Wisconsin tells Foxconn no tax credits without new deal

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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin told Foxconn Technology Group on Monday that it won’t qualify for billions of dollars in state tax credits unless it strikes a new deal for a scaled-back factory complex.

State officials have told Foxconn since last year that it would not qualify for the tax credits without revisions to its 2017 contract because the scope of the envisioned factory has been reduced. President Donald Trump heralded the original deal as a sign of a revitalized American manufacturing economy, calling the envisioned plant “transformational” and the “eighth wonder of the world.”

The deal with Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, was announced by Trump at a White House ceremony and he traveled to Wisconsin in 2018 for the groundbreaking.

Foxconn signed a contract with Wisconsin under then-Gov. Scott Walker in 2017 to earn nearly $4 billion in state and local tax incentives for a $10 billion display screen manufacturing campus and plant that would employ up to 13,000 people. But Walker, a Republican, lost in 2018 to Democrat Tony Evers, who ran as a critic of the project.

After the deal was signed, Foxconn said it was downsizing the factory to what is known as a Generation 6 plant rather than a Generation 10.5 plant. The facility envisioned now would make smaller thin-film transistor liquid crystal display screens for cellphones and other devices, rather than the larger screens that were first proposed.

The letter sent Monday from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary Melissa Hughes confirmed that from the state’s perspective, Foxconn’s new factory can’t get state tax credits unless the original contract is changed.

Foxconn officials said in a statement that the company has hired more than 520 people and invested $750 million in the state, and has been a willing participant in talks over terms of

New smartphone app tells New Yorkers if they’ve been exposed to coronavirus

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Albany, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today a new smartphone app is available that will tell New Yorkers if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Smartphone users who download the free app, called “Covid Alert NY,” will be notified if they have been within six feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes.

“It’s using technology on a level it’s never been used before,” Cuomo said in a telephone press briefing.

Cuomo said the new app is voluntary and anonymous. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The state Health Department will contact people who have tested positive and ask them to anonymously participate in the smartphone contract tracing program. New Yorkers who are notified by the app that they have been exposed will be directed to quarantine, stay home and call a doctor.

The app was developed by Apple, Google and other technology companies for about $700,000. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the federal government picked up the cost.

The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be, Cuomo said.

Melissa DeRosa, a Cuomo aide, said the app does not track a user’s location or movement, nor does it use GPS. It also does not collect or store personal information, she said. It uses bluetooth technology to send proximity to another phone with the same app, but not geographic location.

It’s available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works or goes to school in New York state. Cuomo said the app will also be available for residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut.

James T. Mulder covers health and higher education. Have a news tip? Contact him at (315) 470-2245 or jmulder@syracuse.com

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US faces tight timeline for 2024 moon landing, NASA chief tells Senate

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NASA needs to have a new  lunar lander and giant rocket ready by next year in order to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, the space agency’s chief Jim Bridenstine told Congress Wednesday (Sept. 23). 

In a Senate appropriations committee hearing, Bridenstine said NASA aims to send an uncrewed mission, called Artemis 1, around the moon in November 2021 to prepare for the first orbital mission with astronauts two years later, Artemis 2. The Artemis 3 mission would follow, sending astronauts to the south pole of the moon in 2024. 

Bridenstine said he is worried about the effects on the Artemis program if any of the missions are delayed which could happen for technical or funding reasons. 

“If that Artemis [1] mission pushes too far from 2021, if it starts to encroach on Artemis 2 in 2023, it creates a crescendo where if one [mission] starts getting pushed, the others start getting pushed,” Bridenstine said in the livestreamed broadcast.

Currently, though, everything is on track for a 2024 deadline, Bridenstine added. A design for one or two landers will be finalized in February 2021 (it is currently being competed between three private groups) and Artemis 1 is expected to launch that November. A lengthy “green run” trail for the Space Launch System megarocket,which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, is underway, keeping the booster on track for its debut launch in November 2021. 

Bridenstine said everyone needs to stick as closely to NASA’s timeline as possible to eliminate programmatic and cost risk from Artemis’ first landing stretching on past 2024. Previous bipartisan agreements, however, suggested a NASA moon landing could be approved as late as 2028 — a possibility that was raised again by the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

The Trump administration’s request is

What A Book Written About The Great War Of 1914 Tells Us We Need To Think Differently About The Future Of Work To Succeed.

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Barbara Tuchman’s seminal book, The Guns of August, describes the old-world precepts that dictated the thinking for the start of the First World War and much of the first three years of one of the worst conflicts the planet. It might be some hundred plus years ago, and the worst pandemic followed it since the plague of 1665.

The war over the future of work should not be compared to these two awful events. Still, thinking about what the future of work looks like is equally dependent on old-world precepts around the idea of working in the office versus working remotely.

There is no doubt there have been simple lines projecting into the future from our recent past. 3% of us worked from home as a full-time model. 25% of us took at least one day a week at home as a norm. That model of 3% working from home took ten years to get to from a mere 2%. Change accelerates with a dramatic jolt. Think about those statistics today and how small they feel.

Think of this dynamic. Horses were still the prevalent form of transportation systems up to and through the first world war. They dominated it, and then by the early 1920s, we flipped to cars or trucks as the dominant form. These trends towards powered vehicles were already bubbling up before 1914. The war and the subsequent pandemic actually accelerated them. 

TikTok Tells Judge Ban Is Irrational Amid Talks Trump Pushed

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(Bloomberg) — A lawyer for TikTok told a federal judge that President Donald Trump’s impending ban on the app is irrational given that its Chinese owner is in talks to strike a deal the president himself has demanded.



a close up of a screen: The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. TikTok has become a flash point among rising U.S.-China tensions in recent months as U.S. politicians raised concerns that parent company ByteDance Ltd. could be compelled to hand over American users data to Beijing or use the app to influence the 165 million Americans, and more than 2 billion users globally, who have downloaded it.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. TikTok has become a flash point among rising U.S.-China tensions in recent months as U.S. politicians raised concerns that parent company ByteDance Ltd. could be compelled to hand over American users data to Beijing or use the app to influence the 165 million Americans, and more than 2 billion users globally, who have downloaded it.

“How does it make sense to impose this app-store ban tonight when there are negotiations underway that might make it unnecessary?” John Hall asked at an unusual Sunday morning hearing on TikTok’s request to temporarily block the ban..

The video-sharing app’s owner, ByteDance Ltd., is fighting the Trump administration in court even as it pursues its approval for the sale of a stake in its U.S. operations to Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. under pressure from the president. Trump has also barred WeChat, owned by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., arguing that the apps could give China’s government access to millions of Americans’ personal data.



a close up of a screen: The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. TikTok has become a flash point among rising U.S.-China tensions in recent months as U.S. politicians raised concerns that parent company ByteDance Ltd. could be compelled to hand over American users data to Beijing or use the app to influence the 165 million Americans, and more than 2 billion users globally, who have downloaded it.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. TikTok has become a flash point among rising U.S.-China tensions in recent months as U.S. politicians raised concerns that parent company ByteDance Ltd. could be compelled to hand over American users data to Beijing or use the app to influence the 165 million Americans, and more than 2 billion users globally, who have downloaded it.

The bans