covid pandemic – Best Toplink http://besttoplink.info/ Mon, 11 Apr 2022 15:25:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://besttoplink.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.png covid pandemic – Best Toplink http://besttoplink.info/ 32 32 UW-Milwaukee is hosting an in-person event for students who graduated virtually during the pandemic https://besttoplink.info/uw-milwaukee-is-hosting-an-in-person-event-for-students-who-graduated-virtually-during-the-pandemic/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 20:59:16 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/uw-milwaukee-is-hosting-an-in-person-event-for-students-who-graduated-virtually-during-the-pandemic/ The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is trying to reach out to students who have been unable to attend in-person graduation ceremonies for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a recognition event in April, these alumni will have the chance to walk across the stage. In-person graduation ceremonies at UW-Milwaukee were canceled in […]]]>

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is trying to reach out to students who have been unable to attend in-person graduation ceremonies for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a recognition event in April, these alumni will have the chance to walk across the stage.

In-person graduation ceremonies at UW-Milwaukee were canceled in 2020 and last spring, leaving thousands of students without a chance to receive their degrees at the campus Panther Arena in front of family and friends. The pandemic has forced Wisconsin colleges to do the same.

Virtual ceremonies were held instead, giving graduates a chance to celebrate at home, said Kelly Haag, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“But it’s really not the same as going through that stage and celebrating with friends and family,” Haag said. “So it’s really important that we try to give them that opportunity.”

UW-Milwaukee is working on a “Special Recognition Ceremony” to be held on Sunday, April 10, providing a chance for graduates of the past two years to experience all the pomp and circumstance they missed.

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Finding and connecting with these former students can be difficult, however. After graduation, college email accounts disappear. Haag said they search databases and registration apps for alternative contact information. UW-Milwaukee is also reaching out via social media posts.

“We use every method available to us,” Haag said. “So the most recent email addresses that our students have provided us with is definitely a mechanism.”

The event will feature many of the trappings of typical graduation ceremonies, such as the reading of their names as they walk across the stage. The traditional cap and robes are optional, with the university suggesting that these previous insignia wear all black or the campus’ signature gold and black colors.

Students graduating in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 are asked to register by Sunday, March 20.

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Minnesota StarWatch: Mars Advances – Austin Daily Herald https://besttoplink.info/minnesota-starwatch-mars-advances-austin-daily-herald/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 00:39:00 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/minnesota-starwatch-mars-advances-austin-daily-herald/ By Deane Morrison At the start of the month of the same name, Mars glistens beneath bright Venus in the predawn sky. To the right (south) of the planets is the Sagittarius teapot, while the curved teaspoon of stars hangs above and between the teapot and the planets. Moving south again, look for the curvy […]]]>

By Deane Morrison

At the start of the month of the same name, Mars glistens beneath bright Venus in the predawn sky. To the right (south) of the planets is the Sagittarius teapot, while the curved teaspoon of stars hangs above and between the teapot and the planets. Moving south again, look for the curvy form of Scorpius and his red heart, Antares.

Photo provided

Mars rises throughout the month and Saturn climbs on the horizon in the middle of the month. The ringed planet passes under Venus between the 27th and 28th and ends in March under and between its two other planets. A waning moon visits Antares on the 23rd, then sails to the planets. On the 28th, a skinny old crescent moon rises beneath the three planets. But to see all four objects, you’ll need to look up shortly after moonrise, otherwise the sun will have blown away at least some of the planets.

In the evening sky, the great knot of bright winter constellations makes its last fight in March. If you haven’t seen them, look south to southwest as night falls. Appreciate Sirius, as Canis Major, the big dog, at the bottom of the group, then marvel at the brilliant Capella, at the top, as Auriga, the charioteer. The starry array is so large you’ll have to tilt your head back to see Capella.

The March full moon shines on the night of the 17th to 18th under the tail of Leo, the lion. As the night progresses, the moon and the lion seem to chase the winter constellations to the west.

The vernal equinox arrives at 10:33 a.m. on the 20th. At this time, the sun crosses the equator in the northern sky and an observer in space would see the Earth lit up from pole to pole. Also, the vernal equinox ushers in six months in which day length increases as we travel north. And even if we stay put, we experience the fastest increases in day length near this equinox, because that’s the time of year when the sun moves fastest north.

Public night sky viewings at the University of Minnesota at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses have been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information see:

• Duluth Planetarium, Marshall W. Alworth: www.d.umn.edu/planet

• Twin Cities, Minnesota Astrophysical Institute: www.astro.umn.edu/outreach/pubnight

• Discover astronomy programs, free telescope events and planetarium shows at

University of Minnesota Bell Museum: www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/astronomy

• Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at: http://www.astro.umn.edu

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Oral Health for All — Realizing the Promise of Science https://besttoplink.info/oral-health-for-all-realizing-the-promise-of-science/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 12:31:27 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/oral-health-for-all-realizing-the-promise-of-science/ Oral health is paramount to overall health and well-being, yet inequalities in oral health continue to pose a major threat to global public health. To strengthen health in the United States, it is essential that we recognize the factors driving the unequal burden of oral disease and leverage advances in science and technology to guide […]]]>

Oral health is paramount to overall health and well-being, yet inequalities in oral health continue to pose a major threat to global public health. To strengthen health in the United States, it is essential that we recognize the factors driving the unequal burden of oral disease and leverage advances in science and technology to guide responses. A new report from the National Institutes of Health,1 which was compiled by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, aims to address these issues and provide solutions.

In 2000, Oral Health in America: A Report by the Surgeon General affirmed the importance of oral health for overall health and captured the attention of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and the general public. Although the past two decades have seen progress in this area, dental and oral diseases remain problematic for many Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47% of American adults age 30 or older have periodontal disease. Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer has become more common than HPV-associated cervical cancer, with men more than five times more likely to be affected than women. Nine out of 10 adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had tooth decay, a figure that hasn’t changed significantly over the past 20 years. Caries of permanent teeth is still among the most common childhood diseases. Untreated carious lesions cause bone and soft tissue pain and infection, perpetuating the cycle of lost productivity and the use of emergency services instead of preventive care.

We believe that a reform agenda should include strategies to address high costs and inequity in access to oral health care. Over the past 20 years, dental costs per person have increased by 30% in the United States; in 2018, Americans paid $55 billion in dental costs, which accounted for more than 25% of all healthcare spending. The greatest burden of dental and oral disease, nationally and globally, is borne by marginalized and chronically underserved populations.2

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to re-examine health and well-being through the lens of social and systemic determinants. The groups that have been most affected by SARS-CoV-2 in the United States appear to be the same groups that have disproportionately high rates of oral disease. The oral cavity is a potential site of SARS-CoV-2 infection and a site of Covid-19 symptoms,3 and impaired immune status in people with periodontal disease may make oral tissues more prone to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Such observations support the long-standing argument that the links between the oral cavity and other body systems require better integration of health care delivery practices. Covid-19 has permanently affected the delivery of care and exacerbated existing inequalities. Moving forward, we must chart a course for oral health care that prioritizes overall health, prevention, expanding access, affordability and equity.

Communities disproportionately affected by oral disease often have limited access to health services. Policy changes are needed to integrate oral health, medical and behavioral care and preventive services into community health centers, schools, assisted living facilities, primary health care facilities and dental clinics. Access to care has improved for children from low-income families thanks to strengthened collaborations between oral health professionals and paediatricians. Examples of these collaborations include promoting dental visits in the first 3 years of life, conducting well-designed risk assessment studies for dental disease, and the use of fluoride sealants and varnishes – expenses covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Along with broad policy initiatives such as fluoridation of public water supplies, these integrative approaches have the greatest potential to mitigate oral diseases of high public health importance and should be reinforced in health care programs. education and training of health professionals.4

Collaboration between communities, dental professionals and other clinicians is essential to eliminate inequities that impede access to culturally appropriate care.5 Community leaders are experts on the needs of their people and should be included in the planning, design and implementation of oral health care systems. One area where community engagement is particularly important is the intersection of dental care and opioid abuse. For many people, especially adolescents and young adults undergoing wisdom tooth extraction, their first exposure to opioids occurs during oral surgery. Although dental practitioners have changed their opioid prescribing practices significantly over the past 20 years, opioid prescriptions remain common when patients seek treatment for dental problems in hospital emergency departments. This phenomenon reflects the need for expanded, affordable and equitable access to routine dental care, especially in vulnerable communities. Opioid use disorder continues to be a serious public health concern: CDC data indicates that in the 12 months ending April 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdose, an increase of almost 30% over the previous year.

Tobacco and other inhalants and consumables can cause oral cancer, periodontal disease and other oral health problems. Additionally, the relationship between mental health and oral health deserves further investigation. People with schizophrenia, other psychoses and bipolar disorders have particularly high rates of gum disease and cavities and are three times more likely than people without mental disorders to become toothless. Prevention and treatment of oral diseases precipitated by mental disorders requires an understanding not only of the oral cavity, but also of overall health and the environmental, psychosocial and behavioral factors that shape health and well-being.

Over the past 20 years, science has transformed our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie disease and sparked clinical applications that improve health and prevent disease. Recently proposed government initiatives are poised to propel “use-driven” research, which aims to solve practical, real-world public health problems. These approaches could lead to interventions aimed at preventing, detecting and treating complex diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Such innovation could also help reduce inequities and improve the accuracy of oral health care. Recent advances in science and technology provide opportunities to tailor oral health care based on a person’s genomic, environmental, and socioeconomic risk factors.

A better understanding of oral and gut microbiomes, combined with other “omics”, will provide the basis for therapies such as probiotics and mouthwashes that can be used to treat oral microbial ecosystems and biofilms associated with disease and in create healthier ones. In-depth phenotyping approaches that integrate clinical data, digital biomarkers, imaging, tissue and biological sample analyses, and advanced analytics could improve prevention and health promotion efforts, prognoses, and treatment of hereditary and acquired dental, oral and craniofacial diseases.

Research progress cannot be isolated. It is essential that we mobilize people and communities to address the social, economic and environmental determinants of poor oral health, such as lack of access to healthy food. At the same time, health care systems should recognize inequalities in oral health care and other services and resources in the context of the complex challenges that affect marginalized populations, including structural and interpersonal racism. To significantly improve oral health in the United States, policy changes are needed to reduce or eliminate social, economic, and other systemic inequalities. Oral diseases are preventable, and social and other determinants of health must be considered in prevention and treatment strategies. Policy makers need to make oral health care more accessible, affordable and equitable. It will also be essential to diversify the country’s oral health workforce so that clinicians reflect the communities they serve, to meet the rising costs of educating and training the next generation of oral health professionals and to ensure a strong research enterprise dedicated to improving oral health. .

This century began with the recognition that oral health is central to overall health. Now it is essential that we build on this knowledge and the scientific advances we have made to ensure that oral health is fully integrated into this new era of discovery and to harness policy changes and technological advances to to break systemic inequalities. Only then will we truly improve the health of individuals, families and communities.

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Links: Pachamama and COVID; Wisconsin Republicans and the Ottawa Convoy https://besttoplink.info/links-pachamama-and-covid-wisconsin-republicans-and-the-ottawa-convoy/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 09:06:34 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/links-pachamama-and-covid-wisconsin-republicans-and-the-ottawa-convoy/ What caused the pandemic? Don’t ask Dr. Anthony Fauci. Ask Crisis magazine editor Eric Sammons who thinks the cause of all this suffering was Pachamama. “I believe that the Covid pandemic and the horrific response to it was directly caused by the veneration of this pagan idol in the Vatican by prelates, priests and laity. […]]]>

What caused the pandemic? Don’t ask Dr. Anthony Fauci. Ask Crisis magazine editor Eric Sammons who thinks the cause of all this suffering was Pachamama. “I believe that the Covid pandemic and the horrific response to it was directly caused by the veneration of this pagan idol in the Vatican by prelates, priests and laity. In October 2019 a false idol was erected into the heart of the Catholic Church, and soon after all, all hell broke loose on the earth.” Well, there it is. Why didn’t I think of that?

At Politico, a report on a different plot and how it’s tearing the Wisconsin Republican Party apart. David Siders explains that a new gubernatorial candidate not only believes Trump won Wisconsin in 2020 — he didn’t — but that it’s still possible to void the election and reinstate Trump in the White House. Pillow salesman Mike Liddell was kicking off the candidate’s campaign, which always inspires civic confidence in me. This mess couldn’t come at a nicer party.

On the University of the Sacred Heart blog “Come on, rebuild my house”, Catherine Clifford, professor at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, offers her point of view on the misnamed “freedom convoy” that shut down the normally peaceful city she calls home. She points to the central difficulty with arguments offering religious justification to anti-vaxxers: “Those who claim to fight for ‘freedom of choice’ are, in fact, quite free. There is no ‘forced’ vaccinations here. But choices have consequences.” We should all start calling these protests by their proper name: convoys of irresponsibility.

In The New York Times, lead writer David Leonhardt explains why Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine is qualitatively different from the kinds of wars the world has witnessed over the past 80 years. I’m not sure I agree with all of its details, but its central point is correct and chilling: the prospect of military powers expanding their national borders by brute force is chilling, both in Ukraine and Taiwan.

At The Hill, a new report indicates that by the end of the century, if the world has not tackled the climate crisis with the required commitment, only one of the previous 21 venues for the Winter Olympics – Sapporo, Japan – would be able to reliably guarantee the safe and fair snow conditions needed to host the games. (NB: Curiously, the article does not name Sapporo, but it provides a link to the study that names it.)

In The New Yorker, editor David Remnick interviews Henry Louis Gates Jr. and discusses everything from his childhood in West Virginia to his influence in establishing a literary canon of African-American literature. Gates has lived an extraordinary life and she shines here as the two old friends converse. He also displays a keen, and somewhat rare, awareness that there is diversity within groups, not just between them.

In The Atlantic, Gary Kamiya examines why voters in San Francisco, where Republicans are not a factor, voted to remove three members of the Board of Education who had supported things like removing George’s names Washington and Abraham Lincoln Public Schools. Conservative Republicans are abusing the result to buttress their ludicrous ideas about education, but they are less out of step than the Democrats. As Kamiya observes, “At a minimum, the encore demonstrates that ‘woke’ racial politics has its limits, even in one of the nation’s most woke cities.”

At Architecture Daily, a series of articles that look at the different ways cities are reusing Olympic venues, assessing whether hosting an Olympics is worth it, how not to host the games, and other issues related to urban design and architecture. The article examining the “twin legacies” of the Rio 2016 Olympics is particularly well done, examining how some projects served wider social needs like improved transportation, while others seemed to primarily benefit to property developers.

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British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson’s Speech to Dhaka Reporters’ Unity https://besttoplink.info/british-high-commissioner-robert-chatterton-dicksons-speech-to-dhaka-reporters-unity/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 04:39:51 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/british-high-commissioner-robert-chatterton-dicksons-speech-to-dhaka-reporters-unity/ Shubho oporannho. (Hello.) Ami ekhane ashte pere anondito. (I’m very happy to be here.) I am delighted to address the Dhaka Reporters Unit this afternoon, the last day of the Bengali winter – my favorite season. Free media is the cornerstone of a free society. The role of the press in holding the powerful to […]]]>

Shubho oporannho. (Hello.) Ami ekhane ashte pere anondito. (I’m very happy to be here.)

I am delighted to address the Dhaka Reporters Unit this afternoon, the last day of the Bengali winter – my favorite season.

Free media is the cornerstone of a free society. The role of the press in holding the powerful to account – even in uncomfortable ways – is an essential checks and balances to corruption and vested interests.

As George Orwell said, “freedom of the press, if it means anything, means freedom to criticize and oppose”.

I am therefore constantly impressed by the courage and commitment of journalists in Bangladesh despite the many challenges I know you have, and I am delighted that we are able to support you with training and programmes.

Along with other similar partners, we lead the Media Freedom Coalition and this will continue to be a key part of the work of the High Commission in Bangladesh.

It’s a great time to be British High Commissioner in Dhaka.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and Bangladesh, following Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic press conference at Claridges Hotel, his meeting with Prime Minister Edward Heath and his return to a Bangladesh newly liberated by the Royal Air Force. .

Over the next half-century, the relationship transformed.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Brit Bangla Bondhon, we build on all the links that exist between Bangladesh and the UK, including the diaspora, the 600,000 people living in the UK with Bangladeshi heritage and the much wider range of ties that exist between us. on security, defence, climate, COVID-19, trade and a host of issues that we are working closely with friends and partners within and beyond government in Bangladesh.

We do this in accordance with our overall strategy. Last year we published an Integrated Review of our foreign policy after leaving the European Union. A key element is what we call an Indo Pacific Tilt, a rebalancing of our politics, in which Bangladesh plays an important role.

The Indo-Pacific is the fastest growing economic region in the world, a crucial transit point for global trade.

The UK has the broadest and most integrated regional presence in Europe, supporting stronger trade links, shared security priorities and shared values.

We engage deeper in the region on many of the world’s most pressing challenges – from climate and biodiversity to maritime security and geopolitical competition over rules and standards.

And these standards have never seemed more important or more threatened than today. An unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine would be a disaster for everyone, including Russia.

British ministers have been at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic solution, and the UK has provided Ukraine with the weapons and training it needs to defend itself.

Here we are working with UK businesses to build a trade and development relationship as Bangladesh transitions this decade from a less-developed to a middle-income country.

This is an extraordinary national achievement, based on decades of good policy development. I am delighted that the Prime Minister and other senior officials promoted the opportunities at a roadshow in London and Manchester last year.

Graduation is a milestone, not a finish line and we are helping Bangladesh achieve smooth and successful graduation and continue its export-led growth by providing duty-free and quota-free access to the UK market until ‘in 2029.

We are Bangladesh’s second largest investor and will continue to work with Bangladesh to ensure free and fair trade by improving the functioning of the WTO and modernizing global trade rules.

The past year has been significant for UK-Bangladesh trade relations with the inauguration of the UK-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Dialogue.

This was to tackle barriers to market access and improve the business environment to promote free and fair trade between the UK and Bangladesh, and to help UK businesses to realizing the potential of Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth, for the benefit of the prosperity of both countries.

As Bangladesh prospers, we hope to see the market become more open to international investment, particularly for high-value financial, education and health services where the UK is the world leader.

I see a particular opportunity for universities if the rules of cross-border higher education can be implemented. UK universities are interested in the opportunity in Bangladesh and would like to establish the kind of presence they have in Sri Lanka or Malaysia.

This would give young Bangladeshis access to world-class education at a competitive price. And that would give Bangladesh the skills to thrive as a middle-income country.

More generally, our view is that long-term stability and economic growth flourish best in open, democratic societies with strong institutions, public accountability and competitive elections.

Thus, with international partners, we support the pluralistic and transparent democracy in Bangladesh provided for by the Constitution, in particular by calling for a fair and credible process for the elections scheduled for the end of 2023.

This means first of all that all the parties must be allowed to organize themselves and be heard before the election so that there is a real debate on the future of the country. Second, it means everyone can vote freely. Third, it means votes are reliably and transparently counted. And finally, it means that credible results are accepted by all parties, including those who did not win.

Milestones such as the process of forming the Electoral Commission send a signal on the trajectory of this administration. Strong commitments from all parties to a free and fair process would help set the tone, including inclusive and non-partisan oversight of the Electoral Commission for the contest scheduled for next year.

The strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which everyone can live freely, without fear of violence or discrimination, and where all citizens can play a full and active role. This year, the UK will host a global conference on equality to promote the basic human rights we all share. This includes empowering women and girls and standing in solidarity with those who uphold tolerance and religious freedom, as enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh, which enshrines freedom of expression and religion.

We stand with those who uphold tolerance and religious freedom, as enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh, which enshrines freedom of speech and religion.

We also work together on regional security, including the Rohingya crisis. Our common goal is to see the voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya as soon as conditions in Myanmar permit.

Bangladesh continues to be extraordinarily generous in its response. Refugees have access to health care, food, shelter, water and sanitation.

We have seen generosity in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for refugees. However, despite the progress, the situation remains difficult both for the Rohingya, especially for the women, and for their hosts in Bangladesh.

We are the leading donor to the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, having contributed over £320 million since 2017 to support both refugees in camps and host communities, including building resilience against COVID-19.

At the same time, the Rohingya crisis is a tragedy for everyone involved. No one chooses to live in a refugee camp or host a massive influx of displaced people. Like so many other refugees around the world, the vast majority of the Rohingya population say they want to return home.

We are ensuring that the Rohingyas and Bangladesh are not forgotten. We are raising the plight of the Rohingyas on the international stage, including at the United Nations Security Council. As ASEAN’s new dialogue partner, we support the efforts of the ASEAN Special Envoy.

We support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. We are supporting the Ministry of Health in Bangladesh to develop a well-coordinated national response plan, funded by all development partners and the Government of Bangladesh.

Last December, we supplied 4.1 million vaccines through the COVAX facility. We hope to provide more soon.

And 2021 has been a good year for UK-Bangladesh defense relations as a Royal Navy ship sailed to Chattogram after 13 years as part of our Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The visit highlighted our bilateral defense relationship, echoed this week by strategic level training provided by the UK at the Bangladesh National Defense College.

I look forward to talks soon to put this relationship on a more strategic footing.

The UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership launched in January 2020 strengthens cooperation on all COP26 priority themes: adaptation, clean energy, nature financing and clean transport.

We will continue to exchange our expertise, share our technologies, facilitate partnerships and identify practical solutions to common climate challenges, with the common goal of delivering the real change we need to keep rising global temperatures in check. below 1.5 degrees.

I think we can do more in this area as well.

It is therefore an exciting time for the UK here, as we work with an increasingly confident and outward-looking Bangladesh, tackling common challenges and seizing shared opportunities as we move together towards the next 50 years.

I am delighted to be here as High Commissioner leading the effort in Dhaka.

Apnader jonno shubho kamona roilo (Best wishes) Sobaike onek dhonnobad. (Thank you everybody.)

More information

British High Commission in Dhaka

United Nations Road

Baridhara

Dhaka – 1212

Bangladesh

Email: Dhaka.Press@fco.gov.uk

Follow the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh on Twitter: @RCDicksonUK

Follow the British High Commission in Dhaka on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Linkedin

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The cybersecurity risks of an escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict https://besttoplink.info/the-cybersecurity-risks-of-an-escalation-of-the-russian-ukrainian-conflict/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 20:51:34 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/the-cybersecurity-risks-of-an-escalation-of-the-russian-ukrainian-conflict/ With the looming threat of heightened conflict in Ukraine, businesses around the world should prepare now. Corporate security and intelligence teams have said they are seeing an increase in cyber probes, and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the European Central Bank have both issued warnings about possible Russian cyberattacks. At this stage, […]]]>

With the looming threat of heightened conflict in Ukraine, businesses around the world should prepare now. Corporate security and intelligence teams have said they are seeing an increase in cyber probes, and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the European Central Bank have both issued warnings about possible Russian cyberattacks. At this stage, companies should take the following steps: 1) Review your business continuity plans; 2) Take a close look at your supply chain; 3) actively engage your peer networks, vendors, and law enforcement around cyber intrusions; 4) Instill a safety mindset in your employees; and 5) Make sure your business intelligence and IT teams work closely together on solutions.

As warnings of an impending Russian attack on Ukraine proliferate, news networks and social media have featured clips of Russian armed forces training, exercising and preparing for battle. Less visible are the formidable Russian cyber forces reportedly preparing to unleash a new wave of cyber attacks against Ukrainian and Western energy, financial and communications infrastructure. Whether an invasion happens now or not, tensions will remain high and the cyber threat will likely increase, not decrease.

The business implications of the conflict in Ukraine – whether conventional, cyber or hybrid – will be felt far beyond the region’s borders. As a business leader, you’ve probably already assessed whether you have people at risk, operations that might be affected, or supply chains that might be disrupted. The White House recently warned of supply chain vulnerabilities resulting from the US industry’s reliance on Ukrainian-sourced neon chips. And Russia also exports a number of essential elements for the manufacture of semiconductors, jet engines, automobiles, agriculture and medicines, such as detailed in a Twitter thread by former Crowdstrike CTO Dmitri Alperovitch. Given the existing strain on US supply chains from the Covid-19 pandemic, adding an additional shock to the system is concerning.

But if you’ve just assessed your cyber posture, it’s probably too late. Effective cyber defense is a long game that requires sustained strategic investment, not a last-minute push.

The conflict in Ukraine presents perhaps the most acute cyber risk American and Western businesses have ever faced. Invasion by Russia would lead to the most comprehensive and dramatic sanctions ever imposed on Russia, which views these measures as economic warfare. Russia will not sit idly by, but rather react asymmetrically using its considerable cyber capability.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently issued a warning about the risk of Russian cyberattacks spreading to U.S. networks, which follows previous CISA warnings about the risks posed by Russian cyberattacks. for US critical infrastructure. The European Central Bank (ECB) has warned European financial institutions of the risk of retaliatory Russian cyberattacks in the event of sanctions and associated market disruptions.

The first cyber skirmishes have already begun, with Ukrainian government systems and banks coming under attack last week, and vigilant US businesses noting a dramatic increase in cyber investigations. Rob Lee, CEO of cybersecurity firm Dragos, told us: “We have observed threat clusters that have been attributed to the Russian government by US government agencies conducting reconnaissance against US industrial infrastructure, including key sites of electricity and natural gas over the past few months.

The security and intelligence teams of several major multinationals told us that they were anticipating Russian cyberattacks and assessing the potential for second- and third-order effects on their operations. Some companies have indicated that they anticipate an increase in attacks and scams in conjunction with the Ukrainian crisis, with risk assessments generally contingent on whether the company has direct ties to Ukrainian national banks or other critical infrastructure. A corporate intelligence official observed that his cyber team “doesn’t think we’re a likely target,” but is following CISA guidelines. Another also indicated that his company was not concerned about direct threats to its data, as it does not have a presence in Ukraine or Russia, but was monitoring indirect impacts on its customers and business partners in the region.

So if it’s too late to improve your cyber defense and conflict seems imminent, what can leaders do but give up?

The first rule is that a cyber or computer problem quickly becomes a business problem. The first step companies should take right now is to retire, dust off and implement business continuity plans. What would it be like to work in an analog world, or a paper-and-pencil world, for days, weeks or months? When Saudi Aramco was hit by a cyberattack, 30,000 company laptops were turned into clipboards in seconds. Take out your penknife and poke under the crisis response paint. Ask, “If my computer systems fail, how will I track my inventory, manage my accounts, or communicate with my offices and factories?”

Second, take a close look at your supply chain. Your business may face the risk of hidden dependence on Ukraine-based software engineers, code writers or hosted services. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reports that more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies in the world are at least partially dependent on Ukrainian IT services, with several Ukrainian IT companies listed among the top 100 options for outsourcing IT services in the world.

Third, connecting with peer networks, vendors, and the FBI can dramatically improve your chances of identifying and mitigating cyber intrusions. Empower your teams to connect with cybersecurity and intelligence teams from peer companies, as well as federal and local government partners who are closely monitoring the same threats. Make sure your teams know their regional CISA representatives and the local FBI office and that they are on their mailing lists to stay current on alerts and warnings. Share anomalous or malicious cyber activity with federal and local partners for greater awareness to help build a collective defense.

Fourth, instill a sense of safety in your employees. Enable multi-factor authentication (which, according to CISA director Jen Easterly makes you 99% less likely to be hacked), patching those old vulnerabilities, making sure passwords are strong, and remembering that phishing is still the number one attack vector, even for sophisticated adversaries — all of which can contribute to better security. global.

Finally, recognize that cybersecurity is closely tied to overall business security and risk. In the face of cyber threats, business leaders too often turn to IT for a solution, but IT security and geopolitical risk assessments must go hand in hand.

Cybersecurity, geopolitical risk, and physical security teams need to work closely together, not in silos. In one instance, a corporate intelligence official told us he had produced a joint assessment with his cyber intelligence team on Russia and Ukraine – the first time they had cooperated in this way. In this case, the crisis built on pre-existing relationships and sparked new levels of cooperation.

If you’re building relationships in times of crisis, it may be too late. It is far better to establish communication and cooperation before disaster strikes. Beware of risk assessments that place too much emphasis on proximity or presence. In a cyber war, innocent bystanders in the distance can be hit by stray cyber bullets or precise shots from cyber snipers.

In a crisis, business resilience and business continuity plans become paramount, and these require enterprise-wide attention and solutions. With the imminent threat of war in Europe, which will certainly include cyber, it is time to pull out those contingency plans and test whether they are up to date, realistic and fit for purpose.

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FACT SHEET: U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy https://besttoplink.info/fact-sheet-u-s-indo-pacific-strategy/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 20:12:14 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/fact-sheet-u-s-indo-pacific-strategy/ Read the full strategy here “We envision an open, connected, prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific – and we stand ready to work with each of you to achieve it.”President Joe Biden East Asia SummitOctober 27, 2021 The Biden-Harris administration has made historic progress in restoring American leadership in the Indo-Pacific and adapting its role for […]]]>

Read the full strategy here

“We envision an open, connected, prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific – and we stand ready to work with each of you to achieve it.”
President Joe Biden
East Asia Summit
October 27, 2021

The Biden-Harris administration has made historic progress in restoring American leadership in the Indo-Pacific and adapting its role for the 21st century. Over the past year, the United States has modernized longstanding alliances, strengthened emerging partnerships, and forged innovative ties among itself to address pressing challenges, from competition with China to climate change to the pandemic. . It did so at a time when its allies and partners around the world are increasingly strengthening their own engagement in the Indo-Pacific; and when there is broad bipartisan agreement in the US Congress that the United States should do it too. This convergence of commitment to the region, across oceans and political parties, reflects an undeniable reality: the Indo-Pacific is the most dynamic region in the world, and its future affects people everywhere.

This reality is the basis of the Indo-Pacific strategy of the United States. This strategy outlines President Biden’s vision to anchor the United States more firmly in the Indo-Pacific and strengthen the region in the process. Its central objective is sustained and creative collaboration with allies, partners and institutions, in the region and beyond.

The United States will pursue an Indo-Pacific region that is:

  1. FREE AND OPEN

Our vital interests and those of our closest partners require a free and open Indo-Pacific, and a free and open Indo-Pacific requires governments to make their own choices and shared domains to be legally governed. Our strategy begins with building resilience, both within each country, as we have done in the United States, and between them. We will advance a free and open region, including by:

  • Invest in democratic institutions, a free press and a vibrant civil society
  • Improving budget transparency in the Indo-Pacific to expose corruption and drive reforms
  • Ensure that the seas and skies of the region are governed and used in accordance with international law
  • Advance common approaches to critical and emerging technologies, the Internet and cyberspace

2. RELATED

A free and open Indo-Pacific can only be achieved if we build collective capacity for a new era. The alliances, organizations and rules that the United States and its partners have helped build must be adapted. We will build collective capacity within and beyond the region, including by:

  • Deepen our five regional treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Philippines and Thailand
  • Strengthen relationships with key regional partners including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Pacific Islands
  • Contribute to a strengthened and unified ASEAN
  • Strengthen the Quad and keep its commitments
  • Support India’s continued growth and regional leadership
  • A partnership to build resilience in the Pacific Islands
  • Weaving links between the Indo-Pacific and the Euro-Atlantic
  • Expand U.S. diplomatic presence in the Indo-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands

3. PROSPEROUS

The prosperity of ordinary Americans is tied to the Indo-Pacific. This fact requires investments to encourage innovation, strengthen economic competitiveness, create well-paying jobs, rebuild supply chains and expand economic opportunities for middle-class families: 1.5 billion people in the Indo-Pacific will join the global middle class this decade. We will drive prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, including by:

  • Propose an Indo-Pacific economic framework, through which we will:
    • Develop new business approaches that meet high labor and environmental standards
    • Governing our digital economies and cross-border data flows according to open principles, including through a new digital economy framework
    • Advancing Resilient and Secure, Diverse, Open and Predictable Supply Chains
    • Make shared investments in decarbonization and clean energy
  • Promoting free, fair and open trade and investment through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), including in our host year 2023
  • Closing the region’s infrastructure gap through Build Back Better World with G7 partners

4. SECURE

For 75 years, the United States has maintained a strong and cohesive defense presence necessary to support regional peace, security, stability, and prosperity. We are expanding and modernizing this role and strengthening our capabilities to defend our interests and deter aggression against US territory and against our allies and partners. We will enhance Indo-Pacific security by drawing on all instruments of power to deter aggression and counter coercion, including by:

  • Advancing Integrated Deterrence
  • Deepen cooperation and improve interoperability with allies and partners
  • Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait
  • Innovate to operate in rapidly changing threat environments, including space, cyberspace, and critical and emerging technology domains
  • Strengthen extensive deterrence and coordination with our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan and pursue the full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
  • Continue to deliver on AUKUS
  • Expand U.S. Coast Guard presence and cooperation against other transnational threats
  • Work with Congress to fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and Maritime Security Initiative

5. RESILIENT

The Indo-Pacific faces major transnational challenges. Climate change is getting worse as glaciers in South Asia melt and Pacific islands struggle with existential sea level rise. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to inflict a heavy human and economic toll in the region. And Indo-Pacific governments are grappling with natural disasters, resource scarcity, internal conflict and governance issues. Left unchecked, these forces threaten to destabilize the region. We will strengthen regional resilience until the 21sttransnational threats of the last century, in particular by:

  • Work with allies and partners to develop 2030 and 2050 goals, strategies, plans and policies consistent with limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • Reduce regional vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation
  • Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic and Strengthening Global Health Security

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Foreign and Defense Secretaries visit Australia for AUKMIN https://besttoplink.info/foreign-and-defense-secretaries-visit-australia-for-aukmin/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:30:38 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/foreign-and-defense-secretaries-visit-australia-for-aukmin/ Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will visit Australia this week as the UK strengthens its defense and security ties with the country. Truss begins the first leg of an official visit to Australia today, using his trip to focus on economic, security and technological interests as well as to stand up […]]]>

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will visit Australia this week as the UK strengthens its defense and security ties with the country.

Truss begins the first leg of an official visit to Australia today, using his trip to focus on economic, security and technological interests as well as to stand up against malicious attackers.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will join the Foreign Secretary in Sydney for talks with their counterparts, Foreign Secretary Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton.

At the first AUKMIN since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ministers will discuss security and defense capabilities, building on AUKUS, and commit to countering state and hybrid threats and jointly supporting the maritime security.

The visit comes in the face of growing aggression from Russia, which is working to destabilize and threaten its sovereign neighbor Ukraine, and growing threats in the Indo-Pacific. It also comes on crucial days for the Tonga relief effort, as the UK works urgently with counterparts in Australia and New Zealand to support those affected.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

As malevolent forces threaten global peace and stability, it is vital that close allies like the UK and Australia show heightened vigilance in defending freedom and democracy.

The AUKUS partnership between the UK, Australia and the US is a clear demonstration of how we will uphold our values, protect trade routes and increase stability in the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia, I will strengthen our economic, diplomatic and security ties – making our country safer and more competitive – in order to win the battle of ideas within our freedom network.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:

The UK and Australia share one of the oldest and strongest defense and security alliances.

Operating and exercising side by side, we continue to work together to promote stability and tackle our common threats head-on with our like-minded ally.

Truss will also agree to closer cooperation with Australia to increase opportunities for honest and trustworthy infrastructure investments in Indo-Pacific states – to end strategic reliance on malicious actors in the fields of energy, investment and technology.

And on technology, the Foreign Secretary will discuss how best to strengthen global technology supply chains and tackle malicious actors disrupting cyberspace.

On the second leg of the visit, the Foreign Secretary will travel to Adelaide to build on the recently signed Free Trade Agreement, including signing an agreement to strengthen trade ties between the UK and Australia for key industries including space, cyber, science and technology with the state of South Australia. This is part of the UK’s efforts to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Truss will also visit the BAE Systems shipyard to see how British commercial expertise is responsible for building frigates for the Australian Navy.

ENDS

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Study finds that national and international frameworks are imperative to implement nature-based solutions in Asia https://besttoplink.info/study-finds-that-national-and-international-frameworks-are-imperative-to-implement-nature-based-solutions-in-asia/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 15:52:01 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/study-finds-that-national-and-international-frameworks-are-imperative-to-implement-nature-based-solutions-in-asia/ The Challenges of Implementing Nature-Based Solutions in AsiaCross-sectoral strategies and coordination between fragmented institutions and actors are essential for the implementation of NBS in Asia. Credit: Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan Recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the term “nature-based solutions” […]]]>

The Challenges of Implementing Nature-Based Solutions in AsiaCross-sectoral strategies and coordination between fragmented institutions and actors are essential for the implementation of NBS in Asia. Credit: Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan

Recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the term “nature-based solutions” (NbS) refers to those that combine human well-being, environmental sustainability and biodiversity benefits. . NbS are also key components of COVID-19 post-pandemic recovery strategies. NBS include a variety of elements, ranging from ecosystem-based climate change mitigation to ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction measures. While the techniques underlying NBS may not be new, integrating them into national and international governance frameworks for their effective implementation is.

Most studies on NbS focus on Europe. The European Union was an early adopter of the NbS and promoted it by linking the NbS to the European Green Deal and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The region has established strong links between the NbS and various actors (governments, institutions, companies, etc.). But the same cannot be said of Asia. There remains a lack of a coherent regional strategy for the implementation of NBS in Asia, as well as limited cross-sectoral local and national governance to promote NbS and green recovery strategies. The large number of developing countries in Asia also presents a problem for the promotion and realization of NBS.

In a new study published in Policy and governance, researchers Dr. Kanako Morita from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and Associate Professor Ken’ichi Matsumoto from Toyo University, Japan elaborated on the governance challenges of implementing NbS in the East, Southeast and South Asian regions. “Implementing NbS governance in countries at different stages of economic development is tricky, as is crafting NbS measures with different institutions and actors,” says Dr. Morita.

Findings from their study indicated that climate change mitigation, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and infrastructure are three areas where NBS have been widely implemented in Asian countries. These areas are also linked to climate security issues, including ecological security. However, further work is possible, particularly to ensure uniformity of NbS implementation across various regions. “Current discussions on NbS governance focus on urban areas, but Nbs are essential across a wide range of landscapes and seascapes and across jurisdictional boundaries. In developing countries in particular, international cooperation is necessary in the governance of NBS”, observes Dr Morita, in this context.

The researchers found that the NbS have links to international frameworks linked to the UNFCCC and the CBD in the field of climate change (climate change mitigation), with clear national strategies, policies and international financial mechanisms. The Paris Agreement is one of the main drivers of this development. Unfortunately, however, discussions on cross-sectoral strategies, such as the application of NbS to post-pandemic green recovery, have so far not been extensive in Asian countries.

In the field of DRR, the SNBs are linked to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). Japan, in particular, is heavily invested in promoting ecosystem-based DRR (Eco-DRR). But the same cannot be said for other Asian countries. While some countries have integrated Eco-DRR into their national strategies, national governance and implementation measures remain weak. Financial mechanisms for integrating NBS into eco-DRR need to be developed and clarified. Moreover, developing countries in particular need financial and technical support to properly implement NBS for eco-DRR.

Finally, the researchers found no official link between the NbS and international frameworks in the field of infrastructure. “There is no consensus on what NbS means for infrastructure. It is therefore very difficult to establish national policies or frameworks and, more importantly, financial mechanisms for the implementation of NbS,” explains Dr Morita.

Taken together, the study highlights the fragmentation of institutions and actors in Asia, and the unique challenges this poses for different types of NBS. The study also highlights the need for cooperation between local, national and international actors, including governments and institutions. “Our analysis recognizes the need for a cross-sectoral framework to address the need for NbS with relevant actors and institutions at different scales. We also recommend creating guidelines to integrate and promote NbS into local and national policies, as well as in international cooperation”, concludes Dr Morita.

Implementing these suggestions will surely help to deal with the reality of climate change, as well as provide benefits for biodiversity and humans, both in the short term, post-pandemic, and with respect to the long-term sustainable development.


The ocean is our greatest climate regulator. It must be an integral part of climate policy and action


More information:
Kanako Morita et al, Governance Challenges for Implementing Nature-Based Solutions in the Asian Region, Policy and governance (2021). DOI: 10.17645/pag.v9i4.4420

Provided by the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute

Quote: Study finds that national and international frameworks are imperative for implementing nature-based solutions in Asia (2022, January 17) retrieved January 18, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01 -national-international-frameworks-imperative-nature-based.html

This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair use for purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.

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How to watch the Vermont legislative session in 2022 https://besttoplink.info/how-to-watch-the-vermont-legislative-session-in-2022/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 01:03:21 +0000 https://besttoplink.info/how-to-watch-the-vermont-legislative-session-in-2022/ Representative Lynn Dickinson, R-St. Albans Town, answers a remote roll call on the opening day of the Legislative Assembly at the Statehouse in Montpellier on January 6, 2021. File photo by Glenn Russell / VTDigger The Vermont Legislature is scheduled to meet on Tuesday for the second year of the biennium – but no need […]]]>


Representative Lynn Dickinson, R-St. Albans Town, answers a remote roll call on the opening day of the Legislative Assembly at the Statehouse in Montpellier on January 6, 2021. File photo by Glenn Russell / VTDigger

The Vermont Legislature is scheduled to meet on Tuesday for the second year of the biennium – but no need to find parking on State Street just yet.

Following a last-minute change of course last week, the House and Senate are expected to work remotely until at least January 18.

A House quorum is expected to meet briefly at the Statehouse on Tuesday to approve the remote work plan. As long as this resolution is passed, everything else will take place online for at least the next two weeks.

But no matter where the lawmakers are, Vermonters will still be able to stream the action live, from their homes, cars, libraries, or anywhere they can connect. (A fun snow day activity, maybe?)

While lawmakers and lobbyists will surely miss their discussions in locker rooms and cafeteria meetings, the pandemic-inspired changes in Legislative Assembly operations have made it easier for the general public to follow from home.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the House did not even record its deliberations on the ground, although VPR proposed a live stream. The Senate recorded the audio from the ground onto CDs, according to Kevin Moore, director of the Office of Legislative Information Technology. These recordings were to be requested through the office of the Secretary of the Senate. Likewise, recordings of committee meetings were only available upon request.

Vermonters who wish to connect remotely this year can do so via these links:

You do not know what to watch? A weekly list of each scheduled legislative committee meeting can be found here. You can also find the agenda of each committee here.

The House and Senate are both scheduled to begin their work on the first floor of the year at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Gov. Phil Scott is due to deliver his state-of-the-state address Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. Scott’s budget speech is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan.18 at 1 p.m. ET. VTDigger plans to broadcast both speeches live on our Facebook Live page.

Other notable dates on the legislative calendar are available here.

Sign up for our guide to the global coronavirus outbreak and its impact on Vermont, with the latest developments delivered to your inbox.


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