Video Games Are One of The Biggest Tech Incubators Available

Video games are typically thought of as solely a leisure activity—and they often are. But the gaming industry of 2019 is also proving to be a tech incubation powerhouse.

At the annual Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. this week, Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki and Niantic CEO John Hanke discussed how innovation in gaming often expands beyond play.

“These platforms lead not only into play but also to a lot of other areas,” Baszucki said. “I think the play angle is more accessible right now, but I think, ultimately, this will be an integral part of enterprise too.”

Hanke noted that many apps like Uber or Yelp were built on top of Google’s Maps offering. That includes the popular mobile game Pokémon Go, developed and published by Niantic. In turn, the app was a mass market augmented reality hit.

Now Niantic is fostering further innovation in both AR and virtual reality. The company launched a platform that enables others to leverage the data and infrastructure behind Pokémon Go and it’s latest location-based AR game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

“In the developer contest that we’re running right now, a number of applications that are being developed aren’t games. They’re not super serious enterprise applications either. But they bridge the space in between,” Hanke said. “I think the opportunity for AR goes far beyond games. We view games as certainly a place to start, but our platform’s open, and we’re eager to see what kinds of useful things we can build in all kinds of areas”

Much of Roblox’s gameplay also focuses on creation and offers a way for children to gain coding skills. As Baszucki noted, within the Roblox platform, there are approximately 2 million creators making 3D “experiences” that the rest of the player base can use.

On top of players and developers alike possessing a willingness to build upon existing gaming technology, the industry is attracting investors and partners all over the world.

Roblox has been working with Tencent, opening up the Chinese market to the U.S.-based company. It provides an opportunity for developers to think more broadly about what they create and tailor it to a global market.

Investment in gaming from Asian countries—predominantly China, Japan, and South Korea—isn’t unique to Roblox. Niantic and others are seeing the global growth opportunities as well.

“If you look at Asia, you can sort of see in to the future a little bit in terms of the mainstream impact of games as a media force and as a social force. Looking at Korea, Japan, and China, you see gaming embraced as important as any other kind of media,” Hanke said.

More must-read stories from Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2019:

—The real reason Walmart needs its stores in order to compete with Amazon

—Ancestry CEO talks genetic data privacy and the business of DNA testing

—Analyst: Expect more tech regulation despite declining user privacy concerns

Barbie movie will cast minority actors, according to Mattel CEO 

—Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield isn’t worried about battling chief rival Microsoft

Catch up with Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily digest on the business of tech.

5 Tips for Integrating Design Into Your Business

Design is becoming an integral part of the success of nearly every company. The conversation is no longer solely about aesthetics, but rather how to design products and systems to aid with digital transformation, address big ethical concerns of a company’s technology, and evolve legacy systems and processes.

That was the general consensus at a breakout session at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference on Tuesday in Aspen, Colo., where business leaders discussed key strategies for companies that aim to design their way to innovation. 

Here are five tips to help businesses with creating a design strategy:

1. Focus on the Purpose 

Oftentimes companies, especially startups, overthink design and end up with a list of 30 items they think will help them with an innovative product or disrupt a market. But that strategy actually muddles what the company eventually communicates to its market, making it confusing and less attractive to consumers. 

“A lot of it is getting back to the basics,” JB Osborne, CEO of brand design company Red Antler, said during the session. “Who are you speaking to and why do they care?”

The most effective design strategies focus on the purpose of the product and make sure that all teams and efforts work to accomplish the main goal, Osborne said. 

David DeWolf, CEO of software development firm 3Pillar Global, said his company takes the same approach when developing products for clients.

“Where we start is, ‘What’s the outcome you’re driving?” he said. “Make sure all are working toward the same thing and not working in silos.”

2. Feedback Cycles Are Critical

A company needs to constantly be getting feedback from its customers on the direction it’s headed. Is the new product working? Does it have glitches? Is it a good user experience?

All of those answers should be considered as the company continues to tweak its product, experts said. And companies should be ready to pivot at any moment if the direction they are headed appears to be problematic. 

On the flip side, customer feedback shouldn’t be the end all, be all, said DeWolf. While having a feedback loop is critical to the development of innovative products, companies should also be guided by the business objective.

“A lot of companies fail if they only listen to customers and what they want versus what they need and would be willing to pay for,” he said. 

3. Think Horizontally, Not Vertically

If a company is working on a product in silos, chances are the overall experience will be negatively impacted. 

It’s a common mistake, business leaders said, especially because software developers typically like to specialize, working on one part of the product and being held accountable for just one piece. But measuring the success of a user’s experience can’t be broken down into parts. 

John Foreman, senior vice president of product at Mailchimp, said it took years for his team to make the switch. But now that it has, the company is reaping the reward.

The company had to change its metrics to evaluate the entire experience, including where customers were typically opting out, he said. “If we measure that properly, we get bump in revenue.” 

It’s also important to have what Siobhan McFeeney, global leader of business transformation at Pivotal, called a “balanced-team” approach. That means stacking teams with a product manager, engineer, and designer, so all things are considered for each piece of the business. Sometimes, that could also mean holding product managers accountable for code.

“One thing that can help is rotation,” McFeeney said about moving employees to work on different parts of a project. “We rotate every 90 days.”

4. Use Tech for Practicality, Not Buzz

Artificial intelligence has become the latest buzzword at tech, and even non-tech, companies. But companies should use new technologies only when absolutely necessary to avoid building useless products and features, experts said. 

Tools like AI should be used to serve design. So companies should look for areas where the technology can help improve the customer’s experience, for example, by improving speed.

If AI and other new technologies are viewed as nothing other than another tool in the tool belt, it can be better applied to the business.

“AI is sort of the tail wagging the dog,” Foreman said. “We need to flip it back and judiciously use AI.”

5. Design at the Top

Business leaders agree: Design is becoming a major consideration. And increasingly companies are looking for people who have design backgrounds to serve in executive positions.

Building a company with design at the forefront and including design at the executive and board levels could help create a culture focused on design. That culture ultimately benefits the consumer, which then translated into more money.

More must-read stories from Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2019:

—The real reason Walmart needs its stores in order to compete with Amazon

—Ancestry CEO talks genetic data privacy and the business of DNA testing

—Analyst: Expect more tech regulation despite declining user privacy concerns

Barbie movie will cast minority actors, according to Mattel CEO 

—Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield isn’t worried about battling chief rival MicrosoftCatch up with Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily digest on the business of tech.

‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Earns Record-Breaking 32 Emmy Nominations

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has slashed its way to a record-setting 32 Emmy nominations Tuesday for its eighth and final season.

The bloodthirsty saga’s total eclipsed the all-time series record of 27 nods earned by “NYPD Blue” in 1994.

The showing by “Game of Thrones” led HBO back to dominance over Netflix, the streaming service that bumped it last year from its longtime Emmy dominance.

Last year’s best comedy series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” led the pack with 20 bids, including for its star and defending champion Rachel Brosnahan.

“The Masked Singer” judge Ken Jeong and “The Good Place” star D’Arcy Carden announced top-category contenders at the Television Academy in Los Angeles.

The 71st Emmy Awards will air Sept. 22 on Fox, with the host yet to be announced.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Why the next Game of Thrones book isn’t coming soon—even if it’s finished

—The “Barbie” movie will also cast minority actors, Mattel CEO says

—Ja Rule escapes Fyre Festival lawsuit for now

Classic rock is reanimating Summer 2019’s movies

—Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 Daily

Follow Fortune on Flipboard to stay up-to-date on the latest news and analysis.

‘I Don’t Have a Racist Bone In My Body!’ Trump Defends Tweets

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s no racist, despite his repeated attacks against four Democratic congresswomen of color.

In a series of early morning tweets, Trump again talked about Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib “spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate,” and said his controversial and divisive tweets on Sunday and Monday were not racial in tone.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game,” the president tweeted. “Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country.”

Trump’s latest remarks came hours before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning the president’s comments as racist—and after the congresswomen fired back on Monday, calling Trump’s comments a “deliberate distraction.” Pressley said she and her colleagues “will not be silenced.”

Ocasio-Cortez took Trump to task on Tuesday, tweeting “Hey Mr. President, remember when you bragged about sexually assaulting women, talking about feeling their breasts and genitals, because ‘when you’re a star they let you do it?’ And then you imposed DOE policies to make it harder for sexual assault survivors to report [an] assault?”

She also tweeted that Trump has “decided he does not want to be President of the United States,” and doesn’t want to be a president to those who disagree with him.

“He’d rather see most Americans leave than handle our nation’s enshrined tradition of dissent,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But we don’t leave the things we love.”

The controversy between the president and the congresswomen comes in the wake of a Pew Research poll released in April that found a majority of Americans queried say Trump has made race relations in America worse.

On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump and said he would not vote in favor of the House’s resolution.

“No. This is about ideology,” McCarthy said during a briefing with reporters. “This is about socialism versus freedom.”

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—A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas

—Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t

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Ubisoft Unveils Massive Game Lineup for Its Subscription Gaming Service

Ubisoft is going all in on its Netflix-like gaming service.

The French publisher has unveiled the game list for Uplay+, which it announced last month at the E3 video game conference. And the title lineup includes both classic hits, such as Beyond Good and Evil, and recent hit titles, like last year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. In addition, upcoming releases, such as Watch Dogs Legion, will be added to the service when launched.

“The value of Uplay+ is that you not only get access to our catalog of more than 100 games and DLC, but you also will be able to enjoy our upcoming releases,” says Brenda Panagrossi, VP of platform and product management.

Uplay+, which will launch on Sept. 3, will cost $14.99 per month. Subscribers will be able to download the games to their PC. Next year, it will also be offered via Google’s Stadia streaming service, allowing players to instantly launch the game from a wide variety of screens. (The service will not be offered on consoles, such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.)

Beyond the base games, Uplay+ will also feature expansions and DLC for 40 titles, giving players the complete play experience.

Ubisoft isn’t the only game publisher that offers a subscription package to back catalog games. Electronic Arts has offered EA Access since 2014 and, earlier this year, brought it to console gamers via the PlayStaton 4. Microsoft and Sony also offer catalogs of older games (and, increasingly, new ones) which can be played for a flat monthly fee.

Here’s the complete list of games that will be part of the Uplay+ launch.

  • Anno 1800 – Deluxe Edition
  • Anno 2205 – Ultimate Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed – Director’s Cut
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood – Deluxe Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – China
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – India
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – Russia
  • Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry – Standalone Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed II – Deluxe Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed III + Liberation Remastered
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Gold Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition*
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins – Gold Edition*
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins – Discovery Tour
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Standard Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue – Deluxe Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Gold Edition*
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity – Standard Edition
  • Beyond Good and Evil
  • Brothers in Arms: Earned In Blood
  • Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway
  • Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
  • Child of Light
  • Cold Fear
  • Far Cry 2 – Fortune’s Edition
  • Far Cry 3 – Blood Dragon (Standalone)
  • Far Cry 3 – Deluxe Edition
  • Far Cry 4 – Gold Edition
  • Far Cry 5 – Gold Edition*
  • Far Cry New Dawn – Deluxe Edition
  • Far Cry Primal – Digital Apex Edition
  • Flashback Origin
  • For Honor – Marching Fire Edition
  • From Dust
  • Gods & Monsters (coming soon)
  • I Am Alive
  • Imperialism
  • Imperialism 2
  • Might & Magic IX
  • Might & Magic VII – For Blood And Honor
  • Might & Magic VIII -Day of the Destroyer
  • Might & Magic X Legacy – Deluxe Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes II – Gold Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes III – Complete Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes V – Standard Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Gold Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VII – Deluxe Edition
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VII – Trial by Fire
  • Monopoly PLUS
  • Ode
  • Panzer General 2
  • Panzer General 3D assault
  • POD Gold
  • Prince of Persia (2008)
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands – Deluxe Edition
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
  • Rayman 2
  • Rayman 3
  • Rayman Forever
  • Rayman Legends
  • Rayman Origins
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids
  • Silent Hunter 2
  • Silent Hunter 3
  • Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific – Gold Edition
  • Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic – Gold Edition
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole – Gold Edition
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Standard Edition
  • Speed Buster
  • Starlink – Digital Deluxe Starter Kit
  • Steep – X Games Gold Edition*
  • The Crew – Ultimate Edition*
  • The Crew 2 – Gold Edition*
  • The Settlers 1 – History Edition
  • The Settlers 2 – History Edition
  • The Settlers 3 – History Edition
  • The Settlers 4 – History Edition
  • The Settlers 5: Heritage of the Kings – History Edition
  • The Settlers 6: Rise of an Empire – History Edition
  • The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom – History Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s EndWar
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier – Deluxe Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Ultimate Edition*
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition (coming soon)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six – Standard Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 – Gold Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege – Ultimate Year Four Edition*
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas II
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine (coming soon)
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist – Deluxe Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction – Deluxe Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division – Gold Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – Ultimate Edition
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Transference – Uplay
  • Trials Evolution – Gold Edition
  • Trials Fusion – Standard Edition
  • Trials Rising – Gold Edition
  • Uno
  • Valiant Hearts
  • Warlords Battlecry
  • Warlords Battlecry 2
  • Watch_Dogs – Complete Edition
  • Watch_Dogs 2 – Gold Edition
  • Watch_Dogs Legion Ultimate Edition* (coming soon)
  • World In Conflict – Complete Edition
  • Zombi

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Blue Apron Stock Surges After Beyond Meat Partnership Announcement

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. saw its best day in six months after announcing a tie-up with a hot brand: Beyond Meat Inc.

The struggling meal-kit company will begin introducing products from the alternative-meat startup on its menus in August, New York-based Blue Apron said in a statement. The shares rose as much as 22% on Tuesday, their biggest intraday gain since Jan. 15.

The tie-up may breathe some fresh life into Blue Apron, whose stock has plummeted more than 90% since its 2017 initial public offering turned out to be one of the worst-performing in recent history. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat shares have gained almost seven-fold since their May debut as faux meat has taken off across restaurant and fast-food chains. Beyond Meat extended those gains Tuesday, adding as much as 1.6%.

Blue Apron’s struggles stem from the meal-kit industry’s challenges attracting and retaining customers. Although subscriptions were originally marketed to people who wanted to cook but didn’t know what or how, it was soon beset with complaints: The meals were too expensive, you had to plan ahead, and people felt guilty throwing away all the packaging required to keep ingredients fresh. The nascent meal-kit industry found luring and retaining customers required margin-eating discounts and often didn’t work.

In a bid to reinvigorate growth, Blue Apron got inside brick and mortar retail, but Costco Wholesale Corp. ultimately dropped the meal-kit boxes to make space for seasonal products.

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What the 2020 Presidential Candidates Are Saying: July 16

Bernie Sanders Says He Would Meet With Dictators

Bernie Sanders said that as president he would sit down with authoritarian leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s Vladimir Putin even though he remains critical of President Donald Trump’s “respect and affection for” dictators around the world.

“Should we sit down and negotiate with them? Absolutely,” the Vermont senator and Democratic White House contender said at a Washington Post Live news event Tuesday. “Should we praise them as a great leader? I don’t think so.”

Sanders also said that he would directly engage with leaders of Iran to try to improve strained relations and quell the risks of conflict that have been escalating under Trump. He said he would convene a broader meeting between the U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations to try to reduce tensions in the region.

“I think there is an opportunity to sit down with them, explain to them our concerns about their support for this or that terrorist group, their missile program,” Sanders said in the wide-ranging interview. “But also to tell Saudi Arabia and Iran that we are sick and tired of losing young men and women in the war on terror and spending trillions of dollars.”

Meanwhile, Sanders said he probably would not move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem if he’s elected, although he said that could be a factor in peace talks among the U.S., Israel and Palestinians. Trump in late 2017 announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though it is disputed territory.

Joe Biden Says He Won’t Be ‘Third Term of Obama’

Joe Biden’s presidency wouldn’t just be a continuation of Barack Obama’s two terms, the former vice president contended in an interview airing Tuesday.
“This is not a third term of Obama,” he told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in an interview conducted Monday in Iowa when she asked about his relationship with the former president.

“The world’s changed. It’s different. We have the same value set, he and I,” Biden said. “It’s a different world. The same things don’t apply.”

The Democratic front-runner frequently invokes Obama on the campaign trail and has offered policy positions that align closely with the Obama administration’s work. He unveiled a plan Monday to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act at a time when other Democratic presidential hopefuls are looking past the signature Obama achievement on health care and advocating for Medicare for All. And he even fell into a trap Monday that Obama set on health care a decade ago, promising that under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan, your employer based plan, you can keep it.”

Despite their close ties — which Biden noted include friendships between his granddaughters and Malia and Sasha Obama — Obama has not endorsed Biden, which he claimed in the interview was “because I have asked him not to do that — I don’t want to put him in that spot and I want to earn this on my own.” Obama has said that he will stay out of the Democratic primary until there is a nominee to avoid influencing the race.

Even without an endorsement, Biden wants voters to know that the ties run deep. “We’re friends. You know, it’s family,” he said.

Kamala Harris Threatens to Probe Drug Makers

A centerpiece of Kamala Harris’s new plan to tackle rising prescription drug prices is a threat to launch an investigation into drug companies that are “price-gouging patients.”

The Democratic contender says she’d do that by executive action if Congress doesn’t pass her plan to lower drug costs in her first 100 days. She says she’d demand that the bad actors lower their prices, and if they refuse, use regulatory powers to import cheaper alternatives and license some patents to low-cost competitors under the Bayh-Dole Act.

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—A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas

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Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump

Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.

Why Police Officer in Eric Garner’s Chokehold Death Won’t Be Charged

Federal prosecutors won’t bring civil rights charges against a New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a decision made by Attorney General William Barr and announced one day before the five-year anniversary of his death, officials said.

The announcement of the decision not to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo comes a day before the statute of limitations was set to expire in the case that produced the words “I can’t breathe” — among Garner’s final words — as a rallying cry among protesters of the police treatment of black suspects.

“The evidence here does not support Officer Daniel Pantaleo or any other officer with a federal civil rights violation,” said Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for eastern New York. “Even if we could prove that Officer Pantaleo’s hold of Mr. Garner constituted unreasonable force, we would still have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Pantaleo acted willfully in violation of the law.”

Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, and the Rev. Al Sharpton said they were outraged and heartbroken. Sharpton called for Pantaleo’s dismissal from the NYPD.

“We are here with heavy hearts, because the DOJ has failed us,” said Carr, who has become a vocal advocate of police reform in the years since her son’s death. “Five years ago, my son said “I can’t breathe” 11 times. Today, we can’t breathe.”

A senior Justice Department official told The Associated Press that prosecutors watched video of the confrontation “countless” times but weren’t convinced Pantaleo acted willfully in the seconds after the chokehold was applied.

There were two sets of recommendations made. The Eastern District of New York recommended no charges, but Justice Department civil rights prosecutors in Washington recommended charging the officer. Attorney General William Barr made the ultimate decision, the official said.

The official said Barr watched the video himself and got several briefings.

Prosecutors had to examine Pantaleo’s state of mind, and it would be a “high standard” to prove the case to a jury, the official said. Prosecutors also considered whether he violated NYPD’s policy on chokeholds.

Officers were attempting to arrest Garner on charges he sold loose, untaxed cigarettes outside a Staten Island convenience store. He refused to be handcuffed, and officers took him down.

Garner is heard on bystander video crying out “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he falls unconscious. He later died.

“I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for police reform activists, coming amid a stretch of other deaths of black men at the hands of white officers. Garner was black; Pantaleo is white. Protests erupted around the country, and police reform became a national discussion.

A state grand jury had also refused to indict the officer on criminal charges.

In the years since Garner’s death, the New York Police Department made a series of sweeping changes on how it relates to the communities it serves, ditching a policy of putting rookie cops in higher-crime precincts in favor of a neighborhood policing model that revolves around community officers tasked with getting to know New Yorkers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president in part on the notion he helped improve police-community relations, said in a statement that the city is not the same as it was five years ago.

“Reforms over the last five years have improved relations between our police and our communities,” he said, adding crime was at record lows and 150,000 fewer people were arrested last year than the year before we came into office.

But some activists, including Garner’s family and the relatives of others killed by police, have argued the changes weren’t enough.

De Blasio also said it was a mistake to wait for federal prosecutors to finish investigating the death of Garner before beginning disciplinary proceedings. But there is no fule requiring the NYPD to do so.

Police reform advocates said the decision was upsetting but to be expected. Joo Hyun-Kang, the director of Communities for Police Reform, said it was “outrageous but not shocking.” Hawk Newsome, the head of New York area Black Lives Matter chapter said, “It’s America, man.”

“As a black man in America I have no expectation that we will receive justice in court without radical change in this country,” said Newsome, who’s planning a Tuesday night rally in Harlem and a nationwide civil disobedience campaign.

Chokeholds are banned under police policy. Pantaleo maintained he used a legal takedown maneuver called the “seatbelt.”

But the medical examiner’s office said a chokehold contributed to Garner’s death.

The NYPD brought Pantaleo up on departmental charges earlier this year. Federal prosecutors were observing the proceedings. An administrative judge has not ruled whether he violated policy. He could face dismissal, but Police Commissioner James O’Neill has the final say.

In the years since the Garner death, Pantaleo has remained on the job but not in the field, and activists have decried his paycheck that included union-negotiated raises.

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Tesla Raises Prices on Model S and Model X

It’s going to cost more to drive one of Tesla’s two premium vehicles.

The automaker has increased the base cost of the Model S to $79,900, while the Model X will now go for $84,990. Those are hikes of nearly $5,000 and just under $4,000, respectively. The company has also dropped the standard-range models of both cars from its lineup.

The more popular Model 3, however, will be slightly more affordable, as Tesla has cut that vehicle’s base price by roughly $500 to $38,990.

This is the third price change this year by Tesla, though the company says the most recent action was done to make it easier for consumers to decide which model was best for them.

Tesla has a cult following among consumers, but has fallen from favor with investors and analysts, with many abandoning the company, in large part because of erratic behavior from founder Elon Musk. Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley said the company’s shares could drop as low as $10.

Drivers continue to embrace the company, though. Global deliveries in the second quarter were up 51% compared to the previous year. In total, says Tesla, 95,200 vehicles found their way to drivers. The Model 3 is by far the most popular car, making up nearly 80% of total sales.

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A Short History of Fed Rate Cuts

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell hinted that the Federal Reserve may cut short-term interest rates when they meet again later this month.

A rate cut wouldn’t be anything new in terms of history but it has been a long time since the Fed last lowered their short-term interest rate. Since 1960, the Federal Reserve has cut the Fed Funds Rate nearly 140 times. That’s good enough for roughly 23 times per decade. But there hasn’t been a single rate cut this decade:

Obviously, the biggest reason there hasn’t been a rate cut this decade is that rates were on the floor for so long following the Great Financial Crisis. Rates were effectively lowered to zero in December 2008 and didn’t rise from the dead until December 2015, when the Fed finally raised rates a quarter of a percent.

The average rate cut over the past 60 years or so is 50 basis points but there aren’t many historical scenarios that compare with the current market or economic situation. The Fed Funds rate currently stands at 2.5%. Before the financial crisis of 2007-2009, there have only been a handful of times where the Fed cut rates with yields below 3%.

More than 92% of all rate cuts since 1960 have come from higher levels of the Fed Funds Rate. Almost 99% have come when the unemployment rate was higher than the latest reading. And nearly 65% have come when the inflation rate is higher than it currently stands.

In response to a minor recession in 1960 which bled into early-1961, Fed Chair William McChesney Martin cut rates ten times while the Fed Funds Rate was below 3% over the course of two years or so (rates were also raised twice during this time). But the unemployment rate was much higher in those days because of the recession, topping out at more than 7% in 1961.

The current unemployment rate stands at just 3.7%, the lowest it’s been since 1969. In fact, the last time the Fed cut interest rates with the unemployment rate so low was in July of 1969, when they cut a quarter of a percent. But yields were much higher at that time as inflation was just beginning to take off heading into the 1970s. The Federal Funds Rate was nearly 9% during that rate cut in 1969 and the Fed would actually reverse course and raise rates the very next month in an effort to stave off inflation.

There was only one instance since 1960 where both the unemployment rate and the Fed Funds Rate were sub-4% when the Fed cut rates, which occurred in the summer of July 1967. That cut didn’t last for long as the Fed raised rates twice before the end of that year.

Inflation was fast approaching 6% heading into the 1970s and would reach double-digits by the end of that decade. The latest reading stood at just 1.6%. The only other time we’ve seen the Fed cut rates with inflation below 2% was during the early-1960s, but again that was in the midst of a recession.

So the current period is unique. Interest rates, unemployment, and inflation are all low by historical standards. And this would be the first rate cut in over a decade. Plus there’s the fact that stocks have once again been hitting all-time highs in recent weeks.

It’s quite possible the only reason the Fed began its hiking cycle in late-2015 is to give themselves the option to then cut rates yet again, which appears to be the current strategy. In the short-term, any Fed actions likely provide more of a psychological impact on the markets than a lasting change in fundamentals.

The short-term impact on the markets will always be driven by whichever story investors decide to latch onto. Some will assume a rate cut will signal a weakening economy. Others will assume the Fed will ease in time to keep the party going.

Eventually, those short-term narratives have to be backed up by long-term fundamentals or they run the risk of being outed as frauds. Even with nearly 140 rate cuts since 1960, there have been 30 double-digit stock market corrections and 8 recessions in the U.S. over that time. Regardless of what they do, the Fed can’t fight off recessions or bear markets forever.

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