Liberals are urging voters to move to Georgia to vote in the January Senate runoff elections. But they may want to think twice. Moving to Georgia for a short time just to vote is against state law.
How long a new arrival has to stay in the state without breaking the law is not clear, according to reports. This week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declined to support fellow Republicans’ push for a special session to make voting rules more strict ahead of the runoff elections, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“I hope everybody moves to Georgia, you know, in the next month or two, registers to vote and votes for these two Democratic senators,” New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman told CNN on Monday night.
“These run-offs will decide which party controls the Senate, and this, whether we’ll have any hope of a large stimulus/climate bill. If you have the means and fervor to make a temporary move to GA, believe anyone who registers by Dec 7 can vote in these elections,” Intelligencer’s Eric Levitz wrote in a now-deleted tweet that was captured by Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy.
Such suggestions come as the battle for power in the Senate hinges on two runoff elections in Georgia, where the Republican incumbents are fighting to stay in office.
“I’ve seen people saying they’ll move to Georgia, but it’s a lot more difficult than they think,” Eddie Zipperer, assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, said. “It would be very dangerous and, ultimately, I presume, not worth it.”
“You would have to set up a residence with your name on it, receive utility bills with your name on it. … All just to get a Georgia license,” Zipperer said. “It would make more sense for people to donate to the campaign.”
Politicians and celebrities are expected to converge on Georgia to turn out the vote.
“My understanding, I learned last night, is they’re even inviting people to move here to come vote,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said at an event for Senator Kelly Loeffler in Georgia on Wednesday, His statement prompted boos from the crowd.
One-time presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said he would move to Georgia to push for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
“Great news #yanggang – Evelyn and I are moving to Georgia to help Ossoff and Reverend Warnock win!” Yang wrote on Twitter. “This is our only chance to clear Mitch [McConnell] out of the way and help Joe [Biden] and Kamala [Harris] get things done in the next 4 years. More details to come but let’s go!!!”
Yang did not address whether he’ll register to vote in Georgia.
North Carolina’s Senate contest just made history as the most expensive Senate race ever, with more than $230 million spent on advertising alone. But the Georgia races could blow that out of the water, Zipperer said.
“What’s going to pose the biggest problem is going to be all manner of outside money coming in,” he said. “If I were a Republican, I’d be much more concerned about outside money coming in than outside people coming in.”
Both conservative and liberal groups are announcing big spending in Georgia.
Conservative Super PAC Club for Growth Action announced Wednesday that it will spend at least $10 million there.
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ organization, Fair Fight, has raised a whopping $9.8 million since Friday amid the runoff elections. Fair Fight confirmed the haul to Fox News and said the cash will be split three ways: the organization and both Democratic Senate candidates.
Longtime Republican pollster Frank Luntz says his industry is “done” after major forecasts were way off in projecting outcomes in the 2020 election.
As numbers continue rolling in for the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Luntz told Axios, “The political polling profession is done.”
He added, “It is devastating for my industry.”
National polls leading up to Election Day showed Biden held an advantage over Trump, but the two candidates were neck and neck out of the gate and remained in a heated battle. It is so close that lawsuits were already filed.
The Hill pointed out that “beyond the presidential election…many pollsters were projecting that Democrats would gain House seats and the Senate majority,” adding, “instead, it appears that Republicans will gain House seats and that the party has a strong chance of keeping control of the Senate.”
On Twitter, Luntz pointed out the fact that GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) was behind challenger Sara Gideon (D) in 14 major polls as Nov. 3 approached, but ended up winning by several points. He called the widespread inaccuracy “a systemic failure.”
‘My profession is done’
Nearly two weeks ago, Luntz told Fox News that if President Trump wins and defies the polls as he did in 2016, his “profession is done.”
“I hate to acknowledge it, because that’s my industry — at least partially — but the public will have no faith, no confidence.” Luntz told Fox News anchor Bret Baier. “Right now, the biggest issue is the trust deficit.”
He added, “Pollsters did not do a good job in 2016. So, if Donald Trump surprises people, if Joe Biden had a 5- or 6-point lead, my profession is done.”
Luntz issued an apology to fellow pollster John McLaughlin on Wednesday, saying McLaughlin beat “mainstream pollsters” with his predictions that Trump would have a strong showing in “key Rust Best states.”
Luntz had earlier said of McLaughlin’s projections: “I don’t believe it. But if he’s right, he’s a genius. If he’s wrong, I wonder if he’ll ever work again.”
During an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Luntz was asked if he was surprised by the outcomes of the election thus far.
“My single biggest surprise is not something that you guys have been talking about, which is that it looks like the Republicans will keep control of the Senate,” he replied.
“My second biggest surprise,” he continued, “is that the pollsters at CNN and a few other places have not apologized for the numbers that are completely wrong.”
Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, asked students to identify themselves by race, and then segregated them into different orientation sessions according to their identity.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) investigated the situation after a professor brought it to their attention. The foundation called on the school to commit to never offering such sessions again, as they conflict with the law.
“Racial segregation is not only morally wrong, it’s illegal on our nation’s college campuses,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “Lewis & Clark must end this practice immediately and publicly commit to never again returning to that dark chapter of our nation’s history.”
As FIRE reported, the college partnered with Race Talks, a “social justice activism” group, to run a mandatory orientation workshop on race titled “Engage for Racial Justice.”
The workshop used “affinity groups as a way to create safe spaces for people to speak openly and honestly about race and racism.” Students were required to identify themselves by race and were given three options: black, Indigenous/people of color, and white.
They were then separated into different Zoom session for what FIRE described as “separate educational experiences,” which unlawfully limited “their ability within the program to engage with students of different races.”
As the organization noted, Supreme Court cases, federal laws, and even Lewis & Clark’s own policies prohibit treating students differently based on their race.
The orientation was first brought to FIRE by Lyell Asher, an associate professor of English at Lewis & Clark, who said he received no response from college administrators when he suggested the event at least should not be mandatory. FIRE wrote a letter to the school, demanding the college stop “reducing students to the sum of their blood and ancestry” by mandating attendance to racially segregated events.
Lewis & Clark general counsel David Reese responded to FIRE’s letter by claiming even though the event was labeled as being mandatory, attendance wasn’t taken and students wouldn’t have been punished for not attending. He did not explain how students were supposed to know this ahead of time. Reese did suggest it be made clearer in the future that such “mandatory” events are actually “optional.”
Reese also wrote that “[s]tudents were not provided a different educational experience or outcome based on race, they simply had different individual conversations before coming back together as a larger group.”
FIRE maintained that this was “an unacceptable response — legally and morally.”
“Mandatory racial segregation isn’t wrong because FIRE or a professor finds it objectionable — it’s wrong because it means that your ethnicity alone determines the education you receive,” Shibley said. “That it was just a little segregation, that ‘mandatory’ actually means ‘optional,’ or that the college meant well is no defense.”
“I find it hard to believe that Lewis & Clark’s top leadership didn’t know that segregation was wrong, and harder still to understand why they went right on subjecting students to this unlawful practice after Professor Asher flagged the issue,” Shibley added. “You have to wonder what else might be going on at Lewis & Clark.”
A family of seven, which included four children, were pepper-sprayed by violent rioters on Sunday while participating in a “Jews For Trump” rally in New York City.
A spokesperson for the New York Police Department said 11 people were taken into custody after the rally descended into chaos and violence Sunday afternoon. Six people were charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of government administration, and harassment. A seventh person was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, the NYPD said Monday.
A convoy of hundreds of cars draped with American flags and “Trump 2020” banners rolled slowly through Manhattan and Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon. The caravan traveled from Coney Island to the Trump Tower in Manhattan before heading to a rally in a Brooklyn park.
At one point, fights broke out between supporters and opponents of the president.
A member of the family that was pepper-sprayed told Fox News that the attack was unprovoked and happened while the family was driving down Fifth Avenue with the car windows down and Trump flags displayed.
The man wished to remain anonymous, fearing his family could be targeted. He said a car pulled up next to them and unleashed pepper spray into their vehicle.
“Immediately the kids started crying and screaming and I jumped out of the car after I was peppered [sic] sprayed as well,” the man said.
The man said the attacker chased him down the street trying to pepper-spray him again. His mother flagged down an officer and the suspect was arrested.
The man said that the kids “are now left traumatized” and still “coughing from” the residue.
The encounter was one of many violent confrontations between the rally’s participants and protesters. The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that a convoy was to take place in several Orthodox Jewish communities ahead of a planned event in Brooklyn’s Marine Park. The event was organized by Boris Epshteyn, an adviser to the Trump campaign and co-chair of Jewish Voices for Trump.
Multiple disturbing video clips of the convoy posted on @NYScanner show crowds not taking too kindly to rows of vehicles with hoisted “Trump 2020” flags.
In one video, a man can be seen throwing eggs at the convoy in Brooklyn.
In another video, pedestrians can be seen throwing rocks at vehicles displaying a Trump flag.
The hostility lingered throughout the day. In multiple clips, people can be heard yelling expletives at the “Jews For Trump” participants.
One man on a bike appears to be so angry that the “pro-Trump” vehicles have congested traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge that he resorts to punching a window.
Later, a scuffle broke out between the pro- and anti-Trump crowd in the middle of a street. Masked protesters could be seen in one clip converging on a vehicle doused in red paint as “YMCA” is blasting in the background.
“Go home! We don’t you here!” somebody in the crowd shouts.
“Go back to Long Island!” another person shouts.
A video posted on Twitter shows a pro-Trump caravan led by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani being pelted with eggs.
In the clip, Giuliani can be seen rolling down the window from the passenger side of a vehicle. He briefly speaks to a police sergeant before the car drives away. Protesters can be heard shouting expletives at the former mayor.
Several police officers can be seen struggling to separate the opposing sides before slapping handcuffs on a bicyclist.
The fight between the opposing sides continued as people brawled between a traffic divider. In the confusion, a masked protester appears to strike a Trump supporter on the head. As the masked culprit tries to run away, another person trips him, causing him to fall and slam his head into the ground.
Police later declared the gathering an unlawful assembly. One of the people arrested on Sunday, a 36-year-old homeless man identified as Devan Harris, is accused of throwing eggs in two police officers’ faces and then resisting arrest, the NYPD said.
Chief Terence Monahan said later Sunday that NYPD detectives are investigating the rock-throwing incident.
A court document containing detailed information about Ghislaine Maxwell and her relationship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was unsealed on Thursday morning in New York just moments before a court-imposed deadline.
This document, an April 2016 deposition, is among about a dozen long-awaited Maxwell files that have been unsealed, with the first filing involving Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer alleging the British socialite avoided a question “about allegedly ‘adult’ sexual activity related to Jeffrey Epstein.”
She also tried to distance herself from and play down links between Epstein and former US president Bill Clinton, who had used the financier’s private plane.
And Maxwell claimed she did not introduce Britain’s Prince Andrew to minor sex partners, in the tense and defensive deposition that was part of a civil case. While the name is redacted in this deposition, the description of events involving this redaction echoes claims involving Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
Maxwell was also asked at the time about speculation that Epstein may have performed shady financial work for the US and possibly the Israeli governments.
She also provided additional information on her romantic ties to Epstein and how he provided her with financial assistance. Asked if she had considered herself Epstein’s girlfriend, Maxwell replied: “That’s a tricky question. There were times when I would have liked to think of myself as his girlfriend.”
In the deposition, Maxwell denied inviting under-18s to Epstein’s homes, except, she said, the children of friends in a social setting, but fudged on whether she “brought” Giuffre as a 17-year-old to Epstein’s home.
“Virginia Roberts [as her name was then] held herself out as a masseuse and invited herself to come and give a massage,” Maxwell said.
Under further questioning, she had added: “She was a masseuse and in the form and as my job, I was to have people who he wanted for various things including massage. She came as a masseuse.”
The unsealing of Maxwell’s deposition, which she had given during past civil litigation involving Giuffre, came after an appeals panel ruled it could be released, and a lower court urged a swift unsealing.
Maxwell’s lawyers failed to persuade the US second circuit court of appeals panel of judges to overturn Manhattan federal court judge Loretta Preska’s July ruling to release the 418 pages of sworn testimony. The appeals judges decided on Monday that Preska rightly determined that the public had a right to access the documents.
Sigrid McCawley, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, who represents Giuffre, praised the unsealing. “This is a long time coming and a welcome step towards revealing the evidence of the scope and scale of the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking ring. The public should know today’s unsealing is only a small part of the total evidence,” McCawley said in a statement. “As the evidence comes out, it will be clear why Ms Maxwell and others who enabled Jeffrey Epstein are fighting so hard to keep it concealed. As our client Virginia Giuffre bravely asserts, they did not act alone.”
In the civil case where this deposition originated, Giuffre maintained that Maxwell drew her into Epstein’s circle as a teen, under the false pretenses of providing work as a masseuse. Giuffre alleged that Maxwell and Epstein pressured her to engage in sex with rich and powerful men, such as Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Giuffre’s 2015 civil action said that Maxwell defamed her in claiming she was a liar for alleging the pair participated in sexual impropriety. Prince Andrew has adamantly denied Giuffre’s claims.
Maxwell, who was arrested in July for alleged sexual crimes, conspiracy and perjury involving Epstein, argued in court papers that unsealing the deposition from this old civil case “will lead to a violation of [her] due process right to a fair trial by an impartial jury” in her criminal proceedings. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty in her criminal case. The Manhattan US attorney’s office used her deposition – which Maxwell believed was confidential – in its perjury accusation against her in the criminal case, claiming she lied under oath. Maxwell, meanwhile, in her 2016 deposition, denied that she and Bill Clinton – who is among the rich and powerful men who interacted with Epstein – were together on a Caribbean island with the late sex offender.
In this portion of unsealed documents, Maxwell avoided giving specifics on Epstein and Clinton’s relationship.
“This is a subject of defamation about Virginia and the lies she has told and one of the lies she told was that President Clinton was on the island where I was present. Absolutely 1,000% that is a flat-out total fabrication and lie.”
“You did fly on planes, Jeffrey Epstein’s planes with President Clinton, is that correct?” she was asked.
“I have flown, yes,” she replied.
“Would it be fair to say that President Clinton and Jeffrey are friends?” Giuffre’s lawyers asked.
“I wouldn’t be able to characterize it like that, no,” Maxwell said.
“He just allowed him to use his plane?” the lawyer pressed.
“I couldn’t categorize Jeffrey’s relationship,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell denied ever seeing Epstein having sex with anyone and recoiled at a suggestion in court that she had had three-way sex with Epstein and Giuffre.
“That is just one other disgusting thing she added,” Maxwell said of Giuffre.
She explained why she stuck by Epstein after he became a convicted sex offender in Florida, before his arrest in New York years later. “I’m a very loyal person and Jeffrey was very good to me when my father passed away,” she said, referring to the late press baron Robert Maxwell. “And I believe that you need to be a good friend in people’s hour of need …”
According to the Associated Press, Epstein largely invoked the fifth amendment, which protects a person against self-incrimination, during a deposition later in 2016. “Fifth,” he replied when he was asked if Maxwell was “one of the main women” he used to procure underage girls for sexual activities.
While the lawyers’ lines of inquiry to Maxwell often raised more questions than answers, fascinating detail emerged about purported government work by Epstein. “Do you know if Jeffrey Epstein had any relationship with the US government either working for the CIA or the FBI in his lifetime?” Maxwell was asked, prompting an objection from her lawyer. “I have no knowledge of that,” she ultimately answered.
“Do you know if Jeffrey Epstein has any friends that are in the CIA or FBI?” she was pressed, eventually saying: “I have no idea.”
“Are you aware of an investigation of Jeffrey Epstein in the early 80s relating to the SEC?” the lawyer asked her, apparently referring to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a financial oversight agency.
And: “Are you aware that Jeffrey Epstein has told people that he worked for the government to recover stolen funds?” Giuffre’s lawyer asked. Maxwell denied knowledge.
“Has he ever told that you he worked for the US government?” Maxwell was asked, to which she replied: “I have no knowledge, I don’t recollect him telling me he worked for the government,” she said.
And Maxwell denied knowledge of whether Epstein was affiliated with or ever worked for the Israeli government.
The San Francisco Unified School District announced the names of 44 schools that could be changed due to alleged links to “racism” and “colonization.” The list even includes schools named after presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) namesake is also on the list.
The school district’s School Names Advisory Committee is considering the name changes. A local news reports said a decision would be announced by December 18.
Forbes Magazine reported on the plan:
The criteria for renaming included “anyone directly involved in the colonization of people,” “slave owners or participants in enslavement,” “perpetuators of genocide,” “those who exploit workers/people,” “those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people,” “those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses,” “those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.”
The committee included Dianne Feinstein Elementary School because of the claim she replaced a vandalized Confederate flag as mayor in 1984— though according to Snopes, it’s unclear whether she personally made the decision and a day later she ordered the flag to be replaced with one honoring Union soldiers.
Abraham Lincoln High School is on the list because Lincoln in 1862 ordered the execution of 38 Native Americans who participated in an uprising in the Minnesota and Dakota territories, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere and George Washington are also among the names the committee recommended to be removed from schools.
However, according to Forbes and local media outlets, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who is a black woman, issued a statement on the timing of these recommendations. Given the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that most children are not attending schools in person, she thinks bringing up such “issues” is uncalled for and offensive.
The local ABC affiliate reported on the mayor’s reaction:
San Francisco Mayor London Breed also issued a statement Friday calling the ongoing effort an “offensive” move by district officials, and urging them to focus on safely reopening public schools for in person learning rather than renaming at this time.
“I believe in equity, it’s at the forefront of my administration and we’ve made historic investments to address the systemic racism confronting our city,” Breed said, “but the fact that our kids aren’t in school is what’s driving inequity in our city, not the name of a school.”
“Today I issued a statement on the need for our School District to focus on reopening our public schools, not renaming them. To address inequities, we need to get our kids back in the classroom,” Breed said on Twitter on Friday where she posted her statement.
Jeffrey Epstein withdrew $800K in cash before his arrest, transferred millions to his victims and pilots, and bought a $3 million house for his lawyer’s wife.
Epstein made a number of large transfers and withdrawals in the years before his death, according to new court filings. An email sent to the judge overseeing Epstein’s probate case by Virgin Islands’ Chief Deputy Attorney General, Carol Thomas-Jacobs, details a number of these suspicious transactions. They also landed Deutsche Bank in hot water.
Thomas-Jacobs uses the complaint filed against Deutsche Bank by New York’s Department of Financial Services to illustrate why the court should not be entertaining demands for more funds from Epstein’s trust for his executors. At least one of those executors, Darren Indyke, is mentioned throughout the court documents for the role he played in helping Epstein access large amounts of cash and paying off young women.
“Over the course of the relationship, Mr. Epstein and his representatives used Deutsche Bank accounts to send dozens of wires, directly and indirectly, including at least 18 wires in the amount of $10,000 or more to alleged co-conspirators who had been the subject of past press reports,” states the DFS filing.
Indyke, who is identified as ATTORNEY-1 in the below passage per Thomas-Jacobs, also began withdrawing large sums of cash.
“In 2018, just prior to the Bank’s closing of the Park Avenue Branch, which was located nearby Mr. Epstein’s house, ATTORNEY-1 withdrew $100,000.00 in cash on behalf of Mr. Epstein. When later questioned why ATTORNEY-1 withdrew these sums from the Bank, ATTORNEY-1 reported that Mr. Epstein needed the funds for tipping and household expenses,” the report reads. “In total, in a roughly four-year period, ATTORNEY-1 withdrew on Mr. Epstein’s behalf more than $800,000 in cash from Mr. Epstein’s personal accounts.”
The estate is also accused of misleading prosecutors in the case filings. “When the Government asked the Estate to confirm that it was not paying legal expenses for other individuals, the Estate responded that it was only paying the legal expenses of two former employees,” states one court doc.
“In fact, the Estate’s last quarterly accounting confirms it is currently paying the fees of a law firm representing an immigration attorney the Government has reason to believe was retained to seek immigration status for victims of Epstein’s and others’ sexual abuse.”
The Attorney General’s office also used the filing to stress the argument that Indyke and co-executor Richard Kahn were complicit in Epstein’s efforts to silence victims.
“As you know, the Government’s Amended Complaint alleges that Epstein maintained a network of corporate entities that were used to fund and conceal the trafficking of women and girls in the Virgin Islands. The Complaint also alleges that the Co Executors were principals in many of those entities,” reads the filing.
“These entities held the islands at which the women and girls were abused and the private planes and other vehicles on which they were transported. A Consent Order entered by New York’s Department of Financial Services against Deutsche Bank and documents obtained by the Government make clear that substantial transfers from the accounts held by these companies and Epstein’s tax-exempt foundation, over which Co Executor lndyke also had authority, were made to models and other individuals suspected of having recruited and/or abused Epstein’s victims, to Epstein’s house managers and pilot, and to Co Executor lndyke’s spouse for $3 million to purchase a home, for example.”
The filing also claims that Epstein paid $13 million to the victims and their lawyers after his sweetheart deal back in 2008.
Lawyers for the estate have pushed back on these claims, but are still being forced to petition the AG’s office to release funds towards the estate’s expenses.
An Orthodox Jewish reporter said he was attacked by an angry mob at a protest against coronavirus restrictions in Borough Park, Brooklyn on Wednesday.
The reporter, Jacob Kornbluh, said protesters yelled that he was a “Nazi” and “Hitler” as they chased after him during a second night of unrest over government attempts to stop the surging cases of COVID-19 across Brooklyn.
Kornbluh blamed the attack on Heshy Tischler, an agitator and aspiring politician who has organized the largely Orthodox protests over the last two nights.
“I was just brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Boro Park protest — while yelling at me “Nazi” and “Hitler” —after Heshy Tischler recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street,” Kornbluh tweeted.
Tischler, who is running for City Council, was filmed pinning Kornbluh against a wall as he shouted, “You are a moser!” meaning snitch.
Kornbluh said he was saved by police and several community members.
The night before, Tichler was filmed referring to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray as “retard woman.”
On the same night, a group of protesters in the area chased down and assaulted freelance photographer Bruce Schaff, who is Jewish, as he tried to capture the scene. A second man, Berish Getz, 34, a Borough Park resident, was also beaten during that protest.
“Out of all the protests I’ve been to I’ve never seen this level of violence from protesters toward members of the press, photographers, or anyone for that matter,” Schaff told The Post after the Tuesday night attack.
The anger stems from Governor Andrew Cuomo-mandated restrictions imposed on area synagogues, schools, and non-essential businesses due to a coronavirus spike sweeping through a large chunk of Brooklyn and patches of Queens around Forest Hills and Far Rockaway.
The shooting, which occurred at an open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay resort in October 2017, killed 58 people and injured more than 850 others.
On Wednesday, A Nevada judge approved an $800 million settlement between MGM Resorts International and its insurers and the families of the victims of the deadly mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
Under the settlement’s terms, MGM Resorts will make payouts to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the shooting. The judge’s decision finalizes an agreement that was announced earlier this month.
“There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals,” Robert Eglet, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Associated Press. “We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days, the $800 million will be deposited.”
MGM Resorts’ insurers will cover $749 million of the $800 million in payouts. The casino empire did not admit liability for the shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S history.
“We are grateful that the decision brings families, victims and the community closer to closure,” MGM said in a statement. “It is especially meaningful that the decision comes one day before the third anniversary of the incident, a time of great sadness and reflection.”
Authorities identified Stephen Paddock as the gunman who opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor window. Paddock committed suicide as officers moved in to apprehend him. Investigators have never determined a clear motive for his actions.
Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game “Fortnite,” became locked in a dramatic standoff with Apple and Google on Thursday that immediately renewed questions about the two tech giants’ power over the digital marketplace.
The standoff pits Epic Games, a $17 billion gaming company, against the trillion-dollar tech giants over how money flows between the companies — an issue that has also been raised by many other app-makers who argued that Apple and Google use their market power to take a cut of money that they have no right to.
The situation began after Epic intentionally circumvented a much-criticized Apple policy that requires certain apps to give the iPhone giant up to a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases.
That led to Apple removing Fortnite, which has 350 million registered players, from its app store. Epic Games, appearing to anticipate the move by Apple, responded by suing the company for anticompetitive behavior.
Later, on Thursday night, Google removed Fortnite from the Google Play store for similarly circumventing the fee it requires on in-app purchases.
Epic Games becomes the most high-profile company yet to challenge Apple and Google’s rules around payments — and at a crucial time. All of this comes as Apple and Google are facing antitrust scrutiny in Washington.
Epic Games and its founder, Tim Sweeney, have long criticized Apple and Google, the world’s primary smartphone makers, for requiring certain apps to give them a cut of all in-app purchases. Ahead of last month’s tech antitrust hearings, he accused them of being a duopoly.
But while many companies have complained for years about the fees that Apple and Google charge developers, Epic Games on Thursday became the first company to take action and force their respective hands.
On Thursday, Epic implemented its own in-app payment system for Fortnite, effectively circumventing the 30-percent fees. Apple and Google responded by removing the Fortnite app from their systems entirely.
“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users,” Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said in a statement. “As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store.”
Epic Games responded by suing Apple, stating in its lawsuit it was suing “to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two, distinct multibillion markets: the iOS App Distribution Market and the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”
It remains to be seen whether Epic Games will file a similar lawsuit against Google.
Spotify, the popular music app that has had its own battles with Apple over the App Store, said it supported Epic Games: “We applaud Epic Games’ decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position,” the company said in a statement. “Apple’s unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long.”
Epic also took a shot at Apple’s power by riffing on Apple’s famous “1984” commercial, in which the Macintosh creator sought to portray itself as an innovative force defying conformity and overcoming the status quo. Epic used that same motif Thursday to promote a new short film that would air in Fortnite called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite.”
The short included the following message to players: “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’”