What do they know, or possess, that most of the rest of us don’t?
Many factors go into marital longevity, including a person’s age at marriage, wealth, education level, and geographic location. An analysis of divorce trends conducted at the University of Maryland this year found that women who marry after the age of 26 are the most likely to stay married — if family finances are stable.
A 2009 Pew Research Center report found that residents of certain states, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, were more likely to divorce than residents of other states, like Massachusetts and New York. In 2015 Pew also found that college-educated women have an 80% chance of being married more than 20 years; among those with a high school education or less, the share is only 40%.
Religion, too, may play a part: Although the Pew Research Center reports that 74% of divorced Americans are Christian — 28% of whom are, like the Carters, evangelical — in one survey of long-married Americans, the center found that about two-thirds credited their successful marriages to having shared religious beliefs.
But the secret to the Carters’ success might be as simple as the fact that, well, they chose to stay together. W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, has said that long-lasting couples adopt a commitment to “marital permanency,” as he told the Washington Post in 2016. “They don’t see divorce as an option.”
Or, at the very least, they don’t act on it. In her book “Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give,” the writer Ada Calhoun recounts asking her mom, in a fit of frustration with her husband, how she had stayed married. Her mother’s response: “Don’t get divorced.”
The actor Jamie Lee Curtis expressed a similar sentiment when asked about her longtime marriage to actor-director Christopher Guest. “It’s a fascinating thing,” Curtis told Today in 2015. “I could write a book on marriage called ‘Don’t Leave.'” She later elaborated in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “There’s a recovery phrase that says, ‘Stay on the bus … the scenery will change,'” she said. “I think it can apply to almost anything where you feel unhappy in that moment. I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.”
At the core of this philosophy is an understanding that happiness is elusive, and often as much a result of a deliberate decision as it is of external circumstances. Buddhists believe that contentment is a choice, a conscious act of feeling secure with what you have, and who you are, right in the moment. The Carters aren’t Buddhists, but it’s not unreasonable to think this may be an attitude they share with many others who’ve managed to weather the ups and downs of marriage. Their partnership has endured because they chose to make it endure.
Jimmy Carter embraces his wife Rosalynn after receiving the final news that he'd won the presidency in 1976.

Were all the Carters’ years happy ones? Likely not; few peoples are. (And, of course, there are certain circumstances in which a relationship is not sustainable or safe, and there is no other choice but to exit; some marriages become toxic, abusive or simply founder. In those cases, staying put can be detrimental.) President Carter’s 1980 reelection bid was unsuccessful, and studies do show that work stress can have a damaging effect on a marriage. Later, in 2012, the Carters chose to write a book together, a project that Mrs. Carter told CNN was “a terrible experience.”
But that unhappiness was not reason enough to quit something they obviously both chose to believe in and work to make last. The research speaks favorably on the notion of sticking it out: One study published last year found that for long-married couples, happiness tended to dip pretty intensely between 10 and 20 years of marriage but improved significantly after 20 years of marriage.
Or, maybe, the Carters just had great luck and impeccable timing, calling to mind actor Gwyneth Paltrow, who shared something her late father had said of his and her mother’s long union: “How did you and Mom stay married for 33 years?” she asked him. ” ‘Well,’ he said, ‘we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.'”
Karla Rubilar said authorities “are collecting more details” on the deaths — the first since demonstrations broke out nearly a week ago over a hike in public transport costs.
The unrest has forced Chile’s military to issue a curfew for the entire Santiago metropolitan region until 7:00 a.m. local time (6:00 a.m. ET) on Sunday, General Javier Iturriago del Campo confirmed late Saturday.
Protests began in Santiago after the government proposed increasing the price of Metro tickets. Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced Saturday that ministers will suspend the plan, after declaring a state of emergency the previous day.
Demonstrators chash with soldiers in Santiago on Saturday.

But the reversal has failed to halt the action, which saw at least 180 people detained and 57 police officers injured on Friday alone, according to the Chilean Police Director General, Mario Rozas.
Piñera had earlier condemned the violence and looting, saying that because of currency exchange fluctuations, it was necessary to raise the price of public transport. But he added that he sympathized with those who were bearing the cost of the rises.
The UK Prime Minister has done so kicking and screaming — all the while making clear who he believes is to blame for this delay: opposition lawmakers.
Having failed to get his new Brexit deal approved by Parliament on Saturday, Johnson was legally obliged to request the extension. His opponents in Parliament had previously passed legislation, referred to as the Benn Act, that instructed Johnson to send a letter to Brussels requesting the extension if no formal deal had been approved by 11 p.m. on Saturday.
Super Saturday turns into Setback Saturday for Boris Johnson as Brexit plan unravels

And those same opponents sealed the PM’s fate, when they voted in favor of an amendment to Johnson’s deal by Oliver Letwin, which made meeting that deadline impossible.
The UK, in fact, sent three letters. A cover letter from Johnson’s top diplomat in Brussels explained that the PM was complying with the law. Second, a photocopy of the exact wording in the Benn act, unsigned by the PM. And finally, a personal letter from Johnson to all European Union leaders saying that he was still pressing ahead with his goal of leaving the EU on October 31 and that further delay would be corrosive.

He also hammered home that this was the will of Parliament, not the Prime Minister himself. “While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister… that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us.”
It was a point he’d made hours earlier in a letter to every single UK lawmaker. The Prime Minister said: “I have made clear that I do not want more delay. European leaders have made clear they do not want more delay. It is to my regret that today the House voted for more delay.”
It is now up to the leaders of the other 27 EU member states to decide if that extension is granted, a process that is likely to take some days and may end up with the need for another EU summit. Every day that the EU sits on the extension request is a day that Johnson can spend trying to get his deal through Parliament.
Meanwhile Johnson’s opponents will go back to court, accusing him of a flagrant breach of the Benn Act. Johnson will likely face a court challenge over his disowning of the extension request. That could turn out to be a sideshow — more perilous for the Prime Minister will be the extension itself, should it be granted. Once no deal is firmly off the table, the forces against Johnson in Parliament could finally come together in a very dangerous way.
Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers in the House of Commons to update them on his new Brexit deal with EU.

Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers in the House of Commons to update them on his new Brexit deal with EU.

Johnson, it appears, is trying to turn Saturday’s defeat into victory. His repeated message that this was Parliament’s decision, not his, is not just for MPs in London or EU leaders to read. For months, Johnson has been painting a very clear picture to the public of him being a man fighting tooth and nail to get Brexit done by October‬ 31, and opposition MPs as Brexit thieves, stealing Brexit from the people.
Observers would be forgiven for wondering if Johnson knew all along that he was going to have to delay Brexit and that this is all part of his people-versus-Parliament message that will become a central plank of the election that everyone in the nation thinks inevitable.
Johnson’s claim to be working as hard as possible to get Brexit done gained credibility this week when he managed to get the EU to agree a new deal — something he’d been told was impossible. As early as Saturday afternoon, it seemed likely that he had the numbers to win in Parliament, or at least was close enough to have a decent crack.
Although this weekend looks to be a loss for the PM, MPs could well have handed him the easiest election campaign message in history. Whether being seen as a failure hurts his healthy poll lead remains to be seen. But team Johnson have developed a reputation for hard language and playing dirty.
Of course Johnson’s strategy could backfire. He’s had a pretty torrid time since entering Downing Street and this display over the letters could be seen as a petulant loser lashing out from a position of weakness.
Things could be about to get a lot more wild in Brexit land.

With 49 people on board, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight completed the 10,066-mile journey from New York to Sydney in 19 hours and 16 minutes.

Qantas Group Chief executive Alan Joyce said: “This is a really significant first for aviation. Hopefully, it’s a preview of a regular service that will speed up how people travel from one side of the globe to the other.”

Research into the health and well-being of those on board were conducted during the flight with tests ranging from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers.

Joyce added: “We know ultra long haul flights pose some extra challenges but that’s been true every time technology has allowed us to fly further. The research we’re doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way.”

The next test flight will take place in November, from London to Sydney, while there will be another New York to Sydney flight before the end of the year.

Qantas has said it hopes to operate direct flights from three cities on Australia’s east coast — Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — and New York and London by 2022 or 2023.

Captain Sean Golding said: “Overall, we’re really happy with how the flight went and it’s great have some of the data we need to help assess turning this into a regular service.”

The Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane arrives at Sydney International Airport

The Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane arrives at Sydney International Airport after flying direct from New York on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

David Gray /Getty Images for Qantas/GETTY IMAGES

How will the passengers be monitored?

Researchers from Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre, Monash University and the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre — a scientific program backed by the Australian government — will examine the impact of the long flight on those on board.

Passengers in the main cabin wore monitoring devices, and experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will study how their “health, wellbeing and body clock” was impacted by a set of variables that include lighting, food and drink, movement, sleep patterns and inflight entertainment.

Those on board were advised to keep a daily log in the lead-up to the flight and for two weeks afterwards, to show how they feel and how they’ve coped with jet lag.

Pilots and cabin crew will also keep sleep diaries. Cameras were mounted in the cockpit to record pilot alertness.

“People seem to be wildly different when it comes to the experience of jetlag — and we need more research on what contributes to jetlag and travel fatigue, so we can try and reduce the impact of long-haul flights,” Professor Stephen Simpson, academic director of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, told CNN Travel.

“We have a long way to go in terms of understanding how the wide variety of influences — including nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep and light — might work together for maximum benefit.”

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Monash University scientists will focus on the flight crew, recording their melatonin levels before, during and after the flights, as well as studying brain wave data from electroencephalogram devices worn by the pilots.

This information will then be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority “to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long-haul flights,” Qantas said in a statement.

Francesca Street and Emily Dixon contributed to this report.

All systems are go as Dubai gears up for the grand spectacle of Expo 2020.

After six years of preparation and around $8 billion of investment, we are just one year from showtime: October 20, 2020.

The six-month showcase of innovation is expected to draw 25 million visitors, with 192 countries represented, and if history is a guide the impact could be much longer-lasting.

Rendering of the 1,080-acre Expo 2020 site in Dubai.

Rendering of the 1,080-acre Expo 2020 site in Dubai.

Expo 2020

‘The works of all nations’

The Expo — sometimes referred to as a World Fair — was conceived as an international exhibition to showcase the best of every nation, with an emphasis on innovation, technology, and architecture.

The first edition was held in London in 1851 with the title: “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations.”

The event was dominated by the treasures of the host nation, and the network of colonies Britain then held power over. But France, Russia, the US, and Chile were also represented, sending jewels, tools, and ornaments for display.

“The most breathtaking exhibit of all” was the purpose-built venue Crystal Palace, according to British Library archives, and the vast pavilion made of iron and glass would establish a pattern of striking architecture.

The grand exhibitions have been held ever since at regular intervals – now settled into a five-year cycle — with an ever-expanding network of host nations and participants.

The Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace, 1851.

The Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace, 1851.

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Inventions and legacies

Expos have often been the stage for audacious inventions to be revealed to the public, many of which have stood the test of time.

London 1851 saw the debut of vulcanized rubber for the creation of tyres, and an early form of the fax machine.

Philadelphia 1876 saw the introduction of the telephone and one of the earliest typewriters. Paris 1900 gave us the diesel engine and the first movie with sound.

The events have often reshaped their host cities and introduced new landmarks. The Eiffel Tower was unveiled for Paris 1889 — to heavy derision at the time — and Seattle 1962 produced the city’s iconic Space Needle.

“One measure of a successful Expo is whether it has a societal impact in urban planning,” says Jennifer Minner, associate professor in city and regional planning at Cornell University, and a specialist in the history of Expos.

Seattle offers one of the more positive examples, Minner believes, noting that it bequeathed a “successful civic space with institutions like the Pacific Science Center and beautifully preserved architecture,” as well as a legacy of public transport improvements.

The academic adds that other editions have more controversial legacies, such as Milan 2015, marred by construction delays, overspending, and malfunctioning canals.

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High hopes

Expos have expanded in scope and scale since the grand exhibitions of the 19th century.

Dubai’s ambition for 2020 can be seen in the 1,000-acre site and the bold choice of theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

Organizers are anticipating lasting gains from the event, projecting an economic dividend of more than $33 billion and the creation of more than 900,000 jobs by 2031.

Dubai plans to reuse 80% of Expo infrastructure, through ambitious schemes such as the conversion of District 2020 into sustainable housing.

Innovations in sustainable living represent a worthy target – and justification – for Expos deep into their third century, says Minner.

“These events…need to be real models for how we live rather than being just about touring technologies” she says.

Many burning questions remain as to what will be revealed at Expo 2020 and what the overall impacts will be.

And those questions will begin to be answered one year from now.

Sam Smith took to Instagram in September to announce that their pronouns are they/them. Merriam-Webster announced a few days later that “they” can also be used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is non-binary, meaning neither male or female. And recently, Sen. Kamala Harris introduced herself at a CNN LGBTQ Town Hall by stating that her pronouns are “she, her and hers.”
How to be an ally to your LGBT friends, relatives and co-workers

Maybe all this is new to you. Maybe you’re a little confused. Maybe you’ve been doing this for a while, but you know a friend, coworker or family member who could use some help. Whatever the case, we’ve got you covered.
CNN talked to Shige Sakurai, the founder of International Pronouns Day and the associate director of the LGBT Equity Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, about why it matters what pronouns you use to refer to people and what to do if you slip up.

What do we mean by pronouns exactly?

Time for a quick grammar refresher.
Personal pronouns are the words used in place of specific people, places or things. Pronouns like “me, myself and I” are how people talk about themselves, and pronouns like “you, she, he and they” are some pronouns that people use to talk about others.
A person’s pronouns are the third-person singular pronouns that they would like others to use for them. Personal pronouns are used to convey a person’s gender identity and don’t necessarily align with the sex a person was assigned at birth.
The most common third-person singular pronouns are “she/her/hers” and “he/him/his.” “They/them” can also be used to refer to a single person, while some people use gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns like “ze/hir” (pronounced zee/here) instead. Some people might not use pronouns at all and go only by a name.

Why does it matter what pronouns you use to refer to someone?

Using the pronouns that a person goes by is a way of respecting that person’s gender identity — or a person’s emotional and psychological sense of their own gender.
If someone tells you that they go by the pronouns “they/them,” for example, and you continue to refer to them using “he/him/his” pronouns, it can imply that you believe that transgender, non-binary or intersex people are unimportant, or shouldn’t exist.

Intentionally calling someone by the wrong pronoun can make them feel disrespected or alienated, and can take a toll on their mental health. It is also offensive and can be considered harassment.
Sometimes people can use the wrong pronoun for others without realizing it or meaning any harm. People who aren’t used to thinking about what pronouns others use to refer to themselves might make assumptions about someone else’s pronouns based on their name or appearance.
But those assumptions can be incorrect and similarly hurtful because they imply a person has to look a certain way to demonstrate their gender identity.

Isn’t using ‘they/them’ to refer to one person grammatically incorrect?

You might have learned in English class that “they” and “them” describe a group of people, while “he” and “she” describe a single person.
But language is constantly evolving, and you need look no further than the foremost authorities on language: dictionaries.

Merriam-Webster recently added a new definition in its entry for “they,” noting that the pronoun is also used to refer to an individual whose gender identity is non-binary.
Using “they” to refer to one person isn’t just a new thing or a case of political correctness. Sakurai, who uses “they/them” pronouns, says they have been in spaces where this has been a practice for decades.
“It might be something that people are now becoming more aware of in more mainstream, broader spaces, but it’s not something that’s a new conversation for trans people or even for some people in the LGBT community sometimes,” Sakurai said.
In fact, people have been using “they” as a singular pronoun as far back as the 14th century.
The Oxford English Dictionary traces singular “they” all the way back to 1375 where it appeared in a medieval romance, writes Dennis Baron, a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It’s likely that singular “they” was used even earlier, given that words often exist in speech before they are written down.
Baron also notes that “you” was originally a plural pronoun, with its singular being “thou, thee and thy.” Now we’ve happily accepted “you” as a pronoun to refer to a single person.

I want to be respectful, but I’m not sure where to start

Often, someone will outright tell you what pronouns they’d like for you to call them. If so, respect that.
If a person hasn’t shared their pronouns and there’s any doubt as to what they are, don’t just guess. Instead, Sakurai suggests continuing to refer to that person by their name until you get more clarity.

Sakurai also recommends sharing your own pronouns first, which creates an invitation for others to do the same.
Asking a person directly about their pronouns is also an option, but be mindful of the context and environment that you’re in. Is it in front of a large group of people where that person could feel singled out? Is the setting friendly to transgender and non-binary people? If you think the question could make someone feel singled out, it might be worth having a more private conversation.
Some people might not be “out” as transgender or non-binary in certain settings and might therefore be reluctant to share. Others might be transitioning or coming to terms with their gender identity and the question could bring up painful feelings for them. Use your best judgment.

Talking about pronouns feels awkward

Sure, it might feel a little uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re not used to thinking about gender identity as distinct from a person’s biological sex.
Ultimately though, normalizing the practice of sharing or asking about pronouns helps build a more supportive and inclusive environment for intersex, transgender and non-binary people. It lets those folks know that you see them and respect who they are.

Some easy ways to start doing this include incorporating your pronouns in your email signature or adding them to your bio on social media profiles.
And at the end of the day, sharing your own pronouns or asking for someone else’s is not nearly as awkward as making an incorrect assumption.

What should I do if I slip up?

If you realize in the moment that you’ve mistakenly referred to someone using the wrong pronoun, the best thing to do is quickly correct yourself and move on. You can say something like, “Sorry, I meant they.”
If you realize that you’ve made a mistake after a conversation has ended, apologize privately and move on.
Don’t apologize over and over again or keep telling that person how badly you feel about your mistake, Sakurai says. Doing so can make the person who was misgendered feel uncomfortable or responsible for comforting you, which isn’t their job.
If the person who you misgendered gets upset, try to put yourself in their shoes. Aside from feeling like their identity has been denied, it’s possible that this person has experienced many similar instances and this one mistake finally pushed them to a breaking point, Sakurai says.
Keep in mind that their reaction might not necessarily be about you, but about the harm they’ve experienced by repeatedly being referred to incorrectly.
There, on the darknet‘s largest-known site of child exploitation videos, hundreds of users from around the world accessed material that showed the sexual abuse of children as young as six months old.
Then it all began to unravel.
On Wednesday, the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed how it had followed a trail of bitcoin transactions to find the suspected administrator of the site: A 23-year-old South Korean man named Jong Woo Son.
But the case is much bigger than just one man. Over the almost three years that the site was online, users downloaded files more than one million times, according to a newly unsealed DOJ indictment. At least 23 children in the US, Spain and the United Kingdom who were being abused by the users of the site have been rescued, the DOJ said in a press release.
“Children around the world are safer because of the actions taken by US and foreign law enforcement to prosecute this case and recover funds for victims,” said Jessie K. Liu, an attorney for District of Columbia where the US case was filed. “We will continue to pursue such criminals on and off the darknet in the United States and abroad, to ensure they receive the punishment their terrible crimes deserve.”
Justice Department announces takedown of the 'largest' Darknet child pornography site

In total, 337 people from at least 18 countries who used Welcome To Video have been arrested and charged, the DOJ said. And in a statement Thursday, South Korea’s National Police Agency (NPA) said 223 of them were South Korean.
Many Welcome To Video users likely thought they were untraceable.
The site was on the darknet, the underbelly of the deep web which cannot be accessed by a regular browser. According to authorities, some customers paid for the explicit images of child sexual abuse in bitcoin, a digital currency that can be spent without users disclosing their true identity.
But the downfall of Welcome To Video shows that bitcoin isn’t as private as some cybercriminals might have thought.

What was Welcome To Video

According to the indictment released Wednesday by the DOJ, Welcome to Video began operating around June 2015.
The site worked like this: anyone could create a free account. Authorities say users could download the videos if they paid in bitcoin, or if they earned points by referring new customers, or uploading their own videos. According to the indictment, the upload page on Welcome To Video stated: “Do not upload adult porn.”
At the time, bitcoin still wasn’t a widely used payment method. The non-profit Internet Watch Foundation, which works to remove images and videos of child sexual abuse from the web, found that some of the most prolific commercial child sexual abuse sites first started accepting bitcoin as payment in 2014. According to the DOJ, Welcome To Video was “among the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos using bitcoin.”
Bitcoin can be attractive for people hoping to slip under the radar. Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning there is no company or official bank which oversees transactions. Users store their bitcoin in a virtual account — known as a digital wallet — without having to prove their real identity, as they might for a regular brick-and-mortar bank.
From about June 2015 to March 2018, Welcome To Video received at least 420 bitcoin through 7,300 transactions with users in numerous countries including the US, the UK and South Korea, the indictment released Wednesday shows. Those transactions were worth over $370,000 at the time.
Some of those transactions would ultimately help bring about the site’s collapse.

How authorities brought down Welcome To Video

To get on the site at all, users had to have special software.
Because Welcome To Video was hosted on the darknet, it couldn’t be accessed by browsers like Google Chrome or Safari. Users needed to download software — such as Tor — that concealed their Internet Protocol address (IP address), a unique number assigned to every device connected to the internet.
But in September 2017, authorities did something simple, according to the indictment: they right-clicked on Welcome To Video’s homepage and selected “view page source.”
When they did that, they discovered an unconcealed IP address. That IP address and another found in the same way October 2017 were both traced to a residential address in South Korea — Son’s alleged home.
At the same time, US investigators were carrying out an undercover operation. Once in September 2017 and twice in February 2018, an undercover agent sent bitcoin to an account provided by Welcome To Video.
Each time, the funds were later transferred into another bitcoin account — in Son’s name, and registered using Son’s phone number and email, US authorities alleged in the indictment.
In March 2018, authorities searched Son’s house and found the server for Welcome To Video was hosted in Son’s bedroom. Authorities also seized eight terabytes containing 250,000 sexual assault videos. In total, 45% of the videos analyzed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contained images not “previously known to exist.”
From there, authorities were able to track down other suspects. “(This case) involved a lot of cooperation between a lots of different people,” said Urszula McCormack, a partner at the King and Wood Mallesons law firm in Hong Kong who specializes in blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin. “Often it’s those weak links that expose the whole.”
Data from the server was shared with law enforcement officials around the world, who used it to track down and prosecute customers of the site in 18 countries, according to a DOJ statement.
In March 2018, Son was arrested in South Korea, and found guilty of producing and distributing child pornography, a charge that carries a possible 10 year jail term under South Korean law. In May this year, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail, South Korea’s NPA said.
But Son could still face more prison time.
In August of last year, Son was indicted on a number of child pornography charges in the US, including advertising child pornography which carries a possible 30 year sentence.
In order for him to face those charges, Son would need to be extradited to the US — which has an extradition treaty with South Korea. He could be arrested if he travels there of his own accord. One of the reasons the US is interested in prosecuting Son is that the content was accessed in the country.
CNN has reached out to the DOJ to ask if they will request an extradition. South Korean police told CNN they haven’t received an extradition request from the US — and while he’s in prison, Son cannot be affected by the US indictment.

The flaws in bitcoin

While bitcoin has a reputation among the general public for secrecy, the reality is a bit different.
Each time bitcoin is transferred, details of the trade are recorded on a publicly available, permanent ledger, said Yihao Lim, a senior analyst from cybersecurity firm FireEye. It’s therefore possible to see what an individual is doing, even you can’t see their real world identity.
There are other holes in bitcoin’s ability to maintain anonymity. In the US, virtual currency exchanges — the platforms where people can buy and sell bitcoin for real money — are required by law to verify their customers’ real world identities. Developed countries are increasingly adopting those measures.
This all means that bitcoin isn’t really anonymous — it’s pseudonymous. For law enforcement agents, the difficulty isn’t seeing the transactions — it’s linking the bitcoin account with the real world person behind them, said Lim.
There are ways for bitcoin users to stay under the radar. But in general, authorities are catching up.
Over the past year, tools that can analyze bitcoin transactions have developed to a high level, said McCormack, from the Hong Kong law firm. “People (in the past) weren’t aware that this was a possibility. I think many people these days are not aware of the sophistication of those tools and how much they’re able to glean from patterns,” she said.
Lim said it was a public misunderstanding that using bitcoin was secure. “Yes, they have been successful at being anonymous at the start, but law enforcement has already caught up.”

What happens now

Despite bitcoin’s security gaps, some inexperienced cybercriminals will probably keep using it, said Lim. After all, this isn’t the first high-profile case where bitcoin has helped bring down a suspect. During the 2015 trial of the creator of the Silk Road site — a digital marketplace that allowed users to illegally trade drugs — prosecutors showed that they had traced millions of dollars in bitcoin to the founder’s personal laptop.
How FBI caught Ross Ulbricht, alleged creator of criminal marketplace Silk Road

How FBI caught Ross Ulbricht, alleged creator of criminal marketplace Silk Road

“Many cybercriminals are still misinformed,” Lim said of the criminal underworld. “They’re just out there to make a quick buck — they didn’t do their homework enough.”
As for seasoned cybercriminals, many had already switched to other cryptocurrencies, Lim said.
But people who have used bitcoin in the past could be tracked down at any point. Because the public ledger which records bitcoin transactions is immutable, there’s no way to remove evidence of past dealings. When it comes to the Welcome To Video case, Lim expects more people connected with the site to be caught.
In a second court document released Wednesday, US authorities argued that 24 bitcoin accounts should be forfeited to authorities, alleging that they were used “to fund the website and promote the exploitation of children.” Some of the accounts were also used to make transactions on other darknet sites, including Silk Road and Evolution where users can buy drugs and stolen information.
In the press release Wednesday, the DOJ said it planned to recover the illicit funds and return them to the victims of the crime.
“Children are our most vulnerable population, and crimes such as these unthinkable,” said Homeland Security Investigations’ acting executive associate director Alysa Erichs in a statement. “(The) indictment sends a strong message to criminals that, no matter how sophisticated the technology or how widespread the network, child exploitation will not be tolerated in the United States.
“Our entire justice system will stop at nothing to prevent these heinous crimes, safeguard our children, and bring justice to all.”
How to get help: in the US, contact RAINN by calling their national, 24/7 sexual assault hotline on +1 800 656 4673 or chat with a staff member on their website. In the UK, call the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children on 0800 808 5000 or visit their website. More resources for protecting children from sexual abuse can be found on Darkness to Light.
Donna Francis, who is not a licensed nurse or physician, was performing a buttocks enhancement procedure on the woman in May 2015, when the victim went into cardiac arrest, a statement from John M. Ryan, acting district attorney for Queens County in New York, said.
Francis, 39, operated from the basement of a Queens home, used a massage table as an exam table and bought silicone gel from eBay, the district attorney’s statement says.
The victim had traveled to New York with her mother and paid $1,600 for the injections. But as Francis pumped the fluid into her body, the victim went into cardiac arrest, the statement says.
“The medical examiner determined the woman’s cause of death was systemic silicone (embolism),” prosecutors said. “Silicone, when injected into a human body, must be encapsulated to avoid free silicone from entering the bloodstream and causing an embolism.”
Embolisms can often be complications of silicone injections not performed properly.
The district attorney’s office said the victim’s mother called 911 after her daughter began showing “signs of distress” as Francis injected the second dose of a clear fluid.
“Emergency responders arrived at the scene and found the victim lying face up at the bottom of the stairs,” the statement says. “She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.”

She fled to London

Francis fled to London the next day, the district attorney’s office said. She remained there while she unsuccessfully fought extradition and was eventually brought back to the US in August.
When officers searched a second address she used, they found “syringes, a jug filled with a clear liquid consistent with silicone and an invoice with the defendant’s name on it for jugs of dimethicone (a silicone-based product) from eBay.”
She will be sentenced on November 14. She could face up to a year in jail, prosecutors said.
Speaking to reporters aboard a US military aircraft en route to the Middle East, he said the 1,000 troops are withdrawing via helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and ground convoys, and will “reposition into western Iraq.”
Esper said the troops are being deployed to two missions, “one is to help defend Iraq and two is to perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps.”
A senior US official later clarified that the location of the 1,000 US troops is fluid, indicating it’s possible that not all 1,000 would be relocated to western Iraq. Any relocation out of Syria will be done in conjunction with host country governments, the official added.
The US-brokered ceasefire in northern Syria “generally seems to be holding” despite “reports of intermittent fires,” Esper said, but he could not say who is committing those violations.
“We see a stabilization of the lines, if you will, on the ground. And we do get reports of intermittent fires, this and that. That doesn’t surprise me necessarily but that’s what we’re picking up, that’s what we’re seeing so far,” Esper said, per the pool.

Kurds: Turkey is violating the ceasefire

His report comes hours after witnesses said clashes continued on the border between Turkey and Syria despite US Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had brokered a five-day ceasefire there. The agreement also outlines the withdrawal from the area of the Kurdish fighters and their weapons.
The Turkish government has insisted that the agreement is only a “pause” on operations in the region to allow Kurdish fighters to leave not a ceasefire, reflecting Ankara’s views of the status of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The backbone of the US-backed SDF is the YPG which Ankara considers to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey and the US classify the PKK to be a terrorist organization.
Light weapon and antitank fire killed one Turkish soldier and wounded another early Sunday, the Turkish defense ministry said in a statement. There have been 20 cases of harassment fire and violations of the agreement, the statement said. “We have responded in kind within the right to self defense,” the statement said.
Shelling and artillery fire was reported Friday in the border town of Ras al-Ain, one of the targets of Turkey’s week-old offensive against Kurdish fighters, who have long been backed by the United States.
The Kurdish-led SDF told CNN that shelling by the Turkish military and the Syrian rebel proxies supporting them has hit a number of civilian areas in Ras al-Ain, including a hospital. The SDF says five fighters were killed in the attack.
“SDF are committed to the ceasefire, but from last night until this morning we are seeing shelling on Ras al-Ain by the Turkish military and its mercenaries on SDF and civilian Kurdish targets, and in particular on the Ras al-Ain hospital in the city this morning,” SDF Press Commander Merivan Qamishlo said Friday.
A senior Turkish official told CNN that Turkey is “100% behind” the US-brokered agreement for a pause in hostilities in northern Syria, adding it was “bizarre to think that we’d violate an agreement that we like” and that by spreading fake news about the collapse of the agreement, “YPG terrorists are giving President Trump the middle finger,” the senior Turkish official said.
Ankara says they have shared coordinates with the US of safe evacuation paths for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from. A convoy of 39 vehicles mostly made up of ambulances were allowed passage in and out of Ras Al Ain to evacuate some of the injured and others, Ankara said.
Aid worker David Eubanks of the Free Burma Rangers, who was part of the convoy, spoke to CNN in a phone call from northeast Syria. “We have been trying for days finally a humanitarian corridor opened and we were surprised. Free Syrian Army checkpoint let us pass and we went directly into the hospital evacuated 37 and some of the dead,” he said.
“It was dangerous going in because all day long there was fighting, artillery and mortar and machine gun fire,” he said.
The fighting comes days after Pence announced that he and Erdogan had agreed to a deal to halt Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria, which was launched after President Donald Trump effectively gave Turkey the go ahead on a phone call with Erdogan earlier this month.
The deal — which does not clearly define the boundaries of the safe zone — appeared to secure Turkey most of its military objectives, forcing America’s one-time allies in the fight against ISIS to cede a vast swath of territory.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Erdogan said Turkey’s offensive would resume if the US does not deliver on their guarantee to get Syrian Kurdish fighters out of the safe zone area by Tuesday night.
“If America can keep its promise at the end of the 120 hours, the issue of a safe zone will be resolved,” Erdogan said. “But if this promise is not fulfilled, we will continue with the operation with greater resolve than where we left off, the minute after 120 hours has ended.”
Earlier, the Turkish president described reports of clashes as disinformation.
Many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around how anyone could possibly not be interested in sex. Are they repressed? Are they scared of intimacy? Have they just not met the right person yet?
But as any asexual person would tell you, it’s none of the above.
Here’s what asexuality is and what it isn’t, based on resources from Aces and Aros, The Asexual Visibility & Education Network and The Trevor Project.

Asexuality is a sexual orientation

For most adolescents and adults, feeling sexually attracted to another person — whether someone of the same sex, opposite sex or outside of the gender binary — is a fact of life.
But not everyone relates to that feeling. Enter asexuality.
Asexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person experiences little or no sexual attraction to another person and no desire for sexual contact, according to Aces & Aros.
A woman waves the asexual pride flag at WorldPride parade in New York on June 23.

There are some people who might experience sexual attraction under certain circumstances but feel that their experiences align more with asexuality than other orientations. People who fit under that umbrella are called “aces” for short, and can identify as asexual, gray-asexual or demisexual.
Someone who is gray-asexual, or graysexual, experiences sexual attraction rarely or only in specific circumstances or they might experience sexual attraction without the accompanying sex drive. Graysexuals also refer to people who fluctuate between periods of experiencing and not experiencing sexual attraction.
Someone who is demisexual only experiences sexual attraction if there’s a strong emotional bond.

It’s not celibacy or abstinence

Because asexuality is a sexual orientation, it’s not a choice.
That makes asexual people different from those who choose not to have sex for religious reasons or to avoid pregnancy. It doesn’t mean that aces have intimacy issues.
Many people on the asexuality spectrum are romantically attracted to others and might want a deep emotional relationship. They might want to fall in love and cuddle or hold hands, or they might want a platonic relationship that goes beyond traditional friendship.
In other words, for many aces, Netflix and chill really does mean Netflix and chill.

It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong

Aces are often told that they just haven’t found the right person yet.
Some medical and mental health professional may still misunderstand asexual identity. As a result, asexual people may be told that their lack of sexual desire is due to a mental illness or a disability.
An ace group marches at the Toronto Pride Parade on June 24, 2018.

An ace group marches at the Toronto Pride Parade on June 24, 2018.

“The idea that asexuality is the result of something being wrong or somehow being broken is incorrect,” Brian Langevin, executive director for Aces Week, told CNN.
Because many asexual people are transgender or non-binary, some professionals may attribute their lack of sexual attraction to hormone therapy, medications or other causes. While those things can influence sex drive, Langevin says, it doesn’t make that person’s asexual identity any less valid.
“Regardless of any specific reason that someone might be identifying as asexual, their identity is valid,” Langevin said. “They probably put a lot of time and thought into that decision, so it’s best to take that at face value and recognize that they understand their identity better than you do.”

Some aces might still have sex

Asexuality is typically defined as a lack of sexual attraction to another person. But sexual attraction is different than sex drive, the body’s physiological response to sexual stimulus.
Many aces still experience a libido — it just isn’t directed at a specific person. Some aces might masturbate or choose to engage in sexual activity in certain instances, but for the most part, aces have no desire for sex.

Aces often have other identities

It’s hard to say how many people identify as asexual, but the most widely cited figure is that asexual people make up about 1% of the population, according to the Asexual Visibility & Education Network.
A woman carries the rainbow flag and the asexual pride flag at the WorldPride parade in New York on June 23.

A woman carries the rainbow flag and the asexual pride flag at the WorldPride parade in New York on June 23.

Aces often identify as LGBTQ+, Aces & Aros notes, possibly because they view asexuality as an LGBTQ+ identity or because they have another identity that falls under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. More than one in 10 people in the ace community are transgender, and 3 in 10 are non-binary, according to data from community surveys.
Ace communities are made up of mostly women, and survey respondents are disproportionately white and non-Hispanic. Aces & Aros notes that this is likely because people of color may be less likely to participate in asexual communities and surveys and have access to online resources about asexuality.
Many aces are disabled or have a mental illness, according to the community survey data.

There’s still a long way to go

Asexuality has made some strides in the mainstream consciousness in recent years.
In 2014, “Game of Thrones” confirmed that the character Lord Varys was asexual, according to Vox. The Netflix show “BoJack Horseman” began exploring character Todd Chavez’s asexual identity in 2016. A year later, Freeform drama Shadowhunters depicted asexuality through its character Raphael Santiago.
A woman holds a sign during the Queens Pride Parade in New York on June 2, 2013.

A woman holds a sign during the Queens Pride Parade in New York on June 2, 2013.

But most people remain unfamiliar with asexuality, and some might not even realize that asexual is a term they can use to describe themselves.
One of the most common signs that might indicate someone is asexual, Langevin says, is not being able to relate to peers when the talk about who they find “hot” or attractive. Another is finding portrayals of sex in film or television disgusting or off-putting.
Ultimately though, it’s up to that person to decide whether the asexual label makes sense for them. Langevin says a good way to explore this identity is through online resources about asexuality and talking to others who identify as asexual.
Specifically, they recommend the Asexual Visibility & Education Network, which contains a large archive of information as well as forums to talk to others and read about their experiences. Aces & Aros also has a list of community groups that hold meetups in cities across the country.