Ohio State Rolled Out The Welcome Mat For Accused Sexual Predator Dr. Richard Strauss

Sexual abuse survivors of former Ohio State University athletic trainer Dr. Richard Strauss are demanding action from the school after it released the conclusions of an independent yearlong investigation on Friday. 

“As traumatic as it is to relive Dr. Strauss’ abuse this week, I am also traumatized by the dismissive way that OSU continues to treat me and other survivors to this day,” Steve Snyder-Hill, former OSU graduate and survivor, said in a statement to HuffPost.

“This report still doesn’t tell us how many students Dr. Strauss abused, exactly who in the Athletic Department and the broader administration knew about his abuse, or what OSU is doing to make sure this can never happen again,” he continued. “The school likes to say that this is ‘a different OSU’ but, until it makes clear and accepts responsibility for the full scope of what happened and how, there is no reason to believe that.”

Adele Kimmel, an attorney who represents 60 of the nearly 200 public victims, told reporters during a Tuesday call that the report reflects just how badly the university failed its students. 

“Scores of Ohio State employees knew about Strauss’ abuse and did nothing to stop it,” she said. “Parents have come to expect that if a sexual predator like Strauss moved in next door to their home, authorities would alert them to that situation. In stark contrast, Ohio State essentially rolled out the welcome mat for Strauss and gave him a platform to advertise for his next victims when the university knew he was sexually abusing young men.”

The report, conducted by the law firm Perkins Coie, found that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 students over the course of his two-decade career at Ohio State. The investigation also concluded that university employees were aware of complaints and rumors about Strauss’ conduct as early as 1979 but did not take action. 

Strauss served as Ohio State’s clinical and medical faculty member from 1978 to 1998. During that time he also served as the athletics team physician from 1981-1995, having access to more than 16 sports teams. He is accused of sexually abusing at least 177 male students during his tenure at Ohio State.

Strauss died by suicide in 2005, but the investigation into his alleged actions is ongoing.

Investigators say Dr. Richard Strauss sexually assaulted at least 177 students over two decades at Ohio State University.&nbs

Investigators say Dr. Richard Strauss sexually assaulted at least 177 students over two decades at Ohio State University. 

Snyder-Hill and fellow survivor Ron McDaniel, along with their attorneys, agreed that the recent report published by OSU lacked transparency and action. “This report is kind of a joke,” McDaniel said.

With the support of 60 other victims of Strauss, McDaniel and Snyder-Hill called for OSU to meet five demands including that the school release records revealing the total number of male students Strauss examined during his time at OSU. Survivors also demanded that OSU publicly encourage all victims of Strauss to come forward, and asked that OSU release the names of coaches, assistant coaches and trainers who knew of Strauss’ misconduct while it was going on and did nothing to stop it. The group also demanded that OSU release where else Strauss saw his patients, including local middle and high schools. 

“This is one of the biggest sex abuse scandals in U.S. history, yet the report only scratches the surface,” attorney Ilann Maazel said in a statement to HuffPost.

“How many hundreds or thousands of OSU students did Dr. Strauss abuse? What are the names of all the OSU coaches, trainers and administrators who knew about the abuse and did nothing? What will OSU do to make these survivors whole?” Maazel continued. “It’s time for a full reckoning at this university.”

When asked if he believes if Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) knew of the abuse while he was an assistant wrestling coach at the school, McDaniel answered definitively. 

“I was on the tennis team so we practiced in a different location [than the wrestling team],” said McDaniel, a former tennis player who attended OSU in the early 1980s. “I can’t really speak to his exact whereabouts or what he knew but he knew.”

Snyder-Hill added that he believes every administrator who was at the university at the time was “somewhat culpable” for Strauss’ abuse.

Last July, several former wrestlers accused Jordan of ignoring the sexual abuse accusations against Strauss when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach from the mid-1980s to early 1990s.

“I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on,” former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato told NBC News in an investigative report published last year. 

Jordan claimed vindication after the investigation was published on Friday, pointing to a section that concluded the report “did not identify any contemporaneous documentary evidence that members of the OSU coaching staff, including head coaches or assistant coaches, received or were aware of complaints regarding Strauss sexual misconduct.” 

The investigation, however, also found that 22 former OSU coaches reported that they were aware of complaints and rumors against Strauss from the 1970s through the 1990s. Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach between 1987 and 1995.

Abortion Shaping Up To Be The Health Care Fight Of 2020

WASHINGTON ― Democrats are gearing up to turn abortion into a key issue for the 2020 elections, saying it could turn out to be an issue that mirrors the fight to preserve the Affordable Care Act in 2018. 

“Trump has made abortion and, more broadly, women’s health care and women’s rights, to be an issue in 2020,” Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told HuffPost. “He was the one who, during the State of the Union, lied, deliberately spreading misinformation about abortion care and women’s health care. He’s the one who has made this a campaign issue. And we say: Bring it on.”

The latest uproar came after Alabama passed the strictest anti-abortion law in the country last week, banning the procedure with no exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Seven other states have also passed new anti-abortion laws, with additional measures pending in state legislatures.

The Alabama law, in particular, was a wake-up call for many people. It goes further even than what some Republicans and abortion opponents support, because it doesn’t have the rape and incest exceptions. 

Democrats believe the GOP’s aggressive push for these sorts of laws may backfire, just as their yearslong campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act did in the 2018 elections. 

Ever since it passed in 2010, Republicans promised to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. When Donald Trump won the White House and Republicans won control of both chambers of Congress in 2016, they finally had their chance. Voters, however, started to realize what would be lost if the law were repealed, and Obamacare suddenly became significantly more popular. Activists mobilized to protest vulnerable GOP lawmakers who had supported repeal, and health care was a top issue energizing Democratic voters

Abortion could take the same route in the next election cycle.

“This issue is essentially a health care issue,” said Kim Baker, a co-chair with Indivisible Midlands South Carolina, which is also fighting at the state level to stop the legislature from restricting abortion rights. “Then you bring in the extra attacks on women’s autonomy and reproductive rights, and I think it will be a very big issue going into the 2020 elections.”

“For a lot of years, the threat against women’s health care has been talked about, but they’ve never been as real as they are today,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who works on health care. “It’s changed from a coffee table conversation to a clear and present danger. That means voters can no longer stay with Republicans and assume that this won’t become an issue.”

This time, activists see a turning point with not just Alabama, but with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, solidifying a 5-4 conservative majority. The threat of the court overturning Roe v. Wade is suddenly real. 

“The energy we saw around this day of action was even bigger than what we saw in the early days of Kavanaugh because what we said then is becoming real to people, which is: They’re going for broke. And that doesn’t mean just overturning Roe. It means criminalizing abortion, challenging rape, trying to control women. Women all over the country see that as a very real threat now.”

“I’m more worried than I have been since it was originally [put in place],” said Gail Kaplan-Wassell, a Maryland resident who came to the Supreme Court Tuesday to join a protest in favor of reproductive rights. Kaplan-Wassell said that as a college student in Massachusetts in the 1970s, she had also come to the National Mall to advocate for abortion rights.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen spoke outside the Supreme Court Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen spoke outside the Supreme Court Tuesday.

The energy on the left was on display Tuesday, as activists turned out around the country ― more than 500 events were planned ― for a national day of action to support women’s reproductive rights. 

At the flagship protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., hundreds of men and women showed up for abortion rights. Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg all came as well. 

“Republicans are reminding America that they are in the minority on most of these important issues. Sometimes all of us have unpopular positions, that they’ve taken it to such an extreme that it puts an exclamation point on just how far removed they are from the majority of the American people,” Buttigieg told HuffPost. 

Just 31 percent of Americans approve of the new Alabama anti-abortion law, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. A quarter of Americans who say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases disapprove of the law, as do about a third of Republicans, self-described evangelical Christians and self-described conservatives.

Women are becoming the most powerful political force in America, and they will decide the direction of our country in 2020.
Cecile Richards, Supermajority co-founder

But one difference between the fight over the Affordable Care Act versus abortion was that on the ACA, most of the battle was in Congress ― and getting rid of GOP members who wanted to repeal the law. But on abortion, much of the fight rests with the Supreme Court, symbolized by the fact that the protest was on the steps of the institution Tuesday.

Advocates for choice argued that public pressure can still make a difference. There are elected officials at the state level, and activists want to see Congress take steps to protect reproductive rights. Many people also felt encouraged that every major 2020 Democratic presidential candidate supports abortion, and some are even offering proactive measures to strengthen those rights

And, said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Supreme Court can also be swayed by public opinion. 

“This kind of mobilization can actually make the GOP think twice about how hard they want to push because they know that they’re losing women in droves right now, and they know that their political fate for decades to come is on the line,” she told HuffPost.

Not every 2020 Democrat is in the same place on abortion. Former Vice President Joe Biden stands out for, for years, supporting the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits spending federal money (such as Medicaid) on abortion services. And after the Alabama law passed, he notably tweeted a statement that was noticeably less fiery and outraged than what the other candidates were putting out. But he too seems to be feeling the energy: In early May, he said he no longer supports Hyde.

“Voters’ support for abortion rights is at a record high,” said Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood who recently co-founded Supermajority, a group devoted to women’s political power. “Meanwhile, we’re seeing the most extreme attacks on those rights since Roe v. Wade more than 40 years ago. …. Women are voting in record numbers, donating in record numbers, sharing their stories, and organizing. Women are becoming the most powerful political force in America, and they will decide the direction of our country in 2020.”

Nabbed! SEC Reels in $30 Million Alleged Diamond-Backed Crypto Scam

By CCN: The U.S. SEC has secured a court order to stop an alleged diamond-backed Ponzi scheme estimated to be worth around $30 million. The securities regulator outlined how more than 300 investors were fleeced into handing over funds to Florida-based Argyle Coin LLC.

Jose Angel Aman is the mastermind behind the scheme. The SEC alleges that two of his other companies – Natural Diamonds Investment Co and Eagle financial Diamond Group Inc – are also part of the scam, stating:

“According to the complaint, in October 2017, Aman and Jonathan H. Seigel continued the scheme by luring investors to invest in Argyle Coin, falsely claiming the investment was risk-free because it was backed by fancy colored diamonds, and promising to use investor funds to develop the cryptocurrency business.”

Horses, Rent, and Personal Expenses

The diamond-backed Ponzi scheme is no different from any other scam and ultimately saw Mr. Aman simply tell an elaborate tale involving cryptocurrency. In stereotypical style, he used all new investor funds to pay previous suckers investors their “returns.”

“..according to the complaint, Aman, Natural Diamonds, Eagle, and Argyle Coin, misused or misappropriated more than $10 million of investor funds to pay other investors their purported returns and for Aman’s personal expenses, including rent on his home, purchases of horses, and riding lessons for his son.”

The report provided no details on how Argyle Coin actually planned to develop its cryptocurrency business. The Argyle Coin website has since been removed. This contributor, however, was able to capture a screenshot of the ICO scam site using an internet archive:

Argyle Coin. Diamond-backed ponziArgyle Coin. Diamond-backed ponzi

Argyle Coin claimed to back crypto with “fancy-colored diamonds” before regulators shut it down. | Source: Web.Archive.org

SEC Cracks Down on ICOs

The past influx of ICO’s, particularly after the 2017 frenzy, is still keeping the SEC busy. The agency’s Cyber Task Force has been overseeing ICO’s and blockchain tech since the altcoin bubble two years ago.

U.S. District Court judge Robin Rosenberg for southern Florida has granted the SEC a request to temporarily freeze Aman and Argyle Coin’s assets. The SEC has charged Aman, his companies, and two co-accused for securities registration violations and securities fraud. In terms of reparations:

“The SEC’s complaint seeks disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

3 High-Flying Cannabis Stocks with Potential Gains Yet to Be Unleashed

WhaBy CCN: Over the last 12 months, there has been tremendous hype on cannabis stocks. The widespread legalization in some states in the U.S. and all of Canada caused many stocks related to the pot industry to skyrocket. The surge has been deemed by some as the new gold rush. If you feel like you got left behind, don’t worry.

Some cannabis stocks have corrected over the last few months, and they’re ready to be bought on dips. Here are three cannabis stocks that can go higher this year.

No. 1 Cannabis Stock – Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC)

Canopy Growth Corporation envisions to be the No. 1 marijuana company in the world. Looks like they are on the right track, as the company’s stock is on a multi-year uptrend from a macro perspective. The stock is currently correcting, but it is painting a giant continuation pattern on the weekly chart.

CGC chartCGC chart

CGC forming an ascending triangle pattern | Source: TradingView

A quick look at the weekly chart shows two bullish signals. First, CGC has managed to keep its diagonal support intact. This means that the market remains bullish for the long-term.

Second, the stock is printing a large ascending triangle pattern. This is a bullish continuation structure supporting our bias that CGC is in an uptrend. If you’re looking to buy this stock, enter the market after it takes out resistance of $50. The target price is $75.

No. 2 Cannabis Stock – Cronos Group Incorporated (CRON)

Cronos Group helps to advance the cannabis industry by promoting marijuana research, technology, and product development. Although its stock is backpedaling, it is still in a long-term uptrend.

CRON chartCRON chart

CRON is trading in a large ascending channel | Source: TradingView

The weekly chart tells us that CRON is forming a falling wedge within a large ascending channel. This suggests that for the short-term, the market is bearish. But the long-term uptrend is still intact.

If you’re looking to buy CRON, wait for it to drop as close to $13 as possible. There are three supports converging at that price level: the horizontal support, the diagonal support, and the 50 moving average which is acting as support.

Should bulls successfully defend $13, the target price is $25.

No. 3 Cannabis Stock – Kushco Holdings Incorporated (KSHB)

Kushco Holdings considers itself as the premier provider of ancillary products for the cannabis industry. For now, its stock is in sideways consolidation.

KSHB chartKSHB chart

KSHB is range bound for now | Source: TradingView

For almost a year and a half now, KSHB has been range trading between range low of $4.20 (no pun intended) and $7. Therefore, the strategy is simple: buy the support and sell the resistance. Pick up shares as close to $4.20 as possible and ride KSHB all the way up to $7.

Should bulls breach $7, we can see the stock going as high as $10.

Bottom Line

The widespread correction in the cannabis industry has driven many investors to look for greener pastures. Nevertheless, technical signals tell us that the industry is still lit. CGC, CRON, and KSHB are prime examples of pot stocks that can go higher.

Dow Leaps 200 Points But Catastrophic Housing Data Menaces Market

By CCN: The Dow and broader U.S. stock market returned to strength on Tuesday after the Commerce Department temporarily rolled back trade restrictions against Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant. But beneath the surface, the U.S. economy is showing signs of persistent weakness that could come back to haunt the bull market.

Dow Regains Footing; S&P 500, Nasdaq Follow

Following back-to-back declines, the U.S. stock market was back on the offensive Tuesday, mirroring a strong pre-market for Dow futures. All three major indexes reported gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 203 points, or 0.8%, to 25,883.68.

Dow Jones Industrial AverageDow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounds sharply on Tuesday. | Source: Yahoo Finance.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 1% to 2,868.51. Ten of 11 primary sectors reported gains, with materials and information technology leading the way.

A strong performance in the technology sector catapulted the Nasdaq Composite Index to significant gains. The technology-focused benchmark climbed 1.3% to 7,803.82.

U.S. Home Sales Decline Unexpectedly

America’s flailing housing market showed further signs of weakness last month as existing home sales fell unexpectedly.

Home re-sales, which account for the lion’s share of the domestic real estate market, declined 0.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday. Analysts in a median estimate called for home sales to climb 2.7%.

The housing market has been a perennial under-performer during the Trump era, as rising home costs have outpaced a surging labor market and higher wages. What’s most troubling about the April slowdown was that homebuyers don’t seem to be benefiting from declining mortgage rates.

As the following chart illustrates, fixed-rate mortgages across all time periods have declined substantially since November, which was just before the Federal Reserve initiated its fourth interest rate hike of 2018:

U.S. Mortgage RatesU.S. Mortgage Rates

Falling U.S. mortgage rates aren’t helping homebuyers. | Source: Freddie Mac

The Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate impacts mortgage costs indirectly as banks and other lenders pass on the higher cost of borrowing to consumers.

The U.S. central bank has all but abandoned its plan for additional rate hikes following the December flash crash in U.S. equities. A two-speed economic recovery, as evidenced by the recent drop in industrial production and consumer spending, is also keeping policymakers on the sidelines for now.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.

Abortion Rights Activists Rally In All 50 States In Wake Of Restrictive Laws

Thousands of protesters plan to hit the streets on Tuesday in nationwide rallies to support abortion rights following recent legislative efforts to ban most abortions in several states.

More than 500 demonstrations are planned at noon, local time, at statehouses, town squares and courthouses in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Ottawa, Canada, as part of the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans.

Supporting demonstrations are also planned in Italy, India and Brussels, according to the event’s website. 

People demonstrate at the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

People demonstrate at the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access,” the event’s website says. “Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors.”

Tuesday’s flagship event kicked off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., with various speakers, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“We are here to say enough is enough. We’re going to fight you and we’re going to win,” Klobuchar shouted into a megaphone while surrounded by placards promoting reproductive rights.

“This is a matter, my friends, of civil rights,” she said. “We cannot allow them to move this country backward.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also took the microphone and criticized recent legislation that aims to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which protects abortion rights.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was among the 2020 contenders attending the rally outside the U.S. Supreme C

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was among the 2020 contenders attending the rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

“They’re not just wrong ― they are cruel, they are extreme and they are designed to control women’s decisions and criminalize doctors,” Murray said of the wave of new state laws. “They make it harder for women to plan families and be economically secure.”

Other 2020 candidates attending the event included Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among those attending the rally in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among those attending the rally in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

More than 50 organizations partnered for the event, including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the Center for American Progress, the Women’s March and the Sierra Club.

It follows earlier rallies in various cities, including Chicago, multiple locations in Alabama, and Kansas City, Missouri.

“Politicians, take notice: If you come for our reproductive freedom, you’ll have to get through ALL of us,” the ACLU said on Twitter on Tuesday while sharing a map showing some of the day’s planned protests. The post included the event’s social media hashtag, #stopthebans.

Actress Busy Philipps, who recently opened up about her own abortion at the age of 15, previously said she would be among those attending.

The rallies were organized after Alabama’s governor last Wednesday signed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law, which would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases, including rape and incest.

Missouri on Friday then passed a bill that would ban abortions ― including for women who had conceived from rape or incest ― after eight weeks, which is often before women know they’re pregnant. Gov. Mike Parson (R) has said he will sign that bill into law.

Georgia and Ohio have also passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that would prohibit an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This is typically as early as six weeks into pregnancy and, again, before most women know they’re pregnant.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Ken Cuccinelli Expected To Join DHS In Immigration Role: Reports

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is expected to join the Department of Homeland Security to play a key role on immigration, according to multiple news reports Tuesday.

It remains unclear exactly what role he would play. Recruiting Cuccinelli, an immigration hardliner and occasional cable news commentator, represents the increasing politicization of DHS as Trump seeks out tougher figures with a track record of embracing positions like his. 

The Trump administration had toyed with the idea of creating an “immigration czar” position that would oversee the White House’s various efforts and coordinate between agencies. Among those considered for the role were former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Thomas Homan, who served as President Donald Trump’s first acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to The New York Times.

The Times was the first to report that Cuccinelli had been selected to join DHS, although it’s unclear what his title would be. DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, middle, is expected to join the Department of Homeland Security to play a le

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, middle, is expected to join the Department of Homeland Security to play a lead role on immigration. 

Cuccinelli is known for trying to toughen laws regulating immigration and at times making bombastic statements about migrants.

He has tried to overturn birthright citizenship, disqualify unauthorized migrants who grew up in Virginia from receiving in-state tuition, allow businesses to sue other businesses for hiring unauthorized workers and keep migrants with legal status from collecting unemployment if they were fired for speaking languages other than English.

In televised comments in the past, Cuccinelli has compared migrant families to rats and repeatedly likened migration to the United States as an “invasion,” according to Think Progress. Cuccinelli is on record backing Trump’s national emergency declaration to swipe money from Defense Department accounts to expand the border wall, as well as the president’s decision to dispatch the U.S. military to the border.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with his administration’s inability to repel an influx of Central American migrant families and unaccompanied children, whose numbers have sharply increased in recent months. Families and children are able to seek various forms of humanitarian relief from deportation, like asylum. Authorities cannot swiftly remove them.

In an attempt to chart a different course, Trump cast out his homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and his second pick for ICE director, Ronald Vitiello, last month. Both bureaucrats defended Trump’s moves on immigration, including the harshest ones like family separation.

But Trump appeared to want more effusive support and fiery rhetoric within the department, which Homan provided over the first year and a half of Trump’s administration.

Trump replaced Vitiello this month with Mark Morgan, an FBI veteran who headed Border Patrol for four months at the tail end of the Obama administration and leveraged that scant experience to become a cheerleader for Trump on immigration. He made nearly 100 media appearances over the five months before the president picked him to head up ICE ― mostly on Fox News.

Several conservative groups rallied around Cuccinelli after Nielsen’s dismissal last month left the Homeland Security spot vacant. Instead, Trump moved Kevin McAleenan, the former head of Customs and Border Protection, to head DHS.

Bitcoin Can Wreak Havoc by Ruining Governments: Senior Russian Official

By CCN: A top official with Russia’s State Duma (the Russian Parliament) warned that bitcoin has the capacity to ruin governments because it could facilitate the offshoring of massive amounts of money.

Nikolay Arefyev, the deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on economic policy, sounded the alarm at a May 20 press conference, Rambler reported.

Official: We don’t want capital exodus from Russia

Specifically, Arefyev warned that cryptocurrencies could lead to Russia’s collapse because it could trigger a mass-withdrawal of capital to offshore accounts.

“If cryptocurrency worked, we would be completely ruined today because all financial flows would be taken out of Russia. And Russia would end. Because cryptocurrencies were created to ensure that the state does not control the flow of capital.”

Arefyev noted that since 1994, about 210 trillion rubles (or $3.25 billion) have been withdrawn from Russia. That’s equivalent to half of Russia’s annual budget.

Arefyev: Purpose of bitcoin is tax evasion

Arefyev claims bitcoin was created to hide large amounts of money in secret offshore accounts in order to enable wealthy individuals and entities to avoid paying taxes.

Therefore, Nikolay Arefyev says it’s useless to integrate bitcoin with Russia’s current financial system because it’s too speculative and shady. Instead, he suggested that a better approach would be to ban cryptocurrencies altogether.

This is something that Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman proposed for the United States.

“I look for colleagues to join with me in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans, so that we nip this in the bud.”

“An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us.”

Vladimir Putin: Bitcoin a magnet for criminals

The cryptocurrency industry is not regulated in Russia. As CCN reported in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin — a bitcoin skeptic — ordered the government to adopt crypto regulations by July 1, 2019.

The goal of the legislation is to promote the digital economy in Russia, which is struggling financially amid crippling U.S. economic sanctions.

However, it now seems unlikely that the rules will be adopted by deadline, since Putin had previously set a July 2018 deadline for the implementation of guidelines for bitcoin trading and mining. And those regulations never materialized.

Like the Duma’s Nikolay Arefyev, Putin has expressed skepticism about bitcoin amid concerns over money-laundering and tax evasion.

In 2017, Putin warned Russians about the risks posed by virtual currencies. Specifically, he said bitcoin attracts criminals (video below).

“[The risks include] opportunities to launder funds acquired through criminal activities, tax evasion, even terrorism financing, as well as the spread of fraud schemes.”

Russia’s central bank echoed Putin’s anti-crypto sentiments, and called bitcoin a pyramid scheme.

Duma official: Russia won’t use crypto for 30 years

In January 2019, a Duma official said cryptocurrencies will probably not be implemented in Russia for at least the next 30 years.

Elina Sidorenko is the chairwoman of an interdepartmental working group of the State Duma for managing risks of cryptocurrency turnover. She made the remarks in response to rumors that Russia was planning to buy $10 billion in bitcoin during the first quarter of 2019 to mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions.

Elina Sidorenko crypto russian state dumaElina Sidorenko crypto russian state duma

Elina Sidorenko of the Duma says Russia probably won’t use crypto for another 30 years. | Source: YouTube/MGIMO

As CCN reported, Sidorenko shot down the rumors as complete rubbish. Moreover, Sidorenko said it is unlikely that crypto will be implemented in Russia for at least another three decades.

“The Russian Federation is simply not ready to combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies. And to say that this idea can be implemented in Russia for at least the next 30 years is unlikely.”

Bernie Fan Sniffs Out Bitcoin Cash Stash, Hilariously Exposes Wallet Key

By CCN: A Bernie Sanders voter found a stash of hidden Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – and almost gave it away immediately.

No, they didn’t turn up at the local donation center only to find that it was closed. Rather, as apparent newbies to the cryptocurrency game, they did the one thing you should never do – they selfied the paper wallet’s QR code and uploaded it to Twitter.

Bitcoin Cash Treasure Hunt: Coming to a Town Near You

bitcoin cashbitcoin cash

Three of the crypto wallets were found, while one is still hidden. If you’re anywhere near San Jacinto College South in Houston today, keep your eyes open. | Source: Shutterstock

A generous Redditor appeared on the Bitcoin Cash subreddit on Monday night claiming to have hidden four stashes of BCH around the Houston/Galveston area.

Each of the paper wallets contained mnemonic phrase words and a QR code linked to 0.025 BCH – roughly $10. Described in the post as a:

“…very tiny blue box, with paper inside that has a mnemonic phrase that gives you access to BCH. You can see them on https://findbitcoin.cash.

The public addresses are as follows:





The clues related to local landmarks around the Houston and Galveston area, for example:

“Houston, we have a problem.” This private key resides near two jets at the entrance of a popular tourist attraction. General location hint: Nassau Bay.”

Three of the crypto wallets were found, while one is still hidden. If you’re anywhere near San Jacinto College South in Houston today, keep your eyes open.

As the treasure hunt got under way, more charitable Bitcoin Cash holders threw in a few bucks. By the end of the night, the wallets contained anywhere between $19 and $27.

One of the first people to stumble on the bounty was apparently completely naive to the ways of cryptocurrency. That was evidenced when they immediately exposed their QR code to the Twitterverse.

Never Put a Bernie Sanders Voter in Charge of the Money Pot

Twitter user and Bernie Sanders fan @Mondiablue, otherwise known as Mondia #Bernie2020, found one of the wallets near the Pleasure Pier in Galveston. Luckily, when they photographed their QR code and uploaded it to Twitter, it was blurry enough that no one could steal it. But it was close.

Helped by some light directions by the person who started the treasure hunt, @Mondiablue managed to download a Bitcoin Cash wallet app and transfer the funds. They seemed impressed by the crypto treasure hunt, tweeting to @pokkst:

But not before some trouble threatened to flare up. When @pokkst accidentally got one of the locations wrong, @Mondiablue wasn’t too happy about the extra work they were forced to put in.

All’s Well That Ends Well

All jokes aside: In the end, three lucky people found some free BCH and perhaps got introduced to cryptocurrency in an interesting way. One thing to note for the crypto cynics is how easily the users got set up with wallets. They were ready to start spending their cryptocurrency in minutes – surely a healthy sign for the prospect of future adoption.

When moving the BCH, @Mondiablue spent just $0.00079488 on fees, or 1.01 satoshi. The original poster intends to plant another batch of wallets tonight. Keep an eye on FindBitcoin.Cash for a chance to find them.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Boeing Bounces After Kamikaze Bird Rumor Bolsters Key Dow Stock

By CCN: Boeing stock enjoyed a moderate bounce on Tuesday, but it’s the trigger for the rally that’s raising eyebrows on Wall Street. That trigger? A dead bird.

US: Kamikaze Bird Strike Led to 737 MAX Crash

According to the Wall Street Journal, US aviation officials now believe that a kamikaze bird caused – or at least contributed – to the fatal Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crash in March.

The officials speculate that a bird collision caused sensors to feed faulty data to the anti-stall system, which then reacted by pushing the plane’s nose down.

Ethiopian officials dispute the bird strike narrative, and crash investigators previously reported that they had “found no evidence of foreign-object damage” on the 737 MAX sensors.

Boeing Stock Recovery Bolsters Dow Jones

In addition to killing 346 people, the two recent 737 MAX crashes – and the subsequent worldwide groundings of the controversial Boeing planes – have crippled the aerospace giant’s stock price over the past quarter.

The incidents have also pressured the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing ranks as the Dow’s most heavily weighted component, holding a 9.32% share in the 30-member index. Boeing’s woes, coupled with trade war volatility, have prevented the Dow from setting a new all-time high in 2019, even as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq soared into record territory last month.

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Boeing stock traded up on Tuesday but pared its pre-market gains heading into midday. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Boeing stock rose as much as 1.3% in pre-market trading, though it pared those gains during the morning session. The Dow also rose more than 150 points as the stock market made a comprehensive recovery.

The move extended a weeklong uptrend for BA shares, catalyzed in part by the company’s announcement that it had completed a software upgrade that will afford pilots more control over the MCAS.

Boeing VP Dismissed Bird Strike Threat in 2018

Notably, Boeing Vice President of Project Strategy Mike Sinnett dismissed the threat of a kamikaze bird strike after the previous 737 MAX crash in late 2018, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The vast majority of AOA [angle of attack] problems come from bird strikes after the airplane departs, Sinnett said. “You don’t want to have to return to base after a bird strike on an AOA vane.”

BA shares last traded at $356.68 for a session gain of 1.03%.