The UN Doubles Its Workload on Cyber Norms, And Not Everyone Is Pleased | Council on Foreign Relations


The United Nations is set to double its workload as it relates to the international security dimensions of cyberspace over the next few years.

Last week, the General Assembly’s first committee adopted two separate (and some would say competing) resolutions on the actions of states in cyberspace. One resolution, sponsored by Russia, creates an open-ended working group of the General Assembly to study the existing norms contained in the previous UN GGE reports, identify new norms, and study the possibility of “establishing regular institutional dialogue … under the auspices of the United Nations.”

The other resolution, sponsored by the United States, creates a new Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to study how international law applies to state action in cyberspace and identify ways to promote compliance with existing cyber norms.

Source: The UN Doubles Its Workload on Cyber Norms, And Not Everyone Is Pleased | Council on Foreign Relations

Cybersecurity ‘moonshot’ panel sends recommendations to White House


The report also issued a dire warning on the future of attacks, saying that over the next 10 years the U.S. will see “more severe and physically destructive cyber attacks than have been experienced to date,” and that cyber threats need to be viewed as “an existential threat to the American people’s fundamental way of life.”

But how to prepare for tomorrow’s threat today is the challenge, according to Peter Altabef, chairman of the moonshot subcommittee and CEO of security firm Unisys.

Source: Cybersecurity ‘moonshot’ panel sends recommendations to White House

Macron’s ‘Euro-army’ is an idea whose time has come | TheHill


Regardless of whether Macron is serious about it or is just engaging in political rhetoric, President Trump should welcome an idea whose time has come. In his first speech to members of NATO in February 2017, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said, “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”

This echoed the campaign statement of his boss, Donald Trump, that “Number one, it (NATO) was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago.”

If history is not to repeat itself, we should recognize that, after keeping peace in Europe for 70 years, NATO has exhausted its usefulness and lost its purpose. It became an alliance with no mission and, in the process to remain relevant, became the destabilizing factor in Europe and a burden to the U.S.

Source: Macron’s ‘Euro-army’ is an idea whose time has come | TheHill

Pentagon limiting senior leader appearances at public events: report | TheHill


The Pentagon has limited public appearances by senior military leaders and its senior political appointees, Defense One reported Thursday.

A rule put in place nine months ago stipulates that only one senior military leader and one civilian leader are allowed to appear per day at each nongovernment event.

Source: Pentagon limiting senior leader appearances at public events: report | TheHill

Cash Buys Elections—and Continued Fossil Fuel Dominance


Last week, the fossil fuel industry successfully squashed several local measures it didn’t like—thanks to the more than $100 million it shelled out to oppose them.

Initiatives to rein in fracking failed in Colorado, where the industry spent a whopping $40 million (outspending advocates 40-1) and in San Luis Obispo County, where a measure to ban fracking lost in the face of $8 million in industry cash (proponents of the measure spent only $240,000).

An Arizona initiative to mandate 50 percent renewable energy by 2050 failed, thanks to $30 million in energy cash to fight it. And, despite increasingly touting its approval for carbon taxes with modest funding of greenwashing groups like the Climate Leadership Council, the industry spent $30 million to oppose a carbon tax initiative in Washington.

Source: Cash Buys Elections—and Continued Fossil Fuel Dominance

The rolling bear market


The stock market bull has been running more or less since early-2009, with nearly 200 percent in gains on world stocks at the start of 2018.

As the year progressed, that run has been undermined by a cocktail of rising interest rates, trade tensions, and currency crises in emerging markets.

In fact, the bull has turned into a bear in many places: a growing number of equity indexes across the globe have slipped into ‘bear’ territory – commonly defined as a price drop of 20 percent or more from their highest levels in 52 weeks.

Source: The rolling bear market

How Congress can force Saudi Arabia’s hand on Yemen | Reuters


.. ending the mid-air refueling of Saudi aircraft is not enough to stop the conflict. In addition to refueling warplanes and providing intelligence assistance, the United States has rushed billions of dollars’ worth of missiles, bombs and spare parts to help the Saudi military continue its bombing campaign, starting under President Barack Obama.

Yet neither the Obama nor Trump administrations put enough pressure on the Saudis to negotiate a political settlement with the Houthis to end the war.

Source: Commentary: How Congress can force Saudi Arabia’s hand on Yemen | Reuters

Pence says South China Sea doesn’t belong to any one nation


The South China Sea does not belong to any one nation and the United States will continue to sail and fly wherever international law allows, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday, in a challenge to China which claims the waterway.

Source: Pence says South China Sea doesn’t belong to any one nation

Trump’s summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together | Reuters


“The most important and talked-about … leader, President Trump, is the only one that did not turn up,” said Malcolm Cook, a senior fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

And yet, in Trump’s absence, countries from South to East Asia pressed on with forging multilateral ties on trade and investment among themselves, including with China.

China’s representative at the meetings, Premier Li Keqiang, egged them on.

Source: Trump’s summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together | Reuters

Brexit | Reuters.com


Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to fight for her draft divorce deal with the European Union on Thursday after the resignation of her Brexit secretary and other ministers put her strategy and her job in peril.

Source: Brexit | Reuters.com