FBI warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams

first_imgdomoyega/iStockBy LUKE BARR, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — As the United States inches closer to Food and Drug Administration approval of a COVID-19 vaccination, the FBI is warning Americans of potential vaccine fraud.FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault told ABC News that there could initially be issues in distributing the vaccine and that scammers will use this to their advantage.“What we would say to the public is to be leery of and be on guard for scams related to telemarketing, malicious websites or emails where people are taking advantage of the initial supply-and-demand problem,” Thibault said.In October, the World Health Organization found a fake flu vaccine in Mexico, according to EUROPOL, the European Union’s law enforcement arm. EUROPOL worries the same could happen with the COVID-19 vaccine.“The same scenario is also likely to happen when COVID-19 vaccines do become available,” the agency said in a press release. “Similar to the fake influenza vaccine encountered in Mexico, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines may represent a significant public health threat if they are ineffective at best or toxic at worst, given their production in underground labs without hygiene standards.”Specifically, Thibault stressed that there will “certainly” be bad actors looking to take advantage of people during the rollout of the vaccine.“Bad actors will reach out to people and may take advantage of their desperation to get the vaccine early,” he said.Thibault warned no American should have to pay for the vaccine — and anyone telling them to do so is wrong.He also said that these scams will need to be carried out quickly as more of the legitimate vaccines flood the country.“The fraudsters have to know that these types of scams, with regard to the vaccine, have a time limit on them,” he said.The assistant special agent in charge also mentioned that people are often embarrassed to admit they were the victim to this type of fraud, but he urged victims to tell law enforcement in order to stop future incidents.“These are crimes of greed and opportunity,” Thibault said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Biden Wants to Be the Climate President. He’ll Need Some Help From Xi Jinping.

first_imgThis week, the Biden transition team said the president-elect had discussed climate change in initial conversations with several European and Asia-Pacific allies. Despite the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on Friday, Mr. Xi has not called on Mr. Biden since the election. Mr. Xi faces his own tests. China’s emissions continue to grow, even as those of United States have declined significantly since 2005, though falling short of the reductions that the United States had promised under the Paris accord. China’s emissions are on a path to continue growing until 2030; only after that is it expected to decline, and rapidly, according to a government-backed research group.- Advertisement – That’s nowhere near what’s needed to get the world to the ultimate goal of the Paris climate accord, which is to prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by letting countries set their own emissions targets every five years and exerting diplomatic peer pressure on each other to be more ambitious.An analysis by two research organizations, the Asia Society Policy Institute and Climate Analytics, to be issued next week but reviewed by The New York Times, concludes that China would have to peak its carbon emissions by 2025, five years earlier than the country has promised, and phase out coal by 2040 in order to keep global temperatures close to the upper limits laid out in the Paris Agreement.The test of Mr. Xi’s climate ambitions rests in large part on China’s next five-year plan, an economic road map for the country that is due in the spring. It remains to be seen how that plan will handle China’s addiction to coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which supplies the bulk of the country’s electricity despite its expansion of solar and wind power.- Advertisement – China is the world’s biggest coal consumer. It accounts for the world’s largest fleet of new coal-fired power plants, according to the research and advocacy group Urgewald. Four of the world’s top coal-plant builders are Chinese.China’s five-year-plan will come out shortly after Mr. Biden comes into office and issues his own road map to re-engineer the American economy for the era of climate change. That, several diplomats and analysts said, could spur a virtuous competition.“There would be a race to the top of a low-carbon world,” said Byford Tsang, a China specialist at E3G, a London-based research group.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Oceanscan Adds R2Sonic Multibeam with INS

first_imgSwathe Services announced that Oceanscan has recently made a significant investment for an R2Sonic 2022 digital wideband multibeam system with integrated I2NS (POS MV Wavemaster) INS.The Sonic 2022 is portable, and can be integrated into AUV, ROV, or a small boat for operations with a range up to 400 meters of water.The 3000m-rated Sonic 2022 unit is fitted with the 700 kHz UHR Option, Truepix backscatter and raw water column detect. When UHR is selected, the beam width is 0.6° x 0.6° providing narrow beam widths for detail offshore site surveys such as pipeline inspections, trench mapping, cable lay operations, wreck surveys or other micro bathymetry/hydrographic applications.User-selectable frequencies from 170 to 450kHz and swath coverage from 10° to 160° are selectable on the fly, during survey operations. The latest features are also included offering 1024 soundings per ping and the new Pipeline mode.Adil Ali, Oceanscan subsea sales manager, said: “R2Sonic’s multibeam technology and products are of the highest quality and are sought after pieces of kit; these recent acquisitions will add new capability to our hydrographic survey offering. Oceanscan plans to make further investments to enhance our industry position as a leading supplier of subsea sensors and technology to the domestic and overseas subsea market.”Formal Sonic/I2NS training for three Oceanscan technicians at Swathe Services has also been scheduled in order to better support customers.James Williams of Swathe services stated: “The system we have delivered to Oceanscan offers more options than most other rental systems in the market and the versatility of these options means that high resolution data can be obtained whether mounted on a surface vessel or on deep tow and ROV systems.”last_img read more

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IMO Assembly Elects New 40-Member Council

first_imgThe Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has elected new members of its council for the 2018-2019 biennium.Category (a) includes ten states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.Category (b) comprises ten states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade:Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.Category (c) encompasses 20 states not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world:Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.The council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the assembly, for supervising the work of the organization. Between sessions of the assembly, the council performs all the functions of the assembly, except that of making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.The newly elected council will meet, following the conclusion of the 30th Assembly, for its 119th session on December 7 and will elect its chair and vice-chair for the next biennium.The 30th Assembly of IMO is meeting in London at IMO Headquarters from November 27 to December 6, 2017. All 172 member states and three associate members are entitled to attend the assembly, which is IMO’s highest governing body.The assembly, which meets once every two years in regular session, is responsible for approving the work program, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the organization. It also elects the organization’s 40-member council.last_img read more

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