Bill Clinton Admits Free Trade was a Mistake and a Failure
Former President Bill Clinton, now UN Special Envoy to Haiti, took the opportunity of an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10, to apologize for having imposed free trade on Haiti during his first term in office. That policy was "a mistake," Clinton said, and helped destroy Haiti's ability to produce rice and feed its people.
About a year after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1993, the Clinton Administration reinstated ousted Haitian President Jean-Baptiste Aristide in power in 1994 on the condition that Aristide accept an IMF/World Bank structural adjustment program, including the demand to slash protective tariffs on rice imports. Aristide cut that tariff from 35% to 3%, which flooded the country with cheaper rice imports, and drove farmers, millers, and traders out of business, and into the slums of Port-au-Prince and other cities with their families. These impoverished and unemployed citizens are today's earthquake victims.
This policy "may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "I had to live every day with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else."
Haiti quickly became, and remains today, the fifth-largest export market in the world for American rice. Current Haitian President Rene Preval, who is an agronomist from the rice-producing Artibonite Valley, is urging foreign NGOs and government agencies not to just dump food on the country as aid, but rather to provide the seeds, fertilizer, implements and technology necessary to produce food in the provinces. Farmers, he insists, must be able to produce food and sell it, rather than seeking refuge in the capital because they have no livelihood elsewhere in the country.
A DARPA program aimed at preventing attacks involving radiological "dirty bombs" and other nuclear threats has successfully developed and demonstrated a network of smartphone-sized mobile devices that can detect the tiniest traces of radioactive materials. Combined with larger detectors along major roadways, bridges, other fixed infrastructure, and in vehicles, the new networked devices promise significantly enhanced awareness of radiation sources and greater advance warning of possible threats.
Nothing is more iconic of today's high technology than the semiconductor chips inside our computers, phones, military systems, household appliances, fitness monitors, and even birthday cards and pets. Since its inception in 1992, DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) has helped create and prevent strategic surprise through investments in compact microelectronic components, such as microprocessors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and photonic devices. MTO's pioneering efforts to apply advanced capabilities in areas such as wide-band-gap materials, phased array radars, high-energy lasers, and infrared imaging, have helped the United States establish and maintain technological superiority for more than two decades.
Developers of imaging systems have long been beholden to certain rules of optics designs so well established and seemingly immutable as to be treated as virtual "laws" of physics. One widely considered pillar of optical design, for example, is that imaging systems must be built from a series of complex and precisely manufactured optical elements arranged linearly. The result of such assumptions is that certain high-performance imagery devices inevitably end up being large and heavy, composed of dozens or more optical elements.
The rapid evolution of small unmanned air systems (sUAS) technologies is fueling the exponential growth of the commercial drone sector, creating new asymmetric threats for warfighters. sUASs' size and low cost enable novel concepts of employment that present challenges to current defense systems. These emerging irregular systems and concepts of operations in diverse environments require technology advancements to quickly detect, identify, track, and neutralize sUASs while mitigating collateral damage and providing flexibility to operations in multiple mission environments.
The structural materials that are currently used to construct homes, buildings, and infrastructure are expensive to produce and transport, wear out due to age and damage, and have limited ability to respond to changes in their immediate surroundings. Living biological materials-bone, skin, bark, and coral, for example-have attributes that provide advantages over the non-living materials people build with, in that they can be grown where needed, self-repair when damaged, and respond to changes in their surroundings.
DARPA officials this morning released partial final, audited results of yesterday's all-day Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) Final Event-the world's first all-machine cyber hacking tournament-and confirmed that the top-scoring machine was Mayhem, developed by team ForAllSecure of Pittsburgh.
Capping an intensive three-year push to spark a revolution in automated cyber defense, DARPA today announced that a computer system designed by a team of Pittsburgh-based researchers is the presumptive winner of the Agency's Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC), the world's first all-hacking tournament.
Therapeutic modulation of the activity of the body's peripheral nervous system (PNS) holds a world of potential for mitigating and treating disease and other health conditions-if researchers can figure out a feasible long-term mechanism for communicating with the nerves and pathways that make up the body's information superhighway between the spinal cord and other organs.
On August 4, in Las Vegas, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will host the world's first, all-machine hacking tournament. This Cyber Grand Challenge will mark the culmination of an ambitious three-year effort to develop advanced, autonomous systems that can to detect, evaluate, and patch software vulnerabilities before adversaries have a chance to exploit them.
A research team at the University of Washington has harnessed complex computational methods to design customized proteins that can self-assemble into 120-subunit "icosahedral" structures inside living cells-the biggest, self-booting, intracellular protein nanocages ever made. The breakthrough offers a potential solution to a pressing scientific challenge: how to safely and efficiently deliver to cells new and emerging biomedical treatments such as DNA vaccines and therapeutic interfering particles.
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