DINNER PARTY INTEL: Cryptocurrency rally builds steam
1. Cryptocurrency rally builds steam
Bitcoin is still down almost 60% from its December peak, but the digital currency has had something of a revival, with its value rising above $8,000 for the first time in two months. In December bitcoin almost reached $20,000. With the latest gains, Bloomberg says, the total value of cryptocurrencies worldwide is again approaching $300bn.
2. Soccer star resigns, alleging racial prejudice
Mesut Özil won’t play for the German national team any more, because of the "racism and disrespect" he has faced due to his Turkish roots. The player was recently criticised for having his photograph taken with Turkish President Recep Erdogan. He was also jeered by German fans in warm-up games before the World Cup in Russia.
In an impassioned statement on Twitter, he said: "In the eyes of [German football association president Reinhard] Grindel and his supporters I am German when we win, but … an immigrant when we lose."
3. Antiretroviral treatment bears fruit in SA
The number of HIV/Aids-related deaths in SA has declined every year since it peaked at 293,166 in 2006, a Stats SA report shows. The drop is thanks to the rollout of antiretroviral treatment in a programme government initiated in 2015, which has extended the lifespan of many. In 2018 115,167 people died of Aids-related diseases, 22% of the total 2018 deaths recorded. An estimated 7.5 million people — 13% of the population — live with HIV. This is up from 4.25 million in 2002.