Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, China And Energy, China’s Demand For Resources, Climate, Conservation, Dams, Drinking Water, Ecology, Ecosystems, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Fossil Fuels, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Trade, Global Warming, Globalization, Green, Habitat Degradation, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Law, Overconsumption, Pollution, Roads, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Trade, Water Pollution, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Basten Gokkon Governments across Southeast Asia have embraced billions of dollars in construction projects backed by China as they rely on infrastructure-building to drive their economic growth.But there are worries that this building spree, under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), makes no concessions for environmental protections, and even deliberately targets host countries with a weak regulatory climate.Beijing has also been accused of going on a debt-driven grab for natural resources and geopolitical clout, through the terms under which it lends money to other governments for the infrastructure projects.In parallel, China is also building up its green finance system, potentially as a means to channel more funding into its Belt and Road Initiative. KUCHING, Malaysia — As governments in Southeast Asia target economic growth through infrastructure development, China, the world’s second-largest economy, has emerged as a ready funder for some of the most ambitious and expensive projects.Regional leaders have been quick to seize the opportunity offered by Beijing, but environmental experts warn that many of these projects could cause irreversible environmental damage in highly biodiverse areas.The infrastructure push has come in two waves this past decade, both aimed at establishing new roads, ports and railways across the region in pursuit of improved trade and logistics. In 2010, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) announced its Master Plan for Connectivity, which seeks to boost regional integration among the 10 member countries of the bloc through infrastructure projects. Three years later, China inaugurated its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion transportation and energy infrastructure construction juggernaut aimed to give Beijing a strong presence in markets across the region as well as Africa and Europe. The initiative is slated for completion in 2049.Representatives of governments pose for a photo at the Belt and Road International Forum in May 2017 in Beijing. The BRI has the backing of dozens of nations that are home to billions of people. Image courtesy of the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office (by CC 4.0).China’s Belt and Road Initiative, showing China in Red the members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in orange. The BRI comprises six proposed corridors of the Silk Road Economic Belt, a land transportation route running from China to southern Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East; and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route connecting the port of Shanghai to Venice, via India and Africa. Image by Lommes (by CC 4.0).Overall, these and other initiatives would see paved roads in Asia’s developing nations double in length in the next few years, according to a 2017 report.Asean is one of China’s largest trading partners, and given its vast natural resources and geographical proximity to China, the association of fast-growing nations is a key priority for the BRI.More than 60 percent of Chinese overseas direct investment (ODI) to BRI countries from 2013 to 2015 went to Asean member states, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. China’s total ODI in BRI countries was $21.4 billion in 2015, up from $13.6 billion in 2014 and $12.6 billion in 2013. Much of this money has gone to finance large, and often highly controversial, infrastructure projects.One of them, for instance, is a high-speed rail line in Indonesia, which the government in Jakarta shelved due to a lack of proper environmental impact studies and conflicts with local zoning plans. Also in Indonesia, a massive dam project supported by the Bank of China and Sinohydro, China’s hydropower authority, has been widely criticized for threatening the only known habitat of the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan.There have also been complaints in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia about potential damage to the environment and communities from Chinese-backed hydropower projects along the Mekong River.What’s at stake?The BRI may appear to be an ambitious take on globalization, by covering 68 countries through trade and commerce and linking them to China, but there’s more to it than that, says Mason Campbell, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Australia.“It’s basically under the guise of internationalizing China, but it’s more about resource extraction and attaining materials,” Campbell told Mongabay on the sidelines of the 2018 conference of the Association for Tropical Biodiversity Conservation in Kuching, Malaysia, in early July.Wood that was cut for charcoal production near Katha, northern Myanmar. Villages in this area used to cut teak and other valuable trees for export, but have since started producing charcoal. The charcoal being exported to China can be made from any tree, regardless of size or species. This amount of trees would produce about 150 bags of charcoal. Image by Nathan Siegel for Mongabay.Campbell, whose work has focused on the Pan Borneo Highway — a project to linking the two Malaysian states on the island with the nation of Brunei — said China’s way of asserting its influence in most infrastructure projects was typically by pushing for Chinese companies to work abroad or finance a development project in a foreign country that would eventually benefit China.China has pursued minerals, fossil fuels, agricultural commodities and timber from other nations under this model. As a net importer of coal, Chinese firms have 700 plants scheduled to be built by 2027, a fifth of which will be located abroad, including in Southeast Asia. The country is also investing $100 billion annually in Africa for extractive mineral industries and the associated transportation and energy infrastructure. The effort to secure these resources has spawned its own infrastructure boom that typically involves building large-scale roads, railways and other infrastructure to transport commodities from interior areas to coastal ports for export.In an analysis that only considers the backbone BRI projects, and not these various side projects, the WWF estimates that the Chinese initiative will directly impact 265 threatened species, including endangered tigers, giant pandas, gorillas, orangutans and Saiga antelopes.“There is significant potential overlap between the terrestrial BRI corridors and areas that are important for biodiversity conservation and for the provision of social and economic benefits to people,” the wildlife NGO wrote in the report. “These overlaps indicate risk areas for potentially negative impacts of infrastructure development.”It said the major BRI corridors would cut through or broadly overlap with 1,739 Important Bird Areas or Key Biodiversity Areas, as well as 46 biodiversity hotspots or Global 200 Ecoregions.“It’s huge. It’s as big as oil palm,” Alex Lechner, a researcher from the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, told Mongabay.In a report published earlier this year, Lechner highlighted the rampant biodiversity loss in Asia from the BRI, which crosses several terrestrial and marine biodiversity hotspots, wilderness areas and other key conservation areas, such as Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle.Road development, the report said, will create direct and indirect impacts, such as habitat loss, fragmentation, and illegal activities such as poaching and logging. In the marine environment, increased sea traffic exacerbates the movement of invasive species and pollution. Poorly planned infrastructure has the risk of locking in undesirable environmental practices for decades to come, it added.“BRI could have disastrous consequences for biodiversity,” Lechner wrote in the report.This map provides an overview of the land areas slated for infrastructure development, and likely to be at highest environmental risk, as a result of the BRI corridors. According to a WWF analysis, the BRI is likely to impact threatened species, environmentally important areas, protected areas, water-related ecosystem services, and areas with important wilderness characteristics. Image by WWF.New player, old gameChina is not the only nation promoting its own economic interests over those of other countries and their environmental health. It’s a story that has played out going back to the colonial period and earlier, when European nations ruthlessly exploited the resources and people of Africa, Asia and the Americas.The difference with China is both scale and speed, says William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University, whose work in the past two decades has primarily focused on infrastructure projects and their impact on the environment.“No nation has ever changed the planet so rapidly, on such a large scale, and with such single-minded determination,” Laurance wrote in an op-ed last year. “It is difficult to find a corner of the developing world where China is not having a significant environmental impact.”He also noted that China currently lacks other key factors that would make it easier to track and mitigate the impacts of projects, such as a free press or laws regulating the practice of Chinese businesses abroad.According to a major World Bank analysis of nearly 3,000 projects, Chinese foreign investors and companies often predominate in poorer nations with weak environmental regulations and controls. This, Laurance said, makes those nations prime “pollution havens” for China and Chinese enterprises, as the latter wouldn’t take any blame for the environmental damage wrought by their activities in the host countries.Mohammed Alamgir, an environmental scientist at James Cook University, described China’s BRI as also a way of buying long-term political influence across the globe.“In this arena of political economy, this huge investment from China, they’re the only player in that field,” he said.Campbell said the political favors sought by China would become clearer once the country receiving the funding for infrastructure projects struggled to pay back the money. A prominent case is that of the $1.5 billion Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. With the host government overleveraging itself to finance the project, it has had to give China a 99-year lease on the port in exchange for debt relief.The scale of China’s international resource exploitation is only likely to increase. The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the primary investor in BRI projects, is heavily capitalized and moving rapidly to fund overseas projects with “streamlined” environmental and social safeguards. However, the host nations can, in theory, negotiate for much stringent standards for individual projects.In the meantime, the World Bank in 2016 announced new environmental and social safeguards to remain competitive with the AIIB. But those new standards have been described by some experts, including Laurance, as weaker than the lender’s previous framework.Laurance said the AIIB and other Chinese development banks could force a “race to the bottom” among multilateral lenders — with potentially grave consequences for the global environment.A logging road cuts through a tropical forest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful” Silk Road. He said the participating countries should “deepen cooperation in environmental protection, intensify ecological preservation and build a green Silk Road.” Over the past decade, Chinese government ministries have released a series of “green papers” outlining lofty environmental and social guidelines for China’s overseas ventures and corporations.But researchers remain skeptical about this commitment.“The Chinese government readily admits that compliance with its guidelines is poor, but accepts no blame for this. Instead, it insists that it has little control over its corporations and blames the host nations themselves for not controlling Chinese corporations more carefully,” Laurance said.“If China really wanted to reign in its freewheeling corporations, it could easily do so by making some strong official statements and visibly punishing a few extravagant sinners. It hasn’t done this for one simple reason: Despite their often-egregious environmental activities, China’s corporations operating overseas are enormously profitable.”Alamgir said there was still hope for China to improve its environmental commitment by imposing more stringent strategic environmental assessments throughout the project development and funding processes.“At the end of the day, it’s political will,” he said. “If the Chinese government had the political will to do that.”Lechner called for more scientists from the global conservation community to look into the environmental impacts of the BRI, and conduct joint research with colleagues in China to better understand the dynamics of the initiative. He said researchers in China had produced about 90 papers reviewing the BRI, but they were in Chinese and only a small percentage were related to environmental aspects.“I think there’s a lot to be learned about what’s happening internally [in China], because maybe we think [that] it’s a vacuum because it’s not in English, but maybe there are things going on internally,” Lechner said.Green finance frameworkIn parallel with the BRI push, China appears to be developing its green financing system. A discussion involving 120 policymakers, financial regulators and practitioners from more than 35 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America took place in China in May.The six-day event was also attended by experts from more than 50 international organizations and commercial entities, including the Asian Development Bank, the Climate Bonds Initiative and the Commercial Bank of China. It highlighted Chinese roadmaps for green financial systems and the barriers related to regulatory policies, green definitions, raising awareness, building capacity, and collecting data.“It was extremely important for senior government leaders at the highest level to send a strong policy signal to regulators and market participants on the importance of green finance to the economy,” said Ma Jun, director of the Center for Finance and Development at Tsinghua University in Beijing, who also led the drafting of China’s green finance guidelines in 2015-2016.Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bond Initiatives, said the green bond market has taken off in the past couple of years, with China and the United States leading the global market.The Chinese experience, Kidney said, demonstrates that developing a clear green bond taxonomy, verifiers, and disclosure rules will help avoid the problem of greenwashing and also paves the way for smooth accreditation and verification of bond issuances and proceeds management.Financial institutions based in Shanghai are also seen driving green finance through product innovation, according to Clair Liu, head of international business at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. She cited the exchange’s experience in promoting environmental information disclosure, green bonds, and a green index development.To achieve a successful green financial system, Ma called on governments to do more to encourage private capital, and to train and develop human resources in the sector.“Policy coordination among ministries, development of taxonomies, and information disclosure are also key to success,” said Ma, whose current research priorities include investment in the BRI.Clarification: This article has been updated to amend an incorrect figure. It previously stated that Chinese companies would build 1,600 coal plants by 2027. We apologize for the error.Editor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.
As citizens of this beautiful country, we have an important role when it comes to matters concerning the environment and our health. The environment is everybody’s business, since we all depend on it in one way or another. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to promoting sound environment management and sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources. Equally, the Agency works to promote environmental awareness and public participation in developmental activities. Through our various campaigns, publications, ads, radio/TV interviews/programmes, EPA seeks to encourage all Guyanese to share their views, and make recommendations to ensure developmental projects have minimal adverse impacts on human health and the Environment.You would agree that all developmental projects have some impact on the environment. However, based on the nature of some projects, the impact might be greater than others. Therefore, the EPA encourages all citizens to develop an interest in what’s happening around them. Be in the know, and share your views on the projects especially to those requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). These are usually projects where the potential impacts may be significant, or are unknown.This week’s article will highlight one of the many ways members of the public can participate in the decision making process to ensure that projects are implemented in a way that would not cause considerable damage to the environment and human health.Read public noticesOnce someone applies to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an Environmental Authorisation, and it is decided whether or not the person needs to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the project is published in the newspapers. This allows members of the public to be aware of the project. A summary of the project will also be found on the Agency’s website. The public has the opportunity to share concerns, comments, recommendations etc., before the project commences.Attend public scoping meetingsWhat is a Public Scoping Meeting?As part of the name suggests, it is a meeting that specifically targets members of the public. When a developer/project proponent applies to the EPA for Environmental Authorisation to execute a proposed project, and the EPA determines that an EIA is required, as part of this process, such a meeting is necessary. This meeting provides the opportunity for residents of communities surrounding the proposed project site to provide their valuable suggestions, recommendations and concerns about the project idea. At a scoping meeting, the Developer and officials from the EPA are there to hear your thoughts about possible environmental impacts that should guide the EIA study.East Bank- East Coast (Diamond/Ogle) Road Linkage ProjectRecently, the Agency held two public scooping meetings, one at the Better Hope Community Centre on the East Coast and the other at Grove/Diamond Primary School on the East Bank, in an effort to engage the public on the Road Linkage Project. During the meetings, discussions were held around the project; what it entails and impacts to the environment. Citizens got a chance to share ways the project might affect their livelihood. In addition, the audience members were encouraged to share their opinions and ideas for developing the project.By reading public notices and attending public scoping meetings, citizens have a first-hand input into project development in Guyana. These inputs are necessary because, after a project has been completed, its impacts remain.Join us next week, when we will examine public scoping meetings further, including who organises these, what to expect etc. The Agency is committed to engaging citizens in matters of the environment, and we encourage persons to share their viewpoints on all projects.You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
DONEGAL RELAY FOR LIFE – PICTURE SPECIAL was last modified: May 27th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Many of us have read through FMLA paperwork describing things we can do to assist our employees with acute or chronic pain. These instructions may ask us to pad the floor by their desks or give extended breaks to allow employees to rest their impacted area(s) of pain.One area that we often neglect is a discussion of how the pain is being managed. Is this employee taking powerful drugs that may sedate them? Are these drugs addictive? What could happen if our employee takes too much? Do you have customers that may be taking opioids for pain?There has been a four-fold increase in deaths over the last decade from opioid overdose (v et al., 2018). Recent work has noted that over forty-eight million Americans suffer from severe and chronic pain (Chidgey and Murphy, 2017). Chidgey and Murphy noted that “the number of opioids prescribed for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain has quadrupled” since 1999 (2017). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown a at least a 25 percent annual increase in overdose fatalities on the job since 2012 (BLS, 2017).The National opioid epidemic is clearly on our doorsteps but what can we do to help our teams?Our employees can benefit from bystander education. It is associated with better overdose recognition and overdose response by the administration of the life saving several drug Naloxone (Giglio et al., 2015).For the second annual Healthcare Simulation Awareness Week, let’s discuss simulation techniques and tools to improve team safety and communication. Below is an example of how every office can use a simple simulation to help prepare team members for an opioid crisis in their office.Arrange a meeting and have one or two team members act “different”. Be a few minutes late to the meeting yourself to give the team plenty of time interact and recognize that something is “not quite right” with their colleague(s). Your actors can act drowsy, mentally confused, euphoric, or pick other behaviors often associated with opioid overdose (SAMHSA, 2015).When you arrive at the meeting, debrief the team on their interactions while waiting. What did they notice that was different? Did they ask questions to try to figure out what was going on with them? Have any of them ever experienced an interaction like this?The need for the use of Naloxone in the field to save lives is becoming more widely recognized (Wheeler et al. 2015). More and more first responders are starting to carry the drugs needed to reverse an opioid overdose, If your workplace has decided to add Naloxone to the safety equipment available on site, discuss administration. If not, this sets up an opportunity to discuss if it is needed.Follow up in a few days with a coworker or customer having a mock crisis somewhere in the office and debrief using the TeamSTEPPS® tools. https://blog.shrm.org/blog/six-tools-for-improving-communications-with-t…#HcSimWeek18 and #PainAwarenessMonth References:Chidgey BA, Murphy BA. Evidence-Based Medicine and Regulatory Oversight: Opioid Prescribing for Treatment of Pain. N C Med J. 2017 Sep-Oct;78(5):310-311. doi: 10.18043/ncm.78.5.310.Giglio RE, Li G, DiMaggio CJ. Effectiveness of bystander naloxone administration and overdose education programs: a meta-analysis. Inj Epidemiol. 2015 Dec;2(1):10.Heavey SC, Chang YP, Vest BM, Collins RL, Wieczorek W, Homish GG. ‘I have it just in case’ – Naloxone access and changes in opioid use behaviours. Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Jan;51:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.09.015.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2015. Substance Use Disorders https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 2017. National census of fatal occupational injuries in 2016. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cfoi_12192017.pdf Wheeler E, Jones TS, Gilbert MK, Davidson PJ. Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone to Laypersons — United States, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 64(23);631-635 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6423a2.htm
Today, virtually every resource that can be used to store valuable information offers users the option of activating two-factor authentication (2FA) for their accounts—from social networks and online games, to mail server and, naturally, banking and payment systems. Since we access these accounts more and more often from our mobile devices, which need extra protection from malicious attacks. Unfortunately, users tend to view extra safeguards as tedious and ignore them, leaving them vulnerable. However, new 2FA approaches are emerging that could help bring more protection, without the extra burden. The idea: Use the mobile device you’re trying to protect as the security token itself. Two-Factor IssuesThere are numerous ways to implement two-factor authentication, however many come with a few pros and cons.Most often, one-time passwords (OTP) are provided via SMS messages. On one hand, it’s very convenient. But there’s a flip side to it: The company incurs additional expenses because each SMS message costs money.A third party is involved in the authentication process (SMS gateway).Sometimes, it takes up to several minutes to receive an SMS messages, which is not always convenient for the customer and gives potential violators more time to intercept the message.Other systems use hardware tokens in the form of key chains, flash drives or bank cards, as well as OTP delivery via email. Hardware tokens are relatively reliable, but it is not always convenient to carry them with you. They can be lost, left behind, and require constant attention. The shortcomings of OTP delivery via email are virtually the same as those of SMS authentication.In the face of inconveniences like these, users often forego the additional account protection, seeing two-factor authentication as a burden. But, with new technologies such as iPhones, Android smartphones, and smartwatches, there’s a new, more convenient one-time password generation method. My company has been working with CWYS (Confirm What You See), a data signing function that’s an all-new development in the phrase of transaction security. Implemented as a mobile app, along with other features, it uses phones and smartwatches to help protect them against such cyber threats as automated transfer, replacement and data modification. How Confirming What You See Can HelpUntil very recently, violators were able to bypass two-factor authentication using certain types of malware. Here’s how it often plays out: After the system injection, it waits for a moment when a user initiates a legitimate transfer, at which point it shows the user a pop-up window with a message requesting, for example, that the user should wait while data is being verified.During this time, the injection performs some actions, hidden from the user, which result in funds being transferred to a drop account; if an OTP or PIN is required, the malware shows the user a fake password request page, but under another (fraudulent) pretext. The unsuspecting user enters the valid code, and the automated transfer system uses the data obtained to complete the transaction. But due to the activation of the CWYS functions, the OTP-generation process involves using not only the secret key, time or challenge, but also the transaction/transfer details such as the transfer amount, currency, recipient, etc. Thus, even if the password is intercepted, it will be of no use to the hacker. Safeguarding Gadgets And Their UsersSince people spend more and more time with their phones and watches, mobile devices seem like a natural area on which to focus security efforts.Approximately two billion people—a quarter of the entire population of this planet—are already using smartphones. In the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, and India, the number of Android and iOS smartphones owners exceeded 50%. More than a third of the world’s population is expected to be using smartphones by 2017. Developing OTP tokens for smartphones offers several advantages: Possibility to choose the OTP-generation algorithm (according to counter, server response, time).Additional application protection through the PIN code.Possibility to choose the lengths of the one-time password (6 or 8 characters).Possibility to create several tokens on one device.No need to replace the battery, which is often the case with hardware tokens.Possibility to install the application on Android smart watches.Data signing functions (CWYS), which protects from such latest hacking threats as automated transfer and replacement.Two-factor authentication technologies are continuing to develop at a prodigious rate. Manufacturers driving two-factor authentication take into account the latest trends in the field of electronics, analyze potential customers’ requirements and offer the most convenient solutions. This is crucial work, particularly on our most-used gadgets. The industry must find ways to popularize two-factor authentication on them by making it both secure and convenient. That’s the best way to ensure more protection of every Internet user’s personal information.Note: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article included material that violated ReadWrite’s guest-post guidelines. The article has been updated.Lead photo by Yuri Samoilov maxim oliynyk Related Posts Guest author Maxim Oliynyk is co-founder of Protectimus, an OAuth-certified two-factor authentication solution.You have probably already heard it said: Important information needs to be kept as secure as possible, especially if it is stored online.But you cannot rely on a regular login and password for that. Such credentials can be easily surveilled, guessed or obtained through one of the hundreds of hacking tricks. Fortunately, there are more effective data protection methods, one of which is two-factor authentication tested over a long period of time and by millions of users. See also: How Google Play Security Still Falls Short How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… 6 Best Video Conferencing Services for Small Bu… Top 5 Areas Where Companies Want IoT Solutions With This One Question, You’ll Never Need an Ic… Tags:#2FA#mobile#security#two factor authentication
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICP) believes that the definition of interest in IRC Section 163(j) proposed regulations is too broad and should apply only to interest from transactions that involve debt. The definition in the proposed regulations goes beyond that to include amounts not related to debt instruments but that:affect the cost of a transaction, orare closely related to interest.The AICPA believes that this definition is not warranted and overly burdensome to taxpayers. The AICPA stated its conclusion as part of a number of comments it issued on the proposed regulations for the Section 163(j) deduction limit on business interest.Business Interest Deduction LimitA taxpayer’s deduction of business interest expenses paid or incurred for tax years beginning after 2017 is limited to the sum of:the taxpayer’s business interest income for the tax year,30 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted taxable income (ATI), andthe taxpayer’s floor plan financing interest.Any disallowed business interest is carried forward indefinitely. The limit applies to all taxpayers except a small business with average gross receipts in the prior-three year period of $25 million or less ($26 million for 2019). It also does not apply to a trade or business providing services as an employee, real property or farming businesses that make an election out, and certain regulated utility businesses.Definition of Interest Under Regs.The statutory language provides that business interest expense for purposes of Section 163(j) limit is any interest expense that is properly allocable to a trade or business of the taxpayer for the tax year. It also includes any disallowed business interest carryforward from a previous tax year. It does not include investment interest in the case of a non-corporate taxpayer.Under the proposed regulations, interest is defined as:any amount paid, received, or accrued as compensation for the use or forbearance of money under the terms of a contract or instrument that is treated as debt;any amount closely related to interest and that affects the economic yield or cost of funds of a transaction involving interest (e.g., debt issuance costs, commitment fees, etc.); andother amounts predominantly associated with the time-value of money (i.e., anti-avoidance rule).The Preamble to the proposed regulations state that this definition is designed to encompass all transactions that are commonly understood to generate interest. Thus, they go beyond the language of Section 163(j) to include payments that are not made with respect to a debt instruments to prove certainty and to avoid incentivize taxpayers from entering into distortive transactions.‘Extremely Broad’ DefinitionThe AICPA believes that the definition of interest is ‘exceptionally broad’ in comments to the IRS on the proposed regulations. It recommends that the proposed rules be amended to define interest as any amount generally treated as interest under other provisions of the Code or regulations.The AICPA argues that Section 163(j) does not present any special policy consideration that warrants defining interest more broadly than for other federal tax purposes (e.g., withholding and information reporting, foreign tax credit). Also, there is nothing in legislative history for Section 163(j) to indicate that Congress intended to expand the definition of interest to transactions that do not involve indebtedness.The Preamble to the proposed regulations states that treating amounts that are closely related to interest is not new. This occurs in the Reg. §1.861-9T regarding the allocation and apportionment of interest expenses and in Reg. §1.954-2 regarding foreign personal holding company income of a controlled foreign corporation.Related to Debt?The AICPA argued that the underlying statute for these regulations have a different purpose than Section 163(j). The purpose of Section 163(j) is to limit the deduction of interest under Section 163(a). A taxpayer is generally allowed a deduction under Section 163(a) only for interest paid or accrued in the tax year on indebtedness.The term indebtedness is not defined in the IRC or regulations. However, under case law and other guidance deductible interest under Section 163(a) generally must pertain to the debt of taxpayer and result from a debtor-creditor relationship based upon a valid and enforceable obligation to pay a fixed or determinable sum of money.According to the AICPA, interest for Section 163(j) should be similarly defined. Alternatively, it recommends that the regulations should allow for an item-by-item in order to determine if any amount is interest for Section 163(j) purposes to be consistent with federal tax policy. By John Buchanan, JD, LLMLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Wolters Kluwer, Inc. has projected tax brackets and other inflation-adjusted amounts for the 2020 tax year. Highlights of projected 2020 amounts, including tax brackets for both ordinary income tax and capital gains tax, can be found at the following link.See Wolters Kluwer’s Projections for Inflation-Adjusted Tax Brackets and Other AmountsTax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Consumer Price IndexBeginning with the 2018 tax year, most inflation adjustments replaced the Consumer Price Index with the Chained Consumer Price Index, as required by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The change in the calculation is highly technical, but the end result is much smaller increases in inflation adjustments.On September 12, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Consumer Price Index amounts for August 2019, enabling the calculation of 2020 amounts.New Items under Tax Cuts and Jobs ActIn addition to changing the way inflation adjustments are calculated, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also produced a number of new items to adjust annually. These include:Threshold amounts for the Section 199A qualified business income deduction, which for 2020 are projected to be $326,600 for joint filers and $163,300 for single filersGross income ceiling for corporations and partnerships to use the cash method of accounting, which for 2020 is projected to remain $26,000,000The refundable amount of the child tax credit, which for 2020 is projected to be $1,400The personal exemption amount for 2020 is projected to be $4,300. While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the personal exemption deduction, the personal exemption amount is still used in a number of instances, such as the qualifying relative test for head of household filing status, and a qualified disability trust’s deduction in lieu of a personal exemption.Official 2020 AmountsThe IRS should release official amounts for the 2020 tax year in late October or early November. Cost of living adjustments for retirement planning are based on a different set of numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and are typically released in late October. Amounts for the 2019 tax year were released on November 15, 2018.By Michael Henaghan, J.D., LL.MLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
A new study suggests chimps have more fast-twitch muscle fibers than humans. How chimps outmuscle humans USO/iStockphoto By Michael PriceJun. 26, 2017 , 3:00 PM Contrary to popular lore that portrays chimpanzees as having “super strength,” studies have only found modest differences with humans. But our closest relatives are slightly stronger by several measures, and now a study comparing the muscle fibers of different primates reveals a potential explanation: Humans may have traded strength for endurance, allowing us to travel farther for food.To determine why chimpanzees are stronger than humans—at least on a pound-for-pound basis—Matthew O’Neill, an anatomy and evolution researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and colleagues biopsied the thigh and calf muscles of three chimps housed at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. They dissected the samples into individual fibers and stimulated them to figure out how much force they could generate. Comparing their measurements to known data from humans, the team found that, at the individual fiber level, muscle output was about the same.Given that different fibers throughout the muscle might make a difference, the researchers conducted a more thorough analysis of tissue samples from pelvic and hind limb muscles of three chimpanzee cadavers from various zoos and research institutes around the United States. Previous studies in mammals have found that muscle composition between trunk, forelimb, and hind limb muscles is largely the same, O’Neill says, so he’s confident the samples are representative across most of the chimp’s musculature. The team used a technique called gel electrophoresis to break down the muscles into individual muscle fibers, and compared this breakdown to human muscle fiber data.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Muscle fibers mostly come in two flavors: myosin heavy chain (MHC) I, which are slow-twitch fibers, and MHC II, or fast- twitch fibers. The latter contract more quickly and generate more force in quick bursts, but fatigue more quickly than slow-twitch fibers. The researchers found that whereas human muscle contains, on average, about 70% slow-twitch fibers and 30% fast-twitch fibers, chimpanzee muscle is about 33% slow-twitch fibers and 66% fast-twitch fibers.The team ran its data through a computer program that built virtual muscles corresponding to the fiber compositions of humans and chimps, then simulated how much power each muscle could theoretically generate during a single burst. The chimp muscle, they learned, was about 1.35 times more powerful than the human one, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.When the researchers then looked at the muscle fiber breakdown in mammals such as mice, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, horses, lemurs, and macaques, they found that only two animals regularly had more slow-twitch fibers: a small, lethargic primate called the slow loris and humans.O’Neill says though fast-twitch fibers might give chimps and other mammals an advantage during high-intensity strength tasks like lifting heavy rocks or climbing a tree, humans’ slow-twitch fibers are better suited for endurance tasks like distance running. The researchers propose that early hominins’ muscles gradually became dominated by slow-twitch fibers as they gave up arboreal life and adapted to traveling across long distances to hunt and forage. Another benefit of slow-twitch fibers is they consume less metabolic energy, he adds, potentially freeing the body to devote more resources to other adaptations, like bigger brains.Anne Burrows, a biological anthropologist at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whose research focuses on primate biomechanics but was not involved with the work, says the study is well-designed and convincing. “Instead of thinking about the results as pointing to greater strength in chimpanzees, we might instead want to consider … what the greater percentage of slow-twitch fibers in humans means to our unique locomotion method, bipedalism,” Burrows says. “I think that’s the bigger story here.”Burrows does have reservations about the authors’ evolutionary arguments. “Before I fully buy into that interpretation, I would like to see data from upper limb musculature in chimpanzees and humans, and I would like data from gorillas and orangutans,” she says.Adrienne Zihlman, an anthropologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is more skeptical still of the study’s evolutionary ramifications. There simply isn’t enough known about the musculature of early hominins to speculate about their muscle fiber distributions, she says, so linking slow-twitch fibers to human evolution is a stretch. “The muscle fiber finding is an interesting factoid, but the tale that they spin based on that just doesn’t come from their data.”
Defending champion Marin Cilic and unseeded Roberta Vinci were the first through to the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Tuesday, and both needed to go the distance against tough French resistance.With Serena Williams and sister Venus and a host of A-list celebrities waiting in the wings along with a prime time television audience for their marquee semi-final, Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga kept everything on hold as the ninth-seeded Croat battled his way to a 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-7(3) 6-4 win over the scrappy Frenchman.Earlier, Italian Vinci needed a similar gritty effort to see off another player from France, Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3 5-7 6-4 on another sizzling hot day at Flushing Meadows.Cilic squandered three match points in the fourth set but came up strong in the fifth to stretch his Flushing Meadows win streak to 12 matches.Also read: Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis duo storms into US Open semis Tsonga saved two match points in the 10th game before holding for 5-5, and another in the 12th game to force a tiebreak that he won 7-3 to set up the climactic fifth set.Cilic fought back in the final set to break Tsonga at love for a 3-2 lead and served out the set, cashing in his fifth match point in a match that stretched for four hours.Demanding, yes, but nearly as hot as the conditions faced by Vinci and Mladenovic who played the opening match of the day on a baking Arthur Ashe Stadium court.The 32-year-old Vinci showed off her fighting spirit while Mladenovic, a decade younger, wilted in the punishing conditions using up all of her medical timeouts during the two-hour, 32-minute test.advertisementA doubles specialist with a career grand slam on her resume, Vinci finally cracked the solo code to move onto the final four in singles at a major for the first time in her 18-year career.Also read: Andy Murray knocked out of US Open by Kevin Anderson “It’s an amazing moment for me. Unbelievable,” beamed 43rd-ranked Vinci. “My first semi-final in my career.Vinci, well-rested after receiving a walkover into the quarter-finals when Canadian Eugenie Bouchard was forced out of the tournament with a concussion, was pushed but never panicked against the young Frenchwoman.After splitting the opening two sets the turning point of the match came at 3-3 in the third, when Mladenovic double-faulted twice to hand Vinci a break chance and the Italian gratefully converted to take charge.”It’s not easy to play with your sister, and Serena has a lot of pressure, I think,” said Vinci.”I’m so happy to be in the semi-finals so if I play Serena or Venus it doesn’t matter.”