tech, FCC, cell phones, robocalls, blocking, loophole
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FCC Says It Closed a Loophole Many Robocallers Used to Evade Blocking (Maria)

The author writes, “The Federal Communications Commission today said it closed a robocall loophole by requiring small phone companies to implement the caller ID authentication technology known as STIR and SHAKEN. Large voice providers were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN a year ago. But there was an exemption for carriers with 100,000 or fewer customers that would have given those smaller companies until June 30, 2023, to comply. The FCC voted in December to move that deadline up to June 30, 2022, because small phone companies were apparently carrying a disproportionately high number of illegal robocalls.”

Limited Abortions Will Continue On DOD Bases Despite Roe v. Wade Reversal (Sean)

From Defense One: “Defense Department facilities will continue to perform some abortions in states that ban the procedure, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The June 28 memo from Gilbert Cisneros, the defense undersecretary for personnel, is an attempt to give troops the same benefits regardless of where they are stationed, now that 13 states have moved to ban abortion after Friday’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. It’s unlikely, however, that the policy would hold in a Republican administration, according to legal experts.” 

GOP Poll Watcher Training Casts Unfounded Suspicion on Arizona Elections (Reader Steve)

From Votebeat Arizona: “The Republican National Committee is telling potential Arizona polling place observers that there are ‘festering problems’ in how elections are run, such as security issues with vote-counting machines and problems with voter rolls, as it trains them for the state’s upcoming primary election. The RNC training delivers the message that the ‘2020 election had serious problems,’ worrying experienced former election officials and lawyers who have trained observers in the past and who say the point of training should be simply to encourage observers to watch for violations of law at the polls without disturbing the peace.”

In Russia, Western Planes Are Falling Apart (Sean)

The author writes, “As of the end of May, there were 876 aircraft in the Russian commercial jet fleet, according to data provided by Ascend by Cirium, an air industry consultancy — down from 968 aircraft in late February. Most of these were made by Airbus or Boeing planes, both of which stopped supplying spare parts to Russian airlines in order to adhere to sanction rules. ‘They’re not allowed to get any type of part from Boeing or Airbus,’ says Bijan Vasigh, an economics professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. ‘The transfer of any part or technical expertise to Russia is prohibited.’ The problem is that aircraft need constant maintenance, repairs, and replacements.”

What’s The Best Way to Help Extremely Poor People? After 20 Years, the Evidence Is In. (Dana)

From Vox: “If you want to fight poverty, you probably intuitively feel that the worst-off people are the ones who should be prioritized. … It’s a big moral problem, then, that a lot of anti-poverty programs fail to successfully do that. That problem has bothered Shameran Abed since the 1990s. Back then, he was working on voguish anti-poverty programs with the international development organization he directs from Bangladesh, known as BRAC. Microfinance was all the rage then, but it was becoming clear that microloans weren’t reaching the poorest households. Nobody wanted to lend to them because who knew if they could pay back the loan? And the poorest households often didn’t want to borrow because they weren’t confident that they could figure out how to turn a profit and repay.”

Warmer Nights Caused by Climate Change Take a Toll on Sleep (Laura)

The author writes, “Trouble sleeping? Climate change may be to blame and, according to researchers, it’s only going to get worse. A study released [in May] by a team of climatologists found that by the end of this century, sleeplessness related to global warming will be so pervasive that our descendants will likely lose roughly two and a half days of sleep per year compared to the levels that typical adults enjoy today.”

The Great 16th-Century Black Composer Erased From History (Mili)

From the BBC, “The Western classical music canon is notoriously white and male — so you might assume that a black Renaissance composer would be a figure of significant interest, much-performed and studied. In fact, the story of the first known published black composer — Vicente Lusitano — is only now being heard, alongside a revival of interest in his long-neglected choral music. Lusitano was born around 1520, in Portugal. In a 17th-Century source, he is described as ‘pardo’ – a commonly used term in Portugal at the time meaning mixed race. It is most likely that Lusitano had a black African mother and a white Portuguese father; Portugal had a significant population of people of African descent, due to its involvement in the slave trade.”


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