San Francisco bans city use of facial recognition surveillance technology | SFChronicle.com


San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban city use of facial recognition surveillance technology Tuesday — a groundbreaking move that privacy advocates applaud, but others say may go too far.

The legislation, written by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, also will force city departments to disclose what surveillance technology they currently use — and seek approval from the Board of Supervisors on any new technology that either collects or stores someone’s data.

“This is really about saying we can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state,” Peskin said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Part of that is building trust with the community.”

Source: San Francisco bans city use of facial recognition surveillance technology – SFChronicle.com

The Next ‘South China Sea’ Is Covered in Ice | Defense One

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did attend the meeting, held last week in Finland. (Finland actually has an ice castle but it was not used.)

It was a strange event: Pompeo gave an ominous speech that made frequent reference to the effects of climate change, even as the U.S. delegation refused to recognize that it exists. The disjuncture pointed to the larger failure of American policy in the Arctic: a U.S.-border region in upheaval, both ecologically and strategically, that the government can’t quite ever focus on.

And Pompeo only underlined that stance when he said that the United States would soon re-establish a permanent diplomatic presence in Greenland, a mostly autonomous territory of Denmark, for the first time since the 1950s, while also announcing that he would be postponing his first trip to Greenland.

Source: The Next ‘South China Sea’ Is Covered in Ice – Defense One

The China challenge and critical next steps for the United States


Under President Xi Jinping, a newly-assertive China is pursuing a sophisticated “whole-of-society” strategy that exploits all elements of state power to strengthen its position in the world and diminish U.S. power and influence.

China uses all of the traditional tools of the state to exert influence: an expanded military presence, and the aggressive deployment of espionage to steal military, and industrial secrets.

But it’s also using more creative mechanisms—that take advantage of its authoritarian model to force Chinese companies, researchers, and others to act on behalf of China’s national interests. In 2015 and 2016, China enacted new laws requiring all Chinese citizens and companies to act in support of “national security” and the Chinese government.

All of this has set the stage for China to aggressively deploy every lever of power in service to the state—and, at the same time, exploit the openness of our society to gain geopolitical and economic advantage.

Source: The China challenge and critical next steps for the United States

EU fines Barclays, Citi, JP Morgan, MUFG and RBS $1.2 billion for FX rigging | Reuters


Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, MUFG and Royal Bank of Scotland were fined a combined 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by the European Union on Thursday for rigging the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange market.

Banks have been hit with billions of dollars in penalties worldwide over the last decade for the rigging of benchmarks used in many day-to-day financial transactions, further damaging the industry’s fragile reputation after the financial crisis.

Source: EU fines Barclays, Citi, JP Morgan, MUFG and RBS $1.2 billion for FX rigging – Reuters

House Democrats to read Mueller report aloud in Capitol hearing room | Reuters

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Mueller’s report, which contained redactions, described numerous links between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and various Russians but did not find sufficient evidence to establish here was a criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

The report also described numerous attempts by Trump to impede Mueller’s probe, but stopped short of declaring that the president committed a crime.

Democrats, who control the House, are sparring with the White House over numerous probes into Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia, the president’s business dealings and administration policies.

Source: House Democrats to read Mueller report aloud in Capitol hearing room – Reuters

Democrat Warren targets Pentagon contractors, calls industry corrupt | Reuters


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat seeking her party’s presidential nomination, on Thursday called for new rules governing Pentagon contractors, saying the industry has become too close to Defense Department officials.

Warren wants to limit the ability of former Pentagon officials to work for contractors or foreign governments and to make public the documents of private companies working with the Defense Department, she outlined on Thursday in post on Medium.

Source: Democrat Warren targets Pentagon contractors, calls industry corrupt – Reuters

U.S. Democratic hopeful Inslee unveils second climate change plan | Reuters


Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender whose campaign is focused on climate change, unveiled a plan to invest $9 trillion in 10 years in modern manufacturing and green infrastructure to “revitalize America’s economy for the 21st century.”

This is the second plank of Inslee’s broader “Climate Mission” agenda, which sets a goal of achieving 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2035.

Source: U.S. Democratic hopeful Inslee unveils second climate change plan – Reuters

Hardliners target Iran’s president as U.S. pressure grows | Reuters


When he succeeded firebrand leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2013, Rouhani was seen as an establishment figure who would do little to end Iran’s long standoff with the West. Two years later, his administration signed the nuclear deal with six world powers that spurred hopes for wider political change.

Rouhani’s authority is now waning: his brother, a key adviser on the 2015 deal, has been sentenced to jail on unspecified corruption charges, a hardline rival heads the judiciary and his government is under fire for responding too softly to U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions squeeze.

Source: Hardliners target Iran’s president as U.S. pressure grows – Reuters

Huawei’s $105 billion business at stake after U.S. broadside | Reuters


The latest U.S. broadside against Huawei that puts the Chinese firm on an exports blacklist threatens to rattle the global tech supply chain, linked closely to the $105 billion business of the world’s top supplier of telecoms network equipment.

The Trump administration has said it would add Huawei Technologies and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List” – a move that will likely ban the firm from acquiring U.S. components and technology without government approval, adding another incendiary element to the U.S.-China trade war.

The ban is not yet effective.

A similar U.S. ban on China’s ZTE Corp had almost crippled business for the smaller Huawei rival early last year before the curb was lifted.

Source: Huawei’s $105 billion business at stake after U.S. broadside – Reuters

Related>

Federal Government Breaks New Record for Spending Money


In total, the U.S. spent $2.574 trillion, which marks an 8 percent increase over last year. The government also ran a $531 billion deficit from October through April.

That’s a 38 percent increase over the $385 billion deficit during the same period last year.

The change was largely due to an increase in military spending, healthcare and interest on debt owed, said the Treasury.

Source: Federal Government Breaks New Record for Spending Money