WHO team visits 2nd Wuhan hospital in virus investigation

first_imgWUHAN, China (AP) — Members of a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic have visited another Wuhan hospital that had treated early COVID-19 patients on their second full day of work. The facility was one of the city’s first to deal with patients suffering from a then-unknown virus and is a key part of the epidemiological history of the disease. The team’s first face-to-face meetings with Chinese scientists took place on Friday, before the experts visited another early site of the outbreak, the Hubei Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital. WHO says all hypotheses are on the table as the team visits hospitals, markets and laboratories. It’s a politically charged mission as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged early missteps.last_img read more

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Vermont business leaders support early childhood investments

first_imgTough economic times require business and government leaders to rethink public policy and not only change the ways in which we deliver public services, but to build capacity for future success. According to Bill Stritzler, Managing Partner with Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and chair of the Vermont Business Roundtable, “Investments in education should be our first economic development strategy.”In recognition that education transformation must begin with a strong foundation of high quality early learning experiences, Lisa Ventriss, President of the Vermont Business Roundtable (Roundtable), announced today a new partnership, Pre-K Vermont, between a coalition of early education advocates and her organization. “If we are to meaningfully address the escalating costs of our correctional and social welfare programs, and improve educational outcomes, we need to improve our investments in younger children. Early education helps children enter school ready to learn and makes them ten times less likely to be retained in first grade. Controlling costs in public education, while avoiding the stigma that children take with them after being held back, is very important.”The Vermont Business Roundtable has long been recognized as a leader in public policy development for an array of issues from education to the environment. The organization’s efforts contributed to the passage of Act 62 in 2007, which allows towns to invest in early learning programs.The new partnership announced today will be funded through a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Partnership for America’s Economic Success and Pre-K Now. The Roundtable will become the new sponsor of Pre-K Vermont, an organization dedicated to increasing access and quality to high quality pre-k programs statewide, with members from business, advocacy, public education, and higher education.The partnership will develop public policy recommendations regarding early childhood investments and share these with public leaders.Act 62 Background:This year a pre-k enrollment cap will be removed for towns with schools deemed to be “underperforming”.Act 62 was signed into law on June 1, 2007. It received strong support from parents and educators, the Vermont Business Roundtable and other business leaders, law enforcement, leaders in education and medicine, along with community leaders across the state.Under the legislation, pre-k programs meeting specified quality standards will be allowed funding for 10 hours per week, if local school districts approve. Programs are capped to allow roughly half of the three and four year olds, or all of the four year olds in each district, but districts can also choose to fund all children.The bill was passed as a result of a legislative study performed by the Pre-K Study Committee, which included review of four decades of research and testimony from dozens of experts from inside and outside of Vermont.Both public and private providers will be qualified to receive funding, but no school district is required to offer pre-k programs. The pre-k program is also voluntary for families. Members of Pre-K Vermont include representatives from Vermont Business Roundtable, Kids are Priority One, University of Vermont, Vermont Superintendents Association, Head Start, Building Bright Futures, Vermont School Boards Association, private providers, and Northern Lights Career Development Center.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 100 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issue to benefit all Vermonters.Source: VBR. 5.14.2010# # #.last_img read more

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Uniondale Crash Kills Pedestrian

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 69-year-old man who was hit by a car in Uniondale on Friday morning later died of his injuries, Nassau County police said.The victim, who’s identity wasn’t immediately released, was crossing Jerusalem Avenue when he was hit by a northbound Chevrolet that was making a right turn at the corner of Nostrand Avenue at 11:10 a.m., police said.First Squad detectives tested the car and are continuing the investigation but found no apparent criminality by the the 19-year-old man driving the car.last_img

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MRU to Hold Summit on Ebola

first_imgThe Secretariat of the Mano River Union (MRU) will hold a two-day technical and ministerial meeting among three of the four members who were the worst Ebola affected countries, according to its chairman Guinean President Alpha Conde.The technical meeting, which is to take place in the Guinean capital, Conakry beginning tomorrow, will focus on harmonizing the MRU’s approach to recovery from the Ebola virus disease as a success, President Conde noted. After the technical meeting, a summit, which will bring together leaders of the four MRU member states, (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cotê d’Ivoire and Guinea), is expected to take place at the same venue on Sunday, February 15.The MRU Chair made the disclosure on Tuesday when he paid a one-day solidarity visit to Liberia and held a closed door meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf before both leaders addressed a joint press conference in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.President Conde, speaking through an interpreter, said it is important that the MRU countries have a common, unified position when they meet with the international community which will make them stronger. He called on Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to put their efforts together to fight and defeat the disease.His one-day visit was to show solidarity and compassion to President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia. “I came to show compassion to my sister, to the Liberian people and also to show that we have a common destiny in the turmoil we are facing. We have to fight Ebola and all its consequences, including our economic recovery,” said President Conde.Professor Conde said he was gratified that Liberia has only four confirmed Ebola cases and he is optimistic that there would shortly be no new cases within the three countries.He said Liberia and Guinea are the same. If there is a problem in Liberia it means that it is a problem for Guinea.In welcome remarks earlier, President Sirleaf commended Professor Conde and his delegation and recounted the long bilateral relations between both countries which have gone through some troubled times, especially during the Ebola crisis.“I welcome you and your delegation as you visit Liberia to show solidarity with the Liberian people, not only as a long-time friend but also as the current Chair of the MRU,” President Sirleaf said. “Our two countries have a long history of relationship; our two countries have also gone through some difficulties. In the last few years the bonds of friendship between us have grown stronger as we work together not only in the MRU but in ECOWAS and the African Union.”President Sirleaf applauded President Conde for the level of encouragement in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, as well as his representation of the MRU countries at different international forums to mobilize support for the countries worse affected by the Ebola virus disease. She said Liberia looks forward to working with Guinea as both countries work together to improve the lives of their citizens. President Conde left Liberia for Freetown, Sierra Leone in continuation of his visits to MRU countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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OpenID Ends 2009 With 1 Billion Accounts Enabled

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Data Portability#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… jolie odell At the close of a whiz-bang year, OpenID has a lot to be proud of.With a community of nine million sites that use OpenID logins and one billion enabled accounts, OpenID has effectively revolutionized the way we are able to create and maintain portable identities. Best of all, it’s not just bloggers and geeks who sang OpenID’s praises: The U.S. federal government got on board this year, too.OpenID accounts are enabled by such providers as AOL, Blogger, Flickr, Google, LiveJournal, MySpace, Verisign, WordPress and Yahoo, with announcements of upcoming OpenIDs from Microsoft and PayPal. Sites that allow users to login with OpenID range from major retailers and music labels to news organizations and social sites.As for the government, at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, the General Services Administration and several government agencies announced they would adopt OpenID as part of the White House’s Open Government Initiative. Participating companies included Yahoo!, PayPal, Google, Equifax, AOL, VeriSign, Acxiom, Citi, Privo and Wave Systems. On the government side is the Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and related agencies.Not only is the government’s involvement a vote of confidence for OpenID’s innovation, it also speaks to the product’s security progress, which was spearheaded by security committee head and PayPal exec Andrew Nash.In addition to developing and spreading the OpenID product, there’s also the OpenID Foundation, which appointed its first executive committee, including Chris Messina and Don Thibeau, in 2009.Portable identity is one of our favorite themes from this year, and we applaud what OpenID has been able to accomplish. What do you look forward to seeing from the product, the foundation and OpenID partner sites in the year to come? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.Update: The title of this post was changed to reflect the discrepancy between the number of OpenID enabled accounts now online vs. the number of probable OpenID users.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

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Facebook Home: A Facebook Phone & A New Facebook Mobile Experience

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The journalists, analysts and camera crews queued up in a chilly rain at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters to get the first look at Facebook’s new home on Android – the long-rumored Facebook Phone.The Hype Was HeavyWould it be new “skin” software designed to put Facebook front and center on any Android device? Or an actual device in of itself – the rumor mill suggested HTC – built from the ground up to feature the social networking giant. Or would it be something completely new and unexpected?Everyone wanted to know. Heck, the local newsradio station – not known for its tech savvy – gushed breathlessly about the event – right before talking about President Obama’s visit to the Bay Area.But when Mark Zuckerberg walked on stage, it became clear we’re talking about both! “Today we’re finally going to talk about the Facebook phone,” Zuckerberg said. But that phone, the HTC First, is really just a reference model for the best integration of the Facebook Home software that can be downloaded onto any modern Android phone (starting April 12).What Is Facebook Home?According to Zuckerberg, Facebook Home consists of a few key capabilities designed to put people, not apps, first. “Today, our phones are designed aroundapps, not people” Zuckerberg said. “And we want to flip that around.” He compared the change to adding Newsfeed to Facebook’s website, where people started consuming about twice as much content overnight, he said. “We want to bring this experience right to your phone, and deliver it to as many poeple as possible.”There are three key components: Cover Feed, Chat Heads and Notifications.Cover Feed: Replacing the home and/or lock screen of an Android device, it gives you an immersive experience from the moment you turn on your phone, said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s director of product. Instead of seeing a clock and maybe a snippet of a notification, you see your Facebook Open Graph stories with large images cycling across the screen. News shares, status updates (use the poster’s cover photo as the background) are visible right from the get got. You can do a long press to see the whole picture or swipe to get to the next one. You can even add comments right from the home screen, seen below. Chat Heads: These little round bubbles with the images of your friends shown below are the metaphor for Facebook Home’s way of keeping you up to date on what your friends are saying. Incorporating Facebook messaging and texting, you just tap on the Head to join the conversation. (Group conversations smuch all the participant’s pictures into the bubble, slightly awkwardly.) The key here is that Chat Heads show up everywhere on the phone, not just in a dedicated app. They’re always available – the little Heads show up in the corner of the screen no matter what else you’re doing, and follow along when you move to a new app. (You can just flick them away if you want to get rid of them.) Notifications: If Chat Heads are about connecting to what’s important to you, Zuckerberg said, Notifications are there to make sure you don’t miss critical information – along with the name and face of the person who’s sending you the message. Unfortunately, with the download version at least, Facebook Home will not support notifications of emails, but you can still use the native Android notification bar. It’s not as pretty, but it’s still effective – something may not matter to high-school kids, but it may to the older professionals who also make up a big part of Facebook’s member base.Finally, Facebook Home adds a new app launcher, for when you still want to use your phone the old-fashioned way. Apps are really important too, so we wanted to make it just as easy to get to your apps. The app launcher is just one swipe away from your home or lock screen.Many, but not all, of these features can be switched on or off, the company said.How Big A Deal Is Facebook Home?While Facebook home is not a complete mobile operating system, it’s not some lightweight app, either. “We’re not building a phone, and we’re not building an operating system, but we’re also building something a lot deeper than just an app,” Zuckerberg said. “We wanted this to feel like system software, not just an app that your run. We feel like theres a higher bar for that…”That’s critical, because people spend a lot of time on Facebook on their mobile phones. Some 20% of the time people spend on their smartphones is spent with Facebook – 25% if you include Instragram, the company said. And that’s three times as much as with any other app.Still, while Zuckerberg claimed that people look at Facebook 10-12 times a day, they look at the home screen of their phone 100 times a day. Facebook Home brings the social network much closer to the user – and could be expected to seriously up Facebook’s engagment time for those who use it.It also expands on Facebook’s Mobile First mantra to what Zuckerberg called “Mobile Best.” “We think this is the best version of Facebook there is.”The Facebook PhoneFacebook Home will be available for free download from the Google Play store on April 12, but that’s only part of the story. Facebook Home is also the HTC First (seen on the left, below), available the same day for $99.99 exclusively from AT&T – pre-orders start today. As the first phone with Facebook Home built in, the HTC First offers deeper integration than the downloadable version. The key, Zuckerberg said, is that users don’t have to download anything or sign in to anything to get started. In addition, the built-in integration means Facebook Home can (unlike the downloadable version) incorporate notifications from other apps, such as email or Spotify. The email issue, particularly, will be a big deal to some people.What’s Next For Facebook Home?The April 12 launch date is only the beginning for Facebook Home. Zuckerberg promised that like all Facebook software, it will be updated monthly (not yearly like mobile operating systems). Updates will likely expand Cover Feed to include video, group joins, friending stories and other actions.Another thing to expect? Ads. While Zuckerberg said there would not be ads in Cover Feed at launch, he didn’t dispute a question that they could be added at a later date.It also makes sense to expect more smartphones with Facebook Home built in. The company made no mention of an exclusive arrangement with HTC or AT&T. The company also promised a tablet version of Facebook home within the next few months. As for a version of Facebook Home for the iPhone and iPad, Zuckerberg was non-committal. That will require working with Apple, he said, in ways that talking to Google wasn’t necessary to do the Android version.And that could actually make some waves in the mobile platform wars. “I actually think this is really good for Android,” Zuckerberg said. Even though there are more Android phones out there, he explained, a lot of people do their best work on iphone first. “This could bring more innovation to Android.”Facebook will be working to lead that. “This is a deeply technical problem, and its also a deeply social problem,” Zuckerberg said, adding that his company is uniquely positioned to deal with that combination.Images courtesy of Facebook. Lead image by Fredric Paul. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Facebook#smartphones#social Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement fredric paullast_img read more

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London Olympics 2012: Security company’s boss says reputation is in shambles

first_imgThe security company G4S which failed to provide enough personnel for the Olympics has accepted that their reputation is in “humiliating shambles,” as its CEO Nick Buckles said it will pay for police and military personnel to step in.Buckles was grilled by members of the Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, who tore into him for having failed the people and the country.However, Jeremy Hunt, minister for Culture and Olympics, sought to assure the public that the Games would be held “safe and secure” as they always had contingency plans in place.Buckles said that the contract signed last December with the Games organising committee for 10,400 additional security staff would remain unfulfilled as they were now hoping to supply up to 7,000 personnel. So far, the company has only been able to send 4,200 people, less than half of the contracted number. The total requirement for security has been put at between 21,000 and 24,000, with the police and army taking up the slack left by G4S.Chairman of the committee Keith Vaz made Buckles agree that their reputation was “in tatters,” and that the largest security company in the world, and third largest private sector employer with 660,000 employees, had not been able to meet its obligations. It is estimated the company is likely to lose at least 50 million because of the fiasco.Buckles told members that he came to know of the shortfall on July 3 and he was “utterly shocked” and they moved to inform the organising committee. He said the police and army personnel would be able to fill the gaps left by his company’s non-fulfillment of the obligations.advertisementMembers of Parliament questioned him on when he came to know about the problem and who he informed, and whether he should resign after the fiasco. Buckles said he had the confidence of the board of his company, which made 600 million last year. The largest investor in G4S, Invesco also signalled that they were behind Buckles who was the right person to bring the company out of its current problems.The shares of G4S slipped 15 per cent even though many other shareholders were supporting the company officials. Secretary Hunt said that the government needed to get to the bottom of the matter. “But the time for that is not now,” he told media.For now, he said, they had to deliver the Games, and that later they would be investigating in detail on how this happened. The members said that one of the reasons for G4S’s failure may have been its employment policies which paid security staff about 8.5 per hour, not much higher than minimum wages. Also, they were not paid for training, unless they turned up for actual work.Last few days, several expected security staff of G4S did not turn up for work at cycling events and some manning requirements in Manchester. Buckles said a 10 per cent shortfall was also expected, but MPs said in some place only about 20 to 30 per cent staff turned up.Buckles is paid 830,000 a year and may be eligible for several million pounds in pension funds and performance bonus. Meanwhile, the 3,500 military personnel drafted for security work have started moving into the Olympic Park and other Games venues.last_img read more

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2015 Vawdon Cup

first_imgClose to 100 teams from Sydney and surrounding areas will compete in the 2015 New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) Vawdon Cup season, which starts on Friday, 7 August. 96 teams will battle it out across 10 divisions, including Boys and Girls Youth divisions for the first time, for the next three months in their quest to become 2015 Vawdon Cup champions.The Wollongong Devils will be looking for back-to-back titles in the Men’s Premier League division in 2015 following their 5-4 win over the Penrith Panthers last year. The Canterbury Bulldogs will be hopeful of claiming consecutive titles in the Women’s Premier League division, while the Eastern Suburbs Roosters will be looking to continue their Mixed Division One dominance. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and results from the 2015 Vawdon Cup season, please visit the NSWTA website and social media channels:Website – www.nswtouch.com.au Facebook – www.facebook.com/nswtouchTwitter – www.twitter.com/nsw_touchInstagram – www.instagram.com/nswtouch 2014 Vawdon Cup resultsMen’s Premier LeagueWollongong Devils 5 defeated Penrith Panthers 4Women’s Premier LeagueCanterbury Bulldogs 3 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 2Mixed Division OneEasts Roosters 9 defeated Wests Magpies 7                                  Men’s Division OneParramatta Eels 7 defeated Ryde Eastwood Hawks 6Women’s Division OneWallsend Wolves 5 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 3Men’s Division TwoCentral Coast Dolphins 10 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 5Women’s Division TwoManly Sea Eagles 4 defeated Campbelltown Ghosts 3 (drop-off)Mixed Division TwoPeninsula Piranhas 5 defeated Campbelltown Ghosts 4Men’s Division ThreeLiverpool Lightning 8 defeated Parramatta Eels 2Women’s Division ThreeBerkeley Vale Panthers 3 defeated Eastern Suburbs Roosters 2 (drop-off)Men’s Division FourBlacktown Broncos 7 defeated Bankstown Jets 32014 Vawdon Cup champions: Eastern Suburbs RoostersRelated Links2015 Vawdon Cuplast_img read more

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Kanesatake seeks to solidify Indigenous Treaty against Energy East with sacred items

first_img(Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon holds up a Haudenosaunee Wampum Belt. Photo/Tom Fennario)Julien Gignac APTN National NewsThe Mohawk community at the centre of the Oka Crisis is leading plans to hold a ceremony aimed at solidifying an Indigenous alliance against the proposed Energy East pipeline.Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon said the ceremony is expected to take place in British Columbia this coming spring.Simon said he first raised the idea of the alliance during a September Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs meeting. Simon said the “Indigenous Treaty” would create a “formal alliance between anyone who would be inclined to reject the pipeline proposals going through native territories.”Kanesatake was at the centre of the 1990 Oka Crisis triggered after the neighbouring village tried to bulldoze Mohawk burial grounds to expand a golf course.The primary goal of the treaty aims to limit the expansion of Alberta’s tar sands. Simon said the alliance would focus initially on stopping TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline which would ship Alberta-mined bitumen to the East Coast.Kanesatake would be directly affected by TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project if approved — a portion slicing straight through traditional hunting territory. The hunting grounds stretch almost 200 square miles to Sainte-Scholastique, Mirabel and all the surrounding areas, said Simon.The community is one of roughly 155 First Nations communities along the proposed path.The pipeline is projected to cost $12-billion and traverse 4,600 kilometres from Alberta to Irving oil facilities in Saint John, NB. The pipeline would transport about 1.1-million barrels of crude a day.Simon said the new treaty would include a traditionally-based Indigenous ceremony. He said the springtime event would feature the exchange of sacred objects to formalize it.The idea stemmed from discussions among chiefs in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, said Simon.Simon said the exchange objects would include a Haudenosaunee Wampum Belt, a Pacific Northwestern Totem Pole, and a mid-western Buffalo Robe. Simone said these objects represent elements inseparable from the cultural fabric of many First Nations people.These items have powerful meanings, pre-dating Canadian Confederation by centuries. Their presence is a ceremonial sign, commemorating kinship, honour, alliance, he said.“The Wampum Belt goes back thousands of years since the great law of the Iroquois, the great law of peace” said Simon. “It’s not only symbolic, it’s at the very heart of our identity as Iroquois people.”Made from white and purple beads, Wampum were inter-generational communication tools, documenting lineage. Wampum Belts were used as a formal means of establishing bonds between nations, legitimizing important events and upholding the promise of allegiance. They were also used during healing ceremonies.The Wampum Belt lies at the heart the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, consisting of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and the Tuscarora people.Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak decided to include the Buffalo Robe.“They had vision in their nation that someday the Buffalo Robe would come back over the mountain,” said Simon. “That means to them the robe would make it over the Rocky Mountains and into British Columbia.”Sundance Chief Rueben George of the Tsleil Waututh Nation in B.C. will contribute the Totem Pole, Simon said.Totem poles are traditionally used to honour ancestral ties and history, marking important turning points and milestones. They depict the crests of corresponding clans, commonly representing animals.“We bring these together and it’s the power and belief of all of these nations coming together under one treaty,” said Simon.It has the attention of others, too.B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Grand Council of Treaty 3, encompassing First Nations communities in both Ontario and Manitoba, and chiefs from the Innu Nation are currently considering joining in solidarity.Kanesatake has a custom political system and does not fall under the scope of the Indian Act.“I can sign a treaty with whoever I choose,” said Simon. “It doesn’t matter what system I’m under. It would be hugely symbolic, but it would also help First Nations reconnect with their past and use it in the present context.”The approach is manifold.“We wish to work in collaboration,” according to a text of the proposed treaty obtained by APTN National News. “With all Canadians and all levels of government in creating a clean, just and sustainable economy, one that will both lead to healthier and more prosperous communities across Canada as well as preserve and protect our way of life.”Simon said governments and industry should take this treaty seriously.“It’s to safeguard our rights and to say no, free, prior and informed consent must be had,” said Simon. “If the industry, or the government, or both, decide to strong arm a First Nation who steadfastly says ‘no,’ then that First Nation can rest assured that they’re not alone.”Obtaining “free, prior and informed consent” from Indigenous people before development projects receive the go-ahead is incorporated into the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett has said Indigenous people in Canada will not be excluded from federal decisions that could objectify their land and inherent rights.Ottawa is now facing increased pressure to approve the Energy East pipeline following the rejection of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline by the White House earlier this month.The Justin Trudeau government has openly admitted to “supporting” the Energy East project.TransCanada officials have said they consulted many First Nations and Metis communities along Energy East’s proposed route.“They (Indigenous people) need to be an integral part of everything we do at TransCanada,” said TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper. “So far along the project we’ve held 2,100 meetings with more than 180 aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada since 2013.”Forty-eight Metis and First Nations communities have accepted “Communications Engagement Funding Agreements,” said Cooper.These agreements involve money and allow the company to enter communities, give hold information sessions and note any concerns raised.“These dollars go to helping to provide and build the capacity within the First Nations communities to be able to provide input, attend meetings, to conduct their own studies, to meaningfully engage in the process so that we can collect the best information possible as it relates to the benefits and concerns of the pipeline” said Cooper.Impoverished First Nations are easily swayed when money is involved, said Simon.“Poverty is a hell of an incentive to sign on the dotted line,” he said.Kanesatake has received money from the energy firm, said Simon.In 2014, TransCanada cut a cheque to the community for $15,000 to conduct such a “capacity agreement,” he said.“They gave us the money with no questions asked,” he said. “There was no receipt, no accounting.”Simon told them to “get out” once the company started to ask about traditional knowledge, saying it followed too closely the types of questions asked during land claim settlements.“I don’t see the Crown anywhere in this process, the industry is the only one coming to talk to me and they’re asking me these questions that might prejudice my land claim,” said Simon. “That pipeline comes through and it’s basically a forced surrender of the land without the Crown being anywhere in sight.”The National Energy Board (NEB) is scheduling hearings allowing First Nations to voice their concerns, opinions and beliefs as they relate to Energy East.“Oral traditional evidence sessions are intended to help the NEB understand early on in the process how the Energy East Project may impact Aboriginal communities’ interests,” according to the NEB website. “For example, NEB expects to hear testimony about sacred sites, ceremonial sites, and traditional uses of the land and water in areas through which the proposed pipeline would pass.”Such a move is debatable to Simon, who believes the NEB and industry should be an arms-length away from each other.“What should have happened from the very beginning is the minister of Indian Affairs — with the mandate from the prime minister — going to each regional organization, like the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs,” he said. “You talk to them and start to hammer out a process of consultation, then you call in the industry.”TransCanada is one company pushing the idea that pipelines are the safest and most cost effective way to transport oil.“We recognize that these projects are the safest way to transport needed oil,” he said. “It’s the least greenhouse gas intensive way to transport and we have an extreme respect for the land the aboriginal communities along the route,” he said.Indications of potential risks associated with pipelines recently surfaced. In July, Nexen Energy made a public apology after one of its pipelines, south of Fort McMurray, Alta., burst, gushing five million litres of oil.In September, one of TransCanada’s natural gas pipelines exploded near Emerson, Man., sending apocalyptic flames and black smoke sky high. Two thirds of the proposed Energy East pipeline are to be converted from natural gas pipelines.“The spills are a lot worse than a tanker coming off the rails,” said Simon. “When they do burst, they burst, man, and you have major disasters on your hands.”Diane Beckett, Sierra Club Canada’s interim executive director, believes the oil should stay in the ground.“We’re being asked, ‘What poison do we want?’” she said. “The truth is when pipelines break, they’re huge oil spills.”Energy East will expand the amount of oil extracted, she said.“We don’t need new infrastructure to be put into an old dinosaur industry,” said Beckett. “We have to start putting the investments into green energy and energy conservation.”Beckett admires Simon in his attempt to unify Indigenous people across the country.“I’m very heartened that First Nations are saying no to energy infrastructure,” she said.Consultation with Indigenous people is embedded in the Canadian Constitution and industry along with government have historically ignored this, said Rodney Nelson, CEO of Global Governance Group, a policy think-tank with a focus on Indigenous issues.“Gearing together as a non-divisive force to put a stop to energy projects is an important position and a position that’s needed,” he said. “The Constitution is not an Indigenous law, it’s a Canadian law.”Simon believes it is time for Indigenous communities to act in unison.“They’ve had many years on their end to promote their project,” he said. “Now it’s our turn to speak.” [email protected]@JulienGignaclast_img read more

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Uber reveals coverup of hack affecting 57M riders drivers

first_imgUber is coming clean about its coverup of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service’s customers and drivers.So far, there’s no evidence that the data taken has been misused, according to a Tuesday blog post by Uber’s recently hired CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. Part of the reason nothing malicious has happened is because Uber acknowledges paying the hackers $100,000 to destroy the stolen information.The revelation marks the latest stain on Uber’s reputation.The San Francisco company ousted Travis Kalanick as CEO in June after an internal investigation concluded he had built a culture that allowed female workers to be sexually harassed and encouraged employees to push legal limits.It’s also the latest major breach involving a prominent company that didn’t notify the people that could be potentially harmed for months or even years after the break-in occurred.Yahoo didn’t make its first disclosure about hacks that hit 3 billion user accounts during 2013 and 2014 until September 2016. Credit reporting service Equifax waited several months before revealing this past September that hackers had carted off the Social Security numbers of 145 million Americans.Khosrowshahi criticized Uber’s handling of its data theft in his blog post.“While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes,” Khosrowshahi wrote. “We are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of our customers.”That pledge shouldn’t excuse Uber’s previous regime for its egregious behaviour, said Sam Curry, chief security officer for the computer security firm Cybereason.“The truly scary thing here is that Uber paid a bribe, essentially a ransom to make this breach go away, and they acted as if they were above the law,” Curry said. “Those people responsible for the integrity and confidentiality of the data in-fact covered it up.”The heist took the names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of 57 million riders around the world. The thieves also nabbed the driver’s license numbers of 600,000 Uber drivers in the U.S.Uber waited until Tuesday to begin notifying the drivers with compromised driver’s licenses, which can be particularly useful for perpetrating identify theft. For that reason, Uber will now pay for free credit-report monitoring and identity theft protection services for the affected drivers.Kalanick, who still sits on Uber’s board of directors, declined to comment on the data breach that took place in October 2016. Uber says the response to the hack was handled by its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor whom Kalanick lured away from Facebook in 2015.As part of his effort to set things right, Khosrowshahi extracted Sullivan’s resignation from Uber and also jettisoned Craig Clark, a lawyer who reported to Sullivan.Clark didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent through his LinkedIn profile. Efforts to reach Sullivan were unsuccessful.Uber’s silence about its breach came while it was negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission about its handling of its riders’ information.Earlier in 2016, the company reached a settlement with the New York attorney general requiring it to take steps to be more vigilant about protecting the information that its app stores about its riders. As part of that settlement, Uber also paid a $20,000 fine for waiting to notify five months about another data breach that it discovered in September 2014.last_img read more

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