Trumps to Skip Kennedy Center Honors for 2nd Straight Year

For the second straight year, President Donald Trump will not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors celebrating cultural achievement.

 

Neither Trump nor first lady Melania Trump will be at the Dec. 2 event, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, said Tuesday.

 

Grisham also told The Associated Press it was “not likely” any new winners of the National Medal of Arts, National Humanities Medal or National Medal of Science would be announced before the end of the year. She said the remaining weeks of 2018 are “the busiest time of the year for the East Wing.”

 

Tuesday’s announcements continue the Trump administration’s unprecedented distance from the arts and science communities. No arts or humanities medals have been announced or handed out since September 2016, when Barack Obama was president — the longest gap by months since the awards were established in the mid-1980s. No science medals have been given since May 2016.

A former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversees the nominating process for the arts medal, said he was dismayed.

 

“The current administration’s disregard for culture and scholarship, as well as presidential tradition, is an embarrassment,” Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA from 2003 to 2009, told the AP.

Other presidents, including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, have missed Kennedy Center ceremonies. Trump is the first to miss them twice.

 

Grisham cited scheduling conflicts: Trump is scheduled to attend the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month. Had he come to the Kennedy Center, it’s unlikely he would have been warmly welcomed by at least some of the honorees, who include Cher and “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, both sharp critics.

 

Last year, honoree Norman Lear said he would boycott the event if Trump was there. The White House then announced the president and first lady would not be going “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

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Nigerian Firm Takes Blame for Routing Google Traffic Through China

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network 

upgrade. 

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked. 

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said. 

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers. 

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement. 

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet. 

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel. 

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said. 

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus. 

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident. 

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks. 

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. 

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Nigerian Firm Takes Blame for Routing Google Traffic Through China

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network 

upgrade. 

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked. 

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said. 

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers. 

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement. 

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet. 

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel. 

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said. 

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus. 

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident. 

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks. 

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. 

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Nigerian Firm Takes Blame for Routing Google Traffic Through China

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network 

upgrade. 

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked. 

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said. 

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers. 

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement. 

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet. 

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel. 

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said. 

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus. 

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident. 

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks. 

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. 

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NATO Looks to Startups, Disruptive Tech to Meet Emerging Threats 

NATO is developing new high-tech tools, such as the ability to 3-D-print parts for weapons and deliver them by drone, as it scrambles to retain a competitive edge over Russia, China and other would-be battlefield adversaries. 

Gen. Andre Lanata, who took over as head of the NATO transformation command in September, told a conference in Berlin that his command demonstrated over 21 “disruptive” projects during military exercises in Norway this month. 

He urged startups as well as traditional arms manufacturers to work with the Atlantic alliance to boost innovation, as rapid and easy access to emerging technologies was helping adversaries narrow NATO’s long-standing advantage. 

Lanata’s command hosted its third “innovation challenge” in tandem with the conference this week, where 10 startups and smaller firms presented ideas for defeating swarms of drones on the ground and in the air. 

Winner from Belgium

Belgian firm ALX Systems, which builds civilian surveillance drones, won this year’s challenge.

Its CEO, Geoffrey Mormal, said small companies like his often struggled with cumbersome weapons procurement processes. 

“It’s a very hot topic, so perhaps it will help to enable quicker decisions,” he told Reuters. 

Lanata said NATO was focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, connectivity, quantum computing, big data and hypervelocity, but also wants to learn from DHL and others how to improve the logistics of moving weapons and troops. 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges, but efforts were also needed to reduce widespread duplication and fragmentation in the European defense sector. 

Participants also met behind closed doors with chief executives from 12 of the 15 biggest arms makers in Europe. 

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NATO Looks to Startups, Disruptive Tech to Meet Emerging Threats 

NATO is developing new high-tech tools, such as the ability to 3-D-print parts for weapons and deliver them by drone, as it scrambles to retain a competitive edge over Russia, China and other would-be battlefield adversaries. 

Gen. Andre Lanata, who took over as head of the NATO transformation command in September, told a conference in Berlin that his command demonstrated over 21 “disruptive” projects during military exercises in Norway this month. 

He urged startups as well as traditional arms manufacturers to work with the Atlantic alliance to boost innovation, as rapid and easy access to emerging technologies was helping adversaries narrow NATO’s long-standing advantage. 

Lanata’s command hosted its third “innovation challenge” in tandem with the conference this week, where 10 startups and smaller firms presented ideas for defeating swarms of drones on the ground and in the air. 

Winner from Belgium

Belgian firm ALX Systems, which builds civilian surveillance drones, won this year’s challenge.

Its CEO, Geoffrey Mormal, said small companies like his often struggled with cumbersome weapons procurement processes. 

“It’s a very hot topic, so perhaps it will help to enable quicker decisions,” he told Reuters. 

Lanata said NATO was focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, connectivity, quantum computing, big data and hypervelocity, but also wants to learn from DHL and others how to improve the logistics of moving weapons and troops. 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges, but efforts were also needed to reduce widespread duplication and fragmentation in the European defense sector. 

Participants also met behind closed doors with chief executives from 12 of the 15 biggest arms makers in Europe. 

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Amazon Splits 2nd HQ Between NYC, DC Suburb

Amazon says it will split its long-awaited second headquarters between New York City and and Crystal City, part of Arlington, Virginia, as well as open a new facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

“These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come,” CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday in an official press release.

The new headquarters will split the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in local investments Amazon promised while taking bids from cities across the country, while adding 5,000 more for its new “Operations Center of Excellence” in Nashville.  In return, Amazon will receive incentives of about $1.5 billion from New York City and $573 million from Arlington.

The announcement marks the end of a year-long search for Amazon’s “H2,” as it came to be known.  The online retail giant narrowed a list of 238 initial applicants to 20 finalists, including Boston, Chicago and Miami.  

The process drew outrageous publicity stunts from local officials trying to attract attention to their bids and and cushy offers of heavy tax breaks and rebuilt infrastructure to accommodate the Seattle-based company.

Hiring will begin next year.  Amazon has said jobs in both cities will have average annual salaries of $150,000.  The new headquarters are expected to bring high-paying jobs and tax revenue, but critics anticipate local property values soaring into unaffordability and congested local infrastructure.

 

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Amazon Splits 2nd HQ Between NYC, DC Suburb

Amazon says it will split its long-awaited second headquarters between New York City and and Crystal City, part of Arlington, Virginia, as well as open a new facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

“These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come,” CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday in an official press release.

The new headquarters will split the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in local investments Amazon promised while taking bids from cities across the country, while adding 5,000 more for its new “Operations Center of Excellence” in Nashville.  In return, Amazon will receive incentives of about $1.5 billion from New York City and $573 million from Arlington.

The announcement marks the end of a year-long search for Amazon’s “H2,” as it came to be known.  The online retail giant narrowed a list of 238 initial applicants to 20 finalists, including Boston, Chicago and Miami.  

The process drew outrageous publicity stunts from local officials trying to attract attention to their bids and and cushy offers of heavy tax breaks and rebuilt infrastructure to accommodate the Seattle-based company.

Hiring will begin next year.  Amazon has said jobs in both cities will have average annual salaries of $150,000.  The new headquarters are expected to bring high-paying jobs and tax revenue, but critics anticipate local property values soaring into unaffordability and congested local infrastructure.

 

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