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Holiday TV: 15 new offerings to make your spirits bright

Deck the halls and warm up your DVR. Television’s annual blizzard of holiday-themed fare is about to start. As usual, the broadcast networks and streamers are making merry with an onslaught of music-filled specials, feel-good movies and animated treats that celebrate the so-called most wonderful time of the year. To help you keep up, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of 15 new programs that stand out from the crowd and promise a jolly good time: ‘Lego Star Wars Holiday Special’ No Jedi mind tricks are required to enjoy this goofy animated spoof of the legendarily awful 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Set after the events of “The Rise of Skywalker,” it follows Rey as she prepares for Life Day and goes on an adventure to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. Along the way, she is h

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What is common stock? The most typical way to invest in a company and profit from its growth

Summary List PlacementWhen it comes to investments, the first thing that comes to mind is stocks. In fact, more than 50% of Americans own stock — either directly, via shares of individual companies, or indirectly, through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. And when it comes to stocks, what most readily comes to mind is common stock. Or more precisely, common shares of stock: a particular class, or type, of equity (ownership) in a public company. Common stocks get their name because they trade on the common — or public — market and are, well, more common than other types of shares or equity stakes. In today's financial markets, millions of common stock shares are being traded at any one time. Read on for the basics of how they work and what you need to know about them. What is common...

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California man sentenced to federal prison for $5 million bank fraud scams

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man was sentenced to federal prison Monday for bilking banks out of nearly $5 million by racking up expenses on illegally obtained credit cards, including cemetery plots, liquor and Rolex watches, prosecutors said. Mikayel Hmayakyan, 43, of Glendale, was sentenced to seven years in prison. He pleaded guilty in June to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. He also was ordered to pay nearly $5 million in restitution. Hmayakyan and others swindled more than 20 banks by obtaining credit cards using their own or phony identities. After running up the cards to their credit limits, the schemers restored the credit lines by submitting payments from accounts with insufficient funds or through other fake accounts, according to a statement from the U.S. a...

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The best coffee makers

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement Drip coffee makers come in different forms, from basic brewers to those that can be programmed to your specific brew preferences.   Our top pick is the Cuisinart's Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker because it takes care of your coffee and the rest of your breakfast with its built-in hot water dispenser. If you're the type who blearily wanders around the kitchen until you've had your first cup of coffee, you need a good coffee maker. You can probably live with a basic model that just has an on/off switch, but there are many with helpful features such as scheduling, a built-in grinder, or the capability of creating specialty drinks. The picks in our guide brew at least 10 cups of coffee and have some sort of display for prog

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Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day events in Des Plaines canceled due to the coronavirus

Events at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines have been canceled because of the pandemic. | Sun-Times fileReligious leaders are encouraging the faithful to stay home to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. An annual suburban pilgrimage that draws thousands to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic Police are expected to be on hand to secure the shrine and also to direct people and traffic away from the site on Dec. 11 and 12, when feast celebrations are typically held, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Tuesday. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much hardship and pain for so many,” the Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, rector of the shrine, said in a statement. “The message of comfort offered by Our Lad...

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100 top startups of 2020, according to VCs

Summary List PlacementTo build a company from scratch and scale it into a solid business is a Herculean feat in the best of times. By most measures, 2020 has not been the best of times. But all year long, startup founders still raised capital in Zoom meetings, hired workers they'd never met, and created useful products and services — in the middle of a pandemic, an election, and a budding civil-rights movement. They showed real grit, from the seed-stage startups to the aging unicorns. Over the year, Business Insider published lists of rising startups that collectively featured more than 350 companies in areas like tech, healthcare, retail, and finance, based on recommendations from venture-capital investors. Now we've gone back and selected the top 100 most promising from that crop. For ...

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Jenelle Evans: BUSTED Photoshopping Instagram Pics!

Jenelle Evans is always prattling on about how much she loves TikTok and hates every other social media platform. She says it's because the commenters on Instagram and Twitter are so mean, while folks on TikTok are more friendly and accapting. We think it's because people on TikTok are younger and don't really know who Jenelle is, so they're unaware of long history of violence, abuse, and bigotry. Anyway, Ms. Evans is bored and unemployed as ever these days, so while she claims to hate the other platforms, she still posts on them. And her latest pics probably served to remind her why she's no great fan of the 'Gram. They look simple enough at first -- just a couple pics of Jenelle sitting on the ground and leaning against the base of a tree. Maybe not the most advisa...

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Morning Brief: Millions of Americans Are Flying for Thanksgiving Despite Health Officials’ Pleas

» Millions of Americans traveled through airports over the weekend, with more expected this week, despite public health officials nationwide imploring people to stay home. Dr. Fauci said the travelers “are going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now.”  [Los Angeles Times] » Los Angeles County reported 6,124 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, an all-time record. Officials are expect to institute what’s being called a “targeted safer-at-home” order in the coming days.  [Los Angeles Times] » Joe Biden has announced Alejandro Mayorkas, a former U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles who helmed ICE during a portion of the Obama years, as his pick for Secretary of Homeland Security. Cuban-born Mayorkas would be the first immigrant ever picked for the job, which oversees federal immigration...

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4 charts show how C-suite leaders are preparing for the biggest economic and workplace challenges in 2021

Summary List PlacementCompanies are revamping their 2021 budgets because of the pandemic.  The novel coronavirus has forced executives to reimagine how they work, what areas employers should invest in, and where they see themselves in the next year. Google, for example, is already reconfiguring physical offices to fit a hybrid remote work model. Professional services firms like Boston Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and KPMG shared that they're cutting business travel budgets and adjusting to a new practice in collaborating with clients online.  Some companies are getting rid of their offices all together. Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz previously interviewed CEOs at companies with fewer than 200 employees. They shared that pulling the plug on office space gives employ...

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Evercore debuts ‘rebound portfolio’ designed to outperform amid vaccine progress and a rapid economic recovery

Summary List Placement Evercore ISI revealed its "Rebound Portfolio" on Monday, laying out which stocks it expects to outperform as the US economy bounces back. The rollout of a coronavirus vaccine and a complete economic reopening will extend investors' pivot to risky assets and cyclical sectors, analysts led by Dennis DeBusschere said. The portfolio includes some stocks hit hardest by the pandemic including retailers, airlines, hotels, and oil producers. Though tech giants fueled the market's summer rally, Evercore expects Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet to keep climbing through 2021. Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories. Distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and complete economic reopening will fuel a massive market rotation, and Evercore ISI expects a handful of ...

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Elon Musk Passes Bill Gates To Become World’s Second-Richest Man

Bill Gates; Elon MuskWith a  mind-boggling net worth of $181.4 billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos probably isn't worried about losing his top spot as the richest man in the world--but Elon Musk, who in January of 2020 was the 35th-wealthiest, is now number two. Musk initially surpassed Bill Gates, dropping the Microsoft founder back to third, but CNN reported Tuesday morning that thanks to stock market fluctuations the pair were tied. Musk has Tesla to thank for his new position, as Bloomberg reports the EV maker's "net worth soared $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price." Elon Musk with his signature productBloomberg has more: His advance up the wealth ranks has been driven largely by Tesla, whose market value is approaching $500 billion. About...

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I’m not spending a dime on Christmas this year, and it feels like exactly the right thing do during the pandemic

Summary List Placement I've been scaling back my holiday spending over the past few years, but this year I've cut it out entirely. I'm not spending any money on Christmas, aside from a small cash gift to my daughter. Simply put, spending money on frivolities doesn't feel right during a pandemic. Things are so uncertain, and as a freelancer my income can fluctuate wildly. This year, I'll be Zooming and WhatsApping with friends and family instead of sending gifts, and that is exactly what I want — to spend time (safely) with my loved ones. Sign up to get Personal Finance Insider's newsletter in your inbox » Some Black Friday sales have already started — retailers aren't even waiting for the traditional day after Thanksgiving. Given the pandemic, they want people to have plenty of time to ...

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8,322 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, 47 additional deaths as worry over holiday weekend mounts (LIVE UPDATES)

Pat Nabong/Sun-TimesHere’s the latest news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois. Latest Lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in weeks, but Pritzker and Ezike worry about holiday ‘super-spreader events’ Pat Nabong/Sun-Times State public health officials reported 8,322 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Monday as well as 47 additional deaths. As of Sunday night, 6,171 people with the virus were reported to be in the hospital, 1,206 patients were in intensive care units, and 635 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The 8,322-daily caseload, while still higher than in previous months, was the lowest since Nov. 4 and only the seventh time this month that the daily figure was below 10,000. And the latest cases were detected among almost 91,562 tests, lowering the sta

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Texts: US census manager told counters to use fake answers

By MIKE SCHNEIDER | The Associated Press The texts from an Alabama census supervisor had an urgent tone. “THIS JUST IN …,” one of them began. It then laid out how census takers should fake data to mark households as having only one resident even if they had no idea how many people actually lived there. The goal of the texts from October, obtained by The Associated Press, was to check off as many households as possible on the list of homes census takers were supposed to visit because residents never had filled out census questionnaires. The supervisor wanted the census takers to finalize cases — without interviewing households — as the Trump administration waged a legal battle to end the once-a-decade head count early. The texts are the latest evidence suggesting census accuracy was sacrifi

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