Four Lessons From AT&T On Climate Resilience And Business Continuity

As leaders at AT&T work to mitigate climate change and adapt to its pending impacts, the reality of climate change on business becomes evident. Extreme weather, biodiversity loss, and natural disasters stand out among global risks the organization—and many others—face. For executives shaping long-term business strategy, it’s a reality they can’t afford to ignore.

“It’s not just AT&T. I’m seeing this more and more in all kinds of industries where companies are saying, ‘If this is the reality, then let’s prepare for it, let’s deal with it,’” says Antoine Diffloth, director of data insights in the Chief Data Office at AT&T.

As one of the world’s largest telecom companies by market cap, AT&T’s essential infrastructure, including cell towers and base stations, stands vulnerable to climate change impacts. In response, the telecom giant engaged in a pioneering public-private collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Together, they developed a Climate Change Analysis Tool (CCAT) capable of identifying areas of the AT&T network most at risk in the US Southeast. The project used the data-gathering and supercomputing power of the leading national lab and the visual and analytic capabilities of geographic information system (GIS) technology.

With an exceptional degree of detail, executives were able to forecast how infrastructure assets in four states—Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida—could be affected by, for example, a 50-year storm event in the coming decades. Based on the success of that effort, the analysis is being extended to cover the entire contiguous US to project climate impacts such as flooding, wildfires, and drought at regional, local, and neighborhood scale.

Early in the initial process, the team realized that while the location intelligence clearly exposed company climate risk, they needed a way to share the insight. To do this, they built GIS smart maps that could quickly communicate with stakeholders to support decisions about adaptation and resilience.

Here are four things executives can learn from AT&T about preparing for climate change.

1: Risk is more immediate than we think.

A 2019 UN report indicated climate change is affecting all aspects of the natural environment, as well as the health and wellbeing of the global population. Authors of the report warned based on current trends, the planet will experience a four to five-degree temperature increase by the end of this century.

Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a meteorologist and climate expert points to impending extremes already occurring that will accelerate without immediate, adequate action. “Climate change is not going to be a gradual increase over the next 10, 20, 30 years,” warns Shepherd. “I fear that there will be places that have succumbed to sea-level rise. We will be facing here in Georgia some odd tropical disease that 30 years ago you’d have to go down near the equator to find. Life as we know it will change.”

Climate change will have increasing effects on business supply chains, infrastructure, workforce, and business continuity. In fact, the cost of climate change is already becoming more apparent. According to

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The rarest primate on Earth is in danger. A rope bridge could help it survive


Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

In a nature reserve in China, wild gibbons have been swinging and climbing their way across a rope bridge. It seems like a pastime any primate would embrace. But the bridge isn’t there for ape amusement. It’s there to help a critically endangered species survive.  

The Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) faces high extinction rates due to habitat loss and hunting, with only about 30 of the animals alive today, according to the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, a Hong Kong conservation group that’s spearheaded an effort to preserve the primates.     

The group just published a study detailing how the gibbons, considered the rarest primate on Earth, have reacted to the first artificial canopy bridge installed to help them traverse forest gaps that can impact their dispersal, foraging and even breeding opportunities. Deforestation, typhoons and landslides can all fragment forests, making it difficult for primates to navigate their environment like usual. 

“While restoring natural forest corridors should be a priority conservation intervention, artificial canopy bridges may be a useful short-term solution,” reads the study in the journal Scientific Reports. 

Conservationists installed the two-pronged 52-foot (16 meter) bridge in 2015, tying mountaineering-strength ropes to sturdy trees so the apes could pass at the site of a typhoon-induced landslide, and installing a camera to document use of the crossing in both directions. 

The gibbons had difficulty crossing the area of the landslide using fronds and leaves. And while larger males were able to leap over widely spaced trees, that method proved risky for hesitant pregnant females or those carrying infants. 


Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

Once the simple canopy bridge was in place at the Hainan Bawangling National Nature Reserve, photographs showed it took the gibbons a little over six months to begin crossing it, gradually increasing its use in the following years. Adult females initiated half the crossings, and juveniles tackled the other half. Most gibbons got across by “handrailing” — walking on one rope with hands holding the second rope as handrails, or climbing underneath the ropes legs first with all limbs. 

At least one brazen beast walked it like a tightrope. 


The ape version of Philippe Petit. 

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

Various types of artificial crossings have helped wildlife traverse ruptured forest canopies before, but the study in Scientific Reports documents the first one constructed for the Hainan gibbon, a species endemic to China’s Hainan Island and known for singing to mark territory, enhance bonding and attract mates.

“Over 2,000 individuals were estimated to live throughout the island in the 1950s, but due to rampant poaching and forest loss, the population declined sharply to less than 10 individuals in the 1970s” before a determined effort got the number up to 30, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden says. 

As of 2020, the Hainan is the only gibbon species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List

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An injury nearly ended Audrey DaDamio’s running career. Now she’s one of the best runners in Michigan

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – When Audrey DaDamio crossed the finish line last fall at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship race, she had difficulty containing her emotions.

As one of the top girls cross country runners in Michigan, DaDamio capped her junior season that day in San Diego as a top 20 runner in the nation. Crossing the line in 18th place with a time of 17 minutes and 59.0 seconds, DaDamio proved she could compete with the nation’s best in a 5-kilometer race.

“I was kind of crying a little bit when I crossed the line,” DaDamio said. “It was just such a dream of mine.”

It was a major accomplishment that only few high school runners ever get to experience. However, DaDamio’s journey to that point was more extraordinary that most.

When DaDamio was in seventh grade and just beginning to tap into her talent, she suffered a knee injury that nearly ended her running career just as it was starting to take off. Instead of giving up, however, DaDamio spent over a year and a half in slow rehab and conditioning, allowing her to return in time to burst onto the scene as a freshman at Birmingham Seaholm.

Now a senior, DaDamio remains one of the nation’s best runners as her season-best 5k time of 17:16.4 ranks No. 3 in Michigan and top 40 in the United States, according to So far this fall, she has six first-place finishes and just one runner-up finish.

“She’s super talented, but she has a really strong sense of resolve,” Seaholm coach Craig McCardell said. “When she sets her mind to something, she’s pretty bound and determined to try and make that happen.”

The Setback

DaDamio began running competitively in fifth grade at St. Regis during the Catholic Youth Organization track season. The youngest of three children in a family of collegiate runners that spanned three generation, DaDamio’s older sister, Rachel DaDamio, was the 2014 Division 1 runner-up runner up at Seaholm.

“It was always the joke that Audrey would come and break everyone’s records,” Rachel said. “But that wasn’t really something that we were even thinking about. It was just kind of a joke.”

Not afraid to go for three or four-mile runs in fifth grade, running was no joke for little Audrey. Her talent did not take long to reveal itself as she became a dominant runner among her peers through the first year and a half of middle school. By the time she was in seventh grade, she claimed the CYO cross country individual title.

Then, everything changed for the worse a few months later while Audrey was out enjoying a day of sledding in February.

“It still baffles me that it happened,” Audrey said, recalling the day her running career ended.

After getting tossed from her sled, Audrey felt immediate pain in her knee. As bad as it hurt, however, she did not realize how serious the injury was.

“I ended up tearing my meniscus off

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Squadrons Crams Tons of Fun in a Tiny Cockpit

Credit – Electronic Arts

I’m flying through the Nadiri Dockyards, where the New Republic constructs warships to take on the ever-expanding Galactic Empire. In my X-Wing starfighter, I’m being followed by an enemy TIE Bomber set on turning me into space dust. Hit after hit knocks out my shield until I decide to hide behind an asteroid, kill the engine, and watch as they zoom by, landing right in my sights. “You’re a galactic pain in my ass!” I scream to my silent squadmates when the shot connects, leaving only a shower of sparks and debris as evidence of my deft maneuver. It’s my fifth kill in a row, the final kill of the match, and the last one needed to win the dogfight by a single point. I realize I’m on the edge of my seat and slump back into my chair, basking in the feeling of a job well done, and itching to tell everyone that Star Wars: Squadrons is the most fun you’ll have in a virtual cockpit.

But, like a backyard barbecue or round of paintball in the woods, it’s better with friends.

Squadrons, EA’s multiplayer-focused space combat game (developed by Motive Studios), is one in a long line of Star Wars tie-ins that put you in the pilot’s seat of your own nostalgia-fueled fantasy vehicle. This time, you play as two green pilots on either side of the war between good and evil: the Jedi-loving New Republic Navy’s Anvil Squad, and the Galactic Empire’s Titan Squad. During the game’s single-player campaign you bounce between sides, flying up to eight different ships for both sides.

The game’s story, ostensibly about a turncoat Galactic Empire officer being hunted by the team who trusted him, is short enough to be filled with incredibly exciting set pieces, but long enough to frustrate you with predictable and boring out-of-cockpit scenes. At times I found myself laughing at the bland dialogue, and once audibly groaned when a character’s last ditch effort to take down the Galactic Empire involved—you guessed it—flying through a tiny corridor to shoot some missiles into a hole. Sound familiar?

Also, not a single Jedi or Force user? Come on!

But once you’re in the cockpit, Squadrons does a fantastic job of making you feel like you’re actually, well, flying. To manage your energy levels for systems like weapons and engines, check your radar for enemies, or figure out how many proton torpedos you have left, you’ll have to look at those flight instruments, friend—hard to do when you’re dodging giant rocks, lasers, and bombs.

Each ship has its own strengths and weaknesses—TIE Bombers deal more damage at the expense of mobility; A-Wing starfighters sacrifice durability for better maneuvering. That adds up to a very interesting combination of ships when it comes to five-on-five multiplayer matches, the game’s main selling point. Ships also offer customizable loadouts, letting you equip different engine types or armaments to suit your tastes, be they speedy flybys or head-on assaults.

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Lafayette College closes buildings, suspends sports because of increase in positive cases

Lafayette College has closed its library and recreation center and has suspended all sports because of an increase of students testing positing for COVID-19.

a sign on a pole on a city street: Lafayette College has suspended sports and closed its library and recreation center after an increase in students testing positive for COVID-19.

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Lafayette College has suspended sports and closed its library and recreation center after an increase in students testing positive for COVID-19.

According to Lafayette’s COVID-19 dashboard, seven students tested positive Saturday and an additional three tested positive Sunday. Three students also tested positive last week.

In a message to the campus community, Lafayette said the students are being quarantined as the college conducts contact tracing. To date, there have been 19 positive student cases on campus, according to the dashboard.

The Easton college also said it was suspending all eat-in dining and serving meals to-go. Additional cleaning of high-use areas are also being done. The suspensions went into place over the weekend.

On Saturday, director of health services Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein issued a health alert to the campus community. Lafayette started the semester with all classes online, but a limited number of students were allowed to return to campus.

Earlier this month, Lehigh University announced it was going remote for a certain amount of time because of an increase in positive cases.

Morning Call reporter Jacqueline Palochko can be reached at 610-820-6613 or at [email protected]


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6 Russian military officers charged with a worldwide cyberattack

Six Russian military officers have been charged in what the Justice Department says was a hacking scheme to attack several major foreign powers, former Soviet republics and subvert investigations into nefarious activities by the Kremlin.

a man wearing a suit and tie: US Department of Justice seal is displayed on a podium during a news conference to announce money laundering charges against HSBC on December 11, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

© Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
US Department of Justice seal is displayed on a podium during a news conference to announce money laundering charges against HSBC on December 11, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

The alleged cyberattackers hacked into software using destructive malware to black out thousands of computers and cause nearly $1 billion in losses, and were intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilize worldwide computer networks, the Justice Department said.

The alleged hackers are officers of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Monday’s charges allege some of the most consequential political attacks levied by the Kremlin since its efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, including the hacking of Democratic Party email accounts.

Prosecutors said they attacked Ukraine; the country of Georgia; elections in France; efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil; and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games after Russian athletes were banned from participating under their nation’s flag, as a consequence of Russian government-sponsored doping effort.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a federal arrest warrant for each of these defendants upon the grand jury’s return of the indictment.

“The defendants’ and their co-conspirators caused damage and disruption to computer networks worldwide, including in France, Georgia, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” prosecutors said.

They are all charged in seven counts: conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computers, and aggravated identity theft.

One of the pieces of malware developed by the hackers took down the medical systems of Heritage Valley in Pennsylvania, prosecutors said.

From November 2015 to October 2019, “their computer attacks used some of the world’s most destructive malware to date, including: KillDisk and Industroyer, which each caused blackouts in Ukraine; NotPetya, which caused nearly $1 billion in losses to the three victims identified in the indictment alone; and Olympic Destroyer, which disrupted thousands of computers used to support the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics,” prosecutors said.

The NotPetya malware, for example, spread worldwide, damaged computers used in critical infrastructure, and caused enormous financial losses. Those losses were only part of the harm, however. For example, the NotPetya malware impaired Heritage Valley’s provision of critical medical services to citizens of the Western District of Pennsylvania through its two hospitals, 60 offices, and 18 community satellite facilities.

The attack caused the unavailability of patient lists, patient history, physical examination files, and laboratory records. Heritage Valley lost access to its mission-critical computer systems (such as those relating to cardiology, nuclear medicine, radiology, and surgery) for

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College students struggle to spot misinformation online as 2020 election approaches

Don’t fall for the premise that young people, otherwise known as “digital natives,” are immune to misinformation.

How to tell the difference between a credited news report and ‘fake news’



That’s the message from Stanford University researchers who say their new research provides further evidence that college students are prone to being deceived online.


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The new study from the Stanford History Education Group shows that 2020’s first-time voters often struggle to sort fact from fiction despite their technical prowess on smartphones and social media.

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The researchers found that most sophomores, juniors and seniors were easily fooled by misinformation, even when they were given the time and resources to fact-check the material.

Fact or fiction: We’re fact checking the news and sending it to your inbox. Sign up to get that here.

The study adds to “a mountain of evidence that students struggle to evaluate the content that streams across their devices,” said Joel Breakstone, director of the Stanford History Education Group and co-author of the study.

The study gave two separate tasks to 263 students – a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors – at a “large state university on the East Coast”: 

1) Assess the trustworthiness of a news story.

2) Evaluate the credibility of an informational website.

The students were allowed to use the internet to complete their evaluations. 

But they “struggled” with the tasks, the researchers reported. “They employed inefficient strategies that made them vulnerable to forces, whether satirical or malevolent, that threaten informed citizenship.”

Why you should care about Russian interference in the 2020 election



In the first task, two-thirds of students failed to identify that the story was published on a satirical website and was not reliable.

In the second task, more than 9 in 10 students failed to realize that the website purporting to provide unbiased information on the minimum wage had actually been established by a public relations firm funded by an interest group of restaurants that opposes increases to the minimum wage.

In many cases, students attempting to validate the information did not visit any other websites, choosing to trust the material they were presented based on the apparent credibility of the site’s design or its unsubstantiated claims.

The Stanford researchers advocated for incorporating lessons on source validation and basic fact-checking skills into regular coursework.

Misinformation flourishes: How QAnon and other dark forces are radicalizing Americans

Trump and COVID-19: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube race to contain disinformation about president’s diagnosis

“We’ve got to do something about this,” said Sam Wineburg, the lead researcher on the study, founder of the Stanford History Education Group and author of “Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone).”

Nadav Ziv, co-author of the study, said students are too trusting of the information they scroll through on their smartphones.

“People somehow expect these platforms to do the work for

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Belmont University in Nashville prepares for final Trump-Biden debate

In less than a week, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off for the second and final presidential debate before the Nov. 3 election – and the stage is set.

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The debate, organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, will take place in the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville from 8 to 9:30 p.m. CDT on Thursday – 11 days before the election.

“While the debate itself will only last 90 minutes, the lessons imparted and the experiences that folks are having around this will last for a lifetime,” Belmont University President Bob Fisher said during a news conference Friday. “We believe it’s our responsibility as an institution of higher education to host events like this and to create forums where our country can make those decisions about our future.”

After a debate scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami was cancelled, Thursday’s debate in Nashville will mark the last time the two candidates meet face to face before Americans choose the next president.

The debate will be moderated by Kristen Welker, a White House Correspondent for NBC who moderated a Democratic presidential primary debate with NBC colleagues Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and Ashley Parker in November 2019.

Thursday will be the second time a presidential debate is held on the Belmont campus. In October 2008, then-Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama faced off in a debate moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

Debate coverage is set to be broadcast in 40 countries.

“Next week, Belmont will once again shine a light on our great state, putting the eyes of the world on Tennessee just 11 days before Americans cast their vote for the President of the United States,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a video statement, welcoming both candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates and the world media to the state.

Extensive safety precautions are underway. All media and attendees are required to wear surgical grade masks throughout their time on the Belmont campus. Credentialed media are required to undergo a provided COVID-19 test and show proof of a negative result within 72 hours to gain access to the campus.

While the 2008 debate welcomed more than 2,500 media members to Belmont’s campus, the media filing center is limited to 200 reporters to accommodate social distancing. An additional 48 TV broadcast teams will work from platforms on the campus lawn.

“We have a reputation for safety that we have built, and we are maintaining,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said. “We have taken action to control the virus instead of letting the virus control us.”

Security, too, is extensive. The Secret Service has collaborated with Nashville’s police and fire departments and the Office of Emergency Management to execute security for the candidates, attendees and media.

“This has been a unified and collaborative effort within the Nashville law enforcement public safety community,” said Todd Hudson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Nashville Field Office.

Butch Ferran,

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San Antonio’s Trinity University ranked 3rd best in Texas, study says

A recent ranking from Wallethub ranked Trinity University as one of the best colleges in Texas.

On Monday, the personal finance website released its report on the top colleges and universities for 2021, listing the San Antonio institution as the third best in Texas. Overall, Trinity ranked 61 out of 500 colleges and universities in the United States.

In Texas, Rice University claimed the top spot while the University of Texas at Austin took second. In the United States, the study listed the former as the seventh-best college and the latter at No. 48. Harvard and Yale were named the top two schools in the country.

READ ALSO: These 8 cities in the San Antonio area saw an increase in crime in 2019, according to FBI data

To determine the ranking, Wallethub compared more than 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. across 30 key measures. The study grouped the data into the following seven categories: student selectivity, cost and financing, career outcomes, education outcomes, campus experience, campus safety and faculty resources.

According to the data, Trinity University has the second-best admission rate in Texas, as well as the seventh-best graduation rate. The study also ranked the local university’s student-faculty ratio at No. 3 in Texas.

Trinity’s cost and financing ranked it as the 51st best in Texas, the study noted. Its on-campus crime also listed the university at No. 40 in the Texas ranking.

The report’s data showed Rice has the best admission rate in Texas, as well as the highest graduation rate and best gender and racial diversity. UT Austin ranked high in the gender and racial diversity category, ranking as the sixth-best in Texas.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre

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WATCH LIVE: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to collect sample from asteroid Bennu

Imagine parallel parking a 15-passenger van into just two to three parking spaces surrounded by two-story boulders. On Oct. 20, a University of Arizona-led NASA mission 16 years in the making will attempt the astronomical equivalent more than 200 million miles away.

A NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx will soon attempt to touch the surface of an asteroid and collect loose rubble.

Watch the sample collection “Touch-And-Go” maneuver Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. ET in the player above.

OSIRIS-REx is the United States’ first asteroid sample return mission, aiming to collect and carry a pristine, unaltered sample from an asteroid back to Earth for scientific study. The spacecraft will attempt to touch the surface of the asteroid Bennu, which is hurtling through space at 63,000 miles per hour. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will deploy an 11-foot-long robotic arm called TAGSAM – Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism – and spend about 10 seconds collecting at least two ounces of loose rubble from the asteroid. The spacecraft, monitored remotely by a team of scientists and engineers, will then stow away the sample and begin its return to Earth, scheduled for 2023.

As senior vice president for research and innovation at UArizona and a mechanical engineer with a long career in space systems engineering, I believe this milestone for OSIRIS-REx captures perfectly the spirit of research and innovation, the careful balance of problem-solving and perseverance, of obstacle and opportunity.

What Bennu can teach us

In 2004, Michael Drake, then head of the UArizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory; his protégé, Dante Lauretta, then a UArizona assistant professor of planetary science; and experts from Lockheed Martin and NASA discussed the very earliest concept of the OSIRIS-REx mission and what it might achieve.

Asteroids are relics of the earliest materials that formed our solar system, and studying such a sample might allow scientists to answer fundamental questions about the origins of the solar system. Further, Bennu is a near-Earth asteroid with possible risk of impacting the Earth in the late 2100s, so the mission also is exploring ways in which such a collision might be avoided.

Perhaps, though, the most ambitious goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission is resource identification – the “RI” in OSIRIS. This means, essentially, mapping the chemical properties of Bennu to learn, among other things, about the potential for mining asteroids to produce rocket fuel – a notion which, in 2004, was far ahead of its time.

NASA selected UArizona to lead the mission in 2011, with Drake at the helm. Lauretta, a first-generation college student and UArizona alumnus, took over when Drake died that year and continues to lead OSIRIS-REx today. He would unquestionably make his predecessor proud.

While OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA mission to attempt to collect a sample from an asteroid, the scientific and technological knowledge requisite of such a mission is the result of decades of prior exploration. In the early 1990s, NASA’s Galileo flew past the asteroids Gaspra and Ida. NEAR Shoemaker was the

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