benefit analysis – After Hours http://after-hours.org/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 23:38:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://after-hours.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1-150x150.png benefit analysis – After Hours http://after-hours.org/ 32 32 Former city councilor Ricardo Munoz sentenced to 13 months in prison https://after-hours.org/former-city-councilor-ricardo-munoz-sentenced-to-13-months-in-prison/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 23:03:45 +0000 https://after-hours.org/former-city-councilor-ricardo-munoz-sentenced-to-13-months-in-prison/ Another federal judge on Thursday dismissed the idea that corrupt politicians are immune to headlines about jailed brothers, sentencing the ex-Ald. Ricardo Munoz sentenced to 13 months behind bars for stealing nearly $38,000 of the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus. A lawyer for Munoz, who admitted spending the money on personal expenses like skydiving and a […]]]>

Another federal judge on Thursday dismissed the idea that corrupt politicians are immune to headlines about jailed brothers, sentencing the ex-Ald. Ricardo Munoz sentenced to 13 months behind bars for stealing nearly $38,000 of the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus.

A lawyer for Munoz, who admitted spending the money on personal expenses like skydiving and a parent’s college tuition, acknowledged during Munoz’s sentencing hearing that public figures should be held at a higher level. But referring to the names “Blagojevich”, “Madigan” and “Burke”, attorney Richard Kling said, “you know this isn’t the last time”.

U.S. District Judge John Kness later responded by telling Munoz, “I disagree with the argument that because public corruption is continuous and persistent, apparently, I should just give up and not don’t sentence you to jail time because it won’t do any good.

Kness said that if he allowed Munoz to avoid jail, the community would “send the wrong message, and a negative message.”

“People need to make it clear that public figures are held to a higher standard. And if you didn’t want to be held to a higher standard, you shouldn’t run six times for councillor,’ the judge added.

Munoz pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and money laundering, admitting he took the money. But Kling noted in court that Munoz repaid all but $6,891 of the stolen funds, which the judge ordered him to pay as restitution.

Kness told Munoz to stand in his 17th-floor courtroom as he delivered sentence. When he did, Kling briefly placed his hand on Munoz’s back. Later, Munoz left Dirksen’s federal courthouse without comment.

“It’s sad,” Kling told reporters after the hearing. “He was a great guy who did a lot for the community.”

Last year’s guilty plea for Munoz, who represented the 22nd Ward, made him the latest in a long line of Chicago City Council members convicted of federal crimes. Patrick Daley Thompson was convicted by a federal jury last month, costing him his seat on the council, where he represented the 11th Ward. Thompson’s sentencing is set for July 6.

Aldus. Edward M. Burke (14th) and Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) remains on the board despite being charged in federal indictments still pending.

Before learning of his sentencing on Thursday, Munoz fought back tears while speaking to the Kness. Although Munoz first mentioned his children and then his work representing the 22nd arrondissement, he became very emotional saying, “What I did was wrong. I am ashamed. I am now a convicted felon.

“I humbly ask for clemency,” Munoz said. “My life has changed dramatically.”

Kling had argued for a light sentence earlier in the year, noting that the federal courts in Chicago “saw governor after governor, legislator after legislator, alderman after alderman, county councilor after councilman, continuing to adopt the same behavior,” suggesting that sending Munoz to prison will not deter the next corrupt politician.

That prompted federal prosecutors, who sought a one-year prison sentence for Munoz, to respond that “public officials … need to know that if they break the law, they will be held accountable.”

They cited U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman’s remarks during the 2014 sentencing of former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno. During that hearing, Feinerman said the way to “affect the cost-benefit analysis” was “to impose harsher penalties.”

Moreno was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Kness questioned Kling and Assistant U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual about that argument on Thursday. Kling agreed that Munoz should be held to a higher standard, although he insisted that Munoz did not need to be sent to prison.

But Pasqual said “the public has the right – society has the right – to demand a higher standard from public servants”.

Munoz announced his retirement from the city council in 2018. Before pleading guilty last year, he told the judge he considered himself “retired” rather than unemployed.

He originally faced 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in the indictment filed against him in April 2021. He accused him of attempting to cover his tracks by refunding money he took from the Reform Caucus or claiming it was for “consulting” or “Election Day Expenses.”

Munoz’s plea deal alleges he took $37,891 from caucus, $16,000 of which he transferred in October 2016 to a joint account he held with a family member. He then used $15,254 from the joint account to pay for tuition at an out-of-state university.

Munoz then obtained a Parent Plus federal loan, then repaid $16,000 to the caucus.

He also bought jewelry from Louis Vuitton, women’s clothing from Nordstrom, three Apple iPhones and tickets to the Chicago Bulls with caucus money, according to the plea deal.

Munoz made cash withdrawals of $10,560 from the Progressive Caucus account in November and December 2018, including while he was on vacation in New York in late November 2018, he said.

Ricardo Munoz leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St., after pleading guilty in September.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Federal authorities raided City Hall and Burke’s offices on November 29, 2018, a move that exposed for the first time the federal government’s public corruption investigations, which are still ongoing.

But between November 2018 and February 2019, Munoz used the Progressive Caucus debit card to spend a total of $1,400 on a Southwest Airlines ticket from Los Angeles to Chicago for an acquaintance, Los Angeles Kings hockey tickets, a stay at the Los Angeles Crowne Plaza hotel and Lover’s Lane in West Dundee.

In March 2019, according to the plea agreement, a contractor asked Munoz for the Progressive Caucus account balance so it could be reported at a meeting. Munoz told the entrepreneur in an Apple iMessage that the account contained $11,000.

He really did have $94.79, according to the plea agreement.

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5 factors that influence the cost of penetration testing https://after-hours.org/5-factors-that-influence-the-cost-of-penetration-testing/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 19:04:52 +0000 https://after-hours.org/5-factors-that-influence-the-cost-of-penetration-testing/ If you are responsible for information security for your business, you know that penetration testing is essential to keeping your data secure. But how much do penetration tests cost? And what influences its cost? In this blog post, we’ll address these and other concerns. We’ll also offer some tips on how to get the most […]]]>

If you are responsible for information security for your business, you know that penetration testing is essential to keeping your data secure. But how much do penetration tests cost? And what influences its cost? In this blog post, we’ll address these and other concerns. We’ll also offer some tips on how to get the most out of your money.

Understanding Penetration Testing:

What is it and why do you need it?

Penetration testing is the act of attacking a system in order to discover its security flaws. Pen testers are security experts who use their technical expertise to identify weaknesses in software applications and operating systems. If they can access a system without permission, an attacker probably can too!

Penetration testing is an essential part of every organization’s security strategy because it allows you to identify and remediate threats before they become costly breaches. The average cost per record lost in the event of a data breach is $161, according to IBM and the Ponemon Institute in 2021. If your business processes credit cards or other personally identifiable information (PII), you should undergo data breach testing. annual penetration by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or other compliance standards such as HIPAA.

What is the penetration test?

The typical penetration testing process includes the following six steps:

  1. Planning and scope: In this step, the pen tester determines the scope of the test and identifies the systems that will be tested.
  2. Reconnaissance: The pen tester collects information about target systems, such as running software and open ports.
  3. Attack: The pen tester attempts to exploit vulnerabilities that were identified during the reconnaissance step.
  4. Reports: The Pen Tester produces a report documenting the test results and provides recommendations for remediating any discovered vulnerabilities.
  5. Follow-up: In this stage, the organization implements the report’s recommendations and closes any security holes discovered during the penetration test.

Benefits of Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a great way to improve your organization’s security. Here are some benefits:

  • Reduced organizational risk: Penetration testing can help you identify and fix security vulnerabilities before they become costly data breaches.
  • Compliance with industry regulations: Certain compliance standards, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA, require periodic penetration testing if you process credit card or personal identification information.
  • Insurance premiums: Insurance companies often offer discounts to organizations that regularly undergo penetration testing and implement the recommendations in their reports.
  • Improved security posture: Penetration testing can help you improve your organization’s overall security by identifying and correcting weaknesses in your security infrastructure.

The price of a penetration test:

So how much does the penetration test cost? Depending on the scope and complexity of the assessment, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. However, you can expect to pay between $500 and $15,000 for a single test.

5 Factors That Influence Penetration Testing Pricing

1. The complexity of the target environment:

For penetration testing of larger networks and organizations, this can take up to several months. This increases with the complexity of the environment, such as the presence of multiple operating systems, a wide range of devices, web applications and databases. The more complex your environment, the more time and effort it will take to assess all potential vulnerabilities and the more expensive it can be. Also, larger companies are more likely to have data breaches, so they are more likely to need penetration testing services on an ongoing basis.

2. Scope of the assessment:

The scope of a penetration test can vary widely, from a cursory examination of your systems to an in-depth examination that includes an attempt to hack into every system and database. The more complete the test, the higher the price will be.

3. Skills and experience of testers:

You’ll get what you pay for when it comes to penetration testers. If you want experienced and certified professionals who are well versed in the latest hacking techniques, be prepared to pay more. Likewise, hiring individuals versus hiring a team of professionals from top pentesting companies will cost you less.

4. Deadline and number of testers involved:

Like most things in life, the sooner you want something done, the more you will pay. The more individuals participating in a penetration test, the more expensive it is. This is due to the need to compensate each individual for their time.

5. Type of penetration test and resources used:

  • Black-box testing: This is the most expensive and involves giving testers no information about the target environment other than what they can glean from publicly available sources. First, testers have to spend a lot more effort and time collecting information. Although it’s the most expensive, it’s also the most efficient because it approaches testing like a real-world hacker.
  • White-box testing: Costs the least because testers have access to all relevant information about the systems under test, including passwords, usernames, and network configurations. Although it’s the cheapest, it’s also the least effective because a real-world attacker wouldn’t have access to this information, but it’s good for testing how ex-employees can try to hack into systems.
  • Gray-box testing: This falls between white-box and black-box testing, where testers are given partial information about the systems under test but still need some of their own data collection efforts. Gray box testing can be more expensive than white box testing if testers have to spend a lot of time collecting information, but it will never be as expensive as black box testing. It is a good compromise between price and efficiency.
  • Automated Penetration Testing: This is a newer and growing field that uses automated tools to try to find vulnerabilities in systems. Although not as comprehensive as manual testing, it can be a good option for organizations on a tight budget.
  • Manual penetration test: This is more thorough and results in fewer false positives compared to automated tools. Since it doesn’t rely on automated tools to get the job done, it won’t miss some critical threats or flag false positives. Instead, a tester does all the work manually, monitoring every step, but it also takes the most time.

Many factors go into the cost of penetration testing, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting for your money.

Get the best value for money

To make an accurate estimate, your penetration testing vendor will need to know some specifics about your environment and business processes. So before contacting a supplier, take the time to answer the following questions:

  • What systems do you want to test (eg networks, web applications, databases)?
  • What is the estimated complexity of your target environment?
  • What will be the scope of the evaluation?
  • Are there any specific compliance requirements to meet?
  • Who are your main users/customers?
  • Do you have an in-house IT security team or do you need a penetration tester to provide remediation advice?
  • What is the maximum budget you have for testing?
  • How quickly do you need the test to be completed?

Understanding these ideas will help you better understand pricing and what is included in a penetration testing review.

Reduce the cost

As with anything, there are always ways to reduce the cost of penetration testing without compromising quality. Here are a few tips :

Use automated testing tools

Although not as comprehensive as manual testing, automated tools can be a good option for organizations on a tight budget.

Limit the scope of the evaluation

If you don’t need to test all systems, consider narrowing the scope of the assessment to save money.

Use internal staff

They can help prepare for and assist with the penetration test. This will reduce the testing time and therefore the cost.

Do it yourself

You can always consider doing in-house penetration testing. If you have a skilled IT team or an experienced IT security consultant, this may be an option for you. Just make sure they are trained and certified to do so. For example, if you are testing for PCI DSS compliance, your internal team will need to be certified in the PCI Certified Penetration Testing Program.

How do you determine if the cost is worth it?

The most important question when considering a penetration test is: “How much would it cost us if we were hacked?” If that’s not enough to convince your boss or client that security is important, try asking them what their current level of risk tolerance is. For example, a small business may be willing to accept a higher level of risk than a large business.

The final decision whether or not to invest in penetration testing will depend on the risk analysis and the cost-benefit analysis. But remember that the cost of penetration testing will always be less than the cost of repairing the damage caused by a hacker.

The bottom line

The cost of not running a penetration test far outweighs the price you pay to get one, so it’s important to make sure your network and systems are as secure as possible. By being aware of the factors that influence prices, you will be able to better judge whether or not a quote from a supplier is reasonable and accurate.

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Calls to remove Dan’s $120 billion commuter rail loop boondoggle https://after-hours.org/calls-to-remove-dans-120-billion-commuter-rail-loop-boondoggle/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 23:30:09 +0000 https://after-hours.org/calls-to-remove-dans-120-billion-commuter-rail-loop-boondoggle/ Two years ago, Inside the story Tim Colebatch called the Dan Andrews Commuter Rail Loop – a 90 kilometer orbital rail system that would run underground between Cheltenham and Werribee at a cost of up to $120 billion – “the worst transport project Melbourne has ever seen”: The government’s commitment to build the worst transport […]]]>

Two years ago, Inside the story Tim Colebatch called the Dan Andrews Commuter Rail Loop – a 90 kilometer orbital rail system that would run underground between Cheltenham and Werribee at a cost of up to $120 billion – “the worst transport project Melbourne has ever seen”:

The government’s commitment to build the worst transport project Melbourne has ever seen: the so-called commuter rail loop… Tunnels eat money, and demand for this one is likely to be weak. No business case has been produced, and no cost-benefit analysis, but it will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars…

It seems to have emerged from his political circle rather than the railways, let alone transport economists. As originally presented, it was planned to run ninety kilometers around the inner and outer suburbs of Melbourne, largely in tunnels, with a number of stations to the south-east but very few to the Where is. The announced cost was 50 billion dollars, which no one believed…

The construction of the commuter rail loop means that the government will not have the resources to undertake other more urgent projects such as the second line of the underground, intended to link Clifton Hill to the massive redevelopment site of Fishermans Bend…

The commuter rail loop is the best example of a problem that not only plagues the Victorian budget but Australian politics in general… governments are focusing on what they call projects and what politically rewarding projects to announce, rather than service delivery. which offer the best value for money.

Transport experts then questioned the rubbery ‘benefit to cost ratio’ of between 1.1 and 1.7 that was belatedly attributed to the scheme, arguing that it represents poor value for money for Victorian ratepayers. [my emphasis]:

Questions over the business case come after an Age investigation revealed the lack of transport and economic planning on the big project when it was unveiled to voters by Prime Minister Daniel Andrews three months before the election of 2018. Gag orders and a codename were used to keep the project secret from the state’s top transportation bureaucrat and the agency overseeing the project.

The benefit-cost ratio of the project was also calculated using unconventional parameters that made it appear more financially sound…

Business cases typically show multiple benefit-cost ratios for a project under scenarios where 4% and 7% discount rates are applied, but the loop business case only shows one benefit-cost ratio under the more favorable scenario of 4%…

The benefit-cost ratio of the project also includes broader economic benefits, which goes against official recommendations…

Today, Grattan Institute’s Transportation and Cities Program Director Marion Terrill called for the Suburban Rail Loop project to be scrapped, noting that it is based on outdated pre-pandemic projections:

“The benefits are underpinned by the old work and travel patterns we had. The world is different now, we don’t really know… if we’re going to go back to something like we did before,” Ms Terrill said.

“Heavy rail is really stiff, not like a bus, you can’t really change your mind if the conditions don’t really warrant it”…

Ms Terrill said the project came about in secret and the government had provided little information about it “beyond the glossy images”.

Crystal Legacy, associate professor of urban planning at the University of Melbourne, asked why construction of SRL would start in the south east and not in the west, where proper public transport services were lacking.

“This is a critical area due to its growth and current high levels of car dependency, not equal access to good quality public transport,” she said…

Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said Melbourne would have a population of nine million by 2056, the size of London today.

This whole project was upside down to begin with and is a classic example of everything that is wrong with the provision of infrastructure in this country.

Standard due process would have required that a proper cost-benefit analysis had been undertaken before the project was approved and then announced. Instead, the draft was first announced to give the Labor government “announceable” shock and awe ahead of state elections amid voter concerns about excessive population growth, as well as to give the impression that the government had the situation under control.

This project has never been submitted for review by Infrastructure Australia or Infrastructure Victoria. No business case was done before his announcement. And the Victoria Department of Transport was not even made aware of the plan for fear it would try to block the project within government.

Then the project was given a rubbery “benefit/cost ratio” which was produced years later based on creative accounting to inflate the value of the project.

The commuter rail loop also highlights another hidden cost of mass immigration. The project was created to enhance Melbourne’s impact by nearly doubling in size to “a population of nine million by 2056, the size of London today” – something few Melburnians really want.

Instead of pushing away this one pointless project, maybe the Grattan Institute should represent Australians and push back against mass immigration instead?

We all know Grattan won’t do that. They are as committed to ‘Greater Australia’ as they are to the most fervent business lobby.

Unconventional economist
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Riddle of the Malir Highway – Latest News – The Nation https://after-hours.org/riddle-of-the-malir-highway-latest-news-the-nation/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 18:28:16 +0000 https://after-hours.org/riddle-of-the-malir-highway-latest-news-the-nation/ Pakistan’s infrastructure and investment policies suffer from a major flaw – while the cost-benefit analysis of major development projects inculcates benefits, impact on economy and GDP, social and environmental aspects of potential projects have been neglected. This results in a situation where billions of rupees and investments are poured into a project, only for the […]]]>

Pakistan’s infrastructure and investment policies suffer from a major flaw – while the cost-benefit analysis of major development projects inculcates benefits, impact on economy and GDP, social and environmental aspects of potential projects have been neglected. This results in a situation where billions of rupees and investments are poured into a project, only for the project to be caught up in litigation and bureaucratic hurdles to get environmental stage approvals.
The problems with the proposed Malir highway project in Sindh show that this is not just the scourge of one political party, but a fundamental flaw in our administrative policy. Once again, work on Malir Expressway, a Rs 27.5 billion, 39 km long project that would start from KPT Interchange, Qayyumabad and end at Karachi-Hyderabad Expressway near of Kathore, started before the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project. The report was approved by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), despite the mandate of the provincial environmental regulations that no construction could be started unless the developer had received a report of EIA.
The guaranteed outcome is the same consequence that has plagued other similar large infrastructure projects – residents who are affected by the project are protesting because of very valid concerns about the environmental and social impact of the project. Like the Lyari highway, the Orange line train and several CPEC projects, there is a risk that the Malir highway will be locked in public interest litigation, when funds and contracts have already been concluded, resulting in losses.
The irony of sidelining environmental regulations from development projects, in favor of economic measurement, is that it can result in the entire project being abandoned at the final stage, leading to massive financial losses. More than that, it leads to poorly designed cities, with chaotic and arbitrary development projects that ignore established methods of urban planning and end up worsening living standards. There is a need for greater transparency in project approval and construction – strict compliance with environmental and social regulations, before the start of construction, is required, in the interest of the city, its inhabitants and developers of the project themselves.

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County pre-approves financial incentives for Regeneron https://after-hours.org/county-pre-approves-financial-incentives-for-regeneron/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 18:38:57 +0000 https://after-hours.org/county-pre-approves-financial-incentives-for-regeneron/ WHITE PLAINS, NY – Westchester has given preliminary approval to financial incentives for the expansion of Regeneron’s Tarrytown campus. The county’s Industrial Development Agency gave preliminary approval on Feb. 25. Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the historic IDA vote was an important affirmation of the county’s ongoing commitment to economic development and job creation. […]]]>

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Westchester has given preliminary approval to financial incentives for the expansion of Regeneron’s Tarrytown campus.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency gave preliminary approval on Feb. 25.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the historic IDA vote was an important affirmation of the county’s ongoing commitment to economic development and job creation.

“The financial incentives that will be provided to Regeneron by IDA will result in huge economic dividends for our county with hundreds of new construction jobs as well as hundreds of new high-paying jobs in the booming life sciences,” he said.

Regeneron’s 724,000 square foot project represents a total company investment of $1.39 billion, resulting in the creation of at least 700 new full-time jobs and nearly 800 construction jobs, according to a carrier. word.

The pharmaceutical company’s new facility will house several new research and development labs and administrative buildings.

The project would include the design, construction and fit-up of up to eight buildings, three parking lots and a power plant.

The Greenburgh Planning Department has approved the project which is expected to start between April and June. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2027.

An economic impact report prepared for IDA by Camoin Associates indicates that the construction will create 789 jobs and generate $100 million in total revenue. It is estimated that approximately 70% of this revenue is spent in Westchester, 25% of this spending will generate sales tax for the county.

A cost-benefit analysis showed that the Regeneron project will generate a return of approximately $1.62 in county tax revenue for every $1 of county incentives granted, which is at the high end of the range of previously approved projects. by IDA.

Regeneron claimed a sales tax exemption of approximately $47.5 million and a property tax exemption of approximately $125.3 million. The company received $100 million in other public incentives to partially cover the capital investment cost of the proposed project, according to a spokesperson.

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Science and People: India’s Neutrino Observatory https://after-hours.org/science-and-people-indias-neutrino-observatory/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 06:48:11 +0000 https://after-hours.org/science-and-people-indias-neutrino-observatory/ The Tamil Nadu government has reportedly told the Supreme Court that it does not want the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) to be located in a sensitive ecological area in the Western Ghats, given the damage to wildlife, biodiversity and public unrest against the project. Neutrinos, first postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli, are naturally occurring […]]]>

The Tamil Nadu government has reportedly told the Supreme Court that it does not want the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) to be located in a sensitive ecological area in the Western Ghats, given the damage to wildlife, biodiversity and public unrest against the project.

Neutrinos, first postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli, are naturally occurring elementary particles with no electric charge, emanating mainly from the Sun and moving almost at the speed of light. The study of neutrinos should reveal the origin of the Universe and form the basis of esoteric studies.

The government had proposed build an INO 1.3 km underground in the Singara-Masinagudi area of ​​the Niligiris district of Tamil Nadu, in 2005. Following sustained public resistance, the government abandoned the Singara-Masinagudi site and decided to build INO in Theni district in Tamil Nadu.

But the reasons why the site of Singara-Masinagudi was abandoned also apply to the current site of Theni district and deserve to be known.

The INO project requires the construction of large caverns 1.2 km underground, with several kilometers of approach length, tunnels and connecting and safety roads. It will involve the blasting of rocks and the use of large earthmoving machinery.

An estimate of the volume of rock and earth spoil to be excavated is around 225,000 cubic meters (625,000 tonnes). This will have to be transported out of the underground site by convoys of tipper and tipper trucks. Spoil will be disposed of in landfills in designated low-lying areas, altering natural rainwater drainage patterns and irreversibly deserting large tracts of land, both inside and outside the forest zone.

Several thousand tons of construction materials such as bitumen, cement, steel, stone aggregates and sand will be imported to build access roads and underground structures. This will require land acquisition and deforestation if necessary, to store construction machinery and materials to provide concrete for construction and bitumen for roads. The noise, smoke and dust that accompany it over the years of construction will have an irreversible impact on human, plant and animal life. INO-related industrial/construction activity will result in the loss of native vegetation and entire ecosystems in the area.

A 50 kiloton electromagnet and other scientific devices installed underground will require dedicated power generation and transmission lines, resulting in further environmental degradation.

Regardless of the assurances given by the project promoters, only the environmentally illiterate or the scientifically challenged would deny the enormous irreversible environmental and ecological damage threatened by the INO project. An environmental impact assessment may suggest measures to minimize or mitigate damage, but cannot legitimately address the permanent destruction/disruption of ecosystems and the extinction of species.

Deforestation in the Western Ghats region will seriously compromise the water holding capacity of the subsoil and cause the streams and streams in the region to dry up. This will reduce the flow of already depleting downstream rivers, on which huge populations of Tamil Nadu depend for their livelihoods and sustenance.

There is a conflict between the scientific and intellectual gains expected from the INO project and the direct and immediate damage to the environment and ecology, and the later direct and indirect harmful effects, in particular on the weakest layers of the society. Hence the need to ask difficult questions:

1 – How does the use of INO for investigations into the origin of the universe help solve the problems of food crisis and poverty and, in the context of impending climate change, the larger problems water and food crises and massive migration of people due to the desertification of the subcontinent?

2 – Has a cost-benefit analysis of the INO project been carried out and if so, what are the social benefits considered?

3 – It is easy to argue that cutting edge scientific research cannot be stopped because neutrino research is part of the human quest for knowledge. Indeed, justifying the INO, Dr. D.Indumathi of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences had declared: “We still do not know if the neutrinos are from Majorana or from Dirac”. How important is it for the non-scientific community to get excited about such esoteric puzzles, which even most of the scientific community wouldn’t begin to understand?

science and society

Scientific research relies on the industry that provides the material and consumes a lot of electrical energy, from the manufacturing and manufacturing phase to installation and operation. There are types of science that do not even remotely meet the basic needs of society. It’s not that money can’t be found to fund esoteric science projects, but that such spending doesn’t contribute to development here and now for people.

A scientist, a doctor, an engineer, may understand development differently than a small farmer, a factory worker or a daily wager. We can therefore seek the purpose of development, as provided for in the Cocoyoc Declaration of the United Nations of 1974: “Our first concern is to redefine the very purpose of development. It is not a question of developing things but of developing man. Human beings have basic needs: food, housing, clothing, health, education. Any process of growth that does not lead to their realization – or, even worse, disrupts them – is a travesty of the idea of ​​development”.

INO’s mission is to advance scientific knowledge. It will contribute to economic growth by increasing the GDP as huge sums are spent on its construction, operation and maintenance. Someone who understands development in terms of increased economic activity and GDP growth rates – like our economists – would support the project. However, INO is not even able to meet people’s basic needs from a distance.

This will have adverse effects on the environment, which holistically includes all people, wildlife and vegetation (ecosystems). Worse still, it disrupts people’s legitimate basic needs and mocks the idea of ​​people-centred development, as it effectively snatches bread from hungry people. To be fair, this does not only apply to the INO project, although it is the immediate cause for addressing the question of what kind of science is appropriate or ethically acceptable for people-centered development.

The INO project does not provide any benefit to people or society in the future, but involves immediate and irremediable social and environmental/ecological costs. Mature thinking recognizes, understands and accepts inequalities in society. However, if development is to be of and for people, the ethos of political leadership requires that the actions of those in positions of power aim to reduce social and economic inequalities.

The current governance system uses the economic-political power structure to centralize the accumulation of wealth. It accentuates economic inequalities. Development planned in the hope and expectation of future economic benefits for part of the population, by paying the costs here and now to a different set of people who are already lower on the socio-economic scale, is an institutionalized development plan. social injustice.

The INO project may provide intellectual and professional benefits to a tiny minority, but it does not provide greater social or economic benefits. It can only be called socially inappropriate and ecologically and ecologically disastrous. Ethical and moral questions must take precedence over economic or intellectual imperatives. So, from a holistic point of view, the INO project deserves to be abandoned.

Maj Gen SGVombatkere, VSM (Retd), holds a PhD in Structural Civil Engineering from IIT, Madras. His current areas of interest are business development and strategy

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Essential knowledge of safe infant sleep https://after-hours.org/essential-knowledge-of-safe-infant-sleep/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 10:00:37 +0000 https://after-hours.org/essential-knowledge-of-safe-infant-sleep/ “The vast majority of these deaths are preventable.” Early Bird readers, hello again. New arrivals, welcome! If you received this email, you can sign up here to receive it every two weeks and join our conversation about the issues facing young children in North Carolina and those who support them. If you’re already a subscriber, […]]]>

“The vast majority of these deaths are preventable.”

Early Bird readers, hello again. New arrivals, welcome! If you received this email, you can sign up here to receive it every two weeks and join our conversation about the issues facing young children in North Carolina and those who support them. If you’re already a subscriber, help us reach more people by sharing this with your friends and colleagues interested in early childhood education.

Liz Bell/EducationNC

In the past three years of early learning and development, I have become too familiar with a troubling set of numbers:

  • Although North Carolina’s infant mortality rate has declined over the past 20 years, it remains the 13th highest in the nation.
  • While the overall rate has decreased, the disparity between black and white babies has increased slightly.
  • Black babies are 2.67 times more likely to die in the first year of life than white babies.

At the last Child Death Task Force meeting, I was refreshed to hear about the work being done to change these realities. Safe Sleep NC, an initiative of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health (CMIH) at UNC-Chapel Hill, trains providers and health organizations and provides families with materials on how to ensure babies have a safe sleep environment .

It turns out that deaths related to unsafe sleeping environments are the third leading cause of infant death and the leading cause of the postneonatal period (months 2 to 12), accounting for 121 deaths in the first years of life for babies in North Carolina in 2020. This is also a disparity factor: black babies were twice as likely to die from causes related to a dormant hazardous environment.

“The vast majority of these deaths are preventable,” said Erin McClain, deputy director and research associate at CMIH.

The group is requesting $250,000 in annual recurring legislative funds, which the task force supports in its recommendations to the governor and legislature. McClain said this level of funding would allow for a “multi-pronged approach”, providing more intensive training to social service and health care organisations, ensuring maternity units educate families about safe sleep, testing types of education that work best for high-risk families. , and adapt teaching materials to specific communities.

“Providers, organizations and communities want to do more to support safe sleep,” she said. “This funding would help us provide a comprehensive, statewide approach to making sleep safer for every baby in North Carolina.”

Below, don’t miss research on the continued shaping of the child care industry by the pandemic, and a call for preschool investments to reduce incarceration and increase public safety.

As always, I look forward to hearing your questions and story ideas. As EdNC strives to get to know our state’s communities more intimately, I am specifically looking for stories and contacts in these counties: Polk, Pender, New Hanover, Craven, Jones, Onslow, and Chowan. Let’s connect.


Early Bird reads: What We Write

Funds requested for safe sleep education to reduce infant deaths

Other states spend more than North Carolina on safe sleep efforts, McClain said, with West Virginia allocating $4.75 per baby compared to 38 cents per baby in North Carolina. Florida spends about the amount North Carolina does per baby on printing and shipping materials alone, she said. States draw from a variety of funding sources and programs: Medicaid, child mortality reduction efforts, child abuse prevention, and injury prevention.


In other early learning news: What I’m reading


Research and Resources: Let’s Talk Preschool and Childcare

Two recent reports, one from a group of law enforcement officials and the other from a leading child care advocacy organization, do not give up hope on the components of the Build Back Better Early Childhood, calling for investments in preschool and childcare.

The Council for a Strong America released a brief independent cost-benefit analysis last week showing that universal pre-kindergarten yields a profit (“economic benefits minus cost”) of more than $15,000 per child. The group then multiplied that figure by the roughly 6 million additional children who could benefit from the universal pre-K proposition in Build Back Better, estimating a benefit of $90 billion over the lifetime of those children.

The bottom of the report acknowledged the larger ecosystem in which pre-K sits: “Solutions must address how a federal-state preschool system would interact with the child care system, which often relies on the tuition it receives from 3- and 4-year-olds to offset the higher cost infant and toddler care.

Meanwhile, Child Care Aware picked up where the group left off, “demanding change” for the continuum of care and education from early childhood to kindergarten.

“We could be at a turning point towards a more equitable early learning system, as the provisions of this landmark bill will support our families and communities by funding universal preschool education for 3- and 4-year-olds and funding initiatives that increase wages for child care providers while making quality child care accessible to millions of families,” read the introduction to the report. “Our requests for change have been heard.

The group’s report explores four aspects of early childhood care and education: supply, demand, affordability and the child care workforce. The message is not much different from that of the group’s 2020 report: the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing systemic challenges. The report also offers new ways to measure demand for childcare using Google Trends and an evolving conversation about what quality childcare means.

Liz Bell

Liz Bell is the early childhood reporter for EducationNC.


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Differing opinions prevail ahead of STB reciprocal commutation hearing https://after-hours.org/differing-opinions-prevail-ahead-of-stb-reciprocal-commutation-hearing/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 14:10:55 +0000 https://after-hours.org/differing-opinions-prevail-ahead-of-stb-reciprocal-commutation-hearing/ With the February 14 filing date for the reciprocal commutation regulations proposed by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) earlier this week, various freight rail stakeholders made their pros and cons in comments filed with the STB. A public hearing organized by the STB on these regulations is scheduled for March 15 and 16 at the […]]]>

With the February 14 filing date for the reciprocal commutation regulations proposed by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) earlier this week, various freight rail stakeholders made their pros and cons in comments filed with the STB. A public hearing organized by the STB on these regulations is scheduled for March 15 and 16 at the STB’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

The STB’s proposed reciprocal switching legislation, proposed in 2016, would allow a rail shipper to switch to another railroad if the shipper makes certain visits. According to the STB’s definition, reciprocal switching is a situation in which a railroad that has physical access to a specific shipper’s facility switches rail traffic to another railroad’s facility that does not have physical access. And the second railroad compensates that railroad that has physical access in the form of a per-car switching fee, with the shipper facility having access to an additional railroad.

STB officials said this hearing will focus on the proposed reciprocal commutation regulations in Reciprocal Commutation Filing No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) et al (NPRM), which introduced new regulations under which it would exercise its legal power to require rail carriers to establish switching agreements in certain circumstances. They added that the NPRM has received varying responses from industry stakeholders, noting that the STB has reviewed the existing record in this instance.

STB explained that under reciprocal switching, an incumbent carrier moves a shipper’s traffic to an interchange point, where it transfers the cars to the competing carrier. And she observed that the competing carrier pays the incumbent carrier a switching fee to bring or pick up cars from the shipper’s facility to the interchange point, or vice versa.

“Switching charges are somehow rolled into the competing carrier’s total shipper rate,” the STB said. “Reciprocal switching thus allows a competing carrier to offer its own single line to compete with the incumbent’s single line rate, even if the competing carrier’s lines do not physically reach the facility of a sender.”

In its comments, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) explained that at the bottom of the matter, shippers are asking the STB to adopt a forced, or competitive, commutation rule in order to pay lower fares.

“The apparent purpose of this rule is to force a carrier to offer switching services which the carrier has no reason to offer, and which the shipper does not need, because the carrier already has other means to route sender traffic from origin to destination,” the AAR said. “But shippers will demand reduced origin-destination rates, negotiating in the shadow of the threat of regulatory orders requiring these switching services, regulatory orders setting their prices, and regulatory orders on how this switching should proceed. produce. [T]The end result would be to increase shippers’ profits at the expense of carriers.

Other key points arguing against reciprocal commutation cited by the AAR include:

  • the possibility of discouraging future railway investment;
  • industries that want the proposed rule have much higher returns on investment relative to their cost of capital than the rail industry;
  • not because all shippers should pay the same tariffs, as it is widely accepted that differential pricing is necessary for the future viability of the rail network; and
  • additional switching means additional complexity and potential lag points, among other things

In the comments provided to MLAAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies said AAR’s filing provides sound economic and legal analysis, making it clear that the Board must abandon its misguided forced switching NPRM.

“With a wide range of input from a diverse number of affected stakeholders, it is clear that forced change is widely opposed and would have myriad downsides, including negative impacts on efficiency, investment and sustainability. environment,” he said. “I hope the Council will consider this input as it continues to deliberate on this matter.”

The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) aligned with the AAR in its filed comments, with IANA President and CEO Joni Casey noting that he encourages the STB to proceed with method and with restraint as it contemplates major market intervention in the form of the ‘reciprocal switching’ regulation project.

Historically, IANA has opposed policies that significantly alter current laws under which freight railways operate – including widespread forced switching as recommended in the 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)” , Casey said. “In the absence of a definitive demonstration of market failure and a conclusive cost-benefit analysis, the efforts contemplated under this proposed rule are unwarranted. We believe that the impact of a forced switch to intermodal freight would most likely be: a decline in rail infrastructure; a decrease in network speed; a deterioration in domestic intermodal service; and a negative impact on the ability of intermodal to compete with road trucking. These results are troubling given the supply chain challenges that persist, both domestically and internationally.

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association took a different view in its comments, saying the STB was looking for ways to improve the use of reciprocal commutation consistent with Congressional intent.

“These proposed rules will also ensure better rail service which is now crucial to the aggregates industry following the passage of the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” he said. “NSSGA urges the Board to give life to this remedy that has been essentially dormant for decades and to provide rail shippers with a method to counter the relentless market power of Class I railroads over NSSGA member companies.

As previously reported by MLSTB Chairman Martin Oberman told the November RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading and independent railroad analyst Anthony Hatch that the STB has had many discussions about EP 711 with industry stakeholders. industry expressing, for the most part, diametrically opposed opinions on the subject.

“It has become clear to me that this issue is too big and has a significant improvement to improve the competitive playing field to just have these endless discussions between the STB, the railroads and their customers,” he said. . “These issues should be aired publicly, the kind of vigorous discussion that such a hearing will bring. Since joining the STB, I have focused much of my attention on promoting as much competition as possible in the provision of rail services. Because in our American system, more competition in business almost always means better products, better prices, and a stronger economy. I believe there is potential for a more accessible reciprocal switching mechanism to provide this concurrency response. Any railroad that truly offers this kind of service at fair prices should welcome such an environment. »

Additionally, Oberman echoed the sentiment expressed by the late E. Hunter Harrison, who ran CSX, CN and CP, at various times in his career, and conceived the concept of the precision programmed railroad.

Harrison, Oberman noted, saw reciprocal switching as one of those regulations in place, but people don’t really benefit from it because individual carriers don’t have to do their job.

“My opinion is that for years many rail workers have been afraid of the term open access and I don’t know why,” Oberman said quoting Harrison. “What that tells me is that all they’re going to do is open up more competition and with a very limited number of players in North America, it’s important to maintain that competitive balance. If an individual carrier…provide the right kind of service for the customer at a fair and appropriate price, we have nothing to worry about.If we don’t provide the service, we shouldn’t be reluctant to have someone another come and provide this service.”

Oberman concluded his comments on reciprocal switching by noting that while reciprocal switching was good enough for Harrison – and it’s good enough to be accepted as a condition in many parts of the US networks that have been subject to the mergers of the years 1990 – then it should be good enough for the industry today.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics management, Modern material handlingand Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight forwarding and material handling industries on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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CP NewsAlert: Ottawa asks court for injunction to stop noise and idling at protest https://after-hours.org/cp-newsalert-ottawa-asks-court-for-injunction-to-stop-noise-and-idling-at-protest/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 22:25:07 +0000 https://after-hours.org/cp-newsalert-ottawa-asks-court-for-injunction-to-stop-noise-and-idling-at-protest/ WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to place greater emphasis on the potential harms of greenhouse gas emissions when creating rules for polluting industries. U.S. District Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana sided with Republican attorneys general who said the administration’s increase in the cost […]]]>

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to place greater emphasis on the potential harms of greenhouse gas emissions when creating rules for polluting industries.

U.S. District Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana sided with Republican attorneys general who said the administration’s increase in the cost estimate of carbon dioxide emissions threatens to rise energy costs while decreasing state revenues from energy production. The judge issued an injunction that bars the administration from using the higher cost estimate, which assigns a monetary value to the damage caused by each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, restored the climate cost estimate to around $51 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration reduced the figure to around $7 per tonne. . Trump’s estimate only included damage felt in the United States compared to the global damage considered in the higher estimate.

The Biden administration’s relaunch of a higher figure originally set under the Obama administration would be used to set future rules for oil and gas drilling, autos and other industries. Using a higher cost estimate would help justify reductions in global warming emissions by making the benefits more likely to outweigh the expense of complying with the new rules.

Known as the social cost of carbon, the rule uses economic models to capture the damage caused by rising sea levels, recurring droughts and other consequences of climate change. The $51 estimate was first established in 2016 and has been used to justify major rules such as the Clean Power Plan to tighten emissions standards for coal-fired power plants and separate rules imposing standards stricter vehicle emissions.

The carbon cost estimate had not yet seen much use under Biden, but is being considered in an ongoing environmental review of oil and gas lease sales in western states.

Federal officials began developing climate damage cost estimates more than a decade ago after environmentalists successfully sued the government for failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions during the setting vehicle mileage standards, said Max Sarinsky, a professor at New York University School of Law.

Failing to take full account of carbon damage would distort any cost-benefit analysis of a proposed rule in favor of industry, he said, adding that the social cost of carbon had been “instrumental” in allowing agencies to accurately judge how their rules affect the climate.

“Without a proper climate impact assessment, it would complicate the agencies’ good faith efforts to reach reasoned conclusions,” he said.

Republican attorneys general led by Jeff Landry of Louisiana said the Biden administration’s relaunch of the higher estimate was illegal and beyond its authority in basing the figure on global considerations. Other states whose officials have sued include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Landry’s office released a statement calling Cain’s decision “a major victory for nearly every aspect of Louisiana’s economy and culture.”

“Biden’s executive order was an attempt by the government to seize power and tax the people based on winners and losers chosen by the government,” the statement said.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

Last year, a federal judge in Missouri sided with the administration in a similar challenge from another group of Republican states. In that case, the judge said the Republicans lacked standing to bring their lawsuit because they had not yet suffered any harm under Biden’s order.

____

Brown reported from Billings, Montana, and McGill from New Orleans.

Matthew Brown, Matthew Daly and Kevin Mcgill, Associated Press

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It is still (still) necessary and appropriate to regulate air pollutants from power plants | Foley Hoag LLP – Environmental Law https://after-hours.org/it-is-still-still-necessary-and-appropriate-to-regulate-air-pollutants-from-power-plants-foley-hoag-llp-environmental-law/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 19:05:50 +0000 https://after-hours.org/it-is-still-still-necessary-and-appropriate-to-regulate-air-pollutants-from-power-plants-foley-hoag-llp-environmental-law/ The EPA has proposed to revoke the Trump administration’s 2020 finding that it is not appropriate and necessary to regulate air toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. Instead, the EPA proposes to reaffirm its 2012 and 2016 rulings supporting such regulation. This is not surprising and should not be controversial. It may seem […]]]>

The EPA has proposed to revoke the Trump administration’s 2020 finding that it is not appropriate and necessary to regulate air toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. Instead, the EPA proposes to reaffirm its 2012 and 2016 rulings supporting such regulation.

This is not surprising and should not be controversial. It may seem strange that I quote the Edison Electric Institute twice in one week in support of the EPA’s regulatory authority, but E&E News (subscription required) quotes IEE President Tom Kuhn as supporting the decision. So I’ll briefly touch on three notable aspects of the EPA’s proposal:

  • The EPA re-examined the numbers and found that both the costs of the MATS regulations were significantly overestimated the first time around and the benefits of the regulations were underestimated. So the rule seems even more “appropriate” now than it did in 2012, 2016 or 2020.
  • The EPA’s “preferred methodology” remains a “totality of the circumstances” approach, rather than a pure cost-benefit analysis that monetizes everything. I am always a fan of cost-benefit analysis. My view remains that if the EPA finds that the costs of regulation will be $X and it decides to go ahead and regulate, that implicitly means that the benefits of regulation exceed X $. Wouldn’t it be better for the EPA to be explicit and explain why it concluded that the benefits exceed $X?
  • The EPA is taking a belt and suspenders approach here. First, regulation is justified under the “totality of the circumstances” approach. Second, if it were a pure cost-benefit analysis, the rule would make sense there too. Third, the co-benefits are enormous, which further justifies the rule. Fourth, the EPA doesn’t even really need to look at co-benefits because the cost of regulation is much lower than originally thought and the benefits purely from emissions reductions of mercury and toxic substances in the air are far greater than previously thought.

I’m going to take a chance and say that not only is the EPA right, but they will win in court if the final rule is challenged.

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