Mar 19, 2018

Trump bans Venezuelan government's new cryptocurrency

President Donald Trump. Photo: Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump on Monday signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. citizens from buying Venezuela's newly created 'Petro' cryptocurrency, and a senior administration official says the White House is mulling additional sanctions on the country.

The backdrop: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose tenure has been marked by swelling authoritarianism and economic chaos, is seeking re-election in May. These sanctions are part of U.S. efforts to punish his regime. Maduro's government launched the world's first state-issued cryptocurrency last month in hopes of boosting its plunging economy and circumventing U.S. and European financial sanctions.

The details:

  • A senior administration official told reporters during a background call that the ban, which goes into effect immediately, will have "minimal impact" on ordinary Venezuelans.
  • The Trump administration, he added, is "actively considering" sanctions on crude oil exports to the country and will soon determine specific actions and "the best timing" to maximize their effect.

In a separate move, the administration slapped sanctions on four current and former senior Venezuelan officials accused of corruption and mismanagement.

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U.S. cities crackdown on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of protesters gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Thousands of protesters march in Denver, Colorado, on May 30. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Curfews are being imposed in Portland, Oregon, and Cincinnati, while the governors of Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas activated the National Guard following unrest in the states, per AP.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.