The puzzle in politics and polling It’s debatable whether the midterm elections delivered a demonstrably better night for Democrats than Republicans. But it was inarguably a big win for pollsters, said FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver at Harvard’s Political Analytics Conference.“The narrative after 2016 was that polls are full of it,” he said during a discussion Friday with Lynn Vavreck, professor of American Politics and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Silver’s website was one of many that forecast a likely win for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election (though by a smaller margin than most), and the conference explored how polling has been further refined since then.“This was the best year for polling since 2008,” he said. “Not only is polling not broken, but I think that the media should be writing that story. Everyone who wrote the ‘polling is broken’ stories in 2016 is being irresponsible by not writing about how polls have nailed it in 2018.” As he pointed out, FiveThirtyEight never claimed that Clinton would win, only that the odds were in her favor.“What we do is extremely analogous to reporting,” he said. “I still design all our elections models. I am still running the code. Keeping track of the polls is a full-time job, in the same category as vigorous reporting. Any good journalism requires hard work. I think life is a battle between lazy people and people who work hard.”Vavreck pressed Silver about a Twitter post he made that criticized multilevel regression and post-stratification, or MRP, a popular research method based on state-level opinions and demographic attitudes. “We have a lot of ways to get 80 percent toward an answer, and MRP is one way to get the other 20 percent. I would say that MRP can be good, but it’s overrated too. It’s the Carmelo Anthony of election polling,” he said, invoking his roots as a sports handicapper. “As political figures, specifically those on the right, question the veracity of the returns, it becomes more important to show the way the votes come in.” — Nate Cohn Analyst Nate Silver says media assumptions, not data, led to surprise over 2016 election results Related Sponsored by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies and its Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Friday’s all-day conference included expert panels and hackathon results, for which student teams spent the previous day analyzing midterm data.The morning’s first panel, “Measuring & Mapping the Midterms,” included Nate Cohn and Amanda Cox of The New York Times. During the election, their column The Upshot introduced live polling, displaying results in real time — an innovation that moderator Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN and FiveThirtyEight credited with “changing the very experience of polling.”Live polling, Cox and Cohn said, was partly a response to increasing demand for accurate poll data, from public and politicians alike. “As political figures, specifically those on the right, question the veracity of the returns, it becomes more important to show the way the votes come in. If something unexpected happens, it’s important to show how the process works,” Cohn said. Yet he noted that sometimes the polls are more sophisticated than the elections themselves. “We live in a decentralized country where [some] elections are being administered by underfunded counties. That’s true of some big ones in Florida, let alone rural Mississippi. That’s not a problem that is going to solve itself.”Cox added that live polling reflects the fluid nature of elections. “If you see a poll with one candidate being one point ahead, that doesn’t mean more than the other candidate being one point ahead. You may know that’s true, but you don’t really feel it in your heart.” Live polling, she said, makes the fluctuations easier to take in. Still, Cohn noted, some political realities are difficult to convey in polls — particularly gerrymandering, which frustrates attempts to create a readable map.In a panel later that day, gerrymandering was examined as an example of applied data analytics. Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice traced the history of North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, which was drawn in the early ’90s so that the area’s African-American population would be reflected in elections. The district was redrawn following a Supreme Court decision in 2016, prompting more debate and making the district friendlier to Republican candidates.Tufts University mathematics professor and Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute this year, Moon Duchin said that Massachusetts, where the practice began, is largely gerrymander-proof: However you slice it, the state’s Republican population is still not strong enough to create a Republican congressional district. “There are several trillion ways you could do it, more than there are particles in the galaxy,” she said. “And none of them sends a Republican to Congress.”
It was a Kafkaesque nightmare even before Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi was savagely murdered. An American journalist working in Iran, hoping to bridge the gap between the two countries through his reporting, was arrested along with his wife and thrown into the city’s worst prison on charges that were manifestly untrue and levied by powers of unclear identity. It was where he would remain for 18 months, not knowing if he would ever see his family again.In all, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, spent 544 days in Evin Prison, accused by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of being a CIA operative, convicted in what most called a show trial in October 2015, and sentenced to a prison term that was never made public. Despite the secrecy, calls for Rezaian’s release were quickly taken up by his family and colleagues at the Post, and their #FreeJason campaign spread to journalists around the world. The drive eventually grew into a cause célèbre, with figures from Muhammad Ali and Noam Chomsky to Edward Snowden and a Kardashian sister demanding his release. Finally, on Jan. 16, 2016, Rezaian and three other Americans were freed in a controversial prisoner swap spearheaded by then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Though deeply painful and still raw at times, Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Rezaian, described their experiences, detailed in his new memoir, “Prisoner,” during a talk Thursday at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with R. Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. The two studied at Harvard shortly after Jason’s release in fall 2016, he as a Nieman Foundation Fellow and she as a fall fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at HKS.Jason Rezaian said that growing up in Marin County, Calif., just north of San Francisco, as the son of an Iranian immigrant father and an American-born mother was central to his world view and his desire to better understand Iran, a country he eventually moved to in 2009. “I knew from the very first moment … this was not going to go away. And it did not go away for a very long time.” — Yeganeh Rezaian From captivity to classroom “It was a typical American upbringing with these Persian layers infused into the experience,” he said. “And it wasn’t until much later, after Sept. 11, that I ever felt like I was different than anybody else. Not because I felt different, but because people looked at me differently. People judged me because of where my father came from.” Prior to their arrest, the couple had built a nice life for themselves in Tehran. Jason was the Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post, Yeganeh was a reporter for a UAE news outlet, and they lived in a lovely downtown apartment. They were neither dissidents nor “outlaw” reporters, but credentialed journalists who had gone through the laborious process of getting government approval to work. They had even recently appeared on the late Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” speaking effusively about Iran and how Americans misunderstood the country and its people.Then one night in July 2014, as the couple left their building to attend a birthday party, three men in surgical masks, one pointing a gun at Jason, approached them as they got off their elevator and ordered them back upstairs. They were separated and questioned, their apartment ransacked, and then they were blindfolded, taken into custody, and brought to jail. “Jason is always very positive and he has this great optimism. That’s his American way of life,” said Yeganeh. But she had grown up in Iran under theocratic, totalitarian regimes, and, “I knew from the very first moment — I appreciate him trying to calm me down and say ‘Baby, everything is going to be all right. They’re just going to leave our apartment in a few minutes’ — I knew this was not going to go away,” she said. “And it did not go away for a very long time.”Despite her captors’ efforts to convince her that the outside world thought she and Jason had been killed in a car accident, Yeganeh said she remained certain that family, friends, and Jason’s colleagues at the Post were unlikely to have believed that or given up searching for them. And she was right.Amid the complex, multilateral talks that ended with the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama was sharply criticized for not making the release of Rezaian and other prisoners a condition of the deal. What few knew at the time was that his administration had been secretly negotiating with Iran to secure his release since November 2014, and the talks were still ongoing when the nuclear deal was signed. The couple were each subjected to solitary confinement, Jason for 49 days, Yeganeh for 72. At Harvard, they spoke of the physical, emotional, and psychological devastation of being deprived of human contact, edible food, bathroom facilities, and even basic information such as the time and the weather. Rezaian lost 40 pounds in the first 40 days, while Yeganeh described her small cell, in which she could barely lie down, as “a grave” where she felt herself dying “a slow death.” They said the trauma of solitary confinement convinced them that such an inhumane practice should be abolished worldwide. There were, however, sparks of gallows humor in their predicament, and Jason Rezaian decided to make the most of them to preserve his wits. His captors were ideologues, but unsophisticated, and their English was rudimentary, though they didn’t know it. When the lead interrogator lectured Rezaian about the world and the strength and nobility of a then-ascendant ISIS, describing its brute power and theocratic might as the “lovechild” of Israel and Saudi Arabia, Rezaian simply enjoyed his captor’s malaprops. “I thought, (a) this will get me through right now, and (b) like so many other experiences in my life, someday this will probably make a hell of a story,” he said. “You have to latch onto whatever can get you through the day.” Related Freed by Iran, Washington Post reporter and wife settle in as journalism fellows at Harvard
Related Faculty diversity continues to grow Harvard Heroes, including Faust, honored at Sanders Theatre University recognizes 61 extraordinary staff members Friends, family, and colleagues packed into Sanders Theatre on a rainy Thursday afternoon to celebrate 2019’s Harvard Heroes. The 61 honorees represented Schools and departments from across the University, from custodial services and catering to faculty affairs and fire safety.University President Larry Bacow led the ceremony, praising each honoree for their achievements. He also had groan-worthy puns to spare.“Your admirers say you deserve more than a little plaque for your good deeds,” Bacow said to Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s senior human resources coordinator Mary Anderson. “I guess a crown will do!”In short videos presented during the ceremony, this year’s heroes shared their best — and weirdest — Harvard moments, including a first-year student asking whether he could microwave his laundry to dry it and being invited to a meeting at “U-Hall” (a.k.a. University Hall) and subsequently wandering the Yard looking for a moving truck.A reception was held in Annenberg Hall, with drinks, charcuterie, and cake pops for all.Director of Fellowship and Leadership Development Programs in the Center for Public Leadership Myrish Cadapan Antonio said she was “deeply humbled” by the award. “I am receiving this award for the collective, for the team,” she said. “So many people could have [earned] it. I feel blessed.”Antonio was lauded for teaching and mentoring Mason Fellows, as well as helping to develop University training for cultural competency as a Harvard Administrative Fellow. She said she learned about her award when she was called into a team meeting with her manager.“I thought I had done something wrong,” she recalled. “I was shocked!”Campus Services fire safety supervisor Peter Underhill was also surprised by his colleagues.,“My director pulled all the managers in the room for a training, but there were cupcakes,” he said. “There’s never cupcakes at trainings.”He began as a technician for Fire Safety Services six years ago, and has been a supervisor for a year. During his first year as supervisor, he has worked to streamline the testing and inspection process for fire alarms, suppression systems, and emergency generators across campus.Underhill is also studying business management with a minor in organizational behavior at Harvard Extension School, hoping to finish his bachelor’s degree next year.“I’m going to class and then into the office and it applies immediately,” he said.Surrounded by his family and friends, Brandon Tilghman, the academic appointments manager in the Office for Faculty Affairs at SEAS, said becoming a Harvard Hero was “overwhelming.” His team surprised him with balloons, treats, and even a video to catch his reaction.During the 15 months he has worked at Harvard Tilghman said he’s gotten to know a lot of people across campus. He was commended for creating “innovative, inclusive ways for underrepresented members of the community to meet and network.”“It surprised me that there’s a mission to diversify Harvard from the outside in,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that to be embraced. Through the support of affinity groups and employee resource groups, [there is] encouragement of underrepresented minorities to unite.”Bacow was beaming as he presented the awards.“I think it was wonderful,” he said. “The best thing about Harvard is the people, and we were honoring all our people. What could be better?” Percentages of women and minorities who are tenured and tenure-track reach record highs
Note: This is the second blog in the recent HPC vertical blog series. Visit this blog to read more about HPC in healthcare, and visit Dell4Enterprise again in the coming weeks for more on HPC in oil and gas.Automotive plant using industrial robotics technology. Photo from Wikipedia.Since the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers have worked tirelessly to develop innovative, functional, high-quality products, while eliminating any sliver of inefficiency or unnecessary cost in their processes. Although it’s critical for developing competitive products with exceptional fitness-for-use, the product development process has been scrutinized in recent years for speed, cost and efficiency. As increased competition in most industries has driven the need for more sophisticated products and accelerated development cycles, high-performance computing (HPC) has proven to be critical for virtual product development and testing. With virtual product development and testing powered by HPC, manufacturers are able to develop the best-in-class products without wasted time and resources.With any mass-produced product, design optimization and testing is a critical and time-consuming factor to eliminating defects and ensuring optimal performance. Virtual product development and testing is playing a major role in speeding time-to-market. More powerful computer resources are necessary to facilitate these sophisticated virtual simulations, which are not only faster, but also more accurate and ultimately less expensive than manual alternatives.HPC is clearly a crucial technology for manufacturers wanting to stay competitive, but there are significant barriers to adoption for many companies. According to the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), out of more than 300,000 manufacturers in the US, 95 percent are categorized as small or medium sized (less than 500 employees) and 94 percent have not fully adopted HPC. Traditionally, these smaller companies have often used multi-core workstations, which are powerful tools for simulation and analysis. However, they are limited by total CPU core count and memory capacity limiting the size and complexity of their simulations. To increase the resolution and complexity of their simulations, while the workstations would be used for model design, pre- and post-processing and visualization, the computationally intensive simulation would be a shared HPC cluster. However, many small manufacturers and engineering shops have not pursued an HPC solution, considering them to be too complex, not having staff familiar with HPC technology, or simply thinking that it’s too expensive.The Dell HPC team has worked hard to provide a market solution that addresses these issues and I’m excited by what we’ve accomplished. The Dell HPC System for Manufacturing is designed to optimize digital manufacturing workloads, and is pre-tested with ISV software applications including SIMULIA®, Abaqus®, ANSYS® Mechanical™ & Fluent®, CD-adapco® STAR-CCM+® and LSTC LS-DYNA®. It offers a single, simple system that includes compute, storage and networking that doesn’t need a formal, raised floor, data center. This easy to configure system – which includes full installation services and support – handles simulations while the workstation can continue to be used for any processing or visualization in a manner that is comfortable and familiar to engineers. With this system, organizations can run larger problems that are beyond the scope of a single workstation, and interact with jobs on multiple workstations.The goal of our HPC System for Manufacturing is to make HPC accessible and seamless for manufacturers of all sizes, allowing them to develop more competitive products with faster time to market, higher quality, and lower cost. Dell also provides domain-specific, pre-sales and architectural expertise to help organizations determine the right configuration based on their specific manufacturing requirements. Dell’s single source of support for consistent, predictable and reliable IT services helps eliminate deployment and production bottlenecks.Just like manufacturing processes in the Industrial Age, volume and repeatability for HPC is critical to efficiency and mass adoption. We’re continuing our work to make HPC systems easier to manage and exploit, while providing more thorough and accurate ROI calculations that justify expenditures for cost conscious manufacturers. By opening up HPC resources to more and more manufacturers, Dell is helping to enable an unprecedented surge in innovation. We’re proud to play a part in this movement, and I can’t wait to see what amazing products our customers develop over the next few years!For additional information on Dell HPC offerings, visit the following:@DellHPC on TwitterDell HPC Customer Case StudiesDell HPC CommunityDell HPC System for Digital Manufacturing White Paper
It’s been one week since we debuted The Great Xscape (Steve McQueen would be proud, I’m sure) at Dell EMC World. Now, perhaps you’re asking yourself “just what is an escape room?” It’s a real-life adventure game where teams of players work together to solve a series of puzzles and accomplish a specific objective. But, if you’ll indulge me, I can make it a bit more real for you. Here’s the Las Vegas story…You’ve just left the CPSD booth, and entered a room humming with LEDs. There is a series of buttons to your right. To your left, a half assembled network patch panel. And was that a server cabinet behind you? You begin to think about quickly leaving Las Vegas when the door closes behind you and your team. You’re trapped. A display springs to life.A woman in a white lab coat briefs you. The app your company just launched is a success beyond anyone’s expectations. Hooray right? Well, sort of. She goes on to inform you that the user demand is so great that your infrastructure is about to crash (which will mean very bad things for you and the company). Fortunately, you have in your possession one prototype VxRail node—all you have to do is deploy it in time.A digital display above the screen begins to tick away… 10:00… 9:59… 9:58… The gauntlet has been thrown down. Will you get out in time???Now as cool as this experience was, the cooler part was the experiential learning that took place inside the room. Successfully completing a puzzle triggered the next video setting off another challenge. Woven throughout the videos was all manner of VxRail goodness. Participants learned how to update the software running on a VxRail Appliance with the click of a button, saw VxRail Manager auto detect a new node when it was cabled up to the network, and experienced how easy it is to scale out additional nodes. A little work, a little play–what can I say? That’s just what happens in Vegas.Over 500 attendees put their wits to the test, puzzling their way through The Great Xscape. We designed the escape room to be challenging, and our partners and customers rose to the occasion. Each day’s fastest team won Dell laptops. And even those teams that ran out of time still left with smiles on their faces (and swag in their pockets). What’s that? You’re feeling a bit of fear and loathing because you didn’t have a go at The Great Xscape? Not to worry–just plan to meet me in Las Vegas in August. We’ll be at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for VMworld with a slew of exciting product announcements and our escape room in tow. In the meantime, we’re going to huddle up with our team of mad scientists–we have 21 ideas for how to make The Great Xscape even better. Viva Las Vegas.
In addition to these weekly posts highlighting helpful information in our Dell Knowledge Base, my team also holds monthly technical support webinar sessions.In this month’s session — Monday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. (CST) — we’ll discuss how we recommend you keep your system running at its best with a few tips and tricks we’d suggest for both the technical experts out there, and anyone new to Dell laptop or desktop PCs.Direct2Dell is designed to bring you news and stories about Dell people, products, services, partners and customers. Often those customers need support for their Dell products. For that, our Dell Support team continuously updates a library of articles called the Knowledge Base.In an effort to make that information even easier to find when you need it, each Friday I will bring you a list of the most highly reviewed articles with appropriate responses to the latest trends we are seeing in our customer inquiries.With these publications you can stay informed about the latest troubleshooting guides and resolutions across various client system lines.Questions about these issues should be left in our Support Forums where trained staff are available to assist, rather than commenting here on Direct2Dell.You can also contact Dell Customer Service or Dell Technical Support for assistance. And, as always, our @DellCares and @DellCaresPro teams are just a tweet away for help.This week we’ve seen a lot of interest in these topics:Understanding Beep Codes on a Dell Desktop PCTroubleshooting Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD)IssuesHow to Upgrade Memory in Your ComputerChange sleep settings or create/modify a power plan in Windows 10How to Troubleshoot Remote Desktop/Terminal Server Connectivity IssuesHow to Configure U2415 Monitor Daisy Chaining on Intel HD GraphicsNo POST, No Power, No Video on a Dell Desktop ComputerDrivers HelpHow to Use and Troubleshoot the Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16)Bulletin: Precision 5510 and XPS 9550 swelling system battery
As I meet with business and IT leaders all over the world, I continually hear they’re looking for new ways to use technology to differentiate their business and gain an advantage. They seek powerful and secure solutions that will satisfy a diverse range of demanding business applications and critical workloads. What’s more, they need to find better ways to drive out inefficiencies and free up time, money and resources to focus on critical strategic initiatives.Yet, many organizations tell us they’re budget-constrained and unable to shift resources away from daily maintenance to new areas of innovation. They don’t have the capital resources and expertise on hand to achieve key milestones.The good news is that there are several consumption-based solutions available today that shift technology spending from a capital expenditure to an ongoing operating expense. And there are as-a-service options that free up human resources to focus on innovation. The not-so-good news is that many of these offerings are often limited in scope, or too rigid and restrictive, and create an inconsistent experience on many levels.So, it’s critical to find the right set of solutions that work – without any of these obstacles.Introducing Dell Technologies On Demand: Get more choice, flexibility, and predictability I’m proud to announce Dell Technologies On Demand, delivering consumption-based and as-as service solutions across our entire industry-leading, end-to-end infrastructure portfolio – the broadest on the planet, bar none. Dell Technologies On Demand covers our full spectrum of offerings – including endpoint solutions for the workforce and infrastructure solutions for the data center, which extend to the cloud and out to remote edge locations. No other company can claim to do all this. And better yet, it’s all supported and available right now.Advantages of Dell Technologies On DemandDell Technologies On Demand delivers a wide range of consumption models that combine flexible payment solutions** and value-added services with integrated full-stack solutions tailored for a vast array of popular business applications and use cases. And it’s all based on our innovative end-to-end portfolio of leading technologies, relied upon by so many organizations, all around the world.This offers our customers freedom of choice in the way they consume technology and budget for IT spending, ultimate flexibility in how workloads are enhanced to meet exact specifications, and peace of mind in the fact that our products are trusted to deliver predictable outcomes.Driving consistency across diverse environments and technologiesDell Technologies On Demand builds on our strategy of driving consistent experiences across multiple operating environments and products, as demonstrated by our announcements earlier in the year on Dell Technologies Cloud and Dell Technologies Unified Workspace, each co-engineered with VMware.With Dell Technologies On Demand, we’re creating a more cohesive economic experience, enabling our customers to apply consistent and predictable payment solutions on our full range of client and infrastructure products and services. This helps our customers simplify budget planning and better manage cash flow, especially when accounting for all IT infrastructure expenditures as a whole.Bringing together all the essential elements to deliver at scale Dell Technologies On Demand is ideally suited for the way on-premises infrastructure and services are consumed in today’s on-demand economy. We’re right on the cusp of a massive spike in growth. Gartner indicates that by 2022, “15% of new deployments of on-premises computing will involve pay-per-use pricing, up from less than 1% in 2019.”1Having been a leader in flexible consumption solutions for ten years, we’re ready for this growth. And we’ve brought together all the essential elements to deliver our consumption-based on-premises solutions at scale.Flexible payment solutionsDell Technologies On Demand features several consumption models that scale to align spending with usage and optimize financial and technological outcomes. These are available via Dell Financial Services** (DFS), a global provider of innovative payment and consumption solutions, and delivered through Dell Technologies and our Global Alliances and Solution Provider partners. These OPEX-structured flexible payment solutions help organizations more predictably budget for IT spending, pay for technology as it is used, take advantage of elastic capacity, and achieve optimal total cost of ownership over the full technology lifecycle.Value-added servicesDell Technologies On Demand offers a wide range of essential services – from support to deployment to managed services – that can be combined in various ways and paired with the right financial consumption models best suited to satisfy our customers’ unique requirements. What’s more, our outcome-oriented consultative approach means we work closely with business and IT leaders to determine the right path forward that best meets both short-term and long-range objectives. As a result, our customers obtain strategic guidance from our industry and technology specialists and gain proven insights that help them align expenses with business value.Integrated full-stack solutionsDell Technologies On Demand delivers optimized workforce and infrastructure solutions with all the advanced capabilities needed to excel under the demands of virtually any application or workload. Our extensive range of technology solutions cover the full infrastructure stack from bottom to top, including compute, storage, networking, and virtualization, in addition to data protection, converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, hybrid/multi-cloud and workforce offerings. This enables technology infrastructure to be optimally configured with the right consumption-based or as-a-service delivery models best suited to satisfy specific usage requirements and growth forecasts.Leading end-to-end portfolioAnd finally, Dell Technologies is recognized as a leading provider of innovative infrastructure and workforce solutions, which is why so many business and IT leaders rely on us as a single-source supplier of end-to-end IT technology solutions and expertise. Our strong leadership position across a broad range of both client and infrastructure offerings demonstrates the extent to which our state-of-the-art products and services are preferred by so many organizations of all sizes, all around the world, to power their strategic initiatives and deliver impactful results.If you’re interested in learning more, please visit DellTechnologies.com/OnDemand.1 Gartner. “How to Use Consumption-Based Procurement Models for On-Premises Infrastructure.” Published: 20 September 2019 ID: G00383390. Analyst(s): Daniel Bowers, Kiyomi Yamada, Rob Schafer, Henrique Cecci).** Payment solutions provided by Dell Financial Services L.L.C. (DFS) or its affiliate or designee, subject to availability and may vary in certain countries. Where available, offers may be changed without notice.
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $2.45. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that a rise in crude oil prices since November is behind the increase. The price at the pump is 15 cents less than it was a year ago. The highest average price in the nation is $3.46 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest average is $2.07 in Houston. The average price of diesel went up 5 cents over the same period to $2.70.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — It didn’t take long for relations with China to become an issue for new U.S. President Joe Biden. A show of force by the Chinese air force off Taiwan last weekend prompted a U.S. response, even as Biden and his administration focus on pressing domestic issues in what is still their first week in office. The U.S. State Department issued a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan” after a dozen Chinese warplanes entered the self-governing island’s air defense identification zone on Saturday. China then sent 16 more planes on Sunday. The Taiwan issue will likely remain a source of friction in U.S.-China relations.
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Six Serbs accused of involvement in the murder of a Kosovo Serb political party leader have pleaded not guilty at the start of a much-anticipated trial in a Kosovo court. Oliver Ivanovic, once a hardline nationalist who turned a moderate politician, was gunned down in front of his party office in the Serb-controlled northern part of Mitrovica on January 16, 2018. The killing increased tensions between Kosovo and Serbia. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Serbia does not recognize its former province’s statehood.