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This Ohio bill will make trans youth suffer

Katherine King and Paul Eselgroth report on a bill in Ohio that would require teachers to out gender non-conforming youth to their parents and restrict education about identity.

A BILL that will be taken up by the Ohio legislature this fall would require teachers and school counselors to out transgender students to their parents, or risk felony charges.

Ohio’s HB 658, which applies to all school personnel as well as public children services agency employees, would also outlaw the distribution of “educational materials” about gender identity without express parental consent. The bill also stipulates that parental refusal to permit treatment for gender dysphoria cannot be used as grounds for removal of custody.

Particularly controversial is the bill’s mandate that school and agency employees “immediately notify” the parents of any child who has “exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex.”

Not only students who are openly trans, but any student whose expression of gender doesn’t fit narrow societal expectations could be at risk.

Standing up for transgender rights at the 2018 Pride parade in Washington, D.C.

A public statement from Equality Ohio, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, questioned the implications of the bill:

Who is the judge of which gender is allowed to do what? If Jane signs up for shop class, will her parents receive a government letter? If Jordan doesn’t want to play football, do his parents get a letter? What if Alex wants to attend a meeting of the student LGBTQ group––does the school e-mail that to Alex’s parents? Just what stereotypes are they expected to enforce?

REPUBLICAN STATE Reps. Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger introduced House Bill 658 in May in response to a Cincinnati case in which a judge awarded custody of a transgender teen to his grandparents, due to his parents’ refusal to allow him to undergo hormone therapy. The teen had reported feeling unsafe in his home and being forced to sit and listen to Bible passages for hours at a time.

Judge Sylvia Hendon’s decision was based largely on testimony from doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital, who advised that hormone therapy begin as soon as possible to lower the teen’s suicide risk.

Brinkman and Zeltwanger claim that the bill’s goal is to protect the rights of parents. In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brinkman stated, “Parents have rights over their children until age 18, they’re responsible for them. We should not be taking those responsibilities away from parents.”

A variety of groups have voiced opposition to the bill, including LGBTQ advocacy organizations and unions. Their criticisms have focused on potential dangers to transgender students, as well as the limitations the bill imposes on school personnel.

Equality Ohio calls HB 658 “the latest attempt by anti-LGBTQ extremists in Ohio to codify explicit second-class citizenship for LGBTQ people.”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA), which represents 125,000 teachers and school support personnel, also opposes the bill. OEA President Becky Higgins said that the legislation “is contrary to OEA’s belief that all persons, regardless of gender orientation, should be afforded equal opportunity and guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment within the public education system.”

The American Counseling Association (ACA) released a statement saying that the bill violates its code of ethics, “negates client rights to confidentiality and attacks the very basis of a key mandate for counselors: to provide counseling to those who need it and have nowhere else to turn.”

ALL OF its opponents make the case that HB 658 endangers transgender youth by removing social supports and exposing youth to situations of domestic violence.

Transgender youth are already at increased risk of suicide ideation and attempts. A 2016 study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found that 30 percent of trans youth reported at least one suicide attempt, and more engaged in self harm.

Supportive relationships with school personnel are one way to decrease the risk of suicide among trans students. As the ACA states, “[A] relationship with a professional counselor may be the only safe relationship [trans students] have.”

Studies have shown that social support is one of the key protective factors that prevents trans youth and adults from committing suicide. While having a supportive family is important, the presence of “formal social supports,” like counselors and crisis hotlines, has also been shown to prevent suicide attempts.

Beyond the mental health risks that would be caused by HB 658, trans youth would also be put in potentially dangerous situations at home. A study of over 27,000 trans adults found that 10 percent of trans people who were out to their families experienced violence from a family member, and 8 percent were kicked out of their homes.

The risk of domestic violence from HB 658 may be particularly great because the bill requires non-custodial parents to be informed of a child’s gender presentation. This includes parents whose custody has been removed due to prior instances of neglect or abuse.

ON THE other hand, the proposed bill has been lauded by various conservative groups. Glossing over the transphobic implications, their rhetoric usually focuses on parents being the final arbiters in any and all decisions regarding their child’s upbringing.

This is the tack taken by Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a socially conservative Ohio Christian group. Aaron Baer, the group’s president, said that “you can have whatever views you want on LGBT issues and on all of these things,” but that the bigger issue is the “infringement” on the parental right to make decisions on their child’s behalf.

CCV has also opposed state legislation that would expand state anti-discrimination laws to include gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

The Family Research Council (FRC) has also voiced strong support for the bill, using a similar rationale:

[A]t the center of this debate is the idea that parents are better equipped to act in the best interest of their children than the state. Policies that allow the state to remove children from their parents because of disagreements with their favored sexual agenda violate this fundamental principle and ultimately put children at greater risk.

While nominally acknowledging that intervention is at times necessary in the event of parental abuse, the FRC disputes the notion that denying one’s child the option to pursue transition or subjecting them to conversion therapy qualifies as abuse.

The general right-wing narrative in these various statements is both consistent and familiar: they take great pains to assert that they don’t have any problem with trans people or their transitioning, but state that it’s ultimately up to the parents to decide if this is the right decision for their child. In other words, parental rights trump all.

Of course, these right-wingers tip their hand when they consistently misgender trans people in their statements, refer to gender affirmation surgery as “mutilation,” and deploy brazen bathroom-panic furor in their arguments.

But even without these telling details and these group’s obvious ulterior motives, the inevitable result of enshrining abstract “parental rights” over the rights of children in our current society is clear: more abuse, more neglect, more trauma and death.

These conservatives know full well the transphobic climate we live in and the abuse trans minors can face at the hands of their families. It’s not a matter of ignorance — the right simply judges these to be acceptable options for parents in raising their children.

Socialists reject this reactionary model of the family, which denies children (and typically also women) their agency, subordinating them to the whims of the head of household.

Right-wing pundits may try to smuggle this in under the wholesome-sounding “family values” euphemism, but it’s obvious how this understanding of “values” endangers trans youth. We need a society that affords youth their agency to affirm their gender, and take whatever steps to transition they determine to be necessary.

It is unclear what will happen to HB 658. Brinkman seems hopeful about its prospects in the state legislature, but how much support it ultimately gets remains to be seen.

While current opposition consists of internet petitions and calls for voters to contact state legislators, there may need to be greater resistance if the bill gains traction. Given the response of the OEA, this could bring education workers together with LGBTQ activists and others to fight for the rights of trans students.

The U.S.-backed war that is tormenting Yemen

David Moulton explains the roots of the war that has torn Yemen apart — and the complicity of the U.S. in the violence that has left Yemenis on the brink of starvation.

A WAR has raged in Yemen for three years now. Thousands have been killed directly in military operations, and millions more ravaged by hunger and disease as a U.S.-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has bombed infrastructure and imposed a suffocating air and naval blockade.

The coalition is attempting to crush the Houthi rebels who control the northern part of the country. The result has been a bloody stalemate with no end in sight.

The UN has repeatedly referred to Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. In the past year, the country has suffered the worst cholera epidemic ever recorded, with more than 1 million cases. Currently, an estimated 8.5 million people are at risk of death by starvation, and an additional 10 million may be pushed to the brink of famine by the end of the year if fighting continues, according to the UN.

blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

For the last month, the battle for Al Hudaydah has continued to rage. As with the rest of the war, the results have been inconclusive. UN efforts to negotiate a truce have failed, and the Saudi-led coalition has demanded nothing less than total surrender. In response, the Houthis have dug in deeper.

As usual, civilians have borne most of the suffering. Tens of thousands of families have had to flee Al Hudaydah as conditions continue to worsen.

The Origins of the Catastrophe

Yemen is a small, densely populated country on the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

In many ways, it’s an anomaly in the region. While its Gulf state neighbors—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE– are all oil-rich monarchies, Yemen has not been ruled by a king since the 1960s. It’s also by far the poorest of the Gulf states. Before the start of this war, its per capita annual gross domestic product was just $1,572.

For decades, Yemen’s main export has been migrant workers, with Yemenis providing cheap labor to Saudi Arabia and other wealthy countries in the region. Yemen’s domestic economy depended on remittances from abroad.

In 2013, however, Saudi Arabia began a policy of “Saudizing” its workforce. This meant kicking out more than half a million Yemeni workers and constructing a 1,100-mile security fence along the southern border with Yemen to prevent unauthorized crossings.

Yemen’s political history is volatile and complex. Until 1990, it was divided into two countries, North and South Yemen. Partition was the legacy of Western colonialism and interventions by other Arab regimes.

Unity was achieved through a civil war, and many southerners never accepted the legitimacy of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He was unpopular among many in the north as well, but still managed to hold on to power for decades.

The Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, emerged in the 1990s as an indigenous Yemeni movement led by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. From their origins as a social and religious movement, the Houthis gradually grew more political, objecting to the corruption of Saleh’s government and the obscene gap between rich and poor that consigned millions of Yemenis to poverty.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the Houthis were radicalized by the war in Iraq. Saleh was an ally in George W. Bush’s “war on terror,” and the Houthis saw him as too subservient to American and Israeli interests.

In 2004, Hussein al-Houthi was assassinated by Saleh’s forces. Leadership passed to his younger brothers, and their followers continued to wage an intermittent guerilla war against the central government.

Then in 2011, the Arab Spring came to Yemen.

As with other countries, Yemen’s uprising was really a kaleidoscope of different movements, some of them in conflict with each other. There were feminists, pro-democracy activists, socialists, southern separatists, Shia insurgents and Sunni militants. Their demands varied, but they were united in rejecting the corruption of Saleh’s regime and the inequality of Yemeni society. The protests were largely nonviolent, and succeeded in forcing Saleh to step down.

Saleh transferred power to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Hadi quickly proved unpopular, however, due to his inability to materially improve the lives of ordinary Yemenis. In the eyes of many, he represented the will of the wealthy Gulf states more than his own country. His willingness to let Barack Obama carry out drone strikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen was widely seen as an outrageous violation of national sovereignty.

In 2014, another mass uprising exploded following the doubling of fuel prices, and the Houthis took control of the capital of Sana’a. Hadi was forced to resign and fled to the south of the country where he announced he was reversing his resignation. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a coalition of mercenary forces then began their military intervention to reinstall Hadi as president.

Millions have suffered horribly, but very little has changed politically after three years of war. The Houthis continue to hold Sana’a and the northwest corner of Yemen, an area which includes about three-quarters of the population. Even in the south, Hadi has little support. He has spent most of the conflict in Saudi Arabia.

The Role of the U.S.

From the start, the Saudi-led coalition has enjoyed the backing of the U.S. and other Western powers, including France, Canada and the UK.

In 2015, President Obama gave the initial green light for the Saudi-UAE intervention. In addition to diplomatic cover, the U.S. sold the coalition billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, shared intelligence and provided midair refueling for fighter jets. An undisclosed number of U.S. Special Forces have also fought alongside the coalition.

To justify their role in the carnage, U.S. officials have repeatedly distorted the nature of the conflict. In December 2017, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a speech claiming the Houthis were using weapons from Iran to strike Saudi Arabia. An independent panel of experts disagreed, finding no reason to conclude the missile fragments Haley presented were Iranian-made.

At the time, the Trump administration was looking for excuses to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. As part of this general policy of hawkishness, the U.S. has sought to portray the Houthis as proxies of Iran. But there is more to this question than meets the eye.

As a militant Shia movement, the Houthis do have some ideological affinities with the Iranian regime, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon. Some of their propaganda is inspired by Iran.

Unlike both Hezbollah and Iran, however, the Houthis follow the Zaidi sect, a branch of Shi’ism that exists almost exclusively in northern Yemen.

Moreover, being an ally is not the same as being a puppet. The Houthis have demonstrated independence from Iran in the past. In late 2014, for example, Iran counseled the rebels against taking Sana’a. They chose to disregard the advice.

Given the tight Saudi blockade, it is hard to believe that Iran would be able to smuggle in weapons on a large scale. Nor would the Houthis necessarily need them—Yemen has long been awash in weapons, thanks in no small part to the U.S. arms trade.

The War Must End

What is unfolding in Yemen today may well be remembered as the worst famine of the 21st century.

This catastrophe is entirely human-made and preventable. The war belongs as much to the U.S. as it does to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. There may still be time to avert the worst outcome. Some members of Congress, led by Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, have tried introducing legislation to limit U.S. involvement.

So far, however, the war on Yemen has not gotten much attention among the broader U.S. population.

By and large, the corporate media has been shamefully complicit in allowing this tragedy to continue. In the past year, MSNBC, supposedly the network of anti-Trump resistance, managed to run 455 segments on Stormy Daniels, but not a single one on the U.S. war on Yemen.

The lack of attention makes building an antiwar movement difficult, so the left’s first job must be to educate itself and others about the tragedy unfolding in Yemen.

We owe our solidarity to the people suffering through this hell, whose roots lie in decisions made in Washington. The situation may be complex in some respects, but our demands should be simple: Let the refugees in and end the war on Yemen.

Our solidarity is stronger than their hate

Donald Trump for pandering to the racists with his comment that there were “good people” among the thugs.

Immediately, there were protests and vigils around the country, culminating the next weekend in a 25,000-strong counterdemonstration in Boston that overwhelmed the handful of racists who dared to show up. The following week, it was the Bay Area’s turn to counter the far right. Thousands celebrated in Berkeley and San Francisco when the bigots had to give up on their rallies.

the horrific murder of Nia Wilson in a public transit station in Oakland.

The far right has been preparing. In Portland, Oregon, when racists mobilized by Patriot Prayer clashed with counterprotesters this spring, it was clear from video footage that the right-wingers had trained in advance, and came looking for a fight.

This coming weekend, Patriot Prayer will again attempt to claim the streets in Portland on August 4, and the next day, white supremacists from around the western U.S. have been planning to descend on Berkeley.

In an article about the Portland mobilization for its “Hatewatch” column, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote: “As they have done for many prior rallies, Patriot Prayer…has pre-emptively declared any violence an act of self-defense. But the group intends to create a combustible situation where brawls against counterprotesters are virtually guaranteed.”

The organizers of the “No to Marxism in America” rally in Berkeley also hide behind the fiction that the alt-right is a persecuted minority, in order to justify racist provocations and violent rampages.

What happens this weekend will affect the mobilization a week later on the other coast, where the organizer of last year’s Charlottesville rally has a permit for an August 12 demonstration in none other than Washington, D.C. The monsters responsible for the murder of Heather Heyer are planning to march to the White House to salute the Bigot-in-Chief.

If any complacency has set in on the left because of the lower profile of the far right until recently, that has to change — now. The reactionaries are still emboldened by having a sympathizer in the White House, and they have had a full year since Charlottesville to regroup.

As always, liberal figures and Democratic Party leaders will tell us to ignore the far right. But that’s what led to the tragedy of Charlottesville, when the anti-racist mobilization wasn’t large enough to effectively counter the Nazis.

The left faces an urgent challenge of confronting this renewed threat. We have to rely on our biggest strength: We are the majority.

It’s frightening that the white supremacists will be able to bring some hundreds of thugs into the streets this coming weekend. But as we — and they — learned last year, when the much larger numbers of people who oppose their hate organize and mobilize, the bigots are a tiny minority that can be drowned out and pushed back.

THERE’S ANOTHER reason the far right can’t be ignored. Its twisted lies and bizarro conspiracy theories might seem like they could only appeal to an isolated few, but the spread of reactionary ideas — and organizations to represent them — is accelerated by the political polarization and discontent of this era.

The far right can thrive for the same reasons that Donald Trump won the White House, if not the majority of the popular vote, with a related message of scapegoating, nationalism and repression.

Both have gained a wider hearing in a society where the vast majority of people face deteriorating living standards, and “official politics” offers no answers to their grievances. The key to Trump’s success in 2016 was to pose as an outsider challenging a rotten status quo — even though he was a billionaire who benefited from it.

Social polarization also produces a left radicalization, which has been expressed in the form of struggles and movements, like Occupy Wall Street or the “red state” teachers’ rebellion, and progressive political challenges, such as Bernie Sanders’ left-wing presidential campaign. This shows what’s possible when people’s desire for an alternative is answered with hope, rather than despair.

The radicalization to the right is smaller in absolute numbers, but the reactionaries have an advantage: Their agenda is generally compatible with the priorities of the capitalist class and its political institutions.

Thus, only a minority of the ruling class embraces Trump’s xenophobia and economic nationalism, but grumbling aside, Corporate America and the Republican Party have tolerated his reign because the Trump administration has delivered — as sometimes-critic Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, acknowledged in a recent interview.

“Respectable” political leaders may shun the far right, but the policies of “official” Washington have, over a period of decades, legitimized open racism and violence. Both Trump’s anti-immigrant cruelty and the far right’s vigilantism are extensions of intensifying enforcement and border militarization sanctioned by both mainstream parties.

So the far right has benefited from the conservative shift in mainstream politics — while also exploiting discontent with how this status quo has failed masses of people.

For this reason, the alternative to the far right can’t be confined to the narrow limits of the Washington system — where the “left” is a Democratic Party that is complicit in the rightward trend of U.S. politics and equally responsible for an economic and social status quo where masses of people feel left behind.

As we’ve written before at Socialist Worker: “You can’t fight the right by creeping toward it from the center.”

THE RISE of the far right today is a frightening threat — all the more so in Trump’s America, where the “leader of the free world” uses the same ugly rhetoric as torch-bearing fascists, and his administration is filled with alt-right sympathizers.

The consequences of the right on the rampage are all too real, as any study of hate crimes in the Trump era shows.

Thus, the protest organized the next day after Nia Wilson’s murder in Oakland was an outpouring of grief and alarm at a racist crime committed in a historically Black city. But it was also an expression of resolve among hundreds of people who know that there can be no middle ground when it comes to racism and the right.

Everyone on the left must recognize the danger we face from the far right — and rise to the challenge of confronting it.

Too often, protests against the far right are confined to activists who are prepared to physically confront the fascists. Not only does this hand an advantage to the right, which is more capable and prepared to resort to violence, but our side gives up its own advantage by limiting its participation: our unity and solidarity.

On the socialist podcast Better Off Red, Bay Area socialist and SW contributor Ragina Johnson explained why all activists for every social justice cause have a stake in this struggle:

The right doesn’t actually see that the issues are separated. So for instance, last year, you had a right-winger who tried to drive his motorcycle through the middle of a Medicare for All rally in San Francisco and injure people. Over the last year, you’ve had the right show up at our demonstrations for women’s rights and immigrant rights…So the right sees how these things are connected for their side.

Our source of strength is to unite everyone who opposes what the fascists represent to deliver a message of opposition to their hate — and a message of our own commitment to a left alternative.

There will be counterprotests against the white supremacists in Portland, Berkeley and Washington, D.C. — hopefully with as many people as possible.

Now and in the future, these mobilizations need to go beyond the smaller numbers of anti-racists who have bravely and steadfastly confronted the far right. Everyone who the far right reviles — left organizations; African Americans, Latinos and other people of color; supporters of women’s rights and LGBT equality; unionists; antiwar activists; environmentalists — needs to find ways to raise their voice.

We also have another task: to put forward an alternative to the right’s politics of hate and despair.

Fighting the right this summer doesn’t stop with protesting the white supremacists. We have to challenge the right’s wider agenda — whether that means standing up for immigrant rights against ICE terrorism or building opposition to Trump’s attempt to put another anti-abortion, anti-labor reactionary on the Supreme Court.

One year after the horrific violence of Charlottesville, the far right is trying to advance — and any ground it conquers will be taken away from us. We can’t let that happen.

By Contributor on August 1, 2018

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US mulls 25% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods, say reports

Tariffs on an additional $200bn of goods could be much more than the expected 10%, say media reports.

Bitcoin Drifts Down as Price Breaks Below Key $7.8K Support

Bitcoin has broken the key support level at $7,800 as the bears take back full control of the market during an exhaustive sell-off.

PwC: Among Digital Assets, Only Digital Currencies ‘Can Really Be Used at Present’

A PwC executive has said that among various digital assets only the digital currencies “can really be used at present.”

A PwC Switzerland executive said that among the various types of digital asset, only digital currencies are can reasonably be used at present, according to a post on the PwC website July 31. In the post, Roland Stadler, Senior Manager and Data & Analytics Specialist at PwC Switzerland, claims that while digital assets “seem similar at first glance,” on closer inspection they differ.

Stadler makes a distinction between “digital assets” and “currencies,” because “only a few” can be considered currencies in the “literal sense of the word.” He then divides digital assets into three types; currencies like Bitcoin (BTC), utility tokens, and security tokens.

According to Stadler, currencies like BTC are both a payment instrument and a payment network in equal measure, which can be used without the involvement of a central institution. Utility tokens are “fuel” for using software or a service. Stadler cites Ethereum-based smart contracts to illustrate the difference between BTC and ETH, saying that while they are both used for speculation, “they could not be any more different.”

The third class of digital assets, security tokens, take the form of digital securities such as shares in companies or rights to future profits from a project. Stadler says that security tokens can be “tricky” from a regulatory perspective as they can fall under the same regulatory requirements as a company’s IPO.

Having defined the various types of digital assets, Stadler concludes that currency-like digital assets are currently the only useful ones, despite speculation on them in digital currency markets. According to Stadler, BTC is considered a long-term investment, with growing acceptance as a means of payment:

“Technical stability plays a particularly important role. Priority is given to security and resistance to external influence through conservative technological development … With fees amounting to just a few pennies, Bitcoin can bring significant benefits in terms of costs in the field of international trade, where traditional payment transactions can incur very high transaction fees.”

Stadler points out the high risk of failure for utility and security tokens, “even for above-the-board projects,” adding that, “[g]iven the current hype surrounding blockchain technology, the proportion of confidence tricksters is likely to be significant.”

On a final note, Stadler emphasizes the importance of BTC from a technological, sociological and economic perspective, also mentioning possible opportunities for innovative business models. Smart contracts and tokenization of real-world assets, as per Stadler, are in their infancy and will have some impact on business world in the future. As for ICOs, Stadler advises to “stay away” from them as they’re “mostly scams and even honest projects are so small that the market is easily manipulated.”

‘Stop white-anting’: Nahan calls for Liberal unity amid citizenship row

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Facebook cuts off access to user data for ‘hundreds of thousands’ of apps


Facebook has just blocked a truckload of apps from accessing its user’s data.

Facebook’s VP of Product Partnerships, Ime Archibong, explained in a blog post Tuesday that Facebook had cut off API access for “hundreds of thousands of inactive apps that have not submitted for our app review process.” That’s a lot of random, dormant apps that had access.

The social media giant, which was once very open to developers until the whole Cambridge Analytica thing, announced in May during F8 that it was tightening up the review process for apps.

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US release of 3D-printed gun software blocked

The blueprints to make untraceable guns were expected to be available for download on Wednesday.

Korean Authorities Investigate Alleged Crypto Scam That Promised Investors Shipwreck Gold

Korean authorities are investigating a possible crypto scam by a Seoul-based firm that promised to pay investors in gold from a sunken Russian shipwreck.

South Korean authorities are investigating a possible crypto investment scam involving the Seoul-based Shinil Group as the key figure, Korea JoongAng Daily reported July 31. Shinil Group (Shinil) allegedly promised to pay investors in gold from a sunken Russian shipwreck.

Earlier this month, Shinil announced it had found the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armored cruiser that sank 113 years ago, according to Reuters. The company claimed that the ship was loaded with 150 trillion won ($131 billion) worth of gold.

To encourage investors to purchase the company’s own cryptocurrency, Shinil allegedly promised to reimburse them with the gold from the ship. The coin reportedly attracted 60 billion won ($53.7 million) in investments from around 100,000 investors since its launch this year, even though the company’s CEO Choi Yong-seok has admitted there is no clear evidence that the ship contained anything of value.

Seoul’s Gangseo District Police subsequently issued a travel ban on Choi and are reportedly planning to question him and other parties related to the investigation. As per Korea JoongAng Daily, the investment scam also involved Yu Ji-beom, head of a Singapore-based affiliate of Shinil Group.

Yu supposedly established crypto exchange Donskoi International Exchange and spread posts about the shipwreck on social media. According to his acquaintances, Yu has previously been convicted of real estate fraud and is currently in Vietnam to avoid the investigation.

Authorities are also investigating whether the suspects from Shinil group attempted to profit from fluctuations in the share prices of South Korean manufacturer Jeil Industries. Shares spiked by 30 percent on July 17 when former head of Shinil Group Ryu Sang-mi became the second largest shareholder in the Jeil Steel. When prices fell the next day, Jeil claimed that it was not related to Shinil’s ship salvage project.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Le Minh Tam, the CEO of Vietnamese cryptocurrency mining firm Sky Mining, disappeared with investor and company funds reportedly worth $35 million. Although he has not been found in person, Tam apologized for “everything” to investors in a Facebook post on Wednesday, explaining that the company’s profitability had fallen due to market volatility.

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New smart car feature alerts you if you leave something in the back seat


It can be as simple (and stinky) as forgetting leftovers in the back seat, or as tragic and terrifying as leaving a pet or young child sitting in the back while a car heats up in the summer sun. That’s where Nissan’s “smart” alert system comes in.

Nissan’s rear door alert — or RDA — system was first introduced in the Nissan Pathfinder last year. The recently patented technology triggers the horn and a message display through door sensors alerting drivers to check the back seat after the car is parked if the back door was opened before the ride started. The tech was filed as an “activity monitoring apparatus.” Read more…

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