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Tucker Carlson bizarrely suggested that the US should send an armed force to 'liberate' Canada from Justin Trudeau

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 11:36am
Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
  • Tucker Carlson called for the US to send an armed force to "liberate" Canada from Justin Trudeau.
  • He compared Trudeau to Fidel Castro and said he was "completely in favor of a Bay of Pigs operation."
  • Carlson said "I mean it" after making the outlandish statements.

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson suggested that the US should send troops to "liberate" Canada from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

While interviewing Canadian college professor David Azerrad on his Fox Nation show, Carlson compared Trudeau to Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro and referenced the trucker protests against COVID-19 restrictions last year. 

"I mean, why should we stand back and watch our biggest trading partner, the country with which we share the longest border –  and actually a great country, I love Canada. I've always loved Canada because of its natural beauty – Why should we let it become Cuba?" Carlson said. 

"Why don't we liberate it? We're spending all this money to liberate Ukraine from the Russians, why are we not sending an armed force to liberate Canada from Trudeau? And I mean it." 

—Media Matters (@mmfa) January 26, 2023

 

Carlson said he was "completely in favor of a Bay of Pigs operation" in Canada, not acknowledging that the operation to overthrow Castro's government was a failure.

Carlson's guest responds, "I don't know that I'm there yet with you," prompting Carlson to laugh and admit that he was "talking himself into a frenzy."

Although he has previously been known for his antiwar stances, the Fox host has at times made controversial comments about global conflicts.

Carlson has previously said he was rooting for Russia in the conflict in Ukraine, which he later claimed was a joke following widespread condemnation.

He has also previously suggested military action against another of the United States' neighbors when in 2019, he advocated for the US to "strike back" at Mexico.

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6 sneaker trends to keep in 2023 and 2 to leave behind

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 11:00am
Y2K fashion will remain popular in 2023, as will New Balance.
  • Insider asked three stylists for the most popular sneaker styling trends of 2023.
  • Performance shoes like Hoka are in and Y2K fashion is  here to stay.
  • Dunks are no longer the “it” shoe, and Yeezys are out after Ye's public divorce from Adidas
Pair performance shoes with casual wearHokas

Chunky performance shoes are now firmly part of casual wear. So expect to see more Hoka One One, Asics, On, and Salomon shoes on feet in 2023 in and out of the gym. 

"What's interesting is the brands are very performance focused. They're not very focused on looking cool," said Heather Newberger, fashion stylist, author, and television commentator. "But they are becoming cool now because of this idea of, like, oh, right, you do have to walk everywhere."

Some specific silhouettes expected to be popular with consumers in the new year include the Hoka Clifton and the Asics Gel-Kayano, stylists said. Another good example of this trend is the  Salomon XT-6.

"The Salomon XT-6 is a big shoe for 2023 for the simple fact that you get a nice, comfortable shoe that appeals to lots of different consumers, " Bryce Moore, a sneaker and fashion Youtuber, said. The Salomon's XT-6 comes in a wide range of colors across general releases and collaborations

 

It'll be another great year for New BalanceNew Balance 993 Aimé Leon Dore

New Balance, yes, the brand synonymous with "dad shoes," is very much in right now. 

New Balance has been emerging in the sneaker community since 2019, according to Moore. Collaborations with designers such as JJJJound and Joe Freshgoods have elevated the popularity of silhouettes like the 990 V3 and 993. 

Moore predicts the chunky New Balance 1096R can be the next big sneaker for the brand.

The 1096R is similar to the 2002R that grew in popularity among sneakerheads after the 2021 release of "Protection Pack" a line of sneakers with suede overlayed on mesh that was designed to look worn.

 

Dunks and New Balance 550s are not the "it" shoes anymore

With so many pairs of Dunks and New Balance 550s released to the public during the pandemic, they will be easy to spot on the street in 2023, but the hype for these shoes will cool down this year.

 

 

But Adidas' Samba is having a momentAddidas' Samba

"The Samba is probably the successor to the New Balance 550 or the Nike Dunk," Moore said.

The Samba has been around since 1949 when it debuted as a soccer shoe. This year, Adidas is releasing a highly anticipated collab with designer JJJJound. The company has also successfully partnered with British designer Grace Wales Bonner on multiple Samba releases, including in June 2022. 

"Soccer trainers, AKA Sambas, are really in right now. And a lot of that comes from this sort of like post-World Cup hysteria," Newberger said. "It's a kind of shoe that they've already been loving for a long time in the UK or overseas."

Yeezys have fallen out of favorYeezys are out

Wearing Yeezys will officially be out of style in 2023, following the divorce of Adidas and Ye.

The rapper formerly known as Kanye West was dropped by Adidas in October after a public feud and multiple anti-Semitic comments.

Ye has given those shoes "a bad connotation," Brendan Cannon, stylist at Cannon Media Group.. "People just don't want to wear Yeezys because they don't want to have people say comments to them on the street."

Adidas now plans to release Yeezy silhouettes without Ye or the Yeezy branding as early as this year. But for many sneaker purists, it won't be the same

"Yeezy is not designing them, so Yeezy stock will drop," Moore said. 

Wear sneakers with comfortable clothing and dresses, tooPairing sneakers with a dress in London

Comfortable and relaxed clothing has long been the best way to style your favorite pair of sneakers. And the casual trend will continue, stylists predict. 

"Everyone is going to go for the relaxed and cool fit because it is fashion-forward as well,"   Cannon said.

2023's casual look includes wearing straight-leg or wide-leg pants and an oversized tee or vest. Tracksuits and sweatsuits are also back. Donning sneakers with dresses is also acceptable.  

"Gwen Stefani was on the forefront of" the dress and sneaker look, Cannon said. But the look is coming back because it combines comfort and style. 

 

Sustainable style hits sneakersUnless Collective's "Degenerate" sneaker biodegrades.

More brands are catering to millennial and Gen Z shoppers' desire for sustainable clothing, Newberger and Cannon said.

Established shoe brands like Allbirds and Veja are both well-known for manufacturing sustainable sneakers. Industry giants Nike and Adidas have begun touting the use of recycled plastic in some of their designs.

There are also a slew of footwear startups focused solely on sustainability, including Holo, Blueview. Unless Collective, a Portland, Oregon-based streetwear startup founded by a former Adidas executive, recently released a new shoe called the Degenerate, which will decompose at the end of its useful life.

 

Y2K style is here to stay in 2023Air Max 96 II ‘White/Grape Ice’

For older millennials, Y2K fashion being dubbed "retro" has felt a little awkward. Expect that awkward feeling for a bit longer, stylists say. 

The trend has been largely brought back by Gen Z and TikTok, where numerous videos under the hashtag #Y2KFashion show how to dress like it is the late 90s or early aughts. Popular clothing items include mini-skirts, chunky sneakers, oversized tees, baby tees, and leather jackets. And the louder the colors and materials, the better. 

In terms of footwear, Y2K fashion includes platform shoes and boots and chunky sneakers, often peeking out of wide-leg jeans. 

"Bringing it back seems like a perfect fit for right now because it was all about comfort and style," Cannon said.

 

 

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Trump brushes off polls showing Ron DeSantis ahead of him in critical states ahead of 2024: 'He won't be leading, I got him elected'

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:58am
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, S.C., on January 28, 2023.
  • Trump on Saturday stepped up his criticism of DeSantis as the GOP presidential campaign heats up.
  • As he spoke to reporters, the former president took credit for DeSantis' rise: "I got him elected."
  • Trump traveled to New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday to rally support among Republicans.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday stepped up his political campaign against Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida — a potential competitor for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — stating that the Sunshine State leader "won't be leading" in polling and continuing to take credit for the former congressman's political ascent.

After Trump announced his third presidential bid last November, he pretty much went cold on the campaign trail — a rarity for him.

But on Saturday, he made major appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two key early-voting states that will play an outsized role in the nomination process.

During his speeches, he sought to rally his base — taking swings at President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York while also railing against immigration issues at the US-Mexico border and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

While speaking to reporters, though, Trump let loose on DeSantis, who had long been his political ally — but who now could threaten his goal of securing the GOP presidential nomination next year.

Per Politico, Trump accused DeSantis of seeking to "rewrite history" when it came to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the Florida governor "promoted the vaccine as much as anyone."

Among GOP governors, DeSantis has long been one of the strongest opponents of vaccine mandates and fought vigorously against vaccine passports, even as he also touted the high vaccination rates of Floridians aged 65 and older.

But by late last year, DeSantis had become much more critical of COVID-19 vaccines, as Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported, putting him far to the right of Trump on the issue.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida at a news conference in Miami, Fla., on January 26, 2023.

On Saturday, the former president continued his broadsides against DeSantis.

"When I hear that he might [run] I think it's very disloyal," Trump said of the Florida governor, according to Politico.

While Trump continues to lead in many national polls among prospective 2024 GOP voters, his once impenetrable standing has declined in some statewide polling.

Last week, a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll showed DeSantis ahead of Trump by 12 points, with 46% – or slightly less than half — of all GOP respondents stating that they wanted to see the former president on the ballot again next year.

Polling in South Carolina has been murkier, with both Trump and DeSantis coming out on top in two separate polls released in the past few months.

But Trump has cast aside the possibility that he's behind in the GOP race — or that he would be pushed to the side should the Florida governor enter the primary.

"He won't be leading, I got him elected," the former president said, alluding to his 2018 endorsement of DeSantis which catapulted the then-congressman to the top of the GOP gubernatorial field that year. "I'm the one that chose him."

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Police allege a substitute teacher encouraged middle school students to fight during class and filmed it

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:53am
Ettson Arreola was arrested on Friday after police discovered he had recorded videos of students fighting and posted them on social media,
  • Police say an Idaho middle school substitute teacher encouraged students to fight and filmed it.
  • They allege the teacher set a timer for students to fight and then shared videos of it to social media.
  • Ettson Arreola was arrested on Friday and charged with four counts of injury to a child, among other things.

A middle school substitute teacher in Idaho is accused of encouraging students to fight during class and filming it.

Police said in a Facebook statement that Ettson Arreola, who was teaching at Syringa Middle School, set a timer and encouraged students to fight for ten seconds while he recorded videos.

Two physical fights took place in his classroom on Thursday, police said, one between two male students and another between two female students.

Arreola was arrested on Friday after police discovered he had recorded videos of students fighting and shared them on social media, according to the Caldwell Police Department.

He has been charged with four counts of injury to a child, one count of inciting a riot, and four counts of violation of the juvenile corrections act, encouraging a minor to fight.

Rex Ingram, the Caldwell Chief of Police, said that the teacher's actions "tear at the fabric of our community and are reprehensible."

"The video(s) is appalling, disturbing, and unimaginable. This man was entrusted by his community to keep our children safe and provide academic education, but he chose to facilitate a fight club in his classroom," he said.

The Superintendent of the Caldwell School District, Dr. French, said: "The Caldwell School District has zero tolerance for this type of behavior. The personal safety and welfare of each child is of paramount concern. The District has taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of all students. We are providing support for the students involved and are actively cooperating with law enforcement."

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Russia was making big plans for Ukraine's nuclear power plants before its invasion fell apart

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:37am
Russian military vehicles at the gates of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in May 2022.
  • Russia launched its attack on Ukraine in February 2022 with plans for a quick victory.
  • Those plans depended in part on seizing Ukraine's nuclear power plants and using them for leverage.
  • Russia's ambitions for those plants were foiled when Ukraine fended off the initial attack.

When he launched his invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin had ambitious goals for Ukraine.

Within three days to a week of attacking, Putin planned to capture Kyiv, topple Ukraine's government, and demilitarize Ukrainian forces.

According to an analysis of the first five months of the war by the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank, the Russians had big plans to use Ukraine's nuclear power plants to help make it all happen.

3 Russian plansThe Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in July 2019.

According to the RUSI report, Russia's war plans viewed Ukraine's nuclear power plants as a means to achieve Moscow's larger aims. Key to that planning was southern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia plant, which is Europe's largest.

The Kremlin's plan envisioned three uses for the Ukrainian nuclear power facilities once the invasion was underway.

First, Moscow planned for Ukrainian nuclear power facilities to function as bases for Russian troops and their equipment as well as ammunition depots. Russian officers were also to set up command-and-control posts within the premises of those nuclear facilities.

The second function the Kremlin envisioned for the nuclear facilities was to gain control over Ukraine's energy system. Nuclear power generates more than 60% of Ukraine's electricity. Thus, by controlling the nuclear facilities, Moscow would have influence over Ukraine's population and economy.

Finally, Moscow wanted to control the Ukrainian nuclear facilities so as to have "leverage for blackmailing" European countries. By threatening Europe with radiation pollution from potential accidents, the Kremlin hoped to deter direct or indirect foreign intervention.

A Russian serviceman at the Zaporizhzhia plant in May 2022.

Moreover, to deal with any Ukrainian provinces that refused to cooperate with the proxy government Moscow was planning to install, the Russians planned to weaponize the captured nuclear power plants to cut off electricity to those regions.

Moscow's goal was the "denuclearization" of Ukraine through the capture and control of its nuclear power plants, along with the destruction of Ukraine's national identity and of Ukraine's military forces and defense industry, according to the RUSI report.

Moscow also incorporated Ukraine's nuclear power facilities into its information operations.

In trying to justify the illegal and brutal invasion of its neighbor, Russia went to extremes, calling for "de-nazification" of its neighbor and making allegations about the presence of "American Pentagon biolaboratories."

Moscow also seized on Ukraine's peaceful nuclear power program — a legacy of the Soviet Union — to accuse Kyiv wanting to restore its nuclear weapons program and thereby threaten Russia. Ukraine was left with nuclear weapons after the Soviet Union dissolved, but leaders in Kyiv, who didn't have the ability to use those weapons or funds to maintain them, gave them up in 1994 in exchange for security assurances from the US, the UK, and Russia.

Fighting in a nuclear plantThe Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on August 29.

Although Russia's military failed to achieve any of its primary invasion objectives, it did manage to capture the Zaporizhzhia plant.

In a firefight recorded by cameras at the plant, Russian forces are seen storming and capturing Europe's largest nuclear power plant, partially achieving Moscow's goals.

Over the following weeks and months, the Russian military moved more troops into the area and housed them on the plant's premises.

Fighting in the region around the plant continued, and artillery fire frequently landed in and around the facility. Russian troops also stored equipment and weapons in and around the Zaporizhzhia plant.

A damaged administrative building at the Zaporizhzhia plant in March 2022.

Russian forces still control the Zaporizhzhia plant, but Ukraine has fended off Russian attacks on its other nuclear power facilities.

Russian forces tried to capture the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in southern Ukraine but were repelled, though the facility came under artillery fire in the fall that struck a few hundred yards from its nuclear reactors.

After almost a year of fighting and the deaths of tens of thousands of Russian troops, it's evident that Putin's plans for Ukraine failed miserably, and there are other signs that Ukraine and the world thinks those ambitions are thwarted for good.

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently established a permanent presence at the Pivdennoukrainsk plant, a sign of confidence in Ukraine's ability to hold off future Russian attacks.

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is working toward a master's degree in strategy and cybersecurity at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies.

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Firefighters smashed the window of a driverless Cruise taxi to stop it running over their hoses

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:27am
A Cruise car ran over a fire hose in June 2022.
  • Firefighters smashed the front window of a Cruise autonomous car to stop it from running over hoses.
  • Another Cruise car ran over a fire hose when it was in use at an active fire scene in June 2022.
  • The incidents were noted in a letter sent by San Francisco officials to regulators on Wednesday.

 


San Francisco firefighters smashed the front window of a Cruise driverless taxi to stop it from running over their hoses.

A Cruise autonomous vehicle drove toward fire hoses on the ground in the area of active firefighting on January 21, the city's transport officials said in a letter to regulators on Wednesday.

"Firefighters on the scene made efforts to prevent the Cruise AV from driving over their hoses and were not able to do so until they shattered a front window of the Cruise AV," the letter says.

Only Cruise experts can disengage the AV from autonomous mode and immobilize the vehicle, according to a video posted on Cruise's official YouTube channel. It also says when its cars are in manual mode, they can be placed in park or neutral. 

A similar incident occurred in June 2022 when a self-driving Cruise car ran over a fire hose that was in use, the letter says. It also said that driving over a fire hose violates California's Vehicle Code and can "seriously injure firefighters."

The letter was sent to California's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in response to requests from self-driving car operators Cruise and Waymo to increase their driverless operations. However, the city recommended that the impact of similar incidents is "likely to expand" if its requests are approved. 

The officials warned the Commission that a large number of San Francisco travelers could be affected if it authorized Waymo and Cruise to increase operations.

Driverless taxis currently have permission to operate in certain areas at certain times.

The majority of unplanned travel lane stops by autonomous vehicles reported to them in December involved Cruise cars and not Waymo's, the city said. They added that the lower number of complaints involving Waymo cars did not reflect "superior Waymo performance" but may reflect fewer driverless vehicle miles traveled.

A Waymo spokesperson told Insider, "These letters are a standard part of the regulatory process, and we have long appreciated a healthy dialogue with city officials and government agencies in California. Waymo will have the opportunity to reply in our submission to the CPUC next week. Beyond that, we look forward to discussing these issues through our continued partnership with public stakeholders."

Cruise did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside typical working hours. 

 

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The crew on Netflix's 'Pamela, a Love Story' documentary were instructed never to mention 'Pam & Tommy'

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:19am
Pamela Anderson.
  • Ryan White said Pamela Anderson was traumatized "for months" over Hulu's "Pam & Tommy."
  • The "Pamela, a Love Story" director told Insider he tried to "avoid" the show when filming with her.
  • "We made sure our crew knew never to bring it up," he said.

In the Netflix documentary on Pamela Anderson, "Pamela, a Love Story," we get a glimpse of the actor and model beyond the celebrity aura that made her one of the most famous people on the planet in the 1990s and 2000s.

But we also see how the star reacted in the lead-up to the airing of the Hulu series, "Pam & Tommy," which looked at the infamous sex tape between Anderson and then-husband Tommy Lee.

Like the initial bootleg release of the sex tape on VHS and online in the late 1990s, Anderson was furious about the series that would once more make her relive the experience.

"Pamela, a Love Story" director Ryan White said the lead-up to the show "traumatized her for months."

"You never know with Pamela how she's going to take things," White told Insider. "She took that so hard and so emotionally. It was awful."

"It was the elephant in the room that we would try to avoid if we were shooting with her," White continued.

In fact, he said he gave instructions to the crew.

"We made sure our crew knew never to bring it up," he said.

Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee and Lily James as Pamela Anderson in "Pam & Tommy."

However, there is a brief moment in the documentary when Anderson does speak about the show on camera. It's after her son Brandon calls her to say that he's watched the first three episodes.

She gets off the phone and is visibly upset.

"I blocked that out of my life," she said of the sex tape. "I had to in order to survive, really. It was a survival mechanism,"

"Now that it's all coming up again, I feel sick from my whole stomach — from the middle of my chest all the way down to my stomach," she continued. "My stomach feels right now like it's just been punched."

In 1997, Anderson and the Mötley Crüe drummer settled a lawsuit with the company that released the sex tape online. Despite constant rumors that the couple intentionally leaked the sex tape and profited from it, Anderson has always said that the home video footage that was used to create the sex tape was stolen from their house and she's never received any money from the distribution of the tape.

In an interview with Variety last week, Anderson called the creators of "Pam & Tommy" "assholes."

"Salt on the wound," she continued. "You still owe me a public apology."

"Pamela, a Love Story" premieres Tuesday on Netflix.

 

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A Florida OnlyFans model is suing her local school district, saying sexually explicit images of her were shared among staff at her children's school

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:07am
Victoria Triece, an OnlyFans model in Florida.
  • A Florida OnlyFans model is suing her local school district.
  • She says in a complaint that explicit images of her were shared among staff at her children's school.
  • She's claiming cyber-harassment and invasion of privacy, among other things, per the complaint.

A Florida OnlyFans model is suing her local school district, saying sexually explicit images of her were shared among staff at her children's school.

Victoria Triece, 31, is seeking damages from Orange County Public Schools, citing cyber-harassment and invasion of privacy, a complaint, filed Tuesday, says.

According to the complaint, Triece displays sexually explicit images on her OnlyFans site, but "reasonably expected" these images "would not be shared with teachers, principals," and school district staff. 

As a result of the dissemination of the images, Triece "has suffered shame, humiliation, mental anguish, hurt feelings, and aggravation," the complaint says.

Orange County Public Schools didn't respond to a request for comment from Insider. A spokesperson for the district told other media it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The complaint says Triece had been an "active volunteer" at Orange County schools for five years.

It says that in October 2021, she was instructed by the principal of Sand Lake Elementary School, which her children attend, that she "could no longer be around children on school grounds."

"These instructions came from the Orange County Public School Board," the complaint says, adding that the action had harmed "her right to attend functions with her children" on district property and thereby "caused losses" to her.

The complaint says Triece is seeking in damages in excess of $50,000 and has requested a trial by jury.

It's the second time Triece has launched legal action against the district. Judge Paetra Brownlee dismissed the first lawsuit in March 2022, saying Triece didn't show "a clear legal right to participate" in the volunteering program.

When contacted for comment, Triece referred Insider to her lawyer, who didn't immediately respond.  

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Should you warm your car up in the winter before driving? I spoke with more than 30 mechanics and couldn't get a straight answer.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 10:01am
When warming up your car in the winter, experts said to consider the environment and maintaining the engine.
  • Car manufacturers don't have consistent advice on how long you should idle your car in the cold.
  • So it's no wonder mechanics don't all agree on the subject, either.
  • Generally speaking, idling your car for about 30 seconds when it's cold can help it run smoothly.

It's cold outside and you're running late. Is it OK to just start your car and go, or should you wait for the engine to warm up a bit before hitting the road?

This winter, I've often found myself in this predicament and it's made me wonder whether my impatience — and poor time management — is taking a toll on my car, or the environment.

So, I did what anyone might do: I called my mechanic. Then for good measure, I called a second mechanic. To my surprise, they had completely different pieces of advice.

One said to idle the car for three to five minutes before driving while the other said I didn't need to wait at all. I called a third mechanic to settle the matter, but he merely told me something entirely different, which was to wait 30-60 seconds.

At that point, I was on a mission. I called half a dozen mechanics across half a dozen states for some semblance of clarity. I got recommendations that ranged from 0 seconds to 10 minutes.

Why all the confusion?Massive snowstorm hit Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on January 25, 2023. The storm is expected to drop between 20-25 centimeters total snowfall accumulation across the Greater Toronto Area and officials are calling the most significant winter storm of the season so far.

It's no wonder there's confusion. But, let me first say it's not because of the common myth: that cars before the 1980s ran on carburetors, which had to be warmed up for several minutes in the cold or they would stall out, and therefore modern engines need the same (they don't).

It's true carburetor engines and the cold don't get along, but it's not why the more than 30 mechanics I spoke with couldn't agree on how long I should warm up my 2013 Honda Civic. They obviously knew my Honda doesn't have a carburetor.

The confusion falls somewhat on car manufacturers.

In a report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, researchers compiled idling recommendations from owner's manuals across various makes including Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, BMW, Lincoln, and many more.

Some manufacturers lacked any advice on idling time — my Honda's owner's manual falls into this category. Others like Ford and Chevrolet recommended idling for no more than 30 seconds after starting.

Whereas Infinity and Nissan advised idling for at least 30 seconds. And Toyota suggested idling for "some dozens of seconds" — whatever that means.

So, how long you should idle your car in the cold seems to depend on the make of your vehicle. But if you're like me, and your owner's manual lacks any advice, here is a good rule of thumb.

A good rule of thumb that takes the environment into account: about 30 seconds

Despite the debate about whether optimal idling time is more, less, or around 30 seconds — that 30 seconds seems to be a good rule of thumb to follow for most drivers on cold days.

This is because the motor oil in your car drains to the engine's bottom after the car's been sitting for more than several hours. When you start the ignition, the oil moves through the engine lubricating the pistons, cylinders, and other moving parts. On a warm, sunny day, that process happens almost instantaneously, but when it's cold out, the oil moves slightly slower, and therefore needs a little more time.

How much time is where mechanics diverge on the subject, but around 30 seconds is the general consensus for modern engines. On extremely cold days you may need about a minute, but no more. Why a few mechanics told me this process takes five to 10 minutes, I do not know.

What I can say is if you idle much longer than 30-60 seconds, you're just wasting gas and money. For every two minutes you spend idling, you lose one mile in gas mileage, which, depending on car type and fuel prices, can cost anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars a year on wasted gas.

Idling also doesn't properly charge the car battery, and can shorten battery life. Moreover, it contaminates your motor oil, the Oak Ridge report pointed out, leading to more oil changes than you'd otherwise need.

And last but not least, you're unnecessarily polluting the environment.

"You have more emissions when the engine is idling rather than when it's driving," which is worse for the environment and why over half of US states have laws against idling, said Bassem Ramadan, department head and professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. 

What mechanics agree on: don't floor it right awayA car.

Whether they tell you to idle for 10 seconds or 10 minutes, every mechanic agrees that you should not floor the accelerator when you first start driving in the cold.

The cold causes metal in your engine to contract, which leaves tiny gaps between the moving parts that can strain it, said Phil Carpenter, director of operations at Urban Autocare and Avalon Motorsports in Colorado.

"Everything in an engine has tight tolerances," Carpenter said. After the car warms up, "all the metal expands, and things start to fit back to the way they're supposed to actually fit."

Gunning your engine already strains it even when everything is running smoothly. When you gun it and those gaps are there, it's a lot worse, Carpenter said. "That's when your turbo can fail in that 60-to-90-thousand-mile range. It's not a guarantee … but the likelihood is higher."

Ramadan said, depending on weather conditions, it can take around five minutes after you start driving to get a car up to temperature. If you idle the car instead, it'll take longer.

This is also why, even for people who defend long idle times to warm their cabins for comfort and defrost their windshields, it's unequivocally better to drive than to idle because your car will warm up much faster when it's moving.

Yes, you'll be cold for those first few minutes and you may need to drive slowly around the block a couple of times before getting on a main road to give your defroster time to heat up.

But at the end of the day, you'll save some money and help the environment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Patients got used to emailing their doctors with health questions during the pandemic. Now hospitals are charging them.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:52am
Amazon Clinic.
  • Hospitals are charging patients for their emails and other correspondence with doctors. 
  • Some hospital officials say the strategy increases healthcare access, but advocates worry charges could deter patients who need care. 
  • One study found that patient emails decreased following the implementation of paid correspondence. 

Patients got used to emailing their doctors for quick answers to health questions during the Covid pandemic. But for some patients, those messages are getting costly. 

Hospitals nationwide have begun to charge for emails and other correspondence with their doctors, the Associated Press reported. Charges can range from as little as $3 to as much as $100, according to NewsNation. 

"Every 15 or 20 dollars matters, because her money is running out," Nina McCollum, who helps care for her 80-year-old mother, told the New York Times. 

After Covid led patients to avoid crowded hospitals and waiting rooms, and condense what used to be in-person visits to emails and video calls, hospitals say doctors spent more time responding to health question emails and messages, the Associated Press reported. The solution for hospital systems across the country has been charging for some of those offsite communications. 

"It's really been a win-win for our physicians and our patients," LeTesha Montgomery, senior vice president for system patient access at Houston Methodist, told the New York TImes. "So, it actually helped us increase access for our patients."

But advocates worry the strategy will lead patients to avoid seeking care when they need it, for fear of being charged. 

"This is a barrier that denies access and will result in hesitancy or fear to communicate and potentially harm patients with lower quality of care and outcomes at a much higher cost," Cynthia Fisher, the founder of a Massachusetts healthcare advocacy non-profit, told the Associated Press.  

A report published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine this month found that patients at one San Francisco hospital began to email doctors slightly less after paid communication was implemented. 

Researchers in the article implied the drop in messages may have been a result of patients' "awareness of the possibility of being billed," the report reads. 

"Increasing levels of communication and interactions with patients is a good thing," Dr. Kedar Mate, chief executive at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, told the New York Times. "And I worry about disincentivizing that by creating a financial barrier."

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8 Netflix movies have been nominated for the best picture Oscar since the streamer broke into the race in 2018

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:15am
Leonardo DiCaprio in "Don't Look Up."
  • Eight Netflix movies have been nominated for the best picture Oscar over the years.
  • The streaming company has never won the Oscars' top prize, though.
  • Streamers fell short in this year's Oscar nominations compared to recent years.

Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, and Netflix managed to continue its streak of getting into the best picture race, thanks to its German war movie "All Quiet on the Western Front."

Overall, though, streamers fell short compared to recent years. Netflix nabbed 16 overall nominations compared to a leading 27 last year.

It follows a streaming company winning best picture for the first time last year, when Apple prevailed for its movie "CODA" a little more than two years after launching Apple TV+.

The lack of streaming recognition could signal a potential shift in priorities for the streaming industry. Netflix's most popular movies mostly go unrecognized at the Oscars. Amazon has seemingly abandoned a robust theatrical strategy. And Apple already has the Oscars' top prize.

Eight Netflix movies have been nominated for best picture since 2018, as the company attracted high-profile filmmakers in recent years like Martin Scorsese and David Fincher.

The eight movies have nabbed 67 nominations combined with just a handful of wins between them.

It hasn't been without trying on Netflix's part. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2020 that Netflix was spending an estimated $100 million on its Oscars campaign. The year before that, Vulture reported that it had spent up to $60 million.

Below are Netflix's eight movies that have been nominated for best picture, including how many total nominations and wins they received:

"Roma" (2018)Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Description: "Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker's journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: "'Roma' ebbs and flows, its quiet, episodic moments connected by near-epic images and themes, until the distinction becomes impossible (and unnecessary) to make. It's a symphony — a cohesive piece, without a single note out of place." — Polygon

Total nominations: 10

  • Picture
  • Director — Alfonso Cuarón (won)
  • Foreign language film (won)
  • Cinematography (won)
  • Lead actress — Yalitza Aparicio
  • Supporting actress — Marina de Tavira
  • Original screenplay
  • Production design
  • Sound editing
  • Sound mixing
"The Irishman" (2019)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Description: "Hit man Frank Sheeran looks back at the secrets he kept as a loyal member of the Bufalino crime family in this acclaimed film from Martin Scorsese."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

What critics said: "It is to gangster movies what John Ford's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' was to westerns. Without a doubt, it's a masterpiece." — San Francisco Chronicle

Total nominations: 10

  • Picture
  • Director — Martin Scorsese
  • Supporting actor — Al Pacino
  • Supporting actor — Joe Pesci
  • Adapted screenplay
  • Cinematography
  • Production design
  • Costume design
  • Film editing
  • Visual effects
"Marriage Story" (2019)

Director: Noah Baumbach

Description: "Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach directs this incisive and compassionate look at a marriage coming apart and a family staying together."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

What critics said: "Baumbach's main characters are written and acted straight as befits their personal integrity, but the rest of Marriage Story is done in a satirist's broad strokes — a penetrating, often inspired satirist." — Vulture

Total nominations: Six

  • Picture
  • Supporting actress — Laura Dern (won)
  • Lead actor — Adam Driver
  • Lead actress — Scarlett Johansson
  • Original screenplay
  • Original score
"Mank" (2020)"Mank" was directed by David Fincher

Director: David Fincher

Description: "1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish 'Citizen Kane.'"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "Mank is a tale of triumph, the kind that's been told countless times on the silver screen, but never quite with this moving blend of realism and regret." — The Atlantic

Total nominations: 10

  • Picture
  • Cinematography (won)
  • Production design (won)
  • Director — David Fincher
  • Lead actor — Gary Oldman
  • Supporting actress — Amanda Seyfried
  • Sound
  • Original score
  • Makeup and hairstyling
  • Costume design
"The Trial of the Chicago 7" (2020)

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Description: "What was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned into a violent clash with the police. What followed was one of the most notorious trials in history."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: "The movie is effective in spite of its foibles. It's an ensemble piece that tells a complex story cleanly. And even its missteps hint as to why Sorkin chose to return to this historical moment now." — Vox

Total nominations: Six

  • Picture
  • Supporting actor — Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Original screenplay
  • Film editing
  • Cinematography
  • Original song
"Don't Look Up" (2021)Jennifer Lawrence in "Don't Look Up."

Director: Adam McKay

Description: "Two astronomers go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth. The response from a distracted world: Meh."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 55%

What critics said: "Don't Look Up is a blunt instrument in lieu of a sharp razor, and while McKay may believe that we're long past subtlety, it doesn't mean that one man's wake-up-sheeple howl into the abyss is funny, or insightful, or even watchable." — Rolling Stone

Total nominations: Four

  • Picture
  • Original screenplay
  • Film editing
  • Original score
"The Power of the Dog" (2021)Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Power of The Dog."

Director: Jane Campion

Description: "A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother's new wife and her teen son — until long-hidden secrets come to light."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

What critics said: "'The Power of the Dog' builds tremendous force, gaining its momentum through the harmonious discord of its performances, the nervous rhythms of Jonny Greenwood's score and the grandeur of its visuals." — New York Times

Total nominations: 12

  • Picture
  • Director — Jane Campion (won)
  • Lead actor — Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Supporting actress — Kirsten Dunst
  • Supporting actor — Kodi Smit-McPhee
  • Supporting actor — Jesse Plemons
  • Adapted screenplay
  • Production design
  • Sound
  • Cinematography
  • Film editing
  • Original score
"All Quiet on the Western Front" (2022)Felix Kammerer and Albrecht Schuch in "All Quiet on the Western Front."

Director: Edward Berger

Description: "When 17-year-old Paul joins the Western Front in World War I, his initial excitement is soon shattered by the grim reality of life in the trenches."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

What critics said: "A film that feels both aesthetically dazzling and full of necessary truths: an antiwar drama that transcends the bombast of propaganda mostly just because it's so artfully and indelibly made." — Entertainment Weekly

Total nominations: 9

  • Picture
  • International feature
  • Adapted screenplayy
  • Makeup and hairstyling
  • Visual effects
  • Original score
  • Sound
  • Cinematography
  • Production design
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I'm an airport baggage handler. We're not sitting around when your bags are late — we're hustling as hard as we can behind the scenes.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:14am
  • Rachel Bacha is a 23-year-old airport baggage handler in Boise, Idaho.
  • Bacha gets to see the "behind the scenes" of how airports function and finds it really interesting. 
  • "If I could tell the public anything, it's that we work hard to make sure your bags are on time," she says.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Rachel Bacha, a 23-year-old baggage handler in Boise, Idaho. It has been edited for length and clarity.

When people ask what I do for work, I usually just say I work in aviation. If they ask more questions, I'll tell them that I'm actually a baggage handler. I've been one for four years. 

People are usually really surprised because they don't think of a young woman when they think of a baggage handler, but I really love my job.

My favorite part of being a baggage handler is working with airplanes

I get to see the "behind the scenes" of how airports function, and it's really interesting. It also gives me some useful insight for when I'm traveling.

For example, if my flight is delayed, I'll look down at the ramp to see what's going on and estimate how long the delay will actually be. I also get standby flight benefits, which I recently used to fly to and from Paris.

When I'm working, sometimes I'll look up at the plane and be astonished. It's wild to see a massive aircraft and realize my job is part of the ecosystem that keeps it running. When I have to get up before dawn for a shift, it can be really cold, but then I watch the sun rise over the airplanes and it's all worth it.

I work two different kinds of shifts as a baggage handler

One is a "mid" shift, which is usually from about 2 in the afternoon to 8 in the evening. I also work morning shifts which are from 4 in the morning to 11 in the morning.

On one shift, I check the flight map for the day and see what planes are coming in and when. I do this so I know where I need to be to unload the bags, and either scan them onto the next leg of their journey or take them to baggage claim. 

On Fridays and Saturdays, I work in the 'bag room'

I have to wake up at 2:45 a.m. to clock in for my shift at 3:50 a.m., and in the bag room, there can be hundreds of bags dropping from the plane at the same time. Sometimes I walk 17,000 steps on the days that I work.

Once the bags drop, I sort them according to their next location. It can get chaotic, because sometimes people check multiple bags.

People can check their bags up to four hours before their flight, which means I have to sort bags for all the flights that are leaving within four hours. I read the tags and make sure each bag gets on the right cart to go to the next correct destination. It's my fault if it goes on the wrong cart and is sent to the wrong city.

The job can be pretty physically demanding

I'm active outside of work, so I don't usually get too sore from baggage handling. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were suddenly no flights and no bags because people weren't really traveling.

When people started traveling again, more flights were added to the schedule, and it got so busy again. There were so many bags! 

I've started sharing my experiences of being a baggage handler on TikTokI started making the videos because my family wanted to see what I was doing at work, and then the videos took off, and now I have almost 45,000 followers.

People really like baggage handler content, and I do fun videos like rating people's suitcases. I also show people what I wear and what I do during a shift.

I never thought anyone would be interested in what I do as a baggage handler, but that's what makes TikTok so cool. It's full of these niche worlds that you can look inside, even if they may seem strange to you.

I've loved being able to share my work online

The first TikTok I ever shared that blew up was me rating people's bags. People ask me for more bag rating videos all the time, and it's so fun.

It's interesting because I often get people in my comments asking how they can apply or what they can do to get a job like mine. I never thought people would be this interested!

We work as hard as we can behind the scenes to make sure your bags are on time and everything is running smoothly

If I could tell the general public anything, it's that. If you have to wait a long time at baggage claim, just know that behind the scenes, everyone is hustling and working really hard to find a solution as quickly as possible.

I feel like people think we're just sitting around in the back when their bags are late, but we're not. We're doing everything we can, but not everything is in our control.

I don't know how long I'll continue to be a baggage handler

I know it can be tough on my body, but I love it. I think my work as a baggage handler has changed my future path. Now I think I want to stay in aviation.

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I was working toward a promotion at Amazon when my manager started emailing me about needing coaching. Now I'm worried about losing my job.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:10am
A corporate marketing manager at Amazon said they started getting strange communication from their manager and are worried their job is in danger.
  • Amazon told a marketing manager that they were a high-value contributor
  • Later emails from their boss then said that they were underperforming and needed coaching.
  • A coworker said the person might be on a coaching program for underperformers called "Focus."

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with an Amazon employee. Though the employee asked to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak to the media, their identity is known to Insider.

I joined Amazon as a marketing manager in 2021. They have a big-brand reputation, so I was excited for the opportunity.

Toward the end of 2022, I let my manager know that I would like to be promoted and that I was raising my hand for any and all projects. I didn't want to lose momentum.

My manager said "Yes, we love that energy. We have all these great things that are a good fit for your skillset that we need to get working on. Let's get you signed up for them."

I immediately took on two high-profile projects for our team. Everything was working well. I started my promotion doc, which is a document explaining why an Amazon employee is ready for a promotion. In my performance review, I was told that I was a high-value contributor and one of the best on the team. I was training other team members, receiving positive accolades, and taking on big projects.

'It just seemed un-Amazonian'

But in December, team processes started changing. There was a lot of miscommunication. Things were getting moved up and reprioritized.

We would be told, "Upload this here," then "No, upload this here," and "This project's prioritized," then "No, this project's prioritized."

For example, we were transitioning to using Asana. By the day after beginning the transition, managers were asking, "Why isn't everyone's stuff in Asana?" It felt like a harsh, micromanaging turn of events that happened in a one- to two-week period.

One thing that's in the ethos at Amazon is you're supposed to be allowed to make mistakes. Management is supposed to support employees so they can try new things and fail. So, if it's something as simple as, "Hey, let's all try this new thing in Asana," and then the next day, you're told you're horrible at Asana and that you're being put on a coaching plan, it just seemed un-Amazonian.

'I started getting strange communication from my manager'

By the end of December, I started getting strange communication from my manager.

We would have a conversation like this: "Hey, how did this go?" "Oh, looks great. Here's where we're at." "Good. Can you do this?" "Yes, I can." This was a typical one-on-one meeting.

Then a recap email would come through. In the email, my manager would say something like, "I thought our one-on-one meeting yesterday was less productive than I would've liked. Here are the actions I would like to see going forward. Here's where I would like to see you improve communication. Here's where I would like to see you deliver results."

None of this had been mentioned in the meeting. I'd never seen this from a manager at Amazon. This was not feedback that I'd ever received in my career. I would think, "Were we having the same conversation? Were you speaking to an alien just now?"

And none of the points in there were valid. For example, my manager said that I didn't deliver part of a project by the deadline. And I had not only delivered it in our one-on-one meeting that morning, but I had also marked it complete in Asana, which is how we track all our documents. She was telling me it wasn't complete enough because I didn't verbally communicate it to her.

My manager also let me know that if I looked for other roles within Amazon, the hiring manager would have to obtain VP-level approval for my transfer. Obviously, I was looking internally at this point because I was not happy on this team. I was thinking, "Is my manager monitoring me?"

I felt like I was in "The Twilight Zone."

That's when I knew something was wrong. My manager was documenting this for someone else's eyes.

'You might be being put into Focus'

I approached a coworker and said, "I just got this email from my manager an hour or two ago. What is this?" She said, "You might be being put into Focus" because my manager had mentioned something about how I was not meeting expectations for my role.

At the time, I thought it was just me. Then I realized that colleagues on my immediate team were getting the same feedback. In fact, every third person I talked to at Amazon was experiencing the same thing.

In the last couple of weeks, I've realized that, alongside the 18,000 reported layoffs, there has been an unreported attrition number that they are trying to hit through performance plans. It's called unregretted attrition, or URA.

This year, I heard, Amazon is unofficially trying to get rid of an extra 10% to 12% of the corporate workforce this way. And I heard there's going to be a second wave of employees who managers could let go in March, after documenting that the employees were not meeting expectations.

In January, I got another, similar email from my manager.

I sent an email back that refuted each and every one of the points in the second email. I had dates; I had screenshots of the Asana statuses.

'Amazon is not taking care of its people'

I was prepared to be laid off in January, but I wasn't. I was not prepared to watch a lot of good people go.

As a marketer, I admire so much about the company and its potential and history. But right now, I'm feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned. I feel like Amazon is not taking care of its people

When you look at what people say about the Focus program on Blind, it's like you either quit, or you subject yourself to ongoing ridicule and shame. But I don't want some completely arbitrary, terrible, and shady program dominating my situation. That, to me, sounds demeaning as hell. I'm not standing for that.

Amazon didn't respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

George Santos' ex-boyfriend said he lived with the congressman and his wife while they were still married but thought the couple were just friends at the time: 'We all used to go party together'

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:06am
Rep. George Santos in the House chamber.
  • Pedro Vilarva, who met Santos in 2014, said he lived with Santos' wife unaware that the pair were married.
  • Vilarva said that he had no proof of whether or not the marriage between Santos and his wife was real.
  • Vilarva also agreed with the statement that Santos was a pathological liar.

An ex-boyfriend of Republican Rep. George Santos said he had no idea the congressman was married when they first started dating — even after moving in together with Santos and his then-wife in her apartment.

Pedro Vilarva, who was 18 in 2014 when he met Santos, described the living situation in an interview with Insider on Friday. Santos, who is now openly gay, was 26 at the time and married to a woman.

"When I moved to New York, I was living in her apartment. I lived for a whole month in her apartment. For me, they were friends. They knew each other, we all used to go party together, we went to events together," Vilarva said.

Vilarva said that he eventually discovered the pair were married, but Santos told him that he was planning to divorce his wife.

"I was a little bit shocked, but when he told me he was getting a divorce, I was waiting... But then he never got the divorce until a couple years back," Vilarva said.

Vilarva said he had no proof whether or not the marriage between Santos and his wife was genuine. He also said that while Santos and he were dating, his wife was dating another man as well.

Between 2012 and 2019, records obtained from the Daily Beast revealed Santos was married to Uadla Santos. Santos divorced her weeks before his first run for Congress in 2020.

Vilarva and Santos met in 2014, and Santos announced an engagement party with Vilarva that same year. Vilarva, however, told the Daily Beast that the engagement party did not happen and that he had rejected Santos' proposals. "He asked me 3x but I didn't accept it," Vilarva told the Beast via text. "There was never a party [or] anything in regards to it."

Vilarva eventually left Santos in early 2015 after uncovering multiple false statements that Santos had told him and discovering that Santos had been investigated by Brazilian authorities for fraud. 

Santos, newly elected to New York's 3rd congressional district, has spent weeks in the spotlight after dozens of his lies have come to light. He lied about his education and work experience, once performed as a drag queen, which he has denied, and obscured the truth about his religious beliefs by claiming to be "Jew-ish."

When asked by Insider if Santos was a pathological liar, Vilarva said yes, stating that Santos would lie to "cover up" his other lies.

"One lie leads to another, Vilarva said. "He does that intentionally."

Vilarva has previously accused Santos of lying about purchasing plane tickets to Hawaii for him while they were dating and believes that Santos may have pawned off his phone.

Vilarva also questioned Santos' claim that his mother survived the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

"I was born on 9/11, in 1995; they knew that I was born on the day," Vilarva said. "We spent my birthday together. If they knew my birthday was on that day, wouldn't you reference that or say something about it? Like, 'By the way, I was a 9/11 survivor.' No, they never said anything, not him and not his mom."

As more of Santos' lies have been revealed, pressure is mounting on him to resign from his position in Congress. Vilarva agrees that he should resign, but doesn't think that will happen anytime soon. 

"His ego is too high," Vilarva said. "He always wanted power and fame, so he's not going to resign. He will not resign until they find something to get him out. But he should definitely resign."

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

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The cast of '1923' explain how the prequel has expanded the 'Yellowstone' universe in the most literal sense: 'If Taylor writes you are somewhere, you're shooting there'

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 9:00am
Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) and Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer) in "1923."
  • "1923" has expanded the "Yellowstone" universe — quite literally.
  • Unlike the Kevin Costner-led series and "1883," its storylines are scattered across several continents.
  • In a Paramount+ video and Insider exclusive, the cast and crew discuss the drama's global scope.

Since it exploded onto screens back in 2018, the "Yellowstone" universe has revolved around the titular ranch which is inexorably tied to the Dutton family. However, as audiences who have been tuning into the latest origin story "1923," already know, there's more to the Duttons' story than just Montana. 

From the very first episode, this compelling new chapter set itself apart from earlier prequel "1883," and the present-day set series led by Kevin Costner with its incredibly ambitious scope that features storylines scattered across several continents.

"The scale of what we're doing is so vast," Helen Mirren, who portrays the fearsome family matriarch Cara, says in an exclusive new Paramount+ video that takes viewers behind the scenes on the production. 

Her costar Harrison Ford, who plays Cara's husband Jacob Dutton, adds: "The epic quality of this is especially ambitious. I'm always amazed at the logistical challenges that we're facing to make this as real as possible."

Filming for the series took place on location in Montana, Tanzania, South Africa, and Malta.

It seems that no expense has been spared to bring the world of "1923" to life, with creator Taylor Sheridan previously divulging that the eight-episode odyssey had a higher budget than many blockbuster movies. The four installments viewers have seen so far, which each cost $22 million to make, were shot on location in Africa and Europe, as well as North America. 

As Brandon Sklenar who plays the show's prodigal son, Spencer Dutton, says: "If Taylor writes you are somewhere, you're shooting there."

His character's storyline on the show so far has taken him on a journey across Africa's very different environs, from the wilderness of its plains and jungles to its stunning white beaches, as Spencer seeks out work as a hunter-for-hire for settlements plagued by big cats and other predators.

In some of the show's most breathtaking scenes, he and his character's love interest Julia Schlaepfer have appeared alongside towering elephants, giraffes, and other wildlife.

"It is so authentic," Schlaepfer says, adding that she shares in her character's sense of wonderment when shooting these particular scenes. 

"When we're standing on a cliff in South Africa looking at the mountains and the animals and there are giraffes wandering onto our set and she's talking about how she didn't realize the world was so big and how small it makes her feel, that's Julia feeling those things," she says with a laugh. "That's me feeling those things as well."

There's no doubt that the world that has been created around the characters is incredibly immersive, and that's also thanks in part to costume designer Janie Bryant who was tasked with designing for a cast made up of thousands when you include the many background actors who she says "help set the world for the principal actors."

Scenes filmed in Africa saw real wildlife wander on to set, the cast say.

"As an actor, it's a blessing," Sklenar says. "Putting on the wardrobe is great and shooting in actual port in Africa with 20 period boats and cars and 200 background. You don't have to do much. Your imagination is free to be involved in the text and you get to show up and you're fully immersed."

The series is set to make its return on Sunday, February 5 with a new episode that will see Spencer and Alexandra leave their African idyll behind as they have now learned about the tragedy that has befallen the Duttons back home — but not before a "few little surprises," set decorator Carla Curry teases.

Without giving too much away, stunt coordinator Jason Rodriguez says: "I'm really excited about the water sequence, the boat sequence. I think it's gonna look great. Anytime you can put your actors in these spots, it's the icing on the cake. It's just the best."

As the mid-season trailer has shown, it won't be smooth sailing back to America for the pair as it looks like Spencer might have to face off against another man-eating animal while at sea: a shark.

Before viewers get too worried, though, it's worth remembering, as Mirren says in the video, "the journey is far from over."

Check out the cast and crew discussing the global journey of "1923" in the video below:

"1923" is streaming on Paramount+. New episodes will drop on Sundays beginning February 5.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A high school basketball coach is still out $10,000 after Southwest canceled a flight and left his whole team stranded in Las Vegas for 5 days over Christmas. They ended up chartering a bus to drive 18 hours home in the snow.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 8:47am
The Rainier Beach High School boys basketball team.
  • A Seattle high school basketball team spent Christmas in Vegas after a canceled Southwest flight.
  • The coaches spent days and thousands of dollars taking care of the players and trying to get them home.
  • In the end, a businessman paid nearly $15,000 to charter a bus to bring them home.

An entire high school basketball team from Seattle, Washington, ended up stranded in Las Vegas for five days over Christmas after Southwest canceled their flight and left them scrambling to get home, spending thousands of dollars, and eventually driving 18 hours on a bus through the snow.

The Rainer Beach High School team, a powerhouse that has produced several NBA players under its current coaching staff, was in Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic, an elite annual tournament attended by NBA executives and scouts.

The trip was planned months in advance for December 19 to 23 and was attended by more than 30 people, including 15 players, coaching staff, and some parents. But in the early morning of December 23, just hours before it was time to head to the airport, they got a text from Southwest Airlines saying their flight was canceled.

"In most cases, the airline would go ahead and reschedule you," Michael Bethea, the team's head coach, told Insider. "When I contacted the airline, it was basically, to sum it up, 'You're on your own.'"

Bethea and his wife, Virginia Bethea, who also works at the school as a family support specialist, would spend the next five days traveling back and forth from the airport, trying to get the boys on flights home to Seattle, and in the meantime covering costs of the hotel rooms, rental cars, and food. The couple said altogether they spent over $10,000.

Other coaches, including assistant coach Harold Wright, also spent money and time taking care of and feeding the players, who were often sprawled out in the hotel lobby waiting to find out if they'd make it home for Christmas. Meanwhile, some of the parents and coaches were worried about losing their jobs due to missing work.

After many hours of trying to get help from the airline, Southwest said it could try splitting up the team and getting them out on separate flights — but not necessarily to Seattle.

"They were going to put us on flights to nowhere. They were going to send eight kids to Phoenix with no connecting flight to Seattle, eight kids to Sacramento with no connecting flights," Bethea said. "So I said, 'That's your answer? What are they supposed to do once they get there?"

"Well, we're getting them on planes," Southwest responded, according to Bethea.

The Rainier Beach High School boys basketball team stuck in Vegas.

Eventually, they worked out a situation to send the players on flights to Seattle in groups, each accompanied by an adult, on separate planes and even separate days, but every one of those flights also got canceled.

Finally, after being stuck in Vegas over Christmas and being told by Southwest the earliest they could fly out was December 31 — more than a week after their initial flight — the Betheas spoke to a friend of theirs and a local businessman from back home who wanted to help.

"He was like, 'I just want to get those kids home safely,'" Virginia Bethea said. "And he doesn't even know these kids."

The man paid nearly $15,000 to charter a bus, which they got at a discount, to drive the entire team, staff, and family members 18 hours home to Seattle, at times through the snow and sketchy road conditions, on December 28.

'We're really going to miss Christmas with our families?'

When the original flight was first canceled, the coaches initially tried to be optimistic that the team would still make it home for Christmas. But reality eventually sunk in. During a team meeting, one of the coaches with two kids in grade school had to walk out of the room because they were crying.

"A lot of the kids were honestly in disbelief, like, 'We're really going to miss Christmas with our families?'" Bethea said.

Still, the team tried to make the most of the situation, including by taking everyone to a buffet dinner on Christmas day. Michael and Virginia Bethea even went out and bought each of the kids a Christmas gift.

"It kind of brightened up everybody's attitude," assistant coach Wright said. "They still felt like they were worthy of something."

"Christmas is a big deal for most of these kids," he explained, adding that it's the first time they get new sneakers or other things.

The team took a bus 18 hours home to Seattle, driving through snowy roads.

Even though the coaches also missed their family Christmas plans, they said there were a lot of positives to come out of the situation.

"This is probably the best Christmas, in all honesty," Virginia Bethea said, adding "just to be able to serve people through this time. This is what Christmas is all about."

Wright said he also enjoyed getting to spend additional time with the players, becoming even more of a family and helping them feel better through tough circumstances.

"That's what I was trying to project into them: That through adversity, we can still manage a good situation," Wright said. "'Keep your heads up and we're going to get through this, but we're going to have to do it together."

The team will take more trips, but likely not on Southwest

As of Friday, the team had been partially refunded for the canceled flights but was still waiting on the full amount. They also said they were told they would be able to get some of the incidental expenses covered, but have not been told how much.

"The refunds for the team's outbound flights that were interrupted are in process for a full refund and the reimbursements are currently being reviewed for consideration," a spokesperson for Southwest told Insider, adding: "We continue to process requests daily to help make things right for this group of Customers and the others whose travel plans were disrupted."

The Betheas said the line to talk to a Southwest agent spanned the length of the terminal.

The team was among thousands of travelers across the country who experienced canceled flights over Christmas. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has said airlines were required to issue refunds "within seven business days if a passenger paid by credit card, and within 20 days if a passenger paid by cash, check, or other means." He also called on them to cover ground transportationhotelsand meals for stranded passengers.

The coaches said that when the initial flight was canceled, they struggled to even get a Southwest customer service agent on the phone. When they finally did, the agent apologized but didn't have any answers. Bethea said the first person he talked to spoke with him, and hung up on him, in two separate calls, and then: "The third time I called him he said, 'Is this Mr. Bethea?' I said, 'Yes.' And he hung up on me."

He said the team will continue to travel for national tournaments every year. They stressed the success of the school's basketball program under coach Bethea and assistant coach Wright, who have coached at the school for 28 years, and the opportunities it's provided the players.

"They put more Black boys in college than all high school basketball programs combined in the state of Washington," Virginia Bethea said. Her husband added that the program has been responsible for millions of dollars in educational scholarships that players have received.

So they will continue to maintain the program and travel to elite tournaments with the team. Just not on Southwest.

Have a news tip or a travel story to share? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jeremy Grantham warns of a massive stock market crash and highlights what to own in his 2023 outlook. Here are the 7 best quotes.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 8:45am
Jeremy Grantham.
  • Jeremy Grantham warned investors of the potential for a big stock market crash later this year.
  • The co-founder of GMO said the stock market bubble was entering its "final phase" and outlined what to own during the potential volatility.
  • Here are the seven best quotes from Grantham's 2023 stock market outlook letter.

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham warned investors of a potential stock market crash in his 2023 outlook letter that was published on Tuesday.

In his bear-case scenario, he warned of a potential 50% decline in the stock market this year as he believes valuations are still too high even after last year's 20% decline. Grantham's base-case scenario calls for the S&P 500 to fall 20% to 3,200 by the end of this year.

Despite the bearish outlook, he did say there were some parts of the market investors should own. These are the seven best quotes from his letter:

1. On stock market valuations

"While the most extreme froth has been wiped off the market, valuations are still nowhere near their long-term averages," Grantham said. "My calculations of trendline value of the S&P 500, adjusted upwards for trendline growth and for expected inflation, is about 3200 by the end of 2023. I believe it is likely (3 to 1) to reach that trend and spend at least some time below it this year or next."

2. On what could prevent a bear market in stocks

"A variety of factors – especially the under recognized and powerful Presidential Cycle, but also including subsiding inflation, the ongoing strength of the labor market, and the reopening of the Chinese economy – speak for the possibility of a pause or delay in the bear market."

3. On the long-term outlook for stocks

"The biggest picture remains that long-run issues of declining population, raw materials shortages, and rising damage from climate change are beginning to bite hard into growth prospects... over the next few years, given the change in the interest rate environment, the possibility of a downturn in global property markets poses frightening risks to the economy."

4. On the housing market

"The bursting of the global housing bubble, which is only just beginning, is likely to have a more painful economic knock-on effect than the decline in equities is having... Housing busts seem to take two or three times longer than for equities – from 2006 for example it took 6 years in the U.S. to reach a low – and housing is more directly plugged into the economy than equities through construction starts and associated expenditures."

5. On the worst-case scenario for stocks

"Regrettably there are more downside potentials than upside. In the worst case, if something does break and the world falls into a severe recession, the market could fall a stomach-turning 50% from here... Even the direst case of a 50% decline from here would leave us at just under 2000 on the S&P, or about 37% cheap. To put this in perspective, it would still be a far smaller percent deviation from trendline value than the overpricing we had at the end of 2021 of over 70%. So you shouldn't be tempted to think it absolutely cannot happen," Grantham said.

"If we... believe a recession will likely not start for 6 months to a year... we can conclude that the final low for this market might be well into 2024."

6. On timing a potential stock market decline 

"There are some complicating factors that seem quite likely to drag this bear market out... The important fact here that for 7 months of the Presidential Cycle, from October 1st of the second year (this cycle, 2022) through April 30th of the third year (2023), the returns, since 1932, equal those of the remaining 41 months of the cycle... Suffice it to say that this positive influence may help to support the market for a few more months." 

7. On what to own in the stock market going forward

"Despite the generally unattractive nature of the U.S. equity market and the extremely tricky global economy, there are still a surprising number of reasonable investment opportunities even if they are not sensational... emerging markets are reasonably priced and the value sector of emerging is cheap," Grantham said.

"For those with a longer horizon than average, say 5 years and above, I believe stocks related to addressing the problems of climate change and the increasing pressure on many raw materials have a substantial advantage over the rest of the economy as the world's governments and corporations begin to accept the urgency of these problems."  

Read the original article on Business Insider

13 things Airbnb hosts wish their guests would stop doing

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 8:39am
An Airbnb rental property.
  • Airbnb hosts don't communicate with guests outside of answering questions and leaving reviews.
  • So Insider asked hosts what they wish their guests would stop doing during their stays.
  • The answers range from mild inconveniences to permanent damage.

Since Airbnb's launch in 2008, more than 1 billion guests have rented its properties.

Hosts use the app or website to rent out their apartments, houses, or even solo rooms in their homes, to travelers as an alternative to hotels. According to the site, there were over 1 million active listings by March 2022.

But, like with anything in the service industry, there are some kinks that can still be worked out. Insider spoke to multiple Airbnb hosts and asked them the things they desperately wished that guests would stop doing at their listings.

Here's what they wish guests would stop doing.

Asking for the address before booking and asking about fees that are clearly laid out

Airbnb listings show the general location of the home. Lauren Keen, a host from Florida, told Insider she wished people would stop asking for the exact address. "You get this when you book," she said.

She also wishes people would stop asking about fees. "It's clear what goes to me, Airbnb, the cleaner, the government, etc. It's literally spelled out, line by line," she said.

Asking about amenities that clearly aren't listed

Keen said she also has a problem with people asking about things that would be mentioned in the listing if she provided them, like bikes. If the house had bikes, it'd be part of how she was marketing the listing.

Please don't forget to clean up after your pet.Forgetting to clean up after your pets in a pet-friendly Airbnb

Both Adam Smith, who manages two Airbnbs, and Jake Cohen, a Colorado-based host, said they've experienced people forgetting to clean up after their pets.

"We own a property in the mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It snows from November to April. We allow pets at this property. We provide bags for pet waste to try to keep our property clean. Unfortunately, guests allow their pets to pee and poop on our decks. This freezes and is so hard to remove. Please respect our properties so we can continue to allow you to bring your furry friends," Cohen told Insider.

Smoking in a non-smoking listing

In some cases, there are very real safety reasons for not allowing smoking. Smith told Insider that smoking is particularly an issue at one of his properties, not because he dislikes smoking, but because of the danger of fires.

"One property is in a log cabin in a very dry, forest fire-prone area surrounded by potential fuel from the woods constantly wrought with fire bans," he said. "But, people are dumb, or not from a high-risk fire area, and throw their butts wherever."

Phillip Foxall, who has an Airbnb in Rockport, Texas, also said he dislikes guests smoking, though his problem is with the smell.

"Please stop smoking inside! The smoke smell, both cigarette and marijuana smoke, are difficult to get out of the furniture and linens. This causes extra cleaning time and money and is just disrespectful," he said.

Washing off makeup with a hand towel, staining it forever

Makeup-stained towels came up more than once when Insider spoke with Airbnb owners.

Maria Kennedy, a host in Spain, said she found this behavior "astonishing," especially because she leaves makeup-remover pads in her bathroom for guests to use instead of leaving stains that are "impossible" to remove.

Nathan Waldon, another California Airbnb host, also mentioned this. "Because they stain easily, taking care to use towels properly goes a long way. Towels are expensive," he said.

Moving the decor and furniture around and not putting it back

As an interior designer and California Airbnb host, Heather Bull spends a lot of time on her listings.

"Those were painstakingly staged, and we have to re-stage them after most guests," she said. "This is a pet peeve of mine because the cleaners have to be trained on where things are supposed to go."

Waldon added, "If you decide to move a piece of furniture — a chair, a table, anything —please move it back."

In Bull's experience, some people like to reorganize other things within the home — they move items such as dishes to different cabinets, she said.

Lauren Rudick, a host from Montreal, said that guests leaving decorations can also be a problem.

"Guests always pick seashells and 'decorate' the house with them. Drives me crazy," she said. After every stay, she always has to go through the entire house to make sure no one has left any shells around.

Bottom line: Don't move stuff around without moving it back and don't leave any new "decorations" behind.

Lying about how many people are actually coming to stay

Hosts can sometimes tell when people are lying, especially when they have a larger home and it appears that only two people have booked it, perhaps to save money.

"We have a three-bedroom house and rarely does only a couple book it. Be honest, the more people that come to a property the more laundry has to be done, the more electricity and water is used and the more liability is assumed by the host," Foxall said.

A checklist would be good.Not double-checking you've packed all your belongings at the end of your stay

Smith noted that, while he's happy to send anything back that's left behind, it can lead to some awkward encounters.

"One example did make for an awkward situation with the guest, and the next guest, and our cleaning people, when the first [guest] left her vibrator in the nightstand. We had a good laugh about that," he said.

Leaving food and drinks behind

Bull told Insider that it's annoying to clean out the fridge after every stay.

"I think they think they're doing a favor for the next guest by leaving it, but we have to throw it all away," she said.

Waiting until the last minute to address issues with the listing

Foxall said he's sometimes had problems with guests waiting until the last day to try and get a refund, instead of addressing issues early on.

"We encourage our guests to walk through the property and really check everything out. If anything is not working or is not clean, report it immediately and we will get it fixed. Don't report it five minutes before you leave and ask for a full refund," he said.

He even compared it to "eating all but one bite of an expensive steak at a restaurant and then sending it back."

Too many weeds at the neighbors' isn't the host's fault.Blaming hosts for problems with the property that are out of their control

Sometimes, a guest will leave a negative review for things that are simply impossible to control, like "neighbor's yard was overgrown with weeds," or for something they knew before booking like, "the downside to the home is that it only has one bathroom," short-term rental marketing specialist Jorge Zarate told Insider.

Forgetting to leave a rating

As Insider reported previously, Airbnb hosts live and die by the website's ratings. Many of the hosts mentioned that guests forgetting to leave reviews can be a problem, including Foxall.

"We provide all of our guests a guide to the star rating so they understand the difference between a five-star review, four stars, and so on. Be honest, but be fair, and if there are improvements to be made, let the host know before you submit your review so they can fix it," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX might even owe money to a tiny Bahamian garden shop. Here are some surprising names on the crypto exchange's long list of creditors.

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 8:30am
Sam Bankman-Fried founded the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
  • FTX owes money to a lot of companies. Many on the list of creditors are small Bahamian businesses.
  • Among FTX's other creditors include Bodybuilding.com, an Idaho-based retailer that sells bodybuilding supplements.
  • Insider looked through the 116-page court document to find the most surprising names among its creditors. 

It's no secret now that bankruptcy proceedings are well underway that Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX owes a lot of people a lot of money. The failed crypto exchange owes more than $3 billion to its top 50 creditors alone, according to court documents. 

The laundry list of names runs the gamut from commercial airliners like Southwest, news outlets like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, elite schools like Stanford University, and A-list celebrities like Larry David.

Large institutional investors JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were named too. 

Although the list does not say how much money each party is owed, the company is estimated to have at least one million creditors, including 9.7 million individual names which have been sealed off,  per request from FTX attorneys.

Many companies and individuals named on the list may not end up being creditors, but instead someone who has previously done business with FTX, according to a court filing.

Insider looked through the 116-page court document to find the most surprising names. 

From Bahamian businesses to a bodybuilding website

Bankman-Fried's embattled firm may need pay up to make whole an Idaho-based retailer that sells bodybuilding supplements. The company streams live broadcasts of bodybuilding competitions, posts workout plans, and has a fitness-themed social network.

"We are Bodybuilding.com. Your transformation is our passion. We are your personal trainer, your nutritionist, your supplement expert, your lifting partner, your support group," the company's website reads.

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

There are also a slew of businesses in the Bahamas that are listed creditors as well. Bankman-Fried and certain FTX employees lived in a $40 million penthouse in Albany, an exclusive private community in Nassau. The luxury residency, however, was put up for sale  when FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year. 

The prime minister of the Bahamas was also listed. 

The once $32 billion crypto empire could owe money to local drug store Pharma Choice, along with pest exterminator A+ Pest Control, and commercial waste management service Bahama's Waste. 

There's a small garden center called Pam's Plants Ltd. that also appears on the lengthy list. The owner of the nursery declined to comment when reached by phone. 

The Tribune, a news outlet of The Bahamas, said Friday that many local creditors were owed negligible sums, with some describing the amount as "non-existent". Still, the list of names shows the widespread dealings of FTX with businesses in the community and its ties to the island nation's economy. 

Outside of The Bahamas, 24hourwristbands.com, a promotional product manufacturer with a 24-hour turnaround time, made it, along with Coachella, The Container Store, Water.com, and Australia Attorney-General's Department.

FTX lawyers told a Delaware bankruptcy judge earlier this month that the company has recovered $5 billion of liquid assets.  John Ray III, the new chief exec of FTX,  said he's looking into potentially resuming the exchange's operations during its bankruptcy process.

"Everything is on the table," Ray, who oversaw Enron's restructuring, told the Wall Street Journal. "If there is a path forward on that, we will not only explore that, we'll do it."

Read the original article on Business Insider

German chancellor's indecision on sending tanks to Ukraine has created a new word in Western war room politics: Scholzing

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 10:29pm
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz listens while attending a conference about Ukraine in Berlin, Germany, on October 25, 2022.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism for delaying the delivery of tanks to Ukraine.
  • Scholz's indecision became the topic of Ukrainian memes that coined the term "Scholzing."
  • "Scholzing" means to communicate good intentions, but find or invent reasons to delay action.

The indecision of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is the stuff of memes.

As Scholz spent weeks hesitating — and facing international pressure — over sending advanced Leopard 2 tanks to battle Russian forces in Ukraine, his name took on a new meaning.

—Timothy Garton Ash (@fromTGA) January 19, 2023

"Scholzing," a verb found in Ukrainian memes, has come to mean "communicating good intentions, only to use/find/invent any reason imaginable to delay these and/or prevent them from happening," according to historian Timothy Garton Ash.

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

—French Canadian Fella ⚜️


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