Hoej dominates first rounds of the DreamHack Winter Grand Prix

The DreamHack Winter Hearthstone Grand Prix has narrowed its field from 200 to just eight, and one player in particularly is looking unstoppable.

With $40,000 and the first points for the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour up for grabs, players came to Sweden from countries all over the world, including the U.S., Korea, China, the U.K., and Australia.

Frederik “Hoej” Nielsen of Na`Vi posted a perfect 9-0 match score across the initial Swiss rounds before beating World Championship finalist Hakjun “Kranich” Baek 3-0 in the round of 16. With 31 game wins and just one loss, Nielsen looks practically unstoppable. He will face double major winner Jon “Orange” Westberg in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

The sole non-European player in the top eight is another World Championship finalist, Ryan “Purple” Murphy-Root. The GamersOrigin ace had a disappointing performance in the World Championship, where he was considered a favorite by some. He will clash with SK Gaming‘s Esteban “AKAWonder” Serrano in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

DreamHack Valencia champion James “Greensheep” Luo also fought his way to the top eight where he will face unknown German “Borss.” Ersee and Torlk will meet in the final quarterfinal, with the winner going on to a semifinal against either Nielsen or Westberg.

The winner will take home the lion’s share of $40,000, and 30 Championship Tour points.

Image via DreamHack/Flickr

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Trump Slams Comey, Saying He Played Politics With Clinton Investigation

  • President responds after fired FBI director calls him ‘unfit’
  • Trump has called Comey a ‘slime ball’ and ‘out of whack’

President Donald Trump lit into former FBI Director James Comey on Monday, saying he drafted his exoneration of Hillary Clinton based on political polls that showed her winning the 2016 election, in the latest swap of allegations between the two.

"Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her,” Trump said in a posting on Twitter Monday, “then based his decisions on her poll numbers.” Trump also accused Comey of lying to Congress, and along with others in the FBI having “committed many crimes!”

The president’s outburst followed the highly anticipated broadcast of Comey’s first television interview to promote his book Sunday in which he called Trump “morally unfit” for office and said he couldn’t rule out the possibility that the Russian government has incriminating information about Trump.

“I think it’s possible. I don’t know,” Comey said in an interview with ABC News’s Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, when asked whether Trump has been “compromised” by the Russians. “These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”

Comey said that he had concluded during the presidential campaign that Trump was dishonest. Americans should be united, he said, in the idea that “our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth.”

“This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.”

The comments were made in Comey’s first interview since writing his book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” which is scheduled for release Tuesday. Excerpts have already been widely reported, prompting President Donald Trump and his conservative allies to launch a furious attack on Comey.

‘Slippery James’

“Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!” Trump said on Twitter early Sunday.

Speaking on Fox Business Network early Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said "the fix was in" against Trump and questioned why Comey waited two months after the election to conduct the briefing if he was so concerned about Russian influence on the campaign.

"This man’s trying to sell books not save the country," Conway said. "You’re not under oath when you give TV interviews" or write books.

Trump fired Comey in May, leading to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election is reviewing whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, and through other actions.

Comey said the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into potential Russian election interference in July 2016, triggered by discussions that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, had in London. The FBI was also interested in Carter Page, another adviser. Comey said an unverified dossier assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele had no impact on triggering the investigation.

Of Trump’s practice of not criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, Comey said, “I don’t know what’s behind that.”

Portions of the roughly five-hour interview were aired Sunday night in a one-hour special on ABC.

Obstruction of Justice

Comey described a meeting with Trump where the president asked him to “let it go” when it came to the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He told ABC that he maybe should have said something to Trump at the time to indicate the request was inappropriate.

He said Trump’s request “possibly” amounted to obstruction of justice.

“I mean, it’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. It would depend, and I’m just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor. It would depend upon other things that reflected on his intent,” Comey said.

Comey, who ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation for almost four years, portrays the president in his book as a liar, dumb and rude, and he compares elements of Trump’s behavior to that of a Mafia boss.

Mob Boss? Slime Ball? Trump, Comey Trade Barbs Near Book Release

Encounters with the president, Comey wrote, gave him “flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

Comey also said that he doesn’t know if some salacious accusations in the controversial dossier on Trump are true. He said Trump repeatedly asked about its unverified allegation that Russians had video footage of a 2013 encounter with prostitutes in Moscow.

The thought of having dinner alone with Trump at the White House made Comey “deeply uncomfortable,” he wrote, because he feared that the president wanted to compromise the FBI’s integrity and independence and was waging “an effort to establish a patronage relationship” with him.

Read more: How Trump Could Fire Robert Mueller

Comey also said in the ABC interview that he knew from the start that the Hillary Clinton email investigation was “a no-win situation" given the country’s polarization.

“One half of the partisan divide is going to be angry at us no matter what we do,” he said. He recalled telling his deputy director, “Nobody gets out alive.”

“If you know you’re totally screwed and you know that people are going to be angry at you no matter what you do, you can’t do anything about it," he said. “And you let the facts and the law decide what you should do.”

Comey said that in his view, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch “could not credibly announce" the result of the inquiry.

‘Corrosive Damage’

“I actually thought, as bad as this’ll be for me personally, this is my obligation, to protect the F.B.I. and the Justice Department,” he said. For Lynch to do it “would do corrosive damage to the institutions of justice.”

But Comey expressed regret over how he phrased his remarks about Clinton’s email practices when he announced the case was being closed. At the time, he said she was “extremely careless” in her handling of her email, which sounded close to the “grossly negligent” standard for criminal charges.

"I should’ve worked harder to find a way to convey that it’s more than just the ordinary mistake, but it’s not criminal behavior, and find different words to describe that," Comey said.

Rosenstein Memo

In the ABC interview, Comey said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein acted “dishonorably” by writing a memo that the president relied upon in part to justify the decision to fire him.

Comey said he regarded Rosenstein as part of Trump’s Mafia family and that he couldn’t trust the deputy attorney general. That was a driving reason he decided to leak a memo that triggered the appointment of Mueller as special counsel.

“The deputy attorney general, in my view, had acted dishonorably by putting out this pretext about why I was fired. So I thought, ‘Well he’s ‘amica nostra.’ Right? He’s part of the family now. I can’t trust him.’ And so what can I do? I can do something now,” he said.

GOP on the Attack

Even before Comey’s ABC interview, the Republican National Committee started an effort to discredit the former FBI director on social media, in digital advertising and through a website, lyincomey.com.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said on Fox News Channel on Sunday that Comey was “out for revenge” against Trump.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday that Comey was a man of integrity “as far as I know.”

“I don’t know the guy,” he added.

Asked whether Comey is someone he would describe as a “slime ball” — a term Trump has used twice in tweets — Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “I don’t speak like that. I don’t use words like that.”

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Samantha Bee on final election debate: ‘Spare us the handwringing, GOP’

The host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee criticized Donald Trumps performance and the reaction from his party and the media

Samantha Bee has criticized Donald Trumps performance in the final debate, referring to him as a dick-waving Berlusconi knock-off.

In this weeks episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the host discussed the Republican candidates poor performance last week, claiming that his policy positions were decided by dumping out Risk on to the floor and reading the pieces like tea leaves.

She also discussed the inaccurate way in which he spoke about abortion after he claimed that they could be conducted one day before the due date. Removing a baby from a womans womb in the ninth month isnt an abortion, its a birth, she said.

She went on to praise Hillary Clintons defense of women who deserve the right to take control over their own bodies.

Men, if you dont get why its important to have a woman as a major party nominee, check your social media feed, she said. Actually, log in as your wife. Youll see that all week, women have been sharing deeply personal stories of pregnancies that went wrong.

Bee also brought up the party response to Trump refusing to confirm whether he would accept the results of the election. Looking at the results of a democratic election and saying fuck that has been official Republican policy for at least eight years now, she said.

She also placed the blame for the accusations of a rigged election on John McCain, illustrating his use of similar terms during his candidacy.

Spare us the handwringing, GOP, she said. If you leave loaded guns lying around the house, its only a matter of time before a four-year-old picks one up and pulls the trigger.

She also found time to criticize the media for praising Trumps less flustered portion of the debate. Our media is so punch-drunk from the 16-month Hindenburg explosion of Trumps candidacy, they no longer notice how awful he is unless he hulks out on stage or grabs the foundational principles of our republic by the pussy, she said.

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Channel 4 show accused of ‘brownface’

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption My Week as a Muslim follows a family in Manchester

Channel 4 is facing criticism for dressing a white woman as a Pakistani Muslim for a new documentary.

My Week as a Muslim sees her integrated into a Manchester family after May’s terrorist attack in the city.

Katie Freeman, an NHS healthcare assistant with professed anti-Muslim views, is made-over with prosthetics, brown skin and a hijab.

Fozia Khan, the show’s producer, said it was designed to show what it’s like to be a Muslim in Britain.

“The programme allowed Katie to meaningfully walk in the shoes of someone from a different background,” she said.

According to Khan, it enabled Freeman “to experience what it is like to be part of the British Pakistani Muslim community rather than observe it as an outsider.”

My Week as a Muslim has yet to be broadcast, but a trailer was released this week.

Freeman spent the week with the family of British-Pakistani Saima Alvi, a teacher and mother of five.

It shows the Manchester family dealing with everyday life immediately after the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, in which 22 people were killed.

Social media users have criticised it for using ‘brownface’ and have asked why the documentary couldn’t show a Muslim family without involving a white woman.

The Muslim Council of Britain told the BBC that they would “not have advised” the use of ‘brownface’ and said it was not surprising it had “caused deep offence amongst some communities”.

Yet the organisation did appreciate the show’s broader aims “to better understand the reality of Islamophobia which has become socially accepted across broader society.”

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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John Oliver Goes Off on Sinclair, Calls News Anchors Members of a Brainwashed Cult

Last year, Last Week Tonight aired an eye-opening segment on Sinclair Broadcast Group, a right-wing telecommunications company that currently reaches 40 percent of American households.

Host John Oliver was critical of Sinclair’s extreme conservative bias, including its hiring as chief political analyst former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, whose rants air multiple times per week on all of Sinclair’s 193 stations; its policy of mandatory “must-run” segments from brass, such as the bogus claim that the FBI had a “personal vendetta” against Trump’s ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn; and much more. 

“Last year, we told you about Sinclair Broadcast Group—a company which, if their acquisition of Tribune Media is approved, could soon own local stations reaching 72 percent of TV households,” said Oliver on his HBO program Sunday night. “In that story, we talked about Sinclair’s ‘must-runs’—stories that station managers are forced to include in their broadcasts, which often skew noticeably conservative.”

According to Oliver, some of these were an investigation into the “Deep State” that is supposedly undermining President Trump, and the unconvincing commentary of Epshteyn, who is apparently 35 years old—or “the same age as Nicki Minaj while somehow looking like Jon Favreau’s father.”

In early March, CNN broke the news that Sinclair was planning on forcing its local news anchors to read a media-bashing promo script that sounds like it came directly from Trump’s lips:

“I’m [we are] extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [proper news brand name of local station] produces. But I’m [we are] concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, national media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’… This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

One anchor called the mandatory promo “manipulative,” while another told CNN that they “felt like a POW recording a message.”

“Sinclair took their game to a new level,” Oliver remarked. “That statement is creepy enough, but when you see just how many local stations were forced to read it and you watch them together, as many have been doing online in the last couple of days, you begin to realize the true effect of Sinclair’s reach and power.”

Oliver then aired a clip of numerous Sinclair anchors reading the “must-run” message at the same time, courtesy of Deadspin.

“Yeah. Nothing says ‘We value independent media’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult,” said Oliver. “I guess what I’m saying here, Sinclair, is that as a news organization, I believe you make no sense.”

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