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Cayo Perico / End of 2020 De-Brief

Hello everyone, happy new year!
With recent release of Cayo Perico but not much else I wanted to touch base with the community holding out for GTA Online in Liberty City or Vice City, and debrief from the Cayo Perico DLC.
Even though Cayo Perico came out unexpectedly (to us), it is a small but welcome addition to the GTA Online world.
I believe that we still have reason to cling onto hope that that Liberty City will sooner rather than later, and Cayo Perico is a stepping stone to that demonstrating the map expansions are possible.
While I no longer think that we will see a remastered city come this generation of console, but we still have GTA V "Expanded and Enhanced" coming in 2021 which may have much more than just GTA V itself.

Reasons why I think that GTA V "Expanded and Enhanced" is more than just GTA V with updated graphics

  1. GTA V XB1 & PS4 versions already work fine in XBSX/XBSS/PS5. It looks and runs great, similar to a PC level of detail/performance. Why would a significant update be needed if it will be much the same if they didn't have big plans on top of that?
  2. Cayo Perico proves that Rockstar's idea of "Expanded" can mean land expansion
  3. Cayo Perico sounds like it was more a like a side project during COVID-19 WFH than something in the works for a long time. It is not unreasonable to think that Rockstar, with all their global studios now merged together, haven't been working on something big since the bulk of RDR2 was finished.
Source: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/gta-online-cayo-perico-heist
  1. Why are they being so vague about the details, even to go as far as using a PS3 trailer for it... are they doing this because they are hiding something? Even being so far to be anticlimactic to take off the pressure from fans, and surprise us later.
What Cyberpunk 2077 has taught the overall gaming community lately is what happens when you overpromise and underdeliver. However Rockstar already learnt this lesson back in 2015 when they promised Heists in GTA Online, which kept being reworked and delayed until near the end of the PS3/360 generation and copped a lot of criticism for it.
Basically every social media comment was "Where are the Heists", fans were frustrated. From that time onwards they never released details until about 2 weeks out from launch for a DLC. RDR2 was a bit longer, but only because they had other partners to consider. For this they originally gave it 1 year from announcement to release date, but it was delayed to 2 years, with PC one more year after that (which also wasn't even announced until one month before that).
Here is a quote about what went wrong with Heists:
We aren’t ready to give an official release date yet, but we are confident they will be ready early in 2015. As you may have read on IGN, Heists were a much bigger challenge to create than we had originally anticipated. Early versions were simply not good enough and had to be scrapped more than once as we honed in on how we thought they should work. We’re happy to say that the pack we are now finalizing is something we are excited by and eager to release as soon as it is ready. We, as a company, have always been about trying to make something that is good rather than hitting a date. We apologize when this gets frustrating but firmly believe that rushing out second-rate content does not do anyone any favors. Hopefully you agree that yesterday’s new Trailer is a sign that Heists are shaping up nicely, but we still need some time to fine tune them. Because we need a little time to get Heists right, we are going to give you a small Christmas gift to keep you entertained until we are done with them.
Sources:
https://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52366/asked-answered-gtav-first-person-experience-online
https://www.ign.com/articles/2014/12/16/grand-theft-auto-5-online-heists-finally-revealed

Reasons why I think something related to Liberty City is most likely to be the next major GTA Online expansion to come

  1. GTA IV & EFLC is highly regarded as a masterpiece, it's fanbase is still strong - many still prefer it to GTA V for a variety reasons, so it is a good candidate for a remaster. They can always make the GTA IV car physics, ragdoll, etc. come back again, perhaps as a user configurable option. Having the map there is the gateway to bringing these highly valued games back to a new generation.
Their games always start with the map, source: https://www.mcvuk.com/development-news/inside-rockstar-north-part-1-the-vision/
  1. The availability of GTA IV is terrible. It is only a Backwards Compatibility title on Xbox One (non Enhanced), runs like rubbish on PC - performance wise (and multiplayer is now removed), and the PS4 & PS5 doesn't have it at all. Most other GTAs are available for purchase, at least on Mobile.
  2. GTA V is now 7 years old and the GTA fanbase is now bigger than ever thanks to GTA V & Online. A lot of new fans haven't had the opportunity to experience GTA IV because of the above availability issue. The new fans are desperate for a new (to them) GTA game, especially since it doesn't look like GTA6 is coming any time soon. Or maybe I'm wrong and 6 is coming soon as well?
  3. GTA Online is progressively getting new content referencing to Liberty City or content ported from Liberty City (i.e The Tugboat, QUB3D), so they are not above re-using GTA IV assets or dropping hints.
  4. It is clear that they have been taking the "lazy" route as far as making new content for GTA Online DLCs by re-using existing assets. Don't get me wrong there is still a lot of work involved, but still it is less work than starting from scratch.
But it would make sense that they will continue their more recent M.O. to re-use existing assets rather than start from scratch to save time, effort and cost.
  1. With high profile departures of the writers such as Leslie Benzies, Dan Houser & Lazlow there is no doubt going to be a brain drain. I'm sure they were working on stuff before their departures, and I'm sure that RockstaTake-Two with all their billions of dollars will be able to find other top talent to bring GTA into a new era, but this will take time, and they can get things out in the meantime. The story of GTA IV, Map & other assets are already made, so this gives them a head start to put out games while they rediscover their Mojo to make GTA6 using new talent.
  2. GTA Online is a Big Money Maker, it will make the GTA IV & ELFC remaster worth it because the remastered map will be used for both GTA IV & Online: LC (maybe slight map differences according to time period).
  3. Why did they put so much effort into issuing cease and desists to OpenIV team for OpenIV's LCinV project (even though it used original game files, no piracy) if they weren't planning on doing something in this space themselves.
  4. Cayo Perico aside (which is still quite small), Los Santos as the primary setting of GTA Online is still a bit stale after 7 years. They can't use 2013 Los Santos forever, surely. Not to mention that a new GTA release is already well overdue.

GTA IV Music Licensing speculation/hints

A little while back, a lot of music track licenses expired and they were pulled from the PC version, most notably Vladivostok FM was most affected with most songs removed.
They put in some new tracks to replace it, which wasn't quite as good but it seemed like that was as good as it's going to get.
But then they went ahead and relicensed the original tracks anyway so all the music is now restored again (about 16 months after being originally cut).
Why go though all that expense of relicensing all that music if they aren't planning to capitalise on it in a big way?

Cayo Perico speculation/hints

Not much here directly, but I have played with it a little bit.
The way that it's programmed is interesting. As far as I can tell, travel to the island is sharing a session with Free Mode rather than being a different game mode, which you can tell by seeing the player list stay the same as whoever is in the Freemode session you were in. There is no loading of a different game mode, it is just a cut scene. On PC you can even chat to people who are still in Los Santos.
When you look at the map, you are located South-East of LS (just past USS Luxington), and if you move the mouse you can get locations of LS show up, it's just the map itself which is hidden.
There is a glitch you can do to "free roam" the whole Island, or just go to the Beach Party standalone, it is clear that you are in Free Mode of an existing Los Santos based lobby.
When I was glitched, I was able to take a Dinghy back to LS, LS was visible. about halfway there, the whole Cayo Perico just de-spawned similar to how the USS Luxington does, and also the weathenight cycle changed instantly too.
When I was glitched but still on the Island, a whole bunch of functions were disabled like spawning cars, calling contacts, etc.
What this shows me is that perhaps they are experimenting with how integration with Future GTA Maps will look like.
Instead of loading a whole different game, or loading a different game mode, it could be one big Free Mode made up of all locations, the locations can not be directly accessed without triggering a cut scene, and the properties of how a Free Mode works can change depending on what location on the broader map you are in.
One challenge I anticipate is that they wouldn't want GTA$ earned in LS to be transferred to a totally new GTA Online area. It is well known that a lot of it glitched and they'd want us to start getting rich again. They have also been experimented with holding separate currencies such as Arena Points or Casino Chips. I could imagine that they come up with a storyline where all your GTA$ Cash gets deposited into Maze Bank but then can't be withdrawn to cash or moved to another bank, and in LC you are forced to use a competing bank like the Bank of Liberty. Basically LS = only get Maze Bank, LC = only get Bank of Liberty.
Cars/Planes etc. Can be not widely transferable (i.e. You MKII or Babushka holding a car has engine failure mid flight and crashes, or maybe you need to go to the Airport marker on food), and maybe some planes (i.e. Luxor) can enter on a visiting basis via. Cutscene of that vehicle but can't be saved at the destination into a personal hangar.

Final words

I hope this gives some good for thought.
Keep speculating! At least until we get some solid info
Here's to 2021.
submitted by SparkySpider to GTAOnlineLC [link] [comments]

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle University Drop-Out, Collaborated With Blockchain Giants to Bring Online Gambling on a Decentralized Platform

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle University Drop-Out, Collaborated With Blockchain Giants to Bring Online Gambling on a Decentralized Platform
Global,Newcastle University drop-out withdrew from his course in January 2014 to explore different industries and sectors worldwide. After facing trust issues in different business sectors, experiencing massive depths and losses. He indulged with blockchain technology and researched the colossal potential of decentralized applications. His inspiration was his mentor, Mr.Graham Morgan, at Newcastle University and another technology-based entity, BLOCKCHAIN. Amber Kumar, who was pursuing Msc in computer game engineering, experienced an epiphany about the ongoing healthcare, travel, gambling, and financeindustry's major problem.
Knowing the benefit of blockchain technology and how effective it is for the world, a system way too autonomous and decentralized maintains transparency in records, be it transactional, asset, identity, as needed.
When asked to justify blockchain's transparency- He said, "It gives assured control over data and privacy as it makes use of smart contracts that are not prone to human interference, thus preventing cybercrime, hacking, password leaks, and data thefts."
2014, the year when he started researching blockchain technology and eventually formed WSCF Global.
Next, his profound thoughts led to the amalgamation of blockchain and online gaming resulting in Supraorbs.
'The secret of getting ahead is getting started' (Mark Twain). Indeed Amber is on his way to growth and success, for he took his journey with blockchain technology ahead. WSCF Global, with the collaboration of US partners and Russian partners (who have 12 years of experience in the finance industry), boosted the cryptocurrency market. DHF (Decentralized Hedge Fund) was the product of their collaboration, giving its users an average of 10% per month. It is an independent platform that is run by AI programmed for financial management and growth. It has produced 132.42% cumulative profit this year.
Supraobs is a decentralized cryptocurrency asset investment platform combined with online casino games for the most-efficient financial growth on the Ethereum decentralized financial DeFi ecosystem. The DeFi model helps to exclude the role of mediator.
Supraorbs is an Ethereum DeFi ecosystem that helps players to own their data and investment. It Will help players deposit their cryptocurrency to gain ORBT, and with its access, players can be engaged in online gambling experiences and withdraw their winning amount anytime.
Supraorbs is powered by blockchain technology, AI, and casino gamification, providing users the advantage of earning an average maximum interest rate by just investing in these decentralized platforms. For the upliftment and financial growth of the homeless, needy, and poor people, many opportunities are lingering. It is an online gambling solution for UK and US gambling users. Statistics have revealed that online gambling is a booming sector within the EU, with gross gaming revenue(GGR) expected to reach 29.3 billion euros in 2022. Still, it is centralized and is taking people to bankruptcy depths.
Supraorbs will overcome all these blues by producing a transparent and independent ecosystem where users will eventually face victory.
Voila!
Online gambling platform awaits all its worthy users to be a part of it.

About Supraorbs
The fusion of blockchain and online gaming produced Supraorbs. It is a decentralized and autonomous platform. Specially designed for gamers, people who are into betting and casinos. It is a game-changer for casino industries, which will profit the players without risking their essential details. The players have control over their data and thereby maintain the privacy of the records.
Cybercrimes such as frauds, data thefts, hacking, and password leaks are thus prohibited.
Supraorbs uses ORBT tokens that can be exchanged with any cryptocurrency or vice versa. Besides, a gamer can earn huge profits with complete data security and control.
Thus, Supraorbs is the need of the modern digitized society.
About WSCF Global
WSCF Global is a platform where you can find solutions to your problems technically. It is a demand-for-a-digital-world that functions as a decentralized democracy. WSCF is a community that helps businesses to upsurge at a competitive level by providing knowledge of the latest tools and technologies at the best costs. Business growth occurs through one's resources. Harmony and prosperity are the critical factors of WSCF, where authority and control are not centralized. Thus, it connects and links people to maintain transparency for public welfare.
Blockchain Technology provides transparency through a hyperledger that sequentially contains records, be it transactional records, contracts, assets, or identities, and protects people from counterfeit or second-hand products. Data is within the control of the respective consumer. There is no mediator or any fear of hacking and cracking. Helps in tracking the product's shipping by monitoring its location.
With digitization, the market is prone to the risk of forgery and fraud to a great extent, and to eliminate it, one must support a community like WSCF that revolutionizes the world to be a better place to live.
Contact: WSCF Global
Visit us at: http://wscf.io/
Email: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Phone: +911357961342
submitted by officialwscf to u/officialwscf [link] [comments]

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It is our suggestion in these b-Bets reviews that you should always take a look at a website’s FAQ page before contacting their customer support. b-Bets has a very extensive FAQ section that is divided into 8 designated parts depending on what problem you are having.
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The lack of phone support is increasingly common for online gaming websites these days, though we consider it a negative aspect as nothing quite compares to the personal touch of being able to hear the voice of the representative assisting you.
You can also get in contact with b-Bets through their social media accounts, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

License & Security

And now in our b-Bets reviews, we will answer the question that everyone should ask themselves before trusting an online gaming site that they haven’t used before, especially as putting your faith in the wrong operator has proved countless times before to be a huge waste of time, effort, and hard-earned money. This question is of course ‘Is b-Bets legit or is b-Bets rigged?’
b-Bets, which launched in 2014 and is owned by Condor Malta Limited, is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. An online gaming site that holds such a license is usually believed to be beyond reproach, with little to no risk of any b-Bets scam or b-Bets fraud taking place. This is because the Malta Gaming Authority is renowned worldwide as one of the ‘Big 4’ (along with the UK, Alderney and Gibraltar) when it comes to regulatory rules and licensing standards. Furthermore, b-Bets uses SSL data encryption and a Random Number Generator (RNG); plus the site is registered with Malta’s Data Protection Commissioner.
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Taking everything into account, these b-Bets reviews conclude that a b-Bets scam or b-Bets fraud is unlikely, though if you are a high-stakes player expecting close to or over the maximum daily net win limit, we suggest you look elsewhere.
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b-Bets doesn’t have the standard rewards or loyalty program you may have come to expect if you already have some experience betting online; instead, the site has its unique ‘BidBets’ auction system.
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There are constantly new items in the auction house that you can use your BidBets on, just check the ‘Trending Auctions’ drop-down menu at the top right of each page.

b-Bets Sports Betting

Betting Markets

There are fewer than 30 b-Bets betting markets available, which isn’t the greatest variety when compared to close competitors in the industry.
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Odds

While compiling these b-Bets reviews, we performed an odds comparison between this online Sportsbook and that of competitor Royal Panda, using the full-time result of the upcoming FA Cup final match, Arsenal vs. Chelsea. Here’s a breakdown:
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Although it’s a very close call, you can see that the b-Bets betting odds aren’t quite as good as those of Royal Panda. Regardless, these odds aren’t far from the industry leaders in the sports betting market, proving that the b-Bets betting odds are very competitive. For more details on the competitor, have a look at our Royal Panda review.
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Live Betting & Streaming

There is a moderate live betting section on the b-Bets website. The main live betting markets are football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, table tennis and eSports.
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Limits

As previously mentioned in these b-Bets reviews, there is a €25,000 maximum daily net win limit on all wagers.

Product Summary & Conclusion

The b-Bets Sportsbook isn’t exactly the best when compared to its closest competitors: the selection of betting markets and bet types is below-average; the maximum daily net win limit and withdrawal limits are major weaknesses, especially to big-money bettors; and there is no live streaming. The biggest upside is the competitive odds, and when combined with the useful sports betting promotions with relatively low wagering requirements, you should be able to find some use in the b-Bets Sportsbook.
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submitted by freespinsmobile to u/freespinsmobile [link] [comments]

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Casumo is a top-quality online casino and sportsbook, with a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service, offering a rich array of sports to choose from, and securing some super competitive deals and offers for their players. Previously best known for their casino games, the brand signed an agreement with sportsbook supplier Kambi in 2018 to expand their offerings, and this has really taken off amongst sports betting fans.
Since its initial inception in 2012, Casumo has worked hard to establish a strong presence within the world of sports betting. The results speak for themselves; the site was the winner of the eGaming Review (EGR) Rising Star Award in 2013, just a year after their launch, and took the trophy for Innovation in Casino for 2014 and 2015. 2015 also saw their mobile efforts acknowledged as they pocketed Mobile Casino Product of the Year, and 2017 was another double bonus, with nods for Affiliate Program and Mobile Operator. This victory for their mobile operation was repeated in 2018, and they finished 2019 on a high thanks to the International Gaming Award for Best Online Casino Operator.

Casumo Sportsbook Welcome Offer & Promotions

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Ever since its inception in 2012, Casumo has developed a strong reputation for great games, lucrative bonuses, and excellent customer service, which helps them stay reliable and relevant in a crowded market.

Betopin’s Verdict

Whether you are brand new to the world of sports betting, or a seasoned pro just looking for a chance, Casumo is a top choice. With a vast variety of sports, tempting promotions and deals, and close attention to detail, they have provided a robust and established site that puts the needs and preferences of its customers at the forefront of their business.
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Lost in the Sauce: Feb. 16 - 22

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. (the previous edition can be found here if you are super behind).
House-keeping:
  1. How to read: the headings will guide you through this piece. The Main Course covers the “big” stories and The Sides covers the “smaller” stories. IF YOU FOLLOW THE NEWS CLOSELY: you likely know about the stories in the Main Course section, so you will be best served by scrolling down to The Sides portion.
  2. How to support: If you enjoy my work, please consider becoming a patron. I do this to keep track and will never hide behind a paywall, but these projects take a lot of time and effort to create. Even a couple of dollars a month helps. Since someone asked a few weeks ago (thank you!), here's a PayPal option
  3. How to get notifications: If you’d like to be added to my newsletter, use this SIGNUP FORM and you’ll get these recaps in your inbox!
Let’s dig in!

MAIN COURSE

Trump’s war on the intelligence community: 10 days under an authoritarian administration

I wrote a stand-alone piece covering the biggest news from last week: Over the past 10 days, we've seen Trump fully indulge his authoritarian impulses in an attempt to stamp out any inkling of facts that he dislikes - whether that be for personal, egocentric reasons or to shore up political strength. This began with a briefing given to the House Intelligence Committee that Russia is seeking to re-elect Trump. In response, Trump purged the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of officials he perceived to be disloyal, installing loyalists in their place.
Also covered: how Trump gets away with a cabinet full of acting officials, Richard Grenell’s numerous dis-qualifications, a pardon offered to Julian Assange, and the hunt for “Never Trumpers” in the administration.

Sunday night update

On Sunday, Trump made a veiled threat toward House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff while claiming without evidence that the Democrat had leaked information from the Russia briefing on Feb. 13: “Somebody please tell incompetent (thanks for my high poll numbers) & corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media. Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!” tweet
Later, while speaking to reporters, Trump called for an investigation into the leak - more concerned about the public learning of the briefing than he is about Russia’s repeated interference in U.S. elections. “They leaked it, Adam Schiff and his group. They leaked it to the papers and - as usual - they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information,” Trump said.
Schiff responded: “Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020.”

Pardon-palooza

Authoritarians also dispense largesse, but they do it by their own whims, rather than pursuant to any system or legal rule. The point of authoritarianism is to concentrate power in the ruler, so the world knows that all actions, good and bad, harsh and generous, come from a single source. (The New Yorker)
Last week, Trump granted pardons and commutations to 11 people with one thing in common: connections. Trump bypassed the process of formal procedures typically used to determine who is given a pardon, instead relying on connections to his wealthy friends and political allies.

Roger Stone going to prison

Perhaps not coincidentally, Trump’s pardoning of corrupt public officials like Blagojevich occurred just two days before Roger Stone’s sentencing for lying to investigators, obstructing a congressional investigation, and witness tampering. Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months - or 3.3 years - in prison, much lighter than the original 7-9 year sentencing recommendation made by career prosecutors who withdrew from the case in protest of AG Barr’s intervention.
Lawfare has a great line-by-line breakdown of the sentencing hearing, if you’d like the nitty-gritty details. But if you only have time to read one excerpt from the hearing, I suggest the following:
Judge Jackson: “The truth still exists. The truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn't, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy...The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and the disgust with any attempts to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party.
"Sure, the defense is free to say: So what? Who cares? But, I'll say this: Congress cared. The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia that prosecuted the case and is still prosecuting the case cared. The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared. The American people cared. And I care."
Judge Jackson pushes back
During the hearing, Judge Jackson said that the jurors in the case "served with integrity." Stone’s lawyers took this statement and moved to disqualify the judge from the case, claiming that her remarks “rendered her unable to fairly rule on his bid for a new trial.”
"Stone’s Motion for New Trial is directly related to the integrity of a juror. It is alleged that a juror misled the Court regarding her ability to be unbiased and fair and the juror attempted to cover up evidence that would directly contradict her false claims of impartiality," his lawyers argued.
"The premature statement blessing the “integrity of the jury” undermines the appearance of impartiality and presents a strong bias for recusal," they added.
As expected, Jackson denied the motion to have her disqualified...
A pardon for Stone?
But the goal may be to reach the ears of the president instead. According to Politico, a former senior administration official who remains in contact with Trump and his senior advisers says about a pardon for Roger Stone: “It’s not a question of if; it’s when.” Following the sentencing, Trump argued that Stone’s jury was “tainted” and said that “Roger has a very good chance of exoneration.”
On Sunday, Trump was asked about the possibility of a pardon for Stone and instead took the opportunity to attack the jury forewoman, again:
"That juror is so biased and so tainted, that shouldn't happen in our criminal justice system… You have a juror that is obviously tainted. She was an activist against Trump. She said bad things about Trump and bad things about Stone," the President claimed without evidence. "She somehow weaseled her way onto the jury and if that's not a tainted jury then there is no such thing as a tainted jury."

More info on Stone’s lenient sentence

In the week since four prosecutors withdrew from Stone’s case in protest of AG Barr’s interference, we have gotten a slow drip-drip of new information. A piece by The New York Times Sunday summed it up nicely: Timothy Shea, appointed to replace Jessie Liu as head D.C. attorney, was sent to the office specifically to steer cases to the president’s benefit after previous efforts failed.
A new boss, Timothy Shea, had just arrived and had told them on his first day that he wanted a more lenient recommendation for Mr. Stone, and he pushed back hard when they objected, according to two people briefed on the dispute. They grew suspicious that Mr. Shea was helping his longtime friend and boss, Attorney General William P. Barr, soften the sentencing request to please the president.
...The tensions between the office, the Justice Department and the White House date back further than the tumult in the Stone case. They have been simmering since at least last summer, when the office’s investigation of Andrew G. McCabe, a former top F.B.I. official whom the president had long targeted, began to fall apart.
Mr. Shea’s predecessor, Jessie K. Liu, a lawyer whom Mr. Trump had appointed to lead the office in 2017, pressed the McCabe case even after one team of prosecutors concluded that they could not win a conviction. After a second team was brought in and also failed to deliver a grand jury indictment, Ms. Liu’s relationship with Mr. Barr grew strained, people close to them said. She left the position this year, though she and Mr. Barr have both stressed to associates that her departure was amicable.

Undoing Mueller’s work

Trump’s efforts to derail the sentencing of Stone can be seen as part of a larger campaign to rewrite history, and specifically, erase the findings of the Mueller investigation. Roger Stone’s indictment shows that Stone was acting on Trump's personal order to find Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails stolen by Russia. In order to cover-up his role in the Russia-Wikileaks-Trump network, Stone lied to investigators and threatened a witness. By claiming that Stone did not commit a crime, Trump is attempting to reverse the findings of the Mueller report and make himself the victim.
Last week, Trump embarked on a rambling Twitter thread calling for all cases stemming from Mueller’s probe to be “thrown out.” He continued, saying: “If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place.......BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL. WITCH HUNT!”
Hours later, while discussing the spate of pardons he had issued that day, Trump made the astounding assertion that he is “the chief law enforcement officer of the country” and thus has the “legal right” to interfere in criminal cases. “I’m allowed to be totally involved,” the president added. While technically he is incorrect - the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer - in practice Trump has been proven right. A lawless chief executive is in fact in charge of enforcing the law when the Attorney General acts as his personal fixer.
This is in the style of autocrats across the globe, who weaponize the law to help themselves and their friends and hurt their enemies. The nation’s legal system is now run by a man who has spent his life mocking it. (NYT Editorial Board)
Meanwhile, the president’s allies have reportedly been urging him to fire anyone who was involved in Mueller’s investigation:
The MAGA punditry’s outsized influence over the president means their campaign against the so-called Mueller “holdovers” is likely not falling on deaf ears, especially given Trump’s fixation with what his defenders and detractors are saying about his administration in their frequent appearances on his favorite TV programs.
“It's totally unclear to me why any members of the Mueller team need to remain in the Trump DOJ,” the pro-Trump conservative blogger Will Chamberlain wrote after news broke of the Stone sentencing recommendation.
...GOP operative Arthur Schwartz, a close friend of Donald Trump Jr. who has been described as the eldest son’s “fixer,” said of the career officials in question: “I think they should all be investigated.”
...John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer who remains in touch with the White House, characterized the line attorneys in the Stone case as “insubordinate,” and “the same crowd of prosecutors wedded to the Mueller agenda” who need to be “cleaned out” from DOJ. “And Bill Barr is doing that,” Dowd said.
What can be done about the politicization of the DOJ? In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School suggests that “Congress should transform the Justice Department into an independent agency, legally immunized from the president’s day-to-day control.”

Public charge rule takes effect

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the government to implement new “wealth test” rules making it easier to deny immigrants residency or admission to the United States if they might depend on public-assistance programs. Legal challenges will continue in lower courts in the meantime. Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless Immigration who formerly worked on immigration policy in the Obama White House, estimates that as many as 400,000 people every year could be denied green cards or visas because of the new rules.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a written dissent that was sharply critical of both the federal government and her conservative colleagues, warning that they are “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of” the Trump administration. Read her full seven-page dissent here.
The justice wrote that granting emergency applications often upends "the normal appellate process" while "putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won." Targeting her conservative colleagues, she said "most troublingly, the Court's recent behavior" has benefited "one litigant over all others."
"Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases," Sotomayor said. "It is hard to say what is more troubling," she said, pointing to the case at hand, "that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it." CNN

THE SIDES

Justice Department’s new rules benefit Giuliani

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the DOJ indicated that the agency has implemented another layer of approval that would make it difficult for prosecutors to widen their probe into Rudy Giuliani:
The Justice Department revealed Tuesday that law enforcement officials running Ukraine-related investigations must seek approval before expanding their inquiries — a move that could have implications for Rudolph W. Giuliani, as President Trump’s personal attorney pushes for scrutiny of the president’s political foes while facing a federal probe into his own conduct.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote to Nadler that the department had tapped two U.S. attorneys to assist in the process — Scott Brady in Pittsburgh to receive and assess new information, and Richard Donoghue in Brooklyn to help coordinate personnel throughout the Justice Department involved in Giuliani’s case and others with a focus on Ukraine. An accompanying internal memo, circulated by Rosen in January, says that he and Donoghue must approve expansions of any inquiries.

Related: The Hill admits John Solomon’s columns were misleading

The Hill’s review of Solomon’s work can be found here. I have found the review itself to be overly generous to the publication (no surprise), so I will quote from a WaPo summary of the review:
In effect, the Hill said Solomon amplified an inaccurate and one-sided narrative about the Bidens and Ukraine that was fed to him by Giuliani, “facilitated” by businessman Lev Parnas, who was working with Giuliani at the time, and reinforced by Solomon’s own attorneys, who also represented clients embroiled in U.S.-Ukraine politics.
But the Hill stopped short of retracting or apologizing for Solomon’s articles, nor did it say it shouldn’t have published them. It also didn’t characterize Solomon’s motives in presenting what appears to be a largely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine.
“In certain columns, Solomon failed to identify important details about key Ukrainian sources, including the fact that they had been indicted or were under investigation,” said the internal investigation, which was overseen by the newspaper’s editor, Bob Cusack. “In other cases, the sources were [Solomon’s] own attorneys” — Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova, who have also represented President Trump and Giuliani, who was also a key source for Solomon’s columns.
Solomon didn’t disclose this connection in his columns nor did he disclose to his editors that he shared drafts of his stories with Toensing, DiGenova and Parnas, the review noted.

Trump tries to block Bolton book

The Washington Post reports that Trump is attempting to block the release of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, instructing aides that it should not be released until after the November election.
Trump has told his lawyers that Bolton should not be allowed to publish any of his interactions with him about national security because they are privileged and classified, these people said. He has also repeatedly brought up the book with his team, asking whether Bolton is going to be able to publish it, they said.
Trump told national television anchors on Feb. 4 during an off-the-record lunch that material in the book was “highly classified,” according to notes from one participant in the luncheon. He then called him a “traitor.”
“We’re going to try and block the publication of the book,” Trump said, according to the notes. “After I leave office, he can do this. But not in the White House...I give the guy a break. I give him a job. And then he turns on me,” Trump added during the West Wing lunch. “He’s just making things up.”

Susan Rice tells Bolton the truth

During a panel discussion at Vanderbilt University on Wednesday, Bolton shared the stage with Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice. Bolton made excuses for his failure to testify in Trump’s impeachment trial, blaming the House for committing “impeachment malpractice.” Rice challenged Bolton repeatedly, denigrating his decision to promote his book instead of testify:
"I thought a lot about if I had been in that position how would I have approached it, and I'll be honest: It's inconceivable to me that if I had firsthand knowledge of gross abuse of presidential power that I would withhold my testimony from a constitutional accountability process.”
"I can't imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena," Rice said. "I also can't imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide the information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant. And, frankly, when my subordinates ... were doing their duty and responding in a fashion consistent with their legal obligations to provide information."
"I would feel like I was shamefully violating the oath that I took to support and defend the Constitution."

Trump corruption update

President Donald Trump’s choice to stay at his own Las Vegas hotel each night during the western states swing that wraps up Friday likely cost taxpayers a million extra dollars as well as diverted thousands of them into his own cash registers.
Breaking with precedent, Trump flew back to Vegas to stay every night at his Trump International Hotel, despite his day activities taking place in California, Arizona, and Colorado.
Had Trump held the same events but done so in a geographically logical order ― starting in Beverly Hills and finishing in Colorado Springs, but overnighting each day in the city where he would begin the following morning ― Trump would have spent four fewer hours aboard Air Force One, thereby saving taxpayers about $1.1 million.
...Indeed, the repeated overnight trips to Las Vegas may have forced the Secret Service and other support personnel to keep a motorcade there for a full four days, rather than move it to the site of an upcoming presidential trip
This week, Trump has a whole new country to focus on: India, home to the largest portfolio of Trump real estate projects outside North America, according to the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. According to The Washington Post, since the elder Trump’s last trip to India in 2014, two of his business partners have encountered massive legal and financial trouble.
During Trump’s time as president, the Trump Organization has vigorously promoted their properties in India, earning millions of dollars in royalties:
In 2018, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr. — who runs the Trump Organization with his brother, Eric Trump — spent several days in India promoting the family’s developments, attending a champagne dinner with condo buyers who plunked down $39,000 deposits and bringing in millions of dollars in new sales. While there, he also met with Modi behind closed doors. The next year, Trump’s Indian business partners flew 100 early buyers of his luxury condos near Delhi to visit Trump Tower and Trump Ferry Point golf course in New York City as a way to generate interest in the properties in India. One attendee gushed afterward about meeting the son of a U.S. president on the trip.

Trump 2020: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

President Donald Trump’s campaign is bringing on an alum of the controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica...Matt Oczkowski, who served as head of product at Cambridge before it went bankrupt and shut down in 2018, is helping oversee the Trump campaign’s data program...Oczkowski, who also worked on Trump’s 2016 effort, joined the reelection campaign in January, and payments to his company, HuMn Behavior, are expected to show up on Trump’s next campaign finance disclosure later this month. (Politico)
An Axios report revealed where most of Trump’s re-election campaign is spending its advertising budget: on Facebook ads. “Last fall, the campaign urged Facebook to keep the same tools for political advertisers that they make available to companies...Facebook ultimately decided not to change its policies around microtargeting.” However, unlike in 2016, the campaign is also diversifying, “testing new strategies on several dozen platforms, including YouTube, Google, ad exchanges, publisher networks and conservative podcasts.”
  • Side note: The IRS is suing Facebook for $9 million in back taxes, alleging the social media company undervalued intellectual properties when selling them to an Irish subsidiary in 2010. Ireland has lower corporate tax rates than the United States, so the move reduced the company’s tax bill.

Erik Prince investigations

There is apparently another investigation into Blackwater Founder - and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos - Erik Prince. The FBI is reportedly investigating Prince “for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations...The planes became part of private military services Prince proposed to sell or use in mercenary operations in Africa and Azerbaijan.”
This new investigation adds to Prince’s legal problems, though he insists that he is untouchable “under this guy,” referring to Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is “in the late stages of deciding whether to charge” Prince for allegedly lying to Congress in its Russia probe and violating U.S. export laws in his business dealings overseas.

Trump blocking prominent climate change warning

The United States is against mentioning climate change in the communique of the world’s financial leaders, G20 diplomats said, after a new draft of the joint statement showed the G20 are considering including it as a risk factor to growth...G20 sources said the United States was reluctant to accept language on climate change as a risk to the economy. Reuters
On Sunday, it was announced that the U.S. ultimately agreed to a less-prominent placement for the risks of climate change. It will now appear in language referencing the Financial Stability Board’s work examining the implications of climate change for financial stability.
One of the G20 sources said it was the first time a reference to climate change had been included in a G20 finance communique during Trump’s presidency, even though it was removed from the top of the joint statement. U.S. officials have resisted naming climate change as an economic risk since Trump took office in 2017. One of his first acts as president was to announce Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

Rightwing threats

Last week, two men were arrested in separate incidents involving threats to President Trump’s perceived opponents.
A Michigan man, Brittan J. Atkinson, was arrested on Thursday for sending death threats to Mark Zaid, an attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower. Atkinson sent the threats in November, on the day that Trump held up a photo of Zaid and read some of his tweets at a rally in Louisiana.
"All traitors must die miserable deaths," Atkinson's email read in part, the indictment says. "Those that represent traitors shall meet the same fate[.] We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are. We have nothing but time, and you are running out of it, Keep looking over your shoulder[.] We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with[.] We are all strangers in a crowd to you[.]"
On Wednesday, Salvatore Lippa of New York was arrested for threatening to assault and murder Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Chuck Schumer in voicemails last month.
Lippa started the threatening message by calling the congressman "Schiff, Shifty Schiff," invoking the nickname used by President Donald Trump for Schiff, the lead House manager during Trump's impeachment trial.
...When questioned by U.S Capitol Police, Lippa admitted to making the threatening calls to Schiff and Schumer because he said he was upset about the impeachment proceedings, prosecutors said.

State news

  • Washington Post: A second court has temporarily blocked North Carolina’s new voter identification law on the argument that it discriminates against African Americans. The ruling reduces the likelihood that the rule will be in effect in a key swing state during November’s elections. A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that intent to discriminate was a “primary motivating factor” behind the voter ID law, which passed the Republican legislature in late 2018.
  • CBS News: Florida cannot bar felons who served their time from registering to vote simply because they have failed to pay all fines and fees stemming from their cases, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
  • CNN: Mississippi's law banning abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat -- as early as six weeks into pregnancy -- will remain blocked, a panel of circuit judges ruled on Thursday...The three-judge panel on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that the Mississippi law unconstitutionally prohibited pre-viability abortions.
  • Tampa Bay Times: A curious request arrived in the inboxes of Florida tax collectors last week from an employee of the Republican National Committee. He asked for “all email addresses that have been collected and are in the possession of the Tax Collector’s Office.” He also wanted any names, property addresses and phone numbers connected to those emails in their records. If the tax collectors had complied, the Republican Party would soon have a valuable trove of personal information for millions of Floridians as it gears up for the 2020 election: A detailed database of many taxpayers’ emails plus the name, address and phone number tied to that email.
  • Associated Press: Most Republican lawmakers refused to attend a Tuesday night session of the Oregon House of Representatives amid a slowdown over anger at a sweeping bill on climate change. Earlier, Republican lawmakers, who are a minority in the House, insisted that bills coming to the floor be read in their entirety instead of being summarized, which slowed things down substantially. The 2020 session of the Legislature lasts only 35 days, being an even-year short session.
  • Q13 Fox News: Efforts to expel a controversial state representative from the Washington Legislature are likely over after no Republicans would sign a letter calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s expulsion. The Spokesman-Review reports that all 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked Thursday to sign a letter calling for the expulsion of Spokane Valley Republican. All 56 Democrats signed the letter, but no Republicans did.
CONTINUED BELOW
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

Cuba, Che and Fidel Castro.

Cuba & Fidel Castro

Resources:
Cuba before and After
BBC Interview on Castro
Operation Mongouse
Cuba ranked 3th in the world for literacy
Free quality healthcare:
The facts of a relatively poor economy and a long-term continuous sanctions on trade makes the Cubans' achievements more impressive. For the past forty years, education has been a top priority for the Cuban government.[17] Cuba maintains twice the amount of public spending on education as its more wealthy neighbors, at 10% of GNP
Racism: Article detailing the history of racism, and how Castro combat it through anti-discriminatory laws with overwhelming support, that is conveyed today Also Pre-revolutionary Cuba was, in effect, an apartheid society. There was widespread segregation and discrimination. Afro-Cubans were restricted to the worst jobs, the worst housing, the worst education… The commitment to defeating racism has brought about tremendous gains in equality and racial integration. Isaac Saney writes: “It can be argued that Cuba has done more than any other country to dismantle institutionalised racism and generate racial harmony.”
Cuban woman rights record (ranked 6th in the world for women political participation): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_rights_in_Cuba
[From Leo Humberman and Paul Sweezy's "Cuba anatomy of a revolution: "Note that in all of Cuba (from the 1953 census), in both urban and rural areas, only 35.2% of the dwelling units have running water, and only 28% have inside flush toilets. In 2015, about 95% of Cubans had access to an improved water source (96% of the urban population, but only 92% of the rural population). Cuba's access to adequate sanitation is the second-highest in Latin America and the Caribbean after Uruguay](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_Cuba#Access
In 1959, only about 50% of households in the island nation had access to electricity. By 1989, the electric grid provided service to 95% of household.
Ironically, the electricity before the revolution was ran by an American-owned electric power company, and was riddled with corruption (from the same book from above)
Over the last 50 years, comprehensive social protection programmes have largely eradicated poverty and hunger. Food-based social safety nets include a monthly food basket for the entire population, school feeding programmes, and mother-and-child health care programmes.
First country to develop Lung cancer, meningitus vaccines and HIV mother-to-child prevention
Free training for international students
Cuba is the largest and most populated island in the Caribbean yet consistently experiences the lowest death tolls during hurricane season. According to United Nations, it's not because Cubans are lucky but because they're prepared. According to Oxfam, from 1996 to 2002, only 16 people were killed by the six hurricanes that struck Cuba. Cuba's meteorological institute has 15 provincial offices. They share data with US scientists and project storm tracks. Around 72 hours before a storm's predicted landfall, national media issue alerts while civil protection committees check evacuation plans and shelters. Hurricane awareness is taught in schools and there are practice drills for the public before each hurricane season.

(the above information was completely compiled by bayarea415, thank you comrade).
The blockade explained https://www.reddit.com/LateStageImperialism/comments/crc8j4/cuba_50_years_of_economic_blocade_explained/
Democracy in Cuba:
20 Reasons to Support Cuba Cuba: A Revolution in Motion by Isaac Saney
https://www.democracyintheus.com/ Cuban Democracy Fact Sheet All in This Together:
Cuba's Participatory Democra The Elected Delegate and the Dissident in Cuba's Municipal
Elections by Arnold August 2002 Cuban Constitution Work and Democracy in Socialist
Cuba by Linda Fuller
Article by Hellen Yaffe:
Alongside his depiction as a “brutal dictator”, negative reflections on Fidel Castro since his death in November 2016 have focused on his “mismanagement” of the Cuban economy and the consequent “extremes of poverty” suffered by ordinary Cubans.
This caricature is problematic – not only because it ignores the devastating economic impact of the United States embargo over 55 years, but also because it is premised on neoclassical economic assumptions. This means that by stressing economic policy over economic restraints, critics can shift responsibility for Cuba’s alleged poverty on to Castro without implicating successive US administrations that have imposed the suffocating embargo.
This approach also ignores key questions about Cuba after the revolution. Where can medium and low-income countries get the capital to invest in infrastructure and welfare provision? How can foreign capital be obtained under conditions which do not obstruct such development, and how can a late-developing country such as Cuba use international trade to produce a surplus in a global economy which – many claim – tends to “unequal terms of trade”?
It was the search for solutions to the challenge of development that led Cuba’s revolutionary government to adopt a socialist system. They adopted a centrally planned economy in which state ownership predominated because they perceived this system as offering the best answer to those historical challenges.
But the commitment to operate within a socialist framework implied additional restraints and complications, particularly in the context of a bipolar world. My book, Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution, examines the contradictions and challenges faced by the nascent revolutionary government from the perspective of Guevara’s role as president of the National Bank and minister of industries.
Literature on Cuba is dominated by “Cubanology”, an academic school central to the political and ideological opposition to Cuban socialism. Its emergence and links to the US government are well documented. Its arguments are that the revolution changed everything in Cuba – and Fidel (and then Raul) Castro have personally dominated domestic and foreign policy since, denying Cuban democracy and repressing civil society. Thanks to their mismanagement of the economy, growth since 1959 has been negligible. They simply replaced dependency on the US with dependency on the USSR until its collapse in 1990.
These ideas have also shaped political and media discourse on Cuba. But the problem with this analysis is that it obstructs our ability to see clearly what goes on in Cuba or explain the revolution’s endurance and Cuban society’s vitality.
What did Castro inherit?
Arguments about the success or failure of the post-1959 economy often hang on the state of the Cuban economy in the 1950s. The post-1959 government inherited a sugar-dominated economy with the deep socio-economic and racial scars of slavery. Cubanologist Jaime Suchlicki argues that Batista’s Cuba was “well into what Walter Rostow has characterised as the take-off stage”, while Fred Judson points to structural weaknesses in the Cuban economy: “Long-term crises characterised the economy, which had a surface and transient prosperity.” So while one side insists that the revolution interrupted healthy capitalist growth, the other believes it was a precondition to resolving the contradictions obstructing development by ending Cuba’s subjugation to the needs of US capitalism.
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/files/2017/02/cuba_graph_b.gif GDP of Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica 1960-2015 (Source: World Bank)
Following the revolution, Castro set out to bring social welfare and land reform to the Cuban people and to confiscate the ill-gotten gains of the Cuban elite. But when the defeated Fulgencio Batista and his associates fled Cuba, they stole millions of pesos from the National Bank and the Treasury. The country was decapitalised, severely limiting the capacity for public spending and private investments. Wealthy Cubans were leaving the island, taking their deposits and taxes with them. How was the new government going to carry out the ambitious socio-economic reforms without financial resources?
We have to consider these real circumstances at every juncture. For example, when the US embargo was first implemented, 95% of Cuba’s capital goods and 100% of its spare parts were imported from the US – and the US was overwhelmingly the main recipient of Cuban exports. When the Soviet bloc disintegrated, Cuba lost 85% of its trade and investment, leading GDP to plummet 35%. These events produced serious economic constraints on Cuba’s room for manoeuvre.
Putting a price on poverty
Moving on, we should also ask: how are we to measure Cuba’s poverty? Is it GDP per capita? Is it money-income per day? Should we apply the yardsticks of capitalist economics, focusing on growth and productivity statistics to measure “success” or “failure”, while paying little attention to social and political priorities?

Even factoring in its low GDP per capita, the Human Development Index (HDI) lists Cuba in the “high human development” category; it excels not just in health and education, but also in women’s participation and political inclusion. Cuba has eliminated child malnutrition. No children sleep on the streets. In fact, there is no homelessness. Even during the hungry years of economic crisis of the 1990s, Cubans did not starve. Cuba stuck with the planned economy, and it enabled them to ration their scarce resources.
Yes, salaries are extremely low (as both Fidel and Raul have lamented) – but Cubans’ salaries do not determine their standard of living. About 85% of Cubans own their own homes and rent cannot exceed 4% of a tenant’s income. The state provides a (very) basic food basket while utility bills, transport and medicine costs are kept low. The opera, cinema, ballet and so on are cheap for all. High-quality education and healthcare are free. They are part of the material wealth of Cuba and should not be dismissed – as if individual consumption of consumer goods were the only measure of economic success.
Operation miracle
The specific and real challenges Cuban development has faced has generated unique contradictions. In a planned economy, with an extremely tight budget, they have had to prioritise: the infrastructure is crumbling and yet they have first-world human development indicators. Infant mortality rates reveal a lot about the standard of living, being influenced by multiple socioeconomic and medical factors. Cuba’s infant mortality rate is 4.5 per 1,000 live births, which sits it among first-world countries – and above the US on the CIA’s own ranking.
It is not just Cubans who have benefited from these investments. Tens of thousands of Cuban doctors, educators and other development aid workers have served around the world. At present some 37,000 Cuban doctors and nurses work in 77 countries. They generate foreign exchange of some US$8 billion a year – Cuba’s biggest export.
In addition, Cuba provides both free medical treatment and free medical training to thousands of foreigners every year. As a direct initiative of Fidel, in 1999, the Latin American School of Medicine was inaugurated in Havana to provide foreign students from poor countries with six years of training and accommodation completely free. In 2004, Cuba teamed up with Venezuela to provide free eye surgery to people in three dozen countries under Operation Miracle. In the first ten years more than 3m people had their sight restored.
Prohibiting even trade in medicines, the US embargo led Castro to prioritise investments in medical sciences. Cuba now owns around 900 patents and markets pharmaceutical products and vaccines in 40 countries, generating yearly revenues of US$300m, with the potential for massive expansion. The sector produces more than 70% of the medicines consumed by its 11m people. The entire industry is state owned, research programmes respond to the needs of the population, and all surpluses are reinvested into the sector. Without state planning and investment it is unlikely that this could have been achieved in a poor country.
In the mid-1980s Cuba developed the world’s first Meningitis B vaccine. Today, it leads in oncology drugs. In 2012 Cuba patented the first therapeutic cancer vaccine. The US embargo forces Cuba to source medicines, medical devices and radiology products outside the United States, incurring additional transportation costs.
Sharing economy
Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, told me in 2009:
A great example provided by Cuba is that in its poverty it has known how to share, with all its international programmes. Cuba is the country with the greatest cooperation in relation to its gross domestic product and it is an example for all of us. This doesn’t mean that Cuba doesn’t have big problems, but it is also certain that it is impossible to judge the success or failure of the Cuban model without considering the US blockade, a blockade that has lasted for 50 years. Ecuador wouldn’t survive for five months with that blockade.
Let’s consider the embargo: the Cuban government estimates that it has cost the island US$753.69 billion. Their annual report to the United Nations provides a detailed account of that calculation. That’s a lot for a country whose average GDP between 1970 and 2014 has been calculated at US$31.7 billion.
Yes, Castro presided over mistakes and errors in Cuba’s planned economy. Yes, there is bureaucracy, low productivity, liquidity crisis, debt and numerous other problems – but where aren’t there? Castro pointed to these weaknesses in his own speeches to the Cuban people. But President Correa is right – to objectively judge Castro’s legacy, Cuban development and contemporary reforms today, we cannot pretend that the US blockade – which remains today despite rapprochement – has not shaped the Cuban economy.
Castro almost saw out 11 US presidents since 1959, but he never lived to see the end of the US embargo. New challenges face Cuba, with economic reforms underway and the restoration of relations with the United States. The next step, including for me personally, is to assess the Cuban revolution’s resilience in this post-Castro, Donald Trump era. End of article.


More Resources

https://mronline.org/2018/09/28/introduction-to-the-analysis-of-the-draft-constitution-of-the-republic-during-the-popular-consultation/
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/11/cuba-health/508859/
https://www.facebook.com/telesurenglish/videos/1313058045504261/
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/As-World-Burns-Cuba-Number-1-For-Sustainable-Development-WWF-20161027-0018.html
http://www.invent-the-future.org/2013/07/20-reasons-to-support-cuba/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/24/obamas-cuba-visit-illustrates-us-arrogance/
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/cubas-low-level-of-internet-use-not-a-policy-of-restricting-the-flow-of-information/
http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2017-09-28/etecsa-expande-servicio-nauta-hogar-a-otras-provincias-de-cuba-28-09-2017-00-09-26
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-cable/cuba-gets-fiber-optic-cable-link-to-venezuela-idUSTRE7193DP20110210
http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3147347/0/cuba-internet-todos-hogares-diciembre/
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/a-failed-systems-failed-promises/
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/cuba-and-the-real-battle-for-democracy/
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Over-250000-Cubans-Join-Procession-to-Pay-Tribute-to-Fidel-20171204-0019.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npkeecCErQc
https://www.guernicamag.com/hyatt-bass-lessons-from-cubas-incarceration-model/
https://www.workers.org/2015/01/22/truth-unions-cuba/#.WFk3ufArJdh
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/cuban-revolution-fidel-castro-casinos-batista/
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cuba-Begins-Clinical-Trials-to-Delay-Progress-of-Alzheimers-20170515-0013.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cuba-Develops-New-Skin-Cancer-Medicine-20160909-0007.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cubas-Internationalist-Solidarity-Recognized-Once-Again-Doctors-Awarded-by-WHO-20170524-0024.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cubas-Agricultural-Revolution-Vanguard-for-Global-Food-System-20161129-0010.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Cubas-Sustainable-Agro-Ecological-Model-Could-Save-the-World-20161013-0023.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cubas-Socialist-Biotechnology-Sector-a-Global-Leader-20160517-0041.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/15/cia-motto-proudly-overthrowing-the-cuban-government-since-1959/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/21/cuba-and-the-united-states-the-claims-game/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/25/cuba-reflections-on-life-and-death/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/18/cuba-one-year-later-what-has-changed/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/10/cuba-55-years-of-ideas-and-truth/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/18/human-rights-hypocrisy-us-criticizes-cuba/
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/cuba-showing-how-defeat-racism
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/cubas-green-revolution-%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94-achieving-sustainability
https://monthlyreview.org/2011/03/01/the-latin-american-school-of-medicine-today/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8059287.stm
http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/05/community-drills-part-of-cubas-top-notch-disaster-response-system/
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/11/cubas-lung-cancer-vaccine/505778/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/09/the-cuban-revolution-defying-imperialism-from-its-backyard/
https://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/2003/05/01.htm

The Cuban Blockade

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Twitter-Storm-Launched-Against-US-Blockade-of-Cuba-20171031-0015.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-Israel-Only-States-to-Vote-Against-Lifting-Blockade-on-Cuba-20171101-0005.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/08/the-necessity-of-ending-the-economic-commercial-and-financial-blockade-against-cuba/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/using-fear-to-strike-at-cuban-tourism/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/27/u-s-political-class-looks-away-as-cuba-details-impact-of-u-s-blockade/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/28/the-unrelenting-economic-war-on-cuba/

submitted by SavageTruths74 to u/SavageTruths74 [link] [comments]

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submitted by freespins1 to u/freespins1 [link] [comments]

The biggest cryptocurrency thefts in the last 10 years

In this article, we will try to remember all the major theft of cryptocurrencies over the past 10 years.
1. Bitstamp $5.3 mln (BTC), January 4th, 2015
On January 4, 2015, the operational hot wallet of Bitstamp announced that it was hacked by an anonymous hacker and 19,000 Bitcoins (worth of $5 million) were lost.
The initiation of the attack fell on November 4, 2014. Then Damian Merlak, the CTO of the exchange, was offered free tickets to punk rock festival Punk Rock Holiday 2015 via Skype, knowing that Merlak is interested in such music and he plays in the band. To receive the tickets, he was asked to fill out a participant questionnaire by sending a file named “Punk Rock Holiday 2015 TICKET Form1.doc”. This file contained the VBA script. By opening the file, he downloaded the malware on his computer. Although Merlak did not suspect wrong and has opened the "application form", to any critical consequences, this did not open access to the funds of exchange.
The attackers, however, did not give up. The attack continued for five weeks, during which hackers presented themselves as journalists, then headhunters.
Finally, the attackers were lucky. On December 11, 2014, the infected word document was opened on his machine by Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodric, who had access to the exchange wallet. The file came to the victim by email, allegedly on behalf of an employee of the Association for computer science, although in fact, as the investigation showed, the traces of the file lead deep into Tor. Hackers were not limited to just one letter. Skype attacker pretending to be an employee of the Association for computing machinery, convinced that his Frame though to make international honor society, which required some paperwork. Kodric believed.
By installing a Trojan on Kodriс's computer hackers were able to obtain direct access to the hot wallet of the exchange. The logs show that the attacker, under the account of Kodric, gained access to the server LNXSRVBTC, where he kept the wallet file.dat, and the DORNATA server where the password was stored. Then the servers were redirected to a certain IP address that belongs to one of the providers of Germany.
There are still no official reports of arrests in this case. Obviously, the case is complicated by the fact that the hackers are outside the UK, and the investigation has to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other countries.
2. GateHub $9.5 mln (XRP), June 1th, 2019
Hackers have compromised nearly 100 XRP Ledger wallets on cryptocurrency wallet service GateHub. The incident was reported by GateHub in a preliminary statement on June 6.
XRP enthusiast Thomas Silkjær, who first noticed the suspicious activity, estimates that the hackers have stolen nearly $10 million worth of cryptocurrency (23,200,000 XRP), $5.5 million (13,100,000 XRP) of which has already been laundered through exchanges and mixer services.
GateHub notes that it is still conducting an investigation and therefore cannot publish any official findings. Also, GateHub advises victims to make complaints to the relevant authorities of their jurisdiction.
3. Tether, $30.9 mln (USDT), November 19th, 2017
Tether created a digital currency called "US tokens" (USDT) — they could be used to trade real goods using Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether. By depositing $1 in Tether, the user received 1 USD, which can be converted back into fiat. On November 19, 2017, the attacker gained access to the main Tether wallet and withdrew $ 30.9 million in tokens. For the transaction, he used a Bitcoin address, which means that it was irreversible.
To fix the situation, Tether took action by which the hacker was unable to withdraw the stolen money to fiat or Bitcoin, but the panic led to a decrease in the value of Bitcoin.
4. Ethereum, $31 mln (ETH), July 20th, 2017
On July 20, 2017, the hacker transferred 153,037 Ethers to $31 million from three very large wallets owned by SwarmCity, Edgeless Casino and Eternity. Unknown fraudster managed to change the ownership of wallets, taking advantage of the vulnerability with multiple signatures.
First, the theft was noticed by the developers of SwarmCity.
Further events deserve a place in history: "white hackers" returned the stolen funds, and then protected other compromised accounts. They acted in the same way as criminals, who stole funds from vulnerable wallets — just not for themselves. And it all happened in less than a day.
5. Dao (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) $70 mln (ETH), June 18th, 2016
On June 18, 2016, members of the Ethereum community noticed that funds were being drained from the DAO and the overall ETH balance of the smart contract was going down. A total of 3.6 million Ether (worth around $70 million at the time) was drained by the hacker in the first few hours. The attack was possible because of an exploit found in the splitting function. The attackes withdrew Ether from the DAO smart contract multiple times using the same DAO Tokens. This was possible due to what is known as a recursive call exploit.
In this exploit, the attacker was able to "ask" the smart contract (DAO) to give the Ether back multiple times before the smart contract could update its own balance. There were two main faults that made this possible: the fact that when the DAO smart contract was created the coders did not take into account the possibility of a recursive call, and the fact that the smart contract first sent the ETH funds and then updated the internal token balance.
It's important to understand that this bug did not come from Ethereum itself, but from this one application that was built on Ethereum. The code written for the DAO had multiple bugs, and the recursive call exploit was one of them. Another way to look at this situation is to compare Ethereum to the Internet and any application based on Ethereum to a website: if a website is not working, it doesn't mean that the Internet is not working, it simply means that one website has a problem.
The hacker stopped draining the DAO for unknown reasons, even though they could have continued to do so.
The Ethereum community and team quickly took control of the situation and presented multiple proposals to deal with the exploit. In order to prevent the hacker from cashing in the Ether from his child DAO after the standard 28 days, a soft-fork was voted on and came very close to being introduced. A few hours before it was set to be released, a few members of the community found a bug with the implementation that opened a denial-of-service attack vector. This soft fork was designed to blacklist all the transactions made from the DAO.
6. NiceHash, 4736.42 (BTC), December 6th, 2017
NiceHash is a Slovenian cryptocurrency hash power broker with integrated marketplace that connects sellers of hashing power (miners) with buyers of hashing power using the sharing economy approach.
On December 6, 2017, the company's servers became the target of attack. At first, Reddit users reported that they could not access their funds and make transactions — when they tried to log in, they were shown a message about a service interruption. In the end, it became known that the service had undergone a major cyberattack and 4736,42 Bitcoins disappeared without a trace.
Despite heavy losses, NiceHash was able to continue working, but CEO and founder Marco Koval resigned, giving way to a new team. The company managed to maintain the trust of investors and began to strengthen the protection of its systems.
7. Mt.Gox, 850000 (BTC), June 19th, 2011
The Hacking Of Mt.Gox was one of the biggest Bitcoin thefts in history. It was the work of highly professional hackers using complex vulnerabilities.
A hacker (or a group of hackers) allegedly gained access to a computer owned by one of the auditors and used a security vulnerability to access Mt.Gox servers, then changed the nominal value of Bitcoin to 1 cent per coin.
Then they brought out about 2000 BTC. Some customers, without knowing it, conducted transactions at this low price, a total of 650 BTC, and despite the fact that the hacking hit the headlines around the world, no Bitcoin could be returned.
To increase investor confidence, the company has compensated all of the stolen coins, placed most of the remaining funds in offline storage, and the next couple of years was considered the most reliable Bitcoin exchanger in the world.
However, it was only an illusion of reliability.
The problems of the organization were much more serious, and the management probably did not even know about them.
CEO of Mt.Gox, Mark Karpeles, was originally a developer, but over time he stopped delving into technical details, basking in the rays of glory — because he created the world's largest platform for cryptocurrency exchange. At that time Mt.Gox handled over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions.
And, of course, there were those who wanted to take advantage of the technological weakness of the service. At some point, hackers made it so that Bitcoins could be bought at any price, and within minutes millions of dollars worth of coins were sold — mostly for pennies. World prices for Bitcoin stabilized in a few minutes, but it was too late.
As a result, Mt.Gox lost about 850,000 Bitcoins. The exchange had to declare bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands of people lost money, and the Japanese authorities arrested CEO Mark Karpeles for fraud. He pleaded not guilty and was subsequently released. In 2014, the authorities restored some of the Bitcoins remaining at the old addresses, but did not transfer them to the exchange, and created a trust to compensate for the losses of creditors.
8. Coincheck, $530 mln, January 26th, 2018
The sum was astonishing, and even surpassed the infamous Mt.Gox hack.
While Mt.Gox shortly filed for bankruptcy following the hack, Coincheck has surprisingly remained in business and was even recently approved as a licensed exchange by Japan’s Financial Services (FSA).
Coincheck was founded in 2014 in Japan and was one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Offering a wide variety of digital assets including Bitcoin, Ether, LISK, and NEM, Coincheck was an emerging exchange that joined the Japan Blockchain Association.
Since Coincheck was founded it 2014, it was incidentally not subject to new exchange registration requirements with Japan’s FSA — who rolled out a framework after Mt. Gox –, and eventually was a contributing factor to its poor security standards that led to the hack.
On January 26th, 2018, Coincheck posted on their blog detailing that they were restricting NEM deposits and withdrawals, along with most other methods for buying or selling cryptocurrencies on the platform. Speculation arose that the exchange had been hacked, and the NEM developers issued a statement saying they were unaware of any technical glitches in the NEM protocol and any issues were a result of the exchange’s security.
Coincheck subsequently held a high-profile conference where they confirmed that hackers had absconded with 500 million NEM tokens that were then distributed to 19 different addresses on the network. Totaling roughly $530 million at the time — NEM was hovering around $1 then — the Coincheck hack was considered the largest theft in the industry’s history.
Coincheck was compelled to reveal some embarrassing details about their exchange’s security, mentioning how they stored all of the NEM in a single hot wallet and did not use the NEM multisignature contract security recommended by the developers.
Simultaneously, the NEM developers team had tagged all of the NEM stolen in the hack with a message identifying the funds as stolen so that other exchanges would not accept them. However, NEM announced they were ending their hunt for the stolen NEM for unspecified reasons several months later, and speculation persisted that hackers were close to cashing out the stolen funds on the dark web.
Mainstream media covered the hack extensively and compared it to similar failures by cryptocurrency exchanges in the past to meet adequate security standards. At the time, most media coverage of cryptocurrencies was centered on their obscure nature, dramatic volatility, and lack of security. Coincheck’s hack fueled that narrative considerably as the stolen sum was eye-popping and the cryptocurrency used — NEM — was unknown to most in the mainstream.
NEM depreciated rapidly following the hack, and the price fell even more throughout 2018, in line with the extended bear market in the broader industry. Currently, NEM is trading at approximately $0.07, a precipitous fall from ATH over $1.60 in early January.
The extent of the Coincheck hack was rivaled by only a few other hacks, notably the Mt.Gox hack. While nominally Coincheck is the largest hack in the industry’s history, the effects of Mt.Gox were significantly more impactful since the stolen funds consisted only of Bitcoin and caused a sustained market correction as well as an ongoing controversy with the stolen funds and founder. Moreover, Mt.Gox squandered 6% of the overall Bitcoin circulation at the time in a market that was much less mature than it is today.
Despite the fallout, Coincheck is now fully operational and registered with Japan’s FSA.
As practice shows, people make mistakes and these mistakes can cost a lot. Especially, when we talk about mad cryptoworld. Be careful and keep your private keys in a safe place.
submitted by SwapSpace_co to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

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