British Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated he was ready to offer more visas to India in return for this year clinching a free-trade deal that could boost annual bilateral trade by billions of pounds.
Speaking on the plane on Thursday (21 April) on his way to the world’s second-most populous country, Johnson signalled he was ready to be more accommodating on an issue that could have stalled the talks.
Source: British PM Johnson signals visa flexibility with India to win trade deal – EURACTIV.com
Finland and Estonia have made a joint decision to lease a large LNG terminal ship in their pursuit of ending the use of Russian gas.
The project announced on 7 April is apparently underway, though few details or specifics have been made public at this stage.
Source: Finland and Estonia bunk on floating LNG terminal to secure gas supply – EURACTIV.com
President Joe Biden has an election-year message for frustrated voters: At least he’s trying.
For those who think he isn’t doing enough to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, Biden announced $800 million in new military support on Thursday. To ease the pain of high gas prices, he’s tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and reopened onshore sales of oil and natural gas leases on public land. And to address historic inflation, Biden has tried to smooth out supply chain-crimping bottlenecks at the nation’s ports.
Source: Biden’s election year challenge: Blame GOP for nation’s woes | AP News
The Pentagon is assessing whether to develop cloud service offerings to help contractors meet requirements for its cyber certification program, according to the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program aims to strengthen the cybersecurity of the defense industrial base by holding contractors accountable for following best practices to protect their network, but can be an onerous undertaking both for the companies and their assessors. The Pentagon last November rolled out CMMC version 2.0, streamlining the security tiers of the program from five to three and resulting in some requirements changes for its first two levels.
Source: Pentagon eyeing the cloud to help firms meet CMMC cybersecurity requirements – Breaking Defense
A month ago, when all eyes were on the war in Ukraine, the Taliban quietly reneged on their promise to put school-age girls back in classrooms. This followed a six-month period in which women faced crippling restrictions on their employment, freedom of movement, dress, access to healthcare and participation in sports, plus gender-based violence, torture and arrest if they protested. But the international community’s initial response—to pull humanitarian aid, for instance—threatens to make matters even worse.
Since the U.S. withdrawal in August 2021, U.S. government agencies and representatives, like the wider international donor community, have been struggling to determine how best to support women’s human rights in Afghanistan against the Taliban’s repression. Dilemmas abound. For instance, should the U.S. insist on improved conditions for women in return for lifting sanctions, even if the sanctions themselves are hurting women? And should the U.S. support contenders against Taliban rule even if renewed civil war puts women at risk?
Source: The U.S. Is Making Survival Harder for Women in Afghanistan
Millions of rural American families and businesses are stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide. And where no one else will provide the service, electric co-ops have found a way. Motivated by people, not profits, and the needs of their communities, electric co-ops are making rural broadband a reality.
Source: We Are America’s Electric Cooperatives – America’s Electric Cooperatives
In the 1960s, Japan was facing the same air pollution problems as the U.S., and as in the U.S., car makers scrambled to find ways to meet the resulting government limits on vehicle emissions.
In response, Honda Motor Co. founder Soichiro Honda established the company’s Air Pollution Control Lab with a team of just 30 engineers to investigate emissions control systems. At the time, Honda was a motorcycle company that was only just dipping a toe in automotive waters and had no budget to develop costly new technologies to control pollution from its vehicles.
Source: We Make it Simple: How Honda Outsmarted Catalytic Converters
Batteries are the new oil — and the U.S. is lagging behind Europe and China in the race to make them.
Why it matters: The historic shift to electric vehicles will give the U.S. a fresh chance to achieve energy independence, but it will require complex strategic moves that won’t pay off for years.
The big picture: Most of today’s advanced batteries — not only to power cars and consumer electronics but also to store clean energy — are sourced in Asia.
Source: U.S. has fresh chance at energy independence with battery production
Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia/Western Digital (WD) increased their share of the world’s silicon wafer capacity to a total of 57% by the end of 2021, according to market watcher Knometa Research. That share increased by 1% from 2020 as the industry becomes more top heavy, Knometa said in a report.
“The consolidation of IC manufacturers has contributed to annual volume changes in capacity being less dramatic,” said Knometa founder Trevor Yancey. “The reduction in the number of manufacturers has led to better overall regulation of supply vs. demand. Overcapacity conditions used to be more common and pronounced when there were many manufacturers vying for more market share.”
Source: EETimes – Chipmakers Increase Share of Global IC Wafer Capacity
Improving integration and use of sensor data already available to create a full picture of what is happening in the heavens is one of the biggest challenges faced today by the Space Force’s newly named 18th Space Defense Squadron, according to its commander, Lt. Col. Matt Lintker.
“Right now, if I had to prioritize, I prioritize to be doing better with the data I have,” he told C4ISRNet’s annual conference today — noting that this includes data from commercial partners monitoring space traffic as well as data from the radar and telescopes part of the military’s Space Surveillance Network (SSN).
Source: Space Force top priority for monitoring heavens: Seeing better the data it has – Breaking Defense