Thursday, May 26
What is the Indo-Pacific framework, who’s in it, why it matters
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What is the Indo-Pacific framework, who’s in it, why it matters

US President Joe Biden formally introduced the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, this week during his first Asia tour, revealing Washington's long-awaited Asia-Pacific economic strategy. It comes five years after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal signed by 12 countries in Asia-Pacific, North America and South America.With the US withdrawal, the remaining countries went on to launch the CPTPP, or Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership — one of the world's biggest multilateral trade deals, and one that China requested to join.Since then, the US has been largely absent in the region, made worse by its trade war with China. But the IPEF has broken the ice.Still, analysts and observers say the deal lacks "teeth" and is mor...
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The rise of ‘bai lan’: why China’s frustrated youth are ready to ‘let it rot’ | China

ANDEarly this month China's president Xi Jinping encouraged the country's youth to establish “great ideals” and incorporate their personal goals into the “bigger picture” of the Chinese nation and people. “'China's hope lies in youth,” he said in a major speech.But on China's internet, some young people say their “ideals” simply cannot be achieved and many of them have given up on trying. Frustrated by the mounting uncertainties and lack of economic opportunities, they are resorting to a new buzzword – bai lan (摆烂, or let it broken in English) – to capture their attitude towards life.The phrase, bai lan, which has its origin in NBA games, means a voluntary retreat from pursuing certain goals because one realizes they are simply too difficult to achieve. In American basketball, it oft...
Evolution of telephony to collaboration platforms and secure collaboration teams
Tech News

Evolution of telephony to collaboration platforms and secure collaboration teams

The pandemic brought with it the definitive establishment of hybrid work models. And within this new situation, collaboration tools have been shown to be essential to overcome the different challenges. Adopted and necessary for all types of companies, from SMEs to large accounts or public bodies, collaboration solutions are more than just the establishment of video conferences. Within that set of solutions of these characteristics that are on the market, Cisco Webex makes it possible for an organization's meetings, messages and calls to be much more efficient for organizations. One of the main benefits is that Cisco Cloud Calling provides the most flexible and agile options to meet all your calling and collaboration needs. The solution enables a simple 1:1 p...
The Uvalde, Texas, school district had an extensive safety plan.  19 children were killed anyway.
Europe

The Uvalde, Texas, school district had an extensive safety plan. 19 children were killed anyway.

School officials in Uvalde, Texas, promised to do everything they could to protect students from a mass shooting.Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had doubled its security budget in recent years, according to public documents, in part to comply with state legislation passed in the wake of a 2018 school shooting in which eight students and two teachers were killed. The district adopted an array of security measures that included its own police force, threat assessment teams at each school, a threat reporting system, social media monitoring software, fences around schools and a requirement that teachers lock their classroom doors, according to the security plan posted on the district's website. It happened anyway.Somehow — the account provided by authorities is not entirely...
Oklahoma GOP governor signs one of nation’s strictest abortion bills into law
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Oklahoma GOP governor signs one of nation’s strictest abortion bills into law

The bill, ​HB 4327, is among the nation's strictest on abortion and is a clear rebuke of the protections granted in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion rights advocates have vowed to mount a legal challenge to the law, which takes effect immediately.Under the measure, abortions are prohibited at any stage of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies or if the pregnancy was a result of rape, sexual assault or incest and reported to law enforcement.The law defines "fertilization" as "the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum." Though the bill considers a pregnancy to begin at fertilization, and not implantation, the bill does not restrict the use of forms of contraception that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a ute...
Josh Duggar sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in child sex abuse image case
Europe

Josh Duggar sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in child sex abuse image case

Former reality TV star Josh Duggar was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison on Wednesday for receiving and possessing child sex abuse images, officials said. Duggar, 34, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison and ordered to pay fines and special assessments totaling $50,100, according to the US Attorney's Office of the Western District of Arkansas.Duggar was found guilty in December of two charges of "receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct." Federal prosecutors contended that the "19 Kids and Counting" star downloaded the images on his work computer in May 2019, and used a Linux partition to circumvent software that monitors internet use. The files included "images of prepubescent children and depictions of sadistic abuse,"...
What are HR 8, HR 1446?  Gun control legislation awaiting Senate votes
Europe

What are HR 8, HR 1446? Gun control legislation awaiting Senate votes

Two bills to expand background checks, HR 8 and HR 1446, have passed in the House but not yet in the Senate.On Wednesday, both bills were posted on the Senate's Legislative Calendar of Business. But it's unclear when that will be.On Wednesday, both bills were posted on the Senate's Legislative Calendar of Business. Sen. Schumer signaled that votes cannot be expected soon.Mourning and outrage continues to reverberate across the nation following a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday. And, amid a long history of gun violence in the United States, increased gun control legislation is still uncertain in Congress.There are notably two gun bills that have been passed in the House, but not yet in the Senate: HR 8 and HR 1446, both o...
Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial sees Kate Moss testify in unforced error for Heard
Europe

Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial sees Kate Moss testify in unforced error for Heard

While testifying about a fight in 2015, Amber Heard admitted she struck her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. She said she did it because Depp took a swing at Heard's sister while Heard's sister was standing at the top of a staircase. The testimony was part of a trial in which Depp is suing Heard for defamation, claiming she falsely referred to him as an abuser. If Heard can establish that Depp did, in fact, abuse her, it's a defense to defamation. (Both parties deny abusing the other, and Heard has countersued Depp.) One of Depp's attorneys gave a fist pump. In the hushed, cerebral atmosphere of a courtroom during a trial, he might as well have spiked a football and done an end zone dance.During her testimony, Heard tried to explain why she admittedly resorted to violence against Depp, but...
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Deal proposed by China would dramatically expand security influence in Pacific | pacific islands

China is pursuing a sweeping regional economic security deal with Pacific nations that would dramatically expand its influence and reach into those countries, in a pact that has western countries and some Pacific leaders deeply worried.The wide-ranging deal lays out China's vision for a much closer relationship with the Pacific, especially on security matters, with China proposing it would be involved in police training, cybersecurity, sensitive marine mapping and gaining greater access to natural resources.A draft of the deal, written in a similar style to the controversial bilateral security deal signed by Solomon Islands and China last month, and a five-year action plan, both of which have been obtained by the Guardian, cover a huge range of issues , including trade, financing and in...
Oklahoma implements nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, effective now
Europe

Oklahoma implements nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, effective now

Oklahoma on Wednesday implemented the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation, giving the country a preview of a possible post-Roe future. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation to prohibit most abortions beginning at fertilization. Stitt signed House Bill 4327 that allows private citizens to sue anyone who "aids or abets" a woman seeking an abortion at any point in her pregnancy. The woman pursuing the procedure could not be sued. In a statement, Stitt said he was proud to sign the legislation. "From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby's life and the life of the mother," Stitt said.Related:Oklahomans, Texans now comprise majority of patients at Kansas abortion clinic, doc saysThe law that to...