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For Ilhan Omar, Identity Politics Are A Necessity, Not A Choice

Omar is also in the forefront of President Donald Trump’s latest attack ad against Joe Biden, alongside Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which Trump’s campaign says is now airing on TV in key swing states.

With no previous political experience or public profile, Melton-Meaux has raised huge sums of money to challenge Omar, much of it from the many people who dislike her.

In a 30-minute interview ahead of the primary election next week, Omar spoke about the ways her identity has shaped every facet of her time in Congress.

There have been many fights over the past two years, and for Ilhan Omar, all of them have deep roots in her own identity: as an immigrant, a refugee, a Muslim, and a Black woman.

Omar’s identity also shaped her decision to endorse Joe Biden — even though she had been a prominent supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, another prominent Sanders backer and member of the so-called Squad of Democratic women of color, has declined to do so.

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This Week In Virtual Book Events: August 3-9

Sarah Maslin Nir, author of Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love With an Animal, in conversation with Mary Roach — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

Raven Leilani, author of Luster, in conversation with Allison P. Davis — hosted by Politics and Prose, 6 p.m. ET, more info.

Edward Ball, author of Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy, in conversation with author Ibram X. Kendi — hosted by Politics and Prose, 6 p.m. ET, more info.

Tuesday, Aug. 4 Harper, Viking, Tor Books, FSG, Little, Brown, Random House, Penguin Press, Riverhead, Picador, G. P. Putnam Sons Morgan Jerkins, author of Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migrations Reclaims Her Roots, in conversation with Jason Reynolds — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

Friday, Aug. 7 Ecco, FSG, Pantheon, Akashic, One World, Lysley Tenorio, author of The Son of Good Fortune, and Quan Barry, author of We Ride Upon Sticks, in conversation with Anthony Doerr — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

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Image of article 'New stimulus check qualifications? How the eligibility requirements could change'

New stimulus check qualifications? How the eligibility requirements could change

A second stimulus check is expected to be part of the next economic rescue package once it's finalized, though negotiations continue to delay when you may receive your payment, if you qualify.

The Republican-backed HEALS Act mostly follows the guidelines for the first stimulus payment set in the March CARES Act but proposes $500 for one group that was bypassed the first time.

With the negotiations sparking over other parts of the stimulus bill, including the fate of enhanced unemployment, it's unclear how much the eligibility requirements set out in the HEALS proposal will alter, if they do at all.

The Senate Republicans' HEALS Act would follow the payment guidelines set out in the CARES Act, with a new adjustment for dependents: In the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check.

Although it's been fiercely opposed by Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, we can look to this bill to help frame the conversation about the upper limits of who might qualify in a broad proposal: These groups didn't meet the requirements for the first payment: While Republicans and Democrats are now debating the details of the new stimulus package, they are far apart from reaching an agreement.

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Apple spent $7.4M to lobby coronavirus, education, other issues in first half of 2020

"iPad was helped in the June quarter there by the work from home and distance learning as it was in other geographies," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings conference call on Thursday.

The tech giant saw an uptick in iPad and Mac sales in its just ended third fiscal quarter as work from home policies and distance learning became the new normal.

Proposed and passed by the House in May, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act includes emergency funding for stimulus checks, tax cuts, federal and state agency operations, options for low-income households, support for small businesses, healthcare bailouts and other contingencies designed to counter fallout from the coronavirus.

Part of Apple's funding went to lobbying group Invariant, which attempted to impact policy on a U.S. coronavirus recovery and stimulus bill known as The Heroes Act, reports CNBC.

According to new data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Apple spent some $7.4 million in the first half of 2020 to lobby lawmakers on issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to remote learning.

Facing a crisis, Abbott charts a lonely middle course

In late April, 61% of Texas adults surveyed (not just voters as in most political polls), approved of Abbott’s handling of the pandemic, 3 points below the national average for governors.

By late July, Abbott — a Republican whose standing had been slipping month by month as he sought to make Texas a leader in reopening the economy — had a 38% approval rating, 13 points off the national average and not all that much better than President Donald Trump’s rating of 32% among Texans for his leadership in the crisis, down from 44% in April.

"For me, the response has to be to focus on what is the science, what needs to be done to achieve the best result for the people of Texas, and take actions based upon that, without worrying about the politics," Abbott said.

Threading a needle Two weeks ago, the state Republican Party convention elected as the party’s new chairman retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West, a former one-term congressman from Florida, who in his convention speech, characterized Abbott’s COVID-19 mandates as acts of un-Texan "tyranny."

University of Texas political scientist Daron Shaw, co-director of the Fox News Poll, said that Abbott has a tougher row to hoe than most governors.

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Image of article 'Rep. Schweikert sanctioned in rare action on House floor'

Rep. Schweikert sanctioned in rare action on House floor

The House on Friday formally reprimanded Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert for permitting his office to misuse taxpayer dollars, violating campaign finance reporting requirements, and several other violations of federal law and House rules, a rare sanction of an individual member by his colleagues.

The resolution, H Res 1074, passed the House by voice vote, the first time a member has been reprimanded on the floor since 2012, when California Democrat Laura Richardson was sanctioned.

“It is unacceptable for us, as public office holders, not to think about our ethical obligations,” House Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat, said on the floor.

Schweikert was not censured, a more serious sanction, because he formally accepted responsibility for the 11 misconduct violations and agreed to pay a $50,000 fine to the U.S. Treasury.

House Ethics Committee rules call for a reprimand in the case of “serious violations,” censure for “more serious violations,” and expulsion for the “most serious violations.”

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Image of article 'Trump standing by Pentagon nominee under fire for Islamophobic tweets'

Trump standing by Pentagon nominee under fire for Islamophobic tweets

White House officials have discussed the possibility of installing Tata, who has been a senior adviser to Defense Secretary Mark Esper since earlier this year, in a different position in an acting capacity.

Tata's nomination to be undersecretary of defense for policy took a turn on Thursday when the Senate Armed Services Committee canceled his confirmation hearing minutes before it was supposed to begin.

Tata has come under fire in recent months for the Obama tweet and for referring to Islam as the "most oppressive violent religion I know of," among other controversial statements.

Committee Chair Sen. Jim Inhofe said in a Thursday statement that many lawmakers still don't know enough about Tata to consider him for the position, adding that the committee didn't get certain required documents in time.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the committee's top Democrat, said in a Thursday statement that "members on both sides of the aisle have raised serious questions about this nominee."

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Image of article 'Michelle Obama Had Barack on Her Podcast to Talk the Pandemic, Community, and 'Having It All'

Michelle Obama Had Barack on Her Podcast to Talk the Pandemic, Community, and 'Having It All

Michelle Obama officially released the debut episode of her new podcast and the first guest was none other than her husband, our former president, Barack Obama.

Below, some of the highlights from their conversation: On how our perception of community affects our politics The two began by discussing the communities in which they were raised—Michelle in Chicago and Barack in both Indonesia and Hawaii—and how they both grew up with the idea that communities provide structures that help families succeed.

Michelle says to Barack, "One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you are guided by the principle that we are each other’s brother's and sister’s keepers, and that’s how I was raised.

On the legacy they want to leave behind for Sasha and Malia Toward the end of the episode, Barack shares what he and Michelle most want to give their daughters.

At another point in the show, Michelle says to Barack, "As you pointed out, as a former president who reads and knows history... Let’s just take moment to pause and think about that."

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Image of article 'GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is first target of new Democratic congressional 'integrity' group'

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is first target of new Democratic congressional 'integrity' group

Baumgart of the Committee for Responsive Politics suggested that Johnson's sale of his stake in Pacur merits further scrutiny.

"For too long, members of Congress like Ron Johnson have put their own personal interests before the needs of the American public, covering for Trump's corruption and ignoring their oversight responsibilities," Herrig said.

Alex Baumgart, a researcher for the Committee for Responsive Politics, said Johnson's decision to retain a stake in Pacur while lobbying for tax changes that would significantly benefit his family's fortune is the kind of situation ethics experts examine for potential conflicts of interest.

The first report by the Congressional Integrity Project, which was shared with NBC News, outlines how Johnson, the powerful chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, broke a campaign pledge to create a blind trust for Pacur LLC, the plastics company he once owned and in which he held a financial stake until earlier this year.

WASHINGTON — Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who heads the Senate's chief oversight committee and is one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, has likely seen his personal fortune double as he has advocated for policies that have benefited him financially while he has been in office, a new Democratic-backed nonprofit group alleges.

Britain's 'Russia Report' - A Triumph Of Orwellian Bombast

It is rather telling that in place of anything resembling substance of alleged Russian interference, the parliamentarians refer to “open sources” of media influence by Russian state-owned RT and Sputnik.

The Orwellian plot thickens when the authors of the boilerplate Russian Report then conclude by urging MI5 to be given more secretive powers to collaborate with social media networks in order to control information in the name of combating a “hostile state threat”.

The parliamentarians repeatedly rebuke the British government and state intelligence for not taking the “threat” of alleged Russian meddling seriously enough.

That’s plainly because there is nothing in it that could in any way substantiate lurid claims of alleged Russian interference in British politics.

There is sound reason why the British government delayed until this week publication of the so-called Russia Report by a cross-party parliamentary committee.

Image of article 'NGT directs UPPCB to rework its environment restoration fund'

NGT directs UPPCB to rework its environment restoration fund

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has asked the UP Pollution Control Board to rework its environment restoration fund within two months.It said the fund should be spent on strengthening the vigilance mechanism, setting up laboratories, monitoring the environment, hiring experts and consultants, undertaking remediation and study of contaminated sites.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the environment restoration fund should be spent as per plan to be approved by the National Campa Advisory Council (NCAC) and not for government functions.

“We direct the state pollution control board to revisit its plan.

Central Pollution Control Board may oversee preparation of such action plan.

Plan may be finalised, with the approval of CPCB, within two months," the bench said.All other state pollution control boards may also prepare similar action plans for restoration of the environment and implementation of District Environment Plans in coordination with CPCB, it said.

"CPCB may also prepare such plan for utilisation of funds available with it.

Image of article 'Three ministers and Legislative Council President resign amid SA expenses scandal'

Three ministers and Legislative Council President resign amid SA expenses scandal

"It has been an honour to serve as a minister in the Marshall Liberal Government and to have played a senior role in returning a Liberal Government for the people and communities of South Australia," he said.

Labor's Tom Koutsantonis said an analysis of documents had revealed Mr Knoll claimed a total of 20 nights, dating back to 2014, worth $4,406 by signing claim forms before the expenses were incurred.

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said it had been an "extraordinary day" in South Australian politics, adding that Mr Marshall should have issued the ministers with sanctions before dismissing them.

The resignations come as it was today revealed that Mr Knoll and Mr Whetstone claimed Country Members Accommodation Allowances before incurring any costs, despite the claim form stating the member of Parliament had already "incurred the expenses claimed".

"I apologise sincerely to the people of South Australia for the administrative errors in lodging Country Members' Accommodation Allowance claim forms, which have led me to make this decision."

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Enbridge - contracted vessels may have caused Line 5 damage - report (NYSE:ENB

Damage that prompted the temporary shutdown of Enbridge's (NYSE:ENB) Line 5 oil pipeline in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac may have been caused by vessels working for the company, according to an Enbridge in-house report.

Based on vessel tracking and marine experts, Enbridge reportedly narrowed down to five the list of "small to moderately-sized" vessels that could have dragged a cable in a north and south direction over Line 5; four of the five boats were Enbridge-contracted vessels.

The damage was minor and did not endanger either pipeline's structural integrity, according to the report, which the company sent to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Michigan attorney general's office and the state Department of Environment.

Twin underwater pipelines carry oil and other liquids across the four-mile-wide Straits of Mackinac, but one of the lines has been shut down because of concerns over the pipeline anchor system.

Image of article 'Catherine Bracy helping tech workers leverage privilege for greater equity'

Catherine Bracy helping tech workers leverage privilege for greater equity

A: More tech company leaders are receptive to our appeal that they get involved in politics and structural change work.

Yes, tech companies have a responsibility to hire from and invest in these communities but even if we had tech companies doing the very best thing possible, we would still see disproportionate pain in communities of color because of the structural inequities in our economy.

My work focuses on economic equity and policy, especially how we can make the Bay Area’s tech-driven economy more inclusive whether you work at a tech company or not.

In the wake of protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, Bracy says some Bay Area tech companies that just last year were ignoring her collaborative’s calls to action, are now reaching out to her to engage.

But instead of hoping for just tech company leaders to make changes or sign big checks, Catherine Bracy is working to encourage “rank-and-file” tech workers who want to improve their communities to learn about civic issues and help push for broad-scale change from their often privileged positions.

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Image of article 'Poland holds momentous, tight presidential election runoff'

Poland holds momentous, tight presidential election runoff

Election officials must wear masks too and sit wide apart from each other.

Poland's tone would also be softened on the international arena and especially with the EU.The voting is held under strict sanitary conditions due to the still spreading coronavirus .

The final official results are expected early in the week.The outcome of the election will decide the shape of politics in deeply divided Poland at least until 2023, when parliamentary elections are scheduled.If Duda is reelected, the right-wing Law and Justice party that backs him will continue to have a close ally in the President and maintain its hold on almost all key instruments of power in the country.Trzaskowski's win would give him the power to veto laws passed by the ruling party.

In the first round, Duda got 43.5% and Trzaskowski 30.5% .

In this Thursday, July 9, 2020 photo election campaign posters of incumbent conservative president, Andrzej Du... WARSAW, POLAND: Voting started on Sunday in Poland 's razor-blade-close presidential runoff between the conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda and liberal, pro-European Union Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.Duda is backed by the ruling right-wing party and the government, as he seeks a second 5-year term.

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Far Cry 6 Is Set On An Island Nation Inspired By Cuba

There are still some questions left about how much time Far Cry 6 will actually spend humanizing the island’s locals, and if the developers are willing to tell a story of revolution and all the politics that comes with, without pulling punches.

This also seems to imply that the theory that all Far Cry games are set in the same universe is no longer true, as Far Cry 5 ended with (warning, Far Cry 5 spoilers ahead) a large nuclear war that devastated the world, which was then the setting of spin-off New Dawn.

This would mean Anton’s son, Diego, can’t possibly be Vaas, the infamous villain from Far Cry 3.

According to Khavari, these new urban locations will allow for new gameplay and more verticality than seen in older Far Cry titles.

For the first time in the Far Cry franchise, Far Cry 6 will feature large urban areas, alongside more familiar locales like farms and coastal villages.

Facebook takes down accounts tied to Roger Stone

“Roger Stone’s personal accounts and his branded assets will be coming down as part of this network,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a call with reporters.

Stone’s own Facebook and Instagram accounts were also banned.

A network tied to both Stone and the Proud Boys had fake accounts post about local politics in Florida, as well as Stone’s books, websites and media appearances, Facebook said.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Facebook on Wednesday said it has removed dozens of accounts linked to the hate group Proud Boys, to President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone and to employees of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, among others.

Facebook’s said the accounts were linked to Brazil’s Social Liberal Party, which Bolsonaro left last year after winning the 2018 presidential election, and to employees of the president, two of his sons, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro and congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, and two other lawmakers.

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Image of article 'Covid conspiracy sites to net $25m from ads'

Covid conspiracy sites to net $25m from ads

The group updates its research weekly and often tells tech companies when their platforms place ads on misinformation sites.Brands can help by pulling ads from tech platforms when they see issues like this, Rogers said.

Earlier this month, Google served up a Bloomberg News ad on the website Bigleaguepolitics.com, according to the report.The GDI is a UK-based research group that provides disinformation risk ratings on media sites all over the world.

Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L'Oreal, furniture website Wayfair and imaging technology company Canon.The data excludes social media and online video services, so the true total is likely much higher.Governments and health officials are still learning more about the virus, and this has allowed misinformation to flourish online.

OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10pc of the money, while Amazon's technology delivers roughly $1.7m - or 7pc - of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) research group.GDI made the estimates in a study that analysed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation.

Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com and other tech companies will funnel at least $25m (€22m) to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released yesterday.

Image of article 'Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts'

Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts

Based on those search warrants, CNN reported in April about the federal investigation into Stone's activities on Facebook .

Mueller investigators said Roger Stone orchestrated hundreds of fake Facebook accounts in political influence scheme "We identified the full scope of this network following the recent public release of search warrants pertaining to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in response to a joint petition from The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and Politico," he added.

The pages were also active around the time of Stone's trial in 2019, said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, in a press call Wednesday.

The pages posted about the hacked materials released by Wikileaks ahead of the 2016 presidential election, politics in Florida, and Roger Stone himself, among other topics, Facebook said.

According to court records, Stone's assistant said Stone purchased "a couple hundred fake Facebook accounts" in 2016 and used them to promote leaked Democratic documents that would help the Trump campaign.

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Image of article 'Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts'

Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts

Based on those search warrants, CNN reported in April about the federal investigation into Stone's activities on Facebook .

Mueller investigators said Roger Stone orchestrated hundreds of fake Facebook accounts in political influence scheme "We identified the full scope of this network following the recent public release of search warrants pertaining to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in response to a joint petition from The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and Politico," he added.

The pages were also active around the time of Stone's trial in 2019, said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, in a press call Wednesday.

The pages posted about the hacked materials released by Wikileaks ahead of the 2016 presidential election, politics in Florida, and Roger Stone himself, among other topics, Facebook said.

According to court records, Stone's assistant said Stone purchased "a couple hundred fake Facebook accounts" in 2016 and used them to promote leaked Democratic documents that would help the Trump campaign.

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The friendship lessons we've learned during the pandemic

Kimberley said she made peace a long time ago with the fact her friends from home aren't going to be up for deep, important conversations.

"Most of my home friends have never shown much interest in politics, or current issues.

He's used the time to do a bit of spring cleaning with his friendships, as he put it, "Only talking to real, true friends that energise me, rather than drain me."

Although we're scarcely past the halfway point of 2020, the teachable moments about our relationships have been plentiful — from learning which of our friends are committed to Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism movement to realising which friends are truly there for you when you need them.

But, in her group chat with her home friends, there's not a single mention of any of the aforementioned movements and issues.

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Where's the air bridge to San Serriffe? | Brief letters

Jean Jackson Seer Green, Buckinghamshire • “I don’t believe in gestures,” says Boris Johnson (Politics live, theguardian.com, 3 July) on why he would not take the knee, not so long after being seen clapping for carers outside No 10.

Michael Bath Rochester, Kent • Perhaps there would be room for people on the beaches (Letters, 2 July) if they stood like Antony Gormley’s figures on Crosby Beach, social distancing and facing out to sea.

Alan D Connell Harrogate, North Yorkshire • It’s not just Contagion that can help us to cope with Covid-19 (I feel fine: fans of world-ending films ‘coping better with pandemic’, 1 July).

, 2 July) but monitoring bubbles could be greatly simplified by the use of different coloured hi-vis waistcoats, which are commonly worn by younger pupils on school trips.

In the consideration of larger school protective bubbles, Geoff Barton may be correct that the logistics of keeping children apart will be “mind boggling” (Back to school: what can pupils in England expect from September?

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Image of article 'House panel approves $740.5B defense policy bill'

House panel approves $740.5B defense policy bill

Meanwhile, one of the main fights in last year’s NDAA — blocking the use of Pentagon funding on Trump’s border wall — is dealt with in a less direct way this year.

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday also approved an amendment to ban the Confederate battle flag from all Pentagon property.

The committee vote came after President Trump Donald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE threatened to veto the NDAA if it includes a requirement to rename bases.

During Wednesday’s consideration of the bill, the panel approved several amendments on hot-button issues, including requiring the Pentagon to rename bases and other property with Confederate monikers within a year.

In a nod to ranking member Rep. Mac Thornberry William (Mac) McClellan ThornberryHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal MORE’s (R-Texas) retirement from Congress at the end of this term, the committee also voted in one of it last moves of the night to officially name this year’s bill the “William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.”

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There still might be hope for Minecraft VR on Oculus Quest

While Minecraft has been available on the Oculus Rift platform since August 2016, it has yet to make an appearance on other major VR platforms like the Oculus Quest.

Since the Quest's debut over a year ago, many users have been asking about the possibility of seeing Minecraft VR on the Oculus Quest, but Facebook, Microsoft, and Mojang have been surprisingly silent on the matter.

Industry veteran and Consulting CTO of Oculus, John Carmack, says he had Minecraft running on the Quest at one point but was unable to get the production team's schedules aligned to get the project officially delivered onto the Quest platform.

There's really no telling what kind of future Minecraft VR might have for other platforms, but the current reality is likely wound more tightly into internal politics than lack of interest or capability of the Quest platform.

On the bright side, you can play Minecraft on your Oculus Quest right now if you hook it up to your PC, so while it's not wireless, it is still Minecraft in VR!

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