meanwhile, several one-way plane tickets out of Russia sold out hours after Putin's speech, while prices for other tickets out of Moscow skyrocketed. 

They're all signs that attitudes in Russia are shifting.

"Who wants to spend winter in a trench in Ukraine getting shelled?" Miles said. "No one."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who urged Arizona officials to overturn election result, plans to testify before Jan. 6 committee: CNN

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 9:33pm
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 23, 2017.
  • Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, will testify before the Jan. 6 panel, per CNN.
  • Texts and emails previously showed how Thomas advocated overturning the 2020 election result.
  • The House committee also plans to hold a public hearing on September 28.

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, agreed to be interviewed by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, according to CNN.

A date for the meeting was not specified, but CNN reported it will happen in the coming weeks. The January 6 panel also has a public hearing scheduled for September 28.

Ginni Thomas' involvement with efforts to overturn the 2020 election came into question when a series of text messages and emails to one of Trump's top aides and state officials were revealed in the media.

In March, The Washington Post reported on text messages Ginni Thomas wrote to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.

After it was made clear that Joe Biden was the president-elect, on November 10, Ginni Thomas texted Meadows: "Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!...You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America's constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History."

Ginni Thomas also sent Meadows a link to a YouTube video, claiming election fraud, titled, "TRUMP STING w CIA Director Steve Pieczenik, The Biggest Election Story in History, QFS-BLOCKCHAIN."

In a follow-up text, she wrote: "I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it. Possible???"

A few months after The Washington Post report, the publication further revealed that Ginni Thomas also emailed Arizona lawmakers days after the 2020 election, urging them to "do your constitutional duty" and appoint "a clean slate of Electors" for the state.

"Article II of the United States Constitution gives you an awesome responsibility: to choose our state's Electors," Thomas wrote in the email.

The revelation of the texts and emails also immediately brought into question possible conflicts of interest for Justice Clarence Thomas, particularly for any cases that may come up regarding the January 6 riot.

Rep. Adam Schiff said in June that the associate justice should not be involved in any cases related to the Capitol assault or efforts to overturn the 2020 vote.

"Justice Thomas, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, should have nothing to do with any cases relating to January 6, particularly regarding our investigation," Schiff said.

An attorney for Ginni Thomas did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Zelenskyy urged UN officials to ask Russian representatives why their military is 'so obsessive with castration' after sharing what was found in Izium

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 8:26pm
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, from video addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters on September 21, 2022.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a speech on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly.
  • He shared findings in Izium, where bodies stuck under rubble and a mass burial site were discovered.
  • One of the men was castrated, and "this is not the first case," Zelenskyy said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged United Nations members to confront their Russian counterparts about one of the more gruesome acts of violence that Ukraine officials have previously said were committed throughout the seven-month-long invasion and recently discovered in Izium: castration.

"Ask, please, the representatives of Russia, why the Russian military are so obsessive with castration," the Ukrainian president said in an impassioned speech delivered at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. "What was done to them so that they want to do this to others?"

In the prerecorded speech, Zelenskyy called for peace while also demanding a "full package" of restrictions against Russia to punish them for crimes he said were committed during the invasion of Ukraine.

As the assembly was underway, the Ukrainian president also said that the excavation of the mass burial site in Izium, which contained 445 graves, was in progress, and he shared some of the violent findings in the Kharkiv region.

"The bodies of women and men, children and adults, civilians and soldiers were found there," Zelenskyy said.

"There is a family that died under the rubble of a house of a Russian airstrike — a father, mother, six and eight-year-old girls, grandparents. There is a man who was strangled with a rope. There is a woman with broken ribs and wounds on her body. There is a man who was castrated before the murder, and this is not the first case," he said, later questioning why Russian soldiers continue to castrate people.

This was not the first time a Ukraine official reported violent acts committed by Russian soldiers against civilians.

In July, the Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun shared what appeared to depict the castration of a Ukrainian captive by Russian soldiers, though the identities of the victim and perpetrators were not clear.

Another image surfaced online a week later of a skull placed on a stick outside of a building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Popasna, which was captured by the Russian military. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukrainian Luhansk province, suggested that the skill belonged to a Ukrainian prisoner and was placed on a stick by Russian soldiers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ukraine says it has completed a massive prisoner swap with Russia where key Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk was sent to Russia and 215 Ukrainians returned home

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 8:09pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest associates, Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, left, speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, July 18, 2019.
  • Ukraine and Russia have completed a monumental prisoner swap, Zelensky's office said.
  • The swap means that 215 Ukrainians who were captured by Russia will go back to their country.
  • As part of the deal, Viktor Medvedchuk, a key Putin ally in Ukraine, has been sent to Russia.

Ukraine and Russia have completed a prisoner swap in which hundreds of fighters and civilians were returned to Ukraine in exchange for the freeing of 55 Russians and Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin's key ally in Ukraine and his daughter's godfather.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's staff Andriy Yermak said in an update posted in the administration's telegram channel that 215 Ukrainians were returned as a result of the prisoner swap, which Yermak added was also negotiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Viktor Medvedchuk, an MP and one of Putin's staunchest Ukrainian allies, was sent to Russia, Reuters reported. He was arrested by Ukrainian authorities in April.

Among the 215 Ukrainians released were 100 fighters from the controversial, hard right-wing Azov Battalion, which Russia has previously called "neo-nazis." Some founding members of the paramilitary group which sprouted as a result of Russia's 2014 invasion have also worn nazi paraphernalia and ascribed to the moniker.

Five of the Azov commanders will remain in Turkey until the war is over as part of the terms of the deal, according to The Washington Post. 

Over the past 30 years, Medvedchuk has nurtured a close personal and political relationship with Putin, amassing an estimated worth of $620 million before the war, according to Forbes. When he was arrested in Ukraine, authorities seized a yacht, 23 houses, 32 apartments, 30 pieces of land, and 26 cars.

Earlier on Wednesday, 10 foreign fighters fighting on behalf of Ukraine who were captured by Russia – including two Americans – were also released in a settlement negotiated in part by Saudi Arabia. The bilateral prisoner swap is a massive coup for Ukrainians, who have made considerable gains against Russian invaders in recent weeks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A federal appeals court allowed investigators to resume review of classified records seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 8:01pm
Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather near his residence at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on August 9, 2022.
  • A federal appeals court granted the DOJ's request to resume a review of classified materials seized from Mar-a-Lago.
  • The ruling overturned Judge Aileen Cannon's decision that paused the review until a special master review.
  • The decision appeared to embrace the DOJ's claims that a further delay in the review would hurt national security.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday granted the Justice Department's request to resume a review of classified materials seized from Mar-a-Lago during a search last month of former President Donald Trump's home.

The ruling, from a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, overturned a Trump-appointed judge's decision that blocked the Justice Department from reviewing those records as part of a criminal inquiry into the former president's handling of government records.

In a 29-page ruling, the 11th Circuit delivered a forceful rebuke of Trump's suggestion that he had declassified the materials at issue and rejected the possibility that the former president could have an "individual interest in or need for" the more than 100 records marked as classified. The decision appeared to fully embrace the Justice Department's arguments that a further delay in the review of the highly sensitive records would compromise national security and cause "irreparable harm" to the government and public.

"It is self-evident that the public has a strong interest in ensuring that the storage of the classified records did not result in 'exceptionally grave damage to the national security,'" the 11th Circuit judges wrote.

"Ascertaining that," they added, "necessarily involves reviewing the documents, determining who had access to them and when, and deciding which (if any) sources or methods are compromised."

The 11th Circuit panel included two Trump appointees — Judges Andrew Brasher and Britt Grant — along with Judge Robin Rosenbaum, an Obama appointee.

In the aftermath of the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump's lawyers argued that an outside arbiter — known as a special master — should review the more than 11,000 seized records and sift out those potentially covered by attorney-client or executive privilege. Judge Aileen Cannon granted the request and appointed Raymond Dearie, a senior judge on the federal trial court in Brooklyn, to review the records and mediate any disputes between Trump's legal team and the Justice Department.

The Justice Department asked the 11th Circuit late Friday to overturn the portion of Cannon's ruling preventing the review of the roughly 100 classified records, arguing in its appeal that the decision"impedes the government's efforts to protect the nation's security."

The three-judge 11th Circuit ruled unanimously in the Justice Department's favor.

"The United States also argues that allowing the special master and plaintiff's counsel to examine the classified records would separately impose irreparable harm. We agree," the three-judge panel wrote.

For Trump, the decision came close on the heels of another apparent setback in his response to the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago. At an initial hearing on Tuesday, Dearie bristled at the Trump legal team's resistance to his request for evidence of the former president's claims that he declassified the highly sensitive records discovered at his residence.

Without proof that Trump took that step, Dearie said his sole basis for assessing the classification level of the records would be the clear markings designating them as national security secrets.

"You can't have your cake and eat it," Dearie said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Nebraska county of only 625 people contained nearly 100 deep underground nuclear missiles, so the US Air Force halted a green-power project that would have revitalized its economy

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 7:20pm
Vesta wind turbines in Palm Springs, California, July 21, 2022.
  • There are hundreds of underground nuclear missiles across Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. 
  • The US Air Force says wind turbines can't be constructed within a 2-mile radius of these missiles.
  • Due to underground missiles, a wind turbine project in Banner County, Nebraska, was limited in scope.

In Nebraska's Banner County, the remains of Cold War America are buried right below the surface. 

During the 1960s, when the US was locked in a nuclear stalemate with the then-Soviet Union, it began planting hundreds of nuclear missiles across rural swaths of the country like Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana in case it needed to shoot them into the enemy camp at a given moment. 

Now, those missiles are preventing the region from harnessing its most valuable resource: strong, gusty winds.

The Flat Water Free Press, an independent news outlet in Nebraska, reported last week that in 2019, the US Air Force began to thwart a wind turbine project in the state's southwest Banner County. 

Two renewable energy companies, Invenergy and Orion Renewable Energy Group, had singled out Banner for its "world class winds," the Flat Water Free Press reported. They were ready to construct a combined 300 turbines across the region. 

Each turbine would have brought in an additional $15,000 in annual income to the landowner whose property it would be built on. The capital from the turbines would have flushed into Banner's school system and revitalized the 625-person county. 

But the Air Force contended that the turbines would pose a "significant safety hazard" to pilots — especially during storms or blizzards. The Air Force decided that the turbines needed to be constructed 2.3 miles away from each other to ensure that pilots had enough space to land without potentially digging their wheels into a missile. Until then, a quarter mile between each turbine was had been sufficient.

 "The new guidelines, explained to residents earlier this spring, significantly cut the number of possible turbines that could be constructed."

Banner's residents have been left frustrated and disillusioned by the Air Force's new guidelines. "This resource is just there, ready to be used," one Banner landowner said. ""How do we walk away from that?"

Read the full story by The Flat Water Free Press here.


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How to delete a Facebook business page, or unpublish it from public view

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 7:12pm
You can delete a Facebook business page permanently in a few quick steps, or unpublish the page and return to it later.
  • You can delete a Facebook business page permanently in a few quick steps. 
  • Unpublishing your page may be a better option when you just want to remove it from public view.
  • Facebook page administrators are the only users allowed to delete or unpublish a page.

Creating a Facebook business page is a fairly quick process. Removing or deleting a business page is quick, too.

There are two ways to "remove" a Facebook business page from public view. You can delete a page (remove it forever) or change the page's status to "unpublished." 

Quick tip: You must be a page administrator to change the visibility of a page or to delete it.

How to delete a Facebook business page

Deleting a page is permanent. You will receive no email notice from Facebook confirming your deletion. Your page will just disappear on its scheduled date. Be sure you're ready to remove it before you begin.

1. Switch to your Facebook page's profile and click this link to get to the Settings & Privacy screen.

2. Click the View button beside Deactivation and deletion.

3. Click Delete Page and then Continue and follow the prompt.

Click Delete Page and Continue.

Your page is now scheduled for deletion. It will be deleted after 14 days. You can cancel a deletion by going to your page and clicking Cancel deletion at the top of the page. The page will no longer be recoverable once 14 days have passed.

How to unpublish a Facebook business page

Unpublishing a page removes it from public view. This might be useful when you want to update or make a change to your Facebook business page. It can be reactivated at any time. 

1. Switch to your Facebook page's profile and click this link to get to the Settings & Privacy screen.

2. Click the View button beside Deactivation and deletion.

Click View.

3. Choose Deactivate Page and select Continue and follow the prompt.

Click Deactivate Page and Continue.

4. You'll have to answer a few questions about why you want to unpublish the page, and then click Deactivate.

Fill in the form and click Deactivate.

Quick tip: Reactivating can be done by clicking this link and choosing Reactivate next to the page that you wish to reactivate.

How to remove a page from your Business Manager

Removing a page from Business Manager is for situations when you no longer want to manage the business page but also don't want to delete it. You must be an admin of the page in order to do this.

1. Go to Business Settings and select the business account that you want to manage.

2. Locate the page that you wish to remove in the list of pages and click on the Trash can icon to remove it.

Click the trash can icon.Read the original article on Business Insider

What happens when you block someone on WhatsApp

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 7:09pm
  • Blocking someone on WhatsApp means you will no longer receive messages and calls from them.
  • Someone you've blocked can't see your "last seen" timestamp or status and profile picture updates.
  • There's no direct way for someone to know you've blocked them – WhatsApp doesn't notify them.

WhatsApp is a popular alternative to common messaging apps like iMessage and Facebook Messenger. Many people use WhatsApp on their phones as their primary means of contact with others. It's a good option for texting and group chats if your friends don't all have the same kind of phone or they live overseas.

However, it sometimes becomes necessary to block someone on WhatsApp. Whether you're getting calls or texts from unknown numbers, or you're being harassed by a contact, blocking them is an easy way to cease contact without having an uncomfortable confrontation.

Note: WhatsApp won't notify the person that you have blocked them – so don't be concerned that they will immediately find out.

What happens when you block someone on WhatsApp?

When you block someone on WhatsApp, you will stop receiving messages and calls from them. Even if they continue to send messages, they'll never show up on your phone.

Likewise, your information — status updates, profile picture changes, and "last seen" timestamps — will no longer be visible to the person you blocked.

When someone has blocked you, the timestamp indicating when they were last active won't appear.

Blocking someone on WhatsApp may cease direct contact from that user, but it doesn't remove them from your contacts. To do that, you will have to remove their contact from your phone manually. You can also unblock someone you've blocked at any time — so if you need a break from someone for a little bit, you'll still be able to talk to them again when you're feeling up to it.

WhatsApp does their best to make it ambiguous whether or not you've been blocked, to protect their users' privacy.

Quick tip: Consider exiting any WhatsApp groups you and the person you have blocked both belong to, as you will still be able to see their messages within that group chat.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to speed up a video on your iPhone with iMovie or the Photos app

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 7:08pm
  • To speed up a video on your iPhone, you can use iMovie or the Photos app.
  • You can adjust the speed of a video in iMovie by using the Speed button in the video editing toolbar.
  • You can also speed up a Slo-mo video in Photos by dragging the vertical bars below the frame viewer.

You can adjust the speed of a video on an iPhone in two different ways, depending on the type of file you're working with.

If you want to speed up a video that's at regular speed, you can upload it to the free iMovie app and use its native speed tool.

If you've recorded a video using your iPhone's Slo-Mo feature, open your video in the Photos app in edit mode, and play with the sliding vertical bars beneath the frame viewer.

Here's how to do both. 

How to adjust the speed of a video on your iPhone in iMovie

1. Open the iMovie app on your iPhone. If a welcome screen appears, tap Continue.

2. A New Projects window will appear. Tap Movie.

Select Movie.

3. On the next screen, select a video from your camera roll, then tap Create Movie at the bottom.

Choose a video and then hit "Create Movie."

4. Tap the video clip in the timeline and wait for the video editing tools to appear before selecting the speed tool, which looks like a speedometer.

Select the video clip (highlighting it yellow), then tap the speedometer icon in the toolbar that appears.

5. Drag the yellow slider at the bottom to the right to speed up your video or to the left to slow down your video. You can increase the speed by up to 2x the original or slow it down by up to 1/8x the original.

Drag the yellow bar to the left or right.

Quick tip: You can preview your changes by tapping the Play button in the middle of the screen.

6. Tap Done in the top-left corner of the screen.

7. Hit the Share button at the bottom of the screen and choose how you want to save the completed video.

Tap the "Share" button to save or share your video.How to speed up a Slo-mo video on your iPhone in the Photos app

1. Open the Photos app and select the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.

In the Photos app, go to your "Albums."

2. On the Albums page, scroll down to the Media Types section and tap Slo-mo.

Select "Slo-mo."

3. Select the video you want to speed up and tap Edit in the top-right corner.

Select the "Edit" button.

4. In the white hatched line beneath the video timeline, drag the two taller white vertical bars together to completely remove the Slo-Mo effect and speed up the video.

Drag the two white bars together.

5. Tap Done in the bottom-right corner.

Quick tip: You can come back to the file and use the drag bars to restore slow motion anywhere in the video.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to cancel a PayPal payment if the receiver has not yet claimed it

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 7:06pm
You can cancel a PayPal payment if the person on the other end hasn't claimed it yet.
  • You can cancel a PayPal payment if the receiver of the money has not yet claimed it.
  • Many forms of PayPal payments are processed immediately and cannot be canceled.
  • If payment can't be canceled, you will have to ask for a refund or dispute it to PayPal.

So you just sent a PayPal payment but realized the amount was wrong? Or you suddenly decided that any amount was wrong and you no longer wish to send that given party any money? You can cancel certain types of PayPal payments easily.

On the other hand, some PayPal payments can't be canceled and your only recourse would be to ask for a refund or to dispute the charge with the company itself, if that's warranted.

Assuming you have sent a payment that requires the receiver to actively claim it, you may be able to cancel that payment and keep your cash.

Quick tip: If you receive a payment like this, you can refund it using our guide on how to refund a payment on PayPal in 4 simple steps.

Why can't I cancel a payment on PayPal?

In order to be canceled, payments must be in Pending or Unclaimed status. Since most PayPal payments go through instantaneously, this is most likely why you are unable to cancel a payment on PayPal.

PayPal automatically refunds pending and unclaimed payments after 30 days, so action is not necessarily required on your part if you send the payment to a non-existent email address.

How to cancel a PayPal payment

1. Log into your PayPal account and click on the tab Activity at the top of the screen.

Not all PayPal payments can be canceled. Those made to confirmed email addresses, for example, may transfer to the recipient immediately.

2. Scroll down to locate the payment you want to cancel.

3. Click the word Cancel.

4. Click the Cancel Payment button to confirm.

Money may take several days to reappear in your account after a cancellation.Read the original article on Business Insider

Despite Biden's assurances, Middle East militaries are buying their own weapons to take on Iran at sea and in the air

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 6:27pm
A Royal Saudi Air Force K-3 tanker and F-15Cs fly with US Air Force F-15Cs in June 2019.
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been investing heavily in new military hardware in order to Iran.
  • They have continued their buildup even as President Joe Biden has tried to reassure them of US support.

Iran's military moves in recent weeks have captured worldwide attention, stoking concern among rivals in the US and across the Middle East.

On September 1, Iran's navy briefly seized two US Navy unmanned surface vessels in the Red Sea, succeeding on its second attempt capture a US drone within a week.

On September 4, Iran's air force commander, Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi, said the country hoped to acquire Russian Su-35 fighter jets in what would be Tehran's largest fighter purchase since 1990.

The following day, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy showed off a new catamaran-style "patrol-combat vessel" equipped with vertical launch missiles — a first for any Iranian naval vessel.

Those actions come amid a longer-term military buildup by Iran's neighbors, who seek to counter Tehran's asymmetric capabilities by improving their air and naval forces. Their buildup has continued despite President Joe Biden's efforts to assure them of US support and improve relations in the face of increasing geopolitical competition.

Dominant airpowerA UAE F-16 prepares to connect with a US Air Force KC-10 tanker in August 2019.

Saudi Arabia's and the UAE's vast oil wealth has allowed them to be the top two defense spenders in the Middle East and North Africa, and their relations with the US and Europe give them access to the best combat aircraft on the market.

The Royal Saudi Air Force's core strength are its 232 F-15 Eagles, at least 84 of which are F-15SA variants designed specifically for Saudi Arabia. The RSAF also operates 71 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters and 66 Panavia Tornado attack aircraft.

Saudi Arabia is upgrading its F-15s, and in November, the US State Department approved the sale of 280 AIM-120C air-to-air missiles for $650 million to Riyadh.

A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 at King Faisal Air Base in Saudi Arabia in February 2021.

Saudi aircraft continue to play a major role in Riyadh's campaign in Yemen. Their operations have kept Houthi forces from taking important territory and prevented Houthi drones and missiles from striking Saudi Arabia, but Saudi airstrikes, often conducted with US support, continue to kill civilians.

The UAE's air fleet is smaller but also powerful, made up of 78 F-16s and 49 Mirage 2000s used for both fighter and ground-attack operations.

Over the past year, the UAE has said it would purchase 80 French-made Dassault Rafales and 12 Chinese-made Hongdu L-15 jet trainers, with an option for 36 more. The UAE is also reportedly in talks with Turkish firm Baykar for 120 Bayraktar TB2 drones.

Modern fleetsRoyal Saudi Naval Force corvette HMS Badr in the Persian Gulf in December 2020.

The Saudi navy's primary combat ships are three Al Riyadh-class frigates, four Al Madinah-class frigates, four Badr-class corvettes, and nine Al Siddiq-class patrol vessels. The UAE's battlefleet is made up of smaller vessels: six Baynunah-class and one Abu Dhabi-class corvettes and 36 patrol vessels.

Both navies plan to expand and modernize.

In 2017, Riyadh signed a contract with Lockheed Martin for four multi-mission surface combatant warships, a variant of the US Navy's Freedom-class littoral combat ship. The Saudis have also received two of the five Spanish-built Al Jubail-class corvettes they ordered in 2018. The final three are expected to be delivered by 2024. The Kingdom has also ordered 39 HSI32 Interceptor vessels from French shipbuilder CMN Group.

The UAE, meanwhile, ordered two Gowind 2500-class corvettes from France's Marine Group in 2019. The first corvette was launched in December and the second in May.

In addition to securing their own waters, the Saudi and Emirati navies have both sent vessels to support a blockade of Yemen.

Evolving threats, priorities, and procurementThe first Baynunah-class corvette ordered by the UAE sails out for the first time at Cherbourg in France in June 2009.

Despite showing off its new warships and announcing plans to buy more fighter jets, Tehran has recalibrated its defense structure in recent years.

"Ten years ago, you could see the Iranians were still thinking in a somewhat conventional way about doing things," said Michael Knights, an expert in the military and security affairs of Persian Gulf countries at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Handicapped by sanctions and a limited industrial base, Iran has mostly been unable to build and field advanced military hardware. It has shifted from trying to match the conventional capabilities of its adversaries to focusing on things like missile and drone development.

"They've leapfrogged over a bunch of stuff that they weren't good at and they've focused on stuff that they are reasonably good at now," Knights told Insider.

Iran's missile arsenal is the largest in the Middle East and quite capable, as is its drone fleet.

US soldiers and reporters inspect damage to the Al Asad base in Iraq after it was hit by Iranian missiles.

Hundreds of missile and drone attacks using Iranian-made hardware have been launched against Saudi Arabia and UAE from Yemen and Iran since 2015. In January 2020, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US military bases in Iraq following the US's assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Iran has been supplying drones to Moscow as the Russian military struggles in Ukraine. In mid-September, Ukraine said it had for the first time destroyed an Iranian drone in use by Russian forces.

Iran has also developed air defenses that likely could effectively defend its home territory.

But the advanced weapons now fielded by Iran and its neighbors, along with the tight confines of the Gulf region, mean that any conflict would see heavy losses on both sides.

"The Gulf states and the Iranians would probably be able to do each other a lot of damage very early in a war. Both sides would lose their navies very quickly," Knights said.

Consequently, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been putting more emphasis on developing anti-air and missile-defense systems. Both are also investing in unmanned systems.

The two countries are working to integrate and network their drones and systems with each other, which the US has supported, and have participated in or hosted multiple military exercises involving drones, including this year's US-led International Maritime Exercise, the largest exercise of unmanned systems in the world.

US and Bahraini officials in front of unmanned naval vessels at at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in Manama in January.

IMX 2022 was also the first time Israel and Saudi Arabia, which don't have diplomatic relations, officially took part in an exercise together.

The Saudis and the UAE have turned to their burgeoning defense industries to build that weaponry, but the Biden administration — which froze arms sales to Saudi Arabia upon entering office over human-rights concerns related to the war in Yemen — now seems open to replenishing Saudi and Emirati arsenals as part of its efforts to improve relations.

Just weeks after his visit to the Middle East in July 2021, Biden approved a $5 billion arms sale that included up to 300 Patriot missile interceptors for Saudi Arabia and two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems with 96 interceptor missiles for the UAE.

Iran is "in a game of mutually assured destruction" with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, "when it comes to the loss of critical infrastructure," Knights said.

"But if trends in counter-missile and counter-drone continue moving in the direction they are moving now, the GCC might be better prepared to defend themselves from the Iranians, and that's an interesting trend break," he added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A 23-year-old, self-described 'Crypto King' reportedly had his Lamborghini, BMWs, and McLarens seized after investors sued him claiming he stole $35 million

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 6:06pm
The Lamborghini Huracan STO.
  • Aiden Pleterski, who calls himself "Crypto King," had $2 million of assets seized, CBC Toronto reports.
  • Pleterski was reportedly given $35 million by 140 investors.
  • Now, he's being sued by former investors in a bankruptcy proceeding and two civil lawsuits.

A 23-year-old Canadian who calls himself the "Crypto King" reportedly had $2 million worth of assets seized as he's being sued over allegations he defrauded investors.

The seized assets of the man, Aiden Pleterski, include his Lamborghini, two McLarens, and two BMWs, CBC Toronto first reported.

Investors told the publication that at least $35 million given to Pleterski's company, AP Private Equity Limited, went missing. Twenty-nine creditors have a bankruptcy proceeding against Pleterski, and say he owes them almost $13 million, including one 65-year-old woman who told CBC Toronto she invested $60,000 that she was keeping for her grandchildren's education.

Norman Groot, founder of Investigation Counsel PC, told CBC Toronto that the bankruptcy proceeding against Pleterski, who started investing in cryptocurrency as a teenager, was one of the only ways investors could try to get their money back.

Pleterski has since had his assets and bank accounts frozen, according to the report.

Pleterski reportedly was renting a lakefront mansion in Burlington, Ontario that he spent $45,000 a month for, and previously paid for promotional articles about himself on websites like Forbes's publication in Monaco, and far-right publication Daily Caller

A lawyer for Pleterski told CBC Toronto that Pleterski thinks the claims against him by former investors are "wildly exaggerated."

"Shockingly, it seems that nobody bothered to consider what would happen if the cryptocurrency market plummeted or whether Aiden, as a very young man, was qualified to handle these types of investments," Pleterski's lawyer, Micheal Simaan, told CBC Toronto. He added that Pleterski is "co-operating with the bankruptcy process and is hopeful that it will work out in the most equitable fashion for everyone involved." 

Insider reached out to Pleterski's lawyer for additional comment but did not immediately hear back ahead of publication.

In a meeting with creditors, Pleterski reportedly told them he was "very unorganized," and didn't keep records of his investments. His trustee told creditors that Pleterski said he lost the money he had received between late 2021 and early 2022 "in a series of margin calls and bad trades," CBC Toronto reported.

Right now, Pleterski doesn't have a criminal charge against him, Gizmodo reports, but is facing the bankruptcy proceeding and two civil lawsuits.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meta is reportedly putting some workers onto a '30-day list' that gives them a month to find a new role at the company — or leave

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:42pm
  • Meta reportedly puts some workers on a "30-day list" that leaves them a month to find a new role at the company.
  • It only used to impact low-performers, but became more widespread, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • In July, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company plans to shrink several teams over the next year.

Meta is slimming its workforce and avoiding a flurry of pink slips by forcing some employees onto a "30-day list" that leaves them only a month to find a new role or leave the company if their department is downsized or eliminated, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

Instead of terminating employees outright, the company gives some workers whose roles have been eliminated a month-long purgatory period to apply to different jobs within Meta, the publication reported, citing sources familiar with the issue.

It's long been a common practice at Facebook's parent company, the Journal reports, but up until recently its only impacted lower-performing workers. But, as the tech world braces for a possible recession, Meta has begun to use the process to cut out high-performing workers as well, per the report.

A Meta spokesperson told the Journal the time window is a way for Meta to keep talent it might otherwise have lost.

When asked for comment on the 30-day list, a Meta spokesperson referred Insider to a statement from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which the Facebook founder said the company would have to reallocate resources amid its first ever drop in revenue. 

"Our plan is to steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year. Many teams are going to shrink so we can shift energy to other areas inside the company," Zuckerberg said during the company's quarterly earnings call in July.

Google has also reportedly used similar measures. Last week, the tech company gave dozens of employees a 90-day window to find a new role or leave Google, the publication reported, citing sources familiar with the issue. Though, the company has used a 60-day relocation period in the past, The Journal said.

Insider's Kali Hays and Ashley Stewart previously reported that Meta employees have been bracing for a round of layoffs that could reduce head count by as much as 10% this year. In July, Meta sent a memo to managers calling for them to cut workers who fall short of the company's expectations for "increased intensity."

Meta is one of several companies to cut back on hiring and ponder layoffs in recent months. Last month, Snap announced it was laying off 20% of its workers.

Do you work at Meta? Have you experienced the 30-day list? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email at

Read the original article on Business Insider

New York AG Letitia James is asking the feds to investigate Trump after finding his business practices 'plausibly' violated federal law

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:41pm
Former President Donald Trump.
  • NY AG Letitia James said her office will ask federal prosecutors to probe Trump's business practices.
  • James' office filed a sprawling civil lawsuit against the Trumps accusing them of fraud and seeking $250 million in penalties.
  • The AG said she believes the conduct outlined "also violates federal criminal law," including bank fraud and false statements.

The New York attorney general's office has asked federal prosecutors to investigate former President Donald Trump's business practices.

AG Letitia James made the announcement earlier Wednesday after filing a sprawling civil lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest children, and the Trump Organization.

The lawsuit accuses the former president of inflating his net worth and the Trump Organization of artificially inflating or deflating asset values for loan and tax purposes. State prosecutors are now seeking to permanently bar the Trumps from conducting business in New York and is pursuing $250 million in penalties.

James on Wednesday said her office believes the conduct outlined in the civil suit "also violates federal criminal law, including issuing false statements to financial institutions and bank fraud." She said state investigators would refer the matter to the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.

"Claiming to have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal," James said, invoking the title of Trump's 1987 memoir and business-advice book. "It's the art of the steal."

The former president put out a statement on Truth Social after the suit was filed, accusing James of being a "failed A.G. whose lack of talent in the fight against crime is causing record numbers of people and companies to flee New York."

One of Trump's defense attorneys, Alina Habba, also released a statement saying James' office's civil suit is "neither focused on the facts nor the law — rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General's political agenda."

Wednesday's civil suit is the culmination of an aggressive, three-year probe by James, who in 2018 campaigned in part on the promise to investigate — and sue — Trump and his New York-incorporated real estate and golf resort empire.

The 280-page suit identified 23 assets, including Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in South Florida, which was also the location of last month's FBI search that aimed to recover thousands of government records that may have been illegally moved from the White House to Trump's property after he left office.

James said Wednesday that Mar-a-Lago is worth roughly $75 million but that Trump overvalued the property by tenfold, to as high as $739 million. The former president based that valuation "on the false premise that it sat on unrestricted property and could be developed for residential use," James said.

However, she added, Trump had signed deeds "sharply restricting" changes to the property and knew that Mar-a-Lago was subject to "onerous" restrictions.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Survivor' returns with a new group of contestants on September 21 — here's how to watch the latest season

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:12pm

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'Survivor' season 43 premieres on September 21.
  • "Survivor" is back with a new season starting September 21 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
  • Eighteen castaways will be split into three tribes: Baka, Coco, and Vesi.
  • You can watch new episodes on CBS or with a Paramount Plus subscription ($10/month).

"Survivor" season 43 premieres September 21 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. The competition returns to Fiji with 18 new participants that will be separated into three tribes: Baka, Coco, and Vesi.

Just like the last two seasons, season 43 has been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the typical 39-day competition of traditional seasons, castaways will only be stranded for 26 days.

Check out the 'Survivor' season 43 trailer

This season's cast ranges in age from 19 to 52, and includes Paralympian Noelle Lambert. Jeff Probst returns as the show's host to preside over the latest set of hopefuls competing for the title of sole survivor.

Where to watch 'Survivor' season 43

You can watch "Survivor" season 43 starting September 21 at 8.p.m. ET/PT on CBS. New episodes will premiere every following Wednesday.

If you don't have cable, you can also stream new episodes of "Survivor" as they air on CBS through Paramount Plus. To get live CBS, you need the Paramount Plus Premium plan for $10 a month. Subscribers to the cheaper Essential plan ($5/month) can stream episodes on-demand the next day.

In addition to streaming on Paramount Plus, viewers can watch new episodes of "Survivor" through any live TV streaming service that includes CBS. YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and FuboTV all feature CBS as part of their channel lineups. 

For a limited time, new members can get their first three months of Hulu + Live TV for $60 off, making it the cheapest option during this promotional period.

Where to watch past seasons of 'Survivor'

If you're looking to watch older seasons of "Survivor," you can get on-demand access to all of the show's previous seasons on Paramount Plus

Some past seasons of "Survivor" are also available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, but Paramount Plus has the most complete collection of "Survivor" episodes.

What other reality TV shows can I watch on Paramount Plus?

If you enjoy "Survivor," you might want to check out other reality TV shows on Paramount Plus. Subscribers can also watch series like "Big Brother," "The Amazing Race," "Ink Master," "Love Island USA," "The Challenge: All Stars," and "RuPaul's Drag Race."

For more streaming recommendations, take a look at our full roundup of every original show and movie on Paramount Plus

Read the original article on Business Insider

There’s a ‘very high likelihood’ of a growth recession as the Fed’s inflation fight ramps up, Powell says. It means the end of the Great Resignation and fewer raises at work.

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:05pm
Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Washington.
  • The Fed is poised to keep raising interest rates into 2023, putting more pressure on the already slowing economy.
  • There's a 'very high likelihood' the US faces a period of below-trend growth, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said.
  • The economic pain is still better than letting inflation stay near four-decade highs, he added.

The US economy can still win the fight against inflation, but workers will probably take some hefty blows along the way.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates again on Wednesday, hiking its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for the third time since June. The increase extends the Fed's aggressive efforts to cool demand and drag inflation lower, and policymakers' latest economic projections signal the larger-than-usual rate hikes will continue into 2023 and beyond.

Yet those very same projections paint a bleak picture for the future of the US economy that could mean a "growth recession" is coming in the next year. Federal Open Market Committee officials see the economy growing just 0.2% through 2022, down from the June projection of a 1.7% gain. Growth in 2023 and 2024 was also revised lower.

The Fed officials' projected unemployment rate, meanwhile, was increased to 3.8% for 2022 and 4.4% for the following two years. Should the estimates prove correct, that would translate to roughly 1.3 million lost jobs over the next 15 months.

There's a "very high likelihood" that the US faces a period of below-trend economic growth, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a Wednesday press conference. The chair later added that "higher interest rates, slower growth, and a softening labor market" are all part of the economic pain Americans are likely to feel as the Fed moves to slow inflation.

Powell's words "should be translated as central bank speak for 'recession,'" Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Global Investors, said. The central bank's latest projections spell out a years-long period of economic weakness. Higher rates will rein in demand for workers, leading to widespread layoffs and smaller raises. Subpar economic growth will bite into companies' growth forecasts and stock prices. And as rates climb to the highest levels since 2007, prices for mortgages, car loans, and credit card debt will soar.

"With the new rate projections, the Fed is engineering a hard landing – a soft landing is almost out of the question," Shah said. "Times are going to get tougher from here." 

A so-called soft landing is the ideal ending for an inflationary spell. Price growth would cool down without a rise in unemployment or a significant slowdown in overall growth. That ship has sailed, and with inflation proving harder to cool than expected, a hard landing is now the most likely scenario.

Weakening the labor market is one of the aims of the Fed's tightening in the first place. The workforce remains extremely imbalanced, with job openings currently doubling the number of available workers. The gap opened the door for Americans to quit at record rates through 2022, a trend which has since been deemed the Great Resignation. Higher rates stand to curb labor demand, and as job openings fall, workers will likely lose confidence in their ability to quit and find jobs elsewhere. 

There's only been "modest evidence" that the labor market is balancing out, the chair said. Since inflation remains so high and the labor market so tight, restrictive interest rates will need to be in place "for some time," he added.

To be sure, persistently high inflation poses a large risk to the US economy. Soaring prices have already eaten away at workers' wage gains despite most experiencing historically strong pay growth this year. Letting inflation stay near four-decade highs would mean "far greater pain later on," Powell said.

Still, the prevailing message from the Fed's latest press conference was clear. Winning the war on inflation will be difficult, and the path forward will push the economy to the very brink of a self-induced recession.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Just 9 House Republicans broke ranks to vote for a bill from Liz Cheney and House Democrats that aims to prevent another January 6. All of them are retiring.

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:02pm
Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at a January 6 hearing on July 21, 2022.
  • The House passed a bill aimed at preventing another January 6. Just 9 Republicans voted for it.
  • The bill amends the Electoral Count Act and clarifies the vote-counting role of the vice president.
  • Senators introduced their own bipartisan bill two months ago, and some say this is just a messaging bill.

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday to reform the Electoral Count Act, with just nine Republicans — all of whom are leaving Congress after this session — joining every Democrat passing the legislation by a 229-203.

The "Presidential Election Reform Act," co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, aims to prevent another January 6 attack by clarifying the laws that govern Congress's role in counting Electoral College votes.

"If your aim is to prevent future efforts to steal elections, I would respectfully suggest that conservatives should support this bill," said Cheney in floor remarks ahead of the vote. "If instead your aim is to leave open the door for elections to be stolen in the future, you might decide not to support this or any other bill to address the Electoral Count Act."

Most significantly, the bill clarifies that the vice president's role is simply to count votes, and does not include the power to unilaterally reject certain states' electors, as former President Donald Trump argued ahead of the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

It also narrows the grounds for objections to a small set of issues, including explicit constitutional requirements for candidates, while requiring those objections to receive the support of at least one third of each chamber to be heard; currently, it takes just one lawmaker in each chamber.

The text of the bill was only released this week, and several House Republicans — ranging from moderates like Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina to conservatives like Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — told Insider on Tuesday that they hadn't yet decided whether they would support it. 

But that afternoon, House Republican leadership began urging their members to vote against the bill, calling it a "political messaging exercise" and likening it to a "federal takeover of elections."

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told Insider on Tuesday that she would oppose the bill because "Congress did nothing wrong" on January 6.

"It's always been this way," she said. "So why change it?" 

On the other hand, retiring Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan — one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of an insurrection following January 6 — told Insider on Wednesday that it was "painfully obvious" that the reforms were needed.

"The ambiguity around the Electoral Count Act was the overwhelming rationale behind objections" on January 6, he said, indicating his support.

Despite the bill's passage, it's unclear whether it will ultimately become law. The Senate introduced its own separate bill to reform the Electoral Count Act in July, and it now has ten co-sponsors from each party, a good indication of potential success.

On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — a member of the group that worked on the reforms in the Senate — condemned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for the lack of action in the Senate in light of the House voting on its own bill.

"His delay has now led to a setting where the House is apparently proposing their own bill, which unfortunately will be a party line vote," he told reporters. "I'm afraid that our Democrat friends these days are more interested in messaging than they are in actually legislating. It would be nice to actually get laws passed that will help protect our election system."

Here are the 9 House Republicans who voted for the bill:

  • Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
  • Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan
  • Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina
  • Rep. Fred Upton of Wisconsin
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
  • Rep. John Katko of New York
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio
  • Rep. Chris Jacobs of New York
Read the original article on Business Insider

Jobs will be harder to find at Walmart this holiday season. Here's why, and here's how you can get one.

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 5:01pm
A Walmart employee works at a store in Florida.
  • Walmart announced that it will hire 40,000 new seasonal and permanent workers for the holidays.
  • That number marks a decrease from the 150,000 workers Walmart sought to hire for holiday 2021.
  • Retailer says a customer-centric attitude may give applicants a better chance of getting a job there.

Walmart is once again hiring thousands of new workers this holiday season, but a shift in its overall recruiting strategy promises to make for a more competitive environment for prospective employees. This year, the company has slashed its holiday hiring goal – to a little over a quarter of the workforce that it's aimed to bring on in past years.

The Arkansas-based retail giant announced its plans to hire 40,000 new workers for holiday 2022 on Wednesday. That number is a dramatic reduction from Walmart's 2020 and 2021 holiday hiring goals of 150,000 new workers. Last year, the retail giant said it would onboard 20,000 new workers just to work in supply-chain positions, such as order fillers, freight handlers and lift drivers. 

The reduced hiring goals point to Walmart's recent years of intensive onboarding, where the company added thousands of new workers amidst the pandemic. Insiders say that this year's number of required hires is down because the company's staffing position was so bolstered by last year's hiring spree.

What's more, back during Walmart's May earnings call, CEO Doug McMillon called out "weeks of over-staffing" for cutting into the company's profit. Given Walmart's stature within the world of retail, the reduced hiring numbers may be a sign that other companies follow suit come holiday 2022. 

Seasonal and full-time jobs

For prospective employees, that means that fewer new open positions will be available this year. The 40,000 roles will be a mix of seasonal and full-time gigs. Current workers will get the first crack at opting for additional hours to help with the holiday hustle.

In a blog post, Walmart's senior vice president of field people, Maren Waggoner, wrote, "Whether an associate begins working at Walmart during the holidays or at another time of year, they can count on finding opportunity and benefits at every turn."

The post specifically mentioned roles like temporary "seasonal store associates" to help with in-store tasks and pickup, permanent truck drivers, and new customer care workers to deal with calls.

In its announcements, Walmart directed prospective workers to its jobs portal, which lists roles by type and location. For prospective workers looking to stand out from the crowd, a customer-centric attitude is one thing that can bolster an applicant's chances. 

"We are looking for associates who are passionate about serving customers and helping our customers create special moments this holiday season," Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield told Insider. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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