In three-and-a-half years, Sam Bankman-Fried has quietly transformed from an ETF trader into a cryptocurrency legend and one of the world's youngest billionaires, with an estimated net worth of almost $9 billion.
Las Vegas is home to one of American Express' 14 Centurion Lounges, widely considered to be the gold standard of airport lounges because of their high-end offerings including complimentary and meticulous crafted food items and alcoholic beverages.
The lounge is located in the airport's D gate concourse, home to United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and JetBlue Airways, among others.
Passenger on any airline can access the lounge, however, if they have the American Express Platinum or Centurion card. American Express Delta Skymiles Reserve cardholders can also use the lounge when flying Delta or a Delta-marketed flight.
I had a six-hour layover in the airport so I headed straight to the lounge. Departing passengers are normally only allowed to enter within three hours of their flight but connecting passengers are exempt from that rule.
Here's what it was like inside the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge.
I checked into the lounge using digital check-in via the American Express mobile application and was given a QR code to show the agent. I only had to show my boarding pass and identification as the agent saw my check-in on her end.
Within seconds, I was inside one of the most exclusive clubs in Las Vegas. Greeting me was this portrait of a dog resting on an American Express trunk accompanying two black armchairs, a staple of the Centurion Lounge that can be found in every location.
The lounge was moderately crowded and employees, as a result, were escorting guests to particular seats to help ensure distancing.
I was asked if I wanted to sit in one of the main seating areas....
Or the dining area. I chose the former to take advantage of the more comfortable seating.
I was traveling alone so I was given one of these cushioned cubbies, complete with my own table.
Capacity in the lounge is limited due to the pandemic so certain seating areas are blocked.
Along the wall where I was sitting, for example, every other cubby was blocked.
It created an extra degree of privacy and meant I had more room to store my bags, and another table to hold my laptop while I ate lunch.
Once I got settled, I headed over to the buffet to get something to eat. These lounges are known for having good eats with menus crafted from local chefs. Chef Kim Canteenwalla had designed this menu.
The offering was quite extensive and better than what I'd seen in competing airline lounges even before the pandemic. Light options included a chopped bacon, lettuce, and tomato salad...
Butternut squash soup...
And mango cranberry couscous.
Hot items included kale pesto pasta...
And chimichurri fingerling potatoes.
And for desert, peach cobbler was on offer.
Healthier options included fruits like apples, pears, and bananas. Cookies and honey mustard pretzels were also on offer but not many snacks were available other than that.
All in all, it was some of the best airport food I've ever had. Every item was bursting with flavor and made for a great meal.
And of course, the full bar is another big selling feature of the lounge as drinks are complimentary.
The main bar was closed but this makeshift bar still did the trick. Most common cocktails can be ordered at the bar but American Express' in-house mixologist, Jim Meehan, also crafts specialty drinks for each location.
One such drink was the "air mail," a sparkling wine drink with rum, honey syrup, and lime juice.
Plexiglass partitions were also erected at the bar for social distancing.
After having lunch, I walked around the more than 13,000 square foot space. American Express just recently renovated the lounge and it showed.
The decor was very modern and very Las Vegas. It made me feel like I was in the heart of the Strip despite only being at the airport.
Large sections of the lounge were blocked off but other sections included a sprawling conference table and more private seating.
These lounges often lend themselves well to social distancing with high-walled chairs since privacy is a huge draw for discerning travelers.
There are even private phone rooms that are enclosed for maximum privacy.
I also discovered somewhat of a hidden room in the back of the lounge.
It didn't have any windows but was well-lit and has its own television.
The lounge's family room was, however, off-limits due to the pandemic.
Roped-off areas were opened once the lounge was sufficiently crowded. It wasn't uncommon before the pandemic to see these lounges filled to the brim.
Departure information screens could also be found throughout the lounge so passengers could stay up to date on the status of their next flight.
Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy one of the seating areas near the window as a variety of aircraft can be spotted.
Hot beverages were also available with multi-beverage coffee machines capable of making anything from a standard cup of coffee to espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, and anything in between.
A selection of teas was also available with hot water.
Visiting this lounge made my six-hour layover go by in what felt like an instant.
The only downside is that it closes at 3 p.m., at which point the only other lounge available to passengers in the terminal is The Club LAS.
But for the few hours I got to spend in the lounge, I can say that it will become a staple on my future visits to Las Vegas.
The renovations and superior offering make it a jewel in the Centurion Lounge network.
A congressional battle line was forming last week over former President Donald Trump's SALT tax cap, which is threatening to derail President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure proposal.
A bipartisan group of more than two dozen lawmakers, calling itself the SALT Caucus, formed to push for Trump's cap on tax deductions be reversed. They sought to include it as part of Biden's plan to stimulate the nation's economy.
"This issue is so critical to our state and our constituents that we will reserve the right to oppose any tax legislation that does not include a full repeal of the SALT limitation," the newly formed group said in a letter.
The caucus could cause problems for Biden as he prepares to push a massive spending bill through a deeply divided Congress. Democrats hold a slim majority in the House, adding greater weight to each vote against his plan.
For Biden to eliminate the cap as part of his spending plan, there would have to be "a discussion about how that would be paid for, what would be taken out instead," Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said Thursday.
She added: "As you also know - just with our little calculators out - it is not a revenue raiser, and so it would add costs - and potentially significantly - to a package."
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seemed to be at odds with the caucus last week.
"I don't think we should be holding the infrastructure package hostage for a 100% repeal of SALT," Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, told a pool reporter.
SALT, which is part of Trump's 2017 tax cut, placed a $10,000 cap on federal deductions for state and local tax. The caucus said the cap resulted in increased tax bills in New York, California, and other high-tax states.
Eliminating the cap would likely lower taxes for the wealthy, who could claim higher deductions on their federal returns. But it could also raise the cost of Biden's plan, making it more difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to usher the plan through the House.
New Jersey's Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a member of the new caucus, also spoke out. He said it "it is high time that Congress reinstates the State and Local Tax deduction, so we can get more dollars back into the pockets of so many struggling families - especially as we recover from the pandemic."
Bitcoin tumbled to its biggest single-day drop since February over Saturday, just days after reaching a record high, Bloomberg reported.
Bitcoin fell 10.8% in the 24 hours to Saturday 7am ET, from $61,396 to $54,750. At one point, it reached a low of $51,300 after it dropped more than $7,000 in a single hour, before partially recovering.
Several online outlets attributed the drop to speculation the US Treasury may take action against money laundering conducted through digital assets, per Bloomberg and Coinbase.
Bitcoin has faced more regulatory scrutiny in recent months. Turkey's central bank said on Friday that it would cease the use of cryptocurrencies as a valid form of payment from April 30. The move caused Bitcoin to slip as much as 5%.
The bank said the anonymity of digital brings the risk of "non-recoverable" losses.
In March, Insider reported that India was likely to ban bitcoin and fine anyone who buys, holds, or sells any form of digital currency.
While concerns linger over the risks associated with bitcoin, some companies are embracing the cryptocurrency: Paypal and Xbox, for example, are beginning to accept bitcoin as payment, and Wall Street firms such as Morgan Stanley are considering stakes in the digital token so they can give their wealthiest clients access to the crypto market.
April 18, 2021adminUncategorizedComments Off on Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Security Market 2021-2025: Amazon.Com, Inc., Fortinet, Google (Alphabet Inc.), IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Micron Technology Inc., Nvidia Corporation, Palo Alto Networks Inc. – NeighborWebSJ