Marathon to Buy Fastblock Mining for About $22M in Stock

Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency mining company Marathon Patent Group signed a letter of intent to acquire the mining-as-a-service company Fastblock Mining, founded in 2014, in an all-stock transaction.


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Jack Ma’s Ant Group files $30B IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai

Ant Group, the financial affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, has filed an Initial Public Offering, or IPO, in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Managed by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, Ant Group is targeting a valuation of about $226 billion, based on a target IPO raise of nearly $30 billion, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Aug. 25.

As reported, the new IPO could become the largest deal in history, potentially overtaking the record set by Saudi Arabian multinational oil and gas giant, Saudi Aramco — which raised around $29.4B earlier this year. According to Bloomberg data, the target valuation would match the market capitalization of the United States’ banking giant Bank of America and would be more than twice the size of Citigroup.

According to Bloomberg, Ant Group’s Hong Kong offering would be led by major institutions like JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and China International Capital Corp. In Shanghai, the IPO will be led by major local investment banking firms like China International Capital Corporation and CSC Financial, the report notes. Ant Group reportedly said that it expects to raise 48 billion yuan, or about $7 billion, in Shanghai.

Ant Group is reportedly planning to use the IPO proceeds to expand cross-border payments as well as bolster its research and development capabilities.

A financial subsidiary of Alibaba, Ant Group has been closely tracking developments in the blockchain industry as well as building its own blockchain solutions since 2015. In July 2020, Ant Group launched a new blockchain solution that combined artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and a number of other nascent technologies. Earlier this year, Ant launched an enterprise-focused platform known as the “Ant Blockchain Open Alliance.”

According to the preliminary IPO filing seen by Bloomberg, Alipay’s total total transaction volume as of June 2020 had reached 118 trillion yuan, or about $17 trillion, over the previous 12 months. Ant’s Alipay had more than 1 billion users and 711 million monthly active users, the report said.

In the Second Volume of ‘Hitler,’ How a Dictator Invited His Own Downfall – The New York Times

The impulsiveness and grandiosity, the bullying and vulgarity, were obvious from the beginning; if anything, they accounted for Adolf Hitler’s anti-establishment appeal. For Germany’s unpopular conservative elites, Hitler’s energy and theatrics made him an enticing partner when they appointed him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933.

But anyone who thought the Nazis would be content with their share — that Hitler would rise to the occasion or be hemmed in by it, becoming a dignified statesman who sought compromise — was summarily purged from the system that conservatives assumed they controlled. An utter impossibility had become the indomitable reality. The Weimar Republic had become the Third Reich. It would take another world war, a genocide and millions of dead before the dictatorship finally collapsed in 1945, a full 12 years after Hitler was invited into power.

In the second and final volume of his biography of Hitler, Volker Ullrich argues that the very qualities that accounted for the dictator’s astonishing rise were also what brought about his ultimate ruin. “Hitler: Downfall, 1939-1945” arrives in English four years after the publication of “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.” It’s a biographical project that consumed eight years of Ullrich’s life and “took a definite psychological toll,” he writes in his introduction to the second volume. Like the British historian Ian Kershaw, who divided his own two-volume biography of Hitler into “Hubris” and “Nemesis,” Ullrich suggests that the Hitlerian regime was capable of only two registers: euphoria and despair. Hitler was shrewd about seizing power, but he was too restless and reckless to govern. A Third Reich that cultivated peaceful stability was simply unfathomable.

“Downfall” begins just after Hitler’s 50th birthday, with the Führer entertaining thoughts of invading Poland as if it were a present to himself. “I have overcome the chaos in Germany, restored order and hugely increased productivity in all areas of our national economy,” he bragged to the Reichstag, even if the actual situation was considerably less stellar than he proclaimed. Years of enormous military expenditures had pushed Germany to the brink of economic collapse. Hitler had made a mess, and a war would clean it up. The idea, Ullrich writes, was to “transfer the costs of this financial crisis to the peoples that Germany was going to subjugate.”

At first, Hitler’s standard approach — lying, blaming others and launching surprise attacks — made for a successful wartime strategy. Nobody seemed willing to believe that he would be so greedy and foolish as to start an expansionist conflagration until he did. His propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels instructed journalists to avoid the word “war” and make the invasion sound as if Germany were repulsing a Polish attack, while Hitler was telling his minions that “the Poles need to get socked in the face.”

Hitler was who he was — the question became what the people around him were willing to do about it. The military commanders who voiced no objections to the Polish invasion balked when Hitler decided to go to war with the West, reassuring one another that they were determined to “put the brakes” on any disaster that was unfolding. But they were all intention and no action. “The final hope is that perhaps reason might prevail in the end,” one general confided to his wife.


Credit…Roswitha Hecke

Ullrich goes into detail when recounting the military history, depicting war as the inevitable expression of Germany’s fascist regime. In Jefferson Chase’s translation, the narrative moves swiftly, and it will absorb even those who are familiar with the vast library of Hitler books. To read “Downfall” is to see up close how Hitler lashed out — compulsively, destructively — whenever he felt boxed in. He had the instinct of a crude social-Darwinist who also liked to gamble, experiencing the world only in terms of winning and losing. As he told one of his skittish field marshals, “I have gone for broke all my life.”

And he felt boxed in all the time — in peace but especially in war, sending his troops to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, less than two years after signing a nonaggression pact with Stalin. The reason Hitler gave was couched in euphemisms like “living space,” but Ullrich prefers to define Operation Barbarossa in terms of what it actually started: “A racist war of conquest and annihilation unparalleled in human history.”

Hitler sometimes suggested he would be sated by exclusion and exploitation. “We will construct a gigantic wall separating Asia from Europe,” he promised. He declared that Slavs in occupied territories would be used for slave labor, and that their children would be educated only to the point where they could distinguish between German traffic signs. But his ambitions, as always, became ever more extreme and murderous, even if local authorities in the Third Reich had already been competing among themselves to make themselves “free of Jews.”

Hitler was a scattershot, undisciplined leader, prone to tardiness and meandering monologues, but the one unwavering constant was his virulent, fanatical anti-Semitism. He was continually railing against “Jewish Bolshevism” or “Jewish plutocracy,” depending on whether he wanted to emphasize the enemy to the East or the enemy to the West. As the war dragged on, he started painting himself as the savior of Europe, fulminating nonsensically but lethally against “the Jewish-capitalist-Bolshevik plot.”

As Ullrich points out, Hitler never issued a written order to exterminate the Jews, because he didn’t need to: He preferred to traffic in generalities instead of specifics, verbally making his wishes known so that his careerist minions could figure out the rest. “Part of his style of rule was to blur areas of responsibility and encourage rivalries to remind everyone concerned of his position as the sole ultimate arbiter,” Ullrich writes. Kershaw called this “working towards the Führer.” It was a method that allowed Hitler to feed his vanity while also preserving the option to deflect any blame onto others.

By 1941, Ullrich writes, Germany’s defeat was already assured, but Hitler would have none of it, getting rid of any military experts who challenged him. He doubled down on his own pitilessness, even toward his own people, saying that if they didn’t fight “they deserve to die out.” Following Hitler’s lead, Goebbels treated the Germans like chumps to be duped. “There are so many lies that truth and swindle can scarcely be distinguished,” he noted with satisfaction in his diary during the early stages of Barbarossa. “That is best for us at the moment.”

The truth did emerge in the end, but only after years of mass death and cataclysmic destruction. Hitler had peddled so many lies that the fantasy he created was stretched impossibly thin. For all his pretensions to invincibility, he ended up a broken, sickly man, who confronted the reality bearing down on him by killing himself in his bunker. He had ordered his people to burn his body, so that only a few charred bits of bone and pieces of dental work remained. As Ullrich puts it, “There was hardly anything else left of the man who at the height of his career had fancied himself the ruler of the world.”

Democracia o dictadura – La Prensa (Nicaragua)

Cuando veo indignado como un hermano nicaragüense, Jorge Luis Rugama Rizo (45 años), es acribillado a balazos y muere ensangrentado en los brazos de su desesperada madre, por el solo hecho de gritar: ¡Viva Nicaragua libre!
Cuando veo a la doctora Elia María Montenegro, con lágrimas en sus ojos, hacer una narración patética de como su familia está siendo exterminada, por el solo hecho de tener ideas contrarias a las que tienen los que usurpan el gobierno nacional.

Cuando veo que se ha perdido todo respeto hasta por lo más sagrado, como lo es la diabólica profanación de la Sangre de Cristo en nuestra santa Catedral de Managua.

Cuando veo todas estas cosas hijas de la sinrazón y del más puro salvajismo, a muchos no solo se nos estruja el corazón sino que nos vemos obligados a preguntar: ¿Cómo es posible que el pueblo nicaragüense, cuya historia está llena de ejemplos de coraje, dignidad, amor a nuestra patria y a nuestras creencias religiosas, esté tolerando pasivamente todas estas cosas y no hagamos todo lo necesario para erradicarlas?

A pesar del encomiable trabajo de los dirigentes actuales de la Coalición, veo con preocupación que esta no avanza, que en vez de crecer parece estar a punto de fraccionarse y que se ha perdido toda la iniciativa en la lucha por alcanzar su principal objetivo, tal es la derrota de la dictadura Ortega-Murillo y el restablecimiento a la mayor brevedad posible de la democracia en Nicaragua.

Se me ocurre que el problema está en el modelo que ha adoptado para organizarse, por lo que animado con el más elevado patriotismo, con espíritu constructivo y sin ánimo de figuración, me permito hacer dos sugerencias, que de llevarse a la práctica pueden contribuir a resolver varios de los problemas que entorpecen la marcha hacia la victoria de la Coalición Nacional.

Mis dos sugerencias son las siguientes:

Primero: En vista de que los partidos colaboracionistas o zancudos prefieren seguir medrando bajo la sombra del orteguismo y se niegan a prestar su pequeño concurso para la democratización del país, la Coalición debería de convertirse en un partido político inspirado en las gestas de abril del 2018, para seguir siendo la alternativa para el cambio democrático que estamos demandando la gran mayoría de los nicaragüenses.

Si se decide ir a elecciones y niegan la personería jurídica, continuar la lucha por otros medios con el apoyo de la comunidad internacional hasta alcanzar la democracia para nuestra nación.

Además, el régimen orteguista se pondría en evidencia, nacional e internacionalmente, de que las elecciones que ha anunciado para el 2021 no son más que una nueva farsa electoral.

Segundo: En el otro caso, el modus operandi de la Coalición para que sea funcional es que las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y grupos emergentes pasen a formar parte de una Asamblea General, con uno o dos representantes por entidad, cuyas resoluciones tomadas por mayoría simple sean de obligatorio cumplimiento por el Directorio Ejecutivo formado por no más de 6 personas (1 por cada organización que forman parte actualmente de la Coalición) el cual deberá ser ratificado por la Asamblea General por un periodo determinado y sin reelección.

La verdad es que los nicaragüenses nos encontramos en una encrucijada, frente a dos caminos, el uno que nos conduce a mantener una dictadura y el otro que nos señala el camino hacia la justicia, el progreso y la libertad. El uno representado por el FSLN encabezado por la familia Ortega-Murillo y el otro que trata de aglutinarse bajo la bandera azul y blanco de la patria formando una Coalición Nacional.

Es evidente que con la dictadura nuestro pueblo no tiene futuro, por lo que debemos concretar lo más pronto posible dicha Coalición, sea como partido político o en una alianza, como el camino ideal para salvar a Nicaragua de su total destrucción.

El autor es periodista y secretario general de la Asociación de Nicaragüenses en el Extranjero (ANE).

I CAN MAKE IT – Powerful Motivational Speech Video

I CAN MAKE IT - Powerful Motivational Speech Video

Rich People Don’t Sleep 8 Hours a Day! That’s a 3rd of your life. If you want to be successful, you can’t live in L.A. and wake up at 8 o’clock in the morning. But if you want it badly enough, you can have it. You Can Make It.

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