We were lucky massive cyberextortion attack could have affected Canada

first_imgCanada is not immune to online extortion, despite apparently sidestepping a massive attack that temporarily crippled networks around the world, a cybersecurity expert said.Atty Mashatan, a professor at Ryerson University’s School of Information Technology Management, said it was nothing more than a fluke that Canada appears to have been spared from Friday’s ransomware attack that disrupted services in Russia, the U.S., Ukraine, Spain and India.Attacks like this one, dubbed “WannaCry” for the “WannaCrypt” technology used to execute it, happen when a type of software seizes control of a computer, encrypting its contents and rendering them inaccessible.“The vehicle that the malware [is using to go] from one device to the other is spam. The most common way that they do that is via a link in an email,” Mashatan said. “It looks as if it’s from someone you know, in your contacts. You click on it, and bingo. The actual malware, the file, is downloaded.”The perpetrators then demand hundreds or thousands of dollars to unlock the victims’ computers — essentially holding the documents, photos and other items on the computer for ransom.“This one wasn’t really a targeted attack at all,” Mashatan said. “They usually run this campaign and hope to infect as many devices as they can.”“This time around we were lucky,” she said. “There’s so many people who are emailing one another within the U.K., whereas the traffic between the U.K. and Canada is not as much.”But if the wrong person had clicked on an infected link, they could have spread the ransomware to Canada.Related stories:Huge cyberattack forces Microsoft to offer free tech fixLakeridge Health reports tech problems amid global cyberattackComputer users worldwide — and everyone else who depends on them — should assume that the next big “ransomware” attack has already been launched, and just hasn’t manifested itself yet, Ori Eisen, who founded the Trusona cybersecurity firm, told The Associated Press.The attack appears to be “low-level” stuff, given the amounts of ransom demanded, Eisen said Saturday.He said the same thing could be done to crucial infrastructure, like nuclear power plants, dams or railway systems.A representative from Public Safety Canada said the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre is aware of the reported attacks, but made no mention on whether any Canadian users were affected.In the meantime, Mashatan said it’s important for everyday people to remain vigilant to prevent these attacks from spreading.She said people should keep their computers’ operating systems up-to-date, because the latest updates often patch up security holes. People should also avoid clicking on suspicious links.With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Alzheimers Association Congratulates Julianne Moore On Best Actress Academy Award

first_imgThe Alzheimer’s Association congratulates Julianne Moore on winning the Oscar for Best Actress at the 87th Annual Academy Awards.Playing the title character in the film “Still Alice,” Moore’s poignant portrayal of a woman diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease illustrates the impact of Alzheimer’s, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, on individuals and their families.“On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their 15 million caregivers, huge congratulations to Julianne Moore for winning an Academy Award,” said Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “Her beautiful and thoughtful performance in ‘Still Alice’ resonated with filmgoers and helped to elevate awareness and foster much needed conversation about Alzheimer’s disease.”The Alzheimer’s Association has seen the power of Julianne’s performance in “Still Alice” through social media response. To enhance the conversation occurring around the movie and the disease, the Association asked constituents to celebrate friends and family members living with Alzheimer’s by sharing photos using #mybrain and #still[name]. Thousands responded, creating a meaningful online gallery.As The New York Times bestselling novel by Lisa Genova was adapted into film, the Alzheimer’s Association was proud to provide guidance to Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and the wonderfully talented and thoughtful screenwriting and directing team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, who were meticulous in their pursuit of accuracy, speaking with Alzheimer’s Association scientists, care experts and volunteers, including people with the disease and their family members.“I was so impressed by Julianne Moore throughout the process of the film; she truly listened and wanted to know everything about how it feels to live with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Sandy Oltz, Alzheimer’s Association Early-Stage Advisor (diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 46). “I am so proud and impressed by how she brought the Alzheimer’s disease experience to life with ‘Alice.’ As someone who is on the same journey, all of the awards an accolades that have come to Julianne for her performance, including the Oscar, are so well deserved and so important to all of us with Alzheimer’s disease.”The facts about Alzheimer’s and women are illustrated in the film through the depiction of Alice and her daughter Lydia, who helps to care for her mom. Alzheimer’s disease affects women disproportionately: More than two-thirds of people living with Alzheimer’s are women, and 3 in 5 unpaid caregivers are women.An amazing group of women intent on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and changing these dramatic numbers played an integral role in the creation of the film. In addition to the artistry of Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart, the power of women helped propel this film forward, including award-winning journalist and “Still Alice” executive producer Maria Shriver, producers Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns and Pamela Koffler, bestselling author of “Still Alice” Lisa Genova, Alzheimer’s Association Early-Stage Advisor Sandy Oltz and Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer, Maria Carrillo. These women were a force behind the production and development of “Still Alice,” and they are intent on galvanizing women behind the Alzheimer’s cause through the Alzheimer’s Association My Brain initiative, a movement harnessing the power of women to wipe out Alzheimer’s.“Julianne Moore and the women behind ‘Still Alice’ have helped ignite a national conversation with the film, and our hope is that their amazing work inspires others to join My Brain to truly change to course of Alzheimer’s disease for millions,” said Geiger.last_img read more

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Mobile apps to promote Urdu

first_imgNew Delhi: For the promotion of Urdu language, NCPUL (National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language) is planning to make the learning of Urdu language easier and pocket-friendly by developing mobile apps for the same. The mobile app would focus on teaching Urdu calligraphy along with the pronunciation of the Urdu words mostly used in day to day life. It also plans to rope in Bollywood personalities for the promotion of Urdu language and is in talks with several lyricists and actors. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plastic”Through mobile app, we intend to rope in the youngsters who do have a craving for the language but somehow couldn’t find time or space to learn it. Through the app, the Urdu language would be easy to learn and speak. We are designing it in a way so that it’s user-friendly,” said Dr Aqil Ahmed, Director, NCPUL. A three-day international World Urdu Conference is also being organised in Delhi from March 18 to 20 by the organisation for the upliftment of Urdu as a language. Interestingly, eminent Urdu scholars (whose mother tongue haven’t been Urdu) from abroad will be participating from Canada, Russia, France, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Denmark, Japan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Mauritius and would be delivering their papers at the conclave. Urdu research scholars from 35 universities too have been invited in the conference. The organisation has also sought list of all madrasas in country both registered and non-registered and plans to promote the language through effective participation at the ground level.last_img read more

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Pitbull At Mawazine Festival… Again

Rabat – The 15th Mawazine Festival will feature the return of one of the singers who stunned the Moroccan audience four years ago: Pitbull. The American celebrity from a Cuban origins will perform for the second time in OLM-Souissi on Friday May 27. (Legend of picture: Pitbull alias “Mr. Worldwide” performing in OLM Souissi, 2012).The multilinguist artist recently released a new album in 2016, titled “Climate Change,” a few months after his Spanish project Dale. Dale, which has become a symbol for Pitbull, which is repeated at the beginning of almost all of his songs, stands for: “Disfrutando, Armando, Locuras, Etc.”Pitbull has turned ecological, and is interested in preserving the environment, like fellow star Leonardo Dicaprio.He also acted in the series “Empire” in 2015, and recently announced his new project with the single “Free K.”  “Messin’ Around,” a duet with Enrique Iglesias, is another song that could be a summer hit this year.Edited by Timothy Filla read more

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Russian court orders US investor Calvey held for 2 months

MOSCOW — A Moscow court has ordered a U.S. investment fund manager to be jailed for two months while facing fraud charges.Michael Calvey, founder and senior partner at Baring Vostok equity firm, was detained Friday morning along with two other fund managers.Prosecutors say Calvey is suspected of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles ($37 million) from Vostochny Bank, where Baring Vostok has a controlling stake.But Calvey said during his court appearance Saturday that the charges against him are likely connected to an arbitration case that Baring Vostok initiated against some Vostochny Bank shareholders.Calvey has worked for years in Russia and invested heavily in the country’s technology sector, including in the web search company Yandex.The Associated Press

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Sport Management alumni help Games run smoothly

Stephanie (Garant) Jones (BSM ’05), venue operations manager Sarah R. Smith is one of several Brock alumni working at the London Olympics. Brock University’s connections to the 2012 Summer Games go beyond athletes going for gold.Several alumni from the Sport Management program are working behind the scenes in London to ensure the Olympics run smoothly.For many, this won’t be the only Games appearing on their resumes, explained Cheri Bradish, associate professor in the department. They got their proverbial foot in the door when they were tapped to work at the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver.“We were fortunate when we hosted in Canada because there were many students that were graduating that were hired,” Bradish said.Brock alumni on the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are:Laura Grouchy (BSM ’08), lead venue planner, event services Greg Wamsley (BSM ’07), venue operations manager, Wembley Arena.Ashley Jakobi (BSM ’07) is the games services manager, BOA, on Team GB. Danielle D’Lima (BSM ’07) is the Olympic approvals co-ordinator for The Coca-Cola Company in the U.K.Three Brock alumni are working for the Canadian Olympic Committee:Erin Mathany (BSM ’05), account manager, commercial rights and marketing partnerships Dana Tomiczek (BSM ’10), co-ordinator, marketing partnerships Nicole Greco (BRLS ’98), volunteer.“We saw it in Vancouver and now we’re seeing it London,” Bradish said about Brock’s connection to the Games. “It’s exciting to see our students being part of this and working at this Olympics.”A networking event is planned for the group in London on Aug. 10 and will also include sports management alumni already in the U.K. in other capacities. Brooke Arthur (BSM ’07), ticketing operations executive Sarah R. Smith (BSM ’04), sport, event and venue management specialist – canoe sprint services manager Colin Freeman, client group sales executive (BSM ’07) read more

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The Canadian Press appoints veteran Andrea Baillie as editorinchief

TORONTO — The Canadian Press is promoting managing editor Andrea Baillie to editor-in-chief, the first woman to oversee editorial operations at the national news wire.The veteran wire news journalist will take the place of Stephen Meurice, who stepped down in April.In a memo to staff, CP president Malcolm Kirk says Baillie is “uniquely poised” to steer the newsroom because of her respect for the service’s core values and understanding of the need to adapt and evolve to remain relevant.Baillie started with CP more than 20 years ago as a statistics handler on the Sports desk and moved on to roles as a copy editor, general assignment reporter and Queen’s Park correspondent.She oversaw the Entertainment/Lifestyles department for eight years, supervising the Health report and quarterbacking coverage of the Grammy and Juno Awards.Baillie has been managing editor for the last 4 1/2 years, co-ordinating coverage of breaking news that most recently included the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan, the Danforth shooting in Toronto and the Boeing 737 Max plane crash in Ethiopia.Kirk says the company will seek a new managing editor from among existing staff. The Canadian Press read more

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Annan calls for decisive measures to prevent genocide

“Last year, at the 2005 World Summit, world leaders collectively affirmed the responsibility of each individual State to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,” Mr. Annan said in a message on the milestone. “Today, as we recall our collective failures in places like Rwanda and Srebrenica, it remains my hope that we may never again be found wanting where so many lives hang in the balance,” he added.The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, he said, has embodied the UN’s aspiration to prevent serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.He encouraged Member States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with the UN to develop the Organization’s capacity to provide early warning of potentially genocidal situations.The Convention, a major pillar in the evolving framework of international humanitarian rules, declares genocide a crime under international law. It condemns genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, and provides a definition of this crime. The prescribed punishment is not subject to the limitations of time and place. There are currently 138 States parties to the treaty. read more

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Bucks look to spike Penn State from nations top spot

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team is picking up momentum. It recorded its first Big Ten weekend home sweep in more than three years,    After defeating both Purdue and Indiana 3-1 in last weekend’s matchups, the Buckeyes climbed from No. 36 to No. 32.  The Buckeyes are 17-6 overall, 5-5 in Big Ten conference play and No. 5 in the conference. The weekend’s biggest contributor, Ashley Hughes, has been named Big Ten Co-Player of the week.  On Friday against Purdue, Hughes posted 48 assists, seven digs and five kills.  It was a tough performance to beat, but she did just that. Saturday against Indiana, Hughes achieved two career highs, with 53 assists and 19 digs.  Hughes has been the starting setter in eight matches and has played in 12. She will be an asset in the team’s trip to No. 1 Penn State.The Buckeyes are entering the second wave of conference play on a positive note. Top-ranked Penn State is 22-0 and has held onto the No. 1 spot this season. The Buckeyes lost to Penn State on Oct. 7 in the first round of conference play. This time around, the Buckeyes have improved in hitting percentages and have employed a smoother offense.  The Buckeyes average 16.81 points per set, just behind the 19.46 points per set Penn State averages. However, the Buckeyes face bigger challenges. Buckeye opponents are hitting .180 and Penn State’s opponents just .091.    The Buckeyes fall just short of Penn State with 13.29 kills and 12.20 assists per set on average. They take the edge over Penn State with 1.58 aces and 13.24 digs on average per set.  It’s easy to compare two teams’ stats, but action on the floor determines the stronger team. The Buckeyes have the aggressive defense that is required to challenge a team with an undefeated record.   The Nittany Lions of Penn State host the Buckeyes at 7 p.m. The match will be televised by the Big Ten Network. read more

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Woman seriously assaulted in Belfast

first_imgDETECTIVES IN BELFAST are investigating a serious sexual assault on a woman in the Upper Newtownards Road area of Belfast in the early hours of this morning.Police received a report that some time between 4.00am and 4.30am a woman in her 40s was assaulted near the Holywood Arches.Police are working to establish the details of this incident and are asking anyone who may have been in the Upper Newtownards Road area and who may have seen the woman or who saw anything suspicious to contact them immediately.Detectives at the Rape Crime Unit can be contacted on 02890700305. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.Read: Pipe bomb partially explodes on residential street in BelfastRead: Girl (14) punched, kicked and robbed by three male teens in BelfastRead: Man arrested over attempted murder of 3 police officerslast_img read more

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New Super Mario Bros surpasses 6 million sales in Japan 24 million

first_imgUsually publishers look to the new game releases for sales figures, but when you’re as big as Nintendo and have Mario as part of your IP catalog, even 4-year-old games can still perform.This week, the 2006 game New Super Mario Bros. became the best selling DS game of all time and the first to surpass 6 million sales in Japan. Worldwide it has now gone past 24 million copies, which is a staggering amount of copies to ship, and a huge amount of revenue for Nintendo and retailers alike.The official Japanese sales figure, which counts copies sold until December 26, was 6,015,255. They were sold between May 26, 2006 and December 26, 2010 for a total of 1,676 days. A quick calculation reveals that’s an average of 3,589 copies sold every single day. In reality, Nintendo managed to sell 900,000 in the first week.According to Wikipedia, New Super Mario Bros. only just manages the number one position for worldwide sales (24.13 million). Nintendogs comes a close second with 23.26 million. And one final statistic for you to reel off at your next gamer gathering: in total 773.34 million DS games have been sold up to September 30th this year.Read more at Andriasang, via Gamasutralast_img read more

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Clopidogrel lanticoagulant accusé daccroître le risque deffets secondaires graves

first_imgClopidogrel : l’anticoagulant accusé d’accroître le risque d’effets secondaires gravesÉtats-Unis – D’après une nouvelle étude publiée cette semaine dans le Journal of The American Medical Association, l’utilisation de l’anticoagulant clopidogrel pourrait accroître gravement le risque d’effets secondaires chez les individus souffrant de maladies vasculaires, ou portant certaines variations génétiques spéciales.D’après les chercheurs à l’origine de cette étude, l’anticoagulant pourrait accroître le risque d’un accident cardiovasculaire fatal chez les individus subissant une opération cardiaque ou chez ceux porteurs des variantes fréquentes d’un certain gène. Ainsi, l’AFP explique que si le clopidogrel est utilisé lors de la pose d’un “stent” au niveau du cœur, un caillot peut alors se former.Concernant les porteurs de variantes du gène CYP2C19, les chercheurs expliquent : “Comparativement aux patients dépourvus de ces variantes génétiques, ceux qui en sont porteurs ont eu un risque nettement plus grand de mortalité par infarctus ou consécutive à une attaque cérébrale”. L’étude en question s’est appuyée sur les données de 9.685 patients pour parvenir à cette conclusion. Et les chercheurs de préconiser : “Étant donné que l’usage de cet antiplaquettaire est très répandu pour traiter les malades souffrant d’affections cardiovasculaires, déterminer les doses optimales pour les individus, en fonction de leur profil génétique, est nécessaire”.Le 28 octobre 2010 à 09:33 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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This Overstuffed 100TB SSD Is The Worlds Largest

first_imgStay on target Just last month, Samsung unveiled a new SSD with a jaw-dropping capacity of 30TB. Now there’s already a drive that makes Samsung’s look puny by comparison.The enterprise storage experts at Nimbus Data have thrown back the curtains and revealed a monstrous 100TB drive and it’s now the world’s largest SSD. To cram that much memory into one drive Nimbus bumped up the form factor — sort of like what Quantum did with its Bigfoot drives back in the late 90s.The 100TB ExaDrive comes in a 3.5-inch package. That doesn’t just make it easier to boost capacity in the drive itself. It also makes it easier to install the drives in existing storage hardware that’s designed for hard drives — since you don’t have to screw the ExaDrive into a mounting adapter first.Let’s take a quick look at just how nuts the 100TB ExaDrive is. If you needed to throw together a rackmountable device to store a shipload of data, you might start off with one of Backblaze’s storage pods. Their signature red, sixth-gen pod has enough bays inside for 60 drives.100TB times 60 drives? An unbelievable 6PB in just 4U of rack space. If you’ve got an entire rack to fill up — let’s say one that’s 42U tall — you could stuff 60 petabytes in that one rack. That’s more than enough room to store detailed data on, say, 50 million Facebook users.Nimbus Data didn’t reveal how much the new 100TB ExaDrive (or its “scrawny” 50TB sibling) will sell for. Not in dollars and cents, anyway. “Pricing will be similar to existing enterprise SSDs on a per terabyte basis,” according to their announcement.Over the drive’s lifespan, however, Nimbus says the ExaDrives could yield significant savings. They claim the drives are 85% cheaper to operate than similar drives, so even if they’re slightly pricier up front the savings will trickle in over time. Best External Hard Drive For Xbox OneBest External Hard Drive For PS4 center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Riverdale Season 4 Trailer Toasts to a Mysterious Senior Year

first_img SDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019 Season 4 of Riverdale is almost here and a new trailer gives a sneak peek at Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, as they get ready for their intense senior year.The CW uploaded a Riverdale Season 4 trailer on Twitter and it starts off with a major mystery: Jughead is reportedly missing, as his crew and police officers try to search for him in the woods. Of course, this isn’t the only strange event fans are about to witness.Cheers to senior year. #Riverdale returns Wednesday, October 9. Stream free next day only on The CW App! pic.twitter.com/kBT9qe8ZKf— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) September 11, 2019“Isn’t it crazy, in just nine months, life as we know it will be over,” Veronica tells Archie, Betty, and Jughead in another scene, which is set before Jughead’s disappearance.High school may be ending, but the suspicious activity continues for Riverdale’s main squad: Betty is hit on the head with a gun, Veronica and Archie are heating things up in the bedroom, and Jughead appears to be screaming for help and trapped somewhere.Riverdale Season 4, which stars KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, and Cole Sprouse, premieres October 9 on The CW.More on Geek.com:‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4‘Riverdale’ Season 3 Finale Recap: If You Die in the Game…Podcasts Are TV Shows Now With ‘Limetown’ Trailer Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Roberto Carlos Vinicius will be a superstar at Real Madrid

first_imgReal Madrid legend Roberto Carlos believes Vinicius Junior is a “superstar” in the making and only needs some time to prove itThe 18-year-old winger arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer for a transfer fee of €40m from Brazilian side Flamengo.However, Vinicius has only featured twice for Real in La Liga through brief cameos from the bench.The Brazilian’s impressive performances for the Real Madrid Castilla team has led fans to urge the manager Julen Lopetegui to select him more often, amid the club’s current struggles.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.But Carlos feels it would be wise to not rush the young Vinicius into the spotlight.“[Vinicius] will be a superstar but he has to be given time because he is still very young,” said Carlos, according to Yahoo. “He is acquiring a lot of experience at Real Madrid.“It might seem that he is ready to play in the first team but, for the moment, he is going through the affiliated teams. I am sure that in a few years he will be demonstrating the great promise he has.”Real, who are currently seventh in La Liga, will be facing leaders Barcelona on Sunday for El Clasico.last_img read more

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Crews respond to water main break in Oakland Park

first_imgThe eastbound lanes of Oakland Park Boulevard have since been closed at Dixie Highway.Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes.Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Traffic Advisory: Three eastbound lanes of Oakland Park Blvd closed at Dixie Hwy. Expect delays and seek alternate routes https://t.co/A4o77KMDSd @deantrantalis @heathermoraitis @glassman4ftl @rmckinzie8779 @BenSorensen @FLPD411 @FLFR411 @BrowardCounty @clagerbloom pic.twitter.com/tAcTQZ9hl8— City of Fort Lauderdale (@FTLCityNews) July 21, 2019center_img OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) – Crews are working to repair a water main break in Oakland Park.The City of Fort Lauderdale said the break occurred near the 1400 block of East Oakland Park Boulevard Sunday.last_img read more

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No way to reproduce Sundarbans Anu Muhammad

first_imgAcademic-activist Anu Muhammad is pictured in an undated photograph. Photo: ReutersVeteran academic-activist Anu Muhammad is no stranger to death threats, beatings, persecution and arrest so when the professor of economics received a chilling text message shortly after midnight, it barely registered.“Death keeps no calendar, and Ansatullah knows no time!”But a few hours later, on that same October morning last year, a second SMS pinged – one he could not ignore.“Say ‘yes’ to Rampal (a proposed coal-fired power plant) otherwise you will be hacked to death incredibly by us!”Reporting the threats to police, Muhammad learned that Ansatullah was probably a mistype and referred to Ansharulla or Ansar al Islam, an Islamic extremist group linked to al Quaeda.The group, implicated in a series of brutal attacks and murders against atheist and gay rights bloggers, had also claimed the murder of a Bangladeshi sociology lecturer in 2014.Now they seemed to have 60-year-old Muhammad in their sights for his role leading a seven-year campaign against plans to build a $1.5 billion coal-fired power plant in Rampal, southern Bangladesh, on a site teeming with waterways, mud flats and a host of threatened species from crocodiles to pythons.The protests have turned nasty with at least 20 protesters injured in January and five detained when police launched tear gas and water cannons against anti Rampal protesters.Activists fear the plant, a joint venture between Indian and Bangladeshi state-run power corporations, will destroy the Sundarbans, one of the world’s largest mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage site home to the endangered Royal Bengal tiger and rare Irrawaddy dolphins.Muhammad – author of more than 30 books – says the mangrove forest is extraordinarily rich in flora and fauna and key to the livelihoods of millions of people.Rampal power plant. ReutersAIR POLLUTION“This has also been a huge natural safeguard against frequent cyclone, storm and other natural disasters in the country,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.“The lives and properties of up to four million people who live on it will be threatened if there is no Sundarban.”Scheduled to open in 2021, the plant is expected to burn about five million tonnes of coal each year, pumping out carbon and sulphur dioxide emissions in the process.Despite local opposition and calls from the United Nations for the plant to be re-located, the government is pushing ahead, saying Bangladesh needs huge amounts of electricity to develop.Currently, just two per cent of power is generated using coal while natural gas reserves are dwindling.Anwarul Azim, a spokesman for the joint venture company, the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Ltd, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it was “unlikely to harm the Sundarbans” because the plant will be 14 km away from the outer edge of the forest and 69 km from the UNESCO heritage site.“As a result, the scanty amount of exhaust from the power plant won’t be any cause for harm to the Sundarbans,” he said.He said stringent environmental standards had been approved by the Department of Environment and were compatible with World Bank and International Finance Corporation criteria.Muhammad, however, fears an environmental “disaster”.DANGEROUS LIAISONSSpeaking in his Dhaka home, the economist said he is only too aware of the personal risk he runs in opposing a multi-billion dollar government project, particularly one that is championed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.“We need to take this risk,” Muhammad said. “By destroying a natural huge forest, power and other commercial enterprises reflect a blind development paradigm that puts profit before people and environment.”When committee activists investigated the death threats against him, they told Muhammad the telephone belonged to a member of the Awami Olama League, an Islamist arm of the ruling Awami League. The phone owner denied sending the threats.Muhammad says he has no intention of giving up.Over two decades, the professor and his campaign group – the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas Mineral Resources, Power and Ports – have questioned the role of several multinational resource companies in Bangladesh and their relationships with local partners, government contractors and politicians.In 2006, they helped scupper a British company’s attempt to establish an open coal mine in northwestern Dinajpur district. The company abandoned the project but four lives were lost in the battle to clear farmland.Muhammad was also integral to a 2007 campaign that quashed multi-billion dollar energy investment plans by the Tata Group.A year later, when a military-backed caretaker regime was in power in Bangladesh, the professor was threatened with death if he did not stop appearing on television.In 2009, he was injured when a public rally against an oil exploration project in the Bay of Bengal turned violent.NETWORK OF ACTIVISMErin Kilbride, from the human rights campaign group Front Line Defenders, said governments, companies and armed groups target activists like Muhammad because their deaths not only affect families and friends but disrupt whole activism networks.“In Bangladesh, for example, following the murders of bloggers and LGBT activists, we documented a sharp decline in advocacy for indigenous peoples, land, and environmental rights as well,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Muhammad says that deaths in state or police custody are not uncommon in Bangladesh and reflect the breakdown of law and order and legal institutions.He said the lack of a free media made things even harder with little public awareness about issues like Rampal.But Muhammad takes heart from the fact that the campaign against the Rampal has linked like-minded activists worldwide, allowing them to share information and support each other.In January this year, supporters of the Sundarbans joined forces in more than 20 countries, from as far afield as Germany to South Korea, in a Global Day of Protest against the plant.However the economist says his greatest fear now is the Sundarbans might lose their UNESCO listing, conferred in 1997, with a meeting next month to consider the heritage status.“If we say yes to the largest, coastal mangrove forest in the world then we must say ‘no’ to commercial projects harmful for its survival,” he said.“There are many ways to increase the country’s GDP but there is no way to reproduce the Sundarbans.”last_img read more

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Maryland State Conference NAACP Supports Northeast Maglev

first_imgBy Gerald StansburyThe June 28 announcement of support by the Maryland State Conference and several local branches of the NAACP in support of Northeast Maglev’s first phase of its high-speed Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMaglev) train centered on four words — ​jobs and business opportunities.Economic sustainability is one of the pillars of the NAACP’s “Six Game Changers for the 21st Century.”  As part of this effort, the NAACP strongly advocates to ensure underrepresented populations have equal access to workforce skills development, living wage-paying jobs with benefits, MWDBE contracts, and more.The 3.7 percent June 2019 US unemployment rate may be positive news for the general population, but the current 6 percent rate for Black Americans means unemployment for this group still remains the highest in comparison to other groups. The NAACP consistently works to reverse this painfully persistent trend.In Maryland, we build relationships that help secure better economic conditions.  We must also seek out opportunities for our young adults out of high school but not in college, our college graduates, our downsized breadwinners, our returning citizens, and our minority-owned firms.Our decision to support this first phase between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD came after several discussions with Northeast Maglev and review of documents produced by government agencies. Fundamentally, the NAACP saw an early partnership with Northeast Maglev as vital to helping provide a pathway to diverse careers that could continue for a generation as this train extends northward.  In addition to bringing economic benefits like 74,000 construction-related and 1,500 permanent jobs, Northeast Maglev will deploy its service on a route that will be considered the least impactful among several other options.  For example, it will safely build deep tunnels for 75 percent of the route so there will be no need to acquire houses. The NAACP will stay involved with the developer and will work with other stakeholders to address issues whenever they appear.As the SCMaglev project will bring accessible economic opportunities and additional advantages, we needed to capture this moment.  We knew that if we supported the project’s launch in Maryland, we will have placed ourselves in the right place at the right time to help many minorities looking for work and business.  For these reasons, the NAACP is extremely pleased to partner with Northeast Maglev.Gerald Stansbury is president of the Maryland State Conference NAACP.last_img read more

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Kolkata Metro to receive Chinamade rakes from December

first_imgKolkata: The Metro Railway will start receiving delivery of 14 rakes from Chinese manufacturer Dalian from December, while four other rakes are awaiting safety clearance, Kolkata Metro general manager P C Sharma said. Trials are over for four rakes delivered by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perumbur and fitness certificate for these are awaited, he said. “We are in touch with RDSO (Research Designs & Standards Oeganisation) for clearance and are trying our best to get it at the earliest,” Sharma said here on Wednesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life He said that the first of the 14 rakes ordered from Dalian is scheduled to arrive in December and three more will come in the next three months of the current fiscal year 2018-19. The remaining 10 rakes will arrive by the end of next financial year 2019-20, Sharma said. The Kolkata Metro has been saddled with several old rakes, which have been in service since its inception in 1984. Of the 26 rakes in operation, 13 are old and non-AC. The first of the 16 rakes ordered from ICF was delivered in July 2017, with three more were received by the Metro later. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed However, these are yet to be introduced for passenger service pending RDSO’s safety clearance. Kolkata Metro had ordered 40 air-conditioned rakes from different manufacturers to augment its services. While 16 are from ICF, 14 are from Dalian and the rest 10 rakes are from CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Company of China, according to Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee. The Kolkata Metro at present runs between Kavi Subhash in the southern end of the city to Noapara in the northern outskirts over a route length of 27.22 km.last_img read more

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