March 3, 2019 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

March 3, 2019

1. S.311 [116th] Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
2. H.R.8 [116th] Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
3. H.R.4712 [115th] Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
4. H.R.1044 [116th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019
5. H.Res.109 [116th] Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.
6. S.130 [116th] Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
7. H.R.2175 [107th] Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002
8. H.R.1112 [116th] Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019
9. H.J.Res.46 [116th] Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019.
10. S.47 [116th] John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources – Congress.gov Resources

Codelco’s lithium push fades in favor of copper | Reuters


With the global race to secure lithium heating up in 2016, Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet wanted to be sure her country seized the moment. Home to half the world’s lithium reserves, Chile tapping its state-run miner Codelco to ramp up production seemed a sure bet.

A review of regulatory filings, court documents and interviews with Codelco officials shows the strategy was deeply troubled from the start. Dwindling support inside Codelco to prioritize lithium projects over copper, company insiders said, was compounded by legal and regulatory hurdles that stalled development of the company’s two flagship salt flats known as Pedernales and Maricunga.

As a result, Codelco has yet to find a partner for either project years into the initiative to boost output of the metal. Global automakers, meanwhile, are planning a $300 billion (£228 billion) surge in spending on electric vehicle technology, including the vital battery technology, over the next five to 10 years.

Source: Codelco’s lithium push fades in favor of copper | Reuters

Propaganda 2.0 – Chinese Communist Party’s message gets tech upgrade | Reuters


In a bright red office in south Beijing, some of China’s most studious Communist Party members are gathered around their smartphones.

The focus of their attention is a range of mobile apps and websites which allow them to study the speeches of Chinese President Xi Jinping, including one developed by their own employer, Beijing-based conglomerate Tidal Star Group.

Tidal Star is among a rising number of Chinese firms working for, or taking inspiration from, the country’s ruling Communist Party to develop high-tech propaganda tools aimed at spreading the party’s message among a tech-savvy younger generation.

Source: Propaganda 2.0 – Chinese Communist Party’s message gets tech upgrade | Reuters

China to slash taxes, boost lending to prop up slowing economy | Reuters

null
China sought to shore up its slowing economy through billions of dollars in planned tax cuts and infrastructure spending, with economic growth at its weakest in almost 30 years due to softer domestic demand and a trade war with the United States.

The government is targeting economic growth of 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2019, Premier Li Keqiang said at Tuesday’s opening of the annual meeting of China’s parliament, less than the 6.6 percent gross domestic product growth reported last year.

Source: China to slash taxes, boost lending to prop up slowing economy | Reuters

Trump scraps trade privilege for India; Delhi plays down impact | Reuters


U.S. President Donald Trump looked set to open a new front in his trade wars on Monday with a plan to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to the United States.

India played down the impact, saying it was keeping retaliatory tariffs out of its talks with the United States, but the opposition could seize on the issue to embarrass Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of general elections this year.

Source: Trump scraps trade privilege for India; Delhi plays down impact | Reuters

The Memo: Dems sink teeth into Trump | TheHill

Democrats are sinking their teeth into the Trump administration, using their control of the House to barrage the White House with inquiries into the president and his associates.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is leading the charge.

On Monday, he announced he was requesting documents pertaining to 81 people or entities. Among those in his panel’s sights are President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, his son Donald Trump Jr., Vice President Pence and a host of others.

Source: The Memo: Dems sink teeth into Trump | TheHill

Related>

A vast majority of counties showed increased Democratic support in 2018 House election

Shifts occurred in Democratic and Republican counties, as well as suburbs and rural areas

When Democrats took 40 congressional districts from Republicans in the 2018 election, the House of Representatives experienced what many considered to be a blue wave.

What does this shift mean for the 2020 presidential election?

To get a better sense of this, the following analysis examines the 2018 House votes distributed across the nation’s more than 3,100 counties. This provides a more fine-grained geographic assessment of how the 2018 House support for Democrats compared with votes in the 2016 presidential election.

Source: A vast majority of counties showed increased Democratic support in 2018 House election

The good, the bad, and the ugly at the US-North Korea summit in Hanoi


After the motorcades rolled unimpeded along normally bustling streets of Hanoi, the flag-waving onlookers, a decadent meal of shrimp cocktail and steak, weeks of media build-up, and expressions of mutual respect and admiration between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi ended up with…the status quo.

The summit meeting between Kim and Trump ended early. And there was no joint statement, as widely anticipated. Thousands of bewildered journalists who had camped out to capture the spectacle packed up and left, and Kim’s motorcade left quickly, as members of his entourage scrambled to jump into moving cars.

Source: The good, the bad, and the ugly at the US-North Korea summit in Hanoi

How emerging tech can streamline trade and customs | FCW


Blockchain and machine learning technologies can provide a solid foundation for the Customs and Border Protection’s 21st Century Customs Framework and could help ease larger cross-border criminal issues, vendors and lawmakers told the agency.

“Public distributed ledger systems can link manifests and invoices” using a secure data chain, providing opportunities for “real-time enforcement” against shippers of counterfeit products and money launderers, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), said at an event on the future of customs technology.

The meeting to discuss CBP’s 21st Century Customs Framework drew hundreds of companies, from those who use its trade systems, as well as technology providers.

Source: How emerging tech can streamline trade and customs — FCW

China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative | Council on Foreign Relations

null
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, infrastructure development and investment initiatives that would stretch from East Asia to Europe.

The project, eventually termed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) but sometimes known as the New Silk Road, is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever conceived. It harkens back to the original Silk Road, which connected Europe to Asia centuries ago, enriching traders from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Some analysts see the project as an unsettling extension of China’s rising power, and as the costs of many of the proposed projects have skyrocketed, opposition has grown in some participant countries.

Meanwhile, the United States shares the concern of some in Asia that the BRI could be a Trojan horse for China-led regional development, military expansion, and Beijing-controlled institutions.

Source: China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative | Council on Foreign Relations