Month: October 2020

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW: Non-transparent start for new transparency chief

first_imgIt’s also disturbing that Ms. Bewlay wouldn’t comment for the Times Union’s story. It’s in the interests of transparency that public officials make themselves available and open to answering the public’s questions.It’s no secret that Cuomo and former Executive Director Robert Freeman, who was fired over sexual misconduct allegations in June, didn’t get along. Freeman often openly clashed with the governor and regularly sided with citizens and the media in open government disputes.We don’t know how Ms. Bewlay will perform once she’s actually in the job and whether she’ll enjoy the same autonomy that Freeman did. But this report doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that efforts to keep government open and accessible will be a priority.Ms. Bewlay said in a statement announcing her appointment that she takes “very seriously the role this office has in promoting an open and transparent government for the people of New York.”Let’s hope she meant that.As we said in our editorial on Sunday, New Yorkers need her to succeed more than ever.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: OpinionIn this past Sunday’s editorial, we laid out the sloped, bumpy, mine-filled landscape for open government in New York and highlighted the challenges facing the new executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, Shoshanah Bewlay.But it might be worse than we thought.A report in the Albany Times Union yesterday revealed the shady hiring practices used to bring in Bewlay, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office’s decision to keep the appointment secret even from the 11-member open government committee that oversees the state’s transparency efforts.The report also stated that Ms. Bewlay’s record on open government while serving for the past four years as general counsel at the state Office of Information Technology Services was far from encouraging. In her role, Bewlay oversaw the agency’s responses to Freedom of Information Law requests and had a track record of denying requests. The TU reported that out of 10 rulings on its FOIL requests it sought through Bewlay’s office, all 10 were denied.last_img read more

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Shrewsbury: coming out of the shadows

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Leisure Making fun of Birmingham

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Harris leaves BH2 to broaden horizons

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Cisco to vacate two Stockley Park buildings

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New scheme to marry big names

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New York gets easy

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US should buy control of Nokia, Ericsson to fight Huawei: Attorney general

first_imgThe United States and its allies should take controlling stakes in Nokia, Ericsson or both to battle Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s dominance of the 5G market, US Attorney general Bill Barr said Thursday.”There are only two companies that can compete with Huawei right now: Nokia and Ericsson,” Barr said in a speech on the Chinese economic threat.”The main concern about these suppliers is that they have neither Huawei’s scale nor the backing of a powerful country with a large embedded market like China,” he said. The proposals involve “American ownership of a controlling stake, either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies,” he said.”We and our closest allies certainly need to be actively considering this approach.”Barr, who spent 14 years as top executive of US telecommunications companies GTE and Verizon before leading the Justice Department, described Huawei as a threat that could give Beijing “unprecedented leverage” over US and Western industry and security.”If China establishes sole dominance over 5G, it will be able to dominate the opportunities arising from a stunning range of emerging technologies, that will be dependent on, and interwoven with, the 5G platform,” he said.”From a national security standpoint, if the industrial internet becomes dependent upon Chinese technology, China would have the ability to shut countries off from technology and equipment upon which their consumers and industries depend.””Given the narrow window we face, the risk of losing the 5-G struggle with China should vastly outweigh all other considerations,” he said. Fight for European market The United States has struggled to confront the challenge of Huawei, which has already sold its market-proven 5G equipment and software into many countries around the world.US national security officials claim Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government will give Beijing intelligence access to the world’s telecoms networks, able to use them to hijack communications and hamper the ability of other countries and companies to protect their secrets.Washington has banned the use of Huawei equipment by government entities and strongly urged the private sector to forgo it. It has also, with only limited success, pressured allies in Europe and Australia to completely avoid Huawei. On January 28 Britain gave green-lighted the use of Huawei equipment it is 5G networks, but excluded the Chinese firm from “sensitive” core infrastructure.One day later the European Union followed suit, limiting but not completely banning the role of Huawei equipment in 5G networks.Aiming to boost its position, Huawei said on Tuesday that it would set up manufacturing hubs in Europe “so that we can truly have 5G for Europe made in Europe.”But the British and European decisions to limit use of Huawei equipment and software was seen as beneficial to Nokia and Ericsson, whose 5G systems are said to now be on a par with the Chinese giant’s.On Friday, both Nordic companies won contracts with one of Europe’s largest mobile operators, Orange, for its French 5G infrastructure. Orange has previously deployed Huawei systems in Spain and other countries.Shares in Ericsson were up 1.6 percent at 79.2 Swedish kronor when the Stockholm stock exchange closed on Thursday just about the time Barr was giving his remarks.Ericsson’s two biggest shareholders are Swedish investment companies Investor and Industrivarden. Nokia shares closed earlier on the Helsinki stock exchange up 2.3 percent at 3.7 euros. Nokia’s largest shareholder is state-owned holding company Solidium.Topics : “Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a far more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power.” – Dangerous dependence -Barr, who was speaking at a conference on China’s security threat at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the US has to move quickly to challenge Huawei’s dominance in the unfolding, next-generation 5G communications market.He said there are already proposals on the table for the US “aligning” itself with either or both Ericsson, a Swedish company, or Nokia of Finland.last_img read more

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Singapore lowers growth forecast as virus hits economy

first_imgSingapore cut its economic growth forecast for this year on Monday as the coronavirus batters tourist arrivals and trade.The city-state is one of the worst affected places outside China, with 75 cases of the virus so far. China has more than 70,000 infections. Singapore downgraded its 2020 growth estimate to a range of -0.5 percent to 1.5 percent. China is Singapore’s largest source of tourists and a major export destination.The city-state was at risk of sliding into a technical recession, warned Song Seng Wun of CIMB Private Banking.”There is a real possibility of two quarters of contraction or even two quarters of year-on-year decline,” he said. “Mathematically it’s possible because of the integrated nature of the global supply chain and the impact of the slowdown in China that could have far-reaching implications on small trade-oriented economies like Singapore.”As a small and open economy, Singapore is often the first to be hammered during global crises but it also recovers quickly when conditions improve.Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last week warned the effect of the virus was already worse than that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, as economies in the region are more closely linked and raised the possibility of a recession for Singapore.”I think the impact will be significant at least in the next couple of quarters… I can’t say whether we’ll have a recession or not, it’s possible, but definitely our economy will take a hit,” he told reporters Friday.Singapore suffered a sharp, quarterly contraction at the height of the SARS outbreak, which killed hundreds after emerging in China, but bounced back swiftly.National Development Minister Lawrence Wong last week flagged a “strong” budget — due to be delivered Tuesday — to counter the impact of virus.Topics : That compares with its previous forecast in November of 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent.”The outbreak of the coronavirus… has affected China, Singapore and many countries around the world,” the trade ministry said in a statement. “In Asia, the outbreak is likely to dampen the growth prospects of China and other affected countries this year.”Tourism arrivals have already started to decline, exports are expected to take a hit, and domestic consumption is likely to fall as people cut back on shopping and dining out, it added.last_img read more

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Horror crash mars end of Daytona 500

first_imgDenny Hamlin sealed back-to-back victories in an incident-packed Daytona 500 on Monday, winning a photo finish in a race marred by a horrific crash that left veteran driver Ryan Newman seriously injured.Joe Gibbs Racing driver Hamlin followed up his victory in 2019 with his third career win at Daytona, becoming the first racer to win the opening leg of the NASCAR season since Sterling Marlin in 1995.However, Hamlin’s celebrations were muted by a last-lap crash that left Roush Fenway Racing’s Newman hospitalized. The 42-year-old Newman’s Ford Mustang had led on the final lap but spun out of control, hit the wall and flipped onto its roof before bursting into flames at the Daytona International Speedway.Newman’s car was also sent flying into the air after being struck by Go Fas Racing’s Corey LaJoie.Several ambulances sped onto the circuit to attend to Newman’s stricken vehicle following the crash. Black screens were erected around the site of Newman’s car as workers extracted the driver from the wreck.  NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell later told reporters that Newman was in serious condition at a local area hospital, but his injuries were deemed non-life-threatening.”He’s in a serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are non-life-threatening,” a statement from Roush Racing read out by O’Donnell said.”We appreciate the thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family at this time,” O’Donnell added.Newman’s fellow competitors had earlier voiced concern over the plight of the driver following the race.”I knew it was bad,” race-winner Hamlin said. “I knew him crossing the track there was a bad scenario in the first place. It’s a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself, but obviously someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport. “We’re just hoping for the best.”Hamlin’s team boss Joe Gibbs meanwhile apologised for celebrating the win in the immediate aftermath of the chequered flag when Newman’s car was still being tended to on the track.”I was focusing on our car, and everybody started celebrating around us,” Gibbs said. “Some people may have saw us and said, ‘Well, these guys are celebrating when there’s a serious issue going on.’ “So hopefully I apologize to everybody, but we really didn’t know. We got in the winner’s circle, and then that’s when people told us. “It just makes it so hard. Such a close-knit community.”Topics :last_img read more

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