LONDON (AP) — The U.K. has become the first country in Europe to pass 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths. With more than 2 million dead worldwide, people the world over are mourning loved ones, but the U.K.’s toll weighs particularly heavily: It is the smallest nation to pass the grim milestone. For comparison, the United States, with five times Britain’s population, has four times the number of deaths. Alongside excess deaths comes excess grief, made even more acute by the social distancing measures in place to slow the virus’s spread. Charities and campaigning groups are urging the government to offer more help to deal with this “tsunami” of grief.
In March, the Chicago regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Northwestern scholarship football players are employees of the university and therefore have the right to form a union.In April, Northwestern University appealed the decision to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C.This weekend, the Northwestern football team, still awaiting a final decision from the NLRB, comes to Notre Dame with its unionization future unclear. Ed Edmonds, associate dean of the Notre Dame Law School, said either way the Board rules, the Northwestern case could be pivotal for the future of collegiate athletics.Susan Zhu | The Observer “I would like to think that this [case] would begin to change the conversation at the NCAA away from the idea that [athletics] should be equated to a hobby or a very modest expenditure of time,” Edmonds, who specializes in sports labor law, said. “I think we need to have a much more realistic conversation about how you try to balance intercollegiate athletics and its demands with the educational process.“I mean, we’re basically the only country in the world that has sports so intertwined with the educational process at the highest levels. And I think what the case has helped advance is a conversation that is badly needed.”Following the Chicago Regional Board’s decision in March, members of Northwestern’s football team voted on whether or not they wanted the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) to represent them. Edmonds said the results of the vote will remain embargoed until the full NLRB’s ruling and will only be counted if the Board rules in CAPA’s favor.Edmonds said the Board’s review period for the Northwestern case is typical, and he expects a decision by the end of the year. In the meantime, he said the case is an opportunity to consider how universities and the NCAA treat athletics and student athletes.“The most significant thing about the case, to me, was the fact that the regional board ruled in favor of the players,” Edmonds said. “It actually causes everybody to look very carefully at the definition of a student athlete.”In its list of core values, the NCAA prioritizes “the collegiate model of athletics in which students participate as an avocation, balancing their academic, social and athletics experiences.” Edmonds said this definition is problematic when student-athletes are pushed for significantly more time and effort than non-athletes.“In the brief that Northwestern filed, [they] said, ‘Well, participating in college football is no different than 400 and some-odd other student activities that we have at the university,’” Edmonds said.“They’re trying to say if you participate in the chess club or something along those lines that that’s the same as participation in intercollegiate football. I think those kinds of assertions, that seem laughable to me, make the arguments in this case sometimes really problematic.“The incredible amount of money that conferences get, the incredible amount of money the NCAA basketball tournament generates — that places it in a far different category than anything else that Northwestern students participate in.”The Northwestern NLRB case itself revolves around the definition of employment and whether or not scholarship athletes fit that definition. Notre Dame associate professor of law Barbra Fick, who specializes in labor law, said the definition of employee typically depends on pay and control.In the Northwestern case, Edmonds said NLRB Chicago regional director Peter Sung Ohr ruled the football scholarships were economic benefits and coaches exercised some control over the players, thus making them employees. The University, though, objected to Ohr’s interpretation of scholarships as income.“What Northwestern tried to present in this case … is [scholarship athletes] don’t pay any income tax on their scholarship benefits so that should be an indication that they’re not employees,” Edmonds said. “Ohr discounted that.”In recent years, Edmonds said the idea of scholarships as income has grown more viable due to increasing tuition costs. According to the Northwestern University Office of Undergraduate Admission, the annual cost of attendance is $65,554, which totals to roughly $262,216 over four years.“One of the things that has changed a lot over the years is as tuition has risen, the value of [athletic] scholarships becomes, to a lot of people, fairly important,” he said. “So even tough [student athletes] aren’t given a paycheck, they are given a pretty significant economic benefit. And I think in this day and age when a lot of people take on a lot of debt to go to elite private universities, that’s begun to change the way some people look at the issue of whether or not college athletes are exploited.”The Chicago Regional Board did distinguish between scholarship and walk-on athletes, determining walk-ons are not employees. On its website, CAPA said it could possibly represent walk-on and “nonrevenue” athletes in the future, but “it would depend on the applicable labor laws and details surrounding their athletic arrangement.”Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who graduated in 2014 and led the unionization effort last year, leads CAPA, along with former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma and former University of Massachusetts Amherst basketball player Luke Bonner.On its website, CAPA lists its goals, which include “guaranteed coverage for sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, minimizing the risk of sports-related traumatic brain injury [and] improving graduation rates.”Edmonds said if the full NLRB rules in favor of the players, CAPA could bargain over these issues on behalf of scholarship football players at Northwestern and 16 other private universities with Division-I football, including Notre Dame, if they voted for representation. The union could not represent athletes at public universities because the National Labor Relations Act does not grant public employees collective bargaining rights, Edmonds said.“If the full board rules in favor of the players, it raises the question of whether any of the other private universities that play Division-I football would be approached by CAPA,” Edmonds said. “And I think CAPA would try to approach all of the schools.”He said athletes would react differently from campus to campus to the prospect of unionization, but if the NLRB rules in favor of CAPA and the Northwestern players voted to unionize, Notre Dame scholarship athletes could consider joining CAPA, too.Edmonds said the full NLRB’s decision is “a real toss-up” at the moment, but the Northwestern case is part of a larger conversation about the role of athletics at major universities.“The big thing about this … is that maybe we can now begin to talk about student athletes — if you want to call them that — in a different way because they generate such an incredible amount of revenue for their university,” Edmonds said. “If you want to maintain this idea of a student athlete, then you really ought to switch it and say it’s an athlete student, because they’re a full-time athlete and a part-time student.”Regardless of the outcome of the NLRB’s decision, Edmonds said the Northwestern case, along with several lawsuits that “strike even more directly at the core of the way the NCAA conducts business” will shape the future of college sports.“I’m hard-pressed to imagine that the situation is going to be exactly the same in a decade than it is now,” Edmonds said. “To me, it’s part of a broader discussion about the role of intercollegiate athletics in the university that’s being pushed by a host of things, and this is just one aspect of a lot of things that are aimed at whether the NCAA’s model is really a workable one anymore.”Tags: CAPA, college football, Ed Edmonds, NCAA, NLRB, Northwestern University, Peter Sung Ohr, Unionization
Editor’s note: This is the second day in a series on disability at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s stories examine the services available to students at the University and the College.Saint Mary’s created the Disabilities Resource Office (DRO) in 2004 to provide students with access to accommodations granted under the Americans with Disabilities Act, director Iris Giamo said. Prior to the creation of the office, associate dean Susan Vanek worked with students to ensure they received the accommodations they needed.Giamo said there are three prongs of disability that the office serves including “learning, chronic medical and psychiatric disabilities.”Eric Richelsen | The Observer Students with disease vary from serious asthma, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and immunological diseases, she said. Learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyscalculia, executive function and attention disorders. Psychiatric disabilities include anxiety disorders, bipolar, Asperger’s and others.Students must register with the DRO to receive accommodations, which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, Giamo said.Students eligible for educational accommodations might receive extended time and reduced-distraction room, note-takers and print materials in alternate formats — electronic and audio.Giamo said the DRO provides students access for what they need under the law and any grade they earn is a result of hard work.“We consider the established history, self-report and third party documentation and evaluations,” she said. “Saint Mary’s is a small campus, and it spreads responsibility for compliance with disability protections to each member in our community.”Giamo said her office teaches students to be independent and learn to advocate for themselves.“The office empowers students,” she said. “Disabled students may need extra time to show mastery of a subject, and it’s essential that they have access to curriculum.”Giamo said Saint Mary’s has attracted several students with physical disabilities over the years, but this fall the College will welcome the first student in a wheelchair in at least 12 years.The DRO works closely with Residence Life and Facilities staff to provide the physical access needed and updates in adherence to legal architectural guidelines are made when necessary, Giamo said.Giamo said ADA has increased the number of students that can attend college.“Eight percent of the student population at Saint Mary’s identifies as having a disability,” she said. “Only 75 percent of that eight percent use their accommodation.”According to Giamo, the reason only 75 percent of students may use their accommodations is because many students learn to compensate or may not need it for a certain classes.Many practitioners in the field think the number is close to 10 percent nationally, Giamo said.Equal access for people with disabilities is part of civil rights and for this reason professors are required to include information about the DRO on their syllabi, Giamo said.“This has definitely raised the profile of the office and allowed students to address what they might need,” she said. “We have an exceptional faculty here and not only for students with disabilities”Giamo said it is crucial for students to share their concerns about accessibility and accommodations with the College and the DRO.“It is only when people write or talk about it that we can deal with these issues.”Other resources for students with disabilities include Office for Student Success to assist students with their academic careers.Giamo said the Office promotes academic skills and healthy study habits for students with and without disabilities. There are also volunteer tutors in each department as well as tutors in the Writing Center to help students succeed.She said there is a heightened awareness especially with the emerging field of disability studies and theory.“There’s a saying in the field that ‘anyone at any time can become disabled,’” Giamo said.Tags: ADA, Disabilities Resource Office, disability, DRO, saint mary’s
Kevin Callaghan, a bronze medalist in the 5,000-meter race at the 2011 Special Olympics, spoke at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday evening regarding his experiences as an athlete. The event, sponsored by Multicultural Services, served as part of the College’s Disability Awareness Week.Saint Mary’s junior Maryselva Albarran Hernandez commented on the significance of the event, saying although there have been many projects promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, there were very few events surrounding disabilities.“We noticed that there were a lot of projects and events happening that were focused on diversity and inclusion in religion, race, ethnicity and LQBTQ issues, but there was nothing for increasing awareness on disabilities,” she said. “This is a big concern because we do have students with disabilities on our campus and it’s important for them to feel included.” Tags: 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Disability Awareness Week, Kevin Callaghan, Special Olympics Natalie Weber | The Observer Special Olympian and bronze medalist Kevin Callaghan presents at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday in Vander Vennet Theatre. The event was a part of Saint Mary’s inaugural Diversity Awareness Week.Albarran Hernandez said Callaghan is committed to speaking up and helping others who suffer from intellectual disabilities, similar to those he and his brother face.“He wants to be a role model for those who may not have a voice and wants to be their voice,” she said. “He wants to be able to provide the tools for people to voice their concerns and he wants to motivate others to speak up and I love that about him.”Callaghan was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability, which he said is nothing more than a label. He said that a disability doesn’t always mean disabled. Every person is gifted in their own way, he said, and trying to live life to its fullest with the talents that they have.“I do things like anyone else, just at a slower pace,” he said. “I can drive a car; I live in my own apartment; I am self-sufficient. It wasn’t easy though, I had to work a lot harder to achieve my goals.”Callaghan said he always enjoyed running and competing. Sports have helped him in many ways, he said, by allowing him to make connections, find his passion and make new friends. One of the biggest highlights of running was the opportunity to compete against other athletes who were just like him.“When I was 10 years old, my parents offered me to be a medical guinea pig and the doctors injected my legs with Botox,” he said. “It worked. The medicine caused my muscles to relax and I was able to walk normally. That may sound like a little thing, but when you have special needs, it’s really important to be as normal as you can be. I decided to try out for my high school’s cross-country team, and I had a great coach who didn’t care about what I couldn’t do — he only cared about what I could do. By the time I was a senior, I was the fastest guy on the team and was voted MVP by the end of the season.”Seven years ago, Callaghan, who wore his Olympic medal around his neck, competed in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.“I ran on the same track as Usain Bolt, competed against some of the best Special Olympic athletes in the world and won a bronze medal,” he said.Kevin’s father Jim Callaghan said although it was difficult coming to terms with two of his kids suffering from intellectual disabilities, his greatest goal has always been to make sure his kids were happy. Both of Kevin’s parents became actively involved in the Special Olympics as coaches.“There was an adult special Olympics group, but they didn’t have a kids division,” Jim said. “So, we called the state and said we wanna start a Logan Center kids team. The first year it was only Kevin, the next year it was like, eight kids, and now the program has been running for 20 something years.”Jim said his son is a role model for a number of people and is referred to as ‘the mayor’ by some of his friends because he knows everyone in his town.“It’s not just about me but there are so many stories of people with disabilities,” Kevin said. “I love people and I also have many friends with autism, so I always try to think about how things would affect me if I was in another person’s shoes. If it was up to me, I wish there was a universal healthcare for everybody in the world.”
Pexels Stock Photo.ALBANY – New York State’s Teachers Union is urging state health officials to make mask wearing mandatory in school this fall.In a statement to the media Thursday morning, New York State United Teachers says that current guidance that mandates the use of masks when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained doesn’t go far enough.“The governor has said — and we agree — that parents and educators must be confident in their school district’s reopening plan in order for this to work,” said Union President Andy Pallotta in a statement. “As we hear of disparate mask procedures and other issues in reopening plans across the state, it’s clear that the state must step in. Making masks mandatory at all times is one step toward helping address the reservations that still exist regarding reopening school buildings.”The union is calling on state leaders to make masks mandatory indoors at all times during the school day, in an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in buildings that reopen for in-person instruction. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Photo Courtesy of Devon O’NeilNo matter how good you get at something, it’s important to remember when you sucked at it. Both for your sake and others’.As a mountain biker, my period of sucking is boiled down to one very vivid memory. It was June 2004. I had just bought my first pair of clip-in pedals, and I went for a ride to test them out. The switchbacking trail behind my home gained 200 vertical feet before you could catch your breath. I was almost at the top when I came up short on a rock, couldn’t complete the pedal stroke and my bike stopped. I tried to unclip with both feet but failed, all the while sloooooowly teetering over like a Jenga tower.Splat!I hit the ground and immediately felt an uncomfortable warm sensation on my right wrist. I looked down and saw the dog poop at precisely the moment its odor filled my mouth and nose, which, as I lay on the ground, hovered about four inches from the still-steaming pile. I gagged. Somehow the vomit stayed down.I picked myself up, used a pine branch to clean my arm, turned my bike around and rode home, humiliated. I glanced around on my way down the hill to gauge whether anyone saw. As far as I could tell, no one did.After briefly considering whether to find something else to do with my time, I stuck with mountain biking and grew to love it. Now I ride five days a week all summer and fall. I write about the sport and its colorful characters for magazines. Some of my favorite adventures involve pedaling a full-suspension rig on a remote trail, hungry, thirsty, beat up from crashing, kind of screwed in the mind, wondering how and where the day will end.And inevitably on days like that, I come across at least one tourist, sometimes more, who looks like he just got off the bus from Amarillo and has a hundred questions but is too proud to ask them. This, in mountain-town-local parlance, is a “gaper.” (Perhaps you have seen the bumper sticker that reminds fellow locals to “Love thy gaper”?)I have never liked that term. It sounds negative to me. Plus, I have been the guy in the foreign place, gaping, literally, at the new and interesting sights, probably while driving like a grandmother. I don’t mind being a gaper, but I don’t think I should be chastised for it either. That’s why I have a problem with the term as it’s used in resort towns, no matter how well the stereotype fits a certain percentage.The problem is that as human beings we’re wired to impose our will wherever we can. It’s instinctive, on some level, to claim superiority, and the outdoors is not immune, which is really too bad. Nature deserves better.I refer to this as the outdoors relativity complex, and it goes beyond just calling tourists gapers. In fact, it exists in strikingly parallel form in towns across the country and throughout the world, bridging languages and cultures, sports and stereotypes.The relativity stems from the way we get so concerned with where we stack up in nature that our competitiveness—trying to outdo the next guy—drains the experience of its actual benefit. I’m 35, so maybe it doesn’t sound so curmudgeonly when I say it baffles me to see a runner or biker going so fast down a trail that not only does he not have time to say hello to someone going up, but neither to yield.The line between instinct and intent gets blurry, but it’s easy to take oneself too seriously. It happens to all of us, myself included. The ego is built into the brain. It gets hungry. So we feed it. But in doing so, we drift from the beauty of coexistence and develop a less compassionate grasp of what being outside is all about.This tendency exists in the rest of life too. For as long as I’ve understood socioeconomic class structure, I have wanted to end up stranded on an island with Donald Trump, armed with more survival know-how than he, and observe him gradually come to terms with how helpless such a rich man can be sans credit card and communication. Wouldn’t you pay to watch that?Overzealous outdoorsmen often fit familiar molds: the über-competitive guy or girl who can’t just go for a casual run or ride, no matter what they say at the trailhead. The climber who chides someone who’s still dialing in his rope work. The skier who heckles beginners from the chairlift.Funny, isn’t it, how we focus on whom we’re better than, instead of who’s better than us? Why else do so many average athletes enter races if not to see how many people they can beat? The psychologists at Strava know this. If you only cared how fast you could do something, stopwatches would still be in vogue and king of the mountain would still be a game kids played on snowbanks in the schoolyard.What those who draw their entire self-worth from their place on a results sheet miss is that there is only one person on earth who’s the best at something, and only one who’s the worst at something. Everyone else falls in between—each of us is faster than some, slower than others. Yes, you may rank substantially higher on that list than your fellow local trail users, but it can help to remember there are plenty of people elsewhere who would crush you. As one of my ski chums says when he hears people brag about their conquests, “Don’t be too proud. Somebody probably did it decades ago in leather boots and on skinny skis.”The outdoors relativity complex doesn’t consume everyone, of course. Plenty of men and women exhibit a genuinely humble attitude, including elites who win races. But for those who do get consumed, the complex can drive everything they do, sapping the fun and beauty.It is also related, indirectly, to the “how long have you lived here” status symbol—a misguided favorite in resort towns, whose communities are built around residents’ shared interests, not tenure. Plus, longevity is relative. How do you think the elk feel when they hear some 25-year-old get all puffy because he’s been here six years and someone who’s only been here four is trying to tell him about the trail network?Stifling pride, as it were, takes conscious effort and doesn’t feel as good. The ego wants.Let it want.Sometimes we need to simmer down, gape at our surroundings like tourists, and remember that we’re in the greatest place there is: outside.
Capital cases panel to appeal judge’s ruling Judge says lawyers handling death penalty appeals can ask a judge for more compensation Capital cases panel to appeal judge’s ruling Private attorneys handling collateral appeals for death row inmates can ask a judge for more compensation than allowed in state statute and cannot be banned from seeking future cases because they sought the higher pay, a Second Circuit judge has ruled.But the legislature’s Commission on Capital Cases has voted to appeal that March ruling by Judge Terry Lewis, although members said that decision could change if state lawmakers approve pending legislation.On March 21, Lewis ruled on a case brought by Tallahassee attorney Mark Evan Olive challenging the state statute that caps payment to registry attorneys. Registry attorneys are private lawyers who have signed up to handle capital collateral appeals. Those lawyers handle overflow and conflict cases in the southern and middle parts of the state and under a pilot program all of the collateral appeals in the northern part of the state.F.S. §27.7002 provides that registry attorneys may not seek compensation above caps set in state law and that the executive director of the Commission on Capital Cases “is authorized to permanently remove from the registry list” any attorney who requests higher compensation.Olive raised three points in his suit: The law violates Article V by precluding trial judges from ensuring that adequate representation is provided by awarding compensation above the caps when necessary; it violates the separation of powers by interfering with trial courts’ authority; and it infringes on the Florida constitutional right to effective assistance to counsel for death row inmates.Judge Lewis ruled for Olive on the first point, saying the law had to be interpreted in light of several court decisions which give trial judges the authority to control compensation to ensure adequate representation. He also noted that the state has regularly issued payment above the caps when approved by a judge.He ruled for the state on the other two counts, finding as long as the statute is interpreted as not undermining trial judges’ authority there is no separation of powers issue and that in Florida there is no constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in post-conviction proceedings.At the Commission on Capital Cases, members debated what effect an appeal would have, before voting 5-1 to appeal Lewis’ ruling to the First District Court of Appeal.Commission member Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, said he was happy with the system when there were three CCRC offices and registry attorneys only handled overflow and conflict cases. He noted the privatizing of the northern CCRC cases was sought by the governor’s office and is currently in a three-year pilot program of using only registry attorneys. If fee caps aren’t upheld, it’s possible that it won’t be cheaper using registry counsel than the former CCRC office, he said.“We had a system that wasn’t broke and was functioning well before we went into this private counsel,” Crist said. “If we can’t get this functioning well, maybe we need to go back to the three regional counsels.”Commission member Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami, noted that he and commission Chair Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, have bills in the legislature addressing capital collateral appeals, including the fee caps issue.“We’re trying to focus on a procedure that focuses on efficiency but allows attorneys to be paid fairly when things are extraordinary,” Gelber said. “Ultimately, going back to the old system with whatever we’ve learned through this process will be the thing to do.”Commission member Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Leslie D. Rothenberg cast the only vote against the appeal.“I don’t think it’s an excess fee if the court grants it,” she said. “I think this is a ruling that simply holds that an attorney cannot be permanently barred from the registry merely for requesting extra fees.”Rothenberg added that it does not affect attorneys who try to abuse the system and get unjustified fees or costs. April 30, 2006 Regular News
17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Keeping a roof over their heads, the lights and gas on, food in the fridge, a car in the driveway — covering everyday expenses is Americans’ biggest financial concern, according to the Financial Burdens Survey from GOBankingRates. One in four Americans says that the high cost of living is the most challenging personal finance issue. The survey also reveals how Americans rank other common budget concerns from most to least difficult to handle.GOBankingRates conducted its Financial Burdens Survey through Survata, asking respondents to rank personal financial concerns according to how challenging they find them to be. The survey included the following financial concerns as options displayed randomly, which respondents ranked from least to most challenging:High cost of livingHealthcare costsInsufficient incomeTaxes (income, property, and/or other taxes)Retirement savingsHigher education costsThe survey also included questions that captured respondents’ demographic information, including age, gender, political leanings, income and debt levels, and household size. continue reading »
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The ministry has reallocated Rp 36.19 trillion of its Rp 120 trillion annual budget to help cushion the impact of COVID-19 in the country. The largest portion of the reallocated budget, Rp 24.53 trillion, will go toward direct aid or activities directly linked with COVID-19 mitigation efforts.Under the program, local farmers receive daily or weekly payment to improve their irrigation system by installing paved lining through the channel, the ministry’s press release reads.Read also: Migrant workers repatriated from Malaysia to get construction jobs at homeThe number of recipients in the irrigation improvement acceleration program was increased following the ministry’s budget changes from an initial 6,000 locations to 10,000 locations in 33 provinces across Indonesia. Construction under the project has already begun in 458 locations in 11 provinces, including West Java, Central Java and East Java.Besides providing steady income for local farmers through labor-intensive infrastructure projects, the ministry also aims to employ former Indonesian migrant workers who previously worked in Malaysia through the scheme.“We are working closely with the Foreign Ministry to identify the hometowns of migrant workers who were repatriated from Malaysia. We will [then] establish labor-intensive projects,” Basuki said during an online press briefing on April 13.Topics : The Public Works and Housing Ministry is moving forward with its labor-intensive projects in rural areas, which include the irrigation improvement acceleration program (P3TGAI) to provide steady income for people in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.A total of Rp 2.25 trillion (US$144.5 million) has been allocated for the irrigation improvement program, around a quarter of the Rp 10.2 trillion budget for labor-intensive program (PKT), according a press statement issued by the ministry on Thursday.“Besides decreasing unemployment and helping maintain people’s purchasing power, the PKT also aims to improve the irrigation infrastructure in rural regions,” Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in the statement.