By John Irish and Marine Pennetier PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday Turkey must do more to tackle Islamic State in Syria and urged it to restore dialogue with Kurdish groups after launching strikes against them more than a month ago. Hollande delivered his annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors a day after the Turkish foreign minister told Reuters that Turkey and the United States would launch air operations to push Islamic State from a border area in northern Syria, something that could help prevent the militants bringing in fighters and arms in. "All the players need to be part of the solution. I'm thinking of Gulf Arab states and Iran. I'm thinking of Turkey that needs to be involved in the fight against Islamic State and needs to relaunch dialogue with the Kurds." Hollande said. Turkey's critics say it has used its role in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State as a cover to attack Kurdish PKK fighters and stem Kurdish political and territorial ambitions. Ankara says it is conducting a "synchronized war on terror". Hollande reiterated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not be part of his country's future, but said there were signs that a political transition could be found. France, which has taken part in air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq but not Syria, said there were no plans to change that policy. "We will continue to help the Syrian opposition and participate in the coalition in Iraq ensuring it is more effective," he said. Hollande also said the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program opened a window of opportunity to include it in resolving regional crises such as Syria, where it is Assad's primary backer. "We must ask Iran to associate itself with the resolution of crises that are devastating the region," Hollande said. "Iran must be a constructive player." (Reporting by John Irish; editing by Michel Rose and Robin Pomeroy)
- Business Insider
Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg will plead guilty to 6 felony counts including sex trafficking, wire fraud, and identity theft
Greenberg's cooperation with prosecutors opens the possibility of a nightmare scenario for Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyThe world’s youngest crypto billionaire donated approximately $1.5 billion to a COVID relief fund and other charities—paid out almost entirely in a selection of meme cryptocurrencies named for different dog breeds that then tanked in value.Vitalik Buterin, whose personal fortune first surpassed $1 billion early last week, donated several kinds of cryptocurrencies, three of which are dog-themed and created largely as jokes: Shiba Inu (SHIB), Akita Inu (AKITA), and Dogelon (ELON).The gifts were collectively valued around $1.5 billion at the time they were made. But within hours of the transactions, the meme coins’ prices plunged—in no small part due to the billionaire’s massive transfers. In a neat illustration of crypto’s volatility, Buterin’s donations effectively depreciated themselves.Meet the World’s Youngest Crypto BillionaireButerin, 27, is the founder of Ethereum, an open source blockchain whose native token, Ether (ETH), is the second-most valuable cryptocurrency and only legitimate rival of Bitcoin. The founder’s wealth is mostly vested in his creation, but over the past year, he has also been gifted so-called “petcoins” as part of a hokey marketing stunt.The canine-related tokens are knockoffs of the meme currency Dogecoin (DOGE), which spiked to record-breaking highs over the past month, thanks in part to repeated promotion from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Dogecoin, which has fallen in price since Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, is now the sixth-most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to Crypto Slate.The copycat coins tried to capitalize on the Doge frenzy—in SHIB’s “woofpaper,” or whitepaper, the creators dubbed it the “Dogecoin killer”—with some success. SHIB, which boasted a market cap of $0 on May 7, spiked to nearly $14 billion on May 10, according to Coin Market Cap. In an apparent bid to publicize their coins, the creators of SHIB, AKITA, ELON, as well as some other petcoins like HuskyToken (HUSKY) and Bulldog (BDOG), gifted Buterin large quantities: in each case, 50 percent of the total coin supply. SHIB’s creators claimed this had “burned” the coins—or taken them out of circulation to create scarcity.But Buterin retained control of the funds. Because he held such large quantities of the coins’ total supply, some thought that attempts to offload them could have a drastic impact on their value. Even before the donation, critics mused that an exchange could prove fatal to the petcoins’ creators. “To be perfectly clear,” crypto Twitter account @Waronrugs wrote back in January, “Vitalik can rug you.”ℹ️ We got a lot of requests to look into it, so we looked into it. Of course, the price volatility is currently extremely high so think twice before going in. This tweet isn’t an endorsement or financial advice of any kind. We’re only publishing the results of our findings.— #WARONRUGS❌ (@WARONRUGS) January 30, 2021 On Wednesday, according to data collected by the blockchain tracker Etherscan, Buterin doled out massive quantities of petcoins to a smattering of nonprofits and foundations, including the India Crypto Covid Relief Fund, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, the open source bounties platform Gitcoin, the charity evaluator GiveWell, and the Methuselah Foundation, a lifespan-extension research group focused, according to their website, on “making 90 the new 50 by 2030.”Within hours, the petcoins’ prices sank. Dogelon Mars fell by nearly 95 percent, before recovering some of the loss. Buterin’s largest contribution, 50 trillion SHIB to the India Crypto Covid Relief Fund, had been worth just over $1 billion at the time of the transaction, according to Etherscan estimates. Within an hour, SHIB’s price had dropped by 30 percent.In spite of the slump, Shiba Token’s creators released a statement of support for the gesture, insisting that Buterin was not “dumping” the token. Instead, they wrote on Twitter, he had “just brought invaluable legitimacy” to the token, illustrating that it was more than a memecoin. The India Crypto Covid Relief Fund added that it plans to execute a “thoughtful liquidation,” converting the donation in a slow, staggered manner, to ensure that the price does not sink further and eliminate its value.(Transparency Update)We thank @VitalikButerin for his donation of 50,693,552,078,053 SHIBA to @CryptoRelief_ . We plan to do a thoughtful liquidation to ensure we meet our COVID relief goals. We have decided to convert the donation slowly over a period of time.(1/x)— India's Crypto Covid Relief Fund 🇮🇳 (@CryptoRelief_) May 12, 2021 The India Crypto Covid Relief Fund was the primary beneficiary of Buterin’s donations. The fund was set up by Sandeep Nailwal, founder of the Ethereum-affiliate Polygon, to help direct donations to COVID-19 relief in India, where case numbers have spiked to heights rivaled only by the United States. Buterin had donated to the fund before; when Nailwal first set it up back in April, the Ethereum founder contributed about $600,000 in Ether and another cryptocurrency called Maker (MKR).According to Etherscan records, Buterin also donated approximately $375 million in AKITA to Gitcoin, an Ethereum-based “bounties” platform that helps open source developers get paid for their work.At the time of the transactions, the value of Buterin’s meme coin donations rivaled that of his personal Ether fortune. Early last week, he became the latest entry to the billionaire club, when Ether’s price surpassed $3,000, putting his holdings of some 335,000 ETH at a value of approximately $1.3 billion. Buterin’s donations on Wednesday largely did not come from that sum, but he did move it.Shortly before his petcoin contributions, the founder transferred $1.3 billion in Ether from his public address—which he disclosed back in 2018—to a new contract separate address created just hours before. The exchange amounted to nearly all of his ETH holdings; by early afternoon, Buterin’s public address held just $10,000 in Ether. Some crypto strategists suggested to Forbes that the new address provides greater security and privacy, but the motivation for the transfer remains unclear.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
11 of the most expensive and exclusive golf clubs on the planet - including the one where Bill Gates is hiding during his divorce
The top golf courses in the world are secretive about what it costs to become a member. If you have to ask, you'll never know.
- Business Insider
AOC calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'belligerent person that's not in control of themselves' after the GOP lawmaker chased her down a hallway in the Capitol
"I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Singapore announced on Friday the strictest curbs on social gatherings and public activities since easing a COVID-19 lockdown last year, amid a rise in locally acquired infections and with new coronavirus clusters forming in recent weeks. The new measures announced by the health ministry, which will be force from Sunday to mid June, include limiting social gatherings to two people and ceasing dining in at restaurants. "This is clearly a setback in our fight against COVID-19, " said Lawrence Wong, the minister for education who co-chairs Singapore's coronavirus taskforce.
- The Daily Beast
Samuel Rajkumar/ReutersNEW DELHI—With India ravaged by an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 virus—and its health-care system on its knees—some public health and former military officials are voicing outrage over the government’s apparent refusal to use the full force of the army to assist with the crisis.“The army is not being utilized to the fullest extent,” even though it has “tremendous capacities” to ease the current disaster, Deependra Singh Hooda, former chief of the Indian army’s strategic northern command, told The Daily Beast.For weeks experts have been pleading with the government, urging it to rope in the military to help with a health crisis never before seen in India’s modern history.Earlier this month, the deputy chief minister of the country’s capital, Delhi—which is facing the worst COVID situation in India—asked the defense minister to lend the services of the armed forces to help it set up and run COVID-19 health facilities. But the request was turned down, even after the local government reached out to Delhi’s high court, which claimed that Indian forces were stretched.Why Biden’s Push for Vaccine Patent Waivers Won’t Save IndiaWhile the army has set up a few hospitals and provided limited supplies of oxygen, most forces remain uninvolved even as the country’s health-care system is on the brink of collapse. India’s armed forces have around 13,000 officers who are medical professionals and an additional 100,000 medical support staff, whose expertise could save countless lives.“We are going through an emergency situation. The network and infrastructure of the armed forces need to be leveraged,” public health expert Anant Bhan told The Daily Beast. “It will minimize the loss of life.”The demand is being echoed after the top U.S. public health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested last week that India should marshal all of its resources, including the armed forces, to handle the situation.For India, the army may be the last resort. On Wednesday, 4,205 Indians died of the virus, and 348,421 tested positive for COVID, pushing the total number of confirmed cases so far in the country to 2.5 million. The total death count climbed to 25,8351—which experts say is a massive undercount. Hospitals in the country have been running at capacity for weeks, and hundreds of people have died because they did not get oxygen in time.The downward spiral is showing no signs of plateauing anytime soon, with new variants toting up the intensity of India’s second wave, and the prospect of a third wave that is likely to follow. The virus is also rapidly engulfing India’s rural areas—home to 65 percent of the country's population—where health-care systems are even worse than in the already overwhelmed cities.Mass Grave Dug on Banks of Ganges for 100 Possible COVID Victims Found Floating Down River“This is the first time we have gotten into a situation like this,” General Ved Prakash Malik, former Indian army chief, told The Daily Beast. “There is scope for the civil administration to use the services of armed forces. Other than the medical services, engineering services can be utilized to set up quick infrastructure.”Even though most of India’s population is still struggling to get a first dose, India’s 1.5 million armed personnel were first to be vaccinated. This is one of the reasons why experts are pressing the demand that their services should be utilized quickly.“The army is trained to deal with such situations,” said General Hooda, “We have seen in the past, whenever there has been a crisis, you call the army to [help]. Not only are they trained, but they are very well equipped to handle the crisis.”Hooda says that the focus of the government has been mostly on utilizing the health services of the armed forces, but there’s much more it could do. “The army has tremendous engineering skills to build infrastructure,” he said. “If you need to build infrastructure, like hospitals, and other medical facilities in rural areas, the army can do it as quickly as possible.”Experts also blame the lack of coordination amongst civil authorities for worsening the crisis in the country, and say that it has created tremendous panic and stress among the public. One of the key areas, which most of the health officials and former military commanders agree on, is the need for a centralized communication system so that essential medical supplies are transported and utilized efficiently.“For communications, the army can set up war rooms and certain expertise of the commanders who manage these war rooms can help immensely,” said General Malik, who was head of the Indian army during the war with Pakistan in 1999.General Hooda agrees.“Some emergency links can be set up with a dedicated emergency centre… we have the Indian-wide Movement Control Organisation (MCO), which is used in wars to mobilize and track the military,” said Hooda, adding that that MCO could be utilized to keep track of essential resources like oxygen tankers. Besides engineering and communications, a large fleet of armed forces could also be employed for the transportation of medical supplies.“The armed forces have the capacity to create 100 field hospitals with 100 beds each,” Harcharanjit Singh Panag, a former lieutenant in Indian army, wrote for The Print. “With the help of private doctors, medical students and additional medical equipment, many more temporary facilities can be made operational in a short span of time. It is these resources which can be superimposed on the civilian hospitals to take on the overload.”Some believe that India is not using the services of the military because it would be an embarrassment for the civil government—an acknowledgment that they haven’t been able to handle the situation. Another reason cited is tensions at India’s borders with China and Pakistan, making authorities reluctant to transfer troops stationed there.A Right-Wing Demagogue Is Letting COVID Ravage His People“If the army is brought in it would be somewhat of an admission that [the civilian government] is not able to do this,” General Hooda said. “Second is, there is also talk that we need force preservation [at our] borders.”Last year, the Indian army cancelled its border exercise in Ladakh due to the first wave of the novel coronavirus. But around the same time, violent skirmishes took place when Chinese troops reportedly intruded into Indian land. Both countries reinforced their positions with tens of thousands of troops, and an altercation ensued, killing 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese nationals.Given the intensity of the crisis, it’s clear to much of India that there is no other option but to bring in the armed forces if the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to quickly take control of the situation.“The fact is, when you are facing a sort of national emergency, this idea of force preservation needs to be put on the backburner, ” Hooda said. “Once the army comes in, if nothing else, it could bring some degree of hope for people.”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.
- The Independent
Trump lashes out as more than 150 senior Republicans threaten to form new party if GOP doesn’t disown him
Move came after Liz Cheney lost House leadership role for criticising ex-president’s election lies
- Business Insider
A former Fox News host who was ousted amid sexual harassment allegations will fill in for anchor Greg Stinchfield following the Israel comments.
- Business Insider
Liz Cheney's likely replacement, Elise Stefanik, isn't nearly as conservative, but she tells 'MAGA tales about the election with gusto,' expert says
Cheney voted with Trump's position 93% of the time, while Stefanik voted with Trump 78% of the time, but he still endorsed her to replace Cheney.
Goldie Hawn says she was 'very depressed' and 'couldn't even go outside in public' when she first became famous in her 20s
"I didn't want to be a big deal. I wanted to go home. I wanted to marry a dentist," the Oscar winner told "Good Morning Britain."
A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore set to open on May 26 has a "high chance" of being postponed, a Hong Kong official said on Friday, which would be the second time the plan to allow visits between the cities has been called off. The bubble between two of Asia's main financial hubs, which have both imposed strict border controls for the past year to keep out the coronavirus, had been slated to begin in November but was suspended after a spike in cases in Hong Kong. This time it is Singapore that is seeing an increase in cases.
- Business Insider
Princess Cruises just extended its sailing pause. See when major cruise lines plan on operating again.
Cruising in US waters still remains in limbo, and cruise lines are constantly pushing back their return to sailing dates.
- Associated Press
Palestinian families grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighborhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City on Friday as Israel unleashed heavy artillery fire at what it said was a large network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion. Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants have fired some 1,800 rockets, and the Israeli military has launched more than 600 airstrikes, toppling at least three high-rise apartment buildings, and has shelled some areas with tanks stationed near the frontier.
The building watchman spoke on his mobile intently, pacing up and down a quiet street in Gaza. In video footage caught by an onlooker, Jamal Nasman showed no panic. He later told Reuters an Israeli officer had been giving him advance warning that the 13-storey block he looked after would be the target of an air strike.
- Associated Press
The man in the WhatsApp video says he has seen it work himself: A few drops of lemon juice in the nose will cure COVID-19. “If you practice what I am about to say with faith, you will be free of corona in five seconds,” says the man, dressed in traditional religious clothing. Baseless claims that Muslims spread the virus.
- Yahoo News
“If you’re vaccinated and you’re outside, put aside your mask,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top medical adviser to the Biden administration, said on Thursday.
In an interview on Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast, Prince Harry revealed how he and neighbor Orlando Bloom help each other avoid paparazzi.
- Associated Press
In the 1980s, Rabbi Meir Kahane's violent anti-Arab ideology was considered so repugnant that Israel banned him from parliament and the U.S. listed his party as a terrorist group. Today, his disciples march through the streets by the hundreds, chanting “Death to Arabs” and assaulting any they come across. This week, they took part in a wave of communal violence in Jerusalem and mixed cities across Israel in which Arabs and Jews viciously attacked people and torched cars.
- The Independent
Prince revealed that he began seeking therapy thanks to his wife’s concerns over his mental health
Scottish police ordered the release on Thursday of two Indian men who had been detained by British immigration officials, after hundreds of protesters in Glasgow blocked the path of a van carrying the detainees. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who wants to wrest immigration powers from the United Kingdom government, welcomed the police force's actions and blamed the British government for what she called a "dangerous situation". Video footage showed the two men emerging from the back of a van belonging to Britain's interior ministry, which sets immigration rules for the whole United Kingdom.