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Palau says committed to supporting Taiwan despite ‘increasing aggression’ by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Palau President Surangel Webs speaks at a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan on March 29, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The president of Palau said on Thursday his tiny Pacific country was committed to supporting Taiwan despite “increasing aggression” and offered his strong support as Beijing ramped up pressure on Taipei in the region.

The Pacific is the site of a diplomatic tug of war between Beijing and Washington, and in 2019 China wrested two of Taiwan’s then allies, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

Palau, which has a population of less than 20,000 and is a close ally of the United States, is one of only 14 countries that have formal diplomatic relations with China-claimed Taiwan.

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Speaking at a welcome party during a visit to Taipei, the President of Palau, Surangel Webs Jr., hailed the ties, which he said are based on a shared commitment to freedom and democracy.

“The people of Palau highly value the friendship between our two countries and are committed to supporting Taiwan despite the escalating aggression in our region,” said Webs, standing next to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

Webs denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow called a “special military operation” to disarm the country.

“In the face of countries’ attempts to change the international status quo by force, we must continue to work together and encourage international cooperation in order to ease military tensions,” he added.

Taiwan has faced increasing military pressure from China, especially since Beijing held war games near the island in August after a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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Tsai told Whipps that he was a good friend.

“Taiwan greatly values ​​Palau’s friendship,” she said.

Whipps will attend the National Taiwan Day celebrations on Monday.

In the Pacific Ocean, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, like Palau, are stuck with Taipei.

China says Taiwan is one of its provinces that has no right to interstate relations, which is strongly refuted by the democratically elected government in Taipei.

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The United States accuses China of luring developing Pacific nations with generous loans, charges Beijing denies.

Taiwan provides development aid to Palau, including health care.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.