Biden to invoke Defense Production Act to bring down prices – National & International News –

Biden to invoke Defense Production Act to bring down prices.

Three young Palestinians shot in Vermont; suspect in custody.

Ukraine steps up conscription effort amid manpower shortage.


Biden to invoke Defense Production Act to bring down prices

The White House has announced a new initiative to mobilize federal resources to streamline production and distribution of certain goods in an effort to bring down consumer prices. Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950 to make these resources available and unlock other executive powers to tackle supply chain issues which have contributed to overall price inflation. The initiative will convene a panel of Cabinet members and members of the White House National Security team to create a Supply Chain Resilience Council.

One of the first items on the agenda will be to target the production of certain medicines deemed vital to national security. The plan is to also address issues in the production and of food items, strengthen the agricultural sector, and apply new tech (including artificial intelligence) to streamline the production of numerous manufactured goods and equipment.

The council will also be looking at energy supply issues including efficiency, climate resiliency in the electrical grid, rehabilitation of areas affected by defunct coal mines and the promotion of clean energy. There are also provisions that will address freight and transport issues. Another priority includes better tracking of labor abuses across various sectors, including the use of child labor in many crucial supply chains. The plan in is fairly comprehensive and you can read about it in more detail by following this link.

Many economists have lately acknowledged that inflated prices had as much to do with price gouging (otherwise known as “greedflation”) as with supply chain snarls. However, this new White House initiative is certainly likely to have an effect on many supply issues that do affect prices, consumer safety, and reliability as well as address vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic.


Three young Palestinians shot in Vermont; suspect in custody

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, three Palestinian college students, Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmed (all 20-years-old), were visiting one of their relatives in Burlington in northern Vermont. Two of the men were wearing keffiyehs, a scarf traditionally worn by Palestinians. American protesters have also taken to wearing keffiyehs lately in solidarity with Palestinians since Israel began its bombing campaign in Gaza on October 7. To date, the bombing campaign and IDF incursion into Gaza has killed over 20,000 people, more than 18,000 of them civilians (including over 8000 children and 4000 women). 

Police say a suspect, Jason James Eaton, a 48-year-old former Boy Scout troop leader, shot all three men with a handgun as they approached the home and then fled on foot. All three victims survive but are in intensive care. Awartani suffered he most serious injury of the three. Relatives say he was shot in the spine and faces a long road to recovery.

Mr. Eaton pleaded “not guilty” in a court hearing this morning. Prosecutors are weighing hate crime charges against him. 

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Ukraine steps up conscription effort amid manpower shortage

The Ukrainian government has signed contracts with private recruitment companies to increase conscription of eligible men. Since the beginning of the war, tens of thousands of draft-age men have fled Ukraine into neighboring countries. Many others have been hiding at home or with relatives, dodging bands of mobilization officers who have been caught on video snatching draft dodgers off the streets. 

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s security council, says that the purpose of the new recruitment contracts is more targeted conscription. The companies will assess each conscript’s skills and strengths to see if they might be more useful in other roles rather than being sent to the front. “Some people are scared, scared to die, scared to shoot, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in other activities” Danilov said.

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