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Biden accused of exaggerating story of Jill Biden’s narrow escape from house fire



President Joe Biden is fond of using anecdotes from his past to explain his actions, but one such rhetorical flourish raised eyebrows last week when he said that his house had once burned down with First Lady Jill Biden inside.

On 16 November, Mr Biden was in Woodstock, New Hampshire to discuss how his $1.2trn bipartisan infrastructure legislation would fund repairs to the 82-year-old Pemigewasset River Bridge when he appeared to recall a catastrophic housefire at his Delaware home.

The bridge, he said, “saves lives and solves problems” and is relied upon by public services such as the nearby fire station.

“Without this bridge, as I said earlier, it’s a 10-mile detour just to get to the other side. And I know, having `had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell: 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference.  It makes a big difference,” Mr Biden said, adding later that “every minute counts” when responding to emergencies.

The incident the president referred to as his house burning down was actually a far smaller fire which occurred in August 2004 while thunderstorms were ripping through the Eastern seaboard. According to the Wilmington News-Journal, future First Lady Jill Biden called 911 to report that a bolt of lightning had ignited a fire in the kitchen of the Biden’s home. Ms Biden’s call brought about a response from five different fire companies, who were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread further.

Cranston Heights, Delaware fire chief George Lamborn told the Associated Press that the fire “was under control in 20 minutes”.

“Luckily, we got it pretty early,” he said.

Mr Biden, who over three decades in the senate built a reputation as a master raconteur, has occasionally found himself in hot water after telling stories on the campaign trail that later require correction or clarification. One such incident occurred in 1988, when the first of his three presidential campaigns came to an abrupt end after it became known that his stump speech had cribbed lines from a speech by Lord Kinnock, the former Labour Party leader.

The discrepancy between Mr Biden’s recall of the 2004 fire and the reality of what happened did not escape notice of prominent conservative news outlets.

Both the New York Post and Fox News quickly pounced on the discrepancy, with the latter reporting that the president was “adding to long list of embellished stories”.

Prominent right-wing outlets have frequently seized on such exaggerations to paint Mr Biden as preternaturally dishonest and characterise them as equivalent to false statements made by his predecessor, Donald Trump, on such subjects as treatments for Covid-19 and the actions which led to his first impeachment for abuse of power and obstructing congress.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

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Matrix: Resurrections and Aquaman Star Leaves the Cast of Mad Max: Furiosa



Matrix: Resurrections star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has exited George Miller’s Furiosa – the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road spin-off.

According to Deadline, the 35-year-old actor will be replaced by Tom Burke, who played Orson Wells in the Oscar-winning Netflix movie, Mank.

Abdul-Mateen II is parting ways with Furiosa due to a scheduling conflict. It’s currently unknown what his other project will be. “Sources say it is a secret passion project he had been developing for some time,” Deadline revealed. “Production recently moved up on it, which ultimately led him to leaving Furiosa.” The star will soon appear in The Matrix: Resurrections as a version of Morpheus, and will reprise his role as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom next year.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus in The Matrix: Resurrections. (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus in The Matrix: Resurrections. (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

Mad Max: Furiosa will star Anya Taylor-Joy in its leading role – a younger version of Charlize Theron’s Mad Max Fury Road character, Imperator Furiosa. The upcoming Mad Max spin-off will reveal the character’s origins, but little else is known for the time being.

Chris Hemsworth will also star alongside Anya Taylor-Joy in an undisclosed role, while George Miller returns to direct, write and produce alongside his producing partner, Doug Mitchell.

Although little is known about the film’s plot, George Miller has confirmed that its structure will be very different to Fury Road.

“Whereas Fury Road essentially happened over three days and two nights, this happens over many years,” he said. “You try to make films that are ‘uniquely familiar…’ This will be familiar to those people who know Mad Max, and in particular Fury Road, but also it will be unique.”

Mad Max: Furiosa was originally due to be released on June 23, 2023 but was recently delayed until 2024. Miller also recently revealed that it was an early screening of Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho that convinced him to cast Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role.

The film also marks an early major studio project for Tom Burke, who is perhaps best known for the role of Athos in the 2014 BBC drama, The Musketeers.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Genshin Impact 2.4 release date – Lantern Rite and Enkanomiya details



The Genshin Impact 2.4 update is due to arrive in early 2022 and will coincide with the anniversary of last February’s Lantern Rite festival, an extensive celebration with plenty of activities and rewards. Genshin Impact fans have uncovered information indicating that the Lantern Rite festival will return during 2.4, and may include a rerun of the immensely popular Windtrace event.

In addition to Lantern Rite, 2.4 may also introduce a new area called Enkanomiya. According to information from the 2.4 beta, this mysterious region is accessed from Inazuma, although it has its own separate map. Reportedly, Enkanomiya operates on a unique day/night cycle, and players can manually switch between Evernight and Whitenight in order to solve puzzles and modify the environment.

Genshin Impact 2.4 could also include two new characters – Yun Jin and Shenhe – and dataminers have uncovered new skins for Keqing and Ningguang, in addition to hangout events and new weapons, and new furnishings for the Genshin Impact Serenitea Pot. This information is based on beta gameplay and has not been officially confirmed by Mihoyo. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the next Genshin Impact update ahead of the Genshin Impact 2.4 release date.

Genshin Impact 2.4 release date

The Genshin Impact 2.4 release date is January 5, 2022, based on Mihoyo’s typical six-week update schedule.

Genshin Impact 2.4 livestream date

The Genshin Impact 2.4 livestream date and time has yet to be announced. If Mihoyo follows previous timeframes, the livestream may air around December 24, however there may be disruption around the holiday period.

Genshin Impact Shenhe, a woman with silvery hair tied back with a red ribbon, holding a polearm

Genshin Impact 2.4 new characters

Mihoyo has announced two new Genshin Impact characters that are anticipated to arrive in the 2.4 update – Shenhe and Yun Jin. Shenhe is a five-star Cryo Polearm user, and Yun Jin is a four-star Geo Polearm user.

Dataminers have also uncovered an avatar file referring to a potential new character called Heizou, although there is very little information about them. As far as we know, Yae Miko and Ayato will not appear in the 2.4 update.

Genshin Impact 2.4 banners

There are no characters confirmed to feature on rate-up event banners in 2.4. A tweet from UBatcha indicates the possibility of a Zhongli rerun in 2.4, however.

Genshin Impact 2.4 new outfits

According to information from the 2.4 beta, there will be evening gown skins released for Keqing and Ningugang. If these outfits follow the same pattern as the previous Genshin Impact skins released in 1.6, one of them will be available via in-game events, and the other will be released on the in-game store. The above tweet by Project Celestia indicates Ningguang’s outfit, called ‘Orchid’s Evening Gown’, can be obtained from the Lantern Rite II event, Fleeting Colors in Flight.

Genshin Impact 2.4 new area

Reportedly, the new Genshin Impact area is called Enkanomiya, and it is a secret region of Inazuma that is shown on a separate map, like the Golden Apple Archipelago in 1.6 – however, hopefully it will be permanent. Tweets from Project Celestia report that Enkanomiya can be switched between its two modes, Evernight and Whitenight, at will – transforming the environment.

Genshin Impact 2.4 events

The possible Genshin Impact 2.4 events are:

  • Lantern Rite II
    • A Wondrous Shadows challenge where you adjust a lantern, using its light and shadow to create a particular image
    • Fleeting Colors in Flight, from which you can obtain the Ningguang skin and a free 4* Liyue character
    • Windtrace
  • Over Mountains and Seas, the Enkanomiya quest
  • A Study in Potions

Genshin Impact 2.4 new content

Additional new Genshin Impact content reported from the 2.4 beta includes the following:

  • A Shenhe story quest, which could be an archon quest
  • Ningguang and Yun Jin hangout events
  • Custom Furnishing Sets in the Serenitea Pot
  • New furniture, food, and fish
  • New five-star polearm weapon, the Calamity Queller (via Honey Hunter World)
  • New Genshin Impact elemental reactions called Overgrow and Overdose (via Project Celestia)

That’s everything we know so far – we’ll update this page when we have more information. If you’re saving up for the next Genshin Impact banner, keep an eye on our Genshin Impact codes guide for the latest freebies.

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Trump's businesses made $1.7B while in office, book says – CNN



Trump’s businesses made $1.7B while in office, book says  CNN

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