World, Business and Bitcoin News Today – 19 July 2019 – US Warships Shoots Down Iranian Drone

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US Warship Destroys Iranian Drone

President Donald Trump has said the US Navy destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

He said the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship “took defensive action” on Thursday, after the drone came within about 1,000 yards of the vessel.

Iran said it had no information about losing a drone. In June, Iran downed a US military drone in the area.

Iran has been blamed by the US for attacks on tankers which have happened in the world’s key shipping area since May. Tehran denies all the accusations.

The recent incidents have triggered fears of military conflict in the region.

 

Zuma due back at corruption inquiry after adjournment

Former South African president Jacob Zuma was due back at a public inquiry into state corruption on Friday, after his lawyers requested an adjournment because they said he was being questioned unfairly.

 

City bans the word “Man-Hole” in political correctness madness.

A US city has voted to ban a list of common words like “manhole” in a move opponents say is political correctness gone mad.

Berkeley City Council voted in favour of the controversial ban during a council meeting this week.

It means shortly, the Californian city’s municipal code will be changed, with around 35 words replaced with “gender-neutral language”.

On the hit list are masculine and feminine pronouns, which means “he” and “she” will be switched to “they” and “them” in an effort to “promote equality”.

Other gendered terms will change to specific nouns such as the teacher or the council member.

“Manhole” will be replaced with “maintenance hole”, “manpower” with “human effort” and “fraternal” with “social”.

 

Miss World Finalist stripped of Title because of Trump Supporting Racist Tweets

A Donald Trump-supporting model and activist has been stripped of her beauty queen title over “racist” social media posts.

Kathy Zhu, 20, a University of Michigan student, who has more than 70,000 followers across Instagram and Twitter where she goes by the handle “PoliticalKathy”, is a prominent online conservative and is the vice-chair of her campus Republican student group.

Zhu, who was born in China and immigrated to the US when she was five, first gained internet fame during the 2016 election campaign. In 2018 she sparked controversy after posting about a “Try a Hijab” event at the University of Central Florida, and later that year announced she was transferring to Michigan.

Earlier this week she was named as a 2019 national finalist by Miss Indiana, and Michigan World America, the first phase of the competition before the Miss and Teen World America Preliminary and Finals in Las Vegas in October.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, Zhu said she had been stripped of her Miss Michigan title “due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and ‘insensitive’ statistical tweets”.

 

 


Markets and Business News

 

Stock Markets rally on US rate cut plans, Gold Surge and Bitcoin rallies

European stocks traded higher on Friday as market players increase their bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up by 0.4% after the opening bell, auto stocks leading the charge with a 1% climb as all sectors except media traded in positive territory.

Gold on Friday surpassed the key $1,450 level for the first time since May 2013, after comments from a top Federal Reserve official bolstered expectations of an interest rate cut, while fresh tensions in the Middle East further supported bullion.

The metal has gained nearly 2% so far this week, on track for a second consecutive weekly gain.

Bitcoin prices regained the $10,000 mark as  U.S. representative Patrick McHenry said that he believes Bitcoin can not be killed in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on July 17.

During the interview, when he was asked whether he believes politicians will allow cryptocurrencies to thrive, McHenry said:

“I think there’s no capacity to kill Bitcoin. Even the Chinese, with their firewall and their extreme intervention in their society, could not kill Bitcoin.”

 

Boeing takes $5bn hit over 737 Max 

Boeing is taking a $4.9bn hit to cover costs related to the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max aircraft.

The charge is set to wipe out profits when the world’s biggest planemaker posts quarterly results next week.

In a statement, Boeing also said its “best estimate at this time” is that the aircraft will return to service in the last three months of this year.

A 737 Max crash in Indonesia in October, and another in Ethiopia in March, killed 346 people in total.

 

Luxury Goods Slump in Hong Kong

Luxury brand Richemont is the latest firm to report a hit to business over ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

The Swiss company said political unrest in Hong Kong, a key market for its watches, has knocked sales.

Retailers in the territory forecast a sharp sales drop this year due to the protests, while tourism is also suffering.

Demonstrators have filled Hong Kong’s streets over the past month with more protests expected this weekend.

The demonstrations were sparked by a proposed extradition bill which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

But they now reflect broader demands for democratic reform and concern that Hong Kong’s freedoms are being eroded.

The sometimes violent clashes have disrupted business in the city, a hub for wealthy Asia shoppers.

 

 

Steve Wozniak Co-Founds Blockchain-Based Energy Saving Firm in Malta

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of American tech giant Apple, has invested in a new blockchain-based company headquartered in Malta.

 Wozniak is now the co-founder of energy efficiency company Efforce, according to a report by Maltese news daily The Malta Independent on July 18.

Wozniak co-founded the company alongside Jacopo Visetti, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, works in the renewable energy and environment sector.

According to this page, Visetti co-founded Efforce in January, 2018 approximately one year and seven months ago. 

According Efforce’s LinkedIn page, the company provides the first blockchain-based platform focused on investing in energy efficiency, with its stated goal “to be recognized as the first and main platform in the world for tokenized energy savings.”

 

Message in a bottle travels from Michigan to Florida in 24 years

A man relaxing in the water on the Florida coast, discovered a message in a bottle that had been thrown into Lake Michigan 24 years earlier.

Gary Henrickson said he was enjoying the gulf coast water in Santa Rosa Beach when he spotted a bottle bobbing in the water nearby.

Henrickson uncorked the mystery bottle and discovered it contained a message from a man who had tossed it into Lake Michigan in 1995

The note says: Hello, June 16, 1995, Frankfurt, Michigan. I’ve tossed this bottle into the water to bring joy to anyone who finds it. This whiskey bottle was full a few short hours earlier. If you find this call me, and I’ll buy you a drink,” Henrickson told WTHR-TV.

Henrickson said he attempted to send a text message to the number on the note, and to his surprise, it will still in service and still belonged to the author of the note.

He is 49 years old now,” Henrickson said. “It was a whole different time in his life, he said. He threw it in Lake Michigan, and we kind of talked about how it could’ve gotten down here. It’s just an amazing, long, long way it had to go.”

He said the two men discussed the possibilities and determined the bottle must have traveled all the way down the Mississippi River.

 

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