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flood

As Floods Hit Pakistan, Millions Are In Search For Help

In over a decade, millions of Pakistanis are fighting for their lives and searching for aid as they are overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. 

Many authorities have claimed that this recent disaster and the scale of it could be considered a “serious climate catastrophe.”

With the recent flash flood on Friday, it destroyed at least 10 bridges, over a dozen buildings and killed nearly 75 people. 

“We’ve had to deploy the navy for the first time to operate in Indo-Pakistan, because much of it resembles a small ocean,” said Climate change minister Sherry Rehman.

The monsoon ended up affecting all four provinces of Pakistan. Almost a million homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, numerous roads can no longer be traveled on and electricity outages are everywhere.

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These damages have affected at least 33 million people throughout the entire country. 

According to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), the fatalities of this disaster have also continued to increase since mid-June up to at least 1,061 people and the fear continues to rise as more death follows.

“By the time this is over, we could well have one quarter or one third of Pakistan under water,” said Rehman. 

According to CNN, Foreign Minister Bilawal Butto-Zardari stated this past Sunday that this year’s monsoons in Pakistan have been “absoultely devastating.”

“I haven’t seen any destruction or devastation of this scale. I find it very difficult to put into words the phraseologies that we are used to, whether it’s monsoon rains or flooding, doesn’t quite seem to encapsulate the ongoing devastation and disaster that we are still witnessing.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has joined in to help for relief efforts by dropping off supplies via helicopter in areas that have been hard to reach either by boat or on foot.

“Visiting flood affected areas and meeting people. The magnitude of the calamity is bigger than estimated. Times demand that we come together as one nation in support of our people facing this calamity. Let us rise above our differences and stand by our people who need us today,” Sharif recently tweeted.

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The International Rescue Committee profit group reached out on Monday and stated that more than 30 million people were in “urgent need” because of the monsoons. 

The United States and United Kingdom governments have stated that they will pledge around $1 million in emergency relief and that the first wave of foreign aid will start to come into Pakistan on Monday to help citizens find some relief from the disastrous floods.

flight

Domestic Airfare To Drop 40% In Fall Months After Pricey And Demanding Summer Travel

After a summer that saw airline prices, staffing shortages, and flight cancellations abound, domestic travelers will get some much-needed relief this fall according to a new report by Hopper, the travel booking data platform.

According to Hopper, domestic airfare will drop to $286 in August, down 25% compared to May’s airfare and over 10% from July’s. Meanwhile, September and October will see drops of about 40% ($238 for a domestic round-trip) from the peak summer months.

Though that estimated price doesn’t match September 2021’s average domestic airfare of $225, it does beat out October of last year’s $240. Hopper noted this year’s August to October drop is abnormally large because of those high prices and earlier-than-usual travel demand peaks.

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International round-trip airfare, meanwhile, will decrease 19% ($179) to an average of $754 in September and October. It’s a massive drop, but unfortunately nowhere close to September ($641) and October ($706) of 2021.

Those prices are also helped by the fact that airlines are attempting to combat the slow season by offering better deals for travelers as a way to “incentivize travelers to plan one more trip before the holiday season,” Hopper explained.

“For travelers who held off on summer trips given the soaring airfares, this lower demand season can mean lower fares and less crowded tourist destinations!”

Among the most trending fall domestic destinations include Seattle ($419 average round-trip), Asheville, North Carolina ($313), Jackson, Wyoming ($460), Hilton Head, South Carolina ($315), and all cities in Hawaii ($500 and under).

As for international destinations, Sydney, Australia ($1,394), Tokyo, Japan ($1,333), Bali, Indonesia ($1,951), and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ($1,085) are all trending with flyers looking to explore the world while capitalizing on a deal.

Unfortunately, flyers don’t have much time to take advantage. October and November will see slow rises before airfare takes a gigantic boost to $368 in December, with last-minute holiday bookings sitting at $390.

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Travelers have had to bear the burden of airline shortcomings after the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the air travel industry. According to the Bureau of Transportation, 88,161 flights have been canceled already this year, over 55,000 more than in 2021.

While the number won’t come close to 2020’s 263,941 canceled flights, it already ranks higher than any yearly total from 2013 to 2019. Toward late July, Hopper reported travel delays had risen to 25% of departures, equaling more than 5,000 flights a day. They aren’t likely to subside anytime soon.

Of course, the high prices experienced just aren’t due to the multitude of airline struggles, but inflation as a whole. Airfare has suffered the second-worst 12-month price change with 27.7%, second behind gasoline (44.0%).

Even with the potential problems, taking advantage of decreased savings before they — and the tourists paying them — begin to ramp up again in the winter could be intriguing if you’ve been itching to add one more pin to your map of America or the world.

disney+

Sorry, Streamers: Disney+ Subscription Cost To Rise 38% In December

For many, multiple streaming subscriptions have become the norm – and unfortunately for you and your wallet, that might soon become challenging.

Disney has announced it will be raising the monthly ad-free subscription price of Disney+ to $10.99, a 38% increase, on Dec. 8th. To keep the same price, users will have to opt into an ad-based tier, which will launch on the same day.

In an analyst conference call, CFO Christine McCarthy voiced her confidence the increases won’t be a dealbreaker for subscribers. “We expect the ad tier to be popular and we expect some people to want to stay with ad-free,” she said.

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Disney also noted Hulu will see its price raised by $2 to $14.99 on Oct. 10th, while the ad-based tier will see a $1 increase, from $6.99 to $7.99. The entertainment giant offers a bundle of ad-free Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $13.99 a month, which will also raise $1 to $14.99. Like the other increases, you can opt to keep the price the same, but all subscriptions will come with ads.

The company had previously upped Disney+’s ad-free tier from $6.99 to $7.99 back in 2021 after bursting out onto the streaming screen in November 2019, passing the number of expected subscribers within its first year.

That torrent pace — fueled by shows like “The Mandalorian” — continues to see ups, with Disney+ scoring over 14.4 million more subscribers than expected this past quarter, bringing it to 152 million total (a 31% year-over-year change).

The long-term forecast isn’t as pleasant. Disney now expects the service to reach around 215 million to a maximum of 245 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, a lowered estimate that was originally pegged around 230 million to 260 million two years ago.

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Disney and CEO Bob Chapek’s reasoning for the increase is that it’s a necessary evil to match their increased content, which includes “Star Wars” and Marvel. “We believe, because of that increase in investment over the past two-and-a-half years relative to a very good price point, that we have plenty of room on price value,” Chapek said at an earnings call Wednesday.

Disney+ is also adding further content thanks to the acquisition of Fox studio, which will see R-rated movies like “Logan” and “Deadpool” hit the screens. It’s certainly a change of pace for both the service and company, both of which emphasize their family-friendly brand.

Chapek previously admitted it was a surprise to see how many adult-only households have a Disney+ subscription.

“We knew that we had interest in those general entertainment offerings, but didn’t really realize how important they could be towards our overall proposition, if you will.”

However, the price tick is also Disney attempting to compensate for the financial losses that continue to pile up. Direct-to-consumer operating income losses for the third quarter soared to $1.1 billion, up from $293 million a year ago.

Despite the subpar revenues and hits, Disney now ranks over main rival Netflix in terms of total subscribers across all their platforms by 400,000 with 221.1 million. Subscription tiers also remain lower than Netflix’s, which cost $9.99 for ad-supported streaming and $15.49 for HD, ad-free streaming.

trump

Donald Trump Pleads The Fifth, Won’t Answer New York Attorney General’s Questions

In a statement, former President Donald Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment and will not answer any questions under oath in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump explained.

“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

Trump was seen leaving Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday morning, with his motorcade arriving at the attorney general’s office shortly after. Pleading the fifth means that Trump will not have to give a testimony in his own case, one that could be potentially damning.

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The decision comes days after Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was raided by the FBI, which he referenced. “If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago… wiped out any uncertainty,” the statement read.

Trump’s lengthy statement directed numerous attacks on James, who he claimed has made a career of “maliciously attacking me and my business.”  “James now realizes I built a great company with tremendous value, and her case is a ‘Scam,'” Trump said. “Which is why for years, they haven’t been able to file a single charge.”

“Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her Office spend a big percentage of their time and money on their ‘Trump’ vendatta.”

James’ civil investigation sprouts from claims that the Trump Organization misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses in order to get better insurance and loan rates. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was charged with tax fraud last summer, to which he pleaded not guilty.

In May, James’ office stated the investigation was nearing its end, and that they had collected a substantial amount of evidence – enough to support a lawsuit against Trump, his company, or both parties.

Trump has made numerous attempts to impede the investigation, from refusing to comply with OAG subpoenas to issuing now-dismissed lawsuits. “No one in this country can pick and choose how the law applies to them, and Donald Trump is no exception,” James said.

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Trump’s children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric have both previously testified, with Eric invoking the Fifth more than 500 times during his 2020 deposition. Both Donald Jr. and Ivanka have testified recently, though it’s unknown whether either invoked the Fifth.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the Mar-a-Lago probe — which focused on whether Trump took any classified records from his time in the White House — is a predecessor to criminal charges. What specific documents agents were looking for is unknown.

However, Mar-a-Lago isn’t a new hotspot for legal trouble for Trump. The National Archives and Records Administration had previously confirmed to the Department of Justice in February that classified information had been found in 15 boxes at Trump’s Florida home.

monkeypox

U.S. Declares Monkeypox A Public Health Emergency

On Thursday, the federal government declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak — which has now affected 7,012 Americans — a public health emergency in an attempt to help strengthen responses. With that declaration, additional money will be directed toward resources for the virus.

“Ending the monkeypox outbreak is a critical priority for the Biden-Harris Administration,” Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra explained in a release.

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“With today’s declaration we can further strengthen and accelerate our response further,” Becerra said. “We urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus.”

White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator Robert Fenton emphasized the strategies being deployed against monkeypox are helped by prior learning experiences with outbreaks, such as COVID-19.

“We are applying lessons learned from the battles we’ve fought – from COVID response to wildfires to measles, and will tackle this outbreak with the urgency this moment demands.”

HHS is now able to utilize emergency funds and hire or assign staff to deal with the outbreak. The department also noted work being done in concert with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will help to provide the Jynneos monkeypox vaccinations across the country.

The partnership plans to utilize a “new dose-sparing approach that could increase the number of doses available, up to five-fold.” This sparsing would be accomplished through a shallower injection than the one recommended for Jynneos.

However, the approach would need approval from regulators and another declaration from the federal government altering guidelines on vaccine administration.

The announcement comes as vaccines are seeing struggles with availability. Minnesota has just 3,000 of the 90,000 vaccines needed to help those most at-risk, while California has received just around 37,000 of the 800,000 requested.

Health officials also have concerns that should the shortage not be addressed immediately and effectively, the virus could become far more widespread, marking it as the second public health disaster in a span of over two years.

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HHS has shipped over 602,000 doses of the vaccine, a number that’s up 266,000 from last week, bringing the total amount of allocated vaccines to 1.1 million. The department also announced it’s ordered an additional 150,000 vaccines, which are expected to arrive in September. Similar to most COVID-19 vaccines, Jynneos requires two doses, 28 days apart.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) case count, as of Thursday, New York continues to lead all states in cases with 1,748. California sits second with 826 cases, while Florida is third with 577. Just two out of the 50 states (Wyoming and Montana) have no reported cases.

California, New York, and Illinois all declared public health emergencies last week, as did the cities of New York City and San Francisco. Despite the rising cases, no Americans have died, though several deaths have been reported in other countries. In recent times, monkeypox fatality rates have ranged from 3% to 6%.

Monkeypox had previously been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in late July following a substantial global increase. Worldwide, over 26,800 cases in more than 70 countries have been confirmed.

roomba

Amazon Acquires Roomba Maker iRobot For $1.7 Billion

On Friday, commerce titan Amazon announced it acquired iRobot, the maker of the Roomba vacuum, for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will equal a total of $1.7 billion.

“We know that saving time matters, and chores take precious time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,” Amazon Devices Senior Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive – from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin.”

iRobot CEO and chairman Colin Angle, who will hold his position upon completion of the acquisition, explained he couldn’t think of a better way for the company to continue its work than Amazon, which promotes “building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home.”

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iRobot is the latest — and fourth-heftiest price-wise — in a long line of big-money Amazon acquisitions. In 2017, it purchased grocer Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, while it acquired film studio MGM for $8.5 billion last year. Last month, the company announced a $3.9 billion deal for One Medical.

The deal will still need approval from regulators and iRobot shareholders in order to go through. Following the news, iRobot’s midday trading rose 19%, while Amazon was down 1.4%.

The circular, self-guiding Roomba became a household name after its debut in the early 2000s, selling more than 40 million units. Thanks to that level of success, iRobot continued to work the market by introducing its robot mop, in addition to other products like purifiers.

The company has planned to expand to lawn work by debuting its robot lawnmower — known as the Terra — though plans for it were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately for Roomba and its maker, sales prior to the Amazon deal had been significantly waning due to a variety of issues. Its third-quarter revenue saw a 30% drop to $255.4 million, with a net loss that jumped from 2.8 million a year ago to $43.4 million.

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Meanwhile, the company said it would be cutting 10% — 140 employees — from its workforce in order to combat rising costs.

For Amazon, Roomba adds to their impressive arsenal of smart home appliances that includes voice assistant Alexa and Ring security cameras. Perhaps the best companion for Roomba will be the $1000 Astro home monitoring robot, which Amazon brought into the fold last year.

The Roomba will likely be undergoing major changes in order to better connect with its new electronic relatives and the general smart household infrastructure Amazon has strived to build.

“It is easy to see how Amazon will integrate products like Roomba into the Alexa and Prime ecosystems, so that people have one central point of monitoring and control for many tasks and activities,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders told CNN.

Still, the deal isn’t free of concerns. With Amazon’s ever-evolving home device collection comes questions on data collection and privacy, especially since so many of their products are used by the daily consumer.  Additionally, the company’s hold over not just the smart home market, but several major commerce industries, has also faced frequent criticism from anti-monopoly advocates.

flag

Following Trip, Nancy Pelosi Offers Support To Taiwan Despite Threats, Criticism

Following a trip to Taiwan that made her the first U.S. Speaker to visit the country in more than 25 years, Nancy Pelosi voiced her and her delegation’s continued support despite the trip heightening tensions between China and the U.S.

While Pelosi didn’t state the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily, it’s “committed to the security of Taiwan, in order to have Taiwan be able to most effectively defend themselves.” Pelosi also brushed off threats from Beijing, explaining they will not stand in the way of people visiting the self-governing nation.

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Pelosi arrived in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei late Tuesday and was greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister, amongst other Taiwan and American officials. Among Pelosi’s delegation include Reps. Gregory Meeks, Andy Kim, Mark Takano, and Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi explained America’s solidarity with Taiwain is more important than ever as the world faces a choice “between democracy and autocracy.”

“America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.”

While members of Congress have visited Taiwan in recent years, Pelosi’s high standing in the government has added further fuel to a conflict centered around China’s belief it controls Taiwan as its territory while discouraging Taiwanese foreign relations with other countries.

Pelosi went deeper into China’s grip on Tawainese global relations. “Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party,” she stated.

In response to Pelosi’s visit, China announced military exercises around the island and in Taiwan waters that sit 12 miles from the shore. Not only will they disrupt supply and airplane routes, but some of those exercises are also set to include live fire, which experts explained can sometimes be seen as an act of war.

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The People’s Liberation Army air force flew 21 airplanes toward Taiwan the night of Pelosi’s arrival, while an additional 27 crafts were flown Wednesday night. “Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,” Tsai stated in regards to Bejing’s intimidation.

“We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense for democracy.”

Despite Pelosi’s expressed commitment, the U.S. will continue to abide by the long-standing “one-China policy,” which maintains that Taiwan is a part of China. However, the policy also allows unofficial relations with Taipei.

Though having cautioned against the notable visit, the Biden Administration stated Pelosi’s trip — and Tawainese comments — are consistent with U.S. policies, while China will now be watched carefully after Pelosi’s visit.

For the U.S., the China-Taiwan tensions are just one of several continuing global conflicts the country finds itself in the heart of. Russia’s defense ministry claimed the U.S. is “directly involved” in the Ukraine conflict due to American spies coordinating and approving Ukraine missile strikes.

Following stops at Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan, Pelosi then flew to a South Korean military base Wednesday before meeting with officials and leaders in Seoul. She plans to then visit Japan as part of her Indo-Pacific region trip that is focusing on the “mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance” of the region.

amazon

Illinois Amazon Warehouse Employees Allege Racially Hostile Work Environment 

Employees at an Amazon warehouse in Joliet, Illinois have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the company. The employees are alleging that they’ve experienced corporate abuse, racial discrimination, and retaliation. 

According to the official complaint, which was filed Tuesday, a group of Black employees have cited confederate imagery on coworkers clothing, racist death threats written in bathroom stalls, and an overall lack of security/accountability from management to combat the issue. The employees are stating that they’ve been in a racially hostile work environment since late 2021. 

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Tamra Holder is the institutional abuse and women’s rights attorney representing the group. Holder stated that the group is now seeking monetary compensation for emotional duress caused by stressful working conditions, in addition to a change in workplace and acknowledgement of the issue at hand. 

“We don’t know what that amount comes to at this point. But I can tell you that after working in a climate where it’s racially hostile, people are experiencing extreme emotional distress,” Holder said to the media. 

“Our message to Amazon is that their behavior after our cases come to light is only increasing our damages because people are becoming more afraid rather than less.”

Holder also explained that employees have become hesitant to speak out any more regarding these claims due to fear of retaliation from management, especially since the case is receiving media attention now. 

“They are allegedly telling their employees that if they speak out, they will be fired because they signed an agreement to remain silent,” Holder said.

Holder says “former MDW2 employee Tori Davis was the first to make contact with [her] about the warehouse’s work environment.”

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Davis claimed that the death threats were dismissed by Amazon, and she was fired earlier this month after raising concern over the racial issues her and other employees have been experiencing. 

“They were trying to sweep it under the rug. The way that this situation was handled, it was strange,” Davis stated. 

A spokesperson for Amazon, Richard Rocha, issued a statement:

“Amazon works hard to protect our employees from any form of discrimination and to provide an environment where employees feel safe. Hate or racism have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated by Amazon,” the statement read.

Holder said she “plans to do everything in my power to see the complaint through and ensure that my clients’ voices are heard.”

“I think that they had an opportunity here to make it better. And instead they’re taking a very, very different aggressive stance to make it worse. They are not too big for me and they are not too big for the people that I represent…We are not going away,” she exclaimed.

baseball

MLB Trade Deadline: Which Pitchers Or Hitters Could Be On The Move?

With the MLB trade deadline only a week away, contenders will be looking to cash in players that can help to push them over the line. There are a number of notable names this year, and even one generational superstar, that are seeing their names frequently mentioned throughout the rumor mill.

Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas Headline The Pitching Market

For pitching needy teams, this is an extremely solid market. One of the biggest reasons why is because of controllability: both Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo and Oakland’s Frankie Montas will be eligible for arbitration in 2023 before hitting free agency in 2024, giving teams an extra year of control.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, both will “almost certainly move in the next week.” Passan also notes the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, and New York Yankees have been the teams in the hottest pursuit.

Both Castillo and Montas have impressed despite the below-average teams around them. Castillo carries a 2.77 ERA and 3.04 FIP in 78.0 innings, while Montas comes in with a 3.18 ERA and 3.36 FIP across 104.2 innings.

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With those performances and financial factors comes a much-higher cost. A package centering around a top-100 prospect or two would almost certainly be needed. For teams attempting to boost their talent while keeping the farm system intact, a number of pitchers could be of interest.

Among the potential targets listed by Passan include Nathan Eovaldi, Noah Syndergaard, and Jose Quintana. All have ERAs in the high 3.00s, solidify back-of-the-rotation depth, and wouldn’t cost as much in terms of prospects due to their rental status.

Will Juan Soto Be On The Move? Probably Not

By far the biggest name on the hot stove is Washington Nationals’ star outfield Juan Soto. After rejecting a $440 million dollar contract, it’s clear Washington and Soto have no future together, and recouping as much value for the 23-year-old right now would seem to be a wise, though hard to swallow, decision.

The only problem? It remains to be seen if a team will actually pay.

This year, he’s in the 98th percentile in xwOBA, 91st in max exit velocity, and 100th in BB%. Soto’s stats, age, and career trajectory suggest he’ll be a Hall of Fame player. Naturally, Washington is seeking a package of at least several valued prospects or young, MLB-ready talent.

Only two teams — the Cardinals and San Diego Padres — are seen by league insiders who could be a match with that criteria. While Washington could perhaps let up its value asking price, the reality will likely be the team feels out the market and does the deed in the offseason.

Cubs Looking To Sell Ian Happ, Willson Contreras

The Chicago Cubs are once again in sell-mode. After a solid trade deadline last year — acquiring a bevy of prospects for names like Kris Bryant and Javier Baez — they’ll try to replicate the result with catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ.

Contreras, a three-time All-Star, is having a solid hitting year (14 home runs, .373 slugging percentage) but Passan notes some teams are wary. “Multiple teams, sources said, worry about Contreras — who is not known for his game-calling acumen — meshing with a new pitching staff on the fly,” he said.

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Of course, this is a new-look MLB, which helps Contreras’ case. With DH now in the NL, teams could acquire Contreras for his bat and give him occasional starts at catcher.

Meanwhile, Ian Happ has had a revival, batting .282/.366/.446 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs. Happ is controllable for 2023, is young (he turns just 28 next month), has solid defensive skills, and is a switch-hitter (he’s hitting .346 against left-hand pitching as a right-handed batter).

Among the other batters who could be moved include Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi and Mike Moustakas (though with the latter likely as a salary dump), Washington’s Josh Bell, and Baltimore’s Trey Mancini.

hulu

Following Backlash, Hulu Will Begin To Accept Political Advertisements

After facing political backlash from Democratic leaders following their rejection of advertisements on hotly contested topics like abortion, gun control, and the Jan. 6 insurrection, Hulu is now going back on their decision and announced they will allow the ads, effective immediately.

“After a thorough review of ad policies across its linear networks and streaming platforms over the last few months, Disney is now aligning Hulu’s political advertising policies to be consistent with the Company’s general entertainment and sports cable networks and ESPN+,” Disney, the owner of Hulu, told Axios on Wednesday.

With the acceptance, Hulu is now more aligned with other Disney properties like ESPN and FX Networks. However, Disney also stated they still reserve the right to ask clients for edits or alternative creative “in alignment with industry standards.”

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The ads, which run on other popular media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, NBCUniversal, and Roku, were originally rejected by the service back on July 15, according to The Washington Post. The Democratic campaign groups attempting to place the ads on Hulu, as well as ABC and ESPN, were told the rejection was for “content-related” issues.

According to Hulu’s advertisement guidelines, advertisements that take “a position on a controversial issue of public importance (e.g. social issues)” are not allowed. The streamer’s guidelines also note that political ads are reviewed on a “case-by-case basis.”

Hulu had previously forced New York congressional candidate Suraj Patel to cut abortion and gun control topics from his advertisements earlier this month and replace them with “non-sensitive issues” like climate change and education.

“Our path to victory runs through making sure we can reach so many of these disaffected younger people,” Patel told Jezebel. “This ad is a very important part of that, and Hulu is an incredibly important part of reaching that audience.” Patel’s campaign team sent Hulu a letter demanding them to end their “unwritten policy” on “censoring” a campaign advertisement before it could be aired.

“We are at an absolutely critical time in our nation’s history. How are voters supposed to make informed choices if their candidates cannot talk about the most important issues of the day?”

Responses on social media aimed at Hulu’s latest rejection were particularly intense and widespread, with #BoycottHulu hitting the number one spot on Twitter Tuesday morning.

“Hulu’s censorship of the truth is outrageous and offensive. Voters have the right to know the facts about MAGA Republicans’ extreme agenda on abortion – Hulu is doing a huge disservice to the American people,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) tweeted.

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Unlike regular broadcast channels, which are bound by the FCC to run spots from candidates, streamers have more flexibility when it comes to both the issues at hand, as well as the candidates attempting to advertise.