‘BORING!’ Trump snubs Democrat debate to greet service personnel as crowded field bickers

The US President told personnel he chose meeting them over watching the debate to pick his presidential rival. The White House bureau chief Steve Herman asked Trump his expectations for the debate. Trump replied he thinks the candidates are all “going to do poorly”.

A total of 10 Democrats competed live to take on become the next leader to take on Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

According to Mr Herman, Trump said: “The debate is going on this is a great time.”

He asked: “What are your expectations for the debate?”

Trump said: “I think they’re all going to do very poorly.”

He later took to Twitter to label the debate “boring”.

While the Democrats debate, Trump headed to the G20 summit where he is set to hold much-anticipated trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka on Saturday.

The bilateral meeting, aimed at heading off a ratcheting up of US tariffs on imports of consumer and other goods from China, is likely to be the most closely watched event at the G20 summit, hosted by Japan.

Trump, known for preferring one-on-one deal-making over multilateral discussions, is set to hold a total of nine bilateral meetings during his time in Japan.

He is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, according to White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

The meetings are set to begin on Thursday when Trump lands and has dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

On Friday, Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and then with Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before meeting separately with Modi.

Trump also added a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday to his schedule.

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Vanderbilt Terminates Michigan's Cinderella Run, Wins College World Series

They didn’t have the luxury of superstar pitcher Kumar Rocker on the mound tonight, but Vanderbilt didn’t need him for even a moment in their winner-take-all game against Michigan on Wednesday night. With a dull but decisive 8-2 victory, the Commodores completed a comeback from a 1-0 series deficit, won the national championship, and ended what had been a magical run for the Wolverines.

Michigan’s Jordan Brewer singled home the first run of the game in the first inning, but after that it was all Vandy, starting with Pat DeMarco’s solo dinger in the second.

Michigan starter Karl Kauffmann didn’t have the dominant stuff he had shown all postseason, and Vandy tagged him with five earned runs and chased him from the game as they took a 6-1 lead after four innings. Pitching for the Commodores, Mason Hickman was everything they could have wanted him to be. He got out of a jam in the first by striking out three straight hitters with men on first and second, then he continued to brush off any early-game dust by throwing six strong innings with 10 strikeouts and just that one run allowed.

Unheralded Michigan’s run was very impressive in itself, even though they came up one game short. As only the second Big Ten program to make the CWS since 1985, these surprising last few weeks (including an upset of number-one UCLA) marked a possible resurgence for a school that was long-ago great. Second-ranked Vanderbilt, by contrast, had this championship in their sights all season, but it still carries plenty of emotional weight. This 2019 senior class for Vanderbilt is the class that came in with highly-touted pitcher Donny Everett, who tragically died by drowning after finishing his freshman year. Seven of Everett’s teammates were on this year’s champions.

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Facebook ‘evaluating’ deepfake video policy: Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is evaluating how it should handle “deepfake” videos created with artificial intelligence and high-tech tools to yield false but realistic clips.

In an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival Ideas Festival in Colorado on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said it might make sense to treat such videos differently from other misinformation such as false news. Facebook has long held that it should not decide what is and isn’t true, leaving such calls instead to outside fact-checkers.

But Zuckerberg says it’s worth asking whether deepfakes are a “completely different category” from regular false statements. He says developing a policy on these videos is “really important” as AI technology grows more sophisticated.

Facebook, like other social media companies, does not have a specific policy against deepfakes, whose potential threat has emerged only in the last couple of years. Company executives have said in the past that it makes sense to look at them under the broader umbrella of false or misleading information. But Zuckerberg is signaling that this view might be changing, leaving open the possibility that Facebook might ban deepfakes altogether.

Doing so, of course, could get complicated. Satire, art and political dissent could be swept up in any overly broad ban, creating more headaches from Facebook.

Other false videos could still get a pass. For instance, the recent altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made her sound like she was slurring her words does not meet the definition of a deepfake.

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Meth trafficking charge laid against 33-year-old man in Saskatoon: police

A 33-year-old man is facing a drug charge after a traffic stop in Saskatoon.

A Ford SUV was spotted in an alley behind a City Park neigbourhood home in the 400-block of 4th Avenue North at roughly 3:45 a.m. CT on June 26. The suspicious vehicle was running with two people inside, Saskatoon police said.

During the traffic stop, officers said the driver fled the vehicle on foot.

His passenger was taken into custody.

Around 15 grams of methamphetamine in baggies, bear spray and drug paraphernalia were found in the SUV, police said.

The 33-year-old Saskatoon man is facing charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking meth, possession of the proceeds of crime, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and obstructing a peace officer.

He was also wanted on an outstanding warrant, according to the police report.

Officers are still searching for the other man who fled the SUV. No suspect description was provided.


2 facing gun charges after truck rear-ends SUV in Saskatoon

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Are TV Mega Deals Worth It? Why Studios Are Paying So Much for Producing Talent – WrapPRO

“Whether or not the currency of dollars makes sense, the currency of prestige may at the end of the day win out,” one analyst tells TheWrap

Netflix bidding farewell to “The Office,” with NBCUniversal announcing Tuesday it would pull the hit off the streaming service in two years, highlights why mega deals with top producers are redefining the landscape in the high-stakes streaming wars.
But will those deals pay off?
The days of Netflix building a streaming business on classic TV shows appear to be numbered, which is why it was a coup for the streaming giant to secure the services of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Netflix is hoping that the two uber-producers behind hits like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “American Horror Story” will keep it perched atop the rapidly-expanding streaming kingdom.
WarnerMedia, meanwhile, is prepared to give J.J. Abr…

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Netflix Confirmed That Over 23 Million Accounts Have Viewed ‘When They See Us’

Though Ava DuVernay’s four-part miniseries about the Central Park Five — or the Exonerated Five, as she calls them — When They See Us, was only just released on Netflix on May 31, it has already gained a monumental audience. On Tuesday, June 25, DuVernay tweeted that the series had earned huge viewership numbers, with over 23 million Netflix accounts streaming When They See Us so far, proving far and away that black stories are wanted and necessary. Netflix also confirmed to Bustle that 23 million accounts worldwide had watched the series since it was released on May 31.

On Tuesday, DuVernay shared the numbers in an emotional tweet, writing, “Imagine believing the world doesn’t care about real stories of black people. It always made me sad." She went on to say that when Netflix shared the numbers with her, she was moved to tears. “I cried. Our stories matter and can move across the globe,” she wrote. “A new truth for a new day.”

DuVernay has always been a warrior for truth and the 23 million viewers of When They See Us have trusted her to tell it. More importantly, the falsely accused teenagers and exonerated men, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, trusted her to tell their story. And that trust has clearly paid off.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix usually keeps viewership numbers close to the vest, but the site has released a few impressive streaming stats of high performers on occasion. When They See Us’ staggering 23 million views rivals the 25 million accounts that watched Our Planet. Other successful series include The Umbrella Academy, You, and Sex Education.

One thing that stands out from this statistic is that the accounts that have pressed play on When They See Us are from all over the world, proving that this story, which is based on true events unique, in some ways, to U.S. history, had universal appeal. Following DuVernay’s tweet, Netflix UK & Ireland’s official account tweeted that the series was "in the top two most-watched series on Netflix in the UK since it launched on 31 May — beaten only by Black Mirror." It has long been a myth that stories about black Americans don’t do well overseas or internationally, but, as DuVernay pointed out in her original tweet, this series proves that long held belief wrong.

The Netflix UK & Ireland official account added in another tweet that they "honestly didn’t expect such a reaction in the UK." They continued, writing, "The shock, disbelief, & anger audiences feel when hearing this story is not limited by geography. Important stories — and important truths — travel, when they have a platform." DuVernay retweeted the message, adding, "I love this feedback."

When They See Us has been available to stream on Netflix for less than a month, and it’s already been played by 23 million accounts. And, given how much Netflix viewers love to rewatch the same titles over and over again, who knows how many views the series has accumulated by now. Onwards and upwards!

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Women’s World Cup not an experiment for new laws, says Pierluigi Collina

The Women’s World Cup is not “an experiment” for new rules using video assistant referees, says Fifa’s head of referees Pierluigi Collina.

Fifa says it has been “surprised” at criticism over laws regarding goalkeepers encroaching at penalties.

World football’s governing body says the same rules have been implemented across all competitions from 1 June.

It claimed VAR helped referees reach a 98.18% accuracy rate in decision-making during the group stages in France.

“The only issue, apparently, concerns penalty kicks,” said Collina, who is chairman of Fifa’s referees committee. “And honestly we have been a bit surprised.

“VAR cannot be blind, cannot ignore. If you have a tool that offers you the possibility to check, you have to check.”

Without VAR, Fifa says the group-stage accuracy rate for match-changing plays – those leading to goals, penalties, red cards or instances of mistaken identity – would be down to 92.51%.

“We can never be perfect. No one player, no one coach is perfect,” added Massimo Busacca, head of Fifa’s refereeing department. “We are not perfect. What’s the problem?”

Asked why there had been more problems at this tournament, Collina said VAR’s success rate was “not very different to last summer” at the men’s World Cup in Russia.

“What is important to me is that the decision taken in the field of play is correct and very few mistakes which were committed so far did not affect the result of any game,” he told BBC Sport.

  • Fifa has ‘major decisions’ to make on VAR

Why is new law causing controversy?

New laws which came into effect on 1 June and were outlined by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) mean a penalty kick can be retaken if goalkeepers are spotted advancing.

Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander saved a late penalty in her side’s 3-3 draw with Argentina but a retake was ordered after VAR ruled she had moved off her line before the kick was taken.

The retake was scored and Alexander became one of three players booked for encroachment during the tournament so far.

France also benefited in a group game when a penalty against Nigeria hit the post.

VAR determined that Nigeria keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie had moved off her line early and Wendie Renard scored the winner from the second spot-kick.

Italy scored their first goal in a 5-0 win over Jamaica with a retaken penalty after goalkeeper Sydney Schneider was punished for moving off her line in saving the initial spot-kick.

The decisions were correct according to the new laws, although Fifa has since said goalkeepers will not be booked if they break the rule during a shootout.

Collina said football’s law-makers had changed the rule to help goalkeepers by allowing them to just have one foot on or level with the line rather than two.

“We acknowledged that saving a penalty by keeping two feet on the goalline until the taker kicks the ball makes the goalkeeper’s job almost impossible,” he added.

“If something is written in the laws of the game it must be respected.

“It is not a matter of a small encroachment or big encroachment, it is a matter of encroachment, and this is what we can do by using technology.”

England boss Phil Neville said this Fifa had “major decisions to make” over the use of VAR after controversy around decisions dominated the group stage, while Manchester United Women manager Casey Stoney said it was “ruining the game”.

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Collina denied claims teams at the tournament in France were being used as “guinea pigs”, saying new rules are always implemented from 1 June and that has previously been the case at men’s World Cups.

“Were the World Cup in ’98 and Euro 2016 considered as guinea pigs because a new law was implemented?” he said.

“New laws are implemented on 1 June, tournaments played in summer are played with new laws. This is something that has been going on for many years.”

Speaking at a media briefing, he added: “We didn’t consider the Women’s World Cup, which is our flagship tournament in 2019 as a World Cup, we cannot consider this competition as an experiment.”

The Premier League has said it will use VAR for the first time for the 2019-20 season but will not use it to rule on goalkeepers moving off their line to save a penalty.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) will leave such decisions to on-field officials, although it could review the situation during the season.

However, Collina said he was unaware of this and “the rules of the game must be enforced in every country and competition”.

“You cannot decide how to enforce the rules of the game,” he said. “If you don’t like something you need to respect the laws of the game, that is what we are enforcing here in France.”

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‘Chasing the Moon’: Watch Civil Rights Protest at 1969 Moon Launch in Rare Clip — Exclusive

Robert Stone’s upcoming three-part documentary series on PBS, “Chasing the Moon”, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and reimagines the Space Age as a mix of scientific innovation, political maneuvering, media spectacle, and personal drama. Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Stone aims to rethink the race to the moon for a new generation, invalidating much of the accepted legend surrounding the effort.

With a treasure trove of previously overlooked and lost archival material – much of which has never before been seen by the public – the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events, including astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained global attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male NASA Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.

For the filmmaker, who was 10 years old at the time of the mission, the series is the “culmination of a lifetime of thoughts that have been churning through my mind about this extraordinary period in which I grew up,” he said.

An exclusive look at the upcoming series features a rarely-seen clip of the Rev. Ralph Abernathy – president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and successor to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. following his death a year earlier  – staging a protest on location at Cape Kennedy, the day before the launch of Apollo 11.

On July 1969, the eve of the mission, Tom Paine, Administrator of NASA found himself confronted by a group of civil rights demonstrators, led by Abernathy, who went to Cape Kennedy on the eve of the launch to speak out against the government prioritizing space travel above the conditions of the nation’s poor, of which African-Americans were disproportionately represented. He urged that the funds be instead spent on providing food, clothing, shelter and medical care to those in need. Abernathy’s speech was brief and the demonstrators peaceful.

Paine responded, stating: “If we could solve the problems of poverty by not pushing the button to launch men to the moon tomorrow, then we would not push that button.”

He added that NASA’s technical advances were “child’s play” compared to “the tremendously difficult human problems” that concerned the SCLC. Although he did offer hope that NASA might contribute to addressing these problems, and then asked Abernathy to pray for the safety of the astronauts.

Abernathy agreed that he would certainly do this, and they ended their impromptu meeting by shaking hands.

While the moment was of no immediate or lasting consequence, it was burdened with history, with the bloody and deadly fight for civil rights still very fresh in memory.

Watch the clip:

The six-hour program, which will air over three consecutive nights, premieres Monday, July 8, 2019, 9 p.m. ET on PBS.


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Zachary Quinto Reads ‘An Affection Multiplier, With Four Feet and a Wet Nose’

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The form at the animal shelter asked Bob Morris a simple question: “Why do you want to get a dog?”

Although the answer could have been simple, Mr. Morris was unsure. Was his newfound desire for a dog indicative of something missing in his marriage? After years of sneering at doting dog owners, why did he suddenly want to become one?

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, Zachary Quinto reads Mr. Morris’s essay, “An Affection Multiplier, With Four Feet and a Wet Nose.” Mr. Quinto stars in the new TV show “NOS4A2.” He has previously appeared in “Star Trek” and “American Horror Story.”

Mr. Morris is the author of “Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad.” Stay tuned to hear more from him, Mr. Quinto and the Modern Love editor Daniel Jones.

To read past Modern Love columns, click here. Continue following our fashion and lifestyle coverage on Facebook (Styles and Modern Love), Twitter (Styles, Fashion and Weddings) and Instagram.

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Discovery Puts Squeeze On Unscripted Producers With New Series Financing Mechanism

With its 2017 acquisition of Scripps Networks, Discovery became the dominant player in the unscripted cable market with 19 networks, with all but OWN focused entirely on reality fare.

Using its newly found clout, I hear Discovery has put forward a new model for financing its series, and it has the unscripted producing community up in arms.

Profit margins for cable reality producers have been consistently shrinking over the past decade as basic cable networks grapple with declining ratings. With networks also controlling ownership in majority of the cases, reality companies rely entirely on license fees — often in the neighborhood of $300,000-$400,000 per episode — to cover production costs and keep about 10% in profit. They get those license fees paid by the network as they go into production on the episodes.

Discovery is changing that. According to sources, in its new contract template implemented across the board by all of its networks, production companies are required to take out a loan (I hear they are being sent to Citibank, which has a partnership with Discovery) and finance the production themselves, with the networks paying their budget upon delivery of the completed order, compared with pay as you go.

This raises a number of problems. Production companies need to take out a loan of millions of dollars and pay interest, which would cut already razor-thin profit margin almost in half. Producers I have spoken with note that they have asked Discovery to add the interest as a line in the budget but were rebuffed, with the network group countering that if they cover the interest, they would reduce the show’s production budget. Other sources familiar with the situation dispute that, saying the interest is being added to series’ budgets.

There are also the issues of production overages and reshoots, which networks and production companies always wrangle over and networks usually cover (at least partially). Producers fear that, if Discovery executives require reshoots in the completed order, they will have to shoulder the cost if they want to get the original license fee agreement honored by Discovery so they can pay off their bank loan. (The networks also are believed to have a right of refusal to pick up the already produced seasons and pay for them.)

The new budget paradigm is said to be the brainchild of Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels. He comes from Europe, where this model is widely used, but producers there retain ownership of their shows, which is not the case in Discovery’s modification.

In the U.S., the only area producers point to that employs a similar mechanism is in independent films, which are financed by the producers and are then acquired by a distribution company. But the producers again have ownership.

The new Discovery business model involving self-financing by producers does not allow them to have IP control, with their shows still owned by Discovery.

This appears to be a belt-tightening strategy by Discovery and a way to keep cash on the books following big-ticket deals for sports rights and Scripps. It is raising eyebrows, especially as the company’s  chief executive officer David Zaslav sits atop the list of highest-paid public company CEOs with $129.4 million pay package for last year.

“We have engaged in constructive discussions with our producing partners to better manage our cash flow as we invest more in content than ever before,” Discovery said in a statement to Deadline. “We have gotten a positive response so far from both big and small production companies.

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