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  • January 03, 2019 3:22 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from IBNA

    The glass roof of the Duveen Gallery in London’s British Museum, the room where the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited, is leaking water following heavy rainfall in the UK capital.

    On Friday morning IBNA witnessed the drip of water landing only centimetres away from the statue of Iris, in the area of the gallery where marble figures from the Parthenon’s west pediment are located.

    The floor on that spot was covered in absorbing cloth and yellow signs warned about the slippery floor.

    There was no sign of water having landed on the statue of Iris or Amphitrite, also very close by.

    Indeed the British Museum have stressed that no water has hit the sculptures and no damage has been sustained, admitting the problem.

    In a statement a spokesperson for the Museum said: “There was a minor incident during recent very heavy rainfall when a small amount of water entered the gallery. None of the sculptures was damaged and the issue has been dealt with.”

    Prompted to explain why water kept on dripping next to the statue, the Museum spoke of “a small residual leak” and pledged to continue monitoring the situation closely and to address the issue with the roof as urgent.

    The initial statement added that the Museum “take our collection care responsibilities very seriously, the preservation of the collection is of fundamental importance to the British Museum.”

    The glass roof parts of the gallery looked eroded by time and nature - which may explain the leak- and not only over the west pediment statues.

    It is worth reminding that one of the constant arguments of the British Museum against calls for the reunification of the Sculptures before the New Acropolis Museum was built was that Athens had no appropriate facilities to host them.

    Dame Janet Suzman, Chair of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, issued this statement: “We hope that the leak is fixed swiftly and that there is no damage to the sculptures. We would continue to urge the British Museum to consider the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles in the Acropolis Museum where they can join their other halves.

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  • January 03, 2019 3:11 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal

    When I hear the term “security guard” used in popular culture, why does it personally elicit a reaction of disappointment for me? As Chief Administrative Officer for America’s largest security firm, how our security professionals are perceived is part of my job. Words have the ability to shape our perception, and when I hear the term “security guard,” I feel  that the important role our security professionals play is diminished.

    My company believes the word “guard” does not convey the level of respect, professionalism and training necessitated of today’s security professionals. The terms "security officer" or "security professional" are universally used in all of our internal and external references. I am proud that Allied Universal has established this standard of respect for security professionals. Indeed, it is great to see that many other security companies have followed suit and abandoned verbiage that highlights the use of the word “guard.”

    Security officers are hard-working, highly trained men and women who are our country’s first responders. Security professionals have a wide range of skills – from the sensitivity to deal with lost children to the ability to respond to and effectively address significant incidents. Security officers are often put in high-risk situations as they confront and detain criminals engaged in theft, trespassing, gang activity, and every other manner of unlawful behavior that occurs where many people congregate on a daily basis. 

    I invite you to evaluate your perception of security professionals and think about the critical role that they play in keeping us all safe.

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  • January 03, 2019 3:04 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from India Today

    A majority of museums and cultural repositories in India stand at risk of suffering "grave damage" in the event of a major fire, an international expert has cautioned and suggested that a disaster management plan should be properly implemented by these institutions.

    Vinod Daniel, an India-born Australian and a top museum specialist, said the fire at the National Museum of Brazil, in which a massive collection of it was destroyed, holds valuable lessons for developing countries, including India.

    "The fire in Brazil this year and the one which gutted the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi in 2016, should serve as grim reminders about the perils our invaluable treasures face, due to lack of or inadequacy of a disaster management plan, particularly against fire incidents," he said.

    The 56-year-old, who is also a board member of Paris-based International Council of Museums (ICOM), said, museums in India should immediately do a risk management exercise.

    "Once they conduct the exercise, I reckon, the biggest threat that will emerge for them would be fire. Also, at present, a majority of museums, old libraries and cultural repositories do not have proper disaster management plan in place, so that stand at risk of suffering grave damage in case of a major fire, as it happened in Brazil," Daniel told PTI in an interview.

    However, some of the museums, such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western), do have a management policy and a roadmap to deal with such incidents, he said.

    Daniel, also chairman of AusHeritage, a non-profit cultural heritage network in Australia, suggested that besides having a good plan for safekeeping, museums should invest in documentation of artefacts and training of staff for proper handling of exhibits, in the wake of a disaster.

    "Biggest risks to collections in developing countries, like India are natural disasters such as earthquake and flood, and fire, which totally destroys. In case of a fire, a museum serious about these issues will have a proper fire alarm system, have a list of key contact people, and team of first responders, who know where are the rarest collections, and try rescuing those.

    "They would also know what kind of substance to use for extinguishing the flames, whether it is gas or something else, to put out fire on books, manuscripts and artefacts. Lack of knowledge ends up damaging more than a fire," he said.

    India currently has about 900 museums, from state-owned to private and local museums, said Daniel, an IIT-Delhi graduate and an IIT-Madras alumnus, who started his career with the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in the US as a conservation scientist and then moved to Australia from there.

    India also has some of the oldest and fascinating libraries with rare, rich collection of books, like the Connemara Library in Chennai, he said.

    "The collection is majestic, and so is the building, but when it comes to fire disaster management plan there, it leaves a lot to be desired," he lamented.

    The Sydney-based expert also claimed that not much fund is diverted towards creation of fire-safety mechanism as "it is not seen as an visible, attractive exercise by many politicians compared to say cutting a ribbon to inaugurate a new gallery".

    He also pitched for introduction of more courses in museology in various academic institutions to inculcate the value of history and heritage among the people, especially the youth.

    Asked, what will be the future of museums in the digital ages, Daniel, who has worked with museums in Mumbai, Chennai, Egypt and Myanmar, among other institutions, responded in a very optimistic tone.

    "Based on existing research, I can say that the fascination for seeing the original object has not changed, even in the age of virtual reality and internet. Virtual reality can never replace the experience of seeing the original artefacts or paintings. So, people still queue up outside Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa) or the National Palace Museum in Taipei," he said.

    Daniel asserted that newer technologies should be used by museums to enhance the experience of visitors, and virtual experience is for those people, who either live far-off from the museum or do not have access to the place. So, one experience does not cut into another, he said.

    He also said that China and Singapore have invested big on museums, among other countries.

    "China already has some of the biggest museums, and now it is building 200-300 museums every year. Singapore, particularly stands out, since till 1990s, the country was in poor shape and after its economy picked up, it made heritage an important part of its policy-making, and set up a National Heritage Board," Daniel said.

    See Original Post


  • 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

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