Vladimir Putin Concedes Defeat in Pennsylvania Special Election


Speaking to reporters at the Kremlin, Putin thanked the many Russian campaign workers who tried but failed to propel the Republican candidate, Rick Saccone, into the winner’s circle.

“Our social-media trolls did some of their finest work to put Rick over the top, but, in the final analysis, we were a day late and a ruble short,” the Russian President said.

Source: Vladimir Putin Concedes Defeat in Pennsylvania Special Election>

How transparent is FOIA? | FCW


“No one can say with a straight face that FOIA always works as intended,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) at a March 13 hearing.

According to an analysis of FOIA requests made in eight months under the Trump administration conducted by the Associated Press, requesters received censored or no materials at all in 78 percent of more than 823,000 cases.

Source: How transparent is FOIA? — FCW

ARPA-E tilts toward cyber | FCW


ARPA-E “is at a crossroads, but we still have to think about the future,” said Chris Fall, ARPA-E’s principal deputy director. That future, he told his audience, should show it can do valuable work beyond issuing simple grants to companies and academia for new tech.

ARPA-E and its partners should be the “special forces” for the energy arena, able to quickly develop new capabilities and tools beyond the traditional areas of renewable energy and energy management technologies, he said.

Source: ARPA-E tilts toward cyber — FCW

Walmart patents hint at future where its drones tend the farms


Groceries make up 56 percent of the company’s total revenue and Walmart may see drone technology as one way to get food from farms to store shelves faster and more cheaply to compete with Amazon.com Inc, following its purchase of Whole Foods Market last year and the expansion of discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.

Source: Walmart patents hint at future where its drones tend the farms

Toys ‘R’ Us goes out of business, 30,000 jobs at stake


With shoppers flocking to Amazon.com Inc and children choosing electronic gadgets over toys, Toys ‘R’ Us has struggled to boost sales and service debt following a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout by private equity firms in 2005.

Brokerage Jefferies estimated that 40 percent of the toy sales up for grabs as a result of the bankruptcy would flow to Amazon and 30 percent to Walmart.

Source: Toys ‘R’ Us goes out of business, 30,000 jobs at stake

Saudi crown prince says will develop nuclear bomb if Iran does: CBS TV


“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in an interview that will air in full on Sunday.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom has been at loggerheads with revolutionary Shi’ite Iran for decades. The countries have fought a long-running proxy war in the Middle East and beyond, backing rival sides in armed conflicts and political crises including in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Source: Saudi crown prince says will develop nuclear bomb if Iran does: CBS TV

Years of deadly days in Syria


Syria’s civil war began seven years ago with protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. It has since dragged in global and regional powers. Fractured into areas held by rival forces, the country continues to endure through war.

The Violations Documentation Center in Syria, which has presence in opposition-held areas of the country, but not in government-held areas, and has previously been invited to UN-briefings, documents over 160,000 deaths. However, the death toll from the war remains unclear as estimated fatalities vary vastly between organizations.

Source: Years of deadly days in Syria

Iridium Names 6 New Providers of Certus Broadband Service | ExecutiveBiz


Certus is powered by the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation and will be integrated with ThalesMissionLINK terminal to support the off-the-grid missions of public safety, utility, oil and gas, military and non-government customers, Iridium said Tuesday.

The integrated offering is designed to address internet, phone and e-mail requirements as well as aid real-time vehicle tracking and transmission of telematics information.

The new group of service providers includes Globalsat, IEC Telecom, Marlink, McQ, Pivotel and Tesam Argentina S.A.

Source: Iridium Names 6 New Providers of Certus Broadband Service | ExecutiveBiz

Could The Open Government Movement Shut The Door On Freedom of Information? | GovExec.com


Over the last 50 years, Freedom of Information – or FOI – laws have been one of the most useful methods for citizens to learn what government is doing. These state and federal laws give people the power to request, and get, government documents. From everyday citizens to journalists, FOI laws have proven a powerful way to uncover the often-secret workings of government.

But a potential threat is emerging – from an unexpected place – to FOI laws.

We are scholars of government administration, ethics and transparency. And our research leads us to believe that while FOI laws have always faced many challenges, including resistance, evasion, and poor implementation and enforcement, the last decade has brought a different kind of challenge in the form of a new approach to transparency.

Source: Could The Open Government Movement Shut The Door On Freedom of Information? – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com

Why The Typical Performance Review Is Overwhelmingly Biased | GovExec.com


Studies, for instance, have indicated that as much as 62% of a rater’s judgment of an employee is a reflection of the rater, not the person getting reviewed.

Yet these evaluation decisions are among the most important processes that a manager is asked to do, and the consequences can make or break not only an employees’ contributions to a team, but a career. Digging into the research, it’s clear the smarter review process needs a less-biased approach: one based on crowdsourcing.

Source: Why The Typical Performance Review Is Overwhelmingly Biased – Promising Practices – Management – GovExec.com