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(GCC Countries) Family businesses in the Gulf must not be left behind (Atlantic Council)

Amjad Ahmad and Farida H. Agamy

From Fortune 500 companies to local mom-and-pop stores, family businesses represent a significant global economic force. According to the Family Firm Institute, family enterprises constitute around two-thirds of all businesses around the world, generate approximately 70 to 90 percent of annual global GDP, and create 50 to 80 percent of jobs in the majority of countries worldwide.

Family businesses in the Gulf must not be left behind

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(Latin America/Carribean) The pandemic is a chance to reshape women’s roles in Latin America and the Caribbean (Atlantic Council)

Eva Lardizábal

María Gonzalez, a sixty-one-year-old Honduran woman, has been her family’s breadwinner since 1995. But when Honduras reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020, Gonzalez’s employers informed her that she would be furloughed indefinitely.

The pandemic is a chance to reshape women’s roles in Latin America and the Caribbean

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(Russia/Mediterranean) Putin’s Mediterranean gambit: Endgame unclear (Atlantic Council)

Mark N. Katz

For more than 250 years, Russian leaders have sought to project power and influence in the Mediterranean region. Sometimes these efforts have met with a significant degree of success. At times, though, Russia has pulled back from the Mediterranean because of setbacks in the region, events in Europe, or convulsions inside Russia. These pullbacks, however, have never been permanent and have always been followed by renewed Russian efforts to gain influence in the region.

Putin’s Mediterranean gambit: Endgame unclear

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(Defense) The downsides of downsizing: Why the United States needs four hundred ICBMs (Atlantic Council)

Matthew KroenigMark J. MassaChristian Trotti

The United States is at a nuclear modernization crossroads. The United States currently has plans to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, including its force of four hundred deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The downsides of downsizing: Why the United States needs four hundred ICBMs

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(Nord Stream 2) Putin’s pipeline of aggression: How the Nord Stream 2 threatens the West (Defense News)

Stanisław Żaryn

It is increasingly difficult for Berlin to defend its claims that Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project. Instead of backing out of this horrendous deal for Europe, Germany appears to be amplifying a new narrative in its favor — to complete the construction of the pipeline while conditioning its use on European Union decisions and Russian behavior.

https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2021/03/31/putins-pipeline-of-aggression-how-the-nord-stream-2-threatens-the-west/

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Hong Kong Policy Act Report (U.S. Department of State)

Over the past year, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has continued to dismantle Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, in violation of its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.  In particular, the PRC government’s adoption and the Hong Kong government’s implementation of the National Security Law (NSL) have severely undermined the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong.

Each year, the Department of State submits to Congress the Hong Kong Policy Act report and accompanying certification.  In conjunction with this year’s report, I have certified to Congress that Hong Kong does not warrant differential treatment under U.S. law in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1, 1997.

This report documents many of the actions the PRC and Hong Kong governments have taken against Hong Kong’s promised high degree of autonomy, freedoms, and democratic institutions.  These include the arbitrary arrests and politically-motivated prosecutions of opposition politicians, activists, and peaceful protesters under the NSL and other legislation; the postponement of Legislative Council elections; pressure on judicial independence and academic and press freedoms; and a de facto ban on public demonstrations.

I am committed to continuing to work with Congress and our allies and partners around the world to stand with people in Hong Kong against the PRC’s egregious policies and actions.  As demonstrated by the March 16 Hong Kong Autonomy Act update, which listed 24 PRC and Hong Kong officials whose actions reduced Hong Kong’s autonomy, we will impose consequences for these actions.  We will continue to call on the PRC to abide by its international obligations and commitments; to cease its dismantlement of Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, autonomy, and rule of law; to release immediately and drop all charges against individuals unjustly detained in Hong Kong; and to respect the human rights of all individuals in Hong Kong.

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(Defense) Air-Land chairman talks F-35 costs and ‘Buy America’ in the next defense bill (Defense News)

Last year’s defense policy bill passed without language championed by Rep. Donald Norcross that would have gradually increased “Buy American” requirements for major defense programs to 100 percent by 2026.

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2021/03/31/air-land-chairman-talks-f-35-costs-and-buy-america-in-the-next-defense-bill/

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(Space) Last two crewmembers named for SpaceX’s first all-civilian human spaceflight mission (TechCrunch)

Darrell Etherington

We now know the names of all four individuals who will fly on the historic Inspiration4 mission, the first all-civilian spaceflight in history.

Last two crewmembers named for SpaceX’s first all-civilian human spaceflight mission

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(Innovation/Technology) LinkedIn adds Creator mode, video profiles, and in partnership with Microsoft, new career training tools (TechCrunch)

Ingrid Lunden

LinkedIn, the social network now with 740 million users around the world, has carved out an identity for itself as the place online where professionals go to list their places of work, get headhunted for other work, and look for work.

LinkedIn adds Creator mode, video profiles, and in partnership with Microsoft, new career training tools

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(Innovation/Technology) Weather platform ClimaCell is now Tomorrow.io and raises $77M (TechCrunch)

Frederic Lardinois

Weather intelligence platform ClimaCell today announced that it has raised a $77 million Series D funding round led by private equity firm Stonecourt Capital, with participation by Highline Capital.

Weather platform ClimaCell is now Tomorrow.io and raises $77M