December 16, 2017

EU agrees clampdown on bitcoin platforms to tackle money laundering

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states and legislators agreed on Friday on stricter rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing on exchange platforms for bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the EU said in a statement.

The agreement is part of a broader set of measures to tackle financial crimes and tax evasion. Read more.


- Crypto-crackdown: EU agrees on new rules to curb bitcoin anonymity - RT
- Bitcoin: EU approves cryptocurrency clampdown to combat terrorism financing - DW

CME bitcoin futures trading begins on Sunday

The trading of bitcoin futures, off to a slow but respectable start this week at the Cboe, is about to be given a boost by two additional players: TD Ameritrade and the CME.

The TD Ameritrade story is important because it operates the largest futures operation of any online brokerage firm. Read more.


- Bitcoin futures to be traded on TD Ameritrade & CME - RT

China echos call to make East Jerusalem capital of independent Palestine

China has voiced its support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, based on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry made the statement during a regular press briefing, Thursday, while addressing questions on a declaration by Muslim nations asserting East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Read more.


- China calls for early resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks - Xinhua

- The battle for Jerusalem: Europe vs. America - JPost
- Netanyahu Agrees to Exclude Settlements From Economic Deal With European Union (paywall) - Haaretz

Three Palestinians Killed, Dozens Hurt in Clashes With Israeli Forces in Gaza, West Bank

Thousands of Palestinians protest Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Three Palestinians were killed and 260 were wounded Friday in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and on the Gaza border, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Read more.


December 15, 2017

The Blockchain and Us


In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin and the blockchain. For the first time in history, his invention made it possible to send money around the globe without banks, governments or any other intermediaries. The concept of the blockchain isn’t very intuitive. But still, many people believe it is a game changer.

Economist and filmmaker Manuel Stagars portrays this exciting technology in interviews with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.

The Blockchain and Us is no explainer video of the technology. It gives a view on the topic, makes it accessible and starts a conversation about its potential wider implications in a non-technical way.

The film deliberately poses more questions than it answers. For a deep dive, see all full-length interviews from the film here.

- The Bitcoin Phenomenon (video) - Documentary

Data is the New Oil

In this follow up to Why Big Oil Conquered the World, James further explores the concept of technocracy.

If "Data is the New Oil" then what does that tell us about the 21st century oligarchy and the world that they are creating? And, once we understand the technocratic prison they are creating, how do we escape it?

Don't miss this important episode of The Corbett Report podcast. Read more.

Corbett Report

US regulators vote to scrap 'net neutrality' despite criticism

U.S. regulators have voted to end so-called 'net neutrality', which now could significantly alter the web experience for millions of people.

It will allow Internet providers to charge extra to prioritise their traffic - effectively creating a 'slow lane' for smaller websites. Read more.


- The FCC just repealed net neutrality. What happens next? - TechCrunch

Pigs Fly As Pentagon Gets Audited #NewWorldNextWeek

Story #1: World Bank To Stop Financing Oil, Gas Projects From 2019  

Story #2: After Trillions Mysteriously Go ‘Missing,’ DoD Getting Audited for First Time in History

Story #3: AI Algorithms To Prevent Suicide Gain Traction. Read more.

Corbet Report

- World Bank to stop funding oil, gas projects from 2019 - France24
- World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas extraction - Guardian 

Here Come the Bogus Bitcoin Scare Tactics

Steven Hopkins is chief operating officer and general counsel of Medici Ventures, an subsidiary focused on the advancement of blockchain technology.
"Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it." – Stephen Colbert 
The run-up in bitcoin and other crypto assets has offered cynics of all stripes a chance to look smart by condemning cryptocurrency as a "Ponzi scheme" that could "cause a recession.” Read more.


World's richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half

Inequality report also shows UK’s 50,000 richest people have seen their share of the country’s wealth double since 1984

The richest 0.1% of the world’s population have increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50% – or 3.8 billion people – since 1980, according to a report detailing the widening gap between the very rich and poor. Read more.


- Monsterstudie toont aan: ongelijkheid neemt wereldwijd extreme vormen aan - Volkskrant

China about to knock out petrodollar by trading oil in yuan

As one of the world’s top energy importers, China has successfully completed its fifth dry run in yuan-backed oil futures contract trading. The step has been already called Beijing’s challenge to the US dollar.

According to Bloomberg, which cited a statement from the exchange, 149 members of Shanghai International Energy Exchange traded 647,930 lots in the rehearsal with a total value of 268.2 billion yuan. The system met the listing requirements of crude futures after the exercise, it added. Read more.


- China Regulators Complete Final 'Drill' In Preparation For Petro-Yuan Futures Trading - ZeroHedge
- China's Push to Trade Oil in Yuan Faces a Key Hurdle - Bloomberg

December 14, 2017

Former CIA director speaks out against Russia-gate conspiracy

Former CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview that he thought if there was evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller would have found it already and that the evidence would’ve been leaked by now.

RT America’s Anya Parampil has more.


- Ex-Spy Chief: Russia’s Election Hacking Was An ‘Intelligence Failure’ (audio) - Politico

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

- Egyptian Math - Easy Multiplication and Division (video)

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

- Israƫlische premier trekt in Parijs van leer - Telegraaf
- Israƫlische 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