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Ayman's blog

LONDON (Reuters) - Firefighters battled a blaze in an apartment block in central Manchester, northern England, on Saturday, with one person taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo`s government on Saturday ordered telecommunications providers to cut internet and SMS services across the country ahead of planned anti-government demonstrations.
As demonstrators called for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, to step down, about 4,000 people in Tehran took part in an annual rally in support of the government.
DUBAI - 30 December 2017: Anti-government protests broke out in Iran for the third day running on Saturday as separate state-sponsored rallies were staged to mark the end of unrest that shook the country in 2009, according to Iranian news agencies and state media.

State television showed a rally in the capital Tehran as well as marchers carrying banners in support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Mashhad, Iran`s second largest city where protests over prices turned political on Thursday.

State-sponsored mass rallies were scheduled in more than 1,200 cities and towns, state TV said - events held annually to commemorate the end of months of street protests that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s disputed re-election as president.

At the same time, social media postings said protests broke out for the third straight day in cities including Tehran and Kermanshah. One video showed dozens of protesters booing after police announced by loudspeaker that any gathering would be illegal. The footage could not be authenticated.

The semi-official news agency Fars said up to 70 students gathered in front of Tehran University and hurled rocks at police. A social media video showed them chanting "Death to the dictator", an apparent reference to Khamenei.

Footage later showed riot police clubbing and arresting the protesters. ISNA news agency said a group of government supporters also gathered outside the university as police tried to disperse protesters. Authorities closed two nearby metro stations "until the end of the unrest", ISNA said.

Another video appeared to show security forces arresting demonstrators in another part of Tehran, with protesters shouting "Let him go! Let him go!"

In a further video, which could not be verified, marchers in the western town of Dorud chanted, "Death to the dictator".

Dozens of protesters gathered in the western city of Shahr-e Kord, ISNA said. Social media footage appeared to show a protester being helped by his comrades after being teargassed.

DISCONTENT

Openly political protests are rare in the Islamic Republic, where security services are omnipresent.

But there is considerable discontent over high unemployment, inflation and alleged graft. Some of the new protests have turned political over issues including Iran`s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq.

Joblessness has risen and annual inflation is running at about 8 percent, with shortages of some foods contributing to higher prices and hardship for many families.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli warned against attempts to promote protests via social media.

"We ask people not to take part in unlawful gatherings. If they plan a gathering they should apply (for a permit," he told the Young Journalists Club news website.

On Thursday, hundreds of people took to the streets in Mashhad, one of the holiest places in Shi`ite Islam, to protest against high prices and shouted anti-government slogans. Police arrested 52 people, according to a judicial official.

The United States condemned the arrests, with President Donald Trump tweeting: "Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!"

State media quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying in response: "The Iranian people see no value in the opportunistic claims by American officials and Mr. Trump."

Friday witnessed the largest wave of demonstrations since 2009 as protests spread to Tehran and other cities.

State broadcaster IRIB had not covered the protests "after being asked by relevant bodies that the issue should not be reflected on state radio and television", its website quoted an unnamed official as saying.

MOST DETAINEES FREED

Most of those arrested in the last two days had been released, state TV said, without giving details.

"Enemy websites and foreign media continue to try to exploit economic hardships and the legitimate demands of the people in this respect to launch illegal gatherings and possible unrest," it said.

The elite Revolutionary Guards and its Basij militia, which spearheaded the security crackdown that crushed the protests of 2009, said in a statement carried by state media: "The Iranian nation ... will not allow the country to be hurt."

Though purely political protests are seldom seen in Iran, demonstrations are often held by workers over lay-offs or non-payment of salaries and by people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.

President Hassan Rouhani’s leading achievement, a 2015 deal with world powers that curbed Iran’s nuclear program in return for a lifting of most international sanctions, has yet to bring the broad economic benefits the government says are coming.

Unemployment has risen to 12.4 percent this fiscal year, according to the Statistical Centre of Iran, up 1.4 percentage points and leaving about 3.2 million Iranians jobless.
MADRID (Reuters) - Catalonia`s former leader Carles Puigdemont on Saturday urged Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to accept the results of a Dec. 21 local election which gave a slim majority to parties favoring a split of the northeastern region from Spain.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The Greek government said on Saturday that it had filed a request for the cancellation of the asylum granted to a Turkish soldier accused of involvement in last year`s coup attempt.

What is a supermoon? And why do we only see one or two a year? Following is a transcript of the video.

Supermoons are a rare type of full moon. They appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal. While the full moon rises about once per month, supermoons can only occur a few times per year — max.

That`s because the timing has to be just right. The Moon takes about 27.32 days to orbit Earth. During its orbit, the moon passes through two points: Perigee and apogee. Perigee is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than apogee.

A supermoon can only occur at perigee-syzygy, when the moon is full and at perigee simultaneously. This is rare because as the Earth revolves around the sun. the moon`s orientation to Earth stays mostly the same. This changes where the Moon is in orbit during each full moon. But supermoons would even more rare if the moon didn`t precess. Over many years, the moon`s precession changes its orientation slightly.

It`s often hard to differentiate a supermoon and a regular full moon. The best time to watch a supermoon is when it`s low, near the horizon. So you can fully appreciate this rare moment in space and time.

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PARIS (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will visit Paris on Jan. 5 to meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, with the conflict in Syria high on the agenda, a source in the French president`s office said on Saturday.
CAIRO (Reuters) - At an hour that Sama`an Farag usually spends leisurely sipping his morning tea, the doorman at the Mar Mina Coptic Church near Cairo found himself springing up to close the doors upon hearing gunshots and the sound of ricocheting bullets.
KHARKIV - Ukraine - 30 December 2017: Ukrainian police on Saturday freed the remaining hostages being held in a post office by an man believed to be strapped with explosives, and arrested the hostage taker after an hours-long standoff in the city of Kharkiv.

"All hostages freed in Kharkiv. The assailant was arrested," President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Twitter, while Interior Minister Arsen Avakov published a picture of the man, with blood streaming down his face, being held by a policeman.

None of the hostages were harmed. A Reuters witness at the scene saw special force police in green camouflage rushing to the entrance of the post office, a yellow-and-white building at a road junction in the northeastern city near the Russian border.

In earlier statements, police said the man had entered the post office wearing a mask and taken 11 people hostage with the intention of robbing the place. Five of the hostages -- three women and two children -- were released early.

Police said they had been in contact with the man via the telephones of the hostages, describing his manner as calm and not making any demands.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Avakov, said employees at the post office and customers had been among the hostages. One of them had managed to call the police from inside the building.

"The patrolmen came to the place of the robbery in a few minutes," Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook. "The robber realised that he could not now safely leave the crime scene with the loot and he decided to declare that he was taking everyone hostage."

One of the children released by the hostage taker told local media that the man had put explosives into two bottles and threatened to blow himself up if police did not listen to him. The man also said he had brain cancer, according to the child.

The man at one point voiced concern about the recent prisoner exchange between the Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian separatists and thought more prisoners should have been released, police said.

Ukraine and the separatists swapped hundreds of prisoners on Wednesday in the biggest such exchange since the outbreak of a conflict in the eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 10,000 people.

new year`s eve 2018

  • Most people don`t keep their New Year`s resolutions, and some even prefer to revel in their failures.
  • Psychologists say in order to successfully change, you have to really want things to be different, and you also have to stick to your plan.
  • If you`re trying to break an old habit, replace it with a new one. Otherwise, it can be too hard to say no to temptation. 

 

Does anyone take New Year’s resolutions seriously anymore?

Former President Obama doesn’t. He acknowledged as much in a recent interview with Prince Harry on the BBC:

"I’m not sure I believe in New Year’s resolutions - typically people break them," the former president said.

Prince Harry’s fiancee Meghan Markle says she isn’t a fan of keeping to strict New Year`s resolutions anymore, either. The princess-to-be wrote in 2016 that her only intention for that new year was to "leave room for magic."

But if you’re looking to make a few more (ahem) solid changes to your daily routines this year, there are ways that psychologists say you actually can make New Year’s resolutions a success.

Here are three of their top tips:

Tip #1: Only make New Year’s resolutions if you really want to changefitness weight lifting weightlifting workout gym exercise woman

Think about why you’re resolving to try something new: Are you just a little curious how it might feel? Are you trying something out just because the rest of the gang is doing it? Or, are you really sick and tired of the way things are and you’re finally ready to make a change? That could be a sign that this is the year to try out a New Year’s resolution.

Yale psychology Professor John Bargh told Business Insider that people should only resolve to try something new this year if it’s really important to them personally, and it’s something they`d want to change even when no one else is watching.

“I wouldn’t play around with these things,” Bargh said.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School agree. They write that “long-lasting change is most likely when it`s self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking.” 

It’s best to pick a specific goal — not just "I want to get more exercise" but, specifically how much and when, like: "I’m going to bike for 30 minutes, 4 days a week," for example. Making specific, measurable actions a part of your daily routine, triggered by things you do every day (like coming home from work and popping on a pair of running shoes at the back door) make it easier to succeed. 

Another part of the reason that New Year’s resolutions so often fail, Bargh says, is that people enjoy sharing their failures with others. "Bragging" about how we just can’t resist our favorite temptations can foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among the not-so-resolved. But the old therapist`s mantra rings true for resolutions, too: You don`t change unless you really want to.

Tip #2: Keep your new promise to yourself (and to your body) for an entire month, without exceptionpinky promise

Many of the habitual actions we do every day require very little thinking: driving a car, washing our hands, typing on a keyboard, or picking which route to take to school or to work in the morning are all tasks that become largely second-nature over time, requiring less and less of our conscious mind. The brain and body learn from these everyday habits and start anticipating how to act.

That’s why it’s important to stay consistent with a new regime. 

"You don`t wanna make promises that you don`t keep to your body and your mind," Bargh said.  

Research suggests it can take as little as 18 days or as long as 254 to pick up a new routine, depending on what you’re trying to do, but Bargh says a month is a good measuring stick for trying on a new resolution. If you try something out for the first 31 days of the year and you don’t like the change, you can decide to forgo it in February, but give the idea a fighting chance, first, with a month of solid, uninterrupted effort.  

Tip #3: Replace the bad with the goodalcohol drink booze

You know that little kid who needs to be distracted with a shiny object to stop crying? Well, your body and mind are a lot like that kid when they’re trying to form new habits and move into new patterns. We typically need to replace an old, stale behavior with a new one.

Bargh successfully mastered this trick once himself when he decided he wanted to quit drinking. Instead of coming home and sipping on an alcoholic beverage, he scoured his home of all alcoholic indulgences and instead started sucking on sugary Tootsie Pops anytime he had a fresh urge for a tipple. It gave his mouth something positive, fun and new to do. He even made a little game out of the new habit: wadding up his lollipop wrappers and tossing them to the cat to bat around like some kind of feline Derek Jeter.

Whether you’re interested in finally giving an old New Year`s resolution a real go this year, or you`re just ready for something new, Bargh says initiating change is always tough. So, his final piece of advice is a simple one: If you are going to resolve to do something new, "do it for yourself," he says. 

Otherwise, it’s probably not a change worth fighting for in the first place.

SEE ALSO: New Year`s resolutions you should make based on science — and how to keep them

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The key to making new habits stick

ISTANBUL - 30 December 2017: Turkey said on Saturday Greece had granted asylum to a Turkish soldier accused of a role in last year`s coup attempt, a decision it said would affect bilateral relations and cooperation on regional issues.

"By granting asylum to one of eight coup plotters involved in the July 15 coup, Greece has once again showed that it is a country that protects and embraces coup plotters with this decision," Turkey`s Foreign Ministry said in the statement.

There was no immediate comment from Greek authorities.
DUBAI - 30 December 2017: At least two protesters were shot by Iranian security forces in the western town of Dorud on Saturday, according to a video posted on social media, on the third day of anti-government demonstrations around the country.

The video appeared to show demonstrators carrying two people in Dorud, where marchers were seen earlier shouting slogans against Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The footage could not be authenticated and the gravity of the injuries sustained by the two protesters was not immediately known.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey said on Saturday a Greek court`s granting of asylum to a Turkish soldier accused of a role in last year`s coup attempt would affect bilateral relations and cooperation on regional issues.
BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Saturday appointed Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga - a former defense and foreign minister and intelligence chief - as the new prime minister, according to a decree read on state television.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces killed three suspected militants in an exchange of gunfire at a farm they believed to be a militant hideout on the outskirts of Giza, the interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
CAIRO – 30 December 2017: The Egyptian National Security managed to kill three members of the Hasm movement and arrest ten others in a raid at a terrorist hideout on Giza Road, the Ministry of Interior declared on Saturday.

The arrested suspects were remanded for 15 days.

According to the ministry, members of the Hasm movement, one of the armed wings of the Muslim Brotherhood, was planning to carry out a series of attacks against tourism facilities, vital installations and armed forces during the celebrations of Christmas events. The Interior Ministry declared that these attack plans aimed to create instability and cause confusion in the state.

The security plan to abort the attack resulted in identifying a farm, located on Giza Road, used by the militant elements to hide and manufacture explosives. The security personnel raided the farm and exchanged fire with the terrorists, leaving three member of the Hasm movement, who supervised the manufacturing of explosives, killed. The terrorists had three automatic rifles, two explosive devices and ammunition.

The raid by the security forces resulted in the arrest of ten terrorists, who are members of the Hasm movement. The security information proved that those arrested terrorists were involved in the shooting incident at the security booth on Fayoum Road on July 20, 2017, which resulted in the death of a recruiter and the injury of another person.

It was revealed that the terrorists received training on the use of weapons and preparation of explosive devices. They also monitored several tourist facilities and security installations in preparation for an attack during the New Year’s celebrations, upon orders of the fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leader in Turkey, Yahya al-Sayyid Ibrahim Musa. The legal proceedings were taken immediately and the Supreme State Security Prosecution began investigations.

super charge iphone battery

  • Apple on Thursday apologized because some customers were upset that it slowed down iPhones with older batteries.
  • Older iPhones can take longer to launch apps, may display choppy scrolling, and can have dimmer screens and quieter speakers.
  • According to Apple, it`s a "power management" feature that helps protect the iPhone from random shutdowns and damage to its components.
  • Apple began offering its 29 in-store battery replacements on Saturday.


If your iPhone is getting on in age, you may have noticed it runs slower after the latest updates.

That`s because Apple slows down iPhones with aging batteries, the company recently disclosed. According to Apple, software updates throttle older iPhones because their batteries are "less capable of delivering peak energy loads," according to an apology the company issued Thursday.

If you`re wondering what slower performance means for your iPhone, Apple posted a help document outlining exactly what its "power management" does. Meanwhile, the company launched a 29 in-store battery replacement service on Saturday, allowing those looking to speed up their iPhone a cheaper way to swap out an aging battery.

If your phone has a really old battery, Apple says, your phone may take longer to launch apps and may display apps at lower frame rates — meaning you get a choppy user experience.

Here`s the full list of reductions in performance your iPhone may see with an old battery:

  • Longer app launch times
  • Lower frame rates while scrolling
  • Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)
  • Lower speaker volume by up to -3 decibels
  • Gradual frame-rate reductions in some apps
  • During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
  • Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch

Apple also provided a list of features it said would not be affected on older iPhones:

  • Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance
  • Captured photo and video quality
  • GPS performance
  • Location accuracy
  • Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer
  • Apple Pay

How to fix it

iPhone 6s lower power modeHere`s Apple`s technical explanation for its power-management software:

"This power management works by looking at a combination of the device temperature, battery state of charge, and the battery`s impedance. Only if these variables require it, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

"As a result, the device workloads will self-balance, allowing a smoother distribution of system tasks, rather than larger, quick spikes of performance all at once. In some cases, a user may not notice any differences in daily device performance. The level of perceived change depends on how much power management is required for a particular device."

This basically means that an iPhone with an older battery can`t provide enough power to operate at full capacity without hurting the iPhone`s components. When an iPhone realizes the battery may not provide enough voltage and could hurt its parts, it automatically shuts down. That`s a feature, according to Apple.

So Apple programmed a new piece of software that would prevent the iPhone from taking full advantage of its components. Instead of letting the iPhone run at full power, Apple instead has its phones "self-balance" and take a little longer to complete tasks.

The good news is that replacing the battery on your iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, or iPhone 7 should help it get back to full strength. If you`re unsure whether your battery is old, Apple will release a software update that will let you check on its health. For the next year, Apple is charging only 29 for a battery replacement at one of its stores. That reduced pricing went into effect on Saturday, a bit sooner than planned, Apple`s Trudy Muller told Business Insider.

"We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Area 51 became the center of alien conspiracy theories

Photo Credit: Reuters

A Cairo criminal court has fined leading Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah to EGP 30,000 in the case of insulting the judiciary.

Politician Amr Hamzawy, TV presenter Tawfik Okasha, Al-Wafd Party member Mahmoud al-Sakka and lawyer Amir Salem were sentenced to EGP 30,000 fine, according to Mada Masr referencing lawyer Khaled Ali.

The other 20 defendants in the same case have been sentenced to three years in prison.

In November, the Court of Cassation issued a final verdict ruling that Abdel Fattah stays in prison until the end of the 5-year imprisonment sentence in the case known as “Shura Council events”.

Abdel Fattah has served three and a half years; he is to spend 1.5 years in prison in addition to 5 years of probation and a fine worth of EGP 100,000 in the “Shura Council events” case.

He has been charged with organizing a demonstration without a license before the Shura Council in November 2013, provoking riots, assaulting police officers and blocking roads. Abdel Fattah, a software engineer, blogger and an activist, is a prominent figure in the 25 January revolution toppling the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Also, former president Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to three years in prison in addition to a fine reaching EGP 2 million on charges of insulting the judiciary, according to Reuters.

More trials have taken place on 30 December, an Alexandria misdemeanors court sentenced human rights lawyer and defender Mahinour al-Masry to two years in prison on charges related to protests against the maritime border agreement of two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir.

Bread and Freedom Party member Moatasem Medhat has also been sentenced to two years in prison the same charges. Three other members of the Bread and Freedom Party, Asmaa Naeem, Zeyad Aboul Fadl and Walid al-Emary, a member of the Dostour Party, have been sentenced to three years in absentia in the same case

The case dates back to June when protests were organized following the ratification of the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia which saw the sovereignty of the Tiran and Sanafir islands transferred to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Massry, the recipient of the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Award, has previously been arrested and put on trial for her activism. In December 2013, she was detained for protesting in solidarity with torture victim and revolutionary symbol Khaled Said, as well as in 2014 for participating in other unauthorized protests.
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberian President-elect George Weah on Saturday declared the country open to investment and pledged to tackle entrenched corruption, in his first speech to the nation since decisively winning an election this week.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey said on Saturday Greece had granted asylum to a Turkish soldier accused of a role in last year`s coup attempt, a decision it said would affect bilateral relations and cooperation on regional issues.
CAIRO – 30 December 2017: Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on Saturday with acting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Electricity and Renewably Energy Mohamed Shaker, presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady stated.

Shaker presented the ministry’s integrated strategy for major power plant projects, saying that the ministry’s target is to ensure that 20 percent of energy use comes from renewable energy by 2022, the statement said.

He added that the power plant in the new capital is being connected with the main electric network, and that work will be completed, according to the deadlines, by mid-2018. He expressed his view that the power plant is valuable to the network, as it will produce 4,800 megawatts and offer 8,000 job opportunities.

Shaker also mentioned the latest updates in establishing the Dabaa nuclear power plant, saying that by 2026 the first unit of the plant will start working.

Rady stated that through the meeting they discussed the government’s plan to transform Egypt into the connecting point for electricity among Gulf States and North Africa through electricity interconnection lines, like the project between Egypt and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is expected to start working by 2021, adding to the two lines with Jordan and Libya.

Shaker also presented the updates of converting pneumatic cables to ground cables, which aims at protecting the safety of citizens and not to endanger their lives, as well as to prevent the interruption in electricity during bad weather conditions and to avoid targeting electrical installations from sabotage.

Finally the statement added that the president confirmed the importance of developing the electricity sector and continuing improving distribution channels and control centers in order to provide a better service for the citizens all over the country. Sisi directed for the studies of electricity interconnection plans with neighboring countries to be finished, as it will have good impact on all participating parties.

Explorers4x3

  • The Explorers Club is an ultra-elite club in New York that serves as a meeting place for explorers, scientists, and the moneyed-elite who fund expeditions.
  • Its members include astronaut Buzz Aldrin, President Teddy Roosevelt, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and film director James Cameron.
  • The Manhattan clubhouse is filled with priceless artifacts and ancient documents.

 

World history is full of secret clubs with elite members, like the Freemasons and the Illuminati. Shrouded in mystery, these clubs become the stuff of legend.

In a lavish Upper Manhattan townhouse lies the headquarters of a legendary, though far less secretive society — The Explorers Club.

Founded in 1904, The Explorers Club is a professional society that serves as a meeting place for explorers, scientists, and just about anyone with an interest in scientific exploration. The Explorers Club funds, promotes, and assists in expeditions around the world.

The club`s current and historical members include astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, film director James Cameron, Space-X  and Tesla founder Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, President Teddy Roosevelt, and aviator Charles Lindbergh.

The Explorers Club invited Business Insider in 2014 to take an exclusive look inside the historic club.

The Explorers Club is located on East 70th Street in Manhattan near Central Park. The house`s Jacobean facade makes it instantly recognizable.



The Explorers Club headquarters was originally the home of Stephen C. Clark, the heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune and founder of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Club member and famous writer Lowell Thomas later bought the house and gifted the property to the club.



The front sitting room is suffused with history, including many 15th- and 16th-century fixtures from Europe. The wood coffee table was originally a hatch cover on the USC&GS Explorer, a survey ship and research vessel that was one of the few ships to survive the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

edwine odongo anyango

  • A 12-year basic income experiment in Kenya is showing that people typically spend free cash on necessities.
  • Contrary to prevailing myths, people don`t seem to work less or waste the money on vices like alcohol.
  • More research will eventually reveal whether these initial findings are an anomaly or the typical experience of someone receiving basic income.


KENYA — Maurice Owiti is 47 years old and works as a caregiver in a rural Kenyan village. In a poor community such as his, Owiti is lucky to have a job. But until late 2016, spending even 20 a month on school fees for his son was a struggle.

Then a charity called GiveDirectly showed up in October and announced to Owiti and dozens of other residents that they`d be receiving 22 a month for the next 12 years. It was part of an experiment in basic income, a system that involves giving people a standard salary just for being alive, no strings attached. (At GiveDirectly`s request, Business Insider has concealed the Kenyan village`s name and location to protect the recipients there.)

As basic income has gained mainstream interest as a way to reduce poverty, people have started speculating how it might play out on a large scale. Would the system make people work more or less? Would they spend all the money immediately? Where would the funds come from?

kenya village

A myth gets proven wrong, one transfer at a time

In the 13 months since GiveDirectly began its experiment, Owiti and his fellow villagers have slowly and quietly been disproving the biggest misconception about basic income — that people who receive free money will stop working and waste the cash on vices like gambling, drugs, or alcohol.

Anecdotal evidence and nearly all empirical research has shown that unconditional cash transfers help people help themselves. Recipients often use the income to pay for their kids` school fees, buy medicine, repair their homes, and invest in their small businesses to further grow their wealth. While some use the money for so-called "temptation goods," as economists call them, the majority of recipients defy the stereotype that people in poverty somehow lack moral character or responsibility.

As advocates often claim, what the poor seem to suffer from is actually a lack of cash.

"If this money were to be given to everybody, this would be a very good thing," Edwin Odongo Anyango, a 30-year-old recipient in Kenya, told Business Insider.

Anyango earns money mostly through manual labor jobs. He said the basic income money has enabled him to buy milk on a more consistent basis and pay for his child`s preschool fees. His wife, also a recipient, has put the money into her business selling secondhand clothes.

kenya house building

"What this money does is it creates hope," Anyango said. "And when people have hope, they are happy."

Caroline Teti, the field director for GiveDirectly, works with villagers on a near-daily basis to make sure the experiment is running smoothly. The study expanded to include dozens more villages and thousands more people in mid-November, but so far Teti has only observed a few people who seem to misuse the money.

Even those, she said, tend to split the money between practical purchases and indulgences.

"People have needs," Teti said. "Especially in poor communities such as this, if they get a basic income, it goes directly into those needs."

agrippa krispo kenya

The abuses are few and far between

Agrippa Agida Onywero Krispo, a 40-year-old day laborer, said he`s used the money for small home repairs and new shoes. He`s also used it for gambling and to record a CD of him singing. Recently, the money he put toward the CD was stolen by his recording partner, who disappeared when it came time to sell the freshly made copies.

"I think for my next project, I am going to be more careful," Krispo said. "I`m not going to make the same mistake, because I think about that money that I put into the production, that I can`t now get back. And I feel very angry."

Other research has found that people`s spending on alcohol and cigarettes actually went down when they received direct cash transfers. Faced with a brighter future, many people stop using temptation goods as a way to cope with a hopeless situation, researchers have discovered. In the village GiveDirectly is working with, interviews with nearly a dozen recipients showed that most people have actually worked more since the study began.

The research isn`t conclusive, however. There is still a possibility that follow-up studies will find GiveDirectly recipients used their cash on vices after covering their basic needs.

But so far, the findings are hopeful. When people in need are given the means to improve their lives, that`s exactly where the money goes.

SEE ALSO: The largest basic income experiment in history just launched in Kenya

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

LIMA (Reuters) - Last week, as Peru`s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski scrambled to survive a bid in Congress to oust him in the wake of a graft scandal, his jailed authoritarian predecessor Alberto Fujimori called on his loyalists in Congress to save the head-of-state.
Despite tripling airstrikes this year, American officials concede an attack emanating from the chaotic, ungoverned spaces of Yemen remains among their top terrorism fears.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Masked men who appeared to be members of the Somali security forces raided the house of a powerful Somali senator on Saturday, but the government initially said it did not know who they were, fuelling political tensions.
LONDON (Reuters) - Firefighters battled a blaze in a tower block in central Manchester, northern England, on Saturday with flames engulfing several apartments on the ninth floor.

woman thinking

• Leading others can be challenging at times.

• But there are some subtle signs that you`re an exceptional boss.

• It all comes down to your listening skills, empathy, and confidence.



It`s not always easy being in charge.

Managing others comes with a ton of pressure. And when you`re in a management position, it can be difficult to evaluate how you`re doing.

Are you striking the right balance between commanding respect and appearing accessible? Are your employees responding well to your style of leadership? Are any of your actions breeding resentment in the office?

Being a good boss is crucial for your organization — a third of employees in one survey revealed that they`d quit a job because of a bad manager, Business Insider reported.

But you can`t exactly go wandering around the office begging people to tell you how you`re doing. You`re better off organizing employee satisfaction surveys and soliciting feedback from your direct reports.

You can also take a look at these other, more subtle signs that you`re killing it as the boss:

SEE ALSO: 19 simple social skills that will make you more likable

You don`t have obvious favorites

Playing favorites is a great way to torpedo office morale. If you make it clear that a certain person is the apple of your eye no matter what, then that`ll just encourage your other employees to give up on trying to impress you.



You treat your employees like human beings

Unfortunately, some bosses seem to feel that hurling insults and abuse at people is an effective motivational technique. In most cases, this simply isn`t true. If you value your employees as human beings, then you`re already a huge step above many managers.



You`re willing to try new things

Good bosses adopt certain methods because they`re the best way of doing things — not because they`ve just fallen into certain habits. The best managers give their employees a little room to experiment and innovate.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The health of 10 women prisoners in Turkey has deteriorated since they went on hunger strike to protest against a new security measure, a lawyers` association in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir said on Saturday.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Anti-government protests broke out in Iran for the third day running on Saturday as separate state-sponsored rallies were staged to mark the end of unrest that shook the country in 2009, according to Iranian news agencies and state media.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia`s FSB security service said on Saturday it had detained the individual suspected of organizing and carrying out a bombing that injured 13 people in a St. Petersburg supermarket this week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for Russia and the US to engage in "pragmatic cooperation" in his New Year greetings to US President Donald Trump.
About 4,000 people took part in the annual demonstration to mark the end of protests surrounding disputed 2009 presidential elections.

city_modern_4.0.0

Across the United States, cities are in the middle of a construction boom.

And several projects are nearly complete — from a skyscraper dubbed the "Jenga Tower" in Austin, Texas to a neighborhood of hundreds of townhouses in Detroit, Michigan.

Here are some of the most ambitious development projects that will open in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 11 billion-dollar mega-projects that will transform the world`s greatest cities by 2035

The Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When complete in mid to late 2018, this 60-story skyscraper will become the tallest tower in Philly.

The Foster+Partners-designed tower will include a Four Seasons Hotel on its top levels, and offices for Comcast employees on the lower levels. 



Solstice on the Park in San Francisco, California

Designed by the Chicago-based firm Studio Gang, Solstice on the Park is a tower that will include 250 apartment units. The architects oriented the facade at 72 degrees, the optimum angle to maximize sunlight in winter for passive solar power and minimize light and heat gain during summer to lower air-conditioning usage.

The 26-story project is expected to open by late spring of 2018.



3 World Trade Center and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New York, New York

As part of the new World Trade Center site in downtown Manhattan, 3WTC by famed architect Richard Rogers will stretch 1,079 feet and house retail and offices. The tower topped out in 2016, and will open by spring of 2018.

Nearby, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church will soon open, too. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the 50 million project will replace the church that was lost in the September 11 attacks.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

woman tech computer laptop work

• US President Donald Trump has signed tax reform into law.

• Career site Zippia broke down how the final tax bill could affect take-home pay in 2018 for people in various occupations.

• Business Insider looked into how the tax bill would affect people working in a range of tech-related jobs.



US President Donald Trump has signed the GOP`s huge tax reform effort into law, despite harsh criticisms of the plan from the public and experts.

Business Insider`s Lauren Lyons Cole reported that while take-home pay is set to rise under the tax reform plan, most Americans won`t see a ton of extra cash in their pockets. But how much you save also depends on how much you currently earn.

Career site Zippia provided us with data breaking down how different occupations fare under the finalized tax plan. Business Insider decided to look into how the new plan will affect tech workers in particular.

The estimated federal tax savings below are for a single, childless taxpayer who owns a house valued at three times their salary. Zippia`s calculations factored in whether a given taxpayer would benefit most from taking the standard deduction or itemizing deductions.

Following is a look at how tech workers in a number of occupations, from computer operators to computer and information systems managers, could see their taxes change next year.

SEE ALSO: Here`s what Trump`s tax plan means for doctors making between 184,000 and 270,000 a year

DON`T MISS: Here`s what Trump`s tax plan means for people at every income level from 20,000 to 269,000 a year

Computer operators

Average salary: 43,880

Current tax: 4,389

Tax under the Republican plan: 3,635

Percent tax cut: 17.2%



Computer network support specialists

Average salary: 67,770

Current tax: 8,747

Tax under the Republican plan: 8,209

Percent tax cut: 6.2%



Web developers

Average salary: 72,150

Current tax: 9,643

Tax under the Republican plan: 9,066

Percent tax cut: 6.0%



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Iran`s missile program is not in breach of its nuclear deal and will continue despite objections from the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday.
Standing in front of a display of recovered missile debris, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "concrete evidence" of Iran`s weapons proliferation on Thursday at a military base in Washington and called on the international community to join "a united front in resisting this global threat."
BERLIN (Reuters) - Former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday urged quick formation of a new government by Chancellor Angela Merkel`s conservatives and Social Democrats, but said he could not rule out a minority government if no deal is reached.
KIEV - 30 December 2017: A man believed to be carrying explosives is holed up in a post office in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, police spokesman Yaroslav Trakalo told the news channel 112 on Saturday.

“His demands are unknown to us,” Trakalo said.

Nine adults and two children are trapped inside the post office with the man, Interfax news agency quoted Kharkiv regional police chief Oleg Bekh as saying.

CAIRO – 30 December 2017: General Prosecutor, Nabil Sadek, ordered the National Security sector of the Ministry of Interior to conduct necessary investigations of the terror attack that hit the Martyr Mina church in Helwan, leaving ten dead, including a police personnel, and nine injured.

The General Prosecution ordered the reveal and review of footage captured by surveillance cameras present in the vicinity of the church, including one attached to the store beside the church.

The investigators team is talking to the eye witnesses regarding possible details that could help.

A deadly attack was carried out at a Coptic church in a Cairo suburb on Friday, leaving 10 dead and nine injured.

The church attack took place on Friday morning when two armed men used firearms to target dozens of Christian worshippers attending a religious service, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.


According to the statement, attackers opened fire at a household appliances shop, then headed to the church, where they attempted to trespass the church`s perimeter security.


The security forces were able to capture one of the attackers after shooting him and managed to defuse an explosive belt that was fastened around the militant`s chest, while the other one fled the scene, the Ministry said.
President Trump tweeted about the recent protest in Iran and said the "Iranian govt should respect their people`s rights". CNN`s George Howell reports.
KIEV (Reuters) - A man believed to be strapped with explosives has taken nine adults and two children hostage in a post office in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, police said on Saturday.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia`s FSB security service said on Saturday that the individual who organized and carried out a bombing that injured 13 people in a St. Petersburg supermarket this week had been detained, Russian news agencies reported.
The White House has urged Iran to respect the rights of Iranians who have taken to the streets to protest over the past two days, warning that "the world is watching."

amazon fresh pick up

  • The head of Amazon`s Prime Now division is now also leading its AmazonFresh grocery business.
  • AmazonFresh has scaled back while Prime Now expands to new cities.
  • Synergies with Whole Foods and Prime Now may prove a winning combination.

 

Amazon could be about to make some big changes to its grocery business, which currently consists of two services: AmazonFresh and Prime Now.

AmazonFresh is the company`s oldest grocery delivery service, a traditional online option with a 15-a-month membership cost and reserved delivery times.

Prime Now, on the other hand, is Amazon`s two-hour delivery offering, which comes free with Prime. On top of a more limited selection of food, it also offers a small selection of products like Echo devices and seasonal items.

Now, changes at Amazon offer a glimpse at how these two services may be coming together in meaningful ways.

In November, Amazon stopped its Fresh delivery service in parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and California, and it has yet to comment on why it did so.

An Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement to Businss Insider: "We have made changes to our service area and discontinued delivery to select zip codes. AmazonFresh continues to serve customers across the US (Seattle, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more) and internationally (London, Tokyo, Berlin and Munich)."

At the same time, Amazon is opening new Prime Now hubs in major cities. The service is now available in more than 30 cities and towns, and its food selection has been greatly expanded as it incorporates Whole Foods` assortment of products.

At the time of this writing, Prime Now offers a selection of more than 1,000 Whole Foods items and more than 5,500 grocery food offerings in Manhattan. In contrast, AmazonFresh offers about 13,500 grocery items for delivery to Manhattan.

The Amazon executive in charge of Prime Now, VP Stephenie Landry, has also been tapped to lead AmazonFresh.

"If you look around this facility, you`re going to see a lot of everyday items — food and consumables," Landry told Recode. "AmazonFresh sells the same types of products but a much greater variety. And so both of them have a lot of synergies and it makes sense to think about them jointly."

Landy also recently took the reigns for Amazon Restaurants — a prepared-food-delivery program that`s partnered with local restaurants — which is hosted on the same Amazon website as Prime Now.

That`s prompted speculation that Prime Now and AmazonFresh may be joining forces. A Morgan Stanley survey of Prime members shows that Prime Now grocery orders are up. The bank wrote in a note to investors that 48% of people using Prime Now are ordering grocery items with it — more than they are ordering more traditional e-commerce offerings. 

The survey was done prior to the Whole Foods acquisition`s close and before its products were put on Amazon, so it`s possible that adoption has increased even more.

It`s tempting to look at Prime Now as Amazon`s vehicle for dominating grocery — an area where it`s struggled previously. Combining Whole Foods` nationwide grocery footprint and selection with Prime Now`s delivery logistics to provide free, two-hour delivery could prove an unbeatable combination.

Landry told Recode that Prime Now and AmazonFresh won`t merge — at least, not yet.

"I actually think that we`re going to have lots of different ways to get food to customers. But behind the scenes it makes sense to develop as many efficiencies as possible," she said.

An Amazon spokeswoman told Business Insider that the company does not comment on speculation.

SEE ALSO: Amazon`s `golden jewel` had an incredible holiday

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why most jeans are blue

Travis Kalanick2017 has been a reckoning of sorts.

Years of sexual misconduct in the tech industry (and elsewhere) were brought to light this year.

Tech giants like Facebook and Google had to answer questions about their roles in swaying the 2016 election. 

Apple finally owned up to intentionally slowing down old iPhones.

Even YouTube star PewDiePie had a fall from grace, losing out on a lucrative deal with Disney for making anti-Semitic comments.  

In short, it`s been quite a year in tech. 

What follows are the biggest scandals in the tech industry over the course of the last year. Grab some popcorn:

SEE ALSO: I tried a lot of smartwatches in 2017 — here are my top 5 picks

January: Uber`s very bad year kicks off with #DeleteUber.

It`s been an extraordinarily rocky year for Uber. Its bad luck began in January when the #DeleteUber movement led to a flurry of account deletions by customers upset about the company`s ties to President Trump. It lost more than 200,000 customers in just one weekend.

As the year progressed, CEO Travis Kalanick resigned amid an investor revolt, many of Uber`s other top executives resigned or were forced out, shady business practices were revealed, and more than 20 employees were fired as a result of an investigation into bad behavior in the workplace that includes sexual harassment.

(Plus, there was the Susan Fowler letter, the Waymo lawsuit, and the data breach, all of which deserve their own separate slides — more on those scandals to come.)

By December, Japanese investment firm SoftBank announced it had bought up around 15% of Uber at a 30% discount. SoftBank offered 33 per Uber share, which puts the company`s value at 48 billion, a significant decrease from the 69 billion valuation it had after its last funding round.

Uber has said it still plans to go public by 2019



February: Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler alleges sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the company.

In February, a former Uber employee named Susan Fowler said in a personal blog post that she was sexually harassed and experienced gender bias during her year at the company.

The allegations were made in a post Fowler titled "Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber," which detailed how she was propositioned for sex by her manager, was ignored and lied to by HR, and was excluded based on her gender. 

CEO Travis Kalanick immediately launched an internal investigation into sexual harassment and gender discrimination at Uber, which eventually led to his own resignation.

Meanwhile, Fowler has a movie deal, and is expected to have a book deal soon.



February: Disney drops YouTube star PewDiePie after he posted videos containing anti-Semitic messages.

In February, Disney dropped YouTube star PewDiePie after he posted a series of videos that featured anti-Semitic messages. 

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is known for making gaming videos that often contain expletives and other colorful language. While a review by the Wall Street Journal found several videos containing anti-Semitic jokes, it was a video from January 11 that likely cost Kjellberg his deal with Disney. In the video, Kjellberg hired two men to make a sign that read "Death to All Jews" using the freelancer website Fiverr, where you can pay someone 5 to do something for you. Kjellberg later said the video was a joke that had gone too far.

Soon after, YouTube killed the second season of "Scare PewDiePie," and removed Kjellberg from its preferred advertising program.

Then, in September, Kjellberg used a racial epithet in an expletive-laden outburst during one of his popular live streams. He later apologized, saying, "I`m really sorry if I offended, hurt, or disappointed anyone with all of this."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Omar amanat

  • Prominent tech entrepreneurs Omar Amanat and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman were found guilty on numerous accounts of fraudulent charges in their dealings with former video management company KIT digital. 
  • Both Amanat and Tuzman have led successful but controversial entrepreneurial careers — and their guilty verdict marks a striking fall from prominence. 

 

For the past six weeks, a tangled case of complex fraud leveled against two prominent tech entrepreneurs unfolded in federal court. On December 26, the trial`s defendants, Omar Amanat and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, were found guilty on numerous accounts of fraudulent charges, as originally reported by Bloomberg

For both Amanat and Tuzman, the conviction is a striking fall from power: The two defendants have made millions of dollars and led successful entrepreneurial careers that have all but unraveled over the course of the past year. 

The court case revealed a series of convoluted legal infractions performed by Amanat and Tuzman in their work with the presently insolvent video-technology company, KIT Digital, a former multi-million dollar leader in the cloud-based video management industry. 

According to Bloomberg, Tuzman, who served as the company`s CEO, and Amanat, who dealt in a series of company investments, covered up losses, inflated the value of shares, and defrauded investors. 

The pair are expected to serve a minimum of a decade in jail and their sentencing will be delivered in April 2018. 

Here`s a breakdown of Amanat and Tuzman`s descent:

Lavish wealth and lurid lawsuits

By the time he was 30 years old, Omar Amanat had sold off his brokerage firm, Tradespace, for 100 million. Amanat was already flush in wealth and had turned his interests towards philanthropy and film production, flaunting connections with A-list celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. He was known for his lavish lifestyle, an tendency for quoting the Persian poet Rumi, and appearing in designer garb alongside his wife, supermodel Helena Houdova, at high-profile events. omar amanat

But despite Amanat`s effortless exterior, a series of sensational controversies had begun to dog his career. 

In 2014, a multi-million-dollar real estate deal in Thailand collapsed amid a lurid lawsuit with Amanat and his business partner, the Russian oligarch Vladislav Doronin.

Two years later, Amanat`s name was once more featured prominently in the papers. He had leased his lavish Hampton home to a hedge-fund trader, Brett Barna, who allegedly trashed the 20 million estate in a widely publicized madcap party

The New York Times reported that  Amanat had threatened to sue Barna for 1 million and was hounding him for thousands of dollars in damages.  

But Amanat`s threats were short-lived. Days after he had threatened to sue, Amanat received a visit in his New Jersey home from the FBI, which charged Amanat with multiple counts of fraud.

Right now, Amanat awaits his sentencing in jail. 

On his personal website, he describes the trial`s outcome as an "injustice in America."

"The facts of this case will all be made plain to see shortly," Amanat wrote. "You’ve only seen snippets. You’ve only seen what they want you to see."

A successful dot-com millionaire serves time in a Colombian prison

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman is considered one of the preeminent figures of the dot-com boom. 

 A Harvard graduate, Tuzman worked as an analyst for five years on Wall Street, before launching his own company, govWorks.com, which is featured in the documentary `Startup.com.`

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman

Tuzman, who is considered an expert in the field of digital media, went on to join KIT Digital as the company`s chief executive.

Tuzman was charged with fraud for his involvement with KIT Digital in 2015. He was reportedly apprehended on a business trip in Bogotá, Colombia by Colombian officials, which had been sent to arrest Tuzman at the behest of the US government. Tuzman spent 10 months in "La Picota," a notorious local prison.

Tuzman described his prison time to the New York Times as a harrowing ordeal: The former CEO claims he was abused, raped, and threatened at knifepoint by Colombian authorities. Multiple attempts on Tuzman`s behalf by his attorneys to the US Embassy were met to no avail. 

He was later extradited to the US where he faced trial alongside Amanat.

SEE ALSO: The father of virtual reality sounds off on the changing culture of Silicon Valley, the impending #MeToo backlash, and why he left Google for Microsoft

DON`T MISS: The 50 best-paying big companies, according to employees

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The differences that matter between Splenda, Equal, Sweet’N Low, and sugar

CAIRO – 30 December 2017: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on Saturday with the Chairman of the General Authority for Sports in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Turki Bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Sheikh, and the Saudi Ambassador to Egypt, said Presidential Spokesman, Bassam Rady.

During the meeting, they discussed means of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the various sports fields, especially through the establishment of joint sports investment projects and increasing the exchange of experiences and sports delegations between the two countries. They also stressed the importance of continuing intensive coordination and consultation between the two countries.

Al-Sheikh offered Saudi Arabia’s condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on the Church of Great Martyr Mina in Helwan on Friday, stressing his country’s solidarity with Egypt in the battle against the “heinous” terrorism.

Al-Sheikh also conveyed the greetings of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and hailed the strength and excellence of the Egyptian- Saudi relations, stressing the Kingdom’s keenness to strengthen relations in various fields.

On his part, Sisi stressed Egypt`s pride in the close relations between the two countries and its people and conveyed his greetings to the Saudi King. Sisi also asserted that the church attack reflects the importance of intensifying regional efforts to face terrorism and its supporters.

elon musk

  • Tesla will face major challenges as it becomes a mass-market automaker.
  • The challenges range from CEO Elon Musk`s workload to the arrival of new competitors.
  • Tesla is preparing to meet these challenges, but it might not surmount them all.


Tesla had a wild ride in 2017. The company is worth more than ever, passing Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in market capitalization and threatening General Motors.

But the "production hell" of a sluggish Model 3 roll-out has tested the patience of customers and investors. And Tesla doesn`t have enough money in its reserve to sustain its current cash burn.

Other challenges await in 2018. Yes, 2017 was wild. But 2018 will be even wilder.

 

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Cash, cash, and more cash.

Relative to its auto-industry "peers," Tesla has a pitiful amount of available cash. The carmakers that Tesla has challenged in market capitalization in 2017 — General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — have each amassed war chests. FCA has almost 20 billion, GM has nearly 25 billion, and Ford has socked away close to 40 billion.

Tesla has just over 3 billion

Tesla is also currently burning through over a billion per quarter. If we just go by cash and exclude other financing instruments, such as Tesla`s revolving credit lines, the company can`t make it through 2018.

It`s worth noting that Tesla is running thin on cash at a time when the US economy is at full employment and the US auto market is running near an all-time sales high. 

Do the math: Tesla needs more money. And it will likely obtain that funding through another capital raise. It`s past two raises were a return to Wall Street to sell more stock; and a first foray into the junk-bond debt markets. 

The smart money, such as it is, would likely bet on Tesla doing another equity raise in 2018, given that shares are still above 300. Each new raise, however, highlights Tesla`s poor execution on the manufacturing front. FCA, Ford, and GM also spend a billion per quarter, but they manage to produce millions of vehicles worldwide. Tesla produces a fraction of that.

There is an assumption among Tesla bulls that this pattern will at some point reverse in the future, as the Model 3 sedan, priced to start at 35,000, ramps toward full production and Tesla starts to draw in revenue from something like 400,000 pre-orders.

But while that would be cause for celebration at Tesla, attention would then turn to how much money Tesla is making on the Model 3. Mass-market sedans have notoriously skinny profit margins and have plummeted in popularity as consumers have turned to crossover SUVs.

There`s no question that cash will be Tesla`s biggest challenge in 2018.



Fixing Fremont.

Tesla`s factory in Fremont has a theoretical manufacturing capacity of 500,000 vehicles annually, although when it was jointly operated by Toyota and GM in the 1980s, it never hit that mark. Still, it topped out at over 400,000.

Tesla is now 14 years old and in 2017, it will finally roll 100,000 vehicles off its assembly line. CEO Elon Musk said that in 2018 it would roll 500,000.

There`s almost no chance that Tesla will hit that mark in 2018. In fact, even if the company were able to build 5,000 Model 3`s per week, and add that output to another 100,000 Model S and X vehicles, production would only be about 350,000 for 2018. 

This is ridiculous. Tesla admitted when the Model 3 fell well short of 2017 production that "bottlenecks" at the company`s Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada were to blame. We`ll take Tesla at its word, but the true bottleneck is and always has been at Fremont. No other automaker in the world would be sitting on hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for a single vehicle and struggling to hit production targets.

The reason that we aren`t seeing far more Teslas on the road is simply because Tesla is stubbornly refusing to admit that it`s bad at building cars. I can`t figure out why Musk won`t just throw in the towel and hire somebody else to build the car for him. When carmakers such as BMW can`t meet demand with their existing capacity, they bring in a contract manufacturer to take up the slack.

Fixing Fremont has to be Tesla`s second-highest priority in 2018, next to avoiding running out money.



Recalibrating its product reveals.

Tesla is stupendously good at keeping its story going. It does this by staging epic new-product reveals that thrill the loyalists and refuel the company`s narrative. This keeps the stock price up, brings in deposits that help with the cash problem, and relieves Tesla of any pressure to spend any real money on advertising.

Lately, however, the reveal-apalooza has been in high gear. 

In 2017, we got not just a Semi truck but also a new Roadster. Everyone expects 2018 to see a Model Y compact SUV and a pickup truck. 

Pointedly, Tesla can`t currently even build a mid-size sedan on schedule, so the idea that it can handle a big rig, a new sports car, and a pickup without a gigantic new capital investment in additional factories is preposterous. 

Still, if Tesla reveals new vehicles, the deposits will probably come. You have to give it to Musk: he`s devised a way to bring in additional operating cash — Tesla doesn`t set deposits aside but rather uses them to fund itself — without having to promise depositors a return on investment. It`s brilliant, and we should expect more of it in 2018.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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