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Economy

Uber acquiring food-delivery app Postmates for $2.65B

Uber is acquiring food-delivery app Postmates for $2.65 billion in stock, less than a month after it tried and failed to acquire rival Grubhub.

The combination of Uber’s UberEats food-delivery app with Postmates will control 37 percent of the food delivery business in the US and would be second to Doordash, which controls 45 percent of the market, according to Edison Trends.

Grubhub, which agreed last month to be acquired by Netherlands-based Just Eat Takeaway.com, controls 17 percent of the US market and the majority of its business comes from transactions in New York.

“Uber and Postmates have long shared a belief that platforms like ours can power much more than just food delivery—they can be a hugely important part of local commerce and communities, all the more important during crises like COVID-19,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.

Khosrowshahi also said Uber Eats’ bookings in the second quarter were up by more than 100 percent compared to a year ago.

The all-stock deal was approved by the boards of both companies, but is subject to regulatory approval.

Postmates is the smallest of the major food delivery apps companies — and had recently filed paperwork to become a publicly held company — providing delivery services of general merchandise not just food.

“Over the past eight years we have been focused on a single mission: enable anyone to have anything delivered to them on-demand. Joining forces with Uber will continue that mission,” Postmates chief executive and co-founder Bastian Lehmann said in a statement.

Shares of Uber rose by more than 8 percent in pre-market trading.

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World News

Mike Huckabee: Racism a 'spiritual' problem for US — and elections can't solve it

America divided on the Fourth of July: Can the nation come together?

Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, joins Judge Jeanine Pirro on ‘Justice.’

America's racism problem is more "spiritual" than political, Mike Huckabee said Saturday night.

"The only way to get rid of racism is with God," the former Arkansas governor told host Jeanine Pirro during an appearance on Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

"Why do you say that?" Pirro responded.

"Well, because racism is essentially when I'm disrespecting God and the people that he made who are equal to me," Huckabee said. "If I really have a good relationship with God and I love him, I can't help but love the people that he made. And some of them are black and some of them have white in their color and some are Asian and they're all kinds of people. But he made them all and he didn't make any of them to be less important than me."

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Racism is solved individually and not by "electing a certain politician," Huckabee added.

"So if I've got a problem with somebody of a different race, my problem is with God. And that's why I say we've got all these people arguing over politics and race and economics and sociology," Huckabee said. "The real problem is spiritual. And that's where I feel like that we are failing in this debate — because we think we can resolve it by electing a certain politician."

"We resolve it individually when we accept the fact that there is nobody on this Earth who is better than I am and there's nobody on this Earth who is less than me — not because the government said we're equal, but God did," the Fox News contributor added.

Pirro asked Huckabee how America got to where it is today regarding social unrest and racism.

Huckabee blamed "selfishness."

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"I think we're there because we have systematically not just given in to racism, we've systematically given into selfishness and everyone becoming his or her own God," Huckabee said. "That's really the fundamental problem."

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Business

This map shows how much a backyard barbecue costs in every US state

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many Americans will still celebrate the Fourth of July with small, outdoor soirees in place of the big blowouts of the past — and residents of some states will pay a slightly higher margin for their supplies. 

That's according to new data from deal site Simple Thrifty Living, which compared prices for cheeseburgers, hot dogs, drinks, sides and paper goods in each state to see how the cost of a backyard barbecue varies across the U.S. The site used data from local Walmart stores and based all quantities on a gathering of 10 people. (These numbers are for illustrative purposes. The size of any actual gathering should be based on local laws and restrictions, per the CDC.)

Here are the exact items included in the analysis: 

  • Cheeseburgers: 85% lean/15% fat ground beef, hamburger buns, Kraft Singles cheese slices, Heinz ketchup, French's mustard, Hellmann's mayonnaise, sweet onion, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, Vlasic dill pickles
  • Hot dogs: Ball Park beef hot dogs, hot dog buns
  • Beverages: Bud Light beer, White Claw seltzer, cans of Coca-Cola
  • Sides: Watermelon, corn on the cob, Bush's baked beans, Popsicles
  • Paper goods: Paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery

The most expensive barbecues will take place in Alaska, where it costs an average of $137.74 to cover all of the supplies. Hawaii, Wyoming, Tennessee and South Dakota also landed in the top five most expensive states. "Substantially higher meat, produce, fruit and beer prices were the culprits for a higher overall bill in these states," Simple Thrifty Living reports. 

South Carolina was the only state to come in under $100, with a 10-person barbecue costing an average of just $99.03.

How does your state stack up? Check out the map and full list below.

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Alabama

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $109.38

Alaska

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $137.74

Arizona

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $103.18

Arkansas

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.67

California

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.58

Colorado

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.02

Connecticut

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.64

Delaware

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $105.09

Florida

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.12

Georgia

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.52

Hawaii

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $131.46

Idaho

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.64

Illinois

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $100.19

Indiana

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.27

Iowa

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.35

Kansas

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $103.69

Kentucky

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.04

Louisiana

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $108.13

Maine

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $108.50

Maryland

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $105.42

Massachusetts

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $105.83

Michigan

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $102.29

Minnesota

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $109.41

Mississippi

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.27

Missouri

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.01

Montana

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $109.48

Nebraska

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $108.49

Nevada

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.79

New Hampshire

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $103.58

New Jersey

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.44

New Mexico

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.48

New York

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $103

North Carolina

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $104.22

North Dakota

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $109.96

Ohio

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.09

Oklahoma

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $108.11

Oregon

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $108.83

Pennsylvania

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.61

Rhode Island

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $103.44

South Carolina

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $99.03

South Dakota

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $110.48

Tennessee

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $112.51

Texas

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.83

Utah

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $102.28

Vermont

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $110.42

Virginia

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $102.87

Washington

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $107.98

West Virginia

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $105.24

Wisconsin

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $106.38

Wyoming

Average cost of a 10-person backyard barbecue: $115.46

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

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Economy

Canada's Trudeau unsure about D.C. trip, cites concern over tariffs

Trump: Trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada, Japan will help farmers

President Trump discusses the USMCA and trade deals with China and Japan while speaking to supporters at a ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

OTTAWA  - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday he was still unsure whether he would go to Washington D.C. next week to celebrate a new North American trade treaty, citing concern about possible U.S. tariffs on aluminum.

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FEDEX APPLAUDS USMCA DEAL: 'BREAKS DOWN TRADE BARRIERS'

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is due to meet President Donald Trump next week, has said he would like Trudeau to attend.

"We're still in discussions with the Americans about whether a trilateral summit next week makes sense," Trudeau said in a news conference. "We're obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently."

USMCA 'CAREFULLY CRAFTED' TO PROTECT JOBS: US LABOR SECRETARY

U.S. national security tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – including from Canada and Mexico – were a major irritant during negotiations for the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, which was reached last year and entered into force on July 1.

U.S President Donald Trump and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

But now, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is considering domestic producers' request to restore the 10 percent duty on Canadian aluminum to combat a "surge" of imports.

Concern about the "health situation and the coronavirus reality that is still hitting all three of our countries" is another factor in his decision on whether to go to Washington, Trudeau said.

CANADA RE-APPROVES CONTENTIOUS PACIFIC COAST PIPELINE

The spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed steadily in Canada over the past eight weeks, but new cases are spiking in many U.S. states.

As of June 2, Canada had recorded a total of 104,772 coronavirus cases, with 68,345 recovered and 8,642 deaths.

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Business

A white man waving an AR-15 around in front of his mansion says much more about America than you’d think

  • Images of Mark and Patricia McCloskey's armed appearance before their St. Louis home were immediately striking and quickly swept around the country and the world.
  • But a white couple brandishing weapons in defense of property reflects an ugly history of racial violence and exclusion that is deep-seated and all too present, writes Patrick Blanchfield, an academic and journalist whose work focuses on gun violence.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

They stand next to each other, a white couple in their sixties. He wears a salmon Brooks Brothers polo tucked into his khakis; her a casual white-and-black striped shirt. Both are barefoot. Both are armed, him with an AR-15 rifle, which he holds by the grip and then by the handguard; her with a shiny little semiautomatic pistol, her finger on the trigger.

Yelling and gesturing, they sweep the crowd of protestors before them, pointing the barrels of their weapons at one another repeatedly in the process.

In a torrent of arresting news footage, Mark and Patricia McCloskey standing outside their 18,000-square-foot St. Louis mansion has become iconic. Since they were filmed confronting protestors on June 29, the memes have been nonstop. There was even the inevitable presidential retweet.

But beyond the immediate partisan divisions, social media churn, and TV news hits, Sunday's scene condensed into an image a history of struggles over race, guns, private property, and public space that are as old as the US itself and are playing out again before our eyes.

St. Louis has always been a flashpoint for the most elemental struggles and traumas of the American story. Its growth on the banks of the Mississippi River tracks successive waves of colonization, ethnic cleansing, domination, and expropriation.

For centuries, the region was the heartland of the highly sophisticated indigenous civilization of the so-called Mound-Builders or Mississippians. The region's geographic advantage in turn drew European traders. After the Louisiana Purchase, the city became a launching pad for white exploration and settlement — a beachhead from which western governors coordinated "Indian removal" and scorched-earth campaigns of extermination. In 1836, it was the site of arguably the first recorded lynching of a black man in the US.

After the Civil War, St. Louis was a hotbed for Klan activity, and as it became a booming railway hub and manufacturing center, private corporations and state authorities worked together to develop new tactics for crushing labor unrest and maintaining ever-starker inequality — glittering mansions not far from shanties, dormitories, and flophouses.

In 1916, the city was the first in the US to pass racial segregation laws by popular referendum; in 1917, days of "race riots" — essentially pogroms led by whites — left anywhere from 40 to well more than 250 Blacks dead, blocks of Black residences burned, and thousands of Black families without homes.

Today, St. Louis is generating new scenes of public unrest. Six years after the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, BLM protestors are once more in the streets. On Sunday, they sought to picket the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in response to her reading on Facebook Live the names and addresses of constituents who wrote to her in support of defunding St. Louis police — doxing them.

According to many protestors, evading road blockages en route took them past the toy mansions of the Central West End neighborhood where the McCloskeys live. Although those homes are served by public utilities, the area includes many "private streets," a phase that could be called indicative of St. Louis' urban planning.

This arrangement is both an artifact of the late 19th century, when industrialists sought to create proto-gated communities, and of the 1970s and 1980s, when city officials sought to lure wealthy residents back after the white flight of the 1950s and 1960s. Reports differ on whether and how the protestors entered the area, but as they streamed down the street, McCloskey and his wife met them from their lawn with guns drawn.

McCloskey has explained that, "I was a person scared for my life, protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate." He also said that he "was assaulted" and that he "really thought it was storming the Bastille." (Although what exactly he meant by "assaulted" or with the Bastille analogy are unclear.)

Video of the scene does not appear to show any armed protestors (although some may have been; reports on this also differ) nor does it appear to show any protestors stepping off the private street and onto the McCloskeys' lawn. In fact, video shows protestors holding their hands up, telling McCloskey not to shoot and trying to de-escalate the situation by moving one another along.

Parsing what happened in terms of the law gets murky fast. As US states go, Missouri is quite liberal in terms of gun rights. The open carry of firearms is legal. Missouri is also a Castle Doctrine state, allowing home owners to make armed self-defense of their residences against invaders. The state does not impose a "Duty to Retreat," meaning gun owners can shoot and aren't required to flee from their home or elsewhere if they feel their lives are under imminent threat (sometimes known as Stand Your Ground).

But brandishing a weapon at someone in a threatening manner can be a felony, and the Castle Doctrine does not straightforwardly extend to "private streets." Indeed, St. Louis city laws regarding brandishing at people in shared public spaces (in the more common language sense) may well trump the prerogatives of private citizens in private or semi-public ones. And it is certainly the case that someone's performing an act of civil disobedience — including trespassing — does not itself grant bystanders the right to threaten lethal force against them.

Looking for clear legal answers can only go so far amid murky, overlapping zones of public and private. Analogies to other cases — like that of George Zimmerman, who had effectively self-deputized as a neighborhood watchman when he killed Trayvon Martin in a Florida subdivision in 2012 — provide little clarity as far as the letter of the law is concerned.

But this very murkiness gets precisely at the point. What the law says on paper is one thing. How things play out in practice is another. And the deeper structures of history that underwrite the gap between the law and practice are another matter still.

Listening to the McCloskeys' own statements and those of their lawyer, one cannot but be struck by certain phrases. Per their lawyer, the McCloskeys, although "melanin-deficient," are not racist and in fact "support" Black Lives Matter, the "message" of which they deem "noble."

"What they are not capable of doing," their lawyer has explained, "is embracing the abject utilization of that noble message that we all need to hear over and over and over again as a license to rape, rob, pillage all over all of our rights."

The invocation of these menaces — rape, pillage, and, in McCloskey's own repeated phrase, the "mob"— rings at once hysterical and tin-eared in a state and country that praised "noble savages" even as lurid imagery of sacked homesteads and violated white womanhood inspired heinous acts of mass violence, vigilantism, and ethnic cleansing.

Even a cursory knowledge of American history reveals that the "our" in "all of our rights" is unevenly applied. The explicitly universal language in America's founding documents has always been implicitly circumscribed by a racialized calculus restricting who actually can enjoy what the philosopher Hannah Arendt termed "the right to have rights."

As scholars like Caroline Light have decisively shown, the history of America's self-defense laws has meant that defense of one's "castle" and person, however universally they may be phrased, have never, in practice, been universally enjoyed — a history underscored by clear empirical disparities in how Stand Your Ground and justifiable homicide cases are handled by police and juries today.

Likewise, it is striking how, in the many defenses of the McCloskeys, the question of what, exactly, "private property" means is slippery. Is it their private property? Is it the private property of Portland Place Homeowner's Association, of which they are members? Or is it the idea of a particular order of private property, which first and foremost depended on the prerogative of armed white people, civilians and otherwise, to claim territory and dominate people, above all unruly nonwhite people, within it?

Unfolding in the microcosm for America that is a posh St. Louis gated community, the image of the McCloskeys, at once absurd and menacing, reactivates distressing historical truths.

The "ground" on which Americans can equally claim to stand is not actually equally theirs — and in fact was all stolen from other people first. The order of private property which they, like so many, seek to "defend" today is also one that fully accommodated owning other people as property. The traumatic legacies of these inconvenient truths — the building blocks and origin story of racial capitalism — do not go away just because many would rather not see them.

McCloskey himself has described his and his wife's renovation of their 18,000 square foot home — an Italianate "palazzo" built by in 1909 by the son of beer magnate Adolphus Busch — as making them "urban pioneers." For all too many in a city defined by racial disparities in everything from zoning to income to life expectancy, this choice of words may ring at once inaccurate and all too true.

The McCloskeys' vision of homesteading, home defense, and entitlement to wave their guns in defense of "property" in general are not innovative at all. They merely represent a very old and very ugly return to form.

Patrick Blanchfield is an Associate Faculty Member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. His first book, "Gunpower: The Structure of American Violence" will be released by Verso Books in Spring 2021.

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Taiwan slams Hong Kong national security law, opens office to help city's residents

  • The Taiwan-Hong Kong office opened in Taipei on Wednesday, one day after China's national security law for Hong Kong was implemented.
  • The office will provide special consultation and assistance services for Hong Kong people in the areas of study, employment, investment, entrepreneurship, immigration, and residency, said Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council.

Taiwan has opened an office to help handle the applications of people from Hong Kong who want to resettle in the island.

It comes as China this week passed a new national security law in Hong Kong that's sparked concerns about the erosion of freedoms and rights in the special administrative region.

The Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges and Services in Taipei was opened on Wednesday. It was the same day Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of its transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China on July 1, 1997.

Late Tuesday night, China implemented the controversial Hong Kong national security law. The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it "strongly condemns" the legislation.

"The Hong Kong national security law reflects a complete negation of the commitment made by the Chinese Communist Party at the handover of Hong Kong that its way of life would 'remain unchanged for 50 years,'" Taiwan's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The law will seriously undermine Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, significantly restrict freedom of expression and judicial independence, decimate the rule of law, erode core values such as freedom, human rights and rule of law, and cause tremendous social upheaval, while also affecting peace, stability and prosperity in the region," it said.

'One country, two systems'

Hong Kong, a former British colony, is ruled under the "one country, two systems" principle which was to last for 50 years, or until 2047. It was part of the agreement signed by the U.K. and China when the territory was handed over in 1997.

Some world leaders, including U.K Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have openly spoken out against the law. They argue it undermines the freedoms and autonomy promised to the Chinese territory when it was handed over.

Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen pledged assistance to Hong Kongers in May, after Beijing proposed the law.

In June, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council introduced the Hong Kong Humanitarian Aid Project, which would be responsible for operating the Taiwan-Hong Kong office.

The office will provide special consultation and assistance to Hong Kong people in the areas of study, employment, investment, entrepreneurship, immigration, and residency, said the council. It will also assist multinational enterprises and international corporations relocating from Hong Kong to Taiwan.

"The Office will also pragmatically handle affairs related to humanitarian assistance and care for Hong Kong citizens based on national security considerations," it added.

Support from Taiwan

About 200 Hong Kongers have already fled to Taiwan since pro-democracy protests erupted in the Chinese special administrative territory last year, Reuters reported, citing rights groups.

Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Joseph Wu, said in a podcast with Australian think tank Lowy Institute that the island stands with Hong Kong on the side of democracy.

"For those people who come to Taiwan for political reasons, or who are afraid of political persecution back in China or in Hong Kong, we will try to provide assistance to them in a very low-key way," Wu said last month before the national security law was passed.

However, he added: "We don't want complications for their lives or for Taiwan's relations with China."

The point underscored the complexity of Taipei's own relationship with Beijing. China claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, but the Chinese Communist Party has never governed Taiwan.

Hong Kong is an international financial center and the implementation of China's national security law is viewed with caution by some businesses amid concerns over greater oversight of the city.

Before the law was passed, more than 80% of the U.S. companies in Hong Kong surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce said they were concerned about China's plan to impose the new national security law in the city.

In May, some rich Chinese were already looking to park their assets in other wealth hubs such as Singapore, Switzerland and London, Reuters reported, citing bankers and industry sources.

A top government agency in Taiwan, the Mainland Affairs Council, said in its press release Taipei "hopes to attract Hong Kong capital and talent to strengthen and expand Taiwan's economic development." 

Taiwan may be next

Taiwan is broadly sympathetic to Hong Kong, as the island faces an increasingly aggressive China.

The relationship between China and Taiwan is complex.

The Nationalist Party or KMT — a major political party in Taiwan now — had governed China for decades before losing to the Chinese Communist Party in a civil war. In 1949, the KMT fled to Taiwan (now officially called the Republic of China) where it was the ruling party for more than 50 years.

The Chinese Communist Party, which currently governs China, has never governed Taiwan. It claims the self-ruled island is part of the mainland that must be reunited with China. 

A Pew Research Center survey published in May showed Taiwanese – particularly the younger ones – do not identify with mainland China.

Despite the political differences, people and businesses on the island maintain close economic and social ties with the mainland, and Beijing has been trying to win over Taiwan.

The Chinese government has also been trying to sell Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" framework to Taipei for years.

However, the Taiwanese are even more wary of Beijing after last year's protests in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy. That helped Tsai from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party secure her second term during January's presidential election.  

Beijing views Tsai as a separatist and has cut off official communications with Taiwan since 2016, when she won the first time.

Recently, China has been conducting a number of military drills near Taiwan, "disturbing" the island, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said last week.

"If the Chinese government can take away Hong Kong, and to bring down Hong Kong's freedom and human rights, I think Taiwan is going to be the next," said Wu, Taiwan's minister of foreign affairs, said in Lowy Institute's podcast.

While Hong Kong was a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule, Taiwan is not under China's jurisdiction, according to Wu.

"And therefore, we are calling upon the international society to look at Taiwan as an outpost of democracy in fighting against the expansion of authoritarianism. We are a frontline state and we cannot allow Taiwan to be taken over by China," he said in the podcast.

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A racism reckoning for the media industry?

New York (CNN Business)Amy Emmerich, global president and chief content officer of Refinery29, announced Thursday that she is stepping down from her position immediately.

Emmerich announced the news in an email to staff that was obtained by CNN Business.
Her resignation comes amid an internal investigation into allegations of toxic workplace behavior at Refinery29. Vice Media, which acquired the female-centric site last fall, hired an outside law firm last month to conduct the investigation, which is still ongoing. A spokesperson told CNN Business that the findings will be used as the basis for “appropriate action” taken by Vice Media.

    CNN Business published a lengthy investigation in June about the culture at Refinery29 shortly after Christene Barberich, cofounder and global editor in chief at Refinery29, resigned amid public allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior. Barberich told CNN Business at the time, “I couldn’t see how my own perspectives and privileges held back the changes that needed to be made to further that purpose and vision, and to provide these women with the support they needed.” Barberich had reported to Emmerich.
    “After careful consideration, I have decided to move on from Refinery29,” Emmerich wrote in her staff email. “I’ve always fought for space so this amazing team can create unencumbered. I make this decision now so you can continue to do that. Now is a time for change, reflection and growth both for me personally and for us all as we move forward. The stories we’ve told, and that you will continue to tell, matter more than ever and I’m truly grateful to have been part of building a platform and business that spotlighted underreported stories and amplified unheard voices. I’m so thankful for the friends and colleagues that I’ve had the privilege of working with, and I look forward to watching Refinery29’s ongoing and sustained success. Continue to take care of yourselves and one another.”


    Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc confirmed the news in a separate email to staff on Thursday.
    “I want to express my gratitude to Amy for her efforts during this time,” Dubuc wrote. “Her business focus and unwavering energy have helped take Refinery29 to the next level in the media world. She leaves behind a brand that is poised to continue its mission of creative storytelling in all forms that helps all women see, feel and claim their power at this pivotal cultural moment in history.”
    A spokesperson for Emmerich declined to comment beyond what was in the email.
    Emmerich started at the company as head of video in January 2015. She was promoted to chief content officer later in 2015 and added the title of president in January 2019, according to her LinkedIn.

      Refinery29’s union had called for Emmerich’s immediate resignation in a June 11 letter sent to Vice Media management.That letter, obtained by CNN Business, referenced accusations from staffers that Emmerich had allegedly failed them in a variety of ways from “perpetrating racist microaggressions to refusing to provide a safe and supportive working environment for the staff.” Emmerich did not respond to a request for comment on the letter at the time.
      “We’re pleased that our June 11 letter to VMG management asking for Amy Emmerich’s resignation was finally addressed,” the union wrote in a tweet from its offical Twitter account. “We’re looking forward to working with new leadership who’s experienced in overseeing a diverse @refinery29 newsroom committed to serving a diverse audience.
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      World News

      Amazon Pulls Crucible From Wide Release Weeks After Game Launch

      Amazon Game Studios is pulling its latest release from wide circulation following negative reviews, an exceedingly rare step for a big-budget title.

      The release last month of Crucible, a free-to-play PC game in which teams hunt down opponents on a distant planet, marked a major moment for Amazon.com Inc., which has struggled to break out in the $159 billion global game industry.

      Crucible was panned, with every professional critic tracked by Metacritic assigning the game either a mixed or negative review. One typical review, from PCMag, said it lacked several basic components of modern shooter games, calling Crucible “a hollow and forgettable experience.”

      In a blog post on Tuesday, Amazon said Crucible would transition to closed beta, an invitation-only phase typically used to test and remove bugs from unreleased games. The step “will help us focus on providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better,” wrote studio executive Colin Johanson.

      Foundering

      Season 1, Episode 2, The Bar Is Now at Your Desk

      The WeWork Story, Part 2Forward 15 secondsBack 15 seconds00:00:00

      ShareSubscribeCookie PolicyDescriptionShare FounderingShare this episode with your friends“>Subscribe to FounderingKeep up to date by subscribing to this podcastCookie PolicyThis player is hosted by Megaphone, a podcast publishing platform. By using Megaphone‘s player you are consenting to our use of cookies, which we use to improve user experience. Please refer to our privacy policy to learn more.Description

      The WeWork Story, Part 2:

      WeWork sold office space, but also it sold something else: fun. Beer flowed freely, members partied at the office, and your work was your life. But getting these offices off the ground was utter chaos, especially for the burgeoning company’s young, inexperienced workers. In this episode, reporter Ellen Huet takes a look at WeWork’s early days, when the company was growing so fast that some buildings opened without doors or functioning bathrooms.













































































































































      During the closed beta, players can still stream their gameplay and otherwise share content. New players will be able to sign up “in the near future,” Johanson said, as the team works on changes. Earlier this month, he said the studio would eliminate two of Crucible’s three modes and laid out plans for tweaks in response to feedback from critics and players.

      Amazon entered game publishing in 2012, partly to give consumers another reason to sign up for its Prime subscription, which along with free shipping offers a variety of entertainment options including television shows and movies. Since then, Amazon’s games group has been buffeted by staff turnover and the cancellation and shelving of several games.

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      Categories
      World News

      Microsoft 'to unveil a SECOND new Xbox in August' – even cheaper than the Xbox Series X

      MICROSOFT will unveil a second next-generation Xbox console in August, according to reports.

      The new machine, codenamed "Lockhart", will allegedly hit shelves alongside the Xbox Series X later this year.

      Apparently, the console will be a cheaper version of the Series X, with no disc tray.

      That means gamers will have to download any games they want to play rather than simply sticking in a disc.

      Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X last year and will release the console in the run up to Christmas 2020.

      According to Eurogamer, the US tech titan had planed to reveal a cheaper, smaller version of the console during an event in June.

      However, this has now been pushed back to August, sources told the site. Eurogamer claims the console will be named the Xbox Series S.

      Microsoft has yet to acknowledge that the console even exists, but various high-profile leaks have all-but confirmed it's on the way.

      In terms of power, the Series S will allegedly sport 4 teraflops of GPU performance rather than the 12TF stuffed into the Series X.

      For comparison, the Xbox One X – the most powerful Xbox One released to date – has 6TF of power.

      How much will the PS5 and Xbox Series X cost?

      Here's what you need to know…

      Respected Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks we'll see a major price war.

      "From what I've seen, Sony's gonna have to charge $500 for the PS5," he explained.

      "Microsoft has a big balance sheet. If they wanna cut the price by $100 – just price below [PS5] and subsidise the first 10million [units] – they will.

      "So I think that they're waiting to have Sony blink first, and then they'll reveal the price. Very likely $400."

      Fellow gaming industry insider Peter Moore agreed with Pachter's predictions.

      Moore was formerly an EA and Microsoft exec, and was speaking on the Bonus Round podcast.

      He said: "Michael's right. What both companies are going through right now is: 'How much can we afford to lose in the first 12 to 18 months?'

      "'What is our attach rate of software to hardware? What are we willing to do in year one, two and three to hit 10million [units]?'"

      Sadly, neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed pricing for either of their consoles – or even hinted at a range.

      The Series S will apparently come with a faster CPU, however, which should give it the edge over the current generation of consoles.

      Apparently, it won't have a disc drive, with gamers relying on game downloads rather than physical discs.

      In this sense, it will fill the same entry-level niche as the Xbox One S, which also lacked a disc drive and had lower specs than the One X.

      As the Series X is out ahead of Christmas this year, it's safe to assume the Series S will release around the same time.

      The Series S is only rumoured for now, so take any news about it with a pinch of salt.

      We'll likely know more about the gaming machine in the coming months when Microsoft finally reveals a few details.

      Microsoft confirmed in December that its new console would be named the Xbox Series X.

      The contraption will apparently run games at 4K resolution – double that of HD – with the possibility of running 8K.

      It will also process games faster so as to "eliminate" loading times.

      A new Halo title will launch with the console, with Assassins Creed: Valhalla also making its way to the Series X.

      The Series X will be up against stiff competition from Sony's PlayStation 5.

      The PS5 was officially unveiled earlier this month and is also due out in time for Christmas 2020. It's rumoured to cost up to £500.

      In other news, Fortnite's chief says the PS5 won't beat the Xbox Series X in terms of graphics.

      You can check your Xbox addiction over the past 10 years with the new 'My Decade on Xbox' tool.

      And take a look at this incredible Xbox Project Oris concept console.

      Are you excited for the new Xbox consoles? Let us know in the comments!

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      Categories
      Economy

      Varney: Economy can’t take a second coronavirus shutdown

      Varney: ‘Once was enough’ for total US coronavirus shutdown

      FOX Business’ Stuart Varney argues America should not implement a total shutdown again despite an increase in cases due to the possible negative economic impacts a second lockdown could cause. Then, FOX Business’ Charles Payne joins to weigh in on the subject.

      FOX Business’ Stuart Varney, in his latest “My Take,” argues America should not implement a second nationwide lockdown.

      Continue Reading Below

      “It sure looks like a second wave," Varney said. "We can argue all day long about whether it’s a spike in new cases or a surge, or a 'serious' increase'. But the fact is, the number of new cases is going up, especially in some of the states that started to reopen.”

      Varney pointed to governors in Texas, Florida and California who have imposed some restrictions again.

      “Miami closes the beaches for the July 4 weekend,” Varney noted. “Sec. Azar says the window is closing to curb the surge.”

      VARNEY: SOCIAL DISTANCING PREVENTS A RETURN TO NORMAL

      A restaurant advertises a re-opening Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

      Varney asked, should we have a second lockdown at the state or national level?

      “In my opinion, no,” he said. “Quite simply, the economy couldn't take it. Nor could all those people who have been locked in with abusive relationships. And all those people denied life-saving medical tests and elective surgery. We can't go back to that.”

      Varney noted how President Trump is reacting to this new “wave.”

      “The president says no new national lockdown. Instead, put out the fires at the local level,” Varney said. “That’s what the bar and beach closings are all about. Wear masks, keep your distance, wash your hands. That’s the policy. Contain the outbreaks. Limit the spread.”

      VARNEY: 4 CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN CHANGES THAT ARE HERE TO STAY

      Visitors crowd the beach Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

      Young people will have trouble sticking to the rules during the summer, Varney believes.

      “They've already missed college and high school graduation ceremonies,” he said. “It will not be easy to get them off the beach and out of the bar.”

      Varney said the economy will take a hit from these new rules.

      CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

      “There will be some impact on the pace of the economic recovery,” he said. “You can't expand rapidly if there are still restrictions on economic activity. The virus will not go away completely any time soon. There are going to be local outbreaks. There will be local shutdowns. That’s the way it is. That’s what we have to live with.”

      Varney said under no circumstances should America shut down again.

      “Once was enough,” he said.

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