In today's TV News roundup, PlutoTV announced new channels for classic shows like "Happy Days," and Netflix revealed that "Nate: A One Man Show" will be available starting Dec. 1. CASTING Actor Megan Suri will join Season 2 of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever" as a recurring guest star. The comedy drama series follows Maitreyi […]
The US oil and gas industry got more than $10 billion in pandemic relief, but it's still struggling amid low oil prices.
“The Queen’s Gambit” hasn’t just been a big hit for Netflix. The new show — which Netflix announced on Monday had set a company record with 62 million views in its first month — has also been a boon to the online chess community. The numbers don’t lie. Since the show started streaming on October 23, chess apps have seen record downloads, Reddit’s main chess subreddit has been thriving and people are streaming more chess content than ever before on sites like Twitch. And “Queen’s Gambit,” which focuses on Beth Harmon, a fictional chess prodigy from the ’50s and ’60s, looks to be the driving force. Just look at the recent performance of chess apps: Chess.com, the biggest app dedicated to the game, was already enjoying a big 2020, thanks in large part to the pandemic forcing people to play more games. Chess.com had a record 979,000 downloads in April, according to data provided by SensorTower — but that figure has already been eclipsed through the first three weeks of November, when the app was downloaded 1.4 million times. That also marks a 179% increase from October. Zynga’s Chess With Friends app has also seen a recent spike in downloads....Read original story As Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Captures Fans, Chess App Downloads Have Doubled At TheWrap
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Donald Trump has directed his team to cooperate with an incoming President-elect Joe Biden administration after the General Services Administration ascertained the Democrat as the "apparent election winner". Mr Trump, in his closest statement yet to finally conceding he lost, tweeted: "In the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily (Murphy, GSA Administrator) and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same." The move clears the way for the start of an official transition and allows Mr Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on January 20. An official said Ms Murphy made the determination after the president's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Mr Biden's victory Monday. However, Mr Trump still appeared defiant, saying he would "keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail." "Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official_including those who work at the White House or GSA_with regard to the substance or timing of my decision," Ms Murphy wrote in a letter to Mr Biden. Mr Trump tweeted shortly after her letter was made public:
MONDAY, Nov. 23 HanWay Films Closes Sales on 'Peggy Jo' HanWay Films has closed multiple international sales for Phillip Noyce’s "Peggy Jo," with Lily James attached to star as Peggy Jo Tallas, who robbed Texas banks in the early 1990s while posing as a man. A deal with Universal Pictures Content Group includes Benelux, German […]
After weeks of delay as the Trump campaign conducted a pointless effort based on outright falsehoods to overturn the results, the General Services Administration (GSA) has finally acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election and will begin the presidential transition.In a memo to Joe Biden released to the public on Monday afternoon, GAS head Emily Murphy mainly defended her harshly criticized refusal prior to Monday to do her job and begin the transition in compliance with the law. In the letter, she does not once refer to Biden as the president-elect, but instead complains about that criticism and claimed without any evidence that she has received threats.The move comes after the Trump campaign’s latest attempt to overturn the election failed after Michigan election officials voted to certify Biden’s victory in the state.Read the statement below:Also Read: 'The View' Roasts Republicans for Silence About Trump: 'How Do You Sleep at Night?' (Video)CNN first reported the news.Breaking: GSA’s Emily Murphy signs off and says the transition can begin, per @KristenhCNN pic.twitter.com/S6YKKQBrQR— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 23, 2020President Trump tweeted shortly after the news in what appears to be the closest thing to a concession speech.“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same,” says Trump.I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020Since his lawyers keep quitting and his election lawsuits are getting smacked down by the handful, the sitting president decided to get crafty with his next strategy. This week, he called Republican lawmakers in the swing state of Michigan, which he lost to Joe Biden, and invited them to the White House in an apparent effort to stop them from certifying the electoral results in Biden’s favor.Read original story GSA Finally Acknowledges Biden Victory After Weeks of Delay, Will ‘Begin the Formal Transition’ At TheWrap
Nov.23 -- The rally in electric-vehicle stocks received a fresh boost of confidence on Monday from Wedbush Securities, which said there is now a “major inflection” in EV demand globally. Bloomberg's Ed Ludlow reports on "Bloomberg Technology."
China on Tuesday launched an unmanned spacecraft to a previously untouched part of the moon to bring lunar rocks back to Earth. The mission of the Chang'e-5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, is to collect 4-1/2 pounds of samples to help scientists understand more about the moon's origins and formation. If successful, it would make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In one lunar day - or about two weeks here on Earth - China will try to collect the material from an unvisited area in a massive lava plain on the moon. The samples will then be transferred to a return capsule and sent back to Earth. It's a test for China ahead of more complex missions. Within the next decade, China plans to establish a robotic base station to conduct unmanned exploration in the south polar region of the moon. And it plans to retrieve samples from Mars by 2030. China’s current mission comes as NASA is planning to send robotic rovers to the moon before an eventual human landing - for the first time since 1972.
Stocks rallied Monday on another dose of upbeat vaccine news. This time it was AstraZeneca: the latest drugmaker to tout success in late-stage clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, which it said could be around 90 percent effective. That news sent the Dow 327 points higher. The rest of the market was subdued as stay-at-home stocks faltered. The S&P 500 rose only 20 points. The Nasdaq gained 25. Hilary Kramer of Kramer Capital Research says she thinks this is the start of the end-of-year stock upswing known as the Santa Claus rally. "We will see a real Santa Claus rally coming, and this is the beginning of it, because the big money managers, they all start having this group think and marking up their books, so to speak. So we will see continued buying. The bigger concern is winter and spring when there's an anticipation of tax rates rising and a lot of money that are going to start to trim some of those big positions, those triples, quadruples in the technology stocks." One of the sectors that lead Monday's rally: airlines. The TSA said it screened over 3 million passengers in the weekend ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. That's the busiest airports have been since mid-March. American Airlines was the biggest stock gainer of the pack - up more than 8 percent. Delta was up 4-1/2 percent. JetBlue was up more than 4 percent. A familiar face could be headed back to Washington to help President-Elect Joe Biden with financial issues. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen is likely Biden's pick as the next Treasury Secretary, two Democratic allies confirmed to Reuters after a report in the Wall Street Journal. Biden’s camp declined to comment. Yellen was a steady hand at the top of the Fed in the years following the financial crisis.
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States have begun certifying their results from the Nov. 3 presidential election in the run-up to the Electoral College meeting in mid-December. Among the states certifying on Monday was Michigan, where President Donald Trump and his allies tried and failed to delay the process. The vote by a bipartisan state canvassing board in Michigan comes days after certification in Georgia, another hotly contested presidential battleground.
Sixty-year-old Yashiro Haga is folding his Tokyo noodle ramen shop after 15 years in December, unable to overcome the prospect of a lasting customer slump due to the coronavirus crisis. "The flow of people has changed due to the coronavirus," Haga said, standing behind the counter of his ground-floor shop, Shirohachi. The pandemic is damaging Japan's "mom-and-pop" restaurants - including noodle shops like Haga's - at a growing rate, despite evidence the government's massive effort to stave off bankruptcies is working in other sectors of the economy.
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced a foreign policy and national security team crammed with veterans from the Barack Obama years, signaling an end to the upheaval under President Donald Trump and a return to traditional US diplomacy.
Cindy Holland, the former longtime Netflix VP of original content who departed the streamer two months ago, has joined the board of Horizon Acquisition Corp. II, a special-purpose acquisition corporation targeting the media and entertainment space. Horizon Acquisition Corp. II was formed in August 2020 by Todd Boehly, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries, […]
Joe Rohde of Walt Disney Imagineering is retiring after spending more than 40 years bringing to life some of Disney Parks' most notable attractions, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Pandora — The World of Avatar area of Walt Disney World. Rohde, who will retire Jan. 4, reflected on his career in an Instagram post. […]
Alex Winter’s “Zappa” is an odd, occasionally jarring documentary, but it wouldn’t make sense for it to be anything else. The film about the iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa sometimes feels like an autobiography from beyond the grave, sometimes playing like a heartfelt tribute and sometimes adopting Zappa’s rhythms and style to be purposefully disorienting. It’s a Zappa-esque concoction — which, of course, is exactly what it ought to be.The movie was originally scheduled to premiere at South by Southwest in March, but it was pushed back when that festival was canceled. It now opens in theaters and on-demand on Nov. 27 after a special theatrical event on Nov. 23; instead of being the first film in a busy 2020 for Winter that also included directing the HBO documentary “Showbiz Kids” and acting in “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” it’s the last.It’s also the most hyperkinetic and jittery of Winter’s documentaries, which have also included “Downloaded,” “The Panama Papers” and “Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain.” The film is restless and playful and a bit assaultive, especially in the early going, as it sketches the story of a kid who grew up in the California desert town of Lancaster and wasn’t interested in music until he heard the forbidding strains of experimental French-American composer Edgard Varese’s “Ionisation.”Also Read: 'Showbiz Kids' Movie Review: Child Stars Tell Troubled Tales in Sobering DocumentaryWhile many members of Zappa’s family and his band are on hand to reminisce about the famously driven, often cantankerous and always demanding musician and composer, much of the story is told through materials from the Zappa’s personal archives, to which Winter had access. A vault that contained everything from his master recordings to 8mm movies he made as a child, it yielded material that has largely remained unseen, along with audiotapes that allow Zappa to, essentially, narrate the first part of the film himself, despite his death of prostate cancer in 1993.This is the part of the movie that jumps with nervous energy, as it chronicles Zappa’s childhood, early experimental work in Lancaster and move to Los Angeles because, he said, “It’s very difficult to do the kind of things I wanted to do in a small-town environment.” He started doing those things in mid-1960s L.A. when he formed the Mothers of Invention and began making music that was nicely summed up by the title of his first album, “Freak Out!”A meticulously composed but seemingly freeform blend of rock with blues, jazz, psychedelica, avant-garde classical and a dada spirit, Zappa’s music was wildly adventurous and, at times, fiendishly hard to play — and, say the musicians who worked with him, he didn’t always have much patience for the people he was asking to play it.Also Read: See 'Bill & Ted' Star Alex Winter's Insane NYU Student Film, 'Squeal of Death' (Video)The movie feels impatient in the early going, too, mostly in the way it treats Zappa’s music. Where many music docs present full songs or big chunks of songs, “Zappa” is built around snippets. Much of Zappa’s music was fragmentary, building large compositions out of little pieces, but hearing those pieces out of context doesn’t give you a real sense of what his long, complex, fractured compositions were like — although concert footage made up of snippets seems somehow Zappa-esque, too.The film gets less chronological and more thematic as it jumps through the 1970s and into the ’80s. At the same time, it slows the frenetic pace down to go into detail about Zappa the composer and Zappa the cultural critic. In a way, the final hour feels like the movie is winding down and exploring his philosophy and outlook, taking detours to offer insights into his character and his work: “Valley Girl,” his collaboration with his teenage daughter Moon Unit and the biggest hit he’d ever have, “really came out of Moon wanting to spend time with her dad,” says L.A. scenemaker Pamela Des Barres.Despite a side trip to explore Zappa’s role as a critic of the Parents Music Resource Center, the group of Washington, D.C. women who slapped warning labels on recordings they deemed offensive in the ’80s, “Zappa” is more interested in the Zappa who had written orchestral music before he ever wrote rock ‘n’ roll. The fullest, most robust performances we see in the film are not of Zappa playing his own music but of a two-piano version of his composition “The Black Page,” a performance of his work by the Kronos Quartet and a full-orchestra version of the “Yellow Shark” concert by the German new-music group Ensemble Modern. (This last performance marks a return to the weirdness and energy of the film’s earlier moments.)Also Read: Here's an Excellent Flashback: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter's Earliest 'Bill & Ted' Interviews (Exclusive)“All I want is to get a good performance and a good recording of everything I ever wrote,” Zappa says at one point in the movie, and it’s clear he didn’t get that as often as he would have liked. The final interview clips, when he was suffering from cancer and open about how much it took out of him, can be terribly sad, but the film’s confrontational honesty is, once again, in keeping with its subject.What “Zappa” does, essentially, is build a case for its subject as “an American experimentalist like Harry Partch or Sun Ra” — the difference being is that he also had a couple of hits, which brought experimentalism to a whole different place.At the very beginning of the movie, we see Zappa on stage in Prague in 1989 at a concert to celebrate the fall of the Iron Curtain. “This is the first time I’ve had a reason to play guitar in three years,” says Zappa, who was ailing at the time but also had a message to deliver to the Czech audience: “As you confront the changes that will take place, please try to keep your country unique.”As “Zappa” makes clear, Frank Zappa spent his whole career keeping himself unique, often to his credit and occasionally to his detriment. Winter’s movie does the same, in a way that does justice to a guy who’s not easy to do justice to.Read original story ‘Zappa’ Film Review: Alex Winter’s Documentary Does Justice to Rock ‘n’ Roll Oddball Frank Zappa At TheWrap
Nov.23 -- Microsoft Corp. data partner AvePoint Inc. says it has reached a deal to go public through a merger with blank-check company Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. Tianyi 'TJ' Jiang, chief executive officer and co-founder at AvePoint, discusses the agreement on "Bloomberg Technology."
Former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga is enthusiastic about the potential of a Pasifika Super Rugby side entering the competition in 2022 after he revealed the invitational squad to face the Maori All Blacks next month. Umaga was named as the coach for the one-off match by the Moana Pasifika team, which has been identified by New Zealand Rugby as a potential new entrant to Super Rugby in 2022 alongside a Fijian team. The former All Blacks centre named 18 players with Super Rugby experience in a 26-man squad for the Dec. 5 game at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
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