IT news – Infogima Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:04:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 IT news – Infogima 32 32 ‘This is how it should be’: replanting the Daintree rainforest | Australia News Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:00:00 +0000

As Andrew Solomon looks up at the rainforest canopy in the lands of Kuku Yalanji near Cape Tribulation, his eyes start to tear up.

“When I came back for the first time, I felt someone was following me. I could feel a presence. I was not wearing any shoes and all of a sudden I felt a flash of electricity rise through me from the ground. It was the country that spoke to me, it welcomed me in return.

Solomon is a traditional owner of the Kuku Yalanji land in the Daintree Rainforest in far north Queensland. The World Heritage Site, Cape York, on Australia’s northern peninsula, is considered one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

In the 1980s, parts of the Daintree were subdivided, with over 1,000 lots allocated for private sale and development. Thirty-five years later, without basic infrastructure such as power or water, life in this remote part of far north Queensland can be as hard as it is beautiful on its occupants.

On May 1 of this year, Solomon hosted a special welcome to the country ceremony on what has long been known as ‘Lot 46’, a 28 hectare freehold block of land north of the Daintree River which was purchased by Rainforest Rescue in 2010.

Founded in 1998, the mission of the non-profit organization is to redeem blocks of land in the Daintree and, in partnership with local indigenous peoples, regenerate them into a natural rainforest habitat. After Solomon’s smoking ceremony, lot 46 was renamed “Kurranji Bubu”, Land of cassowary in the Kuku Yalanji language.

“Our Mother Earth is also a spirit and we are learning to connect with it. She wants to take care of us, but we also have to take care of her.

Rainforest Rescue Executive Director Branden Barber says working with Indigenous Traditional Owners is critical to their success.

“We keep asking questions [of traditional owners] about the types of ecosystems that have existed in different parts of the rainforest and that have adapted our planting priorities. It all comes down to respect.

“This is not our land. I’m not a big person for private property, never have been. It’s actually a funny thing to be considered one of the biggest landowners in Daintree.

“We’re never going to do anything with this land… and there is a natural bridge with the traditional owners because of our intentions. We both come from a common place of gratitude and the local indigenous people know that we are not going to exploit the land. “

The revegetation of rainforest ecosystems has enormous environmental benefits, especially with regard to the unique location of the Daintree and its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.

Volunteers traveled from all over Australia to attend the annual tree planting day on the 'Night Wings' property in far north Queensland.  In one day, 3,500 trees were planted.
Andrew Solomon, a traditional owner of “Lot 46” which has been regenerated by Rainforest Rescue over a ten-year period, performs a Welcome to Country before renaming the block “Kurranji Bubu”, Cassowary Land in the Yalanji language.
Andrew Solomon, a traditional owner of Kuku Yalanji, attends the tree planting day at the Night Wings property near Wonga Beach in Daintree in far north Queensland.

“One of our contributions is to restore land, restore soil and remove carbon from the atmosphere,” says Barber.

To date, Rainforest Rescue has purchased 35 properties in the Daintree, some of which have been cleaned up, cleared and revegetated; others were already intact rainforest habitats.

“Stay tuned,” Barber said with a smile. “It’s almost 36 years old.”

Non-indigenous landowners who share the desire to revegetate their land into rainforest ecosystems are also involved. Annie Schoenberger’s property, Night Wings, is in the eastern lands of Kuku Yalanji, south of the Daintree River.

“I bought this land in 2014 and started reforestation in 2015. It was a plan from the start to reforest and since then we have planted 70,000 trees.

Local sugar cane grower Clint Reynolds and his daughter attend the annual Tree Planting Day on the Night Wings' property.

Schoenberger worked with Rainforest Rescue to restore his property to its original rainforest habitat, and each year they held tree planting days at his farm. Last year’s event was canceled due to Covid-19 but this year at the end of April more than 100 people showed up to help plant trees.

Traditional owner Julaywarra Bennett Walker worked with Schoenberger to revegetate her property.

“When I heard that Annie was going to replant here, because it’s in our country, I thought it was a good opportunity to do something.”

Bennett Walker, traditional and former owner of Yajanji, stands on what was once a sugarcane field in Daintree, in far north Queensland.  The farm, now owned by Annie Schoenberger, is replanted with native rainforest vegetation.

“I grew up here cutting cane when I was 16 or 17. But being young, I didn’t know what it was doing to the environment.

Walker remembers the landscape before the sugar cane farms dominated.

“When we lived in the mission at the time, it was all bush and brush. Going from Daintree to Mossman was only a small trail, but because we were in the mission we weren’t allowed out of there, we were limited.

“All our animals were disappearing, were repelled. But since we started doing that, now we can see cassowaries, frogs and things like that coming back to this area. And that, for me, is something to see for my grandchildren. They would have missed this part of our story if it hadn’t been for this.

An old sugar cane field is prepared for replanting with native vegetation at the 'Night Wings' wildlife sanctuary in Daintree, Far North Queensland.

It’s not just the return of natural flora and fauna that concerns Walker. When asked if it is possible that the cultivation of sugarcane and the rainforest coexist, he pauses for a moment to think.

“I guess it could, but as I get older my people, my people, have been affected by diabetes. Sugar is a real problem in my community. My wife and I are diabetic and we don’t touch sugar anymore.

Walker points to the mountains of the national park that border the property. “This is what it was and how it should be.”

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FBI seizure of Bitcoin wallet won’t stop ransomware, but it’s a start Fri, 11 Jun 2021 09:00:46 +0000

The surprise announcement by the FBI on Monday that it had seized part of the ransom Colonial Pipeline paid to hackers was a double shock.

On the one hand, it was major news that the US government had flexed its cybersecurity muscles on behalf of the owner and operator of the country’s largest fuel pipeline, taking over a bitcoin account and marking the first public recovery of funds from a known ransomware gang.

On the other hand, it raised a question: why hadn’t the United States done this before?

Ransomware has been a pervasive and ongoing problem for years, but one that has attracted little action by authorities. And while recovering some of the ransom has marked a new front for the United States, it also hints at the relatively limited options for deterring hackers.

Philip Reiner, CEO of the Institute for Security and Technology, a San Francisco think tank that produced a seminal report on anti-ransomware policies, hailed the FBI’s decision as important, but said it was difficult to assume anything other than that.

“It remains to be seen how well the FBI can support this kind of action,” Reiner said. “It’s a big first step, but we need to see a lot more.”

The FBI has recovered a significant amount of money – 63.7 bitcoins, worth around $ 2.3 million – but that’s only a tiny fraction of the money the groups are making of ransomware. DarkSide, the hacker group that raped Colonial, has made more than $ 90 million since becoming an operational public hacker group in fall 2020, according to Analysis from Elliptic, a company that tracks cryptocurrency transactions.

And DarkSide wasn’t even one of the most prolific ransomware groups, said Brett Callow, analyst at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft.

“While the seizure of funds is positive, I don’t think it will be a deterrent at all,” Callow said in a text message. “For criminals it’s winning some, losing some situations, and the amount they earn means the occasional loss is a minor setback.”

JBS, one of the largest meat processing plants in the United States, said on Wednesday it had paid $ 11 million to its hackers, REvil, even after it restored most of its files. The company’s reasoning, he said, was that it feared persistent computer problems and the possibility of hackers leaking files.

The ransom recovery comes as ransomware – a hot topic in the cybersecurity world and quietly spread – has become a national security concern, with President Joe Biden vowing to act.

The Colonial Pipeline hack, which led some gas stations to run out of fuel and brief fears of a major outage, was a turning point in the United States’ response to the ransomware. It gained national attention, and the Justice Department soon decided this would raise ransomware to the same priority as terrorism cases.

For cybersecurity experts, this attention was long overdue. Americans have suffered ransomware attacks in virtually every walk of life in recent years. The same types of hackers have racked up fortunes by shutting down and extorting businesses, city and county governments, and police stations. They have closed schools and slowed down hospitals at a breakneck pace. The ransomware outbreak caused $ 75 billion in damage in 2020 alone, according to Emsisoft.

The FBI has known about the problem from the start. He received complaints from 2,474 ransomware victims in 2020 alone, and continues to build long-standing cases of ransomware hackers.

But the agency faces difficult jurisdictional issues. If the hackers were based in the United States, it could stop them directly. If they were in a country with a law enforcement agreement with the United States, the FBI could partner with colleagues there to arrange an arrest.

But the majority of the most prolific ransomware gangs are based in Russia or other Eastern European countries that do not extradite their citizens to the United States.

In the past, the United States has been able to stop russian cybercriminals because they pass through countries that have such an agreement with the United States. But so far no such case has been made public with the ransomware operators.

This leaves the agency with more limited options on how it may have responded. People like Reiner, the CEO behind the ransomware policy report, argued that the best way to quickly reduce the impact of hackers was to disrupt their payments, which the FBI finally announced on Monday.

“Why is this only happening now? Said Reiner. “I think we can rest assured that the people on the criminal side are definitely checking their systems and looking at each other, wondering what happened. It puts a stutter in their step.”

The FBI was deliberately vague on Monday in describing exactly how it seized the funds. Bitcoin accounts work much like an email address: users have a public account, called a wallet, which can be accessed with a secret password, called a key. In the FBI warrant request to seize the funds, he simply stated that “the private key” is “in the possession of the FBI in the Northern District of California”, without specifying how he obtained this private key.

Speaking to reporters on a press call, Elvis Chan, a deputy special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in San Francisco, said the agency was unwilling to clarify how it came into possession of the key so that criminal hackers are less likely to find ways to bypass it.

“I don’t want to give up our craft in case we want to use it again for future endeavors,” he said.

This means that it is not known how often the FBI will be able to deploy it. It is not known, for example, why the agency was not able to recover all the money paid by Colonial.

Chan said, however, that the method was not limited to criminals making the major mistake of using a U.S. cryptocurrency service while circulating their money.

“The foreigner is not a problem for this technique,” he said.

Gurvais Grigg, public sector chief technology officer at Chainalysis, a company that tracks bitcoin transactions, said that while stopping ransomware hackers would be the best deterrent, stopping their money flow is a big help.

“It is important to identify those who carried out an attack, to put handcuffs on the wrists, to seize the ill-gotten gains they have and return them to the victim. This must remain a goal. But it takes more than that. this, ”Grigg said. in a Zoom interview.

“The key to disrupting ransomware is disrupting the ransomware supply chain,” like their payments, he said.

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When it comes to data modernization, “technology is only part of the puzzle” Thu, 10 Jun 2021 16:07:47 +0000

According to Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, Acting Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Public Health Science and Surveillance, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the gaps in disease surveillance “in a very real way “.

At the start of the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included $ 500 million in allocations to the CDC specifically for the modernization of public health data.

The agency used this money to complement other funding for its Data Modernization Initiative activities, aimed at effectively identifying and mitigating emerging threats and better preparing the country for public health risks.

A lesson from all of this, Jernigan said at DirectTrust Summit 2021 this week, is “never let a crisis go to waste.”

“When COVID hit us in January [2020], some systems were in place and we were able to use them, but they were not interoperable; they weren’t scalable, ”Jernigan said.

Last summer, the former Trump administration raised the alarm when it ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and instead report COVID-19 patient data to the US Department of Health and Human Services. At the time, the move caused confusion and chaos in hospitals, which had only a few days notice to make the change.

But the administration maintained the change was necessary to stay on top of the pandemic, given the limitations of the CDC’s existing tools.

Jernigan noted the complexity of arriving at a place of “true interoperability”, which aims to ensure that health information is shared in the right way, through the right channel, at the right time.

“We think of it in terms of the process at ground level,” he explained.

For example, officers meet with forensic pathologists and coroners regarding death data to investigate barriers to reporting. Some users found the reporting systems to be cumbersome, while others had technological issues.

“A forensic pathologist just didn’t have a computer,” Jernigan said.

He stressed the importance of the person when it comes to public health data. “Technology is only part of the puzzle,” he said. “Modernization isn’t just about technical upgrades. People can use data to answer pressing policy questions and make decisions to save lives.”

Jernigan noted that iterative construction is essential: “For people accustomed to legacy systems, new technology can seem like a barrier. We focus on listening to end users” – while trying to minimize the delay between assumption and discovery.

Jernigan also argued that shared solutions are more powerful and more sustainable.

“None of us operate in a bubble,” he said. Ultimately, he said, one of the goals of the Data Modernization Initiative is to “put people – and keep them – at the center”.

Kat Jercich is Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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Qld and NSW COVID exposure sites released after positive case confirmed – as happened Wed, 09 Jun 2021 22:09:33 +0000

Health authorities recommend that pregnant women receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Health experts now officially recommend that pregnant women be offered the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of their pregnancy.

The previous advice had been that pregnant women at high risk of catching COVID-19, or who had medical conditions that would make them more vulnerable to the disease, should consider getting vaccinated.

But official health advice remained unclear on which women were not at risk of getting sick.

Now, the health expert group advising the government on the vaccine, ATAGI, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RANZCOG) have released an update to this advisory.

“RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women be offered the Pfizer mRNA vaccine routinely at any stage of pregnancy,” they said in a joint statement.

“This is because the risk of serious consequences from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

“Global surveillance data from a large number of pregnant women has identified no significant safety issues with COVID-10 mRNA vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy.”

The health advice for nursing mothers was already that they should get the Pfizer vaccine, with authorities saying new evidence showed it could help pass immunity to their babies.

By political journalist Coupling Georgia.

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ICCC Board of Directors Approves Roof Replacement and Updates Policies | News, Sports, Jobs Wed, 09 Jun 2021 05:06:53 +0000

The old Iowa Central Community College Student Support Services building will soon have a new roof.

The ICCC Board of Directors approved the plans and specifications for the Art and Technology building roof replacement project at its Monday evening meeting. The building previously housed student support services before they moved to the new Greehey Family Student Success Center last year.

Bids from contractors will be open and a public hearing for the project will take place at 5 p.m. on July 13 in the boardroom of the Triton Cafe.

“Due to obtaining materials for the roof, we might consider doing it next summer” Angie Martin, vice president of finance and operations, said.

Construction and building materials are scarce, she said, which could delay the start of the project, but the college is still planning to secure offers for now.

The board also approved updates to several board policies presented by Stacy Mentzer, vice president of education.

The updates were only intended to add one sentence to make it easier for students and staff to report policy issues to college management – “Individuals can log into the Triton Pass and click on ‘Concern Form’ to report any concerns they have. “

Tom Beneke, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Development, presented to the Board the summary of the 2020-2021 Enrollment Management Plan.

The presentation was a summary of the activities that different departments had planned to do to help recruit potential students over the past year. He noted that while many plans have had to be canceled or changed due to COVID-19, the results look promising.

“The main metrics for fall – housing, FAFSA apps, and general apps – these things are up, they’re going up” said Beneke.

Jim Kersten, vice president of external affairs and government relations, provided an update on the 2021 legislative session in Iowa. He noted that there was “Good, strong” bipartisan support for Iowa community colleges at the Statehouse. The legislature has passed $ 1.75 million in funding for workforce training at Iowa community colleges, which will translate to $ 383,000 in new funding for Iowa Central.

Before adjourning the meeting, board chairman Mark Crimmins noted that Monday’s meeting would be the last without a college president at the helm since former Iowa Central president Dan Kinney, in December.

“I would like to congratulate our entire firm for taking care of us for six months”, Crimmins said, referring to the vice presidents who ran the college in the absence of a president.

Fort Dodge Community School District Superintendent Jesse Ulrich will assume his new role as President of Iowa Central on July 1.

The next meeting of the ICCS Board of Directors will take place on July 13 at 5 p.m.

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Toronto restaurants prepare to reopen their patios on Friday Tue, 08 Jun 2021 13:30:00 +0000

TORONTO – The city’s restaurant owners are preparing to reopen their patios this weekend for the first time in months after the province announced on Monday that Ontario would enter the first phase of its reopening plan on Friday.

As part of Stage 1 of the Ford government’s reopening roadmap, non-essential retail businesses can reopen at 15% capacity and restaurants and bars can open patios for outdoor dining.

The province had originally planned to enter the first stage on June 14, but the drop in the number of cases and hospitalizations combined with an increase in vaccination rates prompted the prime minister to start stage 1 at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, three days before the scheduled date.

“It’s a bit of a panic, it’s a bit of a rush but it’s a good feeling,” Shamez Amlani, co-owner of Queen West La Palette bistro, told CP24 on Monday. “It is so necessary.”

Meg Marshall, director of Queen West BIA, called the reopening “exceptional news”.

“It will be a time of celebration when our terraces open,” Marshall told CP24 Monday afternoon. “We can go back to a life we ​​once knew by enjoying the city and the nightlife. “

Albert Stortchak, owner of Der Dietemann Antiques and member of the board of directors of Broadview-Danforth BIA, said the business community was “delighted” that the reopening process has finally started.

“If the immunization and COVID numbers move in the right direction, I mean we hope the province accelerates the entry into phase 2,” he said.

The province has said it will only move to the next stage of reopening, which will allow personal care services to resume operations, at least 21 days after moving to Stage 1.

“I mean the restaurants and my retail business, we’re opening up, but it’s the nail salons and other services, the hair salons, they’re also in a lot of pain,” Stortchak told CP24 Tuesday morning.

“Everyone is in debt. You’ve put your family on, you’ve used your line of credit, you may have re-mortgaged, and government programs are coming to an end, so the lifelines are gone. It is the reopening and the return of consumers, it is the lifeline that we desperately need. “

In a statement on Tuesday, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said a recent survey of small businesses shows that about two-thirds believe the plan to reopen the province is too slow.

“Ontario businesses are incredibly frustrated because they have had little or no opportunity to make sales, while the rest of the country is reopening much faster,” CFIB President Dan Kelly said in a statement. written press release.

Kelly called the province’s announcement on Monday “much needed good news” for restaurants and retailers, but noted that gyms, hair salons and stores in malls with no street-facing entrance must remain closed for at least three additional weeks.

“At this rate, many provinces will return to normal business operations before Ontarians can even have their hair cut. We have to pick up the pace now, or many businesses won’t even reopen, ”he said.

“Most of these low-risk businesses have been open for weeks or months in other provinces or, like retail in BC, have never been closed at all during the pandemic.”

CFIB is calling on the Ford government to add hair salons and other personal care services to the list of businesses eligible to reopen Friday.

The organization is also asking the province to allow gyms and fitness centers to open with limited capacity this weekend.

According to the CFIB, the three-week interval between new reopening rounds must be shortened and the province must put in place “a new plan that is faster and more in line with the other provinces.”

“The level of anger and desperation we hear from business owners is alarming. They see their life’s work crumbling because of the province’s inaction, ”Kelly’s statement continued.

“The Ontario government needs to allow more businesses to reopen faster, so they can catch up with their counterparts across the country. “

Dr David Williams, outgoing Ontario chief medical officer of health, said that while he understands that everyone is “keen to keep moving fast,” the province wants to make sure cases don’t come back. before moving on to the next stage of reopening.

“We have been careful and slow and we want to do the same with step 2,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

“Our model right now is to look at that three-week period between stages to ensure that a stable trend direction we’re happy with won’t just bounce back again.”

He said authorities will continue to assess the number of cases and vaccination rates in the coming weeks.

“We continue to review and assess these data points,” he said.

“The 21 (days) will of course allow the vaccination and the numbers to take hold. We don’t want to go to step 2 and say, “Oops, let’s go back to step 1”.

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DOJ seizes millions in ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:30:00 +0000

The Justice Department announced on Monday that it had successfully seized millions of dollars in Colonial Pipeline cryptocurrency paid to cybercriminal group DarkSide following last month’s ransomware attack that led the pipeline to briefly shut down operations. , according to an unsealed seizure warrant Monday afternoon.

“Earlier today, the Department of Justice found and recovered the majority of the Colonial ransom paid to the DarkSide Network as a result of last month’s ransomware attack. Ransomware attacks are still unacceptable – but when they target critical infrastructure, we will spare no effort in our response, ”Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a press conference.

“Today we turned the tables on DarkSide,” she said. “By addressing the entire ecosystem that powers ransomware and digital extortion attacks, including the proceeds of crime in the form of digital currency, we will continue to use all of our tools and resources to increase the cost and consequences of ransomware and other cyber attacks. “

The Colonial Pipeline hack was carried out by actors from DarkSide, the FBI said in a brief statement days after the attack.

Colonial transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. The company was up and running within days, but the slowdown meant there were still delays following the attack.

In May, the company admitted to paying a million ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

“We had to do everything in our power to restart the system quickly and safely. The decision was made to pay the ransom,” the company said. This decision was not taken lightly, however, a decision that had to be made. Tens of millions of Americans depend on Colonial – hospitals, emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighters, airports, truck drivers and the traveling public. Our focus remains on continuing operations to safely deliver fine products to the communities we serve. “

The CEO of the company said in an interview last month that he authorized a payment of $ 4.3 million to the DarkSide group just hours after the company learned of the attack because executives were unsure how much. long it might take to get the pipeline back up and running.

The total amount of DarkSide’s seizure, DOJ officials said on Monday, was 63.7 bitcoins worth around $ 2.3 million.

News of the seizure was first reported by CNN.

Monaco used Monday’s announcement to urge businesses to act.

“In this landscape of heightened threats, we all have a role to play in keeping our country safe. No organization is immune. So today I want to emphasize to business and community leaders that the threat of serious ransomware attacks is a clear and current threat. danger for your organization, for your company, for your customers, for your shareholders and for your long-term success ”, she warned.

“So be careful now. Invest resources now. Failure to do so could be the difference between being safe now or being a victim later,” she said.

In an effort to get more cooperation from businesses, the Department of Homeland Security announced shortly after the Colonial Pipeline hack that it would require all pipeline companies to report a cyber incident within hours of it happening. product.

The directive came from the Transportation Security Administration, a branch of DHS known to protect the skies that also oversees pipeline safety.

Companies will be required to report pipeline cyber attacks to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration within 12 hours of the breach; set up a 24/7 cyber coordinator who can respond to incidents and coordinate with the TSA; and fix the broken pipeline within 30 days and define a plan to proceed.

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NAB, Crown and SkyCity face AUSTRAC money laundering investigations Mon, 07 Jun 2021 00:08:44 +0000

The National Australia Bank, Crown Perth and SkyCity all face the possibility of multi-million dollar penalties for potential breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

In separate statements to ASX this morning, NAB, Crown and SkyCity told investors they had been referred to AUSTRAC’s law enforcement team after identifying a potential “non- serious compliance ”with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws.

AUSTRAC is the federal financial regulator responsible for preventing organized criminals and terrorists from using banks and other regulated companies that manage money to facilitate their operations.

Crown’s casino in Melbourne was already under surveillance for practices that could have facilitated money laundering.

SkyCity’s Adelaide Casino is under surveillance for potential failures in the casino’s treatment of high-risk and politically exposed customers during two periods, July 2015 to June 2016 and July 2018 to June 2019.

The casino operator said it was in talks with AUSTRAC and no decision has yet been made by the regulator on whether and what enforcement action could be taken.

The NAB said it has publicly disclosed its ongoing discussions with AUSTRAC regarding a potential non-compliance since 2017.

He added that since June 2017, the NAB had spent around $ 800 million on a multi-year program to improve its fraud and financial crime controls and employed more than 1,200 people in this area.

The bank noted that AUSTRAC has a wide range of enforcement options, including civil penalties (fines), enforceable covenants (when the bank promises to do or not do certain things), notices of violation and corrective instructions.

Money laundering offenses have resulted in the biggest corporate penalties in Australia, with Westpac paying a fine of $ 1.3 billion last year and the Commonwealth Bank accepting a fine of $ 700 million in 2018.

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COVID-19: What could happen on June 21 if the Prime Minister decides it is not safe to end the restrictions? Here are the options | UK News Sun, 06 Jun 2021 08:37:29 +0000

Boris Johnson has come under pressure in recent weeks to delay the lifting of all COVID restrictions on June 21 after several scientists urged him to do so.

Sky News understands that the government is now “developing other options“- but still hopes to lift all restrictions on the agreed date.

The fourth step in the exit lockdown roadmap involves removing limits on social contact and opening nightclubs and major events.

Several scientists have called for stage four to be delayed by a few weeks due to the growing number of cases of the Indian COVID variant, which is more transmissible than the previous variants.

And Scottish Prime Minister delayed easing COVID measures for many parts of the country, making it difficult for the Prime Minister not to follow suit.

Sky News has looked at Mr Johnson’s options.

Continue with step four – but keep some social restrictions

Officials are looking at a range of options – and one of them is to go ahead but tweak or change the current rules.

This could force people to continue to wear masks in some contexts to perhaps continue home guiding work as the hospitality industry fully unlocks itself.

In early June, Dr Andrew Preston, an infectious disease microbiologist at the University of Bath, said: “I would probably continue to open up because big parties have already done so since May 17 anyway, but I would always wear a mask, a few more social distancing measures but you don’t have to do it all, ”he said.

“Around the same time last year, we said if vaccines could reduce the virus to something like the flu, that would be great – we have it now.

“I think we’ll have to come to terms with the virus being something we live with at some point, unless we say the variants are so deadly that we have to go back to the start – or have a booster that works against them.” “

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What is the extent of the latest outbreak of the Indian variant?

He added that he thinks there has been “a slight selection of data” with the latest cases because “we have always known that the cases will increase after May 17 and we do not know if that opens or them. variants “.

“We know that the Indian variant is not as transmissible as initially thought. I am not convinced that we will have enough understanding in two weeks.”

Delay the fourth step for a few weeks

Government insiders have stressed that the prime minister would rather make changes than postpone the date – but that postponement is an option still on the table.

Dr Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at the University of Leicester, believes the roadmap should be delayed as the virus “is now multiplying rapidly”.

“The epidemics start small, they have to and they get bigger and bigger faster and faster, it’s clear that the virus is escalating and you are entering the realm of a third wave.

“If you open up fully you’re going to see bigger increases than what we’re seeing now – despite increased vaccinations and peak testing, cases continue to increase in hot spots, which has to mean that they are increasing elsewhere. “

“If you open everything up you will see a bigger increase and then the government will panic and close everything again,” he said.

The lifting of the lockdown and the Indian variant have contributed to an increase in infections.  Photo file
The lifting of the lockdown and the Indian variant have contributed to an increase in infections. Photo file

“From a purely virological point of view, you want to know what we are doing now to control the virus down the line.

“At some point you will have to open up, but that should happen after at least 70% of the population has received two doses.

“The government will have to decide what level of virus we can live with.

“Immunologists who dream of eradicating this virus are only dreaming – respiratory viruses are seasonal and none have been eradicated.”

Suspend step four and review current restrictions

Virologist Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor at Leeds University School of Medicine, urged government to “at least take a break” by moving to step four until schools go their separate ways for summer.

He said the government said four tests must be passed to allow each stage of the lockdown to be relaxed, including that a new variant should not raise concerns that it will change strategy.

People eat and drink on the South Bank in central London following the further easing of lockdown restrictions in England.  Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021.
Several restrictions were relaxed on May 17, including that of being able to eat in restaurants

“It is quite clear that this test has not been satisfied at the moment,” he said.

“I would be very concerned to move forward with the unlock plans in June.”

Dr Griffin said the Indian variant, now renamed the Delta variant by the World Health Organization, entered the UK due to “porous and ineffective border policy”, which also means we risk export it.

“Cases continue to increase exponentially and it appears that the spread has not been reduced in some hot spots,” he added.

“In addition, hospitalizations are increasing, with a similar delay to what we have seen too many times before.

“While vaccines have been shown to be very effective in protecting groups who received both doses, it is true that a significant proportion of adults as well as children remain susceptible.”

People lining up for Covid vaccinations at ESSA Bolton Academy as the spread of the Indian variant of the coronavirus could lead to the return of local lockdowns, ministers acknowledged.  Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen and Bedford are the areas of greatest concern to ministers.  Picture date: Tuesday May 18, 2021.
Vaccinations rolled out faster in Indian variant hotspots

The virologist said it was a “very common misconception” that young people do not get seriously ill from COVID, and that with the Indian variant being more transmissible, more people could be hospitalized, exerting “enormous pressure on the NHS”.

He said the government should review current restrictions so that the vaccination schedule aligns with the drop in cases, as Israel has done.

Face masks, social distancing and the restricted number of people should continue so that “the same mistakes as in 2020” are not made.

He added: “Vaccines are the solution for richer countries like the UK, but we must not let impatience cause unnecessary damage along this route.”

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vivo Y73 with triple camera teased before launch Sat, 05 Jun 2021 13:20:01 +0000

vivo unveiled the Y73s last October, and it will follow soon with Vanilla Y73 as the Indian division’s branding director, Mr. Nipun Marya, the phone’s teaser posted on Twitter.

The image reveals the rear panel design of the Y73, which is different from that of the Y73. The camera island, which includes three shooters, also has a different shape. It looks like the camera modules of the vivo X60 and X60 Pro.

Neither Mr. Marya nor vivo tell us anything about the specifications of the Y73, but a recent report claimed the smartphone would be powered by the Helio G95 SoC and sport a 6.44-inch FullHD + AMOLED display with a fingerprint scanner underneath for biometric authentication.

The vivo Y73 will boot FuntouchOS 11.1 based on Android 11 and will have 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage on board. The smartphone will also come with the extended RAM feature that we saw on the X60 Pro and X60 Pro +, which will virtually increase the smartphone’s RAM by 3 GB using internal storage.

The Y73’s camera department will include a total of four cameras – a 16MP selfie shooter inside the notch, with the 64MP main camera on the back joined by a 2MP macro and 2MP depth units.

Keeping the whole package operational will be a 4000mAh battery with a 33W charge.

We don’t have a launch date for the Y73 just yet, but you can expect vivo to release more teasers in the coming days to create a hype around the smartphone.

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