Daily SA: Philadelphia stops enforcing low-level traffic violations – Forward Observer

Daily SA: Philadelphia stops enforcing low-level traffic violations

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 02 November 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Philadelphia stops enforcing low-level traffic violations
  • China Task Force says ‘urgent shortcomings’ in export policy
  • White House blinks on medical mandates
  • Congress wants ‘Open Translation Center’ to get smart on China, Russia

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CRIME: Philadelphia has become the first city to approve “Driving Equality bills,” which will ban police stops for low-level traffic violations. The city council believes that the bill, passed 14-2, will prevent traffic stops that “promote discrimination” and not sacrifice the safety for other motorists on the road. In addition to the new ban, Philadelphia also passed a bill that will establish a public database of traffic stops allowing citizens to view driver and officer data, reasons police stopped drivers, and demographic data of those involved. (Analyst Comment: Other municipalities that have adopted similar measures on low-level crimes are suffering economic and social impacts, especially as retailers shutter their operations to avoid theft. Philadelphia’s ban on police stops will likely lead to increased criminal activity, as police often use low-level violations to pull over suspected criminals. – T.W.)

CRACKDOWN: The Congressional China Task Force sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo asking that the U.S. address “urgent shortcomings” in export policy. The group contends that recent Chinese hypersonic tests likely used U.S. technology and equipment. The lawmakers asked Secretary Raimondo to work alongside Congress in ten specific areas, including restricting licensing and research for Chinese companies, scouring Chinese entity lists for discrepancies, and a ban on obtaining argon fluoride, immersion, and extreme ultraviolet photolithography, among other provisions. “This hypersonics test and other wakeup calls must end the notion that the CCP can be constrained through commercial engagement,” the statement concludes. (AC: The task force notes the Chinese are very resourceful in acquiring U.S. weapons technology and equipment through espionage or corporate acquisitions. The Congress and Commerce Department’s slow reaction time in acknowledging the severity of Chinese civil military fusion indicates the reality of the China problem-set is only beginning to take hold across D.C. The heavy focus on technological material procurement and licensing indicates the Chinese continue to exploit the bloated U.S. bureaucracy faster than it can detect and deter threats. The Chinese have taken a similar approach to CIA’s titanium procurement from the Soviet Union to build SR-71s. – D.M.)

MANDATES: The White House quietly issued updated guidance on vaccine mandates for federal contractors. Under the new guidance, contractors and employees do not need to be immediately fired or placed in a leave status. Instead, there’s an undefined timeline for education and accommodation to prevent any firing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has yet to release their rules requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to vaccinate, test weekly, or face fines. “Plainly stated, no service member, Department of Defense civilian or contractor supporting the Department should be dismissed due to failure to comply with the mandate until the ramifications of mass dismissal are known,” Sen Inhofe (R-OK) said. (AC: This is another instance where the Biden administration “blinked” on writing rules which would ultimately harm national security. The U.S. does not have a substantial global strategic advantage to compensate for up to 5% of its defense workforce leaving their jobs. The reality of emergent near-peer conflict is likely a consideration for the administration. – D.M.)

TRANSLATION: A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to establish an Open Translation and Analysis Center (OTAC) as an independent entity to ingest as much overseas media as possible and translate it to English for reporting and analysis purposes. The Foreign Broadcast Information Service, later Open Source Center, previously provided much of this information to intelligence and defense professionals. “For the U.S. to effectively both compete and cooperate with countries like the People’s Republic of China and Russia, we need to have a better understanding of those countries… A nuanced understanding of foreign countries is impossible without reading how they communicate in their own languages,” Rep. Jaoquin Castro (D-TX) said. (AC: FBIS data was previously made publicly available, but was likely revoked due to international copyright laws. China is supplanting U.S. influence around the world, requiring expanded insight to counter their influence at home and abroad. – D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report.

WX:

In today’s Early Warning, Mike covers ‘subnational diplomacy’ which establishes communications for states and international communities. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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