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Mitch McConnell deflected a question about Trump's influence on the GOP, saying Republicans should focus on the future and not 'rehash' 2020

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:10pm
Former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • McConnell deflected a question about whether he was comfortable with his party's embrace of Trump.
  • But he said he hoped 2022 was "not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020."
  • Trump recently said Republicans would not vote in elections if the 2020 one wasn't "solved."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday deflected a question about former President Donald Trump's attendance at a GOP retreat last week, urging the party to focus on the future.

Speaking alongside Republican Senate leadership after party caucus lunches, McConnell was asked by CNN's Manu Raju if he was "comfortable" with his party's embrace of Trump, given his prior comments about the former president being "morally responsible" for the Capitol riot.

"Well, I do think we need to be talking about the future, and not the past," McConnell said. "I think the American people are focusing on this administration, what it's doing to the country.

"And it's my hope that the '22 election will be a referendum on the performance of the current administration, not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020."

-The Recount (@therecount) October 19, 2021

McConnell's comments come as Trump has sought in recent weeks to reassert his dominance over the GOP.

The former president said last week that Republicans would not vote in upcoming elections if the 2020 one wasn't "solved."

"It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," Trump said.

On October 15, Trump spoke at the National Republican Senatorial Committee's retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, where he again pushed baseless claims about the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported. Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported from the retreat that Republicans were worried about Trump hurting the GOP's chances of reclaiming the Senate and House by focusing on his 2020 election loss.

And Trump appears to understand the influence his statements are having.

"It could be a problem," Trump told David Drucker of his fixation on the 2020 election before saying it also "could be an asset."

Trump acknowledged in that same interview that he may have contributed to the Republican Party losing two Senate seats in Georgia - and, consequently, control of the Senate.

"They didn't want to vote because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump said of Georgia Republican voters, continuing to question his roughly 12,000-vote loss in the state.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Dazed and confused' investors are feeling the most bearish since the pandemic began as surging inflation and market volatility dent confidence, E-Trade says

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:10pm
  • Investors hold the lowest rate of bullishness toward stocks in more than a year, according to E-Trade.
  • Inflation tops the list of concerns held by investors in the online broker's fourth-quarter Streetwise survey.
  • But investors see the energy sector extending gains as oil and gas prices surge.

Investor enthusiasm toward stocks has dropped for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in the US last year as inflation soars to multi-year highs, but the leap in gas and oil prices makes the energy sector more attractive, according to a quarterly survey from E-Trade.

Bullish sentiment has slid by 11 percentage points to 54%, a pullback from the third quarter when such sentiment hit a three-year high, the trading platform said about its fourth-quarter Streetwise survey. The impact of inflation on investment portfolios was the top concern among respondents to the online survey that ran from October 8 through October 16, at 52%.

The latest round of E-Trade's questions included: "If you had to pick a movie title that best describes how you personally feel about the market this quarter, which would it be?" The top answer, at 27%, was "Dazed and Confused," the 1993 coming-of-age comedy whose cast included Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey.

"Investors are facing several headwinds when it comes to their portfolios, so it's not too surprising to see bullishness take a big hit," said Mike Loewengart, E-Trade's managing director of investment strategy, said in a statement Monday accompanying the survey's release.

Inflation has been scaling higher in recent months, with retail and wholesale prices under pressure in part from supply-chain snags running through numerous industries and labor shortage even as millions of Americans remain unemployed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Labor shortages have forced many companies to raise wages to attract workers.

"Many are questioning if inflation is here to stay, supply constraints have weighed heavily on purchasing power, and slowing growth prospects seem to be more of a reality," Loewengart said. The consumer price index in September climbed to 5.4%, sticking around a 30-year high, and wholesale inflation soared to 8.6% year-over-year.

Investors at a 66% rate foresee a pick-up in market volatility over the next quarter, an increase from 64% in the previous quarter.

"But investors should keep in mind that volatility is part of a healthy market and preparing for pullbacks is key."

In such preparation, two in five investors, or 44%, said the energy sector has the biggest potential for gains, up from 37% in the third quarter. High demand from re-openings and supply shortages, said E-Trade, have contributed to gas pump prices climbing to seven-year highs. US and Brent crude oil prices have pushed up to around three-year highs, trading above $83 a barrel and $85 a barrel, respectively.

Investors also see opportunities from the information technology and health care sectors, the online broker said. The S&P 500 energy sector has surged by 90% in 2021.

E-Trade's survey, administered by online market research firm Dynata, had an online US sample of 901 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.2%.

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Young Life is under federal investigation after 4 women say they were removed from the ministry for reporting sexual misconduct

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:08pm
University of Michigan student Becca Wong, who said Young Life removed her "in direct retaliation" for reporting sexual assault in their local ministry.
  • Young Life is under federal investigation amid complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Four former members told the EEOC that they experienced sexual misconduct while at the ministry.
  • Young Life and the EEOC declined to comment, citing a pending investigation.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The federal government is investigating youth mega-ministry Young Life following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Four women made the claims in individual charges of discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The complaints, which Insider reviewed, come from Laureana Arellano, Becca Wong, Emily Welz, and a woman based in the Pacific Northwest who asked that her name be withheld. Arellano, Wong, and Welz wrote in their charges that they also experienced racial discrimination.

Welz, Arellano, and the woman in the Pacific Northwest said they were "constructively discharged" from the organization because it failed to protect them from sexual misconduct. Wong said she was removed from Young Life "in direct retaliation" for reporting the alleged sexual assault of another Young Life member.

Citing the active status of the complaints by Welz, Wong, and Arellano, a representative from Young Life declined to provide further comment. The EEOC declined to comment or confirm the investigation.

Are you a current or former Young Life staff member, volunteer, or student? Share your story with reporter Rachel Premack here or securely here.

Former members of Young Life previously told Insider that they experienced sexual assault or harassment while at the ministry, and that the $500 million Christian organization ignored or mishandled their complaints.

The women's attorney, Iris Halpern of Denver-based law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, said the EEOC is actively investigating the women's claims. She told Insider that the ministry's national policy on sexual misconduct - which groups together illegal activities like forming sexual relationships with children with watching pornography or having a consensual same-sex relationship - has lead to an environment in which such misconduct is pervasive.

"The upper echelons in management at Young Life are not modeling conduct, behavior, or ideology that takes sexual harassment seriously, and that's why it's flourishing so much," Halpern previously told Insider.

Read the full investigation into Young Life here.Read the original article on Business Insider

US stocks notch 5th straight day of gains as investors cheer strong quarterly earnings

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:07pm
A stock trader claps at the end of trade at the New York Stock Exchange
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 notched their fifth-straight session of gains on Tuesday.
  • Third-quarter earnings results are picking up where the second-quarter left off and impressing investors.
  • Of the 41 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 85% beat earning estimates by a median of 10%.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday, helping the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 notch a five-day win streak amid an onslaught of third-quarter earnings results.

Dow Jones components Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson both reported earnings results that were better than analyst expectations on Tuesday. Earnings results from S&P 500 company Intuitive Surgical leaked a couple hours early Tuesday afternoon and also beat earnings estimates.

Of the 41 companies on the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 85% beat earning estimates by a median of 10%, according to Fundstrat. A total of 76 additional S&P 500 companies are set to report earnings results this week.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

Bitcoin traded higher to about $63,000 on Tuesday as investors get ready for the highly anticipated launch of a bitcoin futures ETF. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF had one of the best ETF launches ever, with more than $900 million worth of shares traded in its first day.

Fundstrat's Tom Lee said the launch of a bitcoin futures ETF on Tuesday could jumpstart demand for the cryptocurrency and send it soaring 170% to $168,000 as an equilibrium between supply and demand is worked out.

While the ProShares bitcoin futures ETF begins trading on Tuesday, Invesco ditched its plans to launch its own bitcoin futures ETF, losing out on a big potential first-mover advantage.

The SEC released its summary report on the GameStop short-squeeze that took place earlier this year, and said overwhelmingly positive sentiment from Reddit day traders is what drove a bulk of the surge in the stock.

A fund manager survey from Bank of America found that investor bullishness is at a one-year low as worries of inflation, supply chain disruptions, and a slowdown in economic growth begin to grow. The low sentiment readings come even as the S&P 500 trades 1% below its record high.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.70%, to $82.26 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rallied 0.74%, to $84.95 per barrel.

Gold jumped as much as 0.89%, to $1,781.50 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The pandemic has killed the car salesperson as we know it

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:04pm
Used cars are displayed on the sales lot at Marin Acura on July 13, 2021 in Corte Madera, California.
  • The pandemic has transformed jobs across industries - including car salespeople.
  • Sales staff now spend more time fielding online chats than waiting for walk-in customers.
  • With new cars in short supply, haggling is a thing of the past, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The stereotypical car salesperson is a fast talker eager to show you around their lot's many models, offer up a test drive, and negotiate on pricing. Those days may be long gone.

Jobs across industries have been transformed by the pandemic, and there's a new normal for salespeople at car dealerships, too, The Wall Street Journal reports. A shortage of new vehicles and frenzied demand has upended the way they do business.

Salespeople used to spend their days offering test drives to walk-in customers. Now, as car-buying has moved to the web, they spend more time fielding online requests or delivering vehicles to customers who bought their car from the comfort of their couch, The Journal reports.

That means today's sales staff need to be more tech-adept and analytical than before, Mark Rikess, a consultant to dealers, told The Journal.

Salespeople have also had to become pros at educating shoppers about today's absurd car market, The Journal reports. That means explaining to frustrated customers that there's a chip shortage constricting the number of new cars manufacturers can produce.

Haggling on price has become a thing of the past, dealers and salespeople told Insider previously. New cars are selling out before they even hit dealer lots, and they're going for MSRP or higher, they said. That also means that although there are fewer cars to sell, salespeople are earning healthy commissions, the dealers said.

On average, buyers are shelling out $278 above suggested retail price for new cars, according to Edmunds. Before the pandemic, discounts of $2,000-$3,000 were typical.

With used cars in high demand, dealers have also gotten crafty about getting their hands on secondhand vehicles. As inventories started to slow, Cameron Johnson, who runs the Magic City Auto Group's four dealerships in Virginia, had salespeople scour Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and even newspaper classifieds for cars to sell. They'd get $250 for every vehicle they brought in.

Are you a car dealer or salesperson with a story to share about selling vehicles in today's market? Contact this reporter at tlevin@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Crypto traders turned tungsten into a meme. Now they can buy it with bitcoin.

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:03pm
Tungsten in square cube creative concept.
  • Tungsten-cube enthusiasts can now purchase the dense metal with bitcoin, The Block Crypto reported.
  • The small, but dense cubes went viral last week following a tweet, Coindesk said.
  • "Crypto just has a propensity for the density," CMS Holdings' Dan Matuszewski said.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts who turned Tungsten cubes into a meme can now buy the dense metal with bitcoin.

Midwest Tungsten Service, the supplier of the small novelty cubes that weigh several pounds, said it will accept bitcoin through a partnership with OpenNode, a crypto payment processor, The Block Crypto reported Tuesday.

That's a win for enthusiasts like CMS Holdings' Dan Matuszewski, who told the outlet that "crypto just has a propensity for the density."

The cubes go viral every once in a while because of their small size and high density, and this time crypto Twitter caused the craze, Bloomberg reported, citing Midwest Tungsten general manager Kevin Anetsberger.

Last week, a tweet joking about crypto enthusiasts causing a tungsten shortage prompted a 300% rise in retail cube sales at Midwest Tungsten, Coindesk reported on Oct. 14.

A 1.5-inch cube weighs about two pounds. On Amazon, it's described as "surprisingly heavy; a great conversation piece." The item, though, is currently unavailable. On the Midwest Tungsten website, a 4-inch cube, which weighs about 40 pounds, is being sold for $2,999.99.

Sean Murray, Midwest Tungsten's director of ecommerce, told Coindesk that the company, which generally produces the metal for industrial customers, has plenty of tungsten to spare and will prepare a new shipment to an Amazon fulfillment store.

In the future, he told Coindesk, there may be a 14-inch cube special edition weighing more than 1,700 pounds - wait until crypto enthusiasts see that.

Midwest Tungsten did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Local news anchors used dry-erase markers and whiteboards after hackers targeted the second-largest TV station owner in the US

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:01pm
Sinclair Broadcast Group was hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend.
  • A cyberattack has targeted Sinclair Broadcast Group, the US's second-largest local TV station owner.
  • SBG cited the attack in a filing with the SEC, noting it was targeted by attackers seeking ransom.
  • As a result, some of SBG's 185 television stations had to go live without their normal technology.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the second-largest owner of local television stations in the US, was hit by a cyberattack over the weekend, leaving its employees struggling to keep daily newscasts on-air.

The company confirmed it has been the victim of a ransomware attack in documents filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission on Monday. SBG said they identified "certain servers and workstations" had on Sunday been infiltrated by ransomware.

Some "office and operational networks" were also interrupted, the company told the SEC. According to the documents, the company said data was also taken from its network, adding that it was "working to determine what information the data contained."

One employee of SBG told CNN in an article published Monday they had no access to their phones, email systems, file videos, or graphics used on newscasts.

The incident also took out writing, editing, and scheduling software, per the CNN report.

"They expect us to keep broadcasting as if we aren't down," an SBG employee at another station told CNN. The outlet provided anonymity to the two sources because SBG employees are not permitted to speak to the media about the situation.

The stations in Sinclair's network of 185 TV stations were forced to push forward to put together its newscasts despite missing many of the tools normally used to report local news. Several videos posted to social media of several SBG newscasts show some of the issues described by the staffers in the CNN report.

A video uploaded to YouTube of WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island, showed the station aired a pre-taped 6 p.m. newscast on Sunday rather than air its typical live broadcast. The newscast lacked its usual graphics and branding elements.

"You may have noticed things are a bit different with some of our newscasts and our programming at NBC 10 today," said WJAR anchor Emily Volz in a video of another one of its newscasts that was uploaded to YouTube.

Other newscasters at other SBG stations were tasked with reading a similar message to viewers during their broadcasts.

"That's because our station and our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, were targets of a weekend cyberattack," Volz added. "This attack has impacted many of our network systems across the country and is disrupting some of our normal operations."

In another YouTube video recorded from a KBAK-TV broadcast, the CBS affiliate in Bakersfield, California, morning forecaster Aaron Perlman held an umbrella to indicate impending rain while gesturing toward graphics drawn on a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker, which were used to stand in for the usual weather graphics.

One video shared on Twitter appeared to show WRGB, the CBS affiliated station in Schenectady, New York, featured an "endless" aerial shot of downtown Albany backed to music rather than its usual programming. And another video posted to Twitter showed KATU, the ABC affiliate in Portland, Oregon, using pieces of paper taped to a whiteboard to show sports scores in lieu of their usual on-air sports graphics.

Ransomware attacks have grown more common in the US, experts previously told Insider, with other large attacks this year targeting gas company Colonial Pipeline and meant supplier JBS. These attacks involve hackers infiltrating computer systems and attempting to lock down their data to force companies to pay to regain access.

Other media outlets have similarly faced attacks this year.

As CNN reported, Cox Media Group was hit by a cyberattack this summer, and in the spring, another attack disrupted live broadcasts of Australian broadcaster 9 News.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rule of law declined more in the US amid the pandemic than in countries with authoritarian leaders like Poland and Hungary: study

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:01pm
A child holds a sign at a protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates on August 9, 2021 in New York City.
  • Rule of law declined in the US more than any country in Europe or North America amid the COVID-19 pandemic, new data shows.
  • The US even outpaced countries led by authoriatians like Hungary and Poland in this regard.
  • The rule of law dropped in a majority of countries for the fourth consecutive year, the study found.

The rule of law has declined more in the US than any country in Europe and North America since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, per a Brookings Institution analysis of the latest edition of the World Justice Project's (WJP) annual Rule of Law Index.

The countries that most closely followed the US in this regard were Poland and Hungary, which are led by men widely considered to be authoritarians - Viktor Orbán and Andrzej Duda. The US's rule of law score also declined the most in the high-income category.

The rule of law dropped in a majority of countries for the fourth consecutive year, the study found.

"With negative trends in so many countries, this year's WJP Rule of Law Index should be a wakeup call for us all," Bill Neukom, co-founder and CEO of WJP, said in a statement. "Rule of Law is the very foundation of communities of justice, opportunity and peace. Reinforcing that foundation should be a top priority for the coming period of recovery from the pandemic."

The study looks at 139 countries, ranking and scoring them based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

"Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small," the study said.

The US's overall rule of law score decreased 2.9% in the 2021 index, and it fell in 27th place out of the 139 countries covered - dropping two positions in global rank compared to last year.

Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at Brookings, wrote that the findings underscore how President Joe Biden's goal of showing that democracy still works by outperforming "an increasingly authoritarian" China "depends essentially on the US practicing what it preaches across the board."

"By all objective measures, the US badly needs to reverse its deteriorating rule of law and governance performance," Piccone said. "The world is watching and waiting with some doubts about our reliability as a strong partner. With Chinese President Xi Jinping's Beijing extending a hardening fist, now is the time for Washington to seize the moment and correct course."

The erosion of democracy and democratic norms in the US during the Trump era has been a major concern of scholars and watchdogs for years. The January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol exacerbated the consternation over the state of democracy in the US.

"American democracy is not a model for anybody right now," Archon Fung, the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, told Insider in January. "There's a lot of other places that are doing it much better and we should be learning from them."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Internal rate of return: Understanding this metric and how to calculate it can help you invest more wisely

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 3:41pm
Internal rate of return (IRR) is one metric investors can use to calculate the potential return of investments.
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a formula used to evaluate the returns of a potential investment.
  • IRR calculates the projected annual growth rate of a specific investment over time.
  • IRR is often used to compare similar investments, or in capital planning and budgeting.
  • Visit Insider's Investing Reference library for more stories.

Internal rate of return (IRR) is one of several popular formulas used to evaluate prospective investments. It allows you to calculate an investment's potential gains over a certain period of time and determine if it's a worthwhile use of your or your company's funds.

As Daniel Garza, a CFA with Intercontinental Wealth Advisors, explains: "IRR is often used to determine the feasibility of investment projects."

Are you looking to assess a new investment's potential? Here's how calculating its IRR can help.

Understanding how IRR works

IRR is used to calculate the potential annual returns of an investment over time, while taking into account cash flow - the money coming in and out. It's often used to determine where a company's funds are best directed.

For example, you might use it to evaluate whether Investment A or Investment B is the better use of your capital. IRR could also help determine if establishing a new operation or expanding your existing one is the more profitable option.

IRR is most often used in conjunction with hurdle rate - or the minimum amount of returns you need to bring in. Many companies use their weighted average cost of capital (WACC) as their base hurdle rate.

"Once the IRR is obtained, it's compared to the hurdle rate in order to determine if the project is viable," Garza says. "If the IRR is higher than the hurdle rate, then the project adds value."

Quick tip: IRR is best used when comparing investments with similar durations and in tandem with other analyses, such as payback period and net present value (NPV).

IRR formula and calculation

The IRR formula is complex, so it's rarely calculated manually. In most cases, investors use an IRR calculator or an Excel spreadsheet, which has a built-in function to determine a project's IRR.

Nevertheless, the exact formula looks like this:

When calculating IRR, you're solving for an NPV of zero. You'll then need the number of years you plan to hold the investment (N), as well as your expected cash inflows and outflows for those periods (CF1, CF2, etc.). From there, you can determine a project's internal rate of return.

Here's an example: Say you're on the fence about purchasing a $100,000 piece of equipment. You project it will bring in $40,000 in annual profits each year, until year six, when it's likely to be out of date or no longer functioning. At that point, you'll sell the equipment for $10,000.

Year

Cash flow

0

-$100,000

1

$40,000

2

$40,000

3

$40,000

4

$40,000

5

$40,000

6

$10,000


The IRR, in this case, would be 29.7%. If that IRR is higher than your hurdle rate - or the IRR of another similar investment you're considering - it's probably a smart use of your funds.

Quick tip: If you're calculating IRR manually, it takes trial and error until the NPV equals zero. To make it easier, consider using Excel's built-in IRR function. There is also an XIRR (extended IRR) function if you expect your cash flow to be more erratic.

ROI vs IRR

IRR and simple ROI, or return on investment, are both ways to evaluate the earnings of a specific investment. The main difference is that IRR calculates the potential returns that can be expected over a certain time period, while simple ROI gives you the actual return on the investment, without factoring in timing.

"The biggest problem with ROI is that it doesn't take into account the passage of time, essentially ignoring the time value of money," says Robert R. Johnson, professor of finance at Creighton University.

IRR also requires more detailed data than ROI does. ROI is more "simplistic," as Johnson puts it, requiring just two numbers: Your investment's current value and the initial cost of that investment. For IRR, you'll need an accurate picture of your total costs, cash flow, and holding period.

Internal rate of returnReturn on investment
  • Calculates potential returns
  • Incorporates timing of returns
  • Requires more data
  • Calculates actual returns
  • Single-period measure
  • More simplistic calculation
The financial takeaway

IRR can help you evaluate the potential of a new investment or endeavor, as well as compare it with other options you might be considering. Just make sure you incorporate other analyses and consider using a calculator or Excel's IRR function to ease the process. If you need help determining whether a new investment is a smart move or not, consider contacting a financial analyst or advisor. They can help you run the numbers and make the best choice.

Investing for income: 7 money-generating assets for your portfolio and how to get startedUnderstanding what qualified dividends are why they're taxed at lower ratesNet income: A key metric used to assess the financial health and revenue of a businessA CFP is an advisor armed with extensive education and ethical standards to help you manage your money

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Coinbase inks sponsorship deal with the NBA as crypto continues its push into pro sports

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 3:38pm
NBA.

Coinbase Global has inked a multiyear partnership with the National Basketball Association, the latest push by digital asset companies to break into the competitive world of professional sports.

The largest US crypto exchange agreed to be the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the NBA, which also includes the Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and USA Basketball, according to an announcement Tuesday.

This partnership marks the first deal of this kind for each league.

Coinbase's logo will be prominently featured during nationally televised games throughout the association's 75th anniversary season. Coinbase also agreed to educate fans on the increasing advancements happening across the crypto ecosystem, as well as to promote unique content, innovations, and activations.

"Coinbase is a natural fit as the NBA's first-ever partner in this thriving category," said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships and media at NBA, said. "We look forward to collaborating with Coinbase to provide fans with new ways to engage with the league and each other."

Coinbase joins the growing number of crypto firms looking to tap into the sports industry. For example, FTX earlier this year signed a $135 million deal for the naming rights on the Miami Heat's stadium, which is now called FTX Arena. It also partnered with Major League Baseball in June to become the first crypto exchange sponsor in professional sports.

The partnership between Coinbase and the NBA comes as the crypto exchange, which was founded in 2012 and went public in 2021, launched its own NFT marketplace and partnered with Facebook's digital wallet Novi.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Demand for land in China is slumping as the Evergrande crisis unfolds, and local governments have withdrawn more than 200 plots of land from auction in the past month

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 2:40am
Evergrande is China's second-biggest property developer.
  • Local governments in China have withdrawn 206 plots of land from auctions since September.
  • Demand among property developers for land has fallen due to tightening bank credit due to the Evergrande crisis.
  • Home sales by value have dropped about 17% on-year in September.

The Evergrande debt crisis has hit land sales in China, prompting local governments to withdraw land from auctions in major cities.

Since September, local governments have withdrawn 206 plots of land from auction, the South China Morning Post reported. The withdrawn plots account for almost one-third of the 700 plots of land that were up for sale in 22 cities, according to the Hong Kong newspaper.

In capital city Beijing, 17 plots of land were sold last Wednesday - but there were 26 other plots with no bidders, according to local Chinese media.

In the business and financial hub of Shanghai, 20 plots of land were sold in the auctions last Monday to Wednesday. There were no buyers for seven plots, according to Chinese media reports.

The withdrawal of the land from local government auctions comes as banks are tightening lending to property developers in the wake of Evergrande's debt crisis.

The episode has also hit risk appetite.

"Regulators' property curbs and liquidity strains caused by Evergrande are contributing to the growing reluctance of cash-strapped developers to acquire more land, slowing land sales in the primary market," said Moody's Investor Service late last month.

It's a stark contrast to last year, when land sales grew 16% on-year to a record 8.4 trillion Chinese yuan ($1.3 trillion).

Homebuyers are holding back, too.

Home sales by value slid about 17% in September on-year, according to Bloomberg calculations based on government data. That's after a drop of almost 20% in August.

The fallout from the Evergrande crisis is rippling across the entire Chinese society, sending millenials into an existential crisis and questioning if they would ever be able to afford to buy their own homes, Insider's Cheryl Teh reported.

China's economic growth has already been hit. The world's second-largest economy's third-quarter GDP growth hit a one-year low in 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Washington State Police trooper said Gov. 'Jay Inslee can kiss my ass' after being fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:56am
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
  • In August, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a vaccine mandate for state employees.
  • Inslee said employees had to be fully vaccinated by October 18 or they would be fired.
  • A state trooper said, "Jay Inslee can kiss my ass," after he was fired for refusing the vaccine.

A Washington State police trooper who was fired for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 said Gov. "Jay Inslee can kiss my ass" in his parting message on Friday.

"This is the last time you'll hear me in a state patrol car," Robert LaMay said in his broadcast across the agency's dispatch system, which has since gone viral. "And Jay Inslee can kiss my ass."

LaMay said he served for 22 years and was asked to leave because he was "dirty."

In August, Inslee announced that all state employees would need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18 or they would be fired.

"These workers live in every community in our state, working together and with the public every day to deliver services," Inslee said in the announcement. "We have a duty to protect them from the virus, they have the right to be protected, and the communities they serve and live in deserve protection as well."

Insider was not immediately able to reach Inslee's office for comment.

The Seattle Times reported that in September, hundreds of Washington State Patrol troopers, corrections officers, and other public employees sued Inslee over the mandate. On Monday, a judge ruled that Inslee's mandate was legal and an attempt to halt the mandate was denied, the Seattle Times reported.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends First" on Monday, LaMay said there were hundreds of officers who were willing to get fired over the mandate when it was first announced but then "they started looking at their finances."

"They looked at what they can do and they decided to take the vaccination," LaMay said.

As of October 8, nearly 90% of Washington state employees are vaccinated, per the Seattle Times.

LaMay told Fox he filed for a religious exemption that was initially accepted. He said he was later told he wouldn't be able to continue in his current role but could be transferred to another location.

"They did accept our exemptions after some time, but then they told us, 'Sorry, there's no job you can do with your exemption,'" LaMay said.

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), a nonprofit that focuses on honoring fallen officers and tracks causes of death among law enforcement officials. Since 2020, per ODMP, more than four times as many police officers have died from COVID-19 than from gunfire.

The New York Times reported that many police officer unions have pushed back against vaccination requirements. A union representing Massachusetts state police officers said dozens of officers have quit over a vaccine mandate. As of the end of September, per the union, 20% of the force in the state was unvaccinated. It's not clear how many officers across the country have been fired or have quit over mandates.

Washington State Patrol did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. LaMay did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Squid Game' is unlikely to be adapted for the Chinese market because it's too dark, says an industry executive

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:32am
Netflix's "Squid Game" has become a massive, international hit.
  • A Chinese adaptation of "Squid Game" is unlikely as the show is too dark, said iQiyi's chief content officer.
  • Content production must follow ideology and social trends like "the enthusiasm and unity" of the Chinese people.
  • Netflix's "Squid Game" is a hit in China, where the streaming service and the show are not even available.

Netflix's "Squid Game" is unlikely to be adapted for the Chinese market because it's too dark, according to an industry executive.

The South Korean dystopian series about people competing for prize money in brutal survival games is a hit in China even though it's not even officially available in the country.

But the show's "relatively dark subject matter reflecting particularly dark side of human nature would definitely not be produced in China," Wang Xiaohui, chief content officer at iQiyi, told local media outlet TMTPost. iQiyi is a Chinese video streaming platform backed by tech giant Baidu.

China wants content that puts "truth, goodness and beauty" in the top spot, said Wang, per TMTPost.

"We are different from other countries," Wang told TMTPost. "We have our own mainstream values, which are very different from Western countries."

"In terms of content production, we must follow ideology and social trends, including the enthusiasm and unity of the Chinese people," he told TMTPost.

Playing to nationalism has done well in China. A state-backed propaganda epic depicting the defeat of US troops to Chinese soldiers during the Korean War is currently on track to become China's highest-grossing film ever. The film, "The Battle at Lake Changjin," has made $769 million since it was released on September 30.

The Chinese media and entertainment industry is one of the world's top markets, with multinationals vying for a slice of the pie.

Last year, China's box office surpassed America's to become the world's largest box office.

But the US is still the world's top over-the-top (OTT) streaming market, raking in $22.8 billion last year, according to accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. China is a distant second, bringing in $9.5 billion in 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jan. 6 Committee chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney call Trump's subpoena lawsuit 'an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe'

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:04am
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), left, listens as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone is at center.
  • Members of the Jan. 6 Committee insisted they have the authority to seek White House records.
  • Former President Donald Trump said he intends to use executive privilege to reject the subpoenas.
  • The committee is seeking Trump-related records, including his internal communications.

Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) reiterated that they have the authority to seek White House records in light of a lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of former President Donald Trump in an attempt to block subpoenas related to the investigation into the insurrection.

"The former president's clear objective is to stop the Select Committee from getting to the facts about Jan. 6, and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe. Precedent and law are on our side," the statement from Thompson and Cheney said.

Thompson and Cheney added in their statement that President Biden has so far declined to invoke executive privilege and that it is not absolute.

"Additionally, there's a long history of the White House accommodating congressional investigative requests when the public interest outweighs other concerns," the statement from Thompson and Cheney said. "It's hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election."

Trump's lawyers alleged in the lawsuit that the subpoenas are "invalid and unenforceable through the Constitution and the laws of the United States," and said Trump intends to use executive privilege to reject them.

The Jan. 6 Committee has asked for a trove of Trump's records, including his internal communications with lawyers, campaign operatives, and senior officials, Politico reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The New York City Council is removing a statue of Thomas Jefferson from its chamber over his history as a slaveowner

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 11:48pm
In this July 14, 2010, file photo, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, right, stands in New York's City Hall Council Chamber.
  • A statue of Thomas Jefferson has been displayed in the New York City Council chamber since 1884.
  • Some council members have been pushing to have it removed for the past 20 years.
  • On Monday, The New York City Design Commission voted to do so, but have not yet decided where it will go.

The New York City Design Commission voted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from the Council's chamber over his history as a slave owner, on Monday.

WLNY reported that the debate on removing the statue of the founding father began at least 20 years ago, and has been pushed by Assemblymen Charles Barron and his wife, Councilwoman Inez Barron.

"When we remove this statue, we're making a step in the right direction for erasing honoring of those who murdered and raped us," Charles Barron told WLNY.

The Smithsonian Magazine reported that Jefferson owned over 600 slaves over his lifetime, with about 100 slaves at any one point.

While the decision to remove the statue was unanimous, no decision has been made on where to move it.

Charles Barron said he doesn't think the statue should "exist."

"I think it should be put in storage or destroyed or whatever," he said at the hearing.

WABC reported that the 7-foot statue was made in 1883. WLNY reported it's been in the chamber since 1884.

"Jefferson embodies some of the most shameful parts of our country's history," Adrienne Adams, a councilwoman from Queens said at the hearing.

WLNY reported that there's been disagreement on where to move the statue, with some arguing it should be moved to the Governor's Room, a museum and reception room in City Hall, or sent to the New York Historical Society, the city's oldest museum.

The New York Times reported that there's been a recent push to have it moved to the Governors Room, after 17 historians sent a letter on Monday to the panel with that suggestion.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Stop listening to grifters telling you not to vote' - Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to contradict Trump's call for his supporters to not vote in 2022 and 2024

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 11:36pm
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared to contradict former president Donald Trump this week by encouraging GOP voters to "flood the polls." Trump last week said his supporters should not vote in 2022 or 2024 if the Republicans do not back his election fraud claims.
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene contradicted former President Donald Trump in a tweet calling for GOP voters to flood the polls.
  • Greene on Monday told Republicans to "stop listening to grifters telling you not to vote."
  • Trump released a statement last week saying his supporters should not vote in 2022 and 2024 if the GOP does not back his baseless election fraud claims.

Georgia lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared this week to contradict former President Donald Trump's stand that his supporters should not vote in the 2022 midterm elections or the 2024 presidential elections unless the GOP backs his election fraud claims.

"Voices online that are telling you not to vote are doing the Democrats' dirty work. Stop listening to grifters telling you not to vote," Greene posted on Twitter on October 18, advocating for Republicans to "get serious."

"We must root out the fraud, but we also have to VOTE," Green continued. "If we don't vote, the Democrats win by default. It's time to audit the 2020 election, prosecute the fraud, end mass mail-in ballots, and FLOOD THE POLLS in 2022."

Last week, Trump released a statement on Twitter via his spokeswoman, Liz Harrington, claiming that unless the GOP backs him on his baseless voter fraud claims, his supporters will opt out of going to the polls in 2022 and 2024.

"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," Trump said in his October 13 statement. "It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."

Greene, a congresswoman from Georgia, is up for re-election in 2022. She won a strongly Republican-leaning district easily when her Democratic challenger dropped out of the race. However, Insider's Ashley Collman reported that Greene's 2022 re-election race is set to be a "bloodbath," with likely threats to her seat from both within the Republican party and from the Democrats.

Greene is known for her support of Trump, even embarking on a nationwide "America First" tour to push a conservative, pro-Trump agenda with Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. However, in recent weeks, Greene fell out with fellow Trump ally Lin Wood, who told Insider that he and Greene were no longer "aligned" in trying to question the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Representatives for Greene did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

The former president continues to peddle conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from him, despite there being no evidence to support his claims.

Trump is calling for yet another vote audit, this time in Arizona's Pima County, despite the GOP-led vote recount in Maricopa County confirming that President Joe Biden beat Trump, and by 261 more votes than was initially counted.

In the meantime, some Republicans - including former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman and former Trump official Miles Taylor, are standing up to Trump and urging GOP voters to support moderate Democrats in the mid-term elections.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump said 'Ku Klux Klan-dressed protesters' who allege they were beaten by his bodyguards have 'no one to blame but themselves'

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 11:19pm
Trump said protesters who allege that they were beaten up by his security detail outside Trump Tower in 2015 had "no one to blame but themselves." The former president on Monday sat for a four-hour-long deposition about the case.
  • Former President Donald Trump sat for a four-hour deposition in regards to a 2015 lawsuit.
  • Protesters allege in the lawsuit that they were hit by members of Trump's security detail.
  • Trump said in the deposition the protesters have "no one to blame but themselves."

Former President Donald Trump said on Monday that protesters who alleged his bodyguards beat them had "no one to blame but themselves."

The former president made these comments after sitting for a four-hour-long deposition on October 18. He was asked to testify in a lawsuit brought by protesters who allege that his bodyguards beat them up outside Trump Tower during a 2015 demonstration.

The incident happened on September 3, 2015, when Trump was on the campaign trail. A crowd of demonstrators had gathered, some dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and hoods, gathered outside Trump Tower to protest then-presidential candidate Trump's comments that Mexicans were "rapists" who were "bringing drugs" and "bringing crime" to America in June 2015.

Trump's security detail was then filmed approaching protesters and wrangling the placards they held from their hands. Five of the protesters filed a lawsuit on September 9, 2015, against Trump, the Trump Organization, the Trump 2016 campaign, and several members of Trump's security detail, alleging that they were beaten during the scuffle.

It is unclear if any of the five protesters who are suing Trump were wearing Klan robes.

"The Klu [sic] Klux Klan dressed protester case should have never been brought as the plaintiffs have no one to blame but themselves," wrote Trump in a statement posted to Twitter by his spokeswoman Liz Harrington on Monday. "Rather than protest peacefully, the plaintiffs intentionally sought to rile up a crowd by blocking the entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, in the middle of the day, wearing Klu Klux Klan [sic] robes and hoods."

Trump added that his security staff tried to "de-escalate the situation."

"After years of litigation, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story - Just one more example of baseless harassment of your favorite President," Trump said in the statement.

Trump avoided sitting for a deposition while president, arguing that he should receive immunity from testifying as president. But earlier this month, New York State Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez ordered Trump to sit for a deposition regarding the case.

Trump also faces several other ongoing civil lawsuits, which are moving through the legal system more quickly now that he is out of office.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin posed for photos at the Capitol as negotiations continue on $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 11:17pm
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Manchin (W-Va.)
  • Photos surfaced of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin smiling side by side on Monday.
  • With the Democrats' social spending bill currently at a standstill, they said: "We're talking."
  • Neither responded to questions on when a final pricetag would be agreed upon.

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin posed for photos outside of the Capitol on Monday as negotiations continue on the Democrats' $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

"Why don't you get a picture of us, huh?" Manchin, a moderate holdout from West Virginia, told reporters.

Both lawmakers avoided reporters' questions about the bill.

"We're talking," Manchin said.

"We're talking," Bernie repeated, adding, "We'll make some calls."

-Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 18, 2021

Both declined to comment on whether there would be a final resolution on the social spending bill by the end of the week, with Sanders and Manchin entering their respective vehicles.

"Never give up, Bernie," Manchin said as he closed his car door.

For months, progressives in the Democratic Party have lobbied for a heftier social spending bill and faced stiff resistance from Sens. Manchin and fellow moderate Sen. Krysten Sinema.

In June, Manchin said he wouldn't agree to a top-line higher than $2 trillion, but Democrats in the House and Senate as well as the White House settled on a $3.5 trillion pricetag. Sanders has sparred with Manchin and Sinema over the bill in the past, claiming they have been unwilling to budge in negotiations.

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to bring forward a bipartisan bill, separate from budget reconciliation spending, for a vote. Sanders previously urged House Democrats to vote against the stand-alone bill, and the vote was withdrawn.

-Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 18, 2021

On Friday, President Joe Biden conceded and said he believed a full $3.5 trillion social spending bill was unlikely and that cuts would be required while negotiating with Manchin and Sinema.

"I'm convinced we're going to get it done. We're not going to get $3.5 trillion," he said at a speech at a childcare center in Hartford, Connecticut. "We'll get less than that, but we're going to get it, and we're going to come back and get the rest."

He added: "I don't know if I can get it done, but I've also proposed two years of free community college."

The bill currently includes childcare subsidies, new Medicare benefits, Medicaid expansion a revamped child tax credit, affordable housing - provisions Manchin and Sinema have deemed negotiable.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Schumer calls New York State Democratic Chair's hypothetical scenario about David Duke when referencing India Walton "outrageous and beyond absurd"

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 11:11pm
New York State Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs.
  • Both state and federal representatives admonished Jay Jacobs' statement about endorsements.
  • Jacobs initially doubled down and implied that his statements were twisted during public discourse.
  • India Walton, a candidate at the center of the controversy, called Jacobs' words "indefensible."

New York State Democratic Party (NYSDP) Chairman Jay Jacobs sparked a wave of backlash with his response to a question about why top Democrats have yet to endorse several Democratic primary winners, including India Walton, a socialist candidate for mayor of Buffalo, New York.

When asked about the precedent it would set if Democrats fail to endorse a candidate that won their primary, Jacobs responded that it's not a requirement, explaining further with an odd hypothetical: What if David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, moved to New York, became a Democrat, runs for mayor of Rochester, and wins the party's primary?

"I have to endorse David Duke? I don't think so. Now, of course, India Walton is not in the same category, but it just leads you to that question. Is it a must?" Jacobs said in a video shared by Spectrum 1 News.

Outcry ensued from state and federal representatives, including US Rep. Jamaal Bowman, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. Both Bowman and Biaggi called for Jacobs' resignation.

-Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) October 18, 2021

Even Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer chimed in on the incident, calling Jacobs' statement "totally unacceptable," as well as "outrageous and beyond absurd," Spectrum 1 News reported.

Jacobs initially doubled down, tweeting out a transcript of his words with underlined portions for emphasis.

"This is what's wrong with public discourse today - people want to find something to be unhappy about, so they twist statements, or ignore statements, to make their argument. That doesn't make them true. Read the full comments," Jacobs tweeted from the NYSDP Twitter account.

-Zach Williams (@ZachReports) October 18, 2021

Hours later, NYSDP sent out a press release where Jacobs apologized for referencing David Duke in his response and said he should have used a different example. Still, he maintained his stance on party endorsements of primary winners.

"The problem with civil discourse today, and political debate in these times, is that there are those less interested in the discussion and more interested in causing controversy. Discourse today is like walking in a minefield," Jacobs said in the statement.

While Jacobs said he looked forward to meeting with Walton despite the outcome of the election, Walton said that his statements were "crude" and "indefensible."

"I should not have to defend why I am not in any way comparable to David Duke, a militant white supremacist, and anti-Semite; a man who would celebrate my death," Walton tweeted. "Jacobs and many corporate Democrats like him still are refusing to endorse our campaign, despite our primary victory among the Democratic voters they are allegedly accountable to."

-India Walton For Buffalo (@Indiawaltonbflo) October 18, 2021

Read the original article on Business Insider

Satellite images show massive congestion at the Port of Long Beach this year compared to 2020 and 2019

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 10:50pm
A side by side comparison of ship congestion off the Port of Long Beach in 2019 and 2021.
  • The Port of Long Beach is home to a backlog of ships off the coast amid congestion troubles.
  • Satellite images show ships waiting to unload amid a spike in demand for consumer goods.
  • Photos from 2019 and 2020 highlight the extent of the problem this year.

America's second-busiest port, the Port of Long Beach, is currently home to a backlog of ships waiting off the coast as congestion troubles continue to plague the California container port and its sister, the largest port in the country, in Los Angeles.

The site is coming off a record-breaking month of traffic as the entire industry reckons with logjams spurred by rising demand for consumer goods.

Last week, the ship-tracking website Marine Traffic recorded more than 50 container ships idling outside Long Beach and the adjoining Port of Los Angeles.

Satellite imagery from the scene paints a picture of the growing bottleneck compared to years past.

Ships off the coast of Long Beach are waiting days, and sometimes weeks to unload cargo due to a slowdown of the entire shipping cycle. An overview of the shipping backlog off the coast of Long Beach, California.

Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, told GCaptain.com that warehouses at the site have little to no room to accommodate the ongoing spike in containers waiting to move off the terminals.

"This is not just about a record number of ships waiting off the coast," he told the outlet. "We are working with state, federal, local, and industry partners to address issues with the entire supply chain that have finally caught up with us."

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle the majority of cargo coming from China, according to BBC News, which means once the congestion starts, it worsens quickly. A close-up view of congestion at the Port of Long Beach.

In the first eight months of 2021, there was about a 25% increase in cargo shipped from Asia to the US compared to the same period in 2019, BBC News reported.

Congestion troubles at ports around the world are expected to continue into the new year. But it wasn't always this backed up. A close-up of container ships at the Port of Long Beach. Satellite images from October 2019 show minimal container congestion before the pandemic at the port two years ago. An overhead shot off the the coast of Long Beach on October 11, 2019. A shot from September 2020 similarly shows little ship traffic off the coast of Long Beach. Satellite image from September 2020 shows little congestion at the Port of Long Beach. But the same shot taken in October of this year shows just how many ships are stuck in the logjam. Satellite image of the Port of Long Beach taken in October 2021 shows heavy ship congestion. The White House has created a task force to try and address the bottlenecks, but traffic is expected to persist for the foreseeable future. Ships off the shore of the Port of Long Beach in early October 2021.

Last week, President Joe Biden asked the Port of Los Angeles to operate 24 hours per day 7 days per week. A pilot program for 24/7 operation at the Port of Long Beach was launched in September but there has not been uptake for certain hours, according to Bloomberg. And logistics experts told Insider's Grace Kay that it would not solve the supply-chain crisis.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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