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Germans urged to save more gas despite cold weather

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Germany’s top energy regulator on Thursday issued an urgent warning to consumers to save more on gas regardless of cold weather, as figures showed above-average consumption despite repeated pleas for restraint.

“Without significant reductions in private households, it will be difficult to avoid a gas shortage this winter,” said Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA).

Figures released by the agency on Thursday showed consumption of 483 gigawatt hours (GWh) for the week beginning Sept. 19, well above the 2018-2021 average of 422 GWh.

“Although the week was significantly colder than the same week in previous years, the savings needed to avoid gas shortages must be made regardless of temperatures,” the agency said.

A cut of at least 20% would be needed to avoid bottlenecks, she added.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an acute energy crisis in Germany, in which Moscow is increasingly restricting gas supplies.

Europe’s largest economy was previously heavily dependent on Russian gas and has struggled to secure supplies from other countries.

BNetzA said Thursday German gas storage facilities were 91.5% full heading into winter, but more savings were needed.

“Gas must be saved, even if it gets even colder in the winter. That will depend on each and every one of us,” said Müller.

In the turmoil of the Ukraine war, the federal government repeatedly called on consumers to save energy.

Vonovia, the country’s largest real estate group, plans to limit the temperature in its 350,000 apartments to 17 degrees Celsius at night.

The Bundestag also wants to turn off the hot water in its offices this winter and keep the air temperature no higher than 20 degrees Celsius.

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Spectacular view of glowing lava draws thousands to Hawaiian island

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The world’s largest volcano spilled into rivers of glowing lava on Wednesday, drawing thousands of awed spectators who blocked a Hawaii highway that could soon be covered by the flow.

Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber Sunday, dumping volcanic ash and debris from the sky.

A major highway connecting towns on the east and west coasts of the Big Island became an impromptu vantage point with thousands of cars blocking the freeway near Volcanoes National Park.

Anne Andersen left her night shift as a nurse to watch Wednesday’s spectacle, fearing the road would soon be closed.

“It’s Mother Nature showing us her face,” she said as the volcano spewed gas on the horizon. “It’s pretty exciting.”

People in the foreground taking a picture of the erupting volcano in the distance.
A main road became a makeshift rest stop as people stopped to view the eruption. (Marco Garcia/The Associated Press)

The lava slowly tumbled down the slope and was about 10 kilometers from the highway known as Saddle Road. It wasn’t clear when or if it would cover the road that runs through ancient lava flows.

Plumes of smoke rising from burning lava flows.
Lava fountains were seen from an overflight at Fissure 3 of the noCentre County Reportheast rift zone. (USGS/Reuters)

The road bisects the island, connecting the cities of Hilo to the east and Kailua-Kona to the west. People traveling between them would have to take a longer coastal road if Saddle Road becomes impassable, adding several hours of driving time.

Ken Hon, the lead scientist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said at the current flow rate, the lava would not reach the road for at least two days, but it will likely take longer.

“If the lava flow spreads, it will likely disrupt its own progress,” Hon said.

What looks like flaming rivers flowing down the side of a mountain.
Scientists estimate that at the current rate, it will take at least two days for the lava to reach the island’s main road. (USGS/Civil Air Guard/Reuters)

Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. The current eruption is the 34th since written records began in 1843.

Its smaller volcanic neighbor, Kilauea, has been erupting since September 2021, allowing visitors to the national park to experience the rare sight of two simultaneous eruption events: the glow from Kilauea’s lava lake and lava from a Mauna Loa fissure.

A young person smiles with their arms raised and the volcano in the distance.
Since the lava poses no immediate threat to communities, people enjoy the place. (Gregory Bull/The Associated Press)

Officials were initially concerned that lava flowing down Mauna Loa would flow toward the community of South Kona, but scientists later reassured the public that the eruption had moved into a rift zone on the volcano’s noCentre County Reportheast flank and was not threatening communities.

The stench of volcanic gases and sulfur hung over Saddle Road, where people watched the broad lava flow draw closer.

A distant view of a volcano with burning lava pouring out and clouds overhead.
A view from Saddle Road of lava flowing down from the noCentre County Reportheast rift zone. (USGS/Reuters)

Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation to allow emergency responders to arrive quickly or limit access as needed.

“There is no physical or technological way to change the course of the lava,” Ige said at a news conference. He recalls wishing he had that in 2018, when an eruption on Kilauea spilled lava over homes, farms and roads.

Scientists are trying to measure the gas released in the eruption. (Gregory Bull/The Associated Press)

Lava crossed the access road to the Mauna Loa Observatory Monday night, disrupting power to the facility, the Hon said. It is the world’s leading station measuring heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The federal government is looking for a temporary alternate location on the Hawaiian island and is considering flying a generator to the observatory to restore its power supply so it can staCentre County Report taking measurements again.

Meanwhile, scientists are trying to measure the gas released by the eruption.

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Founder of bankrupt crypto firm FTX Sam Bankman-Fried breaks his silence, with thousands locked out of savings | Business News

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A crypto entrepreneur says his net worth has fallen from more than $26 billion to $100,000 after his company imploded.

Sam Bankman-Fried admitted it was a “bad month” after FTX went bankrupt and thousands of people lost their life savings.

The 30-year-old, who once positioned himself as the savior of ailing companies, is accused of misusing customer funds and secretly withdrawing $10 billion from the company.

At least a billion dollars are said to have disappeared.

Speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook summit, Mr Bankman-Fried insisted he had never attempted to commit fraud and said he was “shocked” at how the crisis had unfolded.

FTX has new management as it navigates bankruptcy, with the CEO saying he has never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls” in his 40-year career.

It has been alleged that funds from FTX users were mixed with funds from Alameda Research, a trading firm that Mr Bankman-Fried also ran.

FTX, a global cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed when panicked traders withdrew $6 billion from the company in three days following a spate of bombshell allegations.

Via video link from the Bahamas, Mr Bankman-Fried said he now has “almost nothing” and only one working credit card after his business failed.

He has admitted that his companies “completely failed” at risk management and said it was “quite embarrassing in hindsight”.

“Whatever happened, why it happened, I had a duty to our stakeholders, our customers, our investors, the world’s regulators, to prove them right,” added Mr. Bankman-Fried.

Although the embattled entrepreneur believes American users should get their money back in full, he has warned in other interviews that international clients may only get 20% to 25% of the money they had locked on FTX.

A number of companies in the cryptocurrency sector have collapsed in recent months, coinciding with Bitcoin’s sharp fall in value.

Some companies have been accused of offering interest rates on savings that were simply too good to be true, while others have been likened to “Ponzi schemes”.

The Bahamas has now launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances of FTX’s sinking.

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FTX founder Bankman-Fried says he didn’t ‘try to commit fraud,’ knowingly misuse funds – National

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of Now-Bankrupt crypto Exchange FTXtried to distance himself from suspicions of fraud in his first public appearance since the collapse of his company stunned investors and caused billions of dollars in losses to creditors.

Speaking via video link at the New York Times Dealbook Summit Wednesday with Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bankman-Fried said he did not knowingly mix customer funds on FTX with funds from his own trading firm. alameda Research.

“I have never attempted to commit fraud,” Bankman-Fried said in the hour-long interview, adding that he personally does not believe he is criminally responsible.

He also denied knowing the full extent of Alameda’s position on FTX, claiming it surprised him.

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The new FTX CEO criticizes the “complete lack” of trustworthy financial data

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The FTX liquidity crisis came after Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to Alameda Research. Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. At least $1 billion in customer funds have disappeared, people said.

Bankman-Fried told Reuters in November the company had not “secretly transferred” but misunderstood its “confusing internal labeling”.

FTX filed for bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO on Nov. 11 after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival exchange Binance gave up on a bailout deal.

“So much has happened this week,” he said.


Click here to play the video: 'What happened to FTX?  The recent crypto meltdown threatens the future of the industry.


What happened to FTX? The recent crypto meltdown threatens the future of the industry


Bankman-Fried said he was speaking from the Bahamas and that the interview was against the advice of his attorneys. He could be seen in the video link speaking from a room, wearing a black T-shirt and occasionally drinking from a mug.

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FTX faces a barrage of investigations. The US Attorney’s office in Manhattan began investigating how FTX handles client funds in mid-November, a source with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have also launched investigations.

When asked if he could come to the United States, Bankman-Fried replied that as far as he knew he could and that he would not be surprised if he traveled to Washington for the forthcoming congressional hearings on the company’s collapse.

FTX’s implosion marked a stunning fall from grace for the 30-year-old entrepreneur, who rode a cryptocurrency boom to a net worth that Forbes put at $26.5 billion a year ago. After launching FTX in 2019, he became an influential political donor and vowed to donate most of his earnings to charities.

He said Wednesday that he now has “almost nothing” left and only has a working credit card with “maybe $100,000 in this bank account.”

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What happened to FTX? What Canadians Should Know About the Recent Crypto Crash

Since FTX filed for bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried has distanced himself from the image he has projected in media interviews and on Capitol Hill, telling a Vox reporter his advocacy of a crypto regulatory framework is “just PR” and his Discussions about ethics within the industry are at least partly a front.

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Bankman-Fried said he was “confused” as to why FTX’s US unit, which has been included in the bankruptcy filing, isn’t processing customer withdrawals. Returns are currently suspended for both US and international customers.

“As far as I know, all American clients and all American regulated entities are fine here, I think, at least in terms of client assets,” he said, adding that derivative contracts at one of its U.S. subsidiaries are “fully collateralized.”

Bankman-Fried said that Alameda had built a sizeable position in FTX and that as digital asset prices plummeted this year earlier this month, Alameda became increasingly leveraged until there was no turning back.

“Realistically, there was no way for FTX to liquidate that position and generate all that was owed,” he said.

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Collapsed FTX hit by unauthorized transactions as millions disappear into crypto


He added that he was “not attempting to mix funds,” but said that when FTX was unbanked, some customers sent funds to Alameda and credited to FTX, likely causing discrepancies.

Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of Alameda in October 2021, four years after the company’s founding, relegating the role to Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco, who served as co-CEOs until Trabucco left the company in August.

For his part, Bankman-Fried said he regrets that he’s focused on the bigger picture at FTX at the expense of risk management, which he’s paid less attention to over the “last year or two.”

His companies have “completely failed” at risk management, he said.

“There was no one person primarily responsible for client position risk at FTX and that feels quite embarrassing in hindsight.”

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(Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Lananh Nguyen in New York and Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Writing by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Megan Davies, Deepa Babington and Sam Holmes)

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