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Russia threatens NATO member Lithuania after blocked sanctioned goods

Moscow warned of "very tough measures" against Lithuania and fueled fears of an escalation in the Ukraine war after EU-sanctioned goods were blocked. (Author: Gardener)

LithuaniaThe Kremlin has threatened Lithuania after EU-sanctioned goods were blocked from reaching the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, raising fears that NATO will be drawn into the war. Moscow warned of "very harsh measures" against the member of the western security alliance after shipments of coal, metals, building materials and advanced technology were blocked from reaching Russian territory. The Lithuanian chargé d'affaires in Moscow were told that Russia reserves the right to take measures to protect its national interests unless cargo transit resumes in the near future. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated: “We are considering provocative actions by the Lithuanian side in violation of Lithuania's international legal obligations, primarily the 2002 joint declaration of the Russian Federation and the European Union on transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the Russian Federation be openly hostile.' Loyalist Senator Andrey Klimov warned it was "direct aggression against Russia, literally forcing us to immediately resort to proper self-defense." The head of the parliamentary Sovereignty Protection Commission promised that Russia would solve the blockade “in ANY way we choose”. Any direct Russian attack on Ally member Lithuania would be considered an act of war against NATO and could trigger a world war. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said his country was only implementing sanctions imposed by the EU. He said the implemented measures were taken after "consultation with the European Commission and following its guidance". "Sanctioned goods (will) no longer be allowed to be transported through Lithuanian territory," Landsbergis added. But Russia disagrees, and Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "This decision is truly unprecedented. Konstantin Kosachyov, deputy speaker of the Senate, claimed Lithuania was violating international law by banning goods reaching Lithuania from Russia via Belarus. The Kaliningrad exclave, with a population of around 430,000, is surrounded to the south by Lithuania and Poland, another EU country, and is isolated from the rest of Russia. Trains with goods destined for Kaliningrad pass through Belarus and Lithuania. Russia can continue to supply the exclave by sea without running afoul of EU sanctions. Channel 1 Russian state television reporter Grigory Yemelyanov warned against footage of blocked trains: 'The attempt to isolate the region is - from the point of view of international law - actually a casus belli, a term meaning a formal declaratory war.' Another senator, Andrey Klishas, ​​stated: "Lithuania's attempt to establish a virtual blockade of the Kaliningrad region constitutes a violation of Russia's sovereignty over this region and could be the basis for very harsh and perfectly legal measures on the part of Russia." Putin enemy Mikhail Khodorkovsky warned in the Financial Times that the Kremlin leader's "next step" would be an "air blockade" of Lithuania. “It will allow Russian aviation to fly directly between Russia and Kaliningrad. Former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak - a TV presenter - warned: "After Lithuania banned the transit of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region through its territory, Russian politicians and media have started talking about ... the basis for a declaration of war." The Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: "Russia has no right to threaten Lithuania. Kremlin henchmen also warned of the danger of war in Kazakhstan after Putin was "humiliated" by Kazakh leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as they shared a platform together at Russia's premier economic summit in St. Petersburg on Friday. Tokayev snubbed Putin by refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics as independent states. A report said Putin was "literally angry" and felt humiliated. The pro-Putin MP Konstantin Zatulin warned against "Ukraine-like measures" by Russia in Kazakhstan. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov warned Kazakhstan: “You must stand with Russia and show your position and not be afraid of US and EU sanctions.” Kazakhstan and other former Soviet states have remained silent “for fear of American or European sanctions.” . An oil export terminal in Kazakhstan was reportedly disrupted by Russia. In another report, broadcaster General SVR claimed Putin had not ruled out a major mobilization of half a million men in five regions of western Russia near Ukraine. This could happen if Ukraine keeps hitting civilian and military facilities. According to Ukrainian reports, Putin is trying to pressure Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko to open a second front by invading the Volhynia, Rivne and Kyiv regions. Elsewhere today, new footage shows Ukrainian troops obliterating a Russian tank and two infantry fighting vehicles with British M777 howitzers. The Command of Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: “Gunners of the 81st DShV [Ukrainian Air Assault Forces] Brigade destroyed a tank and two infantry fighting vehicles belonging to the Russian invaders. “The video shows the successful work of artillerymen of the 81st Airmobile Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine using British M777 155mm field howitzers to destroy racist equipment and manpower. “In particular, one tank and two armored personnel carriers belonging to the Russian occupying forces were disposed of as scrap metal along with their crews. It's the latest blow to Russian forces, which have suffered heavy losses in personnel and military equipment in their costly four-month invasion. Ukraine claims Russia lost 33,800 troops, 1,477 tanks, 3,588 armored fighting vehicles, 749 artillery units, 235 multiple missile systems, 98 air defense systems, 216 combat aircraft, 181 helicopters, 601 drones, 130 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,527 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 55 special equipment. On the battlefield, Russian forces are attempting to gain complete control of the eastern Donbass region, parts of which were already held by Russian-backed separatists prior to the February 24 invasion. It comes as Ukraine nervously awaits a historic decision from the EU on its bid to become a member state, which Volodymyr Zelesnky fears could lead to an increase in "hostile activity" by Russia this week. Russia said on Sunday it had captured Metyolkine, a village on the outskirts of the city, and Russia's state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian militants there had surrendered. Ukraine's military said Russia had had "partial successes" in the region. Lugansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian television that a Russian attack on Toshkivka, 20 miles south of Sievierodonetsk, also "had some success". In Sievierodonetsk itself, a city of 100,000 before the war, Gaidai said Russia controlled "most of it," but not all of the city, after intense fighting. Both Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombing around Sievierodonetsk "with little change on the front line," Britain's Defense Ministry said on Sunday. In Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk's sister city, residential buildings and private homes were destroyed by Russian shelling, Gaidai said. He later said 19 people had been evacuated on Sunday. "We manage to provide humanitarian aid and evacuate people as best we can," Gaidai said. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, wrote in a note that "Russian forces will likely be able to take Sievierodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the expense of concentrating most of their available forces on it small area.' NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Ukraine conflict could drag on for years and urged Western governments to keep sending state-of-the-art weapons to Ukrainian troops, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported. Russia has said it has launched a so-called "military special operation" to disarm its neighbor and protect Russian speakers there from dangerous nationalists. The British military assessment says the morale of Ukrainian and Russian combat units in Donbass is likely to be "variable". “Ukrainian forces have likely suffered desertions in recent weeks, but Russian morale most likely remains particularly strained. Cases of entire Russian units disobeying orders and armed clashes between officers and their troops continue,” the UK MoD said on Twitter. In Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, northwest of Luhansk, Russia's Defense Ministry said its Iskander missiles had recently destroyed weapons supplied by Western countries. Russian forces were attempting to close in on Kharkiv, which faced intense shelling early in the war, turning it into a "frontline city," an official at Ukraine's Interior Ministry said. In southern Ukraine, Western weapons helped Ukrainian forces advance six miles toward Russian-held Melitopol, the mayor said in a video posted to Telegram from outside the city. An EU decision in favor of Kyiv's permanent membership would set Ukraine on course to achieve a goal that would have been unattainable for the former Soviet republic before the Russian invasion. "Whole generations fought for a chance to escape from the prison of the Soviet Union and fly like a free bird to European civilization," Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk said in a statement. President Zelenskyy said there were "few as fateful decisions for Ukraine" as she expects from the EU this week. "Only a positive decision is in the interest of all of Europe," he said in his evening speech on Sunday. "Obviously we expect Russia to intensify hostile activity this week... On Friday, Brussels backed Kiev's bid for EU candidate status after leaders of the bloc's largest members - France, Germany and Italy - paid a visit to the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine could be added to the list of countries applying for membership as early as this week when the leaders of the member states meet for a summit in Brussels. But officials and bloc leaders warn that even with candidacy status, membership could take years.

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Jessica Nabongo talks about her new book The Catch Me If You Can.

Jessica Nabongo, the first black woman to visit every country in the world, has released a new book, The Catch Me If You Can. She joined FOX 5 to talk about her experience! (Author: Gardener)

Jessica NabongoMilton Greene/ACC Art BooksWas there a more stunningly handsome movie star than Paul Newman? After reviewing the new illustrated book Paul Newman: Blue-Eyed Cool, a 252-page compendium of stories and photographs of the Cool Hand Luke star, the answer is a resounding "no." Available now, the latest page turner from ACC Art Books features a series of rare and never-before-seen photographs of the film icon from the finest celebrity photographers: Terry O'Neill, Milton Greene, Eva Sereny, Al Satterwh

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Jessica Nabongo talks about her new book The Catch Me If You Can.

Jessica Nabongo, the first black woman to visit every country in the world, has released a new book, The Catch Me If You Can. She joined FOX 5 to talk about her experience! (Author: Gardener)

Jessica NabongoJessica Nabongo, the first black woman to visit every country in the world, has released a new book, The Catch Me If You Can. She joined FOX 5 to talk about her experience!

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Ukrainian troops cling to a chemical plant as the Russians slowly win

Ukraine says the Kremlin used "virtually all its forces and resources" to storm settlements around Sieverodonetsk. live updates. (Author: Gardener)

Ukrainian"Crucial" battles raged in villages around Sievierodonetsk on Monday as Russian forces launched an offensive aimed at encircling Ukrainian troops desperate to hold the crucial eastern town, the Ukrainian military said. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Ukrainian television that the Kremlin had "deployed virtually all of its forces and resources" to storm surrounding settlements and breach Ukraine's unmanned, unarmed defenses. The city is one of the last remaining outposts of Ukrainian troops in Luhansk Oblast, which together with Donetsk Oblast forms the industrial Donbass region that Russia is trying to control. "Now, without exaggeration, decisive battles are going on in the Sieverodonetsk area, and the enemy plans to control the Luhansk region until June 26," Maliar said. Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said only a fraction of the city's population once reached the ceiling of 100,000 remaining. Ukrainian armed forces only control the Azot chemical plant, which is also home to around 500 civilians. ►German prosecutors said on Monday they had seized three apartments and a bank account belonging to a Russian lawmaker and his wife, citing European Union sanctions. ► NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Bild that Western support for Ukraine's fight against Russia must remain strong a disruption in supplies from Russia CAPTURED: Two US military veterans felt compelled to fight Russia. They were captured in Ukraine. As Ukrainian forces were slowly being overwhelmed to yield in the critical battle against Russia over the Donbass region, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a poignant Father's Day message on Sunday urged his country's citizens to keep fighting for the future of their families and the nation. Zelenskyy published 10 photos of parents and children against the murky backdrop of war, praising fathers who "protect and defend what is most precious". The images reflect the reality of Ukraine in the nearly four months since Russia invaded it. A celebrated Ukrainian medic who treated soldiers on both sides of the war was freed by Russian forces three months after her capture on the streets of Mariupol, a development announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this weekend. Yuliia Paievska is known in Ukraine as Taira, a nickname she chose in the video game World of Warcraft. Using a body camera, she spent two weeks recording 256 gigabytes of her group's efforts to rescue the wounded - both Ukrainians and Russians - and had the footage smuggled out of the besieged city by an Associated Press team. Taira and a colleague were captured by Russian forces on March 16. “I am grateful to everyone who worked towards this result. Taira is already at home,” Zelenskyy said in a national address over the weekend. "We will continue to work to free everyone." This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live updates from Ukraine: Russia's battle for Donbass village rages on

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Ranveer Singh turns on his beast mode and makes fans swoon with his souped-up body

Ranveer Singh is one of the hottest actors in the Bollywood industry right now. It's quite a task to keep up with his energy abilities, and there's never... (Author: Gardener)

SinghRanveer Singh is one of the hottest actors in the Bollywood industry right now. The actor is working hard to stay fit and shared a few pics of him from the gym on his Instagram Stories today that will give pure Monday motivation. In the stories Ranveer Singh posted we can see him in a white vest which he pairs with blue shorts. In the first picture, Ranveer is showing off his pimped chest and muscles and is completely drenched in sweat. The next picture shows him pushing weights while doing an arm workout and showing off his perfectly trimmed biceps. Then comes an image where we can see his back toned to another level. In fact, Ranveer is raising temperatures with his pictures, we bet this will give all his fans great training goals. Meanwhile, Ranveer Singh was last seen in Maneesh Sharma's directorial effort Jayeshbhai Jordaar, which also starred Shalini Pandey, Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah. He will next be seen in Cirkus with Jacqueline Fernandez and Pooja Hegde, which is due out this Christmas. The film will mark Ranveer's second collaboration with Rohit Shetty following the 2018 release of Simmba. The film hits screens on February 10 this year. ALSO READ: 83 to Simmba: 5 fun Ranveer Singh films to watch this monsoon weekend

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Strike threat until Christmas

News briefing on Monday morning: threat of strikes until Christmas (Author: Gardener)

ChristmasBritain faces its biggest industrial action in a generation this week - and it could mark the start of six months of strikes. Before the largest closure of the train network in almost 30 years, the railway unions threatened to pull out until just before Christmas. With last week's desperate talks to avert the strike making no headway, the RMT union said it had a "mandate" for six months of action. On the other side of the negotiations, rail bosses told The Telegraph they are preparing for a "war of attrition" that could last for months, revealing they are drawing up plans to offer signalers cash rewards for crossing pickets. More than 40,000 railway workers will leave from tomorrow (if there is also a tube strike), Thursday and Saturday - with disruptions expected throughout the week. While more talks are set to take place today, the two sides remain further apart, with the RMT calling for a rise of at least 7 percent. Now, senior reporter Robert Mendick reports, other public sector unions are threatening to follow the railroad workers and take action. Cartoonist Blower's stance on the striking rail union's position In his December 2019 election manifesto and Queen's First Speech, Boris Johnson promised rail strike reforms. Now the Prime Minister is under increasing pressure to implement measures promised three years ago that would have contained this week's industrial action. Senior Tories have told political editor Ben Riley-Smith that legislation to ensure "minimum travel" during train strikes should be tabled now, although ministers have refused to give a timetable. Police have not solved a single burglary in neighborhoods covering nearly half the country in the last three years, an investigation by The Telegraph has found. Of more than 32,000 neighborhoods analyzed, more than 14,000 (46 percent) all burglary cases have been closed in the last three years without a suspect being caught by the police. Look at the areas where burglaries go unsolved. Despite the devastating effect burglaries can have on victims, burglary was not considered a police priority - some responders no longer routinely dispatch an officer to investigate. In his analysis, Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas says police oversights have left burglary victims in their own homes fearful. Four years ago, Tom Watson lost eight pounds and reversed his type 2 diabetes. But the former Labor Party deputy leader was thrown off course earlier this year when he regained weight as a result of the death of his father, a third lockdown and the dark winter months. In his latest cartoon from the weekend, Matt finds humor in the ongoing airport chaos. Sign up for Matt's newsletter for a weekly behind-the-scenes look at his work. Commonwealth "boost for the economy" | Being a member of the Commonwealth can help boost a nation's economy, Boris Johnson argues today, as he highlights the merits of remaining part of the bloc ahead of a summit this week. The PM says membership is of "huge practical value for trade" and calls the benefits the "Commonwealth Advantage". Read his article for The Telegraph. Emmanuel Macron, the French President, lost his absolute parliamentary majority last night in a blow that portends a difficult second term. The poor results mean Mr Macron will struggle to advance his national agenda, which includes an overhaul of France's pension system. Rebecca Rosman reports from Paris. Emmanuel Macron takes part in the general elections. Say hello to Matt Fitzpatrick. With his thrilling win at the US Open last night, the 27-year-old Englishman established himself as a legend at the prestigious country club and the Golden Bear's only mate. James Corrigan recounts how he won the title by a shot in a dramatic finale. Meanwhile, British sporting bodies are under mounting pressure to reform their policies after world swimming banned transgender athletes who have reached male puberty from elite women's events. Germany will reopen mothballed coal-fired power stations to combat high gas prices and put pressure on Boris Johnson to do more in Britain by cutting taxes on household energy bills. The German government will pass emergency legislation to reactivate coal-fired power plants while Europe takes steps to cope with reduced energy supplies. It prompted Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee, to call for a cut in energy taxes. The Telegraph Travel commentary has long discussed the issue, often with some vigor. "As a nation, we take too many pills - and I should know" | Efforts are being made to reduce over-prescribing of "unnecessary" pills. To receive such briefings by email twice a day, sign up for the Front Page newsletter here. Try The Briefing for 2-minute audio updates—on podcasts, smart speakers, and WhatsApp. Sign up for the free Front Page newsletter: your essential guide to The Telegraph's agenda - delivered straight to your inbox, seven days a week.

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CBS Minnesota - Breaking News, Next Weather and Community Journalism, Minneapolis-St. Paul

Breaking news from WCCO, the Twin Cities and Minnesota. (Author: Gardener)

Minnesota"We play for people's hearts. It's about our lives, and there's always a corner of my life where I feel the music passing through,” said Osmo Vänskä.

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NATO warns war in Ukraine could last for years as Volodymyr Zelenskyy shares touching Father's Day tribute

According to Jens Stoltenberg, delivering state-of-the-art weapons to Ukrainian troops will increase the chance of liberating the country's east as Britain's new army chief warns troops that Britain must be ready to fight wars in Europe. (Author: Gardener)

NATOThe war in Ukraine could last for years, the NATO chief says, calling for unwavering support from Ukraine's allies as Russian forces fight for territory in the east of the country. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said supplying state-of-the-art weapons to Ukrainian troops would increase the chance of liberating the eastern Donbass region from Russian control, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported. After failing to capture the capital Kyiv earlier in the war, Russian forces have focused their efforts on gaining complete control of the Donbass, parts of which were already held by Russian-backed separatists prior to the February 24 invasion. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine," Stoltenberg was quoted as saying. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who arrived in Kyiv on Friday with a training offer for Ukraine's armed forces, also said on Saturday it was important for Britain to provide long-term support, warning of a risk of "Ukraine fatigue" as the war unfolded In an opinion piece in London's Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said this meant ensuring that "Ukraine gets arms, equipment, ammunition and training faster than the invader". comes as Britain's new army chief told troops Britain must 'stand ready to fight wars in Europe'. General Sir Patrick Sanders told British troops, according to the i am Sunday newspaper: "I am the first chief of staff since 1941 to take command of the army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power." A key target in Moscow Offensive to seize full control of the Luhansk region - one of the two provinces that make up the Donbass - is the industrial city of Sieverodonetsk Russia said on Sunday its offensive in the city had been successful Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said told Ukrainian television that the fighting made evacuations from the city impossible, but that "all Russian claims that they control the city are a lie Russian state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters surrendered there. The Ukrainian military said Russia had had "partial successes" in the area. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, wrote in a note that "Russian forces will likely be able to capture Sieverodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area." In Lysyhansk, the sister city of Sieverodonetsk, residential buildings and private homes were destroyed, Mr Haidai said. He later said 19 people were evacuated on Sunday. In Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, northwest of Luhansk, Russia's Defense Ministry said its Iskander missiles had recently destroyed weapons supplied by Western countries. Russian forces were attempting to close in on Kharkiv, which faced intense shelling early in the war, turning it into a "frontline city," an official at Ukraine's Interior Ministry said. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said he would cancel a planned trip to Madrid to discuss the city's rebuilding with Norman Foster and other architects amid uncertainty from increased bombing. In southern Ukraine, Western weapons helped Ukrainian forces advance 10 km towards Russian-held Melitopol, the mayor said in a video posted to Telegram from outside the city. Russia has said it has launched a "special military operation" to disarm its neighbor and protect Russian speakers there from dangerous nationalists. Kyiv and its allies dismissed this as a baseless pretext for a war of aggression. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has gathered citizens with messages filmed daily, said he was visiting forces in the southern Mykolayiv region, some 550 km south of Kyiv. "Your mood is assured: you all have no doubts about our victory," he said on Sunday in a video apparently taken on a moving train. In the Mykolaiv and Odessa regions, Mr Zelenskyy said he had heard reports of destruction caused by Russian strikes. Ukraine received a significant boost on Friday when the European Commission recommended it candidate status, a decision EU nations are expected to endorse at a summit this week. Though actual membership could take years, Speaker of Ukraine's Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk said the move has translated a common Ukrainian dream into reality. "Whole generations fought for the chance to escape from the prison of the Soviet Union and fly like a free bird to European civilization," he said in a statement. Such sentiments contradict one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's stated goals when he ordered his troops into Ukraine: to keep Moscow's southern neighbors out of the West's sphere of influence. In an encouraging Father's Day message on Sunday, Mr Zelenskyy posted 10 photos of parents and children against the murky backdrop of war and praised fathers who are "protecting and defending what is most precious". "Being a father is a great responsibility and a great fortune," Mr Zelenskyy wrote in an English text following the Ukrainian on Instagram. He called on his nation's fighters to persevere for the "future of your family, your children, and therefore of all of Ukraine."

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The crypto industry is in concern as Bitcoin jiggles near the key $20,000 level

The cryptocurrency industry was jittery Monday morning as investors feared contagion from troubles at major crypto players could trigger a major market shakeout if left unchecked. The price drop follows difficulties at several major industry players, while further declines could have an impact as other crypto investors are forced to sell their holdings to meet margin calls and cover losses. (Author: Gardener)

BitcoinHONG KONG (Reuters) - The cryptocurrency industry was jittery Monday morning as investors feared contagion from troubles at major crypto players could trigger a major market shakeout if left unchecked. Bitcoin, which is down 57% so far this year and 37% this month, fell below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020 over the weekend. The price drop follows difficulties at several major industry players, while further declines could have an impact as other crypto investors are forced to sell their holdings to meet margin calls and cover losses. Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital is reviewing its options, including selling assets and a bailout by another firm, its founders told the Wall Street Journal in a story published on Friday, the same day the Asia-focused cryptocurrency Lender Babel Finance said it would suspend withdrawals. Public lender Celsius Network said earlier this month it would suspend payouts, and many of the industry's recent woes can be traced to the spectacular collapse of the so-called stablecoin TerraUSD in May. Bitcoin traded either side of $20,000 on Monday, while token Ether #2 was at $1,075 after falling below its own symbolic level of $1,000 over the weekend. “When the market goes up, everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, things will be refinanced, people will put up equity and all risk will dissipate. But if we move much lower from here, it could be a total shitstorm,” said Adam Farthing, chief risk office for Japan at crypto liquidity provider B2C2. “A lot of credit is being pulled from the system, and if lenders face losses from Celsius and Three Arrows, they will reduce the size of their future loan books, which means the total amount of credit available in the crypto ecosystem is very large,” it feels "To me it feels a lot like 2008 as there could be a domino effect of bankruptcies and liquidations," Farthing said. Bitcoin price has tended to perform roughly in line with other risky assets like tech stocks. Smaller cryptocurrencies have been hit even harder than large tokens , as investors sought the comparative safety of bitcoin and stablecoins, whose values ​​are tied to traditional assets, most commonly the U. Total crypto market cap is around $870 billion, according to pricing site Coinmarketcap, down from a peak of 2.9 Trillion US dollars in November 2021. However, even the market capitalization of stablecoins has fallen in recent months, suggesting investors are frowning on ey from across the industry. The market cap of Tether, the world's largest stablecoin, fell to around $68 billion on Monday from over $83 billion in early May.

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How bad is bitcoin mining for the environment?

Cryptocurrency now consumes nearly as much electricity as Argentina, but analysts claim the technology will soon be powered mostly by renewable energy (Author: Gardener)

ArgentinaIn just over a decade, bitcoin has risen from being a fringe technology popular with cryptographers to become the ninth most valuable asset in the world by market cap. The dramatic rise of cryptocurrency has created millionaires, reinvented money, and launched a multi-billion dollar industry inspired by its revolutionary decentralized technology. The computing power required to support Bitcoin's underlying network now requires almost as much energy as the entire country of Argentina, leading to criticism of its ecological footprint. Analysis from the University of Cambridge suggests that the Bitcoin network consumes more than 121 terawatt hours (TWh) annually, which would rank it among the top 30 electricity consumers in the world if it were a country. Demand for energy has been fueled over the past few months by the surging price of bitcoin, which has surged above $42,000 today. Concerns about Bitcoin's energy requirements have been raised since its inception, when crypto pioneer Hal Finney tweeted about possible future carbon emissions on Jan. 27, 2009 - just two weeks after he received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction from the cryptocurrency's pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto , had received. The amount of energy Bitcoin's network consumes only became known in earnest in 2017, when a major price rally drastically increased its energy requirements to the levels of a small country. As the market cooled in the years that followed, so did energy demand, but the most recent all-time high, set this week, is more than double what it was three and a half years ago. "Bitcoin's energy consumption has more than quadrupled since it began its last peak in 2017, and it's getting worse because energy inefficiency is built into Bitcoin's DNA," Charles Hoskinson, CEO of leading cryptographic firm IOHK, told The Independent . Thinking about how to reduce the carbon emissions of a widespread Bitcoin implementation - halfin (@halfin) January 27, 2009 “Bitcoin's carbon footprint is getting exponentially worse because the more the price goes up, the more competition there is around the currency, and therefore the more energy it consumes.” Bitcoin’s environmental impact is compounded by the fact that the majority of miners are based in China, where over two-thirds of electricity is generated from coal. The mining process required to generate new units of cryptocurrency involves solving complex but arbitrary mathematical equations that currently require tremendous computing power of the computer. Bitcoin miners are therefore gravitating to where electricity is cheapest, meaning the fundamental problem is not with Bitcoin but with a lack of cheap renewable energy generation. In Iceland and Norway, where almost 100 percent of all energy production comes from renewable sources, cryptocurrency miners are using cheap hydroelectric and geothermal energy to power their machines. Last year, the University of Cambridge's third global cryptoasset benchmarking study found that 76 percent of cryptocurrency miners use electricity from renewable sources in their operations. “In its current state, the infrastructure supporting the Bitcoin protocol cannot be sustained, but the beauty of the protocol is that the incentive structure will force miners to adopt the cheapest form of electricity, which will be renewable energy in the near future DigitalMint COO Don Wyper told The Independent. “I think the latest study from the University of Cambridge is misguided as bitcoin acts as 'digital gold' and should therefore be compared to the energy consumption of other stores of value... The gold mining industry consumes 475 million gigajoules worth of electricity per year. “And if bitcoin can become the originally envisioned digital currency, we need to consider all of the electricity consumed by currency creation, destruction, transfer, securitization, loss, etc. I personally believe that climate change is one of the most important issues in our world today, but people who say Bitcoin will lead to even more environmental destruction fail to understand that Bitcoin is actually acting as an accelerator to help our environment.” Alternative Cryptocurrencies have also tried to solve Bitcoin's current environmental problems by changing the underlying technology to use less electricity. One of these is Cardano, which Hoskinson says is 4 million times more energy efficient than Bitcoin thanks to its "Proof-of-Stake" blockchain, which validates transactions based on how many coins are held by a network participant, rather than the amount of computing power power they possess. “Cardano will scale to meet the needs of global businesses and consumers, with higher volumes and faster speeds than the existing global financial infrastructure — while the entire global network consumes no more energy than a large single-family home,” says Hoskinson. If Bitcoin's transition to renewable energy sources doesn't happen quickly, Mr. Hoskinson is among several experts predicting that investors and consumers will look for other cryptocurrencies that are less polluting. “I believe the power of fear of climate change is far greater than the fear of missing out (FOMO) driving this new wave of institutional and private investment in Bitcoin,” blockchain advisor Scott Morgan told The Independent. [But] other cryptocurrencies use less energy.”

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