en-US <p>The daily business briefing: <em>September 19, 2017</em></p> 1. Senate Republicans on Monday launched a final attempt to replace ObamaCare. The bill, proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) would replace much of the Affordable Care Act with block grants to states, and phase out the Medicaid expansion. It also would end the mandate for Americans to buy insurance. Republicans have two weeks to pass the bill before special procedures preventing Democrats from filibustering it expire. Until then, the GOP can pass the bill with 50 votes. After the deadline, it will take 60, which the 52-seat Republican majority can't get. The Congressional Budget Office, however, said it could not provide estimates on the proposal's impacts on premiums and the number of Americans without insurance, which would rise. 2. Toys 'R' Us Inc., the nation's largest toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday. The retailer has been struggling under a heavy debt load since a buyout more than a decade ago. Its troubles mark the latest in a series of setbacks for brick-and-mortar retailers due to tough competition from Amazon and other online retailers, along with falling mall traffic. Under bankruptcy protection, Toys 'R' Us will try to restructure $400 million in debt due next year. "This filing is really a buildup of financial problems over the past 15 years," said Jim Silver, an industry analyst and the editor of toy-review site "Finally, the straw broke the camel's back." 3. U.S. stock futures edged higher early Tuesday ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, although global stocks struggled. Dow Jones Industrial Average, SP 500, and Nasdaq-100 futures all gained 0.1 percent or less, suggesting they could set fresh records as Fed officials gather to consider their next move on interest rates, and when they will start selling some of the bond holdings the central bank bought to help the economy bounce back after the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow set its 40th record close of the year on Monday, and the SP 500 set its 35th all-time high of 2017. The Nasdaq Composite had its second highest close. 4. Northrop Grumman announced Monday that it plans to buy fellow defense contractor Orbital ATK Inc. for $7.8 billion. The deal gives Northrop Grumman broadened access to lucrative work building missile defense systems and space rockets for the government at a time when tensions with North Korea have increased attention to these programs. "Clearly, as we watch what's happening around our globe, the rather rapid advance of some of our potential adversaries is quite concerning," Northrop Chief Executive Wes Bush said on a call with analysts. 5. Equifax learned about a computer breach in March, five months before the massive breach it previously disclosed, the company confirmed Monday. In a statement, the company said the March breach was separate from the one in which personal and financial data on 143 million people was compromised, although the breaches were done by the same hackers. The news was expected to deepen the company's troubles, which have already led to investigations and the retirement of two top Equifax security executives. Tue, 19 2017 12:07:00 GMT The 10 world landmarks where you#039;re most likely to find love, according to dating app Happn If you're on the hunt for your perfect match, there's a chance you've been looking too close to home. Travelling is a great way to meet new people — and it turns out there are certain places around the world that increase your chances of finding Mr or Mrs Right. Dating app Happn — which has 1.9 million users in the UK and 37 million worldwide — analysed the number of "crushes," or matches, made by users across the globe to find out which monuments and landmarks were popular for finding love. The app, which exists in 50 cities and 40 countries, uses geolocation to connects users who are in the same place at the same time. If the users "like" each other, by tapping a heart on the other user's profile, then they can start messaging each other. While the likes of the Eiffel Tower did make the list, some of the results were more surprising — and you're unlikely to have heard of the 71.5 metre-tall landmark that took the number one spot. Scroll down to see the 10 landmarks around the world where you're most likely to meet your match, according to Happn.10. Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Meaning "hunchback" in Portugese, the mountain is known for its "Christ the Redeemer" statue, which tourists flock to. 9. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, this stunning spot served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. 8. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. Whether you're simply checking out the view or attending a performance, this arts centre offers many opportunities to meet someone new. See the rest of the story at Business Insider Tue, 19 2017 11:19:17 GMT Project Cars 2: Release Date, Car List, Early Impressions and Top New Features The original Project Cars dropped in 2015 to solid reviews and quickly developed a devoted fanbase.  For the sequel, Slightly Mad Studios has done what any game developer looks to do with a follow-up—bring back the core, encourage new fans to join in on the fun and offer a finely tuned product building on the successes and polishing the faults.  Sounds lofty, though the original secured a rating of 81 on Metacritic. The sequel, which drops on Friday, walks a tightrope between making a deep single-player experience and a multiplayer offering influenced by esports. All of this, based on early impressions, gets wrapped in a simulation-inspired package.  One of the complaints about the original Project Cars from a vocal part of the fanbase was the selection of vehicles. Rest assured Slightly Mad Studios has ensured this won't be a topic of discussion again, not with 180 cars from 38 manufacturers included in the base game.  Each of those on the car list can be found here at the game's official website.  The strive for authenticity in the car selection is only matched by the same ambitions when it comes to the tracks. Project Cars 2 boasts 60 laser-scanned tracks spanning the globe, making any disciplines or series accessible right at a player's fingertips.  Of course, the graphics need to be similarly impressive. Project Cars was ahead of its time in this area, and the sequel looks like it will push the same boundaries, this time notably also featuring dynamic time-of-day and weather systems that will impact the action on the tracks. Just as important as the graphics is the gameplay itself. While assigning the game a 9.2 out of 10,'s Luke Reilly wrote about how the game controls great on a gamepad or steering wheel and is more accessible than the first iteration, should players want it to be.  "Project Cars 2 is a tremendously deep destination for racing diehards but it doesn't want to outright intimidate people. There's even a built-in race engineer that will suggest tuning changes based on the feedback you give it," Reilly wrote.  These options, after taking the iffy handling from the first game and rebuilding it from the ground up, are far from the only new feature. Career mode goes deep into the solo experience.  There, players can move through various disciplines on the fly while working the way through a season. Customization, from picking a team to where skills develop is all there as players work through season by season while the top-tier manufacturers keep a close eye on their progress before recruiting them.  Online play is all about accessibility, as expected. Players can hop on the server browser and find what they like or create their own session, tweaking the realism settings in various ways before opening up the hosted event to the public.  Perhaps the most notable new feature is the online Competitive Racing License. This is an online filter of sorts, where the game judges a player's skill and behavior and assigns a license.  The game's official website explained it well: "Broadly speaking, the license tracks three main spheres of a driver's career: a driver's reputation for safety, a driver's strength in terms of ability and racecraft—both of which can be used as a filter for online racing—and driver experience." These licenses hope to make for a better online experience, and players in charge of a lobby can decide what level of license may join an event. There is a potential element of progression to an online career path now as well, with the goal of getting a better license as a player's skill improves.   The esport slant mentioned above is also a big talking point of this year's game, with players even capable of watching a live broadcast from within the game itself. The Competitive Racing License plays a role here, as do lobbies with options to set up directors and broadcasters, who are non-competing players who will assist in getting the event out to the masses.  In all, it sounds like an impressive package, and the early impressions seem to agree. Free from the restraints of an every-year development cycle, Slightly Mad Studios might have a racing heavyweight of its own capable of staying afloat in the deep end of a top-heavy genre. Tue, 19 2017 11:00:00 GMT Has Billionaire Bob Parsons Created Golf#039;s Wildest Member-Guest Tournament? Just about every private golf club in the country has a member-guest tournament. Perhaps none does it like Scottsdale National in Arizona, where billionaire owner Bob Parsons and his wife, Renee, have created a uniquely wild experience. Tue, 19 2017 11:00:00 GMT The Toronto film festival concludes with raw truths and unexpected beauties Because major film festivals screen hundreds of movies each year, some are bound to have overlapping subjects ... in fact, sometimes that's even by design. I'd bet that as soon as the programmers at this year's Toronto International Film Festival booked Battle of the Sexes — a star-studded dramatization of the controversial, zeitgeist-defining 1973 exhibition tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs — they immediately went after Borg/McEnroe, a smaller-scale Swedish film about two very different Wimbledon champions. Which film has the advantage? Call it square. Borg/McEnroe over-explains both the game of tennis and the different approaches taken by the intensely focused Bjorn Borg and the volatile John McEnroe. But Shia LaBoeuf does give a career-best performance as the brash American, channeling a lot of his own reputation as a talented brat into a take on McEnroe that's at once electrifying, scary, and sympathetic. As for Battle of the Sexes (opening in theaters this Friday), it benefits from a spot-on Steve Carrell as consummate showman Riggs: a basically sweet man who played the part of the chauvinist pig to sell tickets to his showdown with King. And it has the always-enjoyable Emma Stone as the passionate feminist King, who was secretly exploring her sexuality while waging a high-profile fight for equality. But while Battle of the Sexes has a winning story to tell, the Simon Beaufoy script is a groaner, filled with dialogue about bra-burning women's libbers so clumsily on-the-nose that every line should begin with the characters saying, "It's 1973." The least cringe-inducing stretch of the movie is the final third — the match itself — which is largely scored to the sound of announcer Howard Cosell's original telecast. Honestly, as sports biopics go, both Battle of the Sexes and Borg/McEnroe were kneecapped at TIFF by an underdog: I, Tonya, a look back at the turbulent youth of feisty figure skater Tonya Harding. The film arrives saddled with three potential deductions. First off, the saga of Harding's rivalry with fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan has been pretty well picked over by tabloid reporters and documentarians, ever since "the incident" where Kerrigan was clobbered with a tire iron by an associate of Harding's husband Jeff Gillooly. Secondly, I, Tonya's director Craig Gillespie has a largely undistinguished filmography; and thirdly, screenwriter Steven Rogers employs a gimmicky structure, which has all the major characters telling conflicting versions of the story directly to the camera, like they're being interviewed in the present day. But danged if all of this doesn't coalesce thrillingly. It helps that Gillespie has a terrific cast, including an Oscar-caliber Margot Robbie as the luckless, perpetually angry Harding, and Allison Janney as her chain-smoking, overbearing, physically abusive mother. As for the mockumentary shtick, it proves to be a boon, allowing the filmmakers to offer different perspectives on the same anecdotes, and to contrast their breezy storytelling with some moments of harsh reality, forcing audiences to reckon with how Harding was beaten, disrespected, and penned in by her background as a poor kid from Portland. This film is as frank as it is funny, and always keyed in to how the pursuit of Olympic glory is effectively closed off to some folks who don't have much money. The heartbreaking horse-racing melodrama Lean on Pete is also Portland-based (at least in its first half), and is also about a youngster hampered by poverty and neglect. Charlie Plummer plays Charley Thompson, the son of a hard-living single dad. Left on his own after his father gets into trouble, Charley starts working for an irascible owner/trainer (played by Steve Buscemi) at a nearby racetrack, and develops an attachment to the title animal: a quarter-horse just one bad finish away from the glue factory. Far from a rags-to-riches sports story, Lean on Pete is mostly a muted, clear-eyed study of life on the margins, following a smart, sensitive, hardworking high-schooler who's barely getting by. Writer-director Andrew Haigh (adapting Willy Vlautin's novel) previously made the arthouse hits Weekend and 45 Years, and co-created the HBO series Looking. He's a filmmaker who always seems to find the most vividly real spaces in which to shoot, which is maybe why he's unafraid to linger on silences — because the specificity of his locations and the depth of his characters allows the audience to understand what's happening on-screen even when there's no dialogue. I don't want to give the idea that "realism" is the only ideal for movies to aspire to. TIFF's reputation as a major film festival was built on three at-times-competing aims: showcasing artful obscurities, providing a launching pad for prestigious Oscar bait, and presenting some of the wildest genre pictures from around the world. So this year's fest didn't lack for outrageousness — whether it was legendary Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo returning to wild shootouts and chases in his wacky, self-parodic Man Hunt, or Japanese horror maestro Ryuhei Kitamura pitting a group of American college students against a ruthless sniper in the nerve-jangling Downrange, or Nicolas Cage chewing every last scrap of the scenery as a suburbanite infected with a disease that makes him want to murder his kids in Mom Dad. With most of the genre pieces at TIFF this year, the less realistic the movies were, the better. "Midnight Madness" offering Let the Corpses Tan is one that'll likely be talked about by cinephiles for years to come, even though co-directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani's adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid's arty pulp novel is more an avant-garde deconstruction of spaghetti Westerns than an actual narrative film. And fans of director Guillermo del Toro will have a lot to look forward to later this year with The Shape of Water, which, like his classics Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone, takes the imagery and unease of classic monster movies and coverts them into a politically engaged and poetic fairy tale — completely artificial, yet transporting. Still, there's something to be said for capturing the complexities of the real world on the screen. Consider two provocative, controversial films at this year's TIFF: director Yorhos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer, about a doctor (played by Colin Farrell) whose fragile family dynamic is exposed when a strange teenager puts a death curse on his wife and kids; and writer-director-star Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy, about an award-winning TV producer whose liberal attitudes are tested when his 17-year-old daughter falls into an intimate relationship with a Woody Allen-esque 68-year-old filmmaker. Both movies aim to push the audience's buttons by confronting social taboos. The Killing of a Sacred Deer asks whether a father would be willing to sacrifice one of his children in order to return to his life of untroubled privilege, while I Love You, Daddy asks whether we can ever discern the "right" or "wrong" of a celebrity scandal without first-hand knowledge. But Lanthimos' film (co-written with Efthymis Filipou) is surreal and blackly comic, concerning characters whose ordinary behavior is stilted and eccentric; and Louis C.K.'s picture (co-written with Vernon Chatman) is at times almost painfully honest, filled with the kind of exploratory private conversations that friends and lovers generally try to keep to themselves and out of the media. In other words, I Love You, Daddy earns every squirm-inducing moment by talking through every side of its situation — and because Louis C.K. is a cinephile, the movie looks as good as Sacred Deer too, with rich black-and-white imagery meant both to honor and needle Allen's Manhattan. To be fair, a lot of fest-goers (both in Toronto and earlier this year at Cannes) have loved The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which is undeniably fascinating and often funny, much like Lanthimos and Filipou's cult favorites Dogtooth and The Lobster. But at this particular point in history, a film that's at once as glib and as jarring as Sacred Deer feels like a waste of time and money. Instead, I'll take The Death of Stalin, a satirical recreation of the bloody power grabs in the early 1950s Soviet Union, co-written and directed by Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci. As with his TV work, Iannucci's new film frames high-stakes politics as the fumbling of small-minded incompetents, more interested in frat-boy pranks and petty revenge than in serving the people. The parallels to various contemporary administrations are undisguised. What makes the movie so powerful is that Iannucci is willing to sacrifice the occasional punch line, so that he doesn't undersell how ferocious the likes of Nikita Khrushchev (sharply played by Steve Buscemi) and Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale) really were. Similarly, writer-director Martin McDonagh's Grolsch People's Choice Award-winning Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is a slight departure for the man behind the wickedly funny and explosively violent films In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Though it's plenty witty, Three Billboards has more in common with the Tony-nominated playwright's work in the theater, which deals with ordinary folks in crisis. Here, the everyman is a woman, Mildred Hayes (played by the formidable Frances McDormand), who gets sick of waiting for the local police to find out who raped and murdered her daughter, and starts a publicity campaign to shame them. She's immediately vilified by a racist cop (Sam Rockwell), and by townsfolk who love the department's long-serving, cancer-ridden sheriff (Woody Harrelson). Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri has a lot to say about the abuse of authority and about how people of differing political persuasions live side-by-side in middle America. But what's most remarkable about the film — and why it stands a good chance to be an Oscar contender — is how stubbornly it defies audience expectations. The plot winds in surprising directions. The good guys sometimes behave abominably, while the villains prove worthy of redemption. The comedy often curdles, challenging viewers who might've otherwise been enjoying the movie just as a snappy portrait of colorful small-towners. That's really what sets apart the great films above (and in my previous TIFF report) from the also-rans. The likes of Battle of the Sexes, Borg/McEnroe, and The Current War process the messiness of the real world into clean, comforting narratives, where everyone's motivations are clear, and the filmmakers' meanings are unmistakable. But Three Billboards, The Death of Stalin, I Love You, Daddy, I, Tonya, The Florida Project, and Mother! — while each incredibly entertaining in their own way — ultimately favor unease. That's why they'll endure, long after 2017's festival and awards seasons have come and gone. Tue, 19 2017 09:35:01 GMT Trevor Noah Breaks Down Why Trump’s Tweets May Be A Necessary Evil "I feel like this is a trade that I can live with." Tue, 19 2017 08:13:21 GMT This simple mistake could help you find cheap flights, according to a man who frequently flies first and business class for free Frequent flier and points expert Gilbert Ott knows a thing or two about finding a good flight deal. As owner of air miles site God Save the Points, he spends his time travelling the globe in first class, writing about the latest hacks in the travel industry. He even once bagged a free ride on a private jet. But while the power of air miles is widely recognised, Ott says there's another, largely unacknowledged way to bag a sweet deal. In a blog post, he shares how to take advantage of "error fares" — the mistakes airlines and travel companies make where they make a flight available for much cheaper than intended. Using a mistake fare, Ott booked a business class flight with Qatar Airways from Amsterdam to Tokyo — via Doha — for just $640 (£473) roundtrip. "That felt like the best deal I'd ever seen, and then ANA just went and offered $630 (£466) roundtrip business class between Vancouver and Sydney!" he wrote in his blog post. "Yes, Australia in business class for less than people pay for coach. These are just two examples of the insane deals you want to tune in for — error fares." So how do error fares happen? "Unlike the old days, airlines file airfares constantly," Ott wrote. "Often, they involve humans or computers, both of which are known to make mistakes, or fail!" "An error fare could be someone forgetting a digit, like $700 (£517) instead of $7000 (£5,178) (whoops), or offering a deal to unintended cities, amongst many others. These days however, airlines love tempting us into booking extra trips – just because – so some fares that seem too good to be true may not even be an error at all. Just a super limited time deal." Ott said there are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with error fares. 1. Firstly, you need to know where to find them. "If this was easy, everyone would do it," Ott wrote. He suggests following the God Save The Points Facebook page for updates on flight deals, as well as forums where most deals originate first: The Flyertalk Premium Fare Deal forum, "the place for business class deals," and the Mileage Run forum, "where most economy deals can be found." He also suggested checking out SecretFlying, TheFlightDeal — which specialises in finding "fat finger discounts" — and Fly4Free. Business Insider has also written about DealRay, a members-only travel app that sends real-time alerts and push notifications whenever it detects massive price drops, error fares, or flash sales. 2. Set up alerts that come to you. "Why incessantly click around all day, when you could just have deals pushed to you?" Ott wrote. "Our Google Flights tricks show you how to set alerts for all your favorite bucket list flights, so you may even beat 'the blogs' to finding an incredible deal." You can also choose to get notifications from God Save The Points' Facebook page. "You can do the same for other great deal sites, and also get email alerts when new fares pop up in the two Flyertalk forums we mentioned. Sure, this requires some legwork, but how much is an unimaginably luxurious trip — without the price tag — worth?" 3. Act fast, because fares don't last. "These are the fares of peoples dreams, and they happen in all cabins," he wrote. "Whether it's $100 round the world economy tickets or $600 for 40+ hours in flat bed business class, people want in! As such, when word spreads, they don't last. Most fares last mere hours, if that. The key is getting in early, getting in fast, and asking questions later — oh, and don't call the airline." 4. Book directly through the airline, where possible. "Do you think a travel company wants to be holding the bag when the airline wants all the money from the digit they left out? Yeah… no. "Airlines and hotels are far more likely to honor any mistake fares booked directly through them — rather than those booked through online travel agencies. They also issue tickets for direct booking faster — which can be a decider in whether the deal is allowed or not. "So, yeah, do your best to go directly to whoever the operator of the deal is, despite what any blogs say (they make money from the sites they promote)." 5. Wait at least 24 hours after booking to contact the airline. "If you'd love friends or family to join and they don't get back to you quickly, you gotta cut em' loose. Available dates dry up in seconds, and it really is a race against time. Find something you believe works, do your best to make it work and book ASAP. Once you've booked, don't call the airline or hotel to ask if it is going to be honored. At least not for 24 hours, until others have a chance to book as well, and until the dust settles." 6. Know that it may not work. "Our biggest fear in publicising error fares, versus just great deals, is that error fares are not always honored," Ott wrote. "That can mean a purchase you made will take up to 14 days to be refunded. For some, that can be quite a game changer. Back in 2015, travellers went into an online buying frenzy after finding a way to get return flights with United Airlines from London to Newark for as little as £50 (about $75). United Airlines suspended sales from its Denmark website where the issue originated, but not before thousands of people purchased tickets for a bargain price. However, the airline said it would not honour the tickets due to a software error. "Know that when you book an error fare, you shouldn't book any other travel plans for at least a few days, until the airline or hotel agrees to honor the deal or not. If you can't afford to potentially have the money waiting in limbo, you may want to opt out, but if they don't honor, you'll always receive a refund. For sure."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here are all the major changes coming to your iPhone September 19 Tue, 19 2017 07:30:00 GMT Eric Trump#039;s Old Foundation Apparently Held Secret Event At Trump-Owned Golf Club The charity formerly known as the Eric Trump Foundation appeared to secretly hold an event at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York on Monday, even though the Eric Trump Foundation remains under investigation by the office of the New York state attorney general. Mon, 18 2017 22:47:00 GMT Jennifer Palmieri: Trump’s Golf Gif Is ‘Promoting Violence Against Women’ Monday on MSNBC, former Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign director of communications Jennifer Palmieri said President Donald Trump’s retweet of an animated gif that shows him knocking down Hillary Clinton with a golf ball was “promoting violence against women.” Palmieri said, “I thought it was both appalling and revealing about his state of mind. And it’s appalling because it is making, you know — let alone being unable to let go of the election, but promoting violence. You know, that is promoting violence against women from the president of the United States.” She continued, “You can disagree with Hillary Clinton on policy, you can think she makes mistakes, but the hatred that surrounds her is irrational. And I think that’s a—that is one of the things that’s positive about her writing this book is that we are able to step back and, you know, outside of the heat of the campaign, without any sort of electoral stakes at hand, and consider why that is. And she’s just been this lightning rod her whole adult life, and I think it is because she’s always—whatever role she’s been in, from when she was a young woman, to the first lady, to a Mon, 18 2017 18:04:35 GMT Twitter Tracker: Trump Hits Hillary Clinton With Golf Ball — New Outrage or New Normal? Each day, Variety dissects the inspiration and meaning behind one of President Donald Trump’s tweets. Today’s (re)tweet: Donald Trump#39;s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary — CNN SUCKS (@Fuctupmind) September 14, 2017 What’s Behind It: On Sunday morning, just as most people were still sleeping, reading the paper or heading to church, President Donald Trump sent out a series... Read more » Mon, 18 2017 15:51:52 GMT