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Kamala Harris: 5 Things To Know About Joe Biden’s 2020 Running Mate

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Joe Biden has announced that Senator Kamala Harris of California will be his running mate in the 2020 election. With just one week to go before the DNC, they’re about to make it official.

UPDATE, 8/11/20, 4:30pm ET: Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. He announced the decision on Twitter, writing, “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate. Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

UPDATE, 12/3/19, 1:40pm ET: Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. Once one of the Democrats’ most promising candidates, her popularity waned in recent months as Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg moved significantly ahead of her in the polls. Despite qualifying for the December Democratic debate, the senator was struggling to gain donors and sufficient resources to continue the campaign, according to a staffer who spoke to CNN; dozens of staffers were laid off in November.

Shortly after informing her campaign staffers via phone call, she released a statement on Twitter: “To my supporters, it is with deep regret–but also with deep gratitude–that I am suspending my campaign today. But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.”

Harris’ 2020 co-candidates expressed their support on Twitter. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “My dear friend @KamalaHarris is a trailblazer. I’ve loved serving with her in the Senate and every moment we’ve run into one another on the trail. Her campaign broke barriers and did it with joy. Love you, sister. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tweeted, “Kamala is a good friend and incredibly strong public servant. Sometimes campaigns can tear friendships apart but we have grown closer. Her good work will continue.”

Kamala Harris
Senator Kamala Harris (Stefani Reynolds – CNP / MEGA)

ORIGINAL: Kamala Harris is already a remarkable woman and is ready to prove she’ll make a remarkable president. The California senator announced on Martin Luther King Day that she will be entering the 2020 presidential race as a democrat. The announcement came on the same week that Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to ever run for president, announced her candidacy 47 years ago. Here’s everything you need to know about 2020’s newest contender!

1. She started her political career as a district attorney.
Harris was San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 until she was elected California’s attorney general in 2010 and was the first woman of color to hold both positions. In 2008, when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential nomination to Barack Obama, The New York Times listed Harris, who was just a DA at the time, as one of the few women who “earned a reputation as a tough fighter” and “might just be president someday.”

2. She was elected to the Senate in 2016.
Harris was elected by the state of California in 2016, carrying all by four counties. Following her election, she promised she would protect immigrants for the policies of then-President-elect Donald Trump. She has since visited immigrant detention centers and have been outspoken against the current administration. She also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Select Committee On Intelligence and the Committee on Budget.

3. She was a target of the mail bombing attempts in October 2018.
A suspicious package addressed to Harris was intercepted by law enforcement officials at a Sacramento postal facility on October 26, 2018. It was believed to be sent by Cesar Sayoc, who was taken in to custody and accused of sending at least 12 other suspicious devices to CNN, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Clintons, and other key Democrats.

4. In addition to immigration reform, Harris is a supporter of gun control, environmental justice and the decriminalization of marijuana.
Harris is also an advocate for disaster relief, as she was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, charging the agency for neglecting displaced Puerto Ricans after the devastating hurricane. Additionally, she is against the death penalty and pro-choice. She also campaigned heavily against Prop 8 and Prop 22, and created a Hate Crimes Unit as the San Francisco DA to focus on hate crimes against LGBT children and teens in schools.

5. Harris was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father in Oakland, CA.
Harris is a California native, born to a Tamil Indian mother and Jamaican father. Kamala’s mother was a breast cancer scientist who immigrated to the US from Madras, and her father was an economics professor at Stanford, who immigrated from Jamaica in 1960.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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