Inter Pipeline to acquire Milk River pipeline system from Plains

first_img Inter Pipeline to acquire Milk River Pipeline system. (Credit: LoggaWiggler from Pixabay.) Inter Pipeline has agreed with Plains Midstream Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, to acquire the Milk River pipeline system.The company is acquiring the pipeline system in exchange for its 100% stake in the Empress II and 50% stake interest in the Empress V straddle plants. Plains is expected to pay $35m in cash to Inter Pipeline, as part of the transaction.The transaction also includes pumping and metering facilities, two crude oil storage tanks and truck unloading facilities.Inter Pipeline is a major petroleum transportation, natural gas liquids processing, and bulk liquid storage business based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The company owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in western Canada and Europe.The company’s straddle plants Empress II and Empress V are currently being operated by Plains, and are located near Empress, Alberta on the eastern leg of the TC Energy Alberta System.Also, its straddle plants are geographically located remote compared to its core natural gas liquids processing assets.Inter Pipeline president and chief executive officer Christian Bayle said: “This transaction is expected to be accretive to funds from operations and provide meaningful operational and commercial synergies with our existing conventional oil transportation business.“The Milk River pipeline system has a natural alignment with our Bow River system and this acquisition will improve our access to the Montana refining region, an important delivery market for Inter Pipeline and our customers.”The Milk River pipeline system contains two 16km pipelinesThe Milk River pipeline system contains two 16km pipelines with around 90,000 barrels per day current throughput volume. The pipeline system links Inter Pipeline’s Bow River pipeline system from Milk River, Alberta to the US and Canadian border west of Coutts, Alberta.The company said that nearly 90% of the volume flowing through the Milk River pipeline originates from the Bow River system.The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2021, subject to satisfaction of certain customary conditions. Inter Pipeline is acquiring the pipeline system in exchange for stakes in the Empress II and the Empress V straddle plantslast_img read more

Students campaign against “victim blaming” Tesco card

first_imgAn Oxford student has organised a campaign against a Tesco greeting card which allegedly “belittles sexual harassment and perpetuates victim blaming myths.”The card shows a woman sitting at a desk, with the caption, “Glenys had heard all about sexual harassment in the workplace and deliberately wore a short dress with a plunging neckline to ensure she didn’t miss out.”Helena Dollimore, a student at St Hilda’s, has organised a petition on change.org which calls for Tesco to remove the card.The campaign argues, “Sexual harassment is frequently belittled or made light of – which discourages victims from coming forward and perpetuates the culture of harassment that exists in the UK.”As of Thursday evening the petition had attracted 501 signatures and is currently aiming at 1000.A Tesco spokesperson stated, “The card is intended to be humorous, and we hope our customers will take it in the light-hearted spirit in which it’s meant.”However, Suzanne Holsomback, OUSU VP for Women, stated, “The Tesco card is just not humorous…To make light and joke about harassment minimises that individual’s experience.”X-Factor winner Steve Brookstein criticised the campaign on Twitter. He tweeted Tesco, “ignore the students Tesco. Commies don’t want any fun. #Censorship.”A Brasenose student said that “exploitation of sexual capital occurs in the workplace but this is not necessarily gender exclusive. Don Draper is a perfect example of how even men can take advantage of their sexuality without necessarily being objectified.”last_img read more

Don’t Ignore Signs of Stroke or Heart Attack During COVID-19 Crisis

first_imgHackensack University Medical Center is cautioning patients not to ignore symptoms of a stroke or heart attack due to fear of contracting COVID-19.Many hospitals across the country have noticed an increase of people ignoring life-threatening symptoms. They are choosing to stay home, instead of seeking care at an emergency department. When they do arrive at the hospital, the patient has lost critical time to receive life-saving treatments, the hospital said in a statement. This is especially true for people experiencing a heart attack or stroke, the hospital said, citing a study out of Seattle that showed emergency admissions fell between 10 and 20 percent at six large hospitals in February and March.“Heart attack symptoms should never be ignored,” said Joseph Parrillo, M.D, Cardiologist and Chairman of the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. “Heart muscle dies when the blood flow is restricted for too long. In the event that the heart attack puts you into cardiac arrest, there’s a small window of time that medical professionals can get your heart beating again.”“Likewise, when it comes to treating a stroke, every minute matters. We often say time is brain as it’s critical to seek care immediately because the longer your brain is without oxygen, the higher your chances for disability or death when experiencing a stroke,” said Martin Gizzi, M.D, Neurologist and Director of the Cerebrovascular Diseases Program at Hackensack University Medical Center. “If someone is having a major stroke and it is caught in time, we can provide treatment that can recover function almost immediately but if you wait too long, those deficits become permanent.”According to the hospital, following are emergent warning signs that should never be ignored:StrokeBalance issuesVision problemsFacial droopingArm weaknessSpeech difficultyHeart attackChest discomfort – pressure, squeezing, fullness or painDiscomfort in other areas of the upper body like the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomachShortness of breathOther signs including cold sweats, nausea or lightheadednessFor more information, please call Mary McGeever, manager, Public Relations at 551-795-1675. 1 / 2  Dr. Martin Gizzi  2 / 2  Dr. Joseph Parrillo ❮ ❯center_img ×  1 / 2  Dr. Martin Gizzi  2 / 2  Dr. Joseph Parrillo ❮ ❯last_img read more

News story: Joint Statement of UK International Trade Secretary Dr Fox MP and United States Trade Representative Ambassador Lighthizer

first_imgUS-UK Dialogue meetingOn March 20, the inaugural meeting of the US-UK Dialogue on SMEs will take place in connection with the working group meetings. This will bring small and medium businesses and stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic together with government officials to identify ways to deepen trade and investment ties and strengthen co-operation on issues of mutual interest to small and medium-sized enterprises. Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, and United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, met on Wednesday (14 March) to discuss shared efforts to continue strengthening the trade and investment relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.In their meeting they discussed: the importance of ongoing work to ensure continuity and certainty for US and UK businesses as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union the continuing progress of the Trade and Investment Working Group, which will meet next week in Washington, in deepening our present, and defining our future, trade relationship efforts to promote free and fair trade, including through the elimination trade-distorting policies and practices around the world and tackling severe overcapacity SME brochureNext week at the SME Dialogue, both governments will publish a joint brochure for SMEs on resources for doing business in the US and UK. This resource provides targeted information to SMEs and demonstrates our early commitment to help SMEs benefit from deepening US-UK trade.Mutual Recognition AgreementDr Fox and Ambassador Lighthizer recognised the successful conclusion of a Mutual Recognition Agreement. The agreement is between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), representing US state-level regulators. This agreement demonstrates a practical way in which the United States and the UK, with similar high-quality standards, can co-operate closely to facilitate trade with each other.Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP said: Secretary of State Fox and I had very productive discussions on how to deepen our already extensive trade relationship – both now and when the UK leaves the EU. We are looking forward to hosting the UK team next week here in Washington for the third meeting of the US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group. This working group is an important element of our shared agenda to achieve free and fair trade, address the challenges faced by the global trading system, and to create good-paying jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The launch of both the SME Dialogue and the toolkit on IP Protection for SMEs are 2 practical outcomes of our discussions so far. We look forward to continuing to expand opportunities for our businesses and workers, including for small and medium-sized enterprises. Ambassador Lighthizer said: US toolkit for UK SMEs UK toolkit for US SMEs Ambassador Lighthizer and I enjoyed a constructive meeting that touched on our shared ambition for a far deeper trade relationship both now and once the UK has left the EU. We are committed to maintaining momentum during next week’s UK-US Trade and Investment Group meeting in Washington, D.C. The Working Group discussions have agreed new measures to benefit small business in both our countries with the launch of SME Dialogue and the toolkit on IP protection for SMEs. We also spoke about the United States’ planned imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium. Dr Fox and Ambassador Lighthizer also made several announcements on the publication of toolkits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the inaugural meeting of the US-UK Dialogue, a new brochure for SMEs, and the conclusion of the Mutual Recognition Agreement.Intellectual property toolkitsBoth governments published toolkits to help US and UK SMEs protect and enforce their intellectual property (IP) in each market. The UK and US teams have developed these joint educational tools and resources for small and medium-sized enterprises to support the export of creative and innovative products and services between the 2 countries:last_img read more

New realities in care

first_imgA global moment is upon us, with technical ability, knowledge of disease, innovation in health care delivery, resources, and political will converging to spur dramatic strides in the health of the world’s population in recent years.But there’s still a long way to go, and Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, believes Harvard itself may have arrived at a global health moment, one in which its talent, leadership, and student passion make a dramatic impact. Jha, the K.T. Li Professor of International Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, sat down with the Gazette to talk about the institute’s priorities, Harvard’s opportunities in care, and the chance for health workers to make meaningful progress in improving outcomes around the world. GAZETTE: When you look at the global health landscape, are we at a moment of opportunity?JHA: Yes, for a couple of reasons. We’re at a point where you can get on a plane and land halfway around the world in a time period shorter than the incubation period for any known human pathogen. So you can get on a plane well in Hong Kong and get off the plane in New York feeling fine but actually carrying a virus that the city of New York has never seen. The flip side is that you can take knowledge that is generated in Hong Kong and apply it to problems in New York City in a way that we’ve never been capable of either.What’s different now from 20 years ago is how interconnected the world is. We’ve always had travel, but the speed of the travel, the volume of travel, the volume of knowledge and information and how quickly it moves, we’ve just never lived in a time like this.The Ebola story is as good an illustration as any, in that it reminds us of the importance of that interconnectedness. We, as a global community, failed to address the problem of Ebola in West Africa — and ended up having to manage it in Dallas and other places around the globe. That’s the world in which we live.GAZETTE: Were there any positive lessons from the Ebola story?JHA: There’s an interesting question of why this outbreak was so different from all the others. And I would say Ebola is the new normal, because we live in such an interconnected world.We’ve had 30-odd Ebola outbreaks, and all of them combined have led to fewer fatalities than this one. So it’s worth asking why this outbreak was different. One answer is that it was in a different region of Africa than impacted by prior outbreaks. Second, human travel is very different now than it was even a couple of decades ago. Due to improvements in roads, trains, and air transportation systems, someone who encounters a virus can then travel hundreds of miles — or sometimes around the globe — before they show any symptoms, making them an efficient and often undetectable disease vector. That makes for a very different, and difficult, reality. For some, the response has been to advocate building walls, shutting down air travel, and closing ourselves in. Beyond being morally questionable, it’s also completely unrealistic. We have to have a different approach.When I took over [as institute director], the global community was finally starting to take the Ebola outbreak seriously. But it was clear that we, as a global community, had botched our response.We reached out to Peter Piot, the director of the London School [of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine] and one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus, and worked with him to create an independent panel to thoughtfully, but honestly, examine how and why we so badly handled the Ebola outbreak — and what we might do to ensure that we are more effective next time.Since we formed our panel, there have been three other panels that have come together: one created by WHO, another by the U.N., and the third by the Institute of Medicine. We have the advantage of truly being independent — of being the civil society’s voice for assessing what went wrong and how to get better. While our report is still being finalized, we have laid out 10 concrete recommendations that we think, if implemented effectively, can prevent the kind of catastrophe we saw with Ebola. We can do better, and really, we must do better.GAZETTE: Why do you do this work? Why do you have an interest in global health?JHA: A lot of my inspiration comes from students and trainees. I teach a course on quality of health care in America to Harvard College students and, when I talk to them, when I hear their passion, I feel motivated and inspired to be more effective in my own work.As a physician, I take care of patients. Why do I do that? Because I love the satisfaction of caring for people. I know I can’t always cure people’s illnesses, but I can be a partner in helping them lead better lives. But what’s really clear to me is that I’m only as good, I’m only as effective, as the system in which I practice. So if we care about improving the health of the world’s population, we have to care about improving the systems of care not just in the U.S., but also in Liberia, and India, and around the world. And that’s been the focus of my work — strategies for improving the effectiveness of health systems — and it is central to my mission as a physician and as a teacher.GAZETTE: What do you see as Harvard’s role in improving health around the world?JHA: Harvard is uniquely situated to make a big impact on global health. Of course, it already does, but the truth is we could do so much more. There may be no other institution in the world that has the depth and breadth of activity on global health that Harvard does. If you take the Harvard Schools and the Harvard teaching hospitals and put them all together, it’s a phenomenal place.I have to say a major inspiration for me is our University leadership — both President [Drew] Faust and Provost [Alan] Garber. They have clearly articulated the importance of global health to Harvard and how committed they are to making the University more effective in global health. I don’t know any other university president or provost who has been as clear about declaring that improving the health of the world’s population is a major priority. And I love that. It inspires me to do better.GAZETTE: It wasn’t that long ago that global health looked bleak — we were in the depths of the AIDS epidemic, many, many people were dying — what’s changed?JHA: Two things turned around the AIDS epidemic: knowledge and will. The will was catalyzed by activists who refused to be patient. They pushed the entire medical community to tackle the disease more aggressively. And that political will translated into more focus on knowledge generation — new research and discovery that ultimately turned HIV into a chronic disease, rather than a terminal disease, for many people. And we have seen that play out for other diseases, such as polio and malaria, where we are combining new knowledge and will to make meaningful headway.GAZETTE: For members of the Harvard community who aren’t familiar with it, what can you tell us about the Harvard Global Health Institute?JHA: Harvard has a longstanding commitment to global health. There are people committed to education in global health, a large number of faculty working on new research and a large cadre of individuals within the Schools and our affiliated hospitals working on translating that knowledge into practice. The work of Harvard in global health is substantial and impressive.However, despite all of this activity, we all have a sense that we could be doing better. We have a sense that, to use a cliché, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. And that’s the agenda of the institute, to make Harvard more effective in global health — in our teaching mission, in our research mission, and in our mission to translate the knowledge into better health.At the end of the day, the institute’s success will be measured based on whether we helped make Harvard more effective at improving the health of the world’s population.GAZETTE: What are the tools the institute has? How does it do its business?JHA: You have people who are doing amazing, cutting-edge work, but the nature of that work often means they don’t know what others are doing, so the opportunities for collaboration aren’t obviously apparent. One of the things we can do is create a community where we facilitate that collaboration. We’re going to focus on fostering a sense of community for students, staff, and faculty who are engaged in global health.There are people in the Law School, the Divinity School, obviously the Medical School and School of Public Health, the Business School, who care deeply about global health, but they see the world through their disciplinary lens. If you’re at the School of Public Health working on how to improve access to health care for people in India, it might be helpful to understand how legal scholars think about health as a right and how that shapes policy.So we have launched some specific efforts. One that I’m excited about is a working group of graduate students who are focused on global health. It’s an opportunity for them to come together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. And if it goes well they can become a conduit for more interfaculty collaboration.Imagine a School of Public Health doctoral student who goes back to their mentor and says, “I spent two hours over at the Law School talking to two law students who have been thinking about universal health coverage as a right.” Maybe that faculty member picks up the phone and calls the law professor and says, “Can we have lunch and talk about this?”GAZETTE: What about undergraduates?JHA: The passion that undergraduates have for global health is just marvelous. It’s actually quite inspiring. They have energy, creativity, ideas. Where we can be helpful is in channeling that creativity toward productive work. We believe that the institute is a natural home for them to organize, to bring speakers in to educate themselves, and to think about how global health is going to be an important part of their education.I was speaking with somebody who said, “Maybe we can turn some undergraduates away from going into finance and instead, going into global health.” I am not sure that’s even my top priority. Actually, I want the person who goes to work at the private equity fund, for instance, to understand and care about global health. I want them to understand the health implications of equity markets and understand the values that go into global health and be guided by those values when they’re making decisions.The goal is not to turn everybody into a global health person, the goal is to ensure that people understand the interconnected nature of global health and to bring those values into whatever work we do, whether it’s running a private equity fund or working for an NGO in India.We have also identified topics on which we’re going to start a series of activities. One of them is focused on understanding the global health effects of climate change.Climate change is real and it’s going to have a profound effect on the health of the world’s population — in our lifetimes. There is so much that we don’t know about how this is going to play out or what we can do to mitigate the health effects of climate change.The work is substantial. We need to quantify what the health effects are going to be, whom it’s going to effect, and when. Climate change is going to have a profound impact on agriculture, with profound effects on nutrition, and subsequently, profound effects on the ability of kids to fight infection. Climate change is already having a profound effect on the environment and pollution. More people are going to suffer from asthma and lung disease.Another topic that’s gotten inadequate attention is the global aging population and how health systems are preparing. The number of people who are aging and the challenges it will create in China, in India, are going to dwarf the problems that we see in the U.S. Yet those health systems, I think, are ill-prepared to manage this change.There are people who are doing great work on aging, doing great work on health systems, but there is not enough work that crosses these silos. I’ve been thrilled to find colleagues across the University eager to get engaged and collaborate. And if the institute can play a small role in making that collaboration happen, if we can play a small role in helping Harvard tackle some of these big, seemingly intractable problems, we will have done our job. This is an exciting time for global health, especially at Harvard. I think our work is just getting started.last_img read more

Professor argues for new approach to institutional development

first_imgYuen Yuen Ang, associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, presented a lecture titled “A Hammer Is Not a Second-Best Screwdriver: Taking Institutional Fit Seriously in Development,” on Tuesday. Ang detailed the argument of her 2017 book, “How China Escaped the Poverty Trap,” focused on the case study of China, where modern institutions have spurred the country’s development despite being regarded as weak or backwards based on first world standards.In recent years, Ang said, there has been a shift in the idea of institutional fit from the argument that “one-size-fits-all” countries to the adaptive “one-size-doesn’t-fit-all.” This modern, developed approach at looking at institutions is better than the old way but still has room for improvement, Ang said.“I think it’s great; it’s very encouraging to see that we have made this big shift, but I have some complaints,” she said. “I think that the idea of institutional fit is used and evoked, but it hasn’t been taken seriously.”The problem, Ang said, is that many theorists using this new approach to institutional fit are lacking theory, evidence and examples, and they often equate these poorer countries’ success with “second-best institutions.”“If you can’t have something that is the best institutions, then make do with something less good,” Ang said.In studying regional Chinese governments, as well as several other nations, Ang rejects this notion, arguing that there is historical evidence that alternative institutional systems — systems that are not necessarily inferior to the normative standard — can bring sweeping development.Her case study centered around the idea that in order to understand institutional fit seriously, the way the topic is thought about and measured must be changed. Ang also said that she found evidence that institutions for building markets does not equal the same institutions for preserving markets and that even in early stages, these seemingly “weak” or “wrong” institutions can be functionally strong.Ang said much of institutional ideology is surrounded by the chicken and egg conundrum of whether normatively weak institutions or economically poor countries came first. She agreed with contemporary authors who say it is difficult to make poor countries prosperous; however, China has provided insight into the feasibility of this objective.“We have misunderstood that causal process of the government,” Ang said. “It’s not a two-step process; it’s not just one big arrow. We can synthesize development into a co–evolutionary process.”The institutional steps Ang prescribes are for societies to harness these supposedly “weak” institutions in order to build markets, for emerging markets to stimulate strong institutions and for strong institutions to preserve markets.“It is a simple, but not simplistic view of development,” Ang said. Tags: China, development, Development Models, International Developmentlast_img read more

Herlihy is new deputy tourism comissioner

first_imgHerlihy Is New Deputy Commissioner Of Vermont Department Of Tourism &MarketingMONTPELIER, Vt. – Cathy Herlihy of East Montpelier has been appointed thenew Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing(VDTM). Herlihy takes over the post from Sybil Chicoine who left in lateSeptember for a job in the private sector after serving as VDTM’s DeputyCommissioner since January of 2002.Since 1995 Herlihy has been Director of Training & Marketing with theVermont Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDC is a non-profitpartnership of government, education, and business whose goal is to spurVermont’s economy by helping small businesses succeed and grow throughtraining and consultation. SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. SmallBusiness Administration, the Vermont Department of Economic Development,and the Vermont State Colleges.Vermont Tourism & Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde said he was pleased tohave someone with Herlihy’s background join the Department’s managementteam.”Cathy brings a very strong marketing and business development backgroundto the Department and we’re excited to be able to call upon herdemonstrated strengths in marketing, strategic planning and organizationaldevelopment,” Hyde said. “Cathy will be responsible for much of theday-to-day operation of the Department and will work closely with the restof our senior management team, overseeing VDTM’s marketing, publicrelations, sales and research efforts.”I am very excited about this new role and to have the opportunity to workmore closely with Vermont’s tourism industry and to focus on a vitalsector of the Vermont economy,” Herlihy said. “Over the years, I have hadthe opportunity to work with a wide variety of small businesses, includingtourism-related businesses, and to help them address a variety ofchallenges. I think understanding those challenges will help guide me inthis new role.”###last_img read more

Latin American Air Forces Strengthen Cooperation to Fight Organized Crime

first_imgBy Dialogo August 21, 2014 It’s a very good initiative, unfortunately in Argentina the reigning short-sighted ideology along with the impositions of the triumphant empire in 1982 do not allow public policies to involve military air means in matters of internal safety such as drug trafficking and organized crime, which allows our airspace to continue being a great carrier of the most profitable business. Commanders of Latin American air forces recently agreed to strengthen international cooperation to defeat transnational organized crime and aid civilian populations during natural disasters. These were two of the key agreements reached at the 54th Conference of Chiefs of the American Air Forces (CONJEFAMER) in Medellín, Colombia. Seventeen of the 20 countries comprising CONJEFAMER participated in the summit, as well as three other countries which were invited as observers, and two international organizations: the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) and the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB). The 20 member countries of CONJEFAMER include Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the United States and Canada. The commander of the Colombian Air Force, General Guillermo León, directed the conference. The importance of cooperation Colombian Defense Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzón, inaugurated the conference with opening remarks in which he spoke of the importance of cooperation in matters of security. In addition to directing the conference, Gen. León also delivered a speech at the opening of the event. “It is a wonderful opportunity to have so many Air Force commanders (here),” Gen. León said, according to Radio Santa Fé. “We have another opportunity to renew the arrangement to have helping hands and reiterate the commitment to work together for the peace of our people and a better future for our American nations.” Commanders who attended the conference agreed to protect the airspace in the hemisphere against transnational criminal organizations, some of which transport drugs in their own airplanes. The commanders of the American air forces forged “bonds of brotherhood and synergies of cooperation” by the end of the three-day conference, the Colombian Air Force said in a press statement. Military leaders also defined strategies to maintain security on the continent, the Colombian Air Force reported on the day of the closing ceremony. Protecting the civilian population Devising strategies to ensure the security of civilians from transnational criminal organizations, in which “the drug trade continues to be the most representative,” was an important part of the conference, said Javier Rincón, a security analyst who studies and teaches military law at Universidad Javeriana. The agreement reached by the air forces regarding joint cooperation in the event of war and natural disasters is especially noteworthy,” Rincón said. For the Andean countries, providing security in the event of natural disasters – such as earthquakes and tsunamis – is a recurring challenge. Eleven of the senior officers who attended the conference signed the agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance related to such disasters, the Colombian Air Force announced in a written report. The agreement establishes a general regulatory framework commonly applied to members of the System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA) to facilitate the participation of these combined air operations to be implemented and developed in disaster situations caused by natural events or destruction caused by man. In addition to the agreement spelling out military cooperation to protect civilians during natural disasters, the senior commanders agreed to strengthen the information and telecommunications systems of air forces in the region. The commanders also agreed that individual air forces would show reciprocity when it comes to issues of education and efforts to preserve the environment. Commanders tour CACOM-5 Senior commanders who attended the conference also visited Air Combat Command No. 5 (CACOM-5) located in San Nicolás Valley, Antioquia, where they observed a static exhibit of the institution’s advances in science and technology. CACOM-5 is one of the units responsible for conducting air operations to ensure security and protect national sovereignty. At CACOM-5, senior officers observed one of the C-130 Hercules aircraft, the new Harpia IV modernized by officers and non-commissioned officers of the Colombian Air Force, Super Tucano fighter aircraft, and medically-equipped Caravan aircraft used to transport the injured to hospitals from the country’s most remote areas. By 2019, CACOM-5 will be equipped with combat aircraft technology with real-time information to meet the country’s comprehensive security needs. The aircraft will help security forces protect state infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, as well as public property. Colombia signs nine agreements During the conference, Colombia signed nine transnational security agreements with several countries, according to El Tiempo. These agreements strengthen defenses against drug and arms trafficking and money laundering. “With new proposals, firm objectives and unwavering commitment of the commanders of the American air forces to work for the welfare, progress and security of the sister nations of the hemisphere, the CONJEFAMER conference has concluded,” officials said on the final day of the gathering. The conference is a continuation of a cooperation plan that began more than 53 years ago. Officials gathered for the first CONJEFAMER meeting on April 16, 1961 at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Fourteen commanders of Air Forces from the Americas attended the inaugural conference. The same year the first CONJEFAMER conference took place, commanders from 14 air forces in the Americas created SICOFAA in order to strengthen cooperation and mutual support among member states. Since its inception, SICOFAA has worked to foster the exchange of experiences, resources, and training among its members. It also promotes the use of air assets in an integrated manner as crucial national defense elements, according to a June 24th press release from the Colombian Air Force. This is the third time that CONJEFAMER has been held in Colombia. The last time Colombia hosted the conference was in 1991.last_img read more

2020 solutions providing peace of mind for CUs and members

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randy Salser Randy Salser was appointed President of NAFCU Services Corporation in October of 2013. He comes to the credit union industry with over 15 years of executive-level experience in the areas … Web: www.nafcu.org/nafcuservices Details Payments is one of the fastest growing areas of technology in the banking world today. Players in this space must remain nimble to survive evolving consumer demand, as well as increasing cybercriminal activity. From distribution to marketing to security, they need to be on top of it all, which is why the area is so challenging and expansive.While demand from cardholders is constantly changing, it’s always moving toward seamless experience with top-notch security. Payments have become part of a cardholder’s daily lifestyle – meaning credit unions need to invest in real-time, online fraud prevention and protection solutions. Credit unions that text one-time verification codes remain vulnerable to sophisticated attackers who can intercept such messages; but expert solutions such as Mastercard’s 2020 Innovation Award-Winning NuDetect are able to detect and flag suspicious behavior by observing the legitimate user’s unique behavior, such as typing patterns or scroll speed. These methods help develop a unique profile that is nearly impossible for fraudsters to replicate or steal. They can also protect against automated attacks by continuously finding signals from emerging trends within its network and feeding them to its machine learning capability. An example of this would be identifying and stopping an unusual number of actions in the “add payee” placement.This modernized approach to tracking suspicious behavior can help credit cards remain a relevant part of members’ lives without compromising member experience or security. Credit unions have many new tools and technologies to combat account hijacking, fraudulent money transfers, password resets, and the addition of fraudulent new payees–giving these institutions confidence in the safety of their members’ data, and saving time and money on investigations and chargebacks for fraudulent activity.For more information on the ground-breaking partners and solutions that can provide both peace of mind and a competitive advantage in the fast-paced payments arena, check out these resources.last_img read more

Report says stingy funding has put FDA in crisis

first_img Nov 7 CIDRAP News story “Food safety plan taps others for inspection help” The FDA’ s mission includes regulating about 80% of food sold in the United States, plus all drugs, human vaccines, and medical devices, the report notes. The products the agency regulates account for about 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent—about $1 trillion per year. See also: The report says the agency is losing its ability to keep up with scientific advances, its regular staff has stayed about the same size for 20 years, and its information technology (IT) systems are obsolete and unreliable. The document’s release comes less than a month after the Bush administration released an import safety and food protection plan triggered by a series of tainted imports, including contaminated pet food and toys with lead paint, plus recent domestic food contamination episodes, such as instances of Salmonella in peanut butter and E coli in fresh produce. The demands on the agency have soared because of “the extraordinary advance of scientific discoveries, the complexity of the new products and claims submitted to FDA for pre-market review and approval, the emergence of challenging safety problems, and the globalization of the industries that FDA regulates.” A year ago, FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach asked his advisory board, called the FDA Science Board, to name a subcommittee to weigh whether the agency has the scientific and technologic capacity to support its regulatory mandate, the report says. The subcommittee that was subsequently appointed included three members of the Science Board and other experts representing industry, academia, and other government agencies. Dec 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Safety inspectors still write their reports by hand, food processing plants are inspected once every 10 years at best, only two people work full-time on pet-food safety, and critical information is locked up in piles of warehoused paper documents. The report lists various estimates by others of the resources needed to restore the FDA’s scientific capabilities. For example, the Coalition for a Stronger FDA has said that an increase of 15% a year for the next 5 years is needed. But the authors submit that this still would be inadequate. They suggest doubling the current funding—from about 1.5 cents to 3 cents per American per day. (Assuming a US population of 300 million, that would mean raising the budget from about $1.64 billion to $3.28 billion.) It says the FDA needs a group of scientists who have the ability, freedom, and support to apply the latest tools of biology, chemistry, and bioinformatics to food safety regulation. “These individuals must be isolated from acute regulatory crises.” The report suggests the agency may need as much as twice its current level of funding to equip it properly to fulfill its mission. IT systems disturbingly poorThe report saves some of its strongest language for critiquing the FDA’s IT infrastructure. The panel was “extremely disturbed” by the condition of the IT systems. The report continues, “The IT situation at FDA is problematic at best—and at worst it is dangerous. . . . Systems fail frequently, and even small systems are unstable—most recently during an E. coli food contamination investigation. The bottom line is that “American lives are at risk,” says the 60-page report, titled “FDA Science and Mission at Risk: Report of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology.” Crisis management at the two centers “has drawn attention and resources away from FDA’s ability to develop the science base and infrastructure needed to efficiently support innovation in the food industry, provide effective routine surveillance, and conduct emergency outbreak investigation activities to protect the food supply,” the document reads. Overall, the FDA doesn’t have enough well-trained scientists, the report asserts. The number of “appropriated personnel” is about the same now as it was two decades ago, resulting in “major gaps of scientific expertise in key areas.” The turnover rate for FDA scientists in key areas is twice that of other government agencies, and the agency spends too little on professional development to enable the staff to keep pace with scientific advances.center_img Those are a few symptoms of the poor condition in which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds itself after decades of inadequate funding and growing responsibilities, according to a new report by a special FDA committee that was assigned to assess the agency’s scientific and technological capabilities. Because of inadequate backup systems, recent systems failures have erased FDA data, the report continues. Further, “Critical data reside in large warehouses sequestered in piles and piles of paper documents” for which there is no backup. The funding shortage has forced the FDA to operate in a crisis-management or “firefighting” mode and kept it from building “a culture of proactive regulatory science,” the report says. This is especially true of the agency’s two food safety centers, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). “More importantly, reports of product dangers are not rapidly compared and analyzed, inspectors’ reports are still handwritten and slow to work their way through the compliance system, and the system for managing imported products cannot communicate with Customs and other government systems.” As an example of problems caused by scanty funding, the report cites the US experience with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. When BSE emerged in Europe, consumers and the cattle industry looked to the FDA to ensure that the disease would not spread to the United States via cattle feed, which the FDA regulates. “But Agency officials were denied the funds to bring the feed industry into rapid compliance with the new feed regulations, and the disease did appear in the US,” the report says. (The first US case, found in December 2003, was in a Canadian-born cow; two more cases have been discovered since then, one in 2005 and one in 2006.) The authors recommend that the food safety centers collaborate more with other research programs, such as those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Homeland Security. However, the centers still need their own scientific expertise, the report says. The recent problems with imported pet food contaminated with the chemical melamine also point up the FDA’s struggles, the panel reported. Pet food sales total $15 billion to $20 billion a year, and the CVM received more than 18,000 phone calls about the melamine contamination—but the CVM “is able to devote only two people working full-time on pet food issues.” Soaring demands, static fundsThe subcommittee found two reasons for the “precarious” condition of science at the FDA: Funding has not kept pace with the scientific demands on the agency. The agency should add several new positions to boost its scientific firepower and provide for a “coherent scientific structure and vision,” the report says. First, the recently created position of deputy commissioner/chief medical officer should be broadened and renamed “deputy commissioner of scientific and medical affairs.” This person should have authority to develop and oversee all science activities and ensure the adequacy of scientific expertise. Other recommended new jobs include chief scientific officer, a deputy director for science within each FDA center, and a director of extramural collaborations and training. Food inspections ‘appallingly’ rareThe subcommittee found the FDA has “an appallingly low inspection rate” for both domestic and imported foods. “During the past 35 years, the decrease in FDA funding for inspection of our food supply has forced FDA to impose a 78 percent reduction in food inspections, at a time when the food industry has been rapidly expanding and food importation has rapidly increased. FDA estimates that, at most, it inspects food manufacturers once every 10 years,” and it inspects no retail food stores or farms. Full text of “FDA Science and Mission at Risk” (appendices not included) “We found that FDA’s resource shortfalls have resulted in a plethora of inadequacies that threaten our society—including, but not limited to, inadequate inspections of manufacturers, a dearth of scientists who understand emerging new technologies, inability to speed the development of new therapies, an import system that is badly broken, a food supply that grows riskier each year, and an information infrastructure that was identified as a source of risk in every Center and program reviewed by the Subcommittee,” the report states.last_img read more