April 21, 2024

How About ‘Zoom-Free Fridays’?


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.

Citigroup has declared “Zoom-Free Fridays,” reports Reuters. The move, a company official said, encourages employees to limit calls outside work hours in the hopes that it will combat fatigue triggered by remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I know from your feedback and my own experience, the blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being,” CEO Jane Fraser wrote in a memo to employees.

It’s important to address employee burnout — whether they are working from home or not — because it has serious consequences for individuals’ mental health, reports NPR. Burnout can also be contagious and often affects entire workplaces. “In our always-on world, burnout has long been a threat. But in 2020 burnout became rampant, seemingly overnight,” Harvard Business Review summarizes in its “The Burnout Crisis” series.

The chief economist at the National Association of Realtors says the “housing market is out of whack,” reports NPR. A lack of houses on the market is driving up prices. “There’s a lot of demand, but the supply is not coming along,” said Lawrence Yun.

The Government Accountability Office is investigating the decision to move the US Space Command’s headquarters from Colorado to Alabama, reports C4ISRNET. Colorado officials had criticized the decision in early January — just days before President Donald Trump left office — that they claimed was political in nature.

Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said the Space Force is making progress in the organization of its acquisition office and expects to see new proposals to accelerate acquisition programs, reports Space News.

The United Kingdom’s new defense modernization plan includes an increase in nuclear warheads, sets targets for new warships but is silent on the whether the country should purchase more F-35s, reports Breaking Defense. In the March 22 Defence Command Paper, the British defense department shied away from the original number of 138 F-35s, reports janes.com. Instead, it has deferred to a later date any commitment to further purchases beyond the 48 it is currently earmarked to receive by 2025.

A US Air Force RC-135U spy plane made the closet-ever run on China’s coastal defenses on Monday, reports Newsweek, coming within 25.33 nautical miles before turning back.

President Joe Biden is trying to separate out key issues with China: go hard on trade, tech, and human rights, but seek collaboration on climate change and the fight against the pandemic, reports Bloomberg.

American think tank Atlantic Council is calling for a stronger US-Europe transatlantic strategy to counter Beijing’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, amid a heightened risk in Asia of military conflict between the US and China, reports South China Morning Post.



The US is still mulling over its plan to remove its troops from Afghanistan by May 1, StateSec Antony Blinken told NATO allies Tuesday, reports International Business Times. Blinken is attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. NATO allies have said they are willing to stay in Afghanistan longer if the US remains too, but they are anxious for Washington to make up its mind.

Marine Corps COL Christopher J. Bronzi has been removed from his position as commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, reports Marine Corps Times. Bronzi was relieved for “a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” following completion of the probe into the assault amphibious vehicle mishap in July 2020 in Southern California that killed eight Marines and one sailor. That was the deadliest AAV incident in USMC history, Marine Corps Times reported last year.

A long gun on the USS Constitution was named Perfectus after Loretta Perfectus Walsh during a ceremony in Boston on Sunday, reports Navy Times. Walsh was the first woman to serve as a chief petty officer in the US Navy.

A former top national intelligence official hinted that an upcoming government report on UFOs will include information that cannot easily be explained, reports USA Today. John Ratcliffe’s pronouncement comes months after the Pentagon released grainy videos of UFOs recorded by US Navy pilots using infrared cameras, reports The Washington Post.

The US Senate has a new sergeant-at-arms, reports NPR. Karen Gibson, a retired Army lieutenant general, begins her duties next week as the chief law enforcement officer for the upper chamber. She replaces Michael Stenger, who resigned following the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

SpaceX is in talks with the UK government about expanding its satellite-internet service Starlink to rural areas as part of the nation’s $6.9 billion “Project Gigabit,” reports Business Insider.

A Gallup poll found that satisfaction with the direction of the US has gone up for a second straight month, reports The Hill. Overall, 32% of those who responded in March said they were satisfied with the direction of the country, an increase of 5 percentage points from February, when 27% said they were satisfied with the nation’s direction. Congress approval remains relatively high, according to the poll released March 23.

A Hill-HarrisX poll found that 76% of registered voters polled in a March 19-22 survey said the current surge in immigrants at the border is a crisis that needs to be addressed right away, reports The Hill. Twenty-four percent said the situation can be dealt with later.

Have you gotten your COVID vaccine? Public health experts say it’s crucial to keep the vaccination card handy in case you need it to prove your vaccination status, or to streamline possible future booster shots, reports ABC News.


BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $140,430,072 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides systems engineering and equipment installation support services of command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence systems, including legacy, current, and next generation shipboard interior and exterior communications; shipboard radios; and transportable, airborne, and fixed shore termination communications systems, subsystems, and components in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Webster Outlying Field Integrated Command, Control and Intel Division. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in March 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0042121D0018).

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