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Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men earning, no bank transactions required There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them. Bitcoin can be used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally. Several marketplaces called bitcoin exchanges allow people to buy or sell bitcoins using different currencies. Mt. Gox is the largest bitcoin exchange. You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures.  No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. It’s the first example of a growing category of money known as crypto currency. Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet,” which exists either in the cloud or on a user’s computer. The wallet is a kind of virtual bank account that allows users to send or receive bitcoins, pay for goods or save their money. Unlike bank accounts, bitcoin wallets are not insured by the FDIC. Though each bitcoin transaction is recorded in a public log, names of buyers and sellers are never revealed only their wallet IDs. While that keeps bitcoin users’ transactions private, it also lets them buy or sell anything without easily tracing it back to them. Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that funds are not tied to real-world entities but rather bitcoin addresses. Owners of bitcoin addresses are not explicitly identified, but all transactions on the blockchain are public. In addition, transactions can be linked to individuals and companies through “idioms of use” and corroborating public transaction data with known information on owners of certain addresses. Additionally, bitcoin exchanges, where bitcoins are traded for traditional currencies, may be required by law to collect personal information.That’s why it has become the currency of choice for people online buying drugs or other illicit activities. Bitcoin can be send in an instant worldwide. Users can use several accounts or multiple bitcoin addresses as they are not linked to names personal address or other personal identifying names. Today Bitcoin is worldly renowed as of 2017 there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.

A Saudi national, who was on his way to the United States for college, is going to be beheaded in his home country for attending a pro-democracy rally according to officials.  Mujtaba’a Al-Sweikat was 17 years old was arrested by attending anti-government protests last 2012 at the airport and was set to attend Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo as a student. He wanted to study finance. Al-Sweikat was detained at facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, since his arrest, according to MLive. He was sentenced to death on June 1, 2016. He was among the group of at least 14 people, including disabled Munir al-Adam, taken into custody for protesting against the ultra-conservative Saudi regime. Saudi Arabia was notorious in its beheadings they carried out 154 execution last 2016. The U.K.-based human rights group Reprieve denounced Al-Sweikat and al-Adam’s impending executions in a statement. The verdict was upheld by the country’s high court in May. According to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), on Saturday he was moved to Riyadh, where executions usually take place. President Donald Trump visited Riyadh in May. He has repeatedly emphasized ties with Saudi Arabia and personal friendship with its monarch, King Salman. Western Michigan University’s executive director of university relations, Cheryl Roland, confirmed that al-Sweikat had been accepted to study at the college but said that the institution was unaware that “such a troubling reason” was behind his failure to show up on campus. AFT Michigan President David Hecker called on President Donald Trump to use his relationship with Saudi leaders to stop the executions. The statement did not indicate al-Sweikat’s current status, but stated that his beheading is “imminent.” The increasingly brutal Saudi Arabian regime has ramped up executions for protest-related offenses in recent days, and this latest move is extremely worrying,” said Maya Foa, director of Reprieve. Mujtaba was a promising 17-year-old boy on his way to study in Michigan when he was arrested, beaten, and later sentenced to death on the basis of a ‘confession’ extracted through torture. He now faces the imminent threat of beheading along with 14 others, including at least one other juvenile and a young disabled man. Mujtaba is part of a group facing execution by beheading for offenses related to attending protests, Reprieve said. Reprieve obtained information about Mujtaba and the others from his friends. They were convicted and sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia’s controversial Specialised Criminal Court, which, although established to hear terrorism cases, has been used by authorities to silence dissent through the use of the death penalty, All 14 men and boys were transferred recently to Riyadh from Dammam Mabahith prison in preparation for their execution. However, the current execution practice is so shrouded in secrecy that not even their families know when they will be executed; only the King, who issues a decree ordering their execution.

Ng Lap Seng a Chinese billionaire who wanted to build a United Nations center in Macau was convicted on Thursday of paying more than $1.7 million in bribes to U.N. ambassadors to get it done.The verdict was returned after a day of deliberations in Manhattan federal court against Ng Lap Seng, one of China’s richest men. Ng was convicted of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering charges. Prosecutors presented evidence that Ng from 2010 to 2015 bribed two U.N. ambassadors, including a U.N. General Assembly president, paying one $50,000 monthly at the scheme’s peak to create a center to serve struggling Southern Hemisphere nations. Defense lawyers contended the payments were ordinary. But the center was never built. Ng looked at jurors as the verdict was announced but otherwise did not display emotion. U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick tightened Ng’s bail conditions, saying he was now “literally under house arrest,” confined under $50 million bail to a luxury Manhattan apartment where he has remained for most months under 24-hour guard since his September 2015 arrest. Prosecutors presented evidence that Ng from 2010 to 2015 bribed two U.N. ambassadors with hundreds of thousands of dollars to support his project to build a U.N. conference center, but defense lawyers contended that Ng only paid money when he was asked to spend it to speed the project along. A prosecutor earlier this week had urged the jury to convict Ng, saying he bribed two United Nations ambassadors so he could build a U.N. facility in China that would be as big as the one in New York, a claim a defense attorney dismissed the case as “a big zero.” The defendant Ng Lap Seng corrupted the United Nations,  are allegedly corrupting the United Nations.  Ng was confined under 24-hour guard in a luxury Manhattan apartment for the last two years for getting money in the United Nations. The 69-year-old Ng paid millions of dollars to two U.N. ambassadors over a five-year period to clear away red tape so he could build a conference center in Macau that would be the “Geneva of Asia,” where tens of thousands of people would spend money at his hotel, a marina, a condominium complex, a heliport and a shopping center. Whistle blowers blamed the ambassadors former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe and suspended Dominican Republic Ambassador Francis Lorenzo for abusing their relationships with Ng. The defendants are still not guilty and no evidence that Ng had forged with the United Nations and its ambassadors to build a multibillion-dollar facility that would serve developing nations.

An errant US air strike has killed 16 Afghan National Police officers who were fighting the Taliban terrorist and injured two others last July 22, 2017. Helmand provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Safi said on Saturday that the death toll in Friday’s strike was determined after a site inspection of the compound in Gereshk District. The Pentagon confirmed the air strike on the Security Forces compound happened during a US supported operation against Taliban insurgents in the area, and offered its condolences to the families of the security forces who were killed. Safi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the dead were police officers who were operating with the army in the area. He said they had recaptured the post from the Taliban when the airstrike occurred. On Friday, the Helmand Gov. Hayatullah Hayat said it was believed the police officers were not in uniform, which may have resulted in mistakenly identifying them as terrorist. While much of Helmand province is under the control of Taliban, Afghan national security forces have been waging fierce battles to retake territory. Nato and US troops are in Helmand to assist Afghan troops.

An official told The Associated Press that the dead were police officers who were operating with the army in the area. A to local police sources; an Afghan police unit retook a checkpoint captured by the Taliban on Thursday. Due to apparent miscommunication, a US gunship bombed the police unit 30 minutes later. The spokesman to the provincial governor, Omar Zawak, said the number of killed and injured was not yet clear. Helmand’s police chief said 12 members of the Afghan National Security Forces died in the strike. The incident followed a week of intensified US airstrikes in Helmand. The US air campaign in Afghanistan has reached a level not seen since 2012, when there were almost 10 times as many US troops in the country. According to Bill Salvin, spokesman for the coalition forces in Afghanistan, the US has conducted more than 50 airstrikes in the province over the past five days. The deaths in Helmand added to a particularly bloody day for the Afghan police. In the northeastern Badakhshan province, the Taliban killed at least 32 members of the local police and government-aligned uprising groups in a push to capture Tagaq district. Some of the people killed were murdered after the Taliban surrounded a house they were staying in, while the rest were shot in an ambush, said Abdullah Naji Nazari, the head of the provincial council.

 

A South African child born with HIV has surprised experts by appearing to be effectively cured of the AIDS virus after just a year of treatment followed by eight and a half years drug-free. The child, whose identity is being protected, was given a burst of treatment shortly after birth. They have since been off drugs for eight-and-a-half years without symptoms or signs of active virus. The family is said to be “really delighted”. Most people need treatment every day to prevent HIV destroying the immune system and causing Aids. Understanding how the child is protected could lead to new drugs or a vaccine for stopping HIV. The child caught the infection from their mother around the time of birth in 2007. They had very high levels of HIV in the blood. Early antiretroviral therapy was not standard practice at the time, but was given to the child from nine weeks old as part of a clinical trial. Levels of the virus became undetectable, treatment was stopped after 40 weeks and unlike anybody else on the study – the virus has not returned. Early therapy which attacks the virus before it has a chance to fully establish itself has been implicated in child “cure” cases twice before. Patients with HIV would normally need to stay on antiretroviral (ART) drugs for the rest of their lives to keep AIDS at bay. But this child, still off treatment and now almost 10 years old, has no signs of the disease.

This and other recent, isolated cases of remission have given additional hope to the 37 million people worldwide infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Yet experts urged caution, saying the case is extremely rare does not suggest a simple path to a cure. “It’s a case that raises more questions than it necessarily answers,” said Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International AIDS Society (IAS), which is holding a conference in Paris this week. “It does raise the interesting notion that maybe treatment isn’t for life. (But) it’s clearly a rare phenomenon.” The baby contracted HIV from its mother. Treatment with ART started when it was almost nine weeks old but was interrupted at 40 weeks when the virus had been suppressed, and the child was monitored regularly for any signs of relapse. “At age 9.5 years, the child was clinically asymptomatic,” the researchers said. Sharon Lewin, an HIV expert at the University of Melbourne and co-chair of the IAS’s HIV Cure and Cancer forum, said the case threw up possible insights into how the human immune system can controls HIV replication when treatment is interrupted. Yet in terms of the scientific search for a cure for HIV and AIDS, she told Reuters, it appeared only to confirm previous reports of similarly rare cases. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has killed around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has been highlighting his government’s independence from international money lending organizations and their detrimental impact the nation. Morales has said Bolivia’s past dependence on the agencies was so great that the International Monetary Fund had an office in government headquarters and even participated in their meetings. Bolivia is now in the process of becoming a member of the Southern Common Market, Mercosur and Morales attended the group’s summit in Argentina last week. Bolivia’s popular uprising known as the The Cochabamba Water War in 2000 against United States-based Bechtel Corporation over water privatization and the associated World Bank policies shed light on some of the debt issues facing the region. Some of Bolivia’s largest resistance struggles in the last 60 years have targeted the economic policies carried out by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Most of the protests focused on opposing privatization policies and austerity measures, including cuts to public services, privatization decrees, wage reductions, as well the weakening of labor rights. Since 2006, a year after Morales came to power, social spending on health, education, and poverty programs has increased by over 45 percent. Morales administration to Bolivia made enormous transformations in the Andean nation. The figures speak for themselves: the nationalization of hydrocarbons, poverty reduction from 60% to less than 40%, a decrease in the rate of illiteracy from 13% to 3%, the tripling the GDP with an average growth of 5% annually, the quadrupling of the minimum wage, the increasing of state coverage on all fronts, and the development of infrastructure in communications, transportation, energy and industry. And above all, stability, an unusual word in the troubled political history Bolivia, of which today, with the economic slowdown experienced by many countries in the region, is a real privilege. Most of the poorest neighborhoods were not hooked up to the network, so state subsidies to the water utility went mainly to industries and middle-class neighborhoods; the poor paid far more for water of dubious purity from trucks and handcarts. In the World Bank’s view, it was a city that was crying out for water privatization.” Some of Bolivia’s largest resistance struggles in the last 60 years have targeted the economic policies carried out by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Most of the protests focused on opposing privatization policies and austerity measures, including cuts to public services, privatization decrees, wage reductions, as well the weakening of labor rights. Since 2006, a year after Morales came to power, social spending on health, education, and poverty programs has increased by over 45 percent.

Chester Bennington, the mercurial lead singer of celebrated Nu-metal band Linkin Park has been found dead at his home in California after apparently taking his own life. The 41-year-old was discovered inside his residence in the Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles. At about 9 a.m. on Thursday, police responded to a call of a dead body in a Palos Verdes Estates (a suburb south of Los Angeles) home, the location of Bennington’s private residence, law enforcement said in a statement. He appeared to have died by suicide from hanging. The Los Angeles’ coroner office confirmed that originally reported that Bennington had taken his own life. Bennington struggled with drugs and alcohol for years. He had said in the past he had considered committing suicide because he had been abused as a child by an older male. The band most recently released album “One More Light” earlier this year, as well as a music video for “Talking to Myself” earlier Thursday morning. Bennington has struggled with alcohol and drug problems throughout his life. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Bennington had a troubled childhood marred by sexual abuse from an older male friend and drug abuse; his parents divorced when he was 11. He began performing in his teens and in the late 1990s was introduced to several members of the band that would become Linkin Park by Zombie Music Publishing executive Jeff Blue. The union was successful although the group struggled to find a record deal. Blue signed them after he joined Warner Bros. Records as an A&R executive, and they released their debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” in 2000, and the group went on to become one of the most successful rock bands of the decade. “Hybrid Theory” was certified diamond (10 million copies) by the RIAA, and the ensuing albums “Meteora” (2003) and “Minutes to Midnight” (2007) reached multiplatinum sales as well. In 2004 the group recorded a “mashup EP” called “Collision Course” with rapper Jay Z. n his tribute letter to Chris Cornell, Bennington wrote in part: “You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivalled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that.”

Ram Nath Kovind, lawyer, former MP and governor, was elected India’s next President on Thursday. The government-backed candidate, a Dalit leader, won nearly 66 per cent of the votes cast by an electoral college of MPs and state lawmakers on Monday. He will be sworn in on July 25. The 71-year-old said at his home in Delhi, where a crowd burst crackers and distributed sweets in celebration. Though he won by a comfortable margin, his rival Meira Kumar ended up with the best haul for an opposition candidate in recent times. He won and secured 2930 votes with a value of 7,02,044 and Ms Kumar managed 1,844 votes with a value of 3,67,314. Mr Kovind served a reminder in his speech after winning the election. Referring to the daylong rain in Delhi, he shared memories of a kuchcha mud hut and waiting for the rain to end. “Today there are many Ram Nath Kovinds who are getting wet in the rain, working hard in the fields for one square meal,” he said. Ms Kumar, a former speaker backed by a 17-member bloc of opposition parties, said she was not upset. “We have fought a principled fight… we are fighting for values that most people of the country believe in,” she said. Mr Kovind, who resigned as Bihar Governor the day his name was announced for the presidential race, has been a BJP MP and is deeply associated with the party’s ideological mentor RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) broke ranks with the opposition to support Mr Kovind. This came as a big blow to the opposition that had picked the Presidential elections as an occasion to forge an anti-BJP bloc ahead of the 2019 general elections. The presidential poll on Monday saw nearly 99 per cent voting, the highest ever, according to the returning officer. Polling was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations one in Parliament House and one each in 29 state assemblies and two union territories with assemblies. The Constitution provides a largely ceremonial role for the President, with the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues holding executive power.  But the President has a key role during political crises, such as when a general election is inconclusive, by deciding which party is in the best position to form a government.

It was another good day for the major banks, following yesterday’s announcement by APRA on minimum capital requirements. Australian shares closed higher for the second day in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,761.50 +29.37 (+0.51%) All Ordinaries: 5,805.70 +26.33 (+0.46%) AUD/USD: 0.7920 -0.0036 (-0.45%) The Australian dollar reached a high this morning above US79.8 cents before finding resistance following the release of the June employment report this morning. Although the jobs report met expectations, mild selling of the AUD has continued this afternoon as UK markets open and the AUD is currently tracking back towards US79 cents. The benchmark S & P/ASX200 index was up 0.5 per cent at noon (AEST), with the energy sector up 1.4 per cent and financials 1.2 per cent stronger. The broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.5 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,806.9 points. Higher commodity prices and weakness in the US dollar were keeping the Australian dollar at its two year highs, trading at US79.60 cents at noon (AEST). The energy producers were boosted by a rise in oil prices, and Santos was the best performer after also improving its full year sales and production forecasts, up 7.5 per cent to $32.50. The big four banks continue to rise after the release yesterday of softer- than-expected new capital rules by the prudential regulator. ANZ was the best of the four, up 2.5 per cent, and Commonwealth Bank had posted the most modest gain, of 0.6 per cent. Myer was one of the weakest stocks on the market, plunging 8.3 per cent to 74.75 cents after announcing a $45.6 million hit from writing off its stake in Topshop’s Australian franchisee and impairing the value of its struggling sass & bide brand. Infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia was down 8.9 per cent to $6.10 after its shares emerged from a two-week hiatus related to its offer of refunds for a $60.4 million capital raising to fund the purchase of a canning facility.

 

The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship. It was deployed last July 18, 2017 Tuesday. U.S. Navy Tests World’s First Laser Weapons System the U.S. Navy recently tested the world’s first-ever active laser weapons system, which is now deployed and ready for war. The system has special materials that release photons, and, at the speed of light, it silently hits an object, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees.

With just a few milliseconds the drone’s wing lit up, heated to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurtling down to the sea. Each strike travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming ICBM. It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so you don’t see the beam, it doesn’t make any sound, it’s completely silent and it’s incredibly effective at what it does. The $40 million system requires electrical power and a three-man team. Its cost per use is also quite impressive for such a revolutionary new weapon: approximately $1 per shot.

The laser can aim that at any particular spot on a target, and disable and destroy as necessary. The system, whose strikes are silent and invisible, is currently active at sea. It is primarily intended to take on drones, aircraft, and small vessels that could be used in an attack from countries such as Iran and North Korea. According to an official one of the weapon’s biggest strengths is its versatility. And the laser is intended primarily to disable or destroy aircraft and small boats. The Navy is developing more powerful, second-generation systems which would bring more significant targets into its crosshairs: missiles.

Until now those missions remain classified for military purposes. When interviewed the Commander and its crew are aware of the potential capabilities of the laser weapon. According to experts the weapon was so precise that could lessen the collateral damage in warzones. LaWS begins with an advantage no other weapon ever invented comes even close to matching. It moves, by definition, at the speed of light. For comparison, that is 50,000 times the speed of an incoming ICBM.