U.S. intel agencies failing to counter threat from China, says House Intelligence Committee report

WASHINGTON — After two decades of prioritizing counterterrorism, U.S. intelligence agencies are failing to sufficiently understand and counter the national security threat posed by China, the House Intelligence Committee concludes in a new report issued Wednesday.

The report, based on hundreds of hours of interviews with intelligence officers and thousands of analytic assessments, finds that the intelligence community must change how it does business — not only to improve its insights into China, but also to better address “the growing importance of interlocking non-military transnational threats, such as global health, economic security, and climate change.”

The report recommends that spy agencies make better use of open source data, modernize hiring practices and re-orient spending priorities. Although the committee’s Democratic majority wrote the report, the full committee approved it Wednesday morning in a bipartisan voice vote.

Click here to read the report

“The United States’ Intelligence Community has not sufficiently adapted to a changing geopolitical and technological environment increasingly shaped by a rising China,” the report says. “Absent a significant realignment of resources, the U.S. government and intelligence community will fail to achieve the outcomes required to enable continued U.S. competition with China on the global stage for decades to come, and to protect the U.S. health and security.”

In addition to critiquing U.S. spy agencies, the report offers a stark portrayal of China as a rogue nation that threatens global security, underscoring how dramatically the bipartisan foreign policy consensus about China has changed in the last decade.

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has increasingly sought to revise the international order and global norms in a way that furthers its own strategic interests and undermines those of the United States specifically, and the West generally,” the report says. “Militarily, China has embarked on a massive modernization drive — creating a ‘blue water’ navy, investing heavily in hypersonic weapons, developing its own fifth-generation fighter, militarizing a series of atolls and islets in the South China Sea to strengthen its claims in the region, and building its first overseas military base in Djibouti.”

Also disturbing, the report says, is China’s use of technology to create “a post-modern authoritarian state in which the country’s population is monitored around the clock through their phones and an ever-growing network of surveillance cameras equipped with facial-recognition technology. This ‘digital authoritarianism’ has not only been deployed at home, but has been increasingly marketed to aspiring authoritarians abroad.”

On Wednesday the committee made public a 37-page report that included a number of redactions, and said it had also produced a classified document of more than 100 pages. The classified version is likely to have addressed a number of intelligence failings too sensitive to discuss publicly, including the severe damage done to CIA spying in China by a former CIA officer convicted of espionage, and a catastrophic failure in how the CIA communicated secretly with its foreign informants. Those incidents contributed to the loss of about 20 Chinese agents who were spying for the U.S., current and former

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Ministry of Interior 3 outlines emergency measures for PWA to counter flooding

Ministry of Interior 3 has assigned the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) to prepare a plan to handle heavy floods, flash floods, rainstorms, and mud slides. The Ministry also ordered 234 PWA branches across the country to closely monitor the situation, arrange water disposal measures, clean canals in high-risk areas, and collaborate with public and private sectors to immediately provide water supply to support the public suffering from flooding and related disasters.

Dr. Songsak Thongsri, Deputy Minister of Interior, revealed that Thailand has been severely affected by the northern and upper northeastern monsoons as well as southeastern depression covering the upper part of Gulf of Thailand, triggering flash floods, flood runoff, rainstorms, and mud tides. Therefore, 234  PWA offices across the country have been instructed to closely monitor Yom River, Nan River, and other areas in peril and provide assistance in the form of water drainage and canal dredging, particularly in city areas. He added that in case of heavy rain or flash floods causing disruptions, the public is assured of continuing to have access to clean and safe water supply.  

Mr. Kritsada Sunkhamani, PWA Deputy Governor (Technical Affairs), added that the PWA is committed to providing support to the public and has already coordinated cooperation from public and private sectors to prepare rescue personnel, water supply trucks, and equipment to serve the public immediately and effectively. 

Those seeking water supply assistance, please call PWA Contact Center 1662.

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Why Granite Kitchen Counter Tops?

Many Americans have found that granite kitchen countertops are the ideal surface choice for their kitchen counter and islands. If you are like many Americans, chances are that you will be planning to do some remodeling of your kitchen in the near future, including replacing worn and outdated kitchen countertops. In years past you were limited to painted, vinyl-covered, or synthetic choices which would be susceptible to cracking, peeling, burns and other staining.

Fortunately, today's modern home owner has the option of choosing to install granite kitchen countertops. Long used to enhance and beautify building exteriors, they have made it indoors with dramatic results. There are several benefits to choosing this natural stone counter top over types available in the past and even now. These include:

– granite counter tops add a sophisticated, luxurious appearance to any kitchen. Available in many colors, each and every piece of granite used for counter tops is unique, coming in a wide variety of veins, swirls, and crystal patterns. Unlike dyed synthetic products, granite is uniformly colored throughout the particular piece you may choose. An added advantage is that often the sunlight dances off the small crystals contained in it, the result is minute changes in the appearance of your stone throughout the day, adding to the overall richness and the ambiance in the kitchen.

– kitchen granite countertops are easier to care for and more kid friendly than other surfaces. They are naturally more resistant to staining, resistant to scratching, hot items such as hot pans, griddles, fryers, and toaster ovens placed on your granite counter tops do not create burns or leave char marks on them, and you can roll out dough and do chopping on them. Granite is easy to clean, and plain soap and warm water will do the job perfectly. Unlike other materials, granite is a sanitary countertop material since it does not promote bacteria growth by harboring the germ in pores like synthetic or painted materials do.

– unlike synthetic or painted surfaces, granite kitchen counter tops with minor damage can be repaired without having to replace the entire piece. If another kind of countertop is damaged, chances are the homeowner will have to undergo the added expense of replacing entire surface. In some instances be eager do-it-yourselfer can exact repairs without having to call on the aid of a professional, rendering results that look just as good.

They can be expensive however. While costing a little more initially, granite kitchen countertops are amazingly affordable and more than make up for the initial cost in terms of durability and ease-of-use and luxurious looks. They also add value to your property, especially in terms of resale value. You can very well find that those granite counter tops you are enjoying five years down the road can be a major selling point.

As far as counter top choices are concerned it easy to see why this natural stone choice is so popular among home owners. Choosing it you will enjoy …

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