Tech: What it takes to drive a 42-foot-long fire truck

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The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) trains firefighters to drive ladder trucks and engines on Randall's Island before they take on city streets.

  • Firefighters in New York City train for two weeks on Randall's Island to learn how to drive fire trucks.
  • Some fire trucks weigh 40 tons and are 42 feet long.
  • Watch the video above to learn what the training is like, which includes lectures, a virtual simulator, and an obstacle course.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: What if instead of your mom's Ford Focus, your driver's test was parallel parking this? Parallel parking is just one part of the two-week training that New York City firefighters go through. The end result? They get certified to drive 42-foot-long fire trucks. The training includes lectures, written tests, a virtual driving simulator, and, just as you might expect, an obstacle course.

From the first day, firefighters are behind the wheel, but they aren't ready to drive on city streets yet. They practice just like you might in Driver's Ed, at a parking lot. The first challenge is pretty straightforward. Drive in a straight line between two lines of cones. Then, back up the way you came. After that, it gets trickier. Weave in and out of cones without knocking any of them over and then, do that backwards.

Mike Jackson: One of the specific things we work on on the EVOC course is when we're maneuvering through the barrels, is we're lining up, let's say, our rear wheel tire. When that rear wheel tire is lined up against one of the barrels, then we can make our turn and we will not hit that barrel. So even though it seems a little simplistic maybe, but it represents, it could be a car out there. It could be the corner we're trying to get into.

Narrator: Once they've gotten that down next up is parallel parking. Which, after the backwards cone weaving, doesn't look too bad. In fact, they use a similar technique to backing through the obstacle course. They line up the back tire with the car they're trying to park behind. After drivers master the parking lot, it's time to hit the streets. Well, sort of. They practice driving on Randall's Island, located right in between Manhattan and Brooklyn. That's where the Fire Department Training Academy is. In some ways, learning to drive a fire truck is like learning to drive any large vehicle but with one major difference.

Jackson: A big difference between driving our fire trucks as opposed to driving a large vehicle like a bus or a sanitation truck, is that we're responding to emergencies. There's an added stress on the time to get there and everyone handles that differently. We try to prepare the students to be ready for those emergencies.

Narrator: But you can't do a test run in the middle of the city. So instead, one way firefighters prepare for this is by practicing in a simulator. Trainers can program the simulator to mimic different hazards. They can increase the number of cars on the road, make them drive fast or slow, and add things like roadblocks and pedestrians. But not every firefighter learns to chase down fires in the same truck. In fact, from the very start firefighters are divided into companies: the engine company and the ladder company. And this determines which type of truck each firefighter will drive.

Turns out, the term fire truck isn't a catchall. There are two main types of fire trucks in New York City. The fire truck is the one with a ladder on it and a fire engine is the one used to pump water. Fire truck. Fire engine. The ladder truck is 42 feet long and the engine truck is 30 feet long. So maneuvering either one down narrow city streets requires careful driving skills. But a driver's job doesn't end when they arrive at the fire. Once there, the driver of the engine leads the charge for getting water onto the fire. The driver attaches the hose to the fire hydrant to fill the pump in the truck and then, does calculations to make sure there's enough pressure in the hose line to spray out a strong stream of water. At the same time, the driver of a ladder truck raises and positions the ladder or bucket to reach high stories of the building. And if anyone is trapped in the front of the building, they help get those people out.

So you might be wondering what happens if a firefighter doesn't pass the final driver's test.

Jackson: We've had that in the past, where students have not shown a proficient skill in driving the vehicles. You'll still go back to your firehouse and be, there's many other positions you can do, so sometimes they can come back. They train a little more at the firehouse and they come back, and then they're a little more proficient or they've gotten better where they pass with no problem.

Narrator: So, next time you see a fire truck barreling towards you, just do what you can to get out of the way. The person behind the wheel of the 42-foot-long 40-ton truck will appreciate it.

Source: Pluse ng

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11 signs your headache is actually a migraine

More than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. And according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, migraines are three times more common in women than in men. Crazy, right?

If you think your “really bad headaches” aren’t migraines, you may want to take a closer look at your symptoms-especially if you’re a woman.

More than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. And according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, migraines are three times more common in women than in men. Crazy, right?

By taking a few minutes to learn about migraines, you can get an idea if you’re dealing with the condition and get treatment that will actually give you relief. Read on for all the signs and symptoms you may be overlooking, plus background on why migraines happen in the first place.

So, what exactly are migraines, and why do people get them?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a migraine is a brain disease that causes various uncomfortable symptoms that can last anywhere from four hours up to three days. (Yup, three freakin’ days!)

While the exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown, the Migraine Research Foundation says that both genes and environmental factors likely play a role. We also know that the symptoms are brought on by a change in chemical activity that impacts both the central and peripheral nervous systems, explains Jessica Ailani, M.D., director of the MedStar Georgetown Headache Center in Washington D.C.

Eek! How can I tell if I’m having a migraine or just a tension or sinus headache?

Migraine headaches can cause various symptoms before, during, and after the attack. Not all people experience all symptoms, and your migraine may be entirely different than a friend’s.

Symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they start overnight, causing people to wake up with a migraine, but not always, the Mayo Clinic notes. Basically, every migraine headache is slightly different, and there’s no cut and dry list of symptoms that pertain to everyone. (Annoying, we know!)

All that said, there are a number of ways migraines differ from regular headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, you’re likely suffering from a migraine and not something that'll go away by popping some Advil.

Common migraine symptoms you should definitely know about

1. Debilitating throbbing

“Patients will tell me, 'I can feel my heartbeat in my head,' or talk about touching their temple and feeling the vein throbbing, or feeling like their head will explode,” Ailani says. A run-of-the-mill headache, however, causes a dull, aching pain that's more of an annoyance versus something that throws a wrench in your daily life.

2. Pain on only one side of your head

While migraines can be experienced on both sides of the head, the pain is typically only on one side. A tension headache, however, typically presents as pain all over, and a sinus headache presents as pressure around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead.

It's still unclear why migraines may present as one-sided. One theory has to do with the trigeminal nerves. (There's one on each side of the brain.) However, only one may be activated when a migraine begins, and as this continues to happen with repeated migraines over time, that one nerve becomes the “quickest, easiest path for the brain,” Ailani explains.

3. Seeing sparking lights or flashes

“When a migraine happens, there's a slow wave of electrical activity from the back to the front of the brain,” explains Adelene Jann, M.D., a neurologist at NYU Langone Health. “When that happens, there's also decreased blood flow to the brain, and everything slows down.” In turn, about 25 percent of suffers experience an aura either before or during their migraines, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

A visual aura causes various forms of distorted vision, including sparkling lights, different colors, pixelated vision, flashes on one side of the visual field, or colorful zigzag lines. These types of vision changes don’t usually happen with a tension or sinus headache.

4. Weakness and tingling

Vision isn't the only thing impacted by the decreased brain speed. Migraines can also present with a sensory aura, which causes numbness, tingling, or even weakness on one side of the body. Some people may have a speech aura and have trouble finding their words, which is eerily similar to what happens during a stroke, the Mayo Clinic notes. (But to be clear, is totally unrelated.)

5. Next level nausea

Many people who experience migraines feel nausea, dizziness, or even vomit. “Our gut has a nervous system,” Ailani explains. “When you activate the brain nerves, it'll activate the gut as well.” Experts believe that the gut slows down during a migraine headache, which can lead to nausea. Studies have also found an association between migraines and gastrointestinal disorders, but the connection remains unclear.

6. A heightened sense of smell

When you get a migraine, the brain is hyperexcited, Jann says. “Everything is ramped up, so people notice noises, lights, and smells more.” That's why you may be able to smell your coworker's lunch all the way down the hall or hear your roommate's music through multiple closed doors, according to a Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease study. It's also why many migraine sufferers seek refuge in a dark, quiet, cool room when the pain is at its worst.

7. You’re totally out of it-even after the pain is gone

Everything from depression to irritability to euphoria has been reported before, during, and after migraine headaches, and some people have reported difficulty concentrating, notes a Journal of Neuroscience study. “Before a migraine, you may notice you're struggling to get through the document you'are reading, and even during and after, you can feel out of it for a little bit,” Jann says. “It has to do with the slowing of the brain.”

8. The throbbing derails your entire life

A migraine is not just a headache. “A migraine is disabling; it interferes with your life,” Jann says. The severity is too intense that you cannot go about your normal day, and you may miss work or social obligations. “You're trying to do other things, but your brain is like, 'Sorry, I won't let you,'” Ailani says. A typical headache, on the other hand, doesn’t usually leave you down for the count.

9. You get crazy fatigued

During all phases of a migraine, “your brain is busy having a party, and that party can be exhausting,” Ailani says. The feeling that no amount of coffee could help perk you up can last a day or two after a migraine passes. “Your brain is trying to clean up the mess, and it takes energy to do that,” Ailani explains.

10. Your neck is stiff

The trigeminal nerve is thought to play a role in migraines, the Mayo Clinic notes. When it's activated, it communicates with a major pain pathway in the upper region of the spinal cord, Ailani explains. “When that center gets activated, it sends signals upward to the brain, and possibly sends signals into the upper neck, causing pain.”

11. The pain seems like it lasts forever

Migraines can last from four hours up to three days. You may have several a year, a few a month, or even migraines half the month, Ailani says. Regular headaches just aren’t that frequent.

When to seek medical attention

Ailani recommends seeing a health care provider if any of the following rings true to you:

  • You're trying over-the-counter medications for your headache, and it's not working

  • You experience headaches three or more times a month

  • You feel you are missing out on life due to your headaches

Talk to your primary care provider first. She or he may refer you to a neurologist, who may refer you to a headache specialist. “Either can help you get your migraines under control so as not to run into problems in the future,” Jann says.

Source: Pluse ng

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Tech: 15 fascinating things on Earth you had no idea existed

You probably didn't know Bismuth looked like this.

From tiny creatures that survive in outer space to a cloud-like gel that can protect a flower from flames, here are 15 things you had no idea existed.

The Earth is wonderfully weird. From tiny puddle-dwelling creatures that can survive in outer space to a paint so dark that your eyes can't actually even see it, the Earth is filled with plenty of strange and incredible things.

Here are a handful of things on this planet that you probably had no idea existed.

Vantablack is the darkest known substance in the universe.

Vantablack is a nanomaterial that is darker than any other substance on Earth. It was developed in the UK by Surrey NanoSystems in 2015 and is actually a collection of vertical carbon tubes that are "grown" on a substrate.

Vantablack absorbs 99.98% of the light that hits its surface. This means that the human eye technically sees nothing when it looks at Vantablack, making it the closest thing to staring into a black hole.

The blue angel sea slug looks like an alien.

Glaucus Atlanticus is a species of sea slug nicknamed the "blue angel." This otherworldly creature is as rare as it is beautiful and is only found on the coasts of South Africa and Australia.

The slug's mesmerizing looks belie a dangerous nature.

The blue angel is carnivorous and feeds on other venomous sea creatures, such as the Portuguese man o' war. It collects the venom from its prey in specialized sacs, concentrates it, then uses the venom on future prey.

Aerogel looks like a slice of cloud.

Aerogel is an ultralight material made from gel and gas. It's been nicknamed "frozen smoke" or "solid cloud" due to its ethereal appearance.

Scientists have created more than a dozen recipes for different types of aerogel, but they all share a similar process: mix chemicals together, let them settle into a wet gel, and then suck all of the liquid out. The result is a substance of extremely low density that is actually 99% air.

Because it's made primarily of air and air is such a terrible heat conductor, placing a layer of Aerogel between a flower and a frame will protect the flower from getting destroyed.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees have candy-colored bark.

The Eucalyptus Deglupta tree may look like they've fallen out of a Dr. Seuss book, but it actually grows in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. This unique tree has multi-colored bark that features bright blue, orange, purple, green, and maroon streaks.

The unusual colors are a side effect of the tree's shedding, according to Missouri Botanical Garden – as strips of bark peel away, the tree's bright green inner bark is revealed. This inner layer slowly matures and turns a range of colors.

There's an underground cathedral in Columbia entirely made of salt.

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic Church in Cundinamarca, Colombia that was excavated from a salt mine in 1954. It is completely made of salt and is located 180 meters below the surface of the small town of Zipaquirá.

The cathedral includes a giant salt cross and can accommodate up to 10,000 people, though it has never been filled to capacity.

Goblin sharks are "living fossils" that look straight out of a nightmare.

Goblin sharks are a rare species of deep-sea shark that are sometimes referred to as "living fossils." They are the only known remaining member of the ancient Mitsukurinidae family of sharks.

Goblin sharks are notable for their distinctive elongated jaws, which are filled with nail-like teeth. They are able to detect the electrical currents emitted by other animals and rapidly extend their jaws in order to snatch up prey.

It's impossible to fully appreciate how horrifying this is without seeing footage of a goblin shark attacking its prey. This creature was actually the inspiration for the Neomorph in "Alien: Covenant," according to Digital Spy.

Bismuth is an element with a psychedelic surface.

You may remember the chemical element bismuth from your high school chemistry class, but you probably had no idea that it has a colorful, iridescent appearance.

Bismuth has a unique "stair step" growth pattern in which the outer edges form more quickly than the inner areas, according to Live Science. This results in a crystalline structure that appears to be made of interlocking rainbow squares.

This volcano in Indonesia spews bright blue lava — sort of.

Indonesia's Kawah Ijen volcano is remarkable for its tendency to emit oozing waves of what appears to be blue and purple lava.

Technically, the lava itself isn't blue. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the fascinating coloration comes from high quantities of sulfuric gas that emerges along with the lava. When the gas catches fire, it burns with a bright hue that makes the lava appear to be electric blue.

The Voynich Manuscript is mysterious book written in an untranslatable language.

The Voynich Manuscript is a 240-page medieval tome written in an unknown language that has baffled scholars and code-breakers for years.

The manuscript is believed to have originated sometime between 1404 and 1438. It is filled with enigmatic illustrations and diagrams that seem to depict everything from unusual plants to women with swollen bellies bathing in green pools. All attempts to translate the book’s text or identify the plants depicted in it have failed.

In January 2018, a group of Canadian computer scientists announced that they may have had some limited success decoding parts of the manuscript using AI. The researchers, however, admitted that further refinement of the process and input from scholars is needed.

The most inaccessible place in the world is called Point Nemo.

Point Nemo is the furthest point from land on Earth. Officially known as the oceanic point of inaccessibility, it's located in the center of the triangle made by Ducie Island, Motu Nui (part of the Easter Island chain) and Maher Island near Antarctica.

It is so far from land that the closest humans to Point Nemo are usually astronauts — the International Space Station orbits the Earth from a distance of about 258 miles, while the closest inhabited spot to Point Nemo is more than 1,670 miles away.

The Danakil Depression looks like the surface of an alien planet.

Ethiopia's Danakil Depression is home to one of the most bizarre-looking landscapes on Earth.

Located in the Afar Triangle, this surreal spot is dotted with crackling lava pools, neon-colored hot springs, and sparkling salt flats. Poisonous gases swirl around hydrothermal fields, and many of the area's pools are filled with acid.

There are underwater lakes and rivers within the ocean.

Also known as brine pools, underwater lakes are bodies of water that have a much higher salinity (i.e. saltiness) than the surrounding ocean. The briny water is denser than the rest of the seawater, which causes underwater lakes to form that appear separate from the surrounding sea.

These lakes have distinct waves of their own that lap against the "shoreline," and submarines can even float on these brine pools when they descend to the ocean floor. Unfortunately, these lakes also contain high amounts of toxic methane and hydrogen sulfide, so swimming in them would be toxic for humans.

The biggest living thing on Earth is a massive fungus.

Whales, redwood trees, and elephants are all very big — but they're not the largest living organism on the planet by acreage. That title, when looking at sheer size — the Pando tree colony holds the title of the largest living organism by mass — goes to the Armillaria Ostoyae mushroom.

Nicknamed the Humongous Fungus, this mushroom has spread across 2,385 acres of Malheur National Forest in Oregon. The scientists who discovered the fungus in 2017 used DNA testing to determine that all parts of the growth are in fact different segments of the same organism.

The giant mushroom has probably been growing for between 2,400 to 8,650 years, and its caps are said to be quite delicious.

Tardigrades are microorganisms that can survive in outer space.

Tardigrades, also called water bears or moss piglets, are fascinating microorganisms that can survive just about anywhere.

They prefer to hang out in moist places like mud or moss, but according to Smithsonian magazine, the creatures can survive in environments at least as cold as -328 degrees Fahrenheit (-200 degrees Celsius) or as hot as 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius).

Scientists have also found that water bears can survive radiation, boiling liquids, pressures more than six times that of the deepest part of the ocean, and even the vacuum of space.

There’s a cave in Mexico filled with towering white crystals.

Fittingly known as the Cueva de los Cristales or The Cave of Crystals, this enchanting cavern is crisscrossed with gleaming gypsum crystals that dwarf human explorers.

This mysterious spot was only discovered in 2000 when miners drained the water from a zinc mine beneath Naica, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The sparkling structures are so pure that scientists are unable to date them using conventional techniques. But researchers have discovered what is believed to be a 50,000-year-old bacteria sample within one of the crystals. In 2017, the mining company that owns the property where the cave is located allowed the cave to re-flood.

Source: Pluse ng

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Strategy: Amazon will develop part of its HQ2 in an area in Arlington, Virginia. Here are some likely reasons it won the e-commerce giant over. (AMZN)

Crystal City, Virginia, is one of the locations that Amazon has reportedly chosen for HQ2.

Amazon has settled on two new homes for its second headquarters, which it calls HQ2. Here's everything Arlington, Virginia, has to offer the company.

After months of speculation about where Amazon's newest headquarters would land, it finally announced its decision on Tuesday.

Two sites were chosen: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, which combines parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria.

Rumors that Amazon would be choosing Northern Virginia for its new home surfaced several months ago. More recently, the reports began centering on this specific area in Arlington.

Here are some likely reasons Amazon chose it:

The National Landing site is in Arlington County, Virginia, just 15 minutes from Washington, DC.

The name was created specifically for HQ2 and has been defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria.

The area is around two miles away from Ronald Reagan National Airport.

It's also less than an hour's drive from Dulles International Airport.

Source: Business Insider

It has easy access to public transit. The Metro rail network is one of the busiest in the country, according to The New York Times.

Source: The New York Times

The state, country, and city has promised to invest up to $795 million to update the local transportation network and provide connections between National Landing and the regional transportation system.

Having access to a highly educated workforce has been high on Amazon's list of priorities, and it's one of the reasons that it decided to split its headquarters.

"Greater Washington is the country's most educated region (~49% of those 25 and older have at least a bachelor's degree), and it produces more computer science graduates than any other metropolitan area," North Virginia wrote in its HQ2 bid.

The state and cities have promised to invest in its schools and universities to offer more computer science education and nurture tech talent.

Virginia will offer Amazon $22,000 for each job the company hires for in the office over the next 12 years. This works out to $550 million.

Amazon will also receive a $23 million cash grant from Arlington over the next 15 years based on the incremental growth of the "Transient Occupancy Tax," which is a tax on hotel rooms.

"In National Landing, Amazon will be globally connected and surrounded by top talent, tremendous infrastructure, and a spectacular quality of life," Virginia wrote in its official bid for HQ2.

Source: Virginia's HQ2 bid

The area boasts 17 million square feet of existing commercial space, 150 acres of land free for development, and 24,000 housing units within two miles.

Source Virginia's HQ2 bid

The region has a lot of high-rise apartments and is home to many shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Source: Trip Savvy

It is also seen as being business-friendly, with lower regulation and taxes, according to an annual ranking from Chief Executive magazine.

Source: Chief Executive

Power in Northern Virginia is less expensive than in other nearby areas. "Compared to the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, commercial electricity rates in the Northern Virginia market are among the lowest," according to the cloud-consulting firm DatacenterHawk.

Source: Business Insider

The heart of Amazon Web Services' physical network of data centers is nearby, in an area of Northern Virginia known as Data Center Alley.

Source: Business Insider

Amazon also plans on building a 600,000-square-foot data-center campus in Northern Virginia, in addition to its new Amazon Web Services office in Herndon, Virginia. These plans are separate from HQ2.

Source: Business Insider

Lastly, it's close to a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking on the Potomac River or hiking in the nearby Shenandoah National Park.

Read more about Amazon's HQ2 project:

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Sports: Steelers players are raiding Le'Veon Bell's locker for shoes and suits after the running back failed to report to the team

Bud Dupree

Now that it's official that Le'Veon Bell will not be joining the Steelers this year, his former teammates have reportedly begun "plundering" his locker.

  • Le'Veon Bell will not play this season after failing to report to the Steelers by the Week 11 deadline.
  • With Bell likely done with the Steelers for good, his teammates took to raiding his locker for cleats and other goods in his absence.
  • It's just the latest turn in what has been a long and wild goodbye between Bell and the Steelers.

The Le'Veon Bell era in Pittsburgh is likely over.

After Bell failed to report to the team on Tuesday, it became official that Bell would not be playing in the NFL in 2018, his holdout for a new contract ending not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Next year, the Steelers will likely move on from Bell, as the two sides failed to reach a compromise during his holdout and Pittsburgh has found rushing success with James Conner.

Bell played five years with the Steelers after being drafted by the team in 2013 and quickly became one of the most feared offensive weapons in the league. Now that his time with Pittsburgh is almost certainly done, on Wednesday there was only one thing left for his teammates to do — raid his locker for shoes.

At first, the news read like a joke — was this a bit that the Steelers were doing to have a bit of fun with Bell's departure? Was it happening in jest or in protest?

But soon after, the video came out, featuring Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree delightedly thanking Bell for his new cleats.

It's just the latest in a series of odd goodbyes between Bell and his former team.

Earlier in the week Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin replied simply, "So be it," when asked how he would feel if Bell failed to report.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he had attempted to reach out to Bell before his deadline to report. "I texted him yesterday before the deadline asking him — texted — saying I was hoping he was going to show up, and if he decided not to I wish him nothing but the best," Roethlisberger said.

Bell never replied.

The Steelers may be without Bell moving forward, but as things stand they're still one of the hottest teams in the NFL without him, having won five straight games including a 52-21 trouncing of the Panthers on Sunday night.

Bell may have laced up his cleats for the Steelers for the last time, but it looks as though his teammates are happy enough to lace up for him.

Source: Pluse ng

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Tech: Mark Zuckerberg made his executives use Android phones after Tim Cook slammed Facebook's approach to privacy (AAPL, FB)

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Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg have traded insults over the years. But apparently something that Cook said earlier this year "infuriated" Zuckerberg.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have traded insults and barbs over the years.
  • It's always seemed to be about business, and not personal. But apparently something that Cook said earlier this year "infuriated" Zuckerberg.
  • Zuckerberg went so far as to order his management team to use Android phones, instead of Apple's iPhone, according to a new report in The New York Times.

Earlier this spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a very public manner related to its privacy scandals and the Cambridge Analytica affair.

Zuckerberg called Cook's criticism " target="_blank"extremely glib," and apparently he was seething behind closed doors. He was mad enough to tell his executives to use Android phones instead of Apple's iPhone, according to a massive new report from The New York Times.

"Mr. Cook’s criticisms infuriated Mr. Zuckerberg, who later ordered his management team to use only Android phones, since the operating system has far more users than Apple’s," states the report.

The zing earlier this year that might have upset Zuckerberg came during an interview on MSNBC.

Recode's Kara Swisher asked Cook a question about Cambridge Analytica, an incident in which private Facebook user data was stolen from 50 million users, asking if the Apple CEO was in Zuckerberg's place, "what would you do?"

He answered: "What would do? I wouldn't be in this situation."

In the same interview and in subsequent speeches, Cook called for privacy regulation that would impact businesses like Facebook, which make their money from ads, significantly more than Apple, which makes money from hardware sales.

But Cook and Zuckerberg have traded barbs for years. Cook said in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2014 that "When an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product."

This apparently got under Zuckerberg's skin even back then, with a journalist from Time noticing the tension in a profile of the Facebook founder:

"But before that happens Zuckerberg also notes—and it was the only time I saw him display irritation—that Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote something similar in September in a statement spelling out Apple's privacy policy: "When an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product." The shot was probably meant for Google, but Facebook was definitely in the blast radius. "A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers," Zuckerberg says. "I think it's the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you're paying Apple that you're somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they'd make their products a lot cheaper!"

Years later, it appears Zuckerberg still isn't "in alignment" with Apple if he's making his management team eschew a specific brand of phone.

The full New York Times story is a great read for anyone who's interested in Facebook and misinformation.

Source: Pluse ng

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Lifestyle: Uber lost nearly $1 billion last quarter as the ride-hailing giant's growth slows

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference this year.

The company also broke out figures for Uber Eats for the first time.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • Uber reported its third-quarter financials to select media outlets on Wednesday.
  • The numbers show widening losses and slowing growth as the ride-hailing giant races towards a public stock offering.
  • It's the first time the company has provided specific data for Uber Eats.

Uber has released its in-house financials for the third quarter. The numbers show widening losses and slowing growth for the ride-hailing giant as it races towards an IPO as soon as next year.

Here are the important numbers:

  • Revenue: $2.95 billion, up 38% from the previous year.
  • Adjusted net loss: $939 million, up 38% from the previous quarter.
  • Gross bookings: $12.7 billion, up 34% from the previous year.

While revenue is still climbing steadily, the increase is much smaller than its 63% year-over-year jump in the second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We had another strong quarter for a business of our size and global scope," CFO Nelson Chair said in a press release. "As we look ahead to an IPO and beyond, we are investing in future growth across our platform, including in food, freight, electric bikes and scooters, and high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position."

Uber Eats accounted for $2.1 billion of overall gross bookings, and is growing at more than 150% annually, according to Tech Crunch. It's the first time Uber has broken out specific data points for the service, which is also now included in Uber for Business, allowing employees to expense meals in addition to rides.

As it eyes an IPO as early as next year, the company is looking to trim its losses and increase recurring and diverse revenue streams, both of which Wall Street will be looking for. It's even reportedly considered selling off a minority stake in its cash-intensive Advanced Technologies Group, which handles things like self-driving cars, to help with cash burn.

Uber is racing towards an IPO as soon as next year, with reported valuations as high as $120 billion. Lyft, its much smaller but still closest competitor, is also aiming to go public, with a valuation near $20 billion. Lyft has already signed on Credit Suisse to assist in the book-running for its listing, with others reported to also be on board.

There's still no word on when exactly the company may file its registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but investors will likely be clamoring at the gate when Uber heads to Wall Street. In October, Uber sold $2 billion worth of high-yield bonds in an oversold auction that had more demand than could be fulfilled.

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President Buhari returns to Abuja from France

President Buhari returns to Abuja from France

Buhari, at the opening ceremony of the Peace Forum delivered a speech on Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption.

President Buhari is back in Abuja after attending the Peace Forum in France.

This was made known on Twitter via the presidency’s handle, @NGRPresident.

 

Buhari, at the opening ceremony of the event on Sunday, November 11, 2018, delivered a speech on Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption.

In his speech, the President advocated for more than jail terms for people who loot their nation's wealth, stating that full asset recovery will discourage looters.

He also called for more stiffer actions to be taken against those who steal public funds to serve as a deterrent.

ALSO READ: 5 important things President Buhari said at Paris Peace Forum

Meets Nigerian community

While in France, President Buhari also met with members of the Nigerian community.

During his interaction with the Nigerians living in France on Monday, November 12, 2018, the President described the embattled Kano state Governor, Umar Ganduje, as a responsible leader.

Governor Ganduje has recently been accused of receiving kickbacks from contractors in his state.

Also speaking on the bribery allegation, Buhari promised to take action if the Kano state Governor is found guilty of the bribery allegations against him.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has constantly maintained that the President's anti-corruption war is one-sided.

The Paris Peace Forum held from November 11 – November 13, 2018

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Pastor assures homosexual person that God can fix him

Pastor assures homosexual person that God can fix him

A Winners' Chapel pastor tells a news reporter that he can be delivered of his homosexual orientation and some Nigerian Christians have backed him.

An undercover reporter has confirmed comments from a Winners' Chapel pastor who confirmed to him that God can deliver him of his homosexual orientation.

The clergyman identified as Pastor Gbenga reveals this when the ITV News journalist visited him in his office.

In their conversation, the visitor confides in the minister about his gay status and listens to him encourage him with an analysis to wean him off.

ALSO READ: 400 homosexuals in Ghana sign up to be reformed

Pastor Gbenga is seen holding a deliverance prayer with another pastor to rid the reporter of the homosexual spirit.

Reactions to undercover report

On Instagram, many profiles have shown support for the pastor suggesting a resistance against homosexual activities in Nigeria.

In some comments, the ITV report is welcomed as one that is helping the evangelism to reform persons thought to gay.

Between August and September 2018, the police that close to 150 persons suspected of being homosexuals are arrested.

Many of these suspects have denied allegations describing them as gay.

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What is JOMO, exactly?

Enter, JOMO-the joy of missing out. It's kind of unclear where the term originated, but some attribute it to blogger Anil Dash, who used the term in a post way back in 2012.

The fear of missing out (a.k.a. FOMO) is basically the worst. It's the sneaky beast that compels you to go out with your friends even though you're exhausted.

Or the sensation of dread that builds in your stomach when your friends are posting Instagram Stories-without you.

Enter, JOMO-the joy of missing out. It's kind of unclear where the term originated, but some attribute it to blogger Anil Dash, who used the term in a post way back in 2012. JOMO is widely understood to be that feeling of not giving AF that you're missing out on something because you're having such a great time just chilling by yourself.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? Now, even tech companies are getting on board-with Apple allowing people to set limits to their time on social media (because, yeah, you know Facebook and Instagram basically invented the concept of FOMO in the first place).

Struggling to get on board? It might be all about creating the right environment for yourself to be totally blissed out during me time. Women's Health partnered with Bespoke Post to create the limited edition Unplug box featuring some seriously awesome goodies that will prime you to chill the eff out.

 

Use code WHUNPLUG to receive 10 percent off sitewide.

Need a sneak peek of the goods (which, BTW, are valued at more than $105)? In each box, you'll score:

  1. Super-cozy socks. Slippers don’t belong in bed, but these luxe cashmere socks from Etiquette Clothiers do. Toasty warm, velvety soft…instant ah.

  2. A deliciously warm drink. Ready for a cocoa swap? A latte made with Live 24k Golden Fuel-a turmeric-collagen blend-just might fight inflammation with each sip.

  3. The ultimate diffuser. Breathe in your favorite oils anywhere-bedside, tubside, heck,
    even stoveside-with the ultra-portable Serene House diffuser.

  4. A zen-inducing bath bomb. This fizzy Latika bath bomb transforms water into a gorge lilac hue, smells like lavender, and moisturizes with coconut oil and shea. All the yums.

  5. The most soothing oil. It’s hard to decompress when your body is tense. Serene House’s peppermint oil relaxes muscles and refreshes the senses-diffuse or apply away!

This article originally appears in the December 2018 issue of Women's Health. For more intel on how to lead a healthier, happier life, pick up an issue on newsstands now.

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Tech: An asteroid crater the size of Paris is hiding in Greenland. Here's how scientists found the 16-mile-wide impact site.

An illustration of asteroids careening toward northern Greenland.

When a team of scientists studied a new map of Greenland's bedrock, they found a 16-mile-wide depression that looked like a gigantic blast crater.

Greenland is hiding an explosive secret under its thick ice sheet.

In 2015, researchers created a new map of the continent's bedrock, which is normally obscured by thousands of feet of ice. When an international team of scientists studied that map, they found a 16-mile-wide, bowl-like depression — it looked like a giant asteroid impact crater.

The scientists wanted to be sure, though, since this would be the one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth. So they shored up evidence for the claim over the next three years.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, the team reports that there is indeed a crater, which was made by a half-mile-wide iron asteroid slamming into Greenland between 12,000 and 3 million years ago.

Here's how the group made this remarkable discovery — and why it should worry us today.

The bedrock maps show that the depression measures about 16 miles across and is under more than 3,000 feet of ice.

If you could lift up the entire city of Paris and drop it into the bowl-shaped feature, it'd fit with room to spare.

The research team, led by Kurt Kjær at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, are calling it the Hiawatha impact crater, since the Hiawatha Glacier covers the depression.

Kjær and his colleagues said they knew the depression "was something special." Scientists have long been aware that iron meteorites hit Greenland in the past, because a 22-ton fragment of an iron meteorite was previously found near Hiawatha Glacier. That now sits in the Geologisk Museum in Copenhagen.

Source: Natural History Museum of Denmark

"It was therefore not such a leap to infer that the depression could be a previously undescribed meteorite crater, but initially we lacked the evidence," Nicolaj Larsen, a geoscientist at Aarhus University and a member of the research team, said in a release.

Source: Natural History Museum of Denmark

So the team flew over and mapped the depression in more detail. They also gathered sand at the edge of glacier, since the giant, slow-moving block of ice likely scraped particles off the bedrock below — including parts of the depression.

Most of Greenland is covered in an ice, a process that began about 3 million years ago. The ice is nearly 2 miles thick in some locations, which has obscured almost all of the continent's bedrock.

But ice-penetrating radar surveys by airplane, as well as satellite measurements, have allowed researchers to map Greenland's hidden bedrock.

Source: National Geographic

That's how the research team found the impact site in the northwestern reaches of the continent.

In studying the sand grains, researchers discovered several hallmarks of a big meteorite strike. They estimate that the rock that hit Greenland was about 0.6 miles wide and made almost entirely of iron. That means it may have weighed about 5 billion tons.

Source: Impact Earth!

Space rocks remain a threat to Earth today. NASA and other organizations scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids, but many experts believe we aren't doing enough to detect such dangers. About 20% of the potentially dangerous asteroids similar in size to the one that made the Hiawatha crater have yet to be discovered.

Source: Business Insider

New telescopes, like NEOCam — the Near-Earth Object Camera — could detect about 90% of asteroids that could wipe out a city. That tool is more or less ready to launch into space, but the US government is dragging its feet on fully funding the project.

Source: Business Insider

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2019 General Elections: Senate Committee visits INEC in Lagos

From Left, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC; Prince Adelani Asade, Administrative Secretary, INEC, Lagos and Mr Oladosu Balogun, Head of Electoral Operations, INEC Lagos during the Senate Committee Oversight visit to the INEC headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee, led by its Chairman, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, was received by Adelani Asade, INEC’s Administrative Secretary on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Lagos State on Wednesday hosted the Senate Committee on INEC in continuation of the committee’s oversight visit to assess its preparedness for 2019 General Elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee, led by its Chairman, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, was received by Adelani Asade, INEC’s Administrative Secretary on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun.

According to Nazif, the visit was aimed at stock taking, inventory, assessment and appraisal of the funds and appropriation of the commission for an enhanced, free, fair and credible elections.

He said that the committee engaged the commission on the general level of preparedness for the 2019 elections, rate of PVCs collection and outcome of the public display of voter registers.

The senator added that the committee was interested in the training and retraining of Smart Card Readers’ operators and peculiar modalities put in place to ensure credibility and success of all elections.

Nazif said that the rate of interface and engagement with relevant stakeholders, especially security and international observers, as well as the challenges and issues hampering on smooth operations of the commission were of concern to the committee.

The committee, after a tour of the INEC facilities, frowned at the commission’s storage facilities for Card Reader Machines and the huge number of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards in the state.

Nazif said: “Having gone round your offices, I am quite impressed with what I have seen.

“However, there are certain observations which I believe this is not peculiar to Lagos Office, the issue of storage.

“One of the most important aspects in our electioneering process are the card readers. The storage of this card readers is something I have problem with.

“Storage facilities must be upgraded, I don’t know what the commission is doing about cooling system but I was surprised that the place where card readers are stored are over heated.

“I wonder how these card readers will last. You know how expensive these card readers are. You know the importance of these card readers, especially in our present day political evolution and development in Nigeria.

“What happens if the majority of our card readers are not functioning. The storage is in a very poor condition. I think we need to do something about this because we cannot afford to allow these card readers in that condition.”

According to him, if the card readers are stored in facilities that are extremely hot, it will affect their optimal performance on election days.

Nazif, who said that he observed same issues in most states, urged the commission to improve on its storage facilities, saying that the place where cards readers were kept could affect their functionality during elections.

He expressed concern on the 1.5 million uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the state and urged the commission to engage more relevant stakeholders to ensure the cards get to their owners.

Welcoming the guests, Asade said that the commission was doing everything possible to increase voter education to ensure PVCs get to their owners and conduct flawless elections in 2019.

“We are making every effort to reach out to Lagosians through the print and electronic media, market outreach, visit to churches and mosque, stakeholders meetings at local government level for eligible voters to collect their PVCs.

” As to the level of preparedness for 2019 elections, I make bold to tell you that INEC in Lagos State is ready,” Asade said.

He said that the commission would upgrade the commission’s storage facilities to secure the card readers.

Asade urged the committee to assist the commission in providing wherewithal to ensure distribution of PVCs to their owners at the grassroots. 

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Politics: The US military doesn't have any idea what the thousands of troops deployed to the border should do when the migrants show up

U.S. Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7, place concertina wire at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in California on Nov. 11, 2018.

Thousands of US troops are hardening ports of entry, but the US military says it does not have a clear plan for when the migrant caravans arrive.

  • Thousands of US troops are building barriers and hardening ports of entry, but the US military says it does not have a clear plan for what to do when the migrant caravans arrive.
  • Army North said on Tuesday that there is no specific plan or guidance for when the migrants arrive.
  • We're doing the obstacle emplacement," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon."We will have to see what the future holds, but right now that is the only mission I have."

Thousands of active-duty US troops have deployed to the US-Mexico border to support border agents as large migrant caravans march through Mexico, the first of which began to reach border towns Tuesday.

The troops are building barriers and hardening ports of entry, but the US military says it does not have a clear plan for what to do when the migrants finally arrive, raising new questions about the large-scale troop deployments that President Trump has ordered.

The Pentagon referred INSIDER to US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) for questions on US military activity at the southern border, and NORTHCOM redirected BI to Army North, which is officially in charge of the mission formerly called "Operation Faithful Patriot."

Army North said on Tuesday that there is no specific plan or guidance for when the migrants arrive. Media reports said the first wave of about one hundred migrants began to arrive near Tijuana on Tuesday. Thousands more are presently located near Guadalajara and Veracruz, Mexico.

When asked whether or not someone higher up had a plan, Army North spokeswoman First Lt. Marenda Figgs responded, "Presumably. We are hoping, but it hasn't trickled down to us."

Read More: The military's mission at the US-Mexico border will no longer be called Operation Faithful Patriot

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Tuesday that there has been "no change" to the mission at the US-Mexico border. "We're doing the obstacle emplacement," he explained to reporters at the Pentagon." We will have to see what the future holds, but right now that is the only mission I have."

Mattis visited troops deployed to the border Wednesday.

So far, the military has been running concertina (razor) wire at key crossing points and setting up barriers. Troops have also been building tent cities, which will house US military personnel and border patrol officials.

"Short term, get the obstacles in," the defense secretary said Wednesday, "Longer term…it is somewhat to be determined."

Read More: More and more US troops are arriving on the US-Mexico border in anticipation of migrant caravans arriving — these photos show what they're doing

Unlike the more than 2,000 National Guard troops deployed to the border in April, the active-duty units at or heading to the southern border are forbidden from engaging in law enforcement activities on American soil by the Posse Comitatus Act.

There are currently around 6,000 active-duty troops deployed, and the president has said that as many as 15,000 could eventually be deployed, although the Pentagon puts operational estimates closer to 7,000.

Critics of the latest deployments argued that the Trump administration sent US troops to the border as a political stunt ahead of mid-term elections. Mattis responded to these accusations, saying, "We don't do stunts in this department."

The day after the election, the operation ceased to be called "Operation Faithful Patriot." Pentagon officials instead call the mission "border support."

President Donald Trump has characterized the approaching caravans as an "invasion," and CBP has stressed that these caravans "are larger than we’ve seen in the past." CBP says the military is hardening points of entry, as well as offering an extra set of eyes on potential security gaps.

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Strategy: Nike is opening a 68,000-square-foot flagship store of the future in New York City (NKE)

Nike's new flagship store is location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Nike's new flagship store in New York City combines the company's digital initiatives with some never-before-seen perks for members.

  • Nike has opened a new flagship store experience in New York City, called the Nike House of Innovation 000.
  • Spanning six floors and 68,000 square feet, it is packed with brand-new customer experiences that Nike has never done before.
  • The store incorporates all of Nike's digital advances and combines them with some new ones to serve all kinds of customers, from the in-and-out shopper to the hardcore sneakerhead.
  • "This is one of our most bold and confident moments on our journey of innovation," Heidi O'Neill, the president of Nike's direct-to-consumer business, told Business Insider.

Nike is going big on innovation. Really big.

The sports retail giant is pulling off the cover of its newest store, officially named the Nike House of Innovation 000, on November 15. Located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it's Nike's new flagship store in New York.

It's also the forefront of Nike's headlong charge into a digital transformation.

"This is one of our most bold and confident moments on our journey of innovation," Heidi O'Neill, the president of Nike's direct-to-consumer business, told Business Insider. "We are making sure that this store has the best, the latest, and the most important innovation."

Spanning six floors and 68,000 square feet, it is packed with brand-new customer experiences that Nike has never done before, including the largest collection of Nike shoes for sale in the world, a "speed shop" filled with popular items available for grab-and-go buying, and incorporation of new features from Nike's shopping app, including instant purchase.

One floor is dedicated entirely to sneakers — including an area specifically for women's shoes — while another is dedicated entirely to men's clothing. Women's and kids' clothing share a floor.

The store is also completely module. The walls can be moved, and the store can be entirely shifted using a grid system in as little time as a day, O'Neill said, to make way for special events if desired. It makes the store adaptable, she said.

Read more: Amazon and Nike are charting a course for the store of the future

"I bet there are very few retail experiences that are built to do that and built to change at the pace of consumers in New York," O'Neill said. "And the pace of New York itself."

Nike opened a similar store in Shanghai on October 4, which it called the House of Innovation 001. Already, 600,000 customers have come through the door at that location, according to O'Neill.

Let's get digital

Immediately apparent when walking into the store is how important digital has become for the company, informing both online and offline initatives for the brand.

"What you're seeing happen here is because we've watched how consumers shop online, and we think there's a lot of amazingness there that we can bring to a physical shopping experience," O'Neill said.

One of the biggest ways it is doing this is allowing customers to interact with the store through the Nike app and Nike Plus, a free digital membership program.

"This store is built to come alive for members," O'Neill said.

Early response from customers has been positive, as O'Neill said the brand has signed up a new member every two minutes in the Shanghai store.

That's important, as those members are some of Nike's most loyal customers.

Nike Plus members "shop more, they're more engaged, their average purchase price is higher," O'Neill said.

"And it's just because they're having a better experience with the Nike brand."

Nike Plus members get perks like free courier delivery for purchases at the new store, free shipping for online purchases, and "unlocks," which can include anything from exclusive access to in-demand shoes to members-only store hours. In a first for the company, the top floor is dedicated to Nike Plus members. It's where they can book one-on-one appointments with Nike experts or customize products to make them more personal.

For app users, Nike is launching two new features: shop the look and instant checkout. The store's mannequins are displayed throughout the store with QR codes, which the app can scan. Once the code is scanned, the app can tell you what the mannequin is wearing, which can then be delivered to a fitting room or brought out by an employee.

Instant checkout is exactly what it sounds like. Scan the barcode of the item you're holding with your phone, press purchase, and walk out of the store. There are kiosks with hanger deposits and shopping bags.

Nike by New York

The very bottom of the store is what Nike calls the Speed Shop, which has its own entrance on 52nd Street.

It's the next evolution of what Nike has piloted with its Nike Live stores, the first of which opened as Nike by Melrose in Los Angeles this summer.

"For someone that might need to just stop in to pick up a new running shoe — be in and out or stop at lunch hour — we have that space," O'Neill said. "That was the insight: to take the neighborhood experience of Melrose and make sure this store wasn't just for the globe. It was for New Yorkers."

The bottom floor is packed with popular products that are designed to be grabbed and purchased as quickly as customers desire. Most of what is on the shelves was chosen in part by looking at sales data to determine the most popular products with New York customers.

A sneaker bar, much like the one in the Melrose location, anchors the store, where customers can ask for sizes and checkout.

The new location comes after almost a year without a flagship store in Manhattan for the brand. Its former flagship, Niketown, closed in March. Niketown opened with a very "Willy Wonka"-esque model for shoes, with pneumatic tubes shooting product all over the store.

"I don't think anyone's gonna miss those," O'Neill said. " Not when you can go to a mannequin, scan, press, and it's here."


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Politics: Europe's trade chief said the EU is ready to fire back if Trump goes through with tariffs on cars

Trump Jean-Claude Juncker

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's top trade negotiator, said Europe is ready to hit back at the US if Trump imposes tariffs on cars and trucks.

  • Cecilia Malmstrom, the top trade official for the European Union, was in the US on Wednesday.
  • Malmstrom told reporters that the EU has prepared a response in the event that President Donald Trump goes forward with auto tariffs.
  • Malmstrom also warned that tariffs on cars and trucks would be devastating for the EU and the US.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the top trade official for the European Union, warned Wednesday that the bloc is ready strike back at the US in the event that President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on cars and truck imported into the US.

After a meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Malmstrom told reporters that the EU would slap tariffs of equal size and strength on US goods if Trump went through with his auto tariff threat.

"It would be a rebalancing list covering a lot of different sectors," Malmstrom said. "That would be ready if we thought those measures would hit us. We hope not."

Trump has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on all cars, trucks, and auto parts coming into the US. The warning was enough to prompt European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker to agree to a preliminary deal with the US to expand trade between the two countries and avoid the tariffs.

But lack of progress on a final deal has Trump reportedly eager again to impose auto tariffs. Free trade advocates in the Trump administration dissuaded the president from imposing the tariffs during a meeting on Tuesday, according to multiple reports, but the possibility remains of auto tariffs some time in the future.

Any auto tariffs would be particularly damaging for the EU given how many cars come from the continent to the US every year. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the EU shipped over to $40 billion worth of cars to the US in 2017. Additionally 2.9 million cars were produced in the US by European automakers in 2017, according to the group.

But the pain would not be more widespread, as the EU trade chief said.

"These tariffs would be damaging, not only for the European economy but for the US economy," Malmstrom said.

According to a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a 25% tariffs on autos would result in the loss of 195,000 American jobs over a one-to-three-year period.

Malmstrom also told reporters that discussions on a possible free trade deal between the US and EU were progressing, but there were still a large number of issues to work out. The EU official also expressed concern about the still-present tariffs on steel and aluminum coming into the US.

"We have already suffered from the tariffs on steel and aluminum," she said.

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25 ways you can practice self-care every single day

But uh, that's definitely not the case (though if you love a good bubble bath, do you). In terms of self-care, you've got to do one thing first: Nix the idea that there's a perfect or correct way to do it.

Instagram might have you thinking that the only way to practice self-care is to take a photo-shoot worthy bath (and post a picture of it, obvi).

But uh, that's definitely not the case (though if you love a good bubble bath, do you). In terms of self-care, you've got to do one thing first: Nix the idea that there's a perfect or correct way to do it.

Even then, it can still be hard to know where to start. Here, experts share self-care pointers for everything from snoozing more to spending time with the right people. Whether they suit you on the daily or you commit to them once a month, make it a priority to add them to your routine, to help yourself feel better, whenever.

1. Drink some water first thing in the a.m. 

“Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up,” says Vandana R. Sheth, R.D.N., a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “We often wake up after a night’s sleep slightly dehydrated," which often means starting your day off feeling crappy.

2. Write down five things every day that didn't totally suck.

“No matter how bad your day sucks, we all have something to be grateful for-a home, a car, vision, two legs, etc.,” says Nancy B. Irwin, Psy.D. Focusing on what you're grateful for can help put things into perspective-and not put so much emphasis on the stressors you might also be dealing with.

3. Make a menu for the week.

Eating healthy, fresh foods sounds easy enough until, well, life happens. Peter LePort, M.D., medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, says this is where scheduling solid meals comes into play. “By pre-planning your meals you can often eliminate the impulse, ‘pressed for time’ purchases,” he says (think: candy bars at the register).

4. Try that new yoga class.

Bert Mandelbaum, M.D., a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon, says a little bit of adaptability goes a long way, especially when it comes to fitness. Burnout and injury happen, and a willingness to change up your workouts makes it feel less stifling-and maybe even more exciting.

5. Take a new route to work.

It turns out that, like the rest of your body, your brain is subject to the “use it or lose it” theory, says Vernon Williams, M.D., founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute. Take care of your brain by challenging it-and, no, you don't need a fancy app. Williams suggests learning a foreign language or trying a new sport, or simply taking a different route to work in the morning.

6. Have a mini dance party.

“Our lives are so busy and scheduled these days that it’s important to remember to have some fun and connect with our loved ones,” says Erica M. Wollerman, Psy.D., psychologist and founder of Thrive Therapy Studio. Make plans with friends, indulge in your favorite television show, or blast some music and dance out your day in the middle of your living room.

7. Take five minutes to decompress every day.

“It’s important to take time to breathe,” says Alexandra Elle, author of Growing in Gratitude. “People believe self-care has to be expensive and lavish, but it doesn’t," she says, adding that it can look as simple as putting your phone (or any other device) away for five minutes to just sit with your own thoughts.

8. Move for at least 30 minutes a day.

Should you do a full, high-intensity workout each and every day? Probably not, but getting in at least 30 minutes of some kind of aerobic exercise-whether it's a solid gym session or a lunchtime stroll-is just as good for your mental health as it is your physical, says Sheth. Even better: You don't have to do it all at once-take three 10-minute strolls if you can't do a full half hour.

9. Get some sleep already.

It seems simple enough and, yet, 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. (Healthy adults should average seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night.) “During sleep, your brain rids itself of toxins, consolidates memory, and builds neural highways,” Williams says. Which, yes, means you can snooze your way through self-care.

10. Practice kegel exercises.

In case you haven’t heard, toning and strengthening exercises for your pelvic-floor are crucial to overall health down there, including better orgasms. “The best part of kegel exercises? No one will ever know you’re doing them,” says S. Adam Ramin, M.D., a urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists.

Not sure how to do it? Think about what it feels like when you stop your pee mid-stream (though, tbh, you should never do that). That squeeze happens in your pelvic floor muscles-once you find them, hold that squeeze for three to 10 seconds. You can do 10 reps of that, working your way up to three sets a day. Self-care that also improves your sex life? Yes, please.

11. Start your day with something pleasant.

So yeah, that doesn't mean snoozing five times then racing out the door. "It can be very grounding to have enjoyable rituals built into your day,” Wollerman says. “Perhaps you start your day with a cup of tea or coffee or some gentle stretching.”

12. Get your om on.

Meditation can help reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, and depression, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health-which makes it a skill worth learning.

Don't know where to start? Remember meditation doesn't have to be a huge time investment (and you also don't have to totally clear your mind)-here are a few quick tips on how to start meditating now.

13. Confront your negativity-on paper.

“Write down the lies-the negative self-talk, self-doubt-and then combat that with what you know to be true, what you're capable of,” Elle says. “Putting that on paper helps to acknowledge the negative, while not letting it overtake the positives in your life.”

14. Get a tomato plant.

Even if you think you don’t have the space for a full garden (or simply lack a green thumb), choose one item that you consume regularly, and research how to grow it in space you have available, LePort says. “Can it grow in a pot? Indoors?” he asks. “By taking a trip to a local nursery, someone can help you figure out a way to make it grow.” Bonus? Nurturing plants has major therapeutic benefits, he adds.

15. Stop to smell the coffee-literally.

Try to find a few moments a day where you simply sit or stand and just connect with your senses in the present moment,” Wollerman says. “Really pay attention to what you hear, feel, see, etc. This is a quick way to bring a little mindfulness into your day.”

Need an example? Take a sniff of that coffee you're brewing-but don't just smell it; think about exactly how it smells: a little sweet, a little bitter, totally comforting.

16. Volunteer just one hour a month.

You know, or more. Giving back is good for the soul, plus it boosts community morale, Irwin says. “If everyone volunteered just one hour a month, imagine the difference it could make in the world!” she says. Whether you give back with a donation or volunteer your time and talents, it'll feel like you're making a difference.

17. Go purse shopping.

Twist your arm, right? But, seriously, your ultra-cute bag might be wreaking havoc on your neck and back, says Neel Anand, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles, California. Opt for a smaller handbag or lighten the load in the one you have, making room for only the essentials.

18. Have a family dinner.

“Having a set meal time where you either sit with your family, significant other, or just alone to eat and enjoy your meal can be a really nice way to connect with your loved ones or yourself,” Wollerman says.

19. Sit up straight.

Mom was right: Posture is crucial to overall body care. “If you’re like most people, it becomes second nature to walk around with bad posture or sit hunched over at a desk, and some people don’t even realize they are doing it,” Anand says.

Instead, try sitting up straight in your chair, placing your hands on your thighs and squeezing your shoulder blades together, holding for five seconds. Anand recommends repeating this exercised three or four times throughout the day for improved posture.

20. Don't eat the kale if you don't like it.

Yes, kale salads on Instagram are the epitome of "wellness"-but if you prefer romaine (or uh, plate of sweet potato fries), that's okay too. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone is different in order to find the health sweet spot that works for you.

The same goes for exercise (if you hate running, don't feel obliged to sign up for a half-marathon). “Work with your physician, or registered dietitian or trainer to respect your own body's specific needs,” says Wollerman. Overall, don't compare your body to others' and don't expect their health practices will also work for you.

21. Detox from technology and work.

“Since we often have our work lives following us everywhere through our phones these days, having strong boundaries around work emails, texts, and calls, or even just Facebook if that is very distracting for you, can really help create more downtime,” Wollerman says.

Still, it's easier said than done to just limit your screen time-luckily, your phone might actually be able to help you out (some let you set a daily limit). If that's not an option, set a specific time before bed and unwind with a book instead of scrolling through Instagram.

22. Plan a workout date with a friend.

LePort says it’s important to keep friends in your corner who support your overall health and life goals. “You can set yourself up for health success by sticking with the friends who will be there for you and support you rather than those who drag you down and guilt-trip you into old, unhealthy habits,” LePort says.

That doesn’t mean you have to drop your (somewhat toxic) BFF. Instead, ask her if she wants to join you for a jog the next time you plan to lace up.

23. Enjoy breakfast.

Sure, sometimes you have to eat on the run. But as often as possible, Sheth says you should sit down to eat, aiming to consume something with protein and carbs to help keep you fueled throughout the day (think: a piece of toast with bananas and peanut butter). Sheth says you should also enjoy regular meals and snacks throughout the day to avoid feeling hangry.

24. Do some planks.

Even if you don’t have time to squeeze in a full workout, Anand says planking can help strengthen your core and eliminate lower back pain. “Most everyone living with chronic back pain can benefit from strengthening their core muscles and introducing only a few exercises a day can help to improve the pain.”

25. Say no to those dinner plans.

Listen up, overachievers: “Our expectations of ourselves in different situations are unrealistic so you most likely are not able to do all the things you might think you need to do-that’s okay,” Wollerman says. “You are more important than your to-do list, so prioritize your well-being above some of the little extra tasks you might think you need to do.”

Source: Pluse ng

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ASUU Strike: Union ready to negotiate with FG

Sex-for-marks students go for only vulnerable lecturers – ASUU president

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is ready to commence negotiations with the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing strike.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ogunyemi said that meeting with the Federal Government delegation has been scheduled for Thursday, one o’clock at the instance of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

According to him, the N200 billion released by the Federal Government in September 2018 is not an issue but that N200 billion ought to have been released in October 2017 as part of the 2013 agreement.

“It would be recalled that the Federal Government had agreed to inject N1.3 trillion to fund universities at N 220 billion yearly for five years.

“If government fails to fund public universities the situation on campuses may degenerate, worse than the already poor quality teaching and learning environment,’’ he said.

The ASUU president, however, insisted that the ‘No work no pay’ threats by the government would not affect the lecturers as the industrial action was legal in Nigerian labour law and international conventions, which Nigeria is signatory.

He added that ASUU is hoping that the meeting scheduled for Thursday will be used to resolve the issues at stake and not to continue to raise alarm that past administrations made bogus agreements with the university lecturers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the striking lecturers had resumed its strike on November 5 to press home its demands.

Some of the demands are: that the Federal Government should nominate another chairman of the government renegotiating team of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government Agreement.

NAN reports that ASUU had rejected Dr Wale Babalakin led renegotiating team.

Other demands are: non-payment of Earned allowance, funding of revitalization of the Nigerian universities, implementation of needs assessment report, poor funding of state universities, among others.

Source: Pluse ng

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Politics: Here's how easy it is for the US president to launch a nuclear weapon

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The president has sole authority to fire a nuclear weapon, but the steps aren't easy. Here's the procedure if the president called for nuclear strike.

  • The President of the United States has the sole authority to fire a nuclear weapon, but the steps are involved and complicated.
  • These critical steps work to safeguard against accidental launches and miscommunications.
  • Fifteen minutes after receiving the order, nuclear missiles could be ready to launch.
  • Watch the video above to see how the full process would work if the president called for a nuclear strike.

The following is a transcription of the animation.

It can take the US government just minutes to launch a nuclear weapon. Here's how it would work.

The president has the sole authority to call for a nuclear strike. Once the call is made, a series of critical steps follow.

The president first meets with top military advisers. The meeting would take place in the Situation Room. If the president is traveling, a call is made on a secure line.

If the president still wants to go through with the strike, the order is verified. To authenticate the order, a challenge code is read to the president. It's usually two phonetic letters like "Delta-Echo."

The president then receives the "biscuit", a laminated card that's always near the president. The biscuit has the matching response to the challenge code.

The Pentagon then broadcasts an encoded message to missile crews. The message is only about the length of a standard tweet.

It includes the war plan, "Sealed Authentication System" or (SAS) codes, and the actual missile launch codes. When the launch crews get the message they open lock safes to obtain the SAS codes. These codes are compared with the SAS codes included in the message.

If fired from a submarine the captain, executive officer, and two others authenticate the launch order. Fifteen minutes after receiving the order, the missiles could be ready to launch.

If fired from land, there are 50 missiles controlled by 5 launch crews in different locations. Each crew "votes" for the launch by turning their keys at the same time.

There are five different keys, but only two need to be turned to launch the missiles. In this scenario, the missiles could be ready to launch just minutes after the president's order. Once the missiles are launched, there's no turning back.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published on January 3, 2018. Lamar Salter contributed reporting on a previous version of this article.

Source: Pluse ng

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How to explore Badagry slave route on a small budget

How to explore Badagry slave route on a small budget

Adventure is waiting for you just around the corner. Find out more about your history at the Badagry slave route.

The coastal area of Badagry was the final point of departure for Nigerians who were sold into slavery. Here's how you can visit the slave route and learn about your history with a small budget.

Open hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily

Tour fee: N2000

Things to take with you: A camera and cash.

The Badagry slave route is made up of five notable stops which slaves passed through before being shipped off to the unknown. It is a destination for tourists who want a slice of its well-preserved ties to the transatlantic slave trade. The experience is gets most visitors emotional about the tense history Africans have had.

The slave route consist of the Mobee Family House & Slave Relics Museum, Brazillian slave baracoon, Gberefu Island, Spirit Attenuation Well, The Ocean Path, The Point of No Return and Badagry black heritage museum.

When is the best time to visit?

You can visit Badagry any day between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

How to get to the slave route

A bus from Mile 12 to Badagry is about N400. You can also hire a cab.

Fun things to do at the slave route

You can:

1. See the sites and artifacts

2. Learn about history

3. Take lots of pictures!

4. Branch at the beautiful beaches close by

Source: Pluse ng

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Tech: One of the most popular ways of telling if you're a healthy weight is bogus — here's what you should do instead

BMI was invented in the 1830s and it seems to have outgrown its utility.

The Body Mass Index, or BMI chart, was invented in the 1830s, and it's a pretty imperfect scale for determining whether you're a healthy weight.

  • The body mass index, or BMI, was invented in the 1830s, and, as with many things that have been around for nearly 200 years, it seems to have outgrown its utility.
  • There are four major problems with BMI, according to obesity experts.
  • Measuring your waist is a much better indicator of your health.

Sometime during your last doctor's visit, your physician probably had you hop on a scale to determine whether you were a healthy weight. After weighing and measuring you, she might have shown you a colorful body mass index chart like this one:

Based on your measurements, she may have told you that you wanted to be "in the green," meaning you were considered a healthy weight based on your height. If your measurements landed you in a blue square, you were likely underweight, and if you landed in a yellow, orange, or red square, you were likely overweight.

But guess what? This rough calculation is not a great measure of fitness when used on its own.

The body mass index, or BMI, was invented in the 1830s, and, as with many things that have been around for nearly 200 years, it seems to have outgrown its utility.

There are four major problems with BMI, according to obesity experts:

  1. It doesn’t give you a good estimate of how much body fat you're carrying around.
  2. It can differ drastically based solely on your gender. For example, a man and a woman with an identical body-fat percentage could have widely different BMIs.
  3. Just because you have a high BMI doesn't necessarily mean you're overweight. You can have a high BMI even if you have very little body fat, especially if you're male and very muscular.
  4. It doesn't take into account your waist circumference, which can be a good measure of your risk for certain diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Measuring your waist is a much better indicator of your health

Several tools can help you ensure your weight isn't putting you at risk of serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

One of the best measures involves measuring the circumference of your waist.

Having excess body fat around your middle has been strongly linked with type 2 diabetes. And a study published this March in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggested that a high waist circumference may also be linked to your risk for a heart attack.

In a large 2012 study, researchers looked at data from more than 340,000 people from eight European countries. They found that overweight people with large waists — more than 34.5 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men — were at a similar risk of developing diabetes as people who were clinically obese. The link was the strongest in female participants.

For their recent study on waist measurements and heart health, researchers used a large, ongoing health study to recruit nearly 500,000 adults with no risk of heart disease. All of the volunteers agreed to have their measurements taken sometime between 2006 and 2010; the study ended in 2016. Within that time, close to 6,000 of the volunteers (more than a quarter of them women) had a heart attack. The researchers then analyzed participants' waist measurements, BMI, and the ratio of their waist to hip measurements to determine if there was a connection between any of those metrics and their chances of having a heart attack.

People with high waist measurements were significantly more likely to have a heart attack during the study. Similar to the research on diabetes and waist circumference, the link was stronger in women than it was in men.

Scientists still aren't sure why these ties between large waists and negative health outcomes are so strong. Some believe it has to do with how fat inside the body, known as visceral fat, may interfere with the normal functioning of our internal organs.

Wondering how to get rid of belly fat? As with any form of weight loss, strategies include curbing your sugar and carbohydrate intake, eating more vegetables and other fiber-rich foods, and incorporating regular cardio exercise into your life.

Source: Pluse ng

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