Amazon announced on Thursday that it had reviewed precisely 238 proposals from Canada, Mexico and the United States to set up their second headquarters – and has whittled it down to the following 20 cities (none of which are in Mexico, as if.):
Los Angeles, CA
Montgomery County, MD
New York City, NY
Northern Virginia, VA
The winning city will enjoy whatever a $5 billion and 50,000 projected jobs working for the richest man IN HISTORYbrings to a metropolitan community.
Amazon expects to make a decision this year, as it will be evaluating each city based on the criteria in it’s Request for Proposal (RFP):
In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community. Amazon expects to make a decision in 2018.
“”Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity. Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation,” said Amazon Public Policy spokeswoman Holly Sullivan.
Amazon said that in addition to direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoign operation of HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
Locals have become increasingly alarmed by the rapid spread of unregulated squatters and their belongings and their waste.
As a cyclist who uses the trail to ride to the beach often, over this last year it has gotten substantially worse. It is unsafe and unsanitary with loose dogs everywhere and human fecal matter scattered on the trail.
The area is disgusting and reeks of trash and feces.
He reports that the bike trail, once popular with outdoors enthusiasts and families which runs for miles to beaches along the Pacific Ocean, has become unsafe as miscreants plot assaults and robberies on passing riders, even laying tripwires across the path. –Dan Lyman
And as Zerohedge pointed out last March, California’s Democrats aren’t just failing the poor people that have been relegated to tent cities (see “Americans Fleeing Expensive, Over-Taxed Metro Areas In Pursuit Of Affordability“). In fact, people of all income brackets are fleeing the state in droves. Not surprisingly, these domestic migrants are flocking to areas with a lower cost of living, lower/no state income taxes, less regulations and higher job growth (aka “Red” states).
Ironically, the dark areas on the map above seem to match perfectly with the dark areas on this map which indicate those with the highest state income tax rates.
A former CIA officer suspected of helping China identify the US spy agency’s informants was arrested at JFK International Airport on Monday on charges of unlawful retention of national defense information, according to the Department of Justice.
“Jerry Chun Shing Lee, aka “Zhen Cheng Li”, 53 – a U.S. Citizen currently living in Hong Kong, began working for the CIA as a case officer in 1994, where he would spend the next 13 years with a Top Secret clearance and signing “numerous non-disclosure agreements,” according to a DOJ press release.
Mr. Lee was at the center of a massive hunt for a mole within the CIA, after the agency noticed its Chinese informants were rapidly turning up dead, which the New York Times labeled a “systematic dismantling of the C.I.A.’s spy network in China starting in 2010.”
The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the C.I.A. began losing its informants in China. Mr. Lee was at the center of a mole hunt in which some intelligence officials believed that he had betrayed the United States but others thought that the Chinese government had hacked the C.I.A.’s covert communications used to talk to foreign sources of information. –NYT
According to court documents, Lee and his family left Hong Kong in 2012 to return to the United States and live in Northern Virginia. While traveling, FBI agents conducted court-authorized surveillence of Lee’s room and luggage – discovering that Lee was in unauthorized posession of materials related to national defense. “Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities,” the NYT reported.
Lee appeared in an New York courtroom Tuesday afternoon where he was ordered held without bail. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Lee, 53, served in the U.S. Army from 1982 through 1986 and worked for the CIA between 1994 and 2007 according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent.
The FBI agent wrote that Lee and his family left Hong Kong in August 2012 to travel to northern Virginia. Along the way, they stayed in hotels where the FBI found the books.
The small books were discovered inside Lee’s luggage, sealed in a small clear plastic travel pack.
The handwritten information inside ranged in terms of classification, but the agent said at least one page contained top secret information, “the disclosure of which could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.” –Reuters
The FBI agent’s affidavit also noted that classified cables written by Lee while he was a case officer describing his interactions with CIA informants corroborated what was found in the two books.
Lee was interviewed five times by the FBI according to Reuters, never disclosing that he had the books. He also met with former CIA colleagues around that time without returning the classified materials, said the Justice Department.
During testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) that she did not recall Trump calling impoverished nations “shithole countries,” as widely reported last week – however she did note that she was “struck” with the general level of profanity used by “almost everyone” in attendance:
“I don’t remember the specific words [Trump used],” Nielsen said under questioning from Durbin. “What I was struck with, frankly as I’m sure you were as well, was the general profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone.”
Neilson then shocked Congressional Demcrats with a startling admission:
When asked about a claim from last week that the Department of Homeland Security is seeking to lodge criminal complaints against sanctuary city officials who refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts, Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee “The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues may be available.”
California’s new sanctuary law, meanwhile, went into effect January 1 – severely restricting state cooperation with federal authorities over immigration.
Jan. 13 marked an important milestone for Bitcoin when 16.8 million bitcoins (BTC), or 80 percent of the entire Bitcoin supply, were mined. This means only 4.2 million bitcoins, or 20 percent, are left to mine until Bitcoin’s 21 million supply cap is reached.
BTC contains the 21 mln cap built into its protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto, first mentioned in their 2008 White Paper, as a way to introduce digital scarcity to cryptocurrency. With such a cap in place, the more bitcoins are mined, the more scarcity is produced on the market.
Scarcity arguably creates demand, which in turns makes the coins more valuable. Once 21 million bitcoins have been mined, it will become even harder to obtain them, also potentially making each coin more valuable.
Miners currently receive a 12.5 BTC reward for every block that they mine, but Nakamoto’s protocol also requires that the mining reward is halved every 210,000 blocks, or approximately four years. The next miner halving will take place within two years, approximately in early June 2020 depending on hashrate, bringing the rewards down to 6.25 BTC per mined block.
Not every digital currency is mineable like BTC. Some cryptocurrencies are created with the entire supply released all at once, in which case the total supply is either held or in circulation and there is no way to “mine” or mint new coins.
Skeptics have proposed that it is theoretically possible to increase Bitcoin’s 21 million capped supply of Bitcoin via a 51 percent or a Sybil attack, but so far neither of these manipulations has proven feasible in the case of BTC.
Just when you thought it was safe to send dick pics over Twitter DM, Project Veritas is here to rain on your parade…
In today’s third installment of James O’Keefe’s undercover sting on the social media giant, Project Veritas operatives once again slink their way into the circle of trust, offering loose-lipped nerds validation in exchange for devastating corporate secrets… such as the fact that Twitter employs 300-400 people to review your “private” direct messages so they can better market to you.
Per the exchange below, Clay Haynes, who was featured in part one of the Twitter exposé, admitted in a January 6, 2018 meeting that Twitter has hired hundreds employees with the express purpose of looking at these “d*ck pics,” stating:
“There’s teams dedicated to it. I mean, we’re talking, we’re talking three or four… at least, three or four hundred people… Yes, they’re paid to look at d*ck pics.”
“I’ve seen way more penises than I’ve ever wanted to see in my life.”
“That’s, yeah… You know, actually… This sounds horrible, but I’m actually glad and fortunate it’s just dicks, it’s just blow job pictures, it’s just that type of stuff.”
Next, O’Keefe stings Pranay Singh – a “Direct Messaging” engineer for Twitter, who echoed Haynes’ claims and even joked about using private messages for blackmail:
“Everything you send is stored on my server… So all your sex messages and you, like, d*ck pics are on my server now…”
“All your illegitimate wives and, like, all the girls you’ve been f*cking around with, they’re are on my server now… I’m going to send it to your wife, she’s going use it in your divorce.”
“So, what happens is like, you like, write something or post pictures on line, they never go away… Because even after you send them, people are like analyzing them, to see what you are interested in, to see what you are talking about. And they sell that data.”
BREAKING: HUNDREDS of Twitter Employees Paid to View "Everything You Post Online" Including Private "Sex Messages"
Singh continues, “So what happens is, like, when you, like, write stuff of when you post pictures online, they never go away. Like, they’re always on there. Even after you send them, people are analyzing them, to see what you’re interested in, to see what you’re talking about, and they sell that data.”
PV Journalist: “Wait, you’re talking about just regular tweets or the DMs? Or both?”
Twitter Engineer: “Everything. Anything you post online…”
Selasar atap Tower II Bursa Efek Indonesia (BEI), Senayan, Jakarta, roboh pada 15/1/2018 pukul 12.10 Wib. Puing menimpa sejumlah orang yang berada di bawahnya. Beberapa korban luka dirawat di RS Mintoharjo, RSPP dan MRCCC. #BreakingNews#ElshintaHotNews # pic.twitter.com/1Qy2ElRQz6
According to Nick Owen, Indonesia correspondent for The Economist, “The stock exchange is one of Jakarta’s most modern buildings, hosting offices of World Bank and others. Not where one would expect such a disaster to occur.”
The stock exchange is one of Jakarta’s most modern buildings, hosting offices of World Bank and others. Not where one would expect such a disaster to occur https://t.co/IG61tU0GxU
According to Bloomberg, “The stock exchange complex is composed of two 32-floor towers, with the intact Tower 1 completed in 1994 and the damaged Tower 2 in 1998, according to the developer Sudirman Central Business District’s website. The building also houses the World Bank’s local office, according to the bourse’s website. The exchange switched to automated trading in May 1995, clearing the trading floor of brokers. President Joko Widodo visited the exchange on the last trading day of 2017, his third visit in 6 months.”
In September 2000, the building was attacked in a suicide bombing by Islamic militants, however a bomb has been ruled out in yesterday’s collapse. The stock exchange said it would continue trading as normal “without significant change to the trading schedule.”
The fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, is back online after a scheduled two-hour maintenance wiped out the network for two days – effectively freezing the assets of users unable to access their accounts or withdraw funds. While trading has resumed, withdrawals were disabled “for a minimum of 12 hours” as Kraken monitors their restored network for anomalies. Status updates can be found here.
We apologize for the uncertainty our downtime has caused. The scheduled downtime was to replace our old trading engine with a brand new trading engine – an improvement that customers have long asked for and that we have long been working hard on. –Kraken
According to Cointelegraph’s David Dinkins, “Kraken has arguably suffered the most problems of all major exchanges. Users, including myself, have experienced multiple connection errors and extraordinary difficulties placing and cancelling orders. It’s sometimes necessary to refresh Kraken’s page 10-15 times before being able to execute an action. Numerous users have complained that Kraken posted their orders multiple times (after telling them their order failed initially), in some cases costing them thousands of dollars.”
Kraken’s unexpected downtime hit amid Cryptocurrency gyrations after South Korea – which accounts for approximately 20 percent of global bitcoin transactions – announced that it was preparing legislation to close the country’s online exchanges due to rampant speculation in digital currencies. South Korean authorities raided several of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges – Coinone and Bithumb.
An official at Coinone said that National Tax Service investigators had paid a sudden visit, while an employee at Bithumb said the company was asked to disclose paperwork. The Coinone official added that the exchange has been under scrutiny since last year by local police who “think what we do is gambling.” –QZ.com
According to Coindesk, the public backlash against the proposed move appears to be accelerating. On the Korean president’s Blue House website, more than 4,000 petitions have been filed related to “virtual currencies” since Jan. 10.
One petition asking the Minister of Justice to step down in light of the move received more than 30,000 signatures on its own. According to Reuters, one petition alone has attracted more than 100,000 signatures and the website itself became inaccessible at one point due to excessive traffic.
In mid-December, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Yapian, suspended digital currency trading and filed for bankruptcy after its systems were hacked. The exchange trades 10 virtual currencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Yapian said in a statement that the latest security breach caused it to lose 17% of its total assets. The company didn’t specify the type of virtual currencies that were stolen or the financial value of its losses. In April, Youbit, formerly called Yapizon, lost 4,000 bitcoins now worth $73m to cyberthieves.
Users of the exchange with digital coins in their online accounts were told by Youbit on Tuesday that they could withdraw about 75% of their cryptocurrency for the time being. The remaining balances would be returned after the company goes through bankruptcy proceedings, it said.
It said it was “very sorry” that it had been forced to shut down.
Back on US soil, Kraken is waiving all trading fees through the end of the month to make up for the outage during the volatile period, according to a blog post published Saturday, in which the San Francisco-based company also assured clients that funds were kept safe during the incident.
“We apologize for the uncertainty our downtime has caused. The scheduled downtime was to replace our old trading engine with a brand new trading engine – an improvement that customers have long asked for and that we have long been working hard on.”
See below for Kraken’s entire post-crash update:
All orders have been cancelled prior to trading resuming
Trading pairs launched with no orders on the books
All funds in previously open orders have been returned to your available balance
Margin positions will remain open
Margin liquidations will be paused for at least 48 hours
Creation of new margin positions is disabled for at least 48 hours
Caution: Clients should be extremely careful with market orders and double-check limit order prices in an illiquid market
Withdrawals are now disabled and will remain disabled for a minimum of 12 hours (during this time we will be monitoring the new system for anomalies)
For fiat or crypto deposits (initiated before, during or following the downtime) please allow up to 2 additional business days for funds to be credited
All unleveraged trades will be charged 0 fees until January 31, 2018 (UTC)
Margin position, open, and rollover fees are reduced to 0.005% until January 31, 2018 (UTC)
New Accounts and Tier Upgrades
Verifications of new accounts will be delayed and are our lowest priority
Tier upgrades of existing accounts will have priority above new accounts
Note: If you are applying for a Tier 4 account or need help with OTC, please indicate this in your support request
Saudi Arabia’s richest prince, Alwaleed Bin Talal, has been carted off to Al Ha’ir prison after refusing to pay a reported $6 billion to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman following a massive consolidation of power on November 4, 2017 in which over 300 princes, ministers and other elites were rounded up in an “anti-corruption” purge.
Among those arrested on allegations of corruption is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the Saudi King’s nephew who is worth more than $17bn according to Forbes, and owns stakes in Twitter, Lyft and Citigroup.
DailyMail.com’s source claims the crown prince lulled Alwaleed into a false sense of security, inviting him to a meeting at his Al Yamamah palace, then sent officers to arrest him the night before the meeting.
‘Suddenly at 2.45am all his guards were disarmed, the royal guards of MBS storm in,’ said the source.
‘He’s dragged from his own bedroom in his pajamas, handcuffed, put in the back of an SUV, and interrogated like a criminal.
‘They hung them upside down, just to send a message.
Purged princes and the like were taken to the Riydah Ritz Carlton Hotel, where they have reportedly been allowed to buy their freedom by giving up their billions in oil wealth for their lives.
As the Daily Mail reported in November, mercenaries purportedly employed by Academi – a successor to infamous US security contractor Blackwater, have been stringing up some of MBS’s “guests” at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton by their feet and savagely beating them during interrogations. The claims have spread rapidly on Arabic-language social media, and even Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun has accused MbS of using mercenaries.
Meanwhile, none of Prince Alwaleed’s powerful friends appear to be coming to his defense. As CNBCpoints out:
So now we have bin Alwaleed in an actual prison, with a government aggressively taking cash and assets, and still no significant outcry from his foreign friends.
Bin Salman came to power last summer after King Salman changed the order of succession and made Bin Salman crown prince. In addition to his “anti-corruption” puge to consolidate power and wealth, the country has embarked on an ambitious plan called “Vision 2030“- which aimsto modernize Saudi Arabia and break its dependence on oil production, as well as combat human rights violations.
In late September, Saudi Arabia took the unprecedented step of allowing women to drive. “The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licenses for men and women alike,” the Saudi Press Agency said, according to Al Aribaya
Meanwhile, A Saudi Government panel has asked that all marriage contracts for girls under the age of 18 be approved by family courts – the latest step in a series of sweeping reforms under the lead of their new Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman. While falling short of outlawing child marriage, the request marks the first major legislation involving the long-standing practice primarily overseen by Saudi clerics and local judges – not family courts.
The proposed legislation was part of a series of recommendations by the Committee of Islamic and Judiciary Affairs last Monday, which also called for “competent” family courts to oversee premarital virginity tests for girls under 18.
“The committee acceded to have those under 18 submit their marriage contracts, as well as a pre-marital tests to a competent court to determine their case” –Councilwoman Dr. Eqbal Darandari
“Some Shoura members disagreed with this decision because they believed it meant we condone underage marriage,” said Darandari, adding “Others suggested that only those between the ages of 16-18 can transfer their cases to a judge, and those below 16 cannot get married. Some members demanded this be applied to underage boys, as well.”
Dr. Darandari is among several Saudi legislators who believe in an an age limit for underage girls’ to marry. “Girls’ voices must be heard and their opinions taken into consideration. I don’t believe a pre-marital test is enough. In my opinion, I think we need a female committee — made of a doctor, lawyer, psychologist and social worker — that studies the girl’s state in order to assess whether or not she can get married.”
She also warned of the damage which can occur to children who are forced into marriage.
“Those that are fifteen or younger can undergo severe physical and psychological damage through marriage, and they’re probably unequipped for it. I believe there should be sanctions to those who do not adhere to that, and in the case of a marriage during that delicate age, a girl’s right to demand a divorce if things don’t work out should be guaranteed.” –Dr. Eqbal Darandari
So there you have it – Bin Salman is attempting to modernize his country, while wrestling power from long-standing oil families. For those who don’t comply with their cucking, it’s off to jail…
Given that the average person spends around 300 hours a year driving, and more and more cars are connected to the internet, Silicon Valley automotive technology firm Telnav has just announced an “in-car advertising platform” for internet-connected cars, which plays “relevant” ads to captive occupants as soon as the vehicle comes to a stop.
The In-Car Advertising Platform is powered by Telenav’s In-Car Ads SDK (Software Development Kit) and cloud-based intelligent targeting platform. The platform’s focus on safety, context, and value makes it an ideal in-car ad solution for both drivers and OEMs.
To ensure driver safety, ads only appear when the vehicle is stopped, such as at car startup, traffic lights and upon arrival. The ads automatically disappear whenever the car is in motion or when users interact with other in-dash functions such as music or phone calls. –TelNav
We can only imagine what will happen when self-driving cars go mainstream…
The Santa Clara company hopes to sell their platform to automakers, ostensibly leveraging preexisting relationships with Ford, GM, Toyota and AT&T for which they provide “custom connected car and mobile experiences.” And as Silicon Beat reports, vehicle owners will pay more for connected-car services if they decline the ads.
In a Friday press release, CEO H.P. Jin called the ad platform “an exciting new opportunity” for vehicle manufacturers to “monetize connectivity to cover service costs and even drive healthy profits while enriching the consumer experience with safely delivered, engaging and relevant offers.”
“This approach helps car makers offset costs related to connected services, such as wireless data, content, software and cloud services,” said a spokeswoman for Telenav on Friday, adding “In return for accepting ads in vehicles, drivers benefit from access to connected services without subscription fees, as well as new driving experiences that come from the highly-targeted and relevant offers delivered based on information coming from the vehicle.”
TelNav isn’t the first company to offer in-car services, as General Motors rolls out its “Marketplace app,” allowing drivers to “browse deals and place orders through and in-dash touchscreen with several major brands such as Starbucks Corp., TGI Friday’s, Priceline.com and Dunkin’ Donuts Inc,” according to GM:
With Marketplace, drivers can now order and pay for their favorite coffee — and much more — on the way to work with a simple tap on the dash. –GM
While there’s no word on whether GM’s Marketplace app will advertise to passengers outside of serving up specific brands to choose from, Telnav outfitted cars would offer real-time, contextual, location-based advertisements to offer proximity-based targeting on their “Thinknear” mobile advertising website.
Need gas? TelNav’s ads can direct you to the nearest station, perhaps even offering a discount.
“Relevant ads such as coupons and recommendations are delivered to customers based on information from the vehicle, including frequently traveled routes, destinations, and time of the day,” the company said.
“As an example, drivers can be encouraged to pick up a discounted pizza on the way home or be alerted to sales at stores near their destination. In addition, when the vehicle is low on gas, the platform points out nearby stations along the driver’s route, potentially with discount offers.”
While the platform has the ability to provide animated ads, the company says most advertising will be static and will not contain audio. In addition to disappearing when the car is back in motion, the ads can be canceled if “users interact with other in-dash functions such as music or phone calls.”
That said, driver distraction won’t be an issue with self-driving cars – which means captive audiences being bandied about town by digital drivers will likely be forced to sit through an ad-rich ride, unless they pay up of course.