Antibiotic drug resistance is creating a global crisis, UN report says | Vox

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“Common diseases are becoming untreatable.”

That’s the blunt warning issued on page one of a major new United Nations report on drug resistance.

If we don’t make a radical change now, the report says, drug-resistant diseases could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

Drug resistance is what happens when we overuse antibiotics in the treatment of humans, animals, and plants.

When a new antibiotic is introduced, it can have great, even life-saving results — for a while. But then the bacteria adapt. Gradually, the antibiotic becomes less effective, and we’re left with a disease that we don’t know how to treat.

Source: Antibiotic drug resistance is creating a global crisis, UN report says – Vox

The dangerous US-Iran standoff, explained | Vox

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The United States seriously fears an imminent attack on its troops by Iran or its proxies. Iran signaled it may restart parts of its nuclear program in direct defiance of a landmark 2015 deal.

If tensions between Washington and Tehran were already high in the Trump era, they just increased substantially.

A US defense official confirmed to me the existence of credible intelligence of specific Iranian threats, but wouldn’t expand further.

Source: The dangerous US-Iran standoff, explained – Vox

US Military Testing Whether Human Pilots Can Trust Robot Wingmen in a Dogfight | Defense One

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A U.S. military research program is advancing the study of humans and machines working together by testing how well pilots and artificially intelligent entities trust each other in one of the most challenging of tasks: aerial combat, or dogfighting.

The idea behind DARPA’s  Air Combat Evolution, or ACE, program, is that human fighter pilots will soon be flying alongside increasingly capable drones — dubbed “Loyal Wingmen” — that will help evade other fighters and air defenses.

Military leaders often describe the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a kind of flying command center, with the human operator working less like a traditional pilot and more like a team captain. The craft is loaded with AI features that pilots say make it easier to fly than traditional fighters.

That enables the pilot to digest and put to use the immense amount of data the F-35 pulls in.

Source: US Military Testing Whether Human Pilots Can Trust Robot Wingmen in a Dogfight – Defense One

Price Drop: Lockheed Pitches $80M F-35A to Pentagon | Defense One


Lockheed Martin is offering to come down more than 10% on the price of the least-expensive F-35 as it negotiates the largest sale yet of Joint Strike Fighters.

The company is offering to sell the Pentagon about 100 F-35As — the version flown by the U.S. Air Force and most allies — for less than $80 million each, down from $89.5 million apiece in the deal signed last September.

That price point suggests the company will meet its 2020 price targets for the warplane, whose lengthy development and higher-than-expected initial costs have drawn much criticism.

Source: Price Drop: Lockheed Pitches $80M F-35A to Pentagon – Defense One

Can Iran weather the Trump storm?


If the revised International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast of GDP growth for Iran, -6.0 percent, is to be believed, the impact from U.S. sanctions will be relatively moderate, alarmist reports notwithstanding.

This would be a smaller drop than that which European countries like Greece, Italy and Spain experienced after the 2008 global financial crisis. In this case, deep recession rather than economic collapse is a more accurate way to describe what Iran faces in the next year or two.

Iran’s economy depends heavily on oil. Although oil accounts for less than 20 percent of the GDP, in the absence of a plan to restructure the economy away from oil, its loss can be more serious that its share of GDP indicates.

Source: Can Iran weather the Trump storm?

The Tech-Enabled Energy Future | Council on Foreign Relations

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Energy innovation is a vital U.S. national interest. The current rapid pace of digital innovation in energy—in particular, advancements in on-demand travel services, self-driving vehicles, big data-assisted logistics, newly automated and decentralized electricity systems, and three-dimensional (3-D) printing—is remaking the transportation, electricity, and manufacturing sectors.

This so-called fourth industrial revolution could sharply reduce oil use, lessen the influence of geopolitically problematic oil-producing nations, and promote electricity system resiliency to severe weather.

Leading in energy innovation contributes to U.S. global competitiveness—not only in spurring new markets, industries, and companies, but also in producing more cost-effective supply chains, boosting manufacturing productivity, reducing the economy’s energy intensity, and lowering the costs of addressing climate change.

Source: The Tech-Enabled Energy Future | Council on Foreign Relations

Trump’s Foreign Policies Are Better Than They Seem | Council on Foreign Relations

President Donald J. Trump “is not given sufficient credit for his foreign policies,” writes Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“All the chaos generated by this flawed president does produce actual policies, the substance of which in many cases is likely to be more consequential than the ways by which the policies arrived and the character of the man who formulated them,” asserts Blackwill.

“What matters most is the effectiveness of U.S. policy over time and its consistency with U.S. national interests, not the personal qualities of its leaders.”

Source: Trump’s Foreign Policies Are Better Than They Seem | Council on Foreign Relations

Hackers steal $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance cryptocurrency exchange | Reuters


Hackers stole bitcoin worth $41 million from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the company said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.

The 7,000 bitcoin were withdrawn by hackers using a variety of techniques, “including phishing, viruses and other attacks”, according to a post on Binance’s website by chief executive officer Zhao Changpeng.

Source: Hackers steal $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance cryptocurrency exchange – Reuters

South Africa’s ANC seen winning election but support sliding | Reuters


The African National Congress faced its toughest electoral test on Wednesday as it sought to reverse a slide in support from voters frustrated by graft and racial inequalities a generation after it won power in South Africa’s first all-race poll.

South Africa is holding parliamentary and provincial elections amid frustration with a lack of progress 25 years after Nelson Mandela’s ANC swept to power at the end of white minority rule in 1994.

Source: South Africa’s ANC seen winning election but support sliding – Reuters

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China backtracked on almost all aspects of U.S. trade deal | Reuters


The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, according to three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources briefed on the talks.

The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands, the sources told Reuters.

Source: Exclusive: China backtracked on almost all aspects of U.S. trade deal – sources – Reuters

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