Ukraines top cop walks thin blue line between Russian meddling free election

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgOTTAWA — Two weeks after Serhii Kniaziev’s military career ended, the Iron Curtain fell, the Soviet Union crumbled and the young ex-soldier returned to Ukraine and quickly found his calling — the thin blue line of policing.In the latter days of his military service, he was posted to the volatile Caucuses region, where ethnic conflict and strife rose amid the Soviet Union’s disintegration.“I came back to an independent Ukraine,” Kniaziev said through a translator on a recent visit to Ottawa. “That was also the reason I decided to become a policeman because I was exposed during my military service to blood and to fighting that took place in that time, at that area.”A generation later, Kniaziev is the chief of the National Police of Ukraine at a pivotal moment in his country’s history. He is now responsible for protecting the integrity of Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election.The election faces daily threats from a familiar source: a determined Russia bent on using cyberspace to sow disinformation to undermine the democratic ambitions of a country it still considers part of its orbit.“I feel a great sense of responsibility, ensuring the proper elections,” said Kniaziev, whose furrowed brow and strapping, thick frame suggests the presence of invisible anvils on each of his broad shoulders.“Unfortunately we are in a position that Russia is our enemy now, and Russia has never been weak. We have to be very honest and very realistic in assessing the capabilities of Russia.”Kniaziev spent time with RCMP counterparts, Toronto police and other leading federal government officials in Canada’s diplomatic and security apparatus in Ottawa earlier this winter. Canada has been helping Ukraine build its national police force following the tumultuous events of early 2014 that saw the ouster of the country’s Kremlin-backed president after pro-democracy Maidan protests in Kyiv, and Moscow’s subsequent invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.The Police Training Assistance Project, run by Global Affairs Canada, is part of the government’s broader assistance to Ukraine, which includes a Canadian Armed Forces mission of 200 trainers that was extended last week, the deployment of hundreds of election observers for the upcoming ballot and the imposition of sanctions on more than 100 Russians.Kniaziev and his Canadian counterparts exchanged information and best practices on how to cope with the inevitable threat of foreign interference in elections.Canada has struck a special committee, a “critical election protocol,” composed of five senior public servants who will decide whether a malign act of interference in this October’s federal election warrants going public in the middle of the campaign.Kniaziev and his Ukrainian colleagues describe their country as a petri dish for Russian cyberattacks — known in 21st Century military doctrine as “hybrid war” — and say the countries that partner with it, such as a Canada, have a lot to learn from them as well.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland echoed that sentiment recently, calling Ukraine a “laboratory” for Russian disinformation campaigns in cyberspace that Canada has learned from.Russia has also undertaken traditional military manoeuvres against Ukraine by seizing Crimea and supporting separatist rebels in its eastern Donbass region, but cyberspace has become the main battlefield.“In 2014, these were military activities — war fighting. But in 2015, ’16, ’17, ’18 they’ve changed their ways and we are in the midst of hybrid war,” said Kniaziev.That has come to encompass a wide spectrum of malign activity, from trying to directly hack the online infrastructure of elections, to influencing public opinion through misinformation and generally sowing unrest.“Whenever Russia doesn’t feel like it wants to be involved in direct, naked aggression they are involved in all of these subversive hybrid activities,” said Kniaziev.Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, said as the election nears, Russia has launched daily cyberattacks on Ukraine’s digital election infrastructure, its critical infrastructure and media.Ukrainian police and the Mounties are also working together on a daily basis. “It’s a very practical co-operation,” he said. “We can witness true camaraderie between Canadians and Ukrainians.”The constant state of vigilance has also created a heightened state of national stress, something Kniaziev only realized after spending time on the beat with rank and file Toronto police officers during his recent trip.As he headed back to Ukraine, he came to recognize the need to incorporate mental health professionals into the daily patrols of his country’s police officers as part of their regular interactions with Ukrainian citizens.“We have quite a number of people who have so-called Vietnam syndrome, meaning some mental issues,” he said.“The society in general does not understand who these people are, where they are coming from. The approach we saw in Toronto really impressed us.”Kniaziev blames the ongoing strife with Russia for affecting his country’s national psyche.“It’s been six years of ongoing war with our neighbour, so Ukrainian society lives in a totally different reality, if we were to compare with the Canadian society.”Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


WHY THE CAST OF PET SEMATARY LOOKS SO FAMILIAR

Posted On Oct 15 2019 by

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement It’s been decades since the first movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary taught audiences not to trust their cats, and America is well overdue for a refresher. Luckily for us, there’s 1992’s Pet Sematary Two, the sequel so bad that King had his name removed from the credits. And luckily for people who don’t like bleeding from their eyes, there’s the 2019 remake of the original.Directed by relative newcomers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and written by The Prodigy’s Jeff Buhler, Pet Sematary has received a load of positive reviews for its creepy atmosphere, commitment to the source material, and altogether ooky cast of characters. But who were the actors who decided that sometimes, not letting a franchise die is better? Let’s take a look at the talent behind the film and why so many of them look familiar. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Obssa Ahmed Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Nicole Potcner Inducted Into Psi Chi National Honor Society

Posted On Sep 11 2019 by

first_imgWORCESTER, MA — The Assumption College Department of Psychology has announced that Nicole Potcner, Wilmington, has become a member of the Psychology National Honor Society, Psi Chi. Potcner, Class of 2018, was inducted into the honor society this spring.“Students named to Assumption College’s chapter of Psi Chi have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to and mastery of their academic studies,” said Louise Carroll Keeley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the College. “Earning membership to an honor society is among the highest academic recognitions for an undergraduate.”Psi Chi was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduates, of junior or senior academic standing, who have chosen psychology as their major or minor. Inductees must also have completed nine semester hours of psychology courses, rank in the top 35 percent of their class, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.25, in both psychology classes and in overall cumulative grades. Psi Chi members are invited to submit scholarly articles to the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, apply for research grants, and attend and present at regional and national conferences.About Assumption CollegeFounded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester, Mass., Assumption College is a Catholic liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate students 41 majors and 48 minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and professional studies; as well as master’s and continuing education degrees and professional certificate programs-each through an educational experience that is grounded in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. The curriculum enables students to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge that leads to professional success and personal fulfillment. Students-whether on the Worcester campus or at the College’s Rome, Italy, campus-become engaged participants in Assumption’s classic liberal arts education, exploring new ideas and making connections across disciplines. To prepare for the workforce, students learn cutting-edge theory and best practices, conduct innovative research, and develop excellent communication and critical-analysis skills. Assumption graduates are also known for their thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service to their community. For more information about Assumption College, please visit www.assumption.edu.(NOTE: The above press release is from Assumption College via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Rachel Johansson Inducted Into International Psychology Honor SocietyIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Jacqueline Ryan Inducted Into Philosophy International Honor SocietyIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Assumption CollegeIn “Education”last_img read more


Tesla shows interest in building large ebattery plants in India

Posted On Sep 5 2019 by

first_imgTesla Electric CarTesla MotorsMajor companies like Tesla and Amperex Technology Co. Ltd have shown interest in India’s plan to build large factories to produce lithium-ion batteries. The Indian government had earlier announced an investment of Rs 50,000 crore to build battery manufacturing plants in the country.Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s initiative to make India a global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and their components has been luring the global investors. India is currently the world’s third-largest crude oil importer. If India can slash crude consumption it can save precious foreign exchange, besides controlling pollution in major cities.As per the LiveMint report, the expenditure finance committee (EFC) has approved the proposal to set up 50-gigawatt hour factories. The final tender is expected to be declared by February. The successful completion of one such project can power 50 million homes for an hour and around 1.5 million electric vehicles. Representative ImageReutersTesla is the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles. According to a report in Forbes, the market share for EVs is stagnant without the inclusion of Tesla auto. But the Elon Musk-run company is still stepping back when it comes to a launch in India, citing reasons like ‘challenging government regulations’ and extremely high import duties in the country.The federal policy think tank, Niti Aayog, has been pushing the idea to build the plant to achieve similar results as of Tesla through its Gigafactory in Nevada, US. The project aims at releasing the technology in the market and let the users decide what’s best suited for them.  Tesla GigafactoryReutersThe report clarifies that the programme aims at building 12 gigawatt-scale facilities, having a potential of 10GWh each by 2030. It further states that the government will be focusing on tax incentives for manufacturers and a basic customs duty safeguard from 2021 to 2030 to encourage private sector investment for making advanced chemistry cells and batteries in India.The 2019 budget proposed by Nirmala Sitharaman has already announced tax rebates of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for customers on interest paid on loans to buy EVs, with a total exemption benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh over the entire loan period to encourage the sales of electric vehicles. The Goods and Services Tax Council has also announced the tax cuts on electric vehicles and chargers from August 1.last_img read more


Dengue patients exceed 50000

Posted On Sep 3 2019 by

first_imgThe pediatric ward at Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital in Dhaka is overcrowded with dengue patients. In this picture taken on 16 August 2019 children are seen at the corridors of the hospital. Photo: Dipu MalakarThe number of dengue patients in the country has exceeded 50,000. Hospitals are overflowing with this unprecedented influx of dengue patients.Last year a total of 10,148 dengue patients had been admitted to hospitals all around the country. That record was broken in July this year with the admission of 16,253 patients to various hospitals. And just in the first 16 days of August, over 31,500 patients were admitted.Dengue season begins in April and ends in October, with the highest number of patients generally being affected in September. Given the present weather conditions, entomologist Manzur Chowdhury told Prothom Alo, “It is not likely that the incidence of dengue will decrease any time soon. All measures must be stepped up to keep people away from mosquitoes.”The health directorate’s health emergency operations centre and control room has said that according to information from 10 government and semi-government hospitals, 30 private hospitals and civil surgeons around the country, a total of 1719 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals on Friday. They put the number of dengue patients this year at 49,999. Of the, 42,243 have been released from hospital after treatment.Given the burgeoning number of patients, the health ministry has opened a special dengue ward at the national orthopaedic hospital (better known as pangu hospital).Coordinator of the ward AHM Akhteruzzaman on Friday, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, a 14-year-old girl with dengue was admitted to the ward on that day. Two children with dengue were admitted to Mahanagar Shishu Hospital on Friday too.These two hospitals are not on the government’s list. Referring to this, assistant director of the health emergency operations centre and control room, Ayesha Akhter, told Prothom Alo that the number of dengue patients in hospitals exceeded 50,000.The actual number of patients, however, is much higher. Not all information from hospitals around the country comes to the health emergency operations centre and control room in Dhaka.There is also no record of how many patients are being treated at physicians’ private chambers. Almost all government and semi-government hospitals are providing outdoor treatment to dengue patients too.At Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University alone, this year 5,300 dengue patients have been treated so far at the outdoor department. There is no collective record of all this information.According to government records, so far 40 patients have died of dengue this year. However, Prothom Alo reports put this number at 145, based in information from various hospitals, civil surgeons and families of the patients.Of the 40 persons who died of dengue according to official records, 27 died of dengue shock syndrome. Last the year the main cause of dengue deaths was dengue haemorrhagic fever. This year it is dengue shock syndrome.Dengue has increased exponentially this year due to the failure of the two Dhaka city corporations to tackle the Aedes mosquito menace.Virologist Nurul Islam, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, “This is the first time in Bangladesh’s history that so many people have been admitted to hospital for a disease in such a short span of time.”* This report appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more


The Drone Industry Thoughts From an Outsider

Posted On Aug 30 2019 by

first_img I’ve always loved technology and recently became one of the growing number of Americans to buy a drone. Like many drone operators, I marvel at the current commercial and recreational applications as well as the potential for the future. The FAA estimates there are 1.9 million drones used by hobbyists in the U.S. today. By 2020, this number is expected to rise to 4.3 million, showing the huge growth potential for this fledgling industry.Related: Walmart Wants Drones in Stores Shopping for YouBut before this industry expands further, there are a few very valid concerns we need to address. Even as a newcomer, I can immediately recognize the responsibility drone operators need in regards to safety and privacy. As unmanned aerial vehicles become ubiquitous, the technology will move faster than the laws meant to regulate the industry. Thus, it’s crucial that the drone industry is proactive at self-regulation. This includes collaboration between manufacturers to create an industry standards board to oversee the implementation of enhanced safety software, as well as the education for drone operators, and the public, about drone usage.This may create more obstacles for the industry’s short term profits, but its long-range sustainability will be given the chance to flourish when the public sees drones as a beneficial tool, not some snooping eye in the sky.We’ve all heard the stories of drones spying on sunbathing women. As cliché as it is, this happened to my wife while she was on our “private” deck and a drone suddenly appeared above her. While Americans recognize the benefits of drones, especially when used for search and rescue purposes or safety inspection, privacy infringement concerns remain due to misuse of the technology.The government is trying to keep pace. There are state laws in place that outlaw using a drone to capture images of either a nude or partially nude person. But the keywording in these laws is “capturing images” because states can’t dictate where drones can legally fly. These flight path regulations are determined by the FAA, which doesn’t deal with privacy issues, only airborne safety.These sets of guidelines and state laws are inconsistent across the country and lack enforcement, which opens the door for non-compliance. With these challenges comes opportunity. If the drone industry can be proactive by rolling out systems that protect public privacy and safety, it can avoid public backlash as widespread drone usage increases.Related: UPS Tests Drone-Based Package DeliveriesTo keep hobbyist and commercial drones seen as a positive tool, the industry needs to add software that makes it readily apparent when a drone is filming. This could include loud beeps every 10 seconds while recording or every time a drone takes a photo, as well as including bright flashing lights to make it more visible to anyone on the ground. While this does not address government or law enforcement surveillance, it’s a step in the right direction for privacy protection in the hobbyist and commercial markets.While peeping on women dominates the headlines, there is also the potential for much more serious safety concerns. Manufacturers have taken some initiative on protecting public safety by installing collision avoidance algorithms. But the current technology only works if the drone is flying forward, not while ascending, or flying sideways or backwards. Perfecting this safety system will help alleviate concerns regarding collisions with aircraft, people, powerlines and other drones.Geofencing software is also currently available in most high-end consumer drones to limit flying in restricted airspace. DJI, the market leader in the recreational sector, has led the charge with this technology, due in large part to a DJI drone crashing on the White House lawn in 2015. By perfecting this technology and making it ubiquitous across all models, the industry can keep critical airspace uncrowded and decrease public safety concerns.  One other major challenge we face is getting drone pilots, young and old, to think and act like commercial airline pilots. These pilots follow safety procedures that have been honed over the past 100 years, including a keen understanding of how human factors, technological limitations and safety systems are interrelated. While the FAA does require drone operators to pass a series of exams for commercial use, the same is not required for hobbyists.The lack of proper training leads to major safety concerns. If any teenager in America (and beyond) can get a drone for Christmas or their birthday, what systems are in place to ensure they use it safely? I’m not trying to suggest that every single drone owner needs to take extensive FAA courses in order to fly. But we do need a standardized training course of high-level safety points as well as a primer on local, state and federal laws.Related: Drone Accidents: Not Your Fault?The sky is the limit for the growth of the drone industry. The issues that could lead to public backlash or government intervention are known. Now it’s up to us as pilots — and the industry as a whole — to prevent this from happening by self-regulating while the government plays catchup.With improved hardware and software that’s pervasive across different manufacturers and models, we can ease privacy and safety concerns. Meanwhile, standardizing basic education will help bring a sense of professionalism and accountability to all new pilots. This is not something we do soon, this is something we need to do now to ensure this transformative technology continues to grow and improve virtually every aspect of our work and lives. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 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