The 2020 census citizenship question fight, explained | Vox

The government claims the question is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act. The evidence suggests that’s not the real reason.

The government’s justification for the question sounds simple enough: Asking about citizenship will provide more information about who is in the United States, and more information is always good. It claims it’s simply reinstating a question that’s been part of every census except 2010’s (although it hasn’t been on the short form used by every respondent since 1950).

But critics are skeptical that the Trump administration intends to use citizenship data for good reasons. And they are seriously concerned that adding a single citizenship question to the 2020 census could scare away millions of immigrants from filling out their mandatory surveys — throwing off the count of who’s present in America that’s used to determine congressional apportionment for the next decade, allocate federal funding for infrastructure, and serve as the basis for huge amounts of American research.

Source: The 2020 census citizenship question fight, explained – Vox

Russia’s Quest to Lead the World in AI Is Doomed | Defense One

null
In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin famously stated that whoever becomes the leader in artificial intelligence “will become the ruler of the world.”

Most experts on technology and security would agree with Putin about the importance of AI, which will ultimately reshape healthcare, transportation, industry, national security, and more. Nevertheless, Moscow’s recognition of AI’s importance will not produce enough breakthroughs to obtain the technological edge that it so deeply desires.

Russia will ultimately fail in its quest to become a leader in AI because of its inability to foster a culture of innovation.

Russia’s anxieties about competing in the information age are far from new. In 1983, then-Soviet Minister of Defense Nikolai Ogarkov lamented to the New York Times that in the United States, “small children — even before they begin school — play with computers….here we don’t even have computers in every office of the Ministry of Defense.”

Source: Russia’s Quest to Lead the World in AI Is Doomed – Defense One

These Are the US Military Bases Most Threatened by Climate Change | Defense One


After a five-month delay, U.S. lawmakers can finally see which military bases are most threatened by climate change — information that arrived just ahead of a Congressional finding that the Defense Department has little idea how to prepare for these threats.

Each service evaluated its infrastructure’s vulnerability to increased flooding, drought, and wildfires; thawing permafrost; rising rivers and coasts; and other effects of climate change.

The four services flagged a total of 46 bases as particularly threatened.

Source: These Are the US Military Bases Most Threatened by Climate Change – Defense One

How CBP saved thousands of staff hours with RPA | FCW

null
Late last year, Customs and Border Protection used 50 bots to move 30 terabytes of email to a new email system in one of the largest robotic process automation (RPA) projects at the agency, according to the provider of the technology.

In the latter half of 2018, IBM provided CBP’s Office of Information Technology with a series of RPA bots to move the equivalent of 350 million archived emails from one system to another, IBM Homeland Security Client Lead Jonathan Riksen said.

The data had been slated to be moved by a team of CBP employee volunteers, Riksen said. RPA reduced the processing time for a terabyte of data from two months to one day.

Source: How CBP saved thousands of staff hours with RPA — FCW

How can city governments protect themselves against ransomware attacks?


Ransomware attacks have quickly become a preferred method of hacking with the emergence of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies that enable hackers to receive their ransom without being tracked and identified. The popularity of cryptocurrency has soared in the recent years with fluctuations in their value. As these currencies become more mainstream, so does the incentive of hackers to make a quick buck through ransomware attacks.

As I had warned before, we should expect ransomware attacks to become more frequent as cryptocurrency becomes more popular.

The bad news is that once a computer system is hacked with ransomware the options are very limited.

Source: How can city governments protect themselves against ransomware attacks?

Post-election South Africa: Top priorities for the administration

null
In many respects, Ramaphosa’s credentials are impeccable.

The question, therefore, is not so much whether he has the skills to successfully address South Africa’s malaise, but if he can overcome existing barriers to deliver on his promises.

In order to respond to voter demands for jobs, equality, and justice, the South African government should focus on five overlapping priority areas:

  1. installing accountable and effective governance systems, creating jobs and targeting available human capital,
  2. capitalizing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution,
  3. rebuilding the country’s energy sector, and
  4. promoting foreign and domestic investment.

Source: Post-election South Africa: Top priorities for the administration

Taiwan president wins ruling party’s nomination for 2020 election | Reuters


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday won the ruling party’s hotly contested nomination for the 2020 presidential election in a boost to her administration, which suffered a poll defeat amid rising threats from China.

Tsai beat her former premier, William Lai, in a national tally for the party’s primary race, Cho Jung-tai, chairman of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, told reporters.

Source: Taiwan president wins ruling party’s nomination for 2020 election – Reuters

Related>

G20 to tackle ocean plastic waste as petrochemical producers expand in Asia | Reuters


Japan wants to make reducing the glut of plastic waste in the oceans a priority at the Group of 20 summit it is hosting this month as governments around the world crack down on such pollution.

Images of plastic debris-strewn beaches and dead animals with stomachs full of plastic have sparked outrage, with many countries, including more than two dozen in Africa, banning plastic bags outright.

Source: G20 to tackle ocean plastic waste as petrochemical producers expand in Asia – Reuters

House panel approves contempt citations against Barr, Ross | Reuters


The U.S. House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to approve contempt of Congress citations against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying congressional subpoenas related to the U.S. Census.

By a 24-15 vote, the panel recommended that the full House of Representatives find Barr and Ross in contempt for refusing to cooperate with an investigation of the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census.

Source: House panel approves contempt citations against Barr, Ross – Reuters

Oil surges after Gulf tanker attacks, stocks claw higher | Reuters


Suspected attacks on two tankers off the coast of Iran saw oil markets erupt out of their recent slump on Thursday and kept traders gobbling up ultra-safe government bonds, gold and the Japanese yen.

Brent surged as much 4% after reports of the attacks added to the already-heightened tensions between Iran and the United States.

The area is near the Strait of Hormuz through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

Source: Oil surges after Gulf tanker attacks, stocks claw higher – Reuters