Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ She broke the biggest news scoop of all: the opening of World War II in Europe Clare Hollingworth was a young English reporter, new to the job on August 28, 1939. She was near the German-Polish border that day, when a gust of wind blew back the tarpaulin the Germans had erected to obscure their side. What Hollingworth saw was stunning: massive German forces, ready to attack (which they did on September 1). She wired her paper, The Daily Telegraph, that a great war was about to begin. The Guardian later called it “probably the greatest scoop of modern times.” She went on to become a great war reporter for decades.
Now, at age 105, Clare Hollingworth has died. (Obituary in the New York Times)
◆ China sends aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Straits Taiwan responds by scrambling its jets and navy. (Reuters)
Comment: The carrier itself is an old Soviet model, restored. But it’s the thought that counts. And the thought is that Beijing is angry at the election of a new Taiwanese president who is less committed to the old idea that Taiwan is an integral part of China, angry at Donald Trump and US politicians welcoming the Taiwanese leader on a stop-over this week, and acting increasingly aggressive in the South China Seas.
My judgment: China is sending a signal that Taiwan’s moves are unacceptable and threaten war.
◆ Related Story: President Xi Jinping becomes first Chinese leader to attend World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland The Bloomberg story is here.
Comment: The Chinese economy has been very shaky, with tight controls on getting money out of the country. Xi is sending a signal that his country welcomes new investments. The question is whether he intends to change any of the policies that are discouraging them.
◆ Obamacare will not be repealed without a replacement, Speaker Paul Ryan says. Republican congressmen have resisted repeal until a replacement was ready. (NY Post)
Comment: Once the GOP touches healthcare, they know they will own it politically, for better or worse. They understandably fear a leap into the unknown. The problem is that, although the overall Obamacare program is not popular, many of its individual features are–and they are expensive to pay for. So, the Republicans have to figure out a way to keep the features without blowing out the federal budget. That is no easy task.
◆ Artificial Intelligence: Two interesting, accessible articles (both from The Economist)
◆ Will artificial intelligence help to crack biology?
◆ How voice technology is transforming computing