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Bitcoin blow as fund drops U.S. exchange application

The shares are nonetheless trading up 508 percent this year, more even than the meteoric rise of the digital currency, which JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon this month called “a fraud” that will blow up.

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An effort to allow investors to trade digital currencies as easily as stocks in the United States stumbled when the backer of a bitcoin fund said an application to list on an exchange had been withdrawn.

Grayscale Investments LLC said Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s (ICE.N) NYSE Arca exchange withdrew a request with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list its Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC.PK), in the latest setback to the digital currency.

“Although digital currency market regulation continues to rapidly evolve, at this time Grayscale does not believe there have been enough regulatory developments to prompt the SEC to approve the … application,” the fund’s issuers said in a statement. They said they would continue their dialogue with regulators, but could not predict when they may get approved.

The Bitcoin Investment Trust is currently traded “over the counter” in less formal exchanges than those used for typical stock transactions and at far higher prices than the bitcoin it holds. On Wednesday, shares closed at $739.50, while the bitcoin it holds were worth less than $373, according to the issuer.

The shares are nonetheless trading up 508 percent this year, more even than the meteoric rise of the digital currency, which JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon this month called “a fraud” that will blow up.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government.

Approval from the SEC could bring more investors into the asset, yet the regulatory agency has expressed doubts over the fact that the bitcoin market is unregulated.

In March, the SEC denied two applications to list bitcoin products on exchanges, including one backed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins best known for a feud with Facebook Inc (FB.O) founder Mark Zuckerberg which was dramatized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

CBOE Holdings Inc’s (CBOE.O) Bats exchange, which wanted to host the Winklevoss-backed exchange traded fund (ETF), has appealed the SEC’s ruling.

A proposal to list a product based on ether, a rival digital currency, was pulled earlier this month.

Regulators have not yet weighed in on two other efforts to bring a digital currency to U.S. exchanges. Similar products already trade in Europe and one is being considered in Canada.

NYSE and the SEC were not immediately reachable for comment.

Source : Reuters

America

FBI should have informed me of Manafort investigation: Trump

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Donald Trump

Washington, June 4 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has questioned the fact that the FBI did not inform him about the investigation of his then campaign manager Paul Manafort ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Trump said on Sunday on Twitter.

“Should have told me!” The President also said that Manafort joined his campaign “very late” and that he worked with him for “a short period of time,” specifically, between June and August 2016, Efe news reported.

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

The indictment charged Manafort with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, among others.

Manafort had to step down as Trump’s campaign manager after it was discovered that he had failed to report receiving a $12.7 million payment for providing counsel to deposed pro-Moscow Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2016).

Manafort’s trial, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges at a court appearance on October 30, 2017, is set for July 24 in the state of Virginia.

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Ex-English teacher finds errors in White House letter

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

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White-House

New York, May 28 (IANS) A retired English teacher found many errors in a White House letter bearing President Donald Trumps signature and mailed it back after making corrections, a media report said.

The letter, dated May 3 and printed on White House stationery, was addressed to Yvonne Mason, 61, who retired in 2017. After she made the corrections, she snapped a picture, posted the letter on Facebook and mailed it back to the White House.

“It was a poorly worded missive,” she told The New York Times on Sunday.

“Poor writing is not something I abide. If someone is capable of doing better, then they should do better.”

Mason, a Democrat who lives in Atlanta, had written to Trump to ask that he visit each family of those who died in the shooting that killed 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

“I had written to them in anger, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I thought he owed it to these grieving families.”

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

Instead, it listed a series of actions taken after the shooting, like listening sessions, meetings with lawmakers and the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that would authorise $500 million over 10 years for safety improvements at schools but had no provisions related to guns.

Some of the things Mason wrote in the letter were: “Have y’all tried grammar & style check?”

“Federal is capitalised only when used as part of a proper noun.”

There was more, but she did not correct everything.

“I did not mention the dangling modifier… I focused mainly on mechanics,” Mason told The New York Times.

“Nation” was capitalised, so was “states”. She circled both the words.

The letter stood in contrast to other letters she has received from politicians, Mason said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, sent “beautiful” letters that struck a tone that “makes me more important than him”, she said.

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George H.W. Bush hospitalised with low pressure

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George H.W. Bush

Washington, May 28 (IANS) Former US President George H.W. Bush was hospitalised to be treated for low blood pressure and fatigue, a family spokesman said.

“The former President is awake and alert, and not in any discomfort,” spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted on Sunday, adding that the 93-year-old will likely remain at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, Maine, “for a few days for observation”.

Bush was released from Houston Methodist Hospital this month after being admitted for a virus just a few hours after attending the funeral of his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died on April 17, reports Efe news.

Bush suffers from a type of Parkinson’s that hampers his ability to walk and has been hospitalised several times over the last few years for a variety of health conditions.

Last year, he was admitted in January and April for respiratory complications and had to undergo surgery.

In 2015, he fractured a neck vertebrae and in 2012 he spent Christmas at Houston Methodist Hospital due to bronchitis and a viral infection.

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