Princess Cruises has cancelled 11 sailings from the US due to ‘labor challenges’

Princess Cruises has canceled 11 sailings aboard the Diamond Princess due to staffing issues.
Itineraries from September through November 13 have been canceled.
Before the summer travel boom, cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian faced similar hiring struggles.

Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises has canceled 11 sailings aboard the Diamond Princess, citing staffing issues that have been consistent across the cruise industry this year.

The cruise brand has faced “labor challenges” as travelers have flocked back to cruises and its ships have resumed sailing with increased occupancy, the company said in a statement. As a result, the Diamond Princess’ roundtrip San Diego itineraries from September through November 13 will be canceled to give the cruise line “additional time needed to overcome its labor challenges.”

Guests impacted by these cancellations can either rebook to a different cruise with additional onboard spending credit, receive future cruise credit, or get a full refund.

The cruise line did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Princess isn’t the only cruise line that has faced challenges with staffing up. Before the summer travel boom, cruise brands like Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Line announced similar struggles that resulted in canceled itineraries, decreased guest capacities, and closed onboard dining venues.

The Diamond Princess first made headlines in February 2020 when the cruise ship housed a major COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in over 700 cases and over a dozen deaths.

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Source:: Businessinsider

Why Singapore still loves crypto

BBH Singapore managing director Sid Tuli.

Ad firm BBH Singapore found one in three Singaporean investors in a survey had invested in crypto.
Despite the crash, their outlook is positive, with 65% saying they’ll still invest in crypto assets.
This article is part of “Master Your Crypto,” a series from Insider helping investors improve their skills in and knowledge of cryptocurrency.  

Despite feeling the bite of the crypto winter, Singaporean investors remain steadfast in their optimism about cryptocurrency’s future, or so suggests a large survey conducted by the advertising agency BBH Singapore. 

Sid Tuli, a managing director at the firm, said he and his team were “shocked” by the results. 

“The impact of the crypto crash was far larger than we expected — one in three Singaporeans invested in crypto, and one in six of those crypto investors said they’ve lost so much money that it has seriously impacted their lives,” he said.

In the survey of Singaporean investors, 65% of respondents said they remained positive about cryptocurrency and would continue to invest in crypto-related assets over the next three months. 

BBH Singapore operates across Southeast Asia, advising United Overseas Bank — one of the largest banks in the region — and has a client list peppered with heavyweights like Nike, Riot Games, and Samsung.

To accurately advise clients on upcoming projects, it sought to uncover Singaporean feelings toward cryptocurrency by commissioning the research project, which consisted of 1,000 investor interviews in May and June. The big takeaway: Crypto has grown exponentially in Singapore, becoming the second most popular asset for investors, after stocks.

Singapore has long been a rising regional star in the world of cryptocurrency. Today, the overall cryptocurrency market has plunged 50% from its November high of $2 trillion. But last year, the latest year with …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

An upcoming movie that was initially rated R used deepfake technology to edit out over 30 F-words to get a PG-13 rating

“Fall.”

Deepfake tech was used to replace over 30 uses of the F-word in the upcoming movie, “Fall.”
The director, Scott Mann, is also the co-CEO of the artificial-intelligence company Flawless.
Rather than spend more money on reshoots, Mann utilized Flawless tech in order to achieve a PG-13 rating.

An upcoming thriller movie used deepfake technology to alter over 30 uses of the F-word to lower its rating from an R to a PG-13.

The movie, “Fall” from the studio Lionsgate, comes to theaters on Friday. It focuses on two women who climb a 2,000-foot-tall radio tower and become trapped at the top after the ladder breaks.

The movie’s director, Scott Mann, is also the co-CEO of Flawless, a London-based company that specializes in artificial-intelligence tech for film and TV. Rather than inflate the budget with reshoots, deepfake tech was used to replace the many F-bombs in the movie with alternative words like “freaking.”

“For a movie like this, we can’t reshoot it, ” Mann said in a behind-the-scenes feature on the movie (via Variety). “We’re not a big tentpole, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the time, more than anything else. What really saved this movie and brought it into a wider audience was technology.”

“Fall” had a small $3 million budget, according to Variety, but reshoots would still be costly, especially in such an unpredictable theatrical market.

Typically, only one use of the F-word is allowed in a PG-13 movie, and the studio wanted that instead of an R-rating to appeal to a wider audience.

“When we were filming the movie, we didn’t know if we were R or if we were PG-13, so I said the F-word so many times I think Scott wanted to kill me in post when we were trying to get a PG-13 rating,” star Virginia Gardner said.

Another star, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

Iranian operative charged in plot to murder John Bolton

By ERIC TUCKER | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — An Iranian operative has been charged in a plot to murder former Trump administration national security John Bolton in presumed retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed a popular and powerful general in the country, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Shahram Poursafi, identified by U.S. officials as a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is currently wanted by the FBI on charges related to the murder-for-hire plot.

Prosecutors said the act was likely in retaliation for the January 2020 strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, who was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

In a statement, Bolton thanked the FBI and Justice Department for their work in developing the case.

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“While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States,” he said.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said it was “not the first time we have uncovered Iranian …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

How do people come to such different conclusions?

Why are you a conservative?

Or a libertarian, Republican, Democrat, socialist?

Ok, if you read my column, you’re probably not a socialist …

But how do people come to such different conclusions? We like to think that our politics are formed by rational analysis. We analyze what conservatives and liberals write, weigh their ideas, and form conclusions based on facts and evidence.

But it turns out something else is probably going on. I can predict your political party pretty accurately if I just know what you do for a living.

Here’s why I say that:

When you give money to a political candidate, the government requires that candidate’s campaign to ask you what your profession is. That information is turned over to the Federal Election Commission.

Verdant Labs took that data and made an infographic that shows how people’s professions predict their politics.

Eighty-nine percent of people who work in the fossil fuel industry donate to Republicans. Teachers mostly (79%) give to Democrats.

Sixty-four percent of flight attendants give to Democrats, but pilots (62%) prefer Republicans. Why?

Rob Henderson, who studies the psychology of politics at the University of Cambridge, tries to explain.

For pilots, he says, “Their job is whether they take off and land and everyone’s alive. Whereas for flight attendants, their job is more reliant on, ‘How do people feel about you?’” Those differences lead them to different political parties.

The job differences go on and on. Bartenders mostly give to Democrats (89%), while truck drivers favor Republicans (69%). Business owners lean right (62%). Artists lean left (86%).

“People who lean left tend to be sort of more open, more creative, more interested in abstract ideas,” says Henderson. Maybe that explains why most artists support Democrats.

“People on the right tend to be more conscientious, more interested in punctuality,” says Henderson. That could explain the pilots and business owners.

Psychologists overwhelmingly give to Democrats …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

Donald Trump invokes the Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination after saying ‘the mob’ does that

Former President Donald Trump.

Donald Trump says he invoked the Fifth Amendment in a New York civil case.
He once questioned why an innocent person would invoke the right against self incrimination.
“You see, the mob takes the Fifth,” he said in 2018.

Former President Donald Trump’s decision on Wednesday to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination comes four years after he said that’s what mobsters do.

“You see the mob takes the Fifth,” he said in April 2018. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment.”

Trump declined to answer questions during a Wednesday deposition at the office of New York attorney general Tish James, who is investigating whether the Trump Organization engaged in financial fraud and violated tax, insurance, and banking laws.

Trump addressed his about-face on the Fifth in a lengthy statement.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'” he said in the statement. “Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

Here’s Trump in 2018:

 

 

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Source:: Businessinsider

The rise and fall of once-$1 billion Tumblr, the early 2010s blogging site that defined a generation before fizzling out via a measly $3 million sale

Artist Lana Del Rey became a Tumblr icon after releasing her 2012 album “Born To Die.”

Tumblr remains one of the most defining internet platforms of the new millennium.
But it notoriously struggled to be profitable after it stood up in 2007 and was bought and sold twice.
Tumblr was valued at $800 million in 2012. It was last sold for $3 million.

If TikTok is Generation Z’s favorite social media platform, Tumblr was arguably Millennials.’

It’s hard to deny the blogging website’s influence on the generation’s adolescent years — the site allowed users to curate photos, posts, links, and other media into their own customized blog, birthing its own specific brand of internet culture that walked so today’s online zeitgeist could run.

But, like Vine, the beloved platform has gradually transformed into a vestige of the early 2010s. It’s been passed from corporation to corporation in the last decade after the free-spirited company struggled with profitability. 

And while it may or may not see a Gen Z-led comeback soon, it’s likely earned its spot on the list of most influential internet platforms to ever exist.

Here’s the rise and fall of the website that bred the “Tumblr girl.”

Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp.Karp in 2012.

The entrepreneur taught himself to code at age 11, dropped out of high school when he was 15, and later founded Tumblr at age 21 from his mom’s apartment. He was known for commuting into the company’s New York City office via Vespa.

He told venture capitalist Chris Dixon in 2011 that he started Tumblr to give users a different kind of blogging platform that was more free-form and less complicated than the likes of WordPress and Blogger.

It wasn’t a social networking site like Facebook that required you to “friend” other users, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

Serena Williams’ other big legacy: diversity and inclusion

Serena Williams told Insider tennis taught her the power of hard work and discipline, and that she wants other girls to have the same opportunities she had in sports.

Serena Williams announced plans to retire from tennis on Tuesday.
The tennis legend leaves behind an important legacy: encouraging girls to stick with athletics.
Williams previously told Insider she wants more young women to have the same opportunity she did.

Serena Williams doesn’t want to be the last female athletic legend. The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, who announced plans to retire from tennis on Tuesday, wants many young women to follow in her path. 

While the world-renowned athlete, entrepreneur, and investor will soon embark on her next chapter, she leaves behind an important legacy in society: helping to increase the participation of girls and young women in sports. Williams credits the sport with developing some of the most important parts of her character. And she wants to share the gifts of sports with those who look up to her. 

“It taught me the power of discipline,” Williams previously told Insider. “It also taught me dedication.”

But as more young women drop out of sports at a pace much higher than boys, many young women athletes may not get the same life lessons and opportunities.

Research by the Women’s Sports Foundation and research by the nonprofit Canadian Women & Sport found that young women drop out of sports at about twice the rate of young men. A big part of the problem is the lack of airtime and media coverage around women’s and girls’ sports.

To draw attention to the issue, Williams worked with the deodorant company Secret in a commercial for the 2021 summer Olympics. The commercial, “Just Watch Me,” urges viewers to follow and watch more girls’ …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

Biden is expected to announce student-loan forgiveness in the next 3 weeks, but the White House says he’s not ‘ready’ to make that decision yet

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks about President Joe Biden’s positive COVID-19 test during a briefing at the White House, Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Washington.

Biden previously said he would announce student-loan relief before August 31.
Press Sec. Karine Jean Pierre said he is not yet “ready” to announce those plans and will stick with his timeline.
Borrowers continue to await both an announcement of debt cancellation and a payment pause extension.

With the potential for broad student-loan relief and an extension of the payment pause, August is a high-stakes month for millions of federal borrowers.

But it appears President Joe Biden isn’t quite yet prepared to announce the relief he’ll deliver.

Biden said last month he would give himself until August 31 to decide on broad student-loan forgiveness, which is also when debt payments are set to resume. He is reportedly considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers making under $150,000 a year, and while Education Secretary Miguel Cardona promised borrowers “ample notice” on any changes to their balances, August is almost halfway through without an update.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday that Biden is sticking with his “end of August” timeline.

“We’re still at the beginning, getting into the middle of August,” Jean-Pierre said. “So when he’s ready to make that decision, we will let you know.”

She added that “the President understands how student loans can affect a family and how the pressure of that can really be a lot and put a lot of weight on a family’s purse or economic situation. So we understand that. He is going to make his decision on this, and when he has something to say, we will share that.”

Lawmakers, advocates, and student-loan companies themselves have criticized the uncertainty surrounding student-loan payments. There’s speculation Biden will …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

The State of the Creator Economy

In “The State of the Creator Economy,” we detail the latest trends in the creator economy, including monetization strategies, popular social platforms, and recent growth.

Simply enter your information to get a copy of this exclusive PDF and to start receiving the eMarketer Retail newsletter, which covers today’s most important trends in the world of commerce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Source:: Businessinsider

The perfect s’more is practically burned and a little salty

By Tanya Sichynsky, The New York Times

The campfire s’more is a gooey mess: saccharine, certainly, but also sentimental, stuffed with childhood memories.

“When you get older, you still love them,” said Kena Peay, a cook who shares her hiking and camping recipes on social media. “But then you’re like, ‘Uh, this kinda could be improved.’ ”

Beloved for its simplicity, a s’more is best known as a roasted marshmallow and a piece of bar chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers. But, really, the perfect campfire s’more is one you enjoy. For some, that can be a roasted Peep with a Reese’s cup tucked into two gingersnap cookies. The potential for customization is endless.

The s’more’s origins are as hard to pin down as its oozing center. The first published recipe is often attributed to the 1927 guidebook “Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts,” where it appears under the name “Some More.” But a similar recipe for “Campfire Marshmallow Graham Cracker Sandwich” from the marshmallow brand Campfire can be found in a recipe leaflet that Michigan State University dates to 1924. And a year later, The Norwalk Hour newspaper wrote of the introduction of “some-mores” to Girl Scouts at Camp Andree, about 30 miles north of New York City.

Roasting marshmallows around a fire had, by then, long been fashionable (the confection became commercially available in the United States in the early 1900s). “Marshmallow parties are coming into favor,” The New York Times reported on July 6, 1902, adding that partygoers would “build fires and toast marshmallows, and occasionally, it is said, burn their fingers.”

These days, iterations on the s’more abound, on blogs and cookbook pages and restaurant menus. In New York City alone, you can dig into an ice-cream-stuffed frozen s’more at Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo, a s’mores-inspired chocolate cake at Speedy Romeo …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

Time-lapse footage captures deep sea sponges ‘sneezing’ to expel waste and keep themselves clean

Time-lapse footage of the Indo-Pacific sponge Chelonaplysilla sp. sneezing.

Researchers caught footage of sea sponges sneezing to expel unwanted material, in a new study.

Sneezing is a mechanism that sponges evolved to keep themselves clean, the scientists say.
A sponge sneeze takes about half an hour to complete.

Sea sponges, among the oldest creatures in existence, let out what looks like a deep sea “sneeze” to filter out waste, researchers found in a new study. Using time-lapse video, researchers captured the behavior, which could help them better understand how sponges evolved. 

“Our data suggest that sneezing is an adaptation that sponges evolved to keep themselves clean,” Jasper de Goeij, a marine biologist at the University of Amsterdam and author of the new paper, said in a press release. Sea sponges are simple multicellular creatures without brains, which date back roughly half a billion years. 

In a study published in the journal Current Biology on Wednesday, researchers recorded two species of sponges — the Caribbean Aplysina archeri, also known as a stove-pipe sponge, and a species of the genus Chelonaplysilla, found in the Indo-Pacific — letting out mighty sneezes by contracting their entire bodies. 

“Let’s be clear: Sponges don’t sneeze like humans do,” de Goeij said in the press release, adding that a sponge sneeze takes roughly half an hour to complete. “But both sponge and human sneezes exist as a waste disposal mechanism,” he said.

Sea sponges are filter feeders, meaning they snag particles like plankton and bacteria from the water for nourishment. However, a sponge’s pores can get clogged with the muck they don’t eat. Researchers found that sponges use a sneezing mechanism, which has been known to the field for years, to get rid of material they cannot digest. 

A sponge is covered with tiny, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

European natural gas prices jump 7% as Russia squeezes supplies and Germany’s Rhine river runs low

Germany’s Rhine river is running low after a period of drought.

European natural gas prices jumped Wednesday as worries grew over Russian supplies and the Rhine river ran low.
Prices are close to record highs as the continent rushes to fill its storage capacity before what could be a brutal winter.
Germany’s river Rhine is running low after a period of drought, threatening the transport of commodities.

European natural gas prices jumped once again on Wednesday as Russia continued to squeeze energy supplies to Europe and the water in Germany’s Rhine river dropped to crisis levels.

Dutch TTF natural gas futures, the benchmark European price, were up 7.4% to 206.4 euros ($214) per megawatt hour Wednesday, not far off record highs of above 210 euros hit in late July. European gas prices are up more than 640% from a year earlier.

Europe is racing to fill its natural gas storage capacity to ensure supplies last through the winter, after Russia slashed the flow of the crucial fossil fuel through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20% of capacity.

On Tuesday, Russian company Transneft said the flow of oil through the part of the key Druzhba pipeline which connects Russia to central Europe had been halted for five days due to a dispute over payments. The announcement raised more concerns on the continent about energy security.

“The halt in the oil flow on the Druzhba pipeline is reminding the market that Russia will game the energy supply to Europe both now and through the coming winter,” Bjarne Schieldrop, commodities analyst at Swedish bank SEB, told Insider.

Meanwhile, Europe’s river Rhine — a vital energy transport artery which flows through Germany — is running dangerously low after a prolonged drought in Europe. Large barges may soon be unable to transport fuel up and down the river …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in his long-awaited deposition with the New York attorney general’s office

Donald Trump, shown here as president in January 2020, said he pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a deposition on Wednesday before the New York attorney general.

Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in a highly anticipated deposition with NY AG Tish James’ office.
He released a lengthy statement afterward calling James a “failed politician.” 
He added that he had “no choice” but to invoke his 5th Amendment rights.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination during a deposition with New York attorney general Tish James’ office.

Shortly after he was seen arriving for his deposition, Trump released a lengthy statement lambasting James as a “failed politician” and accusing her of having “intentionally colluded with others” in a political fishing expedition against his family.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'” he said in the statement. “Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

The statement continued: “If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, just two days prior to this deposition, wiped out any uncertainty. I have absolutely no choice because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency.”

“Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” it said.

Trump’s highly anticipated deposition came after a months-long legal fight during which the Trump family unsuccessfully tried to get a New …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

Frumpy Middle-aged Mom: I’m paying money to go hungry

Some of you longtime readers think I’m a little bit wacko, and others of you have been sure of it for some time.

So it won’t surprise you to learn that I’m about to go somewhere and pay a lot of money to not eat anything. Now, over the course of my life, I’ve gone hungry for free, when I was flat broke, doing fad diets, cleanses, or when I was having chemo and the thought of food made my eyebrows hurt.

But, this time I’m paying for it. Crazy, right? Yes. But wait. There’s more.

See, I have cancer, and it’s proven to be quite pesky. I’ve now done about every treatment known to humankind, and it hasn’t gone away and bothered other people who deserve it more than me. (I could give you a list).

In fact, it’s been slowly growing. I’m not planning to keel over any time soon, so don’t get your hopes up, but I’m strongly in favor of figuring out a way to stop it.

There are lots of theories about how to starve cancer, including to stop eating sugar, which cancer loves more than anything else. It’s like giving a kid cotton candy at the circus, that’s how much cancer loves sugar. This is a medical fact.

There are other nutritional therapies that people embrace, but are generally considered unproven by the wider medical community, such as going on the keto diet to reduce carbs and also exclusively eating plant-based whole foods, with no animal products.

Anyway, back to the not-eating-nada diet. There’s a center up in Santa Rosa called True North that’s devoted to improved health by medically supervised fasting, and also by teaching healthy plant-based eating.

I’ve been reading about it for years. They don’t claim to cure your cancer, in fact they don’t make any claims about …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

A shocked John Kelly told Trump ‘those are the heroes’ after the president said having wounded veterans in a military parade ‘doesn’t look good,’ book reveals

Former President Donald Trump and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

John Kelly once had to tell Donald Trump that wounded war veterans “are the heroes,” after Trump said he didn’t want to include them in a military parade. 
According to an excerpt from an upcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, Kelly was shocked by Trump’s request. 
“I don’t want them. It doesn’t look good for me,” Trump said of including wounded veterans in the parade. 

A shocked John Kelly — one of Donald Trump’s former White House chiefs of staff — once had to tell Trump that wounded veterans “are the heroes” after the former president said he didn’t want them featured in a military parade because he feared they’d make him look bad. 

According to an excerpt from an upcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” Trump — after attending the 2017 Bastille Day parade in Paris — told Kelly that he did not want any injured veterans at a 2018 military parade. 

“Look, I don’t want any wounded guys in the parade,” Trump said, according to the book. “This doesn’t look good for me.”

He noted that at the Bastille Day parade, there were several wounded veterans, many of whom were in wheelchairs after losing limbs in battle. 

According to the book excerpt, Kelly — a retired Marine Corps General — could not believe what Trump had asked.

“Those are the heroes,” he told Trump, the book reads. “In our society, there’s only one group of people who are more heroic than they are — and they are buried over in Arlington.”

Kelly’s son, Robert was a lieutenant killed in action in Afghanistan and …read more

Source:: Businessinsider