Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized the Communist Party’s control over the military as he prepares for a key leadership reshuffle later this year.
Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized the Communist Party’s control over the military as he prepares for a key leadership reshuffle later this year.
(CNN)Democrats would like voters to believe the party’s slogan for its new economic agenda rolled out Monday, “A Better Deal,” describes a program aimed at fighting for regular people — even though it mostly rings like a sales pitch for a discounted item at a shopping mall. Worse, the specifics of the strategy are a path to more electoral failure, because “A Better Deal” embraces falsehoods about economic power while leaving a bankrupt system unchallenged.
I always imagine what those popular characters can do with their abilities if they are living in our real life.
They can find a very good Part Time Job with their abilities, I think they can be very good in sports too.
(CNN)US President Donald Trump will make back-to-back phone calls to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House announced Saturday night.
If you’ve so much as tapped the Twitter icon on your phone this morning, you’ll probably have seen at least 100 posts about Harry Potter.
Basically, today is the books’ 20-year anniversary. On 26 June 1997, The Philosopher’s Stone was published and the Harry Potter universe was magicked into existence.
And although there have been a huge number of fan tributes shared on social media, the following illustration posted by Instagram’s official account and drawn by illustrator Taryn Knight is particularly spell-binding.
Like millions of others around the world, Taryn Knight (@taryndraws) first discovered the magical world of Harry Potter when she was a young girl, and hasnt stopped loving it since. I just kept reading them over and over, she says of author J.K. Rowlings book series. Something just clicked. I was immediately obsessed. It wasnt until Taryn, a Colorado-based freelance illustrator, was older that her love for all things witchcraft and wizardry began to manifest itself in her drawings. I didnt do a lot of art when I was first reading the books, she says. But once I started drawing regularly, my passion for Harry Potter began to creep in. Taryn, a self-proclaimed Hufflepuff, is excited about the celebration surrounding #HarryPotter20, the 20-year anniversary of the UK release of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It seems to be reigniting everyones love for the Potter world, she says. It feels a bit like that old familiar buzz of a new book release. Illustration by @taryndraws
This isn’t the first time Knight’s drawn the Harry Potter world, either; her Instagram is packed full of other magical gems:
A quick Harry from a couple weeks ago! Speaking of whom, would you guys be interested if I did #PotterWeekPrompts again in July?? For those who don’t know, PotterWeekPrompts is a fun thing I’d started last year – essentially I came up with a topic for each day of the last week in July, and you guys could follow along if you wanted to.
You can see more of Knight’s work on her Instagram account.
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Listen up all techies, artists, and techie artists: The MP Select 3D Printing Pen is on sale today for $24.99, a $10-drop from its original price of $34.99.
Create or touch up any 3D model with the pen, which releases a flexible filament (aka plastic) that becomes sturdy once it cools.
This bad boy can operate at eight different printing speeds, has low and high-temp settings, and comes with samples of two different types of filament so you can practice.
Thors hammer might seem like just another superhero accessory, like Batmans grappling gun or Wonder Womans Lasso of Truth. Unlike those heroic paraphernalia, there is a lot more to Mjlnir than you might think.
For decades, Thor has become a popular mainstay of Marvel comics. He was a founding member of the Avengers, and starred in multiple comics titles before getting his own long-running series. His hammer, like any reliable friend, has been with him ever since. Mjlnir has proven to be an essential part of who Thor is over the decades in comics, cartoons, and live-action interpretations.
Mjlnir has an origin story that could earn its own spin-off movie. Over the decades, the hammer has had a few different origin stories. The most recent version, as well as the one utilized in the Thor movies, explains that Mjlnir was forged in the heart of a dying star.
Theres actually a lot more to the story. The hammer was forged by dwarven blacksmiths named Eitri, Brok, and Buri. In the comics, Odin commanded the blacksmiths to construct a deadly and powerful weapon for Asgard. To do this, the blacksmiths summoned a magical forge located in the heart of a star. There, they painstakingly forged Mjlnir out of Asgardian metal. This metal is so indestructible, it would give Wolverines adamantium claws a run for their money.
The creation of Mjlnir wasnt just magicalit was also intense. So intense, actually, that Earth was nearly destroyed in the process. (Of course that wouldve made for a really short comic book.) The explosion caused by Mjlnirs creation was so deafening it wreaked havoc on Earth and ended up causing the mass extinction event that took out the dinosaurs in the Marvel universe.
Fortunately for Marvels heroes, Earth survived the blast. With Jeff Goldblums upcoming appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, it sounds like life found a way after all.
You read that correctly. Thor and his hammer, Mjlnir, were initially introduced by artist Jack Kirby in the 1942 short Adventure Comics, a subsidiary of DC Comics. That was two decades before he was a Marvel superhero.
In the comic, Thor and his trusty hammer Mjolnar fought against the villain Sandman. Kirby liked the concept of Thor so much that he officially inducted Thor into the Marvel universe in the 1962 comic Journey into Mystery, for which Kirby shared credit with Stan Lee. The rest is Marvel history.
If youve seen Marvels Thor, youll remember that Thor was relatively useless without his hammer. It took him learning humility to earn the right to wield Mjlnir, and that is when he became Thor. Thors armor, his ability to fly, his ability to command lightningyup, all because of the hammer.
Yes, Thor is very strong and exhibits great physical pose. However, Mjlnir is an essential part of what makes Thor well, Thor. This is what separates Mjlnir from the gadgets on Batmans utility belt. In the comics, Batman often fends for himself when his utility belt is taken away by criminals and villains. Wonder Woman still has superhuman strength when shes without her lasso.
Thors demigod status makes him hard to hurt, but his offensive moves are rendered almost useless without Mjlnir, which is the best argument for why the hammer is such a quintessential part of who Thor is.
In early iterations of the Thor character, he had an alter ego, and hed sometimes come to Earth under the assumed identity of a doctor named Donald Blake. Thor could change his identity at will thanks to Mjlnir, while the hammer itself would transform into a walking stick for Blake.
In these early versions of the character, and in the more recent comic with Jane Foster, if the hammer is out of Thors grip for more than 60 seconds, Thor reverts back to the identity of a normal person. This part of Thors character, which has been an integral part of the comics for decades, was decidedly ignored for the films.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers have a light-hearted scene where each of them try to pick up Thors hammer. No one is able to do italthough pure-hearted Steve Rogers comes close. Later in a pivotal scene, the newly born Vision picks up the hammer and hands it over to Thor. Its a small but important moment: Vision is able to show his worthiness to the Avengers, and most importantly to a stunned Thor.
In the comics, Vision isnt the only one who has wielded Mjlnir. Captain America has proved his worthiness and wielded the hammer before, thus explaining why the film version of Rogers could almost do it in Age of Ultron. X-Mens Storm, Odin, and most recently Jane Foster have all proved they are worthy enough to wield the mighty Mjlnir. Which brings us to Mjlnirs current companion.
Thor has wielded Mjlnir in the comics for decades. However, after a recent comic book incident with Nick Fury, he was deemed unworthy to wield the hammer. The person who was deemed worthy instead?
Jane Foster, a popular human ally from Thors trusted inner circle. This event was so significant it even changed the inscription on Thors hammer. The original inscription described: He who holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” When Jane picked up the hammer, it read: Whosoever holds this hammer, if she be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. It looks like even Mjlnirs words are capable of making a sizable and impressive impact.
While the dethroned old Thor sulked off under the moniker Odinson, the new female Thor took up his title and heroic ways. Her identity was kept secret to comic-book readers for a while until it was recently revealed. With Jane Foster wielding Mjlnir in the comics, the implications could be enormous. Chris Hemsworth will eventually step down as the mighty Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and having a female Thor in the comics could be a pathway for Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster in the movies, to wield the hammeror even perhaps Tessa Thompson, who appears in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.When it comes to Mjlnir, the hammer gets to choose its master.
One highlight stands head and shoulders above all the rest from the Golden State Warriors’ 132-113 drubbing of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night: Steph Curry, feinting and probing against the smothering defense of LeBron James before knifing to the rim for a layup against the much bigger man.
The play instantly lit the internet on fire with emphatic reactions. It stood out for several reasons: the size difference between the two stars; as an illustration of Golden State’s dominance through two games in this year’s Finals; and finally, as a bit of revenge for a vicious block James had against Curry in last year’s Finals matchup.
But upon further review, there is a problem: The play technically shouldn’t have counted at all because Curry double-dribbled. How do we know this? Thanks to a clip the NBA itself shared on social media.
First, here’s the play in question, which came early in the third quarter Monday night. Watch Curry struggle to free himself from James before finally getting the separation he needs to sneak in two points.
It’s remarkable and nearly impossible to spot his double-dribble when viewing at game speed. Curry gets the advantage he’s seeking around the seven-second mark of this clip, using a head and shoulders fake near the three-point line to get James off balance before he drives to the rim.
Remember that moment.
Now, the NBA has something called a “Phantom Cam,” which is basically a camera that shoots super-slow motion in super-high quality. They use the “Phantom Cam” to create cool clips that are sharable on social media and did just that with Curry’s drive on James.
Let’s pay careful attention to the 22-second mark of this clip, though it corresponds to the seven-second mark of the first clip we showed you, the moment when Curry found his advantage on James.
But slowed down and from an alternate angle, we see this:
It turns out Curry didn’t just get James with a head-and-shoulder fake that made the Cavs star briefly expect an outside shot was coming. No, it turns out Curry was able to trick James because he actually put two hands on the ball as if he was going to shoot before double-dribbling to begin his drive to the rim.
Now, a missed call on one drive to the hoop is not even close to being the worst of Cleveland’s problems losing games one and two by a combined 41 points proves that beyond a doubt.
But perhaps Cavs fans can take solace in one small mercy: Sunday night’s viral highlight wasn’t quite what it seemed.
Beijing (CNN)If you came to this Beijing warehouse at night it would be downright creepy.
In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday with a lower court ruling that found that Republican lawmakers in North Carolina drew two congressional districts with improper racial considerations in mind.
The ruling is the latest attempt by the justices to clarify the standard for what counts as unconstitutional racial gerrymandering the push by lawmakers, especially in the South, to draw district lines based on the racial demographics of a specific area.
The Constitution entrusts States with the job of designing congressional districts, wrote Justice Elena Kagan in the 5-to-3 decision. But it also imposes an important constraint: A State may not use race as the predominant factor in drawing district lines unless it has a compelling reason.
The court concluded that the two districts which, following the 2010 census, were drawn to pack a higher percentage of voting-age black voters into them violated this principle.
Kagan was joined in her majority opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
The contested districts have quite the history at this Court, Kagan wrote, noting the long line of court challenges that have sought to find fault with how North Carolina draws its congressional districts.
Perhaps to illustrate the unusual shapes of Districts 1 and 12, Kagans opinion included an appendix with images of both, as well as one depicting all the districts in the state. She described District 12, in particular, as snakelike.
The evidence offered at trial, including live witness testimony subject to credibility determinations, adequately supports the conclusion that race, not politics, accounted for the districts reconfiguration, Kagan said of District 12.
The race-versus-politics distinction in redistricting decisions matters, because lawmakers often insist that they redraw district lines for political reasons that is, to keep winning elections and to retain their power by creating friendly districts. If its pure politics driving their decisions, they argue, then a map may not be unconstitutional by itself.
(In the law, thats an unsettled question: The Supreme Court could soon agree to hear a separate Wisconsin case that addresses squarely the validity of partisan gerrymandering.)
But whenever a legislature relies on race to redraw district boundaries, the Supreme Court has said that judges should really take a hard look at how the legislature went about the map-drawing. And here, three federal judges concluded that race was the predominant factor driving North Carolinas 2011 congressional maps,which put more black voters in Districts 1 and 12 while making neighboring districts whiter.
The Equal Protection Clause prohibits the unjustified drawing of district lines based on race, cautioned Kagan.
Thomas, a conservative who disfavors race-based considerations in any context, took the highly unusual step of joining the Supreme Courts four more liberal members in ruling against North Carolina.He wrote a short concurring opinion to note that the majority correctly applies our precedents under the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Samuel Alito wrote a partial dissent that took issue with how the majority was interpreting the Supreme Courts own case law dealing with District 12, which the court had vindicated in a prior ruling.
A precedent of this Court should not be treated like a disposable household item say, a paper plate or napkin to be used once and then tossed in the trash, Alito wrote. In his view, the districts borders and racial composition are readily explained by political considerations and the effects of the legislatures political strategy on the demographics.
The Equal Protection Clause prohibits the unjustified drawing of district lines based on race. Justice Elena Kagan
Justice Neil Gorsuch didnt participate in the ruling, as his colleagues hadheard arguments in the dispute before he joined the court.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who is part of a Democratic initiative to challenge Republican-drawn districting in the courts, hailed Mondays ruling as a watershed moment in the fight to end racial gerrymandering.
Todays ruling sends a stark message to legislatures and governors around the country: Racial gerrymandering is illegal and will be struck down in a court of law, Holder said in a statement.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who succeeded Republican Gov. Pat McCrory as the named party in the case, also praised the decision in a statement.
North Carolina voters deserve a level playing field and fair elections, and Im glad the Supreme Court agrees, he said. The North Carolina Republican legislature tried to rig Congressional elections by drawing unconstitutional districts that discriminated against African Americans, and thats wrong.
As if responding to Holder, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party said in a statement that the invalidated maps were pre-approved by his Department of Justice during the Obama years back when the state had to submit districting plans to the federal government.
The courts have put legislatures in an impossible situation, with their constantly changing standards, said the state Republican Party chairman, Robin Hayes.
The Supreme Courts ruling represents North Carolinas second election-related setback in as many weeks. Last week, the justices declined to hear an appeal that sought to salvage a broad swath of voting restrictions.
But the state is also enveloped in a separate challenge to how the GOP-controlled General Assembly drew 28 state House and Senate districts, which a lower court also found were racially gerrymandered and may soon need to be redrawn. The high court is presently weighing the fate of those districts.