Lovetoreads Lovetoreads Sat, 08 Aug 2020 14:43:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lovetoreads 32 32 Live Update-Hundreds of Christians Murdered by Islamic Jihadists Across 3 African Countries Sat, 08 Aug 2020 14:43:58 +0000 Hundreds of Christians Murdered by Islamic Jihadists Across 3 African Countries

An ongoing campaign of terror against Christians has been waged across northern Africa in recent weeks, leaving several hundred Christians murdered in at least three African countries from South Sudan to Cameroon.

They’re mainly being targeted by Islamic radicals from different groups, including the Boko Haram and Fulani militants.

In Nigeria last month alone, at least 121 people were killed and thousands forced to leave their homes in Christian villages located in South Kaduna state after separate attacks by so-called Muslim Fulani tribesmen, according to the Barnabus Fund.  

The extremists attacked the Chibob farming community in Gora ward, killing 22 people on July 10.  They struck again a little more than a week later murdering 38 people in Kagoro town, and leaving 32 more dead in Kukum Daji and Gora Gan in separate attacks.

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Then on July 22, the Fulani militants armed with knives and machetes, attacked homes in the Christian village of Kizachi, brutally murdering one child aged 9, three teenagers, and one adult. 

The attacks continued the next night in Doka Avong Village during a rainstorm. At least seven Christians were killed, and many others were turned out into the storm as their homes were set on fire by the militants.  

The Barnabus Fund reports Christians living in Kaduna state have asked for prayers of peace after the Islamic militants continue their relentless attacks. One witness to the frequent attacks described them as “endemic.”

Church and Christian Leaders Attacked in South Sudan

Meanwhile, in South Sudan, six children who had been taken hostage were among the 23 people killed when unidentified gunmen attacked an Anglican church in Jonglei State on July 27. At least 20 others were wounded. 

“After killing people in the church, the gunmen went to the homestead village and killed people there,” Bishop Moses Anur Ayom told the Episcopal News Service. “The gunmen burned down the whole village in Makol Chuei.”

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Gunmen also made another attack on the Jalle village, killing Jacob Amanjok, an Anglican archdeacon, and three pastors.

“There is no need of killing the pastors,” Ayom said. “I am not happy about this issue of killing and destroying churches. I would like to appeal to the international community to intervene. As a church leader, I forgive the gunmen. The Bible says we have to forgive those who do wrong to us.”

Sleeping Christians Slaughtered in Cameroon

And in Cameroon, the Boko Haram attacked a camp for displaced people during the night on Aug. 2, killing at least 18 Christians as they slept. During the hour-long attack, the jihadists wounded several others and also ransacked houses. A witness said when local police arrived on the scene, the group of militants escaped capture and crossed the border into Nigeria.

According to the Barnabus Fund, for the last six years, violence by the Boko Haram has intensified in Far North Cameroon, which borders the Islamist terror group’s bases around Lake Chad and northeastern Nigeria.

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Live Updates– Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann leads initiative to build Covid-19 vaccine factory – health Sat, 08 Aug 2020 13:34:24 +0000 Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann leads initiative to build Covid-19 vaccine factory – health

Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann’s foundation and other business interests will fund the building of factory to produce the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC.

The Lemann Foundation said in a statement on Friday that the 100 million reais ($18 million) factory will be donated to Brazil’s premier biomedical research and development lab, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, or Fiocruz.

It said the factory will be ready to produce 30 million doses of the vaccine per month as of the beginning of 2021.

Brazil is approaching 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States.

The Brazilian government sees the British vaccine as the most promising of the vaccines that are being developed by researchers worldwide.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being tested on Brazilian volunteers in a study led by the Federal University of São Paulo that is also funded by the Lemann Foundation.

Other donors to the initiative to ensure Brazil can absorb the technology to produce the potential vaccine include Brazilian brewer Ambev SA, Itaú Unibanco, the Votorantim Institute and the Behring Family Foundation.

Lemann said he hoped the initiative will help Brazil be “better positioned and prepared to face other challenges of this nature that may arise.”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree on Thursday setting aside 1.9 billion reais ($356 million) in funds to purchase an initial 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and to invest in its eventually production in Brazil.

The health ministry reported on Friday 50,230 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,079 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours.

Brazil has registered 2,962,442 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 99,572, according to ministry data.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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2020-08-08 12:08:17

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Live Updates –Trump’s Orders on WeChat and TikTok Are Uncertain. That May Be the Point. Sat, 08 Aug 2020 06:32:45 +0000 Trump’s Orders on WeChat and TikTok Are Uncertain. That May Be the Point.

A spokesman for Tencent, the parent company of WeChat, which is widely used in China and around the world as a messaging and payments app, said it was “reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding.”

The Trump administration has steadily ramped up its actions in a broader economic and geopolitical fight with China, starting with a trade war that put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products in 2018 and 2019. It also introduced restrictions on other kinds of Chinese technology, including clamping down on exports to the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The sudden, vaguely worded order from the White House on Thursday night, which came without further explanation or a media briefing, followed a familiar model for some of the other policy announcements on China from the Trump administration. Many have left multinational companies in suspense for days or weeks about the specifics.

With policy moves like tariffs and export controls, the Trump administration wielded uncertainty as a source of leverage, using it to frighten companies into compliance and leaving themselves room to back down or escalate the situation.

The executive orders on WeChat and TikTok leave the determination of what constitutes a “transaction” up to the secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross. According to the language of the orders, Mr. Ross will make that determination in 45 days, meaning it would not be clear to businesses what will be included in the ban until it actually goes into effect.

“It may be that it’s won’t be nearly as bad as people might fear,” said Jason M. Waite, a partner at the law firm Alston & Bird, adding that the administration might discover legal or practical concerns with putting the order in place in the interim. “It is a 45-day surprise.”

People familiar with the deliberations said administration officials clearly intended to target the presence of WeChat and TikTok on the Google and Apple app stores, cutting off downloads and updates for the Chinese apps. It is unclear if the restrictions could affect other parts of the Chinese companies’ sprawling portfolios and business dealings, particularly for Tencent.

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Live Updates– Horoscope Today: Astrological prediction for August 8, what’s in store for Aries, Leo, Virgo, Libra and other zodiac signs – more lifestyle Sat, 08 Aug 2020 04:23:46 +0000 Horoscope Today: Astrological prediction for August 8, what’s in store for Aries, Leo, Virgo, Libra and other zodiac signs – more lifestyle

All zodiac signs have their own characteristics and traits which define someone’s personality. Wouldn’t it be helpful if you started your day by already knowing about what’s going to come your way? Read on to find out whether the odds will be in your favour today.

*Aries (March 21-April 20): It will be in your interest to take the responsibility of a family youngster in your own hands. Don’t get disheartened by initial. A property matter hanging fire for long is likely to get resolved without much compromising. You will be able to buy the house or property you had been eyeing for long. Investments done previously are likely to get good returns. An innovative idea or an improvement at workplace is likely to give you the recognition you seek.

Love Focus: Lover or friend can play a practical prank on you, but it will all be in good fun.

Lucky Colour: Light Red

Lucky Alphabet: B

Friendly Numbers: 6, 8

Friendly Zodiac Today: Pisces & Leo

Be careful of: Cancer

*Taurus (April 21-May 20): You will need to remain consistent in your exercise routine, if fitness is your aim, irregularity will just not do. Some of you may be compelled to share a trip with strangers and not be able to enjoy it fully. Prospects of owning property look bright, so go for it as this seems to be an auspicious day. A windfall can be expected for those disposing of property, but they will have to be careful while investing this money. Money poses no problems as you set about increasing your earning capacity. Praise on the professional front is likely to prove a balm for your ego and self-esteem. A youngster can make you feel wanted and may even become a source of entertainment.

Love Focus: Sweet nothings and togetherness will make a romantic evening out most fulfilling.

Lucky Colour: Rosy Brown

Lucky Alphabet: A

Friendly Numbers: 9, 18, 22

Friendly Zodiac Today: Cancer & Leo

Be careful of: Aries

*Gemini (May 21-Jun 21): Those under the weather will not only recover, but will be able to resume their exercise regimen too. A comfortable journey is foreseen for those travelling by road. Shifting into a new home or getting additions done in the present one is indicated for some. Those thinking of buying property can find some good bargains. Ups and downs on the monetary front are foreseen, but will not matter much to you. Those playing the stocks should preferably take it slow. A family youngster setting out on a new job or higher studies will become a source of pride.

Love Focus: A sprinkling of passion is likely to make the romantic evening perfect for you.

Lucky Colour: Royal Blue

Lucky Alphabet: D

Friendly Numbers: 4,8

Friendly Zodiac Today: Capricorn & Libra

Be careful of: Taurus

*Cancer (Jun 22-July 22): Annoying a family member may not work in your favour as you may require his or her help later. A skin or joint problem is likely to get cured, as you are in no mood to let up on its treatment. You are likely to keep your social contacts alive by hitting the road and looking up people. You may find it difficult to complete all the paperwork for acquiring property that you desire. Chances of becoming the owner of a house or an apartment look bright. Consider carefully before investing in a scheme that seems too good to be true. There is a distinct possibility of a raise or promotion for those in government service.

Love Focus: Romance may beckon some and spending time with sweetheart will prove most fulfilling.

Lucky Colour: Khaki

Lucky Alphabet: E

Friendly Numbers: 1,8,9

Friendly Zodiac Today: Taurus & Cancer

Be careful of: Aries

*Leo (July 23-August 23): Those on medication should remain regular in taking their doses to avoid delaying their recovery. Thorough preparation for a journey will be important. There is a possibility of an ancestral property coming in your name by way of inheritance. Your balanced approach will help resolve a property matter amicably. Financial front looks promising and handsome returns on investments seem most likely. At work, you will have your way and revive the projects that had been shelved for long. A family issue worrying you for long will be resolved amicably.

Love Focus: Lover’s insistence on something that you are not prepared for can be upsetting.

Lucky Colour: Dark Grey

Lucky Alphabet: G

Friendly Numbers: 6,11,23

Friendly Zodiac Today: Libra & Virgo

Be careful of: Scorpio

*Virgo (August 24-September 23): Positivity on the home front can be expected as you rid yourself of negative feelings. You will need to keep up your exercise regimen to remain fit and energetic. Someone’s good gesture in offering you a ride will save you from facing the traffic today. You may be tempted to buy property at a bargain price, but enquire about it before sealing the deal. You can earn a good amount by selling something at a competitive price. Your unique style will help you take positive strides towards your professional goals.

Love Focus: Those in love can feel frustrated as lover does not honour his or her promise.

Lucky Colour: Sky Blue

Lucky Alphabet: L

Friendly Numbers: 7,20

Friendly Zodiac Today: Leo & Cancer

Be careful of: Aries

*Libra (September 24-October 23): You may get irritated by the non-performance of a family youngster on the academic front. You may shake out of your lethargy and seriously take up an exercise regimen. An outing with friends is possible and promises lots of fun. There is nothing that can go wrong today, except things involving property. There is a ray of hope for those who have invested heavily, but not wisely, in speculation. Those skeptical will finally get convinced about the efficacy of a far-reaching decision on the work front.

Love Focus: Romance rocks as you take special pains to ignite the flames of passion!

Lucky Colour: Yellow

Lucky Alphabet: P

Friendly Numbers: 3,4,11

Friendly Zodiac Today: Gemini & Leo

Be careful of: Virgo

*Scorpio (October 24-November 22): Spouse may persuade you to buy a particular household item that you are not keen on. Achieving total fitness will not remain just a pipedream, as you turn your focus to your health. Money is likely to come from unexpected sources and strengthen the monetary front. Your performance will put to rest a senior’s apprehension about your professional competence. Some anomalies in a recently purchased piece of land may prove disturbing. Fair distribution of an ancestral property will keep everyone in the family satisfied. Certain circumstance may not allow you to enjoy a journey fully, but you will still make the most of it.

Love Focus: Romantic mood prevails and spending time together is on the cards for some.

Lucky Colour: Beige

Lucky Alphabet: K

Friendly Numbers: 5,21,23

Friendly Zodiac Today: Aquarius & Leo

Be careful of: Cancer

*Sagittarius (November 23-December 21): Softening your stance on some domestic issue will be most welcome by the family. Taking things in your hands, rather than relying on others, will prove advantageous in achieving total fitness. Travelling arrangements put in place will prove most convenient and comfortable. Putting money in property is indicated as it may prove a goldmine at a later date. Those selling property may have to hunt for the right customers for a good bargain. Be wary of someone’s suggestions regarding investment as he or she may not be having your best interests in mind. An embarrassing situation is foreseen for some at work with regard to your performance.

Love Focus: Some of you are likely to meet an ideal match, who shares your hobbies and interests.

Lucky Colour: Lavender

Lucky Alphabet: S

Friendly Numbers: 23,21,29

Friendly Zodiac Today: Pisces & Aries

Be careful of: Aquarius

*Capricorn (December 22-January 21): A family member can cause concern, but you will find other members supportive. Keeping a control over diet is important and will not prove difficult for you. A change of plan is envisaged in a journey, but will not affect your schedule. You may need to get resources to carryout improvements in an ancestral property. Managing finances well will help some business persons to diversify into other fields. You will succeed in meeting a difficult deadline for submitting an important project.

Love Focus: Your independent ways can put a strain on romantic relationship.

Lucky Colour: Turquoise

Lucky Alphabet: V

Friendly Numbers: 4.5.9

Friendly Zodiac Today: Virgo & Sagittarius

Be careful of: Leo

*Aquarius (January 22-February 19): Accompanying someone on a leisure trip is foretold and will prove most exhilarating. You will receive the papers pertaining to a property or some other asset. A clash of opinions regarding the disposal of ancestral property is inevitable, but don’t get strong headed. A decline in earnings is indicated for some, but it will only be temporary. The professional front seems quite rosy as you score over your competitors. You will be able to benefit some family youngster by your experience and contacts. You will get benefitted on the health front by following health conscious people.

Love Focus: You are likely to be impressed by someone from the opposite gender and get bitten by the love bug!

Lucky Colour: Cream

Lucky Alphabet: R

Friendly Numbers: 1,6,8

Friendly Zodiac Today: Capricron & Libra

Be careful of: Sagitarrius

*Pisces (February 20-March 20): A presentation conducted by you may not get the expected response from your potential clients. Excellent teamwork with spouse will help smoothen out things on the domestic front. Following in someone’s footsteps on the health front, just to attain total fitness, is a distinct possibility. Financial worries appear to be over as money comes from unexpected quarters. Some of you are likely to reap rich dividends by converting an ancestral property into builder flats. Visiting a tourist destination is foretold and will prove most interesting. Buying or selling property is indicated and will prove beneficial.

Love Focus: You may find a member of the opposite camp attractive enough to take the first step!

Lucky Colour: Pink

Lucky Alphabet: S

Friendly Numbers: 7,9,22

Friendly Zodiac Today: Aries & Pisces

Be careful of: Libra

The astrologer can be contacted at or

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2020-08-07 11:28:44

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Live Update-No masks required as 250,000 expected at 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Here’s what to know. Sat, 08 Aug 2020 02:13:16 +0000 No masks required as 250,000 expected at 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Here’s what to know.

Motorcycles and people crowd Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 7, 2020 in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Motorcycles and people crowd Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 7, 2020 in Sturgis, South Dakota.

One of the largest events since the beginning of the pandemic has begun in South Dakota: More than 250,000 people are expected at the iconic Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

That’s scaled down from previous years, where about half-a-million people have descended on the city of about 7,000 for an event that has developed a reputation as an anything-goes festival.

While the 80-year tradition isn’t as raucous as it once was, festivalgoers will be largely free of social distancing restrictions common elsewhere in the country during this year’s 10-day festival.

Bikers flocking to the small town from around the country won’t face quarantining requirements if they are from a coronavirus hot spot.

And masks? They’re encouraged – not required.

So far, few people are heeding that encouragement, according to an Associated Press reporter at the event.

Many who rode their bikes into Sturgis on Friday expressed defiance at the rules and restrictions that have marked life in much of the world during the pandemic.

“Screw COVID,” read the design on one T-shirt being hawked. “I went to Sturgis.”

Local officials have made efforts to scale down the event, but some expect restriction-weary bikers to flock to Sturgis in large numbers.

“It’s the biggest single event that’s going on in the United States that didn’t get canceled,” said Rod Woodruff, who operates the largest campground and concert venue that lies outside the bounds of the city.

“A lot of people think it’s going to be bigger than ever.”

In addition to normal concerns about crime, many locals are worried the huge crowds and lack of social distancing rules will lead to an unmanageable outbreak of COVID-19.

What is Sturgis?

The rally may be known for rowdy, drunken and naked shenanigans, but in recent years longtime attendees complain it has lost its edge. 

First-time visitors might be excused for thinking the rally isn’t much more than an excuse to create one of the world’s largest open-air shopping malls. There’s usually corporate sponsorships, licensed T-shirt vendors, insurance companies and lawyers.

Most attendees in recent years are professionals with too much to lose if they get arrested. The top three professions at Sturgis are doctors, lawyers and accountants, city officials have said in previous years.

That’s translated to big money for the local economy. Last year, the rally brought in about $1.3 million in tax revenue for South Dakota, according to the state Department of Revenue. 

Is the event risky during a pandemic?

While outdoor events are widely believed to be lower risk than indoor ones, the unprecedented size of the gathering is prompting serious concerns.

“You’re just adding fuel to a fire,” epidemiologist Dr. John Brownstein, told ABC News. “South Dakota is already experiencing increases in transmission. COVID is not under control in South Dakota; it’s just not.”

Among Brownstein’s worries: That attendees could become infected at the event and spread it across the nation as they return home – and that the rural health care system doesn’t have the ability to handle a possible local surge in cases. 

Many locals seem to share in the concern. When asked earlier this year whether the iconic motorcycle rally should be held, their answer was an overwhelming “no.”

More than half of the community expressed their feelings in a survey. A sizable majority of 62% asked city officials to postpone the rally.

Several steps have been taken to reduce risk, local media reports: The Community Center will not be hosting vendors inside as in the past, according to NewsCenter 1. And Sturgis High School will not offer shower services nor host the annual pancake breakfast as in the past.

Mayor Mark Carstensen on Thursday told CNN the city is setting up sanitation stations and giving out masks, although they aren’t mandated.

Why are local leaders allowing the event to go on? 

Businesses pressured the City Council to proceed and Sturgis officials say the rally would happen whether they wanted it or not. So they opted to try to scale it back, canceling city-hosted events and slashing advertising for the rally.

Daniel Ainslie, Sturgis’ city manager, said the city received a letter sent by attorneys for an outside business containing threats of litigation unless the rally moved forward. It suggested the city did not have the right to cancel the rally because previous court rulings found that the rally is not produced by a single organizer.

For his part, Woodruff said he felt he had little choice but to proceed with the rally. He employs hundreds of people in August and a smaller full-time staff.

“We spend money for 355 days of the year without any return on it, hoping people show up for nine days,” he said. “We’re a nine-day business.”

What are the rules in South Dakota about masks, social distancing?

Gov. Kristi Noem has taken a relaxed approach to the pandemic. Even as Republican governors in states like Texas have moved to require people to wear masks, Noem didn’t require physical distancing or masks at the July 3 celebration at Mount Rushmore, which President Donald Trump attended.

She supported holding the Sturgis rally, tweeting Thursday: “I trusted my people, they trusted me, and South Dakota is in a good spot in our fight against COVID-19. The #Sturgis motorcycle rally starts this weekend, and we’re excited for visitors to see what our great state has to offer!”

Noem has pointed out that no virus outbreak was documented from the several thousand people who turned out to see President Donald Trump and fireworks at Mount Rushmore last month.

Daily virus cases have been trending upward in South Dakota, but the seven-day average is still only around 84, with fewer than two deaths per day.

Contributing: Patrick Anderson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Trevor Hughes; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: What to know about masks, attendance, rules

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Live Updates– National Handloom Day: Kangana Ranaut, Vidya Balan, Janhvi Kapoor urge people to be ‘vocal for local’ – fashion and trends Fri, 07 Aug 2020 19:13:58 +0000 National Handloom Day: Kangana Ranaut, Vidya Balan, Janhvi Kapoor urge people to be ‘vocal for local’ – fashion and trends

National Handloom Day is observed every year on August 7 to recognise the contributions of the handloom weavers to India. From Prime Minister Modi to Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, the biggest names urged people to value handmade products, to appreciate the culture behind handloom and to support local artisans.

Smriti Irani’s Instagram post, urging people to share pictures with their favourite handloom and handmade products on Instagram with the hashtag #Vocal4Handmade seemingly inspired the likes of Bollywood divas including Kangana Ranaut, Janhvi Kapoor and Vidya Balan, who took to social media to share pictures of their favourite handloom clothing.

The three actors took to social media to urge people to be “vocal for local” and use more clothing made by local Indian brands. Manikarnika actor Kangana Ranaut’s team took to their Instagram handle and posted several pictures of the actor donning Indian handloom fabrics, including Kanjeevaram sarees alongside sister Rangoli Chandel. In another picture Kangana can be seen spinning the spinning wheel.

Kangana’s team captioned the post, “Today is #NationalHandloomDay. Let’s promote handloom, handmade, artisanal, and everything our nation should be proud of. When you choose handloom you choose weavers who are struggling for their survival, you choose to be #vocalforlocal, you choose mother earth, and love for every single being on this planet. #vocalforhandloom.”

The Queen actor’s team also tweeted, “Most of us have more than we can consume, Fashion industry has become one of the most damaging industries for our environment, new challenges call for new resolves, lets promote our own Indian organic fabric industries and preserve the planet #NationalHandloomDay.”


Vidya Balan, who has the strongest saree game in Bollywood and has been out and about promoting her latest Shakuntala Devi is some beautiful locally bought sarees by Indian brands also shared her thoughts on National Handloom Day. Posting photos of herself in a Kanjeevaram silk saree, looking like an absolute stunner, the Dirty Picture actor wrote, ““On #NationalHandloomDay let us all resolve to support our weavers across the country in these difficult times by buying and wearing their beautiful creations in our everyday life and also help keep #India’sHandloomLegacy alive. Appreciate the labour of love. #IWearHandloom.”


From the fresh talent in Bollywood, Janhvi Kapoor had some thoughts to share on Handloom Day. The Dhadak actor posted a photo of herself in a handloom saree as she attended an event. She captioned the post, “Today is National Handloom Day! This is my most favourite and most special handloom saree. The weavers and artisans in our country are truly unmatched in skill and creativity- the best in the world! #vocal4handmade.”

This year, India is observing its sixth Handloom Day, August 7 was chosen as the date for this occasion to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement that was launched back in 1905 to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government.

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2020-08-07 10:25:18

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Live Updates –‘Ultima’ Fandom Is Still Going Strong Fri, 07 Aug 2020 19:04:49 +0000 ‘Ultima’ Fandom Is Still Going Strong

Over the past five years, Kenneth Kully has recorded more than 100 episodes of Spam Spam Spam Humbug, a podcast devoted to the Ultima series of computer role-playing games. That might seem like a lot of time to spend discussing a series that released its last major installment in 1999, but Ultima has always forged an unusually strong connection with its players.

“The whole premise of the Ultima games was that, literally, you’re sitting on your couch one day and you—you, personally—wander through a moongate in your backyard and end up in Britannia,” Kully says in Episode 426 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And I think that’s a sense we don’t get in too many other games, at least that I’ve encountered.”

Kully is a member of the Ultima Dragons, one of the internet’s longest-running fan clubs. The group is still quite active, hosting a live meetup event in 2017 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. “Mark Zuckerberg was probably still in the single-digit ages when the Dragons were founded,” Kully says. “This was before social media was a gleam in anybody’s eye. But they evolved very rapidly into this huge community.”

Ultima encourages its players to practice the Eight Virtues, which may help explain why the club has proven to be so cohesive. “If things are getting a little bit testy, if people are starting to get a little bit nasty to each other, it’s nice to be able to point back to the games and urge compassion, and urge honesty, and all of the rest of that,” Kully says.

In 2013 Kully served as a consultant on Ultima Forever, a promising but short-lived attempt to reboot the series. He was disappointed when the game shut down, but is hopeful fans haven’t seen the last of Ultima.

“There’s a lot of love for Ultima among a lot of game developers,” he says. “Especially in the RPG space, it is the great grandfather. It is at the top of the family tree for so much of what we have in the RPG space now—open world, moral quandaries. Ultima has its fingers on all of that.”

Listen to the complete interview with Kenneth Kully in Episode 426 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Kenneth Kully on Narnia vs. Britannia:

“I read [J.R.R.] Tolkien at a fairly young age. By the end of grade 6, I was well into The Lord of the Rings. So I was heavily immersed in Tolkien, but I don’t think I had a copy of anything by C.S. Lewis, until I bought it for myself as an adult. So I never had Narnia, I had Britannia. And that is a comparison that I think—now that I’ve actually read the Chronicles of Narnia—has really only been strengthened over time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Chronicles of Narnia, I love the tale Lewis crafts in those books. But Britannia was my Narnia. It was that world at the back of the wardrobe, that magical place that I could access by this very particular means, and just exist in for a while.”

Kenneth Kully on religion:

“One of the ideas behind the virtues in Ultima was that it was meant to be a religion for the land, but a religion without God. It was meant to have that secularism built in. But it kind of had the opposite effect in terms of how I approached it and interpreted it, because I do consider myself a person of faith—I’m Catholic, I go to church, all that stuff—and Ultima was one of the few games, before Dragon Age, that actually had sacred places in it. They weren’t churches, they were the shrines. But that was a novel thing. I could play Quest for Glory or just about any other series, and they had everything else that I would expect to find in a village or town, but there were not any of those sacred spaces. But Ultima had them, and it was nice to see that component of a society present, in its own way, in Britannia.”

Kenneth Kully on Roe Adams III:

“In terms of him being the one to suggest the model of Truth, Love, and Courage as that foundation, that’s pretty huge. The association with The Wizard of Oz was well enough known, and I’m pretty sure that if I went and really dug around in the Wayback Machine, I could probably find—with enough time—where Roe Adams may have been the one to suggest that. … Being the person to suggest basing the Eight Virtues off of these Three Principles of Truth, Love, and Courage, that’s foundational, because Richard Garriott took that inspiration and ran with it. There are people even today, when the conversation turns more philosophical on the Ultima Dragons Facebook group, who will readily admit that they don’t really have any other personal credo in life—any other governing philosophy—apart from the Eight Virtues.”

Kenneth Kully on Ultima VI:

“It’s such a beautiful upending of a narrative trope. You start the game off, and you’re convinced that these horrible red-skinned monsters are taking over and invading Britannia, and it’s your job to defeat every last one of them and liberate the continent. And if you take the entire game with that attitude, you will lose. It pulls the rug out from under you, and out from under that viewpoint. It tees it up so well, and then it just yanks the floor out from underneath you. And by the end of the game, you realize that the monsters are invading the fantasy kingdom because they have a very legitimate grievance against the fantasy kingdom that needs to be made right.”

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Technews 691 VIVO S1 Pro Launched,Oneplus Concept One,OPPO F15,Honor 9x,Nokia 9.2,Realme X50 Youth Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:40:25 +0000 Technews 691 VIVO S1 Pro Launched,Oneplus Concept One,OPPO F15,Honor 9x,Nokia 9.2,Realme X50 Youth

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Live Update-TikTok threatens legal action against Trump US ban Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:42:01 +0000 TikTok threatens legal action against Trump US ban

TikTok/Donald Trump/WeChatImage copyright

TikTok is threatening legal action against the US after Donald Trump ordered firms to stop doing business with the Chinese app within 45 days.

The company said it was “shocked” by an executive order from the US President outlining the ban.

TikTok said it would “pursue all remedies available” to “ensure the rule of law is not discarded”.

Mr Trump issued a similar order against China’s WeChat in a major escalation in Washington’s stand-off with Beijing.

WeChat’s owner, Tencent, said: “We are reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding.”

As well as WeChat, Tencent is also a leading gaming company and its investments include a 40% stake in Epic Games – the company behind the hugely popular Fortnite video game.

The president has already threatened to ban TikTok in the US, citing national security concerns, and the company is now in talks to sell its American business to Microsoft. They have until 15 September to reach a deal – a deadline set by Mr Trump.

The Trump administration claims that the Chinese government has access to user information gathered by TikTok, which the company has denied.

TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, said it had attempted to engage with the US government for nearly a year “in good faith”.

However, it said: “What we encountered instead was that the administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

The executive orders against the short-video sharing platform and the messaging service WeChat are the latest measure in an increasingly broad Trump administration campaign against China.

On Thursday, Washington announced recommendations that Chinese firms listed on US stock markets should be delisted unless they provided regulators with access to their audited accounts.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday accused the US of using national security as a cover to exert hegemony.

What did Donald Trump say?

In both executive orders, Mr Trump says that the spread in the US of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.

The US government says TikTok and WeChat “capture vast swaths of information from its users”.

“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

The executive order also claims both apps gather data on Chinese nationals visiting the US, allowing Beijing “to keep tabs” on them.

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Media captionWATCH: What’s going on with TikTok?

Mr Trump’s executive order also says TikTok’s data collection could allow China to track US government employees and gather personal information for blackmail, or to carry out corporate espionage.

He notes that reports indicate TikTok censors content deemed politically sensitive, such as protests in Hong Kong and China’s treatment of the Uighurs, a Muslim minority. 

The orders have been issued under legal authority from the National Emergencies Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

What does TikTok say?

In its most robust response so far to the US government, TikTok says the executive order that has been issued is based on “unnamed reports with no citations”.

“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” it said.

“We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.”

Mr Trump said this week he would support the sale to Microsoft as long as the US government received a “substantial portion” of the sale price.

TikTok said the new executive order “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law”, adding it sets “a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets”.

“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the administration, then by the US courts,” it said.

WeChat ban puts US-China personal ties in peril

Zhaoyin Feng, BBC News Chinese, Washington DC

The TikTok ban is hardly a surprise, as the app has faced scrutiny in the US for months. But the almost identical ban on WeChat is more of a bombshell.

Immediately after President Trump’s executive order was announced, I received a flood of messages on my WeChat. Friends in America and their loved ones in China were in an absolute panic.

They are thousands of miles apart but asking the same question: How are we supposed to keep in touch after WeChat is banned in the US?

It’s nearly impossible to avoid WeChat for those who have any connections to China.

The billion-user app is like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, Uber, and even Tinder, all in one ecosystem.

America’s move to block WeChat, a prominent example of China’s tech innovation, will be seen as an attack on its culture, its people and the state. It’ll enhance the popular view in China that Washington is unreasonably suppressing its biggest competitor in technology.

If the ban is fully enforced, it’d be a disaster for anyone who has families, friends or a business in China.

While tit-for-tat has become the new normal in US-China relations, this move will cut off virtually all people-to-people communication between the world’s two most influential countries.

What is the background?

Mr Trump has been waging a trade war against China since taking office.

The US government took action last year against two Chinese communications companies, Huawei and ZTE, including locking them out of government contracts.

Most recently, he has blamed the country for the global coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the US economy.

Meanwhile, many of the biggest US platforms – Google, Twitter and Facebook – are banned inside China.

TikTok – which has up to 80 million active monthly users in the US – has exploded in popularity in recent years, mostly with people under 20.

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Media captionWhat is TikTok?

The app is reported to have around 800 million active monthly users, with its biggest markets having grown in the US and India.

India has, however, already blocked TikTok, as well as other Chinese apps.

Australia, which has already banned Huawei and ZTE, is also considering banning TikTok.

WeChat is very popular among those users who have connections to China, where major social networking platforms – such as WhatsApp and Facebook – are blocked.

It is also viewed as being a key instrument in China’s internal surveillance apparatus – requiring local users who have been accused of spreading malicious rumours to register a facial scan and voice print.

A seminar held earlier this year by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank discussed how groups within the app would be used to recommend holiday destinations, restaurants and the like on a day-to-day basis, but then switch to spreading political messages in line with Beijing’s thinking at critical times.

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