Trey Gowdy drops out of running for FBI Director
The South Carolina Republican announced Monday that he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions what qualities he thought the FBI director should have and informed him of “my firm conviction that I would not be the right person.”
“Our country and the women and men of the FBI deserve a Director with not only impeccable credentials but also one who can unite the country as we strive for justice and truth. I am confident that person will emerge,” Gowdy said in a statement.
Gowdy was one of a handful of candidates that the White House and Justice Department were considering to replace FBI Director James Comey who was fired last week.
Trey Gowdy's twitter statement : twitter.com/TGowdySC/status/864227227...
White House refutes 'false' report Trump shared classified info with Russians
Multiple White House officials, including National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, are refuting a Washington Post story claiming that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office last week. But some believe McMaster's statement contained holes.
On Monday evening, National Security Advisor McMaster called a report published earlier in the day by the Washington Post “false.”
The report that went viral cited unverifiable sources, unnamed current and former US officials, who claimed that Trump disclosed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak “code-word information” relating to Islamic State during a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. The intelligence was reportedly from "a US partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement" and not authorized to be shared with Russia, US allies or even within much of the US government.
“I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” McMaster told reporters outside the White House.
Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell also called the story “false” Monday.
“The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced," Powell said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was also at the meeting, denied the allegation.
McMaster told reporters that Trump did discuss civil aviation threats with Lavrov and Kislyak.
Former CIA agent Jack Rice believes that McMaster's prepared statement denying "sources and methods" being disclosed, as well as anything "not already public" actually ignored "what it is that Trump apparently did,"
The Russian Embassy in DC had no comment on the media claim, according to a representative.
WAPO article: www.washingtonpost.com/world/national...=.eb47a525e3cd
Skyrocketing bitcoin raises fears of asset bubble
The surge in the price of bitcoin has some worried that the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is an asset bubble in an unregulated market.
Bitcoin was trading close to $1,900 against the US dollar on the Bitfinex exchange on Friday, pushing the market value of digital currencies to break through the $50 billion mark.
An increasing number of alternative cryptocurrencies, amounting up to 830 “alt-coins,” is boosting the speculative shift with the price of some plummeting 500 percent over the past week.
The speculation among alt-coins has benefited anonymous payment systems employed by cyber criminals performing wide-scale attacks.
At the same time, growth in initial coin offerings (ICOs), which help blockchain startups to sell their tokens directly to the public to get capital without any regulatory oversight, is fueling the market, drawing attention from lawyers and economists.
Some experts are worried ICOs breach existing securities law.
“An ICO issues crypto tokens rather than stocks and bonds, but that’s irrelevant to the substance of the activity, which is raising capital from the general public. Capital raising activities need to be regulated to protect investors. The question is how sophisticated are these investors?” said PricewaterhouseCoopers director Ajit Tripathi, as quoted by the FT.
Last week, a German central bank board member warned the public not to buy bitcoin, as the bank doesn’t recognize it as a currency, and there are serious risks of facilitating speculation.
Last month, Japan moved to tighten regulations on bitcoin trading and dealing. The measure enforces bitcoin exchanges to register. This adds costs to their businesses due to the necessity to follow know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering regulations.
Bitcoin was trading at $1,743 against the US dollar at 2:46 pm GMT on Monday, retreating from record highs, according to XE Currency Charts.
Trump to voluntarily file personal financial disclosure for 2016
President Trump plans to file a disclosure shortly that will detail his assets and liabilities over the past year, a voluntary move that follows the practice of his most recent predecessors.
A White House official said Monday night that Trump will submit a personal financial disclosure covering the 2016 calendar year "in a short period of time," confirming a report by the Associated Press.
The president is not required to file such a report with the Office of Government Ethics until next spring, but past presidents including Barack Obama and George W. Bush voluntarily submitted financial disclosures in the year they took office.
The filing will provide a look at the assets, debts and transactions of Trump's real estate empire during the presidential election year. However, because the form only requires officials to report wide ranges of income and debt, it is impossible to use it to precisely gauge someone's net worth. The report also does not require officials to report their exact income or tax rate or charitable giving -- unlike a tax return, which the president has refused to release.
Trump's last financial disclosure -- which was filed in May 2016 and covered the previous 10 1/2 months -- showed that his company's revenues boomed as he launched his presidential bid. At the time, he touted the size of the report, saying that the 104-page disclosure was "the largest" in history.
The Legend of Zelda Is Reportedly Coming to Smartphones
We could see Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda on smartphones and tablets as early as next year, the Wall Street Journal reports, referring to the Kyoto company's pledge to release a few mobile games based on its bestselling franchises per annual fiscal cycles.
The report, if correct — it's sourced vaguely to "people familiar with the matter" — would be no great surprise. The Legend of Zelda is a cornerstone Nintendo property, far more recognizable to general audiences than something like Fire Emblem, a turn-based strategy roleplaying series that Nintendo brought to smartphones in early February. Or Animal Crossing, its next smartphone game, delayed but currently due by the end of March 2018.
That's to say nothing of the whirlwind success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a novel take on the fantasy adventure series that at last check has sold nearly 4 million copies between the Wii U and Switch. A Zelda smartphone game was all but predestined. The question was simply, "When?"
Sometime in 2018, claims the Journal's sources, to be preceded by the Animal Crossing mobile game sometime in the second half of 2017, though the sources add a get out of jail "timing and order of the releases could be changed" clause.
Nintendo's first smartphone app, a social engagement curio dubbed Miitomo, arrived in March 2016. The company followed with Super Mario Run in December 2016, then Fire Emblem Heroes in February 2017. While Miitomo's usage numbers have been modest, Super Mario Run has racked up in the vicinity of 150 million downloads, though its "pay once" monetization model led Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima to express disappointment in conversion rate revenues (from free to paying players).How would Nintendo monetize a Zelda smartphone game? One assumes at the very least unlike Miitomo, Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Echoes. Nintendo made it clear, speaking to TIME earlier this year, that these games are partly experimental. Nintendo's view of success isn't merely financial. The company's late president Satoru Iwata was understandably concerned about the "insincerity" of free-to-play games. We seem thus to be in the throes of a kind of mass laboratory attempt to shape consumer behavior, to see if world-recognized intellectual property can be leveraged in a way that mitigates exploitive slot machine-style business practices while still moving the needle on consumer buy-in.