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ansible

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Member since: Fri Jul 1, 2016, 03:42 PM
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Kidnapped crypto executive was reportedly released after paying a $1 million bitcoin ransom

Source: Business Insider

Pavel Lerner, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Exmo Finance, has been released from the custody of kidnappers after the payment of a $1 million bitcoin ransom, according to the Financial Times.

Local media reports said Lerner, 40, was dragged into a black Mercedes-Benz by men in balaclavas while leaving the Kiev, Ukraine, offices of his company on Tuesday. The FT reported Friday that Lerner was "released in a state of shock," according to Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian adviser.

"We have operative information that he paid more than $1 million worth of bitcoins," Gerashchenko said. The exchange business Lerner runs is registered in the UK and also has a presence in Spain, Russia, India, and Thailand, according to The Telegraph. The anonymity of bitcoin and its eye-popping gain of more than 1,300% this year have made it a darling of criminals and the so-called dark web.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/kidnapped-crypto-exec-released-after-paying-1-million-bitcoin-ransom-2017-12

California housing crisis affecting middle class the most: It's 'a broken system'

For all of its claims of being an economic paradise, California is a failure when it comes to housing.

Not just low-income, affordable housing, but middle-income, working-class housing for teachers, firemen and long-time residents hoping to live anywhere near work.

"California has a housing crisis. We can't provide housing to our citizens," said Rita Brandin, with San Diego developer Newland Communities. "In Georgia, Texas and Florida, it can take a year and a half from concept to permits. In California, just the process from concept to approvals, is five years – that does not include the environmental lawsuits faced by 90 percent of projects."

Numbers tell the story of California's housing crisis.

* 75 percent of Southern Californians can't afford to buy a home, according to the state realtors association.

* 16 of the 25 least affordable communities in the US are in California, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

* Officials this year declared a homeless emergency in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.

* 56 percent of state voters say they may have to move because of a lack of affordable housing. One in four say they will relocate out of state, according to University of California Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies.

* A median price home in the Golden State is $561,000, according to the realtors association. A household would need to earn $115,000 a year to reasonably afford a home at that price, assuming a 20 percent down payment. Yet, two thirds of Californians earns less $80,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

* The household income needed to afford a median-priced home in the Silicon Valley town of Palo Alto is $450,000.

* In San Francisco, a median priced home is $1.5 million, according to the Paragon Real Estate Group.

* Home prices in California are twice the national average, and 70 percent can't afford to buy a home, according to state figures.

* Median household income in L.A. is $64,000. That's half what is necessary to buy a home.

*1 in 10 residents are considering leaving because they can't afford a place to live, according to a state legislative study, while US Census figures show 2 million residents, 25 and older, have already left the state since 2010.

* In 2016, 30 percent of California tenants put more than 50 percent of their income toward rent and utilities, according to the California Budget & Policy Center. Economists consider 30 percent the limit.

* California needs to double the number of homes built each year to keep prices from rising faster than the national average, according to the Legislative Analyst's Office.

"The biggest tragedy of California is we have stopped building houses for the middle class," said Borre Winkle with the Building Industry Association of San Diego. "Think of California's housing market as a martini class. We're building some affordable housing at the low end. Absolutely nothing in the middle and the top end is high-income housing, which subsidizes low-income housing. So that is a broken system."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/14/california-housing-crisis-affecting-middle-class-most-its-broken-system.html

New Year's Eve party in Berlin to have 'safe zone' for women

Source: BBC

Organisers of Berlin's New Year's Eve celebrations are to set up a "safe zone" for women for the first time. The new security measures planned for the Brandenburg Gate party come amid concerns about sexual assaults. A large number of assaults and robberies targeting women at Cologne's New Year's Eve celebrations two years ago horrified Germany.

Hundreds of women reported being attacked by gangs of men with migrant backgrounds. The events in Cologne heightened tensions in the country over the large influx of refugees and migrants - 1.1m people arrived in Germany in 2015, some, but by no means all, fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the New Year's Eve party in Berlin on Sunday and security will be strict. Large bags, such as rucksacks, and alcoholic drinks will be banned at the Brandenburg Gate. Women who have been assaulted or feel harassed will be able to get support at a special "safety zone", staffed by the German Red Cross, on Ebertstrasse.



Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42502984

Another cop found not guilty for murdering an innocent man...again

This is particularly enraging, even moreso because there's barely any news coverage of it.

A Maricopa County jury on Thursdayfound former Mesa police Officer Philip "Mitch" Brailsford not guilty of second-degree murder charges in the 2016 shooting of an unarmed Texas man who was on his knees begging for his life.

Jurors deliberated for less than six hours over two days, finishing Thursday afternoon. The eight-member jury also found Brailsford not guilty of the lesser charge of reckless manslaughter.


https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa-breaking/2017/12/07/philip-brailsford-verdict-daniel-shaver-killing/927052001/

Even worse is the actual video showing the shooting. It's a fucking EXECUTION.



Bitcoin blows past $15,000, adding $2,000 in less than 12 hours

Source: New York Post

Bitcoin rocketed above $15,000 for the first time on Thursday, after adding more than $2,000 to its price in fewer than 12 hours. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, has seen a more than fifteenfold surge in its value since the start of the year.

It climbed to as high as $15,344 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange around 9:20 a.m. ET, leaving it up more than 12 percent on the day, having traded just above $13,000 12 hours earlier. Many market-watchers said the launch this weekend of bitcoin futures by CBOE, one of the world’s biggest derivatives exchanges, was helping drive up the price on expectations it would draw more investors to the market.

“Futures trading will mean more demand…and is a form of ratification of the underlying tech – bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. They are now on the main stage,” said Charles Hayter, founder of cryptocurrency data analysis firm Cryptocompare. But some are warning that the launch of bitcoin futures, which will allow investors to take speculative “short” positions on the cryptocurrency, as well as “long” positions, could cause even greater volatility.

“Aggressive traders, such as hedge funds and algorithm-driven funds, (will be able) to use this futures market to enter bitcoin trading with high levels of liquidity for aggressive short-selling and knock the prices really low,” said Think Markets analyst Naeem Aslam.



Read more: https://nypost.com/2017/12/07/bitcoin-blows-past-15000-adding-2000-in-less-than-12-hours/

Venezuela to launch cryptocurrency to combat US 'blockade', Maduro says

Source: The Guardian

President Nicolas Maduro has said Venezuela would launch a cryptocurrency to combat a US-led financial “blockade,” although he provided few clues about how the economically crippled Opec member would pull off the feat.

“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency ... the ‘petro,’ to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade,” leftist Maduro said during his weekly Sunday televised broadcast. The digital currency will be backed by Venezuelan reserves of gold, oil, gas, and diamonds, he said during the near five-hour show, which included traditional Christmas songs and dancing.

“The 21st century has arrived!” Maduro added to cheers, without providing specifics about the currency launch. Opposition leaders scorned the announcement, which they said needed congressional approval, and some cast doubt on whether the digital currency would ever see the light of day in tumultuous Venezuela.

Still, the announcement highlights how US sanctions this year are hurting Venezuela’s ability to move money through international banks. Sources say compliance departments are scrutinising transactions linked to Venezuela, which has slowed some bond payments and complicated certain oil exports. Maduro’s move away from the US dollar comes after the recent spectacular rise of bitcoin, which has been fuelled by signs that the digital currency is slowly gaining traction in the mainstream investment world.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/04/venezuela-to-launch-cryptocurrency-to-combat-us-blockade-maduro-says
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