White House: first legislation for cryptocurrency regulation

On Friday, September 16, the White House published a new framework with directives on greater control of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, with the aim of framing them within a new regulatory framework.

The Biden administration is concerned about increasing volatility and, in particular, the recent decline in cryptocurrencies which has led to problems across the finance landscape. The framework, the first of its kind targeting cryptocurrencies, specifically focuses on measures that could be taken to change the financial services industry, make transactions easier and crack down on fraud.

“Digital assets pose significant risks to consumers, investors and businesses. The prices of these assets can be highly volatile,” says the Biden administration. The current global market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is around one third of the peak in November 2021 ″.

The new guidelines will be updated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): therefore no new authorities will be established. In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are called upon to redouble their efforts to monitor consumer complaints and to enforce unfair, deceptive or abusive practices. However, no warrants have yet been issued, with the framework lacking effectiveness and clarity, according to some.

Biden also reserves the right to consider whether to invite Congress to amend the Bank Secrecy Act by extending laws against the transmission of unlicensed money to digital asset service providers. According to a White House fact sheet, the opportunity to include digital asset exchanges and non-fungible token platforms (NFTs) is also being considered.

Ultimately, the aim will be to intensify investigations into digital asset market misconduct and redouble enforcement efforts by strengthening coordination between agencies.

Artemis I: NASA SLS launch postponed at least to late September, possibly October

After the first failed attempt to launch NASA SLS for the first time for the Artemis I mission on August 29, there appears to be good prospects for the second attempt in early September. After postponing the launch from September 2 to 3, preparations were underway when the agency once again had to shut down operations to resolve an issue.

The good news this time is that it is not the Space Launch System rocket or the Orion capsule that caused the final block of the launch attempt but rather a refueling structure (according to what emerged from the first investigations on the incident). However, this means postponing the launch of Artemis I at least until the end of September or even the end of October. Bill Nelson (NASA administrator) has however confirmed that, despite the postponement, the agency intends to launch the Artemis II mission in 2024 while the Artemis III moon landing is still expected in 2025. However, these are provisional estimates that could be revised in the future (and almost certainly will be).

NASA SLS launch for Artemis I postponed for a few weeks
During the conference that was held yesterday evening, after the announcement of the postponement of the launch by the space agency, the first information on what happened was given. The executives present however stated that the analyzes are still in progress and therefore more details will be released shortly. The situation is therefore evolving both as regards the examination of the problems and the timing of the launch of Artemis I.

While some of the problems that plagued NASA SLS seem to always involve the same component, in reality they are different parts. In the last launch attempt yesterday evening (Italian time) it was a leak of liquid hydrogen from a quick release fitting that feeds the central stadium. Despite the attempts of the ground crews (from repositioning the fitting to using helium under pressure after closing a valve or heating and cooling the section), it was not possible to re-seal the fitting, thus leading to the premature end of operations.

4th July (’22): Independence Day (United States)

Statue of Liberty on the background of flag usa, sunrise and fireworks

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, establishing the United States of America.

The Founding Father delegates of the Second Continental Congress declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress voted to approve independence by passing the Lee Resolution on July 2 and adopted the Declaration of Independence two days later, on July 4.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration to remove its vigorous denunciation of the slave trade, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.[9]

Historians have long disputed whether members of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

By a remarkable coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the only two signatories of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as presidents of the United States, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration, Jefferson even mentioning the fact. Although not a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected president, also died on July 4, 1831, making him the third President who died on the anniversary of independence. The only U.S. president to have been born on Independence Day was Calvin Coolidge, who was born on July 4, 1872.

Covid, the United States removes the obligation to test from June 12 at the entrance for travelers.

From 12 June, a negative anti-Covid test will no longer be necessary to set foot in the United States. The official will arrive shortly, as anticipated by some media including CNN and substantially confirmed by the vice-spokesman of the White House Kevin Munoz. The Joe Biden administration’s decision therefore comes in early summer and will take effect in the next 48 hours. This is a ‘revolution’ for the US which had essentially always kept its guard high on arrivals from abroad. For months, pressure from companies working in the travel sector had been going on for the CDC to speak out in favor of an elimination. Now the green light will come which will last 90 days, when the CDC will express itself again, also in light of the emergence of new variants. According to the travel industry, starting with the airlines, the mandatory entry test has had a “freezing” effect on an already fragile economy.

For this reason, there had been numerous meetings between White House officials and a group of industry managers, such as Nick Calio, number one of Airlines for America, the oldest and largest airline association. Several deputies, including Democrats, in favor of lifting the obligation had also joined the front in recent weeks. The US Travel Association also cheers: “Before the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest exports in the industry. The abolition of this requirement will allow the industry to pave the way for a broader US economic and employment recovery, “said CEO Roger Dow. In recent weeks, lawmakers, including Democrats, have also supported the lifting of the testing requirement. Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said, “I am delighted that the CDC has lifted the burdensome coronavirus testing requirement for international travelers and will continue to do everything possible to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry.”

30th May (’22): Memorial Day [USA]

Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many volunteers place an American flag on graves of military personnel in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States.

Many cities and people have claimed to have first celebrated the event. By 1890, every Northern state had adopted it as a holiday. The World Wars turned it into a generalized day of remembrance instead of just for the Civil War. In 1971, Congress standardized the holiday as “Memorial Day” and changed its observance to the last Monday in May.

Two other days celebrate those who have served or are serving in the U.S. military: Armed Forces Day (which is earlier in May), an unofficial U.S. holiday for honoring those currently serving in the armed forces, and Veterans Day (on November 11), which honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 SuperBowl final

The 56th edition of the Super Bowl took place between Sunday and Monday in Los Angeles, the final of the NFL American football championship and one of the most followed sporting events in the world. It was won by the Los Angeles Rams, the favorites, who beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in their stadium, as did Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.

It was a hard-fought match, hanging in the balance until the last seconds of the game. Los Angeles had taken the lead in the first quarter with a touchdown from catcher Odell Beckham Jr. on a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford. In the second quarter the Rams had scored another touchdown, this time with Cooper Kupp, previously voted best offensive player of the season.

Before the show at half-time, however, Cincinnati had managed to close the gap with a touchdown from Tee Higgins on a throw from quarterback Joe Burrow – 25 years old in his second season in the NFL – going to rest on 13-10 in favor of Los Angeles. In the third quarter, Cincinnati’s comeback had continued with another Higgins touchdown and a free-kick that had brought the result in their favor, 20-16.

In the last quarter, despite Odell Beckham Jr.’s absence due to injury and an ankle problem for Stafford, the Rams scored the decisive touchdown just over a minute from time, again with Kupp. In the next action, a tackle on Burrow by the best defender of the season, Aaron Donald, effectively ended the game and gave the victory in Los Angeles.

2° February (’22): Groundhog Day (USA & CANADA)

Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Grund’sau dåk, Grundsaudaag, Grundsow Dawg, Murmeltiertag; Nova Scotia: Daks Day) is a popular North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den, and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

While the tradition remains popular in the 21st century, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather.

The weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: Dachs) is the forecasting animal. This appears to be an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on the Christian festival of Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.

The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania, centering on a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, has become the most frequently attended ceremony. Grundsow Lodges in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the southeastern part of the state observe the occasion as well. Other cities in the United States and Canada also have adopted the event.

11th November (2021): VETERANS DAY [USA]

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces (who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable). It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who had died while in military service. Another military holiday that also occurs in May, Armed Forces Day, honors those currently serving in the U.S. military. Additionally, Women Veterans Day is recognized by a growing number of U.S. states that specifically honor women who have served in the U.S. military.

China beats the US in space launches in the third quarter of 2021, reaching 15

The space launch market is becoming increasingly important both in terms of numbers and in terms of revenues. Through the data released by BryceTech we can look at the data for the third quarter of 2021. According to what was reported, China through the CASC (Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Company) carried out more space launches during the quarter, touching 15 launches against 3 of reality like SpaceX for the United States. But there is much more also thanks to the comparison with the second quarter of this year. China and the US dominate the space launch market Also according to the information released by BryceTech, between the 15 launches of CASC and the 3 of SpaceX Arianespace ranks with 5 while Roscosmos is in fourth position with 2 launches. In Q3 2021, companies such as ULA, Firefly, Astra, iSpace, Northrop Grumman, Rocket Lab and Expace made a single launch. This account, however, as recalled by those who defined the table, also includes failed launches as in the case of Firefly. By way of comparison, in the previous quarter (Q2 2021), there were 11 launches of SpaceX and CASC respectively. 3 instead were those of Roscosmos and Arianespace, 2 those of ULA and Northrop Grumman and 1 Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab and the Iranian space agency. If we consider the number of spacecraft / satellites launched (regardless of operation), Arianespace dominates the ranking with 111 units, followed by SpaceX with 61, CASC with 30. The other companies are all further down in the rankings. Altogether 226 spacecraft / satellites were launched with 73% being for telecommunications. Only 12 were for data collection from space and 2% were manned or with cargo destined for space stations. Furthermore, 90% were smallsats which, however, concern only 24% of the mass. In the last quarter 577 spacecraft / satellites were launched with 83% related to telecommunications.