December 13, 2017

Bitcoin makes debut on major US stock exchange

The increasingly popular digital currency, Bitcoin, has made its debut on a major US exchange. 

On Monday, futures trading of the virtual money started in the Chicago Board of Exchange. Interest was so high that the board's website crashed due to heavy traffic. Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington, DC.

Al Jazeera

- Chicago Exchange crashed by Bitcoin - NewsBTC
- Start van de handel in bitcoin futures stuurt koers bitcoin bijna $2.000 omhoog - Business Insider

December 12, 2017

Fatboy Slim - Weapon Of Choice

Egyptian Maths

Michael S. Schneider explains how the Ancient Egyptians (and Chinese) and modern computers multiply and divide

December 11, 2017

Macron 1st leader to welcome Netanyahu despite Jerusalem outrage

France has welcomed Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu despite worldwide outrage over the attempt to make Jerusalem al-Quds the capital of Israel.

French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to soften his tone against the recent decision of Washington, which has sparked violence in Palestine and around the world. Ramin Mazaheri has more from Paris.


- Macron: France won't compete with Trump's Mideast Peace Plan - JPost
- Macron asks Netanyahu to make gestures to break peace impasse - Reuters

- Netanyahu in Paris: We will not be lectured by Erdogan (video) - Al Jazeera
- Netanyahu urges Europe to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital (video) - Al Jazeera

- Israëlische premier trekt in Parijs van leer - Telegraaf
- Israëlische premier Netanyahu bijt van zich af na ontmoeting met Franse president Macron - VRT

Syrian army seizes US, Israeli-made arms from ISIL

The Syrian army has found a large amount of weapons and equipment left behind by Daesh terrorists, some of which are Israeli and US-made.

The discovery was made during an operation in Dayr al-Zawr province. The weapons include explosive devices, land mines and various types of ammo. The Syrian army said this shows the scale of the direct and systematic support provided to Daesh by regional and western states.

During the past several years, Damascus on many occasions accused Washington and Tel Aviv of direct and indirect support of Daesh terrorist group.


Russia may turn to cryptocurrencies in oil trade to challenge sanctions & the petrodollar

The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, with major exchanges about to launch bitcoin futures trading, may prompt some oil producing nations to ditch the US dollar in crude trade in favor of cryptocurrencies, an oil analyst says.

Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common. All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency. Read more.


- Enter the 'petro': Venezuela to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency (video) - Reuters
- Oil-rich Venezuela is launching a cryptocurrency called the “petro” - Vice

- Backed by Oil and Gold: What is Known About Venezuela's Petro Cryptocurrency - Sputnik

December 10, 2017

Reality, What a Concept: Scientists Discover New Form of Matter

US researchers claim they now have the “smoking gun” proof of existence of a subatomic particle called an ‘exciton’ - a substance theorized half a century ago.

Researchers from the University of California and University of Illinois claim to have observed and measured excitonium — a form of matter that displays quantum properties. This is the first proof of the matter since its existence was theorized some fifty years ago. Read more.


- Physicists say they've confirmed new form of matter in a breakthrough of 'cosmic significance' - Daily Mail

- Physicists excited by discovery of new form of matter, excitonium -
- Signatures of exciton condensation in a transition metal dichalcogenide - Science

Russia-China real gold standard means end of US dollar dominance

The BRICS counties are considering starting an internal gold trading platform, according to Russian officials. When this happens, the global economy will be significantly reshaped, and the West will lose its dominance, predicts a precious metals expert.

In 2016, 24,338 tons of physical gold were traded, which was 43 percent more than in 2015, according to Claudio Grass, of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland. Read more.


- Peter Schiff: Biggest crisis ever looms (video) - RT
- ‘Gold price will explode & dollar get wiped out’ – warns investor Peter Schiff (video) - RT

4 soldiers killed, 2 injured in volatile Donetsk

Ukraine says four of its soldiers have been killed during fresh clashes with pro-Russian forces. Two other soldiers were also injured in mortar fire in Ukraine’s restive region of Donetsk.

The Ukrainian army says the situation in the area has deteriorated and the death toll has reached its highest in weeks. Pro-Russian militia and Ukrainian government forces have been involved in armed conflict since 20-14, when Crimea declared independence from Ukraine.

A shaky ceasefire has been in place since 20-15 with the warring sides blaming each other for repeated violations. The crisis has claimed the lives of over ten-thousand people. Many others have also been displaced.


December 9, 2017

Israeli air strike, artillery shells hit Gaza, 25 injured

Fresh Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip have wounded at least 25 Palestinians. Six children are among the wounded in the attacks which targeted areas in the north of the coastal enclave. The regime says its raids came in response to earlier rockets fired at Israel from Gaza.

On Thursday, Israel also hit Gaza Strip with airstrikes and tank shelling. Tensions have been running high across the occupied Palestinian territories since Wednesday when US President Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital. Read more.


- Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Gaza in Retaliation for Rocket Fire - Haaretz
- Israeli jets strike Gaza amid Jerusalem unrest - Al Jazeera

Het einde van een wereldmacht is geen prettig gezicht

De definitieve ondergang van de Verenigde Staten is afgelopen week begonnen, schrijft Frans Verhagen. „Een buitenlandse politiek kan niet zonder stabiel binnenland.” Deze week werd de zelfdestructie van Amerika in volle omvang zichtbaar.

De Republikeinse Partij joeg een belastingwet erdoor met letterlijk onvoorstelbare gevolgen; het Ruslandonderzoek naderde de president; Amerika’s buitenlandse politiek was ongekend chaotisch. Het is geen plezierig schouwspel, dit einde van een wereldmacht. Lees meer.


Mikheil Saakashvili detained in Kyiv

Law enforcers have detained the leader of the "Movement of Popular Forces", former Georgian president and ex-governor of Odesa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, while Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says they managed to avoid the use of force and bloodshed.

"They detained Mikheil, now taking him to the Security Service office on Askoldova!!!" Saakashvili’s ally David Sakvarelidze wrote on Facebook. Read more.


- Police arrest Saakashvili, put him in detention center (paywall) - Kyiv Post
- Ukraine again arrests Mikheil Saakashvili, ex-president of Georgia (video) - DW

- Ukraine leader open to international Saakashvili probe - AFP
- Saakashvili Story Offers Lesson for US - Newsmax

December 8, 2017

Protests against Trump's Jerusalem decision turn deadly

At least two Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured as Day of Rage protests continue across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip over the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A 30-year-old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli fire during protests in Gaza on Friday,.. Read more.

Al Jazeera

- 2 Palestinians Killed, 98 Wounded in Clashes With Israeli Troops in West Bank, Gaza - Haaretz

- Clashes in Bethlehem following Trump's Jerusalem speech (video) - Haaretz
- Day of rage in Palestine: Protests against Trump’s Jerusalem move (video) - RT

- Palestinians in Jerusalem react to Trump's Jerusalem speech (video) - Haaretz
- Trump is allowing Israel 'to annex Jerusalem': Ashrawi (video) - Al Jazeera

- Hamas leader Haniyeh calls for Intifada against Israel over Jerusalem status - JPost
- Hezbollah's Nasrallah After Trump Speech: Arab World Must Support New Palestinian Intifada - Haaretz

December 7, 2017

De macht van de techreuzen bepaalt de rol die media vandaag (nog) spelen

Facebook, Google en Amazon heersen over informatie, democratie en media

Het westerse ideaal wil dat journalisten in volle onafhankelijkheid naar de waarheid op zoek kunnen gaan en zo de burgers van adequate informatie voorzien. Ze moeten daarbij volgens Walter Lippmann, de bekendste Amerikaanse journalist uit de eerste helft van de twintigste eeuw, ‘niet alleen (…) gebeurtenissen signaleren, maar de burgers ook een beeld van de werkelijkheid verschaffen, op basis waarvan ze kunnen handelen.’ Won dat ideaal van de vierde macht en haar onafhankelijke journalistiek na de val van de Berlijnse Muur terrein, tegenwoordig staat het onder druk. Lees meer.


Air pollution from London traffic is affecting the health of unborn babies

Exhaust fumes, soot and dust spewed out from road traffic in the UK capital may be putting the health of thousands of unborn babies at risk.

The findings come from a study of more than half a million infants, which suggests that pregnant mothers exposed to air pollution from London’s busy roads are more likely to give birth to babies that are underweight or smaller than they should be. When it comes to traffic-related noise, however, they found no conclusive effect on babies’ health. Read more.

Imperial Today

- London air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over-60s - Imperial Today

- Luchtvervuiling verlaagt geboortegewicht - IPS

Catalan independence: 45,000 protesters march in Brussels to support exiled president Carles Puigdemont

Demonstrators also want the EU to support Catalan independence

Around 45,000 protesters have taken to the streets outside EU institutions in Brussels in support of Catalan independence. Read more.


- Pro-independence demonstration in Brussels attracts 45,000 protestors - El País
- Pro-Catalan independence protesters rally in Brussels (video) - Independent

Trump’s Jerusalem decision: Ignorance & political risk or ‘business opportunity’?

Donald Trump’s irresponsible decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an “example of extraordinary ignorance” which could lead to explosive consequences in the Middle East, regional commentators have told RT.

On Wednesday, Trump officially announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, claiming that such a move along with the relocation of US embassy could help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read more + more video.


- 'Two-state Solution Is Over,' Top Palestinian Diplomat Says After Trump's Jerusalem Speech (paywall) - Haaretz
- Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is cruel. It may also hasten peace. - NBC

- World leaders warn peace process doomed after Trump announcement - JPost
- EU warns Trump against recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital (video) - Haaretz

- Abbas slams Trump Jerusalem move as 'condemned, unacceptable' (video) - JPost
- Trump says his decision on Jerusalem is long overdue (video) - Haaretz

- Trump's 'Criminal' Jerusalem Move Could Backfire (video) - TRNN
- Analysis: Trump's Jerusalem move a 'declaration of war on Palestinian rights' (video) - Al Jazeera

Israel is Turning Palestine Into A Trash Dump

Israeli occupation is now using Palestinian land to rid itself of its toxic waste and for a lower price!