America Tries Something New

Grind for April 2nd, 2019
“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”

– Groucho Marx.

I’ve Heard This Before

The Headline

Trump threatens to close US-Mexico border

The Grind

President Trump on Friday threatened to shut down the US-Mexico border amid a surge of immigrants fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Figures from the DHS suggest border apprehensions for the month of March will break 100,000 – the highest in 10 years. The agency is currently struggling to care for 6,600 immigrant families it has taken into custody.

“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” tweeted Trump on Friday.

“This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and ‘talk.’ Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking, etc., that the Border closing would be a good thing!”

The Details

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) responded to Trump’s Twitter tirade by responding that the issue wasn’t his problem.

Migration is a “human right” and people in Central America “don’t have any options, so they set out looking for a way to earn a living,” AMLO told supporters on Friday. “I want to make it clear that we are not going to fight with the United States government. Peace and love.”

Trump has also asked the State Department to cut off aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala – a decision that requires action from Congress – in an effort to stop people living in those countries from heading up through Mexico to the United States.

Tech News

The Headline

Drone delivery will be most efficient in suburbs

The Grind

Contrary to popular opinion, the United States is a long ways away from the widespread use of drones to deliver packages.

And the highly anticipated service might never be available in urban areas.

When it comes to drone delivery, one of the biggest challenges is how to land or deposit a package without hitting obstacles like power lines, trees, cars, and people.

Delivery will be easier in the suburbs, where there are fewer obstacles and bigger landing areas.

The Details

US drone company “Wing” (owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet) has already completed more than 3,000 deliveries in the suburbs of Canberra, Australia.

Wing is currently working with the Federal Aviation Admission on a project in select areas of Virginia. The company completed its first autonomous delivery in Virginia last August when a drone flew 1.4 miles to deliver ice cream to a two-year-old in Blacksburg.

The FAA is also working with Icelandic company Aha, which currently provides services within a 2.5-mile radius in Reykjavik, on a project in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Also testing its tech in North Caroline is drone manufacturer Matternet, which has completed more than 3,000 flights for healthcare systems in Switzerland.

As announced this month, Matternet is working with the UPS in a logistics service that will use drones to transport medical samples and specimens for the WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to the FAA, the next big step will be to create rules and standards for the drone industry – including an identification system to alleviate concerns about rogue drones.

The industry will also need to overcome current restrictions on drones enacted by the FBI over concerns about weaponized drones.

Did you know… A koi fish, named “Hanako”, was owned by several individuals over many years and lived to be 226 years old, dying in 1977.