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EA Sports adds ex-49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to ‘Madden NFL 21’

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Sept. 8 (UPI) — EA Sports announced Tuesday that free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been added to Madden NFL 21.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who remains unsigned by an NFL team, enters the popular football video game series for the first time since the 2016 season. He makes his virtual comeback as the top free-agent signal-caller in Madden NFL 21 with an 81 overall rating.

“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback,” EA Sports said in a statement. “The team at EA Sports, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game. We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and worked through our past soundtrack mistakes.

“Knowing that our EA Sports experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football. We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.

“Starting today in Madden NFL 21, fans can put Colin Kaepernick at the helm of any NFL team in Franchise mode, as well as play with him in Play Now. We look forward to seeing Colin on Madden NFL teams everywhere.”

Kaepernick played six seasons with the 49ers before parting ways with the franchise after the 2016 campaign. He hasn’t played in the NFL since that season, when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.

In light of the nationwide protests against social injustice and police brutality this year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month said, “I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to.”

Goodell also encouraged NFL teams to sign Kaepernick for the 2020 season.

“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”

Kaepernick, 32, has completed 59.8% of his throws for 12,271 passing yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions across 69 games in his NFL career. He has added 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.



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‘Harley Quinn’: HBO Max orders Season 3 of Kaley Cuoco series

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Sept. 18 (UPI) — Harley Quinn has been renewed for Season 3 and will officially move to HBO Max.

The streaming service confirmed Friday that it ordered a third season of the animated series featuring Kaley Cuoco as the voice of Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn is based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. The series is created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey and premiered on DC Universe in November.

Harley Quinn also features the voices of Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Tony Hale, Ron Funches, Jason Alexander and J.B. Smoove.

HBO Max also said new DC original content is coming to its service, including new series, classics and DC Universe originals.

In addition, DC Universe said it will launch DC Universe Infinite, a premium digital comic book service on Jan. 21, 2021, featuring access to more than 24,000 comic books. The service will cost $74.99 annually or $7.99 a month.

DC Universe subscribers wishing to upgrade their service to include HBO Max for an additional $4.99 per month may do so through Oct. 30.

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Watch: Treasure plays in waves in ‘I Love You’ video

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Sept. 18 (UPI) — South Korean boy band Treasure is back with new music.

The K-pop group released the single album The First Step: Chapter Two and a music video for the song “I Love You” on Friday.

The “I Love You” video shows the members of Treasure visit a beach, where they play in the waves. The group is also seen performing an energetic dance routine in front of a screen showing crashing waves.

The First Step: Chapter Two also features the song “B.L.T. (Bling Like This).”

Treasure was formed on the reality competition series YG Treasure Box in 2019. The group made its official debut in August with the single album The First Step: Chapter One.

Treasure consists of Hyunsuk, Jihoon, Yoshi, Junkyu, Mashiho, Jaehyuk, Asahi, Yedam, Doyoung, Haruto, Jeongwoo and Junghwan. The group celebrated the The First Step: Chapter Two‘s release on Twitter with photos and videos featuring the members.

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Amal Clooney resigns as British media envoy over plan to break EU treaty

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Sept. 18 (UPI) — Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Friday resigned her role as Britain’s envoy on media freedom in response to the country’s plan to break part of its Brexit agreement with the European Union.

Clooney said the bill would, “by the government’s own admission, ‘break international law’ if enacted.”

“Although the government has suggested that the violation of international law would be ‘specific and limited’, it is lamentable for the U.K. to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the prime minister less than a year ago,” she wrote in a letter to British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is supporting an internal market bill that, if passed by Parliament, would allow the government to override aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement concerning how goods move between the four nations of the United Kingdom. Britain signed the agreement with the European Union in January and passing the internal market bill would break the treaty.

The international law and human rights attorney, who is married to Oscar-winning actor George Clooney, said she was disappointed to leave the position because she’s “proud of the U.K.’s reputation as a champion of the international legal order.”

“However, very sadly, it has now become untenable for me, as special envoy, to urge other states to respect and enforce international obligations while the U.K. declares that it does not intend to do so itself,” she wrote.

Clooney isn’t the only official to protest the legislation. Leaders of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales said they’re concerned the bill would allow the government to spend in their countries without their own government’s involvement.

The law officer for Scotland, Richard Keen, resigned earlier this week over the legislation, saying he “found it increasingly difficult to reconcile” his role as a lawyer with the bill’s plan to “break international law.”

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