The Tesla Cybertruck will cost $20,000 more than Elon Musk originally promised — with a ‘Cyberbeast’ option going for $99,990

Screenshot from X of Cybertruck Delivery Event

The cheapest Tesla Cybertruck is going to cost almost $61,000.The Cybertruck was originally supposed to have an affordable starting price.Details for the Cybertruck were finally released Thursday.

The cheapest Tesla Cybertruck, which won’t even be available until 2025, is going to cost almost $61,000.

The starting price for the Cybertruck is $60,990 for the rear-wheel drive, 250-mile range model. An all-wheel drive, 340-mile range Cybertruck costs $79,990, while the “Cyberbeast” 320-mile range model will run you $99,990.

All these prices are before taking into account a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for qualifying vehicles. It’s unclear whether Cybertruck will meet the requirements for the full credit.

That’s about $20,000 more expensive than Musk originally promised at the Cybertruck’s first reveal in 2019. At that time, Tesla advertised an entry price of $39,900 and two higher-performance models costing $49,900 and $59,900.

Those figures were scrubbed from the Tesla website in 2021, and official pricing for the truck was finally announced after a Thursday launch party for the trapezoidal truck. For the last several months, as details of the truck trickled out on social media, order holders still had no idea how much the truck might cost them.

In his most recent public remarks about the Cybertruck, Musk has been hinting that the truck wouldn’t be cheap.

A recently rescinded $50,000 resale fine also indicated a more expensive price point, as these fees are usually reserved for high-price, limited-build models.

One of the Cybertruck’s main competitors, Ford’s F-150 Lightning, currently has a starting price of around $50,000, which is still higher than the original base price of $41,769 advertised at the truck’s launch in 2022.

Amid high demand and rising car prices, Ford hiked the Lightning starting price by $4,000 in the spring before pulling it back again in the summer.

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The best PC controller for gaming in 2023

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The best PC controllers for gaming deliver a comfortable grip and a sleek design.

Insider

When most people hear “PC gaming,” they think of esports pros mashing their RGB mice and keyboards. But although some PC games do work better with a mouse and keyboard combo, many of them — like racing titles, sandbox adventures, platformers, and arcade fighters — demand the best PC gaming controller you can find.

I tested over a dozen popular models across multiple games in different genres, all to find the best PC controller for gaming. My top pick, the 8BitDo Ultimate Controller, features a wireless design, tactile buttons, and loads of customization options. If you have a tight budget, you should also consider the more affordable HyperX Clutch Gladiate, which is wired but still a great gamepad in its own right.

Below, you can check out full details on all of our picks for the best PC gaming controllers, including additional options for retro gaming, and even designs with sleek RGB lights.

Our top picks for the best PC controller for gaming

Best overall: 8BitDo Ultimate Controller – See at Amazon
The 8BitDo Ultimate is comfortable, highly customizable, and comes with a convenient charging dock.

Best budget: HyperX Clutch Gladiate – See at Amazon
The HyperX Clutch Gladiate is a wired controller that offers adjustable triggers and extra buttons for an affordable price.

Best high-end: Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller – See at Best Buy
The Xbox Elite earns its name with an amazing rubber-and-plastic design, customizable controls, and interchangeable components.

Best with RGB lights: Asus ROG Raikiri Pro – See at Amazon
The Asus ROG Raikiri Pro is expensive, but offers grippy handles and a sleek RGB-lit design.

Best for classic games: 8BitDo SN30 Pro – See at Amazon
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro is a unique gamepad that’s shaped just like a Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller, and has the best D-pad I’ve ever used.

Best overall: 8BitDo Ultimate Controller

William Antonelli/Insider

Pros: Finely textured handles, excellent rumble, loads of customization options, includes a convenient charging dock

Cons: Wireless mode on PC and Android requires a USB dongle, paddle buttons are sensitive

No matter what system you’re playing on, it’s hard to find a better gamepad than the 8BitDo Ultimate, which offers premier comfort and performance at a reasonable price.

Its textured grips feel great on the palms of your hands, and although the joysticks aren’t as grippy as more expensive gamepads, they’re still comfortable. And every button presses down with a satisfying click. I’m also a big fan of the Ultimate Controller’s rumble, which feels more natural and consistent than any other gamepad I’ve used.

The 8BitDo Ultimate’s most impressive quality is how customizable it is. Using the free 8BitDo Ultimate Software app (available for PC, Android, and iOS), you can edit any button input, adjust the joystick and trigger deadzones, and set the rumble strength. You can even set up macros, or short button combinations, to automatically perform complex tasks. 

And if that’s not enough, the controller also comes bundled with a charging dock, which makes it easy to store and charge when not in use. It’s an immense amount of value.

The Ultimate Controller’s few flaws are minor. The standard wireless model can’t connect to Windows or Android using Bluetooth, only 2.4GHz, which is a stronger connection but requires an included USB dongle. The paddle buttons on the back are useful, but easy to press accidentally. And the white edition of the controller picks up dirt easily.

8BitDo also sells a slightly more expensive version of this gamepad called the Ultimate Bluetooth Controller. This model can connect not only to PC and Android, but also Mac, Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, iPhone, and iPad. It also has Bluetooth features. But its face buttons are designed to match Nintendo consoles, which means the A and B buttons are swapped compared to a typical Xbox-style layout. If that doesn’t bother you, though, it’s absolutely worth the extra money.

I love the 8BitDo Ultimate Controller, and give it my strongest recommendation as the best PC controller for gaming. Depending on your budget, you can pick between the standard wireless version, Bluetooth version, or even the less expensive wired version.

Read our 8BitDo Ultimate Controller (Bluetooth) review.

Best budget: HyperX Clutch Gladiate

William Antonelli/Insider

Pros: Adjustable triggers, remappable paddle buttons, built-in headphone jack, affordable

Cons: Wide handles can feel awkward, no wireless features, not very pretty

The wired version of our best overall pick, the 8BitDo Ultimate, is also a great budget controller, but if you’re looking for an alternative, you can’t go wrong with the HyperX Clutch Gladiate.

This controller looks simple, but actually has a few cool features. It has switches on the back that let you change the trigger buttons from analog to digital, and vice versa. Also on the back are two extra paddle buttons that can be remapped to any other button, no software needed. And at the bottom, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack for headphones and microphones. 

Alongside these extra features, the Clutch Gladiate offers the same high-quality joysticks and face buttons you’d expect from a great PC controller.

The Clutch Gladiate’s budget status does come across in its design, though. The handles don’t have much grip, and they’re wider than most other controllers’, meaning they’ll feel awkward in smaller hands. The aesthetic design isn’t great — the joysticks and bumpers in particular look cheap, even though they feel fine. There also aren’t any wireless options; you’ll need to connect it to your PC with a USB-C cable.

Despite these flaws, the HyperX Clutch Gladiate is a reliable gamepad that will carry you comfortably through any game. If you want the best PC controller for gaming on a budget, this model should be high on your list.

Best high-end: Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

William Antonelli/Insider

Pros: Premium rubber grips, interchangeable components, long battery life

Cons: Expensive, removable components can feel flimsy

The crown jewel of the PC gaming controller market is the Xbox Elite Series 2. Built with a mix of cool rubber and smooth plastic, it’s hard to find a better controller from any manufacturer — if you can afford it.

The Xbox Elite excels in nearly every area. It features clicky, tactile face buttons and finely gripped joysticks. Two switches on the back let you adjust how hard you can press the trigger buttons before they register, ranging from analog to digital. The handles are covered in an amazingly comfortable rubber grip. And the Xbox Accessories app, free for Windows, lets you edit inputs, adjust vibration, configure joystick sensitivity, and more. You can save up to three profiles onto the same controller and switch on the fly.

But the Xbox Elite’s biggest selling point is its interchangeable parts. The controller comes with a carrying case, and inside that case are a new D-pad, a variety of different joysticks, and paddles. You can easily remove the D-pad and joysticks that the controller already has — they’re latched on with relatively weak magnets — and replace them. This gives you a massive amount of control over not only how your gamepad functions, but how it feels in your hands.

The replaceable parts aren’t perfect. The paddles in particular feel flimsy, and it’s easy to knock them out of place while playing. But the customizability, combined with the included charging dock and long battery life — up to 40 hours — makes the Xbox Elite a supremely convenient controller.

At a retail price of $176, the Xbox Elite is absolutely a premium buy. But if you have the budget and know that you’ll be using it a lot, it’s a worthwhile investment. Just keep in mind that Microsoft also sells a cheaper version of this controller, called the Xbox Elite Series 2 Core. Both gamepads are the same, except that the Core package doesn’t include the carrying case, charging dock, or extra buttons.

If all you want is an official Xbox controller, you could also opt for the standard Xbox Core Wireless Controller. It’s a third of the price, but isn’t as customizable, and runs using disposable AA batteries. It might be more affordable, but it’s nowhere near as convenient.

Read our Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 review.

Best with RGB lights: Asus ROG Raikiri Pro

William Antonelli/Insider

Pros: Customizable RGB lighting, grips feel great, better paddles than most controllers

Cons: Pricey, built-in screen is gimmicky

Like most Asus products, the ROG Raikiri Pro is flashy and functional. Its front side is lit with a subtle RGB glow, which is sure to complement any RGB-enabled PC setup.

The Asus ROG Raikiri Pro is expensive ($170), but it earns its premium status. Finely gripped joysticks and handles make gaming comfortable, and responsive buttons mean you’ll never miss an input. It also has one of the best circular D-pads I’ve ever used, and by far the best paddle buttons. These paddles are positioned in the exact right spot to make them easy to press when you want to, but hard to hit accidentally.

You can customize any of the buttons, along with the joysticks, using the free Armoury Crate PC app. This app also lets you edit the RGB lights by allowing you to choose new colors and strobe effects. It offers a wonderful amount of personalization.

The ROG Raikiri Pro’s most striking feature is the small screen at the top of the controller, which can display the current battery life and profile. Using the Armoury Crate app, you can also design and run short animations on the screen while you play. But while it’s fun to look at for the first few minutes, after that point, it’s more annoying than interesting.

Between the sleek RGB lights and amazing grip design, the ROG Raikiri Pro both looks and feels great.

If you’re looking for an RGB-enabled controller that isn’t as expensive, consider the Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma. It’s not as comfortable, but has great lightning effects too.

Best for classic games: 8BitDo SN30 Pro

William Antonelli/Insider

Pros: Classic and comfortable design, fantastic D-pad, compatible with loads of devices

Cons: Smaller than other gamepads, can be confusing to connect, not all models are customizable, uses Nintendo button layout

Easily one of 8BitDo’s best PC gaming controllers, the SN30 Pro is a compact gamepad that blends retro design with modern controls. It’s a must-have for any PC gamer who focuses primarily on classic games from the early console or handheld eras, or modern 2D platformers.

The SN30 Pro‘s best quality — aside from its sleek design, which calls back to the iconic SNES controller — is its D-pad. The D-pad is sturdy and responsive. Unlike other controllers with squishy D-pads, you’ll never wonder if you’re pressing the SN30 Pro’s D-pad hard enough, or have to tap twice because your input didn’t register. And it’s covered with a light texture that helps keep your thumb in place, even while mashing. It’s one of the best D-pads I’ve ever used.

This makes the SN30 Pro fantastic for games that rely on a good D-pad, like 2D platformers and other classic 2D games. If you’re big into classic emulation, it’s made for you. It also features twin joysticks and twin triggers, meaning you can play any game with it, though it’s a bit too small to be comfortable with some modern titles.

The SN30 Pro is compatible with loads of different devices, both wired and wirelessly. Aside from a Windows PC, you can connect the controller to your Mac, Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, Android, iPhone, iPad, and Raspberry Pi. When connected to a Switch, it has motion controls too.

It can be confusing to switch between devices — make sure you keep your controller manual to remember the pairing process — but it gives you so much freedom.

The only real drawback with this controller is its default button configuration. Most versions of the SN30 Pro come with their face buttons in the Nintendo layout, which puts the B button on the bottom and the A button on the right. Most PC games default to the more common Xbox configuration, which reverses those buttons.

8BitDo does sell a version of the controller in the Xbox configuration, but it’s made primarily for cloud gaming on Android phones, so you’ll need to buy a separate USB adapter to use it with your PC. 8BitDo also offers an exclusively wired version of the SN30 Pro, which costs about $20 less. It’s not compatible with as many devices, but it’s worth a look if your budget is tight.

Read our 8BitDo SN30 Pro Controller review.

How we test PC gaming controllers

William Antonelli/Insider

Every gamepad in this guide went through hours of individual testing across multiple games in multiple genres, including Tekken 7, Grand Theft Auto V, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, and Elden Ring. I also use external tools like Gamepad Tester to measure joystick drift and accuracy. The best PC controllers for gaming featured here only represent a small subset of the many controllers I tested, which also included models from Sony, SteelSeries, PowerA, and more.

I evaluate every controller across a number of categories, including comfort, button feel and responsiveness, extra or missing features, and price. The best PC controller for gaming will excel in all these areas, but I may occasionally recommend a controller that’s only average in certain areas if it goes above and beyond in another category.

As I test and write, I also consult existing reviews of the controllers I’m testing. This gives me insight on other gamers’ experiences with the controller, and tells me whether my experience has been typical. All of this helps me write the most useful and well-rounded reviews possible.

For more gaming recommendations, check out our guides to the best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops.

PC gaming controller FAQs

William Antonelli/Insider

How much should I expect to spend on a PC gaming controller?

PC controllers tend to retail at three different price points.

Budget controllers cost between $25 and $40. These controllers usually require a wired connection and don’t have extra features like paddle buttons or input customization. Depending on the brand, they might also be made with cheaper plastic.

Standard PC gaming controllers retail at around $50 to $70. They’ll have grippy handles and joysticks, tactile buttons, and usually include a few special features, like customizable controls and extra buttons. Most can be played wirelessly.

High-end controllers cost upwards of $150. Controllers that expensive should have all the great features of a standard controller, and hopefully include extras like interchangeable components and incredibly sleek designs. They’re also built with sturdy plastic, rubber, or metal.

But which kind of controller should you buy? In my experience, a standard PC gaming controller — around $70 — is perfect for most gamers. Premium controllers are nice, but they come with a big jump in price that the extra features rarely make up for.

Are wireless controllers better than wired controllers?

In nearly all cases, wireless controllers cost more than wired ones. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better.

Both connection types have their pros and cons. Wireless controllers are more convenient — you don’t need to worry about getting tangled up in cables — and can usually connect to more types of devices. That’s great for multi-platform gamers.

But with wired controllers, you don’t have to worry about charging batteries, or wireless signals dropping out in the middle of games. They might not be as convenient, but they’re more reliable.

The good thing is that nearly all wireless controllers also let you play using a wired connection. Just plug the controller into your PC using its charging cable, and apps like Steam and Xbox Game Pass should recognize it immediately. This way, you can play wirelessly or wired whenever you want.

Do wireless controllers use Bluetooth or 2.4GHz?

These days, Bluetooth is the most common way that wireless devices connect to each other. But although many of the best PC controllers for gaming do offer a Bluetooth option, most connect using a different kind of wireless signal called 2.4GHz.

2.4GHz signals are stronger than Bluetooth, and transfer your button inputs faster. This makes 2.4GHz great for certain genres, like fighting games, that demand quick inputs. You also don’t need to mess around with confusing Bluetooth menus — you can just plug the included USB dongle into your computer, turn on the controller, and start playing. The downside is that you need to keep track of both the controller and the dongle, which is usually very small and easy to misplace.

Because of these benefits, 2.4GHz connections are also used on the best wireless gaming headsets and best wireless gaming mouse models. 

Before buying a controller, check whether it uses Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, or both.

What are trigger locks or trigger switches?

Many newer PC gaming controllers have special switches on the back called trigger locks. Flipping these switches lets you change how far you need to press the trigger buttons before they register an input.

By default, the triggers will be unlocked, or set to “analog” mode. This means that the triggers have a full range of motion, and can track exactly how much pressure you’re putting on them. The most common use for this feature is in racing games — the harder you press the trigger, the harder you jam your foot down on the gas pedal.

When you flip the switches to lock the triggers, you’re setting them to “digital” mode. Digital triggers don’t move very far, and only track whether you’re pressing them at all. They’re not pressure-sensitive. This is great in shooting games, where you need to press the triggers as fast as possible.

Can I use a console controller on my PC?

If you already own a gaming console, you can definitely use the controller that comes with it on your computer.

Nearly all wireless controllers can connect to your PC using Bluetooth. Just put them into pairing mode and open your PC’s Bluetooth menu to search for connections. And if that doesn’t work, just connect the controller to your computer using a USB cable. It should connect immediately.

Although we don’t recommend them as the best PC controller for gaming, both the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and PlayStation DualSense/DualShock are also solid PC gamepads. And the standard Xbox controller is specifically designed to work with both Xbox and PC.

Depending on how you play your games, you might need to configure the gamepad’s controls to work with your PC. Steam should automatically sense what kind of controller you have, but other platforms like Xbox Game Pass might not.

The only console controllers that you can’t use are old ones. If your console controller was made before the seventh console generation (in other words, before the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360), you’ll need to buy a special adapter to use it with your PC. And if you’re trying to connect your Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons, you’ll likely have to use each Joy-Con as a separate controller.

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3 essential tips for hiring and managing out-of-state and remote workers

The remote-work trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Morsa Images/Getty Images

The remote-work trend isn’t going anywhere as more US employees are taking advantage of its perks.To keep up, employers need effective strategies for hiring and managing remote workers.Three experts told Business Insider how HR leaders can strengthen their out-of-state workforce.This article is part of “Talent Insider,” a series containing expert advice to help business owners tackle a variety of hiring challenges.

Remote work has transformed American workplaces. A recent survey from McKinsey & Company found that of the 25,000 workers surveyed, 87% of employed respondents offered the opportunity to work from home took employers up on the offer.

More Americans are embracing remote work because it gives employees “increased flexibility, reduced commuting stress, and enhanced work-life balance,” Leslie Tarnacki, the chief human-resource officer at WorkForce Software, told Business Insider.

Leslie Tarnacki, the chief human-resource officer of WorkForce Software.

WorkForce Software

Some companies are pushing back against the remote-work trend, but it’s here to stay thanks to a perfect storm of technological advancements, shifting employee expectations, and the pandemic’s transformative impact, Joy Pittman, the CEO and founder of HR For the Culture, said.

“The remote-work trend isn’t just a temporary blip on the radar,” she said. “It’s a fundamental shift in how we work. Mid-market businesses embracing this change can tap into a national talent pool, foster diversity of thought, and save on real-estate costs. It’s about breaking free from the traditional office mold and reimagining work as something you do, not somewhere you go.”

Sandy Charet, the president of the Charet & Associates firm that specializes in executive recruiting, shared the same sentiment, saying remote hiring brings “fresh perspectives” into an organization. “Think about the cultural richness these individuals bring — it can catalyze innovation,” she said. “Imagine having a remote worker in Alaska brainstorming with someone in Florida; the diversity of experiences and ideas is unparalleled.”

If you’ve been considering how to successfully expand your workforce, we asked Tarnacki, Pittman, and Charet for the best advice on how to hire and manage out-of-state remote workers.

Have an effective hiring strategy in place

Hiring remote workers who you may never meet face-to-face requires a bit of strategy. Tarnacki said that effective hiring starts with a clearly outlined job description and communicating the day-to-day expectations to potential employees early on.

Charet said that effectively hiring remote workers may involve having a longer interview process, reaching out to the employee’s last workplace, and contacting references. And though businesses may be tempted to offer less to workers who live in areas with lower costs of living, Charet said that companies could miss out on great employees by offering less than their in-person staff.

“I saw many clients offer less money to people who were out of town,” she said. “It’s always been the case that salaries were tied to different cities. It’s understandable, but not all companies do that, and you need to be careful because these folks may be hired away by another company that doesn’t adhere to that.”

When hiring out-of-state talent, Pittman suggested using asynchronous interviews, allowing applicants to complete interviews on their schedule and offering shifts that would consider the applicant’s time zone and optimum productivity time.

Joy Pittman, the CEO and founder of HR For the Culture.

Cr3ative Will

Button up your onboarding process and personalize benefits packages

After hiring employees, onboarding them is the second hurdle to getting remote candidates settled in.

“Some mistakes businesses make in onboarding remote workers can range from neglecting legal and compliance issues, such as tax implications and labor laws, to overlooking the importance of assessing candidates for their capacity for remote work during the hiring process, leading to performance issues and communication challenges,” Tarnacki said.

When it comes to benefits, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, and careful consideration of the employee’s location should play a part in offering perks such as health insurance, PTO, and retirement benefits.

“We implement state-specific benefits plans tailored to the needs and regulations of each location,” Pittman said. “This personalized approach ensured that our remote workers received competitive benefits packages while complying with diverse state-level requirements. It demonstrated our commitment to their well-being and helped attract top talent.”

Manage out-of-state employees with empathy and awareness relevant to their remote status

After onboarding, checking in with remote workers is essential, and not just from the standpoint of getting work done, but to gauge the employee’s satisfaction at work.

“When you have out-of-state remote workers, you also have to check in with your employees more,” Charet said. “When they work in the same environment, you may be able to pick up cues that tell you that they’re unhappy or starting to look around. But when you don’t see them, you can’t pick up on those cues. Plus, it’s really easy to interview with another company while you’re remote. Be careful about this or you’re likely to be unpleasantly surprised when you hear someone on your staff just accepted another offer.”

Sandy Charet, the president of Charet & Associates.

Sandy Charet

Check-ins are necessary, but it’s important to not overmanage workers. Pittman said things such as micromanaging, ignoring time zones, and using inadequate technology can drive remote workers away. Instead, focus on bringing remote workers in and providing mentors to guide remote workers with insights into the company’s history, traditions, and unwritten rules.

“Other strategies to support remote employees include offering stipends for creating comfortable home offices, encouraging employees to block off ‘focus time’ on their calendars to reduce interruptions, and holding meetings only when necessary, with a clear agenda and predefined outcomes,” Pittman said.

Finally, businesses need to encourage a healthy work-life balance with remote workers and lead with empathy. Though remote work provides employees autonomy, flexibility, and reduced commute times, Tarnacki said some employees may still grapple with motivation issues, fatigue, and the delicate act of balancing work and personal life while remote.

“HR leaders must proactively engage with remote employees, regularly assessing their contribution levels and overall well-being,” she said. “By doing so, adjustments can be made to enhance employee morale and address any challenges that may hinder productivity. Companies must prioritize fostering trust and motivating employees with empathy, recognizing that a balanced approach to meeting both the company’s needs and the well-being of its workers is paramount for long-term success.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Palestinian Student Shot in Vermont Recalls ‘Surreal’ Attack

Twitter

One of three Palestinian college students in Vermont who was shot over Thanksgiving weekend by a local man who allegedly opened fire without a word, says he believes the suspect was “aiming to kill.”

In an appearance on ABC’s The View just four days after he was released from the hospital, 20-year-old Kinnan Abdalhamid described the Nov. 25 attack as “surreal.”

“[E]ven at the moment, it was kind of moving in a nightmare,” Abdalhamid said Thursday. “The way I perceived it wasn’t the same as perceiving anything else in my life. It really felt like I was in a living nightmare.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Julianna Margulies Says ‘Entire Black Community’ May Have Been ‘Brainwashed to Hate Jews’

Jamie McCarthy

During a recent appearance on the Back Room with Andy Ostroy podcast, actress Julianna Margulies made a series of provocative statements about Black and queer people who’ve spoken out about Israel and Palestine that are just now reaching a fever pitch of attention across social media.

In the episode, Ostroy began by asking Margulies about the Holocaust Education Program she’d started in 2021 to teach children about antisemitism.

“I’m seeing it clearly now that education is the most important part of a child’s life,” Margulies said. “It plants the seeds, it stops the ridiculousness of—look, I’m not even a religious Jew. I wasn’t even Bat Mitzvah’d. If anything like this had happened in the Black community—for example, 900 protestors left stranded on the tarmac in D.C. on their way to the rally because all the bus drivers walked out. If that had happened to any other marginalized community, this country would be in an uproar. But because it happened to the Jews, for some reason, it’s laughable.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Henry Kissinger’s Cluster Bombs Are Still Killing People in Southeast Asia

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

On New Year’s Day 2013, my mother died after a long battle with ALS. The day of her funeral was a typical freezing winter’s day in North Dakota. Our family filled up one pew at the church, and at one end were my mother’s cousins who lived just one state away, but this was our first time meeting each other. I realized just how much of a mystery my mother was to me.

She was forced to flee her home in Laos in the 1960s, quietly crossing the thick jungles at night, taking refuge in caves, and crossing the mighty Mekong River into Thailand. She lived in a refugee camp for two years before being sponsored to come to the U.S. This was all that I knew of her childhood. I wanted to know more about why she fled but she never talked about it.

In the years following her death, I became more determined to reconnect with my Lao heritage. I was scrolling on my phone, pregnant with my first child, and discovered Legacies of War’s website. In one afternoon, I read almost every word on the website and learned of the haunting reasons why my mom fled. (I now work at Legacies of War, as the organization’s chief of mission advancement and communications.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.