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August 8, 2020
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U.S. Puts Squeeze on Chinese Apps 
and Digital Infrastructure  - ALLOW IMAGES

U.S. Puts Squeeze on Chinese Apps
and Digital Infrastructure

August 8, 2020
What You Need To Know

On April 29th, the Trump Administration announced the 5G Clean Path initiative, which is an effort to secure data traveling on 5G networks into U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas, as well as within the homeland.

An expansion to the 5G Clean Path initiative is the United States Clean Network program, which aims to guard U.S. citizens’ privacy and American companies most sensitive information from being compromised by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

On Wednesday of this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced five new lines of effort within the Clean Network program to protect America’s critical telecommunications and technology infrastructure.

Clean Carrier: To ensure untrusted People’s Republic of China (PRC) carriers are not connected with U.S. telecommunications networks. Such companies pose a danger to U.S. national security and should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.

Clean Store: To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation. American’s most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit.

Clean Apps: To prevent untrusted PRC smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing – or otherwise making available for download – trusted apps on their apps store. Huawei, an arm of the PRC surveillance state, is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading U.S. and foreign companies. These companies should remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser.

Clean Cloud: To prevent U.S. citizens’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to our foreign adversaries through companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.

Clean Cable: To ensure the undersea cables connecting our country to the global internet are not subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at hyper scale. We will also work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise.

To date, more than thirty other countries and territories, as well as many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies, fully grasp the threat posed by adversarial nations such as China and have committed to exclusively using trusted vendors in their Clean Networks.

For several weeks President Trump has threatened to ban the popular Chinese mobile application known as TikTok unless the app is acquired by a US company. On Thursday of this week, President Trump made his threats a reality by issuing two executive orders, one for TikTok, and the other for WeChat, calling the wide use of Chinese apps a "national emergency."

The President's actions came just hours after the Senate voted unanimously to bar ByteDance-owned TikTok from all government devices. The House voted on a similar bill last month. A final version combining the two bills will move to the President's desk to be signed into law.

It is important to note that it is not just the U.S. taking such action. In June, the government of India banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, WeChat and Helo, with no advance warning. India’s information technology ministry issued a statement saying that it had received reports that TikTok and other Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data.”

Australia and Japan are also considering similar actions, as are numerous European Union nations.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (blue) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (red), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Update

August 8, 2020

As of the time of this reports' preparation on Friday, there were more than 4,918,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S., as well as 160,300 deaths attributed to the virus. In addition, multiple states are reporting increasing hospitalizations and deaths as a result of the virus.

Despite the dramatic influence of politics on the pandemic response, as well as the botched effort of federal and state health authorities in testing and accurate case counting, the two-step and mixed messaging on use of masks, the highly flawed rule-making hampering the use of hydroxychloroquine in the early treatment of those infected with COVID-19 and so much more, AlertsUSA encourages listeners to remain conscious of the need to be cautious, not only out of concern for your own well being, but also that of others. There actually is a virus, is still in circulation globally, it is still hospitalizing people globally, and it is still taking lives globally.


World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)


White House: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
CDC: K-12 Schools: Readiness and Planning Tool
CDC: One-Stop Shop for COVID-19 Resources
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization

CDC: How to Protect Yourself
CDC: What to Do If You Are Sick


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


8/7 - Air India flt (IX-1344), Dubai - Kozhikode Int'l Airport Kerala, crashes after overshooting runway. 184 passengers, 6 crew. AlertsUSA monitoring..

8/6 - State Dept & CDC lift Global Level 4 Health Advisory urging US citizens to avoid all int'l travel. Returning to country-specific guidance. More via email.

8/5 - SecState Pompeo warns Americans to exercise increased caution when traveling to or in China. Comment made during just concluded remarks to the press.

8/5 - NY Mayor announces COVID-19 traveler *registration checkpoints* to enforce NY State quarantine orders. Full details via email.

8/4 - US Army Japan increases Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Level to CHARLIE, indicating a substantial risk and sustained community transmission of COVID-19.

8/3 - Isaias regains hurricane strength, landfall tonight. Hurricane warning for S. Santee River, SC to Surf City, NC. Tropical storm warnings N to Stonington, ME.

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United States Secret Service - Mass Attacks on Public Spaces 2019 - ALLOW IMAGES

United States Secret Service

August 8, 2020

The U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) is an integral resource for the agency’s no-fail mission to safeguard this nation’s highest elected officials. NTAC’s continuous efforts to ensure the informed development of prevention strategies through research has also enabled outreach programs and publications that assist our protective and public safety partners in their missions to prevent targeted violence in communities across the United States.

This latest study, titled Mass Attacks in Public Spaces – 2019, examines 34 targeted attacks that occurred in public or semi-public spaces (e.g., schools, places of business, houses of worship, open spaces) from January through December 2019. This report is the agency’s third in a series of annual reports that have examined mass attacks in the United States, during which three or more individuals were harmed. Since this project began in 2017, there have been 89 mass attacks involving 92 attackers that occurred in various locations throughout the nation. Understanding the key factors in preventing these attacks is even more critical this year with the COVID-19 pandemic causing additional stressors in the lives of our citizens.

View the Full Report Here (PDF)

The PLAN Liaoning, oroginally a Soviet Kuznetsov-class ship, is a Chinese Type 001 aircraft carrier. - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

August 8, 2020

Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

As the Chinese government has set out to harness the growing strength of the Chinese technology sector to bolster its military, policymakers in the United States have reacted with mounting alarm. U.S. officials have described Beijing’s civil-military fusion effort as a “malign agenda” that represents a “global security threat.” And as China’s defense capabilities have grown, some Western policymakers have started to wonder whether the United States needs to adopt its own version of civil-military fusion, embracing a top-down approach to developing cutting-edge technologies with military applications.


The Pandemic’s Geopolitical Aftershocks

The triple crises of geopolitical power shifts, the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic disasters that flow from it will shape global politics, restructure global supply chains and bring an end to unregulated globalization. The post-pandemic world is yet to take shape, but it’s likely to be as divided and bifurcated as occurred after World War II.


Why Is the United States Effectively
Banning WeChat and TikTok?

Apps are just the latest frontier in the U.S.-China contest. Washington is signaling to global firms the risks of doing business with Beijing.


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of August 3, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGES
USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker
August 8, 2020

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of August 3, 2020 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

An Air Force F-22 Raptor prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during Exercise Red Flag over Alaska, Aug. 5, 2020. - ALLOW IMAGES
World News Roundup
August 8, 2020


POTUS Signs Exec Order That Will Effectively Ban Use Of TikTok In the U.S.
President Trump tells US firms they must end links with TikTok and WeChat
China and Iran don't want Trump, Russia working against Biden
University of Washington forecasts 300,000 U.S. deaths
US tops 2,000 covid deaths in 24 hrs for first time in three months...
Saudi Crown prince sent hit squad to Canada to kill former spy, lawsuit claims
The Navy's problems keep growing with leading role against Russia and China
Countries once praised for handling COVID-19 now struggling
Navy SEAL Museum used “Colin Kaepernick stand-in" for K-9 demo
Latin America exceeds 5 million COVID-19 cases


Scotland Yard's warns new attack on London is 'likely' after lockdown
President of Belarus accuses Russia of lying, warns of revolution plot
Germany debates curbing freedom of assembly after coronavirus protests
Poland Supreme Court validates presidential election results
Spain's former King Juan Carlos, 82, flees the country into 'forced exile'
Kosovo PM Avdullah Hoti tests positive for COVID-19
Russia says it will begin mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Oct
Refugee crisis worsening in southern Europe amid coronavirus pandemic
France halts ratifying extradition treaty with Hong Kong in wake of security law
Spared from fire, Notre-Dame's organ set for lengthy restoration


Someone’s to Blame for the Beirut Blast
Why Hezbollah will not escape blame for deadly chemical blast in Beirut
Trump says Beirut explosion seems to be 'bomb of some kind,' cites generals
Cargo of dangerous ammonium nitrate was stranded in Beirut port for years
Macron pledges help for Beirut as Lebanese rage against rulers
Lebanese police tear gas anti-gov protesters in wake of blast
Saudi Arabia, With China’s Help, Expands Its Nuclear Program
The U.S. Military Has Been Engaged In Iraq For 30 Years Now
IDF strikes Syrian military targets in response to attempted border attack
UAE launches operations in first nuclear power plant in the Arab world


Hiroshima marks 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing
Taiwan in talks to make first purchase of sophisticated U.S. drones
Taiwan reinforces S. China Sea outpost amid reports of major PLA landing drill
Trump says US forces in Afghanistan to be slashed to fewer than 5K this year
India-China talks hit roadblock in Pangong Tso as Beijing sticks to positions
China Warns India’s Rafale Fighters ‘Have No Chance’ Against Stealth Jets
North Korea has 'probably' developed nuclear devices to fit ballistic missiles
Australian state to impose hefty fines to compel COVID-19 isolation
Pompeo, Taliban negotiator discuss Afghan peace process
Afghan troops retake prison attacked by Islamic State group; 29 killed
Melbourne closes non-essential businesses, installs curfew
Okinawa governor fears ‘collapse’ of health care system
No compromise on territorial integrity, says India in 5th round of military talks
India imposes curfew in Kashmir ahead of clampdown anniversary
Beijing blasts US for threatening to ban TikTok & other Chinese apps

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Book - Three Seconds Until Midnight by Dr. Steven Hatfill et al..

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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices
Worldwide Caution

Active USGOV Travel Advisories
Alphabetical Country List
Dynamic Map

Other USGOV Travel Resources
Traveler's Checklist
Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)
Travelers with Special Considerations
Travel to High-Risk Areas
Faith-Based Travel Information
Information for Women Travelers
Cruise Ship Passengers
Students Abroad
Your Health Abroad
Driving and Road Safety Abroad

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Ezekiel 33:3 - "Then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head."