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PORTSMOUTH, Va., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Base Portsmouth Utility Energy Services Contract (UESC) team received the 2016 USCG Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Readiness (SEER) Award in the Overall Sustainability Category as well as the SEER Team Category for the Energy Track. In early fiscal year 2016, Energy Systems Group (ESG), a leading energy services provider and wholly owned subsidiary of Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), worked with the Base through Dominion Virginia Power’s (Dominion) UESC program to develop, design, and build the multi-phase UESC-funded project, including the first microgrid feasibility study within the Department of Homeland Security. “Base Portsmouth is excited to see the completion of construction on our UESC after nearly 10 years of planning for the conversion to natural gas,” said USCG Base Portsmouth Facilities Engineer, Lieutenant Commander Colleen Symansky, adding, “In addition to the USCG UESC team, the work of Dominion and ESG was integral to the successful completion of all energy conservation measures (ECMs) on the project. In just the past few months we've seen significant savings in utility and heating costs as well as numerous environmental benefits.” The UESC project included over $8.4 million in capital improvements and the conversion of multiple boilers to natural gas heating, thereby eliminating the annual consumption of propane and #2 fuel by 11,005 and 111,000 gallons respectively. This allowed for the removal of 16 outmoded above ground storage tanks and eliminated the Base's requirements to have a Facility Response Plan with the State of Virginia. Further, more than four million gallons of water will be saved annually due to the installation of new water fixtures, while new lighting fixtures will save more than 1,000 man hours of maintenance per year. The microgrid study completed helps establish a deliberate pathway towards resiliency and energy independence across all of Base Portsmouth’s missions and commands. The UESC installation of a 1.2 megawatt peak shaving generator not only lowers the Base utility rate and supports future microgrid capabilities, it is also associated with new switchgear that improves worker safety and stabilizes commercial electrical power. “Dominion is pleased to support the United States Coast Guard in new energy infrastructure projects that will increase reliability, resiliency, and efficiency for Base Portsmouth,” stated Eric Tatum, Manager of Federal Energy Solutions at Dominion. “In addition, this project enables Base Portsmouth to reduce operating costs and contribute to mission assurance. We all have a critical role to play in regards to energy conservation measures which will lead to reduced energy consumption by the installation.” USCG Base Portsmouth’s mission includes coordinating regional mission support activities within the 5th Coast Guard District. The Base is home to 26 tenant commands and provides medical, communication, engineering, and logistical support for more than 160 Coast Guard units in six states and Washington D.C., including six medium-endurance cutters and two buoy tenders homeported at the Base. As such, energy resiliency is a necessary characteristic of its utility infrastructure. Growing concerns about electric grid vulnerability, uncertainty about the cost of fuel, and the increase in the development of distributed generation, have led many federal agencies and sub-agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S Coast Guard, to reconsider energy security and resiliency strategies for their critical missions and operations at various bases and stations, including Base Portsmouth. U.S Coast Guard Energy Management Policy mandates enhance operations, strengthen fuel logistics reliability and flexibility, as well as enhance energy security in all new energy projects. “ESG is honored to support the United States Coast Guard and their important mission through the design and installation of energy and water infrastructure upgrades,” said Steve Spanbauer, Senior Vice President of Energy Systems Group. “Helping the Coast Guard and DHS develop a microgrid plan furthers their goal of true energy resilience,” added Spanbauer.  “We applaud the Coast Guard’s innovative contracting approach by which all of the infrastructure improvements and microgrid plan are paid for from savings; this is good for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. business, and the U.S. taxpayer." Energy Systems Group (ESG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), is a leading energy services provider that specializes in energy efficiency, sustainability, and infrastructure improvement solutions in the government, education, healthcare, commercial, and industrial sectors. ESG is strongly positioned to develop projects across the full spectrum of federal contracting opportunities, including Energy Savings Performance Contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. ESG is an industry leader in developing and implementing federal government projects under Utility Energy Services Contracts and through public/private partnerships such as Enhanced Use Leases. ESG also offers a full range of sustainable infrastructure solutions including waste-to-energy, distributed generation, and renewable energy. To learn more about ESG, visit www.energysystemsgroup.com.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Protesters gathered outside US Citizenship and Immigration Services in Little Haiti May 21 to call for extended temporary protection service (AFP Photo/JOE RAEDLE) Washington (AFP) - More than 58,000 Haitians who stayed in the United States with a special protected status since a catastrophic 2010 earthquake will be allowed to stay another six months, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday. The Haitians were facing orders to return home from July 23 if the department did not renew their so-called Temporary Protected Status, granted after a magnitude 7 earthquake destroyed much of the capital Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. Activists had been hoping for a longer extension -- as much as 18 months -- and warned that six months is not long enough for destitute Haiti to prepare for an influx of more than 50,000 people. The quake killed tens of thousands and displaced more than one million people. Since then the country has struggled against hurricane disasters, political turmoil and a sweeping cholera epidemic to rebuild and shore up its economy. Having TPS allowed the Haitians to remain in the United States past the expiration of their visas and work legally. DHS officials said there are around 58,700 Haitians living in the US under temporary protected status. Many do not have up-to-date Haitian travel documents, which has posed a problem to ending their status. Before the extension expires in January, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will decide whether to grant another one or terminate it, his department said in a statement. "I believe there are indications that Haiti –- if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues at pace -- may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018," Kelly said in the statement. "TPS as enacted in law is inherently temporary in nature, and beneficiaries should plan accordingly that this status may finally end after the extension announced today." Haitian Women of Miami, an advocacy group, said it was disappointed that the extension was only six months rather than 18. "As we have stated numerous times, Haiti is in no position to safely absorb an additional 50,000 persons, nor to make up for the remittances that would be curtailed," it said in a statement. "Haitian immigrants will continue to live in fear and will be further pushed in the shadows," it added. As part of a general crackdown on illegal immigration, the government has been deporting Haitians who do not have temporary protected status, raising protests from pro-immigrant groups.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, announced on Wednesday he will be taking up the position of assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, starting June. While criticism of his appointment began pouring in on social media, the DHS clarified it had made no such announcement yet. "I'm both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position by Secretary [John F.] Kelly, working for the Trump administration," Clarke told WISN-AM. While his statement could be seen as a confirmation of the fact that he has a job at Homeland Security, that is not the case. The department recognized the fact that a Senate confirmation is not mandatory for that particular position, but it also explicitly stated: “No such announcement with regard to the office of public engagement has been made." Read: World War 3 Predictions: CPAC Panel With Sheriff David Clarke Suggests Fight Has Already Begun​ If Clarke’s appointment becomes official, he will work with state, local and tribal law enforcement in the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement, starting June. Clarke rose to prominence during President Donald Trump’s election campaign when he became well-known as a high-profile supporter of the Republican candidate. His recognition led to him being one of the very few African-American speakers at the Republican National Convention. He continues to defend the POTUS post-election as a cable news surrogate. However, Clarke’s rhetoric and actions have raised quite a few eyebrows in the past. He called the Black Lives Matter movement “anarchy” and also equated his hatred toward the movement with his anti-Islamic sentiments. “[The Black Lives Matter movement] will join forces with [the Islamic State] to bring down our legal constituted republic. You heard it here first," he said in November 2015, UPI reported. Despite being African-American himself, Clarke has indulged in name-calling and racial slurs against his own community. He once called a CNN reporter, who is black, a “jigaboo.” He went on to make comments like: “Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle — because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt.” Clarke has also been accused of badly managing a prison that he was supposed to be in charge of. People in Wisconsin called for his resignation when his lack of supervision led to the death of a mentally-ill inmate due to dehydration, whose water supply was cut off by the jailors for a week, Vox reported. Three more deaths followed in the same jail between April and December 2016, which included an infant. Clarke wrote off the deaths as fake news, according to the UPI report. His “tough on crime” policy includes supporting the “stop and frisk” program, calling for longer jail sentences for low-level drug offenders and tweeting stories about the crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Incidentally, if his appointment to the DHS is confirmed, he will be in the center of guiding and advising policy for one of Trump’s key agendas — tracking down and deporting unauthorized immigration in the United States. People were quick to send out their less-than-happy reactions to the Clarke's statement. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said: "Our country deserves better.” He heavily criticized Clarke’s "gratuitous name calling, insults of other public officials, questioning judges' sentences," UPI reported. In the wake of Trump’s campaign members being investigated by the FBI for possible collusion with the Russians, people were also quick to point out that Clarke visited Moscow in December 2015, and met a Russian officer. The evidence of this fact is a picture of the two together that was tweeted by Clarke. Why And How Classified Information Leaks Under Trump


PORTSMOUTH, Va., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Base Portsmouth Utility Energy Services Contract (UESC) team received the 2016 USCG Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Readiness (SEER) Award in the Overall Sustainability Category as well as the SEER Team Category for the Energy Track. In early fiscal year 2016, Energy Systems Group (ESG), a leading energy services provider and wholly owned subsidiary of Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), worked with the Base through Dominion Virginia Power’s (Dominion) UESC program to develop, design, and build the multi-phase UESC-funded project, including the first microgrid feasibility study within the Department of Homeland Security. “Base Portsmouth is excited to see the completion of construction on our UESC after nearly 10 years of planning for the conversion to natural gas,” said USCG Base Portsmouth Facilities Engineer, Lieutenant Commander Colleen Symansky, adding, “In addition to the USCG UESC team, the work of Dominion and ESG was integral to the successful completion of all energy conservation measures (ECMs) on the project. In just the past few months we've seen significant savings in utility and heating costs as well as numerous environmental benefits.” The UESC project included over $8.4 million in capital improvements and the conversion of multiple boilers to natural gas heating, thereby eliminating the annual consumption of propane and #2 fuel by 11,005 and 111,000 gallons respectively. This allowed for the removal of 16 outmoded above ground storage tanks and eliminated the Base's requirements to have a Facility Response Plan with the State of Virginia. Further, more than four million gallons of water will be saved annually due to the installation of new water fixtures, while new lighting fixtures will save more than 1,000 man hours of maintenance per year. The microgrid study completed helps establish a deliberate pathway towards resiliency and energy independence across all of Base Portsmouth’s missions and commands. The UESC installation of a 1.2 megawatt peak shaving generator not only lowers the Base utility rate and supports future microgrid capabilities, it is also associated with new switchgear that improves worker safety and stabilizes commercial electrical power. “Dominion is pleased to support the United States Coast Guard in new energy infrastructure projects that will increase reliability, resiliency, and efficiency for Base Portsmouth,” stated Eric Tatum, Manager of Federal Energy Solutions at Dominion. “In addition, this project enables Base Portsmouth to reduce operating costs and contribute to mission assurance. We all have a critical role to play in regards to energy conservation measures which will lead to reduced energy consumption by the installation.” USCG Base Portsmouth’s mission includes coordinating regional mission support activities within the 5th Coast Guard District. The Base is home to 26 tenant commands and provides medical, communication, engineering, and logistical support for more than 160 Coast Guard units in six states and Washington D.C., including six medium-endurance cutters and two buoy tenders homeported at the Base. As such, energy resiliency is a necessary characteristic of its utility infrastructure. Growing concerns about electric grid vulnerability, uncertainty about the cost of fuel, and the increase in the development of distributed generation, have led many federal agencies and sub-agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S Coast Guard, to reconsider energy security and resiliency strategies for their critical missions and operations at various bases and stations, including Base Portsmouth. U.S Coast Guard Energy Management Policy mandates enhance operations, strengthen fuel logistics reliability and flexibility, as well as enhance energy security in all new energy projects. “ESG is honored to support the United States Coast Guard and their important mission through the design and installation of energy and water infrastructure upgrades,” said Steve Spanbauer, Senior Vice President of Energy Systems Group. “Helping the Coast Guard and DHS develop a microgrid plan furthers their goal of true energy resilience,” added Spanbauer.  “We applaud the Coast Guard’s innovative contracting approach by which all of the infrastructure improvements and microgrid plan are paid for from savings; this is good for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. business, and the U.S. taxpayer." Energy Systems Group (ESG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), is a leading energy services provider that specializes in energy efficiency, sustainability, and infrastructure improvement solutions in the government, education, healthcare, commercial, and industrial sectors. ESG is strongly positioned to develop projects across the full spectrum of federal contracting opportunities, including Energy Savings Performance Contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. ESG is an industry leader in developing and implementing federal government projects under Utility Energy Services Contracts and through public/private partnerships such as Enhanced Use Leases. ESG also offers a full range of sustainable infrastructure solutions including waste-to-energy, distributed generation, and renewable energy. To learn more about ESG, visit www.energysystemsgroup.com.


MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. (PSS) was recognized as the 2017 Private Company Deal Team of the Year by ACG National Capital. PSS was selected from a pool of the most accomplished and successful deal teams in the D.C. business community by the 2017 Corporate Growth Awards Committee. The award was presented at a black tie gala on May 11, 2017. “ACG National Capital Corporate Growth Award winners represent the very best in middle-market business management and innovation,” said Shooter Starr, Client Advisor at Brown Advisory and the chair of the 2017 Corporate Growth Awards Committee. “The companies and business leaders selected for these prestigious awards are chosen specifically for their accomplishment and creativity in growing their businesses and in driving corporate growth.” The ACG National Capital Corporate Growth Awards recognize the enterprises and individuals in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area’s business community that have exhibited excellence in corporate growth and dealmaking over the past year. The PSS growth strategy focuses on developing and maintaining the necessary core capabilities to provide the latest technological developments to support our customers’ missions. Our organic growth objectives are augmented by targeted acquisitions that significantly expand our professional services core capabilities and substantially increase our presence across a broad spectrum of critical national security programs. Successfully completing six acquisitions in less than 30 months, two of them in 2016, has been achieved by quickly integrating these companies through a coordinated financial and business-driven due diligence process and a parallel “cultural” due diligence process orchestrated by our PSS deal team. “I am extremely proud of what PSS has accomplished in creating an industry leading company through a purposeful acquisition program that seeks to expand our capabilities and positively impact our customer’s missions” said Scott Goss, CEO, Preferred Systems Solutions. “Equally important our holistic approach to integration provides every employee the opportunity for personal and professional growth.” PSS provides acquisition, financial management, program management, and IT support services to the Intelligence Community (IC), FBI, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Transportation Command, Department of Transportation, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For more information, visit www.pssfed.com, or email press@pssfed.com. ACG National Capital, a chapter of the international association, ACG (Association for Corporate Growth) that serves Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and southern Maryland, drives middle-market growth and increases deal flow. It provides unparalleled opportunities for networking, deal making and professional development for individuals involved in building corporate value through M&A, strategic partnerships, organic growth and capital funding. ACG National Capital's veteran leadership and its membership have participated in nearly every M&A transaction completed recently in the D.C. metro region with over 400 members. For more information, visit www.acgcapital.org or the ACG online publication at www.acgcapitalblog.com.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: motherboard.vice.com

One Wednesday, US congresswoman Kathleen Rice introduced a new bill that would task the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with conducting a threat assessment for terrorists using virtual currencies like bitcoin to fund their operations. If passed, the bill, called the Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists' Use of Virtual Currencies Act, would task DHS to work with other federal agencies to investigate whether terrorists use virtual currencies, or receive funding with them. The assessment must be completed within 120 days of the Act passing Congress, and must be shared with state and local law enforcement agencies. Rice is a ranking Democrat in the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, where the bill passed on Thursday. Read More: Europe Wants to Crack Down on Bitcoin Despite Little Evidence that ISIS Uses It "[Virtual currencies are] fast and efficient, there's a greater degree of anonymity, and the transactions can often be difficult for law enforcement to track," Coleman Lamb, a spokesperson for Rice's office, wrote in an emailed statement. These factors likely appeal to terrorist organizations like ISIS, Lamb continued. Criminals like pedophiles and drug dealers certainly do use virtual currencies, but as far as terrorism goes, there's been lots of bark and very little bite when it comes to actually proving that terrorists use the virtual currency in any meaningful way. Claims that ISIS has received millions in bitcoin funding have been debunked as unverifiable, and the most credible examples of ISIS-tied bitcoin use we have amount to a couple thousand dollars. According to previous reports, ISIS rakes in millions of dollars per day through more traditional avenues like oil. "The evidence suggests that terrorists' use of virtual currencies has so far been limited to a few instances and not widespread," Lamb, Rice's spokesperson, admitted in an email. "But those cases are all very recent, indicating that terrorists—like most people—are becoming more aware of and familiar with virtual currencies." While the federal government wants to get ahead of what it sees as an emerging trend for terrorist organizations, some in the virtual currency community, like Zooko Wilcox (co-founder of super-anonymous bitcoin alternative Zcash), welcome the assessment as an opportunity to put the supposed link between terror and virtual currencies to bed for good. "I think it would be good to have more data on whether it is true," Wilcox wrote me in an email, "that criminals use bitcoin but terrorists don't."


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

FILE - In this July 18, 2016 file photo, Milwaukee County, Wis. Sheriff David Clarke speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Clarke says he's taken a job as an assistant secretary in the Homeland Security Department. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who built a following among conservatives with his provocative social media presence and strong support of Donald Trump, said Wednesday that he's taken a job as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. The department declined to immediately confirm the appointment. The tough-talking, cowboy hat-wearing firebrand said in an interview with WISN-AM that he will work in the Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. He said he's leaving his current job next month, but declined to give a date. "I'm both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position," Clarke said during the interview. DHS spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in a statement that "such senior positions are announced by the Department when made official by the Secretary. No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made." Craig Peterson, a Clarke spokesman, said the sheriff would not comment further and that "he felt the need to tell folks he had accepted the position so the governor could get the ball rolling" on appointing a replacement. Clarke's elevation to a national posting would come at a time of great turmoil for him and the sheriff's office. Seven workers at the county jail he oversees are at the center of a criminal investigation into the dehydration death last year 38-year-old Terrill Thomas, an inmate who prosecutors say was deprived of water as punishment. The Milwaukee County District's Attorney's Office is considering charges against those staffers, based on a jury's recommendation after prosecutors presented them with evidence during a weeklong inquest. Clarke wasn't among the seven staffers on the jury's list because prosecutors say he wasn't directly involved in the events leading up Thomas' death. But the death happened under his leadership, which his critics say was sufficient cause for Clarke to be fired. Clarke would also be leaving office with several pending lawsuits against him, including one filed by Thomas' relatives. In February, a 24-year-old Milwaukee man sued the sheriff, saying Clarke had deputies detain and question him after a flight from Dallas because, while boarding, the man shook his head at Clarke. The sheriff didn't deny he had the man detained, saying "he reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault." It's that in-your-face, won't-back-down approach that has endeared him to his conservative supporters. He's been one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders, frequently praising the president's every move on Twitter, where his brash social media presence has earned him over 600,000 followers. His big following among conservatives got him a spot at the podium of the Republican Party convention last year, making him one of the few African-Americans speakers at the event. Last year, the frequent Fox News guest earned more than $105,000 in speaking fees — almost as much as his sheriff's salary — at more than three dozen events across the country. As Clarke's profile has risen since taking over the sheriff's office in 2002, he's become one of the most polarizing figures in Wisconsin politics. "Our country deserves better," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who has repeatedly clashed with Clarke, said of his appointment to the DHS position. During one of those clashes in 2013, Clarke insulted Abele saying he had "penis envy." Abele said Clarke has engaged in "gratuitous name calling, insults of other public officials, questioning judges' sentences. In general the focus is on what you should be angry about, not what to like." An immigrant-advocacy group, Voces de la Frontera, expressed concern about the sheriff's announcement, calling him "unfit for any office" in a statement. The group has recently been critical of Clarke for his desire to have his sheriff's deputies trained to carry out the duties of immigration enforcement officials as part of the federal 287g program. It wasn't immediately clear what power, if any, Clarke's new assignment would give him on immigration enforcement. During the Tuesday's radio interview, Clarke said he would act as a liaison between DHS Secretary John Kelly and state and local government officials, including mayors and law enforcement, as well as people in the private sector.


The Maritime and Port Security ISAO and Wapack Labs announce a collaborative partnership to advance real-time access to sector-specific cyber threat intelligence for Maritime & Port owners and operators and the supply chains that support them. -- The Maritime and Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (MPS-ISAO) and Wapack Labs announce today a collaborative partnership to advance real-time access to sector-specific cyber threat intelligence for Maritime & Port owners and operators and the supply chains that support them.The MPS-ISAO, a non-profit organization, officially launched in May 2016, is dedicated to a mission of enabling and sustaining Maritime & Port cyber resilience. This is accomplished through the availability of MPS-ISAO real-time cyber threat intelligence including Maritime & Port community contributed information and multi-directional (cross-sector)information sharing and coordinated response working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the International Association of Certified ISAOs (IACI), and academic, technology and security strategic collaborative partners.The partnership announced today with Wapack Labs expands access to sector-specific cyber intelligence, analysis of community data via strict information sharing protocols, and response capabilities for Maritime & Port stakeholders and their supply chains.Deborah Kobza, MPS-ISAO Executive Director states, "The Maritime & Port sector is increasingly vulnerable and actively being attacked by a variety of adversaries including nation states, organized crime, hacktivists and insider threats focused on espionage, human trafficking, financial gain, supply chain disruption, identity and intellectual property theft, or to gain a competitive advantage. Many physical and cyber systems used in ports and maritime, such as navigation/GPS, physical security, communication, energy, environmental controls, industrial control systems (ICS), emergency controls, operations, cargo tracking, terminal operations, and cruise transportation, represent cyber attack targets. This partnership with Wapack Labs advances the capability of Maritime & Port stakeholders to move from a reactive to proactive cyber resilience stance."Wapack Labs joined the MPS-ISAO's invitation-only webinar in March, "Interconnectedness in the Maritime Industry? First Let Me Tell You a Story.", to present their private research which identified a financially motivated cyber adversary who has compromised thousands of port and maritime organizations and over a million user accounts. The MPS-ISAO and Wapack Labs will use this cyber intelligence research as a jumping-off point to increase industry awareness and protection.Christy Coffey, Director of Strategic Alliances, adds, "Wapack Labs is a perfectly suited partner for the MPS-ISAO. Their unique combination of cyber threat intelligence production with deep maritime and ports roots increases the level of early threat awareness that we can provide to our stakeholders. Wapack Labs have been tracking adversaries targeting this industry for a few years now, and so having them on our watch provides immediate gains."Wapack Labs' bolsters the MPS-ISAO's ability to deliver Cyber Intelligence as a combination of industry-specific and personalized cyber threat intelligence, shared multi-directional sector and cross-sector information, advanced analytics, coordinated response, and training on topics of high interest. By participating in the MPS-ISAO, Maritime & Port stakeholders grow their understanding of vulnerabilities and risk so that they can proactively protect their organizations."We are excited to be working with the MPS-ISAO", said Jeffery Stutzman, a co-founder and CEO for Wapack Labs. It's imperative that we elevate cyber awareness in this important industry, and get ahead of threat actors. The MPS-ISAO - with the help of Wapack Labs' Cyber Threat Analysis Center (CTAC) are force multipliers - real game changers in Maritime and Port industry cybersecurity."A 2016 report published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (DHS/OCIA), "Consequences to Seaport Operations From Malicious Cyber Activity", states that a "cyber attack at a port or aboard a ship could result in lost cargo, port disruptions, and physical and environmental damage", and a disruption to U.S. ports can have a cascading affect to "Critical Manufacturing, Commercial Facilities, Food and Agriculture, Energy, Chemical, and Transportation Systems". This report includes a "Seaport Economics" section that details economic data points associated with sea trade.About the MPS-ISAO: Headquartered at the Global Situational Awareness Center (GSAC) at NASA/Kennedy Space Center, the MPS-ISAO is private sector-led working in collaboration with government to advance Port and Maritime cyber resilience. The core mission to enable and sustain a safe, secure and resilient Maritime and Port Critical Infrastructure through security situational intelligence, bi-directional information sharing, coordinated response, and best practice adoption supported by role-based education. The MPS-ISAO is a founding member of the International Association of Certified ISAOs (IACI). More information at: www.mpsisao.org.About Wapack Labs Corporation:Wapack Labs located in New Boston, NH is a privately held cyber intelligence company delivering in-depth strategic cyber threat activities, intelligence, analysis, reporting and indicators. Products are delivered through collaborative portals, private messaging and email, in multiple human readable and machine-to-machine form. Since 2011, Wapack Labs' have focused on tracking and profiling cyber adversaries, their tools, targets, attack methods, and delivering to subscribers in a way that can be quickly applied to the protection of computers, networks, and business operations. More information at: www.wapacklabs.com.


Man joining Trump administration said Black Lives Matter and Isis were teaming up to destroy America Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke has said he will join the Trump administration as an assistant secretary to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mr Clarke – a prominent, controversial Trump surrogate during the 2016 campaign – made the announcement to conservative radio host Vicki McKenna. Mr Clarke said he will work in the Office of Partnership and Programs, which coordinates outreach efforts to local authorities. "I'll be a liaison with state and local governments, with the private sector and – one that's really near and dear to me – liaison to state and local and tribal law enforcement," Mr Clarke said. A former Obama-era DHS official, Phil McNamara, tweeted on Wednesday that he was being replaced by Mr Clarke. "My job was to work with state and local officials. Clarke says he wants to strangle #Democrats," Mr McNamara wrote. The DHS website, however, currently lists the assistant secretary position as “vacant”. A DHS spokesperson told CNN that "no such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made." Aside from his role as Milwaukee county sheriff, Mr Clarke is perhaps best known for his controversial political statements. He maintains a prolific Twitter account, where he has encouraged Americans to take up “pitchforks and torches” against the government and suggested that Black Lives Matter will soon join hands with Isis to bring down America. At one point, Mr Clarke compared former President Barack Obama's management of the Department of Justice to Adolf Hitler consolidating all police forces under one commander. In his memoir, Mr Clarke suggested that anyone suspected of terrorism should be treated as an “enemy combatant,” and held indefinitely. He expanded on this viewpoint on his radio show, The People's Sheriff, where he suggested arresting anyone who expressed pro-terrorist sentiments and sending them to Guantanamo Bay, the United States’ offshore military prison. At the time, Mr Clarke estimated the number of people who should be detained at Guantanamo Bay could be up to “maybe a million”. “We're at war. This is a time of war,” he said. “Bold and aggressive action is needed." The Milwaukee County jails Mr Clarke oversees are currently under investigation for four deaths transpiring in 2016. In one case, a mentally ill inmate died of dehydration after being denied water for seven days. In another case, a mother and her newborn baby died after allegedly being denied care. Peter Koneazny, an attorney with Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee who is involved in litigation against the jails, says he is concerned about the management of the jail, the quality of care, and the treatment of inmates. “The deaths do raise a lot of questions in terms of the training and supervision of people within his department, and they’ve had a lot of staff turnover,” Mr Koneazny told the Huffington Post. In response to the allegations, Mr Clarke has said, “We'll see them in court”. Mr Clarke’s DHS role, unlike a Cabinet nomination, will not require Senate confirmation. He said he plans to assume the role in June.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The conference was sponsored by ACS COT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and NIH. The plan is being developed in response to a 2016 report by NASEM, "A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths," which found one of five trauma deaths could have been prevented if advances in trauma care reached all Americans. "Traumatic injury – such as car crashes, falls, head injuries, burns and firearm injuries – continues to be the most important health problem of three vitally important groups: our children, adults up to age 47 and our deployed military service members during times of conflict," said Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, Chair, ACS COT. "This is a health crisis we can no longer ignore. At least one-third of Americans live in an area without a complete trauma system, and tens of thousands of lives are lost unnecessarily each year." In addition, trauma costs the U.S. $671 billion per year in health care costs and lost productivity. Federal Leadership Will Speed Advances in Trauma Care Conference speakers acknowledged that many of the issues in the NASEM report were first identified in the 1966 National Research Council report, "Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society." Many speakers acknowledged that much progress has been achieved in the ensuing 50 years, but a new national trauma action plan is desperately needed. Failure to implement such a plan will result in needless loss of life and suffering from traumatic injury. Speaking via video, Don Berwick, MD, MPP, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, said the federal government has previously taken insufficient ownership to close gaps in trauma care that have been driven by the private sector, including the ACS COT. "There was far more inaction than action. That must end today." Dr. Berwick chaired the NASEM report committee and has been actively involved in advancing its recommendations. There was consensus among meeting participants that leadership should come from the federal government and be housed either within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or, a new suggestion, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS was offered as a solution because trauma systems should be considered a part of national preparedness and security. The group will continue to work with trauma stakeholder organizations and federal officials and policymakers to identify the most appropriate home. Conference attendees also agreed that there should be flexibility for the states and regional systems to optimize implementation. Action Plan Will Address Gaps in Trauma Care Due to the efforts of the entire trauma care community, the past 50 years have witnessed radical improvements in trauma care and injury prevention; however, there remain significant opportunities for improvement: "Even though traumatic injury results in more loss of years of life and disability than any other disease, it receives significantly less research funding than HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other conditions, including relatively rare diseases like Ebola," said Eileen M. Bulger, MD, FACS, member of the executive committee of the ACS COT. "Today, we can't track a patient from their point of injury to the hospital and back home again. We need to ensure data is collected at every stage of trauma care and we need to conduct research that will allow us to save more lives, lessen post-injury morbidity and prevent injuries from occurring in the first place." "Injury can occur at any time, to any person of any age," said Robert J. Winchell, MD, FACS, chair, ACS Trauma Systems Evaluation and Planning Committee. "A national trauma system is key to saving thousands of people a year who die unnecessarily from injury. It's also an important element of national and homeland security and a backbone for disaster preparedness in this country. As a nation, we must address this vital need." In addition to developing the National Trauma Action Plan, the ACS COT is actively supporting federal policies that will advance trauma care under the Military Health System Strategic Partnership American College of Surgeons (MHSSPACS). This partnership was created by ACS and the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System (MHS) to strengthen ties between civilian and military health systems. Congress is expected to vote on the Mission Zero Act (H.R. 880) sometime this year; the bill would provide $40 million in funding to the HHS to facilitate partnerships between military trauma care teams/providers, and high-volume civilian Level I trauma facilities. "Through the MHSSPACS, we are already taking important steps to achieve the NASEM report's goals," said M. Margaret (Peggy) Knudson, MD, FACS, medical director of the MHSSPACS. "Our close ties with our partners in the military are allowing us to share trauma innovations, and expand education and training opportunities. Passing the Mission Zero Act will allow us to take these initiatives further by partnering civilian and military surgeons and care teams at some of the busiest trauma centers in the nation." About the ACS Committee on Trauma ACS has focused on efforts to improve care for injured patients since it formed the COT in 1922 (then known as the Committee on Fractures). Today, the COT, which is administered by an 85-member leadership team and 3,500 regional surgeon leaders, oversees a spectrum of initiatives aimed at advancing the standard of trauma care for practitioners, trauma centers and trauma systems. These initiatives include Levels I-IV trauma center verification, the nation's only risk-adjusted outcomes-based trauma quality program, and trauma courses taken by more than 1 million medical professionals globally. About the American College of Surgeons The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-college-of-surgeons-supports-developing-a-national-trauma-action-plan-300458603.html

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