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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Business News, Updates

Business News, Updates

With coronavirus spreading, the US military is dealing with a social-distancing problem

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 10:09 AM PDT

Navy Boxer crewUS Navy/MCS 2nd Class Justin Daniel Rankin

  • The military has started to adopt social distancing as a way to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
  • As that and other similar policies have gone into effect, the military's number of coronavirus cases has ticked up, and the nature of its operations means that troops may only be able to get but so far from each other.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amid the national effort to respond to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the US military has stepped up to assist as it works to protect its own personnel from the rapid spread of the disease.

Military leaders have scrambled to alter the force's behavior to insulate their troops, but the nature of the military, that of a massed force working in close quarters, is a limitation on those efforts.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Everything you've ever wanted to know about life on a US Navy submarine

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SEE ALSO: US B-2 stealth bombers teamed up with Norwegian F-35s for another flight over Iceland

Trump's private club, Mar-a-Lago, has been closed temporarily due to the spread of coronavirus. Take a look inside the exclusive resort that the public doesn't get to see.

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 10:03 AM PDT

Trump melania mar a lagoGustavo Caballero/Stringer via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's exclusive Mar-a-Lago club has been temporarily closed, according to the New York Times. It now numbers among the many Trump properties to limit service in the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mar-a-Lago underwent a deep clean after at least three recent visitors tested positive for COVID-19, according to CNN. Resort members were informed of the closure in an email and the resort was expected to re-open for dinner service starting Tuesday night, but remained closed.

The first Mar-a-Lago visitor to test positive for the coronavirus was Fabio Wajngarten, press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The second was someone present at a fundraising lunch "hosted by Trump Victory, a committee that raises money for the Trump campaign and the Republican Party," according to The Washington Post. The third infected person was Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster, which the Brazilian embassy in the US announced Friday.

The seaside resort is often referred to as "the winter White House" and constantly hosts a number of high-powered visitors.

Trump hosted a lavish New Year's Eve party there to ring in 2018, and spent Super Bowl weekend there this year. Mar-a-Lago, which was built in the early 20th century, serves as the first family's weekend getaway. It's also a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its ornately decorated rooms and halls — and it was built to impress.

Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, and what it takes to become a member there.

The Mar-a-Lago Club is a 20-acre estate with 128 rooms. The heiress to Post Cereal built it in 1927.

John Raedle/Getty Images

Source: Town and Country Magazine

It spans the entire width of the island Palm Beach is located on, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Inter coastal Waterway.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Source: Google Maps

Trump bought the estate and all of its antique furniture in 1985 for a total of $8 million.

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Source: Town and Country Magazine

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: A third person who visited Trump's Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus

DON'T MISS: US taxpayers have shelled out at least $471,000 to Trump's properties since he became president, according to newly revealed documents

What to do if your retirement savings have been decimated and you're planning to retire soon

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 10:02 AM PDT

retirement age couple with financial plannerkali9/Getty Images


For younger investors, who still have decades before they're hoping to retire, the recent coronavirus-fueled market plunge isn't much of an issue. As long as they can avoid looking at their account balances, the slide is actually more of a boon, as it presents lower stock prices now, and long-term opportunities to recoup losses.

But those older folks who are planning to retire soon are facing a very different reality. Many have seen their retirement savings decimated by the market's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and are left wondering how to recover. Should you leave the funds where they are? Readjust your budget? Pull as much cash as possible?

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 myths about the coronavirus, including why masks won't help

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The world's largest luxury conglomerate orders 40 million masks from China to support coronavirus pandemic in France

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 10:02 AM PDT

louis vuittonReuters

  • LVMH is ordering 40 million health masks from China to give to the French health service. 
  • The first order of 10 million masks will be distributed to those in need early next week.
  • Earlier this month, LVMH announced that it would be producing alcohol-based sanitizers in its factories to give to the French health authorities free of charge.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group, is ordering 40 million health masks from a Chinese supplier to help France cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

The first order, for a total of 10 million masks, will be delivered in the coming days, LVMH said in a statement on Saturday. This initial batch will be given to the French health service for distribution to those in need early next week.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Louis Vuitton parent company will use cosmetics and perfume manufacturing facilities to make free alcohol-based sanitizer amid global shortage

Kroger is expanding its emergency two-week paid sick leave policy to cover employees that are experiencing coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:51 AM PDT


  • Kroger is now offering 14-day paid sick leave to employees experiencing coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating to protect themselves from the virus. 
  • A spokesperson for Kroger said that employees who are self-isolating because they are at higher risk of contracting the virus will need proof from an accredited health care practitioner. 
  • The change comes after reports this week highlighted the shortcomings of its initial emergency coronavirus sick leave policy, which was put in place on March 14. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kroger announced Saturday that it is expanding its new emergency coronavirus 14-day paid sick leave policy, which was announced earlier this week, to cover employees that are experiencing coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating to protect themselves from the virus. 

According to a spokesperson, employees who are more vulnerable to contracting the virus will be eligible to apply for the paid time off if an accredited health care practitioner verifies that they are at higher risk. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Sega

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SEE ALSO: Kroger is giving its employees $25 worth of groceries for their hard work amid the coronavirus — but most of them still don't get paid sick leave

Google says it has removed 'millions of ads in the past week' relating to coronavirus, but users are still seeing ads for products like face masks

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:37 AM PDT

face surgical mask coronavirusAP Photo/Mark Lennihan

  • Weeks after Google said it banned adds for face masks, users still reported seeing them on news articles about COVID-19.
  • Sens. Mark Warner and Richard Blumenthal have called on the FTC to take action against Google for continuing to serve advertisements for products like face masks and hand sanitizers.
  • The company told Business Insider it's removed millions of ads in the past week alone related to the novel coronavirus.
  • Google told Business Insider it has a "dedicated task force" working to remove such ads from companies violating its policies.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Weeks after Google said it was banning ads from companies attempting to profit off of panic surrounding the novel coronavirus, users still reported seeing ads for products like face masks served by Google Ads. 

Journalist and "Recode Media" podcast host Peter Kafka on Saturday said he was served an ad for a face mask on an article about a shortage of medical supplies published by The New York Times. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money

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Meet Marie Newman, the Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez-backed progressive who won the Democratic primary bid for a Congressional seat in Illinois

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:33 AM PDT

Marie NewmanBill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty

On Tuesday night, Marie Newman, a progressive Democrat, beat 15-year incumbent, Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in Illinois.

Sara Burnett/AP

Source: Business Insider

In a 2017 interview with Business Insider, Newman described herself as a "suburban mother" who supports "working families, healthcare for all, and everybody's rights."

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Source: Business Insider

Newman's 2020 run was supported by the progressive group Justice Democrats, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and EMILY's List, which supports female Democratic candidates who support abortion access.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images

Source: New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Marie Newman defeated Rep. Dan Lipinski in major upset in Illinois' 3rd Congressional District.

DON'T MISS: Gillibrand and top liberal groups are throwing their weight behind an Illinois woman challenging a 'radically conservative' House Democrat

Robocall scams related to coronavirus are surprisingly low right now, but the scammers are 'just starting out'

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:33 AM PDT

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, shows a call log displayed via an AT&T app on a cellphone in Orlando, Fla. New tools are coming to help fight robocall scams, but don’t expect unwanted calls to disappear. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)Associated Press/John Raoux

  • Robocall scammers are adding the coronavirus pandemic to signature scam pitches, like offering new information on how the pandemic affects student loan debts.
  • Robocall blocking service YouMail says coronavirus-related scam calls are actually quite low so far, but the scammers are "just starting out," YouMail CEO Alex Quilici told Business Insider.
  • It's worth being extra vigilant during unprecedented times when fears and concerns are high, like the environment we're in today with the coronavirus pandemic. Criminals often use emergencies as a platform to tap into the fears and concerns.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Scammers who use phone calls and robocalls to reach their victims are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to prey on fears and uncertainty, according to The Washington Post citing robocall blocking app, YouMail. 

YouMail claims Americans are getting over one million robocalls on a daily basis, some of which pitch fake coronavirus testing services. One call offered an at-home testing kit for coronavirus — a service that currently doesn't exist.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money

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SEE ALSO: What to do if your internet goes down while you're working from home

30 Big Tech Predictions for 2020

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:32 AM PDT

10 tips for working from home with your kids there, from a freelancer who's been homeschooling her kids for 3 years

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:28 AM PDT

Nicole Roder at work from home with her kidsCourtesy of Nicole Roder

  • Nicole Roder is a freelance writer who works from home.
  • She's also a homeschooling mother who teaches 5th and 6th grade to her two oldest daughters. Her younger two children attend public school. 
  • She writes that it is actually possible, albeit more frustrating, to do one's  job with the kids home from school.
  • Explain the situation to your kids, create a "busy box," and get creative with when and where you're willing to put in work time. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I'm writing this from the toilet. (Don't worry, the lid is closed and I'm fully dressed. I'm just hiding from my children.)

I'm a freelance writer who works from home. I'm also a homeschooling mother. I teach 5th and 6th grade to my two oldest daughters. Additionally, I have an 8-year-old son who attends public school five days a week, and a 4-year-old son who attends pre-K three days a week. So my house is a little chaotic. 

I've been working from home for three years, and in that time I've completed some feats that are weird at best — and hair-pulling madness at worst. I've typed an article one-handed with a nursing baby on my breast. I've conducted interviews on speaker phone while driving my kids to appointments and admonishing them to please, for the love of God, not say anything about poop, butts, or penises while mommy is on the phone. 

Nicole Roder

(A couple of years ago, I interviewed a remarkable woman about a very serious subject. When the interview was over, I left my phone sitting on the table. Big mistake. A few hours later, I picked up my phone to discover that my middle two kids, ages 8 and 6 at the time, had texted my interviewee over 70 times. The texts were almost entirely about poop. I tried to contact her to apologize, but I was too late. She'd already blocked my number. To tell you the truth, I'd have done the same thing.)

When news began to spread of the novel coronavirus washing ashore in the US, my first thought was, "Good thing I homeschool and work from home. We can all hunker down if it comes to our neighborhood." 

Now that schools are beginning to shut down as a result of the outbreak, many fellow work-from-homers might be joining the ranks of parents who now have to work with kids in tow. 

Yes, it can be done

Yes, I know that your world is being disrupted. Just a few weeks ago you had it made. The cozy home office. The cup of tea. The black lab snuggled at your feet as you typed away, uninterrupted, for all those hours that your kids were at school. I've fantasized about this lifestyle myself many times.

Not to worry. While I won't lie — it won't be easy — I'm here to tell you that it is actually possible, albeit more frustrating, to do your job with the kids home from school. I've been doing it for three years. This is how I make it work.


1. Explain the situation to your kids.

I'm sure you remember being a kid and finding out that school was closed for the day. Score! A free day to watch TV and do whatever I want! That may work for the occasional snow day, but if your kids are off school for a prolonged period of time, they'll need to understand that it's not going to be an endless free-for-all. Tell them that you are going to have to get some work done during the day, and they are going to have to do some self-entertaining. 

2. Make a schedule of "office hours."

Jelena Danilovic/Shutterstock

Let your kids know when you will be working, and when you will have time to spend with them. Think about your expectations for them while you are working, and clearly communicate that to them. Promise that if they keep their end of the deal, you'll be able to stop working at the designated time and do something fun with them later.

3. If you have any big kids, assign one at a time to be "on duty" with the littles.


 The days when my 4-year-old is home from school are by far the most hectic. I have to teach school and work at the same time, and the little one doesn't like being ignored. Those days, my two daughters and I rotate between work and entertaining their little brother. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: Here's how I stay productive working from home in a tiny NYC apartment with my husband and 2 kids just a few feet away

Experts say getting term life insurance is just as easy as it was before the coronavirus — and just as cheap

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:15 AM PDT

dad with baby in armsHalfpoint Images/Getty Images

The new coronavirus has uprooted much of daily life in the US. But when it comes to life insurance, experts don't see much changing. 

The application process, premium prices, and underwriting will be the same as they've always been, say experts from three different online life insurance agencies. It's still possible to get life insurance policies, and for term life policies, prices are expected to hold steady.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The dark web turns 20 this month. From black market hotspots to facilitating the Arab Spring, here's how it changed the world.

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 09:04 AM PDT

coronavirus hackersReuters

  • The dark web, a subset of online content that requires specific software to access and is unindexed by search engines, turns 20 years old this month.
  • Because it's less easily monitored, the dark web is best known as a hotbed for cybercrime and black market trading.
  • It's also helped enable whistleblowers and revolutionaries across the world escape the scrutiny of oppressive governments and organize revolutions.
  • Here's a look back at how the dark web has changed the world in the past 2 decades.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The dark web, a segment of the internet used by outlaws, dissidents, and hackers to share information without scrutiny, will turn 20 years old this month.

Generally speaking, the dark web is defined as all content hosted on darknets, or online networks that require a specific browsing software to access. It's a subset of the deep web, meaning it's not indexed by search engines like Google or Bing, and therefore less transparent and more difficult to scrutinize.

The dark web is most widely used as a black market trading post where people sell drugs, cryptocurrency, porn, and data stolen in illegal breaches. Law enforcement agencies like the FBI have repeatedly carried out stings on the dark web to arrest and charge criminals, but illegal activity continues to proliferate.

The secrecy afforded by the dark web has also granted activists and political dissidents a place to organize with less government scrutiny. Governments across the globe have made attempts to ban encrypted servers, while activists have defended encryption tools.

Dark web activity has steadily grown over the past decade. Tor, one of the most commonly-used encrypted routers, currently hosts roughly 80,000 unique sites, according to its internal numbers

The dark web has shaped the world, both online and off, in the 2 decades since it came into existence. Many of these events have been catalogued by GroupSense, a cybersecurity firm that monitors dark web activity. Here's a look back at some things the dark web has influenced the most. 

March 2000: Freenet, the first widely available, anonymous file-sharing system, goes live.

Patrick Lux/Getty Images

Freenet began in 1999 as a student project by Ian Clarke, an Irish programmer studying at the University of Edinburgh, and was released broadly in March 2000.

Like many pioneers of the early internet, Clarke believed the web would enable a free-for-all of information sharing, and could make the concept of copyright obsolete.

"If this whole thing catches on, I think that people will look back in 20 to 40 years and look at the idea that you can own information in the same way as gold or real estate in the same way we look at witch burning today," Clarke told The New York Times shortly after Freenet's launch.

August 2004: The US Navy releases the code for Tor, also known as the onion router.

Tor, the most commonly used dark-web software, was first developed beginning in the 1990s by the Office of Naval Research and DARPA as a tool for protecting encrypted military communications.

The Naval Research Laboratory publicly released the code in 2004, and management of the software was subsequently handed over to the Tor Project, a nonprofit.

January 2009: Satoshi Nakamoto releases version 0.1 of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, setting a new framework for encrypted payments online.


After encrypted servers set the standard for truly anonymous information sharing, cryptocurrency delivered on the promise of anonymous money transfers. 

While Bitcoin transfers instantly became a hotbed for money laundering, they also had a massive impact on the market in the years that followed. One bitcoin was worth a few dollars for years, then skyrocketed to a peak of $20,000 per bitcoin in 2017. Today, one bitcoin is worth about $10,000.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How to use Houseparty, the app surging in popularity as the world social distances due to the coronavirus

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 08:50 AM PDT

houseparty video chat app 6Houseparty

  • Communication tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have seen downloads spike as people are encouraged to stay in their homes due to the coronavirus. 
  • Houseparty, a video-chatting app especially popular with Gen Z, is also gaining some popularity, and it's now the 14th most popular free app in the App Store. 
  • The coronavirus outbreak has killed 10,000 people worldwide and infected more than 246,000, according to recent totals.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With people forced to work and learn from home, apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack have seen spikes in downloads as they become essential to daily life. When you sign off for the day, you might find yourself longing for some social contact other than through video calls with your coworkers. 

Houseparty is a video-chatting app that lets you have a virtual party with up to 8 people. In June 2019, Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, for an undisclosed amount, but the app originally launched in 2016. It's now regaining popularity as experts warn about the importance of social distancing in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

As of Friday, COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, has infected more than 246,000 people worldwide, and has killed more than 10,000. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared it a pandemic. The virus has disrupted travel worldwide, leading to flight cancellationsquarantines, and other breakdowns in movement. New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington state, among other US locations, have closed bars and restaurants except for takeout as a way to encourage people remain home.  

Here's how to use Houseparty to stay in touch with your friends and socialize — from a distance. 

First, download Houseparty from the App Store or Google Play Store.


The app is currently number 14 in the App Store, ranked above Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat.

Mary Meisenzahl

You'll be prompted to connect to Snapchat or your phone for contacts.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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I'm a female traveler who spent 3 weeks backpacking around Saudi Arabia — and discovered it's not for the casual vacationer. Here's where I went and what I experienced.

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 08:30 AM PDT

Alex Reynolds 1Courtesy of Alex Reynolds

  • Alex Reynolds has been traveling the world full time for the past four years.
  • In November, she took a three-week trip to Saudi Arabia, prompted by the newly available tourist visa and the relaxed restrictions on solo female travelers.
  • Reynolds went everywhere, from the capital of Riyadh to the lesser populated Tabuk region neighboring Jordan, and experienced firsthand the country's evolving culture.
  • While Reynolds said she would love to return, she advised that more casual travelers may find certain social norms difficult to adapt to.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For me, a solo, female, non-Muslim traveler allergic to guided tours, Saudi Arabia was a non-option for years.

In recent decades, non-Muslims could enter only on business or transit visas. Muslim pilgrims could transit only through major cities to Mecca and Medina. Women had to be accompanied by male guardians.

Then everything changed in 2019.

Years-old rumors of tourist e-visas became reality for 49 nationalities. Traveling women no longer needed male guardians, and women could drive cars as of 2018. Suddenly, the idea of women traveling in Saudi Arabia went from laughable to very, very plausible. My time had come.

I was on the e-visa portal in a hot second and received my e-visa via WhatsApp 15 minutes later. No exaggeration.

In November, I began my three-week journey, both solo and with friends, through Saudi Arabia. Here's what it was actually like.

Why did I want to travel to Saudi Arabia in the first place, and was it ethical?

I'm a 20-something American solo traveler and blogger passionate about traveling to countries most tourists overlook. Too many people form opinions about countries and their citizens based on exaggerated news; I prefer to come to my own conclusions.

You could accuse me of supporting the Saudi government's human-rights violations, religious extremism, and restricted freedoms by traveling to the country. I disagree.

There are ways to support people over governments. I traveled independently (not on a government-sponsored trip, like many others), stayed with locals and at local hotels, and spent my money at small businesses. Governments and people are separate entities — especially in a totalitarian monarchy like Saudi Arabia — and I don't believe in holding an entire population accountable for the acts of a corrupt few.

Whether or not you agree, here's a glimpse of what I saw.

My journey began in Riyadh, the capital, which felt lifeless and artificial.

Courtesy of Alex Reynolds

Riyadh felt Floridian: wide boulevards with shiny skyscrapers and palm trees, malls and luxury shopping as primary entertainment, development concerned more with image than substance. Think historical ruins being demolished to be replaced by chic cafes with faux-historic feels.

The major difference is that in Florida you see people outside walking, cycling, and running. Riyadh is not for pedestrians — cars only. As I racked up Uber bills, I noted that streets were often devoid of life.

Riyadh was the perfect introduction to Saudi Arabia now: rapid change, and a lot of confusion.

Courtesy of Alex Reynolds

In recent years, the Saudi government made many liberal changes to the law of the land. Public concerts and cinemas became legal. Unrelated men and women can now mix in public. Rules about abayas, the long (and traditionally black) robe previously required by law, were relaxed. Female tourists don't have to wear abayas, and Saudi women can, in theory, wear colored and/or open abayas so long as they're dressed modestly underneath.

In practice, the changes were less clear. An example: Several festivals — including Riyadh Season and MDL Beast Fest — took place while I was in Saudi Arabia. They clearly were intended to present the country as liberal and tolerant to the international community. There were events and concerts all over Riyadh, including shows with Western women performing in form-fitting clothes and parties with well-known international influencers dancing seductively.

But at Riyadh Season, a young Saudi woman in a headscarf and face veil who was dancing was arrested. At MDL Beast Fest, dozens of local men and women were arrested, accused of wearing indecent clothing.

Outside of Riyadh was a different world.

Courtesy of Alex Reynolds

Though Riyadh felt bland and confused, the area around Riyadh was far more interesting — if less polished.

The first time I drove out of the city with a CouchSurfing host — a traveler I met on the platform connecting travelers with locals who can host them in their home or show them around — and some friends, my eyes were glued to the window. Skyscrapers gave way to sand dunes. Small towns and abandoned mud villages replaced apartment complexes.

Some of the villages, such as Ushaiger and Shaqra, are being restored as "heritage villages" for tourists. Even there, it was common to see buildings consumed by time next to manicured mud facades.

It felt less contrived, more honest. This side of Saudi Arabia was more up my alley.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: I started my own business so I could travel as a digital nomad, and I replaced my corporate salary within 4 months. Here are the 5 steps I took to do it.

READ MORE: 95% of LGBTQ travelers report having hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reason being safety

An infectious disease expert explains how he stays safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardest precaution he's had to take

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 08:29 AM PDT


  • Pediatric infectious disease expert, Mark Pasternack, describes the measures he's taken to protect himself, his colleagues, and his patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • From working from home to avoiding Trader Joe's during peak hours, these safeguards have impacted just about every part of his daily routine.
  • He says that the most difficult precaution he's had to take has been to distance himself from his daughter and grandchildren.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On a typical day, Mark Pasternack, MD, gets his exercise on the job — logging about 10,000 steps between strolling to the subway station and rushing among his patients at the hospital. But these are not typical days.

"Yesterday it rained. I didn't even go out," says Pasternack, who heads the pediatric infectious disease unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. Instead of meeting patients face-to-face, he now calls them by phone from his house. "I lost my walk."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Stranded passengers on Holland America 'mystery cruise' have no idea where they will end up after coronavirus outbreak forces ports to turn ships away

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 08:06 AM PDT

holland americaAndy Clark/Reuters

  • The MS Zaandam, a Holland America Line cruise ship with 842 passengers and 542 crew members on board, is currently sailing north after being shut out of South American ports over coronavirus concerns.
  • The ship is not in quarantine, and there are no suspected COVID-19 cases onboard, a Holland America spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider in a statement.
  • "We're now on a mystery cruise because we have no idea where we're going," one Zaandam passenger told Business Insider.
  • Passengers were nearly told to embark in Punta Arenas, Chile, before the country's health officials blocked the disembarkation.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the cruise ship industry into chaos, as even vessels with no reported outbreaks are denied access to ports.
  • Are you a cruise ship passenger or employee with a story to share? Email
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A St. Patrick's Day celebration broke out in the piano lounge of the MS Zaandam, as the Holland America cruise ship drifted along on its uncertain course. The bar's French piano player broke out the handful of Irish tunes he knew offhand while guests clinked glasses of Guinness and shared worries about their loved ones enduring the coronavirus pandemic back at home. Chile had just blocked Zaandam passengers from disembarking, over concerns of a coronavirus outbreak. But there were still reasons to cheer. A mandatory ship-wide temperature-check failed to uncover any signs of fever  — a tell-tale symptom of COVID-19.

The cruise ship's future remains unclear, and passengers and crew members alike are not sure where or when they will be able to disembark. The situation on board the Zaandam latest instance of the havoc that the COVID-19 outbreak has wrought on the cruise ship industry. Six passengers died after getting caught up in the coronavirus outbreak onboard the Diamond Princess ship in February. A majority of the guests released from the Grand Princess declined to be tested for the disease after a lengthy quarantine.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: 'I'm not going to sit up here and pretend like it's a joke': 3 coronavirus patients share their stories from quarantine

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SEE ALSO: Carnival Cruise Line is banning certain customers and issuing mandatory pre-boarding temperature checks after Princess' ships were hit by a massive coronavirus outbreak

PRESENTING: The tools CEOs and executives have been using for years to manage and engage their remote teams

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 08:00 AM PDT

video call businessmandjile/Shutterstock

The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the world works. "Social distancing" has been recommended to reduce the virus' spread, causing many companies to turn to work-from-home policies.

Although it's not a new concept, working from home may not be the norm for your team, and the transition for some may be tough. Many successful businesses have been working remotely for years, thanks to an increase in tools that facilitate easy virtual communication, such as video calling, workflow management tools, and online social apps.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: A top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote: weighted voting

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SEE ALSO: Recruiters who've worked with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and PayPal reveal how job seekers can prepare for the worst as the pandemic changes how companies hire

NOW READ: The CEO of software giant Basecamp gave his employees a 4-day weekend to prepare themselves as schools and stores close across the US — here's the full letter he sent to staff

Coronavirus live updates: More than 284,500 people have been infected and more than 11,860 have died. The US has reported 274 deaths. Here's everything we know.

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 07:35 AM PDT

Bergamo hospital italy coronavirusSky News

  • The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, in December has killed more than 11,570 people and infected more than 284,500 others. It has spread to at least 166 countries and territories.
  • The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11.
  • On March 19 a record number of cases — around 27,800 — were reported in a 24-hour period.
  • More than 8,000 deaths have been reported outside of mainland China, including 274 in the US.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The novel coronavirus has infected at least 284,566 people and killed at least 11,868 worldwide as of March 20.

The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11. Since then, the virus has spread further and faster than ever. At least 166 countries and territories have reported cases.

Europe is the new epicenter of the disease, which is also infecting increasing numbers of people in the US. 

China — where the virus first began to spread in late 2019 — has seen a sharp drop-off in its rate of new cases. Italy has recorded 4,032 deaths, overtaking China as the country with most coronavirus-related deaths. In China, 3,259 have been reported dead.

More than 88,000 people known to be infected have since recovered, mostly in China.


Many countries have declared nationwide lockdowns and states of emergency to slow the spread of the virus, including the US.

The US, the EU, and many other nations have closed their borders or otherwise dramatically restricted international travel.

Governments worldwide have committed more than $1 trillion to mitigating the economic fallout of the virus and of widespread quarantining, which is expected to bring about a global recession.

The US has reported cases in every state and has confirmed 274 coronavirus deaths. Click here for Business Insider's live updates about the US outbreaks.

Here's everything we know.

Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in 166 countries and territories.


Outside China, cases have been reported in:



China appears to have contained the spread of the coronavirus, but cases are surging in other parts of the world.



March 19 saw the highest number of deaths and the highest number of new cases reported within a 24-hour period since the outbreak began, with around 27,800 found.

Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Data compiled by the statistics website Worldometer, which uses data from organizations like the United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization, shows that March 19 was the deadliest day so far, with 1,080 new coronavirus deaths reported around the world.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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We need to make sure prisoners are safe during the coronavirus pandemic — not compel them to make hand sanitizer for pitiful wages

Posted: 21 Mar 2020 07:17 AM PDT

Rikers IslandREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

  • Prisons and jails can be hotspots for infections due to unsanitary conditions and
  • But instead of making sure incarcerated individuals are safe during the coronavirus pandemic, New York is having prisoners make hand sanitizer for pitiful wages.
  • This is modern slave labor and another example of the failures of the American criminal justice system.
  • Ashish Prashar is the Senior Director of Global Communications for Publicis Sapient, Board Member of New York-based Exodus Transitional Community and Getting Out and Staying Out, and Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Stand up for righteousness." "Stand up for justice." "Stand up for truth."

Powerful words by Martin Luther King Jr that a lot of people in the U.S claim to live by. However, when it comes to criminal justice reform, those words seem to ring hollow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: A top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote: weighted voting

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SEE ALSO: To achieve wide-ranging criminal justice reform, we need to overhaul how we think and talk about social justice and crime

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