Coronavirus: US primary care doctors and their patients are in crisis | Vox


The coronavirus pandemic is creating yet another kind of health care crisis: America’s primary care practices are struggling financially as patient visits plummet, and patients themselves are missing out on vital routine care.

Doctors and other health care providers have seen a precipitous drop in the routine visits they depend on for revenue, and experts fear many offices will have to close.

Meanwhile, patients with chronic conditions are facing hardships because they can’t see their regular physician to get routine care.

Source: Coronavirus: US primary care doctors and their patients are in crisis – Vox

McConnell state bankruptcy remarks raise constitutional questions | TheHill


Municipal finance experts say that it may be unconstitutional for Congress to allow states to declare bankruptcy, and that even if it is constitutional, it would be a bad idea.

Experts on state and local government finances say that Congress may not have the right to grant states the ability to file for bankruptcy under the Constitution. They also argued that bankruptcy wouldn’t be particularly helpful in addressing states’ coronavirus-related challenges.

Source: McConnell state bankruptcy remarks raise constitutional questions | TheHill

COVID-19 Offers a Golden Opportunity to Reengage with the Indo-Pacific | Defense One


The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report describes the Indo-Pacific as “the single most consequential region for America’s future.” Yet for all the rhetoric—see also the administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and the State Department’s A Free and Open Indo-Pacific report—concrete action has failed to keep pace. State Department vacancies in South and Central Asia remain high.

Ambassador positions in key countries such as Singapore have gone vacant for years. The administration downgraded its participation in important regional forums even as it continues to spar with allies like South Korea over basing costs. Some fear the administration may be destroying the alliance system that served the U.S. so well for seven decades.

Still, the United States retains its central position in a hub-and-spoke network of regional alliances and partnerships.

Source: COVID-19 Offers a Golden Opportunity to Reengage with the Indo-Pacific – Defense One

How China Sees the World | Defense One


Since the heady days of Deng Xiaoping, in the late 1970s, the assumptions that had governed the American approach to our relationship with China were these: After being welcomed into the international political and economic order, China would play by the rules, open its markets, and privatize its economy. As the country became more prosperous, the Chinese government would respect the rights of its people and liberalize politically. But those assumptions were proving to be wrong.

China has become a threat because its leaders are promoting a closed, authoritarian model as an alternative to democratic governance and free-market economics.

The Chinese Communist Party is not only strengthening an internal system that stifles human freedom and extends its authoritarian control; it is also exporting that model and leading the development of new rules and a new international order that would make the world less free and less safe.

Source: How China Sees the World – Defense One

Australia, China tensions rise over coronavirus inquiry call | Reuters


Australia has asked the Chinese ambassador to explain what it called a threat of “economic coercion” in response to Canberra’s push for an international inquiry into the source and spread of the coronavirus.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Australia was a “crucial supplier” to China for critical imports like iron ore and Australia’s resources and energy helped power much of China’s manufacturing growth and construction.

Australia’s recent call for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic has angered China, its largest trading partner.

Source: Australia, China tensions rise over coronavirus inquiry call – Reuters

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In Israel, Netanyahu Outplays His Political Opponents, Again


Gantz, facing the difficult choice of breaking his core campaign promise to not serve alongside Netanyahu or taking Israel to a costly fourth election amid a national emergency, chose the former.

Gantz’s explosively controversial move has rippled through the Knesset, Israel’s 120-seat legislature, drastically altering the political landscape. First, the announcement of the unity government precipitated the breakup of Blue and White and its four-member leadership team, known in Israel as the “cockpit.”

Gantz and co-chief Gabi Ashkenazi, both former heads of the Israel Defense Forces, pursued talks with Netanyahu, while the two other Blue and White leaders, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid and former Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon, established themselves as the largest opposition party by merging their previous parties, Yesh Atid and Telem.

Even within smaller factions, Gantz’s decision caused churn.

Source: In Israel, Netanyahu Outplays His Political Opponents, Again

A bioethicist on the hidden costs of lockdown in Italy | Aeon Essays


The document provoked an uproar.

The media feasted on it, spreading the panic. The situation in Italy was certainly exceptional due to the sheer number of cases presenting themselves each day. It’s likely the first time that many of these doctors, especially the younger ones, were being faced with such harrowing choices. Yet, from an ethical point of view, the document was neither unprecedented nor revolutionary.

In another context of scarce resources – organ donation – patients are routinely ranked on waiting lists using an algorithm. Standard criteria match donor organs to recipients using a calculation of the chances of the transplant’s success and the patient’s survival. More controversial criteria can apply too.

There’s no escaping such dilemmas in our healthcare system, which will always have finite capacity.

Source: A bioethicist on the hidden costs of lockdown in Italy | Aeon Essays

Halve the Farmland, Save Nature, Feed the World | EcoWatch


Forget about organic farming: get the best out of the best cropland, return the rest to nature and still feed the world. It could work, say researchers.

Once again, scientists have demonstrated that humans could restore roughly half the planet as a natural home for all the other wild things, while at the same time feeding a growing population and limiting climate change.

That doesn’t mean it will happen, or could be made to happen easily.

Source: Halve the Farmland, Save Nature, Feed the World – EcoWatch

How cities are reshaping streets to prepare for life after lockdown


As the daily coronavirus death toll slowly falls in Italy and cities in the country make plans for reopening, Milan is beginning to transform 22 miles of local streets, adding temporary bike lanes and wider sidewalks, and lowering the speed limit.

In Berlin, some parking spots have also become pop-up bike lanes. Paris is fast-tracking long-distance bike lanes that connect suburbs to the city center.

And in Brussels, on May 4, the city center will become a priority zone for people on bikes and on foot.

Source: How cities are reshaping streets to prepare for life after lockdown

Lockheed to Manage Satellite Interfaces Under DARPA Contract | ExecutiveBiz

Lockheed Martin has secured a $5.8M contract to help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency perform integration activities of the Blackjack satellite network.

The company said Saturday it will implement interfaces that connect the system’s bus, payload and autonomous data processor as well as interfaces of Blackjack’s vehicle. The majority of work will take place in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Source: Lockheed to Manage Satellite Interfaces Under DARPA Contract | ExecutiveBiz