16 Dec

Security Trends: Quality Over Quantity, Mobile Vulnerabilities and the Cloud

first_imgTags:#enterprise#networking Web applications accounted for nearly half the vulnerabilities disclosed in 2010. Cross-site scripting and SQL injections are the biggest problems, though cross-site scripting is in decline.Perhaps the scariest fact in the report, however, is that nearly half the vulnerabilities disclosed remain unpatched. klint finley The good news is that phishing in decline. The peak level of phishing in 2010 was less than 1/4 the peak level of phishing over the past two years. The bad news is that “spear phishing” on the rise. Spear phishing is a more targeted form of phishing – the phisher generally poses as someone the victim knows.Spam peaked in 2010, reaching its highest level in history, and then leveled off. IBM speculates that this is due to spammers seeing less benefit from high volume spamming. Instead, spammers seem to be focusing on bypassing spam filters. Again, quality over quantity is the new rule. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair The report also warned of security vulnerabilities in virtualization systems, particularly hypervisor escape vulnerabilities.Although the number of security vulnerabilities in Web applications and hypervisors may be off-putting. IBM thinks cloud security will eventually improve to such a point that it becomes a driver, instead of an inhibitor, of cloud adoption. We’ve been saying much the same here for some time.Also of note, IBM is opening the Advanced Institute for Security in Europe in Brussels. The goal of the institute is to connect representatives from the government, private sector and academia with IBM security experts in Europe.Disclosure: IBM is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor.Photo credit: Circo de Inviernocenter_img Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… As enterprises face increasingly sophisticated and specialized risks, criminals seem to be taking a quality-over-quantity approach to malware, phishing and spamming. According to the IBM X-Force 2010 Trend and Risk Report, spam and peaked and phishing declined last year. But total security disclosures increased, and, of course, we saw what happened with Stuxnet.Stuxnet proved that highly targeted attacks against specialized equipment is no longer a hypothetical threat – it’s a real threat.Although Stuxnet was the highest profile computer security story of 2010, the Zeus botnet continues to threaten far more individuals and organizations. According to the report, Zeus was responsible for stealing more than $1 million from customers of one UK-based financial institution alone. IBM warns that PDF vulnerabilities are a growing way to spread the Zeus trojan, and that FoxIt Reader is not immune to the flaws.Despite the alarm it caused, the Conficker worm is in decline. The number of mobile operating system vulnerabilities increased this year, but malware on mobiles is still uncommon. The biggest security risk remains lost or stolen devices.last_img read more

17 Nov

I’ll be surprised if India doesn’t win Test series vs England: Shane Watson

first_imgFormer Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has said that he’ll be “really surprised” if India don’t emerge victorious comprehensively in the five-Test series against England which starts in Birmingham Wednesday.Speaking exclusively to India Today during his short visit to the India, Watson, star of Chennai Super Kings’ IPL triumph this season, said that unlike Australia or England, India is lucky to have so many selection problems while finalising their eleven for the series opener.”England haven’t been playing their best Test cricket recently though they’ve dominated the ODI format. I think it is going to be great test for Virat Kohli and his team. I wouldn’t be surprised if India won over there. They’ve definitely got the talent and technique to do well in England. So, I’ll be surprised if India doesn’t win,” said Watson who’s represented Australia in 190 ODIs, 59 Tests and 58 T20 international matches during his 11-year international career.Edgbaston Test: India look to draw first blood at England’s fortress”To me, who’s sitting this far, it seems to be a perfect storm, how things have come together for the Indians with the people who are available and the selection conundrum that they have at the top of the order. This is a great problem for India to have. England and Australia don’t have that problem at the moment where they are trying to fit in the likes of (Shikhar) Dhawan, (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Murali) Vijay & (KL) Rahul. To be able to fit four of those guys in three is a very good problem to have. The best teams, when they’ve had a long period of success, have such issues to sort,” added the 37-year-old.advertisementVirat Kohli says he’s not in a frame of mind to prove himself in any countryTo do that, believes Watson, the form of skipper Virat Kohli will be hugely vital for the Indian team. The Delhi lad hasn’t got many happy memories from the last Test tour of England in 2014, having scored just 134 runs in five Tests. This time he will be keen to make amends.1st Test vAugust 1, 2018Edgbastonhttps://t.co/CPALMGgLOj15.30 IST#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/YqVrQJr87CBCCI (@BCCI) August 1, 2018We have strong plans in place for Kohli, says Root”Virat is a very determined guy. There is no doubt that the 2014 series will be something that he would’ve learnt from in a big way,” says Watson.Controversial? Adil Rashid in England playing XI for first Test vs India”From a technical point of view and also mentally, he is a guy who adapts to all conditions. I personally saw that in Australia, him coming out and dominating our fast bowlers on Australian pitches. It just shows his calibre and how he really adjusts little technical things to be able to adjust and turn things around very quickly. This is going to be a huge series in England for Virat.””My motive is to score runs & take Indian cricket forward” – @imVkohli #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/52jDOEkCWXBCCI (@BCCI) July 31, 2018India vs England: Virat Kohli has improved since 2014, says James AndersonThough surprisingly Virat isn’t Watson’s favourite player right now. The Indian team management might be struggling to adjust Rahul in the playing eleven for the Edgbaston Test but he walks into Watson’s list without any competition.Adil Rashid hit out at Michael Vaughan like a spoilt brat: Geoffrey Boycott”He is the best for me in world cricket right now. I just love the way Rahul plays the game. He is so beautiful to watch. He does it so easily, whether it is against the fast bowlers with the ball swinging around or spin bowling, he has got all shot options. To top it, he has got a great defence too. He is incredibly good. So, I have my fingers crossed that he plays this Test series because I absolutely love watching him play. Whether it is T20 like we saw in this year’s IPL, or ODIs or the longer format, he has got all the skills required to dominate against all types of bowling,” Watson said.In his bowling depth, India captain @imVkohli trusts. Listen in! #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/VSShvDmBmSBCCI (@BCCI) July 31, 2018And if he has to select just one spinner, who would it be – R Ashwin or Kuldeep Yadav?”Ashwin is an incredible bowler, has a great record and provides a lot with the bat too. But I am not too sure because Kuldeep is an X-factor as well and bowled brilliantly during the ODI and T20 series in England. So, I am not sure which way I will go. Again this is a good problem to have as both are match-winning bowlers,” quips Watson.advertisementlast_img read more

24 Oct

Image and Video of the Day: Here There Be Giants

first_imgThe 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar, the largest container ship in the world, is pictured here entering the Port of Rotterdam on Tuesday, March 3.  The 396-meter-long and 59-meter-wide MSC Oscar arrived from Algeciras and will leave for Bremerhaven on Wednesday evening, March 4.On March 9, the ship will return to Rotterdam, where it will be moored at the ECT in the Delta East terminal. After that, the MSC Oscar will leave for the Mediterranean via Felixstowe.”We are very happy with the MSC Oscar’s arrival. Her shipping schedule confirms that Rotterdam is the perfect port for this class of ships: the MSC Oscar will be visiting Rotterdam twice,” said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.last_img read more

22 Oct

La NouvelleÉcosse célèbre la première Fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes

first_img Le premier ministre John Hamm et le ministre des Affairesacadiennes Chris d’Entremont souhaitent à tous une heureuse Fêteprovinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes, le dimanche 15 août. «La culture acadienne occupe une place très importante del’histoire de la Nouvelle-Écosse et aussi dans son futur», dit lepremier ministre Hamm. «C’est un honneur que la Nouvelle-Écossesoit la province hôtesse du Congrès mondial en cette année quimarque un grand moment historique pour les Acadiens et lesAcadiennes, et pour notre province. Le premier ministre Hamm a participé à plusieurs activités duCongrès, entre autres l’ouverture officielle à Pointe-de-l’Égliseet le Festival du Mitan à Chéticamp. Il assistera également à lamesse de clôture à Grand Pré le dimanche 15 août. Cette année la fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennescoïncide avec la journée même de la clôture des festivités duCongrès mondial acadien. «Il est approprié que la journée provinciale acadienne soitproclamée cette année comme les Acadiens et les Acadiennes etleurs amis de partout au monde viennent en Nouvelle-Écosse pourcélébrer le 400e anniversaire de l’arrivée de leurs ancêtres enAmérique du Nord», dit Monsieur d’Entremont. Monsieur d’Entremont a également pris part à l’ouvertureofficielle du Congrès. Il a participé à de nombreuses réunions defamilles acadiennes et sera présent à la messe de clôture à GrandPré. Depuis 1881, les Acadiens et les Acadiennes reconnaissent le 15août comme leur fête nationale. Cette date a été proclamée Fêtenationale par le gouvernement fédéral. Plus tôt cette année, lalégislature de la Nouvelle-Écosse a unanimement adopté le projetde loi 51, instituant le 15 août comme la Fête provinciale desAcadiens et des Acadiennes. BUREAU DU PREMIER MINISTRE/AFFAIRES ACADIENNES–La Nouvelle-Écosse célèbre la première Fête provinciale des Acadiens et desAcadiennes POUR DIFFUSION SUR LES ONDES: Le premier ministre John Hamm et le ministre des Affaires acadiennes Chris d’Entremont souhaitent à tous une heureuse Fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes, le dimanche 15 août. La législation instituant le 15 août comme la Fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes a été adoptée à l’unanimité par les membres de l’Assemblée législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse plus tôt cette année. Cette année la Fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes coïncide avec la journée même de la clôture des festivités du Congrès mondial acadien. Le premier ministre et le ministre des Affaires acadiennes soulignent que les événements de la journée sont un hommage au passé et une promesse d’avenir pour les Acadiens et les Acadiennes de cette province. -30- Source: Robert Batherson Bureau du Premier ministre 902-424-4895 Courriel: batherrk@gov.ns.ca Real Samson Bureau des Affaires acadiennes 902-424-3821 Courriel: samsonrj@gov.ns.calast_img read more

22 Oct

Caribbean Potential Market for Environmental Industry

first_imgENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Caribbean Potential Market for EnvironmentalIndustry Environmental businesses in Nova Scotia are meeting potential newcustomers this week. A group of government officials from several Caribbean countriesare visiting the province from today, Sept. 8, until Friday,Sept. 10, to learn about solid waste management, includingrecycling and composting. “These countries are ready to start improving their wastemanagement systems and they’re looking for guidance from NovaScotia’s government and businesses as world leaders in thisarea,” said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. “We’rehappy to help these countries with our expertise, and develop newmarkets for our environmental industry at the same time.” Nova Scotia diverts half of its waste from landfills and employsmore than 3,000 people in the solid waste-resource field. Thesebusinesses now have an opportunity to export their knowledge andproducts to other countries while continuing their work to keepNova Scotia clean. “Showing other countries how we do things in Nova Scotia givesour companies international exposure so they can expand into newmarkets,” said Rick Joseph, executive director of the Nova ScotiaEnvironmental Industry Association. “Their growth is good for theeconomy in Nova Scotia, and it’s good for the health of ourplanet.” Four representatives are here from the Bahamas, Trinidad andTobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Their visit has beenco-ordinated by the Department of Environment and Labour and theResource Recovery Fund Board. They will tour facilities for recycling, composting, used-tirerecycling, and disposal of construction and demolition waste.They will learn about all the components of Nova Scotia’sstrategy for solid waste-resource management. They will also meet environmental engineers, consultants andother specialists in the province’s environmental industry. Nova Scotia has co-ordinated tours of its facilities for manycountries, including Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Japan,Ireland, Iceland, India, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.last_img read more

17 Oct

Millennial Money Are you robbing the Bank of Mom and Dad

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore. – When Melanie Lockert graduated with a master’s in performance studies in 2011, she was overwhelmed with student loans. Her many attempts to tap the Bank of Mom and Dad had failed.She had already worked three jobs to pay off $13,000. After juggling multiple jobs, relocating from New York to Portland, Oregon, and trimming expenses, she paid off the remaining $68,000 in 2015. Now 34, she acknowledges that tackling it herself may have been for the best.“If my parents had agreed to fund my education, I think it would have kind of been at the expense of their own retirement,” says Lockert, a writer and founder of the Dear Debt blog.Indeed, plenty of parents may already be behind on that count. Forty-five per cent of baby boomers have nothing saved for retirement, according to a 2019 study by the Insured Retirement Institute, a financial services trade group. And with average U.S. life expectancy now at about 78 years old, a nest egg is key.“Expectations I don’t think are set properly for how long people are going to live, so I think most families are going to need every penny (for retirement),” says Justin Castelli, CEO and financial advisor at RLS Wealth Management in Fishers, Indiana.If your parents aren’t on track for retirement, accepting a monetary gift from them can create more financial problems than it solves.WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING A GIFTA gift from your parents could jeopardize their potential retirement earnings, but it could eventually cost you, too, if you’re their financial Plan B for their golden years. Before accepting, take these steps:— Have a money talk. To preserve quality of life in retirement, financial planners generally recommend saving enough to replace about 70% of pre-retirement income. Castelli suggests that it depends on your parents’ goals. Find out where Mom and Dad stand. If they aren’t sure, a fee-only financial advisor can offer a clearer picture.— Understand the costs. Parents will be required to file a gift tax return for any amount above $15,000 per parent. And depending on what account the money is coming from and when, additional taxes and penalties may apply.— Outline expectations. Will you be financially responsible for your parents in their later years? If so, consider those future costs. For example, a 65-year-old couple who retired in 2018 would need to have saved $280,000 to cover health and medical expenses throughout retirement, according to a Fidelity estimate . Mom and Dad may be able to help you out today, but at what cost for tomorrow?— Weigh the family dynamic. If they give you money, your parents could also feel pressured to help your siblings and further hurt their retirement savings. And if they only help you, it could lead to jealousy or hurt feelings.— Make sure you truly need the help. As she was paying down debt, Lockert says her work ethic and creativity were pushed to the limit, forcing her to think differently about money. “I felt more confident paying large bills,” she said. If you can budget, save and take advantage of alternative resources, you might tackle financial goals yourself.EXPLORE OTHER OPTIONSDeclining a gift from your parents doesn’t mean you’re out of options:— Make it a loan, not a gift. A family loan could be a win-win: a low interest rate, no credit check and flexible terms for you, and potentially even a profit for your parents. You can consult an attorney or opt for a do-it-yourself promissory note. But it’s not without risks. “Because it’s an official loan, there are the normal avenues of repercussions if the loan is defaulted on,” says Kyle Moore, a certified financial planner and founder of Quarry Hill Advisors in St. Paul, Minnesota. Depending on the terms, parents can call collections, take you to court or seize collateral if you fail to pay it back.— Research other resources. If homeownership is a goal, for example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and your state’s housing finance agency feature programs designed for lower-income or first-time home buyers .— Consolidate or refinance debt. With a good credit score (690 or higher), you can generally qualify for better interest rates to refinance student loans, transfer debt to a balance transfer credit card or consolidate other loans. Regardless of your credit score, a debt management plan from a non-profit credit counselling agency may also lower interest rates for some debts.This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lissalambarena.RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: Family loans: How to dodge the drama http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-drama-free-family-loansHelp buying a new home https://www.usa.gov/buying-homeFidelity Investments’ 16th annual retiree health care cost estimate https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/employer-services/a-couple-retiring-in-2018-would-need-estimated-280000Melissa Lambarena Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Presslast_img read more

13 Oct

Macron says France will delay cap on nuclear energy

first_imgPARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron says the country will move more slowly than promised to cap the amount of energy it derives from nuclear energy.Amid popular discontent about high energy prices, Macron said Tuesday that France will shut down 14 nuclear reactors by 2035 out of 58 now in order.Yet he said France would cap the amount of electricity it derives from nuclear plants at 50 per cent by 2035. That is a delay compared with the goal of 2025 set by his predecessor, Francois Hollande.France depends more on nuclear energy than any other country, getting about three-quarters of its electricity from its 19 nuclear plants.The French leader promised to develop renewable energy instead, saying his priority is weaning France’s economy from fuel that contributes to global warming.The Associated Presslast_img read more

12 Oct

PM antinational sold interest of nation alleges Sidhu

first_img1(346 Words) Download Download PrintPrint 4/20/2019 2:48:00 PM New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi “ruined” government companies and “favoured” private firms in his five years of rule and accused him of being “anti-national for selling the interest of the nation”. Sidhu also described PM Modi as “nikamma” (useless) and said he should stop harping on the issue of nationalism to garner votes and talk about the matters of national interest. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Addressing a press conference here, the Punjab minister alleged, “Modi is the business development manager of Ambani and Adani, as he has favoured them at the cost of state-run firms.” The Congress has been attacking the prime minister for “promoting crony capitalism and favouring his industrialist friends”. The government has, however, denied the charges. Sidhu also alleged that while SBI and MTNL are accruing losses, PM Modi is endorsing private companies like Paytm and Reliance Jio. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “Adani and Ambani accompanied the prime minister on foreign visits and 18 big projects, which should have ideally been given to government companies, were handed over to them,” he claimed. The Congress leader alleged that the “chowkidar” took care only of the rich and ignored the rest 99 per cent of the population. “And the prime minister says he’s the chowkidar of the nation. He’s the chowkidar of the top 1 per cent of the population. He never took chairmen of government companies along with him on his foreign tours. Are government firms not good enough?” Sidhu asked. The cricketer-turned-politician alleged that under the “chowkidar’s” watch, PSUs like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited turned into loss-making enterprises. “While BSNL is grappling with a loss of Rs 8,000 cr, the prime minister is endorsing Reliance Jio, which has posted a huge profit. While SBI is reeling under NPAs, Modi can be seen in advertisements of Paytm,” he alleged. “Modi sold the interest of the nation. He’s anti-national,” Sidhu alleged. The prime minister should stop harping on the issue of nationalism to garner votes and talk about the matters of national interest, he said.last_img read more

12 Oct

Chelsea face tough task to match Liverpool and Man City quality Sarri

first_imgLondon: Maurizio Sarri admitted on Friday that Chelsea face a “very difficult” task to reach the levels of Premier League pacesetters Liverpool and Manchester City as he prepares his team to face Manchester United. The Italian believes the Blues must close the gap in a maximum of two seasons, though his position at Stamford Bridge remains under threat. Chelsea head to Old Trafford on Sunday, where the winners will take a significant step towards a top-four finish to secure Champions League qualification for next season. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuSarri, 60, told reporters at his pre-match press conference the points tallies earned by Liverpool and Manchester City — both closing on 90 points — were “incredible” and said he wanted the chance to elevate Chelsea to that level. “It’s incredible because Manchester City, in the last season, gained 100 points,” said Sarri. “To gain 100 points in the Premier League is really incredible, really very difficult. In this season, two teams, I think they will finish with about 97, 96, 95 points. That’s incredible. It’s very difficult to cover the gap. Really very difficult. We need to work. We need to improve. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”Of course, this one is the third season of (Pep) Guardiola at City, and the fifth I think of (Jurgen) Klopp at Liverpool (Klopp is in his fourth season at Anfield). So it’s a long way (to go). But in one or two seasons, we have to recover the gap.” Sarri said his team, currently in fourth spot in the Premier League, are improving despite taking just a single point from their past two matches. “Tactically, we are improving,” he said. “Mentally, too. Because two or three months ago, at the first difficulty in a match, we were not able to fight or react. “Now my feeling is different. Now we are able to fight and react. But of course to recover the gap will be really very difficult for us, but also the other teams.” He said Chelsea had to improve their away form at their top-six rivals after league defeats at the hands of Arsenal, Tottenham, City and Liverpool this season. “We need to face difficulties because for sure against these teams away you have to face difficulties,” he said. “We need to be able to stay in the match in the 10 minutes of difficulty. Sometimes in the second part of the season we lost the match in 10 minutes.” And Sarri said he was surprised Eden Hazard did not feature in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year despite an outstanding season for Chelsea. “Eden deserved to be in the top XI of the Premier League, but I also think the table is clear,” he said. “There is City, there is Liverpool, and then the other teams. The vote was influenced by the table.”last_img read more

12 Oct

55 of French Muslims Ok With Their Daughter Marrying a Jew

By Jonathan WalshRabat – A majority of French Muslims Said they would not object if they daughter married a Jew. An online survey commissioned by The Foundation of French Judaism, conducted in February 2015 in conjunction with a broad study of attitudes in France relating to race and religion, showed that a majority of French Muslims would not object if their daughters were to marry a Jew. The 500 participants, all of whom were French Muslim adults, could choose whether they would “react positively” or “react negatively” to a series of scenarios regarding how their daughters would marry.When asked how they would react if their daughter married a man of Jewish faith, 55% said they would react positively, with the remaining 45% saying they would react negatively.The same people were then asked a similar question, but instead of asking their reactions to a man of Jewish faith they asked how participants would react to their daughter marrying a Catholic man, to which 68% responded that they would “react positively.”Though the results indicate that European Muslims are largely progressive, there are still some conservative pockets. Another survey also published by showed that in the “general population” in France, only 21% would react negatively to their daughter marrying a Jewish man.A debate about the ethics and usefulness of such polls erupted on social media, with some contending that these poll contravene French law due to a ban on “collecting statistics on citizens’ ethnic and religious backgrounds,” according toFrance24..Regardless of the legality of such surveys, at a time when both Islamic and Jewish communities in France are under intense pressure, the surveys appear to indicate more tolerance by the very communities that are subject to hate crimes. Official figures from December of last year show that following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, hate crimes against Muslims have tripled while anti-Semitic attacks have doubled.Edited by Elisabeth Myers read more

12 Oct

Arizona Snowbowl ski resort planning to stay open into May

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The ski season isn’t over yet, at least not for the Arizona Snowbowl north of Flagstaff.Resort officials say they’re planning to remain open into next month, which would tie the longest season in its history.The ski resort plans to operate April 26-28 and May 3-5, and operators say they haven’t yet decided on a closing date for this season.Snowbowl officials say the decision to stay open into May comes after a record-breaking March in which the resort had a 30 per cent increase in skier visits compared with last season.They say the Snowbowl has received 332 inches of snowfall this season. That’s second most in the past 21 years.The Associated Press read more

12 Oct

South Sudan struggles to increase oil production after war

JUBA, South Sudan — Oil-rich South Sudan is struggling to increase production of crude several months after the end of its civil war, and the political upheaval in neighbouring Sudan is in part to blame.The signing of a peace deal in September helped open the way to resuming drilling in South Sudan’s key region of Unity state, but output has been more sluggish than expected in the country with Africa’s third-largest oil reserves .“We had wanted to be farther along but it’s not an easy task,” the oil ministry’s director-general, Awow Daniel Chuang, told The Associated Press. That has hurt recovery from a five-year conflict that killed nearly 400,000 people. Billions of dollars in oil revenue were lost during the war as many oil rigs were shut down or destroyed.Production in Unity state has increased to 175,000 barrels a day since September but is far from the target of 200,000 barrels. Before the civil war began in late 2013, production across the country had been about 350,000 barrels a day, according to the oil ministry.Chuang attributes the slow recovery in part to technical challenges, the lack of funds for new machinery and fluctuating oil prices.The surprise ouster of Sudan’s long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in April also has complicated recovery. South Sudan and Sudan share an oil pipeline and other resources, and earlier this month South Sudan’s oil minister had to travel to Sudan to release materials stranded at Port Sudan, the sole port for South Sudan’s oil exports, because workers were busy protesting issues related to the post-Bashir transition.Despite the obstacles, South Sudan’s government says it should come close to achieving its oil production target by year’s end when it expects all five rigs in Unity state to be operational. Three are now functional.But industry experts say the reality on the ground has shocked potential investors and is starkly different from what the government is conveying, Shawn Duthie, senior analyst with Africa Risk Consulting, told the AP.“Our in-country sources have said that oil production has not really increased in the north and that infrastructure in some parts of Unity state were almost non-existent,” Duthie said.The International Monetary Fund, which visited South Sudan earlier this year, cited an increased daily oil production of about 20 per cent. That contrasts the government’s numbers, which reflect twice that amount.South Sudan’s oil ministry said it needs approximately $1.5 billion over the next five years to invest in updated equipment to extract more oil and map unexplored areas. Many of the country’s oil fields are old, which means they are producing more water than oil, the ministry said.The government is reaching out to foreign investors. South Africa this month signed a $1 billion deal for oil exploration and production expected to begin this year.South Sudan’s oil sector continues to face scrutiny by the international community as a “major driver” of violence and human suffering, according to a report by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan in February.The sector is also accused by human rights groups, the U.N. Security Council and others of lacking transparency.Earlier this month President Salva Kiir confirmed plans to allot 30,000 barrels of oil per day to fund a road construction project signed with China’s state-owned Shandong Hi-Speed Group. Instead of putting the oil money into South Sudan’s Central Bank, as stipulated by last year’s peace deal, the money is being deposited into a “special fund” in China to make the transfers easier, Information Minister Michael Makuei told the AP.The deal is sounding “loud alarm bells” due to its lack of transparency and accountability, said Nelly Busingye, regional co-ordinator for east and southern Africa for Publish What You Pay, a global campaign for an open and accountable extractive industry.“This is all the more alarming because in recent years oil revenue has been used to procure weapons, fund militias and line the pockets of those in power,” said Brian Adeba, deputy director of policy at the Enough Project, a Washington-based advocacy group.___Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_AfricaSam Mednick, The Associated Press read more

8 Oct

Sri Lankan vessel stranded off Indonesia

The vessel has reportedly faced engine failure and was stranded off Mentawai Islands.Some reports said that a few onboard the vessel had died of poor health. It was not known if the vessel was an asylum boat heading to Australia. A vessel with some 40 Sri Lankans onboard is believed to have been stranded off Indonesia, the Indonesian media reported today.According to one report a rescue team has been sent to the vessel from Padang.

7 Oct

Alcohol and cannabis companies form potbeverage industry group to push changes

TORONTO — A group of alcohol and cannabis companies have formed an industry alliance to push for changes to proposed rules governing pot-infused beverages before edibles become legal in the coming months.The Cannabis Beverage Producers Alliance is arguing for, among other things, the ability to produce pot-based drinks in the same facilities where non-cannabis beverages are made.The additional cost of establishing separate manufacturing and processing facilities is a “significant barrier to entry,” particularly for small and mid-sized producers, said Paddy Finnegan, business unit manager for food and beverage at Lakeside Process Controls, an alliance member.The extra cost will also make it harder to compete with the illicit market on price, he added.“Those producers that are able to enter the market, at all, are not going to be able to do so at a price point that is appetizing to the consumer,” Finnegan said during a news conference.The group, which launched on Wednesday with 10 member companies including the Molson Coors-Hexo Corp.-joint venture Truss Beverages, is also arguing for less stringent marketing rules that would allow companies to use terms related to alcoholic beverages, such as “wine.” As well, the group is pushing for companies to be able to tap existing alcohol brand and product names for pot-infused drinks.Related Stories:BevCanna to Present at Extraordinary Future ConferenceOttawa finished its consultation process for its proposed rules in February, but has not yet released the final version. Health Canada has said the final rules must be brought into force no later than Oct. 17, 2019.Under Health Canada’s proposed rules for edibles, pot-infused drinks and food must be made in a separate facility. Draft regulations, which were released in December, also stipulate that companies that make alcoholic beverages cannot use their existing names or brands on cannabis drinks.Certain terms related to alcoholic beverages are also prohibited from use in connection with cannabis-based drinks under the draft regulations.Preventing the use of words such as “beer” in connection with cannabis-beverages would be “very confusing for the Canadian consumer,” said Terry Donnelly, chief executive of Hill Street Beverage Company.The alliance, led by former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter, anticipates that the government’s final rules for edibles will be released this summer.The group hopes their concerns will be heeded, but if not, its members are “prepared for plan B under the current proposed regulations,” said Lisa Campbell, chief executive of Lifford Cannabis Solutions consultancy, a group member.“Ideally, we’ll see some flexibility, especially around marketing,” she said. “If we really want to limit the black market, we need to have branding and marketing that can compete with it.”Companies in this story: (TSX:TPX.B, TSX:HEXO) read more

2 Oct

UN delivers aid to displaced Libyans in the South urges end to

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Georg Charpentier “appeals to all sides to end violence and guarantee the protection of civilians,” according to a news release from his office.He also “calls on all parties to allow for the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian support and ensure that assistance is provided in an equitable manner.”Earlier this month, Tripoli declared a state of emergency in the southern region where fighting has displaced hundreds of families, mainly within the Sabha area. “As a result of the clashes, the South is suffering from shortages of food supplies, medicine, fuel, and money in the banks,” Mr. Charpentier said.Hospitals in Sabha, Awbari and Murzuk have been challenged to treat all casualties, according to the release.Along with the relief assistance, a UN team will also meet with representatives of the population, listen to their grievances and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts, said Mr. Charpentier.The UN’s Libya mission (UNSMIL) had voiced “deep concern” over the violence in the south of the country.The Mission and the UN team in the country have been supporting the Libyan Government and people as they undergo a democratic transition following the toppling of former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi two years ago. Recent months have seen increasing acts of violence and worsening security, including the abduction – and subsequent release – of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, the killing of unarmed protesters in the capital, Tripoli, and targeted assassinations in Benghazi. read more

2 Oct

Maternal death rates fall but chronic diseases increase pregnancy risk –UN agency

Rates of maternal deaths are down, according to United Nations figures released today, but pre-existing medical conditions heighten the risk of death for pregnant women and require continued investment in quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.An estimated 289,000 women died in 2013 from complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523,000 in 1990, according to the UN World Health Organization’s (WHO) Trends in maternal mortality estimates 1990 to 2013. The figure represents a decrease of 45 per cent. Among its findings, the report shows that 11 countries that had high levels of maternal mortality in 1990 have reached the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of a 75 per cent reduction. These include Bhutan, Cambodia, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Nepal, Romania, Rwanda, and Timor-Leste.“A 15-year-old girl living in sub-Saharan Africa faces about a 1 in 40 risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth during her lifetime,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “A girl of the same age living in Europe has a lifetime risk of 1 in 3,300 – underscoring how uneven progress has been around the world.”Meanwhile, more than one in four maternal deaths are caused by pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity, whose health impacts can all be aggravated by pregnancy, according to a second WHO study. According to the UN agency’s study of more than 60,000 maternal deaths in 115 countries, pre-existing medical conditions exacerbated by pregnancy caused 28 per cent of the deaths. This is similar to the proportion of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth from severe bleeding.This second report, Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis, was published today in The Lancet Global Health.“Together, the two reports highlight the need to invest in proven solutions, such as quality care for all women during pregnancy and childbirth, and particular care for pregnant women with existing medical conditions,” said Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for WHO’s Family, Women’s and Children’s Health.Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO’s Reproductive Health and Research, and co-author of the study, added that the figures show an increased burden from noncommunicable diseases on women. read more

2 Oct

On World Day UN hails cooperatives as drivers of sustainable future

Cooperatives are an old idea but more relevant than ever as they can be the drivers of a sustainable future, senior United Nations officials said on the International Day of Cooperatives today, urging Governments to create an enabling environment for these groups to thrive and grow.“Cooperatives play an important role in many societies,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day, which this year is observed under the theme, “Cooperatives: The power to act for a sustainable future.”Citing UN estimates, he said one person in every six is either a member or a client of a cooperative and some 2.6 million cooperatives employ 12.6 million people worldwide. Cooperatives’ assets are worth about $20 trillion and they generate about $3 trillion in annual revenue.“We believe cooperatives can make significant contributions to the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] on employment, poverty, hunger, and equality,” the UN chief said.Like the SDGs themselves, cooperatives are people-centred, as they are owned and run by their members, and are strongly committed to the communities they serve.Agricultural cooperatives help to improve the productivity of small producers by facilitating access to markets, credit, insurance and technology. Social cooperatives can provide an important safety net in the face of declining or minimal public welfare. In the financial sector, cooperatives serve more than 857 million people, including tens of millions of people who live in poverty.Urging Governments to “create an enabling environment for cooperatives to thrive and grow,” Mr. Ban said: “Let us harness the power of cooperatives to achieve the SDGs and create a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”Cooperatives are not a new idea, but are more relevant than ever if we look at the development challenges and opportunities the world faces over the coming decadesGuy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, stressed that this year’s theme is not only timely following the unanimous adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, but also offers an important opportunity to highlight the outstanding work of cooperatives, and their major contribution to achieve the SDGs, in particular Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth.The ILO published a study in 2014 showing examples of how cooperatives help achieve sustainable development. This research contributed to the discussion leading to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.“Cooperatives are not a new idea, but are more relevant than ever if we look at the development challenges and opportunities the world faces over the coming decades,” he said.Today, there is a need to create over 600 million new jobs globally by 2030. Cooperatives, together with other micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, will continue to play a key role in providing decent jobs for all, including young people, he noted.“For these and other reasons, the ILO recognizes the role of cooperatives as drivers of sustainable development, and remains a strong supporter of the cooperative enterprise model,” he said.In 1992, the UN General Assembly proclaimed, in its resolution 47/90, the International Day of Cooperatives to be celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. read more

2 Oct

Hundreds of thousands in eastern Ukraine at grave risk after water supplies

Raising alarm over lack of safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the so called contact line in Donetsk Oblast of eastern Ukraine since 11 June, the top United Nations relief official today called on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law and ensure that civilian areas and infrastructure are not targeted. Some 400,000 people have not had access to water for four days due to shelling of the First Lift Pumping Station of the South Donbass Water Pipeline this past Sunday. Water supply to another 700,000 could also be cut off at any time.“The conflict, now in its fourth year, is denying vulnerable people of their most basic need – water,” said the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien in a statement today. “I appeal to all parties to the conflict to immediately ensure a prolonged cessation of hostilities to allow critical repair and maintenance to restore the water supply, including the facilitation of any movements across the ‘contact line’.” In the statement, Mr. O’Brien, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, expressed deep worry over possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases and the effect that water cuts will have on health facilities in the area. “Emergency services and aid agencies are working together to provide water to affected communities by any means possible [but] the need for urgent and permanent repairs to the pumping station is paramount,” he added, reminding all parties to the conflict of their obligation to respect civilian areas and infrastructure. “The intentional disruption of access to sufficient quality water supply in conflict-affected areas is a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” he underscored.Since the start of the conflict in April 2014, more than 1.6 million people have become internally displaced and some three million are estimated to be in territory controlled by armed groups. Also, more than 10,000 people, including over 2,700 civilians, have lost their lives and about 24,000 injured. read more

2 Oct

Week In Brussels – Week ending Friday 2 August 2013

DOWNLOAD1. First EU-US Interoperability Centre for electric vehicles opens for business2. EU trade deal with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama becomes operational3. Industrial free allocation for ETS phase three to be decided in September4. June industrial producer prices stable in EU5. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)