Defendant at Miami courthouse bites, punches officers, police say

A man is facing several charges after he bit and punched two police officers Monday at the Miami courthouse, police said.

Officials said while waiting on documents regarding Godel Leveille, 29, who was in the courtroom being taken into custody on a warrant, he was asked several times to exit the jury box, but he refused.

As one officer, only identified as Officer Perez, approached Leveille, he punched Perez in the head and said, “This isn’t justice,” the Miami-Dade Police Department said.

Police said a struggle then ensued, and during the altercation Leveille bit another officer, identified as Officer Pando, on the left forearm, causing serious injury.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said Perez also suffered a knee injury during the altercation.

Leveille was subdued and taken into custody, police say.

Miami-Dade officials said both officers injured in the incident were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Leveille is charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of resisting officer with violence and disorderly conduct.

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US conducts airstrikes on Afghanistan opium labs

The US conducted airstrikes targeting opium processing labs in Afghanistan Sunday, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Andrews tells CNN.The airstrikes were part of a joint US-Afghan operation targeting drug facilities in Taliban-controlled areas in no…

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Can anything stop bitcoin? Price above $8,000

Forget about boring stocks. Bitcoin is where it’s at these days for investors.

The virtual currency is now trading at a record high above $8,200 — just a little more than a month after bitcoin first passed the $5,000 level. If this keeps up, bitcoin could be trading at $10,000 before the end of the year.

The price of one bitcoin has surged more than 735% this year alone and have skyrocketed nearly 40,000 % in the past five years.

Of course, bitcoin’s meteoric rise has led to some skepticism. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has bashed it on numerous occasions, calling it a “fraud” that’s better off being used by drug dealers and North Korea.

And Saudi Prince Alwaleed, a billionaire whose Kingdom Holding Company owns stakes in Apple and Citigroup, told CNBC before he was arrested in a sweeping anti-corruption probe that he thought bitcoin was an “Enron in the making” that will implode.

But while some see a bubble about to burst, others see opportunity. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase rival Goldman Sachs, took issue with bitcoin critics.

Blankfein tweeted last month that “folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold.” Interestingly, technical analysts at Goldman also correctly predicted earlier this month that bitcoin prices would soon top $8,000.

Blankfein raises an interesting point though. Sure, some investors are likely flocking to bitcoin as a speculative bet because they’ve watched the price climb higher and higher.

But there’s also a legitimate case to be made that bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies are the future of money and that more and more people will conduct actual transactions using these currencies.

To that end, Square — the popular mobile payment service run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — recently announced a trial that will let some users of its Cash app purchase bitcoin.

“We’re always listening to our customers and we’ve found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin,” said a spokesperson for Square in an email to CNNMoney.

“We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system,” the Square spokesperson added.

And CME Group, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, said earlier this month it plans to soon list bitcoin futures contracts. CME CEO Terry Duffy noted that there has been “increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets.”

Futures let investors buy and sell an asset at a specified price at a later date, They’re popular bets for currencies, metals and agricultural commodities. In other words, CME Group is now treating bitcoin as a legitimate financial asset.

Many others agree. Frank Holmes, CEO and chief investment officer of U.S. Global Investors, wrote in a recent note to clients that bitcoin prices should keep rising simply because more and more people are likely to use it.

“Bitcoin adoption could multiply the more people become aware of how much of their wealth is controlled by governments and the big banks,” he said.

Holmes added that more startup companies are also looking to raise money through so-called initial coin offerings – the sale of digital currencies to investors instead of stock. That should lead to a further rise in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Dragonchain, a crytpocurrency startup originally backed by Disney, has held an ICO. Filecoin, a cloud storage company, raised more than $250 million earlier this year from an ICO — the biggest ever.

And online retailer Overstock is even planning an ICO for its tZero blockhain unit.

“In an effort to bypass the rules and costs associated with getting listed on an exchange, many startups now are opting to raise funds by issuing their own digital currency based on blockchain technology,” Holmes wrote.

To be sure, bitcoin prices have moved wildly in the past couple of months. There have been several big crashes of at least 20%.

Still, the price has always come roaring back — and analytics firm Meltwater has noted an interesting trend. Bitcoin prices have moved higher simply based on the sheer volume of news coverage… regardless of whether the reports or positive or negative.

In other words, there is no such thing as bad publicity for bitcoin, no matter how much Jamie Dimon and others bash it.

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Bidder proposes to make The Weinstein Co. a studio run by women

A surprise bidder has proposed to buy the Weinstein Co. and turn it into a studio run by women.

The bid comes from Maria Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration for nearly three years under President Obama. Before that, she was the executive chairwoman and founder of ProAmérica Bank.

In a letter she sent to The Weinstein Co. dated Nov. 8, Contreas-Sweet proposes that she would be chairman of a majority-woman board of directors for the studio, and that women would be significant investors in the company and control its voting stock.

“I have assembled a first-class team of financial partners, advisors and consultants to put together a proposal to acquire the assets,” she said in the letter. “We believe [this] will present a path forward that is in the best interests of all of the company’s stakeholders.”

Her letter says she would keep “most if not all” of the company’s employees and assume all debts and payments to vendors. Contreras-Sweet also pledged to set up a litigation fund to pay victims of sexual harassment who may not qualify for settlements from Weinstein Co. insurers. She adds that a mediation process would be set up to determine what to pay victims.

Since early October, more than 60 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault or harassment by Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder and former chairman of The Weinstein Company, a leading independent film and television studio. The disclosures brought the problem of sexual misconduct to forefront of the news and have been followed by allegations against many other prominent men in entertainment and politics.

Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

Contreras-Sweet’s bid was disclosed by Gloria Allred, a prominent attorney who is suing The Weinstein Co. on behalf of several women who have come forward with accounts against Weinstein. She said she supports Contreras-Sweet’s bid for the company, but is not representing her.

“I have had discussions with Maria. In my opinion, she is the right person with her background to lead this company, and she would be a very important asset to the new Weinstein Co.,” Allred said in an email to CNNMoney. “I would like to see her and her team acquire the company, and I think that is the only way that TWC can be saved.”

Officials with The Weinstein Co. could not be reached for comment. Its phone number has been disconnected, and emails sent to its press contact bounced back without a reply.

The company has been looking for new ownership in the month since the sexual harrassment scandal broke. But negotiations with the one publicly identified potential buyer, Colony Capital, concluded without a deal being reached.

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