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Who Wants to Do Business in North Korea?

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HONG KONG — North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated countries. It is ruled by an unpredictable dictator with his finger on the nuclear button. So, who’s ready to do business there?

Well, basically nobody.

But leading up to President Trump’s meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, which concluded on Tuesday with a deal to keep talking, some intrepid businesses and investors began considering the possibilities. What happens if North Korea opens its economy, even just a little, giving global businesses a shot at East Asia’s last untapped growth market?

Mr. Trump on Tuesday dangled visions of what North Korea could win if it abandoned its nuclear weapons and changed its ways.

“As an example, they have great beaches,” he said at his news conference after the summit meeting. “You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, ‘Boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo?’”

Let’s back up. The chances are slim — very, very slim — to none that North Korea would open up like that in the foreseeable future. Still, some businesses are setting up internal task forces to start drawing up plans, according to lawyers and advisers who specialize in North Korea. Shares of companies that could profit are starting to rise, in what one analyst called the “Rocket Man rally.”

A few big companies have tentatively reached out to contacts in North Korea, said Wook Yoo, a partner at Bae, Kim & Lee, a South Korean law firm. Others have inquired about where to begin. “We have received calls from several companies which are quite interested in preparing future business with North Korea,” Mr. Yoo said.

It is not clear how many companies are looking at the idea, or which ones. Company officials are loath to discuss their plans publicly. Initial feelers into North Korea risk violating United States and international sanctions, which are not likely to ease anytime soon. Those restrictions have become so tight that investors have stopped early efforts to crack the market.

Even if progress were made, the world would still be dealing with a leader who diverted millions of dollars from his country’s economy to build powerful weapons, leading to food shortages for his people.

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This is Mark Zuckerberg’s No. 1 rule for hiring great employees

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With 1.47 billion daily active users and over 30,000 employees as of June, Facebook has a lot to manage.

Facebook is often ranked as one of the top companies to work for and young people aspire to land jobs there, despite recent controversy and public criticism.

When it comes to hiring new talent at the social network, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses a rule that is simple and straightforward: Don’t hire someone you wouldn’t work for yourself.

“I always tell people that you should only hire people to be on your team if you would work for them,” Zuckerberg recently told Recode’s Kara Swisher.Of his own high-ranking employees, like chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg or chief product officer Chris Cox, Zuckerberg says, “in an alternate universe, I would be honored to work for any of these people.”

That mentality can even separate successful companies from failures, according to the 34-year-old billionaire.

“The single biggest difference that I see in whether the companies end up becoming really great and reaching their potential, or just pretty good, is whether they’re comfortable and really self-confident enough to have people who are stronger than them around them,” he explained on Reid Hoffman’s podcast “Masters of Scale.”

If you wouldn’t work for the candidate sitting across the table from you, then hiring them won’t help your company advance.

“If the tables were turned and you were looking for a job, would you be comfortable working for this person? I basically think that if the answer to that is ‘no,’ then you’re doing something expedient by hiring them, but you’re not doing as well as you can on that,” he explains.

When he was hiring current Sandberg, Zuckerberg says he quickly realized her talents and strengths, “things that Sheryl, … is just much stronger than me at, and that makes me better and makes Facebook better,” Zuckerberg says. “And I am not afraid or threatened by that — I value that.”

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Over $600,000 has been raised on Kickstarter for a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure

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Over $600,000 has been raised on Kickstarter for a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure 

Forget about superheroes in capes. There’s a new action figure for sale, thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, and it features none other than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG).

The company behind the RBG action figure is Fctry, a Brooklyn, New York-based product design company. Fctry created a Kickstarter campaign in June to garner backers for the creation of the RBG doll. In just a matter of months, it raised a whopping $613,705 from 15,654 backers. Now, the RBG action figure is being brought to life.

 

RBG’s action figure includes all of the Supreme Court Justice’s iconic attributes, including her pulled-back hair (“because heroes have no time for flyaways,” says Fctry on its campaign site) and wire-rimmed glasses (which the company says is to “see through patriarchal bulls—). She’s wearing a black robe, white jabot, silk gloves, heeled loafers and is holding a hardwood gavel.

Fctry donated $1 from every backer of the Kickstarter campaign ($15,654 total) to She’s the First (STF), an organization that provides scholarships, mentorship programs and life skills training to young women worldwide.

“Just like RBG, STF scholars become leaders for their families, communities, and future generations — and having more women leaders in the world is something we can absolutely get behind,” Fctry states on its campaign page.

The RBG action figure is currently available for pre-order on Fctry’s website for $19, with orders being shipped out in October. For RBG super-fans, Fctry is also offering pre-orders for a “packed court action figure set” for nearly $100, which is comprised of six RBG action figures in various court-inspired positions, like pointing her finger.

Ginsburg’s figurine fits right into Fctry’s product line-up of progressive action figures; currently for sale are multiple Barack Obama action figures, an Elizabeth Warren action figure, a Bernie Sanders action figure and a Hillary Clinton action figure. Other icons in its action figure offerings include Pope Francis and Donald Trump (though the company named it the “Evil Trump Action Figure” on its site).

 

This isn’t the first time that RBG has been the inspiration behind merchandise. The 85-year-old progressive Supreme Court Justice has become a type of folk hero; she’s inspired products including everything from “Notorious RBG” t-shirts to RBG Lego keychains.

 

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Tiffany Haddish studies Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on Youtube to learn about success

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If Tiffany Haddish’s life were a hashtag, it would be #SheReady, she tells Vogue. And while her career has had a meteoric rise in the past year, the actress and comedian is setting her sights even higher.

Haddish, 38, became a household name after the July 2017 release of the hit movie “Girls Trip” put her infectious comedic chops on display. The Universal Studios film, which also starred Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith, was a hit at the box office, pulling in more than $140 million in global ticket sales — making it last year’s highest-grossing live-action comedy.

Haddish’s star has been rising ever since. She earned critical acclaim for the breakout role (including a New York Film Critics Circle award) and then went on to earn an Emmy nomination in 2018 for hosting an episode of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Haddish also released a best-selling memoir in December and she was named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

But Haddish wants her career to get even bigger, and she’s looking one Hollywood superstar in particular for inspiration: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“I’ve been studying [Johnson] a lot on YouTube and stuff. I’m like, If he can make $65 million, I can make $65 million too,” Haddish told Glamour in an interview for the cover story of the magazine’s September issue.

Haddish is referencing the fact that Johnson reportedly earned a whopping $65 million in 2017, making him the second highest-paid actor in the world last year, behind only Mark Wahlberg ($68 million), according to Forbes’ annual ranking. Johnson’s big earnings year came as he starred in two of the highest-grossing films of 2017: action movie sequel “The Fate of the Furious” and the action-comedy reboot “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

Though Haddish didn’t say which videos she watched in particular, numerous Youtube clips show Johnson talking about success and his journey to it.

In a Genius Talks video, for example, Johnson explains that at some point you have to “be tired of not being No. 1.” When it comes to Hollywood, Johnson says he realized that if he wanted to be great at entertainment and moving-making, he had to commit to the goal, so he retired from wrestling, where he was at the top of his game. Johnson says people thought he was crazy, especially when his first few movies went nowhere. But he stayed focused and put in the work, he says.

“And that’s what it comes down to,” Johnson says in the clip.

And on Facebook, Johnson posts advice like, “In 1995 I had $7 bucks in my pocket and knew two things: I was broke as hell and one day I won’t be. You can achieve anything.”

Telemarketer, security guard and other jobs the stars of ‘Sorry To Bother You’ worked before making it

Haddish already has a few things in common with Johnson. For starters, she stars alongside comedian Kevin Hart in her next movie, September’s “Night School,” while Hart previously starred with Johnson in last year’s “Jumanji” reboot as well as 2016’s “Central Intelligence.” Meanwhile, both Haddish and Johnson are listed among USA Today’s “10 most in-demand actors in Hollywood,” as they are each starring in roughly eight movies apiece through 2019.

Meanwhile, Haddish also recently hosted the MTV Movie & TV Awards in June — a gig that Johnson previously had in 2016. Haddish even asked Johnson for some advice on Twitter before the award show aired.

Haddish says she aspires to someday see herself on Forbes’ ranking of the highest-paid Hollywood stars, though she hopes the honor would help her inspire children who are growing up in foster care, as she did between the ages of 12 and 15.

“I want to get on that Forbes magazine, not for the money, but to be an example to other foster youths that it don’t matter how low from the bottom you are, you can always rise to the top if you believe in yourself,” she told Glamour.

And, as Haddish’s career continues to pick up steam, the actress also says she plans on earning money to pass on to her family members, including her schizophrenic mother, who suffered brain damage in an accident during Haddish’s youth and lived in a mental facility until recently.

“I’m just glad I got some money now, because now I can do a better job at taking care of them,” she says of her family in the interview with Glamour. “I got my mom out of the mental institution, like I said I would, in December, and I got her an apartment with my sister and a nurse that comes to her.”

Haddish also hopes to one day give each of her four siblings “a million dollars to create whatever they want to do… That’s four million dollars that I don’t need,” she says.

 

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