In October 2018, the Space Council approved six recommendations to send to the president, which became part of Trump’s fourth Space Policy Directive. The recommendations lay the groundwork for the Space Force by establishing a new, unified space command as well as a new space technology procurement agency, and by initiating an interagency review of space capabilities. In addition, Pence said during his speech announcing the plan, the Space Council would work with the National Security Council to “remove red tape” around the rules of engagement in space, which could be construed as looking for a way around the insistence by the international Outer Space Treaty that all activities in space be peaceful. So what exactly is a Space Force? This is one of the foggier parts of the proposal. While it’s envisioned as a service branch like the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy that people could enlist and serve in, it’s not completely clear what those enlistees would be doing. It seems unlikely that the Space Force will be sending troops to space on a regular basis, if at all. Instead, it appears a Space Force would be much more focused on imposing military influence on current space traffic, which is mostly unmanned spacecraft (satellites, by and large), and also consolidating the way items in space are used to guide and assist military operations on the surface of the planet.Isn’t our military already doing things in and about space?Yes. The US military has been actively involved in space activities for decades. In the 1960s, at the same time that NASA was working toward a moon landing, the Air Force even had a parallel manned space program with its own astronauts, although none of them ever launched, as far as we know.Today, a significant portion of US military activities tied to space resides in the Air Force Space Command, headquartered in Colorado, with over 30,000 people worldwide and launch facilities in Florida and California. The command handles missions that include satellite communications, missile warning systems, global positioning systems, surveillance of space, and other projects like the secretive X-37B space plane. Now playing: Watch this: Tags Sci-Tech 12 Photos Target Military Space Donald Trump Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: The US is getting a Space Force 1:31 Will Trump’s Space Force really protect us all? Three months later, Trump made it clear he was serious. At a meeting of the National Space Council, he directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of forming a sixth branch of the military.”It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” Trump said. “We must have American dominance in space.” The president doesn’t have the authority to create a military service on his own. That’s a job for Congress, which last did so in 1947 when, with President Harry Truman’s signature, it spun the Air Force out of the Army. But Trump has been moving forward with the Pentagon and the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, to develop and talk up a plan that includes both executive actions and a legislative proposal. 24 In August, President Trump tweeted “Space Force All The Way” in support of his proposed new military service. Could it serve as a motto for the branch? NASA/NOAA image with text by Amanda Kooser/CNET From the start, the name Space Force sounded like a punchline. It carried echoes of juvenile name-calling and Hollywood laugh lines. Space cadet. Spaceballs. Marvin the Martian’s Q-36 explosive space modulator.But despite the plans getting blasted by Twitter snark and inspiring a new Netflix comedy starring Steve Carell, President Donald Trump’s Space Force is serious business.The basic concept is a call to arms for a new way of dealing with military matters in Earth’s orbit. The Trump administration hopes to have a United States Space Force up and running by as soon as 2020, but politics could stand in the way of meeting that goal.The midterm elections of 2018 and resulting shift of power in the House of Representatives from Republican to Democratic control make it unlikely a whole new branch of the military will be created as Trump initially proposed. At least not until the next election.In the meantime, Trump formally reestablished the United States Space Command as a division within the Department of Defense on Aug. 29. Space Command is one of 11 unified combatant commands that oversee a certain geographical or functional area: United States European Command and Cyber Command are a few other examples of existing combatant commands.Space Command isn’t new; it was established in 1985 by President Reagan and went away when it was merged with US Strategic Command in 2002 following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.Trump said that reviving the command is a step towards creating his Space Force as a sixth military branch.Another idea from the White House is to create a Space Force that exists within the structure of the Air Force. On Feb. 19, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4 calling for the creation of a Space Force Department that will be under the purview of the Secretary of the Air Force. The directive specifically maintains the goal of eventually converting the new department into its own, sixth military branch. Even as a department within the Air Force, the new Space Force will still need to have its funding approved by Congress in an upcoming budget. Still, in just a few years, military recruiters could be looking to sign up America’s best and brightest for a brand new military duty that no one was talking about a year ago.Here are some key things to know about what exactly a Space Force might do and how this vision might turn into reality. How did this Space Force talk get started?The idea for a cosmic military branch seems to have begun as an aside by President Trump, who first used the term “space force” in public during an address to Marines in March 2018.”We’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, and I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the Space Force,” Trump said during the speech. “I was not really serious, and then I said, What a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that.” Comments 1:16 X-37B: The space plane of mystery (pictures) A Pentagon memo obtained by Defense One indicates that the Trump administration’s original proposal for a sixth military branch had the Space Force absorbing the Naval Satellite Operations Center, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, parts of Air Force Space Command and the Army’s 1st Space Brigade, which was specifically created for “enabling the delivery of decisive combat power” and includes two astronauts who are basically on loan to NASA.Why do we need this? Pence has made the argument that space is a “war-fighting domain” and that other global powers like Russia and China are already treating it as such. That phrase echoes what some in the Air Force have been saying for months.The stakes are high. Much of our 21st-century economy and lifestyle — from bank transactions to weather forecasting to television service to the GPS directions guiding you on your vacation road trip — depends on satellites functioning round the clock and without interruption. The military depends on them too.But space right now is a bit like the Wild West, with a wide-ranging mix of government and commercial satellites, all of them sitting ducks. We’ve even seen an instance of target practice: In 2007, China shot down one of its own satellites — mission accomplished in its own right, it also littered orbit with potentially destructive space debris. Many saw the operation as a veiled display of military power. Is everyone on board with the idea?Definitely not. Since Trump’s aside in March of 2018, the notion of a Space Force has been a constant target of ridicule on social media, talk shows and sometimes even on CNET. More seriously, some analysts say the creation of a new military branch would weaken some of the other branches and lead to internal squabbling within the military. “When you create a new bureaucracy, that bureaucracy tends to focus on its own ends. That’s where the problems happen,” Dan Grazier, military fellow at the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight, told SpaceNews. Trump’s own Air Force secretary, Heather Wilson, has been less than enthusiastic about the idea. Wilson signed a memo that estimated starting up a Space Force would cost $13 billion over five years, a figure dismissed by Pence and other Space Force boosters. Grazier argues that the cost could be significantly higher.But what was once a “not really serious” idea soon gained serious momentum, and even Wilson has since said publicly that she’s in “complete alignment” with the plan.But for a now a full-blown Space Force remains grounded on the doorstep of Congress.Originally published Oct. 27, 2018. Update, Jan. 16, 2019: Adds that Netflix will be producing a workplace comedy based on Space Force. Update, Feb. 19: Adds that the President signed a directive to create the Space Force within the Air Force.Update, Aug. 30: Adds formal establishment of US Space Command.
Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) Earl R Miller presents his credential to president M Abdul Hamid at a ceremony at Bangabhaban on Thursday afternoon. Photo: BSSAmbassador of the United States of America (USA) Earl R Miller presented his credential to president M Abdul Hamid at a ceremony at Bangabhaban on Thursday afternoon.Welcoming the new envoy, the president urged the ambassador to work for enhancing the commerce and investment relations between Bangladesh and USA, president’s press secretary Joynal Abedin briefed the newsmen this evening.The head of the state said the US is one of the development partners of Bangladesh and the relations between the two countries are enhancing day by day.During the meeting, Miller said the US always gives priority to develop ties with Bangladesh, the press secretary said.The ambassador emphasised that a strong US-Bangladesh relationship is needed in the interests of the United States and the American people, Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi people, as well as the regional and global community.Secretaries concerned to the president were present.Earlier, on his arrival at Bangabhaban, the US ambassador was given a guard of honour by a horse-mounted contingent of the president guard regiment (PGR). The national anthems of Bangladesh and USA were played on the occasion.
Share Stacy ThreattIt’s that time again: time for Americans to figure out how, exactly, their presidential election works. “Electoral College” searches spike every four years, just before Election Day, according to Google … and the search volume is picking up right now.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016Long story short: To win the presidency, you don’t have to win the majority of the popular vote. You have to win the majority of electoral votes — that is, 270 of them.* In most states, a candidate wins electoral votes by winning the most voters.So. Win a state by just one vote, and you win all of its electoral votes (unless you live in Nebraska or Maine, which divvy up their votes a little differently).This can lead to off-kilter election results — in 2000, for example, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes, but lost the presidency by five electoral votes. So we wondered: Just how few votes would a candidate need to win 270 electoral votes?We decided to find out. A candidate only needs to win the 11 states with the most electoral votes to hit 270. Assuming only two candidates (a big assumption; see below) and that one candidate won all of those states by just one vote, and then didn’t win a single vote in any of the other states (or D.C.), how many votes would that candidate have to win? It depends on how you do the math. Either way, it’s far less than half.Initially when we did this story, we found that if you start with the biggest-electoral-vote states, the answer is 27 percent. However, we have an update: as Andrej Schoeke very nicely pointed out to us on Twitter, there’s another way to do it (via CGP Grey) that requires even less of the popular vote: start with the smallest-electoral-vote states. Our math went through a few iterations on this but by our final math, in 2012 that could have meant winning the presidency with only around 23 percent of the popular vote.The idea here is that a voter in a low-population state like Wyoming counts for a larger share of electoral votes than popular votes.And if one were to start with the largest states, it would be 27 percent. Here’s a look at that math:We’re making a lot of assumptions here — we’re using vote totals from 2012, for one thing. Moreover, we’re assuming there are only two candidates in the race.And let’s be clear about the obvious here: This kind of an extreme election isn’t going to happen. And if it did — if there were somehow a bunch of 1- or 2-vote wins, you can bet the recounts would stretch into 2017.And we’re also sure that with any number of tweaks to the math (like plugging in a third or fourth candidate), you could come up with results that are slightly-to-moderately different. But that’s not really the point here. The point is that the Electoral College can skew election results to a fantastic degree.How a 7-point win becomes a “landslide”This kind of popular-electoral vote discrepancy is why some articles about the 2008 election had to be careful to call Obama’s win an electoral landslide — he won 68 percent of the electoral vote but only about 53 percent of the popular vote.Skewed wins like this happen regularly in U.S. elections — a modest popular vote margin can yield a ridiculously large Electoral College margin. For example, in 1984, Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale in the popular vote by 18 points — a sizable gap, but nothing like the Electoral College walloping: Reagan won 525 electoral votes, beating Mondale by 95 percentage points.Here’s what those gaps look like in every election going back to 1960’s race, in which John F. Kennedy only squeaked past Richard Nixon in the popular vote by around 100,000 votes:Ironically, the 2000 election — whose outcome struck many people as unfair because Gore won the popular vote but not the electoral vote — also has the electoral-vote margin that most closely reflects the popular-vote margin. In that sense, one could call it one of the “fairest” elections in modern politics.Well, maybe. But then, come Nov. 9, there will be no difference for the losing candidate between getting 250 electoral votes or 150 — a loss is a loss.The difference an Electoral College makesThe Electoral College and current demographics mean that both parties often take particular electoral votes for granted: Democrats regularly win California and New York, while Republicans win Texas and Georgia (however, things have been closer than usual in those states this year).(Likewise, there are plenty of easy wins for each party at the low end of the spectrum. Wyoming is regularly Republican. Hawaii regularly votes Democratic.)And that means that candidates regularly spend a disproportionate amount of time in high-electoral-vote battleground states like Florida and Ohio as they plot their “paths to 270.” This means voters in Los Angeles or San Antonio (or Cheyenne or Honolulu) don’t get that much attention.If the Electoral College disappeared tomorrow, campaign strategy would probably shift dramatically; Democrats might campaign more in Austin, Texas. Republicans might do more outreach in conservative parts of California. Either way, the people of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania might get some respite from the onslaught of rallies and ads every four years, as candidates try harder to win bigger parts of the country.*Before you fire off an email, yes, we know: You can still win the presidency without winning 270 electoral votes. If no candidate hits 270, then the House votes. But we’re talking outright on election night.Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The investor letter also previewed a number of initiatives that could add further growth. This includes the company’s partnership with Ikea, which will “potentially introduce millions of new households to the Sonos app and experience,” according to the letter.What’s more, executives also used the letter to preview another significant opportunity for the company: sound outside of the home. From the letter:“While approximately 50% of listening happens in the home, the other 50% happens outside the home. So, to be the leading sound experience company, we need to continue to offer differentiated listening experiences in the home while extending our platform and products to all the places and spaces our customers listen to the fantastic breadth of audio content available on demand today. In FY2019, we plan to push our boundaries by investing resources to make the experience of Sonos outside the home a reality.”Sonos CEO Patrick Spence expanded on that opportunity during Thursday’s earnings call, saying that the company had “several products that take us outside the home” on its 3-year roadmap.A first such product is expected to ship within the next 12 months, Spence said. He didn’t elaborate on the nature of these products, but it’s possible that the company could make a portable speaker, or partner with car makers to bring Sonos sound to the automotive space. The smart speaker maker saw a sales boost from its newly-introduced Sonos Beam soundbar, with executives writing in their investor letter Thursday that the Beam became the number 1 soundbar in the U.S. during that quarter measured in shares of dollar spent. That’s despite the fact that the soundbar only launched halfway into the quarter. “Beam exceeded our forecast,” the company said in its letter to investors.Sonos also revealed its full-year totals Thursday, detailing that it sold products worth $1.14 billion during its fiscal 2018. This marks the first time the company surpassed $1 billion worth in revenue. The company’s net loss for the year was $15.6 million.Over the 12 months ending September 30, Sonos sold more than 5 million products to consumers, adding 1.5 million homes to its customer base. What’s more, both revenue and household additions are accelerating significantly year-over-year, as the company illustrated in a chart: Sonos share prices rose sharply Thursday after the close of markets on better-than-expected earnings news: Investors sent the company’s stock up nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading after Sonos revealed that it nearly broke even in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on September 30, and surpassed $1 billion in revenue for its fiscal full year of 2018.“2018 was a great year for us,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence during Thursday’s earnings call.Sonos generated some $273 million in revenue during the last quarter, compared to $214.1 million during the same quarter a year ago. The company’s net loss for the quarter was $1.7 million, down from $14.9 million a year ago. This equals a loss of $0.02 per share. Analysts had expected revenue of $248.7 million, and losses of $0.10 per share. CREDIT: Courtesy of Sonos ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety