Are Tier 2 migrants no longer welcome in Britain?

first_imgAre Tier 2 migrants no longer welcome in Britain?By Jackie Penlington on 16 Mar 2016 in Employment law, Personnel Today, Recruitment & retention, Migrant Workers About Jackie Penlington Jackie Penlington is a senior associate at Stevens and Bolton. View all posts by Jackie Penlington → Does the Migration Advisory Committee’s recent report mean that Tier 2 migrants are no longer welcome in the UK? Jackie Penlington looks at the evidence.The Government has made no secret of its aim to reduce net migration to the UK. In this context, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was charged with carrying out a thorough review of Tier 2, with the aim of providing recommendations to reduce migration under the Tier 2 route.Workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if they have been offered a skilled job in the UK.The MAC recently published its report and it is not brilliant news for employers. The Government has previously implemented the majority of MAC’s recommendations so this report should be viewed with some concern by UK employers.What impact will the Immigration Skills Charge have?Overall the MAC recommendations would substantially raise the costs of recruiting Tier 2 migrants and yet appear unlikely to improve the UK’s skills shortage.One of the key recommendations in the report is to introduce an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) of £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant per year. This would be used to invest in training and upskilling UK workers in an effort to reduce employers’ reliance on migrant workers. If £5,000 of additional training for the employer’s existing workforce were sufficient to meet this skills gap, employers would no doubt already be adopting that approach since it would be more economical than incurring the already high costs of sponsoring a migrant worker.More resources for employing Tier 2 migrant workersTier 2 general resident labour market test checklistEmploying foreign nationalsRecommended documentation for sponsored migrants checklistAn increase in the minimum salary thresholdsThe MAC also proposes increasing the minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 (General) and Short-Term Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants. The MAC recommends increasing the Tier 2 (General) minimum from £20,800 to £30,000 (for experienced workers) and to £23,000 (for new entrants).The MAC is of the view that raising the cost of recruiting a Tier 2 migrant will reduce demand. However, this logic does not necessarily follow. Where an employer needs to fill a particular specialist role and it is not possible to find the skill set from within the resident labour market, the employer will need to look elsewhere or the business will suffer. The one certainty is that raising the cost of hiring non-EEA nationals will provide further obstacles for employers looking to recruit key staff.Resident Labour Market testThe Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), whereby employers must advertise the role on offer in the UK for a 28-day period before offering the role to a non-EEA national, may be extendedto all those switching into Tier 2 from within the UK. At present, graduates from UK universities are not subject to the RLMT. If this exemption is removed, it will increase the administrative burden and cost of recruiting non-EEA graduates for employers.Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) (ICT) routeThis category enables multinational organisations to transfer employees from international offices to their UK office. The MAC has recommended increasing the minimum qualifying period of employment with the overseas company from one year to two years.The MAC was also concerned about sponsors, particularly in the IT sector, using the ICT route to enable Tier 2 migrants to service third-party contracts as this provides those companies with a cost advantage. The MAC therefore recommends a separate ICT route for third-party contracting, with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500.The MAC has also recommended that the Immigration Health Surcharge is rolled out to intra-company transferees and, more worryingly, that any changes to Tier 2 (ICT) are kept under active review with the strong suggestion that more restrictions to this route may be required down the line.Is there a silver lining for employers?There are some positives to the MAC report. Thankfully the MAC has advised against restricting Tier 2 dependants’ right to work in the UK, otherwise some of the best and brightest potential employees may have ruled themselves out of a role in the UK because their partner would have been unable to work here.Furthermore, the MAC has also advised against an automatic time limit on the period for which job roles may remain on the shortage occupation list.ConclusionIt would be surprising if the proposals that would raise additional revenue for the Government, such as the ISC and the roll-out of the Immigration Health Surcharge to Tier 2 (ICT) migrants, are not adopted.However, by assuming that raising the cost of sponsoring a Tier 2 migrant will automatically reduce demand, the MAC is recommending measures that could be damaging to UK businesses, particularly start-ups and SMEs. The changes are also likely to impact the public sector, where salaries are often below the recommended £30,000 minimum. Furthermore, the changes could make the UK less attractive to big business, potentially risking UK jobs and investment.Employers should keep a close eye on the Government’s response to the MAC report and consider reviewing their recruitment needs now to ensure they can recruit key staff before any changes are made. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Incidence and spread of Haemophilus influenzae on an Antarctic base determined using the polymerase chain reaction

first_imgA PCR-based method of detecting Haemophilus influenzae in cultures inoculated from throat swabs was evaluated using samples from groups of laboratory staff and medical students and then applied to samples originating from the closed human community of an Antarctic research station. Suitable PCR primers to an H. influenzae gene (ompP2) were used to amplify the gene from DNA preparations made from mixed growth on chocolate agar with added vancomycin. PCR product was reamplified and subjected to restriction endonuclease digestion to allow temporal and spatial mapping of strains over an 8-month period. Eleven different strains of H. influenzae were detected. One particular strain was detected in a third of the base memberslast_img read more

LIVEBLOG: Covid-19 Updates

first_img“Trinity term teaching and assessment New College has cancelled all concerts and Evensong services until the end of full term (Saturday 14 March), according to an email sent to members of the college. “We are unable to give a definitive answer as to when the library will be fully operational again, but provisionally this will be in time for the start of Trinity Term.” First Years – All first-year exams, with the exception of medicine and law, have been cancelled. The University and colleges will do everything possible to support those of you who have to go into self-isolation. 25th March, 14:55 – Trinity term psychology exams cancelled “Many of you would understandably like more clarity about the University’s arrangements for Trinity term. I would like to reiterate that detailed planning is underway. At this stage, I can confirm that we anticipate that most or all teaching and assessment next term will take place remotely. I anticipate that more information about this will be available within the next week. Thank you for your patience while we make the necessary preparations.  “Although efforts are being made to bring forward graduation for final year medical students where possible in order to assist the management of the COVID-19 crisis, no medical student will be permitted to graduate until the University has evidence to confirm that the person has met the GMC’s required standards and outcomes. All graduating doctors at Oxford and all universities, whether they graduate early or not, will be of the standard needed to ente​r the medical workforce.” Refunds have not been offered at the moment, but reassurances have been made that “ticket holders’ payments are safe.” The UK Government now advises against all non-essential travel, within the UK or abroad. It is unlikely that research or teaching and other University business will be considered essential – although there may be exceptions. Our advice yesterday to international students considering travelling home remains unchanged. Please consider that the global situation is changing rapidly, and if you are overseas then you risk difficulties with local quarantine, flight cancellations and border restrictions. The Oxford Union will be closed from 5pm Thursday 19 March in response to the recent outbreak of Covid-19. Access to some rooms was restricted earlier this week, and the Union has announced to members that the entire building will now be closed. Keble has announced that the 150th Anniversary Ball will be postponed to the 26th of June 2021 due to coronavirus. It was scheduled to be held on the 27th of June 2020.  First and second year undergraduates will take “modified assessments” which will not be classed. Many will be “formative”, and therefore have no recorded marks on their University transcript. Some Faculties and Departments will make modified assessments “summative”, meaning work will receive a mark which will be recorded on their transcript, but no class will be awarded. 11th March, 15:11 – Hertford Ball Cancelled Latest Updates Second and Third Years – Most second and third-year exams will be deferred, although some will be cancelled. – Some exams must go ahead since they are taken by a mixture of continuing and leaving students. For more information visit the Keble Ball Facebook page: Law Moderation exams, scheduled to be held in 9th week, have been cancelled. Currents plans will be for students to take the exams as open-book, take home papers early next term. This information was sent in an email from the faculty to first year law students. They stated: “We will need to get approval for these arrangements from the relevant university bodies”. Mar 13th11:37Merton asks undergraduates to vacate residence Clare O’Hara, Director of Cowley Road Works, said: “We know that what the community needs now more than ever is a bit of the carnival spirit in our everyday lives, so we are putting plans in place to bring surprises, joy and togetherness into the lives of our local community.” Cambridge University has announced alternative exam arrangements for their ‘Easter’ term. Finalist undergraduate students and students on integrated Master’s programmes will receive a classed degree. However, a ‘safety net’ will be provided for final year undergraduates on three year degrees: “As long as a graduating undergraduate student passes their assessments, no graduating undergraduate student will receive a class lower than the class which they were awarded in their second year exams. The 2020 assessments will therefore only confirm the class awarded in their second year or improve it.” Postgraduate students will also be able to receive a classed degree through alternative assessments. 10th March, 16:10 Colleges have changed their vac res policy. A petition calling for all university fees from this academic year to be reimbursed has reached 160,000 signatures on the UK Government’s website. The petition points to the UCU strikes and the COVID-19 outbreak being responsible for “poor” quality teaching this year. 31st March, 11:00 – University looks for Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteers At this point, we intend to resume teaching in Trinity term but we will keep you informed as the situation develops nationally.”Mar 13th12:34Law Moderations cancelled The Biology Department at Oxford has announced it will be postponing 3 written papers in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The exams were due to be sat by second-year FHS students in Week 1 of Trinity Term.  Recent changes to advice and guidance The full details of the vaccine trials can be found here. All Easter vacation exams have been cancelled.Domestic students advised to return home.International students who cannot return home can stay.6 confirmed cases at the University The vaccine will start animal trials next week at the Public Health England laboratory at Porton Down. Researchers are planning to conduct the first trial of the vaccine candidate on humans next month. This will move into a larger trial to evaluate how effective the vaccine is at protecting against infection.  “I am writing to follow up on my email of last Friday with some further information about Hilary term submissions, Trinity term arrangements, and advice for international students travelling home for Easter. The information included in this email may be relevant to you whether you are an undergraduate, a taught postgraduate or a research student.  Further information on Trinity term examinations and teaching is expected early this week.  26th March, 13:35 – Worcester, Trinity, and St. Hilda’s cancel balls this Trinity More information below: The new, later date remains undecided, proposing the start of Michaelmas 2020 as a tentative date.  The Medical Science Division is cancelling all clinical teaching until further notice in order to release clinical teachers to the wards. You will know that the vast majority of people who are infected with the virus will experience only mild symptoms, and that those who are most at risk are the elderly and those with serious chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes.  Mar 17th 12:07 Bodleian Libraries to close  In an email seen by Cherwell, Magdalen has advised all Magdalen undergraduates to return home. It stated that they “strongly advise those of you who have previously been granted permission to reside in College accommodation over the Easter Vacation to return home this weekend”. Exceptions are made for those who “have University examinations or required course submissions next week, are unable to travel overseas, or have an urgent need to stay in College”. 10th March, 17:57 – New College services The email continued: “Unfortunately decisions on the exact timing of exams and their format do not reside with us, but with the University/the Examination team. Cherwell understands that the Vice-Chancellor will set out the University’s position in a letter later today.  “In Maternity, we are restricting visitors to birth partners only for all appointments including scans, the birth itself and postnatal visiting. “We were emailed last night with the reasons for cancellation and why postponement wasn’t a possibility. There were a number of concerns, such as the administrative burden of dealing with exam resits, unusual accommodation requests, and responding to unusually high levels of student hardship; the diary space restrictions, such as conferences organised for 9th week of Trinity 2021, whilst we learnt that the ‘Gaudy Dinner’, for alumni, had been postponed from April 2020 until Friday of 9th week, 2021; and fiscal difficulties, namely protecting staff salaries and providing academic hardship. We were also told that there was concern that event restrictions would still be in place in 14 months time, although we note that other events had been scheduled for a similar place in the calendar. Whilst Brookes has stated that both the university and halls of residence will remain open, it is declaring a number of reading weeks to start on Tuesday 17th of March until Friday 3rd of April. There will be no teaching during this period. After, the University has stated that teaching will resume online only, with no face-to-face teaching.  Magdalen has closed the College’s libraries for all students, fellows, and lecturers.  Mar 17th 12:05 Brookes confirms second case of Covid-19 Oxford University scientists are developing a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The researchers have identified a vaccine candidate and are working towards the first clinical testing phase. “There has been a number of queries from EU and International students about whether they should return home for the Easter vacation.  “This step has been taken to safeguard the health of all students and staff. These are unprecedented times; the College will do all it can to ensure that you will continue to succeed in your studies. It is clear that the Department for Education will need to review the whole process for entry into University this year. We will keep you updated.” “We must also however prepare moving into a red situation, in which much of the University will need to close. I stress we are not there yet, but must prepare for the prospect of it and possibly soon.” 20th March, 14:03 – Ruskin College closes premises “Field trips have also been cancelled which our tuition fee was to pay for. There is also no need for accommodation which students have paid between £4,000-£8,000 for in advance and adding to their student debt. Lastly, the extended strikes of this year have severely disrupted student-staff interaction and personalised help, with staff not replying to emails or available for meetings. Grading is also being delayed. Overall, university quality is poor this year and certainly not worth up to £9,250.” All exams scheduled for the Easter break (March 16-April 2) have either been cancelled or rearranged. All students concerned have been notified directly. “To date we have six confirmed cases in the student body. We are in regular contact with these students and I am very happy to report that they are recovering well. I would like to thank the college and University teams and Oxford University Hospitals for the support they are providing. Out of respect for their privacy and following advice from Public Health England we have not revealed detailed information about these students. 19th March, 19:29 – Cowley Road Carnival cancelled UK research postgraduates Keble is the first of the many college balls scheduled for Trinity 2020 to postpone in light of unprecedented circumstances and government advice regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.  An email to ticket holders said: “It is with enormous sadness we must announce that we have decided to postpone Christ Church Ball for the time being. We appreciate this is extremely disappointing, but it is the only responsible decision given the current set of circumstances. We will continue to monitor the situation closely to work out a suitable future date. However, due to the huge uncertainty of the present situation, it would be premature to do so at this time.” “In Paediatrics, visiting is restricted to two parents / guardians only – no siblings. Mar 12th 16:07 Second bop cancelled  “When considering what to do, you should prioritise your own wellbeing and that of your family over any concerns you may have about your academic work. As per the introduction to this email, the University will put in place measures to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged due to actions they take as a result of coronavirus.  International students will be given a choice whether to remain in the UK or return home. The University stresses that “you should prioritise your own wellbeing and that of your family over any concerns you may have about your academic work”.Mar 16th13:24NHS Oxfordshire releases new rules on visitors due to Covid-19 Mar 19th12:24 Keble Ball postponed  “The City Council will continue to do all it can to help businesses in Oxford. We have a team of colleagues who are quickly facilitating Government grants and rate relief, and we are surveying businesses in the city to get a clearer understanding of their immediate needs and identify ways we can help. This has been decided based on the “unanimous view that trying to hold these examinations remotely at the start of Trinity term using novel formats is unworkable operationally and undesirable educationally.” “Once again, I would like to reassure you that your welfare is of paramount importance. The University will put in place measures to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged by their response to coronavirus.  “International students: travelling home for Easter Full text of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s message below: Some faculties have released information about second and third year FHS exams.  Detailed contingency planning is underway to prepare for these changes, and details will follow as soon as more arrangements have been made. We appreciate your patience as we take this work forward. 20th March, 18:10 – Second-year Biology FHS exams postponed Professor Adrian Hill, the director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, said: “Vaccines are being designed from scratch and progressed at an unprecedented rate. The upcoming trial will be critical for assessing the feasibility of vaccination against Covid-19 and could lead to early deployment.” For more information and updates, follow The Bullingdon’s facebook page. International students who cannot travel home are welcome to remain. Mar 18th 17:00 Oxford Pride 2020 postponed UK taught postgraduates “We are all facing an unprecedented crisis. It may be months before we resume normal activity. Throughout that period, the University will endeavour to keep you informed and up-to-date. We will need all the fortitude, resilience and generosity of our collegiate University community to get us through. I am confident that this crisis will bring out the best in all of us.” Detailed planning continues in relation to teaching, learning and assessments in Trinity term. I can now confirm that wherever possible, teaching and learning will be moved to an online format, and we are developing plans for activity that cannot be readily substituted by an online format. We can also confirm that planned written paper examinations (scheduled to be held in Exams School, Ewart House etc.) will not go ahead in their normal format in Trinity term. Instead, we intend to move to an online approach.  Mar 12th17:06More colleges cancel bops Mar 12th 13:59 Students at St. Peter’s advised to go home “Faculties and Departments are considering ways to allow examinations to be taken online as open book examinations, or by adopting other methods of assessment, which may include: extended essays, portfolio of essays, vivas through video-conferencing.” “As per last week’s note, all timed, written exams during the Easter vacation have now been cancelled or postponed. It will be possible to submit all written assessments (dissertations, extended essays etc) online, and the Proctors have put in place a 48 hour extension to all submission deadlines, to account for disruption resulting from coronavirus. Your department or faculty should be in touch with you about the details. The City Council has announced it will suspend the #WeAreOxford grant scheme following government advice recommending social distancing.  Second year biology exams have been moved from early Trinity to early Michaelmas 2020. Second year Experimental Psychology and PPL Part 1 exams have been moved from early Trinity to ‘later’ in the year.Third year English exams have had some format changes. Finalists were in informed in an email that ‘The exams will all be open book.” The format of questions, and the length of answers expected will not change. These changes are not fully confirmed, and are dependent on the final decision of the University.  This liveblog will be updated as we receive new information.The University’s advice and information on Coronavirus can be found here. Students were informed by email of the decision after the Magdalen COVID-19 Working Group met remotely this afternoon. The email said: “We recognise that this will have an impact in particular on those Magdalen students who are still resident in Oxford, but unfortunately the situation is now such that we do not see any alternative. However, measures have been put in place to mitigate this impact as much as possible.” Trinity term planning  Mar 17th 15:48 Oxford City Council release statement on protecting businesses and jobs You will have heard that the Government has now moved from the containment phase to one of delay in its response to the virus. This is an acknowledgement that we anticipate the number of cases to escalate significantly and that we expect this virus to be with us for many months.  A statement from Oxford University says: “Scientists around the world are working hard to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but there is a lot to be done. A team in Oxford led by Prof. Sarah Gilbert, Prof. Andrew Pollard, Prof. Teresa Lambe, Dr Sandy Douglas and Prof. Adrian Hill started work designing a vaccine on Saturday 10th January 2020. The current status is that they have identified a vaccine candidate and are working towards the first clinical testing phase. Brasenose College has cancelled their annual Hilary Term event, scheduled to be held tonight, according to an email sent by the JCR President to members of the college. Brasenose will be refunding all ticket holders. Second case confirmed Their Cocktail bar will however remain open as usual. They are offering refunds for cancelled events and tickets will remain valid for rescheduled dates.  Events Travel Mar 13th 13:24 Update from the Vice Chancellor 1st April, 13:30 – St John’s College cancels commemoration ball. I fully appreciate that the disruptions caused will have serious personal and professional consequences for many members of our community and will be deeply disquieting to all of us. I wish I could prevent that. What I can do is promise to communicate with you throughout the course of this crisis and to provide as much information as I can so that you can make decisions in the best interest of yourself, your family and your colleagues. I would also like to reassure you that we are very mindful that some staff and students have particular concerns about their own vulnerability or that of a close family member. We encourage you to speak in confidence to your college or department about your personal circumstances.  Additionally, St Hilda’s College has restricted access to end-of-term celebrations to members of the College. University museums and gardens will remain open for now. Libraries, like other University services, are putting in place contingency plans to allow services to continue digitally should they be required to close. Finalists and postgraduate students who cannot take assessments, for reasons including illness, significant caring commitments, or technical difficulties, will be able to take the same method of assessment in a second assessment period when the University is back in full operation. First- or second- year undergraduates unable to take their modified assessments will be awarded an extension if it is formative or summative coursework, or will be able to take online assessments in a second assessment period. The Bodleian Libraries will close from tomorrow (18 March). Further information via the link below. The number of cases in Oxfordshire now total 9, according to updated data from Public Health England.  Image Credit to Mike Peel / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC-BY-SA-4.0.  This information is also on OUH website at:“ Easter vacation advice for postgraduate students An FAQ released by the University of Cambridge has informed students that there will be a second round of examinations for those who cannot take their exams this summer. This additional round of exams will be sat “once the University is fully operational again”. Main points from the University’s update: In a post on the Ball’s Facebook event page, the committee said: “We cannot begin to say how disappointed we all feel with the decision from the College to cancel the Ball. Mar 13th10:22Vice-Chancellor to set out University position “Overall, the University remains operational, However, we are responding by closing some public areas, and implementing local contingency plans. We are also encouraging staff to work from home, where possible. A significant change is that we are now advising all UK-domiciled students on taught courses who have homes outside Oxford to leave the University as soon as possible unless they have a compelling reason to stay. This previously only applied to UK undergraduate students. If you are unable to return home, you should speak to your college or department/faculty and we will seek to accommodate you where possible.  “In this situation, students will not return after the Easter vacation, or, if in Cambridge, will return home where possible, and if not able to do so they will be accommodated in their College.” The results of the Oxford model significantly differ from the highly influential Imperial College London model and suggest that current restrictions could be removed sooner than government indications, but Professor Gupta tells Financial Times that since the Oxford model has yet to be confirmed, social distancing will still reduce pressure on the NHS. However, she is confident that ‘humanity will build up herd immunity against Covid-19.’ Antibody testing on this new model will begin this week, in collaboration with Cambridge and Kent Universities. The full text of the petition reads: “All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.More details The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, stated: “The government yesterday declared that it expects to take “further and faster” measures in coming days. I am writing to let you know that, in light of these latest government announcements, and of recent developments including a growing number of staff members now working from home, the University has today moved into its ‘red’ phase in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.” We are advising all domestic undergraduates to return home for the break unless they have a compelling reason to stay. This is to reduce the density of the population and the strain on college staff and support services. In an email to students from the Warden, Merton has asked all undergraduates to vacate college. Exceptions include “those from Category 1 countries and those sitting examinations in Oxford during 9th week”. Merton are asking students to leave by noon on Tuesday. They are also requiring students “to clear your room and take your belongings home”.  Thank you for your continued understanding as we react to this unprecedented situation. As ever, if you have any questions about the above, please contact your college or department/faculty in the first instance, and we will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available. We continue to post regular updates on the dedicated coronavirus advice page, so please check back frequently: 17th17:21Written exams will not occur as usual in Trinity Term “In red, there will be no face-to-face teaching: all teaching will be conducted remotely. Faculties and Departments are making plans to deliver this in the best way possible, using a range of methods including lecture capture, online/ video conferencing, and Moodle, recognising the needs of students in different locations and international contexts.” Ruskin College has taken steps to close its premises from 20 March to 20 April. The college says they are following government advice to shut down in response to coronavirus. Further updates for Ruskin College students, staff and faculty will be available via emails and the college website. The college’s update states:  More information below: The vaccine trial, run by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, will recruit up to 510 healthy adults, who will receive either a control injection or the new vaccine. The vaccine is already in production, but will not be ready for some weeks. It is currently being manufactured to clinical grade standard at the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility at Oxford University. Postgraduate Research students are encouraged to work from home, or from your University/College accommodation, if it is practical to do so. You should consult your supervisor to discuss any practical issues resulting from this.  Mar 14th 01:20 Hertford closes communal areascenter_img Mar 18th 14:03 Cambridge moves into ‘red’ phase “Hilary term submissions  Oxford Brookes University has confirmed its first diagnosed Covid-19 case on the 13th March. The University states that the campus will remain open as usual. The University has announced that all university libraries and museums will be shut until further noticeTrinity Term teaching and assessment will be conducted online The organisers of Christ Church’s commemoration ball have announced that the event, due to be held on Saturday of 8th Week, has been postponed. Mar 15th 11:47 Oxford Brookes confirms first case “If – but it is a big if – we remain in amber into the Easter Term, which begins in late April, we would anticipate that small group teaching and supervision would continue, and there will be enhanced measures for online teaching… In this situation, examinations and assessments would continue as planned wherever possible.” Both Worcester and St. Hilda’s College have officially cancelled their balls to be held in Trinity 2020 in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Both are offering refunds to ticket-holders. Worcester hopes to hold a Commemoration Ball in Summer 2021, whilst St. Hilda’s will organize another of its annual balls for next year. The University intends to remain open until instructed to do otherwise but we will have to develop new ways of working together. In particular, we will have to adapt to using technology for meetings, teaching and assessment in ways we have not done before. This will not be a smooth transition but a great many committed colleagues are working tirelessly to make it as effective as we can. We will use the Easter break to prepare for the transition to online teaching and assessment. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor has informed students that “we anticipate that most or all teaching and assessment next term will take place remotely”. “The Government’s announcements to support businesses in last week’s Budget, particularly the 100% rate discount for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, were helpful – but further measures are now needed. The French government has, for example, pledged €300bn to support its economy, and said that no business will go bankrupt as a result of coronavirus. 1st April, 11:20 – University announces exam policy changes. The Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor stated that the university is currently in amber: “Amber reflects the delay phase now announced by the Government, and requires measures to delay the spread of the coronavirus. This means that, at the moment, we envisage that business will continue as usual as far as reasonably possible, save for large group meetings (we are judging a large group to be 50 people or above) and mechanisms are being put into place to reduce social interaction.”  In an email from the Vice-Chancellor, she stated: Reported cases in Oxfordshire are up to 17, according to an update from Public Health England. This is the third highest of any local authority, behind Kensington and Chelsea and Hertfordshire. Mar 12th17:36Brasenose ‘Spring Fling’ event cancelled 30th March, 14:30 – Summary: changes to FHS exams released by some faculties Libraries and other facilities A second student has tested positive for coronavirus at Oxford Brookes University, announced on Monday 16th March.  Christ Church have cancelled their college bop, due to take place on Friday 13th March. College administration circulated the information, citing their ‘responsibility to staff and students’. Christ Church have also postponed ‘Dean’s Collections’ for this term. Mar 12th16:01Total cases at the University up to 5 Final year medical students may have their graduation brought forward to help deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. Many students in the clinical stage of their degree have offered assistance. The Bullingdon has announced it will cancel or reschedule all live gigs and club nights until the 2nd of April in light of new government advice on Covid-19. 19th March, 13:42 – #WeAreOxford fund suspended “In terms of next steps: We will be speaking to the College President to gain clarity on the following points: a solid explanation for why postponement is not a possibility for early Trinity/Hilary next year, and whether full refunds can be provided. We recognise that some taught students may face considerable uncertainty over how to conduct projects and dissertations, particularly those with a laboratory or fieldwork component. We are developing plans to address this issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available. “In the meantime, the Ball Committee will be working hard to liaise with vendors and reviewing contracts to see how much of money we have spent so far can be recovered. Specific new advice for students is as follows:  A media statement today said: “Over the coming days and weeks volunteers will be deployed to a number of key roles, ranging from administrative and logistic support through to clinical trials seeking effective treaments, to support in our clinical departments. It is amazing to see the scale of their engagement and willingness to help”. Mar 16th 20:20 Cambridge announces contingency plans for next term Hertford has closed several communal areas to combat the spread of Coronavirus. The college’s JCR, MCR, hall, gym, and tutorial rooms will all be closed from Monday. The library will be accessible for book collection only. It is not clear if these arrangements will continue into Trinity Term. Cambridge University announced contingency plans for ‘Amber’ and ‘Red’ situations in an email sent to all students. In ‘Amber’, next term would continue, but with reduced social contact. In ‘Red’, teaching and assessment would take place remotely, with students staying at home if possible.  The Boat Club stated in a Facebook post that: “The Boat Races are cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are bitterly disappointed, but minimising the spread of this virus has to be the number one priority.” The University Oxford has stated that: “Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that three additional students at the University of Oxford have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). All three are in self-isolation and are being provided with all necessary support and medical advice. This brings the total number of confirmed cases at the University to five students.” Below is the full text of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s email. 13th10:33Magdalen sends students home Finalists – Exams will be replaced by “alternative forms of assessment” including open-book versions of standard papers, longer pieces of work completed over several days, or a mix of the two. – Separate arrangements will be put in place for mustic and art performance paper. – Open-book exams will be longer than standard papers, e.g. three hour papers will be extended to four hours. – There will be a safety net policy, although the details are still being finalised. – Students with concerns about access to technology or workspace will be supported. – Those who are unable to complete the alternative assessment will be given the option to graduate with a “Declared to Deserve Honours status”, or they may sit exams in Trinity 2021. In light of the projected length of the pandemic the Government has decided not to invoke at this time the more radical response adopted by some other countries. We are following Government advice. It is nevertheless the case that the operation of the University will inevitably be severely disrupted, starting with the measures outlined below. The model can be viewed here. According to Public Health England, Oxfordshire now has 21 confirmed cases.  “A chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector (ChAdOx1), developed at Oxford’s Jenner Institute, was chosen as the most suitable vaccine technology for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine as it can generate a strong immune response from one dose and it is not a replicating virus, so it cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual. This also makes it safer to give to children, the elderly and anyone with a pre-existing condition such as diabetes. Chimpanzee adenoviral vectors are a very well-studied vaccine type, having been used safely in thousands of subjects, from 1 week to 90 years of age, in vaccines targeting over 10 different diseases. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor stated in an email: 23rd March, 18:39 – Magdalen closes library “This is very much an individual choice that should be made based on personal circumstances. If you cannot get home, or you feel you would prefer to stay in Oxford, you are welcome to do so and we will support you staying in Oxford. However, if you would prefer to be with your family, and it is safe to do so, you are welcome to return home. The Proctors have confirmed that residency requirements will be waived for all students for the remainder of this academic year, giving you more flexibility to come into Oxford as and when required.  The University announced a 7th confirmed case of Covid-19.Mar 15th10:39Oxfordshire cases rise to 21 Cherwell now understands that at least 5 colleges have cancelled bops scheduled for this week: Lincoln, Christ Church, Oriel, Merton and Corpus Christi. We will provide further information as soon as we have it, and I would encourage you to get in touch with your college or department/faculty if you have any further questions at this stage. Please also continue to check the University’s coronavirus advice page, which is being frequently updated.”Mar 16th15:12Trinity Term expected to be online Mar 16th 17:48 Boat Races cancelled The department has stressed that it is working to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the arrangements and encouraged them to express their views through the Student Union survey. Pax Nindi, Trustee of Cowley Road Works, the charity which organises the Carnival said: “To keep spirits up over the coming months, Cowley Road Works hopes to be able to offer carnival pop ups which can be enjoyed from a safe distance, to provide much-needed carnival colour for us all. “We stand ready to get behind the Government and help in any way we can. There is only so much a council can do – we simply do not have the financial resources of national government, and we are keen to see further measures and funding announced today. The modelling, created by Oxford’s Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease group, demonstrates that Covid-19 reached the UK in mid-January and spread invisibly for a month before the first transmissions were recorded. The new study is based on a ‘susceptibility-infected-recovered model’ with data from the UK and Italy, and brings back into view the ‘herd immunity’ model abandoned by the UK government. However, Cambridge have said that the additional round is only intended for students who have “legitimate reasons” why they cannot complete their exams in the coming term. Examples given by Cambridge include, “illness, caring responsibilities or technical difficulties”.  In Maternity and Paediatrics the restrictions on visiting hours will not apply. Case by case exceptions to the above need to be discussed with the nurse or midwife in charge of the ward or department. The Careers Service has suspended appointments and events at the Careers Service building “due to the evolving situation with Coronavirus (Covid-19)“. This information was sent in an email to students. Cambridge University states: “Whilst it has been agreed that the University should do all that it reasonably can to replicate the established examination processes for our students, we have acknowledged that the nature of the restrictions imposed by the national response to COVID-19 will inevitably mean significant changes being made to those processes. Consequently, Faculties and Departments have worked very swiftly to provide alternative means of assessment, which have been reviewed and are robust, fair, and inclusive.” “We will of course keep everyone updated in terms of progress. We can’t apologise enough. It’s heartbreaking to see all our hard work go down the drain; the Ball Committee has been working on this for almost a year, so we fully relate to everyone’s disappointment. “Detailed contingency planning is underway to prepare for these changes, and details will follow as soon as more arrangements have been made. We appreciate your patience as we take this work forward.” More information: Mar 15th 10:40 University of Oxford confirms 7 cases Trinity College has instead postponed its Commemoration Ball to the 25th of June 2021. Tickets will automatically be transferred to the 2021 ball. Those who wish may instead apply for either “a full refund” or “a resale policy at a later date”. Mar 18th 20:12 The Bullingdon cancels gigs and club nights 9th March, 23.20 24th March, 19:21 – Christ Church Ball postponed The college has also introduced a social distancing policy which encourages student and staff to avoid face to face meetings, handshakes, and visits from friends or family outside of college. Mar 13th 13:31 Main points from the University response 21st March, 15:44 – Cambridge offer second round of exams  31st March, 15:00 – Cambridge announces alternative assessment policy Mar 18th 12:12 Union buildings closed “If you do decide to leave, you should be aware that travel restrictions may make travelling back to Oxford more difficult. We will try wherever possible to offer remote teaching and assessment internationally. However, this will be dependent on local infrastructure and internet availability, so we cannot offer guarantees of worldwide coverage. We are putting contingency plans in place for students who are not able to take assessments in Trinity term.  Trinity Term exams will not be in a written format, and are expected to be online.The University is moving all teaching to online. Libraries will be closed until further notice.Graduate students now encouraged to work from home.Staff now encouraged to work from home. University library buildings, as well as museums, will be closed until further notice. However, a wide range of resources are being made available online. Please contact the relevant library for further details, or visit the Bodleian Libraries website for more information. The University’s parks and gardens will remain open, although cafes will be closed. Cambridge University has moved into its ‘red’ phase. This means students are asked to return home if possible, all teaching will move online, and there will be alternative assessment arrangements. All University buildings will close by 5pm this Friday, aside from those needed for “business-critical” activity and for “research relating to Covid19 or other areas in the immediate national interest”. Libraries will close at 5pm today.  The #WeAreOxford grand funds activities which bring people together and celebrate what Oxford citizens have in common. “Thousands of people attend our Parade Day each year, and as a mass gathering, we cannot run the risk of further people acquiring the virus within Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties.” Oxford University researchers are looking for healthy volunteers aged 18 – 55 as part of their development of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19. They have started to screen volunteers to be the first humans to test the new vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. A email to members said: “We are monitoring the Government’s advice, and will inform members nearer the time of our opening arrangements for next term, and keep them informed of any changes.” “We are writing an open letter alongside the JCR and MCR presidents which should be ready to present at the next Governing Body meeting. “We would love to see the Ball postponed to a workable date in 2021; failing that, we are aiming to persuade the College to help us give full refunds to every single person.” Oxford Pride has postponed its annual parade due to Covid-19 fears. The parade was scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at the Radcliffe Square. Organizers have made the “difficult decision” to postpone the event to Autumn 2020. A new date is set to be announced soon. For now, PGT students are encouraged to stay and study in Oxford. Mar 12th14:43City Council plans aid for the homeless St John’s College ball committee has announced the cancellation of their 2020 commemoration ball: Metropolis. Psychology exams scheduled for 0th week of Trinity Term will not take place. The department said in an email to second-year Experimental Psychology and PPL students that they are “looking to providing Part 1 assessment later in the year.” The tickets will remain valid for the later date. They are offering a full refund to those who wish, but note “ticket prices for next year may increase”.  The University will waive the residency requirements for Trinity term for those PGR students who choose to go home to work on their research. More information here: Hertford Ball, planned to be held on Friday 11 March, has been cancelled. Organisers have stated in a Facebook post that ticket holders will receive refunds in the coming weeks. 24th March, 19:10 – Petition to reimburse fees reaches 160,000 signatures A message on the Oxford Pride Facebook page said: “Above all else, it’s of paramount importance [for] us to do as much as we can to promote the safety and wellbeing of our Pride attendees and the wider community of Oxfordshire.” 24th March, 23:36 – New model from Oxford researchers proposes that half of the UK population has been infected with Covid-19 “We need our government to adopt a similar scale of ambition as France to protect our citizens. The objective must be to protect businesses and jobs in Oxford and across the country.” Principal Will Hutton informed students of the change in policy via email this afternoon. “At this stage, the College has not committed to underwriting refunds at this point, as has been done at all other colleges which have cancelled their ball. We were told that concerns over the financial pressures faced by the College made this not possible in our case, as things stand. Further, we were told that on the grounds of trusteeship, the matter had to be put to the Governing Body of the College; we were assured that this would happen in 0th week of Trinity Term at the earliest. Mar 17th 17:31 Update from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education  “Detailed planning continues in relation to teaching, learning and assessments in Trinity term. I can now confirm that wherever possible, teaching and learning will be moved to an online format, and we are developing plans for activity that cannot be readily substituted by an online format. We can also confirm that planned written paper examinations (scheduled to be held in Exams School, Ewart House etc.) will not go ahead in their normal format in Trinity term. Instead, we intend to move to an online approach. “Our strong departmental recommendation is for exams to run after the summer vacation. Please, note that departmental recommendations, however strong, are not an assurance of approval by the University.” A decision on when exams will take place is expected next week. A team of Oxford researchers led by Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, has proposed a new model for the spread of Covid-19, which appears to show that half of the UK’s population has already been infected. The Oxford City Council has released a statement saying it is “committed to keeping services open and protecting homeless people from coronavirus”. They are hoping make use of a £500 million PHE coronavirus hardship fund intended for vulnerable populations.  “This pandemic highlights how important a sense of community is for us all”, said Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities. She added: “But the immediate need is to support people in their own homes and protect the health of our most vulnerable residents” Mar 12th20:23Cases in Oxfordshire up to 17 First case confirmed at the University “We are also limiting the number of people who can accompany patients to our Emergency Departments, Emergency Assessment Units (EAU), outpatient departments, antenatal scans and imaging appointments to one person per patient. 23rd March, 11:07 – Oxford researchers to trial COVID-19 vaccine  Magdalen undergraduates will receive a book grant of £200 for the purchase of subject related books for the remainder of the year. Lincoln College has cancelled a bop, scheduled to be held on Friday 13 March, according to an email sent to members of the College. She urged students to “minimise risk” to themselves and others, adding that “exceptional times require exceptional responses”. The petition can be signed here. 11th March, 16:52 – Careers Service suspends current programmes 20th March, 20:52 – Oxford looks to bring forward graduation for final year medics “There is an expectation that all students will be required to continue studying during Easter term, assuming good health and no significant caring commitments, either in preparation for the alternative summative assessments which replace examinations in Cambridge, or engaging in formative assessment where the Faculty or Department has chosen this as the alternative assessment method.” Mar 13th 10:44 Colleges change vac res policy  Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) is already being felt by businesses and their employees, with staff being laid off and those on zero-hour contracts being told not to come in. Without urgent intervention from central government, in a matter of weeks large numbers of people across the country will be facing problems with being able to afford to pay their mortgage or rent. Oxford’s Cowley Road Carnival, scheduled for 5 July, has been cancelled due to coronavirus. The Carnival is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The organisers are planning other ways to celebrate Carnival without endangering participants.  10th March, 22:21 – Lincoln cancels bop While the Government has not yet instructed us to cancel large gatherings many departments and colleges will make their own decisions about meetings and events. We encourage the use of technology wherever possible. We have cancelled a number of University access events over the break including Easter UNIQ and the Oxford Cambridge conferences, as well as the Alumni Reunion in Berlin. We have also decided that the May graduations ceremonies will be in absentia only. 11th March, 16:36 – 9 cases in Oxfordshire “At the same time as preparing for and conducting the first clinical trial, production of the vaccine is being scaled up ready for larger trials, and potentially, future deployment.” 10th March, 17:25 – 7 cases in Oxfordshire Public Health England has reported than the number of official cases in Oxfordshire is now 7, up from 5 previously In line current guidance on social distancing, the UK government now advises that large gatherings should not take place. If you are running a student event, please refer to the Guidance for Event Managers, which has now been updated online.  Mar 16th 15:23 Pro-Vice-Chancellor updates the University’s policy  The NHS Foundation Trust for Oxfordshire stated: “With immediate effect, we are limiting visiting to all adult inpatient areas to one visitor per patient – and visiting hours will be restricted to 4.00pm – 7.00pm only. International studentsThe guidance for international students remains unchanged since yesterday – although the Government is now advising against all non-essential travel, which you should factor into your decision about whether to stay or return home.  Students at St. Peter’s College have been advised to “get home as soon as is convenient” in an email from the college Master, Judith Buchanan.last_img read more

Obituary Of Michael A. Owen

first_imgObituary Of Michael A. OwenEvansville, Ind. – Michael A. Owen, fought the most courageous battle of his life against leukemia these past fifteen months. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side Monday, December 16, 2019, at Deaconess Gateway Hospital.Mike was born on December 10, 1953, in Evansville, Indiana, to the late Louise (Kiely) and Archie Owen. Being the son of two coaches, Mike developed a true passion for competition. During his high school days at Bosse High School, Mike played many sports including basketball, tennis, and football for his father, Archie. After graduation from Bosse in 1972, Mike attended Murray State University on a tennis scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. He was chosen the Most Valuable Player on their tennis team in 1974, 75 and 76. Mike was more than just an athlete as he received the Outstanding Business Student Award in 1976. Also, in 1975, he won the Indiana Men’s State Singles title with many to follow. The Owen family, as tennis legends in our city, won many city and state tennis titles and brought home the Indiana State Father-Son Title. Later, he and his mother were the only mother-son pair to be inducted into the Indiana Tennis Hall of Fame at the same time.Mike coached girls’ tennis at Central High School for over 40 years while also serving as the head tennis professional at Evansville Country Club. Referred to as “Central Football”, Mike has been a central figure in the Central Community as a teacher and a coach. Throughout Mike’s 42 years in the classroom, he inspired his students to be the best they could be. With a flash of his infamous smile, he showed students that he believed in them even if they didn’t believe in themselves. Mike loved the classroom as much as he did the football field. He was the head football coach from 1986-2006 and Mike never missed a CHS football game in over 40 years. For Mike, coaching was more than just the game. He was shaping the lives of his young players, developing their character and guiding them to be good citizens.Mike is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan (O’Grady) Owen; daughter, Sarah Bigler (Matt) of Indianapolis, IN; sons, Andy Owen (Cortney) of Evansville IN and Chris Owen ( Alice-Marie) of Louisville, KY; sisters, Martha Harker (Greg) of Indianapolis, IN, Leanne Dennis (David) of Jamestown, NC and Susie Hoppe of Franklin, TN; grandchildren; Annabelle, Livie and Griffin Owen and Archie and Eloise Bigler.Mike was preceded in death by his parents and his granddaughter, Ava Owen.Visitation will be from 12:00 noon until 8:00 PM on Friday, December 20, 2019, at Browning Funeral Home, 738 Diamond Avenue, Evansville, IN, 47711. Friends may also visit from 9:00 AM until service time at First Christian Church on Saturday.A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 21, 2019, at First Christian Church, 2845 Beaumont Dr., Evansville, IN 47725 with Pastor Jerry Clark officiating. Entombment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery.The Owen family extends their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mark Browning for his compassion while being the quarterback of Mike’s medical journey and also to the oncology staff at Deaconess Gateway.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Evansville Boys and Girls Club, 700 Bellemeade Ave., Evansville, IN 47713 or to the Chemo Buddies at OHA, 3700 Bellemeade Ave., Suite 118, Evansville, IN 47714.Online condolences may be made at www.browningfuneral.comFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


first_imgBelow are the felony cases to be filed by the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office today.Justin Wayne Hamman: Unlawful possession of syringe (Level 6 Felony)Brittany M. Hile: Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Possession of a narcotic drug (Level 6 Felony)Tylorian Lamar Matthews: Unlawful possession of syringe (Level 6 Felony), Maintaining a common nuisance – controlled substances (Level 6 Felony), Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Unlawful possession or use of a legend drug (Level 6 Felony), Possession of marijuana (Class B misdemeanor), Possession of paraphernalia (Class C misdemeanor)Lori Ann Doughty: Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Maintaining a common nuisance – controlled substances (Level 6 Felony), Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Unlawful possession or use of a legend drug (Level 6 Felony), Possession of marijuana (Class B misdemeanor), Possession of paraphernalia (Class C misdemeanor)Ellis Lampkins Jr: Operating a vehicle as an habitual traffic violator (Level 6 Felony)Trevon Kenneth Dulin: Dealing in marijuana (Level 6 Felony), Theft (Level 6 Felony)Landon D. Parker: Possession of marijuana (Level 6 Felony)Geoffrey Layne Burns: Operating a vehicle as an habitual traffic violator (Level 6 Felony), Possession of paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor)Justin Francis Hile: Dealing in methamphetamine (Level 3 Felony), Possession of a narcotic drug (Level 6 Felony), Carrying a handgun without a license (Class A misdemeanor)Jimmy Joe Small: Unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon (Level 4 Felony), Possession of methamphetamine (Level 5 Felony), Unlawful possession of syringe (Level 6 Felony), Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Maintaining a common nuisance – controlled substances (Level 6 Felony)Brittany Harper: Possession of methamphetamine (Level 5 Felony), Unlawful possession of syringe (Level 6 Felony), Possession of methamphetamine (Level 5 Felony), Maintaining a common nuisance – controlled substances (Level 6 Felony)Steven Lawrence Bailey: MurderCheryl Yvette Rumsey: MurderCharles Ezzard Cooper: Operating a vehicle as an habitual traffic violator (Level 6 Felony)Dana Jo Southers: Operating a vehicle as an habitual traffic violator (Level 6 Felony)Daniel Jason Bates Sr.: Domestic battery (Level 5 Felony)Tiffany Elizabeth Lashbrooke: Burglary (Level 4 Felony)Kirstin Louann Young: Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony)Divarious Devonta Rockmore: Criminal recklessness (Level 6 Felony)Meredith Pagie Hodges-Scarbrough: Possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), Possession of marijuana (Class A misdemeanor)Alexander Nico Southward: Theft of a firearm (Level 6 Felony), Theft (Level 6 Felony), Carrying a handgun without a license (Class A misdemeanor), Possession of marijuana (Class B misdemeanor)Patrick Silfrain: Counterfeiting (Level 6 Felony), Counterfeiting (Level 6 Felony), Criminal trespass (Class A misdemeanor)Kevin Jean-Gilles: Counterfeiting (Level 6 Felony), Counterfeiting (Level 6 Felony), Criminal trespass (Class A misdemeanor)FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Lily James & Richard Madden to Headline Romeo and Juliet in the West End

first_imgIt would seem that Downton Abbey’s Lily James really has found her prince in Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden! The pair, who will soon be seen in the Kenneth Branagh-helmed live-action version of Cinderella, will headline Romeo and Juliet for the director in London’s West End. According to the Daily Mail, the production of Shakespeare’s classic will begin performances at the Garrick Theatre in October.James’ stage credits include Vernon God Little, The Seagull and Othello. Madden previously played the lead in Romeo and Juliet for the Globe Theatre; other stage credits include Noughts and Crosses.Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona, Italy, and tells the story of two young lovers whose noble families are locked in a bitter feud. They try to defy the circumstances that forbid their love, with heartbreaking results. The play was last seen on Broadway in 2013 starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad. View Commentslast_img read more

Ecuador and Colombia Agree on a Binational Action Program to Strengthen Border Security

first_imgBy Dialogo April 12, 2011 A working group led by the Ecuadorean vice minister of defense, Rosa Mercedes Pérez, and her Colombian counterpart, Rafael Guarín, established overall guidelines for strengthening border security between the two countries at meetings in Quito on 4 and 5 April. These meetings resulted in agreement on a Binational Action Program to Strengthen Border Security containing twenty-one wide-ranging action items, according to the Ecuadorean Defense Ministry. The actions are directed toward strengthening border security, along twenty-one wide-ranging lines of action directed toward strengthening security in the border area and increasing the exchange of information and the capacity to better confront threats to security. The document additionally establishes a follow-up and evaluation mechanism chaired by the vice defense ministers, who will hold biannual meetings to evaluate the program’s implementation and recommend other measures to promote progress in bilateral cooperation. This agreement also fits in with the work of the Binational Border Commission (COMBIFRON). In order to implement the road map, six working groups have been created, made up of officials from the defense ministries and armed forces of both nations, in the areas of measures for monitoring mobility and informal border crossings, communication strategy in the border area, civic-military actions, development-support actions (protection of the population, indigenous communities, and prevention of enlistment in criminal groups), illegal mining and biodiversity protection, monitoring the trafficking of arms, ammunition, and explosives, and other areas of cooperation. The delegations included, in addition to the vice defense ministers, the Colombian vice minister for the Defense Social and Business Group and the Ecuadorean deputy secretary of defense for development, as well as officers of the armed forces. The agreement will be signed by the Ecuadorean and Colombian defense ministers.last_img read more

Brazil To Use $6.25 Billion for Voluntarily Turning In Guns

first_imgBy Dialogo May 10, 2011 The Brazilian government has available a fund of 10 billion reais (6.25 billion dollars) with which to pay individuals who voluntarily turn in their firearms to the authorities, Justice Minister José Cardozo announced on 6 May. “We have 10 billion reais available to indemnify whomever turns in a gun. I believe that no minister has said this before, but I hope that all that money is used up, so as to be able to look for more,” the official remarked in Rio de Janeiro, where the permanent disarmament plan was relaunched. The official disarmament campaign was launched seven years ago and was made permanent in September 2010. This new stage of the plan was moved forward a month due to the massacre at a Rio de Janeiro school a month ago, in which twelve children were shot and killed by a former student who entered the center firing two revolvers. “We urge Brazilians to help to prevent tragedies like the one that took place in Realengo. The objective is to collect as many guns as possible by 31 December,” Cardozo continued. Dozens of people came to various locations all around the city to turn in their firearms, which were immediately destroyed by the authorities. For each gun collected, the government is paying between 60 and 120 dollars. Between 1997 and 2008, the Army destroyed more than 1.8 million firearms, according to a study by a private NGO, which revealed that at least 8 million more guns are in the hands of civilians, security forces, and criminals.last_img read more

Lawyer professionalism: It’s no laughing matter

first_img Lawyer professionalism: It’s no laughing matter August 1, 2003 Regular News Lawyer professionalism: It’s no laughing matter In addition to the jokes depicting lawyers as greedy, dishonest moneygrubbers, there are, among others, jokes currently circulating including lawyers seeking justice, lawyers as predators, and lawyers as laboratory rats. 3 W hile one might chuckle reading any one of the countless jokes, the truth is that it does not require a quantum leap to discern that there is a relationship between the jokes’ implications and the publics’ image of our profession. For instance, jokes about justice infer that lawyers are willing to put forth “Herculean efforts” to obtain justice for the rich and the powerful. Yet, 60 percent of Americans believe lawyers are less likely to work as hard for poor clients. 4 The lawyer-shark analogy suggests lawyers combine skill and deception to achieve a desired result and are not opposed to devouring the opposition in pursuit thereof. 5 F inally, the laboratory rat jokes epitomize the public’s view that there is an overabundance of lawyers; lawyers lack morals; lawyers are not human; and, thus, extermination is a viable remedy. 6Lawyers have been abhorred since biblical days when they were rebuked for creating “red tape,” which interfered with religious freedom. 7 T oday lawyers derive their unpopularity, in part, from advocating objectionable causes and representing unsavory clients. Nonetheless, the causes and clients alone do not address the depiction of lawyers portrayed in the jokes. Florida Bar disciplinary statistics may help one realize that the public perception is not without merit. Last year 8,691 disciplinary files were opened. 8 That number equates to approximately one grievance filed for every group of eight Bar members. While all of the claims filed may not proceed to final order, during 2001-2002 the Supreme Court entered 414 final orders. 9 N early half of those orders resulted in disbarments, suspensions, or disciplinary resignation. 10It will not be an easy task to dispel the image thrust upon lawyers, but something worth achieving is worth the effort expended. We must associate integrity, honesty, and professionalism with the practice of law. This goal can be achieved through early intervention and continued mentoring, The Embryonic Esquire and Early InterventionOn the first day of estates and trusts, the professor referred to his classroom of consternated yet attentive students as “embryonic esquires.” At the time, the term had little relevance other than to break the ice. Metaphorically, however, a clear connotation between a law student and an embryo can be drawn. As a law student, one is in a closed world much like an embryo. The classroom only provides the law student with a surreal vision of how law is practiced outside collegiate walls. In order to bring professionalism into the law student’s world, we must provide law students with experiences that they will encounter as a practicing attorney. Law schools can institute means to effect this end by introducing professionalism at orientation, enhancing the introduction of professionalism in the classroom, and implementing a modified version of the American Inns of Court. Professionalism at OrientationGenerally speaking, prior to beginning their first year, law students are welcomed to their prospective law school and to the profession through orientation. Orientation aims to reduce the new students’ anxiety by providing them with an overview of what is required to become a successful student and lawyer. It seems only fitting that the requirements to being successful include an introduction to professionalism. Associate Dean Joyce McConnell from a West Virginia law school recognized the need to remind students at the beginning of law school that the practice of law was not just a job but rather “a profession with a higher calling, one with significant responsibilities.” 11During the orientation process, students explore what it means to be a lawyer. After hearing from the dean, judges, and lawyers, the students break into groups of 15 to 20 to discuss lawyer responsibilities, including ethics and public service. 12 This early introduction provides role modeling for students to emulate in their law school and professional careers. Professionalism in the ClassroomOrientation is only the first step. There are numerous articles that have been written, which echo a reoccurring concern law schools are failing to thoroughly integrate professionalism into their respective curriculum. While it is true that most schools require an ethics course, the purpose of the course is to equip the student with the basic elements necessary to pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam. 13 As such, the courses offered are generally designed to assist the students in interpreting the model rules; however, the rules are merely a minimum standard of conduct required of practicing attorneys to avoid discipline. Professionalism encompasses behavior both within and outside the realm of the model rules. Thus, to ingrain professionalism in the hearts and minds of students, the law schools must teach both legal ethics and professionalism persuasively. 14 This can be accomplished by incorporating ethical and professional issues facing practicing attorneys into the curriculum of each substantive area of law taught. 15 Law School Inns of CourtWith the fundamentals of professionalism laid during orientation and expanded in the classroom, students should be ready to address professionalism issues encountered in the practice of law. In 1980 Chief Justice Warren Burger adopted the American Inns of Court concept modeled after the British Inns of Court system, which utilized seasoned lawyers in a process of legal apprenticeship and mentoring to educate and train attorneys. 16 The American Inns of Court’s central theme is professionalism. 17Currently, third-year students are eligible to apply for admission to a local chapter, but student admission is limited. The president of the Detroit Chapter Inns of Court stated that participation provides young lawyers and students an opportunity to learn how the system works, which they do not get in the classroom. 18 The Inns of Court reflect a tremendous improvement in students from the start of the program to the end; helps students develop interpersonal relationships, not emphasized in law school; and provides a form of direct interaction between pupils, barristers, associates, and masters. 19That being said, it is clear that all law students would benefit from the institution of a Law School Chapter Inns of Court modeled after the American Inns of Court. Masters could be filled by judges, lawyers, and law professors (perhaps in exchange for CLE or pro bono credits); and barristers, associates, and pupils could be filled by third-year, second-year, and first-year law students, respectively.The program could be modeled to apply the same traditional Inns of Court proceedings or could be geared to draw from specific courses offered by the university. The subject of the ethical or professional issue need not be limited to litigation dilemmas but could be expanded to include a variety of issues facing attorneys in numerous areas of practice. Participation of the student body could be through competitive moot-court type programs, voluntary membership, or mandatory participation linked to a specific course. The Practicing Attorney and MentoringThe embryonic esquire magically transforms into a practicing attorney after successfully completing law school and passing the bar. Nonetheless, learning the law and spewing that information onto the pages of the bar examination does not imbue the new attorney with the ability to practice law without further training. Law school has merely laid a foundation to be expanded upon in the years to come.Professionalism within the practice of law includes themes such as: exceeding minimum standards set forth in the code of conduct; displaying civility, good manners, fairness, and honesty; promoting the system of justice and epitomizing that promotion through behavior; and being efficient, prepared, and prompt when dealing with the court, a client, and opposing counsel. 20 Aspirations to permeate professionalism into new attorneys require mentoring. Mentoring can take many forms. In multi-attorney firms new attorneys will benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of more seasoned attorneys. Mentoring not only provides firms with economic incentives by developing partners and avoiding attrition but also produces well-rounded, well-developed attorneys to better serve the profession and individual clients. 21New lawyers whose firm does not offer mentoring programs and sole practitioners have mentoring resources available. Membership to local chapters of the American Inns of Court provides an excellent opportunity for mentoring and learning. Additionally, The Florida Bar offers mentoring through Seek Counsel of Professional Experience (SCOPE). 22 This program consists of a rotating panel of volunteer attorneys with five years experience in more than 60 substantive and procedural areas, including professionalism. 23 The panel attorney will engage in a brief consultation to assist SCOPE users to determine their professional capability to undertake the matter at issue and to decide the best approach to resolve the legal problems involved. 24 S imilarly, the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility provides an ethics research service. 25 One can call, write, fax, or e-mail a description of events posing an ethical issue and an ETHICsearch lawyer will assist the attorney in resolving the question by providing applicable ABA ethics rules, ethics opinions issued by the ABA, and local bar opinions, or other relevant materials. 26 F inally, both The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association provide formal ethics opinions online. Awareness and utilization of these resources and the institution of new resources will enable new attorneys to be responsible in decision- making and to practice law professionally. ConclusionProfessionalism is no laughing matter. While lawyer jokes could keep a comedian in business, they portray a public image which is disgraceful to the legal profession. Thus, it is our responsibility to impress upon students and new attorneys the importance of professionalism. Professionalism can be etched into the hearts and minds of new attorneys through early intervention and continued mentoring. incorporating professionalism into the practice of law, attorneys are operating above the minimum standard required by model codes of conduct and are, therefore, not only avoiding discipline but also improving the public image and seeking justice with integrity and honor. 1 Attorney Jokes from Snifter, Flute, & Stein Ethics. 2 Id. 3 Marc Galanter, Changing Legal Consciousness in America: The View from the Joke Corpus , 23 Cardozo L. Rev. 2223, Lecture ( 2002). 4 Id. (Citing Barbara Curran, The Legal Needs of the Public 234, Am. Bar Found (1977). 5 Id. 6 Id. 7 Luke 11:45, New King James Version. 8, The Florida Bar Disciplinary Statistics (Aug. 2002). 9 Id . 10 Id. (20 disbarments, 133 suspensions, 69 public reprimands, 29 disciplinary resignations, 52 admonishments, 109 probations). 11 Joyce McConnell, Greetings from the Academic Dean , W.Va. Law 10, (1999). 12 Id. 13 Steven R. Plotkin, Anita C. DiGioia, Where Do You Stand? Professionalism: Challenges for the 21 Century , 47 La.B.J. 316 (1999). 14 Id. 15 Id. 16 Nora C. Poter, Enriched by Colleagues, How Lawyers are Learning from Each Other and Enjoying Social Camaraderie through Membership in the American Inns of Court, Pa. Law. 20 (2002). 17 Elliot L. Bien, Toward a Community of Professionalism , 3 J.App.Prac. & Process 475 (2001). 18 Stecker, Naseem, A Matter of Civility: American Inns of Court Strive to Shape a Culture of Excellence in Jurisprudence, (2001). 19 Id. 20 A Roundtable on Professionalism, 40-Oct Hus. Law.16— 2002, by Houston Bar Association. 21 Elizabeth Toth Stepping up to the Plate as a Mentor, 49 Aug Fed. Law 4, 2002. 22 SCOPE Form (last visited Jan. 13. 2003). 23 Id. 24 Id. 25 26 (There is no charge for the initial consultation or if the ETHlCsearch lawyer can answer a question immediately. Thereafter, ABA members are charged $45/hr and nonmembers $65/hr). Kimberly L. Rothenburg The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism recently presented Kimberly Rothenburg the Lion of Justice Trophy for winning its annual Law Student Professionalism Essay contest. Rothenburg is starting her third year of law school at the University of Florida this fall and is from West Palm Beach. She is currently focusing her studies on tax law issues. Each year, essays on the topic of legal professionalism are collected by each Florida law school and the best essay from each law school is submitted to the Bar’s Center for Professionalism. The winner is chosen from those essays by The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism. The Center for Professionalism administrates the award for the committee and also distributes a newsletter, The Professional. The summer issue is now available. A lawyer charged a man $500 for legal services. The man paid him with crisp new $100 bills. After the client left, the lawyer discovered that two bills had stuck together — he’d been overpaid by $100. The ethical dilemma for the lawyer: Should he tell his partner? 1 Two lawyers were negotiating a case. “Look,” said one to the other, “let’s be honest with each other.” “Okay, you first,” replied the other. — End of discussion. 2 last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces First Quality Tissue to Expand Creating 184 New Jobs in Clinton County

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces First Quality Tissue to Expand Creating 184 New Jobs in Clinton County January 06, 2017 Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf announced today that First Quality Tissue, LLC a manufacturer of ultra-premium towel and tissue products, will expand its operations in Lock Haven, a move that will create 184 new jobs.“This was a highly competitive project, as First Quality has other operations outside of the Commonwealth. Even so, Pennsylvania’s dedicated workforce and prime location continue to be highly valued assets to both new and existing companies and helped lock in First Quality’s decision to expand here,” said Governor Wolf. “As Clinton County’s largest employer, I am pleased that it is furthering its presence in Pennsylvania. The creation of 184 new, full-time jobs will have a significant impact on the county and beyond.”First Quality Enterprises will expand operations at First Quality Tissue by constructing a new plant near its existing facility at 904 Woods Avenue, and purchase machinery and equipment to accommodate a new tissue line. First Quality Enterprises has agreed to make a significant investment at the site along with a commitment to create 184 new, full-time jobs over the next three years and retain more than more than 3,000 employees statewide. Project completion and start-up of the new facility is anticipated for the first half of 2019.First Quality Enterprises received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $1 million Pennsylvania First program grant and $250,000 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training. First Quality has also been encouraged to apply for a $2 million low-interest loan through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA).The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Clinton County Partnership.“First Quality has been a staple in our community for many years and this expansion positively enhances their impact on many working families,” said state Rep. Michael Hanna.  “I am honored to have been a part of securing state funding for this expansion project, as it is guaranteed to boost economic growth in Clinton County.”“We are very pleased that First Quality is again expanding in our greater community. We sincerely appreciate the company’s latest investment and providing new employment opportunities for our area,” said Mike Flanagan, president, Clinton County Economic Partnership. “First Quality is a first class operation. We would also like to thank DCED and Governor Wolf for providing a state financial package to assist in the company’s growth. The state has always been a great partner to work with on various projects throughout the years.”First Quality Tissue is a member of the privately held First Quality family of companies a diversified group that manufacture a variety of adult, infant, and feminine care products, consumer paper products, bottled water, and engineered non-woven goods. The company serves the retail, institutional, and commercial channels throughout the world.Last year, DCED approved nearly $1.1 billion in low-interest loans, tax credits, and grants for projects across the commonwealth and secured private sector commitments for the creation and retention of more than 245,000 full-time jobs. In the same timeframe, the Governor’s Action Team completed 77 projects – creating and retaining more than 36,800 jobs.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED visit Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more