Web-enabled birds and dogs could extend battlefield networks, military researchers say | Stripes


Web-enabled birds and dogs could help unleash rapidly changing battlefield communications networks that would be hard for enemies to detect and jam, military researchers said.

The concept involves “networks with living nodes and links,” such as animals and people, alongside aerial and terrestrial drones, said Alex Bordetsky, director of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Network Innovation and Experimentation.

The distributed mesh-like network would allow short bursts of communication before quickly disappearing.

Source: Web-enabled birds and dogs could extend battlefield networks, military researchers say – Stripes

Pentagon: Reports of sexual assault, harassment in the military have increased | Stripes


The Defense Department’s fiscal year 2019 report on sexual assault in the military said there were 7,825 sexual assault reports involving service members as victims or subjects, a 3% increase compared to 2018.

The increase in reports can’t be characterized as an increase in assaults, according to the Pentagon, because a separate survey on prevalence is only conducted every other year.

Source: Pentagon: Reports of sexual assault, harassment in the military have increased – Stripes

Trump’s dismal coronavirus polling, in 2 charts: Governors and world leaders see approval surges | Vox


In early April, President Donald Trump’s job approval reached 46 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s poll aggregator — its highest level since January 25, 2017, and a 6-point increase since early November. It has since drifted back down to 43 percent.

If Trump received any bump from his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, it was unusually small and short-lived.

International comparison is useful here.

Source: Trump’s dismal coronavirus polling, in 2 charts: Governors and world leaders see approval surges – Vox

Navy Picks Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine to Build New Frigate | Defense One


The U.S. Navy has chosen Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine to build a new class of frigates that pack more technology and firepower than similar warships.

If all of the options are exercised, the deal for 10 ships could be worth $5.5 billion for Fincantieri. That cost does not include other billions of dollars in additional equipment and weapons that will be installed on those ships.

Fincantieri’s proposal is based on its FREMM frigate, variants of which are in service with the French and Italian navies.

Source: Navy Picks Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine to Build New Frigate – Defense One

How is the coronavirus outbreak affecting China’s relations with India?


The Indian state’s rhetoric has been quite measured, reflecting its need to procure medical supplies from China and its desire to keep the relationship stable. Nonetheless, Beijing’s approach has fueled Delhi’s existing strategic and economic concerns. These include overdependence on China for industrial inputs — India’s pharmaceutical sector, for instance, sources a majority of its Advanced Pharmaceutical Ingredients from China.

Because of this crisis, the desire to boost domestic production or diversify India’s options will likely intensify.

Another government concern is Chinese entities’ taking advantage of the crisis — and China’s own seeming early recovery — for various objectives: (1) the acquisition of vulnerable Indian companies, (2) increasing its influence in India’s neighborhood, and (3) portraying its system and global and regional leadership role as more effective than others (including the U.S. and India).

Source: How is the coronavirus outbreak affecting China’s relations with India?

FDA’s lax rules on coronavirus blood tests open U.S. market to dubious vendors | Reuters


As demand escalates for blood antibody tests to determine who might be fit to release from lockdown, an array of distributors with no background or established competency in medical testing have joined experienced companies in an all-but-unregulated marketplace, Reuters found. The rush to obtain, advertise and find buyers for test kits follows the FDA’s unprecedented decision last month to allow any company to sell antibody tests in the United States without prior review by the agency.

Pounded by criticism for a delay in expanding diagnostic tests for coronavirus infection, the FDA has swung in the opposite direction in overseeing tests for coronavirus immunity.

This take-all-comers approach, Reuters found, has provided an entree for questionable vendors and middlemen — including an electronics salesman hawking an unauthorized home test kit and a former physician convicted in a fraudulent gold-peddling scheme.

Source: Special Report: FDA’s lax rules on coronavirus blood tests open U.S. market to dubious vendors – Reuters

For small business loan program, forgiveness may be the hardest part | Reuters


The U.S. government’s $660 billion small business rescue program has stumbled on missing paperwork, technology failure, and the misdirection of funds to big corporations. Now, it is lurching toward another hurdle: forgiving those hastily arranged loans.

Smoothing the forgiveness process is critical for the program to succeed, but a lack of government guidance on the related calculations and necessary documentation could land borrowers and banks alike with billions in unexpected debts.

“Probably every PPP borrower expects their loan to be forgiven, but it is not that simple,” said Paul Merski, an executive at the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Source: For small business loan program, forgiveness may be the hardest part – Reuters

As Sweden goes it alone, a COVID-19 survivor and trucking boss balances risk | Reuters


Per Arne Fredin has been at the sharp end of Sweden’s policy to buck the norm and avoid a COVID-19 lockdown – a decision that has been hailed as both visionary and irresponsible by public figures around the world.

The outbreak has killed almost 2,600 people in Sweden. While that is far more relative to the size of the population than in Denmark, Norway and Finland, where authorities have taken a stricter approach, it is lower than in Britain, France and Spain where there have also been lockdowns.

Source: As Sweden goes it alone, a COVID-19 survivor and trucking boss balances risk – Reuters

Corona Capital: Allianz, Airline gloom, RBS | Reuters


It’s an about-turn for the 70 billion euro insurer. Allianz had been fairly optimistic in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, standing by its dividend and share buyback scheme. Its shares trade at nearly 10 times forward earnings, compared with less than 7 times for France’s AXA. The dividend is still intact, but the sheen may come off when Baete gives a more detailed outlook for 2020 in less than two weeks.

Shares fell 3% on Friday. Germany’s insurance giant may be succumbing to gravity. (By Aimee Donnellan)

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Allianz, Airline gloom, RBS – Reuters

Thousands of Americans to take part in biggest rent strike in decades | The Guardian


Thousands of Americans plan to take part in a rent strike on Friday, calling for state leaders to cancel rent during the coronavirus crisis.

Activists in New York, Pennsylvania and California are encouraging tenants to withhold rent, whether they are able to pay or not, to draw attention to the plight of those unable to pay.

Source: Thousands of Americans to take part in biggest rent strike in decades | World news | The Guardian