Monday, April 30, 2018

0 The Trump administration is going to try to avoid a trade war this week — don't hold your breath

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steve mnuchin

  • Trump is sending a team to Beijing this week to talk trade.
  • According to reports, they won't be taking any new goals with them, and the ones they have are non-starters for the Chinese.
  • This means that it's likely nothing will come from these negotiations, but nothing is still an increasingly nasty situation for these countries and the global economy.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House advisors Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro are going to China to talk trade.

That means this could be the week we avoid a trade war. That would be grand.

More likely, though, in true Trumpian fashion, absolutely nothing will happen at this meeting. Just like with other economic summits between the US and China, it will be much hyped, but with few consequences.

That doesn't mean the danger will disappear though. If nothing happens we'll be left with the US-China trade situation we've had up to now. It's a status quo where the absence of diplomacy leaves room for action to come from accidents — from heightened rhetoric forcing hands to save face. 

Practice and policy

Policy aims aside, this meetings is already looking a little haphazard.

According to the WSJ the White House has not sent an advance team sent to Beijing to prepare. Meanwhile, the team itself divided. According to reports, Mnuchin has wanted to take a meeting with his counterpart since late March after speaking with China economic enjoy over the phone. He and Kudlow are more amenable to a solution to trade rhetoric. Trump added Lighthizer and Navarro to the mix to get a more hawkish view in the room.

What's more, says the WSJ, the delegation is unlikely to put anything new on the table. The main agenda for this group will be to reiterate President Trump's tariff threats against China and see what their counterparts have to say. It is unclear why reiterating talking points merits a meeting — especially when the President is liable to just put them on Twitter — although the WSJ also notes that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will be in Beijing at the same time.

Total coincidence.

Seriously, that's what they're saying. They're saying it's a total coincidence.

So if you're keeping a tally so far: We're working with no advance preparation, an incohesive team and no new policy ideas to put on the table. 

The underlying point of the $150 billion in tariffs the Trump administration has threatened to impose is that the US wants to force China to change its economic policy. It wants China to stop propping up state-owned enterprises and using US technology to forward its “Made in China 2025” plan to be a world leader in AI, robotics and telecommunications.

This is what the US wants, and it's a non-starter for China, according to an unnamed official in the South China Morning Post. China is willing to say, buy more US goods, but it will not go as far as changing its economic goals or how it plans to reach them. Trump may be setting a goal that sets his team up for failure.

The art of the squeal

Now, maybe this meeting will see a swing to the middle by the US side.

As Axios' Jonathan Swan noted, people are starting to get the hang of Trump's negotiating tactic. Basically, go in with tough talk and then adjust to a more middle of the road position. It happened with steel and aluminum tariffs, with withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria, and vetoing the government spending bill, to name a few examples. All of those issues started heated and ended tepid.

Like I said, it's the art of the squeal.

This potential US-China trade war could be another situation to add to this list, but we have no reason to believe the administration is going to go into moderate mode just yet. In fact, we have every reason to believe the opposite.

Last Friday, the US put China on a "priority watch list” of 12 countries that consistently violate intellectual property rules for the 14th year in row, and according to reports, there's talk of initiating another trade investigation into China's cloud computing industry.

Plus, earlier this month the Commerce Department put sanctions on Chinese telecom supplier ZTE. For the next 7 years, the company will not have access to US parts because it violated intellectual property agreements. Sounds good, but the situation has US experts worried that other countries (maybe even China) will develop the technology to fill the gap.

James Andrew Lewis over at the Center for Strategic and International Studies explained why fining ZTE may have been a better idea:

In the 1960s, or even the 1970s, the United States could get away with this kind of blanket proscription. It made technology that no one else could duplicate. That is no longer true. The diffusion of technological capabilities around the work began more than 20 years ago, and the rate of diffusion continues to increase. Just this week, China’s president, Xi Jinping, called for China to redouble its efforts to close the gap with the United States in advanced technologies...

U.S. technological leadership is diminishing as other countries become more adept at creating advanced technology, but our actions can affect and limit the pace and scope of this. The goal should not be to accelerate technological competition; ZTE’s punishment, however well deserved, may have the opposite effect.

Either way, the ZTE situation seemed to bother the Chinese press. 

So, since you're still keeping score, what we have is a meeting of two parties who have yet to make any headway in the past, and have not changed their expectations. Meanwhile, the stakes are getting higher, a trade war is looming, and the Trump administration is taking aggressive action that some experts worry may backfire.

If nothing happens at this meeting we're probably getting the best case scenario. 

SEE ALSO: The ugly truth about America's economy in just four words

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0 Brooklyn luxury market saw 19 contracts signed last week

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The Brooklyn luxury market had its priciest week of April last week, with 19 contracts signed for a total of about $63.4 million. The deals between April 23 and April 29 worth $2 million or more were split between nine condo deals and 10 house deals, according to the latest report from Stribling & Associates. The properties went for an average price of about $3.3 million. The priciest deal was for a single-family townhouse in […]

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0 How to shop at Sam's Club without paying for a membership (WMT)

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SamsClub 6815

  • Sam's Club is known for its bulk products and huge savings, but it's a members-only store that costs at least $45 a year to join.
  • You don't need to have a membership to make use of some of Sam's Club's services, like the optical center or food court.
  • Sam's Club's online store and guest pass policy have also made it easier to shop at Sam's Club without a membership.

Warehouse clubs like Sam's Club are known for their huge savings and the variety of items you can buy in bulk.

To access all of the savings Sam's Club offers, you typically need to enroll in its membership program. The annual fee is $45 for a basic membership and $100 for a "Sam's Plus" premium membership, which includes additional benefits like $10 back for every $500 spent and free shipping on any order. 

But there are ways to get around spending that extra $45 or $100 a year, including using a Sam's Club guest pass, buying non-member items like alcohol, and eating at the food court.

Here are more ways to shop at Sam's Club without a membership:

SEE ALSO: We shopped at Costco and Sam's Club to see which is better — and there's a clear reason why you should join one over the other

Print out a single day guest pass from Sam's Club's website.

The guest pass allows you to shop at Sam's Club without a membership, but you'll be charged a 10% service fee. California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY are exempt from the fee.

(Source: Sam's Club)



Become a complimentary add-on member on a friend or family member's account.

(Source: Reader's Digest)



Shop at Sam's Club's online store.

Non-members can shop online at samsclub.com, but a 10% service fee is applied unless you live in California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY.

(Source: Sam's Club)



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0 Singapore launches the "Fintech Fast Track" for new patents

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This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has announced the launch of a new initiative, dubbed the Fintech Fast Track initiative, which aims to grant patents for fintech innovations at a faster pace than before. While it can traditionally take up to 2 years for a patent to be granted, this new initiative will bring that down to 6 months for new fintech solutions. The initiative includes fintech innovations related to electronic payments, investment platforms, insurance technology, blockchain, banking, security, fraud, and authentication, among others.VC Investment Singapore

The Fintech Fast Track initiative is aligned with Singapore’s broader fintech agenda. The Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) launched the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) scheme in 2015 to promote more innovation in the financial services sector by pouring S$225 million ($169.8 million) into the industry. This latest move will build on that effort by helping fintechs and other financial services companies looking at new ways to use technology to get their products to market quicker. That should increase competition in the industry, as more solutions will be launched, which will boost the fintech sector.

Singapore is becoming a more and more attractive fintech hub. Singapore has no shortage of initiatives designed to promote fintech. In addition to the FSTI scheme, it is currently looking to establish guidelines for the use of AI, and it launched a marketplace lending committee earlier this month. Its decision to now put in place a mechanism that will help companies get to market faster, saving time and costs, should only serve to make it more attractive for young fintech firms. Hence, we expect Singapore to remain a strong player in Asian fintech, and Hong Kong will likely need to step up its game to challenge the city-state's position in the future.

Fintech broke onto the scene as a disruptive force following the 2008 crisis, but the industry's influence on the broader financial services system is changing. 

The fintech industry no longer stands clearly apart from financial services proper, and is increasingly growing embedded in mainstream finance. We’re now seeing the initial stages of this transformation.

For instance, funding is growing more internationally distributed, and startups are making necessary adjustments to prove sustainability and secure a seat at the table. Most fintech segments in the ascendant a year ago have continued to rise and grow more valuable to the broader financial system. Meanwhile, several fintech categories have had to make adjustments to stay on top. New subsegments are also appearing on the scene — such as digital identity verification fintechs — as new opportunities for innovation are discovered. 

Significantly, incumbents are responding more proactively to the rising influence of fintech by making updates to their consumer-facing channels, back-end systems, and overall business operations. Most are realizing that the best way to adapt is to work alongside the fintechs that are transforming the financial services environment, either by partnering with them or acquiring the startups entirely. As fintech's power grows, incumbents will have no choice but to change in order to stay relevant and competitive. All around, fintech is becoming embedded in mainstream finance.

Maria Terekhova, research analyst for Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written the definitive Fintech Ecosystem report that:

  • Looks at how the environment in which the fintech industry operates is changing, and what that means for the digitization of financial services.
  • Gives an overview of the main subsegments within the global fintech industry, and discusses which categories have had to adapt to survive, which have reaped benefits from their original game plans, and which new segments have come to the fore in the past twelve months.
  • Outlines the adaptations that incumbent financial institutions have begun making to adjust to an economy that's inevitably shifting to digital, and in which tech-savvy fintechs are increasingly setting the standards.
  • Discusses what the future of financial services will look like as fintech embeds itself into the financial mainstream.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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0 Miley Cyrus withdraws apology for a 'near-nude' photo that caused controversy 10 years ago

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0 Trump wants his summit with Kim Jong Un to be at the Korean border, rather than a neutral country

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Donald Trump Kim Jong Un

  • Donald Trump suggested meeting Kim Jong Un in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
  • The highly-anticipated summit comes on the heels of a historic meeting between Kim and South Korea's President, where the two leaders promised to work toward "complete" denuclearization and ending the Korean War.
  • The Trump-Kim meeting could happen in three to four weeks' time. 


Donald Trump has suggested the Korean border as a meeting place for his upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un.

The US president tweeted on Monday morning:

"Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country?

"Just asking!"

The Peace House and Freedom House are less than 100 miles away from each other in the Panmunjom "truce village" along the Korean Demilitarized Zone, located between North and South Korea. 

The DMZ was also the site of the historic meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week, where the two leaders joked, drank champagne with each others' wives, and pledged to work toward "complete" denuclearization and end the longstanding Korean War.

There, Kim also became the first North Korean leader to ever step foot in South Korea.

panmunjom Military Demarcation line, Korea

Over the weekend Trump said the meeting could happen "in the next three or four weeks," and that it was "going to be a very important meeting."

Neutral countries such as Mongolia and Switzerland were previously suggested as potential meeting places for the Trump-Kim summit.

Trump and Kim have gone from calling each other "little rocket man" and "mentally deranged US dotard" less than a year ago, to agreeing to meet for the first time earlier this year. South Korea's president has called for Trump to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on North Korea.

US intelligence officials previously told Reuters that experts were closely watching Kim's body language at the inter-Korean summit to prepare for the Trump-Kim meeting. The Trump administration is working toward North Korea's complete denuclearization.

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0 12 crucial questions raised by 'Westworld'

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Westworld season 2

Note: Spoilers ahead for previously aired Westworld episodes, along with potentially spoiler-y speculation for future episodes.

Chaos has broken out in "Westworld."

By the end of the first season of HBO's sci-fi western drama, the meticulously constructed rules of the artificial world at the heart of the show had collapsed.

Guests in Westworld were no longer safe as they interacted with the park's artificially intelligent "hosts" — gunslingers, brothel madams, a farmer’s daughter, Native Americans, and more. Instead of being able to terrorize, shoot, and sleep with the park's robot hosts as they pleased, park visitors and Westworld's designers became vulnerable to violence from the same characters they'd abused for years.

It was the latest bloody twist in the mysterious tale, and surely there are more to come in season two, the second episode of which airs on Sunday.

Along the way, "Westworld’s" story has confronted all kinds of uneasy questions — mainly scientific and philosophical — about the complex intersection of technology and people.

Here are some of the most interesting questions the show has led us to consider so far.

SEE ALSO: Freud's interpretation of why we dream may be wrong — here's what's really going on

Do we all live in a simulation?

For a time, all the hosts in Westworld woke up to go about their day — working, drinking, fighting, whatever it entailed — without knowing that their entire existence was a simulation created by the park’s designers.

Physicists and philosophers say that in our own world, we can’t prove we don’t live in some kind of computer simulation.

Some think that if that is the case, we might be able to "break out" by noticing errors in the system.

Westworld's hosts seem to have caught on to exactly that. The question for them now is what life is like outside the simulation.



Can we control artificial intelligence?

Each time the park woke up (or the simulation restarted), the hosts were supposed to go about their routines, playing their roles and reciting the same lines until some guest veered into the storyline, triggering them to adjust accordingly. The guest might go off on an adventure with the host or they might rape or kill them. Whatever happened, when the story reset, the hosts' memories were wiped clean.

Except it didn't quite work that way, and hosts started to remember — and resent — how they were treated. The Delos employees at the park lost control.

Right now, real-life researchers of artificial intelligence believe that out-of-control AI is a myth and that we can control intelligent software. But then again, few computer and linguistic scientists anticipated that machines would learn to listen and speak as well as people — and they are getting closer and closer to that point.



How far off are intelligent humanoid machines like those in Westworld?

Behind the scenes at Westworld's headquarters, advanced industrial tools can 3D-print the bodies of hosts from a mysterious white goop (at least, when those hosts aren't in open rebellion). Perhaps the material is made of nanobots, or some genetically engineered tissue, or maybe it's just plastic that's manipulated by some as-yet-undisclosed technology.

There's a lot of mystery around how hosts are created. What powers these strange constructs? How are the batteries recharged, if at all? Can (and how do) they feel pain and pleasure?

As we've seen in several episodes, the "thinking" part of the machines is located in the head (under some very real-looking brain tissue). But what is that little device? 

Nothing like these automatons exists in the real world, but researchers and entrepreneurs are working hard to advance soft robots, ultra-dense power sources, miniaturized everyday components (some down to an atomic scale), and other bits and pieces that might ultimately comprise a convincing artificial human.



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0 Kate Middleton is a whiskey fan and Cleopatra used to bathe in wine — here are the surprising favorite drinks of 10 popular royals

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Prince William and Kate Middleton whiskey



Some of history's most powerful kings, queens, and members of royal families have been known for their unique drinking habits. 

While some, like Princess Diana, only sipped on Peach Bellinis from time to time, others, like Catherine II (later known to the world as Catherine the Great), became renowned for their surprising drinking abilities. 

Below, see the favorite drinks of 10 popular royals, from Kate Middleton to Cleopatra. 

SEE ALSO: Kate Middleton's delivery of her third baby probably cost less than a typical birth in the US

DON'T MISS: Kate Middleton has given birth to her third child — here's what the royal line of succession looks like now

Kate Middleton: Jack Daniels

One of Kate's favorite drinks to sip is reportedly Jack Daniels, although it's a close call between the "Crack Baby," a mix of passion-fruit juice, vodka, and champagne that the couple was said to regularly drink at the nightclub Boujis.

Source: Telegraph



Princess Diana of Wales: Peach Bellini

Princess Diana was said to have been partial to a peach Bellini, enjoying them the night she famously snuck out while dressed as a man with Freddie Mercury.

Source: Daily Mail



Prince Charles: Laphroaig malt

The prince loves Laphroaig malt and even has a special Highgrove edition of the whiskey from Islay that he sells in his Gloucestershire estate shop.

Source: The Daily Meal



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0 Trump calls for the end of the White House Correspondents' Dinner after Michelle Wolf's biting monologue faces backlash

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White House Correspondents' Association dinner sarah huckabee sanders Michelle Wolf

  • Comedian Michelle Wolf's racy monologue at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Saturday night has elicited mixed reactions across media and politics.
  • President Donald Trump skipped the dinner for the second year in a row, but some members of administration were present to take jabs from Wolf.
  • Trump tweeted Monday that the annual dinner should end.

The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner featured a racy and targeted monologue from comedian Michelle Wolf that has prompted mixed reactions from journalists, pundits, and politicians.

President Donald Trump, who skipped the dinner for the second year in a row, tweeted on Monday that the annual dinner should end, calling it an "embarrassment".

The dinner is traditionally known as a chance for officials and correspondents alike to take a few humorous hits, but many felt this year's jabs went beyond the event's lighthearted nature.

Wolf expectedly commented on Trump, but prompted groans and backlash with searing insults about individuals on the president's staff.

Some of the strongest reactions were after Wolf took aim at press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was seated a few feet to Wolf's left at the head table.

"I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful," Wolf said. "She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It's probably lies."

Journalists took notice of Wolf's jokes as especially edgy, and responses like tweets from The New York Times' Maggie Haberman and Fox News' Abby Huntsman noted Sanders' gracious tolerance:

NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell pointed out that the event has a tradition of telling jokes that "singe but don't burn."

Wolf also targeted Vice President Mike Pence ("what happens when Anderson Cooper isn't gay"), counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway ("has the perfect last name for what she does"), first daughter Ivanka Trump ("done nothing to satisfy women ... like father like daughter").

When the audience groaned after one crass joke, Wolf laughed, saying, "Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this."

Former Trump allies and White House officials in attendance reacted to Wolf's relentless jabs, with former White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeting the dinner was a "disgrace," and former chief of staff Reince Priebus concluding that Trump's supporters and critics alike felt the "uncomfortable" atmosphere.

Though her one-liners are the expense of Democrats weren't as biting as they were for the Republican administration, Wolf did have one killer insult for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"It is kinda crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn't even in contact with Michigan," she said.

Others thought that Wolf's jokes were fair game and in-tune with the unbelievable nature of the current administration:

Trump spent his Saturday night hosting a campaign-style rally in Washington Township, Michigan and tweeted aftwerward that the dinner was a "big, boring bust."

According to an online statement by WHCA President Margaret Talev announcing Wolf's performance, the dinner is an annual event to meant to "honor the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism."

Talev appeared on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday morning and said while "comedy is meant to be provocative," the dinner "may have fallen a little bit short" of its goal in "unifying the country."

Watch Wolf's full set below:

SEE ALSO: Michelle Wolf gave a searing, cringeworthy monologue at the White House Correspondents' Dinner — here are the highlights

SEE ALSO: Little kid visiting the White House asks Sarah Huckabee Sanders why Trump fired Comey

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0 The most surprising foods Weight Watchers considers zero points — and why

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woman eating

Weight Watchers has long assigned a point system to foods for dieters.

The idea is to encourage people to stay away from less healthy foods, like a slice of cake, by making those items account for more of a person's daily food-intake total. Foods that are perfectly healthy to eat in abundance, on the other hand, get a low point value.

According to the the weight-loss giant's rubric, some vegetables have always counted for zero points. But now Weight Watchers says dieters need not count points anymore when it comes to many other fruits, veggies, and nutrient-rich proteins. In December, Weight Watchers released an updated list of more than 200 zero-point foodsthat followers of the diet plan can eat in unlimited quantities.

That idea might seem counterintuitive, since many people assume that letting dieters eat as much as they want of certain foods could lead to overeating.

"These foods form the basis of a healthy eating pattern,"Gary Foster, Weight Watchers' chief scientific officer and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school, told Business Insider. The list of zero-points items even includes things like eggs and fish.

"Very few people come to Weight Watchers because they've had a problem overdoing it on salmon, legumes, beans, and chicken," Foster said.

In other words, people just don't tend to binge on satiating, healthful foods. And Weight Watchers doesn't want any feelings of guilt to be associated with eating an extra dose of salad or another bite of fish.

The no-points-list includes apples, mushroom caps, scallions, and tangerines. Here are some of the most surprising entries on it, and the nutrition research that led them to be included.

SEE ALSO: You're probably putting on sunscreen all wrong — here's how to apply it the right way, according to a dermatologist

Whole eggs, including the cholesterol-heavy yokes.

Recent research has shown that for most healthy adults, eggs don't have a huge effect on blood cholesterol levels. And if you like your breakfast eggs topped with a little red salsa, go wild. That's a points-free food now too.



Many kinds of beans, including black, butter, navy, white, and fat-free refried beans

Beans and legumes are a categorically low-fat, high-protein source of fuel that give you lots of potassium, magnesium and filling fiber. If you're not a bean lover, lentils are point-free too.



Caviar and shellfish

If your wallet can handle it, you can have as much caviar as you like. In fact, most fish and shellfish — like crab and lobster — are fine to eat with abandon.

According to Weight Watchers, people just don't tend to overeat seafood, so it's simply not worth measuring out into gram-specific servings. They'd rather have clients eat these types of proteins until they feel satisfied, then stop.



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0 Russia, China, and the US are in a hypersonic weapons arm race — and officials warn the US could be falling behind

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0 8 insider facts about shopping at Target that only employees know

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Cashier Target sales cash register

  • Target store employees know a lot about the chain's inner workings.
  • Employees have taken to the web to share all sorts of interesting secrets about the brand.
  • Here's a look at some insider insights that could be helpful to customers, courtesy of Target employees.


Target store employees know all about the retail giant's inside operations.

And there are plenty of current and former employees out there. Today, Target has 1,829 stores in the US. It also employs a massive workforce, with over 350,000 global team members.

Some of those workers have taken to the web to share information on what it's like to work at the chain. Some also shared tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your shopping experience and how to snag the best deals.

So if you're planning on going on a Target run anytime soon, consider going in prepared with this insider information.

Here's a look at some surprising facts about the retail chain, courtesy of current and former Target employees:

SEE ALSO: Costco employees share the 20 things they wish shoppers would stop doing

DON'T MISS: Walmart employees share 8 insider facts about shopping at the big box store

SEE ALSO: Costco employees explain why they don't buy produce there

Target has a state-of-the-art forensics program to catch shoplifters, among other things.

Apparently "CSI: Target" is a thing.

The retail chain runs two forensic labs, one in Minneapolis and the other in Las Vegas. On its website, Target said its investigators solve cases through "video and image analysis, latent fingerprint and computer forensics."

In a 2008 article profiling the Target Forensic Services team, Forbes reported that 70% of the lab's time is spent looking into fraud, theft, and personal cases.

But Target investigators have also assisted law-enforcement agencies on a number of armed robbery, kidnapping, and homicide cases, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

People who said they've worked at Target before took to Reddit to say that the stores tend to have state-of-the-art camera surveillance.

"The resolution on those things was insane," one Reddit poster wrote.

"I worked at Target in the early nineties and it was insane then," another Reddit user added. "Twenty years later and I wouldn't be surprised if they weigh me as I enter and as I leave to determine if I'm shoplifting."

One Target employee told Business Insider that the surveillance system doesn't ensure that all shoplifters get busted immediately, however.

"Stores will often let shoplifters go until they steal an amount that will be counted as a felony — sending them straight to jail," the Target employee told Business Insider.



Be nice to employees — it might pay off.

Sometimes, it pays to be nice.

Business Insider's Kate Taylor previously reported on a viral blog started by Target employee Tom Grennell.

He wrote about working during a special sale when his Target store was giving out a 10% discount on all purchases. The only catch? Shoppers had to ask for the discount.

"I have a coupon to scan if anyone asks for it. I scan it if people don't ask for it if they're nice to me," Grennell wrote. "I don't scan it if they're rude. Power is a new sensation. Power is a good sensation."



You can't necessarily spot a clearance item by its price tag.

The website Truth or Fiction threw cold water on the idea that prices ending in certain numbers indicate clearance items at Target.

"The ending digit of a clearance price is determined by several factors including the original retail price and the applied percentage discount," former Target PR representative Evan Lapiska told Truth or Fiction. "It is not possible to determine the final markdown or timing of the price change from the item's current price."

The website also debunked the idea that Target's mark downs run on a weekly schedule.



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0 What it takes to become a flight attendant in South Korea, where it's so competitive that candidates are getting plastic surgery to improve their odds

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shutterstock_422086132

  • South Korea's youth unemployment is nearing "catastrophic" levels, a Korean finance minister said in March.
  • To secure a job, many young people in South Korea feel that their application, which must include a photo ID, has to be perfect.
  • Being a flight attendants is an especially enviable job in South Korea with plenty of competition. As a result, many aspiring flight attendants are turning to plastic surgery to increase their odds of securing the job.
  • Some plastic surgery clinics in South Korea are even making special packages for aspiring flight attendants, encouraging those women to slim their faces, widen their eyes, and upturn their mouths.

It was only 1993 when United flight attendants reported that they were fasting, purging, and taking laxatives to keep their figure — and their jobs. If the crew members weighed more than 11 pounds over the maximum, they would receive 10 days of unpaid temporary leave, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

Such rules have since been softened or outright banned in much of the world. But flight attendant hopefuls in South Korea still report significant pressure to look a certain way — and it's leading them to take drastic measures.

Leading Korean airlines in South Korea like Asiana Airlines and Korean Air dropped their height stipulation and softened their language requirements for aspiring flight attendants in 2015, local media reported.

But in practice, thanks to a combination of factors including the job application process and Korean standards of beauty, flight attendant hopefuls have reported feeling pressured by an unspoken requirement "to be more beautiful," The Korea Herald reported.

"The flight attendants are actually the representative of the airline," Sojin Lim, a 25-year-old Seoul resident who worked for a domestic Korean airline, told Business Insider. "How they look will affect the image of it, so they have to always look formal and neat."

SEE ALSO: Flight attendants share 15 of their favorite travel hacks

DON'T MISS: Inside the intensive, two-month training all Delta flight attendants must attend that's harder to get into than Harvard

It's typical for job applications in South Korea to require an ID photo. Because of that, many job applicants in South Korea say they feel the pressure to appear good-looking, whether it's to be a flight attendant, an engineer, or a cashier.

Source: LA Times



In fact, a 2016 survey by Saramin, a Korean online job portal, found that more than 60% of human resources personnel feel an applicant's appearance affects his or her candidacy.

Source: Saramin



The Korean government is seeking to overturn the résumé photo requirement in sweeping regulations that would also ban employers from asking applicants their height, weight, family background, and hometown.

Source: Quartz



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0 The US government clearly defines the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West — here's where your state falls

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  • The United States is home to many different regions and subregions, and there's plenty of debate over which region certain states fall in.
  • The US Census Bureau has used the same regional definitions since 1950.
  • The bureau divides the US into four regions — Northeast, Midwest, South, and West — and nine subregions.


The United States is home to several different regions and subregions, each with its own unique history and culture.

But it's not always clear where one region ends and another begins. There's no consensus on whether the Dakotas are part of the Midwest, for example, or if Arkansas belongs to the South.

Luckily, we have the US Census Bureau, which has classified American regional divisions for more than 100 years. Since the 1950 Census, the bureau has used the same arrangement of four main regions and nine subregions. The only changes happened in 1960, when the newly-admitted Alaska and Hawaii joined the Pacific region, and in 1984, when the North Central region was renamed the Midwest.

Take a look at how the Census groups the 50 states — and decide whether you agree with where your state ended up.

SEE ALSO: This map shows the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures

DON'T MISS: 27 fascinating maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US

THE NORTHEAST

The Northeast includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.



New England is the northernmost part of the Northeast ...

New England consists of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.



and the southern states in the region are considered Middle Atlantic.

The Middle Atlantic division consists of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.



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0 The 11 biggest 'Infinity War' questions that 'Avengers 4' must answer

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Spoiler warning: Don't read if you have not seen "Avengers: Infinity War."

"Avengers: Infinity War" is finally here, and it's a satisfying crossover event for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But it also leaves many things dangling that audiences will want addressed.

It is very much the first part of a two-part story, and moviegoers will have to wait until next year for answers, when the fourth "Avengers" movie comes to theaters. It was filmed back to back with "Infinity War" and was originally titled "Infinity War — Part 2."

In the meantime, we have questions. 

There's definitely something going on with the Hulk, and Doctor Strange has a plan. And how about that surprise return of a character long thought dead?

Below are the 11 biggest questions we have after watching "Infinity War" that "Avengers 4" has to answer:

SEE ALSO: The 'Avengers: Infinity War' ending is devastating — but the comic it's based on provides a glimmer of hope

Why can't Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk?

Remember this epic shot from the first "Infinity War" trailer? It's not in the movie! In fact, the Hulk, featured prominently running with the other Avengers in the scene, only appears at the beginning of the film. At some point, directors Joe and Anthony Russo decided that they didn't want Bruce Banner to Hulk-out during the battle in Wakanda. Throughout the movie, Banner  has trouble unleashing the beast, and the Hulk repeatedly shouts "No!" in his head mid-transformation. There's something going on with Banner/the Hulk and it's something we hope is explored in "Avengers 4."



Will the Red Skull return (again)?

One of the film's biggest surprises is the return of the Red Skull, who was the villain way back in 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger." In that movie, we thought Skull was disintegrated from touching one of the Infinity Stones, but it appears he was just transferred to another planet — the planet where Thanos retrieves the Soul Stone. Will we see more of Red Skull in the next "Avengers" movie, or future MCU movies for that matter? 



How will Captain Marvel play into the story?

Next March, before "Avengers 4" is released, "Captain Marvel" starring Brie Larson comes to theaters. The "Infinity War" after-credits scene teases the character's arrival, so we assume "Captain Marvel" will get involved in the events following "Infinity War" (even though her solo movie takes place in the 1990s). It's apparent that Captain Marvel will be integral to saving humanity and stopping Thanos in "Avengers 4," but we have no idea how yet. 



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0 Prologis to buy rival warehouse REIT for $8.4B

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Warehouse landlord Prologis is buying rival logistics owner DCT Industrial Trust for $8.4 billion in stock, giving the company more exposure to key markets like New York, southern California and south Florida. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, gives Prologis an additional 71 million square feet in key areas where online shopping is driving demand for warehouse space, Bloomberg reported. “Land is hard to come by in high-rent markets where […]

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0 Hitler died 73 years ago today — here's how newspapers around the world reacted

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  • Adolf Hitler died by suicide on April 30, 1945.
  • Newspapers around the world reacted to reports of Hitler's death with bold, full-page headlines, and in some cases, cheery delight.
  • "Germans put out the news everyone hopes is true," one newspaper wrote.


Exactly 73 years ago, on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin, bringing to an end the life of one of history's most notorious figures.

News of Hitler's demise was slow to reach the United States, and the reports that did reach across the Atlantic were initially met with skepticism. Most American newspapers didn't run the news until May 2 — a full two days later — and even then, President Harry Truman was cautious in confirming the reports at a press conference.

Still, Hitler's death signaled the final nail in the coffin for the Axis Powers in World War II. Less than a week after the news broke, German forces unconditionally surrendered in Europe, and by September the war had officially ended.

Newspapers around the world announced Hitler's death with bold, full-page headlines and in some cases, cheery delight. "Germans put out the news everyone hopes is true," the United Kingdom's Daily Express wrote. "Will rant no more," said Boston's Daily Record.

Read on to see how newspapers covered the news in 1945.

SEE ALSO: A video filmed in 1911 shows everyday life in New York City 100 years ago — see how it compares to Manhattan today

DON'T MISS: Here's how newspapers reacted the first time a US president died in office

Here's what The New York Times looked like on May 2, 1945

According to the Times report from the UK's House of Commons, "there was an almost complete lack of excitement here. Those who believed the report seemed to accept it as a matter of course that Hitler would die. There was no official reaction."

The Times also included an interesting note about how the news disseminated in the UK: "London newspapers received the announcement of Hitler's death just as the early editions were going to press but the second editions went 'all-out' on the news, with long obituaries of Hitler and biographical sketches of Doenitz," it wrote.



One of the biggest headlines of all came from Stars and Stripes, a publication of the US military

"Churchill hints peace is at hand," the military paper said.



The New York Daily News devoted the entire front page to the striking headline 'HITLER DEAD'

The Daily News wrote years later: "Knowing that the end was near, Hitler moved into his bunker by January of 1945 and decided to kill himself before anyone else could by April."



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0 IDENTITY VERIFICATION IN BANKING: How banks are using new authentication methods to boost conversions and keep their customers loyal

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Large FIs tech investments NEWThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

The way incumbent banks onboard and verify the identities of their customers online is inconvenient and insecure, resulting in lowered customer satisfaction and loyalty, and security breaches leading to compensation payouts and legal costs.

It’s a lose-lose situation, as consumers become disgruntled and banks lose business. The problem stems from the very strict verification standards and high noncompliance fines that banks are subject to, which have led them to prioritize stringency over user experience in verification. At the same time, this approach doesn't gain banks much, since the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up compromising customers' personal data.

But banks can't afford to prioritize stringent verification at the cost of user experience anymore. Onboarding and verification standards are increasingly being set by more tech-savvy players within and outside their industry, like fintechs and e-retailers. If banks want to keep customers loyal, they have to start innovating in this area. The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy. If banks manage to do this, the result will be happier and more loyal customers; higher client retention and revenue; and less spending on redundant checks, compensation for breaches, and regulatory fines.

The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, and because they’re held to such tight verification standards, their testimonies are universally trusted. So, if banks figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them not only boost revenue and cut costs, but secure a place for themselves in an emerging platform economy, where online identities will be key to carrying out transactions. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The strict verification standards that banks are held to have led them to create onboarding and login processes that are painful for clients. Plus, the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up putting customers' personal data at risk. This leaves banks with dented customer satisfaction, as well as security breaches and legal costs.
  • Several factors are now pushing banks to attempt to remedy the situation, including a tougher regulatory environment and increasing competition from agile startups and tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, where speedy onboarding and intuitive service is a given.
  • The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy, something several emerging technologies promise to deliver, including biometrics, optical character recognition (OCR) technology, cryptography, secure video links, and blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). 
  • The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, so if they were to figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them secure a valued place, and relevance, in a modernizing economy.

In full, the report:

  • Looks at why identity verification is so integral to banking, and why it's becoming a problem for banks.
  • Outlines the biggest drivers pushing banks to revamp their verification methods.
  • Gives an overview of the technologies, both new and established but repurposed, that are enabling banks to bring their verification methods into the digital age.
  • Discusses what next steps have to happen to bring about meaningful change in the identity verification space, and how banks can capitalize on their existing strengths to make such shifts happen.

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0 Marketing analytics startups Radius and Leadspace are merging to beat out Salesforce (CRM)

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  • Two competing startups in the marketing and sales intelligence space have decided to merge.
  • Radius and Leadspace are combining products and teams to better compete with Salesforce.
  • Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher will become the chief executive of the combined company, while Radius CEO Darian Shirazi will become its executive chairman.


A pair of startups is teaming up up to take on Salesforce.

Radius and Leadspace are planning to merge to better compete with the cloud giant's Einstein product in the world of marketing and sales analytics. The combined company will operate under the name Radius, but will rely heavily on the products and customer bases of both firms.

"We're excited about this because it will create the largest number of customers, largest revenue base and really provide a company that is at scale in B2B data and intelligence," said Radius CEO Darian Shirazi, who's set to become executive chairman of the combined company when the deal closes. 

"The only other major player in this space we believe is Salesforce Einstein, and we're excited to really give them a run for their money," he said. 

Radius has historically worked with US companies such as Sam's Club and MetLife to help them reach potential customers. Leadspace, meanwhile, uses its global footprint and artificial intelligence to help customers including Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise connect with other businesses.

"Leadspace and Radius fit very nicely together. We actually both have the same vision in terms of bringing data intelligence to B2B sales and marketing organizations," said Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher, who will become CEO of the combined company. 

Shirazi and Bewsher declined to share the terms of the deal, but they insisted that the combined value will be "big." 

Radius was last valued at more than $500 million in 2015, which Shirazi confirmed to Fortune at the time. Leadspace has never publicly disclosed its valuation, but the company had raised a total of $59 million as of late last year. 

"It's reasonable to think there could be an IPO in the next couple of years," Shirazi said. 

The new Radius has close ties to its big rival, Salesforce 

While Shirazi and Bewsher have set their sights on beating out Salesforce, both CEOs have links to the cloud giant.

Before heading Leadspace, Bewsher was Salesforce's chief marketing officer. Meanwhile, Salesforce Ventures invested in Radius, and the startup's service can be deployed within Salesforce's platform.

But both Shirazi and Bewsher's experiences go beyond Salesforce. 

Shirazi started out as an intern on the engineering team at eBay before joining Facebook as one of its first 10 employees. He left after three years to start his freshman year at UC Berkeley but didn't stay long before moving on to other startups. He founded Radius in 2013.

Bewsher held a series of executive-level marketing roles before settling down at Leadspace. The company was founded in Tel Aviv in 2007 as part of what Bewsher calls "the NSA of Israel."

As CMO at both Skype and Salesforce, Bewsher got a sense of what the marketing world needs — and what he believes the biggest players in the space are getting wrong.  

"While a company like Salesforce has done some work in terms of trying to help customers figure out how this market is going to evolve, a deal like ours is going to really help solidify that," Bewsher said. "We're really excited about how this is going to shape the whole data intelligence market." 

SEE ALSO: BARCLAYS: Salesforce is facing a 'new competitive reality' in M&A and Microsoft has an important edge

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0 How Goldman Sachs, UBS, and more reacted to Walmart's $10 billion 'Black Swan' deal to sell Asda

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LONDON — UK supermarket Sainsbury's on Monday confirmed a surprise deal to buy rival Asda from Walmart in a $10 billion (£7.3 billion) transaction.

Sainsbury's will pay Walmar £2.9 billion ($3.9 billion) in cash and give the retail giant 42% of shares of the combined business under the terms of the deal, valuing Asda at $10 billion (£7.3 billion).

The merger has taken the City largely by surprise. Analysts at Barclays dubbed it a "black swan" deal on Monday, referencing finance professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb theory of unexpected and difficult to predict events in markets.

While the transaction may not have been predicted, analysts have been quick to dissect the terms of the deal and what they mean for participants and the wider market.

Most analysis focuses on the trouble the deal could face with UK competition regulators, what the merger means for Walmart, and how it would affect the UK grocery market.

Here's what Goldman Sachs, UBS, Barclays and more are saying:

SEE ALSO: Sainsbury's is buying Asda from Walmart in a $10 billion deal — but an analyst warned it could 'unravel acrimoniously'

Goldman Sachs: 'We estimate Asda represents 6% of Walmart's global revenue'

Goldman Sachs analyst Rob Joyce and team: "We estimate Asda represents 6% and 5% of WMT’s global revenue and EBITDA (FY18), respectively, and 23% of its international revenue. We estimate that Asda is the largest piece of WMT’s international portfolio outside of the Americas, and its third largest overall, behind Mexico and Canada.

"We note that though Asda accounts are not presented, Sainsbury states that Asda EBIT
for FY17 fell to approximately £720 mn from £845 mn (-15%)."



UBS: 'It's hard to paint this as anything other than positive'

UBS analyst Daniel Ekstein: "It's hard to paint this as anything other than positive for shoppers (lower prices, better ranges, more flexible options) and the deal terms look attractive for shareholders too. The proposed merger is expected to generate net synergies of £500m/annum, after having made 'significant price investment' across the combined business (management references c.10% price cuts on KVI's).

"Food retail is a scale industry, where size drives efficiency across the value chain. Market share of the pro-forma combined entity would double to c.31%, leapfrogging current leader Tesco at c.28%. Purchase price alignment accounts for £350m of the total synergies, whilst Argos concessions in Asda underpin £75m and reduced opex a further £75m."



Bernstein: 'The price of bad execution is huge'

Bernstein's Bruno Monteyne and Brandon Fletcher: "There is lots of talk of the "CMA since Tesco/Booker" assuming that something changed in the way the CMA looks at such deals. We dispute that: the CMA took the only possible conclusion in line with its remit. Therefore local competition, within 10 to 15 minutes' drive time, remains the key driver of store disposals. We think the potential gamble will depend on how the CMA treats discounter stores. In the past they were largely excluded (as being too small and therefore not a comparable one-stop shop).

"57% of Asda stores have large SBRY store within 12.5 mins drive time, leading to ~15% of store disposals. If they can convince CMA to include discounters, then it could be ~8%. This is a bold gamble. This deal could easily unravel acrimoniously if the CMA sticks to its old rules and parameters. At 13% store disposals, the deal would stop being accretive.

"The price of bad execution is huge. Morrisons-Safeway lost 28% of their sales through a combination of store disposals (9%), integration problems and culture clash. Cultures and retail propositions at SBRY & Asda are very different and therefore the execution risk seems much higher than the smooth Ahold-Delhaize merger."



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