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Kamala Harris Dropping in Polls Following Attacks From Tulsi Gabbard
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Kamala Harris Dropping in Polls Following Attacks From Tulsi Gabbard
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Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign appears to be taking quite a hit following attacks from Tulsi Gabbard. Perhaps the most notable moment from last week’s Democratic debate came when Gabbard criticized Harris’ record as Attorney General of California. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, Harris has lost nearly half of her support since last week’s debate.

Harris is down to just seven percent support in the latest Quinnipiac poll. That’s a big change from her 12 percent support in the previous Quinnipiac poll taken just a week before. According to the most recent poll, her support among black Americans has dropped to just one percent.

“Kamala’s entire campaign is based on a lie — that as AG of California, she was a fighter for the oppressed and for criminal justice reform,” Gabbard claimed in a recent tweet. “But her criminal justice record shows that her policies exemplified the worst aspects of our criminal justice system.”

During last week’s debate, Gabbard accused Harris of knowingly attempting to withhold information that would exonerate an innocent man on death row. In what was likely the most explosive moment of the event, Harris did not appear to dispute the allegation.

Unfortunately for Gabbard, her polling numbers to not appear to be benefiting from Harris’ decline in support. The most recent Quinnipiac poll has her at about one percent support. Although, she is polling near the middle of the Democratic field.

As of today, Biden is still well ahead of his Democratic contenders. Of the other candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are commanding a significant lead. The third tier is comprised of Pete Buttigieg and Harris. Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke were among the third tier of candidates until they began falling behind in the polls.

A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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American musician A$AP Rocky is back in the United States after being released from Sweden. The rapper was behind bars since July, resulting from a violent confrontation on the streets of Stockholm. Rocky says he was acting in self defense, a claim which is supported by numerous videos of the incident.

On June 30, two men confronted Rocky and his entourage as they toured Stockholm. Although the musician and his friends repeatedly pleaded with the men to stop antagonizing them, the two men continued to provoke a violent confrontation. The arrest appears to be in response to injuries sustained by Mustafa Jafari, an Afghani immigrant to Sweden and one of the two instigators of the incident.

Although Rocky’s bodyguard filed a counter-complaint against Jafari for allegedly throwing the first punch, Swedish authorities insist Jafari was acting in self defense. They claim Jafari was somehow justified in attacking the bodyguard simply because he was pushed away from the group and repeatedly asked to leave. The response by Swedish authorities has been condemned by many around the world, with some pointing to an alleged pattern of tolerance toward migrants accused of violent crimes in Sweden.

Among those critical of the Swedish response was US President Donald Trump. In a series of tweets last month, President Trump demanded Sweden release Rocky. The president went on to say that he watched videos of the incident for himself, which he described as vindicating Rocky.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” President Trump tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”

Swedish authorities responded to President Trump’s statements by stressing Sweden’s separation of powers between the courts and the federal government. “Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president, that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” a spokesperson for the Swedish government told Reuters.

Undeterred by statements from the Swedish government, the Trump administration continued applying pressure to Sweden throughout the criminal case. Earlier this week, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O’Brien issued a letter to Swedish prosecutors urging them to resolve the matter amicably “as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences.” O’Brien was also present during the trial to observe the proceedings.

Yesterday, Rocky was finally released from Sweden by judges in the case. However, a decision on the case is not expected until August 14. Considering Rocky is not required to return to the country for the verdict, analysts are predicting an acquittal.

Rocky returned to the US earlier today, just after midnight, when his private jet landed in Los Angeles. The musician seemed quite happy to be back home, cheerfully posing for photographs and embracing his friends and family.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Trailer Released
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Trailer Released
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Yesterday, publisher Activision and developer Infinity Ward unveiled a preview of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer gameplay. The new game will be a return to the roots of the franchise, reimagining 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The Modern Warfare line of Call of Duty games have been among the most popular in the series.

The upcoming game will feature several new multiplayer modes. Modern Warfare will support matches as small as 2 vs. 2 to matches allowing more than 100 players. The largest multiplayer battles in the game can be accesses through the Ground War mode.

The franchise is clearly trying to mend bridges with their fan base, as even longtime fans of the series have expressed disappointment over the past several games. In an effort to make amends, the developers have decided to eliminate the “season pass” DLC option. It was also announced that the game will receive several free maps in future updates.

“Our goal with Modern Warfare is to bring all gamers together from day one to play together,” said creative director Patrick Kelly in a press release for the game. “We’re doing away with the season pass; we’re delivering a mix of free maps, a ton of content following launch, and we’re developing the game for crossplay. We’re live-testing now, and fans will get to try for themselves next month in the Beta. This is a new day for Call of Duty multiplayer, and today is just the start — we have many more exciting reveals coming for fans that we can’t wait to share.”

Here’s how Activision described their new game in a press release on Thursday:

Today, Activision and Infinity Ward revealed the all-new Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® multiplayer universe to all gamers with a thrilling multiplayer premiere trailer. Scheduled for worldwide release on October 25, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will bring first-person action fans, Call of Duty fans, and gamers from all walks of life together in the ultimate multiplayer playground. First details of Modern Warfare multiplayer will be unveiled by some of the world’s most prolific streamers in an exclusive global livestream today, where viewers will get their first look at the new online multiplayer, and will also have the opportunity to join the fun and get their own hands-on experience next month when the Modern Warfare Beta goes live for everyone.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows on October 25, 2019. The game’s developers say they hope to support “crossplay” multiplayer between the different platforms. Open betas will be available in September.

Even using a 4K HDR TV, set your Xbox One to output 8-bit color depth
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Even using a 4K HDR TV, set your Xbox One to output 8-bit color depth
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Achieving the optimal video output settings on the Xbox One has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Controversy has raged across various internet forums regarding which settings should be enabled to ensure the highest image quality. Thanks to the use of signal capturing devices, the debate has finally been settled.

The Xbox One console should be set to output at an 8-bit color depth. This probably seems counterintuitive to those with 4K HDR TVs, whose panels support a 10-bit or higher color depth. However, it has been demonstrated that the Xbox One will still automatically output all HDR content in 10-bit or 12-bit color depth, even when the console’s video output settings are set to 8-bit. The advantage of setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 8-bit is quite simple. The console renders all non-HDR (SDR) content in 8-bit, and setting your console to output in 10-bit or 12-bit will negatively affect the image quality of SDR content due to the introduction of inherently flawed video reprocessing.

HDMI 2.0 is only capable of transmitting data at 18Gbps. This constraint does not allow the Xbox One to output full 10-bit or 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:4:4. As such, the console is only capable of outputting 10-bit and 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. All SDR games will render on your Xbox One in 8-bit, a signal that can be transmitted in full to an HDMI 2.0 TV at 60hz in 4K. This is one of the reasons why setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit will cause SDR games to lose color accuracy, a result of forcing the video to output in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.

Another video output option you’ll want to enable while playing games in HDR on your Xbox One is “allow YCC 4:2:2.” This will force your Xbox One to output 10-bit and 12-bit HDR content at YCC 4:2:2 instead of 4:2:0. Disregard Microsoft’s suggestion that you should only enable this feature if your console is having problems. However, only enable this feature while you’re playing games in HDR.

Again, the “allow YCC 4:2:2” option should only be enabled while you’re specifically playing HDR video games. Do not leave the option enabled while watching any other HDR or SDR content. Do not leave this option enabled if you’re playing a video game in SDR.

Ultra HD Blu-rays are encoded in YCC 4:2:0, and it would be best to transmit them to your television in that format. But remember, even those only using their Xbox One to watch movies should still set their color depth to 8-bit, ensuring the best video quality possible for their collection of SDR DVDs and Blu-rays.

YCC 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 refer to chroma subsampling. Basically, all you need to know about chroma subsampling is that YCC 4:2:2 is superior to 4:2:0. While YCC 4:4:4 would be ideal, the signal cannot be transmitted via HDMI 2.0 due to the limitations of the technology. The Xbox One Console renders SDR games in 8-bit RGB, not YCC, and the RGB signal does not employ chroma subsampling. HDMI 2.0 is capable of transmitting the 8-bit RGB signal in 4k at 60hz, which is exactly why you should set your Xbox One to output in an 8-bit color depth. Setting your Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit won’t render SDR games in a higher color depth, it will simply force the console to output at a higher color depth by introducing additional video processing that will negatively affect the image.

Realistically, most people would never notice the difference. Then again, if you’ve already purchased a 4K HDR television and an Xbox One, why not get the most out of them? It’s also worth noting that not all games look best with HDR enabled. Some games that “support” HDR do not actually render in HDR. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, does not properly render in HDR.

While playing games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which do not accurately render in HDR, you will need to disable HDR support in the Xbox One’s settings. Even when playing games that allow the option of disabling HDR through the in-game settings, it’s probably best to disable it via the console to prevent any conflicts between the game and the system. It’s fairly common for games to improperly render in HDR, and it’s worth researching information about each of your games to ensure they will render correctly in HDR.

Let’s explore the concept of HDR a little further. The 10 in HDR10 refers to 10-bit color. While it is possible to render SDR content above an 8-bit color depth, the Xbox One does not. The Xbox One will only render above the 8-bit color depth when outputting in HDR10 or Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision outputs in a 12-bit color depth, although few 4K TVs support this feature. Remember, your Xbox One will still automatically output HDR content properly in HDR10 or Dolby Vision when those options are enabled, even though the console’s color depth is set to 8-bit.

The Xbox One X will support HDMI 2.1, and Belkin recently released an HDMI cable capable of transmitting at 48Gbps. Unfortunately, these new cables won’t allow HDMI 2.0 televisions to receive 60hz 4K 10-bit or 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 video signals, due to the limitations of HDMI 2.0 technology. New TVs featuring HDMI 2.1 are coming soon, but it’ll likely be at least a year before the Xbox One X receives an update allowing it to transmit 10-bit and 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 4K video at 60hz and above to these new devices. Although, the Belkin 48Gbps HDMI cords are allowing Apple TV users to transmit 4K 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 video at 60hz, as the Apple TV has a strange defect that renders 18Gbps HDMI cables insufficient at transmitting the high bandwidth signal.

The above video is one of the best on YouTube at explaining these concepts. While this article currently provides the best advice for achieving optimal video quality from your Xbox One, we will update this content to reflect any future changes to the console’s settings by Microsoft. If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat released on gaming consoles 25 years ago
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Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat released on gaming consoles 25 years ago
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Mortal Kombat completely changed the gaming world when the arcade game was released in 1992. Mortal Kombat allowed players to challenge one another to a literal death match. The fighting game featured five buttons and an eight-way directional joystick. Two buttons controlled the players kicks, two controlled punches, and one allowed the player to block.

When a player won the fight against his opponent, the winner was allowed a short amount of time to perform a secret combination of buttons that would allow the victor to kill his dazed opponent. This finishing move was referred to in the game as a fatality. Each character had their own finishing moves, and the game even featured a stage fatality that allowed the winner to use the environment to kill his opponent. Needless to say, the game was quite controversial when it was released. It was also incredibly popular in the United States.

Thanks to the popularity of the arcade game, Mortal Kombat was quickly ported to home gaming consoles. The launch of Mortal Kombat on consoles was one of the largest and most highly publicized releases in gaming history. Referred to as Mortal Monday, Mortal Kombat hit store shelves for the Sega Gensisis, Super Nintendo, Game Gear, and Game Boy on September 13th, 1993. The game’s launch was preceded by a huge wave of advertising in the form of print ads and television commercials.

Although the game launched on four separate gaming consoles on the same day, there were enormous differences between the games. The Game Boy and Game Gear versions were significantly less technologically advanced than the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions. The Super Nintendo version came the closest to reproducing the visual and audio achievements of the arcade game, due to the console’s technological superiority compared to Sega’s Genesis. However, the Sega Genesis version remained much more faithful to the mood of its arcade predecessor. This was due to Sega’s inclusion of game’s more controversial elements.

Nintendo was not comfortable with releasing Mortal Kombat uncensored for their console. Nintendo chose to leave the blood out of the Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat. The blood was replaced with sweat. Fatalities were also altered for their version of the game.

Sega, on the other hand, decided to go with a different approach. The Sega Genesis version of the game allowed users to enter a code at the beginning of the game, similar to how players  performed fatalities, that unlocked the sight of blood and uncensored the fatalities. This more faithful adaption of the game on Sega’s console was much more well received than Nintendo’s. Mortal Kombat was the deciding factor for many gamers when choosing between purchasing a Genesis or SNES, and Sega likely benefited greatly from their decision.

Gamers may also remember another feature from Sega’s version of Mortal Kombat. The code to unlock blood in the Sega version of the game is “ABACABB.” Abacab is an album from the band Genesis, who shares a name with the Sega console. This Easter egg is one of many found throughout the game.

Mortal Kombat is known in the gaming community for its early adoption of the practice of hiding secret elements in the game. The arcade version allowed users to access a hidden fight against a secret character with its own secret stage. Future Mortal Kombat titles even adopted hidden Easter eggs based on rumors about previous games.

Mortal Kombat 10, the latest title in the series, was released in 2015. Warner Brothers purchased the Mortal Kombat franchise in 2009 when they acquired Midway Games. Ed Boon, co-creator of the original Mortal Kombat, is still currently serving as creative director for the Mortal Kombat games. Although there is no official word yet on Mortal Kombat 11, we look forward to brutally finishing off our opponents in the next Mortal Kombat game.

Companies making millions charging prisoners to email
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Companies making millions charging prisoners to email
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Wired recently reported on a system of prison profiteering that many people may not be aware of. Several companies are making healthy profits charging prisoners, and their acquaintances, to send emails. While the practice is legal, there are several ethical concerns surrounding it.

JPay, a leader in the industry, provides prisoner communication services to prisons in 20 different states. As some prisons have instituted a ban on greeting cards, JPay is commonly presented as an alternative to those wanting to communicate their well-wishes to friends or family in prison. JPay will charge the prisoner’s friends and family to send their electronic message. They may also charge the prisoner to read the message.

States like Michigan have instituted strict guidelines regarding mailed prisoner communication. These rules restrict the color of paper the letter may be written on, and even restrict the color of ink that can be used to write it. Due to concerns that a letter may go undelivered, many are turning to services like JPay.

Electronic communications aren’t the only services being offered for-profit in our prisons. Often times, these same companies will offer a variety of other options to prisoners. Securus, JPay’s parent company, provides the phone service for Louisiana’s prisons. In Michigan, they sell tablets to prisoners. According to Wired, about 2/3 of Michigan’s prisoners are currently enrolled in that program.

While some may be disgusted by the idea of profiting off prisoners, others defend the behavior of companies like JPay. They say these businesses are simply providing a service to those who want it. While these large companies are clearly benefiting, they argue that the prisoners also benefit from using their service.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

This article contains the personal opinions of the author. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Mess of Media. This disclaimer appears on all articles that feature the personal opinions of the author, as Mess of Media is an unbiased and nonpartisan source of information.

 

Crypto markets are down, time to panic? Miners don’t think so.
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Crypto markets are down, time to panic? Miners don’t think so.
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While the price of Bitcoin may have decreased by around 75% in the last 8 months, the hash rate has increased by around 500%. The hash rate is the processing power contributed to the network. Right now the hash rate is sitting around 50,000,000 tera hashes. That’s the equivalent of 50 million computers each performing 1 trillion calculations per second.

Some would contribute the growth to the increased productivity of ASIC miners. While that is definitely a factor, these increases in hash rate can be found in cryptocurrencies that use GPU mining as well.

Others say the discrepancy between price and hash rate may simply be caused by a lack of understanding. Generally speaking, miners have a strong technical understanding of cryptocurrency. They understand its value and use it regularly. On the other hand, many investors have have absolutely no understanding of the technology at all. This may make them susceptible to emotional decision making, such as panic selling at a loss.

While Peter Schiff and many other prominent figures say this is the beginning of the end for Bitcoin, there are obviously many in the mining industry that disagree. Is Bitcoin a passing fad? Or are the critics simply misinformed? Only time will tell.

Mess of Media’s cryptocurrency reporting is for informational purposes only. Our reporting should not be considered financial advice. Participation in the crypto market is at your own risk.

NASA launches probe to touch the Sun
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NASA launches probe to touch the Sun
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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on its way to the most important form of energy on Earth, the Sun. The Parker Solar Probe is on a seven-year mission that will involve passing by the Sun a total of 24 times. The robotic spacecraft will probe the outer corona of the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe will reach within 3.85 million miles from the surface of the sun. The spacecraft is also expected to reach speeds up to 430,000 miles per hour. It’s also the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a living person, physicist and University of Chicago professor Eugene Parker. The NASA project is expected to cost 1.5 billion dollars.

NASA scientists hope to learn more about several unanswered questions of the universe. For example, what keeps the corona generating so much energy? Another popular topic of curiosity involves the constant stream of supersonic solar wind blowing throughout the galaxy. The space exploration community is eagerly awaiting the results obtained from the mission.

The Sun’s surface is about 2 million degrees Fahrenheit. Below the surface, temperatures reach a scorching 10 million degrees Fahrenheit. Why wont the Parker Solar Probe melt? According to NASA, in short, the heat is less dense. NASA contrasted the differences in heat density by comparing a person putting their hand in a hot oven versus putting their hand in pot of boiling water. Along with the atmosphere being less dense, NASA has equipped the Parker Solar Probe with a Thermal Protection System (TPS) that can withstand temperatures up to 3 thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

The NASA probe was launched into space August 12th, 2018. It is expected to return to Earth sometime in 2025. What mysteries of the universe will the spacecraft unlock once its mission is complete? Only time will tell.

Keep track of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe by following their official Twitter page!

The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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This is a main event you won’t want to miss. Two goliaths showdown in this clash of the ages. In one corner we have a Golden Retriever who is hungry for a challenge. In the other corner we have the battle hardened German Shepherd. While only one can win the spaghetti eating contest, both of these good boys won my heart.

Be sure to watch the second Spaghetti Showdown and the third Spaghetti Showdown in case you missed them!

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content like this.  Thank you for watching!

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VA officials oppose Agent Orange claims
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VA officials oppose Agent Orange claims
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Veterans Affairs Officials are opposing the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 Congressional bill. This legislative bill extends payouts to about 90,000 Vietnam Veterans who claim effects from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and is estimated to cost about one billion dollars.

The VA’s Undersecretary of Benefits, Paul Lawrence has stated, “The Science is not there, and what we do depends on the science.” VA officials also believe they cannot get proper “scientific” evidence on whether a veteran has cancer or an illness from being exposed to Agent Orange or simply from old age.

Rick Weidman, Executive Director at the Vietnam Veterans of America, responded stating, “These people were exposed. How much they were exposed doesn’t make a difference. And you can’t put that all together 40 years later.”

Agent Orange was a strong herbicide used by the United States military during the Vietnam War to eliminate the harsh terrain, making it easier to navigate the harsh environment. The United States dropped millions of gallons of the herbicide from 1961-1971. The VA’s own website details the deadly side effects of exposure to Agent Orange.

The Blue Water Bill has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote at the Senate. If you or someone you know would like to make a claim with the VA, you can contact them at 1-800-827-1000.

LATEST HEADLINES

Shepard Smith Leaving Fox News
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Shepard Smith Leaving Fox News
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Earlier today, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith announced his departure from the network. The announcement came live on air, as Smith informed viewers that today will be his final show. Smith’s exit reportedly comes in response to his repeated criticism of the Trump administration, in addition to backstage turmoil with fellow Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.

“I’ve worked with the most talented, dedicated and focused professionals I’ve ever known,” Smith told his viewers. “I’ll miss them and our time together greatly.”

Smith clarified that he chose to leave the network and was not being forced out. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave,” Smith said. “After requesting that I stay, they obliged.”

Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron praised Smith’s time with the outlet and defended his decision to leave. “He’s a warrior and he stayed in the war longer than anybody should have,” Carlson said in response to the news. “We both would reassure ourselves that authentic, factual news was a way to distinguish ourselves in what was becoming an increasingly more and more partisan network.”

Smith has been with Fox News since the network’s inception in 1996. The 55-year-old journalist has been a frequent target of President Trump, with the president often lobbing the criticism via Twitter. According to Smith’s farewell comments, it’s likely the former Fox News personality will be hosting another show on a competing network in the not too distant future.

President Trump Pulls US Troops From Northern Syria
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President Trump Pulls US Troops From Northern Syria
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On Sunday, the White House announced that all US troops will be withdrawn from northern Syria. The move comes amid tensions between Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkish forces are expected to launch military operations against the Kurds in the coming weeks.

“The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago,” President Trump wrote on Twitter following the announcement. “We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA!”

“The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so,” Trump continued. “They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”

Many in Washington, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, condemned the move. They say the US is abandoning an important ally. The Kurds were instrumental in helping the US defeat ISIS in the region.

“If I didn’t see Donald Trump’s name on the tweet I thought it would be Obama’s rationale for getting out of Iraq,” Senator Graham told Fox News. “This is going to lead to ISIS’ reemergence. [There’s] nothing better for ISIS than to create a conflict between the Kurds and Turkey. The Kurds will now align with [Bashir al] Assad because they have nobody to count on because we abandoned them. So this is a big win for Iran and Assad — a big win for ISIS.”

Fox’s Kennedy Accuses Corey Lewandowski of Being Drunk During Interview
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Fox’s Kennedy Accuses Corey Lewandowski of Being Drunk During Interview
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Last week, Fox Business host Kennedy accused former Trump 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of being drunk on her show. Kennedy interrupted Lewandowski as he spoke to ask if he had been drinking before the interview. The Fox host made the observation as her guest repeatedly slurred his words throughout the segment.

As Lewandowski spoke about the Trump-Ukraine controversy, Kennedy butted in to ask if he had been drinking. “Corey? Did you have a little merlot with dinner?” Kennedy asked her guest.

The former Trump campaign manager denied the accusation, but Kennedy remained unconvinced. “You sound a little slurry,” Kennedy responded to Lewandowski’s denial.

The interview was clearly cut short, but not before Kennedy mocked her guest as she held a large cup of coffee to her lips with both hands. “Thank you Corey. Great to have you,” Kennedy said as she quickly ended the interview. “Maybe a cup of coffee,” she suggested to her guest after the segment.

Lewandowski served as the 2016 Trump campaign manager from January 2015 to June 2016. According to reports, Lewandowski parted ways with the campaign over disagreements with Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman at the time.

Kennedy has been with the Fox network since 2012. Prior to her time at Fox, Kennedy spent several years as an MTV VJ. She is also the subject of the hit song “Name” by the American rock band Goo Goo Dolls, which turned out to be the band’s highest-charting song in the US. Her Fox Business program Kennedy airs Monday to Thursday at 9 PM Eastern Time.

Michigan Vape Ban Hurting Customers and Small Businesses
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Michigan Vape Ban Hurting Customers and Small Businesses
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Last week, Michigan’s ban on flavored vaping products went into effect. The 180-day ban was single-handedly enacted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer using emergency powers. Instead of solving an emergency, the governor has created one by causing many vape users to return to smoking cigarettes.

Federal and state judges have so far declined to stop the implementation of the ban. Multiple lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to block the governor’s decision, but none have been successful as of yet. However, a judge in Petoskey could potentially issue an injunction as early as this week.

Vape shop owners in the state have expressed concerns over the health of their customers and their livelihood. Many say their businesses will be forced to close without the revenue generated flavored vaping products. They’ve also described how many of their vaping customers are returning to cigarettes as a result of the ban.

“The governor, with the stroke of a pen, basically turned a lot of my customers back to smoking cigarettes which we know will kill you,” Rustic Vapor owner Eric Curtis told the press. “If I can’t get that product back on the shelf, it’s very detrimental. That’s probably 75 percent of my total inventory and close to 100 percent of my sales.”

Vape shops can still sell flavored vapor products with zero nicotine. They can also sell flavorless liquid nicotine that can be mixed into the legal flavored liquid. This is the method vape shops and customers will be using while the ban is in effect.

Ironically, forcing customers to add their own liquid nicotine to flavored vape liquid presents a variety of health risks. Unlike the premixed vape liquid that is now banned, pure liquid nicotine can be very hazardous to handle. It’s also far more deadly if accidentally ingested by a child. Forcing vape shops to adopt the method will also cause customers to accidentally add more nicotine than intended.

While the media stokes fear over vaping related deaths, over 1,000 people die every day in the United States as a result of smoking cigarettes. Interestingly, so far, it appears vaping related deaths and illnesses are likely related to the use of bootleg Juul pods imported from China and black market THC vaping cartridges.

As some political insiders have pointed out, the governor’s decision to ban flavored vape liquid might not actually be entirely focused on vaping. They say the Democratic politician’s decision is part of a larger battle to establish more executive power among the nation’s governors. They argue the ban on vaping products is likely to be cited in any attempts by governors to ban the ownership of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines via emergency powers.

Kamala Harris Urges Twitter to Ban President Trump
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Kamala Harris Urges Twitter to Ban President Trump
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Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is encouraging Twitter to suspend President Trump from the platform. Earlier this week, Harris reached out directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in an attempt to sway his opinion. As of yet, Twitter has declined to suspend the president’s account.

“The president’s tweets and his behaviors about this are just further evidence of the fact that he uses his power in a way that is designed to beat people down instead of lift people up,” Harris told CNN. “Frankly, when you look at what he’s been tweeting today directed at the whistleblower, directed at so many people, you know, I, frankly, think that based on this and all we’ve seen him do before, including attacking members of Congress, that he, frankly, should be — his Twitter account should be suspended.”

“I think there is plenty of now evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people and so the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken away from him,” Harris said. “If he’s not going to exercise self-restraint, then, perhaps, there should be other mechanisms in place to make sure that his words do not, in fact, harm anyone.”

Some political insiders have accused Harris of pursuing the matter simply to gain publicity. Unquestionably, the senator’s comments have helped her campaign attract quite a few headlines. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Harris is currently polling at a distant fifth place. Her polling numbers are significantly below frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

Harris says she’s pursuing Trump’s removal from the platform due to his comments regarding the recent whistleblower story. The president has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower and his Democratic opponents amid the fallout from the controversy.

Report: US and North Korea Resume Nuclear Talks
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Report: US and North Korea Resume Nuclear Talks
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According to a report from North Korea’s state news agency, the country has renewed peace talks with the United States. It’s been nearly eight months since the second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly ended without a deal. Sources say the US was unwilling to remove economic sanctions on the country in exchange for anything less than full disarmament.

In the time since the summit in Vietnam, North Korea has conducted several short-range missile tests. Several foreign policy experts have suggested the testing is an effort to pressure the United States into returning to the negotiation table. However, President Trump has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the North Korean provocations.

According to a statement released by North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, representatives of the two countries will meet together this weekend. A preliminary meeting is reportedly set for Friday, with formal negotiations taking place on Saturday.

“The delegates of the DPRK side are ready to enter into the DPRK-U.S. working-level negotiations,” Choe said. “It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-U.S. relations.”

Not everyone is convinced that North Korea’s statements are sincere. Former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton recently expressed his doubts about the peace process. While speaking at an event in Washington DC, Bolton said Kim Jong Un will never give up his nuclear weapons voluntarily.

“It seems to me clear that [North Korea] has not made a strategic decision to give up its nuclear weapons,” Bolton said while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “In fact, I think the contrary is true. In fact, the strategic decision that Kim Jong Un is operating through is that he will do whatever he can to keep a deliverable nuclear weapons capability and to develop and enhance it further.”

Elizabeth Warren Endorses AOC’s Plan Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Collect Welfare
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Elizabeth Warren Endorses AOC’s Plan Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Collect Welfare
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Elizabeth Warren is the first 2020 presidential candidate to endorse freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new “Just Society” plan. The controversial legislative package of six bills would allow illegal immigrants to collect welfare. Some political insiders has accused Warren of disingenuously supporting the plan in an attempt to gain an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez.

Two of the six separate bills would prohibit the federal government from denying welfare benefits to illegal immigrants and convicted felons. The legislation would also control the rate of yearly rent increases for housing, restructure federal poverty guidelines, and introduce a variety of new factors to determine how federal contracts will be awarded.

Perhaps even more controversial than allowing illegal immigrants to collect welfare, the legislation would seemingly establish health care, housing, and access to healthy food as government-provided rights. Unsurprisingly, Republicans have condemned the legislation.

Warren, however, isn’t backing down from her support of the proposal. “It’s going to take big, structural change to tackle poverty and inequality in the U.S., and [AOC’s] “A Just Society” is just the type of bold, comprehensive thinking we’ll need to get it done,” Warren wrote on Twitter.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Addresses Trump-Ukraine Controversy
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Addresses Trump-Ukraine Controversy
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On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly addressed the controversy surrounding a July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. While speaking to the press, Pompeo confirmed reports that he was on the call. Pompeo described his involvement in the conversation as routine and appropriate.

“I was on the phone call but it was in the context of now, I guess, I had been the secretary of state for coming on a year and a half,” Pompeo told reporters. “I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It has been remarkably consistent and we will continue to drive those set of outcomes.”

Pompeo also pushed back on actions from Democratic lawmakers. He criticized efforts to collect depositions from multiple State Department employees, condemning the methods of Democratic leadership.

“What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate fundamental principles of the separation of powers,” Pompeo said Wednesday. “They contacted State Department employees directly and told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department, at least that has been reported to us.

“So, the response that I provided to them was one that acknowledged that we will, of course, do our constitutional duty to cooperate with the co-equal branch but we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system,” Pompeo continued.

Pompeo then accused Democrats of attempting to bully and intimidate State Department employees. “That is unacceptable and it’s not something I am going to permit to happen.”

Democratic leadership has already arranged closed-door depositions with two State Department officials. Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, is scheduled to testify later today. Former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is set to testify next week.

“Any effort by the secretary of the department to intimidate or prevent witnesses from testifying or withhold documents from the committees shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” Democratic leadership wrote in a letter to Pompeo.

The Last of Us Part II Release Date Revealed in Latest Trailer
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The Last of Us Part II Release Date Revealed in Latest Trailer
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The highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us finally received a release date. The information was included along with a visually impressive 4K trailer for the game. The game will be released for the Playstation 4 on February 21, 2020.

Here’s how game developer Naughty Dog described the new game:

Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors.

When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions.

In a recent press release, the company explained their decision to wait until now to announce the game’s release date:

We began working on this game over five years ago. It’s hard to describe the immense pressure of following up the first game. We know how much you love this world and its characters — especially Ellie and Joel. Believe me, we’re fans as well. We love them. Which is why we spent years crafting a game that we feel will do them justice, telling a nuanced story that deals with the core question: how far would you go to exact justice against the people that hurt the ones you love? It’s a highly emotional story with complex themes that befit the world of The Last of Us. What we realized pretty early on is that we were putting together Naughty Dog’s most ambitious and longest game in our 35 year history. To tell this kind of story the game needed to be massive.

Alongside the trailer, we’re thrilled to reveal the various editions of the game, including The Last of Us Part II Standard Edition, Special Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, Collector’s Edition, and Ellie Edition. In collaboration with PlayStation, we worked hard to make sure these versions would be truly special by including content and items drawn from the game and its characters.

Let’s kick things off with the Collector’s Edition, which includes a beautifully crafted 12” Ellie statue, a life-sized replica of Ellie’s bracelet, a custom SteelBook case, 48-page mini art book from Dark Horse, a set of six enamel pins, lithograph art print, and a set of five stickers. The Collector’s Edition also comes with a voucher for digital content, including a PS4 dynamic theme, a set of six PSN avatars, a digital soundtrack, and a digital version of the mini art book.

The Ellie Edition gives you all of the contents of the Collector’s Edition, plus a full-sized, fully functional recreation of Ellie’s backpack, an embroidered patch, and a 7” vinyl record featuring music from the original soundtrack. We’ll also have a Special Edition version that features the custom SteelBook case and all of the digital content found in the Ellie Edition and Collector’s Edition.

For those that prefer to go digital, we have the Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the digital content outlined above, as well as a digital copy of the Standard Edition. If you pre-order either of these versions on PlayStation Store, you’ll instantly receive a The Last of Us Part II PSN avatar featuring Ellie’s tattoo. Additionally, if you pre-order any edition of the game, you’ll also receive two in-game unlocks at launch:

Ammo Capacity Upgrade: Instantly unlock an ammo capacity upgrade for Ellie’s pistol.
Crafting Training Manual: Instantly unlock the Crafting Training Manual, which provides access to new crafting recipes and upgrades.

Hold on. We’re not done. Today, journalists from all over the world are going hands-on with two new levels at a press event in Los Angeles–playing roughly three hours of the game! Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long to see and hear more about it. Their impressions and videos will be going live this Thursday, September 26 around 8:00am PT, or, as many fans of The Last of Us know it: Outbreak Day.

Inspired by the day the cordyceps fungus reached critical mass, every September 26 we celebrate The Last of Us community and we’ve got some exciting things planned! Be sure to check back here and follow Naughty Dog on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest.

You are now months away from playing The Last of Us Part II. Your love for our games inspires and fuels us as we work hard and deliver an experience worthy of our fans. We are extremely proud of the game we’re crafting and cannot wait to share it with y’all.

Until then, endure and survive!

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