SpaceX’s Rocket Caught Traveling At 8,221 Km/h During Second Launch In A Day!

SpaceX launched its second rocket late in the evening eastern time yesterday. The mission saw the Falcon 9 rocket launch the SES 18 and SES 19 satellites for the European connectivity firm SES S.A. The launch was SpaceX’s 19th mission of the year, and it took place a little over four hours after another Falcon 9 booster had launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Flordia with a batch of 51 Starlink satellites. However, unlike the Starlink mission, this placed the spacecraft in a higher orbit, with the satellite deployment occurring close to forty minutes post-launch.

SpaceX Launches 218th Mission To Date and Lands Falcon 9 For 180th Time

Yesterday’s SES launch was SpaceX’s ninth launch for SES, as it continued a historic partnership between the two companies. As SpaceX’s presenter, Kate Tice, pointed out during the launch live stream, SES was SpaceX’s first customer that entrusted the Falcon 9 with a precious commercial satellite that was launched to a synchronous orbit. It was also the first company to launch a satellite on a reused Falcon 9.

The Falcon 9 launched the SES 18 and SES 19 satellites to a geosynchronous transfer orbit, as it lifted off right on time at 7:38 pm local time from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Since the launch took place in the evening, the background of the Falcon 9 rocket turned black as all of its nine Merlin 1D engines fired up for launch.

SpaceX’s latest launch for SES marked its ninth mission for the satellite firm. The new satellites launched today will cover the U.S. and provide users with fifth-generation (5G) internet connectivity. Out of these, the SES 18 is slated to start operations in June and replace an existing satellite in SES’s constellation.

SpaceX Falcon 9 SES launch March 2023

The other, SES 19, will be co-located with the SES 22 satellite launched at 135 degrees West meridian by SpaceX last year and was the firm’s previous launch for the European satellite company. In satellite communications, colocation refers to placing two satellites close together in orbit so that they appear as a single unit to the ground stations. Yesterday’s launch was the final SES launch to repurpose the C band spectrum in the U.S.

During the launch, as the rocket lifted off, on-ground cameras continued to track its flight. They captured the rocket traveling at whopping 8,221 kilometers per hour just as its main engines shut off and the first and second stages prepared to separate from each other. Then, both the stages were caught separating and racing away from each other at an altitude of more than 87 kilometers. Finally, some of the best visuals of the day came as the second stage’s fairings deployed.

These fairings, which measure 40 feet in length and 17 feet in diameter (when joined together), were visible as tiny dots in the sky alongside the first and the second stages. SpaceX used one of the halves for the third time and the other for the seventh time. The second stage landed close to the nine-minute mark, completing its sixth landing.

Resident Evil Village Builds on Resident Evil 4’s Legacy Better Than its Own Remake

The long-awaited remake of Resident Evil 4 finally launches next week, and there’s no denying it’s a technically-impressive update of a survival-horror classic that still holds up today (check out my review for Wccftech here). That said, I have to admit I was slightly disappointed by the scope and ambition of the remake. Capcom certainly treats RE4 respectfully, but they don’t reinvent and elevate the source material to the same degree they did with their remakes of Resident Evil or Resident Evil 2.

Another thing that colored my opinion of the new Resident Evil 4 is that Capcom is releasing it less than two years after Resident Evil Village, which itself was clearly meant to be an RE4 successor of sorts. The European backwater setting, the mobs of enemies, the heightened campy tone, the quest to rescue a damsel in distress – if Capcom had titled the game Resident Evil 4 Part 2 I doubt many would have batted an eye. In fact, in my opinion, Resident Evil Village carries on the legacy of the original Resident Evil 4 in more vital fashion than its own remake (I gave RE Village a 9, while the RE4 Remake got an 8.5). I realize I’m going out on a limb here and that not everyone will agree, but here’s why I thought Resident Evil Village was a more exciting Resident-Evil-4-style adventure than the actual RE4 Remake…

Warning: I’m avoiding Resident Evil 4 spoilers here, with the exception of some broad, general statements and descriptions. That said, this article will include Resident Evil Village spoilers.

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village plays better

Let’s start with the basics. While the Resident Evil 4 remake is largely the experience you remember, delivering over-the-shoulder shooting, dramatic spin kicks and more, the game actually has some issues on the control front. Aiming is a bit sluggish and movement can feel herky-jerky – Leon’s basic walking speed is very slow compared to his running speed, and there’s no middle ground between creeping around at a snail’s pace and charging around like a bull. While the controls aren’t bad, they do take some getting used to, and even quite late into the game I occasionally found myself frustrated by them.

By comparison, Resident Evil Village felt better in terms of basic playability to me. As is usually the case, its first-person shooting works better than the third-person gunplay found in RE4, and Village generally did a good job of designing its challenges around the perspective. Coming to terms with slightly wonky control schemes is a long RE tradition, but more than perhaps any previous game in the series, I felt like I could jump into Village and have fun without any undue learning curve.

Resident Evil Village

Village has better villains

Resident Evil 4 has a solid lineup of baddies, but they’re easily surpassed by Resident Evil Village’s wonderful rogues gallery of freaks. The stylish and intimidating (in a good way) Lady Dimitrescu, the ghostly Donna Beneviento, the rogue-ish wolfman Karl Heisenberg, and the grotesque swamp creature Salvatore Moreau – each a celebration of classic horror genres that could stand on their own as the main villain of a full RE game. Instead, Capcom gave us all of them at once, elevating Village to a Grand Guignol classic. The likes of Lord Saddler from RE4 pale in comparison (Ramon Salazar could stand with the best of Village’s weirdos though).

 Village has a better hero

This will likely be one of the more divisive points on this list. I know a lot of people like Leon Kennedy, but the guy is basically a block of wood with a nice haircut. What does Leon care about beyond not being eaten by zombies and “getting the job done”? After multiple games, we don’t really know! Meanwhile, even though he may not have face, we know what Ethan Winters cares about. He cares about his wife, he cares about his daughter. He’s got real human motivations beyond “the President told me to save you.” I actually care about what happened to Ethan. If Leon simply disappeared halfway through RE4 and was replaced by Chris Redfield or any one of Capcom’s other block-of-wood protagonists, I’d probably just roll with it.

Village is scarier

Okay, let’s be real, Resident Evil 4 may be a classic, but it ain’t scary. It’s tense at times, but that’s not really the same thing. Resident Evil Village goes in a lot of different directions during its campaign, but unlike RE4, it actually attempts real horror. Castle Dimitrescu delivers some gothic chills, but the real standout is House Beneviento, which serves up some of the thickest tension in Resident Evil history. I have nothing against the more action-y side of RE, but I prefer when the series doesn’t completely abandon scares.

Village is a celebration of the Resident Evil series as a whole

Continuing on from the last point, the fact that Resident Evil Village does go in so many different directions is what I like best about it. Some may accuse the game of being unfocused, but these directions weren’t chosen arbitrarily. Castle Dimitrescu is a celebration of classic Resident Evil, with its Metroidvania-style map, locked doors, and charmingly obtuse puzzles. House Beneviento is a return to the more intense, atmospheric horror of Resident Evil 7. Of course, the village hub and Heisenberg’s Factory are pure action RE. By comparison, Resident Evil 4 largely stays in its own singular lane, making only fleeting attempts to appeal to fans of different styles of RE games.

Resident Evil Village

Village carries on Resident Evil 4’s tradition of bold creativity

Arguably the key thing that really made Resident Evil 4 great was Capcom and director Shinji Mikami’s willingness to throw anything and everything at the wall. Seemingly, whatever wild set pieces the developers could dream up made it into the game, restraint be damned. Unfortunately, by its very nature, you don’t get that from the Resident Evil 4 remake. Capcom reimagines RE4’s iconic moments, but they don’t create a lot of new ones.

No, if you want a game that truly carries on the mad ethos of the original Resident Evil 4, you need to pick up Resident Evil Village. This is a game that, from moment to moment, will pit you against an 8-foot tall vampress and her sapphic brood, a haunted house full of evil dolls and a giant shrieking fetus, or a scrap metal monster you need to take down with a makeshift mech. If RE4 dialed it wildness up to 11, RE Village broke the knob clean off.

Village builds to the future

When you finish playing Resident Evil Village, you’re filled with anticipation about what might come next. This is the latest story in the Resident Evil mythos, one that wrap up the Ethan Winters arc, provides character development for the likes of Chris Redfield, and introduces a character who may well be the core of the next generation of RE heroes, Rose Winters (who stars in her own excellent RE Village DLC story campaign). By comparison, we know exactly where Resident Evil 4 leads – Resident Evil 5 and 6, two games that represent the nadir of the core RE continuity and almost certainly won’t be getting remakes.

Now if you haven’t jumped to the comments section to curse my name yet, I have to emphasize that I don’t think the Resident Evil 4 remake is a bad game. Again, I gave it an 8.5! But I think Capcom could have pushed harder with the new RE4. They could have made something truly surprising, something that felt groundbreaking all over again, even if it meant risking some fan backlash. As is, I feel like Resident Evil Village actually embodies the daring spirit of the RE4 better than the remake. But that’s just my opinion. Feel free to scroll on down and share yours.

Resident Evil Village can be played on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch (via the cloud). Resident Evil 4 launches on PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on March 24.

Putin Arrest Warrant Issued By International Criminal Court Over Alleged War Crimes

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Friday for Russian President Vladimir Putin and another Russian official for the alleged deportation of Ukrainian children from Ukraine, amid an investigation by the organization and claims by global leaders—including the U.S.—that Russia has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during its invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin
An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Russian President Vladimir PutinSPUTNIK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES


Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, are allegedly responsible for the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children and the “unlawful transfer” of those children to Russia, according to the ICC.

The organization noted that there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that both Putin and Lvova-Belova held responsibility for the war crimes “in prejudice of Ukrainian children.”

The New York Times reported earlier this week that the Hague-based court had opened war crimes cases tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with sources indicating that the organization would seek several other arrest warrants.

Though the court—working in cooperation with the United Nations—has issued arrest warrants, it relies on other countries to carry them out, which would require officials from another nation to detain Putin and Lvova-Belova for trial proceedings.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed comments by Vice President Kamala Harris last month by indicating the U.S. had determined Russia has committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine, adding its findings “underlines [the] staggering extent of the human suffering inflicted by Moscow on the Ukrainian civilian population.”


Following the New York Times report, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian government does not recognize the ICC and that it does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously suggested the court had failed to become an “independent and credible” body in 2016.


Allegations that Russia has committed war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine over the last year have escalated in recent months. Harris, in an address to the Munich Security Council last month, said the Russian military had killed civilians during an attack on Mariupol and had carried out the mass deportations of Ukrainian children, among other claims. President Joe Biden called Putin a “war criminal” in April 2022 and called for him to go to trial. Other institutions, including the human rights organization Amnesty International, have also accused Russia of committing crimes against humanity.


Culture’s Film of the Week: ‘Cocaine Bear’ vs ‘Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey’

It’s the battle of the bears – in cinemas now – ‘Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey’ vs ‘Cocaine Bear’ – FIGHT!   –  Copyright  Jagged Edge Productions – Universal Pictures

Two films released this month confirm the new cinematic dominance of the ursine: Cocaine Bear and Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey.

These aren’t your cuddly creatures symbolizing warmth, friendship or family. Gone are Baloo, Yogi and Paddington; 2023’s vintage are killer bears, out for guts in the same way Annihilation ’s mutant bear and The Revenant ’s pissed off mama bear were out to gouge. If only this year’s mammals measured up to these two, because spoiler alert: both Cocaine Bear and Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey are un-bear-able.

Cheap gag, but considering the level of Elizabeth Banks and Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s films, remorse is the last thing I feel. I had to sit through them.

It’s a real shame, as there’s something uniquely exciting and invigorating about going to see some self-conscious B-grade schlock. Not all films have to be awards-worthy or even that good – some just need to be delightfully camp and knowingly debased Friday night trash. These films can be a joy.

However, these two are just hot trash.

Let’s start with the one with the itchy nose.

Universal Pictures
The bear doesn’t just sh*t in the woods – he’s sh*t in the woodsUniversal Pictures

The year is 1985. A drug smuggler dumps 40 containers of Columbia’s finest from a crashing plane above Chattahoochee National Forest. This prompts an American black bear to ingest the copious amounts of Class A narcotics and go on a rampage.

What’s not to absolutely adore about this pitch? It’s Pablo Escobear vs the world! Plus, it’s based on a real-life incident which saw a 175-pound bear ingest 40 plastic containers of cocaine. (Spoiler: the poor thing died and did not go on a coke-fuelled murder spree.)

However, Elizabeth Banks and screenwriter Jimmy Warden have utterly messed it up and have curled out something that’s not scary, satirical or – heaven forfend – funny. They’ve somehow managed the impossible, considering the promisingly nuts elevator pitch: make Cocaine Bear a crushing bore. Instead of focusing on the bear, they’ve elected to dedicate a lunatic amount of its scant runtime (a taut 95-minutes) to an inane gallery of bland characters – two criminals (Alden Ehrenreich and O’Shea Jackson Jr.) sent by a trafficker (Ray Liotta, in his final role); two cops (Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Ayoola Smart); a single mum (Keri Russell) searching for her child and friend (Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery) who have ditched school to stroll in the woods; a park ranger (Margo Martindale); and loads of others who I can’t even be bothered to namecheck at this point, because the movie is supposed to be “Bear Trips Balls On Nose Candy” – not “Sub-Coen Brothers Parodies Spout Sub-Tarantino Banter In The Woods”!

At no point does it matter that the bear is clearly a CG creation or that the gore is too short-lived. But the failure to embrace an unabashedly outrageous premise and not deliver some bonkers thrills is a crime against B-movies.

What the pitch “What if a bear did cocaine?” needed a sure grasp when it came to getting the tonal shifts from comic to gory right. No one needed it to be good – just not tame or unfunny. At the end of the day, this feels like a movie shamelessly designed to draw in audience members on the promise of being part of an internet-based cultural conversation about that film, only for the one decent joke to be: they made a film called Cocaine Bear. Never since the aforementioned Snakes on a Plane has a film failed to live up to its gonzo title so badly.

Or its poster.

Or its promising trailer.

And before you ask, no – it’s not so-bad-it’s-good and still worth a gander while intoxicated. Stay in school, kids.

Cocaine Bear | Official Trailer [HD]

Onto the other ursine… 

This one hasn’t been railing lines but has gone down the slasher route.

Universal Pictures
The bear doesn’t just sh*t in the woods – he’s sh*t in the woodsUniversal Pictures

When it was announced, I was initially excited at the thought of Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey. An anthropomorphic Winnie and Piglet go full Michael Myers in the woods after their friend Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon) grows up and abandons them in the Hundred Acre Wood? Yes please. 

Not that I was expecting it to be any good – just cheap subversive fun.

After all, the copyright on A.A. Milne’s Winnie-The-Pooh has expired, so why not stick it to Disney (who control much of the IP) and make a cheap, borderline punk horror movie? Now that’s subversion!

Sadly, this is a painfully generic wasted opportunity, the sort of incompetently made horror film which – like Cocaine Bear – commits the cardinal sin of wasting a damn fine premise and being no fun. It ticks off just about every horror trope going and does none of them justice; the rules aren’t kept to; Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s staggeringly inept script makes Tommy Wiseau seem misunderstood; and the unimaginative kills genuinely made me nod off at one point.

Again, like Cocaine Bear, this one is just a cynical headline-grabber because the slasher concept is so far removed from the wholesome original creation. Nothing more. The only thing going for it is a scene in which Winnie karate-chops one of his victim’s hands off. That was cool. But not enough to redeem this bear-minimum drivel that you can file under: ‘Oh (don’t) bother.’

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey Trailer

As you’ve probably guessed from my shorter review of this film, Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey is significantly worse than Cocaine Bear. If you feel compelled to watch one of the two, you’ll be less disappointed by the cocaine huffing ursine. 

But please don’t. 

Life is short, both are jokes without punchlines, and neither film comes close to heralding the return of camp horror to the screens.

Worse, giving these films any cash influx will give both Banks and Frake-Waterfield dipsh*t hopes for sequels. The latter has already expressed an interest in starting a fairy tale horror franchise, while the former has already spoken about how a Cocaine Bear follow-up could work.

Crush these dreams by staying out of the woods, safe in the knowledge that bears are not this year’s donkeys.