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U.S. returns to Bitfinex exchange fraction of bitcoin stolen in 2016 heist

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 04:12

U.S. federal law enforcement agencies have returned 27.7 bitcoin stolen in August 2016, Bitfinex said in a statement. Hackers made off with almost 120,000 bitcoin, worth about $72 million at the time, in one of the biggest ever thefts from a cryptocurrency exchange. U.S. and European law enforcement agencies investigated the heist, Bitfinex General Counsel Stuart Hoegner told Reuters, declining to give further details or name the agencies involved.

Trump Announces a Delay in Tariff Increases on Chinese Goods, Citing 'Substantial Progress'

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 03:59

The U.S. president cited “substantial progress” in trade talks between the U.S. and China

Democrats ready to fight to make Mueller report public

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 02:11

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House Democrat has threatened to call special counsel Robert Mueller to Capitol Hill, subpoena documents and sue the Trump administration if the full report on Mueller's Russia investigation is not made public.

The Latest: Employer IDs 1 person on board cargo plane

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 22:48

ANAHUAC, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a Boeing 767 jet freighter into Trinity Bay in Texas (all times local):

Tesla stock falls after Consumer Reports drops Model 3 recommendation

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 20:59

Consumer Reports announced Thursday that it is no longer recommending the Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan. Tesla's stock slid afterwards.

Trump sets more realistic tone ahead of second North Korea summit

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 20:33

Donald Trump and his most senior diplomat moved on Sunday to lower expectations for this week’s summit with North Korea, having previously overstated their progress in blocking its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. The president and secretary of state Mike Pompeo struck a more realistic tone as Trump and North Korean premier Kim Jong-un prepared to meet for a second time amid no sign of concessions from Pyongyang.

North Korea confirms leader Kim Jong Un is on train to Vietnam for summit with Trump

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 20:20

North Korea confirmed Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un is on a train to Vietnam for his second summit with President Donald Trump.

Is Zimbabwe the Next Venezuela?

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 19:51

This weekend’s news that protesters were gunned down at Venezuela’s border while pro-regime thugs burned trucks filled with food and medicine demonstrated just how vicious Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship is. But those who wonder how long he can hold on to power while his nation slowly starves might want to visit Zimbabwe, as I did last month, for a sobering lesson.Robert Mugabe became the president of Zimbabwe in April 1980, back when Jimmy Carter was still president. Within two years he had deployed his infamous North Korea–trained Fifth Brigade against minority tribes in Matabeleland in a campaign of deliberate killing and starvation. The organization Genocide Watch estimated that 20,000 people were ultimately killed.Mugabe would later launch an insane seizure of white-owned farms. That led to widespread food shortages and a destructive hyperinflation that resulted in almost-worthless 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar notes in circulation.But henchmen from the ruling party, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), violently tamped down protests, and he ruled until November 2017, when a clique of his own generals worried that his wife would replace him overthrew the 94-year-old dictator in a coup. Since then, former minister of defense and current president Emmerson Mnangagwa has proclaimed that his country is “open for business,” when in reality the regime’s slogan should be “The new boss is just like the old boss.”Last week, even Mugabe attacked his old protégé for violently suppressing protests over a doubling of fuel prices in January. At least 17 people were killed and dozens of women were raped by marauding troops. “God has his own way of punishing rogues and cruel people,” Mugabe thundered. “People should love their army, they should not fear the army.”Ordinary Zimbabweans have every reason to fear not only the military but every part of their government. Last week the government ended the practice of pegging the value of Zimbabwe’s dollar to that of the U.S. dollar, a 2009 reform that had finally ended the nation’s hyperinflation. Fears of a new round of hyperinflation has helped reduce food reserves such that the nation’s grain-millers’ association says there is now only a week’s worth of wheat in reserve. Zimbabwe now produces less than half of its annual wheat consumption, even while having some of the most fertile farmland and one of the most temperate climates in the world.During my visit to Zimbabwe, every local I spoke with was wary of being quoted on the record regarding their real feelings about the government. “Everyone keeps their head down for fear it will be chopped off,” said “Captain Jack,” the nickname that one of my drivers from the airport uses in dealing with visitors. “No one has any confidence these people will ever leave power.”When I asked an employee at my hotel if he had heard of the situation in Venezuela, he just laughed. “Oh, yes, we know about them. We would only remind them that their Hugo Chávez came to power 20 years ago. Our versions came to power nearly 40 years ago.”While blacks I spoke with were proud that they had won independence from white rule in 1980, they were embarrassed that the country has been so mismanaged since then. “Zimbabwe has all the ingredients to be a successful state — good land, minerals, hard workers, modern farming techniques, proximity to markets in South Africa,” says Rejoice Ngwenya, head of a Zimbabwean free-market think tank. “We don’t have a government that builds on that.”George Ayittey, an economics professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and the author of the book Defeating Dictators, isn’t optimistic that the generals behind Maduro in Venezuela or behind Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe can be displaced easily. “Bad governments metastasize into criminal enterprises so anyone chosen from the ruling elites to succeed a failed president would himself be a crook,” he told me. In Zimbabwe, for example, the anti-corruption czar, Ngonidzashe Gumbo, was himself jailed for ten years on fraud charges.Still, Ayittey admits, there are exceptions. Street protests were able to force genuine change in South Africa in 1994, in Ghana in 2000,, and in Tunisia in 2011. “I myself was one of the architects of change in my native Ghana in 2000,” he told me. He also notes the progress that Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has made in reforming that nation’s rancid Marxist past.“We should always have hope,” Ayittey told me. “But dictators have far more staying power than we like to admit. There are few happy endings.”

'Vaccines Cause Adults': Pediatric staff's response to anti-vaxxers after measles outbreak

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 19:01

Staff at a New York pediatric office sought to be "as loud" as anti-vaxxers and make headlines with the slogan "Vaccines Cause Adults." They did.

These are the 10 best cars, SUVs and pickups of 2019, according to Consumer Reports

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 18:34

Consumer Reports reveals its Top 10 picks for the best vehicles of 2019. It's an influential annual list that serves as a guide for many car shoppers.

U.S.-backed SDF hands over 280 Iraqi, foreign detainees to Iraq

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 18:34

An Iraqi military colonel confirmed to Reuters that 130 people were transferred on Sunday, adding to the 150 transferred on Thursday. There are meant to be more such handovers under an agreement to transfer a group of some 500 detainees held by the SDF in Syria, Iraqi military sources said. Among the 280 were as many as 14 French citizens and six Arabs of unspecific nationality, according to one military source close to the handover process who commands troops near the Syrian border.

Unvaccinated French boy brings measles to Costa Rica for the first time in five years

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 18:07

A French boy on vacation is suspected of bringing measles to Costa Rica, which last saw a case of measles in 2014.

'Surviving R. Kelly' filmmaker on overdue sex abuse charges: Were girls of color ignored?

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 17:21

Rumors about R. Kelly have persisted for decades. All of us are guilty that we let his star power blind us to injustice against women and girls.

British PM May signals she is ready to fight on

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 17:20

May told her governing Conservatives in December last year she would not lead the party into the next election, part of a message to ease concerns among her lawmakers before they mounted, and then lost, a no confidence vote against her. "I was very clear in December with the Conservative Party as far as I am concerned ... my job is not only about delivering Brexit, actually there's a domestic agenda that I am delivering on," she told reporters before arriving in Egypt for a summit.

Tornado tears through Columbus, Mississippi, leads to first tornado death of 2019

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 17:13

Stunned residents of Columbus, Mississippi, were picking up the pieces Sunday after a violent tornado ripped through town, leaving one person dead.

A top Democrat vows to subpoena Mueller report if necessary

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 16:23

A prominent Democratic lawmaker said Sunday that if the new US attorney general refuses to make public the upcoming special counsel report on Russia and the Trump election campaign, it will be subpoenaed and Robert Mueller will be called in to testify. Attorney General William Barr, who took office earlier this month, refused in his Senate confirmation hearings to explicitly promise to publicly release Mueller's findings once he receives them. Mueller is reportedly no more than weeks away from completing his exhaustive investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

2 women expected to testify against Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax in planned public hearings

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 15:50

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax dismissed Republican calls for his sexual assault accusers to testify before the state House of Delegates, calling it "political theater."

5 dead in Kashmir, shops stage boycott of crackdown by India

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 15:35

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Three rebels, a counterinsurgency police officer and an army soldier were killed Sunday during a gunbattle in Kashmir, officials said, as shops and businesses shut down to protest a sweeping and ongoing crackdown against activists seeking the end of Indian rule in the disputed region.

Pope vows to end abuse cover-ups but victims disappointed

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 15:30

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis closed out his extraordinary summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing Sunday to confront abusers with "the wrath of God" felt by the faithful, end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize the victims of this "brazen, aggressive and destructive evil."

Harry and Meghan meet Moroccan girls during official tour

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 14:47

The British royals' trip, their last official foreign tour before becoming parents, was set to focus on initiatives promoting girls' education, women's empowerment and the inclusion of people with disabilities. A heavily pregnant Meghan, with henna on one hand, accepted flowers from one of the girls in Asni while she and Harry chatted outside to a group from the programme Education For All Morocco. The organisation runs free boarding houses to give girls aged 12 to 18 from the High Atlas region access to education, working with 185 teenagers in 2017.