Pentiment is coming to Xbox platforms and Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP) and PC Game Pass this November

In my pre-event article of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, I mentioned RPG specialist Obsidian Entertainment (an Xbox game studio) and their two upcoming games that I hoped would be showcases somehow in the June 12, 2022 event – the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) Avowed and The Outer Worlds 2.

While those two mentioned games did not appear in the showcase, Obsidian announced two new games that will be hitting the Xbox ecosystem this year – the full version of Grounded (already a hit in its pre-release form) and the brand-new game Pentiment (a narrative adventure).

In this post, we will take a close look at Pentiment which I must admit I was surprised as I did not anticipate to see another project from Obsidian whose works in The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas I enjoyed. To begin with, watch this official announcement video of Pentiment.

To learn more about this newest upcoming game from Obsidian, posted below is an excerpt from the official article published at Xbox.com. Some parts in boldface…

Today, we have the pleasure of introducing the world to Pentiment, a 16th-century narrative adventure game directed by Studio Design Director Josh Sawyer. As you will see, this game is brought to life by a talented team who were inspired by illuminated manuscripts, woodcut prints, and history itself.

In Pentiment, you play Andreas Maler, a journeyman artist working in the bygone scriptorium of Kiersau Abbey during a time of great social unrest. While finishing his masterpiece, Andreas inadvertently becomes entangled in a series of murders that take place over 25 years. Peasants, thieves, craftsmen, monks, nuns, nobles, and even saints must be investigated and interrogated to expose the truth.

You get to shape Andreas’ background and characteristics which should affect the narrative.

It will be up to players to decide Andreas’ choices, from his educational background and lifestyle to how he investigates the murders. One day he may be digging up a dead monk in the abbey cemetery, the next might be spent eavesdropping on peasant gossip at the ladies’ spinning bee. Every decision and accusation he makes carries consequences that will impact the tightly-knit Alpine community for generations to come.

We are very excited to share this unique interpretation of life in 16th-century Germany, and we can’t wait to release more information with you about Pentiment leading up to its launch this November.

The above article ended stating that Pentiment, which is an Xbox-exclusive game, will be released specifically for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC and also through Xbox Game Pass (XGP), Steam and PC Game Pass sometime on November 2022 with a declared price of $19.99. Team Xbox and Obsidian have yet to announce a final release date as of this writing.

A scene from Pentiment.

Having seen the video during the recent Xbox-Bethesda Games Showcase, Pentiment looks really inspired and the artistic style looks nice. I find the player decision mechanism very appealing as it reminds me of my experience reading Choose Your Own Adventure pocket books in which readers must make decisions to move the narrative forward and also impact somewhat key aspects of the protagonist.

Pentiment clearly looks back at a certain part of history and has religious and cultural visual elements included. I don’t know what Josh Sawyer and his team think about religion nor European culture, but if you have read my past faith articles, you should be aware that religion and faith are not one and certainly not the same. I should also state that culture itself is a hindrance for any person who desires to establish faith in the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him.

Going back to the game, the November 2022 release of Pentiment and the September 2022 release of the full version of Grounded somewhat soften the lack of high-profile Xbox-exclusive games in the final four months of 2022. I was hoping to play Starfield and Forza Motorsport (2023) on my Xbox Series X console via Xbox Game Pass before the year ends but those games will be released sometime next year. That being said, Obsidian Entertainment has Xbox-exclusives set for release a few months from now.

If you are an avid Xbox gamer who seeks new exclusive games this year or if you are the type of gamer who wants to play something new and fun, pay close attention to Pentiment and the other Obsidian game.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Hillsong Church raises and distributes over $630,000 in assistance for Ukrainians

This past March, I posted about the launch of Hillsong Church’s special assistance – referred to as the Ukraine Appeal – for the people of Ukraine whose lives got disrupted by Russia’s invasion of their country. If you are eager to donate some of your loose cash online to help the Ukrainians through Hillsong Church, then click right here.

This past Saturday, Hillsong Church posted on its official Facebook page the latest update about their Ukraine Appeal. They have already raised hundreds of thousands of Dollars and their churches in Europe are also involved in the assistance for the people of Ukraine. To those who already donated to Hillsong’s Ukraine Appeal, I urge you to read the details closely.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Hillsong Church FB post. Some parts in boldface…

Since Hillsong launched its Ukraine appeal 4 weeks ago across our churches globally, we have raised and distributed over $630,000 in supporting humanitarian aid within the region.

We have secured several large warehouses in Ukraine and Poland with a steady flow of Humanitarian Aid, which is in the process of being established to ensure they are filled and distributed to those in need.

• As a first step, three tons of food supplies will be shipped to the Ukraine Warehouses this week.

We have sent two thousand mattresses to Ukraine, helping people in bunkers and metropolitan stations.

• Our Hillsong Kyiv Staff and team have assisted those in our church, mostly women and children, who have fled to Warsaw in acquiring accommodation, food, supplies and military protection vests.

Together with Hillsong Kyiv we set up close communication to our other European locations to connect more people fleeing to find a place where they can ‘call home’ and be taken care of through our Church and Churches that we are in relationship with. Due to the overcrowding of cities like Warsaw, this has been crucial and now the Hillsong team in Warsaw can host Women, Children & Seniors nights for fellowship and connection.

• Another praise report was the opportunity to host twenty of the women now in Warsaw for the opening night of Hillsong Colour Conference and spend precious moments worshipping and hearing God’s word together.

• In Hillsong Berlin, after three weeks of hosting families with people from our Church Community, an opportunity emerged through a Church member to utilise a Guest House which is no longer in use. This facility will accommodate forty spaces for the coming months with eight families living there now.

• The Hillsong Berlin community has supported these families with the registration process, basic supplies, process of applying for schooling and funding.

Hillsong Sweden is assisting with a full project on the ground to house and serve refugees.

Thank you to our global Hillsong church for your generosity and giving in supporting these efforts through our Ukraine Appeal.

It is indeed delightful to read the above details. Hillsong Church did not just collect the donations but also coordinated with its churches in Europe to make the varied forms of assistance for the affected Ukrainians really progress and make positive impact.

If you intend to donate to Hillsong’s Ukraine Appeal and become part of the collective effort to help those in need, take a close look at the bible scriptures below…

When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:13 (NLT)

Take a constant interest in the needs of God’s beloved people and respond by helping them. And eagerly welcome people as guests into your home.

Romans 12:13 (TPT)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,

    and God pays back those loans in full.

Proverbs 19:17 (MSG)

I encourage all of you reading this to donate to the Ukraine Appeal, click https://hillsong.com/appeal/

Pray to the Lord for Ukraine and its people so that the suffering will end. Pray also to Him for Russia’s leaders to be enlightened and make the decision to stop their military operations in Ukraine and leave the nation entirely. Always remember that only God can lift up the persecuted and restore them fully. Keep believing in that! Keep on reading the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

For more about Hillsong Church, visit https://hillsong.com/ and their official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/hillsong

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Note: Hillsong logo is a property of Hillsong Church.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Help the Ukrainians by donating to the Ukraine Appeal of Hillsong Church now!

War is tragedy. No matter what caused the war and no matter what political ideologies clashed, there will always be victims left and right. Over there in Europe, there is a war between Ukraine and Russia (the invader) going on and already many Ukrainians saw their lives disrupted and filled with uncertainties. The war is already affecting the global economy which is very unfortunate because much of the world is still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Over in Australia, Hillsong Church officially launched the Ukraine Appeal online. The Ukraine Appeal is an act of emergency to help the Ukrainians. It is also notable that Hillsong Church has its own church there in Ukraine – Hillsong Kiev.

To put things in perspective, posted below is Hillsong Church’s message emphasizing the Ukraine Appeal…

After weeks of escalating tensions, on February 24, Russia orchestrated a military invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes to neighbouring countries, the capital of Kyiv is under siege and thousands are sheltering in any place of safety they can find.

Globally, our hearts and prayers go out to our Hillsong church family in Kyiv. As such, Hillsong Global has launch an emergency appeal so our church family world-wide can support @hillsongkiev as they continue to assess the needs of their community in very rapidly changing and difficult circumstances. Giving is non-tax deductible for non-USA residents.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia and @hillsongkiev as they endeavour to respond to the needs; for these hostilities to cease, and for a lasting peace to ensue.

Thank you for your generosity to the people of Ukraine.

If you have decided to help the Ukrainians through Hillsong Church’s Ukraine Appeal, then head on to https://hillsong.com/appeal/

Do not forget to also pray for the people of Ukraine who are struggling a lot in this new crisis. In case you missed the news videos and details recently published by CBN News covering the situation over there, there are lots Ukrainian Christians who are strongly worshipping and trusting in God. They are not giving up in their faith in Him even though there is danger around them. These details alone should convince you to pray for Ukraine and help them by donating through Hillsong Church’s Ukraine Appeal. Also pray for the Russians and for Russia’s leaders to look up to God, realize their destructive method is very wrong and stop the invasion.

Let me end this post with the bible scriptures below. Certain lines in boldface…

This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!

Jeremiah 22:3 (NLT)

Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles.

Galatians 6:2 (TPT)

My times are in Your hand;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,

And from those who persecute me.

Psalm 31:15 (NKJV)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13:16 (TPT)

For more about Hillsong Church, visit https://hillsong.com/ and their official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/hillsong

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Note: Hillsong logo is a property of Hillsong Church.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Denmark lifts most of its pandemic-related restrictions

If you are tired of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks, vaccine passes/cards and face shields, and if you are looking for the normalization of life, you might want to pay close attention to the nation of Denmark as it lifted many pandemic-related restrictions, according to an Agence France Presse (AFP) news story picked up by GMA Network. Take note that this is the second time Denmark attempted a return to pre-pandemic life and as of this writing more than sixty percent of the Danish population have been boosted (three shots) with COVID-19 vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Denmark waved goodbye to facemasks and health passes Tuesday as it became the first European Union country to lift all of its domestic COVID-19 curbs despite record numbers of cases of the milder Omicron variant.

Only a few restrictions remain in place at the country’s borders, for unvaccinated travelers arriving from non-Schengen countries.

After a first attempt at lifting restrictions between September and November, the Scandinavian country once again ditched its COVID-19 checks and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“For me, the best part is that we don’t need to wear masks anymore,” Natalia Chechetkina, a receptionist in Copenhagen, told AFP.

“At least now we have a choice — if we want to protect ourselves or we want to feel free.”

Marie Touflet, a 23-year-old French student in the capital, said it was “pretty strange to take the metro without a mask, compared to France”.

“It’s really nice to be able to see people’s faces and it feels like we’re living normally again,” she said.

The easing comes as Denmark registers around 40,000-50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, or almost one percent of the country’s 5.8 million inhabitants.

Health officials believe those figures will soon start going down.

“There are strong indications that the infection has peaked in the areas where it has been most pronounced,” Tyra Krause of Denmark’s public health and research institution SSI told news agency Ritzau.

“So it’s super good timing for the restrictions to be eased.”

‘Shift of responsibility’

More than 60 percent of Danes have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — one month ahead of health authorities’ schedule — compared to an EU average of just under 45 percent.

Including those who have recently had COVID-19, health authorities estimate that 80 percent of the population is protected against severe forms of the disease.

With Omicron not being a severe disease for the vaccinated, we believe it is reasonable to lift restrictions,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told AFP.

Two years after the start of the pandemic, the Danish strategy enjoys broad support at home.

In a poll published Monday by daily Politiken, 64 percent of Danes surveyed said they had faith in the government’s COVID policy, while the lifting of restrictions also has widespread support in parliament.

Going forward, Danes are being urged to exercise personal responsibility.

Without a COVID pass there will be a shift of responsibility,” Simonsen said.

Danes have increasingly used home tests to detect infection, but these are now being phased out and instead, anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home.

The Danish Health Authority currently “recommends” those who test positive to isolate for four days, while contact cases no longer need to quarantine.

Facemasks and the COVID pass are also recommended for hospital visits.

Denmark lifted restrictions as the World Health Organization chief Tuesday warned it was too early for countries to either declare victory over COVID-19 or give up attempts to halt transmission.

For further understanding about the latest development in Denmark and what their Prime Minister stated, posted below is an excerpt from the January 28, 2022 news story by CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

Denmark’s government said Wednesday it will scrap most pandemic restrictions next week, even as neighboring Sweden extended its own measures for another fortnight.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that as of Feb. 1 Danes will enjoy free access to restaurants, cafes, museums and nightclubs, while mask use will cease to be mandatory.

We say goodbye to the restrictions and welcome the life we knew before” the pandemic, Frederiksen said. “As of Feb. 1, Denmark will be open.”

Denmark currently requires face masks on public transportation, in shops, for standing clients in restaurant indoor areas, and for people entering hospitals, health care facilities, and retirement homes. As of Feb. 1, the government will only recommend mask use in hospitals, health care facilities and homes for the elderly.

Frederiksen said that while the omicron variant is surging in Denmark, it is not placing a heavy burden on the health system and the country has a high vaccination rate.

It may seem strange that we want to remove restrictions given the high infection rates,” she said. “But fewer people become seriously ill.

Denmark has in recent weeks seen more than 46,000 daily cases on average, but only 40 people are currently in hospital intensive care units – down from 80 a few weeks ago – Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.

Heunicke urged Danes to get tested regularly. ”We continue with a strong epidemic surveillance. Then we … can react quickly if necessary.”

Frederiksen warned that Denmark could see a rise in infections in the coming weeks, adding that a fourth vaccination shot might prove necessary.

The restrictions being scrapped next week were originally introduced in July but were removed about ten weeks later after a successful vaccination drive. They were reintroduced when infections soared.

In 2020, Denmark became one of the first European countries to close schools because of the pandemic and sent home all public employees without critical functions.

No matter what happens around the world and no matter what the mainstream news media reports, never forget that it is only the Lord who can lift us all up from this COVID-19 crisis, restore us, protect us and prosper us. For continued protection from the Lord, read the entire Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him in the privacy of your room. Jesus is our Lord and Savior!

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Denmark’s moves of attempting to normalize life by removing COVID-19-related restrictions? Do you believe that your local community or even your national government can learn something from the Danes when it comes to pandemic living? How do you think the Danish people would react to the approved restrictions on unvaccinated people and businesses as implemented by the City of Parañaque (additional reference here)? Do your local government officials believe that face shields are truly protective from coronavirus?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: RDIF and Gamaleya point to Italy study confirming Sputnik V vaccine provides strong protection against Omicron variant

With the whole world continues to struggle hard with COVID-19 problems as well as the highly infectious Omicron variant, a recent study conducted in Italy by the Spallanzani Institute confirmed what was determined by other studies before – Sputnik V provides strong protection against the Omicron variant. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Gamaleya highlighted the newest study at the Sputnik Vaccine website very recently as well as other notable updates and detailed references.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the press release at SputnikVaccine.com. Some parts in boldface…

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, investor in Sputnik V and Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccines), today announced a unique independent comparative study conducted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (Italy) by a joint team of researchers of the Institute and the Gamaleya Center showing that 2 doses of Sputnik V provide more than 2 times higher geometric mean titers (GMT) of virus neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

An article by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists led by Francesco Vaia, Director of the Spallanzani Institute and Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, has been published in medRxiv (the preprint server for health sciences) and is available at:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.15.22269335v1 

The study was conducted in Spallanzani Institute in the equal laboratory conditions at the Italian Spallanzani Institute on comparable groups of sera from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer, with no statistically significant difference in neutralizing activity against Wuhan variant.The advantages of Sputnik V are the use of native S glycoprotein (spike protein without proline-stabilization and other modifications) and the use of a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen. The Pfizer vaccine utilizes the spike protein in a proline-stabilized form in contrast to Sputnik V. Proline-stabilization and other modifications may move an immune response predominantly to the actively mutating receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein. In the Omicron variant, a substantial number of mutations were registered precisely in RBD, which is why such a significant drop in neutralizing activity against this variant may be observed in the sera of Pfizer-vaccinated.

Boosting with Sputnik Light as part of the “mix & match” approach may help address the lower efficacy of mRNA vaccines against Omicron as well as the documented, quickly waning, efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Partnerships between adenoviral and mRNA vaccines could provide for stronger protection against Omicron and other variants.

Based on the data collected by the Spallanzani Institute and results of previous studies, heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting with Sputnik Light is the best solution to increase other vaccines’ efficacy and extend the booster protection period as optimal adenoviral platform configuration provides better protection against Omicron and other mutations:

a. Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron, which is comparable to titers observed after Sputnik V against wild-type virus, associated with high levels of protection. The study results were summarized in an article available at:

www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.17.21267976v1

b. Sputnik Light has already shown strong results as a booster in “mix & match” trials in Argentina. A combination of Sputnik Light with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino, conducted in 5 provinces (City and Province of Buenos Aires, as well as Córdoba, La Rioja and San Luis) has demonstrated that Sputnik Light induces stronger antibody and T-cell response as compared to a homologous regimen (two shots of the same vaccine). Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on the 14th day after administering a second dose when compared to original homologous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

c. As duration of vaccine protection is key to avoid frequent boosting, authors of another study in Argentina have noted that protection against coronavirus remains stable following vaccination with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as a consequence of antibody maturation, resulting in improved potency of antibodies to viral escape mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.22.21262186v1

d. The study conducted by a number of highly respected institutes in the US (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and University of North Carolina) demonstrated that boosting Pfizer vaсcine with Ad26 vector produces optimal durable protection against Omicron with 4 times higher increase in Omicron-specific T-cells and 2.4 times in neutralizing antibody titers vs Pfizer booster. Sputnik Light is based on Ad26 vector and is the universal booster for other vaccines vs all mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.02.21267198v2

e. US study on 168 mln people showed that one-shot COVID vaccine based on Ad26 is superior against infections and hospitalizations to quickly waning two-shot mRNA vaccines. In the 6th month after vaccination, Pfizer protection against hospitalization waned 4 times, while there was no evidence of waning protection against hospitalization for Ad26 vector:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.05.22268648v1

f. Another study conducted on almost 500,000 health care workers in South Africa demonstrated 85% efficacy of Ad26 booster against hospitalization caused by Omicron variant:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.28.21268436v1.full-text

Partnership among vaccine manufacturers through heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting by other vaccines is needed to address the quickly waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, which was documented in multiple studies:

a. The study in US among 65+ years old population demonstrated the decrease in mRNA vaccine effectiveness against Delta accelerated after month 4, reaching a low of approximately 20% in months 5 through 7:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2787183

b. According to Swedish data, the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against Delta strain is falling to below 30% after 6 months:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3949410

c. The UK Health Security Agency said those who had received three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine saw their protection against symptomatic illness caused by Omicron variant drop to 45% within 10 weeks:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-sars-cov-2-variants-technical-briefings

Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, said:

“The joint study by the Gamaleya Center and Spallanzani Institute confirmed the results obtained in our separate study published in December 2021. The hard scientific data proves Sputnik V has higher virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to other vaccines and will play a major role in the global fight against this new contagious variant.”

Denis Logunov, Deputy Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, noted:

“The Spallanzani Institute is one of the leading European research centers and our joint study provided a unique opportunity for independent analysis of different vaccine platforms against Omicron. Adenoviral vector platform in the core of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines once again proved to be the best solution in creating strong and durable immunity against COVID and its new variants.”

That was a huge load of information above. While the excerpt is long, I urge you all to read still read the full press release online which itself has some visual presentation of statistics and studies. For insight, read my previous Sputnik-Omicron article. As for my native Philippines, I hope that the government officials have been paying close attention to these press releases and other global studies related to Sputnik vaccines. I also hope the national authorities will acquire a lot more Sputnik vaccines to really protect Filipinos from the Omicron variant which itself caused the deaths of two people here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you have been vaccinated with a Sputnik V vaccine or the one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine, does this latest, highly detailed press release make you confident with what you have been injected with? If you have been vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, are you convinced that the mRNA technology is flawed with regards to providing you protection against the coronvirus and its variants? 

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Unvaccinated people in France banned from public venues due to new law

Over there in France – which I personally toured a very long time ago – a new law was approved by Parliament that severely affects people who still have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a news report by CBN News. This means that the unvaccinated there in France are barred from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues. If you wish to see comparisons with what happened here in the Philippines, click herehereherehere, and here.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

France’s parliament passed a law Sunday to discriminate against unvaccinated people, barring them from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues

The new measure applies to every French citizen 16 years of age and older. It requires proof of full vaccination for access to these venues, including tourist sites, trains, and airline flights. The new law also establishes tougher fines for fake vaccination passes and allows authorities to check IDs to avoid fraud

There are reports that France’s escalating campaign against unvaccinated people could eliminate the world’s number one tennis player from the upcoming French Open in May. The reigning champion Novak Djokovic was just deported from Australia and will miss the Australian Open as a result, and now France could be next.  

The Macron government says it’s trying to protect the country’s hospitals during a record number of infections caused by the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant. It comes even though health officials around the world admit that vaccinated and unvaccinated people are all susceptible to Omicron.

France’s National Assembly approved the law in a 215-58 vote. President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to get the bill pushed through sooner, but it was slightly delayed by resistance from lawmakers both on the right and left, along with hundreds of proposed amendments.

Protesters across Europe have spoken out recently against the harsh measures being taken to limit the freedom of unvaccinated citizens. French media report some demonstrators in France and Italy have even started wearing yellow Stars of David to say they feel like they’re being singled out in the way the Nazis first shamed the Jews during World War II

One protestor in Italy said, “We are creating a great inequality between citizens. We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theater, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot.”

More than 91% of French adults are already fully vaccinated, and some critics have wondered if the “vaccine pass” will make much of a difference since that high level of vaccination hasn’t stopped the Omicron wave from striking France. 

As CBN News reported last week, scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming Omicron wave may have peaked in Britain. France’s health minister Dr. Olivier Véran, who has tested positive for COVID, said French authorities were keeping a close eye on data from Britain to ascertain whether France was nearing its own peak, according to The New York Times

The French government is hoping the new pass will be effective in reducing the number of new cases that are filling up strained medical centers across the country without having to employ new lockdown restrictions. A new lockdown would be another blow to France’s economy, which is the world’s fifth-largest economy. 

It could also affect Macron’s chances for reelection in the April 10 presidential election. But Macron has embraced the targeting of what he calls “irresponsible” unvaccinated individuals. He said, “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen,” saying their rights should be revoked because he no longer considers them to be citizens of France. 

Up until now, a COVID-19 pass has been required in France to go to restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and many sites throughout the country, but unvaccinated people have been allowed in if they show a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery. Some exceptions may be made for those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.  

More than 76% of French ICU beds are occupied by virus patients, most of them unvaccinated, and some 200 people with the virus are dying every day, according to the AP. 

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you remained unvaccinated for COVID-19 until now, how are you living with the imposed limitations in your local community? Do you think that the French Parliament did enough research before passing the reported law? How do you feel about the new law of France and the current state of the unvaccinated people over there? If you are a non-resident of France, does this newest development discourage you from visiting the said country?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Omicron-related fear and panic cause several governments to enact mandatory vaccinations

The fear and panic over Omicron is still strong and already several government units reacted heading towards the enactment of mandatory vaccinations, according to a recent CBN News report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the statement published by CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

The World Health Organization admits there has yet to be a single death from the Omicron variant, but that hasn’t stopped some governments–especially in Europe–from using it as another reason to enact mandatory vaccinations.

Here in the U.S., Omicron cases are now confirmed in at least 17 states. 

“We have several dozen cases and we’re following them closely. And we are, every day, hearing about more and more probable cases,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

But so far, Omicron does not seem to be dangerous. Initial studies show it has a similar genetic structure to the common cold, making it more transmissible. But in South Africa, where Omicron first emerged, hospitalizations have not increased significantly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “We really need to be careful before we make any determinations, but thus far the signals are a bit encouraging regarding the severity.”

Peter McGinn of Minnesota tested positive for Omicron after a visit to New York City. 

He had been fully vaccinated and received a booster.

“I felt kinda tired. I felt bad for about a day. I did my absolute best to follow the guidelines, I had my mask on the entire time,” McGinn said.

COVID guidelines and restrictions have become a significant issue in Europe, where some nations are requiring citizens to be vaccinated.  And that has sparked massive and sometimes violent demonstrations across the continent.

At a protest in Brussels, a Belgian woman said, “I don’t agree with the mandatory vaccinations because these vaccines, I don’t think they’re great yet. “

A Spanish protestor in Barcelona said, “The dead from COVID-19 are mostly vaccinated people instead of non-vaccinated. That’s in all hospitals.” Another said, “We don’t want the COVID-19 passport. We want freedom. It’s a human right. We don’t want vaccines, neither for us or our children. This is a genocide.”

Austria has announced it plans to become the first country in Europe to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory.  Germany plans on making vaccinations compulsory for some jobs.

European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen says it’s time for the E.U. to discuss a Europe-wide vaccine mandate.

Posted below is the related news video of CBN News…

Omicron also a factor as mentioned by New York City’s outgoing mayor

In the City of New York, the exiting Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his own vaccine mandate for private employers and vaccine passports on the people (including children) according to a separate CBN News report. De Blasio mentioned the Omicron variant as a new factor as well as the cold weather creating additional challenges on dealing with the Delta variant in the city.

The weird thing about the NYC mandate is that the federal private employer mandate has been put on hold. Kathryn Wylde, the head of the business group Partnership for NYC, questioned the mayor’s authority to impose the local mandate on private employers. The United States Representative of Long Island Lee Zeldin called the mandate a “job-killing, small business-suppressing mandate.”

“When you dangerously combine a far-left, lame-duck politician, who is anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, not bright and has a perpetual ‘I always know best’ attitude,’ you get Bill de Blasio, the Worst Mayor in America,” Zeldin further said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about these newest developments overseas related to the Omicron variant? Do you think that the government units from New York City to Europe panicked or overreacted? If you are physically in New York City or Europe right now, did you witness any protests or riots related to the vaccination mandates? Do you believe that the secular, Left-leaning and liberal news outlets magnified the Omicron variant too much and distorted the details to spread fear and panic?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Xbox Gamescom 2021 digital event set for August 24

Are you gamers and Xbox fans looking for something exciting? You won’t have to wait too long as it has been announced recently that Team Xbox will be organizing a new digital event in the form of a livestream in connection to Gamescom 2021 (stylized as gamescom 2021) which will take place on August 24, 2021!

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Xbox.com article written by Xbox DACH Communications Lead Sandro Odak. Some parts in boldface…

August is always a very special time for us at Team Xbox. This time of the year we would normally pack our stuff and meet our fans and community in Cologne, Germany at gamescom. This year, however, gamescom will be a 100% virtual experience that you can tune in to from all over the world. The good news is that Xbox will be at gamescom 2021 and you can join with your very own front-row seat as we share the latest updates and gameplay for some of the biggest games coming soon to Xbox.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect from us at gamescom 2021:

Tune in for all the action at the gamescom 2021 Xbox Stream

To warm you up for gamescom week we’ll be airing the official gamescom 2021 Xbox Stream, hosted by Parris Lilly and Kate Yeager. Join us on August 24 at 10:00am PT/6:00pm BST/7:00pm CEST to learn more about our biggest exclusive games line up ever.

You’ll get in-depth updates from some of our previously announced Xbox Game Studios titles alongside some of our third-party partners, including some of the incredible titles coming to Xbox this holiday, upcoming releases to our monthly subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, and much more.

You can watch the show on YouTubeTwitchFacebook GamingTwitter, and select regional sites like VK.com in Russia and Bilibili in China. To make sure all of our fans around the globe can enjoy the stream, we plan to offer support for 30 languages, along with our English Audio Descriptions and American Sign Language. We hope to provide additional accessibility support for the live broadcast in additional languages.  

Gamescom Opening Night Live and Bethesda MainStream

As many of us gather virtually for the largest annual gaming event in Europe, Geoff Keighley will again be hosting gamescom: Opening Night Live. Tune in on August 25 at 11:00am PT/7pm BST/8:00pm CEST. You can watch gamescom: Opening Night Live on TwitchYouTubeTwitter and Facebook Gaming.

You can also join our friends over at Bethesda Germany in a livestream program over several days, starting August 26. Tune in to Bethesda’s MainStream on Twitch.

Connect with the global Xbox community and special guests

Something that we always loved about the physical event of gamescom was the energy of the gaming community coming together. When we all met in the past, we were able to connect, talk and play together and celebrate one of our greatest passions: videogames. We couldn’t imagine gamescom without this and therefore, we’re happy to announce that we will be hosting a gamescom special edition Xbox FanFest this year – an activity that has had a long tradition during the in person show. We’ll be sharing more details very soon, so keep your eyes open on http://www.xbox.com/fanfest and Xbox social channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

As you can see above, there are no signs that any new Xbox-exclusive games will be announced as the there is focus on first-party games that were announced already. I also do not expect much updates regarding first-party and third-party games coming out in 2022 and beyond. In fact, Team Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg posted on Twitter stating: Our @Xbox stream is focused on game updates coming this year. So to set expectations, no new reveals or major surprises, but team has a fun stream planned with our amazing hosts @vicious696 @kateyeager!

By focusing on what is coming out this year from Team Xbox’s own games, I see that Gamescom 2021 will be the ideal event for the following: promoting Forza Horizon 5 hard and formally announcing the finalized 2021 release date for Halo Infinite.

The one racing game to buy and play this November.

Forza Horizon 5 is all set for a November 9, 2021 release and reviving marketing and publicity of the game with the anticipated millions of gamers tuning into Gamescom 2021 makes a lot of sense for Team Xbox to execute. It is likely that new videos of the game will be released that should keep gamers and potential new customers remembering the open-world racer in the final months heading towards launch day. The event is also an opportunity for any motoring or corporate-related sponsorships to be announced in connection with Forza Horizon 5.

Do you think Halo Infinite will be released this November or December?

Gamescom is, in my view, a crucial opportunity for Team Xbox and 343 Industries to finally put an end to all the uncertainty by announcing a solid release date for Halo Infinite in the form of a brand-new trailer with an emphasis on the single-player campaign and the plot involving the iconic Master Chief. Showing off brand-new gameplay footage related to the single-player campaign would also be helpful. It’s been some time since the well-received Xbox-Bethesda showcase happened and the lack of a specific release date is disturbing. The positive feedback and excitement about Halo Infinite’s multiplayer feature are pretty helpful in building up anticipation but all of that could just fade away when gamers get fed up waiting for the release date to be finalized not to mention waiting for answers about Master Chief’s next adventure. Literally speaking, the ball is now on the court of Team Xbox and 343 Industries to make their move and Gamescom is the most timely event to pull it off at (note: Tokyo Game Show 2021 will take place more than a month later).

In ending this piece, here are some Xbox-related videos for your enjoyment!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Better than Streaming: Highlander anniversary 4K Blu-ray set for September 14, 2021 release

Calling all fans of the 1986 movie Highlander, the fans of Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown and the late Sean Connery, as well as Blu-ray collectors who enjoy fantasy and science fiction!

Get ready because Highlander will be released in 4K Blu-ray format on September 14, 2021. It will come with the 4K Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray (for 1080p viewing) and the digital copy. 4K Blu-ray collectors should be aware that as of this writing, there is no confirmation yet if Highlander 4K Blu-ray will come with native 4K visuals or upscaled 4K visuals.

Christopher Lambert with Beatie Edney in a scene.

Meantime, here are the specs from the product’s page at Blu-ray.com

SPECS

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio- TBA

Subtitles – None

Disc – 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc

Digital – Digital copy included

Playback

4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region A

As of now, there is really not that much information about Highlander 4K Blu-ray. It just so happens that this year marks the 35th anniversary of the movie.

For the newcomers reading this, Highlander is the story of immortality that follows a Scottish man called Connor (played by Lambert) who discovers his legacy with a legion of immortals. After living for centuries and moving to different places around the world, he eventually settles in the city of New York. Things turn intense when other immortals appear around him.

I first saw this movie on home video way back in late 1980s. I even saw its 1991 sequel Highlander II: The Quickening and even a few episodes of its TV series. I was never a fan of the Highlander franchise but I fondly remember the 1986 movie for its very scenic shots, the epic flashback set in historic Scotland, the great sword fighting and the very creepy performance of Clancy Brown as the main antagonist. Sean Connery, who died in October 2020, was also memorable in his supporting role as Ramirez. Christopher Lambert is still best known for his lead role as Connor in this movie.

To get to know more about Highlander, watch the video posted below from Minty Comedic Arts. Be warned of potential spoilers…

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-ray, The Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-ray, Mortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-ray, Space Jam 4K Blu-ray, V: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review) and V: The Final Battle Blu-ray.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Half of 40 million incoming Pfizer vaccines to be used on minors

The national government announced yesterday that half of the incoming 40 million COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer will be used to immunize minors, specifically those aged 12 to 15-years-old. It should be noted that Pfizer vaccines made a tremendous positive difference for Israel.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

Half of the 40 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that the Philippine government secured will be used for children under the 12 to 15 age bracket, vaccine czar and National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Sunday.

Pfizer and the government signed on Saturday a supply agreement for 40 million doses of vaccines to be delivered by the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

“Our original plan is to have only 15 to 25 (million) but considering that we are only opening up the vaccination for children like in Europe and also in the United States and Israel, we are anticipating that we have to program or we have to prepare for that,” Galvez told reporters in an interview.

Once the expert panel gives a go signal and guidelines have been issued, Galvez said the government would start vaccinating those in the said age bracket.

“Once we have already their approval for most vaccines to be used on children and once the DOH makes the guidelines, we will do,” he assured.

With the signing of the Pfizer supply deal, Galvez is confident that the country will be able to achieve its targeted 184 million doses of Covid-19 shots before the year ends.

As of June 19, the country has received a total of 14,205,870 doses of shots manufactured by Sinovac, Sputnik, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca both through procurement and donations.

Considering the situation of the Philippines under this COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial for minors to get vaccinated and the parents will have to decide whether to avail of the free vaccines or not. By today’s standards, learning in schools is drastically different for the youth aged 12 to 15-years-old, and that is many millions of students in the country.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you agree with the national government’s move to secure half of the incoming 40 million Pfizer vaccines to be used on minors? If you are a parent of a child aged 12 to 15, are you willing to have your child vaccinated?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673