Saturday Morning TV

During the first year of the Covid pandemic I eschewed being connected to the collective while returning to the basics, as in watching television. Being born in 1950 means I am a so-called “baby boomer.” It may have been better to have called we boomers “TV watchers,” as the tube was our pacifier. There was no school on Saturday. There were, though, many child oriented programs emanating from the box. One of my favorites was Sky King.

“From out of the clear blue of the western sky comes Sky King” was the familiar opening to television’s premier aviation program. Operating from his Flying Crown Ranch in Arizona, Sky King, his niece Penny and their Cessna 310 airplane “Songbird” were constantly involved in one adventure after another.

(https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043232/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

I must have had a crush on Penny before I knew what was a crush…

Fast forward about six decades or so and there was I once again sitting in front of the telly, as the Brits say, watching Saturday morning programs with my coffee. Only now the women with bright smiles are scientists, or at least report on science on the program, Exploration Station. (https://www.xplorationstation.com/)

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After purchasing the Dude (it’s a Dell) I vowed to continuing watching the Saturday morning science shows with my first cuppa java at least until my eyes focused. That did not happen. So this morning I decided to turn on the TV and watch an episode of Exploration Station: Nature Knows Best.

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Danni Washington
Host of Xploration Nature Knows Best


Host Danni Washington is a marine biologist and co-founder of the non-profit, Big Blue & You which engages youth in marine conservation through the arts and media.

Then came Exploration Station: Outer Space,

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Emily Calandrelli
Host of Xploration Outer Space

Host Emily Calandrelli, MIT Engineer and astronautics expert takes viewers on incredible journeys through space. She visits various NASA facilities, private space companies, and interviews space experts in search of answers about our universe.

which was followed by Exploration Station: Awesome Planet…

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Philippe Cousteau
Host of Xploration Awesome Planet


Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, explores the most spectacular places – on the Earth, inside the Earth, and above the Earth – in this riveting earth science series.

The coffee was followed by cereal and that hour and a half may be the best part of the day. Granted, the programs are for children, but what am I other than an old child? I’m too old to have a crush, so it must be a thing I have for Dani and Emily…they each have such a nice smile.

I mention this because during the Outer space episode one of the astronauts mentioned how thin is the layer of atmosphere that allows us to exist. I read a couple of things about atmosphere this week that remained in my brain, so I did some research and found them:

“The view of Earth is absolutely spectacular, and the feeling of looking back and seeing your planet as a planet is just an amazing feeling. It’s a totally different perspective, and it makes you appreciate, actually, how fragile our existence is. You can look at Earth’s horizon and see this really, really thin royal blue line right along the horizon, and at first you don’t really quite internalize what that is, and then you realize that it’s Earth’s atmosphere, and that that’s all there is of it, and it’s about as thick as the fuzz on a tennis ball, and it’s everything that separates us from the vacuum of space.” – Sally Ride (https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-may-26-2021/)

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Wealth


by Tim Nolan

Down the block a garage band plays
“Isn’t She Lovely” —here’s a kind of wealth

even if the song is fractured—and listening
tonight to the sequence of birds—I mean

their unintended consequences—is wealth—
and today I followed all the plays—each

count around the baseball diamond—no one
expected their due—the outs were out

and some of the runners were safe—there was
sense in the blue sky—it could all go

beyond nine innings—whatever—I mean
everyone agreed and understood this passing—

this endless passing of time—was a kind of wealth—
and our atmosphere would be enough—the trees

would frame the sky and the sky would be
beyond belief—so blue—as in Mediterranean Blue—

and Odysseus would come home—as he was
compelled to—sunburned, vagrant—and wealthy.

Tim Nolan, “Wealth” from The Sound of It. Copyright © 2008 by Tim Nolan. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of New Rivers Press, newriverspress.com. (https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-may-26-2021

OTB CHESS IN CHARLOTTE!

Two separate tournaments began at the Charlotte Chess Center yesterday. The GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL tournaments are nine round events taking place in a five day time frame, which is sure to separate the men from the boys! At the website one finds: Safety Precautions/Measures in Effect. (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/norm)

This is one of the pictures found at the home of the CCC:

https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/

FM Peter Giannatos,

80610287_10220610504107923_7528175108280

Founder and Director of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy, has an informative bi-weekly stream on Twitch. FM Peter Giannatos is FIDE Master since February of 2017. Peter is also a United States Chess Federation National Master (NM)/Life Master (LM), Senior Tournament Director, and FIDE International Arbiter (IA). (https://www.chessdom.com/fm-peter-giannatos-live-stream/)

There was an excellent article at Chessdom earlier in the week in which this video featured:

FM Peter Giannatos – live stream tonight 6:30-7:30pm EDT (0:30-1:30 CEST) https://www.chessdom.com/fm-peter-giannatos-live-stream/

The games in real time, or later, are being displayed at the ChessBomb: https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-gm

In the IM tournament two wiley ol’ veterans met in the first round:

Charlotte CLT IM 2021

Eckert, Doug (2165) FM – Adamson, Robby (2250) FM

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 01

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Be2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 Qe7 9. Bb2 b6 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. Re1 Rad8 12. Qc2 Rfe8 13. e4 dxe4 14. Nxe4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Nf6 16. Bd3 Ba3 17. Rad1 Bxb2 18. Qxb2 Qc7 19. c5 h6 20. b4 Re7 21. Ne5 Nd7 22. Qc3 Ra8 23. h3 Nf6 ½-½ https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-im/01-Eckert_Doug-Adamson_Robby

18…Qc7? was rather lame, when 18…c5 was called for…Then when Black offered a draw White proved to be extremely limp-wristed by being agreeable when he holds all the cards. Go figure…

In the GM tournament this game was not played:

Charlotte CLT GM 2021

Ringoir, Tanguy (2474) GM – Korley, Kassa (2441) IM

Charlotte CLT GM 2021 round 01

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. b3 O-O 10. Bb2 Ne4 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 Bf5 13. Nd4 Bxd4 14. Bxd4 Qd7 15. Bb2 Rad8 16. e3 Bg4 17. Qd3 Bh3 18. Rfd1 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Qe6 20. Rd2 h5 21. h4 Qe4+ 22. Kg1 Rfe8 23. Rad1 Qg4 ½-½ https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-gm/01-Ringoir_Tanguy-Korley_Kassa

24 Qb5 suggests itself with white holding the initiative and all the cards. Ask yourself, “Would Bobby Fischer have offered a draw in either of these games?”

Oh well, it has been a year sans computer and I have been looking forward to watching some OTB action so this weekend will be devoted to the GM and IM tournaments being contested right up the road on Inerstate 85 in the Queen City!

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fbesthqwallpapers.com%2Fimg%2Foriginal%2F97908%2Fcharlotte-4k-cityscapes-modern-buildings-american-cities.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Garry Kasparov with Morning Joe

Unable to read yesterday morning due to blurred vision I turned on the TV and the first thing heard from MSNBC was to “Stay tuned. Garry Kasparov will be with us after the break.” I sat down with my morning joe to listen to Garry because he and I agree on the fact that Vladimir Putin is not good for the planet. No leader armed to the teeth with a nuclear arsenal who has a Napoleon complex will ever be good for humanity. Putin did not go to all the trouble and expense to assist in electing Donald Trump out of the goodness of his heart.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2018/07/Vladimir-Putin-and-Donald-Trump-620x477.jpg
In this photo, taken Nov. 11, 2017, US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam (Pool photo by JORGE SILVA via AP)

Vladimir knew a POTUS Trump would be deleterious for US, and the free world, which would be a positive for him and his “Mother Russia.” The whole Trump family sold out We The People (Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/us/politics/trump-russia-email-clinton.html),

https://mediaproxy.salon.com/width/1200/https://media.salon.com/2017/07/trump-jr-putin.jpg
Donald Trump Jr.; Vladimir Putin (AP/Kathy Willens/Getty/Sergei Karpukhin/Salon)

and only history will record how much damage was done by a family of self aggrandizing grifters.

From the talk with Kasparov one learns that his Renew Democracy Initiative launched an Interactive Platform and Master Class (https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/15/garry-kasparov-launches-a-community-first-chess-platform/).

We also learn that there is an article by Senior Contributor Matt Gardner in Forbes magazine: (Kasparov’s Next Move: Grandmaster Returns To Chess With Esports Platform (forbes.com))

Garry Kasparov portrait in black and white
Garry Kasparov is returning to chess with his all-new esports platform, Kasparovchess.
 
KASPAROVCHESS

Garry talked about Beth Harmon

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Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harman

the character in the Queen’s Gambit series based on the book of the same name by Walter Tevis,

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41nyOLGNBhL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

as if she were a real person when he said, “Chess helped Beth Harmon overcome drinking and drugs, which helps to dispel the popular myth that chess causes mental instability because of Americans Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer.”

I jotted this down and may be paraphrasing somewhat here. The entire lengthy segment, America has nothing to gain from meeting with Putin: Garry Kasparov: President Joe Biden will meet in-person for the first time since taking office with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, the White House announced Tuesday. Garry Kasparov of the Renew Democracy Initiative joins Morning Joe to discuss. May 26, 2021, can be watched here:

America has nothing to gain from meeting with Putin: Garry Kasparov (msnbc.com)

Double Shot of Vaccine Love!

After receiving the second shot of the Moderna vaccine yesterday the siren sounded, there were flashing lights with balloons and streamers galore! Then beautiful, scantily clad young women began hugging and making a fuss over me! For a moment I thought I had died and gone to heaven…before realizing there ain’t a snowballs chance in hell of that happening…Then Monte Hall appeared

BROADCASTING SCRAPBOOK RADIO notes by racampbell: Game ...

informing me of all the things I had won, including a humongous check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!! All this because my vaccination made the US of A attain the 50% vaccinated mark!!!

And there was Governor Mike Dewine holding the check!

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nowtheendbegins.com

Then I awakened…I was alone in the bed and my arm hurt…and it was back to reality, because Mike DeWine is the Republican Governor of Ohio. The Governor of my Great State of Georgia is the wrong wing Republican who wanted to open the state so early that even the Trumpster ridiculed the son of a gun…(https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/georgias-experiment-in-human-sacrifice/)

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.Z9Erwth5-HT_iZDhLWYi3QHaEN%26pid%3DApi&f=1
thegoldwater.com

It was, though, one hellofa dream!

Dedicated to Susan “Bells” Bailey

The Dark Side of the Moon Rising

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2021/05/25/science/25ECLIPSE2/merlin_149518434_ef3d1271-27aa-4699-8c47-7e7c9d10e52c-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp
A total lunar eclipse over Encinitas, Calif., in 2019.Credit…Mike Blake/Reuters
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival (HQ – 5.1 Studio )
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Moon watchers gathered to observe a total lunar eclipse over Vienna in January 2019.Credit…Georg Hochmuth/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side of The Moon” PULSE Remastered

Bob Dylan’s Masterpiece

It’s the birthday of Bob Dylan (books by this author), born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (1941). He grew up in the declining mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota. He was a quiet kid, raised by Jewish parents, who loved listening to the Grand Ole Opry. But after he heard Little Richard on the radio he wanted to play rock and roll, so his dad bought him an electric guitar and he formed a rock band at his high school, The Golden Chords. Then he went to the University of Minnesota, and as soon as he got to Minneapolis, and heard a record by the folk singer Odetta, he went and traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic one. Then a friend gave him Woody Guthrie’s autobiography and he was so inspired that he started learning all the folk songs he could and trying to sing like Woody. He performed in coffee shops around the university, and then in 1961, when he heard that Woody Guthrie was dying of Huntington’s disease in New York City, he left for the East Coast to meet his hero and become a musician.

And he did both those things. He went to Greystone Hospital and found Woody Guthrie and he played him songs, and visited him over and over. Later Dylan said, “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.”

He started performing in Greenwich Village clubs and coffeehouses, using the name Bob Dylan (he denies that he took his name from Dylan Thomas). He released his first album, Bob Dylan, in 1962. Within a space of just four years, the kid from Minnesota with the strange voice became a folk music sensation. In those years he released Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Another Side of Bob Dylan, and Bringing It All Back Home. He became a symbol of the protest movement and civil rights and stood on stage with Joan Baez while Martin Luther King Jr. performed his “I Have a Dream” speech and he moved from old ballads to writing his own folk songs all the way to “Like A Rolling Stone,” which caused him to get booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he plugged in his electric guitar.

Bob Dylan has been called one of the greatest songwriters of all time and even one of the greatest poets of all time. He won a Nobel Prize in literature in 2016.

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https://podtail.com/podcast/is-it-rolling-bob-talking-dylan/

Dedicated to Richard Dalrymple

Viewing Chess Women

After participating in an online group class last evening I decided to spend the morning watching live Chess action. There were two choices. One was the $1.5M Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: FTX Crypto Cup, which consists of, from the website: 9 days of chess. 16 top players. $220k prize fund and an additional $100k in $Bitcoin. (https://championschesstour.com/) As of one pm, Eastern Standard Daylight Saving time, the $100K in coin bits had melted to $76,757.87.
The time control for this event is an off-putting 15 minutes plus 10 seconds added after every move made. David Howell, Jovanka Houska, and a face with which I am unfamiliar, K. Snare, are covering the action online. With 16 players that is 8 quick play games to cover. Makes me nervous just thinking about all that constant jabbering…Do not get me wrong, there is a time and place for 15 minute Chess. David Bronstein, the man who drew a match for the World Championship with then Champion Mikhail Bottvinnik, who proclaimed himself to be “First among peers,” advocated a 15 minute time limit for the players in the so-called “workers paradise” known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Bronstein’s thinking was that two workers could get together after an evening meal and play four games before hitting the sack for the night.

Then there is the more sedate Gibraltar FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2021 where the time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1 actually gives the players, and spectators, time to cogitate. If I have to inform you of which tournament this post is about you have not read enough of the AW. In the words of the “Rising Star of the Year,” Alireza Firouzja, in still the best Chess magazine published on planet Earth, New In Chess, 2020 #8,

https://www.newinchess.com/media/catalog/product/cache/d8e09cdef69dd873ff7ff5e76a338998/n/e/newinchess_2020_8_x500_1.jpg

“I believe most people play chess because you have to really use your mind, know the different patterns and so on. Maybe to grow chess and bring more fans to the game, it is needed to increase the number of rapid and blitz tournaments throughout the year. But I do believe that many people still enjoy classical chess, because there you can really see quality moves and deep ideas.” Earlier in yet another excellent interview by Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam, the young man said about Norway chess, “I was really happy to be back at the wooden board. It feels different when you touch the pieces and move them around. I think every chess lover understands what I mean. Seeing your opponent and seeing people around the playing area just felt great.” Amen, brother! I cannot wait to play in the next Senior Chess tournament! I am already looking forward to the next Land of the Sky Chess tournament, according to tournament impresario Wilder Wadford, the weekend before the Super Bowl, in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. I may make the trip just to be there, being square!

https://static.tildacdn.com/tild3330-3431-4539-b533-653862333062/51195048678_3a18b469.jpg
by John Saunders, 21 May 2020

In the second round of the Gibraltar FIDE Women’s Grand Prix these moves were played in the game: Anna Muzychuk (2535) vs Nana Dzagnidze (2524):

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 9. Na3 Be6 10. Nc4 Rb8 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne7 13. Bxf6 gxf6

White to move

To see the shocking thrust that followed please go to the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-fide-womens-grand-prix-gibraltar/02-Muzychuk_Anna-Dzagnidze_Nana)

Zelcic, Robert (2526) vs Dreev, Aleksey (2671)
Event: Tournament of Peace 2019
Site: Zagreb CRO Date: 11/22/2019
Round: 4.6 Score: 1-0
ECO: B33 Sicilian, Pelikan, Bird variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 e5 8.Bg5 a6 9.Na3 Be6 10.Nc4 Rb8 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5 Ne7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.g3 h5 15.Bh3 Bh6 16.Qf3 Nc8 17.O-O b5 18.Na5 Qxa5 19.Qxf6 Rg8 20.Qxh6 Qb4 21.c3 Qe4 22.Qxh5 Ne7 23.Bg2 Qg6 24.Qxg6 Nxg6 25.b4 Ke7 26.a4 f5 27.axb5 axb5 28.Ra6 Rgc8 29.Bh3 Rf8 30.Rfa1 e4 31.Rc6 Rb7 32.Raa6 Rd7 33.Bf1 Rb8 34.Rcb6 Rxb6 35.Rxb6 Rc7 36.Bh3 f4 37.Bf5 Ne5 38.gxf4 Nf3+ 39.Kh1 Rxc3 40.Bxe4 Nh4 41.h3 Rc4 42.f3 Rxb4 43.Kh2 Rb2+ 44.Kg3 Ng2 45.Rb7+ Kf6 46.Rd7 Ne3 47.Rxd6+ Kf7 48.f5 Nc4 49.Rc6 Ne5 50.Ra6 b4 51.Ra7+ Kf6 52.Kf4 Nc4 53.Ra6+ Kf7 54.Rc6 Na5 55.Rc5 Ra2 56.d6 Kf6 57.Bd5 b3 58.d7 Ra4+ 59.Kg3 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4232480&m=22

Also in round 2

Antoaneta Stefanova (2470) – Valentina Gunina (2421)

B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation

  1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Nd7 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. Ne5 e6 9. Qe2 b5 10. Bd3 Qc7 11. O-O (TN) Bd6 12. f4 Nd5 13. g3 O-O 14. a3 Bb7 15. Nf3 Rae8 16. b3 e5 17. fxe5

Black to move

To learn what Ms. Gunina played head on over to ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-fide-womens-grand-prix-gibraltar/02-Stefanova_Antoaneta-Gunina_Valentina)

Stay

STAY
by Kim Addonizio

So your device has a low battery & seems to drain faster each day.
Maybe you should double your medication.

You might feel queasy, but also as if the spatula flattening you to the fry pan
has lifted a little.

So your breath comes out scorched, so what.

Inside, trust me on this,
there’s a ribbon of beach by a lake,

in the sand, fragments of a fossilized creature resembling a tulip.

Back in the Paleozoic, online wasn’t invented yet
so everyone had to wander alone & miserable through the volcanic wastes

or just glue themselves to a rock hoping someone would pass by.

Now you can sob to an image of your friend a continent away
& be consoled.

Please wait for the transmissions, however faint.

Listen: when a stranger steps into the elevator with a bouquet of white
roses not meant for you,

they’re meant for you..

Kim Addonizio, “STAY” from Now We’re Getting Somewhere. Published by W.W. Norton and used by permission of Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents.
https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-may-22-2021/

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/8cdca-kimlandingcoverpagess.jpg
https://www.kimaddonizio.com/

BBC World Service, “Queen’s Gambit essential to online chess streamers boom”

BBC World Service ran a video segment presenting the life of chess streamers and the recent explosion of interest in chess video broadcasts. BBC correctly taps into the shifting fortunes – nowadays young WGM/WIM/FM players are the avant-garde of chess. The reason: “Queen’s Gambit” by Netflix.

Things really changed the most for me when Queen’s Gambit came out.

Qiyu Zhou aka Akanemsko

I thought that becoming a chess teacher was the way I was going to earn my living, but what I am doing now is something that… it’s just incredible. No one ever saw this coming. Thank you to the people who made Queen’s Gambit. I owe you… probably my left pinky toe.

Levy Rozman aka Gothamchess

Queen’s Gambit: Chess on the rise due to drama series

The popularity of chess is rocketing with five times the number of new online players than last year.

Lockdown and the drama Queen’s Gambit have been credited with bringing new players to the board.

18 November 2020SectionBBC NewsSubsectionEntertainment & Arts

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-54995676

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour FTX Crypto Cup With a $100k Bitcoin Bonus!

The prize fund is being boosted by $100,000 from the new Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, FTX. The dollar value will be converted into Bitcoin at 14:00 CEST today (Monday, May 17), so that the value of the prize will fluctuate before and during the event. https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-nepo-meet-as-top-10-all-play-320-000-ftx-crypto-cup

CRYPTOCURRENCY
Bitcoin tanks 20% in 24 hours to fall below $35,000, hits lowest level since January
PUBLISHED TUE, MAY 18 202111:51 PM EDT UPDATED 17 MIN AGO

Ryan Browne @RYAN_BROWNE_ Arjun Kharpal @ARJUNKHARPAL

Bitcoin (BTC) price plunges below $35,000, hits lowest level since January (cnbc.com)