In U.S.-China talks, Beijing's refusal to spell out farm buys is big sticking point

Reuters | October 30, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that Beijing commit to big purchases of American farm products has become a major sticking point in talks to end the Sino-U.S. trade war, according to several people briefed on the negotiations. Trump has said publicly that China could buy as much as $50 billion of U.S. farm products, more than double the annual amount it did the year before the trade war started. U.S. officials continue to push for that in talks, while Beijing is balking at committing to a large figure and a specific time frame. Chinese buyers would like the discretion to buy based on market conditions.

Spotlight

As some news accounts focus on the financial strain of pensions, a new report shows that a select group of Illinois retirees gave Illinois a $2.18 billion-dollar lift in 2015.

Spotlight

As some news accounts focus on the financial strain of pensions, a new report shows that a select group of Illinois retirees gave Illinois a $2.18 billion-dollar lift in 2015.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Government Brands Becomes "Catalis" for Transforming Government

Government Brands, LLC | September 01, 2022

Government Brands, LLC, the trusted technology partner for thousands of US and Canadian government entities, has launched a rebrand as Catalis TM. Catalis is one of North America's leading government Software as a Service (SaaS) and integrated payments providers, powering municipal, county, state, and federal governments. Government Brands was launched in late 2017 and in less than five years strategically acquired and combined more than 30 GovTech companies across the US and Canada. This rapid growth necessitates a new way to organize and brand their broad portfolio of software and payments solutions. The rebrand, which is not a corporate restructuring, is part of the company's natural progression as it continues to grow and offer clients innovative technology and a more comprehensive suite of solutions. A recapitalization in 2021, with leading investors PSG and TPG, elevated Government Brands to "unicorn" status, with a valuation exceeding $1 billion. Rebranding is the next step of evolution toward further expansion and positioning Catalis as North America's premier software and digital payments provider to government. "This an exciting time – not only for our company but also for our customers and stakeholders, This rebrand reflects the evolution of our company and provides an opportunity to better communicate the wide range of best-in-class solutions we provide. We look forward to uniting our existing brands under one comprehensive citizen-first brand focused on serving government, The inherent complexity of government can hinder change, and no one feels this more than the people who work there: the public servants who work tirelessly to meet the needs of their citizens, Catalis understands those challenges and provides the technology, expertise, and agility to successfully deploy modern, transformative solutions, Our existing customers will continue to experience the same customer-centric service they have grown to know and rely on, and we're excited to develop new partnerships at all levels of government,The rebrand to Catalis is just the next step in our progression to providing the technology and innovation to meet – and exceed – the expectations of a modern digital government." -John Kristel, CEO of Catalis. "Catalis" is inspired by the word "catalyst," which describes the company's mission: to serve as a catalyst for creating a modern digital government. Their deep expertise, proven track record, and purpose-built digital solutions empower public officials to advance government and engage citizens through technology. The company offers a wide range of technology solutions across government with a portfolio of leading SaaS solutions for Citizen Engagement, Courts, Land Records, Public Works, Tax, Regulatory & Compliance, and CAMA, and integrated systems for Payments. While the brand name has changed, Kristel assures customers that Catalis will continue to provide an unparalleled customer service experience, including an expanded range of resources and solutions to help them modernize government and engage citizens. About Catalis: Catalis is the transformational SaaS and integrated payments partner powering all levels and sizes of government – municipal, county, state, and federal. With deep expertise, a proven track record, and innovative digital solutions, Catalis has empowered public servants across the US and Canada to modernize government and engage citizens.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

New Iridium Certus Service Providers to Support U.S. Government Customers

Iridium Communications | October 13, 2022

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) announced today that Iridium partners MetOcean Telematics, NAL Research, and Trace Systems are now Iridium Certus® service providers for U.S. government customers, joining Satcom Direct, in this capacity. These unique, long-term deals will allow these companies to provide Iridium's secure global satellite broadband and midband connectivity for mobile voice and data services to the U.S. government through a dedicated gateway. By leveraging the inherent advantages of the Iridium® network, including truly global, on-the-move L-band connectivity, MetOcean Telematics, NAL Research, and Trace Systems are now able to deliver enhanced capabilities that meet Communications Security (ComSec) requirements for the Department of Defense (DoD) and warfighter. These capabilities include global and resilient voice, data and 1080 HD live-action video over satcom across all domains (land, maritime and air) on the move. The service also serves as the "ACE in PACE" – alternate, contingent or emergency communications link, supports early entry communications packages and command and control for autonomous or uncrewed systems and data backhaul. Whether in high-risk combat zones or during inclement weather events, the Iridium network provides uncompromising satellite communications that keeps users connected when it's needed most. Iridium Certus™ terminals enable U.S. government users to securely connect remote assets to respective command and control centers in the U.S. in a cost-effective and secure manner, from anywhere in the world. "Iridium Certus continues to provide mission-critical broadband and midband capabilities to the modern warfighter and we're excited to add new service providers to expand the distribution of these offerings, With the addition of Iridium Certus for the government, these partners will play a critical role in supporting DoD personnel as they utilize this value-added service." -Scott Scheimreif, Executive Vice President of Government Programs, Iridium. Unique in the satellite industry, Iridium Certus is the only broadband service that provides highly reliable, truly global, weather-resilient connectivity for on-the-move internet and high-quality voice access. Iridium Certus terminals are low-profile, compared to the competition, and capable of maintaining broadband connectivity in fast-paced, unpredictable environments on land, at sea, in the air — and can do it without landing in or passing through non-U.S. territories. Iridium Communications Inc: Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. In 2019, the company completed a generational upgrade of its satellite network and launched its new specialty broadband service, Iridium Certus®. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Orca Security’s FedRAMP Ready Platform Brings Improved Security to U.S. Government Agency and Contractor FedRAMP Cloud Estates

Orca Security | October 28, 2022

Orca Security, the pioneer of agentless cloud security, today announced that it achieved the FedRAMP Ready designation. With this designation, Orca now provides a fully agentless Cloud Security Platform for Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) environments within the U.S. Federal Government, its agencies and contractors. The Orca Platform is now listed on the FedRAMP Marketplace, the official online repository for FedRAMP Cloud Service Offerings (CSOs). The FedRAMP Ready designation attests to the robust security of the Orca platform and the federal program is generally considered one of the strictest security certifications. Orca’s agentless Cloud Security Platform enables government organizations, as well as their contractors and SaaS providers, to gain comprehensive insight into cloud workloads, configurations, and identities while adhering to the stringent FedRAMP security requirements. “We are thrilled to have achieved FedRAMP Ready status and look forward to making a valuable contribution towards securing federal cloud environments, Our comprehensive Cloud Security Platform offers wide and deep visibility into the entire cloud estate, is fast and frictionless to deploy, and surfaces and prioritizes risks across cloud workloads, configurations, and identities - without requiring a single agent. We are excited to be able to offer our platform while adhering to the stringent security and privacy requirements set by the U.S. government.” -Avi Shua, CEO of Orca Security. To achieve a FedRAMP Ready designation, a SaaS provider must undergo a rigorous independent security assessment conducted by a third-party assessment organization (3PAO) to ensure that it complies with NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-63B, and implements strong security controls for storing government data. Orca’s agentless SideScanning technology and Unified Data Model provide 100% visibility and context into the entire FedRAMP environment, including VMs, containers, Kubernetes, serverless, storage, functions, databases, identities, and APIs. This enables security teams of federal organizations and those providing services to the U.S. government to quickly identify and address the vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that present the highest risks to mission-critical data without any of the security blind spots, organizational friction, high TCO, and performance degradation of agents. “As we survey the federal cloud landscape, we see an IT community wrestling with the practices and paradigms of agent-based security that was not built for the cloud, Our identification of these challenges drove our investment in Orca Security as a technology partner with an eye towards FedRAMP certification. We look forward to the finalization of Orca’s FedRAMP certification, which we see as a catalyst to the realization of successful IT modernization within the federal government.” -Shawn Kingsberry, VP of Cyber Innovation at SAIC. About Orca Security: Orca Security is the pioneer of agentless cloud security that is trusted by hundreds of enterprises globally. Orca makes cloud security possible for enterprises moving to and scaling in the cloud with its patented SideScanning™ technology and Unified Data Model. The Orca Cloud Security Platform delivers the world's most comprehensive coverage and visibility of all risks across the cloud. With continuous first-to-market innovations and expertise, the Orca Platform ensures security teams quickly identify and remediate risks to keep their businesses secure.

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