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The Countdown: Mic dropped, 50 Cent and the Twitch Among Us vote

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  • US election 2020

Exactly two weeks until voting day and a lot is going on.

US President Donald Trump said Americans were tired of hearing about the virus but the Democrat pick for vice-president Kamala Harris said he had ignored its threat. Rapper 50 Cent threw his two cents behind the president.

The news in four sentences

image copyrightPaul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

1. After the constant interruptions of the first presidential debate, there is a new rule: Donald Trump and Joe Biden's microphones will be muted during parts of the next match-up, but they are already arguing over the topics.

2. Mr Trump said Americans were sick of the pandemic while at a rally in Arizona, a Republican state which analysts say could be becoming more Democrat, as infection rates have been surging across the US.

3. "Oh you need a couple of permits?... I'd love you to send me $25m for the campaign," said Mr Trump as he acted out an imaginary call with the head of oil giant Exxon to prove he could raise more money than Joe Biden if he wanted to go down such a path - prompting the company to clarify"Just so we're all clear, it never happened."

4. In rainy Florida, a hotly contested state where early voting has already started, Kamala Harris used a familiar Democrat attack line against Mr Trump, saying he had ignored the threat of coronavirus.

AOC, Twitch and the Among Us vote

You are on an alien spaceship and you are either an astronaut or a murderous imposter. Can you survive?

image copyrightInnerSloth

That is the premise of the hugely popular multiplayer game Among Us, and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is looking for teammates. She has set up a channel on streaming platform Twitch as part of an effort to encourage young people to vote.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Big-name Twitch streamers like Pokimane lined up to play with her and root out the imposter.

Politicians want that youth vote badly and just last week Joe Biden's campaign created a virtual field office in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

image copyrightReuters
image captionWhen not on the House oversight committee, the congresswoman has also mastered the League of Legends game

When lockdowns kicked in, Among Us became a way for millions of teenagers to socialise online.

As journalist Alina Kim writes, it's the "game I log on to after burning my eyes out in back-to-back Zoom meetings". The headline on one Vice article about it simply reads: Among Us was not just the game of 2020, it is 2020: the game.

As one of the game's developer's tweeted on hearing about AOC: "Ahhhh. What is life".

Can 50 Cent keep his value?

image copyrightMark Davis

"(Vote for Trump)... I'm out," wrote 50 Cent in a sweary post to his many millions of followers on social media. The reason? Biden's tax plan, which the rapper suggested amounted to a 62% hike.

BBC Reality Check looked into the claim:

Joe Biden has pledged to only impose higher taxes on those earning more than $400,000 a year - about 1.5% of the US population.

Tax calculations are rarely straightforward but a Tax Policy Center study backs up the idea that most people won't be charged higher rates. It also estimates that the effective, or average, tax rate on the top 1% of earners would rise to 39%. Different taxes imposed by individual states could lead to variations in the figure.

Assuming that 50 Cent's earnings are in the highest earning bracket, he could well be liable for a tax hike and could consider life as 30 Cent.

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