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Putin grants Russian citizenship to US whistleblower Snowden By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden appears on a screen during his interview provided via video link at the New Knowledge online educational forum in Moscow, Russia, September 2, 2021. REUTERS/Olesya Astakhova

(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday granted Russian citizenship to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, nine years after he revealed the scale of secret NSA surveillance.

Snowden, 39, fled the United States and was granted asylum in Russia after leaking classified files in 2013 that revealed extensive domestic and international surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency, where he worked.

And the US authorities have wanted for years to return him to the United States to face a criminal trial on charges of espionage.

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Snowden’s name appeared without comment from the Kremlin in a decree issued by Putin granting citizenship to 72 foreign-born people.

Snowden later released a message, essentially an updated version of his November 2020 tweet, saying he wanted his family to stay together and asking for privacy.

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I did not want to separate from our children,” the tweet read.

“After two years of waiting and nearly ten years in exile, a little stability would make a difference to my family. I pray for them privacy – and for all of us.”

The new tweet did not mention the Kremlin leader’s decree, but was linked to the 2020 (NYSE:) Twitter thread that Snowden said he and his family were applying for dual US-Russian citizenship.

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The news prompted some Russians to jokingly question whether Snowden would be called up for military service, five days after Putin announced Russia’s first general mobilization since World War II to support its faltering invasion of Ukraine.

“Will Snowden be drafted?” Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the state media outlet RT and a supporter of Putin, wrote with humor on her Telegram channel.

Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherina, told the RIA news agency that his client could not be summoned because he had not previously served in the Russian army.

He said Snowden’s (NYSE:) Mills wife, Lindsay, who gave birth to a child in 2020, will also apply for citizenship.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said he was not aware of any change in Snowden’s status as a US citizen.

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“I am aware of the fact that he somehow denounced his US citizenship. I don’t know that he renounced it,” Price told a news briefing.

Russia granted Snowden permanent residency rights in 2020, paving the way for him to obtain Russian citizenship.

That year, a US appeals court found that the program that Snowden had exposed was illegal and that US intelligence leaders who publicly defended it had not told the truth.

Putin, the former head of Russian intelligence, said in 2017, that Snowden, who had kept a low profile while living in Russia, was at fault for leaking US secrets but was not a traitor.

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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.