A challenge and an opening for Biden
Chaos and obstruction may reign
McCarthy’s midterm strategy
Author: Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Read more here >>> CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero
Author: Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Read more here >>> CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero
The EU has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the bloc is ready to act “firmly and resolutely” to ensure the UK respects its commitments in the Northern Ireland Protocol. The UK is unilaterally planning to extend a “grace period” to allow Northern Irish shops to continue selling chilled meats, including sausages and mince, from Britain once it expires at the end of June. However, last week, the European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said they would “not be shy” in taking action to ensure that the UK abides by its international commitments.
The UK angered Brussels in recent months by unilaterally extending grace periods in the protocol on supermarket goods and parcels.
Mr Sefcovic added: “Unfortunately, we see numerous and fundamental gaps in the UK’s implementation – even though the protocol entered into force over 17 months ago.
“Mutually agreed compliance paths, with concrete deadlines and milestones for the UK to fulfil its existing obligations, would therefore be an important stepping stone – and, I believe, a credible outcome of this joint committee,” Sefcovic added.
“If this does not happen, and if the UK takes further unilateral action over the coming weeks, the EU will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations.”
In a recent report, though, Ray Bassett, the former Irish ambassador to Canada, warned Brussels that its behaviour could be making the case for an Irish Brexit stronger.
He explained: “Many in the Republic understand this and it is clear that the situation calls for direct talks between Dublin and London to sort out this local issue, with flexibility on all sides. Co-operation on an overhaul of the protocol could be the catalyst for a reset of Irish/British relations. That, however, is something that the EU will never countenance.
“Perhaps this would matter less if the EU was taking Dublin’s other interests more seriously, yet Brussels has time and again proved a poor partner.”
Mr Bassett noted Ireland, just like the UK, has extensive and rich fishing grounds and under the Common Fisheries Policy, the local fishing fleet is only allocated 15.5 percent of the stocks in Irish waters.
This was partially compensated for by quotas inside UK waters but after Brexit, the Commission imposed very large cuts on the Irish allocation in the British maritime area, the largest cuts of any EU nation.
He added: “The interests of France, Spain and the Netherlands clearly trumped those of the Irish.”
Mr Bassett concluded in his piece for Briefings for Britain: “Ireland’s two main trading partners are the UK and the USA, with total non-EU trade accounting for well over 60 percent, by far the highest percentage of any EU country.
“The US and the UK are the largest overseas investors in Ireland and between them they receive the bulk of Ireland’s growing external investment. Ireland is part of the Anglosphere of English-speaking countries.
“There are other developments inside the EU which are not to the Irish public’s taste. The growing demand, especially by Germany, for a common foreign policy based on majority voting in the European Council, a push for greater militarisation of the EU, and Ireland’s growing net contribution to the EU budget will all place a strain on the traditional Irish pro-EU sentiment.
“These changes could yet cause an eventual rupture with Brussels. Irexit may be emerging as a credible prospect in the future.”
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Johnson’s trade adviser Shanker Singham echoed Mr Bassett’s claims as he insisted the level of trust between Ireland and Brussels was never going to be the same after the EU’s blunder earlier this year.
At the end of January, the EU said it would be triggering an emergency provision in the Brexit deal to control COVID-19 vaccine exports, including the possible introduction of checks at the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland to prevent shipments entering the UK.
The move was immediately met with fierce condemnation from London, Belfast, and Dublin and the EU performed a swift U-turn.
Lorraine Kelly put Sturgeon on the spot over trying to ’embarrass’ PM [INSIGHT]
City tipped to become ‘financial centre for green shipping’ [EXCLUSIVE]
Boris Johnson warned Steve Baker could be biggest election challenge [ANALYSIS]
Mr Singham explained: “It was a spectacular blunder. It is quite hard to imagine doing anything worse than this.
“And the speed, in which they said they can under certain circumstances put a border on the island without consulting anyone…
“Well, it has without a doubt affected their relationship with Ireland significantly.”
The trade expert added: “The Irish government must be highly suspicious of anything the EU is doing or saying now.
“Because if I were them, I wouldn’t think the EU has necessarily my best interests at heart.
“Obviously, the EU has 27 member states with their own interests… so the notion that they would privilege the Irish has never made much sense.
“But it has now made the Irish understand they are not a priority in respect to the EU.”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed
President Biden called for over $ 1.3 billion in cybersecurity funds as part of his proposed budget request sent to Congress on Friday, along with major investments in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
The budget proposal was submitted in the wake of two of the largest cyber espionage attacks in U.S. history, including what has become known as the SolarWinds hack, which likely involved Russian hackers and compromised at least nine federal agencies and 100 private-sector groups.
In an effort to combat these rising threats, Biden requested a budget increase of $ 110 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with $ 20 million to establish a “cyber response and recovery fund” at the Department of Homeland Security.
CISA is one of the key federal groups leading the response to both the SolarWinds hack and recently uncovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server, which allowed at least one state-sponsored Chinese hacking group to access thousands of businesses.
“This funding would allow CISA to enhance its cybersecurity tools, hire highly qualified experts, and obtain support services to protect and defend Federal information technology systems,” Biden’s budget proposal, submitted to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget, reads.
Additionally, the budget proposal recommends $ 500 million for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) at the General Services Administration in order to strengthen federal cybersecurity and replace aging systems, and allocates $ 750 million for reserve funds to strengthen agency information security.
The funds would be in addition to $ 1 billion recently allocated to the TMF program by the COVID-19 relief package.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the significant cyber incident impacting agencies through products such as SolarWinds, continue to highlight the urgent need to modernize Federal technology, with particular emphasis on mission essential systems and citizen-facing digital services,” the proposal reads.
Biden also proposed extensive investments in emerging technologies, including through proposing the establishment of a directorate for technology, innovation and partnerships at the National Science Foundation. The organization would prioritize research and developments in fields including quantum computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and cybersecurity.
The Commerce Department’s research and development around emerging technologies was also prioritized in the budget proposal.
The budget proposes increasing the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Science and Technology’s (NIST) annual appropriations by $ 128 million to further drive research and innovation around emerging technologies.
Additionally, it would give the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) $ 39 million to help spur development and deployment of broadband and 5G wireless technologies.
The funding proposal comes amid growing bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for investment in cybersecurity and emerging technologies, particularly in the face of threats from Russian and China.
The Biden administration has teased several measures it intends to take in responding to recent cyber espionage incidents, including an upcoming executive order meant to strengthen federal cybersecurity. A more specific response to Russia for its alleged involvement in the SolarWinds attack will also be announced in “weeks, not months” to come, according to White House officials.
[email protected] (Maggie Miller)
Tikkanen R, Osborn R, Mossialos E, Djordjevic A, Wharton GA. International Health Care System Profiles – Germany. The Commonwealth Fund. June 5, 2020. https://international.commonwealthfund.org/countries/germany/. Accessed June 6, 2020.
Roser M, Ritchie H, Ortiz-Ospina E, Hasell J. Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Our World in Data. Updated daily. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/germany?country=~DEU.
Von Der Burchard H. Germans vexed as coronavirus vaccine rollout lags. Politico. January 12, 2021. https://www.politico.eu/article/coronavirus-story-kiel/. Accessed February 12, 2021.
All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.
The data produced by third parties and made available by Our World in Data is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.
President Biden’s newly unveiled infrastructure proposal includes billions of dollars in proposed funding to invest in “technologies of the future,” with a particular focus on ensuring the U.S. can compete on the global stage against countries such as China.
The proposed investment package, which totals around $ 2.25 trillion, proposes that over $ 180 billion be set aside for enhancing research and development of new and emerging technologies, along with addressing racial and gender inequalities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
“President Biden is calling on Congress to make smart investments in research and development, manufacturing and regional economic development, and in workforce development to give our workers and companies the tools and training they need to compete on the global stage,” the plan released by the White House reads.
The plan includes asking Congress to appropriate $ 50 billion to allow the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a technology directorate, which would research issues including semiconductors, biotechnology and advanced computing.
“We are one of the few major economies whose public investments in research and development have declined as a percent of GDP in the past 25 years,” the proposal reads. “Countries like China are investing aggressively in R&D, and China now ranks number two in the world in R&D expenditures.
“In order to win the 21st century economy, President Biden believes America must get back to investing in the researchers, laboratories, and universities across our nation,” it adds.
In addition, Biden asked Congress to provide $ 30 billion to spur research and development in rural areas and job growth, along with $ 40 billion for upgrading research facilities and infrastructure nationwide. Half of the $ 40 billion will be reserved for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other minority institutions, along with funding for a national climate lab at an HBCU.
Biden proposed an additional $ 55 billion for ensuring the U.S. can lead on climate science research and development, and $ 25 billion to prioritize research and development efforts at HBCUs, such as through the creation of 200 centers of excellence for research efforts at HBCUs and other minority institutions.
The plan comes amid intense bipartisan focus on Capitol Hill around funding research and development around emerging technologies in order to compete with China.
Biden’s proposed $ 50 million for the National Science Foundation is half of what Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIntercept bureau chief on Democrats’ efforts on minimum wage: ‘Might as well go for it’ Schumer kicks into reelection mode The disgrace that was the Biden press conference MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOvernight Defense: Congress looks to rein in Biden’s war powers | Diversity chief at Special Operations Command reassigned during probe into social media posts Congress looks to rein in Biden’s war powers House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization MORE (R-Ind.) proposed last year in the bipartisan Endless Frontiers Act. 
The legislation is at the core of Schumer’s renewed effort to compete with China, with the Senate leader announcing last month that he had directed all relevant Senate committee chairs to begin work on a legislative proposal around enhancing U.S. technology efforts. 
While several leading Republicans criticized the overall package on Wednesday, Schumer said in a statement that he “looks forward to working with President Biden to pass a big, bold plan that will drive America forward for decades to come.”
[email protected] (Maggie Miller)