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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 21:43:52 +0000
Fortune

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for President Donald Trump's impeachment, saying the country can't afford to ignore the obstruction uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

"The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty," the Massachusetts senator wrote in a series of tweets. "That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States."

Mueller's report released Thursday identified at least 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice by the president, including discouraging others from cooperating with the Russia probe and dangling possible pardons.

Warren's impeachment calls comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants have been trying to tamp down calls from progressive lawmakers in that chamber to begin impeachment proceedings.

Up until now, Mueller's investigation has caused barely a ripple on the presidential campaign trail. Voters rarely mention it in questions to the candidates, and the contenders themselves have focused more on pocketbook issues like wages and health insurance.

Since Mueller's report was released, several of the Democratic presidential contenders have suggested that impeachment should be under discussion, and some have urged further investigation. Warren's comments appear to be the most direct call for the House to act.

Some of the other Democratic candidates such as Senator Kamala Harris of California and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg stopped short of calling for impeachment when asked about it after the release of the Mueller report.

Warren decided to call for Trump's impeachment after reading the Mueller report while on a campaign trip to Denver and Salt Lake City, according to an aide to the senator.

"Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress. 'Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.' The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment," Warren tweeted.

Around the same time as her announcement on Twitter, Warren sent an email to her list endorsing House impeachment proceedings against the president, which ended with: "I want to make sure you know where I stand."

But the Warren aide, who asked for anonymity to discuss private deliberations, said Warren will continue to focus on her policy proposals and not on impeaching Trump when campaigning before voters.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 20:51:18 +0000
Fortune

Democrats look at Special Counsel Robert Mueller's conclusion that he couldn't "exonerate" Donald Trump on obstruction of justice charges as vindication for their continued probes of the president.

Republicans pointed to other sentences in Attorney General William Barr's letter on Mueller's report to claim vindication of their own, noting Barr found there wasn't enough evidence to form an obstruction case.

How can one report lead to two such different conclusions? The simple answer: Barr did something no one expected him to do, or at least not so quickly, and that was pass judgment on some of Mueller's findings in a letter sent to Congress on Sunday.

And he did so in the space of less than 48 hours after announcing he'd received Mueller's report on Friday.

Now Democrats are crying foul, with the head of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, calling for Barr to come before his committee to explain himself. Nadler and others say Congress has the prerogative to determine if the president broke the law on obstruction, not the attorney general — a Republican appointed by Trump.

Nadler made clear he plans to pursue his own probe into obstruction, something that could become part of a debate among Democrats about whether to impeach the president.

Barr had promised a quick readout on the "principal conclusions" of Mueller's work after the special counsel turned in his final report on Friday. Official Washington expected a terse recitation of the top-line facts, with a fuller explanation down the road. Most significantly, Barr reported that Mueller found no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia.

But Mueller was far less decisive on obstruction — citing "difficult issues" of fact and law — but noting that his report "does not exonerate" the president.

So Barr stepped in.

He inserted his own judgment — and that of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — that charging Trump with obstructing justice wasn't warranted, even aside from standing Justice Department guidance that a sitting president can't be prosecuted.

Barr said simply that the evidence didn't rise to the level that Trump broke the law. He said in his summary that most of Trump's actions took place in public view or have been the subject of public reporting.

Barr also said that because there was no criminal activity related to collusion, it would be difficult to prove Trump had corrupt intent in his actions toward the investigation.

For months, Democrats had thought obstruction charges were warranted because of Trump's overt moves, including firing FBI Director James Comey, his public statements of derision about Justice Department personnel and support for former aides charged with crimes. But demonstrating Trump's intent in making those moves is a much more difficult task.

Barr doesn't make it clear in his letter whether Mueller asked him to make a determination on obstruction. It's also possible that Mueller believed it's a matter that Congress should decide. Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, declined to comment.

Mueller concluded his investigation without ever asking Trump about his actions. The president's lawyers wagered that Mueller wouldn't subpoena Trump for his testimony, opening a legal battle, and refused to answer questions from Mueller related to obstruction, fearing that Mueller could accuse him of perjury if his answers were contradicted by other witnesses.

Barr's appointment as attorney general was controversial in large part due to his 19-page memo to Rosenstein as a private citizen in 2018 arguing against what he thought was an expansive view of obstruction of justice by Mueller. Barr had specifically argued Trump shouldn't be accused of obstruction of justice for firing former FBI Director James Comey nor for asking Comey if he could lay off of prosecuting former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

He argued that such decisions were within the executive powers held by a president.

During his confirmation hearing, however, Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a president could obstruct justice by actions such as trading a pardon in return for covering up a crime, destroying evidence or suborning perjury.

Barr said at the hearing that his memo dealt with a “narrow” question on obstruction of justice, but Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, told him the memo "shows a large, sweeping view of presidential authority and a determined effort, I thought, to undermine Bob Mueller.”

When Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy challenged Barr, saying the memo read like a job application, Barr called his characterization “ludicrous.”

Barr told the committee he was concerned about a too-expansive view of obstruction.

“What I was worried about is the impact on the department and other agencies. If you say to someone, 'If you, in supervising a case, or handling a case, make a decision with a — for a bad intent, it can be a crime.' And I thought that that would essentially paralyze the government.”

Once Barr's summary of Mueller's findings was released on Sunday, Trump quickly claimed victory, and Democrats may face an uphill battle in public opinion if they choose to take the case further than Barr's report says they should.

"We knew from his confirmation hearing that Attorney General Barr would never conclude the president obstructed justice, which is why it is critical for Congress to see the full Mueller report and the evidence behind it," Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Judiciary Committee member, said Sunday in a statement.

Barr indicated in his summary that there's sensitive material in Mueller's report that won't be provided to Congress or made public, probably setting up a prolonged legal battle.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 20:46:46 +0000
Elizabeth Warren Calls for House to Begin Impeachment of Trump

Senator Mitt Romney said Friday he was “sickened” by President Donald Trump's dishonesty as described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report and "appalled" that people working for Trump's campaign welcomed help from Russia.

"I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President," Romney said in a statement. "I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine.”

Romney of Utah called reading Mueller's report “a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders." It was the most critical statement yet from a Republican senator on what Trump on Friday called "the Crazy Mueller Report."

But the former Republican presidential nominee didn't sound eager to delve further.

It is "good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice,” Romney said. “The business of government can move on.”

Actually, Mueller found evidence of multiple instances of possible obstruction of justice but declined to make a “traditional” prosecutorial decision, leaving it to Congress. Attorney General William Barr stepped in, declaring that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found insufficient evidence that Trump obstructed justice.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 20:08:33 +0000
How Barr Found No Obstruction by Trump When Mueller Wouldn’t

Happy Friday, readers!

Last year, a coalition of major health systems banded together on an ambitious project to create a nonprofit generic drug company. The would-be firm’s driving mission? To combat both rising drug prices and medicine shortages.

Consisting of premier names like Intermountain Healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, HCA Healthcare, and many others, it was eventually dubbed Civica Rx. And now, it has an official headquarters.

Located in Lehi, Utah (and therefore in the same state as the headquarters for Intermountain, whose CEO is one of the collaborative’s originators), Civica had a grand opening ceremony on Friday joined by a who’s who of Utah lawmakers and public leaders.

“Together we celebrate the reason why Civica Rx exists, in purpose and in brick and mortar, and that is to do what is in the best interest of patients by stabilizing the supply of generic medications,” said Martin VanTrieste, Civica Rx CEO, in a statement.

The question going forward will be the exact nature of Civica’s structure. Early indications suggest it will serve as a distributor for its member health systems; but, in the future, original generic drug development could also play a role in the company’s mission.

Read on for the day’s news, and have a wonderful weekend.

Sy Mukherjee
@the_sy_guy
sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com

DIGITAL HEALTH

IBM scales back on Watson AI tool. Facing struggles in the marketplace, IBM's Watson for Drug Discovery program is reportedly scaling back sales and development of a certain product, according to STAT News. "We are focusing our resources within Watson Health to double down on the adjacent field of clinical development where we see an even greater market need for our data and AI capabilities," an IBM spokesperson told STAT in a statement on the issue. (STAT News)

INDICATIONS

Bad news for Lilly and Pfizer's painkiller study. Drug giants Pfizer's and Eli Lilly's experimental non-opioid drug, delivered at a lower dose to patients, failed to meet its goals in a late-stage clinical trial, the companies announced Thursday. The trial involved patients with moderate-to-severe hip and knee pain related to osteoarthritis, and the drug is part of a new class of pain treatments using a different kind of action mechanism. Pfizer and Lilly stock were both down more than 1% in Friday trading. (Reuters)

FDA approves generic opioid antidote. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first generic version of the crucial opioid overdose antidote nasal spray naloxone. And the agency has several more moves in the works, it announced Friday. "In addition to this approval of the first generic naloxone nasal spray, moving forward we will prioritize our review of generic drug applications for naloxone. The FDA has also taken the unprecedented step of helping to assist manufacturers to pursue approval of an over-the-counter naloxone product and is exploring other ways to increase the availability of naloxone products intended for use in the community, including whether naloxone should be co-prescribed with all or some opioid prescriptions to reduce the risk of overdose death," an FDA official said in a statement. (FDA)

THE BIG PICTURE

The flu season is now the longest in ten years. The ongoing flu season may not be quite as severe as last year's was--but it's still the longest-lasting one in about a decade, according to new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) figures. There have now been 21 weeks of "elevated flu activity" (peak flu is usually around February before infections drop off in March and the spring). Part of the reason is thanks to a second wave of infections involving a different strain of the flu, according to public health officials. (CNN)

REQUIRED READING

Esther Wojcicki's Secrets for Raising Great Leaders, by Michal Lev-Ram

Investment Strategies That Will Pay Off Next Tax Season, by Erik Sherman

How Do the Major Streaming Services Compare Against Each Other? by Chris Morris

Ancestry.com Apologized for Slavery Themed Ad, by Ellen McGirt

[ceo_attribution author="Produced by Sy Mukherjee" email="sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com" twitter="the_sy_guy"] Find past coverage. Sign up for other Fortune newsletters.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:57:10 +0000
Mitt Romney ‘Sickened’ by Trump After Reading Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now, officially, a best selling author.

The highly-anticipated report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election currently sits atop the sales charts at Amazon.com--and holds the number two and #11 spots as well.

The Mueller report is currently the second, sixth and ninth best selling book at Barnes & Noble. (Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic Bitch Handbook, by Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder, is currently besting it.)

The most popular version of the report among buyers comes from Skyhorse Publishing and contains an introduction by Alan Dershowitz. The Washington Post’s compilation, which features related materials from the newspaper, is currently #2 on Amazon and #9 on Barnes and Noble.

A third version from Melville House, which offers just the report and no additional analysis, is at #6 on Barnes and Noble and #11 on Amazon.

Consumers are paying between $7.50 and $10 for the various versions of the 448-page redacted report. The investigation that led to it issued more than 2,800 subpoenas and almost 500 search warrants. About 500 witnesses were interviewed. It’s not, however, meant to be a narrative that reconstructs every event in the 2016 campaign.

Of course, if you’d like to save the money, you can also read the report for free online. It’s almost certainly going to be the most discussed political matter for the next several weeks or months, as Republicans and Democrats argue about Mueller’s findings and what actions they will take (if any) against Donald Trump.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:45:31 +0000
Brainstorm Health: Civica Rx Headquarters, Lilly Pfizer Pain Drug, Flu Season

Easter is one of the holiest days in Christianity. It’s a great time to get together with friends and family. But after the egg hunt, you might be curious about what’s open and what’s closed (especially when you realize you’ve forgotten a key ingredient of the day’s big meal).

The good news is many grocery stores and restaurants will be open on Easter, but if you’re looking to hit a department store, it’s a bit more hit or miss. Here’s a comprehensive look at which stores are open and closed on Easter 2019.

Which grocery stores are open on Easter Sunday 2019?

Run out of eggs to dye or burned the ham? It will be hit or miss as you hunt for a place to buy more. Even if a store is listed below as open, it’s smart to check with them regarding hours

Acme: Open on Easter.

Aldi: Some locations are open, but many are closed.

Bi-Lo: Open on Easter.

Bravo Supermarkets: Open on Easter

CostCo: The bulk grocer will be closed.

Cub Foods: Open on Easter.

Food Lion:Open on Easter.

Harris Teeter: Open on Easter.

H-E-B: C-L-O-S-E-D

Ingles: Open on Easter.

Kroger: Open on Easter.

Lucky Supermarkets: Open on Easter.

Publix: All stores will be closed.

Safeway: Open on Easter.

Sam’s Club: All stores will be closed.

ShopRite: Open on Easter.

Stop and Shop: Open on Easter.

Trader Joe’s: Open on Easter.

Wegman’s: Open on Easter.

Whole Foods: Open on Easter.

Winn-Dixie: Open on Easter.

Which department stores are open on Easter Sunday 2019?

Hopefully, you won’t need a last minute bonnet or chocolate bunny. Many major department stores have opted to close for the day.

Bass Pro Shops: Open on Easter.

Bed Bath & Beyond: Open on Easter.

Belk: Closed Sunday.

Burlington Coat Factory: Closed Sunday

Cabela’s: Open on Easter.

CVS: Open on Easter.

Dillard’s: Closed Sunday.

Home Depot: Open on Easter.

Ikea: Open on Easter

J.C. Penney: Closed Sunday.

Kmart: Open on Easter.

Kohl’s: Closed Sunday.

Lowe’s: Open on Easter.

Macy’s: Closed Sunday.

Michael’s: Closed Sunday.

Neiman Marcus: Closed Sunday.

Nordstrom: Closed Sunday.

Old Navy: Open on Easter.

Rite Aid: Open on Easter.

Target: Closed Sunday.

T.J. Maxx: Closed Sunday.

Walgreens: Open on Easter.

Walmart: Open on Easter.

Which restaurants are open on Easter Sunday 2019?

Most major restaurant chains will be open on Easter. Chick-Fil-A, of course, is closed, as it is every Sunday. And Chipotle will take the day off. You’ll also want to double check on franchised restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, since individual owners might opt to close for the day.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:38:17 +0000
The Mueller Report Is Topping Amazon Sales Charts

More than 320,000 Dodge Darts are being recalled due to a transmission defect that could allow the cars to roll away.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling Darts made between 2013 and 2016 with automatic transmissions. The defect could prevent drivers from shifting the car into park, according to the automaker.

To date, there have not been any reported crashes or fatalities, but thousands of Dart owners have reported the need to get their cars repaired.

This is the second significant recall in just over a month for Fiat Chrysler. In March, the company recalled 860,000 vehicles after the Environmental Protection Agency notified the company the models failed to pass government tests. (The recalls related to those tests may not be over, either.)

The two incidents come at the same time as an ongoing recall of tens of millions of cars and trucks because of defective airbags.

On Tuesday, Honda was forced to recall 1.1 million vehicles, many for the second time, as part of that ongoing recall. Last December, Toyota and Lexus recalled 65,000 vehicles. And Ford has previously agreed to pay $300 million to settle consumers’ economic loss claims connected to the Takata recall.

According to the NHTSA, there are 50 million defective Takata airbags in 37 million U.S. vehicles.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:17:38 +0000
What’s Open—and Closed—on Easter Sunday 2019?

Starting this week, couture-minded fans among The Sims80 million-plus players can wear the exact Moschino sweatshirt as their avatar while playing the life-simulation video game, the result of a partnership between Electronic Arts and the Italian designer. But while a Sim--or virtual human--can don the luxury pullover free of charge as they run errands or stop by the office, breathing video game fashionistas will have to shell out $595 to buy the real, rather than virtual, hoodie.

Moschino premiered its Sims-inspired capsule collection last weekend during a Coachella desert party, which featured a roller rink, famous DJs, and celebrity appearances, in addition to the catwalk showcasing the designer’s pixelated clothing and accessories. Collection prices range from an $85 phone case to a $1,295 backpack. (And that’s in USD, not Simoleons--Sims currency. The game’s monetary cheat codes cannot be applied in the real world either.)

This is the latest version of high-fashion product placements in video games. Moschino has created an entire collection paying homage to a game, instead of just featuring game characters in marketing campaigns.

“Moschino is an iconic brand and fashion is an essential form of expression within games; this felt to us like a great fit,” The Sims General Manager Lyndsay Pearson tells Fortune.

Models wearing Moschino’s Sims-inspired clothing.Moschino

The partnership further validates the sales potential from virtual reality. “We are seeing the trend accelerate,” says Marie Driscoll, Coresight Research’s managing director of luxury and fashion, in a Fortune interview.

High Fashion and Video Game Collaborations

In 2012, gamers were surprised to see Final Fantasy characters appear in a 12-page Prada fashion spread. Five years later, Louis Vuitton decided to welcome Final Fantasy’s Lighting as the face of its own 2017 ad campaign--even tasking the character with press interviews at the behest of the luxury brand.

“Prada and Louis Vuitton's collaborations were simply early iterations of what is likely to be a growing trend of luxury using collaborations to reach new target audiences and adapt to shifting market conditions,” Driscoll said.

Other luxury brands are creating games of their own to gain brand recognition with younger demographics. Hermes released a mobile game in China last April in which each new level was branded in a different Hermes style. This could be significant for the French luxury house since mobile games play a role in developing the identities of Chinese millennials, Goldman Sachs’ research indicates.

“The fashion and luxury industry has the unenviable task of pleasing two masters,” Dipanjan Chatterjee, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester, tells Fortune via email. “While an aging Boomer and Gen X make up the bulk of value today, Gen Y and Z represent the future lifeblood of this category,” Chatterjee said. He cited a UBS Group AG survey that shows 85% of the growth stems from 18-to-35-year-old consumers, accounting for 45% of the business in about five years.

“The Sims-Moschino-Coachella triumvirate is evidence of a luxury label contorting to stay relevant to the burgeoning consumer base of younger consumers, especially in markets like the United States and China that account for a large share of luxury sales,” Chatterjee said.

From In-Game To IRL Purchases

While these collaborations seek to attract new customers, Sims enthusiasts on social media express mixed reaction to the designer’s virtual duds.

“My first reaction was excitement,” Deli, a 28-year-old Australian Sims 4 player, who asked to go by her first name, shares with Fortune. Deli’s better known as Deligracy to her 886k YouTube subscribers, who watch her play the game on the video platform. “It’s an exciting avenue for The Sims and gaming in general to enter another sphere of pop culture in high fashion…It's a marketing opportunity not a merch opportunity. Moschino does a lot of collaborations to saturate their name in the market, perhaps gaming was an area they wanted to dabble in.”

However according to Deli, “I have noticed some of my audience's reaction was that they were disappointed they couldn't afford to buy the items, as fans of The Sims.

“The discussion around Sims fans, on Twitter, seems to be disappointed,” costume designer Abby Mudd relates to Fortune via Twitter DM. “A lot of the fans of this game right now, are teenagers, and obviously it's out of their price reach. A lot of them wish it was done by Forever 21. I totally see their perspective…Though for me, this designer collab is a dream, I do purchase lots of designer pieces, throughout the year.”

Mudd, 30, didn’t hesitate to buy Moschino’s $220 earrings shaped like the game’s iconic Plumbob, a symbol levitating over Sims heads to denote who players are controlling.

“I also wanted the Plumbob swimsuit but it was sold out in my size pretty quickly,” Mudd said. “When I wear the earrings”--which are no longer on Moschino’s site, perhaps due to high demand--”I hope to bring back the nostalgic feelings of this game, to myself but also other people who played this game growing up, and those who do still play.”

View this post on Instagram

#Repost @itsjeremyscott ??? PHOTOGRAPHED IN AN EXOTIC @thesims LOCATION @stellamaxwell WEARS A PLUMBOB PRINT SWIMSUIT WITH MATCHING UMBRELLA ?FROM MY #MOSCHINOXTHESIMS CAPSULE COLLECTION NOW AVAILABLE ON MOSCHINO.COM AND MOSCHINO SHOPS #stellamaxwell

A post shared by Moschino (@moschino) on

Both Mudd and Deli told Fortune that fashion is an integral part of immersing yourself in The Sims, first released in 2000 as a spinoff of the build-your-own-city game SimCity, launched in 1989.

“One of my biggest uses of The Sims was designing my own fashion for the game, that I would later upload and let others download,” Mudd said. “I would spend endless hours creating shirts, and dresses so my Sims all had unique clothes. It might even been what started my budding love of fashion.”

EA has used players’ penchant for design in past branded collaborations as well, including with Sweden’s IKEA home goods retailer and high-end Italian fashion brand Diesel. Pearson told Fortune that in 2007, “When The Sims 2 collaborated with [Sweden’s fast-fashion purveyor] H&M we were actually able to bring a fan-created shirt to life.”

Branded Benefits

EA announced in February that The Sims 4 reached $1 billion in lifetime revenue and in 2018 gained five million new players.

While this partnership has certainly brought the game further into the spotlight, Driscoll surmises “this probably benefits Moschino more,” adding: “The pool of potential gaming customers who are already Moschino customers may not be as big as the pool of gamers who are potential Moschino customers.”

“It gives the brand reach to a whole new group…A huge new audience of gamers,” she said.

Michael Brown, a partner in A.T. Kearney's Consumer Products and Retail Practice, told Fortune, “I would not question the video game players’ ability to purchase these products. The demographic runs from pre-teens to 50 year olds.”

Sims wearing Moschino’s “Freezer Bunny” hoodie in the game.Mavis

Moschino didn’t disclose their sales figures for the capsule collection, and EA hasn’t released the number of times players have downloaded the branded hoodie in the game. And although future in-game collaborations might be in the works, the only current in-game portion of the collaboration is the Freezer Bunny hoodie.

(“The Freezer Bunny is a small but iconic character that first appeared in The Sims 2, actually on a popsicle box in a freezer almost like an Easter egg, and has since showed up throughout our history,” Pearson explained.)

“I always love any excuse for more content and items in the game,” said Deli. “However, I would be disappointed if it's just one hoodie and there are no plans later down the track for more items from this collaboration.”

On the other hand, Mudd, who describes herself as a “decently serious gaming hobbyist,” hopes this is a sign future high-fashion/video collaborations are in the pipeline.

“I can't wait to see more designer and gaming collabs,” she said. “I'd love to see a Blizzard designer collab, if it's Overwatch or World or Warcraft. There's lots of us who game and love fashion.”

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:09:52 +0000
Fiat Chrysler Recalls 320,000 Vehicles

Target is recalling nearly half a million wooden toy cars and trucks after learning they present a choking hazard to children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) alerted parents late Thursday to look out for vehicles from the Bullseye Playground Toy collection. Wheels on the toy cars and trucks can detach, which presents the potential threat. No injuries have been reported so far.

The toys were sold at Target in October and November 2018 for roughly $1 each. A collection of eight vehicles sold for $8. Recalled vehicles include a caboose, a sleigh with Santa in it, an ice cream truck/food truck, a train, a police car, a fire truck, a taxi, and a digger.

The CPSC website has specific item numbers included in the recall.

The Target recall follows two major toy recalls this year. Fisher-Price recalled its popular Rock ‘N Play sleeper for toddlers, following pressure from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which called it “deadly.” And in February, Fisher-Price recalled 44,000 Power Wheels Barbie Campers due to a malfunctioning gas pedal that poses “an injury hazard.”

Parents who own the affected Target toy vehicles are encouraged to return them to the store to obtain a refund or discard them.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:00:58 +0000
Welcome to The New Era of High Fashion and Video Game Collaborations: Inside Moschino and The Sims Partnership

Cable companies are under siege.

As more and more people get frustrated with high cable and satellite bills and being forced to pay for a slew of channels they never watch, streaming services are seeing their subscription numbers grow. And a new wave from major players is on the way.

Disney+ will debut Nov. 12 and is hoping to rapidly gain a significant audience, undercutting Netflix’s pricing, and offering a slew of exclusive shows alongside a formidable Disney library of catalog shows and films. And Apple has its own service set to launch this fall.

The mission of streaming services varies from offering to offering. Some, like Dish Network’s Sling TV or AT&T’s DirecTV now, are basically repackaged offerings of cable channels. Others, though, are finding original content is the key to luring customers. One water cooler show can make their service a must have.

The problem with so many services having must-watch shows is cord cutters (and people supplementing their cable subscription) often end up paying a lot more. If you were to subscribe to all of the streaming services below, you’d add $115 or more per month to your expenses.

That’s too much for most people. So, to help you pick and choose, here’s a breakdown of the offerings and prices of the major streaming services with original content:

Disney+

Exclusive offerings: Disney’s leaning into its deep catalog of films and TV shows to support Disney+. If you want to watch any film in the Marvel superhero universe, any Pixar release, or any Disney classic, this will be the only place to do so. (Disney is pulling its films from Netflix, which will cut its operating income by about $150 million.)

All totaled, the service will offer 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows, 400 archived Disney (and Fox) movies, and 100 recent theatrical releases. But Disney’s also offering 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials, including series based on High School Musical and Monsters Inc., and The Mandolorian--a Star Wars series set five years after Return of the Jedi that wowed attendees of Star Wars Celebration last week.

Monthly cost: $6.99 per month (or $69.99 per year)

Simultaneous streams: TBD

Free trial period: TBD

Apple TV+

Exclusive offerings: Apple brought out some major celebrities when introducing Apple TV+ earlier this month, including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. Many of those stars will be contributing to the service as well.

Winfrey and Prince Harry are making a show about mental health. Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore is making a science fiction drama called For All Mankind. Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell are collaborating on a scripted drama called The Morning Show. Spielberg will bring back his Amazing Stories series. A remake of the 1981 film Time Bandits is in the works. Meanwhile, Sesame Workshop, creators of Sesame Street, are planning a children’s show. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Apple TV+ will differ from many competitors, in that it does not plan to offer any catalog content, focusing exclusively on original shows.

Monthly cost: TBD

Simultaneous streams: TBD

Free trial period: TBD

Netflix

Exclusive offerings: The most established of the streaming services, Netflix has a deep catalog of original shows that have already captivated audiences, including Stranger Things, The Crown, Black Mirror, and BoJack Horseman. The company has also revived several TV series that were binge favorites of users, including Arrested Development, Full House, and Queer Eye.

Beyond series, it has also built an award winning film studio, winning three Oscars for 2018’s Roma and one for 2017’s Icarus. And this year’s Bird Box became a cultural phenomenon.

Monthly cost: $8.99-$15.99 per month

Simultaneous streams: 1-4

Free trial period: 30 days

Hulu

Exclusive offerings: Hulu got a late start to original content, relying instead on its deep catalog of network shows. But it has made up some ground with hits like The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways. Stephen King is one of the biggest collaborators, due to both the series Castle Rock and the adaptation of his 11.22.63 novel. Hulu also took a page from the Netflix book and gave second life to some canceled series, including The Mindy Project and Veronica Mars, and has said it’s open to reviving the canceled Marvel shows that used to air on Netflix, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

Monthly cost: $5.99 per month ($44.99 per month to include Live TV)

Simultaneous streams: 1 (2 with the Live TV package)

Free trial period: 30 days

Amazon Prime Video

Exclusive offerings: Prime Video is one of the features included in an Amazon Prime membership, so the offerings extend far beyond original video programming. Amazon, though, has invested heavily in its own shows, wooing the crew from BBC’s Top Gear after they left that network. It won an Emmy award for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And other shows, including The Man in the High Castle, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and Transparent, have received tremendous critical acclaim.

The service’s affiliated production company, Amazon Studios, has also ventured into the cinematic world, with the most notable success being The Big Sick.

Monthly cost: $8.99-$12.99 per month (or $119 per year)

Simultaneous streams: 2

Free trial period: 30 days

CBS All Access

Exclusive offerings: While CBS’s streaming platform is largely built around its network offerings, it offers a handful of exclusive original shows, including Star Trek Discovery, the Christine Baranski-led The Good Fight and Jordan Peele’s remake of The Twilight Zone. It will also be the home for the Star Trek follow-up Picard, which follows the commander made famous in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Monthly cost: $9.99 per month

Simultaneous streams: 2

Free trial period: 7 days

ESPN+

Exclusive offerings: Beyond deeper coverage of major sporting events, ESPN’s streaming service offers exclusive original shows and in-studio programs, such as The Boardroom executive produced by Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant’s Detail, LeBron James’ More Than An Athlete, and upcoming episodes of Dana White’s Contender Series. You’ll also be able to watch all manner of live sports ranging from baseball and soccer to UFC fights and tennis from Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open.

Monthly cost: $4.99 per month

Simultaneous streams: 3

Free trial period: 7 days

HBO Now

Exclusive offerings: You won’t find anything here that you won’t get if you already subscribe to HBO with your cable or satellite provider, but if you’ve cut the cord and still want to keep up with Game of Thrones, Westworld, and any of the network’s other shows, this service give you access to both all of the live channels as well as a complete on-demand catalog of both original content and recent motion pictures.

Monthly cost: $14.99 per month

Simultaneous streams: 3

Free trial period: 7 days

[ + ]
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:18:27 +0000
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