October 16th: US Town-Halls, An Update on Brexit and a Chess Crisis 3

October 16th: US Town-Halls, An Update on Brexit and a Chess Crisis

US Town-Hall Debates

Last night was meant to be the second presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. However, following the move to a virtual debate, the President refused to take part. Instead, both candidates took part in separate town halls

Both leaders were asked a number of difficult questions. One notable part of Trump’s town hall was a question he was asked on the QAnon conspiracy theory. Although the moderator explained what the theory was to him, Trump refused to denounce them or what they believe. 

Biden was also asked a tough question, instead however, on court packing. Like Trump, he also refused to outright deny this. Biden claimed he would have to look at the circumstances. He did promise, however, that his position would be outlined before the election.

Whether the candidates’ refusal to answer these questions will affect their poll numbers is anyone’s guess.

An Update on Brexit

In UK News today, there have been significant developments on the seemingly unending news story that is Brexit. With the EU summit taking place this week, UK-EU negotiations were set to intensify. However, in a statement today, the Prime Minister has suggested that people should begin to prepare for a deal more similar to ‘Australia’ than ‘Canada’.

If the Prime Minister is suggesting that the finalised deal will be similar to Australia’s, then the country should prepare for a deal more similar to no deal.

An Australian deal means that the country would trade with the EU largely on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. The potential positives of this, though, are that the UK would no longer be bound to the EU on things such as regulation or immigration. Nor would the UK have to contribute to the EU budget. 

Despite the Prime Minister’s statement, no agreement has yet been finalised. 

A Chess Crisis

In the last story of the Daily Briefing today we’ll discuss chess. Yes, that ancient game of skill, foresight and mental agility. Well, it should be at least…

The world has gone into lockdown, and people have had to adapt their work and social lives to ensure that they are COVID-compliant – chess is no different. While tournaments used to take place physically, this has had to be replaced by online tournaments. Luckily for chess players, this is no issue, and virtual chess games are not a new thing.

However, while virtual games may be suitable for a game between myself and my nan, the platform is open to be manipulated by cheats. And this is exactly what has happened in the elite circles of the chess world.

In fact, in one particular chess tournament, 5 out of the 6 contestants were disqualified for cheating. Websites have also banned far more accounts than normal during the pandemic due to cheating. 

In fact, this new increase in ‘computer doping’ in the sport has led to a culture of paranoia. This makes sense, considering that if you lose, there is now a greatly increased likelihood that the opponent may have been using illicit means to gain their upper hand on you. 

Let’s hope that cheater-detecting software improves so that virtual chess can adequately replace the real game for the duration of the pandemic. After all, no one likes losing, especially not to a cheat.

For those of you who think the news is too long, be sure to check out Monday’s daily briefing.

July 20th: Britain Buys 90 Million Vaccines, France Mandates Face Masks & China/UK Extradition Agreement Ends

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