U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sealed a defense cooperation deal Saturday with Polish officials that will pave the way to deploy more American troops to Poland. Gov. David Ige said he is working to find out whether the federal government would fully pay for $300 in weekly supplemental unemployment benefits President Donald Trump announced under an executive order last weekend or whether the state would wind up having to foot the bill if it participated in the program. A high-rolling Bitcoin whale who is building a reputation for going against the grain says heavy losses are coming to new crypto traders. On Thursday Epic filed a lawsuit in federal court after Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its App Store to punish Epic for implementing a payment mechanism that bypassed Apple’s practice of taking a 30% commission on in-app purchases. The suit seeks a court order ending Apple’s commission Record Ethereum Network Use and Gas Fees Pose Risk to DeFi Expansion The New York City Real Estate Market is in Wait and See Mode.
WARSAW (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sealed a defense cooperation deal Saturday with Polish officials that will pave the way to deploy more American troops to Poland.
Pompeo, in Warsaw at the end of a four-nation tour of central and eastern Europe, signed the deal with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak that sets out the legal framework for the additional troops.
“This is going to be an extended guarantee: a guarantee that in case of a threat our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm,” Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony. “It will also serve to increase the security of other countries in our part of Europe.”
The deal would also further other aspects of U.S.-Polish cooperation, he added, citing primarily investment and trade ties.
Some 4,500 U.S. troops are currently based in Poland, but about 1,000 more are to be added. Last month, in line with President Donald Trump’s demand to reduce troop numbers in Germany, the Pentagon announced that 12,000 troops would be withdrawn from Germany with about 5,600 moving to other countries in Europe, including Poland.
In addition, several U.S. military commands will be moved out of Germany, including the U.S. Army V Corps overseas headquarters that will relocate to Poland next year.
The deal would also further other aspects of U.S.-Polish cooperation, he added, citing primarily investment and trade ties.
The pact signed Saturday supplements a NATO pact and allows for the enhancement and modernization of existing capabilities and facilities by allowing U.S. forces to access additional Polish military installations. It also sets out a formula for sharing the logistical and infrastructure costs of an expanded U.S. presence in the country.
“The opportunities are unlimited, the resources will be available,” Pompeo said later at a news conference alongside Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
“Troop levels matter … but the world has moved on too,” Pompeo said, referring to threats posed in space, cyberspace and disinformation campaigns. He said such defense agreements would allow work on those threats too.
Czaputowicz said the presence of American troops “enhances our deterrence potential because we are closer to the potential source of conflict.”
“It is important that they should be deployed here in Poland and not in Germany,” he said.
Trump said the pact was the culmination of months of negotiations.
“The agreement will enhance our military cooperation and increase the United States’ military presence in Poland to further strengthen NATO deterrence, bolster European security, and help ensure democracy, freedom, and sovereignty,” Trump’s statement said.
Trump has long and loudly complained that Germany does not spend enough on defense. NATO nations have pledged to dedicate 2% of their gross domestic product.
After the signing ceremony, Pompeo joined Duda and other Polish leaders at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark the centennial of Poland’s landmark victory against the Russian Bolsheviks in 1920 during the Polish-Soviet war.
In the Battle of Warsaw, often called the “Miracle on the Vistula,” outnumbered Polish troops led by Marshal Józef Piłsudski defeated an advancing Red Army. The battle is credited with stopping the Bolsheviks’ westward march, and remains a source of huge national pride in Poland.
Saturday’s signing came just a day after the Trump administration suffered an embarrassing diplomatic loss at the United Nations when its proposal to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran was soundly defeated in a U.N. Security Council vote that saw only one country side with the U.S. Pompeo will visit that country, the Dominican Republic, on Sunday for the inauguration of its new president.
Pompeo said in Warsaw that it was “unfortunate” that France and the U.K., permanent members of the Security Council, did not support the U.S. position and that Washington would continue to press the issue.
“The United States simply wanted the keep the same rules that have been in place since 2007,” he said. “I think there are a lot of people who understand that it is not in the world’s best interest to allow this arms embargo to expire. I hope they find the courage to say so publicly.”
Pompeo has used his Europe trip to warn the region’s young democracies about threats posed by Russia and China. In Poland, the reception was particularly warm, given the friendship between Trump and conservative Polish President Duda, who was sworn in for a second five-year term earlier this month after a hotly contested election.
Many of the policies pushed by Poland’s ruling conservative government have put Poland at odds with the European Union, which is concerned that government efforts to reshape the judiciary and other actions have eroded the rule of law and democracy in the EU nation.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
Gov. David Ige seeks details on President Donald Trump’s unemployment plan
Gov. David Ige said he is working to find out whether the federal government would fully pay for $300 in weekly supplemental unemployment benefits President Donald Trump announced under an executive order last weekend or whether the state would wind up having to foot the bill if it participated in the program.
Ige said his office was seeking more details from the Trump administration on what would be required.
“We are concerned because there is no specific congressional appropriation to implement this program,” Ige said at a news conference Thursday. “And we want to understand what the state obligation would be should the federal government not be able to provide the funds promised.”
Trump’s order allocates $44 billion in federal dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund to pay for an additional $300 in weekly supplemental unemployment aid for the jobless.
The plan calls on states to kick in money of their own to contribute an additional $100 a week.
The payments are intended to partially replace $600 in weekly payments provided in addition to the usual unemployment insurance benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump issued his executive order after the $600 “plus-up” ended last month and Congress wasn’t able to agree on a program to replace it.
“In this instance, it’s not clear whether we would have to front the money from the state’s perspective or whether the federal government would be providing full access to the promised funds before we began the program. So those are the details that we’re working through,” Ige said.
Even if the state does take advantage of the program and use the money, it’s not expected to last long. Experts say the $44 billion that the Trump administration has set aside would run out in five or six weeks.
In the meantime, Hawaii legislative leaders want Ige to start providing $100 in additional weekly benefits using money they allocated for this purpose earlier this year.
Lawmakers passed legislation setting aside $230 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for the $100 payment, but Ige used his line-item veto power to reject their plan. Ige said he wanted flexibility to decide how to use the relief funds while Congress determined whether to extend the $600 payment.
Sylvia Luke, the chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, said he should use his powers to spend that money now.
“I think the prudent thing for at least the governor to do and for the state to do is implement some type of assistance in the interim while Congress still grapples with coming to an agreement,” Luke said.
Hawaii lawmakers budgeted $230 million in coronavirus relief funds to provide assistance to more than 100,000 unemployed from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 in anticipation of the $600 “plus-up” running out.
Hawaii’s unemployment rate stood at 13.9% in June.
Luke, a Democrat representing Nuuanu and Pauoa, said this $100 payment could supplement the $300 provided from FEMA funds if the state uses that money.
Still, she said it’s not ideal for the president to use FEMA’s disaster relief fund for unemployment, adding that the money should be available to help Hawaii and other states cope with hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“So my hope is that Congress, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, get together very quickly and resolve this issue for everybody’s sake,” Luke said.
Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said state agencies will need some time to ramp up distribution of any new supplemental unemployment payments. As a result, he hopes the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is already working on how to do this while the governor decides what to do.
“I’m hoping that the agencies are at least communicating and developing a way that they’re going to be able to distribute this money,” said Dela Cruz, a Democrat who represents Mililani and Wahiawa.
Author: By Audrey McAvoy Associated Press
Millionaire Bitcoin Whale Places Crypto Market on Notice, Warns Big Losses Coming to Newbie Traders
A high-rolling Bitcoin whale who is building a reputation for going against the grain says heavy losses are coming to new crypto traders.
The pseudonymous crypto figure known as Joe007 tells his crew of 34,000 that decentralized finance (DeFi) – the hottest trend in crypto right now – will likely follow the path of many ICO tokens. To emphasize his point, the high-stakes trader retweeted the warning issued by Synthetix founder Kain Warwick.
“DeFi is early and dangerous. We have all kinds of risks: hacks, bugs, scams, centrisation[sic], manipulation, front running the list goes on.”
Joe characterizes DeFi as a “quazi-ponzi” game which will eventually conclude in a chorus of exit scams. Although the crypto strategist claims that he already made a lot of money in a DeFi coin, he strongly rebukes the promotion of crypto assets that have little to no fundamental value to new investors.
In a tweetstorm, Joe explains that new traders dive into small-cap coins as they are often lured by the promise of get-rich-quick schemes. Along with the egging of the community behind the coin, new investors tend to hold on to their crypto assets as they hope for the moonshot despite news that the founders and the developers are already selling their holdings. According to Joe, newbie traders end up holding worthless bags and losing their capital.
One DeFi coin’s journey to zero seems to accurately illustrate Joe’s description of an exit scam. Yield farming platform YAM witnessed its market cap rise to nearly $60 million on August 13th only to collapse to $0 in a matter of hours, according to CoinGecko.
While investing in DeFi coins carries risks, Spencer Noon, head of crypto investment fund DTC Capital, believes that the nascent sector has more upside potential.
Please stop asking me if the #DeFi top is near$ETH is still down 72.36% from ATH (!!)
— Spencer Noon (@spencernoon) August 10, 2020
Messari researcher Ryan Watkins also believes that the DeFi boom is not yet over. He says that DeFi represents only 1.5% of the entire crypto market and the sector will keep growing without relying on new money flowing into the market. Watkins argues that all it needs is a reallocation of capital.
In lawsuit, ‘Fortnite’ maker to test idea of iPhone as market unto itself
FILE PHOTO: The popular video game “Fortnite” by Epic Games is pictured on a screen
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games has launched the most significant effort yet to advance the legal theory that Apple’s iPhone ecosystem has become so “sticky” that it is a distinct software market over which Apple exercises monopoly power.
On Thursday Epic filed a lawsuit in federal court after Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its App Store to punish Epic for implementing a payment mechanism that bypassed Apple’s practice of taking a 30% commission on in-app purchases.
The suit seeks a court order ending Apple’s commission structure and forcing Apple to allow users to install software on iPhones outside the confines of the App Store. Epic also sued Alphabet Inc’s Google, but the case is different because Android phones allow app installs outside its Play Store.
Epic is not the first to sue over the App Store. Consumers have filed suit alleging Apple’s practices raise software prices. Developers in another suit have argued that software for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system, is its own market but also made extensive alternative arguments.
Epic’s lawsuit relies almost completely on the one argument that Apple’s iOS app distribution and in-app payment systems are their own markets. It also goes further to argue that Apple purposely created those markets by building an “ecosystem” of devices and services meant to favor Apple products.
“A customer choosing to purchase or switch to a non-Apple device loses access to these services, leading to increased costs a customer must face when choosing to leave Apple’s ecosystem,” Epic wrote.
Apple on Friday declined to comment on Epic’s suit.
Its primary defense in the past when confronted with allegations of anticompetitive practices is that it does not have a majority share of the global smartphone market.
“Apple does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business,” Chief Executive Tim Cook told the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on competition in digital markets in July.
The defense is factually accurate. iPhones and Macs have much lower global market share than Android and Windows devices, and Apple executives often say that consumers can access whatever software they desire on those competing devices or via the web browser on iPhones.
But if a federal court accepts the argument that the iOS app distribution and in-app payment markets are distinct, the implications could be profound, said John M. Newman, an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law.
The relevant market would not be “apps for smartphones” where Apple has a small global share compared to Android, but rather “apps for iPhones” where Apple has much more power.
A landmark case against Microsoft Corp in the 1990s established that taking actions that make it harder for consumers to get applications from developers – even if consumers can still ultimately access the applications with extra work – could be grounds for an antitrust claim, he said.
If a court agrees that Apple controls the market for iOS app distribution, that could make Apple vulnerable to Epic’s claims of illegal “tying” of two products together by requiring the use of Apple’s in-app payment system to be allowed in the App Store.
“It sounds like the weirdest and most arcane part of the case, but it actually may be the simplest from a legal perspective,” Newman said.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Sonya Hepinstall)
Author: Stephen Nellis
15 Ways to Stay Sane While Trading Crypto – India Crypto News
It’s just very, very difficult to detach. It’s a forced skill.
Here’s The Latest News On New York City’s Real Estate Market
New York’s real estate market is in wait and see mode
Here’s the latest news on New York City’s real estate market from brokers with “boots on the ground.” After more than three months in lockdown when New York’s brokers and agents were not allowed to show properties, the market is up and running again—kind of.
Lisa Chajet an associate broker with Warburg Realty since 2003 sums up the current market. “I think the best way to look at is we were not allowed to work for almost three months. Then around mid-June, we could start showings again with restrictions. We immediately saw a pent-up demand. I sold three apartments very quickly,” Chajet said. “Our Spring market got shuffled into June and now it’s August and its fairly quiet,” she continued.
According to UrbanDigs the real-time listing/residential analytics platform’s July report “contract signed activity up but still depressed, +93% month-over-month, and -39% year-over-year.” On the seller side, UrbanDigs reports, an “uptick in listings taken off the market suggests fewer real sellers than feared.” Chajet confirms this, “I had a few listings on the market which I advised my sellers if you are not desperate then take them off for now.” Some sellers who want an income and may have another residence are renting out their homes.
Is this a good time to buy for those committed to living in the city? According to UrbanDigs, “discount for post-COVID negotiated deals averaging 10-12%.” Chajet points to buyers “who live in the suburbs of Westchester, Long Island, and Connecticut with grown kids who see this as their opportunity to move into the city.” Conversely, families who were considering leaving the city saw COVID push them out the door.
Michael J. Franco associate broker and attorney with Compass works around the city in all price ranges. “The buyers that are out there think they will get a good deal. At the same time, I’m having the conversation with many sellers about doing long-term rentals,” Franco explains. “I’m telling my clients don’t sell unless you have to.”
Those moving out of the city according to Franco are “families who are going to places like Rye and Greenwich.” The majority of buyers he’s working with in the city are interested in the under $1 to $2 million range. “I’m seeing singles or couples looking at studios or one-bedrooms. With properties going below listing prices and low-interest rates some can get into the market now where they could not before,” he observes. In a higher price range, Franco recently put two deals into contract in the $4 million price point that was around 11 percent off the listing prices.
Allison Chairmonte out of Warburg’s Madison Avenue office reports much of her current business is downtown. “I think people who are buying now see their future in New York no matter what.” Chairmonte is seeing a pivot in what buyers want. “Some are moving away from larger buildings in favor of smaller boutique buildings with personal outdoor space and fewer shared amenities.”
As we head into the fall market and the unknown sellers and buyers sitting on the sidelines will be watching the numbers closely. “I grew up and have lived in New York all my life. I can say we will get through this,” exclaims Chajet. Words to live by.
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Author: Ellen Paris