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News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

An overview of a national meeting at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang on April 24, 2017 in celebration of the 85th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 25, 2017. KCNA/Handout via REUTERS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as soon as next week on legislation to toughen sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state, congressional aides said on Thursday. The legislation, approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month, is intended to cut off supplies of cash that help fund North Korea's nuclear program, and increase pressure to stop human rights abuses such as the use of slave labor, the bill's sponsor, Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, said. It also calls on President Donald Trump's administration to decide whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism. Amid international concern over the escalation of North Korea's nuclear program, top Trump administration officials held briefings on the issue on Wednesday for the entire U.S. Congress, busing the 100 senators to the White House and meeting with members of the 435-person House at the Capitol complex. As he left the House briefing, Royce said he expected the legislation to move quickly, as part of what he hoped would be a strong international effort to use every method possible to pressure Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions. "In particular, it will focus on financial institutions as well as what you might call 'slave labor.' These are cases where the North Koreans send out work crews to do work, and instead of being paid, the money comes back to the North Korean regime, and is spent on their nuclear program," Royce told reporters. The Trump administration said it wanted to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and remained open to negotiations to bring that about. Officials also said on Wednesday they wanted to return the country to the U.S. list of terrorism sponsors. A spokesman for Royce declined to comment on when there might be a vote, referring questions to House leadership, whose aides did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the timing. Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is due to meet with the U.N. Security Council on Friday to press for tougher international sanctions on North Korea.

News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. KCNA/Handout via REUTERS BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a U.S. missile defence system being deployed in South Korea. Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on North Korea and other countries on Thursday to avoid behaviour or rhetoric that could increase tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear programme. Speaking at a news conference in Moscow after talks, the two leaders said they had agreed to cooperate closely to try to help defuse tensions around North Korea. China has long promoted dialogue to resolve the Korean nuclear issue as North Korea has repeatedly threatened to destroy the United States. Washington has in turn warned that "all options are on the table" in ending North Korean provocations. North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat is a major security challenge confronting President Donald Trump, who has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android. Trump's administration said on Wednesday it aimed to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programmes, which are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure. "The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies," said a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior officials. Asked about the U.S. comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had noted that many U.S. officials had recently made such remarks. "We have noted these expressions, and have noted the message conveyed in these expressions hoping to resolve the Korean nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue and consultation," he said. "We believe this message is positive and should be affirmed." South Korea and the United States agreed on Thursday on "swift punitive measures" against North Korea in the event of further provocation. The South also said the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defence system was moving ahead effectively a day after angry protests by local residents against the battery and amid fierce opposition from China. South Korea on Wednesday moved parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to its deployment site on a golf course about 250 km (155 miles) south of the capital, Seoul, signalling faster installation. Several hundred villagers protested, hurling water bottles at vehicles moving the parts in. The top U.S. Commander in the Pacific, Admiral Harry Harris, said on Wednesday the THAAD system would be operational "in coming days," bolstering the ability to defend the U.S. ally and the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there. A photograph of the site showed a THAAD interceptor on a mobile launcher erected and pointed skywards on a green lawn as a military transport helicopter hovered nearby. China says the system's advanced radar can penetrate deep into its territory and undermine its security. It is adamant in its opposition. "The deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea damages the regional strategic balance and stability. The Chinese side is resolutely opposed to this," Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters. "China’s military will continue to carry out live-fire military exercises and test new military equipment in order to firmly safeguard national security and regional peace and stability." Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said on Thursday the U.S. policy was to exert maximum pressure on North Korea through sanctions and diplomatic activity “as frankly a last best way of seeing whether we can get a peaceful resolution to this problem”. The first step of this process was to ensure that all countries were "fastidiously implementing" existing sanctions, something that would be stressed by Tillerson in a meeting he will chair with U.N Security Council foreign ministers on Friday, she told a think tank event in Washington.

News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

In this Saturday, April 15, 2017, photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea. The broad avenues of Pyongyang were, by authoritarian North Korea’s standards, fairly empty ahead of Tuesday’s 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army, one of the biggest events on the country’s calendar. In recent years, the army commemoration has taken a backseat to the April 15th celebration of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung’s birth, which saw thousands choking the avenues to prepare for the country’s biggest holiday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The North Korean capital's broad, clean avenues were, by the authoritarian nation's usually over-the-top celebratory standards, fairly subdued ahead of Tuesday's 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army. For years, the army celebration rivaled the April 15th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's late founder, Kim Il Sung, in its pageantry. Army Day festivities saw immense displays of weaponry and military might, and thousands of people on the streets of Pyongyang in orchestrated shows of unity. But since the rise of Kim Jong Un, the third generation of the Kim family to rule the country, the April 25 army commemoration has taken a backseat to Kim Il Sung's birthday, which is celebrated with an unparalleled display of North Korean patriotism and power. The practice sessions alone for April 15 choke the avenues and public squares of Pyongyang with tens of thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles. The Associated Press queried North Korea specialists from around the world for their views on why the newest Kim appears to have shifted focus from the era of his father, Kim Jong Il. DUYEON KIM, a visiting senior fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul: Focusing on Kim Il Sung glorifies the nation's founder and also "legitimizes the Kim bloodline succession," she said. "This, however, does not necessarily mean Kim Jong Un is deemphasizing the importance of the North Korean military — the two days are not comparable. That said, we have witnessed both Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un try to empower or emphasize the Workers' Party more so that the power base is not centered only around the military. "Kim Jong Un has also tried to mimic his grandfather in looks and policies. He resurrected his grandfather's 'byungjin' strategic line of parallel economic and military development, but has apparently repackaged the 'military' pillar to include nuclear development." "So it appears Kim Jong Un realized that the military-first policy of his father is not sustainable and that regime security also entails economic prosperity." "Kim Jong Un's father nearly destroyed the North Korean economy by allowing the military a major policy and budgetary role," Kelly said. This drained the budget, worsened a horrific famine during the late 1990s, and increasingly made North Korea economically dependent on China. "Kim Jong Un's rollback of military-first — purging KPA brass, eliminating the national defense commission, publicly emphasizing the founder Kim Il Sung instead of Kim Jong Il or the KPA — is likely intended to bolster economic growth in order to give the regime greater sustainability and keep it from becoming a Chinese economic satrapy with the obvious political vulnerability that implies." HAZEL SMITH, a North Korea scholar and professor at SOAS, University of London: Smith doubts there is much political significance in a decreased focus on the April 25 celebrations. North Koreans "are terribly pragmatic" and also have a serious labor shortage, she said. Since major celebrations require weeks of practice, draining the worktime of tens of thousands of Pyongyang residents, she believes the government may have simply decided to concentrate its attention on a single day in April. "They have to decide where to marshal their pageantry resources, so to speak, and perhaps they're concentrating on April 15 because it's such an important holiday," she said. "It could be as simple as that." SUE MI TERRY, a former Korea analyst for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency: The intense focus in earlier years on April 25 celebrations came because Kim Jong Il "wanted to buttress his rule after he took over." "Now Kim Jong Un has returned to the party-centered governance of his grandfather's era and has been focused on resurrecting the party's power over the military," Terry said. To Kim Jong Un, "wrapping himself in the mantle of his still-popular grandfather, the 'eternal president' Kim Il Sung, makes sense. Kim Jong Un came to power, after all, at a young age in a communist but still a Confucian society that reveres age. Moreover, he is only the third son of Kim Jong Il, not the first. Thus he is likely insecure about any perceived illegitimacy of his rule."

Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd. | Kenett R.S.,University of Turin | Pollak M.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Quality and Reliability Engineering International | Year: 2012

The literature on statistical process control has focused mostly on the average run length (ARL) to an alarm, as a performance criterion of sequential schemes. When the process is in control, this is the ARL to false alarm, generally denoted by ARL 0, and represents the in-control operating characteristic of the procedure. The ARL from the occurrence of a change to its detection represents an out-of-control operating characteristic and is typically embodied by ARL 1, the ARL to detection assuming that the change occurs at the very start of surveillance. However, these indices do not tell the whole story, and at times they are not defined well by a single number. We review the role of various operating characteristics in assessing performance of sequential procedures in comparison with ARL 0 and ARL 1. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Figini S.,University of Pavia | Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd. | Kenett R.S.,University of Turin | Salini S.,University of Milan
Quality and Reliability Engineering International | Year: 2010

The focus of the paper is the use of optimal scaling techniques to reduce the dimensionality of ordinal variables describing the quality of services to a continuous score interpretable as a measure of operational risk. This new score of operational risk is merged with a financial risk score in order to obtain an integrated measure of risk. The proposed integration methodology is a generalization of the merging model suggested in Fagini and Giudici (J. Oper. Res. Soc. 2010; in press) for a hierarchical data structure. In order to demonstrate the methodology, we use real data from a telecommunication company providing services to enterprises in different business lines and geographical locations. For each enterprise, we have collected information about operational and financial performance. The approach demonstrated in this case study can be generalized to general service providers who are concerned by both the quality of service and the financial solvency of their customers. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd. | Kenett R.S.,University of Turin
Proceedings - International Computer Software and Applications Conference | Year: 2011

Software Cybernetics can address important challenges in future software based system. To achieve this, requires interdisciplinary work and research. An evaluation of how Software Cybernetics can interact with other disciplines is called for. © 2011 IEEE.

Rahim Y.,University of Turin | Rahim Y.,DNV GL | Refsdal I.,Statoil | Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd | Kenett R.S.,New York University
International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping | Year: 2010

As organizations grow more complex in operation and more global in scope, assets and technical integrity become key success factors. A company's asset integrity business process needs to be mapped in order to 1) provide a proper overview of operation and business processes, 2) identify all critical interfaces and 3) ensure that all gaps and overlaps in processes are eliminated. Achieving asset integrity requires companies to sustain their activities and identify the hazards, weaknesses and objectives of their strategic assets. Technical integrity emphasizes a complete overview of technical conditions and related information, and the ability of the companies to document the technical state of its assets. It is based on an integrated view of the current state of operations, and the identification of all critical interfaces, in order to ensure that all gaps and unnecessary overlaps in processes are eliminated. Companies look increasingly at their asset integrity management system as a means to extend the life of their assets, beyond the original design conditions and production capacity. Establishing an asset integrity management system requires the documentation of the company's technical integrity management, a strategy and the processes for carrying it out, identifying gaps; selecting corrective interventions and conducting follow up actions. The paper discusses various aspects of asset integrity management, including its planning and implementation. We begin with an introduction to asset technical integrity, provide some theoretical backgrounds, present a model we call 5C and conclude with a summary and discussion. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dalla Valle L.,University of Plymouth | Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd. | Kenett R.S.,University of Turin | Kenett R.S.,New York University
Quality and Reliability Engineering International | Year: 2015

This work is about integrated analysis of data collected as official statistics with administrative data from operational systems in order to increase the quality of information. Information quality, or InfoQ, is 'the potential of a data set to achieve a specific goal by using a given empirical analysis method'. InfoQ is based on the identification of four interacting components: the analysis goal, the data, the data analysis and the utility, and it is assessed through eight dimensions: data resolution, data structure, data integration, temporal relevance, generalizability, chronology of data and goal, construct operationalization and communication. The paper illustrates, through case studies, a novel strategy to increase InfoQ based on the integration of official statistics with administrative data using copulas and Bayesian Networks. Official statistics are extraordinary sources of information. However, because of temporal relevance and chronology of data and goals, these fundamental sources of information are often not properly leveraged resulting in a poor level of InfoQ in the use of official statistics. This leads to low valued statistical analyses and to the lack of sufficiently informative results. By improving temporal relevance and chronology of data and goals, the use of Bayesian Networks allows us to calibrate official with administrative data, thus strengthening the quality of the information derived from official surveys, and, overall, enhancing InfoQ. We show, with examples, how to design and implement such a calibration strategy. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Israel L.L.,Bar - Ilan University | Lellouche E.,Bar - Ilan University | Kenett R.S.,KPA Ltd. | Kenett R.S.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry B | Year: 2014

Pre-formed Massart magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) have been successfully modified by positively charged lanthanide Ce(iii/iv) cations/[CeLn]3/4+ complexes by using a strong mono-electronic Ceric Ammonium Nitrate oxidant (CAN) as a Ce donor. The doping process is promoted by high-power ultrasonic irradiation. The reaction has been statistically optimized by Design of Experiments (DoE, MINITAB® 16 DoE software) to afford globally optimized magnetically responsive ultra-small 6.61 ± 2.04 nm-sized CANDOE-γ-Fe2O3 NPs that are highly positively charged (ξ potential: +45.7 mV). This innovative inorganic DoE-optimized NP surface modification by [CeLn] 3/4+ complexes enables an effective "fully inorganic-type" coordination attachment of a branched poly-cationic 25 kDa b-PEI25 polymer for siRNA loading and gene silencing. This innovative NP platform technology paves an efficient way for the successful development of a wide range of biomedicine and diagnostic-related applications. © the Partner Organisations 2014.

News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - December 05, 2016) - CIVC Partners, LP ("CIVC"), a Chicago-based middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, KPA, has acquired Succeed Management Solutions ("Succeed"), a leading provider of web-based risk management and safety software for the insurance market. Succeed represents the third acquisition completed by KPA under CIVC's ownership. Succeed serves the majority of the top 100 insurance brokers who utilize its Software-as-a-Service platform to improve risk management, loss control, and compliance results for their policyholders. Thousands of organizations use the Succeed Risk Management Center to implement web-accessible employee safety training and management programs to lower the frequency and severity of claims. "The new partnership with KPA and CIVC gives us additional capital and a broader set of products and services, enabling us to better serve our clients and further accelerate our growth," said Curt Shaw, CEO of Succeed. Succeed represents a highly complementary acquisition for KPA that enhances KPA's existing environmental, health and safety software offering, provides entry into the attractive, growing insurance channel, and broadens the set of compliance solutions available to clients of both companies. In addition to KPA's EHS software and onsite audit expertise, KPA also provides HR management software which will enhance Succeed's Risk Management Center, providing additional hiring and workforce compliance content. Vane Clayton, CEO of KPA, said that "Succeed is a great complement to KPA's existing product offerings and enables us to access new markets and better serve our clients through an expanded compliance platform. We look forward to working with Curt and the Succeed team to deliver innovative compliance solutions for our clients." KPA delivers Environmental Health & Safety, HR Management, and Sales & Finance Compliance programs to over 6,500 clients helping them achieve regulatory compliance, control risk, protect their assets, and effectively manage people through a combination of intuitive software, interactive training, and onsite compliance audit services. To learn more, visit www.kpaonline.com. CIVC Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm investing in high growth middle market companies in the business services and financial services sectors. Since 1989, the team has invested $1.5 billion in 59 platform companies and currently invests from CIVC Partners Fund V. More information on CIVC Partners and its portfolio companies can be found at www.civc.com. If you have an opportunity that might be an appropriate add-on acquisition candidate for KPA, please contact Scott Schwartz (312-873-7345, sschwartz@civc.com) or Doug Potters (312-873-7355, dpotters@civc.com).

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