The National Rifle Association, the country’s largest and most powerful gun rights organization with an estimated 5 million members and considerable political clout, is facing a real and genuine crisis that could put its future at risk.
Following the NRA’s annual conference held this past weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana, the NRA is currently down a president, in the midst of a complex and embarrassing legal battle against its own advertising firm, and facing an investigation into its finances by the New York state attorney general following multiple reports of long-running financial mismanagement. Now board members are calling for reforms.
Source: NRA investigation: the financial mismanagement crisis, explained – Vox
Amid a battlefield stalemate in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has stopped releasing information often cited to measure progress in America’s longest war, calling it of little value in fighting the Taliban insurgency.
The move fits a trend of less information being released about the war in recent years, often at the insistence of the Afghan government, which had previously stopped the U.S. military from disclosing the number of Afghans killed in battle as well as overall attrition within the Afghan army.
Source: US military cuts back on Afghan war data
Google employees say they will hold a sit-in tomorrow to protest alleged retaliation against workers.
In a tweet, the organizers of last year’s walkout of Google employees said the sit-in was scheduled for 11AM.
“From being told to go on sick leave when you’re not sick, to having your reports taken away, we’re sick of retaliation,” the organizers said in the tweet. “Six months ago, we walked out. This time, we’re sitting in. 11am tomorrow.”
Source: Google employees are planning a May 1st sit-in to protest retaliation – The Verge
China is making a risky bet in the Middle East. By focusing on economic development and adhering to the principle of noninterference in internal affairs, Beijing believes it can deepen relations with countries that are otherwise nearly at war with one another—all the while avoiding any significant role in the political affairs of the region.
This is likely to prove naive, particularly if U.S. allies begin to stand up for their interests.
Source: China’s Risky Middle East Bet – Defense One
“He’s prepared to fight us tooth and nail. And we’re prepared to fight him back,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee. “He obviously has something to hide.”
The standoff pits the legislative and executive branches against each other in a constitutional showdown not seen since the Watergate era. Neither side is expected to back down. The debate over witnesses and documents could escalate with legal battles rippling into the 2020 election.
Source: Dems vow to enforce subpoenas as Trump resistance grows
In an April 24 speech at the National Conference on CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey praised legislative and regulatory reforms to the CFIUS process last year designed to expand review of foreign technology investments and connected them to the government’s recent hard-line position on Chinese-fueled economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.
Hickey said that 90 percent of the economic espionage cases pursued by DOJ since 2011 involve China. Additionally, he claimed that since China’s government released a 10-year innovation plan in 2015 that lays out a blueprint for dominating critical technology and manufacturing industries by 2025, DOJ has charged Chinese individuals and entities for stealing trade secrets in eight out of the 10 strategic manufacturing sectors listed in the plan.
Source: Foreign tech investment rules are a balancing act — FCW
After paralyzing parts of London, the co-founder of environmental group Extinction Rebellion has a message for the world: We’ve only just begun.
The group disrupted London with 11 days of protests that it cast as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history. Iconic locations were blocked, the Shell building defaced, trains stopped and Goldman Sachs targeted.
Source: Extinction Rebellion has a message for the world: We’ve only just begun – Reuters
France has set more ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions by 2050 but few measures will take effect on President Emmanuel Macron’s watch as the “yellow vest” protest movement limits his scope for environmental protection.
Source: New French energy law puts off difficult climate decisions – Reuters
Poland should stop treating the European Union as a money-making machine and make a more substantial financial contribution in the future, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said on Wednesday.
He also said the EU’s Article 7 procedure, under which the bloc could sanction Poland over changes that Brussels says undermine the rule of law, had not yet had any impact on Warsaw’s behavior.
Source: Poland must stop treating EU as a money-making machine – Katainen – Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison by a British court on Wednesday for skipping bail when he holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy for seven years until police dragged him out last month.
Source: Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in British jail for skipping bail – Reuters