Whether you're a diehard bitcoin fan or you can't stop screaming mania, it's hard to ignore just how monumental bitcoin's surge has been. Bitcoin gained over 300% last year and is already up over 10% this year. Here are five hard-to-believe facts about bitcoin and cryptocurrency that could be helpful for your own investment purposes, to impress your friends, or simply to gain a better handle on what bitcoin is and why it's surging.
- The Telegraph
Some business and personal taxes “have to go up”, Lord Hague, the former Conservative leader and close ally of Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has warned. In a new article for The Telegraph, Lord Hague writes that people who oppose some form of tax rises in the current climate are buying into “dangerous illusions”. The intervention the day before Mr Sunak stands up to deliver his Budget will raise eyebrows, given the fierce debate about tax rises in the party and the pair’s close relationship. Mr Sunak took over Lord Hague’s seat of Richmond, Yorks, when the latter stepped down as a Tory MP in 2015. Both men will appear at the Budget event together on Friday. “It pains me to say, after spending much of my life arguing for lower taxes, that we have reached the point where at least some business and personal taxes have to go up,” Lord Hague writes. He adds: "Conservatives need to remember that for 200 years, from Pitt in 1797 to Thatcher and Cameron in our own day, keeping the country creditworthy has stood them in very good stead." The Chancellor has been mulling over a string of tax rises or raids for his Budget but has faced warnings from prominent Conservative backbenchers and even David Cameron. Such public support from a prominent Tory grandee as Lord Hague will only further speculation Mr Sunak is preparing to defy calls not to raise taxes, or at least indicate rises are coming soon. The Telegraph can reveal Mr Sunak will announce a £300 million funding boost to save summer sports such as cricket and tennis from the Covid-triggered cash squeeze. Tens of millions of pounds are expected to go to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), allowing it to protect grassroots cricket and ease the return of fans into grounds. Lord Ian Botham, the former England cricket captain, told The Telegraph: “Everyone in the cricketing world will be delighted. It’s been a tough time for the sport.” Mr Sunak is also preparing to spend £408 million to help museums, theatres and galleries in England to reopen once coronavirus restrictions start to ease, it was reported on Monday night. The Chancellor will also announce a new scheme to help 130,000 small businesses expand by funding improvements in their digital operations and offering MBA-like business training. One part of the scheme, dubbed “Help to Grow”, will offer vouchers of up to £5,000 for businesses to buy new software to improve their online operations. Another will see 30,000 small company leaders offered training at some of the UK’s finest business schools and mentoring so they can improve their plans for growth. A Treasury source said the £520 million scheme is one of the “big bets” in the Budget and was inspired by Mr Sunak’s own experience of taking an MBA course at Stanford University in America. Boris Johnson said on Monday that he believed a "strong, jobs-led recovery" was coming, adding: “I think [it] could be much stronger than many of the pessimists have been saying over the last six months or so." Mr Sunak, in a video shared on Twitter, also offered notes of optimism amid frank warnings about the state of the economy, saying: “We have to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel now.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, an accusation rejected by Tehran. The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between Thursday night and Friday morning by a blast above the water line that a U.S official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.
- The Independent
President’s warm tone towards Mexico has translated to substantial policy changes
- Associated Press
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 killing of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration made clear Friday it would forgo sanctions or any other major penalty against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Khashoggi killing, even after a U.S. intelligence report concluded the prince ordered it.
- The Independent
The president returned to some of his favourite debunked theories about the election, and much more
- The Independent
Biden AG pick passes out of committee by bipartisan 15-7 vote
- Associated Press
A semitruck on Tuesday crashed into an SUV carrying 25 people on a Southern California highway, killing 13 and leaving others injured, authorities said. California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said 12 people died at the scene, which is about 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the U.S.-Mexico border, and another died after arriving at the hospital. Hospital officials earlier reported there were 15 killed and more people in the SUV.
- The Week
The Trump administration reportedly quietly funded Operation Warp Speed with money set aside for hospitals
By late summer last year, Operation Warp Speed accounts were running dry, so the Trump administration appears to have used a financial maneuver allowing Department of Health and Human Services officials to divert $10 billion from a fund meant to help hospitals and health care providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Stat News reports. Congress granted the HHS permission to move pandemic-related money between accounts, though the agreement stipulated the agency had to give lawmakers a heads up. In this case, it appears the HHS siphoned the funds quietly, albeit with permission from its top lawyer. Other attorneys told Stat that the agency likely did have the wiggle room to carry out the action. Former Office of Management and Director Russ Vought defended the decision and said "we would do it again," telling Stat that not only did the administration have the authority, it was also "the right thing to do in order to move as quickly as possible because lives were on the line." Other Trump officials seemed to agree, per Stat, arguing that successful vaccines would reduce hospitalizations, making Warp Speed the more consequential outlet. It's still unclear whether the decision has resulted in less money for health care providers, as the Biden administration remains mum on the subject, Stat reports. Read more at Stat News. More stories from theweek.comMcCarthy claims during House debate that Dr. Seuss has been outlawed. Dr. Seuss has not been outlawed.The myth of the male bumblerManhattan DA investigators are reportedly focusing on the Trump Organization's chief financial officer
- USA TODAY
Royal Caribbean's new ship, Odyssey of the Seas, is set to debut with departures from Israel with all passengers and crew over age 16 vaccinated.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The Johnson & Johnson shot is the third coronavirus vaccine to be authorized by the FDA.
- Business Insider
Biden refused to sanction MBS over Khashoggi's murder because he doesn't want his relationship with Saudi Arabia to get worse, officials say
A US intelligence report released Friday found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
- Business Insider
10 hours in Cancún hurt Ted Cruz's job approval more than when he tried to flip the presidential election
New polling from Morning Consult shows Ted Cruz's job approval fell more after traveling to Mexico than when he objected to the election results.
- NBC News
Brittany Gosney told investigators she tried to abandon her son in a wildlife area and ran over him when he attempted to get back into her vehicle, according to court documents.
- Business Insider
CNN's Chris Cuomo is facing backlash for refusing to cover his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo's scandals after praising his pandemic response
The TV host said he "obviously" can't cover his brother's scandals because it presents a conflict of interest.
- KFSN – Fresno
Porterville police are asking for the public's help finding a missing 68-year-old man.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A group of Democratic senators is urging President Joe Biden to go beyond the $1,400 payment included in his COVID relief package.
- Chicago Tribune
Heidi Stevens: Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment allegations got a whole lot ickier when he threw the word ‘mentor’ in the mix
A life hack: If you’re 63 and she’s 25 and you’re her boss, the flirtation is always, every time, definitely unwanted. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing sexual harassment accusations from two former aides, released a statement Sunday acknowledging that his interactions at the office “may have been insensitive or too personal.” “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been ...
- USA TODAY Opinion
If Democrats are to hold the moral high ground on issues of gender equity, they cannot apply standards just to those on the opposite side of the aisle.
- Business Insider
10 Senate Democrats tell Biden to implement recurring stimulus checks after $1.9 trillion bill is passed
A group of senators thinks direct payments should be sent out regularly as the US economy gets back on its feet.