Some lawmakers are fighting to give gig workers extra protection.
Ireland's health service says it has shut down its IT systems after being targeted in a “significant ransomware attack." The Health Service Executive said Friday that the move is a precaution, and appointments for coronavirus vaccination have not been not affected. It was unclear how wide the disruption to the health system was.
A university is not buildings; it is the sum of all the activities that go on in and around the campus; and much further. It is ultimately the interaction of learners and those who offer learning opportunities. It is the research and even the conversations between and amongst seemingly disparate parts that lead to surprises, discoveries, solutions, and understandings. The removal of professors, staff, and the impact of cuts and closing, are beyond evaluation and reach well outside our geographic region. In ecology and environmental sciences, the closing of programs ends decades of awareness, sharing, and success in land, soil, and water research and restoration. Laurentian, of course, is insolvent. To balance its books, it has cut almost 200 faculty and staff, and 69 programs. Graeme Spiers taught in a range of departments. “My research focus has been in chemical aspects of reclamation sciences, analytical chemistry, study of authigenic minerals in soils, water chemistry, mine site reclamation, with some work also in agricultural soils.” Spiers was listed as chair, Environmental Monitoring, School of the Environment, member of Harquail School of Earth Sciences. He also taught in the Department of Biology. Charles Ramcharan’s expertise is equally diverse. “I'm an aquatic ecologist and I've worked on everything from algae to food web theory, to the recovery of lakes damaged by mining and smelting. I've also done a lot of work on invasive aquatic species (zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil), and my most cited paper is on that topic. The mathematical models used around the world to predict the distribution of zebra mussels are based on my original work. "My other area of expertise is climate change and adaptation. I don't do research in this area, but I've explored this topic extensively through my courses at Laurentian. It's not something that any scientist can ignore.” Peter Beckett has focused on plant and wetland ecology, and restoration ecology applied to highly disturbed land. He arrived here in 1976 after involvement with landscape improvement in the Lower Swansea Valley. This South Wales region was an attractive and productive zone until smelting, and resultant industrial pollution and chronic contamination, changed everything. Smoke and waste tips from copper refining at the Clydach Inco (locally known as Mond) had a similarity to the Sudbury situation. Learning from this project made Canada, and Sudbury specifically, a natural next destination for Beckett: “The challenges of the devastated Sudbury landscape had an appeal.” Beckett got involved right at the beginning of rehabilitation with the establishment of the Sudbury Reclamation (Regreening) Program in 1978. “I have been involved with the Sudbury program since the beginning and helped in the transition from a mostly barren landscape to a green and pleasant land.” His decades at Laurentian influenced thousands of students. Many went on to graduate work and teaching/applying this knowledge. Beckett said this one program has a much greater influence than its original destination. “The outcome of the regreening program is a new image for the City of Greater Sudbury that has helped to attract new business enterprises, tourists, a network of trails in regreened areas, other restoration activities such as the work of the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee and encouraged an increased respect for the environment. “Over the years, as challenges have arisen providing opportunities for further research and scientific discoveries that continue to the present day leading to improvements in the regreening program with a gradual change from a land reclamation effort to a more comprehensive watershed approach. The example of the long-time sustainable landscape restoration efforts is being used as a model for the UN Decade on Ecological Restoration, 2021 – 2030.” The program of revegetation was not an overnight victory. It was decades of effort. “Sudbury is recognized globally now as a regreening success model, with the regional program being an example of a community-driven program. Over the years there has been a series of M.Sc. and Ph.D. research projects documenting environmental remediation initiatives from mine sites, lake recovery, stream recovery,” Spiers said. “The Sudbury Model has been used as a spark for research and for community initiatives in communities in northern Russia (Kola Peninsula and now in Norilsk). The research from Sudbury has been documented and presented by LU researchers at conferences across Canada, USA, South Africa, Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia.” The exit of Spiers, Ramcharan and Beckett is a great loss to teaching and interacting with undergrads, in graduate research, for the community, and in global efforts in their combined expertise. These are but three of a large cohort that has been cut from the teaching staff. Spiers speaks up on departmental capabilities and the larger picture: “The soil science courses are on hold at present, I think. The Sudbury Story is taught in one course, now online. Currently, there are essentially no plant courses left on the campus, a lack nearly as severe as no physics or mathematics departments. This is rank stupidity. LU is the only university on Planet Earth that has annihilated a department that was involved in Nobel Prize research.” Closing departments and programs and cancelling courses are creating great turmoil. What about students? Spiers continues: “For many students in the School of the Environment, the course and program cancellations are initially devastating. Some are, naturally, looking to migrate to other universities as the core of their chosen programs are currently gutted by people with no knowledge of what they are doing (or no concern). "A university degree is not a (series of) course numbers to graduate, as programs are designed around providing specific knowledge domains for the student to use in life, in work or to build on at the graduate level. The students were unhappy with the continuous messaging that 'students are important and we care' as these messages lacked a feeling of honesty. I have heard of students who were planning to come to LU from high school next academic year who are currently heading east, west, south to other universities if accepted.” What will Spiers do next? “As (Professor) Emeritus, I will be continuing to assist a series of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students with their research projects in earth sciences and biophysical sciences at Laurentian. I am also hoping to, post-COVID, perhaps continue the role of specialist scientist at Moscow State University with Soil Science Group and also teach an English-language graduate reclamation course. I will also work with colleagues in Peru in developing regional reclamation projects, and potentially being involved in teaching a course or two.” Charles Ramcharan recently held his last departmental meeting. “When my work shuts down, Sudbury will lose knowledge about: a) barriers to full ecological recovery of mining-damaged lakes; b) increasing effects of urbanization on lakes such as nutrient overload, salinization, and hydrological changes; c) methods for the control of invasive aquatic plants. “At the undergraduate level, my retirement means a loss of several key courses. Four courses were in aquatic ecology. Two of these had 25-30 students every term. One was an introductory course on human environmental impacts that covered everything from climate change to diet. "One course was in experimental design and analysis, and it covered things like standard lab testing all the way to environmental effects monitoring across broad ecoregions. These courses didn't just satisfy curiosity, inform, and educate. They prepared students for careers.” For graduate students, Ramcharan’s retirement means the loss of research capacity in hydrology, aquatic ecology, and restoration ecology. “Along with two other professors, I'm working on a proposal to bring the Sudbury Story of environmental restoration to a faraway land that's been similarly devastated by mining — southern Peru. This is a large project with a budget of over a million dollars, and it's been put in jeopardy by Laurentian's bad decisions. All three of the principal investigators have either been fired or forced to retire. “Believe it or not, we're among the luckier ones because we can still deliver results with this project, despite Laurentian's wounded state. Many other researchers doing equally important work are not as fortunate.” Ramcharan’s next objective is to grow his own company, Tunik Inc. “We're doing environmental consulting and we're also making novel instruments for measuring water quality. Our niche is automated environmental monitoring.” But right now, Ramcharan is busy with a sizable pressing issue that really cannot be neglected. “I'm one of the people who's taken on the task of helping students to adjust their course choices so that they can still get their desired degrees … The students' choices are to either choose from a greatly reduced set of courses, change programs entirely, or transfer to a different university. Most of the students are not finding this easy. The new course lists may not be relevant to their program, or they may have already taken many of the courses, or they may not have the prerequisites for the listed courses because the courses are (only) from units that survived the program cuts. “I'm finding that few students have the option to change schools. They came to Laurentian for specific programs and they can't find an equivalent at another university. The bigger problem, however, is money. Sixty per cent of Laurentian's students come from first-generation families, where the students are the first that their families can afford to send to university. Many of these students said that their only option may be to quit school.” How many students are affected? “My list of students only includes those who were taking either a major or a specialization in an affected program (no minor program students). The list has 990 names. Remember that I'm in the Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Architecture, which is the least affected of Laurentian's units. In the arts and humanities, it's much worse. “One last thing that seems to have fallen off the radar — on my list of 990 affected students, 539 are graduate students. These Master's and Ph.D. students no longer have a home. "The School of Graduate Studies is now just another function within the Office of Research Services. The Dean of Graduate Studies (Dr. David Lesbarrères) was terminated and the entire grad school is in disarray. Every day is crisis management when it comes to things like managing funding (salaries, research, travel), managing visas and work permits, scheduling defenses and comprehensive exams, and applying for scholarships and grants. The undergraduate students have several people like me who are working to help them adapt and continue. The forgotten graduate students have no one to look to for help.” Peter Beckett did ‘elect’ to retire as part of the Laurentian. With the knowledge he had at the time, he had “the hope that younger faculty positions would be retained. (I) was not aware that all the undergraduate environmental programs in biology, earth sciences and School of the Environment were about to be discontinued. "The Master’s Program in Biology and Ph.D. in Boreal Ecology continue and include environmental students. Some graduate students who have lost faculty supervisors are transferring to other universities and certainly, LU will be less appealing for graduate students wishing to understand environmental studies. The Vale Living with Lakes Centre continues but research in mine waste management and biomining may be lost as key people have been terminated. “Many environmental courses have been lost including specific ones that deal with the mining industry – soils, restoration mine closure. It will now be ironic that students from (northeastern) Ontario will need to go to a couple of universities in southern Ontario to learn about mine and landscape restoration in Sudbury and then visit Sudbury on field trips.” What will Beckett do next? “I will continue to work with a number of groups helping to improve environmental health and well-being in Sudbury – VETAC and the Sudbury Regreening Program, Junction Creek Stewardship Committee, Rainbow Routes Association. There is still much to do. "Will continue to help graduate students associated with restoration ecology and wetland ecology. Continue to lead tours of the recovering Sudbury landscape for visiting scientists and scholars from around the world, as well as contribute to tours for local and visiting student groups. Maintain my international connections in China, Russia, Peru. The big loss will be teaching undergraduate students in my own local university. “Many of the students in the environment are upset and depressed. Although efforts are underway to help existing students finish their degrees, there will be a limited number of courses and options. These are not that appealing to students and many are thinking of leaving and transferring to other universities. With the lost of a number of undergraduate environmental degrees, I suspect that potential new students are looking at programs in other universities and colleges. At the graduate level, there are fewer supervisors for environmental research. “In the long term LU may once again offer an environmental program but in the meantime, the damage has been done and the reputation of LU as an environmental leader is highly tarnished. “It is a travesty that as the UN Decade on Ecological Restoration begins and there is a worldwide movement to counter climate change, improve food security, conserve biodiversity and improve and restore degraded lands, Laurentian University shuns the opportunity and challenges at the undergraduate level. "One can only hope that the centre of environmental restoration, the Vale Living with Lakes Centre, is a beacon of hope and is allowed to thrive to provide answers for the many upcoming environmental challenges.” The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Hugh Kruzel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Who needs popularity when you can rig voting laws?
Champions League final has been moved to Porto.
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — As South Sudan approaches 10 years of being an independent country, many challenges remain for the world’s youngest state. A 2018 peace deal ending a five-year civil war has faced delays in implementation. A government of national unity was formed only last year. Millions of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance ahead of the anniversary of independence in July. One major problem has been the formation of a unified security force, which has been hampered by lack of funding and political will. More than 25,000 trainees have yet to graduate from centers across South Sudan, many struggling without regular meals, medical care or even a curriculum. Many trainees have abandoned the centers. Life in the centers has been especially difficult for women, who had hoped that serving in the security forces would be a stable way to help provide for their families. Their ambitions reflect those of many across South Sudan who saw lives and livelihoods shattered by the conflict. The Associated Press last year explored the lives of women in the centers and followed up as frustrations mounted about the delayed timing of their graduation. One trainee, Happifanya Ogwon James, told the AP she has been waiting to graduate for almost a year. During that time she became pregnant and found herself begging for larger food portions. She alleged that food is distributed according to ethnicity, a practice that could worsen tensions in a country where intercommunal violence is still a deadly threat. “I do not believe that the graduation will be soon,” James said. Another trainee, Taban Albert, alleged that they were given expired food. “Do they mean to kill us?” he asked. He also alleged that funding of the centers is so tight that when a trainee dies, other trainees are told to pay for the burial. “I’ve been in training for 11 months, so where do I get the money?” Albert asked. Trainee Nancy Vincent said that with most people at the centers not receiving any salary, “we are washing our clothes with sand in the stream as if we were still in the bush.” The frustrations echo among some of South Sudan's security leaders. Col. James Khor Chuol, the deputy chief instructor at the Rajaf Police Training Center, asserted that 38 people there had died, some due to lack of medicine. “If somebody is sick, we are going to rush her or him to the hospital, but it will take time,” he said. South Sudan’s defense minister, Angelina Teny, acknowledged “issues” in implementing the peace deal but defended the agreement. “If there is any South Sudanese who thinks there is an alternative to this agreement, they’d better come to their senses, and they really should join us in ensuring its implementation,” she told The Associated Press in an interview this week. The defense minister also expressed concern about the training centers. They “were not adequately prepared for lactating mothers, for pregnant women, and also people are human beings, you know, some women got pregnant there in the training centers," she said. "This all has not been catered for. We take it now as a lesson for the next phase.” Another problem was the lack of screening of people before they were admitted to training centers “because there was that pressure that something must happen,” Teny said. ___ Maura Ajak is a freelance journalist based in Juba. Her story was developed with support from African Women in Media, in partnership with the European Union delegation to the African Union and the African Union. Maura Ajak, The Associated Press
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) does not see any major impact on chip exports from Taiwan's largest airline having to cut flights while pilots are quarantined over a COVID-19 outbreak, it said on Friday. The government on Monday ordered the quarantine of all pilots at China Airlines Ltd for 14 days as it tries to stop an outbreak of COVID-19 linked to the carrier and a hotel at Taiwan's main international airport. China Airlines said that would affect more than 10% of its freighter capacity, though it stressed it would not be totally grounded.
Ireland's health service operator shut down all its IT systems on Friday to protect it from what it described as a significant ransomware attack but said its coronavirus vaccination programme was unaffected. The head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) said it took the step as a precaution to protect as much information as possible and that it was assessing how the attack would affect other services. One maternity hospital in Dublin cancelled all outpatient appointments on Friday other than those for women 36 weeks pregnant or in need of urgent care.
The announcement comes two weeks after the academy voted to remove its anonymous nomination review committees — groups that determined the contenders for key awards at the coveted music show.
“There’d be loads of masochism in doing it.”
Toshiba Tec France Imaging System said on Friday that DarkSide, the hacking group blamed for crippling a major U.S. pipeline company, had targeted it in a ransomware attack during the night of May 4. The unit of Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp said in a statement that only a minimal amount of work data was lost during the cyberattack and no leaks of data had been detected.
The actor stated that he is simply pointing out the fact that Cruz is "a terrible man whose words have resulted in death."
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The 35-year-old Teigen, with more than 13 million followers on Twitter, was in her mid-20s when she harassed Stodden. That included tweets urging Stodden to end their life.
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Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining Gevo's first-quarter 2021 earnings conference call. With us today is Patrick Gruber, Gevo's chief executive officer; and Carolyn Romero, chief accounting officer.
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong undersea earthquake shook western Indonesia on Friday, but no tsunami warning was issued and no damage was immediately reported. “People were running from their houses," said a local disaster mitigation agency official, Hiramo, who goes by a single name. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.6 quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and was centered 257 kilometers (159 miles) south of Sinabang, a town on the east coast of Simeulue Island, which lies off the western coast of Sumatra. No tsunami warning was issued by the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, and no casualties were immediately reported. Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 271 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. Indonesia's latest major earthquake was in January, when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500, while displacing more than 92,000, in West Sulawesi province. The Associated Press
Street racers block roads and even interstates to keep police away as they tear around and perform stunts, often captured on videos that go viral.
The world's richest man will reportedly set sail next month on one of the largest superyachts ever built.
New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday directly transferred around Rs 19,000 crores to the bank accounts of 10 crore farmers across the country under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN).