Paris, Marseille named as high-risk COVID zones, making curbs likelier By Reuters

© Reuters. France requires masks inside public places

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government on Friday declared Paris and Marseille and its surrounding area high-risk zones for the coronavirus, granting authorities there powers to impose localised curbs to contain the spread of the disease.

The declaration, made in a government decree, follows a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections in France over the past two weeks.

On Thursday, France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row, levels last seen in mid-April when the country was in the middle of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.

The government move gives local authorities in Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhone area powers to limit the circulation of people and vehicles, restrict access to public transport and air travel, limit access to public buildings and close restaurants, bars and other establishments.

Paris and Marseille had in recent days already made

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The market has given investors a gift. Now it's up to you not to waste it

You’ve been given a gift. The stock and corporate bond markets have had an eye-watering recovery, and the housing market is showing strength too. You now have an opportunity to do a thorough portfolio review from a position of strength instead of during a market meltdown like we had in March.

I’m offering a series of questions that will hopefully inspire you to act, and to guide your thought process.

Is there any reason to change my strategic asset mix (SAM)?

SAM is the mix of assets (cash, bonds, stocks and real estate) that fits your objectives, financial situation and personality. It’s a long-term target around which your portfolio revolves.

The word strategic refers to the fact that it doesn’t change very often. It will need to be altered gradually due to aging (less risk, more income), or if your personal circumstances change significantly (i.e. job loss, inheritance), but otherwise, … Read More

Federal agents tricked Hamas into sending Bitcoin to Uncle Sam

Criminals have long seen cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a stealthy way to transfer money. But in an unusual sting operation, federal agents not only infiltrated a terrorist group’s Bitcoin operation, but tricked its supporters into sending the digital currency to the U.S. government.

On Thursday the Justice Department revealed details of the sting, which was part of a sprawling investigation into the financial operations of three global terrorist organizations: Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

The investigation involved the seizure of hundreds of cryptocurrency accounts containing more than $1 million, as well as four Facebook pages that the Islamic State was using to sell phony personal protective equipment.

According to the Justice Department, all three terrorist organizations have been encouraging supporters to send them cryptocurrency. This encouragement included propaganda like the Hamas poster shown below. (The poster was included in the Department’s release; we’ve added circles to show the Bitcoin solicitation.)… Read More