Thursday, November 21, 2019

Terrified of Bitcoin, banks forced to innovate for the first time in 40+ years

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

Yesterday morning, several banks in Australia started rolling out a new payment system they’re calling NPP, or “New Payments Platform.”

Until now, sending a domestic funds transfer in Australia from one bank to another could take several days. It was slow and cumbersome.

With NPP, payments are nearly instantaneous.

And rather than funds transfers being restricted to the banks’ normal business hours, payments via NPP can be scheduled and sent 24/7.

You can also send money via NPP to mobile phones and email addresses. So it’s a pretty robust system.

Across the world in the United States, the domestic banking system has been working on something similar.

Domestic bank transfers in the Land of the Free typically transact through an electronic network known as ACH… another slow and cumbersome platform that often takes 2-5 days to transfer funds.

It’s pretty ridiculous that it takes more than a few minutes to transfer money. It’s 2018! It’s not like these guys have to load satchels full of cash onto horse-drawn wagons and cart them across the country.

(And even if they did, I suspect the money would reach its destination faster than with ACH…)

Starting late last year, though, US banks very slowly began to roll out something called the Real-time Payment system (RTP), which is similar to what Australian banks launched yesterday.

[That said, the banks themselves acknowledge that it could take several years to fully adopt RTP and integrate the new service with their existing online banking platforms.]

And beyond the US and Australia, there are other examples of banking systems around the world joining the 21st century and making major leaps forward in their payment system technologies.

It seems pretty clear they’re all playing catch-up with cryptocurrency.

The rapid rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies proved to the banking system that it’s possible to conduct real-time [or near-real-time] transactions, and not have to wait 2-5 days for a payment to clear.

Combined with other new technologies like Peer-to-Peer lending platforms, fundraising websites, etc., consumers are now able to perform nearly every financial transaction imaginable– deposits, loans, transfers, etc.– WITHOUT using a bank.

And it’s only getting better for consumers… which means it’s only getting worse for banks.

All of these threats from competing technologies have finally compelled the banks to innovate– literally for the FIRST TIME IN DECADES.

I’m serious.

When the CEO of the company launching RTP in the US announced the platform, he admitted that the “RTP system will be the first new payments system in the U.S. in more than 40 years.”

That’s utterly pathetic. The Internet has been around for 25 years. Even PayPal is nearly 20 years old.

Yet despite the enormous advances in technology over the past several decades, the last major innovation in bank payments was back when Saturday Night Fever was the #1 movie in America.

Banks have been sitting on their laurels for decades, enjoying their monopoly over our savings without the slightest incentive to improve.

Cryptocurrency has proven to be a major punch in the gut. The entire banking system keeled over in astonishment over Bitcoin’s rise, and they’ve been forced to come up with an answer.

And to be fair, the banks have reclaimed the advantage for now.

NPP, RTP, and all the other new protocols are faster and more efficient than most cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, for example, can only handle around 3-7 transactions per second. Ethereum Classic maxes at around 15 transactions per second. Litecoin isn’t much better.

By comparison, there were 25 BILLION funds transfers in 2016 using the ACH network in the US.

Based on the typical holiday schedule and the banks’ 8-hour working days, that’s an average “throughput” of roughly 3500 transactions per second.

So, now that banks have finally figured out how to conduct thousands of transactions per second in real-time, they clearly have superiority.

But that superiority is unlikely to last.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

The Ghosts of 1968

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by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

The hope of 1968 that public demonstrations can actually change the power structure has been lost.

1968 was a tumultuous year globally and domestically. The Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia–a very mild form of political and cultural liberalization within the Soviet bloc–was brutally crushed by the military forces of the Soviet Union.

The general strikes and student protests of May 1968 brought France to a standstill as demands for social and political change called the entire status quo into question.

On the other side of the planet, the Cultural Revolution was remaking China’s still-youthful revolution, to the detriment of the political status quo, the intelligentsia and the common people.

The U.S.was convulsed with assassinations, civil unrest and mass demonstrations against the war in Vietnam and the political status quo (the Democratic Party convention in Chicago).

Ironically, much of the world was benefiting from two decades of rising prosperity and the demise of colonialism. When expectations exceed actual opportunities, discontent is the result. When the power structure is deaf to the discontent, a cycle of repression and disorder feed on each other.

Fifty years on, the ghosts of 1968 are still with us. With the advantage of hindsight, 1968 was the culmination of the belief that it was still possible for the common people to change the political and social order in a positive fashion– to remake the status quo power structure into something more humane, accessible, just and fair.

The Western status quo bent but did not break. Nothing in the developed-world power structures actually changed. The status quo did break down in China, but the breakdown was not liberating; it was a catastrophe of injustice and destruction without precedent.

A new winter of discontent is chilling the air. Though the current state of affairs seems quite different from that of 1968, the basic context is eerily similar: decades of economic growth have ushered in widespread prosperity, but the benefits and power have gone disproportionately to the few at the top of the wealth-power pyramid.

The status quo power structures are deaf to the discontent of the common people, and respond with blandishments (Universal Basic Income, etc.), propaganda and a spectrum of repression.

In the context of 1968+50=2018, Chris Hedge’s incisive essay from 2010 bears re-reading. 2011: A Brave New Dystopia (truthdig):

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished. The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled.

It’s also worth re-reading Mario Savio’s extemporaneous speech to the Free Speech Movement’s sit-in on December 3, 1964, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Though the speech predates the Prague Spring and the Paris general strike by four years, it embodies the core dynamic of those social uprisings: the system itself is fundamentally flawed, and we are the raw material and product that keep the system operating.

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

Russian banks ready to switch off SWIFT – official

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from RT News:

Russian financial institutions and firms are ready to work without SWIFT’s interbank cash transfer services, according to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

“Certainly, it is unpleasant, as it will prove a stumbling block for companies and banks, and will slow down work. It will be inevitable to deploy some aged technologies for information transfer and calculations. However, the companies are technically and psychologically ready for the shutdown as this threat was repeatedly voiced,” Dvorkovich said, as quoted by TASS.

He added that the measure may have a negative impact on corporations working in the US and Europe.

In general, disconnecting Russia from SWIFT would be a crazy step on the part of our Western partners. It is obvious that for the companies which work in Europe and the US it would be harmful. And this applies not only to the shutdown of the service,” he said.

The potential disconnection of Russia from SWIFT has been under discussion since 2014, when the EU and the US introduced the first round of international penalties against Moscow over alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and the reunification with Crimea.

At the time, the European Parliament called for strong actions against Russia, including expelling the country from money transfer services. However, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication regarded the recommendations as violating rights and damaging for businesses.

In 2017, Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told President Vladimir Putin that the banking sector had been provided with all the necessary conditions for operating lenders and payment systems in case of disconnection from SWIFT. According to the regulator, 90 percent of ATMs in Russia were ready to accept the Mir payment system, a domestic version of Visa and MasterCard.

Read More @ RTNews.com

Whistleblower: Stock Market ‘Fear Gauge’ Is Being Manipulated

by Joe Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

During President Trump’s first year in office the Dow broke every significant record imaginable. 

Below is a list of the records during President Donald J. Trump’s first year in office.

Point Increases

Trump’s first year in office was the greatest year in stock market history!

The Dow hit a record number of  all time high closings since Trump won the 2016 election.   There were 99 all time highs in the Dow between late January 2018 and when President Trump won the 2016 election. 

Since the 2016 election the Dow went up more that 45% before sliding back to its current 35% increase!  

* The Dow increased more in 2017 than any year ever in Dow history! The Dow ended 2016 at 19,763 and ended 2017 at 24,719 for a nearly 5,000 point increase. This is the most ever by more than 40% over the next best year ever (In 2013 the Dow was up 3,472 points).

* Since the 2016 election the Dow surpassed 8 major milestones – 19,000, 20,000, 21,000, 22,000, 23,000, 24,000, 25,000 and 26,000.

* In January the Dow set an all time record for the fastest 500 point increase in history (between major milestones) as the Dow surpassed 26,000.  The Dow broke the records for the fastest 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 point increases in history.  All since President Trump won the election.

All Time Highs

* President Trump is the only President in US history to oversee two stock market rallies of nine days or more where the markets set new highs each and every day.

* On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the Dow reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!

* Then in early August President Trump reigned over a 9 day stock market rally with each day reaching record highs.

* President Trump’s stock market rally is historical! No President has seen more all time highs (71) in their first year in office than President Trump. No one has seen more all-time highs in a year ever.  The old record was 69 in 1997.

* Nearly one in three days since the election has ended in a new stock market high.

* The Dow set the record for the best first week of a year ever when it increased 576 points in the first 4  days of trading in 2018.

In virtually every category the Dow has set a new all time record under President Trump.  Then last week the market suddenly dropped 1,000 points in a day – twice.  Today Market Watch noted that the market dropped due to unethical market manipulation! 

Market Watch reported:

One of the most popular measures of volatility is being manipulated, charges one individual who submitted a letter anonymously to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The letter makes the claim to regulators that fake quotes for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.27% are skewing levels of the Cboe Volatility Index VIX, -0.82% which reflects bearish and bullish options bets 30-days in the future on the S&P 500 to gauge implied stock-market volatility (see excerpt from the letter below).

The flaw allows trading firms with sophisticated algorithms to move the VIX up or down by simply posting quotes on S&P options and without needing to physically engage in any trading or deploying any capital. This market manipulation has led to multiple billions in profits effectively taken away from institutional and retail investors and cashed in by unethical electronic option market makers.

The whistleblower’s claims are consistent with those documented by John Griffin, professor of finance at the University of Texas and Ph.D. candidate Amin Shams in May 2017 in research that says the cost of manipulating less-liquid SPX options would be more than paid for by a successful bet on the direction of the VIX. The paper is consistent with the whistleblower’s conclusion—that manipulators are moving prices of the SPX options by spoofing at settlement—entering quotes for trades that are never executed—to “paint the tape” and, therefore, influence the value of expiring VIX derivatives.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Harvard’s Laurence Tribe Has Become a Deranged Russia Conspiracist: Today Was His Most Humiliating Debacle

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by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept:

HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR Laurence Tribe did not wait even 24 hours to exploit yesterday’s tragic crash of a Russian regional jet shortly after it took off from Moscow, killing all 71 people aboard. On Twitter this morning, Tribe (pictured above in 2010 with former Vice President Joe Biden) strongly insinuated that the Russian government may have purposely sabotaged the plane, murdering all of those on board, in order to silence one of the passengers, Sergei Millian, who has been linked to a couple of figures involved in the Trump-Russia investigation.

What’s wrong with Tribe’s claims? Everything. To begin with, Millian was not on that plane. The official list of victims includes nobody with that name; as the Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern pointed out, the claim that Millian was on the plane was a simple hoax from the internet sewer, 4chan. Tribe apparently saw someone making this claim somewhere on the internet and then, without bothering to check if it was actually true, told his 289,000 followers that it was true, and then constructed a rabid, deranged conspiracy theory around it.

After dozens, if not hundreds, of people told him that what he said was false, Tribe — after more than 2,000 people retweeted it — posted a mealy-mouthed follow-up noting that he can’t “vouch” for the accuracy of the “plenty of reporting” he saw claiming this was true: “reporting” that he still has not identified.

Even if Millian had been on the plane, casually suggesting that Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, or some combination of other villains purposely murdered everyone on the plane in order to silence one witness is deranged to the point of being a clinical pathology. That sort of baseless conspiracy-mongering ought to disqualify anyone from serious company for a long time.

But it almost certainly will have no effect on Tribe’s standing. As BuzzFeed’s Joseph Bernstein documented almost a year ago, Tribe has become one of the internet’s most unhinged cranks, churning out wild conspiracy theories and, in the process, becoming a social media star and MSNBC favorite. Among his lowlights was his promoting of a story from the well-known liberal “fake news” site Palmer Report claiming that Trump paid $10 million to former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

All Eyes Turn to Jerome Powell

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by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

It’s been a wild run lately. Watching U.S. stocks plunge at one point over 10% in the past 10 days has certainly been a sobering experience for investors.

After a nearly nine-year bull market, stocks have just experienced their fourth 10% correction. But as I’ve been reminding people, it wasn’t the end of the world. U.S. stocks suffered 10% corrections in August 2015 and January 2016 and bounced back quickly both times.

Yet this correction is the most mysterious of all, since there is no easily identifiable cause such as the Chinese devaluation that triggered the stock market corrections in August 2015 and January 2016.

At the same time, interest rates are surging and bond prices are plummeting, yet there are no signs of inflation. Finally, gold has mostly been moving in a narrow range, which is actually quite bullish considering the head winds arising from Fed rate hikes and higher interest rates generally.

So what’s going on? How can we connect all of these dots?

On Feb. 8, I had an interview with Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network. I make the point that the catalyst for the stock market correction is much higher interest rates.

But higher interest rates are not due to inflation. In fact, there is no inflation anywhere in sight. The jobs report on Friday, Feb. 2, was much weaker than was widely reported.

The reason for higher interest rates is the sudden fear of huge deficits arising from the Trump tax cuts, the congressional budget-busting deal and surging defaults on government-guaranteed student loans.

The deficit implications of this triple-whammy are so horrendous that gold is showing strength despite higher rates, on fears that huge deficits and credit downgrades will erode confidence in the U.S. dollar itself.

So there you have it.

Higher deficits = higher interest rates = lost confidence in the dollar = plunging stock prices = higher gold prices. It’s all connected.

As I mentioned, in August 2015 and July 2016, stocks quickly rebounded after suffering corrections. But I also caution that this time may be different.

Stocks may have further to fall and may not bounce back so quickly, especially if the “Fed put” does not materialize on March 21. That’s the date of the next FOMC meeting.

As of now, the Fed is expected to raise rates. But if disorderly markets continue, the Fed could give the market a boost by not raising rates. Janet Yellen did this in September 2015 when she delayed the “liftoff” in rate hikes to end a stock market correction. She did this again in March 2016 when she delayed a rate hike to help stop another stock market correction.

That’s what professional investors mean by the “Fed put.” The Fed is always there with a helping hand when markets head south.

But the new Fed chair, Jay Powell, is unlikely to offer the Fed put, at least not yet. He will want to raise rates in March to show that he is not a pushover for market forces. Given that and other interest rate-related head winds, U.S. investors should expect the stock sell-off to continue for some time.

Get used to volatility.

And that brings me to the biggest story to emerge from the recent stock market action: the return of volatility after a period of record calm.

We all recall Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, written in the early 19th century. It tells the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who creates a grotesque monster in an experiment and then brings it to life. The creature seems civilized at first, even reading books, but then falls into fits of rage and goes on a murderous rampage, partly as revenge on his creator.

Now a similar story is unfolding in capital markets.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index, is traded in derivative form as VIX. For many years, VIX served as a useful guide to market views on volatility and as an early warning of choppy markets.

VIX is the basis for a host of derivative products, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs), some of which use extreme leverage and offer returns promised to be the inverse of the VIX itself.

This structure means that if VIX rises 100%, the inverse VIX product falls 100% and is totally wiped out. These products are now traded all over Wall Street and are embedded in many portfolios.

This perse, leveraged and opaque group of contracts now produces unforeseen destruction when volatility spikes as it did last week.

Selling volatility is a trading strategy that can make consistent profits for very long periods of time only to see those profits wiped out seemingly in the blink of an eye.

Most markets are orderly most of the time. If that were not true, markets would not be able to fulfill their price discovery and liquidity functions. But periodically, markets become disorderly. When that happens, market moves are extreme and sudden.

And lately VIX has turned into a monster.

In circumstances like we’re seeing now, traders who are short volatility are like insurance companies that sold hurricane insurance the day before a hurricane. They suffer huge losses very suddenly before they’ve collected much in the way of premiums.

We’re now beginning to discover those firms that were hurt most badly in the recent market meltdown. A $500 million hedge fund that lost 82% of its value in the past week and closed its doors to new investors. Presumably, the fund will unwind what’s left of its book and distribute pennies on the dollar to existing investors before shutting down the fund for good.

Read More @ Dailyreckoning.com

Russia Claims It Has Evidence White Helmets, Nusra Planning Fake Chem Attack

by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:

As tensions heat up in Syria between a growing number of heavily involved participants, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria has stated it has been warned by sources that Jobhat al-Nusra is planning to coordinate a staged chemical weapons attack with the White Helmets for the purpose of blaming the attack on the Syrian government.

The center stated that, on Monday, it received a phone call from a resident in Serakab in Idlib province describing the incident allegedly being planned.

According to the source as reported by the RCFRIS, terrorists from Jobhat al-Nusra brought three cars packed with over 20 cylinders of chlorine as well as “personal protective equipment” to Serakab on the afternoon of February 12.

The source also revealed that the local branch of the White Helmets, “wearing individual means of protection” rehearsed “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposed to have been suffering from poisoning.

While the reports have apparently only come from one source, it appears to have been credible enough for the RCFRIS to announce the possibility that a staged chemical attack was in the works.

Chemical attacks in Syria have long been suspected of having been staged by terrorists in concert with the White Helmets for some time. Notably, abundant evidence suggests that the alleged chemical attacks at Khan Sheikhoun was one of those instances.

But while many are aware that chemical weapons attacks have been staged, the issue nevertheless remains dangerous because, as in the case of Khan Sheikhoun, the United States has repeatedly used the alleged attacks as an excuse to launch military operations against the Syrian government.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

This Won’t Sit Well: Virtually Nobody Is Reporting Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Profits To The IRS

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by SilverDoctors:

So few are reporting that “the NSA or IRS could conceivably implement blockchain analysis tools to track down Bitcoin fund transfers around the globe.”

Editor’s Note: Last year we coined the term, pun intended, “War on Cryptocurrency“. Check out our tag for more information on this war being waged all across the globe in a dynamic battlefield. This article no doubt is ammunition for the anti-crypto front.

*****

from Zero Hedge

Despite the IRS’s victory late last year in a lawsuit against Coinbase – the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the US – that forced the organization to hand over transaction data pertaining to more than 14,000 users, surprisingly few Americans are reporting income from cryptocurrency trading as income this tax season.

That’s even more surprising considering the astronomical gains realized, not just by bitcoin, but by dozens of coins.

Fewer than 100 people out of the 250,000 who have already filed federal taxes this year through Credit Karma reported a cryptocurrency transactionReuters reported Tuesday.

This, despite nearly 57% of the 2000 Americans surveyed by the credit score startup and research firm Qualtrics last month saying they had realized some gains from cryptocurrencies last year, according to a Credit Karma study. About the same percentage of respondents said they had never reported a crypto transaction to the IRS. Meanwhile, about half said they understood how cryptocurrency gains might impact their taxes.

As Reuters explains, the IRS considers cryptocurrencies to be property for federal tax purposes, meaning any profits or losses from the sale or exchange of the virtual coins must be reported as capital gains or losses. Still, it remains unclear exactly how many Americans hold cryptocurrencies, which were initially designed to protect the identities of their holders and can be difficult for federal authorities to trace. Coinbase famously surpassed retail brokerage Charles Schwab in terms of the number of accounts last year, but its unclear how many of those accounts are actively trading.

However, there could be a more innocuous explanation than widespread tax dodging. Jagjit Chawla, general manager for Credit Karma Tax, said the company was not too surprised that few people had reported cryptocurrency gains as Americans with more complex tax situations tend to file closer to the deadline.

“However, given the popularity of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2017, we’d expect more people to be reporting,” Chawla said in a statement.

That, or even simpler: most of those reporting cryptoprofits for public survey purposes are lying.

Around one million people filed their taxes with Credit Karma last year, the company said. The IRS expects 156 million individuals to file taxes this year.

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

Swedish Whistleblower Cop Put on Notice for Claiming Gang Rape ‘Cultural Phenomenon’ Linked to Mass Migration

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by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart:

Swedish police officer Peter Springare has been reported to police and will likely be investigated after he said the country’s gang rape problem is linked to migration and was a “cultural phenomenon”.

Springare, who gained global attention after blowing the whistle on the extent of migrant crime in Sweden last year commented on the issue of gang rapes earlier this month claiming such attacks were “new” and were a consequence of the last 10 to 15 years of immigration policy, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports.

“There are also ethnic Swedes engaged in group violence, but not in the same numbers as foreign-born offenders,” Springare said. The comments, which were recorded by broadcaster TV4, have since been reported to Bergslagen police who have announced that an internal investigation will likely take place.

The communications manager for the police in Bergslagen confirmed that the report would be passed on to internal investigators and said that Springare’s comments could potentially harm public trust in the police.

Others were far more critical of the remarks with Secretary General of Sweden’s Law Society Anne Ramberg commenting: “It is remarkable. All civil servants and most policymakers must have better judgement and adhere to our form of government and the value base it expresses. These statements are almost racist.”

Last year, Springare blew the whistle on migrant crime claiming that almost all serious crimes were committed by migrants. Many at the time labelled Springare a racist for his remarks, to which he replied: “If you can’t discuss the problem of crime among immigrants without it being called racist propaganda, things are very bad.”

Read More @ Breitbart.com

Israeli Police Recommend Netanyahu Indictment on Corruption Charges for Fraud, Bribery

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from 21st Century Wire:

We’d to say this is great news, but one can sense that Netanyahu could wiggle out of this situation, perhaps by escalating hostilities with Syria and Lebanon…

Following sustained protests which have carried over since late 2017, Israeli police are now recommending an indictment for Israel’s ‘Crime Minister’ Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

This comes after the Israeli high court notified police of their indictment recommendations following two long-running corruption investigations into the office of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the PM’s office downplayed the police report saying, “we don’t attach any importance to the recommendations, the value of which everyone now understands.”

While the charges sound impressive, there is a high likelihood that Netanyahu will be able to skirt the allegations, which are not earth shattering, and lightweight compared to what other countries consider a ‘corruption scandal’. RT International states:

“The Israeli leader is mired in two separate corruption investigations. The first, known as Case 1000, revolves around him allegedly accepting luxury gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars from an Israeli-American billionaire. The second, which is referred to as Case 2000, is focused on his rumored deal with the influential Yedioth newspaper for better coverage in return for a crackdown on its rival outlet. Netanyahu, who denies all the allegations, is likely to face charges in the first probe, Israeli media reported last week.”

Read More @ 21stCenturyWire.com