Apple-Man, Biden’s ‘dead’ plan and the best of Brexit

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Picture of the Week: Joe vs. Joe

“Joe Manchin is burning our future for profit” is the full message on the sign carried by activists during a morning rush hour rally in Washington DC on Monday. Protesters were calling for the passage of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, a nearly $2 trillion package that would reform policies in child care, education, health and climate change, but was questioned by another Joe, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.

The Democrat, whose support Biden needs, announced in December that he could not vote for the version of the bill passed by the House and this week his verdict was that he is ‘dead’ in form. current. Manchin says his main worry is inflation, but he also cites Ukraine and the economic impact of Covid-19 as reasons why Biden has held back on his spending plans.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among those unimpressed, with the New York rep wondering where she should direct frozen New Yorkers waiting for Build Back Better funds to fix their heating. “Manchin’s yacht?”

By the Numbers: Subscriber Magnet

15 million

The New York Times is now targeting that number of subscribers by the end of 2027. It said this week that it had already reached its previous goal of 10 million by 2025 thanks to the conclusion of its agreement to buy The Athletic.

$55 million

Losses recorded in 2021 by the sports site, which has around 1.2 million subscribers. The NYT predicts a “slight improvement” in The Athletic’s operating losses for 2022.

375,000

Subscribers added by the newsgroup in the fourth quarter of 2021. Some 171,000 of these were for its main news offering, with the rest attracted by products such as NYT Cooking and its upcoming Wordle Enhanced Games app.

Getting to Know: Apple-Man

Although his superpower is definitely more like the sleight of hand of a remorseless villain, Apple-Man is a superhero with the ability to levitate apples and the main protagonist of an upcoming Ukrainian standalone film. Yes, it’s a satire. Unfortunately, the world’s largest company (by market capitalization) is unable to see the fun side, with Apple seeking to block director Vasyl Moskalenko’s trademark application for his low-budget, crowd-funded project.

Viewers, according to Apple, will mistakenly assume that Apple-Man is associated with Apple, diluting the value of “the famous Apple brand”. The tech giant says the film’s trademark is “very similar” to its own and “overall creates a similar commercial impression”, while a lawyer representing the director says “apple” is not an exclusive word and everything is “ridiculous”. Indeed, it’s hard to see any winners here, except perhaps those of us who wish to preserve the legacy of the original fruit-themed superhero parody: Bananaman.

The list: the “benefits” of Brexit

On the same day that Boris Johnson was rejecting several calls for his resignation after Sue Gray’s ‘Partygate’ synopsis, the UK Cabinet Office quietly slipped in a document titled The Benefits of Brexit. It was almost as if he didn’t want anyone to read exactly how Britain was “capitalizing” on its exit from the EU. So, what dividends was he announcing?

1 Blue passports. Westminster has doubled down on counting the return of “iconic blue passports” as one of the benefits of Brexit, despite there being no EU law dictating the color of passports.

2 Crown symbol. Brexit would mean being able to put the crown symbol on pint glasses “in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee”. Again, this could have happened while the UK was still in the EU.

3 Stamp tax. VAT on menstrual products has now been abolished in the UK, which is great, to be fair. Of course, it could also have avoided the “buffer tax” as the Republic did: by having a pre-existing zero rate.

4 Wine time. Now is the time to ‘boost’ the production of English and Welsh wine, whose sales trajectory is now no longer hampered by ‘binding EU regulations’.

5 To be the best. The UK will become ‘the best regulated economy in the world’, while a ‘Best of Britain’ campaign will ‘advocate for British values ​​around the world’ and the UK border will also become, apparently, ‘the best in the world’ “. ”.


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