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In 2020, the U.S. poverty rate declined as a result of stimulus checks and unemployment aid. What also helped the decline? There was an increase in cash programs from charities. Could “cash-in-hand” be a long-term solution to end poverty?

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ future correspondent Bryan Walsh on how philanthropic organizations are using cash assistance and what cash can’t fix.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 15, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on advanced technologies and defense

On Friday, October 15th, Axios managing editor for politics Margaret Talev and future correspondent Bryan Walsh discussed how technologies like AI and cloud computing are revolutionizing the military landscape, featuring Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Palantir Technologies Global Defense Lead Doug Philippone.

Sen. Mark Kelly explained the developments in the use of advanced defense technologies as a deterrent, what war could look like in the future, and the ethical risks of these technological developments.

  • On the rise of advanced technologies in the military: “I think you should think about this of us taking science, research, innovation and bringing it to the warfighter, to the marine, to the airmen, the sailor and the soldier so we can maintain that superiority.”
  • On considering the risks of artificial intelligence: “I think in general, we want to keep the person in the loop to try to avoid the mistakes. When we’re making life and death situations, I don’t think we want to turn that over to artificial intelligence. But, AI of today is much different than the AI we’re going to see, and it’s going to be part of our society 20, 50, 100 years from now. This is rapidly changing technology that we need to invest in.”

Doug Philippone highlighted how data helps militaries gather intelligence, how the defense landscape has changed over the years, and what cybersecurity risks surround military use of advanced technology.

  • On integrating new technology into existing defense systems: “At the cutting edge, you have these exquisite sensors and new AI platforms that all need to be connected. They have to be interoperable, you have to build an architecture that connects them so that data can flow and that people can make decisions.”
  • On the affordances of artificial intelligence: “I’m not a big fan of taking the human out of the loop here, but it’s about giving recommendations and having the human see things that they would never be able to see.”

Inside Biden's Taiwan flubs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twice this year, President Biden has blurted out commitments that the U.S. is prepared to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion — forcing the White House to walk back his statements and leading to confusion over a high-stakes national security policy.

Why it matters: U.S. defense officials have publicly aired their concerns that China will take Taiwan by force in the next four to six years, perhaps sooner. The president's position on this question may soon have real-world, life and death consequences.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.