Five takeaways from Trump’s budget | TheHill


President Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget for the next fiscal year on Monday that proposes dramatic cuts to domestic spending and new tax cuts, while presenting an optimistic path for reducing deficits that relies on broad economic growth.

The proposal is dead on arrival with the Democratic House, particularly in an election year. Yet it is likely to color the debates surrounding the presidential campaign and could also foreshadow fights to come if Trump wins a second term.

Here are five takeaways.

Source: Five takeaways from Trump’s budget | TheHill

Technology, tribalism, and truth


The technology debacle at the Iowa Caucus reinforces a national cynicism that nothing seems to work. The Trump campaign was quick to jump on the mishap, appealing to such cynicism by asking how the Democrats can be trusted to run the country if they can’t count noses in a school gymnasium. Iowa was a digital age mishap, but the effects of the collision of digital technology and democracy extend beyond the Hawkeye state.

Problems in reporting the vote sow seeds of doubt about the functioning of democracy itself. Those seeds fall in fields already plowed by technological tumult. The digital era was supposed to open a new Golden Age—for Americans and for democracy. Instead, it has delivered job losses, privacy invasions, and a longing for the good old days.

Beyond a bad app in Iowa, digital technology is gnawing at the core of democracy by dividing us into tribes and devaluing truth.

Source: Technology, tribalism, and truth

Daimler cuts its dividend to lowest in a decade | Fortune


Daimler AG slashed its dividend to the lowest since the financial crisis and promised deeper cost cuts as Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius frees up cash to pay for an accelerated electrification effort in the coming year.

Kallenius, whose restructuring push has failed to gain traction in his first nine months on the job, is cutting the dividend by two thirds to 0.90 euros ($0.98) a share. Daimler will also reduce personnel costs by more than 1.4 billion euros by the end of 2022 and review non-core operations to channel more money into auto making, the German manufacturer said Tuesday.

Source: Daimler cuts its dividend to lowest in a decade | Fortune

U.S. companies cut back on installing robots in 2019 | Reuters


The robot invasion slowed a bit last year.

U.S. companies installed fewer robots in 2019 than they did the year before, the first cut back since 2015, as a downturn in manufacturing fueled by trade wars and weaker demand dampened appetite for the machines.

Source: U.S. companies cut back on installing robots in 2019 – Reuters

As Trump takes aim at EU trade, European officials brace for fight | Reuters


An emboldened President Donald Trump has set his sights on restructuring the more than $1 trillion U.S. trade relationship with the European Union, raising the specter of another major trade war as the global economy slows and he seeks re-election.

Trump, who recently signed a Phase 1 trade deal that cooled a bitter trade war with China, has called the EU’s position on trade “worse than China” and threatened to impose tariffs on its cars and other products.

Source: As Trump takes aim at EU trade, European officials brace for fight – Reuters

Chinese expert says coronavirus may peak soon as death toll surges past 1,000 | Reuters


Companies struggled to get back to work after an extended Lunar New Year holiday, while hundreds of Chinese firms said they would need loans running into billions of dollars to stay afloat.

Layoffs also began, despite assurances by President Xi Jinping that widespread sackings would be avoided.

Source: Chinese expert says coronavirus may peak soon as death toll surges past 1,000 – Reuters

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer: Favourite to replace Merkel stands down | BBC News


The leader of Germany’s main governing party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is standing down and will not put herself forward to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer took over as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in December 2018.

The protégée of Mrs Merkel was widely seen as her favored successor.

Her decision comes after fresh questions were raised about her ability to command authority in the party.

Source: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer: Favourite to replace Merkel stands down – BBC News

Sharad Pawar jabs BJP over Delhi loss, makes a prediction for the future | Hindustan Times

[India]


Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar hurled a string of darts at the Bharatiya Janata Party over its defeat to the Aam Aadmi Party that came close to match its 2015 spectacular performance.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is leading on 61 seats, leaving just about 9 seats for the BJP which had led a high-powered campaign that largely focused on national issues and built its campaign around the Shaheen Bagh protests in the national capital.

Pawar, who had tweeted his congratulations to the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal for sweeping the Delhi elections, said the poll result indicated that “the Modi-Shah magic has failed in Delhi.”

Source: Sharad Pawar jabs BJP over Delhi loss, makes a prediction for the future – assembly elections – Hindustan Times

What Are North Korea’s Military Capabilities?


The United States and its Asian allies regard North Korea as a grave security threat. North Korea has one of the world’s largest conventional military forces, which, combined with its missile and nuclear tests and aggressive rhetoric, has aroused concern worldwide. But world powers have been ineffective in slowing its path to acquire nuclear weapons.

While it remains among the poorest countries in the world, North Korea spends nearly a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP) on its military, according to U.S. State Department estimates. Its brinkmanship will continue to test regional and international partnerships aimed at preserving stability and security.

Source: What Are North Korea’s Military Capabilities?

Foreign Policy and the 2020 Election | The Council on Foreign Relations


The next president will face serious foreign policy challenges.

CFR offers a full suite of resources to help you parse the candidates’ positions and understand how they see the U.S. role in the world.

Source: Foreign Policy and the 2020 Election | The Council on Foreign Relations