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US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announces a major grant at the Samsung semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas, on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Jay Janner / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters

Samsung hands Biden another chip win

The Biden administration is busy courting global semiconductor manufacturers to build stateside, recently handing billions to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to expand its chip fabrication plant in Phoenix, Arizona.

On Monday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced that the Biden administration is giving out another award as part of its CHIPS Act budget — this time to TSMC competitor Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant. Samsung will receive $6.4 billion to put toward its new manufacturing hub in Taylor, Texas, and expand its existing plant in Austin. In return, Samsung will pour $45 billion into its US projects and commit to producing cutting-edge two-nanometer chips.

Biden has made so-called silicon nationalism a tenet of his economic and national security-focused public policy, desperate to control the slow but crucial supply of chips used for everyday technologies as well as new artificial intelligence applications.

Debris fly as smoke rises following an Israeli air strike, amid Israeli-Palestinian fighting, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

What We’re Watching: Israel-Hamas truce, South Korean pardon, weird vaccine incentives

Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire: After 11 days of intense violence, Israel and Hamas have agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire that goes into effect Friday at 2 am local time. Since May 10, Hamas has fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, resulting in a dozen deaths and scores of injuries, while Israel has carried out hundreds of air and ground strikes on Gaza, leaving the Palestinian death toll at more than 200. Now both sides have reportedly agreed to stop fighting without conditions. Each will claim a victory of sorts: Israel says it has seriously degraded Hamas' terrorist infrastructure, setting the group back many years, while Hamas will assert itself as the real protector of Jerusalem and boast of its successes in firing long-range munitions at Israel. How long the Israel-Hamas ceasefire holds is a big question, but another major challenge will be dealing with clashes within Israel, where tensions between Jews and Arabs have soared.

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