Russian Ex-Journalist Accused of Treason to Stay in Detention

Twitter Accounts Of Elon Musk, Bill Gates And Others Hacked In Bitcoin Scam

Twitter accounts of major companies and individuals were apparently hacked on Wednesday and tweets were posted requesting followers to send bitcoin to a specific address, according to reports.

“We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly,” Twitter said.

The hacked Twitter accounts included Apple,UBER, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and former president Barack Obama.

Elon Musk reportedly was first high-profile account to be hacked, with a tweet from his account promising to double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet “for the next 30 minutes.”

Twitter disabled the ability to tweet from validated accounts immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet.

Twitter later said most accounts would be able to tweet again, but the company is still “working on a fix”.

Abiomed: FDA Approves Data Streaming From Impella Console – Quick Facts

Abiomed (ABMD) announced the FDA has approved one-way digital data streaming during patient support from Automated Impella Controller, the external console used with Impella heart pumps. The company said the approval means console data could be streamed live via Impella Connect to a secure server where artificial intelligence could provide predictive clinical information to the physician.

Chuck Simonton, Abiomed’s chief medical officer, stated: “One day, using artificial
intelligence, physicians may be able to confidently predict a patient’s future hemodynamics.”

European Economics Preview: ECB Monetary Policy Announcement Due

The interest rate announcement from the European Central Bank is due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

The ECB is expected to leave its key interest rate, which is the rate on the main refinancing operations, at a record low zero percent. No new measures are expected at the meeting. The announcement is due at 7.45 am ET.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is set to hold customary press conference at 8.30 am ET.

At 2.00 am ET, the Office for National Statistics is slated to issue UK labor market statistics. The jobless rate is forecast to rise to 4.2 percent in three months to May from 3.9 percent in three months to April.

In the meantime, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association publishes Europe’s new car registrations data for June.

At 2.45 am ET, France’s statistical office Insee is scheduled to issue final consumer prices for June. According to preliminary estimate, inflation eased to 0.1 percent, which was the lowest since May 2016.

At 4.00 am ET, Italy’s foreign trade data for May is due. The trade deficit totaled EUR 1.15 billion in April.

In the meantime, Bank of England’s credit conditions survey data is due.

At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat releases euro area foreign trade data for May. The trade surplus totaled EUR 2.9 billion in April.

Abbott Laboratories Sees FY20 Adj. Earnings Above Estimates – Quick Facts

While reporting its second-quarter financial results on Thursday, medical devices and healthcare company Abbott Laboratories (ABT) forecast fiscal 2020 earnings per share from continuing operations of at least $2.00, and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of at least $3.25.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $2.84 per share for the year. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

U.S. Homebuilder Optimism Continues Recovery as Buyers Return

U.S. homebuilders’ outlook improved in July and is back at pre-pandemic levels as the housing market continued to lure buyers looking for more space and attracted by record-low interest rates.

A gauge of builder sentiment jumped to a preliminary 72, a 14-point gain from June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected a reading of 61. A rating above 50 is considered positive. July’s increase followed a 21-point uptick in June.

Separate reports on Thursday showed that jobless claims fell in early July and that retail sales advanced more than forecast in June.

The improvement in homebuilders’ optimism signals continued housing market growth after record-lows in April. But the growing numbers of virus cases in the Sunbelt and Western states could impair business confidence and result in a slump in the coming weeks. The biggest increase in regional scores was in the Northeast, followed by the Midwest, the West and the South.

Russian Ex-Journalist Accused of Treason to Stay in Detention

A Russian court ordered the continued pre-trial detention of a prominent former journalist accused of treason, while striking out one element of the charges against him.

The Moscow City Court on Thursday rejected Ivan Safronov’s bid to be released from custody, leaving him in jail for at least two months. Safronov, who regularly broke news on sensitive arms deals while working for the Kommersant newspaper over much of the past decade, denies the accusations against him.

Investigators say that Safronov, who was detained July 7, passed classified information to Czech intelligence that Prague then passed on to the U.S., according to his lawyer Ivan Pavlov. The charges, which were formally filed Monday, contain no details about who exactly he allegedly provided the materials to, Pavlov said.

The court struck out prosecutors’ assertion that the alleged cooperation happened over the long term. Investigators say Safronov was recruited by Czech secret service in 2012 and in 2017 provided them with information on Russia’s arms trade and other military issues. He left journalism earlier this year and since May has worked as an aide to the head of Russia’s state space agency.

“This will make it easier for us to fight going forward,” against the charges, said another defense lawyer, Oleg Yeliseev.

Safronov’s prosecution is the latest in an escalating number of espionage cases in the past decade and has led to an outcry in the Russian media.