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Abinader claims victory in Dominican Republic presidential race

Santo Domingo (AFP) – Opposition candidate Luis Abinader has claimed victory in the Dominican Republic’s presidential race after voters on Sunday braved a worsening coronavirus outbreak to cast their ballots for a new leader and legislature.

Abinader’s rivals and the outgoing president also recognized his win, which ends 16 years of unbroken rule by the Caribbean nation’s center-left Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).

“We won, today we win, but we will never forget who we owe this victory to,” the 52-year-old businessman said from a platform before dozens of followers at his campaign headquarters in the capital Santo Domingo.

“We owe it to you, the Dominican people. That is why tonight we all won.”

According to data from the central electoral board after around 60 percent of ballots had been counted, Abinader gained around 1.2 million votes — around 53 percent.

The PLD’s candidate Gonzalo Castillo came second in a six-man field, with 838,000 votes — or 37 percent — according to the incomplete figures.

Castillo said the official count “shows that there is an irreversible trend and that from now on we have a president-elect… Our congratulations to Mr. Luis Abinader.”

Outgoing President Danilo Medina also accepted the businessman’s victory, tweeting his “congratulations to the new president-elect @LuisAbinader.”

Abinader’s win was is yet to be formally announced by the electoral board.

Gunfire outside a polling station in the capital left one person dead after an argument among opposing party activists turned violent, police said.

But elsewhere, voting appeared to progress

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Opening day on July 4 could have been something special. Too bad MLB blew it

Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. <span class="copyright">(Mark Brown / Getty Images)</span>
Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. (Mark Brown / Getty Images)

If only baseball had gotten its act together this spring, it could have staged a grand reopening act this summer, a kickoff to a pandemic-shortened season for America’s pastime on the most American of holidays — the Fourth of July.

“Oh, you mean baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?” sports business consultant Andy Dolich, 73, said, recalling the television advertising jingle that first aired in 1975. “Fireworks, families and communities coming together for a celebration … who’d be interested in that?”

The sarcasm in Dolich’s voice was as clear as his message: Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season July 4.

Sure, there would have been less pomp under the circumstances. With stadiums empty, there would be no need for the unfurling of giant American flags, military flyovers and extravagant postgame fireworks shows.

But if owners and players hadn’t spent three months haggling over money, a dispute that pushed what is now a scheduled 60-game season to July 23, baseball could have had the domestic sports stage to itself for weeks, returning well before the NBA and NHL.

And MLB could have produced a Fourth of July extravaganza, airing multiple season openers throughout the day to a country craving live sporting events and a distraction from the coronavirus

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Should You Play this Video Games ETF?

Video games aren’t just games. They are also TV content, judging by the millions of people who watched some 1.75 billion hours of streamed video-gaming programming on Twitch, the live-stream platform for gamers, just in May alone. They’re live events, too, with thousands of people showing up to watch top-level gamers face off in e-sports arenas. That makes video games big, big business. Consultant Research and Markets forecasts that the global video-game market will increase revenues at a 6.4% annualized rate between 2019 and 2024, when it will hit $179.1 billion in sales.

Global X Video Games & Esports ETF is one of a handful of funds that allow investors to cash in on that growth. HERO sports a tight portfolio of 40 firms involved in developing, publishing, distributing or streaming video games, producing related hardware, or operating e-sports leagues or teams. The fund weights holdings by market value, so the larger the stock, the more HERO invests in it. Gaming is global, and so is HERO; it has 71% of assets invested outside of the U.S.

The ETF will only invest in companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from video game–related businesses. That means you won’t see tech conglomerates such as Sony and Microsoft in the fund. You will see graphics chipmaker Nvidia, whose products power high-end gaming rigs; Chinese internet and video gaming company NetEase; and familiar Japanese powerhouse Nintendo. “If it’s a leading company in the theme, we want to own that company,” says

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How Can Influencers Stay Relevant Amid Global Concerns?

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As recent as this past February, influencers’ social media pages were full of imagery of global fashion weeks, giving eager followers behind-the-scenes looks and glimpses into exclusive after parties. Today, these same social media pages look quite different, reflecting instead on a longer period spent at home that spotlighted family members rather than designers or celebrity insiders.

Since becoming a staple in the fashion industry, influencers have also been a continued access point for brands to reach wide audiences. And early reports stated that although influencer marketing would change during the pandemic it could prove to be extremely powerful amid the crisis. According to Influence Central, since the onset of COVID-19, 64 percent of consumers are doing all clothing and apparel shopping online and thus causing direct impact on how brands and the influencers they work with will engage followers and drive shopper marketing.

“The influencers aren’t the only player that should be pivoting strategy in this post-COVID-19 environment,” said Stacy DeBroff, chief executive officer of Influence Central. “From a marketing perspective, fashion brands need to shift from traditional advertising and catalogue marketing to invest in social media marketing and influencer engagements. This creates a new type of opportunity for brands collaborating with fashion influencers in social media campaigns. Social media platforms from Instagram to Pinterest have introduced myriad ways to shop from online pictures and influencer content. With online products accessible, consumers have an avenue to purchase themselves in the moment and

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