Some Arms Exports Are Riskier Than Others. Here’s a Tool To Tell Which Ones | Defense One


The role of arms sales in American foreign policy is often framed as a win-win-win scenario. Administration officials appreciate the flexibility that arms sales provide for diplomacy; they tout weapons deliveries as a way to maintain alliances and create leverage with recipient nations. Allies, in turn, get access to the most technologically advanced weapons without having to create defense industries that compete (too much) with American firms. And the bottom line means that more money flows into American companies that employ skilled American workers. Win. Win. Win.

But history reveals several flaws in this logic.

For example, the United States does not only sell weapons to allies, an issue that members of Congress have grappled with intensely this year. From 2002 to 2018, the United States sold weapons to our 29 NATO allies and 46 non-NATO allies, but also to 110 other countries with which we do not have security agreements.

In fact, over the past 17 years, the United States sold more weapons — as measured by total dollar value — to non-allies than to NATO allies.

Source: Some Arms Exports Are Riskier Than Others. Here’s a Tool To Tell Which Ones – Defense One

USAF: Our New Tanker Should Be Ready for War in 3 or 4 Years | Defense One


A long list of technical problems means the KC-46 tanker will not be battle-ready for at least three to four years, a top U.S. Air Force general said Wednesday.

Problems with the new plane’s refueling system could prompt the Air Force to put off retiring 1960s-era KC-135 tankers that are supporting the U.S. military’s operations around the world.

The KC-46 was supposed to be battle-ready in 2017, but numerous design and development problems have led to repeated delays and cost the plane’s maker Boeing more than $3 billion.

Source: USAF: Our New Tanker Should Be Ready for War in 3 or 4 Years – Defense One

The 2020 Democratic Debates Aren’t Pleasing Anyone | The Atlantic


The debates haven’t been used “to educate the public and illuminate contrasts between the candidates. And they’ve been too superficial in their construct as to not allow the candidates to delve into differences of opinions that they may have,” Faiz Shakir, Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign manager, told me as we boarded a plane in Houston last week.

“You’ll end up having a conversation about climate change where maybe 60 percent of the candidates comment, and to the extent that they commented, it would be their two talking points, and not a conversation that gave voters a better understanding of the differences between them.”

Source: The 2020 Democratic Debates Aren’t Pleasing Anyone – The Atlantic

Building resilience in education to the impact of climate change


The catastrophic wind and rain of Hurricane Dorian not only left thousands of people homeless but also children and adolescents without schools. The Bahamas is not alone; as global temperatures rise, climate scientists predict that more rain will fall in storms that will become wetter and more extreme, including hurricanes and cyclones around the world.

An often overlooked result is the disruption of schooling, which threatens the physical safety and psychosocial well-being of students and teachers. The longer that school is shut down, the less likely it is that children will return.

Moreover, research has shown a lower academic performance and a reduction in educational attainment among children who have experienced climate shocks.

But, fortunately, the Bahamas and other countries can learn from work being undertaken in Nepal to keep learners safe by reducing disaster risk and increasing the resilience of the education sector to future climate risks.

Source: Building resilience in education to the impact of climate change

As Amazon burns, 230 big investors call on firms to protect world’s rainforests | Reuters

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With widespread fires wreaking havoc on the Amazon, over 200 investors representing some $16.2 trillion under management on Wednesday called on companies to do their part in halting the destruction of the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Nongovernment organization Ceres said in a statement that 230 funds have signed a declaration calling on firms to keep a close tab on supply chains, among other measures to curtail forest destruction.

Signatories range from major private managers like HSBC Global Asset Management and BNP Paribas Asset Management to public pension funds like California’s CalPERS, according to a list provided by Ceres, a Boston-based NGO encouraging sustainability among investors.

Source: As Amazon burns, 230 big investors call on firms to protect world’s rainforests – Reuters

U.S. trade groups urge Congress to rein in ‘Tariff Man’ Trump | Reuters


Nearly two dozen U.S. lobbying groups have joined forces to try to rein in U.S. President Donald Trump’s power to unilaterally impose tariffs amid growing concern about the negative economic impact of his trade policies.

Led by the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), the groups on Wednesday said they had formed the Tariff Reform Coalition to urge Congress to wrestle back greater control over trade policy and increase its oversight of the president’s use of tariffs.

Source: U.S. trade groups urge Congress to rein in ‘Tariff Man’ Trump – Reuters

Are We Near a Recession? Yield Curve Indicates Some Worries About Economy Passing | Fortune


Just a few weeks ago, the big bond market story was yield curve inversion—when shorter-maturity bonds pay more in interest than longer ones—and the 30-year Treasury dropping to an historical low yield of under 2%.

Today, after a few weeks of cooling and the Fed having cut an interest rates an additional 0.25%, things seem calmer. Yields on bonds are higher than they were at the beginning of September and the big type of inversion that investors watch—when the yield of the 2-year bond is higher than that of the 10-year—that happened in August has reversed itself again. That suggests some worry about the economy may have passed.

Source: Are We Near a Recession? Yield Curve Indicates Some Worries About Economy Passing | Fortune

Developing Countries Are Already Tackling Climate Change. What’s Your Rich Nation’s Excuse? | EcoWatch


World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here.

This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally.

Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Source: Developing Countries Are Already Tackling Climate Change. What’s Your Rich Nation’s Excuse? – EcoWatch

Israel: Benny Gantz rejects Benjamin Netanyahu′s ′unity government′ proposal | DW


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer of a unity government was rejected on Thursday by former army general Benny Gantz.

Moshe Yaalon, a senior leader from Gantz’s centrist Blue and White Party, announced, “We will not enter a coalition led by Netanyahu.”

Instead, Gantz expressed his wish to become prime minister.

“In order to make a unity government you don’t come with spins and blocs,” said Gantz on Thursday. “I intend to establish a wide liberal unity government.”

Source: Israel: Benny Gantz rejects Benjamin Netanyahu′s ′unity government′ proposal | News | DW | 19.09.2019

How WeWork’s Wobbles Are Putting SoftBank Founder Son’s $15 Billion Fortune in Danger | Fortune


SoftBank’s compensation plan also involves a lot of debt. Son loaned himself around $3 billion to invest in the first Vision Fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Using loans for a private investment compounds Son’s risk because he would be less able to bail himself out if things go south, Pozen said.

The loan was swapped for equity in the fund and will generate profits when deals make money — and losses when they don’t. Vision Fund employees, including high-profile bankers and investors, receive base salaries and bonuses, but only get payouts when profits are booked.

SoftBank is planning to lend as much as $20 billion to its employees to buy stakes in a second venture capital fund, the people said. Son may account for over half of the employee investment pool, they said.

Source: How WeWork’s Wobbles Are Putting SoftBank Founder Son’s $15 Billion Fortune in Danger | Fortune