Tech Com Forces Thu, 02 Dec 2021 20:32:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tech Com Forces 32 32 Governor Laura Kelly announces Kerrie Lonard’s appointment as children’s advocate Thu, 02 Dec 2021 20:13:11 +0000

Governor Laura Kelly announced today that Kerrie Lonard, Lawrence, is the Kansas Children’s Advocate. As Children’s Advocate, Lonard will lead the Children’s Advocate Division, created by Governor Kelly in October to improve our state’s child welfare system and protect children in Kansas.

“When we started looking for the Children’s Advocate, we knew we would need a strong leader – someone who could address the systemic challenges facing our state’s child welfare system,” Governor Kelly said. “As a former social worker and longtime family law lawyer, Kerrie is imminently qualified to lead the Children’s Advocate Division. She is committed to independence and transparency within the division and has demonstrated her dedication to protecting our children.

“I have no doubts that under his leadership, the Child Advocate’s Division will achieve its goal – to ensure that all Kansans in our child protection system receive the services they need, when they need them,” Governor Kelly said.

Lonard has currently worked at Kansas Legal Services in Topeka for almost 14 years, serving as both staff attorney and attorney general. As Attorney General, she oversees staff providing legal assistance to members of the public, often in the areas of family law and cases of children in need of care.

Prior to obtaining her law degree, Lonard worked as a school social worker for five years and held other roles in foster care and child advocacy. Throughout her career, she has held important leadership positions, including serving as the Kansas State Coordinator for the National Association of Counsel for Children and as an appointed member of the Kansas Supreme Court Task Force. on tenure planning.

Lonard holds a BA in Social Work from the University of Kansas, an MA in Social Work from Washburn University and is a graduate of Washburn University Law School.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the families and children of Kansas”, said Kerrie Lonard. “The mission to advance the well-being of those involved in the child protection system is close to my heart and has been a driving force throughout my professional life. I am embarked on the long road and hard work that lie ahead of us to ensure that the best interests of our children remain at the forefront and that the Children’s Advocate Division is a platform to make the voices of those we serve heard. . I look forward to that day in our future when we can all confidently say that all families and children in Kansas are receiving the services they need and that all of our children are free from harm and neglect. , that they are cherished and that they prosper. . “

Lonard will begin his work as a children’s advocate on December 12, building the structure of the division. Information on how the public can contact the office will be released at a later date.

The Children’s Advocate Division was established by Governor Kelly by Executive Order 21-28. When the structures are in place, it will act as a centralized entity to:

  • Protect Kansas children and families from harm by providing a system of independent oversight and accountability for public and private entities involved in child welfare.
  • Compile and receive complaints filed on behalf of children within the child protection system.
  • Review the practices of agents in the child protection system.
  • Provide non-partisan and independent reports to the governor, legislature and judiciary on an annual basis. These reports will detail the complaints received by the office and provide recommendations for improving services and systems.
  • Improve coordination among state agencies, contractors, and partners in the child protection space to ensure all children and families in Kansas receive quality services.
  • Educate children and families of their rights and rights under federal and state laws and serve as a resource for families trying to navigate the child welfare system.
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The RCN contract supports the testing of new technologies Thu, 02 Dec 2021 12:30:00 +0000 The NEXT-ECS charter contract will release RCN vessels for operational tasks. (Photo: RCN)

The Canadian government is investing in Naval Experimentation and Testing – Engineering and Charter Services (NEXT-ECS) to support the country’s navy.

Canada announced a three-year charter service contract with an initial value of C $ 8.9 million (US $ 6.95 million) with LeeWay Marine for sea trials and technology trials, practices and operations. Under the contract, the company is expected to begin testing in 2022.

Canada’s Department of National Defense has said the contract will help the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) keep pace with technological developments and that use of the NEXT-ECS charter service will allow warships in the fleet to focus on operational missions.

NEXT-ECS will also support “efforts and initiatives” in line with the Government of Canada’s greening strategy by testing environmentally friendly technologies.

Canadian Minister of National Defense Anita Anand said Ottawa was “committed” to investing in the RCN to ensure its future capability.

She added: “We will continue to invest in state-of-the-art experimentation and testing so that our navy is well prepared to undertake important missions at home and abroad.”

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US-Israel partnership deepens as cyber threats escalate Wed, 01 Dec 2021 20:21:21 +0000

Cooperation between the United States and Israel in the cyber arena has intensified year after year, an Israel Defense Forces source told JNS.

The source spoke days after the head of the IDF’s J6 and Cyber ​​Defense Directorate Major General Lior Carmeli awarded a service medal to the US Cyber ​​Command Liaison Officer in Israel on November 23.

The liaison officer, named MM, was honored in recognition of his ongoing work to “promote strategic operational cooperation in the cyber arena,” the IDF said in a statement. “Since the creation of the American Cyber ​​Command, MM has directed and promoted cooperation with Israel. “

“There is strategic cooperation between the J6 and the Cyber ​​Defense Directorate, and the [U.S. Department of Defense’s] Cyber ​​Command, Lt. Col. O, a senior officer in the IDF’s Joint Cyber ​​Defense Division, told JNS.

Cooperation has been in place since the creation of the Cyber ​​Command and the Cyber ​​Defense Directorate, he added. “I can say that this is in line with the strategic partnership that exists between Israel and the United States. Another developing layer is the cybersphere. “

In recent months, the United States and Israel have suffered unprecedented cyberattacks, including the ransomware attack on the American company Colonial Pipeline, an American pipeline system originating in Houston; and a ransomware attack on the Israeli Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.

“There is a whole battle going on in this sphere. In the United States and Israel, we can see a similarity in much of the events. This is a strategic challenge, ”said Lt. Col. O.

Even cyber incidents perceived as civilians can have strategic influence because of their ability to undermine national stability, he warned.

A view of the medal. Credit: IDF Spokesman’s Unit.

“These are civilian incidents, with minor military involvement, but the military can be trained because in both countries the military is the most powerful and important cyber organization,” said Lt. colonel O.

The decision to assign the liaison officer in November came after the IDF General Staff decided to recognize the extraordinary partnership in place.

“From the start, we [and the Americans] dealt with conceptual issues and moved on to larger issues that cannot be detailed, ”said Lt. Col. O.

The awards ceremony is the first time that a medal has been presented to a liaison officer, he noted, and aims to “show appreciation” for the cooperation in place.

“If you put it on a graph, the cooperation intensifies year by year,” he said. “It’s a by-product of technological development and threat development. I think six years ago the word ransomware was not in the everyday dialogue. Today everyone knows what it is. As technology and threats develop, the result is that cooperation also develops. “

“Exercises are a means, not an objective”

The cooperation is low-key, in the shadows, and is very important to the defense establishments of both countries.

“We are talking about strategic cooperation in all spheres of military activity,” the officer said.

It also includes joint training, with the largest joint cybernetic exercise, Cyber ​​Drome, which will take place virtually in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

During the 2019 exercise, dozens of Israeli cyber defenders from the Joint Cyber ​​Defense Division, as well as cyber defenders from the Intelligence Directorate, the Israel Air Force, the Israeli Navy and its ground forces, flew to the United States.

“In recent years, we have organized more than a few joint exercises,” said Lt. Col. O. “But the exercises are a means, not an objective. Ultimately, they are a means of improving capabilities and to do more things together.

Retail makes these 3 retail stocks worth buying Wed, 01 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000

You are reading Entrepreneur United States, an international Entrepreneur Media franchise. This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

As the stock market saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. As we have learned in recent days, unfortunately, the reverse is also true.

Contributor – MarketBeat

New concerns about the latest variant of the coronavirus have created widespread weakness in U.S. stocks. The early winners of the pandemic and vaccines were exceptions, but most stocks faced selling pressure.

It remains to be seen how the Omicron crisis will develop. In the meantime, what we do know is that many stocks have become more affordable, if not cheap.

And with the holiday shopping season approaching, some of the most intriguing buying opportunities can be in retail. Like other industries, retailers have been plagued by supply chain issues and Omicron’s potential impact has not helped.

Some retail businesses may return to survival mode, while others are likely to outperform in today’s environment. Here are three likely outperformers whose stocks are selling.

Is the drop in MercadoLibre shares a buying opportunity?

MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) is a retailer that doesn’t have to worry about the potential for slowing pedestrian traffic. The so-called “Latin American Amazon” operates a leading e-commerce site south of the border with a particularly strong presence in Brazil (which accounts for over half of total revenue).

This year, MercadoLibre sales are set to increase by 75% and profitability will be restored after the 2020 breakeven point. The outlook for 2022 is also strong. Analysts are forecasting a 36% increase in sales and more than double earnings per share to reach record levels. In addition to the strength of Marketplace core business, the fast growing MercadoPago FinTech platform and the MercadoEnvios logistics segment are expected to make a healthy contribution to sales.

MercadoLibre stock will close November on a three-month losing streak for the first time since 2019 due to margin issues and the potential for an economic slowdown in its major markets. After going over $ 2,000 at the start of the year, it is trading at close to $ 1,200. The Street remains unanimously bullish on MercadoLibre. The five companies that have reiterated their buy ratings this month have price targets of $ 2,100 or $ 2,200. This one wrote ‘buy the dip’ everywhere.

Is Best Buy stock oversold?

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is another retailer with a vacation stock sale. It has fallen 25% since November 22sd peak creating a good deal for a company with a positive long-term outlook.

Hosting a classic hockey stick rally once the calendar hits October, Best Buy apparently couldn’t go wrong. Then the third quarter earnings came in. As profits beat expectations, a weak outlook in the fourth quarter scared investors, causing a high volume spread. To make matters worse, Best Buy has become the latest retailer to be hit by organized theft activity that is dragging down profit margins and making it harder to retain workers who are already hard to find.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. In the short term, inventory issues and the pressure to reduce prices could indeed make the results of the holiday season less than cheerful. Higher spending to prevent theft through security additions and technology won’t help.

The good news, however, is that Best Buy doesn’t have a demand issue and in fact it’s a big plus. Generous consumer spending should continue to drive in-store and online sales. That’s why management has raised its outlook for 2022, although that got lost in the reshuffle.

Best Buy stocks are trading at 12 times next year’s earnings versus 20 times for the S&P 500. Sell volume is slowing and oversold conditions are setting in. The drop is small and the increase is high for Best Buy shareholders.

Is the Children’s Place share undervalued?

Place des enfants (NASDAQ: PLCE) the stock is up 70% this year, but down 25% from its November high. The baby and youth clothing retailer has been dragged lower than the rest of the retail group and has no specific major issues to contend with.

In fact, a restructuring and increased focus on digital has put Children’s Place on a streak of outperformance. In the final quarter, it beat earnings expectations for the fourth consecutive time and management noted a good start to the all-important fourth quarter. Next year, operating margins are expected to increase and profitability will build on an exceptional 2021.

Thus, the downward pressure on the shares of Children’s Place is closely linked to the macro. This is a good thing because it made the stock attractive mid-cap value at 8x the earnings over time.

Since the third quarter update, businesses on the sell side have remained bullish on Children’s Place as a long-term investment in the U.S. consumer and demand for high-margin children’s clothing. Three analysts called the $ 84 stock a buy with price targets between $ 130 and $ 139. Even Citigroup’s more cautious maintenance rating and the $ 115 target point to a significant uptick. Children’s Place is a great place for value investors to shop this holiday season.

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Cassidy calls for extra hurricane help for SW La. – American Press Wed, 01 Dec 2021 04:07:10 +0000

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy said on Tuesday he hoped additional funds could be allocated to southwest Louisiana to help with ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricanes Delta and Laura, as part of a potential ongoing resolution associated with it. to a provisional budget agreement which should be signed in late December or early January.

Cassidy said on a teleconference with members of the media that when it comes to the budget deal, there is “a lot of interest” in Hurricane Ida relief throughout the state, but he does pressure to include relief for Laura and Delta.

“I am cautiously optimistic that we will definitely take care of Ida and continue to push for Laura and Delta as well,” he said.

Ongoing discussions of budget concerns and President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill have taken up much of the Senate discussion time of late, and Cassidy has expressed frustration that those talks have put more issues, including the National Defense Authorization Act essentially “on the back burner” as its deadline draws near.

“In 60 years, this is one of the last years that Congress failed to pass the National Defense Authorization Act,” Cassidy said.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 provides $ 73 million for military bases in Louisiana, including Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base. The bill would allocate $ 25 million to Fort Polk to build an information systems facility. An additional $ 48 million has been set aside to fund construction work on the Barksdale Gateway structure, which would help advance the base’s plans to build a weapons storage facility of nearly $ 300 million.

The legislation hit a snag on Monday as partisan disputes prevented the bill from moving forward. An effort to end debate and move the bill forward failed to secure the 60 votes needed to move the bill to the president’s desk.

While Cassidy has said he has successfully crossed partisan lines and is working with key Democrats to craft amendments that will strengthen the NDAA, some partisan minds have been counterproductive to the bill’s final acceptance. .

“We all understand that a key responsibility of the federal government is national defense, and that should be something that is not partisan at all,” Cassidy said.

“But at some point it becomes partisan and when it gets caught up in partisan politics it doesn’t benefit our country. We kind of need a cure for America; we have to move beyond partisanship just for the sake of partisanship so that we can start doing the core function of what government should be doing. And this is a great example of that.

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Global Data Center Power and Cooling Market Analysis and Forecast, 2019-2020 and 2021-2030 Tue, 30 Nov 2021 20:15:00 +0000

DUBLIN, November 30, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The “Global Data Center Power and Cooling Growth Opportunities” the report was added to offer.

Research and Markets logo

Market trends were analyzed from 2019 to 2030, with the base year 2020. The UPS market is expected to grow by $ 2.25 billion in 2020 at $ 4.34 billion in 2030 to a CAGR of 6.8%, while data center cooling revenues are expected to grow from $ 8.20 billion in 2020 at $ 18.50 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 8.5%. Revenue declined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the recovery began in 2021.

Fierce competition is expected to arise from Japanese, Chinese and American participants who offer high quality products. Vertiv, Schneider, Eaton, Huawei, Stulz, Riello and Piller are some of the companies that were considered in this study.

Data center inverters and cooling systems are key components of the data center architecture, meeting critical power and cooling requirements for electronic equipment. The global growth of the Internet and mobile devices has led to an increase in the creation of data, and this data must be stored and processed quickly and in real time.

This has led to an increase in the construction of data centers of all sizes across the globe as businesses leverage the data revolution to spur the development of applications and services to create multiple revenue streams. As the processing needs of data centers increase, the power and cooling requirements associated with data centers also increase, as the latest technologies, such as cloud computing, 5G and the edge, have dramatically increased the rate. energy consumption. Companies are launching unique new power solutions and advanced cooling systems to meet the needs of the modern data center. Diesel generators and Li-Ion batteries compete with UPS systems.

Growing number of data centers and falling UPS prices will cause the data center UPS market to grow steadily through 2030. Businesses are expected to move to small and modular UPS systems as they move closer to their needs. energy from server and rack levels. .

Combined with battery storage, future UPS systems are likely to see a lot of innovation as installers seek higher energy yields at lower costs. With the increase in processing power comes an increase in heat output by electronic equipment in data centers. This will lead to a high demand for efficient energy solutions and the use of excess heat for district heating, resulting in a high demand for liquid and immersion cooling solutions. As companies attempt to strike a balance between efficiency and cost, the market for data center cooling solutions is expected to experience strong growth (8.5% CAGR between 2020 and 2030).

Advanced cooling solutions, such as liquid cooling, will experience massive growth as these solutions will experience increasing innovation and new product development, mainly in North America. Traditional cooling methods will dominate the market for the foreseeable future with a market share of 41.1% by 2030, followed by advanced solutions with a share of 32.3%.

Asia Pacific and North America are expected to be the key regions for UPS and data center cooling solutions, with China and United States in the lead in terms of investment. The growing number of data storage regulations will drive more localized and large-scale data center installations across the world, helping the growth of the UPS and data center cooling markets.

Competition is expected to be high as Asian participants compete for market share. The penetration of 5G will lead to the development of edge and modular data centers. Growing security concerns will lead to the development of hybrid cloud data centers, which will increase the need for modular data centers. This will drive the demand for modular UPS systems and small and innovative cooling solutions.

Main issues addressed

  • What is the impact of the increased creation of data centers on the UPS and cooling markets?

  • How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect these markets?

  • What trends are shaping the UPS and data center cooling markets?

  • What technologies will dominate the data center cooling market?

  • Which regions will dominate the inverter and cooling markets in the future?

  • What does the competition look like? How are market players increasing their shares?

Main topics covered:

1. Strategic imperatives

  • Why is it more and more difficult to cultivate?

  • The strategic imperative

  • The impact of the top three strategic imperatives on the data center power and cooling industry

  • Growth opportunities fuel the growth pipeline engine

2. Analysis of growth opportunities

  • Key Findings – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Key Findings – UPS Data Center Market

  • Key Findings – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Market Definitions – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Scope of Analysis – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Key Competitors – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Distribution channels – Data Center UPS Market

  • Distribution Channels – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Key Growth Indicators – UPS Data Center Market

  • Key Growth Indicators – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Growth Drivers – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Growth Constraints – Inverter and Data Center Cooling Market

  • Forecast Assumptions – Data Center UPS Market

  • Forecast Assumptions – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue and Unit Shipment Forecast – UPS Market Data Center

  • Revenue Forecast by Region – UPS Data Center Market

  • Revenue Forecast by Power Range – Data Center UPS Market

  • Revenue Forecast by End User Type – Data Center UPS Market

  • Revenue Forecast – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Forecast by Region – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Forecast by Cooling Type – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Forecast by End User Type – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Forecast Analysis – UPS Data Center Market

  • Revenue Forecast Analysis – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Forecast Analysis – Liquid / Immersion Cooling Systems

  • Revenue forecast analysis by region

  • Analysis of revenue forecasts by end user type

  • Competitive Environment – Data Center UPS Market

  • Revenue Share – UPS Data Center Market

  • Competitive Environment – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue Share – Data Center Cooling Market

  • Revenue sharing analysis

3. Analysis of Growth Opportunities, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

  • Key Growth Indicators, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

  • Revenue Forecast, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

  • Revenue Forecast by Cooling Type, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

  • Revenue Forecast by End User Type, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

  • Revenue Forecast Analysis, Data Center Cooling Market – North America

4. Analysis of Growth Opportunities, Data Center Cooling Market – Europe

5. Analysis of Growth Opportunities, Data Center Cooling Market – Asia Pacific

6. Analysis of Growth Opportunities, Data Center Cooling Market – Rest of the World

7. Universe of growth opportunities

  • Growth opportunity 1: New products to meet the dynamic needs of new technologies deployed in data centers

  • Growth Opportunity 2: Geographic Expansion As Data Protection Laws Promote Local Data Center Deployment

  • Growth opportunity 3: state-of-the-art and modular data centers driving the need for new investments in the R&D of new technologies

  • Growth Opportunity 4: Cutting-edge electronics to adapt to AI and ML systems, resulting in increased processing power

8. Next steps

For more information on this report, visit

Media contact:

Research and markets
Laura Wood, senior

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Government sells Central Electronics to Nandal Finance and Leasing for Rs 210 cr; the sale will be finalized by March 2022, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld Tue, 30 Nov 2021 02:42:00 +0000 New Delhi: The government on Monday approved the sale of Central Electronics Ltd to Nandal Finance and Leasing for Rs 210 crore, marking the second strategic divestment in the current budget.

Incorporated in 1974, CEL, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Science and Technology, is a pioneer in the field of solar photovoltaic (SPV) and has developed the technology with its own R&D efforts. It has also developed axle counting systems which are used in railway signaling systems for safe train movement.

The government had issued an expression of interest (EOI) request on February 3, 2020, following which three EOIs were received. However, only two companies – Nandal Finance and Leasing Pvt Ltd and JPM Industries Ltd – submitted financial offers before October 12, 2021.

While Ghaziabad-based Nandal Finance and Leasing bid for Rs 210 crore, JPM Industries quoted Rs 190 crore.

“The Alternative Mechanism … approved the highest priced bid from M / s Nandal Finance and Leasing Pvt Ltd for the sale of GoI’s 100 percent stake in Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) – a relevant CPSE from the Department of Science and Industry Research (DSIR). The winning bid is Rs 210,00,60000, “an official statement read.

The Alternative Mechanism (MA) on CEL’s Strategic Divestment consisted of Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh.

The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the share purchase agreement.

The transaction is expected to be finalized during the current 2021-22 fiscal year (ending March 2022), the statement added.

Based on the valuations of the transaction advisor and the asset appraiser, the government had arrived at a reserve price of Rs 194 crore for the CEL.

The higher of the two price offers, submitted by M / s Nandal Finance and Leasing Pvt Ltd, was found to be above the reserve price, the statement said.

This is the second time that the government has initiated the process of strategic divestment of CEL after the Council of Ministers of October 27, 2016 approved its divestment. In the first iteration, no financial offer was received. The sales process resumed in February 2020.

This is the second strategic divestment from current taxation. In October, the government decided to sell 100% ownership of Air India and Air India Express as well as its 50% stake in ground handling company AISATS to Tata Sons for 15,300 crore rupees, the first privatization in 20 years.

Air India’s sale process is expected to be completed by December.

Mayor of Spokane Proposes Mental Health Task Force: “We really need to focus on the collective mental health of our community” Mon, 29 Nov 2021 12:02:37 +0000

Mayor Nadine Woodward plans to lead the formation of a regional mental health task force in 2022.

The task force would aim to identify gaps and weaknesses in mental health care and build regional consensus on Spokane’s needs – and approach state leaders for funding to help fill those voids.

“We really need to focus on the collective mental health of our community, especially during the pandemic,” Woodward told The Spokesman-Review.

Woodward imagines that this task force would include elected leaders from across Spokane County, but also people with experience in behavioral and mental health.

“It’s important to involve professionals and elected officials,” said Woodward.

The demand for mental health services has increased during the pandemic, and locally it has exposed gaps and existing components requiring additional support.

The challenges posed by the pandemic are expected to persist, according to the state’s health ministry. In its most recent forecast of the behavioral health impacts of the pandemic last month, the Department of Health described a confluence of factors that could strain people’s mental health as winter approaches. , including the uncertainty surrounding new variants of COVID-19 and the return to work in person.

The concept of a mental health task force was included in Woodward’s 2022 municipal budget proposal, although there is no specific line detailing its cost, and its exact structure has yet to be completed. been determined. The budget has yet to be approved by Spokane City Council, which is expected to vote on it in December.

The new regional task force would not be the first time that local health care leaders have come together to address behavioral and mental health needs.

Behavioral health was a component of the region’s initial multifaceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a topic task force formed and led from the county’s emergency coordination center.

But this working group mainly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate impacts on access to mental and behavioral health treatments.

For example, as many providers have switched to telehealth or reduced in-person hours during the early stages of the pandemic, digital access has become essential. The task force worked to secure a donation of $ 63,000 from the Spokane Teachers Credit Union to provide smartphones and one year of free service to clients of organizations such as Frontier Behavioral Health, CHAS Health, Excelsior, and Inland Northwest Behavioral Health. .

The new regional task force envisioned by Woodward could have a broader scope but build on the work and relationships forged between suppliers and local leaders through the COVID-19 task force.

“I feel like it galvanized everyone because it put in place a regular process of not just what people were seeing their patients going through – whether it was drug addiction, domestic violence or mental health issues – it was an ongoing and regular dialogue, ”said Dan Barth, task force leader and business manager at Inland Northwest Behavioral Health.

Woodward expects the opportunities for improvement in the behavioral health care system to be plentiful.

Woodward recalls learning – and being surprised – that there is no approved facility to provide overnight inpatient treatment for a young child suffering from a severe mental health crisis in Spokane.

Inland Northwest Behavioral Health opened a similar unit for adolescents facing mental health emergencies last year, but that only takes patients as young as 13 years old. is looking to expand its services to include younger patients.

“Anytime our leaders, especially our local leaders, look to create more resources for our community for the mentally ill, this is very important, and we will support that 100% and see how we get to the table and help “said Rlynn Wickel, CEO of Inland Northwest Behavioral Health, a private psychiatric hospital in Spokane operated by United Health Services.

Wickel said COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of the community as it has damaged people financially and limited access to health care, including behavioral health treatments. The effects are particularly apparent in children, many of whom were isolated at home while schools were online, according to Wickel.

During this time, some resources were more difficult to find. Inland Northwest Behavioral Health hopes to increase the number of its beds, but its efforts have been hampered in part by the shortage of nurses felt across the state.

“We are all competing to try to use these resources, and when there aren’t enough of them, it limits access to health care for inpatients, and mental health is in the middle of it all.” , Wickel said.

There is also a need for more mid-level treatment options, Wickel said, and the hospital is responding by expanding its intensive outpatient programs.

Staffing issues and the need for more treatment options predate the pandemic. For youth mental health treatment, the demand for services far exceeds the number of clinicians and resources available to children and adolescents in the state.

Locally, many outpatient treatment programs have had long wait lists throughout the pandemic, meaning a patient may not have a reduction program to turn to if they have. been hospitalized.

Leaders and advocates of behavioral health organizations have welcomed Woodward’s calls for collaboration.

Chauntelle Lieske took on the role of Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Spokane this summer. Volunteers at the organization, who have had experience with mental health issues directly or through family members, describe a “disjointed system,” Lieske said.

“It’s such a huge system and it touches so many different areas that it seems like a task force would be a good idea to bring people to the table,” Lieske said.

The Spokane Regional Health District does not directly offer mental health programs, but does serve people who need behavioral health care, according to spokesperson Kelli Hawkins.

“We welcome any effort to help our community address mental health issues, which as we know, in turn improves the overall health of our community,” said Hawkins. “Our goal is to promote healthy lifestyles, as well as to detect, prevent and respond to disease. “

Journalist for spokesperson Arielle Dreher contributed to this story.

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As China steps up nuclear arms race, US wants to talk Mon, 29 Nov 2021 00:45:32 +0000

This seemed to be at the heart of Mr. Sullivan’s first concern: establishing lines of communication between the two armies, similar to the United States and Russia for decades. (He avoided the use of the word “nuclear” in his speech, a reflection of how space, cyber weapons and other advanced technologies need to be part of the conversation, say key Biden aides. .)

Much of the conversation on Capitol Hill so far has been about the quid pro quo for Chinese investment, rather than rethinking the nature of the arms race.

” I am very worried ” Rose Gottemoeller, an arms control official in several jurisdictions who now teaches at Stanford University, said in an interview. “What worries me is the automaticity of actions – more nuclear weapons and more missile defenses without thinking if there is a smarter way.”

Mr Xi and Mr Biden, US officials said, agreed to continue the conversations – but there was no commitment on the depth of them. When asked if the talks would include the subject of arms control, the National Security Council, in a statement, replied: “No. What we are looking for – and what Jake Sullivan spoke about – are conversations with “empowered people” about “safeguards to reduce risk or chance of miscalculation.”

The history of these conversations is not encouraging. For years, through multiple administrations, the United States has attempted to get Chinese officials to explain how they would secure nuclear weapons in North Korea if the nation collapsed. The effort was to avoid a collision between Chinese, South Korean and American forces seeking to find and secure loose weapons. The Chinese have always opposed, perhaps out of fear of being caught talking about the possibility of a collapse of the North.

It is possible, according to many arms control experts, that the Chinese build-up was motivated by the deployment of US missile defenses in the Pacific – from ground systems in California, Alaska, Guam and South Korea, and aboard ships patrolling off Japan and South Korea. Peninsula. The United States has always insisted that these systems are designed to deter North Korea. But the Chinese government has long been concerned that North Korea’s nuclear program provides a convenient excuse for the United States to build a system to contain Chinese nuclear weapons.

China and the United States have never engaged in a detailed discussion of missile defenses in the Pacific. But the hypersonic test may force the issue, independent experts say, as it’s clear Beijing’s ambitions are expanding.

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Climate Change Efforts Should Be Dramatically Stepped Up If The Build Back Better Bill Is Passed Sun, 28 Nov 2021 12:33:28 +0000

For climate experts and policymakers, $ 1 trillion is just the start.

As the United States seeks to prove that it is serious about its international climate commitments, the focus is now on whether the Biden administration can pass its spending bill. $ 2 trillion, which includes $ 555 billion to fight climate change and could be the new cornerstone of federal climate policy.

The bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill passed by Congress this month is already committing historic funding levels for climate projects. But experts say the United States will not meet its climate goals or restore its international credibility unless the administration can pass its Build Back Better bill, which features a variety of other climate initiatives and calls for significant investments in clean energy.

The massive dollar numbers give some idea of ​​the scale of the challenge the United States faces in reducing emissions, repairing some environmental damage, and preparing for other climate-related natural disasters.

“These are the biggest climate policy pieces of legislation the United States has seen in a decade,” said Katharine Hayhoe, climate researcher and chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. “The faster we can act, the better off we’ll be, because we’re already late at the table. The time for half measures was 30 years ago.

The arrangements are particularly timely as the United States attempts to overtake President Donald Trump’s efforts to unwind major climate efforts by pulling the country out of the Paris Agreement and killing a host of environmental protections.

President Joe Biden’s participation in COP26, the global climate policy summit held in Scotland this month, marked the United States’ return to global climate negotiations after Biden joined the Paris Agreement in January.

US officials at the conference faced a bitter struggle to restore international confidence in US climate commitments.

As part of Biden’s updated COP26 pledge, the United States aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. David Waskow , director of the International Climate Initiative at the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit research organization, said the goal was “quite ambitious,” adding that the United States’ return to international diplomacy on climate change was important in itself.

“It’s essential to remember that if you go back a year, there wouldn’t have been a US administration engaging constructively in these talks,” Waskow said.

While Biden went to COP26 projecting a new tone, the country’s ability to meet its 2030 goals will likely depend on the success of infrastructure projects and the results of the Build Back Better Act, which, if passed. , could end up being revised down considerably.

Both are needed to meet the country’s emissions targets, experts say.

The infrastructure bill will harden the country’s roads and ports to better cope with the effects of climate change, but it offers comparatively less to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will intensify climate change.

In Washington state, for example, projects funded by the bill are expected to help redevelop roads and bridges for a warmer, wetter future, boost transit projects like the streetcar, and improve stream crossings for fish struggling with climate change.

Flooding this month following record rainfall in parts of western Washington caused landslides on the state’s busiest highway and dumped floodwaters into small towns – an overview of what climatologists most often expect.

“All the money has, to some extent, an impact on our ability to be more resilient,” said Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat who led a 2020 presidential campaign focused on climate action. “But that doesn’t get us any closer to what we need to reduce the rate at which this flooding is getting worse.”

The infrastructure bill will spend around $ 70 billion to modernize the country’s electricity grid and another $ 7.5 billion to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles, which could accelerate the transition from gas-guzzling cars. .

But from Inslee’s point of view, it only offers a “step” to progress, when the clean energy investments in the Build Back Better bill would be “transformative.”

The law calls for spending more than half a trillion dollars on clean energy investments, incentives and tax credits to move the economy away from fossil fuels.

An analysis by independent group Rhodium indicates that the budget bill could reduce U.S. carbon emissions by nearly a gigaton, which would be roughly equivalent to removing annual light-duty vehicle emissions from U.S. roads. By combining the budget bill with the infrastructure bill and state and local regulations, the United States could meet the Biden emissions target for 2030, with the budget bill representing the “lion’s share.” »Reductions, according to the analysis.

“There is no doubt that the Build Back Better Act is crucial. This can take the United States a substantial distance towards achieving the 50-52% reduction, ”Waskow said.

The legislation also prioritizes environmental justice by allocating 40 percent of the overall benefits of the investment to disadvantaged communities.

The infrastructure bill committed $ 216 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs specifically for climate resilience projects in Indian County, according to the White House. About $ 130 million will go to relocation projects for tribes who need to move away from the vagaries of the weather.

Some tribal communities – including many in Alaska – may have to relocate in the coming decades due to climate risks such as coastal erosion, flooding and thawing permafrost, the Government Accountability Office said in a report from the. last year.

Fawn Sharp, vice president of the Quinault Indian Nation, whose seaside towns in Washington state are threatened by tsunamis, coastal erosion and sea level rise, said her community needed help. ‘at least $ 150 million to complete the higher land uprooting plans – at least $ 20 million more than what is committed for all tribes.

“This is unprecedented and a level of funding that we haven’t seen in our lifetime,” Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indian, said of the infrastructure bill. “While this is important, we have a long way to go to restore tribal nations.”

Climate scientist Jonathan Foley sees reasons to feel encouraged even beyond what is happening in Congress.

“Sometimes we get fixated on these big policies, like they’re going to save the world, but the real work of reducing emissions and tackling climate change is often many unseen forces that work every day,” Foley said. , the executive director. from Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that provides resources on climate solutions.

Market forces and technological advancements have, for example, helped drive down the cost of solar and wind power, which in turn contributes to the shift away from fossil fuels. The vocal opposition, led especially by young activists, is also pressuring government officials to act, Foley said.

“Good decision makers can accelerate change, but activism, technology and markets are already making things happen on their own,” he said. “It has nothing to do with who is in the White House.”