May 16, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Climate & War Reshape Global Economy

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

New York pension officials on Monday said they will support shareholder resolutions filed at major banks seeking quick cuts to financing of new fossil fuel development, pushing climate issues to the fore of another springtime shareholder meeting season, reports Reuters.

US monthly consumer prices increased by the most in 16 1/2 years in March as Russia’s war against Ukraine boosted the cost of gasoline to record highs, cementing the case for a 50 basis-point interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month, Reuters reports. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans does not oppose interest rates reaching a neutral setting of 2.25% to 2.5% by the end of the year, a pace that would require a couple of 50 basis-point rate hikes at upcoming Fed meetings.

Global stocks fell on Tuesday as investors grew increasingly concerned that stubbornly high inflation will push central banks into much more aggressive action than expected, reports Business Insider. US consumer inflation is expected to have risen further in March, which could push the Federal Reserve to raising rates more aggressively than many currently expect. Economists expect consumer inflation to come in at 8.4%, up from February’s 7.5%, which was already the highest since January 1982.

President Joe Biden will allow higher-ethanol fuel sales in summer to check gas prices, reports Reuters. Plans were unveiled Tuesday to extend the availability of higher biofuels-blended gasoline during summer to curb soaring fuel costs and to cut reliance on foreign energy sources. The move will allow Americans to keep buying E15, a gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend, from June 1 to September 15. While E15 is only 10 cents cheaper on average and is less “energy dense,” meaning drivers would need to buy more fuel, it should still help lower fuel expenses, according to senior administration officials.

Russia’s war in Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, reports Task & Purpose. Russia is now expected to concentrate its forces in the Donets Basin region of Ukraine, known as the Donbas, to encircle Ukrainian forces that have been fighting separatists in the eastern part of the country. Commercially available satellite images on Friday showed a Russian military convoy that stretched for eight miles headed to the eastern Ukrainian city of Izium, reports Axios. The convoy is made up of hundreds of armored vehicles and trucks.

Russia says it hit several Ukraine air defenses systems over the weekend, reports The Associated Press, in what appeared to be a renewed push to gain air superiority and take out weapons Kyiv has described as crucial ahead of a broad new offensive in the east.

Reuters reports that Russia will not pause military operations in Ukraine for peace talks. Russian officials say peace talks with Ukraine are not progressing as rapidly as they would like, and have accused the West of trying to derail negotiations by raising war crimes allegations against Russian troops in Ukraine, which Moscow denies. Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he saw no reason not to continue talks with Ukraine but insisted Moscow would not halt its military operation when the sides convene again.

 

The Air Force recommends combining the active-duty and reserve components and did not propose establishing a Space National Guard, reports Space News. So, instead of having a dedicated reserve force, the US Space Force would have a regular active-duty force with full-time and part-time members, according to a proposal the Department of the Air Force submitted to Congress on April 1. This would provide full-time and part-time service options to Guardians without establishing a separate Space National Guard, which is in line with the Biden administration’s position.

It’s the 60th anniversary of the US Navy SEALs. While operating all over the globe, fighting on their own or in support of other US military units, Business Insider reports on how the SEALs have made their mark.

NORTHCOM wants $29.8 million more for AI and data handling, reports C4ISRNET. US Northern Command seeks to buttress efforts to aggregate and share data with forces across all domains.

Lawmakers expressed concern that rolling back the authorities from a 2018 presidential memorandum would jeopardize national security efforts, reports FCW. The DoD could lose some discretion on how it conducts cyber operations just as it wants to pour more resources into them, say lawmakers. The Biden administration has launched a probe into a Trump-era policy solidified in 2018 that broadened the Pentagon’s authority to approve offensive and defensive cyber operations.

Judge rules US military can’t discharge HIV-positive troops, reports Military Times, or bar a service member from becoming an officer solely because of being infected with the virus, a federal judge in Virginia ruled. Advocates say it’s one of the strongest rulings in years for people living with HIV. The cases involved two service members that the Air Force attempted to discharge, as well as SGT Nick Harrison of the DC Army National Guard, who was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

As of March 18, the backlog of unprocessed paper IRS tax returns was at nearly 15 million but IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told lawmakers that he wants to get that to a “healthy” level by the end of the calendar year, reports FCW.

Army Times reports Army GEN Christopher Cavoli is to be nominated to lead European Command and LT GEN Bryan Fenton to lead Special Operations Command. Cavoli is the current head of US Army Europe and Africa, and Fenton head of Joint Special Operations Command.

Biden asks Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “do more” to stop Russia and help Ukraine, reports Defense One.

Analysis: Even with sanctions, Russia can afford to feed its war machine, reports Reuters. The Russian war effort defies sanctions aimed at throttling it, heavy equipment losses are mostly of older kit, the military will get priority as ordinary citizens suffer, and the share of defense spending will rise in shrinking economy.

The US Senate confirmed Laurie Locascio, a former bioengineering professor at the University of Maryland, to helm the National Institute of Standards and Technology, reports NextGov.

Contracts:

Addon Services LLC, Warren, Michigan (W912DY-22-D-0045); Ahtna Infrastructure and Technologies LLC, Anchorage, Alaska (W912DY-22-D-0046); Reliance Construction Management Co., Wake Forest, North Carolina (W912DY-22-D-0047); Silver Mountain Weston JV LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho (W912DY-22-D-0048); Bhate Environmental Associates Inc., Birmingham, Alabama (W912DY-22-D-0049); CMS Corp., Bargersville, Indiana (W912DY-22-D-0050); GSINA-Pacific JV LLC, Flemington, New Jersey (W912DY-22-D-0051); Magna JV, Leesburg, Virginia (W912DY-22-D-0052); MVL USA Inc., Lansing, Michigan (W912DY-22-D-0053); Sea Pac Engineering Inc., Los Angeles, California (W912DY-22-D-0054); Southeastern Industrial Barlovento JV, Destin, Florida (W912DY-22-D-0055); Environmental Chemical Corp., Burlingame, California (W912DY-22-D-0056); Fluor Federal Solutions LLC, Reston, Virginia (W912DY-22-D-0057); Herman Construction Group Inc., Escondido, California (W912DY-22-D-0058); John C. Grimberg Co. Inc., Rockville, Maryland (W912DY-22-D-0059); M.C. Dean Inc., Tysons, Virginia (W912DY-22-D-0060); Siemens Government Technologies Inc., Reston, Virginia (W912DY-22-D-0061); Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions Inc., Blue Bell, Pennsylvania (W912DY-22-D-0062); EXP Federal Inc., Chicago, Illinois (W912DY-22-D-0068); Perini Management Services Inc., Framingham, Massachusetts (W912DY-22-D-0069); and Weston Solutions, West Chester, Pennsylvania (W912DY-22-D-0070), will compete for each order of the $450,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design-build capabilities in support of the Facility Repair and Renewal program. Bids were solicited via the internet with 80 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 12, 2027. US Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

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