Head-to-Head Breakdancing Battles As an 2024 Olympic Sport? It’s a Possibility

The summer Olympic Games are a chance for athletes from around the world to show off their skills in the pool, in track and field and gymnastics, and, if organizers have their way, in breakdancing. That’s right, it’s time to bust out your kneepads, the Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo soundtrack, and your flyest sneakers and start practicing your headspins.

Organizers of the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris, have proposed that breakdancing should be included as a new sport in the Olympic program, along with surfing, climbing, and skateboarding, which are already set to debut at Tokyo 2020, The Telegraph reports. The Paris 2024 organizing committee argued for the sport’s inclusion on the grounds that it is already legendary for its dance battles and breakdancing is an “urban, universal and popular sport with more than a million BBoys and BGirls” already busting a move in France. Plus, head-to-head breakdancing battles already made an appearance at last year’s Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The decision to include the sport, which grew up alongside hip hop in the South Bronx of New York City, isn’t final yet, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has until December 2020 to make a decision. However, based on their response to the announcement, they seem all in on the idea. “We are pleased to see that Paris 2024’s proposal for new sports to the Olympic programme is very much in line with the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, which is striving to make the Olympic programme gender-balanced, more youth-focused and more urban,” an IOC statement read, per The Telegraph.

If breakdancing does make the cut, it will join the 28 sports already in the Olympics program. While some people may balk at the idea of breakdancing as an Olympic sport, never forget that both horse long jump, dueling pistols and solo synchronized swimming were all considered worthy back in the day.


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For First-Time Head Coaches Brian Flores and Zac Taylor, It’s a Post-Super Bowl Scramble

Flores and Taylor—on the sidelines for Super Bowl LIII two weeks ago—share the chaos of transitioning to their first head-coaching jobs immediately after the biggest game of their lives. Plus, three NFL scouts size up Kyler Murray, a look at the settlement of the Kaepernick/Reid collusion lawsuit, one other team that was in on Joe Flacco, franchise tag preview, draft notes and much more at the NFL offseason heats up.

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LG says it’s ‘too early’ for foldable phones

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You may want to just slow your roll for minute with this whole foldable phone thing. 

While electronics giants such as Samsung are reportedly charging ahead to release smartphones that bend as early as this year, at least one major player in the space is taking this opportunity to sit back and see how it all plays out. That would be LG, whose head of mobile Brian Kwon told reporters that the company has decided now is not the right time for LG to release a phone that bends.   

“We have reviewed releasing the foldable smartphone when launching 5G smartphone but decided not to produce it,” Kwon is quoted by the Korean Times as saying on Feb. 15.  Read more…

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John Legend Releases His First Single Of 2019 And It’s Powerful [VIDEO]

John Legend’s first release of 2019 takes us to church. In his powerful new single called “Preach,” he addresses what’s wrong with the society we live in today, his faith & wanting people to put action behind their words to make change.  

“I grew up in the church and one of the things we talked about was loving our neighbors as we love ourselves,” Legend said in a recent Instagram video promoting the new song. “My preacher told me that our neighbor wasn’t just the person that lives next door to you but other people whom you might not even know.”

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You absolutely must play ‘Far Cry 5’ before touching ‘Far Cry: New Dawn’. Seriously, it’s worth it.

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Warning: One absolutely unavoidable (and major) spoiler for Far Cry 5 is below, but chances are you’ve already heard about it.

Ah, the “standalone sequel.” It’s a tricky beast. Of course players want it to work. Heaven knows studios want it to work. Unfortunately, it rarely works. 

Far Cry: New Dawn is no exception – but that is far from a bad thing.

The latest Far Cry spinoff takes us back to Hope County, Montana, the setting for all of the events in its fifth main game. While we’re dealing with a completely new story line, (almost) entirely different characters, and an elaborately re-skinned environment, newcomers shouldn’t plan on enjoying this chapter sans Far Cry 5 knowledge. Note that I’m saying “shouldn’t” and not “couldn’t.” Read more…

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America owes a whopping $22 trillion. It’s getting worse | With Chris Cillizza

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President says he doesn’t expect another shutdown, but added if there is one, it’s the Democrats’ fault


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If you have ‘stomach flu,’ chances are it’s actually norovirus: What you should know

norovirus, also called a stomach flu, is the most common form of foodborne illness in the U.S.
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‘It’s Bigger Than My Team Lost.’ New Orleans Saints Fan on Why He’s Using Billboards to Call Out Referees

Thousands of Saints fans left the Superdome feeling utterly devastated following New Orleans’ overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday’s NFC Championship game — a sentiment that almost any diehard sports fan can relate to.

But when local car dealership owner Matt Bowers woke up the next morning no less distraught about the game’s outcome, he decided to find an outlet for his emotions. Bowers, like many of his fellow Saints fans, felt that the team had been robbed of a trip to the 2019 Super Bowl by a controversial pass interference no-call late in the fourth quarter.

“I walked out [of the stadium] with 75,000 people and regardless of your background or your age, you could look a person in the eye from across the room and you knew exactly how they felt in that moment. Because I felt the same. I think the overwhelming feeling was powerless. Everybody had just seen what happened and what it meant to our city and our team and there was just nothing that you could do about it,” he told TIME. “So I said what can I do? How can I let somebody know how I feel?”

So while some Saints fans were filing lawsuits or starting Change.org petitions, Bowers chose to rent out a number of billboards in the area surrounding Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to voice his displeasure. By broadcasting messages like “Saints Got Robbed” and “NFL Bleaux It” in the city where the Super Bowl will take place on Feb. 3, Bowers says that he is calling out the league for what he saw as a blatant officiating error.

“It’s bigger than my team lost. I think 55 million people from around the world, in real time, witnessed what happened. They threw their own flag — from the sofa, from the bar, from Kansas City, wherever they were,” he explained. “And I think you’re never going to convince me that the paid professionals sent by the NFL to do that game somehow didn’t see what was plain and obvious to 55 million people. So it’s my opinion that the situation in that game, which would’ve ended the game, influenced the call. I think people deserve to know the truth and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that….I’m saying what I think millions and millions of people support and believe. It just happened to be the Saints. It could’ve been any team.”

The Rams will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

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“It’s My Name” Rihanna’s Father Responds To Lawsuit Against Him

Wildfox And Ladygunn Magazine Presents Wayke Up Fundraiser Hosted By Nikki Reed

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Earlier this week, we reported that Rihanna was suing her father, Ronald Fenty for capitalizing off her family name. Apparently, Mr. Fenty opened up an entire company—Fenty Entertainment and was attempting to book gigs for her to perform.

Since then, Ronald Fenty has learned of the lawsuit and responded to it. In an interview with OK! Mr. Fenty said:

“She is? Suing me? Why would she sue me? It’s my name! She’s never going to sue me- I’ll have to fight it! Thing is she doesn’t have the time to deal with all this stuff herself, so it is someone else that will be doing it. She’s working hard on her album at the moment. I don’t think she’d sue me.”

He continued, “This is all news to me. They sent something to Fenty Entertainment, it was a letter from Roc Nation I think, but my lawyer said it was OK. They said they preferred me not to use the name, but they didn’t say I couldn’t.”

As we reported earlier, Rihanna is suing Mr. Fenty because Mr. Fenty launched a company and have been acting as agents on Rihanna’s behalf, including booking gigs across the nation and even in other countries. Mr. Fenty said that he ran the bookings past Roc Nation and claims they knew what he was doing.

In addition to work with this daughter Fenty was also attempting to trademark the name for a line of boutique hotels. But the application was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Rihanna’s lawsuit claimed that she had sent several cease and desist letters to her father. But he’s ignored them.

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Priyanka Chopra to Chris Pratt, Katherine on Engagement: ‘It’s the Best’

Priyanka Chopra Calls Marriage 'The Best' While Wishing Chris Pratt, Katherine Congrats
Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger and Priyanka Chopra. Desiree Navarro/Getty Images; Courtesy Chris Pratt/Instagram

It’s safe to say Priyanka Chopra loves being married to Nick Jonas! The Quantico alum shared her well wishes for Chris Pratt and his fiancée, Katherine Schwarzenegger, on their engagement — and gave a slight nod to her own relationship.

“So happy for you both,” Chopra, 36, wrote in the comments section of the 39-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy actor’s sweet announcement. “It’s the best!”

Pratt revealed on Sunday, January 13, that he and the 29-year-old Maverick and Me author are engaged after a whirlwind romance.

“Sweet Katherine, so happy you said yes! I’m thrilled to be marrying you,” the Jurassic World star penned alongside an intimate Instagram photo in which Schwarzenegger’s large diamond ring is on full display. “Proud to live boldly in faith with you. Here we go!” (The two were first linked in June 2018 more than a year after Pratt and his ex-wife, Anna Faris, split.)

Chopra, for her part, knows a little something about a quick engagement. She and the “Chains” crooner, 26, got engaged in July 2018 after just two months of dating.

“She was thrilled,” a source told Us at the time. “Nick really loves her.” The couple went on to tie the knot in Chopra’s native India in December 2018. Following their elaborate nuptials — which included multiple ceremonies and celebrations — Chopra gushed over “marital bliss” via Instagram.

Earlier this month, Jonas and Chopra continued their newlywed fun when they jetted off to a tropical beach honeymoon.

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It’s Janu-Hairy! Check Out the Women Who’ve Flaunted Body Hair on the Red Carpet

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It’s National Mentoring Month! Our Top 5 Articles with the Best Mentorship Advice

January is National Mentoring Month. While the notable goal of this monthlong campaign is to recruit mentors for young people, let’s face it—we can all use a mentor through various aspects of our lives, particularly with our careers.

For that reason, we have collected our top articles with excellent advice about mentorship. Whether you are seeking a mentor or want to be a better one to someone, these articles can help you reach your mentorship goals.

Read On For the Best Mentorship Advice

SHE LAUNCHED A MENTORSHIP PROGRAM TO CREATE MORE BLACK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Dr. Christina T. Rosenthal is a dentist, social entrepreneur, and recently named Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity, one of nearly 300 people working worldwide to build fairer, healthier, and more inclusive societies. Just one year out of dental school, she opened her first private practice, and then later launched Determined to be a Doctor Someday (DDS), an initiative to develop the next generation of healthcare professionals who will be representative of the communities they serve.

5 MENTORSHIP MISCONCEPTIONS THAT MAY BE HOLDING YOU BACK

At several points throughout your career, you’ll need the advice of a trusted adviser or mentor, someone who can help you navigate career paths and transitions as well as the stages of business cycles and professional relationships. But take note, there are a lot of misconceptions about what mentorship is and who it is for—we’re here to clear a few things up.

HOW TO CONVINCE HIGH PROFILE PEOPLE TO MENTOR YOU

Paul Brunson is an entrepreneur who has been co-signed by Oprah, mentored Ed Neff, and the list goes on. He has some key advice on how to land high-profile individuals as mentors.

5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT PROFESSIONAL MENTOR

If your desire is to procure an in-person mentoring relationship with a senior professional and/or executive, here are five key things you should understand before pursuing mentorship.

‘I NEED A MENTOR’: 5 SMART STRATEGIES TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE

Murray Newlands: “When choosing a mentor, I sometimes just knew if she or he was the right person for the job, while other situations led me to put a lot of consideration into it, before starting a relationship. In doing so, I’ve discovered there are some criteria that you can use to determine if someone will make a good mentor for you.”

 

The post It’s National Mentoring Month! Our Top 5 Articles with the Best Mentorship Advice appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Ansel Elgort and Violetta Komyshan’s Hawaii Vacation Will Make You Forget It’s Winter

Ansel Elgort, Violetta KomyshanSay aloha to love and romance in 2019!
As many Hollywood stars find themselves traveling to the mountains for snowboarding and skiing, Ansel Elgort and Violetta Komyshan decided to flip…

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It’s Divorce Season: Are You Prepared?

Today we are discussing divorce. It’s not the cheeriest topic to kick off the new year with, so why is it on your mind?

We just finished the holidays, and are now entering what some call the divorce season because divorce filings begin to spike in January, peaking in February and March. Indeed, studies show that one in five couples start considering divorce or separation once the end of year festivities come to an end. And the first Monday of the New Year – today – is unofficially known as divorce day because it is the biggest day for divorce filings.

What causes this spike in divorces after the holidays?

There are a few reasons divorce filings rise in the first part of the new year. Some couples simply don’t want to get divorced during the holidays. Many couples, especially those with children, stay married through the end of the year so their family can have one last holiday season together.

For others, the holidays push them to the breaking point. As we know, emotions can run high amid the pressures of family, gifts and other commitments. Alternatively, some couples get swept up in the feelings of the season and think they can make their relationship work, but return to reality after the holidays are over. Finally, January is a time for making resolutions, and some people resolve to make a fresh start in the new year when they are unhappy in their relationship.

What should our listeners keep in mind, financially speaking, if they are considering divorce?

Divorce is obviously a big decision, and the first thing anyone should ask themselves is “Is this what i really want?” However, if you have made up your mind, or if you think it is likely, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself financially.

I always advise people to maintain a level of financial independence, not matter what, and this is especially important if you are considering divorce. The most important thing to do is to start saving money. Getting a divorce is expensive, so it is important to prepare yourself for those costs, and to live on a single income once your divorce is final. If you do not already have one, you need to open a separate bank account.

Depending on your situation, you may also what to close joint accounts. If you and your spouse have joint credit cards, either cancel them or remove one spouse’s name. If you have a joint bank account, consider splitting the money and closing the account. And you want to reduce unnecessary expenditures. Avoid making large purchases or splurging in the lead up to filing for divorce.

Documenting your financial history is also important. You want to track your finances, including your income, your spouse’s income, your expenses, debts and assets. You need to get duplicates of important financial documents like bank and credit card statements, retirement account statements, pay stubs, tax returns and receipts for expensive purchases as well. Once you do this, you want to keep copies of these records in a secure place outside of your house, like a safe deposit box or with your attorney.

Is there anything else to keep in mind for those couples who are splitting in 2019?

in fact there are. As a result of the 2017 tax law, the rules will change for new divorcees. For example, alimony paid will no longer be tax-deductible and alimony received will no longer be taxable income. Until now, alimony has been tax deductible for the person paying it and taxable income for the person receiving it.

This change could make the process of divorcing much uglier, since high-income divorcing spouses are likely to fight to pay less in alimony, since the government will no longer subsidize these payments via the tax deduction. On the other hand, lower-income spouses will seek to get as much money as possible, since there will be no tax burden, meaning that income will go farther. All of this is a recipe for nastier fights over finances during divorce.

These changes will not affect people who are already divorced, as their agreements are grandfathered in. However, the new rules could affect them if they modify their divorce agreement. So, be extremely cautious when modifying divorce agreements from here on out.

The tax law may also affect pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Some new rules could nullify items in these agreements, so it is important to have an attorney and a financial consultant review pre- and post-nuptial agreements you have.

Finally, one last item for divorcees to consider when sorting out finances. Remember that the tax deduction for children will be much lower.  The 2017 tax law eliminated the $ 4,050 exemption for each dependent, through 2025. The child tax credit (which offsets taxes owed, dollar for dollar), however, has doubled from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000. This could be a big consideration for many families during divorce.

Mellody Hobson is President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves individual investors and retirement plans through its no-load mutual funds and separate accounts. Additionally, she is a regular financial contributor and analyst for CBS News.

 

 

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Nope: Ginuwine Decided to Enhance His Beard and It’s Not a Good Look [Photo]

Ginuwine decided to try something new with his appearance.

The singer posted up on Instagram with an extra dark (and extra fake) beard — likely a result of airbrushing… or it could just be a glued-on unit.

Whatever’s happening here he needs to go back to where he got it and try again.

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‘The Masked Singer’ Reveals Its First Celebrity Singer—And It’s a Major Letdown

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With over 500 TV shows competing for audiences’ eyeballs, you gotta grab their attention somehow. The Masked Singer, if nothing else, certainly does that.

That much is clear by the end of the first episode, when the woman who very well may be a Kardashian belts out a pop song while in Christina Aguilera-in-“Lady Marmalade”-meets-The-Lion-King-on-Broadway drag—following a man in deer antlers singing through a gas mask snout (Steve Austin?) and a woman lilting in unicorn couture (Paris Hilton?) before her.

Lion, Deer, and Unicorn are but three of the secret celebrities dressed in deranged costumes performing for a panel of judges attempting to guess their identities. In what is being billed as a “Musical Whosungit,” each week, beginning with the hour that aired Wednesday night, one of the 12 celebrities will be unmasked and their true identities revealed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Portuguese airline Hi Fly has world’s first ‘plastic-free’ flight: ‘It’s the right thing for the airline to be doing’

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Roger Federer Says It’s ‘Exciting’ to Face Serena Williams in New Year’s Day Match-Up

(PERTH, Australia) — Roger Federer’s wish is about to be granted — he’s getting the chance to return Serena Williams’ powerful serve.

The famously unflappable Swiss acknowledges being excited about the prospect of taking on his fellow tennis great on Tuesday in a Hopman Cup mixed doubles match between Switzerland and the United States.

“I admire everything she has done both on and off the court,” Federer said. “I have always thought how is it to return that serve and go head-to-head with her.”

Federer made an impressive start in preparation for his Australian Open title defense with a seemingly effortless 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie on Sunday.

His playing partner Belinda Bencic also won to seal defending champion Switzerland’s victory over Britain in Group B.

Federer and Bencic will next take on Williams and Frances Tiafoe to kick-start the New Year with arguably the most anticipated match in the tournament’s three-decade history.

Tickets were sold out soon after being released for the showpiece encounter, which pits Federer and Williams on court for the first time. The 37-year-olds have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

“It’s very exciting for us. I hope tennis fans tune in and watch it because it’s going to be one time and probably never again in this type of competition,” Federer said.

By most people’s standards, the two stars have an unusual meeting place.

“I don’t know her that well. I only know her from some champions’ dinners at Wimbledon,” Federer said. “We have busy lives and a big entourage, so it’s rare to really deep dive. We can relate to each other more so now, being parents.”

Federer will head into the clash in form after a masterclass 57-minute thrashing of Norrie. The 20-time Grand Slam champion moved around the court well and hit the ball crisply to overwhelm Norrie.

“I was very happy that I was able to come out tonight and put in a good performance,” Federer said. “I was happy with all aspects of my game: footwork, offensive play, serve, return. It was all there.”

Sports – TIME

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Trump’s message on Christmas Day: ‘It’s a disgrace’

In President Donald Trump’s Christmas Day telling, the drugs are flowing over the border, the Federal Reserve is imperiling the economy and the Democrats are preparing to harass him with oversight requests.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ — when you play fair

It’s the perfect Christmas movie and a towering masterpiece of American cinema. I’m speaking, of course, of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the much-loved 1946 Frank Capra feature that also anticipated something we badly need today: morals to moderate capitalism. All this, even though it very much reflects the race and sex stereotypes of its day….
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Trump On The Wall: ‘Whatever You Want To Call It, It’s All The Same.’ | Meet The Press | NBC News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Widespread and dangerous’: Facing medical uncertainty, doctors tell patients it’s all in their heads

When 7-year-old Bailey Sheehan arrived at a hospital in Oregon partially paralyzed, a doctor said the girl was faking her symptoms to get her parents’ attention because she was jealous of her new baby sister.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Health

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The Marshall Islands, a nation that fears it’s on the brink of extinction

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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‘It’s Been a Rout’: Apple’s iPhones Fall Flat in World’s Largest Untapped Market

Global smartphone sales are flattening, which is why Apple and others are looking to India and its millions of newly minted consumers for growth. Yet the tech giant’s market share is falling, revenue is coming in well below expectations and its top leadership ranks are in turmoil.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Why it’s likely the Fed will raise interest rates this week

The Federal Reserve will almost certainly raise interest rates on Wednesday despite pressure from President Trump not to do so. But what would happen if the Fed didn’t raise rates? The first thing would be that Trump would do one of those end-zone dances that I hate so much. (And if you think football players…
Business | New York Post

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Do you really think it’s ok to tell me how to get pregnant?

stay over

It’s funny (and by that I don’t mean the laugh-out-loud kind), isn’t it? That your own body is never really your own. When you’re getting married, you’re asked if you’re going to get into shape for the big day – no one ever asks the husband that one, mind – and virtually as soon as you walk down the aisle, you’re asked when you’re going to start a family.

And let me tell you, it gets even worse the moment you tell people you’re TTC – that’s trying to conceive by the way, your vocabulary opens to a whole new world of abbreviations when you’re TTC with your OH.

To be fair, it was my own fault for telling anyone, but in my defence, I believed it would get people off my back a little if I told them we were at least trying. Except, it only worked for a few months before the advice (mostly unsolicited) started pouring in again.

The thing that surprised me the most is how opinionated everyone is, and although it is never meant in a mean way, it’s f*****g grating is what it is. To give you a few examples…

‘Well you should probably put on a bit of weight’ – you would never tell someone to put on/lose weight in normal circumstances, would you? Also the only person who I trust to tell me about my weight here is my doctor, and she says it’s fine

‘No wonder it’s not happening, you’re hardly ever in the same country’ – myself and my husband do travel a lot for work, but trust me, we know how to make a baby, thanks captain obvious

‘You should stress less, because you know stress doesn’t help’ – you know what’s definitely not stressful? Someone asking for updates all the time. Or telling you not to stress.

‘So, is has anything happened? *wink wink*’ – Yeah we’re just keeping it secret for the lolz

‘Honestly, having a baby is so much more work than you think, I’m not trying to put you off, but…’ – you’re right, i’ve changed my mind, let’s cancel the baby making

‘Well your mum took a while to conceive, so you might have the same issues’ – again helpful

‘Oh, well I wouldn’t worry about it, some people takes aaaages to get pregnant, you’ve got lots of time’ – nope, not worried about it, thanks though

‘Well you’d better hurry, I don’t want to die before I’ve met my first great-grandchild’ – no pressure. At all.

The thing is, whether we are worried about it or not, it’s just not ok to comment on such personal matters, because you never know what people are going through. In the meantime, the next time someone offers up some words of wisdom, I’ll ask them exactly which sex position they think is best.

The post Do you really think it’s ok to tell me how to get pregnant? appeared first on Marie Claire.

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17 Ways to Save Money When You Live in a Big City (It’s Actually Possible!)

I know I don’t have to tell you this, city dwellers: Living in a big city is expensive.

I was slapped with that cold reality when I moved to Denver. After living in two relatively rural college towns, I was used to paying a rent I could almost afford; groceries that were, well, normally priced; and a night out with friends that never remotely creeped close to $ 50.

Then there were those times I visited New York City and San Francisco for long weekends… Don’t get me started.

Anyway, kudos for making it work — but I know it’s got to get difficult sometimes. That’s why we put together a list of ways to save money when you live in a big city.

1. Save Money on Any Debt You’ve Already Accumulated  

Moving in general is expensive, but moving to a big city and adjusting to that new cost of living is difficult.

If you accumulate any credit card debt in the process that’s still lingering, consider refinancing or consolidating it to find better interest rates.

A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

2. Get $ 3 Pantry Essentials Delivered to Your Door

Groceries tend to be more expensive in big cities. Goods in New York City are 10% higher than average U.S. prices, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The task itself also tends to be more difficult, depending on how far away you live from the closest store.

A great way to save money is to order the essentials online — where prices are more likely to be the same nationwide.

With Brandless, you can stock up on all your grocery essentials for $ 3 each. Yup — everything’s $ 3. And you’ll get $ 5 off your order when you sign up with your email address.

Better yet, Brandless carries organic, gluten-free and vegan options. You could spend hours perusing the virtual aisles, but here are a few examples:

  • An 8-ounce jar of organic, 100% pure honey: $ 3
  • Organic aged white cheddar popcorn: Two for $ 3
  • Roasted and salted almonds: $ 3
  • Organic, fair-trade, light-roast ground coffee: $ 3

You can also stock up on Brandless cleaning supplies, household essentials and clean beauty supplies.

Shipping is free when you spend $ 39 or more.

3. Claim Cash Back on Drinks and Takeout Orders

Life tends to be a bit more stressful in the big city, and it’s important to take time to unwind. Whether you prefer to do that with alcohol or takeout, claim cash back.

Traditionally, Ibotta is known for its cash-back offers on groceries, but it’s also available for restaurants, bars and food-delivery services.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • 10% cash back for new DoorDash users.
  • $ 5 back on two bottles of Stella Artois.
  • $ 2 back on a glass of Cupcake Wine.

Just download the app for free, then select “Find Offers.” When you claim your first cash-back offer, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

4. Ease the Pain of Those Higher Car Insurance Rates

The good news is big cities typically have public transit systems, so sometimes you can get away with selling your car and living that car-free life.

If you still need your car, though, you’ll probably face higher car insurance rates.

Here are three options to help alleviate the pain associated with those high costs:

  • First, find a pay-per-mile insurance policy. If you live in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington and drive less than 200 miles a week, consider getting insurance through MetroMile, a company that lets you pay for insurance by the mile. I you only drive 5,000 miles per year, you could save $ 500, according to MetroMile’s calculations. Find out if it could help you save by snagging a free quote.
  • If you still drive quite a bit, take a few minutes to compare rates from other providers. A service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work. Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.
  • Help offset big-city costs by renting your car out when you’re not using it. With the Getaround app, you can safely rent out your car to people in your community and neighborhood. The company insures your car for each trip, offers 24/7 roadside assistance and screens drivers for a safe driving record.

5. Count Your Many Steps and Turn ’Em Into Cash

Whether you walk to work or take public transit, you tend to spend more time on your feet in big cities.

Go ahead and reward your barking feet with the Achievement app.

Achievement connects to your phone’s health apps and runs in the background, so it works passively. Many users report being happily surprised when logging on and checking their progress.

Once you earn 10,000 points, you’ll score $ 10, which you can deposit directly into your bank account.

Pro tip: Achievement connects to more than 30 Android and iOS health-related apps, including MyFitnessPal and Garmin. The more apps you connect, the more earning opportunities.

6. Negotiate Your Monthly Bills (or Have This Bot Do It)

A great money-saving tactic when living in a big city is to negotiate your bills. Some may be more difficult to negotiate than others (you can even try negotiating your rent), but we suggest starting simply with a free negotiation tool.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.

After downloading the app, create an account and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.

7. Set up Your Big-City Budget

If money’s tighter than you’d like, it’s important to keep a budget.

Budgeting can be a little scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to find out how you’re doing now. Luckily, you can have a financial assistant right in your pocket to help you out.

The Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and it will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you are overdoing it. That’s right: It will show you just how many times you went out for dinner because you didn’t want to do the dishes.

Set a monthly spending limit and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

8. Declutter Your Space — and Earn Some Extra Cash

Affordable apartments tend to be small, so if you’re feeling a bit cluttered in your space, clean stuff out.

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This easy-to-use app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. It removes a lot of the hassle of selling things online, and it’s 100% free to use.

If you’ve got old technology lingering (think: phones, CDs, DVDs or video games), download the Decluttr app, and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, you won’t pay listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and even shipping is free.

Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $ 5 for your trade-in order!

9. Entertain Yourself on Your Commute (and Win Cash)

While you’re swiping around on your phone and wasting time on your commute, go ahead and download the Lucky Day app

You could win up to $ 10,000 playing digital scratch-off tickets or even a whopping $ 100,000 in the daily lotto. You’ll also have a lot of chances to win gift cards to cool places like Amazon, Walmart, Dunkin and Target.

It’s all free to play, with no in-app purchases. The company has already awarded more than $ 3 million in prizes to winners since 2014.

Try to resist an embarrassing happy dance on the subway if you win money.

10. Create an In-Case-of-Emergency Fund Without Thinking

When you have to spend a lot of money just to get by day to day, the task of saving money will easily fall to the wayside.

Don’t let that happen. Digit allows you to save money without even noticing.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, one Penny Hoarder saved $ 4,300 without noticing — read his Digit review.

If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

11. Dress up to Big-City Standards Without Credit Card Debt

There’s something about living in a big city where there’s more pressure to dress like, well, a real human. Fashion trends are actually timely, and you want to look professional when walking into your skyscraper of an office.

But just because you have pressure to look trendy doesn’t mean you have to rack up credit card debt.

Instead of shopping online at any ol’ retailer or signing up for a clothing subscription service, check out flash-sale site Rue La La first.

It offers top brands for up to 70% off. How? When retailers have excess product, Rue La La takes it and sells it at a hefty discount — but each sale is only available for a limited time.

Just sign up for free with your email address. (It’s an exclusive site — discounts are for members only.) Then search your favorite brands, or browse the boutiques to see what’s available.

12. Protect Your Abode and Belongings With Affordable Insurance

If you’re renting, you know some cities and states require renters insurance. It might seem like a pain at the time, but it can really save you in the long run.

For example, when my boyfriend lived in Denver, a hail storm hit and destroyed his complex’s roof, causing water to flood into his apartment. After his deductible, his renters insurance paid for him to move into a hotel near his workplace for about three months. If any of his items had been damaged, it would have covered those expenses, too.

If you don’t yet have renters insurance — or want to shop around for a better rate — start by getting a free quote. We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, through which renters insurance starts at $ 5 a month.

Beyond affordable rates, Lemonade adds a layer of transparency you don’t often see in the insurance world. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims. Money left over after paying claims each year goes to a cause of your choice.

That also means Lemonade isn’t going to be super stingy about granting customers the claims they deserve — ’cause the money isn’t going into its pockets.

13. Find a Side Gig (Opportunities Abound)

Big cities are basically playgrounds for side gigs. If you’re struggling to make rent or are racking up credit card debt, consider increasing your income, even if only temporarily.

Here are some of our favorite side-gig options for folks in the big city:

  • It’s no secret big cities attract more tourists, and that’s good news for you. If you have a spare room, try earning some extra money by listing it on Airbnb. If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
  • If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig. The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.
  • Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people? Try driving with Lyft. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

14. Call it Quits With Your Expensive Cell Phone Provider

If you’re sick of of paying your cell phone carrier hundreds of dollars each month, look beyond the so-called Big Four and into the discount carrier Twigby.

That’s what Zak Wilson did. He’d been paying Verizon Wireless about $ 180 a month for two lines. So he tried Twigby. For both phones, he’s now paying $ 60 a month.

Plus, new customers get 25% off the first six months of service.

Pro tip: Big cities mean big Wi-Fi opportunities. Whenever you can, tap into free Wi-Fi to save on data.

15. Snag Cash Back — Even From Your Favorite Local Deli

Cash-back apps are great, but many of them don’t cater to your favorite local haunts — like that unsuspecting deli on your block or your favorite coffee pitstop on your way to work.

But don’t worry. We found an app that’ll reward you for keeping any receipt.

As seen on Shark Tank, CoinOut is a shopping rewards app. You’ll earn cash when you snap a photo of a receipt — any receipt, from any retailer, featuring any item. (Similar apps are a lot pickier.)

We put it to the test: A couple of Penny Hoarder staffers dug out receipts — a $ 5 Wendy’s order and a salad from a local sandwich shop. One collected 5 cents, the other 4 cents. The better condition your receipt is in, the more you’ll earn back, so resist crumpling it into a ball.

You can also earn cash back when you shop online with one click through the CoinOut app. Featured retailers include Walmart, Overstock and Warby Parker.

You can cash — ahem, coin — out once a week for an Amazon gift card or funnel the money right into your bank account or PayPal.

16. Don’t Let Laundry and Dry Cleaning Shrink Your Budget

Laundry’s a big expensive chore in big cities. And dry cleaning? Don’t even get us started…

You’ve probably already invested in that magical Febreze Fabric Refresher spray (if you haven’t, just trust us), but now it’s time to tackle the costs of dry cleaning.

For some fabrics, it’s totally necessary. But for others (even if the tag says dry-cleaning only), it’s not.

Dive into your guide to saving money on dry cleaning. It just might change your life (or at least your budget).

17. Find Fun (and Free!) Weekend Activities

All right. We’ve addressed all your big recurring bills, but you’ve got to have some fun, too. After all, you live in a city where there’s tons to do and explore.

Look into your neighborhood’s farmers market, check out free museum passes from your local library, take a hike (genuinely), plan a picnic or window-shop.

Get some inspiration from our list of free things to do in Orlando.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Apple now has dozens of doctors on staff, showing it’s serious about health tech

The hires could help Apple win over doctors and suggest it will build applications that can help people with serious medical problems.
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You May Have Noticed Netflix Is Testing a New Feature. It’s Distracting But Intriguing

I was watching Netflix’s new movie Dumplin’ — a cutesy, cheesy comedy about a teenage underdog coming to realize just how excellent underdogs can be when I saw an unfamiliar prompt in the corner of my screen.

The main character, a plus-size teen named Willowdean Dixon (Danielle Macdonald), had entered a beauty pageant in large part to antagonize her vain, former-pageant-queen mother (Jennifer Aniston). And we had just arrived at the inevitable scene where poor, self-conscious Willowdean must learn the dance moves to a sassy little number that all the contestants will do on the big night.

She stands awkwardly in the back of the room, as her mother, a coach for the pageant, invites some conventional-looking beauties up to the front of the class, to show the rest of the ladies how a flirty square dance is done. While an intimidating moment for Willowdean, the performance was cute. So cute, in fact, that Netflix seemed to believe that one viewing would not be sufficient: “Watch That Scene Again” offered a box that popped up at the bottom of the screen.

Netflix confirmed to TIME that it is testing a new almost-instant replay feature that aims to give users “the ability re-watch favorite scenes and memorable moments with the click of a button.” Right now, a spokesperson said, they’re looking to learn from how people use it (or don’t) and “may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future.”

Read more: Here Are the 10 Best Christmas Movies for Kids on Netflix

It happened at least two more times during the film — once after a raw, emotional scene in which Willowdean questions whether a cute boy can really like someone who looks like her — and again after another musical number. Netflix declined to answer questions about how such scenes are chosen, how many users are currently part of the test or what it hopes to gain by adding the feature. (Those users who are seeing the notifications and don’t like them can opt out of the test in their account settings.)

But given the company’s approach to using data about viewers’ watching habits in order to drive the content they create, it’s a good bet that the scenes were selected based on viewers’ past behavior. (Countless people have surely replayed cinematic dance scenes in order to learn the steps.) And it’s an equally good bet that the move is meant to, at least in some small measure, set the service apart in an increasingly crowded field.

I, for one, did not click. The prompts jarred me out of my cheesy-movie groove, like a subtitle suddenly cropping up on the screen. It didn’t seem worth the distraction, given how easy it already is to rewind and re-watch a scene. But Mike Olson, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, points out that users adapt to such additions, whether it’s advertising on a news site or a digital strike-zone imposed on the telecast of a Major League baseball game. “We as consumers,” he says, “tend to get used to those things.”

And he sees it as part of grander experimentation that is possible when people are consuming shows and movies via the Internet, like prompts that may eventually allow people to purchase clothes or furniture that catch their eye on screen.

The instant-replay offers may also provide some insight about what other people do when they watch movies, like a Kindle displaying which passages other readers highlighted when they read an ebook — suggesting that a particular scene was funny or confusing or beautiful enough to watch a second time. And it will be interesting to find out if Netflix tries to personalize such suggestions, like it does the recommendations that show up on some 137 million subscribers’ home screens.

“This is just another way,” Olson says, “that they can differentiate the experience.”


Entertainment – TIME

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The Huawei case will finally force the US to prove some claims it’s made about Chinese companies

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Tech

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Musk: “It’s Possible” Tesla Would Buy Shuttered GM Factories

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a TV interview that “it’s possible” that his company would buy several General Motors factories that the company has slated to close.

Last month, GM announced plans to close five plants in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Ontario in 2019. Additionally, the automaker said it would cut its workforce by 15% and discontinue some of its models.

The move was the company’s biggest reorganization since filing for bankruptcy in 2009, which ended in a bailout by U.S. and Canadian taxpayers. Part of that restructuring included more of a focus on electric cars, news that Musk celebrated in the interview with 60 Minutes.

“The whole point of Tesla is to celebrate the advent of electric vehicles and sustainable transport, try to help the environment, we think its the most serious problem that humanity faces,” Musk said.

If Musk makes good on his statement, it wouldn’t be the first time his company has taken over facilities after closures by other companies–nor the first time the company would take over a plant used by GM.

Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif. was previously a Nummi plant, jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors, which at its peak produced more than 350,00 vehicles annually. After GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 and Toyota sold its stake, Tesla bought the plant in 2010 for $ 42 million.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

It’s OK to Stop Saving Money If You’re Doing One of These 6 Things

At 7, your goal was to save enough money so you could buy that new toy all the kids were raving about.

At 18, you just wanted to scrape up enough to stock up on ramen for the week.

At 23, your cohorts started talking about emergency funds, and you thought, “OK, I probably need a little nest egg of my own, too.”

At 27, you started counting down to retirement — only about 40 years away… Better start saving now.

And you’re still saving.

You’ve basically been saving money your entire life. Is there ever a time you’ll be able to stop saving money? Perhaps even — gasp — spend it?

Short answer: Yes!

6 Times It’s OK to Stop Saving Your Money

We’ll forever encourage people to save their pennies, but, depending on your financial situation, sometimes it’s OK to stop saving, even just for a little while. Come on; you’ve earned it, right?

Breathe a sigh of relief. It’s OK to stop saving money if you’re…

1. Investing in Causes You Care About

Hand of person holding light bulb

Once you have a nice rainy day fund saved, investing can be a great way to grow your money. In a way, you’re still saving money — but know risk is always associated with investing.

You’ll want to make sure you’re using your hard-saved money to support companies you actually believe in — their morals and values. You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s destroying our oceans or cheating the system.

Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

You can start with just $ 50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $ 50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($ 3.75) per year if you invest $ 500.

Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

2. Signing up for Life Insurance

If you have a dependent or two, you’ll want to think about life insurance. Sure, it’ll cost you a monthly fee, but it’ll help ensure your family will be financially sound if (goodness forbid) anything happens to you.

Plus, finding life insurance doesn’t have to be the complicated, research-intensive experience you might expect. Some newcomers in the industry are updating the old model.

Ethos can get you term life insurance in less than 10 minutes — with no medical exam — for coverage up to $ 1 million. Ethos offers a digital application, and customer service is available if you have questions.

It partners with a major life insurance carrier to quickly offer policies as low as $ 6 a month. It’s helped thousands of folks access term life insurance, including independent contractors who use Uber, Postmates, TaskRabbit and other gig apps.

So even if you have to take $ 6 out of your savings each month, life insurance could be worth it — for that peace of mind.

3. Paying off Your Credit Card Debt

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018.

A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. That can make paying off your debt feel like this never-ending cycle — and can even cost you thousands of extra dollars over time.

If you have a nice savings cushion, it could be beneficial to pause your savings for a couple of months and pay off your debt more quickly to alleviate the pain of tacked-on interest.

See if you can make your debt a little more manageable first by consolidating or refinancing with a personal loan.

A good resource is online lending platform Upstart, which can help you find a loan without relying on only your conventional credit score.

Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).

It can help you borrow up to $ 50,000, potentially with better terms (e.g. lower interest or lower monthly payments) than traditional lenders. If managing many different bills and credit lines is a hassle, you can also use an Upstart loan to streamline all of your loans into one.

4. Preparing for a Happy Retirement

Because you’re already into saving, you probably have a 401(k). Kudos for that, but is it doing what you need it to?

Chances are, your 401(k) could be doing a lot better. Take control with help from Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that can optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you and keep it speeding toward retirement.

It just takes a few minutes to get a free 401(k) analysis that will show you whether your investments are allocated properly and whether you’re losing money paying hidden investment fees. It’ll even tell you just how much more money your account could earn by the time you want to retire.

After that, if you sign up, it’s just $ 10 per month to have Blooom monitor and maximize your 401(k). Bonus: Penny Hoarders get the first month free with the code PNNYHRD.

Think of Blooom like a mechanic constantly fine-tuning your car’s engine so it gives you the best possible performance and gas mileage. Except it’s your 401(k) — and your future.

5. Treating Yourself With a Reward

woman carrying shopping bags

You know how most healthy people talk about the importance of cheat days? To let yourself indulge — just a little. The same goes for personal finance. You can be as budget abiding as you want, but you have to leave a little bit of wiggle room to treat yourself.

If you haven’t gotten a pedicure in at least a decade, escaped city limits for a weekend away from the kids or splurged on a new gadget, then maybe it’s time. But please do so responsibly.

Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with these tools:

  • Ibotta: With Ibotta, you can bank cash back when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt. Plus, if you sign up now, you’ll snag a $ 10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.
  • Paribus: This tool gets you money back for your online purchases. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
  • When you’re spending money, always, always be sure to keep tabs on your budget to make sure you’re not overspending. If you don’t yet have one, the Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

6. Buying a Home

Perhaps for the past few years, you’ve been saving for a down payment. That’s great! Now, you’re ready to buy your first home.

In those first couple of months of homeownership, though, don’t feel bad if you have to pause your savings. Expect a lot of expenses to pop up: closing costs, real estate agent commission, property taxes, homeowners insurance, last-minute repairs — just to name a few.

Get all of that taken care of as you settle into your new abode. After a few months, once you’re getting back into the swing of things and are coasting along with your monthly mortgage payments, you can start saving again.

Time to Resume…

Sure, depending on your financial health, there are certain life events, investments and money moves you can justify pausing your savings for. But the break can’t last forever — you’ll need to resume your savings at some point.

After all, you never know when you’ll need the savings. That newest and hottest toy of the season could hit the shelves any minute.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll forever be saving money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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It’s Britney’s Birthday B**ch! Celebrate Britney Spears Turning 37 By Voting for Her Best Music Video Ever

Britney Spears, Baby One More Time, VideoHappy birthday Britney Spears!
On Sunday, the superstar turned 37 years old, and we love her just as much now as we did when she first came onto the music scene.
Will the…

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This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump)

He’ll just have to shake it off.

most influential person on twitter
Patricio Murphy/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Twitter’s long been the bastion of global discussions, sparking huge conversations with breaking news, silly memes and candid celebrity thoughts (some hilarious and amazing, others Kanye West). Well it turns out there’s a few big names on the platform that wield the most influence over the Twittersphere and new research by a company called Brandwatch revealed who was queen of the social media platform’s hearts. We’ve already given it away slightly, but yes – it turns out a female celeb was the most influential, so congratulations are in order for Taylor Swift.

The study looked at ‘a selection of criteria that added together to create [a celeb’s] influence score’, which took into account things like ‘followers, retweets and replies’ and ‘genuine engagement’. The named celebrity would also get bonus points depending on how influential the people they were engaging with were, so for instance if Chrissy Teigen and Michelle Obama started having a natter then it would bump their score way up.

Taylor Swift’s account @taylorswift13 came in at first place with the top influencer score of 98 and an eye-watering following of 84 million at the time Brandwatch’s study was published.

most influential person on twitter

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Besides being the most influential female celeb, she was the most popular of all time tailed closely by Liam Payne (yes, really) at 97.

Liam Payne, whose account @liampayne had a following of 33 million at the time of the study, actually responded to the news – on Twitter, obviously. He screenshotted the research and said, ‘Wow can’t quite believe this. Couldn’t have done it without you….thanks for listening.’

Following closely behind Taylor Swift and Liam Payne were Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato and President Donald J. Trump who shared the same influencer score: 96. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama slid in neatly behind him with a score of 95 alongside Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo amongst others.

There were a few surprising names we expected to be on the list but weren’t, including Twitter’s unofficial monarch Chrissy Teigen and Kanye West whose controversial tweets about slavery sparked a huge debate.

Marc Patrick/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Women also dominated the game as Brandwatch claimed ‘the women in our lists had a higher influencer score than the men’ and especially female musicians. On the flip side, women on the lists were typically younger than the men on the platform with the average age for women being 36.5, nearly 10 years younger than the men’s influential score of 44.7 years old

Pretty wild stuff, hey? We just wish Brandwatch’s research had honed in on which were the most talked about moments of all time as well, as it feels like there have been so many this year. Maybe something to consider for 2019.

The post This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump) appeared first on Marie Claire.

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‘It’s a Good Check.’ ‘Real Housewife’ Kandi Burruss Is Still Making Money Off ‘No Scrubs’ and Now Has Her Own Sex Toy Business

Kandi Burruss is so much more than a housewife — she’s a bona fide businesswoman.

Sure, she’s in her 10th season as cast member on the ever-dramatic Bravo show Real Housewives of Atlanta. But she’s also a Grammy winner who co-wrote the TLC girl power anthem “No Scrubs.” She runs a sex toy company, a boutique and a unisex children’s lifestyle brand. She has 5.8 million Instagram followers. Last year, she went on a reunion tour with her band, Xscape; earlier this year, she performed in Chicago on Broadway. In the past two months alone, she opened a new location of her Southern restaurant Old Lady Gang, dropped a single called “Ready for This” — complete with a parental advisory sticker — and hosted a dungeon party.

“What’s the point of having this huge platform if you are not benefiting off of it?” she says about her multifaceted empire.

Burruss sat down with MONEY on a recent trip to New York City. She talked about her childhood spending habits, the royalties she’s earning from Ed Sheeran and why she’s determined to have a better financial strategy than most entertainers.

How did you think about money when you were growing up?

I was a saver as a kid. That was my thing — I always wanted to make sure I had something [stashed away], you know?

My mom used to drive me to the neighborhoods with big fancy houses and stuff. We’d ride around all the time and dream — like, “Oh, one day we’re going to have a house like that.” It’s really crazy to me now that I can afford any of those houses.

Did you make a big purchase with your first paycheck?

[Xscape] signed our first record deal when I was 16. I only got a few thousand dollars, but my mom was like, ‘OK, we’ll put this with my money’ and we purchased the house across the street from where we lived. That was my first investment — with my mom.

After that, I just really wanted to save. As soon as we had our first hit record and we started doing shows, all my other group members went and bought Benzes and different things. But I wanted to see a certain amount of money in my bank account. I remember I was like, “I will not spend a dollar until I can see $ 100,000 in my account.”

[Then] I finally purchased a car. I put some money down on it so that I could establish credit.

What kind of car was it?

It was a BMW 325i. It was blue, and I had painted all my trimming to match. I wanted it to look like the M class, even though it wasn’t. So I just painted it and got the rims that matched it. You couldn’t tell the difference.

You’ve said before that you once got a great money tip from LL Cool J. What was it?

When I was 19, I put a downpayment on my first home [after moving out]. Shortly after that, our group went on tour with LL Cool J. He gave us advice: Always have at least one house and one car that you own. He was like, “Every time you get a check, put a little bit down on the principal. It doesn’t matter how much — put something. Because then it will cut years off the loan.”

I never really thought about it before then. When I got back home, I looked at my payment statement. I [saw] all the money that went toward interest, and only a little bit every month was going toward the notes. I was like, “OK, he’s onto something.”

When you’re in the entertainment business, it’s very unpredictable. You could be hot right now, and for the next 10 years a person could be making millions of dollars, right? So they start basing their life off of what they’re making at that moment.

But a lot of people are getting 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages. Fifteen years from now, you may not be poppin’ like that no more. In 30 years, you definitely will not. How often are people hot for that long? If you don’t set yourself up, you will just find yourself in a position of a lot of other entertainers we see: going bankrupt, losing their homes, not being able to afford their lifestyle. If you set yourself up in the beginning, later on down the line you’ll be better off.

And now you have several diverse income streams.

It was intentional. I wanted to have businesses outside of music that were still poppin’.

I had a friend who had clothing stores that were successful, so I kept bugging her about partnering up to do TAGS [Boutique]. Before that, I managed other artists. Later on, [for] Bedroom Kandi… I partnered up with a company that had a toy that could vibrate to music. I was like, “I do music, and I want adult products — heeey!” Now it’s a whole line. We’ve moved into bath and body products and makeup.

How do you leverage Real Housewives of Atlanta to make money?

When you’re first starting on reality TV, they’re not really trying to pay you much. I was like, “It’s not like I need them to be popular. I’ve already been on TV and in music before.” I didn’t think it was going to do anything for my career. I did it on a fluke.

I gained a lot of fans that year, but my thoughts were [that] the money has to match my popularity. I had to make it bigger than the show.

So I was like, “OK, every year when they see me on the show, they will see me accomplish something.” It’s my timeline. If I speak anything on that show and say it’s something I want to do, it is a rule of thumb for me and my team — it has to happen. I am going to be a person of my word. You know how you joke about a lot of reality stars — they’re always talking about something and you never see the product? I won’t be that girl. I don’t get a kick out of just arguing with people all day. That doesn’t do me any good. You have to find other ways to make it make sense for you.

Are you still getting a lot of money from “No Scrubs”?

Uh, yeah. Ed Sheeran used “No Scrubs” in his song [“Shape of You”], so we now are co-writers on his song. Because you can’t just use somebody’s song — it doesn’t work like that. So basically he uses our song, we got a percentage of his. It ended up getting awards; it was huge. It was like the most streamed song. There are some nice royalties.

Besides that, I constantly get royalties off my old songs. “No Scrubs,” [Destiny’s Child’s] “Bills, Bills, Bills” — people still play them a lot in movies, television, and I get license fees. It’s a good check every year.

You recently threw a star-studded dungeon party with tickets starting at $ 35, and it sold out in four days. Are there more coming?

We plan on taking it on tour. Right now we are researching venues and cities. Hopefully we can do that in early 2019.

[Also,] we’re going to get another restaurant, which is not going to be just Old Lady Gang, it’s going to be different. I haven’t told anybody.

Are you passing any money lessons onto your kids?

I need to do a better job of passing it on, because my daughter is spending way too much money right now. Before she was driving, Uber was connected to my credit card; UberEATS was connected to my credit card. She was randomly ordering stuff everyday. I put a little bit of money in her account, and one day she was down to a dollar. I was like, “Girl, you can’t do that.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.


Entertainment – TIME

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We’ve found the perfect coat, and it’s from Primark

Yes, really

Don’t get me wrong, I love a gorgeous designer coat, and a Max Mara camel coat has been on my wish list for quite a while, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good bargain.

It might not be quite the same quality, but I’ve found a great coat at Primark, and it’s only £25. You can’t argue with that now can you?

The coat is quite classic in its shape, but with an on-trend pink check that will easily upgrade your look for autumn.

In fact, quite a few of us in the office have our eye on it, we just wish you could shop it online – however it’s worth the in-store visit in my opinion.

You can do the tonal thing and wear it with pink corduroy trousers and a matching oversized knit, and finish it off with a pair of tab faux snake print ankle boots.

Plus, you’ll still have money leftover for Christmas presents.

The post We’ve found the perfect coat, and it’s from Primark appeared first on Marie Claire.

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It’s OK To Eat Some Romaine Now, But Look At Labels

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s OK to eat some romaine lettuce again, U.S. health officials said. Just check the label.

The Food and Drug Administration narrowed its blanket warning from last week, when it said people shouldn’t eat any romaine because of an E. coli outbreak. The agency said Monday the romaine linked to the outbreak appears to be from the California’s Central Coast region. It said romaine from elsewhere should soon be labeled with harvest dates and regions, so people know it’s OK to eat.

People shouldn’t eat romaine that doesn’t have the label information, the FDA said. For romaine that doesn’t come in packaging, grocers and retailers are being asked to post the information by the register.

Romaine harvesting recently began shifting from California’s Central Coast to winter growing areas, primarily Arizona, Florida, Mexico and California’s Imperial Valley. Those winter regions weren’t yet shipping when the illnesses began. The FDA also noted hydroponically grown romaine and romaine grown in greenhouses aren’t implicated in the outbreak.

The labeling arrangement was worked out as the produce industry called on the FDA to quickly narrow the scope of its warning so it wouldn’t have to waste freshly harvested romaine. An industry group said people can expect to start seeing labels as early as this week. It noted the labels are voluntary, and that it will monitor whether to expand the measure to other leafy greens and produce.

The FDA said the industry committed to making the labeling standard for romaine and to consider longer-term labeling options for other leafy greens.

Robert Whitaker, chief science officer of the Produce Marketing Association, said labeling for romaine could help limit the scope of future alerts and rebuild public trust after other outbreaks.

“Romaine as a category has had a year that’s been unfortunate,” Whitaker said.

The FDA still hasn’t identified a source of contamination in the latest outbreak. There have been no reported deaths, but health officials say 43 people in 12 states have been sickened. Twenty-two people in Canada were also sickened.

Even though romaine from the Yuma, Arizona, region is not implicated in the current outbreak, it was blamed for an E. coli outbreak this spring that sickened more than 200 people and killed five. Contaminated irrigation water near a cattle lot was later identified as the likely source.

Leafy greens were also blamed for an E. coli outbreak last year. U.S. investigators never specified which salad green might be to blame for those illnesses, which happened around the same time of year as the current outbreak. But officials in Canada identified romaine as a common source of illnesses there.

The produce industry is aware the problem is recurring, said Jennifer McEntire of the United Fresh Produce Association.

“To have something repeat in this way, there simply must be some environmental source that persisted,” she said. “The question now is, can we find it?”

Growers and handlers in the region tightened food safety measures after the outbreak this spring, the industry says. Steps include expanding buffer zones between cattle lots and produce fields. But McEntire said it’s not known for sure how the romaine became contaminated in the Yuma outbreak. Another possibility, she said, is that winds blew dust from the cattle lot onto produce.

McEntire said the industry is considering multiple theories, including whether there is something about romaine that makes it more susceptible to contamination. Compared with iceberg lettuce, she noted its leaves are more open, thus exposing more surface area.

Since romaine has a shelf life of about 21 days, health officials said last week they believed contaminated romaine could still be on the market or in people’s homes.

Food poisoning outbreaks from leafy greens are not unusual. But after a 2006 outbreak linked to spinach, the produce industry took steps it believed would limit large scale outbreaks, said Timothy Lytton, a Georgia State University law professor. The outbreak linked to romaine earlier this year cast doubt on how effective the measures have been, he said.

But Lytton also noted the inherent risk of produce, which is grown in open fields and eaten raw.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

 

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Your HelloGiggles horoscope, November 25th to December 1st: It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving week

Your HelloGiggles horoscope, November 25th to December 1st: It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving week


Your HelloGiggles horoscope, November 25th to December 1st: It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving week

This week will be fairly easy-breezy, thank goodness. We can breathe in the expansive and optimistic air of Sagittarius season, and enjoy the dreaminess that Neptune going direct has evoked in our lives. It’s probably the perfect post-Thanksgiving week as we get back to our daily grind, not to mention deal with the demands of the holiday season. However, not everything’s 100% peachy in the cosmos. Let’s not forget we’re still in the midst of Mercury Retrograde, and this week the little planet enters Scorpio on December 1st. Ouch.

Scorpios, the serious and salty stingers that they are, don’t mess around. As a result, we might be perceiving and picking up on a whole lot in the energy field, which might cause us to impulsively speak out about something without knowing all the facts. You might find yourself thinking negative and suspicious thoughts instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Beware of knee-jerk reactions and old fears cropping up. Instead, try to do some self-reflection and self-soothing.

Here’s what else the stars have in store for you in your weekly horoscope.

SAGITTARIUS

You’re feeling a huge shift in your life in so many ways, Sag. It’s important to understand that you are able to make anything possible right now. Really. So make sure you’re focusing on what’s truly moving you towards the highest good. Think long-term gains and get ready for your blessing.

 

CAPRICORN

Don’t worry, Capricorn, all is well. You might be in the midst of an upset or disappointment, but the stars want you to know that life’s rejections are truly the Universe’s blessings. Try to see that everything is working out for you right now, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Trust.

 

AQUARIUS

You’re surrounded by an awesome support system, Aquarius. This is important to keep in mind when life becomes overwhelming or even overbearing at times. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your tribe wants to help you thrive, so lean on them.

 

PISCES

It’s time for you to make some moves, Pisces. While you might have hesitated or doubted whether you should move forward with this new transition—whether it’s a relationship, project, or literal move—the cosmos want you to have faith in yourself. You can do this.

 

ARIES

You’re headed for a major revelation, Aries. You’ve always known you’re a powerful manifester, but lately, something’s been off about a certain project or situation. Now the stars are lining up for you so that you’re able to finally hit that reset button. You got this.

 

TAURUS

You’re ready to just hunker down for the holidays, Taurus. You’re at a place of stability and comfort, which is where you like to be. Enjoy this for now because the stars don’t want you resting for long. There’s a spark within that needs to be lit. Don’t underestimate yourself.

 

GEMINI

You’re feeling feels, Gemini, which feels a bit scary for you. You typically like to remain in control of your emotions, but a certain situation or relationship requires you to empathize and sort it out with feelings rather than solutions and intellectualism. Feel what you need to. It’s the only way through.

 

CANCER

It’s time to revisit something you left behind, Cancer. Maybe it’s a project, a job opportunity, or relationship. Perhaps the timing was off then, but maybe it’s the right time now to pursue it. Or maybe you need to return to it in order to finally let it go. Whichever you choose will push you forward.

 

LEO

You’re waiting to see if something is worth it, Leo. You like to be sure that whatever you’re doing is worthy of your time and talent. You don’t want to waste your electric energy on just anything or anyone. But sometimes you gotta take a chance and find out by doing it. So, do it.

 

VIRGO

You’re finally seeing your value and worth, Virgo. Meaning you now know that you deserve to reach for the stars. Like, really reach. You’ve always known you’re talented and intelligent, but now you understand you’re worthy of greatness. Don’t forget this feeling.

 

LIBRA

You’re doing you, Libra. While it might feel odd to be so focused on yourself and not really caring about what others think, this is the most liberating thing you can do for yourself. Continue to break free from old connections and habits, and keep moving ahead.

 

SCORPIO

You need to act on the images you have in your head, Scorpio. You have big goals, but sometimes you lack the wherewithal and the confidence that you can make those dreams into your reality. The only thing stopping you is you. Get out of your own way.

 

Basically, bbs, if we can take life day by day and continue to check in with our feelings about where we are and where we want to be, this could be a turning point for us. Keep yourself in check, and let the Universe take care of the rest.

The post Your HelloGiggles horoscope, November 25th to December 1st: It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving week appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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19 Preppy Gifts to Give Your Friend Who Went to Harvard, in Case You Forgot, It’s Not a Big Deal

We know it’s hard to find the right gifts for your loved ones, so we’ve compiled a ton of fashion and beauty-focused gift guides tailored to a range of interests and budgets. Check out our latest below and find more right here. Back in September, we at Fashionista compiled a trend report …

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Black Friday watch deals that you need to buy now before it’s too late

Where to find the best Black Friday deals for watches

black friday watch deals

Black Friday 2018 is almost upon us, and as ever, we predict it opshopo be the biggest online shopping weekend of the year in the UK. And with just 3 days to navigate those jaw-dropping Black Friday watches discounts (just in time for Christmas), we thought we’d make life that little bit easier for you with our guide to the best black Friday watch deals, and what to look for while you’re there.

When is Black Friday 2018?

Black Friday falls on the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (which is the fourth Thursday of November). Here the UK, Black Friday 2018 will fall on 23rd November (which is a Friday) so you still have time to bookmark the shops you want to visit and pick out the deals you’re going to go after.

Henry London Stratford Chronograph Bracelet Watch, 50% off at Wolf & Badger

black friday watch deals

We love a good chunky metal mesh watch and this piece from Henry London is absolutely dreamy. With an emerald clock face and a vintage aesthetic, it’s going for 50% off at Wolf & Badger right now.

Priced at £83, originally £165

Shop now

Radley Ladies Heart Dog Charm Leather Strap Watch, almost half off at QVC

black friday watch deals

This maroon watch has us thinking tonally this season, with a monochrome clock face and black details.

Priced at £42.98, originally £80

Shop now

Ted Baker BOWISA Bow Detail Leather Watch, £35+ off

black friday watch deals

Audrey Hepburn, eat your heart out. This minimal black watch will go with every outfit and the little bow cuff on the strap is the sweetest touch.

Priced at £87.50, originally £125

Shop now

Ted Baker CASKIA Square Dial Watch, £40+ off 

black friday watch deals

This utterly classic watch comes with a charming mesh strap and a square face. It’s also rose gold, plus it has cute little rose gold accents on the clock face if you just can’t get enough.

Shop now

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a day when shoppers can take advantage of *huge* discounts from various retailers, across all departments (why it’s called Black Friday varies a bit, some believe it dates back to the 60s, when the shopping phenomenon began, where so many people turned up to shop that it caused gridlock, others think it’s because it takes stores’ bank balances from the red to the black).

Because watches can be a bit pricey, we don’t often treat ourselves, but Black Friday is a great time to do so as prices are slashed across board. It’s also a great time to stock up on Christmas presents for your family. Just saying.

Black Friday watch deals at Michael Kors

Who doesn’t love a Michael Kors watch, especially if it’s a classic rose gold boyfriend design. For Black Friday, you can get discounts on all Michael Kors watches, be it gold tone, silver tone or leather bracelet styles. We’re a bit obsessed with the new season plum tones.

If you can’t find the watch you want on the Michael Kors site, don’t worry, because jewellers like H.Samuel, who stock the brand, are offering discounts too. If you’re interested in more high end fashion, it’s worth taking a look at our edit of the best Black Friday designer deals as well.

Shop our edit of the best Black Friday watches below.

Shop Now 

Black Friday watch deals if rose gold is your thing

Let’s be real, it’s still all about rose gold this season, isn’t it? And Michael Kors isn’t the only one to offer sleek rose gold designs. If you check out ASOS, you’ll find a host of pretty and statement watches, and a lot of other high street brands like Oasis, Topshop (which is offering amazing Topshop Black Friday deals across the board) and Next also have some great options too.

Scroll down for our edit of the best rose gold watches.

Black Friday watch deals that are best for fitness

After a fitness watch to track your steps and general health? Black Friday is a great time (no pun intended) to grab yourself a fitness tracker. You can get the popular Fitbit at a discount on various sites, like Argos and Amazon.

Curry‘s also usually does flash discounts on other fitness trackers too, like Jawbone, Garmin, Withings, Polar, so it’s worth checking the site out too.

For Apple watches, you’re of course best off going to the actual Apple website, though the discounts aren’t usually mind-blowing, more like a gift card with purchase situation. But, if your heart is set on Apple, that’s better than nothing, right?

Scroll down to shop our edit of the best Black Friday fitness tracker deals.

Black Friday Timex watches

Tired of relying on your iPhone for the time? Timex offer a range of beautiful watches ranging from work-appropriate classics to chic stacking-friendly fashion accessories to their adorable new Peanuts collection, featuring the likes of Snoopy and Linus. They’ll be offering 20% off everything on their website and it’ll all kick off November 24.

Urban Outfitters Black Friday Deals

Want to beat the Black Friday rush? Urban Outfitters is actually going to be having a pre-Black Friday sale on Wednesday, 22 November for just 24 hours where you’ll be able to score 40% off selected products. If you’re a UO Rewards member, you’ll also be eligible for free shipping.

UO’s also getting involved with the main shopping holiday and will be back with deals in full force from 23-26 November, with up to 50% off specific lines. The offer runs until midnight on the Sunday and shipping costs are going to drop to just £1, so now’s the time to buy that massive coat you’ve been dreaming of. On Cyber Monday, 27 November, they’ll also be offering 20% off select lines.

The post Black Friday watch deals that you need to buy now before it’s too late appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Homebuilder stocks are getting crushed, but one analyst says the chart looks so bad — it’s good

While some investors are avoiding homebuilders amid rising interest rates that traditionally serve as a headwind for the economically sensitive group of stocks, others say evidence is mounting for a bounce.
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‘Battlefield 5’ Has Superior Squad Play, but It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

Battlefield has always captured action movie spectacle in a way a lot of other games have had to artificially construct. Battlefield 5 does this better than any other.

Where Uncharted might have you defending a village from both infantry and armour in a heavily scripted sequence, that is par for the course in Battlefield. Basically every map features that, if you choose to head in that direction.

Even other multiplayer focused games stretch themselves to do what Battlefield achieves without trying. Calling in a bombing run on a killstreak is cool – especially when it adds to your kill total – but in Battlefield, that bomber is piloted by a real player with their own motivations. Sometimes that motivation sees them rack up 50+ kill/death ratios, while at other times they’re in it solely to crash into enemy planes.

It’s what the battle royale genre is tapping into — the chaotic idea that no AI can be coded that can match the unpredictability of sharing a game area with 50+ other people. That given the right tools players can and will create their own high-octane action set pieces, that they’ll become their own devastating killstreaks. That they’re the protagonist in a story where predicting the outcome is near impossible.


A medic stabs a syringe into a soldier in Battlefield V
You son of a bitch, you don’t stop living until I SAY SO!

A Pickle, Rick

If this is your metric then Battlefield 5 is the most Battlefield game ever. It’s the Rickest Rick. But — like Rick C-137 — it isn’t quite the same. In fact, for some people, it won’t work at all.

For those in a squad, it hits all the right notes as it blares out a symphony of action. But it feels like BF5 isn’t worth playing without at least one other person in your squad. If you play it alone, it can be intensely frustrating unless you specifically set your own goals — goals that don’t always mesh with what Battlefield wants you to do.

The way Battlefield sets the stage for its brilliant organic action movie storytelling is similar to the way battle royale games do it — by incentivising conflict via common objectives. In battle royale games, the conflict comes when the circle forces you to move. In Battlefield, the conflict emerges from those moments when teams clash near objectives — be they capture points in Conquest or the ever-moving goalposts of the Grand Operations modes.

Playing alone in a battle royale game doesn’t change these incentives — the circle still moves, and your goal stays the same. But in Battlefield 5, because of the way the game is constructed, your goal might not involve frontline conflict any more.

Bear in mind you might have fun camping in the backfield with a tank, or performing endless bombing runs in a plane. But to have those Battlefield moments the series revolves around, you need to be in the thick of things, and that just doesn’t work if you’re soloing.

There is no playing outside of a squad in BFV, no moment when you don’t have three compatriots ready to help you back on your feet, give you ammo, or yell at you for sitting in a tank at the back of the battle. But focusing on teamplay in a squad that doesn’t work together is grossly unsatisfying. Lacking communication and teammates with no interest in PTFO (playing the … objective) make your efforts sisyphean.

The issue is that you’re no longer incentivised to play BFV the way DICE have designed it, because you can’t rely on your squad — and BFV heavily revolves around Squad play.

#SquadGoals

With a medic, a support, and an assault in your four-person squad in Battlefield 5, you’re ready for basically anything the game throws at you. As a three person squad, BFV equips you with everything you need to lock down a cap point, to Rush a bomb, or to sneak into your enemy’s backlines. A medic and a support as a gruesome twosome will do if you don’t have the numbers.

As long as you have one other person to play with, BFV is awesome. So many of the game’s systems are born of the assumption you’ll be playing with another person you can communicate with and implicitly trust to play correctly.

Anyone in a squad can revive another member. Medics do it faster, but anyone can do it. If you pass away, it’s a squad member you’ll spawn on. You earn more points for helping squaddies over normies, and those points contribute to your requisition score.

That’s used for everything from Meds and Ammo, through to Tank Destroyers, and up to the deadly V-1 or JB-2 Rocket Bombs which eliminate anything in a wide radius.

Rebuilding amidst that destruction is now an important part of how BFV works. Press T and you’ll whip out your tool (phrasing). On your minimap, fortifications you can build will show up as blurred white areas. You won’t know what you’re building until you reach the spot, but once there you can create sandbag walls, razor wire barricades, trenches, and more.

Most important are the Ammunition and Medical stations, because BFV heavily restricts you in both of these aspects. Beyond what you start with, you can get extra utility from the ammo crate.


A support player builds sandbag walls
I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.

More than that, players don’t regenerate back to full health in BFV. Not without help, anyway. Use a health pack – each player starts with one – and you’ll be straight 100 until your next engagement. But if you don’t, you’ll regen 25% of your health and then stop until you can get healed. Medical stations can do exactly that, and they’ll give you another health pack to boot, adding far more value to owning a capture point than just respawns.

While most of the construction takes place in and around capture areas, however, a lot of BFV‘s combat takes place well outside of these points.

A Different Kind of Singleplayer

There is another option if you’re playing on your own — the singleplayer War Stories. There are three key campaigns to play through, plus the prologue – which is more introduction than anything – and two of them are really well told.

Our least favourite is Under No Flag, a by-the-numbers retelling of the formation of the SAS, wherein a gruff officer recruits a criminal – from a jail no less – to join his raiding team. It’s full of odd decisions, but none odder than the fact that the truth is far more exciting than the tepid tale told here.

The second mission is Nordlys, following Norwegian commando Solveig in what starts as a rescue mission by a commando and turns into a fictional adaptation of the heroics of Operation Gunnerside. It’s a far more impactful story, if predictable. There’s skiing and a great deal of stealth — it’s a recurrent theme in these missions — where you decide when and how you want to engage with the enemy. Silently eliminating guards before they can call for backup feels good.


An Assault class holds an RPG in Battlefield V
Take your lumps like a man, Private Twinkletoes.

The final mission — for now at least — is Tirailleur, following French Senegalese soldiers through Operation Dragoon. Their story sends them to France, and it examines the racial implications for African soldiers who are fighting for a country they’ve never seen. It’s a well told, well measured story with fantastic voice acting.

It’s snack-sized storytelling that offers a limited relationship between the player and player character. And the stealth sections might not match up to, say, Far Cry 5. But for what War Stories sets out to achieve, shining a light on the tales told less often, it does a fantastic job.

The Untold Stories

There has been some controversy — or at least consternation — regarding Battlefield 5‘s initial insistence on avoiding the World War II “classics,” as gaudy a concept as that is. BFV doesn’t take place during the Normandy invasion, or across the Rhine, instead opting for the lesser told stories of World War 2.


Battlefield 5 Wake Island map
The classic Wake Island map, beloved throughout Battlefield games.

We think it’s a great choice. Like any Battlefield fan we’d love to see Wake Island, but in a way, Wake Island provides the best frame of reference as to why we don’t need the other traditional locations. After all, The Battle of Wake Island is usually eclipsed by the Attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a less traditional setting, and it became a Battlefield staple because the design of the map is iconic.

And BFV‘s maps are all really beautifully crafted. If we had to pick a favourite it would be Twisted Steel, but thus far it seems like DICE has learned a lot from the mistakes of Battlefield 1. There’s no straight line slaughterfest like Suez, and nothing like Sinai where half the map is a pointless waste of time.


Twisted Steel map vista from Battlefield V
I’m worried about the ice cream van with the psycho clown driver.

Good map design is far more important to us than reliving moments I’ve seen in Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan, because Battlefield isn’t about those moments. It’s about the organic storytelling that arises from the gameplay itself.

Is Battlefield 5 Good?

Battlefield 5 has nailed the sort of gameplay that drew us into the series in the first place. When you and your crew are clicking, when you’re all playing the objective, taking fights at the right time, popping smokes to cover advances and retreats, resupplying mines for one another in the backfield, and back-capping under the enemy’s noses, Battlefield 5 is unstoppable. Untouchable even.

Regardless of setting, it’s a dozen action movie sequences all playing out adjacent to one another, all with their own protagonists. DICE has made a bold move in daring you to team up with friends at all costs, and it’s worked beautifully. It’s not flawless, but we’re loving it.

The post ‘Battlefield 5’ Has Superior Squad Play, but It’s Dangerous to Go Alone appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

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Pubic hair and eight-pack abs – it’s got to be Michelangelo

A team of researchers led by Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University has collected what they say is clear evidence to confirm a claim that two bronze sculptures of muscular men riding panthers were the only surviving bronzes by Michelangelo.


Reuters: Arts

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Don Lemon: It’s a hot White House all right

CNN

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It’s November… Are You a Member? | Join The Surfrider Foundation Today

Surfrider Foundation Press Release

It’s November. Are You a Member?

Membership is the lifeblood of our organization. Each $ 25+ membership supports our programs, gives us political clout, and shows the strength of our community in real, irrefutable numbers.

San Diego County prides itself on being the largest & most active chapter in the country, with a membership of 2000. It’s an impressive number, but also very small when you consider our 3 million+ population.

Humor me.

Imagine if every county resident who loved our coast became a Surfrider member. Every surfer, paddler, swimmer, and beachgoer. Every parent who cares about clean water & healthy beaches for their children.

With that level support – not just financially, but as a community that stands up for its beaches – we could approach 100% capacity to protect San Diego county’s 72 miles of coast.

This is the SD County Chapter I dream about.

One where every ocean-loving citizen joins our ranks at the level they can afford. One where together, we achieve 100% protection of our coast the same way we’ve been doing it for 34 years:

As a powerful activist network that RALLIES, FIGHTS, and WINS for our beaches.

It’s November. Are you a member?

Join the Surfrider Foundation TODAY HERE

The post It’s November… Are You a Member? | Join The Surfrider Foundation Today appeared first on .

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Mindy Kaling says people have trouble with “women who don’t hate themselves,” and it’s a sad truth

Mindy Kaling says people have trouble with “women who don’t hate themselves,” and it’s a sad truth


Mindy Kaling says people have trouble with “women who don’t hate themselves,” and it’s a sad truth

There’s no denying that Mindy Kaling is goals—she’s a show runner, actress, and best-selling author, and she seems to genuinely love the skin she’s in. Which—as she noted in a recent speech—isn’t always easy, or even encouraged, among women. During Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit on November 11th, the Mindy Project star noted that some people are “turned off” by her confidence.

“It’s not that I’m into myself,” she said. “It’s that I don’t hate myself. In my career, a lot of people have a problem with being around women who don’t hate themselves. Never hate yourself.”

We are so here for Kaling’s observation. Women are still socialized to downplay their accomplishments, to apologize before contributing in meetings, and to generally take up as little space in a room or situation as possible. And when they don’t? They’re hit with labels like “conceited,” “arrogant,” and, yes, “bitchy.” And it has got to stop.

Kaling’s advice for women looking to build their confidence and make their dreams come true is to always feel prepared. “I always just did the legwork, and it meant I never came to anything unprepared. The only reason I was able to be confident was because I literally couldn’t not be confident with the amount of research and preparation I did.”

Thank you for your wisdom, Mindy. We’re taking note.

The post Mindy Kaling says people have trouble with “women who don’t hate themselves,” and it’s a sad truth appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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It’s Here! See the First ’Toy Story 4’ Teaser Trailer

The world of Toy Story is getting all forked up! A new toy named Forky wreaks havoc in the first official teaser trailer for Toy Story 4, the next sequel to Pixar’s first feature film and the latest installment of the $ 2 billion franchise.

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

The 90-second trailer, which the Disney animation company released on Monday, November 12, shows the characters dancing in a circle to the tune of Judy Collins’ folk song “Both Sides, Now.” Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie hang with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, an Alien, Slinky Dog and Forky.

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

 

But Forky, a spork decorated with pipe cleaners and googly eyes, isn’t happy-go-lucky like the rest of the characters in the teaser. “I don’t belong here!” he exclaims, breaking the circle and causing a pile-up collision of toys.

“Somebody get him before he pokes an eye out,” Woody says off-screen.

 

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

In the YouTube description, Pixar offers a synopsis for the new movie: “Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called Forky to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.”

Toy Story 4 is directed by Josh Cooley, who also helmed the Pixar short Riley’s First Date?, and produced by Inside Out producers Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen. Hollywood newcomer Stephany Folsom was tapped to write the script after Parks & Recreation alum Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack opted out of the project. (In a statement, the duo cited “creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences” with Pixar.)

Toy Story 4 is slated for theatrical release on June 21, 2019.

Us Weekly

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This portable breathalyzer can actually tell you when you’ll be sober again, and it’s $25 off

Portable Breathalyzer Amazon

Plenty of people know when they’ve had a few too many, and they do the responsible thing by letting someone else drive them home. In the age of Uber and Lyft, there’s no excuse whatsoever for getting behind the wheel of a car when you’re drunk. Of course some people have a few drinks and think that they’re sober enough to drive, and those borderline cases are the ones that get responsible people in trouble. Thankfully, there are now tools at our disposal that completely remove guesswork from the equation. The BACtrack C8 Personal Breathalyzer is small enough to fit in your pocket and it has the same type of accurate sensor used by law enforcement. This model also have a fantastic extra feature though: It gives you the approximate amount of time it’ll take before you’ll be sober again.

BACtrack C8 Personal Breathalyzer | Police-Grade Accuracy | Optional Smartphone Bluetooth Conne…: $ 99.99

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • PROFESSIONAL-GRADE ACCURACY – Powered by BACtrack’s patented BluFire Fuel Cell Sensor, the BACtrack C8 utilizes the same pro-grade technology trusted by hospitals, clinics, and even law enforcement.
  • DUAL-MODE OPERATION – Choose “Standalone Mode” and your BAC results are delivered directly to a bright, easy-to-read OLED screen. Alternatively, choose “App Mode” and the BACtrack C8 wirelessly delivers your BAC results to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • ZEROLINE TECHNOLOGY – With BACtrack’s innovative ZeroLine technology, you’re in control of your night. After your BAC results are delivered, ZeroLine estimates the time until your BAC is 0.00%, allowing you to quickly and easily know where you stand.
  • ULTRA-PORTABLE – One of the smallest police-grade alcohol tester ever created, the tiny BACtrack C8 weighs only 2 oz. It’s small size makes it easy to put it in your pocket or purse and have it with you any time you drink!
  • 30 DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE & ONE YEAR WARRANTY – We stand by all our products, but if you are unhappy with your BACtrack, you may return it any time during the first 30 days. All BACtracks also come with a one year warranty, no matter where you purchase.

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon is blowing out Anker accessories in a one-day early Black Friday sale
  2. This LED faucet light changes color based on water temperature and it’s my new favorite thing

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Toy Story 4’ trailer reunites our favorite toys and introduces a new friend
  2. Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Nov. 11)
  3. OnePlus is releasing a new version of the OnePlus 6T on November 15th

This portable breathalyzer can actually tell you when you’ll be sober again, and it’s $ 25 off originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 12 Nov 2018 at 10:54:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Facebook got through the midterms mostly unscathed, although it’s still got lots of work ahead

After failing to recognize and stop the threat of fake news before the 2016 U.S. elections, Facebook ramped up its efforts to curtain harmful content on its services. So far, Facebook's efforts appear to be working. 
Tech

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Hello? It’s I, Robot, And Have I Got An Insurance Plan For You!

“Anna” will not stop calling. She really, really wants to sell you health insurance.

What a lot of consumers really, really want is to smack Anna upside her robocalling head.

As health insurance open-enrollment season gets underway in California and nationwide, automated phone calls offering Affordable Care Act or other health plans are spiking — and driving many consumers to the brink. California residents may have it worst, because its open-enrollment period is twice as long as in other parts of the country.

“It’s at epidemic levels at this time of year,” said Aaron Foss, founder of Nomorobo, who estimates his spam call-blocking service, based in Long Island, N.Y., headed off more than 850,000 health-related robocalls in October alone — nearly five times their interceptions for September, Foss said.

Nomorobo tracked about 820 different robocall pitches for health insurance in the last week of October. More than 100 of them were from the robot Anna.

Almost all of these calls are illegal, according to rules published by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009. Many offer skimpy health plans that don’t cover what you might need, insurance regulators and consumer advocates say. Others, they say, are downright fraudulent, with unscrupulous insurance “brokers” taking payment and promising insurance that never comes through.

Alice Cave, 62, a retired data analyst from Alexandria, Va., who spends winters in Tucson, said she’s gotten so many of these calls that she typically won’t answer her phone unless she recognizes the number. On Monday, expecting a call from a California reporter, she answered her cellphone.

It was “Anne.” (Anna’s robot cousin? Other relatives include “Jordan,” “Allison” and “Mandy,” though variants on Anna remain most prevalent.)

“She was saying, ‘I really need to talk to you — we’ve got deals on health insurance.’ I thought, ‘God, what a crock,’” Cave said. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Anything that comes in on the phone, I’m going to be skeptical. Why would they offer me this deal? I already have great insurance. It’s crazy.”

Some fed-up consumers try to stymie robocallers, with amusing results. Twitter user Jon Heise in June confounded his robot by insisting, after whatever it said, that he was a “meat popsicle.” Eventually, it hung up.

It’s not all fun and games. In California, the Department of Insurance is investigating health insurance robocalls, said Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner for health policy and reform. In late August, the agency filed a court order against Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC, accusing the Florida company of deceptive and misleading practices in selling “Obamacare” plans that didn’t comply with the health law. The company could face fines of up to $ 10,000 per violation, Rocco said.

In this case, the company’s robocalls featured “Anne,” according to the court order. In its legal response, the company did not admit to the agency’s allegations and denied responsibility. A hearing date has not yet been set, Rocco said. (Arkansas’ insurance commissioner issued a cease and desist order against the company in 2016.)

Under federal law, calls using prerecorded messages are legal only for such things as doctor appointment reminders, flight cancellations, credit card fraud alerts and political candidates. Calls to sell products and services are not.

In a typical robocall sales pitch, a friendly female voice comes on the line. Sometimes the call appears to originate from major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna or from a local number a caller might suppose is a school or neighbor.

Often, the voice will ask the consumer to dial “1” to enroll or “2” to opt out of future calls. Both options can be a trap, experts say.

“If you pick up, you become a lead that’s sent to health insurance agents or brokers,” Nomorobo’s Foss said. And option 2 doesn’t put you on a do-not-call list; it merely lets the spammers know they’ve hit a working number, he added.

A reporter from Kaiser Health News connected with one of the insurance brokers behind one of these robocalls by pressing the dreaded “1.”

A man identifying himself as “Ray Khan” said he’s a licensed insurance broker and provided a National Insurance Producer Registry number. The reporter was unable to locate Khan in that national registry with that number, which was not assigned to anyone.

Khan asked for the reporter’s Social Security number and other personal information. He said he did not have an office and that enrollment needed to be done over the phone. He referred the caller to a website that does not provide information about plans offered but is a platform for consumers to be contacted by brokers.

“It’s a legitimate company. We work for different insurance carriers,” Khan said. “You have to trust someone if you want to do it.”

That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do — trust folks who call you out of the blue, according to the Department of Insurance’s Rocco. “Someone selling a comprehensive medical plan is not going to be reaching you via a robocall,” Rocco said.

Most of what’s sold through these automated calls are so-called skinny plans that don’t comply with Affordable Care Act requirements, or are short-term insurance plans, which typically offer coverage for only a few months and often don’t cover preexisting conditions or prescription drugs. Such plans have been outlawed in California, starting Jan. 1.

Despite state and federal crackdowns — some involving multimillion-dollar fines — robocalls aren’t going away anytime soon. So the best thing for consumers to do when they receive one is to just hang up or, like Virginia resident Cave, not respond to unfamiliar numbers, advises the Federal Communications Commission.

Instead, check out the federal Obamacare exchange, healthcare.gov, or your state’s marketplace.


This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

Kaiser Health News

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Work Report 2018 – For Now, It’s An Employee’s Market

FRIDAY SAW THE RELEASE OF THE OCTOBER JOBS REPORT. WHAT WAS IN IT?

Overall, Friday’s jobs report contained really positive news. According to the Labor Department, the economy added 250,000 jobs in October. That did not change the unemployment rate, which held steady at 3.7%, tied with the lowest rate December 1969.

But most importantly, we saw strong wage growth and labor market participation figures, which tell us that more Americans are finally seeing better numbers on their paychecks. Wages increased 3.1% from a year earlier, the best year-over-year gain for average hourly earnings since 2009.

And the percentage of prime-working-age adults — those between 25 and 54 — rose to 79.7 percent, up from 79.3 percent in September. However, there is still room for growth here, as that figure was 80.3 percent in January 2007 and 81.9 percent in April 2000.

WHY ARE WAGES RISING?

This is primarily a story about the labor market. With relatively few unemployed Americans looking for work, to secure access to qualified employees, companies are increasingly having to raise wages to attract workers away from other employers. That has been the case the past few years for higher skilled jobs such as engineers or technology workers, but now we are seeing the same thing play out for lower-wage jobs

HOW DOES THIS WAGE GROWTH COMPARE TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS?

While it is undoubtedly good news compared to the past decade, in historical terms wage growth remains soft given the strength of the economy and the tight labor market. In the early 2000s and late 1960s, wages were growing at 4% or better year over year. However, part of this may be tied to worker productivity, which was growing faster during those periods, and is often a factor in wage growth rates.

CAN WE EXPECT WAGE GROWTH TO CONTINUE?

Based on what we know about the tight labor market and the fundamentals of the economy, it seems likely we will continue to see wages grow. What we do not know is if growth will continue to be significantly higher than inflation in order for Americans to see real gains in purchasing power.

For example, if workers who have sat on the sidelines continue to look for jobs and push labor market participation higher, wage growth could slow. If worker productivity increases, wage growth could pick up. We will have to wait and see.

WHAT ONGOING EFFECTS DO RISING WAGES HAVE ON THE ECONOMY?

Higher wage growth will have a ripple effect across the economy. These job and wage numbers mean we are likely to see consumers continue to spend money. U.S. consumer spending rose for a seventh straight month in September.

That is good news for the economy as a whole. However, wage growth could dampen investor optimism and impact the markets.  Higher wages mean increased labor costs for companies and will certainly revive concerns the Fed will continue to hike interest rates, making borrowing more expensive for companies and individuals alike.


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

Mellody Hobson is President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves individual investors and retirement plans through its no-load mutual funds and separate accounts. Additionally, she is a regular financial contributor and analyst for CBS News.

 

 

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

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European Commissioner: Trade war is ‘unacceptable,’ it’s time for countries to work together

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis on Tuesday denounced the protectionism he said is keeping countries and their people from seeing as much success as they otherwise would.
Top News & Analysis

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Jane Fonda reacts to Megyn Kelly controversy: ‘It’s through failure that we grow and learn’

Jane Fonda weighed in on the controversy surrounding Megyn Kelly, whom she famously traded barbs with following a contentious appearance on the TV host’s former show.

Kelly’s morning program was canceled by NBC last week after she defended the idea of wearing of blackface as part of a Halloween…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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‘Enough Is Enough.’ It’s Time to Decertify USA Gymnastics or Start All Over Again, Gymnasts Say

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team enters the world championships in Doha, Qatar, this month as the defending team champions. American women have dominated the top of the podium at the last three championships, and five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles is competing for her fourth all-around individual world championship title. She also qualified in all six events at the championships, and if she earns gold in each of them, could become only the second female gymnast to sweep all of the titles at a single meet since the 1980s.

But USA Gymnastics, the national federation for gymnasts for which she competes, is mired in one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in sports history. And its response to the revelations that team doctor Larry Nassar abused hundreds of athletes, including Biles, has prompted many leading many gymnasts to call for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to decertify USA Gymnastics, or at least remove everyone associated with the organization during Nassar’s years of abuse, and start all over.

“Enough is enough,” Aly Raisman, who was among the first Olympic team members to reveal she was abused by Nassar, tells TIME. She says the board of USA Gymnastics has been making “mistakes over and over again. And I think we have given them enough time. We can’t wait any more. It’s not right.”

Those calls grew louder last week after Steve Penny, the organization’s former president, was arrested on vacation with his family following an indictment for tampering with evidence relating to the Nassar scandal. His attorney said Penny was not aware of the warrant and is confident that his actions were not criminal.

Then, Mary Bono, the second person appointed to replace Penny, resigned after less than a week when it was revealed that her law firm represented USA Gymnastics and reportedly helped to provide a cover story for explaining Nassar’s absence after initial reports of his abuse. She also faced criticism from athletes including Biles for a now-deleted tweet from September in which Bono covered a Nike logo on her golf shoes in response to Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad.

USA Gymnastics did not respond to requests for comment, although it did issue a statement regarding Penny’s arrest that said the organization “support[s] law enforcement’s efforts and [that it has] fully cooperated with the investigations by the Texas Rangers, Congress and others and will continue to do so to help the survivors and our community heal from this tragedy.” In announcing Bono’s departure, the USA Gymnastics board said in a statement that it was “in the best interest of the organization.”

In addition, USA Gymnastics refuses to settle any of the numerous lawsuits it faces from gymnasts including Raisman and Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, all of whom were abused by Nassar and say that the organization failed to protect them by allowing him to continue to serve as national team doctor, even after receiving reports of his abuse.

“I was always concerned about how this was handled by USA Gymnastics, but now I feel it’s really dangerous,” Raisman says. “USA Gymnastics has not been transparent at all. There have been so many resignations, and no answers. They won’t release anything, which is making me more nervous about what else they are hiding.”

It’s now clear that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s dominance at world and Olympic competitions in recent decades came at a price. The entire five-woman 2012 Olympic team and four of the five-member 2016 team have revealed that they were sexually abused by Nassar, an osteopathic doctor. Over a period of more than a decade, he abused more than three hundred athletes under the guise of medical treatments. According to his victims, the abuse occurred at his office at Michigan State University where he was on the faculty, in hotel rooms during competitions and at the national training center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. Nassar is currently serving up to 175 years in prison for his crimes.

The USOC currently recognizes national governing bodies for sports like gymnastics, and that means USA Gymnastics adheres to bylaws established by the Olympic Committee concerning proper conduct of athletes and coaches, and compliance with its policies, which include anti-doping rules. USA Gymnastics also receives funding from the USOC to support the elite competition teams that represent the U.S. at world and Olympic events. Perhaps most importantly, many international sports federations that put on competitions such as world championships and oversee participation at the Olympics require national federations like the USOC to sponsor teams from their respective countries.

For USA Gymnastics to be decertified, a complaint would have to be filed by the CEO of the USOC. Once a complaint is brought to the USOC board, a hearing would be held including, in this case, members of USA Gymnastics and the athletes’ advisory council. The panel would then make a recommendation about whether to revoke recognition as gymnastics’ governing body. If another organization were to come forward to be recognized by the USOC, it would need a different name and would have to adhere to the bylaws of the USOC and start to gain membership of local gyms. If an alternate organization is not available to take over for USA Gymnastics, then gymnasts would temporarily compete under the umbrella of the USOC. However, if the USOC decertifies USA Gymnastics, it’s not clear whether the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) would recognize American gymnasts at international competitions.

While unusual, there is precedent for decertification. The national governing bodies for taekwondo and team handball were decertified, and new organizations were created to replace them. In taekwondo’s case, the prior organization failed to address financial problems after USOC audits, and in team handball’s situation, USOC felt the existing management was not fulfilling its obligation to grow and populate the sport adequately.

The USOC did threaten USA Gymnastics with decertification, after it learned that Penny had waited five weeks before reporting reports of sexual abuse by Nassar to law enforcement. That led to Penny’s resignation, as well as the resignation of three top board members. But many survivors, including Raisman, want transparency from USA Gymnastics, including an explanation for why Nassar was allowed to continue to abuse gymnasts even after complaints about him were provided to its leadership, as well as explanations for the recent series of resignations.

“This is bigger than one abuser,” Raisman says. “It’s the leadership at USA Gymnastics that is creating this disaster.”

Raisman isn’t sure if decertification is the best option, but says something must be done to fundamentally change USA Gymnastics.

Nassar is in prison for his crimes, Penny resigned and the top three members of the USA Gymnastics board also stepped down. But, Raisman says, not much has actually changed at the organization. It has not acknowledged the scandal nor taken responsibility for what happened to hundreds of gymnasts who trusted that the governing body would have their best interests in mind and keep them safe.

“Some of the same leaders who were there [while Nassar was the team doctor] are still there. The old influence, the bad influence that created the problem, is still there,” she says. “They didn’t listen to anything we said; they never did and still are not doing it.”

In its statement announcing Bono’s departure, USA Gymnastics said it “remain[s] steadfast in our efforts to fundamentally transform the organization at all levels to ensure athlete safety and well-being is at the heart of everything we do…While we have made progress, we have much more work to do. This board is determined to take the necessary steps to support a safe, inclusive and competitive environment where all our athletes and members can grow, have fun and achieve their goals.”

Since the survivors came forward en masse to provide victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in January, Kerry Perry, who was the first president appointed to succeed Penny, was called before Congress to explain how Nassar was allowed to abuse gymnasts for years, despite reports to the organization that he was a sexual predator. Rather than providing an explanation, however, she redirected the focus to her intention to “make sure we’re focusing our organization on athlete safety.” Perry resigned in September after nine months leading USA Gymnastics.

The board then appointed Mary Lee Tracy as development coordinator to oversee training for gymnasts working toward making the elite world and Olympic teams. In December 2016, Tracy had defended Nassar, calling him “amazing” although he had been charged with child sexual abuse and indicted on federal child pornography charges days before. Tracy defended her description, saying she was only referring to her own experience with Nassar and that her comments had “absolutely nothing to do with … the survivors.” When Raisman tweeted that Tracy’s appointment was a “disappointment,” Tracy attempted to reach out to the Olympian and was asked by USA Gymnastics to resign three days into the job.

“I wonder how many more times does somebody have to do something harmful that hurts, actually hurts children and affects them in potentially life-threatening ways before somebody does something?” says Jessica Howard, a rhythmic gymnast who was abused by Nassar. “It hurts me as a victim; it’s a gut punch every single time.”

Howard says that the constant poor leadership decisions and resignations, and the arrest of Penny, are only perpetuating the pain and frustration for survivors. The message from USA Gymnastics, Howard says, is that athletes’ interests are still not the top priority for the organization. “I thought, this can’t be real,” says Howard when she read about the board’s decision to appoint Bono as interim president and CEO. “Maybe I’m having a dream — I actually thought that maybe I was having a dream. They cannot be this oblivious. It’s like screaming fire and nobody comes, and there are people in the building.”

Part of the problem, say many survivors, is that the organization has failed to take responsibility for the scandal and in doing so, damaged its reputation. “No one with any integrity is willing to take the position of leadership at USA Gymnastics,” says Rachel Denhollander, who was the first to identify herself as a victim of Nassar. “For two and a half years [USA Gymnastics] has consistently demonstrated that they have no desire to do the right thing.”

For one, she and others point to the fact that Ron Galimore continues in his position as chief operating officer at USA Gymnastics. According to email exchanges in the summer of 2015 that were obtained by the Indianapolis Star, an attorney from Bono’s firm suggested that Galimore be tasked with telling the USA Gymnastics’ medical team that Nassar was absent from competitions because he wasn’t feeling well – rather than informing them that Nassar was under investigation for sexual misconduct. USA Gymnastics did not respond to a request for comment on Galimore and his alleged involvement in the Nassar scandal.

“What people need to understand is that this is not a Larry problem — Larry is a symptom of a USA Gymnastics problem,” says Denhollander. “And they have not taken care of the root problem; they have only taken care of one of the symptoms.”

USA Gymnastics cites its adoption of SafeSport policies, created by the USOC’s U.S. Center for SafeSport. It’s meant to be an independent body that can investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, but many athletes feel that isn’t enough. Raisman, for one, advocates creating an entirely independent body — not affiliated with the USOC or its various sports governing bodies — to which athletes can turn for support and safety. She is working with Darkness to Light, a non-profit that provides education to adults to help them recognize signs of childhood sexual abuse, and wants to come up with other potential solutions for keeping athletes safe not just in gymnastics but all sports. “I never imagined it would get this bad,” she says.

Denhollander is hoping that Congress, which passed the Amateur Sports Act that created the USOC oversees the national governing bodies for the various sports, will hold the USOC accountable in a more stringent way. “Congress has to act to make a difference,” she says. “There is no way forward otherwise with this organization. Until all of those people who participated in the abusive culture that led to the worst scandal in recorded or Olympic history are gone, things are not going to be done differently. That’s the reason the current board is continually making the wrong choices. It’s not an accident.”

In the absence of more positive action from USA Gymnastics, the USOC, or Congress, Raisman feels an urgency to become an advocate for change herself, especially with the next Olympic Games only two years away. “I think about them a lot,” says Raisman of the gymnasts competing at the world championships in Doha, who are aiming to make the Olympic team in two years. “When I was training for the Olympics and realized what was happening [with the way complaints against Nassar were handled] was wrong, it was hard to work for an organization that I knew was very corrupt. And now with everything that has come out, it’s way worse than I ever imagined it would be. But it’s not the survivors’ fault. It’s the organization’s fault. The moment they realized something was wrong, if they had handled it the right way, and reported it, this wouldn’t be a problem right now. I’m trying to brainstorm ideas,” she says. “We owe it to the sport. The sport deserves much better.”

Sports – TIME

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It’s Official: NBC Cancels Megyn Kelly Show

NEW YORK (AP) — Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News Channel personality who made a rocky transition to softer news at NBC, was fired from her morning show Friday after triggering a furor by suggesting it was OK for white people to wear blackface at Halloween.

 

“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” NBC News said in a statement. The show occupied the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” program, a time slot that will be hosted by other co-anchors next week, the network said.

NBC didn’t address Kelly’s future at the network. But negotiations over her exit from NBC are underway, according to a person familiar with the talks who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bryan Freedman, an attorney for Kelly, said in a statement that she “remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing.” He did not elaborate.

Kelly is in the second year of a three-year contract that reportedly pays her more than $ 20 million a year.

The show’s cancellation came four days after she provoked a firestorm for her on-air comments about blackface as a costume.

“But what is racist?” Kelly said Tuesday. “Truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

Critics accused her of ignoring the ugly history of minstrel shows and movies in which whites applied blackface to mock blacks as lazy, ignorant or cowardly.

Kelly apologized to fellow NBC staffers later in the day and made a tearful apology on her show Wednesday. She did not host new episodes of “Megyn Kelly Today” as scheduled on Thursday and Friday.

Kelly, 47, made her debut as a NBC morning host in September 2017, taking over the 9 a.m. slot at “Today” and saying she wanted viewers “to have a laugh with us, a smile, sometimes a tear and maybe a little hope to start your day.” She did cooking demonstrations and explored emotional topics.

She largely floundered with that soft-news focus, and a pair of awkward and hostile interviews with Hollywood figures Jane Fonda and Debra Messing backfired. Kelly briefly found more of a purpose with the eruption of the #MeToo movement.

She made news when interviewing women who accused President Donald Trump of inappropriate behavior and spoke with accusers of Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roy Moore and others, as well as women who say they were harassed on Capitol Hill.

Time magazine, which honored “The Silence Breakers” as its Person of the Year, cited Kelly as the group’s leader in the entertainment field. The episode with Trump accusers had more than 2.9 million viewers, one of her biggest audiences.

But strains continued behind the scenes. Kelly last month publicly called for NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack to appoint outside investigators to look into why the network didn’t air Ronan Farrow’s stories about Weinstein and allowed Farrow to take the material to The New Yorker.

And her ratings have been consistently down from what “Today” garnered in the 9 a.m. hour before Kelly came on board. In its first year, Kelly’s show averaged 2.4 million viewers a day, a drop of 400,000 from the year before.

The latest controversy may have tipped the balance. Both NBC’s “Nightly News” and “Today” did stories on her blackface comment, and weatherman Al Roker said Kelly “owes a big apology to people of color across the country.”

A former corporate defense attorney, Kelly made her name at Fox News discussing politics in prime time. During the first GOP debate in 2015, she asked Trump about calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Trump later complained about her questions, saying, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

Although Kelly may have attempted a fresh start at NBC, she couldn’t always escape her baggage.

Many of her former Fox News Channel viewers were upset by her perceived disloyalty in leaving and her clashes with Trump during the campaign. At the same time, her former association with Fox caused some NBC colleagues and viewers to regard her with suspicion.

While at Fox, Kelly cultivated a reputation for toughness and a willingness to challenge conservative orthodoxy. Her private testimony about former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes’ unwanted sexual advances a decade ago helped lead to Ailes’ firing.

She also created controversy with her stance on race. In 2013, while an anchor at Fox, Kelly addressed the ethnicity of Santa Claus by saying: “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.”

___

Elber reported from Los Angeles.

 


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It’s a jungle out there: Costa Rica with kids

Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventure

It’s dark in the rainforest, the air thick with strange croaks and chirps, and our group moves slowly, following José’s torchlight. As he gestures for us to stop, we gather around in silence, the adults as keen as the children to see what he’s spotted. There on a leaf, with its bulging orange eyes, neat green body and comically big tangerine feet, sits a Costa Rican tree frog. Cue delighted squeals all round.

“It’s so cute!” whispers my niece, Georgia, and I nod, partly relieved it’s not a boa constrictor or tarantula.

Continue reading…
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Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas

There’s so much more to it than gingerbread lattes

costa christmas menu
Credit: Costa

The countdown to Christmas starts that bit earlier every year. Halloween is still weeks away and yet we’re already pining after the best beauty advent calendars and shopping for these amazing Harry Potter baubles.

Oh, and have you heard about the Aldi chocolate wine? We’re already planning to stock up when it goes on sale.

But things aren’t stopping there. Festive cheer – and menus – are cropping up everywhere, and Costa has just released a list of their own merry offerings, and we can’t wait to try it all.

Making a comeback this year are the black forest hot chocolate and the gingerbread and cream lattes, alongside some new flavours including caramelised orange and cream, hazelnut praline and cream, and gingerbread and cream – all of which are available as hot chocolates or as lattes.

costa christmas menu

Credit: Costa

Customers will also be able to get their hands on a luxury hot chocolate, described as ‘small but beautifully formed rich, dark and decadent.’ Fancy.

For coffee lovers, there will be a festive roast blend to sing to your tastebuds, but if you’d prefer something a little different you could try the new hot spiced apple or hot caramel drinks on offer.

costa christmas menu

Credit: Costa

There are also some sweet and savoury treats available, such as gluten free vegan mince tarts, gluten free vegan iced fruit slices, gingerbread and sticky toffee wreath cakes and clementine drizzle loaf cakes.

Plus a special mention to the pigs in blankets mac’n’cheese. Drool.

And let’s not forget a rather extensive variety of Christmas sandwiches, which also cater to veggies and vegans, will be hitting the shelves, fan faves being the Christmas cheese board panini and the veggie Christmas lunch wrap which includes sweet potato falafel with Wensleydale and cranberry cheese and spiced plum chutney.

The menu, as well as the Costa Christmas themed cups, launch on November 1st.

We’re ready and waiting…

The post Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have received their first baby gift, and it’s very appropriate

You’ll never guess what it is…

Less than 48 hours after the announcement that Meghan Markle is pregnant and the couple have already received a gift for their first child.

Kensington Palace announced on Monday that the baby is due in spring 2019 – although people already reckon they’ve worked out Meghan’s due date.

While the royal family found out the news on Friday, it’s thought that Meghan shared her pregnancy with this person a couple of months before.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a jam-packed first day of their royal tour in Sydney, meeting Invictus games representatives as well as visiting a zoo and the Royal Opera House.

At the beginning of the day the pair were presented with a cuddly kangaroo by Australia’s Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, to which Meghan exclaimed, ‘Our first baby gift!’

Later they also received a tiny pair of Ugg boots that we’re sure will come in handy – although Meghan already has a gift for her future daughter, which she’s had for years.

At Taronga Zoo the couple also met a pair of baby koalas that had been named after them in honour of their nuptials, according to The Sun. We’re jealous.

‘We genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or a girl,’ Harry said of the baby news.

Watch this space for more pictures and updates from Meghan and Harry’s tour as we get them.

The post Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have received their first baby gift, and it’s very appropriate appeared first on Marie Claire.

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JP Morgan’s widely-followed market analyst says it’s time to buy the dip

J.P. Morgan is telling its clients to make the most of the market's massive sell-off this week. 
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This is Why It’s Smarter to Buy Halloween Makeup at Ulta Than a Party Store

I’ll tell you this right now: Halloween is not my holiday of choice.

I usually spend the weeks leading up to Oct. 31 being a grump and refusing to dress up. Then, a few days before, I start feeling left out and just want to go to the party, so I piece something together.

It always ends up being expensive.

And I feel like a fool in a scrappy costume while everyone else is dressed as a clever pun with Pinterest-worthy makeup.

Not this year, my friends.

Although Halloween is on a Wednesday, I will be prepared — and I refuse to spend too much money.

A co-worker (who is a lot more makeup-savvy than I am — thanks, Kelsey) recently let me in on a secret: Buying “real” Halloween makeup at a cosmetic store like Ulta is actually a lot smarter than going to Party City for the “cheap” costume stuff.

No way, I thought. But, lo and behold, it really is a smarter decision. Here’s why.

1. “Real” Makeup Is Cheaper

This is where I was hung up. I know how much the little bit of makeup I wear costs, so the idea of buying legit makeup over the costume stuff didn’t seem like it’d be cheaper.

But you really can find cheaper Halloween makeup alternatives at Ulta — both in-store and online.

Plus, you can apply some hefty savings to your order if you know what you’re doing.

For example, you can get free gift cards to Ulta by taking surveys through Swagbucks (which will also give you $ 5 to get started).

Once you’re in, buy an Ulta gift card and shop Ulta through the platform. You’ll earn two Swagbucks (SBs) per $ 1 you spend. You can exchange SBs for gift cards.

For context, 2,500 SBs equate to a $ 25 PayPal gift card, good for all your online shopping pleasures.

However, as it turns out, many of the costume basics are a lot cheaper if you get them from somewhere like Ulta.

I compared a few items and their prices:

Fake eyelashes:

  • Sultry False Eyelashes: $ 4.99 at Party City
  • Ardell Glamour Multipack (of four sets): $ 11.99 at Ulta, totaling about $ 3 per set

Lipstick:

  • Gold Glitter Lipstick: $ 2.99 at Party City
  • Makeup Revolution: $ 2.49 at Ulta

Eyeliner:

  • Black Shimmer Eye Liner: $ 3.99 at Party City
  • Essence Kajal Eye Pencil: $ 1.49 at Ulta (also available in white)

Self-adhesive face jewels:

  • Adult Sea Siren Mermaid Makeup Kit: $ 9.99 at Party City
  • Lottie London Mermaid Self-Adhesive Jewels: $ 5.49 at Ulta (online-only)

Setting powder:

  • Colorless Setting Powder: $ 3.99 at Party City
  • E.L.F. Prime & Stay Finishing Powder: $ 2 at Ulta (online-only)

Bonus: Here are seven other ways you can save money at Ulta.

2. “Real” Makeup Is Better Quality

One year in middle school, I decided to be a clown for Halloween… Lord knows why.

I hate clowns, and my face was covered in paint, which caused my already acne-prone skin to freak out. I think there’s one photo of the incident floating around somewhere…

When I dressed as a scarecrow a few years back, my face was not happy with the swirls of red paint on my cheeks. Also, the red paint refused to come off — even with makeup remover — so going to class on Monday was an adventure.

One of the perks of using “real” makeup is the quality. The likelihood of your skin having an adverse reaction to the product is probably lower. Plus, the real stuff is usually built to stay on all day, so it’ll be less likely to slime off during your rowdy night.

3. “Real” Makeup Stores Better (and You Can Use It Again)

I held onto that red paint palette I purchased for my scarecrow costume, because it felt like such a waste to use the tiniest bit and toss it.

Moving out a few months later, I stumbled across it. It was totally dried out.

When you purchase legitimate makeup, it’ll store better — and longer. Actually, depending on the product, it’ll probably be fine until next year.

There’s also more of a chance you’ll use eyeliner than black face paint on any other regular day.

4. “Real” Makeup Has More Options

At Party City, you’ll probably find limited options for Halloween makeup. You’ll see the white face paint, the palette of clown colors and maybe two colors of lipstick.

The nice thing about opting for makeup from a place like Ulta is you have so many options. You’re also not locked into buying the five-pack of eyeshadows, for example. You can probably find a singular one you actually need (and will use again).

Plus, did you see all those lipstick options? Black? Green? Purple? Neon yellow?!

The best part is you don’t risk running into someone who used the same pre-packaged kit as you. You’ll be unique. And, really, that’s all that matters on Halloween — because it’s awkward to run into someone dressed the same darn way.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

 

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This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Heineken’s new beer hopes to stand for what it’s missing: Alcohol

Heineken will soon launch Heineken 0.0, a nonalcoholic version of its namesake beer, in the U.S. as consumers seek healthier beverages.
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When it comes to music, New York’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month runs through the end of October:

Bernie Williams, Oct. 12 at Schimmel Center

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A Rape Accusation Against Cristiano Ronaldo Is Finally Getting Attention. It’s About Time Soccer Had Its #MeToo Moment

Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s most famous soccer player and arguably the most famous athlete in the world. But in the last few days, his name hasn’t been in headlines for winning championships or crying on the pitch after being issued a red card. His name is flashing across screens because of a 34 year-old woman named Kathryn Mayorga, has come forward to say Ronaldo brutally raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

How is it possible that a story that sports media in North America had no interest in publishing less than two years ago, is now splashed all over every screen and social media platform? This case was not reported on by any major outlet except for a story in 2017 by the independent German newspaper Der Spiegel. Except for a select few commenting on social media (myself included), the case against Ronaldo got no traction. Fast forward 18 months, and Der Spiegel published another story. This time, it was a detailed account from Kathryn Mayorga herself. The publication spent more than 20 days with her and held countless interviews, fact checked and re-checked before it published.

The documents acquired by der Spiegel were damning and according to a recent Twitter thread by one of the main authors, Christoph Winterbach, there were more than 20 staff involved in working on the article. In response. Ronaldo’s lawyer and his team made a lot of noise as part of their legal posturing and even accused der Spiegel’s piece of being “illegal” because “it violates the personal rights” of Ronaldo. Laughable at best.

For those who understand the law, and the severity of the crime, there is much substance in this story. Back in 2009, Mayorga’s inexperienced lawyer (who had specialized in traffic violations) was no match for Ronaldo’s PR mega-machine and legal team, ended up settling with them for $ 375,000 on the condition Mayorga not . But Mayorga’s new legal team is disputing that contract and arguing that she was mentally deficient due to trauma from rape, and was not competent enough to make a proper decision at the time.

They have filed a civil suit on Mayorga’s behalf and the case has since been re-opened by the Las Vegas police. In Nevada, the statute of limitations has not expired for this crime. Mayorga has not only suffered physically (the hospital documented her injuries in a rape kit when she reported the crime), but she continues to suffer from that trauma to this day and—according to her lawyer—is in “active therapy.”

Ronaldo initially called the allegations “fake news” and insinuated that Mayorga was trying to get famous using his name. I have worked with survivors of violence and have yet to meet or know of a victim who has enjoyed any of the bullying, shame, societal isolation and mental health upheavals, and wanted to claim some type of infamy from an attack. And I won’t even dignify the ridiculous notion of “false accusations.”

Writing about rape culture in the soccer world is a struggle. Before the 2015 UEFA Championships, I heard about allegations against Spanish goalkeeper and Manchester United star David De Gea, who was implicated in a horrible rape case. I pitched that piece to at least ten different outlets and no one was interested in publishing it and paying me for my work. Thankfully, I found it a home at a soccer site entirely run by women. And they backed me up when the online harassment started to descend. I have only tweeted about Ronaldo thus far and the responses to my tweets have been violent and angry—presumably from Ronaldo supporters. Another indication of the hatred casually flung at women for speaking up.

Mayorga’s attorney has said that she was enabled by hearing survivors in the #MeToo movement disclose their own stories. There is a strong tide of women speaking up courageously, slowly washing away the impunity often enjoyed by powerful misogynists and abusers. Perhaps #MeToo has finally transcended into the realm of sports, a realm where it is desperately needed. With cases like Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant and Baylor University’s football team, and other men who rarely face consequences for their actions, it is needed now more than ever.

Predictably, the same sports media who initially had no interest in this story have become “experts” in criminal law, and on sexualized violence. The vacuous reporting and unnecessary reflections are mostly done by men, and center the 33-year-old star. Opinions on due process (reminder: it’s a legal system not a justice system) and about Ronaldo’s athletic prowess and teams don’t have anything to do with this case in which he is accused of anally raping a woman, who by his own accord, told him “no.”

The way that these stories are reported by sports journalists who have little or no training in reporting accurately on sexualized violence can be re-traumatizing for many survivors. Instead of investing in proper media tool kits compiled by advocates for victims of violence (all free), editors unleash a bevy of unhelpful pieces that contribute to an unhealthy society steeped in rape apologism. On that night in 2009, Mayorga was dancing with Ronaldo. Does that mean she invited rape? No. These outlets are complicit in the way that victim blaming and shaming become part of natural discourse when rape is reported.

Then there is the sexist sports establishment itself. Since the most recent news broke out, the predictably irrelevant statements of solidarity from Ronaldo’s supporters have emerged. His current team Juventus FC tweeted out nonsensically reminding Twitter that Ronaldo has conducted himself with “professionalism” and “dedication.” The issue at hand is not whether he is a “champion.” How Ronaldo performs on the pitch is not correlated to the fact that he may have brutally violated a woman. The issues must not be conflated.

Ronaldo was left off of the Portuguese national team roster for upcoming international matches—but not because the Portuguese football federation felt it necessary to exclude him from the squad for being charged with a violent crime. They somehow managed to explain this decision while singing his praises. Portugal national men’s coach Fernando Santos said in a news conference on Thursday, “[Federation] president Fernando Gomes and I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo and we considered it best for the player not to be included in this and November’s call-ups.

He went on to wax poetic about the alleged rapist: “I personally always support my players, and this is not even a question of solidarity, but I believe what the player said publicly. He considers rape to be an abominable crime and clearly reaffirms that he is innocent of what he is being accused of. I know Cristiano well and I fully believe he would not commit a crime like that.”

How nice for Ronaldo for people to believe him because he works hard and people are familiar with his persona. And while Nike and EA Games, two of Ronaldo’s major corporate sponsors, are “concerned” with the allegations, it is not enough to have them pull their money away—even though Ronaldo allegedly used sponsorship money to settle with Mayorga in 2009. The reluctance to cut ties with a powerful athlete underlines that the dignity of a woman is not worth sacrificing profits from soccer cleats.

#MeToo has yet to be championed the way that alleged rapists are.

Sports – TIME

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A bunch of birds in Minnesota won’t stop getting drunk, and it’s becoming a problem

drunk birds

Most of us know what it’s like to have one too many adult beverages. We tend to mess things up, fall down, and cause problems in a variety of ways. When birds get drunk, they apparently do the exact same thing, and Minnesota residents are experiencing it firsthand.

As CBS Minnesota reports, the town of Gilbert is dealing with an influx of inebriated birds due to an early frost. The birds, which get drunk on fermented berries, are becoming something of a nuisance and have even caught the attention of local law enforcement.

Continue reading…

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A bunch of birds in Minnesota won’t stop getting drunk, and it’s becoming a problem originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 4 Oct 2018 at 23:34:26 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true


Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Author Michael Arceneaux talks Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the absurdity of prioritizing the “fears” of young men before the experiences of sexual assault survivors.

As we’ve come to learn in his still relatively short but nonetheless exasperating, exhausting time as president, Donald Trump’s debasement of the office moves at a freakishly accelerated pace. Every single day of this ongoing nightmare, one has to wonder not if Trump will reveal himself to be an inhumane boob—but how many times that day and to what extent? On Tuesday night, the man who once defended Neo-Nazis by calling them “very fine people” and who endorsed a person credibly accused of pedophilia for the U.S. Senate decided it was time to up the despicable ante: He mocked the victim of an alleged sexual assault during a rally in Mississippi.

He mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—the woman who came forward to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during their high school years. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s trauma to the cheers and laughs of adults. Children were present. I know that cable news pundits already bore the hell out of people with their trite, cliche-ridden newspaper columns about “both sides” showing selective morality, but there is only one major U.S. party that has its president mocking women who were sexually assaulted.

That cruel reality makes me think of the other remarkable thing President Trump said on Tuesday just hours prior: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”

It is perplexing (to say the least) that Trump would say this now given his history with those accused of sexual violence—notably, the time he infamously took out a newspaper ad calling for the death of the Central Park Five. Despite DNA evidence exonerating them, then-candidate Trump continued to profess their guilt decades after the matter had been settled. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this hypocrisy, but as she often does, she forgoed facts and straight answers in favor of spouting fables about the wannabe tyrant she habitually lies for.

It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s remarks as the ramblings of a sociopathic buffoon, but like his racism, like his sexism, like his xenophobia, like his transphobia, and like his homophobia, Trump is the id of the Republican Party, and to some extent, a major bloc of the electorate. It’s not just his son Donald Trump Jr. echoing these sentiments, it is people like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and well, Republican voters themselves. But still, it’s not just conservatives who seem to buy into this notion that we ought to care more about the concerns of the accused than the accuser. This misogyny pervades our entire patriarchal society: The idea that we must worry more about what can happen to a man’s career before we can focus on the life of a woman whom his abuse has impacted. That ultimately, and simply, men matter more.

Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz explained to the Washington Post that among Republicans, “There is a feeling of being guilty until proven innocent. In this era of #MeToo, there are a lot of men—and some women—who believe that justice no longer exists in America, that the accusation is enough to destroy someone’s career and someone’s life.”

In a new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday, the survey found that 51% of white voters believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Meanwhile, 80% of Black voters believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. For, Latinx voters, it is 66% who believe Dr. Ford. Only 40% of white voters believe her account, and when split by gender, 46% of white women believe Dr. Ford and 43% believe Kavanaugh. In sum, Luntz has a point—no matter how irrational, delusional, and disgusting the viewpoint is among those who hold it.

In fact, despite the faux condemnation of Trump’s remarks by select Senate Republicans like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, it is still likely that Judge Brett Kavanaugh—the man Ford claims once tried to rape her 36 years ago—will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in light of continued support among Republican leadership and, per Gallup, most Republicans. And apparently, with the support of most white voters.

So, my question is, how exactly is it a “scary time for young men” in America? It is a far scarier time for women in this country given that we have an American president—one serially accused of sexual assault himself, no less—who will belittle a survivor of sexual assault.

It is a far scarier time for women given that a major political party has no qualms propping up a sexual abuser to a position of power—literally to the laughs of white voters.

As RAINN notes: “Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”

Men are scared? I wish men were more afraid of facing consequences for abusing women and girls, but given the climate we live in and the longstanding statistics about sexual assault, why would they be? Look at the man who stands behind the podium with the symbol of the U.S. presidency and look at the support he maintains. I long for a better day, but no serious person would kid themselves into thinking we need to worry about young men in America.

And all that concern about men being falsely accused? About survivors “[wanting] to destroy people,” as Trump also said on Tuesday? Studies reveal that it is more likely for a man to be sexually assaulted than falsely accused of rape. “Unfounded” or false rape accusations only make up 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations. In an interview with Vice.com, University of Kansas Law Professor Corey Rayburn Yung said, “The false reporting rate [for rape] is lower than lots of crimes.”

We need to care more about the women and girls of this country who are not only susceptible to abuse, but burdened by a patriarchal system in which their abuser is still likely to harm without consequence.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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It’s time the Giants go all-in on Saquon Barkley

The Cowboys needed rescuing last Sunday against the Lions and Ezekiel Elliott rescued them. The Giants need rescuing this Sunday in Carolina and they should turn to Saquon Barkley to rescue them. Elliott erupted for 152 yards on 25 carries and four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown on the same day that Barkley…
Sports | New York Post

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