Author: Editor - World News

Bitcoin: Bank of America division bans investments

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch sign is seen on a building that houses its offices in Singapore [Reuters] Bank of America Merrill Lynch banned clients from investing in one of bitcoin mogul Barry Silbert’s top funds last month, according to a memo, Reuters reported. As of December 8, the Wall Street brokerage stopped approving new orders for the Bitcoin Investment Trust due to concerns about the “suitability and eligibility standards of this product,” according to the memo sent to roughly 17,000 brokers at Merrill Lynch and Merrill Edge, a unit for clients who manage their own trades. Bitcoin...

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Living with the Dead in the Philippines

In the Philippines, public cemeteries are home to not only the dead but to the living – providing thousands of families with an escape from the country’s overcrowded slums. School classes are held inside a mausoleum, kids are flying kites and playing basketball in between graves, and families are sleeping on top of tombs and spending their days among the dead. Despite the misgivings of local authorities, the communities in these graveyards have flourished, creating a practical culture where mausoleums double as homes and the dead are cared for and honoured rather than feared. 101 East meets the Filipinos...

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Equatorial Guinea says attempted ‘coup’ thwarted

Mbasogo has been in power in Equatorial Guinea since 1979 [David Mercado/Reuters] The West African nation of Equatorial Guinea says it thwarted an attempted “coup” in late December against the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Africa’s longest-serving leader. The government accused at least 30 armed mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic of attempting to overthrow Mbasogo with the support of Guinean opposition forces just before Christmas, a government minister said this week. The “mercenaries … were recruited by Equatorial Guinean militants from certain radical opposition parties with the support of certain powers”, AFP news agency quoted...

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Will Syria see peace in 2018?

Civilians carry a body in eastern Ghouta outside the capital Damascus on December 3, 2017 [Reuters/Bassam Khabieh] The war in Syria has all but subsided after seven years of conflict. The fighting and bloodshed that once spanned the entirety of the Arab nation has been relegated to a few areas, raising the question of whether the country will see at least some semblance of stability in 2018. With the help of Russia and Iran, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad transformed the fight against armed opposition groups aiming to overthrow the regime into a “war against terrorism”. A...

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Bannon says Trump Jr meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’

Bannon joined Trump’s campaign last year from far-right news outlet Breitbart [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters] Ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has reportedly called a meeting between Donald Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 election campaign “treasonous” – drawing an angry response from the US president. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind”, Trump, who sacked Bannon in August, said in a statement. “Steve doesn’t represent my base,” he said, adding that Bannon is “only in it for himself”. Trump’s comments...

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