EARLY EDITION: Five Quick News Stories For Your Water Cooler Chat (Thur. Feb 23)

TODAY'S STORIES: Chinese Navy; Covid Auctions; Google blocks news; reporter murdered; NPR's pink slips

1. Navy Sec warns China moving toward naval supremacy

China has 340 ships in its navy, and it is building more all the time. USA on the other hand, has somewhere around 280 ready to go. And we barely have enough shipyards to maintain the ones we have.

China is on track to have a fleet of 440 by 2030, whereas Americans have struggled for years to agree on spending to achieve the Pentagon’s stated goal of a 350-ship navy.

‘It is no secret that the People’s Republic of China seeks to upend our dominance on the oceans across the globe,’ said Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro in remarks at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Del Toro said that China’s navy has recently added over one hundred combatants to its fleet, calling it ‘a naval buildup that is a key component of its increasingly aggressive military posture globally.’
…In recent years, China has grown increasingly aggressive in the South China Sea, a vast swath of ocean that China claims as its own, though the claim is not recognized under international law.
‘China’s disregard for the rules-based international order is particularly troubling in the maritime domain, from the Taiwan Straits to the high seas,’ said Del Toro.
‘The values espoused by the Chinese Communist Party are incompatible with individual liberty, with democracy, and with respect for human rights,’ he added

With China taking an increasingly aggressive military posture globally, which regulalary throws its weight around against its neighbors — recently splashing a Phillipino ship with a military-grade laser, blinding its crew on the bridge.

2. Gov’t Covid gear auctioned for pennies on the dollar

Remember that time DeBlasio spent 500 Million dollars on COVID equipment, including thousands of ventilators? Or that Time Headline from April of 2020: ‘Why Ventilators May Not Be Working as Well for COVID-19 Patients as Doctors Hoped’?

Now that the bulk of the panic is behind us, there’s a lot of extra equipment kicking around. New York is no exception. So what does the Big Apple do with a half-billion dollars in surplus medical equipement purchased on the taxpayer dime? The sell it as scrap.

De Blasio’s pandemic medical miracle has turned into a bargain-basement giveaway under current Mayor Eric Adams — with the bridge vents unloaded, unused, in an auction that ended Jan. 24, described in sale records as “non-functioning medical equipment sold as scrap metal.”
A junk dealer from Long Island picked up the entire $12 million, 500,000-pound kit and kaboodle — for only $24,600. It took the dealer 28 truckloads to cart the stuff away, auction records state.
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That’s just over $8 per device, way less than a penny back for every taxpayer dollar spent. –TheCity

The same problem was mirrored as they off-loaded truckloads of other COVID-era purchases, like PPE.

3. Google starts blocking Canadian news sites in response to Lib laws

Canada’s new Online News Act, Bill C-18, has faced plenty of criticism for free speech reasons. But now it’s facing a new problem: Big Tech platforms themselves.

At precisely the moment when big tech firms have been bleeding red ink and laying off thousands, Canada is introducing a new law which would obligate revenue-sharing negotiations between Big Tech platforms and certain media companies.

Google had other ideas. It’s running a five week test of what it would look like if Google simply stopped playing ball with those companies.

The company says it is limiting access to news content online to under four percent of its Canadian users of its products, including its popular search engine and the Discover feature on Android devices that carries news and sports stories.
The company says all types of news content are being affected by the test, which will run for about five weeks, including content created by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.

4. Four shot, 2 fatally, as reporters were covering murder scene

Two reporters, a mother, and a nine-year-old girl were shot by the same man accused of a homicide in Pine Hills, Florida earlier that day. One reporter and the child were killed, the other victims remain in critical condition.

Keith Melvin Moses, 19 is believed to be responsible for both shootings. He has several serious prior convictions.

Witnesses say KMM approached the news van and shot both news employees before he entered a nearby house and did the same to the mom and her daughter.

5. NPR facing layoffs

After years of telling us how Biden’s economy was really beter than most of us thought, reality has come along to bite NPR in the bottom (line).

With costs going up and revenues down, NPR has done all the cost-saving measures it could. The inevitable layoffs have arrived. With NPR sponsorships down ten-to-twenty-million dollars, some 100 jobs are currently on the chopping block.

DailyMail;TheCityNYC; EpochTimes

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