Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Short Takes – 11-22-22

McConnell fight with GOP opponent shifts to new battleground. TheHill.com article. Some Republicans want spending bill and NDAA pushed to next year. Pull quote: “Senate GOP critics of the proposal to postpone an omnibus spending package until next year argue that doing so could also delay the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will likely be included with the spending bills in December because of the shortage of floor time.”

GOP centrists prepare to ‘flex our muscles’. Politico.com article. Political crystal ball gazing continues. Pull quote: “The unexpectedly small majority McCarthy will be working with next year as he seeks the top gavel has undoubtedly bolstered the leverage of his right flank. But the House Freedom Caucus’ vocal criticism is drowning out clear signals from some members of his more moderate wing: They say McCarthy should know that any deal with rebellious conservatives could face resistance from centrists who see themselves as the GOP’s “majority makers.””

US senate discuss Chemical Safety Board with nominees. CEN.ACS.org article. Pull quote: “Senators also criticized Owens for staff attrition, noting staff is half of what it was a decade ago. In response, Owens pointed to a greater push for staffing and new hires that include a new chief information officer, other cybersecurity and information technology experts, an additional investigator, and other specialists. He said more hires are in the works.”

China Records First Covid-19 Deaths Since May as Cases Edge Toward Record High. Wsj.com article. China COVID response is still complicated. Pull quote: “At the same time, the central government has said it has no intention of abandoning its “zero-Covid” policy, only telling local officials to be more precise in its application to minimize damage to the country’s economy. Still, as cases surged, the mixed messaging has sown confusion as many cities order citizens to take frequent Covid tests and more residential buildings are put into sudden and frequent lockdowns.”

Autonomous Vehicles Join the List of US National Security Threats. Wired.com article. Pull quote: “Pfluger highlights in his letter that China could use “autonomous and connected vehicles as a pathway to incorporate their systems and technology into our country's infrastructure.” The United States, like most of its allies, has already banned Chinese corporate giant Huawei from building 5G infrastructure, but these next-generation vehicles would have access to an unprecedented number of emails, messages, and phone calls, and would effectively be moving cameras, capable of photographing an array of critical infrastructure.”

Chemical Sector Coordinating Council advocates for extension of cyber-related security program. InsideCybersecurity.com article. Pull quote: “Leaders of the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council are calling on Congress to swiftly reauthorize the CISA-administered Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, set to expire in 2023, emphasizing its role in government-industry collaboration and preventing cybersecurity incidents.”

New report examines the ecological impact of ammonia as a shipping fuel. Lr.org article. Pull quote: “The results were then compared to previously studied habitat and species sensitivity to conventional oil-based fuels. Overall, an ammonia spill has a relatively smaller dispersion distance and lower persistence within the environment when compared to heavy fuel oil (HFO) and marine gas oil (MGO).”

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