Relapse Diaries Part 1: Getting Ready to Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (BfA) is all but upon us! It is, as always, nigh impossible to review a release like this. Instead I’ll keep you updated with a diary of my exploits in World of Warcraft’s latest expansion — and along the way share my impressions as well.

I was insomniac for a while. To pass time, I’d sit at the Auction House in World of Warcraft‘s Orgrimmar or Dalaran , playing the Auctioneer game. I made a lot of Gold buying low and selling high. I’d yammer on in local chat, crack jokes with people I’d seen before. I’d hang out, basically.

My wife (then girlfriend) thought World of Warcraft was the cause of my insomnia — a wretched influence keeping my brain active when I should have been asleep.

I never really explained that this wasn’t the case — that WoW was a coping mechanism. That the insomnia was caused by a job I outwardly loved and internally loathed, by my amplification of personal failures and dismissal of personal successes. If she’d seen how I was playing it, she’d probably understand better.

Because it’s not like I ever did anything substantial, after all. Playing the Auction House is about as passive as playing gets. On a second monitor, I’d watch The Wire, or Deadwood, or another slow burn drama, WoW‘s sound muted, except for a few alert noises I’d set up.

To me, it was a place where everybody knew my name. The idea that World of Warcraft replaced the after-work bar for a lot of people in my generation rings true to me. Most bars have a few who stay on much later than the others, pissing away the night with the same pint they bought an hour ago as time whittles away. Not alcoholics per se, but not healthy either.

Ready for an Azeroth Return


Battle everywhere in WoW Battle for Azeroth.
Can’t they stop fighting long enough to see that they’re in love?

So I never did anything of real consequence when I played in that time. It wasn’t until Wrath of the Lich King that I really played World of Warcraft. Before that, I’d tread water. But when I got a Death Knight , that’s when I accomplished things. I’d still stay up all night watching The Wire and playing the Auction House, but during regular hours I was getting things done. All thanks to my Death Knight.

He was the trinity unto himself — tank, dps and healer (of himself), and when I wasn’t wasting away in my own version of Margaritaville, the two of us forged some great memories.

I solo’d the DPS dance of Heigan the Unclean together, a 28 minute long ordeal that I refused to wipe on because I wasn’t convinced my raid group would ever get its act together. I hunted a Time-Lost Proto-Drake . I secured the Explorer title , ganked Alliance all over the world and watched the guild I was in slowly fall apart.

Eventually I was sleeping more. As such, I was spending less time in World of Warcraft. I didn’t have time to play the Auction House for hours any more. Previously, I’d used my treasury to supply my guild-mates with the items they’d need to attempt and fail at Icecrown Citadel over and over. They’d always seemed happy enough to take advantage.

They didn’t bother trying to get their own pots, and if spending a bit of time each week outside of the raid was a requisite, many would rather just not raid. Without a wealthy benefactor, my guild stopped playing much. And so too did I.


Old school Wrath content
This dude is pointing in the wrong direction.

Death Knight Resurrected

When I logged into my Death Knight last week, preparing to answer the call and battle the alliance in BfA I had just 3600g. For someone who spent hours on the Auction House – and in the modern WoW economy – it’s pennies.

It’s funny, returning to my old haunt. It’s familiar, but obviously different — like an old dive bar that got a new paint job but couldn’t ever really get the scent of stale beer and decade old cigarette smoke out of the foundation. When I was a regular, that aroma was familiar and welcoming — a reminder of that place I belong to.

As you might imagine, the scent was now off-putting to me — it smacked me in the face and begged the question; ‘what are you doing back here?’

I powered through the odor anyway. It took a long time. I reinstalled some addons — Bartender, Bagnon, Deadly Boss Mods — and skipped others — Auctioneer — but there was still quite a bit that didn’t sit right for me. The level 110 boost is a great helping hand — the way it eases you back into playing is fantastic — but it’s not really all the way there.

Re-Learning Curve

There’s so much left out, so much extra reading to be done. So many things have changed. Stats have been squished , for example. That means items don’t have as grand a difference in quality until you reach a certain point. Basically put — the stuff you’re wearing when you boost to 110 is garbage, certainly, but it’s not utter garbage. And if you take into account the fact that you’ll render most of it obsolete two hours after Battle for Azeroth launches, it’s not even all that big a deal. But it’s certainly confusing when you first get in.

Artifact Weapons are another big deal — except, thanks to the imminent launch of BfA, they aren’t. They’re Legion content, and it’s probably too late for me to really worry about getting into them. I think, anyway.

Another big deal is War Mode . I’ve always played on PVP realms. There’s something extremely satisfying about being able to gank an Alliance player when I see them, and if the price for doing that is occasionally being ganked myself, I’ll pay it. Better still is when you see an Alliance player on in a PVP realm and the two of you decide to let one another be.


The talents page
PVP talents are on the right

Now, all realms are essentially PVE. To engage in World PVP, you need to specifically turn War Mode on while in your capital. To encourage people to do this, there are a swathe of bonuses — extra talents, extra experience gains and a few other things that won’t trigger until level 120.

It’s all about trying to get players into the mindset of war — the Battle for Azeroth, as it were. And I’d mostly dismissed it. I had my War Mode set on, because I am unquestionably about that life, but while doing the bidding of Lady Sylvanas in the questline leading into BfA I hadn’t seen much to indicate its value.

I couldn’t be a Blood DK, because Blood Spec is for Tanks now. I couldn’t just PVP any Alliance character I saw, because they can opt out (and knowing Alliance players they would). I couldn’t tell what my gear was worth because the numbers all mean different things now — although I could tell I was in garbage.

I was back in, but it was all so alien. Then I made it to the Darkshore portion of the BfA opening questline.

Devil’s Night

The local chat was aflame constantly. Alliance players were being called out constantly, discussion was being had — about Warcraft, about sports, about Black Ops 4 — and the world seemed alive. It’s the point of impact for players excited for the new expansion, and everyone is getting in on the fun. Darkshore is gank city, baby.


A player looks at a crate drop in the distance.
A fancy man with fancy plans and pants to match

The real reason is the crate drop. Every 20 minutes or so a goblin flying machine rumbles through the zone. A cry goes up in local chat — “Plane!” — and whoever is present chases after it. It’s like the supply drop in PUBG — except you should actually go for this one. Whichever faction opens the crate gets access to loot for about 60 seconds, and there’s good gear within.

Only one faction can open the crate, so the idea is supposed to be a great battle. What happens instead are raid groups, as players form up across realms into massive teams to lock down the zone.

Something to do with the way the game does instancing — probably a player limit restriction — means that generally one side will dramatically outnumber the other. If you notice 40 enemies and only three other allies, you’ve rolled a 1 — a critical fail — on your instance check. You won’t be getting those crates this time.

That’s only happened to me once though. Every other time, it’s been a Horde party. The seaside town of Lor’Danel is on fire, and that’s where we sit. Some people gank the handful of Alliance unlucky enough to be instanced with us. When a multi-boxer started picking off stray Horde players, we all banded together to show him what for. But mostly I yammer on in local chat and crack jokes with people I’ve seen before. Hang out, basically.

Stay tuned for the second part of my diary series — with launch less than a day away, I’ll join the race to 120 and probably talk less about my insomnia.

The post Relapse Diaries Part 1: Getting Ready to Battle for Azeroth appeared first on FANDOM.

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New ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Trailer Promises an Action-Packed Epic Sci-fi Movie; Here’s Everything We Know

New 'Alita: Battle Angel' Trailer Promises an Action-Packed Epic Sci-fi Movie; Here's Everything We Know

Update: More than six months since the arrival of the first trailer for Alita: Battle Angel (which was then set to open this month), another spot has finally arrived. Once again, we are teased an epic sci-fi movie unlike anything we've seen before, but this trailer seems a little more action-heavy than the last one – in a good way. And the CG special effects, including some completely performance-captured humanoid characters, also looks even better than it did before. 

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5 Things to Know About ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

James Cameron is known for his epic projects, and the trailer for his latest — Alita: Battle Angel — just dropped. Cameron serves as writer and producer on the cyberpunk film, but Robert Rodriguez takes over the directing reins while Cameron works on the Avatar sequels.

The film is centered around Alita (newcomer Rosa Salazar), a cyborg girl. Her core (brain) is salvaged from a junkyard by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), a scientist who specializes in cyborg technology. He places Alita’s core into a mechanical body that he developed for his paraplegic daughter before her untimely death. Alita must learn to use this new body, as well as uncover a past she has no memory of.

“At first glance, it’s seemed like a very powerful female character like a Sarah Connor or Ellen Ripley but with a big twist. Those were very human characters with big hearts [who] discovered their warrior spirits. But this is someone who is already a warrior and unstoppable and discovers her heart,” explained Rodriguez during a private San Diego Comic-Con preview.

“The film is about discovery and being vulnerable enough to do that,” added Salazar during today’s worldwide trailer reveal.

Here’s what FANDOM gleaned from today’s event and Comic-Con.

It’s an Adaptation


Alita playing a harmonica

Alita began as a manga created by Yukito Kishiro. Cameron and longtime producing partner Jon Landau went to Japan to acquire the rights and Kishiro’s blessing. Landau revealed that Kishiro is constantly provided updates on the project, and even visited the set.

Cameron wanted to stay true to the manga style (more on that below), and some of its most-beloved elements, like Motorball, will make their way into the film (even though they’re not in the trailer).

It’s Had a Long Journey to the Big Screen


Alita in cyborg body - Alita - Battle Angel

Cameron started working on Alita over fifteen years ago but delayed the project to work on a little movie called Avatar. He brought on Rodriguez to condense his 180+ page original screenplay (plus 600 pages of notes) into a shooting script. Rodriguez was able to pare the story down while still maintaining the core scenes, which pleased Cameron. Production began in 2017, and the release date is scheduled for holiday 2018.

Motion Capture Mastery


Alita Battle Angel - Alita looking around

It was actually the technological advances in Avatar that made Alita possible. The character of Alita is a computer generated, motion-capture creation, just like Neytiri from Avatar or Caesar from Planet of the Apes. Salazar admitted the motion-capture was a challenge at first.

“It’s just a process like any other. You get to know it. In the beginning, it’s all kind of foreign: the suit, the batteries, the cords that are on your body, the helmet with the boom [mic] that comes out … which made some kissing scenes a little challenging [laughs]. But it elevates the performance because you’re otherworldly. You have this idea that you are even more capable of your physical body,” Salazar explained.

Two of the big sequences shown in the trailer — the underwater scene and the underground battle — were captured by Salazar during her first two days in the suit.

The Eyes Have It


Alita Battle Angel
Alita has manga-esque eyes.

There’s much discussion about Alita’s large eyes, something Cameron preserved in his earliest character design from Kishiro.

“We’ve seen manga and anime, but we’ve never seen it photorealistic,” Rodriguez explained. “Jim [Cameron] knows eyes better than anyone. We learned so much from Avatar.”

Less Guns, More Swords


Alita Battle Angel - Cyborg

Cameron called Terminator a “guns movie,” but he sees Alita as a “swords movie.”

We know Alita’s cybernetic body is a weapon in itself — super strong, super agile, and durable (but not invincible). However, her cybernetic pursuers have blades for limbs, boasting sickle-like arms. There is even a massive cyborg whose fingers become bladed hooks he can cast out as tendrils.

Alita: Battle Angel opens December 21, 2018.

The post 5 Things to Know About ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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Disney’s battle plan? Just look around Comic-Con

For those seeking to understand Disney’s strategy under CEO Robert Iger, just take a look around the colorful halls of Comic-Con: Thousands of people who spent hard-earned cash trekking to San Diego — in some cases great distances — to savor their favorite pastimes, many dressed in purchased or home-made costumes.


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Abby Lee Miller Involved with Possible 8th Season of Dance Moms amid Cancer Battle

Abby Lee Miller is not letting her cancer diagnosis get in the way of returning to Dance Moms.

While determinations on an eighth season has yet to be made, production is casting and Miller is involved in the process, a rep for Lifetime confirms to PEOPLE.

In March 2017, the dance instructor announced her resignation from the show in an Instagram post, accusing officials behind the series of treating her “like dirt” after she wrapped filming for season 7B.

“I WILL NO LONGER TAKE PART IN DANCE MOMS,” Miller wrote. “FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES AND COSTUMING – TO NO AVAIL!”

“I don’t have a problem working with any kid, I love children and have dedicated my life to making other people’s children successful!” she continued. “I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED – DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT!”

In April, one day after undergoing emergency surgery for what was initially thought to be a spinal infection, the 51-year-old — newly released from prison — was preliminarily diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

“It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – it’s a type of a cancer,” said Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital who has been treating the star.

“We’re getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery. Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor – it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation,” Dr. Melamed said at the time.

“If we didn’t do something, she was going to die,” Dr. Melamed previously told PEOPLE. “Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well.”

Before her diagnosis, Miller had been living in a halfway house since serving her 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud at the Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in California, which she entered in July.

Dancing with the Stars alum Cheryl Burke took over as coach for Dance Moms season 7.


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Team Trump and China slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on $ 34 billion worth of US and Chinese imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the “largest-scale trade war” as the world’s two biggest economies escalated their battle. Hours before Washington’s deadline for the tariffs to take effect, President Trump upped the ante on its largest…
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It’s the ultimate robot battle: cyborgs versus caveman cyborgs. Scientists in California are growing tiny Neanderthal brains in Petri dishes that they plan on putting inside crab-like bots — then pitting them against human-brained robots, according to new reports. The University of California, San Diego researchers hope the franken-creature showdown will explain why homo sapiens…
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Paris Fashion Week Is Dressing Heroines for Battle

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Oxford Fashion Studio

If there’s a war to be waged on behalf of humanity, consider calling the design houses of Esha Sethi Thirani and Alleira Batik to dress our heroines for battle.

Part of the Oxford Fashion Studio group show, each designer presented structured and architectural details—a stiff bell sleeve here, a puffed shoulder there, a precisely draped cape—that exuded strength without sacrificing femininity.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘We’ve suffered long enough’ Ireland’s abortion battle and the young women fighting for choice

As voters face a referendum to reform Ireland’s abortion laws, Tracy Ramsden speaks to the women fighting for their future

irish abortion referendum

‘We cannot continue to export our problems and import our solutions with a situation where women in crisis are risking their lives through the use of unregulated medicines,’ said Ireland’s taoiseach, Leo Varadkar on announcing the Irish abortion referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment that currently outlaws abortion and carries a 14-year prison sentence for women who seek treatment. His words offered hope to a new generation of women fighting the abortion ban and their right to what they see as basic healthcare.

Varadkar was referring to the 11 women every day who, as a result of the abortion ban, are forced to make the journey from Ireland to mainland UK for safe, legal treatment. ‘This marks a shift in public opinion,’ says Hannah Little, 28, one of the founders of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign. ‘It feels like now is the time to right a wrong that has forced women to be exiled for too long.’

‘Nobody wants an abortion, it’s about needing it,’ says Michelle Linton, 34, from Kildare, who had a termination at 18 weeks pregnant when her son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Zellweger syndrome, that meant his life expectancy was zero to six months. ‘At 16, I walked by a pro-life demo, read the leaflet in my lunch hour and decided I’d never have an abortion. Then, in 2012, I found myself in Liverpool Women’s Hospital, having made the decision to have a termination. It was the same month the news broke of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, who had died in Galway after being denied an emergency abortion. It was a reminder of all the hidden women who had made this journey before me, and the tragic ones who couldn’t.’

‘It was a reminder of all the hidden women who had made this journey before me, and the tragic ones who couldn’t.’

Michelle had given birth twice before her abortion – once to her healthy, now seven-year-old son Calum, and before that, to her first-born, Evan, who was diagnosed with Zellweger syndrome and died aged 11 weeks. ‘We cuddled him and he took a big breath, but he never took another one. After Evan died, I hit rock bottom. So four years later, when I fell pregnant and got the same diagnosis, I knew I couldn’t survive going through with the pregnancy.’ Like many of her friends, Michelle will be voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment in the referendum in May to lift the abortion ban, but there is a generational divide, explains Michelle. ‘Some long-held religious views may never change.’

The feeling on the ground, especially in Dublin, is that the country is on the precipice of significant progress with marches and canvassing by local MPs – spearheaded predominantly by those under 35. But with the rise of right-wing populism around the world and the unexpected results of the US election and Brexit, there’s no room for complacency.

‘It is about having these awkward conversations in small towns and villages in rural Ireland, presenting the medical facts and being mindful that it’s still a sensitive issue,’ adds Little. ‘We’re also calling on the 40,000 Irish people who live overseas, but are eligible to return home to vote. If this doesn’t go our way, it’s heartbreaking to think it could be another 50 years before we get another say on this. Our time has to be now.’

For more information on #HomeToVote, visit londonirisharc.com

The post ‘We’ve suffered long enough’ Ireland’s abortion battle and the young women fighting for choice appeared first on Marie Claire.

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How to Become the Solid Snake of ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’

There’s no shame in hiding in Fortnite. While scores of build-happy, bullet-raining combatants deplete their resources eliminating each other, I stalk in the rather limited shadows, lying in wait. As I head toward the center of the Storm, I try to embody the teachings of the great Snake Pliskin (aka David or Solid Snake). Move quietly, stalk your enemies, and only kill if absolutely necessary.

Granted, I do this because I’m awful at shooting people in games, but it’s all about playing to your strengths.

There are many streams and tutorials on how to get better at Fortnite. A few suggest diving head first into battle to learn the ropes. This isn’t one of those articles. Instead, let’s explore how to effectively pull off a Metal Gear Solid-style, no-kill, no-alerts run.

Drop Late, Glide Far


Take the scenic route to victory.

Depending on the angle the party bus is moving and the location of your drop, you may think you are heading to a pretty secluded spot. Most of the time you will be wrong. To mitigate this a bit, be one of the last to drop out, and pop your glider immediately. Scour the sides of the map for movement. Say a prayer to whatever gaming god you choose and head in the direction of least resistance. Most folks will be rushing to that sweet terra firma to secure a weapon. This is not your goal.

Remember, there will always be a weapon. It may not be the best, but you will eventually find one. They key is to survive long enough to get it. Glide as far as possible, and land close to the edge of the map. If done correctly, the Circle should be established and on its way to closing when you land. Just as Snake infiltrated that disposal facility so many years ago, so shall you press on into a violent world with your wits and pickaxe ready.

Be Late to the Party


Two minutes? Plenty of time.

If you are lucky enough to drop far outside the Circle, you have set yourself up for success. Take your time, and survey the land. Search for chests and better equipment. Remember, do it quietly and quickly, crouching to start. Be mindful of the time though. Once the timer strikes and that circle starts to collapse, you are on the clock.

Make your way slowly towards the Circle, regularly popping your map open to view its constriction process. You can easily get caught up, thinking you have all the time in the world, only to spin around and find yourself engulfed by the Storm. You are aiming to barely make it out of the Storm. The less time you spend in the kill circle, the higher your chance of survival.

Build Less, Stalk More


Oh, I’ll take the stairs.

Building is a great way to protect yourself in Fortnite. The ability to drop a well-placed wall between you and incoming bullets is what makes the game special. Building also works as a smoke signal to distant foes on the lookout for someone to send back to the lobby.

Near the endgame, you can spot all the players in the game building amazing, elaborate structures. Some are built for protection, whereas others circumvent solid fortifications. But did Solid Snake ever stop to build anything in the middle of a mission? Of course not.

So, instead of taking precious time away from your sweet stealth moves. Use the structures previous players have built to your advantage. Just know that random staircases usually lead to an active or dormant battleground, so be careful, sneaky, and silent.

Find Creative Ways to Hide


Psst … over here.

One of the best parts about Fortnite is all the great hiding spots. Buildings, mines, bushes, and ditches all serve to aid in your concealment tactics. Players even create lasting structures for you to curl up beneath. Try to repurpose previously built forts and in-game structures as much as possible, but do not linger.

Tool sheds and previous player battlegrounds make for great tiny command centers. If you get really lucky, your structure will be within the final circle. This way you have no reason to seek out a fight. Whoever is left will have to come to you.

When in Doubt, Stand on a File Cabinet


Hello, cabinet, my old friend. I’ve come to stand on you again.

I was lucky enough to find an environment structure complete with filing cabinet that was within the enclosing circle. Here I took my stand. Literally. I stood on the cabinet, dropped a ramp structure below me for added security, and waited. Just like the lions in the tall grass.

Someone looking to kill me approached and fired a rocket into my happy little bunker. My ramp and precious cabinet took the brunt of the hit. The explosion seemed to satisfy the person, and they turned their back on me. That’s when I struck with a shogun blast to the noggin. Living to hide another day.

Let Others Do the Work for You


Fortnite Stealth Strat
I didn’t do that.

My first victory in Fortnite came after the last three combatants, myself included, squared off in the smallest circle. Technically, the other two squared off; I hid behind a building. Before I knew it, the Victory screen popped up for me. The other two had killed each other.

There is no way to plan for this, but I certainly put myself in a position for it to happen. I hadn’t fired a single shot or made myself known at any point. Clearly, luck was on my side. My actions, however, led to a true no-kill run. Snake would be proud.

Victory Royale With Cheese


Super. Black. Victory Royale
The sweet taste of victory.

I have honed this strategy to a fine, razor’s edge. So far, I have amassed a whopping two Victory Royales. Much to the chagrin of much “better” players. My advice is simple. Let everyone else be “good” at Fortnite. Let the masses build, jump, headshot and disco. You will be the ghost.

You will be the one under the stairs while others loot and pillage. Maybe we will meet there, in the shadows. We will have our silent war. The winner will slink away, never to be seen. That is until someone takes you out somewhere in the top five.

The post How to Become the Solid Snake of ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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Superheroes battle to the death in thrilling ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

In general, comic-book villains want to destroy the world. Where’s the fun in that? All you’re left with is nothingness. That’s why Thanos (Josh Brolin), the purple behemoth at the center of this sprawling Marvel event, is so much scarier. Having watched countless overpopulated planets struggle for resources, he aims to SAVE the universe. His…
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Battle to save Africa’s elephants is gaining some ground

MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK, Tanzania (AP) — The elephant staggered and keeled over in the tall grass in southern Tanzania, where some of the world’s worst poaching has happened.
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‘PUBG’ Vs ‘Fortnite’: Which Battle Royale is King?

Nothing exists in a vacuum. It is a part of the human condition to wonder what is best, and as such we will always see things compared. Marvel vs DC, Picard vs Kirk, Hemsworth vs Pine vs Pratt vs Evans (I’m on team O’Dowd). And with two massive Battle Royale games in the mix, our collective souls ache to work out which is better: Fortnite: BR, or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)?

It obviously comes down to personal preference, and there are all sorts of reasons you might like one over another. So in this piece, we’ll try to compare the two games based on a number of factors — that way you’ll be able to determine where your preferences might lie.

Price and Platform

There are two easy ways we can determine which of these games is better for you right off the bat here. First — are you willing to spend money to play a Battle Royale game?

Tens of millions have, and most of them are happy with their purchase. But if you don’t want to put down any money, then Fortnite: BR is the game for you — it’s free on all platforms, supported instead by microtransactions (for cosmetics only). If you’re happy plonking down $ 30 USD, you should grab PUBG — if for some reason you decide it’s not the game for you, Fortnite: BR will still be free later.

There’s another thread to factor in though — what platform are you playing on? If you’re playing games on console, Fortnite: BR is again the clear victor — it’s on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and word is they might even be able to battle against one another one day. It now works on mobile, too. PUBG is only available on Xbox at the moment, which removes it as an option if you’re on the PS4. If you’re playing on PC, then the sky’s the limit (as always).

The Original And The Best?

We’re really in the weeds here people. Origins are a tricky subject, because the original variant isn’t always the best. Not many people are playing Dota any more, for example — it’s all DOTA 2 or League of Legends (or one of a million other MOBA variants).

With that said, though, PUBG came first. In fact, Fortnite: BR only exists because Epic Games — having spent five years developing a “Save the World” Player vs Environment (PvE) experience and releasing it to an underwhelming reception — saw the success of PUBG and churned out a clone of it as quickly as they could. PUBG wasn’t the original — before it came H1Z1, and before that was Arma 3‘s Battle Royale mod (and before that the Arma 2 BR mod) — but there’s zero question that Fortnite‘s BR mode only exists because of Bluehole’s success.

Still, Fortnite isn’t a straight clone — in a lot of ways it’s more original than PUBG. PUBG refines the Battle Royale formula that Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene had struck upon back in Arma 2, and so it’s quite similar to the games that came before it — it’s just a lot better. Fortnite steers wildly clear of trying to mimic PUBG’s realistic gameplay formula, and instead strives for an arcadey feeling and varied gameplay. The addition of building means that Fortnite plays very different to PUBG — and it’s very different to every other game in the BR genre as well.

If you prefer sticking with the creator of the genre, then PUBG is the game for you. But if originality to you is about building on the formula, then Fortnite might be up your alley.

*Air Quotes Gesture* “Realism”

This is another point where personal preference is key — it’s the “realistic” vs “arcade” shooter debate! Maybe we can simplify this. Are you a Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare fan, or a Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare fan? As the Call of Duty series progressed, the gameplay got faster, trying to keep up with the skillsets of players and the pace people seemed to want. But when Infinite Warfare launched alongside Modern Warfare Remastered, many people were reminded of how much fun they had with COD4‘s comparatively realistic, methodical playstyle.

PUBG is for those who want a bit of realism. It’s no Arma game, but the ballistics model is a fairly accurate representation of real gunplay. The muted colours, slower pace, and ability to go prone all lend PUBG a certain legitimacy. It’s a very serious style of game as a result, where going for the Chicken Dinner is all about strategic cleverness and pinpoint accuracy. If you want a modern combat military shooter, then PUBG is the game to play.

Fortnite is the arcade shooter, and it’s unashamed about it. You can ride on rockets, pop your glider to gain height quickly, drink armour potions, and generally goof about while working your way towards a Victory Royale.

The building system is relatively immediate, which is obviously unrealistic but also leads to some extremely interesting plays and counterplays. The arcadey shooting can be a pretty big drawback, however. Fortnite features ‘bloom,’ which means when you fire, bullets will hit anywhere inside the crosshair’s radius. It’s a very arcadey shooting model, and if your shooting skills aren’t up to par, it levels the playing field a little by adding luck into the mix — your opponent might be a better shooter than you, but if they get unlucky they will still miss.

If you are a good shooter, however, it can feel extremely unsatisfying to lose because of the bloom. It’s an extra layer of RNG (Random Number Generation) that can rob you of an otherwise well-earned victory. It’s getting better — Epic continues to refine the system — but it will probably never completely leave the game.

For me, that means that if I want to play to win I only play PUBG. Being good at PUBG means managing the RNG factors in the game to get the Chicken Dinner, and it’s clear that good players are able to beat the odds through good play more often than not.

The same is true in Fortnite, but RNG management there means accepting that sometimes you will outshoot someone and lose anyway. Still, if you’re not playing to win then Fortnite is an awesome option — the arcadey nature means you can have a lot of fun just playing in the game space.

Winner Winner

As I’ve said over and over, it comes down to personal preference, but for me PUBG is the better game. I have a banging PC, I have the $ 30 entry fee, I was a fan of the Arma 2 and Arma 3 mods and so I like the sense of progression.

Most importantly though, I like winning. And I like to feel like I earned my victories myself. But my little brother doesn’t have a good PC — just the PS4 — so if I want to play alongside him, there’s only one real option. And when we play together, it’s like I’m transported back in time, growing up and playing games with him, except now we’re playing Fortnite on separate massive screens. I love that Fortnite provides me with that opportunity, even if it’s not my preferred variant of the genre.

The best game is the one you get the most out of. The one you have the most fun with. It’s pretty awesome that we are as spoiled for choice as we are. PUBG for life though. It’s the game of choice for Ben Simmons, the NBA Rookie of the Year.

The post ‘PUBG’ Vs ‘Fortnite’: Which Battle Royale is King? appeared first on FANDOM.

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Battle of species pits protected sea lions vs. fragile fish

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — The 700-pound sea lion blinked in the sun, sniffed the sea air and then lazily shifted to the edge of the truck bed and plopped onto the beach below.
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Padma Lakshmi Explains How Her Battle With Endometriosis Left Her Occasionally Bedridden | PeopleTV

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Carl Icahn boosts stake in Newell Brands as proxy battle heats up

The battle at Newell Brands is heating up. Activist investor Carl Icahn has upped his stake in the Elmer’s glue maker to 6.9 percent, according to a Friday regulatory filing. The filing comes weeks after The Post reported exclusively that Icahn owned a Newell stake. Icahn’s enlarged stake injects an extra dose of uncertainty at…
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Britney Spears Has Emphasized to Dad She Wants Child Support Battle Settled

Her dad has her back. While Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline continue to butt heads over child support payments for sons Sean, 12, and Jayden, 11, a source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly that the 36-year-old’s father, Jamie, is now involved.

“Britney has emphasized to her father she wants this settled,” says the insider. “She doesn’t want it lingering because it only creates stress.”

Britney Spears Has Emphasized to Dad Jamie She Wants Child Support Battle Settled
Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. George Pimentel/WireImage.com

Federline, 40, who has full custody of the boys, and his powerhouse celebrity divorce attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan met with Jamie March 9, endeavoring to “mutually” arrive at an increase since Britney’s fortune is growing. (She’s raked in more than $ 137 million during Las Vegas residency).

🐠🦋🐠 So much fun at this beautiful place

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

“All Kevin wants to be able to do is provide the same standard of living the boys have when they with Britney,” the source continues. “Sean and Jayden’s needs are of course changing since they are getting older, which is a major factor in the decision to seek the increase.

As previously reported, Federline is requesting an increase to his monthly $ 20,000 in child support, now that Spears’ fortune has grown from 2007. When the original payment was ordered (after her highly publicized breakdown), Britney was making significantly less money. But now she’s “making 20 times more than she did,” notes the source, adding, “It’s Kevin’s right under family law to seek an increase based on that.” A source previously told Us that the singer is “angry” about the situation.

But despite the ongoing drama, things may be settled very soon: ”Both sides came away hopeful and optimistic that an agreement can be reached out of court,” the first source says.

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For more on Spears and Federline, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly on newsstands now.

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Carson Daly reveals anxiety battle

OHMYGOSSIP — Carson Daly has opened up about his battle with anxiety, likening his panic attacks to a “saber-tooth tiger” that wants to “kill” him.
The 44-year-old television host has revealed he has battled with anxiety since he was a young child as he always used to “worry”, and has admitted his panic attacks can sometimes be so bad he “feels like [he’s] dying”.
He said: “I was a worrywart kid. I was always worrying. My father died when I was five. I had an ulcer when I was in high school. I’ve been nervous my whole life.
“At times I feel like there’s a saber-tooth tiger right here and it’s going to kill me, attack me and bite my head off. I’m scared as if that’s really happening. You feel like you’re dying.”
The ‘Voice’ host – who has children Jackson, eight, Etta, five, and London, three, with his wife Siri Pinter – was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which is characterised as “persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events”.
But the star insists his battle with GAD wasn’t brought on by his “high pressure” career choice.
He said: “People think, ‘Oh, he has anxiety. High pressure life. You know, you’re on television.’ It has nothing to do with that. I’ve had heightened anxiety and mild panic attacks at the playground with my own children and wife there. The feeling was so gripping and so terrifying that literally I had to leave and excuse myself.”
Carson now sees a therapist to help him deal with his condition, and says he’s been greatly helped by “muscle retention relaxation”.
Speaking during Friday’s (09.03.18) episode of the ‘Today’ show, he said: “I opted for a cognitive therapist, somebody who teaches you about anxiety, the model of it, and offers you tools on how to kind of work through it. Muscle retention relaxation really helps me.”

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Oprah, The Rock battle for magazine cover supremacy

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Oprah Winfrey are going for it in a head-to-head battle — and they want you to buy what they’re selling. Despite recent headlines that both might be thinking about a White House run, what we’re talking about is mag sales. The two superstars are sitting side-by-side on newsstands — Winfrey…
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Government shutdown stalemate turning into a battle over blame

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Starz, Altice Battle Over New Carriage Agreement as New Year’s Eve Deadline Looms

Starz and Altice USA are going down to the wire on a new carriage agreement that could result in Starz going dark on the cable operator as of Jan. 1. Starz took ads out in the New York Times and New York Post on Saturday warning Altice subscribers that they could soon lose the pay […]

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Blac Chyna poses in lacy red lingerie as she prepares for huge legal battle with the Kardashians

BLAC Chyna has posted a series of sexy photos of herself on Instagram – leaving little to the imagination in a red lacy bra and knickers.

Posing up in her spotlessly clean bathroom, the model flashed her tattoos in the revealing lingerie and high red heels.

Instagram/Blac Chyna

Blac Chyna has posted a series of sexy photos of herself on Instagram[/caption]

The former stripper, 29, made no mention of her upcoming legal battle with her former fiancé Rob Kardashian’s family – which stepped up a gear this week.

According to court papers seen by People, Chyna is set to face the famous family in court next month as part of an ongoing legal battle.

New documents show that on January 18, 2018, lawyers for Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner will ask a judge to toss out the legal case, originally filed by Chyna.

It all started back in October, when Chyna asked for unspecified damages from the entire Kardashian family because she claimed they stopped series two of her show, Rob and Chyna, moving forward.

Instagram/Blac Chyna

Chyna left little to the imagination in a red lacy bra and knickers[/caption]

Instagram/Blac Chyna

Chyna looked super glam as she showed off her bouncy curls[/caption]


However, the Kardashian clan insist Chyna’s decision to seek a restraining order against Rob for domestic violence meant it was impossible for the show to go ahead as the order prevented Rob from having contact with her.

Chyna’s original lawsuit named all the Kardashian/Jenner sisters but was later changed to just Kris, Kim and Rob.

The two sides have legal history.

In 2016 the Kardashians sued Chyna for trying to trademark the name Angela Renee Kardashian – which would have been her legal name if she’d married Rob.

Splash News

Chyna’s original lawsuit filing named all the Kardashian/Jenner sisters but was later changed to just Kris, Kim and Rob[/caption]

At the time, the family claimed they would “suffer damage including irreparable injury to their reputation and goodwill” if she did trademark the name.

The Kardashians could no doubt do without a vicious legal battle with Kim’s third child due imminently, Khloe Kardashian having recently announced her pregnancy and Kylie Jenner also reportedly expecting.


Got a story? email digishowbiz@the-sun.co.uk or call us direct on 02077824220


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Finals Day at Billabong Pipe Masters: Watch Medina and Florence Battle for the World Title LIVE

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 18, 2017) – Finals Day at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and the capstone event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS), has been called ON (conditions permitting) for an 8:00 a.m. HST start, beginning with Round 4 in four-to-six foot (1.2 – 1.8 metre) waves at the world-famous Banzai Pipeline.

“We are ON and the waves are looking great, very clean and overhead,” said WSL Commissioner, Kieren Perrow. “Fingers crossed the wind will stay good and we can finish today with the Final hitting the water at 3:20 p.m. HST. After yesterday’s high points, today will prove even more exciting as we watch the title race unfold and hope to crown the 2017 World Champion, Billabong Pipe Master and this year’s Vans Triple Crown champion, all in one afternoon.”

The WSL Men’s Title represents the culmination of the journey for all surfers and is the product of a year-long battle amongst the world’s best surfers to claim sport’s highest honor and join a list of the most revered individuals in all of surfing. After exciting battles yesterday, there are now only two surfers in contention to win the WSL Title: John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA).

World Title scenarios after elimination Round 3 of the Billabong Pipe Masters:
– If Florence gets 1st or 2nd at Pipe he will clinch the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 3rd, Medina will need a 1st
at Pipe to win the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 5th, Medina will need a 1st
at Pipe to win the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 9th, Medina will need a 2nd 

2010 Pipe Master Jeremy Flores (FRA) will fight to punch his ticket directly through to the Quarterfinals but will need to defeat 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) in Round 4 Heat 3.

2012 Pipe Master Joel Parkinson (AUS) will look to play spoiler today against reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), who looks to earn back-to-back titles, and Caio Ibelli (BRA), who is after his first CT event win, in Heat 2 of Round 4.

11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) will battle 2016 Pipe runner-up Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and rookie Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) in the final Round 4 match-up.

Up first this morning will be 2014 Pipe Master Julian Wilson (AUS) against Conner Coffin (USA) and rookie Ian Gouveia (BRA) in the opening heat of Round 4.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for:

Fun size NW swell continues Monday with light/variable wind. A larger, mid to shorter period NNW to N swell will build through Tuesday and continue Wednesday (with new NNE swell also joining on Wednesday). Wind may remain favorable Tuesday morning, but onshore N wind likely builds in the afternoon and continues Wednesday.     

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., the Spectrum SURF Channel in Hawaii, Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal,
Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: 
Julian Wilson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Kelly Slater (USA)

The post Finals Day at Billabong Pipe Masters: Watch Medina and Florence Battle for the World Title LIVE appeared first on .

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Watch: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Trailer Finally Realizes James Cameron’s Dream Project

Watch: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Trailer Finally Realizes James Cameron's Dream Project

For many years, James Cameron wanted to adapt Battle Angel Alita, the 1990 manga series created by Yukito Kishiro about an amnesiac android. A few years ago, he and Fox finally got the dream project going with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez at the helm, and now it's actually been realized. The first trailer for the movie, titled Alita: Battle Angel, has arrived teasing a sci-fi action spectacular.

This seems like a cross between The Bourne Identity and AI movies…

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Qualcomm deepens Apple battle with new round of lawsuits

Qualcomm Apple patent lawsuits

Qualcomm has filed three new patent infringment claims against Apple in US District Court, bringing the total to 16. That doesn’t include a dispute Qualcomm is filing with the US International Trade Commission, which seeks a ban on importing some iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus models.

ZDNet reports that the patents in question include power-management chips and camera autofocus systems, two areas where Apple is reportedly investing heavily in the chip-design process.

Continue reading…

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Qualcomm deepens Apple battle with new round of lawsuits originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 1 Dec 2017 at 23:04:08 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Inside the Battle to Accurately Label Pot

For a long time, there were no marijuana brands. Cannabis growers spent so much time trying to conceal their identity from law enforcement and potential thieves that it simply made no sense to create distinctive packaging that would make it easier to track their product. Weed nerds might recognize strains, or whether something was indica, sativa, or hybrid, but for casual users, these

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Inside the Battle to Accurately Label Pot

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God Save Us From the Trump-LaVar Ball Battle

Donald Trump went after ubiquitous basketball Dad Lavar Ball this past weekend in a tweet, and TV networks everywhere must have gone mad with glee. This racially loaded and already intensely stupid situation has the potential to buttress ratings for years.  

The backstory: LaVar Ball is the father of a trio of highly talented basketball players who all took an unconventional

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: God Save Us From the Trump-LaVar Ball Battle

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Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino will battle Holly Holm in UFC 219

Cris “Cyborg” Justino is finally getting a dream UFC opponent. The company announced its women’s featherweight titleholder will fight former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas. The two are arguably the most well-known female fighters in the company and two of the most accomplished women strikers ever in…
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus ‘Wants to Keep Working’ Amid Cancer Battle

Amid Julia Louis-Dreyfus cancer battle, the Veep star is determined to keep working.

“Julia is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and we’re obviously postponing production of the show – we were supposed to have started now – while she’s in treatment. But the expectation is that we will shoot again,” executive producer Frank Rich said on SiriusXM’s “Press Pool” on Wednesday, November 15. “We have one more season we’re doing, which we’re incredibly excited about. Rather impressively, while we wait for her to gather her full strength, around her treatment we’ve been having with the cast in Los Angeles, table reads of scripts for the final season as they’re ready.”

“So it’s been quite something because she’s fighting a serious, what is for anybody, a real illness. And yet, wants to keep working as much as circumstances allow without being crazy about it,” Rich continued. “I’ve seen her as recently as ten days ago, and watched her just be hilarious playing Selina Meyer. With the cast all around her playing the assorted group of idiots that Selena has to deal with on a weekly basis on the show. So she’s got a great support system. She’s a very strong person and we can’t wait to welcome her back at full speed.”

The actress shared an update on her health on Thursday, November 9, and revealed she had completed her third round of chemotherapy. “2 of my darling Bozos (love them so much) psyche me up for 3rd chemo today,” she wrote alongside a video of her costars Sam Richardson and Matt Walsh made to inspire her during her treatment. “And guess what? It worked! I’m psyched AF.”

The 56-year-old first announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Twitter. “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she wrote on September 28. “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.” 

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The battle for Mosul is over, but this hidden ISIS danger could lurk for years

HARI SREENIVASAN: But first: The de facto capital of the Islamic State, Raqqa, in Syria fell yesterday to U.S.-backed forces.

However, the largest city the militants once held was Mosul in Iraq. They were ousted from it in July after a brutal 10-month-long fight that killed thousands.

Now a new major task: finding and destroying the ISIS mines, booby-traps and bombs that litter the city.

Special correspondent Marcia Biggs reports from Iraq.

MARCIA BIGGS, Special Correspondent: It was once a center of learning for over 6,000 students of technology, agriculture, and medicine.

Today, Mosul Technical Institute’s classrooms are burnt to the ground, laboratories reduced to rubble, and books charred and shredded. It’s one of the city’s five universities ravaged by the Islamic State and the battle to oust it.

Now that the battle is over, a new danger looms, the trail of land mines and booby-traps left by ISIS.

So this is the wire, and this is where it was buried.

CHRISTIAN, Team Leader, Janus Global Operations: Yes, they would cut the asphalt, and then they lay the wire in and put the main charge here.

MARCIA BIGGS: We spent the day with Christian, a team leader from Janus Global, a security and risk management firm hired by the U.S. government to sweep and clear major areas of unexploded ordnance and mines.

He’s not allowed to show his face or use his last name, for security reasons.

CHRISTIAN: There’s actually two more on that road before we get to the target building that have to be excavated and/or rendered safe.

MARCIA BIGGS: So, the first building you have to clear, you have got to get rid of the IEDs on the road to that building?

CHRISTIAN: Yes.

MARCIA BIGGS: It’s a long process.

CHRISTIAN: It is, but that’s what makes it interesting.

MARCIA BIGGS: The United States has sunk $ 30 million this year into clearing former ISIS territories all over Northern Iraq. Under this program, Janus has already cleared 727 buildings, removing 3,000 IEDs, which they say ISIS was producing on assembly lines at an industrial scale.

But State Department officials and experts say the number of unexploded ordnance in Mosul itself is unprecedented.

What’s your first line of attack, in terms of trying to clear Mosul?

CHRISTIAN: Our priority is more the community, rather than the individual, you know, infrastructure. You have got schools, power, sewer, water, so that the area can accept people back into it. And then, once this stabilization phase is over, we can move into the individual homes, so that they can be safer.

MARCIA BIGGS: Clearing Mosul is a process that they say could take years, even decades. So Janus is training local Iraqis to do the job, sending them out as a front-line search team, then investigating and removing any suspicious items themselves.

CHRISTIAN: We’re not going to be here the whole time, so when we — it’s our time to leave, they will have the capacity built from us, and the mentoring we have done, so that they can do it on their own.

MARCIA BIGGS: How are they doing?

CHRISTIAN: They’re — a lot of them are very apt to learn. They’re quick. They’re smart.

MARCIA BIGGS: Fawzi al Nabdi is the team leader for the Iraqi local partner. He’s cleared mines all over Iraq for the last six years.

CHRISTIAN: What you got?

FAWZI AL NABDI, Team Leader, Al Fahad Company (through interpreter): We are ready for this, because it’s my job and I love it. The Americans are here to complete our work and to help us. They have greater experience than we do. If we find any mines, we have to stop and they will investigate it and make a plan to remove it.

MARCIA BIGGS: But he says Mosul is the biggest project he has ever seen, and we’re told it could take at least a month to just get the campus cleared of mines. Only then can they start cleaning it up, so that students can resume classes, this itself a huge task.

ISIS fighters closed the university back in 2014, and used it as a military base. As coalition forces pounded ISIS targets, this seat of higher learning became a battleground.

Ghassan Alubaidy is the institute’s dean.

GHASSAN ALUBAIDY, Dean, Mosul Technical Institute (through interpreter): ISIS used our university to manufacture mines and bombs. For this reason, it was the target of airstrikes in the beginning. They struck the institute nine times, and they struck our workshops, too. Now we can’t use them.

MARCIA BIGGS: The former commander of coalition forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, recently listed 81 locations where bombs were dropped, but had not yet exploded.

Facilities used to make weapons were often on the list of high-value targets for the coalition. So now those places are twice as likely to contain dangerous items.

So, this was once a workshop for electrical engineering students. You can still see the lab tables here. It was hit by an airstrike in 2015. Afterwards, members of the university staff found bomb-making instructions among the rubble. This was likely an ISIS bomb-making factory, and judging by the crater, a high-value target.

Despite the damage, Dean Alubaidy says he will hold classes this fall in alternate buildings, until the campus is ready. He’s expecting registration to be in the thousands, students who lost three years of education during the fighting and don’t want to lose another one.

GHASSAN ALUBAIDY (through interpreter): On our Facebook pages, we found a great number of students posting that they were full of encouragement to come back. For us, it was unbelievable. We couldn’t imagine it, to see how many students wanted to start again, how they were dreaming of the first day of classes, when they could sit in front of teachers again and start to live their lives again.

MARCIA BIGGS: Next door, Mosul University has already started classes. Students even volunteered to help in the cleanup.

But across the river, West Mosul was the site of ISIS’ last stand and bore the brunt of the battle. It’s densely packed Old City, with its flattened buildings, is a challenge for mine-sweeping.

FAWZI AL-NABDI (through interpreter): Most of the homes here were full of mines. And just here in front of us, a man with two kids came back to his home, and when he opened the door, the bomb killed him and his kids.

MARCIA BIGGS: Ahmed Younes fled back in early July with only the clothes on his back. Residents have been virtually banned from returning to his neighborhood on the outskirts of the Old City, but Ahmed said he got special permission, in order to retrieve some personal items.

AHMED YOUNES, Local Resident (through interpreter): We came on our own. We got permission to come, but they are not responsible if anything happens to us.

MARCIA BIGGS: Right now, there is no plan to begin clearing the Old City or even to determine how many mines there are. It is still out of bounds to anyone but the Iraqi security forces.

So the Janus team is focusing on progress in the rest of the city, building by building, bomb by bomb.

CHRISTIAN: Whoever made this device had a set goal. And to allow him to win, people get hurt. So you kind of compete against him to be better than him to take it out before it can do any harm.

MARCIA BIGGS: So, you feel like you’re winning the battle against ISIS?

CHRISTIAN: Yes, one IED at a time.

MARCIA BIGGS: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Marcia Biggs in Mosul, Iraq.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Tune in later.

Frontline’s latest film, “Mosul,” was on the ground filming the fight as it unfolded street by street and house by house. That’s tonight on PBS.

The post The battle for Mosul is over, but this hidden ISIS danger could lurk for years appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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Surprise! Tyrese is Expecting a Child Amidst His Custody Battle (VIDEO)

tyrese

Good news for Tyrese after a bad week (or two).

According to sources, Tyrese and his second wife are expecting this first child.

Via TSR, recently Tyrese posted a message on Facebook asking his famous female friends, from Oprah to Jada Pinkett Smith, to support his “PREGNANT” wife’s foundation.

“Powerful women of God, cause you guys seem to show UP for each of us this is your moment. I’ve always showed up for you. Your events your moments. I am simply asking that you show up for my wife…SO that I can stay married… my WIFE, who is now pregnant, is the new President of The Love Circle Foundation could really use some help…”

TSR STAFF: Kyle Anfernee! @kyle.Anfernee It's no secret that Tyrese has been going through it these past couple of weeks. Through every storm there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. _____________________________________ Last week Tyrese posted an emotional video on Instagram about his daughter Shayla, but he also dropped a jewel that I don't think many of us caught. _____________________________________ In the video Tyrese says, "I have another one on the way but he's not here yet." _____________________________________ Fast forward to today, Tyrese posted a message on Facebook asking his famous female friends, from Oprah to Jada Pinkett Smith, to support his "PREGNANT" wife's foundation. _____________________________________ "Powerful women of God, cause you guys seem to show UP for each of us this is your moment. I've always showed up for you. Your events your moments. I am simply asking that you show up for my wife…SO that I can stay married… my WIFE, who is now pregnant, is the new President of The Love Circle Foundation could really use some help…" _____________________________________ Congrats Tyrese!

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Looks like it’s a boy! Congrats to Tyrese!

The post Surprise! Tyrese is Expecting a Child Amidst His Custody Battle (VIDEO) appeared first on EBONY.

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Trump Administration Loses Battle to Keep Immigrant Teen From Getting Abortion

The Jane Doe abortion saga is finally over. On Wednesday morning, the 17 year old, who made her decision to get an abortion over a month ago, was able to have the procedure. After weeks of litigation in state and federal court, justice prevailed.

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Trump Administration Loses Battle to Keep Immigrant Teen From Getting Abortion

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The IRS is throwing a big wrench into President Trump's plans to gut Obamacare, says Jake Novak.
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Gabrielle Union Reveals Her Painful Battle With Infertility: ‘I’ve Had Eight Or Nine Miscarriages’

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty

In a very revealing passage of her new book, We’re Going To Need More Wine, BET star Gabrielle Union unveiled her heartbreaking struggle in conceiving a baby with her NBA superstar husband Dwayne Wade.

In an exclusive excerpt obtained by PEOPLE, Union says she suffered multiple miscarriages during the IVF process.

“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle,” Union wrote.

Union previously stated that she did not want children, but after becoming a caretaker of Wade’s three children and nephew, she changed her mind.

“I never wanted kids,” she said in an interview with PEOPLE. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.”

Union also reveled that the hormones induce bloating and because of her life in the limelight, she often felt self conscious about how people were picking apart her body.

But through all of her pain, she and Wade are hopeful and “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”

[ione_media_gallery id=”334786″ overlay=”true”]

SOURCE: PEOPLE

 


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‘Little People, Big World’ Audrey Roloff Details Her Battle With Postpartum Depression After Welcoming Baby Ember

Little People, Big World stars Jeremy and Audrey Roloff recently welcomed a baby daughter, Ember Jean, but life since giving birth hasn’t been easy for the new mom. Roloff says it hasn’t been “all lullabies and snuggles,” and her struggle […]
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Perks Abound For Black Credit Cardholders As Issuers Battle For New Customers

There are fabulous sign-up bonuses for credit cards that can potentially add several hundreds of dollars to your pocket.

 

(Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

 

For customers who travel on a specific airline, there are perks including free checked baggage, priority boarding, and free companion tickets. These perks can easily offset the annual fee plus more if the cardholder flies a few times annually.

For annual fee cards, there are issuers who may waive the fee in the first year. Users with an existing balance on another card may be able to get a low-interest rate, or no-interest for 12 to 18 months.

Welcome to the nation’s credit card industry, where black credit card users can now benefit greatly from increased competition among credit card providers. Forces such as rising interest rates and strong consumer spending are prompting credit companies and banks to offer more incentives to sign up new customers. An incentive fueling the high levels of overall satisfaction among credit card customers is cash-back rewards, based on the J.D. Power 2017 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

A  ‘Great Time’ To Be A Credit Cardholder

 

“It’s a really good time to be a credit card customer. Overall satisfaction is up across the board, and growing numbers of card companies and regional banks are coming to the market with new products that offer rich sign-up bonuses, increased cash-back rewards and new benefits,” says Jim Miller, senior director of the banking practice at J.D. Power.

“The key for issuers in this highly competitive marketplace is to develop strategies that increase customer satisfaction, which, in turn, decrease attrition and promote higher levels of credit card spend.”

Takeaways From the J.D. Power Study Cardholders Should Know

 

  • Overall customer satisfaction with credit card issuers this year reached its highest level in the study’s 11-year history (802 on a 1,000-point scale). Scores were highest for cards that offer cash-back rewards programs. Conversely, airline cards and store-branded Visa/MasterCard reward credit cards ranked lower for satisfaction among reward cards.

 

  • Credit issuer websites and mobile offerings are becoming more prevalent on the cardholder satisfaction front. Satisfaction is only 780 when customers don’t use those channels. Satisfaction grows to 807 when folks use online only and rise to 827 among those who use mobile only. Satisfaction reaches its peak (834) when customers use both online and mobile.

 

  • Customers over 40 are becoming more satisfied, while satisfaction scores for customers under that age is dropping. Younger customers are more apt to use many cards for spending and more likely to switch from their main credit card. Better rewards is a reason older customers (44%) are likely to switch cards, while greater benefits is a factor why younger customers (38%) are most likely to change.

 

  • When it comes to credit card issuers, American Express (835) ranks first in customer satisfaction, Discover (827) and Capital One (808). This year’s study includes responses from 22,896 credit card customers, including 1,246 African Americans.

Blacks Most Satisfied With Credit Card Companies

 

Interestingly, black cardholders are the most satisfied with their credit company for several reasons, including customer service and perks offered. They are followed by Latino/Hispanic 816, White/Caucasian 803 and Asian/Asian American 781.

Miller says credit card issuers are also focusing on increasing their benefits, including most offering a free credit score, travel-related insurance, and other services. Some cards offer discounts at specific retailers. Miller added mobile apps are making it very easy for cardholders to see their transactions and balances in real time.

“There have never been more credit card choices so there is likely a good card that fits each customer’s needs,” Miller says.

 

 

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How Colbert’s Band Leader Jon Batiste Retuned ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ for the 21st Century

On a Sunday morning in May in New Orleans, en route to the last day of the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, I pulled my rented car over and parked.

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‘Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’: The Best 5 Things

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one of those games — you know, the kind you roll your eyes at and dismiss on first glance, but once you boot it up, you can’t quite put it down again. It’s most definitely a Mario game, but includes an element of something else, something that can only be conjured by the slightly-inappropriate and hyperactive Rabbids of Ubisoft’s creation. And while a classic, Japanese-born franchise spanning countless genres and the slapstick adventures of a French publisher don’t seem like a match made in heaven on the surface, rest assured — they actually are.

You’ve never seen the Mushroom Kingdom quite like this. It looks like a Mario game and acts like a Mario game, but when was the last time you saw Mario with an honest-to-goodness laser gun? When have you ever heard Princess Peach criticize someone’s cosplay? And when was the last time you saw anyone from Mario’s world in a gut-busting, butt-blasting, turn-based tactical role-playing game? Here’s just a few reasons why we love Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.



You’ve Never Seen Mario Quite So Slapstick-y

Mario games have always featured a hefty dose of G-flavored humor, with the antics of Mario and friends eliciting at least a chuckle and perhaps a well-deserved eye roll. But Ubisoft’s Rabbids are known for being loud, proud and incredibly sassy, with a helping of giggle-worthy potty humor at times.

Because of the Rabbids propensity to literally slap each other around and bounce around the screen with seemingly limitless kinetic energy, their presence in Mario’s world makes the whole ordeal seem more slapstick-y than residents of the Mushroom Kingdom may be used to. And this isn’t a bad thing — you’ve never seen Mario have to deal with screaming, flailing creatures like the Rabbids before. The contrast between the hard-working plumber and the spastic Rabbids makes for an excellent mash-up, creating a light but still enjoyable narrative as they navigate their budding friendships and save the Mushroom Kingdom from imminent destruction.



Hidden Secrets Mini-games Follow the Familiar Mario Formula

Kingdom Battle’s bread and butter may be Mario and friends squaring off against mischievous Rabbids in turn-based combat, but like Mario games, it’s not without its share of secrets. While traveling between battles and exploring the overworld, players will stumble upon a number of hidden mini-games that will reward you with the Mushroom Kingdom’s familiar golden coins.

These mini-games are pulled directly from previous Mario titles. For example, hitting a switch and opening the entryway to a secret warp pipe will grant you access to an area hidden from the main path. Here you may find a field of coins to snatch up, a hidden treasure chest filled with goodies, or a doorway to a mini-game. Many previous Mario games include a mini-game in which you must collect a set amount of red or blue coins within a time-limit to unlock a treasure chest. Sometimes you can’t access areas until Beep-O, your robot guide, has learned a certain skill — so once he does, make sure to go back and give it a shot!

Kingdom Battle is sprinkled with these, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t worry about straying off the main path — there’s secret goods waiting for you!



Creative Bosses

Longtime Mario game players will instantly recognize the inspiration behind Kingdom Battle’s bosses. Chain Chomps and Piranha Plants abound. However, just as Rabbids has put its own spin on the enemies you encounter in the field — for example, Rabbids wearing war paint rather than Goombas or Koopa Troopas — it’s also taken some liberty with the more involved boss fights.

We won’t give away too many of the surprises, but some of the game’s memorable monstrosities include a Rabbid fused with a Piranha Plant to create an ambulatory tentacled menace, and a giant beefy Rabbid that both dresses and behaves like Donkey Kong. It’s absolutely delightful.



The Soundtrack is Amazing

You’ll hear many classic Mario jingles in Kingdom Battle. Completing a level plays the riff from the first Super Mario Bros. when you successfully complete a level, for example. And much of the music that accompanies traversing the overworld and interacting with other denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom is re-orchestrated versions of familiar Mario musical themes.

But even when the music isn’t a straight-up new version of a Mario tune, the soundtrack is beautifully orchestrated. The composer is BAFTA-nominated Grant Kirkhope, who spent over a decade with Rare working on soundtracks for games including Donkey Kong Land 2, Banjo Kazooie, and Viva Pinata before moving onto freelance projects including Civilization: Beyond Earth and Yooka-Laylee. It’s a brilliant arrangement, and sets the tone perfectly — a perfect backdrop for the Mushroom Kingdom.



It’s Super Cute

There’s something about the way Rabbid Peach flounces around and Rabbid Luigi’s buck-toothed smiled when you win a battle that is just utterly, totally charming. The Rabbids versions of the Mushroom Kingdom’s heroes and villains are hard not to love — yes, even the bad ones — because they’re just so darn cute. Every little yip and whoop, every garbled string of gibberish that floats out of the Rabbids mouths makes your toes curl, it’s so adorable. And the way Mario and friends interact with the Rabbids, like they have absolutely no idea what to do with them but put up with them anyway because they’re pretty sure they need them to fix the Mushroom Kingdom, is hilarious. It’s all just too cute.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is more than just a fun game, it’s a love letter to the Mario series from Ubisoft’s developers. It’s evident that a lot of thought and love went into this game, with every corner of the kingdom — both audio and visual — peppered with homages to the beloved Mario franchise. It’s a testimony to how well the Mario IP can bend and be part of fresh experiences when given to the right developers, and hopefully we see more of this amazing match of Mario and Rabbids in the future.

The post ‘Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’: The Best 5 Things appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Jesse Williams Estranged Wife Asks For Full Custody In Divorce Battle

The messiness continues on in the custody battle between Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee.

According to new divorce documents obtained by TMZ, Aryn is now seeking full custody of their children after accusing her estranged husband of having rage issues and exposing their children to a “revolving door” of women.

Drake-Lee said in her latest filing that the “Grey’s Anatomy” star’s behavior is taking a toll on their kids, TMZ reported.

She further suggests that since their separation, her soon-to-be ex-husband exposed the children to at least one lover, if not more.

(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)

She’s hopeful that the judge will rule in her favor, prohibiting Williams, 35, from introducing any romantic partners to Sadie, 3, and Maceo, 2, until they’ve been dating for six months or more.

Regarding his rage, Williams’ wife of more than 10 years reportedly claims the actor was recently involved in a road rage incident with his neighbor. According to TMZ, Drake-Lee said Jesse went off after his neighbor gave him the middle finger. She reportedly claimed Jesse “aggressively pursued him in his car” with both children inside and allegedly threatened to kill the person.

In July, Williams addressed rumors that he “threw away” his marriage in favor of a relationship with Minka Kelly on Jay-Z’s mini-documentary, “Footnotes for 4:44.”

“All of a sudden, mother f—– are writing think pieces that I somehow threw away a 13-year relationship – like, the most painful experience I’ve ever had in my life, like with a person I’ve loved with all of my heart, that I threw a person and my family in the trash because a girl I work with is cute,” Williams said, referencing his rumored girlfriend.

According to ET Online, who broke the news of Williams and Drake-Lee’s divorce, the pair cited “irreconcilable differences” as their reason for parting ways.

PHOTO: (Jesse Williams) PR Photos

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Husband Documents What It’s Like to Watch His Young Wife Battle Cancer

The young mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Director on Daenerys and Jon Snow’s Sexual Tension and That Crazy Dragon Battle

In his Game of Thrones debut, veteran TV director Matt Shakman left us all in awe.

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Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood on Secret Cancer Battle: ‘It Could Have Been Curtains’

The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood revealed in a new interview that he recently battled a "touch of lung cancer," with the guitarist requiring an operation to remove a part of his lung.

"There was a week when

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood on Secret Cancer Battle: ‘It Could Have Been Curtains’

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See New Trailer for Eminem-Produced Battle Rap Film ‘Bodied’

Emimem is involved in another battle rap-related film, Bodied. However, rather than starring in it as with his semi-autobiographical 2002 blockbuster 8 Mile, he is serving as the upcoming film's producer.

Based on a script penned by rap battle champion Alex "Kid Twist" Larsen, Bodied is

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