Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX arrested in the Bahamas
Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas yesterday after US prosecutors filed criminal charges. The United States “will likely seek his extradition,” the Bahamian government said in a statement. An indictment will be unveiled today, U.S. prosecutors said.
The arrest was the stunning latest development in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in the company’s recent history. Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify in Congress today about the collapse of FTX, a powerful cryptocurrency company that imploded virtually overnight last month after a run on deposits exposed a hole $8 billion in his accounts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that it had authorized charges “relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws.” The charges included wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering, a person familiar with the matter said.
Details: Bankman-Fried, who was the only person charged in the indictment, was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. at his apartment complex in the Bahamas resort town of Albany, according to a Bahamian police statement. Lawyers involved in the case expressed surprise at the suddenness of the arrest.
Putin skips annual press conference
After a series of military setbacks in his war in Ukraine, with Russia’s losses mounting and its economy faltering under sanctions, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, skipped an annual press conference at which he usually does a somewhat choreographed demonstration of openness to questions on a variety of topics. His spokesperson did not give a reason.
Putin first held the year-end press conference, which often lasted four hours or more, in 2001, two years into his presidency. The last time he stepped down from the event as president was in 2005. It is one of the few occasions in the year when journalists from outside the Kremlin pool, including foreign correspondents, can interview Putin – if called.
Few journalists in Russia are not subject to the Kremlin, and this year the government criminalized criticism of the war or the military. But it would still have been possible, and deeply undesirable for Putin, for a journalist to ask the Russian leader, live on national television, embarrassing questions about some of the setbacks in Ukraine.
Analysis: Mikhail Vinogradov, a political scientist who heads the St. Petersburg Political Foundation, said the move would contribute to a general sense of stagnation in the country. Even though there’s a lot going on, he said, the event’s cancellation feels like “the situation” is “on hold.”
Related: Months after the start of the war in Ukraine, European nations like Norway grew suspicious that a desperate Kremlin would deepen its attempts at espionage, sabotage and infiltration. But not all of the incidents can be attributed with certainty to Russia, and the genuine concern has sometimes become difficult to separate from the growing paranoia.
A major breakthrough in fusion energy
Scientists at a federal nuclear weapons facility in California have made a potentially significant advance in fusion research that could lead to an abundant source of energy in the future, according to a government official. The advance is expected to be announced today by the Department of Energy.
The government official, who spoke anonymously, said the fusion experiment at the National Ignition Facility had achieved what is called ignition, where the fusion energy generated equals the energy laser that triggered the reaction. Ignition is also called energy gain of one.
Such a development would improve the United States’ ability to maintain its nuclear weapons without nuclear testing and could pave the way for future advances that may one day lead to the use of laser fusion as a carbon-free energy source.
What is Merger? Fusion is the thermonuclear reaction that powers the sun and other stars – the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium. The mass of helium is slightly less than that of the original hydrogen atoms; thus, this difference in mass is converted into a burst of energy. Fusion that could be produced in a controlled way could mean an energy source that does not produce greenhouse gases or radioactive waste.
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A mostly poor farming community in California is divided over one of its public buildings: the library. It’s a vital resource for some families, providing a safe haven for children while their parents work to harvest grapes and almonds. For the police, who point to rising crime, their own small office and a tight tax base, it’s a poor use of space.
The starkness of the choice McFarland faces – library or police station – reflects a growing debate over how much to spend on law enforcement in a post-George Floyd America, versus how much to spend on others public needs, especially those serving disadvantaged groups.
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A crash on Rembrandt
“Rembrandt in a Red Beret,” an age-old image of the 17th-century master, has a torturous history, involving a Dutch prince, a plumber from Dayton, Ohio, and a possible scam involving German sailors.
The painting is now on public display for the first time in 50 years, at Escher in Het Paleis, a former royal palace in the Netherlands. But scholars disagree on whether the painting is a self-portrait, a portrait of one of Rembrandt’s star pupils, or a 19th-century imitation.
At least one art historian is convinced that it is an original by Rembrandt himself. The same goes for the current owner of the array. (Its market value would rise dramatically if the work were considered to have been made solely by the artist’s hand.) But other experts aren’t so sure, dismissing it on stylistic grounds or denying it altogether. comment.
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