Archive for Sophia Ankel

Putin suggested to a US journalist she was too ‘beautiful’ to understand a point he made about Russian gas supply

putin hadley gamble
Russian President Vladimir Putin with the CNBC reporter Hadley Gamble.
  • Putin told a crowd that a US journalist was too "beautiful" to understand a point he made.
  • CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble was asking Putin about Russia's standoff with Europe over gas supplies.
  • Gamble was interviewing Putin during the Russian Energy Week in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to an American journalist that she was too "beautiful" to understand his explanation of Russia's standoff with Europe over gas supplies.

The CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble, who spoke to the president before a live audience at the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, was addressing the recent accusations that Russia was withholding gas supplies to Europe in an effort to drive up prices.

Her questions seemed to irritate Putin, who at one point turned to the audience and said in Russian: "Beautiful woman, pretty, I'm telling her one thing. She instantly tells me the opposite as if she didn't hear what I said," The Hill reported.

Watch the full interview here. This particular exchange can be found at the five-minute, 43-second mark:

Gamble appeared to raise her eyebrows at his response, and told Putin she "heard" what he said and that she wanted to know why Russia had taken its time to increase energy supplies, The Hill reported.

"Listen, you've just said: 'You don't supply gas to Europe through pipelines.' You are being misled. We are increasing supplies to Europe ... We are increasing, not decreasing supplies," Putin said, according to The Hill.

"Did I really say something so hard to understand?" he added.

Western officials have recently accused Putin of seeking to exploit the rising gas prices in the US and Europe. Russia supplies about half of the EU's natural gas imports, the BBC reported.

The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is to run from Russia to Germany, was completed last month but is still awaiting clearance from Germany's energy regulator to start operations.

After the interview with Putin, Gamble posted a photograph of a leading Russian newspaper's front page that showed her extended leg while on stage with Putin.

"My best angle #feminism #Russia," Gamble wrote in her caption.

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Homeland Security refused entry to a Kabul evacuation plane carrying more than 100 US citizens and green card holders, report says

US Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
  • Homeland Security refused to let an evacuation flight from Kabul land in the US, Reuters reported.
  • The flight was carrying more than 100 Americans and US green card holders, including 59 children.
  • The plane was still waiting in Abu Dhabi as of Wednesday morning, an activist group said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Department of Homeland Security stopped an evacuation flight from Kabul carrying more than 100 US citizens and green card holders from landing in the United States this week, Reuters reported, citing an activist group.

The private charter plane from Kam Air, which was organized by the nonprofit Project Dynamo, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, the report said.

It was carrying 28 Americans, 83 green card holders, and six Afghans who were granted US Special Immigration Visas for working with the US government, Reuters reported. Fifty-nine of the passengers were children, Project Dynamo said in a Tuesday press release.

"Today's triumph is ending in tragedy. After initial approval, the US Government is now denying entry into the US for our American passengers aboard Dynamo 01," Project Dynamo said in a Tuesday Instagram post.

"These Americans are being denied entry into THEIR OWN COUNTRY by the US."

A post shared by PROJECT DYNAMO (@projectdynamo)

The plane was still in Abu Dhabi as of Wednesday morning, Project Dynamo said.

The group's founder, Bryan Stern, told Reuters he initially planned to transfer the passengers to an Ethiopian Airlines plane for an onward flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York - a journey he said the US Customs and Border Protection had cleared.

But this was suddenly changed to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, before Stern was then told that the plane wasn't allowed to arrive anywhere in the US, he said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

An anonymous Biden administration official told Reuters they were unfamiliar with the matter and that documents needed to be verified before a plane is cleared to land - a process that usually takes time.

Stern told Reuters he had obtained permission from the Taliban-run Afghan Civil Aviation Authority to send the evacuation plane to Kabul, and that he was frustrated he couldn't enter the US after a more than 14-hour wait in Abu Dhabi.

"I have a big, beautiful, giant, humongous Boeing 787 that I can see parked in front of us," he said, according to Reuters. "I have crew. I have food."

According to its website, Project Dynamo is "committed to honoring the promise made to civilians in Afghanistan that aided the United States over the last two decades."

The US has evacuated more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14, the day before the Taliban seized control of Kabul, according to a tracker by Sky News.

It is unclear how many have been able to leave since the August 31 deadline for total military withdrawal.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a Tuesday Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that he could not provide a number of how many Americans are left in Afghanistan, saying the figure "fluctuates daily," per CNN.

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A suspected drunk Tesla driver has been arrested after allegedly passing out while on Autopilot

A close-up red Tesla logo on a white background.
A Californian couple said that their Tesla Model S caught fire and caused a house fire.
  • A Telsa driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after she crashed into a California freeway wall.
  • The woman, identified as Karla Villanueva, had reportedly passed out while driving on Autopilot.
  • Her husband, who was driving behind her, reported that his wife was unconscious" in her car.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A Telsa driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after she crashed into a Southern California freeway wall on Thursday, authorities said.

The woman, identified as Karla Villanueva, reportedly passed out while driving her Tesla on Autopilot, the Associated Press reported.

Villanueva's Tesla hit a wall late on Thursday night and then continued to move until a California Highway Patrol car pulled in front of her, which then slowed and stopped it. Authorities proceeded to wake up Villanueva.

Her husband, who was driving behind her, reported to the dispatcher that his wife was "unconscious in a Tesla" and that the vehicle was "driving itself," according to audio from a dispatch call obtained by KABC-TV.

Villanueva was arrested Thursday and released Friday on her recognizance.

She is due in court in January 2022. It wasn't immediately clear whether she had an attorney to speak on her behalf.

In recent months, Tesla crashes have come under scrutiny after several fatal crashes occurred while the electric cars were on Autopilot, enabling the vehicle to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane.

At least three Tesla drivers have died since 2016 while driving with Autopilot engaged.

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The abandoned palace of Afghanistan’s former vice president is now home to 150 Taliban fighters, NYT documentary shows

taliban fighet
Taliban fighter gives a tour of the mansion.
  • More than 150 Taliban fighters have moved into the palace of a US-allied Afghan warlord.
  • A New York Times documentary shows insurgents giving a tour of the house, which has a pool and sauna.
  • The owner of the mansion, General Dostum, is one of the most powerful warlords in the country.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

More than 150 Taliban fighters have officially moved into the luxurious palace of a notorious US-allied Afghan militia leader, according to a newly released short documentary by The New York Times.

The mansion belonged to General Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of Afghanistan's most powerful warlords and former vice president, among the Taliban's most-feared enemies. He fled to Uzbekistan in early August before the Taliban entered Kabul, Reuters reported.

The documentary shows one Taliban fighter, Jawad Abuzar, giving a tour of the abandoned palace, which includes an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room, and games room.

As Abuzar shows different rooms in the house, he tells the Times: "This is my first time seeing this kind of place. Though I live in the city, I am seeing this kind of place for the first time. We have spent all our lives in the mountains and deserts."

Our politicians, rich people, and powerful people have built such houses by shedding people's blood," he added.

Watch the full documentary here:

The video also shows Taliban fighters armed with guns standing by a pool table, eating and praying together, and walking through Kabul as they await orders from the government formed earlier this week.

Marshal Dostum has been involved in wars in Afghanistan since the days of the Soviet invasion. He has reportedly sent signals to the Taliban, saying he is not averse to negotiations with them, First Post reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The owner of a diner that denied entry to Biden voters said it became so popular they ran out of food

Joe Biden sad
President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks about the April jobs report in the White House on May 7, 2021
  • A Florida diner that denied entry to Biden voters was forced to shut down after running out of food.
  • Angie Ugarte decided not to serve Biden supporters after the Kabul suicide bombing last month.
  • Ugarte said she felt "angry" and "let down" by Biden after the chaotic evacuations in Afghanistan.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The owner of a Florida diner that banned supporters of President Joe Biden said her restaurant has become so popular that they've run out of food.

Angie Ugarte, who owns the DeBary diner, put up a sign notifying Biden voters that they were not welcome in her restaurant after the Kabul airport attack last month, which killed 13 US service members and almost 200 Afghan civilians.

"If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept, and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere," the sign read, according to The Hill.

The sign attracted the attention of local media, and now Ugarte says the diner has been so busy she's had to shut it down after running out of food.

"I've gotten so many people calling me from all over the world, from Europe, trying to purchase meals for veterans, which I still haven't been able to organize," Ugarte told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "I think that the veterans will be fed for the rest of the year at the rate I'm getting donations."

Supporters of Ugarte and her message came from across the state to pose with the sign, including one woman who brought a Trump 2020 banner, according to the News-Journal.

"We wanted to come over here and thank you personally," Vietnam Veterans of America Florida State Council member Rod Phillips told Ugarte, according to the New York Post. "I respect the presidency of the United States, but this could have been handled much better, much better."

Ugarte previously said she put up the sign because she felt "angry" and "let down" by the president over his actions in Afghanistan.

"I felt like one of those mothers, or wives, or sisters who were gonna get that knock on the door," she said, according to The Hill.

Ugarte also said she had regular customers for her half-pound burgers, Cuban sandwiches, and rack of lambs who are veterans.

"If you really, really still stand behind what's allowed this to happen and the way it happened - which was unnecessary - then I really don't want to be associated with you in any way and I certainly don't want your business," Ugarte said, according to The Hill.

Hours after the terrorist attack in Kabul, Biden said: "These American service members who gave their lives ... they were heroes. Heroes who have been engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others," according to USA Today.

The president met with service members' families on Sunday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Spirit Airlines crew were asked to change out of their uniforms for their safety to avoid angry passengers, report says

Spirit Airlines
Passengers wait in line at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter at Orlando International Airport on the sixth day the airline has cancelled hundreds of flights, on August 6, 2021.
  • A Spirit Airlines crew had to be escorted to safety after facing angry travelers earlier this month, The New York Times reported.
  • An unnamed crew member said they were asked to change their uniforms to conceal who they worked for.
  • Spirit Airlines caused an uproar earlier this month after canceling hundreds of flights.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

More than 30 Spirit Airlines employees were asked to change out of their uniforms for safety reasons after travelers became infuriated by flight cancellations earlier this month, according to a report by The New York Times.

An unnamed 28-year-old flight attendant told the Times that police officers at San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico rounded up at least 35 crew members to hide them after travelers started banging on a gate door and yelling at staff.

The crew member said they were rushed behind a secure metal door and ushered to an office on the tarmac, where a manager reportedly asked everyone to change out of their uniforms for their own safety.

Read more: I flew on 6 US airlines during the pandemic from the largest to the cheapest and found paying more doesn't guarantee a better, safer flight

"We were scared," the attendant told the Times. "I've seen some crazy stuff, but this moved into number one."

Insider has reached out to Spirit Airlines for further comment.

The low-cost airlines caused an uproar earlier this month after canceling thousands of flights due to a combination of staffing shortages, bad weather, and technology problems.

The melt-down left thousands of angry passengers stranded at airports in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Houston, and San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Ted Christie, Spirit's CEO, previously apologized for the cancellations on CNBC and promised to fix the airline's staffing and scheduling issues. Spirit canceled nearly 2,500 flights between August 1 and 15, according to the Times.

"There's definitely some angry people," Christie told CNBC. "Right now, all I can say is we're very sorry for what happened."

Flight attendants across the country are grappling with the rise in passenger aggression and violence over the last few months.

Since January 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, most of which involve travelers refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Spirit Airlines crew were asked to change out of their uniforms for their safety to avoid angry passengers, report says

Spirit Airlines
Passengers wait in line at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter at Orlando International Airport on the sixth day the airline has cancelled hundreds of flights, on August 6, 2021.
  • A Spirit Airlines crew had to be escorted to safety after facing angry travelers earlier this month, The New York Times reported.
  • An unnamed crew member said they were asked to change their uniforms to conceal who they worked for.
  • Spirit Airlines caused an uproar earlier this month after canceling hundreds of flights.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

More than 30 Spirit Airlines employees were asked to change out of their uniforms for safety reasons after travelers became infuriated by flight cancellations earlier this month, according to a report by The New York Times.

An unnamed 28-year-old flight attendant told the Times that police officers at San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico rounded up at least 35 crew members to hide them after travelers started banging on a gate door and yelling at staff.

The crew member said they were rushed behind a secure metal door and ushered to an office on the tarmac, where a manager reportedly asked everyone to change out of their uniforms for their own safety.

Read more: I flew on 6 US airlines during the pandemic from the largest to the cheapest and found paying more doesn't guarantee a better, safer flight

"We were scared," the attendant told the Times. "I've seen some crazy stuff, but this moved into number one."

Insider has reached out to Spirit Airlines for further comment.

The low-cost airlines caused an uproar earlier this month after canceling thousands of flights due to a combination of staffing shortages, bad weather, and technology problems.

The melt-down left thousands of angry passengers stranded at airports in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Houston, and San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Ted Christie, Spirit's CEO, previously apologized for the cancellations on CNBC and promised to fix the airline's staffing and scheduling issues. Spirit canceled nearly 2,500 flights between August 1 and 15, according to the Times.

"There's definitely some angry people," Christie told CNBC. "Right now, all I can say is we're very sorry for what happened."

Flight attendants across the country are grappling with the rise in passenger aggression and violence over the last few months.

Since January 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, most of which involve travelers refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Video shows 2 enormous great white sharks feasting on a dead humpback whale off Cape Cod

great white eating humpback whale
Two great white sharks eating a humpback whale in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on August 18, 2021.
  • A video shows two great white sharks chomping down at a humpback whale in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
  • One of the giant predators was a very large speciemen, more than than 17 feet long.
  • Dead whales are a "really easy" food source for great white sharks, researchers say.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Two great white sharks were captured on video feasting on a dead humpback whale off Cape Cod, Massachusetts last week.

The footage was shared on Captain John Boats' Facebook page, which is a tour company in NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Tourists on the boat tour were left astonished after finding the two hungry sharks. One was estimated to be more than 17 feet long, according to the Facebook post.

Read more: A pod of killer whales is accused of 'orchestrated' attacks on boats, terrifying the sailors and baffling scientists

"It was the first time I had ever seen this happen," said John Goggin, of Captain John Boats, according to The Boston Herald. "People on board were pretty excited. There was a lot of yelling, 'Oh my God! Wow!'"

Watch the natural history moment below:

The event also proved helpful to researchers who were able to tag some of the sharks for tracking. Eight sharks over a two-day period were seen feeding on the dead whale.

"While it is sad to learn that an individual has died, documenting these events is essential for long-term population studies," The Center for Coastal Studies wrote on Facebook.

The whale was known to researchers, although it was unclear how it died. It was a one-year-old calf, reported Live Science.

"A dead whale is a lot of really easy food for great white sharks," said Peter Corkeron, who leads the whale research team at the New England Aquarium, according to the Herald. "A dead whale is like the biggest smorgasbord a shark could ever dream of."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Afghan all-girls robotics team have been offered scholarships at ‘incredible universities,’ says Oklahoma mother who helped them escape the Taliban

Allyson Reneau
Allyson Reneau with some members of the all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan.
  • A mother from Oklahoma helped rescue members of the all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan.
  • Allyson Reneau previously met the girls at a conference in 2019 and wanted to help them escape.
  • Reneau told Insider the girls, who landed in Qatar this week, seem "safe, well, and happy."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A 60-year-old Oklahoma mother who helped several members of an internationally recognized all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan escape the country said they are feeling "so grateful" to be out.

On Tuesday, 10 of the so-called "Afghan Dreamers," aged 16 to 18, were able to leave Kabul on a commercial flight to Doha, Qatar, after several failed attempts to flee the country.

One of the people who helped them get out was Allyson Reneau, a mother-of-11 from Oklahoma, who first met the girls at a Humans to Mars summit in Washington DC in May 2019.

Read more: The images of Afghans falling from the sky close the book on America's tragic and futile response to 9/11

"They left everything behind to pursue their dreams and to be free and educated," Reneau told Insider. "They now seem to be safe, well, and happy."

Reneau, who graduated from Harvard in 2016, said she kept in touch with the team since meeting them at the conference.

"Being a mother of nine biological daughters, I felt immediately drawn to them and I think it was it was mutual," she said.

The 60-year-old said that for weeks the girls had been texting her about the situation in Afghanistan and that one morning early in August, she woke up with an "overwhelming dreadful feeling that something was really wrong."

"I somehow felt that they were in great danger. And I couldn't shake it," she said. "It was so pronounced that I had to take action."

For days, Reneau was trying to speak to her senator and other local officials to find a way to get the team out.

But after hitting many roadblocks, she decided to take matters into her own hands and travel to Qatar herself. Shortly before her flight, she contacted an old roommate who lived in Qatar and worked for the embassy.

This friend was able to file all the paperwork, and with the help of the embassy, started the process of getting the girls out of Kabul. Reneau herself decided to stay and help from afar.

Four Afghan members of a robotics team make repairs on a robot.
Members of the Afghanistan team make a repair to their robot after their first round competing in the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Washington.

When she got the news that some of the girls got out safely earlier this week, Reneau said she "broke down."

"I got a text from one of the girls that just said: 'We did it.' All the emotion from two weeks of work and running into a wall constantly, and burying your feelings, and bearing your feelings for the girls, it just hit me all at once."

The all-girl Afghan robotics team made headlines back in 2017 when they traveled to Washington DC for an international robotics competition.

They were initially not able to obtain their visas to travel, but an intervention by former President Donald Trump allowed them to fly to DC and compete.

Reneau said that the girls are now figuring out where to go from Qatar but that they've already had an "abundance of scholarship offers from incredible universities" in the US.

"For the first time in their life, I really believe they have the freedom to choose and to be the architects of their own destiny and their own future," she said. "It's the freeing feeling to me to know that they will be able to go somewhere and get educated wherever they want."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Photo shows US Marine gently cradling an Afghan baby as desperate evacuations out of Kabul continue

marine afghanistan baby
A U.S. Marine assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) holds a baby during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 20, 2021.
  • A viral photo shows a US marine cradling an Afghan child in his lap amid evacuation efforts.
  • The man in the picture has not been identified but belongs to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
  • Nearly 6,000 US troops are facilitating evacuations from the country as the Taliban takes control.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A viral photo shows a US Marine cradling an Afghan infant in his arms amid evacuation efforts at Kazai International Airport in Kabul on Friday.

American soldiers have been stationed at the capital's airport to protect military and civilian evacuation flights continue.

One of these soldiers, an unidentified Marine assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was photographed in a touching moment cradling an Afghan infant while smiling down at it.

Read more: Video shows an Afghan girl being lifted over the wall at Kabul airport into the arms of a US soldier as desperate crowds gathered to flee the Taliban

The picture has been widely shared on social media and liked more than 25,000 times.

Tens of thousands of Afghans, fearful of a brutal Taliban rule, are still waiting to be evacuated from the country before US troops leave at the end of the month.

The airport, in particular, continues to be a scene of desperation as Afghans are unable to get through crowds and Taliban checkpoints.

President Joe Biden said this week that the United States forces had airlifted 13,000 people out of Afghanistan since August 14. Nearly 6,000 US troops are currently facilitating evacuations.

"This is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history," Biden said in a televised address from the White House on Friday, according to Al Jazeera. "I cannot promise what the final outcome will be."

Read the original article on Business Insider