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Ways to Give Back to Indigenous People Beyond Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be a celebration for many, but for Indigenous People, it’s a day rooted in extreme loss and false mythology.

Sean Sherman, author of The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, wrote for TIME, “Many of my indigenous brothers and sisters refuse to celebrate Thanksgiving, protesting the whitewashing of the horrors our ancestors went through.” And as noted by wbur, Thanksgiving was declared a National Day of Mourning by the United American Indians of New England in 1970, an important moment intended to rectify the false history taught in schools.

Here are some of the ways you can give back to Indigenous and Native People during Thanksgiving time and year-round.

Educate yourself and others on the real history of Thanksgiving.

The first Thanksgiving is generally acknowledged to have taken place in November 1621, after a group of colonists from Plymouth, England, had their first successful harvest, with help from Native Americans. The event is often presented as a jovial affair, with the “settlers” brokering good relationships with the Indigenous People they’ve learned from. However, as reported by The New York Times, “the story of the first Thanksgiving, as most Americans have been taught it—the Pilgrims and Native Americans gathering together, the famous feast, the turkey—is not exactly accurate.”

The taught history of Thanksgiving “paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people,” per History.com, and conveniently leaves out the truth, which involved much suffering, disease, and bloodshed. In truth, per Terra Trevor for HuffPost, Thanksgiving “serves as a reminder of how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many Native people from disease, and near total elimination of many more from forced assimilation and as a reminder of 500 years of betrayal.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH-hi7Ghpem/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

A post shared by ✨charlie // amáyá ✨ (@dineaesthetics)

Indigenous activists like Diné Aesthetics strive to set the record straight on the devastating impact colonization has had on Native Americans, and generously provide resources to aid better representation and understanding moving forward.

Research the land you live on.

By using Native Land Digital’s map, you can research the original inhabitants of the place you live, before colonizers claimed the land as their own from Indigenous People. Researching, honoring, and respecting the first inhabitants of a place is a step toward acknowledging the dangers and impact of colonialism and racism.

Decolonize Thanksgiving dinner.

While decolonizing Thanksgiving dinner will be different for everybody, it’s an important step in recognizing the origins of the event. In an interview with Vice, Nephi Craig, a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe of Whiteriver, Arizona, explained, “The first step is to be able to identify which foods are indigenous to the Americas. Then, identify which foods are indigenous to the region you live in. … It comes down to responsibly sourcing your food based on your views on decolonization and food security. It is very complex.” Ordering from Indigenous food suppliers is a good start.

Highlight Indigenous voices.

Indigenous People and Native Americans are misrepresented or underrepresented in popular culture and society in general. Resources are available that highlight and lift up Indigenous voices, which is crucial for change. Per The Cut, the Reclaiming Native Truth project “aims to dispel the myths and misconceptions about Indigenous Americans in the dominant narratives of our culture.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIDhtX1lmrJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

A post shared by IllumiNative (@_illuminatives)

Instagram accounts including @_illuminatives are led by Native People in order to highlight the work of Indigenous People, whether it’s art, writing, film, or celebrating other industries. For instance, IllumiNative highlighted CBC’s Trickster, a TV series about an Indigenous teenager who meets a mysterious stranger, and Chambers on Netflix, which focuses on a young woman who, following a heart transplant, starts having visions about the organ donor.

Support charities and small businesses.

There are a plethora of organizations and charities you can support, such as the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women and the First Nations Development Institute. View lists of resources here and here.

And as people flock to Black Friday sales and Christmas shopping outlets, it’s a great opportunity to support Indigenous small businesses. The Denizen Co. points to an impressive selection of Native-owned brands, including Bedré Fine Chocolate, She Native, Trickster Company, Beyond Buckskin Boutique, B.Yellowtail, Ataumbi Metals, and 8th Generation, which you can support over the holidays and beyond.

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THE ONLINE GROCERY REPORT: The coronavirus pandemic is thrusting online grocery into the spotlight in the US — here are the players that will emerge at the top of the market

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence Online Grocery premium research report. Purchase this report here.
  • Business Insider Intelligence offers even more e-commerce and payments coverage with our Payments & Commerce Briefing. Subscribe today to receive industry-changing retail news and analysis to your inbox.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought online grocery — a promising but formerly niche industry — to the fore. The combination of consumers' interest in avoiding public places, government orders to stay at home, and the continued need for groceries and essential goods has made online grocery delivery services from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart indispensable.

Previously, some consumers resisted the shopping method because they wanted to pick out their groceries themselves and avoid extra fees, but the pandemic has forced many to change their priorities. And the sudden focus on online grocery is set to alter consumer behavior well after the pandemic subsides, accelerating the industry's penetration in the US.

How well online grocers meet demand during the pandemic will play a major role in determining the top online grocers after the pandemic abates. Grocers' ability to fulfill as many orders as possible in a variety of convenient channels throughout the pandemic will be important, as consumers may turn to different providers if they can't place an order from one grocer through the channel they want — an issue that's popped up in some markets for several grocers during the crisis.

But online grocers that can keep customers throughout the pandemic may be able to keep those shoppers for the foreseeable future: 75% of online grocery shoppers still shopped with their first-ever online provider, per a survey from Bain and Google from 2018. So, the grocers that meet the most consumers' needs during the pandemic will likely lead the industry even after it subsides.

In The Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence first looks back at how online grocery adoption was progressing prior to the coronavirus pandemic to understand the state of the industry before the shopping method became vital to many consumers. Next, we examine why the pandemic is popularizing online grocery services and the impact it's already having on adoption. We then forecast how online grocery's penetration will grow in the coming quarters and years due to the pandemic, and consider the factors that will determine the industry's staying power. Finally, we analyze top online grocery players' ability to meet surging demand during the pandemic and how that positions them to build customer bases that can last well beyond the pandemic. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco, FreshDirect, Grubhub, Hannaford, H-E-B, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Peapod, Publix, Target, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is pushing consumers to buy essential products digitally, which is rapidly accelerating adoption of online grocery services in the US.
  • Online grocery's staying power will come down to the length of the pandemic — because if the crisis stretches on, more consumers may be pushed to try an online grocery service — and how well online grocers meet surging demand, because consumers may abandon online grocery if they find it difficult to receive orders.
  • The online grocery services that are best able to handle surging order volume will likely be the most popular services after the pandemic subsides because consumers will be able to rely on those services to consistently bring them groceries.
  • Walmart and Instacart are best positioned to lead the pack post-pandemic given Walmart's massive brick-and-mortar network and Instacart's wide reach thanks to its platform model.

In full, the report:

  • Examines the US online grocery industry prior to the coronavirus pandemic to highlight what was driving the industry's adoption, and what obstacles it faced.
  • Analyzes why the realities of the pandemic — such as concerns about contracting the virus — have pushed many consumers to try an online grocery service for the first time.
  • Forecasts the US online grocery industry's penetration in 2020 and in the years to come, laying out a moderate and extreme scenario to account for the uncertainty surrounding the recovery from the pandemic.
  • Discusses why the duration of the pandemic and online grocers' ability to meet demand will determine the popularity of online grocery after the pandemic subsides.
  • Highlights how Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart are positioned in the online grocery industry, how well they're meeting demand during the pandemic, and how they are expected to fare in the space beyond the pandemic.
  • Recommends how online grocers can maximize their performances during and after the pandemic with innovations like automation, operational flexibility, and bundling services.

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  1. Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the payments and commerce industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has BII Enterprise membership access to the full report
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Netflix to declare more than $1.3 billion in UK revenue, increasing pressure on other big tech firms over their favorable tax arrangements

  • Netflix on Saturday said it would declare more than $1.3 billion in UK revenue, according to The Guardian.
  • The move is likely to put pressure on other tech giants like Amazon and Google, many of which use tax jurisdictions to their favor.  
  • The streaming giant has about 50 productions based in the UK, including "The Crown" and "The Witcher," with plans to double UK spending, Variety reports. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Netflix on Saturday said it would declare more than $1.3 billion (£1 billion) in UK revenue, according to a report, putting tax pressure on other tech firms like Amazon. 

"As Netflix continues to grow in the UK and in other international markets we want our corporate structure to reflect this footprint. So from next year, revenue generated in the UK will be recognised in the UK, and we will pay corporate income tax accordingly," a company representative told The Guardian.

The move comes as Netflix increases its spending on shows filming in the UK, including "The Crown" and "The Witcher." The company is planning to double production spending on its more than 50 UK-based productions to $1 billion, according to Variety. 

Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment. 

Netflix's European headquarters are in Amsterdam and, like other tech giants such as Google and Amazon, the company has used its more favorable tax jurisdiction to its advantage. The company has about 13 million UK subscribers, but has "funnelled" the revenue they bring in through its Amsterdam headquarters, according to the Guardian article. 

Now, by increasing its declared revenue – and its profit – in the UK, it's expected to increase its local taxes.

Viewership for the UK-based production "The Crown" jumped when season four hit the streaming service this year, and is expected to increase as the series nears the present day.

A Netflix spokesperson told Variety: "The UK is an incredibly important market to Netflix and we're proud to be increasing our investment in the UK's creative industries. 'The Crown,' 'Sex Education' and 'The Witcher' are among the shows that have been made in the UK this year and will be watched by the world. And these shows are a testament to the depth of talent that exists here."

Meanwhile, in the US, the use of tax loopholes hasn't escaped President-Elect Joe Biden. 

In late October, before the US election, he said: "Let me be clear: Hardworking Americans should not be paying more in federal income taxes than Amazon or Netflix. It's time for big corporations to finally pay their fair share." 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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Facing the first loss of their voting lives, young Republicans are surprisingly hopeful, but want the GOP to work for Gen Z

  • For many members of Generation Z, President's Donald Trump defeat in the 2020 election was the first loss in their voting lives.
  • Business Insider recently spoke to the senior members of five college Republican groups across the country for their reaction.
  • They were all largely optimistic about the GOP's future, with the party poised to keep control of the Senate and whittling down the Democrats' House majority in the 2020 election.
  • But they also said the GOP needs to reassess its image and platform to win over their fellow Gen Zers, including getting serious about tackling climate change and making the economy fairer.
  • While they said they were pleased with some of Trump's accomplishments in office, they were largely critical of his personality and had mixed feelings about Trump's future in the GOP.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Perhaps the biggest blow a US political party can suffer is having a one-term president — so you may think young Republicans these days are downbeat about the future. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Business Insider recently spoke to the senior members of five college Republican groups across the country on their feelings about President Donald Trump and the election. All five of the college Republican leaders who spoke to us were men — reflecting the still overwhelmingly male makeup of the party.

Far from mourning Trump's defeat, the five young men were optimistic about their party's better-than-expected down-ballot performance, believing it to be a sign that the GOP is alive and well.

But they also didn't shy away from critiquing the current state of Republicanism, and even Trump's personality.

Generation Z, who currently range in age from 8 to 23, and their immediate elders, the millennials — who are currently aged between 24 and 39 — have so far proven to be solidly Democratic voting blocs.

Sixty-one percent of voters aged 18 to 29 voted for Biden this year, and just 36% voted for Trump, according to an analysis by Tufts University. A similar trend played out in 2016, when 55% of the same demographic voted Democrat and 37% Republican, Tufts reported.

'Pleasantly surprised' by the election

The college Republicans we spoke to largely believe their cohort will follow the trend of previous generations, and grow more politically conservative with age.

They also didn't see the loss of the White House as part of a greater GOP issue. Instead, they took the fact that the Republicans gained seats in the House, and look poised to tie or keep their majority in the Senate, as evidence that Trump's loss had more to do with the president than with the Republican platform.

Wesley Donhauser, president of the Harvard College Republicans, told Business Insider that he was "pleasantly surprised and very happy" with the results of the 2020 election.

"Overall the media and pundits were predicting some sort of blue wave and I think what we saw was profoundly the opposite," Donhauser said. "So it seems to be a rejection of Trump the man, and not the party platform or ideology."

Philip Anderson, co-chair of the Marquette University College Republicans, also said he was encouraged seeing new demographics voting red.

"I think the Republican party is getting a little bit younger, a little bit more diverse, which is definitely good," Anderson said.

How the GOP can work for Gen Z

While generally optimistic about the 2020 election, all the young Republicans we spoke to had ideas on how the party could evolve, especially if it wants to win over more Gen Zers down the line.

They cited issues like the party's image as cold-hearted capitalists and its refusal to address climate change as factors that could alienate a younger voting demographic.

"Republicans have a stronger grasp on running the country efficiently with things like the economy or foreign relations, but besides the economy, people vote on social issues such as free healthcare, LGBTQ rights, and other important issues," said David Morgan, chief of staff for the Penn State College Republicans.

"I think there needs to be some compromise on these issues from Republicans in order to win over the newer voting generation."

Jack Patton, chair of the University of Southern California GOP, identified climate change as another problem area for Republicans.

"One thing that I do find me and Democrats agreeing on a lot is actually climate change. We need to do something about climate change," he said.

"I think that's more of a generational gap where a lot of young people, regardless of their political affiliation, recognize that climate change is a problem and want to see some sort of solution to it."

Joe Pitts, president of the Arizona State University College Republicans, added that one "big" issue for the party is its stance on the economy, with younger people looking for a system that's fairer.

He said the party should focus on making sure that marginalized groups "have the same equal opportunity as anybody else in this country."

One thing Pitts does not see going away, however, is the right's anti-abortion stance.

"I do think that some of these social issues like the right to life are going to continue to be a staple of the conservative movement," Pitts said. "And in my opinion, for the better."

A recent Pew survey found that nearly all Republicans in Congress are against abortion, but that there is a significant contingent of Republican voters who disagree with their party on the matter.

The GOP's image problem

Anderson, the Marquette Republican, said he thinks part of the Republican Party's problem is not so much its platform, but its inability to explain that platform to younger people.

He said he believes young people are a lot more conservative than they may realize.

"Everybody wants freedom … and yet a lot of those same people will tend to vote for government control, whether it's energy to combat the climate crisis or whether it's forcing the minimum wage to be raised continuously to combat poverty," Anderson said.

"And it's stuff like that that slowly erodes people's freedoms."

"Lower taxes means more freedom for you. It means that you can do what you want with your own dollar," he said.

Trump's pros — and cons

Reconnecting with the average American was one of the good things to come out of the Trump administration, Anderson said.

"He showed the Republicans where we needed to change as well, getting back to the common man and manufacturing jobs. He definitely connected with a whole segment of the population that clearly people weren't connecting with," Anderson said.

Though all of the young Republicans we spoke to were fans of many of Trump's actions in office — like installing conservative judges across the country — they were less enthusiastic about his personality.

They criticized his tweets and negative rhetoric, with Anderson comparing Trump to a hammer: "He definitely hit some nails on the head and that was good, but there were definitely times when he hit our finger and it hurt like a b—-."

Despite their issues with Trump's character, both Anderson and Pitts said they voted for him this year. Donhauser did not say who he voted for when asked, while Morgan said he couldn't vote because the mail-in ballot he ordered never arrived.

Patton said he "couldn't in good faith support" Trump after seeing how "problematic his whole presidency was," so he voted for the Libertarian candidate, Jo Jorgensen, instead.

The future of Trumpism

There wasn't a good consensus among the young Republicans on what they thought Trump's future holds.

Donhauser, the Harvard Republican, said he doesn't think Trump will remain a force in the party.

Anderson said he saw Trump going into TV — a prediction that might come true — while Patton says he worries about Trump following through on his threat to run for president again in 2024.

Sources close to the president recently told The Washington Post that Trump is figuring out ways to make money after leaving the White House, including a possible book deal, media appearances, and selling rally tickets.

"He'd probably win the primary, but it would be really bad for the party in the long term," Patton said, but adding: "Trumpism will probably be around for the better part of the 2020s."

Going forward, Patton said that he hopes the Republican Party takes the concerns of young voters into consideration.

"I think they do need to take the opinions of young voters seriously, because 15 years from now we will be the bulk of the voting bloc," Patton said.

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Universal Credit: DWP urged to allow claimants to revert to legacy benefits – MPs debate

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Universal Credit is likely to be the main state benefit people receive when they apply for help from the government. It is replacing six legacy benefits which are being gradually phased out but some people may still be receiving income from them and in some rare cases, it is possible to put through a new claim under the old system.

The legacy benefits being replaced by Universal Credit are as follows:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

These legacy benefits came into focus in parliament recently as Stephen Timms and other MPs debated the effectiveness of DWP’s response to coronavirus.

Within Stephen’s statement, which was made on November 26, the government was urged to make changes: “Our motion calls for the £20 uplift to be extended to legacy benefits.

“Yesterday, [the government] announced an increase of 37 pence per week, Ministers must reconsider.

“Not increasing JSA and ESA for those out of work for ill-health was on the ground, we were told, the computer systems were too slow for the change but they can certainly have been changed by now.

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“And it absurd people in otherwise identical circumstances claiming different benefits because of Universal Credit rollout sequencing are receiving such different support.

“It’s legally questionable, people should not face hardship because their benefits are run on out of date systems.

“Ministers were absolutely right to introduce the increase, it should be extended to legacy benefits too.”

On top of this, Stephen called on the government to allow Universal Credit claimants to go back onto legacy benefits where they wish to, as it is often found they may have been better off financially under the old system.

Danny Kruger, the Conservative MP for Devizes, responded to these calls, acknowledging there were issues with legacy benefits but the government’s stance was the right one: “The Right Honourable gentleman raised the suggestion for his Select Committee in his report earlier this year that people should be able to go back to legacy benefits after being on Universal Credit.

“It’s certainly true that for some people, despite the significant increase in Universal Credit, they do appear to be worse off on Universal Credit.

“But as we see and as I’ve described, UC is a far more agile system.

“It’s intention is to replace legacy benefits and so I agree with the government’s position that it would not be right to let people go back.”

Some people may still be able to apply for legacy benefits under certain circumstances and full details on these can be found on the government’s website.

To apply for Universal Credit, a person must:

  • Be on a low income or out of work
  • Be aged between 18 and state pension age
  • Have less than £16,000 in savings
  • Be living in the UK

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Covid Order Shows Barrett Fortifies Court on Religious Rights

The Supreme Court’s sharply-divided ruling blocking New York’s Covid-19 restrictions on in-person worship has bolstered the prospects of already-successful religious legal advocates while making their adversaries fear for their future at the high court.

In its most significant public action since Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court late on Wednesday night signaled it will side with religion claims not only in the Covid-context but in other religious areas, too.

“In the broader context, what this signals is that we have a court that continues to be very protective of religious liberty, and also we have a court that is looking really carefully at whether government is acting in an even-handed way when it comes to how it is regulating religious exercise compared to other sorts of comparable secular conduct,” said Notre Dame law school professor Stephanie Barclay.

Barclay filed a brief on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and others in support of Orthodox Jewish religious groups that challenged New York’s restrictions.

“The case is not only important for all of the Covid litigation that’s been going on for many months in this country, but it shows an important principle, and that is, regardless of what type of regulations are at issue, we have to make sure that we don’t treat religious people and religious organizations as second-class citizens,” said David Cortman of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which litigates religious liberty claims.

Cortman said the opinion gives him added confidence that he’ll prevail in a case pending at the high court challenging church restrictions in Nevada. That Nevada case was previously at the court before the Barrett-for-Ginsburg switch, when the justices aligned 5-4 in favor of those restrictions, with Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority along with the then-four Democratic appointees.

Justice Samuel Alito, one of the four dissenters, criticized the Nevada restrictions in a recent speech to the Federalist Society. Now the case is pending before the court again, where the newly-constituted court is likely to side with the church.

But while Wednesday’s 5-4 opinion in the New York case boosted the confidence of religious liberty advocates, it sparked dread in their legal opponents, as the justices inevitably confront an array of clashes in the months and years ahead between religious rights and others, like LGTBQ rights. The court earlier this month heard argument in Fulton v. Philadelphia, in which Catholic Social Services says it shouldn’t have to work with same-sex couples seeking to foster children.

Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the New York ruling seems to increase the likelihood that the court will rule for the religion side in Fulton.

More broadly, Luchenitser said the New York case “is a very bad sign for the future of separation between religion and government and for the future of true religious freedom.” He said it “so far confirms our concern that Justice Barrett would be part of a five-justice ultra-conservative majority with Justices Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch.”

In a mirror image of the Nevada dispute, Roberts dissented on Wednesday night from the unsigned majority opinion, as did the court’s remaining Democratic appointees after Ginsburg’s death: Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

The New York case dealt with an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo that, according to the majority opinion, “imposes very severe restrictions on attendance at religious services,” in areas labeled “red” and “orange” zones.

Red zones have 10-person limits and orange zones have 25-person limits, with areas subject to those restrictions corresponding to the severity in outbreak of the deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 250,000 Americans.

New York’s regulations “single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment,” the majority said. Justice Neil Gorsuch in a concurring opinion lamented what he said was more favorable government treatment toward liquor stores and bicycle repair shops than houses of worship.

Some of the dissenters questioned that premise. “Unlike religious services,” Sotomayor said in a dissent joined by Kagan, “bike repair shops and liquor stores generally do not feature customers gathering inside to sing and speak together for an hour or more at a time.”

Lawyers who argue on the other side of religious liberty claims are concerned that this is the dissenting view.

Geoffrey Blackwell, litigation counsel at American Atheists, said Wednesday’s opinion was the latest in what he called a troubling trend of the court disregarding facts in religion cases.

Lambda Legal’s Jennifer Pizer agreed. “That deploying of selective facts,” she said, “is something to give us real concern. To give everybody real concern.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan S. Rubin in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Crawley at [email protected]; Tom P. Taylor at [email protected]

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What is Wikipedia? Here's what you should know about the crowd-sourced and openly edited online encyclopedia

  • Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia featuring openly editable content created and sourced by users from around the world. 
  • Wikipedia is a volunteer service, powered and maintained by a full-time staff and thousands of contributors who work for free.  
  • Many facts on Wikipedia are supported by cited sources; however, Wikipedia is not considered reliable for research or other academic use. 
  • Wikipedia offers a community hub where users can communicate and collaborate about shared interests, projects, and pages.  
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you've spent any time online, chances are you've read a few (or a few hundred) articles on Wikipedia. Launched in 2001, the free encyclopedia reportedly played host to upwards of 50 million articles in more than 300 languages in 2018, which are currently visited by more than 1.5 billion devices a month in 2020. While Wikipedia isn't the only site of its kind, it's undoubtedly the most prominent — a powerhouse of information on everything from celebrities to science. 

Anyone can sign up for a Wikipedia account and create a page about anything, even themselves. Here's everything else you should know before you start using the online encyclopedia. 

What you should know about Wikipedia

In short, Wikipedia is a multilingual, openly collaborative online information platform. Like the "wikis" that came before it, the online encyclopedia's content is editable by volunteers from across the globe. Wikipedia has tens of thousands of editors, from issue experts to the casual fans, who can expand, delete, or change information at will. This allows for a wide array of information to be supplied and verified about a particular person, place, or thing. 

As a result, Wikipedia can function as a great starting point for research, providing users with general information that can be followed up with more legitimate and reliable sources outside of the site. For instance, a Wikipedia article may introduce a reader to a particular concept or idea, leading to further exploration of the finer details and the veracity of the claims made. 

Like its information, funding for the platform is crowd-sourced. Being a user-funded effort means Wikipedia operates entirely on user donations and grants with the ultimate aim of bringing free knowledge to everyone.

Wikipedia's reliability 

While it's somewhat reassuring to know that there are seemingly no corporate interests funding Wikipedia and its articles, it doesn't mean that all pages escape personal bias and misinformation. 

Anyone with internet access can change a Wikipedia page, which means that the information on pages isn't always reliable. On some occasions, it may even be entirely false, as the company itself has said. While administrators try to ensure facts are appropriately cited and sourced, it's impossible to catch all inaccuracies, which is why using Wikipedia as a legitimate source of information is frowned upon in academia and other professional settings. 

Wikipedia features and tools 

When users go to Wikipedia.org, they'll get access to the millions of pages of information it has to offer. You can then view it through a table of contents or a current events filter. You can even try its "Random Article" tool if you're feeling adventurous. The site also has a community portal where you can find FAQs about editing Wikipedia, meet new editors, ask research questions, and get help solving disputes. 

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to add words to the internal dictionary on your Android device, and add shortcuts for longer words

  • How to add words to your iPhone dictionary with Text Replacement, so your iPhone automatically recognizes them when you type

  • What is Chromium? A guide to Google's open-source software project, which runs some of the world's most popular internet browsers

  • 'What is Flipboard?': How the social news app and its digital features keep you informed

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The Moment This Summer When Barack Obama Felt (Almost) Like He Was a Normal Person Again

No president — past, present or future — can ever totally feel like themselves again: Even outside of the White House, there's the permanent Secret Service detail and the perpetual fascination of the public.

But one can dream.

In his new memoir, A Promised Land, former President Barack Obama writes of that recurring possibility, however remote, of being an average citizen again.

As he tells PEOPLE in an hour-long conversation for this week's cover story: "It used to come to me once every couple months, of me just walking down a street or occasionally taking a bike ride down the street and nobody knows who I am and I don't have any Secret Service around me. And I sit down in a park or at a café bench and have a tea or a coffee or a soda and just watch the world go by."

If only it were that easy. "Michelle jokes that I think I had a little bit of a fantasy — it was unrealistic, that somehow once the presidency was over, I could go back to strolling through Central Park," Obama, 59, says with a laugh. "I was disabused of that fairly quickly."

• For more from PEOPLE's interview with former President Barack Obama, including details of the former first family's life together in quarantine this year, subscribe now or pick up this week's issue, on newsstands now.

While the dream may have passed, Obama says he has found new pleasures in some passing anonymity — just as he imagined it.

"There are aspects of my life that I can't get back, now as much by virtue of celebrity as it is security. But there are things that I can do that I couldn't do as president," he says. "When we were in Martha's Vineyard this summer [where the couple bought a home in 2019], Michelle and I would go take bike rides."

• Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Barack Obama on PeopleTV.com or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

The precautions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic provided an unexpected silver lining.

"Particularly now that we have masks on, we could ride through town and people wouldn't know who we were," Obama says. "And it felt pretty close to what I had imagined — that sense of freedom, that sense of being able to go wherever you wanted."

"So it's not all the way back, but, 70, 75 percent back," he says. "That's not bad."


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Google is tackling mental health challenges among employees through 'resilience training' videos

  • Lauren Whitt, Google's wellness manager and resilience lead, said the company is using expertise from professional athletes and psychologists to help with mental health.
  • Google was the first large employer to tell staffers that they would have the option of working remotely through mid-2021.
  • Google executives say the greatest challenge with its employee base is mental well-being.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Google has emphasized employee health, establishing long-term remote work plans and offering periodic days off called "reset" days. Even that hasn't been enough to deal with the mental stress caused by the virus.

"Covid-19 is something we weren't anticipating or frankly prepared for from a mental skills approach," said Lauren Whitt, whose title at Google is wellness manager and resilience lead. She has a big job, "helping Googlers meet the moment they're facing today."

Whitt told CNBC in an interview that, in seeking out strategies to help Google's 130,000-plus employees deal with the ongoing crisis, the company is leaning on "resilience training," a phrase typically reserved for professional athletes and combat fighters.

The company said it has expanded existing programs and created weekly short instructional videos from athletes, coaches and psychologists, which employees are watching with greater frequency.

Alphabet's chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, who organized the early crisis response efforts, said last week that the company has rebounded after a dip in employee productivity. Her main concern today is with their mental wellness due both to isolation and the intensity of recent events.

"One of the things we're very concerned about is the wellness measures," Porat said at The New York Times DealBook conference. "What are some of the things we could do that helps ease the stress of working during a pandemic?"

For investors, Alphabet continues to perform. The stock is trading near a record, up 32% this year, compared with the 12% gain by the S&P 500. But the company's vocal employee base has not been silent about the surrounding struggles, particularly at a time when they don't have access to their usual campus amenities.

Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards

Soon after the Covid-19 outbreak, the nation faced another crisis following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, which was caught on tape and sparked nationwide protests. The incident forced tech companies, including Google, to reckon with their own issues surrounding diversity and the treatment of minorities.

"Summer led to a lot of discussions around social unrest and racial justice," Whitt said. "It is very real and a very prevalent part of our conversation of 2020."

She said that even with all the support groups and employees resources, "more than anything, we're encouraging Googlers to have conversations and to be authentic with who they are and what they're feeling."  

As discussions got more heated, Google began asking employees to take a more active role in moderating internal message boards.

"Tensions continue specifically for our Black+ community with Black Lives Matter, and our Asian Googlers with coronavirus and China/Hong Kong," Google's internal moderation team said in a blog post in September. "All of this is compounded by the additional stress of working from home, social isolation, and caregiver responsibilities — to name a few."

Meanwhile, Google made clear that there wouldn't be a return to normalcy anytime soon.

In July, Google became the first major company to announce it would allow employees the option to work from home through mid-2021, an extension of its prior timeline. Soon after, it began offering reset days so employees could take periodic time off to unplug.

"In July and August, we realized this isn't going away and we really began to shift the conversation to how to set new routines, how to change or alternate the environment they're working in and focus on new skills and habits and routines," Whitt said.

Small habits

The company's resilience team, which had existing programs like counseling and employee resource groups, wanted to do more for mental well-being. But it faced a challenge. Employees were already stuck in front of their screens for too many hours, and now they were being offered additional videos to watch.

Whitt's group decided on a series of digital clips called "Meet the Moment." Each video is five or six minutes long and focused on a specific topic like sleep, breathing, parenting and avoiding anxiety. Whitt said she worked with experts and performance coaches from professional football, basketball and baseball leagues as well as collegiate and Olympic athletes to create the resilience training and skills development content.

"Video content around breathing and sleep are the most meaningful ways we can rest and recover as well as momentary detachment throughout the work day," Whitt said. She added that another popular video was about "meeting times of uncertainty with authenticity and humility."

The main characters in the resilience training videos are people who have experienced high-stress situations like a big game, combat or other pressures.

"Resilience is a skill that can be built, practiced and cultivated," Google says in its digital resilience instructions for employees.

In less than a month, 30,000 Google employees have watched the videos. Whitt said the company has also hosted 150 virtual events globally to raise awareness about mental health and "prioritizing wellbeing." Contractors and temporary workers, who make up roughly half of Google's overall workforce, can access some but not all of the Covid-19 mental health and well-being resources, the company said.

To produce the videos in a way that was compliant with Covid-19 precautions, Whitt said Google used robotic cameras developed by a third party. The filming took place in Google's offices in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, while the directors and the audio visual team connected virtually.

As a part of the employee training, the company also expanded some existing activities it created just before the pandemic called "TEA check-ins," an acronym for thoughts, energy and attention. They're meant to address common symptoms of burnout, and managers are encouraged to say, "Let's have some TEA," as a way to get employees to be proactive.

"It gave people an opportunity to check in with, 'Where are you in this moment?'" Whitt said. "Are you distracted? Do you need a nap? Push-ups?"

Google developed a variation aimed at addressing mental health needs among employees who were parents and caregivers. Video content includes tutorials on how to focus on things like time management and household chores when people are distracted.

Parents have the added challenge of "the transition to having kids at home with a day job while navigating what it's like to be physically distanced from people you care about," Whitt said. The company also offered tips on "how to build a productive workspace in the kitchen."

To try and keep things light and fun where possible, the company began offering virtual classes on dancing, cooking and a virtual "yoga with your dog" event. The videos feature many of the same instructors and counselors who taught onsite at Google's offices. 

Employees have also formed virtual orchestras and comedy shows.

"We wanted to continue to connect employees with activities, arts and music — all that were part of our culture when they were in the office," Whitt said.

WATCH: Suffering in silence

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HMRC update: Personal Allowance will rise next year – impact for Britons

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HMRC, formally known as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, is responsible for helping Britons to get their tax right, and collecting levies throughout the year. One of the areas under its remit is Income Tax, which affects millions of people right across the country. Income Tax is a levy which is paid on earnings, and can differ from PAYE employees to those who are self-employed.

A common thread, however, is Personal Allowance, which is the threshold for when Income Tax begins to be levied.

Above a level of Personal Allowance, tax is required to be paid relevant to what is earned.

While Personal Allowance currently stands at £12,500, the government has confirmed this sum will rise next year.

Personal Allowance will increase in accordance with inflation, otherwise known as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

This will mean Britons will benefit from a 0.5 percent increase. 

The details of the change to Personal Allowance were laid out in the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review.

The report reads: “The government will increase the 2021-22 Income Tax Personal Allowance and Higher Rate Threshold in line with the September CPI figure.

“The government will also use the September CPI figure as the basis for setting all National Insurance limits and thresholds, and the rates of Class Two and Three National Insurance contributions, for 2021-22.”

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Income Tax rates and bands vary dependent on how much a person earns.

Personal Allowance for the 2020/21 tax year is up to £12,500 – meaning the tax rate is zero percent.

The Basic rate refers to taxable income of between £12,501 to £50,000, taxed at 20 percent.

The higher rate relates to taxable income from £50,001 to £150,000 – with a tax rate 40 percent.

Finally, the additional rate relates to taxable income over £150,000 – taxed at 45 percent. 

Personal Allowance is not provided on taxable income over £125,000. 

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has explored the impact of such a rise.

It has stated the personal allowance for 2021/22 should increase to £12,570.

The Income Tax basic rate limit will also increase in line with the latest updates.

The organisation explained the limit is traditionally a multiple of £100.

But when the limit is increased, legislation permits for the limit to be rounded up to the next £100.

Therefore, the basic rate limit for 2021/22 should be set at £37,700, up from £37,500 this tax year.

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