OTTAWA – From cryptocurrencies, to artificial intelligence, to the rise of millennials, a top-secret document by Canada’s spy agency explores the so-called “mega trends” on its radar and details how they will transform the economy, society and security.The evolution of these trends — set to play out over the next five to 15 years — will unlock new opportunities and new threats, said the recently released document prepared for Michel Coulombe, who was director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service at the time.The draft discussion paper was created ahead of Coulombe’s participation at a November 2016 deputy ministers’ committee meeting on national security.In the briefing, CSIS officials shared their insights on cyber security and privacy, the economy’s evolution toward knowledge-based sectors, the arrival of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, the emergence of the millennial generation, encryption and the advance of quantum technologies.“Each of these trends bring promise and challenge,” said the paper, which was labelled “top secret.”“The rate and impact of technological advances and interactions are often misunderstood or underestimated. Organizations — faced with time, money and people constraints — will struggle to make effective planning and investment decisions.”It warned that significant and sustained leadership, innovation, partnerships and investments will be necessary to deal with the complexity and accelerated pace of these changes.A take-home message of the document is that policy-makers must figure out how much they really know about these disruptive technologies, their potential national-security risks and how to ensure Canada stays secure and prosperous.The briefing was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.A few areas highlighted on the CSIS list have already attracted some commitments from the federal government, while Ottawa insists others, such as the expected job-killing disruptions of technological change, remain a key focus as it prepares its spring budget.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said his upcoming budget will have core themes that include finding ways for science to help the economy over the long haul and preparing workers for the rapidly changing job market from advances like automation.A recent report by Morneau’s economic growth council recommended Ottawa introduce new measures to help Canadians acquire new skills to prepare for the labour-market impacts of new technologies.Among the group’s suggestions, it argued that Canada urgently needs another $15 billion in annual investments by 2030 for adult skills development to help workers adjust to the coming changes.The CSIS document also warned that, as the world’s knowledge-based sectors evolve, we should expect increasingly fierce competition as states, organizations and individuals target new expertise and intellectual property belonging to others. It called this information, which would mostly exist in electronic format, a “highly valuable commodity” that will need protection from cyber attacks.The federal government is planning to release a national IP strategy in the coming months. In last year’s budget, Ottawa said the strategy would promote the development of new ideas and technologies by helping ensure companies, academics and inventors reap benefits from their investments.The document also pointed to a group of major technologies that promise to bring profound change, such as AI, advanced robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology. At the same time, however, it cautioned these developments will likely lead to the creation of “new actors.”“These include state-run laboratories, corporate investors, (do it yourself) maker groups, terrorists and organized criminals that are competing to harness and leverage these technologies in pursuit of their interests,” it said.The paper underlined many broader risks associated with these technologies — from increased susceptibility to cyber attacks, to the facilitation of foreign weapons systems, to unemployment, to AI complications and the related liability issues.The document also examined blockchain technology, the distributed ledger underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The document said if done right, blockchain could become the “plumbing” for all transaction-based systems, including those for government services, heath records and real estate.Looking at the impact of demographic shifts, CSIS said millennials will be the architects of much of this social, political and technological disruption — which means organizations must be ready to adapt, hire and retain them.“The next anticipated cycle will be spurred by the millennial generation who, raised in a technically rich environment, have the potential to launch the next industrial revolution and create an economic boom rivalling — if not surpassing — the one created by the outgoing (baby) boomers.”Follow @Andy Blatchford on Twitter
MOSCOW — The Ukrainian navy says a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat, resulting in damage to the ship’s engines and hull.The incident took place Sunday as three Ukrainian naval ships were transiting from Odesa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait.Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told Russian news agencies Sunday that the Ukrainian ships held their course even though the area was temporarily closed.“Their goal is clear,” an FSB statement said, “to create a conflict situation in the region.” The statement did not mention ramming the Ukrainian tugboat.Though a 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, Russia has been asserting greater control over the passage since 2015.The Associated Press
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — South Korea has launched a single-stage rocket to test a locally made engine as part of efforts to place a satellite into orbit.The Science Ministry says it has confirmed its engine test was successful after the rocket landed off the southern coast on Wednesday.It says South Korea aims to develop a domestically built space launch vehicle by 2021.In 2013, South Korea succeeded in thrusting a satellite into orbit aboard a rocket blasted from its soil for the first time, but parts of that rocket were built with Russian help.Rival North Korea put its first satellite into space in late 2012, a launch viewed by Seoul and Washington as a test of Pyongyang’s long-range missile technology.Last year, North Korea conducted three intercontinental ballistic missile tests.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Lyft has completed its acquisition of Motivate, the nation’s largest bike-sharing company.The deal is part of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company’s goal of offering an array of transportation options within one app and reducing individual car ownership. Financial details were not disclosed.Motivate operates bike-share systems in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and elsewhere. Last year, 80 per cent of bike-share rides in the U.S. were on Motivate bikes.Caroline Samponaro, head of bike, scooter and pedestrian policy for Lyft says the company plans to invest $100 million in New York to triple its bike fleet there to 40,000 and double the footprint of the system.Rival Uber acquired bike sharing company Jump Bikes earlier this year. Uber also invested in Lime, a bike and scooter-sharing company.The Associated Press
On Wednesday, the Peace River Regional District announced that geotechnical experts had informed them that the landslide had slowed dramatically since it first occurred nearly three weeks ago, which led to the PRRD rescinding or reducing evacuation orders for areas near the slide.Earlier today the City of Fort St. John said in a release that the evacuation alert it had issued for the two southernmost sewage lagoons has also been rescinded. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says that work crews are starting to build a temporary road for residents of Old Fort to access the community, now that the area surrounding the landslide is stable enough to start work.The Ministry said that the temporary road will be built over the slide debris and is expected to be complete within three weeks. Crews and equipment are beginning work on the west end of the slide zone with safe work procedures in place, including a monitoring system to ensure the safety of all workers.The Ministry said that more details will be provided as work on the road progresses.
KidnappingAssault with a weaponAggravated assaultForcible confinementPointing a firearmCareless Use of a firearmWoods is described as:Caucasian male29 years of5’ 9150 lbsBlue eyesBrown Wavy HairSklapsky is wanted for:KidnappingAssault with a weaponAggravated assaultUtter threatsForcible confinementPointing a firearmCareless Use of a firearmSklapsky is described as:Caucasian male45 years of5’ 11200 lbsBlue eyesIf either man is seen, the RCMP is warning the public not to confront them. If located, you are asked to call the Tumbler Ridge RCMP immediately at 250-242-5252 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – Tumbler Ridge RCMP are requesting the public’s assistance in locating two men wanted in connection with multiple crimes.Wanted is Reece Allen Joseph Woods and Randolph George Sklapsky.Woods is wanted for:
Patna: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor dared RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday to tell the media what transpired during their talks, a day after former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi claimed that Kishor had met her husband with the proposal to merge the JD(U) and the RJD. Kishor, who is the national vice-president of the Janata Dal (United), also came down heavily on Prasad for making “false claims” and tweeted saying “those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ He dared the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo to sit with him before the media and tell everybody what transpired during their meeting and who offered what. “Whenever @laluprasadrjd ji wants, he should sit with me before the media as it would let everybody know what transpired between me and him and who gave an offer to whom,” Kishor said in a tweet. Rabri Devi on Friday claimed that Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) merge and the new entity thus formed declare its “prime ministerial candidate” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a “blatant lie”, she said. “I got infuriated and asked him to go away as I had no trust left in Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar following his betrayal,” the RJD national vice-president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the state legislative council, told a regional news channel here. Kumar had in 2017 walked out of the Grand Alliance, which was formed upon his party’s partnership with the RJD and the Congress, and had re-joined the BJP-led NDA. Kishor had earlier termed as “bogus” the claim of Prasad in his recently published autobiography that Kumar wanted to return to the Grand Alliance, for which he had sent Kishor as his emissary to the RJD supremo. Kishor had worked with both Kumar and Prasad as a strategist during the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls. He formally joined the JD(U) in September last year.
New Delhi: IT services giant Wipro Tuesday said its net profit increased by 38.4 per cent to Rs 2,493.9 crore in the March 2019 quarter, and announced a Rs 10,500 crore buyback programme. The Bengaluru-based company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,800.8 crore in the January-March 2018 period, Wipro said in a BSE filing. Its revenue from operations – under IND AS accounting norms – grew 8.9 per cent to Rs 15,006.3 crore in the period under review from Rs 13,768.6 crore in the year-ago period. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalFor the full fiscal (2018-19), Wipro saw its net profit increasing by 12.6 per cent to Rs 9,017.9 crore, while revenue from operations was up 7.5 per cent to Rs 58,584.5 crore. The Wipro board has also approved a Rs 10,500 crore buyback plan under which it will buy back up to 32.3 crore shares at Rs 325 apiece, the filing added. This is Wipro’s third buyback programme. It had undertaken a Rs 2,500 crore programme in 2016, and another Rs 11,000 crore buyback offer in November-December 2017. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”…the Board of Directors of Wipro Ltd at its meeting held on April 16, 2019 has approved a proposal to buyback up to 32,30,76,923 equity shares of the company for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 10,500 crore, being 5.35 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital at a price of Rs 325 per equity share,” Wipro said in a regulatory filing. The buyback, it added, is proposed to be made from the existing shareholders of the company through a tender offer route in accordance with the provisions. “Members of the promoter and promoter group of the company have indicated their intention to participate in the proposed buyback,” it said. As on March 31, 2019, promoters held 73.85 per cent shares, while 6.49 per cent was held by Indian financial institutions, banks and mutual funds. Foreign holding was at 11.74 per cent, and that of Indian public, corporates and others was at 7.92 per cent. The proposal is subject to approval of shareholders by way of a special resolution through a postal ballot. The process, timelines and other requisite details with regard to the postal ballot will be communicated in due course, Wipro said. Wipro shares closed at Rs 281.10 apiece, down 2.45 per cent from its previous close on the BSE. The company’s results for the fourth quarter and FY19, along with the buyback plan announcement was made after market hours. Wipro’s larger rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has undertaken two buyback programme – of Rs 16,000 crore – in recent years. Infosys, too, had announced an up to Rs 13,000 crore buyback in December 2017, followed by another buyback of Rs 8,260 crore in January this year. Apart from the big players, other Indian IT firms like HCL Technologies and Mphasis have also returned surplus cash from its books to shareholders in the form of buyback and special dividends. Mindtree, which is facing a hostile takeover by L&T, is also scheduled to take a decision on offering special dividend to shareholders.
New Delhi: The BSNL management is making all efforts to ease liquidity pressure being faced by the company, and expects normalcy in liquidity position to be restored by the September quarter, according to a senior official of the crisis-ridden PSU. BSNL Director – Finance, S K Gupta has shot off a letter to all Chief General Managers of telecom circles, flagging the “fiercest ever competition” being faced by the telecom sector and said “predatory tariff offerings by the competitors” has triggered a sharp decline in revenue from services. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra “The BSNL management is making all out efforts to ease the pressure on liquidity. It is expected that in near future, the liquidity position of the company will start improving,” Gupta said in the letter dated May 16. He asserted that normalcy in liquidity position is expected to be restored by the next quarter. BSNL has been able to sustain its customer base, despite the persistent pressure of competition on its revenue. “The telecom sector being capital intensive, wherein even to remain in business ‘or’ to ensure business sustainability, the service providers are required to invest in newer technologies at frequent intervals, as technologies evolve at very fast pace,” the letter said. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days The cumulative effect of these factors have resulted in liquidity crunch, Gupta added. The letter assumes significance as distressed telecom PSUs Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) are saddled with massive debt and have faced problems in clearing staff salaries in the recent past. The government is in the process of working out a rescue plan for MTNL and BSNL in form of a revival package that entails components like Voluntary Retirement Scheme, asset monetisation, and allocation of 4G spectrum. Overall, the telecom sector has been battered by falling tariffs, eroding profitability, and towering debt, in the face of stiff competition triggered by disruptive offerings of Reliance Jio, owned by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani. The relentless tariff war that ensued after Jio’s entry into the telecom sector with free voice calls and SMS, bundled with cheap data has led to pressure on margins of even private operators that have scrambled to match the competition.