Year: 2015

FM Idrissov Visits Vienna, Addresses ECFA on Eurasian Challenges

VIENNA – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov held a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings and took part in the second annual meeting of the Advisory Council of the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA) during his working visit to Vienna Dec. 2. The date of the meeting coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Astana summit of 2010 which capped Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and was noted by the adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration.

Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov (L) with UN Deputy Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNODC Yury Fedotov.

The visit’s programme started at the UN offices in Vienna where Idrissov first met with UN Deputy Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov. The parties discussed cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UNODC, the fight against corruption, revitalisation of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC), as well as the initiatives of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.

At the meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, the sides discussed implementation of the agreement between Kazakhstan and the IAEA on the establishment of a bank of low-enriched uranium (LEU) signed in August in Astana.

Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov (L) with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano.

Then Idrissov and Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Li Yong oversaw the signing of an administrative agreement between the government of Kazakhstan and the organisation on targeted contributions to the Industrial Development Fund. They…

Read more at to Introduce Smart Locks Linked to Smart Ethereum Contracts, Decentralize the Sharing Economy

Smart contracts, a feature of “Bitcoin 2.0” technologies such as Ethereum, could soon operate on the Internet of Things (IoT), control objects in the physical world, and power a new decentralized version of the sharing economy, for example sharing services similar to Uber and Airbnb that operate in pure P2P mode without centralized management.


Edition 151: Movers and Shakers – FE Week

Edition 151: Movers and Shakers  FE Week

Tunisia's Post Office Trials Crypto-Powered Payments App – Coindesk

Tunisia’s Post Office Trials Crypto-Powered Payments App  Coindesk

England defender Amy Turner backs Girls’ Football Week

England and Notts County defender Amy Turner believes Girls’ Football Week will help attract more even more female players to the game.

The FA initiative, which takes place until 11 October, is aimed at encouraging more education institutions to organise female-specific football sessions – from primary schools right up to universities.

And Turner, a part-time teacher who first got involved in the game by joining the Year 5 boys’ team at school, is delighted that girls now have more opportunities to play in same-sex teams.


Age 12+
We Can Play certificate (Word) (PDF)
Girls’ Football Week poster (Word) (PDF)

Age 5-11
We Can Play certificate (Word) (PDF)
Girls’ Football Week poster (Word) (PDF)

She said: “Weeks like this can only be a good thing. There’s a big market for women’s football now, especially after the World Cup.

“At 16-18 I guess girls are deciding what they want to do, whether to play football, continue playing football or to give it up completely.

“When I was at school maybe a lot of girls were put off playing football because it would have meant playing with boys.

“That can be tricky when you’re at school because you can’t compare the rate at which boys grow and the rate at which girls grow.

“At that age it’s about enjoyment and if I’m honest, playing with the boys wasn’t a particularly nice experience. That’s probably why I’m the player I am today, because I got used to playing with boys.

“When you’re young that is when you start developing your love for the game and if you have a bad experience it can put you off for life.

Amy Turner made her England debut against Australia in March 2015

“But that doesn’t need to happen now and that’s great. Hopefully, with the help of weeks like this, things will keep on improving.”

Girls’ Football Week is delivered in partnership with Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Association of Colleges Sport and British Universities and Colleges…


Azerbaijan Mulls Its Own Cryptocurrency: ‘CryptoManat’

Azerbaijan is actively discussing the possibility of creating a “Cryptomanat” coin – the cryptocurrency equivalent of its national currency, the Azerbaijani manta, reports the Echo local newspaper.

Discussions of creating a national cryptocurrency started in the CIS countries after an announcement from Russian payment service provider Qiwi last week regarding the creation of a “BitRuble” in Russia.

According to the head of the Centre for Sustainable Development Research Nariman Agayev, some Azerbaijan citizens already tried to using the currency for financial transactions, but the venture failed.

“I am confident that the emergence Cryptomanat will not have a significant impact on the economy of Azerbaijan, since it won’t stay afloat for long,” he said. “It is in Russia, the US, Europe and Japan, where cryptocurrency was created and where electronic money can be used to…


Gospel for Asia fights accusations of financial impropriety, cult-like behaviour

Gospel for Asia founder KP Yohannan

Gospel for Asia (GFA), the mission organisation founded by KP Yohannan, is regarded as one of the most signicant missionary movements of the late 20th century. Based in Texas, it has a presence in Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China and Thailand. It supports more than 50 Bible colleges, founded its own network of congregations – Believers Church – and is active in humanitarian work and education.

Now, however, it is fighting accusations of a lack of financial transparency and that it practises an authoritarian form of church discipline that has left a trail of damage behind it.

Questions about its financial affairs have been raised by blogger Warren Throckmorton, who has studied publicly available documents detailing GFA’s bank holdings in India. He revealed that GFA was using students and staff to transfer undeclared cash to India, a practice known as “smurfing” which the organisation has now ended. He also posted documents showing large amounts of cash held in GFA and Believers Church bank accounts and queried apparent discrepancies between the amounts sent from the US to India and amounts declared as having been received.

GFA’s Chief Operating Officer David Carroll told Christian Today that it was important to understand that GFA India and Believers Church were separate entities from Gospel for Asia USA. While he did not provide detailed figures, when asked about the cash reserves apparently held in Indian accounts, he said: “Like any nonprofit organisation or ministry, money in these bank accounts ebbs and flows throughout the year. It does not just sit there. The account balance will swell and then decline as the money is spent according to donor designations.”

He also said that money could not be spent until it could be used for the specific project for…


Honduran Gov’t to Build Land Registry Initiative on Bitcoin Blockchain

The government of Honduras will partner with Houston-based Bitcoin 2.0 startups Factom and Epigraph to build a land registry database for the Central American nation using the Bitcoin blockchain, according to Reuters on Yahoo News.

The details of the project are currently still a bit fuzzy, as it is not entirely clear how, or to what degree, the Bitcoin blockchain will be used. Based on Factom’s advertised model, however, it does seem likely that the construction involves a symbiosis of both decentralized databases build on top on the blockchain and centralized ones stored by either Factom, the Honduran government, or a combination of the two. Under such a construction, the centralized databases would most likely hold the critical information needed for land registry, while the blockchain would secure the information from tampering.

The desire for the Honduran government to secure a database for land registry by an immutable decentralized database such as the Bitcoin blockchain is not a coincidence. Throughout its recent history, the developing country experienced several large-scale and often violent land disputes within its territory. This has left significant segments of Honduras’ population without land or – most relevant – deeds to prove ownership of the land.

While speaking to Reuters, Factom president Peter Kirby emphasized the need for a secure method of registering land in a country such as Honduras. Kirby said:

“In the past, Honduras has struggled with land title fraud. (…) The country’s database was basically hacked. So bureaucrats could get in there and they could get themselves beachfront properties.”

Additionally, Factom hopes to enable more people in Honduras to register their land for economic reasons. By registering, land owners could significantly add to their personal credit worthiness, which in turn could be used to invest in the country’s economy, Factom hopes.

The startup provides a data layer for the Bitcoin blockchain in which all sorts…


A waltz wins ‘Dancing with your Community Stars’; STGnews Videocast, Photo Gallery – St George News

ST. GEORGE – The stars came out a little early Saturday night and they were wearing their dancing shoes as the Washington County Children’s Justice Center in sponsorship with the Southern Utah Home Builders Association put on the first ever “Dancing with your Community Stars.”

Dancers at the Children’s Justice Center benefit event are introduced before performing their numbers for the judges and audience, St….

Read more…

“This currency would not be punished like the dollar is today”

Proof that Bitcoin can empower the minority, independent of political will or regulatory circumstance, is coming to light in 2015 – in Cuba.

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, members of the Club Anarcocapitalista de Cuba (Cuban Anarchocapitalist Club; CAC) were able to go on record to describe their mission to bring the social and economic freedom engendered by Bitcoin to their local community.

Changing international relations with Cuba have made international headlines in recent months. Trade embargoes with the US are under review, and in their absence a Cuba could emerge which would swiftly become unrecognizable from the mysterious country with the foreboding government of the past 50 years.

The CAC proves first and foremost however that the freedoms afforded to ordinary Cubans are as restricted as before at present, and that the process of increasing awareness of Bitcoin is both laborious and dangerous.

“We believe that Bitcoin has an essential role to play within the context of renewed relations between Cuba and the USA,” CAC co-founder Joisy Garcia said. “This currency would not be punished like the dollar is today; the dictatorship makes holding…


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