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  • January 03, 2019 2:57 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Information Age

    The cybersecurity threat continues to worsen. In the first half of 2018, the number of cyber breaches soared over 140% from a year earlier, leading to 33 billion compromised data records worldwide, reports Gemalto, an international data security company. Malicious outsiders sparked more than half of the 944 breaches and accounted for roughly 80% of stolen, compromised or lost records. Identity theft continues to lead data breach types, but financial access incidents are escalating in severity as well. The issue of cyber security and small and medium-sized companies is becoming vital.

    The United States continues to be the favorite target, and data breaches at major US enterprises continue to grab the headlines. In 2018, the most notable breaches have occurred at Adidas, FedEx, Jason’s Deli, Macy’s, Under Armour, Nordstrom’s and most infamously, Facebook.

    Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly targeted

    As for cyber security and small and medium-sized companies, many are realizing that they are viewed as attractive a target as the larger companies. Cisco’s 2018 SMB Cybersecurity Report found that 53% of mid-market companies in 26 countries experienced a breach. For these companies, the top security concerns are targeted phishing attacks against employees, advanced persistent threats, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks and the proliferation of employees allowed to use their own mobile devices.

    Malware of all types is a huge problem. It is becoming more difficult to combat as cyber-attackers get more adept at developing software that can evade traditional detection and employ more sophisticated malware.

    For small and medium businesses, one breach often puts a victim out of business. That’s because 54% of all cyber-attacks cause financial damages exceeding $500,000, the 2018 Cisco SMB cybersecurity report shows. That price tag along with a damaged reputation are hard to survive. If they do survive, they still face significant system downtime that averaged eight hours or more in the last year. Further, such companies often lack the IT talent, budget and technologies to prevent, uncover and respond to an attack.

    How to better defend against cyber-theft

    Unsurprisingly, there is no easy solution – and none is likely within the near future – to prevent data breaches. But all businesses, especially small and medium sized companies can become better prepared and more adept at protecting against cyber-crime.

    Here are five actions concerning cyber security and small and medium-sized companies that can be taken to become more security-conscious:

    1. Conduct a security audit. Learn how secure your network and other security systems are, where vulnerabilities exist and how to resolve them. If you consider cybersecurity insurance — currently the fastest-growing insurance — or have coverage from a business insurer, the insurer can usually refer you to resources to assist in the audit.

    2. Ensure you have a proper backup system. And make sure it is easy to access in case you need to restore one piece of the system rather than the entire system. Enterprise-level cloud systems can help.

    3. Examine all the entry points into your system and consider where they are vulnerable. These include all your workstations, communications and mobile devices as well as employee access cards, the internet and cameras.

    4. Assess your system threats. These include client lists, passwords, data logs, backups and emails, and anyone who specifically has access to the system, including customers and vendors.

    5. Put a prevention system in place to defend against intruders. Put yourself in the place of the cyberattacker and consider the possible ways the attacker could access your system and steal your data. If your internal IT staff isn’t experienced enough to handle, entrust a third-party firm, because the prevention system must cover physical and digital security.

    It will pay to increase spending on cyber-security protection, developing qualified cyber security personnel and, perhaps, hiring a chief information security officer. Global spending on cyber security products and services is seen exceeding $1 trillion cumulative from 2017-2021, compared to a global cyber security market of just $3.5 billion in 2004. Businesses seem to be getting the message, but not fast enough, as far cyber security and small to medium-sized companies, the message needs to be absorbed much faster.

    Cyber Insurance attracts more small and medium business

    Cyber Insurance is another purchase small and medium businesses are considering. The overall market grew substantially in 2017 with direct premiums written surging 32% to $1.8 billion and policies in force rising 24% to 2.6 million, reports A.M. Best, the insurance rating and information firm. The reinsurance giant Munich Re foresees the cyber insurance market doubling by 2020, and it notes that cyberattacks could threaten the existence of SMBs.

    In general, small and medium businesses are finding increased accessibility for cyber security, more customized policies and increased oversight by state and federal regulators. In addition, large enterprises are expected to increasingly mandate cyber insurance for small businesses. Indeed, a report by Statistica, an online market research and business intelligence portal, found that nearly 30% of small and medium businesses purchased cyber insurance in April 2017 for contract compliance reasons.

    With the continued spike in cyber breaches, it’s clear that all businesses, must improve their security. Simply investigating all security alerts received will help since over half now go uninvestigated. More small and medium businesses  say they realize how critical it is to have a secure, protected network and system. Unfortunately, some only recognize it after they’ve suffered an attack costly to their reputation and their business.

    See Original Post

  • January 03, 2019 2:44 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the New York Times

    Last year was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States. While public mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas make up a small percentage of firearm deaths, they have changed the national conversation.

    More people died from firearm injuries in the United States last year than in any other year since at least 1968, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides. It was the largest yearly total on record in the C.D.C.’s electronic database, which goes back 50 years, and reflects the sheer number of lives lost.

    When adjusted for population size, the rate of gun deaths in 2017 also increased slightly to 12 deaths for every 100,000 people, up from 11.8 per 100,000 in 2016. By this measure, last year had the highest rate of firearm deaths since the mid-1990s, the data showed.

    It was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States, after remaining relatively steady throughout the 2000s and the first part of this decade.

    “It is significant that after a period of relative stability, now the rates are rising again,” Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Health Statistics, said in a phone interview.

    While there are signs that the movement to prevent gun violence gained momentum this year — state legislatures passed a surge of new gun control laws, gun control groups outspent the National Rifle Association in the midterm election cycle and the medical community recently took on the N.R.A. over an assertion that doctors should “stay in their lane” on gun policy — the findings underscore that even after such efforts ramped up after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, gun violence continued its dizzying assault on America.

    Suicides have historically made up most deaths by firearm in the United States, research shows.

    In 2017, about 60 percent of gun deaths were suicides, while about 37 percent were homicides, according to an analysis of the C.D.C. data by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a public health think tank. (The group is a sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an advocacy group that works to oppose the N.R.A.)

    Suicide over all has been on the rise for more than a decade and is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the health statistics center. But researchers say firearm homicide has ticked upward recently and also helps explain the rise in gun deaths since 2015.

    Among other public health problems, drug overdose deaths have also been surging, a trend that continued in 2017. About 70,000 people died from drug overdoses last year — almost double the number that died from guns, the health statistics center reported.

    Mr. Anderson said there could be a correlation between drugs and gun deaths. While the gun death rate is higher than it has been in some time, he noted that it was even higher in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, which corresponded with heroin and crack cocaine epidemics.

    “Now with the fentanyl issue and at the height of the drug overdose epidemic, now we are seeing rises in gun deaths,” Mr. Anderson said.

    Dakota Jablon, who analyzed the C.D.C. data for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, noticed another trend underlying the data: state-by-state variations, which she believes could reflect differences in gun laws.

    For example, Kansas, which received an F from the national advocacy group Giffords Law Center’s gun law scorecard, had increases in both its firearm suicide and homicide rates over the past decade. New York, which was given an A-minus, had both rates decrease, according to her analysis of C.D.C. data.

    “Some states are doing incredible work,” Ms. Jablon said. “They are passing these lifesaving policies that are clearly working.”

    Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine physician who is the director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, said that the rise in firearm deaths was a result of “a national unwillingness to take this problem seriously.”

    In 1996, under pressure from the N.R.A., Congress stripped the C.D.C. of its budget to study the health effects of shootings and prohibited the agency from advocating or promoting gun control.

    “We have decided as a country not to do research on this problem, so we don’t understand it,” said Dr. Wintemute, a leading researcher on gun violence who identified himself as a member of the N.R.A.

    A gunman killed 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in 2017. Mass shootings have occurred recently at schools, music venues and houses of worship.

    But recently, mass shootings — at schools and music venues and houses of worship — have rocked the American consciousness. Though public mass shootings make up no more than 1 percent of all firearm deaths, Dr. Wintemute said, they have changed the dynamic of the conversation.

    “I’ve been working on this problem full time since the early ’80s and there has never been a time like the present in which everybody feels some personal sense of risk,” he said.

    This spring, student activists led March for Our Lives protests across the country, after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 dead. More recently, doctors weighed in after the N.R.A. took aim at their profession in a tweet: “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.” Physicians, in turn, shared painful stories about treating gunshot victims.

    In an interview at the Tedmed event in November, the surgeon general, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, defended the right of doctors to talk about gun violence.

    “It is absolutely within physicians’ lanes to talk to their patients about ways that they can be safer,” said Dr. Adams, an anesthesiologist by training who has worked on gunshot victims and is a gun owner himself. “And that includes seatbelts, that includes bicycle helmets and that includes having a discussion about whether or not you have firearms in your home and whether or not you’re keeping them safe.”

    Despite the recent increase in firearm deaths, Dr. Wintemute said he had reason to be optimistic for the future.

    “For the first time in our history, everybody has a sense of personal involvement,” he said, adding, “That universal sense of personal risk might just lead to an increase in willingness to do something about the problem.”

    See Original Post

  • January 03, 2019 2:37 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Leadership Matters via Northern States Conservation Center

    This week in discussion with our Johns Hopkins class we asked students about threats to 21st-century museums. While there were outliers who mentioned the lack of leadership training, poor pay, and becoming a pink collar field, the vast majority felt diversity was today’s biggest challenge. And by diversity, they meant its absence. This group is young, hopeful, largely female, and mostly Caucasian, yet they see our field as riddled with white, male patriarchy.

    To be totally transparent, we here at Leadership Matters are older, white, straight and female. We occupy a weird nether-world that has trouble claiming a demographic silo so there may be some who bristle when we write about diversity and leadership. But as people who’ve watched the museum world, and particularly museum leadership, for a long time, we believe this field is overdue for change. And creating diversity by checking boxes–one handicapped staff member plus one LGBTQ person, plus one person of color, plus one transgender individual equals diversity–is not the answer. In fact, it can result in a lonely group of individuals who are burdened with representing an entire population, and who  feel they’ve only been hired because of who they’re not. And who aren’t they? They aren’t your usual Caucasian, privileged, cisgender, straight, liberal-arts college crowd. So what should you do?  How about hiring for the whole not for other-than? 

    How do you do that? Know your community. That’s your actual community, meaning your museum neighborhood, not the people who come to openings. Know your staff. Know where you want your organization to go, and who your museum cares about. Hire to mirror your forward motion. Hire to create a team, not to check boxes, but make sure you’ve done due diligence in spreading the word. Don’t place one advertisement with your regional museum service program and call it a day. Put the ad in as many places as you can afford and see who you attract.

    Be willing to invest some time in the process. Hiring new staff is far more complex  than ordering from Amazon, and yet too many organizations treat it in much the same way. They don’t discuss what the new or revised position could or should look like, how it might fit into the organization, and most importantly how one particular position adds to or complements a team. Add to that a boatload of bias, and it’s easy to hire the same old, same old.

    When we wrote “Know your staff” above, we really meant it. Even if you work at an organization as big as some small towns, someone knows the group of people you are hiring for. They know whether they interact with the community daily or move entirely behind the scenes. They know whether they’re chummy, go out for drinks together, and finish everything on time but at the last minute or whether they are goal driven and competitive. And they know whether their team really needs a master’s degree or whether a bachelor’s degree and a lot of imagination will move the ball up the field just fine.

    If you’re the board and hiring for the ED position, you know what’s on the “to-do” list at the micro and macro level. If you’re making a huge shift, you know you’re going to need someone who will smile and be personable, someone who can sell change. That means you must park your bias at the door. Listen and watch. Again, don’t choose the person who makes you comfortable; choose the person that’s the best fit for the job.

    I would be doing us all a disservice if I made it sound as simple as applying good listening techniques. Hiring is a complicated process, where bias, aspiration, hope, and memory frequently clash. AAM offers good resources on how to make the process more open and transparent. Don’t forget too, part of hiring and keeping a diverse staff is to maintain an equitable workplace. Maybe now’s the moment to make sure your 2019 to-do list includes:

    • a gender pay equity audit.
    • a values statement–what does your organization believe in back stage away from the public?
    • an HR/personnel policy that includes a standard of conduct and anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies.
    • An understanding of what it costs to live in your museum’s neighborhood, city or town.
    • Know what diversity means in your community. Know who’s not at your table.

    Once again, hiring for social media/PR value only nets disappointment and expense. Instead, hire because you want a diverse crowd around your table. Because the diverse crowd is the best crowd and diverse teams are imaginative teams. And who isn’t looking for the dream team?

    Joan Baldwin

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:24 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS Denver

    The Denver Art Museum says 10 works of art were damaged before museum personnel tackled a man on Sunday afternoon and held him until police arrived. The damage occurred in the Hamilton wing.

    Police named Jake Siebenlist, 18, as the suspect. If he had a motive for what he is accused of doing, he gave no indication in court. His hand was cut, bandaged and swollen.

    Numerous pieces of art in the “Stampede: Art and Animals” exhibit did not fare too well either. Among them a piece called “Beware of Cranes.”

    Christoph Heinrich, the museum’s director, said the suspect appeared mentally troubled.

    “When you destroy art in a gallery that’s pretty weird, and he was aggravated and not in a state of mind that was reasonable.”

    Police reported the suspect pushed a glass structure over, and then pushed patrons out of his way. Court documents state, “Siebenlist then began to throw numerous sculptures across the room causing them to break and began shattering other art sculptures into the ground.”

    Heinrich said there was anger and sadness at the museum.

    “This is a totally unreasonable, weird thing. First time in my career and in the history of the Denver Art Museum,” he said.

    The gallery where the vandalism occurred is now closed. The remainder of the exhibit remains open to the public.

    The damaged objects include pre-Columbian ceramic vessels, a 19th century Chinese vase as well as modern and contemporary items. Heinrich believes they can be salvaged.

    “Our conservators are stellar, and I am confident they can conserve and restore most of the objects,” he said.

    Siebenlist has no prior record and was to be released on a personal recognizance bond.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:19 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS News

    Even though the territories held by extremist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS have been eroded, the groups' global propaganda reach is still proving to be an effective recruitment tool, inspiring uncomplicated but deadly terror attacks on U.S. soil, according to the head of the New York Police Department's Intelligence and Counterterrorism bureaus.

    "[T]he unintended consequence of our effectively smashing ISIS and al-Qaeda – the pieces scattered," said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller in a recent interview with Intelligence Matters host and CBS News senior national security contributor Michael Morell.

    While the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 and the organization's top propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2012 were effective setbacks, the group and, more significantly, its regional successor, ISIS, have maintained a propaganda arm that reaches around the world and often across ideologies, Miller said.

    He listed as examples some small but occasionally deadly terror attacks, like that of the 2017 truck attack by Sayfullo Saipov that killed eight people; the subsequent attempted subway bombing by Akayed Ullah that injured three in 2017; and the 2016 Chelsea bomb plot carried out by Ahmad Khan Rahimi, whose improvised devices injured 31 people.

    In all, and separate from those attacks, Miller estimated the NYPD had foiled roughly 30 terror plots since 9/11. "That's significant," he told Morell.

    "If you look at the threat as we used to find it here in New York City, it was a deep threat and a narrow threat. Very complex," Miller explained. He cited in particular al-Qaeda's "sophisticated" external operations bureau, which was charged with recruiting potential followers, assembling terrorist cells and professionally managing complex plots. "That's a giant threat," he said.

    "The threat today is much lower," Miller continued. "Compared to what it was, it's two inches deep. The problem is it's now miles wide."

    Miller – who from 2011 to 2013 was a senior correspondent for CBS News, and before that held positions with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI – spoke with Morell about the ways extremism is stoked today. He suggested easily accessible propaganda had changed, if not augmented, the types of threats facing the country.

    The approach to radicalization looks to be derived in part, Miller said, from a text written in the mid-2000s by suspected al-Qaeda member Abu Musab al Suri, who argued that the most successful terrorist organization is one that puts itself out of business by creating "the jihad of the individual."

    "'[T]rue success is achieved when the message itself is the driver,'" Miller said, summarizing al Suri's work. "'The authorities can never dismantle something that has no shape. They cannot crush an organization that's already flat.'" 

    Today, Miller said, as propaganda easily reaches potential extremists online, it can have the dual effect of inspiring deadly attacks while also desensitizing them to violence.

    "[T]his is not a system unique to Islamic extremism," he said. "We're seeing that now in some of these right-wing attacks where they're watching the same stuff, and they're in the chat rooms, and they're stirring each other up, and they're pouring gasoline on each other's comments – and it becomes self-propelling," he told Morell. 

    It can also make stopping lone-wolf attacks harder, Miller said, because they become inherently less traceable.

    "If the propaganda is the driver," he explained, "they're not recruiting people, getting them to travel overseas where we would have a record, getting them to go to a camp where we would have foreign intelligence." 

    "When the conspiracy is between this person's mind up here and that glowing computer screen a foot away," Miller said, "that's a very small space to collect intelligence in between. That's a very hard place to get into."

    Further complicating some extremist attacks is their oblique or non-existent nexus to terrorism, Miller told Morell, citing the recent arrest of Cesar Sayoc, the alleged mailer of pipe bombs to prominent Democrats. Sayoc is awaiting trial in federal court.

    Though, as a suspect, Sayoc was known to law enforcement, Miller said, "he would have been a very small blip on the radar."

    "He wasn't any kind of master criminal," he explained. "But first he loses his job. Then he loses his house. Now, he's living out of a van. He's angry at the world because it can't be that he's a failure. The world must be failing him. Whose fault is that?"

    "Sometimes," Miller said, "the terrorism isn't really about the terrorism.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:11 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training Blog

    Delicious feasts and brilliant decorations are hallmarks of the holiday season. Unfortunately, however, these festive favorites also can pose potential fire hazards. Thankfully, you can enjoy everything that makes the holidays special during this time of year while simultaneously keeping your loved ones safe. Loraine Carli, Vice President, Outreach & Advocacy for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), explains how: “The holidays bring lots of opportunities to cook, entertain and decorate at home, but many of these traditions and activities carry potential fire hazards. Fortunately, there are many steps people can take to ensure that the season remains festive and fire-safe. It just takes a little added awareness and following some basic safety precautions.”

    Holiday Safety Steps

    Cooking

    Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the United States, year-round. In fact, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, after Thanksgiving, for sheer number of cooking-related fires. To reduce the potential risk of kitchen fires in your home this season, follow these suggestions, adapted from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

    • Declutter the area immediately near your cooking range. Don’t overload a cook-top with pots and pans. Instead, try to prepare and cook dishes in shifts rather than all at once. This helps to prevent grease spills from leaking between pots, sight unseen, and starting a fire.
    • Keep potholders, oven mitts and lids handy while cooking. But keep them clear of open flames. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, use a flame-resistant oven mitt to pick up a lid and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until the food has time to completely cool.
    • When removing lids on hot pans, tilt them away from you to protect your face and hands from steam. If an oven fire develops, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
    • Don’t wear loose fitting clothing while cooking. Long, open sleeves could ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back.
    • Smoke alarms can save lives. Make sure they are installed and properly working. Check the batteries and test to make sure alarm is operational.
    • Unplug small appliances when not in use. This will save energy and eliminate potential dangers which could occur if they are accidentally turned on.
    • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency. Learn how to use it. Make sure the fire extinguisher is UL listed and rated for grease and electrical fires. Click here for more details about the different types of fire extinguishers.
    • Avoid the temptation to fry your turkey. These pose several safety concerns, including burn risks and fire hazards. To be safe, if you must fry the turkey, make sure it is entirely thawed out. Ice and hot oil do not mix!
    • Since the above list is not comprehensive, make sure you cook safely this holiday season, by referencing the Consumer Product Safety Commission Thanksgiving safety campaign, Stand by Your Pan, the NFPA’s Cooking Safety Tip Sheet, and the National Safety Council’s “Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season” web page.

    Greenery

    Although Christmas tree fires may not be as common as you may have been led to believe by watching local newscasts, they are deadlier than most other fires. In fact, the USFA reports that one of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death each year, compared to an annual average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

    • Since fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, look for one that has vibrant green needles which are hard to pluck and don’t break when touched. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles while it’s on the lot.
    • Place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. And keep the tree base container filled with water to avoid a dry out. Also, make sure your pets don’t drink the water, for their safety and the life of the tree.
    • If you plan to use evergreen swags as holiday decorations, make sure the greenery is fresh instead of dry.
    • Keep greens far away from candles.
    • Clear needles that drop as soon as possible.

    Lights

    • Make sure indoor and outdoor holiday lights have passed UL or ETL/ITSNA lab tests for safety, which should be noted on the package.
    • Toss damaged lights.
    • Use suitable lights indoors and out.
    • Plug lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
    • Turn off your holiday lights each night and whenever you leave the house, or set them on a timer.

    Candles: December is the peak season for home candle fires. The top four days for candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. In December 11% of home candle fires began with decorations, compared to 4% the rest of the year. Keep candles away from your Christmas tree, furniture, curtains, and other décor.

    Decorations: Home decoration-related fires cause an annual average death of one civilian, and injure approximately 41 people, resulting in $13.4 million in associated property damage. Twenty percent of decoration fires start in the kitchen, whereas 17% originate in the living room, family room or den.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:08 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from UNESCO

    From 11 to 12 December 2018, legal experts convened in Monaco to discuss practical modalities on how globally unique marine areas beyond national jurisdiction could potentially receive protection through the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Experts highlighted that the lack of procedures to cover high seas areas might be a mere historic oversight and concluded that minor modifications within the framework of the Convention could allow such protection.

    In 2011, an Independent Evaluation on the Implementation of the Global Strategy by the UNESCO External Auditor recommended the States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention “to reflect upon appropriate means to preserve sites that correspond to conditions of Outstanding Universal Value which are not dependent on the sovereignty of States Parties”.

    Following this recommendation, UNESCO and IUCN published a first report that identified an initial five locations of potential Outstanding Universal Value in the High Seas, including the Costa Rica Thermal Dome, The Lost City Hydrothermal Field, The White Shark Café, The Sargasso Sea, and The Atlantis Bank.

    "It is difficult to imagine that the Convention’s founding fathers' and mothers' vision for protection was intended to exclude half of the planet", said Dr. Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

    When the World Heritage Convention was adopted in 1972, international environmental and ocean legislation was at a very early stage. The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) would only be finalized 10 years later, in 1982. It was only when UNCLOS became adopted that the distinction between ocean spaces within and outside national jurisdiction became reality. The first hydrothermal vent systems were only discovered in the late 70’s while most of the deep ocean beyond national jurisdiction is still to be discovered by science.  

    The meeting elaborated also on synergies and opportunities for collaboration in the context of the ongoing negotiations of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

    The meeting took place in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and was made possible thanks to the support from the French Agency for Biodiversity and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:02 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal

    Now that the major holidays are upon us, take a few minutes to extend your safety culture. This is not only the time of year for special celebrations, it’s also prime for safeguarding your belongings and assets—especially those you’ve eagerly awaited as gifts or those you stowed away for that special loved one.

    Therefore, it’s important that your employees, colleagues, family and friends are aware of their surroundings and always on alert when partaking in seasonal activities, whether they are shopping, attending a large public gathering, traveling abroad or staying close to home.

    Safe practices at work carry over into the community, and safe practices in the community carry over into the workplace. Here are several ways to stay vigilante so this time of year remains a joyous one:

    While Shopping:

    • Park close to your destination, in a well-lit area and lock packages in the trunk, out of sight.

    • Carry your purse close to your body and stow your wallet inside a zippered pocket.

    • Report any suspicious activity or unattended packages to store/mall security or law enforcement.

    At Your Workplace:

    • Report all solicitors or suspicious persons to security immediately.

    • Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repair persons, as thieves are apt to disguise themselves.

    • Make sure your receptionist and/or security team clears any workers or contractors before allowing them into your office.

    At Home:

    • Refresh your holiday lights; consider buying energy-efficient LED types that are cooler than conventional incandescent lights and heed indoor or outdoor use labels.

    • Point any decorative outdoor laser light devices at your home and not towards the sky.

    • Turn off lights or decorations before bedtime, or set automatic timers for six or eight-hour increments to conserve energy.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 3:57 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Artnet

    A protest at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art saw the fire department called to the scene yesterday. The museum’s lobby was filled with smoke from demonstrators burning sage, a symbolic action meant to mirror the toxic tear gas used on November 25 against asylum seeks attempting to enter the US from Mexico.

    The protest began at noon on Sunday and included speeches, chanting, and music. “Against the toxic clouds produced by Safariland, we burn sage. Smoke that protects and heals, smoke that remembers and honors, smoke that chokes the powerful but smells sweet to us as we assemble for freedom and dignity,” wrote Decolonize This Place in a statement prepared ahead of the action.

    The protest is the most visible and public demonstration to date in an ongoing debate over the presence of Warren B. Kanders, the owner of the company Safariland, on the museum’s board. The flurry of discussion and criticism began on November 27, when an article on Hyperallergic publicized the ties between Kanders, the Whitney’s board vice chair, and Safariland, which manufactured the tear gas used by United States Customs and Border Protection officers on migrant mothers and children at the San Diego-Tijuana border. Kanders has served as Safariland’s board chairman since 1996 and owner since 2012.

    The Sunday demonstration against Kanders’s continued presence on the institution’s board, led by the activist group Decolonize This Place, was held in conjunction with a coalition of other New York City groups. It is one of a growing number of protests drawing attention to unsavory sources of museum funding, from photographer Nan Goldin‘s campaign against museums that accept funding from the Sackler family to environmentalists’ demonstrations against museums funded by BP and other oil companies.

    This wasn’t the only protest against Kanders targeting the Whitney this week, either. A second, unaffiliated protest action took place on Monday morning, led by artist Rafael Shimunov. Together with the group Art V War, he created a guerrilla-style installation of a painting based on a photo taken at the border last month of a mother and her two young children running from tear gas.

    He labeled the work, Mother and her daughters in tear gas (2018) and credited “Whitney Vice Chair, Warren Kanders in collaboration with Trump” as the artist. The artist posted footage of himself installing the work and an accompanying label on a wall on the east side of the Whitney’s galleries earlier today. Shimunov has also launched a Color of Change petition calling for Kanders’s resignation.

    The protesters noted that they were acting separately, but in solidarity with, the staff of the Whitney Museum. Around a week and a half ago, nearly 100 museum employees wrote a letter calling for Kanders to be removed from the board and for the museum to release a statement acknowledging the issue. (Kanders is also a “significant contributor” to the Whitney’s “Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again,” according to the exhibition credits.)

    In addition to handmade posters carried by demonstrators, the Sunday protest also included imagery in the style of Warhol’s art and museum publicity materials, created by Decolonize This Place and the collective MTL+.

    Mimicking the Pop art great’s multicolored screen prints, the artworks feature rows of tear gas canisters (instead of Campbell’s soup), and photographs of activists being gassed at Standing Rock and of Weinberg and Kanders smiling at a museum gala.

    “The immediate goal is that Warren Kanders must go,” Marz Saffore, a member of Decolonize This Place, told Hyperallergic, adding that even if that happens, there are still “dozens and dozens of other issues within the board of trustees at the Whitney.”

    Following the firefighters’ arrival, the protest moved outside and continued peacefully, with flyers explaining the situation being handed out to museum visitors and passersby. Banners reading “WHITNEY MUSEUM: NO SPACE FOR PROFITEER OF STATE VIOLENCE” amplified the message.

    “Museum visitors seemed to be equally divided along lines of befuddled incomprehension and genuine curiosity about the protest,” said artist William Powhida, who participated in the demonstration. “I was approached a few times to answer peoples’ questions and it seemed to me that there is very little public awareness about who Warren B. Kanders is and what his company, Safariland, does.”

    In response to the uproar last week, museum director Adam Weinberg issued a letter reiterating what he views as the museum’s role as a bastion of progressive art, a place for open discussion about difficult subjects, and a venue where underrepresented voices can be heard. In the letter, which did not mention Kanders by name, Weinberg also noted that “trustees do not hire staff, select exhibitions, organize programs or make acquisitions, and staff does not appoint or remove board members.”

    Soon after, the embattled vice chair himself issued a statement noting that he had no control over how Safariland products were deployed. “I think it is clear that I am not the problem the authors of the letter seek to solve,” Kanders wrote.

    Weinberg’s “tepid response to the staff letter” was a big reason Powhida decided to take part in the protest, he said. “The Whitney is one of the most visible contemporary arts museums in the country and I don’t think it should be used—as an institution that is seeking to represent diversity—to art wash or launder the reputation of Kanders,” he told artnet News in an email. “If an artist has a platform and an audience, I think we have a responsibility to amplify messages of groups like Decolonize This Place.”

    It appears the group’s campaign is far from over. “We do not do one-offs,” Decolonize This Place told artnet News in a Facebook message. “But we are also waiting to hear how the Whitney will respond after our action, and whether they will remove Warren B. Kanders.”

    As of press time, the Whitney had not responded to Artnet News’s request for comment.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 3:00 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Local (Fr)

    Forty metro stations will be shut on Saturday and numerous museums and monuments won't be open to the public, but Paris City Hall insists tourists have nothing to fear.

    Paris and other cities around France are braced for more yellow vest protests tomorrow.

    Last Saturday's protests prompted the city to practically close down for the day with scores of cultural sites including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre deciding to close fearing violence.

    Sites that have confirmed they will be closed on Saturday include the Petit Palais, Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée Cernuschi, Catacombs and Théâtre des Champs Elysée.

    The Arc de Triomphe and the Pantheon will also be closed.

    Paris City Hall tried to ease the fears of any visitors but advised them to avoid certain areas and keep up to date with the news.

    "This social protest movement represents no danger to visitors," a statement on the website said.

    "It will however cause some inconvenience with the exceptional closing of certain museums and monuments, as well as that of some public transport stations.

    "In anticipation of a new demonstration on Saturday 15 December, we recommend that you keep up to date with the situation via our Twitter account Paris Je T'aime, and that you stay outside the perimeter of the processions in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations."

    Police have stated that from 6 am onward there will also be an exclusion zone in place around Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysée, the Assemblée National, Place Beauvau and Hotêl Matignon.

    So far the Louvre, Orangerie, Musée d’Orsay and Eiffel Tower have not said they will change their opening hours so should be open as normal tomorrow.

    The Grand Palais will also be open, but only to visitors who have bought tickets in advance. 

    The Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille also plan to open, although Opéra de Paris advises anyone planning to visit to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for up to date news, and to double check transport routes as many stations around the capital will be closed. 

    Tourists and residents looking to use the French capital’s underground on Saturday should expect some travel grief caused by both works on the line and temporary closures due to the ‘yellow vest’ protests expected to rock the Paris city centre again this Saturday According to the city's RATP transport network, 40 stations will remain closed.

    Line 1 (Tuileries, Concorde, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George V, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Argentine) and Line 9 (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Trocadero, Miromesnil, St. Philip du Roule ) will be particularly affected.

    Other lines that can expect delays are Line 2 (Charles de Gaulle-Etoile), Line 6 (Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Kleber, Boissiere, Trocadero), Line 8 (Concorde, Madeleine), Line 12(Concorde, Assemblée Nationale, Madeleine), line 13 (Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Miromesnil, St. Francis Xavier, Varenne, Invalides) and line 14 (Madeleine).

    The RER C train line running from the northwest to the southeast of the city through the centre of Paris is also forecast to suffer closures (Invalides, Avenue Foch, Porte Maillot and Pont de l'Alma Charles de Gaulle Etoile RER) .

    Buses are also best avoided the RATP warns, as routes are "likely to be deviated, limited or not run at all".

    Most Vélib bike sharing stations across the city will also be closed, with the exception of the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements.

    See Original Post

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