Journalists investigated

first_imgThe two student journalists who exposed insecurities in the University computer network are facing a police investigation into their activities in obtaining the story. Proctors of the University have told the Deputy Editor and Sports Editor of The Oxford Student, Patrick Foster and Roger Waite, that a police investigation has been initiated at their request, although the journalists have yet to be contacted themselves by Thames Valley Police. In the article, published on Thursday 27 May, Foster and Waite (the named authors of the piece) admit that the methods used to highlight the lack of security “fall foul of both the law and OUCS guidelines”. The Computer Misuse Act 1990, which prevents the use of computers to access personal information such as passwords, and private conversations, carries a custodial sentence of up to six months. Senior sources at The OxStu have informed Cherwell that the Proctors became aware of the article even before it went to press. “A lot of college IT officers were contacted,” they said, “and one of those must have passed on the details of the article. Once the Proctors had contacted us, we passed full details of the article to them straight away.” Within a matter of hours of receiving this information Foster had his Webmail account withdrawn and it is believed the contents are being investigated. Waite’s was removed on Tuesday. This is a matter of some concern for the students, who both have exams at the end of term. Foster has also been denied Ethernet connection to his room at Keble College. The University and their respective colleges are yet to take any action beyond this, although Foster, already on full academic probation, has expressed public fear that he may face a “three-term rustication”. It is unclear how much detail OUSU, the publishers of The OxStu, knew of the matter before they went to press. But our source was adamant that “other than the journalists concerned, neither OUSU, its employees or Editor Mary Morgan knew anything about it until the day of publication.” Waite and Foster, in a statement issued to Cherwell, stood “100 per cent” behind the story. “We are both aware that we consciously breached the law, University statutes and college regulations through our actions. However we feel we were justified in doing so to bring to the attention of the University and its students the very real dangers posed by network insecurities. “We are co-operating fully with the inquiries of the Proctors and our respective colleges. We have nothing to hide, and are both looking forward to meeting the Senior Proctor to make our respective cases.”ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004last_img read more

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Marketing assessment: Go out and get busy

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Famous author, lecturer and sales guru Dale Carnegie once said:“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”We certainly live in a time of doubt and fear.The 24/7 news cycle of ups and downs, doom and gloom is enough to fray the strongest nerves. However, there’s a lot to learn from what Carnegie shared.The best way to conquer fear is to get out and get busy.If you are a credit union or community bank leader–and especially if you’re a marketer–this definitely applies to you. The tumultuous first half of 2020 has many of us scratching our heads as to the best way to serve our financial institutions and consumers. Do you communicate more than usual? Less? It can be confusing. continue reading »last_img read more

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Confusion reigns as Russia shakes up second-pillar system

first_imgAs of the end of June, the VEB managed RUB1.7trn (€39.2bn), the NSPFs RUB887.6bn and the asset managers 34.3bn.A law in December 2012, due to take effect at the start of 2014, cut the molchani contributions to 2%, with the remaining 4% moving to the pension fund run by the PFR.This law is now to be ditched, with the molchani contribution slashed to 0% – on the reasoning that these passive investors have no interest in a funded system – although the decision deadline has been extended from the end of 2013 to 2015.It has also been proposed to restrict the opportunity for workers to change their retirement fund from once every year to every five years.More controversially, all second-pillar contributions in 2014 – some RUB244bn – will be frozen.Vladimir Potapov, chief executive and global head of portfolio management at VTB Capital Investment Management, said: “The money will be retained by the state pension fund, and, judging by the finance minister’s recent statement, is supposed to become a sort of an air bag that will be activated in case an emergency breaking of the national economy occurs.“But it is not certain at the moment. The retained saving can also be spent for social projects or can reduce the state transfer to the state pension fund budget in 2014.”Russia’s economy, heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues, has slowed alarmingly.According to the World Bank, this year’s GDP growth is expected to fall to 1.8%, the slowest rate since the 2009 recession.This, in turn, has put pressure on government revenues, with the consolidated budget set to fall to a deficit.Meanwhile, all the NSPFs will have to convert from their existing status as non-profit organisations to joint-stock companies.The non-profit status lacked ownership transparency and was prone to many abuses including a major mis-selling scandal, and clients transferred on the basis of falsified documentation some 18 months ago.In May, Russia’s Audit Chamber launched an audit into the performance of the NSPFs over the previous 10 years to calculate the profits they generated for their clients in relation to inflation, as well as uncover any illegal activities.For some NSPFs, the conversion will be complicated.“For aggregated reporting of holdings, which will incorporate pension funds, it’s quite probable that, instead of a big non-state pension fund specialised both in work with pension reserves and pension savings, we will see two funds,” Potapov said.“One of them will be a joint-stock company, and the other one will stay as a non-commercial organisation and resume its work with pension reserves.”He sees the 100-odd funds shrinking in number to 40-80, with the larger ones acquiring the weaker ones, along with their clients.The converted NSPFs, along with the VEB fund, will switch to IFRS accounting standards and require licensing by Russia’s central bank, which, as of the start of September, took over pensions and other financial market regulations from the Federal Financial Markets Service.While many NSPFs will have to leave the market, in principle, the change in their legal status is welcomed.Alexander Lorenz, chairman of the council at Raiffeisen Pension Fund in Moscow, said: “We have been advocating for some time that this will be a good development.“But do we need a freeze in contributions with all the negative repercussions for the local capital market?”While president Vladimir Putin, who has the final say on these laws, has explicitly ruled out any ultimate confiscation of contributions, this freeze – alongside the uncertainty about whether they will be returned, and, if so, with any interest – will create untold headaches for the pension funds’ business models.As Lorenz told IPE, in the case of pensions contracts signed in 2013 for next year, the funds will for now not receive any assets for the distribution costs they have already incurred, and no-one knows as yet whether the funds, pending central bank licensing, will be able to sign new contracts in 2014.Under another new law, the newly licensed companies would be expected to sign up to a new guarantee scheme similar to Russia’s bank deposit insurance programme.“It would alleviate some issues that have been hampering us for some time, such as having to provide long-term principal guarantees, that would allow us to invest long term,” said Lorenz.The flip side is that the scheme would inevitably create additional bureaucracy and costs.Lorenz said he was hoping for a general overhaul of the current second-pillar fee structure – 15% of investment income – to one that also factors in contribution levels and assets under management. Russian ministries have finally unveiled a range of changes to the mandatory second-pillar pension system, leaving confusion in their wake.The contribution rate has been slashed once again.Until now, workers born on or after 1 January 1967 have had 6% their of gross salary paid to either a non-state pension fund (NSPF), the fund run by the state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), or have this portion in the first-pillar Pension Fund of Russia (PFR) but administered by private asset managers.The VEB fund is also the default option for the molchani (‘silent ones’) who failed to choose an NSPF or asset manager themselves.last_img read more

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Turkey Donates 156 Boxes of Anti-Ebola Materials, 600 Kg of Antiseptic Expected Friday

first_imgThe People and Government of Turkey, through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) have donated 156 boxes of medical and hygiene supplies to the Liberian government in the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The items are valued at US$60,000.The donation is in addition to the ambulances costing US$100,000 donated to the government in January 2014.The medical and hygiene supplies were presented yesterday at the Ministry of Health, with the Turkish Government’s wish that their donation will help the Liberian government tackle the Ebola virus.The donated items include 50 boxes of surgical masks, 12 boxes of sterile surgery gloves, 10 boxes face masks and washable stretchers and five boxes of body bags.  The items also include six boxes of protective clothing, four boxes of medical waste bags, two boxes each of protective eyes glasses and sodium hypochlorite tablets, amongst others.Turkey’s Consul General in Liberia, Mr. Lusinee F. Kamara, Sr., stated that it is Turkey’s hope that Liberia will soon be declared Ebola-free.Mr. Kamara further stated that the 156 boxes were an initial contribution and disclosed that an additional supply of 600 kg of hand anodyne materials are expected in the country this weekend, while a “bigger consignment” is expected later this month.Mr. Matthew Flomo, the Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, described the donations as timely in the ongoing fight against the virus until zero new cases is achieved.He thanked the Turkey Consulate and said the medical and hygiene supplies will be distributed in the counties.For his part the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dehpue Y. Zuo, said the donation marks a milestone for the growing relationship between Liberia and Turkey.“We are happy for the anti-Ebola materials, which will be used to save lives and improve the health sector. We believe this will further enhance the bilateral relationship between our nations,” Assistant Minister Zuo said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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