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Why it will take more than $20M to help Brazil put out Amazon fires

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An offer from the world’s richest nations to help Brazil stamp out the Amazon fires with $20 million in aid is a goodwill gesture, but it will barely make a dent in preventing further destruction of the rainforest’s vast and intricate ecosystem, observers who have studied the region say.

“Twenty-million dollars is a drop in the bucket,” said Robert T. Walker, a University of Florida professor who has conducted environmental research in the Amazon for 25 years. “It’s absurd to imagine logistically what effect it can have.”

But the money and what it represents — a concerted effort to protect the Amazon, and by extension, the health of the planet — remains embroiled by the political gamesmanship between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The rancor was ratcheted up a notch this week when Bolsonaro appeared to comment on a Facebook post that mocked Macron’s wife, drawing a rebuke from the French president.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro was the one demanding an apology from Macron, and said he must retract past comments criticizing him before they can talk about Brazil accepting any money from global leaders, The Associated Press reported. Britain has also offered a separate $12 million in aid, while Canada has pledged another $11 million.

President Donald Trump has not offered any financial help, but tweeted Tuesday that Bolsonaro and Brazil have “the full and complete support” of the United States.

In turn, Bolsonaro tweeted: “We’re fighting the wildfires with great success” and the “fake news campaign built against our sovereignty will not work.”

Just how much money would be effective in the fight against the fires is unclear, but such an effort can cost governments billions of dollars a year.

In fiscal year 2017 — one of America’s most destructive wildfire seasons on record — the U.S. Forest Service spent more than $2.4 billion in firefighting costs. California alone saw more than 505,000 acres scorched.

The fires in Brazil, where a majority of the Amazon is located, have swept across more than 4 million acres, according to government officials. In neighboring Bolivia, more than 1.8 million acres have burned.

Brazil is using its military to fight the fires in seven states and deployed warplanes to dump thousands of gallons of water in the state of Rondônia, near Bolivia.

This year to date, almost 80,000 fires have been observed across Brazil, the most since at least 2013, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research.

While some of the blazes are due to uncontrolled wildfires, environmental groups say that many are the work of farmers who are clearing land illegally to be used for cattle and agricultural farming. They say those farmers have become more emboldened under Bolsonaro, who took office in January with the view that developing the Amazon would propel Brazil’s economy.

Most of the fires are starting in agricultural areas and are relatively easy to control and put out, said Rachael Garrett, an assistant professor of environmental policy at the Swiss university ETH Zürich and an expert in Brazilian land use. But when they escape from their intended locations, they grow much bigger.

“These large fires are substantially more difficult to put out,” she said, “especially when the agency in charge of fighting these fires has had their budget massively cut.”

September is the peak of the current dry season, and experts worry the fires will only grow further out of control in the coming month.

Walker said fending off these fires is extremely difficult because of how spread out the Amazon is, how decentralized the blazes are and the rough terrain that doesn’t easily allow for firetrucks on the ground.

“The nature of the beast in respect to fighting them is completely different” than in the U.S., he added.

Bolsonaro, who ran for president on a populist platform and antiglobalist wave, has generally rebuffed any aid from the international community, riding on the sentiment against the “colonialist mentality.” Brazil is a former Portuguese colony.

To get through to everyday Brazilians, world leaders need to drive home the message of respecting Brazil’s sovereignty, said Christie Klimas, associate professor of environmental science and studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

“Since the question of who owns the Amazon is a touch point in Brazil, it’s definitely worth the international community acknowledging that theirs is a gesture to help our global neighbors in an area where lives and land may be lost,” Klimas said.

But the idea that the Amazon must remain free from outside interests is misleading, given that Brazil’s meat and soybean production have a global reach and transnational companies have a stake in the region — driving the Amazon’s deforestation, Walker added.

Garrett said there’s a larger issue that still needs to be addressed: How to change the behavior of farmers who use fires to clear lands because they lack access to modern-day machinery and fertilizer.

“It’s very important that the international community acknowledges the reasons why farmers currently do what they do and offers to help them change their behaviors in ways that will improve farmers’ well-being,” she added. “Focusing only on telling farmers or Brazil at large what not to do and attempting to ‘save’ the Amazon without the cooperation of the farmers who live there just plays into the colonization narrative being put forward by Bolsonaro.”

Pete Alonso sets Mets single-season home run record

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Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has set the new single-season franchise home run record, belting his 42nd home run of the season on Tuesday against the Cubs. Alonso sent a Yu Darvish fastball 407 feet out to right-center field at Citi Field, breaking a scoreless tie with the solo homer in the fourth inning.

Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltrán (2006) previously held the record with 41 home runs. Mike Piazza (40 in 1999) was the only other Met to hit 40-plus in a season.

Following Alonso’s dinger, he’s batting .266/.368/.598 with 101 RBI and 79 runs scored in 554 plate appearances. He has a very strong case for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, but Braves pitcher Mike Soroka might have something to say about that.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is cutting into heart disease progress

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An uptick in deaths due to uncontrolled high blood pressure is slowing the progress in the fight against heart disease, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Deaths from heart disease overall have decreased in the past two decades, but the rate of that decline has slowed since 2010, the study found.

In addition to rising rates of deaths related to high blood pressure, rates of heart disease deaths linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes — once declining — have leveled off.

The findings are worrying, especially given the recent medical and surgical advances in treating heart disease.

“The fact that we are not seeing that translate into improvement in death rates is concerning,” study author Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, said.

Khan and her colleagues searched a public Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database for death certificates from 1999 to 2017.

Death certificates don’t indicate what led to the ultimate cause of death — for example, a person’s cause of death may have been a heart attack, but the heart attack could have been caused in part by high blood pressure.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure, both chronic and acute, can contribute to a person’s death in a number of ways. “Hypertension that is really out of control could lead to a tear in a blood vessel,” said Dr. Deepak Bhatt, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“It could also lead to swelling in the brain, heart attack, stroke, and contribute to heart failure and kidney failure,” Bhatt, who was not involved in the current study, said.

Other factors that could lead to heart disease deaths have also become more widespread in the past two decades, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes, Khan said.

The conditions are strongly linked and both are major risk factors for heart disease.

More than 93 million U.S. adults are considered obese, according to the CDC, and almost as many — 84 million — have prediabetes. An additional 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes.

We’ve noticed the leading edge of an emerging re-epidemic.

“Although we have celebrated significant declines in heart disease deaths and stroke over the last several decades, what we’ve noticed is the leading edge of an emerging re-epidemic,” Dr. Laurence Sperling, director of the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center in Atlanta, said.

Indeed, heart disease remains the nation’s No. 1 killer of both men and women — claiming more than 800,000 American lives each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Sperling, who was not involved with this latest study, said the research should serve as a wake-up call.

“We need to be more actionable as opposed to complacent because these curves most likely will continue,” he said.

In 2017, in an effort to rein in high blood pressure, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology lowered the threshold for what’s considered to be high blood pressure, from 140/90 mm/Hg to 130/80 mm/Hg.

“What we were taught was normal many years ago is now considered high blood pressure,” Dr. Ravi Dave, director of interventional cardiology at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, said. He was not involved in the new research.

“We were allowing patients to have higher blood pressure. Now the guidelines are much more strict.”

Mounting evidence has shown that when patients can get their blood pressure down to levels below what was previously considered “normal,” they greatly reduced their risk for heart attack and stroke.

Awareness and diagnosis are key. Dave said many patients can go years without ever knowing hypertension is taking a toll on their cardiovascular health.

“It’s a silent problem,” he said. “Most patients don’t have symptoms until it gets to be very high.”

Lifestyle factors are perhaps the biggest driver of hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends several ways to lower your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range. Those include:

  • eating a well-balanced diet that’s low in salt.
  • limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one for women.
  • exercising about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • quitting smoking.
  • losing weight if your body mass index is over 25.

The JAMA study also showed racial disparities persist. African Americans had consistently higher cardiovascular death rates than whites.

And it suggested that the country is not on track to meet the heart health goals set by the American Heart Association: to improve cardiovascular health of the U.S. population by 20 percent, and reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent, by next year.

“The goals … were bold and ambitious,” Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, chief medical officer for prevention at the American Heart Association said.

“We cannot and will not be complacent about recent reductions and plateauing in the rates at which cardiovascular mortality is dropping.”

UK employers want more staff, but fear shortages as Brexit nears – survey

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British employers plan to hire more staff even as they remain pessimistic about the economy in the run-up to Brexit, according to a survey published on Wednesday which showed no sign of a weakening of the strong labour market.

But the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said severe skill shortages remained, especially in the public sector, and the government’s proposed restrictions on European Union workers after Brexit could make them worse.

Hiring intentions improved for permanent staff in the short and medium term, the REC survey showed.

Economists are watching for any signs that employers might cut back on hiring as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline nears.

A fall in unemployment to its lowest rate since the mid-1970s has helped Britain’s economy to outperform most analysts’ expectations over the three years since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

REC said despite the stronger hiring plans, 46% of employers were concerned that they would be unable to find enough suitable candidates, especially among firms seeking workers with health and social care skills.

Within the public sector, 45% of employers said they had no spare capacity in their workplace, highlighting an immediate need to take on new staff.

“EU workers are an integral part of our health and social care system and the UK workforce as a whole,” Tom Hadley, REC’s director of policy and campaigns, said.

“It is essential that the government has in place a sensible transition towards an evidence-based immigration policy to help reassure employers and EU citizens.”

The government of new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it plans to introduce “a new, fairer immigration system” after Brexit that prioritises skills rather whether migrant workers are from the EU.

Oculus Go Price Crash: Dive into Netflix VR and more for less than £150

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Going for the new low price of just £149.99, that’s a slick saving of £49 to be had on top of knowing that you’re bagging one of the best VR headsets on the market for its lowest possible price.

If you’re the type of person who’s intrigued by VR, but isn’t a serious gamer, then the Oculus Go headset is made specifically with you in mind. Coming in at a super affordable price point, the Oculus Go is designed as an accessible gateway into the world of VR entertainment by containing everything you need within the headset itself.

Gone are the days of having to hook up your VR headset to a high-end computer, the Oculus Go offers cable-free VR that makes it an ideal gadget for kids and adults alike.

When put through the ringer at Trusted Reviews, we bestowed the Oculus Go with a hearty 8/10 rating, declaring: “You should buy the Oculus Go if you want a budget-friendly way to get into VR, and you don’t have a phone that supports a mobile VR solution such as the Gear VR or Google Daydream.”

At this point, there’s no shortage of apps available on the Oculus store, with popular mainstays including Netflix, YouTube VR and even National Geographic VR. Of course, there are plenty of VR games available too if you fancy hitting some high scores.

The Oculus Go also comes with a handy remote (similar to the Wii’s Nunchuk controller if you can remember it), allowing you to interact with the VR worlds you’ll be exploring in the comfort of your own home.

At such a cheap price, we can’t imagine that this Oculus Go deal will stick around for too long, so if you want to delve into the incredible possibilities of VR without breaking the bank, there’s never been a better time to do so.

Popeyes chicken sandwich lines are not an excuse to replay stereotypes about black voters

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The Popeyes chicken sandwich frenzy seemingly has no end in sight. People have been waiting hours for it, and it is said to put Chick-fil-A’s rival offering to shame. Black folks on social media have made this moment fun, finding joy amid a constantly punishing news cycle. Unfortunately, the cost of having public displays of Black joy is always high. For Black people, our joy has to always be juxtaposed against a struggle or need, tempering the job while also removing our ability to even do something as small as eat without thinking about oppression.

As lines wrapped around the block, a young Black boy had a smart idea. David Ledbetter, 17, went to his local Popeyes in Charlotte, North Carolina, and set up a booth to register Black folks to vote as they waited in line. To the teen’s surprise, when asking customers in line he learned that most of the people waiting were already registered to vote. Registering is not the same thing as voting, but the fact that so many people in line were registered offers at least a partial rebuttal to the perception that many Black people aren’t interested in the right.

But social media took Ledbetter’s good idea and turned it into something much less helpful.

Artist Janelle Monáe suggested on Twitter that “perhaps we put voting booths at every Popeyes location?” Actress Cynthia Erivo, star of the upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic, chimed in to agree.

The problem is that Black people don’t need special fast-food voting booths; suggesting they do plays into problematic (and frankly racist) talking points about lazy Black people who can’t or won’t vote. Indeed, Republican elected officials over the past decade have repeatedly used rhetoric about how Black people will stand in line for food stamps or to get “free stuff.” The party’s presidential nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, claimed that Barack Obama beat him because Obama was offering “gifts” to Black voters. A few years later, Jeb Bush was quoted as stating: “Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and ‘Get in line, and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.'”

Whether or not they’re trying to echo people like Newt Gingrich, those asking this week if people willing to wait in line for chicken were also willing to wait in line to vote sure sounded a lot like “welfare queen”-obsessed Republicans.

Because not only is this rhetoric insulting, it’s inaccurate. The truth of the matter is Black people will and have waited in line hours to vote, and it’s our tenacity that has gotten us this far despite the systems against us.

Voter suppression, not Black voter laziness, is the real problem here. (And by the way, low voter turnout is in no way a “Black” problem.) Although Black people make up only 13 percent of the population, we account for over 30 percent of the prison population, the highest of all racial groups. Felons lose their right to vote in most states, and incarceration has aided in the suppression. Florida recently gave the right to vote back to nearly a million felons, something that is sure to make a difference next election — most of those felons being Black and brown people.

Other issues affecting voting while Black in America include racially biased gerrymandering and the closing of polling stations in predominantly Black areas. Look no further than the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. Her opponent used every tactic to drive down the Black vote, an effort that succeeded. From issues with machines in majority Black counties to the purging of Black voters from registration rolls, the suppression attempts were real. Abrams has since filed a lawsuit to overhaul the current election process in Georgia.

Black people must be allowed to exist — to find joy on social media and, yes, even silly fast-food rivalries — without our motives or oppression coming into question. Our support for a new trend or fad shouldn’t come with a “but.” Not to mention the very long and very sensitive history of prejudice tied to Black enjoyment of foods like fried chicken.

To be very clear, the Black vote is desired because we vote in high numbers and remain one of the most loyal voting blocs in America. Black women have supported the Democratic Party en masse for decades — even when the party didn’t wholly support them — and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. When it comes to stereotypical rhetoric, joking or serious, our bar has to be higher. We’ve been traumatized enough — let us enjoy that spicy chicken sandwich in peace. And have some faith: Black folks can eat and vote at the same time.

At 34, Raptors’ Marc Gasol will carry Spain’s World Cup hope

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Marc Gasol is 34 years old, which means he’s particularly fond of offseasons.

He didn’t get much of one this year.

There’s a very good reason for that – a most unusual and, he thinks, worthwhile opportunity. After helping the Toronto Raptors win the NBA championship in June, Gasol is now looking to lead Spain to a World Cup title in September. And although the 7-foot-1 veteran center’s body may have preferred some more downtime before the grind of another season begins, Gasol could not pass up this chance.

“It’s a special group of guys,” Gasol said. “It’s always special when you put on this jersey. And I couldn’t leave them hanging. That’s what my heart told me and that’s what it keeps telling me.”

Gasol was on the team that won the World Cup – then called the world championship – for Spain in 2006, rolling past a Greece team that had just beaten the United States in the tournament semifinals. He helped Spain win silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, losing both times in the title game to the U.S.

He’s the oldest player on a very seasoned team that will play for Spain in this World Cup. Out of the 12 on the final roster for coach Sergio Scariolo, eight have celebrated their 30th birthdays already. But it’s also clear that Gasol, even on a roster featuring the likes of Phoenix’s Ricky Rubio and Real Madrid standout Sergio Llull, is the leader of the bunch.

“It was probably a key move for us, one of the important ones, the most important one,” Scariolo said. “We need somebody to be the guy who you can give the ball in the tough moments, not necessarily for the shot but to make a good play – whether it’s to create a shot for a teammate, to take a shot himself, to draw a foul and be a solid free throw shooter. He’s extremely important and the rest of the players respect him a lot.”

That respect was there before Toronto topped Golden State in six games for the NBA title.

But the ring Gasol will be getting on opening night certainly adds to his legacy.

Among players born outside the United States, Gasol is one of only seven – a list that also includes his older brother Pau Gasol, who would have played in this World Cup had he not gotten injured last season – to have amassed more than 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 2,700 assists at the NBA level. And when the Raptors added him in a trade last February, their entire makeup seemed to change.

“I think we started passing the ball, our assists started going way up, we became the No. 1 3-point shooting team in the league because of the extra passes and the contagious passing,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who is coaching Canada at the World Cup. “And our team’s sense of who they thought they could become went up.”

The same could ring true for Spain.

The U.S. has won the last two World Cups, though a third consecutive gold in the event – something that no nation has ever accomplished – hardly seems guaranteed. Spain lost to the Americans by nine in an exhibition earlier this month in Anaheim, California, a game where neither side was exactly in tournament form.

Spain should have little, if any, trouble getting through its group phase: It faces Iran, Tunisia and the Dominican Republic in its first three games at Guangzhou, China starting on Friday. The top two teams will advance to the second round. Those first three games will likely become mere tune-ups for Gasol and the Spainards, as they get ready for the bigger matchups later in the tournament.

“The teams that are in the past, they’re in the past,” Gasol said. “What matters is the guys who are playing today and their talent and their qualities.”

There has been minimal rest for Gasol this summer.

The Raptors won the title, had a parade a few days later, and within a few days after that Gasol was simultaneously starting recovery and workouts for the FIBA challenge. Spain spent about a week in the U.S. for the game against the Americans, using that as a bonding trip of sorts. Then it was back to Spain for more games, before heading out to China.

All worth it, Gasol said.

“I cherish every second of it, every practice, every trip, every lunch that we have together,” Gasol said. “I know how special it is. Obviously it’s not ideal, but I think it was completely worth it to play all the way to June. … Whenever it is, 10 years from now, when I’m sitting on the beach in Spain, I won’t be able to reproduce this feeling.”

Best supplements for weight loss: Three supplements found to help weight loss

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BEST supplements for weight loss: Healthy eating and regularly exercise are key to losing weight, but a number of studies have also suggested the added aid of a supplement could help you lose some extra pounds.

Weight loss is best achieved through eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Experts recommend eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, basing meal on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes and rice, eating some dairy or dairy alternatives, some protein, and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and eating them in small amounts. Saturated fat, salt and sugar should be kept to a minimum. When it comes to exercise, adults should try to be active daily and aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and strength exercises on two or more days. Some studies have suggested the addition of a supplement can help people shed the pounds.

Three supplements shown to help weight loss are garcinia cambogia extract, green coffee bean extract and glucomannan.

Gardenia cambogia extract

Gardenia cambogia is a tropical green fruit, shaped like a pumpkin.

The skin of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid, which is the active ingredient found in gardenia cambogia extract supplements.

A number of animal studies have shown it can inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase levels of serotonin, which can potential help to reduce cravings.

A 2011 review looked at 12 studies on gardenia cambogia and found, on average, it caused weight loss of about two pounds over several weeks.

Green coffee bean extract

Green coffee beans are coffee beans that haven’t been roasted, and their caffeine and chlorogenic acid content are believed to help aid weight loss.

Caffeine has been found to increase fat burning and chlorogenic acid has been found to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.

Again, a number of studies – ones involving humans – have shown green coffee bean extract can help people lose weight.

A review of three studies found green coffee bean extract supplements helped people lose 5.4 pounds more than a placebo pill.

Added benefits of green coffee bean extract include helping lower blood sugar levels and reducing blood pressure.


Glucomannan is a dietary fibre made from the root of the konjac plant.

It’s been found to help aid weight loss as it absorbs water and becomes gel-like, promoting the feeling of illness and helping people eat fewer calories.

Three human studies have shown glucomannan, when combined with eating a healthy diet, can help people lose 8 to 10 pounds in five weeks.

Other benefits of glucomannan are lowering blood sugar, lowering blood cholesterol and helping prevent constipation.

Another supplement food to aid weight loss is chia seeds.

Over the recent years, chia seeds have been dubbed a superfood, and their fibre content have been shown to temporarily suppress appetite.

Third of UK’s top companies to cut executive pensions – investor body

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Nearly a third of the companies in Britain’s FTSE 100 index of blue chip firms have agreed to cut pension payments for executives, the Investment Association said on Wednesday, amid increasing scrutiny of the gap between bosses’ and ordinary workers’ pensions in Britain.

In February, the Investment Association, which represents big asset managers, said a company would be “red-topped” if it did not explicitly state that any new executive director would have pension contributions set in line with the majority of employees.

A red top is the highest level of warning used for companies where shareholders should have the most serious concerns, though the Investment Association has no formal power over how investors vote on company policies.

The aim is to stop pensions being used as a mechanism for increasing total pay.

A total of 30 FTSE 100 companies have made significant changes as a result of the campaign, the Investment Association said.

“Shareholders will continue to focus on bringing executive pensions in line with majority of the workforce over the next 12 months,” Chris Cummings, the Investment Association’s CEO, said in a statement.

“Companies that do not take on board shareholder concerns risk facing yet more shareholder rebellions next year.”

Of the 30 companies that have made changes, 17 have said that any new director will be given a pension contribution that is in line with the one given to the majority of staff, the Investment Association said in a statement.

Three companies have appointed new directors with a pension contribution in line with the majority of employees, six other companies have reduced contributions for existing and future executives and four companies have also reduced pension contribution for incumbent directors immediately, the Investment Association said.

“There is now more transparency than ever around the UK’s biggest companies and these results show that important issues of excessive executive pay and diversity on boards are starting to be taken seriously,” British Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said in a statement.

The Investment Association has also said that Britain’s top companies will face a red warning if they do not have more than one woman on their board, adding to pressure for more female representation at top levels of management.

Ratings on all aspects of a company’s governance are done three weeks before its annual shareholders’ meeting.

Canon announces 32-megapixel 90D DSLR and mirrorless M6 Mark II

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Canon has announced two new enthusiast-grade cameras that are similar in capability but very different in form. Whether you’d get along better with the EOS 90D or the EOS M6 Mark II will entirely depend on your feelings about the never-ending DSLR-versus-mirrorless debate.

Both cameras have a new 32.5-megapixel APS-C image sensor, a DIGIC 8 image processor, an electronic shutter capable of speeds up to 1/16000, uncropped 4K/30 video recording, dual-pixel autofocus in live view with 5,481 selectable points, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and USB-C. But the 90D looks like every other mid-range Canon DSLR, while the M6 Mark II’s compact form is essentially unchanged from the original M6 from 2017.

There are a few differences in performance. The M6 Mark II is capable of shooting 14 frames per second with AF and AE tracking, for example, while the 90D goes up to 10 fps. That’s an increase from 7 fps on 2016’s 80D, however, and a lot of sports photographers would prefer the traditional DSLR-style optical viewfinder and 45-cross-type-point AF system over the extra frames.

Otherwise, the biggest difference is price. Both cameras will be available next month, but the 90D will cost $1,199 body-only versus $849.99 for the M6 Mark II. There are lens kits available for each, and while most 90D buyers will probably have a bunch of Canon lenses already, the M6 Mark II bundles are particularly worth looking at: $1,099 gets you the 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens along with the useful EVF-DC2 electronic viewfinder accessory, while the $1,349 kit swaps out that lens for an 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3.

Canon is also announcing two L-class lenses today for its new EOS R full-frame mirrorless system. The RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM is a fast ultrawide-to-wide zoom, while the RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM is a standard zoom with a classic speed and focal length. Both lenses will ship next month for $2,299, and Canon pledges to complete its pro zoom “trinity” with a 70-200mm f/2.8 by the end of the year.

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