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'We want to see it happen': New Yorkers spent hours waiting in the rain to vote early and make a statement

  • More than 61 million Americans have voted early in the 2020 general election, and more than 20 million among them have voted in person, according to the US Elections Project.
  • At an early voting site at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City on Monday, the line wrapped around the entire building, with voters waiting nearly two hours to vote.
  • "You look at all these people, and you realize there's this huge determination to exercise our right to vote," Jane Armstrong, a 60-year-old freelance painter from Crown Heights, told Insider while waiting in the rain.
  • People willing to brave the inclement weather were skeptical about voting by mail, particularly because of the Trump administration's handling of the Postal Service and the New York City Board of Elections experiencing issues with the process in the June primary.
  • "I don't fully trust our voting by mail," said Rachel Schactman, a 29-year-old resident of Prospect Lefferts Gardens. "The city wasn't clear about when we had to cast mail-in ballots in order for them to be counted."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Under the pelting rain and just past the gaze of a Statue of Liberty replica behind the Brooklyn Museum, dozens of New Yorkers waited up to two hours to cast their vote early on Monday.

The Empire State greatly expanded its voting by mail system going into the 2020 election, allowing anyone to cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for voting absentee.

However, enough Brooklynites donned rain jackets and armed themselves with umbrellas to make the in-person early voting line at the museum wrap around the entire building, which is really more like a full block.

"For us, we want to do it in person," Abbie Klenzman, a 39-year-old hair stylist from Prospect Heights told Insider while waiting in line with her kids.

"We want to know it's happening, we want to see it happen," her husband, Seth Scantlen, chimed in. 

Scantlen, a 41-year-old artist, added that the sacrifice of waiting in the rain would be worth it once he saw the machine register his ballot inside. 

His sentiment was a common one among the early voters, who spent somewhere between an hour-and-a-half to two hours once they hopped in line to the point where they would finally get out of the rain and make it inside to vote.

Scantlen, Klenzman, and more than 20 million other Americans have already voted in-person so far, according to the US Elections Project's running tally.

The early turnout has smashed records across the country, with more than 61 million Americans already done with voting more than a week out from the election when mail-in votes are also included. 

More than a dozen voters who spoke to Insider outside the Brooklyn Museum on Monday cited many of the same reasons for carving out the time to brave the soggy weather. The main motivating factors they cited were making a statement by waiting in line to vote and making sure to do it in person out of a fear that voting by mail may carry some risk.

While some brought up fears around President Donald Trump's hampering of the United States Postal Service, others said their concerns were more localized.

"I don't fully trust our voting by mail," said Rachel Schactman, a 29-year-old who works in tech and lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. "The city wasn't clear about when we had to cast mail-in ballots in order for them to be counted."

Schactman was referring to the June primary in New York where expanded voting by mail turned into a nightmare, as The New York Times described it.

Some congressional races took weeks to call, with the city's Board of Elections employees swamped as the Big Apple saw a tenfold increase in the number of mail-in ballots, bringing the total to more than 400,000. Even if the risk of having their ballot not counted was minuscule, some voters waiting in the rain were not willing to risk it this time around.

Trump was another common motivating factor, they said, even in how they chose the optics of how to cast their ballots.

"You look at all these people, and you realize there's this huge determination to exercise our right to vote," Jane Armstrong, a 60-year-old freelance painter from Crown Heights, told Insider.

Armstrong noted that there was a palpable urgency to get Trump out of office, and that demonstrating a willingness to stand in line for hours would hopefully send a clear message.

Abby Schreiber, a 31-year-old freelance journalist and consultant in Crown Heights, said beyond being "100% sure that my vote was going to be received and counted," there was a more visceral sensation that came with voting in person.

Schreiber, who works for Fair Fight Action, an anti-voter suppression organization led by Stacey Abrams, noted she has voted by mail in the past, but "when you do vote in person there just feels like a more active participation, even though your vote is the same."

Despite the rain and occasional gusts to make things even more chilly and uncomfortable, the mood throughout the line was upbeat.

A young man sauntered around puddles offering people free slices of pizza, and the People's Bodega set up a cart at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue. Here, on the border of three Brooklyn neighborhoods — Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens — longtime residents and recent transplants were equally eager to exercise their civic duty.

While the length of the line may just amount to a social media post for some, the scale of participation at the local level represented something more for voters like Schreiber.

"I definitely think the fact that so many people are here waiting in line in the rain in New York is a testament to how energized people have been this season to vote," she said.

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Why a former Air Jordan design director left his job to lead the charge for Black representation across the sneaker industry

  • D'Wayne Edwards is one of a handful of Black designers who built a successful career in the sneaker industry.
  • He worked as Nike's footwear design director between 2001 and 2011, where he made sneakers for the Air Jordan brand.
  • Now, Edwards is leading the charge for more Black representation in the sneaker industry, via his work as the founder of design academy Pensole and as a leader for The African American Footwear Forum (AAFF), which addresses and solves diversity issues in the field.
  • "It's our job to tear the damn door down," Edwards said of the industry's barriers to entry for Black people. "And make sure it never closes again."
  • Because of his work, Business Insider named Edwards to our annual list of the 10 leaders transforming retail.
  • Visit Business Insider's Transforming Business homepage for more stories.

D'Wayne Edwards is known as one of the more influential sneaker designers around. He's also one of just a handful of Black people who managed to find major success as a creative in the industry.

In a career spanning three decades, Edwards launched his own brand, SITY, and completed a 10-year stint as Nike's footwear design director, where he designed for the Air Jordan brand. To date, Edwards has created over 500 styles for athletes like Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, and Michael Jordan.

But even with all of his success, Edwards said he felt like it wasn't enough. 

"I realized there was just a greater purpose for my existence in this industry than just to design shoes for athletes," he said, explaining his decision to stop working as a full-time designer in 2010 and start Pensole, a design academy that encourages the next wave of young footwear designers on their path into the industry.

Since its founding, Pensole has placed more than 475 former graduates at brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas.

But beyond nurturing budding designers, Edwards has also embarked on another mission to correct what he sees as an overarching problem in the industry.

As national attention shifts to conversations around diversity and inclusion, Edwards is collaborating with sportswear and sneaker industry workers and alumni in actively fighting for change through The African American Footwear Forum (AAFF). This organization works to address and solve diversity issues in the footwear industry. The forum held its second meeting on June 19, or Juneteenth, where Black professionals and industry workers virtually discussed and took stock of the state of diversity and opportunity for Black people in the field.

In describing his motivation to move into a more activist trajectory, Edwards described feeling fulfilled as a designer, though "incomplete as a Black man and as a person."

As such, Edwards has figured out how to leverage his experience to create more opportunities for other diverse candidates. He is doing so in his role at Pensole as well, with initiatives like the Leaders Emerge After Direction (LEAD) by Design program, which helps nurture students of color on their path towards a career in the industry via a partnership with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

"Right now, we all know there's not that many of us in the industry," Edwards said, noting that one of the forum's goals is to get an accurate census of Black people within each major company to fully understand the discrepancy within the industry. The Nike alumnus estimated that there are likely less than 200 black designers among thousands in the footwear industry right now.

Black representation in the sneaker industry

The sneaker community is largely considered intrinsically bound to Black culture. But for some industry people, this cultural influence isn't seen beyond outward messaging or campaigns. For example, marketing campaigns and celebrity partnerships from Adidas and Nike are known to prominently feature artists and athletes of color, such as Beyonce, Kanye West, and LeBron James.

"We're always talent, we're never the brains behind organizations, we're never a part of the organizational structure and the planning, the manufacturing," Edwards said. "We've been completely shut out of those areas."

After recruitment and retention, career advancement is one of the biggest problems for Black employees in the footwear and athletic-wear industry, said Darla Pires DeGrace, a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist. Pires DeGrace is also a former recruiter for Reebok and a member of AAFF. Beyond the office, activists say there is still work to be done in other sectors of the footwear industry, like at retail stores, to support other Black people in the field.

Some changes are already in place. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour have all acknowledged company-wide problems with inclusion and diversity. As for Edwards, his role as a forum leader allows him to ignite important conversations with major footwear brands regarding diversity and inclusion. In Foot Locker's most recent earnings call, CEO and chairman Richard Johnson announced the company's continued partnership with Edwards, which involves funding training and mentorship programs for Black creatives.

"When it becomes a part of the way they do business, then that's when you'll have sustainable long-term impact," Edwards said. "If it's just cutting a check, that just serves the immediate purpose."

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Why Apple’s Earnings Report May Not Even Matter

The week of October 30 will mark the week where the earnings floodgates are shown to be wide open as the busiest week. Investors were taught for decades that earnings are what drive stock prices, but in 2020 this is the last week before a very divided election comes into play and eyes are on election results, stimulus packages, and so on.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the largest company in the world with a current market capitalization pushing $2 trillion. It has also been the best performing Dow stock with a gain of about 56% year to date.

While earnings can always act as a catalyst, this particular earnings report may be dependent upon many aspects that are not fully within the company’s direct control.

When Apple reports, the investing community often looks beyond the headline earnings and revenues. For this particular quarter, investors are going to be looking for additional clues about iPhone and peripheral pre-orders and expected phone deliveries for the widely awaited iPhone 12 launch. The new 5G capabilities, at least for some users in larger cellular markets, are expected to bring that iPhone supercycle that has been romanticized about for years.

While Apple is the biggest company in the world and now has a defensive stock status in the age of COVID-19, this back-to-school year has been very mixed and there are certainly some expectations that orders were waiting for big iPhone launch. Apple has already seen euphoric trading after most recent stock split, and Apple is already considered to be a stock to own forever regardless of the quarterly noise.

One interesting aspect about this earnings report is that Apple’s boosts are now becoming incremental even under COVID-19. The fiscal year 2020 revenues are expected to be up 5.1% this year and up 13.2% more next year. For the quarter, the earnings per share consensus is $0.71 and $64.16 billion. That would be down from $0.76 EPS a year ago and sales growth of just 0.2% from a year ago.

A fresh report from Wedbush Securities has called for the might Apple to sell 350 million new iPhones over this upgrade supercycle. Daniel Ives of Wedbush has a very aggressive $150 price target.

While Apple is set to report earnings on Thursday, Wall Street analysts have been eager to big up the price targets and to talk up expectations for the coming supercycle. Not all analysts have been universally positive, but the positive views are more common than negative views.

On October 26. Atlantic Equities was shown to have resumed coverage with an Overweight rating and a $150 price target.

On October 22, Piper Sandler reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $135 from $130.

On October 14, Credit Suisse reiterated its Neutral rating but still raised its target to $106 from (5.

On October 14, Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $136 from $130.

On October 12, RBC Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $132 from $111.

On September 22, Raymond James reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $120 from $110.

On September 21, Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $125 from $112.50.

One analyst which was more cautious in the last month was David Vogt at UBS. In a call from September 23, he cut Apple’s stock to Neutral from Buy, but the price target still was raised to $115 from $106.

Apple shares were last seen trading down about 1% at $113.90 on Monday. Its 52-week range on a split-adjusted basis is $53.13 to $137.98. Refinitiv currently has a $121.43 consensus analyst price target.

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Kate Gosselin selling ‘Kate Plus 8’ Pennsylvania home for $1.3 million

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Kate Gosselin is selling the six-bedroom and seven-bathroom home she once shared with her ex-husband, Jon Gosselin.

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The TLC star put the 7,591 square-foot residence in Wernersville, Penn., on the market for $1,299,990.

Gosselin, 45, continued to live in the home with her eight children ‒ twins Cara and Mady, 20, and sextuplets Hannah, Collin, Leah, Joel, Alexis and Aaden, 16, ‒ until her ex got custody of Collin and Hannah.

The "Kate Plus 8" star is selling the property through RE/MAX.

MÖTLEY CRÜE'S NIKKI SIXX LISTS $5.7M CALIFORNIA ESTATE

Kate Gosselin put her Pennsylvania home up for sale at $1.3M. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Gosselin’s home was built in 1997 on a private property surrounded by nature.

The interior has all of the essentials needed for a family of 10.

The large kitchen has three ovens, two dishwashers, two ovens, a six-burner gas stovetop, a large island and ample storage.

The lower level of the home has amenities such as a laundry room with two washers and two dryers, storage underneath the stair care, a large dining room, a living room, an entertainment room, exercise equipment and a sunroom.

KIM CATTRALL LISTS PRICEY HAMPTONS VACATION HOME FOR SALE

Gosselin’s master bedroom came with an ensuite that has both a tub and glass door shower. Four of the bedrooms were later remodeled to include ensuites, according to People.

Outside of the property, future residents can enjoy the 850 square foot deck, a fireplace, a pool with a waterslide and spa, a horse barn, and a 10-acre fenced paddock for privacy.

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Among other lavish perks of the home featured on TLC is a three-car garage detached from the home. The garage has private living space upstairs and a private entrance for guests.

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Gosselin and her ex-husband purchased the home for $1.1 million in 2008, according to E! News.

The following year, the couple filed for divorce after 10 years of marriage.

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Turkey’s Erdogan Plans to Attend ‘Picnic’ in Cyprus Flash-Point

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to attend a “picnic” next month in a flash-point town in the Turkish-controlled north of Cyprus, as he pushes for a two-state solution on the divided island.

Erdogan, speaking during a joint briefing with the newly elected president of the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state, Ersin Tatar, dismissed talk of a federation with the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus as a “waste of time.”

With Ankara’s encouragement, the self-styled Turkish state this month opened a long strip of beach and the main street in Varosha to the public, ignoring warnings that the move could hinder reunification attempts.

It had been the island’s premier tourist resort before it was abandoned and sealed off following the Turkish takeover of northern Cyprus in the summer of 1974. Greek-speaking residents left the once upmarket suburb, sited next to the port of Famagusta.

Turkish-Cypriot authorities now want to redevelop it to win implicit international acceptance of the breakaway state’s control.

“I would like to have picnic in Varosha,” Erdogan said Monday. “I see it from television screens and I would like to personally experience it.” He’ll travel to the island on Nov. 15 to attend celebrations marking the anniversary of the foundation of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state in 1983.

The move will further inflame relations with the Mediterranean island’s Greek-Cypriot administration and hobble a United Nations proposal to resume reunification talks.

The Cypriot government has said it will consider any attempt to unilaterally change Varosha’s status as a breach of Ankara’s international commitments and prevent unity talks.

The Mediterranean island — less than half the size of New Jersey — was fully divided in 1974 after Turkey intervened, capturing the northern third of the island, saying it intended to protect the minority Turkish Cypriots following an attempt by the military junta then ruling in Athens to unite the island with Greece.

Now the island has also been pitched into a spat over rights to developed energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey-Greece Feud Escalates After They Cancel War Games

In the latest flareup, Turkey and Greece exchanged barbs on Sunday after Ankara announced it would conduct a seismic survey in an area of the Mediterranean that both claim.

That initially appeared to undercut goodwill created last week when they agreed to cancel their respective war games in an effort to ease tensions stoked by Turkish energy exploration.

Turkey said Monday, however, that a separate military exercise had been called off as a gesture.

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U.S. Sanctions Iran’s Petroleum Minister as Tensions Escalate

The U.S. sanctioned Iran’s minister of petroleum and some related entities as tensions between the two nations continue to rise in the days before the U.S. presidential election.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions against Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in a statement on Monday, saying Iran uses its oil industry to fund activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Quds Force.

“The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Monday. “The Iranian regime continues to prioritize its support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people.”

Zanganeh is a veteran of Iran’s oil industry who is widely seen as a skillful technocrat who shepherded the Islamic Republic’s market-share revival within OPEC after the 2015 nuclear deal. He is also seen as one of President Hassan Rouhani’s most moderate aides.

The architect of the Iranian oil industry’s post-sanctions recovery, Zanganeh helped secure several multibillion dollar joint-ventures with foreign investors, including France’s Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp., before the Trump era abruptly ended Iran’s tentative economic recovery.

Iran’s OPEC Veteran Weathers Storms From Trump to Saudi Arabia

Since Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran and sought to wipe-out the country’s crude exports from global markets, Zanganeh has maintained a strict policy of not publicly discussing Iranian output and production levels and has frequently condemned the U.S. president for his efforts to directly influence and intervene in OPEC policy and decisions.

A public affairs official at the Ministry of Petroleum in Tehran said Zanganeh had not yet officially responded to the decision and declined to comment further on the matter.

Monday’s move will have little impact on current oil prices with existing sanctions already keeping most Iranian crude out of the global market. Brent is trading just above $40 a barrel, down about $5 a barrel since late summer as the latest pandemic surge sweeps through Western Europe and the U.S.

Blacklisting Banks

Nevertheless, the Trump administration has ramped up its already intense pressure on Iran ahead of the Nov. 3 election, partly to help ensure a potential Joe Biden administration won’t have as much room to ease sanctions. The U.S. announced sweeping new restrictions on Iran’s financial sector this month, as well as blacklisting 18 banks which has escaped earlier sanctions.

Trump has said he thinks Iran will return to the negotiating table after he wins reelection, something Rouhani’s government has repeatedly rejected. Biden has signaled he’d be open to talks with Iran if it agrees to return to the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord and consider a broader agreement.

— With assistance by Sheela Tobben

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Elon Musk reportedly sold Gene Wilder's former estate to Wilder's nephew, and may have financed 95% of the sale

  • Elon Musk has sold a home that belonged to Gene Wilder to Wilder's nephew, Variety reports.
  • Musk announced earlier this year that he would sell off his houses, but stipulated that Wilder's house could not be torn down. 
  • The house, located in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, was never occupied by Musk — Musk used it to house Ad Astra, the school he launched for his children and those of Tesla and SpaceX executives.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Elon Musk has made good on his promise to sell the former estate of Gene Wilder — and the buyer is Wilder's nephew, according to Variety's James McClain.

Musk, who purchased the property in 2013, sold it for $7 million to an LLC managed by screenwriter and producer Elizabeth Hunter, who is married to filmmaker and Wilder nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Variety reports.

The sale price is $250,000 more than Musk paid for it, and Musk may have helped the couple finance the house: according to Variety, records suggest that Musk lent them $6.7 million, or about 95% of the sale price.

A spokesperson for Musk did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

Musk announced in May that he planned to sell "almost all physical possessions" and would not own a house — earlier this year, he reportedly sold one Bel-Air home to a Chinese billionaire for $29 million.

But he made one stipulation in his announcement: Whoever purchased Wilder's estate could not tear it down or remove its "soul." 

Musk told TMZ on Saturday that that was a condition of the sale to Hunter and Pearlman. 

The Wilder estate was built in 1951 and spans 2,756 square feet. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch-style home features a kidney-shaped swimming pool and a view of the golf course at the Bel-Air Country Club. Musk has never occupied the home, instead using it to house a private school called Ad Astra for his children and those of Tesla and SpaceX executives. 

"It has all these funny nooks and crannies and cute cupboards," Musk told Vogue in 2015. "It also feels quite like a little schoolhouse on the prairie — except in Bel-Air on a golf course." 

It's unclear where Ad Astra will relocate after the sale of the Wilder estate, although The Daily Beast reported in July that Musk reportedly helped launch a new online school called Astra Nova.

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GM reveals how it will use the Hummer EV to win over electric car skeptics as it pivots to a zero-emissions future

  • General Motors is relaunching the Hummer as an electric pickup truck in 2022.
  • Heather Vu, the product marketing director for the GMC Hummer EV, told Business Insider the vehicle's combination of on- and off-road performance should persuade customers who are skeptical of EVs.
  • GM says the Hummer EV will have 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque, and a range of more than 350 miles, as well as the ability to drive diagonally and a suspension that can create an extra six inches of ground clearance.
  • That makes the Hummer a new kind of halo car, a tool for winning over customers as GM prepares for an all-electric future.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Relaunching the Hummer as an electric vehicle was a big statement for General Motors that signaled how the automaker's priorities have changed since the nameplate's days as a gas-guzzling SUV. 

The Hummer EV, a pickup truck that will be sold under the GMC brand, will spearhead for GM a new generation of EVs that represent the company's first attempt to make electric models a serious part of its business, following one-offs like the EV1, Volt plug-in hybrid, and Bolt EV. By 2023, GM plans to have at least 20 EV models on dealer lots.

But making that effort a success will require winning over drivers, who still have a strong preference for gas-powered engines (EVs made up around 2% of the US auto market last year), to make the leap to a new technology. GM is hoping it can do so by releasing electric vehicles that resemble the most popular gas-powered models.

The EV1, Volt, and Bolt were sedans or compact cars, segments whose popularity has paled in comparison to SUVs and pickup trucks in recent years. The Hummer EV aligns more closely with the preferences of modern car buyers, and a promotional video on GMC's YouTube page emphasizes the vehicle's speed and ability to handle rugged, off-road terrain, an apparent acknowledgment that many customers care more about what their cars can do than what they do to the environment.

When asked how GM would convince fans of the original Hummer who are skeptical of EVs to buy the electrified version, Heather Vu, the product marketing director for the Hummer EV, pointed to a combination of on- and off-road performance she says is unlike anything else in GM's lineup.

"I really think it's like nothing else we have today or had in the past," she told Business Insider.

The Hummer EV, set for release in 2022, will have 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque, and a range of more than 350 miles, as well as the ability to drive diagonally and a suspension that can create an extra six inches of ground clearance. The Hummer EV's versatility is also what sets it apart from forthcoming competitors in the electric pickup-truck market like the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T, Vu said.

"There really is nothing like it on the market today," she said, "nor will there be in the future."

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Kelly Ripa Says Mark Consuelos’ Bulge In Halloween Pic Is No Trick, All Treat

Morning host Kelly Ripa shared photos of Halloweens past ― and the image of husband Mark Consuelos in tight pants scared up some admirers. The “Riverdale” actor dismissed the fuss, but Ripa proudly confirmed that Consuelos is indeed packing down there.

In an Instagram posted Friday (click the arrow several times), Consuelos and a pal were dressed in patrol uniforms as Jon and Ponch from the TV series “CHiPS.” 

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#tbt Halloween is a family business 🌕🧛🏼‍♂️🧝🏼‍♀️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♂️🧟‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️☠️🎃 here are a few faves over the years

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Consuelos’ Ponch pouch protruded, prompting cheeky comments like “you are one lucky woman,” “OMG, your husband’s basket,” and “I know where Ponch keeps his gun.”

Consuelos downplayed the observations. “Full disclosure, I believe that’s definitely a shadow that’s causing that bulging effect,” he wrote.

But Ripa didn’t share her hubby’s modesty. “ummmmm baby are you seeing shadows?”

The two have been married for 24 years. Consuelos occasionally fills on for Ryan Seacrest as his wife’s co-host on “Live With Kelly And Ryan.” Once, the two hilariously confessed on-air that their then-18-year-old daughter walked in on them during sex.

The spark still seems to be there ― as are the thirst traps posted by Ripa.

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One year ago and still a full #humpday #mood 🔥this man eats #pbandj 🥪

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Most U.S. Voters See Misinformation Online and Many Believe It

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With the U.S. presidential election just over a week away, Americans are still encountering disinformation and misinformation online, especially on Facebook Inc., and many believe what they read, according to a survey released on Monday.

The SurveyUSA poll of more than 3,000 registered voters found that 65% reported seeing political disinformation in their Facebook feeds. A quarter of them reported believing the claims. Conducted between Oct. 14-19, the survey revealed that 85% of registered voters read that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, with 35% believing it.

Facebook and Twitter Inc. have been working to stem misinformation on their sites in the run-up to the election. Both social media companies have become more assertive in flagging posts that violate their policies. Facebook recently started pulling comments that call for people to aggressively police polls on election day and has blocked ads discouraging vaccine use. One of its most controversial moves was to limit the reach of a New York Post article about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which infuriated conservatives.

“There is a democratic emergency happening in America right now, and Facebook is at the center of it,” said Fadi Quran, campaign director of Avaaz, an online activism group that commissioned the survey. “Facebook can urgently downgrade the super spreader pages reaching millions with misinformation and they can show corrections to everyone exposed to these lies.”

According to the survey, almost three quarters of those polled were exposed to the claim that Biden is planning to defund the police, with 32% accepting this as fact. More than 60% read online that President Donald Trump will end Social Security benefits if re-elected and 27% believed this, according to the survey.

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