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Panama court evicts Trump management from hotel in bitter spat



The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel (tallest) is seen in Panama City on February 28, 2018.

Rodrigo Arangua | AFP | Getty Images

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel (tallest) is seen in Panama City on February 28, 2018.

A Panamanian court on Monday evicted the Trump management team from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, in an apparent victory for the hotel’s majority owner, who has fought to regain control of the property.

A few hours after a worker removed the Trump name from the property, the Trump Organization said in a statement that a Panamanian court had ordered the appointment of a temporary third-party administrator to manage the hotel, adding that it believes no final legal determination has been made.

The Trump Organization also said it was “fully confident” it would ultimately prevail in the legal battle.

The bitter dispute surrounding the Trump-branded hotel has shone a fresh light on the business dealings of the U.S. president across the world. Various Trump-branded properties have dropped the name since the president took office last year.

Earlier on Monday, Orestes Fintiklis, the owner of the hotel in Panama who has been fighting a legal battle to oust the Trump Organization’s hotel management team, said a court had ended the fight.

“Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country,” he said, without giving further information. “Today, Panama has made us proud.”

Panamanian legal authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

The Trump Organization said that the spat will ultimately be settled by an arbitration panel under the International Chamber of Commerce.

When it was completed in 2011, the 70-floor, sail-shaped building was Trump’s first international hotel venture — a complex including apartments and a casino in a waterfront building that has earned Trump between $30 million and $50 million.

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Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey speak about cryptocurrency at B-Word conference



A still from The B Word showing Elon Musk.

Source: The B Word

The price of ethereum rose Wednesday afternoon after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he owns the cryptocurrency at The B-Word conference, an event hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation.

Ethereum, which was already rallying on the day, touched its high of the session after Musk’s mention. It was last up more than 12% and near the highs of the day.

Musk also repeated his support for cryptocurrency in general, despite potential environmental risks, saying, “One thing you do need to watch out for with crypto, especially bitcoin, using proof of work, using energy that’s a bit too much and not necessarily good for the environment.”

As bitcoin mining is increasingly powered by renewable energy, Musk said, Tesla will likely move to accept bitcoin for transactions once again.

Musk also said that at this time, the only publicly traded stock he owns is Tesla’s, and that he personally owns some bitcoin, dogecoin and ethereum. “The only significant thing I own outside of Tesla is SpaceX,” he noted, having helped create both companies.

He also said he has been holding his bitcoin long-term.

“If the price of bitcoin goes down I lose money. I might pump but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling or anything like that. I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

Musk also confirmed that both Tesla and SpaceX own bitcoin, and no other cryptocurrency at this time.

The B-Word conference was established to “demystify,” “de-stigmatize” and “correct the mainstream narrative” around the cryptocurrency bitcoin and promote its institutional acceptance and use.

Musk is speaking on a panel alongside Jack Dorsey, CEO of payment company Square and Musk’s favorite social media platform Twitter, along with ARK Invest CEO and founder Cathie Wood, who are answering questions from moderator and Square Crypto lead Steve Lee.

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U.S. and allies to evacuate 4,000 Afghan nationals who helped coalition forces



U.S. Army 1st Lt. Benjamin Riley (right) and a Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul interpreter (center) meet a villager during a patrol to the Arghandab River, Afghanistan, on July 19, 2011.

Source: U.S. Army

WASHINGTON – The United States is working with allies on securing several overseas locations for approximately 4,000 Afghan nationals and their families as U.S. and coalition troops withdraw from the war-torn country.

The interagency effort, dubbed Operation Allies Refuge, comes as the State Department works through a backlog of more than 10,000 special immigrant visas for eligible Afghans who helped coalition forces. Those who have completed the majority of their visa process will be evacuated to a U.S. Army garrison in Virginia.

A senior State Department official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss specific details of the relocation plan, said that Afghan nationals and their families will remain at Fort Lee for approximately seven to 10 days.

The official added that because of a limited U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, those eligible for an evacuation flight must make the trek on their own to Kabul.

“We don’t have the ability to provide transportation for them. If they’re let’ say in the north of the country and they don’t feel safe staying in Afghanistan they could go to a neighboring country and finish the rest SIV [special immigrant visa] application process there,” the official said.

Last week, the White House announced it will begin evacuation flights this month for Afghan nationals and their families who assisted U.S. and NATO coalition forces during America’s longest war.

As the Taliban makes rapid advances on the battlefield, there are concerns that Afghans who helped U.S. and NATO forces will face retribution.

In April, Biden ordered the full withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, effectively ending America’s longest war. Last week, Biden gave an updated timeline and said that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end by Aug. 31.

“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “It’s up to the Afghans to make decisions about the future of their country.”

At the Pentagon on Wednesday, the nation’s highest military officer told reporters that the U.S. has completed more than 95% of the herculean task of withdrawing from Afghanistan.

“The sheer volume of movement involved in this operation has been extraordinary,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, adding that the U.S. conducted more than 980 airlifts of cargo in less than three months.

“Furthermore, all the military operating bases, outside of Kabul, have been fully transferred to the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the Afghan security forces.”

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Jack Dorsey hopes bitcoin will help bring about world peace



Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., speaks during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has high hopes for digital asset and aspiring currency bitcoin.

“My hope is that is creates world peace or helps create world peace,” Dorsey said during a “The B Word” webinar on Wednesday.

“We have all these monopolies of balance and the individual doesn’t have power and the amount of cost and distraction that comes from out monetary system today is real and it takes away attention from the bigger problems,” Dorsey added. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and ARK Invest founder, CEO and CIO Cathie Wood were also speakers on the panel.

“All these distractions that we have to deal with on a daily basis take away from those bigger goals that effect every single person on this planet and increasingly so. You fix that foundational level and everything above it improves in such a dramatic way. It’s going to be long-term but my hope is definitely peace,” the founder of Twitter added.

Dorsey is a long-time advocate of the digital currency, saying in 2018 the cryptocurrency will eventually become the world’s “single currency.” Last year, Square purchased about $50 million in bitcoin, representing about 1% of its balance sheet.

Last week, Dorsey announced that Square is creating a new business focused on “decentralized financial services” using bitcoin. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, applications aim to recreate traditional financial systems, such as banks and exchanges, with cryptocurrency. Most run on the ethereum blockchain.

 Dorsey said on Twitter late Thursday that the company is “focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services.”

After that announcement last week, Wood’s ARK Invest purchased another 225,937 shares of Square worth around $53.6 million, based on Square’s closing price from last Thursday.

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