Saturday, July 30, 2016

AFTER BREXIT: Money Stable, But Investment Leaving & Racism Rising

As the days add up to one week after the fateful “Brexit” referendum, a lot of events have taken place not just in Britain but in the rest of Europe that appear to indicate the far reaching effects and repercussions of the United Kingdom cutting its ties to the European Union. Some have been positive, some have been negative, and others have been most unusual.

When the referendum declared a victory for Brexit last week, the value of the pound sterling and the British stock market suddenly dropped like two rocks. Fortunately, the pound according to The Wall Street Journal seems to have recovered by Tuesday after gaining back losses from trading in Asia, alongside the general rise in the global stock market after the new reality has had time to sink in. But there are still some rough waters ahead if analysts have a say about it; with a big question mark still hanging on the post-Brexit politics and economy, the pound remains dangerously close to its 31-year all time low.

Continuing on this thread, British billionaire and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson shared with The Guardian some alarming news that many of the UK’s business partners from China have not only stopped making new investments in the country, but also withdrawing what existing investments are already in place, all in light of the uncertainty brought on by Brexit on the UK. Branson places the blame solidly on the fiery pro-Brexit politicians who have lulled the public as part of their campaign that there would be no significant effects in the global market from Britain leaving the EU. Already he is calling on the government to hold a new referendum, calling the Brexit promises lies, a position shared with Alistair Campbell, former communications director to former PM Tony Blair. The pro-Brexit camp is unsympathetic to the financial upheavals, with UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage dismissing it all as irrelevant nonsense.

On a more sobering note, on the heels of Brexit comes a sudden upsurge of racial abuse and race-related violence throughout the UK, with CNN reporting how London’s Polish Social and Cultural Center was vandalized with anti-Polish immigrant diatribes. Individual immigrants like Marianna Koli from Finland have been subjected to racist remarks days after the referendum, despite having lived in the UK for over a decade. Police have begun working alongside groups such as the Polish community in order to investigate and apprehend persons behind racial hate acts. A total of 85 incidents have been reported to authorities since Brexit.

Meanwhile, over in mainland Europe, the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) have posted a warning that, as the UK is the only EU member to have listed English as an official language, and with them having chosen to quit the Union, the English language as a result might no longer be used as an official language of communication between EU member nations, an unfortunate fate as it was already the dominant language of the Union. In response to Brexit, the European Commission, according to The Wall Street Journal, has stopped using English for their external communications, alternating instead between French and German.

As Prime Minister David Cameron, who has announced his stepping down in 10 weeks, washes his hands of the chaos surrounding the referendum, Britons call to mind the old but revived World War II patriotic slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. But with the Labour Party in disarray, and Scotland, possibly Northern Ireland and even the Gibraltar colony mulling over the possibility of breaking from the UK to remain in the EU, the future after Brexit looks very frantic, and shadowy.

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“BACHELORETTE” SEASON 12’S JOJO Still Searching By Week 4/5

It’s been 5 weeks in the lives of the twelfth “Bachelorette” and her ever dwindling reverse harem – and 6 weeks of broadcast episodes on ABC. As the weeks count down until the July 26 finale, a picture becomes increasingly clears as to what type of guy Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher (of “The Bachelor” season 20 fame) would not only enjoy spending time with, but also be able to proclaim feelings of love to and imagine living with for the rest of their lives together, or at least that’s how things would ideally go without the random uncertainty of real life.

The latest episode saw JoJo and her eight remaining boys going to Buenos Aires in Argentina, after spending time in Uruguay during TV episode 5 (Week 4 Part 2). chronicles the events as they went. There was the initial one-one- one date where JoJo and Wells Adams explored the city with all the wholesomeness of school kids, not kissing every so often as they meander through a market and watch the Fureza Bruta theatre show. When Wells finally decided to land a big fat one on JoJo’s kisser, she actually congratulated him out loud, a weird reaction for female viewers.

During the dinner date Wells regaled JoJo with the tale of his first relationship that simply simmered down into a platonic friendship. Unfortunately his utterly clean-cut and “normal” look and demeanor didn’t at all click for the Bachelorette who withheld the rose and sent Wells home, as The Huffington Post sordidly reports. Her emotional farewell stating how Wells was great guy but not the sort she wants to spend her life with finally seems to set in stone her choice in guys: not the sensitive modern man but the all-American jock at best and the douchebag at worst.

Next, JoJo’s group date with Luke Pell, Robby Hayes, pro-footballer Jordan Rodgers, James Taylor, and Alex Wotykiw had them taking on a youth street soccer team. James wins a chance to kiss JoJo, taking advantage of an opportunity to tell her of some unsportsmanlike conduct from Jordan in a past poker game. Unfortunately JoJo’s jerk fixation has her taking Jordan’s side later on, while Luke got the group date rose after she spent more time with him during the whole thing.

Finally, the two-on- one date with Chase McNary and Derek Peth had them and JoJo getting tango lessons. Video editing had Derek being supremely confident in the outcome, which by “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” conventions meant that he gets no rose in the end. The loss sends Derek into such a spiral of despair that he spent his return trip to the airport asking himself why he’s crying. All as “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” plays over with alternating scenes with JoJo and Chase. The following rose ceremony saw no one else eliminated.

Viewers of this season and writers of articles concerning this episode all had very pointed questions online regarding JoJo’s preferences and even her thought processes. Many see her as being somewhat broken as a person, citing how JoJo herself has asked the same question they are asking: how does an attractive person like her single? With her rather convoluted musings on romance, that question could well be one for the ages, or at least until further episodes air in the following weeks.

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“HTGAWM” SEASON 3 Premiere Date Set, More Info Released

After around three months of uncertainty since the March 17 finale of “How to Get Away with Murder” season 2, there finally comes some light at the end of the tunnel as regards to when exactly ABC is finally going to release the third season this year, other than the general timeframe of “fall”Thanks to actress Viola “Annalise Keating” Davis making the announcement on her Facebook, fans of the drama series can now mark their calendars for September 22.

Movie News Guide reports that filming for season 3 will commence next month of July, and show-runner Peter Nowalk had a few things to hint at on what viewers might expect to see when the story carries on where it left off. One major piece of info he shared is that they were going to change up the narrative format, as he felt that the ending stretch of season 2 was all tied up to the overarching story thread regarding the Hapstall case and the mystery linking Annalise to Rose, the mother of her intern Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch). For season 3 the series creators would have the Keating law firm take on a case-of- the-week to give more freedom from the main plot.

Further details that MNG has scrounged up on “HTGAWM”s next season reveal that even after the crises that have been messing up her life throughout the series,  will continue to practice her profession. On the subject of plot threads from the previous season, Entertainment Weekly discovered as it turns out that Annalise’s employee Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) left her employ after she found out how he was involved in her miscarriage from 10 years before the start of the series; he had skipped town as a means to mend fences with Annalise, and despite his departure his character will remain a regular for the 3 rd season.

One can’t also forget the explosive final scene of season 2 when Wes meets his long-unseen father for the first time only to lose him to an assassin’s bullet. Yes he’s dead, Jim. Nowalk would tell Variety that it could be a toss-up if the killer’s identity will be shown in the season premier or if they would keep it a question mark for the characters and the audience to mull over until later on. He claims it’s because the murder of Wallace Gibbins is a complicated story.

“How to get Away with Murder” resumes at season three on September 22, 2016 at 10 PM EDT/PDT on the USA Network.

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“SUITS” SEASON 6 Hype Rising As July 13 Premiere Date Approaches


It’s getting real close now to July 13 and the premiere of the sixth season of the highly- nominated legal dramedy TV series “Suits” on the USA Network, and viewers are eager to get into the meat of the narrative left hanging from season 5 that saw genius fake lawyer Mike Ross, played Patrick J. Adams, getting thrown in prison after being exposed, while his partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) find himself trying to run a law firm utterly gutted of employees.

TV Guide has gotten the lowdown on an advanced viewing of the first episode, which sees Mike adjusting to life in jail, getting to know his new cellmate better and seemingly picking up on Harvey’s habit of dropping lines from a multitude of movies. But not all is seemingly alright in that picture. On the morning of his second day behind bars, Mike gets the inkling that someone is out to get him, and not only him, but everyone else he has worked with before. But is the threat real? Or is it, to the eyes of the viewing audience, the onset to Mike suffering a curse known to befall singularly brilliant geniuses: the creeping loss of sanity?

According to an article on the International Business Times, imprisoning Mike was deemed necessary by “Suits” show runners, a story element supported by Adams who believes his character’s incarceration storyline will boost viewership of the series on season 6, as it would be the culmination of the past five season’s worth of buildup for all the characters involved in Mike’s lawyer sham to face the consequences of their great white lie. This shakeup of the status quo to Adams will grab everyone’s attention while still retaining the core of the series overall plot.

On how long Mike is staying in the big house, Adams has been coy in answers. Meanwhile, life has to go one for Mike’s circle of friends and his almost wife. A past report by the Parent Herald has predicted the eventual breakdown of the loving relationship between Mike and Rachel Zane (Megan Markle) due to his incarceration, with Rachel herself eventually finding new love with a new associate from work.

While many questions and rumors still circle about like sharks in the water concerning what “Suits” season 6 will bring, it’s definitely certain that the mystery will soon start to unravel when it finally premieres on July 13.

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Free WINDOWS 10 Update Arriving On 1 st Year Anniversary

If you are a lucky user of the Windows 10 operating system, you’ll have something to look forward to this summer. It was the summer of last year that saw the debut of the latest version of Microsoft’s long-running powerhouse computer O.S., and they’re gearing up to celebrate its first anniversary in style. So clean up your ears and listen hard: Microsoft is putting together a Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It’s coming out on August 2. And it is going to be free!

Microsoft itself made the announcement on its own blog, by the hand of Windows and Devices Group Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi. With over 350 million devices worldwide running on Windows 10 according to Mehdi, the O.S. has reached the highest level of satisfied customers in comparison to any of its older brothers. With feedback taken from over 135 billion hours of total recorded use of Windows 10, Microsoft has been able to assemble the best and most wanted features to be included in the upcoming Anniversary Update.

The main gist of the update is in additional security improvements, the Windows Ink appinnovations for easier computer device sharing in classrooms, and upgrades to the Microsoft Edge browser, Xbox gaming, and everyone’s new favorite helpful voice on your Windows-driven device: Cortana. For PC/laptop users, Cortana will soon be able to interact with you and do computer stuff at your request from the lock screen, saving you the trouble of unlocking every time. She will now also store and remember specific information, and notify you of things across all your Cortana-equipped devices.

On the security front, there are additional features to the free anti-malware program Windows Defender and the introduction of the new Windows Hello biometric authentication support. For business owners, the Anniversary update significantly boosts protection from cyber-attacks with the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, detecting malicious assaults and tracing them back with reports to the Windows intelligence network. There’s also the nifty Windows Information Protection, easily keeping business and personal computer data apart for added safety.

Next on the Anniversary Update is the Windows Ink platform, giving stylus input support to most applications. You can now handwrite on Smart Sticky Notes or Microsoft Office (making corrections on documents by hand is fun), draw directions on Maps and make annotations on sites displayed on Windows Edge. Graphic artists can now draw on the screen instead of a tablet and musicians can compose digitally. Imagine the possibilities.

Other upgrades go to making better your gaming experience with Xbox Play Anywhere (shared progress on an Xbox game between a paired Windows 10 PC and an Xbox One) and Language Region independence regardless of where in the world you’re playing at. Then there are new power-ups for Microsoft Edge in power-saving, less memory consumption, modern web standard accessibility and the availability of Edge extensions on the Window Store. Educational users will have an easier time doing their own tech support with the “Set up School PCs” app, share lots of devices at one with Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer, and create secure computer-stored tests with the “Take a Test” app.

There’s one last reminder however. As reported in CNBC, after July 29 there will be no more free updates of devices running on Windows 7 and 8.1 as there has been since the debut of 10. Come the 30 th , Windows 10 will be priced at $119 according to Windows and Devices Group Corporate President Terry Myerson. So power up to Windows 10 now if you can, while there is still “free” time, and watch out for the Anniversary Update coming on August 2.

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