Wednesday, January 31, 2018

0 StatsCan uses crowdsourcing to collect data on pot prices

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CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA

Statistics Canada is using crowdsourcing to gather information about why Canadians use pot — and how much they pay for it.


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0 Trudeau says Liberals 'doing the best that we can' amid sexual harassment allegations

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Commons 20180129

Amid allegations of sexual misconduct in his own caucus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is "doing the best that it can" to balance support for victims while giving the accused their due process.


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0 Reinstating public subsidies for political parties would cost $44M per year: PBO

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PBO Infrastructure 20170221

A new report says proposed new legislation that would resurrect the per-vote subsidy for federal political parties would cost the public treasury about $44 million annually over the next four years.


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0 Kent Hehr released from hospital after seizure

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Kent Hehr

Calgary Centre MP Kent Hehr was taken to hospital after a seizure due to low sodium levels in the blood.


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0 $1.1B class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of former 'Indian hospital' patients

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Ann Hardy

The lawsuit focuses on 29 segregated hospitals operated across the country by the federal government between 1945 and the early 1980s.


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0 Donald Trump set to deliver 1st state of the union address

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Trump

A year into his presidency, President Donald Trump will address Congress and Americans tonight to set out his agenda to "make America great again" amid a host of challenges confronting the administration.


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0 Military cites privacy concerns for slow progress in review of unfounded cases

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Canadian military

Canada's top military police officer is citing privacy concerns for the fact the Canadian Armed Forces have yet to make good on last year's promise to revisit more than 160 cases of sexual assault previously deemed "unfounded."


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0 MP calls for inquiry into abuse at Alfred training school

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David Sweet

An MP is calling on the Ontario government to hold an inquiry into abuses at provincial training schools, including one he attended just east of Ottawa in the 1970s.


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0 After emergency hospitalization, Conservative MP urges politicians to practise self-care

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Todd Doherty MP recovery

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty is urging his fellow politicians to take time to look after themselves after he found himself in emergency surgery with organ failure and difficulty breathing.


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0 Federal inmates lose court challenge of pay cuts introduced by Conservatives

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Jail

Federal prisoners have lost a court bid to overturn pay cuts ushered in by the former Conservative government.


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2 Weiss Ratings Maybe Right On Ethereum But Not for Ripple XRP. Here’s Why

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Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings
Weiss Ratings was all over the news last week for releasing the world's first cryptocurrency ratings. This adds to the list of many firsts achieved in the cryptocurrency world. However, Weiss Ratings' report has attracted its share of criticism and even cyberattacks since then. The agency says that this is the dawn of a cryptocurrency revolution and the blockchain technology powering Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most other cryptocurrencies could radically transform major aspects of our lives.

So, what went wrong?  

Weiss Ratings' crypto list included the top digital tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash, as well as 70 other.

The post Weiss Ratings Maybe Right On Ethereum But Not for Ripple XRP. Here’s Why appeared first on Profit Confidential.


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1 Litecoin Price Forecast: South Korean E-Commerce Giant Adding LTC Support

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Daily Litecoin News Update
Let me begin with a reminder; today is January 30—the day when South Korea’s new cryptocurrency trading rules take effect. From today onward, anonymous cryptocurrency trading has been completely banned in the country. As expected, cryptocurrency markets are remaining cautious about how the new regulations will play out.

All of the top 20 cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, are blinking red as investors stay spooked in anticipation.

Nonetheless, we now know for certain that South Korea is no longer banning.

The post Litecoin Price Forecast: South Korean E-Commerce Giant Adding LTC Support appeared first on Profit Confidential.


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1 Technical Analysis: Why I Would Be Inclined to Consider Stellar Lumens

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Should I Buy Stellar Lumens?
The beginning of 2018 started off on the same note that characterized much—if not all—of 2017. Cryptocurrencies were reaching for the stars as their valuations were ballooning to the stratosphere.

It seemed like this entire sector took a turn for the worse on a dime, and an incredible selloff gripped this market. Cryptocurrency valuations went from around $838.0 billion to $428.0 billion in a span of 10 days. If there was one lesson to be learned by cryptocurrency speculators, it's that, as fast as some of these cryptocurrencies can rise, they can fall just as fast, if not faster.

This selloff has compounded fears that this asset class was.

The post Technical Analysis: Why I Would Be Inclined to Consider Stellar Lumens appeared first on Profit Confidential.


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0 Cannabis Stock: TGIFF Stock Is Setting Up for its Next Move

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TGIFF Stock: Patience Is Warranted
The appetite for marijuana stocks continues. Investors' insatiable appetites are responsible for the incredible returns that many, if not all, of the constituents that make up this sector have experienced over the past few months.

During that time, finding a good marijuana stock was not a difficult endeavor because the entire sector was moving in unison, as if a rising tide was lifting all boats. After such a substantial move has taken place, however, picking a good cannabis investment takes a little bit of precision.

Given that many of these names are now in the midst of price corrections, this notion is especially true.

I am focusing.

The post Cannabis Stock: TGIFF Stock Is Setting Up for its Next Move appeared first on Profit Confidential.


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0 To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture

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Secret cabinet documents found in filing cabinet sold because someone lost the key

The Australian government has suffered what must as one of the most ridiculously embarrassing security breach in its history: cabinet records from five successive governments were sent to a second-hand furniture store.…



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0 I'll torpedo Tor weirdos, US AG storms: Feds have 'already infiltrated' darknet drug souks

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Sessions sets up task force for dopes' dope dope crack down

The US Attorney General has set up a task force of FBI agents and tech nerds to further smoke out online peddlers of illegal opioids.…



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0 Unsanitary Firefox gets fix for critical HTML-handling hijack flaw

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Versions 56 through 58 need patching, pronto

Mozilla has patched a nasty security bug in Firefox, affecting versions 56, 57 and 58, and their point updates.…



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0 Car-share biz GoGet became data share biz after 2017 hack attack

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Kept heist secret until cops cuffed bloke. Now suggests – gulp – super-pwned Equifax for the afflicted

Australian car sharing company GoGet today admitted to a June 2017 data breach that includes drivers licence details, payment card numbers and other personal data, but said it did not disclose the matter until now on the advice of Police.…



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0 Kremlin social media trolls aren't actually that influential, study finds

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дураки вы западники, ничего не знаете

The effect of Russian trolls influencing opinion through social media is far more minor than commonly supposed, according to a new study.…



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0 Scammers become the scammed: Ransomware payments diverted with Tor proxy trickery

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Of course this does nothing for victims' encrypted files

Cybercriminals are using Tor proxies to divert ransomware payments to their own Bitcoin wallets.…



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0 Art Capital sues Croman for backing out of fine art-backed loan

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Art Capital, a financial firm specializing in art-backed loans, is suing jailed landlord Steve Croman and his wife Harriet for allegedly backing out of a $50 million loan Croman sought following his guilty plea to mortgage and tax fraud charges in June. According to the complaint, Croman signed a term sheet for a $50 million loan backed by his Upper East Side Mansion and 38 pieces of fine art. The term sheet included exclusivity and […]


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0 New York, LA, Miami home prices continue to rise

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Home prices continued their upward streak in November. The 20-city index registered a 6.4 percent growth rate year-over-year, marking the biggest increase since June 2014. The monthly data was released Tuesday by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The November gains were spread unevenly. The best performing cities were again in the West. Seattle led the nation with a 12.7 percent annual increase in November 2017 compared to November 2016. That was followed by Las Vegas […]


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0 A homecoming for the Village Voice: Publication moving back to Cooper Square

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The Village Voice is coming back to Noho, after a four-year hiatus. The legendary alternative weekly, which was founded by Norman Mailer in 1955 and ceased its print publication this past September, signed a lease at its longtime former home at 36 Cooper Square, the company told The Real Deal. The seven-story, 50,000-square-foot property is owned by Leonard Stern’s Hartz Mountain Industries. The publication occupied the building from 1991 to 2013, with a space ultimately […]


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0 Hamptons Cheat Sheet: Local home prices rose at the end of 2017, Compass lures Elliman broker to its Southampton office … & more

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Hamptons sales prices rose 9.7 percent at the end of 2017 The housing market in the Hamptons ended 2017 with a strong fourth quarter, as the average sale price rose 9.7 percent compared to the same period in 2016 and 9.8 percent from the third quarter, according to a report from Douglas Elliman. Sales for single-family homes averaged $1.9 million and luxury homes sold for an average of $7.5 million, Elliman’s report found. “Pretty much […]


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0 Cresa broker files gender, sexual discrimination lawsuit against principals

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An office-leasing broker with Cresa claims she was constantly subjected to sexual harassment as well as lewd and discriminatory conduct by male principals at the firm. The suit, which has not been reported on previously, further alleges a pervasive culture of hostility toward women at the firm, and mirrors complaints being brought to light in several industries as part of the #MeToo movement. Jamie Addeo, a vice president in the tenant-focused commercial brokerage’s New York […]


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0 These countries are pouring the most money into LA commercial real estate

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In 2017, Los Angeles dethroned New York City as the first stop for foreign capital in the United States. For the first time ever, the city bested its East Coast counterpart as the top destination for overseas money, raking in nearly $23 billion in investments last year. In the commercial sector alone, foreign investors pumped more than $8.28 billion into Los Angeles County in the last two years. So which countries are placing their bets […]


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0 Bank of America’s Bryant Park expansion is bigger than you thought

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Bank of America’s got the market on Bryant Park cornered. The financial giant signed a lease for 127,000 square feet at the Grace Building overlooking the Midtown oasis, sources told The Real Deal. That, along with its deal next door at the HBO building, puts the bank’s expansion along the northwest corner of the park at more than 500,000 square feet. BofA signed a 20-year lease for floors five through seven in the 50-story tower […]


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0 Fortis projects $221M in sales at tallest planned LICH condo

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Fortis Property Group is moving along with its plans to build a 440-foot-tall luxury condominium tower in Cobble Hill. The firm filed an offering plan for 103 apartments at 2 River Park, records filed with the New York State Attorney General’s office show. The total projected sales price for the apartments is $221 million, indicating that average unit pricing will be less expensive than at Fortis’ neighboring building under construction, 5 River Park, where it […]


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0 Can lifting a size cap on residential buildings create more affordable housing?

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A new report recommends axing a law that restricts the size of residential buildings as an avenue for creating more affordable housing. The Regional Planning Association suggests repealing a 1961 state law that limits the square footage of residential buildings to 12-times their lot size, Crain’s reported. The report argues that lifting the cap in wealthier and whiter areas — like Tribeca, Midtown, the Financial District and the Upper West and East sides — would […]


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0 TH Real Estate puts 730 Third Ave. on the market

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TH Real Estate, the property arm of TIAA, is looking to sell its 28-story office building at 730 Third Avenue, which at least one source speculates could fetch more than $460 million. The 665,000-square-foot building between East 45th and East 46th streets is home to TIAA’s office, according to the Commercial Observer, which reported news of the listing. The financial services organization plans to stay in the building after the sale. An investment sales broker […]


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0 Here’s what loaded young home buyers really want

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For wealthy young buyers, bigger is better. According to a new report, buyers aged 25 to 50 (who are willing to shell out $1 million or more) don’t just want fancy finishes and prime neighborhoods. They want 20,000 square feet or more. Such buyers account for the majority of those shopping in the $1 million-and-up category, according to Luxury Portfolio International, a network of brokerages. Nearly 25 percent of wealthy buyers aged 25 to 49 […]


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0 All the home’s a stage: How a niche industry is boosting profits in the resi market

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Just six days after taking on a Crestwood Hills listing, Nancy Osborne and Tami Pardee put it into contract for just under its $2.8 million asking price. The three-bedroom, 2,850-square-foot Brentwood property, boasting lush landscaping and canyon views, had languished on the market for 18 months before the duo from Halton Pardee + Partners got on board. The difference, the brokers insist, was the decor. “The staging really needs to be kind of eclectic and […]


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0 L+M picks up Hamilton Heights complex

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L+M Development Partners dished out $43 million for Dunwell Apartments, a 183-unit Section 8 apartment complex in Hamilton Heights, the developer told The Real Deal. The developer also reached a 40-year agreement with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to keep the units affordable and pledged to upgrade building security, lighting and apartment interiors. A separate deal with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development extends an existing four-year Section 8 agreement […]


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0 Hotel union: Airbnb removes thousands of apartments from rental market

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A new report, funded by the Hotel Trades Council, claims that Airbnb removed between 7,000 and 13,500 apartments from the long-term rental market in the last three years. The report states that Airbnb hosts are driving up rent and contributing to the city’s housing shortage, Politico reported. The analysis is based on data from September 2014 to August 2017. The study notes that many of the apartments removed from the long-term rental market are in […]


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0 Despite $125M in existing vacancies, 60 Guilders plans to buy more Soho retail

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In the past few years, private equity firm 60 Guilders and its partners shelled out $125 million for a pair of retail properties in Soho. Those spaces — at 106 Spring and 119 Spring — remain vacant, but 60 Guilders says they’re actually in negotiations to buy more retail in the neighborhood. “Soho is the only outdoor shopping area on the planet with a critical mass of 600-plus stores, with premier and mass-market stores right […]


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0 Here are the week’s top luxury sales

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Each week, The Real Deal and CityRealty look back at Manhattan’s priciest apartment sales.


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0 WeWork just inked the biggest lease in the Plaza District in over a year

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WeWork just inked a 15-year lease at Cohen Brothers Realty’s 750 Lexington Avenue. The co-working giant agreed to take 111,500 square feet in the office tower, marking the largest lease signed in the Plaza District in more than a year, the New York Post reported. Asking rent for the space was $80 per square foot. Marc Horowitz, director of national office leasing at Cohen Brothers Realty, represented the landlord. With this deal, the 400,000-square-foot building […]


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0 Isaac Kassirer and Harbor Group are selling 15 Bronx buildings for $65M

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With all that buying comes some selling. Isaac Kassirer, in partnership with Harbor Group International, is in contract to sell a 15-building portfolio in the Bronx to a group of investors led by Ben and Joe Soleimani for $65 million, The Real Deal has learned. The properties comprise more than one-third of the 38-building “Bronx 1000” portfolio, which Virginia-based Harbor Group and Kassirer’s Emerald Equity Group bought for $140 million in 2016. The 15 buildings […]


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0 Can Joseph Moinian pull off a miracle in Hudson Yards?

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From the January issue: In August, Joe Moinian watched yet another potential anchor tenant for his planned Hudson Yards tower slip through his fingers, when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer agreed to move into a rival project next door.    It’s a drill the developer has become all too familiar with. In the past several years, tenants have enthusiastically flocked to Manhattan’s Far West Side. Companies such as Coach, Time Warner, the National Hockey League and mega-asset […]


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0 After the closing: What happens when brokers battle over commissions

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When a busted partnership between a pair of brokers at Newmark Knight Frank gave rise to fight over a $1.1 million commission, a panel of three colleagues stepped in to settle the dispute. The senior broker, Lawrence “Chip” Porter, claimed he was entitled to the 50/50 split for the Urban Soccer lease at the Brooklyn Whale Building. His argument was that they had verbally agreed to the split as partners, and their relationship with the […]


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0 Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurrencies Overseas

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Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies Overseas

The largest bank in Russia, the state-owned Sberbank, has reportedly announced its plans to bypass the Russian cryptocurrency regulations and offer crypto trading to customers overseas. The bank is looking at trading pairs of the most liquid and well-known cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Bypassing Russian Regulations

Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies OverseasAt a news briefing on Tuesday, Sberbank’s Head of Global Markets Andrey Shemetov said that the bank “plans to start trading cryptocurrencies outside Russia in order to avoid violating domestic rules,” Reuters reported. Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and third largest in Europe. It is majority-owned by the Russian government.

According to Shemetov, “Russian laws bar Sberbank from trading cryptocurrencies.” However, “the state-controlled bank wants to be able to serve clients in what is a popular market for some investors,” the news outlet explained. “That’s why we think that we need to have a strategic access to these products,” he told reporters. Tass then quoted him emphasizing:

In Russia, we cannot trade [cryptocurrency], but we want to satisfy the interests of clients, and we believe that we must have access to a wide range of products.

The Russian finance ministry recently published the draft law on the regulation of digital assets in Russia including cryptocurrencies. This bill is expected to enter into force in September.

The Swiss Operation

Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies OverseasSberbank’s solution for crypto trading is its branch in Switzerland called Sberbank (Switzerland) AG, headquartered in Zurich. Shemetov revealed that the bank’s Swiss subsidiary is creating “an infrastructure for trading in cryptocurrencies,” Tass reported. He clarified, “We completely build the trading infrastructure so that we can open our own positions and give customers service, that is, buy and sell for clients,” reiterating:

Swiss laws allow cryptocurrency trading, and we are working on infrastructure to start offering these services through our Swiss subsidiary.

Initially, “The product will be available only to legal entities,” Ria Novosti detailed. Shemetov noted, “The product is very risky, the volatility is very high, so we will not provide these services to a large number of customers,” adding:

We are looking at all of the cryptocurrency pairs that are the most liquid, [and] their names are known. We will see what’s interesting to the clients, where is some liquidity…Obviously, we will not go into a low-liquidity crypto.

In November of last year, Sberbank bought up a lot of graphics cards that can be used for cryptocurrency mining, causing a shortage of these products on the Russian market. The bank said at the time that these cards were for its “laboratory of artificial intelligence.”

The president and chairman of the board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, said earlier this month at the annual Gaidar forum, as reported by local media, “Cryptocurrencies cannot be banned, it’s a wonderful new technology which has not yet been fully captured and studied.”

What do you think of Sberbank offering cryptocurrency trading outside of Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurrencies Overseas appeared first on Bitcoin News.


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0 State of Texas Orders ‘Decentralized Bank’ ICO Project to Cease Operations

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0 Chinese Investors Continue to Obtain Bitcoin Using Thriving OTC Platforms

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0 10 things in tech you need to know today (AAPL, VZ, SNAP, FB, GOOG, SSNLF)

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tim cook

Good morning! Here's the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

1. Apple is reportedly delaying some iOS updates, which include improvements to core applications, until next year. The company is reportedly choosing to focus on performance and reliability issues first.

2. Facebook announced that it's banning all ads for cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and binary options. The firm said that it's doing this to avoid "misleading or deceptive promotional practices."

3. The US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating potential violations Apple may have made. The violations would concern security laws about Apple's disclosure on the update that slowed down iPhones with older batteries.

4. Samsung has posted record profits for its fourth quarter, with $14.15 billion (£9.9 billion) mainly driven by chip sales. The mobile business, on the other hand, saw a 3.2% year-on-year decline to $2.25 billion (£.16 billion) in profit.

5. Verizon has reportedly dropped all plans to sell Huawei branded phones in the US. The carrier, facing pressures from the US government, will not even sell the latest Huawei smartphone, the Mate 10 Pro, with which the Chinese manufacturer hoped to enter the market.

6. Snap has debuted a new style for its Bitmoji service, called Bitmoji Deluxe. The deluxe offering has 40 skin tones (up from 25), twice as many hair colours, and 50 different hair treatment options.

7. Apple is reportedly slashing orders of its crown jewel device, the iPhone X. Initial reports said that production has been curtailed to about 20 million handsets from the 40 million initial estimate, due to weaker-than-expected demand.

8. Google announced that it removed over 700,000 apps from the Play Store last year for policy violations. The firm said that the massive increase, up 70% from last year, has to do with smarter machine learning algorithms.

9. Microsoft has updated the apps of the Office suite on iOS. The update includes co-authoring, iPad drag-and-drop and universal link support, and OneDrive support inside iOS' native Files app.

10. Apple is reportedly losing ground in India despite its recent efforts in the country. The main causes of its market share loss seemingly have to do with the high cost of iPhones, and core services like Maps and Siri not working well locally.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This personal airbag could help protect the elderly from hip injuries


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0 Porn star Stormy Daniels teases, dodges questions in suggestive Jimmy Kimmel interview on alleged Trump encounter

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Screen Shot 2018 01 30 at 10.25.12 PM

  • Porn star Stormy Daniels appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for an interview to address reports of an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump.
  • Daniels dodged the line of questioning and responded in the vaguest of terms.


Porn star Stormy Daniels appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for an interview to address bombshell reports of an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Donald Trump.

Though Kimmel, pressed Daniels to divulge details of the alleged affair, Daniels dodged the line of questioning and answered only in the vaguest of terms.

Asked by Kimmel whether the alleged sexual encounter was an "unpleasant experience," Daniels said that Kimmel's characterization was an "unpleasant picture."

Daniels suggestively dodged questions about whether she sign a new statement denying the allegations that was on Tuesday. "I don't know, did I?" she said. "That doesn't look like my signature, does it?"

"I am not denying this affair because I was paid 'hush money' as has been reported in overseas owned tabloids," the statement said. "I am denying it because it never happened."

Kimmel pointed out a discrepancy in the signatures on the most recent statement, and another signature on an earlier statement that came out after reports that she received $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

Daniels claimed that she did not read the recently published transcript of an interview from 2011 with In Touch magazine, which chronicles the alleged sexual encounter in detail, in its entirety because she was "too scared to look at it." Daniels nevertheless claimed that her interview with the magazine was not accurate "as it is written."

Daniels also shot back at critics and blamed the internet for salacious claims spurred by her alleged encounter with Trump.

"I feel guilt towards my family," Daniels said. "Because my daughter ... has been exposed to things that, you know. Like I said, they're just making up random things on the internet."

The Trump administration has flatly denied the allegations. 

Watch the interview here:

SEE ALSO: Melania Trump was reportedly blindsided by reports a lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged encounter with Donald Trump

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NOW WATCH: A Georgetown professor explains how Martin Luther King Jr. 'has been severely whitewashed'


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0 These are the best democracies in the world — and the US barely makes the list

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trump davos

Less than 5% of the world's population lives in a "full democracy," according to a new report ranking countries by how functional their political systems are.

The Economist Intelligence Unit released on Wednesday its 2017 Democracy Index, which ranks 167 countries on a 0 to 10 scale. Only countries with scores above 8 are categorised as "full" democracies.

The US was downgraded from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" in the same study last year, which cited the "low esteem in which US voters hold their government, elected representatives, and political parties."

The study has five criteria: whether elections are free and fair ("electoral process and pluralism"), governments have checks and balances ("functioning of government"), and whether citizens are included in politics ("political participation"), support their government ("political culture"), and enjoy freedom of expression ("civil liberties").

Scroll down to see the world's best democracies.

1. Norway — 9.87/10

Electoral process and pluralism: 10.00

Functioning of government: 9.64

Political participation: 10.00

Political culture: 10.00

Civil liberties: 9.71



2. Iceland — 9.58

Electoral process and pluralism: 10.00

Functioning of government: 9.29

Political participation: 8.89

Political culture: 10.00

Civil liberties: 9.71



3. Sweden — 9.39

Electoral process and pluralism: 9.58

Functioning of government: 9.64

Political participation: 8.33

Political culture: 10.00

Civil liberties: 9.41



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0 An influential Tory MEP says the government's leaked Brexit forecasts show a 'consensus' is forming around the economic impact

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Kay Swinburne MEP.

  • Leaked Treasury report forecasts lost GDP growth of between 2% and 8% under various Brexit scenarios.
  • Kay Swinburne MEP told BI the forecasts are not that different to other City and think tank forecasts, showing a "consensus" is emerging.
  • Swinburne, vice chair of the influential EU economic committee, voted to remain but says she would now vote to leave.


LONDON — An influential Tory MEP who helped to draft the biggest change to European finance laws in the last decade says the government's leaked Brexit impact report shows a "consensus" is emerging around the effects of leaving the EU.

BuzzFeed News obtained a UK government analysis examining the economic impact of the different forms of Brexit. The Treasury report concluded that all types of Brexit — from membership of the European Economic Area to crashing out without a deal — would be worse for the economy than staying in the bloc.

Kay Swinburne MEP, the most senior British legislator on the EU's influential Economic and Monetary Committee, told Business Insider: "I don't think there's anything that's come out that isn't already in the public domain in one form or another.

"If you look at the broader numbers that have come out of the IMF, the OECD or the financial analysts in the City, there's not that much diversion around them. It does suggest that there's a consensus emerging around what these numbers are actually crystallizing at."

Kay Swinburne Theresa MaySwinburne voted to remain in the EU but has since said she would now vote to leave because she is concerned about the union becoming "a more centralised system."

Forecasts from groups such as the IMF and OECD in the run-up to the 2016 referendum were dismissed by pro-Brexiteers as "Project Fear" — intentionally over the top forecasts designed the scare the public into voting to remain in the EU.

Swinburne told BI: "I think there's a greater understanding now than there was two years ago, in terms of what trading relationships with the EU as a bloc actually entail.

"There are several models you can participate in. You can be part of the EU as a full member, and therefore full access to the single market, which is unique because you have access to goods and services.

"Or you can be an affiliated member in the EEA where you sign up to part of this, pay into the budget, and sign up to all four freedoms, and therefore have access to goods and services.

"You can be part of the customs union, like Turkey is, but that means you can't sign your own free trade deals, because you're part of a customers union.

"Or, the final and only option you're left with, is you can negotiate a free trade deal. We're in that corner right now and I think people are finally realising that with the red lines that we have, there's only one box left to go into and that is the free trade deal."

The Treasury's forecasts predict lost GDP growth of between 2% and 8% depending on which form of Brexit the UK secures.

Swinburne said: "It's a question of how long it takes us to get from where we are now to a bespoke trade deal, and that takes time. So the impact on our economy is going to be that journey and how pain-free we can make that and mitigate some of the disruptions around what happens."

Swinburne, who worked in the City of London before becoming an MEP in 2009, said all the projections were probably the "worst case scenarios" as they don't take into account anything businesses may do to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

"You can say: assuming these criteria, assuming this, this is the range you get," she told BI. "Somewhere within there, you're going to end up. I would take worst case and best case and guess we'll end up somewhere in the middle."

"Nobody wants to see economies fail right now and anything that damages the UK economy damages the EU27 as well. Therefore it's in everyone's interest to mitigate as much of the risk as possible."

Swinburne has been called "the architect of Mifid II" for her role in shaping the far-reaching European financial legislation that took six years to complete and came into force in January.

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0 The 31 best MBA programmes in Europe, according to the Financial Times

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Manchester uni

Every year, the Financial Times releases a list of the top business schools in the world for studying an MBA

The FT's Global MBA ranking for 2018 took data from business schools, including average salaries, the average increase in salary graduates experience three years after finishing their degree, and the percentage of grads in work three months after finishing school.

It then collated that data to create a list of the 100 best business schools in the world for doing an MBA.

Many of the top schools are in the US, but Business Insider UK picked out the best schools in Europe.

We've included the average "weighted salary" of graduates, which determines an average salary for MBA holders three years after finishing. Salaries do not necessarily relate to the quality of the school, although the top school, Stanford, in California, does happen to also have the highest average salary.

Check out the top European schools below and see the whole ranking at the FT's website. Numbers in brackets are the school's ranking in the FT's global top 100.

T30 (T100 out of 100). University of Bath School of Management, UK — $93,461



T30 (T100). Copenhagen Business School, Denmark — $91,807



29 (99). EM Lyon Business School, France — $92,517



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0 10 things you need to know in markets today

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David Beckham, wearing a league scarf, salutes a section of the crowd at this official announcement for Miami's MLS expansion team in Miami, Florida, U.S. January 29, 2018.

Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.

1. Facebook is banning all ads related to cryptocurrencies, from ICOs to bitcoin. The social network says the ban, which includes both Facebook and Instagram, is to crack down on scams.

2. US stocks traded lower overnight on Tuesday, putting the market on track for its weakest two-day performance in at least six months. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 362 points, or 1.37%, in its third biggest single-day point drop since Brexit.

3. Asian stocks eased on Wednesday, pulling further back from record highs, as the recent rise in global bond yields weighed on equities. Japan's Nikkei share index closed down 0.71%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.01% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), and China's Shanghai Composite is down 0.74%.

4. Eurozone inflation and unemployment figures are coming. Eurostat will report preliminary figures for January at 10.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m. ET). Inflation is forecast to dip to 1%, while unemployment is expected to hold steady at 8.7%.

5. Startups and projects raised $5.6 billion (£3.9 billion) last year through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a new report. Venture capital fund Fabric Ventures and cryptocurrency data provider TokenData shared the figure in their "State of the Token Market" report, which was shared with Business Insider ahead of publication this week.

6. Samsung Electronics posted a record quarterly profit, as expected, for the three months through December, led by strong demand for memory chips. Operating profit for the world's biggest chipmaker was 15.15 trillion won ($14.1 billion, £9.9 billion) in the fourth quarter, up 64.3% from a year ago and in line with the 15.1 trillion won the company had estimated.

7. Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has invested $300 million (£211.3 million) in dog-walking startup Wag. Hilary Schneider, who most recently led LifeLock through its $2.3 billion (£1.6 billion) sale to Symantec in 2016, is taking over as Wag's CEO.

8. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase are creating a new business designed to lower healthcare costs for US-based employees in a move that could shake up the managed-care industry. The companies were not specific about what kind of enterprise they aim to create, noting only that they wanted to improve employee satisfaction while reducing costs, according to a joint release.

9. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued subpoenas to Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange, and Tether, the company behind a digital coin that claims to track the US dollar, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Tether says its cryptocurrency, called USDT, is pegged to and backed by the dollar. It is meant to function as a "stablecoin," a cryptocurrency that allows you to avoid the volatility of bitcoin but still have the operability of a cryptocurrency.

10. South Korea has uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($594.3 million, £418.6 million), which includes illegal foreign exchange trading, a statement released by the country's customs service said on Wednesday. The statement said domestic investors bought 1.7 billion won worth of cryptocurrencies, which they sent to overseas partner companies through virtual wallets.

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0 Trump asks Congress to pass legislation making sure US aid 'only goes to America's friends'

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Donald Trump Benjamin Netanyahu

  • In President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, he asked Congress to help pass legislation ensuring US aid serves "American interests," and would be prioritized for "friends of America."
  • Trump also lauded his December decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and criticized countries that rejected the move at the United Nations.
  • The White House announced its plans to cut foreign aid in its 2018 budget proposal.
  • The US has since cut hundreds of millions in foreign assistance.


In US President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address on Tuesday, he called on congress to pass legislation that would ensure US aid would be prioritized in favor of what he called "America's friends." 

"I am asking Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign assistance dollars always serve American interests and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America," Trump said. 

Trump also lauded his December decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump added that dozens of countries voted against his Jerusalem decision at the United Nations.

"In 2016, American taxpayers generously sent those same countries more than $20 billion in aid," Trump claimed. 

Trump added that while the US was strengthening its "friendships" around the world, it was also "restoring clarity" on entities the US considers "adversaries." 

The White House pitched its plans to make heavy cuts to foreign aid in its 2018 budget proposal. In line with Trump's "America First" policy, the White House stated it would focus on "returning more American dollars home and ensuring foreign aid supports American interests and values."

The US has reportedly threatened to make cuts to United Nations programs by up to 50%, and Trump reiterated the notion in December when he threatened to cut finances to UN member states who voted against his Jerusalem decision.

In the last month, Trump has made firm on his promises to slash foreign aid to countries and aid groups that were deemed unfavorable.

The US announced it was withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan following a series of tweets from the president of which he accused the country of providing "safe haven" to terrorists.

Two weeks later, the US announced it would suspend $65 million in aid to UNRWA, a United Nations group that provides relief and education services to Palestinian refugees. Trump had previously threatened to withhold aid from the group if the Palestinians continue to refuse to negotiate a US-brokered peace deal.

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0 Startups managed to raise $5.6 billion through ICOs in 2017

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A monitor shows various cryptocurrencies' exchange rates against Japanese Yen including NEM coin (middle in the top) at 'nem bar', where customers can pay with NEM coins, in Tokyo, Japan January 29, 2018.

  • Fabric Ventures and TokenData report: $5.6 billion raised through "initial coin offerings" in 2017.
  • There were 435 successful projects, raising an average of $12.7 million.
  • The 10 largest projects raised 25% of the money.
  • "On average, tokens have returned 12.8x the initial investment in dollar terms," but the majority of gains come from early projects and returns are trending downwards.


LONDON — Startups and projects raised $5.6 billion last year through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a new report.

Venture capital fund Fabric Ventures and cryptocurrency data provider TokenData shared the figure in their "State of the Token Market" report, which was shared with Business Insider ahead of publication this week.

2017 saw a huge boom in companies raising money by issuing their own digital currencies, which are structured similarly to bitcoin, in return for funds to build their business. These "coins" can then be traded freely on online exchanges, offering greater liquidity to investors than traditional equity investment.

"More than $5.6 billion of capital was raised in 2017 according to the metrics used by the TokenData team," the report says. "This compares to $1 billion of ‘traditional’ venture investing in blockchain startups in the same time frame and a ‘mere’ $240 million raised by token sales in 2016."ico funding 2017Fabric Ventures and TokenData found 435 successful ICOs out of an attempted 913 last year — meaning just 48% were successful.

The average amount raised was $12.7 million but the report notes: "Collectively, the 10 largest sales raised close to $1.4 billion and roughly 25% of the total capital raised in 2017."

Almost a third of funding went towards blockchain infrastructure projects. The biggest ICO of last year was Filecoin, a project to build a decentralized data storage solution based on the blockchain. The project raised $257 million in September.

The majority of people investing in these ICO projects have been retail or small-time investors but institutions are increasingly looking at ICOs due to their eye-catching returns.

"On average, tokens have returned 12.8x the initial investment in dollar terms versus 7.7x for ETH and 4.9x for BTC during 2017," the report notes. That tallies with finding from Mangrove Capital Partners last year, which recorded returns of 1,320% up to October of last year.

tokens ICO performanceBut not all ICOs are equal. Fabric Ventures and TokenData note: "A closer look shows that returns are skewed towards a handful of tokens issued in the first quarter of 2017, when the ICO hype had not fully erupted, and that average token returns have been trending down since."

Fabric Ventures and TokenData voice some concern about the nature of the ICO market, which is attracting increasing regulatory attention due to the amounts of money pouring into the sector.

"The majority of investors are more interested in the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies than in the efficiency of open source development," the report notes. "A lot of these projects have raised massive amounts of money upfront before receiving any market validation, creating problems for long-term incentivisation of the team.

"We expect a Darwinistic process to kick-in, in which projects with better governance will raise funds more successfully and operate more efficiently (we can already see that over 40% of projects do not achieve their target raises)."

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0 Twitter had a field day with Rep. Joe Kennedy's lips

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  • Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts delivered his party's response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
  • Twitter had a field day with his lips, which appeared to glisten excessively as he spoke.


Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts gave an impassioned rebuttal to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but some people on social media were more interested in his lips.

The edges of Kennedy's mouth seemed to glisten excessively as he spoke, prompting a near-instant deluge of Twitter memes poking fun at the congressman's appearance.

And in true Twitter fashion, Kennedy's lips also spawned a parody account: @JoeKennedyLips.

But while people took aim at his appearance, supporters took note of the substance of his speech:

During the Democratic rebuttal, Kennedy criticized Trump's policies and claimed it was "targeting the laws that protect us."

"Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark," Kennedy said. "But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future."

Watch a clip of Kennedy's speech:

SEE ALSO: Trump touts 'maximum pressure' against North Korea in State of the Union address

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0 The 10 most important things in the world right now

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supermoon 2

Hello! Here's what's happening on Wednesday.

1. US President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address. Trump focused largely on jobs and the economy and US victories in the war against terrorism abroad.

2. President Trump called for "maximum pressure" against North Korean aggression. "North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland," Trump said.

3. Theresa May maintained that she will fight the next general election in 2022. May has previously said she is not a "quitter" and will focus long-term on delivering Brexit and creating domestic reform.

4. China said it needs to strengthen its nuclear capabilities to compete with rival powers. The reasoning was based on President Donald Trump's plans to pursue development of new nuclear weaponry and delivery systems.

5. Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted there were "instances of doping" by the Russian Olympic team. Russia has been banned by the International Olympic Committee from competing in 2018 on accusations of state-sponsored athletic drug enhancements in Sochi.

6. A total lunar eclipse, or blood moon, will be visible across the globe. Click here to find out the viewing times in your region.

7. Facebook is banning all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs. The social network says the ban, which includes both Facebook and Instagram, is intended to crack down on scams.

8. Kenya's government shut down television and radio stations as the opposition leader swore himself in as president. Thousands of opposition supporters reportedly gathered at the mock inauguration.

9. Apple will reportedly scale back on production of the iPhone X amid weak demand. The iPhone X is Apple's most important product. It was launched in September with a $1,000 price tag, the highest ever for an iPhone.

10. Google-linked ride-sharing company Waymo announced it will buy thousands of self-driving Chrysler minivans. Waymo is battling Uber, which announced last year it also plans to buy thousands of self-driving cars from Volvo.

And finally ...

The heart of Paris is underwater — and the images are a shocking reminder that the city is unprepared

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0 'Oh yeah, don't worry. 100%': Trump gave the clearest signal yet that he'll release a controversial secret memo targeting the FBI and DOJ

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Donald Trump

  • While he was walking out of the Capitol after his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump signaled he would release a controversial secret memo that targets the FBI the US Justice Department.
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan could be heard telling Trump, "let's release the memo," as the president shook his hand.
  • "Oh, don't worry. 100%," Trump replied. He quickly added: "Can you imagine that?"


As he walked out of the Capitol after giving his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump indicated that he will release the controversial secret Republican memo that targets the FBI and Justice Department.

South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan told Trump "Let's release the memo," as he shook Trump's hand. "Oh, don't worry. 100%," Trump said, adding "Can you imagine that?"

Watch the moment below:

The memo alleges that officials at the DOJ and the FBI did not disclose that the Russia dossier — which was used to obtain a FISA court warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — had been partially funded by a lawyer linked to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

The dossier was first financed by a group of anti-Trump Republicans after Trump won the party's nomination in 2016.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump, later authorized further surveillance of Page. Both Rosenstein and top brass at the FBI — including the now-ousted deputy direct Andrew McCabe — are in the Trump administration's crosshairs as the Russia investigation gains steam.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans on Monday voted to release the memo that accuses the Department of Justice and the FBI of improper spying amid the Russia investigation.

The DOJ said releasing the memo would be "extraordinarily reckless."

Broadly, the vote indicates that Republicans on the committee view the use of the dossier to dig deeper into Page as evidence of bias against Trump.

The president previously indicated his willingness to make that memo public. Democrats are livid about it. They have produced their own memo that they say adds necessary context to the Republican document.

SEE ALSO: Trump touts a 'new American moment' in first State of the Union address

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0 Trump's State of the Union was an effort to reach out — but only a little

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

  • President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union speech to Congress on Tuesday.
  • He sought to sell his controversial agenda to a broader audience than his base, focusing on the GOP tax law and on immigration.
  • I don't think he's likely to convince people to come around to his immigration plans.


President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech was not the appeal for "unity" that the White House made it out to be in advance.

But it was a speech that looked beyond his base — one that took his existing, controversial agenda and sought to sell it in a way you'd expect from a president aiming for an approval rating of 55% instead of 39%. In particular, the president spent a lot of time arguing that people ought to like the tax plan he just signed and the immigration deal he has proposed — two major issues where he has gotten on the wrong side of issue polling.

I don't think it's likely to work on immigration. It might work on taxes — and Democrats need to find some better messaging for people who are perceiving a material improvement in their financial circumstances, instead of dismissing the idea that anyone should care about a $1,000 bonus

On taxes, the argument was essentially: You're getting a tax cut, and the tax cut is driving low unemployment and wage increases, and all that puts more money in your pocket.

He has a reason to repeat himself. Misconceptions about who will face a tax increase (at least in the first several years of the tax law) are likely making the law less popular than it otherwise would be. The vast majority of Americans who pay income taxes will get a tax cut in 2018 due to the new tax law, but polls show many don't believe this.

As for economic gains from the tax law, they're not showing up in the macro data yet. Economic trends in 2017 looked a lot like trends in 2016, and 2015, and 2014. Wages are rising, but not yet materially faster than in the last few years. And since the economic benefits of the tax bill are supposed to be driven by expectations of low taxes, it's not necessarily the case that benefits should arise only after the bill is signed. 

That said, as Matt Yglesias notes, the status-quo economy means Trump has done better than a lot of critics said he would, when they warned his agenda would tank the stock market and the economy. And when the economy is good, you can expect any president to try to take credit for it.

What was new on immigration

Trump State of the UnionOn immigration, as usual, the president warned extensively of immigrants as a threat to public safety. Republicans harped on this theme in Virginia's gubernatorial election last year, and not to great electoral effect.

What was more new — and more obviously designed to appeal to Americans not already supportive of the president on immigration — was an unusually lengthy defense of his proposals to change the system of legal immigration. I thought his arguments here were dishonest and not especially persuasive.

He said that under current law, "a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives," which isn't true. Immigrants may sponsor only their spouses, children, siblings and parents to immigrate — not distant relatives. And while parents may immigrate in unlimited numbers, current immigration law imposes annual caps on the numbers of siblings and adult children who may immigrate based on a relative's sponsorship.

Immigrants and their spouses admitted through this process will eventually be able to sponsor their own siblings, children and parents to immigrate. This is what produces the immigration "chains" the president complains about, where a person is ultimately able to obtain a visa due to an extended family relationship: I sponsor my sister, who brings her husband, who sponsors his own brother, and so on.

But in practice, the length of these chains is greatly limited by the annual caps on family immigration, which result in long wait times for visa sponsorship, which are then followed by wait times for naturalization.

As Dara Lind explains at Vox, immigration authorities are processing immigration applications this month for siblings of US citizens that were filed in June 2004. The waits are even longer for countries that produce large numbers of immigrants to the US, like Mexico and the Philippines.

Because of this, my theoretical brother-in-law's brother would be able to move to the US sometime around 2050, if we started the application process for my sister today. I'd have to wait more than a decade to bring my sister in, and then she'd have to wait a couple of years to bring her husband in, and then he'd have to wait a few years to become a naturalized citizen, and then we'd all have to wait an additional decade-plus to bring his brother along after him.

All that said, there are valid arguments for adjusting these rules and even for reducing the amount of family-based visas that are issued. But the president's contention that prohibiting the admission of siblings and parents is necessary to "protect the nuclear family" makes no sense. If the president wants to contend other potential immigrants would bring more value to America, he should say so — but then the question would be why he's seeking a large overall reduction in immigration.

Maybe the president's goal here is not so much to sell his immigration plan so much as it is to sell the idea that he's trying to cut a fair deal with Democrats on immigration, so if there's no deal it's their fault. But if that was his goal, he probably shouldn't have echoed the over-the-top fear rhetoric about immigrants that recalls his extreme campaign.

The president pitched this immigration proposal as a "down the middle" compromise. That's not true. The president would have to move substantially on questions of legal immigration to be making an offer with any appeal to Democrats; if he doesn't, they will be able to correctly describe his proposal for a sharp reduction in legal immigration as extreme.

SEE ALSO: Trump touts a 'new American moment' in first State of the Union address

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0 THE MOBILE CARRIER LANDSCAPE: How AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are overcoming slow user growth amid a fierce price war

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This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

It hasn't been smooth sailing for telecoms in recent years. Native voice and messaging services, which once accounted for the vast majority of telecoms' subscriber revenue, are struggling to compete with over-the-top (OTT) apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber — and they're losing.

A fierce and ongoing price war among the Big Four carriers is only compounding the pressure telecoms are facing. The consequent resurgence of unlimited data plans is straining carriers' networks, and revenues are suffering.

Nevertheless, telecoms are now better positioned than ever to play a bigger role in their subscribers' lives. Consumers spend more than half of their digital time on smartphones, compared with a third on PCs. This shift has effectively placed telecoms at the front door of consumers' digital experience.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine where the wireless industry stands as a result of the price war and uptick in data demand from consumers. We also look at how technological advancements and the adoption of new product lines could incentivize the next wave of revenue growth for telecoms. Finally, we explore potential barriers to carriers' growth, and examine which of the Big Four carriers are poised to lead the pack.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Native voice and messaging services, which once accounted for the vast majority of telecoms' subscriber revenue, are struggling to compete with over-the-top apps.
  • A fierce ongoing price war among the Big Four is only compounding the pressure telecoms are facing.
  • Still, consumers' growing dependence on smartphones and data means telecoms are now better positioned than ever to play a bigger role in their subscribers' lives.
  • As digital continues to reshape the wireless industry, telecoms are preparing for the next wave of disruption, including connected cars, augmented reality, and 5G.
  • Despite a plethora of opportunities, several existing and emerging threats could impede telecoms' growth and expansion efforts.

In full, the report:

  • Describes how the US wireless carrier is shaping up.
  • Explores the effect of the fierce pricing wars taking place, and the methods carriers are using to retain their subscribers.
  • Highlights the new technology carriers are using to drive growth and revenue. 
  • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit carriers' growth and examines who's best positioned to come out on top.

To get the full report, subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the full report from our research store.

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0 The Congressional Black Caucus wasn't having it when Trump made a point of citing the black unemployment rate

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Congressional Black Caucus

  • President Donald Trump made a point to highlight the black unemployment rate during his State of the Union address.
  • The Congressional Black Caucus greeted his comment with silence.


During his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump made a point of highlighting recent news that the black unemployment rate had fallen to its lowest level in history.

The Congressional Black Caucus, however, greeted his comment with a nearly silent response.

"Why are the black congressmen Refusing to applaud the 'lowest unemployment rate for AAmericans?' #sotus," tweeted conservative personality Glenn Beck.

Some were quick to note that, while the black unemployment rate fell to 6.8% — still above the national unemployment rate — under Trump, the drop was a continuation of a change that began under President Barack Obama. 

"Any way you square it, the drop in Black unemployment was a trend that started under President Obama," Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted. "President Trump is just along for the ride. However, we can do better — the Black unemployment rate is still approximately double that of white unemployment. #SOTU."

SEE ALSO: The most controversial aspect of Trump's speech led to Democrats booing him and shouting 'that's not true'

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0 Trump's infrastructure proposal at the State of the Union fell on deaf ears among Democrats, who blasted its empty promises

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: U.S. President Donald J. Trump claps during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the first State of the Union address given by U.S. President Donald Trump and his second joint-session address to Congress. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan during his first official State of the Union address Tuesday night.
  • The proposal failed to impress Democrats, who have long been pushing for an infrastructure package.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's call for a sweeping infrastructure plan during his first official State of the Union address fell on deaf ears among Democrats Tuesday night.

"I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve," Trump said.  "Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need."

But the infrastructure proposal, often a favorite topics among Democratic lawmakers, failed to impress a body already dissatisfied with his presidency. Following his speech, Democrats suggested Trump made an empty promise, failing to specify how to pay for an infrastructure plan.

"Look, everybody wants to see infrastructure happen," said Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama. "I think the question is how to pay for it — that's a lot of money with the tax bill that came out."

"Everybody knew he was gonna talk about infrastructure. Everybody’s talking about it," Jones added. "I don't think there was a major step tonight any more than we've seen in the past. But at least it's on the table for us to talk about."

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, told Business Insider that the $1.5 trillion commitment from Trump is "a good number" but that he needs to know "how it's going to be paid for."

"There was no comment about where the money would come from," King said. "That's what worries me."

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said the proposal is "a lot of money" and noted that West Virginia needs "a lot of infrastructure."

"We need to figure out now and I wanna see where the money's coming from and things to pay for it," he added.

But the hefty $1.5 trillion that Trump pledged is not enough due to the way funds are distributed, according to Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee.

"The problem is that the plan and the details matter," Kildee told Business Insider. "What he's really talking about is $200 billion of federal money and a lot of state and local money that's already being spent. So it actually goes from what we were told would be a trillion dollars to something one fifth that size in terms of the federal investment."

"So this is actually going small on infrastructure because he assumes that the money that goes to state and local governments are spending right now can somehow be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled," Kildee added.

Kildee, whose district is still reeling from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, said despite the large spending figure, Trump's proposal "is really not a big and bold plan."

"This is kind of checking the box and saying that we're gonna do infrastructure when it literally guarantees that there'll be more Flint, Michigans and more bridge collapses," he said. "This is not a step in the right direction."

SEE ALSO: Pelosi rips GOP congressman demanding Capitol Police arrest undocumented immigrants at the State of the Union as anti-Christian

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