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Raducanu’s itinerary: When is the British No 1 back in action?

Emma Raducanu may not be targeting the season-ending WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico after pulling out of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, but the US Open champion still has plenty of tournaments coming up her preparations for next year’s Australian Open in Melbourne hots up

Last Updated: 15/10/21 11:53am

Emma Raducanu still has plenty of tournaments coming up despite pulling out of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

Emma Raducanu still has plenty of tournaments coming up despite pulling out of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

Emma Raducanu may have pulled out of this month’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, but the US Open champion still has plenty of tournaments coming up to end her remarkable year.

Raducanu’s stunning win at this year’s US Open catapulted her to worldwide stardom.

She did not drop a set in 10 matches en route to the title at Flushing Meadows but she has played only one match since, suffering a second-round defeat to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells to head back to the drawing board.

Raducanu had been due to be back on court at the WTA 500 tournament in Moscow, which takes place between October 18-24, but the Brit announced that she is unable to play at the event this year.

Her withdrawal has most likely ended her hopes of reaching the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico, featuring the top eight singles players.

Reigning champion Ashleigh Barty, world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka and this year’s Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova have already qualified for the season-ending extravaganza, while British No 1 Raducanu is currently in 15th position on 2282 points, despite having played just four tournaments in 2021.

Naomi Osaka holds eighth spot on 2771 points, but there are major doubts over whether Barty and Osaka will play.

Transylvania Open, Romania, October 25-31 [WTA 250]

Raducanu lost her first match since winning the US Open at Indian Wells

Raducanu lost her first match since winning the US Open at Indian Wells

The 18-year-old said she is looking forward to returning to the Tour “in the next couple of weeks” after pulling out of the tournament in Moscow, so she could still play in her father’s home country.

She has been seeded third at the tournament in Cluj behind her idol Simona Halep and Belgian star Elise Mertens.

Raducanu said: “I am extremely excited to play at the Transylvania Open, in front of Romanian fans.

“My father is from Romania, so to participate for the first time in a WTA competition in the country where he was born is a special moment and I can’t wait to get to Cluj.”

Upper Austria Ladies Linz, November 6-12 [WTA 250]

Raducanu is now focussing her attention on playing in Linz rather than attempting to reach the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, with the two events overlapping.

“I’ve heard many great things about Linz, how well they treat the players and how many great champions have won this title in the past. I am really looking forward to come to Austria and play in front of their great fans,” said Raducanu.

Tournament ambassador and TV presenter Barbara Schett has also spoken in glowing terms about the teenager from Bromley.

The former US Open quarter-finalist said: “I like the way she plays. With her triumph at the US Open she triggered a real hype in Great Britain. Emma has got the whole package. She is not only a top athlete, but also very intelligent and an enchanting personality.”

ATP Champions Tennis, London, November 25-28 [Exhibition]

Mark Phillippoussis, Mansour Bahrami and Greg Rusedski will be in action at the iconic Royal Albert Hall along with Raducanu

Mark Phillippoussis, Mansour Bahrami and Greg Rusedski will be in action at the iconic Royal Albert Hall along with Raducanu

Raducanu will mark her second appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in London since her US Open triumph having already joined Hollywood film stars at the new James Bond premiere for ‘No Time to Die’.

Raducanu, who will turn 19 on November 13, has been scheduled to play a singles exhibition match at the iconic venue.

She will be joined by tennis legends including British favourite Greg Rusedski, fan favourite Mansour Bahrami, Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, former No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spaniard David Ferrer, 2006 Australian Open runner up Marcos Baghdatis, and Czech Radek Stepanek.

Other players competing in the tournament include Xavier Malisse, Australian legend Mark Philippoussis, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, former top-fiver Thomas Enqvist, former Russian No 1 Mikhail Youzhny, and German Tommy Haas.

Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Abu Dhabi, December 16-18 [Exhibition]

The teenager added the lucrative exhibition tournament to her busy schedule in the run-up to the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.

She will take on reigning Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in a match which will take place at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.

“I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi and can’t wait to go and play in the championship. I know the UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the beginning of December, so I’m sure it’s going to be amazing there and I’m excited to experience everything the country has to offer both at the event and culturally,” said the Briton.

Legends of the women’s game including Serena, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova have all competed at the prestigious event in recent years.

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No further action taken over Walker-Glik incident

FIFA will not take any further disciplinary action following the exchange between Kamil Glik and Kyle Walker in England’s World Cup qualification clash with Poland last month due to a lack of evidence.

England reported an on-field incident to the match referees after Glik appeared to pinch Walker’s neck, before a half-time melee broke out between the sides in Warsaw.

Glik and England defender Harry Maguire were both booked following the incident, with the game going on to end in a 1-1 draw.

FIFA announced it would open an investigation into the match amid allegations of racism, but could not find any conclusive evidence of wrongdoing.

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During the Three Lions’ 1-1 draw in Warsaw, Glik appeared to pinch the neck of Walker in a half-time melee

“After a thorough assessment, which included relevant match reports, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided not to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to Poland against England on 8 September, due to insufficient evidence.” a FIFA spokesperson said.

“FIFA’s position remains firm and resolute in rejecting all forms of discrimination but, in this particular case, no evidence has been produced to support further action.”

Polish FA spokesman Jakub Kwiatkowski denied any allegations of racism after the match to Sky Sports News.

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Highlights of the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I clash between Poland and England

“It was a normal football incident,” he said. “Passions were running very high. There was some pushing between Glik and Walker at a free-kick. There was a lot of tension and some pushing but no racism.

“We had some discussions with the fourth official about this at half-time and I spoke to the players and they told me there was no racism.”

Several arrests after Hungary fans clash with police at Wembley

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Highlights of the World Cup European Qualifying Group I match between England and Hungary from Wembley

Hungary fans clashed with police at Wembley during Tuesday’s World Cup Qualifier against England.

Jeers could be heard from the away end as the England players took a knee to show their support for the fight against racism before kick-off.

Clashes then broke out in the away section, with police using batons in an attempt to control the crowd before appearing to be forced into the concourse.

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The Athletic’s Anita Abayomi shares a witness account of sitting in the tier above the Hungary fans at Wembley and her experience of the disorder below

The Metropolitan Police revealed they had made one arrest on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, and two on suspicion of affray and assault on an emergency worker inside the stadium.

As trouble continued on the concourse and outside Wembley, the police made one further arrest for affray, one for drunk and disorderly and one on suspicion of voyeurism.

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Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast. Scientists demand action before it becomes a toxic dustbin.

Human water consumption and diversion have long depleted the Utah lake. Its level today is inches away from a 58-year low, state officials say, and Western drought conditions fueled by the climate crisis have exacerbated conditions.
The worst part? It’s only July, and the lake historically doesn’t reach its annual low until October.
Lucy Kafanov of CNN and Kevin Perry ride bikes Tuesday on the dry lake bed playa of the Great Salt Lake.
“I have never seen it this bad — not in my lifetime,” said Andy Wallace, soaring over the body of water in a prop plane, as he’s done for years as a commercial pilot.
Simply put, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere is shrinking rapidly. Left alone, the lake’s footprint would span 2,100 square miles — more than three times the area of Houston. An analysis published last year showed that water siphoned off the rivers that feed the natural wonder had reduced its level by 11 feet, depleting the lake area by more than half.
“Twenty years ago, this was under about 10 feet of water,” said Kevin Perry, chairman of the department of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, as he rode a bike in July across the desiccated lake bed.

Dying organisms and arsenic

Perry and other scientists worry they’re watching a slow-motion calamity unfold. Ten million birds flock to the Great Salt Lake each year to feed off of its now-struggling sea life. More pelicans breed here than most anywhere else in the country.
The trouble trickles up the food chain. The Utah Geological Survey openly expressed its fear Thursday that the shrinking lake levels threaten to kill microbialites — underwater reef-like mounds that help feed brine flies, brine shrimp and, thus, the 338 species of birds that visit each year.
Pelicans gather in June on an island on Farmington Bay near the Great Salt Lake.
“We think of these structures as living rocks,” said Michael Vanden Berg, manager of the survey’s energy and mineral program. “The population in Great Salt Lake is one of the largest accumulations of modern microbialites in the world.”
If the lake continues to recede to historic levels, a heretofore unseen proportion of the lake’s microbialites will be exposed, a news release said. It can take only weeks for the microbial mat to erode off the “living rocks,” it said, and it could take years to recover, even if lake levels return to normal.
Brine shrimp, also known as sea monkeys, are also battling the rising salinity that comes with less water. They’re not just bird food, either. They’re exported as fish food, and commercial harvesting contributes to an estimated $ 1.5 billion economy — which, along with recreation and mineral extraction, helps feed fishers and others living around Great Salt Lake.
Economic downturn isn’t the only threat to humans in the area. Utah’s soil is naturally high in arsenic, a toxic compound that causes a frightening range of health problems. When it washes downstream, it lands in the lake, Perry said. When the wind blows, as it regularly does quite fiercely, it kicks up the dusty lake bed.
A bison walks in April along the receding edge of the Great Salt Lake on its way to a watering hole at Antelope Island, Utah.
“One of the concerns we have is the particles that are coming off the lake getting into people’s lungs,” he said. “Fifteen to 20 years ago, when the lake was higher, most of these dust spots were covered up, and if you cover them up with water, they don’t produce dust. And so as the lake has receded, it’s exposed more and more of that lake bed. … As we get the larger area, we have more frequent dust storms.”
Owens Lake, a mostly dry lake east of the California’s Sequoia National Forest, was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct almost a century ago, Perry noted. Though some water is returning to the lake, its dry bed is the largest source of PM-10 pollution — large, inhalable dust particles — in the nation. Great Salt Lake is much larger than Owens Lake, and whereas the population around Owens Lake is about 40,000, there are more than 2 million people living around Great Salt Lake, Perry points out.
“This lake could become one of the larger dust emission sources in North America as well,” he said. “Right now, the lake bed is protected by a fragile crust, and if that crust is disturbed or erodes over time, then this lake could start to emit a lot more (dust).”

‘We’re on the doorstep of a catastrophe’

A dried-out portion of Great Salt Lake is seen Wednesday from the air.
Huge swaths of the Utah lake look more like Death Valley than any waterway, the ground barren and fractured from dry heat. Other areas look like sprawling street puddles. Birds wade through shoreline muck along empty marinas, their slips sagging to the ground.
“The saltiest sailors on the planet have had their sailboats hoisted out of the Great Salt Lake’s marinas by crane in recent days, due to dropping Lake levels,” the Utah Rivers Council wrote in the introduction of a report warning that a dam, pipeline and reservoir proposal to the east will only compound problems.
While human behavior remains scientists’ primary concern, the lack of rain out West isn’t helping. Great Salt Lake now is like water sitting in a plate, whereas most lakes resemble a cup, said Jaimi Butler, co-editor of the 2020 analysis showing the lake area had shrunk by 51%.
The shallow waters are more prone to evaporation in drought conditions, and while the lake’s level ebbs and flows over any given year, the lake tends to reach its low point in the fall, around October. The lake will continue to drop and shrink over the next three months, and the water level could sink as much as 2 more feet by Halloween, Butler suspects.
“Keeping water in Great Salt Lake is the biggest thing that keeps me up at night,” said Butler, a wildlife biologist who grew up around the lake and serves as coordinator for the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College. “We’re on the doorstep of a catastrophe.”

Mother Nature and residents must join forces

Butler wept contemplating the ramifications of not taking strong action to save the waterway.
“Great Salt Lake will be an environmental, economic and, really, cultural catastrophe all in one,” she said. “I grew up here. A place becomes you. … We are all Great Salt Lake. All of us are, and we shouldn’t let it go away.”
Humans created the problem, and humans will have to take part in the solution, she said. Curbing water usage and raising water utility rates to deter waste would be a start, she added.
Jaimi Butler poses along the receding edge of Great Salt Lake.
Despite the warning bells, water meant for Great Salt Lake continues to be diverted to farms, ranches and cities — the latter of which enjoy some of the cheapest water in the nation, Butler said.
Salt Lake City residents paid one of the lowest water rates of major US cities, according to an analysis by Circle of Blue, a nonprofit advocating for responsible stewardship of water resources. A family of four using a 100 gallons a day paid $ 32 a month in 2018 — about half of what New Yorkers paid, a third of what Atlantans paid and a quarter of what San Franciscans shelled out that year. Among the major cities, only Memphis residents paid less.
But it seems residents around Great Salt Lake have been acting more conscientiously, said Marcie McCartney, the water conservation and education manager for the Utah Division of Water Resources.
“Everybody around and in that basin is doing all they can to use water as wisely as possible,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of (water) saving this year, which is awesome, but the Great Salt Lake is definitely suffering, and the only way we’re going to get those lake levels up higher is a better water year for our snow pack.”
The Great Salt Lake recedes in May from Antelope Island near Salt Lake City.
Officials charged with monitoring the snow runoff into streams and reservoirs must calculate how much is needed for water supply — drinking, agriculture, etc. — and the rest can be released downstream into Great Salt Lake, McCartney explained. This year’s “poor snow pack” melted too quickly, she said, “and the soil is really thirsty.”
“Mother Nature is going to take her share first, and we’ll get the rest,” she said.
In November, Butler co-wrote an obituary for Great Salt Lake in Catalyst Magazine, based in the Utah capital.
“Great Salt Lake experienced her final glimmering sunset today, succumbing to a long struggle with chronic diversions exacerbated by climate change,” it began. “Her dusty remains will be scattered across the Salt Lake Valley for millennia — we will be constantly reminded of her passing by our air quality monitors.”
Visitors stand in June in the shallow waters of the Great Salt Lake.
The piece laid out the history of the reservoir, how it found itself in dire straits and what concerned Utahans can do to change the narrative and amplify their voices to save the beloved body of water.
“There was action to prevent the death of Great Salt Lake, but it was too little, too late,” the obit read. “She supported Utah’s economy for many years, but we did not adequately fund her healthcare in time. Had we done so, we may not be mourning her death today.”
Speaking to CNN, Butler reiterated many of those points, imploring, “We’ve changed our world, and we need to change our behaviors to keep incredible ecosystems that include humans like here at Great Salt Lake.”

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Virgin Media warns customers to ‘take action’ or their mobile phone will stop working

Virgin Media warns customers to 'take action' or their mobile phone will stop working

Speaking about the move, Virgin said: “We regularly review our offerings to make sure we’re meeting our customers’ needs and usage.

“After careful review, we’ve decided to close our Pay As You Go services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly plans.

“You have at least 3 months to switch to Pay Monthly or request your PAC, after we have notified you”.

If you’d rather not wait to hear from Virgin about when your PAYG sim will stop working you can call 789 to discuss it.

Virgin Media, who has just merged with O2, added their “friends at O2 offer a great Pay As You Go service”.

Virgin went on to say: “Don’t forget to use up your credit up before our Pay As You Go service ends or request a refund for any leftover credit”.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Biden slow-walks Cuba action

MIAMI — Cuba’s dictatorship quickly shut down the internet across the island and then blocked social media apps after demonstrators shared images of protesters across the island chanting for liberty, calling for an end to the 62-year-old regime and being beaten and arrested by authorities.

In the U.S., President Joe Biden’s administration has been slow to react. But Republicans haven’t stopped talking since the protests began on Sunday.

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, two Miami GOP House lawmakers and a federal communications official called on the Biden administration to instantly greenlight a special type of high-altitude communications system and other technology that would enable Cuban citizens to evade the communist government’s censorship. It comes after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) met with the White House on Wednesday to make the same ask.

“We need President Biden to step up and make this happen,” DeSantis — who might challenge Biden in the 2024 presidential election — said at a press conference.

“The one thing that communist regimes fear the most is the truth. And if we’re able to help Cubans communicate with one another and also communicate to the outside world, that truth is going to matter … Mr. President, now’s the time to stand up and be counted.”

Biden, for his part, on Thursday afternoon said his administration is looking into whether the U.S. has the “technological ability” to reinstate internet access on the island.

Cubans began to have more access to internet again on Wednesday after a blackout left much of the island following the protests with limited to no ability to share and publicize the government’s response to protesters — thousands of whom have been arrested or are missing, according to local activists.

Still, officials on both sides of the aisle have been calling for the Biden administration to step up and expand access, so the Cuban government can’t cut off Cubans’ connectivity in the future.

But the White House isn’t ready to commit and has been relatively slow to react to the crisis in Cuba. That go-it-slow approach has emboldened Republicans, who criticize Biden as too sclerotic. And Florida Democrats fear the president could blow an opportunity to reorient U.S. Cuba policy and improve the party’s political chances in a former swing state that Republicans have increasingly begun to dominate by making inroads with Hispanic voters.

“DeSantis is showing motion, action. It’s what people want,” lamented Carlos Odio, co-founder of Equis Research, a Democratic Latino research firm. “What people are looking for is solidarity with the Cuban people and working toward solutions for the Cubanople.”

Privately, Biden administration officials have been discussing the logistics of how to get around Cuban censorship, but the administration is still engaged in a monthslong review of Cuba policy, which was brought into sharp focus when unprecedented protests organically sprung up on the island over the weekend. Officials say they’re trying to be deliberate in their Cuba strategy.

The Biden administration is “looking at how the events of Sunday and this week have implications for how we respond to the situation and how we can best support the Cuban people,” a senior administration official said Thursday in a call with reporters.

Any decision to offer connectivity to Cubans is part of an interagency discussion, said Julie Chung, acting assistant secretary for the State Department’s bureau of Western Hemisphere affairs.

Chung said the Biden administration is discussing it with the private sector, as it is “something that we’re very interested in promoting and advocating for.”

At the same time as DeSantis’s press conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing that she had no further details on the timeline of any Cuba policy announcements, noting the complications of finding ways to allow U.S. family members of Cubans on the island to send money without it being seized by the dictatorship.

“The lack of internet access,” Psaki said, “is a huge issue in Cuba and one that is very challenging for the people of Cuba so they can gain access to accurate information, they can correspond with family members and others, we are certainly looking at that to see what can be done to address [it].”

However, she said, she couldn’t comment further on the specific proposal mentioned Wednesday in Florida because “I don’t have an assessment” of it.

Like Psaki, other administration officials have been vague in their comments about helping the Cuban people secure internet access to ensure they are not cut off from information. One senior administration official told POLITICO that the administration agrees with calls from Rubio and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to help ensure access to information on the island.

The official noted that the connectivity that Cubans had on Sunday to widely share videos of the protest is a result of Obama-era policy. One of the priorities for the Obama administration’s reestablishing diplomatic ties was focused on increasing telecommunications on the island.

The U.S. should “be looking at how we can expand access to the internet, consider satellite feeds of the internet so people in the island can communicate with each other,” Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Cuban American, said Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC. He has repeated it in several interviews this week and been in touch with the Biden administration on next steps for Cuba, he said.

Rubio on Wednesday urged Biden to “immediately authorize and allocate funding to provide emergency connectivity to the internet for Cuba through balloon-supplied internet coverage.” He noted that it can be deployed in relatively short notice.

The specific technology mentioned during the DeSantis press conference was a joint project, called Loon, between Google and a South Dakota company named Raven, which developed giant high-altitude air balloons that broadcast a type of wireless system that can be accessed by smartphones on the ground. Loon was scrapped but Raven still has the technology, which was briefly used in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and in Kenya, according to Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr, who spoke at the press conference here with DeSantis and Republican Reps. María Elvira Salazar and Carlos Giménez.

Carr said he discussed Raven the most because it is a proven technology, but other means of extending the internet to the island exist and should be considered. Regardless, he said, the Biden administration would need to approve the deployment of the technology because it would require the involvement of the FCC, Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration.

He said the balloons could be deployed about 20 miles off Cuba in international waters — that is, 70 miles south of Key West — but he couldn’t give a time frame or a cost. The FCC did not respond to a request for comment on the exact cost.

After shutting down the internet completely on the island after protests erupted Sunday, the Cuban government restored it but certain platforms like WhatsApp and Twitter remained blocked for those without a VPN to circumvent the block. In addition to providing independent internet access to the island, Carr said, the U.S. has technology to unblock those apps.

“The first move that brutal dictators make around the world is to shut down the internet to block messaging apps, because the thing that communist dictators like least is the bright light of international attention, the world’s eyes, seeing what is going on inside their regime,” Carr said.

The cost of the project is unclear, but Salazar said that’s not a concern because the Cuban-American community in the United States would fund the effort with private money if needed.

“The Biden administration needs to give the green light and we’re going to take care of it,” she said. “We don’t need the money. We need the green light. We need the political willingness from the Biden administration. And if the federal government considers that they cannot pay for their resources, the Cuban American community will.”

Nahal Toosi and Ryan Heath contributed to this report.

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The conversation at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend reaffirmed Republican activists have no intention of moving on

The conversation at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend reaffirmed Republican activists have no intention of moving on
Republicans are facing a set of highly competitive midterm elections in 2022 and still attempting to shape an agenda that will break through to voters. But the conversation at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend reaffirmed once again that the core activists of the Republican Party have no intention of moving on from Trump or the false claims he has trumpeted that the 2020 election was fraudulent, even though there is no evidence of widespread voting fraud in last year’s contest.
Normally, CPAC events serve as an audition arena for the next slate of future Republican presidential contenders. But there was scarcely a hint of that here this weekend as Trump’s flirtation with another run for president in 2024 has effectively frozen the field — with his Sunday speech serving as the main draw for attendees.
Blue flags adorning a truck in the parking lot bore the slogan “Trump Won.” Exhibition booths overflowed with Trump hats, flags, and other “45” swag. One 2024 T-shirt pictured Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis but only standing next to Trump as his potential vice president. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who will speak Sunday before Trump, mentioned the former president within the first two minutes of her last CPAC speech and has allied herself so closely with him that GOP voters often say they’d like to see her as his No. 2 instead of Mike Pence in 2024.
At a gathering branded as “America UnCanceled,” Donald Trump Jr. warmed up the crowd on Friday night with quick-witted condemnations of cancel culture and digs at Hunter Biden. But his biggest applause line wasn’t even his own. During his speech, an attendee bellowed “Trump won!” eliciting a standing ovation and setting off a round of “Trump” chants.
During a midday Saturday panel that was intended to be a “tough love” assessment of the Republican Party, GOP donor Bubba Saulsbury acknowledged that it has been difficult to shift the attention of both donor and voters to future contests because they are still “livid” about the 2020 outcome.
“I know we need to talk about moving forward, but we’ve got to be honest with ourselves about where we’ve been and what happened,” said Saulsbury, adding that every donor he’s met “believes that there was some level of election fraud.”
“Talking to all the donors — they’re apprehensive to donate to anything but election integrity right now, because their thoughts are, ‘Why am I going to spend my money if it’s not going to be a free and fair election?'” Saulsbury said.
Another Saturday headliner, GOP Rep. Jody Hice, who is challenging incumbent Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — the Georgia state official who infuriated Trump by overseeing three ballot counts confirming Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia — steered a panel about Covid-19 toward the topic of election security. When Hice was asked how he would ensure that Americans get the correct information about the Delta variant this fall, he pivoted back to 2020.
“I firmly believe this is the fight of our life politically,” Hice told the crowd to applause. “If we lose election integrity, we lose everything. So that’s my focus right now.” He declined to provide any further comment to CNN.

Trump the headliner

On Sunday, the conference is set to open with two men who just recently addressed a QAnon-affiliated conference: Texas GOP Chair Allen West, who has announced plans to challenge Greg Abbott in the Texas governor’s race, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert.
Also on the agenda: A presentation on the future of American elections, the second election fraud panel of the three-day conference.
The event also drew Proud Boys as well as the founder of the Oath Keepers, who was recently interviewed by the FBI about his role in the January 6 insurrection, according to the New York Times. He has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing.
Trump will essentially close out the conference Sunday afternoon, after the announcement of the results of CPAC’s straw poll which is intended to measure voters’ interest in the potential GOP White House contenders. One question includes Trump on a list of potential 2024 candidates; the other does not.
But no matter what Trump decides to do in 2024, his refusal to accept his 2020 election defeat is effectively shaping the GOP agenda nationwide a year and a half before the next set of elections.
Republican-led states across the country have put forward more restrictive voting laws, with lawmakers pointing to concerns about nonexistent widespread election fraud to defend the new measures. Laws have already passed in Florida and Georgia, and Texas lawmakers were engaged in a special session of the Legislature over the weekend, debating their own set of proposals that could make it harder to vote. During the 2021 legislative sessions, the Brennan Center for Justice tracked at least 389 bills to restrict voting that were introduced 48 states.
GOP lawmakers have also seized on the opportunity to push post-election audits, yet another way to undermine election confidence, raise money and curry favor with Trump. The so-called audit in Maricopa County, Arizona — which continues to drag on — has drawn Republican lawmakers from multiple states that have expressed interested in launching similar reviews. A Trump ally in Pennsylvania pressed forward with his plans for an election audit last week, sending requests to three counties for everything from their tabulation equipment to voter rolls.
During the CPAC conference white cards were circulating among some attendees with a “7-Pt. plan to restore Donald J. Trump in days, not years.” After the violence at the Capitol on January 6, federal officials are paying more attention to those sorts of fringe theories.
CPAC organizers did not respond to CNN’s request for comment about the cards.
Trump and his allies have encouraged the ludicrous claims that he could be reinstated as President next month. But they have gained enough traction to lead the Department of Homeland Security to issue a warning last month that Trump’s “reinstatement” fantasies could lead to more violence this summer from right-wing extremists.

Review: Boomerang X – Frantic First-Person Action That’ll Keep You Coming Back

Boomerangs are cool, right? Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a number of bonkers-looking video game weapons such as Cloud Strife’s Buster Sword, Samus’ hand cannon, and even Mario’s very own F.L.U.D.D device. But when it comes to real-life weapons, nothing quite screams cool like a deadly, razor sharp boomerang. It’s a good job, then, that Boomerang X centres its entire gameplay around that rather unique weapon.

Developed by DANG! and published by Devolver Digital, Boomerang X takes place across a multitude of arenas with impressive verticality. You face off against wave after wave of various enemies with just a boomerang at your disposal. The game spends a bit of time introducing you to the basic controls before gradually adding in extra abilities; over the course of the initial group of arenas, you’re taught to simply throw your boomerang and call it back; nice and easy.

As you get a bit further, you gain the ability to slow down time as you aim, along with an ability to launch yourself towards your boomerang as it glides through the air. This means that as you get used to controls a bit more, you can utilise both of these abilities to keep your momentum going to the point where you don’t even have to land back on the ground. You can effectively fly through the air, using your boomerang as both a weapon and a makeshift teleport.

You’re encouraged to effectively string together attacks and wipe out the enemy waves in the most graceful, effortless way possible. If you manage to take out two enemies in one go, you gain an ability to blast out a bevy of boomerangs in one go, kind of like a short-range shotgun. Take out multiple enemies with this, and you can fire out a precise needle shot that tears through multiple enemies, provided they’re lined up in a row. Our favourite ability lets you slam into the ground with force after killing three enemies in the air, wiping out several ground-based opponents in one go.

The good news is that even though each arena may have dozens of enemies to contend with, the game only requires you to dispatch a certain number of them during each wave. These particular foes emit a yellow glow for easy identification, so you can either avoid all of the other creatures entirely if you wish, or kill off a few of them so you gain access to the special abilities.

The enemies themselves are pleasantly varied throughout: starting with the first few arenas, you’ll find simple spiders that skitter across the ground towards you. Further into the game, you’ll come across flying bugs, teleporting magicians, and gigantic giraffe-like creatures. Some of the larger creatures display a red spot that acts as their weak spot, meaning you’ll need to carefully position yourself and line up your spot perfectly in order to defeat them. Others may even be protected by a shield generated by smaller enemies, meaning you’ll have to take them out first in order to deactivate the shield.

All of the action takes place within a selection of fantastic looking arenas, each one bigger and more elaborate than the last. They start off relatively simple, but as you progress, verticality becomes their main draw, with platforms at various heights and enemies that might start off at ground level, but later shoot up to the ceiling. It’s all designed to encourage momentum, and as you gain confidence in your abilities, you’ll be zipping around the arenas faster than a blue hedgehog.

One drawback to the combat itself is that it just isn’t particularly challenging. If you’re quick enough, you can navigate around enemies with relative ease and not worry about being hit or accidentally crashing into a hazard. The game naturally gets a bit more difficult as you progress, but after each arena you’re gifted with an additional shield slot, effectively giving you more health to help you out for the next stage. With six or seven waves of enemies per arena, we’d be much happier with fewer waves but more complex combinations of enemies to deal with.

The overall length of the game came as a disappointment, too. At just 2-3 hours on your first playthrough, it’s definitely on the short side. The good news, however, is that it’s got the kind of arcade action gameplay that simply begs to be played through more than once as you attempt to speed run through the stages as quickly as possible.

We have to make special mention to the game’s excellent accessibility options. We mentioned earlier that required enemies emit a yellow glow, but actually, this colour can be completely customised to your liking, alongside the colour of your shield, and the enemies’ weak spots. You can also toggle high contrast mode, heighten the visibility of enemies, and more. Games like Boomerang X really do lead the charge when it comes to visual-related accessibility, and DANG! should be commended for it.

Conclusion

Boomerang X features instantly gratifying gameplay that will get its hooks into you immediately. Its arena-based combat encourages you to keep moving and flying through the air in order to avoid death, with your boomerang acting as a kind of portable teleport or hook shot. The overall difficulty is a bit tame for the most part, which incidentally means the game is a bit on the short side, but there’s plenty of potential for repeat playthroughs and speed runs thanks to the fun, addictive gameplay. If you’re a fan of frantic, fast-paced first-person action, then this one will be right up your alley.

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