Archive for Allana Akhtar

Britain’s Royal Marines were ‘victorious’ in a mock desert battle with US Marines. Here’s how the 2 forces stack up

British Royal Marines and US Marines
A British Royal Marine briefs US Marines on Viking armored vehicles during Exercise Green Dagger in California, September 29, 2021.
  • Britain's Royal Marines got some unexpect attention this fall after reports they had "defeated" US Marines in an exercise.
  • The details in the reports have been disputed, they highlighted the special capabilities and unique histories of both units.

In October, an exercise in the California desert involving marine forces from across NATO spurred some unintended drama when reports surfaced about the swift defeat of US Marines at the hands of their British counterparts.

Exercise Green Dagger is an annual large-scale force-on-force training event that seeks to prepare US Marine Corps units for upcoming deployments to combat zones or volatile regions.

Marines from the US, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates "fought" against one another in mock combat drills. During one five-day event, the Royal Marines Commandos defeated their American counterparts despite having smaller numbers.

While many have disputed those reports, they have highlighted the skills and capabilities of both forces. Here's how they stack up.

Royal Marines Commandos

British Royal Marines during exercise
British Royal Marines provide security during Exercise Green Dagger in California, October 9, 2021.

The Royal Marines Commandos are a very interesting unit when it comes to classification. For centuries they served as naval infantry, sailing on Royal Navy ships and fighting on sea and land, in addition to being the troops responsible for enforcing discipline on the British navy.

After the Napoleonic Wars and the British navy's rise to dominance of the seas, the Royal Marines increasingly deployed on land as a naval infantry force. By World War I, they were fighting in the trenches alongside regular infantry units.

It was during World War II that the Royal Marines first entered the special-operations realm. After Germany swept across Europe, the British stood up commando units to take the fight to the continent and keep the Germans on edge.

British Royal Marines carry casualty on stretcher
British Royal Marines carry a simulated casualty during Exercise Green Dagger in California, October 9, 2021.

Initially, the "Commandos," as the units themselves were called, were composed of British Army soldiers and volunteers from many countries that had surrendered to the Nazis.

In 1942, the Royal Marines created their own commando units and added the coveted "Commando" designation to their title. They specialized in amphibious operations against Axis forces in occupied Europe and the Pacific theater throughout the war.

The Royal Marines Commando were the only "Commando" unit of the roughly 40 that existed during the war to survive the major demobilization that came after Germany and Japan surrendered.

Similar but different

British Royal Marines and US Marines with Amphibious Combat Vehicle
US Marines familiarize British Royal Marines with the Amphibious Combat Vehicle during Exercise Green Dagger in California, September 29, 2021.

While the US and British forces are similar as marines, comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.

Whereas the US Marine Corps is a combined warfare force that can conduct expeditionary campaigns, the Royal Marines Commandos are a much smaller, more specialized unit that has served as a quick-reaction force of sorts for the UK.

The US Marine Corps has about 200,000 troops and more than 1,000 fighter jets and helicopters and until recently operated its own tank fleet. In contrast, the Royal Marines Commandos field less than 8,000 troops total, only half of them being line infantry. The British Marines have no armor or fighter jets of their own.

Indeed, in terms of capabilities, training, selection, and mission, it would be more fair to compare the Royal Marines with the special-operations units of the US Marine Corps — the Marine Raiders, Recon Marines, and Force Recon Marines.

Even with differences in size and capabilities, both forces have illustrious combat histories.

US Marines land at Inchon
US Marines scale a seawall as the second assault wave lands at Inchon, South Korea, September 15, 1950.

The US Marines have distinguished themselves in several wars.

Some of their most well-known actions are the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I, the battles of the Pacific campaign that led the Allies to Japan's doorstep during World War II, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, and Second Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq war.

The Royal Marines Commandos earned respect and accolades for their actions in several engagements during World War II, but perhaps their most important campaign was during the Falkland War, when they marched across the rugged South Atlantic islands with full combat load — each troop carrying more than 100 pounds of gear — and defeated the Argentines in a series of brutal engagements.

The Royal Marines Commandos are now entering a new phase as British special-operations forces evolve for a world in which potential near-peer warfare against Russia or China has replaced large-scale counterterrorism operations as the main concern.

As part of that modernization, the Commandos are getting new weapons and gear in addition to restructuring into smaller, more agile units.

British Royal Navy helicopter Marines Falklands War
A British Royal Navy Sea King helicopter lifts off after transporting Royal Marines to Darwin in the Falkland Islands, June 1982.

"We've always been an elite force, but not many people outside the UK know about us. Our military is small compared to the Americans, and the Royals [Marines Commandos] are even a smaller part of that. But we're the fellas you want in a trench when the going gets tough," a former Special Boat Service operator told Insider.

The SBS was for decades the tier 1 special-missions unit of the Royal Marines, recruiting solely from the commandos. It was equivalent to the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group, which used to be called SEAL Team Six.

Nowadays, however, the SBS and the Special Air Service (SAS), its Army counterpart, recruit from the wider British military. And like the Royal Marines, the SBS has always worked closely with their American counterparts.

"We have a close working relationship with the Americans, and we have frequent exchange programs, or at least we had back in my days," the former SBS frogman said. "How that works is usually one of our lads or an American getting seconded to the opposite number for a year or two and serves as a regular member of that team. They train, work, and deploy with them as part of the unit."

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sen. Chris Murphy says he’d ‘settle’ for scaled-back gun control measures ‘because that will save lives’

Chris Murphy
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
  • Sen. Murphy during a CNN interview said that he could "settle" for scaled-back gun-control measures.
  • "I want universal background checks ... but I will settle for something much less because that will save lives," he said.
  • Murphy is one of the most prominent gun-control advocates in the Senate.

Sen. Chris Murphy, one of the most prominent gun control advocates in the upper chamber, on Sunday said that he could "settle" for scaled-back measures days after four students were killed during a shooting at a Michigan high school.

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," the Connecticut Democrat said that despite the party controlling the White House and Congress and overwhelmingly supporting measures like universal background checks, filibuster rules in the Senate are preventing the legislation from passing.

"I won't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, right," he said. "I want universal background checks, I want a ban on assault weapons, but I will settle for something much less because that will save lives."

Murphy's renewed push comes after an individual opened fire at Oxford High School, located in suburban Detroit.

The suspect, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, was arrested at the scene and has been charged as an adult. He faces 24 criminal counts, including first-degree murder and terrorism.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, on Saturday pleaded not guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter — they were set to be arraigned the day before, but failed to appear in court, which led to a search from law enforcement officials.

Murphy has sought to enact comprehensive gun-control legislation since his tenure in the House, which took on greater urgency for him after the December 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., located within his then-congressional district.

When Murphy joined the Senate in 2013, he continued his work toward more expansive gun control.

While on CNN, Murphy said that he hoped to see some Republican "epiphanies" on the issue.

"I wish my Republican colleagues didn't, sort of, have epiphanies on this issue only after mass school shootings," he said. "But that tends to be what happens, and so my hope is that in the next couple of weeks we can get back to the table and see if we can, at the very least, as you said, maybe close the gun show loophole."

"That alone would save a lot of lives," he added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s digital media venture says it has lined up $1 billion from investors for his forthcoming social media platform, TRUTH Social

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump's new media venture and its SPAC partner says they have $1 billion in capital pledged by institutional investors.
  • The funding will support his forthcoming social media site, TRUTH Social, slated to launch in 2022. 
  • "America is ready for TRUTH Social, a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology," Trump said in a statement. 

Former President Donald Trump's forthcoming digital media platform and its SPAC partner says they have entered into subscription agreements to raise an estimated $1 billion from investors. 

Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (TMTG) and Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a special purpose acquisition company, announced on Saturday that the two companies reached a deal to fund Trump's new social media website, TRUTH Social. TMTG has formerly described aspirations for the site and accompanying app to serve as "a conservative media universe" with "non-woke content." 

The deal — which sources first told Reuters was in progress earlier this week — will provide estimated proceeds of $1.25 billion to TRUTH Social, according to a press release. While the identity of the investors remains unknown, the funding will function as "PIPE" investments, or private investments in public equity.

Trump said in a statement on Saturday that the investment will put his company "in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech." 

"$1 billion sends an important message to Big Tech that censorship and political discrimination must end," Trump said in a statement. "America is ready for TRUTH Social, a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology." 

TMTG said in October that the site and accompanying app is expected to launch in early 2022, following an invite-only beta trial in November. However, CNBC reported on Wednesday that TRUTH Social may have missed its November deadline, as the company has yet to make an official announcement of a beta rollout.

In a pitch deck for TRUTH Social, TMTG stated that it aimed to "create a media powerhouse to rival the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley who have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America." 

Trump's announcement of the platform came after the former president was permanently banned from several major social media sites for policy violations earlier this year, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wisconsin’s governor vetoed 5 Republican anti-abortion bills in a single day after conservative Supreme Court justices seemed willing to overturn Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court abortion
Protesters, demonstrators and activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, vetoed five anti-abortion bills on Friday.
  • The bills had been supported and passed by the Republican-led state legislature.
  • The vetoes came just two days after the conservative US Supreme Court justices heard arguments in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed five separate pieces of anti-abortion legislation passed by the state's GOP-led state legislature. 

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again today: as long as I'm governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that's a promise," Evers, a Democrat who has served as governor since 2019, said Friday in a tweet.

Republicans in the state legislature do not hold the votes to overturn Evers' vetoes, according to a report from the Associated Press.

One of the bills, which Evers previously vetoed in 2019, would impose criminal penalties — up to six years in prison — should an abortion provider fail to provide critical medical care in the case an aborted fetus is born alive. This is extremely rare, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There were 143 of these cases nationwide between 2003 and 2014, according to the CDC, and doctors say the bill sets out to solve a problem that doesn't exist, since they're already ethically and legally required to care for any babies born under such circumstances, according to the AP.

 

Evers also rejected a bill that would require medical providers to provide information to parents of fetuses or embryos that test positive for a congenital condition, the AP reported. Another bill that Evers rejected would've prohibited a pregnant person from seeking an abortion on the basis of sex, race, or national origin.

Another vetoed bill would've reduced state funding to abortion providers by prohibiting the state from classifying them as a Medicaid provider, and Evers vetoed an additional bill that would've required an abortion provider tell a patient it was possible to reverse a medication-induced abortion after taking the first dose, according to the report.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, such claims are not supported by science and are "unethical." 

The numerous vetoes in Wisconsin came Friday, just two days after the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that has safeguarded abortion access in the US for decades. 

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, focuses on a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Insider's Oma Seddiq reported. The conservative justices on the court appeared open to throwing out Roe v. Wade during oral arguments Wednesday.

With a conservative majority on the court secured under former President Donald Trump, Republican-led state legislatures across the US this year targeted abortion access. An all-out ban on abortion after six weeks in Texas was allowed to take effect in September after the Supreme Court declined to stop it.

The Texas law incentivizes Texans to sue fellow other residents involved in abortion care performed after 6 weeks of pregnancy, and it does not include exceptions for rape or incest, as Insider previously reported. Other states, including Ohio, have proposed similar measures.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I went to Burger King for the first time in 19 years — I can see why it’s losing out to McDonald’s

Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.
  • I went to Burger King for the first time since 2002.
  • The chain's been rolling out plant-based and gourmet burgers to lure in more customers.
  • The restaurant I went to was pretty quiet but the McDonald's just around the corner was heaving.
I last went to Burger King on the way back from a family holiday in 2002, when the chain was giving out "Jimmy Neutron" toys.
Customers line up at a Burger King drive-through window June 12, 2001 at a restaurant in Federal Heights, Colorado
A photo of a Burger King in Federal Heights, Colorado, in 2001.
My parents didn't take me to fast-food chains often as a child, and as I got older, my friends preferred to go to McDonald's when they fancied something quick to eat or after a night out. This was because it was cheaper and there are more McDonald's restaurants in the UK.
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California
But I went to Burger King in November to try out its plant-based Whopper, breaking my 19-year spell by visiting the chain for only the second time. Burger King unveiled a new logo earlier this year, but the restaurant I went to in Newcastle, northern England, hadn't updated its yet.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center.

Source: Insider

What I did notice, though, was the stripes around the bottom of the store windows, designed to look like its flagship Whopper burger.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
I went at around 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. The McDonald's right round the corner was rammed full. But Burger King — arguably tucked slightly further away from Newcastle's main shopping and drinking areas — was very quiet.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.
A few people were sat down eating, but most seemed to be standing around waiting to collect their orders.
Burger King Newcastle
I did, however, see a few delivery drivers come in to collect orders.
Burger King Newcastle
Burger King was heavily promoting its vegan burgers in store, as well as its halloumi fries. Fast-food chains have been competing for a bigger share of the plant-based market, and McDonald's recently launched its McPlant in the UK.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider, Insider

There was also a sign advertising its two new "gourmet" burgers, which the company rolled out in October. Its focus on plant-based and gourmet food suggested that it was trying to move away from its image as just another cheap fast-food joint.
Burger King Newcastle

Source: Insider

Though the burgers were more expensive than at McDonald's, one advantage Burger King did have was a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine with unlimited soft drinks. But I got my food to-go, so it seemed like I was paying for something I couldn't use.
Burger King Newcastle
You could order at a cashier but the restaurant had a lot of digital kiosks, too.
Burger King Newcastle
Burger King's digital kiosks.

Source: Insider

The prices were considerably higher than for comparable meals at McDonald's. Like at other fast-food chains, I noticed that Burger King was encouraging customers to order its burgers as part of a meal with fries and a drink ...
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
Burger King's digital kiosks.
... or add extra toppings. I was surprised that adding bacon was a suggested customization for the plant-based Whopper.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
Burger King's digital kiosks.

Source: Insider

As you'd expect from a fast-food chain, the service was really quick ...
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
... but I looked around the restaurant while I waited. Despite the retro orange and brown color palette, the interior seemed quite modern.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
Burger King started revamping some of its stores in 2021, and the Newcastle restaurant looked nothing like the mock-ups for its new design.
Burger King
Burger King is revamping its restaurants.

Source: Insider

The redesigned restaurants will have a designated section for "walk up" orders ...
Walk up Burger King
Burger King is revamping its restaurants.

Source: Insider

... as well as designated food lockers for customers who order on Burger King's app. More advance orders could have helped reduce congestion at the Newcastle store I went to, where people were standing around waiting for their orders to be ready.
Burger King

Sources: Insider, Insider

I liked how my burger came wrapped in paper, making it easier to eat on-the-go, unlike other fast-food companies that serve their take-out burgers in boxes.
McDonald's McPlant Burger King plant-based vegan Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.
I'd never had a Whopper before. When it arrived, my plant-based Whopper was much larger than expected.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.
The burger came with lettuce, onion, ketchup, tomato, vegan mayo, and pickles. Its patty tasted a little more meaty and barbecuey than McDonald's vegan McPlant burger. The fries, however, disappointed me. While they were chunkier than the ones at McDonald's, the portion was smaller and they weren't as salty.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider

Interestingly, Burger King classes its meat-free Whopper as plant-based but not vegan. This is because, while the patty is plant-based, it's cooked on the same broiler as its meat namesake.
Vegan plant-based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider

McDonald's has around 1,300 restaurants in the UK, while Burger King has just over 500. Globally, McDonald's has close to 40,000 restaurants and Burger King has nearly 19,000.
McDonald's Westminster
There are 20 McDonald's restaurants within a two-mile radius of Westminster.

Sources: McDonald's, BBC, McDonald's, Restaurant Brands International

And none of the Burger King restaurants in Newcastle city center appeared to be open 24 hours. A staff member told me that the one I went to closes at 10 p.m. each day.
Burger King worker
A Burger King worker in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
McDonald's, in comparison, has a lot of 24-hour restaurants in Newcastle. And in a city famed for its nightlife, this seems to make sense.
McDonald's opening times
McDonald's locations in Newcastle.
At McDonald's, comparable total global sales were up 12.7% in the third quarter compared with 7.9% at Burger King, including a drop in the chain's comparable US sales.
Burger King London
A Burger King in London.

Sources: McDonald's, Restaurant Brands International

I was impressed by my plant-based Whopper, but how deserted the Newcastle restaurant was on a Saturday night shows how people are shunning the chain in favor of cheaper deals at McDonald's.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
Read the original article on Business Insider

I went to Burger King for the first time in 19 years — I can see why it’s losing out to McDonald’s

Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.
  • I went to Burger King for the first time since 2002.
  • The chain's been rolling out plant-based and gourmet burgers to lure in more customers.
  • The restaurant I went to was pretty quiet but the McDonald's just around the corner was heaving.
I last went to Burger King on the way back from a family holiday in 2002, when the chain was giving out "Jimmy Neutron" toys.
Customers line up at a Burger King drive-through window June 12, 2001 at a restaurant in Federal Heights, Colorado
A photo of a Burger King in Federal Heights, Colorado, in 2001.
My parents didn't take me to fast-food chains often as a child, and as I got older, my friends preferred to go to McDonald's when they fancied something quick to eat or after a night out. This was because it was cheaper and there are more McDonald's restaurants in the UK.
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California
But I went to Burger King in November to try out its plant-based Whopper, breaking my 19-year spell by visiting the chain for only the second time. Burger King unveiled a new logo earlier this year, but the restaurant I went to in Newcastle, northern England, hadn't updated its yet.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center.

Source: Insider

What I did notice, though, was the stripes around the bottom of the store windows, designed to look like its flagship Whopper burger.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
I went at around 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. The McDonald's right round the corner was rammed full. But Burger King — arguably tucked slightly further away from Newcastle's main shopping and drinking areas — was very quiet.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.
A few people were sat down eating, but most seemed to be standing around waiting to collect their orders.
Burger King Newcastle
I did, however, see a few delivery drivers come in to collect orders.
Burger King Newcastle
Burger King was heavily promoting its vegan burgers in store, as well as its halloumi fries. Fast-food chains have been competing for a bigger share of the plant-based market, and McDonald's recently launched its McPlant in the UK.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider, Insider

There was also a sign advertising its two new "gourmet" burgers, which the company rolled out in October. Its focus on plant-based and gourmet food suggested that it was trying to move away from its image as just another cheap fast-food joint.
Burger King Newcastle

Source: Insider

Though the burgers were more expensive than at McDonald's, one advantage Burger King did have was a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine with unlimited soft drinks. But I got my food to-go, so it seemed like I was paying for something I couldn't use.
Burger King Newcastle
You could order at a cashier but the restaurant had a lot of digital kiosks, too.
Burger King Newcastle
Burger King's digital kiosks.

Source: Insider

The prices were considerably higher than for comparable meals at McDonald's. Like at other fast-food chains, I noticed that Burger King was encouraging customers to order its burgers as part of a meal with fries and a drink ...
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
Burger King's digital kiosks.
... or add extra toppings. I was surprised that adding bacon was a suggested customization for the plant-based Whopper.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
Burger King's digital kiosks.

Source: Insider

As you'd expect from a fast-food chain, the service was really quick ...
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
... but I looked around the restaurant while I waited. Despite the retro orange and brown color palette, the interior seemed quite modern.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
Burger King started revamping some of its stores in 2021, and the Newcastle restaurant looked nothing like the mock-ups for its new design.
Burger King
Burger King is revamping its restaurants.

Source: Insider

The redesigned restaurants will have a designated section for "walk up" orders ...
Walk up Burger King
Burger King is revamping its restaurants.

Source: Insider

... as well as designated food lockers for customers who order on Burger King's app. More advance orders could have helped reduce congestion at the Newcastle store I went to, where people were standing around waiting for their orders to be ready.
Burger King

Sources: Insider, Insider

I liked how my burger came wrapped in paper, making it easier to eat on-the-go, unlike other fast-food companies that serve their take-out burgers in boxes.
McDonald's McPlant Burger King plant-based vegan Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.
I'd never had a Whopper before. When it arrived, my plant-based Whopper was much larger than expected.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.
The burger came with lettuce, onion, ketchup, tomato, vegan mayo, and pickles. Its patty tasted a little more meaty and barbecuey than McDonald's vegan McPlant burger. The fries, however, disappointed me. While they were chunkier than the ones at McDonald's, the portion was smaller and they weren't as salty.
Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider

Interestingly, Burger King classes its meat-free Whopper as plant-based but not vegan. This is because, while the patty is plant-based, it's cooked on the same broiler as its meat namesake.
Vegan plant-based Whopper
I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.

Source: Insider

McDonald's has around 1,300 restaurants in the UK, while Burger King has just over 500. Globally, McDonald's has close to 40,000 restaurants and Burger King has nearly 19,000.
McDonald's Westminster
There are 20 McDonald's restaurants within a two-mile radius of Westminster.

Sources: McDonald's, BBC, McDonald's, Restaurant Brands International

And none of the Burger King restaurants in Newcastle city center appeared to be open 24 hours. A staff member told me that the one I went to closes at 10 p.m. each day.
Burger King worker
A Burger King worker in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
McDonald's, in comparison, has a lot of 24-hour restaurants in Newcastle. And in a city famed for its nightlife, this seems to make sense.
McDonald's opening times
McDonald's locations in Newcastle.
At McDonald's, comparable total global sales were up 12.7% in the third quarter compared with 7.9% at Burger King, including a drop in the chain's comparable US sales.
Burger King London
A Burger King in London.

Sources: McDonald's, Restaurant Brands International

I was impressed by my plant-based Whopper, but how deserted the Newcastle restaurant was on a Saturday night shows how people are shunning the chain in favor of cheaper deals at McDonald's.
Burger King Newcastle
I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Cathie Wood’s flagship Ark fund plummets 7% as tech sell-off deepens

Cathie Wood, CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest, on a purple background with the Ark Invest logos patterned behind her.
Ark Invest founder and CEO Cathie Wood.
  • Cathie Wood's flagship ARK Innovation ETF sank Friday as the sell-off in tech shares deepened. 
  • The actively managed fund slipped as much as 7.3% to its lowest in more than a year on Friday.
  • Benefitting from Wood's slump, however, is the Tuttle Capital Short Innovation ETF, which is up by 6%.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Cathie Wood's flagship ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund sank Friday as the sell-off in technology shares deepened. 

The actively managed ETF, which trades under the ticker ARKK, slipped as much as 7.3% to its lowest in more than a year and has fallen 25% year-to-date. 

Tech stocks have taken a beating as fears of rising inflation mount on top of concerns surrounding the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Wood's ARKK, which has $21 billion in assets, focuses on growth stocks with ''disruptive innovation" at their core. These encompass the fields of genomics, automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

The fund's biggest holdings include Tesla, which accounts for nearly 1o%, followed by Teladoc Health, Coinbase Global, Roku, and Zoom Communications, all at roughly 5% each.

ARKK top 10 Holdings

TICKERNameWeight (%)YTD Performance
TSLATESLA 9.98%UP 40.42%
TDOCTELADOC HEALTH 5.81%DOWN 40.42%
COINCOINBASE GLOBAL 5.43%DOWN 19.14%
ROKUROKU 5.37%DOWN 19.14%
ZMZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS5.34%DOWN 45.18%
UUNITY SOFTWARE 4.85%DOWN 1.08%
SPOTSPOTIFY TECHNOLOGY 4.02%DOWN 27.01%
TWLOTWILIO INC 3.95%DOWN 26.57%
EXASEXACT SCIENCES 3.80%DOWN 40.32%
SQSQUARE INC 3.76%DOWN 20.18%

Wood's magic touch seems to be wearing off. The star stock picker shot to prominence in 2020 thanks to her blockbuster performance driven by bets on mega-growth stocks like Tesla. Her ETFs last year have delivered eye-popping returns, with her flagship fund up more than 150% in 2020. 

Benefitting from Wood's ETF slump this year, however, is the Tuttle Capital Short Innovation ETF, which launched in November to gain inverse exposure to ARKK, according to Matthew Tuttle, CEO and CIO of Tuttle Capital Management, who serves as the adviser.

The Tuttle ETF, which trades under the ticker SARK, was up 6% Friday. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Kayleigh McEnany says she found out Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 while he was on live TV with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Donald Trump with face mask on
President Donald Trump returns to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC, on October 5, 2020.
  • Kayleigh McEnany writes that she was told Donald Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 while he was on live TV. 
  • The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Trump was informed of his positive rapid test before he went on TV. 
  • Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he and the first lady were awaiting their test results. 

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany writes in her new memoir that she found out former President Donald Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 while Trump was being interviewed live on Fox News on October 1, 2020.

McEnany was informed on the phone by an aide to Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, that Trump's rapid test had come back positive and was waiting for results from a PCR test to make sure he hadn't received a false positive. McEnany says she asked the aide whether Trump was aware of his positive test result, but that the aide didn't know. 

"Was I learning this information before President Trump?" she says she wondered to herself, adding that she was in "total and complete disbelief."

Trump already knew that he'd received a positive rapid test before he went on Fox News, The Wall Street Journal reported on October 4, 2020. The president confirmed during his interview with Sean Hannity that evening that his close aide, Hope Hicks, had been infected with the virus and that he was waiting for his own test results. Trump didn't say whether he was awaiting the results of the rapid or PCR test. 

"I just went out for a test. They just did it. It'll come back later, I guess. And the first lady also, because we spend a lot of time with Hope, and others," he told Hannity, saying at another point, "Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don't know ... We'll see what happens. Who knows?" 

A few hours later, Trump announced via tweet that he and then-First Lady Melania Trump were both infected with the virus.

But Meadows, Trump's fourth and last chief of staff, writes in his forthcoming memoir that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on September 26, three days before his first presidential debate against Joe Biden, which was held indoors, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. Meadows says that Trump subsequently tested negative prior to the debate. 

Fox News host Chris Wallace said Trump arrived too late at the first presidential debate to be tested for COVID-19 at the venue. The debate hosts instead relied on an honor system.

Trump called Meadows' version of the events "fake news" and insisted that he never had COVID-19 before the first debate. "The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News," Trump wrote in a statement. "In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate." 

A spokesperson for Trump didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

McEnany writes in "For Such a Time as This: My Faith Journey through the White House and Beyond," that she reassured Trump during a phone call that he was a "victor" and America would rally around him as they awaited the results of his PCR test.

"'You will rise above this, and America will rise with you,'" McEnany says she told Trump. "'You are a victor.'"

She added, "America is going to rally around you," and "We will overcome." 

The then 32-year-old press secretary writes that she was "genuinely scared" about what would become of Trump and the country after the diagnosis. McEnany added that she was concerned for Trump as "a boss and friend whom I grew to know and love." 

"To me, this was not just the president of the United States testing positive and being transported to a hospital," she writes. 

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How to add text on TikTok and customize it to your video

  • You can add text to a TikTok you've recorded by pressing the Aa button on the screen.
  • You can also edit the text you've added by tapping the text and selecting the Edit button.
  • If desired, you can also dictate the duration of your text with the app's timing slider tool.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you're new to TikTok, or it's been a while since your last post, the various tools and editing options can seem overwhelming. One way to embellish your videos is by adding text. You can even adjust where and when the text appears on the screen.

Here's how to use the text tool on TikTok.

How to add text on TikTok

Once you've recorded your TikTok video on your iPhone or Android and tapped the check mark in the bottom-right corner of the screen, here's how to add text:

1. Tap the Text option (it has the Aa symbol above it).

Screenshot highlighting the Text option on TikTok
Tap the "Text" option.

2. Type in your text.

3. Customize the text using the available options: 

  • You can add a highlight to the text by tapping the A on the left side of the screen. 
  • You can also change the font via the options listed on the top-left side of the text menu, and change the color by selecting an option from the colorful circles at the bottom of the screen.
Screenshot showing highlighted text on TikTok
Enter your text and customize it how you like using the options on the screen.

4. Tap Done in the top-right corner of the screen when you're ready, keeping in mind that you can only change the text's placement and timing after this point.

5. Drag the text to the area of the screen that you want it to appear.

6. Finish your TikTok as usual by selecting Next, adding a description and any other desired information, and then hitting Post.

How to edit text you've added on TikTok

1. Tap the text on your TikTok draft to reveal more options.

2. Select Edit.

Screenshot highlighting the editing option on TikTok text
Choose "Edit" in the pop-up.

3. Make the changes you want to make and then tap Done when you're ready.

How to customize duration of text on TikTok

1. Tap the text on your TikTok draft.

2. Select Set duration. That will bring you to the screen where you can adjust when the text appears and, if desired, when it disappears.

3. To select a start and end time, drag the timing bar so that it matches up with your desired times.

Screenshot highlighting the timing bar for text on TikTok
Drag the timing bar to adjust how long the text appears on screen, and when.

4. You can see how your text will look by tapping the play button, located just above the editing bar.

5. When you're happy with it, select the check mark in the bottom-right corner of the screen. 

Screenshot highlighting how to officially change the timing of text on TikTok
Tap the check mark to make your timing changes official.
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The dismal November jobs report showed a massive slowdown in hiring at restaurants and hotels

A person walks by a sign advertising employment at a fast-food restaurant
A person walks by a sign advertising employment at a fast-food restaurant on November 05, 2021 in New York City.
  • The November jobs report was by no means a stellar one, with a payroll gain of just 210,000.
  • Leisure and hospitality gained a paltry 23,000 jobs after a gain of 170,000 the previous month.
  • People may not be responding to higher wages or bonuses being offered to attract them into the industry. 

The employment situation last month wasn't what experts expected. 

There were only 210,000 nonfarm payroll jobs added in November, coming in below the median estimate of 550,000 from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. This comes after October's gain of over half a million, at 546,000.

Employment in leisure and hospitality was struck hard by the pandemic, and has been slowly making its way back. The industry still has a lot of ground to make up; it's 1.3 million below pre-pandemic employment, as hiring dramatically slowed last month.

After two months of job gains of over 100,000, leisure and hospitality saw a gain of just 23,000. Instead, leading the way in November's gains was the professional and business services industry, with 90,000 jobs. 

The pandemic may continue to play a role in hiring in the leisure and hospitality industry, according to Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor.

"I think what's going on here is that the Delta wave is lingering. Even though there has been improvement in the public health situation, cases are still elevated — if not rebounding," Zhao said. "That has a disproportionate impact on COVID-sensitive industries like leisure and hospitality and retail." 

But it could also be that people don't want to work in such a low-wage industry.

Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed, told Insider that while wages have also gone up in an effort to attract workers, "maybe we're hitting a spot where maybe the enticement of higher wages is either less feasible for the sector or it's just less attractive to job seekers right now." But he said we could see this number tick up in December — or revisions for the November numbers could show less of an impact from the Delta variant.

While many industries experienced job gains, retail trade experienced a drop in payrolls. Bunker said it could maybe be a "seasonal adjustment issue." General merchandise stores and clothing and clothing accessories stores saw the biggest declines among the subsectors that make up retail trade.  

Here's what gains and losses looked like for different industries:

Transportation and warehousing also saw robust job gains from October to November, with a gain of 49,700. This industry in particular has made its way back to pre-pandemic levels where in August 2021 it was just above it at 0.6%. The industry was 3.6% above February 2020 employment in November 2021.

"I think one of the big questions about the economy and the labor market in general is, are we going to see this relative shift away from goods and towards services?" Bunker said. "The continued strength for transportation and warehousing does suggest that that shift is not happening quite yet, because there's still strong demand for getting goods to customers." 

Despite the bleak report, though, economists like Elise Gould are pointing out that there seem to be two stories. One story comes out of the data from the household survey and the other from the establishment survey.  

Although there were only 210,000 nonfarm payroll gains captured in the establishment survey, the household survey showed an employment gain of 1.1 million. The unemployment rate, which dropped from 4.6% to 4.2%, also comes from the household survey.

"The divergence complicates the picture of the labor market as storm clouds gather from rebounding Delta variant cases and new variant threats," Zhao wrote.

The coronavirus continues to play a role in job gains and the overall recovery for the US. And now, there have been reported cases in the US of the Omicron variant. But Bunker said it's uncertain right now how this variant will play a role in the next job's report.

"The labor market continues to make good progress and that we're still primed for continued strong growth into 2022 with the enormous caveat and asterisk that we're not quite sure what the Omicron variant has in store for us," Bunker said.

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