View Source

EU Seeks to Double Share of World Chip Market by 2030 in ‘Digital Sovereignty’ Drive

BRUSSELS—The European Union is pledging more than $150 billion to develop next-generation digital industries this decade as it seeks to reverse a widening gap with the U.S. and East Asian rivals in advanced technologies like chips and artificial intelligence.

Funded as part of the EU’s $2 trillion Covid-19 economic recovery package, the new “Digital Compass” aims to significantly boost the bloc’s technological autonomy by 2030.

Europe’s need to improve what politicians have termed digital sovereignty was highlighted by trade disputes with the U.S. under former President Donald Trump and growing geopolitical tensions with China. Over the past year, supply-chain bottlenecks from coronavirus lockdowns and a shortage of microchips crucial to the automotive industry—a pillar of the region’s economy—have further increased Europe’s awareness of its industries’ reliance on other economies for daily essentials.

“We need to become less dependent on others when it comes to key technologies,” said European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.

The U.S. is also addressing reliance on foreign technology, particularly from China. Last month President Biden issued an executive order launching a review of products and sectors where the country could face supply-chain disruptions from factors including “geopolitical and economic competition.” An initial review will focus on high-tech products including semiconductors, electric-vehicle batteries, certain pharmaceutical ingredients and critical elements and minerals.

View Source

Lindsey Graham: Trump may destroy Republican party but he has a ‘magic’

Senator Lindsey Graham has defended his refusal to abandon Donald Trump in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Capitol, saying that though the former president has “a dark side … what I’m trying to do is just harness the magic”.

He also said Trump’s continued grip on the Republican party could make it “bigger, he can make it stronger, he can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.”

The South Carolina Republican initially said the US could “count [him] out” from backing Trump after the riot but he quickly dropped any show of independence.

On Sunday he was speaking to Axios on HBO at the end of a weekend in which Trump was reported to have told the Republican party to stop fundraising off his name and was also reported to be preparing to leave Florida for the first time since leaving office, to visit New York, his home city.

Trump retains a firm grip on his party, topping polls of prospective nominees for president in 2024. He is eligible to run for office again because he was acquitted at his second impeachment trial, on a charge of inciting the Capitol riot.

Five people including a police officer died as a direct result of the storming of Congress by a crowd Trump had told to “fight like hell” in support of his attempt to overturn election defeat by Joe Biden.

Graham was one of 43 Republicans who voted to acquit.

“Donald Trump was my friend before the riot,” he said, of a man who attacked him viciously in the 2016 Republican primary and who he famously said would destroy the party if he became its nominee. The senator pivoted once Trump took power, to become one of his closest and most eager allies.

“I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot,” he said. “I still consider him a friend. What happened was a dark day in American history. And we’re going to move forward.”

Graham said the best way for Republicans to do that was “with Trump, not without Trump”.

Jonathan Swan countered that Trump is “still telling everyone he won in a landslide”, a lie repeatedly thrown out of court and which has placed the former president in legal jeopardy.

“I tell him every day that he wants to listen,” Graham said, “that I think the main reason he probably lost in Arizona was he was beating on the dead guy called John McCain.”

McCain, an Arizona senator, 2008 presidential nominee and close friend and ally to Graham, never accepted Trump as the face of his party. Trump attacked McCain viciously, even over his record in the Vietnam war, in which McCain endured captivity and torture while Trump avoided the draft.

Asked if he could afford to abandon Trump because he is not up for re-election until 2026, Graham said: “Yeah, I could throw him over tomorrow … I could say you know that’s it’s over, it’s done. That’s just too easy.

“What’s hard is to take a movement that I think is good for the country, trying to get the leader of the movement, who’s got lots of problems facing him and the party and see if we can make a go of it.

‘Mitt Romney [the 2012 nominee] didn’t do it, John McCain didn’t do it. There’s something about Trump. There’s a dark side. And there’s some magic there. What I’m trying to do is just harness the magic.

“To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and PT Barnum. I mean, just bigger than life.”

Helms, a North Carolina senator who died in 2008, was a hardline conservative and segregationist, in the words of one columnist when he died, an “unabashed racist”. PT Barnum was a 19th-century businessman, politician, controversialist and circus impresario.

Trump, Graham insisted, “could make the Republican party something that nobody else I know could make it. He can make it bigger, he can make it stronger, he can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.”

View Source

They Had a Fun Pandemic. You Can Read About It in Print.

The Drunken Canal is one of a handful of downtown media projects that have been sprouting in reaction to the dominance of giant online media, the homogenization of big social media platforms that make community feel global, not local (though they’d like it if you’d follow them on Instagram), and the overwhelming sense that nobody in media was having fun in the grim year of 2020. The Dimes Square local media include a pirate radio station, Montez Press Radio, that won’t let you listen on demand, and a “natural style” fashion email newsletter, Opulent Tips, written by a GQ staff writer, with no fancy formatting. Many of the most interesting new products are in print “because digital spaces are becoming increasingly more policed,” said Richard Turley, 44, the former creative director of Bloomberg Businessweek who founded another downtown newspaper, Civilization, in 2018.

The Dimes Square scene caught my eye because its privileged denizens embody a broader shift toward spaces safe from social media. The new Silicon Valley social audio app Clubhouse shares some of those values. And the choice of print has a political edge. The Canal’s first issue featured a “Sorry to hear you’ve been canceled” column composed of a list of names, with no explanation, “to keep you from looking foolish at a woke gathering.” (The second issue included an apology to the actor Terry Crews, whose name had been spelled wrong in the first issue and who had, in fact, not been canceled, in the publishers’ view.) A third recent newsprint project called The New Now, created by a co-founder of the magazine Paper, announces atop its front page that it is “Free of Charge” “Free of Advertising” and “Free of the internet.”

The downtown media rebellion often looks back to the 1990s, when the model and actress Chloë Sevigny embodied an edgy new scene in a New Yorker profile, just before her star turn in the explicit 1995 movie “Kids.” Ms. Sevigny, now 46, is a running preoccupation — The Drunken Canal has featured her stylist, Haley Wollens. Ms. Sevigny told me she’s “flattered and hoping the kids rally for all of us.” But the more recent seeds of the current scene are in the podcasts that helped put a strain of left-wing populist politics that’s as hostile to Hillary Clinton as it is to Donald Trump on the political map — in particular, one called Red Scare, whose co-host, Dasha Nekrasova, lives near Dimes Square. Ms. Nekrasova, 30, said she admired the spirit of The Drunken Canal although, like many of its admirers, she hasn’t actually been able to get her hands on a copy. She plays a crisis P.R. person in the upcoming season of “Succession” and has directed a new feature film rooted in theories about Jeffrey Epstein’s death. The new Drunken Canal includes the prediction that “DASHA will become the new and better Chloë Sevigny.”

The unsafe sex of “Kids” scandalized 1990s New York, but the best way to get a reaction from the 2020 New York media was by bragging about having indoor parties. The writer and publicist Kaitlin Phillips, 30, who occupies a spot close to the center of a map of downtown personalities, became mildly notorious on Twitter for advertising a blasé attitude through the worst of the pandemic last spring.

View Source

Trump reportedly told Republican party to stop using his name for fundraising

Sign up for the Guardian’s First Thing newsletter

Donald Trump has told the Republican National Committee and other party bodies to stop using his name and likeness in fundraising efforts, it was reported on Saturday.

“President Trump remains committed to the Republican party and electing America First conservatives,” Politico quoted an unnamed adviser to the former president as saying about the legal cease-and-desist notice, “but that doesn’t give anyone – friend or foe – permission to use his likeness without explicit approval.”

The website previously reported that Trump’s ire was stoked by bodies including the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) using his name while fundraising for Republicans who voted for his impeachment.

The former president felt “burned and abused”, Politico said, detailing the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s struggles to manage the former president, even after a January trip to kiss the ring in Florida.

Liz Cheney, the House No 3 Republican, was the most senior of 10 Republican representatives to back Trump’s second impeachment, for inciting the Capitol riot on 6 January. She has faced protests stoked by elected officials and will be challenged for her seat from the right. Others who voted for impeachment are also facing primary fights.

Seven senators voted to convict Trump at trial. That meant he was acquitted a second time, as the 57 guilty votes fell 10 short of the necessary super-majority.

The verdict left Trump, 74, free to run for office again. Though he continues to baselessly claim his defeat by Joe Biden was the result of massive voter fraud, a lie repeatedly thrown out of court and now the subject of legal investigations, he has toyed with running in 2024. He remains the clear favourite in party polls.

His own fundraising based on the “big lie” about electoral fraud proved lucrative, raking in at least $175m. At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Trump told attendees they should only donate to his own political action committee, Save America. In the CPAC straw poll, 55% backed Trump to be the next nominee.

The Republican National Committee is led by Ronna McDaniel, a niece of the Utah senator Mitt Romney who dropped Romney from her name after Trump won the White House, reportedly at Trump’s request. Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee for president, is the only Republican who voted to impeach Trump twice.

Politico said the RNC sent out two emails on Friday, asking donors to put their name on a “thank you card” for Trump.

On Saturday morning, an email trumpeting a “March Fundraising Blitz” claimed “we’ve NEVER been the Party of Elite Billionaires and we NEVER will be” and asked “hard working everyday Americans” to “continue to DEFEND President Trump’s ‘America FIRST’ policies”.

Forbes rates Trump’s net worth at $2.5bn.

“Privately,” Politico reported, “GOP campaign types say it’s impossible not to use Trump’s name, as his policies are so popular with the base. If Trump really wants to help flip Congress, they argue he should be more generous. His team, however, sees this differently.”

Later on Saturday, the New York Daily News reported that Trump would on Sunday return to the city he called home until 2016 for the first time since losing power. The former president planned to stay till Tuesday, the paper said, though Trump adviser Jason Miller refused to confirm or deny the plans.

View Source

Scott Baio And Patton Oswalt Feuding On Social Media Should Serve As Warning Of How Not To Act


It may have the makings of a “buddy comedy,” where two polar opposites see past their differences and become close friends, but it is unlikely comedian/actors Patton Oswalt and Scott Baio will be mending any fences. Instead the two have engaged on a very public, and at times quite hostile, showdown on Twitter that began on Thursday.

This is just the latest celebrity quarrel to go public on social media, and unlike past feuds involving stars and starlets it is all the easier for fans to join in the fray.

It began when Oswalt took to Twitter on Thursday to mock those who believed that President Donald Trump would be inaugurated for a second term. The comedian called out Baio, a noted Trump supporter, directly.

“Guys, I’m at the DuPont Circle Pinkberry for the #TrumpInauguration. I’m here with four Proud Boys, their moms and Scott Baio. Did we get the address wrong? Help me out, this Minuteman costume is super-itchy.”

The humor was shared by others, including consumer advocate Erin Brockovich (@ErinBrockovich), who added “Patton it’s at Pinkberry Landcaping in Roslyn”

MORE FOR YOU

However, Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) then responded and took fire at Oswalt, “Poor Oswalt needs 2 prescriptions. One for his TDS and one for his STD itch!”

Oswalt fired back, “Oh YIKES. I didn’t even ‘@’ this guy. Poor sap searches his name on Twitter. No one dunk on him, this is really depressing. BUGSY MALONE’s still a great movie, right?”

Fan Mockery

It didn’t take long for both celebrities to be trending on social media.

Some users also noted that in the initial exchange it wasn’t actually directed @ScottBaio, and suggested the actor was looking for tweets with his name in them. Supporters of Oswalt noted “he has career” while others compared the number of followers of the two celebrities.

A common theme in the discussions was that few under 30 years of age would even know who Baio was, while some joked that could be true of those under 45! However, Baio seemed to take it in stride.

“Do I need to be on TV…… #Nope #Blessed” the actor posted.

However, even then many on social media continued to mock the actor with memes and further insults.

But one user, Jeff Harper (@realJeffHarper) stood by Baio, “The revenge is living well. Kudos, my good sir. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. God Bless.”

Bad Role Models

This latest spat on social media is another example of our deep nationwide divide and further demonstrates how difficult “unity” could truly be as it is now so easy to publicly mock another person. Social media has also allowed what were once low key feuds to become quite heated, but it has also allowed everyone to take sides.

“The filters are off and things get personal real quick online,” explained technology industry analyst Josh Crandall of Netpop Research. “Celebrities are people and when arguments get personal, people tend to get nasty. It’s in our DNA to defend ourselves and that leads to saying things that we’ll regret later.”

Celebrity feuds have certainly become more extreme thanks to social media.

“Celebrity flare-ups on Twitter typically follow a couple of courses,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. “Some are personal brand-building efforts, which aim to draw attention to someone who believes the spotlight is passing them over by theatrically taking on someone with a far higher profile. Others seem more ethically-aimed, like historian Kevin M. Kruse’s takedowns of historical falsehoods that various public figures claim are true. Over time, such exchanges mostly follow highly predictable courses though the verbal slap-downs seem to keep people coming back. If it worked for Don Rickles, maybe Scott Baio can make a go of it.”

While it is unlikely the careers of either Oswalt or Baio will suffer – and in some ways they could end up getting a moment in the spotlight – the same may not be true for the rest of us. Heated words posted on social media live forever, and as the platforms have become a broadcast medium even something meant for a small audience now has a truly global reach.

“There’s going to be some moment during the day when we get caught in an anxious or frustrated moment,” added Crandall. “Humans aren’t perfect. We will lose sight of what’s best for us in those stressed out moments and simply respond with a flame and further incite tension online. So, we need to think about our online commentary the same way we would when writing a difficult letter to a boss or a family member. Often, the best course of action is to write the note and not send it for at least a couple of hours. Many times after re-reading what we’ve written after the fog of stress lifts, we will tone it down a bit.”

It is also ever common for the fans to take sides, and that is why these have become so heated.

“There are certainly celebrity Twitter users who are targeted by individuals and groups that disagree with them,” added King. “When the target in question takes criticism and complaints too seriously, he or she provides attackers exactly what they hope to achieve. Alex Baldwin is a good example of this dynamic. Others have a more adult and nuanced approach. For example, the Twitter account of bestselling sci-fi novelist John SCalzi (@scalzi) is headlined with a pinned Tweet that explains how he uses the service and what followers can expect, including being muted, blocked or reported. I believe his is the most practical and adult approach.”

Celebrities have publicists and other handlers who help manage such situations and even defuse situations. While this exchange wasn’t exactly between Hollywood A-listers, it is still possible there are those mending fences behind the scenes. Again, this isn’t a luxury most people would have, which is why this feud should be seen not for the humor but as a cautionary tale.

“We all need to be better ‘handlers’ of ourselves today,” said Crandall. “Communications are instantaneous and frequently public. It’s more important than ever to take a step back, breathe and think about what you are saying online.”

View Source