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Switch-Asia Leadership Academy on Circular Economy 2019

first_img LinkedIn 0 Switch-Asia Leadership Academy on Circular Economy 2019 Similar Stories Pocket Deadline:  13 October 2019Open to: young graduates from countries in Asia who are already working in a topic related to circular economyVenue: 2 – 6 December 2019,  Tsinghua University, Beijing, ChinaDescription The SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC) and Tsinghua University are welcoming applications for the 2019 SWITCH-Asia Leadership Academy on Circular Economy in China.The overall objective of the EU funded SWITCH-Asia programme is to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, contribute to the economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Asia and Central Asia and to a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy.Launched in 2007, the programme has achieved more than a decade of progress on SCP in 24 countries in the region. This has been possible through the joint efforts of the three SWITCH-Asia components:The Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC) – implemented by United Nations Environment Programme.The Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility – implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and adelphi.The SWITCH-Asia Grants Programme – directly managed by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission.EligibilityParticipation will be open to participants from the 18 countries (see below);Candidates are required to have completed as a minimum a first university degree in environment, development, engineering, policy, economics or relevant discipline. Completion of postgraduate degree and/or professional training relevant to sustainable development would be considered favorably;Young participants from countries in Asia who are already working in a topic related to circular economy;Junior Government professionals or Junior private sector professionals or development consultant or Junior professionals from the civil society sector.*Eligible Regions: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri LankaBenefitsThe Academy stimulates the sharing of experiences, cases studies and stories from Asia and the EU on circular economy. It includes:Interdisciplinary, project-based, and participatory approaches;The possibility of being part of a growing network of young professionals working with circular economy in Asia;Full scholarship will be provided to the selected participants.How to apply? You can apply using the following link.For more information, please visit this website. Tweet +1 OSCE Academy Summer School Programme 2019 Solidarity Academy in Gdansk, Poland Share 0 October 3, 2019 Published by sanja ← The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Funding for Artistic and Cultural Cooperation The Fishbowl Challenge: Product and Business Planning Competition 2019 → CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: NATO ACADEMY 2020 Redditlast_img read more

Heinrich Secures Significant Advancements For National Laboratories, New Mexico Military Installations, Artificial Intelligence In Annual Defense Spending Bill

first_imgHeinrich’s amendments to strengthen national security and bolster New Mexico’s economy clear Senate Armed Services CommitteeWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and co-founder of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, announced today provisions he secured in the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Heinrich’s measures support New Mexico’s national laboratories, men and women in uniform, military installations, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Artificial Intelligence and job-creating initiatives throughout the state. By a vote of 25-2, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the legislation to the Senate floor for consideration.“The people of New Mexico make tremendous contributions to our national security and work at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development,” Heinrich said. “This bipartisan bill supports our servicemembers and their families, and includes provisions I fought for to strengthen New Mexico’s military installations, national laboratories, WIPP, Spaceport America, and leadership in the future of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, directed energy, and space.”“This bill makes major investments to ensure our Armed Forces are equipped with the state-of-the-art technology needed to stay ahead of our adversaries. New Mexico is the center of excellence for small satellites and for directed energy weapons, and this bill increases funding and streamlines authorities to bolster those missions. I am also proud to have incorporated language that will advance the Department of Defense’s Artificial Intelligence capabilities, and ensure that America stays at the cutting edge of technological advancement. I will continue fighting to include language to maintain the independence of Kirtland Air Force Base’s Space Rapid Capabilities Office and placing a Space Training and Readiness command program in New Mexico,” Heinrich added.The NDAA sets the Department of Defense spending levels and policies for the upcoming fiscal year and authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons programs at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup programs including the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).Heinrich continued, “I am also proud to have authorized funding to support infrastructure improvements at White Sands Missile Range and language that encourages the Air Force to continue investments at Holloman Air Force Base. Holloman trains the nation’s best and brightest and I will continue fighting for improvements to the MQ-9 training facility after funds were diverted from the FY20 NDAA to the president’s border wall. These provisions, among many others, benefit New Mexico’s economy, and advance New Mexico’s steadfast position as a leader in national security for years to come.”A list of many of the programs and provisions Sen. Heinrich advocated for during the bill writing process that were included in the FY21 NDAA is available as a PDF HERE and below.New Mexico’s National Laboratories and WIPPLos Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Environmental CleanupSenator Heinrich secured an increase of $100 million above the president’s request for soil and water remediation and removal of legacy radioactive waste at LANL. The president’s FY21 budget had proposed cutting funding for LANL cleanup from $220 million this year to only $120 million for fiscal year 2021. Restoring full funding will assure there are no delays in completing important cleanup milestones, including ongoing remediation of the hexavalent chromium and RDX plumes in groundwater in Los Alamos.NNSA Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD)At Senator Heinrich’s request, a legislative provision was included in the bill to permanently remove the overhead burden on NNSA labs for LDRD that currently double-taxes Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory. LDRD is a strategic research and development program that is critical to maintaining the scientific vitality of the national laboratories. In last year’s NDAA Congress suspended the overhead burden on the labs’ LDRD through the end of fiscal year 2020. Senator Heinrich’s amendment this year permanently eliminates it for all NNSA nuclear laboratories and facilities.Funding for New Mexico’s National Security LaboratoriesSenator Heinrich supported full funding authorization for the NNSA’s nuclear weapons and security programs. For fiscal year 2021, the bill authorizes $2.6 billion for Sandia National Laboratories, an increase of $330 million over fiscal year 2020. For Los Alamos National Laboratory, the bill authorizes FY21 funding of $3.22 billion, up from $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2020. Within NNSA’s funding, Senator Heinrich supported full funding of $2.7 billion for modernization of the stockpile, including Life Extension Programs as executed by Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. The increase of $550 million over FY20 for modernization will maintain the existing weapons stockpile and assure its safety and security.Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium MissionSenator Heinrich again supported full funding to secure Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) role as the nation’s Center of Excellence for Plutonium Research. The bill authorizes $1.1 billion for LANL’s ongoing plutonium operations and pit production programs. The funding supports personnel, equipment and other activities at LANL to meet pit production requirements by 2026; highlights include, $611 million for plutonium operations, $226 million to support pit production, $30 million to construct new fire-control panels in PF-4, $27 million for fire protection and equipment, power and communications improvements in PF-4, $37 million for a new transuranic liquid waste handling and $169 million for upgrades related to replacing the outdated Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) building at LANL.Emergency Operations Center for Sandia National LaboratoriesSenator Heinrich supported second-year funding of $36 million for a new emergency operations center at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The construction project will provide a new 24,000-31,000 square foot facility to improve the labs’ ability to respond to emergencies and provide emergency assistance so that appropriate response measures and notifications are taken to protect workers, the public, the environment, and national security. Emergency Response Operations at SNL are currently housed in the basement of a substandard facility built in 1949. Construction is expected to begin next year and take two years. The full cost of the project is $40 million.Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)The bill authorizes full funding of $390 million to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to support disposal operations, regulatory and environmental compliance actions, the Central Characterization Project, transuranic waste transportation capabilities, and continued progress on repairing or replacing infrastructure, modernizing underground equipment to zero-emission battery-electric vehicles or very low emission Tier IV Final diesel powered equipment. The authorization includes $22 million for critical infrastructure repair and replacement projects and line-item funding for two capital asset projects: $50 million for a new utility shaft and $10 million for a new project to expand underground hoisting capability.NNSA Employee Recruitment and RetentionThe bill includes a provision to make permanent NNSA’s personnel management system that has been used successfully on a trial basis for over 10 years. The temporary personnel system has enhanced the recruitment and retention of federal employees of the Department of Energy’s NNSA. NNSA needs to attract highly technical employees to manage critical national security programs, including about 800 based in New Mexico. Key advantages of NNSA’s personnel system include helping attract and retain top talent by offering competitive salaries, reducing attrition rates, and properly rewarding high-performing employees.Independent Cost Estimating and Reviews for all New Nuclear Weapons SystemsDuring committee consideration, Senator Heinrich secured approval of an amendment that will require NNSA to submit to Congress an independent cost estimate at each phase of development for any future nuclear weapons system. Independent cost reviews at each stage, from feasibility through initial production, provide additional transparency, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. The required cost estimates will be prepared by an organization independent from NNSA’s program managers and the national security laboratories.Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety BoardSenator Heinrich supported the full funding request of $28.8 million for the independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to support 114 staff members, including two resident inspectors based in New Mexico. Congress created the DNFSB in 1988 to provide oversight of public health and safety at the defense nuclear facilities managed by the Department of Energy, including Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories and WIPP. The bill also clarifies the board’s statutory responsibility for oversight, including full access to all DOE defense nuclear facilities, and directs DOE to work with the board to improve the interface between the agencies.Non-Department of Energy Items of Interest to New MexicoExtending Limits on Import of Enriched Uranium Fuel from RussiaSenator Heinrich led a successful bipartisan amendment that extends for 15 years the current 20 percent cap on Russia’s share of the U.S. domestic market for uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. Extending the 20 percent cap until 2035 will help ensure Urenco USA’s commercial enrichment plant in Eunice, New Mexico, can continue to compete for the utility market without unfair competition from Russia’s government-supported defense complex. The current 20 percent cap was initially proposed in legislation in 2008 by then-Sen. Domenici (NM) and expires on December 31, 2020; however, the Russian government has continued to dump below-market uranium on the world market to expand its market share. Without Senator Heinrich’s amendment freezing the current 20 percent limit, Russia’s share of the US commercial market was likely to swell to as much as 40 percent. Urenco USA’s plant in Eunice is the nation’s only operating uranium enrichment plant serving the commercial nuclear power industry.DoD Energy Siting Clearinghouse for Wind and Solar PowerSenator Heinrich offered an amendment adopted in committee that clarifies the notification requirements for DoD’s Siting Clearinghouse, which must review and approve plans for all wind energy projects to prevent impairment of military operations. The Heinrich amendment ensures that if DoD’s Siting Clearinghouse determines that a proposed energy project will not have an adverse impact on military readiness, the Clearinghouse will promptly notify the project developer and the governor of the state in writing. The amendment will help improve coordination among the different federal and state-government entities that oversee siting of energy projects. Reducing or eliminating any potential impact of energy projects on military radar, training or operations will help protect the missions of New Mexico’s Air Force Bases and the White Sands Missile Range.DoD Long-Term Energy Storage Demonstration ProjectDuring committee consideration, Senator Heinrich cosponsored a successful amendment offered by Senator King that would authorize $15 million for demonstration of long-duration, on-site battery storage for military facilities. The goal of the program is to demonstrate promising long-duration energy storage technologies at different sizes and scales to promote energy reliability and resilience and to help new, innovative long-duration energy storage technologies become commercially viable.New Mexico Space MissionsSmall Satellite Manufacturing and Innovation CenterProvides $6 million to support follow-on funding for a Small Satellite Manufacturing and Innovation Center in Albuquerque that would be accessible by government agencies and cleared industry partners. New Mexico is home to leading small satellite innovators and critical space acquisition agencies for the federal government. The center will establish a manufacturing environment that encourages maximum collaboration between industry, academia, and the government and will include a shared satellite prototyping and software laboratory that enables access to capital equipment, industry, academia, and government with classified meeting capabilities. Senator Heinrich and Senator Tom Udall secured funding in last year’s defense spending bill to begin preliminary design work for the Center.Supporting Small Satellite IndustrySenator Heinrich supported a substantial increase of $130 million aimed at supporting the small satellite industrial base throughout New Mexico and the country. The targeted increase over the funding level requested by the Trump administration is aimed at taking advantage of the revolution in commercial space innovation by seamlessly integrating small satellite capabilities with existing and future government space systems. This blending of government and commercial capabilities is referred to as “hybrid space architecture” and will enable new capabilities to be added quickly, affordably, and in large numbers to improve U.S. resiliency in space.Space Situational AwarenessSenator Heinrich secured up to $3.5 million for the purchase of a new interferometric array at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in Socorro County, New Mexico. As the number of spacecraft rapidly increases over the coming decade, it is vital that our nation develops the technology and the workforce needed to increase space situational awareness. Funding for this array will increase U.S. knowledge of the location, trajectory, and condition of spacecraft in orbit in order to help protect friendly space assets and monitor adversary assets.Small Satellite Mission Operations FacilitySenator Heinrich secured $3 million for the establishment of a Small Satellite Mission Operations Facility in Albuquerque. The number of national security and commercial small satellites in orbit has dramatically increased over the past several years, and that number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming decades. Currently, each small satellite program must invest in a mission operations capability charged with controlling the satellite and ensuring deconfliction in space. This amendment provides funding to provide small companies in New Mexico and their government customers with a cost-effective way to operate their satellite platforms at all classification levels.Maintain the Independence of the Space Rapid Capabilities OfficeSenator Heinrich included a provision that recognized the independent nature of the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO, located at Kirtland Air Force Base) as the Space Force continues to lay out its structure and organization in the near-and-medium-term. Senator Heinrich led an effort in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to establish the Space RCO as an independent organization with unique acquisition authorities and a direct reporting chain to the Secretary of the Air Force. These characteristics have enabled the Space RCO to push the bounds of performance rapidly develop and field space capabilities at the best cost to the taxpayer.Establishment of the Space Training and Readiness CommandSenator Heinrich led a provision that encourages the Space Force to establish a Space Training and Readiness command. New Mexico, already a leader commercial and defense-oriented space innovation, stands to benefit from the establishment of the Space Force. As the new service continues to organize, this provision calls for the stand up of a Space Training and Readiness Command – similar to the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command – that would focus on space training and education, space warfighting concepts, and overall readiness. The provision further calls for the command to be placed in an area of the country resembling Albuquerque – one with proximity to leading space acquisition and management directorates and leading space industry partners.Satellite Power SourcingSenator Heinrich included a provision in the NDAA that directs the Secretary of Defense to outline the vulnerabilities and risks associated with foreign sources of satellite solar power technology and provide a set of recommended investments, policy changes, or other steps deemed appropriate to support this segment of the national security space industrial base. The provision responds to concerns that U.S. adversaries may be subsidizing satellite power sourcing technology as part of an effort to ensure their components are installed on U.S. national security satellites. Such critical components have the potential to disrupt national security satellites while in orbit. New Mexico is home to several companies leading the way in this important satellite technology.Addressing Satellite Cyber VulnerabilitySenator Heinrich secured a provision that would require the Air Force to provide a briefing on the cyber vulnerabilities of the Air Force’s Satellite Control Network which commands and controls a large array of national security space satellites. The network which was first deployed in the 1970s, well before there was a full understanding of the current cyber threats and necessary cyber security protections.New Mexico Test Range InfrastructureDirected Energy Test Range InfrastructureSenator Heinrich secured $15 million for White Sands Missile Range in order to improve infrastructure needed to accommodate the increase in demand for directed energy testing workloads. A lack of funding for increased directed energy testing is a serious issue, given that the workload and number of directed energy demonstrations and exercises have increased significantly since 1975. The projected directed energy workload for the coming years is growing, and has expanded to include high-powered microwave testing. Yet, for the ranges to meet this demand has remained flat. Senator Heinrich secured the funds necessary to meet the growing demand and support the appropriate test workloads.Establishment of Additional Joint Electronic Warfare Training RangesSenator Heinrich secured a requirement for the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to establish one or more Joint Electronic Warfare (EW) Training Ranges. The military services use EW ranges to rapidly test and field new weapons systems and better understand how they would perform in a combat environment. Increased demand and spectrum encroachment at current EW training ranges have rendered these facilities inadequate to meet the needs of the department’s EW test and training workload over the next several years.The Air Force currently conducts EW training and testing at the Playas Training and Research Center in Playas, New Mexico. The Playas range stands to benefit from new designations of EW training ranges which could bring additional resources to Southwest New Mexico.Inland Spaceport Utilization and ImprovementsThe Senate Armed Services Committee included an amendment offered by Senator Heinrich that encourages the military services, in coordination with the Department of Defense’s Test Resources Management Center, to invest in the testing infrastructure that will be necessary to ensure inland spaceports like Spaceport America have the capability and capacity to test the military services’ next generation technologies. Inland spaceports have several important benefits for military testing including their remote location for sensitive national security missions.New Mexico Air National GuardIncrease Air Force Utilization of 150th Special Operations WingThe Senate Armed Services Committee included language that requires the Secretary of the Air Force, in consultation with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to report back to the committee with a plan to better utilize Air National Guard assets like the 150th Special Operations Wing stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base.New Mexico is one of three states – New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington – that have an operational flying mission, but due to the classic associate construct they lack ownership of aircraft. The Air National Guard enterprise is based on established Capstone Principles that notionally set the foundational framework for mission allocation in the 54 states and territories. One of those Capstone Principles is to allocate at least one unit-equipped wing and flying squadron to each state.The New Mexico congressional delegation is dedicated to working with the Air Force and the National Guard Bureau to ensure a unit-equipped flying squadron for the New Mexico Air National Guard (NMANG). New Mexico’s outstanding flying weather, airspace and ranges around Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) offer excellent training capabilities. KAFB’s location in central New Mexico allows for important co-training opportunities with Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases, White Sands Missile Range, and Fort Bliss, Texas. Having hosted aircraft for decades, appropriate infrastructure such as runways and hangars are already in place that can save taxpayer dollars and accommodate additional aircraft.Artificial IntelligenceThe Senate Armed Services Committee adopted three amendments led by Senator Heinrich aimed at advancing the Department of Defense’s Artificial Intelligence Capabilities. The provisions were recommended by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a panel of leading AI experts from industry and government agencies. Specifically, the provisions would:Encourage that the director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center report directly to the Secretary of Defense in order to skip several layers of bureaucracy that stifles innovation. The JAIC is an internal DoD organization responsible for the adoption and incorporation of AI capabilities across the Department. The provision further requires DoD to report to Congress on future plans for the organizational structure of the CenterEncourage the Secretary of Defense to ensure that the JAIC is led by a three-star equivalent serving in the armed forces and ensure that the individual has operational experience in AI, machine learning, or relevant career fieldAdd an additional examination to the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to better recognize recruits with exceptional computational skills relevant to military applications. Every potential recruit must take the ASVAB test before being accepted into the Armed Services, this provision will help ensure that these valuable skills are part of recruiting the best and brightest minds in AI from around the countryAI for Imaging and AnalysisSenator Heinrich secured a provision that would require the JAIC to provide a briefing that identifies military occupational specialties and capabilities across the military services and defense agencies that can better leverage AI to maximize effectiveness, mission goals, and cost savings to the federal government. The use of AI and machine learning technology to analyze image, video, and audio files has the potential to revolutionize the way militaries track threats and monitor developments around the world. Both technologies have the ability to learn and improve over time while freeing up human eyes for more complex tasks.New Mexico Innovation3-D Printed Electronics Army Innovation Hub for Next Generation Additive ManufacturingSenator Heinrich secured an additional $2 million for additive manufacturing (AM), which is already making innovative technological leaps that could yield major advances in more lethal and longer-ranged fires. New Mexico Tech and University of Texas at El Paso are leading entities in 3-D printing. This technology can combine existing and new materials into 3-D printed circuit architectures, producing smarter, lighter, and denser constructs to enable projectiles to double current ranges while achieving higher precision.Long-Endurance AircraftSenator Heinrich supported an increase of $33.5 million over the amount requested by the President to support a solar-powered long-range Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform capable of near continuous flight operations. The capability was one of the major requests of U.S. Southern Command. Additional funding will upgrade the existing aircraft’s solar panels, fuel cells, structures, sensors, batteries, and mission planning to address the military’s ever-growing requirements for persistent ISR. New Mexico is home to some of the world’s most innovative solar power innovators who are interested in collaboration with this long-range platform.Air Force Shelter UpgradesSenator Heinrich led an amendment to secure up to $4.7 million for the Air Force to upgrade the energy efficiency of their small shelter systems. Funding will be used to support the purchase of insulation systems and solar shades to increase the energy efficiency of the Air Force’s existing inventory of small shelters. Increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the fuel requirements of these small shelters decreases the Air Force’s footprint when deployed during training and combat environments.Next-Generation Display TechnologySenator Heinrich secured $3 million to fund the research and development of high efficiency and ruggedized computer display technology in improving “soldier lethality.” The technology is aimed at improving servicemembers’ mobility by reducing the weight burden with carrying extra batteries and displays.Counter-UAS TechnologySenator Heinrich secured a provision requiring the Secretary of the Army to provide a briefing on the advances in imaging sensors, stabilization components, microelectronics, and lasers that make it easier to track and target unmanned unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operated by our nation’s adversaries. New Mexico is home to companies that specialize in the research and development of compatible stabilized gimbal systems that are capable of providing target detection, identification, and designation.Counter-Drone Center of ExcellenceSenator Heinrich included a provision in the NDAA that encourages the Department of Defense to establish a counter-drone center of excellence. Currently, the nation faces a shortage of engineering graduates with the skills, clearances and education necessary to work on counter-UAS technology. Each military service is pursuing counter UAS research, development, test, and engineering activities that are independent of each other creating a need for a core team to bring all the efforts and partners (academic, industrial and government) together. The center would provide a centralized planning hub to better utilize scarce human and financial resources.Classified WorkforceSenator Heinrich led an amendment that would require the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing on how it can partner with Hispanic-serving, land-grant institutions to create a talent development program that provides experiential learning through internship programs and co-op programs with the military services and the Department of defense. The briefing will include information on how such programs can include pathways for security clearances that would serve both DoD and the students upon their entry into the workforce.New Mexico Military Construction ProjectsSupport for the 512th Mission Operations SquadronSenator Heinrich secured a provision that expresses support for funding in the next fiscal year (Fiscal Year 22) for a planned Squadron Operations Facility for the 512th Rescue Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base. The 512th trains aircrew conducting search and rescue missions and is transitioning from the legacy UH-1N Huey helicopter to the MH-139 Grey Wolfe to improve mission performance. Construction of the Mission Operations Squadron is an integral part of ensuring Kirtland hosts a MH-139 Formal Training Unit, a development that would bring increased mission and resources to Kirtland.Holloman Air Force Base MQ-9 Training FacilitySenator Heinrich introduced a provision in the NDAA that encourages the Air Force to move forward with the construction of a new, $85 million military construction project that would host a Formal Training Unit (FTU) for MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators. Last year, the Trump Administration transferred over $3 billion in military construction funding, including all funding for the Holloman MQ-9 facility, to finance the costly and ineffective wall along the Southwest border. The current Holloman FTU trains 100 percent of our nation’s MQ operators and is structurally unsound for continued operations.Environment and Energy ResiliencyIncreased funding for Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment ProgramSenator Heinrich supported $155 million in additional projects for the Department of Defense’s Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program (ERCIP). The Department of Defense is the largest energy consuming organization in the world and the ERCIP was designed to fund projects that improve energy resilience, contribute to mission assurance, save energy, and reduce DoD’s energy costs. ERCIP accomplishes these goals through construction of new, high-efficiency energy systems and technologies or through modernizing existing energy systems.Senator Heinrich also supported an effort to increase funding for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative by $25 million. The REPI program is a key governmental tool that helps remove or avoid land-use conflicts near installations. From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:last_img read more

Clifford Chance partner profits top £1m

first_imgProfits per equity partner (PEP) at magic circle firm Clifford Chance have topped £1m for the first time since the recession. The end-of-year figures released today by the Canary Wharf-based firm showed revenues were up for the last financial year to £1.22bn, up just 2% on the previous 12 months. Partnership profit rose by 10% to £381m as the firm expanded into the Middle East and Australia and stabilised in more mature Western markets. But it is the PEP figures, up by 8% on 2009/10, which stand out, with partners bringing in more than £1m for the first time since the boom years of 2006/07 and 2007/08. Managing partner David Childs added: ‘The year ahead looks exciting for our firm. ‘Our breadth of high-quality practices across all the major financial markets, and our market-leading expertise in regulatory matters, make us extremely well positioned to support our clients’ increasing need for cross-border advice.’ Among the highlights of the Clifford Chance client work was advising on the creation of the €440bn (£409bn) European Financial Stability Fund, with legal work on the packages set up to bolster economies in Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Offices have opened in Qatar and Istanbul, with 12 out of 23 newly promoted partners this year based in the Asia Pacific operations.last_img read more

Top 10 Enterprise Cloud Apps and Services of 2011

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting It seems like just like summer, Bill Murray used to sing, and that’s because it was. This year, for the first time, ReadWriteWeb expanded its coverage of the technologies that change our world through the Web, with new emphasis on cloud-based services to consumers and cloud technologies for businesses. Cloud services are more than just hosts for apps. They’re resources that you can provision for your changing needs, and which you can scale up or down as necessary.Certainly 2011 was dramatically different from 2010 for businesses for one critical reason: In a very short time, suddenly true scalability for every IT service appeared within their reach. A market that was almost non-existent by the end of last year, has grown past what many analysts would consider the point of adolescence, with the shakeout subsiding and brand dropouts declining. Someone should remind these cloud service folks there’s a recession going on.For ReadWriteWeb’s first list of top choices in enterprise cloud services, we took a cue from one of our winners and evaluated the social data stream, to see which services you talked about – and which ones got the favorable tweets, especially for customer service. Hosting companies aren’t covered on this list, even if they’re cloud host providers, unless they offer some form of value-add that makes their service more useful to a targeted class of customers.Not every candidate for this list offers its own cloud platform; we considered services that are offered on others’ cloud platforms. And we considered the platforms on which they’re offered, too, if they presented a value-add that made them unique. Beta services were not eligible; we stuck with general availability only.10. Xeround. This service, which premiered in late 2010, quite easily (judging from customers’ comments) deploys new or existing MySQL databases on cloud platforms such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace, and Heroku. Rather than just shoving off databases into the cloud space, Xeround manages storage on the back end with built-in scalability. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts From here, the service started building an ecosystem – which may have just become the necessary ingredient for any cloud service to be competitive going into 2012. In Twilio’s case, as Dan Rowinski reported in September, the service announced it’s partnering with venture capitalists to fund the development and deployment of an entire community of apps that just happen to communicate over Twilio’s platform. As Rowinski wrote, “By moving communications to the cloud and providing pay-as-you-go billing that does not hang over the developer’s head, Twilio has a chance to grow rapidly in both the consumer app development community and the enterprise.”As private developer Patrick McKenzie recently put it, “I think Twilio is, far and away, the most exciting technology I’ve ever worked with… Smartphones aren’t smart because of anything on the phones themselves, they’re smart because they speak HTTP and thus get always-on access to a universe of applications which are improving constantly. Twilio radically reduces the amount of hardware support a phone needs to speak HTTP – it retroactively upgrades every phone in the world to do so. After that, all you need is the application logic.” 4. MongoHQ. In politics of late, when left with few or no other options to slam an opponent, the one way to make a charge stick is to make it so ludicrous or so audacious that folks will conclude it has to be true to have been made in the first place. (For more, see “Kerry, Sen. John.”) So you have to wonder how it is that MongoDB made the news recently for having been the subject of a hugely popular discussion thread (to use the phrase loosely) on Hacker News. Here is the lead post for that thread, in its entirety: “Don’t use MongoDB.” (A lot of research done there.)Our Joe Brockmeier looked into the matter, and found direct evidence of substance somewhat lacking. MongoDB, by the way, is a scalable data store for loosely structured (as opposed to unstructured) data using MySQL. MongoHQ, which made our list this year, is effectively the monetization engine for MongoDB, making the database platform accessible to literally anyone on self-service terms.As a developer, you only pay for MongoHQ once your storage size scales up to 256 MB – meaning, once your database becomes legitimately used by others. Large database instances are served up at $49 for 5 GB, although for high availability, apps developers may choose instead to pay $149 per month for a replica set, which includes full failover.3. Radian6. Back in 2009, RWW’s Marshall Kirkpatrick examined Radian6 for the first time – a kind of social media dashboard offering live heuristics for the instances that certain terms (especially brand names) get mentioned on social services like Twitter. At the time, it looked like an interesting curiosity, especially for people whose hobbies are to “keep score at home.” What was it really for? A Radian6 product manager told Marshall that the direction for the product was “adding CRM.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The back-end storage, whose configuration is kept transparent from the user, is managed by a homegrown system that scales itself by means of virtual partitioning as opposed to sharding. Each partition is maintained on independent nodes using shared-nothing architecture (meaning, no single point of failure leads to cascading node elimination). Your database application never sees the partitioning take place, and isn’t even involved; and scaling takes place with the goal of zero downtime – which thus far appears to have been achieved.Usually a company’s own predictions for the coming year are rather self-serving, so Xeround’s #1 event for 2012 may come as something of a shock: “The Cloud will disappear,” writes Xeround’s Itamar Haber, “not in the sense that it will be gone (far from it) but rather in that that it will become all-encompassing and omnipresent. We will no longer see The Cloud as a trend or even an alternate model for using compute resources – it will become transparent as it will be the de facto default means of choice for nearly all IT-backed projects across industry sectors.” I guess that makes this the last year for this Top 10 list as well, eh?9. Bime might not have qualified as a cloud service per se, except for the clever way it serves as storage for business intelligence. It’s not a particularly sophisticated data store, but it doesn’t have to be for its main purpose: visualizing and analyzing data from large databases. Many businesses used to rely on exporting data to Excel for this purpose, in what often became one of the clumsier exercises in database versioning. Tags:#2011 in Review > Best of 2011#web#Year in Review center_img Bime Analytics makes itself visible to the world through interesting, if often fairly trivial, sample renderings of data that’s fascinating to someone. My daughter, for example, will find interesting this “data cloud”-style subdivision (above) of the various villains that appeared in Doctor Who, organized by relative area in proportion with their appearances throughout the entire franchise history, and organized in blocks by the year of their first episode. It’s an example of the Bime visualization engine putting itself through its paces using innocuous data (though I gather the Sontarans could start a cosmic war to avoid being sublimated by the Cybermen).Essentially, Bime is a data visualization firm, which ordinarily would render it just an app. What makes Bime’s business model not only cloud-centric but also more viable are two things: 1) If you’re going to visualize your own data, you need a way to get it into the system. So Bime can afford to charge a premium for storage ($60/month for the first gigabyte, $120/month for up to 10 GB) since what you’ll really be using it for anyway is visualization. Imagine paying $60 a month for something that only billed itself as a graphics app. 2) As my friend and colleague Pam Baker showed us last August, Bime offers an API for developers to build their own apps that utilize the visualization functionality, that in turn uses the data you’re paying Bime a premium to store for you. It is an excellent business concept, and a way to use cloud resources to twist an otherwise point-and-shoot SaaS app into a viable business.8. Okta. Almost four years ago, this service was founded with the notion of providing identity federation for a handful of familiar SaaS apps like Google Apps and online services like Facebook. Well, Facebook wants to be a major player in the identity game in its own right. Besides, simply federating single-sign-on access to an expanding list of players isn’t an exciting business model when that number of players begins to dwindle. What’s more, the Heroku add-ons ecosystem is already in full bloom, even with support for apps and services like MongoHQ that utilize cloud platforms other than Heroku itself. Last October, Heroku CEO Byron Sebastian told me that his goal for the service is simply to enable developers to push code to the cloud using git push and have it run. There’s no agenda for the promotion of any single language platform (including Ruby on Rails, on which the service was founded, and whose creator is now a Heroku employee). “We differentiate ourselves at the level of our cloud app platform, rather than at the level of languages and frameworks,” Sebastian said, “because we believe that openness is an important principle in our industry. It’s in our blood.”Well, the enterprise cloud is in our blood now, too. And at this rate, it will probably be in our bones and muscles before the end of 2012. Maybe someone at Salesforce.com was using Radian6 at that very moment. Though it might not have seemed so at the time, Salesforce’s acquisition of Radian6 ended up being one of the most important enterprise news stories of the year. If anyone has proven it knows how to avoid burying an acquired product under the rug, it’s Salesforce. Now the product has become a genuine platform, with apps being built around it and distributed on Salesforce App Exchange.Now, Radian6 is more than just a dashboard for the curious. Social marketing specialists can utilize the tool to alert them when online chatter around a certain topic has reached a critical threshold. It can trigger actions en masse, such as couponing individuals who seed positive comments on a product. And its instantaneous demographics that align tweeters and Facebook users with their respective market segments, has already crossed the borderline into scary territory.2. Hortonworks Hadoop. It wasn’t quite two years ago when Hadoop was essentially a side project at Yahoo, incorporating some code from a side project at Google. Today (although it’s a terribly mixed metaphor) the Hadoop elephant has leap-frogged over high-availability database projects at Oracle and Microsoft to become the de facto solution for hosting big data in parallel.It gets confusing when an open source project is stewarded by more than one commercial provider, as our Joe Brockmeier reported in October. The Yahoo engineers largely responsible for its creation have formed Hortonworks, and it is they who launched the Hadoop cloud platform in November. Now, with the assistance of commercial partners such as Informatica, developers can deploy extraordinarily large data sets in a cloud configuration with high reliability – much more reliable than the hardware it runs on.“Hadoop was built from the bottom up to be built on very low-cost commodity hardware,” Hortonworks CEO Eric Baldeschweiler told RWW in October. “It’s built with the assumption that the hardware it’s running on will break, and that it must continue to work even if the hardware breaks.” Which implies a lot, given that one of the other biggest enterprise cloud news stories of the year was Hortonworks’ partnership with Microsoft to bring Hadoop into Windows Server, possibly as a role for System Center.1. Heroku. In little more than a year, the service that had been considered the pioneer platform-as-a-service, Microsoft Windows Azure, was left in the dust as an also-ran by yet another Salesforce acquisition.Heroku quite literally tries to fill the large, and widening, void left over when computers stopped including built-in BASIC interpreters. Rather than presenting itself as a battery of stand-alone servers built for doing scheduled jobs on complex agendas, Heroku is a managed code interpreter for a growing bouquet of languages, some of which (like Clojure and Scala) are only just now entering the common vernacular. Such languages are clearly better suited for quick deployment of Web-based functionality than the dependency-heavy C++, C#, and Visual Basic which comprise the brunt of the .NET languages Microsoft supports in Azure. scott fulton So earlier this year, as David Strom told you in August, Okta put a new cloud-style spin on its service: In adding a new layer of Active Directory integration, it made itself into a kind of all-purpose AD app. Your single sign-on takes place through this app, rather than through some complex federation service on-premise. And because all the users in a business are checking in through one place, Okta becomes the dashboard for delegating privileges and permissions to those users. Through Active Directory, the same password that enables users to enter the network in the first place, logs them onto Okta as well.Last year at this time, developers and administrators alike were in a quandary over how to manage the identities that users must assume in order to access multiple applications, both on-premise and through the cloud. Okta is not yet the total solution to this problem, but the fact that it has taken a serious bite out of the problem in so short a time points to the possibility of a cloud-based solution to the broader identity management problem.7. PubNub. One of the hilarious fallacies of “walled garden” service architectures is the illusion of exclusivity. By making users sign an agreement explaining exactly how they must use their services, complete with terms of use, carriers and service providers are betting that they’ll presume they can’t find some way to utilize the same (or better) functions some other way.PubNub is clearly a different way, and the service it provides is one that many users may have thought they were prohibited from doing themselves: self-service push notification. If you’re building an app that needs the capability to alert the user, through his operating system (PC or smartphone), PubNub provides you with a pair of dirt-simple API calls. You implement one in the app that will be listening to your PubNub channel for alerts – this is the subscribe part of the operation. The other for the server side, simply to send text alerts through that channel. For the most part, save for a half-page of syntax, that is the instruction manual.Through the pay-as-you-go scheme, users pay 1/100 of one cent for each alert sent or received. Of course, with fully deployed apps on a global scale, you could be racking up charges fairly quickly, so alternately PubNub offers paid-in-advance service tiers beginning at $129.99 per month for 1 million alerts per day. The service is so straightforward that it’s now being used for active notifications for real-time gaming, as well as for quick-and-dirty chat rooms.6. SendGrid. Though Salesforce’s Marc Benioff has publicly proclaimed e-mail “dead” (along with Microsoft and something he calls “the false cloud,” which bears a curiously red tint to it), e-mail is actually far from dead. If you look at the colossal size of my own inbox, you might proclaim it “resting,” but it’s not dead.SendGrid (a frequent sponsor of ReadWriteWeb) is an e-mail distribution service for individuals and companies that utilizes a cloud pricing model, with the idea that you’re paying for outgoing bandwidth (measured in messages sent). Its value-add is that it sends marketing e-mails systematically, in a deliberate effort to avoid being tagged by e-mail services as a spammer. It calls its strategy “IP address warming,” where all addresses start cold and work their way gradually towards sending higher volumes, as servers establish reputations for them. So while SendGrid’s pricing is based on scale, it actively encourages customers to start at the bottom, spacing out monthly distributions of newsletters throughout the month rather than all on the same day.“Deliverability is a secret crisis facing any business that relies on e-mail communications,” reads a recent SendGrid white paper (PDF available here). “Most companies don’t think about deliverability until they have a major issue where thousands or in some cases millions of e-mails fail to arrive. People assume that an e-mail is delivered if they don’t receive a bounce notification. The reality is very different: 20% of commercial e-mail sent never arrives as intended. If you’re an online business you need to take steps today to increase the reliability of your e-mail communications.”5. Twilio. As many of our long-time readers are well aware, Twilio is essentially a telecommunications back end whose API functions may be called by any app. It’s like a chassis for Skype without the baggage of Skype. Granted, Twilio has been growing at a steady pace. But last July, it added what history may record as its breakthrough feature: a JavaScript SDK. This makes a Twilio client available directly from a Web browser, so you can have direct phone communications inside your browser app, as well as your stand-alone app. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Jersey Girls win inaugural George Tooke Women’s competition

first_imgThe grand final of the inaugural George Tooke Shield Women’s Touch Football competition was held last Saturday at Binalong between the Binalong Jersey Girls and Harden Hawkettes.In front of a strong home crowd, the Jersey Girls got off to a flying start with Madaline Brayshaw crossing the line in the first set of the game. Minutes later Bronwyn Pollack was able to beat some tired defence to give the home side a 2-0 lead. The Hawkettes looked to be out on their feet with the pace of the game and it wasn’t long before Jess Howard was able to record another touchdown for the Jersey Girls giving them a 3-0 lead at halftime. The second half saw the Jersey Girls turn up the intensity, with touchdowns to Tammy Ware and Jess Howard recording her second for the day. The Hawkettes were able to gain some possession midway through the half and were able to capitalise with touchdowns to Georgia Smith and Shauny McEvoy. However it would not be Harden’s day, as Bronwyn Pollack crossed the line to score her second touchdown and with only minutes to go Jenna Cooke was able to score to record the Binalong Jersey Girls 7-2 winners and crowned the inaugural George Tooke Women’s Touch Football Competition Premiers.Speaking with Karen Ebsworth from the Canberra Region Rugby League after the match she mentioned she was happy with how the season had gone. “The competition has been great for the women in the region, for years we have tried to form a league-tag competition with no luck, but on the back of the Touch Football/NRL Partnership we have been able to establish this competition. I hope we are able to expand the competition into the Canberra Cup competition next year and create a strong link between the Rugby League clubs and Touch Football clubs in the area and allowing more women to be involved in this great initiative.” Madaline Brayshaw, captain of the Jersey Girls stated that she was happy with the team’s performance over the season. “The girls have put in a lot of effort of the past 3-4 months with training and travelling to games. I have enjoyed every minute of the competition and enjoyed playing with the girls each week.” Bronwyn Pollack was awarded the most touchdowns award for the season with an astonishing 31 touchdowns through the round games and finals. Jenna Cooke was awarded Most Valuable Player for her tireless effort in defence and working the ball out for her team in attack. Touch Football ACT would like to thank all those involved including the Canberra Region Rugby League, the George Tooke clubs, the officials and of course the players who without would not of been able to establish and run such a successful inaugural competition.Related LinksGeorge Tookelast_img read more

a month agoPSG chief Leonardo to try again for Tottenham defender Serge Aurier

first_imgPSG chief Leonardo to try again for Tottenham defender Serge Aurierby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG chief Leonardo is ready to try again for Tottenham defender Serge Aurier.With the January market looming, Leonardo still wants to bring Aurier back to PSG, says Sportmediaset.The Ivorian was on Leonardo’s shopping list over the summer, but ran out of time to do the deal.The pair are close and talks will resume ahead of the market reopening in the New Year.PSG would favour an initial loan arrangement. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Western Canadian gas producers and Resource Municipalities Coalition applaud LNG incentives

first_img“We need other routes to get hydrocarbons, both oil and natural gas, out of the country and that would be a big step. And once that first step is taken, hopefully, others would follow. So it’s very meaningful.”He said Friday he remains cautious about LNG prospects, pointing out that LNG Canada is still looking for relief from federal tariffs on fabricated steel modules it needs to import from Asia and adding Shell could still choose to build somewhere other than Canada.The North East BC Resource Municipalities Coalition (the Coalition) is optimisticabout British Columbia’s new framework for natural gas development.  Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman states, “This framework acknowledges the importance of British Columbia’s Natural Gas and LNG as a clean, reliable, and affordable energy source that will move BC, Canada and our world partners to a lower carbon economy.”Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., one of Canada‘s largest natural gas producers, said in a statement Friday it is also encouraged by B.C.’s commitment to building its LNG industry.“The advancement of LNG development will enable Canada‘s responsibly produced natural gas to reach global markets, creating significant value for B.C. and Canada,” it said.The natural gas investing community has been abuzz with LNG news since the announcement, said CIBC analysts in a report. CALGARY, A.B. – B.C. government tax incentives aimed at jump-starting the much-delayed West Coast LNG industry are being welcomed by Western Canada‘s hard-hit natural gas industry as a potential path to higher prices and better markets for their products.The government said Thursday it hopes its moves will result in a positive investment decision later this year for the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal, pipelines and infrastructure which was delayed in 2016 by proponents led by Royal Dutch Shell.“I’m pleased because it shows the B.C. government is being proactive and has come forward with some inducements for the project,” said CEO Dale Shwed of Calgary-based Crew Energy Inc., which produces liquids-rich natural gas in northeastern B.C. “The general consensus seems to be that an FID (final investment decision) by Shell would be positive for sentiment, if not necessarily result in any material near-term shift to Canadian natural gas supply/demand fundamentals,” they wrote.Investors are now analyzing where the Shell facility would get the gas it will need to generate 13 million tonnes of LNG per year from the first two of four planned “trains” or LNG units, which could be on stream in 2024 if construction starts this year, it added.Several Calgary-based companies producing gas in northeastern B.C. could be suppliers to the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline leading to the LNG Canada project, including Crew, Canadian Natural Resources, Encana Corp. and Tourmaline Oil Corp., the report said.Thursday’s announcement will provide a fair return for B.C. gas, create jobs, make partners of First Nations and protect the province’s air, land and water, said the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in a news release.center_img “The global window to build LNG is closing, but these changes will help get Canada into the game,” said CAPP CEO Tim McMillan.“These changes will help ensure a level playing field for LNG proponents competing against other jurisdictions around the world.”The western Canadian natural gas business remains in a deep funk due to low prices and tight pipeline capacity, according to a National Bank of Canada Financial Markets report issued earlier this week.Transmission expansion projects won’t kick in to allow meaningful growth until after 2020, it says, and prices are expected to remain low enough to discourage exploration spending in the meantime.Meanwhile, the U.S. gas supply, up 15 billion cubic feet per day since 2010, is expected to grow by another seven bcf/d this year, which the analysts say will likely lead to more marginally profitable Canadian gas being displaced from its traditional markets in Canada and the U.S.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Woman missing in Grande Prairie

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s help in locating a missing woman.23-year-old Kari Baxter was reported missing on Thursday. She was last seen in Grande Prairie on May 4th near the Silver Crest Lodge.Baxter is described as Aboriginal, standing 5’7” tall, weighing 120 lbs., with long brown hair, and brown eyes. There is a concern for Baxter’s well-being, and police would like to locate and speak with her as soon as possible.  Photo by RCMP.If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com.last_img

Patriotism not any partys monopoly Shiv Sena

first_imgMumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday said patriotism is not the monopoly of a single party and falsely calling people “anti-national” just because they are political opponents is nothing but suppression of freedom of expression. The party’s remarks come amid a row over politicisation of the air strike. “Patriotism is not the monopoly of a single party…we wonder when politicians will understand that the action (air strike) was part of duty (of soldiers) and not a task asked to be carried out,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Those demanding proof of the air strike and the ones seeking votes donning military fatigues are equally wrong, the Sena said, referring to Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari who wore military fatigues at a recent rally. The Sena said it was an insult to the soldiers and their courage. “Why act frivolously by wearing soldiers’ uniforms which they have obtained after rigorous training and hard work? It supports the allegations of the Opposition that the BJP is politicising the air strike,” said the Sena, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed was more serious than the air strike and images of the carnage in Kashmir could be used by the Opposition to corner those in power, the editorial in ‘Saamna’ said. “We have basically failed to prevent the casualties of our soldiers, but some wear the camouflage (outfits) and campaign for political reasons. It doesn’t look good when the Election Commission has to intervene and ask the political parties not to use images of jawans in political campaigns,” it said. The Sena lauded the “real courage” shown by wives of slain Army officers Colonel Santosh Mahadik and Major Prasad Mahadik, Swati Mahadik and Gauri Mahadik respectively, for their decision to undergo rigorous training and join the armed forces to serve the country.last_img read more