Comments Tags Netflix’s Marvel Defenders shows were all canceled. Sarah Shatz/Netflix The sprawling beast that is Disney has, it turns out, a downside. Jeph Loeb, chief of Marvel TV, suggested he’d been left out of the loop when it came to Netflix canceling its Marvel TV shows, following the streamer’s breakup with Marvel TV overlord Disney.”The hardest part was while the situation at Netflix of which I really can’t go into other than to say that we were blindsided and the things that were to come weren’t finished yet,” Loeb said in an interview with Deadline published on Monday.In 2017 Disney dropped the bombshell that it would be pulling all its movies from Netflix by 2019 and not renewing its contract with the streamer. While it got on with plans for its own mammoth streamer, Netflix went on to cancel its Marvel TV shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher. The heroes in the first four of those shows had formed the groundbreaking Defenders crossover miniseries in 2017.Outside Netflix, many streamers that share Disney corporate parenthood currently host Marvel TV shows. Two of those on different platforms will see another groundbreaking crossover: Cloak & Dagger on Freeform and Runaways on Hulu.Loeb touched on what Marvel TV looks for in a streamer relationship. “A lot of times the reason why Marvel lands on a platform is because of the people. When they get it, when they want us,” Loeb said.Red flags come in the form of big agendas.”I’ve been on the other side of that, I’ve been the writer producer, who’s tried to work with the network, and there’s a whole agenda that’s going on that you don’t know anything about, you’re just making your show,” said Loeb, who’s written for Smallville and Heroes.In talking about Marvel TV’s embrace of animated shows, including the idea of an animated Deadpool, Loeb brought up the Defenders and confirmed he was putting together a team of heroes again but in the world of animation. This band of misfits, including Howard the Duck, will be known as the Offenders and have a place on Hulu. Loeb also confirmed Ghost Rider and Helstrom projects are in the pipeline.One thing Loeb had to clear up is that Marvel Studios, not Marvel Television, is in charge of all those Disney Plus shows coming out, like Loki and Hawkeye. He did confirm Marvel TV is going to do shows with Disney Plus, but has no announcements for us yet.Netflix and Disney did not have a comment, while Marvel TV have not yet responded to a request for comment. 7 Share your voice TV and Movies 2019 TV shows you can’t miss 50 Photos Marvel Netflix
Space scientists, for years, have been busy unlocking several mysteries of the solar system. Interestingly, when one gets solved, others pops up. Now, a new study conducted by NASA scientists has discovered a bizarre connection between a Mars-sized giant planet’s collision with the earth and the mysterious properties of the sun and the moon.The research led by Prabal Saxena, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, found that earth’s natural satellite contains several clues associated with the mysteries of the sun.”We didn’t know what the Sun looked like in its first billion years, and it’s super important because it likely changed how Venus’ atmosphere evolved and how quickly it lost water. It also probably changed how quickly Mars lost its atmosphere, and it changed the atmospheric chemistry of Earth,” said Prabal Saxena in a recently issued statement.The entire research conducted by scientists was based on the peculiar properties of the moon’s soil which contain less potassium and sodium when compared to the soil on the earth, even though both of them are made up of similar materials. An initial analysis led him to formulate a theory which suggests that a Mars-sized giant planet crashed into the earth 4 billion years ago, after the formation of natural satellites in the solar system.After the dreaded collision, materials could have gotten spewed into the orbit, and it later combined with the moon. Further simulations revealed that the sun’s rotation and flare activity has direct impacts on materials loaded with sodium and potassium on the lunar surface.”As you learn about other stars and planets, especially stars like our Sun, you start to get a bigger picture of how the Sun evolved over time. As you learn about other stars and planets, especially stars like our Sun, you start to get a bigger picture of how the Sun evolved over time,” added Saxena.The NASA scientist also suggested that scientists needed to explore deeper on the moon to unlock mysteries of the sun.
Road Accident logoAt least 30 people were injured when a bus plunged into the Bangshai river in Madhupur upazila of Tangail on Tuesday morning.The Dhaka-bound bus of Binimoy Paribahan plunged into the river in the area around 9:15am, said Madhupur police station and fire service officials saidThe injured were rushed to Madhupur Upazila Health Complex. Four of them then were taken to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital in critical condition, the police added.
Share Stacy ThreattIt’s that time again: time for Americans to figure out how, exactly, their presidential election works. “Electoral College” searches spike every four years, just before Election Day, according to Google … and the search volume is picking up right now.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016Long story short: To win the presidency, you don’t have to win the majority of the popular vote. You have to win the majority of electoral votes — that is, 270 of them.* In most states, a candidate wins electoral votes by winning the most voters.So. Win a state by just one vote, and you win all of its electoral votes (unless you live in Nebraska or Maine, which divvy up their votes a little differently).This can lead to off-kilter election results — in 2000, for example, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes, but lost the presidency by five electoral votes. So we wondered: Just how few votes would a candidate need to win 270 electoral votes?We decided to find out. A candidate only needs to win the 11 states with the most electoral votes to hit 270. Assuming only two candidates (a big assumption; see below) and that one candidate won all of those states by just one vote, and then didn’t win a single vote in any of the other states (or D.C.), how many votes would that candidate have to win? It depends on how you do the math. Either way, it’s far less than half.Initially when we did this story, we found that if you start with the biggest-electoral-vote states, the answer is 27 percent. However, we have an update: as Andrej Schoeke very nicely pointed out to us on Twitter, there’s another way to do it (via CGP Grey) that requires even less of the popular vote: start with the smallest-electoral-vote states. Our math went through a few iterations on this but by our final math, in 2012 that could have meant winning the presidency with only around 23 percent of the popular vote.The idea here is that a voter in a low-population state like Wyoming counts for a larger share of electoral votes than popular votes.And if one were to start with the largest states, it would be 27 percent. Here’s a look at that math:We’re making a lot of assumptions here — we’re using vote totals from 2012, for one thing. Moreover, we’re assuming there are only two candidates in the race.And let’s be clear about the obvious here: This kind of an extreme election isn’t going to happen. And if it did — if there were somehow a bunch of 1- or 2-vote wins, you can bet the recounts would stretch into 2017.And we’re also sure that with any number of tweaks to the math (like plugging in a third or fourth candidate), you could come up with results that are slightly-to-moderately different. But that’s not really the point here. The point is that the Electoral College can skew election results to a fantastic degree.How a 7-point win becomes a “landslide”This kind of popular-electoral vote discrepancy is why some articles about the 2008 election had to be careful to call Obama’s win an electoral landslide — he won 68 percent of the electoral vote but only about 53 percent of the popular vote.Skewed wins like this happen regularly in U.S. elections — a modest popular vote margin can yield a ridiculously large Electoral College margin. For example, in 1984, Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale in the popular vote by 18 points — a sizable gap, but nothing like the Electoral College walloping: Reagan won 525 electoral votes, beating Mondale by 95 percentage points.Here’s what those gaps look like in every election going back to 1960’s race, in which John F. Kennedy only squeaked past Richard Nixon in the popular vote by around 100,000 votes:Ironically, the 2000 election — whose outcome struck many people as unfair because Gore won the popular vote but not the electoral vote — also has the electoral-vote margin that most closely reflects the popular-vote margin. In that sense, one could call it one of the “fairest” elections in modern politics.Well, maybe. But then, come Nov. 9, there will be no difference for the losing candidate between getting 250 electoral votes or 150 — a loss is a loss.The difference an Electoral College makesThe Electoral College and current demographics mean that both parties often take particular electoral votes for granted: Democrats regularly win California and New York, while Republicans win Texas and Georgia (however, things have been closer than usual in those states this year).(Likewise, there are plenty of easy wins for each party at the low end of the spectrum. Wyoming is regularly Republican. Hawaii regularly votes Democratic.)And that means that candidates regularly spend a disproportionate amount of time in high-electoral-vote battleground states like Florida and Ohio as they plot their “paths to 270.” This means voters in Los Angeles or San Antonio (or Cheyenne or Honolulu) don’t get that much attention.If the Electoral College disappeared tomorrow, campaign strategy would probably shift dramatically; Democrats might campaign more in Austin, Texas. Republicans might do more outreach in conservative parts of California. Either way, the people of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania might get some respite from the onslaught of rallies and ads every four years, as candidates try harder to win bigger parts of the country.*Before you fire off an email, yes, we know: You can still win the presidency without winning 270 electoral votes. If no candidate hits 270, then the House votes. But we’re talking outright on election night.Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
– / 3The City of Houston is celebrating the LEED Gold certification for its new Traffic Operations building. According to figures released by the city, the facility is 23% more energy-efficient than the usual code-compliant building.The building features all-LED lighting and about 20% of the building materials were locally-sourced. Environmentally-friendly paints and flooring were used in the building’s construction. There’s also a stormwater treatment system.LEED certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. Certifications are granted at four levels — certified, silver, gold, and platinum.Houston City Council adopted LEED certification building standards in 2004. Several other city buildings have attained LEED gold certification, including the Houston Permitting Center and the Julia Ideson Library. Share
Share Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesPresident Trump presides over a meeting about immigration with Republican and Democratic members of Congress earlier this month.Updated at 3:20 p.m. ETThe federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.On Monday, Congress passed a stopgap spending bill that funds the government through Feb. 8, with Democrats crossing over to back the measure in exchange for assurances that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would bring an immigration bill to the floor. McConnell said he would pursue legislation to address the legal status of roughly 700,000 immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which will expire in March, as well as border security and other issues.President Trump weighed in on Twitter on Tuesday morning to congratulate his staff for their work over the past several days, after much chatter about how little the president himself was involved in the dealmaking. Trump also acknowledged the big task ahead on working out an immigration deal in 16 days.Thank you to General John Kelly, who is doing a fantastic job, and all of the Staff and others in the White House, for a job well done. Long hours and Fake reporting makes your job more difficult, but it is always great to WIN, and few have won more than us!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018Congress also needs to agree on a long-term funding plan, which is thought to be close at hand, but there are several reasons why finding a bipartisan solution on immigration is far from easy.To begin with, Trump has been inconsistent on what kind of immigration bill he would sign, despite an insistence otherwise from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday. The broad framework is that, in exchange for a permanent fix for DACA, the president wants funding for the border wall he touted frequently during the campaign, along with an end to what he calls chain migration — or legal immigrants bringing other family members to the U.S. — and an end to the visa lottery system.But when Trump held a bipartisan discussion with lawmakers earlier this month, he signaled that he would sign whatever bill Congress sent him, even if he wasn’t “in love with” it and that he would take any backlash from both sides. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that he offered Trump funding for his border wall on Friday, hours before the shutdown started, as part of a deal for DACA protections but that Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, later called to say the deal was off.Schumer reiterated Tuesday that the wall was now off the table, and argued that Trump’s inability to negotiate was what had led to the shutdown in the first place.Tensions were already inflamed after Trump reportedly used a vulgarity to refer to African countries and disparaged Haiti during a discussion of U.S. visa and immigration policies with a bipartisan group of senators earlier this month.On Monday, Sanders wouldn’t commit to Trump’s supporting a path to citizenship, instead of simply a legal status for the “DREAMers.” That is the common name given to those who are in the U.S. illegally after entering the country as children. For Democrats, and even some Republicans, a status short of citizenship could be a nonstarter.And even if a bill passes the Senate, it could have a much tougher time in the House, where Republicans say they will not be bound by any deal made in the Senate. The last time the Senate passed a major immigration overhaul bill, in 2013, it died a year later in the House.Trump did meet with six GOP senators on Monday to discuss “the next steps on responsible immigration reform.” That group included immigration hard-liners such as Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., who were not members of the bipartisan group that has been working to find a solution palpable to both sides. Not in attendance were Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who are part of the bipartisan group, but Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., who has spoken out in favor of protecting DACA recipients, was there.Graham — once a strident opponent of Trump’s who has developed a cozy relationship with the president over the past few months — said over the weekend that he is skeptical of many of the president’s advisers, especially White House senior policy aide Stephen Miller, who push Trump in a conservative direction on immigration as soon as he seems to want a compromise.The president also conferred with two conservative Democrats at the White House on Monday, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and the newly elected Doug Jones of Alabama. Upon returning to the Capitol, they said that specifics weren’t discussed but sounded optimistic that an immigration deal could be reached.“I think he’s very much committed to relieving this DACA challenge that we all have. I don’t think anyone wants to be in it, no one is insensitive about that. In talking with his chief of staff, Gen. Kelly, I’m just hopeful we can find that pathway forward. … The House is going to have to do their thing, but the Senate is in a position to move forward, and he’s hoping that they’ll come to something that they can all live with,” said Manchin, who faces a tough re-election campaign in November. He’s one of 10 Democrats running again in states that Trump won in 2016.Further direct talks with Trump may have to wait. He is slated to travel to Davos, Switzerland, this week for the World Economic Forum. The president’s first State of the Union address on Jan. 30 provides him a highly visible opportunity to expand on what he wants in a bill, just over a week before the critical deadline.While some Democrats and progressive groups said that Schumer “caved,” more moderate lawmakers expressed optimism that McConnell would keep his promise to bring a bill to the floor. That is despite the fact that he hasn’t yet fulfilled pledges to other lawmakers in exchange for their votes in December on the GOP tax bill.“It’s one thing to make a promise behind closed doors in a conversation. It’s another thing to be before C-SPAN and before the whole world saying, ‘I will bring a bill forward, it will be neutral, it will be an open, level playing field.’ That’s a commitment,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, told NPR’s All Things Considered on Monday.Speaking after Senate lunches on Tuesday, McConnell also stood behind his promise.“I intend to keep my word,” the majority leader said.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
UPDATED: A strange thing happened on the iTunes U.S. store on Monday (Nov. 5) when Kris Wu, a Chinese-Canadian actor and artist, practically swept the Top 10 songs chart. For much of the day and into the night, the only non-Wu track in the top five was Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next,” which had premiered amid much fanfare just ahead of “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 3. For an artist who was accustomed to topping the chart with every new release, it was a bitter pill for Grande to swallow. At the same time, it seemed curious that Wu, whose album “Antares” had yet to be released in China, would have such momentum on a U.S. chart. While he’s a household name in Asia, in America he’s comparably an unknown. Also, Wu’s tracks weren’t streaming in significant numbers which was reason enough for some industry insiders to cry foul. Popular on Variety Indeed, according to a well-placed insider, Wu’s album sales were acquired fraudulently and will not count toward the iTunes sales chart reported to Nielsen and disseminated by Billboard. The determination was made to “suppress those sales numbers” on Wednesday afternoon following patterns of high-volume purchases on iTunes, first of the explicit version of “Antares,” and then of the clean version.In a statement early Thursday, a rep for Nielsen (which publishes chart data in Billboard) said the data is under review: “Billboard and Nielsen Music are working closely to ensure both the accuracy and legitimacy of the sales volumes being reported for Kris Wu this week. We capture data from a number of sources including streaming, radio and retail, allowing us to validate the accuracy of sales and playback information as well as identify anomalies. As we do with all reports when irregularities are noticed during the normal weekly validation process, we work closely with our partners to address the issue, which may result in excluding any irregular or excessive sales patterns, prior to charts being finalized.”So how did this happen? According to insiders, there were several factors that contributed to Wu’s showing. First, his album hadn’t yet been released in China where the label purportedly purposely held it back so it could come out on Wu’s birthday, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Typically, albums come out on Fridays worldwide, as per the global release date change instituted in 2015. But in the U.S., it was already available on iTunes, released by Interscope Records on Nov. 2. What transpired was a classic supply and demand scenario where “supply in the U.S. met the demand in China.”This theory was supported by Ariana Grande manager Scooter Braun in an Instagram post early Thursday, relating a conversation he’d had with Wu. “Last night we had an opportunity to connect and talk and show respect,” he wrote. “It was explained to he and I last night that because his release was held back in China for his birthday his fans went and got the music any way they could and that was US Itunes. Once the release in China took place the fans had their access. He has never been removed from the charts on iTunes. That is false. Those were real people from the US and international community and not bots like many have rumored. I have never wished anything bad for Kris nor any other artist and those saying otherwise are wrong. Any fans of anyone I manage who are using this opportunity to spread any sort of division or racism are dead wrong and I won’t stand for it.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Still other insiders contend that Chinese fans were able to use VPN manipulation to access the U.S. iTunes store, noting that Spotify is not available in China, so it stands to reason that Wu devotees would resort to any method possible to support their favorite artist (Wu is also a graduate of boy band EXO), and that there are indeed that many diehards in the U.S. Still, the integrity of the iTunes store comes into question if such a VPN breach occurred. And an added anomaly: as soon as Wu’s album was available in China, his rank swiftly slipped on the U.S. iTunes chart to position No. 90. Where did all those U.S. fans go? (Apple declined comment.)Then there’s the issue of whether Wu’s sales would be counted towards Nielsen Music metrics, which power the Billboard charts. If “bots” weren’t a factor, an argument could be made for Wu to chart, or at least that it’s not Universal Music Group’s problem, which may still be the case in terms of keeping the money. But the explicit determination was made that sales acquired in such a matter are considered “fraud.” Spotify is not unsusceptible to these issues either, as Variety reported in August.UMG signed Wu earlier this year to release his music internationally, excluding Japan and Korea, through a partnership between Universal Music China, Interscope Geffen A&M in the U.S. and Island Records in the U.K., as well as UMG’s operations in more than 60 countries. UMG Greater China is headed by chairman/CEO Sunny Chang.All of this is not to say that Wu isn’t deserving of success. He enlisted some of the top hitmakers of the day for the album — the song “November Rain,” for example, features production by Murda Beatz (Drake, Migos), while other tracks credit Frank Dukes — and he’s already notched an iTunes No. 1 in the past, “Deserve,” featuring Travis Scott, which has racked up more than a billion streams (and is also on the track list for “Antares”). He’s also starred in such films as “XxX: Return of Xander Cage,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” and “Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back,” in addition to recently being named the face of Louis Vuitton. CREDIT: The Whale Report A comment from Universal Music China (to which Wu is signed, and with Interscope as the U.S. licensee) was less clear in translation, but according to the site SixTone it claims the chart numbers were “genuine and effective.”While it’s not hard to see how fans from China, with a population of more than 1.3 billion, could impact a chart so swiftly, it is less clear how those living in the famously curtained country, which doesn’t even have access to Twitter, able to make a purchase on a U.S. platform. Another source surmises that there was “a plan to game the U.S. system to gain traction in the U.S. and mobilize a new audience.” Ariana Grande tried to take things in stride — she did, after all, have a No. 1 on streaming service Apple Music, the first pop artist to top that tally, and “Thank u, next” currently sits comfortably atop the iTunes single chart — but her fans didn’t hold back, launching the hashtag #kriswho and pointing to Wu fan groups which had detailed instructions on how purchase individual tracks or download the album and make it count. Making matters a bit more awkward, both Grande and Wu are signed to UMG labels (Grande to Republic Records).Reps for Interscope and Republic have yet to respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.