Taiwanese Silicon Chip Manufacturer to Build Factory in Arizona

The TSMC factory is projected to open in 2024 and employ about 1,600 workers.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest producer of silicon chips used in computers and other electronic devices, announced on Friday that it would build a factory in Arizona.

The company, a major supplier to Apple, said on Friday that it “welcomes continued strong partnership” with the U.S. federal government and the state of Arizona. The factory is projected to open in 2024 and employ about 1,600 workers.

“The U.S. welcomes TSMC’s intention to invest $12B in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in the world,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. “This deal bolsters U.S. national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge tech and control critical industries.”

However, the new TSMC factory could aid the company’s push to prevent the implementation of economic sanctions against Chinese tech giant Huawei, which the U.S. deems a national security threat. TSMC is a major supplier of Huawei, and would experience a heavy financial toll if the U.S. adopts a proposed ban on the sale of semiconductor technology to Huawei.

While the factory will have an output of 20,000 chip wafers per month, a relatively small amount for TSMC, the decision to open the factory comes at the same time that the U.S. is raising concerns over dependence on supply chains based in China and other Asian nations. During the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers have criticized U.S. reliance on Chinese manufacturers for medical supplies.

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Fauci Is Not the Villain

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 4, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
He’s an epidemiologist providing expert opinions. It’s absurd to say he’s manipulating the president.
For his critics, Dr. Anthony Fauci cemented his status as the Rasputin of public health with his Senate testimony Tuesday.

The National Institutes of Health official gently, but unmistakably, struck a different tone than President Donald Trump, earning rebukes from radio talk-show hosts and Fox News anchors, as well as fueling the outrage of the #FireFauci claque on Twitter.

Although Fauci’s every utterance is now examined with the same care as pronouncements of the pope, his words weren’t exactly earth-shattering. He said that if there are careless reopenings, “we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.” Does anyone doubt that’s a possibility?

No serious person would argue that there are no hazards to reopening, only that some level of risk is worth taking to begin to ease the nation’s economic calamity.

Fauci is an important voice in this debate, if only one voice. He is neither the dastardly bureaucratic mastermind imposing his will on the country that his detractors on the right make him out to be, or the philosopher-king in waiting that his boosters on the left inflate him into. He’s simply an epidemiologist, one who brings considerable expertise and experience to the table, but at the end of the day his focus is inevitably and rightly quite narrow.

This is why it’s a tautology for Fauci’s critics to say that he’s focused on the disease above all else. This is like saying the commerce secretary is too consumed with finding business opportunities for American companies, or the head of the Joint Special Operations Command has an unhealthy obsession with killing terrorists. What else are they supposed to do?

As a breed, epidemiologists tend to focus on the worst case. They don’t want to be wrong and contribute to some deadly pathogen getting loose when their entire job is to keep that from happening. So, they are naturally cautious. This, too, is as it should be. You probably don’t want a risk-taking epidemiologist any more than you want a highly creative, envelope-pushing accountant.

For all these reasons, you wouldn’t choose an epidemiologist to run your country, either. And Fauci isn’t.

Trump has remained completely undomesticated in the White House. The idea that he has now, as some of his supporters imply, been seduced, bullied, or otherwise manipulated by a mild-mannered, nearly 80-year-old doctor is bonkers.

The reason Trump issued his shutdown guidance was that the prospect of uncontrolled spread of the virus was too risky to contemplate.

Since populist critics of the shutdowns don’t want to criticize Trump, let alone say that they think he blew one of the most consequential decisions of his presidency, they focus their ire on the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases instead.

In the attention-getting exchange between Rand Paul and Anthony Fauci at the Senate hearing, both were right. Senator Paul is obviously correct that we shouldn’t elevate one person as the authority to whom everyone submits, and Fauci was right that he’s a scientist who doesn’t even try to give advice on matters outside his ambit.

Part of the Right’s hostility to Fauci is an understandable reaction to progressives putting him on a pedestal. His views should be taken seriously, but they can’t be determinative.

The coronavirus crisis is a radically different phenomenon from, say, the Ebola outbreak because it implicates our entire society. What relative weight to give to the economy and public health — among many other weighty public-policy questions — is way above Fauci’s pay grade.

This is what we elect presidents, governors, and mayors to decide. It’s their responsibility to balance the competing considerations, and if they are found wanting, they lose their jobs.

Anyone in this position obviously wants to hear from experts, though. Which is why if Trump really did fire Fauci, some other meddlesome epidemiologist would emerge soon enough. If Fauci didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

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Russia loses tea country status due to high coffee consumption

Moscow, May 14 (Prensa Latina) Russia has lost ‘tea country’ status, after consuming 180,000 tons of coffee drinks in 2019, above 140,000 tons of the aromatic leaf, specialized sources indicated on Thursday. Ramaz Chanturia, Director General of the Russian Association of tea and coffee producers ‘Roschaykofe,’ pointed out that coffee beans, ground coffee and instant coffee, as well as some blends, were taken into account, RBK agency stated, quoted by Moscow television.

Tea of all varieties, excluding herbal mixtures, were also taken into account. In the previous two years, coffee and tea consumption was about 160,000 tons in Russia, although tea had preference until 2017. Last year, Russia imported 413,300 tons of coffee (excluding instant coffee) and 314,200 tons of tea, according to customs sources.

According to statistics, one out of every three orders in restaurants, cafes or similar establishments is for coffee. Russians already drink more coffee outside of the home than Italian or French citizens, those sources say.

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Cuba is back in the list of nations that ‘do not cooperate with anti-terrorism efforts

Havana, May 14 (Prensa Latina) The US has increased hostility against Cuba by including it once again to the list of nations that ‘do not cooperate with anti-terrorism efforts,’ while remaining silent on the attack against Havana’s Embassy in Washington.

Cuban authorities rejected yesterday such a decision by the US State Department and denounced that Trump’s government hides its history of State terrorism against the island.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez described the list as ‘spurious’, and regretted the US has not condemned nor answered questions about the terrorist attack against the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington on April 30.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the US Office at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry Carlos Fernández de Cossío tweeted there is a long history of terrorist incidents committed by the US government against Cuba.

The US State Department included on Wednesday Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in its list of countries that ‘do not fully cooperate’ with its anti-terrorism efforts.

The document refers that grounded on such regulation; these States are not legible for buying foodstuffs nor defense items and services from the US.

The press noted Cuba had not been on that list since 2015, when the country was removed after having remained on it for 33 years

Cuba was now included again using as an excuse the presence of Colombia’s National Liberation Army’s members, among other pretexts.

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