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US tells Germany to ban Huawei on 5G or it will share less intelligence: Report

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The Trump administration has reportedly told Germany that it will share less intelligence with German agencies if Chinese networking giant Huawei is allowed to provide any of the technology behind the nation’s 5G mobile networks.

According to The Wall Street Journal, United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the German government in a letter on Friday that allowing Chinese vendor equipment across 5G networks would reduce US cooperation with intelligence agencies in Germany.

Grenell pointed out that Chinese law requires Chinese companies to support China’s security agencies, WSJ said.

In early February, Reuters said German ministers had been meeting to discuss the possibility of a Huawei 5G ban after Chancellor Angela Merkel set conditions for the company’s participation in new mobile networks.

The conditions reportedly require guarantees from the company that it would not hand over information to the Chinese government.

The meeting followed reports at the end of last year that the Five Eyes alliance — between the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand — was passing classified information on Chinese foreign interference to Germany, as well as Japan.

Read also: Germany proposes router security guidelines

Last week, Germany’s Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) published a set of security requirements for all mobile networks, which are set to appear in draft form during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring.

“Systems may only be sourced from trustworthy suppliers whose compliance with national security regulations and provisions for the secrecy of telecommunications and for data protection is assured,” the first requirement from BNetzA states.

“Network traffic must be regularly and constantly monitored for any abnormality and, if there is any cause for concern, appropriate protection measures must be taken.”

Under the draft laws, equipment can only be used if it is regularly tested and certified by the Federal Office for Information Security.

“Proof must be provided that the hardware tested for the selected, security-related components and the source code at the end of the supply chain are actually deployed in the products used,” BNetzA said.

According to BNetzA president Jochen Homann, the agency regularly updates its security requirements “in light of the current security situation and technological developments”.

In order to avoid European 5G bans similar to the one handed down by the Australian government last year, Huawei has offered to construct a cybersecurity hub in Poland “if authorities accept this as a trusted solution”, Reuters reported Huawei Poland head Tonny Bao saying last month.

Huawei is also willing to accept European government supervision, Reuters said.

Accordingly, Huawei last week opened the “Cyber Security Transparency Centre” in Brussels, which aims to showcase its cybersecurity practices; facilitate cooperation on security standards and verification; and “provide a product security testing and verification platform and related services to Huawei customers”.

“Trust needs to be based on facts, facts must be verifiable, and verification must be based on common standards,” Huawei deputy chair Ken Hu said.

“We welcome all regulators, standards organisations, and customers to fully use this platform to collaborate more closely on security standards, verification mechanisms, and security technology innovation.

“Together, we can improve security across the entire value chain and help build trust through verification.”

Meanwhile, Huawei has filed to sue the US government, seeking a declaratory judgment that the National Defense Authorization Act, which prevents US government entities from using Huawei or ZTE equipment, is unconstitutional.

Huawei rotating chair Guo Ping said Huawei is also seeking a permanent injunction against the restrictions.

“The US government has long branded Huawei a threat. It has hacked our servers and stolen our emails and source code,” Guo Ping said. “Despite this, the US government has never provided any evidence supporting their accusations that Huawei poses a cybersecurity threat.

“Still, the US government is sparing no effort to smear the company and mislead the public about Huawei. Even worse, the US government is trying to block us from the 5G markets in other countries.”

In December, the Czech Republic’s National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) issued a warning against equipment from Huawei and ZTE, after NCISA director Dusan Navrátil said that China “actively pursues its interests in the territory of the Czech Republic, including influence and espionage intelligence activities”.

Huawei is currently facing a 10-count indictment alleging the company conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile and subsequently obstructed justice, in addition to separate 13-count indictment against the company and its CFO Meng Wanzhou.

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2021 Cadillac CT5 Review: Personality Matters

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For all the luxury sedan segment may be dwarfed by sales of lavish SUVs, that hasn’t made the category any less competitive. On the one side, the German mainstays bring reputation and refinement to the party; on the other, comparative upstarts like Genesis, Lexus, and Acura claw back attention with imaginative risk-taking. What to make, then, of the 2021 Cadillac CT5 somewhere in the middle?

I like Cadillac’s styling, with the CT5’s blend of angles and LEDs making for a handsome sedan from most angles. As with the most recent Escalade, the CT5 isn’t quite as vocal in its aesthetic as its predecessor: the grille feels like it could be a little larger; the side proportions a little beefier. 18-inch alloys are standard, with 19- and 20-inch versions available. I’d say step up at least one size, as the regular wheels look a little small to my eyes.

The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and is good for 360 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. They’re certainly healthy numbers, and a fair sight more than the 237 hp / 258 lb-ft the standard 2.0-liter turbo-four delivers.

What you can only get on the CT5 V-Series, though, is Cadillac’s upgraded performance suspension and Magnetic Ride Control. The electronic limited-slip differential and Performance Traction Management system are exclusive to the V, too.

It leaves the regular CT5 with independent MacPherson strut front suspension and independent 5-link rear, and it’s all tuned on the soft side. Where the V-Series can flip from comfort to sport at the touch of a drive mode button, switching between Tour and Sport in the standard car is less dramatic. The 10-speed holds lower gears for longer, and the engine sounds louder, but it doesn’t have the sharpened dynamics which leave the CT5-V feeling poised and eager.

The multi-valve dampers on the CT5 simply aren’t so adaptable. It’s not that the sedan can’t hustle, it just doesn’t really encourage that. Long-distance cruising would be a joy in this Caddy, and pickup in a straight line is as urgent as the power figures would lead you to expect. Where some luxury sedans encourage leaving the family at home and playing on the backroads occasionally, though, the CT5 just doesn’t inspire the same.

Doubling down on that road trip ethos is the interior. The CT5’s cabin has plenty of space – for passengers, at least, though the 11.9 cu-ft trunk is a little small – and there’s no shortage of equipment. Premium Luxury trim comes with 14-way power front seats, leather, keyless start, a wireless phone charger, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and ambient lighting as standard. You get rear parking assistance and cross traffic alerts, forward collision alerts, blind zone warnings, and front pedestrian braking too. That’s all for $40,795.

As well as $3.5k for the V6 and $2k for all-wheel drive, my test car had the $1,350 navigation and Bose 15-speaker audio, the $1,090 Climate Package with heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel, and the $600 Lighting Package with LED cornering headlamps and illuminated sill plates. $500 adds auto high-beams, lane-keep assistance, and following distance indicator, and $625 gets the Dark Moon Metallic paint. In all, with $995 destination, you’re looking at $51,455.

All the pieces are there, but I wish there was a little more oomph in how they were put together. The CT5’s cabin seems solid and the switchgear generally feels sturdy, but there’s little of the aesthetic consideration that rivals deliver. Shared parts with the rest of GM’s brands, combined with sober finishes that border on dour, feel neither special nor particularly luxurious.

It all works, it just doesn’t go beyond that to delight. Cadillac’s infotainment system feels like just what you’d find in a recent Chevy or GMC (because, funnily enough, it is) whereas the new Escalade serves up something a lot more unique. The chromed switchgear is too clearly plastic when you touch it, while the 10-inch touchscreen looks tagged on rather than integrated. A fully-digital driver’s display is optional, but the smaller standard panel – sandwiched between analog dials – could benefit from nicer graphics. Again, it does the job, it just doesn’t make itself memorable.

Super Cruise is finally available on the CT5, though the $2,500 option was absent from my test car. It’s the enhanced version, too, which can automatically change lanes for you. Honestly, if I was buying a CT5, it’s the option that would be top of my list.

As for economy, the V6 with AWD is EPA rated for 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, for 21 mpg combined. Conspicuous by its glaring absence is any sort of electrification; for a Caddy EV we’ll have to wait for the Lyriq crossover, which is still some way out.

2021 Cadillac CT5 Verdict

So many of my complaints about the CT5 could be boiled down to “just commit more, Cadillac.” There are hints at greatness throughout, but it seldom quite feels like the automaker goes the whole way and delivers on them. The styling is handsome but falls short of gravitas; the cabin is spacious and well-equipped, but feels bland; and the driving dynamics, especially with the twin-turbo V6, are promising yet not quite as engaging as the sum of the parts would lead you to expect.

That adds up to a problem, because rivals aren’t making the same mistakes. BMW’s 3 Series is more engaging, Genesis’ G70 takes more styling risks, and Mercedes’ C-Class has more comfort. Importantly, all three are just more memorable than the CT5.

Cadillac is quick to point out that its sedan is aggressively priced compared to its competitors, particularly the Germans, and that it outweighs them on things like power and standard equipment. Problem is, in focusing on comparisons, the CT5 has forgotten to factor in Cadillac’s own inherent charm: that singularly American presence and borderline-excess. The result is a car that’s good in many ways, but not great, and that’s just not enough in this segment to rise above the crowd.

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Lincoln Zephyr Reflection is the bold car design we’ve been waiting for

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Lincoln has revealed its latest concept car, and the Zephyr Reflection is a striking reminder that “American Luxury” can be darn handsome too. Unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2021, the shapely sedan is focused entirely on Chinese tastes, Lincoln says, and pushes beyond some of the more monolithic cues of the automaker’s current line-up.

The goal, Lincoln claims, was to draw in a younger audience. The grille gets a starburst pattern, and is considerably larger than usual, extending into the leading edge of the hood and down deep into the lower fascia.

It’s bisected with a line that links the narrow headlamps, and then trails back into the sharply creased shoulder-line. Flush door handles and high-end trim like tinted chrome, copper, and satin silver add some sparkle, while a trunk-spanning light bar joins the slimline clusters. A blacked-out A-pillar give the Zephyr Reflection a profile like no other Lincoln sedan in the range right now.

The automaker has been thinking about lighting a lot, it seems, with new welcome patterns and ambient lighting promised. The same goes inside, with glowing controls that only appear on touch-surfaces when they’re required. A huge, dashboard-spanning display dominates the dashboard, and can be split into three virtual sections.

As for the UX, that’s a new system being called Lincoln Constellation. Themed around the night sky, it’ll have three different versions – Normal, Sport, and Zen – each with unique animations and graphics.

What Zephyr Reflection doesn’t appear to be, however, is anything more than a styling exercise at this stage. Lincoln’s announcement is conspicuously absent of any sort of powertrain discussion, instead focusing entirely on the design of the sedan. That “hints at the future of Lincoln’s design philosophy and signature features ahead of the production model debut later this year,” the automaker says.

China is aggressively pushing EV adoption – and, indeed, Lincoln is using Auto Shanghai 2021 to debut the locally-produced version of its Corsair PHEV there – but though we’re expecting full-electric Lincoln news soon, it doesn’t seem like the Zephyr Reflection will be the model for that. Indeed, look closely at the dashboard display render, and there’s clearly a little gas pump icon there, suggesting this is a PHEV at best.

Of course, trying to read into production plans from a concept car is usually a shortcut to confusion, and so we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out Lincoln’s actual production plans. Certainly, sedans are still popular in the Chinese market, as is the concept of “American Luxury” itself, meaning whatever the Zephyr Reflection evolves into will likely be more of a hit there than it would be in Lincoln’s home market.

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Genesis Electrified G80 is more than just a luxury EV sedan

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Genesis promised us an all-electric model, and now we get to see just what that is, with the Electrified G80 giving the luxury automaker its first pure EV. Unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2021 today, it takes the well-received G80 sedan and gives it an all-wheel drive electric makeover.

Gone is the usual choice of 2.5-liter or 3.5-liter turbocharged gas engines, and indeed the rear-wheel drive option. However the Electrified G80 can switch between RWD and AWD depending on road conditions, with a Disconnector Actuator System (DAS) selectively decoupling the drive shaft.

The result is 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, Genesis says, in AWD mode. As for range, on the NEDC test you’re looking at over 310 miles, though we’d expect the US EPA numbers to be lower than that. Something that’s particularly impressive is 350 kW DC fast charging support which – if you find a suitably potent charger – could mean going from 10-percent to 80-percent in 22 minutes.

The underlying architecture supports 400/800V switchable modes, to suit different charger types. Just as exciting, though, is the inclusion of V2L (Vehicle to Load) support, effectively turning the Electrified G80 into a huge battery on wheels that’s capable of powering a home in the case of a grid outage or similar. In that situation, Genesis says, the EV can deliver 3.6 kW – more, it suggests, than the typical household requires.

On the outside, the changes from the internal combustion G80 are subtle. The Crest Grille switches from its usual mesh, with an inverted G-Matrix pattern instead. In the upper right corner is a door for the charging port; open that, and as well as a place to plug in, you’ll also find some Two Lines chrome detailing to harmonize with the exterior styling.

Inside, meanwhile, Genesis has blended traditional materials with some eco-minded treatments. There’s natural dyed leather on the seats, console, and rear seat armrest, for example, while the wood uses recycled timber. Recycled PET – the sort of plastic used in water bottles – features in other fabrics.

The GV80 SUV donates its Active Noise Control-Road system, which promises extra cabin hush by analyzing road noise and then creating opposite sound waves to cancel it out. There’s also Genesis’ Electronic Control Suspension with Road Preview system, which uses a front-facing camera to scan the asphalt ahead and preemptively adjust the suspension settings to iron out potholes and bumps.

Though Genesis is debuting the Electrified G80 in China – its first vehicle launch, it points out, outside of South Korea – it will be bringing the EV to the US and Canada, it’s confirmed. More information on localized specifications for that version will be shared later in the year, Genesis says, in addition to news on the other BEVs the automaker has planned.

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