GAO Report Misleads Congress on Safety of International Online Pharmacies, Says New PharmacyChecker.com Report


White Plains, NY (PRWEB) February 18, 2015

The leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions each received a comprehensive report countering a GAO report[1] on Internet pharmacies. Written by Gabriel Levitt, vice president of PharmacyChecker.com, the report corrects the public record and informs elected officials and the healthcare community about online pharmacy safety and affordability. Mr. Levitt stated:

“The GAO report wrongly labels safe foreign online pharmacies as rogue online pharmacies. This misrepresentation is leading to misguided policies that hinder online access to safe and affordable medication.”

“According to the CDC, about five million Americans personally import prescription drugs from foreign sources each year due to high domestic drug prices. Safe international online pharmacies are a lifeline of affordable medication for Americans. Ill-considered federal enforcement or private actions will lead more Americans to skip needed medication, which leads to more hospitalizations, sickness and death.”

According to the new report, there are critical errors of auditing standards, omission, fact, or analysis, found in the GAO report about Internet pharmacies, such as those identified below:

1.    The GAO report doesn’t meet Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) because it relies almost exclusively on sources biased against safe personal drug importation, particularly the U.S. pharmaceutical and pharmacy industries.

The analysis and conclusions found in the GAO report are overly reliant on stakeholders who have significant financial interests in the audit’s outcome, such as pharmaceutical companies and U.S. pharmacies, as well as the associations and groups they fund.

GAGAS standards require that audits exercise “reasonable care and professional skepticism… Professional skepticism is an attitude that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of evidence.”[2] Mr. Levitt’s report demonstrates that the GAO s relies on data it was presented by industry sources, and the FDA, without a “questioning mind and a critical assessment of evidence.”

2.    The GAO report omits critical peer-reviewed studies and even its own earlier conclusions about online pharmacies.

Peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates the authenticity and safety of medications ordered from foreign, credentialed online pharmacies that require valid prescriptions, including hundreds of orders placed with foreign pharmacies verified by PharmacyChecker.com [3]. Furthermore, GAO’s earlier research clearly showed that many Canadian online pharmacies are safe [4].

3.    The GAO report mentions Section 708 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) only once in a footnote to explain that the law expands federal authority to destroy imported prescription orders, but does not explore the unintended consequences of seizing and destroying medications imported for personal use.

In contrast, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Angus King (I-ME), David Vitter (R-LA) expressed serious concerns about the “potential health threat to hundreds of thousands of Americans” from Section 708 [5]. Congressman Keith Ellison wrote the FDA about many of his constituents, underscoring that Section 708 will impede their access to safe and affordable medication [6].

4.    The GAO report wrongly identifies a safe international online pharmacy – CanadaDrugs.com – as a “rogue.”

CanadaDrugs.com was wrongly labeled a “rogue” pharmacy in the GAO report, despite its record of safety. In fact, due to its verifiable licensure, long history of pharmacy safety, and website transparency, CanadaDrugs.com could be used as a good example of how Americans are benefiting from lower cost medications from other countries.

5.    The GAO report doesn’t fully analyze or explain FDA survey data relating to how many Americans are using online pharmacies, potentially encouraging confusion about the problem’s scope.

GAO writes: “According to a recent survey conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)… nearly one in four adult U.S. Internet consumers surveyed reported purchasing prescription drugs online. At the same time, nearly 30 percent said that they lacked confidence about how to safely purchase medicine online. This is a matter of grave concern as rogue Internet pharmacies may sell products that, among other things, have expired; been labeled, stored, or shipped improperly; and may even be counterfeits—unauthorized versions—of other drugs.”

The GAO report omits a crucial finding of FDA’s data: while 23% of American adults may have bought medication online, 83% of them buy medication from U.S. online pharmacies “associated with their health insurance” [7]. These figures and further analysis demonstrate that less than 4% (not “one in four”) Americans are purchasing from unsafe or foreign online pharmacies.

6.    The GAO report doesn’t recognize that Americans can and do benefit from Canadian and other foreign pharmacies accessed online, yet its lead author has, elsewhere, noted the benefits of personal drug importation via online pharmacies.

In an interview on GAO Live, the lead author of the GAO report spoke with a consumer who orders from a Canadian online pharmacy and stated that if the patient has “done some kind of verification that it’s a Canadian pharmacy, and she knows that the drug she has been receiving is the drug that has been prescribed, that’s fine”[8]. This position is not included in the GAO report.

To read and download the whole report for free go to http://www.pharmacychecker.com/online-pharmacies-personal-drug-importation-public-health.pdf.

PharmacyChecker.com (http://www.pharmacychecker.com) is the only independent company that verifies U.S. and international online pharmacies and compares prescription drug prices. It was formed in 2002 when its founder, Tod Cooperman, M.D., saw that increasing numbers of Americans were looking on the Internet to save money on medication but did not have adequate information to protect their health. PharmacyChecker.com is a stakeholder in the online consumer-driven healthcare community, seeking an open Internet environment that promotes innovation and new business models, especially those that serve the public interest.

ENDNOTES

[1] Internet Pharmacies: Federal Agencies and States Face Challenges Combatting Rogue Sites, Particularly Abroad, GAO-13-560 (Washington, D.C. July 2013)..

[2] Government Auditing Standards, GAO-12-331G (Washington, D.C., December 2011).

[3] Bate, Roger, Ginger Zhe Jin, and Aparna Mather, “In Whom We Trust: The Role of Certification Agencies in Online Drug Markets,” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. December 2013, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 111–150, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI.

[4] Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers, GAO-04-820 (Washington, D.C.: June 17, 2004).

[5] U.S. Senator David Vitter, “Vitter Fights to Keep Prescription Drug Prices Affordable Through Reimportation,” July 9, 2014 [press release].

[6] Letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by Congressman Keith Ellison dated July 1st, 2014.

[7] FDA Consumer Survey Highlights: “FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) conducted a behavioral assessment survey to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with purchasing prescription medicine from online pharmacies in May 2012.”

[8] See point no. 6 to link to the relevant clip of an interview with Marcia Crosse, Ask GAO Live: Chat on Internet Pharmacies, August 12th, 2013.







All About Photography Schools In Canada And The United States

Photography used to be viewed as just solely as a hobby and possible side job. Of course, you can’t be a photographer without expensive equipment and programs! Well, that’s one of the misconceptions of being a photographer. While that used to be the case before the evolution of technology, it’s different now. More and more people are realizing that photography can be a great and rewarding career choice. With today’s technology and computer software anyone with talent, training, experience and passion can do it! Photography schools in Canada and the United States are growing in popularity due to the growing career choice.

Although someone may have talent and learning on the job is one of the best ways to absorb information, it is better to have the background of a course. That way, you learn the fundamentals and education behind photography. Some individuals, when choosing a photographer, look for experience and training in their resume. They want someone who will capture their product, child or event perfectly. The training will teach you the basics of the camera, how to shoot with different effects, lens and flash attachments, shooting in various conditions, how to shoot creatively and lighting in your photos.

In a photography school you can even choose a specialization to get training specifically for the photography field you want to go into. (Wedding, Child, General, Media, Celebrity or Model) Believe it or not, photographers are even used in many career fields that you wouldn’t think of! (Food, Forensic, Crime Scene, Fine Arts, etc…) That’s how cops solve their cases, how photos get in magazines, menus and billboards. It’s how families capture memories!

Photo Journalism is probably one of the most popular fields to get into after graduation. What this field is, is basically news photography. Rather than a print journalist that tells their story through words, a photo journalist tells their story through photos. They usually aide the writer and take photographs that further the story that is being written. The subject for these photos can be very wide ranged. They are often hired by print media or news outlets to work with their reporters. Photo journalists are important to media because without imagery you just have mundane everyday stories. People want to see what they’re hearing about.

With an education and background in photography, you will have the opportunity to learn the business side of photography as well. Since many photographers start their own businesses in the future, you really need to have business skills to help you compete in the wide world of photography. Sure you may have a lot of talent, but without someone knowing that you won’t have clients. It definitely takes a lot of time and money to invest in your business, they want to make sure that you do it right.

Not only will you learn photography skills, you’ll also learn the computer and web part of it. There is a lot that goes into making a photographer one that can actually do it all and be successful. The more you can offer, the more you can make. You truly want to be the jack of all trades in the photography world. Let’s say you’re a photographer and taking photos of your subject and when you get to upload your photos you see that your pictures need an extra something. Maybe the lighting isn’t perfect, there is a flaw on your model, a bug flew in front of your lens at the exact moment the shutter went off… There are many reasons that your photos might not be perfect. In that case, you don’t want to waste time and space! You’ll need to do some photo editing. It is true that many photographers hire a graphic designer or someone who is a specialist in photo retouching, but if you can do it yourself, you’ll be saving money and actually bringing more into your company. Schooling will teach you this side, how to use the photo editing programs, settings, controls adjustments to add that extra touch to your photos, maybe make them more dramatic or add or remove something from the photo. Photo editing is actually very fun and interesting.

One of the best and most exciting things is working aside professional photographers as professors. Maybe one of your professors is an award winning photographer, maybe they’ve worked with interesting celebrities or various media outlets. Professors at photography school actually have great stories to tell because of their extensive background and many experiences. You’ll definitely have the benefit of learning from their actual real world experiences and learn from their knowledge about the career field that they work in.

There are a number of photography schools in Canada and the United States to take advantage of. The growing number of people who go into art or photography schools out of high school is enough to realize just how popular that field currently is. With a degree in photography, you can really get a great career or start your own business. You can generate a lot of income in various ways through the various fields.

Ready to channel your inner creativity in an art institute? Enrol in a photography school for photography or one of the many fine photography schools in canada. The career you dreamed of may be just around the corner.

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Internet Marketing Company Ideas Media Goes Niche Making a Huge Impact in the Concrete Industry


Austin, Texas (PRWEB) March 31, 2015

Internet marketing company IDEAS media LLC. is making a huge impact in the concrete world by focusing on niche specific online marketing for concrete companies. While many construction related businesses are still reeling from the past recession, many in the specialty concrete industry are thriving. Most marketing companies attempt to reach every type of business to offer their services, Ideas Media LLC. has learned that focus is key.

Targeting niche markets like ‘specialty and decorative concrete’ allows industry specific niche campaigns for their clients, yielding, quick, turnkey online programs with high impact results.

Vice President of Operations, Rebecca Donaldson stated, “It’s all about getting the job, for our concrete clients. We know concrete, we understand concrete contractors and concrete suppliers, so we can quickly tailor a marketing campaign specific for them. We don’t deal with a shoe company one day and a concrete company the next. We live eat and breathe concrete, that’s it, and our goal is to get our customers in front of web searchers.”

While most other search engine marketing companies out there rely solely on telemarketing and working the numbers to gain new clients it is their lack of expertise in the subject matter that keeps them from gaining ground within so may industries. When a company is ready to get started on a campaign the learning curve and amount of time and effort required to train the marketing company is often daunting and way too time consuming, also resulting in added costs.

It is not surprising that many local online marketing companies are beginning to emulate what IDEAS media LLC has been doing for over 10 years: focusing on niche specific markets.

With a combined experience of 30 years in the concrete industry and a database of keywords, along with an understanding of what people are actually searching online when it comes to commercial and residential concrete, http://www.concreteideas.com has become one of the top online authority websites for the concrete industry.

Mark Donaldson president of IDEAS media LLC. claims that “if any concrete business wants to compete locally, they can get a substantial boost in online rankings by joining an authority website such as http://www.concreteideas.com, the resulting inbound links, leads and traffic to their company gives their business and website the boost it needs to be included in the search results above their competitors. Businesses that still believe in, and rely solely on; having a company website may find themselves gradually disappearing from top search results, in place of those who build a network of great content marketing pieces, goiing social, building affiliates and inbound links.

In addition to the niche industry authority website, IDEAS media focuses on building long term marketing strategies with it’s concrete clientele by assisting them with building company websites, SEO, content marketing like blogging, press release and social media marketing. The a la carte approach helps companies large and small with any budget get into the online marketing game. To learn more, visit: http://www.getideas.com.

About IDEAS media LLC: IDEAS media was founded in 2006. The company iis made up of a small but mighty group of hard working individuals that focus on a niche industry. By taking pride in really getting to know their clients, they have a real passion in helping them grow their businesses and become profitable with online marketing and lead generation strategies. Starting back in 1998, President Mark Donaldson grew his concrete company in both Canada and United States through advanced marketing techniques. Since selling both very successful installation companies in 2006, Mark and his team have dedicated their time in helping other concrete companies become successful in the online marketing space while growing their client base and brand.







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T.E.N. Accepting Nominations for the 2015 Information Security Executive


ATLANTA, GA (PRWEB) April 06, 2015

T.E.N., an information technology and security executive networking and relationship-marketing firm, announced today that nominations will be accepted April 6, 2015 through June 5, 2015 for the 2015 Information Security Executive® (ISE®) West Awards.

Awards include the Information Security Executive® of the Year, which recognizes executives who have made a positive impact on their organizations through risk management, data-asset protection, regulatory compliance, privacy and information security; and the ISE® Project of the Year, which recognizes a project completed during the previous 12-18 months that has had a significant impact on an organization’s risk management or information security posture. Eligible nominees meet all appropriate criteria and are based in the U.S. West territory, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Executives and/or project teams can be self-nominated in addition to entries by supervisors, employees, peers or technology partners. Anyone interested in nominating for the ISE® West Awards may download the forms here. All nominations are sent to T.E.N.’s distinguished panel of ISE® Judges for review and scoring.

“The West coast is home to many of the nation’s most innovative companies and forward thinking leaders,” said T.E.N. CEO & President Marci McCarthy. “We encourage executives and their teams to consider their work over the past 12-18 months and take advantage of this opportunity to benchmark against other high-caliber security programs in the region.”

Nominees, finalists and winners will be recognized at the ISE® West Executive Forum and Awards on August 20, 2015 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA. The Executive Forum will include keynote speakers, interactive roundtables moderated by the CISOs and VPs of participating companies and engaging panel discussions. Finalists and winners in both categories are announced at the awards gala that evening and recognized through press coverage and inclusion on the T.E.N. and ISE® websites. Organizations taking part in previous programs have included leading organizations, such as BlackLine Systems, Caesar’s Entertainment, St. Joseph’s Health and the Warner Bros. Entertainment.

About T.E.N.

T.E.N., a national technology and security executive networking organization, facilitates peer-to-peer relationships between top executives, industry visionaries and solutions providers. Nominated for numerous industry awards, T.E.N.’s executive leadership programs enable information exchange, collaboration and decision-making. Its flagship program, the nationally-acclaimed Information Security Executive® (ISE®) of the Year Program Series and Awards, is North America’s largest leadership recognition and networking program for security professionals. Other offerings include The ISE® Lions’ Den and Jungle Lounge, T.E.N. Custom Programs and the ISE® Industry Expert Advisory Services, empowering IT solutions providers to gain access to highly credentialed IT business veterans’ expertise. For information, visit http://www.ten-inc.com.

About ISE® Award Program Series

For more than a decade, the Information Security Executive® (ISE®) of the Year Award Program Series has empowered security executives and their project teams to Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate. Recognized as the industry’s most prestigious IT Security award program, it has become the most anticipated award program for security executives and their project teams. Winners have included executives and project teams from leading organizations such as Nike, The Walt Disney Company, the United States Postal Service, Schlumberger, Texas Instruments, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Equifax, Comcast, PayPal, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Nationwide.

Our distinguished ISE® Judges are past nominees representing a cross section of industries, including commercial, government, health care and academic sectors. For this reason, the ISE® Awards represent the best achievements of the year as evaluated by those regarded as the industry’s most influential and successful thought leaders. Coupled with a one or two-day executive summit, the ISE® Awards are held across the country and Canada in major cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. The ISE® Awards Program Series has reached more than 10,000 executives across a broad range of industries and has been a major influence in executives’ careers, knowledge sharing, and the development of peer-to-peer relationships.







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U.S. Militarization of Foreign Policy Leads to Statecraft Casualties According to New Book from American University School of International Service Professors


Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 24, 2015

More money is needed to effectively carry out the U.S. diplomatic mission overseas, according to Secretary of State John Kerry. He testified, in late February, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying a mere one percent of the total U.S. budget supports everything the Department of State does abroad and it’s not enough. According to Kerry, it begs the question: Why don’t the Department of State and other civilian authorities like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have the budget necessary to carry out their missions?

American University School of International Service professors Gordon Adams and Shoon Murray, co-editors of Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy? (Georgetown University Press, 2015), and the experts they assembled G. William Anderson, Brian E. Carlson, Charles B. Cushman, Jr., James F. Dobbins, Jennifer Kibbe, Edward Marks, Anthony Quainton, Derek S. Reveron, Nina M. Serafino, Connie Veillette, and Sharon Weiner say as the title of the book states a preference for the Pentagon to take on the roles once reserved for civilian authorities. The contributors trace the various factors leading to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy over the last 70 years.

The authors examine the post-World War II trend in three parts: the institutional and political context, observing the militarization trend (in the areas of development, security assistance, public diplomacy, traditional diplomacy, intelligence, and policy advice), and the implications of militarization. Throughout recommendations are made on how to stem mission creep and potentially reverse it.

The Birth of a Trend.

Adams and Murray identify the Cold War as the start of the shift when the National Security Act of 1947, Truman Doctrine, and the establishment of NATO all began to shift the leadership of American foreign policy from State to Defense. As the DoD budget and capabilities grew, the trend accelerated. “The 9/11 terrorist attacks were a real game changer because the White House and Congress became consumed with counter-terrorism efforts that led to the twin wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” says Shoon Murray.

Conventional warfare gave way to insurgency after 2001. U.S. intervention in the Balkans that had distributed responsibility between the State Department for reconstruction and governance and DoD to carry out military operations was abandoned as James F. Dobbins points out given the new insurgency paradigm. “The button downed U.S. diplomat has given way to a US military uniform in the eyes of the international community,” says Adams.

2005 A Defining Year

In 2005, DoD began to incorporate nation building into its mission. Adams, Murray, and several of the contributors point to the 2005 DoD Directive 3000.05 that included stability operations as a core U.S. military mission. “It is a remarkable development that the Pentagon would give marching orders for the services and commands to consider noncombat tasks on par with war fighting,” write Adams and Murray.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing back in 2008, where Adams testified, he pointed out that the Pentagon’s share of funding for overseas security assistance – traditionally a State Department responsibility budget just for U.S. development assistance– increased from 5.6 percent to 21.7 percent or $ 5.5 billion from 2002 to 2005.

Is It A Mission the Military Wants? Maybe.

Several of the chapter contributors question whether the military actually wants the additional portfolios added to its core mission. What stands out is the reluctance of U.S. military leaders to remain responsible for development and humanitarian missions better suited to civilian agencies. For example, in 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, “America’s civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for too long—relative to what we traditionally spend on the military.” The concern was echoed by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he said the political leadership views the military as more capable, assigning it more noncombat missions, and further weakening civilian agencies. He wanted “to break this cycle”.

However, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) seems to relish the expanded role. SOCOM’s responsibility to lead and synchronize the global war on terror has sometimes conflicted with U.S. civilian authorities abroad. School of International Service diplomat in residence Anthony Quainton and Murray in one of the chapters spoke to two dozen retired U.S. ambassadors in the course of their research about whether in their postings they experienced any conflicts with DoD operations. The answer was largely no with one exception. “Many of the ambassadors we spoke with,” write Murray and Quainton, “were suspicious of SOCOM, perceiving SOF (Special Operations Forces) as more free-wheeling and less deferential to ambassadorial authority.” One former ambassador quoted in the book said SOCOM was secretive making it tricky for US ambassadors to represent U.S. interests when secret missions even to the ambassador were being carried out.

Mission Creep by the Numbers

Adams, who served as the associate director for national security and international affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration, runs through several figures demonstrating the militarization of foreign policy. For example, the Pentagon budget is more than 10 times as large as the nation’s international affairs spending, and there are 215 uniformed military personnel for every Foreign Service officer.

Adams is concerned that the asymmetry could lead to “blowback”. “On the one hand it’s funny that there are more musicians in DoD bands than in the entire foreign service, but on the other hand the militarization has consequences,” says Adams, “For decades the United States has advised well-endowed and powerful militaries in less developed countries to remove themselves from politics, social work, and the local economy, but today the expansion of the U.S. military into noncore missions sends a conflicting message to these militaries. If the U.S. military can be an investor, government adviser, developer, why not them?”

Many of the contributors concede that projects once squarely in the domain of civilian authorities like the State Department and USAID will continue to be executed by the U.S. military. But should the nation’s military, the point of the spear, be digging wells, constructing schools and providing medical assistance or advising national and local governments on governance and the rule of law? The majority of authors seem to agree it’s better suited for USAID and the State Department to do the humanitarian and state building work on the ground even if it means some soiled hands.







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Four Victims Of Alleged Sexual Abuse File Civil Lawsuit Against The American Youth Soccer Organization

Torrance, CA (PRWEB) March 10, 2015

Attorney Paul Mones and Attorney Irwin Zalkin announced the filing of a civil lawsuit for alleged sexual abuse on Tuesday against the American Youth Soccer Organization (“AYSO”), a registered California not-for-profit corporation with its national offices located in the city of Torrance, California.

The lawsuit (Case No.BC 574025) has been filed on behalf of four unnamed Plaintiffs (John Does, 1-4) who were minors when the alleged sexual abuse occurred. The complaint was filed this morning in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the civil complaint, the four Plaintiffs, three of whom are adults now and one who is a minor were all allegedly sexually abused by Renoir Valenti, who came in contact with them as a commissioner, youth soccer coach and/or referee in the AYSO. The complaint alleges that Valenti sexually abused and molested the plaintiffs on multiple occasions. The complaint also alleges that AYSO had a duty to protect the Plaintiffs and knew or should have known that Valenti was a danger to children in his care.

The complaint further alleges that Valenti’s behavior and actions violated AYSO policies intended to protect children. The four Plaintiffs were all minor children at the time of the abuse alleged in the complaint. The abuse alleged in the complaint occurred to the various Plaintiffs during the period 1996 through 2012.

About Paul Mones

For over thirty years Paul Mones has dedicated his legal practice to protecting victims of child abuse. The focus of his work is representing victims of sexual abuse against the institutions in which the children were sexually molested. These efforts have included lawsuits around the nation against the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, private and public schools and other youth-serving organizations throughout the United States. http://www.paulmones.com

About The Zalkin Law Firm

With offices in San Diego and New York, the firm’s lawyers have represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual abuse and achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States. The Zalkin Law Firm has aggressively represented survivors who suffered child sexual abuse and sexual assault while members of religious and other organizations, including the Catholic Church, foster care, Boy Scouts, recovery homes, foreign student exchange programs, colleges and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The firm has negotiated over $ 200 million in settlements for victims in Catholic clergy alleged sex abuse cases. http://www.zalkin.com.







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US Federal Contractor Registration: Robert F. Audet, Inc Wins Over $470,000 in Government Contracts Thanks to Simplified Acquisition Program


Washington D.C. (PRWEB) February 28, 2015

Robert F. Audet, Inc enrolled in the Simplified Acquisition Program in January 2013, and as a result won 6 federal contracts totaling $ 479,184. Tammy Helgren of US Federal Contractor Registration suggested that the Simplified Acquisition Program would be the best government-marketing program for their business model based on their business goals. Robert F. Audet, Inc has managed to become extremely successful in the federal marketplace from a direct result of the Simplified Acquisition Program. The Simplified Acquisition Program has proven to be the most efficient government-marketing program in 2014. US Federal Contractor Registration, the world’s largest third party registration firm developed the Simplified Acquisition Program in an effort to help small businesses win simplified acquisition contracts.

Below is a contract awarded from the Department of the Army to Robert F. Audet, Inc as found on the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS):

Vendor Name: ROBERT F. AUDET, INC.    

Contracting Agency: DEPT OF THE ARMY

Date Signed: November 06, 2013    

Action Obligation: $ 319,500

Contracting Office: W2SD ENDIST NEW ENGLAND

NAICS (Code): ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS AND OTHER WIRING INSTALLATION CONTRACTORS ( 238210 )    

PSC (Code): REPAIR OR ALTERATION OF RESTORATION OF REAL PROPERTY (PUBLIC OR PRIVATE) ( Z2QA )

Vendor City: EAST GREENWICH    

Vendor DUNS: 620823930

Vendor State: RI    

Vendor ZIP: 028181422

About Robert F. Audet, Inc

Robert F. Audet, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Rhode Island in 1990. Their focus is technically complex electrical installations. They perform all phases of commercial, industrial and governmental electrical work: Medium voltage, low voltage, and systems – including fire alarm, security, and telecommunications. They have an in-house team of certified medium voltage splicers. All of their electricians are licensed, some holding more than one license. Their electricians hold certificates in many other disciplines needed in their work, i.e. lift licenses, CPR site aid, confined space, etc. All employees are OSHA 10 qualified. Their company is a member of Associated Builders and Contractors.

Robert F. Audet, Inc Vendor Profile

DUNS: 620823930

CAGE: 0SDX2

Active in SAM; Registration valid until 1/31/201

Small Business

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes:

238210 – Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors

Federal Purchasing officers looking for information on Robert F. Audet, Inc please call Laura Ley at (401) 884-3310 or visit their Federally formatted website at http://www.rfaudetgov.com/.

Tammy Hellgren can be reached at 1(877) 252-2700 Ext 718 to discuss Simplified Acquisition Program enrollment for both federally registered and unregistered businesses. US Federal Contractor Registration is the only firm allowed to qualify and maintain the simplified acquisition program. For businesses interested in learning more please visit http://www.SimplifiedAcquisitionProgram.org.







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PIP Auto Insurance Quotes Now Searchable by Zip Code at National Insurer Portal


Dayton, OH (PRWEB) February 16, 2015

Information collection is one negative for auto owners who request quotations for insurance coverage through American providers. Because some companies require information in exchange for a policy quote, the Insurance Pros company has modified its search tools online. All PIP auto insurance quotes are now searchable with a zip code at http://insuranceprosusa.com/auto-insurance.html.

The upgrade now makes it easier to use one of the easiest pieces of information to receive an immediate quotation for vehicle insurance coverage. Because zip code information can be useful to insurers, drivers who use the revised search tool can be presented with a more organized listing of quote providers of personal insurance coverage this year.

“The PIP coverage agencies that are viewable while using our updated research system are all located inside the U.S. and underwrite coverage for vehicle owners,” said an Insurance Pros rep.

The precise packages for coverage that can be located with help from the Insurance Pros company search tool are in no way limited to basic protection. All major makes of vehicles as well as foreign models can be covered by policies that are located with assistance from the search tool in 2015.

“There are no vehicle requirements or specific personal information that must be entered into our system in order to begin selecting the companies providing state rates,” said the rep.

The Insurance Pros USA company is also providing research assistance to motorcycle users. The system found at http://insuranceprosusa.com/motorcycle-insurance.html can be a helpful tool to use when exploring quotes for bike insurance on a national level in all states.

About InsuranceProsUSA.com

The InsuranceProsUSA.com company has updated the way that motorists seek out providers of insurance coverage on its website. The worn out methods of contacting companies by phone or by mail have been replaced with a zip code submission system. The InsuranceProsUSA.com company organizes the different agencies by location in the U.S. as a way of simplifying the search patterns by consumers who use its rates and policy finder tools.







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2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Released

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) January 23, 2015

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania today released its 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, the most comprehensive ranking of the world’s top think tanks. Simultaneous launch events were held by 81 organizations across 62 cities in 51 countries worldwide. The report will be translated into more than 20 languages.

As the premier database and measure of world think tanks, the Go To Index aims to increase the profile, performance and impact of think tanks, and to create a transnational and interdisciplinary network of centers of public policy excellence.

“In a world filled with tweets and sound bites that are often superficial and politically charged, it is critical to know where to turn for sound policy proposals that address our complex policy issues,” said James McGann, PhD, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. “This independent Index is designed to help identify and recognize the leading centers of excellence in public policy research around the world.”

The launch of the 2014 Go To Index in Washington D.C. was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). A discussion was held about the challenges and opportunities for defense policy think tanks in the coming year. An afternoon session at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City focused on the connections between inter-governmental organizations and think tanks. The Index was also distributed through a network of global partners, giving institutions a chance to highlight the crucial role they play in building and maintaining civil society in their countries and regions.

The annual report, compiled with assistance from more than 1,500 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the world, ranks the top 150 global think tanks across four general categories:

1. Top Think Tanks in the World

2. Top Think Tanks by Region

3. Top Think Tanks by Area of Research

4. Top Think Tanks by Special Achievement

This year’s report also includes new Global Health and Domestic Health categories as well as a Global Trends feature, a detailed analysis of the biggest developments and challenges that think tanks have faced and will continue to face in the near future.

The Brookings Institution ranked first on the Global Think Tank list for the seventh consecutive year. The index report can be found at http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=think_tanks.

Below are highlights of the 2014 rankings:

Top Think Tanks Worldwide (U.S. and non-U.S.)

    Brookings Institution (United States)
    Chatham House (United Kingdom)
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)
    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (United States)
    Bruegel (Belgium)

Top Defense and National Security Think Tanks

    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (United States)
    RAND Corporation (United States)
    International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (United Kingdom)
    Brookings Institution (United States)
    Chatham House (United Kingdom)

Top Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks

    Brookings Institution (United States)
    Chatham House (United Kingdom)
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)
    Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (United States)
    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (United States)

The following regional launch partners will be hosting events in 62 cities around the world:

Sub-Saharan Africa

    African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Harare, Zimbabwe
    African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nairobi, Kenya
    Center for Policy Studies (CERPS), Monrovia, Liberia
    Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal
    Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Kano, Nigeria
    Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Accra, Ghana
    Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), Johannesburg, South Africa
    Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, Nigeria
    REPOA, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Asia and the Pacific

    Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), and Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDCS) Canberra, Australia
    Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD), Baku, Azerbaijan
    Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta, Indonesia
    Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), and China Center for

International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) (TBC), Beijing, China

    Chula Global Network, Chulalongkorn University, and International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD), Bangkok, Thailand
    Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai, India
    Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) and Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Tokyo, Japan
    Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), East Asia Institute (EAI), and Korea Economic Magazine, Seoul, South Korea
    Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi, India
    Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Shanghai, China
    Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), Singapore
    Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, Pakistan

Latin America

    Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI), Buenos Aires, Argentina
    CEDICE Libertad, Caracas, Venezuela
    Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP), Santiago, Chile
    Ethos Public Policy Lab, Mexico City, Mexico
    Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
    Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), Lima, Peru

Europe

    Adam Smith Institute (ASI), London, United Kingdom
    Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and Fundación Alternativas, Barcelona, Spain
    Carnegie Moscow Center, Moscow, Russia
    Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen, Denmark
    Ecologic Institute, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Berlin, Germany
    EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Prague, Czech Republic
    Fundación Alternativas, Madrid, Spain
    Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Milan, Italy
    Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), Paris, France
    Institute of World Economics, Budapest, Hungary
    Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Warsaw, Poland
    Populari, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Razumkov Centre, Kiev, Ukraine

North America

    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington D.C., United States
    Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago, United States
    Fraser Institute, Vancouver, Canada
    Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), Montreal, Canada
    James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Houston, United States
    United Nations, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, UN Regional Commissions New York Office (RCNYO), and International Peace Institute (IPI) New York, United States
    University of Pennsylvania, Lauder Institute, Perry World House, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, and Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Philadelphia, United States

Middle East and North Africa

    Al Jazeera Center for Studies (AJCS), Doha, Qatar
    Association for Liberal Thinking (ALT), Ankara, Turkey
    Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), Amman, Jordan
    Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), Cairo, Egypt
    Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Istanbul, Turkey
    Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv, Israel
    International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey
    OCP Policy Center, Rabat, Morocco
    Regional Center for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Cairo, Egypt

About Penn’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP):

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the International Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania, conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. TTCSP was established in 1989. The Program maintains a database and network of more than 6,600 think tanks in 152 countries. Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. The Index is supported by Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, global.upenn.edu and the Lauder Institute at the Wharton School.








Check out this illuminating Polymer Bank Note infographic from the Bank of Canada:


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canada's New $50 and $100 'Indestructible' Bills Can Melt

In Nov. 2012 and earlier this year, the Bank of Canada released new $50 and $100 Canadian bills.  The key differences:  These bills are forged from polymers, not paper.  (I, foolishly, assumed polymer was just fancy code for plastic--but was wrong.)

But now in circulation, some Canadians are finding one flaw with these super tough, environmentally friendly bills.  


From TheStar.com:
Under certain conditions they will curl up like bacon in a frying pan.
“The Bank of Canada cannot rule out that polymer notes may be damaged under certain extraordinary conditions,” Julie Girard, a currency spokesperson for the Bank of Canada, told the Star Thursday.
According to various reports, the so-called indestructible polymer bills will shrink under intense heat, be it the inside of a car or placed next to a heat source.
...
The new $100 bills cost 19 cents each to produce — almost twice that of paper bills — but are said to last 2.5 times longer, or about 19 years, than the paper cousin and are resistant to tearing and water damage. The new bills also have hidden security features, including transparent holograms, making them difficult to counterfeit.
Check out this illuminating Polymer Bank Note infographic from the Bank of Canada:


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What...My Verizon Phone Will Work on Both Sides of the Canada-U.S. Border? Verizon May Enter the Canadian Marketplace, Ending One of the Most Recognizable Canada-U.S. Digital Border Barriers

One of the most recognizable Canada-U.S. border barriers may soon fall.

So, are you one of the many cross-border travelers who detests either (a) having two phones or (b) adjusting to life without your Verizon cell phone?

Well, your stress may soon be over. (Oh, also, Canadians may see more options for watching NHL and NFL games.)

From Michael Geist TheStar.com:
Reports that U.S. telecom giant Verizon may be preparing to enter the Canadian market has sparked considerable speculation on the likely impact of a company with a market cap greater than Bell, Rogers, and Telus combined. While much of the discussion has centered on wireless pricing, the more significant development may be the shift toward a single North American communications market.

...

The prospect of a Verizon entry into Canada would put a single communications market into overdrive. On the telecom side, Verizon could use its Canadian network to change the approach to roaming in North America altogether, since it would be uniquely positioned to offer a single U.S. and Canadian network. 
The company could move to eliminate roaming fees for U.S. and Canadian customers, while offering cost-competitive U.S. and Canadian roaming together for international providers establishing wholesale roaming agreements. Such a plan would obviously be attractive to the corporate sector as well as regular cross-border travellers, leading to the gradual elimination of roaming and long distance charges for calls throughout North America.

On the broadcasting side, Verizon holds exclusive U.S. rights to both the National Football League and the National Hockey League. Those rights are currently held by BCE in Canada, but a Verizon entry into Canada could shake things up. Verizon could presumably complicate the BCE rights by offering free access to NFL and NHL games to Canadian customers when they travel to the U.S. More interestingly, it could make a play for joint U.S.-Canada rights in the future, moving closer to an elimination of the geographic divide on content rights.

...

With satellite radio and Internet video already close to a single market, regulatory reform to longstanding policies such as simultaneous substitution a possibility, and the geographic lines on telecom, content, and broadcast distribution all increasingly blurred, the big question may be whether Canada is closing in on a common North American communications market.

Friday, June 28, 2013

RIP RIM's Blackberry Playbook; Update on RIM's Non-Demise Demise

By Keith Edmund White
Editor-in-Chief

Canada's tech-juggernaut, Research in Motion ("RIM"), now trading as Blackberry, is still adapting to the new world of mobile devices, but its still on path to release a new generations of devices--which can hopefully return this company to premier status.

(Check out Justin McNeil 2012 post The Decline and Fall of the Blackberry Empire.)

First, WSJ reports on Blackberry's 1st quarter loss (and likely 2nd quarter loss), because of Venezuelan foreign currency restrictions.  

(Learn more about Venezuela's long-standing currency issues in this handy Economist article.)

And, yes, Blackberry continues to lose subscribers, but it has the cash to push out its new generation of phones.

But, even when Blackberry does stuff right, that doesn't mean success in this heavily competitive global marketplace for mobile devices.

From Lance Ulanoff's excellent op-ed in today's Mashable, Blackberry PlayBook Is as Good as Dead:

Today, BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM) essentially put a nail in the PlayBook coffin by announcing that it would not be converted to the new Blackberry 10 OS. That mobile OS is clearly the future of the company. QNX, though, bought and now developed by BlackBerry, is the past. 
In a Q1 2014 earnings press release, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins outlined the company’s near-term strategy: “Throughout the remainder of fiscal 2014, the company will invest in BlackBerry 10 smartphone launches, and the roll out of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, to continue to establish the new BlackBerry 10 platform in the marketplace.”
...
Will Blackberry ever build another tablet? If Heins can turn BB10 and its flagship phones into a success, then yes. But the signs are not promising. From the earnings statement:
“The smartphone market remains highly competitive, making it difficult to estimate units, revenue and levels of profitability ... Based on the competitive market dynamics and these investments, the company anticipates it will generate an operating loss in the second quarter.”
With this kind of fiscal outlook, it’s unlikely the company will invest heavily in new initiatives like rebooting its 7-inch tablet product line. 
So, PlayBook, it was nice knowing you. You were, in fact, impressive and innovative for your time. Your features like cards (at least on a tablet), swipe from bevel, true multitasking, wireless content sharing and more have all been copied by more successful mobile companies.
I guess you can take solace in that.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Video: Yesterday's WWC Cyber-Security Event Featuring U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Watch yesterday's Woodrow Wilson Center event on on Cyber-Security and public-private partnerships.

For a good, if now out-dated, recap on public-private partnerships & cyber-security, check out this Feb. 2011 article by Lawrence P. Farrell Jr.

Sequester's Bite: House Dem. Report Details U.S. Cutbacks to Critical Canada-U.S. Spending Priorities

BTBObserver shines light on a recent report documenting sequestration's impact on federal agencies, highlight cuts that affect the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship:
The House Committee on Appropriations Democrats released a report detailing the considerable impact sequestration is having on important federal programs
Below are excerpts from the must-read report pertaining to the Canada-U.S. relationship:

Airport safety and wait times: …Sequestration reduced Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) FY 2013 appropriated dollars by approximately $600 million, which required CBP to reduce overtime for CBP Officers (CBPO) beginning in early March. These cuts have already led to significant increases in wait times at air ports of entry. (Page 5).

Overall, USCG expects to have approximately 20-50 percent fewer assets in the offshore patrol areas for migrant and drug interdiction at various times over the next several months. The Coast Guard expects to submit a reprogramming request in the next few weeks that will mitigate some of the impacts, but will likely not completely restore planned interdiction patrols. (Page 6).

Ports of Entry: As noted above, sequestration reduced Customs Border Protection Officer (CBPO) overtime availability at the Nation’s ports. This slows the movement of goods across the border and impedes U.S. capacity to facilitate and expedite cargo, adding costs to the supply chain and diminishing global competitiveness.

Land border truck wait times have increased significantly.
  • Del Rio and Mariposa both reported wait times of 120 minutes; normal wait times average 15 minutes for both locations.
  • Pharr Cargo reported wait times of 105 minutes; normal wait times average 15 minutes.
  • Detroit Fort Street Cargo reported wait times of 60 minutes; normal wait times average 5 minutes.
  • Other POEs with wait time increases: Nogales, Peace Bridge, Progreso, and Rainbow Bridge. (Pages 18-19).
Maritime cargo also faced delays: LA/Long Beach reported container release delays of 144 hrs (6 days) and Port Everglades and Miami Seaport reported container delays up to 48 hours. And cruise ships saw the effects of reduced CBPO overtime. Los Angeles and Port Everglades reported increased processing times of 6.5 hours; normal processing time is 4 hours.

Sequestration will also affect Border Patrol coverage between ports of entry, but DHS is still attempting to find additional savings. CBP expects to submit a reprogramming notification soon to mitigate some of these impacts and to prevent the need to furlough CBPOs for an estimated 3-4 days. (Pages 18-19).
Read the entire report here.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Canada Needs Three Arctic Ports - Fmr. Canadian Northern Forces Commander

The Hill Times offers this editorial from Pierre Leblanc, former Canadian Northern Forces commander and current President of Canadian Diamond Consultants, Inc., urging Canada to construct three Arctic ports:
Canada needs three ports in the Arctic: on its West Coast, in the centre of the archipelago, and on the East Coast.

There is near-unanimous agreement that the Arctic is warming at about twice the rate of global warming elsewhere. There is also clear evidence that the arctic polar ice cap is fast disappearing. Human activity in the Arctic is increasing exponentially as the Arctic becomes increasingly accessible. Maritime traffic has grown significantly.


The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that commercial maritime traffic through the Northern Sea Route along the Russian Coast increased tenfold between 2010 and 2012. Canada’s Northwest Passage was free of ice in 2007, years ahead of scientific predictions. It has been free of ice every summer since.

There is growing interest in harvesting the natural resources that have been shielded by the permanent polar ice cap. This will naturally lead to further increases in human activity and a greater incidence of search and rescue operations and maritime accidents. Such incidents could lead to an environmental catastrophe, in what is recognised as a very fragile environment with a short vertical food chain. Almost any major accident in the Arctic will affect the “human security” of its inhabitants.

...

Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak has stated that one of the anchors of sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic is having healthy communities. By investing and developing ports such as those proposed, the federal government could put concrete action behind Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s stated desire to develop the Arctic during Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council. It would create a significant number of long term well-paying jobs for the communities in and around those ports. “Build a road and they will come” it is said. In the Canadian Arctic, ports will attract business. In so doing, Canada would also improve greatly its ability to deal with SAR [search and rescue] and marine pollution and meet its international commitments.