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Fight Supreme

Fight over Supreme Court already shaking up Senate races – CNN

(CNN)The brawl over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor began before her body was buried. Within hours of her death on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Since then, almost every Republican senator running for reelection has announced their support for the process to confirm the to-be-announced nominee, shaking up the race for Senate control only six weeks out from Election Day.
The quick embrace of McConnell’s strategy could help Republicans in toss-up Senate races in purple and red states, including in North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia and Montana, although it could hurt them in others.
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis has struggled to coalesce the Republican Party behind him, with polls showing Trump leading him in the state. But the battle over the Supreme Court could endear him to the President’s supporters.
“I think what it does is it helps him with the Trump voters who might not vote down ticket,” Glen Bolger, Tillis’ pollster, told CNN. “But now suddenly see, ‘Oh, the Senate’s an important fight.'”
But Tillis may also have to satisfy those who question why his position has changed since 2016. The first question he received in the Senate debate on Tuesday was whether he flip-flopped on how to handle a Supreme Court vacancy.
In 2016, Tillis, like almost every other Republican senator, supported blocking President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, from filling the seat left by the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. But at a Fayetteville rally with President Donald Trump on Saturday, Tillis announced to cheers from the crowd that he would vote for whoever Trump picked from his list to replace the late Ginsburg.
While both nominees were chosen in the final year of a presidential term, Tillis said on Tuesday that there was a difference: Obama was a “lame duck” in 2016, while Trump, who is running for reelection, “deserves” to put forward his nominee.
Tillis then attacked his Democratic opponent Cal Cunningham on Tuesday for supporting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who the senator said would nominate “radical left, activist judges that would be wrong for this country.” Cunningham responded that Tillis wrote a “blank check to the president” in supporting a Trump pick before it was even announced, when he should have been a “check and balance.”
Republicans argue that confirming a sixth conservative justice to the court could help them in other states too, pointing to Senate GOP victories in Indiana and Missouri after confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the court in early October 2018. That year, then-Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill acknowledged the vote was “not a ‘political winner'” for her. She voted along with every other fellow Democrat against Kavanaugh, but lost by fewer than six points.
Ryan Koopmans, a former top aide to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, said the Supreme Court vacancy could help Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in her race against Democrat Theresa Greenfield, noting that Iowa has a record of supporting conservative judges. In 2010, it voted to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
“I think that this issue has the potential to start to drown out others in the coming weeks,” Koopmans said.
If Sen. Doug Jones loses in deep red Alabama, Democrats need to win four seats and the White House to take control of the chamber. Republicans are worried that the fight over Ginsburg’s successor could hurt Republicans in at least two blue states, Sen. Susan Collins in Maine and Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado.
Gardner has said he would vote to confirm a “qualified nominee.” But Collins has said that she will oppose any pick due to its proximity to election. She said her position is “in the interest of being fair to the American people — and consistent” with what she did back in 2016.
Collins’ decision could help her regain the support of those who have appreciated her independent stances in the past, like opposing the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017. But it will not be enough for some of her former supporters, who say that she changed during the Trump era and abhor her support of Kavanaugh.
“I have no faith in Susan to do the right thing, like I’ve counted on for so many years,” said Carroll Payne, a Democrat and former Collins supporter running for a state House seat.
Democratic Senate candidates across the country have pushed to fulfill Ginsburg’s “most fervent wish” to not be replaced until after the next presidential inauguration, when a President Joe Biden could choose Ginsburg’s replacement. They have no power to block a unified Senate Republican majority, but are warning voters that a Supreme Court with six conservative justices could dismantle the ACA and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The Court hears a crucial case on the law’s constitutionality a week after Election Day.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock launched an ad on Monday saying that his Republican opponent, Sen. Steve Daines, voted to strike down the ACA, while he would protect citizens from insurance companies denying people coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee aired an ad hitting back at Bullock, saying if he’s elected, Democrats in charge of the House, Senate and White House could “change Montana overnight,” leading to “liberal judges, stricter gun laws and government-run health care.”
The Democratic party has become more energized on the Supreme Court issue during the Trump era. Many Democrats view the seat that Justice Neil Gorsuch now occupies, instead of Garland, as stolen. They say that Kavanaugh’s confirmation amid accusations of sexual assault — allegations Kavanaugh denied — delegitimized the court. And after Ginsburg’s death, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that “nothing is off the table for next year” if Republicans replace her and he becomes majority leader.
But the Democratic candidates who could give Schumer the gavel have tried to separate themselves from the party’s left wing. The campaigns for Jones, Cunningham, Jon Ossoff in Georgia and Mark Kelly in Arizona have indicated that their candidates do not support expanding the Supreme Court.
“North Carolinians are already voting and will continue to do so in the coming weeks,” said Cunningham in a statement. “They deserve that opportunity to have their voices heard, and then, it should be up to the next President and next Senate to fill the vacancy on our Court.”

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Apple Fight

To Fight Apple and Google’s Grip, Fortnite Creator Mounts a Crusade – The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Sweeney, chief executive and founder of the video game maker Epic Games, has antagonized the world’s most powerful technology giants since at least 2016.

That year, Mr. Sweeney, a self-described computer nerd with a slightly nervous energy, lashed out in an op-ed against Microsoft, saying it was attempting “sneaky maneuvers” to dominate personal computer games. He also knocked Facebook’s Oculus Rift app store as “disappointing” for not being as “open” as it claimed.

In 2018, Mr. Sweeney went at it again. He launched Fortnite, Epic’s popular video game, outside Google’s Play Store to bypass its app store fees, which he called a “tax” and “disproportionate.” And in January at an industry conference, he declared that “undue power has accrued to many of the participants who are not at the core of the industry.”

His mission to rein in the power of the tech companies has now reached a fever pitch. Mr. Sweeney is preparing for a protracted legal battle after Apple and Google banned Fortnite, which is played by more than 350 million people, from their stores this month for trying to get around its payment systems. In response, Epic sued both companies, accusing them of violating antitrust laws by forcing developers to use those payment systems.

Mr. Sweeney’s yearslong public crusade against the tech Goliaths suggests that the issue is not something he will easily drop. People close to him said the fight was not about money or ego. Instead, they said, it is firmly about principle.

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Credit…Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA, via Shutterstock

“He sees a vision of the world that is fair and open,” said Bradley Twohig, a venture capitalist at Lightspeed Venture Partners, which has invested in Epic.

Bruce Stein, chief executive of the esports start-up aXiomatic and an investor in Epic, said, “He was principled before he had the money to not be principled.”

How deeply Mr. Sweeney feels about tech power will be key as the fight with Apple and Google escalates. On Monday, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Northern California temporarily blocked Apple from cutting off support for an Epic software development tool called Unreal Engine. Mr. Sweeney had said that if Unreal Engine were cut off, it would be an “existential threat” to his company’s $17 billion business. The judge, who did not require Apple to bring Fortnite back to the App Store, will rule again on the matter next month.

In an interview last month, Mr. Sweeney, 49, said the stakes of the antitrust investigations into tech giants like Apple and Google were no smaller than the future of humanity. “Otherwise you have these corporations who control all commerce and all speech,” he said. He declined to be interviewed for this article, citing the active lawsuits, but has written on Twitter that he is “fighting for open platforms and policy changes equally benefiting all developers.”

“I don’t think we are going to be swayed unless we get what we think is right,” Adam Sussman, Epic’s president, said in an interview on Monday. “We will always sacrifice short term for long term.”

Other developers have embraced Epic’s cause. Spotify, the music streaming app, and Match Group, the maker of dating apps like Tinder, have released statements applauding Epic’s moves. In a legal brief on Sunday, Epic also outlined Microsoft’s support for it.

But to many others, Mr. Sweeney faces an uphill battle. In conversations with a dozen of Epic’s investors and former executives, as well as with deal makers and analysts in the gaming industry, many said that while they supported Mr. Sweeney’s stance, few expected him to prevail in all of his demands against Apple and Google.

“It’s a herculean uphill battle for them to beat Apple in court,” said Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, because Epic violated the terms of the App Store.

Asked for comment, Apple referred on Monday to its latest legal filing, in which it said Epic’s “‘emergency’ is entirely of Epic’s own making.” Google said it would “welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”

Mr. Sweeney, who grew up in Potomac, Md., and whose father worked for the Defense Mapping Agency, got into technology as a child. At age 9, he learned to code on an Apple II computer. In 1991, as a college student, he started Potomac Computer Systems, selling games on floppy disks via mail from his parents’ basement.

He eventually dropped out of the University of Maryland, where he had studied mechanical engineering. In 1992, he changed his company’s name to Epic MegaGames, then later dropped “Mega” and moved the start-up to North Carolina.

Epic, now based in Cary, N.C., began licensing its tools for graphics and game development — such as Unreal Engine — to other companies. That became a steady source of income, smoothing out the hits-or-bust nature of the games business.

In Epic’s early days, Mr. Sweeney was an awkward, quirky developer with a renegade streak who spent every waking hour writing code, investors and former colleagues said.

But he did get some use out of his Ferraris. “Having a fancy car is an excellent hobby when you’re a workaholic,” Mr. Sweeney said in an interview posted to YouTube in 2008. “Even if you don’t have any free time, you can still drive to work.”

By then, Mr. Sweeney had shown his stubborn streak. When Silicon Knights, a game development company, sued Epic in 2007 over Unreal Engine’s licensing, Epic spent five years and millions in legal costs to win the suit rather than settle.

Image

Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

Over the years, Mr. Sweeney also worked diligently to keep control of Epic, which is privately held. In 2012, when Epic considered selling itself, it found two options: It could sell a majority stake in its operations to Warner Bros. for roughly $800 million, or sell a minority stake for the same valuation to Tencent, the Chinese internet company, a person with knowledge of the discussions said.

Even though the Warner plan had more potential business advantages, Epic went with Tencent, which kept Mr. Sweeney in control.

His antagonism toward the big tech platforms began a few years later when Epic started building Fortnite, a battle royale-style fighting game that later expanded into a more creative mode where players could build their own games and challenges.

“We wanted to build online games and have a direct relationship with our customers,” Mr. Sweeney said in the July interview. He added that he had discovered that the fees from the app stores meant that Apple and Google could sometimes make more money on a game than its creators.

“That’s totally unjust,” he said. “That shows the market is out of control.”

Epic began work on its own app store, which it introduced in 2018. Epic’s store charges a 12 percent fee when a developer sells its wares through the store, compared with Google’s and Apple’s 30 percent cuts. After Epic created its games store, a competitor, Steam, lowered its fees from 30 percent to 20 percent for the biggest sellers.

In 2017, Fortnite became a runaway hit. Investors swarmed, and Epic raised more than $3 billion in funding from backers including Sony, KKR, BlackRock and Fidelity. Even with all the new investors, Mr. Sweeney maintained majority control, allowing him to focus on the long term.

“When you invest in Epic, you are signing up for a different journey,” Mr. Stein of aXiomatic said. “One that is focused on the gamer audience, not on quarterly results.”

Mr. Sweeney’s ambitions go beyond the gaming world. Fortnite is not just a place to fight virtual battles, the idea goes, but also a potential home for the “metaverse,” a digital universe for all kinds of interactions and experiences. In April, nearly 28 million people attended a Travis Scott concert inside Fortnite.

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Credit…via Youtube

Mr. Sweeney has backed down once from a fight with a tech giant. In April, two years after releasing Fortnite outside the Google Play Store, Epic agreed to offer the game through the store. It said it was doing so because users were encountering “scary, repetitive security pop-ups” to download and update the app outside the Play Store.

Even so, Mr. Sweeney was not afraid to thumb his nose at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This month, Epic started encouraging Fortnite’s mobile-app users to pay it directly, rather than through Apple or Google. That violated Apple’s and Google’s rules that they handle all such app payments so they can collect their 30 percent commission.

In response, Apple banned Fortnite from its store; Google later did the same. Epic was ready. It rallied its fans around the hashtag #FreeFortnite and published a video satirizing Apple’s famous “1984” ad, which had portrayed Apple as the underdog. The parody included a villain wearing the same sunglasses as Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook.

On Sunday, Epic hosted a #FreeFortnite gaming contest offering anti-Apple hats and digital avatars as prizes. And Mr. Sweeney? He also played along.

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Democrats Fight

Democrats fight back in Postal Service showdown with Trump – CNN

(CNN)Democrats are launching an emergency effort to thwart what they warn is President Donald Trump’s attempt to squeeze the US Postal Service — one of the country’s most beloved institutions — to suppress the vote in November’s election.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on the House to return to Washington, likely next weekend, for an unheard of session during presidential convention season.
Democrats have also demanded that new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testify on August 24 to answer charges that his controversial new policy changes are intended to deliberately slow voting by mail.
The long feared post-Election Day showdown involving Trump’s false claims about voting fraud is already here — more than two months early — due to the building fight in Washington over the Postal Service.
The aggressive Democratic counter-attack — coming at the start of a critical two-week political crunch that contains the Democratic and Republican National Conventions — follows Trump’s incessant falsehoods about mail-in voting inviting a “catastrophe” in November. The President admitted last week that he opposed $25 billion in new funding for the agency because it could be used to expand such ballot access.
The comment left him open to charges that he is deliberately trying to deny the franchise to voters who fear going to polling stations because of the pandemic that has been exacerbated by his mismanagement and has now killed more than 170,000 Americans.
“The Postmaster General and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election,” Democratic leaders, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement announcing the hearing they want to have next week with DeJoy, a top Trump fundraiser.
The swift Democratic mobilization puts the raging dispute over the sanctity of November’s vote at the center of the election campaign and escalates tensions that could spill into a prolonged political and legal imbroglio if November’s result is tight.
Already, several states say they’re considering legal action against the Trump administration over concerns about the USPS and mail-in voting.
It also comes with many Democrats worried that DeJoy’s policy changes, which have slowed delivery times, removed high-speed letter sorters from commission and included warnings that mail-in ballots will no longer be treated as a priority, will severely impact the election on November 3.
As a matter of strategy, highlighting Trump’s comment last week that he opposed $25 billion in new funding for the mail system because it would lead to more mail-in voting may also boost Democratic efforts to convince voters to cast their ballots early and potentially bank a lead for the party nominee Joe Biden.
It is not clear how effective Democratic action in the House could be. A standalone bill to finance the Postal Service may not make it past the Republican-led Senate. The White House would likely demand concessions on a new economic stimulus bill in return for agreeing to such steps. Negotiations between the two sides broke down this month over Democrats’ insistence on more money for state and local governments, GOP cuts to long-term unemployment benefits for millions of Americans and issues including USPS funding.
Millions of extra voters are expected to cast their vote by mail this year, given their wariness about showing up at polling places with the virus still raging. Trump has responded to the prospect with false claims that mail-in voting is rife with fraud and will lead to the most corrupt election in history.
His new misinformation drive comes as a CNN/SSRS national poll released Sunday shows the presidential race has significantly tightened with Biden at 50% to Trump’s 46% among registered voters, right at the poll’s margin of error. An earlier Wall Street Journal/NBC poll had the former vice president up 9 points.
Trump’s prospects have been harmed by his erratic handling of the coronavirus — which helped to plunge the US economy, which he had hoped to ride to reelection, into freefall.
The President, however, says victory ought to be assured because of what he styled as successful leadership on both issues.
“I hope to win, how can you not when you see numbers like this both on the virus and on the economy?” the President said Saturday at a news conference at his New Jersey golf resort.
The United States has more Covid-19 cases and more deaths than any other nation. While some countries that did a far better job than the US of suppressing the virus are fighting a resurgence, the scale of the US tragedy remains staggering. For 16 out of the 20 days leading up to Saturday, the US reported more than 1,000 new deaths per day, according to Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

USPS, White House pledge no more removal of sorting machines

Despite Trump’s damaging claims, there was one sign that the administration was beginning to realize the President’s charges about fraud and concerns about the sanctity of the USPS could rebound on him.
“Sorting machines between now and Election Day will not be taken off line,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday. CNN and other news organizations reported Friday that the postal service has reduced operating hours in several states and was removing letter collection boxes from some neighborhoods, according to union officials.
The agency also said Sunday that it will stop removing collection boxes until after late November, citing “recent customer concerns” over the decisions.
The concession came after the USPS warned almost all 50 states and Washington, DC, that mail-in ballots may not be received by election offices in time to be counted.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the runner-up to Biden in the Democratic primary race, warned on “State of the Union” that more than the integrity of the Postal Service was at stake.
“What is most important, whether you’re a Democrat, whether a Republican, whether you’re a progressive, whether you’re a conservative, do you believe in American democracy?” Sanders asked.
“Do you believe that, in the midst of a pandemic, when we have lost 170,000 people already, people have got to put their lives on the line to go into a voting station, or can they vote in through a mail-in ballot?”
Meadows, however, signaled on the same show that the White House will not let up on its warnings of massive pending electoral fraud — and an attempt to draw a false distinction between “absentee balloting” and “mail-in voting” despite rigorous systems in place to ensure the authenticity of all votes.
Told by Tapper that there is no evidence of fraud in mail-in voting in general elections in the US, Meadows replied: “There’s no evidence that there’s not either.”

Trump: ‘There’s fraud, there’s theft’

Besides trying to skew the election ahead of time by limiting mail-in balloting, Trump may also be renewing his baseless claims because he’s looking ahead to after the election.
He warned on Saturday that mail-in ballots could delay the result of the election for “months or for years.”
“These ballots are all going to be lost. They’re going to be gone … the ballots are lost. There’s fraud. There’s theft. It’s happening all over the place.”
Election experts say election fraud is tiny compared to the size of the US electorate and that there is no evidence that mail-in voting systems already in place in multiple states are any more prone to irregularities.
Trump appears to be either offering himself a face-saving way out if he loses big to Biden or to be laying the political groundwork for multiple legal challenges in a desperate bid to hang on to power if he loses narrowly.
He is playing with fire since his claims risk severely damaging the prospects that the election will be seen as free and fair by all voters. Such a national consensus forms the bedrock of the American political system itself.

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Fight Night

UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Cynthia Calvillo outpoints Jessica Eye in flyweight debut – CBSSports.com

In a division already in need of contenders for dominant champion Valentina Shevchenko, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event couldn’t have produced a better outcome. Cynthia Calvillo made her official debut at flyweight after moving up a weight class and decisively outworked former title contender Jessica Eye to secure a unanimous decision over five rounds (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) inside the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. 

The victory instantly announced Calvillo (9-1-1) as a legitimate contender at 125 pounds as she mixed clean striking with four takedowns to remain unbeaten over her last four fights. 

“I feel great, especially for putting on a performance like that with a short amount of training,” Calvillo said. “I do understand that we are going through crazy times in this world, so it feels great to be able to do this. 

“I knew that it was my first time getting ready for a five-round fight and had to do it in three weeks. I knew it was going to take me a bit to get it going and I needed that first round as a warmup.”

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.

Eye (15-8, 1 NC), who missed weight by .25 pounds on Friday and subsequently required help walking off of the scale, appeared to control the opening round with clean counter-punching. The naturally bigger fighter as a former bantamweight, Eye quickly lost any momentum she had in Round 2 when Calvillo changed levels brilliantly to score a takedown and soon take Eye’s back in search of a choke. 

Calvillo, 32, outlanded Eye by a margin of 137 to 97 over five rounds. But it was the timing of her takedowns that turned this from a close fight to a largely dominant one as Calvillo appeared on the verge of dangerous submission attempts in three of the final four rounds, forcing Eye to fight just to survive. 

“I felt great [in the championship rounds],” Calvillo said. “I trained super hard, and when I get bored, I always try to win practice and outwork everyone. This is my first time doing that, and I’m really excited and proud of myself.”

The 33-year-old Eye, who was knocked out by Shevchenko via vicious head kick in their 2019 title bout, fell to 4-2 after moving down to flyweight. 

Following the debut win at 125 pounds, Calvillo received an instant callout on social media from former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian and expects to stay active from here on out. 

CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday, updating this story with all the results and highlights. You can check out the action from UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo below. 

UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo results

  • Cynthia Calvillo def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
  • Marvin Vettori def. Karl Roberson via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Charles Rosa def. Kevin Aguilar via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Andre Fili def. Charles Jourdain via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Jordan Espinosa def. Mark De La Rosa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

  • Mariya Agapova def. Hannah Cifers via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)

  • Merab Dvalishvili def. Gustavo Lopez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
  • Julia Avila def. Gina Mazany via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Tyson Nam def. Ryan Benoit  via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Christian Aguilera def. Anthony Ivy via first-round TKO (punches)

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Scorecards: 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 all for Calvillo. Impressive win. Welcome to the division.

They go the distance. 49-46 for Calvillo on my card.

R5: Good takedown late from Calvillo. This has been impressive.

R5: Right hand from Eye. Calvillo continues to answer at all the right times to slow any momentum.

R5: Eye continues to come up short with punches as Calvillo steps away. Good combo inside from Calvillo. Eye is not urgent enough.

R5: Eye is flashing an uppercut for the first time but keeps getting countered with stiff jabs. Eye will need to be much busier than she currently is.

ROUND 5: Eye lets her hands go but eats a hard counter right. Swelling showing on the right eye of Eye.

I’ve got it 39-37 for Calvillo entering the final round.

R4: Good jabs from Calvillo to slow Eye down. Stiff counter from Eye. Give the round to Calvillo as the aggressor, 10-9.

R4: They trade right hands along the cage. Eye wants to counter but Calvillo won’t take the lead. Eye starts to walk her down. Nice right hand from Eye.

R4: Eye stuffs a takedown nicely. She will need to be busy late to take this round.

R4: Eye reverses nicely and gets to her feet with two minutes to go in the round.

R4: Calvillo has the hooks in and is working hard with punches to open up room for the choke.

ROUND 4: Another takedown for Calvillo and she takes Eye’s back with relative ease. Eye has a lot of time she will have to kill if she can’t break free. This is very problematic.

R3: Eye gives up her back to try and stand but Calvillo takes it and leans Eye back. She will run out of time trying a choke as Eye survives for the second straight round. 10-9, Calvillo.

R3: Nice level change leads to a takedown for Calvillo. This could secure the round for her.

R3: They trade clean punches in the center of the cage but Calvillo remains the aggressor who is throwing and landing more.

R3: Good defensive jab from Eye but Calvillo answered clean. She can catch Eye flush whenever she wants.

R3: Calvillo is starting to land clean whenever she wants. Eye is looking a bit weary as she slows down.

R3: Calvillo is really mixing up her striking. She barely misses a spinning backfist. Nice combination upstairs caught Eye flush.

ROUND 3: Calvillo opens with jabs to the body and a left hook upstairs. Eye is looking to counter from distance and she eats a leaping right from Calvillo.

R2: Eye tries to stand but Calvillo is stuck to her. Good punches from behind for Calvillo. Eye is going to try and survive the round. She does. This was all Calvillo, 10-9.

R2: Calvillo really working well on the ground. She’s staying stuck to Eye like glue and is controlling this round as Eye clings to her wrist to avoid the choke.

R2: Calvillo succeeds in applying the backpack but Eye bends over to nearly shake her off. Calvillo hangs on to the back as they grapple on the ground.

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Fight Northam

Northam vows to fight temporary injunction against removing Robert E. Lee statue – The Washington Post

RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday vowed to fight a temporary injunction from a Richmond Circuit Court judge that prevents the state from immediately removing the statue of Robert E. Lee that towers 60 feet above this city’s Monument Avenue.

“We’ve been preparing for this for a year,” Northam said in a news briefing. “This is a statue that is divisive; it needs to come down and we are on very legal solid grounds to have it taken down.”

Northam (D) announced plans last week to remove the bronze figure of the Confederate general from its granite base and put it in storage amid protests in Richmond and across the country against police brutality toward African Americans. Late Tuesday, protesters brought down another statue in the city, that of Christopher Columbus in Byrd Park.

Preparations began Monday, when state surveyors used a bucket truck to examine the figure and the city prohibited parking on the street around it through Friday. But efforts came to an abrupt halt with the judge’s ruling Monday night, which prevents any further action for 10 days.

Richmond Circuit Judge Bradley B. Cavedo granted a temporary injunction sought by William C. Gregory, who contends in a lawsuit that the state promised to “affectionately protect” the statue when it annexed the land it stands on from Henrico County. The suit identifies Gregory as a great-grandson of a couple who were signatories to the deed.

State officials said they received no notice of Monday’s hearing on the injunction and did not know about it until calls started coming in from the news media. Governor’s counsel Rita Davis said the court was not required to give the administration a chance to respond but added that in most ­cases — such as recent suits filed against Northam’s pandemic-related shutdown of businesses — “we have been afforded that opportunity. But we were not this time.”

The statue is on state property that was annexed from Henrico in 1890. In the deed recording the land transfer, the state “guaranteed” to “hold said statue and pedestal and circle of ground perpetually sacred to the monumental purpose” and to “faithfully guard it and affectionately protect it,” Gregory’s lawyer, Joseph E. Blackburn Jr., argued in a court filing Monday.

“His family has taken pride for 130 years in this statue resting upon land belonging to his family and transferred to the Commonwealth in consideration of the Commonwealth contractually guaranteeing to perpetually care for and protect the Lee Monument,” the suit states.

Blackburn emailed a copy of the order to The Washington Post on Monday evening but did not respond to requests for comment. Another lawyer from his Richmond-based firm — Blackburn, Conte, Schilling & Click — said Tuesday that they would not discuss the case, but issued a statement pointing out that they had also offered pro bono representation to several people arrested in the recent protests.

The traffic circle around the Lee statue has become the focal point for 12 days of demonstrations against racial injustice, and its granite base is covered with graffiti. Four other Confederate statues along Monument Avenue are on city property. Mayor Levar Stoney (D) and members of the Richmond City Council have said they will back removal of those statues under a law passed this year by the General Assembly that gives localities power over war memorials on their own property.

Davis, the governor’s counsel, said she would work with the office of state Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) to ensure that there is a hearing on the Lee injunction as soon as possible.

“We were well aware of the potential legal challenges, and also well aware of the governor’s legal authority to do this,” she said, adding that the governor was prepared to take the issue to the Supreme Court of Virginia if necessary.

In Byrd Park late Tuesday, a few dozen people gathered to look at the statue of Columbus submerged in Fountain Lake. “I’m not going to say I approve, but I’m not going to say I disapprove either,” said Ronald Johnson, 33, a call center supervisor who has marched five nights in the city over the past 12 days.

Johnson was with at least 100 people at the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — which Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has said he plans to put in storage — when word spread that the Columbus statue has been torn down. A “massive cheer” went up, he said, and he drove over to Byrd Park to see it for himself.

John McDonnell contributed to this report.

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Fight Virus

U.K. Virus Fight Boosted by Clearance of Roche Antibody Test – Bloomberg

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Elon Musk’s latest fight with Alameda County follows familiar path – The Mercury News

Silicon Valley titan Elon Musk likes to do it his way. And when he can’t, he rarely holds back.

Musk’s combative nature revealed itself again this weekend when the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive challenged Alameda County government officials about reopening his electric car manufacturing plant in Fremont in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Saturday night fit, Musk had a lawyer file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to block Alameda County from enforcing an order that prevents the plant from reopening immediately. He went to court even though Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said Sunday they were close to an agreement to reopen the plant in the coming week.

The federal suit also argued that local government officials had overstepped their authority: “Alameda County’s power-grab not only defies the Governor’s Order, but offends the federal and California constitutions,” the lawsuit said.

The controversial action was the latest in the past month by the iconoclastic billionaire best known as a serial entrepreneur and serial tweeter.

To wit:

— Tweeting Saturday night, Musk said he would move Tesla’s headquarters from Palo Alto to Texas or Nevada, states with favorable tax laws that have been luring California companies for the past decade.

— Wednesday, Musk put two multimillion-dollar Bel Air mansions on the market after saying he would sell almost all physical possessions. “Don’t need the cash,” he tweeted. “Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession just weigh you down.”

— On Tuesday, Musk and Grimes, the Canadian musician Claire Elise Boucher, announced on Twitter the birth of their newborn boy. They named him X Æ A-12 Musk.

–On May 1, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s stock prices were too high, causing an immediate 10 percent drop. (The stock rebounded and closed Friday 7.78 percent higher than the day of the tweet.)

— In an April 29 conference call with reporters, Musk lashed out at shelter-in-place orders. “To say they cannot leave their house and that they will be arrested if they do, that’s fascist,” he said. “That is not democratic — this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, did not flinch when learning of Musk’s threat to abandon the Bay Area.

“Nothing ever surprises me anymore when it is related to Elon Musk,” he said Sunday. “I’m sure there are more surprises to come.”

Hancock described Musk’s remarks as “extreme impatience. We can completely understand it. Nobody gets to do anything they would like to do” while dealing with a global pandemic.

But Musk, a South African immigrant worth almost $40 billion, according to reports, is used to getting his way. And he is not afraid to air his frustrations publicly when he doesn’t.

With 33.9 million followers on Twitter, Musk commands a large audience. He did not respond Sunday to requests to talk about the Tesla situation through Twitter and email. Tesla Inc. also did not respond to an email request for comment.

“There is a reason he builds rockets: He moves at the speed of sound,” said Haggerty, the Alameda County supervisor who helped bring Tesla to the former General Motors Fremont assembly plant in 2010. “It is hard for people to keep up with him.”

Haggerty said Tesla officials threatened Thursday to sue Alameda County over the plant closure. The weekend filing still surprised him.

“I don’t think he is going to leave,” Haggerty said. “I think he wants to feel valued.”

Nevada would be a happy beneficiary if Musk does follow through with the threats, said Cara Clarke, vice president of the Las Vegas chamber of commerce.

“Nevada is always looking to diversify and expand businesses here,” she said Sunday. “Right now in this tentative economy, new jobs are something we would welcome.”

The 5.3-million-square foot Tesla plant that assembles the Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y vehicles temporarily closed March 23 to comply with the shelter-in-place order after first defying public health officials. It appeared the electric carmaker would reopen about the same time as America’s three big automakers that are scheduled to resume operations on May 18.

“We were close, we were really close,” said Haggerty, who added he had been working with Tesla executives and county health officials for three weeks to create a safety plan. “For some reason, Elon had it in his mind he wanted to open it this week. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Elon couldn’t wait a few more days.”

Hancock hopes the latest dispute does not lead to relocation.

“You’re talking about severing ties to 14,000 people who have given their lives to Tesla, who are loyal, devoted, who he cares about,” Hancock said of the plant’s workforce.

“It would be a cold-hearted move on his part, and it also would involve all kinds of start-up costs, relocation costs. None of this makes sense.”

Plus, Hancock added, Tesla is a technology company: “Silicon Valley and Elon Musk were made for each other,” he said.

Haggerty called for the immediate opening of the economy while also praising the work by the Bay Area county public health officials who took early action to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. Such measured comments usually are not found on Musk’s unfiltered Twitter feed.

“He’s made of that stuff that made California, that made the Wild West, made Silicon Valley,” Hancock said. “He’s a maverick, he’s a renegade, he’s an innovator and a disruptor.”

Now the question is how far will Musk go to make his latest point.

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Free Fight: Anthony Smith vs Alexander Gustafsson – UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship

Anthony “Lionheart” Smith scored an impressive submission win over Alexander Gustafsson in his most recent bout after competing for the light heavyweight title. Smith faces Glover Teixeira in the main event of the Fight Night event on Wednesday, May 13.

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Fight for control of Senate intensifies as Democrats capitalize: ‘Odds have improved’ – Fox News

The math was never on the GOP’s side.

Republicans enjoy a 53-47 majority in the U.S. Senate, but the party’s defending 23 of the 35 seats up for grabs in the chamber this November. And while at least a half-dozen GOP seats are considered battlegrounds, Democrats are defending just a handful of vulnerable incumbents.

Two developments this month appear to be giving the Democrats a further boost.

“I do think it’s 50/50 right now. I think that Democrats’ odds have improved over the past month,” predicted Jessica Taylor, who closely tracks the Senate races for the Cook Report, a leading non-partisan political handicapper.

TOP PAC BACKING SENATE DEMOCRATS OUTRAISES GOP COUNTERPART

Scott Fairchild, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – which is the political arm of Senate Democrats – touted recently that “Democrats have built strong operations in core battlegrounds, brought more states online, and expanded the overall map to widen the path to the majority.”

The presidential race will directly impact the battle for control of the Senate, with GOP fortunes closely tied to President Trump. The president’s approval rating has edged down and his disapproval rating’s edged up the past month as Americans judge Trump’s handling of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, enjoyed a bump thanks to former Vice President Joe Biden locking up their party’s presidential nomination. Biden’s victory over populist firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – who suspended his bid and backed Biden this month – was a big sigh of relief for some Senate Democrats worried that a liberal standard-bearer like Sanders would have put moderate states out of reach.

A leading indicator of the Democrats’ momentum – campaign cash.

Democratic challengers in six states where GOP senators are facing challenging re-elections – Arizona, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Georgia and Montana – outraised the incumbents during the January-March quarter of campaign fundraising.

“I think that this first quarter should be a wakeup call to Republicans that Democrats are enthused. They are sending their money because they see that there is a real possibility of flipping the Senate,” Taylor said.

The DSCC tweeted on Sunday that “Momentum is on our side, but we can’t let up if we’re going to flip these seats in November.”

A GOP official on Capitol Hill acknowledged to Fox News that “Republican candidates and campaigns need to understand that the financial competition is only going to increase as the actual campaigns ramp up.”

The Cook Report currently lists GOP-held seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Colorado as toss-ups, with Republican-held seats in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and Montana — and Democratic seats in Alabama and Michigan — as very competitive.

Democrats must net three seats to win back the majority in the chamber if they also capture the White House. If Trump wins re-election, the Democrats will need to net four seats to capture the chamber, as the vice president in the constitutional role as president of the Senate casts tie-breaking votes.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

With Biden at the top of the ticket, Senate Democrats believe that states like Georgia, Kansas, and even North Carolina may now be in reach.

“I think Biden becoming the presumptive nominee spared them having to run with Bernie Sanders on the ticket in a place that in places could have hurt them,” Taylor said. “Republicans – for better or for worse – their Senate fortunes are going to be tied a lot to what happens in the White House. A lot of these states that are critical to the presidential race are also Senate battlegrounds.”

Also helping to expand the map for Democrats is a  late recruitment victory. Outgoing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock – who last year ran unsuccessfully for president – changed his mind and in early March decided to run for the Senate in his conservative state.

Republicans note that while they’re mostly playing defense, they do have “a couple of good offensive opportunities.”

Their prime target is Alabama, where Democratic Sen. Doug Jones – who won a special election in 2017 – faces an extremely difficult re-election in the ruby-red southern state. The GOP also has their eyes on Michigan, where incumbent Sen. Gary Peters repeatedly has been outraised by Republican challenger John James.

“Alabama and Michigan pose two excellent opportunities for Republican candidates to knock off Democratic incumbents,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) communications director Jesse Hunt told Fox News. “John James has been an incredibly impressive candidate thus far, outraising Gary Peters three quarters in a row, and demonstrating the type of charisma and strong uplifting message on the campaign trail that is a good contrast to a relatively unknown politician like Gary Peters.”

The NRSC says thanks to strong fundraising, the committee’s going up with ads as early as June in some Senate battlegrounds.

A GOP official stressed that it’s time to change the narrative, arguing that “Republicans have been on the receiving end of a barrage of attack ads from dark money Democratic groups for over a year. Democratic challengers up to this point have lived a charmed life. They haven’t had much scrutiny.”

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