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The Spill: Biden’s First G7

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President Biden’s First G7 Summit

President Joe Biden joined the leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest democratic nations in Carbis Bay, England, this past week to talk about managing the world out of the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting poorer countries with vaccines to combat the virus, and to agree to taxation rates at the G-7 summit. The G-7 is named for the Group of Seven elite nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This summit was the first meeting in more than two years.

During the brief three-day summit in southwest England, vaccinating the entire population of the world was a top priority. In addition, China’s human rights issues were scrutinized. Prime ministers and presidents mingled with Queen Elizabeth II during a special royal reception, enjoyed steak and lobster on the beach, and were treated to an aeronautic display by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows. It was a grand mixture of world business and a bit of fun for the attendees and staff.

Mr. Biden also issued remarks that the event was an “extraordinary, collaborative and productive meeting,” demonstrating “America is back in the business of leading the world alongside nations who share our most deeply held values.”

But beyond the communications coming from the summit, kept at bay behind barbed wire and fences, were protesters. One protest organizer, Max Lawson of the international aid group Oxfam, was not happy about the leaders’ decisions. He opined to reporters: “Faced with the biggest health emergency in a century and a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet, they have completely failed to meet the challenges of our times.”

Lady Liberty Gets a Little Sister

The people of New York City have been blessed with Lady Liberty in the harbor, where she has welcomed immigrants and reminded folks that America is a melting pot of humanity. The statue was a gift from France in 1886 and has been a symbol of freedom and opportunity for generations. It is made of copper in the neoclassical style designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. France proposed Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor as the home for the Statue of Liberty as all inbound ships to New York passed by the island. Eventually, the two countries agreed to divvy up the costs, and the statue was installed.

France is reaching out one more time in a gesture of friendship 135 years later by sending a mini-Lady Liberty.

Olivier Faron, general administrator of the National Museum of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), is the man behind the latest endowment. “The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” he explained. “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.” Dubbed the Little Sister, this copper replica weighs 992 pounds and stands a diminutive ten feet tall.

Emerging from the worldwide pandemic, France is again reaching out to solidify America as an ally. As Lady Liberty did in 1886, the little sister will board a ship at Port of Le Havre on June 19 and sail past the Statue of Liberty on July 1. But this statue will end up in Washington, D.C., to stay for ten years at the French Ambassador’s home.

Cargo Delivery in Less Than an Hour?

The United States Space Force has proposed a space-aged answer to slow-motion shipping: Use rockets to transport cargo anywhere on Earth in less than an hour. The goal of the Space Force is to be able to transport up to 100 tons of cargo to a wide range of locations. Dropping off medical supplies and equipment in warzones is one practical application Space Force is investigating. Teaming up with the privately-held SpaceX, Space Force wants to develop reusable rockets that can land and take back off – or perhaps simply air-drop needed provisions.

Military.com recently reported: “The service is asking lawmakers for $47.9 million in its 2022 budget request to develop the technology and test ‘whether it can deliver cargo anywhere on the Earth in less than one hour.’” Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, former head of Air Mobility Command, told the news outlet: “About five years ago, when we brought this [idea] onboard, honestly, a lot of people looked at me and went, ‘Are you nuts?’”

If the Space Force can transport artillery and tanks to hotspot warzones and such, what other uses of rocket transport could there be? Millions. Vital medical supplies, like respirators and personal protective equipment, ran short during the pandemic. Imagine being able to resupply any hospital in the world in an hour. What about transportation of donated organs, which have a limited viability time? Or perhaps food and water in natural disaster areas that sometimes are isolated for weeks when Mother Nature brings her worst? Perhaps this futuristic technology isn’t as far away as we may have thought.

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