On Friday, CNBC announced that Bitcoin, and several other major cryptocurrencies, are officially entering a bear market state.
"The world's biggest cryptocurrency sank 8% in the last 24 hours to $54,177, according to Coin Metrics data, its lowest level since early October. Bitcoin is down 20% from an all-time high of nearly $69,000 which it hit earlier this month," reported Ryan Browne. "Other cryptocurrencies also plunged Friday. Ether, the second-biggest crypto, fell nearly 11% to $4,027, while XRP slumped 11% to around 94 cents."
The driving force behind this is the announcement of a new, heavily mutated COVID variant in South Africa, which has prompted investors to move to bonds as they fear a potential new global wave of the pandemic — although little is currently known about the new variant's infectiousness, virulence, or resistance to vaccines.
"The World Health Organization on Thursday gave a briefing on the new variant, which is known as B.1.1.529 and is thought to contain more than 30 mutations. The U.K. and other nations have temporarily suspended flights from six African countries in response," said the report. "Global stock markets were sinking Friday, with European stocks set for their worst session in more than a year and U.S. stock futures down sharply."
CNN's Brianna Keilar on Friday interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci about the new B.1.1.529 variant of COVID-19 which has been found in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.
"A new variant of coronavirus has been discovered in South Africa and this is raising concerns," Keilar noted. "Scientists there are warning it could show immune invasion and enhanced transmissibility."
"This is obviously a very significant day as we try to look at what the risk factors are with this variant," she said. "What can you tell us about this?"
"Well, certainly there is a new variant that is now in South Africa, in the Gauteng province, that has some mutations that are raising some concern, particularly with regard to possibly transmissibility increase and possibly evasion of immune response," Fauci replied.
"We don't know that for sure right now. This is really something that's in motion and we just arranged right now a discussion between our scientists and the South African scientists a little bit later this morning to really get the facts, because you are hearing a lot of things back and forth, we want to find out scientist to scientist exactly what is going on," he continued.
"But it is something that emerged in South Africa and seems to be spreading at a reasonably rapid rate in the sense of when they test positivity, they are seeing it is a bit more widespread in South Africa than was originally felt. So it is a fluid motion. it is something in realtime we are learning more and more about," Fauci said.
He also said there is "no indication" the the variant has already reached U.S. shores, but noted "anything is possible."
Dr Anthony Fauci www.youtube.com
A jury awarded $26 million in damages to nine people who sued the white nationalist organizers of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally, but they may not recover much of that penalty.
Many of the defendants are currently in prison or gone into hiding, and most of them insist they'll never have enough money to pay off the judgments against them, reported Politico.
"I have no assets," said neo-Nazi said Matthew Heimbach. "I have no property. You can't get blood from a stone."
Heimbach co-founded the far-right Traditionalist Worker Party with co-defendant Matthew Parrott, but their neo-Nazi group fell apart after Heimbach allegedly assaulted Parrott, who was his wife's stepfather, in an argument over Heimbach's alleged affair with Parrott's wife.
Richard Spencer, who was for a time the most famous white nationalist in the country, told a judge that notoriety had become a "huge burden" and made it impossible to raise money for his legal defense, and he has tried to distance himself from the "dysfunctional" alt-right movement he helped popularize.
Another pair of defendants have been sentenced to prison.
James Alex Fields Jr. was sentenced to life on murder and hate crimes for intentionally running his car into counterprotesters at the Charlottesville, Virginia, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and Christopher Cantwell, the so-called "crying Nazi," was sentenced to nearly 3 1/2 years in federal prison for threatening to rape the wife of a man he believed was harassing him.