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A new game set during the bloodiest battle in the Iraq War is infuriating critics. Its producer says he wants the game to explain the complexity of war.

A screenshot from upcoming game "Six Days in Fallujah," which is based on the real-life battle in November 2004. Victura/Highwire Games …

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Six Days in Fallujah (game)A screenshot from upcoming game “Six Days in Fallujah,” which is based on the real-life battle in November 2004.

Victura/Highwire Games

  • “Six Days in Fallujah” is an upcoming video game based on the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.
  • The game’s subject matter is so controversial that a previous version of the game was canceled.
  • In an interview with Insider, the CEO of the game’s publisher responded to criticism.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

“Six Days in Fallujah” is a video game wrapped in a nesting doll of controversies, and it hasn’t even been released yet.

The game, which looks similar to the “Call of Duty” franchise, is a “first-person tactical military shooter” set during a six-day period in the weeks-long second Battle of Fallujah – a siege on the Iraqi city that led to the greatest loss of life during the Iraq War.

Peter Tamte’s upcoming project – which has been in some form of development since the mid-2000s – attempts to convey the experience of the invading forces, from the perspective of the invading forces.

“What we really want people to take away from this experience is an understanding of the actual complexity and human costs of urban combat,” Victura CEO Peter Tamte told Insider in an interview this week.

But critics say the history of the Iraq War is once again being written from the American perspective.

Estimates from the Iraq Body Count project put the number of Iraqi civilian casualties around 200,000 as of last February, and the US Department of Defense reported over 4,400 American deaths as of February 2021, but historians say there may never be an accurate way to count the true number of lives lost due to the invasion.

“The massacre carried out by American and British forces in Fallujah in 2004 is amongst the worst of the war crimes carried out in an illegal and immoral war,” Stop The War Coalition spokesperson Tansy Hoskins told TechRadar in 2009, when “Six Days in Fallujah” was originally announced. “To make a game out of a war crime and to capitalize on the death and injury of thousands is sick.”

But that isn’t the intent of the upcoming game, Tamte said.

“There is an assumption that we are going to whitewash decisions that were made by the United States and Great Britain and Iraqi leaders at that time,” he told Insider. “But in truth, I don’t think it’s possible for us to put players into the second Battle of Fallujah without understanding the events that led up to the second Battle of Fallujah. And those events are based on choices by policy makers that in hindsight have proven to be some poor decisions.”

One such poor decision, according to the US military leader who commanded troops and created operational plans for both battles in Fallujah, was starting the Iraq War in the first place.

“We will probably look back on the invasion of Iraq as a mistake,” 1st Marine Division Commanding Gen. James Mattis said in 2015. “I think people were pretty much aware that the US military didn’t think it was a very wise idea.”

It’s this conflict at the heart of the battle that Tamte hopes “Six Days in Fallujah” can accurately represent, 12 years since it was first announced and 17 years since the battle that inspired it.

“When those four contractors were hung from the bridge outside of Fallujah, and people around the world, especially the United States, were hollering for the United States to go in there and take care of business – I don’t think people understood what the military leaders were saying at the time, which was, ‘Please don’t make me do this,'” Tamte told Insider.

Six Days in FallujahA screenshot from upcoming game “Six Days in Fallujah,” which is based on the real-life battle in November 2004.

Victura/Highwire Games

How does a video game convey the disputed history of a real life battle?

Following a series of conflicts – including an incident where US forces fired on unarmed Iraqi protesters which killed at least 17 Iraqis, and an incident where four American private military contractors were murdered and hung from a bridge – US forces laid siege to the city in two major battles.

The first, in April 2004, lasted several weeks before US-led troops withdrew. The second, in November 2004, also lasted several weeks. It’s the second battle that “Six Days in Fallujah” focuses on, with players tasked with going from building to building as a member of the coalition armed forces clearing the city. That gameplay is interspersed with dialog and video from actual people who fought in the battle. During parts of the game, players control an Iraqi family attempting to flee the city as battle rages around them.

But critics of the game’s concept persist in 2021.

When “Six Days in Fallujah” was re-revealed in February 2021, Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad said the game’s developer is, “basing its game on excusing US war crimes.”

In a subsequent Twitter thread, Ahmad said, “The game is very much from an American point of view, as shown in the description.” He said what he’s seen of the game thus far, “strikes me as just another war game filled with US propaganda about the actual events that took place.”

By some accounts, thousands of civilians were killed in the second Battle of Fallujah by a military coalition primarily made up of American and British soldiers. It was the bloodiest battle in a bloody, controversial war, and has become symbolic of the US policies that led to the Iraq War in the first place.

The US government admitted to using white phosphorus in the battle – a substance commonly used for smoke screens that can also be used as a weapon of chemical warfare. Its use as a weapon is a violation of the Geneva Conventions that govern international conflict, and may have contributed to a years-long spike in birth defects.

An Iraqi soldier guards the railroad station in Fallujah, Iraq. November 9, 2004.An Iraqi soldier guards the railroad station in Fallujah, Iraq. November 9, 2004.

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

Though “Six Days in Fallujah” intends to tell the harrowing story of the Marines charged with taking a city, it’s unclear how it will convey the complexity of the use of chemical weapons.

“I don’t have a good answer to that, to be honest with you,” Tamte said when asked how the game would deal with its use. “I don’t have a good answer for it because I do understand part of the argument of: If you’re going to talk about this battle, you need to at least have some reference to white phosphorus.”

The concern, Tamte said, is how to handle player interactivity when it comes to international war crimes.

“I don’t want to give players white phosphorous as a weapon,” he said. “We don’t want to ask players to commit war crimes, or even things that are in the gray area of being a war crime. We don’t want to do that. That would actually be kind of the opposite of what we’re hoping players will take away from us.”

His intent, he said, is “to share these remarkable stories of people and let people experience these stories.” And doing that, he said, doesn’t stop the game from “discussing some of the tougher aspects of the battle – we can do both.”

After three years in development, and 15 years of total germination time, “Six Days in Fallujah” is scheduled to launch in late 2021 for the PC and undisclosed consoles.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
  • Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/six-days-in-fallujah-interview-peter-tamte-white-phosphorous-2021-2-1030098067

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    Business insider

    Spark Networks Announces Conference Call to Discuss First Quarter 2021 Results

    BERLIN, May 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Spark Networks SE (NYSE: LOV), one of the world’s leading online dating companies, announced today that the co…

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    BERLIN, May 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Spark Networks SE (NYSE: LOV), one of the world’s leading online dating companies, announced today that the company will hold a conference call to discuss First Quarter 2021 financial results on Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:00 am ET.

    (PRNewsfoto/Spark Networks SE)

    Dial-in Information
    Call Title: Spark Networks SE First Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call
    Toll Free: 1-877-705-6003
    Toll/International: 1-201-493-6725
    Germany Toll-Free: 0 800-182-0040

    In addition, the Company will host a webcast of the call which will be accessible in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at https://investor.spark.net/investor-relations/home. A replay will begin approximately three hours after completion of the call and run until May 31, 2021.

    Replay Information
    Toll Free: 1-844-512-2921
    Toll/International: 1-412-317-6671
    Replay Pin Number: 13719604

    About Spark Networks SE:
    Spark Networks SE is America’s second largest dating company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange American under the ticker symbol “LOV,” with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, and offices in New York and Utah. The Company’s widening portfolio of premium and freemium dating apps include Zoosk, EliteSingles, Christian Mingle, Jdate, JSwipe, SilverSingles and eDarling, among others. Spark Networks SE in its current form is the result of the merger between Affinitas GmbH and Spark Networks, Inc. in 2017 and the addition of Zoosk, Inc. in 2019. Spark Networks has approximately one million monthly paying subscribers globally.

    Safe Harbor Statement:
    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, statements involving known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause Spark Networks’ performance or achievements to be materially different from those of any expected future results, performance, or achievements. Any statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Written words, such as “believes,” “hopes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” and variations thereof, or the use of future tense, identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the near future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially, including, but not limited to, the risk that the benefits from the acquisition of Zoosk, Inc. may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; risks related to the degree of competition in the markets in which Spark Networks operates; risks related to the ability of Spark Networks to retain and hire key personnel; the timing and market acceptance of new products introduced by Spark Networks’ competitors; Spark Networks’ ability to identify potential acquisitions; Spark Networks’ ability to comply with new and evolving regulations relating to data protection and data privacy; general competition and price measures in the market place; risks related to the duration and severity of Covid-19 and its impact on Spark Networks’ business; and general economic conditions. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ are discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Spark Networks’ Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in other sections of Spark Networks’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and in Spark Networks’ other current and periodic reports filed or furnished from time to time with the SEC. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date hereof, based on information available to Spark Networks as of the date hereof, and Spark Networks assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement except as required by law.

    Contact:
    Christopher Camarra
    Vice President of Investor Relations
    [email protected]

    Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/spark-networks-announces-conference-call-to-discuss-first-quarter-2021-results-301284505.html

    SOURCE Spark Networks SE

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/spark-networks-announces-conference-call-to-discuss-first-quarter-2021-results-1030391112

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    One of the US’s leading résumé experts shares 3 tips to improve your résumé’s performance after the pandemic

    Keep your résumé short. Recruiters may still be suffering from burnout too. SDI Productions/Getty Images Marc Cenedella is the founder of Leet…

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    People waiting for job interviews resume GettyImages 1252420363Keep your résumé short. Recruiters may still be suffering from burnout too.

    SDI Productions/Getty Images

    • Marc Cenedella is the founder of Leet Resumes, a free technical résumé-writing service.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with gaps in their employment history.
    • Re-adjusting your résumé will help you capitalize on the dramatic jobs recovery we’re experiencing.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Hiring is picking up strength, with almost 1 million new jobs added in March and companies beginning to report that hiring is getting difficult again.

    With that in your mind, your résumé may need a post-pandemic tuneup.

    2020 upended all of our expectations, and that may have impacted your employment history, work accomplishments, or career ambitions in the recent past.

    To improve your résumé’s performance in this newly resurgent 2021, here are three post-pandemic résumé tips from Leet Resumes.

    1. Address gaps

    Unlike past recessions, the COVID downturn happened very fast and without the usual warning signs. As a result, typical white-collar professionals didn’t have a chance to get ahead of the bad news and find a new employer before their company laid them off.

    This was reflected in the unemployment rate among college-educated professionals. During the Great Recession, it had never risen above 5.0%. In May 2020, with the sudden onslaught of the coronavirus epidemic, and the rapid impact to the economy, it reached 8.4%

    If you’ve had gaps in your employment history due to COVID, consider changing how you handle dates on your résumé. Instead of spelling out the months, summarize using the year only. For example, use 2016 – 2020 instead of July 2016 – March 2020. That way, the gap between the job that ended in March 2020 and the new one that began in September 2020 will be something you can explain during an interview rather than before it.

    2. Highlight numbers

    After a year of cutbacks, the economy is expected to grow 7% this year due to stimulus and the bounceback from the lockdowns.

    As a result, post-pandemic employers are prioritizing roles that can produce the biggest improvements in their business this year. Hiring managers want to hire employees with a proven ability to deliver better numbers, whether that’s an increase in revenue, decrease in costs, improvement in efficiency, or reduction in budget.

    Make it easy for employers to understand the specific problems you’ve solved in the past by quantifying your success. Don’t just list your duties and responsibilities, provide numerical proof that you excelled at delivering on them.

    Instead of writing ‘tasked with growing sales’, write ‘Increased sales 17% by aggressive prospecting.’ Don’t just say ‘duties included marketing efficiency’, when you could say ‘Improved marketing efficiency by reducing budget $134,000 while keeping lead volume consistent.’

    Whatever your numbers are, make sure you share them in clear, concise language that allows your future boss to understand exactly how effective you are in contributing to your team’s and your company’s goals.

    3. Keep it short

    While ubiquitous WFH arrangements once seemed like a utopia, this past year has taught us all about some of the downsides. Rather than being an oasis of calm in a hectic world, where your daily tasks can be handled in quiet repose, WFH has become a round-the-clock marathon of Zoom, Slack, email, and conference calls. It never stops.

    Well, the readers of your résumé are experiencing the same shock to their system. After cutbacks in HR last year, recruiters and hiring managers are expected to do more with less, and do it all over Zoom. As a result, they have even less time to spend reading your résumé.

    Recruiters spend just six seconds doing a first scan of your résumé, and that’s barely enough time to get your name and professional headline correct. They certainly don’t have time to rifle through four, six, or nine page résumés. My company Leet Resumes re-writes résumés for professionals for free and recommends sticking with two pages at most for almost all professionals.

    If you have 10+ years experience, two pages is most often the right choice. And if you have less than 10 years of experience, keep it to just one page – your professional headline, your professional summary, your work experience, education, and a keywords section that includes the technologies that you’re most familiar with.

    Don’t try your future boss’ patience with long-winded descriptions of internships or college class projects. They simply aren’t relevant to your future performance in a professional job and aren’t considering once you are a few years out of school.

    So with the economy coming back strong, and the hiring market suddenly as strong as it’s ever been, post-pandemic professionals are encountering a favorable hiring environment in 2021. Using these tips to re-adjust your résumé strategies will help you capitalize on the dramatic recovery we’re experiencing after our topsy-turvy year. Good luck!

    Marc Cenedella is founder of Leet Resumes, a free résumé writing service, and Ladders, the home for finding $100K+ careers.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/3-resume-tips-post-pandemic-job-search-ladders-marc-cenedella-2021-4-1030371685

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    Jefferies shares 4 market sectors that are set to soar as prices and interest rates rise – and explains why each one is worth being exposed to

    Reuters / Brendan McDermid The FOMC is meeting for two days this week to discuss interest rates and monetary policy. Low interest rates and p…

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    Reuters / Brendan McDermid

    • The FOMC is meeting for two days this week to discuss interest rates and monetary policy.
    • Low interest rates and price hikes in some areas of the market have triggered inflation concerns.
    • Jefferies sees inflation reaching at least 2%, and shares 4 sectors that stand to benefit.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    This week is going to be an eventful one for investors as more earnings results and key economic data continue to roll in alongside a Fed monetary policy decision and press conference.

    The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve will meet for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss interest rates and monetary policy. While many expect the Fed to maintain its accommodative policy, investors will be closely monitoring comments on inflation and the central bank’s economic outlook during a press conference on Wednesday.

    Inflation concerns have been growing on Wall Street as the Fed continues to keep interest rates low even though pent-up demand has faced low supply in some pockets of the economy. Prices for some end products have been rising, which is important to note given that the Fed can respond to fast-rising prices by tightening its policy.

    However, rising interest rates and inflation, which erodes the value of cash, aren’t bad news for some industries, according to Steven G. DeSanctis, an equity strategist at Jefferies.

    In a recent note to clients, he said some sectors could perform well in an environment with rising prices and rates, adding that the bank forecasts inflation to reach between 2% and 4% levels.

    4 sectors that can benefit from higher inflation and rising rates

    DeSanctis said the healthcare sector performs better than most of the other sectors when inflation is above the median, accelerating, and in between 2% to 4%.

    jefferies note

    Jefferies

    “We also find it interesting that the group performs well when rates are rising. One would think that this is a long-duration sector and when rates rise, performance would head south but not the case based on its correlation. Inside of Health Care, Equipment & Supplies along with Providers & Services thrives,” he added.

    Other tailwinds for the group include a pickup in overall M&A activity within the sector and its 12-month difference in performance, he said.

    Following a stellar performance last year, healthcare is now trailing the market on a year-to-date basis, making the 12-month difference in performance the fifth-worst on record, according to DeSanctis.

    But in the past, when performance was this bad, relative returns usually bounced back over the next three, six, and 12 months; and when deal activity accelerates, the group “performs very well at 18% annually,” he added.

    That being said, investors looking to gain exposure to the sector might want to consider the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF or the SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETF.

    Additionally, Jefferies’ US economist Aneta Markowska says the yield curve has steepened and interest rates could reach 2%, and that is favorable for materials.

    Commodity prices have also surged over the past month, which should benefit the sector as it houses companies that are engaged in the discovery, development, and processing of raw materials, DeSanctis said.

    Commodity prices usually rise when inflation is accelerating, and therefore some choose to invest in this asset class to hedge against inflation.

    Plus, Biden’s infrastructure bill, which aims in part to upgrade old infrastructures such as buildings, highways, and bridges could also “really help this sector,” according to DeSanctis.

    For those choosing to act on the recommendation, Vanguard Materials ETF is an example of an exchange-traded fund that offers exposure to this sector.

    Another group that was already poised to win even before an infrastructure package was finalized includes industrials, DeSanctis said.

    It’s usually a pro-cyclical sector, meaning that it tends to perform well when the economy is flourishing and can benefit from rising rates that suggest stronger economic growth.

    Meantime, the PMI and ISM are improving, and that “gets reflected in stronger earnings and sales revision ratios that are better than the universe,’ he said.

    note jefferies

    Jefferies

    That’s because those are leading indicators of economic activity given that they measure the prevailing direction of economic trends in manufacturing and the change in production levels across the U.S. on a monthly basis.

    The Fidelity MSCI Industrials Index ETF is an option for investors who want to gain exposure to this market area.

    Another sector that could benefit from higher inflation includes real estate.

    Some investors choose to jump into real estate when inflation climbs because rising prices usually increase the value of a property over time as well as the amount that tenants pay in rent.

    Additionally, DeSanctis says the sector is as cheap as it was in 2009, and has a low level of debt alongside higher cash levels.

    note

    Jefferies

    Those looking to gain exposure to the real estate industry within the US equity market might want to consider the Schwab US REIT ETF.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/investing-advice-best-sectors-for-inflation-and-rates-hike-jefferies-2021-4-1030357600

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