Online gold coin sales soar 400% as cryptocurrencies plunge

Amidst a huge sell-off on the cryptocurrency market demand for gold coins is picking up. Sales jumped fivefold on Tuesday at one of Europe’s largest online dealers.

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According to CoinInvest Director Daniel Marburger, the company sold almost 30kg of gold, worth $ 1.2 million in the spot market.

It “was a hell of a crazy day,” Marburger told Bloomberg, adding that “emails and phones did not stand still with customers asking how they could turn their crypto into gold.”

He said that one bitcoin currently buys about eight one-ounce Britannia gold coins. Physical gold bullion holds attraction for bitcoin investors because the assets have much in common, explained Marburger.

“Both are limited in quantity, easy to trade and you can store them decentralized,” he said. “The advantage for gold – no passwords you can lose, the volatility is much lower, sustainable growth and in the end you can hold your investment in your hands.”

Bitcoin, the world’s major cryptocurrency, has lost more than half of its value in the last month, trading down more than 20 percent on Wednesday, at $ 9,724. Other top virtual currencies, including ripple, ethereum, and bitcoin cash also suffered significant losses. The cryptomarket freefall followed reports of tighter policy measures from regulators in China, Brazil, and India.

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Russia scolds UK's 'PR exercise' for claiming it’s an ‘aggressor’ after jets scrambled

Russia has rebuked Britain for casting it as an aggressor after RAF jets were scrambled to “intercept” Russian bombers. Theresa May is more concerned with PR than dealing with real threats, the Russia’s UK embassy added.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it scrambled two fighter jets on Monday to intercept Russian planes near UK airspace. It claimed it was the latest incident where British forces had been deployed because of concern over a Russian military incursion.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in London said that such statements from Britain were part of a public-relations exercise aimed at undermining Russia’s image. “We consider these and similar statements as a PR exercise, meant to demonstrate some assumed ‘aggressiveness’ from Russia, as well as panache of certain British politicians,” he said.

“Russian planes carry out the routine flights in international airspace over the North, Barents and Norwegian seas. This doesn’t sound scary or, in fact, interesting to the public.

“But with some creativity and juggling of words, the story sounds quite different. The MoD speaks of the RAF having ‘intercepted’ Russian planes in the British ‘areas of interest,’ ‘our skies,’ and similar. Yet no incursion into UK airspace has ever taken place, and no Russian plane has been forced to land or even change its course.

“This imitation game, in the pattern of PM Theresa May’s speech at the lord mayor’s banquet, is about showing off vigilance rather than dealing with real threats,” added the spokesperson.

At the banquet last November, the prime minister accused Russia of meddling in elections and planting fake stories in the media. She said it was “threatening the international order on which we all depend.”

READ MORE: Dramatic moment RAF fighter jets intercept Russian bombers over North Sea (VIDEO)

As the UK government released a video of the scrambling incident, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said that threats facing the UK were “intensifying.” He added: “We will not hesitate in defending our skies from acts of aggression.”

The Typhoons took off from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland on Monday morning to tackle the alleged encroachment. They set off as soon as the Russian Blackjacks were seen approaching an area within 50 miles of the UK. They picked up the Blackjacks around 30 miles from UK sovereign airspace.

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Meals on wheels: FedEx truck slams into hotel restaurant, injures 3 (PHOTOS)

Restaurant patrons got far more than they bargained for when a FedEx cargo truck came hurtling through the eatery’s window at dinner time Tuesday.

Diners at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel at 9620 Airport Blvd. were enjoying some tasty cuisine when the crash happened. A total of three people, including the truck driver, his passenger and a third person, were injured in the crash.

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The driver declined to be removed by ambulance but two others were taken to hospital for evaluation by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

READ MORE: Speeding car takes flight, plows into 2nd floor of office building (PHOTOS)

Los Angeles Police are investigating the incident.  

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Human rights violations myths aimed at dividing Chechen society – Kadyrov

The myths about alleged human rights violations in Chechnya are being spread to destabilize the region and weaken Russia, according to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is currently under US sanctions.

“We have nothing to hide,” Kadyrov said during a meeting with Chechen security officials on Wednesday. “And our enemies understand this perfectly and come up with all kinds of myths about human rights violations in our republic,” the Chechen leader added, as cited by Izvestia newspaper.

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© kadyrov_95

Those behind the claims are trying to divide Chechen society and instill the idea of solving problems through violence in the minds of the people, he said. Despite the Russian Republic of Chechnya being almost invisible on the map, it is always in the spotlight of the Western media, the Chechen leader added.

According to Kadyrov, the accusations of human rights violations in Chechnya are “pulled from a hat” and aimed at creating chaos in the republic and weakening Russia. Chechnya is currently a trouble-free, safe and prosperous region of Russia where special attention is being paid to the issue of human rights, he said.

In late January, the US accused Kadyrov of involvement in extrajudicial killings, torture and other gross violations of human rights, placing the Chechen leader on the sanctions list under the Magnitsky Act.

The act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian individuals and companies over alleged human rights violations. The legislation, introduced by Congress in 2012, was named after Russian auditor Sergey Magnitsky, who died in a pre-trial detention center while under investigation for major tax fraud.

Kadyrov’s blacklisting came shortly after he harshly criticized Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, saying that the “crude” move may see Israel become involved in a “large-scale war.” The Chechen head himself insisted he was sanctioned not because of alleged human rights abuses, but rather due to his relentless lifelong fight against terrorists, many of whom were “fosterlings of the American special services.”

READ MORE: Chechen authorities deny media report on ‘mass detentions’ of gays

Following the introduction of sanctions, Kadyrov’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were blocked. The Chechen leader is well known in Russia and beyond for his sometimes controversial social media posts, and had several million followers.

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Tories laugh during PMQs… as Jeremy Corbyn presses Theresa May on Carillion collapse

Social media has exploded with outrage, with the Conservative Party accused of “laughing like hyenas” during discussions over collapsing construction giant Carillion, in Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).

Multiple Labour MPs took to Twitter to air their disgust after Conservatives MPs took the opportunity to cackle and goof around during Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s questions about the Carillion debacle.

North West Durham MP Laura Piddock shared her shock and horror on social media, pointing out that the loss of thousands of jobs might not be seen as a laughing matter… to pretty much everyone but the sitting conservative MPs.

“While the benches opposite roar with laughter, thousands upon thousands of Carillion workers are facing a desperately uncertain future… Who thinks that is a laughing matter?” Piddock said.

Ron Moore MP echoed her outrage.

“You’d think Tory MP’s laughing like hyenas on laughing gas would learn that the general public (many losing their jobs) are watching their privileged lifestyle at #pmqs prior to indulging in another [taxpayer] subsidised lunch and booze up,” he wrote.

Rose Dymock, whose father is directly impacted by the Carillion collapse, called the Tories “heartless.”

Other Twitter users went as far to call the conservatives “corrupt” and called for their heads for cackling after the Carillion questions.

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China no longer wants Western garbage

The European Union (EU) has announced its first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics recycling. It followed China’s ban on imports of waste from Western countries.

All plastic packaging in the European market will be recyclable by 2030, said the EU Commission in a press release. The consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted, it added.

An additional fund of €100 million ($ 122.4 million) has been committed to finance efficient recycling technology, and to boost innovation in plastic recycling.

Global production of plastics has increased twentyfold since the 1960s, according to the EU. It estimated that every year Europeans generate 25 million tons of plastic waste, of which less than 30 percent is collected for recycling.

“If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies,” said EU Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans.

Last month Beijing banned the import of 24 types of waste from Western countries, saying the US and EU countries have flouted waste standard rules.

Notifying the World Trade Organization about its waste import ban, Chinese authorities said “that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials. This polluted China’s environment seriously.”

In 2017, Chinese manufacturers imported a whopping 7.3 million metric tons of waste metal, plastics, and paper worth $ 18 billion mostly from developed countries, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The UK exported over 2.7 million tons of plastic waste to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong-based recyclers in the last five years. Data showed that over one million ton of plastics worth $ 495 million have been exported to China by the US last year. The EU countries alone shipped 87 percent of the recycled plastic to China.

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Woman finds her cat for sale on Facebook for £50 after handing it over to vet

A woman has been left reeling after she discovered that her cat, handed over to the vet after being told the feline would require highly expensive long-term care, had been put on sale online for a meager £50.

Kelly Samuels, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, said she took Casper the cat to Vetsavers last Tuesday, believing her pet was suffering from an abscess.

When the cat’s health deteriorated on Thursday, despite being treated with a course of antibiotics and painkillers, she took Casper back to the vet where he spent the night.

The next day the vet had still not removed the abscess, leading Samuels to believe the cat had a far more serious condition.

According to the Telegraph, Samuels was convinced that the cat had kidney problems that would require expensive long-term treatment that she could not afford. Samuels gave the cat to her father, under the instruction that if it was serious Casper should be put down if he was in significant pain.

Samuels claims the vet told her father that Casper would require “long-term treatment for his kidney which would be a hefty cost and no guarantees it would work.”

The vet then reportedly offered for Casper to be signed over to the surgery’s care so they could arrange future treatment.

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© Ruptly

After the weekend, the woman claims she called the surgery to discover that Casper’s abscess had been removed and the cat was again healthy. Samuels said the vet surgery refused to sign the cat back over to her, despite her offer to pay for Casper’s weekend stay.

Shockingly, a family friend then discovered the cat for sale on Facebook with a drastically different story.

The veterinary practice claimed the cat was healthy but that its owner had tried to get him put down instead of paying the bills. Samuels refuted the claims, and said she had a receipt of her payments to the veterinary clinic.

“The vet said on the Friday that he would need lengthy treatment that would be of high cost, that’s why it was agreed for his care to be signed over because I couldn’t afford the hundreds of pounds, he was put up on a selling page two days later as a healthy cat,” she told the Telegraph.

Vetsavers Wisbech said it had now given the cat back to Samuels, who says she will not pursue any further action.

“They made the right decision and let him come home yesterday,” she said. “I’m just happy to have him back so won’t be pursuing anything.”

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Teens jailed for killing homeless man with meat cleaver ‘because it was funny’ (VIDEO)

Two teens who bludgeoned a homeless man to death with a meat cleaver and a fence post “because it was funny” have been jailed for life. CCTV shows they burnt his clothes to hide the evidence.

Razvan Sirbu, 21, from Romania, was found dead near his tent with fractures all over his body after Charlie White and Alex Macdonald, both 19 from Kent, launched the vicious attack on him. They had denied the murder, but were found guilty.

Sirbu was found dead by a dog walker near his tent stationed at the Loose Valley Conservation Area in Tovil, near Maidstone in Kent, last May. There is no apparent motive for the attack, although a conversation between Macdonald and White in the aftermath of the assault reveals one of them saying he did it “because it was funny.”

Macdonald beat Sirbu up to 20 times with a piece of wood, while White struck him six or seven times with the cleaver, according to the Daily Mail.

White and Macdonald have been given a minimum of 16 and 18 years respectively after their sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent Police said.

“This was a brutal and sustained attack on a defenseless young man who meant no harm and posed no threat. It was a shameful and senseless murder of mindless brutality,” Judge Jeremy Carey said in sentencing.

A post-mortem examination revealed Sirbu, who had fled to the UK for a “better life,” died from a blunt force trauma to the head and body, which left him with a broken skull and multiple fractions to his face and ribs.

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A member of Crisis staff revealed how a homeless man died in a shelter over Christmas © Reuters/ Luke MacGregor

Blood found on a gray coat retrieved from a caravan where Macdonald was arrested matched that of Sirbu.

A third man, Jimmy Buckley, 20, formerly of Capell Close, Coxheath, was also found by jurors to have “done the act of murder,” but his sentencing has been postponed to a later date as the defendant was deemed unfit to plead.

CCTV footage of a skate park shows White burning the clothes he supposedly wore during the crime, while Macdonald and Buckley appear to re-enact part of the vicious homicide.

In a victim impact statement, Sirbu’s mother Marinella Gafita said the death of her son had left her “crushed to the ground.”

“He came to the UK in the hope he would find himself a job and build a better future for himself. We thought it would be a new beginning full of hope, but it’s proven to be the end of my beloved son.

“He was the apple of my eye and I would have given my life for him. The death of my child broke my heart. I’m crushed to the ground, I feel destroyed.”

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Pledger said the attackers’ actions were cowardly and said rough sleeper Sirbu was “robbed of his life” by “gratuitous violence” for which the reasons remain unclear.

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Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldinho retires from professional football

Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho has officially retired from professional football at the age of 37. The former Barcelona and AC Milan attacking midfielder has not played since leaving Fluminense in 2015.

The player’s brother and agent Roberto Assis confirmed the retirement on Tuesday and announced a series of tribute events dedicated to his career.

READ MORE: Ronaldinho joins Kadyrov in Chechnya football match to honor Putin’s 65th birthday

“He has stopped, it is ended. We will do various events in Brazil, Europe and Asia and, of course, we are arranging something with the Brazilian team as well,” Assis said, the BBS reported. 

Ronaldinho is widely considered one of the most gifted players of his generation, after he rose to prominence at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where he was one of the players of the tournament. A free-kick that looped over the head of England goalkeeper David Seaman in the quarterfinal announced him on the world stage.

His performances in the competition earned him a move from French side Paris Saint-Germain to Spanish giants Barcelona, where he won two La Liga titles as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2006.

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Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Park in St. Petersburg. © Mikhail Kireev

The player known for his almost constant smile then moved to Italy with where he won the Serie A in 2010-11 with AC Milan before moving back to Brazil and ending his career for Fluminense. He retired having made 97 appearances for the Brazil national team and scored 33 goals.

Ronaldinho’s sublime skills were recognized when he received the Ballon d’Or in 2005, awarded each year to the world’s best player.

A FIFA ambassador, Ronaldinho travelled to Russia for the 2017 Confederations Cup last summer. There, he took part in a 6-a-side football tournament in host city St. Petersburg alongside former pros such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Harry Kewell, Pablo Aimar, Vitor Baia, and Marcel Desailly.

In December, it was reported the former Barca no. 10 was planning to embark on a political career, after announcing that he would run for the senate in his home country Brazil with the right-wing Patriota party.

READ MORE: Ron-ing for office – World Cup winner Ronaldinho announces political career

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