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Daily Archives: December 12, 2015

IG Semiannual Report to Congress on State Department

Semiannual Report to the Congress – April 1, 2015, to September 30, 2015 – Office of Inspector General
“Although the Department has taken steps to improve security since the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, OIG continues to find security deficiencies at U.S. diplomatic facilities abroad. Of the 11 U.S. diplomatic posts that OIG inspected during this reporting period, all were found to have physical security deficiencies. While some of these deficiencies were due to mission growth or the lack of sufficient protected workspace, many resulted from longstanding vulnerabilities the Department had not addressed. In addition, OIG issued three reports related to the Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attack. OIG also issued a number of reports this period addressing major challenges the Department faces in responding to a broad range of security and humanitarian crises in conflict zones. For example, OIG found weaknesses in the design and oversight of Department assistance programs in Syria and Pakistan that leave foreign assistance funds vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse…OIG also identified concerns with the Department’s efforts to protect its computer networks and, in turn, its information. Inspectors found information-technology and cybersecurity deficiencies at every overseas mission and domestic bureau inspected during this reporting period. OIG issued more than 40 recommendations to address the deficiencies. OIG also identified significant program challenges with the Department’s security program for wireless networks…”

Public Interest in Science and Health Linked to Gender, Age and Personality

 Public Interest in Science and Health Linked to Gender, Age and Personality – By Brian Kennedy and Cary Funk – December 11, 2015. “Those who try to measure public understanding about science and technology often link science and technology with the health and medical domain. Yet, the reality is that different people find those distinct… Continue Reading

NIST Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Framework

“The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking information on how its voluntary “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” is being used, as well as feedback on possible changes to the Framework and its future management. A preview copy of the Request for Information (RFI) was posted to the Federal Register today. The comment… Continue Reading

EFF – Hidden iPhone feature tracks your every move

“Privacy advocates say the data collection has the potential for misuse. “One of the concerning things is, this is hidden from you in your phone,” Noah Swartz, staff technologist at Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CBS News. “This could be used by abusive partners. It could be used by police in an investigation. It could be… Continue Reading

UN Adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Conference of the Parties Twenty-first session Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015.FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1. 12 December 2015. “Welcoming the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/1, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in particular its goal 13, and the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the third International Conference on… Continue Reading

Study – new time tree reveals Earth history’s imprint on the evolution of modern birds

A new time tree reveals Earth history’s imprint on the evolution of modern birds, Santiago Claramunt and Joel Cracraft. Science Advances 11 Dec 2015: Vol. 1, no. 11, e1501005. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501005 “Determining the timing of diversification of modern birds has been difficult. We combined DNA sequences of clock-like genes for most avian families with 130… Continue Reading