US Election 2020: Trump alleges ‘shenanigans’ as Biden urges calm

first_imgBut in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign won a legal victory when a state appeals court judge said Republican poll-watchers must be permitted a closer look at ballot processing. US election 2020 Link box banner bottom

Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote: Initial result

first_imgTopics : Russians have been encouraged to vote with prize draws offering flats and an ad campaign highlighting other constitutional amendments in the same reform bundle, such as the pensions protection and a de facto ban on same-sex marriages.One-off payments of 10,000 rubles ($141) were transferred to those with children at Putin’s order as people headed to polling stations on Wednesday, the last day of the vote, held over seven days to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.”I voted for the amendments to the constitution,” Moscow resident Mikhail Volkov said. “We need radical changes and I’m for them.”Others voted for the changes with less enthusiasm. Russians appeared to have paved the way for Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for a package of constitutional changes which will also boost pensions, initial results of a nationwide vote showed on Wednesday.Partial results, announced five hours before polls closed, indicate the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister will win the right to run for two more terms. That means he could remain president for 16 more years.The Central Election Commission said just over 70% of votes counted across the world’s largest country had supported changing the constitution. Almost 29% had voted no of the 2.68% of ballots counted. Fuller results are due at 1900 GMT.center_img “I didn’t read about the amendments if I’m honest,” another voter, Lyudmila, said. “What’s the point of voting if they’ve already decided for you. It’s like that in our country – read something and vote. I voted.”Turnout had reached nearly 60% by midday, election officials said. The required turnout is 50% and the amendments will pass if they are backed by a simple majority of voters.Putin, 67, made no mention of how the changes could affect his own career in an eve-of-vote speech on Tuesday. They would allow him to run for another two six-year, consecutive stints after his current term expires in 2024.Putin has said he has yet to decide on his future. Critics say they are sure he will run again, but some analysts say he may want to keep his options open to avoid becoming a lame duck.At 60%, according to the Levada pollster, his approval rating remains high but well down on its peak of nearly 90%.With Russia reporting thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day, opponents have been unable to stage protests but have mocked the vote online, sharing photographs of polling stations in apartment stairwells, courtyards and the boot of a car.Small protestsA small group of activists staged a symbolic protest on Red Square on Wednesday using their prostrate bodies to form the date – 2036 – before being swiftly detained by police, TV Rain reported.The “No! Campaign,” called on supporters to vote against the changes and then discuss the result on Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square while respecting social distancing rules.”We need to remind the authorities that we exist and that there are tens of millions of us who do not want Putin to rule until 2036,” Andrei Pivovarov, an activist, said in an online video.Mass gatherings are banned in Moscow due to the virus and Pivovarov’s suggestion of a public discussion was carefully worded. He avoided calling on people to gather, saying only that he wanted to discuss the vote’s outcome “with other free people” and would be in the square on Wednesday evening.More than a dozen police vehicles were parked in the square beforehand, where a lone masked protester stood with a sign saying “I/We are the constitution”.The opposition Communist Party, which has advised supporters to vote “no”, has complained of irregularities.Gennady Zyuganov, its leader, said that Putin and voters needed to weigh the consequences of sticking to the Russian leader’s policies, which he said had failed the economy.”Putin needs to choose,” said Zyuganov. “For him the moment of truth is coming.”Putin has said he wants a clean vote, something election officials have pledged to deliver.Golos, a non-governmental organization that monitors elections, has said it will not be able to confirm the outcome of the vote as legitimate. last_img read more

Fan engagement platform Quarterback raises $2.5m in investment

first_imgEsports fan engagement platform Quarterback has raised $2.3m (£1.7m) in seed funding by the likes of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, UpWest Labs and angel investors. This funding will be used for ‘further development of the platform and to accelerate the company’s growth on a global scale’.Quarterback’s release states it will ‘enable gaming content creators like streamers and professional players to engage directly with their audiences by creating their own personal fan-club gaming leagues’. These leagues will reportedly operate 24/7 and players will have access to in-game daily challenges, giveaways and worldwide competitions.Quarterback will monitor influencers and create challenges for viewers based on their most recent activities. For example: the platform will analyse fans’ performance in real-time and offer customised goals based on their current capabilities, pushing them to improve. Fans can also participate in group challenges to rival the score of a club’s leader. These features will all appear as an overlay on top of a game without the need for integration, enabling fans to interact without any interruptions.Quarterback, CEO Jonathan Weinberg said: “With a large continuous increase in viewership and popularity, online gameplay video content makers, streamers, and professional players are looking at new ways to engage with their communities and generate revenue. Our platform allows the influencer to directly engage with their fans to create increased community involvement and a new revenue stream even while they are offline.”BITKRAFT Esports Ventures Founding Partner Jens Hilgers commented on their investment in Quarterback: “Most streamers and pros struggle to monetise their fan-base and lose touch with their audience when the fans break-away to play their own games. Quarterback solves this problem in a unique way by helping streamers become an integral part of their fans game-play.”This collection of investors are no stranger to esports as they hold investments in names like XSplit, Esports One, Optic Gaming, Infinite Esports and Entertainment and Ateyo.Quarterback is available to download now and primarily works with League of Legends.Esports Insider says: This new platform seems promising as content creators are always looking for ways to not only capitalise on their viewers but engage with them regularly. With this sizable investment, the Quarterback team now has the potential to impact content creator engagement as we know it.last_img read more

Petra Kvitova testifies in court: There was ‘blood everywhere’ after knife attack

first_imgPetra Kvitova recalled to a Czech court that there was “blood everywhere” as she testified Tuesday against a man accused of attacking her with a knife in her home in December 2016.The two-time Wimbledon winner, an Australian Open finalist last month, sustained career-threatening injuries to her left hand in alleged the incident. Kvitova said she opened the door as she was expecting to take a doping test.”He asked me to turn on the hot water tap and at that moment I had a knife against my neck. I grabbed it with both hands,” she said. “I held the blade with my left hand. I snatched it away, I fell on the floor and there was blood everywhere.”Zondra faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. It’s not clear when the verdict might be issued, according to The Associated Press. He’s currently serving a prison term for a different crime. Kvitova gave testimony at the trial of Radim Zondra, 33, the man charged with assault in relation to the incident. The suspect denies the allegations.The 28-year-old, who returned to competitive tennis in May 2017, gave evidence in a separate room at the Brno court via video and alleged that the accused said he was there to inspect her boiler.last_img read more

Authorities still searching for missing man

first_imgROCK FALLS — Authorities say the search continues for an Illinois man last seen earlier this month at a campground near Rock Falls.The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department says 48-year-old Lawrence Howlett of Sandwich Illinois was last seen at about 10 o’clock on the night of June 1st near his camper along the Shell Rock River at Camp of the Woods northwest of Rock Falls.Howlett is 5-foot-5, weighing about 160 pounds, and was last seen wearing blue jean shorts, a gray tank top and tan work boots.Since he was reported missing, the Sheriff’s Department says authorities have conducted ground and water searches in the area where Howlett was last seen.The Sheriff’s Department asks for the public’s help, and anybody that has information is asked to call them at 641-421-3000.last_img read more