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Japan Launches 1st Rocket Carrying ‘Moon Sniper’ Lunar Lander

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Japan has launched a rocket carrying a lunar exploration spacecraft, aiming to become the world’s fifth country to set foot on the moon.

According to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the domestic H-IIA rocket successfully launched the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan on Thursday.

JAXA’s “Moon Sniper” mission seeks to land SLIM within 100 meters (328 feet) of its target location on the lunar surface.

That is far shorter than the typical range of several kilometers.

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Japan has launched a rocket carrying a lunar exploration spacecraft, aiming to become the world’s fifth country to set foot on the moon.

“By developing the SLIM lander, humans will make a qualitative shift towards being able to land wherever we want, rather than just where it is easy to land,” JAXA stated before the launch. “By doing so, it will be possible to land on planets with even fewer resources than the Moon.”

According to JAXA, “there have been no previous instances of pinpoint landing on celestial bodies with significant gravity such as the Moon.”

The $100 million project will reach the moon in February of next year.

Only the United States, Russia, China, and India have successfully landed on the moon.

Last month, India’s spacecraft landed near the moon’s unexplored south pole, marking a historic victory for the country’s low-cost space effort.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission was successful just days after a Russian probe crashed in the same zone and four years after a previous Indian attempt failed at the final moment.

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SOURCE – (AJ)

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Bitcoin To The Moon? Here’s Why It’s Near An All-Time High, With A Surge Of 20%

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Last month, as bitcoin hit $45,000, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon compared it to a Pet Rock and told people to “stop talking about this s—.”

Investors are currently laughing all the way to the bank.

In just five days, the cryptocurrency had surged by 20%. With Wednesday’s gains, the coin is on track to reach an all-time high of about $69,000 in November 2021, the last time it traded above $60,000.

bitcoin

Bitcoin To The Moon? Here’s Why It’s Near An All-Time High

Billions of dollars have flowed into the cryptocurrency since the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved bitcoin exchange-traded funds last month, contributing to the boom.

The other key element at work is the impending “halving” of Bitcoin. Halving is a built-in feature of Bitcoin that automatically limits the rate at which new coins enter circulation. It occurs every four years and, in principle, raises the price of Bitcoin because it increases the scarcity of an already finite currency.

This occurs because miners (the programmers responsible for solving complicated math problems inherent in the currency) see their Bitcoin-denominated payout cut in half when a threshold is reached.

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Bitcoin To The Moon? Here’s Why It’s Near An All-Time High

In the past, halvings have triggered substantial bull markets. However, there is no clear rule that guarantees this conclusion every time. Various events, such as the prospect of additional rules, might reduce any possible advantages from a halving.

However, investors are hopeful that this will not play out, and they are hurrying to get in on the action or pay out their winnings. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, faced substantial interruptions due to the increased trade volume, according to CEO Brian Armstrong in a post on X Wednesday.

“Some users may see a zero balance across their Coinbase accounts & may experience errors in buying or selling,” Coinbase Support said on X at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday. “Our team is looking into this and will provide an update shortly. “Your assets are safe.”

bitcoin

Bitcoin To The Moon? Here’s Why It’s Near An All-Time High

An hour and a half later, Coinbase announced in another X post that it was “beginning to see improvement in customer trading.” It also stated that consumers may still be experiencing problems “due to increased traffic.”

Coinbase declined to comment to CNN about the problems other than the X postings.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Tax Season Is Under Way. Here Are Some Tips To Navigate It.

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NEW YORK — Tax season began Monday, and for many filing US tax returns — particularly those doing so for the first time — it may be a difficult chore that is sometimes pushed until the last minute. But, if you want to escape the stress of the approaching deadline, get organised as soon as possible.

Whether you do your taxes, go to a tax clinic, or hire a professional, navigating the tax system may take time and effort. Courtney Alev, Credit Karma’s consumer financial advocate, suggests you take it easy on yourself.

“Take a breath. Take some time, set out an hour, or work through it over the weekend. “You’ll hopefully realise that it’s much simpler than you think,” Alev added.

If you need more clarity on the process, there are numerous free tools available to assist you navigate it.

Here’s what you should know:

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When is the deadline for filing taxes?

Taxpayers have until April 15 to file forms for 2023.

What do I need to do to file my tax return?
While the required documents may vary by situation, here is a broad outline of what everyone needs:

—Social Security Number

– W-2 documents, if you are employed.

– 1099-G if you are unemployed.

— 1099 paperwork if you are self-employed.

—Investment and savings records

—Any allowable deduction, such as educational costs, medical bills, charitable contributions, etc.

—Tax credits, such as the child tax credit and the retirement savings contribution credit.

The IRS website provides a more detailed document list.

Tom O’Saben, director of tax content and government relations at the National Association of Tax Professionals, recommends gathering all of your paperwork in one location before beginning your tax return and having your records from the previous year if your financial status has significantly altered.

To protect themselves from identity theft, O’Saben recommends taxpayers create an identity protection PIN with the IRS. Once you’ve created a number, the IRS will require it when you file your tax return.

How Do I File My Taxes?
You can file your taxes online or on paper. However, there is a significant time gap between the two methods. The IRS can process paper filings for up to six months, whereas electronic filings take only three weeks.

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WHAT RESOURCES ARE THERE?

For those earning $79,000 or less yearly, the IRS provides free guided tax preparation that handles your arithmetic. If you have any issues while completing your tax forms, the IRS has an interactive tax aid tool that can provide answers depending on your information.

Aside from famous corporations like TurboTax and H&R Block, taxpayers can use licenced professionals such as certified public accountants. The IRS provides a directory of tax preparers around the United States.

The IRS also finances two programs providing free tax assistance: VITA and Tax Counselling for the Elderly (TCE). People who earn $64,000 or less per year, have disabilities, or speak little English are eligible for the VITA programme. People over the age of 60 are eligible for the TCE programme. The IRS has a website where you may find organisations that host VITA and TCE clinics.

If you have a tax problem, clinics nationwide can help you handle it. These tax clinics typically provide services in multiple languages, including Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.When will the IRS accept 2024 returns? Here's when you can start filing  your taxes. - CBS News

HOW CAN I AVOID MISTAKES ON MY TAX RETURN?

Many people are concerned about getting in trouble with the IRS if they make errors. Here’s how to avoid some of the more popular ones:

—Confirm your name on your Social Security card.

When working with customers, O’Saben always requests that they bring their Social Security cards to double-check their number and legal name, which can change when people marry.

“You may have changed your name, but you didn’t change it with Social Security,” he remarked. “If the Social Security number doesn’t match the first four letters of the last name, the return will be rejected, and that will delay processing.”

—Look for tax statements if you’ve opted out of paper mail.

Many people prefer to avoid receiving snail mail; however, doing so may result in your tax paperwork being included.

“If you didn’t get anything in the mail doesn’t mean that there isn’t an information document out there that you need to be aware of and report accordingly,” he said.

—Be sure to record all of your income.

If you worked more than one job in 2023, you’ll need the W-2 forms for each.

What about the Child Income Credit?
Last month, Congress announced a bipartisan deal to expand the child tax credit. The tax credit is $2,000 per kid, with just $1,600 refundable. The plan would gradually boost the maximum refundable child tax credit to $1,800 for 2023 tax returns, $1,900 the following year, and $2,000 for 2025 tax returns.

According to the Centre for Budget and Policy Priorities, if this deal is implemented, around 16 million low-income children will benefit from expanding the child tax credit. Lawmakers hope to move this bill as quickly as feasible.

What if I make a mistake?

Mistakes happen, and the IRS takes a different response in each case. In general, if you make a mistake or leave something out of your tax returns, the IRS will audit you, according to Alev. An audit indicates that the IRS will ask for additional documentation.

“Generally, they are quite understanding and willing to collaborate with others. “You won’t be arrested if you type in the wrong field,” Alev stated.

What if it has been years since I filed?

You can file taxes late; if you were expecting a refund, you may still receive it. If you last filed years ago and owe money to the IRS, you may face penalties, but the agency can work with you to set up payment plans.

How Can I Avoid Scams?

Tax season is a perfect time for tax scams, according to O’Saben. These frauds can be delivered via phone, text, email, or social media. The IRS does not use any of these methods to reach taxpayers.

Tax preparers can sometimes be fraud perpetrators, so ask many questions. According to O’Saben, this could be a warning sign if a tax preparer tells you you will receive a greater refund than in past years.

If you need help seeing what your tax preparer is doing, request a copy of the tax return and ask questions about each entry.

How long should I keep copies of my tax returns?
It’s usually a good idea to preserve a record of your tax returns in case the IRS audits you on something you reported years ago. O’Saben recommends retaining copies of your tax returns for up to seven years.

How Do I File a Tax Extension?
You can request an extension if you run out of time to file your tax return. However, remember that the extension only allows you to file your taxes, not pay them. Pay an estimated amount before the deadline to avoid penalties and interest if you owe taxes. If you expect a refund, you will still get it when you file your taxes.

Filing an extension gives you till October 15 to file your taxes. You can file for an extension using your preferred tax software or preparer, the IRS Free File tool, or by mail.

What happens if you file your taxes late?
You may face several fines if you miss the tax deadline and do not file for an extension. If you miss the deadline, you may face a failure-to-file penalty. According to the IRS, the penalty will be 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month the tax return is late.

You will face a failure-to-pay penalty if you owe taxes and fail by the deadline. Interest will be levied on both outstanding taxes and penalties. If you are eligible for a refund, you will not be penalised and will get your tax return payment. If you had unusual circumstances that prevented you from filing or paying your taxes on time, you may be entitled to waive or decrease your penalty.

You can apply for a payment plan if you owe too much in taxes. Payment options will allow you to repay over time

SOURCE – (AP)

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Citi group Plans 20,000 Job Cuts Over Two Years

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Citigroup intends to shed 20,000 jobs over the next two years, or approximately 10% of its global workforce, as it seeks to streamline operations.

The reductions are part of a broad reorganization outlined by CEO Jane Fraser last year.

The UK-born executive, who took the helm in 2021, predicted that 2024 will be a “watershed moment” for the company.
Citi has already spun off several overseas assets and plans to list its Mexican unit separately.

The reorganization announced last year aims to remove layers of bureaucracy within the bank, reduce levels of regional administration overseas, and close some units.

Ms Fraser stated that the bank had made progress toward its strategy despite a $1.8 billion (£1.4 billion) deficit in the last three months of 2023, the lender’s largest quarterly loss in years.

citi

Citi group Plans 20,000 Job Cuts Over Two Years

“Given how far we are down the path of our simplification and divestures, 2024 will be a turning point,” she said.

Citi, which employs over 16,000 people in the UK, refuses to comment on how many job losses would occur or which units would be most affected.

However, the bank’s size will significantly reduce as the plans advance.

According to Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason, the bank expects to employ approximately 180,000 people by 2025 or 2026, up from over 240,000 at the beginning of 2023.

According to the bank, the restructuring might cost $1 billion this year alone, up from $800 million in the previous quarter. It is estimated to save $2.5 billion in the medium future.

citi

Citi group Plans 20,000 Job Cuts Over Two Years

Citibank is one of the five largest banks in the United States.
Investors have put pressure on the company to improve its performance. Profits lag those of its counterparts, and it has previously faced regulatory concerns, including fines for money-laundering procedures.

citi

Citi group Plans 20,000 Job Cuts Over Two Years

Citi asserted that one-time occurrences like the Argentine peso’s devaluation and a special fee imposed on US banks to bolster its deposit reserve as a result of several failures last year were to blame for the loss in the most recent quarter.

Revenue increased 4% from 2022 to $78.5 billion, but profits fell 38% to $9.2 billion.

For instance, close rival Wells Fargo’s revenue increased 11% last year to $82.5 billion, while profits increased by almost 40%.

JP Morgan’s sales increased 23% to more than $158 billion, while profits increased by almost 30%.
On Friday, Citi shares fell 1.4%.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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