In U.S. pursuit of peace talks, perilous rift opens with Afghan leader

Reuters | March 27, 2019

In U.S. pursuit of peace talks, perilous rift opens with Afghan leader
Washington’s relationship with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appears increasingly at risk of permanent damage, the consequence of a U.S. policy shift that has so far excluded his government from talks with the Taliban and of his own determination to retain power and manage peace efforts himself. The feud threatens to undermine the already narrow chances for a peace accord that President Donald Trump hopes would end America’s longest war. Current and former U.S. officials tell Reuters they believe Ghani is positioning himself to perhaps be a spoiler in still-fragile negotiations, angry that the Afghan government has been kept out of talks and worried about the implications for his presidency.

Spotlight

The following paper considers the potential impact of the UK’s withdrawal (‘Brexit’) from the European Union (EU) on efforts to tackle modern slavery. The purpose of this briefing is to review the extent to which the UK’s membership in the EU has influenced national anti-trafficking efforts, and consider if and how Brexit may impact the UK’s ability to combat modern slavery and protect its victims. Where possible, recommendations have been made on the steps to take to mitigate any potential risks posed by Brexit to UK anti-trafficking efforts.

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Tech Giants Ask Federal Government to Create National Research Cloud

Google | July 03, 2020

Google, IBM and Microsoft have joined with top research universities to prod the federal government to create a nationwide shared cloud-computing platform, saying it is urgently needed to keep the U.S. from falling behind foreign competitors. A national research cloud would open the doors of Big Tech companies’ data to academic outsiders. It could mean that companies such as Google would hand over the keys to data collected during the coronavirus crisis, such as details on users’ movements during government-imposed social distancing.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Hadean's Web 3.0 Tech to Power Ministry of Defence Project

Hadean | November 25, 2021

Web 3.0 start up, Hadean, today announce they have successfully secured a project with the MoD's Defence and Security Accelerator. Providing a joint solution along with Cervus, they will be working with British Army's Headquarters' Futures Team over the next 12 months to deliver "The Forge". The decision support system uses a number of emerging distributed and spatial web technologies designed to solve DASA's 'Simulating Future Battlespace Complexity' challenge. This joint venture speaks volumes to the power of true innovation that occurs within smaller companies. Increasingly complex battlespaces and new forms of threat require a data-driven approach for analysing scenarios to provide the optimal decision, but a number of incumbent processes remain inefficient. Often decisions are made through lengthy deliberations between various experts. These conversations may involve compromises, counter arguments and often subjective viewpoints. The nature of this process results in a slow to action organisations that can miss key deadlines and risk serious negative outcomes. The Forge looks to automate this process using a combination of new web 3.0 technologies. At the foundations, the Hadean Platform delivers the high demand computation in order to sufficiently power the parallelised simulations. It does this through a distributed cloud solution that offers invariant scalability across any on premise, cloud or edge environment. On the front end, these simulations are realised by Cervus and then run through their analytics engine. "Defence is undergoing an infrastructural uprooting in the shape of distributed computing and web 3.0 technologies. This joint contract between Cervus and Hadean with the MoD demonstrates a commitment to digitalisation in order to gain the technological upperhand by leveraging our combined solutions. In the same way that social interaction is changing in the form of the metaverse, single synthetic environments for the military are becoming more complex and immersive. Additionally, our platforms are enabling in depth analysis of defence scenarios, providing real time decision support to decision makers. Hadean's scalability provides the compute power necessary for these demanding applications." Hadean CEO, Craig Beddis Alan Roan, MD of Cervus.ai, said "Cervus are immensely proud to be working with our partners at Hadean. The compute power needed to run multiple simulations to quickly examine different courses of action has limited the way we deliver decision support to date. Integrating our analytics engine, Hive 2.0, with MAK and Antycip's world class simulation products and Hadean's distributed computing platform, will significantly reduce the associated costs and increase the speed of wargaming and experimentation. We also recognise training and operation applications in this capability, similar to those which we recently demonstrated at the recent Army Warfighting Experiment 21 and we look forward to prototyping at pace, alongside the British Army, supported by the excellent DASA team." Introducing The Forge The Forge is a three pronged approach to delivering operational insights: Top down – from policy or operational drivers (planned capability/architectural innovation) Bottom-up – from lessons learnt and capability gaps (contingent improvement/incremental innovation) Solution-led – from technology opportunities, COTS/MOTS, or politically driven decisions(opportunity exploitation/ disruptive innovation) It creates powerful, workable solutions by: Developing and testing innovative solutions to pressing strategic issues, capability gaps and operational optimisation. Injecting agility into the strategic decision cycle, enabling continuous testing of concepts, and the rapid development of capabilities and doctrine Enabling effective outcomes to avoid technology shock, counter adversary and reduce operational risk across the breadth of operations At a foundational level, the distributed cloud platform provided by Hadean does the computational 'heavy lifting', running and orchestrating simulations and interaction between them. Together with Cervus, Hadean's technologies deliver a more automated approach that is currently defining emerging trends in IT. This project will further bolster the significance of web 3.0 technologies, across verticals and, demonstrates the Ministry of Defence's commitment to innovation, and working with disruptive organisations. About Hadean Founded in 2015, Hadean are a venture backed startup, reimagining distributed, spatial and scalable computing for web 3.0 and the metaverse. The distributed cloud platform provides the foundations of web 3.0 applications for the metaverse, enterprise organisations and the defence sector. Customers include CAE, Microsoft, Minecraft, the Francis Crick Institute and Cervus.

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U.S. companies can work with Huawei on 5G, other standards: Commerce Department

Huawei | June 16, 2020

The United States on Monday confirmed a Reuters report that it will amend its prohibitions on U.S. companies doing business with China’s Huawei to allow them to work together on setting standards for next-generation 5G networks. The U.S. Commerce Department and other agencies signed off on the rule change, which is awaiting publication in the Federal Register, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The rule was sent to the Federal Register on Friday and is set to be published as early as Tuesday.

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Spotlight

The following paper considers the potential impact of the UK’s withdrawal (‘Brexit’) from the European Union (EU) on efforts to tackle modern slavery. The purpose of this briefing is to review the extent to which the UK’s membership in the EU has influenced national anti-trafficking efforts, and consider if and how Brexit may impact the UK’s ability to combat modern slavery and protect its victims. Where possible, recommendations have been made on the steps to take to mitigate any potential risks posed by Brexit to UK anti-trafficking efforts.