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Apple is reportedly planning to reveal its next big thing in 3 months — and some within the company are worried

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:14pm
An Apple employee helps a member of the media try on an HTC Vive while testing the virtual reality capabilities of the new iMac during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California on June 5, 2017.
  • Apple is reportedly planning to reveal its mixed reality goggles in June — its next major product.
  • Some Apple execs are concerned with its high price and whether it will be popular enough, NYT reports.
  • It's expected to cost around $3,000, and some testers have said it's uncomfortable, per reports.

Apple is gearing up for its next big thing — but not everyone within the company is confident in it, according to a new report from The New York Times.

For years, Apple has been working on a mixed-reality headset believed to be shaped like ski goggles. The iPhone company is reportedly planning to reveal the futuristic goggles, the company's first major new product since the Apple Watch, in three months at a June event.

However, some current and former Apple executives and employees told the Times that there's doubt and worries about the product within the company.

The headset, which mixes augmented reality and virtual reality, has some at Apple concerned with its high price, questions of how useful the product will prove to be, and whether it can perform in meaningful way in a largely nascent market, the Times reported.

Eight current and former employees told the Times that some within Apple have left the mixed reality headset project because they doubt its potential, while other employees have been fired for the headset's slow development with certain features, including its integration with the Siri voice assistant.

Executives at Apple have also reportedly questioned the headset's prospects to make a big splash at its initial release, per Bloomberg.

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

The first version of the device, which will cost around $3,000, requires an external battery that only lasts a couple of hours, and some early testers have said the goggles are uncomfortable, according to Bloomberg, which also reported that the headset doesn't yet have a consensus "killer" app.

The headset is expected to have high-end displays and a physical dial to switch between VR and real life, The Information previously reported

When the headset is released, it will be Apple's newest major product since the company came out with the Apple Watch in 2015. The company has reportedly been working on the headset for seven years, and has missed deadlines in 2019 and 2022 for its planned release.

Some employees working on the headset have said the planned June release could be postponed again due to uncertain economic conditions, per the Times.

Despite a lack of enthusiasm from some within Apple, others among the company's top 100 executives expect interest in the mixed reality headset will grow as more versions come out, Bloomberg reported. Apple is reportedly working on a version that costs $1,500 — half of what the initial headset costs — that will come out within two years of the first launch. Some executives think an Apple Watch-like sales trajectory, which saw the wearable product take off in subsequent years to become the market leader, is more likely than strong sales right out of the gate, Bloomberg reported.

Apple thinks it can sell about a million headsets in the first year of launching, per Bloomberg, which would break down to around $3 billion in revenue. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tweeted his prediction that Apple will likely ship less than 500,000 units this year due to product shipment delays related to "software-related issues."

With a potential slow start for the mix-reality goggles, it sounds like Apple doesn't just have to convince the public of the new product's potential — it still has some convincing to do internally too.

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A police raid uncovered a previously unknown Jackson Pollock painting worth an estimated $54 million

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:09pm
American abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956) stands amid some large paintings in his studio at 'The Springs,' East Hampton, New York, August 23, 1953.
  • A previously unknown painting by Jackson Pollock was discovered last week, per officials.
  • Authorities found the painting in an art-trafficking bust, Bulgarian National Radio first reported.
  • Experts estimated the painting could rack up to $54 million at an auction, according to BNR.

Authorities in Bulgaria came across something they probably didn't expect when raiding an art-trafficking ring: a painting that experts believe is a previously undiscovered work by Jackson Pollock, Bulgarian National Radio first reported.

The Bulgarian authorities conducted a raid of an international art-trafficking ring last week when they came across a painting from the abstract expressionist painter with a dedication inscribed on the back to the late American actress Lauren Bacall, per officials as reported by BNR.   

"Dedicated to my very talented and dear friend Lauren Bacall, Happy Birthday," the message reads, a spokesperson for the art bust said, per Bulgarian News Agency BTA. The message on the back of the painting is also dated September 16, 1949, which coincides with the actress's birthday, BTA reported

A photo of part of the painting can be viewed at Bulgarian National Radio's website.

Five works from famous artists, whose identities were not disclosed, were also uncovered in the raid by a team of Greek authorities, according to BNR. Officials from Bulgaria and a Greek anti-crime unit were working together to investigate the art-trafficking ring, which spanned from Bulgaria to Athens to Crete.   

Experts at Bulgaria's National Art Gallery, where the painting was delivered, confirmed the style of the painting corresponds to the techniques Pollock often featured in his paintings from 1945 to 1950, according to BTA. The experts at the gallery also estimated the painting could rack up to $54 million at an auction, according to the Bulgarian news site

No other details about the painting have been disclosed. But it's likely the painting may feature Pollock's "drip style" technique, reported Architectural Digest.

Pollock, who died in a car accident in 1956, only left behind a small collection of work. Previously, Pollock's most expensive painting sold for $61,161,000, in 2021, according to the art market website Mutual Art.

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Tech CEOs increasingly admire Elon Musk's harsh leadership style, but they should actually take cues from Apple's Tim Cook

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:03pm
Industry experts say Tech CEOs might be better served following Tim Cook's example rather than Elon Musk.
  • Amazon and Meta are doing more layoffs, making Apple's lack of job cuts stand out even more.
  • Experts attribute Apple's stability and durability to CEO Tim Cook's steady leadership style. 
  • Experts say that Cook, not Twitter's Elon Musk, is the model that more execs should look to.

With Amazon and Meta each conducting a second round of layoffs, it's got many wondering how much deeper these major companies can cut.

It also makes Apple's stability, and the fact that it hasn't held any major layoffs in recent memory, stand out all the more.

To be fair, Apple was already in a slightly better position than other tech giants. The company didn't hire as aggressively during the pandemic as its peers. And it's long had an overall slower, more measured approach to growth. It's an style that industry analysts said comes from CEO Tim Cook himself.

Still, Apple hasn't been immune from the larger economic pressures battering the tech sector. But instead of cutting jobs, Cook is pinching pennies elsewhere: Bloomberg reported last week that Apple is taking steps like delaying bonuses, pushing back new projects like a HomePod with a screen, and pausing hiring on several teams. 

On the surface, it's a vastly different approach from Elon Musk, who since buying Twitter for $44 billion has taken a hard line approach by slashing costs, chopping headcount, and closing offices. Musk's relentless focus on shrinking Twitter while growing its ambitions is something the industry is watching closely. If Musk's Twitter is successful, it'd pave the way for CEOs and investors to follow suit. 

"Every CEO in Silicon Valley has looked at what Elon Musk has done and has asked themselves, 'Do they need to unleash their own Elon within them?" Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told Insider earlier this month. It's "unorthodox" but "you can't underestimate what he's done," Benioff said.

However, a closer look at both Musk and Cook's strategies suggests they're not as different as it appears, and CEOs might be better served following Cook's lead rather than Musk, experts said. 

The lessons CEOs can learn from Cook, the experts say, are that quiet prudence and practicality are always in fashion. It means that when times are bad, you don't need to take a Musk-style slash-and-burn approach. 

"I think you'll see those types of companies start to embracing Apple's playbook," Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, said. "The playbook is just because things are good doesn't mean you should hire or you still need to be judicious about how you're spending." 

Cook and Musk are both bringing employees back to the office

Musk is a flashy, highly-visible leader who's well known for setting ambitious, often impossible-sounding goals and then pushing his teams at firms like SpaceX and Tesla as hard as necessary to get there. 

By contrast, Cook's approach at Apple is often described as "pragmatic" and "risk averse," as Insider previously reported.

Still, there's some overlap in their styles. Musk sent Twitter employees a late-night memo last week saying the "office is not optional," noting that its San Francisco office was "half empty" on his most recent visit, as Platformer's Zoë Schiffer first reported.

As Bloomberg reports, Apple has become strict about office attendance — employees are typically expected to come in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some workers see it as a precursor to the company firing employees who don't meet the requirement, Bloomberg reported. 

Cook's style is more boring, but builds trust

While it's fundamentally a very similar policy, Cook's approach is likely less detrimental to employee happiness and company culture, because it's more consistent, experts said. 

It's much easier to reverse the policies and regain employee trust by being more measured to begin with, said Anna Tavis, a professor at NYU School of Professional Studies. Musk broke trust with employees with his severe tactics, and every extreme action only makes the situation deteriorate further.

"What's terrifying about what Musk is doing, is it's complete terror," Tavis said. "Really, that's the word. Because it not clear. It's impulsive, it's emotional, it's very subjective."

Meanwhile, Apple has always had a more thoughtful, intentional approach, she said. The company has earned the benefit of the doubt from its employees. "It's a much better way to do it because people understand why," even if they don't agree, Tavis said. 

For example, Apple likely faces fallout from its policies around office attendance, but less so than if the move came in the aftermath of a mass layoff. 

Munster does note that Apple's culture is not the same as it was three or four years ago, some of which could be attributed to the cost-cutting efforts. "But that's the case with every company," he said. "I think Apple has probably maintained their culture better than a lot of these big tech companies." 

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Powering the Point-of-Sale: How Providers Are Building Cost-Effective Omnichannel Solutions

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:00pm
  • POS infrastructure providers are scrambling to align their offerings
  • mPOS providers are trying to balance demands from upmarket sellers and micromerchants
  • Payment gateways must double down on omnichannel to woo customers

As the landscape of market leaders shifts, we forecast that the US point-of-sale (POS) terminal installed base will grow from 17.3 million this year to 20.2 million in 2026, largely due to providers upgrading technology. 

Consumer and merchant demands for all-in-one solutions are blurring the lines between POS hardware and software as the desire for simple, affordable, single-integration offerings increases. With terminal installation growth slowing due to digital payment acceptance approaching ubiquity, two types of technology—near-field communication-based and biometric terminals—are at the forefront of upgrades for POS in 2023. However, looming in the not-so-distant future is autonomous checkout, which poses a huge threat to traditional checkout methods as merchant interest and consumer readiness peak. 

Another strong contender to keep an eye on is mobile POS (mPOS). These solutions offer businesses a portable and affordable turnkey alternative that can turn smartphones into payment terminals. We project that the US mPOS market will grow at a 14.1% three-year compound annual growth rate through 2026, making up 47.2% of the US terminal market that year. Two groups are expected to drive the mPOS share growth: small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which are looking for digital payment acceptance solutions; and enterprise businesses, which are supplementing their countertop hardware and kiosks with portable mPOS terminals. 

According to an October 2022 Paysafe study, 70% of SMBs cited a desire to simplify payments technology and partnerships. As a result, providers are more focused than ever to create a one-stop shop that meets business needs beyond payments. With this mounting demand, there is a resounding focus on cash flow, next-generation omnichannel, and fraud prevention and detection. Providers need to make quick changes to innovate or risk losing out on their customer base to new players like Amazon and Walmart, which are building their own POS software. 

Innovation is at the forefront of POS as the merchant and consumer needs for all-in-one solutions mount. Curious to learn more about powering the point-of-sale? Click here to purchase this report directly from Insider Intelligence. Want more data? Click here to purchase The Payments Ecosystem collection.

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Democrats want to make electric bikes much cheaper by giving you up to $1,500 to buy one

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:55pm
A woman rides a Velotric Discover e-bike.
  • A new bill would give Americans up to $1,500 off the purchase of an electric bicycle.
  • The E-BIKE Act of 2023 is an expanded version of legislation that was cut from the IRA last year.
  • Advocates say the bill would make e-biking much more accessible to many Americans.

Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill last week that would give Americans up to $1,500 off the purchase of an electric bicycle. The legislation, the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act, is a new version of a 2021 bill with the same name and offers a more generous tax credit to more Americans for a broader range of bikes. 

The new and expanded legislation would give Americans who earn up to $150,000, or up to $300,000 for joint tax filers, a refundable tax credit of 30% off, up to $1,500. The credit applies to e-bikes that cost under $8,000.

The previous version of the bill limited the rebate to bikes that cost under $4,000 and only those who earn under $75,000 a year (or $150,000 for couples) were eligible. The Senate cut this legislation out of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, but included subsidies for electric cars and SUVs.  

The new E-BIKE Act, which was introduced in both the House and Senate on March 21, is backed by a much larger set of environmental groups, and is sponsored by more lawmakers. Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Mike Thompson, and Adam Schiff of California, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii introduced the bill. 

"Many people are looking to get out of their cars and get on to e-bikes not just for recreation, but also for transportation purposes," Rep. Panetta said in a statement. "By incentivizing Americans to own and use e-bikes, we are allowing them the chance to help improve the quality of life in our communities and tackle the climate crisis in our country." 

While this year's bill has more support both in and outside the halls of the Capitol, it will need Republican backing to pass the House, and it remains to be seen whether that will materialize. 

E-bikes have increasingly been embraced by environmental advocates as the best alternative to cars and a key way to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. If people rode an e-bike instead of driving a car just 15% of the time, it would reduce emissions by 12%, a study found in 2020

Biking advocates argue that electric bikes should be subsidized just as electric cars have been for years. 

"It'd be great for bikes to get similar consideration because they really can replace car trips and be that form of transportation for people at a lower price point and with less impact on the environment than electric cars," Ken McLeod, policy director for the League of American Bicyclists, told Insider. 

E-bikes are generally viewed as a better replacement for cars than analog bikes because people ride more frequently and for longer distances on them, the 2020 study found. But they're on average more expensive than regular bicycles, often starting at around $1,000. 

"If that passes, I think it'll be one of the biggest impacts in shifting the transportation system," Rachel Hultin, sustainable transportation director at Bicycle Colorado, told Insider of the E-BIKE Act.

Both Hultin and McLeod — along with bicycle advocates from across the country — will be converging on the Hill this week as part of the National Bike Summit to lobby Congress to pass the legislation. 

Electric bikes have boomed in popularity in the US over the last several years. E-bike tax credits introduced by cities and states around the country have become hugely popular in recent years. Thousands of Denver residents have taken advantage of the city's e-bike rebate of between $400 and $1,200 per person (plus an extra $500 for cargo e-bikes). The city's program was so popular that the government had to temporarily pause it to catch up with demand.

Other cities, including Ann Arbor and Austin, have implemented e-bike rebates, while the states of Colorado, California, Connecticut, and Hawaii are all planning to introduce e-bike subsidies this year.

"Bicycle Colorado just declared 2023 the year of the e-bike," Hultin said. 

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The IMF's boss has called for vigilance as risks to financial stability rise after bank turmoil

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:55pm
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned of another tough year ahead for the world economy, amid increased risks to financial stability.
  • The comments follow weeks of global banking turmoil, which saw the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the rescue of Credit Suisse.
  • "Uncertainty is high which underscores the need for vigilance," Georgieva said. 

International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned 2023 will prove another challenging year for the global economy, with the recent banking turmoil underscoring heightened risks to financial stability.

The rapid rise in interest rates, combined with elevated debt levels, "inevitably generates stresses and vulnerabilities,"  she said at the 2023 China Development Forum in Beijing on Sunday, according to a transcript of her speech published on the IMF website.

"Uncertainty is high which underscores the need for vigilance," Georgieva said. 

Recent weeks have been a tumultuous period for the global banking sector, which saw a run of shocking lender failures from Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate Capital in the US to the 167-year-old Credit Suisse in Europe.

"It is also clear that risks to financial stability have increased. At a time of higher debt levels, the rapid transition from a prolonged period of low interest rates to much higher rates - necessary to fight inflation - inevitably generates stresses and vulnerabilities, as evidenced by recent developments in the banking sector in some advanced economies," Georgieva said.

Global growth will likely slow below 3% this year, compared with a historic average of 3.8%, as the damaging effects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the past year's monetary tightening weigh on economic activity, according to the IMF chief. Geopolitical risks also could undermine the world economy, she added.

"Uncertainties are exceptionally high, including because of risks of geo-economic fragmentation which could mean a world split into rival economic blocs," she said, adding that such divisions could make everyone poorer and less secure.

Authorities in the US and in Europe have taken action in recent weeks to soothe fears about a banking crisis. American regulators stepped in to guarantee all deposits with the SVB when it collapsed, and the Federal Reserve has set up an emergency loan program to make sure banks aren't squeezed for cash to meet demands.

"Policymakers have acted decisively in response to financial stability risks, and advanced economy central banks have enhanced the provision of U.S. dollar liquidity. These actions have eased market stress to some extent, but uncertainty is high which underscores the need for vigilance."

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PS5 deal: Save $50 on a PlayStation 5 bundle with God of War Ragnarök with this rare limited-time discount

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:44pm

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

Deals on the PS5 are rare, so this $50 bundle discount is a great chance to save.
  • The first-ever PS5 discount is still available from Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy.
  • For a limited time, you can save $50 on a PS5 bundle with God of War Ragnarök included. 
  • This rare deal brings the price of the PlayStation 5 bundle down to $510.

Ever since its release over two years ago, the PS5 has been in high demand among gamers. Though the PlayStation 5 has been hard to find, its limited stock issues have finally started to subside. Right now, you can even save on a special bundle that comes with God of War Ragnarök — though we don't know how long it'll last. 

In the first major deal we've seen on the sought-after system, the PS5 God of War Ragnarök Bundle is down to $510, which is a great $50 discount. Though the bundle is also available with the Digital Edition of the PS5, this deal is only good on the standard disc-drive version of the console. 

The PS5 bundle deal is available from multiple retailers, though none currently mention an end date. Deals on the PS5 are rare, so we recommend acting fast in case it sells out or the promotion ends. 

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First Citizens Bank jumps 50% after deal to acquire assets of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:44pm
  • First Citizens Bank stock jumped as much 50% in Monday's trading session. 
  • The surge follows news that First Citizens will acquire a large chunk of failed SVB's assets.
  • SVB was closed by regulators and taken over by the FDIC in early March. 

Shares of First Citizens Bank surged as much as 50% on Monday after it was announced that the bank had agreed to buy assets from collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. 

The Nasdaq-listed shares hit an intraday high of $881, its highest in over a year. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said the Raleigh, North Carolina-based bank will acquire $72 billion worth of SVB assets at a $16.5 billion discount. First Citizens will also take over 17 branches of SVB.

The FDIC estimates the cost of the failure of SVB to the agency will be approximately $20 billion, per a statement Sunday. 

The banking sector has seen its share of turmoil this month.

SVB collapsed on March 10 after a bank run, sending shockwaves through global financial markets and steep sell-off in bank stocks on contagion concerns. Crypto bank Silvergate wound down operations earlier in the same week, while Signature Bank was shuttered by regulators and taken over by the FDIC the weekend following SVB's fall. Meanwhile in Europe, Credit Suisse was taken over by UBS in an emergency deal brokered by the Swiss government. 

The chaos follows a year of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve's as it tightens monetary policy in response to high inflation, moves that have weighed heavily on stock and bond prices. 

Looking ahead, CIO of UBS Global Wealth Management, Mark Haefele, says the ongoing banking turmoil, along with the Fed's rate hikes will cause more volatility in financial markets. 

"Financial conditions are likely to tighten, increasing the risk of an economic hard landing even if central banks ease off on interest rate hikes," Haefele said in a recent note. "In the months ahead, various banks are likely to restrict lending in order to build up their liquidity buffers."

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Michael Saylor's MicroStrategy snaps up another 6,455 bitcoin as token rallies, bringing its total holdings to $3.88 billion

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:42pm
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor
  • MicroStrategy bought 6,455 bitcoins for about $150 million in the last five weeks, an SEC filing showed.
  • That brings the firm's total bitcoin holdings to 138,955 tokens, or about $3.88 billion.
  • MicroStrategy also paid off the remaining principal on a $205 million loan from the failed Silvergate Bank. 

Michael Saylor's MicroStrategy bought 6,455 bitcoins over the last five weeks, according to a Friday SEC filing.

The purchases were made at an average price of about $23,238 per token, and totaled roughly $150 million. 

Crypto investments are not new for MicroStrategy, and Saylor frequently touts bitcoin from his Twitter account.

The recent acquisitions bring the software company's holdings up to 138,955 bitcoins, per CoinDesk, bought at an average price of $29,817 each. 

All together, those holdings are worth about $3.88 billion, at the current bitcoin price of about $27,900. 

MicroStrategy's latest crypto buying spree comes as bitcoin has rallied to start the year. After a dismal 2022, the token is up about 62% year-to-date.

Last week, the token hit a nine-month high and neared $30,000 as Credit Suisse's takeover by UBS failed to ease fears about the global banking system.

Cryptocurrencies across the board are notching gains. Ethereum is up about 42% year-to-date, and Solana is up about 51% in 2023.

Meanwhile, per the SEC filing, MicroStrategy also paid off the remaining principal on a $205 million loan from failed, crypto-friendly bank Silvergate, which shut down its operations earlier this month. The total MicroStrategy paid was $161 million. 

As part of the satisfaction of the loan, 34,619 bitcoins that were held as collateral were returned to Saylor's firm, the filing said. 

"MicroStrategy repaid its $205M Silvergate loan at a 22% discount," Saylor tweeted on Monday.

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The best laptop deals and sales in March 2023: Prices from $180

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 12:34pm

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

There's a lot of choice out there, but sit back and let us bring you the best laptop deals from the best online retailers. Laptop sales occur throughout the year on various models and brands, so there's usually no need to wait for seasonal discounts if you need a new laptop as soon as possible.

This guide to the latest laptop deals covers multiple price points for various buyers. We understand that most people just don't need a super powerful piece of kit, so where we can find a solid laptop that will handle the basics for work or study for a low price point, we're there. Of course, some of you might need something with a little more grunt to run more demanding applications or do a little gaming, and we've got you covered there too.

Before highlighting a laptop below, we'll compare the price against rival stores and examine the price history of the item too so we can weigh up just how good of a deal it really is. Every laptop deal we highlight below is something we'd either buy for ourselves or recommend to a friend.

Top 5 laptop deals of the weekWant to see more laptop sales?

If you've not found something for your needs above, be sure to head over to the laptop sales highlighted at the retailers below to see if something else catches your eye. Most of them have everything from budget laptops around $200 or less, plenty of mid-range picks, and even discounts on more powerful machines specializing in gaming, graphic design, or media editing. We will also regularly update the laptop selection above with fresh deals over time, so feel free to bookmark us and check back in soon.

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First Citizens buys Silicon Valley Bank

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:47am
First Citizens buys Silicon Valley Bank.
  • First Citizens BancShares has agreed to buy Silicon Valley Bank.
  • The deal includes the purchase of about $72 billion of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank assets at a discount of $16.5 billion.
  • Silicon Valley Bank was shut by regulators on March 10 after a bank run and capital crisis.

First Citizens BancShares, the parent company of First Citizens Bank, has agreed to buy Silicon Valley Bank, according to a Sunday statement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, or FDIC.

The North Carolina-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company entered into a purchase and assumption agreement for all deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bank, according to the statement.

The deal includes the purchase of about $72 billion of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank assets at a discount of $16.5 billion. 

Silicon Valley Bank was shut by regulators on March 10 after a bank run and capital crisis.

Silicon Valley Bridge Bank had approximately $167 billion in total assets and about $119 billion in total deposits as of March 10, per FDIC's statement.

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Trump tried to mock Ron DeSantis at his Texas rally. He was met with mostly silence from the audience.

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:00am
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
  • The crowd went quiet when Trump mocked Gov. Ron DeSantis during his rally speech in Waco, Texas.
  • Trump claimed DeSantis begged him for an endorsement in 2018 with "tears in his eyes." 
  • The crowd was only responsive when Trump mocked other people, like Stormy Daniels.

Former President Donald Trump's jabs at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday were met with a muted response from his usually adoring audience. 

During his speech, Trump said DeSantis begged him for an endorsement with "tears in his eyes" when running for Florida governor in 2018. Trump first made the unsubstantiated claim about DeSantis in February.

Trump then segued into a comedy bit where he pretended to be a sobbing DeSantis, saying: "Sir if you'll endorse me I'll win, please, please sir, endorse me." 

The crowd, which had been cheering up until that point, was subdued when Trump made these comments. The audience continued to be silent while Trump bragged about helping to get DeSantis elected and railed against the possibility that DeSantis may run against him in 2024.

"I'm not a big fan," Trump said of DeSantis, calling the governor a "disciple" of former Speaker Paul Ryan, a vocal Trump critic.

In contrast, Trump's rally crowd jeered loudly when he trash-talked other people. These included Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who alleges that Trump paid her hush money to keep her quiet about an affair; Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg; and Trump's 2016 rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton. 

Although DeSantis has not officially announced a 2024 presidential bid, he will be Trump's biggest rival if he does choose to run

Trump's comments come as he is neck-deep in an investigation led by Bragg over his potential involvement in hush money payments to Daniels. Trump could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Representatives for Trump and DeSantis did not immediately reply to Insider's requests for comment made outside regular business hours. 

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Jon Stewart sarcastically says 'what's happened to our country' after being asked about a potential Trump indictment: 'It's as though you can't even commit financial fraud anymore'

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 8:56pm
  • Jon Stewart said conversations about Donald Trump should not concern whether or not he should be indicted. 
  • "I think the law should always take into account someone's popularity," Stewart said, sarcastically.
  • Instead, Stewart said, we should be focusing on finding a system of "consistent accountability."

Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart said that he doesn't care about conversations surrounding whether or not former President Donald Trump would become a "martyr" should he be indicted.

Stewart, who spoke Saturday to Fareed Zakaria on CNN's "GPS," said he was instead focused on finding a system of "consistent accountability."

Since January, a New York grand jury has been investigating Trump's connection to a $130,000 hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels. As the investigation comes to a close, Trump could face an indictment in the coming weeks.

Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified before the New York grand jury, was sentenced to three years in prison in connection to this payment. Cohen now alleges that Trump ordered him to make the payments.

Zakaria asked Stewart, host of "The Problem with Jon Stewart" on Apple TV+, about whether or not Trump should be indicted, citing concerns that Trump, who received 74.2 million votes in 2020, could become a martyr for those who believe he is being treated unfairly by the justice system.

"I think the law should always take into account someone's popularity," Stewart replied, sarcastically. "I mean, what — what's happened to our country? It's as though you can't even commit financial fraud anymore." 

Stewart later continued, "The idea that someone may face accountability, who is that rich and powerful, is outrageous, and this country shouldn't stand for it." 


—Acyn (@Acyn) March 26, 2023


After concluding his bit, Stewart explained the "rule of law" does not take into account "if that might make you a martyr to somebody."

"I'd much rather have the conversation be: what is the law? What exactly are we saying that he did? His lawyer went to jail for the same situation for a couple of years. So what is the crime? Is it a crime?" Stewart said. 

Stewart also railed against the lack of "accountability in our financial systems" and brought up congressional stock trades as an example.

Following the news that he could be indicted, Trump took to social media to call for his followers to stand up for him, which experts could give his most extreme followers a reason to resort to violence.  Last week, Trump posted on Truth Social to warn about "potential death & destruction" should he be charged.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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NYC appears poised to pass a bill banning size discrimination — making height and weight a protected class. Some states are also looking into the issue

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 4:13pm
City Hall, New York City
  • The New York City Council appears prepared to pass a bill banning weight and height discrimination.
  • The bill would apply to employment opportunities, housing, and public accommodations.
  • Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and New York state might enact similar policies, per The Washington Post.

Lawmakers in New York City seem poised to pass a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate based on weight and height, according to reports. 

The bill, introduced by Council Member Shaun Abreu last Spring, would amend the city's code to prohibit "discrimination on the basis of a person's height or weight in opportunities of employment, housing, and access to public accommodations." 

The bill is currently in committee hearings, according to the council's legislative website. The bill has racked up 33 co-sponsors, surpassing the necessary 26 yes-votes needed to pass, and Mayor Eric Adams has signaled his support for the legislation, the Post reported. 

"This was long overdue as a civil rights issue," Abreu told The Washington Post. "It's super important that we treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. At the end of the day, this is about job security, this is about housing security. If someone looks a certain way, if someone is of a different body size or has higher weight, who cares?"

Last month, Abreu said he was "honored to stand with" the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which has also expressed support for the bill. 

"Together, we'll build an inclusive world that celebrates our differences," Abreu said in a tweet. 

—Council Member Shaun Abreu (@CMShaunAbreu) February 28, 2023


According to the bill's text, it would permit an exception for employers who need to consider height or weight as a "bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business." It would similarly exempt "operators or providers of public accommodations only where height or weight requirements would qualify as bona fide considerations of public health and safety."

Size-based protections already exist in Michigan and Washington state. Lawmakers in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey are also considering similar measures, the Post reported.

Some 30.7% of US adults are overweight, and 42.4% are obese, according to the 2017-2018 data (the most recent available) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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A GOP congresswoman says TikTok CEO's testimony made it clear to her that the app is 'an immediate threat' from China and that she supports a ban

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 4:09pm
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
  • GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers called TikTok "an immediate threat" and wants it banned in the US.
  • McMorris Rodgers said she's deeply concerned about the user data of millions of US TikTok users.
  • Influencers descended on the Capitol last week as TikTok's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, testified before Congress.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Sunday said that Tiktok represented "an immediate threat" from the Chinese Communist Party and supports banning the popular video app in the United States.

The Washington Republican, who serves as the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that last week's congressional testimony from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew affirmed her belief that Congress needed to pass a data privacy law.

"I would say there's an immediate threat via TikTok from the Chinese Communist Party. That is the reason that I believe we need to ban TikTok immediately. It is a national security threat," McMorris Rodgers said. "It united Republicans and Democrats on the committee as to the urgent need for us to take action."

"What the hearing made clear to me was that TikTok should be banned in the United States of America to address the immediate threat and we also need a national data privacy law," she added.

McMorris Rodgers pointed to Tiktok and parent company ByteDance as having ties to the Chinese government, which she said is a major risk to Americans.

There is currently no evidence that TikTok has disclosed any US user data with Chinese government officials, but many  lawmakers believe that the Chinese government could ultimately push the company to share vital information about the roughly 150 million active monthly US users.

"The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent US-based protection of US user data and systems with robust third-party monitoring, vetting and verification, which we are already implementing," the company said in a statement earlier this month.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, also stated during a Sunday interviews on CBS News that he was concerned about TikTok's ties to China.

"At the end of the day, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance, and by Chinese law, that company has to be willing to turn over data to the Communist Party or, one of my bigger fears, we have 150 million Americans on TikTok, average of about 90 minutes a day, and how that channel could be used for propaganda purposes or disinformation by the Communist Party," he said.

Last week, numerous social media influencers swarmed the Capitol in an attempt to attract the attention of lawmakers and stop a TikTok ban in the US.

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'In memory of Jordyn's fingers please lend a hand': Family has cheeky fundraiser for worker who lost fingers in Cold Stone Creamery incident

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 4:03pm
The 21-year-old was working at a Cold Stone Creamery in Corvallis, Oregon, a city situated 83 miles outside of Portland when the bloody incident occurred.
  • Jordyn Martin, 21, lost three fingers to an ice cream machine after a hand got caught, reports say.
  • A GoFundMe is taking a dark humor approach, asking donors to "lend a hand."
  • Oregon OSHA has confirmed that it's investigating the incident at the Corvallis location.

The family of a Cold Stone Creamery employee is asking the public to "lend a hand" after the woman reportedly lost three fingers while cleaning an ice cream machine at work.

Jordyn Martin, a 21-year-old who worked at a Cold Stone Creamery in Corvallis, Oregon, was in a workplace incident on March 15 that left her with only seven fingers, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. According to the local news, Martin's hand was mangled by an ice cream machine after a towel she was holding got caught in its rotors.

But now, Martin's family is finding a dark humor in the injury with a GoFundMe fundraiser created by an individual claiming to be her sister. It's received nearly $7,000 in donations as of Sunday afternoon with a goal of $10,000.

"In memory of Jordyn's fingers please lend a hand," the fundraiser is titled.

A spokesperson for Cold Stone Creamery provided multiple news outlets with the following statement:

"We are aware of the unfortunate accident that occurred in a Corvallis, Oregon store and are investigating the matter further," it read. "We care about the well-being of all employees and are committed to prioritizing workplace safety, as well as supporting all our franchisees in doing the same in the restaurants they own and operate."

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed with local news that it has opened an investigation into the bloody incident that prompted other shop employees to quit over safety concerns.

"The rag had pulled her hand in, so that rag wrapped around her fingers and pulled her fingers off until there was pummeled bone and blood all inside of the machine," Cold Stone employee Emily Kilpatrick told KOIN 6. "The fingers were wrapped in the mangled rag."

"We didn't know that the machine we were using was even capable of doing something like that. We thought it was completely safe to use and to clean, even when running," Kilpatrick said to KOIN 6.

According to Martin's fundraiser description, her dominant hand was hurt, and doctors were unable to reattach the amputated digits during surgery. Fox Business reported that she's sought out legal counsel and filed a workers' compensation claim. 

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California Rep. Ro Khanna passes on Senate run and backs liberal icon Barbara Lee over Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff: 'She stood up so strongly against the war in Iraq'

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 3:41pm
Rep. Ro Khanna of California.
  • Ro Khanna on Sunday announced that he's backing Rep. Barbara Lee in the 2024 California Senate race.
  • The progressive congressman is endorsing Lee over fellow Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff.
  • Khanna during his announcement said that Lee would bring a "unique voice" to the upper chamber.

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna — a prominent progressive who was thought to be a potential candidate in the 2024 California Senate race — on Sunday said he isn't entering the contest to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein and would instead throw his support behind liberal icon and longtime Rep. Barbara Lee.

"I have concluded that despite a lot of enthusiasm from Bernie folks, the best place, the most exciting place … for me to serve as a progressive is in the House of Representatives," he said during an appearance on CNN's "This Week." 

"I'm honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee's campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today. We need a strong antiwar senator and she will play that role," he continued.

Feinstein, 89, is retiring next year after first being elected to the Senate in a 1992 special election.

In endorsing Lee, a fellow lawmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area, Khanna praised her antiwar record and said that the congresswoman would be a "unique voice" in the upper chamber.

Khanna's move also means that he is supporting Lee over fellow Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff — two colleagues who have a national following and are currently the frontrunners in the party primary.

The congressman, a national co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign — said during the CNN interview that he had respect for both Porter and Schiff, but heralded Lee's nearly-25-year tenure in Congress.

Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

"Barbara Lee is a unique voice," Khanna said. "She was a lone vote against the endless war in Afghanistan. She stood up so strongly against the war in Iraq. She worked with me in trying to stop the war in Yemen and the War Powers Resolution."

"And frankly, representation matters. We don't have a single African-American woman in the United States Senate. She would fill that role. She'll be the only candidate from Northern California and she's going to, I think, consolidate a lot of progressives. The other two are formidable candidates, but I think Barbara is going to be very, very strong," he added.

Lee, who announced her campaign last month, is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and a former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Under the primary system in California, every candidate in the Senate race will run together on the same ballot, with the top-two vote-getters emerging to compete in the general election, regardless of their political party.

If Lee wins the general election in the Golden State, where no Republican has won a Senate race since 1988, she would become only the third Black female senator in US history.

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San Francisco is forcing couple to remove sidewalk 'obstruction' — or pay $1,400. It's a little free library.

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 2:39pm
The library has been up for years, tweets show, and has been praised by many passersby, but could be removed by the city over a violation complaint.
  • A popular little free library in San Francisco was ordered to be removed, the Wall Street Journal reported. 
  • The order was prompted by a call to a city hotline used for complaints about regulatory violations.
  • The library volunteered by residents is just one of many items caught up in a crackdown. 

A couple in San Francisco was told to remove an obstruction from the sidewalk in front of their house, or pay a $1,402 fine. The city's target: a little free library.

The library is part of a crackdown in San Francisco on unpermitted objects that interfere with public ways, the Wall Street Journal reported. The city has a hotline for anonymous tips about the obstructions, which include decades-old awnings on businesses in the city's Chinatown district, and benches constructed by residents for the convenience of passersby.

The library, a sturdy wooden box that sits on a statue and resembles a dollhouse, is owned by Susan and Joe Meyers.

—Molly McClintic (@birdymolly) March 9, 2023


According to the Journal, local officials have little choice but to act when a complaint is filed through the hotline. 

"The fact that we live in a city where they would rather fight someone that is doing something positive is what I find so disheartening," Geoff Claus, a neighbor living near the little library, told the Journal.  

The library is popular in the Meyers' neighborhood, the Journal reported. Many on social media even staged a campaign to save it, resulting in letters to the city from residents; one from a young girl begged, "Plees do not dustroy Joe & Susan's Libary," per the Journal. 

A city official responded, per the Journal: "Our office could not agree more. This is a favorite spot of many of your neighbors and we will do everything we can to make sure it stays in place for you and others to enjoy for years to come."

Others targeted recently in the unpermitted objects crackdown include a 79-year-old laundromat owner, whose awning apparently drew a call to the city's hotline that prompted an official call to Lee. 

"They asked if I had a permit for the sign," Bill Lee told the Journal. "I said, 'How do I know, it's been over 40 years?"

The Meyers could get a permit to keep their library for $1,402, but ultimately decided instead to work to change the system. As a result, city officials are considering cheaper permits — around $5, according to the Journal — for similar free libraries, and benches. 

The Meyers' library is still standing, the Journal reported, as the city sorts out new rules for the small box and many like it. 

In the end, Susan Meyers told the Journal the original hotline complaint may have been a catalyst for the city to rethink its regulations. 

"Maybe we should thank that person," she told the Journal. 

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JFK and Jackie Kennedy's first home as a married couple is going up for sale in DC. The listing includes candid photos of the couple.

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 2:34pm
John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Bouvier, in 1953.
  • One of John F. Kennedy's earliest residences in DC is about to go up for sale for $2 million.
  • John and Jackie Kennedy lived at the home on Dent Place early in their marriage.
  • The Redfin listing includes candids of the couple alongside recent photos of the luxurious home.
The home was the Kennedy's first as a newlywed couple.John F. Kennedy says goodbye to his wife, Jackie, who is on her way to classes at Georgetown University's Foreign Service School.

One of the old homes of former President John F. Kennedy is about to be listed publicly for sale in Washington, DC, and the listing includes candid photos of his life with Jackie Kennedy early in their marriage. 

The home at 3321 Dent Place NW, where the Kennedys "signed their first lease as a newly married couple," will be listed this week for $2 million, according to Redfin. The broker, Michael Brennan, did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

John F. Kennedy had just been elected to the US Senate.John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Bouvier, in 1953.

Shortly after their September 1953 wedding, John and Jakie Kennedy moved into the home in December of 1953, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. After serving three terms in the US House, Kennedy had just been elected to the Senate in 1952, according to the presidential library.

The couple enjoyed relaxing in their backyard garden.John and Jackie Kennedy in the garden at their home.

"JFK, still a junior senator at the time, and Jackie enjoyed hosting formal dinner parties and relaxing in the backyard garden," according to the Redfin listing. "The four level property has been with the same family since it was built in 1942." 

The home will be listed for $2 million, according to Redfin.John F. Kennedy.

"Outside, the English garden style backyard, complete with profusions of purple bearded iris and white peonies, leads down an all-brick walkway to a fully-detached garage," according to Redfin.

The listing photos of the luxurious home include vintage shots of the Kennedys taken by Orland Suero for the book "Camelot at Dawn" by Suero and Anne Garside, according to Redfin. 

It has been a family home since 1942, according to Redfin.Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, studying after dinner.

The luxurious 3,072-square-foot home has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, according to the listing. 

"This classic Georgetown home retains numerous period details including wide-board Canadian oak floors, a wood burning fireplace, expansive dining room with real oak molding and sun-filled living room with a wall of windows overlooking the garden," the listing said. 

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Gen Z is all about 'real moments' when traveling - and that means hotels are pushing to reinvent themselves fast

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 1:05pm
Joshua Napier, 25, gave a shout out to Sixty Hotels when asked what he looks for in a vacation stay. According to Napier, the Sixty LES in Manhattan is worth the splurge when he visits New York City.
  • The hospitality industry is changing to reflect the needs of its younger consumers.
  • Two Gen Z travelers tell Insider they're willing to pay up for an authentic experience that also feels luxurious.
  • One hospitality expert says technology and convenience should be at the forefront of hoteliers' minds when targeting Gen Z guests.

Gen Z is on the move, and they're pretty particular about where they stay while on vacation. 

As the generation born between 1997 and 2012 becomes the future of the travel industry, some hotels are catching on to their spending power and influence — and shifting to create the ideal Gen Z traveler experience.

Post-millennials are looking for more unique and memorable moments from hotel stays, according to a report from Skift. For them, it's about being real and relatable online rather than crafting an image, following a trend of viral content that speaks directly to viewers with fewer frills.

"When it comes to traveling, Gen Z prioritizes authenticity and living in the moment," said Sharon Silverstein, the head of US verticals at Snapchat parent company Snap. "They don't only share the most picture-perfect photos. They appreciate the funny, silly, real moments that make a trip truly memorable." 

Hotels that offer more than just a late check-out and a complimentary breakfast are more likely to attract travelers that want to document memories made at the hotel.

@vancouverugcgirl $211 per night for two of us! @citizenmhotels the most unique and modern hotel I’ve been in in downtown Seattle! #ustravelvlog #seattletraveltips #seattletravels #seattlestaycation #seattletodo #seattlehotels #seattlehotel #travelgirlie #travelgirlies ♬ FUTURE HOUSE - Sergey Wednesday


Insider spoke to two young travelers who say they're willing to splurge for the right vibes. 

Joshua Napier, a 25-year-old luxury retail client advisor, told Insider that his main concern is which amenities he can enjoy during his stay, but he's also interested to learn more about the history of the hotel and how it's changed over the years.

"I like to know the stories of the hotel. I want to know who stayed there, any past remodeling, and why they made certain design choices," Napier told Insider.

This, he told Insider is why he stays at Sixty LES when he's in Manhattan. He praised the establishment for its hands-on care.

"Hospitality is important for me. Sixty LES feels like a neighborhood as soon as you walk out the door, and the inside gives you the urge to leave your room and enjoy amenities like the pool, bar, and lounge area."

He added: "It has unique shared balconies for some rooms that helps me feel like being friendlier. Not to mention, a terrace in Manhattan is a luxury."

One Florida-based hospitality expert said hotels should consider Gen Z's connection to the digital world — for both work and pleasure — to better target young travelers.

"Hoteliers must learn to create an atmosphere that combines work and fun to appeal to this new mindset of travelers, with an emphasis on technology and social media moments," Daniel Berman, president and CEO of hospitality company AD1 Global wrote for Forbes.

Berman added: "Having a restaurant with a bar equipped with interactive TVs and phone chargers makes a very convenient stay for Gen-Zs. They can relax after their flight and invite their friends to spend virtual time together, having fun without needing to leave the hotel premises."

Publisher Morgan Lindsay, 23, echoed Napier's desire for amenities, but added that she doesn't want a hotel that feels like home. For her, vacation should feel more like a good dream than real life.

"I'm trying to vacation from my real life and my reality. I don't want to feel like I'm at home," Lindsay told Insider. 

Seattle-based designer Andrea Dawson Sheehan told Skift that she takes design inspiration from her child, who is Gen Z; that generation wants "to personally be part of hotels' stories" when they stay.

"(Gen Z wants) to feel like they're doing something – that they're relevant — because they're living at home and can't afford to live otherwise. So Gen Z spends its money on experiences, but they want those experiences to be educational and have values that support their beliefs," Dawson Sheehan said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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