Deepfake videos are a threat to trust, society, and democracy

first_img whatsapp Lies to our eyes One example of such a target will be trust in the identity of others over the internet. Each day, millions of people receive video calls from their friends and colleagues via Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime. One glance or one word is enough to convince them of the caller’s identity.  Seeing, but not believing: The threat from Deepfake videos Both traditional and social media lit up earlier this year following the launch of a ground-breaking campaign for charity Malaria No More which was fronted by David Beckham.  Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyUndoPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryUndoDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyUndobonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comUndoPost Fun25 Worst Movies Ever, According To Rotten TomatoesPost FunUndoMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStoryUndozenherald.comDolly Finally Took Off Her Wig, Fans Gaspedzenherald.comUndoTaco RelishHilarious Tombstones You Can’t Help But Laugh AtTaco RelishUndoDefinitionThe Funniest Yard Signs EVER WrittenDefinitionUndo No, David Beckham has not suddenly become a polyglot. Instead, his image has been subtly manipulated to perfectly lip-sync him with the voices of others by using a technology called “deepfake”.  Arms race Share Videos produced in this way first appeared in 2017 and quickly became known as deepfakes. It is this technology which is the most vivid harbinger of the next great cyber threat to our society. This technology is also being recognised by authorities as a new kind of cyber risk.  Unfortunately – and perhaps inevitably – the first application of this new technology was in pornography. Deep learning was used to drape the faces of celebrities onto the bodies of adult movie stars most realistically, to the understandable and considerable consternation of the victims. But these are laborious, painstaking, expensive works of art that are handcrafted at huge expense. In many European countries, citizens validate their identity remotely to banks and healthcare providers by making a video call, talking to an operator, and holding up their passport or identity card to show that they are genuinely present. These interactions allow consumers to access services securely and efficiently.  In this 55-second video ad, the football star makes a passionate appeal for support. He makes it, however, in nine different languages. Since then, experiments with new applications have opened more eyes to the potential use – and abuse – of this technology. For example, in 2018, political leaders like Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin were seen making speeches they never gave. Then, early in 2019, actor Steve Buscemi’s face gave Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globe acceptance speech in a video broadcast on a US comedy show.  Andrew BudAndrew Bud is founder and chief executive of iProov. Of course, changing faces in videos is not new. Actors have been digitally recreated for films like The Matrix Reloaded and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button more than a decade ago, and synthetic characters like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, pasted onto actors wearing motion-capture suits, are now ubiquitous in cinema.  As you can see, Beckham’s flawless malaria appeal – created by commercial London firm Synthesia – simply marks the moment that deepfakes transformed from creepy gimmicks to a mainstream media form. Over time, new technology has been developed to make this process easier and faster. A AFP journalist views a video on January 25, 2019, manipulated with artificial intelligence to potentially deceive viewers, or “deepfake” at his newsdesk in Washington, DC. – “Deepfake” videos that manipulate reality are becoming more sophisticated and realistic as a result of advances in artificial intelligence, creating a potential for new kinds of misinformation with devastating consequences. (Photo by Alexandra ROBINSON / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Rob LEVER “Misinformation woes may multiply with deepfake videos” (Photo credit should read ALEXANDRA ROBINSON/AFP/Getty Images) Fortunately, the same technology creating this mayhem will help contain it. For example, DARPA’s Media Forensics programme is using deep learning technology to probe for the invisible, tell-tale signs of spoofing that is buried in such deepfake imagery, and machine learning will analyse its metadata footprints to detect traces of forgery. But germs are fought by medicines, and subsequently adapt by developing resistance.  So, while conspiracy theories have flourished online, fed by bogus information and doctored photos, up until now, videos have held the line against lies. Deepfakes will breach that line. Deepfake technology will undermine trust in such transactions, replacing it with unease and suspicion – the germs that eat a society from the inside. Main image credit: ALEXANDRA ROBINSON/AFP/Getty Images For instance, in 2011, computer scientists at Harvard University described a new method that could replace someone’s face in a video and be made in hours rather than weeks – as long as numerous experts in image processing were on hand. Deepfakes also pose a threat at a national level. At a recent US Department of Homeland Security conference, NSA research director Dr Deborah Frinke observed that we are gravitating towards attacks on critical national infrastructure becoming more akin to contemporary psychological warfare. Successful societies are built on trust – trust in each other, trust in a counterparty to a transaction, trust in sources of information, trust in institutions. The most powerful basis of trust is personal experience, followed closely by the evidence of our own eyes.  whatsapp Watch David Beckham speak nine languages perfectly in a malaria appeal Although in recent years, machine learning has replaced the need for such human skill and craft. Deep neural networks can now be used to rapidly produce fake imagery that is utterly believable to our eyes.  Tags: Data protection People Thursday 12 September 2019 7:00 am Fake news Beckham’s video appeal is partly necessitated by the need to develop new malaria drugs to replace those losing their effectiveness. The world is in an arms-race with the plasmodium parasite. The parallels to deepfake synthetic video are therefore entirely apt. Its danger lies not only in its power to vilify and humiliate individual victims, but also to attribute abhorrent actions and words to them. As such, deepfakes have the potential to undermine the foundations of our society and our democracy.last_img read more

News / Silk Way fights back against claims of ‘secret illegal flights carrying weapons’

first_imgNot only did the carrier “follow all applicable protocols”, it said, and added: “So-called ‘secret flights’ … besides their fictitious quantity, were operated in full compliance with all established procedures and were ordered by the United States Department of Defense (DoD), while all consignors and consignees were designated by the mentioned authority.“Thereby, the statements questioning the nature of these flights and their consignors and consignees lack all legal or substantive elements.”Silk Way also points to a “character assault” on its president – and reportedly 100% owner – Zaur Akhundov.The carrier said: “Having failed to substantiate its claims of illegal flights, the misinformation campaign then engaged in a libelous character assault on Silk Way Group president Zaur Akhundov and questioned the financing of Silk Way’s fleet expansion.“The articles fabricated information about Mr Akhundov’s professional credentials and experience, attempting to portray him as an unknown ‘mystery man’ who took control of the Silk Way brand.“In truth, however, Mr Akhundov was critical of the founding of Silk Way, has been a leader of the Silk Way team from the beginning, and brings decades of valuable experience in developing the aviation industry in Azerbaijan. Mr Akhundov has no ties to any government or political party.”Sources have told The Loadstar that Mr Akhundov has now left the company to pursue opportunities in the US, but this has not been confirmed. Silk Way, the Azeri freighter operator, has fought back against claims made online that it operated more than 350 secret flights carrying weapons, effectively being subsidised with US government money in the form of ExImbank financing.About a year ago, a detailed study of Silk Way flights was published, with implications that it was moving shipments of arms and weaponry between Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and the Middle East.While Silk Way labelled the claims fake, they have been compounded by reports on Silk Way’s use of ExImbank and $419m in funding – a perfectly legitimate away to fund Boeing aircraft purchases.Now Silk Way has published a robust rebuttal of the claims, saying they are “a result of an organised campaign of misinformation penned by geopolitically motivated authors perpetrated to be in direct collaboration with Armenian connections”. By Alex Lennane 08/10/2018last_img read more

What’s holding pharma back from the next antibiotic breakthrough?

first_img [email protected] By Peter Bak Dec. 10, 2018 Reprints Cost pressure is one formidable obstacle. Any new antibiotic will face substantial pressure from competitors, as most antibiotic classes have now lost market exclusivity and relatively affordable generic options are available. Related: Peter Bak Related: Tags antibioticsdrug developmentfinanceinfectious diseaseresearch The O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria Janice Carr/CDC via AP These models require the coordination and alignments of governments, hospitals, insurers, and others — a daunting task. As such, they have been mostly academic exercises.FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced serious consideration for reforming reimbursement for antibiotics. What transpires from that could be the watershed moment. But even if it is, any action remains years in the future.Questions remainWith a clear and present danger of the growing need for new antibiotics, questions abound:When will big players re-enter the licensing or merger and acquisition space, if at all? Following the launch of antibiotics targeting complicated urinary tract infections (e.g. Achaogen’s Zemdri and Melinta’s Vabomere), many in the industry are waiting to see if the market will sustain them. The clinical uptake and commercial success of these brands could be the data point that larger companies are waiting to access.Who will become the market leaders, given the lack of interest by big pharmaceutical companies? Smaller companies are currently the dominant sponsors of novel and recently launched antibiotics. As larger companies have divested their anti-infective assets, their portfolios have found their way into public corporations, such as Melinta’s acquisition of The Medicines portfolio and AstraZeneca spinning out its portfolio to Entasis, which recently closed a $75 million IPO (after lowering its offered share price). The market, though, has been skeptical: Despite Achaogen’s launch of Zemdri, the company slimmed payrolls to focus on commercialization activities and essentially put out the “for sale” sign.Will enabling technologies, such as rapid diagnostics, help get novel antibiotics more quickly and efficiently to the patients who need them? While rapid, sensitive, and specific diagnostics have long been a holy grail, the field is still waiting for them to appear. Structures to spur innovation in this space have popped up, like CARB-X eligibility for diagnostic companies and the Longitude Prize for the development of an inexpensive, sensitive, and rapid point-of-care test for bacteria sensitivity. Such advances will enable hospital systems to confidently use costly novel antibiotics for the patients who most need them without the fear of unnecessarily speeding the development of antibiotic resistance.The next few years will prove critical for organizations developing novel antibiotics. Commercial successes could be the tipping point that pulls together stakeholders to reinvigorate the commercial model for anti-infectives.But as we have seen with other efforts to reorganize health care delivery in the U.S., that could prove as difficult as eradicating a superbug.Peter Bak, Ph.D., is vice president for life science strategy at Back Bay Life Science Advisors. Related: About the Author Reprints In the five years since the alarm sounded about so-called superbugs, the world has continued to grapple with the staggering health and economic impacts of antibiotic resistance and mounting resistance to antibiotics of last resort.In the U.S. alone, antibiotic resistance adds $20 billion to $35 billion in direct health care costs each year, along with 8 million extra days in the hospital. In the European Union, multidrug-resistant infections kill more than 30,000 people every year. While scientists work to uncover new ways to combat antibiotic-resistant microbes — which harbor a dizzying array of tools to evade antibiotics — the question of how to best develop and commercialize novel antibiotics while at the same time creating a return for investors remains just as puzzling as the most recalcitrant bacteria.Any company considering investing in novel anti-infectives faces substantial commercial headwinds despite a clear and urgent need for them.advertisement The population of potential recipients is another impediment. A pharmaceutical company developing an antibiotic for a multidrug-resistant bacterial strain targets a relatively small pool of infections. For example, a study that assessed bloodstream infections between 2009 and 2013 revealed that only 1 percent of bacteria were resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics. It’s worth noting, however, that the report also demonstrates the medical need within patients unlucky enough to be infected by that 1 percent of bacteria. These resistant strains were associated with a 40 percent increase in the risk of dying and more than doubled the average hospital stay.Creating an investment strategy around this relatively small patient population is further confounded by the increasing role of antibiotic stewardship committees. They develop guidelines to make sure that specific classes of antibiotics, particularly the often-expensive novel classes, are used only for appropriate infections as a way to prevent further development of antibiotic resistance. As a result, novel antibiotics targeting multidrug-resistant microbe strains are often deployed only after extensive laboratory tests have confirmed that a bad actor is present — at which point it may be too late for the patient.Although these hurdles may hold back any investor considering an anti-infective opportunity, several incentives and economic models have been proposed to reduce clinical development time and costs for anti-infectives, and ensure a commercially viable payment and reimbursement structure. These concepts are generally known as “push” and “pull” incentives. Watch as a superbug is bornVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9 facebook twitter Email Link EmbedCopiedLive00:0002:2502:25  The superbugs are growing in strength and it’s our fault. Hyacinth Empinado/STAT Pushing anti-infectives through clinical developmentA variety of mechanisms are currently in place to help push an anti-infective through the clinical development process.From a regulatory perspective, the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have done their part devising programs that help pharmaceutical companies quickly and efficiently shepherd their anti-infective drugs through clinical trials.As part of the 2012 Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) provision, the FDA created the designation of qualified infectious disease product. It includes several incentives for antibiotics that meet certain criteria, including eligibility for priority review, fast track designation, and a five-year extension of exclusivity. Not to be outdone, the EMA is exploring “adaptive pathways” for high-need areas in which current care is unsatisfactory (including infections), granting marketing approval based on targeted studies in circumscribed patient populations with continued post-marketing data gathering.Both the FDA and EMA have been flexible about the totality of evidence required for approval. For most drugs, companies are required to conduct large, randomized, controlled Phase 3 trials. For some anti-infectives, recent approvals were based on one randomized, controlled Phase 3 trial and a small open-label, single-arm study in a population of high unmet need.While programs like these may grease the wheels of clinical development, it is still up to the sponsor to find money to pay for these efforts. As a result, public-private partnerships have emerged to help push anti-infective therapies onto the market. One is CARB-X, a nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust, among others. With a target investment budget of $500 million, the organization aims to make non-dilutive investments in antibiotics to prevent and treat life-threatening bacterial infections. So far, CARB-X has deployed $91 million of funding across 17 programs for antibiotics. First OpinionWhat’s holding pharma back from the next antibiotic breakthrough? Novartis is the latest big drug maker to exit antibiotic research Innovative ways to pay for new antibiotics will help fight superbugs A case study in the fast-rising threat of antibiotic resistance How the treatment of infections is paid for is another obstacle. This treatment is often covered by a diagnosis related group, under which a hospital is paid a lump sum for an episode of patient care. That leaves the hospital on the hook for any additional costs, including pharmaceuticals like antibiotics, that exceed the prespecified payment rate. The upshot is that institutions have an incentive to use the least costly option available — not necessarily the best in class.advertisement Not to be left out, traditional VCs have also entered the game. Novo Holdings launched the REPAIR Impact Fund in 2018, with a budget of $165 million to invest in companies focused on treating drug-resistant organisms. These efforts have paid off, as there has been a spate of company formation and venture capital investment around developing novel anti-infectives.As highlighted by a recent CARB-X report, non-dilutive funding may beget further investment. As of the third quarter of 2018, 15 companies in the CARB-X portfolio had raised $762 million in private funds since their awards were announced. Beyond these examples, an estimated $800 million in venture capital funding for anti-infective companies was spent between 2016 and 2017, according to an analysis conducted by my company, Back Bay Life Science Advisors (the report is available by request).This spark of interest in drug development is encouraging, but large pharma is hardly fanning the flames. Several commercial-stage companies, including AstraZeneca, The Medicines Company, and Novartis, have shuttered their antibiotic operations. Companies that still have anti-infective franchises remain on the sidelines of the merger and acquisitions game — compared to other therapeutic areas, there has been a dearth of anti-infective licensing and merger and acquisition deals compared with the previous five years. While there are multiple reasons for this, one is that the economic model for developing novel antibiotics to treat resistant bugs has yet to be clearly defined.Pull incentives aren’t yet robustWhat pull incentives might look like in the future remains cloudy, though some groundwork has been established. For instance, the qualified infectious disease product designation mentioned earlier offers an extra five years of exclusivity during which sponsors can market their drugs without threat of generic competition. While this extends the runway to generics, it does little to address the current reimbursement landscape, and so may do little to lure investors toward anti-infective development.Some existing mechanisms are in place to provide additional reimbursement for novel anti-infectives, such as Medicare’s new technology add-on payment program. This offers an additional payment for the use novel in-patient products that are an improvement over the current clinical standard of care and are otherwise cost prohibitive under normal reimbursement structures. Although these payments have been granted to novel antibiotics, they have done little to increase their uptake and utilization.Innovative economic models have been suggested, ranging from a subscription-based model, under which hospitals or governments pay sponsors for licenses to access antibiotics, to a framework in which a drug developer is granted a minimum level of annual revenue for bringing an anti-infective through FDA approval.last_img read more

National Policy for Senior Citizens to be Revised

first_imgNational Policy for Senior Citizens to be Revised UncategorizedSeptember 10, 2008 RelatedNational Policy for Senior Citizens to be Revised RelatedNational Policy for Senior Citizens to be Revised RelatedNational Policy for Senior Citizens to be Revisedcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The National Policy for Senior Citizens is to be revised, as the number of seniors is expected to double from 10 per cent of the population at the time the policy was crafted in 1997, to 20 per cent in the year 2020.“The policy is due for revision, and without question there is an acknowledgement that it has to be reviewed,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, has said.In an interview with JIS News, the State Minister said the decision to review the policy is in keeping with the view that seniors have an active role to play in nation building, and as such should be provided with the framework to guide and inform their effort.“We are trying to highlight our seniors. They are no longer the old people we knew in the past. Our seniors are younger in their ability than we perceived them to be; it is the time of active ageing. Our seniors are living longer and they are healthier and stronger and there is still a tremendous contribution that they have to make and all these programmes help to highlight that and hence the revision of the policy,” he asserted.The National Policy for Senior Citizens was tabled in the House of Representatives on March 12, 1997, by the then Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sports, Portia Simpson Miller.The policy envisages a developmental approach for senior citizens, and stresses the importance of considering seniors in strategies for national development. The document takes note of the recommendations of several international meetings since 1990, including the Beijing conference and the Social Summit in Denmark. It is also in keeping with the 1982 Vienna Plan of Action and the 1991 United Nations (UN) Global Targets and Principles.A first in the region, the policy has attracted wide international attention. Chairman of the National Council, Beverley Hall Taylor, has been invited to several international fora to discuss the document and a number of countries have asked for Jamaica’s assistance in shaping their own policy for senior citizens.The main goal of the policy is to meet the challenge of a growing, healthier and more active senior citizen population, by ensuring that those in need are assisted, and protected from abuse and violence.It also states that the Government of Jamaica recognises that the progressive ageing of the society and the continuing increase in the senior citizen population, both in absolute and proportional terms, are inevitable.According to the policy document, the situation of senior citizens will not be just one of providing protection, care and residential services, but also of the involvement and participation of the senior citizen in the national development process.The policy, in particular, looked at providing senior citizens with protection and care, physically and mentally, through appropriate support services, while preserving their human dignity and providing the circumstances to live worthwhile lives; guaranteeing proper resource allocation for the social and economic welfare of senior citizens, while appropriately respecting their rights, responsibilities and roles; and encouraging formal and informal services for senior citizens, which recognise the family as the fundamental unit linking the generations, and enhancing the ability of the seniors to remain in the family.The principles on which the policy is based include individuality, independence, choice, accessibility, role changes, productive ageing, family care, and dignity. Advertisementslast_img read more

Samuda Wants Hotels to Support Local Manufacturers

first_imgSamuda Wants Hotels to Support Local Manufacturers CommerceSeptember 30, 2009 RelatedSamuda Wants Hotels to Support Local Manufacturers FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has called on players in the hospitality industry to support local manufacturers, whose products meet international standards.“There has been detected, a veiled resistance to support some of our well established manufacturing entities,” Mr. Samuda told a press conference at his Ministry in Kingston on Tuesday (September 29).“We have been getting complaints from local manufacturers that there is not sufficient willingness, especially on the part of new players coming into the hotel industry, to avail themselves of the opportunity to purchase goods that are produced domestically – goods that are of the highest of quality, very competitive, and with consistency of supply. Those are the basic criteria necessary in order to ensure any form of support from the purchasers within the hotel sector,” he stated.Mr. Samuda added that, where that is the case, those manufacturers must be given a fair opportunity to compete.“After all, if we are talking about manufacturing being an integral part of the export community, and if tourism is to be seen as an export industry, then all that is supplied to that industry would make the manufacturers a part of the export industry,” he said.Mr. Samuda was addressing an issue involving a leading local bedding manufacturer, who was declined business without any of his products being examined or tested.“What we expect of a hotel (is that), having asked a local player to tender on a job and to provide samples, we expect that at least they would inspect the samples, before making a decision to compare the quality and price of the sample, and to have a discussion,” the Minister stated.He said that in the particular instance, the hotel came to the conclusion that the product did not meet certain specifications, or requirements, without even taking the product out of the sealed package to inspect it.The Minister disclosed that he will be meeting with the purchasing divisions of various hotels, to discuss the extent to which they are engaged in the purchase of locally produced goods.Mr. Samuda also announced that, in order to facilitate the manufacturing sector, another 100 acres of land will be applied for at Caymanas, St. Catherine.This is in addition to the 100 acres already allocated, which has been fully subscribed by both manufacturers and companies importing products sold domestically.“We are encouraged by the fact that the most recent survey shows that manufacturing and productivity in the sector has increased by some 300 per cent, over previous years,” Mr. Samuda said.The Caymanas Economic Zone will transform approximately 1,000 acres of land into factories and warehouses for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the services industry, manufacturing and agro-processing. Advertisementscenter_img RelatedSamuda Wants Hotels to Support Local Manufacturers RelatedSamuda Wants Hotels to Support Local Manufacturerslast_img read more

£200k of fraudulent invoices lands director with ban

first_img£200k of fraudulent invoices lands director with ban Christopher Carr (28), of Manchester, was the director of Carr’s BK Ltd. The company was incorporated in July 2017 but was wound up in court in November 2019 and the Official Receiver was appointed as liquidator.The Official Receiver investigated Christopher Carr’s conduct as director of the company before uncovering he had created bogus documents in order to illicitly claim tax rebates.Enquiries established that in November 2017 Christopher Carr submitted a tax return for more than £72,000 claiming on goods he had not purchased.A second return was submitted in January 2018 for more than £117,000. Both returns were paid by the tax authorities.But the invoices and bank statements used to support the two claims were false. The supplier referred to in the claim told the tax authorities that although Christopher Carr was a customer, the invoice submitted was not genuine.Christopher Carr admitted he had falsified documents to claim the funds in April 2018. He was issued with a penalty of more than £110,000, including interest.The Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Christopher Carr after he did not dispute that he fraudulently created false invoices, to obtain tax repayments totalling just over £190,000.The disqualification became effective on 14 December 2020 and Christopher Carr is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 11 years.Dave Elliott, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:Christopher Carr created false invoices and bank statements knowing his aim was to defraud the tax authorities out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.We worked closely with the tax authorities to bring Christopher Carr’s actions to light and this 11-year disqualification recognises the seriousness of his actions.NotesChristopher Carr is of Manchester and his date of birth is December 1992.CARR’S BK LTD. Company number 10865433Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of restrictions. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:bank, court, dispute, Government, investigation, penalty, Secretary, secretary of state, tax, tax return, UK, UK Governmentlast_img read more

Executive Order on Establishment of White House Gender Policy Council

first_imgExecutive Order on Establishment of White House Gender Policy Council The White HouseBy the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:Section 1. Policy. Advancing gender equity and equality is a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness. It is also a strategic imperative that reduces poverty and promotes economic growth, increases access to education, improves health outcomes, advances political stability, and fosters democracy. The full participation of all people — including women and girls — across all aspects of our society is essential to the economic well-being, health, and security of our Nation and of the world. It is therefore the policy of my Administration to establish and pursue a comprehensive approach to ensure that the Federal Government is working to advance equal rights and opportunities, regardless of gender or gender identity, in advancing domestic and foreign policy — including by promoting workplace diversity, fairness, and inclusion across the Federal workforce and military. This order is intended to advance gender equity and equality, with sensitivity to the experiences of those who suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community.Sec. 2. The White House Gender Policy Council. (a) There is established a White House Gender Policy Council (Council) within the Executive Office of the President. (b) The Council shall coordinate Federal Government efforts to advance gender equity and equality, including policies and programs to: (i) combat systemic biases and discrimination, including sexual harassment, and to support women’s human rights; (ii) increase economic security and opportunity by addressing the structural barriers to women’s participation in the labor force and by decreasing wage and wealth gaps; (iii) address the caregiving needs of American families and support the care-workers they depend upon; (iv) support gender equity and combat gender stereotypes in education, including promoting participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields; (v) promote gender equity in leadership; (vi) increase access to comprehensive health care, address health disparities, and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights; (vii) empower girls; (viii) prevent and respond to all forms of gender‑based violence; (ix) address responses to the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on women and girls, especially those related to health, gender‑based violence, educational access and attainment, and economic status; (x) advance gender equality globally through diplomacy, development, trade, and defense; (xi) implement United States Government commitments to women’s involvement in peace and security efforts; and (xii) recognize the needs and contributions of women and girls in humanitarian crises and in development assistance. (c) The Council shall work across executive departments and agencies (agencies) to advance gender equity and equality and provide a coordinated Federal response on issues that have a distinct impact on gender equity and equality. The Council shall also work with each agency to ensure that agency operations are conducted in a manner that promotes gender equity and equality, to the extent permitted by law. (d) The Council shall provide legislative and policy recommendations to the President, evaluate other proposed policies and legislation for their potential impact on issues of gender equity and equality, propose improvement in the collection of data related to gender and gender identity, and suggest changes to Federal programs or policies to address issues of significance to women and girls. (e) The Council shall, consistent with applicable law, conduct outreach with, and consider ways to increase coordination, communication, and engagement with, representatives of a diverse range of nonprofit and community-based organizations, civil society groups, and faith-based organizations; State, local, Tribal and territorial government officials; labor unions and worker organizations; private sector representatives; foreign government officials; multilateral organizations; and other interested persons who can inform the Council’s work. (f) The Council shall be led by two Co-Chairs designated by the President, one of whom shall also serve as the Executive Director of the Council (Executive Director). The Council staff shall also include a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence and other sufficient staff as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this order. (g) In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Council shall consist of the following members: (i) the Secretary of State; (ii) the Secretary of the Treasury; (iii) the Secretary of Defense; (iv) the Attorney General; (v) the Secretary of the Interior; (vi) the Secretary of Agriculture; (vii) the Secretary of Commerce; (viii) the Secretary of Labor; (ix) the Secretary of Health and Human Services; (x) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; (xi) the Secretary of Transportation; (xii) the Secretary of Energy; (xiii) the Secretary of Education; (xiv) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; (xv) the Secretary of Homeland Security; (xvi) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; (xvii) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; (xviii) the United States Trade Representative; (xix) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration; (xx) the Director of National Intelligence; (xxi) the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations; (xxii) the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; (xxiii) the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; (xxiv) the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; (xxv) the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; (xxvi) the Assistant to the President on National Climate; (xxvii) the Assistant to the President on COVID-19 Response; (xxviii) the Chief of Staff to the Vice President; (xxix) the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; (xxx) the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality; (xxxi) the Director of the National Science Foundation; (xxxii) the Administrator of General Services; (xxxiii) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; (xxxiv) the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; (xxxv) the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development; (xxxvi) the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and (xxxvii) the heads of such other agencies and offices as the Co-Chairs may from time to time invite to participate. (h) Members of the Council shall designate, within 30 days of the date of this order, a senior official within their respective agency or office who shall coordinate with the Council and who shall be responsible for overseeing the agency’s or office’s efforts to advance gender equity and equality. The Director of National Intelligence shall designate a National Intelligence Officer for Gender Equality, who shall coordinate intelligence support for the Council’s work on issues implicating national security. The Co-Chairs may coordinate subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees under this section, as appropriate. (i) Each agency shall bear its own expenses for participating in the Council.Sec. 3. Government-Wide Strategy to Advance Gender Equity and Equality. (a) Within 200 days of the date of this order, the Council, after coordination by the Co-Chairs, shall develop and submit to the President a Government-wide strategy for advancing gender equity and equality in the United States and, when applicable, around the world (the “Strategy”). The Strategy should include recommendations on policies, programs, and initiatives that should be proposed, passed, or implemented to advance gender equity and equality in the United States and around the world. (b) Recognizing the gender and racial disparities that COVID-19 has both magnified and exacerbated, in formulating its recommendations to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic disruption on women and girls, the Council shall coordinate with the White House Office of the COVID-19 Response and the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, established by section 2 of Executive Order 13995 of January 21, 2021 (Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery). (c) In developing the Strategy, the Council shall consider the unique experiences and needs of women and girls who are also members of other underserved communities. In implementing this approach, the Council shall work closely with the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the interagency, whole-of-government strategy for advancing equity, as set forth in Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government).Sec. 4. Implementation. (a) After the Strategy has been submitted to the President, the heads of agencies, or their designees, shall, in consultation with the Council and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), select certain of their respective agency’s programs and policies for review for consistency with the Strategy. As appropriate and consistent with law, the heads of agencies shall suspend, revise, or rescind, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding, any directives, orders, regulations, policies, or guidance inconsistent with the Strategy. As appropriate, the heads of agencies shall consult with the Attorney General to the extent that any proposed actions require consultation or review under Executive Order 12250 of November 2, 1980 (Leadership and Coordination of Nondiscrimination Laws). As part of its review, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall, as appropriate and consistent with law, review the 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy and revise or rescind it as appropriate. (b) The Council shall coordinate a comprehensive, interagency response to gender-based violence at home and abroad, including intervention, prevention, and public health strategies to reduce incidence and impacts. The Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence, working with the Executive Director, shall create a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence that establishes a Government-wide approach to preventing and addressing gender-based violence in the United States and shall work, in conjunction with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, to lead a comprehensive, interagency review and update of the 2016 United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, as appropriate and consistent with law. (c) Following the submission of the Strategy developed pursuant to section 3 of this order, the heads of agencies shall report to the Council semi-annually, and the Council shall prepare an annual report for submission to the President — a version of which shall be made public — on progress made in implementing the Strategy. (d) The Council shall coordinate with the Domestic Policy Council, OMB, and other agencies and offices to advance my Administration’s efforts to achieve greater equity as set forth in Executive Order 13985. In particular, among other things, the Council shall coordinate with the Interagency Working Group on Equitable Data, established in section 9 of Executive Order 13985. (e) The Council shall coordinate with the National Security Council on all issues related to gender equality globally, including women’s economic participation, health, and involvement in peace and security efforts. (f) Consistent with section 6 of Executive Order 13985, the Director of OMB shall identify opportunities to promote gender equity and equality in the budget that the President submits to the Congress. (g) The heads of agencies, interagency working groups, and task forces shall assist and provide information to the Council, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, as may be helpful to carry out the functions of the Council.Sec. 5. Termination. The Working Group created by section 2 of the Presidential Memorandum of February 7, 2019 (Promoting Women’s Global Development and Prosperity) (NSPM-16), is terminated. NSPM-16 is amended by substituting, in section 3(e), “the Council” for “the Working Group”.Sec. 6. Definitions. (a) The term “equity” means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as women and girls; Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. (b) The term “underserved communities” refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of “equity.”Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.THE WHITE HOUSE,March 8, 2021. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:america, american, Asia, COVID-19 Response, Federal, Government, housing, Housing and Urban Development, Human Services, National Science Foundation, pacific, Security Council, United Nations, United States, Urban Development, veterans, White Houselast_img read more

Westmead’s world-class hospital officially opened

first_imgWestmead’s world-class hospital officially opened More operating theatres, patient rooms and world-class services, including two new Emergency Departments, are all part of Westmead Hospital’s new 14-storey clinical tower officially unveiled today.Staff and services began relocating to the new hospital building in February, with both the adult and children’s Emergency Departments now open to the public.Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Central Acute Services Building is the centrepiece of the more than $1 billion Westmead Health Precinct.“This new state-of-the-art health facility will serve Western Sydney’s health needs for generations to come, with world-class research and education capacity embedded on every floor,” Ms Berejiklian said.“The Westmead Health Precinct was fast-tracked under the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response and will include a range of integrated adult and children’s health services for the first time, including separate emergency departments.”Mr Hazzard said the collaboration between Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney will mean patients receive cutting edge treatment and care.“Westmead is a shining example of how to attract leading health staff and researchers to provide the very best healthcare to Western Sydney residents,” Mr Hazzard said.Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, said: “Western Sydney is expected to have a population of about 1.3 million people by 2031 so this is great news for the local community.”Member for Seven Hills Mark Taylor said: “The Westmead Hospital Upgrade is terrific for the local community. Further refurbishments are on track to be completed in 2022, delivering even more world-class healthcare facilities for Western Sydney residents.”Key features of the new Central Acute Services Building include:Two new emergency departments — one for adults and one for children;25 digital operating theatres;More than 300 patient rooms; and1.5 floors for the University of Sydney to further integrate education, research and health services.In March 2019, the NSW Government announced an additional $619 million for Stage 2 of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. This includes a new Paediatric Services Building and car parking. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Berejiklian, Central, emergency departments, Gladys, Gladys Berejiklian, Government, health, health facility, health services, healthcare, Liberal Party, NSW, nswpol, Parramatta, Seven Hills, Sydney, University of Sydney, Western Sydneylast_img read more

Rookie Mistake

first_imgGLENEAGLES, Scotland – Second-guessing Ryder Cup captains is as much a part of the gig as pimped out golf carts and awkward speeches, but the scrutiny that is sure to descend on Tom Watson after Day 1 at Gleneagles comes with a healthy dollop of cosmic irony. Consider that two years ago Davis Love III, the man who shouldered a disproportionate amount of the blame at Medinah, was blasted for sitting the juggernaut of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley for Saturday’s fourball session. On Friday, Watson came under fire for letting the high-profile duo play in the afternoon matches. Sure, Mickelson and Bradley beat Europe’s first line, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, in the morning fourball session, but it wasn’t pretty. In that match Lefty was wayward with his driver, missing crucial fairways at Nos. 5, 7 and 8, and Bradley was nervous. Which is to say Bradley was Bradley. You don’t have to hold the captain’s title to know that is not a recipe for alternate-shot success. The move was compounded by Watson’s decision to bench rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who had boat-raced match play magician Ian Poulter and Scotland’s own Stephen Gallacher in the morning. The hyper-analysis that will follow in the wake of the U.S. team’s foursomes faux pas on a blustery day, a 3 ½ to ½ point rout that turned the tide for Europe, is sure to fixate on that theme, however premature and unfounded it may be. It’s part of the job description and certainly relevant considering America’s three rookies went undefeated on Day 1. The third rookie, Jimmy Walker, holed a crucial 6-foot putt at the 18th hole in his morning match alongside Rickie Fowler to eke out a half point after the duo had trailed Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer for 17 holes. Ryder Cup: Articles, videos and photos “I take the blame for that,” Watson said of the decision to bench Spieth and Reed, who cruised to a 5-and-4 victory in the morning. “I assessed that even though they won in the morning, that there maybe was a better fourball (pairing) for the afternoon. That decision not to play them was a hard decision to make. I had some doubt in making that decision, but my gut feeling said that was the right decision to make.” It’s not in Old Tom’s nature to lean on rookies, which is peculiar considering it was his three rookies at the 1993 matches that were instrumental in delivering America’s last overseas victory. These matches are not over despite Europe’s 5-3 lead. If Medinah taught the U.S. side anything it was that. But if America is going to make a game of this (and future matches) it may be time to eschew the long-held belief that experience is king at the biennial slugfest. In 2008 it was rookie Anthony Kim who inspired Mickelson and helped deliver America’s last Ryder Cup victory. Two years ago it was then-first timer Bradley who filled that roll, and the two went undefeated in team play. This is not an indictment of America’s veterans. Mickelson’s resume was Hall-of-Fame ready regardless of his 15-19-6 record in the Ryder Cup; and Jim Furyk’s legendary longevity is beyond reproach despite an inexplicable 9-18-4 mark in the matches. But if seven losses in the last nine matches have taught the PGA of America anything, it is that there is only painful association with some memories. But the PGA went with Watson – who at 65 was a dramatic break from the traditional captain’s mold – when they probably should have gone the other way on the generational scale. One could imagine on Friday afternoon Billy Horschel stewing because Watson sat him for the afternoon session. But Watson didn’t pick Horschel, who would have been another energetic rookie. He also didn’t pick Chris Kirk. Instead he opted for the “experience” of Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Bradley, who combined to go 1-3-0 on Friday. Experience didn’t deliver on Day 1, it was the rookies who produced two of America’s three points. It was the energetic indifference of youth that kept things from getting out of hand. It took a haymaker from Europe’s best to deny Fowler and Walker America’s only full point in the afternoon. McIlroy and Garcia – who are ranked first and third in the world, respectively – birdied the last three holes to secure the half point and ignite the partisan crowd. The rookies would never second-guess their captain. That’s not what rookies do. “It’s not our call. The captain is Tom and Tom is going to do what he needs to do,” Walker said. “I’m not second-guessing anything he’s doing. I don’t think Rickie is going to do that or anybody is going to do that. We are going to go play when we’re told and that’s what we told him.” To be fair it’s best to let the matches play out before the arm-chair captains take the stage, but Watson’s reluctance to rely on youth is becoming a troublesome trend. Last month at the PGA Championship, 2008 captain Paul Azinger was perusing the list of potential captain’s picks when he was asked if he had any problem selecting a first-timer. “I want rookies, dude,” Azinger laughed at the time. “I want rookies who are unscarred and playing well. That’s how I would be thinking. I want to take a bunch of rookies in there, put a chip on their shoulder and go William Wallace on their ass.” After a tough Friday at Gleneagles the chip is firmly planted on the entire U.S. team’s shoulder. If only Watson would let the rookies loose.last_img read more

Deputy First Minister and Derry Chamber of Commerce meet over Magee expansion

first_imgNews Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR to take part in new research project Pinterest Facebook By admin – August 29, 2014 The Norths Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has said he is committed to the substanial expansion of the Magee campus.Martin McGuinness met with the Derry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Sinead McLaughlin this week.He now intends to raise the issue with the Department of Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry.Speaking to Highland Radio News, Derry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Sinead McLaughlin said it was a very positive meeting…Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Previous article41-year-old Derry man charged with series of IRA attacks in early 1990’sNext articleLargest cruise ship ever to dock in Donegal will sail into the county tomorrow admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Twitter Deputy First Minister and Derry Chamber of Commerce meet over Magee expansioncenter_img 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Twitter Pinterest Google+ Pregnant women can receive Covid vaccine at LYIT’s vaccination centre Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Facebook WhatsApp LUH still not ready to restore IT systemslast_img read more