Iran Has Options and It’s Starting to Use Them | Defense One


For almost a year, Iran looked set to hunker down and take the Trump administration’s repeated punches—the withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the escalating sanctions, the intensified threats. But now Iran is punching back.

On Monday, Tehran announced a clear and rapid plan to start breaching the nuclear deal—which Iran and all the original signatories have stayed in without the United States—unless certain conditions were met.

If the administration’s assumption was that its “maximum pressure” campaign would force Iranian capitulation at no cost to the United States or its allies, that assumption is proving mistaken.

Source: Iran Has Options and It’s Starting to Use Them – Defense One

U.S. Air Force landlord falsified records to boost income


Balfour Beatty, among the U.S. military’s largest housing providers, systematically falsified its Tinker Air Force Base maintenance logs for years, Reuters found through a review of company records, Air Force reports and interviews with former workers.

The fake entries made the company appear responsive to tenant complaints and unsafe conditions, helping it secure millions in “performance incentive fees” for good service that it otherwise often would not have qualified for. The efforts left families in harm’s way and persuaded Air Force brass to ignore warnings of trouble raised by military base employees.

For years, Balfour Beatty kept two sets of maintenance books at Tinker, Reuters, working in partnership with CBS News, found.

Source: U.S. Air Force landlord falsified records to boost income: documents

SC to hear on Tuesday plea for safety, security of doctors at government hospitals | The Economic Times

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear on June 18 a plea seeking safety and security of doctors in government hospitals across the country.

A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter for Tuesday after the counsel appearing for the petitioner, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, sought urgent hearing.

The plea was filed on Friday in the wake of protests by doctors in West Bengal against assault on their colleagues allegedly by the relatives of a patient, who died on June 10 at a Kolkata hospital.

Source: SC to hear on Tuesday plea for safety, security of doctors at government hospitals – The Economic Times

Doctors in India strike over violent attacks by patients’ families | The Guardian

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About 800,000 doctors across India went on strike on Monday to demand better working conditions, following years of complaints about violent attacks from patients’ families.

A brutal assault on a junior doctor in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, appears to have been the final straw. Paribaha Mukhopadhyay was walking down a corridor at NRS hospital with a colleague when a group of men attacked them.

Source: Doctors in India strike over violent attacks by patients’ families | World news | The Guardian

The Rebalancing That U.S. Trade Policy Actually Needs


President Donald Trump likes trade wars because he thinks they are “easy to win,” as he infamously put it, and because he thinks they will help improve the trade balance. Trump claims past American presidents have been weak, allowing other countries to take advantage of the United States in trade negotiations. As evidence, he points to the large American trade deficit.

But any economist worth her salt will tell you that the deficit doesn’t reflect what Trump thinks it does.

Instead, it simply reflects the propensity of Americans to spend more than they save and invest.

Source: The Rebalancing That U.S. Trade Policy Actually Needs

Huawei CEO: U.S. ban chews into company’s revenues | FierceTelecom


During the close two-hour presentation, which Huawei streamed, Ren said that Huawei’s revenue would be down 30%, and that revenue would come in at an estimated $100 billion.

Source: Huawei CEO: U.S. ban chews into company’s revenues | FierceTelecom

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Trump Official Goes Rogue, Says Climate Change May Cause Next Financial Crisis | Vanity Fair


Rostin Behnam, who sits on the powerful five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told the New York Times in an interview Monday that the financial risks from climate change are akin to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

“If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products—mortgages, home insurance, pensions—cannot shift risk away from their portfolios,” Behnam said. “It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.”

Source: Trump Official Goes Rogue, Says Climate Change May Cause Next Financial Crisis | Vanity Fair

What now for the New Silk Road? | EURACTIV.com


With member states divided, the EU is pursuing a pragmatic approach vis-à-vis China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also raising some issues of concern, writes Fraser Cameron.

It is a pity that China did not keep the name –Silk Road – something that is immediately recognizable with its mix of history, romance and trade routes spanning several countries and cities between China and Europe. Instead we have the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that sounds more like an advert for a road safety campaign.

But the BRI it is and many countries including in Europe are scrambling to jump on board Beijing’s ambitious plan to connect China and Europe. Perhaps plan is also the wrong word as the BRI is an ever-growing list of projects spanning several continents and covering sea as well as land routes.

Source: What now for the New Silk Road? – EURACTIV.com

Court Packing Won’t Happen, but Calling Out the Court as Partisan Can Work Just as Well | Pacific Standard


More than any other president in recent history, Donald Trump is content to let his cabinet seats sit empty. At one point this year, almost 40 percent of key leadership positions that require Senate confirmation were unfilled, according to the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit focused on good governance.

But while Trump is content with major staffing vacancies, he’s been filling the federal judiciary at record speed, appointing over 100 judges in his first term alone.

Source: Court Packing Won’t Happen, but Calling Out the Court as Partisan Can Work Just as Well – Pacific Standard

A Look at the US/China Battle for AI Leadership | Design News


The battle over AI technologies has already fueled a full-scale trade dispute between the US and China. And the economic powerhouses are quickly entering into a full-blown war in the artificial intelligence (AI) arena.

As a pioneer of AI, the US has always remained one step ahead of China and the rest of the world where the technology is concerned.

But will it relinquish this lead in the foreseeable future? Current trends show that’s certainly a possibility.

Source: A Look at the US/China Battle for AI Leadership | Design News