The former Delaware Senator is only the second Catholic to be elected US President, after John F Kennedy. He regularly attends Church services, where the ritual of the Holy Communion (Eucharist) is performed. The act commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples and is the most important ritual in the Catholic Christian faith.
However, conservative bishops are reportedly angry that Mr Biden supports the right of women to have abortions.
On Thursday, prelates debated at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a motion that called for a teaching document on politicians who support abortion.
This could potentially bar the US President from receiving the Eucharist.
Bishops voted overwhelmingly to adopt the motion, by a majority of 168 to 55, with 6 abstentions.
The decision to put the motion to the conference has divided the US Catholic community.
Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of Dignity USA which supports LGBTQ Catholics, accused bishops of behaving “in a brazenly partisan manner”.
In proposing the motion, he said: “We weren’t targeting particular individuals or limited to one issue, but I think we need to accept the [Church’s] discipline that those who obstinately persist in grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
The document will now be drafted by the doctrine committee of US bishops and will be debated again at the next bi-annual US Catholic Bishops Conference in November.
When asked about the bishops’ decision, the US President replied: “That’s a private matter and I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The building just off Interstate 35 in south Austin near Oltorf Street used to be a motel. Then, it became a place for high-risk people to stay during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it’s a temporary home to help people experiencing homelessness find stability, and it welcomed its first guests under that mission this week.
About 15 people who had lived at a camp near the Terrazas Branch Library on East Cesar Chavez Street have moved into the Southbridge facility since Tuesday, the City of Austin said. The city is working to put up a temporary fence where the camp used to be to discourage others from moving in, as the spot is not approved for camping under a camping ban voters passed in May.
The City of Austin approved a Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link initiative earlier this year. Moving residents into this city-owned Southbridge facility is part of phase one, in which people are being moved from known camps in four areas of Austin and connected with places to stay. Those camps are then being cleared in four weeks or less, the city said.
A total of 75 people will be able to stay at Southbridge, which will also connect them with resources to help them be successful, including a caseworker who can walk them through different options. It also has 24/7 staffing and security on site.
Author: Kate Winkle
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
Under current UK guidelines, travellers arriving from ‘amber’ and ‘red-list’ countries must quarantine upon arrival for 10 days. The semi-finals of Euro 2020 will be on July 6 and 7, and the finals on July 11.
Ministers are tabling plans to allow around 2,500 UEFA and FIFA VIPs to skip the quarantine period in order to attend matches at Wembley stadium.
They would also be allowed to attend training sessions and meetings with the UK government.
It is understood ministers are fearful UEFA could move the semi-finals and finals of the Euro 2020 tournament to Hungary if they do not ease restrictions.
Hungary will have no restrictions for travel within the Schengen zone from next week, and would host the games with full stadiums if hosting the tournament.
The country’s geophysics agency raised the alarm after the earthquake hit near the Moluccas islands today. They said: “Please move away from beach and move to higher ground.” As of yet, there have been no reports of injuries following the quake this morning.
The quake struck at 4.43am (UTC) near to the city of Amahai on Seram island.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake hit a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).
They also reported that the earthquake had a radius of 250km (155 miles) sparking concerns of aftershocks to several other regions.
A further 13 aftershocks were reported by the country’s earthquake agency.
They said in a statement: “The results of tsunami modelling with a tectonicearthquake source showed that this earthquake has no tsunami potential, but based on observations of sea level it showed the sea level rose as high as 0.5 metres.”
A local disaster mitigation agency reported a slight rise in water levels but did not issue a tsunami alert.
They added: “Earlier the water level was seen rising briefly, but we have not received further reports yet.”
Video on social media also showed local residents moving to higher ground amid the fears of a tsunami.
Colin Brazier will be in the new GB News station (Image: GB News)
The increasingly pernicious nature of the woke culture attacking traditional British values, like freedom of speech, led him to abandon his previous role at Sky. This wasn’t something Mr Brazier, an experienced award-winning journalist, did lightly.
He lost his wife Jo to breast cancer in 2018 and he is now raising their six children alone and the family friendly hours of his previous role were welcome.
However, he found he couldn’t carry on ignoring the distortion of the news agenda of broadcasters like the BBC, and yes, Sky, amongst others so he left.
“I just became increasingly angry and concerned at the more and more ‘woke’ corporations in our public life, particularly those centred around news,” he said.
“There is no scepticism in some parts of our British institutions and no diversity of opinions. Only the liberal voice is heard.
“Sometimes the only people making a stand against the nonsense forced on us are small private businesses and people derided as ‘white van man’.
“There needs to be more diversity of opinion. As an example, just look at the BBC’s latest announcement that they’re looking for people with different accents.
“What’s the point of different accents if these journalists, researchers, producers and managers don’t also have different opinions?”
One of the new “group-think” topics Mr Brazier plans on addressing, is the Americanisation of British culture, such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I don’t like this importation wholesale of US values and political opinions. We’re not the 51st state,” he said.
“The culture war topics over there are coming over here thick and fast but we’re not America and we need a stronger strand of scepticism about these imports.
“I’m not being anti-American, I’m pro-American, but to culturally impose those values on the UK is dangerous.”
Although he did not know it at the time of his exclusive interview with the Daily Express, the student behind the controversial vote to remove the Queen’s portrait from the Oxford University’s Magdalen College Middle Common Room is American.
“That behaviour is probably what we all expect from a bunch of daft students,” Mr Brazier said.
“At least it was a democratic vote, there was free expression and we expect young people to rebel.
“They’re probably going to replace Her Majesty with a picture of the revolutionary Che Guevara or the Chinese communist Mao Tse Tung.
“What they did was far less egregious than what happened at King’s College London apologising for ‘harm’ caused after an email was sent out with a photo of Prince Philip on it.
“That was done, not by a bunch of daft students, but by people you’d describe as the grown ups in the room.
“There’s a colossal ingratitude towards our British heritage, and this runs through organisations like the Church of England and the National Trust, and many of our major public institutions.
“I want GB News to speak with the voice of the ordinary person in Britain.
“Sometimes it seems other broadcasters have replaced their sceptical detachment with unashamed activism, always liberally biased.
“Newspapers like the Daily Express do a great job. The newspaper is a fantastic way of triaging information easily and appealingly.
“The Express is a great example of double-page spreads and page leads of factual information and plays a significant role in comparison to the Wild West of online news.”
Some media squeeze out stories which don’t suit their news agenda, according to Mr Brazier, who spoke to the Daily Express just minutes after a dress rehearsal for Sunday’s launch.
“They obsess about stories which only a small percentage of like-minded people are interested in, not the broad population,” he said.
“These language guides for staff, for example, I have a bee in my bonnet about them.
“Big companies say to staff you can’t use these words anymore, you can’t use those.
“How do they know? Have they asked the staff? Not the bureaucrats and the managers, but the cleaners and the security guards.
“There’s a huge democratic deficit there which needs addressing.”
Mr Brazier, 53, says widowhood has put a ‘fire in my belly’.
His children, Edith, 22, Agnes, 18, Constance, 16, Gwen, 15, Katharine, 13, and John, 11, support his move.
His unashamed belief in God and his Roman Catholic faith has sustained him since Jo’s death.
“Widowhood has given me less tolerance towards the dilettante,” he said.
“It’s given me a different perspective on life and a fire in my belly to say what I think.
“I think there’s a genuine heartfelt excitement out there about what we may be able to achieve.
“I think the wisdom of crowds is consistently under-rated by most media, and there’s a religious illiteracy from an aggressively secular media.
“We want to re-address the balance. I know GB News is a tiddler in a sea of Leviathans, but I want people to judge us in six months not six days.”
DULUTH, Ga. — It was already 1 p.m. when Randy Park tumbled out of bed one miserable March day. It had been another long night of TV and video games to distract himself from the emptiness swirling through the townhouse where his mother had once cooked meals between her shifts at a spa. He padded down the hallway, past her vacant bedroom, and nudged his younger brother, Eric, awake.
It was past time to face another day on their own.
In the immediate aftermath of the deadly shootings in the Atlanta area, the faces of Randy and Eric Park, now 22 and 21, seemed to be everywhere, their winsome images linked to a GoFundMe page established after their mother, Hyun Jung Grant, was killed. They were overwhelmed by financial donations, care packages, reporters at their door, and so many calls that Eric’s cellphone froze.
But in the months since, on the cusp of adulthood, the Park brothers have been largely left to navigate the world by themselves.
Sorrow takes many shapes after a mass shooting. Those left behind in the Atlanta area include Mario Gonzalez, whose new wife, Delaina Ashley Yaun, was a customer at Young’s Asian Massage. They include the grandchildren of Suncha Kim, who immigrated from South Korea in 1980. And they include Randy and Eric Park, whose anguish is compounded by the knowledge that their single mother was killed doing a job she disliked, part of her life that they knew little about and that kept her away from home for many hours.
“She died working for us,” Randy said. “It’s just unfair. She already didn’t have much of a life to begin with.”
The path forward for Ms. Grant’s sons is now murky, the questions before them both mundane and profound. Will they return to college or to work? What will they do with the money — nearly $ 3 million in all — that poured in to support them? What will they make of the rest of their lives?
Before all that, though, they are simply trying to learn to sustain themselves through their grief, recreating familiar rituals, imperfectly, to comfort themselves through long days.
The Park brothers live in a Korean enclave in suburban Atlanta. Until recently, Randy worked full-time at a nearby bakery and cafe. Eric was struggling in remote courses at Georgia Gwinnett College. The pandemic and their mother’s death put an end, at least temporarily, to those pursuits.
Growing up, the brothers believed they knew how to get by on their own because their mother was often at work. But the past few weeks have revealed all the ways in which Ms. Grant parented from afar: cleaning the house between shifts, cooking large meals that could last for days and calling every night from work to check in.
A Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks
A torrent of hate and violence against people of Asian descent around the United States began last spring, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Background:Community leaders say the bigotry was fueled by President Donald J. Trump, who frequently used racist language like “Chinese virus” to refer to the coronavirus.
Data: The New York Times, using media reports from across the country to capture a sense of the rising tide of anti-Asian bias, found more than 110 episodes since March 2020 in which there was clear evidence of race-based hate.
Underreported Hate Crimes: The tally may be only a sliver of the violence and harassment given the general undercounting of hate crimes, but the broad survey captures the episodes of violence across the country that grew in number amid Mr. Trump’s comments.
In New York:A wave of xenophobia and violence has been compounded by the economic fallout of the pandemic, which has dealt a severe blow to New York’s Asian-American communities. Many community leaders say racist assaults are being overlooked by the authorities.
And without the guidance of their mother, who immigrated to the United States before her sons were born, their neighborhood can feel foreign. She was their connection not only to the community but also to their Korean heritage.
Without her, even the most basic tasks can become baffling ordeals.
On a recent evening Randy researched a recipe for the sort of kimchi stir fry his mother once made for them and set out for supplies: green onion and seaweed, red pepper powder and a tin of sesame oil. Shopping at the Korean grocery store H Mart evoked fond memories. As a young boy, he would hover over the live crabs, poking at them with tongs until his mother stopped him. They picked produce together, chatting about his love interests and future plans.
But the store where he had frequently accompanied her now felt like an unsolvable maze. Which aisles? Which brands? He tried to avoid eye contact with other shoppers who recognized him from the news.
Back home, he and Eric puzzled over the recipe.
“Do we have a skillet?” Randy asked.
“Well, a skillet is basically a pan,” Eric replied.
Randy looked inside a cabinet and pulled out a large pan: “Is this a skillet?”
“No that’s more of a wok.”
Was a teaspoon the same as a tablespoon? Why had all the onions rotted?
Randy mixed the red pepper paste with sugar and, realizing he had miscalculated, sighed deeply. “I should’ve thought this through.”
They ate beside each other at the dinner table, staring at the third chair where their mother once sat.
Truth be told, there was a lot about Hyun Jung Grant that her sons did not know.
She had told them she was a teacher in South Korea and briefly lived in the city of Busan before moving to Washington State, where she found work as a waitress. She married and divorced, but the Park brothers never had a relationship with their father. Ms. Grant and the boys moved to Atlanta more than a decade ago to live among more Korean families, first in an apartment and more recently in a rented townhouse.
Along with other Korean immigrants, she worked at Gold Spa in a stretch of strip malls in northeastern Atlanta. Giving massages was an exhausting job that required long hours. Sometimes she stayed overnight for days at a time. She aspired to something more — a better job, a home that she owned — and did not talk much about her work, preferring to tell some people she worked at a makeup counter. But she had bills to pay and was determined to put her boys through college.
Many nights Randy and Eric had found themselves home without her, awaiting her check-in call.
How was your day? Have you eaten? Is your younger brother home?
When Randy was young, a babysitter told him to consider himself Eric’s second “umma,” his substitute mother. Now, it is a role he fills in earnest.
After the shooting, he instinctively shielded his younger brother from the burden of decision-making. On his own, he shuffled from meeting to meeting, preparing his mother’s burial arrangements with the funeral home, sorting through finances with a newly hired financial adviser. He eventually forced himself to get his days going early, filling his mornings with the errands required of the head of the household.
Even now, he takes charge of meals and laundry, and the lingering logistics connected to their mother’s death. “I can’t just drop everything,” Randy said. “I have a responsibility.”
Eric often stays in his room, drifting in and out of sleep. Recently, he signed up for weekly driving lessons, but often he binge-watches shows like “Crash Landing on You,” a popular South Korean drama, waiting for his friends to finish class so they can play League of Legends in the evening. His room is littered with empty Starbucks to-go bags and smoothie cups.
The brothers were not close growing up, but their grief has drawn them to each other. Together, they saw their mother’s face for the final time at the funeral home. Together, they flipped through her photo albums in preparation for her memorial. They have discovered family pictures that their mother took and saved on her phone. They seek each other out when they are feeling lonely.
One April evening, Randy invited Eric to join him and some friends at Assa Tech Karaoke in Duluth, a rare night out for singing and conversation. It was Eric’s first attempt at karaoke, an activity he had hoped to enjoy with his mother.
Randy and his friends belted out a decent rendition of “Location,” by Khalid. And then, at Eric’s behest, the brothers tried one of the few songs they knew in their mother’s language. On opposite sides of the room, they kept their eyes glued to the lyrics on the screen, avoiding eye contact. Eric stumbled on some words, Randy held a few notes too long, but by the chorus, they got the hang of it.
They sang in sync in Korean until the very end. “Bogoshipda” — “I miss you.”
Slowly, the brothers are contemplating a future for themselves. Eric plans to return to college sometime next school year. Randy is considering finishing his last few semesters at Georgia State University or perhaps enrolling in a boot camp for computer science. They imagine a trip to South Korea to meet their mother’s family.
Among the most difficult parts of Hyun Jung Grant’s absence for the Park brothers is the long list of future trips and milestones they had hoped to spend together.
That reality sunk in on Eric’s 21st birthday, which would have also been his mother’s 52nd. For years, they had planned to share a drink when Eric was of age.
And so, on the morning of May 4, Randy and Eric tried their best to recreate the celebration their mother had in store. They purchased fruit cake from a nearby Korean bakery and searched the city for a bottle of Chamisul soju, a Korean distilled spirit, before driving to her grave.
It had been storming for days, but as the brothers walked across the field, the rain scattered and only clouds remained.
Randy led the way, having visited several times for burial arrangements. They spilled the liquor around their mother’s grave as an offering and ate their cake from paper plates.
They stayed, in silence, for half an hour, unsure what to say to each other. “Are you hungry?” Randy asked. Eric nodded yes, and they left.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Defund the police? City leaders in Portland tried it. A unit in the fire and rescue bureau, one of the first of its kind in a major city, began this year taking some 911 calls about people in crisis, especially those who are homeless.
Instead of police officers with flashing lights and guns, a paramedic and a social worker would drive up offering water, a high-protein snack and, always and especially, conversation, aiming to defuse a situation that could otherwise lead to confrontation and violence. No power to arrest. No coercion.
“Having someone show up and offer you goods rather than run you off is different, and people respond to it — it softens the mood,” said Tremaine Clayton, a burly, tattooed veteran of 20 years at the fire and rescue bureau who helps run the program.
But this spring, just as the project was preparing for a major rollout into more neighborhoods, there was another plot twist: The new policing alternative was itself mostly defunded. The city decided on a go-slow approach, and the promised $ 4.8 million expansion evaporated.
Portland, the Oregon city of bridges, bike lanes and left-leaning idealists — beloved, abhorred and caricatured in just about equal measure — is wrestling mightily with the question of what it means to make a city safe and, as it gradually opens up from the Covid-19 shutdowns, to feel safe, too. It is an issue that many American cities are addressing as the economic and societal disruptions of the past year linger and resonate.
Violent crime, especially homicide, has spiked in most urban areas during the pandemic, and many police departments are facing new scrutiny about training and bias since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis a year ago.
But here in the nation’s 25th-largest metropolitan area, with about 2.5 million people, there is an additional factor that ripples through every public policy choice, and that even the city’s top prosecutor said has to a degree warped the debate about what to do to rebuild a city that Portlanders want and love.
A hardened core of street activists, many of them professing opposition to authority in general, has dug in and shows no signs of going away. (Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, has asked people to stop calling them protesters, but rather what they call themselves: anarchists.) Their numbers are now down to perhaps 25 to 75 on any given night, compared with hundreds in late 2020 and the many thousands who marched last summer in protests after Mr. Floyd’s murder.
But they have shown themselves at times to be violent — one was charged with attempted murder after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the police — destructive of property and highly adaptable, using social media tools and other strategies to divert the police from the targets they select.
Direct actions are promoted on social media with the phrase “No gods, no masters,” a 19th-century anarchist term that indicates a rejection of all forms of authority. More traditional protesters from Black Lives Matter and other movements who try to curtail violence are now ridiculed as “peace police” by the anarchists, who mostly consist of young, white men.
Demetria Hester, a member of Moms United for Black Lives, continues to push for defunding the police but disagrees with the current call for dismantling the entire political system. “Breaking windows is performative,” she said. “That satisfies them at night, but they don’t have a plan.”
Some prominent Black leaders have been formally distancing themselves, with some calling the anarchists’ rejection of gradual progress just another symbol of privilege that Black people do not have.
“Being able to protest every night is a white privilege, being able to yell at a police’s face is a white privilege,” said Gregory McKelvey, a prominent Black organizer who ran the mayoral campaign last year for Mr. Wheeler’s opponent, Sarah Iannarone. “Most Black people across the country do everything they can to avoid cops.”
Still, Mr. McKelvey has empathy for those who feel that taking to the streets is their only outlet. “These are people who have felt like they’ve had no agency or power in their life or in the political system,” he said. “They want to feel powerful, and when you can have the mayor talking about you every single day, and hundreds of police officers show up to fight you every day, you feel more powerful than when you’re sitting at home.”
The protests have led to vicious finger-pointing over who was to blame for the serial destruction that has left so many downtown storefronts shattered and covered with plywood.
Mayor Wheeler, heeding the demands of downtown residents and business owners, said the protesters themselves must be held accountable for their destructive attacks.
Protesters say the police have escalated the situation; this year, the Justice Department said that the city’s Police Bureau was violating its own use-of-force policies during crowd-control operations, and that supervisors were not properly investigating complaints.
Not so fast, the city shot back. The problem was at least partly created when former President Donald J. Trump sent in federal agents last summer, escalating the violence, the city attorney, Robert Taylor, said in a vehement response.
One former Portland Police commander, Martin Rowley, who retired in 2007 but oversaw the policing of protests in the 1990s and early 2000s, said he saw things turn from bad to worse over the past year as a result of frustration, rage and fatigue.
“You had officers who had been exposed to this environment over and over and over and over and over again, day after day after day, couldn’t get rotated out. Had days off canceled, had vacations canceled,” he said. At the same time, he said, protests evolved from peaceful marches to confrontational direct actions. “One-on-one confrontations escalates the use of force,” he said.
The Portland Police Bureau declined repeated requests for comment.
Perhaps the most stark outcome of the anarchist entrenchment has been a rift between the police and the Multnomah County district attorney, Mike Schmidt. Elected last year in the middle of the crisis, Mr. Schmidt immediately announced that he would focus on prosecuting cases of violence or vandalism; protesters who simply resisted arrest or refused to disperse after a police order would not necessarily be charged. The police continued to make arrests for those lesser offenses, and Mr. Schmidt kept dismissing them.
At a meeting he had with the bureau’s riot squad late last year, Mr. Schmidt said, the officers did not hold back.
“They were like, ‘Why are you doing this? Your policy is putting my life in danger,’” he recounted. “‘You’ve emboldened the protesters by giving them this free pass that they can do whatever they want to us.’”
Mr. Schmidt said he was struck by how the police seemed to view his prosecution policy from an us-versus-them perspective. “It was like, ‘There’s our team and there’s their team, and you are on their team and you’re not on our team. And we’ve never had a D.A. not be on our team before,’” he said.
As the George Floyd protests waned elsewhere in the country, demonstrations in Portland continued almost nightly, for months on end. Video clips of burning trash barrels, broken windows and police in riot gear populated YouTube.
“You see images that make it seem like ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,’” said Phillip Atiba Goff, a professor of African American studies and psychology at Yale University who co-founded the Center for Policing Equity, an advocacy group that works to reduce bias in policing.
The rise in gun violence in the city — there were 891 shootings in 2020, more than double the number the previous year — has created what Dr. Goff calls a “correlation fallacy,” that protest equates to rising violent crime. Many big cities have seen a recent spike in violent crime, with little direct connection to street protests or law enforcement philosophy, he said.
“Portland is a dangerous potential distraction,” he said. “If you look at where progressive prosecutors were elected, homicide jumped; if you look at where they were defeated, homicide also spiked.”
But even as Portland’s streets shook with anger, they were also filled, more and more, by the victims of disruption in the city’s fabric — people without a place to live, rendered homeless by social and economic dislocations of the pandemic. The spiraling problem is obvious throughout the city’s downtown, which is sprinkled with sidewalk encampments of tents.
The rising numbers of homeless people turned the new fire and rescue unit, called Portland Street Response, into a leading front in the effort to quell the crisis. Like several similar programs that have recently started or are in planning in Denver, Rochester, N.Y., Oakland, Calif., and San Francisco, the effort is modeled after a project begun in Eugene, Ore., in 1989.
Portland’s new team, as well as the city’s 911 dispatchers, had to learn as they went. What calls were too dangerous, and therefore would still require a police response? Some were obvious — a person wielding a firearm warranted an officer on the scene. In more uncertain circumstances, dispatchers developed a series of triage questions to the 911 caller: Is a weapon present? Can it be seen?
“The dispatchers are learning it as they go,” said Britt Urban, a clinical social worker on the response team.
City leaders had initially planned a major expansion of the program, but after vigorous debate the City Council last month backed the mayor’s plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot effort before expanding it. “I have one priority, and only one — that’s outcomes,” Mr. Wheeler told the council.
Many people here say that the battle over what kind of city Portland will be, what values it will represent, what lessons it will draw from a tumultuous year, is now coming down to the question of fatigue — on the part of the police, city leaders, business owners and downtown residents. After 2020, the old status quo has started sounding pretty good.
But many, especially in the Black community, are warning that an ache for normalcy must be resisted; Portland, they say, cannot just bandage over the wound that cries out the loudest in its pain and anger.
“We can’t yet see where it’s going to end up, but whatever it is, we can’t allow things to go back,” said Taji Chesimet, 19, a college student and co-chair of the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing, which reports to Mr. Wheeler.
Mr. Chesimet, who grew up in the city, said he thought Portland would ultimately be not just the city that showed the world what happened when streets explode in violence, but how a city could change.
“We can be the model,” he said.
Author: Kirk Johnson and Sergio Olmos
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News
Elon Musk announces suspension of Bitcoin Tesla purchases
The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has fallen by by more than eight percent since the start of Friday from £27,816 to just £25,562 at 7.30am on Monday.
Ethereum’s price had dropped by 3.65 percent from £2.025 to £1,951 in a matter of days.
Until just under two months ago, the price of Bitcoin had been dramatically surging, raising renewed hopes of a major fightback from the normally turbulent cryptocurrency markets.
The value skyrocketed to a record high of £45,882 on April 15 but has plummeted sharply ever since.
The latest crisis comes as a host of crypto-related accounts in China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform were blocked over the weekend as Beijing continues to come down hard on Bitcoin trading and mining.
Cryptocurrency experts have warned further actions are expected, such as linking illegal crypto activities in China more directly with the country’s criminal law
Just a couple of weeks ago, China’s State Council said it would be cracking down on Bitcoin mining and trading, which came days after three industry bodies banned crypto-related financial and payment services.
Bitcoin price latest: Bitcoin’s price has fallen sharply over recent days and weeks (Image: GETTY)
Bitcoin price latest: Bitcoin’s price had surged to a record high just under two months ago (Image: GETTY)
Throughout the weekend, access to a number of widely followed crypto-related Weibo accounts was denied, with a message saying each account “violates laws and rules.”
A Weibo bitcoin commentator, or key opinion leader (KOL), who calls herself ‘Woman Dr. bitcoin mini’, wrote: “It’s a Judgment Day for crypto KOL.”
NYU Law School adjunct professor Winston Ma, referring to the Tesla founder and cryptocurrency fan, said: “The government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market.”
Mr Ma, who has also written the book ‘The Digital War’, believes China’s supreme court will publish a judicial interpretation at some point that may connect crypto mining and trading businesses with China’s body of criminal law.
Bitcoin price latest: Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency (Image: GETTY)
The financial regulator said such an interpretation would address the legal ambiguity that has failed to clearly identify bitcoin trading businesses as “illegal operations”.
So far, all rules against cryptocurrencies in the country have been published by administrative bodies.
Bitcoin’s price had plummeted by more than seven percent overnight on Friday after a bizarre tweet from Elon Musk, with rival cryptocurrencies also plunging.
The dramatic fall in the value of cryptocurrencies was accompanied by a strange Tweet from the Tesla boss, who appeared to mock Bitcoin’s recent struggles.
Bitcoin price latest: Elon Musk posted a meme referencing a song from US rock band Linkin Park (Image: @elonmusk / Twitter)
Tech billionaire Mr Musk has been extremely vocal on social media about the use and future of cryptocurrencies.
But his tweets and comments regularly trigger significant upward or downward movements in the volatile market.
In February, the price of Bitcoin surged to an all-time high after he tweeted Tesla would begin accepting payments of the digital currency for sales of their electric cars.
Bitcoin’s price jumped by a fifth (20 percent )after Tesla said it had made a $ 1.5billion investment.
The firm added it would eventually accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its cars.
Bitcoin price latest: Elon Musk has been extremely vocal about cryptocurrencies over recent weeks (Image: GETTY)
But on May 17, Bitcoin’s price plunged by almost 10 percent to its lowest since February after the Tesla boss hinted the electric carmaker may sell its cryptocurrency holdings.
The previous weekend, Mr Musk suggested the firm was considering selling or may have already sold some of its holdings in the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin’s price drop was triggered by a tweet sent to the Tesla boss, which said: “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their Bitcoin holdings.
“With the amount of hate [Elon Musk] is getting, I wouldn’t blame him.”
Mr Musk simply replied: “Indeed.”
He later followed up that Tweet following the panic he had caused, and frankly wrote: “To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin.”
That latest blow for Bitcoin came a week after the Tesla chief executive said the company had stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars because of fears over its carbon emissions.
He announced the carmaker had stopped vehicle purchases with the cryptocurrency because of “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining”.
The Tesla boss tweeted: “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Calls to cancel the Olympics altogether are mounting, including from an official partner of the Games, even as organizers signal they’re prepared to go ahead with competition at the end of July.
Sentiment among the public in Japan has long shown many people are wary of hosting the Olympics, which was pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on how the question has been phrased in a number of recent surveys, between 60% and 80% of those living in Japan are against the games taking place, according to the Associated Press.
The Asahi Shimbun became the first newspaper in the country to write an editorial imploring Japanese leaders to call it off. The newspaper is a Tokyo 2020 Olympic official partner. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association, which has more than 6,000 members, also called for the Games to be canceled last week, saying it was concerned the number of cases in the area could rise.
International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said last week he believes the public may be more open to hosting the games as more and more people in the country are vaccinated. Right now about 2.6% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. Coates also added the IOC expects about 80% of those in the Olympic Village will be vaccinated, and noted strict COVID-19 protocols are in place.
“The advice we have from the WHO (World Health Organization) and all other scientific and medical advice that we have is that — all the measures we have outlined, all of those measures that we are undertaking are satisfactory and will ensure a safe and secure games in terms of health,” Coates said. “And that’s the case whether there is a state of emergency or not.”
On Friday, Japan extended its coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo until June 20.
U.S. travel advisory: avoid Japan
The U.S. State Department raised the travel health notice level for Japan to its highest level because of COVID-19. The Level Four designation says U.S. citizens shouldn’t travel there. According to the U.S. Embassy in Japan, the country doesn’t allow people to enter the country for tourism or other “short-term purposes.”
Dr. Stephen Thomas, an infectious disease specialist in New York, said if people go to Japan for the Olympics, they should continue to wash hands, wear a mask and social distance even if they’re vaccinated. Being vaccinated means the likelihood someone will get COVID-19, or have severe symptoms if they do get it, is greatly reduced, but it’s not zero.
“If I was not vaccinated, I would really think very very carefully about traveling to a place where the vast majority of the population is unvaccinated and that we don’t anticipate will reach even moderate levels of vaccination in the near term,” Thomas said.
Athletes continue to prepare
Despite the uncertainty that has persisted for more than a year surrounding the Olympics, athletes are finally getting ready for the upcoming Olympic trials, which the United States uses to determine the top competitors to send to Tokyo.
Swimming will happen in Omaha from June 4-7 and 13-20
Divers will travel to Indianapolis to compete in their trials from June 6-13
Track and Field will be held in Eugene, Oregon, from June 18-27
The gymnastics event will take place from June 24-27 in Saint Louis.
Simone Biles will be among those competing in the gymnastics event. She recently made history at the U.S. Classic when she completed a Yurchenko double pike, becoming the first woman to do so in competition. The move began with a sprint down the runway, a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault and two backflips.
Drumming up (virtual) interest in the Games
As the pandemic forced many people inside and onto their computers for socializing and entertainment, there was a huge increase in participation in esports and virtual sports, according to IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell.
McConnell said the Olympics have worked for several years to engage with those communities, and that led to the Olympic Virtual Series ahead of the Games. The events run through June 23 and allow people around the world to participate in esports and virtual versions of baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsports.
While it’s a way for fans to connect this year, in the future it could be part of the larger worldwide competition.
“One of the things we’ve been very clear about is the door is open for a virtual sport to be included in the Olympic program in the future,” McConnell said, adding the soonest that could happen would be for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
Author: Kate Winkle
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
Tottenham have begun talks with Mauricio Pochettino over a sensational return to the club. Pochettino was sacked just 18 months ago by Spurs but is reportedly considering resigning at Paris Saint-Germain in order to move back to north London.
The Argentine was only appointed as PSG boss in January but has failed to settle in the French capital and is interested in the vacant manager’s position at Spurs.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is leading the search for a successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in April following a disappointing run of results.
Pochettino has endured a mixed time at PSG, winning the French Super Cup and the Coupe de France and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, but falling short in Ligue 1.
He has another year left on his contract with the French giants, who do not want any more turbulence, having sacked Thomas Tuchel earlier in the season.
The Athletic reports therefore that Pochettino would likely have to resign in order to force the move through.
The 49-year-old has reportedly run into the same problems which caused Tuchel’s downfall, with a lack of power behind the scenes causing friction.
According to reports in Italy, PSG are concerned enough about the situation to be sounding out replacements, just four months on from hiring Pochettino.
PSG finished second in Ligue 1, one point behind champions Lille, after suffering three damaging defeats in six matches between February 21 and April 3, while they were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by Manchester City.
Levy has been searching for a new manager ever since sacking Mourinho and his coaching staff on April 19.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, Brighton’s Graham Potter and German coach Ralf Rangnick have all been linked with the role.