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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.

    • UBS has published a list of stocks they believe are set to rocket higher next year.
    • To be included in the list, a stock must have a "buy" rating at the firm and have a catalyst that most investors are ignoring.
    • Markets Insider picked out the 11 stocks in the US that UBS says will have the most upside potential.

    In a recent note to clients, UBS equity analysts highlighted the stocks they believe that are best set to surge in the year ahead. 

    To be included on the list, a stock must have a "buy" rating and a catalyst most investors are ignoring.

    "As well as screening for upside to price target, upside/downside skew, market cap, sector weightings and liquidity, we focused on stocks where we believe our analysts have a truly differentiated view versus consensus," the firm said.

    After going through the list, Markets Insider picked out the 11 US stocks that UBS says will have soar at least 35% in 2019.

    Below are the 11 stocks, in ascending order of their upside potentials:

     

    Wells Fargo

    Ticker: WFC

    Closing Price on 12/18: $46.52

    UBS Price Target: $63 (+35%)

    "Wells Fargo's substantial underperformance since 2016 has created a long-term buying opportunity," said analyst Saul Martinez.

    "Even with limited revenue growth, efficiency improvements and capital optimization should drive mid to high teen EPS growth and considerable ROTCE expansion in 2019 and 2020. We forecast that Wells buys back 17 % of its shares by year-end 2020, providing considerable support to the EPS and ROTCE trajectory."

     

    Source: UBS



    Advance Auto Parts

    Ticker: AAP

    Closing Price on 12/18: $158.24

    UBS Price Target: $215 (+36%) 

    "Its initiatives like cross-banner visibility and its marketing campaign are driving the top-line," said analyst Michael Lasser.

    "The industry is in a good spot with a healthier car park and the potential benefit from parts inflation. A strong top-line should drive expense leverage across the business. Some of the investment margin drags will roll off and it will see savings from closing duplicative DCs. Plus, inventory optimization and managing its AP/Inventory ratio should lead to improved free cash flow, which should lead to greater share repurchases."

     

    Source: UBS



    Salesforce.com

    Ticker: CRM

    Closing Price on 12/18: $132.32

    UBS Price Target: $180 (+36%)

    "We think Salesforce is establishing a leading position as an enabler of digital transformations, and this trend will remain a key area for IT budget growth in CY19," analyst Jennifer Lowe noted.

    "Our analysis suggests improved efficiency in CY17 and CY18, and continued progress here should lead to better margins in the future. We think strong top line growth plus better-than-expected margins and cash flow can drive shares higher from here."

     

    Source: UBS



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    uncommongoods gifts 24

    Shopping is time-consuming and stressful, so it's no wonder many of us often default to buying generic, unmemorable gifts just to get the whole process over with. We've all been guilty of it, and part of the reason is the dearth of unique options that live in one, easily shoppable place. 

    UncommonGoods, the online shop inspired by the founder's experiences roaming craft fairs and trade shows, highlights the best of independent makers from around the world. Selling thousands of unique products, it's one of the few places we know we'll always find something cool for our loved ones, whether they're hungry home cooks, die-hard sports fans, or classic old souls. 

    If you see a lot of gifts from the site that you like, or you think you'll shop UncommonGoods beyond the holidays for other gifting occasions, sign up for its Uncommon Perks shipping program. Shipping prices ordinarily start at $4.95 and depend on your order value and desired shipping speed, but this $19 annual membership will get you free standard shipping on all US orders, regardless of order value. 

    Most of these items are available with expedited shipping (for an extra cost), and some should arrive within a few days' time, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    Before you dive into the treasure trove that is UncommonGoods, check out our 30 top picks from the site first. These gifts are far from ordinary. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    A beautiful and unconventional puzzle

    Geode Puzzle, $65, available at UncommonGoods

    If regular puzzles just aren't challenging enough for them, these nature-inspired ones exercise their brain in new and exciting ways. 

     



    A pair of lamps made for long-distance relationships

    Long Distance Friendship Lamp, $85-$170, available at UncommonGoods

    Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. Our editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.



    A cheese board shaped like their home state

    USA and State Serving Board, $48, available at UncommonGoods

    State pride and an excellent cheese and charcuterie spread go hand in hand with these beautiful bamboo boards. 

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Taco Bell Founder House21

    • Late Taco Bell founder Glen Bell's Rancho Santa Fe, California, home is on the market for $5.9 million.
    • The listing includes two homes, which can be purchased together for $5.9 million or separately for $4 million and $2.6 million.
    • Together, the homes offer more than six acres of land. The main residence has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two pools, and a chef's kitchen. 

    The lavish California home of late Taco Bell founder Glen Bell is on the market for the first time since 2015.

    Bell died in 2010 at 86. He was a pioneer of Mexican fast food, opening chains including Taco-Tia and El Taco in the 1950s. It wasn't until 1962 that he founded Taco Bell, which PepsiCo acquired for $125 million in 1978.

    Bell's massive Rancho Santa Fe, California, home is now listed at $5.9 million. The listing actually includes two homes: a nearly 8,000-square-foot house with two swimming pools and a chef's kitchen, and a 4,527-square-foot house with an outdoor entertainment space and tennis court. The homes can be purchased together or separately. 

    The main residence has five bedrooms and seven baths. Each of the two master suites has a fireplace and a private garden, and the spacious living room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the backyard. 

    Take a look inside the extravagant home: 

    SEE ALSO: This major beauty subscription-box company is opening its own stores inside Walgreens. Here's what it's like to shop there.

    The late Taco Bell founder Glen Bell's house is located in Rancho Santa Fe, California.



    The home is listed for $5.9 million, and its grounds span a total of 6.75 acres. There are two residences included.



    The main house is nearly 8,000 square feet, and it has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It's listed for $4 million if purchased alone.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mold ceiling

    • From smelling something odd to feeling sick, there are a number of different signs that can indicate that you might have mold in your house.
    • If you do suspect you have mold in your home, getting it taken care of as soon as you can is very important as the situation generally won't improve over time.
    • If you don't address any underlying leakage, however, you really haven't gotten things under control — the mold will likely come back.

    Mold can be a common issue in homes and although it isn't always dangerous, it can cause structural damage to the house and it can negatively impact your health when left untreated and undetected.

    The best thing to do if you know or suspect that there's mold in your living area is to address the problem as soon as you can and as thoroughly as you can. 

    Here are some signs that might indicate that you have mold in your home.

    You visibly see mold spores.

    Of course one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mold in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mold, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands.

    "Once you see it, you've got a big mold problem because what you're seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg,"Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a housesitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER.

    Simply scrubbing the visible mold with soap and a sponge won't actually get rid of the mold. So if you see visible mold, you need to reach out to a mold remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place. 



    You feel like you have a lingering cold or are battling flu-like symptoms.

    "It is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mold, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere," Hayes-Raitt said. "So the problem starts behind the walls. But if you're getting sick, it might be because of a mold problem."

    If you're dealing with symptoms that you can't exactly pinpoint, it could be that you're stressed, haven't been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that you're dealing with mold.

    If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus. 



    You notice a bit of a musty or damp smell.

    If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mold issue.

    "Many different mold species have different odors, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact smell, however, if it is an odor that isn't common in your home or building, then it should be investigated," George Hernandez, the vice president of operations at PuroClean, told INSIDER. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    disney world cinderella castle

    • You can ride horses or go kayaking at some of Disney's resorts. 
    • Main Street U.S.A. is always fun to explore, but there's a special treat for guests who visit at night. 
    • There are musicals and backstage tours worth seeing, too. 

    With so many exciting lands, attractions, and dining options, it's no surprise Disney World is such a popular vacation destination.

    Disney World is massive at around 40 square miles, making roughly the size of San Francisco. So there are plenty of things to do, see, and enjoy during your stay that don’t involve waiting on line for rides in the hot Florida sun.

    From beach-side movies under the stars to private surfing lessons, here are 16 of the most underrated things to do at Disney World, 

    Spend a day exploring your own resort or visiting others to see out what they have to offer.

    Whether you're staying in a Disney resort hotel or staying elsewhere nearby, Disney resorts are more than just a place to rest your head after a long day at the parks.

    Each resort hotel has unique themed lounges, dining options, and shops, so you can soak in a little bit of Disney magic while taking a break from crowds.

    "Resort hopping is a great way to take a break from the parks and have a more relaxed Disney vacation," said Steve Griswold, experienced Disney traveler and trip planner, owner of Pixie Vacations, a Disney trip planning service, and host of Mouse Chat, a Disney podcast.

    Griswold recommends exploring Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, which has Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar. He also suggests checking out Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for its stunning lobby and evening entertainment, where guests can enjoy big band sounds while sipping a drink from Mizner's Lounge.

    Griswold especially advises exploring the resorts during the holiday season. "All of the resorts also decorate to the nines for the holidays," he told INSIDER, noting the festive decor and picture-perfect gingerbread houses that can be found in many of the locations. 



    Enjoy the myriad of transportation options around parks and resorts.

    From Disney's Magical Express, a complimentary shuttle service that takes hotel guests from Orlando International Airport to their resort  to the Minnie Van Service, a Minnie Mouse-themed taxi that will take you anywhere you want to go throughout the resort for a fee, there is no shortage of ways to get to your desired destination in style.

    If you prefer the relaxation of traveling by water, enjoy rides on a water taxi or ferry boat, which run around the parks, hotels, and Disney Springs. And soon guests can experience Disney's new Skyliner, a gondola system that will open to guests in fall 2019, according to Disney Parks Blog.

    Of course, you can always go for a ride on the monorail even if you're not staying on the Disney property. It provides great views of the Magic Kingdom and some of the classic deluxe Disney resorts.

    Read More: I did Disney World's monorail bar crawl — here's why you should too



    Be sure not to overlook each park's more nostalgic attractions.

    Disney's Magic Kingdom is full of nostalgic attractions that keep the classic spirit of Disney — many of which have existed since the park's opening day in 1971.

    Beloved favorites include Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, Swiss Family Treehouse, The Hall of Presidents, Tom Sawyer Island, and Jungle Cruise.

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    red sparrow jennifer lawrence

    • INSIDER counts down the movies we had high hopes for in 2018 that let us down the most.
    • The list includes a "Pacific Rim" sequel, an unnecessary "Predator" reboot, another bad Jennifer Lawrence movie called "Red Sparrow," and a Disney misfire with "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

    2018 provided us with a superhero movie fit for a best picture Oscar run, important social commentaries you may have missed, and several contenders for best animated movie of the year. But not everything was amazing. 

    In a year where there were a surprisingly good amount of sequels, there were also a lot of unnecessary and lazy remakes and attempts at franchise reboots. INSIDER rounded up the movies we were looking forward to that missed the mark. We're not talking about the worst movies of the year. That's a completely different list.

    From a few failed "Taken" knockoffs to another trip to a galaxy far, far away a bit too soon, keep reading to see the movies that let us down the most this year, ranked from bad to worse.

    16. "The Darkest Minds"

    A film from the producers of both "Stranger Things" and "Arrival" sounded interesting, but this movie never felt like it was an adaptation of a young adult novel of the same name. Instead, Fox's apocalyptic film always felt like an "X-Men" rip-off, which is weird since Fox also releases those movies. 

    The difference here was that this film revolved around a group of survivors who wound up with powers after most children in the US were killed by a disease.

    Though led by Amandla Sternberg, this film did little to stand out from other dystopian movies. Mandy Moore and "Game of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie also appeared in this movie, but you probably didn't know that from the marketing, which sold it as an "X-Men"-like spin-off.

     



    15. "Nutcracker and the Four Realms"

    I don't think anyone thought this movie was going to be fantastic, so it's not higher on this list. But this was a big letdown from Disney. Poor Keira Knightley is trapped in this adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's classic tale as a cringey, grotesque-looking Sugar Plum Fairy. 

    Trailers made the fantasy epic look like a mix between "Alice in Wonderland,""The Chronicles of Narnia," and "Oz the Great and Powerful," but the predictable movie lacked the elements that made the others giant blockbusters.

    In a year where the Walt Disney Studios put out "Black Panther,""Avengers: Infinity War" and two animated sequels, was this was the most original movie the studio could put out? Try harder.

    Read our review here.



    14. "Robin Hood"

    Did you even know there was a "Robin Hood" reboot out this year starring the lead from "Kingsman" and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx? There wasn't a huge marketing push for it and that may have been why the movie bombed at the box office

    But we also definitely didn't need another "Robin Hood" movie and not one that was dull and uninspired to say the least. The failure of this movie felt very similar to last year's fun, but admittedly, unnecessary attempt at a "King Arthur" reboot



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ground beef

    • Chefs share their favorite things to do with a pound of ground beef.
    • Large batch dishes like chili utilize ground beef and make versatile leftovers.
    • Seasoned ground beef can amp up basic dishes like a bowl of rice.

    Ground beef can simultaneously be one of the easiest and most intimidating ingredients to pick up at the grocery store. It's ubiquitous because it's so easy to use and hard to mess up, but when the options are seemingly endless, how do you use ground beef in new, delicious ways that will keep you excited for dinnertime instead of dreading yet another night of meatloaf leftovers?

    We asked chefs what their favorite things to do with a pound of ground beef are to help inspire your next weeknight beef feast.

    Ground beef chili is a great meal all year around.

    "I love making chili — we actually serve it at Sons of Thunder because we love it so much. Our chili uses grass-fed ground beef and three different kinds of whole dried chilies, cooked down to capture a complex and sweet heat that warms you up during the winter — but don't let us stop you from eating it in summer, too. You can eat it on its own, over rice or fries, or on a hot dog!"— James Kim, co-owner of Sons of Thunder.



    Grilled burgers are classic.

    "My favorite thing to do with ground beef is to make burgers! At The Williamsburg Hotel, we use wagyu beef from Snake River Farms to create a juicy beef burger. Simply add a pinch of salt and black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and parsley to the ground beef patty and put it straight on the grill"—Nicolas Caicedo, executive chef at The Williamsburg Hotel.



    A "fatty" is a twist on a classic.

    "I like to make a fatty with the ground beef. A fatty is a stuffed ground beef loaf, usually wrapped in bacon and cooked on the smoker. Recently I made a pulled pork, roasted poblano, queso fresco stuffed fatty, wrapped it in bacon and as it smoked I basted it with a pineapple serrano glaze. Delicious!"— Rick Gresh, executive chef at Flight Club.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Las Vegas

    • These indoor vacations will let you relax.
    • You can explore a new city underground or get a complete escape inside.
    • From Vegas to Montreal to Dubai there are plenty of choices for people who prefer to not go outside.

    Wellness and adventure travel are all the rage these days, but let's face it: Not everyone actually wants to backpack or break a sweat on a well-deserved vacation. Old-fashioned R&R is still a legitimate way to press pause on a daily grind that calls for early morning workouts and long days at the office.

    So instead of taking another grueling, Instagram-worthy trip that leaves you feeling more tired than you did before you took off, treat yourself to a getaway that delights your inner introvert or provides you with the creature comforts you crave.

    Dubai has been dubbed the world's first "indoor city."

    Dubbed the world's first official "indoor city", Dubai is a dream for anyone who wants to be inside. The world's second largest mall, The Mall of the World, boasts so much more than what seems like a countless number of boutiques, department stores, and luxury shops in a climate-controlled setting: It features an impressive aquarium, underwater zoo, indoor theme park, skydive simulator, 75,000-square-foot virtual-reality park, and an Olympic-sized ice rink.

    As if that wasn't enough to convince you to beat the heat or get out of the sun, travelers will love seeing inspiration drawn from popular places around the globe. Look for attractions that count a celebration walk (modeled off of Barcelona's Las Ramblas), billboard-lined theater district (like New York's Broadway), and a shopping area like Oxford Street in London.

    Dubai's ultra-impressive skyline is another sight you won't want to miss, and you can catch some of the best views from indoor hot spots like the observation deck at Burj Khalifa or the lounge at At.mosphere.



    Las Vegas is the ultimate destination for indoor entertainment.

    Casinos, shows, and concerts, oh my. Las Vegas is an indoor enthusiast's perfect pick with what seems like endless entertainment options, along with a heap of lesser-known stops (like Top Golfing) that city insiders believe add to the magic.

    When you're done dancing, drinking, or have played your last hand at the blackjack table, hit the shops. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace are a must-see with bright blue "skies" while the Grand Canal shops will make you feel like you're traipsing around Venice, Italy — without ever leaving the United States.

    If you still have some energy to muster, grab your friends and head out for some late night bowling; 24-hour alleys with live music and neon colored lanes are a definitely a thing, and CBS Las Vegas puts luxury bowling at RedRock Lanes at the top of the list.



    Dublin, Ireland has tons of things you can do without spending much time outside.

    Ireland may be known for its rugged coast, but some of the best views don't require spending much time outside. You can arrive at the Hill of Tara, an ancient site with an impressive vantage point, with an hour-long drive from Dublin. Locals sign off on this as the spot to score a picturesque panorama that will impress your friends and followers — without doing much more than getting out of the car.

    Round out your time with more indoor fun, like a tour of the storied Guinness Brewery or sample some pints with the people who live in Dublin at a downtown watering hole. The famed St. Patrick's Church (the oldest church in Ireland) is a must-see, alongside the Library of Trinity College. Book and literature lovers will have no trouble keeping busy for hours.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Santa Claus gun

    • Starting with Bill O'Reilly in the early 2000s, many figures on the American political right have argued that there is an ongoing war on Christmas.

    • Observers have questioned the reality of such a conflict, given the holiday's prominent place in US culture.

    • But throughout history, governments and societies — including certain Christian sects — have tried to do away with the festivities.



    Every December, Americans take part in a time-honored tradition: letting slip the dogs of the war on Christmas.

    Some folks assert that there's a concerted effort in American society to secularize or erase Christmas, while others call this belief ludicrous. Writing in Politico, Daniel Danvir estimates the most recent iteration of the clash began in 2004, with ousted Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly firing the opening salvo. Since then, "...the War Over Christmas has become tarted up, 24-houred and Twitterized — even as it has grown drearily routine, an annual pageant in which culture warriors line the trenches," Danvir wrote.

    The results? "Xmas" has gotten a bad rep in some circles. US President Donald Trump has shouted about bringing back "Merry Christmas" at rallies, while First Daughter Ivanka Trump stoked controversy by wishing people "Happy Holidays" on Twitter. The Yuletide tension between the First Family notwithstanding, this fearsome fight mostly occurs between pundits — Business Insider's Mark Abadi reports most people don't give two sugar plums about your choice of season's greetings.

    But that doesn't mean there haven't been so-called wars on Christmas in the past — sometimes waged by Christians themselves.

    Here's a look at historic instances during which Christmas was banned or twisted beyond recognition:

    SEE ALSO: What the biggest 'War on Christmas' controversy gets wrong about history

    DON'T MISS: Fake news is nothing new — here’s how it killed my ancestor over 300 years ago

    A group of radical Christians outlawed Christmas — and sparked riots — in 17th century England

    People weren't happy when England's Puritan Parliament banned outright Christmas in 1647.

    The Puritans had just seized the country from King Charles I. The sect's central quest was to purge the Church of England of all Catholic influences. They viewed Christmas as a mess of a holiday, full of vice and lacking in scriptural basis.

    To signal their disdain, the blog History Extra reports Puritans in London would open up shop, show up to Parliament, and shut down their churches on Christmas Day. They even blasted Yuletide delicacies like mince pies as "idolatry in crust," according to Gerry Bowler's "Christmas in the Crosshairs."

    But a lot of their fellow subjects didn't agree. In fact, according to "The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion," riots broke out in London, Ipswich, and Norwich and other cities. The pro-Christmas residents of Canterbury even took control of their city in defiance of the Puritan leadership.

    Christmas only returned to England in an official capacity when Charles II restored the monarchy in 1660.



    Many early American colonists hated Christmas, too

    The puritanical anti-Christmas vibe wasn't contained to England. It seeped over to the American colonies, too — especially New England. The pilgrims of Thanksgiving fame shunned the holiday in 1620 and did not observe it. Nor did the Puritans who arrived in later years. In fact, much to the dismay of the non-Puritans living in New England, observance of the holiday was banned in Boston until 1659.

    Even the early days of the United States, the holiday wasn't a terribly big deal. In urban areas, Christmas was oftentimes marred by violence — often against African Americans and Catholic immigrants — and vice.

    The Christmas spirit as we know it today only began to take hold in the mid-1800s. In 1870, President U.S. Grant declared Christmas Day a national holiday, TIME reported.



    French revolutionaries rebranded Christmas cakes and renamed the holiday 'Dog Day'

    The decadent aristocrats weren't the only ones in the French revolution's crosshairs. The increasingly anti-clerical movement also ultimately went after two unusual enemies of the revolution — Christmas and cake.

    According to "Christmas in the Crosshairs," Christmas was renamed "dog day" to mock the holiday, as the government shut down Catholic churches, drowned priests, and established a national, atheistic substitute: the Cult of Reason.

    The revolution even went after bakers who dubbed holiday cakes "galette des rois"— or king cakes — after the three magi. Those were rebranded "liberty cakes" or "equality cakes," while mothers who bore sons were permitted to celebrate "the Festival of Birth" around Christmastime.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    El Salvador police gangs

    After nearly two decades focused on fighting terrorists and insurgents, the US has again put its focus on battling uniformed militaries, especially those of its two foremost rivals: China and Russia.

    Those three countries field the world's most sophisticated and powerful militaries.

    While head-to-head comparisons of military strength can be highly subjective, Global Firepower's 2018 Military Strength Ranking tries to fill that void by drawing on more than 55 factors to assign a Power Index score to 136 countries — adding Ireland, Montenegro, and Liberia to last year's list.

    The ranking assesses the diversity of each country's weapons and their available manpower. Geography, logistical capacity, available natural resources, and the status of local industry are also taken into account.

    While recognized nuclear powers receive a bonus, their nuclear stockpiles are not factored into the score. Landlocked countries are not docked for lacking a navy, but countries with navies are penalized if their fleets lack a mixture of ship classes that magnify a force's power. 

    Read more: These are the world's 20 most dangerous countries, and photos showing what life is like there

    In general, a country's current political and military leadership was not considered (though NATO members got a boost) but financial health and stability are.

    The top power index score is 0.0000, which is "realistically unattainable," according to Global Firepower. The closer a military is to this number, the more powerful it is.

    Here are the forces that came in at the bottom of the list — the world's weakest militaries.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 25 most powerful militaries in the world in 2018

    Nicaragua — overall rank: 122

    Power Index rating: 2.9577

    Total population: 6,025,951

    Total military personnel: 13,000

    Total aircraft strength: 20

    Fighter aircraft: 0

    Combat tanks: 84

    Total naval assets: 30

    Defense budget: $44.2 million



    Madagascar — overall rank: 123

    Power Index rating: 3.0136

    Total population: 25,054,161

    Total military personnel: 21,600

    Total aircraft strength: 2

    Fighter aircraft: 0

    Combat tanks: 12

    Total naval assets: 8

    Defense budget: $56 million



    Bosnia and Herzegovina — overall rank: 124

    Power Index rating: 3.0321

    Total population: 3,856,181

    Total military personnel: 12,750

    Total aircraft strength: 20

    Fighter aircraft: 0

    Combat tanks: 149

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: $250 million



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    vanleeuwen, $5.99+

    Being a New Yorker means a lot of things to a lot of different people — over eight million if you want to get technical. One thing most New Yorkers have in common though, is that they love their city. This holiday season, show your favorite New Yorker you love them, too, with one of these gifts just for them. From local food favorites to accessories for their commute, we covered lots of bases. Plus, since most of these gifts are from the city itself, you can be sure your city-dweller will receive them in time for Christmas. If they're from New York but live elsewhere, you may want to opt for a shipping upgrade.

    Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days' time, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    A bag of beans from their favorite local brewery

    Coffee Gift Subscription, from $24, available at Blue Bottle

    Like just about any other city, New York is blessed with an abundance of coffee shops. We love Blue Bottle — and if you know another New Yorker who does, too, they'll love the brand's coffee subscription. Choose from a three-month, 12-month, or custom subscription and the coffee lover in your life will receive a new bag of unique, whole bean coffee every other week. Blue Bottle is always changing the blends for their deliveries and each one comes with an origin story and flavor profile for those who want to dive a little deeper into their morning brew. 



    Earbuds that make their commute more bearable

    Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, $119.99, available at Best Buy

    The New York City Subway is nothing to write home about — in fact, it's rather a necessary evil that brings all kinds of New Yorkers together with the shared frustration of delays, broken air conditioners, and overcrowded platforms. Whether their commute is long or short, a solid pair of wireless headphones will make the trip that much better. 



    A cookbook from a famed city bakery

    “All About Cake” by Christina Tosi, $23.79, available at Amazon

    Everyday, Milk Bar conjures up lines out the door. Trust me, I live next to one. But it's for good reason — Christina Tosi has thought up the most delicious, decadent treats that you've never heard of before, like a cereal milk ice soft serve sprinkled with corn flakes. Now, aspiring bakers can try their hand at her creative concoctions with this cookbook.



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    walmart black friday

    • Walmart has revealed its online best sellers for 2018.
    • The shopping giant analyzed the top-selling items in each state, excluding some top-selling items that were popular across the country, like HDTVs and private-label Mainstays pillows.
    • Some of the most popular items across several states included paper towels, Crayola crayons, and Ozark Trail 20-ounce tumblers. 

    Walmart has revealed its online best sellers for 2018.

    The online arm of the retail giant analyzed the top-selling items across every state in the US and found some interesting patterns. It excluded some top-selling items that were popular across the country, like HDTVs and private-label Mainstays pillows. 

    The top sellers were determined by data from sales on Walmart.com, but they don't include Walmart's online grocery service.

    2018 was a major year for Walmart's online sales — it became the third-biggest online retailer based on revenue, according to eMarketer, though it is still behind eBay and Amazon. According to eMarketer, Walmart will have 4% of all online retail sales in the US by the end of this year. 

    Some states were practical with their online shopping habits. Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all had paper towels as their top-selling item. Other states were more concerned with entertainment, with Connecticut stocking up on "Avengers: Infinity War" Blu-rays and California buying Nintendo Switch consoles.

    See what the top-selling items were in each state:

    SEE ALSO: Dollar Tree and Dollar General have a secret weapon for keeping their prices so low

    Alaska: Coconut Milk



    Alabama: Crayola Crayons



    Arkansas: Instant Pot



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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    vrai & oro $110

    If there's any time to treat your loved one to a beautiful and long-lasting piece of fine jewelry, it's the holidays. True fine jewelry made with materials like pure or 14-karat gold (not just gold vermeil, which is gold plated over sterling silver) costs a lot precisely because of its material composition and careful craftsmanship, so it's wise to budget accordingly. 

    Don't stress too much, though. You don't have to spend more than $500 for a durable and pretty bracelet, necklace, pair of earrings, or ring this holiday season. She'll want to wear any of the following pieces every day of the new year. 

    Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days' time, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    These 25 thoughtfully designed pieces of fine jewelry are sure to impress her — and they all cost $500 or less. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Mini Gold Letter Charm Pendant

    AUrate Mini Gold Letter Charm Pendant, $300, available at AUrate

    Available in 18k rose, white, and yellow gold 

    You can't go wrong with a subtle personal letter charm necklace. It's wearable at two lengths — collarbone and chest. 



    Duo Ring

    Mejuri Duo Ring, $299, available at Mejuri

    One smooth and one twisted, the complementary rings in this two-in-one piece are forever linked together. 



    Charming Hoops

    Ariel Gordon Charming Hoops, $192.50, available at Ariel Gordon

    These playful hoops, also available in star, heart, smiley face, and rainbow styles, really live up to their name. 



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    The Favourite

    • The reveal in "Tully" deepened the meaning of the film.
    • Jon Hamm's character's early death in "Bad Times at El Royale" was unexpected by most.
    • Queen Anne's blunt line at the end of "The Favourite" shocked viewers.

    A century of watching filmmaker's twists and turns has made it difficult for some to be surprised when watching movies, but this year a lot of movies had majorly surprising moments.

    From shocking twists that left viewers reeling to sudden character deaths that left fans questioning everything, a lot of movies this year had some major tricks up their sleeves. 

    Here are the most shocking movie moments and twists from 2018. 

    Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

    The snap in "Avengers: Infinity War" stunned Marvel fans worldwide.

    Over the past decade, fans and critics alike have criticized the Marvel franchise over the fact that they don't feature villains with "real bite." After countless villain showdowns and meaningless superhero resurrections, fans finally got their ill-begotten wish when Thanos snapped his fingers and reduced half the heroes and half the world's population to ashes.

    What's even more frustrating is that film-goers won't receive closure until the April 2019 premiere of "Avengers: Endgame." Hopefully it reveals the fate of everyone from Nick Fury to Groot.



    The reveal in "Tully" deepened the meaning of the film.

    In Jason Reitman's independent drama "Tully,"Charlize Theron played Marlo, an overworked and exhausted mother of three. Things start to look up when her brother hires her an exuberant night nanny named Tully to relieve Marlo's stress.

    The quiet but powerful film achieved a harrowing layer of depth when a car crash reveals that Tully was never a real person, but rather a manifestation of Marlo's mind brought on by severe dissociation and postpartum depression. The twist brought attention to a serious issue many new mothers face.



    The decapitation in "Hereditary" left viewers speechless.

    Before it even premiered, "Hereditary" was already setting itself up to be a disturbing entry in film horror. But it was the unexpected car accident half an hour into the movie that left viewers, and protagonist Peter (Alex Wolff), stunned to silence. The decapitation of Charlie tore the family apart and set the ball rolling for the film's gruesome, devil-raising climax.



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    Trump cabinet resignations_12.15.18

    President Donald Trump announced on December 20 that his Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis would leave his post in February 2019. 

    The administration has been rocked by high-profile departures — including Reince Priebus as chief of staff and James Comey as FBI director — since Trump took office in January 2017.

    Here are all the top-level people who've either been fired or resigned from the administration, and why they left.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's staff turnover is higher than any administration in modern history

    DON'T MISS: MEET THE CABINET: Here's who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions

    James Mattis

    "General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,"Trump announced in a December 20 tweet.

    "General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations," Trump added. "A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!"

    Mattis' planned departure comes after the Trump administration's sudden, controversial decision to declare victory over ISIS and plan to completely pull all 2,000 currently serving  troops out of Syria. 

    Mattis' resignation letter was a respectfully-worded but clear rebuke of Trump's foreign policy orthodoxy, marked by his spurning of long-time strategic European allies and embrace of adversaries like Russia. 

    “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues," he wrote. 

    "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," Mattis' letter added.

     



    Ryan Zinke

    After initial reports emerged on Dec. 15 that interior secretary Ryan Zinke would leave the White House, President Donald Trump tweeted out the news, writing, "Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation."

    Zinke was under numerous ethics investigations at the time of his departure. By the time it was announced that he was leaving, he had been the subject of 15 investigations.

    During his tenure as interior secretary, Zinke became notorious for questionable expenditures. One report alleged that he spent thousands on a helicopter ride bringing him to a location where he would ride horses with Vice President Mike Pence.



    John Kelly

    President Donald Trump announced to reporters on Dec. 8 that his chief of staff John Kelly will leave "at the end of the year" and he plans to name his replacement in the next day or two.

    Tensions brewed between Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, and Trump for months, with CNN reporting the day before Trump's announcement that their relationship had deteriorated to the point where they stopped speaking altogether. 

    Kelly's replacement is rumored to be Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's current chief of staff and a longtime Republican operative. 

     



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    Jim James Mattis

    • James Mattis announced his resignation as President Donald Trump's Defense Secretary on December 20.
    • The four-star Marine general served in Trump's Cabinet for the first two years of his administration.
    • An intellectual man, he has amusing, enlightening, and often funny quotes.

    Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis was legendary long before he agreed to join President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

    The retired four-star general spent 44 years in the US Marine Corps, working his way up to Commander of US Central Command.

    He's been called "Mad Dog" Mattis (a nickname he detests), "Warrior Monk" (because he's such an intellectual), and is beloved and respected by fellow Marines.

    Mattis also has some of the best quotes of any general around. Here are 17 of his best.

    This post is based on a previous story by Paul Szoldra.

    SEE ALSO: The incredible career of Jim Mattis, the legendary Marine general turned defense secretary

    DON'T MISS: MEET THE CABINET: Here are the 24 people Trump has appointed to the top leadership positions

    On meeting new people:



    On collateral damage:



    On taking a life:



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    prison inside me

    • Prison Inside Me is a mock correctional facility in South Korea that is popular among stressed out students and workers.
    • The facility offers 24 and 48-hour stays.
    • Since opening in 2013, the prison has hosted over 2,000 "inmates" trying to escape the demands of daily life.

    Forget luxurious hotels and glamorous vacations, South Koreans are flocking to a mock prison as a way to cope with the stress of daily life.

    Prison Inside Me has been offering an immersive prison-like experience since 2013, where guests pay to spend 24 or 48-hours locked in a jail cell.

    The amenities are limited, and inmates spend their stay in complete silence. This may not sound like your usual vacation, but that's exactly why people go there.

    The ultra-competitive culture among students and employees in South Korea is in part to blame for the country's high rates of stress, sleep disorders, and suicide.

    Prison Inside Me cofounder Noh Ji-Hyang opened the facility to offer a way for people to completely disconnect from their stressful daily lives, if only for a day or two.

    Keep reading for an inside look at what it's like to stay in a mock prison.

    Prison Inside Me is located in rural Hongcheon, outside Seoul.



    The facility is far from your average hotel.



    A stay in a private cell could set you back about $90 for 24 hours.

    Source: Reuters



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    Dog Feces

    • 2018 was a busy year for the aviation industry, with nearly four billion people from around the world estimated to have used airplanes to travel.
    • While the vast majority of worldwide flights departed and landed without incident, several surprising stories featuring bad behavior by either passengers or crew members made headlines. 
    • Here were some of the most shocking airline stories of 2018.

    It was a busy year for the aviation industry, with nearly four billion people from around the world estimated to have used airplanes to travel. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that 43,000 flights are operated into and out of the United States each day. 

    While the vast majority of worldwide flights departed and landed without incident, there were several times when shocking stories made headlines for the airline industry.

    Perhaps no aviation incident gathered more headlines in 2018 than the engine explosion onboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which led to the death of Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two from New Mexico. 

    Read more:These are the 15 best airports in America

    But other airline stories made headlines this year for other, less tragic reasons. They include the Delta Air Lines passenger who stepped in the leftover feces of an emotional support dog, the United Airlines flight attendant who was said to be "drunk and disorderly" while onboard the plane, the monkey who escaped an American Airlines flight at San Antonio International Airport, the man who hopped the fence at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and ran onto the tarmac in his underwear, and, of course, the emotional-support squirrel.

    Here were some of the most shocking airline stories of 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: The 15 worst airports in America, ranked

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    A bomb cyclone snowstorm shut down John F. Kennedy International Airport (January)

    Shortly after New Year's, an epic snowstorm known as a "bomb cyclone"hit New York City, shutting down John F. Kennedy International Airport and setting up a four-day ordeal in which hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of passengers were stranded, some for days on end. Passengers described themselves as "rationing blankets" and "looking like refugees." 



    An American Airlines passenger reportedly had to be duct-taped and zip-tied after allegedly biting and kicking flight attendants (February)

    After allegedly becoming irrational and violent on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Charlotte in February, an American Airlines passenger had to be zip-tied and duct-taped in order to protect fellow passengers. 

    That the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force stated in its criminal complaint that the passenger "knowingly and intentionally" interfered with the operating of the flight by "intimidating and assaulting" the flight crew. 



    A puppy reportedly died in an overhead bin on a United Airlines flight (March)

    In a story that led to major changes in airline policy, a 10-month old French bulldog reportedly died on a United Airlines flight after its owners said they were forced to store it in an overhead bin by a flight attendant.

    After experiencing outrage from customers, United announced a new pet policy, and two senators proposed a bill to ban animals from being placed in overhead bins. 



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    ariana grande god is a woman

    In the past few years, music videos have experienced something of a renaissance.

    From Beyoncé's game-changing mini movie "Lemonade" to Kendrick Lamar's iconographic "Humble," musicians have recently re-embraced visual art as an important storytelling medium; in fact, Billboard called 2018 "the new golden age for music videos."

    Keep reading to see our 35 favorite music videos from this year, ranked in ascending order.

    35. "Colors" by Beck

    The striking visuals and choreography for "Colors" recall works by Keith Haring and Busby Berkeley. Beck's charming awkwardness is offset in this video by bubbly, expressive actress Alison Brie ("Glow").

    "Alison really rehearsed for probably 10 hours total, and just kind of came in and aced it, totally aced it," director Edgar Wright told Entertainment Weekly. "It was like a dream. I've always flirted with doing musical set-pieces and this one was a proper full-on dance number with 20 dancers."

    Watch "Colors" here.



    34. "Walk It Talk It (ft. Drake)" by Migos

    Drake and Migos' homage to "Soul Train"— complete with heart-shaped sunglasses, a Jamie Foxx cameo, and a comedic game show interlude — is simply delightful.

    Watch "Walk It Talk It" here.



    33. "Love It if We Made It" by The 1975

    "Love It if We Made It," a song that NME describes as "a state of the union address for a fractured planet," invokes a growing list of modern crises. Songwriter and lead singer Matty Healy directly quotes President Donald Trump ("I moved on her like a b----."), recalls the police murder of Eric Garner, and condemns the Syrian refugee crisis.

    It only makes sense that the song's visuals are equally honest and assaulting. Bright colors are juxtaposed with horrific imagery and briefly interrupted by an old-school, "Thriller"-like dance break to emphasize the hopeful chorus.

    Watch "Love It if We Made It" here.



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    Mattis Ukraine

    • After nearly two years in the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced his resignation Thursday amid disagreements with President Donald Trump.
    • Mattis has become a US military legend throughout his 44 years of service, earning nicknames like "Mad Dog" and "Warrior Monk."
    • Known as a steady hand in a tumultous administration, Mattis preferred not to play politics, a quality that boosted admiration for the retired Marine general.

    Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has achieved a legendary status on par with the heroes of the US Military's past.

    Stories of his achievements and sayings are told in the same way that Patton, Pershing, Marshall, and MacArthur. He is widely viewed as above politics — a man dedicated to his job and his country.

    In his 44 years of service, Mattis rose through the ranks of the military to the very top. He has received numerous colorful nicknames — most notably "Mad Dog" and "Warrior Monk"— and made a number of memorable statements that will likely be quoted by service members for a long time to come.

    Mattis said he would resign Thursday amid disagreements with President Donald Trump's policies. He has spent nearly two years as Trump's defense secretary.

    Take a look at the life and career of the Warrior Monk.

    Ben Brimelow contributed to an earlier version of this story.

    SEE ALSO: Trump was asked about a Marine general's prediction that a 'big-ass fight' is coming and said 'maybe he knows something that I don't know'

    James Norman Mattis was born September 8, 1950, in Pullman, Washington.



    Mattis enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves when he was 18 years old in 1969. He was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating from Central Washington University with a history degree in 1971.



    Mattis saw his first action as a lieutenant colonel in Operation Desert Shield in 1990.



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