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Nancy Pelosi warns Europe over Huawei 5G risks

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Nancy Pelosi has warned European nations they may “select autocracy over democracy” in the event that they let Huawei participate in rolling out 5G know-how, in an indication of the bipartisan US political strain over the Chinese language firm.

Ms Pelosi, the Democrat Home of Representatives’ speaker, urged an viewers of prime politicians, army officers and spies in Munich to work with Washington on an “internationalisation of digital infrastructure” that didn’t allow authoritarianism.

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Her remarks on the opening day of the annual safety convention within the German metropolis on Friday spotlight the push in Washington for European states to reject Chinese language know-how in delicate communications methods. 

“Permitting the Sinification of 5G can be to decide on autocracy over democracy,” she mentioned. “We should as an alternative transfer in the direction of . . . an internationalisation of digital infrastructure that doesn’t allow autocracy.”

Ms Pelosi mentioned it will be the “most insidious type of aggression” if 5G communications had been to return beneath the management of an “anti-democratic authorities”. The hazard was “so predictable that I have no idea why it isn’t self evident”, she added. 

Her remarks come as many European nations together with Germany face selections on whether or not to limit Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks, which safety consultants say are significantly delicate due to potential makes use of starting from home home equipment to metropolis transport methods. The value-competitive know-how of Huawei — which denies it’s a safety risk — has already been embraced in some European states similar to Hungary and others are anticipated to public sale 5G cellular spectrum.

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Ms Pelosi gave no particulars of how she thought the US and European nations ought to present a substitute for Chinese language 5G know-how. She additionally didn’t explicitly endorse the suggestion final week by William Barr, US attorney-general, that the US purchase controlling stakes in Nokia of Finland and Sweden’s Ericsson to assist construct a stronger 5G competitor to Huawei. 

The UK’s determination final month to permit Huawei into its 5G community has elevated tensions between London and President Donald Trump’s administration. Earlier than the choice, White Home representatives warned it will be “nothing in need of insanity” to incorporate the Chinese language firm in telecoms infrastructure, and that intelligence-sharing can be in danger if Britain went forward.

Whereas the US was cautious in its public remarks following Downing Avenue’s determination, the Monetary Instances has reported that Donald Trump vented “apoplectic” fury at UK prime minister Boris Johnson in a telephone name after the 5G announcement.

Talking within the margins of the Munich convention Robert Blair, White Home safety adviser on telecommunications coverage, made clear he wished Mr Johnson’s authorities to take a “onerous look” at its determination.

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Washington officers have been significantly involved that London’s inexperienced mild for Huawei will persuade different allies to observe go well with.

This week Germany’s Christian Democratic Union, the lead celebration in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, backed a technique paper that might curb Huawei’s involvement in Germany’s 5G rollout however notably stopped in need of the US coverage of banning the Chinese language know-how outright.

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Max Conze to depart ProSiebenSat.1 as media company reorganizes

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Max Conze is to step down as CEO of German-based media company ProSiebenSat.1, effective immediately, with chief financial officer Rainer Beaujean expanding his role to become chairman of the executive board.

Conze (pictured) joined from British technology giant Dyson in 2018 to replace long-time ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling. During Conze’s tenure, the German company experienced a 3% increase in revenues and a 65% boost in profit in 2019.

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As CEO of Dyson, the company strengthened its investments in various technologies and expanded its market position in Asia. Prior to Dyson, Conze held various management and marketing positions at Procter & Gamble over a 17-year period.

Conze’s departure also signals a change in strategic focus for the German organization, which announced Thursday (March 26) that it “is returning the primary focus of its operating business to the entertainment sector in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).” The company, in a statement, added that moving forward the main focus will be “on local and live formats, also in close cooperation with Red Arrow Studios and Studio71.”

In addition, the group will look to further extend its digital reach via its streaming platform, Joyn.

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“Existing investments that benefit from advertising on the entertainment platforms will continue to be developed to generate value and sold in due course under an active portfolio policy,” the company said.

“This company has far greater potential than is currently credited to it from outside,” said Beaujean in a statement. “Under the leadership of the new executive board team, we will now return to focusing more strongly on our core segment of entertainment and on sustainably profitable business. While the corona [virus] pandemic poses a huge challenge for us in the weeks and months ahead, I firmly believe that we will emerge from this crisis all the stronger and return to generating shareholder value.”

In addition, the executive board has appointed Wolfgang Link, who leads the company’s entertainment segment, and Christine Scheffler, in charge of human resources, as new members.

Earlier this month, ProSiebenSat.1 revealed that it had shelved its plans to sell global production and distribution outfit Red Arrow Studios — six months after launching a strategic review of the company – due to the ongoing global COVID-19 outbreak.

With files from Barry Walsh

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Colby Cosh on COVID-19: How long before plastic-bag haters feel safe to resume their crusade?

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The University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick wrote a column for the Financial Post on Tuesday about the sudden abandonment or suspension, in the face of pandemic disease, of by-laws and regulations banning single-use plastic grocery bags. (I have to mention Guelph because I called it “Guelph University” in an article a little while ago, and they’re touchy about that, so I owe them one. Go Gryphons?) Consider this a footnote.

The professor observed that plastic packaging, while often overused and always a blight when carelessly discarded, is not especially serious when considered as an environmental problem. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry everywhere you look. Cities and states that had begun a jihad against single-use plastics in the B.C. (Before Coronavirus) era have temporarily thought better of these hasty, showy measures.

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And they are hasty and showy. It is not a coincidence that they have been adopted in dense urban environments by politicians who don’t have any instinctive sense of how enormous Canada is. (These are the same people who want coyotes to be treated with sensitivity and respect when they start devouring housepets in suburbs, as if coyotes were running out of room.) We are not in any serious danger of running out of space for landfills. It seems that it is only the choice to “recycle” plastic bags and other single-use detritus that has made our plastic an environmental problem in Asia.

Discarded plastic bags are definitely hateful to the eye, in spite of that scene in American Beauty. I can assure you that they do much more aesthetic injury in the countryside than they do in the city. But that is what the objection to them is, fundamentally. It is aesthetic. At the very least, it is hard to argue that North American users are creating an environmental problem elsewhere by indulging in them here. (Even the unsightly workaday presence of discarded bags in the streets is, I think, much diminished from what it was 10 or 15 years ago.)

Unfortunately, it has turned out that the bags are pretty goshdarned useful in an epidemic of viral disease that has made grocery stores an important fulcrum of life-saving infection control. McKitrick discussed this question in a friendly, scholarly way, and you all know that this is the approach I prefer to take nine times out of 10.

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This is the 10th time. McKitrick did not ask “What if the pandemic had arrived five years after a round of successful bans on plastic bags had altered the plastics supply chain and driven the bags altogether out of ordinary, accessible production?” The places that tried to ban bags were only able to retreat because other less forward-thinking places hadn’t gotten around to it. Even groceries that had been “taxing” the bags have stopped doing it because the incentives flipped upside-down, and replaceable bags were now deemed dangerous to life and health.


In this file photo taken on March 20, 2020, a man covers his hands with plastic bags as a preventive measure against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in Caracas.

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images

In view of this, are we likely to press on with the bans when SARS-CoV-2 is a sour memory? I have some sympathy, here, with even the boulevard environmentalists who think plastic straws are the devil, who have three children and two residences, and who take eight transatlantic flights a year. We will all want things to go back to some desirable state of normalcy when the time of troubles is over. But we will all want incremental political improvements that suit our ideology, in order to fulfill our wartime hopes of an ameliorated world. And we will all interpret prior events so as to agree with our political first principles. (I am not merely promising that other losers and partisan maniacs will act on these desires. I am also saying you will be able to catch me at it. Maybe I’m doing it right now.)

What this suggests is that the bag-ban fanatics will be back at it as soon as they think it is possible to proceed with decency and without some shame. They do have a good chance, now, to quietly forget the policy they were espousing passionately a few weeks ago. Maybe they’ll take it. Or maybe they’ll try to go ahead as before, and be told, more stridently and by more people than before, to eff off.

National Post

Twitter.com/ColbyCosh

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What Lessons Does the AIDS Crisis Offer for the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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Over the past month, those of us who lived through the AIDS epidemic have searched for ways in which that experience can inform the COVID-19 crisis. Do we know something that can be useful now? Can this knowledge help us survive? Do we have things to teach people who have not known this grief and anger before? (A meme started circulating in March: “Straights: I can’t believe the government would just ignore an epidemic that threatens thousands of lives. Gays: You don’t say.” It was illustrated with a picture of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.) Writing in BuzzFeed, the journalist Mark Schoofs summoned the grief and fear that was our daily companion during the AIDS crisis, and offered a set of lessons from it: act as if you are infected; the government will not save you; everyone is at risk—and this is our best hope. In the Guardian, the novelist Edmund White enumerated the many differences between AIDS and COVID-19, but also the haunting similarities: the rumor, misinformation, and parascientific folklore surrounding both. White, who is eighty, also wondered if he would survive the coronavirus, after living with H.I.V. since 1985. In LGBTQ Nation, Mark S. King objected to drawing any parallels between the viruses. “No one cared about people dying of AIDS in the early years of the pandemic,” he wrote. “The stock market didn’t budge. The president didn’t hold news conferences. Billions of dollars were not spent. . . . There is no comparison.”

But, of course, we continue to compare, because AIDS was a global pandemic that killed millions of people, and because of that mixture of grief and fear that feels so familiar. “The main feeling I have when I wake up each morning is palpable, physical,” Gregg Gonsalves, who was an AIDS activist before he was an epidemiologist, tweeted. “It’s a weight behind the eyes for tears that never come. I am so fearful and sad right now, because while I think there is a way out of this that minimizes the pain and suffering ahead, the President and his party have no interest in it, no conception of how to move forward. It means all this will go on longer than it should, be more cruel than it needed to be. This is one of the most shameful episodes in American history and it’s happening in real time.”

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So I keep searching my memory for lessons of my own that could be useful. One lesson from AIDS was about the power of communities coming together to take care of one another, to touch one another, to act, using bodies—often frail bodies, always endangered bodies, sometimes even dead bodies—to fight. This lesson is difficult to apply in the era of social distancing, though some ACT UP veterans are managing to stage direct actions even now, standing six feet apart. Maybe the most important lesson I learned from the AIDS epidemic was that it would end. The world would reconstitute itself. Now, when I look at pictures of the deserted streets of Paris or empty central Moscow, I think of all the violence, tragedy, and history that those buildings have witnessed. The cities will still be there when this pandemic is over. Many of us will still be there, too. “We will meet again,” as the Queen of England said, in her address to her nation.

There was a time, when I was very young, when everyone in my world was sick and dying. In my early twenties, some weeks, I would go to several funerals. My roommate died. My other roommate died. All my mentors died. I edited a gay magazine that featured a column on living with AIDS. The columnist died; I had to find a replacement, who would also die. I could not imagine that any of this was happening, I could not imagine that the government and so many others didn’t realize that it was happening, and I couldn’t imagine that it would ever end, especially because the science told us that there would never be a cure or a vaccine.

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Then, for many people, it ended, as suddenly as it had begun. My younger friends have little idea of what living through the AIDS epidemic was like, and neither do my straight friends, or friends who were straight at the time. Last year, when I was collecting remembrances for the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, I was struck by how little space AIDS seemed to occupy in the recollections even of people who had lived through it. Writing in the Boston Review, Amy Hoffman suggested that, because AIDS was so traumatic, so outside our understanding of life, it cannot be made a part of any narrative; one is speaking either about AIDS or about other stories that make up a lifetime, but not about both at the same time.

There may be another reason why it would be very hard to carry the memory of the AIDS era wholly intact. Meeting a medical professional of a certain age, one would have to wonder, Were you one of those who refused to enter the room of a person with AIDS? Meeting some nice lady who long ago lost a son to AIDS, one would have to wonder, Were you one of those mothers who refused to let her child come home? Did his friends take care of him as he died, while you stayed away? Reading an obituary or biography of Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush, one would have to wonder, Did the people who died of AIDS matter so little that the writer could ignore the inaction of both of these Presidents?

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Crises bring out the worst in us, and we forget this at our peril. In 1985, the people of Kokomo, Indiana, blocked Ryan White, a boy living with AIDS, from going to school; now, a co-op building in Manhattan has expelled a doctor who came to the city to help save New Yorkers. In 2015, also in Indiana, Mike Pence, who was then the state’s governor, willfully mishandled an H.I.V. outbreak; now he is the Vice-President, in charge of the coronavirus task force. Nations have closed their borders. States want to close their borders. Cape Cod wants to close bridges (an online petition has accumulated thirteen thousand signatures). Rhode Island, where a golf course has posted “Course open to RI residents only” signs, has arrested three men from Massachusetts for golfing. (No, they should not have been golfing, but neither should Rhode Islanders.) There is just enough overlap between sane and sound policy—such as social distancing and minimizing travel—and xenophobic behavior that we hardly question the absurd assumption that national or state borders are meaningful obstacles to the virus. Trump may not have succeeded in forcing all the world to call COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” but people everywhere are talking about it as the disease of other people. The fear of the invisible virus is replaced with the fear and blame of people from other places.

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