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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    dc trash shutdown

    • A partial shutdown of the federal government on December 21 complicated things for several select government agencies and services.
    • Though all essential government services remain open, Americans may feel the shutdown's effects while trying to use the services of various agencies, including national parks and museums. 
    • See the ways the shutdown is affecting average Americans. 

    After lawmakers came to a gridlock over a spending deal, the federal government entered a partial shutdown on December 21. 

    The shutdown does not affect the entire federal government but does impact a slew of agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

    See the shutdown's effects on everyday Americans: 

    SEE ALSO: Here's what happens during a government shutdown

    Many national parks have closed campgrounds to visitors to prevent facilities including trash sites and toilets from overflowing.

    Park closures have prevented at least one wedding, and can potentially create greater risk for visitors because of reduced staffing.

    Source: Reuters



    The parks that remain open rely on volunteers and visitors to clean up after themselves.

    Source: Reuters



    The National Zoo, in addition to the 17 museums run by the Smithsonian closed their doors several days into the shutdown after running out of emergency funding.

    Source: Reuters



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    UC Santa Barbara mass shooting mourning ceremony procession

    • The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population but has 31% of the world's mass shooters.  
    • Lawmakers and interest groups are often at odds on policies to curb mass shootings, suggesting strategies varying from increased mental health evaluations to arming teachers. 

    The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population but has 31% of the world's mass shooters

    Though mass shootings comprise a small amount of the country's overall gun violence, they have become a target for politicians and interest groups who seek to prevent the multiple deaths of people often targeted at random. 

    Here are 10 of the most talked-about strategies that have been floated to stop mass shootings, and how likely they are to work: 

    Assault weapons ban

    Would it work? Likely. 

    Though some experts doubt the results of assault weapon bans, many see it as an appropriate first step to keeping the highly lethal weapons beyond reach for good and bad actors alike. 

    The last federal ban on assault weapons was passed by Congress in 1994 to combat mass shootings, which fell significantly over the 10 years the law was in place. 

    Though lawmakers didn't specifically define an "assault weapon," they made 18 weapons illegal to manufacture, which did not affect the assault firearms already owned by Americans. 

    After the law expired, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania expressed in a federally funded report that the ban's overall effect was unimpressive. 

    "Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," said the report, which the Department of Justice commissioned.

    "Bans on assault weapons can both reduce the mayhem from and perhaps even reduce the frequency of these lethal crimes," Professor John J. Donohue III, a lead researcher on mass shootings at Stanford University said. "We see from diaries of the mass shooters that they see the AR-15 or some such as the vindication of their manhood and power and a vehicle for addressing their perceived grievances."

    Fixing the "gun culture that steeps troubled and ineffectual men in this notion of redemption through violence and then makes the most deadly weaponry available to them" would have a direct effect on the rates of mass shootings, Donohue said. 



    High-capacity magazine ban

    Would it work? Likely.

    Banning high-capacity magazines seems likely to significantly decrease the number of fatalities a shooter could inflict in a single attack, and increase chances for bystanders to intervene when the shooter is caught off guard, according to experts.

    "Nearly every mass shooting illustrates that large capacity magazines can increase the death toll and that forcing a shooter to reload more frequently can provide opportunities for counter-attack by those around," Donohue said. 

    Donohue added: "Accordingly, a ban on high capacity magazines is absolutely essential if one wants to reduce the loss of life from active shooter scenarios, and bans on assault weapons can both reduce the mayhem from and perhaps even reduce the frequency of these lethal crimes."

     



    Funding CDC research into gun violence

    Would it work? It depends.

    Organizations including American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association have begun characterizing gun violence as a public-health problem to emphasize the research's critical role in developing data on gun ownership and violence that could be used to inform policies that would cut down on gun violence and mass shootings.

    In 1996, congressional Republicans passed the Dickey amendment to pressure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention away from conducting public health research on gun violence.

    Though lawmakers have since clarified it was not a total ban on federal funding for gun-related research, the US spends less money researching gun violence than it does on almost any other leading cause of death.

    That's because of "incredibly poor leadership decisions" from lawmakers, Dr. Stephen Markowiak, a general surgery research fellow and mass shootings researcher at the University of Toledo said.

    "The reality is, we could solve this problem if we wanted to," he said. "We have these excellent resources available to our country that have a decades-old history of solving public-health crises."

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    syria protest

    • As the West’s influence declines, accelerated by U.S. President Donald Trump’s contempt for traditional allies and Europe’s struggles with Brexit and nativism, leaders across the world are probing and prodding to see how far they can go.
    • Many of those leaders embrace a noxious brew of nationalism and authoritarianism.  The wind is in the sails of strongmen worldwide.
    • Some of the areas to pay the most attention to in 2019 include Nigeria, Venezuela, Cameroon, Ukraine, and South Sudan. 
    • Additionally, it's important to watch Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and the US-China, and US-Saudi Arabia-Iran relations. 

    In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot.

    As the era of largely uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international order has been thrown into turmoil. More leaders are tempted more often to test limits, jostle for power, and seek to bolster their influence—or diminish that of their rivals—by meddling in foreign conflicts. 

    Multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional, zero-sum politics.  Instruments of collective action, such as the United Nations Security Council, are paralyzed; those of collective accountability, including the International Criminal Court, are ignored and disparaged.

    Nostalgia can be deceptive. Too fond a portrayal of the era of Western hegemony would be misleading. Iraq’s chemical weapons use against Iran in the 1980s; the 1990s bloodletting in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Somalia; the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Sri Lanka’s brutal 2009 campaign against the Tamils; and the collapse of Libya and South Sudan: all these happened at a time of—in some cases because of—U.S. dominance and a reasonably coherent West.

    A liberal and nominally rules-based order hardly stopped those setting the rules from discarding them when they saw fit. The erosion of Western influence, in short, looks different from Moscow, Beijing, and the developing world than it does from Brussels, London, or Washington.

    Trump UN

    Still, for better and for worse, U.S. power and alliances have for years shaped international affairs, set limits, and structured regional orders.

    As the West’s influence declines, accelerated by U.S. President Donald Trump’s contempt for traditional allies and Europe’s struggles with Brexit and nativism, leaders across the world are probing and prodding to see how far they can go.

    In their domestic policies, many of those leaders embrace a noxious brew of nationalism and authoritarianism.

    The mix varies from place to place but typically entails rejection of international institutions and rules. There is little new in the critique of an unjust global order.

    But if once that critique tended to be rooted in international solidarity, today it stems chiefly from an inward-looking populism that celebrates narrow social and political identity, vilifies minorities and migrants, assails the rule of law and independence of the press, and elevates national sovereignty above all else.

    Trump may be the most visible of the genre, but he is far from the most extreme. The wind is in the sails of strongmen worldwide. They realize, at times perhaps to their surprise, that constraints are crumbling, and the behavior that results often fuels violence or crises.

    Rohingya refugee

    Myanmar’s mass expulsion of 700,000 Rohingya, the Syrian regime’s brutal suppression of a popular uprising, the Cameroonian government’s apparent determination to crush an Anglophone insurgency rather than tackle the grievances fueling it, the Venezuelan government’s economic warfare against its own people, and the silencing of dissent in Turkey, Egypt, and elsewhere are but a few examples.

    All are motivated in part by what leaders perceive as a yellow light where they used to see solid red.

    Beyond their borders, these leaders test norms, too. Having annexed parts of Georgia and Crimea and stoked separatist violence in Ukraine’s Donbass region, Russia is now throwing its weight around in the Sea of Azov, poisoning dissidents in the United Kingdom, and subverting Western democracies with cyberwarfare.

    China obstructs freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and arbitrarily detains Canadian citizens—including the International Crisis Group’s Michael Kovrig.

    Saudi Arabia has pushed the envelope with the war in Yemen, the kidnapping of a Lebanese prime minister, and the gruesome murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul. Iran plots attacks against dissidents on European soil.

    Gaza Strip protests Palestine Palestinians Israel Hamas protest 3

    Israel feels emboldened to undermine ever more systematically the foundations of a possible two-state solution.

    Such actions are hardly new or equal in magnitude. But they are more brazen and overt.

    They have this much in common: They start with the assumption that there will be few consequences for breaches of international norms.

    The U.S. government has hardly been an innocent bystander.

    Trump’s disdain for human rights and penchant for transactional diplomacy have set a strikingly negative tone. So too has his flouting of America’s international commitments: tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and, worse, threatening to impose economic punishment on those who choose to abide by it; hinting he will leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty if U.S. demands are not met rather than working within it to press Russia to comply; and signaling, through attacks on the International Criminal Court and chest-thumping speeches about U.S. sovereignty, that Washington regards its actions and those of its friends as beyond accountability.

    The danger of today’s free-for-all goes beyond the violence already generated. The larger risk is of miscalculation.

    Overreach by one leader convinced of his immunity may prompt an unexpected reaction by another; the ensuing tit for tat easily could escalate without the presence of a credible, willing outside power able to play the role of arbiter.

    Putin

    True, not everyone gets away with everything all the time. Bangladesh seemed poised to forcibly return some Rohingya refugees to Myanmar but stopped, almost certainly in response to international pressure. The feared Russian-backed reconquest of Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, has, for now, been averted, in no small measure due to Turkish, European, and U.S. objections.

    The same is true (again: for the time being) when it comes to a potential Saudi-led offensive on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah, with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi largely deterred by warnings about the humanitarian impact and cost to their international standing.

    Elsewhere, leaders anticipating impunity have been taken aback by the severity of the response: Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, by the stiff sanctions and show of united resolve that Western powers have maintained since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the killing of its former agent on British soil; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by the outrage that followed Khashoggi’s murder.

    Overall, though, it is hard to escape the sense that these are exceptions that prove the absence of rules. The international order as we know it is unraveling, with no clear sense of what will come in its wake. The danger may well lie less in the ultimate destination than in the process of getting there. As the following list of 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019 amply illustrates, that road will be bumpy, and it will be perilous.

    1. Yemen

    If one place has borne the brunt of international lawlessness over the past year it is Yemen.

    The humanitarian crisis there—the world’s worst—could deteriorate further in 2019 if the key players do not seize the opportunity created over the past weeks by U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in achieving a partial cease-fire and encouraging a series of confidence-building steps.

    After more than four years of war and a Saudi-led siege, almost 16 million Yemenis face “severe acute food insecurity,” according to the U.N.

    That means one in two Yemenis doesn’t have enough to eat.

    Fighting started in late 2014, after Houthi rebels expelled the internationally recognized government from the capital. It escalated the following March, when Saudi Arabia, together with the United Arab Emirates, began bombing and blockading Yemen, aiming to reverse the Houthis’ gains and reinstall the dislodged government. Western powers largely endorsed the Saudi-led campaign.

    In late 2018, Yemeni militias backed by the United Arab Emirates surrounded Hodeidah, a Houthi-controlled port, through which aid for millions of starving Yemenis passes. The coalition appeared determined to move in, convinced that taking the port would crush the rebellion and make the Houthis more pliant.

    But the consequences of such an offensive would be almost unimaginable. The top U.N. relief official, Mark Lowcock, has warned it could provoke a “great big famine.” That, and the fallout from Khashoggi’s murder, prompted Western powers to begin restraining the Gulf coalition. On Nov. 9, the United States announced it would no longer refuel coalition jets conducting air raids in Yemen.

    A month later, Griffiths, with Washington’s help, reached the “Stockholm agreement” between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, including a fragile cease-fire around Hodeidah.

    There are other glimmers of light. U.S. pressure to end the conflict could intensify in 2019. The Senate has already voted to consider legislation barring all U.S. involvement in the war.

    Once the Democrats assume control of the House of Representatives in January 2019, they could move more aggressively in this direction.

    That and more will be needed to end the Yemen war or at least avoid it taking another turn for the worse. All parties—the Houthis and their Yemeni adversaries, but also the Saudis and Emiratis—seem to believe that time is on their side. Only pressure from Europe, Oman, and Iran on the Houthis; from the United States on Saudi Arabia and the UAE; from those two Gulf countries on the Yemeni government; and from Congress on the U.S. administration stands a chance of making a difference.



    2. Afghanistan

    If Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Afghanistan suffers its deadliest fighting. In 2018, by one tally, the war killed more than 40,000 combatants and civilians.

    Trump’s reported decision in mid-December that half of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would leave brought further unease.

    In principle, Washington’s signal that it is ready to pull out could advance diplomatic efforts to end the war by focusing belligerents’ and regional actors’ minds. But the ad hoc nature of the decision—seemingly made without looping in top officials—and the specter it raises of the United States cutting and running could bode badly for the coming year.

    In 2018, the war exacted a higher toll than at any time since the Taliban were ousted from Kabul more than 17 years ago.

    A three-day cease-fire in June, which the Taliban and the government enforced and which prompted joyous celebration by fighters and civilians alike, offered a short respite, though fighting resumed immediately afterwards.

    Taliban fighters now effectively control perhaps half the country, cutting off transport routes and laying siege to cities and towns.

    A sharp uptick in U.S. airstrikes has not curbed their momentum.

    In September, Washington appointed the veteran diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad as an envoy for peace talks—a welcome sign that it was prioritizing negotiations to end the war. Taliban leaders appear to be taking the talks seriously, though the process is stuck over their continued insistence that the United States commit to a timeline for full withdrawal of international forces as a precondition for a wider peace process involving other Afghan factions, a sequence that would be a win for the Taliban while saddling other Afghans with uncertainty.

    Only days after Khalilzad’s latest talks with the Taliban came Trump’s bombshell. Withdrawing 7,000 troops in itself will probably not be militarily decisive. Indeed, there could be value to the United States making clear it is serious about bringing troops home.

    All sides understand that a rapid pullout could provoke a major new civil war, an outcome nobody, including the Taliban, wants. With a U.S. drawdown in the cards, the Taliban’s suspicion about Washington’s motives might ease, propelling talks forward.

    Neighboring countries and others involved in Afghanistan—notably Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and China—all want the Americans out eventually, but none of them wants a precipitous withdrawal. They may be more inclined to support U.S. diplomacy if they believe that Washington will eventually give up its strategic foothold in South Asia.

    Trump’s announcement could therefore spur them to help end the war, but regional powers could just as easily increase their meddling by doubling down on Afghan proxies to hedge their bets.

    Unfortunately, the rashness of Trump’s decision risks outweighing any potential silver lining. Its timing appeared to catch everyone—from Khalilzad and top U.S. military chiefs to the Afghan government—off guard. The fact that it was not coordinated with Khalilzad meant that the envoy could not extract any concessions from the Taliban in return for such a key pledge that partially addressed their core demand. In Kabul, the sense of betrayal was palpable.

    A few days later, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani nominated two hard-line anti-Taliban officials as his defense and interior ministers, suggesting a move away from his compromising tone of the past year.

    The festivities that greeted the June cease-fire revealed broad support for peace, and there are signs that the war’s core protagonists are open to a settlement. But that was always an uncertain bet. Trump’s decision has only added to the uncertainty.



    3. U.S.-Chinese Tensions

    The standoff between China and the United States is not a deadly conflict, no matter how bitter the trade war between Washington and Beijing has become.

    Still, rhetoric between the two is increasingly bellicose. If relations, already at their lowest ebb since the Tiananmen protests almost three decades ago, continue to deteriorate, the rivalry could have graver geopolitical consequences than all of the other crises listed this year.

    In a deeply divided Washington, one position that wins bipartisan consensus is that China is an adversary with which the United States is inexorably locked in strategic competition.

    Most U.S. policymakers concur that Beijing has exploited institutions and rules to its own end—joining the World Trade Organization or signing up to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, for example, even as it acts inconsistently with the spirit of both. President Xi Jinping’s ending of term limits, rapid expansion of China’s military, and extension of the Communist Party’s control across state and society confirm to many in Washington the dangerous turn the country has taken under his stewardship.

    The U.S. government’s 2018 National Defense Strategy cites 'inter-state strategic competition' as its primary concern, with China and Russia named as primary competitors, after many years in which terrorism took the top spot.

    Heightening the sense of lawlessness is Beijing’s unjust detention of three Canadians—including one of my colleagues, the Northeast Asia expert Michael Kovrig—widely seen as a tit for tat for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, wanted for Iran sanctions violations by the United States, with which Canada has an extradition treaty.

    In reality, China likely has no short-term desire to fundamentally challenge the world order. Nor will it match Washington’s global clout anytime soon, provided the Trump administration takes steps to stop hemorrhaging allies and credibility.

    But Beijing is ever readier to throw its weight around in multilateral institutions and its region. In Asia, it expects a Chinese sphere in which neighbors are sovereign but deferential. U.S. policymakers mostly regard such an arrangement as inimical to U.S. alliances and interests.

    Mounting U.S.-Chinese tension has implications for conflicts in Asia and beyond. For the two superpowers, pooling efforts to end crises has never been easy. An increasingly bitter rivalry would make it much harder. China would be less likely to back either tougher sanctions against North Korea, if stuttering talks between Washington and Pyongyang break down, or U.S. diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan.

    Risks of direct conflict remain slim, but the South China Sea is a troubling flash point.

    The past two decades have seen occasional run-ins between Chinese forces and U.S. planes. Beijing stakes claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea, stopping mere miles from the Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Philippine coastlines, and has aggressively built bases on strategic natural and man-made islands.

    From Beijing’s perspective, such maneuvers are standard operating procedure for what Xi calls a “big country.”

    China wants what the United States has: pliant neighbors, influence around its periphery, and the capacity to control its sea approaches and transport lanes.

    Others, of course, see it differently. The smaller Southeast Asian nations object, and some look to Washington for protection.

    Beijing and Washington could reach some form of trade deal in the months ahead, which would help ease tensions. But any respite is likely to be short-lived. On both sides, leaders believe a long-festering geopolitical and economic clash has reached a point of rupture.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Apple China

    • Apple on Wednesday lowered its first-quarter revenue guidance, attributing a sales slump at least partially to a slowdown in China.
    • Shares were down more than 9% on Thursday.
    • The tech giant's warning indicates that companies with heavy exposure to China are facing headwinds
    • Goldman Sachs previously identified 20 stocks that were particularly exposed to China.

    Apple shares were under pressure Thursday after the tech giant lowered its first-quarter revenue guidance and blamed slumping iPhone sales on a slowdown in China. 

    "While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter after Wednesday's closing bell, sending Apple stock down more than 9%.

    And it's not just Apple that is seeing weakness. The country's economic slowdown is visible in the data. During the third quarter, China's gross domestic product grew at its weakest pace in a decade. And in December, China's private-manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in 19 months.

    The macroeconomic slowdown in China and Apple's sales weakness are due to many related factors, according to the SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Stein.

    "These factors include: (1) US tariffs appear to be negatively impacting consumer confidence in China, (2) higher USD is likely denting demand in emerging economies, (3) competitive forces (both nationalistic and otherwise) from local vendors, particularly Huawei (private), may be triggering share loss away from AAPL, and (4) handset upgrade cycles may be slowing more than previously anticipated,"he said in a note out to clients on Thursday. 

    While it's hard to determine which factor has had the biggest impact, most of them indicate companies with heavy exposure to China are facing headwinds

    Luckily for investors, Goldman Sachs maintains an index of US companies that get the largest percentage of their revenue from China. The firm has identified 20 companies it thinks will take the biggest hit in an environment unfavorable for trade between the US and China.  

    Here are the 20 companies Goldman listed, in order from sales least exposed to China to the most. (Goldman published the list in late October.)

    20. Apple

    Ticker: AAPL

    Industry: Technologies

    Market cap: $738.58 billion

    % of China sales: 20%

     

    Source: Goldman Sachs & Markets Insider



    19. Avery Dennison

    Ticker:AVY

    Industry: Materials

    Market cap: $7.62 billion

    % of US sales: 20%

     

    Source: Goldman Sachs & Markets Insider



    18. Agilent Technologies

    Ticker:A

    Industry: Healthcare

    Market cap: $20.59 billion

    % of US sales: 20%

     

    Source: Goldman Sachs & Markets Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    one bedroom ritz carlton nyc

    • A billionaire who has produced movies including "Crazy Rich Asians" is selling a one-bedroom apartment in New York City for $39.5 million.
    • It takes up an entire floor of Manhattan's iconic Ritz-Carlton building and is one of just 11 homes at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.
    • The 8,000-square-foot home includes a 2,000-square-foot master suite, onyx and marble bathrooms, and a 53-foot terrace with front-and-center views of Central Park.

     

    A lavish one-bedroom apartment in New York City's iconic Ritz-Carlton building has hit the market for $39.5 million.

    The seller is Sidney Kimmel, a billionaire movie producer worth an estimated $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

    His New York City apartment, one of just 11 residences in the Ritz-Carlton across the street from Central Park, is on the market for $39.5 million, listed by Corcoran. Kimmel and his wife bought the apartment in 2001 for $22.3 million, according to Curbed, and commissioned architect Thierry Despont to redesign the space, which includes a 2,000-square-foot master suite, two terraces, two elegant dressing rooms, a full gym, and two onyx and marble bathrooms. 

    Kimmel made his fortune in retail by founding Jones Group, an apparel company, that went on to sell brands including Stuart Weitzman and Nine West. More recently, he founded SK Global, an entertainment company, through which he was a producer for movies including the 2018 hit film "Crazy Rich Asians" along with "Moneyball" and "The Kite Runner."

    Here's a look inside the opulent home, with its unbeatable views of Central Park.

    SEE ALSO: This $245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US — and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home

    DON'T MISS: NYC's new One World Trade Center dominates the skyline — but I went inside and it didn't look like the bland, traditional office building I was expecting

    The one-bedroom apartment is in the iconic and historic Ritz-Carlton building, a luxury hotel that includes 11 permanent residences.

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/Bqr_ssOhjlY/embed
    Width: 540px

    Source: Ritz Carlton, Corcoran



    The building at 50 Central Park South was originally the St. Moritz Hotel from 1930 to 1999. After extensive renovations, the hotel reopened in 2002 as the Ritz Carlton.

    Source: Ritz Carlton



    Sidney Kimmel's one-bedroom apartment takes up the entire 27th floor of the building, spanning more than 8,000 square feet. The grand entryway offers an elegant welcome to the home.

    Source: Corcoran



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hotel TwentySeven amsterdam

    A hotel has the possibility to make or break your vacation — but, if it's one of the best boutique hotels in the world, chances are you'll be in very, very good hands.

    In 2018's Boutique Hotel Awards, fourteen hotels around the world took home top honors in a range of categories.

    The hotels were judged on "all aspects of the guest experience covering six categories: dining and entertainment, design, facilities, location and, most importantly, staff service and overall emotional impact," according to the news release.

    A hotel in Bali was named the best overall boutique hotel, while hotels in Portugal, South Africa, Greece, New Zealand, and other countries also won top spots. Categories include World's Best Beach or Coastal Hotel, Best Honeymoon Hideaway, Most Stunning Views, and more.

    Here are the top boutique hotels in the world, from a beachside retreat in the Maldives to a wellness resort in Austria.

    SEE ALSO: Disappointing photos show what 9 top luxury destinations look like in real life

    DON'T MISS: Inside the world's largest underwater restaurant, which has a 36-foot window that looks right out into the seabed so guests can watch marine life swim by as they eat

    World's Best Beach or Coastal Hotel: Reethi Faru Resort

    Location: Filaidhoo, Maldives
    Rates starting at: $171



    World's Best City Explorer: Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal
    Rates starting at: $133



    World's Best Classic Elegance Hotel: Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage

    Location: Bruges, Belgium
    Rates starting at: $222



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Edith Harbaugh LaunchDarkly

    DevOps, the term for a philosophy of combining software development and operations, is turning into a big business — as software continues eating the world, DevOps is a methodology for helping developers write more software, faster. 

    On a larger scale, tech giants are investing in DevOps as well. Just a few years ago, investors would have balked at developer-focused startups. But in 2018, the industry proved that it's here to stay. Microsoft acquired GitHub, Google Cloud is snapping up a DevOps research firm, and now, with DevOps startups, developers want in. These startups range from ones that help companies release code faster, to those that help IT departments keep up.

    It's not just in terms of M&A, either. The most in-demand job that recruiters are looking for on LinkedIn is that of DevOps engineer. As those roles fill up, they'll need DevOps-focused tools to help them do their jobs. Enter the new class of DevOps startups that are helping plug that gap. 

    We looked at a variety of factors when selecting this list including the experience of leaders and founders, the reputations of investors and the amount of funding raised along with valuations, based on data from online finance database Pitchbook, keeper of such records. We also selected startups at a variety of stages from just starting out, to well established.

    Here are the five DevOps startups to bet your career on in 2019:

    SEE ALSO: 44 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2019

    NPM: a package manager

    Valuation: $48 million
    Total raised to date: $18.6 million
    Year founded: 2014
    HQ: Oakland, CA

    What it does: NPM manages Node.js, which is one of the world's largest software registries and helps JavaScript developers easily share chunks of code.

    Why it's hot: NPM has benefitted greatly from DevOps boom, and in just the last four years, it has already raised almost $19 million. As Node.js continues to grow in popularity, NPM stands to benefit. 



    LaunchDarkly: a on/off switch for test features

    Valuation: $90 million
    Total raised to date: $34.84 million
    Year founded: 2014
    HQ: Oakland, CA

    What it does: LaunchDarkly helps developers test and manage how new features get deployed to an app's users. With LaunchDarkly, customers can quickly manage features, switching them on and off for select batches of test users. 

    Why it's hot: When LaunchDarkly first tried to raise seed funding in 2014, investors laughed. But fast forward to now, and DevOps is all the rage. LaunchDarkly, a DevOps startup, has proved that it can help with the practice of deploying code faster, something that is going to become increasingly important in the years to come.



    Snyk: hunting through your software for threats

    Valuation: $100 million
    Total raised to date: $32.04 million
    Year founded: 2015
    HQ: London

    What it does: Snyk automates the process of finding and fixing vulnerabilities in open source software. In other words, it continuously keeps a lookout for security issues in your code — and fixes them.

    Why it's hot: This year, Snyk raised $22 million on a $100 million valuation. As breaches and vulnerabilities become more common and continue to make headlines, more venture capitalists are investing in security. This kind of approach will help DevOps teams make sure their software is secure, even as they accelerate the rate at which they deliver code.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Aer Lingus Review

    • Aer Lingus is Ireland's national airline.
    • Since 2015, Aer Lingus has been part of International Airlines Group or IAG and is a sister company of British Airways and Iberia
    • We recently had the chance to fly Aer Lingus between New York and the airline's home base in Dublin on board a new Airbus A330. 
    • We were impressed with the airline's service, cabin amenities, and entertainment options.

    Ireland is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. In 2017, nearly 9 million people visited the island nation, 1.7 million of which hailed from North America. 

    Aer Lingus was founded in 1936 and is Ireland's national airline despite the fact that it's actually the country's second-largest carrier behind ultra-low-cost giant Ryanair.

    In case you're wondering, its name is an anglicization of the Irish words for "air fleet."

    In the late 2000s, Aer Lingus suffered greatly from the fallout of the financial crisis. This led to a succession of failed takeover attempts by Ryanair. 

    International Airlines Group or IAG completed a €1.5 billion or $1.7 million takeover of Aer Lingus in late 2015, making the airline a sister company of legacy brands like British Airways and Iberia. 

    Read more: I flew Virgin Atlantic from London to New York to see if Richard Branson's airline is still one of the world's best — here's the verdict.

    These days, Aer Lingus is a four-star airline according to the reviewers at consumer aviation website Skytrax and operates a fleet of around 50 Airbus and Boeing jets. 

    Recently, I had the chance to visit the Emerald Isle with my fiance and as part of the experience, we chose to fly Aer Lingus between Newark Liberty International Airport just outside of New York and the airline's home base in Dublin Airport. 

    Aer Lingus operates flights to 13 US cities including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle. The airline also flies to two destinations in Canada; Toronto and Montreal. 

    We took Aer Lingus Flight EI100 to Dublin and returned home on Flight EI101. 

    Here's a look at our experience in economy class on board Aer Lingus Flight EI101 from Dublin to Newark. 

    SEE ALSO: The 21 safest airlines in the world

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

    After a weekend of fun in Ireland, it was time to return home. We arrived at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 nearly three hours early for our flight. We'll explain why in a bit.



    I had trouble checking in to the flight using the Aer Lingus website and app.



    And... the kiosk didn't work either.



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    bamboo cocktail

    While the world of cocktails may seem to be constantly evolving, year after year it's the classic recipes that customers continue to demand.

    In its January issue, Drinks International released its list of the world's best-selling classic cocktails in 2019 — and it shows that while bartenders may put a modern spin on old recipes, the desire for established, sophisticated drinks remains.

    The website asked bartenders from 127 of the best bars in 38 countries around the world — all of which have won or been nominated for global awards over the past year — to rank their 10 best-selling cocktails.

    Read more: The 30 best-selling cocktails in the world in 2018

    It then weighted and ranked each drink to compile the list.

    From Moscow mules to mai tais, scroll down to see the 50 best-selling cocktails in the world, ranked in ascending order, and to see how many you've tried.

    50. White Russian

    Made popular in the '90s by "The Big Lebowski," this vodka, cream, and coffee-liqueur cocktail may not be as trendy as it once was, but it still made its way into the top 50.



    49. Bellini

    Invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry's Bar in Venice, the Bellini may not be considered to be a cocktail by some, with only two ingredients — prosecco and peach purée or nectar.



    48. Champagne Cocktail

    Made with sugar, Angostura bitters, Champagne, brandy, and a maraschino cherry as a garnish, the Champagne Cocktail seems a little outdated next to some of its more modern contenders.



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    Costco Homepage 2

    • Costco and Walmart-owned Jet.comsell just about everything.
    • Both stores sell in bulk, offer free two-day shipping with membership, and carry inexpensive private-label products.
    • We compared prices across a few categories at both stores and found Costco was generally less expensive. Here's how they stack up.
    Costco and Walmart-owned Jet.com sell just about everything.

    The two companies have a lot in common, including two-day delivery on online orders and selling essentials in bulk quantities.

    While Costco requires a membership to shop in its stores, it doesn't require one to shop online. The retail giant is well-loved by customers, and its website offers many similar deals to its stores. For shoppers who do hold a Costco membership, the warehouse club offers free two-day shipping for many essentials and same-day delivery for groceries. The website also has plenty of products from Costco's beloved private-label brand Kirkland Signature.

    But Jet has been making strides to compete with Costco, like offering daily deals and free two-day shipping without membership fees. Though Jet can't compete with Costco's physical presence, it offers JetCash, which are rewards incentives that can be used as cash on the site. It also has a private-label brand called Uniquely J, which is designed to attract millennials by creating environmentally friendly products in artist-designed packaging.

    Even though products are sometimes listed in different quantities or under different categories, the websites have a huge overlap in what they sell. To see which of the two stores had better deals and was more user-friendly, we compared common items from different categories on each site to see which had better deals.

    Here's how the two compare:

    SEE ALSO: We compared Amazon and Costco prices to see which company offers better deals. Here's the verdict.

    Costco doesn't require a membership to shop online, but a membership is necessary to access two-day delivery. The homepage of the website is very busy.



    Jet's website is less busy, and free two-day delivery is advertised on all orders of $35 or more.



    Costco's category page is also very busy. The large number of categories makes it more difficult to find things.



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    stranger things

    • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
    • This week includes DC Universe's "Titans" and Netflix's "Stranger Things."

    Netflix announced on New Year's Day that "Stranger Things" will return on July 4, pushing up audience interest. 

    Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the seven most "in-demand" TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," the globally standardized TV demand measurement unit from Parrot Analytics. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media.

    Below are this week's seven most popular shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

    SEE ALSO: Disney won't make big-budget movies like 'Star Wars' for its Netflix competitor

    7. "Voltron: Legendary Defender" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions:  21,834,399 

    Description: "In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerfulVoltron and defend the universe from evil."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 8): N/A

    What critics said: "This feels like a series that could have lasted several more seasons, at least. But if it has to end now, at least it's going out in top form."  — Jesse Schedeen, IGN

    Season 8 premiered on Netflix December 14.



    6. "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions:  25,102,990 

    Description: "Magic and mischief collide as half-human, half-witch Sabrina navigates between two worlds: mortal teen life and her family's legacy, the Church of Night."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 90%

    What critics said: "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is great television for the seriousness with which it engages in the subtext of its horror trappings. Curses, demons, spirits, and hauntings-they're supernatural analogues that largely stem from old injustices."— Joshua Rivera, GQ

    Season 1 premiered on Netflix October 26.



    5. "Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 25,209,685 

    Description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 96%

    What critics said: "Every Netflix MCU show has sought to imitate the first season of Daredevil in some way, with decidedly mixed results. Season 3 shows that Daredevil still does Daredevil best."— Samantha Nelson, The Verge

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix October 19. The show was recently canceled.



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    man reading outside

    • Some fantastic business books are coming out in early 2019.
    • For example, you can learn about the financial crisis or learn how to become a top-notch manager.
    • Below, we've listed the books we're most eagerly anticipating.

    If your New Year's resolution was to read more, we're here to help you out.

    The first few months of 2019 have in store some fantastic business books, from an investigation of how incompetent men become leaders, to a guide to making your career dreams a reality, to a biography of Apple CEO Tim Cook. Each one will make you think differently about work, leadership, and success.

    Get out your reading glasses — and get excited.

    SEE ALSO: The best business books of 2018

    'The Surprising Science of Meetings' by Steven G. Rogelberg (Jan. 2)

    You know what might be more useful than sitting through an hour-long department meeting? Taking that hour to read a book about why most workplaces are doing meetings all wrong.

    Rogelberg is a professor of management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as a consultant to organizations including IBM and Procter & Gamble. Based on extensive research and reporting, he put together this guide to more effective meetings.

    That doesn't mean eliminating meetings entirely, as some disgruntled employees would have it — instead it might mean holding walking meetings, limiting meeting times to 48 minutes, or instituting periods of silent reading. The book even features an assessment that will diagnose your "meeting quality"— i.e. how much of your day you're currently wasting in conference rooms with your coworkers.

    Find it here »



    'Be Fearless' by Jean Case (Jan. 8)

    Case's book is a welcome kick-in-the-pants for anyone who feels stuck in their career. The first female chairman of the National Geographic Society, as well as a former executive at AOL, Case has broken down success into five guiding principles: make a big bet, take bold risks, capitalize on failure, look beyond your comfort zone, and prioritize urgency over fear.

    The book is packed with examples of legendary innovators, from Henry Ford, to Jeff Bezos, to Jose Andres, to Case herself, and the paths that led them to greatness. Some key lessons based on the stories are testing and validating ideas quickly and taking the long view of your life.

    Melinda Gates was one of the early readers impressed by the book, saying, "If you need a dose of courage, I recommend this powerful collection of stories, evidence, and optimism."

    Find it here »



    'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism' by Shoshana Zuboff (Jan. 15)

    The monoliths of today's business world are the big tech companies, and unlike corporate giants of the past, they know a scary amount about each of us and hold tremendous sway over our lives. And much of the power they hold takes place in spaces that are unregulated by the government.

    In "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism," Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff explores the deal that makes it all possible, the agreement to sacrifice privacy for benefits like interacting with friends and shopping online.

    Zuboff takes an in-depth at how this system has transformed the economy, politics, and society in general, and where we go from here.

    Find it here »



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    every state ranked by healthiness 2018 map

    • United Health Foundation has ranked America's 50 states based on how healthy they are. 
    • The group used criteria including obesity and smoking as well as environmental factors like child poverty and air pollution.
    • Hawaii was declared the healthiest state of 2018, while Louisiana was the unhealthiest. 

    Not all states are created equal when it comes to health. 

    To get a better sense of how healthy each state in the US is, for the 29th year in a row, the United Health Foundation has ranked America's states.

    Hawaii made the top of the list as America's healthiest state, while Louisiana was declared the unhealthiest.

    Looking at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Census Bureau, the rankings took into account everything from obesity and smoking to community and environmental factors, such as child poverty and air pollution, to public policies like immunizations, and health outcomes like cancer deaths and diabetes.

    Here are all 50 states, ranked from healthiest to least healthy. 

    1. Hawaii has a low prevalence of obesity and smoking, and low air pollution, helping it clinch the top spot for the ninth time since the rankings began in 1990.



    2. Massachusetts held the spot as the healthiest state in 2017 but dropped down in 2018. The state has among the highest immunization rates and the lowest uninsured rate.



    3. Connecticut has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the country and has one of the lower percentages of uninsured people. But the state does have a higher rate of drug overdose deaths.



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    Cover NewYearsEve_Morocco_Desert_Rave (3 of 50)

    • After years spending New Year’s in New York City at bar crawls, house parties, and underground raves, I was determined to find a New Year’s Eve party while visiting Morocco that would blow the bash in Times Square out of the water.
    • I scoured the internet and found out there was an all-night dance party arranged by Moroccan electronic-music partiers RAK Electronik in the Agafay Desert, a lunar landscape just an hour outside of Marrakech. I bought tickets.
    • With just 130 attendees and music blasting all night amid a stunning landscape, this New Year’s Eve bash was one I won’t soon forget.

    Every year, I scramble for something to do come New Year’s Eve. Living in New York City, as I have for the last seven years, can be a bit exhausting around that time of year.

    There’s the huge expectation that you want to do something cool and the crushing realization that all the bars cost hundreds of dollars a person. Some years, I’ve pushed myself to do a bar crawl at the few free bars in Brooklyn or, when I’ve gotten lucky, some far-out underground party. But most of the time, New Year’s means having a few friends over and watching the ball drop in Times Square on the television.

    This year, I wanted to go big. I had plans to be in Morocco, and I figured there must be something interesting happening. Cue a montage of me frantically scouring the internet.

    On Resident Advisor, every raver’s favorite website, I found out that Moroccan electronic-music outfit RAK Electronik had arranged an all-night dance party at a luxury camp in the Agafay Desert, a lunar landscape just an hour outside of Marrakech. A few friends and I bought tickets.

    It blew all of my New Year’s Eves in New York City out of the water. Here’s what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: We partied at the exclusive, sexy Hong Kong party with the art world’s elite on a 62,000-square-foot floating restaurant — here’s what it was like

    The party was held in the Agafay Desert, a hilly, lunar landscape about an hour outside of Marrakech. It’s a popular spot for Moroccans to head to on the weekends for horseback riding, riding ATVs, or just staring at the stars.



    There are a number of camps you can stay at in the area, but the RAK Electronik party was being held at the Agafay Desert Luxury Camp. It seemed to be farther into the desert than most camps. You could see the stunning Atlas Mountains in the distance.

    Agafay Desert Luxury Camp



    Tickets to the event weren’t cheap at $80 and up, depending on your tent setup. But I’m used to paying through the nose to stand in a crowded bar in New York City for the same amount of money or more. And don’t get me started on Times Square.



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    Chicken sandwich chick fil a raising cane's comparison

    • But on the flip side is another fast-growing opponent: the Louisiana-based Raising Cane's, with its no-nonsense chicken-finger-centric menu and deliciously mysterious sauce.
    • Business Insider recently visited Raising Cane's and Chick-fil-A to compare apples to apples ... or rather chicken to chicken. Here's why we thought Chick-fil-A was better.

    SEE ALSO: We ate at dozens of fast-food chains in 2017 — here's the best

    First up was Raising Cane's.



    We visited a location in Austin, Texas, near the University of Texas campus. It's one of the chain's more than 400 nationwide stores.

    Source: USA Today



    Longhorn paraphernalia fills the space.



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    Pelosi JFK

    • Despite first running for office at age 47, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has managed to become the most powerful woman in Washington. 
    • It's been a long road, but with impressive fundraising skills and a political sixth sense, Pelosi has managed to break gender barriers and break her way into the notorious old boys' club on Capitol Hill.
    • Here's how Pelosi became the most powerful female politician in US history.

    SEE ALSO: Who's in and who's out of House committee leadership positions

    Pelosi grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of the Democratic Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. As a young girl, she managed her father's book of people who owed him political favors.

    Source: U.S. NewsNancy Pelosi Biography



    She attended her first Democratic National Convention at age 12. Here she is at age 20 with John F. Kennedy at his inaugural ball.

    Source: Nancy Pelosi Biography



    Pelosi met her husband, Paul, at Georgetown University. She was a mother of five by 1969, when the family moved to San Francisco. Paul worked as a banker, while Nancy raised their children and started a Democratic Party club at her home.

    Source: U.S. News



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    Debate

    • 2019 just started, but this year's calendar is already getting busy for potential 2020 contenders. 
    • With stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, these are some of the major events 2020 presidential candidates can look forward to in 2019: 

    SEE ALSO: An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

    Fundraising for Quarter 1 begins — January 1, 2019.

    Presidential candidates will begin making their announcements in the first weeks of January, since fundraising for the first quarter of the year begins on January 1.  



    Politics & Eggs forums — beginning in February 2019.

    The "Politics & Eggs Forums," a long-held tradition in New Hampshire's political calendar, usually begin in February. During the series of forums hosted by the New England Council and Saint Anselm College, candidates meet one-on-one with attendees, sign wooden eggs, eat breakfast, and talk about their proposals, campaigns, and perspectives. 



    Fundraising for Quarter 1 ends — March 31, 2019.

    The first fundraising quarter of the year ends on March 31. 



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    Whole Foods

    • Some products at Whole Foods can be a great deal and healthy for you, while other items are either expensive, nutrition-lacking, or both.
    • Here, several food experts and nutritionists list 25 items you should buy at Whole Foods and 25 items you should avoid. 

     

    While the company has worked to combat its "whole paycheck"stigma, Whole Foods can still cost you a pretty penny. But that tide is changing in the wake of its 2017 Amazon deal.

    If you shop right, you can not only save money at the high-end supermarket chain, but you can eat healthier food that's actually delicious.

    Unfortunately, if you're not careful, you can also be duped into spending big bucks on artery-clogging treats (processed cookies are still cookies even if they're organic).

    We spoke to several food experts and nutritionists to compile this list of what to buy and what to skip at Whole Foods.

    SEE ALSO: 10 'As Seen On TV' cooking products that actually work

    Buy: Eden Foods sauerkraut

    Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that colonize our digestive systems, and they're found in fermented foods like sauerkraut. They're great for healthy digestion.

    "Boost your intake [of probiotics] with foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, brine cured olives, miso soup, and tempeh," said Melissa Litwak, a registered dietitian and founder of Chickpeas and Chocolate. "Whole Foods has a great selection to choose from, including well-priced sauerkraut by Eden Foods."



    Skip: Salads from the salad bar

    We'd all love to be Martha Stewart in the kitchen (but who even has that kind of time!), so we're the first to see the appeal in Whole Foods' salad bar. That convenience, however, can prove expensive.

    "If you want to make it a robust salad stuffed with veggies other than lettuce, you'll pay a pretty penny — about $8 to $9 per pound, which can easily turn a salad that costs you $5 to make at home into a $25 splurge,"said The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, nutritionists and authors of "The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure."



    Buy: Organic bok choy

    You can always count on Whole Foods for good quality and variety when it comes to produce.

    "They typically carry both regular and baby bok choy on their shelves and for good reason," Litwak said. "Cruciferous vegetables like this one are highly concentrated in vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. They're also full of fiber, providing good fuel for your intestinal bacteria."



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    What is LeBron James diet LA Lakers

    LeBron James may be 33 years old and in his 16th season but the NBA veteran remains a force to be reckoned with.

    James joined the LA Lakers in July after a four-year spell with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has made headlines ever since because he opened the I Promise education facility for 240 at-risk children, hinted that he could be tempted to run for president one day, and, of course, because he remains a magician on the court — as this spell-binding self-assist clearly shows.

    James remains an incredible athlete. He is renowned for the dedication to his craft, for his basketball intelligence, and has even been described as a "freak athlete" by one of the NBA coaches who know him better than most.

    But what sort of food does this "freak" eat?

    Here's everything James likes to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    SEE ALSO: This is what makes LeBron James a 'freak athlete' according to the NBA coach who knows him better than most

    DON'T MISS: LEBRON JAMES: How the king of the NBA spends his millions

    UP NEXT: This photo of a very upset LeBron James sums up the brutal way the Cleveland Cavaliers blew the win in the final seconds

    This is LeBron James. Considered the greatest NBA player of all time, James has extraordinary career averages including 27.2 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists. James is a three-time NBA champion and will be hoping for more success at the LA Lakers.

    Source: Fox Sports.



    James apparently spends seven-figure sums per year just looking after his body — but his favourite cereal is Fruity Pebbles, which he probably eats for breakfast on occasion.

    Sources:Business InsiderInstagram.



    He even has his own pair of Nike shoes — the LeBron XV — in colours that honour the cereal.

    Instagram Embed:
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    David and Victoria Beckham

    • English soccer superstar David Beckham and Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham became one of the world's most famous power couples when they started dating back in 1997.
    • Together, Victoria and David Beckham are worth a whopping $900 million — upwards of $300 million more than the Queen herself.
    • The Beckhams' lavish lifestyle include spending on beautiful homes, luxurious vacations, and star-studded events.

    Victoria and David Beckham have been dominating pop culture as Britain's "It" couple since they first got together in 1997.

    Victoria — a former Spice Girl who built a fashion empire — has reportedly made a whopping $450 million in her career. Her husband has raked in a similarly astronomical amount of cash thanks to his incredibly successful soccer career and his endorsement deals across a spectrum of companies.

    Naturally, the Beckhams — along with their four children — lead an incredibly lavish lifestyle featuring beautiful houses, expensive cars, luxurious trips, and star-studded events.

    Check out how the Beckhams make and spend their millions below.

    International soccer superstar David Beckham and Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham former a power couple when they started dating back in 1997.



    And more than two decades later, the Beckham family — which includes, David, Victoria, and their four children — is the closest thing to British royalty outside of the actual royal family.

    Source: Instagram



    Together, Victoria and David Beckham are worth a whopping $900 million — upwards of $300 million more than the Queen herself.

    Source: Elite Daily



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