- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

Ukraine: parliament speaker says no new government before Thursday

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - The European Union’s top foreign policy official has urged Ukraine’s new government to work out a reform program so that the West could consider financial aid to the country’s battered economy.

Catherine Ashton spoke on Tuesday after meeting with the leaders of Ukraine’s interim authorities formed after President Viktor Yanukvoych fled the capital.

The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges.

Law enforcement agencies have issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovych over the killing of 82 people, mostly protesters. He was reportedly last seen in the pro-Russian Crimean peninsula.

___

Website of major Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox offline amid reports of debilitating theft

TOKYO (AP) - The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency.

The URL of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was returning a blank page. The disappearance of the site follows the resignation Sunday of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the currency.

At the Tokyo office tower housing Mt. Gox, bitcoin trader Kolin Burgess said he had picketed the building since Feb. 14 after flying in from London, hoping to get back $320,000 he has tied up in bitcoins with Mt Gox.

“I may have lost all of my money,” said Burgess, next to placards asking if Mt. Gox is bankrupt. “It hasn’t shaken my trust in Bitcoin, but it has shaken my trust in bitcoin exchanges.”

A “crisis strategy” report shared widely online that purports to be an internal Mt. Gox document says more than 740,000 bitcoins are missing from the exchange, which froze withdrawals earlier this month. It says the theft went unnoticed for several years and turned on disguised withdrawals.

___

US prosecutors jockey to try Mexican drug lord; unclear whether he’ll be brought to US

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors across the United States are already jockeying over who will handle any case against drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, even though it’s far from clear whether he’ll ever be brought to this country to face charges.

Story Continues →