NFL player ‘paid in Bitcoin’ as price nears $30,000

Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung boasted on Tuesday that he is now receiving half of his $13 million NFL salary in Bitcoin. The arrangement involves Okung using a startup that converts payroll direct deposits into cryptocurrency and comes as Bitcoin shatters new price records.

Okung used Twitter to declare he was being “paid in Bitcoin,” framing the development as a fulfillment of a 2019 wish.

The price of Bitcoin currently floats around $28,000—a once unthinkable mark for the digital currency, which surpassed the $20,000 milestone for the first time only two weeks ago. Bitcoin is famously volatile and has experienced numerous dramatic crashes, including in 2018 when it dropped to around $3,000 after hitting $19,000 months before.

But Okung is hardly the first professional athlete to embrace digital currency. During the 2017 bull run, for instance, boxer Floyd … Read More

Fireworks explode over empty streets as 2020 slinks away into history By Reuters

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© Reuters. New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney

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(Reuters) – Blue and gold fireworks soared into the sky above the Sydney Opera (NASDAQ:) House as they do every year, but the harbour below was a ghost town, a fittingly creepy send-off for a year that will not be missed.

No light show will illuminate Beijing from the top of the TV tower. The lions of London’s Trafalgar Square will be barricaded off, as will Red Square in Moscow. In Rome, crowds will not assemble in St Peter’s Square, the Pope will lead no Mass, and revelers will not make their yearly dive into the Tiber.

The New Year’s Eve ball will drop on Broadway. But in place of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers packed shoulder-to-shoulder into Times Square, the audience will be a small pre-selected group of nurses, doctors and other key workers, their families kept six

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Boeing 737 Max flies again, carrying paying passengers from New York to Miami

American Airlines flew a Boeing 737 Max with paying passengers from Miami to New York on Tuesday, the plane’s first commercial flight in U.S. skies since it was grounded after two deadly crashes.

American flight 718 carried 87 passengers on the 172-seat plane, and the return flight from LaGuardia Airport to Miami International Airport held 151 passengers, according to an airline spokeswoman.

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes that Boeing made to an automated flight-control system implicated in crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people in all. In both crashes, the system pushed the nose down repeatedly based on faulty sensor readings, and pilots were unable to regain control.

The FAA cleared the way for U.S. airlines to resume using the plane if certain changes are made and pilots are provided with additional training including time in a flight simulator.

Brazil’s Gol airlines operated the first … Read More

In Simone Biles’ path, a fearless young gymnast learns new 2020 routine By Reuters

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© Reuters. The Wider Image: In Simone Biles’ path, a fearless young gymnast learns new 2020 routine

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By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) – Ty-La Morris has always been special.

    She was “a little older than one” when she crawled to the edge of her bed and did the splits, according to her mother, Likisha McCormick (NYSE:), and was three years old when she mastered the cartwheel, able to flip around the length of a football field.

    “I used to tell my coworkers every day and they all kept saying, put her in gymnastics. I’m like, I can’t afford gymnastics. Gymnastics is very expensive,” said McCormick, who lives with Ty-La in New Windsor, more than an hour north of New York City.

Raw talent met opportunity two years ago when Ty-La, who is now 13, began classes at the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, which offers free and discounted classes for

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Under Biden, expect more scrutiny of Big Tech and mergers

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The Biden administration is expected to take a tougher stance against acquisitions than President Trump’s while continuing a recent flurry of antitrust cases against Big Tech.

“Antitrust law and policy are poised for a course correction,” says Andrew Gavil, an antitrust expert at Howard University School of Law. “The degree of that correction remains to be seen and will be influenced by both politics and the composition of the courts.”

Trump’s antitrust regulators, led by Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, loudly tried stopping AT&T from acquiring Time Warner in 2017—only to suffer a stinging defeat in court. Overall, however, Trump’s Justice Department made 19% fewer requests for data about mergers—which delay closings to allow regulators to take a closer look—and filed 18% fewer cases to block mergers than … Read More

Wall St set to open at fresh highs on fiscal aid relief, vaccine optimism By Reuters

© Reuters. A man wearing a protective face mask walks by 14 Wall Street, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in the financial district of New York

By Devik Jain and Supriya R

(Reuters) -Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open at fresh record highs on Tuesday as bets that fiscal aid will speed up a vaccine-led recovery in the economy boosted sentiment in the final days of the year.

After U.S. President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited $2.3 trillion fiscal bill, restoring jobless benefits and averting a federal government shutdown, the three main indexes closed at all-time highs on Monday, led by pandemic-battered stocks.

A proposal to increase the COVID-19 payment checks to $2,000 from $600 is before the Republican-controlled Senate, where it faces a much tougher path for approval. The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives had approved the proposal on Monday.

Meanwhile, more

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