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07/27/2017

Key Issues

Workforce/Diversity

Help Wanted: Amazon to Host Job Fair for 50,000 Positions Amid Hiring Squeeze. Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +1.23% aims to fill 50,000 new open positions in the U.S. by hosting a giant job fair next month, where it will be making offers on the spot. (Wall Street Journal)
Tech CEOs are sounding off about Trump's call to ban transgender service members. Yet again, technology CEOs are taking to Twitter in opposition of something President Trump is banning. (Washington Post)

Google.org is launching a $50 million effort to prepare job seekers for the 'future of work'. Google announced on Wednesday a new $50 million initiative to study and prepare "for the changing nature of work," beginning with investments in the U.S. and Europe to help train job seekers and improve the working conditions for those already employed. (Recode)
Where to Find a $35,000 Job-Without a Degree. At a time when politicians and pundits decry the end of middle-class jobs, it may come as a surprise that there are 30 million jobs paying more than $35,000 a year for U.S. workers without four-year college degrees. (Wall Street Journal)
The Best $100,000+ Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Concentrated in Just 8 Cities. In theory, the high-wage jobs of the technology industry could be filled by people working anywhere. (Wall Street Journal)
Tech execs are standing up to Trump's ban against transgender people serving in the military. President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that "the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." He claimed that medical costs to support transgender soldiers are a "burden." (Recode)
Transgender troop ban contradicts Trump's professed support for LGBT rights, groups say. President Donald Trump's decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military is ammunition for gay rights activists who have long doubted the sincerity of his professed support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. (Politico Pro)
For transgender troops, a tweet is not policy - yet. President Donald Trump's surprise announcement that he wants to ban transgender troops will have little practical effect in the short term for those who are already serving, according to legal experts. (Politico Pro)

Foxconn Says It Plans to Build Factory in Wisconsin, Adding 3,000 Jobs. Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics supplier for Apple and other tech giants, said Wednesday it would open its first major American factory in Wisconsin, a boost both for the battleground state's economy and the Trump administration's efforts to bolster domestic manufacturing. (New York Times)

Trump, electronics manufacturer announce new Wisconsin plant. President Trump announced on Wednesday that the electronics manufacturer Foxconn will be building a new U.S. plant in Wisconsin to produce LCD screens. (The Hill)

Tech Politics

Democrats' 'Better Deal' Is Silent on Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Fighting corporate power is a big theme of the Democrats' new agenda, but three of the world's most powerful companies aren't feeling the heat, at least not yet. (BNA)

Environment/Sustainability

How California Plans to Go Far Beyond Any Other State on Climate. Over the past decade, California has passed a sweeping set of climate laws to test a contentious theory: that it's possible to cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond what any other state has done and still enjoy robust economic growth. (New York Times)
Britain to Ban New Diesel and Gas Cars by 2040. Scrambling to combat a growing air pollution crisis, Britainannounced on Wednesday that sales of new diesel and gas cars would reach the end of the road by 2040, the latest step in Europe's battle against the damaging environmental impact of the internal combustion engine. (New York Times)
Britain Promises Ban On New Gas And Diesel Cars By 2040. Britain is pledging to ban the sale of new gas- and diesel-powered cars by 2040. Electric, hybrid and fuel cell cars in the U.K. accounted for less than 3 percent of the market in 2015, so the country has a long way to go in phasing out diesel and gas. (NPR)

Cybersecurity

U.S. treads water on cyber policy as destructive attacks mount. The Trump administration's refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare. (Reuters)

Facebook funds Harvard effort to fight election hacking, propaganda. Facebook Inc (FB.O) will provide initial funding of $500,000 for a nonprofit organization that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks, the world's largest social network said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Hospitals Face Growing Cybersecurity Threats. In the neonatal intensive care unit of Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, a father is rocking a baby attached to a heart monitor. While doctors roam the halls trying to prevent infections, Chief Information Officer Theresa Meadows is worried about another kind of virus. (NPR)

Privacy

Senators to release bipartisan legislation on email privacy. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are expected to unveil legislation Thursdaythat will force the government to obtain warrants to look at Americans' emails, according to three sources with knowledge of the bill. (The Hill)

Senate lawmakers want to make it harder for law enforcement to access suspects' emails and location data. Senate lawmakers plan to restart their push tomorrow for new rules that would prevent U.S. law enforcement from seeking some suspects' emails, location information and other sensitive data without first obtaining a warrant. (Recode)

Immigration

Trump's war on sanctuary cities has begun. It's official: After months of empty threats, the Trump administration is moving to lay siege to progressive cities, with federal grants as its weapon, in the name of immigration enforcement. (Vox)

Global Trade

Commerce Chief Says Political Calendar Favors Quicker NAFTA Deal. Factors suggesting that North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation should be concluded sooner rather than later include the expiration of trade promotion authority (TPA) in mid-2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. (BNA)

White House: Trump to announce new tech manufacturing initiative. President Trump will announce a new manufacturing initiative with electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday afternoon, according to the White House. (The Hill)

Juncker aims to slam the brakes on Chinese takeovers. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants a radical new rulebook to strengthen the EU's hand against Chinese takeovers of its most strategic companies. (Politico Pro)

Tax

Mnuchin questions Amazon's marketplace tax practices. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin questioned Amazon's tax practices today, echoing President Donald Trump's attacks on the e-commerce giant though not as vociferously. (Politico Pro)

Mnuchin: Trump administration examining online sales tax issue. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the Trump administration expects to take a stance on the online sales tax issue in the near future. (The Hill)

Artificial Intelligence

Should You Be Worried About the Rise of AI?. Tech titans Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk recently slugged it out online over the possible threat artificial intelligence might one day pose to the human race, although you could be forgiven if you don't see why this seems like a pressing question. (AP)
Public Sector

Vendors: Don't step back from FLASH. Although the Department of Homeland Security's decision to cancel its $1.5 billion Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland contract earlier this year caught many bidders off-guard, several companies recently praised the agency for trying something new. (FCW)

NPPD reorg bill moves on to full House. Legislation that would bring the Department of Homeland Security's cyber and critical infrastructure protection operations closer together easily won approval by a key congressional committee on July 26. (FCW)

FLASH winners praise DHS despite decision to cancel contract. Winners of the Department of Homeland Security's Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland contract call the department's decision to cancel the procurement a collective "punch in the gut," but they're thankful for DHS's willingness to take a risk to better government buying. (FedScoop)

Houston's tech startup task force is trying to figure out why the giant city is lagging behind. Houston has plans for a new innovation district as part of the city's strategy to attract tech startups, direct venture capital to local businesses and mesh smart city technologies into its services and infrastructure. (StateScoop)

Tech Business

Digital Artist Yung Jake Scores With Emoji Portraits. They flow ceaselessly through the text panels on our smartphones, these ubiquitous ideograms used to convey facts or feelings or perhaps nothing at all. (New York Times)
Uber's Kalanick hires former U.S. prosecutor ahead of Waymo deposition. Uber's former chief executive, Travis Kalanick, has hired the former top federal prosecutor in San Francisco to represent him ahead of a deposition in a high-profile trade secrets case against Alphabet's Waymo self-driving car unit, the attorney's firm said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

How Jony Ive Masterminded Apple's New Headquarters. On a sunny day in May, Jonathan Ive -Jony to anyone who knows him-first encounters a completed section of Apple Park, the giant campus in Cupertino, California, that has turned into one of his longest projects as Apple's chief designer. (Wall Street Journal)

Amazon has a secret health care team called 1492 focused on medical records, virtual doc visits. Amazon has started a secret skunkworks lab dedicated to opportunities in health care, including new areas such as electronic medical records and telemedicine. (CNBC)

Google's New Parental Control App Has a Flaw: Puberty. The only consensus among parents about the right age for a child to have unfettered access to a smartphone is that there is no magic number. (New York Times)

How Microsoft Has Become the Surprise Innovator in PCs. When Microsoft unveiled the first Surface tablet five years ago, it was a spectacular failure. (New York Times)

Want a Job, Mate? Amazon Is Hiring Aussie Speakers. Think you know the ins and outs of Australian English? Amazon is hiring. (New York Times)
Facebook's revenue growth is still slowing, but it keeps beating Wall Street's expectations. Facebook's business is slowing, but still not as much as Wall Street thinks it is. (Recode)

Self-Driving People, Enabled by Airbnb. Roughly a decade ago two new "platform" companies burst out of California. The one that dominated the headlines was called Uber, which created a platform where with one touch of your phone you could summon a cab, direct the driver, pay the driver and rate the driver. It grew like a weed - as all kinds of people became taxi drivers in their spare time. (BNA)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of H.R.1628, To provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2017.

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