Eight surprises in House Democrats’ $3T coronavirus relief bill | TheHill


In a shot at the White House, the Democrats’ legislation would neuter President Trump’s power to fire inspectors general without a specific cause.

The proposal comes just weeks after Trump dismissed Glenn Fine, the acting Pentagon inspector general who was slated to lead oversight of Congress’ coronavirus response, as well as Michael Atkinson, the top watchdog for the intelligence community. Atkinson’s decision to inform Congress of a whistleblower complaint related to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine led to the president’s impeachment in December — and prompted accusations that Trump had fired him as retribution for the humiliating episode.

Source: Eight surprises in House Democrats’ $3T coronavirus relief bill | TheHill

To Compete With Russia and China at Sea, Think Small | Defense One


No other navy comes close to the sheer number of aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers in the U.S. fleet, but when it comes to smaller vessels like frigates and corvettes, the United States is far outnumbered by China and Russia. And being top-heavy is not good for stability in today’s power dynamics.

Source: To Compete With Russia and China at Sea, Think Small – Defense One

Resurgent Wall Street disconnected from reality on the ground | Reuters


Trillions of dollars of fiscal and monetary stimulus to dampen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy and financial markets have sent stocks soaring off their lows, while the worst of the fallout on growth and employment has yet to be felt.

The following graphics illustrate the disconnect that has developed between the stock market and the reeling U.S. economy.

Source: Resurgent Wall Street disconnected from reality on the ground – Reuters

Workers’ rights at risk as Indian labor laws face post-lockdown challenge | Reuters

Labor specialists warn, however, that the decision of states to suspend federal and state labor laws enshrining workers’ rights would push even more people into the informal sector, drive down wages and erode working conditions.

“It’s not only regression, it’s a deep slide into a bottomless pit and a race to the bottom of labor standards,” labor economist K.R. Shyam Sundar, a professor at the Xavier School of Management, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Source: Workers’ rights at risk as Indian labour laws face post-lockdown challenge – Reuters

Corona Capital: Aston, UK taxman, Jets, Maersk | Reuters


Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll is probably familiar with money pits. Still, a torrid first-quarter loss of 76 million pounds from Aston Martin Lagonda on Wednesday – which sent shares down 11% – raises the question of whether the Canadian retail magnate’s recent 262 million pound investment will be enough to save the maker of James Bond’s preferred wheels.

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Aston, UK taxman, Jets, Maersk – Reuters

India’s New Self-Reliance: What Does Modi Mean? | Council on Foreign Relations


Modi spoke about better integration in global supply chains. This is a similarly laudable goal. Without further details, it too is hard to assess.

In recent years, the Indian government’s approach to trade has become more—not less—protectionist, with tariff increases targeting imports that the Indian government sees as too competitive with domestic industry.

Will the new self-reliance put up more barriers? In his speech, Modi appeared to say that was not the goal—that this version would not be “exclusionary or isolationist”—but the past six years have shown that the Modi economic philosophy is not premised on free-trade instincts.

Source: India’s New Self-Reliance: What Does Modi Mean? | Council on Foreign Relations

Coronavirus lockdown | Narendra Modi announces ₹20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package | The Hindu

[India]


He said that the new edifice of this self-reliant India would be based on the five pillars of the economy, infrastructure, demography, technologically driven systems and to strengthen demand and supply chains, with the supply chains being based on local sourcing.

“In the past few days we have seen how local supply chains and shops are the only things that have helped,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the economic package would not be based on incremental changes, but a quantum leap in bold reforms with regard to land, labour, law and liquidity.

Source: Coronavirus lockdown | Narendra Modi announces ₹20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package – The Hindu

For Mexico’s AMLO, Popularity Hinges on COVID-19 Response


Taking all of this into account, one might assume that Mexicans are uneasy and losing faith in their populist president. Not quite. In a poll conducted in April by El Financiero, a Mexican newspaper, 53 percent of respondents said his government had handled health issues well—a notable spike from the 28 percent who responded this way in March.

AMLO, who took over the presidency from the unpopular Enrique Pena Nieto in December 2018 and has enjoyed the kind of widespread popularity that U.S. President Donald Trump dreams about, saw his overall job approval jump eight points, to 68 percent, in the same survey, from March to April.

One thing definitely has Mexicans on edge, though. The El Financiero poll found that 81 percent say the pandemic has hurt the country’s economy a great deal.

Source: For Mexico’s AMLO, Popularity Hinges on COVID-19 Response

US Marshals Service Suffers Cyber Breach | Executive Gov

A cyber breach of a U.S. Marshals Service system resulted in the exposure of personal data of approximately 387,000 former and current prisoners at the end of 2019, Nextgov reported Monday. USMS sent letters to affected individuals notifying them of the intrusion and referring them to resources to help safeguard themselves from fraud and freeze their credit.

“The attackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the system to extract sensitive personally identifiable information on approximately 387,000 individuals,” a spokesperson for the Marshals Service told the publication.

The cyber attack involved the DSNet system, which is designed to transport and house prisoners within the agency, Bureau of Prison and federal courts, and exposed the affected individuals’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses.

Source: US Marshals Service Suffers Cyber Breach – Executive Gov

How to keep cities pollution-free after virus lockdowns lift | EURACTIV.com


As authorities across Europe prepare for a stepwise lift of coronavirus lockdown measures, they are facing a make-or-break moment for urban mobility. Yoann Le Petit details four proven strategies that should keep cities free of pollution as normality starts to return.

The decisions taken in the coming weeks will define how healthy, resilient and livable our cities will be in the future.

Cities across the world have understood that now is the time to move towards clean mobility and have already begun to remodel their urban space. Luckily, no mayor needs to reinvent the wheel to keep emissions down after the lockdown.

There are a multitude of inspiring examples, dating back as far as the oil crisis in the 1970s when Dutch cities started a complete make-over that has turned them into some of the most livable cities worldwide.

There are at least four proven strategies to tackle toxic air pollution, curb climate damaging emissions and prepare a zero-emission future, which is announced by the European Green Deal strategy and already being translated into reality by a group of leading cities.

Source: How to keep cities pollution-free after virus lockdowns lift – EURACTIV.com