Bitcoin Breaks $13,000 As Rally Continues


Ana Alexandre reports:

Bitcoin (BTC) has broken the $13,000 price mark, and many of the top-20 cryptocurrencies showing double-digit gains on the day, according to Coin360.

BTC broke the $12,000 level earlier today, and has continued surging to trade at $13,252 at press time. The leading coin has gained over 16% on the day. Today, Bitcoin’s market dominance climbed to over 60% for the first time since April 2017.

Bitcoin’s recent rally has caused a stir in the crypto community, wherein some of its players have made predictions on its further price dynamics. Today, eToro analyst Simon Peters claimed that BTC prices could match their all-time high of $20,000 within the next two weeks — and could hit $50,000 or $100,000 by the end of the year.

Ether (ETH) is trading at around $349.20 at press time, with an increase of 12% over the past 24 hours. The altcoin started the day at $309, with its current price marking today’s high.

Ripple (XRP) has been demonstrating a calmer price performance, reporting a 5.30% increase over the day to trade at $0.486 at press time. XRP’s market capitalization is currently around $20.4 billion, which is nearly $17 billion less tha[n] Ethereum’s.

NEM (XEM) and NEO (NEO) have reported double-digit gains of 18.33% and 10.11% respectively on the day. Monero (XMR) is the only loser on the top-20 list, with a 2.83% loss on the day.

Total market cap of all digital currencies is around $376 billion as of press time, while the daily trading volume has reached $108 billion.

Oil prices also demonstrated a rise today, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures being at $58.95 per barrel, up $1.12 from their last settlement, and WTI hitting its highest level since May 30 at $59.13 a barrel, CNBC reported.

Gold, by contrast, fell 1% today, wherein Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,411.3 per ounce on track to snap a six-session long winning streak.


Alex Azar both defends and pans conditions for migrant children at detention centers


Pia Deshpande reports:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar both defended the administration's treatment of migrant children at detention centers and lamented the state of the facilities, saying in a Fox News interview on Monday that the centers were "not good conditions for kids to be in."

President Donald Trump and his aides have been on the defensive after numerous reports detailed unsanitary and overcrowded conditions at the detention facilities. Over the weekend, administration officials mostly blamed Democrats, accusing them of holding up a $4.6 billion emergency spending bill that would include $2.88 billion for unaccompanied minors.

On Monday, Azar swung between calling the conditions unacceptable to claiming the children are in a “safe, secure environment.” 

“It was built for single adults coming across back in the '80s, '90s, and 2000s,” Azar said, asserting the immigration detention system was not designed for modern patterns. "It is overwhelmed — these are not good conditions for kids to be in.” 

Azar then called for a funding bill to be passed soon, and said that otherwise, the detention centers along the southern border will run out of money in July. 

Fox News's Harris Faulkner then asked Azar to comment on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral comments from last week in which she compared migrant detention centers to "concentration camps," which led to Azar promoting the merits of the centers.


Cuba Ration Lines Grow Tense as Economy Flails

 Cuba has two parallel currencies: National Pesos and Convertibles to Dollars (CUCs). National pesos only buy goods in bulk , limited with a "Libreta" to a fixed quantity each month. Here, a sample of the 10 or 20 staples available in a "Bodega" depending on the week day. Havana (La Habana), Cuba

José de Córdoba writes:

HAVANA—A 91-year-old former comrade of Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro recently startled Cubans when he announced government plans to breed ostriches to help feed the masses.

Comandante Guillermo García raved on Cuba’s main TV news show about the giant flightless bird, “which produces more [meat] than a cow.” The comandante, who runs some of Cuba’s cattle-breeding operations, also extolled the meat of the hutia, a giant rodent endemic to the island, as better than beef.

Pushed by the implosion of top ally Venezuela and sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Cuba has driven into an economic ditch. The government has tightened state rations. Residents stand in lines for hours to buy scarce basic goods such as eggs, flour and chicken.