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Harry Potter actress Julie Walters says she doesn’t want to act anymore: ‘It’s not good for me’

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Julie Walters appears to be done with acting after her cancer diagnosis caused her to re-evaluate her entire career.

The 70-year-old Harry Potter star recently opened up about how she believes the stress of acting “caused” her cancer.

“Part of me was going, ‘Oh my God! I’ve got cancer! Oh my God!’ And I’m dealing with the shock of that, and it’s all systems go to have it treated,” she told The Times.

Julie Walters at the BAFTA Awards
Julie Walters at the BAFTA Awards. (Getty)

“But there was also an element of going, ‘I don’t have to do any more work. I can actually get off this treadmill.’ Because I had been working really hard and it seemed like a big excuse not to do anything. Cancer trumps everything. So there was a huge relief in it, which is strange. But I needed something to stop me.”

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In 2018, Walters was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer which forced her to get chemotherapy and undergo surgery.

As a result, she was cut from certain scenes in her new film The Secret Garden, and missed the premiere for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

She has now been given the all-clear that she’s cancer-free.

Christine Barabski, left and Julie Walters in a scene from "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Christine Barabski, left and Julie Walters in a scene from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. (Universal Pictures)

“Acting caused it,” Walters said. “Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so. It’s very stressful. You’re immediately above the parapet. You’re being judged. It’s a stressful job and I don’t sleep when I’m working. It’s not good for me.”

While Walters appears to be ready to call her time on acting, she’d never turn down the opportunity to return for Mamma Mia 3.

“After I had the operation and I was thinking about the future, I thought, ‘I don’t want to work again,'” Walters said. “Unless it’s another Mamma Mia!”

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NASA’s DuAxel rover built for extreme terrain

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The DuAxel rover being tested in the California desert. Image: NASA via AFP Relaxnews.

NASA has presented a new rover called DuAxel, designed to contend with all kinds of extraterrestrial terrain. The rover, which can split into two separate parts, is designed with planetary exploration in mind to help investigate otherwise inaccessible terrain. It was recently tested in the rocky conditions of the Mojave Desert in Southern California and could one day find use on the Moon, on Mars or beyond.

The distinctive feature of DuAxel, as its name suggests, is it comprises two two-wheeled rovers, one of which can split off to explore particularly difficult-to-access locations. This flexible design was built with extreme terrain, like craters and rock faces in mind, whether on Mars or beyond.

In theory, DuAxel should be able to adapt to cover all kinds of terrain. The removable single-axel rover can continue its journey alone while tethered to the other part, which remains anchored in place. The two-wheeler could, for example, head out solo to a hard-to-reach location to observe, collect samples or directly analyze various parts of the rocks or soil, before returning and reattaching itself to its other half, all while avoiding obstacles in its path.

Previous planetary exploration rovers developed by NASA were not able to travel over slopes steeper than a 30-degree incline.

This latest rover is the result of almost 30 years of research and development. It has already been put through extensive testing in the California desert before potentially being deployed to other destinations. CC

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Bitcoin rockets to yearly high as PayPal announces cryptocurrency plans

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Bitcoin has hit a new yearly high with PayPal adding fuel to its tank.

How times change.

It’s 2012. and I decided to pool our money together for the first event. We told them we wanted the best booth we could afford, but we needed to be next to the booth so we can show the world OUR financial system!

Welcome, Paypal!

— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem)

Yesterday PayPal announced it would enable customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through their PayPal accounts, and would make cryptocurrency available as a funding source for purchases from PayPal merchants.

Bitcoin prices, which were already leaning to the bullish around $12,200 prior to the announcement, went up another few notches as the news broke. By peaking at around $13,200 following the announcement, Bitcoin convincingly took out a new yearly high.

The PayPal move has been rumored since June, but now we have an official announcement. There are also a lot more details flowing now, including:

  • PayPal will initially be supporting BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH only.
  • PayPal will not allow crypto withdrawals or direct crypto transfers to other wallets.
  • The service will initially be for US residents only and will become available “in the coming weeks”. Use of crypto as a funding source for purchases is set to commence early 2021.
  • There will be no fees for buying or selling cryptocurrency on PayPal until 31 December.
  • The service is coming to Venmo as well, scheduled for the first half of 2021.
  • The crypto service is being provided through a partnership with Paxos.
  • PayPal has received a new kind of provisional BitLicense from the NYDFS to provide this service in New York.
  • PayPal is emphasizing educational content to inform users about cryptocurrency and normalize digital currencies.
  • PayPal has over 300 million users including 26 million merchants. Although this is not new information, it does bear repeating.

More than pals

The initial offering is limited. There are no crypto withdrawals or transfers, the choice of available cryptocurrencies is questionable, it will start in the US only and there are uncertainties around whether popularizing cryptocurrency could cut into PayPal’s bread and butter of payments.

All of these have sparked debates on whether this is part of a larger plan or if PayPal is just mucking around with a new product in search of a little bit more revenue.

There are arguments for the former. As some , this is a complicated move for a company of PayPal’s size to pull off and it would have been easier for PayPal to pilot crypto purchases outside the US if the main objective was extra revenue from crypto sales. But instead it went for an exotic provisional BitLicense. Despite a somewhat lacking product this is still a big step.

“Make no mistake, this isn’t a pilot program. This isn’t a token gesture (no pun intended). PayPal just dove head first into the future of payments, and I expect that in the coming years they will aggressively be adding new features including deposits/withdrawals,” .

PayPal itself says as much.

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly,” said PayPal CEO and president Dan Schulman.

“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange. We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

Just the right amount of bullish

All the coins named in PayPal’s line-up had a good day, while other cryptocurrencies such as RSR with rumored PayPal connections also spiked on the day. Litecoin in particular rose about 15% as the news circulated.

From one angle it’s an overconfident rise. There will likely be several weeks of waiting before PayPal actually starts selling crypto, during which prices might settle back as people realize that buying BCH and LTC to sell at a higher price later only works if prices go up.

At the same time, there are no clear guarantees the launch will move markets. It’s reasonable to assume PayPal has already accumulated a lot of the cryptocurrency it expects to need, so the initial market impact of PayPal customers buying crypto could be quite muted.

A more optimistic take is that prices will continue to rise across the board in the lead-up to PayPal’s release, paving the way nicely for a new wave of FOMO upon release. After all, PayPal’s cryptocurrency line-up will look much more attractive to a new audience if it’s performing well.

And once again, despite all the remaining uncertainties, it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that PayPal is very, very large. By most measures, PayPal is substantially bigger, more popular and more widely used than the assets it’s listing. If nothing else, this makes it a first for the cryptocurrency space and an event to keep an eye on.

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Disclosure: The author owns cryptocurrencies including BTC and ETH at the time of writing

Disclaimer:
This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider,
service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and
involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance
is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own
circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify
the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements)
and consult the relevant Regulators’ websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Picture: Shutterstock

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