Forget fashion and beauty. These are the grocery store influencers

New York (CNN Business)When you think of influencers, you might think of flat tummy tea and hair vitamins. Aldi is not the only big grocer with pages run by die-hard customers. Kroger Krazy lifts Kroger. An Instagram account called Costco_doesitagain has 511,000 followers. Then there’s Trader Joe’s List, Trader Joe’s Obsessed and a lineup of Trader Joe’s influencers with no connection to the company. I Heart Publix, a Facebook page started by Michelle Atwood more than a decade ago, has grown to 116,000 followers. With more consumers cutting the cord on television, coupons in magazines fading away and the efficacy of celebrities’ paid social media ads waning, these passionate fans on social media are becoming more important to reach shoppers, …

Christmas sweaters are adding to plastic pollution, environmental charity says

(CNN)Most Christmas sweaters are made of plastic and are likely to contribute to plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, an environmental charity has warned. Given the high use of acrylic, Hubbub warns that an average Christmas sweater is “likely to add to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.” The charity estimates that customers in the UK will buy 12 million Christmas sweaters this festive season — despite already owning 65 million — and that two in five of these garments will be worn just once over the holiday period. Sarah Divall, project co-ordinator at Hubbub, said: “Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic.” Divall …

‘Free, Melania’ offers new details about the life of a private first lady

Washington (CNN)First lady Melania Trump, like those before her, has battled the vast juxtaposition between public perception and private citizen. And she remains, three years into her tenure, one of the most mysterious, quiet and press wary first ladies — warm at times, stone-faced at others. Her most telltale moments reveal hints of her notoriously private personal side. That hand swat on the tarmac in Tel Aviv, Israel, meant to express a quick flick of anger. Or the nudge with her elbow to Trump from the Truman balcony before the White House Easter Egg Roll, when the President was a tad slow to put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem. She’s used fashion, too, cultivating looks that …

Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history

New York (CNN Business)This Cyber Monday set all kinds of sales records, including one that has become something of an annual tradition: Monday was Amazon’s biggest shopping day in the company’s history. In the United States, the top items sold were the Instant Pot Duo80, a DNA kit from 23andMe, L.O.L. Surprise! toys and the iRobot Roomba. Amazon also said its fashion items had its biggest sales day ever globally with a Carhartt beanie hat and a Champion hoodie being most popular. Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, also broke its all-time record for turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season for the third year in a row. The holiday wasn’t completely rosy for the company. A small number of …

In the fight against climate change, no one can stand on the sidelines

When I think of the incredible challenges we must confront in the face of a changing climate, my mind focuses on young people. Eventually, they will be the ones either to enjoy the fruits or bear the burdens resulting from actions taken today. Unless we act. We can avoid this bleak future, and we know what we have to do — reduce emissions, offset what cannot be reduced and adapt to new climate realities. No individual or institution can stand on the sidelines. Benioff and Branson: We’re failing the world’s oceans. Businesses can help save them The shipping industry must go carbon neutral to survive Joseph Stiglitz: Corporate greed is accelerating climate change. But we can still head off disaster …

‘Watchmen’ brings its master plan into focus, layering the old onto the new

(CNN)Even after the opening flurry of episodes, “Watchmen’s” master plan remained difficult to foresee. Yet over the last few hours, the HBO series has dizzyingly blended its new elements with the source material, with producer Damon Lindelof and his team having played the long game in spectacular fashion, proving that time really was on their side. Slower to arrive, though, were Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), a one-time costumed hero, now an FBI agent; and finally, Dr. Manhattan, the godlike figure who isn’t bound by conventional laws of time and space, who had been notably absent. The plot hatched by white supremacist group the 7th Kavalry finally came into full view, involving a plan to destroy Dr. Manhattan, who, it turns …

How ‘the stars aligned’ for a Pussycat Dolls reunion

“Half the time, Louis doesn’t even know what he’s talking about, so I was just surprised he got that one right,” laughs his co-judge Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Dolls. “You could see in his face though,” adds Carmit Bachar. “After he said it, he was like ‘did I just drop the ball?’” It’s now been officially announced that Nicole and Carmit, along with Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt and Jessica Sutta, are all set to return for nine live UK shows in April 2020. “It’s been a few years in the making,” explains Kimberly. “But I think ultimately there’s some unfinished business with the Pussycat Dolls. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Melody Thornton is not taking part in …

Obituary: Jonathan Miller

Image copyright Terry Disney Image caption Jonathan Miller with the Beyond the Fringe team: Dudley Moore (seated), Alan Bennett and Peter Cook. He was educated at St Paul’s School – where he was reputedly talkative and entertaining – and at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read medicine. He might have become a leading neurologist were it not for the extraordinary success of the groundbreaking satirical revue, Beyond the Fringe. It premiered at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival, and brought a kind of clever undergraduate humour to a much wider audience. It transferred to the West End and then to Broadway. Miller had just qualified as a doctor, and taken leave from his job to travel to Edinburgh. The show was …

LVMH scoops up Tiffany for $16.2 billion

Hong Kong (CNN Business)LVMH (LVMHF) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) are finally getting together after weeks of anticipation. LVMH is the world’s biggest luxury group and home to 75 different brands, including Christian Dior and Bulgari. Analysts have been bullish on its latest deal, saying that Tiffany is a good acquisition target because of its strong global brand. “A takeover of Tiffany could make a lot of sense,” analysts at Bernstein wrote in a research note last month. While Tiffany is one of the world’s best-known luxury brands, analysts say it still has room to grow, particularly in jewelry and watches. And LVMH’s deep pockets could help Tiffany turn around after a rocky few years, and fuel its effort to …

No, Simon Cowell, it’s not ‘time for UK-Pop’

(CNN)On Halloween in 2009, a perky quintet known as Wonder Girls became the first K-Pop group to crack the Billboard Hot 100 with their catchy, music-video driven, Korean-language single “Nobody.” Its top stars grace the covers of magazines and sell out stadiums. Lionsgate just announced a Rebel Wilson movie about an aspiring Korean American pop idol; there are, by my count, at least five K-Pop related projects under development for US television; there’s even a big-budget K-Pop musical headed to Broadway after a rave off-Broadway run. In fact, the case can be made that K-Pop is now the biggest transnational pop-culture phenomenon since hip-hop. Both are global creative platforms that connect millions of people across nations; both are nevertheless deeply …

LVMH reportedly nearing a deal to acquire iconic New York jeweler Tiffany & Co.

New York (CNN Business)Luxury giant LVMH is reportedly nearing an agreement to add another brand to its portfolio, a deal that would come wrapped in a little blue box. The luxury conglomerate sent an unsolicited proposal on October 28 to acquire Tiffany for $120 per share in cash, a valuation of $14.5 billion. At the time, the offer represented a 20% premium on the Tiffany share price but the stock jumped following the offer, closing at nearly $126 on Friday. Many analysts said combining with LVMH would be a good move for Tiffany, though the initial offer slightly undervalued the company. The 182-year old New York jeweler currently employs 14,000 people and operates 300 stores around the globe. Its little …

‘Supergirl’ star Melissa Benoist reveals she is a domestic violence survivor in emotional video

Melissa Benoist attends the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on September 24, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Getty) Benoist claimed that she was five months into the relationship when the physical violence began, with the alleged abuser throwing a smoothie at Benoist, which she said: “smacked my cheek and exploded all over the floor and the sofa…” Eventually, Benoist said, the violence would escalate. “I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard the wind would go out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she said. Benoist said …

Controversial mommy blogger says she drinks wine to cope with kids ‘driving her crazy’

“This is the modern family, this is what I blog about,” Hall told “60 Minutes” Australia. “We’ve got equal rights to go work but we [women] still have to do 90 percent of the housework anyway.” CLEMMIE HOOPER APOLOGIZES TO FELLOW MOMMY BLOGGER FOR TRASHING HER ONLINE USING FAKE ACCOUNT “I really think women should rule the world and we should be the bosses of everything, and it should be a matriarchal country,” she has said. All in all, Hall said she embraces her reputation for not coming off as perfect. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP “I think people like me because life’s just not perfect. You know? It’s not happily ever after. It’s not meant to …

After impeachment week, Mister Rogers to the rescue

(CNN)In the musical “Hamilton,” Thomas Jefferson returns to a turbulent United States after five years in Paris and sings, “So what’d I miss?” The pivotal political moment came Wednesday, when Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland gave his opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee, noted Michael D’Antonio: “President Donald Trump’s abuse of power has been confirmed by a witness with direct involvement in the scheme.” At times, Sondland seemed almost gleeful as he outed Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and top administration figures as players in an effort to extract a political favor from Ukraine in return for vital military aid from the US. “With his testimony, Sondland portrayed the Trump-Giuliani scheme as constructed out of lies and …

Report finds the Taliban were deadlier than ISIS in 2018

(CNN)Attacks by the Taliban were deadlier than those committed by any other group in 2018, according to a report released by an international think tank on Wednesday. Sharp rise in deaths by the Taliban According to Steve Killelea, the executive chairman of the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Taliban “now account for 38 per cent of all terrorist deaths globally,” which he believes “underscores the difficulty with the current conflict” in Afghanistan. They were responsible for 6,103 deaths in 2018, a 71% increase over the previous year, according to the index, and the number of attacks rose to 972, a 39% increase from the prior year. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in 2018 — the days-long …

Ambassador says ‘everyone was in the loop’ on pushing Ukrainians to investigate Bidens

(CNN)US Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified Wednesday there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce investigations into President Donald Trump’s political opponents that came from Rudy Giuliani at the “express direction of the President.” In his remarkable opening statement before the fourth day of public impeachment hearings, Sondland told House impeachment investigators that Trump “wanted a public statement from President (Volodymyr) Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election.” “Mr. Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians,” said Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union. “Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. We all understood that these pre-requisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump’s desires and requirements.” Sondland …