Democrats Retreat on Nuclear Policy | Defense One


Question: How do you go from a National Defense Authorization Act that in July was opposed by every House Republican to one that was approved by more GOP votes than Democratic ones and that President Donald Trump called a huge win that he cannot wait to sign?

Answer: Add Space Force and parental family leave and take out all of the progressive national security provisions.

Source: Democrats Retreat on Nuclear Policy – Defense One

Nationwide Strikes in France Throw Daily Lives Into Chaos | US News


As French citizens brace for more strikes against President Emmanuel Macron‘s proposed pension reforms, this capital city has taken on a new rhythm.

Streets last week that initially were emptied by a public transportation shutdown slowly began to fill with strollers pushed by parents stranded without child care, only to morph into a traffic standstill as workers hit ride-sharing apps to get to work.

Product manager Cecile Ponceau, 34, says she took an unplanned vacation day last week to care for her 1-year-old daughter because her company doesn’t allow working at home and her nanny couldn’t commute into Paris from the suburbs. On Monday, she left her daughter with her in-laws and walked 45 minutes in the rain to catch a bus to work.

Source: Nationwide Strikes in France Throw Daily Lives Into Chaos | Best Countries | US News

USMCA Trade Deal Wins Over Democrats But Faces 2020 Uncertainty | US News


Getting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in the lower chamber of Congress to support a North American trade deal renegotiated by the White House was supposed to be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the proposal reaching President Donald Trump’s desk.

But even after the California Democrat and senior Democrats abruptly announced their support for the bill this week – saying they had successfully negotiated revisions to the original text that would strengthen labor and environmental protections, among other things – the path to ratification appears anything but imminent.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced this week that he plans to hold off on U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement deliberations until after Trump’s expected impeachment trial in the Senate.

Source: USMCA Trade Deal Wins Over Democrats But Faces 2020 Uncertainty | The Civic Report | US News

Public opinion lessons for AI regulation


An overwhelming majority of the American public believes that artificial intelligence (AI) should be carefully managed. Nevertheless, as the three case studies in this brief show, the public does not agree on the proper regulation of AI applications.

Indeed, population-level support of an AI application may belie opposition by some subpopulations.

Many AI applications, such as facial recognition technology, could cause disparate harm to already vulnerable subgroups, particularly ethnic minorities and low-income individuals. In addition, partisan divisions are likely to prevent government regulation of AI applications that could be used to influence electoral politics.

In particular, the regulation of content recommendation algorithms used by social media platforms has been highly contestable.

Finally, mobilizing an influential group of political actors, such as machine learning researchers in the campaign against lethal autonomous weapons, may be more effective in shifting policy debates than mobilizing the public at large.

Source: Public opinion lessons for AI regulation

Show me the money: How do we finance social protection for the future of work in Africa?


The one subject that keeps many policymakers across African countries awake at night is “jobs.” How do we create decent jobs for the continent’s growing and youthful population?

In the era dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” in which the adoption and diffusion of technology is generating anxiety about the displacement of manufacturing and low- and middle-skilled service jobs, this question is even more complicated.

Source: Show me the money: How do we finance social protection for the future of work in Africa?

Broker group warns of investor risks posed by U.S. direct share-listing proposal | Reuters


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission risks weakening investor protections if it allows companies to raise money in the public market through a direct listing without the support of underwriting banks, an influential broker group said on Friday.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has filed an application with the SEC to allow companies going public to raise capital through a direct listing, instead of an initial public offering. Nasdaq has said it also intends to file changes to its rules that would allow companies to raise funds, so-called primary capital, through a direct listing.

Venture capital investors have been pushing for direct listings, saying they are a better way to price newly public shares, while the exchanges say the new mechanism would give companies more flexibility in how they go public after a 20-year decline in listed companies.

Source: Broker group warns of investor risks posed by U.S. direct share-listing proposal – Reuters

In an Indian village, a woman’s killing and alleged rape opens caste divides | Reuters


That morning of Dec. 5, the woman had set out early to catch a train that was due to depart around 5 am to meet her lawyer to pursue her rape case, according to her statement in a police report. After she was burnt, the government ordered her moved to a hospital in New Delhi, where she succumbed to her injuries late on Dec. 6.

While her death has sparked nationwide outrage, her village stands divided over it, largely over caste lines.

Source: In an Indian village, a woman’s killing and alleged rape opens caste divides – Reuters

Revolution 101: The hardened teens of the Hong Kong protests


They were becoming something different from what they were, a metamorphosis that would have been difficult to imagine in orderly Hong Kong, a city where you line up neatly for an elevator door and crowds don’t step into an empty street until the signal changes. With each slap up against the police, each scramble down the subway stairs to avoid arrest as tear gas ate at their eyes, they hardened. They shifted back and forth between their old lives and their new – school uniforms and dinners with mom and dad, then pulling the masks over their faces once more. It was a dangerous balance.

“We may all be killed by the police. Yes,” said Fiona.

At the crucible of Polytechnic University, Fiona and the others crossed a line. Their movement has embraced the slogan of “be water,” of pushing forward with dramatic action and then pulling back suddenly, but here, the protesters hunkered down, holding a large chunk of territory in the middle of Hong Kong.

In their hive of enraged adolescence, they were risking everything for a tomorrow that almost certainly won’t come – a Hong Kong that cleaves greater freedom from an increasingly powerful Chinese Communist Party.

Source: Revolution 101: The hardened teens of the Hong Kong protests

Refinitiv used filter to block Reuters reports on Hong Kong protests


As anti-government demonstrations engulfed Hong Kong in August, Reuters broke a sensitive story: Beijing had rejected a secret proposal by city leader Carrie Lam to meet several of the protesters’ demands in a bid to defuse the unrest.

The story buttressed a main claim of the protesters, that Beijing is intervening deeply in the affairs of the semi-autonomous city. A state-run newspaper denounced the story as “fake” and “shameful.” The article soon became unavailable in mainland China.

It wasn’t the Chinese government that blocked the story. The article was removed by Refinitiv, the financial information provider that distributes Reuters news to investors around the world on Eikon, a trading and analytics platform. The article was one of a growing number of stories that Refinitiv – which until last year was owned by Reuters’ parent company, Thomson Reuters Corp – has censored in mainland China under pressure from the central government.

Source: Refinitiv used filter to block Reuters reports on Hong Kong protests

House committee recommends Trump impeachment for abuse of power, obstruction | Reuters


A Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives committee approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction against Republican President Donald Trump on Friday, making it almost certain he will become the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 along party lines to approve an article of impeachment charging Trump with abusing the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate a possible rival in the 2020 presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden.

The panel also backed a second article by the same margin charging Trump with obstructing Congress’ investigation of the scandal.

Source: House committee recommends Trump impeachment for abuse of power, obstruction – Reuters