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May 16, 2019updated 15 May 2019 4:55pm

US government hears from black hole scientists / UK parliament ponders Huawei and intelligence sharing / French technology discusses business transformation

By Lucy Ingham


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

US government hears from black hole scientists

Key scientists involved in the capturing of the first ever image of a black hole earlier this year will give evidence in a US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing today.

The hearing, entitled Event Horizon Telescope: The Black Hole Seen Round the World, will feature a variety of witnesses, including director of the National Science Foundation Dr France Córdova, director of the Event Horizon Telescope Dr Sheperd Doeleman and Harvard Center for Astrophysics postdoctoral fellow Dr Katherine Bouman.

As the subject of the viral image showing the moment the black hole picture was first created, Bouman’s testimony is likely to garner particular attention. The committee may address sexist abuse she received from online trolls, which prompted a debate on the challenges women in science face.

UK parliament ponders Huawei and intelligence sharing

The House of Commons will today host an event held by the Henry Jackson Society designed to explore the challenges posed by 5G and the involvement of Huawei, particularly with regards to the intelligence sharing community known as Five Eyes.

The event is designed to coincide with the release of a report entitled Defending our Data: Huawei, 5G, and the Five Eyes, which is co-authored by MP Bob Seely, who will be a key panelist.

As a major player in 5G, the UK has been considering contracting Chinese company Huawei to provide key infrastructure to enable the technology’s rollout. However, there have been concerns that the tech giant may be used by the Chinese government for espionage activities, prompting the US to ban the company’s use in 5G infrastructure.

The US has urged all other members of the Five Eyes community to follow suit, but the UK looks likely to ignore this request, using the company for non-critical 5G infrastructure. There are fears this will jeopardise Five Eyes, a concern that is likely to be discussed at the event today.

French technology discusses business transformation

The French technology industry will gather today for the launch of the VIVA Technology Conference in Paris, a major annual conference that explores how technology can transform business and society.

A key event in the country’s tech industry calendar, VIVA includes a host of big-name speakers from across the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be in attendance, with a schedule for today that includes a meeting with Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Other speakers include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu. The European Commissioner for Innovation, Carlos Moedas, will also be in attendance.

The event will also be livestreamed via YouTube.

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