Hurricane Irma: Powerful storm blamed for three deaths

(CNN)Hurricane Irma — one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic — hammered Puerto Rico on Wednesday night after smashing a string of small northern Caribbean islands where at least three people were killed.

CNN’s Leyla Santiago, in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, said there were 900,000 customers without power as strong winds lashed the island. Officials told her there were several rescues because of flooding but there were no immediate reports of injuries in the US territory of about 3.4 million people.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN he thinks the island was being hit hard even though the eye of the storm stayed off shore.
    “From the center of operations that we have over here in San Juan, there is pretty significant damage already done,” he said, citing wind gusts of more than 100 mph.
    The outer bands of the storm continued to whip heavy rain upon the island late Wednesday.
    Tourist Steban Guajardo told CNN that water in the parking lot of a building he was at in the seaside neighborhood of Condado just kept rising.
    Puerto Ricans bracing for the high-octane winds and slashing rainfall started to feel Irma’s effects Wednesday afternoon. Strong breezes shook rickety rooftops and downpours battered the coast.
    Residents prepped their homes for safety and gathered food, supplies and belongings.
    The storm is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, the first time since 2010 that three active hurricanes have been in the Atlantic, according to CNN Weather.

    Latest developments

    — At least two people died and two others were seriously injured in the islands of St. Barts and St. Martin, French Overseas Affairs Minister Annick Girardin said. An infant died in Barbuda, where as many as 95% of structures were damaged, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360˚.”
    — Irma has maintained intensity above 180 mph longer than any storm in Atlantic basin history.
    — Late Wednesday night, Irma’s core was spinning about 85 miles northwest of San Juan, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.
    — Meanwhile, Jose, in the open Atlantic far to the southeast of Irma, became a hurricane. Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, also became a hurricane.

    — In the US Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp ordered a 36-hour curfew.
    — On Thursday the storm will move very near or over the Turks and Caicos, with catastrophic damage likely. The storm will also pass just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, bringing hurricane force winds to northern sections of the island, with flooding and mudslides probable.
    — It’s too early to tell whether it will make landfall on the US mainland. Computer models show it could churn near Florida’s east coast by late Sunday, and forecasters warn the core still could hit the Florida peninsula.
    — Floridians should heed any evacuation order, Gov. Rick Scott said. “(A) storm surge could cover your house. We can rebuild homes — we cannot rebuild your family,” he said.

    Widespread damage on Barbuda

    Irma’s core slammed the tiny island of Barbuda before moving over St. Martin and Anguilla and parts of the British Virgin Islands. Its maximum sustained winds of 185 mph were well above the 157 mph threshold of a Category 5 storm.
    Browne told CNN the damage was “heart-wrenching. Absolutely devastating.” He estimated the damage on Barbuda, where he says 1,800 people live, to be at least $100 million.
    The telecommunications system in Barbuda was wiped out and cell towers were knocked over, he said. Both the island’s hotels were demolished, he added.
    There is also no way to land airplanes on the islands, Browne said from Antigua, whose 80,000 people comprise most of the two-island nation’s population.

      Video shows Irma ripping through island

    On Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, Kennedy Banda said fierce winds blew out the windows of his home. He and his family were taking shelter in a bathroom; he said he was bracing his body against the door in an attempt to keep it shut.
    “Everything is blown out,” he told CNN by phone near Road Town. “Everything is gone.”
    Earlier, he posted video on Facebook showing wind and pounding rain whipping the shoreline as Irma’s core approached.
    The hurricane earlier battered a string of northern Caribbean island nations, situated east of the more populous Virgin Islands group.
    Reports suggested damage on parts of the smaller islands, a tropical region popular with tourists.
    Roughly 10 of these smaller islands — such as St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis — were pounded by hurricane conditions. One, Guadeloupe, has about 405,000 residents. The rest have about 264,400 people combined.

    ‘It was hell’

    Stacy-Ann Taylor, whose husband works at a hotel in St. Maarten, stayed there during the storm with their two children. When the storm winds started blowing hard in the middle of the night, they went into the hallway, as did a bunch of other hotel guests.
    About five or 10 minutes later she heard the loud sound of glass smashing in the room.
    “Then we could feel a lot of pressure to the ears (like an airplane was taking off or landing) and the sound from the wind sounded like I was in a haunted house,” she said.
    She posted a video to Facebook Live on Wednesday, in which she said she was happy to have survived. About 90 seconds into the recording, she shows the damage to the street the hotel is on.
    “It was hell last night,” she said.
    Though Irma’s path is uncertain, forecasters have said it could turn toward Florida over the weekend, and officials there are ordering some evacuations and shutting down schools.
    Irma affected many northern Caribbean islands, even those not touched by the powerful core. In Marigot, Guadeloupe, Florida resident Loren Ann Mayo rode out the storm on the sixth floor of a beachside hotel.
    “We’ve been hiding in the bathroom,” she said in a video she posted to Facebook. About an inch of water covered parts of the floor, and pieces of drywall had fallen onto a balcony and a bed inside, she said.
    Mayo was there on a business trip. “It is pouring down rain. It is howling,” she told CNN. “Most people are either in their bathroom, or they’ve been moved downstairs to the third floor where management thinks is a very, very safe spot.”
    Storm surge is a concern for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Central Bahamas (up to 20 feet), as is heavy rain (up to 20 inches in the Virgin Islands, and up to 20 in parts of Puerto Rico).

    The Bahamas prepare

    Katherine Pina said four stores she visited in Fort Lauderdale were out of bottled water. She said she saw one man reselling jugs of water for $5.
    “People are doing an opportunity to get some money, I guess,” she said.

      Space station gets a look at Hurricane Irma

    Workers at five gas stations in Miami Beach told CNN by phone Wednesday that all were out of fuel. One said the station expected to receive more Wednesday night; another said a resupply was coming Thursday morning.
    Some South Florida communities ordered evacuations. Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, ordered people out Wednesday.
    In Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale and other cities north of Miami, a mandatory evacuation will go into effect at noon Thursday for areas east of Federal Highway, Mayor Barbara Sharief said. The evacuation zone includes low-lying areas.
    Miami-Dade County ordered people out of mobile homes, barrier islands and other parts of the area.
    Are you affected by Irma? Text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN: +1 347-322-0415.
    ¿Te ha afectado Irma? Envía tus fotos, vídeos e historias a CNN por texto, iMessage y WhatsApp: +1 347-322-0415.

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    Hurricane Irma becomes Category 5 storm again

    (CNN)Hurricane Irma regained Category 5 status late Friday as the core of the storm made landfall in Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

    Irma made landfall on the Camaguey archipelago of Cuba, the center said late Friday night.
    The massive storm edged closer to US landfall in the Florida Keys after leaving a trail of devastation and death in much of the Caribbean as it advanced toward South Florida.
      Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say the storm’s wind speeds will increase after Irma passes Cuba then slips into the extremely warm waters near the Keys.
      “Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe,” the National Weather Service tweeted.
      There were worries the storm’s most powerful winds, on the northeastern side of the core, could pummel Miami, but it appears the city will avoid a direct hit, while still getting pounded by strong winds, storm surge and heavy rains.
      At least 24 people were killed this week when Irma pummeled northern Caribbean islands such as Barbuda and the Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people — nearly 70% of the US territory’s utility customers — were left without power, the governor’s office said.
      Irma slammed the Turks and Caicos, and southeastern Bahamas early before it was off to pound northern Cuba and the central Bahamas.
      — Hurricane warnings are in effect for parts of central Cuba, and the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas. Hurricane warnings also are in effect from Sebastian Inlet on the east coast, southward around the Florida Peninsula to Anna Maria Island on the panhandle. The warning includes the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay.
      — The Red Cross said as many as 26 million people could be exposed to destructive winds and torrential rain just in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
      — Irma could overwhelm parts of the Bahamas, a nation of about 390,000, with storm surges of up to 20 feet — well above the islands’ elevation, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

      Florida and the Southeast prepare for Irma

      The National Hurricane Center has warned Irma could make “landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center.”
      There could be storm surges up to 12 feet in coastal areas, which could “inundate so many low-level houses, especially on the Keys,” Myers said.
      US and European forecast models predict the eye could strike the Keys and then the Everglades, west of Miami, on Saturday night into Sunday morning.
      Farther north, on Daytona Beach, Michael Hanna was itching to leave Friday morning but first had to board up his beach apparel store.
      “I stayed a little longer than anybody else so I can cover up my business,” he said. “My kids are panicking; my wife, she’s panicking. … (Saturday) by 6 a.m., 7 a.m., we’re going to be on the road, heading to Georgia.”
      Irma could cause power outages for weeks in parts of South Florida, and more than 4.1 million customers — or 9 million people — could be affected by outages at some point, Florida Power and Light Co. said. “Our crews will likely have to rebuild parts of the system,” the utility said.
      Evacuees stocked up on supplies, waited for hours at gas stations and sat through massive traffic jams.
      People also flocked to South Florida airports, but schedules were in flux. More than half of Friday’s flights were canceled at Miami International Airport, and “most of the airlines will suspend flights after (Friday) through Monday, depending on the condition of the airport,”spokesman Greg Chin said.
      Florida is not the only state preparing for possible impact. Long, the FEMA administrator, said people from Alabama to North Carolina should watch the storm.
      South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for Saturday for some barrier islands.

      Devastation to islands

      Irma brought heavy rain and powerful winds to the low-lying Turks and Caicos Islands.
      Residents of the islands, a British overseas territory with about 35,000 people, were told to stay put.
      Desmond Piccolo Henry took shelter in his concrete home with his wife and a friend on one of the islands, Providenciales, as the storm rocked the area.
      “It’s a concrete house, but trust me, it was shaking. My friend was saying, ‘Oh my God, I think God is coming, why are we going through this?’ “
      Henry’s home survived with just a few shingles lost, but people have told him that roofs were torn off nearby and debris crushed some cars. Video he posted to Facebook showed downed tree limbs and other destruction.
      The capital island of Grand Turk suffered “quite a bit of damage,” including to part of a hospital’s roof, Gov. John Freeman told CNN.

      After Irma, Hurricane Jose looms

      The Caribbean islands already pummeled by Irma have begun assessing the damage, finding shredded buildings, battered cars and streets submerged in water.
      Barbuda, one of two major islands in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, is barely habitable, with about 95% of its buildings damaged, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.
      Browne estimated the damage will cost $100 million to fix on the island of 1,800 residents.
      “It looks like (a) garbage disposal,” Marlon Carr, a photographer who toured the island with Browne, told CNN on Thursday. “There was rubble and roof galvanized all over the island. It looked like some of the houses … were imploded on.”
      Irma’s eye passed directly over Barbuda on Wednesday, and now the northeastern Caribbean nation is anxiously watching Hurricane Jose to the east, which has strengthenedto a Category 4 storm.
      Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Martin and St. Barts are under a hurricane warning for Jose, which could pass close to those islands Saturday. The government called for voluntary evacuations from Barbuda, Browne said.
      Irma also badly hit St. Martin with about 50 people reported injured.
      Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte described the looting situation in St. Maarten, the Dutch portion of the island, as serious, a spokesman for his office said Friday.
      The government said emergency flights delivering water and other supplies to the island will be used to take residents and visitors off it.
      “Our worst fears have played out in Barbuda and elsewhere,” said Walter Cotte, regional director for the Americas for the Red Cross. “We can’t yet assess the full extent of damage, but we expect that the Red Cross will be delivering extensive support to many thousands over the coming weeks and months.”
      Are you affected by Irma? Text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN: +1 347-322-0415.
      CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave incorrect peak wind speeds for Hurricane Irma. At its strongest, sustained winds reached 185 mph.

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      Chick-fil-A Opens on Sunday After Local Church Sees “Condemned” Signs on Door

      From offering bold prayers during the Orlando attack to offering up hot chicken biscuits to first responders during the Texas tornadoes, Chick-fil-A is known for coming to the rescue in their local communities. Where there is a need, the Christian owned and operated fast-food chain is ready and willing to serve.

      And a recent church crisis in Henrico County, Virginia, proved to be no exception to the restaurant’s generosity.

      When White Oak Community Church members arrived at their worship location at the Econolodge on Labor Day weekend, the congregants were welcomed by quite an unpleasant surprise plastered on the doors.

      Clearly marked “condemned” signs indicated that the building was not to be occupied.

      “Upon arriving to our current worship location we found that the building has condemned signs on the door,” the church shared on its Facebook page. “The only legal use of any of the spaces are for the Econolodge to conduct business. We obviously do not have church this morning.”

      Displaced but still desiring to worship, they moved their equipment in search of a new space.

      The members remained incredibly hopeful and positive after what they called a “minor setback.”

      “Often God sandblasted us out of places in order for us to see the next great thing that he has for His church,” they optimistically proclaimed on Facebook. “A little frustrated this morning, but excited for what God has for our future!”

      At an emergency meeting held by the church’s leadership, one of the board members who works at the local Chick-fil-A got a brilliant idea. The woman contacted her boss, who readily agreed to allow White Oak Community Church use their building for service on Sunday.

      The church’s lead pastor, Dave Wilde, was overwhelmed by Chick-fil-A’s willingness to go above and beyond to accommodate them, as the chain is known for being closed on Sunday to honor the Sabbath.

      But what better way to honor the Lord’s day than to bring church right into your doors?

      “I did want to send a huge thank you to Greg Williams and Chick-fil-A for graciously agreeing to host us next Sunday,” Wilde said in a Facebook video.

      “No they are not serving food… You cannot order chicken biscuits at Chick-fil-A next Sunday,” joked the pastor. “So if you’re a current or future attender, and you always wanted to worship in a restaurant setting, this is your lucky day.”

      About 30 people showed up for the makeshift service.

      …And though the restaurant didn’t serve up their hash-brown burrito scramble or signature breakfast Chick-n-Minis, you better believe those folks got one HEARTY serving of the Word of God.

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      Dear Husband, This Is Who You Really Married

      Dear Husband,

      I am sorry.

      I’m sorry that you’ve been neglected for the last four-and-a-half years. I’m sorry that your needs are secondary. I assure you, you are still one of my top priorities—you just aren’t on the top of the list anymore.

      I know that you have needs, wants, dreams and desires. When I tell you that I want to be the one you lean on, I mean it. I know you are tired of my excuses of being tired, having a headache or am already snoring when you snuggle up next to me. Trust me, I wish I had the energy I had five years ago. Hell, I wish I had the energy I had two weeks ago when I washed, folded and actually put away all 10 loads of laundry. Of course, you didn’t see that because I was letting you get some much-needed sleep.

      I know that some days it feels like we have a business partnership. And you’re right. Some days—even weeks—feel that way. Know that I want better for our marriage, for us. Because together, we are damn good.

      The problem is, my life, my brain and my body are so wrapped up in being a mother to those little boys who look exactly like you. Even after they’re sound asleep and we’re sitting on the couch watching a movie, my brain is still in mother mode.

      I’m thinking about tomorrow; I’m thinking about 10 years from now. I’m wondering if you have work clothes for tomorrow. I’m worried about money, milestones and milk. Do we have enough milk? I can’t turn off being a mom. It is who I am now. And it is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting.

      I don’t want you to think you aren’t as important as you once were. I couldn’t live this life without you and I wouldn’t want to, either. But the simple fact is, you’re an adult and you can do things for yourself. You can vote, so you can make your own lunch. You are legally able to drive a car, so you can figure out how to make a doctor’s appointment.

      When you come home from work, you, unfortunately, are getting the worst version of me. I gave our children the best. A little secret: Sometimes, some days, there just isn’t a best version of me. There just isn’t.

      I can’t worry about your health, the boys’ health, the pet’s health and my health. Who do you think gets ignored? It’s not you. It’s not our children or our pets. When I say I don’t feel well, when I say I haven’t been sleeping, it’s because I haven’t been taking care of me.

      Yes, you tell me to go to the doctor, to eat better, to drink more water, but I am my very last priority. I know I need to change that and I’m not complaining. I’m explaining that when something has to give, because no one person can do it all, I am the thing that gives.

      I’m worried about your sleep apnea, your allergies, your knee spasms. I am worried about the rash Alex has, and the snotty nose that Ben suddenly started with. I am concerned about our dog’s ears and what it’s going to cost to take her to the vet.

      While I’m thinking about it, I’m worried that the fish have too much algae in their tank and the water needs to be changed. I’ll just add that to the never-ending list of things I will feel guilty about when I am trying to sleep tonight. None of this your fault. I am not blaming you, or wishing you were any different.

      You do extraordinary things for our family. You work harder than any person I know. You care more about everyone, including me, than any other human I have ever met. I love you a little more each time I see you help someone knowing you will never get anything in return. You are the kindest, most loving father to our children. There is a reason they cry when you leave for work. Yes, it stings a little, but knowing that you are their role model in life fills me with love and pride.

      I am not the person you married 11 years ago. I have changed and evolved into a wife, mother, friend and keeper of all schedules. I am a party planner and a personal shopper. I am a chef specializing in chicken nuggets and pasta. I am a housekeeper that can’t keep a house. I am the cheerleader and the librarian. I am the night and the day nurse.

      I wouldn’t change any of it. I don’t want any other life. I love you and I love the life that we created. But I am not the spontaneous, beer drinking, sexy bad girl you met way back when. I am a mother. And it is all of me.

      Love Always,

      Your Wife

      **This article appeared originally on Parent.Co. Used with permission. 

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      Trump praises non-existent African country in speech to African leaders


      Speaking before a group of African leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday, President Donald Trump cited the progress of Nambia’s health system. The problem is, Nambia does not exist.

      “In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak, Trump said. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”

      Trump likely meant Namibia, which does exist. The president delivered his remarks during a lunch attended by leaders from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Namibia, and Uganda.

      Unlike several other countries in West Africa last year, Namibia was spared the deadly Ebola outbreak in 2016 that caused widespread panic, including in the United States. Given Ebola outbreaks in other African countries, Namibia boosted its health system to prepare for possible infections in the southwestern African nation.

      Trump began his speech before the African leaders by touting the economic potential in African nations, saying that “so many” of his friends are “going to your countries trying to get rich.”

      “Africa has tremendous business potential,” Trump said. “I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich, I congratulate you. They are spending a lot of money. But it does, it has tremendous business potential.”

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      17 Years Ago I Wanted To Kill Myself, Heres 5 Things I Wish Someone Wouldve Told Me Then

      Andrew Shiau

      Seventeen years ago I wanted to kill myself and no one knew it. On the outside, everything seemed perfect. Even those closest to me thought it was. Successful chiropractic business, living in Santa Barbara, California, engaged to someone who others thought was the “perfect person” for me. Based on the outward appearance, I should have been happy. But I wasn’t. Every morning, after my fiancé would leave for work, I would lie in bed and cry.

      According to research and surveys, there are a lot of people who have a story much like mine. Depression, hopelessness and loneliness are on the rise. Getting out of bed in the morning for many is a huge accomplishment in itself. And, like me, many of the people who are on the verge of saying good-bye to it all seem just fine on the outside.

      When I was at my lowest point, I made a decision. The decision was that I was going to end it all. I even set the date. 6 months from the day of my decision, unless something changed significantly, I was out of here. Things did change for me. I discovered pragmatic tools that allowed me to go beyond depression and thoughts of suicide to enjoying a full and adventurous life.

      As someone who made the choice to stay here on the planet, as someone who now wakes up every day happy to be alive, here are 5 things I wish for everyone who struggles with depression and suicide to know:

      1. It’s ok to talk about it

      Movies, television and social media all depict happy people pretending that they are perfect and that their life is perfect. The message that this sends is that if your life is not perfection, there must be something wrong with you. We compare our imperfect life with the supposed perfect life of others and judge that there must be something wrong with us and because we don’t wish others to think that there is something wrong with us, we hide what is going on and simply do not talk about. You are not wrong and you are not alone. Choose to talk to someone who is kind and does not judge you. Talking to another person about what is going on for you can be very freeing and can release the trauma and drama around it.

      2. Move your body

      This may not sound like a pragmatic tool but it is. Moving your body changes the physiology of your body. It releases endorphins and can dramatically change the way you feel. For 20–30 minutes every day, get up and move. Jog. Dance. Go for a walk. Doesn’t matter how you move. Just move.

      3. Don’t take on other people’s stuff

      The thing that changed my life dramatically from wanting to die to living happily is a little question I heard, “Who does this belong to?” We are all very aware of the people around us. If we have people around us that are depressed, we often feel depressed and think that we are when in reality, we are just aware of others.

      When you notice feelings of depression or loneliness, stop and ask, “Who does this belong to?” You may soon discover that the depression that you think is yours isn’t. This can change everything. It did for me.

      4. Access BARS

      Sometimes it’s difficult to stop thinking. Our thoughts can be loud and continuous and we don’t know how to let go and find peace. There is a pragmatic hands-on process that can dynamically assist. It’s called the Access Bars. The Access Bars are 32 points on the head that when gently touched alleviate stress and assist with stopping incessant mind chatter.

      5. Never give up

      Please don’t give up. Ever. No matter what is going on for you right now, it won’t be this way forever. What is the gift of you that if the world lost it the world would be a less wonderful place because you’re gone? You being here makes a difference and no matter how challenging this may be, something else is possible. I know. I’ve lived it. Keep going. Keep asking, “What else is possible that I have never considered?”

      If you’ve had thoughts of suicide, or if you know someone who has, please know there is hope. There is always hope.

      You are far too valuable to the world. 17 years ago, I made a choice to stay and it was the greatest choice I could have ever made. The tools and the help are available to change everything.

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      Pharma bro Martin Shkreli sent directly to jail, judge calls him ‘danger to society’

      Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli points as he exits the courthouse.
      Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

      The pharma bro is now the pharma inmate. 

      Martin Shkreli was called a “danger to society” on Wednesday by a judge, who then canceled his bond release and put him in jail, according to numerous media reports.

      Shkreli had been out on a $5 million bond following his conviction for securities fraud in early August. 

      Shkreli found himself back in court on Wednesday after publishing a Facebook post in which he called for his followers to get a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. He promised a $5,000 reward to anyone who delivered the hair.

      Shkreli had been awaiting sentencing after his conviction in federal court for misleading investors in his hedge fund, and then using cash and stock from one of his biotech companies to pay them back.

      He was found guilty of three counts of securities fraud and acquitted of five other charges.

      Brooklyn judge Kiyo Matsumoto at the hearing called Shkreli’s Facebook post a “solicitation of assault.” Clinton is currently on a tour promoting her new book.

      Shkreli had apologized for the Facebook post and sent a letter to the judge calling it an “awkward attempt at humor or satire.”

      It’s hard to believe it’s been almost exactly two years since Shkreli burst into the national consciousness after his drug company bought up the rights to a generic medication used by AIDS and cancer patients and increased the price from $13.50 to $750. At the time, Clinton, who was on the campaign trail, criticized his company for the price hike on Twitter, as had many others. 

      In just a few hours, Shkreli went from a young, unknown business executive to the poster child for everything wrong with the drug industry. He didn’t handle the transition well. 

      Since then, Shkreli has remained in the spotlight thanks to his bizarre behavior and public statements. He often livestreams for hours at a time from his apartment and became a popular figure in the so-called “alt right.” He also recently harassed journalists by purchasing internet domains related to their names and mocking them on the sites.

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      How Hustling Only Makes You Tired, Not Rich (9 Ways To Kill The Game)

      Ali Kaukas

      The most damaging mentality I have ever had as a business woman and entrepreneur is “No Pain, No gain.”

      I wish that somebody would have told me, “Struggling is a choice” when I was building my business three years ago.

      Does building a business take time, have a process, take energy, have moments of scarcity followed by exhales of being supported?

      Am I here to say, “Start a business, set an intention, and then sit on the couch and you will get a million dollars while watching reruns of Breaking Bad on Netflix?”


      However, many of us choose to struggle in our businesses rather than work intelligently.

      Here are 8 tips that have helped me to kill the game and not kill myself by doing it all:

      1. You Cannot Afford To Not Have An Assistant.

      I jumped on a call with a lawyer 6 months ago and when I asked him how his day was he replied, “To be honest, I just started my own practice recently and today I spent 2 hours trying to teach myself how to use this invoicing service. It was frustrating.”

      “Lets say for a moment you make $500 USD an hour. My assistant costs me $27 dollars an hour. She could set up your invoicing system in less than an hour, and then it would take her 5 minutes to send an invoice for you. While she does that you could have worked with clients for two hours and made $1000 USD. You would make over $975 USD today by hiring somebody to help you do the things you could teach yourself how to do, but don’t need to do.

      The first week I hired my assistant to help me with my emails and work, I went on a day trip to a surf break in California and surfed for 3 hours and took a nap.

      She gave me back 10 hours of my life in that week, and the week after, and my invoice at the end of the month was $337 CAD.

      2. Of course You Can Teach Yourself, But For Fuck Sakes, Just Hire Somebody.

      An artist and friend of mine one said, “Janne, there are mine fields that you will hit as an entrepreneur. And you can either walk across and get blown up or you can hire somebody who knows how to walk across and not get blown up.”

      I know so many people who try to teach themselves how to build their own websites.

      It takes them eons (weeks or months), and they get discouraged and procrastinate.

      My first basic template website cost me $100 USD and it was done in 48 hours.

      Hiring people to do the things you suck at, or don’t know how to do is a strength, not a weakness.

      Fuck teaching yourself how to do everything—use your time, energy and creativity to do the things you love and are strong at.

      3. Get Your Car Detailed And Your House Cleaned.

      For a period of “busy” in my business I sucked at boundaries.

      I could work for 10-15 hours a day, non stop.

      I wouldn’t take time to cook, or eat. My house was a mess. My car was a mess.

      I let the landslide of my busy topple over my personal self care and basic needs.

      I now pay a service to drop of my lunch and dinner on my doorstep so that I am nourished, healthy and happy no matter how busy my days are.

      It costs around $120 USD for the week.

      I get my house cleaned twice a month.

      I have somebody come to my house and clean my jeep twice a month—I leave the keys in the mailbox and money in the glove box.

      It takes time and energy to build a business but your body, health and personal life doesn’t need to pay.

      While my house or jeep is cleaned, I can work and an hour of my time pays for the cleaning for the next month/

      This isn’t extravagant or luxurious—this is working intelligently, and knowing how to spend money to lovingly take care of myself.

      It also puts money in the bank for two humans every month—win, win, win.

      4. Work Intelligently: 80/20 Business Theory.

      The 80/20 theory was first introduced by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who in 1906 observed that 80% of Italy’s land was controlled by 20% of its population.

      The 80-20 rule is a rule of thumb that states that 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of all causes for a given event. In business, the 80-20 is often used to point out that 80% of a company’s revenue is generated by 20% of its total customers.

      Therefor technically 20% of your work/clients can produce 80% of your income.

      My take on this, is that many of us do 80% of the work, for 20% of the money.

      Many artists and businesses starting out work with a large handful of clients to make a rather small amount of money.

      We call it growing pains and “establishing ourselves” and believe there is value in getting our name out there and that “everybody struggles like this while building a business”.

      That because you’re a healer or work in wellness you can work for free building experience.

      Ra-Ra, horseshit.

      Rewind a few years ago.

      I am writing 14-17 articles a month making $50- $100 USD dollars an article.

      I believe that I am fucking blessed to be getting paid anything as a writer in an online world, which, has some truth to it for when we moved from print to online publications adopted the belief that followers pay the rent (they don’t, shitheads).

      I quit my crutch jobs, and was relying just on my writing income.

      Without my serving and interning jobs, I was suddenly making around $600-$1000 CAD a month and couldn’t afford to live in Canada.

      So I got creative and decided to sublet my cabin out, and go work at a butterfly garden work exchange in Costa Rica where I could work in exchange for food and board.

      Half the time I cleaned up caterpillar poop and hunted geckos in the garden and the other half of the time I worked reception and wrote articles like mad at the front desk.

      This allowed me to survive and continue to follow my dreams.

      Eventually I was over giving my energy to anything other than my business and decided it had been a good in between but it still wasn’t the answer.

      I flew to Colorado on my way home to Canada and had the most important cup of coffee I’ve ever had.

      That same day I had that cup of coffee, I had a meeting with an owner of a publication that was cancelled.

      In that meeting I was meant to have I was planning on asking to write monogamously for one publication for $1500 USD a month. I thought this amount was generous of them, and I thought this was truly my worth.

      Some of my big hits/articles and poems at the time had between 400,000 and 1,000,000 views.

      I had no idea what my worth and value was and this chance coffee shifted that for me in a big way.

      Over that cup of coffee, I told the woman I was meeting I was charging $50-$100 an article and she spit her coffee out.

      “What?” she asked.

      I then told her what I was about to pitch this publication.

      “Don’t you dare ask for $1500 a month. You are worth a minimum, a minimum of $250 USD an article. Go for a hike, set an intention of how much money you want to make and know that you are everything you need, without anybody to make that happen.”

      I hiked a mountain and decided that $4000 a month was thriving for me. It was an unheard of amount of money in my brain—insurmountable at the time and daunting. I almost felt greedy.

      I remember standing at the top of this hike with my phone calculator looking at that number.

      I decided that I wanted to charge $250-$500 USD an article.

      I went home and wrote, “I am supported by what I love. Abundance flows effortlessly into my life. I am worthy of $4000 a month.”

      I changed my prices and over that week, I lost all my clients that I had built over the last year.

      All of them.

      I questioned if I was mad.

      I stressed, was filled with anxiety.

      Then I got an email from a man asking me to be the voice of his company. It was vague and kind of esoteric and I gave him shit on his third email for not being direct enough with me on what he wanted.

      He wanted me to write content for his website.

      I asked for $2000 USD a month, to write 4 articles a month (I wanted to ask for a $1000).

      Then I signed up with another publication for $1000 USD a month for 4 articles a month.

      And a third for 2 articles a month for a year at $500 USD.

      I was suddenly, within weeks, making $4000 CAD a month.

      I transitioned to 3 clients writing 10 articles a month that gave me my income I was previously making X 4, from writing for 7-9 clients, writing 14-17 articles a month making ¼ of the money.

      This is my version of the 80/20 theory.

      Instead of working with 8 client’s night and day and making peanuts, find your 2 clients/projects that can pay you 80% of the revenue for 20% of the work.

      Then, do this often—do it every 3 months, do it every ____ clients.

      5. For Fuck Sakes, Change Your Prices As You Grow.

      I met a massage therapist on a float plane this week who told me she had been charging the same rates for over 6 years.

      “You haven’t even changed them, like, $5?” I asked.

      “No, the average rate for massage therapists here is $90-100 dollars.”

      “If I told you that there was an acupuncturist that charged $50 an hour, or $250 an hour. Who do you think is better?”

      “The one who charges $250.00.”


      We are so afraid to charge more than what everybody else is, but we choose our worth and other people pay what they believe they are worth.

      And the fucked up thing, is that many of us think that if something is more expensive, that it’s better.

      Not always the case, but undervaluing ourselves is not doing ourselves any favours just like not shifting our prices to mirror our experience isn’t either.

      When I doubled my rates for my life mentoring program one of my clients replied, “There is no value I can put on the work we have done together. Thank you.”

      When you change your rates, you will loose clients. But the people who truly want to work with you will expect to make an investment for they will know your worth.

      The question is, do you know your worth? And are you charging it?

      6. Work Less. Way Less.

      I work 6 days a month mentoring clients for 80% of my income. My work days on those 6 days a month are 4-5 hours long. The rest of the month I write, surf 2 hours a day, do yoga 4 days a week, go on adventures, teach myself how to run my business, work with my team, kiss men with ponytails, wear leather pants and get down to the saxophone.

      We are not here to work to work to work to die.

      We aren’t.

      There was a stage in building my business where I hustled and built connections with publications that had large followings and an audience so that when my work went viral, said audience followed me which now leads to revenue with cultural influencer jobs, clients, public speaking opportunities etc. etc. however, I truly believe that I choose to struggle unnecessarily for a few years of that.

      I choose that because I grew up wired to believe that good people couldn’t have lots of money, and that artists had to starve and work a second job.

      I wish I would have hired an assistant a year and a half ago.

      I wish I would have changed my prices eons before I did so I could have just lived in Canada and written from my cabin, instead of vacating to try and survive in the jungle.

      It looked exotic and like I was some privileged white bitch getting a sexy tan swimming with turtles drinking fresh coconuts, but in reality—I couldn’t afford first world.

      I truly believe that we sometimes choose to struggle by not charging our worth, not having boundaries (taking jobs for less than we are worth), not hiring a team, not delegating, and not investing in ourselves.

      Working hard is for assholes who still live in the system—we are building a new system.

      7. Fuck Bro Rates. Quit Working For Free

      I had a friend who approached me to write for his publication and when we hopped on Skype he asked me, “What are your rates?”

      I said, “$450-650 USD an article. But sometimes if I am building a long term relationship with a publication I will charge less.”

      He said, “Fuck that, Janne. I don’t want a bro rate. I used to own a shop, and give bro rates all the time. I know that only one bro benefits.”

      My friends pay full price for mentoring calls with me. Even a woman who has paid me for the last year pays my full rates to work with me.

      People don’t value free shit, and your time also isn’t free.

      A story that has always, always stuck in my brain was from one of my business mentors a few years ago.

      At one point in his life he was doing body work as a profession. He had one client who was really struggling financially. He could tell that her and her daughter were getting pretty close to having to live out of their car. He would feel extreme guilt whenever she would pay him. One day he called someone in his trade and explained what was happening.

      She cut him off mid sentence and said, “Don’t you dare lower your prices for them.”

      [ How many of you thought cold, heartless bitch?]

      “If you lower your prices you continue to enable them to exist as victims/where they are. You don’t give them an opportunity to grow.”

      He didn’t change his prices. He also noted that when she showed up for her sessions, she showed up and had great takeaways from his work. More so than people who had millions in the bank. She derived great value in what she was paying for, likely more so, because she was making sacrifices to be able to show up and do the work.

      Shortly after she wasn’t on the streets, and things got better financially.

      I believe that sometimes committing to things and pushing ourselves to grow with extra expenses is what creates a context that allows us to thrive and expand.

      8. Take 2 Full Days Off A Week.

      You know what hustle, hustle, hustle gets you?

      Burn out.

      Intelligent business owners do not check their emails at 1 am.

      They do not sleep with their face attached to their phones because they trust that if they walk away from their business for a few days, nothing will fall apart beyond repair.

      We must trust that we have spent time building the embers of the fire of our business and that it is burning so hot that if we leave the house for a moment, or pass somebody else the poking stick that it will be alive when we return.

      And that when we come back all we have to do is throw a small log on and it will burst into an even bigger flame.

      Not trusting your business is the worst thing you can do.

      Take time totally fucking off, and those emails can wait until whenever your “Monday” is.

      You Are The Big Break.

      In my first year starting my business I had a ridiculously flattering job offer from a big ass company I dreamed about as a kid. It not only was a reputable company that would put me on the map, but it had 5 zeros on the paper when my income as a writer at that point had 4 zeros.

      There was one catch—I needed a visa in 10 days.

      You know what kind of donkey can pull a visa out of their ass in 10 days?

      No one.

      I slaved and barley slept trying to make it happen talking to immigration lawyers until the wee hours of the AM.

      I couldn’t get the visa and I was devastated to give up the gig because I thought it was my big break.
      Later I would find out from my talent manager that gigs like this one usually come 6-12 months in advance so that one can prepare within a respectful amount of time to make all the shit happen.

      This job offer was great, but it didn’t have a loving amount of time for me to be prepared and wasn’t realistic.

      I no longer accept last minute job offers that require me to flail, because they aren’t loving.

      I don’t care if Oprah emails me to come on her show on a Friday, if I am off my emails—I will get back to her on Monday and if that’s too late for her, well she can find somebody else.

      Nobody is the big break— you are the big break.

      These are 8 ways I kill the game daily, and some of the story behind how I built my own system—a system that is loving to my well being, boundaries and bank.

      I don’t believe you need to work hard to be a success, I believe that you need to work intelligently to be happy and that is a choice you make.

      Read more:

      Confectionery Giant Mars Announces $1 Billion Sustainability Plan To Fight Climate Change

      When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, many were worried that it could spell the end of the accord. The concern was that if as big a player as the US was to leave, other countries would see little point in remaining. But in a strange twist of fate, the reverse has happened.

      Nations have doubled down on their commitments, and the current White House administration is even receiving a backlash from major business and industry players who want the regulations and targets because they know they are necessary. The latest corporation to hit back at the withdrawal is the confectionery giant Mars, who has announced that it is launching a $1 billion ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan. The aim is to tackle its carbon emissions while at the same time promote sustainable farming for its products.

      Industries are now waking up to the fact that cutting emissions is not just about doing good or preventing climate change, but is actually just good business sense. By switching from fossil fuels to renewables the cost of energy drops once you recoup the initial investment as the energy is cheap. It’s as simple as that.

      “This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what’s necessary. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” explained Grant F Reid, the chief executive of Mars. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

      Mars has set out a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 67 percent by 2050. In addition to this, they will also set up projects aimed at reducing poverty for their suppliers and farmers in low-income countries, as well as improving the sustainability of the farming practices that they run.

      The massive investment by the $35-billion company, which makes all sorts of confectionary from Skittles to Juicy Fruit, has been announced in the run up to the UN General Assembly and Climate Week that is taking place in New York later this month. Mars hopes that as such a big hitter in the business world, it will encourage other companies to make similar environmental commitments.

      And it seems that this mentality is working. To date, 14 states that account for a third of the US population and just under 40 percent of the US’s GDP, have formed the United States Climate Alliance in which they will maintain their commitments to the Paris agreement, bypassing the White House and the President entirely.

      Read more: