Bulletin wire reports

Trump to ban foreign telecom

President Donald Trump moved Wednesday to ban U.S. telecommunications firms from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security, White House officials said, stepping up a battle against China by effectively barring sales by Huawei, the country’s leading networking company. Trump issued an executive order instructing the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, to ban transactions “posing an unacceptable risk” but did not single out any nation or company. The action had long been expected and was the latest salvo in the administration’s economic and security battle with China.

California: Power lines caused fire

Electrical transmission lines belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric caused the Camp Fire of 2018, California’s deadliest wildfire, a state agency concluded Wednesday. The fire, which started Nov. 8, killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said Wednesday that, after a “very meticulous and thorough investigation,” it had determined that the Camp Fire was caused by “electrical transmission lines owned and operated” by PG&E. The company had said in February that its equipment had probably caused the fire. PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January, saying that it faced an estimated $30 billion in liabilities.

FCC moves on blocking calls

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has said that ending the scourge of robocalls is a top priority. On Wednesday, Ajit Pai proposed a rule that would empower mobile phone carriers to automatically block the unwanted calls, by employing tools that filter out calls from unidentified or unwanted callers.