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US President Donald Trump fully supports the new NFL policy on the national anthem -- says players who don't stand should maybe "not be in the country."

The President spoke with 
"FOX & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade -- saying, "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing. You shouldn't be there."
He added. "Maybe you shouldn't be in the country."

There's one part of the new policy Trump didn't like -- the option players have to stay in the locker room.
"I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still I think it's good."
Of course, Trump has been railing for a while against players who demonstrate during the anthem -- and wanted NFL owners to fire Colin Kaepernick for starting the movement. 

By the way, Donald Trump has bragged how much he opposed the Vietnam War -- the method of protest back then was burning the flag.
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday that he has decided to contribute half of his presidential salary to a charity fund to be established soon.

This fund, which will be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund, will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Fund, Ramaphosa told MPs in the Presidency Budget Vote Debate in Parliament.
"This is a private, citizen-driven initiative that will ask all those with the means to contribute a small portion of their salaries to supporting the many small projects that build the nation," the president said.
This fund will be launched on July 18 this year to mark the 100th anniversary of late president Nelson Mandela's birth, according to Ramaphosa.

As president, Ramaphosa reportedly earns 3.6 million rand (about 293,000 U.S. dollars) per year.
"As we undertake this important work together, as we travel further along the path of growth and transformation, we are imbued with a new spirit," the president said.
In truth, it is a spirit rekindled and it is the spirit of solidarity, service and a shared humanity, he said.
"It is the spirit that moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a nation of equals," said Ramaphosa.
"By working together, by drawing on all our resources and capabilities, by embracing that unites us and confronting that divides us, I have no doubt that we will reach our destination," Ramaphosa said.
Since taking power in February, Ramaphosa has been praised for leading by example, unlike his predecessor Jacob Zuma whose image was tainted by allegations of corruption and money squandering.

In March Ramaphosa surprised fellow passengers when he boarded a flight bound for Durban in economy class.

Earlier this month, he was seen taking his popular walk in White River, Mpumalanga Province as a way of keeping his promise to learn about the plight of ordinary people.
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Buhari may have finally decided to accept the challenge thrown by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Speaking while receiving members of the Buhari Support Organization led by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retired) at the State House on Tuesday, May 22, Buhari accused Obasanjo (without mentioning his name) of spending $16bn in the power sector without anything to show for it. 

He was quoted by ThisDay of May 23 2018 as saying: “You know the rail was killed and one of the former heads of state between [sic] that time was bragging that he spent more than $16 billion, not naira, on power. Where is the power? Where is the power? And now, we have to pay the debt.”

It should be recalled that in January this year, Obasanjo, famous (or infamous – depending on where you stand in the divide) for propping up governments and pulling down the same governments he propped up, published a long letter condemning the Buhari government. Such condemnatory epistles are usually a prelude to the Owo General taking down a government he previously supported. 

Titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement’, Obasanjo accused the Buhari government of performing far below expectation and advised him against seeking re-election. He also accused the Buhari government of “clannishness, lack of understanding of the dynamics of politics, and his tendencies to pass the buck of his government’s inadequacies to the immediate past administration.”

Obasanjo wrote a similar letter in December 2013 to Goodluck Jonathan, whom he literally made the country’s President. He titled the letter to Dr Jonathan “Before it is Too Late” and in it highlighted the numerous failings of his government. He capped his criticisms of the Jonathan government by dramatically tearing his PDP’s membership card. He was gladly appropriated by the then opposition APC as a statesman who courageously spoke truth to power.

After Obasanjo’s bombshell on Buhari in January 2018, the Daura General reportedly advised his aides not to move against the octogenarian, who recently bagged a PhD in Theology from the Open University. Thus, in the government’s formal reply to the Obasanjo epistle, Lai Mohammed, the Information Minister, was uncharacteristically very deferential:

“For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency....

“Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises....

“We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.”

If the government hoped that its ‘softly-softly’ approach would mollify Obasanjo, it obviously miscalculated for the Ota farmer, rather than being pacified, has been ramping up his criticisms of the government and engineering initiatives for him to be voted out of power. It could therefore be argued that Buhari’s recent veiled criticisms of Obasanjo are because he felt he was left with no option but to accept the former President’s challenge for a political dogfight.

As Buhari accepts Obasanjo’s challenge, the scene is set for a real ‘roforofo’ because Obasanjo never ducks a fight – just as the Daura General is hardly fazed by intimidation. Already Obasanjo has given indication of the possible tone of the impending political nuclear war. 

Replying to Buhari’s Tuesday jab through his media aide Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said Buhari’s allegation that he wasted $16bn on a power project that produced no power was “based on ignorance” and recommended that the President and his “co-travellers” should read his book, ‘My Watch’ where he said he had exhaustively discussed and put the allegation to rest. He added for effect: “If he cannot read the three-volume book, he should detail his aides to do so and summarise the chapters in a language that he will easily understand.”

The opposition PDP, SDP and other motley opposition groups, will happily appropriate Obasanjo as the Father of modern Nigeria, who is not afraid to tell truth to power – just as the APC did in the run-up to the 2015 elections. Is it not true that what goes around comes around, and that the more things change, the more they remain the same? In the ensuing political battle, expect all manner of weapons to be deployed – our fault lines of religion and ethnicity, lying with statistics, glorification of alternative facts and hate and offensive speeches. Also expect ‘do gooders’ like traditional and religious leaders to become ‘killjoys’ by prematurely seeking to mediate and separate the combatants before they even land the first few political punches. Unbeknown to these ‘killjoys’, many people long to see laughter on their faces in this season of anomie and if the dust from this impending political fight will freshen the political air from its drabness and lift up people’s spirit, even if temporarily, then it is all well and good.

But as we prepare for the impending political warfare, let us not lose sight of the fact that Obasanjo and Buhari have far more in common than their differences: they are both inherently dictatorial (while Buhari ran the worst military dictatorship in the country aside from Abacha, Obasanjo’s civilian presidency holds the record for worst human rights violations in the current civilian dispensation). 

Again both retired military Generals are stubborn and have deep convictions that bother on messianic complex: while Obasanjo uses his government as the benchmark for measuring any other government and feels compelled to work to remove any government he feels is underperforming, Buhari believes that there has been no proper governance in the country except when he was a military ruler and since May 2015 when he became the president. Again both men often take liberty with statistics.

For instance Buhari’s claims about the price and production of petroleum from 1999 till 2015 in his veiled attack on Obasanjo represents alternative facts just as the statistics often used by Obasanjo to attack his opponents – such as on Jonathan’s and Buhari’s economic underperformance are sometimes dodgy. Buhari and Obasanjo also like to play the ostrich. For instance while Obasanjo routinely accuses every government he is not running as corrupt (including the National Assembly), he demurs when questions are asked about the sources of his current wealth (given allegation that he had only N20,000 in the bank when he was released from Abacha’s gulag in the run-up to the 1999 election). 

In the same vein, Buhari’s supporters market him as frugal, Mr Integrity and the poorest President the country has ever produced and yet they feel uncomfortable when questions are asked why the President does not want to do full public asset declaration as his campaign promised or the sources of the funds he used in sending his children to elite school in England or for his presidential campaigns since 2003 or for his son, Yusuf’s, luxury power bikes.

But despite their weaknesses, I believe that both Buhari and Obasanjo have done their bits for the country and that their places in our political history are assured. They are elder statesmen that deserve respect – despite their shortcomings. So when the inevitable political fight starts, we will engage them with the respect they deserve.

As I look forward to the coming political slugfest, I have proclaimed myself completely non-aligned and certainly not to become a cannon fodder. In the coming political battle, I will stand on the side of the truth (as I see it) irrespective of who spoke it. 

I have seen too many political dogfights in this country in which supporters of the political combatants lose their means of livelihoods and even their lives only for the former warring enemies to quietly make up, without consulting them. The impression I get is that it is all about ego, power and its appurtenances irrespective of the way they package themselves or are packaged.

Twitter: @JideoforAdibe
Source: Reuben Abati
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Catholic faithful all over the country yesterday staged a prayer and peaceful protest in solidarity with the faithful in Benue state as they bury the two priests and fifteen faithful killed in Mbalam, Gwer East of Benue state.

In Awka, parishioners under the Diocese in a rosary procession matched from their various parishes to St Patrick’s cathedral where the prayer match was concluded.

The faithful carried placards with inscriptions like “life is sacred, why all the killings, "why the hatred in the country", "let peace reign again in this country among others".

The catholic faithful including the Mary League Association, Catholic Women Organization, Knights and Ladies of the church among others adorned in their various uniforms as they engage in the prayer protest.

Speaking shortly after the peaceful match at St Patrick cathedral, the Chancellor of Awka Diocese, Reverend Father Francis Chidiume said the catholic church in Nigeria according to directives by the Bishop Conference of Nigeria matched against the killing of innocent citizens in Nigeria with reference to Benue state were Catholic faithful were killed during a mass.

Reverend Father Chidiume lamented that federal government has not responded appropriately to what is happening, especially the Benue killings , thus the reason for the prayer to invoke the intervention of God against the serious insecurity of life and property of Nigerian citizens.

At St Mary’s Catholic Church Alor in Idemili South Council Area, the Parish Priest Reverend father Martin Onukwuba who is also the President, Regional Priests of West Africa spoke on the sacredness of life and the need to preserve it and expressed dismay over the spate of killings in the country.

He urged federal government to take drastic measures to address the security challenges bedeviling the country.

The prayer match ended with a holy mass.
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The State legislature, says it will pursue vigorously relevant laws that will back the actualization of the Igbo summit declarations and resolutions in the restructuring of the Nigerian-Nation.

Its Speaker, Barrister Rita Maduagwu gave the assurance during yesterday’s plenary in Awka.

The State number one Lawmaker, who described the summit as a positive step in the right direction, commended the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Governor Willie Obiano for the successful Igbo summit that was held at the Dr Alex Ekwueme square in Awka.

Barrister Maduagwu expressed happiness that the State Government has showcased to the international community that Anambra is indeed the light of the Nation, by hosting and providing an enabling environment for Ndigbo to make their positions known to Nigerians for the peaceful co-existence of the proposed regional and central governments in Nigeria as well as other issues raise at the summit.

Also at plenary, the House received a petition from the Member representing Aguata Constituency One, Chief Ikechukwu Umeh, written by Mr Remigius Ayika.

According to Chief Umeh the petitioner prayed the House to compel the contracting firm handling the rehabilitation of Eziamaigbo erosion site at Agulu that pulled down his fence and part of his residential house in the course of executing the project to rehabilitate them as agreed earlier which he said they later reneged.
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Ronaldinho will marry two women at the same time, according to reports in Brazil.

It is believed that Ronaldinho asked Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza for their hands in marriage in January last year, according to Brazilian columnist Leo Dias via The Mirror.

The 38-year-old, who actually announced his retirement from football in January, then gave them both engagement rings. It is reported that the two women have been, and are currently, living "harmoniously" with Ronaldinho in his mansion in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian columnist Leo Dias also claims that both women receive a monthly allowance of $5,000 from Ronaldinho to 'spend as they please.' They are to marry at a private ceremony inside the Santa Monica condominium in Rio. .
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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has released the list of 58 illegal universities in Nigeria. The commission said the universities are yet to be licensed by the federal government and have been shut down for violating the national minimum standard for education.

A Monday bulletin from the office of the Executive Secretary on NUC, dated May 14, listed all the illegal universities across the country.

The Universities are:

1. University of Accountancy and Management Studies, operating anywhere in Nigeria

2. Christians of Charity American University of Science and Technology, Nkpor, Anambra State or any of its other campuses

3. University of Industry, Yaba, Lagos or any of its other campuses

4. University of Applied Sciences and Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

5. Blacksmith University, Akwa or any of its other campuses

6. Volta University College, HO, Volta Region, Ghana or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

7. Royal University, Izhia, PO BOX 800, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State or any of its other campuses

8. Atlanta University, Anyigba, Kogi state or any of its other campuses

9. United Christian University, Macotis campus, Imo State or any of its other campuses

10. United Nigeria University College, Okija Anambra State or any of its other campuses.

11. Samuel Ahmadu University, Makurdi, Benue State or any of its other campuses

12. UNESCO University, Ndoni, Rivers State or any of its other campuses

13. Saint Augustine’s University of Technology, Jos, Pleateu State or any of its other campuses

14. The International University, Missouri USA, Kano and Lagos studies centres or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

15. Collumbus University, UK, operating anywhere in Nigeria

16. Tiu International University, UK operating anywhere in Nigeria

17. Pebbles University, UK operating anywhere in Nigeria

18. London External Studies, UK, operating anywhere in Nigeria

19. Pilgrims University operating anywhere in Nigeria

20. Lobi Business School, Makurdi, Benue State or any of its campuses in Nigeria

21. West African Christian University operating anywhere in Nigeria

22. Bolta University College, Aba or any of its campuses in Nigeria

23. JBC Seminary Inc. (Wukari Jubilee University) Kaduna illegal campus

24. Western University, Esie Kwara State or any of its campuses in Nigeria

25. St. Andrews University College, Abuja or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

26. EC-Council USA, Ikeja Lagos Study Centre

27. Atlas University, Ikot Udoso Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

28. Concept College/Universities (London) Ilorin or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

29. Halifax Gateway University, Ikeja or any of its campuses in Nigeria

30. Kingdom of Christ University, Abuja or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

31. Acada University, Akinlalu Oyo state or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

32. Filfom University, Mbaise, Imo State or any of its other campuses in Nigeria

33. Houdegbe North American University campuses in Nigeria

34. Atlantic Intercontinental University, Okija Anambra State

35. Open International University, Akure

36. Middle Belt University (North Central University) Otukpo

37. Lead Way University, Ugheli, Delta State

38. Metro University, Dutse/Bwari Abuja

39. Southend University, Ngwuro Egeru (Afam) Ndoki, Rivers State

40. Olympic University, Nsukka, Enugu State

41. Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Abuja

42. Temple University, Abuja

43. Irish University Business School, London, operating anywhere in Nigeria

44. National University of Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State

45. University of Accountancy and Management Studies, Mowe, Lagos – Ibadan Expressway and its annex at 41, Ikorodu road, Lagos.

46. University of Education, Wenneba Ghana operating anywhere in Nigeria

47. Cape Coast University, Ghana operating in Nigeria

48. African University Cooperative Development (AUCD) Cotonou, Benin Republic operating anywhere in Nigeria

49. Pacific Western University, Denver Colorado, Oweri study centre

50. Evangel University of America and Chudick Management Academic, Lagos

51. Enugu State University of Science and Technology (Gboko campus)

52. Career Light Resources Centre, Jos

53. University of West Africa, Kwali Abuja, FCT

54. Coastal University, Iba Oku, Akwa Ibom State

55. Kaduna Business School, Kaduna

56. Royal University of Theology, Minna, Niger State

57. West African Union University, in collaboration with International Professional College of Administration, Science and Technology, Nigeria operating anywhere in Nigeria

58. Gospel Missionary Foundation (GMF), Theological University, 165 Isolo road, Cele bus stop, Egbe Ikotun, Lagos

The commission also said eight universities are currently undergoing investigation for illegally running degree programs.

The eight universities are:

1) National Universities of Nigeria, Keffi , Nassarawa State.

2) North Central University, Otukpo, Benue state.

3) Christ Alive Christian Seminary and University.

4) Richmond Open University, Arochukwu, Abia state.

5) West Coast University, Umuahia.

6) Saint Clements University, Iyin Ekiti, Ekiti state.

7) Volta University College, Aba, Abia state.

8) Illegal Satellite Campuses of Ambrose Alli University.
“For the avoidance of doubt, anybody who patronises or obtains any certificate from any of these illegal institutions does so at his or her own risk,” the publication reads.
According to the publication, certificates obtained from these sources will not be recognised for the purposes of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), employment and further studies.

The commission said the relevant law enforcement agencies have been informed for necessary action.

Meanwhile, the NUC Director of information and Public relation, Ibrahim Yakasai, in a telephone conversation, told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission has not relented in its effort to shut every illegal institution in the country

According to Mr Yakasai, 
“we continued publishing the lists so that the illegal universities don’t resurface. If we stop publishing their names, they could move to other part of the country and start operating because at some point, they were moving.
“We have been producing the editorial for so many years. We update it as we get information across the country that some institutions are operating illegally. We go there and once they know we are coming, they run away,” Mr Yakasai said.
It is reported of how the NUC confirmed that a senator, Foster Ogola’s Phd certificate is invalid; as the institution he attended is among the illegal universities.

An investigation revealed that the senator, currently representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, has fake credentials from an unaccredited university in Nigeria named GMF Christian university.

The National Universities Commission of Nigeria is a government agency promoting quality higher education in Nigeria.

The commission is saddled with the responsibility of granting approval for all academic programs run in Nigerian universities and granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programs.
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The chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, has issued a statement “applaud[ing]” the efforts of authorities associated with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in executing the current “enforcement sweep targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”

SEC Chairman Commends Regulators Involved in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’

SEC Chairman Applauds 'Operation Crypto-Sweep'

SEC chairman Jay Clayton has “applaud[ed]” his “fellow regulators in the United States and Canada who are coordinating and participating in efforts to police fraud in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) markets.”

“The enforcement actions being announced by NASAA should be a strong warning to would-be fraudsters in this space that many sets of eyes are watching, and that regulators are coordinating on an international level to take strong actions to deter and stop fraud,” Mr. Clayton said.

The “efforts” referred to by Mr. Clayton have seen more than 40 North American state and provincial regulators participate in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’ – an “enforcement sweep” targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto investment schemes which has resulted in over 70 investigations thus far.

NASAA Describes ICO Fraud as ‘Threat to Main Street Investors”

SEC Chairman Applauds 'Operation Crypto-Sweep'

The SEC chairman sought to take a firm stance regarding the issuance of unlicensed securities through an ICO, stating that “When investors are offered and sold securities, whether through traditional channels or through an ICO on a sales-oriented website, state and federal securities laws apply. These laws have applied to our securities markets for over 80 years. 

At their core, these laws require full and fair disclosures of material information about both the securities and the venture being funded. Unfortunately, some market participants seem to believe that the use of new technology provides a basis for ignoring the core principles of our securities laws.”

Of Operation Crypto-Sweep, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joseph Borg, recently stated: “The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat. 

Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”
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John Rainey, the Chief Financial Officer of Paypal, has stated in a recent interview that the payment platform will proceed with a bit more caution towards cryptocurrencies. At the same time, he admitted that if cryptocurrency stabilizes in the future and becomes “better currency”, his company will “certainly support that”. Rainey added that the volatile crypto swings threaten the viability of the businesses Paypal is working with.

“If you’re a merchant and you have, let’s say, a 10 percent margin on a product that you sell and you accept bitcoin, for example, and the very next day it moves 15 percent, you’re now underwater on that transaction,” Paypal CFO told CNBC. “You could have something that appeals to consumers, but if merchants don’t accept it, it’s of little value. Right now, we don’t see a lot of interest from our merchants. But if it’s something that stabilizes in the future and is a better currency, then we’ll certainly support that,” Rainey elaborated.

Despite Paypal’s current position on cryptocurrencies, a recent patent filing revealed that the payment provider might be considering expanding its exposure to the crypto ecosystem. Reports came out in March this year that Paypal has filed a new patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for an “expedited virtual currency transaction system”. Back in 2016, it was reported that the company had applied for another crypto-related patent – one that envisages the development of a payment module accepting bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin.
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According to a new study published by Warwick Business School, the value of cryptocurrencies is determined primarily by the mood of investors and not so much by economic factors or indicators. 

Assistant professor of finance Daniele Bianchi has found that the price patterns of the 14 largest cryptocurrencies reflect past returns of investors, combined with the hype and emotion experienced as they watch the value climb or fall. 

The research is titled “Cryptocurrencies as an Asset Class: An Empirical Assessment,” the Independent reports.

According to the author, this behavior can be attributed to the fact that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fall outside the remit of governments or financial institutions. Investing in digital currencies is therefore more similar to buying equity in a high-tech firm rather than a normal currency, he notes. 

Bianchi also points out that the study shows limited similarities between bitcoin and gold. At the same time, because of the high volatility of the prices of the biggest cryptocurrencies, they can hardly be seen as a reliable savings instrument.
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In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, internet security expert John McAfee expects bulls to come back to the crypto market, despite recent drops in prices across the board. Billions will be pumped by institutional investors, he predicted in a tweet. Meanwhile, a new study has shown that the mood of investors, rather than economic indicators, actually determines the value of cryptocurrencies. Also, do you want to know when Paypal will support crypto payments?

Institutional Investors to Pump Billions in Crypto

John McAfee expects a bull run on cryptocurrency markets in the near future. Billions will be pumped by institutional investors, the internet security expert predicted in a post on the microblogging platform Twitter this week. McAfee claims this will lead to significant changes in the market capitalizations of the leading cryptocurrencies, but also those of most altcoins.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: McAfee Predicts Bull Run Lead by Institutional Investors as Crypto Markets Dip

Institutional investors are preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market with a vengeance,” 
McAfee said in his tweet. He explained that they are generally long term investors that will spend billions on the market. 
“Expect the top ten coins to go through the roof fairly quickly. The bulk of altcoins will soon follow,” 
the software guru wrote. Admitting he had no more information than his followers, John McAfee advised them to check the recent news and use their heads.

McAfee was probably referring to several recent announcements indicating possible developments in that direction. Earlier this month, reports suggested that Goldman Sachs is going to launch a bitcoin trading operation to buy and sell bitcoin futures on behalf of institutional clients. 

More recently, US crypto exchange Coinbase announced new services meant to attract big money players such as crypto hedge funds. The plans include the launch of a crypto custodian service and a suite of tools specifically designed for institutions called Coinbase Prime. The San Francisco-based company has also discussed with regulators the possibility to apply for a banking license.

However, McAfee’s optimistic prognosis coincides with the return of the bears to the cryptocurrency market. The price of bitcoin (BTC) has just dropped below the $8,000 mark, hitting a month’s low. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is currently trading at over $1,000 (at the time of writing). John McAfee has previously predicted that the price of bitcoin will reach $1 million USD by the end of 2020.
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Below are the Entertainment News headlines for today, Thursday 24 May, 2018.

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