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Deal for NHS to offer exciting new child cancer therapy

A deal has been struck to let the NHS offer children an expensive new cancer therapy that has been called the most exciting treatment advance for decades.

CAR-T is a cutting-edge treatment for aggressive leukaemia when other drugs have failed but usually costs hundreds of thousands of pounds per patient.

NHS England boss Simon Stevens says a fair and affordable price has been reached with manufacturer Novartis.

Hospitals could start giving it to a small number of children within weeks.

The first three NHS hospitals to apply to use the CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy are in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

The NHS has a limited pot of money, meaning tough choices have to be made about which treatments are affordable. The cash for CAR-T will come from theCancer Drugs Fund, set up to fast-track access to the most promising new cancer treatments.

How does it work?

CAR-T is a novel way of treating cancer that is "personalised" to the individual patient.

It involves giving patients genetically modified immune cells.

Immune cells, called T-cells, are taken from a sample of the patient's blood and reprogrammed in the lab to create ones that are genetically coded to recognise and destroy the patient's cancer cells. This "living therapy" is then given to the patient.

It has been shown in trials to cure some patients, even those with advanced cancers where other treatments have failed, although it can also cause serious side-effects and is not guaranteed to work.

Plus it is complex and expensive to make.

Image copyrightNOVARTIS

The deal means the NHS can use the CAR-T treatment called Kymriah for eligible patients, those up to 25 years old who have advanced B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that is not responding to standard therapies.

About 400 children are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - a type of blood cancer - every year in the UK. But only about 15 of these might be suitable for the CAR-T treatment each year.

It is the first in what is expected to be a rapidly expanding class of personalised cancer therapies available on the NHS.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, from the blood cancer charity Bloodwise, said: "CAR-T cell therapy is the most exciting advances in treatment for childhood leukaemia for decades.

"Intensive chemotherapy can now cure the vast majority of children but a significant number still tragically die every year because they do not respond to treatment.

"CAR-T cell therapy offers the genuine chance of a long-term cure for children who otherwise would have no other hope."

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45407514

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 02:55

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WHO warning over global lack of exercise.

Very little progress has been made in reducing levels of inactivity worldwide, experts have warned.

A WHO report estimates that more than a quarter of people worldwide - 1.4 billion - are not doing enough physical exercise, a figure that has barely improved since 2001. Inactivity raises the risk of a raft of health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and some cancers. High-income countries, including the UK, were among the least active. And women were found to be more sedentary throughout the world, with the exception of two regions of Asia.

'Major concern'

Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) looked at self-reported data on activity from 358 population-based surveys in 168 countries, including 1.9 million people, for their study in The Lancet Public Health. They found in high-income countries, which include the UK and the USA, the proportion of inactive people had risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, while in low-income countries it had remained stable at 16%. Those who were classed as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise - or 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity - a week. Countries driving the upwards trend included Germany, New Zealand and the US. Women were less active than men in all but East and South-East Asia, with the biggest differences being in South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, north Africa and high-income Western countries. The authors said this was likely to have been caused by a combination of factors, including extra childcare duties and cultural attitudes that made it harder for them to exercise. In the UK, inactivity levels in 2016 were 36% overall - 32% of men and 40% of women. Experts said the transition in wealthier countries towards more sedentary jobs and hobbies, along with increased use of motor transport, might explain their higher levels of inactivity. In lower-income countries people are more likely to be active in their jobs and walk or use public transport.

The report's authors warned that as things stood the WHO's 2025 target of reducing global inactivity by 10% would be missed. Dr Regina Guthold, lead author of the study from the WHO, said: "Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health. "Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases." Co-author Dr Fiona Bull, also from the WHO, said: "Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women's access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable."

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much? at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles break up long periods of sitting with light activity . 

What is moderate aerobic activity? walking fast water aerobics riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills doubles tennis pushing a lawn mower hiking skateboarding rollerblading volleyball basketball . 

What counts as vigorous activity? jogging or running swimming fast riding a bike fast or on hills singles tennis football rugby skipping rope hockey aerobics gymnastics martial arts . 

What activities strengthen muscles? lifting weights working with resistance bands doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening? circuit training, aerobics running footbal,  rugby netbal,  hockeY. 

Nii Sackey Posted on September 05, 2018 02:49

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Mercedes-Benz reveals 2020 EQC

The all-electric crossover is expected to have a driving range of around 200 miles.

 

Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the 2020 EQC after a lengthy teaser campaign.

The EQC 400 4Matic is the company's first fully electric SUV and the first model to launch under the new EQ sub-brand, which stands for 'Electric Intelligence.'

A dual-motor drivetrain provides 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque delivered to both axles, with an estimated driving range of 'up to' 200 miles.

Drivers can expect to hit 60 mph from a stop in just 4.9 seconds, eventually topping out at an electronically limited 112 mph.

The EQC presumably has been benchmarked against the Model X 75D, which also carries a 4.9-second zero-to-60 mph time. Mercedes-Benz' range estimate falls short of the 75D's 237 miles, however, despite the EQC's larger 80-kWh battery.

The German automaker has adapted its Mbux multimedia system with various EQ-optimized features, including a new navigation system that considers remaining battery range and shortest charging times.

Production is scheduled to start next year at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.

 

https://www.leftlanenews.com/mercedes-benz-reveals-2020-eqc-101294.html

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 02:35

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Top 10 Greatest Superhero Movies of All-Time (Part 2)

Posted By: Taylor Coleon: September 04, 2018In: FeaturesMoviesNerd NewsNerdCultureOpinionTags: Marvelmovies1 Comment

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Yesterday, I posted Part One of my Top 10 Greatest Superhero Movies of All-Time. Today, we’re going to round out the Top 5. (this list was inspired by IGN’s recent top 25 best superhero movies and will include some heavy spoilers)


#5 Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 took everything I loved about the original and just simply made it better.

Almost every joke in Deadpool 2 hits its mark and the deep moments in between further develops Wade Wilson into a sympathetic character. Both Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz put out great performances that actually made me excited for the upcoming X-Force movie.

With no real “super” villain present for the majority of the film, this could have very easily flopped and acted as a cash-grab of the original Deadpool. Instead, we got a hilarious sequel with a heart of gold. A lot of that credit I think has to go to star Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds knows this character and loves playing the merc with a mouth. Like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, I don’t think I could see any other actor pull off this role. Just don’t sew his mouth shut. Again.

Luckily, Deadpool fixed that problem in this film.

#4 Logan

I haven’t been more bittersweet while walking out of a theater in a long time. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart put in their final performances with characters that they’ve been playing for almost two decades.

An R-rating was exactly what this superhero movie needed. These were two guys who were clearly at the end of their rope and have definitely seen better days. Dafne Keen’s Laura was also a standout as Logan’s daughter.

The main talking point here is obviously the crushing ending for our heroes. Charles being killed by what he thought was his last friend in the world with Logan (in reality it was Logan’s clone, X-24).

Wolverine suffered a similar fate, dying at the hands of his superior clone. The film ends with Logan finally getting a chance to actually love something in his life (his daughter) before succumbing to his injuries.

Oh, and the cherry on top to that depressing, emotional ice-cream sandwich of an ending is the fact that there is no guarantee that Laura and her newfound friends even made their way to safety from the unrelenting Reavers.

#3 The Dark Knight

I don’t know why but I feel like this will be the most controversial pick on this list. Not because that it shouldn’t be here, but because most people I know have The Dark Knight as their top superhero flick.

I’ll admit, it’s hard to disagree with you if you feel that way. The Dark Knight changed the game for this genre.

We all know exactly who I’m about to praise here. Heath Ledger’s role as The Joker is legendary and his incarnation of the character is still talked about today as the golden standard for villains.

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent served as a perfect foil for Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne. Dent’s fall from grace and eventual turn into Two-Face is actually one of the most underrated aspects of the film in my opinion.

Nolan took his grounded world from Batman Begins and stuck a semi-realistic take on these cartoonish villains. Looking back, there isn’t really anything I actually dislike about The Dark Knight. The only reasoning for it being at the third spot has to do with my thoughts on the superhero movies ahead of it.

Funny thing is, I remember that some people actually thought that this would be a flop (back in the early development stages). Going to The Joker already and bringing in Heath Ledger as the clown prince of crime was mocked by a lot of people, both online and in person. Check out this article from Newsarama back in 2013 detailing some of the statements said by fans regarding Ledger’s initial casting. This criticism even included yours truly. To be fair, I think I was around 12 at the time so what did I know.

#2 Guardians of the Galaxy

I think of The Dark Knight and Guardians of the Galaxy as equally awesome movies. What just barely sets Guardians of the Galaxy apart has to do with a simple achievement that The Dark Knight just couldn’t accomplish.

Guardians of the Galaxy made me care about a talking raccoon and a tree who only says one phrase.

To say that this movie came out of nowhere is an enormous understatement. For all intents and purposes, this was the sink or swim moment for the MCU. They had to stay fresh in a competitive industry and take risks.

A superhero movie starring Andy from Parks and Rec as the main protagonist with four other equally strange co-stars was definitely a risk.

The only complaint I have about Guardians of the Galaxy is a semi-weak villain but I could make the case that we didn’t need Ronan to be a terrifying antagonist. This movie was about the Guardians coming together and developing the cosmic side of the MCU. It’s safe to say that they exceeded expectations.

This is going to sound a bit uncomfortable to some out there due to recent events but I don’t think Guardians of the Galaxy is what it is without James Gunn. His meshing of sci-fi, music, and comedy made this standout from not just MCU titles but other great films in the sci-fi genre.

#1 Avengers: Infinity War

I’ve been sitting at my keyboard for the past 10 minutes trying to sum up Avengers: Infinity War in only a few short paragraphs. I’m not sure that I can do this but I’m going to try.

This was 10 years in the making. Over 19 movies. Most ambitious crossover in history. All of the stuff you’ve heard before at nausea. Yeah, I’m not going to go on about how they got here because you know that.

Avengers: Infinity War was the dark film that I honestly didn’t think Marvel or Disney had the guts to go to. Many times throughout, I kept expecting it to do what most superhero movies do.

Good guys lose early. Good guys make jokes, comeback, and win. The villain looks like a fool in the end. Rinse and repeat.

Not this time. Thanos actually wins and sets up an intriguing conclusion to our decade-long journey. Yes, most of these deaths aren’t permanent but I wasn’t even expecting them to go this far. If you still aren’t a fan of the ending, I don’t know what to say except this. Look at it this way, the ending sets up a final assembling of our original crew of Avengers for an epic battle with The Mad Titan.

The Russo brothers crafted a well-developed story with jaw-dropping action pieces that don’t leave any one character out of the game for too long. Along with that, this may be one of the more comedic and quotable MCU films to date, which is surprising considering its darker tone.

Avengers: Infinity War is the pinnacle of superhero movies. It is what the DCEU is trying so desperately to get to. It is what other non-superhero franchises like Godzilla and The Mummy aspire (in The Mummy’s case “aspired”) to achieve. There are some minor problems but considering everything that this movie had to accomplish there is no denying that this a superhero film that will stand-out for years to come.

 

https://thenerdstash.com/top-10-superhero-movies-5-1/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 02:17

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Celebrity Big Brother reject Rodrigo Alves claims he used the N-word because he struggles with speaking English

RODRIGO Alves says he used the 'N-word' because English is his second language.

The Human Ken Doll, 35, also said his heritage and street culture in his native Brazil meant he didn't know how controversial the word would be.

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Rodrigo says he used the n-word due to his poor English and multi-cultural heritage

He plastic surgery enthusiast said: "English is not my first language. Through my Brazilian upbringing, my black family members and street/hip hop music in Brazil I was not naturally conditioned against the word.

"I was naive not to realise how offensive what I said is in English speaking countries, and what that word represents in terms of the horrific and sustained human rights abuses against black people over many generations."

Rodrigo added: "For this, I offer my sincerest and heartfelt apologies for any offence I may have caused. Racism is a state of mind often manifesting itself in abusive language. In my case, my use of a particular word has been used to portray me as having a mindset that I don't have and never have had.

"In Brazil, I was bought up in a multicultural, multiracial society. I am very proud of my Latino and black heritage."

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Rodrigo Alves will not be attending the CBB final

 

Play VideoCelebrity Big Brother housemates shocked as they're told Rodrigo Alves has left the house

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The 35-year-old has also been banned from CBBOTS

 

Play VideoCelebrity Big Brother's Natalie Nunn says the N-word on night out in London with Rodrigo Alves

Rodrigo was given a dressing down for using the term whilst discussing what kind of boys he likes.

Many people were stunned he wasn't booted off the show.

Rodrigo added: "I used an expression frequently used in Brazil that describes a particular look because I could not find the right words in the English language.

"Channel 5 could have chosen not to broadcast the footage and I am surprised they did. However, it was me that made the mistake and me who will take responsibility for it.

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Rodrigo caused mass controversy during his stint on the show

 

Play VideoKirstie Alley refuses to explain what Scientology is when quizzed by CBB housemate Rodrigo Alves

"I can only assure people that I understand the offence I caused; that it was not intentional; and apologise. It won’t happen again."

He was kicked off CBB and banned from Bit On The Side for serious inappropriate behaviour.

The scenes were so shocking Channel 5 bosses took the decision not to show them.

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/7179585/celebrity-big-brother-rodrigo-alves-n-word/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 02:03

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Travel to the sacred mountains of Japan to train body and mind in the ancient ways

For world travellers, Japan is a country like no other. A vibrant contradiction where new and diverse cultures meet ancient tradition and cherished beliefs, it offers a rich bounty of experiences that are completely unique. One such example is Yamabushido, a project that for the first time ever offers international visitors the chance to travel to a sacred mountain to immerse themselves in a special programme aimed at benefiting both body and mind.

Visitors immerse themselves in nature and take part in hikes across sacred Japanese mountains.Image by Yamabushido

Taking its name from Yamabushi, the ancient mountain priests of Japan and Bushido, the way of the samurai, the training programmes follow the teachings of Shugendo, one of Japan’s most ancient practices. A mixture of Shinto, Buddhism, Animism and mountain faith, it aims to help people understand themselves better by immersing them in the natural world with zero distractions.

The courses are held under the watchful eye of Master Hoshido. Image by Yamabushido

Yamabushido offers two different programmes (both held under the direction of a 13th generation Yamabushido Master Hoshido) that see participants disconnecting from the modern world. The first programme is a full five-day experience (only offered three times a year) that takes place on the Three Mountains of Dewa (Mount Haguro, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono) in Yamagata Prefecture, and includes waterfall meditation, mantra recitation, jumping over fire, visiting sacred shrines and hiking up 2446 stone steps. The less intensive two-day mountain training course is offered 13 times a year, and sees participants taking part in orientation and training before a celebratory lunch to wrap up the experience. Throughout the courses, guests stay at the Daish?b? Pilgrim Lodge at the foothills of the Dewa Mountains.

The celebratory meal offered at the end of the course. Image by Yamabushido

“It’s a training that will give a renewed sense of power, and you’ll gain the ability to disconnect from distractions, noise and stress. You’ll have a powerful opportunity to begin again by letting go of anything in your life that needs to be left on the mountain,” a representative of Yamabushido told Lonely Planet Travel News. The courses are specially arranged with international visitors in mind, but are based on a programme that has been operating for many years for Japanese people. Tailored to be practical for people aiming to improve their lives, the courses aim to help visitors learn skills that can help manage stress and promote mindfulness.

Participants jump over fire after coming out of the mountains on the final day of the course. Image by Yamabushido

“Our participants from abroad have been very pleased with our program. One man living in the Netherlands participated in our programme last year and came back to do our longer one again, and he said he will come next year. Two participants from Spain and Finland this year also said that they will come back next year, and would like to become certificated Yamabushi by attending a one-week programme,” a representative said.

 

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/09/05/japan-yamabushido-mountain-training/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 01:43

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Can China Pursue Blockchain Innovation Amid Cryptocurrency Ban?

Over the past two weeks, the government of China has effectively banned everything related to crypto trading and investment including news sites, social media accounts, events, and exchanges.

Subsequent to putting an end to virtually all communication and investment channels related to the cryptocurrency market, China has said that it will continue to accelerate blockchain development, doubling down on its $3 billion investment in the technology since the second quarter of 2018.

Centralized Blockchain Networks

Every public blockchain network is equipped with its own native cryptocurrency because every individual on the network has to be incentivized to run an operation, whether that is to mine blocks, develop blockchain-related solutions, and process transactions on the mainnet.

The blockchain can operate without a central authority because of its unique incentivization system that discourages anyone on the network to conduct an activity that does not satisfy one’s financial interest.

But, if there exists no native currency and incentivization system, then a central authority has to be in place to enforce regulations of the protocol.

Throughout the past three months, the government of China has invested more than $3 billion in blockchain-focused funds, despite its heavy crackdown on cryptocurrency publications, events, and trading.

It has encouraged local investment firms, technology conglomerates, and government agencies to do the same, pushing the commercialization of the blockchain at a large scale.

Speaking to CNBC, Beijing-based investment firm BlockVC has said that it is investing in 40 to 50 blockchain-related projects by the end of 2018, focusing on underlying technological development at a protocol level.

Xi Jinping, the president of China, and CCTV, the largest state-owned television network in the country, have consistently described the blockchain as a breakthrough technology, recently reaffirming that the blockchain will remain as one of the core technologies the country will focus on in the years to come.

Structurally, a blockchain network is run by a set of nodes that are not controlled by a central entity or authority. By rejecting cryptocurrencies and focusing solely on blockchain technology, China is leading the development of centralized blockchains that grant a certain group of people more authority over others in the protocol.

But, it remains to be seen whether the blockchain is needed to increase transparency in systems utilized by conglomerates in insurance, finance, and supply chain sectors. Many analysts have said that blockchain technology is necessary as a security system because it is capable of reducing the possibility of rogue actions by employees and bad actors in the space.

Digital signatures and cryptographic time stamps can achieve a similar result, without the implementation of blockchain technology.

Still Some Hope

China has not completely blocked all efforts of public blockchain networks and projects. Last month, the Xiongan government, responsible for building Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream city the Xiongan New Area, asked New York-based blockchain studio ConsenSys to develop dApps that can be used within the new region.

Founded by Ethereum co-creator Joseph Lubin, ConsenSys is the biggest Ethereum-focused blockchain company in the global market with more than 900 employees that have developed applications like MetaMask to improve the usability of Ether.

The Chinese government’s decision to cooperate with Ethereum developers showed a glimpse of hope in the country’s intent to push blockchain innovation.

 

https://www.ccn.com/can-china-pursue-blockchain-innovation-amid-cryptocurrency-ban/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 01:39

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Sport: Mixed results for Guam footballers

The Guam men's football team have been beaten 2-0 in their latest East Asian Cup match against Macau.

The Matao conceded a goal in either half to suffer their first defeat under new head coach Karl Dodd.

"It is always nice to play competitive games and something I would like to do more often," he said.

"We are just focusing on improving on our new playing style in this tournament as it is the first time the players have come together and implemented it, so we expect teething problems at the start but we know that this style will allow us a more success in the long run."

Guam suffered their first defeat against Macau. Photo: Facebook/Mongolian Football Federation

Hosts Mongolia thrashed the Northern Mariana Islands 9-0 in the other fixture to go top of the competition standings with one round to play.

Guam will need to beat Mongolia by six or more goals in tomorrow's final round of group matches if they're to finish atop the table and advance to the second preliminary round.

Karl Dodd said the Matao need more matches.

"I have been waiting for these games for 8 months now," he said.

The Northern Mariana Islands were no match for hosts Mongolia. Photo: Facebook/Mongolian Football Federation

"We have had training camps and practices on the island on a regular basis and have come along way in the six months of training on the island. It would be good if we could access the off-island players more though so that they can be brought up to speed on the playing style.

"The lack of competitive games that Guam plays in is a disadvantage for the Matao and is something that we need to address."

Meanwhile the Guam national women's team, the Masakåda, face Mongolia later today, after opening their account with a 5-0 thrashing of Macau on Tuesday.

 

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/365738/sport-mixed-results-for-guam-footballers

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 01:21

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Indian police seek last Nizam's stolen gold lunchbox

Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad are investigating the theft of a gold, diamond-studded lunchbox that belonged to a former royal family.

The thieves also stole a ruby and gold teacup, saucer and teaspoon. Weighing 3kg, the items are valued at about $7m.

They belonged to Mir Osman Ali Khan - the last Nizam (king )of Hyderabad - and once the richest man in the world.

The theft was discovered on Monday morning. Police suspect it occurred the previous night.

The valuables were removed from their display vaults in the Nizam's palace, which is now a museum.

A sword belonging to the same royal family was stolen from another museum in the city 10 years ago.

Police told BBC Telugu that they suspect two people were involved in the latest theft.

According to the Hindustan Times, police told local reporters the thieves tampered with CCTV cameras so there would be no recording of the raid. They added that the glass door to the cabinet that contained the items was unscrewed to avoid damage.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMir Osman Ali Khan was once the world's richest man

The items were in the Nizam Museum, which opened to the public in 2000. Its collection comprises expensive gifts given to Mir Osman Ali Khan in 1937.

Khan ruled what was then India's largest princely state. He died in 1967.

His fabled wealth included the world-famous Jacob's Diamond - which was the size of an egg - in addition to many other pieces of exquisite jewellery.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45405931

Archimedeskay Posted on September 05, 2018 00:59

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Ghana and China deal

Ghana government to borrow $50 billion from China and pay it in 100-years

Waga Posted on September 04, 2018 22:44

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Tax fraud

Jose Mourinho gets suspended jail sentence for tax fraud.Tax

Waga Posted on September 04, 2018 19:15

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New Inside Book: Trump is Ignorant, White House Dysfunctional

Former Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward speaks during an event sponsored by The Washington Post to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate, June 11, 2012 at the Watergate office building in Washington.

A new inside look at U.S. President Donald Trump paints him as dangerously ignorant of world affairs and his White House as dysfunctional and devastatingly beset by internal feuds.

Legendary journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," based on hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants in Trump's 20-month presidency, describes the U.S. leader as obsessed with the ongoing criminal investigation into whether he obstructed justice by trying to thwart special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

At one point, early this year, Woodward writes that former Trump lawyer John Dowd staged a practice interrogation of Trump about his campaign's ties to Russia and his actions as president, but that Trump stumbled so often with the facts that he eventually erupted in anger.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump said about the investigation that ended with him saying, "I don’t really want to testify.” Dowd, according to Woodward, told Trump he would end up in an orange prison jumpsuit if he testified before Mueller.

Months later, Woodward recounted that Trump told Dowd, "I'll be a real good witness.”

“You are not a good witness,” Dowd replied. “Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.”

The next morning, Dowd quit as one of Trump's lawyers.


FILE - Lawyer John Dowd exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York, May 11, 2011.

The president's current lawyers have negotiated for months with Mueller's legal team about arranging an interview with Trump but have not reached an agreement. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly said he fears that if Trump testifies under oath, he would be caught in perjury, the criminal offense of lying to authorities.

Woodward, who decades ago as a young Washington Post reporter wrote investigative stories about White House corruption that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, quotes current and former White House officials as disparaging Trump, saying he is uninquisitive about how his actions as president could endanger world security and often ignorant of everyday facts.

Woodward's negotiations for an interview with Trump fell through, although the president tried belatedly to talk to the journalist after the manuscript had been completed.

The author, an associate editor at the Post, quotes current White House chief of staff John Kelly as calling Trump an "idiot" and "unhinged." Woodward reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of "a fifth or sixth grader."

"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown," Woodward quotes Kelly as saying at a staff meeting in his office. "I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."


FILE - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends an Oval Office meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House in Washington, July 30, 2018.

Woodward said that aides often plucked documents off Trump's desk in the Oval Office to prevent him from signing them to carry out actions that the aides felt would endanger world security or U.S. interests. The author called it "an administrative coup d'etat" and a "nervous breakdown" of the executive branch.

Woodward said Trump frequently mocked his aides behind their backs, once saying the way former national security advisor H.R. McMaster dressed in cheap suits made him look "like a beer salesman," and describing his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, "like a little rat. He just scurries around."

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 18:15

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Liverpool FC News & Transfer Latest | 4th September 2018

Morning Reds! The international break is upon us which can only mean one thing – an in form Liverpool player is going to pick up an injury. Until then, we can look at more lighter news mainly regarding what’s happening once all the players are back at their clubs.

11:24 – Wijnaldum on upcoming fixtures

Despite his upcoming national team duties Gini Wijnaldum is already focusing on what lays ahead for Liverpool in the coming weeks, speaking to Liverpool’s official club website, the Dutchman knows that every player will be needed in order to negotiate these tricky fixtures saying “It’s going to be a really important period for us, not only because they’re big games, but also because we play a lot of games,”

“In these kinds of periods you need your whole squad.

“We know PSG are a good team. We played Napoli already in the pre-season and we won 5-0. But we still know they are a good team and there were situations in that game where there was stuff to deal with.”

Barring any international injuries, Liverpool look set to have a full strength squad barring the obvious omission of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dejan Lovren will be returning after his stomach injury and Klopp has admitted Fabinho is ready to now play for Liverpool. With pretty much two games a week for the foreseeable future rotation will be key for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

11:08 – Lazar Markovic speaks out

A few days ago it seemed certain that Liverpool were finally getting rid of Lazar Markovic for good as he had his pick of two giant Belgian teams.

Unbelievably, the transfer broke down at the last minute and the story followed that it was due to personal terms; now the Serbian winger has spoken out against those rumours.

If it wasn’t due to the money then what could it be over? I’ve heard Belgium is lovely this time of year and he’ll certainly be getting more game time there than he would be at Liverpool.

Ah well, I look forward to occasionally seeing you on the training photos Lazar.

11:00 – Henderson’s new contract

Yes we know this news broke early last night but its announcement has once again split the fanbase, Henderson didn’t have the best of games against Leicester at the weekend but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve the contract.

Jurgen Klopp put it best, saying “Jordan embodies entirely what it means to be a Liverpool player in this modern era of football.”

There can be no higher praise from the boss and Henderson just gets what it means to be a Liverpool player, saying “There is no other place in the world I would rather play football. I want to be here for as long as I can be.”

If Henderson fulfils the new contract then that will see him still at the club by the time he is 33, whilst he probably won’t be featuring as much at that age; his influence behind the scenes will be vital for the club.

 

 

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 18:09

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Brett Kavanaugh hearing repeatedly interrupted by Dem objections, protests.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was overtaken by political theatrics on Tuesday, as Democratic lawmakers and protesters delayed the formal start of proceedings by more than an hour – and Republicans fired back by touting Kavanaugh’s credentials and decrying the breach of decorum.

The spectacle underscored the political nature of the confirmation hearings, coming two months before the midterms and as some senators gear up for a possible 2020 presidential run against President Trump. Several of those senators led the charge Tuesday in objecting to Kavanaugh. 

Within moments of Tuesday's kickoff, top Democrats tried to sideline the session with a rapid-fire string of objections concerning access to the nominee's records. 

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley first tried to deliver opening remarks, Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris raised objections to the committee just receiving a batch of 42,000 documents relating to the nominee's work with past administrations. 

“We cannot possibly move forward," Harris, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said. 

Grassley told her she was "out of order," but other Democrats chimed in to back up Harris, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who moved to adjourn. 

This prompted applause from some in the audience, and touched off protests and shouting. Then, after New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker added his voice complaining of a "rush," Grassley countered: “I think you are taking advantage of my decency and my integrity.” 

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 18:04

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Obama: US Might Put N. Korea on Terror List

FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington, Dec. 19, 2014.

President Barack Obama said the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back onto its lists of state sponsors of terrorism following a cyber attack on Sony Pictures, which U.S. officials blame on the communist nation.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Obama said he did not consider the hack an act of war, but a "very costly, very expensive" example of cyber vandalism.

North Korea denies it was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures' computer network and posting embarrassing e-mails and other private data.

The hackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace and warned there would be a "bitter fate" for anyone attending a public showing of the movie The Interview, a film in which the CIA hires two journalists to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sony has canceled the scheduled December 25 release of the satirical comedy.

Not aware of hackers

On Sunday, North Korean state media reported the country's Policy Department of the National Defense Commission issued a statement saying it is not aware of the country of residence of the hackers. It said is has evidence the Obama administration was involved in the making of "The Interview" and warned that North Korea has already launched a "counteraction."

On Friday, Obama criticized the film's cancellation and warned such digital attacks are something the country will have to adapt to.

Pyongyang has said it can prove it was not involved in the attacks and has warned of "grave consequences" if Washington fails to accept the invitation to join an investigation.

The United States has rejected the offer and is in talks with China to help block cyber attacks from Pyongyang.

A U.S. official has said that both the U.S. and China agree that conducting destructive cyber attacks is outside the norm of a civilized country.

Cyber threats

The request could be problematical because Washington has long said Chinese cyber theft has threatened U.S. defense secrets, hurt American companies' competitiveness and cost American workers jobs.

Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton told reporters Friday that the studio had no choice but to cancel the film's release because American theaters were unwilling to show it.

Lynton did, however, tell interviewers that Sony did not "give in" or surrender to the hackers, and is trying to find some format for people to view the film, possibly through a video-on-demand service or over the Internet.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 18:03

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Croatia Presidential Poll to Go to Runoff

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Zagreb December 28, 2014. Croats were voting for a new head of state on Sunday but none of the four candidates for the largely ceremonial post in the European Union's newest

roatia's presidential election goes to a runoff after no candidate won more than 50 percent in Sunday's first round.

Liberal incumbent Ivo Josipovic, a Social Democrat, finished first with 38.6 percent, followed closely by conservative Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of the HDZ party with about 37 percent.

Two others finished far behind.

President Josipovic and Grabar-Kitarovic will meet again on January 11.

The Croatian presidency is mostly a ceremonial post, but still has a large influence on foreign policy and defense issues.

Croatia and its leftist government have faced criticism for failing to pull the country out of its economic troubles.

The country has been in recession for six years and unemployment is around 20 percent.

Croatia, which joined the European Union in July of 2013, also has one of the weakest economies in the 28-nation bloc.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 18:02

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China Regulator Blasts Alibaba for Illegal Business Deals

A China regulator has accused Alibaba Group Holding Ltd of failing to clean up what it called illegal business deals on the e-commerce titan's platforms, in an unusually strong government criticism of one of the country's biggest private firms.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), in a report published on its website on Wednesday, said many products sold on Alibaba's e-commerce websites and services infringed upon trademarks, were substandard or fake, were banned or endangered public security.

The report was later removed from the main page of the SAIC website.

Alibaba declined to comment on the report. SAIC said the report summarized a July 16, 2014, meeting between government business regulators and Alibaba, and that it had delayed releasing the report to avoid affecting the e-commerce firm's initial public offering, which took place in September.

SAIC did not elaborate. Alibaba, which raised a record-setting $25 billion from its New York IPO, is due to release its quarterly results on Thursday.

"Alibaba Group has long paid insufficient attention to the illegal business activities on Alibaba platforms," the SAIC report said. Alibaba "let that abscess fester until it became a danger", it added.

The report said Alibaba officials, for their part, pledged during the July meeting to take the necessary steps to rectify the problems. The SAIC has a broad supervisory role over online trading platforms and business in China.

Alibaba, which until a few years ago was on a U.S. list of "notorious markets" for intellectual property infringement, has fought hard to tackle counterfeit products to keep its reputation from being tarnished in the run-up to, and after, the IPO, the world's biggest ever listing.

Earlier this month, it agreed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to stop the sale of up to 15 illegal or dangerous toys in the United States. Online fakes, however, remain a big problem in China.

Joe Simone, director of Hong-Kong based intellectual property consultancy SIPS, said the regulator's comments about counterfeit goods were no surprise. "The frankness of the report and its condemning tone are unprecedented and speak volumes about what the SAIC found in its inspection," he added.

In the report, the regulator said Alibaba had misled consumers during sales events, including its popular Nov. 11 annual "Singles Day" shopping extravaganza.

At last year's event, Alibaba reported a surge in sales transactions to a record high of $9 billion, but merchants told Reuters in they felt pressure from Alibaba's Tmall to boost their figures on the day with heavy discounts and delayed recognition of earlier sales.

On Wednesday, Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer shopping website Taobao said it would lodge a complaint with the SAIC over a separate investigation by the regulator that allegedly uncovered a range of counterfeit products on the site.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 17:55

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Texas Judge Lets DACA Live — for Now

FILE - Supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) and others demonstrate outside the U.S. District Court 9th Circuit in Pasadena, Calif., May 15, 2018.

 

A federal judge in Texas has refused to kill the DACA program immediately.

District Judge Andrew Hanen had been expected to end the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program when seven states led by Texas filed suit against DACA on May 1.

That he did not do so Friday gives the almost 700,000 DACA recipients additional time to request renewals, which would keep them in the United States legally for an additional two years.

DACA protects them from deportation and grants them work permits in two-year stints.

President Donald Trump announced a year ago he would end the program and called on Congress to replace it. Congress so far has not been able to agree on a future for DACA.

Judge Hanen said if DACA were causing harm to the states that brought the suit against it, they should have sued six years ago, when President Barack Obama first started it.

“Here, the egg has been scrambled,” he wrote in his ruling. “To try to put it back in the shell with only a preliminary injunction record, and perhaps at great risk to many, does not make sense nor serve the best interests of this country.”

The judge said that after so much time, canceling DACA might cause more harm than the states claim it caused in the first place.

“DACA is a popular program and one that Congress should consider saving," he added.

Hanen joined two other courts that have ruled the program must continue for now and renewals must be permitted.

But unlike the other district court judges, Hanen has a conservative record. In 2015, he ruled a companion program that would have granted temporary legal status to DACA parents — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) — was illegal, effectively blocking it before it could take effect.

And like DAPA, he indicated that in his opinion, DACA is unconstitutional. He gave the seven states three weeks to appeal his ruling to the also-conservative Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Should the states not appeal or the appeals court refuses to overrule Hanen’s decision, opponents of DACA would have to wait until one of the cases in four courts makes it to the Supreme Court.

The delay is good news for DACA recipients who will have more opportunity to request renewals and keep their benefits longer.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 17:41

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US: killing of US troop Monday Was by Afghan policeman

Kabul, Afghanistan

 

The U.S. military says it has determined that the shooting death of an American service member Monday in Afghanistan was a so-called insider attack.

Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Kabul, said in a telephone interview Tuesday the American was killed in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan national police force. Another U.S. service member was wounded; O'Donnell said that person is in stable condition.

When the attack was announced on Monday, the coalition called it an apparent insider attack.

O'Donnell said the Afghan attacker was apprehended and is now in Afghan custody.

Monday's insider attack was the second this summer. One American was killed and two were wounded in a July attack in southern Uruzgan province.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 17:30

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European Club Power Rankings: September 2018

When the first international break of the season arrived, it was a time when every club team was settling in and trying to build momentum. It is hard to deal with these breaks for clubs as some of their crucial players might get injured and it will take some time again to settle back after the break. Anyhow, we can't eliminate it as it is part of football, and the priority for the national team is second to none for any player.

The Champions League, the most sought-after competition in club football, is set to kick off from 18th September and in the first round itself, we are going to see some mouth-watering fixtures, with Liverpool against PSG the most entertaining.

We have updated our list of previous articles and ranked the top-15 teams in Europe at present based on their performances this season.

Let us dive into the rankings.

#15 PSV Eindhoven

PSV Eindhoven is in red-hot form as they maintain their perfect start to the campaign with four wins in a row. The team also qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and will face Barcelona away in their opening fixture.

With a thumping 6-1 victory over Willem II, PSV scored 14 goals already in their first four games and the Dutch youngster Steven Bergwijn impressed in those games, the defending Eredivisie champions deserved the spot at the moment on our list.


#14 Arsenal

Unai Emery's men have breathed a sigh of relief after winning a five-goal thriller against a recently promoted Cardiff City that ensured two wins in a row after a difficult start to the season.

Arsenal strikers Aubameyang and Lacazette finally started clicking under the new system, which is a promising sign for the 'gunners', albeit things looking gloomy on the other end where the Arsenal defence looks shaky and they are the first team to concede against Cardiff.

If Arsenal can reduce their defensive mistakes, they will be given a tough fight for any team.


#13 Inter Milan

In the absence of Icardi due to injury, Nainggolan took responsibility for scoring as he provided the opener against Bologna, Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perisic were also on the score sheet. Inter goalkeeper Handanovic ensured the team's first clean-sheet of the season.

Inter is one of the strongest contenders for the Serie A title, but their major rival will be Juventus, and it remains to be seen how the 'Nerazzurri' play with the 'Bianconeri,' which will decide the fate of its champions.


#12 Borussia Dortmund

A difficult game away saw the 'Black and Yellows' draw with Hannover 96 in which Marcos Reus came close twice with goalkeeper and woodwork denied him on those occasions. This was the first time a goalless draw happened between these two sides.

Lucien Favre, the new manager, is in a transitional period with a team that could take the positives away from the match as they looked solid in the defence.


#11 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham's defeat against Watford saw them drop to eleventh place in our current rankings. They won a difficult fixture against Manchester United and failed to grind out a result against the Hornets.

This result ended their perfect start to the season, presumably a wake-up call for taking anything for granted.

#10 Manchester United

Manchester United ended their troubles with an emphatic victory over Burnley. Mourinho's men displayed a brilliant all-around performance as the midfield pairing Fellaini and Matic in front of the defence gave wing backs Luke Shaw and Valencia to roam high up the pitch and looked entertaining throughout the match.

Romelu Lukaku could have scored a hat-trick but ensured the team victory with a brace in a dramatic encounter where Pogba missed from the spot and Rashford was sent off for head-butting Bardsley.

With this victory, the team re-entered the top-10 positions after missing out the last term.


#9 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid witnessed their first defeat of the season with a defeat against Celta Vigo. It was a poor second-half performance against Celta, where the team conceded two goals and defender Stefan Savic got sent off.

"This is a wake-up call for us. I have no doubt this is the best thing that could happen for us." - Diego Simeone after the defeat.

This result saw Atletico drop from fourth to ninth spot on the list.


#8 Chelsea

Chelsea's fourth win in as many games enabled them to top the league table with Liverpool. The blues continued to impress under the new boss Maurizio Sarri as Pedro and Eden Hazard strikes gave all three points in the match against Bournemouth.

Chelsea moved up one place in our current rankings following their victory.


#7 Liverpool

Liverpool moved one place up to seventh from the last rankings following their victory over Leicester City.

The 'Reds' grind out a victory in a difficult second half after an error from Alisson that didn't prove costly as their defence was solid and maintained their 100 per cent win record for the season going.


#6 Bayern Munich

Bayern has got their Bundesliga title defence off to a superb start defeating Hoffenheim 3-1 and Stuttgart 3-0 in their two matches.

New signing Leon Goretzka opened the scoring for the 'Bavarian' giants with a nice and controlled finish followed by goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller kept Bayern on top of Bundesliga table after defeating Stuttgart.

#5 Juventus

Although Juventus won all three games in Serie A, Ronaldo has yet to score. Juventus worked hard for their victory against Parma in which an early goal from Mandzukic gave them the lead later that former Arsenal man Gervinho equalized for Parma and Matuidi's angled shot gave their lead back and also three points.

It seems Juventus has yet to reach full flow; this saw them dropping from third to fifth on our list.


#4 Paris Saint-Germain

The goals will flow when a team has an array of talented players like Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani and Di Maria, and the same happened in a dramatic game against Nimes.

PSG won the game 4-2 with Mbappe scoring a brilliant solo goal at the end, but it was overshadowed by the red card moments later.

Anyway, with continuous good performances, PSG stood on the fourth spot on our list and after the international break, PSG is going to face their first real test of the season in the Champions League game away to Liverpool.


#3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid's La Liga campaign is off to a cracking start as the team has already changed under Julen Lopetegui with their new passing game that set a record for the highest passes (798 successful passes) against Leganes for Real in La Liga since Opta started collecting the stats.

Real Madrid has won all three games, and in a recent victory against Leganes Bale, Benzema was impressed by scoring with Ramos, also on the score sheet with a goal from the penalty spot.

Real Madrid moved to the third spot with its continuous good performances.


#2 Manchester City

Manchester City emerged victorious by 2-1 in their recent match against Newcastle United which made them sit in the fourth on the table with two points behind the leaders Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford.

Manchester City is so dominant in possession, but they lack ruthlessness in the absence of De Bruyne and Leroy Sane. Raheem Sterling and David Silva both performed brilliantly, but Kyle Walker was the one who saved the day for Manchester City on their 10th anniversary with a stunning 30-yard rocket that would make Aguero and also the Twitterati proud.


#1 Barcelona

No doubt in the top spot, Barcelona is the most deserving team in this week's rankings. They ran riot in the home game against Huesca with a scoreline 8-2 against the minnows.

It was a game of finishing at the highest level, with Messi scoring an unbelievable goal to put on level terms after they went behind early in the third minute. Luis Suarez also joined the party as he opened his account of the season.

In the end, both Suarez and Messi scored two goals each, with Rakitic, Dembele and Alba also registered their names on the scoresheet.

majsdesaint Posted on September 04, 2018 16:04

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KenTrade Partners with Singaporean Distributed Ledger Platform to Trade on the Blockchain.

Global eTrade Services (GeTS) Asia and the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) have announced a partnership that will see Kenya leverage a new open trade blockchain platform to step up efficiency, security, and transparency in its international trade business.

Crimsonlogic’s subsidiary, Global eTrade Services (GeTS), signed a Collaboration Agreement with KenTrade as a partner for the recently launched Open Trade Blockchain (OTB) at the August 2018 Africa Singapore Business Forum. OTB is an inclusive and trusted blockchain platform. It is built for the trade communities to bring together diverse perspectives and co-creation of innovative services.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 16:01

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Over US$8 Million Lost by 2,600 Investors in South Korea’s ‘Treasure Ship’ ICO.

Millions of dollars are estimated to have been sunk by investors seeking a piece of the ‘Russian treasure ship’ ICO fronted by a South Korean ‘treasure-hunting’ firm.

According to South Korean police, it has been tentatively concluded that about 2,600 people invested around 9 billion won or slightly over US$8 million in Shinil Group which claimed to have discovered a shipwreck containing gold worth US$130 billion.

As initially reported by The Korea Herald, investors also poured money on a token known as Shinil Gold Coin which the South Korean firm claimed would be backed by the treasure from the wreckage of the Russian warship known as Dmitrii Donskoi. The Russian warship was run aground off the South Korean coast by her crew following severe damage during combat with the Japanese in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war.

There could be More Victims Out There

Per the police, the investor losses could be larger since the estimates they have come up with are based only on the trading accounts which they have so far managed to track.

“If we find more related accounts or confirm cases in which investors used cash, the amount could go up,” the Sophisticated Crime Investigation Unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

There is also a possibility that the victim count could fall according to the Seoul police: “The number of victims could go down, however, if we exclude cases where the same person transferred money using different accounts.”

As previously reported by CCN, plans by the Shinil Group to conduct an ICO were announced in mid-July after the company posted a video on YouTube alleging that had managed to find the Russian warship’s wreckage containing 200 tons of gold coins and 5,500 boxes of gold bars. Suspicions immediately arose primarily because this was not the first alleged discovery of the Russian warship.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 15:32

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Two women punished for lesbianism.

Two women caught practicing lesbianism in Malaysia has been whipped for what is considered ungodly act in the Asian country.

Pre-Paid Posted on September 04, 2018 15:20

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Victoria's Secret model Devon Windsor recalls coping with rejection in 'Model Squad'.

Personally, I grew up around it,” she said. “I’ve had a ranch house my whole life, so we’d go down there, be in nature and just listen to country music. For me, it’s very relaxing. When I hear it while I’m traveling or wherever I am, even working, it just mellows me out and brings me back home… It’s comforting.”

And her perseverance paid off. In 2014, Windsor got the call that she was going to appear in Victoria’s Secret for the very first time.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 13:23

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Google Dives into the Ethereum Blockchain with its Big Data Analytics Platform

Google BigQuery, Google Cloud’s Petabyte-scale data warehousing solution, has made the Ethereum dataset available to enable the exploration of smart contract analytics, the company announced on a blog.

BigQuery has made it possible to explore all of Ethereum’s historical data. Ethereum’s ETL project on GitHub includes all source code that can be extracted from the blockchain and entered into BigQuery. Google is seeking new contributors and blockchains.

Making Blockchain Data Accessible

The purpose of making the Ethereum blockchain data accessible on Google Cloud is to make all data stored on the blockchain easily accessible. While Ethereum’s software contains APIs for functions that can be accessed randomly, such as checking wallet balances, the API endpoints are not easily accessible for all data stored on the blockchain.

While API endpoints do not enable viewing blockchain data in aggregate, BigQuery’s OLAP features enable such analysis. The blog displayed a chart showing Ether transfers and transaction costs year to date, aggregated by day. Such visualization supports tasks like prioritizing changes in the Ethereum architecture, should an upgrade be needed.

Google Cloud can synchronize the Ethereum blockchain to computers equipped with Parity, an Ethereum client for building applications, the blog noted.

It also extracts data daily from the Ethereum blockchain ledger, such as token transfers, and stores partitioned data for efficient exploration on BigQuery.

In addition, the BigQuery Python library allows clients to query data tables in Kernels, a free in-browser coding platform on the public data science platform Kaggle.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 13:09

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Dogecoin Recovers Losses, Rises More than 18 Percent.

Dogecoin on Monday recorded more than 18 percent gains against the US Dollar.

The DOGE/USD kickstarted the day adding value to its prevailing upside momentum. During the early Asian trading session, the pair had made higher highs towards 0.00572-fiat. It only began to stumble as the session matured and fell towards 0.00498-fiat at the beginning of the European session. Thenceforth, DOGE/USD is consolidating sideways within a narrow trading range.

The Dogethereum announcement impact continues to stay, but there are concerns in the markets as selling sentiment near the intraday highs remain. DOGE/USD has already broken below the ascending trendline formation (depicted in orange) and could continue to head downwards as other top coins gain momentum, including Bitcoin that looks stable and impressive for the past few days.

 

DOGE/USD Targets 100H MA

After breaking below the ascending trendline, DOGE/USD is now just above its 100H MA. The indicator could be treated as a potential bounce-back level by the day traders, which could push the pair back above the prevailing ascending trendline. We can note similar bouncebacks in the RSI and Stochastic indicators during the September 1 and 2 trading sessions. The RSI particularly is hanging near 40, a level that has proven to be a support to many downtrends before.

However, in the event of an extended bearish correction from the 0.00691-peak, we could see DOGE/USD target 0.00445-fiat as its next potential support level. The same line has reversed the bearish correction once on September 2.

As of now, the sentiment in the Dogecoin market remains to be biased towards bulls in near-term.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 12:57

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Crypto Terms and meaning (FAQ)

FAQ

 

Select Base currency
We default in US Dollar, pick one of the 33 currencies listed include CNY, Euro or Bitcoin.

Coin/Detail
Displays the coin name and logo. Click this to see the advanced stats - that's where the real magic of the platform lies...

Price
Last traded price of coin with ~3 minutes (or block time) delay.

Change
Coin Price Change from exactly 24 hours ago.

Volume
Value of all the coin traded in the last 24 hours.

Marketcap
The value of the entire coin supply based upon the last traded price.

ROI%
Annual Return on Investment of masternode of this coin.

Nodes
Lists the number of active masternodes on specified coin network.

# required
Also called collateral. The amount of coins required for a masternode. Always buy 1 more for transaction fees from exchange and internal transaction to the masternode.

MN Worth
The current value of masternode based upon last traded price. It is Price x # required.

syllasasante Posted on September 04, 2018 12:35

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Gujarat: Girl, 17, Attempts Suicide Along With Friend After Being Raped

The accused has been booked for rape and criminal intimidation, say cops. (Representational)

AHMEDABAD: 

A teenage girl, along with her friend, attempted suicide, after she was allegedly raped by the latter's relative near Bodeli in Gujarat's Chhota Udepur district, police said today.

Police said that the 17-year-old girl and her friend tried to end their lives on Thursday by consuming pesticide. The victim has told Bodeli police that two persons, identified as Sajanbhai Naika and Rohit Naika, approached her and her friend while they were on their way to school last Thursday and persuaded the two girls to accompany them to a temple nearby, an official said.

"While the victim sat on Sajanbhai's two-wheeler, her friend rode pillion on Rohit's motorcycle. En route, while Rohit rode ahead with the friend, Sajanbhai took the victim to an isolated spot out of town and raped her at knife-point," the official said.

The accused dropped the girls to Bodeli where they consumed pesticide out of fear, he added. Both of them were rushed to a government hospital in the area and then shifted to Vadodara civil hospital in a critical condition, police said.

"At Vadodara civil hospital, the victim gave a statement to police revealing the incident that took place on Thursday and the subsequent sequence of events following which we registered a case yesterday," the official said.

He said that Sajanbhai has been booked for rape and criminal intimidation under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Rohit Naika has been charged under section 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the IPC, the official said. Both the accused are absconding and efforts were on to nab them, the Bodeli police official said.

https://www.ndtv.com/cities/gujarat-girl-17-attempts-suicide-along-with-friend-after-being-raped-1910628   

 

                                 

ruby Posted on September 04, 2018 11:13

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Football our passion

Champions League fixtures

cwesi essien Posted on September 04, 2018 10:45

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The World’s Deadliest Animal Lives Right Inside Your Home...Protect Yourself INSTANTLY With This Device.

Contrary to popular belief, the world’s deadliest animal doesn’t live isn’t some exotic invertebrate that lives in some remote location.

Neither are they your usual phobia-inducing roster of animals like snakes, sharks, spiders, bats, or alligators.

The world’s deadliest animal is literally everywhere – in fact, thousands of them are living right with you in your home.

Worst is, they’re stealthy, they’re evasive, and they carry a plethora of deadly and debilitating diseases that can easily be credited to hundreds of millions of deaths throughout history.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 09:22

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When Kathy Griffin's jokes crossed the line.

Griffin lost a lot of supporters with her off-colored Tyler Shield's photoshoot showing her holding President Trump’s bloody, decapitated head.

Even her longtime CNN New Year’s Eve co-host Anderson Cooper said the comic went too far. The 56-year-old issued an apology for her ill-planned photo but later backtracked saying on an Australia morning show in August saying, "I’m no longer sorry. The whole outrage was B.S.," she said. "The whole thing got so blown out of proportion."

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 04, 2018 08:53

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4 reasons to buy the Galaxy Note 9 over the Galaxy S9+

1. S Pen

A Galaxy Note just wouldn't be right without the S Pen. Samsung's unique stylus has always been a highlight of the Note series, allowing users to jot down memos and draw with up to 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It's useful off the screen, too; hovering the S Pen over the display creates a floating cursor, which is great for quickly highlighting text and even scrolling through web pages, and the button on the S Pen opens a menu of shortcuts to various apps. With the Note 9, the S Pen has been further improved with a supercapacitor that allows for remote use through Bluetooth. You can use the button on the S Pen to trigger functions from a distance, ranging from taking photos to controlling media playback, and much more.

2. Bigger battery 

The Galaxy S9+ already has a pretty sizable battery at 3500mAh, but it's no match for the Galaxy Note 9's larger 4000mAh cell. While 500mAh may not sound like much at first, the Note 9 has much better endurance than its Galaxy S counterpart, easily lasting through a full day and into the next.

3. Higher storage options

Another big reason to invest the Note 9 is its higher capacity options for internal storage. Sure, you can add a microSD card to either phone, but sometimes even that isn't enough to hold all of your data. There's still a $200 price between 128GB models of the S9+ and Note 9, but the former maxes out at 256GB for $860. The Note 9, on the other hand, starts off at 128GB for $1000, and moves all the way up to a baffling 512GB of internal storage for $1250, doubling the maximum capacity of the S9+. Combine that with a microSD card and you can reach all the way up to a terabyte of storage in the palm of your hand. That storage upgrade also includes a bump from 6 to 8GB of RAM, for what it's worth, though you likely won't notice that increase in most situations…

4. A better DeX experience … That is, unless you launch into DeX. While the majority of consumers may not care about this feature, Samsung has put a lot of focus on improving the DeX desktop experience on the Note 9. You don't have to buy a specific DeX dock anymore; plugging in any USB-C to HDMI adapter will launch the Note 9 into desktop mode. You don't need peripherals like a keyboard or mouse anymore, either — though they're still good to have. The Note 9 can function as a trackpad for the desktop monitor, and you can even use the phone in mirrored mode or as a secondary display. DeX is becoming much more flexible and, in turn, more useful for more people.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 04, 2018 06:50

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Why you need more than a week’s wages to buy condoms in Venezuela.

Mariana Zuniga, a journalist in Caracas, went shopping for condoms and quickly discovered they were in very short supply. When she did eventually track some down – in a shop with only seven boxes left – one packet cost more than 1 million Venezuelan bolívar. Condoms have become an unaffordable luxury for most. Prior to a desperate move from President Nicolás Maduro to hike the national minimum wage 3,500% earlier in August, people were earning just 3 million bolívar per month on the minimum wage.Mariana Zuniga, a journalist in Caracas, went shopping for condoms and quickly discovered they were in very short supply. When she did eventually track some down – in a shop with only seven boxes left – one packet cost more than 1 million Venezuelan bolívar. Condoms have become an unaffordable luxury for most. Prior to a desperate move from President Nicolás Maduro to hike the national minimum wage 3,500% earlier in August, people were earning just 3 million bolívar per month on the minimum wage.

 

 

Nii Sackey Posted on September 04, 2018 06:17

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New Colombian President Supports Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

President Ivan Duque has confessed his love for blockchain and Cryptocurrencies and has promised to lead the country in adopting these important innovations. The new Colombian president has revealed that he is determined to make the country a technology leader in the region. The government has already set up INNOVA group to understand more about new technology. Malta has emerged as a major hub for Cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses due to its Crypto-friendly policies and Colombia has a lot to learn from the small island nation.

 

President Duque To Make Colombia A Technology Center

 

President Duque To Make Colombia A Technology Center

Colombia will not be left behind in the adoption of Cryptocurrency and blockchain as the new technologies become more popular. During a recent ANDICOM conference, President Duque confessed his love for the new technologies and more officials in his government have already shown an interest in the same. Duque, who became president after winning the June 27 run-off elections, is determined to make the country attractive to Crypto-based companies.

 

During ANDICOM, an annual conference held in Colombia, the president made several comments in support of the new technology. The president has a strong financial background. He has worked with various renowned global financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank. In a statement issued in June this year, Senator Antonio Navarro Wolff indicated how Blockchain could be used to improve the lives of the local people, especially when used in the country’s electoral system and public fund management.

 

To attract more tech firms to the country, the government has announced major incentives for information and communication technologies based companies. Upon creating a given number of jobs, such businesses will enjoy tax exemption in their first five years of operation. It is widely viewed that crypto and Blockchain-based companies fall into this category.

 

The New Technology to Help War on Corruption

According to President Ivan Duque, the latest technologies such as Blockchain can play a vital role in the fight against corruption in the country. El Tiempo, a local news outlet quoted the president saying the incorporation of such technologies in the government can eradicate corruption and mismanagement of public funds by keeping people informed about public funds.

 

Malta Cryptocurrency

 

Malta Has Made Major Progress

It’s no secret that Malta has made its name as far as Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology are concerned. The small island nation has become among the few countries that have embraced the new technologies with both hands. Consequently, more blockchain-based companies have relocated to the country. In July this year, the country’s parliament passed three important bills that are believed to have made the country the first one to establish “legal certainty” for the virtual currencies.

 

More countries have seen the potential of blockchain and Cryptocurrency. Therefore, they are determined to put policies in place to attract more companies in the field. The new technologies are expected to provide more employment opportunities in countries where they will be allowed to operate. Moreover, citizens of such countries are expected to enjoy the benefits associated with the innovations.

 

Recently, the Colombian government established INNOVA group to explore more about Blockchain technology. Specifically, the group will educate the government about the technology and assist it to know how it should protect citizens that participate in it. Although most people have hailed the new president for his interest in innovation, business, and technology, there are fears his lack of political experience could adversely affect peace in the country.

http://coinrevolution.com/new-colombian-president-supports-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 04, 2018 05:23

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The messaging app launching its own cryptocurrency

Line is looking to offer incentives to its users via its own cryptocurrency – although Japanese regulators aren’t making it easy…

 

The popular Japanese messaging app company Line has announced that it’s introducing its own cryptocurrency, as it continues to look at ways to recruit new users.

 

The company made the announcement on its webpage, declaring that its first cryptocurrency will go by the name of Link, and that it’ll be exclusively available in the first instance at least on BITBOX. For Japanese users there’s a slight caveat, as residents of the country will be rewarded with LINK Point rather than LINK, which presumably is tied in to the far increased scrutiny Japanese regulators now place on new crypto products.

 

Line, then, is following the idea of using cryptocurrency as a user incentive (Rakuten explored the same idea), and it’ll be using an independently-created blockchain – cunningly entitled LINK Chain – to power the system. The company has already ruled out an ICO (again, Japanese regulations can’t have helped much there, even if it wanted to), and will instead give LINK coins to users who use certain Line services.

 

Cryptocurrency can then be saved up, which can be spent in exchange for upcoming services, goods, benefits and other such incentives.

 

LINK will officially launch in September, and via BITBOX, it’ll be possible to link it (arf) to other cryptocurrencies too. LINK Point, though, will remain restricted until Line is given the nod for cryptocurrency trading and exchanges within Japan itself. For the time being, it sounds like LINK is more enticing to people outside of its country of origin rather than within it.

https://cryptonewsreview.com/the-messaging-app-launching-its-own-cryptocurrency/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 04, 2018 05:17

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Power company puts up its prices just for cryptocurrency miners

An American company is introducing a special rate, to offset the huge electricity demands from crypto miners…

 

A power company in America has seemingly had enough of the electricity drain coming from cryptocurrency miners, and has made changes to its pricing structure as a consequence.

 

Grant County Public Utility District, in Washington, America, has now specifically raised its electricity prices just for crypto miners. The area had seen a boom in those heading their way and setting up mining operations, with the key attraction being the relatively low electricity prices in the region. As such, miners have been setting up extensive computer hardware rigs to mine coins, and the number of enquiries that Grant Country has received about crypto mining operations has shot up.

 

The new rate has thus far been introduced, with local commissioner Tom Flint reportedly telling some cryptocurrency miners that the move has been made to protect local ratepayers. Furthermore, he’s also said to have commented that the cryptocurrency mining industry is ‘risky’ and ‘unregulated’.

 

All of this comes at a time when the return for cryptocurrency miners is in decline, given the fall in crypto prices since the start of the year (hardware board manufacturer Nvidia is getting out of the crypto industry for one, having seen a sharp decline in revenues for its related products this year).

 

Furthermore, there are growing concerns about the environmental impact of mining too, given the rocketing amount of electricity that’s required to power some of the computing rigs involved around the clock.

 

One way to combat that? Put the price of the electricity itself up – and that’s just what’s happened now in Washington…

https://cryptonewsreview.com/power-company-puts-up-its-prices-just-for-cryptocurrency-miners/

Archimedeskay Posted on September 04, 2018 05:13

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Markets Update: While Cryptocurrency Traders See Gains, Shorts Stack Up

ound $10.8B. Over the last 24 hours, BCH markets have seen around $399M in global trade volume. The top trading platforms swapping the most BCH include Lbank 16.47%, Coinex 13.65%, Okex 13.29%, Binance 10%, and Huobi 8.55%. The top currencies paired with BCH today include tether (USDT 46%), BTC (26.7%), ETH (12.4%), USD (8%), and QC (2.4%).      

 

Markets Update: While Cryptocurrency Traders See Gains - Shorts Stack Up

 

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BCH/USD chart on Bitfinex and Bitstamp shows some differences between the BTC/USD chart. For instance, the two SMA trend lines show the longer-term 200 SMA is well above the 100 showing the least resistance is toward the downside. The RSI oscillator for BCH/USD charts is meandering around 62 which indicates some uncertainty after some expected pull back. Looking at order books towards the upside shows from now until $680 there is heavy resistance. Towards the downside, strong support can be seen between now and $610, and at $550.

 

Markets Update: While Cryptocurrency Traders See Gains - Shorts Stack Up

 

The Verdict: Enthusiasts Seem Positive, But Traders Are Betting Against BTC as Shorts Near Last August’s ATH

Cryptocurrency proponents seem optimistic the bearish trend will end soon, based on the sentiment to be observed on social media, Telegram trading chat groups, and forums. However looking at future markets on Bitfinex, Bitmex and others show people are betting heavily against BTC’s price going up. BTC/USD short contracts on Bitfinex are slowly approaching the all-time high (ATH) that took place on August 21.

 

Markets Update: While Cryptocurrency Traders See Gains - Shorts Stack Up

 

There was a small short squeeze that took place the following day but the squeeze was short-lived. Right now there are 33,408 shorts on the exchange and only 25,974 long positions. Again, either two things could happen: either the shorts bring the price down and bears get their way or lots of short positions will be squeezed which is what happened last April.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 04, 2018 03:31

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Pakistan to Get New President Today, Odds in Favour of Imran Khan’s Pick Arif Alvi

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday completed preparations for the election. Polling stations have been set up in all four provincial assemblies in addition to the National Assembly. Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan will serve as the Returning Officer.

 

Islamabad: Pakistani lawmakers are set to choose a new President on Tuesday, an election in which the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party's candidate Arif Alvi is expected to win as the Opposition parties failed to field a joint candidate.

 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday completed preparations for the election. Polling stations have been set up in all four provincial assemblies in addition to the National Assembly. Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan will serve as the Returning Officer.

 

 

Outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain's tenure ends on September 8. He had declined for re-election to a second 5-year term. Apart from Alvi, the Pakistan Peoples Party's Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat-e-Ulema (F) chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman are also in the race.

 

Alvi is a Karachi-based dentist-turned-politician, who reportedly stood by prime minister Imran Khan during his political career. The joint Opposition was to field a single candidate to give tough time to Alvi and but failed to do so. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) last month nominated renowned lawyer and veteran politician Ahsan as a candidate.

 

 

Other opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Aml (MMA) opposed the move. As the differences persisted, they nominated Rehman.

 

The Opposition parties excluding the PPP met in Lahore on Sunday to discuss the presidential elections. Rehman sought the support of PML-N to convince PPP to withdraw its nominee.

 

He asked the PPP to withdraw its candidate and avoid damaging the joint Opposition. 

 

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the division in the ranks of the Opposition will only benefit the ruling party.

 

He also hinted that the PPP could meet incarcerated former premier leader Nawaz Sharif to get his party's support for Ahsan.

 

The PML-N has opposed the candidature of Ahsan as he had used harsh language against Sharif.

 

Since the PTI controls the National Assembly and has majority in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and has support of the ruling Party in Balochistan, its candidate Alvi is in strong position.

 

But the Opposition parties are in majority in Senate. A joint opposition candidate can change the whole game, if he gets the support of some PTI back-benchers or disgruntled lawmakers.

 

At least two PTI lawmakers have recently criticised its leadership for neglecting them.

 

Being the highest elected official, president is a symbol of the federation in Pakistan but exercises powers on the recommendations of the prime minister.

 

The president of Pakistan is elected in a secret ballot by the provincial and national assemblies. There are total 706 assembly members who will elect the president.

 

The ruling party has the highest number of party votes in the electoral college for elections to the office of the president scheduled for September 4.

 

PTI is now the only party with members in all the elected houses. It has a total of 251 votes of its party members in the 706-vote-strong electoral college and its tally goes up to 314 if the votes of members of its allied parties the Balochistan Awami Party, Grand Democratic Alliance, Pakistan Muslim League, Awami Muslim League, Balochistan National Party, BNP-Awami and Jamhoori Watan Party are also counted.

 

On the other hand, the joint tally of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the PPP comes to 260 and if votes of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, Awami National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party are added, it climbs to 321.

 

The MQM had voted for the PTI candidate in the election of prime minister. Of the independent votes, 15 senators had defeated the PML-N candidate in the election of Senate chairman. It is likely that most of these 42 votes will go in favour of Alvi, making him unbeatable.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 04, 2018 02:39

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SHRINK FIBROID WITH ALOE VERA RECIPE

indeed aloe vera is beneficial to treat fibroids. This is an aloe vera recipe that you can try: mix ¼ cup of aloe vera juice with 1 cup of beet juice in a glass. Add some lemon juice and 1-2 tablespoons of un-sulphured blackstrap molasses. Pour enough water to fill a glass. This mixture helps shrink fibroids.

realsurfer76 Posted on September 03, 2018 23:10

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Can Instagram save offline shopping?

The first hint of what was to come was the new colour scheme. At the start of 2018, Rhea’s Café in San Francisco was painted in dull sandy yellow and sage. But by mid-March it was more eye-catching: bubblegum pink and lilac. Soon, long queues of laughing women began to form. Waiting in line they would pose for selfies before going inside, sitting down to plates of buttermilk-fried chicken and perusing the pots, tubes and vials of make-up tastefully arranged in stem glasses and under glass cloches. People paused while applying blusher to admire themselves in scalloped mirrors emblazoned with a slogan: “YOU LOOK GOOD”.

The company responsible was Glossier, a beauty brand aimed at millennial women. Although it is principally an online retailer based in New York, Glossier has built its reputation on elaborate pop-up stores. Last year it unveiled a space in Manhattan decked out in red velvet curtains to coincide with the launch of a new perfume (main image). Visitors were invited to enter a tiny room inside and push a big red button, which opened an aperture in the wall. Then a hand in a red rubber glove would emerge and spray perfume on the visitor’s wrist. One woman filmed her visit and posted it on YouTube. “This is the future,” she said, “and I don’t know what I think of it.” Glossier’s stores, inspired by immersive theatre and performance art, are typical of a new approach to shop design which is changing what shops look like and what they’re for.

Shop design has been getting more imaginative for years. When Aesop, an Australian cosmetics company, began expanding from its base in Melbourne in the early 2000s, it wanted to operate like a chain without looking like one. For each new shop they opened – there are now well over 100 – the company commissioned an original design, which would draw on the culture of the location. Their shop in the Century City district of Los Angeles is covered with blue tiles the exact colour of a David Hockney swimming pool. The walls of their shop downtown are corrugated with the cardboard cores from discarded rolls of fabric, a nod to the garment factories that once dominated the area. Aesop hopes that the sophistication of these designs flatters customers into thinking that the company appreciates their neighbourhood, signals that Aesop products are for people who are aesthetically discerning, and encourages newcomers into the appealing shops, where, perhaps, they will buy an expensive bottle of shampoo.

Now store design is entering a new phase. “In the late Nineties, there was a fear that clicks were going to replace bricks, and everybody was freaking out about it,” says Lara Marrero, the head of retail strategy at Gensler, an international architecture firm. Though online purchasing did cannibalise sales from shops, brands found it difficult to lure customers by digital means alone. “No matter how many emails you send with the recipient’s name on, you can’t personalise a brand online,” Marrero says. “It’s like the difference between writing a letter to somebody and then meeting them in person.” An increasing number of companies are opening shops, not so much to sell things – there’s the internet for that – but to advertise their ethos and to entertain.

Supreme, a cult brand that makes streetwear, recently opened a new shop in Brooklyn. The brick façade has patchy rendering and the remnants of old graffiti. Inside the walls are covered in layers of old paint. Hoodies and T-shirts are in short supply and shunted off to the side. Instead the space is dominated by a wooden skateboarding bowl that resembles an upturned igloo. The atmosphere is ultra-cool and casual. But it is also exclusive: the skate bowl can be used by invitation only and security guards allow a trickle of people inside at any one time. Getting in, says Neil Logan, the New York architect who designed the shop, “has to be a whole planned event”. It seems to have worked. Supreme’s fans queue up to visit, snap a selfie, post it on social media and bask in the reflected glow of the brand – which is valued at $1bn.

Social media have given companies new ways to track how effective their branches are, beyond simply footfall or year-on-year sales. They can see how much attention a store generates on social media and then follow that trail to online sales. “The average influencer”, Marrero says, “can get 26 people to buy something, even if they themselves buy nothing.” But achieving this means giving people an experience worth telling their friends about. Recently Marrero went to the new Glossier shop in Los Angeles, where they have decorated a room to look like the bottom of the Grand Canyon, which has become the selfie room. “There was a queue 30 minutes long of kids waiting to take a photo so they can say been there, done that.” It’s buzz like this that Glossier reckons has driven a 99% increase in its year-on-year sales to April 2018.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 22:26

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The Beckhams Cover The October 2018 Issue Of British Vogue

I’m always especially excited when a piece lands on my desk that really encapsulates everything we stand for here at Vogue. This month, that honour goes to a young model with enormous charisma called Selena Forrest. I’ve known Selena since she exploded onto the fashion scene three years ago, with her distinctive walk and unusual charm.

Earlier this year, I included her in a group of nine new models reshaping the fashion industry for the cover of our May issue. But as the turbulent times we live in continue to prove, a beautiful face and striking sense of cool are only the beginning of the story. When I asked if Selena would write about her sexuality – like many of her generation, she isn’t keen on precise labels, but is an out-and-proud presence in the industry – I was fascinated to discover that she is the third generation of women in her family whose relationships haven’t all been straight. What I love about her piece, "Owning It", is that while her outlook feels very much of today, with all the benefits of this decade’s new language and acceptance of love, in talking about her mother and grandmother’s experiences she shows that sexuality has always been fluid. There is such relevance in her story for women of all ages.

Selena is just one arresting personality in this issue. Eighteen-year-old actress, activist and Harvard student Yara Shahidi takes Vogue to her neighbourhood haunts in Los Angeles to share her world view. Oprah Winfrey tells me she is sure that one day Yara will be President of the United States (who am I to argue with Oprah?). Meanwhile, a host of voices take on the subjects of the moment: Sarah Mower writes a state-of-the-nation report on minimalism, Isabelle Huppert gives her take on the art of ageing and French chic, and Adwoa Aboah discusses her career as a model in the wake of the #metoo movement. I’m also thrilled that this month Kate Moss makes her modelling debut for me as editor-in-chief, in photographer Nick Knight’s fabulous riff on Saturday night (and Sunday morning). Kate also oversaw the styling, bringing her inimitable eye to bear on the best of the season’s evening looks that dazzle at both 6pm and 6am. A true icon at work.

Then, of course, we come to the Beckhams. I am so grateful to Victoria, David and the children for agreeing to allow Vogue to capture the first set of magazine photographs of them together as a family for our very special cover story. As Victoria’s eponymous brand arrives at London Fashion Week for the first time, after a decade showing in New York, we celebrate all that makes Britain’s “second royal family” remarkable. What has been obvious to me in getting to know them over the years is that beyond the paparazzi flashbulbs, masterful personal branding, social-media savvy, and fashion and sporting prowess, lies the day-to-day business of family life. I am so fond of them and, like many in this country, will be looking forward to following their story for years to come.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 22:17

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Fortnite Nintendo Switch Performance Issues to Be Fixed in Version 5.40

Highlights
  • Fortnite on Nintendo Switch suffers from rendering issues
  • Hitches also persist
  • Epic says it's working with Nintendo for a fix

 

Fornite creator Epic Games is working with Nintendo to address performance issues reported on the Nintendo Switch version of the battle royale shooter. According to Epic, Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch suffers from issues where models and environment don't render properly. Furthermore, Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch also suffers from hitches that have gotten worse with each subsequent update. To make matters worse, loading performance has also suffered with each update. While all of these issues make the Nintendo Switch version worse than what it is on Android and iOS, Epic Games says a fix is on the way with Fortnite version 5.40. No surprise considering we felt that Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch is the worst way to play the game. Until then however, a temporary fix involves storing the game on your SD card.

Fortnite Nintendo Switch performance fix

"Installing to an SD card makes a significant difference to building load times. If you’re seeing issues with buildings or skins not loading quickly, we recommend you install the game to system storage rather than an SD card as a workaround. To do this, archive the game and re-download it with the SD card removed," Epic Games claims on its Trello board (via Nintendo Everything).

Previously, Epic detailed Fortnite’s newly-announced ‘High Stakes’ event on Sunday, which includes a limited-time mode called Getaway, a new outfit known as Wild Card, and several challenges. In this mode players will team up with others to find a 'jewel' that’s stored in a safe somewhere on the map. Once they pick it up, they must get to a van – and get away – to finish the job, while battling opponents who are tasked with stopping them.

The Wild Card outfit has four different face masks, one for each member of the getaway team. The briefcase in question is a back bling, and there’s also a new glider made up of a bank vault, bags of cash, and gold bars and coins. The upcoming event will also bring a new tool in the 'Grappler', which will allow Fortnite players to cover distances faster.


If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.

 

 

 

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 22:09

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Latest programming technologies of 2018

Now enhance and drive your business operation even more effectively and efficiently by coping with these programming trends.

 

Technology has made this world a synchronized global village. In this fast -changing world of technology, the pace of evolution is especially quick when it comes to field of software development. Out of all fields of information technology, software development is the most dynamic and advancing. Today many software development companies in the industry are striving to keep them up to date in the market in order to make survival possible.

With the world of technology accelerating at a great speed, a number of popular programming technologies might go obsolete within the coming few years. The arena of software development services will not be an exception to this upheaval of current technologies and methodologies. All these programming methodologies will be now overshadowed by newer trends which deliver faster development and wider capabilities. The change in these programming trends is driven by various factors including increased customisation, better efficiency and ease of use. Here are the top programming trends of 2018 likely to be followed by the mobile app developers in order to use the multiple technologies, which gives them the quick and easy solutions in building a software.


 

 


Sneak of Java:

Java is the most popular programming language of present times for many mobile app development companies though it has been tweaked a lot over the past fifteen years to smoother it out as well as improve its efficiency. Being a most deployed software for developing native Android applications, Java is setting its own trend that might continue this year as well. It not only provides unmatched readability and simplicity but also keeps the legacy Java applications functional and more efficient to the users as well as for developers.

Increased Usage of PHP:

PHP- a most popular tool in the world of web development as an open source web programming language, is gaining a strong hold in the domain of website development. PHP is the most used and most important tool for web development industry. It has become so common to use PHP as a web developing tool that you will find it almost anywhere in this busy internet world. This trending programming language in 2018 has been used extensively by the mobile app developers for developing a large number of websites.

Emergence of Dockers:

Dockers- an open source tool, is mostly used by the mobile app developers. Dockers is nothing but a container, which is used to run your applications anywhere after development. It enables virtualization for building and shipping software applications. Now it is becoming a prime trend of programming, because of its small size, better functionality and effective deployment


 

 


Ruby on the rails programming:

Ruby on Rails Technology is an emerging and most widely used technology in the web development world with its tremendous surge in the coming years. It is actually an OOP or object-oriented programming language, which is similar to the Perland Python. It is different from other web development frameworks due to its user-friendly and amazing speed, cost effectiveness, customisations and flexible features.

Spark:

Spark- an upcoming trend in the 2018 IT industry, is widely used for processing both structured and non -structured data. Spark framework is actually a simple Java web framework where developers don't have to know XML and allows very fast and rapid development. Moreover, it is somehow similar to Hadoop and also popular because of its ease of use, simple and straightforward architecture.

Android Programming:

Android programming is a fast- emerging platform in the technology era and has a really fast rising mobile market. It is an amazing open operating system that invites hardware and software developers to work on it in an absolutely free atmosphere. The openness of the Android operating system enhances the creativity of developers with new trends, technologies and method in the next digital year 2018. Because of its openness of the software, it is easy to modify the programming according to the preferences of the user and the new technologies.

Conclusion:

All the above-mentioned programming trends are about to rule the software development world in the upcoming year of 21st century. Now enhance and drive your business operation even more effectively and efficiently by coping with these programming trends.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 21:57

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BA passengers are being shunted onto a budget Belgian airline this week

Passengers booked to fly British Airways to Cairo this week will find themselves boarding not one of the most advanced aircraft on the planet but instead a plane belonging to a Belgian budget airline.

The UK flag carrier is continuing to suffer from engine issues on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes, normally used on the five-hour route to the Egyptian capital, and so has been forced to “wet-lease” an aircraft and its crew from Air Belgium, a Brussels-based airline with just four planes to its name, all Airbus A340s and all just over 10 years old.

BA said outbound flights from Heathrow on September 3-5 and in-bound on September 4-6 will be affected. Would-be customers are alerted to the change by an “operated by Air Belgium for British Airways” note on its website underneath the flight details.

Air Belgium began operating its A340s this summer Credit: Air Belgium 

 

Air Belgium, which only began operations in June this year and does not yet have a Skytrax rating, is based in Brussels’ South Charleroi airport and flies only to Hong Kong. Its economy fares include checked baggage but passengers must pay extra for seat reservations or a “comfort kit”. It has previously operated flights for Air France and Suriname Airways.

A spokesperson for British Airways said it was in touch with customers affected and had offered them “a range of options” should they not wish to travel, adding: “We’re doing everything we can to make sure our customers travel as planned, in light of continuing issues with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines which are affecting many airlines around the world. In order to fly as many customers as possible on their original dates of travel, we have leased an aircraft from Air Belgium.”

A British Airways 787 Dreamliner Credit: British airways 

BA is one of a number of airlines around the world to have its flights affected by ongoing issues with the Trent 1000 engines on the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft.

It has previously “wet-leased” aircraft - when one airline rents a plane and its crew from another or a specialist charter airline - from Qatar Airways, one of its Oneworld partners, and Titan Airways, required to cover some of the extra slots at Gatwick the airline acquired when Monarch went bust.

Telegraph Travel writer Claire Wrathall was caught unawares on a flight to Sicily in July that was wet-leased to Titan Airways at the last minute.

 

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 21:41

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US President Donald Trump to visit Ireland in November

The US President Donald Trump will visit Ireland in November, the White House has announced. It will be the first visit to the island by the US President since his election in 2016. Politicians and activists have said they will be holding a protest during the visit. Mr Trump will travel to Paris to for commemorations on November 11 marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. It is unclear if he will travel to Northern Ireland as part of the trip. Opposition to the visit has been expressed, with the leader of the Labour Party in the Republic of Ireland, Brendan Howlin, saying Mr Trump is "no friend of democracy or human rights". He said his party would strongly oppose the visit.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 03, 2018 21:36

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How Venezuela Came to Be One of the Biggest Markets for Crypto in the World

Venezuela has been living with hyperinflation since at least 2014. Its national currency — the Venezuelan bolívar — hit an official inflation rate of 57.3 percent in February 2014, while independent currency analysts were reporting that, by that September, the real inflation rate had already topped 100 percent. In other words, the bolívar (VEF) was depreciating rapidly in value, and ordinary Venezuelans needed something to fill the void it had left as a one-time viable means of exchange.

By definition, hyperinflation is a state in which, as described by the International Accounting Standards Board, "the general population prefers to keep its wealth in non-monetary assets or in a relatively stable foreign currency." However, due to capital controls that had been in place since 2003, Venezuelans were restricted in their ability to obtain U.S. dollars or any other foreign currency. They had no freely accessible outlet for their devalued VEF, with the Venezuelan economy expected to contract in 2015 by 1 percent, according to the IMF.

It was into this economic quagmire that Bitcoin and altcoins (particularly Dash) entered, providing struggling Venezuelans with stores of value and mediums of exchange they could rely upon more than the nosediving bolívar. Ever since 2014 and the onset of hyperinflation, they've seen marked increases in ownership and trading, with impressive rises being witnessed in the past few months, as Venezuelan inflation topped an eye-watering 46,000 percent and as the IMF predicted an inflation rate of 1,000,000 percent by the end of 2018.

However, as the following will show, the meteoric rise of crypto in Venezuela doesn't simply result from the desire to avoid the worst effects of hyperinflation. It also stems from the proactive attempts certain cryptocurrencies have made to establish themselves within Venezuela, as well as from a desire among the population to resist and circumvent an authoritarian government, which has used capital controls as one way of starving likely opponents of funding.

Bitcoin growth

As an indication of the extent to which crypto usage has grown in Venezuela, it's worth looking at the trading charts provided by the Coin Dance website for the LocalBitcoins exchange, which enables peer-to-peer trades between any two parties anywhere in the world.

In November 2013, around the time Venezuela had an official — i.e., massaged — inflation rate of 'just' 43 percent, a grand total of two Bitcoin were traded for VEF on the LocalBitcoins exchange. This modest volume, however, quickly rose almost as soon as the country firmly entered hyperinflation territory, with the peak for 2014 being the 64 Bitcoin traded in December, at a time when the BTC value had sunk to as low as $311 — after having stood at around $932 at the beginning of the year. It was at this time that inflation was at 63 percent, according to the government, and given that the country had been caught in hyperinflation for well over a year, many groups and individuals were beginning to recognize the vital role crypto could play in giving Venezuelans a lifeline.

One Venezuelan Bitcoin trader told Reuters in October of that year:

It was into this economic quagmire that Bitcoin and altcoins (particularly Dash) entered, providing struggling Venezuelans with stores of value and mediums of exchange they could rely upon more than the nosediving bolívar. Ever since 2014 and the onset of hyperinflation, they've seen marked increases in ownership and trading, with impressive rises being witnessed in the past few months, as Venezuelan inflation topped an eye-watering 46,000 percent and as the IMF predicted an inflation rate of 1,000,000 percent by the end of 2018.

However, as the following will show, the meteoric rise of crypto in Venezuela doesn't simply result from the desire to avoid the worst effects of hyperinflation. It also stems from the proactive attempts certain cryptocurrencies have made to establish themselves within Venezuela, as well as from a desire among the population to resist and circumvent an authoritarian government, which has used capital controls as one way of starving likely opponents of funding.

Bitcoin growth

As an indication of the extent to which crypto usage has grown in Venezuela, it's worth looking at the trading charts provided by the Coin Dance website for the LocalBitcoins exchange, which enables peer-to-peer trades between any two parties anywhere in the world.

In November 2013, around the time Venezuela had an official — i.e., massaged — inflation rate of 'just' 43 percent, a grand total of two Bitcoin were traded for VEF on the LocalBitcoins exchange. This modest volume, however, quickly rose almost as soon as the country firmly entered hyperinflation territory, with the peak for 2014 being the 64 Bitcoin traded in December, at a time when the BTC value had sunk to as low as $311 — after having stood at around $932 at the beginning of the year. It was at this time that inflation was at 63 percent, according to the government, and given that the country had been caught in hyperinflation for well over a year, many groups and individuals were beginning to recognize the vital role crypto could play in giving Venezuelans a lifeline.

One Venezuelan Bitcoin trader told Reuters in October of that year:

"Even though Bitcoin is volatile, it’s still safer than the national currency."

While Gerardo Mogollon, a business professor at the University of Tachira, told the news agency:

"I’m teaching people to use Bitcoin to bypass the exchange controls."  

 

2015 was an even better year for Bitcoin, despite — or rather because of — it being a worse year for VEF and for Venezuelans. Annual inflation reached as high as 335 percent in June 2015, according to currency economist Steve Hanke, while 319 Bitcoin were traded on LocalBitcoins for VEF in the month of February alone. This figure excludes volumes on Venezuelan exchanges such as Surbitcoin, which in 2015, was reported by Bitcoin Venezuela as being the "second largest in transaction volume in Latin America after Brazil." It also pales in comparison to the number of Bitcoin traded over the entire year, which — at 2059 — was 983 percent bigger than 2014's total (190) and was worth around $1,281,223 (based on a crude average annual price for Bitcoin of $622).

In 2016, the total number of Bitcoin traded via LocalBitcoins was 8624, a 318.8 percent increase over the previous year that coincided with Venezuela's annual inflation rate reaching as high as 500 percent. In 2017, the total number of BTC traded on LocalBitcoins rose again, ramping up to 21,556 — a 150 percent increase over 2016's total. Given that Bitcoin itself became more expensive in 2017 — rising to $19,000 in December — this expansion offers a stark indication of just how sought-after Bitcoin and crypto had become, as inflation surged to yet another peak of 1,369 percent, according to figures released by the opposition-led Venezuelan parliament.

Because of Venezuela's economic misery, many locals had begun finding it difficult even to secure enough food to eat, as the wages they were paid (in VEF) increasingly dwindled in value. "It’s like an obstacle course. You have to find money to buy food, a place to buy it and then get there in time," one Venezuelan told the Guardian in August 2017. Meanwhile, the percentage of children suffering from acute malnourishment sneaked from eight percent in the previous October to 12 percent that July. "They are getting younger, and the cases more serious," explained Susana Raffalli, the leader of a Caritas project aimed at combating youth malnutrition in the country.

With most Venezuelans going to bed on an empty stomach, the need to source alternative currencies was acutely felt by the population, not least because the national poverty rate had climbed from 48 percent in 2014 to 82 percent in 2016, and then 87 percent in 2017. And it's likely to climb yet again this year, given the quintuple-digit inflation currently in motion — something which has unsurprisingly kept the Bitcoin-buying rate noticeably high.

According to Coin Dance, 14,886 Bitcoin have been purchased with VEF on LocalBitcoins between the beginning of 2018 and Aug. 18. This is almost 1,000 fewer than the 15,868 BTC purchased over the same period last year, yet there has been a distinct upswing in trade volumes over the past month — just as the country's economic crisis has reached a new fever pitch, after the government devalued the bolívar by 95 percent in August. Already, before figures for the final week of August are even available, the total number of Bitcoin traded on LocalBitcoins has reached 2,532, in contrast to the 1,558 traded for all of August in 2017.

This could presage an accelerated rise as Venezuela sees out the rest of the year. Either way, trade volumes are high, and Bitcoin's reputation as an alternative to the bolívar is firmly cemented in the eyes of many Venezuelans. "Luckily, I've always been a fan of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology," wrote one Venezuelan Bitcoin user in a Reddit AMA from July:

"I spend my spare time teaching people how to change their bolivares to crypto so the inflation doesn't wreck their money. So far, I've helped many [businesses][…] i.e, restaurant owners who try to sell dishes every day and the next when they're trying to buy some meat there's no profit (sometimes they can't even afford it), because inflation hits us so hard. Right now the inflation is 1.000.000 percent++. I'm looking forward to a plan [to] help people get food through crypto […] I'm pretty much focused on training on Bitcoin use and saving [whomever] I can from hyperinflation, I believe Bitcoin is the solution!"

Dash

This linear picture of Bitcoin's rise is, however, complicated by three simple facts: a) it's not the only cryptocurrency available to Venezuelans, b) its growth was hindered by a government crackdown on Bitcoin mining between March 2016 and January 2018, and c) it has suffered (particularly in 2017) from relatively high transaction fees and confirmation times. As a result, Venezuelans have increasingly dabbled in other coins as their economic crisis has unfolded, including Ethereum and Zcash.

However, it's Dash that's leading the charge as the most popular altcoin — and possibly the most popular cryptocurrency.

In August 2016, Dash was added as a tradable cryptocurrency to the Caracas-based Cryptobuyer exchange, which was reporting "soaring demand" for cryptocurrencies at the time. "Our partnership with Dash is valuable," explained Cryptobuyer CEO Jorge Farias in a press release, "especially for customers using unstable fiat currencies, and the perfect example can be found in Venezuela right now. Alternatives for accessing money without traditional banks are gaining traction fast, and we are incredibly confident that Dash will flourish in this economy."

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find websites that offer specific volume data on the DASH/VEF market, so there's no objective and publicly available reading of just how quickly Dash usage has expanded since the end of 2016, or of how it compares to Bitcoin volume. Nonetheless, the indications that are available suggest that it has become enviably popular since 2016, with the Dash Core Group announcing on Aug. 22 that Venezuela was the cryptocurrency's second biggest market, after the United States.

And as Dash Core's CEO, Ryan Taylor, told Cointelegraph, this success is once again partly a result of Venezuela's economic and monetary difficulties:

"We’ve found that regions of high inflation rates and industries in which cash handling or credit card chargeback rates are high have been most excited to adopt the technology. For us, we focus on those segments in which cryptocurrency can offer the most benefit, and that’s one of the reasons growth in acceptance is so high."

In fact, Dash's superiority over Bitcoin, in terms of transaction fees and confirmation times, is such that the cryptocurrency is now reportedly the most popular in Venezuela among merchants — or at least this is what Dash claimed in a July article, without providing comparative figures. At the very least, Ryan Taylor states that over 800 merchants in Venezuela now accept Dash, and while there isn't an authoritative source for the number of merchants now accepting Bitcoin, Coinmap currently lists a little over 160 merchants in the country that accept BTC (as reported to the website by users, so the actual number may be slightly larger).

Ryan Taylor explains Dash's greater popularity in terms of its greater cost-effectiveness in relation to Bitcoin:

"From the perspective of merchants and businesses, Bitcoin has many uses, including as a means of payment [for] online purchases and for transferring money cross-border at low cost. However, Bitcoin transactions are not instant, which means they are not useful for live transactions such as at a register or for online transactions that customers wouldn’t want to wait [for] — such as a digital media purchase. Bitcoin is also too expensive for micro transactions."  

Yet, what's interesting about Dash's rise to prominence isn't simply that it has benefitted from user friendliness and from rampant hyperinflation, but that it has made a concerted effort to drive and encourage its adoption throughout Venezuela. Distinguishing it from other coins, 10 percent of its block rewards go to a treasury fund that allocates finances to projects voted for by Dash master nodes. As a result, the Dash Core Group has been able to invest around $1 million of such funding to promote and raise awareness of Dash in Venezuela, with this funding going toward such things as billboard ads and sales representatives. For example, Dash Caracas — the self-proclaimed first Dash community in Venezuela — began running educational conferences in September 2017, which now accommodate around a thousand attendees. Its leader Eugenia Alcalá Sucre said last September:

"We had a team receiving the attendees and giving them a folder with sheets to take notes, a pen, [instructions] to set up their Dash Wallets and paper wallets with $10 in Dash. Then they got into the hall, where they watched a welcome video, where they also got instructions for their wallets (phone and paper)."  

Such evangelism is clearly having an effect on Dash adoption rates, and it's also something that Bitcoin advocates have been doing in Venezuela, even if Bitcoin's lack of a "Core Group" and a treasury has resulted in its propagation being less unified or organized.

Clearly, with Bitcoin and Dash advocates providing support to Venezuelans just when there's a vacuum of hope and help, it's little wonder that the cryptocurrencies have risen to the heights they've witnessed so far in 2018. Not only have these and other cryptocurrencies been in the right place at the right time in Venezuelan history, but they've positioned and promoted themselves in a way that maximizes the advantage they've reaped from the country's situation. Put differently, crypto's rise in Venezuela isn't just about inflation or capital controls, but also about entrepreneurship and evangelism.

Petro and the government

And funnily enough, cryptocurrencies in Venezuela haven't been boosted solely by crypto groups, but also by the Venezuelan government itself — despite the hard line it had initially taken on Bitcoin miners. Given the economic meltdown the nation was going through, and given that cryptocurrency had already enjoyed such an impressive ascendancy in the preceding months and years, the government announced in early December 2017 that it would issue its own oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro. While the Petro has been dissected and denounced by crypto experts and the Venezuelan opposition alike, it has at least had the inadvertent effect of providing a more favorable environment for non-centralized coins to flourish.

To begin with, its creation resulted in the Venezuelan government declaring in January that crypto mining was "perfectly legal," despite having prosecuted miners for over a year prior to that. From that point onward, those "people who have been victims of seizures and arrests in previous years will have charges dismissed," according to the nation's new cryptocurrency superintendent, Carlos Vargas. And since then, cryptocurrency mining appears to have continued increasing its popularity, with a May Bloomberg article's headline — perhaps not without some exaggeration — reading, "There’s a Crypto-Mining Machine in Every Home in Caracas."

And as the government prepared for the Petro's ICO and eventual release into circulation, it launched free cryptocurrency lessons for the Venezuelan population. Beginning from the end of February, Venezuelans were able to register at the Granja Laboratorio Petro in Caracas for a course that would, according to instructors, cost them between $500 and $800 anywhere else in the world and that would instruct them on how to "buy, sell and mine digital currencies." One teacher of the course, Carmen Salvador, told a local news outlet that the course was intended to reach the widest possible audience:

"Many of our young people here find it impossible to have this amount of resources, [but] the Venezuelan state is guaranteeing that all can participate through these plans."  

There are no statistics available on the number of enrollments in this course, but in view of how popular cryptocurrency had already become among Venezuelans, it's reasonable to assume that signup was relatively high. So, even if the government may have continued to put up some resistance toward cryptocurrencies that weren't the Petro (e.g., closing two crypto exchanges in April, although apparently more for disseminating 'false information' about the VEF exchange rate than for permitting trades in crypto), its desire to cultivate a favorable social attitude toward the Petro most likely had the collateral effect of increasing the profile of Bitcoin, Dash, Zcash and Ethereum even further.

And on the subject of inadvertent effects, there's a direct — though unquantifiable — link between the Venezuelan government's authoritarian tendencies and the attraction cryptocurrency holds for many locals. For one, the imposition of capital controls in 2003 was in part a move by then-President Hugo Chávez to cut off potential funding from any of his opponents who might be tempted to organize a repeat of the attempted coup d'état of 2002, or a repeat of the anti-government strike that precipitated it. As he declared during a televised address announcing the controls, "Not one dollar for coup-mongers."

Venezuelan business leaders were quick to denounce the controls, with the then-leader of the Federation of Chambers of Industry & Commerce, Carlos Ferna?ndez, telling that the "exchange control is an instrument of repression. When he says that they will not give dollars to businesses that participated in the strike, this signifies that 80 percent of the companies would not receive dollars."

In the face of such an "instrument of repression," those Venezuelans wanting to resist or subvert the political order had to find an alternative monetary framework for surviving, and as all of the foregoing implies, they found cryptocurrency. Caracas-based programmer John Villar told Reuters in late 2014:

"Bitcoin is a way of rebelling against the system."  

That said, there's no indication that cryptocurrency is being used to fund actual opposition groups, while Villar went on to tell Business Insider in December 2017 that cryptocurrency in Venezuela "is not a matter of politics. This is a matter of survival." However, when Bitcoin is being accepted by Venezuelan businesses (and even being used to pay employees in a few cases), and when business has often been 'the opposition' in Venezuela in recent years, there's undoubtedly an underlying political edge to their use of crypto.

The future

As the situation in Venezuela worsens, with President Maduro's approval rating continuing its plunge from 55 percent in 2013 to around 20 percent today, it's only likely that more businesses and individuals will turn to cryptocurrency. Since the beginning of this year, there has already been a 344.6 percent rise in the number of Bitcoin traded for Venezuelan bolívars on the LocalBitcoins exchange, a percentage made even more impressive by the fact that it disregards other exchanges and other cryptocurrencies — such as Dash. Seeing as how the recent devaluation of the bolívar is unlikely to make a positive difference in Venezuela's economic situation, it's highly probable that this situation will deteriorate further, leaving people with even fewer options for survival. In turn, cryptocurrencies will be traded even more heavily.

Although it's likely that much of the Venezuelan trade in cryptocurrencies up until now has come from the country's middle classes — i.e., the 60 percent of the population with internet access, as well as those who know how to mine and program — the near future may see a wider distribution of people involving themselves in crypto. There's little question that Dash-, Bitcoin- and other crypto-evangelists will continue doggedly raising awareness among Venezuelans about the benefits of cryptocurrencies. Their efforts have been highly fruitful so far, providing an important model that they and other currencies can follow if — or when — another nation is unfortunate enough to experience something akin to Venezuela’s crisis. And for as long as the Venezuelan government continues to impose capital controls (which have been one of the main factors in hyperinflation, among others), there's nothing to suggest they won't continue bearing fruit in the coming months and years.

 

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 21:24

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In a Mixed Crypto Market, Bitcoin Inches Upward but Ethereum Remains Shy of $300

Monday, September 3: crypto markets are mixed today, with scattered corrections on a minor scale, as Coin360 data shows.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at around $7,255 at press time, down a fraction of a percent on the day to consolidate its freshly won gains, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Having reclaimed the $7,000 mark August 31, the top coin has been solidly rising to a yet higher price point, now pushing $7,300. Bitcoin is trading $525 higher than its value at the start of its weekly chart, bringing its 7-day gains to a strong 8.32 percent. On the month, Bitcoin is now also in the green, up 3.62 percent.

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $287 at press time, seeing a 2.27 percent loss on the day. After a volatile week, the top altcoin yesterday came tantalizingly close to reclaiming the $300 price point — soaring as high as $298.32 — but has today failed to break through.

Last week’s reports that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) plans to launch ETH futures by the end of 2018 hardly budged the asset’s price, although Ethereum has nonetheless seen some growth over a week of market-wide green. On its weekly chart, Ethereum is now up a solid 5.15 percent, with monthly losses closed down to 29.86 percent.

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap are mostly seeing minor percentage changes — both green and red — of within a 1-2 percent range. The exception is Monero (XMR), now ranked 10th by market cap, which has soared 8.34 percent on the day to trade at $130.63 at press time. After a brief dip to as low as $97 August 30, Monero has seen a strong, if jagged, ascent over the past several days.

Monero’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has more or less consolidated its major September gains, down just 2.36 percent on the day to trade around $624 at press time. After a stagnant week circling the $560 range, BCH saw a major boost in price performance following its successful stress test September 1.

Monero’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has more or less consolidated its major September gains, down just 2.36 percent on the day to trade around $624 at press time. After a stagnant week circling the $560 range, BCH saw a major boost in price performance following its successful stress test September 1.

Monero’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has more or less consolidated its major September gains, down just 2.36 percent on the day to trade around $624 at press time. After a stagnant week circling the $560 range, BCH saw a major boost in price performance following its successful stress test September 1.

Bitcoin Cash’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Dogecoin (DOGE) has kicked back against yesterday’s hefty correction, during which it lost close to 20 percent on the day. DOGE is today up 2.2 percent and is trading around $0.0051 at press time.

Since August 30, the altcoin has skyrocketed upwards, and even after yesterday’s dent has sealed a 112 percent gain on its weekly chart. Crypto commentators have attributed DOGE’s startling price performance to an impending infrastructure development for a project dubbed Dogethereum, the demo for which is set to take place Sept. 5.

Dogecoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $236.5 billion at press time, up almost $18 billion on its weekly chart.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Today, September 3, iPR Daily — a media outlet specializing in intellectual property — released a report that revealed that China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and tech conglomerate IBM top the global rankings for filings of blockchain-related patents to date. The report further showed that  Mastercard, Bank of America, and China’s central bank, People's Bank of China (PBoC), are all global leaders in patenting blockchain-related innovations.

 

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 21:05

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Samsung is shaking up its mid-range smartphone lineup to attract more millennials

September 3rd, 2018 at 4:19 PM

Samsung has a plan to get more millennials interested in its handsets, a new strategy that appears born partly out of a global slowdown in smartphone sales with rivals like Huawei and Apple nipping at Samsung’s heels.

 

DJ Koh, the CEO of Samsung’s mobile business, has told CNBC the crux of the new strategy is this: Bring new cutting-edge technology to the South Korea-based company’s cheaper phone models, like those in its Galaxy A series, first. Before the tech ends up in the company’s much pricier flagship models later.

 

 

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This plan to shakeup the middle range of its smartphone lineup is not just being talked about as some kind of a future possibility inside the company. Indeed, the first devices under this new strategy are coming later this year, according to CNBC.

 

“In the past, I brought the new technology and differentiation to the flagship model and then moved to the mid-end,” Koh told the network. “But I have changed my strategy from this year to bring technology and differentiation points starting from the mid-end … So we are very much focusing on millennials who cannot afford the flagship. But how can I deliver meaningful innovation to our millennials? That’s the reason I’m trying to differentiate the mid-section.”

 

We’ve reported a fair bit now on the global slowdown in smartphone sales, which is arguably stinging Samsung more than most as it’s the top handset maker as ranked by sales. In the second quarter, though, mobile sales at Samsung were down 20 percent year-over-year, with the company blaming a tepid response to the Galaxy S9.

 

Meantime, Huawei has come out strong, not only gaining market share and outpacing Apple but making clear its ambition is to eventually dethrone Samsung, possibly as soon as next year. “Despite a global slowdown for smartphones,” according to CNBC, “some markets like India and other countries in Southeast Asia are growing, but consumers there are after cheaper, but still high-spec, handsets. That’s the market that Samsung is trying to go after with its upcoming device.”

 

Koh apparently changed up Samsung’s mobile research and development organization, as well as its product planning efforts, earlier this year in anticipation of this strategy shift. At this point, he’s also thinking the newer mid-priced handsets might be released more often than once a year.

 

While that shift is under way, the company still has a chance to wow customers at the higher end, a chance that’s coming up very soon. We’re already on record as raving about the upcoming Galaxy S10, which we’ve called “the most exciting smartphone Samsung has released in years.” So here’s Samsung trying to attract very different customers, all at once. More budget-minded, younger buyers who can’t afford flagships, and then customers who want nothing but the latest and greatest, like the S10 with its new design, new fingerprint sensor, triple-lens camera and so much more.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 03, 2018 21:01

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Bank crisis: Over 2000 security men of 5 dead banks sacked

- Consolidated Bank Ghana has laid off 2000 security guards in its restructuring program

 

- Reports show the bank has cancelled the contract with ACS Security Services for Vizico Security Company Limited

 

- The new receiver of all five collapsed banks has so far sacked 1700 workers

 

Close to 2000 security personnel of all recently collapsed local banks have lost their jobs. This follows the restructuring program by the new receiver - Consolidated bank of Ghana.

 

This follows a report from MyNewsGH.com which show that these officers under ACS Security Services Limited were sacked last Friday, August 31, 2018, after managers of Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) revoked the contract of the security company.

 

"In the case of the defunct Beige Bank, ACS Security Services Limited deployed 4 security guards to each of the over 90 branches with two operating in the day and the others for night and swap simultaneously," the portal further reported.

 

READ ALSO: Massive layoffs shake some major companies in Ghana

 

Meanwhile, the new bank has rather employed the services of Vizico Security Company Limited as the new service provider.

 

The trend of layoffs in recent times

 

The third quarter of 2018 has seen massive layoffs especially in the private sector. YEN.com.gh has gathered that major firms, especially media establishments, are either slashing down salaries of workers or laying them off completely.

 

BXC Company

 

Already, management of energy supply firm, BXC Company says at least 200 workers of the company will be sacked in the coming days.

 

The human resource manager of the company, Anastasia Ankrah, has explained that the massive layoffs is because of the distribution system lose reduction agreement by state-owned power distributor Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) under the concession arrangement.

 

“So basically out of the 600 workers, 400 workers have been laid off. The 200 that are left are still being paid but by September they’ll also be laid off. The reason being that the 400, no job presently for them to do. The 200 that are even left we have very few jobs on hand now to do, and they’re being paid till the end of September when we will terminate their employment based on the letter we received from the lawyers of ECG,” she revealed.

 

Vodafone

 

The Herald newspaper has claimed that management of Vodafone is issuing out dismissal letters to workers as it allegedly prepares to sell the telecom to yet another firm.

 

The Herald Newspaper claims the huge number of layoff, became necessary because they want the company’s balance sheets to look good to the potential buyers. The number of people going home it is said, constitute 40 percent of Vodafone’s total number of employees in the country.

 

EIB network

 

YEN.com.gh has learned through close sources at EIB network that the salaries of workers and lead presenters have been slashed by half as the media company struggles to stay afloat its financial woes. Resignations have already started with the latest being the presenter for the morning show, Baisiwa Dowuona-Hammond.

 

TV Africa

 

All programs on TV Africa have been suspended effective Monday, September 3rd. This report, coming from Star FM, claims that the rebranded television station is struggling with its finances and also not able to pay salaries of workers. The owner of the business has told senior management members that he is unable to pay workers going forward.

 

This development has happened just two years ago after a private financial holding company, the Ideal Groupe, acquired a majority share in the TV station after 13 years of operation under the management of Kwaw Ansah.

 

GN Media

 

YEN.com.gh has also learned that Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s GN media a subsidiary of his Groupe Nduom, has laid off about 30 workers. A letter signed by the head of recruitment and selection at the GN media subsidiary thanked workers for their contribution to the company and also further offered them their one month salary in advance.

 

 

Archimedeskay Posted on September 03, 2018 20:55

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Against the 'Putrid' Euro, Naples' Mayor Plans to Launch Autonomous Cryptocurrency

Naples’ mayor, Luigi de Magistris, has posted an impassioned pledge to launch an autonomous municipal cryptocurrency that, he says, would unshackle the city from “anti-southern discrimination” and “unfair” debt, on his Facebook public profile September 2.

De Magistris argued for the new currency as part of a threefold plan of action that would reclaim political and fiscal autonomy for Naples — the capital of Italy’s southern Campania region.

While yesterday’s rhetoric-laden post did not explicitly outline details, the mayor’s previously discussed plans to launch a municipal cryptocurrency tied to the city’s economy has led to a ferment of local blockchain activity: details of the Municipal Administration’s work group for blockchain and crypto are even announced on the city’s official page.

The mayor’s latest post has contextualised this vision for a municipal cryptocurrency within a political effort to enfranchise southern regions and bolster self-determination against the “potentates who rule in Rome.” As the mayor notes, this push for greater local power has been preempted on the other side of Italy’s north-south faultline — in the north, “the separatists screamed first.”

The central government, in his view, has been working to the north’s advantage:

“Before a government with obvious anti-south traction, [which is] strengthening the Lombard-Veneto axis… and is work[ing] to hijack most of the resources towards the rich, giving [only] alms to the south, we must launch an historic challenge, never thought nor implemented so far.”

The mayor also made a forceful rebuke to the city’s creditors, saying that Naples does not recognize its debt — due in a “putrid” currency, the euro  — inveighing, “we in fact are victims and should be compensated, rather than paying debt to the usurpers!”

De Magistris’ post further highlighted Naples’ considerable capital that derives from tourism, pledging to encourage innovative forms of popular shareholding — a sentiment that echoed calls to upend traditional economic structures with blockchain-enabled, distributed and incentivized (tokenized) ecosystems.

As Cointelegraph has reported, the synergy between the cryptocurrency revolution and autonomous governance has been recognized by many — with crypto actively being proposed as a system that would unfetter secessionist movements from being held ransom by sovereign governments.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 20:29

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