WATCH: Chase Chat: Kurt Busch Full Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage READ: Paint Scheme Preview MORE: WATCH: Hot Lap around New Hampshire WATCH: Preview Show: Loudon
WATCH: Chase Chat: Kurt Busch Full Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage READ: Paint Scheme Preview MORE: WATCH: Hot Lap around New Hampshire WATCH: Preview Show: Loudon
Recently, writers Andy P. Smith and Jason Gershuny released a brand-new book on the beloved jam act, Phish. Titled 100 Things Phish Fan Should Know & Do Before They Die, the book spans Phistory from the band’s earliest days until today, offering 100 concise chapters ranging from the band’s history to notable performances, albums, and sit-ins to the band’s and fan’s culture and intertwining symbiotic relationship.Below you can read an excerpted essay from 100 Things Phish Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, which talks about the “Phish Song Cognition Theory”—a concept Smith and Gershuny introduce that explains how and why people view this prolific group so differently. Check it out for yourself below, and head here to pick up a copy of the book.64. The Phish Song Cognition TheoryIn Ed Levine’s 2010 book Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, he interviewed Sam Sifton, the New York Times food editor. Sifton describes what he calls the “Pizza Cognition Theory.”Sifton says, “There is a theory of cognitive development that says children learn to identify things only in opposition to other things. Only the child who has learned what is not brown, the theory holds, can discern what is ‘brown.’”“Pizza naturally throws this theory into a tailspin. The first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes (and somehow appreciates on something more than a childlike, mmm goood, thanks-mom level), becomes, for him, pizza. He relegates all subsequent slices, if they are different in some manner from that first triangle of dough and cheese and tomato and oil and herbs and spices, to a status that we can characterize as not pizza.”In short, your first encounter with something defines how you identify with that thing in your heart and mind.“The first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes…becomes, for him, pizza. You cannot teach a child what pizza is, this explanation of pizza cognition asserts, by providing him with oppositional ingredients or styles. The love of pizza simply doesn’t work that way. Invariably, if a child’s first slice of pizza comes from a deep-dish Chicago pie or is a slick, chewy pillow of Sicilian or half-hour-guaranteed-delivery cardboard Frisbee or a frozen French-bread travesty, semolina-dusted ‘Creole’ or sweet pineapple and plastic ham ‘Hawaiian’ pie, then, well, that is pizza to him. He will defend this interpretation to the end of his life.”I would like to propose a theory for Phish based on Sifton’s claim. While the first slice of pizza a child enjoys defines all other slices, the same can be said for Phish fans and their favorite songs or type of songs. We can all agree that one’s first Phish show is a special experience. No matter how many albums or live shows you may have heard, there is nothing that compares to that first live show. In many ways, you cannot teach someone what Phish is. (At best, we can only suggest 100 Things.) And like Sifton’s pizza theory, I would propose that if someone’s first Phish show is deep, dark, and funky, well, that’s what Phish is to them. If that first show is loose, ambient, and spacey, that’s their Phish.Or perhaps this is best understood with regard to the 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 eras. For those touring in the late 1990s, Phish may only be “cow-funk” Phish, and all other Phish is simply subpar. Whereas someone catching a bunch of 2.0 shows, well, Phish for them may be “Seven Below” and “Walls of the Cave.” Our younger fans may absolutely yearn for “Fuego,” while older fans will scoff it off. These youngsters are just victims to the Phish Cognition Theory: that first Phish will always be your true Phish.Personally, if I had to choose just one favorite Phish song it would be “The Squirming Coil” from 1990’s Lawn Boy. Now, I hadn’t discovered the band until some years later and still wouldn’t see Phish live until 1998. So this doesn’t quite seem to prove my theory. Or does it?Looking back at my first show, my first live Phish experience at The Gorge in 1998 (July 16, 1998), I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Phish had indeed opened with “The Squirming Coil.” While I had no strong memory of this, it has clearly left an indelible mark on my psyche, and I still get chills every time I hear the band play “Coil.” And for those of you thinking, They opened with Coil? I hear ya.Yes, traditionally the song closes a set or fills the encore slot. In fact, according to Phish.net, of the 351 times Phish has performed “The Squirming Coil,” they have only opened a show with the song four times: twice in 1990, once in 1997, and once at The Gorge on that beautiful summer evening in June of 1998.And it just so happens that “Coil” is not only my favorite Phish song, but also the very first Phish song I had heard performed live. Now, who wants a slice of pizza?
In a 2007 excavation of Harvard Yard, archaeology students unearthed a handful of metal fragments, each imprinted with a letter. The pieces, which were determined to be 17th-century movable type, root the history of printing at the feet of current students and gave context for Houghton Library’s letterpress printing workshop during this year’s Wintersession.Across campus, faculty and staff explored editorial production on the other end of the technological spectrum. “Multimedia Exposed,” a series of symposiums led by the Expanding the Boundaries of Authorship group, Lamont Library’s Multimedia Lab, and other campus organizations, investigated emerging tools for authoring with digital media.The events punctuated 10 days of lectures, hands-on presentations, and panels hosted throughout the Harvard College Library and FAS Libraries as part of this year’s January term. The sessions are built to enrich learning in a relaxed setting removed from the demanding pace of the semester schedule.
If there’s one thing LaNell Williams wants women of color interested in studying physics at top institutions to know, it’s this: You can do this.Williams is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences working in the lab of Wagner Family Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Physics Vinothan Manoharan, and just the third African American woman to pursue a doctorate in physics at Harvard. When she graduates she will join a cohort of fewer than 100 African American women who have received doctorates in the field since 1973.“When I tried to apply to Harvard, despite everything I had — a 3.93 GPA and a National Science Foundation fellowship — I was told I was reaching too high. And if you asked any black woman in this field, especially those of us who are at places like Harvard, they’ll tell you similar stories,” Williams said. “The biggest thing Harvard and places like it miss when it comes to recruiting is that they’re not encouraging those of us who are qualified, those of us who are ready, those of us who are able, to come to these places.”To help change the situation, Williams co-founded the Women+ of Color Project as a student at Wesleyan University to support women of color in STEM fields. The group ran a three-day workshop at Harvard recently for 20 African American, Latinx, and Native American women interested in pursuing a career in physics, astronomy, and related fields. Attendees were selected from a pool of candidates who had applied or been nominated, and the goal of the event was to help them access the resources they need to apply to and succeed in graduate school.“I’m bringing these students here now, because I want to tell them, ‘You are good enough,’” she said. “They have the grades; they have the scores; they have the pedigree. What’s keeping them from applying — and this is what I’m focused on — is the conversations and the resources.”In her keynote speech, Nia Imara, a John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, urged the women to bring their unique perspectives to the fields they study.,“I don’t love the fact that women and minorities are underrepresented in science, because I know we have knowledge to contribute just like everyone else,” said Imara, who studies how stars are born in the Milky Way and other galaxies. “When I go to a conference and I look out in the audience, I can’t help but notice who is missing, and I can’t help but think this is a loss for the scientific community.“Most of you are forging a new path, and that takes courage,” she continued. “I know it hasn’t been easy. As a female student and a female student of color, you have had to face obstacles others haven’t. You may have been discouraged or excluded, and I know that often you’ve never been properly acknowledged or apologized to. But not in spite of, but because of your experiences, you have a unique way of seeing the world. You have a unique set of qualities that will make you an asset whether you decide to go to grad school or otherwise.”As part of a session designed to walk students through the process of applying to graduate school, Director of Graduate Studies for FAS Science and Co-Director of Graduate Studies for Physics Jacob Barandes shared tips on what admissions committees look for in students.,“If you’re here, it’s probably because you love learning,” he said. “So apply. Please don’t count yourself out. You may have heard from people that you’re not strong enough. Forget about that. You are much stronger than you think you are, so please apply, and let the admission committees decide.”Other workshop events included deep dives into how to write a graduate school essay, feedback from Harvard physics faculty and postdocs, lab tours, information on fee waivers, and helping students work on their applications to Harvard. The workshop was generously funded by the Heising Simons Foundation.The students also had the chance to attend events with faculty and get to know other women in the program during dinner and a movie.For students like Tracy Edwards, who came to the workshop from Hampton University in Virginia, the realization that she was part of a community of like-minded women who wanted to study physics was invaluable.“It’s like a drink of water,” she said of seeing the other women attending the conference. “When you’re really parched, you’re in a desert and have no water and are just desperate. And I come here and I can say, ‘You look like me. You have the same experience as me.’ It’s like a drink of water.”,Like many of the students who attended the workshop, Edwards had repeatedly been told she didn’t belong.“I saw an ad for this program on Facebook. It was 10 p.m., and I’d spent eight hours working on the application,” she said. “I thought there was no way I would get invited, but I just needed something to hope for, because I felt like no matter what I did I wasn’t going to get anywhere.”That belief, she said, stemmed from a long history of dispiriting conversations with faculty that “destroyed” her confidence.“This past summer, I took a math class, and the professor told me that the only reason I would get into grad school was because I’m black — that I was just a racial quota,” she said. “After one test that I didn’t do very well on, I emailed him to ask what I could do to improve, and he emailed me back and said, ‘You’re not worth my time.’ And that hurts, having a teacher who is supposed to help you and teach you and guide you say you’re not worth their time. What do you say to that?” “When you’re really parched, you’re in a desert and have no water and are just desperate. And I come here and I can say, ‘You look like me. You have the same experience as me.’ It’s like a drink of water.” — Tracy Edwards, Hampton University Related Percentages of women and minorities who are tenured and tenure-track reach record highs Learning to talk about race in the workplace Faculty diversity continues to grow For many of the other women attending the conference, stories like Edwards’ are maddeningly familiar.“The level of discrimination I felt in my first year of physics was horrible,” said Sideena Grace, a junior at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. “I was working three jobs, so I did terrible in my physics class, and one of my professors told me last week that they expect me to have the lowest grade in the class because I struggled in [it].“I just broke down because I’m just tired of explaining myself,” she continued. “The expectation for me is lower, so now I have to work three times harder to prove them wrong.”And though last week’s conference is a critical step forward in encouraging women of color to follow their passion for physics and apply to programs like Harvard’s, Edwards emphasized institutional change is also necessary.“As a minority woman, it’s not my job to correct your bad behavior,” she said. “Yes, it’s great for us to be here and break the mold or break the pattern, but it’s also the job of professors and people who are in admissions to acknowledge their own biases and fix them. I shouldn’t be expected to.” Author Allison Manswell examines importance of open dialogue An update on Harvard’s diversity, inclusion efforts In Q&A session, John Wilson says mission of ‘inclusive excellence’ is underway
The Georgia Urban Ag and Outdoor Expo seeks to educate the public on the roles that urban and traditional farming play in supplying food to a continually growing nation. To that end, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension poultry scientist Claudia Dunkley and UGA Extension agent Steve Pettis will be among the host of presenters at the event.The expo is set for Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville, Georgia. At UGA, Dunkley works closely with the poultry industry and has given workshops and symposia for UGA Extension agents and poultry producers since 2007. With poultry producers, she conducts applied research on greenhouse gas emissions, the industry’s carbon footprint, litter management, dead bird disposal and molting commercial layer flocks. She will present a seminar on laying hens on Friday, May 20, and a session on backyard poultry biosecurity on Saturday, May 21. A former Gwinnett County Extension agent, Pettis earned a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture and a master’s degree in plant protection and pest management at UGA while working with highly esteemed horticulturists Allan Armitage and Mike Dirr. He is currently the UGA Extension agent in Rockdale County.Pettis will lead pesticide applicator training on Friday, May 20. The Upper Ocmulgee River Resource Conservation and Development Council will host the event in collaboration with UGA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Organics, Global Growers, Athens Land Trust, Gwinnett Technical College and Georgia Grown.Tickets for the expo cost $5 for one day or $8 for both days. To register, visit gaurbanexpo.com.
Georgia 4-H inspires kids to do — to do community service, go to new places and to learn new skills. Georgians across the state are celebrating everything 4-H’ers do during National 4-H Week on Oct. 7-13. What started as a club for farm kids has grown into the nation’s largest youth leadership organization — a place where school-aged children learn to become successful and confident adults.Georgia is home to one of the largest state programs in the country, with about 170,000 active 4-H members. Georgia 4-H began in 1904 when Newton County school superintendent, G.C. Adams organized a corn club for boys. Today, Georgia 4-H attracts students from all areas of the state, not just those who live on farms. Only 3.1 percent of Georgia 4-H members now live on a farm.Active 4-H members become successful adults, like Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Jennifer Nettles of Coffee County, Georgia. She says Georgia 4-H gave her a platform to share her voice and her passion.Award-winning country singer Trisha Yearwood, a native of Jasper County, Georgia, credits 4-H for teaching her that her talents would take her far, but her heart would make her a star.TV and radio host and legal commentator Nancy Grace, a native of Bibb County, Georgia, says 4-H taught her that leaders follow their dreams, but working hard makes dreams a reality.Georgia 4-H is available to children in all of Georgia’s 159 counties.The four ‘H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health and are represented by the four-leaf clover. Participating youths develop life skills through hands-on projects involving volunteer work, health, science, engineering, technology, leadership, agriculture and communication.Georgia 4-H programs, under the umbrella of UGA Extension, are based on research from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and other UGA colleges. Georgia 4-H agents supplement teachers’ efforts by creating materials based on after-school lessons and in-school curricula designed to meet Georgia Performance Standards.“The idea of bringing UGA research and resources to Georgia students through the use of county agents throughout the state was a cutting-edge idea in 1904 and remains so even today,” said Arch Smith, state 4-H leader. “The most important work of 4-H is to help young people become better citizens and enable them to grow into responsible, active adults.”Georgia 4-H youth perform community service, conduct research, compile portfolios of their accomplishments and learn public speaking skills through oral presentations at 4-H Project Achievement. During the 2016-17 school year, 43,067 Georgia 4-H members participated in Project Achievement on the local level.Georgia 4-H members also learn responsibility through livestock projects, programs and judging. Georgia 4-H partners with Georgia FFA and the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science to provide these programs. Every year, close to 2,500 students complete a year-long process to prepare more than 4,500 animals for exhibition at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show and other competitions.To learn more about Georgia 4-H, go to georgia4h.org. To find out more about Georgia 4-H in your county, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1800-ASK-UGA1 or visit extension.uga.edu.
Sep 30 GAO report In June HHS released draft guidance on the use of antivirals during an influenza pandemic. The agency’s goal is to place 75 million treatment courses in the Strategic National Stockpile, and draft guidance proposes that the private sector stockpile 110 million additional treatment courses. Investigators also said a public comment period after the draft prepandemic vaccine allocation plan is announced is a useful step. “Public participation is an essential component for acceptance of tough decisions that will be required unless and until greater capacity or a universal vaccine can be developed,” the report said. The 72-page report, focusing on the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) pandemic response plans, was published on the GAO’s Web site on Sep 30. See also: Oct 6, 2008 (CIDRAP News) In a recent progress report to Congress on federal influenza pandemic response planning, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recognized a host of obstacles but cited two areas that officials could make headway on: finalizing guidance on allocating antivirals and developing guidance on how to prioritize groups to receive prepandemic vaccine in the early stages of a pandemic. The proposed guidance, developed by an interagency task force, advised that antivirals in government stockpiles be used to treat people who are ill, especially when supplies are scarce, and that antivirals for preventive use be mainly drawn from private stockpiles. The draft document did not attempt to prioritize groups. “We believe that finalizing guidance on the use of pharmaceutical interventions will be crucial for responding to a pandemic outbreak and that the necessary guidance documents should be finalized as soon as possible,” the GAO wrote. Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News that the agency has been working on the draft allocation plan, but that it isn’t finished and the agency can’t yet say when it will be. In a letter responding to the GAO report, Vincent Ventimiglia, Jr, assistant secretary for legislation at HHS, wrote that the agency is in the process of updating the proposed guidance on antiviral use during a pandemic, on the basis of feedback it received during the public comment period. The comment period was set to end on Jul 3, according to a May 23 Federal Register notice. Investigators looked at three response components that the GAO and outside experts have said need improvementspharmaceutical intervention, healthcare surge capacity, and public communications. Though the GAO gave detailed status reports for all three of the areas, it made recommendations only about pharmaceutical interventions. The GAO said establishing target groups in advance is a key component of pandemic planning and warned that HHS could encounter problems if it doesn’t issue graft guidance for prepandemic vaccines in a more timely manner. “This lack of essential information could slow the initial response at the state and local levels and complicate the general public’s understanding of the necessity for rationing these interventions,” the GAO wrote. Jun 3 CIDRAP News story “HHS offers pandemic guidance on masks, antivirals” In his response accompanying the GAO report, Ventimiglia wrote that HHS will release its proposed prepandemic vaccine allocation guidance “in the near future.” As for prepandemic vaccine stockpiles, the GAO report says HHS will oversee the distribution and administration to workers who are needed to keep society functioning until a pandemic vaccine becomes widely available. According to the report, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council has estimated that the critical workforce numbers about 20 million people, and HHS’ goal is to stockpile enough to cover that number. However, HHS has not yet released draft guidance on prioritizing target groups for prepandemic vaccines. HHS officials told GAO investigators that target groups for the prepandemic vaccine would likely resemble those for the pandemic vaccine, but would have more of a critical workforce focus. They also said that a tiered approach like that used for the pandemic vaccine would be needed only if a pandemic occurs before HHS reaches its goal of stockpiling enough for 20 million people. In its other recommendation, the GAO advised HHS to release guidance for using and prioritizing prepandemic vaccine designed to protect against a pandemic virus before a vaccine closely matched to the actual pandemic strain is available. Federal officials are already stockpiling a prepandemic vaccine based on the H5N1 virus. In June HHS released its official guidance on allocating pandemic vaccine, which would be developed after the start of a pandemic and designed to match the circulating strain. HHS officials project that it would take 20 to 23 weeks after the start of a pandemic to start producing the first doses. May 23 Federal Register notice
“The military presence has surely increased, but as far as incursions are concerned, there are no verified reports as such,” said Ayushi Sudan, Anjaw’s chief civil servant, adding that several Indian army battalions were stationed there.”There has been an increase in troop deployment since the Galwan incident, and even prior to that we’d started,” she told Reuters by telephone, referring to the June clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet, was at the center of a full-scale border war between India and China in 1962, and security analysts have warned that it could become a flash-point again.But an Indian military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Harsh Wardhan Pande, said there was no cause for concern and the troops arriving in the area were part of regular rotation. India has moved troops to its eastern stretch of border with China since clashes erupted between the nuclear-armed rivals on the western part of their border in the Himalayas in June, a government official said.The June clash in the Ladakh region, in the western part of their border, was the worst violence between the Asian giants in decades and there has been little sign of a reduction in tension, with more military action in the past week.The movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state, which China also claims, raises the prospect of a wider face-off though both government and military officials in India ruled out any imminent confrontation. “Basically, it’s units changing. That’s happening as it happens every time, nothing much,” Pande told Reuters from near Guwahati, the largest city in northeastern India.”As of now, there’s nothing to worry about on that front.”But Tapir Gao, a member of parliament from Arunachal, told Reuters that Chinese troops had been regularly crossing into Indian territory.”It’s a regular phenomenon, it’s nothing new,” he said, identifying the Walong and Chaglagam areas in Anjaw as the most vulnerable.In the 1962 war, India says its outnumbered forces “blocked the thrust of the invading Chinese” in Walong, and the area of mountains, meadows and fast-flowing rivers is now a government focus for settlement and road-building.”What we’re trying to do is create more possibilities and opportunities for villagers,” said Sudan, referring to plans for clusters of villages in the disputed area.”It’s a push to resettle people.”Topics :
Algeria: SNTF is negotiating to buy signalling equipment for 33 stations between El Affroun and Oued Tlelat from Siemens Austria for Sch1bn.Australia: Queensland Rail has awarded two contracts worth A$217 to Walkers-Adtranz Pty Ltd for 90 EMU cars for Brisbane. Westrail has ordered 10 EMU cars from Walkers-Adtranz for the Perth suburban network at a cost of A$32·8m. Victoria’s Ministry of Transport has let contracts worth A$10m for upgrading the Flemington Bridge – Upfield route. GEC Alsthom is to provide new signalling, with Adtranz upgrading overhead electrification and John Holland Construction doubling 2 km from Fawkner to Gowrie. Belgium: SNCB has ordered 55000 prestressed concrete sleepers from British supplier Tarmac Precast Concrete.Bolivia: Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental has called tenders for supply of 200 boxcars, 200 hoppers, 75 flat and 45 open wagons. Brazil: MRS Logística has selected Iochpe-Maxion to refurbish 800 wagons with options for another 1200 .Canada: CN and CP have jointly invited tenders for repair and overhaul of train control and communications equipment.CN has awarded a seven-year resleepering contract to Fairmont Tamper, covering the supply of materials and equipment and the management of CN work crews.France: SAB is to supply brakes, pneumatic controls, resilient wheels, doors and couplings for 20 Eurotrams being built for Strasbourg by Adtranz.Germany: DB has taken delivery of the first of 500 wagons from DWA’s Niesky works for transport of china clay to Italy.Great Britain: Tiphook Rail has ordered 35 pocket wagons from Transtech of Finland to carry 9ft 6in high containers. Railtrack is inviting tenders by August 26 for four-year track renewal contracts worth a total of up to £1bn.Railtrack has awarded a £40m contract to Tarmac for resignalling at Manchester Victoria. Solid-state interlockings will be supplied by GEC Alsthom Signalling.Hungary: MAV-Adtranz Dunakesi wagon works has started assembly of 15 type Z1 coaches as part of a MAV order for 50 from DWA funded by a German credit.Israel: IR has ordered five IC3 Flexliner DMUs from Adtranz for DKr160m; they will be assembled by Ramta at Beer Sheva.New Zealand: Tranz Rail has purchased 17 diesel locos from QR; eight will be used to haul milk trains for Kiwi Dairy.Russia: RZD has ordered track maintenance machines from MTH Praha of the Czech Republic for KC1·77bn, including 60 ballast cleaners and 50 brush cutters. Work will be shared with PRMZ Kaluga.Switzerland: Alusuisse has a contract to develop the bodyshell and interior design for Germany’s Transrapid 08 test vehicle.Turkey: TCDD has ordered 40000 tonnes of rail from Czech manufacturer Trinecké Zelez
Further details have emerged of the challenges the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) faces in its battle to win credibility among politicians in Europe.Two leading members of the European Parliament, Syed Kamall and Sven Giegold, have called on the European Commission to explain the procedures it has followed to the possible adoption of a new financial instruments accounting standard in the European Union (EU).Separately, a source close to the issue has revealed that the expectation among even the most ardent opponents of the London-based IASB is that the EU will eventually endorse International Financial Reporting Standard 9, Financial Instruments.The reluctance of the Parliament to exercise its veto, however, could come as part of a trade-off that could see MEPs approve a highly critical motion on the IASB and its parents body, the IFRS Foundation. In a letter dated 16 July obtained by IPE, the MEPs detail seven demands for the Commission to meet to satisfy them they should support IFRS 9.The parliamentarians want the Commission to explain why it has failed to produce clear guidelines on the meaning of ‘the public good’ and ‘the true and fair view principle’.They are concerned the Commission has no apparent plan to carry out a thorough impact assessment on either the measurement or impairment requirements of IFRS 9.They warn that a knock-on effect of banks squirrelling away more capital could be that small and medium-sized enterprises will find it harder to secure loan financing. In addition, the MEPs also advise that long-term investors might find “equity investments less attractive”.The parliamentarians also want the European Systemic Risk Board to comment on whether the impairment and measurement requirements could have procyclical or other implications for financial stability.They called on the Commission to explain how it would address the concerns raised by the EU’s technical advisers on accounting issues that fair-value measurement requirements under IFRS 9 are “problematic”, particularly in relation to dividends and transparency for investors.They said they needed more information about how banks would implement the new proposals, and, lastly, they want the Commission to explain how IFRS 9 would interact with prudential requirements such as the International Regulatory Framework for Banks (Basel III).The demands are linked to increasing agitation in the EU in many quarters over the bloc’s decision to outsource its standard-setting functions to the IFRS Foundation, a Delaware-based quango.Reform of financial instruments accounting has been a hot-button topic since the financial crisis.Critics of the IASB’s current financial-instruments accounting model claim it resulted in banks recognising losses on underwater loans too late.The principles for recognising and measuring financial assets, liabilities and some contracts to buy or sell non-financial items are currently set out in IAS 39.The IASB has been working on a replacement standard, IFRS 9, since 2009. This effort was originally a joint effort with the US FASB.The US standard setter walked away from the effort largely because of irreconcilable differences with the IASB on the issue of impairment, the process by which losses or likely losses on amortised cost financial assets are written down.Against this background, former EU internal market commission Michel Barnier instructed Philippe Maystadt to look at how the EU could enhance its influence on the IASB’s processes.Maystadt also looked at the ways the EU could improve governance of the European bodies involved in developing these standards.Maystadt delivered his findings to an ECOFIN Council meeting on 15 November 2013. His recommendations received wide support from EU member states.IFRSs are currently mandated for use by all listed companies across the bloc. Under the current endorsement mechanism, the Commission receives advice on the suitability of individual IFRSs for endorsement from the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).EFRAG also works with European national standard setters on outreach activities designed to stimulate debate among interested parties in Europe on accounting matters.In addition, the Commission receives advice from the SARG or Standards Advice Review Group. On the basis of this advice, the Commission presents a draft regulation to the Accounting Regulatory Committee for approval.The Accounting Regulatory Committee is made up of representatives drawn from individual member states with the Commission as its chair.Subsequently, both the European Council and the Parliament assess whether the Commission has complied with the EU’s accounting directive or not.Effectively, this endorsement mechanism gives a veto to the Commission, the Parliament and the ARC. The Parliament has yet to exercise its veto over an IFRS.Meanwhile, well-placed sources close to the issue have told IPE they do not expect the Parliament to block IFRS 9 – despite recent sabre rattling.Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources explained that, because IFRS 9 is a delegated act under EU procedure, this means the Parliament is unable to amend it. Instead, it must either accept it or reject it.What is likely, however, is that the Parliament will vote on a non-binding own-initiative resolution of its ECON Committee that could be highly critical of both the IFRS Foundation and the IASB’s standards.IPE has also learned that this report could possibly make reference to the recent opinion of George Bompas QC, in which he questioned the legality of IFRS accounts in the UK.Alongside George Bompas, both the Basel Committee and the Bank of England have raised concerns about IFRS 9.IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst has previously attempted to sell IFRS 9 as an escape hatch for underwater Greek government debt.Addressing the July 2011 IFRS annual conference, Hoogervorst said: “The endorsement of IFRS by Europe has been extremely important for IFRS.“We still have a small problem now with IFRS 9. There are many people who now think they should adopt it quickly because it gives a little bit more leeway in terms of the Greek government bonds.“Right now, most of them are held available for sale. If you impair them, you have to impair them at the going market rate – not very high, I believe, 30% – whereas, if they are at amortised cost, as IFRS 9 makes possible, then you still have the possibility of making at least some sort of judgement.”