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Obama Staffer, Bill Gates, Pushing Hollywood Soros Behind Group Hold Coronavirus Propaganda

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Obama Staffer, Bill Gates, Pushing Hollywood Soros Behind Group Hold Coronavirus Propaganda

The # PasstheMic Celebrity Movement is enlisting Hollywood stars to turn over their social media accounts to experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci to facilitate a “global response” to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

But who’s really behind this propaganda campaign?

The list of donors and officials behind the # PasstheMic campaign includes a long list of far-left globalists, including US frontman Bono, George Soros, and Bill Gates. The head of the group is Gayle Smith, a former special assistant to Barack Obama.

Breitbart.com reports: The guest line-up features another surgeon who openly criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration policy and the treatment of the coronavirus epidemic, while defending the World Health Agency, which reversed the seriousness of the outbreak in its early weeks.

In a video interview with Julia Roberts on Thursday, Dr. Fauci urged people to pay more attention to how coronavirus affects poorer countries. “We do have a spiritual obligation for people all over the world,” he said.

Fauci has cautioned the Americans not to rebuild the economy so soon. “Now is not the time to try fate and pull back completely,” he said. “There’s a beautiful mean there.”

ONE Campaign was co-founded by Bono as an advocacy group to combat poverty and disease, particularly in Africa. The organization is closely affiliated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has contributed millions of dollars and is based on its board of directors.

The Gates Foundation — the richest philanthropic organization in the world — has come under criticism for the way its members have slammed President Donald Trump while celebrating China. Bill Gates recently praised China’s handling of the outbreak, saying that “China did a lot of things right at the outset.” His remarks were promoted on social media by Chinese state media.

Meanwhile, his wife, Melinda Gates, recently gave President Trump a “D-” in response to the outbreak, saying that “we need leadership.”
The Gates Foundation is also a major donor to the World Health Organization, an troubled United Nations body whose failed treatment of the Wuhan virus and strong relations with China’s Communist government have caused President Trump to withdraw funding.

ONE Movement also collects funding from the Open Society Policy Center, the Soros advocacy agency that supports Trump’s policies and advocates open borders and other left-wing political concerns.

Gayle Smith, currently President and CEO of ONE Campaign, previously worked as a special assistant to President Obama, who later appointed her to head USAID.

“No one of us is safe until all of us are safe,” Smith tweeted this week to support # PasstheMic.

Smith has strongly condemned President Trump ‘s decision to withhold aid to the WHO. “A cut in funding would mean a reduction in funding for the fight against polio where we’re nearly successful,” Smith said in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation.

Future guests at # PasstheMic include Dr. Tsion Firew, an emergency doctor based in New York. Firew openly criticized President Trump’s border wall while supporting Obama. She also denounced President Trump’s decision to suspend WHO funding.

“He’s not promoting what America stands for! “This week, she tweeted.

While all these leaders have been committed, showing solidarity and investing in what matters – health, one leader has been busy taking hydroxychloroquine and writing a letter to permanently stop WHO funding. It’s not what America stands for! We ‘re losing honesty & credibility. https:/t.co/0PRTVGGTGvT

-Tsion Firew, MD , MPH (@DrTsion) May 19, 2020.

Other celebrities that are set to participate in # PasstheMic include Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley and David Oyelowo.

Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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GOP review finds no proof Arizona election was stolen from Trump

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GOP review finds no proof Arizona election was stolen from Trump

PHOENIX (AP) — A Republican-backed review of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s largest county ended Friday without producing proof to support former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.

After six months of searching for evidence of fraud, the firm hired by Republican lawmakers issued a report that experts described as riddled with errors, bias and flawed methodology. Still, even that partisan review came up with a vote tally that would not have altered the outcome, finding that Biden won by 360 more votes than the official results certified last year.

The finding was an embarrassing end to a widely criticized, and at times bizarre, quest to prove allegations that election officials and courts have rejected. It has no bearing on the final, certified results. Previous reviews by nonpartisan professionals that followed state law have found no significant problem with the vote count in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix.

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Still, for many critics, the conclusions reached by the firm Cyber Ninjas and presented at a hearing Friday, underscored the dangerous futility of the exercise, which has helped fuel skepticism about the validity of the 2020 election and spawned copycat audits nationwide.

“We haven’t learned anything new,” said Matt Masterson, a top U.S. election security official in the Trump administration. “What we have learned from all this is that the Ninjas were paid millions of dollars, politicians raised millions of dollars and Americans’ trust in democracy is lower.”

Other critics said the true purpose of the audit may have already succeeded. It spread complex allegations about ballot irregularities and software issues, fueling doubts about elections, said Adrian Fontes, a Democrat who oversaw the Maricopa County election office last year.

“They are trying to scare people into doubting the system is actually working,” he said. “That is their motive. They want to destroy public confidence in our systems.”

The review was authorized by the Republican-controlled state Senate, which subpoenaed the election records from Maricopa County and selected the inexperienced, pro-Trump auditors. On Friday, Senate President Karen Fann sent a letter to Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, urging him to investigate issues the report flagged. However, she noted the review found the official count matched the ballots.

“This is the most important and encouraging finding of the audit,” Fann wrote.

Trump issued statements Friday falsely claiming the results demonstrated “fraud.”

Despite being widely pilloried, the Arizona review has become a model that Trump supporters are pushing to replicate in other swing states where Biden won. Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general sued Thursday to block a GOP-issued subpoena for a wide array of election materials. In Wisconsin, a retired conservative state Supreme Court justice is leading a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 election, and this week threatened to subpoena election officials who don’t comply.

None of the reviews can change Biden’s victory, which was certified by officials in each of the swing states he won and by Congress on Jan. 6 — after Trump’s supporters, fueled by the same false charges that generated the audits, stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent certification of his loss.

The Arizona report claims a number of shortcomings in election procedures and suggested the final tally still could not be relied upon. Several were challenged by election experts, while members of the Republican-led county Board of Supervisors, which oversees elections, disputed claims on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election,” county officials tweeted.

Election officials say that’s because the review team is biased, ignored the detailed vote-counting procedures in Arizona law and had no experience in the complex field of election audits.

Two of the report’s recommendations stood out because they showed its authors misunderstood election procedures — that there should be paper ballot backups and that voting machines should not be connected to the internet. All Maricopa ballots are already paper, with machines only used to tabulate the votes, and those tabulators are not connected to the internet.

The review also checked the names of voters against a commercial database, finding 23,344 reported moving before ballots went out in October. While the review suggests something improper, election officials note that voters like college students, those who own vacation homes or military members can move to temporary locations while still legally voting at the address where they are registered.

“A competent reviewer of an election would not make a claim like that,” said Trey Grayson, a former Republican secretary of state in Kentucky.

The election review was run by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, whose firm has never conducted an election audit before. Logan previously worked with attorneys and Trump supporters trying to overturn the 2020 election and appeared in a film questioning the results of the contest while the ballot review was ongoing.

Logan and others involved with the review presented their findings to two Arizona senators Friday. It kicked off with Shiva Ayyadurai, a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic who claims to have invented email, presenting an analysis relying on “pattern recognition” that flagged purported anomalies in the way mail ballots were processed at the end of the election.

Maricopa County tweeted that the pattern was simply the election office following state law.

“’Anomaly’ seems to be another way of saying the Senate’s contractors don’t understand election processes,” the county posted during the testimony.

Logan followed up by acknowledging “the ballots that were provided for us to count … very accurately correlated with the official canvass.” He then continued to flag statistical discrepancies — including the voters who moved — that he said merited further investigation.

The review has a history of exploring outlandish conspiracy theories, dedicating time to checking for bamboo fibers on ballots to see if they were secretly shipped in from Asia. It’s also served as a content-generation machine for Trump’s effort to sow skepticism about his loss, pumping out misleading and out-of-context information that the former president circulates long after it’s been debunked.

In July, for example, Logan laid out a series of claims stemming from his misunderstanding of the election data he was analyzing, including that 74,000 mail ballots were recorded as received but not sent. Trump repeatedly amplified the claims. Logan had compared two databases that track different things.

Arizona’s Senate agreed to spend $150,000 on the review, plus security and facility costs. That pales in comparison to the nearly $5.7 million contributed as of late July by Trump allies.

Maricopa County’s official vote count was conducted in front of bipartisan observers, as were legally required audits meant to ensure voting machines work properly. A partial hand-count spot check found a perfect match.

Two extra post-election reviews by federally certified election experts also found no evidence that voting machines switched votes or were connected to the internet. The county Board of Supervisors commissioned the extraordinary reviews in an effort to prove to Trump backers that there were no problems.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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12-year-old charged for bomb threat aimed at Hackett Middle School

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12-year-old charged for bomb threat aimed at Hackett Middle School

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A 12-year-old student was arrested after making a bomb threat at a local middle school.

Police were called to Hackett Middle School around 1 p.m. Friday after a male had called the school and indicated there was a bomb inside.

Police said a 12-year-old student communicated with a third party through instant messaging, and during the conversation, encouraged the third party to call in a bomb threat to his school.

Albany Police K-9, with the assistance of the New York State Police, cleared the school and deemed that the building was safe and that there was no device.

The student was charged with Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree and is scheduled to appear in Albany County Family Court in October.

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Rensselaer County sheriff responds to complaint filed against jail, ICE

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Complaint filed against Rensselaer County Jail

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Rensselaer County sheriff has responded to a complaint filed against the jail and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement over alleged abuse and neglect.

The complaint alleges physical abuse while in transit by ICE to the Troy facility as well as medical neglect and deplorable jail conditions. It was filed on behalf of a woman only identified as “Miss Q.”

It claims she was violently tugged, which caused her to fall without the ability to put her hands out to break her fall because of the shackles she was wearing. The complaint claims she suffered several injuries, including bleeding and bruising.

The sheriff’s office released the following statement in response:

The female inmate’s main complaint, who was scheduled for deportation, was she did not want to be quarantined upon arrival to the facility, which is, due to COVID-19, policy for all new admissions into the Rensselaer County Jail. She was given a grievance form, which she filled out, but later signed off stating everything was alright and no longer wished to further the grievance.

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Government shutdown looms amid federal budget feud

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Government shutdown looms amid federal budget feud

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. is facing a possible government shutdown next week because lawmakers are at odds over the federal budget.

Lawmakers have the power to avoid the shutdown but have so far failed to avert the crisis.

“They want to raise $5 trillion and spend it in the next month. They have a maxed-out credit card and want to get a new limit to go max out another one,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said of Democrats.

House Republicans voted against the bill that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open.

“It’s quite appalling because when Republican presidents were there, we always had bipartisan support for that,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The fight is headed to the Senate where the measure could fail, prompting both a government shutdown and a default on U.S. loans, which could greatly impact Americans and the services they receive from the government. A shutdown also has the potential to damage the greater American economy.

“Republicans won’t agree to pay our past bills, the debt we owe,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY) replied, “Give me a break.”

Republicans refuse to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling because they oppose Democrats’ proposed agenda that aims to spend $3.5 trillion on green energy investments and measures like universal preschool and childcare subsidies for lower income families.

But that spending plan is in danger of failing anyway because not all Democrats are on board.

Nevertheless, Republicans say they’ll oppose raising the debt ceiling on principal.

“If they want to tax, borrow and spend historic sums of money without our input, they’ll have to raise the debt limit without our help,” said McConnell.

“They can do it if they want to do it, and they should. But I’m certainly not going to help them do it,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

Republicans say they would support a standalone bill to keep the government open. While Democrats can technically raise the debt ceiling alone, they don’t have enough votes to do so because their own party can’t agree on the spending plan and reconciliation package.

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No school bus? No problem. Colorado boy kayaks to school

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No school bus? No problem. Colorado boy kayaks to school

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – As school districts across the nation deal with a shortage of bus drivers, a Colorado student is getting high marks for his creative way of getting to class.

The boy’s dad, Jason Smith, said the shortage prompted his son Josh, 12, to come up with a backup plan in case Josh was unable to get a seat on the bus when the school year started in Summit County.

“One night he said, ‘Hey, instead of waiting on the bus, why don’t I just kayak to school?’” said Smith.

The Smiths live in Silverthorne, about a five-mile drive from Summit Middle School, where Josh attends. But the shortest route — as the crow flies — is directly across Dillon Reservoir. 

“The easy answer would have been, ‘No, let me just drive you to school. If you can’t get on the bus, we’ll drive you to school, no problem,’” said Smith. “But I have a 12-year-old who wants to be adventurous, wants to do something none of his buddies would do, and how can I say no to that?”

So on a cool September morning, they loaded the kayak into the family car and drove the short distance down to the reservoir. 

Josh set off and made it across the entire lake to school — a distance of about three miles — arriving almost on time after he stopped to explore an island on the way.

“I was late to one of my classes, and everyone was like, ‘Josh, where were you? We were worried.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I was kayaking to school,’” he said with a smile.

“Instead of taking a shortcut, I took a long cut,” Josh joked. 

Josh’s dad said he kept an eye on Josh from overlooks around the lake. But Josh said he was only a little bit nervous, and mostly excited for the adventure.

“I was nervous when I started to go out a little more, and I realized how vast it was, and how far away I was from land,” he said. “When I got there, I felt like I was accomplished, but I also knew I was a little bit late to school, so I think I could have made a little bit better time.”

Now the 12-year-old Boy Scout — who hopes to reach Eagle Scout and potentially enroll in the Air Force Academy someday — is planning to try and ski to school across the lake once it freezes.

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Albany PD welcomes 15 new officers

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Albany PD welcomes 15 new officers

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department welcomed 15 new officers during a graduation ceremony on Friday morning.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins were on hand to welcome the new group of officers.

All of the recruits went through 31 weeks of training at the Albany Police Academy, which opened in 2016.

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Gabby Petito: Social media sleuths help unravel the case

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Gabby Petito: Social media sleuths help unravel the case

(NewsNation Now) — 22-year-old Gabby Petito embarked on a cross-country road trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie in July, documenting every turn of their new van life on their nascent YouTube channel, where they invited the world to tag along.

But more than a week after Laundrie returned from the trip alone, her family reported her missing, and followers took that invitation to heart — scouring her posts and unpacking the mystery in real time.

The hashtag #gabbypetito has been viewed more than 867 million times on TikTok alone.

Paris Campbell, a comedian and TikTok user, saw some of herself in the videos she watched of Petito.

“I’m a new mother,” Campbell told NewsNationNow.com. “I saw an interview with Gabby’s mother crying, begging for people to help bring her daughter home.

“It just resonated with me.”

Haley Toumaian, 24, is a data analyst. But she’s also using her account and expertise to hunt for clues.

“My goal is to share as many things as I can because you just never know who’s going to see the video and who might know something,” she told NewsNationNow.com.

Millions have poured over the various posts — dissecting threads and theories. One of Toumaian’s videos scrutinizes the captions on Petito’s Instagram posts. Campbell flagged an apparent change in who appeared in the photos themselves in another video.

“I saw myself a lot in what was being reported about Gabby,” Toumaian said. “We’re similar age, we’re both engaged to be married. We’re both YouTubers and just live a kind of similar lifestyle.”

She said she also knew what it was like to be in a toxic relationship. That empathy became even more applicable after bodycam footage in Utah showed Petito and Laundrie after a recent fight.

After weeks of mystery, a break in the case came online. YouTubers Jenn and Kyle Bethune found video of a white van they happened to catch on their camera during a trip to Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 27. That van matched the description of the one Petito and Laundrie traveled in.

The van was on the side of the road. Then they gave the footage to the FBI, who closed the area to the public.

Days later, on Sept. 19, they found Petito’s body nearby.

For the online community, the search for Laundrie, and justice, continues.

In a TikTok video, Miranda Baker claimed she picked Laundrie up in the park alone. She said she called the authorities after recognizing him in TikTok videos after the fact.

The community is also building on its own findings. Former Marine and self-described audio/video nerd, Brent Shavnore, said he enhanced the video of the van and believed he could see the door closing.

“When I zoomed in with a 4k video, it was clear as day to me on a large monitor that that door looked to be closing,” Shavnore told NewsNationNow.com. “I got chills up my spine, and when I saw that happen, I posted that to Twitter instantly to see if anybody else saw the same thing.”

Several people on Twitter commented on the video saying that it was “creepy” to see someone “abruptly” close the door in the enhanced video.

There has been some debate on whether the flood of speculation and analysis has been helpful or not, but Michael Alcazar, an investigator with the New York Police Department for 30 years, says it’s “very helpful.”

“There’s like bigfoot sightings of Laundrie right now. Everyone is handing in images, grainy images,” he told NewsNationNow.com. “And I think that’s a big help. It’s like a lot of investigators out there doing a canvas for this person of interest.”

There’s no signs the community, hungry for answers, will turn their energy away anytime soon.

“There’s something really powerful about a large group of people trying to get the same message across and a large group of people being focused on a single topic,” Campbell said. “And I think that the natural outcome from that would be some sort of progress.”

“If I can make a difference, then it’s worth it,” Toumaian said.

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Who’s eligible for Pfizer booster shots after CDC announcement?

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Who’s eligible for Pfizer booster shots after CDC announcement?

FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 file photo, a nurse loads a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Jackson, Miss. Millions of Americans are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot to help increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP) – Millions of Americans are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot to help increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus.

A look at the nuts and bolts of this new phase of the vaccination campaign:

Who should get the Pfizer booster?

People who got two Pfizer shots at least six months ago and who fall into one of these groups should get the booster:

— People 65 and older, nursing home residents and assisted living residents.

— Others ages 50 to 64 with a long list of risky health problems including cancer, diabetes, asthma, HIV infection and heart disease. Being overweight or obese is a category that qualifies roughly 70% of people in this age group.

Who else can consider getting it?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these people may get a booster, but stopped short of a full recommendation:

— People 18 to 49 who got their Pfizer shots at least six months ago with risky health problems can consider the booster based on their individual benefits and risks.

— Anyone 18 to 64 with a risky job, such as health care, can consider boosters. Prisoners and people living in homeless shelters are also in this group.

What are the side effects?

Serious side effects from the first two Pfizer doses are exceedingly rare, including heart inflammation that sometimes occurs in younger men.

Weren’t some people already eligible?

Yes, people with severely weakened immune systems were already eligible to get a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna. This group includes people taking immune-suppressing medications and those with diseases that tamp down their immune systems. They didn’t have to wait six months to get a third dose.

What if I got Moderna? Can I get a Pfizer booster?

Not yet. Health officials say they don’t have enough data on mix-and-match vaccinations. Moderna has applied to U.S. health regulators for its own booster, one that would be half the dose of the original shots. The Food and Drug Administration is considering that application.

What if I got J&J?

People who originally got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson also must wait. The government doesn’t recommend mixing-and-matching. J&J hasn’t yet filed a booster application. But earlier this week, the company released data showing two doses of its vaccine provided stronger immunity than one — whether the extra dose was given either two months or six months after the first.

Where can I get my booster?

Health departments, clinics and drugstores are offering boosters, and many people have already gotten them ahead of the official green light. You may have to show your vaccine card. Proving how you qualify is on the honor system. Your word about your risky job or health condition is likely to be enough.

Are boosters free?

Yes, shots given under FDA’s emergency use authorization are free. And there should be enough supplies.

Am I ‘fully vaccinated’ without a booster?

Yes, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one of J&J, is still considered fully vaccinated.

Why were boosters so hotly contested?

The need is not crystal clear. Studies show the vaccines are still offering strong protection against serious illness for all ages. And many experts want to focus attention on getting shots to the unvaccinated, the group most in danger of infection, hospitalization and death.

On the other hand, there is a slight drop in the vaccine’s effectiveness among the oldest adults. And immunity against milder infection appears to wane months after people’s initial shots. Protecting health care workers from even mild illness may help some hospitals now struggling to care for unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Are other countries offering boosters?

Britain and Israel are already giving boosters over strong objections from the World Health Organization that poor countries don’t have enough for their initial doses.

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Lawmakers call out Biden administration for extending Canadian border restriction

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Lawmakers call out Biden administration for extending Canadian border restriction

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats and Republicans are calling out the Biden administration for extending the restriction at the Canadian border.

“I think it’s an outrage,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Gillibrand is disappointed travel restrictions at the Canadian border will remain in place at least until October 21.

“We need that border open for our economy and for families and communities that depend on those borders and cross border transactions,” Gillibrand said.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) says Port Roberts, Washington is especially suffering.

“Their local economy depends on Canadian tourists, especially since, by the way, the only ferry between Port Roberts and the rest of Washington state is closed because of the pandemic,” Murray said.

In a statement, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said the prolonged closure is “devastating” northern New York.

The current restrictions do allow air travel between the countries, but the Biden administration says it’s not ready to ease border crossings on the ground.

“It is a health decision by requiring vaccinations, and we wanted to do it in a way that was equitable,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

But Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) says the health rationale doesn’t make sense.

“Non-vaccinated Canadians who have a negative COVID test can get on a plane and fly to the United States, but vaccinated Canadians, and they have a higher vaccination rate than we do, cannot cross a port of entry into our country,” Hassan said.

Lawmakers say they will continue to pressure the president to repeal the restriction next month.

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EXCLUSIVE: Vicarious Visions design director talks Diablo II: Resurrected, game developing in Capital Region

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EXCLUSIVE: Vicarious Visions design director talks Diablo II: Resurrected, game developing in Capital Region

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Upstate New York native Rob Gallerani says he never thought he’d have a hand in one of his first and favorite computer games: Diablo II.

“The first computer I ever got, well really the first computer my family got, was the laptop I took to college. I got like a small stack from my friends who said you’ve got to play this game, you’ve got to play this game, and the first one on the top was Diablo II, and I don’t think I ever got to any of the other games in the stack,” Gallerani remembers.

Now 21 years after its 2000 release, Diablo II still claims a spot among the top hack-and-slash RPGs of all time. Gallerani and his team at Vicarious Visions in Albany took on the delicate task of resurrecting the game in the modern era. As the studio’s design director, Gallerani played a crucial role in deciding what stayed and what had to get upgraded in Diablo II: Resurrected.

“It would be like hey, we want you to repaint the Mona Lisa. It was just as much a remaster of a game as it was a preservation, like a little window of history,” he explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton. “If you look at other games that VV has recently done like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, those we actually rebuilt the game from the ground up. We couldn’t do that with [Diablo II], because what makes the game so special is all these little quirks, all these little things that we knew we would miss one thing and fans would notice.”

Gallerani says Diablo II: Resurrected runs like an blanket of the latest 3D graphics, colors, and sounds laid on top of and powered by the original game’s code. He says some elements like console controller modifications, adding color blind mode, and font scaling all add to catching up to 20 years of game development. However, some bits and bugs were too reminiscent to fix.

“Even though people play differently now, Diablo II didn’t stop. People kept playing all this time, and because a certain bug has been in the game for maybe 20 years, it’s now not even seen as a bug. It’s perceived as that’s just how the game works, and so that was probably where we spent the most time. Deciding okay, this is a little quirk in the game, do we fix it and make it how it was originally supposed to be or do we actually keep it because that’s how people expect it to work?” Gallerani explains.

He says keeping some of the beloved elements of the game came from some of the original developers who still work at Blizzard. However, even though Vicarious Visions had the original code to work off of, Gallerani says many of the files used to create the game were lost. A large chunk of development time for Diablo II: Resurrected was spent tracking people down and asking to see their old computers, hard drives, or even paper sketches and marketing materials.

“In many cases, we didn’t create new concept art, we just went with the originals and in some cases, we even got to use the same models. So Tyrael’s wings, we were able to use the exact same model in our game. There were also texture maps for walls and things, we found those and just brought them over,” Gallerani says.

He says Thursday’s official release went well, with a few of the expected first launch bumps in the road. Gallerani adds new content and improvements for the game aren’t likely to come for some time.

“Our North Star right now is stick the landing, because we are going for a good foundation. We were really trying to make sure we made the same game people remember, so our main focus was on that, watching our feedback. We did an alpha, we did betas [tests] and we have a whole team of people dedicated to making sure things go well, but when you let the entire world play and you have millions of people, that’s really the true test of it,” he says.

Gallerani says Vicarious Visions working on such major projects proves you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to make great games.

“I was like this is perfect, so close to my family, still get to work on the cutting edge, new games,” he says. “You’re seeing more and more people moving out of the urban areas and looking to places where you have more balance.”

He says as more major games are developed in the Capital Region and as bright minds enter the industry from local schools like RPI, he’d love to see gaming take on an even bigger role in New York’s future.

“We are reaching a new era of the games industry, and to have that choice of multiple studios to come and pick from, I would love to see it continue to go,” he says.

“Because of a lot of the changes we had to do for COVID and working from home, people are starting to realize they can do their job from really wherever they want. Developing this game, we didn’t have the Albany team and the California team or the Europe team, it was like we were all invited to each other’s homes. I saw the kids growing through screens and endless, endless cats and then I got to show them our leaves and our snow. While [the pandemic] is something I would never want to do again and I’m certainly looking forward to being out of it, it did open up new opportunities,” he went on to say.

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