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Une abeille géante aperçue pour la première fois depuis 38 ans

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Une femelle de l’espèce a été photographiée et capturée en janvier dans les îles du nord des Moluques, en Indonésie, a annoncé cette semaine la Global Wildlife Conservation Society.

Les femelles mesurent jusqu’à 63,5 millimètres d’un bout à l’autre de l’aile (plus long qu’une pile AA) et 38 millimètres de la tête à la queue, mais les mâles sont plus petits.

Une petite expédition a trouvé l’abeille dans son nid, une termitière se trouvant dans un arbre en décomposition, où l’on pense qu’elle élevait ses petits, a déclaré Clay Bolt, un photographe américain de la nature qui faisait partie de l’expédition.

« C’est une très bonne nouvelle », s’est-il réjoui.

Une trouvaille palpitante

L’abeille a été repérée pour la première fois par Iswan, l’un des deux guides indonésiens de l’équipe, qui avait remarqué une termitière dont l’ensemble était « très rond et de la taille d’une abeille géante », écrit Bolt dans un article sur cette découverte.

À la demande de l’équipe, Iswan est monté pour enquêter et a rapidement sauté quand il a vu le mouvement de ce qu’il pensait être soit un serpent, soit une abeille. Il a été suivi par l’entomologiste Eli Wyman, du Musée américain d’histoire naturelle, qui a confirmé que le trou ressemblait certainement au nid d’une abeille géante de Wallace.

Simon Robson, professeur de biologie à l'Université de Sydney et à la Central Queensland University en Australie, tient un tube contenant une abeille géante de Wallace.  Simon Robson, professeur de biologie à l’Université de Sydney et à la Central Queensland University en Australie, tient un tube contenant une abeille géante de Wallace. Photo : Clay Bolt

Bolt est monté ensuite et a dirigé sa lampe frontale dans le trou.

« J’ai vu le visage de l’abeille me regarder en arrière », a-t-il déclaré dans une entrevue accordée à CBC News. « C’était un moment extraordinaire. »

L’équipe a passé deux heures à attendre que l’abeille émerge. Finalement, ils l’ont tapotée doucement avec un brin d’herbe « et elle s’en est sortie », a dit Bolt.

Auparavant, il n’y avait eu que deux rapports scientifiques sur cette espèce.

Le premier, d’Alfred Russell Wallace, homonyme de l’abeille et entomologiste qui a développé indépendamment la théorie de l’évolution par sélection naturelle en même temps que Charles Darwin. Et la deuxième observation a été faite en 1981 par l’entomologiste américain Adam C. Messer, qui a trouvé six nids dans le même groupe d’îles indonésiennes.

Même les habitants de la région ont dit qu’ils n’avaient jamais vu l’abeille lorsque Bolt et l’équipe sont arrivés et ont commencé à poser des questions à ce sujet.

Pourtant, il y avait de bonnes raisons de croire que l’abeille existait toujours, car des spécimens morts avaient été mis en vente sur des sites comme eBay. L’un d’eux s’est vendu en mars dernier pour 11 975 $.

Bolt a été captivé par l’abeille il y a environ quatre ans après que Wyman lui eut montré un spécimen au Musée américain d’histoire naturelle, alors qu’il effectuait une recherche de fond pour un projet de photographie d’abeilles indigènes en Amérique du Nord.

Un vieux projet qui voit le jour

Il y a quelques années, Bolt et Wyman ont fait pression, avec succès, pour que l’abeille Wallace soit ajoutée à la liste des « 25 espèces les plus recherchées » de la Global Wildlife Conservation Society dans le cadre de son programme Search for Lost Species. Le programme vise à trouver des espèces végétales et animales qui n’ont pas été repérées depuis des années ou des décennies.

Pendant que Bolt et Wyman discutaient d’un plan de recherche de l’abeille, ils ont été contactés par Glen Chilton, ornithologue et écrivain australo-canadien, professeur émérite à l’Université St. Mary’s de Calgary et professeur auxiliaire à la James Cook University de Townsville, en Australie. Il avait écrit un livre sur les espèces perdues et planifiait un voyage de chasse à l’abeille avec Simon Robson, écologiste de l’Université James Cook.

Les quatre ont fini par organiser l’expédition ensemble, mais Chilton est tombé très malade après quelques jours et a dû quitter l’Indonésie.

L’équipe a trouvé l’abeille environ quatre jours plus tard, mais n’a pas réussi à trouver d’autres spécimens au cours des deux semaines suivantes.

L’abeille est la troisième des « 25 espèces les plus recherchées » à être signalée depuis que la liste a été publiée en 2017. Cette nouvelle fait suite à l’annonce, plus tôt cette semaine, que la tortue géante Fernandina a été retrouvée vivante dans les îles Galápagos.

Un texte de CBC

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Wedding attack and tech: How OpenText’s investigations service beats the traditional approach

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At its heart, an investigation is a hunt for relevant facts in order to tell a story — a story that drives strategies for organizations, including law firms.

Tracy Drynan, head of OpenText Recon Investigations — a seamless end-to-end service that helps companies and law firms find evidence for all types of investigations including internal investigations, litigation assessments, compliance and regulatory investigations, c-suite vetting and more — says these stories are a more powerful tool than most people think.

The team led by Drynan arms both in-house and external counsel with the information needed to guide their corporate and outside lawyers with the information needed to guide their clients: an investigation empowers them. What differentiates OpenText Recon is the speed with which the team utilizes specialized tools and workflows to efficiently locate evidence. This approach gains insights into patterns, gaps and relationships in a fraction of the cost of a traditional eDiscovery review, and more quickly gathers the relevant facts to create that critical story.

“Whether it be litigation or a regulatory investigation or an internal audit, often time is of the essence,” Drynan says. “Being able to make decisions that affect your bottom line, your liability, your risks which ultimately challenge your resources, even public opinion, is critical.”

Too often, an archaic model is applied to investigations — one derived when we still existed in a paper society — that analyzes all available information but doesn’t actively hunt for relevant facts, and that produces a disconnect. An efficient model does not need to analyze every piece of information.

“It’s flawed for this reason,” Drynan says. “When you review a set of information, even when you apply advanced analytics and information retrieval science, it is still at the end bucketed for a team to analyze it contiguously. In a way, we are still following the pre-electronic paradigm — we are reviewing almost paper documents one by one, and that unfortunately is handicapping both the talent and the technology in the hunt for the facts.”

While lawyers may make a living hunting facts and building narratives, Drynan would argue their approach could be improved and points out that many of the companies hired by firms to help out during an investigation still apply that outdated model. OpenText Recon breaks that pattern and approaches the hunt differently — they don’t compartmentalize anything, which means the team can identify patterns more easily. Those patterns become the clues, which become the facts, that become the story that allow lawyers to make those critical decisions. The result is not a stack of documents, but a more nuanced report outlining the important facts to analyze.

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Canada takes aim at Netflix, Airbnb in $6.5B big-tech tax plan

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Canada’s federal government is planning to force foreign-based technology firms such as Netflix Inc. and Airbnb Inc. to charge their users a sales tax in a move aimed at boosting the government’s coffers by as much as $6.5 billion over the next five years. 

The new taxation plans, outlined in the government’s Fall Economic Statement, attempt to level the playing field between Canadian companies and foreign-based digital corporations that were largely exempt from paying federal sales taxes. Some provinces — such as Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Quebec — introduced taxes on streaming services like Netflix earlier this year. 

The government announced Monday that any foreign-based company selling digital products or services to consumers in Canada will be required to collect and remit the Goods and Services Tax or Harmonized Sales Tax. The new tax changes are proposed to begin on July 1, 2021. 

“Canadians want a tax system that is fair, where everyone pays their fair share, so the government has the resources it needs to invest in people and keep our economy strong. That is why we are moving ahead with implementing GST/HST on multinational digital giants and limiting stock option deductions in the largest companies,” said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, in prepared remarks. 

“And Canada will act unilaterally, if necessary … to apply a tax on large multinational digital corporations, so they pay their fair share just like any other company operating in Canada.”

Those taxes will include any sales on products or services made through digital marketplace platforms, sales to Canadians of goods that are located in Canadian fulfillment warehouses, as well as any companies whose platforms help to facilitate short-term rental accommodations in Canada. 

However, the new taxation moves wouldn’t see streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video, Walt Disney Co.’s Disney+, and Spotify Technology SA meet certain Canadian-content requirements, something the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission​ recommended be adopted rather than introduce new tax measures in a wide-ranging report released earlier this year. 

The CRTC estimates that those streaming services record annual revenue of roughly $5 billion, according to its most recent financial data. The federal broadcast regulator said in January that Ottawa should require foreign streaming services to invest in local programming rather than “digital taxes” that would likely get passed down to consumers. 

“It is more appropriate to establish a regime that requires such online streaming services that benefit from operating in Canada to invest in Canadian programming that they believe will attract and appeal to Canadians,” the report said. 

Ottawa will also consider new corporate-level taxes for foreign-owned digital corporations and is working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to develop a framework it expects to provide further details on in the next budget. It expects the new measure will result in $3.4 billion in new tax revenue over the next five years once it is introduced sometime in 2022. 

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RevoluGROUP Canada Inc. RevoluPAY To Pursue Dubai Financial Services Authority PSP License

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RevoluGROUP Canada Inc. (TSX-V: REVO), (Frankfurt: IJA2) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has dispatched Company advisor Erik A. Lara Riveros to pursue the petition of a Payment Service Provider (“PSP”) Money Service Business License in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Corporate Rational For a PSP License in Dubai

In May 2020, RevoluPAY was granted the European PSD2 license. In September, RevoluPAY received Pan-European passporting approval to operate in 27 E.U. countries. The Company has further expanded its international open banking reach through definitive agreements (“DA”) with BBVA, Flutterwave, and Thunes. Additionally, via direct PSD2 SEPA passporting, the Company added sixty-eight countries and territories to its financial operations roster. In November, the Company submitted petitions for both the analogous United States MSB licenses and the Canadian FINTRAC license. The MEASA region of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia is a significant financial hub that necessitates exposure for both financial operations and a strategic base for the region’s operations. The Company considers the DIFC an excellent regional hub, having introduced robust legislation for payment services providers (“PSP”) like RevoluPAY.

Furthermore, DIFC conveniently fills the timezone gap for a global financial center between London and New York’s leading financial centers in the West and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the East. Company advisor Erik A. Lara Riveros is duly accredited with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which should aid the Company’s plans to obtain the Dubai PSP license and establish a corporate financial hub in the region. The Company has diligently prepared all required documentation, and Mr. Lara Riveros arrives in Dubai on the 4th of December 2020 to initiate the license petition process. The global operations of RevoluPAY expect to benefit from the multi timezone capability garnered from a supplementary and PSP licensed subsidiary domiciled in the MEASA region.

License Sought in Dubai

The Company intends to pursue the Category 3D license, which covers the following activities, “Providing or Operating a Payment Account, executing Payment Transactions or Issuing Payment Instruments, including creating and maintaining accounts for executing payment transactions, issuance of personalized sets of procedures agreed upon by the users and the provider, for initiation or execution of payment instructions.”

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