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List of video games notable for negative reception

They include games that won ironic and humorous awards (such as Golden Mullet Awards), games that have been listed as the 'worst' by major video gaming publications or websites, games that have received low review scores from such publications (often determined by low aggregate scores on sites such as Metacritic), and games that have been recognized to be poorly received by players.

With some exceptions, the list below omits licensed tie-in games for movies or television shows, which are generally accepted as shovelware by the industry and not expected to have high production values.

For similar reasons, the list also omits indie games, which are developed by smaller teams that typically lack the ability for full quality control of their product, as well as mobile games, of which there are thousands of developers with the ability to self-publish on app stores and frequent copycats of more successful titles driven by unpopular microtransactions.

While getting decent reviews when released, the game gained largely negative retrospective reviews, with reviewers criticizing bad graphics, confusing gameplay, and poor use of the characters and setting.

In its September 2009 issue, Game Informer listed Friday the 13th as being among the worst horror games of all time, noting that 'unavoidable hits, stupid weapons, and baffling enemies ensure that your crew of teenagers dies quickly and without ceremony.

GamePro listed it as the 10th worst video game adaptation of a film, explaining that 'From the start-up screen, Jason's hockey mask sitting alone in the dark, until a knife flies in from above to pierce the empty eye socket, Friday the 13th looks like it will live up to its gory namesake.

The game became infamous after it was scrutinized during the 1993 United States Senate committee hearings on violence in video games, in which Senator Joe Lieberman claimed Night Trap featured gratuitous violence and promoted sexual aggression against women.[49]

Further criticism was brought to Zelda's Adventure, a third game developed instead by Viridis, which used a top-down approach, and shifted to a live-action visual style with digitized sprites instead of a cartoon look.

IGN felt that Plumbers Don't Wear Ties was 'a symbol for everything that was wrong' with the 3DO's looser licensing program in comparison to the other major consoles (which required publishers to pay a $3 fee per-disc), noting that it helped to attract smaller studios whose games 'served to strengthen the perception that 3DO's library was riddled with crap.'[69]

Shaq Fu, a fighting game starring basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, received mixed reviews by critics upon its release, who praised the game's graphical style, smooth animations, and robust gameplay, but criticized the relevance of Shaq's presence in the game, along with its low difficulty and small character sprites.[71][72]

Buchanan acknowledged some positive aspects of Shaq Fu, such as its graphics and animation, its non-linear story progression, and its 'charming' simplicity in comparison to other major fighting game franchises such as Soul and Virtua Fighter, but that it had a 'goofy' story and 'awful' cast.[71]

Next Generation Magazine gave it one star out of five, calling it 'a tragic example when good ideas are poorly executed' and citing 'jerky animation', 'sluggish control' and 'baffling gameplay mechanics that discourage close-up fighting'.[76]

GamePro summarized that 'Kasumi Ninja was a terrible, terrible Jaguar title - bad controller, bad controls, terrible menu set, forgettable characters, and an utterly unoriginal premise - that, thankfully, history has forgotten.'[78]

In 2012, Complex also ranked it as the fourth worst fighting game of all time, adding, 'It was hard choosing amongst Ultra Vortek, Fight for Life, and Kasumi Ninja for the worst Jaguar fighting game, but we’re going to go with the last one mentioned because it’s probably the most famous.

Dulin noted that the game contained a difficulty level that caused computer opponents to do nothing, and criticized its soundtrack for consisting of 'annoying and repetitive squeals backed by bad heavy metal guitar' that, even worse, could not be disabled due to a badly coded options menu.

He also felt that the game's sexist themes were 'too blatant to mention', but that 'the 'Mortal Kombat meets mud wrestling' concept has potential for some humorous kitsch, but the designers seem too preoccupied with their prepubescent sexual fantasies to see any irony in their project.'[83]

Mikel Reparaz of GamesRadar opined that while the concept of giving Sub-Zero a spin-off game was interesting based on his popularity, the game 'ended up a terrible mess of ugly sprites, cheap deaths and a button you had to hit just to change the direction you were facing, and the less that's said about it, the better.'[94]

Extreme Paintbrawl, a first-person shooter loosely based upon the game of paintball, was criticized for having low-quality maps that did not resemble actual paintball fields, not having any game modes beyond a variation of capture the flag, poorly functioning AI players who frequently got stuck navigating around walls and doors, and a 'practice' mode that only allows players to roam through a map without any enemies or targets.

GameSpot gave Extreme Paintbrawl a 1.7/10, stating that the game took the first-person shooter genre too far by trying to 'wed a tired game engine with the paintball phenomenon', and that the game was so buggy that it should have not made it out of the beta phase.

In retrospective, the game was considered to be ahead of its time, attempting to add in ragdoll physics, animations created through artificial intelligence, separate controls for each of the player-characters' arms, and no HUD, instead using other graphical cues to indicate to the player their health and other attributions.

The ring maze section was exacerbated by the extremely short draw distances covered by distance fog, which is explained in-game as being an aspect of the virtual reality simulation of Metropolis the game is set in, but previously described as 'Kryptonite fog' by developers.[107][108]

The game was originally released for PC in Europe by Hasbro Interactive in 1999 under their MicroProse label, but received a more well-known Dreamcast port the following year, published by Acclaim Entertainment under the LJN label, being the last game to use the LJN name, five years after LJN was scrapped by Acclaim.

Jeremy Dunham of IGN gave it a 2.2 out of 10, criticizing the load times, course designs, control, and graphics and concluding that it was 'the poorest excuse for a Dreamcast game I have ever laid eyes on.'[125]

Matt Casamassina of IGN also panned it, calling it 'a jumbled mess of disorganized goals, sloppy navigation and boring destinations topped off with incredibly dated graphics and an overall adventure that can fairly easily be beaten, if one has the stomach for it' and concluded: 'Not recommended for young or adult gamers.'[131]

The Simpsons Skateboarding, a skateboarding game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, received negative reviews for its low-quality graphics, sound, and music, poor controls, and for lacking any innovation in comparison to similar games.[136][137]

described the game as being 'a case study in bad game design', criticizing its awkward control scheme, poor visuals and bad character animations, and for being reminiscent of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise, but at a lower quality.

Giving the game a 3.9 out of 10, GameSpot criticized the game for being a 'stripped-down Tony Hawk', the game's 'blocky' art style and poorly proportioned character models for being inferior to the 3D models used as part of 'Treehouse of Horror VI', and repetitive voice acting.

Although the previous games in the series did exceptionally well, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly received overwhelmingly negative reviews for its short length, lack of content, bad framerate, load times, numerous bugs and glitches, and it is the only game Check Six Studios and Equinoxe Digital Entertainment had ever made, as the company closed its doors after its release.

Released as a tie-in to the 2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and featuring the voices of its stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu, Charlie's Angels received criticism for its poor and glitchy gameplay, poor character models, unique 'fighting styles' that ultimately had little differentiation, and storyline.

Alex Navarro of GameSpot believed the game's voice acting, despite involving the actual actors from the films, '[gave] the impression that they had each individually been roused from a bad hangover and thrown in front of a microphone.'

IGN gave Charlie's Angels a 4.0 out of 10, considering it 'the textbook example of what happens when no care or thought is put into the digital adaptations of lucrative movie licenses' due to its shallow gameplay, and being 'neither sexy nor cool' like the films.[151]

Although graphics and original soundtrack were praised, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, the sixth instalment in the Tomb Raider series, acting as a direct sequel to Tomb Raider Chronicles and The Last Revelation, received mixed to negative reviews for its poor controls, awful gameplay, and various bug problems.[154][155]

Perry praised its 'compelling storyline' and 'set of intriguing bit characters', however criticized the game stating that those aspects of the game 'pale in comparison to 90% of the PlayStation 2's adventure or action-adventure games, and they actually hurt the rest of the game's best qualities', but that the new moves worked smoothly apart from the stealth actions.

GameSpot's Alex Navarro felt that the game was a 'cacophony of terrible effects and voice acting'—noticing the re-use of stock sounds used in AOL Instant Messenger, and comparing the character's voice to a cross between a game show host and the 'Moviefone guy'.[172][173]

while praising the game's unique visual appearance and presentation, along with the 'bullet time' audio effects while slowing down time, he concluded that Drake of the 99 Dragons was 'a good idea that went horribly astray and ended up disastrous' and that 'there's no need to rent, purchase or entertain the thought of playing this one.'[173]

Big Rigs became infamous for being released in a pre-alpha state: it lacks any type of collision detection, allowing players to drive through other vehicles and obstacles, and has abnormal physics, including allowing players to drive up a vertical incline or accelerate indefinitely while driving in reverse, then coming to an immediate halt once the accelerator is released.

Stellar Stone released a patch that addressed a few of the game's complaints, although most problems went unresolved (for example, while artificial intelligence was implemented for the opposing truck, it always stops short of the finish line due to the lack of a losing state being written in the code;

reviewers generally criticized its level design, dated visual style (described by Frank Provo of GameSpot as being 'way behind the curve'), as well as the amount of strange glitches, including a particularly infamous one that renders each level beyond #30 unplayable;[182]

The adult adventure game Lula 3D was criticized for its tedious gameplay, poor puzzle designs, low-quality graphics (including animations, inconsistent frame rate, and re-use of character models), its voice acting, the quality of its English translation, and low-brow humor that was too childish for its target audience.[186][187][188]

Jolt Online Gaming gave Lula 3D a 1.8 out of 10 for making 'every mistake that can possibly be made by the designers of a 3D adventure', criticizing its poorly implemented controls and camera, tedious gameplay involving 'mooching around listening to Lula's terribly voiced and poorly translated descriptions of everything around you, while collecting everything you can lay your hands on', and voice actors compared to people auditioning to be a phone sex operator.

PC Zone gave the game a 3.1 out of 10, believing that it was 'oddly compelling', but 'so inexorably, mindbogglingly ignorant of how either real games or real sex works that it spread-eagles itself a fair way into the 'so-bad-it's good' category.'[187][188]

IGN gave Ninjabread Man a 1.5 out of 10, deriding the game for being a 'broken mess' and having 'just enough character design and gameplay to cover the bullet points on the back of the box', but felt that Ninjabread Man still had a 'hilarious concept', and jokingly praised the game for having the best box art of any Wii game.[191]

reimagining of the Bomberman series, Bomberman: Act Zero received negative reception from critics for its long loading times, bad collision detection, forgettable soundtrack, use of the same textures and graphics for every stage, tedious and repetitive gameplay, lack of a save feature, unbalanced A.I.

Intended to celebrate the franchise's 15th anniversary and relaunch the brand for the next generation, Sonic the Hedgehog faced a number of issues during development, leading it to be rushed for Christmas 2006 and was generally panned by critics and gamers alike for its sensitive controls, bad camera angles, numerous glitches, poor storyline, loading times, and level design.

Many places gave this game a 1 out of 10: Eurogamer criticized the graphics and the fun factor of the game, saying 'The Game Party experience is like going to a party where there's nothing to drink but Tesco Value brandy and there are only four other guests and they're all racist and then your ex turns up and gets off with a Danish supermodel.'[212]

IGN declared Box Office Bust to be 'frustratingly unpolished, devoid of any kind of wit or charm, and packed with tiring, at times infuriating challenges', also featuring 'uncomfortably unfunny dialogue spewed from the lips of entirely unlikable characters'.

In conclusion, it was explained that 'the lowest rating numbers here at IGN are reserved for games with nearly no redeeming qualities or interesting ideas, with next to nothing enjoyable to offer players, and which under no circumstances should be purchased by anyone.

IGN, which rated the game a 2/10, noted the game's total lack of any RTS-related elements and asked whether it was 'made in 1994 and sealed into a vault until 2009' given how dated the visuals looked.[228]

Rogue Warrior was initially developed by Zombie Studios under the title Rogue Warrior: Black Razor: it would have been an Unreal Engine 3-based game with drop-in four-player cooperative play, and 24-player competitive multiplayer using randomly generated maps based on a unique tiling system.[235]

The game received criticism for its poor writing and voice acting, the characterization of its protagonist, monotonous tunnel environments and excessive use of booby traps as a mechanic, particularly the extreme precision required in order to disarm traps, inaccurate gun sights, dated graphics, and its extremely short length.

The ability to gain health by removing the ears from the corpses of Vietnamese soldiers was considered to be both in poor taste and frustrating, citing a need to locate an exact point on the ear in order to collect it.[241]

Released in a market that had already been saturated by rock music-oriented music video games simulating guitar and drums, Power Gig: Rise of the SixString—developed by Seven45 Studios, a subsidiary of entry-level instrument manufacturer First Act—attempted to differentiate itself from competitors such as the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises by shipping with an actual electric guitar that could be used in-game, rather than a simplified plastic analog.[249][250]

The game's guitar was considered low quality—not performing well as either a controller or standalone instrument, while the AirStrike drum controller was criticized for being inferior to a physical drum kit—suffering from poor hit detection and a reliance on proprietary, sensor-equipped drum sticks.

Its sequel Duke Nukem Forever was announced the next year, but ended up spending fourteen years in 'development hell', with very little information on its progress leading it to be frequently cited as vaporware in the intermediate years.

The prolonged development included a number of issues related to change of the game engine, the downsizing of 3D Realms, conflicts with Take-Two Interactive who had gained publishing rights through its acquisitions, and eventual transfer of development duties to Gearbox Software.

Once Duke Nukem Forever was released, it was criticized for elements of gameplay that tried to adhere to standards from the 1996 game, while failing to be as sophisticated as other first-person shooters released at the same time, demonstrating the impact of the game's excessive development period on its reception.[263]

The crude humor of Duke Nukem was found to be very dated, in particular one level that required Duke to kill human women abducted and impregnated with alien children while Duke would crack jokes, making Duke appear as a 'thoroughly detestable psychopath'.[266][267]

MindJack was heavily criticized for its broken enemy AI, visuals, thin story, repetitive and boring gameplay, poor voice acting, unbalanced multiplayer, and technical issues such as freezing.

PC Gamer gave Postal III a 21/100, joking that 'suck and blow' were 'two things that Postal III will continue to do for some hours', criticizing its lack of an open world design like Postal 2, poor AI, and poor attempts at being offensive (drawing comparisons to the quality of Uwe Boll's film adaptation).[283]

However, the game's humor, wide variety of weapons (despite most of the unique weapons not being as useful in-game as their conventional counterparts), and relatively better graphical quality than Postal 2 were regarded as positive aspects, but not enough to save the game from a 5.5/10 rating.[284]

Game Informer gave the game a 1/10, criticizing its 'barely cobbled-together series of mostly linear levels', lazily using self-awareness to point out bugs that should have been fixed before release (such as a warning that an escort would 'frustratingly disappear' if left behind), and concluding that there was 'nothing redeeming about Postal III's frustrating, buggy gameplay.'[285]

Ridge Racer, a reboot of the Ridge Racer franchise released on the PlayStation Vita, was critically panned by various publications for its bare-bones nature, a lack of proper progression unlike other installments in the series, primarily consisting of content ported from Ridge Racer 7, along with unbalanced online races that use a leveling system to determine a player's top speed, giving an unfair disadvantage to newer players.[286][287]

GameSpot gave the game a 3.0/10, criticizing the lack of modes and content as a ploy to force users to buy its downloadable content, further noting that its first DLC pack (which was available for free as a limited time offer) only consisted of more content ported from Ridge Racer 7.

The game received negative reception from various publications for its poor gameplay experience, and for its use of microtransactions for purchasing items and reviving characters without waiting four hours, despite the game not being a freemium 'free-to-play' game.

GameSpy gave The War Z a half-star out of five and considered it 'a bad game that deserves all the controversy it's drawn', criticizing the broken state of the game and its use of microtransactions, but complimenting its overall atmosphere and far draw distance.[291]

IGN gave the game a 3.0 out of 10, citing that 'the high spawn rate of weapons, as well as fear of hackers, makes the majority of player interaction in The War Z overly punishing and one-dimensional', and further criticized its missing features, the ability to lose purchased items, and its lack of a balance between ranged and melee weaponry.[292]

since the game's promotional material on Steam at the time highlighted certain features that were not yet present in the game, such as multiple large game worlds varying in size (only one was available), a skill point based leveling system (which was not yet implemented), servers supporting up to 100 players (that were actually capped at 50), and private servers.

Despite this information being corrected to consider them 'upcoming' features, the flood of criticism prompted Valve to pull the game from sale on Steam and offer refunds, stating that the game was accidentally made available for purchase prematurely.

In an interview with PC Gamer, executive producer Sergey Titov (who was also listed as a producer for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing) claimed that its servers were temporarily capped at 50 due to player feedback, and that its marketing team had misinterpreted information about the current state of the game.

Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann cited it as a 'disjointed mess', criticizing the awkward touch-based controls, glitches causing enemies to get stuck on level geometry, and multiplayer maps 'so tiny that you'll literally spawn with an enemy in your crosshairs'.[300]

A common point of negativity was the game's in-app purchases, particularly the system for buying 'Legendary Characters' – characters from past Final Fantasy games – wherein a random character from a list of 35 would be added to the party for a fee of $0.99.[305]

The game was released in March 2013, but there was no offline mode, and the servers for online connectivity were over capacity, requiring players to wait upwards of thirty minutes to play for several weeks following launch.

Users were further critical when it was found that the game could be run in an offline mode using special debugging commands, to which Maxis responded saying that they opted against an offline mode as 'it didn't fit with our vision'.[313]

While some users that purchased retail editions of the game were able to get refunds, those that had purchased it digitally through EA's Origin service could not get refunds, and instead EA offered users a choice of one free game from eight offerings as to make up for the server issues.[318]

The game was met with criticism for its broken gameplay mechanics, poor graphics, a lack of meaningful storyline, and for not meeting the high expectations associated with its source material, or Telltale Games' episodic adventure game also based upon the franchise.[325][326][327]

IGN noted that the game was plagued by largely broken stealth mechanics and enemy AI (finding it easier to simply sprint past groups of enemies rather than using the tactics encouraged in-game), bland environments, and a lack of any true narrative beyond 'just moving from place to place in hope of the eventual rescue we all know won't come'.

Although feeling that its 'no frills' approach to zombie-oriented shooters (in comparison to other franchises such as Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead) '[wasn't] necessarily a bad thing', CVG criticized Survival Instinct for having an 'archaic' design, broken, slow-paced gameplay with inconsistent level designs, and 'atrocious visuals', compared to 'the kind of muddy textures and low-res character models reserved for MMOs.'

Of particular criticism was its gameplay mechanics, the requirement to perform resource gathering and side missions at 'the same handful of recycled environments' between story missions, and for providing 'no meaningful information or commentary on the characters it revolves around.'

Franchise creator Robert Kirkman distanced himself from Survival Instinct due to its negative reception, citing his more direct involvement in the Telltale game, and remarking that 'I'm pretty sure there's an AMC logo before the title of that game and not a picture of my face.'[329]

Aliens: Colonial Marines, a first-person shooter developed by Gearbox Software and set in the universe of the Alien franchise, was criticized at launch for containing bugs, poorly implemented A.I., unbalanced gameplay, low quality graphics, and a poorly implemented co-op mode.

Particular criticism was directed towards discrepancies in the game's quality between pre-release builds demonstrated at events and in promotional materials—the former purporting to feature 'actual gameplay', and the final product, including lower graphics quality, missing levels, and other regressions.

The suit argued that these differences, along with a press embargo on publishing reviews of the final product until its release date, deceived those who pre-ordered the game based on the pre-release promotional materials, amounting to false advertising.

In July 2018, a modder who was reviewing the game's code discovered that there was a typographic error in the game's INI file that resulted in the poor artificial intelligence shown by the game's enemies observed at original release;

In particular, Ride to Hell was criticized for its largely broken gameplay, poorly implemented controls, poor voice acting and writing, its negative portrayal of women, and for dropping the originally announced open world format in favor of a linear structure.

Daniel Starkey of GameSpot considered Ride to Hell: Retribution to be 'painfully insubstantial' and broken all-around, criticizing its plot for showing a 'pathetic, out-of-touch approach to sex, violence, and masculinity', and believing that its developers were showing a lack of respect towards players due to the game's abysmal quality.

EGM described Ride to Hell as being 'a linear, insultingly underdeveloped mess' with 'endlessly clunky gameplay' and numerous bugs and glitches, concluding that 'other games may have offered less content for more money or come up shorter in specific, individual areas, but I don't think there's ever been a game that does so many things so universally poorly', giving the game 0.5 out of 10.[342]

In his annual 'Top and Bottom 5' awards, Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw of Zero Punctuation laid out his bottom 5 (in which Ride To Hell was not included) before moving into a coda in which he explained, 'I was hesitant to place it even on a worst games list, 'cos it's not a game, it's congealed failure.

Fighter Within, a Kinect-based fighting game for Xbox One (and a sequel to the Xbox 360 Kinect title Fighters Uncaged), was criticized for having poor motion detection—especially on more complex moves and techniques and in menus, slow, shallow gameplay with automated combos portrayed as cutscenes, and a storyline which was described as being 'laughable' and 'cheesy' by reviewers.

GameSpot, who gave Fighter Within a 2 out of 10, described its gameplay as requiring players to 'stand like a lemon in front of the TV for what seems like an eternity as you feel your life ebb away during the excruciatingly long loading times;

IGN, who gave the game a 2.7 out of 10, felt that Fighter Within was only able to adequately detect basic punches, describing the game as a 'disjointed', 'haphazard mess' due to its unpredictable motion detection, and considered its storyline to be 'laughably bad' and a 'flimsy excuse' to 'fight [against] a long stream of AI opponents who look just as dumb as they fight.'[352]

describing the game as 'garbage', he felt that its motion detection system was so poorly designed that it 'effectively [makes] any of its combat systems inconsequential', and also noticed that it was registering motions off him even while he was standing still.[350]

For example, critics condemned the time the Gem Veins take to dig, which forces players to either wait for varying amounts of time or purchase Gems with real money, practices that were not present in the original Dungeon Keeper games.[354][355][356]

Metro GameCentral considered Rise of Lyric to be 'definitely the worst game of 2014', citing 'a terrible camera, awful controls, unspeakably dull combat, insipid level design, ugly character art, broken graphics, serious bugs, and the terrible feeling that Sega hates both you and Sonic.'[369]

In its review, GamesRadar felt that the game's implementation of breakdowns and rucks—where the player rotates the analog stick to find a point that designates a legal steal, was 'monstrously wrong', explaining that 'even on the hardest setting, I stole the ball almost every time;

IGN was similarly critical of this feature, noting that it was hard to receive penalties on rucks, and that 'given the specific way you're forced to ruck, it's best not to be in possession of the ball until you're within ten metres of the try line, so you don't have to deal with the incredible frustration of losing possession because the game bugs out.'[386][387]

IGN gave the game a 1.5 out of 10, noting major bugs, that the game's AI was still poorly implemented, that it still used pre-determined outcomes for tackles, and that while less buggy than the version in Rugby 15, the rucking system was still insufficiently designed.

GamesRadar criticized it for only featuring minor improvements over Rugby 15, commenting that 'there's nothing here that suggests an understanding of scrums—which is forgivable, since most international referees don't either—but there’s certainly no attempt to twist the complex battle of binding, shoving and probably-biting into something that belongs in a game.

It was also pointed out that the game did not feature any of the real-life venues from the actual tournament, and that 10 of the 20 teams were not licensed and composed entirely of fictional players — a group that even included tournament host England.

Jim Sterling stated that Illumination was 'ugly in every sense of the word, not just visually – though it is about as attractive as an anus in an eye socket', while criticizing its cooperative play and the mechanic of using light sources to defeat enemies.[395]

revival of the Tony Hawk's franchise developed by Robomodo, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 was panned for its poor quality, especially in comparison to its predecessors, with reviews citing various performance issues, environmental clipping, and physics issues.

IGN gave the game a 3.5 out of 10, concluding that 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5's rare moments of nostalgic joy are drowned out by its abundance of poorly thought out levels, control problems, bugs, and its glaring lack of attitude.

Giving Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 a 3 out of 10, GameSpot argued that 'within THPS5 lies a basic skating game that's difficult to enjoy, because you have to jump over numerous hoops and ignore a plethora of obvious issues to find the smallest amount of fun.'[397]

the site acknowledged Ghostbusters as being the worst-reviewed game of 2016, noting that unlike the film which 'somewhat delivered what it promised', the game 'asks that you fork over even more cash for what reviewers described as a humorless slog.'[408]

Giving Ghostbusters a 4.4 out of 10, IGN felt that Ghostbusters was 'not actively painful to play if you happen to be at your eight-year-old cousin's house and need a co-op game for six to eight hours that's not going to require much skill.

The game, developed by a small team from Hello Games, quickly gained significant attention and media hype across the gaming media due to its expansive goals, which was boosted further when Sony announced it would help to publish the game for the PlayStation 4 alongside a Microsoft Windows version.

Atop this, players found the game lacked a quality of procedural uniqueness (in that there was little overall variation in the planets relative to the scale of the game), and the gameplay elements necessary to explore were tedious and boring.

Hello Games has since released several major updates to the game to incorporate some of these missing features, including multiplayer modes, as well as other significant additions which have been met with praise, bringing the game to a state that they had expected prior to its launch and grown beyond that.[418][419]

Second, while the game offered the ability to purchase established Star Wars characters like Darth Vader through in-game credits (found in Star Crates or by other means, or otherwise purchased with real-world funds), the rate at which players could earn such credits without spending additional money was considered far too slow, with estimates of requiring 40 hours of play to unlock just one of these characters.

While the game was not poorly received by game reviewers, the negative perception of the game by the player base troubled EA's stockholders, and within a week, EA's stock market value dropped by US$3 billion, attributed to the Battlefront II loot box backlash.

The reaction to Battlefront II's loot crates also led to a number of worldwide government responses in late 2017 and early 2018 to evaluate whether loot box mechanics in video games were a form of gambling, and thus would require them to regulate their sale within their countries, particularly to minors, as well as having the ESRB adjust its rating system to clearly indicate the presence of any in-game transaction, including loot boxes, within a game.[436][437][438]

IGN's David Jagnaeux gave the game a score of 4/10, stating that while he liked the art and sound design, 'the fantastically obscene sights and creepy sounds become mundane and dull by the end of its series of repetitious mazes, unimaginative item hunts, and weak stealth gameplay'.[443]

The game was critically panned upon its release, with the criticism focused on the story, the short length of the game in comparison to its price, the bugs, the perceived pretentiousness of the game, the underdeveloped gameplay sequences and the inability to commit to the deafness gimmick, with inconsistencies between the portrayal of the protagonist's deafness and the game's cinematics, which were being realized in a sound film way that would create confusion when compared to a proper silent film.

Destructoid gave it a 4 out of 10, stating that the game doesn't deliver high-production live action, realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay, and has some high points, but 'they soon give way to glaring faults.'[457]

those that were looking for a strong narrative-driven experience from the previous Fallout games found very little story-based content in the game, while those looking at more interesting interactions from the multiplayer elements found the game weighed heavily on player-versus-player interactions rather than cooperative elements.[citation needed]

Several felt that Fallout 76 was trying to mimic the style of Destiny but was trying to retain its 'Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System' (V.A.T.S., an automated targeting system which also slows down the speed of the game to give players enough reaction time to select targets), which could not function efficiently in an online multiplayer game.

Bethesda also drew criticism for their approach in banning players that used mods (regardless of whether the alterations improved the game or allowed for cheating) by closing player accounts without warning and asking they write an essay explaining why mods were damaging to online games.[465][466]

Besides issues with the game itself, problems arose concerning the game's special editions, with some of the physical items, including a canvas bag and an alcoholic beverage bottle, not matching the original product descriptions as shipped, with Bethesda having to take post-release steps to resolve the matter.[467][468]

Furthermore, during the first months after Fallout 76's release, a data breach occurred in Bethesda's support systems that caused private details of 65 users that had submitted support tickets related to the physical content to be revealed unintentionally.[469][470]

Starbreeze put the console versions on the game on hold, and later, Skybound halted further development of the game, pulled it from sale, and revoked their license to Overkill and Starbreeze, citing that the game failed to meet certain expected standards it had for the license.[473]

Week in Review

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Iran giving the world the finger in deciding to enrich uranium above the agreed-upon limits (at least with the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal);

The retreat follows a long fight over the inclusion of the question, which the Supreme Court blocked in June, temporarily, saying that the government’s reason for including the question seemed “contrived,”

Then someone in the UK, wanting to embarrass the government, or possibly a foreign entity (Russia) wanting to sow discord between the United States and its chief ally, released Darroch’s internal cables.

Ahead of his decision to resign, he received strong support from outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. In the aftermath of his letter of resignation, he has received an outpouring of praise from many others in the government, who said he had acted with utmost professionalism in providing candid analysis of the state of affairs in Washington.

former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser &

So it seemed Trump felt compelled to lash out at Ryan in response to a Washington Post report, which listed excerpts from a new book by Politico’s Tim Alberta, in which the ex-speaker claimed to have grown “numb”

attorneys general offices from gathering financial information from the Trump Organization and Trump himself.] Wall Street and Trade Morgan Stanley, in a note over the weekend from its strategy group, cut its global equities allocation to the lowest level in five years: “We see a market too sanguine about what lower bond yields may be suggesting –

Certainly global growth hasn’t been the engine for stocks, though JPM’s equity strategists forecast another 15 percent or so in returns over the next 12 months.

doctrine, in which ordinary people and public officials alike are urged to be “confident in China’s path, political system, guiding theories and culture.”

But in terms of Wall Street and the market, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the central bank has room to ease monetary policy as the tie between inflation and the unemployment rate has broken down.

Powell said that since Fed officials met last month, “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”

So the odds are basically 100% that the Fed will be cutting its benchmark rate when it gathers July 30-31, though most likely just a quarter point, not the half point the market was calling for.

As to President Trump’s criticism of his work, Trump having called the Fed his biggest threat in his reelection campaign, Powell made no mention of the president in his prepared testimony to Congress, though in response to Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, who asked, “Mr.

But it’s true the Fed, when it does cut rates, will look to many like its caving to political pressures, which will only grow if, after the second quarter’s presumed lower print on GDP, things begin to heat up again.

The Treasury Department released the deficit for June, $-8.5 billion, which means the deficit for the first nine months of fiscal 2019 (October thru June), is $747.1 billion, 23.1 percent deeper than in the same period in fiscal 2018.

Individual income taxes brought in $1.301 trillion, 0.3 percent less than in F2018, while receipts from corporate taxes were $164.4 billion, 1.6 percent more.

Bottom line, spending in the first nine months was a record for the federal government, while tax revenues are falling short of the growth proponents of the massive tax cuts were saying they would be.

In terms of a budget deal for fiscal 2020, and the looming debt ceiling, which on the latter Treasury said we could hit soon as early September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is seeking to finalize a deal to both raise the debt ceiling and resolve an impasse over the budget before the August congressional break, but that would require an extraordinary amount of work in just about two weeks’

If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, at least through some kind of short-term extension (or fiscal games on the part of the Treasury), we’re talking government shutdown, and neither side wants that.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators spoke earlier in the week by phone, but it’s now been two weeks since Presidents Trump and Xi met in Osaka and there are no set dates for the resumption of talks, though at the same time, there is no deadline for the process to conclude.

Trump himself tweeted the other day, contradicting his own past claims: “Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would.

China laid out three red lines for a trade deal when the talks collapsed back in May. As well as the removal of all the tariffs, any purchases must be in line with the country’s real demand and the deal must be based on equality and mutual respect.

[I hasten to add that pork purchases are different due to China’s ongoing crisis with swine fever in the country and across Asia that is decimating the hogs...so there have been stories that hog purchases from the U.S. and around the world are up considerably on a percentage basis.] Lastly, we had this tweet from President Trump this afternoon on Trade....

that other countries have been ripping off for years (to a level that is not to be believed), Tariffs are a great negotiating tool, a great revenue producer and, most importantly, a powerful way to get....

Europe and Asia No big data from the eurozone, though industrial production for May was up a solid 0.9% in the EA19 over April (courtesy of Eurostat), an improvement over recent results, though compared with May 2018, industrial production was down 0.5%, giving you a sense of the slump in manufacturing, as reflected by the PMI numbers I give you each month, which is cited by Fed Chairman Powell as something his people are focused on.

Eurostat also released a report on the population of the full European Union, now 513 million as of Jan. 1, 2019, compared with 512.4 million a year earlier.

After the above-noted storm over Ambassador Darroch and Boris Johnson’s initial reaction, Johnson vowed to stand up for Britain’s diplomats around the world and take a robust approach toward President Trump if he succeeds in becoming the UK’s next prime minister.

At first Johnson, a favorite of Trump’s, refused to back Darroch during a televised debate, leading to accusations from fellow Conservative Party lawmakers that he had thrown the ambassador “under the bus”

We were very robust and will continue to be robust with the U.S.” Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made clear that he thought former foreign secretary Johnson had not handled the crisis correctly and should have backed the beleaguered envoy to the U.S. more strongly.

Separately, a poll in The Independent in London showed that Conservatives and Labour are at 28 and 27 percent, respectively, if a UK general election were held today, with the Liberal Democrats on 18 percent and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on 14 percent, which is a loss of four points since the last survey, while the Conservatives are up two percent.

[The Green Party is at 6 percent.] But the bottom line for now is, Boris Johnson is expected to beat Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt handily, and then he’ll have a whopping three months to finalize a Brexit deal with the EU (who has long said will not renegotiate the agreement they carved out with Theresa May), get the deal approved by Parliament (highly doubtful) or risk crashing out Oct. 31, as Johnson has vowed, while Hunt said he’d be willing to look at a further extension, though to appeal to hardliners he’s been toughening this stance of late.

Greece: The nation has a new center-right government, following New Democracy’s landslide victory on Sunday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis the new prime minister, who vowed the country will “proudly raise its head again.”

He has promised lower taxes, greater privatization of public services and plans to renegotiate a deal with Greece’s creditors that would allow more money to be reinvested in the country.

leftist Syriza party, which swept to power promising an end to austerity, but then was forced to accept tough fiscal measures in return for an international bailout.

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered her third public shaking episode, involuntary trembling, in just over three weeks, continuing to fuel speculation about the 64-year-old’s health.

The value of imports also decreased, falling 7.3 percent in dollar terms, partially reflecting softer commodity prices.

Over the first half of the year, China’s exports grew just 0.1 percent, a far cry from 12.8 percent during the same period last year, according to official data.

The fall in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, was worse than expected.

Separately, inflation-adjusted real wages in Japan fell in May from a year earlier, a fifth straight month of decline that raises worries about the strength of consumer spending.

The two sides failed today to mend a conflict that could threaten global supplies of microchips and smartphone displays after officials met in Tokyo for five hours, which drew media attention for its “frosty start.”

Japan has tightened restrictions on the export of three materials used in high-tech equipment, officially citing what Japan has called “inadequate management”

It comes amid deep frustration in Japan over what is seen as Seoul’s failure to act in response to a South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to compensate former forced laborers.

The media picked up on the fact that in this tiny room for the press conference, the two South Korean bureaucrats didn’t greet their Japanese counterparts, all played out on television, as the two sides faced each other “in stony silence.”

Perhaps more next time if I am able to tell the story better, but it seems the bottom line is the dispute could disrupt supplies of chips and displays from South Korea’s tech giants Samsung and SK Hynix, which count Apple and other smartphone makers among their customers.

Nonetheless, the Dow Jones rose 1.5% to close at a record 27332, the S&P 500 was up 0.8% to a record 3013, and Nasdaq is also at a record high, 8244, up 1.0% on the week for all the reasons enumerated above.

Actually, one real reason...expectations over a Fed rate cut, not to beat a dead horse, which given the recent experience at Santa Anita Raceway is no longer an appropriate aphorism, if it ever was.

--Oil extended its gains after a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed a larger than expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles, which fell by 9.5m barrels to 459m barrels in the week ended July 5.

crude exports are gaining traction in Europe as even Ukraine turns into a significant consumer of American barrels at the expense of Russian supplies amid heightened U.S. political pressure on Moscow and problems over contaminated Russian oil.

“To implement the president’s G20 summit directive two weeks ago, Commerce will issue licenses [for sales to Huawei] where there is no threat to U.S. national security,”

--Ryanair warned on Wednesday the impact of the prolonged grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX on the airline’s growth plans may start to spill over to next summer if the airplane is not flying again by November.

Europe’s largest budget carrier needs up to eight months to take delivery of some 50 newly built planes left at the factory by the grounding crisis, so it may have to trim its capacity growth plans for next year if the MAX isn’t back in the fall.

--American Airlines raised its revenue guidance for the second quarter due to fuller flights, but said it will take a $185 million profit hit related to the grounding of its 737 MAX fleet.

American said it had canceled about 7,800 flights in the second quarter due to the FAA order on March 13 to ground all of its 24 MAX 8 aircraft and an additional 76 that were on order.

--Delta Air Lines reported second-quarter results that were better than analysts had forecast, with guidance for the current quarter ahead of projections and a boost to the full-year outlook.

Adjusted earnings came in at $2.35 per share, which beat the Street, with operating revenue at $12.5 billion from $11.8 billion a year ago.

--With all of the above, Boeing is about to lose its place as the world’s largest plane maker to Airbus SE after a reign of seven years, with its jetliner deliveries falling by more than a third in the first half with the grounding of the 737 MAX.

For the third straight month, Boeing reported on Tuesday no new orders of MAX aircraft, and its first-half deliveries overall fell to 239 planes, from 378 in the same period last year.

Airbus shipped 389 planes through June and is on track to deliver a record number of jets this year after shaking off some production issues.

The company said on Tuesday it is poised to increase production at its California plant and is back in hiring mode, according to an internal email from the automotive president, Jerome Guillen.

--China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced that auto sales in China fell for a 12th straight month in June, the slowing economy depressing sales of new vehicles after three decades of growth.

Needless to say, U.S. auto makers in China are suffering as well, with GM reporting a 15% drop in first-half sales to 1.57 million vehicles, its weakest showing since 2013.

--The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether a French plan to impose a tax on U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Google amounts to an unfair trade practice that could be punished with retaliatory tariffs, which would obviously escalate the global trade war.

French officials said the tax, which they expect would bring in about $560 million, would apply to digital businesses with annual global revenue of more than 750 million euros ($840 million).

The European Commission estimates that digital companies pay an average effective tax rate of 9.5 percent, compared with the 23 percent paid by traditional businesses.

[Ana Swanson / New York Times] --Deutsche Bank AG has been fine-tuning its massive reorganization plan, the German lender announcing this week that it will slash its workforce of 92,000 by 18,000 employees globally, vs.

It isn’t going to be easy to find another comparable job in an industry that has lost hundreds of thousands since the 2008 financial crisis.

Those who are able to find work will likely face pay cuts, and across the pond, the Deutsche Bank cuts in the UK come amid a gloomy summer for the sector as Brexit uncertainties were already leading to job cuts.

“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,”

--Speaking of Twitter, President Trump took to it Tuesday in support of Home Depot after social media calls to boycott the home improvement giant, following news that co-founder Bernie Marcus plans to back Trump’s re-election bid.

--Fed Chairman Powell, in his aforementioned testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, warned that Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, called Libra, cannot move forward unless the social media giant resolves “serious concerns”

Needless to say, Facebook is drawing serious scrutiny over its vision for a digital currency that would allow users to make instant international money transfers from their smartphones.

President Trump weighed in on the topic by tweet: “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

documentary on the outfit.] --Shares in drug companies and pharmacy-benefit managers, like CVS and Cigna, rose on Thursday after the Trump administration dropped a major piece of its plan to curb drug prices, the latest sign that central planks of the president’s proposal are faltering amid legal challenges, among other things.

It comes after a federal judge blocked on Monday a separate rule that required drugmakers to put list prices in television ads.

Some congressional Republicans worried the proposals would raise Medicare premiums, while a recent report on the projected cost to the federal government put the price tag at about $200 billion over a decade.

rating from an analyst, bringing the number of sell ratings on the company to five, the first time there has been five who recommended selling the stock since 1997, according to Bloomberg.

The issue is Apple’s current batch of $1,000 phones, which some argue will continue to see disappointing sales, while the other products won’t pull enough weight to keep Apple’s revenue numbers high enough for investors, at least so says Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang.

and IDC, personal-computer shipments rose in the second quarter for the first time since last year, with Gartner saying they rose 1.5% to 63 million world-wide, and IDC saying 4.7% to 64.9 million units.

Gartner said U.S. shipments fell 0.4% from last year’s second quarter, while IDC said the market returned to high-single-digit percentage growth as shipments rose for both desktop PCs and notebooks.

posted higher quarterly profit and sales, owing in part to new products such as Pepsi Mango and ramped up marketing of some of its more established brands.

Revenue in the company’s North America beverage division increased 2.5% in the second quarter, with volume rising in ready-to-drink coffee and water brands.

Nike announced yesterday the new plant, located outside of Phoenix in the suburb of Goodyear, will generate more than 500 full-time jobs and an investment of at least $184 million.

Ducey had moved to rescind up to $1 million in incentives offered to Nike, in criticizing Nike’s decision to recall shoes with a Revolutionary War-era flag called the Betsy Ross, after former quarterback and Nike representative Colin Kaepernick said the symbol was offensive to people of color.

under a 2015 nuclear deal and called for an urgent meeting of the parties to the agreement to discuss Tehran’s compliance, after Iran announced steps that breach the nuclear pact’s limits.

Over the past ten days, Iran has announced it had amassed more enriched uranium than allowed under the agreement and said it had refined uranium to a higher purity.

Iran has said it could take further steps in 60 days, including restarting dismantled centrifuges and purifying uranium to a sharply higher threshold.

[You need 90 percent for a nuclear weapon.] Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed an announcement that Tehran had enriched uranium beyond the deal’s limit of 3.67 percent purity, passing 4.5 percent, according to news agency ISNA.

An academic study points out that sanctions produce widespread drug shortages, and that those who suffer most are ‘patients struggling with cancer, multiple sclerosis, blood disorders, and other serious conditions.’

The Iran pact had forced Tehran to commit that it would never develop nuclear weapons, to ship away 98 percent of its enriched uranium, destroy its plutonium reactor, and agree to limits and intrusive inspections for 10 to 25 years.

Separately, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, reported that since a Russian-led assault in Idlib began two months ago, at least 544 civilians have been killed and over 2,000 injured, in hundreds of attacks carried out by Russian jets and the Syrian army.

September deal between Russian and rebel backer Turkey was supposed to avert a massive regime offensive on Idlib, home to some three million, but was never fully implemented.

Turkey: Delivery of Russia’s S-400 air-defense system has begun, the Turkish defense ministry said today, completing a deal that has unnerved Turkey’s NATO allies and is likely to trigger sanctions from the United States.

There was no immediate reaction from the Trump administration, but U.S. officials, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have warned of dire repercussions, including the cancellation of sales of the F-35 fighter jets to Ankara along with the imposition of sanctions under a 2017 law on cooperation with adversaries.

The senators wrote in a letter: “On a strong bipartisan basis, Congress has made it clear that there must be consequences for President Erdogan’s misguided S-400 acquisition, a troubling signal of strategic alignment with Putin’s Russia and a threat to the F-35 program.

Forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar opened an offensive on Tripoli in early April, advancing on the city’s outskirts and clashing with an array of militias loosely affiliated with the UN-recognized government.

Lebanon: A story crossed the wires late today from Reuters that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in an interview with Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, said that Washington was seeking to open channels despite ramping up sanctions against its officials.

Meanwhile, a massive car bomb claimed by Taliban forces killed at least 12 and wounded nearly 180 in Ghazni province last Sunday, at the same time Taliban and Afghan officials were meeting in Qatar.

North Korea: Kim Jong Un was formally named head of state of North Korea and commander-in-chief of the military in a new constitution that some are saying was possibly aimed at preparing for a peace treaty with the United States.

Pyongyang has long called for a peace deal with Washington to normalize relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

U.S. officials have signaled they may be willing to conclude a limited agreement on a treaty to reduce tensions and open liaison offices, as part of the move toward normalizing relations, before North Korea actually takes substantial steps toward denuclearization.

At the same time as this development, North Korea called the planned delivery to South Korea of two U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jets an affront to last year’s pledge by the two countries to tone down military tensions on the peninsula, saying it had no choice but to develop arms to counter them.

China: The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure,”

The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, is at the heart of the violent street protests that plunged it into turmoil.

Separately, as Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is in the United States, as part of her trip to visit Caribbean allies, Beijing has demanded the United States reverse its approval of the biggest arms sale to Taiwan since Donald Trump took over as U.S president, while Taipei said it showed Washington’s support in the face of growing military threats from mainland China.

The Taipei government said the transaction was necessary, especially with Beijing repeatedly staging war games to intimidate the self-ruled island and sabotage peace and stability in the region.

She had mounted her offensive against Mr. Biden days after Sen. Cory Booker delivered a lengthy harangue focused on his pain at hearing the former vice president speak of his ability to get on with the likes of Mississippi Sen. James Eastland, who retired in 1978.

that had enabled him, as Senate majority leader and president, to flatter, arm-twist and otherwise seduce opponents of civil-rights legislation into allowing it to pass.

“The hullabaloo couldn’t, however, erase the impression of a Kamala Harris the public had never before seen, or the tone of her self-pitying attack on Mr. Biden that went back decades to the busing era....

“The debate was revelatory, as debates tend to be, and among the things this one revealed was a Kamala Harris who adhered to the comfortable belief that Americans understand the tough lives of politicians, and that all’s fair in these contests.

Harris (D-Calif.) is elected president 2020 and reelected in 2024, by the time she leaves office 114 months from now she might have a coherent answer to the question of whether Americans should be forbidden to have what 217 million of them currently have: private health insurance.

Her 22 weeks of contradictory statements, and her Trumpian meretriciousness about her contradictions, reveal a frivolity about upending health care’s complex 18 percent of the U.S. economy.

--It should come as no surprise that billionaire Tom Steyer said he plans to spend at least $100 million running for the presidency, as the environmental activist moves to put his deep pockets to work in the crowded Democratic presidential field.

“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,”

--David Ignatius / Washington Post “Polls suggest a continuing public distaste for (President) Trump’s erratic, egoistic personal style, with 65 percent finding his behavior ‘unpresidential’

He is undeniably intelligent, a whiz kid at math and science in his early years who built his fortune, in part, by running a money management firm that catered to the mega-rich.

“His ascent from the middle class in which he was raised to his place among the wealthiest of the wealthy has allowed him to surround himself with the highest and the mightiest, including two presidents, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Thanks to these two sharp legal minds and one dull puppet, Epstein ultimately served just 13 months in county jail and was allowed to spend up to 12 hours a day on ‘work release,’

“In a 2011 letter trying to defend himself after the cushy plea deal, Acosta wrote that he faced ‘a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors’

He also asserted that defense lawyers ‘investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.’

“On Monday, a new 14-page federal indictment was unsealed in New York accusing Epstein of sex trafficking and abuse of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005....

Perot was a computer-services pioneer who ran two outsider presidential campaigns that especially in the case of the first one, tapped into some antiestablishment sentiments that would later propel Donald Trump to the White House.

“In his campaigns, Mr. Perot tapped into a kind of radical center in American politics, shaking loose and energizing voters who weren’t loyal to either party and whose support was then up for grabs.

“Ed Rollins, a longtime Republican political strategist who helped oversee Mr. Perot’s 1992 presidential run for a time, said that campaign ‘was the forerunner of the tea party movement and eventually the Trump candidacy and election as president.’....

Perot first shook up the national political scene in 1992 by declaring he was going to run for president as an independent and would spend up to $100 million of his own money to do it.

Though damaged, he still managed to win 19% of the national vote, the highest share of the vote won by an independent or third-party candidate since 1912.

“I conceived of Teach For America as a college senior, in 1989, to inspire promising future leaders to work in schools in urban and rural communities.

“By the time of our meeting, Teach For America was coming together: 2,500 college seniors had responded to a grass-roots recruitment campaign, we’d selected 500 of them to serve in the first corps, veteran teachers and education-school professors had committed to design and run their training institute, and school districts across the country had promised to hire the first corps members.

Teach For America has placed 60,000 outstanding, diverse young graduates as teachers, 84% of whom still work, full-time to expand opportunity for children in low-income communities.

Brian Trumbore [Posted 10:30 PM ET, Friday] Note: StocksandNews has significant ongoing costs and your support is greatly appreciated.

Iran giving the world the finger in deciding to enrich uranium above the agreed-upon limits (at least with the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal);

The retreat follows a long fight over the inclusion of the question, which the Supreme Court blocked in June, temporarily, saying that the government’s reason for including the question seemed “contrived,”

Then someone in the UK, wanting to embarrass the government, or possibly a foreign entity (Russia) wanting to sow discord between the United States and its chief ally, released Darroch’s internal cables.

Ahead of his decision to resign, he received strong support from outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. In the aftermath of his letter of resignation, he has received an outpouring of praise from many others in the government, who said he had acted with utmost professionalism in providing candid analysis of the state of affairs in Washington.

former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser &

So it seemed Trump felt compelled to lash out at Ryan in response to a Washington Post report, which listed excerpts from a new book by Politico’s Tim Alberta, in which the ex-speaker claimed to have grown “numb”

attorneys general offices from gathering financial information from the Trump Organization and Trump himself.] Wall Street and Trade Morgan Stanley, in a note over the weekend from its strategy group, cut its global equities allocation to the lowest level in five years: “We see a market too sanguine about what lower bond yields may be suggesting –

Certainly global growth hasn’t been the engine for stocks, though JPM’s equity strategists forecast another 15 percent or so in returns over the next 12 months.

doctrine, in which ordinary people and public officials alike are urged to be “confident in China’s path, political system, guiding theories and culture.”

But in terms of Wall Street and the market, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the central bank has room to ease monetary policy as the tie between inflation and the unemployment rate has broken down.

Powell said that since Fed officials met last month, “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”

So the odds are basically 100% that the Fed will be cutting its benchmark rate when it gathers July 30-31, though most likely just a quarter point, not the half point the market was calling for.

As to President Trump’s criticism of his work, Trump having called the Fed his biggest threat in his reelection campaign, Powell made no mention of the president in his prepared testimony to Congress, though in response to Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, who asked, “Mr.

But it’s true the Fed, when it does cut rates, will look to many like its caving to political pressures, which will only grow if, after the second quarter’s presumed lower print on GDP, things begin to heat up again.

The Treasury Department released the deficit for June, $-8.5 billion, which means the deficit for the first nine months of fiscal 2019 (October thru June), is $747.1 billion, 23.1 percent deeper than in the same period in fiscal 2018.

Individual income taxes brought in $1.301 trillion, 0.3 percent less than in F2018, while receipts from corporate taxes were $164.4 billion, 1.6 percent more.

Bottom line, spending in the first nine months was a record for the federal government, while tax revenues are falling short of the growth proponents of the massive tax cuts were saying they would be.

In terms of a budget deal for fiscal 2020, and the looming debt ceiling, which on the latter Treasury said we could hit soon as early September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is seeking to finalize a deal to both raise the debt ceiling and resolve an impasse over the budget before the August congressional break, but that would require an extraordinary amount of work in just about two weeks’

If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, at least through some kind of short-term extension (or fiscal games on the part of the Treasury), we’re talking government shutdown, and neither side wants that.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators spoke earlier in the week by phone, but it’s now been two weeks since Presidents Trump and Xi met in Osaka and there are no set dates for the resumption of talks, though at the same time, there is no deadline for the process to conclude.

Trump himself tweeted the other day, contradicting his own past claims: “Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would.

China laid out three red lines for a trade deal when the talks collapsed back in May. As well as the removal of all the tariffs, any purchases must be in line with the country’s real demand and the deal must be based on equality and mutual respect.

[I hasten to add that pork purchases are different due to China’s ongoing crisis with swine fever in the country and across Asia that is decimating the hogs...so there have been stories that hog purchases from the U.S. and around the world are up considerably on a percentage basis.] Lastly, we had this tweet from President Trump this afternoon on Trade....

that other countries have been ripping off for years (to a level that is not to be believed), Tariffs are a great negotiating tool, a great revenue producer and, most importantly, a powerful way to get....

Europe and Asia No big data from the eurozone, though industrial production for May was up a solid 0.9% in the EA19 over April (courtesy of Eurostat), an improvement over recent results, though compared with May 2018, industrial production was down 0.5%, giving you a sense of the slump in manufacturing, as reflected by the PMI numbers I give you each month, which is cited by Fed Chairman Powell as something his people are focused on.

Eurostat also released a report on the population of the full European Union, now 513 million as of Jan. 1, 2019, compared with 512.4 million a year earlier.

After the above-noted storm over Ambassador Darroch and Boris Johnson’s initial reaction, Johnson vowed to stand up for Britain’s diplomats around the world and take a robust approach toward President Trump if he succeeds in becoming the UK’s next prime minister.

At first Johnson, a favorite of Trump’s, refused to back Darroch during a televised debate, leading to accusations from fellow Conservative Party lawmakers that he had thrown the ambassador “under the bus”

We were very robust and will continue to be robust with the U.S.” Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made clear that he thought former foreign secretary Johnson had not handled the crisis correctly and should have backed the beleaguered envoy to the U.S. more strongly.

Separately, a poll in The Independent in London showed that Conservatives and Labour are at 28 and 27 percent, respectively, if a UK general election were held today, with the Liberal Democrats on 18 percent and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on 14 percent, which is a loss of four points since the last survey, while the Conservatives are up two percent.

[The Green Party is at 6 percent.] But the bottom line for now is, Boris Johnson is expected to beat Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt handily, and then he’ll have a whopping three months to finalize a Brexit deal with the EU (who has long said will not renegotiate the agreement they carved out with Theresa May), get the deal approved by Parliament (highly doubtful) or risk crashing out Oct. 31, as Johnson has vowed, while Hunt said he’d be willing to look at a further extension, though to appeal to hardliners he’s been toughening this stance of late.

Greece: The nation has a new center-right government, following New Democracy’s landslide victory on Sunday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis the new prime minister, who vowed the country will “proudly raise its head again.”

He has promised lower taxes, greater privatization of public services and plans to renegotiate a deal with Greece’s creditors that would allow more money to be reinvested in the country.

leftist Syriza party, which swept to power promising an end to austerity, but then was forced to accept tough fiscal measures in return for an international bailout.

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered her third public shaking episode, involuntary trembling, in just over three weeks, continuing to fuel speculation about the 64-year-old’s health.

The value of imports also decreased, falling 7.3 percent in dollar terms, partially reflecting softer commodity prices.

Over the first half of the year, China’s exports grew just 0.1 percent, a far cry from 12.8 percent during the same period last year, according to official data.

The fall in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, was worse than expected.

Separately, inflation-adjusted real wages in Japan fell in May from a year earlier, a fifth straight month of decline that raises worries about the strength of consumer spending.

The two sides failed today to mend a conflict that could threaten global supplies of microchips and smartphone displays after officials met in Tokyo for five hours, which drew media attention for its “frosty start.”

It comes amid deep frustration in Japan over what is seen as Seoul’s failure to act in response to a South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to compensate former forced laborers.

The media picked up on the fact that in this tiny room for the press conference, the two South Korean bureaucrats didn’t greet their Japanese counterparts, all played out on television, as the two sides faced each other “in stony silence.”

Perhaps more next time if I am able to tell the story better, but it seems the bottom line is the dispute could disrupt supplies of chips and displays from South Korea’s tech giants Samsung and SK Hynix, which count Apple and other smartphone makers among their customers.

Nonetheless, the Dow Jones rose 1.5% to close at a record 27332, the S&P 500 was up 0.8% to a record 3013, and Nasdaq is also at a record high, 8244, up 1.0% on the week for all the reasons enumerated above.

Actually, one real reason...expectations over a Fed rate cut, not to beat a dead horse, which given the recent experience at Santa Anita Raceway is no longer an appropriate aphorism, if it ever was.

--Oil extended its gains after a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed a larger than expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles, which fell by 9.5m barrels to 459m barrels in the week ended July 5.

crude exports are gaining traction in Europe as even Ukraine turns into a significant consumer of American barrels at the expense of Russian supplies amid heightened U.S. political pressure on Moscow and problems over contaminated Russian oil.

--Ryanair warned on Wednesday the impact of the prolonged grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX on the airline’s growth plans may start to spill over to next summer if the airplane is not flying again by November.

Europe’s largest budget carrier needs up to eight months to take delivery of some 50 newly built planes left at the factory by the grounding crisis, so it may have to trim its capacity growth plans for next year if the MAX isn’t back in the fall.

--American Airlines raised its revenue guidance for the second quarter due to fuller flights, but said it will take a $185 million profit hit related to the grounding of its 737 MAX fleet.

American said it had canceled about 7,800 flights in the second quarter due to the FAA order on March 13 to ground all of its 24 MAX 8 aircraft and an additional 76 that were on order.

--Delta Air Lines reported second-quarter results that were better than analysts had forecast, with guidance for the current quarter ahead of projections and a boost to the full-year outlook.

--With all of the above, Boeing is about to lose its place as the world’s largest plane maker to Airbus SE after a reign of seven years, with its jetliner deliveries falling by more than a third in the first half with the grounding of the 737 MAX.

For the third straight month, Boeing reported on Tuesday no new orders of MAX aircraft, and its first-half deliveries overall fell to 239 planes, from 378 in the same period last year.

--China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced that auto sales in China fell for a 12th straight month in June, the slowing economy depressing sales of new vehicles after three decades of growth.

Needless to say, U.S. auto makers in China are suffering as well, with GM reporting a 15% drop in first-half sales to 1.57 million vehicles, its weakest showing since 2013.

--The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether a French plan to impose a tax on U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Google amounts to an unfair trade practice that could be punished with retaliatory tariffs, which would obviously escalate the global trade war.

French officials said the tax, which they expect would bring in about $560 million, would apply to digital businesses with annual global revenue of more than 750 million euros ($840 million).

The European Commission estimates that digital companies pay an average effective tax rate of 9.5 percent, compared with the 23 percent paid by traditional businesses.

[Ana Swanson / New York Times] --Deutsche Bank AG has been fine-tuning its massive reorganization plan, the German lender announcing this week that it will slash its workforce of 92,000 by 18,000 employees globally, vs.

Those who are able to find work will likely face pay cuts, and across the pond, the Deutsche Bank cuts in the UK come amid a gloomy summer for the sector as Brexit uncertainties were already leading to job cuts.

“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,”

--Speaking of Twitter, President Trump took to it Tuesday in support of Home Depot after social media calls to boycott the home improvement giant, following news that co-founder Bernie Marcus plans to back Trump’s re-election bid.

--Fed Chairman Powell, in his aforementioned testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, warned that Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, called Libra, cannot move forward unless the social media giant resolves “serious concerns”

Needless to say, Facebook is drawing serious scrutiny over its vision for a digital currency that would allow users to make instant international money transfers from their smartphones.

President Trump weighed in on the topic by tweet: “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

documentary on the outfit.] --Shares in drug companies and pharmacy-benefit managers, like CVS and Cigna, rose on Thursday after the Trump administration dropped a major piece of its plan to curb drug prices, the latest sign that central planks of the president’s proposal are faltering amid legal challenges, among other things.

Some congressional Republicans worried the proposals would raise Medicare premiums, while a recent report on the projected cost to the federal government put the price tag at about $200 billion over a decade.

rating from an analyst, bringing the number of sell ratings on the company to five, the first time there has been five who recommended selling the stock since 1997, according to Bloomberg.

The issue is Apple’s current batch of $1,000 phones, which some argue will continue to see disappointing sales, while the other products won’t pull enough weight to keep Apple’s revenue numbers high enough for investors, at least so says Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang.

and IDC, personal-computer shipments rose in the second quarter for the first time since last year, with Gartner saying they rose 1.5% to 63 million world-wide, and IDC saying 4.7% to 64.9 million units.

Gartner said U.S. shipments fell 0.4% from last year’s second quarter, while IDC said the market returned to high-single-digit percentage growth as shipments rose for both desktop PCs and notebooks.

Nike announced yesterday the new plant, located outside of Phoenix in the suburb of Goodyear, will generate more than 500 full-time jobs and an investment of at least $184 million.

Ducey had moved to rescind up to $1 million in incentives offered to Nike, in criticizing Nike’s decision to recall shoes with a Revolutionary War-era flag called the Betsy Ross, after former quarterback and Nike representative Colin Kaepernick said the symbol was offensive to people of color.

under a 2015 nuclear deal and called for an urgent meeting of the parties to the agreement to discuss Tehran’s compliance, after Iran announced steps that breach the nuclear pact’s limits.

Iran has said it could take further steps in 60 days, including restarting dismantled centrifuges and purifying uranium to a sharply higher threshold.

[You need 90 percent for a nuclear weapon.] Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed an announcement that Tehran had enriched uranium beyond the deal’s limit of 3.67 percent purity, passing 4.5 percent, according to news agency ISNA.

An academic study points out that sanctions produce widespread drug shortages, and that those who suffer most are ‘patients struggling with cancer, multiple sclerosis, blood disorders, and other serious conditions.’

The Iran pact had forced Tehran to commit that it would never develop nuclear weapons, to ship away 98 percent of its enriched uranium, destroy its plutonium reactor, and agree to limits and intrusive inspections for 10 to 25 years.

Separately, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, reported that since a Russian-led assault in Idlib began two months ago, at least 544 civilians have been killed and over 2,000 injured, in hundreds of attacks carried out by Russian jets and the Syrian army.

September deal between Russian and rebel backer Turkey was supposed to avert a massive regime offensive on Idlib, home to some three million, but was never fully implemented.

There was no immediate reaction from the Trump administration, but U.S. officials, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have warned of dire repercussions, including the cancellation of sales of the F-35 fighter jets to Ankara along with the imposition of sanctions under a 2017 law on cooperation with adversaries.

The senators wrote in a letter: “On a strong bipartisan basis, Congress has made it clear that there must be consequences for President Erdogan’s misguided S-400 acquisition, a troubling signal of strategic alignment with Putin’s Russia and a threat to the F-35 program.

Lebanon: A story crossed the wires late today from Reuters that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in an interview with Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, said that Washington was seeking to open channels despite ramping up sanctions against its officials.

Pyongyang has long called for a peace deal with Washington to normalize relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

U.S. officials have signaled they may be willing to conclude a limited agreement on a treaty to reduce tensions and open liaison offices, as part of the move toward normalizing relations, before North Korea actually takes substantial steps toward denuclearization.

At the same time as this development, North Korea called the planned delivery to South Korea of two U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jets an affront to last year’s pledge by the two countries to tone down military tensions on the peninsula, saying it had no choice but to develop arms to counter them.

China: The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure,”

The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, is at the heart of the violent street protests that plunged it into turmoil.

Separately, as Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is in the United States, as part of her trip to visit Caribbean allies, Beijing has demanded the United States reverse its approval of the biggest arms sale to Taiwan since Donald Trump took over as U.S president, while Taipei said it showed Washington’s support in the face of growing military threats from mainland China.

The Taipei government said the transaction was necessary, especially with Beijing repeatedly staging war games to intimidate the self-ruled island and sabotage peace and stability in the region.

She had mounted her offensive against Mr. Biden days after Sen. Cory Booker delivered a lengthy harangue focused on his pain at hearing the former vice president speak of his ability to get on with the likes of Mississippi Sen. James Eastland, who retired in 1978.

“The hullabaloo couldn’t, however, erase the impression of a Kamala Harris the public had never before seen, or the tone of her self-pitying attack on Mr. Biden that went back decades to the busing era....

“The debate was revelatory, as debates tend to be, and among the things this one revealed was a Kamala Harris who adhered to the comfortable belief that Americans understand the tough lives of politicians, and that all’s fair in these contests.

Harris (D-Calif.) is elected president 2020 and reelected in 2024, by the time she leaves office 114 months from now she might have a coherent answer to the question of whether Americans should be forbidden to have what 217 million of them currently have: private health insurance.

Her 22 weeks of contradictory statements, and her Trumpian meretriciousness about her contradictions, reveal a frivolity about upending health care’s complex 18 percent of the U.S. economy.

--It should come as no surprise that billionaire Tom Steyer said he plans to spend at least $100 million running for the presidency, as the environmental activist moves to put his deep pockets to work in the crowded Democratic presidential field.

“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,”

--David Ignatius / Washington Post “Polls suggest a continuing public distaste for (President) Trump’s erratic, egoistic personal style, with 65 percent finding his behavior ‘unpresidential’

He is undeniably intelligent, a whiz kid at math and science in his early years who built his fortune, in part, by running a money management firm that catered to the mega-rich.

“His ascent from the middle class in which he was raised to his place among the wealthiest of the wealthy has allowed him to surround himself with the highest and the mightiest, including two presidents, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Thanks to these two sharp legal minds and one dull puppet, Epstein ultimately served just 13 months in county jail and was allowed to spend up to 12 hours a day on ‘work release,’

“In a 2011 letter trying to defend himself after the cushy plea deal, Acosta wrote that he faced ‘a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors’

“On Monday, a new 14-page federal indictment was unsealed in New York accusing Epstein of sex trafficking and abuse of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005....

“In his campaigns, Mr. Perot tapped into a kind of radical center in American politics, shaking loose and energizing voters who weren’t loyal to either party and whose support was then up for grabs.

“Ed Rollins, a longtime Republican political strategist who helped oversee Mr. Perot’s 1992 presidential run for a time, said that campaign ‘was the forerunner of the tea party movement and eventually the Trump candidacy and election as president.’....

Perot first shook up the national political scene in 1992 by declaring he was going to run for president as an independent and would spend up to $100 million of his own money to do it.

Though damaged, he still managed to win 19% of the national vote, the highest share of the vote won by an independent or third-party candidate since 1912.

“By the time of our meeting, Teach For America was coming together: 2,500 college seniors had responded to a grass-roots recruitment campaign, we’d selected 500 of them to serve in the first corps, veteran teachers and education-school professors had committed to design and run their training institute, and school districts across the country had promised to hire the first corps members.

Teach For America has placed 60,000 outstanding, diverse young graduates as teachers, 84% of whom still work, full-time to expand opportunity for children in low-income communities.

John Paul II | Wikipedia audio article

This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article: John Paul II Listening is a more natural way of learning, when compared to reading. Written language only ...