2019-01-01 00:00:00 ..
2019-08-18 13:49:50 UTC
2019-08-19 13:33:31 UTC
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Chinese tech giant Huawei has filed a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of a law that limits its sales of telecoms equipment, the latest action in an ongoing clash with Washington.
Huawei's chief legal officer Song Liuping said the firm had filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule on whether it is constitutional for the US to implement a military spending provision that bars the government and its contractors from using its equipment.
Mr Song said the "state-sanctioned campaign" against the company will not improve cybersecurity.
"Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company," he said. "This is not normal."
[Ed Note: full disclosure - The submitter is also the author of the linked news story and a junior editor at the techerati.com web site]
California lawmakers on Thursday advanced the last major surviving bill in a package aimed at reducing consumption of sodas, approving a measure that would require health warning labels on sugary drinks.
The measure by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) received a bare majority of votes even though some Democrats withheld votes while others in the majority party joined Republicans in opposition.
The latest action follows this year’s shelving of measures that would have put a tax on soda and banned “Big Gulp”-style sodas in an effort to address health risks including obesity and diabetes that are posed by sugary drinks.
“They represent the single leading source of increased bad calories that are being promoted in our communities and pushed on communities of color,” Monning said during the floor debate, citing a “national epidemic” of diabetes.
The label on container would say: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) may contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay.”
[...] The American Beverage Assn. opposed the bill with a strong push by lobbyists and while making major political contributions to state lawmakers.
The industry argued that the bill and its health impact claims went too far.
“There are already more effective ways to help people manage their overall sugar consumption rather than through mandatory and misleading messages,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the American Beverage Assn.
[...] Legislators are also still considering a bill that would bar the soda industry from offering subsidies including discount coupons that encourage soda consumption.
The World Socialist Web Site, publication of record of the ICFI (SEP), on May 24th released a report about the grim situation many millennials face:
The stock market is booming, and President Donald Trump is boasting at every turn that the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in five decades.
However, the working class, the vast majority of the population, is confronting an unprecedented social, economic, health and psychological crisis. The same processes that have produced vast sums of wealth for the ruling elite have left millions of workers on the brink of existence.
Perhaps no segment of the population reflects the devastating consequences of these processes so starkly as the generation of young people deemed the "millennials," those born roughly between the years 1981 and 1996. More than half the 72 million American millennials are now in their 30s, with the oldest turning 38 this year.
A recent exposé by the Wall Street Journal noted that millennials are "in worse financial shape than prior living generations and may not recover." The article, "Millennials Near Middle Age in Crisis," [paywalled] concludes by stating that people born in the 1980s are at risk of becoming "America's Lost generation."
Selected bullet points from the WSWS article:
The report concludes, "Far from becoming the 'Lost Generation' predicted by the Wall Street Journal, this generation of workers carries within it an enormous source of revolutionary potential."
[Ed. Note. I debated whether or not to run this story given the partisan source for the article, but the list of references suggested it was more than a simple opinion piece. So, are things really as grim as portrayed here? I'm too old to be a millennial, but have both personally experienced as well as witnessed many others facing the same trends listed here. Where do things go from here?]
Mrs. May announced on Friday that she would be stepping down as leader of her Conservative Party and then as Britain's prime minister, after repeatedly failing to win Parliament's approval for a deal to withdraw the country from the European Union.
A successor to Theresa May will be chosen before Parliament's summer break, the Conservative Party chairman said. She will continue as prime minister until the leadership contest is finished.
[...] Standing in front of 10 Downing Street, Mrs. May said it was in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister" to lead Britain through the Brexit process. She announced plans to step down as the leader of the Conservative Party on June 7, with the process to replace her beginning the following week.
Previously: Theresa May: UK's Next Prime Minister?
May spoke outside 10 Downing Street after a meeting with Graham Brady, the head of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Party backbenchers. She said she will step down on June 7. Her resignation will trigger a party leadership contest, and whoever wins that contest will take over as prime minister.
[...] Her announcement could complicate the upcoming June 3 state visit by President Trump to London to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, where he will also meet with Queen Elizabeth II.
May will still be in office during that visit, meaning it will nix the chance for a new prime minister to forge ties with the American president at a time where such relations are vital. A U.S.-U.K. trade deal is a top priority for the U.K. as it looks to depart from the European Union and begin making its own trade agreements -- and Trump has said "the potential is unlimited" for such a deal.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Search engine and consumer privacy advocate DuckDuckGo has announced the "Do-Not-Track Act of 2019," a piece of draft legislation that would legally require sites to honor users' tracking preferences.
[...]If the act picks up steam and passes into law, sites would be required to cease certain user tracking methods, which means less data available to inform marketing and advertising campaigns.
The impact could also cascade into platforms that leverage consumer data, possibly making them less effective. For example, one of the advantages of advertising on a platform like Google or Facebook is the ability to target audiences. If a user enables DNT, the ads displayed to them when on browsing[sic] those websites won't be informed by their external browsing history.
[Ed Note: By proposed they mean "That's why we're announcing draft legislation that can serve as a starting point for legislators in America and beyond. "]
-- submitted from IRC
Amsterdam's head of transport has announced plans to ban petrol and diesel cars in the city by 2030.
The clean air action plan aims to make the Dutch capital a "world leader in emission-free transport".
Transport chief Sharon Dijksma said residents "live a year less on average due to dirty air" and that the plan should "prolong the health of the average Amsterdammer by three months."
But the plan has already incited strong reactions in the Netherlands with one motoring organisation branding it "bizarre" and wondering how normal people would afford electric cars.
The plan, which would be applied 20 years before the Paris Agreement aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions, would require up to 23,000 electric charging points by 2025. The city currently has 3,000.
• Clashes between anti-government protesters and law enforcement officers erupted in Caracas on Tuesday after the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, appeared alongside soldiers at a military base and called for the population to rise up against the president, Nicolás Maduro.
• Mr. Guaidó has urged the Venezuela military to join his side since he declared himself interim president more than three months ago. But it was a new step for him to make the declaration with men in uniform by his side. Still, it is unclear how much of the military supports him.
• The Trump administration, which has backed Mr. Guaidó since he first declared himself interim president in January, expressed immediate support for his latest move. President Trump tweeted, "The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom!"
• Video and photos showed at least one instance where an armored vehicle rammed protesters. It was not immediately clear how many people were injured.
Previously: Turmoil in Venezuela Surrounding Aid Deliveries
As lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom supported a 2017 bill increasing the state's gas taxes. When running for governor in 2018, he opposed a ballot initiative that would have repealed that same increase. It's 2019, and Newson, now the state's governor, is demanding an investigation into why the state's gas prices are so high.
On Tuesday, the governor sent a letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) asking that the state agency investigate the Golden State's roughly $4.03 per gallon gas prices, currently the highest in the country (and well above the national average of $2.86 per gallon).
"Independent analysis suggests that an unaccounted-for price differential exists in California's gas prices and that this price differential may stem in part from inappropriate industry practices," wrote Newsom in his letter to the CEC. "These are all important reasons for the Commission to help shed light on what's going on in our gasoline market."
[...] California currently imposes the second-highest gas taxes in the country. A state excise tax currently adds $.417 per gallon, a rate that will increase to $.473 come July. On top of that, the state imposes a 2.25 percent gasoline sales tax.
In addition, California has adopted a low-carbon fuel standard and a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions which together increase the state's gas prices by $.24 per gallon above the national average, according to a 2017 state government report.
That same report maintained that, even after all these state-imposed costs were tallied up, California's gas prices remained above the national average, a finding that both those 19 state legislators and Newsom are using to justify their demands for an investigation.
China's courts have now added 13.5 million individuals to the social-credit punishment list.
People deemed untrustworthy in China have been blocked from the purchase of more than 25 million plane and train tickets, as the country works to build the massive social-credit system designed to monitor and shape the conduct of its citizens
The system covers "19 key areas of dishonesty" such as failing to make court-ordered payments (China has no personal bankruptcy statutes), spending habits, turnstile violations, and filial piety, as well as
spreading online rumours and false information, committing financial fraud, delivering unlicensed medical treatment, evading taxes, cheating on tests and fixing sports matches.
Chinese officials are careful to point out that this is only the beginning of the process of implementing a social-credit system. There are also multiple blacklists involved, not one big blacklist like the United State's 'No-Fly' list.
In total, the number of blacklists in China now likely numbers in the hundreds, said Dai Xin, a professor at Ocean University of China School of Law. But it remains experimental, he said, like many initiatives in China, where "governments just go ahead with some vague assumptions of what may happen if a measure is adopted."
Critics call the system the beginning of a "digital panopticon", while other Chinese scholars and officials defend the system as one that will ease life for those who display good conduct and integrity even as it deprives the untrustworthy of access to services.
Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the country's presidential election, exit polls suggest.
The polls give the political newcomer, who dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago, more than 70% support.
Mr Zelensky, 41, challenged incumbent president Petro Poroshenko who has admitted defeat. The apparent result is being seen as a huge blow to Mr Poroshenko and a rejection of Ukraine's establishment.
"I will never let you down," Mr Zelensky told celebrating supporters on Sunday. "I'm not yet officially the president," he added. "But as a citizen of Ukraine I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union: Look at us. Anything is possible!"