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Oscars: Obama-Backed Netflix Doc ‘American Factory’ Lands Nomination

American Factory, the Netflix release backed by Barack and Michelle Obama, received an Academy Award nomination in the documentary feature category, making it the first time that a movie associated with the former first couple has been up for Hollywood’s highest honor. Acquired by Netflix out of the Sundance Film Festival, American Factory tells the…

Oscars: Obama-Backed Netflix Doc ‘American Factory’ Lands Nomination

American Factory, the Netflix release backed by Barack and Michelle Obama, received an Academy Award nomination in the documentary feature category, making it the first time that a movie associated with the former first couple has been up for Hollywood’s highest honor.

Acquired by Netflix out of the Sundance Film Festival, American Factory tells the story of a Chinese billionaire who re-opens an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio. The Obamas’ Higher Ground production company backed the movie, along with Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media.

The Oscar nominations were announced Monday morning from the Academy’s new museum, which is set to open later this year in Los Angeles.

Former President Barack Obama congratulated the movie on its nomination, saying the movie represents the kind of project “Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground.”

Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary. It’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough and it’s exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground. Congrats to the incredible filmmakers and entire team!

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 13, 2020

Academy rules state that only a documentary’s director and producers may be nominated for the movie, which means that the Obamas won’t be accepting statuettes if the movie wins on Oscar night.

American Factory was among the first titles released under the Obamas’ highly touted production deal with Netflix. Former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice currently sits on Netflix’s board of directors.

American Factory will be up against four other documentaries: The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, and Honeyland.

The Oscars ceremony is set to take place Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Dolby Theatre in L.A. Like last year, organizers have decided that no one will host the ceremony, which will air live on ABC.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at [email protected]

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Beijing to suspend buses entering or leaving capital to contain virus: state media

Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country. According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will…

Beijing to suspend buses entering or leaving capital to contain virus: state media

Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country.

According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will be suspended starting Sunday, citing “requirements of epidemic prevention and control”.

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George Soros Accuses Facebook of Working to Reelect President Trump

Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland. “Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at…

George Soros Accuses Facebook of Working to Reelect President Trump

Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland.

“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at the World Economic Forum.

The left-wing financier reportedly described Trump as “the ultimate narcissist” and a “con man” who wanted the world to “revolve around him.”

“When his fantasy of becoming president became a reality,” his ego grew significantly, Soros alleged, then added, “This has turned his narcissism into a malignant disease.”

However, a Facebook spokesperson called the accusations “just plain wrong.”

January 9, the social media company announced that it would continue to allow politicians to run advertisements and “would not police the truthfulness of the messages posted,” according to Fox News.

“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” said Facebook’s Director of Product Management Rob Leathern.

He continued:

In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.

Soros’s Open Society Foundation’s website states that it believes “the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them.”

Despite his foundation’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas, Soros called the Trump administration “a danger to the world” at Davos in 2018, and also accused social media companies of encouraging addiction to their platforms.

The billionaire stated:

The distinguishing feature of internet platforms is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly to adolescents. As Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware.

 “Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered,” he concluded.

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Schiff: ‘Uncontested’ that Trump Invited Ukraine ‘to Help Him Cheat’

During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts…

Schiff: ‘Uncontested’ that Trump Invited Ukraine ‘to Help Him Cheat’

During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming.”

Schiff said, “First of all, what was most striking to me about the president’s presentation today is, they don’t contest the basic architecture of the scheme. They do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat. I think they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming. The president invited Ukraine to get involved in our election to help him cheat against Joe Biden. That is uncontested, uncontested in our presentation and uncontested in theirs.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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