Bitcoin races toward all-time high

•April 29, 2017 • 2 Comments

https://www.rt.com/business/386222-bitcoin-high-exchange-winklevoss/

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency approached new record highs on Wednesday, following the news US regulators could approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The price of bitcoin against the US dollar was up almost two percent, reaching $1,287.27 as of 1:34pm GMT. The digital currency had a strong start to the week, with prices gaining more than $35 since Sunday.

On Tuesday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it would reconsider its decision over ETF. Last month, it denied the Winklevoss’ application to list the company on the Bats BZX exchange which is one of the largest US equities market operators.

“The Commission hereby establishes that any party to the action or other person may file a written statement in support of or in opposition to the Disapproval Order on or before May 15, 2017,” the SEC said in a statement.

Bitcoin has been on a steady rise for the past month, up around 23 percent. It reached the all-time high of $1,325.81 in March.

Experts say the price rise has been supported by a number of factors including Japan’s recognition of bitcoin as a legal currency and the Russian government’s comments about cryptocurrencies.

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hey its the winklevoss twins..again..

“US regulators could approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.”

why are they so fucking special?

because they gave up facebook to zuckerberg?

401

Pope Francis TED talk says powerful leaders must be humble

•April 29, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39711348

Pope Francis has recorded an address for the influential TED media group, delivering a warning to the world’s “powerful” leaders.

In his TED talk, Francis says that people with power must act humbly. “If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other,” he says.

He also urged people to overcome the fear that a happy future is “something impossible to achieve”.

His talk was aired to the annual TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The short talks are posted free online by the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) media organisation, whose slogan is “ideas worth spreading”.

Speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas. Past speakers include former US president Bill Clinton, scientist Richard Dawkins, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and pop star Bono, although its most popular talks tend to be from less high-profile people.

They cover a vast range of subjects from “the science of happiness” to “how to spot a liar”.

In his talk, Pope Francis says: “Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly.”

He says: “You will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.

“Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.”

His speech touches on his own migration background and spends time retelling the story of the Good Samaritan.

“First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent ‘I’ separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.”

He says that “many of us seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve”.

Such concerns must be “taken very seriously”, but “are not invincible: they can be overcome when we do not lock our door to the outside world”.

He calls for solidarity, backs creativity and urges all to tackle the “culture of waste”, not just in goods but in people “who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems”.

Bruno Giussani, TED’s international curator, said it took more than a year, “many discussions” and several trips to Rome to make the talk happen.

He said that initially “it’s fair to say that not many [in the Vatican] knew of TED”.

The Pope’s talk was filmed in a small room at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the guesthouse where he lives in Vatican City.

He speaks in Italian but the address, which can be accessed on TED.com, is subtitled in more than 20 languages.

TED was founded in 1984 and has its origins in Silicon Valley, but its talks have broadened beyond technology to include lifestyle, culture and business.

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“He calls for solidarity, backs creativity and urges all to tackle the “culture of waste”, not just in goods but in people “who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems”.

aka..capitalism sucks..social marxist technocratic capitalism rules..

“He says that “many of us seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve”

*sigh

401

Global stocks retreat after Trump tax plan

•April 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 24, 2017.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-idUSKBN17S035

Equities retreated from highs on Wednesday after a U.S. tax plan disappointed, while the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso weakened against the greenback on the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wall Street gave up gains after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed slashing tax rates for businesses and on overseas corporate profits returned to the country in a long-awaited plan greeted as an opening maneuver by his fellow Republicans in Congress.

The plan would cut the income tax rate paid by public corporations to 15 percent from 35 and reduce the top tax rate assessed on pass-through businesses, including small partnerships and sole proprietorships, to 15 percent from 39.6.

“The key question really is what is doable from a budgetary and political perspective in Congress and this is going to be a bit of an uphill fight to get this plan enacted into law,” said David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York.

“At the end of the day, earnings for any particular company are going to be the biggest driver.”

Thermo Fisher Electron, up 5.8 percent, was the top boost to the benchmark S&P index while Dow component United Technologies gained 1.1 percent after results.

The U.S. dollar retreated from highs against major rivals in the wake of the tax plan but strengthened against both the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar after a senior Trump administration official said a draft executive order to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement is under consideration.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 21.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 20,975.09, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.16 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,387.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.27 point to 6,025.23.

The Mexican peso MXN= weakened 1.85 percent versus the U.S. dollar at 19.20 pesos while the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 weakened 0.31 percent versus the greenback at 1.36 per U.S. dollar.

The main Mexican and Canadian share indexes .GSPTSE .MXX both fell more than half a percent.

European shares are at 20-month highs after a three-day rally sparked by centrist Emmanuel Macron’s win in the first round of French presidential elections, which considerably lessened the risk of a French exit from the euro zone. Higher-than-expected earnings have also supported gains.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trumps-team-unveils-opening-bid-for-biggest-tax-cut-in-us-history-20170426-gvtaq9.html

The central feature of the White House’s plan would be a big reduction in tax rates for virtually all Americans and businesses.

It would eliminate the seven existing income tax brackets and replace them with three brackets, containing new rates of 10 per cent, 25 per cent, and 35 per cent, based on someone’s income. White House officials haven’t specified which income levels would hit the higher tax brackets, as they see that as part of ongoing discussions with Capitol Hill.

It would also roughly double the standard deduction that Americans can use to reduce their taxable income. The deduction for married couples would move from $US12,600 to $US24,000. This would incentivise people not to itemise their tax returns and instead use the standard deduction, simplifying the process and potentially saving taxpayers thousands of dollars each year.

The White House plan would eliminate the alternative-minimum tax and the estate tax, provisions that raise billions of dollars each year but have long been the target of Republicans seeking to rip up the tax code. Mr Cohn, speaking of the AMT, said “we don’t think that people should have to do their taxes twice,” and added that the estate tax unfairly prevented farmers and others from passing along their businesses to the next generation.

In order to offset some of the cost of the lower rates, Trump administration officials said they were proposing to eliminate virtually all tax deductions that Americans claim, provisions that they argued primarily benefited wealthier Americans. Mr Cohn said they would preserve tax breaks that incentivise home ownership, retirement savings, and charitable giving. But almost all others would be jettisoned.

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i think interest rates are about to move up globally..do you feel it?

401

Macedonia parliament stormed by protesters in Skopje

•April 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39738865

Protesters stormed into Macedonia’s parliament on Thursday after an ethnic Albanian was elected as speaker.

A brawl broke out injuring at least 10 people, including the Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev, who was left with blood pouring down his face.

The protesters, supporters of ex-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO party, are demanding new elections.

Politics in the former Yugoslav republic has been deadlocked since an inconclusive election in December.

But the crisis goes back further, to a phone-tapping scandal two years ago.

Mr Zaev has created a coalition with ethnic Albanian parties, but his attempts to form a government have been blocked by the president.

Macedonian nationalists have been protesting on the streets since Mr Zaev tried to form the coalition.

Ethnic Albanians make up around a quarter of the country’s population.

The people who stormed parliament were angered by the coalition’s decision to elect Talat Xhaferi as speaker.

They fear moves to improve the status of Albanians threaten Macedonian unity.

Some of the 200 protesters were masked. Witnesses saw broken glass on the floor and traces of blood in hallways.

Police fired stun grenades to disperse protesters and allow politicians to exit the parliament building.

———–

“soros people” being attacked?

https://seeker401.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/stop-operation-soros-movement-begins-in-macedonia/

401

Kenya aims to become the next global center of Islamic finance

•April 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

Kenya aims to become the next global center of Islamic finance

East Africa’s biggest economy is positioning itself to become a regional hub for Islamic finance products. Kenya’s treasury ministry recently unveiled a plan to mainstream Islamic financing as part of an effort to stimulate economic growth, and to help set the sector up as a source of development funding

Finance minister Henry Rotich said on March 30 that the government would propose amendments to the financial laws and issue new regulations to facilitate a Sharia-compliant retirement benefits scheme. It will also amend the public finance management act to provide for the issuance of sukuk, or Islamic bonds.

Islamic finance is based on profit-sharing, and prohibits the collection and payment of interest, or usury. The two-trillion dollar global Islamic finance industry has grown as a mechanism for financing development, including in non-Muslim countries.

Some 11% of Kenya’s 44 million people are counted as Muslim. But in the past, Kenyan regulators have noted that it was “hard” to convince lawmakers of the Islamic finance industry’s potential—especially while the government was battling the jihadist fundamentalist group al-Shabaab. Since invading Somalia in 2011, al-Shabaab has targeted Christians in buses, attacked churches, stormed an upscale shopping mall, and killed 147 people at a university.

Regulatory agencies say Kenya is now ready to allow Islamic finance and banking to thrive. Speaking at the second annual East Africa Islamic Economy Summit on April 11, Paul Muthaura, the chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority, said the country plans to make Kenya a hub for Islamic finance.

Kenya is already a regional leader in Islamic banking. The country has two fully-operating Islamic banks, with a third one being authorized. There’s also one takaful Islamic insurance company, a sharia-compliant mutual fund, and two cooperatives. In December, Kenya joined the Islamic Financial Services Board, a Malaysia-based body that regulates and promotes sound and transparent Islamic financial services globally.

Kenya’s banking industry has faced challenges in the recent past, with some banks folding or merging with others to survive. Legislation capping interest rates is also reportedly making it harder for banks to access loans or credit.

———-

“Kenya’s treasury ministry recently unveiled a plan to mainstream Islamic financing as part of an effort to stimulate economic growth, and to help set the sector up as a source of development funding”

but only 11% of the population is muslim..

“Regulatory agencies say Kenya is now ready to allow Islamic finance and banking to thrive. Speaking at the second annual East Africa Islamic Economy Summit on April 11, Paul Muthaura, the chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority, said the country plans to make Kenya a hub for Islamic finance.”

if so then kenya is to be watched very closely..

401

Artificial wombs successfully pass first test..human trials could begin within 3 years

•April 28, 2017 • 3 Comments

https://www.rt.com/viral/386130-artificial-womb-lamb-premature-births/

Scientists have successfully developed and tested an artificial womb capable of supporting prematurely born lambs for periods of up to four weeks in a landmark development that could dramatically reduce the risks posed by premature births in humans.

Lambs born at the equivalent point of 23 weeks into the human gestation period have been kept alive in a transparent vessel, or ‘biobag,’ that serves as both a womb and incubator for periods of up to four weeks after their initial, premature birth.

The research was conducted by a team of doctors and scientists led by Alan Flake, a fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature on Tuesday.

“If we can support growth and organ maturation for only a few weeks, we can dramatically improve outcomes for extremely premature babies,” said Flake when speaking to the media.

The ‘biobag’ device consists of three main parts: A pumpless arteriovenous circuit, which keeps the fetus’ blood flowing but relies on the infant’s heart to do the work so that it develops properly; the closed, dark and sterile fluid environment that protects the barely developed skin organ from infection and damage; and a unique artificial system of umbilical vascular access that emulates the variety of functions performed by a mother’s umbilical cord.

Babies born prematurely at this critical stage of development cannot breathe, feed or fight off infection without medical assistance, and even with artificial life support, often suffer from debilitating conditions which greatly impact their quality of life, and mortality rates.

According to the researchers, over one-third of all infant deaths and 50 percent of cerebral palsy cases can be attributed to premature births.

Of those fetuses that do survive, many suffer from chronic lung disease and other associated complications stemming from organ immaturity.

Flake was quick to point out that we won’t be seeing test-tube or bag-grown babies like the ones described in Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World anytime soon, however.

“I don’t want this to be visualised as humans hanging on the walls in bags,” said Flake. “This is not how this device will work or look.”

“The reality is that at the present time there’s no technology [like that] on the horizon… There’s nothing but the mother that’s able to support that [initial] period of time,” he said.

Flake and his team expect that, pending FDA approval, human clinical trials could begin in the next three years.

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males and females are being rendered to the point of not being required..

this brave new world is not for me..

“The ‘biobag’ device consists of three main parts: A pumpless arteriovenous circuit, which keeps the fetus’ blood flowing but relies on the infant’s heart to do the work so that it develops properly; the closed, dark and sterile fluid environment that protects the barely developed skin organ from infection and damage; and a unique artificial system of umbilical vascular access that emulates the variety of functions performed by a mother’s umbilical cord.”

the fake womb..

I don’t want this to be visualised as humans hanging on the walls in bags,” said Flake. “This is not how this device will work or look.”

thats right..not on walls..but in birth pods..same difference..

401

China’s launches colossal new aircraft carrier

•April 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11846060

China launched its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own on Wednesday, in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defence industries and determination to safeguard its maritime territorial claims and crucial trade routes.

The 50,000-ton carrier left its berth just after 9am in the northern port city of Dalian, where its predecessor, the Ukrainian-built Liaoning, also underwent extensive refurbishing before being commissioned in 2012, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The new carrier is expected to be formally commissioned sometime before 2020 following the completion of sea trials and the arrival of its full air complement, according to news.com.au.

Like the 60,000-ton Liaoning, the new carrier is based on the former Soviet Union’s Kuznetsov class design, with a ski jump-style deck for taking off and a conventional oil-fuelled steam turbine power plant.

That limits the weight of payloads its planes can carry, its speed and the amount of time it can spend at sea relative to American nuclear-powered carriers.

China is believed to be planning to build at least two and possibly as many as four additional carriers, with one of them, the Type 002, reported to be already under construction at a shipyard outside Shanghai.

They are expected to be closer in size to the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered 100,000-ton Nimitz class ships, with flat flight decks and catapults to allow planes to launch with more bombs and fuel aboard.

According to Chinese reports, the new carrier will carry 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-33, along with 12 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning and rescue operations. That compares to 85-90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters carried by a Nimitz-class carrier.

———–

weapons of death..

“Like the 60,000-ton Liaoning, the new carrier is based on the former Soviet Union’s Kuznetsov class design, with a ski jump-style deck for taking off and a conventional oil-fuelled steam turbine power plant.”

cute..

“According to Chinese reports, the new carrier will carry 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-33, along with 12 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning and rescue operations.”

401

 
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