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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Forgive me for overusing the term “convergence” but when the shoe fits, I say “wear it.”   If you are managing corporate risks and responsible for securing export licenses, ensuring that you are complying with OFAC sanctions requirements, interacting with customs and immigration officials around the globe, and conducting third party due diligence to onboard a new agent or distributor, , there is no question that there should be “convergence” among the various functions responsible for managing these risks.

Unfortunately, companies do not necessarily organize around efficiencies when creating procedures, and very often you will see a department responsible for export and sanctions compliance functions separate from the anti-corruption function. By ignoring some practical benefits, companies may be losing administrative efficiencies.

I am not suggesting that there is a substantive overlap but it appears to me that some of the information collection and analysis for compliance in these areas does overlap.



(TNS) - At first, it seemed like nothing more than a good late-summer rain.

But hard rain kept falling late Friday night, and soon the calls started coming in to Butler County, Kan.,  Emergency Management.

“They were saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got water over here and water over here,’ and I was, like, ‘We’ve never had water there before,’ ” said Jim Schmidt, Butler County Emergency Management director.

Rain gauges near Rose Hill indicated more than 9 inches of rain fell in the area over the span of a couple of hours, spawning flash flooding that swept vehicles off rural roads in the black of night.



Cyberattacks have become so common that they tend to fade from view. But for head-in-the-sand executives who believe they have better ways of spending their time and money, here’s a wake-up call.

The attacks keep coming. They’re getting more sophisticated. And in spite of all the advancements the cybersecurity technology community is making, the bad guys continue to have the edge.

Here are just a few of the more notable cybersecurity dangers to hit the news in just the last week. Ignore them – and all the others – at your peril.



(TNS) - At least five people, including two local residents and three tourists, have contracted Zika virus from mosquitoes in Miami Beach, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday as he identified a 1.5-square-mile zone of active transmission in the heart of the region’s tourism engine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly followed up with a new travel advisory for pregnant women, telling them to consider avoiding “all non-essential travel” to all of Miami-Dade County due to evidence of widespread transmission of Zika, which can cause birth defects.

“If you’re concerned about Zika,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said, “you may consider postponing all non-essential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.”



Monday, 22 August 2016 00:00

Big Data's Impact On Cybersecurity

With more of our daily tasks, purchases, and social interactions being pushed onto connected devices, it only makes sense that copious amounts of data is being produced by these interpersonal transactions. According to recent statistics from IBM, upwards of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced from internet users in a 24-hour period alone. Not only is this a staggering amount of raw data that needs to be processed, it creates an 'elephant in the room' in terms of cyber security and how we protect ourselves from individuals with malicious intent.

Although these statistics may seem somewhat intimidating, data science experts and big data enthusiasts are excited and prepared for a future that's becoming increasingly connected to the web. Some techniques used to harness this raw information, such as data mining, help give us an insight into the future of cyber security and what areas may pique interest moving forward.



Turn off Water Valves to Prevent Damage in Commercial Buildings

When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet. Turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and mildew. Business owners can prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.



A fire can cause real damage, but whether or not your business survives the disaster is often determined by the actions that you take after the flames are out. Following these 10 tips can help your business recover from the devastation of a fire.

1. Document Everything

Disaster scenes are chaotic places. Avoid costly mistakes by documenting everything. Maintain a log of all contacts and phone calls so that you can keep track of everyone you had spoken with when you talked with them, and why you were in touch with them. Begin collecting receipts to document any expense that you incur during your business’s recovery period.



Another round of federal officials visited the sites of the Louisiana Flood of 2016 on Thursday.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was taken to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center and some of the flooded areas in Ascension Parish. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate came to Louisiana earlier this week.

Here's what you need to know about the disaster:



Monday, 22 August 2016 00:00

Flooding Support: Real Time Updates

Esri is supporting organizations that are responding to flooding disasters with software, data, imagery, project services, and technical support. If you are in need of software or support, complete the Request Assistance form. All requests should be justified in the message section of the form and are subject to approval.

Public Information Map

Continuously updated US flooding information from the National Weather Service shows observed flooding locations and statistics, flood warning areas, as well as current precipitation. See the real-time effects of the flooding via social media posts. To change the search terms, go to the Media Layers menu, click the settings icon, and update the keyword.



WASHINGTON – A coalition of unlikely allies are supporting a proposed rule announced Friday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Organizations representing professional floodplain managers, insurance companies, fiscal conservatives and advocates, and environmental interests agree that the FEMA update will make the United States safer from the devastating impacts of flooding.


Once implemented, the regulation will require FEMA-funded projects to be built smarter and safer by accounting for the increasing likelihood of floods due to climate change. The rules will ensure infrastructure funded by FEMA grants are built to a higher level of resilience.


The announcement comes during a season of record storms throughout the United States – such as those devastating Louisiana and Maryland – causing catastrophic damages and loss of life.


Following is a statement from Rob Moore, senior water policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Sea level rise and the increased risk of flooding are the most recognizable impacts of climate change. Recent floods in Louisiana, Maryland, and West Virginia show how extreme weather and the resulting floods are disasters we need to prepare for. This policy recognizes the sort of flooding a risk we are facing now, that is likely to get worse in the decades to come that needs to be addressed.”


Following is a statement from Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America:

“We commend the Administration for its forward-looking leadership in flood protection. For too long and with too much reliance on post-event financing, the U.S. has facilitated development in flood disaster prone areas. The Administration is right to change that formula.” 


Following is a statement from R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at R Street Institute:

“Disaster-related spending long has been a growing and unsustainable burden on U.S. taxpayers. Investing in risk mitigation for federal programs and facilities is an appropriate and cost-effective first step to curb that trajectory and should have the full-throated support of all taxpayer advocates.”


Following is a statement from Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense:

“Ensuring that taxpayer-funded investments are built to a standard that reduces future losses is common sense. Instead of continuing to rely on post-disaster spending, the country has to be forward thinking and help reduce risk to people, property and taxpayers. We applaud the Administration for moving forward with this initiative.”


Following is a statement from Chad Berginnis, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers:

“How many more extreme events that demonstrate flooding is increasing do we need to drive home the point that we must use informed science to protect against flood damage? The proposed approach in EO 13690 and by FEMA are practical and absolutely doable. Floodplain managers for decades have been working with freeboard and 500-year flood elevations. We know how to implement this.”



About the Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.