Growth fears, China equity plunge haunts world stocks | Reuters


Deepening fears for the health of the global economy pushed world stocks to three week lows on Friday after China exports contracted by a fifth, sending shares in some of the country’s key indexes more than 4 percent lower.

While the timing of the Lunar New Year made it difficult to draw a true signal from the China data noise, the scale of the drop was alarming, especially when coupled with sombre new data from Germany and Norway.

Source: Growth fears, China equity plunge haunts world stocks | Reuters

ECB pushes out rate hike, offers cheap cash to banks | Reuters


The European Central Bank changed tack on its tightening plan on Thursday, pushing out the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike until 2020 at the earliest and offering banks a new round of cheap loans to help revive the euro zone economy.

The bolder-than-expected move came as the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world are also holding back on rate hikes. It underlined how a global trade war, Brexit uncertainty and simmering debt concerns in Italy are taking their toll on economic growth across Europe.

Source: ECB pushes out rate hike, offers cheap cash to banks | Reuters

Finland’s cabinet quits over failure to deliver healthcare reform | Reuters


Finland’s coalition government resigned on Friday a month ahead of a general election, saying it could not deliver on a healthcare reform package that is widely seen as crucial to securing long-term government finances.

Healthcare systems across much of the developed world have come under increasing stress in recent years as treatment costs soar and people live longer, meaning fewer workers are supporting more pensioners.

Source: Finland’s cabinet quits over failure to deliver healthcare reform | Reuters

Debate over anti-Semitism charges exposes divide in Democratic Party | Reuters


The U.S. House of Representatives approved a broad resolution condemning bigotry on Thursday after remarks by a Democratic member that some viewed as anti-Semitic exposed an ideological and generational rift in the party.

Some Democrats, including several U.S. senators who are seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, warned that party leaders were playing into Republicans’ hands and had stymied legitimate debate over U.S.-Israel policy.

Source: Debate over anti-Semitism charges exposes divide in Democratic Party | Reuters

Manafort’s luxurious life nowhere in sight at sentencing | Reuters


“To say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” Manafort told the judge on Thursday, his formerly brown hair noticeably grayer than months ago. He said his life was “professionally and financially in shambles.”

That came from a man who “believed the law did not apply to him,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye told the jury at the beginning of Manafort’s trial last year.

Source: Manafort’s luxurious life nowhere in sight at sentencing | Reuters

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A different kind of freshman marks Pelosi’s new majority


It wasn’t exactly a mic-drop moment. But when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi abruptly ended a conversation as a freshman lawmaker no longer seemed to be listening, it showed just how far the Democratic leader and the new majority have to go in getting used to each other.

A lot has changed in the 12 years since Pelosi last ran the House.

Their willingness to question the protocols of Congress is exposing Pelosi’s leadership team to high-profile stumbles.

Source: A different kind of freshman marks Pelosi’s new majority

Teachers Union Looks to Make Educator Unrest a 2020 Election Issue | US News


The discontent on display in the opening months of 2019 follows a year rocked by educator unrest, in which teachers in places like Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia organized around the same issues of pay, class size and resources, and ultimately motivated thousands of educators to run for office in the 2018 midterm election. And it’s a sign that education could be an important issue in the 2020 election.

Now, with a presidential election on the horizon, the face of the 1.7-million member teacher union, Randi Weingarten, is attempting to cement that national attention, especially among the 2020 Democratic hopefuls, by launching this week a major education initiative that includes a six-figure advertising campaign aimed at pressing lawmakers in state capitals and Congress to increase funding for public schools and universities.

Source: Teachers Union Looks to Make Educator Unrest a 2020 Election Issue | The Civic Report | US News

Democrats’ H.R. 1 Election Bill Might Not Increase Turnout | US News

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It’s all about getting more people to exercise that most fundamental part of American democracy – voting. And yet, the Golden State lags behind among states in voter turnout, with fewer than half of eligible voters showing up for the 2018 midterms (slightly less than the national average of 50.3 percent).

In the last presidential election year, 58 percent of Californians voted, compared to 60 percent nationwide.

And that national number isn’t so impressive, either, when compared to other industrialized nations. According to a Pew Research Center study last year, the United States ranks 26th out of 32 industrialized democracies around the world when it comes to voter turnout.

“For the vast majority of American voters, it’s a myth that voting is hard. It’s never been easier to vote,” says David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

Source: Democrats’ H.R. 1 Election Bill Might Not Increase Turnout | The Civic Report | US News

Cyber group calls for coordinated vulnerability disclosure policies | FCW


A white paper released March 6 by the Cybersecurity Coalition, an industry group led by former White House Senior Cybersecurity Director Ari Schwartz, recommends that organizations and governments adopt coordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD) frameworks.

The paper also suggests placing the Department of Homeland Security or another civilian department in charge of developing a policy framework for federal agencies, and it calls for more federal funding for resources like the Common Vulnerability and Exposures and National Vulnerability Database programs.

Source: Cyber group calls for coordinated vulnerability disclosure policies — FCW

GSA launches Air Force contract | FCW


The General Services Administration and the Air Force are looking for bidders in what will become a multiple-award blanket purchase agreement for IT hardware and products to replace the $7 billion Network Centric Solutions-2 contract.

GSA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Air Force last summer to set up the Netcents-2 IT Products BPA. The new BPA would be based on GSA’s IT hardware category team and IT Schedule 70.

Source: GSA launches Air Force contract — FCW