The US has moved to punish Belarus for the forced landing of a Ryanair flight last weekend by announcing that it would reimpose sanctions on nine of the country’s state-owned companies and would join the EU in developing a list of additional targets.
In a statement late on Friday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Washington was taking the steps “together with our partners and allies, to hold the regime accountable for its actions and to demonstrate our commitment to the aspirations of the people of Belarus”.
On Sunday Belarusian authorities diverted a Ryanair jet travelling between Greece and Lithuania to Minsk so they could detain a dissident on board.
The brazen move triggered a wave of condemnation from the west against president Alexander Lukashenko’s government, which is closely allied with Russia and its president Vladimir Putin, and quick action by the EU to punish Belarus. The US was slower to respond but on Friday it began to take action.
Psaki said that as of June 3, the US would reimpose “full blocking sanctions” against nine state-owned companies from Belarus that had previously been granted sanctions relief from the US Treasury department.
In addition, the White House press secretary said the US was “developing a list of targeted sanctions against key members” of the regime in Belarus that were “associated with ongoing abuses of human rights and corruption, the falsification of the 2020 election and the events of May 23”.
Psaki added that the Treasury department would also prepare an executive order for President Joe Biden to sign that authorises US “authorities to impose sanctions on elements” of the regime in Belarus as well as “its support network, and those that support corruption, the abuse of human rights and attacks on democracy”.
The crackdown from Washington also includes a warning from the US Department of State for US citizens to avoid travelling to Belarus, and a notice for American passenger airlines to “exercise extreme caution when considering flying in Belarusian airspace” — though this appeared to fall short of an outright ban.
Early this week the EU agreed to expand sanctions against Belarus and ban its state airline from the bloc’s airports in response to the intercepted flight. Brussels also called for the immediate release of Roman Protasevich, a leading activist, and his partner, Sofia Sapega, who were detained after the Ryanair flight was forced to land in Minsk.
Washington’s move could complicate the lead-up to a summit between Biden and Putin to be held in Geneva in mid-June in an effort by the two countries to patch up relations that have rapidly deteriorated in recent months.
What about having iPhone? Everyone loves an apple iPhone but what about the iPhone battery? Don’t know here is the solution the replacement of the old iPhone battery with the new one. In today’s life, everyone believes in showing off either their earnings or maybe their luxurious life. Today’s young generation or teenagers attracts to the iPhone as they are expensive and can be a sign of a luxury lifestyle. Everyone wants to own iPhone but the problem is the iPhone battery. Having a thousand bucks of mobile and getting discharged battery is a problem than what to do with a mobile phone. Hey, don’t do anything with the mobile phone just change your iPhone battery to add life to your mobile phone.
The iPhone can be replaced easily either you can buy an iPhone battery online and ask your local mobile shop to interchange the batteries i.e. old one with the new one. The iPhone battery can be also replaced with the help of an apple service provider but it might take more time to replace. In some conditions, it only takes 2-3 hours but they can take more time depending on their workload.
The self-life of the iPhone battery can be increased with some changes like you can dim light, can charge your phone before it gets fully discharged, and many more. The battery has a life cycle of certain numbers say 500 in the case of iPhone battery, it means they can charge or discharge 500 times. You can increase the self-life of the iPhone battery by handling it smartly or you can also replace your dead iPhone battery by browsing online or you can get some from offline.
The endoscope is a way to add innovation to medical science and technology. The endoscope is an instrument which provides doctor and the health experts ease to operate and examine their patients without invading them internally. The endoscope has many accessories associated with them, these are called spare parts of the endoscope. The endoscope accessories are replaceable and can be made available in online stores or any local medical instrument shop.
The endoscope consists of several endoscopic accessories. These are listed below:
Bending Rubber- This endoscope accessory provides flexibility to the endoscope. The bending rubber can be damaged due to improper handling or if it comes in contact with any sharp objects. The leakage in bending rubber can cause invading of fluid, hence increase the chances of growing germs.
A thin long insertion tube- This endoscope accessory is a long tube-like structure that is inserted inside the gastro track at one end of which the camera is attached and is operated from outside.
A lens or lens system- This endoscope accessories is a rod lens that helps to provide a high contrast image of the gastrointestinal tract.
Bending section mesh- This endoscope accessory is a braid of stainless steel that is a layer in between the bending rubber and the bending section of the endoscope. This bending section mesh can be damaged due to excessive torque on it. So, proper handling of these endoscope accessories is advisable to prevent any kind of damage.
There are many endoscope accessories rather than mentioned above, for instance, view heads and button, endoscope O-rings, endoscope angulation, endoscope coil pipe assembly components, endoscope light guide bundles etc. These endoscope accessories are replaceable and can be available in the market. Then why are you waiting to just replace your damaged parts with the new accessory available to you?
It did not take long before Mimmo Parisi had to eat his words.
The president of Italy’s labour policies agency, who is being investigated by auditors for expensing €160,000 of first-class round trips from Rome to the US where he is legally resident, dismissed reports earlier this month that he was about to lose his government job as “domestic gossip”.
But the next day, Italy’s labour minister announced that the Mississippi State University demographer and statistics professor would lose his Italian state job.
Parisi is just the latest head to roll as Mario Draghi, the prime minister, seeks to revamp state-controlled companies and other institutions before €220bn of EU funds start pouring in and structural reforms are passed. Without such reforms, much of that money risks being wasted, analysts have warned.
“What is at stake . . . is the country’s future,” said Maurizia Iachino, a corporate governance consultant. Draghi’s job changes, which seek to introduce more professional appointments, come after consulting “with the people he trusts, who are mostly linked to his past experiences as a civil servant”, she added.
So far, during his first three months in office, Draghi, a former Treasury director-general and head of the Italian central bank, has replaced the national Covid commissioner, the civil protection agency chief, and the head of Italy’s secret service — putting into that job the first woman to lead the bureau.
“It’s simply a problem solving approach,” one senior official said.
The sweep out of state posts is part of the Draghi government’s general efforts to depoliticise the bureaucracy amid widespread hand-wringing about state inefficiency and poor management.
A swath of other changes are expected soon. Over the next few months, the terms of 74 boards of directors expire at 90 publicly-backed companies, according to the consultancy CoMar. Fifteen of them, with combined revenues of more than €70bn, are directly controlled by the finance ministry.
That any changes are happening at all is testament to Draghi’s credibility as the former head of the European Central Bank. This has given him some “autonomy” from the usual politicking that accompanies such appointments, said Nicola Pasini, a political-science professor at the Università Statale di Milano.
“He can focus on competence and professional qualities as opposed to political affiliation,” he said.
It is the kind of change that Italy chronically needs. Cleaning up state administration is part of what Giuliano Amato, who led Italy’s privatisation efforts as prime minister in the early 1990s, recently called the country’s need to end the political “pollution” of businesses.
“Publicly-backed companies end up in the hands of political parties [and their demands] which shifts their function,” Amato told Italian daily La Repubblica.
First up among state companies where change may come as soon as this month are state-backed investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, and state-owned railway Ferrovie dello Stato, both of which are set to be major beneficiaries of EU money.
Both companies “are crucial in the context of the EU’s recovery fund,” Iachino said.
The issue is particularly salient at the railway operator, which has been thrown into turmoil by investigations into insurance and IT contracts it took out. The group also took part in the failed rescue of national airline Alitalia, and its board recently approved a series of generous performance bonuses — despite posting a net loss of €562m in 2020 while receiving €1.1bn in Covid-related subsidies.
Still, according to analysts and investors, it will take a lot more than Draghi changing a few senior appointees to shift Italy’s deeply rooted political and corporate dynamics in a meaningful way.
“Draghi . . . was put in office with a very specific mandate [linked to Italy’s post-pandemic recovery],” said Pasini. “For long lasting change to happen what needs to change are the bureaucrats and the implementation processes.”
One limit on change is that while Draghi might install new chief executives, board-level appointments will probably remain subject to political influence.
“Draghi will focus on the top jobs,” said Iachino. “That means directors’ appointments will be left to the usual parties dynamic . . . there’s still a huge token to be paid to politics.”
Draghi’s time in office might also prove to be too short to change the country’s flawed institutional apparatus.
Matteo Salvini, the leader of the rightwing League party, a junior and often confrontational partner in the coalition government, has already voiced scepticism about the ability of the Draghi administration to implement crucial structural reforms.
“Let’s be realistic, it won’t be this coalition that changes the justice or the fiscal system,” he recently told La Repubblica.
That, in turn, has raised the question of how long Draghi might stay on as prime minister.
Salvini has said his party would be willing to back Draghi to succeed Sergio Mattarella as president next February, a position that could be supported by other parties and would lead to general elections.
But it would also mean that Draghi would no longer oversee the implementation of reforms, nor the spending of the EU recovery funds that he secured as prime minister.
“There’s a lot of work to do to change the system, which is why many hope that Draghi won’t succeed Mattarella next February,” said Iachino.
“But at the same time we can’t delude ourselves that he’ll stay on as prime minister for the next 10 years,” she added. “That would mean continuity — and when did we ever see continuity in this country?”
In Ohio, anyone getting a Covid vaccine could win one of five lottery prizes of $1m. New Jersey residents getting the jab are being offered free beers. One site in New York boasted an even more unlikely incentive: a courtesy marijuana joint.
Since the start of the year, America has successfully ramped up its vaccine campaign so that more than 160m people have had at least one shot so far — already meeting the target President Joe Biden had set for July 4.
But if children are included, that is still less than half of the population and in some parts of the country the take-up of vaccines has started to slow. As a result, states and businesses are turning to unorthodox incentives to try to persuade the vaccine hesitant to have a jab.
The UK, one of the other countries with a relatively advanced vaccine programme, is facing some similar problems. Even though hesitancy has fallen as vaccines have been rolled out, take-up is uneven: the majority of the 23 people in hospital in Bolton, north-west England, where the highly transmissible variant first found in India is spreading, had been eligible for vaccination. Only five had been vaccinated.
When the news broke at the end of last year that coronavirus vaccines could be more than 90 per cent effective, it seemed to usher in the prospect of eradicating the disease.
But over the past couple of months, those heady hopes have given way to a more complicated reality. For governments, the appearance of new variants and the persistent hesitancy over vaccines are causing problems for their plans to reopen economies and bring some normality back to life.
For the scientists tracking the pandemic, they have called into question the idea that societies will ever achieve herd immunity, even when there is an abundant supply of vaccines. Herd immunity is the concept that an infectious disease can be eradicated once a sufficient threshold of immunity has been reached — either through already having had the infection or through vaccination. Once that level is passed, so the theory goes, transmission of the virus slows rapidly and it eventually fizzles out.
At the start of the pandemic, some scientists hoped the threshold could be as low as 60 per cent. For most of the last year, Peter Hale, executive director of the Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington DC, says US health agencies have informally set herd immunity at about 75 per cent.
The trial results for the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna seemed to hold the prospect of getting over that hurdle, he says. But given that the B.1.1.7 “UK” variant, which is now dominant in the US, is more transmissible than the strains prevalent in the country last year, the threshold for herd immunity may now be closer to 80 per cent, he says.
In the UK, the potential spread of the Indian variant, which is thought to be even more transmissible, further complicates the country’s calculations about herd immunity.
The result is that if the vaccine-hesitant cannot be persuaded to change their minds and if new variants of the virus continue to spread, many countries will struggle to stamp out Covid-19. Instead, they will remain vulnerable to surges that could require new restrictions.
Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas Covid-19 modelling consortium, says estimates of the proportion of the population that would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity range from 60 to 80 per cent.
“I would not say that herd immunity is out of the question,” she says. “But I would say that herd immunity is pretty unlikely in the foreseeable future, in most communities and in most cities in the US and across the world.”
Viral and human behaviour
The estimates about herd immunity vary so widely because they depend on two unpredictable factors: how the virus behaves and how humans behave. Scientists do not know the extent to which new variants will make the virus more transmissible, nor how many people will get the vaccine.
Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida, says the calculations can often be crude, assuming we are “gas particles bouncing around”, rather than humans with different patterns of contact, with some potential superspreaders.
Throwing vaccines into the mix creates more variables. In the Seychelles, the virus has burst back on to the island despite a high level of vaccination. Some researchers believe this could be because it was relying on a shot from Chinese pharma company Sinopharm, which some studies have shown may be about 50 per cent effective, despite reporting a better efficacy rate in its clinical trial.
Researchers also do not know how effective the shots are at preventing transmission, although early studies suggest they do limit the ability of vaccinated people to pass along the virus. It is also not clear if they will stand up to variants that emerge in the future.
Scientists prefer to think about herd immunity as a cumulative process, rather than a finish line to cross. John Edmunds, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says it is not an “on-off switch”. The higher the level of immunity in a population, the more it will slow the virus down, he says.
“Eventually, there will be such high levels of immunity in the population that the virus will struggle to spread even without any social restrictions. We are still quite a long way from this point, unfortunately,” he says.
If an area achieves true herd immunity, even cases introduced from outside will fail to spread. Jonathan Ball, a professor of virology at the University of Nottingham, gives measles as an example where we only see outbreaks when the local immunity drops below a certain threshold.
“If you have a small amount of infected people every year coming into the UK with measles, but most of the population is immunised, it simply won’t take off,” he says.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, sees “a lot of misunderstanding about what herd immunity means, even among medical people. They confuse reduced transmission through vaccination with true herd immunity.”
Hunter doubts whether herd immunity for the Sars-Cov-2 virus can be achieved with any of the current jabs, given levels of hesitancy and incomplete protection provided by even the best vaccines, which is likely to wane over time.
“For me there are two reasons why misusing the term ‘herd immunity’ may be damaging,” he says. “The first is that some individuals may think wrongly that they don’t need to be vaccinated because they are protected by everyone around them who has been vaccinated. The second is that people are using herd immunity as an argument for relaxing social distancing restrictions too quickly.”
If — as now — large swaths of the world remain unvaccinated, travel between regions risks setting off new outbreaks in areas where vaccine uptake has been erratic and importing variants that can evade vaccination.
“Cities can serve as reservoirs where the virus can continue to thrive and continue to evolve, and we would very likely see variants emerging and spreading around the globe,” Meyers says.
In the US, public health experts believe incentives like free beer — or making vaccination a condition of employment or going to school — may lure the “vaccine indifferent” to get a jab. Jennifer Reich, author of Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines, says the first priority will be encouraging these people who are not intentionally opposed to vaccines, but nor are they motivated to seek one out.
But after this category, it gets trickier. There are several groups of people who are vaccine-hesitant, sceptical or even entrenched anti-vaxxers. In the US, they range from Trump supporters who have long played down the severity of the pandemic, to more nonconformist leftwingers who scorn anything “unnatural”.
Vaccine resistance is not limited to the US. A survey of 14 countries found about six in 10 people were willing to take a vaccine, with France, Singapore and Japan among the least willing, according to the Imperial and YouGov poll between November and February.
More recently, concerns about a rare side-effect from the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have hit confidence: after the shot was suspended in March, the number of people who perceived it was safe dropped substantially in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, according to YouGov.
Across the western world, minority ethnic groups are often more sceptical of the vaccine after a history of scarring experiences with the medical establishment.
In the US, black and Hispanic adults have been the most likely to say that they will “wait and see” before they get vaccinated themselves, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Income also has an influence: knowing someone who has been vaccinated is an important factor in people’s acceptance, and earlier in the year, households earning over $90,000 were almost twice as likely to know people who had been vaccinated than those with incomes of less than $40,000.
Vaccine hesitancy is falling in the UK but it is still significant in the black, Asian and minority ethnic populations. Some 66 per cent of white people say they would take the vaccine when invited, compared with 55 per cent of black respondents, in an April survey by the Vaccine Confidence Project.
Recent headlines about side-effects — even if they are very rare — have weighed on vaccine acceptance. Alex De Figueiredo, a research fellow at a project run at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the most common reasons for being unsure about whether to vaccinate were overall safety concerns and the rare blood clotting side-effect in the AstraZeneca vaccine in particular. But he adds that having a choice in vaccines increases confidence, so the UK’s decision to allow under-40s a choice of shot should boost uptake.
Even without concerns about side effects that regulators say are more prevalent in the young, there may be a higher degree of hesitancy in this group because they are less likely to become seriously ill. “The challenge of that right now is that we have inadvertently communicated to young people that they might not really have to worry about this,” Reich says.
Part of the problem may be that Covid-19 vaccines have been sold for their benefits to individuals, rather than as a collective good, she adds. Young people, more likely to be asymptomatic carriers, may have a higher probability of infecting others.
The BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is now approved in the US for children over 12, giving the potential of vaccinating more of the population. However, experts expect many parents to be hesitant because they will see it as an more of an individual risk/benefit calculation and know far fewer children have become seriously ill with Covid-19.
“We’re already facing the battle among adults and I think we may be facing an even greater battle when it comes to vaccinating children,” says Meyers.
Populations in developing countries tend to be more convinced of the benefits of vaccination, so when they receive more supplies their citizens may be more likely to take it. A pre-pandemic survey of 149 countries from 2015 to 2019 published in the medical journal The Lancet found respondents in Africa, Latin America and many parts of Asia were more likely to believe that vaccines were safe and effective. There are exceptions, including Brazil, where a vaccine-sceptical leader has led to greater reluctance among some of the population.
Dr Kate O’Brien, the World Health Organization’s director of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals, says there has been some hesitancy influenced by the regulatory and policy decisions in Europe, but overall there was no “significant stepping back” from the desire to have the vaccine in countries receiving shots from the WHO programme Covax.
People in low and middle income countries “know how horrible infectious diseases can be”, says Ball. Though the debate continues over how to increase supplies to the developing world, he adds that “it is ironic that people who can’t get access to vaccines are the ones most likely to take them.”
It’s so luxurious to have an apple phone and try to impress your girlfriend or friend. Nowadays, 70% of the population uses the apple iPhone to add class to their life, some people want to show their earnings through their luxurious phone but what about iPhone battery replacement. If you are using an Apple iPhone then you must know about the batteries and their life charging cycle. A battery has a mainly 500 full charge cycle means it can get 500 times discharge and after that 500 times charge. So, if you are having these battery dead type of problem after your cycle of charge completed then no need to worry, the iPhone battery replacement is possible either by yourself or by a service provider.
An iPhone battery replacement takes mainly two or three hours by yourself but your service provider can take one to two days for iPhone battery replacement. There are many ways to prevent your battery from being dead for example you can dim its light, can charge again before it gets discharged, turning down the screen brightness, draining all battery at a time and many more. If you will handle a phone smartly then its battery life can be extended. But, if your iPhone battery has become dead, then you are advised to replace it with a new battery to extend the life of your mobile phone. The iPhone battery replacement can take place under your budget with a warranty of two years and also you can extend your warranty with the help of an iPhone service provider. So, what to wait for just replace your dead iPhone batteries with the new one.
The US is trying to convince Moon Jae-in to agree to a strong statement of concern about China when the South Korean president becomes the second world leader to meet Joe Biden in Washington on Friday.
The White House wants Moon to back robust language in a joint statement issued during the summit, as part of its strategy to work with allies to counter China, according to five people familiar with the situation.
But four of the people familiar with the talks between the White House and the Blue House, the presidential mansion in Seoul, said Moon was reluctant to include language that would trigger a sharp response from Beijing.
South Korea is expected to agree to include language about working with the “Quad”, a grouping of the US, Japan, India and Australia that is seeking to contain Chinese influence. But Seoul is seeking only a passing reference to avoid angering China, which has castigated the US and other Quad members over the partnership.
While South Korea has a security alliance with the US, it has long resisted pressure to more overtly confront China. During the Trump administration, it pushed back against US requests to stop South Korean companies from working with Huawei, the Chinese telecoms champion.
Seoul remains wary of provoking another backlash after South Korean companies faced Chinese boycotts in 2017 in response to the deployment of a US Thaad missile defence system.
“South Koreans have nightmares about more Thaad-type sanctions,” said Victor Cha, a South Korea expert at Georgetown University and former White House official. “Seoul doesn’t want to make the hard choices on China, but not making a decision — hedging — is not a long-term strategy. It weakens the alliance and pisses off China.”
Biden has put a premium on strengthening alliances to create more leverage over China. At his summit with Yoshihide Suga last month, he convinced the Japanese prime minister to issue a statement of support for Taiwan in the face of Chinese aggression.
Suga agreed to the language — the first such statement in five decades — despite some concern in Tokyo about economic retaliation from China.
The White House does not expect Moon to go as far as Suga. But one person said the US was “pushing hard” for tougher language on China. A second person said that Biden hoped Moon would be more willing since he was given the privilege of the administration’s second in-person summit in Washington.
Seoul has asked the US for Covid-19 vaccines to tackle supply constraints. It has proposed a “vaccine swap” that would involve the US supplying vaccines in the near term and getting them back later.
The White House declined to comment on the discussions with South Korea. The Blue House declined to comment on the US pressure over China.
Moon is also hoping to win assurances from Biden about how the US president intends to tackle the nuclear threat from North Korea after Trump and Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, held three fruitless meetings.
The Moon administration has been pushing Biden to ease international sanctions on Pyongyang or enforce them with greater flexibility to draw Kim back to the table for nuclear talks.
The Biden administration recently completed a review of its North Korea policy, with the president’s team signalling that he was open to resuming diplomatic contact but that sanctions would remain in place until Kim made a significant move towards denuclearisation.
Seoul also wants Biden to name an envoy for North Korea, but a person familiar with the situation said the White House was divided over candidates, suggesting that an announcement to coincide with the summit was unlikely.
Executives from South Korean companies will accompany Moon to Washington, and are expected to make announcements about investments in the US in semiconductors, batteries and electric vehicles.
Anion air purifier mainly stands for the air purifier which emits ions to purify the air and is completely harmless to your body. Anions meaning here for negative ions or particles which carries a negative charge upon them with one or extra electrons. Today environment is almost carrying polluted air which needs to be clean with these types of purifiers.
This type of anion air purifier is a good idea that uses ions to purify the air and often people get confused with ozone emitting air purifier which is harmful to your body. The anion air purifier purifies the indoor air by making a bond with the positive dust, pollen, or any other positive particles to make heavy particles that settle down on the floor, which can be later swiped by a homeowner with a rag. Henceforth, making the air clean for inhaling. The anion air purifier is useful for people with allergies, asthma, or any other kind of health issues. The anion air purifier can kill microbes, bacteria, fungi or any type of allergens, hence making the environment pure for inhaling.
There are various advantages of anion air purifier that are mentioned below:
It uses an ions mechanism that is harmless to kill microbes and purifies the air.
It provides a clean environment to the patients who have some health issues like allergies, asthma or any other health issues.
It makes your surroundings clean to live.
It not only purifies the air but an anion air purifier also sanitizes the surface and makes it free from harmful microbes and bacteria.
The best way to purify your surroundings and make it healthier for your loved one is to try an anion air purifier at home, office or kitchen. It is very efficient in working and do what it claims. You can grab one by making just a click!
The recent volatility in bitcoin prices triggered by Tesla’s Elon Musk has raised new doubts among institutional fund managers over the future of cryptocurrencies as an asset class.
UBS Wealth Management, Pimco, T Rowe Price and Glenmede Investment Management were among the firms that have expressed reservations in recent days about the potential of cryptocurrency investments.
The upheaval came after Tesla said it would no longer accept payment in bitcoin for its electric vehicles owing to environmental concerns, and Musk jokingly referred to dogecoin, a rival cryptocurrency, as a “hustle” during an appearance on the Saturday Night Live television show.
“Our stance with clients is the 10-foot pole rule: stay away from it,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede. “I don’t think the Fed and other regulators are fans of the current market structure for cryptocurrencies.”
Rob Sharps, president and head of investments at T Rowe Price, told the Financial Times: “Crypto has an impact across capital markets, and we’re capital markets experts. Ultimately, the mandates we manage for clients are not well suited for investing in cryptocurrencies, and we recognise the high level of speculation in this space.”
Highlighting the extreme volatility, bitcoin traded at just above $44,000 on Monday, down about $20,000 from the record high it hit just a month ago. The latest tumult was sparked by Musk seeming to imply on Twitter that Tesla has or will sell the stake it has accumulated in bitcoin. He later clarified that the automaker “has not sold any bitcoin”.
To be sure, bitcoin has gained ground with investors in recent years and trading in futures contracts has become more liquid. US regulators are also considering whether to approve crypto exchange traded funds.
But asset managers say they are troubled by signs that cryptocurrencies are failing to live up to expectations that they would become less volatile over time or offer investors hedges against equity turbulence or inflation.
“The volatility of crypto is stratospherically high and we often see that, when equities sell off, so does bitcoin and that means it is not a good portfolio diversifier,” Pride said.
Nicholas Johnson, portfolio manager for commodities at Pimco, took issue with bitcoin advocates who praised it as an inflation haven after cryptocurrencies rallied while gold fell in price.
“This idea that crypto is an inflation asset is curious,” he said. “Inflation assets underperformed in recent years while cryptocurrencies did very well. People are looking for a reason to justify why crypto has gone up.”
Cryptocurrency anxieties were further exacerbated this week when a leading US regulator warned investors that buying mutual funds with exposure to bitcoin futures “is a highly speculative investment” — and warned mutual funds that it would be subjecting their involvement with the cryptocurrency to intense scrutiny.
The Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission said: “Investment in the bitcoin futures market should be pursued only by mutual funds with appropriate strategies that support this type of investment and full disclosure of material risks.”
“We expect more stringent policy and regulatory controls ahead for crypto as it becomes more mainstream,” UBS Wealth Management said, adding that the price volatility that followed the Tesla announcement “highlights risks companies face if they take on crypto balance sheet exposure”.
Tom Jessop, head of digital assets at Fidelity, which has been more receptive to cryptocurrencies, nevertheless cautioned that such investments were still in the early stage of development.
“We refer to bitcoin as an aspirational store of value and it’s an adolescent in terms of its development due to the extreme volatility,” he said. “Some investors are willing to accept the volatility as they see bitcoin as a long-term venture opportunity.”
Fidelity provides a brokerage service that enables more than 100 institutional investors such as hedge funds and family offices to buy cryptocurrencies and offers them custodian services. Fidelity has a small fund that invests in digital assets for clients and its has applied to the SEC to launch an ETF for bitcoin.
Even if asset managers shy away from crypto, swings in its valuations are a concern for the industry because of the growing power of retail traders to cause volatility in the equity market, known as the “substitution effect”.
“Watching what retail investors are doing is as important as bond flows to managers now,” said Viraj Patel, an analyst at Vanda Research. “They are asking, if millennial capital is buying bitcoin, does this mean they’re going to stop buying high-beta US stocks?”
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Israeli security forces struggled to quell worsening communal violence in its cities as the military stepped up its assault in Gaza against Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Jews and minority Israeli Arabs fought each other in several Israeli towns overnight as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to quell the rioting with “a lot of force”.
The worst domestic unrest in years escalated with a soldier beaten in Jaffa, a police officer shot in Lod and another synagogue set on fire, according to Israeli media. Outbreaks of mob violence were reported around the country as large groups of Israeli Arabs and Jewish men defied curfews.
The clashes between Israeli citizens came as the military added tanks and artillery to its five-day air campaign against Hamas. The military operation has killed 119 Palestinians, including 38 women and children, according to health officials in Gaza.
“We are dealing with a campaign on two fronts — in Gaza [and] in Israel’s cities,” Netanyahu said late on Thursday.
An Israeli military spokesmen told reporters in the early hours that ground troops had moved into Gaza, but he later clarified that none had entered the impoverished strip of 2m people.
Israel had positioned additional troops — including two infantry brigades and one armoured — near the Gaza border and called up 9,000 additional reservists on Thursday.
The troop movement raised speculation that Israel was planning its first invasion of Gaza since its 2014 war with Hamas. Israeli military officials have said they are preparing for all scenarios, including a potential ground offensive, but had not yet taken a decision on whether to invade.
Since the 2014 war, Israel has been reluctant to send troops into Gaza, in part for fear of its soldiers being kidnapped.
Despite the Israeli bombardment, Hamas continued to fire rockets deep into Israel overnight, directing hundreds more at Tel Aviv, Ashdod and one much further south that landed near an airport close to the Red Sea, where incoming international flights had been rerouted.
The militant group has fired more than 1,500 rockets into Israel since Monday. Seven Israelis, including a soldier and a child, have been killed.
The Arab-Israeli conflict has for more than a decade been dominated by fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian factions in the occupied territories. But the communal violence inside Israel has added a dangerous new dynamic and exacerbated the crisis.
Israeli Arabs account for about one-fifth of the Jewish state’s population, carry Israeli passports and vote in the country’s elections. But they say they suffer from institutional and social discrimination and their sympathy for the Palestinian cause has made them a target for rightwing Israeli politicians.
Several thousand Israeli police have been moved from the occupied West Bank to Israeli cities as part of efforts to stem the violence.
Speaking in Lod, a mixed Arab-Jewish town near Tel Aviv that has seen the worst of the Jewish-Arab fighting, Netanyahu vowed that the security services would be given a free hand to use force to put down the domestic riots, telling the forces not to worry about “commissions of inquiry, investigations and checks”.
“You have the backing, do not be concerned,” he said. “In putting down rioters one needs to use force, a lot of force.”
The prime minister said he was considering approving the use of administrative detentions, commonly used in the occupied West Bank to detain Palestinians for long periods without access to lawyers, and bringing in the army. That raised fears among Arab Israelis that they could face the same harsh measures Israel has used against Palestinians in occupied territories.
“The intelligence that we have says that it could very well be that we will have an upsurge of violence here in the coming days,” Netanyahu said. “Right now we have no greater threat than these disturbances.”
Israel’s Channel 12 News reported that police had blamed Itamar Ben-Gvir, a hard-right member of the Knesset for “this intifada”, or uprising, by showing up in areas where security forces were trying to quell Arab-Israeli violence, and issuing incendiary statements and starting clashes with Arabs. Ben-Gvir’s office did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
The communal violence has underscored the religious tensions that triggered the latest crisis. Weeks of stand-offs have persisted between Palestinians and Israeli riot police in the compound of al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Israeli police stormed the compound, which is sacred to both religions, at least three times in the past week, using rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. At least 600 Palestinians were injured.
Hamas stepped into the fray on Monday, firing long-range rockets after earlier demanding that Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem stop harassing Arab residents who were awaiting eviction orders from Israeli courts. Israel responded with hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, including 600 Hamas military targets, according to Israel’s military.
The Gaza Strip is down to about five hours of electricity a day, after Israel closed a goods-crossing checkpoint earlier this week, said an Israeli security official. It will probably run out of fuel by Sunday, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In an attempt to choke Hamas Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007, later joined by Egypt. The blockade is described as a siege by Palestinians.