Good Managers Understand the Concept of Psychological Safety | GovExec.com


Greg, a manager in a large company asked for his employees to be open with him. That didn’t go over well since he regularly dressed down those who came to him with bad news or mistakes they’d made.

He was particularly adept at cutting these employees off mid-explanation and going off on them. His weapons of choice were angrily belittling those who made mistakes.

Greg used these tactics intentionally, and he felt they worked well. He claimed they were “tools” for him to keep others on their toes and avoid mistakes.

The concept of “psychological safety” is one that Greg didn’t grasp.

Source: Good Managers Understand the Concept of Psychological Safety – Promising Practices – Management – GovExec.com

Threat Report 2018: Al-Qaida Patiently Rebuilding


While the Islamic State (ISIS) grabbed the spotlight of international terrorism, al-Qaida has meticulously rooted itself in several conflicts across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, where it has seized upon local grievances to appeal to disenfranchised communities and build its brand as a champion of victimized Sunnis.

Consequently, al-Qaida’s strategy, combined with its long-term vision, renders the movement the most dangerous and entrenched terrorist network devoted to carrying out spectacular attacks against the West, and the United States in particular.

Background: Al-Qaida, meaning “the base,” was established in 1988 in the Pakistani city of Peshawar close to the Afghan border under the guidance of Osama bin-Laden, prominent Palestinian cleric Abdullah Azzam, current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and several hardline mujahedeen rebels who had fought against the Soviet Union during its invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Source: Threat Report 2018: Al-Qaida Patiently Rebuilding

Unpaid internships unfairly favor the wealthy | TheHill


Sixty-eight hundred dollars: That’s how much it costs one college student to take an unpaid internship over the summer.

How can we expect college students, who are already battling the highest tuition fees in decades, and on average face more than $37,172 in student debt, to be able to spend that amount of money?

The notion that students should have to forgo pay and incur additional debt to gain work experience is ludicrous.

Source: Unpaid internships unfairly favor the wealthy | TheHill

Mueller’s office opposes hearing on leaks | POLITICO


In the motion, filed with U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, Manafort’s defense said the release of sensitive details about the investigation threatened his ability to get a fair trial.

“By their actions, it is self-evident that the objective of these government sources was to create unfair prejudice against Mr. Manafort and thereby deprive him of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights,” attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle wrote.

“The government’s investigation, and the criminal charges that ultimately resulted from it, are the epitome of a party seeking to decide a case in the press and not the courtroom.”

Source: Mueller’s office opposes hearing on leaks – POLITICO

Lawmakers stunned by Trump push to help Chinese company | TheHill


Trump stunned Republicans and Democrats on Sunday when he tweeted that he had ordered federal officials to get Chinese phone-maker ZTE “back into business, fast” after the company shuttered its operations due to U.S. penalties.

The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. and Chinese officials are working through a deal that would relax the ban on ZTE in exchange for China lifting tariffs on billions in U.S. agricultural products. Those tariffs were issued in retaliation for proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

“One of the few areas where the president and I agreed, and I was vocally supportive, was his approach towards China,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “But even here he is backing off, and his policy is now designed to achieve one goal: make China great again.”

Source: Lawmakers stunned by Trump push to help Chinese company | TheHill

A step-by-step plan for denuclearizing North Korea


The summit could still wind up being a bad idea if it fails miserably, or if President Trump somehow accepts a poor deal. But on balance, there is a real potential for success. That is especially true if the United States goes into the summit with its eyes wide open.

Aiming for near-term complete denuclearization of North Korea is fine. But the odds of achieving such a goal anytime soon are probably in the single digit percentages.

North Koreans view the program as a key legacy of Kim’s father and grandfather, and thus a national crown jewel.

Kim sees his arsenal as an essential insurance policy against suffering the fate of Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi, and the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan in 2001.

Source: A step-by-step plan for denuclearizing North Korea

DOD’s new health record system isn’t suitable for use | FCW


MHS Genesis, the $4.3 billion commercial electronic health record system being adopted by the Department of Defense to support the care of approximately 9.5 million active duty service members, dependents and retirees, isn’t “operationally suitable” according to a scathing internal Pentagon report.

Users reported that “essential capabilities were not working properly or were missing altogether,” according to the report.

Source: Report: DOD’s new health record system isn’t suitable for use — FCW

Network neglect is complicating agencies’ cloud ambitions | FCW


There is a substantial need for more bandwidth to maintain performance of cloud-based applications, and a growing need for greater network resiliency and tighter security. The challenges in upgrading network technology are even more acute for federal and state agencies that have distributed offices, all with varying levels of connectivity.

While cloud apps have tremendous potential, they are causing a host of new network complications that distributed agencies are struggling to resolve. While cloud infrastructure allows distributed organizations to manage large amounts of data, there are significant challenges — starting with insufficient bandwidth for the apps to perform and function properly across all of those far-flung offices.

Source: Network neglect is complicating agencies’ cloud ambitions — FCW

India’s New Reality: More Frequent and Severe Dust Storms | Pacific Standard


“All of them are saying that as the climate gets warmer the temperature gradient is going to become very steep. This steep increase in temperature gradient will lead to two things—heat waves and sand storms,” Bhushan said.

“There is enough research happening [to predict] that the intensity of sandstorms is going to become more intense as the temperature increases further. It is indeed linked to climate change.”

Source: India’s New Reality: More Frequent and Severe Dust Storms – Pacific Standard

Poverty May Be Bad for the Brain | Pacific Standard

Using neuroimaging, the researchers evaluated participants’ brains in two ways, measuring “functional network organization and cortical gray matter thickness.” They found both measures demonstrated greater aging in people of lower socioeconomic status, even after accounting for demographic differences and personal health.

The results raised an obvious question: Was this a long-term effect of a difficult life, or can it be traced back to their childhoods?

Source: Poverty May Be Bad for the Brain – Pacific Standard