Italy is breaking with the EU and continuing to recognize Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's president under the non-intervention doctrine, the UN endorsed idea that foreign states should not try to force outcomes in other state's internal affairs (archived). This comes as USG endorsed interim president Guiadó is refusing to engage in a dialogue between Maduro and other Venezuelan parties in Montevideo to be hosted by Mexico and Uruguay.
Meanwhile the US is considering sanctions against NATO ally Turkey over Turkey's ongoing trade relationship with Venezuela. Turkey at the same time is the key party Trump is negotiating with to assure US troops a relatively safe exit from Syria.
A contact on the ground reports greater than normal power fluctuations and internet connectivity interruptions today. Without an acknowledge shot being fired, it appears that Trump's appointement of John Bolton has damaged US and greater anglophone influence on an Obamaesque scale. For engaging a rich, if undernourished, country with war posturing the US is discovering that many of its "allies" just aren't that committed when money is on the line.
The computing timeshare market xDedic has been shuttered following "law enforcement" action (archived). Participants in the xDedic market traded time on available computers captured in the wild including numerous computers nominally operated by various governments. No arrests or indictments have been announced as of press time.
Japan has announced they are quitting the International Whaling Commision and will begin commercial whaling in their territorial waters and aquatic economic zones. This move comes after years of confrontations with the International Pantsuit over their Antarctic research whale hunts and a rejected petition to receive a quota to permit a commercial whale harvest. Seeing the International Pantsuit Whaling control club would not appreciate their diverse and ancient culture, the Japanese quit the club. No exit negotiation process, no missile strikes trying to bait an Infinity War, just a lot of International Pantsuit bitching and Japanese permits for Japanese whalers.
Theranos, the once aspiring blood testing startup favored by USG elders, announced overnight that it would be winding down and ending.
The Chicoms have seized local conglomerate with international holdings Anbang and turned it over to the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commision nominally to "protect the rights and interests of consumers."
Sears, the ailing official retailer of the original American Great,1 has pre-emptively taken tool giant Techtronic Industries (TTI) to court in order to stave off inevitable supply contract renegotiations. TTI has grown to supply the bulk of power tools sold under retailer specific private label brands including many sold as part of the Craftsman brand that Sears recently sold to Stanley Black and Decker. Naturally the combination of Sears dwindling ability to pay vendors and the natural aversion to producing products for one's chief competitor has placed Techtronics in a situation that makes reconsidering its relationship with Sears desirable.
This news comes as Sears lost a five year old patent case against a smaller vendor whose product design they had ripped off and sold under their former Craftsman brand. In five short years Sears has gone from the large retailer bullying smaller vendors to the small retailer trying to bully vendors they helped to make larger than themselves.
Once again it appears that abusing a relic of the original American Great has succeeded in turning billions into millions.
Sears, already running out of things to sell came close to losing over 750,000 US dollars1 worth of jewellery when a thief attempted to rob a Washington, D.C. area store on St. Patrick's day. The allegedly Daniel E. Grant managed to find a Craftsman hammer in the store and smashed display cases after the store closed. His plans were foiled by the store's motion sensing alarms. He allegedly abandoned his loot and the hammer and attempted to flee before being apprehended and charged with two counts of commercial burglary and one count of theft after police responded. (archived)
After 146 years of continuous operations the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced they will be ending circus operations in May of this year. In their 145th year the circus cut elephant performances from their programming due to regulatory pressure.
Despite investment from the likes of Samsung, Pelion, DCM, First Round, Horizons, and Andreessen Horowitz, cloud storage provider Bitcasa CEO Brian E. Taptich announced on the now-defunct firm's webpage today (archived) that the firm had lost its bet on the unending continuation of Kryder's Law to power its growth by bringing its costs close to zero.
Over $22 mn in 2011 – 2013 turkey dollars1 was poured into the firm, which employed upwards of 50 staff at its peak in its efforts to offer unlimited on-the-go cloud storage for USD $10 per month. Under pressure from "abusers" of the service, Bitcasa dropped the unlimited storage offering and shifted to a more typical per-terabyte pricing strategy in late 2014, putting it directly in competition with better funded rivals like Dropbox, Box, and Google, and dooming it to failure.
There's no word on where former clients such as Hong Kong's Hutchison Telecom have turned to in their time of need, or whether Mr. Taptich has finally admitted to himself the poisonous mistake of taking bad money.
Circle, the USG promoted fiat/Bitcoin interface faced by Jeremy Allaire, is exiting the currency conversion racket.