Just like us, celebrities often use social media to find dates. Check out these hilarious times famous people slid into the DMs.
**Must-Read**: Well, well, well, I was wrong: Glenn Hubbard has issued a peep—but not, I note, an op-ed. And Douglas Holtz-Eakin—well, I do not know what Douglas Holtz-Eakin is doing: **Jonathan Chait**: [The Republican War on Economics](http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/the-republican-war-on-economics.html): "On Meet the Press Sunday, Chuck Todd asked Susan Collins how she could support a huge tax cut after having complained about excessive debt... >>...Economic growth produces more revenue and that will help to offset this tax cut and actually lower the debt... >she calmly replied. An incredulous Todd asked Collins how she could defend such a claim when every study has concluded the opposite. She cited Glenn Hubbard, Larry Lindsey, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Jennifer Rubin got ahold of two of the three, Hubbard and Holtz-Eakin. Both economists denied having ever claimed the Republican tax cuts would produce enough growth to recoup the lost revenue... Unfortunately, Douglas Holtz-Eakin is a lead signer on the [Hundred-Odd Unprofessional Republican Economists Letter](http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tax-reform-opinion-congress-pass-2017-11): "Sophisticated economic models show the macroeconomic feedback generated by the TCJA will exceed... enough to compensate for the static revenue loss..." This is, for Holtz-Eakin, a "who are you going to believe—me or your lying eyes?" moment. For I have no idea how to...
Audio reveals details of George Papadopoulos' July arraignment in closed Virginia courtroom.
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
Organized crime is the newest and most profound threat to the U.S. retail industry (besides the fear of Amazon and or filing for bankruptcy). Loss prevention professionals are scrambling to combat highly organized criminal rings operating across state lines deploying armies of “boosters”, who go into stores to steal anything from designer clothes, infant formulas, and electronics. The cost of organized retail crime has increased for all retailers. Back in 2016, the National Retail Federal (NFR) said “retailers see an average impact of $700,259 per $1 billion in retail sales. That is up significantly from 2015’s $453,940”. Jim Cosseboom, manager of investigations and corporate asset protection for the supermarket operator Ahold USA, parent company of Giant, Food Lion and other chains, warns those who are participating in organized retail crime are becoming more brazen and dangerous. “What they’re targeting is always shifting,” he says, from a mix of high-end luxuries to everyday commodities. Most items can be sold for quick cash on city streets. National Retail Federation (NFR) outlines the various types of organized crime: physical and online fencing, cargo theft and issues with gift cards and merchandise credits Physical Fencing: In all, 63% said they had identified or recovered stolen merchandise from a physical location, such as a store, swap meet or pawn shop. That is down from 2011, when 75% said they had. Of the types of location, finding stolen merchandise in kiosks, temporary/pop-up stores and swap meets all declined over the 2015 figures. Other types of locations increased slightly, with respondents listing warehouses, street vendors and residences. E-fencing: Recovering stolen items advertised on the Internet — online auctions, classifieds and blog listings — is becoming more common. Nearly six in 10 (58%) have identified stolen merchandise on online auction sites, which is significantly higher than the previous year (39%). All forms of e-fencing have seen an increase. Other websites — such as social media sites — increased from 28% in 2015 to 39% in 2016. Merchandise credit and gift cards: Stolen merchandise returned for gift cards/store credit and then resold continues to challenge retailers. Two in three retailers — 68% — reported this as an issue. The number has dropped since 2013, when 78% reported this problem. 64.4% reported finding credits or gift cards on websites while one in three said they have found them in pawn shops. Check cashing (15.3%) and other venues (8.5%) like gift card exchange sites are also places where stolen gift cards and store credits are found. Cargo Theft: With cargo theft, organized retail criminals can score on a much bigger level. In 2016, 44% of those surveyed reported they had been a victim of cargo theft. While this does not reach 2012 levels — when 52% of those surveyed reported cargo theft — it is on the rise again after two years of decreases. The report also points out new trends in organized crime highlighting “shoplifters are becoming more aggressive”. Criminals are becoming bolder, riding a decriminalization trend by states that has reduced shoplifting to a misdemeanor. Retailers affected by organized crime offer thoughts on trends: Decriminalization of shoplifting has led to higher theft per ORC incident. “The felony limit used to be $500, so they would steal $490 per store. Now, with many states having increased the felony limit to $1,500, they steal $1,490 per store.” Online fraud rates have increased. “Our online fraud rates have tripled. We use software to highlight risky transactions for loss prevention review prior to shipping. We have stopped over $350,000 from being shipped due to fraud.” E-gift cards purchased with stolen credit cards is a growing problem. “People have been purchasing e-gift cards with stolen credit card information in large amounts. They then re-sell the cards or use them.” ORC is turning toward credit card and gift card fraud. “Frequently these individuals are people known to us from prior shoplifting incidents. The gift cards are used online and the packages shipped to the same area. Generally, not the same addresses, but multiple addresses within a few-block radius.” Gift cards purchased on reseller sites often are based on merchandise stolen and returned to store for a store credit. “Over the past 12 months we have seen more and more gift cards being sold on sites. When researched, all come back to no-receipt returns in stores.” Law enforcement may have difficulties determining proper jurisdiction for these crimes. “Laws need to be updated on these types of credit card fraud scams.” Robert Moraca, vice president of loss prevention for the National Retail Federation, says the increase in organized is being fueled by the opioid epidemic, as those who are addicted steal for quick cash to fund the next high. In a recent speech, President Trump outlined more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioid in 2016. This is more bad news for retailers, as the opioid crisis is only expanding. Last year, National Retail Federation (NFR) reported that organized crime cost retailers $30 billion. Retailer’s solution to combat organized crime is to allocate additional resources for technology and staffing. Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago are America’s top cities for organized crime. Interesting enough, organized crime on the east coast follows the I-95 corridor, as seen on the chart below. According to The Baltimore Sun, Coordinated efforts between retailers, store security, law enforcement and prosecutors have helped, analysts say, as has the emergence of associations focused on fighting organized retail crime. The Mid-Atlantic Organized Retail Crime Alliance, which includes Maryland, brings together retailers, law enforcement, security and loss prevention officials to share data and intelligence on organized theft, robberies, counterfeiting, check and credit card fraud and other scams. Thirty-four states have enacted laws against organized retail crime. Maryland has not. The Maryland Retailers Association wants legislation that would distinguish between organized retail theft and other types of theft. “Being on the I-95 corridor, we are particularly susceptible to organized retail crime,” association President Cailey Locklair Tolle says. “Shoplifting in Maryland, both the instances of theft and the dollar amount that’s stolen every year, has steadily been on the rise, and part of it does have to do with organized retail crime.” In September, the Federal Government announced they broke up a San Diego-based shoplifting ring that stole upwards of $20 million worth of high-end merchandise from malls around the United States, including at least one store in Maryland. New York’s attorney general said, the leader of a theft ring that stole millions of dollars of electronics and ink cartridges from big-box retailers and resold them on websites such as Amazon and eBay pleaded guilty to the top criminal charges he faced. Bottomline: will the trend in organized retail crime be the final death blow for U.S. retailers who are already struggling to survive?
With pre-orders selling out in minutes and lines forming at its stores to buy the iPhone X, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on a roll. MacRumors got ahold of an internal memo that Apple distributed to its Genius Bars and to Apple Authorized Service Providers. It notes an issue that is beginning to show up on its latest Apple Watch.
Advances in data, computing, and fundraising have given politicians new power to gerrymander democracy away.
Zacks.com featured highlights: Magna International, Avnet, Xcerra, Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize and MGM Growth Properties
Zacks.com featured highlights: Magna International, Avnet, Xcerra, Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize and MGM Growth Properties
Via Telephone 5:55 P.M. EDT THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hi this is Mike Pence. Q Mr. Vice President, Mike Porcaro. How are you, sir? THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hey, Mike, great to meet you over the phone. Appreciate it. Q Same here. Before we get into the interview, I'm giving you an official invite: Come on up fishing, anytime. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, I'd love it. I'd love it. What do you like to catch up there? Q Well, any kind of salmon. I mean, we can catch halibut, but silver salmon are fun to catch. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh man. Q They fight, they dance. Mr. Vice President, all I can tell you is you'll just -- it'll blow your mind. THE VICE PRESIDENT: (Laughter.) I have no doubt. I love Alaska. Q Well, come on back up, sir. You're welcome up here anytime. THE VICE PRESIDENT: I will. Q All right, essentially we're looking at a healthcare repeal of the Affordable Care Act. And there's a vehicle that is being used called the Graham-Cassidy Act. And that is being -- well, it's moving very quickly through the Congress. Now, there's a date certain on this one. Tell me why it has to be done so quickly. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, Mike, the American people know, the people of Alaska know that Obamacare has failed. It's failed the people of this state and people all across the country. in Alaska have increased more than 200 percent since Obamacare took effect. I mean, more than 20,000 Alaskans chose to pay the tax penalty instead of actually enrolling in the health insurance exchange in Alaska because the coverage was so poor. Literally, Obamacare has been collapsing all over America, and the American people know we can do better. President Trump and I are absolutely committed to keep our promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare. And the Graham-Cassidy bill that's making its way through the United States Senate as we speak, we believe, is our best opportunity to repeal the most onerous elements of Obamacare and empower states like Alaska to craft healthcare solutions that will be better suited to the people of your state. And so we're strongly supporting the bill. We're working closely with both of your senators. They're both friends of mine. Senator Dan Sullivan and Senator Lisa Murkowski do a great job for your state. But we're literally reaching out to every member of the United States Senate who knows that we can do better than the failed policies of Obamacare, and urging them to support Graham-Cassidy. We think it's an idea whose time has come, and the core of it very straight forward, Mike. It repeals the individual mandate and the business mandate that's at the center of Obamacare. I mean, right now, ever since Obamacare, every American ordered to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the federal government -- that's gone. And then the balance of it, block-grants all the resources of Obamacare back to the states so that people in Juno can craft solutions for your state to meet the unique challenges that Alaskans face with regard to access to healthcare and affordability. And that's built on the principle of federalism that I think is one of the most important elements of the American experiment, enshrined in the Constitution. Q Well, you'll get no argument from me on that at all. I think we know best what our healthcare needs are and how to solve our problems. THE VICE PRESIDENT: You bet. Q And no offense to Washington, but I really would much rather trust somebody that I can talk to and get ahold of than somebody 3,000 or 4,000 miles away. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mike, that's the whole point. And remember before I became Vice President, I was a governor of the great state of Indian. And I can tell you, when I was governor of Indiana, we actually got from the last administration the most expansive waiver in Medicaid in the history of that program, in my state, with just a little bit of flexibility. Now people in our most vulnerable population can have health insurance where they have a health savings account, they choose their own doctor, they get credits for engaging in wellness. We just got a portion of the flexibility that Graham-Cassidy would give Indiana, would give Alaska, and give every state in the Union. I mean, as you said better than I did, I mean, the people of Alaska know what's best at what solutions will work in Alaska just every bit as much as the people of Indiana know what will work in the corn and soybean fields of Indiana. And the principle behind Graham-Cassidy is you get rid of the mandates, you get rid of some of the taxes, and then you block-grant these resources back to the states. And we just -- we've got the vote coming up next week. The reason why it's on a short timeframe, Mike, to answer your first question very simply, is that we're using a budget resolution to pass it. And that lapses at the end of this month. It only requires a budget resolution, only requires 51 votes. And the truth is, no Democrat in the Senate has expressed any willingness to consider repealing Obamacare, so we've got to do this with Republicans. So we have until the end of this month to pass Graham-Cassidy and give the people of Alaska and all of America a fresh start on healthcare. Q Well, let's hope you don’t have to go up and vote. (Laughter.) Let's hope there's enough votes to pass this thing. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, that's right. We're prepared to do it. The Vice President has the privilege of casting a tie-breaking vote, and I can tell you I would welcome the opportunity to cast my vote in support of Graham-Cassidy. But you're right, we hope every single Republican in the United States Senate supports this bill. Q So, Mr. Vice President, how can we help you? This is a long time coming. This thing has been destroying this country for a long time. How do we help? How do we get this thing passed? THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it's in the hands of the members of the United States Senate. And our message all across the country is, if people agree with President Trump that Obamacare has failed, if people see that Obamacare premiums have doubled over the past four years, they're rising by double digits again next year, if they see premiums skyrockets, choices plummeting, and know we can do better, now is the time to let our elected representatives hear from you. I mean, I have to tell you, I hold in the highest regard your two senators. They're not only friends but they're outstanding legislators and they're both champions for Alaska. But if any of your listeners agree with President Trump and me and millions of Americans that we need to repeal and replace Obamacare, now is the time to reach out to Senator Dan Sullivan and Senator Lisa Murkowski and let them know that you'd be grateful if they'd stand with President Trump and they'd vote in favor of Graham-Cassidy when it comes to the Senate floor next week. Q All right, Mr. Vice President, I know your schedule is tight. I really appreciate your taking time, and hopefully in the future we'll get to meet face to face, and maybe we'll have an opportunity to talk again soon. I'd like that. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mike, I'd love to come in. It's great to be on the Mike Porcaro Show. I thank you for having me on KENI. And I'll tell you what -- some of the greatest memories my family ever made were in Alaska, and I would love to come back soon and see if I can figure out that fishing with you. Q Okay. (Laughter.) You're on. Have a great day, Mr. Vice President. END 6:02 P.M. EDT
Paul Scharre Security, Americas The widespread availability of drones brings new challenges to international security. In June, the United States shot down two Iranian-made armed drones used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The fact that the shoot down (and the existence of the armed drones themselves) barely registered as a significant news event shows the extent to which drones are becoming a normal feature of international conflicts. Drones are rapidly proliferating around the globe and are now in the hands of an increasing number of state and nonstate actors. The widespread availability of drones brings new challenges to international security. As more actors have access to drones, they are likely to use them in ways that challenge norms of sovereignty and change conflict dynamics. U.S. policymakers should begin thinking now about how to best prepare for these challenges and, to the extent possible, shape emerging patterns of behavior surrounding drone use. Over ninety nations and many nonstate actors have drones today. One of the first things that people seem to do once they get ahold of drones is send them someplace they don’t belong. With no person on board, actors can send a drone into hostile areas with fewer costs if it is shot down. Often, the result is that others do fire on drones. Again, because there is no person on board, the threshold for shooting down others’ drones is also lower. Read full article
Since Marvel loves to tease us with spoilers for upcoming movies, we gathered everything we could on 'Avengers: Infinity War' and more.
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize (ADRNY) can be an interesting play for investors looking for good value metrics.
COMPETITION: Amazon’s Whole Foods Deal Adds Pressure on Grocery Services to Deliver. Now, with the e-commerce giant planning to buy Whole Foods WFM -0.31% Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, giving it a large foothold in the food retail industry, the stakes are all the higher for companies such as Instacart Inc., Peapod LLC, Shipt Inc. […]
Online retail giant Amazon is acquiring grocery chain Whole Foods in a deal worth about $13.7 billion, the two companies announced Friday.“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades — they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. Amazon has experimented with local food delivery via its AmazonFresh program, created in 2007, in a handful of cities, including its home base of Seattle, San Francisco and New York. But the purchase of Whole Foods and its 460 stories in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. give the company access to instant infrastructure — including the expensive facilities needed for handling perishables — in scores of urban and suburban markets. Amazon has also dabbled in drone delivery of its books and other packages; the sprawling network of Whole Foods stores could form the basis of the sort of localized distribution network future delivery-by-drone would require.With the purchase, Bezos continues expanding his reach into industries beyond e-commerce. He personally owns both the Washington Post and Blue Origin, a commercial space exploration company. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will remain in charge of that company after the acquisition is finalized.