first_imgA food fight broke out at Somerville’s Michaelmas dinner, causing a member of staff to be taken to hospital and damaging valuable college property.The food fight broke out at the end of the dinner after Senior Common Room members left the 150-person capacity hall.Among the college property damaged by the food fight and ensuing chaos was one of the Hall’s portraits, and an ornate silver jug from the High Table.A member of staff injured her wrist after slipping on food and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital for X-rays. She was discovered not to have broken any bones.“Appalling and irresponsible”In an email circulated to the undergraduate mailing list James McDonnell, a Biochemistry tutor and last term’s Dean at Somerville, condemned the “appalling conduct” and “irresponsible behaviour” of attendees at the dinner.Although admitting that “most people did not take part in the food fight”, McDonnell stated that “disappointingly, this was not an act of just a few individuals”.He added that he intends to levy a fine against the collective JCR budget to recoup the college’s costs from damage and repairs.McDonnell said the process of disciplinary action was “still ongoing and is unlikely to be resolved until Hilary term”.“No one stopped them”However, some Somerville students have voiced objections to the college’s apparent plans to fine the whole JCR.One first-year student said, “collective punishments never work – if you punish everybody, no one’s punished.”She also questioned the reaction of the hall’s staff during the incident, “what seems odd is that no one stopped them.“Staff were obviously around, they could have possibly done something. Then the damage would have been limited.”“A sensitive issue”The college’s Domestic Bursar, Carol Reynolds, refused to comment on the value of the items damaged or on any action her office might be taking regarding on the matter.Stavros Orfanos, Somerville’s JCR President, said he felt unable to comment on what had become “a really sensitive issue around the college” but offered an apology on behalf of the JCR:“There’s not much to say, except that the JCR are sorry”.last_img read more

first_img BY FAIZ SIDDIQUAL FOR THE WASHINGTON POSTUber has disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year, the first time it has revealed the scale of the safety problem that exists at ride-hailing companies.The reported assaults were part of Uber’s long-awaited safety study, published Thursday amid widespread and ongoing criticism of its safety practices and pressure to increase its transparency about the issue.In the lengthy report, which divides sexual misconduct into 21 categories but focuses on the five most serious, Uber said it recorded 235 rapes last year and thousands of more reports of an assault that could involve unwanted touching, kissing or attempted rape. The reports involved drivers and passengers. The company tallied roughly 6,000 reports of those types of assault in 2017 and 2018.The report also examined other safety categories, including motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes such as physical assaults. Uber said there were 107 motor-vehicle fatalities in 2017 and 2018, with a total of 97 fatal crashes involving users on the app. The company also said there were 19 fatal physical assaults over the same time period, during which it said an average of more than 3.1 million trips took place each day.Uber said it conducted the safety report with an eye toward transparency and improving the app for riders and drivers.“Confronting sexual violence requires honesty, and it’s only by shining a light on these issues that we can begin to provide clarity on something that touches every corner of society,” the company’s chief legal officer, Tony West, said in the executive summary of the report. “The moment is now for companies to confront it, count it, and work together to end it.”Uber is the market leader in the ride-hailing space, its app having given people an entirely new way to get from point A to point B. It also has contracted with about 4 million drivers globally, a structure that avoids much of the liability associated with direct employees and leaves Uber as the middleman.The report by Uber, however, helps illustrate how difficult it is to police what happens during rides booked on its app. Uber and Lyft both have touted big changes to their networks to address safety concerns, spending millions of dollars and adding teams of people devoted to the issues. They also have made improvements to their apps and said they have increased screening and background checks for drivers — something Uber said resulted in more than 1 million prospective drivers being weeded out over the two-year report period.Lyft has pledged to release a transparency report of its own. Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said the company was committed to releasing that report, as well as sharing information about drivers who don’t pass its initial or ongoing background checks or are otherwise deactivated.“It is Lyft’s goal to make the U.S. ride-sharing industry the safest form of transportation for everyone,” she said. Lyft did not outline a specific timeline for the release of its report.Lyft has faced lawsuits from at least 34 women in San Francisco who allege they were raped or sexually assaulted on rides booked through the app.Uber’s report was widely applauded by groups raising awareness about sexual violence and assault and advocacy groups focused on women’s issues, including It’s on Us, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and others, several of whom worked directly with Uber.But experts say sexual assault is a chronically underreported issue, and the figures were likely to undercount the true prevalence of sexual offenses on rides booked through the app.Uber noted in its report that the numbers are largely dependent on victims coming forward. While Uber said that reports of sexual assaults declined by 16 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year, that could increase again if victims know that the company is taking the issue seriously and feel more comfortable reporting. Uber said it was intentionally overbroad about the categories it included in the report, hoping to include incidents that stretched beyond the typical law enforcement definition of some of the categories described.“One must consider the societal reality of potential underreporting, particularly for incidents of sexual assault, which has been widely documented in external research,” Uber said in the report.Uber said its data showed that drivers reported instances of sexual assault at the same rate as riders across the five most serious categories it recorded. “Drivers are victims, too,” the report said.The report helped affirm many drivers’ views that the app can be dangerous, said Moira Muntz, spokeswoman for the Independent Drivers Guild, a New York-based machinists union group representing 70,000 workers. She said the figures on drivers were reflective of the dangerous work environment that all drivers with passengers, including taxis, operate within.“Violence is an everyday reality for drivers,” she said. “It’s a violent world out there, and when you’re in a car by yourself, it is a vulnerable situation that poses real safety threats.”Uber has a unit devoted to handling the most sensitive safety reports, but a September investigation in The Washington Post found that investigators are instructed to keep the company’s interests foremost, including through restrictions on their ability to report apparent felonies to police and a ban at the time on sharing information with competitor Lyft about possibly dangerous drivers. The restrictions meant that some drivers who were banned from Uber or Lyft for violations like poor driving or even assaults on passengers could, with impunity, simply register as a driver for the other company.More than 20 workers from the division, known as the Special Investigations Unit, said it is designed primarily to shelter the company from legal responsibility and quietly resolve serious allegations to avoid press or regulatory scrutiny. Uber has denied those claims.Outside data on sexual assaults or deactivations at Uber is scarce. However, data obtained from a public information request show that in Chicago alone more than 300 drivers were banned from Uber, Lyft and rival Via for allegations of sexual misconduct between January 2016 and August 2019. More than 1,100 of the nearly 70,000 active registered drivers in the city were barred for matters of safety during that time, according to the data, which showed that drug use or possession and traffic accidents ranked after sexual misconduct as the top reasons for a driver being blocked.Uber has made changes as attention has been drawn to safety issues. Uber instituted an in-app safety tool kit with a 911 button so passengers can alert authorities immediately if they are in danger, and added check-ins for riders and drivers when trips veer too far off course. Meanwhile, Uber has given riders the option to report uncomfortable interactions, such as invasive questioning or erratic driving, directly to safety specialists.Uber’s report looked at 2017 and 2018. The vast majority of the rides had no problem, it noted, placing that number at 99.9 percent.Uber said that over that two-year period, more than 1 million prospective drivers failed to advance through its screening process. More than three-fourths, Uber said, failed the motor-vehicle record portion of the test and didn’t advance to the criminal-screening stage. Meanwhile, Uber has booted more than 40,000 drivers since rolling out continuous screening, which ensures ongoing compliance with background check requirements.Allison Randall, vice president for policy and emerging issues at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said the numbers shed light on a persistent problem that is not unique to ride-hailing.“The numbers in the report are not surprising because sexual violence permeates all aspects of our society, whether that’s ride-share or Metro or taxi or a workplace,” said Randall, whose organization has worked with Uber since 2014 and is part of its safety advisory board. “This is definitely the start of a conversation.”FOOTNOTE: Greg Bensinger, Heather Kelly, and Geoffrey A. Fowler contributed to this report.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_img Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Facebook By 95.3 MNC – December 4, 2020 2 470 Twitter downtown South Bend (Spencer Marsh/95.3 MNC) The City of South Bend has launched some Small Business Assistance initiatives to help connect aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with resources they need.The information is below:The City of South Bend’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion launched its new Small Business Assistance Suite to help connect aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with resources in accounting, legal support, and other professional services.“A survey we conducted of 600 small minority-owned businesses in South Bend found that more than 80 percent didn’t qualify for CARES Act funding as a result of barriers in qualifying criteria,” said Diversity & Inclusion Officer Michael Patton. “This program will help connect small business owners with resources to register their business, apply for licenses and open doors for them in the formal economy.”To apply for the program, visit Businesses can connect with services like legal services, bookkeeping and tax preparation, financial and business coaching and M/WBE certification support. The program will also be available to support future recipients of the South Bend Alive grant program and neighborhood organizations.“This restorative work asks embedded lawyers, accounting firms, and business coaches to serve and inspire business owners to build all businesses stronger, particularly those owned by the Black and Brown communities of South Bend,” said Antonius Northern, Inclusive Project Manager. Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook South Bend launches program to provide assistance, resource info for small/minority-owned businesses Pinterest Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Previous articleBenton Harbor woman, 24, clocked driving 116 mph with child in vehicleNext articleEtna Green Man Facing Molesting Charges 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.last_img read more

first_imgEgg-free cake specialist Cake Box has opened its 100th store as it continues its rapid roll-out.The site, in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, is the ninth to be opened by the business since it listed on the Alternative Investment Market in June.Founded in 2008 in East London, Cake Box has a manufacturing site in Enfield and supplies a range of fresh cream cakes that can be personalised with a short message free of charge and can be collected within one hour.The company said making all its cakes egg-free enabled it to target a larger potential market, including those unable to eat eggs for dietary or religious reasons.The group is aiming to open 250 franchise stores in the UK, opening an average of two a month in the year to 31 March 2018.“It’s fantastic to be opening our 100th store, which is a real landmark for our franchisees, staff and customers and demonstrates our continued momentum post the IPO in the summer,” said Cake Box chief executive Sukh Chamdal.“We’re proud to be providing the backing and organisation to support entrepreneurship across the UK through our franchise proposition and look forward to our ongoing store roll-out over the next few years.”Recent product development by the business includes egg-free red velvet cake, soon to be launched in stores, and egg-free macaroons that will roll out in the coming months.last_img read more

first_imgEver since announcing their tour two weeks ago, fans have been hoping for more dates from Gov’t Mule and Blackberry Smoke. The two Southern-influenced groups delighted fans today by announcing a second leg of their tour, which will take the groups across the country throughout the month of September.The initial tour announcement focused heavily on August, with dates predominantly in the Northeast. Throughout September, the band will hit the West Coast and work their way East, landing in the Southeast for an extended series of performances. While not all will feature Blackberry Smoke, they’re all sure to be tons of fun.Pre-sale tickets will be released next Wednesday, April 27th at 12PM ET, with a general on-sale coming on Friday, April 29th. You can see the new dates below, and head to the band’s website for more information.last_img read more

first_imgTucked away from the rush-hour gridlock on the Jamaicaway, a Massachusetts General Hospital radiologist was one of about 40 people huddled with an Arnold Arboretum researcher showing how the flowering Stewartia trees vary by bloom and bark.On a day off, Jack Wittenberg briefly joined the “Tree Mob” with senior research scientist Peter Del Tredici at the Stewartia collection, which dates from 1918. Wittenberg, a fan of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum since the years when his mother convalesced nearby, didn’t have to sign up in advance or make a big time commitment.“I come to interesting things here and you know with Peter it’s the final word,’’ he said.Amy Galblum said she decided to swing by the 5:30 p.m. gathering en route from her job in Brookline to her home in Roslindale. “I bike through here, and I didn’t realize there were so many Stewartias and that they are so varied.”Many botanical gardens give tours and offer classes about their collections, but that is not enough for Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman, who took the helm of the oldest public arboretum in North America in January 2011.“You can go to collections and see everything has a binomial [scientific name] and be around people who know the name of every cultivar, but that’s not the same as rejoicing in the biology and the stories of these plants,” said Friedman.Friedman took the whimsical concept of a flash mob — a social media–driven spontaneous gathering — and applied it to outreach to the public to encourage interaction with the scientists, curators, and horticulturalists who work on the Arboretum’s 265 acres.“I just hatched it, I’ve never heard of anything quite like it,” Friedman said of the Tree Mob concept. “It goes at what I’m trying to do — move away from some of the formality in the collection that comes with a tour, a lecture, or children’s education.”Tree Mob attendees may be alerted by a sign or may notice a group gathered. They may drift by for only a few minutes of the presentation or they may stay for its entirety.“It’s about getting back to learning about the biology of plants in a fun way,” said Friedman, who led a mob on the evolutionary development of thorns on a rainy 40-degree day. The 20 people in attendance asked him questions well after the expected 15-minute duration.“This is about meeting an organism, to be in a spot and open people’s eyes to an aspect of the collection they may have never noticed before.”The next Tree Mob, “Locust, Legumes, and Nitrogen Fixation,” is 5:30 p.m. July 19 and is hosted by horticulturalist and Arnoldia Editor Nancy Rose. Rose will discuss how plants and bacteria partner to produce fertilizer. For more information, visit the Arnold Arboretum website.Henry Young ’52 and his wife Chris Young of Andover, Mass., join others for the Arboretum’s Tree Mob event last week.Friedman’s plan is to increase the number of tree mobs so that they remain intimate and spontaneous.Del Tredici, an Arboretum scientist since 1979, admitted he was dragged “kicking and screaming” into Friedman’s initiative of Tree Mobs and the mobile tour concept that lets anyone with a cell phone give themselves an informative tour of the prestigious collection.But his deep knowledge about the collection in general and specifically about the new hybrid of Stewartia — Scarlet Sentinel — developed in the Arboretum, is compelling for mob attendees.“You can come here and see these plants, but you don’t know anything about them. You could hold your cell phone up [to the bar codes on the signs posted by many plants]. But it’s better to have someone tell you,” said Del Tredici.He showed the group a half dozen varieties of the camellia-like flowers that were blooming on the woodland trees, with anthers — the filaments holding the stamen — that vary from lavender to mustard yellow. And the bark of the trees, which hail from China, Japan, Korea, and North America, ranges from a mottled desert camouflage to the thick, scaly husk typically seen on deciduous trees.The white or pink blooms and interesting bark make the Stewartia a sought-after garden acquisition, but many did not survive until plant propagators at the Arboretum unlocked some of the mysteries of growing them. That’s why Del Tredici found himself fielding questions from his group about how to ensure their survival in a typical garden. “It is kind of ‘miffy,’ like it is easily miffed if something is not quite right.”The Tree Mob participants range from ardent gardeners to city dwellers seeking refuge from the blazing asphalt of a summer day. But one reality that has come with promoting the events is that participants are apparently not Facebook and Twitter devotees.Pamela Thompson, manager of adult education, said attempts to use social media to invite people to the Tree Mobs largely fell flat. But success has come from posting signs close to the event on the Arboretum grounds and notifying the email list of more than 7,200, she said.  Without the need for much lead time, the Arboretum can respond to weather and blooming patterns to come up with a last-minute mob, she said.The rewards of that spontaneity hit home for Thompson one evening when she was in a tiny mob with Friedman that spent 20 minutes watching a magnolia open.“You look at it and you think nothing’s moving and then it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, did that petal move?’ and then it just popped open.”last_img read more

first_imgThe US has surpassed 10 million total Covid cases and experts warn hospitals could be overwhelmed.- Advertisement –last_img

first_imgJul 22, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials today announced plans to launch several clinical trials of pandemic H1N1 vaccines in a race to gather safety and immunogenicity data in time for a possible fall resurgence of the novel virus. In some of the trials, volunteers will receive H1N1 and seasonal flu shots at the same time.In a news release, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said the trials will be conducted at its eight Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units at academic medical centers around the country. The vaccines for the trials are being made by CSL Biotherapies and Sanofi Pasteur.Federal health officials hope to make the first H1N1 vaccine doses available as early as possible in the fall, possibly October, leaving little time to test them. They are also concerned about the prospect of trying to vaccinate millions of people against H1N1 and seasonal flu at the same time or in a short time frame, though the seasonal vaccine is expected to be available sooner.”The trials are being conducted in a compressed time frame in a race against the possible autumn resurgence of 2009 H1N1 flu infections that may occur at the same time as seasonal influenza virus strains begin to circulate widely in the Northern Hemisphere,” the NIAID said.It said results from the trials are expected to be available “weeks after the trials begin.”The agency said one set of trials will assess the immune response to one or two 15-microgram (mcg) doses and one or two 30-mcg doses in healthy adults (aged 18 to 64) and elderly people (65 and older). The doses will be given 21 days apart. If early results indicate the vaccines are safe, similar trials in healthy children will be launched.Another set of trials will look at the safety and immune response in healthy adults and elderly people given the seasonal flu vaccine along with a 15-mcg dose of H1N1 vaccine. The latter vaccine will be given to different sets of volunteers before, after, or at the same time as the seasonal vaccine.A panel of outside experts will closely review the safety data from the trials “to spot any safety concerns in real time,” the NIAID said. The trial results will be used to develop recommendations for different age and risk groupsThe NIAID said it collaborated closely with the FDA and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency to launch the trials quickly while maintaining high standards.The institutions conducting the trials areBaylor College of Medicine, HoustonChildren’s Hospital Medical Center, CincinnatiEmory University, AtlantaGroup Health Cooperative, SeattleSaint Louis University, St. LouisUniversity of Iowa, Iowa CityUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine, BaltimoreVanderbilt University, NashvilleThe NIAID announcement came as the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee prepared to meet tomorrow to discuss H1N1 vaccine issues. A briefing document the FDA prepared for the meeting says that decisions about vaccine formulation and use may have to be based on limited or even no clinical trial data.Because surveillance data may indicate a need to start an H1N1 vaccination campaign before much testing is done, the document states, “We recognize that the regulatory approach needs to be flexible and that policy decisions regarding vaccine formulation and use may have to be based on results from incomplete or smaller clinical studies or even in the absence of clinical data with novel influenza A (H1N1) vaccine.”The document was prepared for the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC).See also: Jul 22 NIAID news release briefing document for VRBPAC meetinglast_img read more

first_imgIn their motion, they cite US pension funds – which currently invest approximately 5% of their assets in venture capital – as an example to follow.If pension funds in Switzerland were to achieve a similar allocation over the next 15 years, they said, the fund could grow to more than CHF40bn (€32bn).But Asip president Christoph Ryter warned against comparing US pension funds with Swiss Pensionskassen, citing major differences of investment structure and size.He also pointed out that the proposal makes no mention of whether participation would be mandatory for pension funds.Ryter said Swiss pension funds would be interested in such a fund only if investment were voluntary.He added that it remained to be seen whether the scheme would be attractive enough to pique pension funds’ interest.In the 1990s, the government attempted to establish an infrastructure fund to finance railway projects, among other things, making it mandatory for pension funds to invest.It abandoned its proposal, however, after objections from Swiss Pensionskassen. Asip, Switzerland’s pension fund association, has said it is potentially interested in the creation of a venture capital fund seeded with pension fund money.The creation of the fund is currently being debated in Parliament.Members of the upper house of Parliament, the Ständerat, recently brought forward a motion to create a venture capital fund to invest in innovative Swiss companies.According to the proposal, the Swiss government would “encourage” pension funds and insurers to devote parts of their portfolios to seed so-called Zukunftsfonds, or “future funds”.last_img read more

first_imgThe Batesville Middle School Track & Field Team competed at The Greendale 4-Way Meet.The Lady Bulldogs placed 1st followed by Milan with 32 and Greendale with 31.The Bulldogd Boys Team was 1st followed by Greendale with 37, Milan with 11, and Oldenburg Academy n/a.Greendale MS Track Meet (4-21)Submitted by Batesville Coach Derek Suits.last_img