Thursday, December 8, 2022

Short Takes – 12-8-22

China Scraps Most Covid Testing, Quarantine Requirements in Policy Pivot. article. Pull quote: “As China relaxes Covid controls it is unlikely to see any immediate rebound in the country’s slowing economy, analysts say. Mobility could plunge as infections surge, as was the case in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where people avoided going out to minimize risk of infection. “Policy and mobility may diverge” during reopening and hurt growth, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a note Sunday.”

Batteries linked to hundreds of waste fires. article. Smaller lithium-ion batteries being disposed of in trash. Pull quote: “Ben Johnson, from the Environmental Services Association (ESA), told BBC News "more and more people were putting devices containing these batteries in with household rubbish" or mixing them with other recycling.

"That causes a real problem, because they have a tendency - when damaged - to explode or ignite," he said.”

String of electrical grid attacks in Pacific Northwest is unsolved. article. Seems to be more common than publicly thought. Pull quote: “Portland General Electric, the Bonneville Power Administration, Cowlitz County Public Utility District and Puget Sound Energy have confirmed a total of six separate attacks on electrical substations they manage in Oregon and Washington. Attackers used firearms in at least some of the incidents in both states, and some power customers in Oregon and Washington experienced at least brief service disruption as a result of the attacks.”

House passes annual defense funding bill. article. Pull quote: ““I can’t go through every single item that is in this bill, but I can tell you that just about every member of this House has something in this bill that is important for policy, important in their district,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said ahead of the vote. “This is important policy that makes a huge difference for the people in this body and the people in this country, and I’ve urged us to support it.”” See also my blog post.

House GOP committee chairs selection delayed amid McCarthy opposition. article. Pull quote: “The House Republican Conference Steering Committee, the body of around 30 GOP leaders that picks chairs and members for most committees in the chamber, met on Wednesday to ratify committee chairs for the 118th Congress in uncontested elections. But control of the gavels of the powerful House Ways and Means, Homeland Security, Budget, and Education and Labor committees — all of which have multiple candidates in the running — are still up in the air.” Pending successful vote for Speaker in January.

Gillibrand Ditches Military-Services Style Cyber Academy Idea for DOD Scholarship Program in NDAA. article. Pull quote: “DOD also has a Cyber Scholarship Program that includes recruitment and retention scholarships and capacity grants for schools. The NDAA text mandates that at least half of the funding authorized for the new academy be spent at schools that have already used this grant funding.”

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