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  • May 07, 2019 3:05 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Independent

    Campaigners are launching guerrilla guided tours of “looted” objects in the British Museum in a protest against alleged colonialism.

    Protesters will offer unofficial tours pointing out treasures they claim are being hoarded from indigenous communities around the world.

    Campaigners have further claimed that the museum is accepting money from a company which is contributing to climate change.

    The Parthenon Marbles are among the ancient works being highlighted by the campaign group BP Or Not BP, which takes issue with the international oil giant.

    Palestinian, Iraqi, Greek and Indigenous Australian activists will offer their take on the alleged colonial “hoarding” of objects inside the British Museum in London.

    The museum has defended its approach to culturally-significant objects and its sponsorship from BP, and said there will no increased security to deal with the protest tours on May 4.

    BP Or Not BP said: “It’s time for the British Museum to stop hoarding colonially-seized treasures from communities crying out for their return.

    “The director and trustees of the British Museum can’t ignore these issues much longer.

    “They need to start acting in the public interest and make amends for their colonial past, not cling grimly on to looted artefacts and a climate-wrecking sponsor.”

    BP Or Not BP has previously claimed objects in the British Museum have been looted from Iraq and protested the ownership of an Indigenous Australian objects.

    The group has claimed that BP is a polluting company and public institutions should not take their money.

    The group will now protest for the return of marble statues from the Parthenon in Athens as part of the protest tour.

    Campaigner Petros Papadopoulos said: “The return of the Parthenon Marbles is of paramount importance and I believe it can be achieved.”

    The British Museum has countered claims of colonialism and said it is open to loaning objects kept in its collections.

    It has also defended the use of BP sponsorship to support the global work done by the museum.

    A spokesman for the British Museum said: “The long-term support provided by BP allows the museum to plan its programming in advance and to bring world cultures to a global audience.

    “The British Museum takes its commitment to be a world museum seriously, sharing the collection widely, both abroad and in the UK.

    “We are aware that some communities have expressed an interest in having objects on display closer to their originating community and we are always willing to see where we can collaborate to achieve this.”

    The museum added that previous protests about Indigenous Australian work had led to constructive conversation. There will be no increase in security and the museum allows for protests on site.

    BP have been contacted for comment.

    See Original Post

  • May 07, 2019 2:58 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Tripwire

    Human nature has shown that people re-use passwords, at least for non-work accounts that aren’t requiring quarterly changes. How can it affect your current security that you’ve reused an old password from 2012?

    Surprisingly, quite a lot.

    Hashed passwords and the plain text equivalent from a breached site can be paired with your then-username. Hackers have compiled lists of these pairs in a dictionary. Many sites use your email address as your username, and email addresses don’t change much. So, the hacker has got your email address and some old password.

    Hashing algorithms have gotten more secure over the years, and your current bank site likely is using a different hash algorithm for your password than 2016 MySpace or 2012 Dropbox. However, they have already got the dictionary of compiled usernames and previously used passwords – they don’t need to break the security to try the pair and see if it gets them in.

    Add a little script, and they can programmatically try all of them on websites they think you have access to in a matter of milliseconds. Or, alternatively, just attempt all the email-used password combinations they have in their dictionary on any site and see if they get lucky.

    How Do You Foil this Going Forward?

    One way is to never re-use a password. Some systems don’t allow you to reuse a password you’ve used before, but that only works on that individual site for old passwords from that site.

    If you’ve reused that AOL password you thought was so easy to remember in 2008 and then forgot about – well, it may still be in the hacker’s dictionary. And after a long online life, do you really remember which passwords you’ve used on all the sites and systems?

    NIST used to recommend complex passwords, defining this as a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. However, they have recently retracted this – a short ‘complex’ password is relatively easy for a computerized cracking program to discover.

    Longer passphrases, however, exponentially increase the time it would take to break into your account – the computing power isn’t available to do this in less than years or centuries for the better algorithms. Making your passphrase long doesn’t mean it can’t be easy to type – you can just string together a bunch of words (plus a number and symbol, if the site still requires it).

    Use a Hash Algorithm

    Another means to foil password hackers is to take advantage of the hash algorithm. The algorithm is one-way (you can’t deconstruct it), and another characteristic is that changing a single character completely changes the result in a pretty unpredictable manner. The hashed result for “CorrectHorseBatteryStaple” is completely different from “CorrectHorseBatteryStable.”

    This means for your personal sites where your passphrase doesn’t change often, you can use a long passphrase that isn’t likely in a hacker’s dictionary and preface it with the site name – i.e. “SocialMediaJenny8675309” vs “WellsFargoJenny8675309.” The hash processing will see those as extremely unique and unrelated, but your memory lets you “reuse” your WellsFargo passphrase for Facebook.

    Also, take care as to the prefix/suffix you use for your accounts. Humans are bad at randomizing, and computers are getting good at pattern recognition. If a future breach displays your passphase for one site in plain text, consider if you are giving the hacker enough information to ‘guess’ what your passphrase would be on another site.

    Strengthen Further with Use of a Vault

    Once you have your unique passphrase for each site, and whether they are either memorable as the above examples or computer-generated random letters, numbers and symbols, do consider using a password vault for storing all your passphases rather than just relying on memory.

    Depending on your needs for security vs convenience, you should be able to find the right vault for your situation – the password manager your work provides, or a private one that is local to your computer (but is backed up!) or a family plan that syncs between all your devices and that has multiple accounts for different users. All of these are available in encrypted form, and many are free or a low subscription cost.

    Face it, we all have too many sites to remember all the passphrases, and a vault allows you to remember one passphrase and then access all the sites from within it. You do have to consistently remember to update it when a passphrase is updated or a new login is created. Also, I recommended putting the master passphrase for the vault in a sealed envelope in a safety deposit box or physical safe.

    See Original Post

  • May 07, 2019 2:36 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Telegraph

    Rome mayor Virginia Raggi is writing to the British ambassador to Italy and other envoys in a bid to ban football hooligans and “uncivilized" tourists caught vandalising historic treasures from returning to the Eternal City.

    The mayor says Rome is a UNESCO heritage site and deserves greater protection. The council plans to draw up a “blacklist” of people caught damaging historic or archaeological sites and notify the vandals' embassies to try and prevent them from returning to Rome.

    “The mayor wants to target the uncivilized and football fans like those who damaged the fountain in front of the Spanish Steps a couple of years ago,” a spokesman for the mayor told The Daily Telegraph.

    “Those who commit crimes of this nature are not welcome in the capital. We are looking for ambassadors to stop them from coming back.”

    Drunken Dutch fans went on a rampage after a match in 2015 and caused serious damage to the 500-year-old Barcaccia fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd and around 30 fans were arrested.

    The mayor’s letter is expected to be sent to ambassadors representing the UK, Spain, France, the Netherlands and other countries, her spokesman said.

    But Mayor Raggi is likely to need a national law to enforce any ban and has already had talks with Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, about her plan.

    The mayor’s initiative comes as security was stepped up at the Colosseum after tourists carved initials in the walls of the ancient amphitheatre in three separate incidents in the past week.

    In the latest, a 29-year-old Hungarian visitor was caught carving his initials in the wall of the 2000-year-old amphitheater and charged with damaging the city’s heritage. “I didn’t know it was forbidden,” the tourist reportedly said.

    Last week an Israeli woman was caught engraving the initials of her husband and children on the monument and last Sunday a 17-year-old Bulgarian schoolgirl was arrested for chiseling the letter “M” on a Colosseum wall.

    The Colosseum is fighting back with new measures. From the beginning of May the number of private guards has been doubled to 32.

    Staff have also begun making announcements in multiple languages at the entrance warning tourists they face legal action and fines if they damage the country’s most popular archaeological site.

     “We have had enough of the ignorant, the uncivilized but also sick people,” said Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum.

    “They are looking for notoriety inside the world’s most important monument. I think these people should be banned from cultural sites.”

    The Colosseum is not the only cultural treasure to have been targeted by vandals. Last year Italians were horrified when several male tourists, believed to be English, stripped naked and jumped into a fountain at the Victor Emmanuel Monument next to city hall and several tourists have been fined for jumping into the Trevi Fountain.

    In 2017 Rome introduced fines for anyone caught wading into any of the city’s fountains to escape the heat.

    See Original Post

  • May 07, 2019 2:28 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CantonRep

    Historical sites do their best to be prepared in case of an emergency.

    When area museum professionals learned a fire had broken out in the historic Cathedral of Notre Dame earlier this month, their hearts sank.

    Quickly their thoughts returned home to the institutions and treasures they have been tasked with protecting.

    Many local institutions have emergency preparedness plans, but officials admit there is only so much they can do to prepare for disasters such as fires, flooding or tornadoes.

    On May 1, museums and other organizations that preserve collections around the world will mark MayDay, an annual call to action to improve disaster readiness that encourages museum professionals to review and update disaster plans, conduct building evacuation drills, eliminate hazards and identify and label priority collections for evacuation during an emergency, among other initiatives.

    Stark County is home to more than 80 museums and historical sites ranging from the Canal Fulton Heritage House and Old Canal Days Museum, Spring Hill Historic Home and three accredited museums: the Massillon Museum, Pro Football Hall of Fame and Canton Museum of Art.

    Emergency plans are a big conversation in the museum world, said Samantha Kay Smith, director of Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon.

    “When you see something like (Notre Dame) happening or the fire at the National Museum of Brazil, you stop and think,” Smith said. The National Museum “lost not only a beautiful building, but it was the only place that had recordings of indigenous languages. We know what we have and what the importance of it is in the future.”

    Smith, along with Kimberly Kenney, executive director of the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Canton, were among peers at an Ohio Museum Association conference when they learned about the Notre Dame fire.

    “When it was announced what was happening, it was like the whole room just deflated,” Kenney said. “It was so shocking. When this happens, it brings all the issues to the forefront. What would you do if it happened to us? What happens to these treasures when they are gone?”

    McKinley Museum has an emergency plan in place, Kenney said. Like many museums and historical sites, it has a smoke detection system and heat sensors. Fire doors are between exhibits.

    Kenney’s team undergoes regular training for emergencies. Systems are tested regularly and kept up to date, she said.

    Many times, she said, the best defense is making sure staff and volunteers are aware of their surroundings.

    It is a see something, say something mentally, Kenney said. She encourages those working and volunteering in the museum to speak up if something seems out of place or they smell something.

    “We are as best prepared as we can be,” she said. “The whole museum field, we know that everything we are doing is so precious to the community we serve. We preserve the history of our community, and we take that very seriously.”

    Forging a New Plan

    At the Massillon Museum, emergency preparedness plans evolve. Museum staff is gearing up for yet another update to their plan as their multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project is nearing completion.

    The museum will create a new plan based on the new footprint of the building, Executive Director Alexander Nicholis Coon said. The process could take six months to a year to complete.

    There is a lot that goes into planning for an emergency, Nichols Coon said, and it’s more than large-scale emergencies such as fires or flooding.

    The plans require thorough examination of evacuation plans, recording where everything is stored, designation of items that could not be replaced — Nicholis Coon points out in a museum that’s everything — as well as where items can be relocated in case of an event.

    The Massillon Museum has a partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to serve as a temporary location if either collection needs to be moved off-site.

    During the construction project, which has been underway since October 2017, disaster preparedness has been enhanced, Nicholis Coon said.

    They’ve increased pest monitoring and examination of building systems. During closing procedures, staff members are checking every door and ensuring all lights and other construction equipment is powered off and unplugged.

    The extra work has increased closing procedures by about 30 minutes for the museum’s small staff, but Nicholis Coon said it is necessary to ensure the safety of the museum and its collection.

    Regularly, the museum’s security systems are checked, as well as batteries in exit signs. Regular inspections check fire suppression equipment, including extinguishers and sprinkler systems.

    During her 17 years at the museum, Nicholis Coon has seen events that have threatened the collection, but having a staff prepared to monitor and quickly respond to the threats is key, she said.

    Boilers, vents, HVAC systems, windows, ducts, and access panels in the ceiling can be potential dangers to the items preserved in the museum, she said.

    Collection items are always stored away form these areas, Nicholis Coon added.

    In the new construction, designers were deliberate in many decisions, such as not adding additional restrooms in upper floors. All of the museum’s restrooms are in the basement level.

    “It was conscious decision,” she explained. “Any possible flooding could threaten the collection. With the new construction, we were very thoughtful.”

    In the new Paul Brown Museum, a dry sprinkler system was installed so that water wasn’t sitting in the pipes, Nicholis Coon said.

    Kenney said many museums choose not to place sprinkler systems in their exhibit and collection areas because they could do more harm if they are activated, especially if it is a localized fire.

    A Different Battle

    Smaller organizations, such as Spring Hill Historic Home and local historical societies that manage historical sites and artifacts, have to manage emergencies like their larger counterparts but often with less resources.

    “Most of our funding is going to keeping the lights on and providing quality content and programming for our community,” Smith said, leaving little to dedicate to disaster planning.

    Spring Hill, built around 1821 by Thomas and Charity Rotch, holds various treasures detailing the earliest days of the Kendal and Massillon communities.

    For more than 150 years, the house was home to the Rotch and Wales family, was a sheep farm and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

    While funding is limited, the house is equipped with a security system that includes heat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Fire extinguishers are hidden throughout the home.

    Smith explores webinars and other information about disaster planning, but it often focuses on flooding and other natural disasters that allow some planning.

    “If Spring Hill is flooding, we have a much larger problem,” Smith joked. She said it is very difficult to plan for a tornado and even harder to find resources and funding to plan for such events.

    While disaster planning might not be a top priority, Smith said it is never far from her mind.

    “The hardest part is you can only prepare for so much,” she said.

    Losing the treasures within the four walls of Spring Hill would be devastating, Smith said, adding the Rotch and Wales family witnessed so much throughout the start of the town and often recorded what they saw.

    While everything in the home is a treasure, Smith said, if she could save anything in the home it would be the archives that contains letters, diaries, wills and other documents, as well as family photos. Some of the items have yet to be explored and documented, she said.

    Spring Hill recently received a grant from the Ohio Local History Alliance to begin to digitize the collection. Working in conjunction with the Massillon Public Library, workers will begin with letters in the collection.

    If disaster were to strike, at least a digital version of the documents would be available, Smith said.

    Under Water

    Officials from the Canal Fulton Heritage Society understand the woes of natural disasters. Frequently, the society’s Canal Fulton Heritage and Old Canal Days Museum in the St. Helena Heritage Park, finds itself flooded from rising water of the canal that runs behind the museum.

    After heavy rain last spring, the basement of the museum flooded twice. It took days to remove the water and clean up the area, said Shelia Adams, vice president of the Canal Fulton Heritage Society.

    While none of the historical pieces is stored in the basement, the area is used for meetings and as a classroom for educational programs.

    To head off flooding, the group purchased a Dam Easy Flood Barrier. It installs easily in a doorway, and with a few pumps of air creates a seal to block out water.

    The historical society recently received the product, costing close to $1,000, and installed it during heavy rains a few weeks ago. They reinstalled it again Thursday with heavy rain expected this weekend.

    “So far, we don’t know if it works,” Adams said. “But it is very important to stop the water from entering the building and destroying the foundation.”

    The historical society also maintains the Oberlin House and William Blank House — also historical sites.

    Society members are mindful of the buildings and continue to keep their insurance policies active and fire suppression systems working properly.

    While funding is limited, Adams said, they do all they can do to protect the rare artifacts and the history housed in their museums.

    “Until disaster strikes, you never think it can happen to you,” Nicholis Coon said. “The best thing is to do all this work and be prepared and nothing ever happens. Not being prepared can be devastating.”

    See Original Post

  • May 07, 2019 2:25 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from WSB-TV

    The Woodruff Arts Center says it is investigating a security breach after an unauthorized third party caused a massive network outage, affecting many of the center's operations and systems.

    The Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art were all affected by the breach.

    “Upon learning of the incident, we immediately took steps to secure our systems and began working to implement enhanced security measures. Our team also began an investigation and an outside forensics firm was engaged to assist us,” the center said in a news release Friday.

    The Woodruff Arts Center said there is no evidence that anyone’s personal or financial information was released, but it has called police about the breach.

    Currently, you cannot buy tickets for any of the venues or their performances through their websites.

    The arts center said people can buy tickets at the box office for each venue or through Ticketmaster.

    “We are working to address the network outage and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patrons and community. We remain committed to taking steps to further enhance our network security infrastructure in an effort to prevent incidents like this from happening again,” the center said.

    ...Each of the venues has also posted information about ticket purchasing and questions about the incident on their websites.

    See Original Post

  • May 07, 2019 2:21 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Stuff

    Changing expectations about what we want to see at museums is making it harder for curators to protect exhibits.

    Those involved in the sector say museums are expected to provide a "personal experience" and visitors are no longer content to stand and look at exhibits. Interactive displays are becoming the norm, as museums look to engage with visitors.

    On Saturday a woman who climbed on top of a rare $700,000 motorcycle exhibit at Te Papa highlighted the challenge facing curators.

    That led to another person coming forward after visiting the Ko Rongowhakaata: The Story of Light and Shadow exhibition at Te Papa.

    He described a child running amok with no parental supervision and aggressively pulling on a traditional flax piupui (skirt) on display.

      Te Papa spokeswoman Kate Camp said the museum covers three rugby fields and it is not possible to have staff observing everything that goes on.

    "With thousands of visitors a day there are always times when people will be in a space without staff right next to them. Most people are really sensible and respectful."

    Te Papa is a hands-on, interactive, and kid-friendly museum and the "vast majority" of visitors follow the rules and do not cause problems, she said.

    Allowing visitors to touch exhibits is a feature of Te Papa and she would not like to see that change. An exhibition opening shortly, even allows people to touch a genuine moa fossil.

    "That's an experience you're not going to get anywhere else in the world."

    Museums Aotearoa executive director Phillipa Tocker said getting the balance right between making exhibitions interesting and protecting displays was not easy.

    Visitors are now looking for a "personal experience" rather than just looking at static exhibits.

    Curators have to not only think about how people can enjoy an exhibit but also how the exhibit can be kept safe.

    A recent visit to the Waiouru Army Museum highlighted the challenge for museums, she said.

    "There was a sign saying 'our motorcycles don't jump on your children so please don't let your children jump on us'."

    In America, museums have uniformed security staff, that was not something she would not like to see here.

    New Zealand Rugby Museum curator Stephen Berg said the museum experience is changing.

    The museum has a scrum machine, which visitors are encouraged to test their strength against. The bolts holding it to the floor have been damaged twice with some visitors setting out to see how strong the machine is.

    People taking selfies and children not being supervised by parents are security issues that have to be dealt with.

    "Kids in the interactive area can become a bit boisterous, we do not throw them out, we just say 'you have had enough'."

    See Original Post

  • April 30, 2019 5:03 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Washington Post

    With a wall of red-orange flames rapidly advancing, and Notre Dame’s vast chambers reaching ovenlike temperatures, the commander of the Paris Fire Brigade made a painful choice Monday evening.

    He told his firefighters to retreat.

    Losing a beloved medieval relic would be devastating, of course, but losing human lives in a hopeless effort to save the building would be even worse.

    Jean-Claude Gallet, the commander, had a backup plan: Colossus, a 1,100-pound tanklike robot with the ability to venture into danger zones where conditions would quickly kill a person.

    Using a motorized water cannon capable of firing more than 660 gallons per minute, Colossus took aim at the stone walls of the ancient cathedral and began spraying. In an interview with the Times of London, Gallet credited the firefighting robot with lowering temperatures inside the glass-filled nave and saving the lives of its human counterparts as an even greater disaster loomed.

    “Time was against us, the wind was against us and we had to get the upper hand,” Gabriel Plus, a spokesman for the fire brigade, told the paper. “The priority we set was to save the two belfries. Imagine if the timber of the belfries had been weakened and the bells had collapsed. That was really our fear. In the beginning, it was not impossible to imagine that the cathedral structure could collapse.”

    The machine’s heroic role in defense of Notre Dame may be remembered as the beginning of a new era of robotic firefighting. Over the last decade or so, experts say, various countries and organizations have begun developing machines that fight fires and gather information, potentially offering a sophisticated new tool in a fire department’s arsenal. The machines keep people out of harm’s way and provide an alternative to the age-old practice of hauling a heavy, unwieldy fire hose into a cluttered building.

    Colossus is far from the only robotic firefighter available for action.

    In China, video has emerged of firefighting robots taking part in drills alongside human firefighters. Howe and Howe Technologies — a company that specializes in creating military vehicles and robots — has developed several firefighting robots that are designed to operate in industrial environments using foam or water.

    Lockheed Martin’s Fire Ox, a robotic firetruck that can be controlled using a “game style controller,” was designed to fight wildfires or structure fires, Myron Mills, who helped develop the vehicle, told Bloomberg News in 2014. The U.S. Navy has also begun experimenting with a 5-foot 10-inch humanoid robot to fight fires. The Terminator-like machine was designed to throw propelled extinguishing agent (PEAT) grenades and handle a fire hose, according to CNN.

    The Colossus robot is deployed “with the Paris Firefighter Brigade and with many other French or foreign Regional Services of Fires & Rescues,” according to Shark Robotics, the French company that created the machine. The robotics company’s website doesn’t reveal the robot’s price tag, and the company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    Shark Robotics says the Colossus — which is 2.5 feet wide and 5.25 feet long — can carry 1,200 pounds and be operated from almost 1,000 feet away. Controlled using a joystick, the machine is waterproof and fireproof and can even withstand thermal radiation, according to the company. It can crawl up stairs.

    The machine’s lithium ion batteries can last for up to eight hours, and the robot can be equipped with cameras, sensors and a smoke-extracting fan.

    Brian Lattimer, the vice president of research and development at the safety engineering and consulting firm Jensen Hughes, said operating in dangerous environments is only part of the appeal of firefighting robots. In the near future, he said, robots will be equipped with sensors that allow them to see through heavy smoke and steam, locating obstacles and identifying “hot spots” that can be targeted with water.

    Right now, he said, one of the downsides to robots is they operate best in open environments — like a warehouse or a spacious cathedral. Over time, he said, the machines will be equipped with increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence that will allow them to operate with more autonomy, presumably as the machines become more agile.

    “The goal will be for firefighters to be in the loop with these robots to assist and evaluate the hazards so they can plan an effective response,” Lattimer said. “Eventually, we’ll have collaborative teams of robots — in the air and on the ground — that will work closely with people and reduce the risk to human life.”

    See Original Post

  • April 30, 2019 4:58 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Telegraph

    Dozens of climate change activists laid down on the floor in the Natural History Museum as part of a 'die-in' protest as Extinction Rebellion demonstrations entered its second week.

    At least 100 protesters are said to be inside the London museum in an event to raise awareness of what they claim is a 'sixth mass extinction'.

    Police were called to the landmark.

    A Natural History Museum spokesman said: "The peaceful protest was supervised by Museum staff to ensure the safety of visitors and allow them continued access to the galleries. It took place without incident."

    The latest protest comes as police confirmed more than 1,000 people have been arrested during an entire week of climate change protests in London.

    Waterloo Bridge was reopened overnight having been occupied by Extinction Rebellion activists since last Monday, Scotland Yard said.

    Demonstration sites at Oxford Street and Parliament Square were also cleared on Sunday, while a sanctioned protest continues at Marble Arch, according to police.

    The Metropolitan Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the demonstrations by 10am on Monday, while 53 of those had been charged.

    Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott was one of the activists arrested as police moved to clear Waterloo Bridge on Sunday evening.

    Mr Stott, who is now studying for a degree in psychology, told the Telegraph he had spent several hours in custody before being released at around 4am yesterday morning.

    He said: "I was released under investigation so will have to wait to see if I am going to be charged, but I do not regret my actions for a moment.

    "Because of my public profile through my Olympic achievements I feel very strongly that I should use that platform. It is a privilege I have been given and I think I have an obligation to get involved in this campaign."

    Mr Stott said he had always felt very close to nature through his sport, but said he had become more involved in environmental issues after he retired from international canoeing.

    He said: "Once I retired I had more time and I began learning more about global warming and other issues. I believe there is a moral legitimacy about what we are doing. I realise that these actions are causing disruption and I am sorry that it has come to this, but the collapse of civilisation, which is what we are talking about, will cause an awful lot more disruption."

    The London 2012 canoe slalom champion was carried from the bridge by four officers at around 8.30pm as he shouted about the "ecological crisis".

    Members of Extinction Rebellion are suggesting temporarily ending disruptive tactics to focus on political negotiations as they enter their eighth day of campaigning.

    A spokesman said there would be no escalation of activity on Easter Monday, but warned that the disruption could get "much worse" if politicians are not open to their negotiation requests.

    The group will no longer hold a picnic on the Westway by Edgware Road Underground station, which would have stopped traffic on the busy A-road on the last day of the long Easter weekend.

    Instead, at Marble Arch, the only police-sanctioned protest space, activists will meet to "vision what's going to happen in the coming week", an Extinction Rebellion member said, as she introduced Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to the stage.

    The 16-year-old was met with cheers as she told a crowd of hundreds that humanity was at a crossroads.

    Earlier on Sunday, in what the group later said was an internal memo intended to garner feedback from members, Farhana Yamin, the group's political circle co-ordinator, said they would shift tactics to "focus on political demands".

    She added: "Being able to 'pause' a rebellion shows that we are organised and a long-term political force to be reckoned with."

    See Original Post

  • April 30, 2019 4:47 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from BGR

    The National Archives Museum in Washington DC is more than 80 years old and houses everything from important presidential papers to some of the nation’s founding documents, like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Which is why it would have been a monumental loss to the country if the arsonist who tried to burn the museum down Thursday night had succeeded.

    Grainy security footage the museum released on Friday showed someone wearing dark clothing and what looks like a hood appearing to set a container down along the side of the building that faces Pennsylvania Avenue, light it on fire and then run off. The museum suffered some minor damage, and while the suspect is still at large no one was hurt and the museum overall is fine.

    “Security officers discovered the blaze and unsuccessfully attempted to put it out, but a fire department responded and was able to extinguish the flames,” the National Archives said Friday in a statement posted to its website. “Facilities staff are cleaning the area today … The incident is under investigation by multiple agencies, including the NARA Office of the Inspector General.”

    The statement goes on to note that anyone who might have information is asked to contact the NARA OIG hotline at 1-800-786-2551 or by visiting https://www.archives.gov/oig/hotline.html.

    According to the National Archives recap of its history, the museum was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, and its major holdings date back to 1775. The records on file include slave ship manifests, as well as the Emancipation Proclamation; plus “captured German records and the Japanese surrender documents from World War II; journals of polar expeditions and photographs of Dust Bowl farmers; Indian treaties making transitory promises; and a richly bound document bearing the bold signature ‘Bonaparte’ — the Louisiana Purchase Treaty that doubled the territory of the young republic.” In other words, anyone who cares at all about the country’s past should be glad Thursday night’s attempt at destroying the museum didn’t work.

    See Original Post

  • April 23, 2019 2:43 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Artsy

    Roughly 90% of the priceless artworks and artifacts housed in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral were saved from Monday’s disastrous fire due to firemen and other emergency personnel perfectly executing emergency contingency plans established for such an occasion. The contingency plan involved prioritizing objects for removal and incorporated such tactics as forming a human chain to safely remove them.

    Insurance adjuster and director of fine art at Sedgwick, Michel Honore, was in charge of assessing damage to the cathedral’s treasures. Honore told Reuters:

    The plan itself worked perfectly and was adhered to the letter and that is why the contents lost is not as severe as might have been feared. [. . .] One of the first items to come out was the crown of thorns and the remnants of the crucifix. They were on the top of the list and they were taken out in priority in strict application of the plan.

    Artworks saved from the blaze are being housed at the Louvre while damages are assessed. As for what caused the cathedral to go up in flames, the leading belief is that an electrical short-circuit started the fire. Investigators, however, are not yet allowed to search Notre Dame’s interior due to safety hazards.

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