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From now through August 2, Costco members can save $1,000 on a 2022 Bolt EV and EUV, $3,000 on a 2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV, and $2,000 on a Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric. Those deals and much more have been added to our updated best Electric Vehicle prices and leases.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV

The redesigned 2022 Chevrolet Bolt lineup started trickling onto dealership lots a few weeks back with a starting price that’s thousands less than its predecessor. MSRP for the 259-mile 2022 Bolt EV is only $31,995, and the slightly larger 247-mile Bolt EUV is priced at $33,395, so the last thing anyone might expect is a $1,000 cash incentive this early in the game. What is expected (unfortunately) are dealerships that find no shame in trying to squeeze another $1,000 out of their customers. While conducting our nationwide search for electric vehicle lease deals and discounts, we ran across a number of dealers adding a $995 “market adjustment” over the MSRP of in-stock 2022 Bolt EVs and EUVs. These ridiculous offers can be ignored since the vast majority of Chevrolet dealers are listing what they have in stock at MSRP. In fact, we even found several dealerships already offering discounts on 2022 Bolt models. Quirk Chevrolet in Massachusetts ($1,000 off on a Bolt EV), Rydell Chevrolet in California ($500 off on a Bolt EV), Mike Anderson Chevrolet in Illinois ($1,575 off on a Bolt EUV), and Chevrolet of Columbus in Ohio ($1,112 off on a Bolt EUV) all seem to be good places to start shopping.

GM carbon neutral
Chevy’s 2022 Bolt EV and EUV

Thinking of leasing rather than buying? According to the payment estimator on Chevrolet’s website, the 2022 Bolt EV will set you back $420(nice)/month plus tax and license for three years on a 10,000 mile per year lease. The slightly larger Bolt EUV leases for a bit more at $453/month. Applying the $1,000 Costco incentive might trim $30/month off of these figures, but the resulting cost would still be significantly higher than the manufacturer lease offers on affordable 200-mile EVs from Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia.  However, we did find a couple of California dealers with relatively attractive lease offers that might be worth considering. Mission Bay Chevrolet in the San Diego area is offering a three-year lease on a 2022 Bolt EV at $259/month, $2,999 at signing before tax and license, which calculates to a palatable effective cost of $335/month. Stevens Creek Chevrolet in the San Francisco area is advertising $189/month, $5,999 at signing, which translates to an effective cost of $350/month. Costco membership is required for either of these deals. Check for availability and deals on a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV or Bolt EUV in your area.

2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Prospective buyers that have been waiting to score killer deals on the outgoing first-generation Bolt EV may have missed the sweet spot, which started in March and ran through early May. At this point, most Chevy dealers we track have either sold out or zeroed out their discounts on remaining inventory, so the starting point of negotiation at most dealerships is simply MSRP minus factory incentives. The good news is that the factory incentives are still hefty, currently at $10,000 for a 2020 and $9,000 for a 2021, plus an additional $1,000 bonus cash incentive on particular in-stock vehicles. Piling on the $3,000 Costco member-only incentive takes the total cash back up to a range of $12,000 to $14,000, which should lower the cost of buying a 2020/2021 Bolt EV to well under $30,000 before tax and license.

2020 Chevy Bolt

We did find more than a handful of dealer discounts on a 2020/2021 Bolt, ranging from about $1,500 off to over $3,000 off before any of the above mentioned factory incentives. The total discount at some of these dealers can be well over $16,000 for Costco members. As far as lease deals, Quirk Chevrolet in Massachusetts and Simi Valley Chevrolet in California have great lease offers with an effective cost that’s under $200/month before tax and license. Check for deals on remaining 2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV at a dealership near you.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

Outside of loyalty incentives, Costco’s $2,000 incentive is the first we’ve seen on the 208-mile Volvo XC40 Recharge since its introduction earlier this year. With an MSRP of $55,300, this compact luxury SUV that seats five can now be had for just under $46,000 by Costco members that enjoy a tax bill high enough to take full advantage of the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit. That’s about $7,000 less than its closest competitor, the 326-mile Tesla Model Y, which is a cost difference that can be compelling to a buyer that doesn’t need the impressive segment-leading range of the Model Y, or perhaps prefers Volvo’s relatively mainstream styling. This all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge is no slouch – it moves from 0 to 60mph in a very respectable 4.3 seconds, slightly quicker than the base Model Y. Its top speed is limited to 112 mph versus the Model Y’s 135 mph.

Dealer discounts on the XC40 Recharge are still few and far between, but that has been improving lately. We’ve seen advertised discounts range from $1,000 to nearly $4,000 at dealerships in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and California. On lease offers, Weston Volvo Cars in Florida is the first Volvo dealership to make our list of electric vehicle lease deals with a fantastic offer of $499/month plus tax for 36 months, $999 plus tax and license at signing. With an average monthly cost of $513/month, Weston Volvo handily beats the XC40 Recharge 3-year factory lease terms of $599/month, $4,099 at signing, which works out to an average monthly cost of about $696/month. Costco members can apply their $2,000 incentive to these terms to effectively reduce the average monthly cost to around $650/month with no dealer discounts. Interestingly, this just happens to be slightly more than the average lease cost of a Model Y, which rings in at $633/month before tax and license.

Current members that have been with Costco since May 31, 2021, qualify for these limited-time incentives that expire on August 2, 2021. Not a member? If you’re planning to buy a new electric vehicle soon, a $60 annual membership could pay off in thousands. Consider that Costco has run these special auto incentives for years. Since January 2020, Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Audi’s e-tron have each been included in these special offers three times, and Volvo has participated twice. As a side benefit, you’ll be able to enjoy a $1.50 hot-dog-and-a-Pepsi along with $4.99 rotisserie chickens as many times as you want while you wait for that coveted incentive to show up.

As always, be sure to check our monthly survey of best electric vehicle lease deals and best electric vehicle discounts. Information is current for manufacturer lease offers, Chevrolet dealer offers, and Volvo dealer offers. We are currently gathering dealer data from dealerships of other marques, so please check back throughout the month for additional updates.

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BAFTA Games Awards: Baldur’s Gate 3 is the big winner, scooping five prizes




BAFTA Games Awards: Baldur's Gate 3 is the big winner, scooping five prizes

Baldur’s Gate 3 was the big winner at this year’s BAFTA Games Awards, taking home five prizes including the prestigious best game.

It also won BAFTAs for music, narrative, and performer in a supporting role for Andrew Wincott, along with the EE players’ choice award, which is voted for by the public.

The Dungeons and Dragons-based game faced strong competition from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2 and indie hit Dave the Diver.

(L-R) Sarah Baylus, Swen Vincke and David Walgrave who won the best game award for Baldur's Gate 3
(L-R) Sarah Baylus, Swen Vincke and David Walgrave who won the best game award for Baldur’s Gate 3

Alan Wake 2 won two BAFTAs for artistic achievement and audio achievement, while Super Mario Bros. Wonder also scooped two for family and multiplayer.

Awards host Phil Wang told Sky News: “There are some real legends of gaming here. Sam Lake, you know? I played as Sam Lake, I used to play so much Max Payne and now he’s here, sipping a mimosa.”

Phil Wang hosts the BAFTA Games Awards 2024 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 11 April. Pic: BAFTA
Phil Wang hosted the ceremony. Pic: BAFTA

Sam Lake’s smash hit, Alan Wake 2, took him 13 years to create and over that time, it changed dramatically.

“There is very little from the original concept of Alan Wake 2 that still exists in what we have made today,” Mr Lake said.

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Games news was mostly just seen “on the business pages”, he said but “bit by bit, gaming has worked its way into culture”.

Alan Wake 2 creator Sam Lake attends the BAFTA Games Awards 2024. Pic: BAFTA
Alan Wake 2 creator Sam Lake attends the BAFTA Games Awards. Pic: BAFTA

One of the Baldur’s Gate 3 writers Lawrence Schick told Sky News how proud he was to work for the team after winning the narrative award.

He was joined at the event at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall by a huge team, including narrator Amelia Tyler.

“[Baldur’s Gate 3] allows people to explore aspects of themselves in the game that they’ve never been able to explore,” he said.

“There are so many stories of players who have found out new things about themselves, about their sexuality, about their gender identity, about who they love or how they love them, from this game.”

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Hogwarts Legacy, the Harry Potter game played by more than 22 million people, lost in both categories it was nominated for, including the best family game section, and best animation – which was won by Hi-Fi Rush.

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Dave the Diver, the indie game where you play as a diver catching fish and working in a sushi restaurant, picked up one award for game design.

Best British game went to Viewfinder from Scottish-based studio Sad Owl, which also won a BAFTA for new intellectual property.

The creators of Dead Island 2, from Nottingham-based Dambuster Studios, were happy to be nominated for best British game.

“We tend to keep ourselves to ourselves, keep our heads down and get the work done so to get to the end of it all and get this [nomination] is really exciting.”

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Taylor Swift music ‘back on TikTok’ despite app’s public spat with singer’s record label




Taylor Swift music 'back on TikTok' despite app's public spat with singer's record label

Taylor Swift’s music is reportedly back on TikTok just weeks after the social media app and her record label Universal Music publicly exchanged furious messages.

Universal accused TikTok of bullying ahead of their agreement to license content on the video platform expiring on 31 January – while the social media firm dismissed the “false narrative and rhetoric”.

After the deal expired, TikTok removed the music label’s songs from its platform and muted videos featuring those songs, written by anyone signed on to Universal.

But the Financial Times reports Swift’s return to the Chinese short-video app had been in the works for some time, citing people familiar with the matter.

Swift owns the copyright to her songs thanks to a deal struck in 2019 with Universal Music that gives her control of where her music is available, the report adds, unlike many other artists.

Sky News has approached TikTok and Universal Music for comment.

The move would mark a return to TikTok less than three months on from a public spat between the app and Universal.

Tiktok. Pic: PA
Tiktok. Pic: PA

In a scathing open letter shared online, titled Why We Must Call Time Out On TikTok, Universal said it had pressed on “three critical issues”.

These included payment for artists and songwriters, protection from the “harmful effects” of AI and online safety.

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The video-hosting site responded to requests by the company, which is the biggest music label group in the world, “first with indifference, and then with intimidation”, the letter stated.

It also accused TikTok of attempting to “bully” Universal into accepting a deal “worth less than the previous deal” by removing music of developing artists while keeping the work of “audience-driving” global stars.

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TikTok hit back by claiming Universal put forward a “false narrative and rhetoric” and placed “greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters”.

The group walked away from the “powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent”, the social media firm added.

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OJ Simpson has died at the age of 76




OJ Simpson has died at the age of 76

OJ Simpson, the former American football star and Hollywood actor who was cleared of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in a criminal trial, has died aged 76.

He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren when he “succumbed to his battle with cancer” on Wednesday, his family said on X.

Simpson was tried for double murder in 1995, in what was dubbed the “trial of the century”, which gripped the world.

He was found not guilty of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, but was later found responsible for the deaths in a civil lawsuit.

Simpson was then imprisoned in 2008 for nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping after an incident at a Las Vegas hotel.

Local 10 News in Nevada reported in February this year that Simpson was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, but the former NFL running back said in a video at the time that “all is well”.

Posting on X, Simpson laughed as he said: “I’m not in any hospice, I don’t know who put that out there.”

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‘Hospice?’ OJ Simpson speaks in February

Caitlyn Jenner, whose ex-wife Kris Jenner was a close friend of the retired footballer and Ms Brown Simpson, said bluntly “good riddance” in response to Simpson’s death.

David Cook, attorney for Mr Goldman’s family, also told TMZ that Simpson “died without penance” as the family is still owed damages. He added that the Goldmans are exploring their options on what assets they can collect from Simpson’s estate.

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Simpson was acquitted after a 1995 criminal trial watched by millions worldwide, where Simpson famously tried on a pair of blood-stained gloves allegedly found at the scene of the crime.

The gloves appeared to be too small, leading defence attorney Johnnie Cochran to say: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Alan Dershowitz, another of Simpson’s lawyers at the time, said the defence was “a nightmare team” and that he did not want the former NFL star to take the stand.

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OJ: ‘It was a nightmare team’

“Ultimately it was the glove” that persuaded Simpson not to speak at the trial, Mr Dershowitz told Sky News.

“When he was able to go in front of the jury and show them that the glove didn’t fit, that led him to conclude, and he made the decision, not to take the stand.

“In the civil case, he took the stand and was immediately found liable.”

OJ Simpson grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered.
Pic: AP
OJ Simpson tries on one of the leather gloves allegedly found at the scene of the 1994 killings. Pic: AP

O.J. Simpson appears in a courtroom for his preliminary hearing in 2007. 
OJ Simpson appears in a courtroom for his preliminary hearing in 2007. Pic: AP

Nicknamed “The Juice”, Orenthal James Simpson rose to fame as a sports star in the Buffalo Bills team.

He was enrolled in the NFL’s hall of fame and was the first running back to gain 2,000 yards in a season in 1973.

He also became known as an advertising star, football commentator and Hollywood actor, appearing in a number of TV and film roles including the Naked Gun movie series.

O.J. Simpson, football player for the Buffalo Bills seen in 1969. (AP Photo)
OJ Simpson became famous as a running back for the Buffalo Bills. Pic: AP

O.J. Simpson poses for a photo in 1968
Nicknamed ‘The Juice’, Simpson became a star of TV and film after his NFL career. Pic: AP

Simpson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder after Ms Brown Simpson and Mr Goldman were stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home on 12 June 1994.

After he was accused of the killings, Simpson wrote a letter which insisted he was innocent, said goodbye to friends and made “a last wish” to “leave my children in peace”.

On 17 June that year, his lawyer Robert Shapiro feared Simpson was suicidal, while a white Ford Bronco carrying the former footballer led police on a 60-mile chase through Los Angeles.

OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993.
Pic: AP
OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993. They divorced in 1992. Pic: AP

A white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying OJ Simpson, being trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June , 1994. Pic: AP
A white Ford Bronco carrying OJ Simpson was trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June 1994. Pic: AP

Simpson was acquitted of double murder on 3 October 1995.

A civil wrongful death lawsuit later found him liable for the two deaths in 1997. He was ordered to pay $33.5m in damages, but he declared bankruptcy shortly after.

Simpson was later arrested in 2007 for armed robbery and kidnapping in a dispute over sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas casino hotel.

O.J. Simpson, center, is taken from the Las Vegas Police Investigative Services Division in Las Vegas, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/John Locher)
OJ Simpson being taken from the Las Vegas Police Investigative Services Division, 16 September 2007. Pic: AP Photo / John Locher

Sky News’ Steve Bennedik recalls how Simpson’s trial was covered

It was the first few weeks of 1995 when Sky News’ live coverage of the OJ Simpson court case got under way. Each evening we showed the trial and invited questions. In those days, the main form of correspondence was by letter.

But there was also a new electronic method emerging, called email. And the first of these had the simple, but deflating, sentence: “Which one is OJ?”

We asked ourselves: Is our audience ready to follow the story of a very American tragedy unfold on British TV? We decided to stick with it.

In contrast, OJ Simpson was a household name in the US. So much more than an ex-football star. But the shock of this icon being arrested for murder, the bizarre Bronco highway chase, the high-profile celebrity defence team, and ultimately the “did he do it?” question had universal attraction.

Although the case stuttered through until October, the weak Judge Lance Ito was obsequious to lawyers’ demands for delays, but the interest among Sky News viewers surged and remained undimmed.

As the court camera panned to the state of California seal, signalling another adjournment, we and no doubt the viewer sighed.

More behind-the-scenes legal wrangling, but we had an ace up our sleeve – Professor Gary Solis. Gary is a Vietnam veteran, former military judge advocate, with alma maters including George Washington University and the London School of Economics.

At the time, he was in London and ready to give up his evenings. He calmly steered our presenters, Laurie and Vivien, and our often puzzled viewers through the complexities of the Californian legal system and became a firm favourite with the newsroom and the public alike.

The court characters emerged. Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden for the prosecution, and the “Dream Team” defence – Jonnie Cochran, F Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian, whose children would go on to outshine his fame.

It was compelling court drama, but it was also the very tragic story of two young people who’d been savagely attacked and murdered, with their families devastated by the loss, and tormented by the lingering back and forth court battle.

The proceedings had lasted months, but the jury reached their verdict in just a few hours and when they returned to the courtroom to deliver it, an early evening audience in the UK was hanging on every moment. And then it was over. OJ was a free man.

The People of the State of California v Orenthal James Simpson faded as a memory, flickering back to life with the news of his death.

He was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison in 2008. After nine years in a Nevada prison, he was released on parole in 2017 and then discharged from parole for good behaviour in 2021.

Since then, Simpson regularly commented on politics and sports on social media. He lived in a gated community in Las Vegas where he played golf.

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