Buffalo, N.Y., residents fight gentrification

first_imgThreatened with displacement by the relentless development land grabs occurring all around them, residents of a historic Black neighborhood in the midst of Buffalo’s “medical corridor” building boom are fighting back.The Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force has been tirelessly struggling for decades to save their neighborhood from demolition and gentrification by bankers and developers.A press conference and rally held on Aug. 5 right in the Fruit Belt neighborhood demanded a community land trust (a nonprofit that holds land in trust for the permanent benefit of low-income residents) to give residents — who are mostly tenants — final control over land use in their own neighborhood. The organizing group intends to grow bigger and stronger and not back off until they win.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

I-20 crash causes oil spill, lane closed

first_img A multi-vehicle wreck that happened on I-20 near County Road 1300 in Midland blocked the west bound lanes of I-20 while an oil spill was cleaned up Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Twitter UPDATE: Westbound outside lane on Interstate 20 near County Road 1300 in Midland has been blocked following a crash that caused a tanker to leak oil.The westbound passing lane has reopened.The westbound driving lane and on-ramps will be closed as a Hazmat crew works to clean up the spill, a Texas Department of Transportation press release said.TxDOT is advising travelers driving that way to use the north service road from Loop 250 to Loop 338.Gene Powell, Odessa District of TxDOT Spokesman, said it’s unknown how much oil was spilled at this time. Powell said it was a 400-gallon tank that spilled, but was unsure if the tank had partitions inside to keep the oil from shifting, which could also mean less oil spilling onto the road.Powell said it’s unknown when the lanes will be reopened. Facebook Previous articleFive things you need to know today, March 7Next articleDAILY OIL PRICE: March 7 admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp Home Local News I-20 crash causes oil spill, lane closed Facebookcenter_img ECISD undergoing ‘equity audit’ Local News I-20 crash causes oil spill, lane closed WhatsApp Twitter 2021 SCHOOL HONORS: Permian High School OC employee of the year always learning By admin – March 7, 2018 Creamy Fruit SaladSlap Your Mama It’s So Delicious Southern Squash CasseroleFoolproof Roasted Pork TenderloinPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay last_img read more

[Breaking] Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal Resigns As Judge Of Delhi HC; Set To Take Charge As President, Delhi SCDRC

first_imgTop Stories[Breaking] Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal Resigns As Judge Of Delhi HC; Set To Take Charge As President, Delhi SCDRC LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK20 May 2020 11:54 PMShare This – x[Updated]The Central Government on Thursday accepted the resignation tendered by Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, judge of Delhi High Court with effect from May 30.”Smt. Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has tendered her resignation from the office of Judge, Delhi High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 30 May, 2020″, said…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login[Updated]The Central Government on Thursday accepted the resignation tendered by Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, judge of Delhi High Court with effect from May 30.”Smt. Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has tendered her resignation from the office of Judge, Delhi High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 30 May, 2020″, said a notification issued by the Department of Justice on Thursday.She joined the Delhi High Court as additional judge on December 15, 2014 and later became a permanent judge on June 2, 2016. Her term as HC judge was till June 20, 2020.She is set to take charge as the President of the Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission soon.In November 2019, the Union Cabinet had approved her appointment as a member of the Competition Commission of India.Click here to download the notification accepting Justice Sehgal’s resignationNext Storylast_img read more

[Breaking] Mumbai Court Again Refuses To Grant Bail To Varavara Rao & Shoma Sen On Medical Grounds In Bhima Koregaon Case

first_imgTop Stories[Breaking] Mumbai Court Again Refuses To Grant Bail To Varavara Rao & Shoma Sen On Medical Grounds In Bhima Koregaon Case Nitish Kashyap26 Jun 2020 9:23 AMShare This – xA special court in Mumbai on Friday for the second time rejected the interim bail pleas filed by 81-year-old activist and poet Varavara Rao and academic 61-year-old Shoma Sen on medical grounds. They had sought bail starting that they were suffering from multiple ailments or comorbidities. The detailed order is yet to be made available.Judge SE Kothalikar heard submissions in support of both…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA special court in Mumbai on Friday for the second time rejected the interim bail pleas filed by 81-year-old activist and poet Varavara Rao and academic 61-year-old Shoma Sen on medical grounds. They had sought bail starting that they were suffering from multiple ailments or comorbidities. The detailed order is yet to be made available.Judge SE Kothalikar heard submissions in support of both the interim medical bail applications and reserved the order in the afternoon session. The order rejecting the bail pleas was passed late in the evening. Previously, Judge Kothalikar had also rejected the same application filed by activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj who also sought bail on medical grounds.Appearing for the National Investigation Agency, Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty opposed the bail applications and submitted that the High Power Committee (HPC) constituted by the State government on orders of the Supreme Court excluded those undertrials/prisoners accused under special enactments like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, from being released on temporary bail for decongestion of prisons in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.Both, Varvara Rao lodged at Taloja jail and Shoma Sen lodged at Byculla jail, are being provided medical treatment inside the jail and therefore they need not be released.According to the bail applications, Shoma Sen suffers from multiple ailments like osteoarthritis, glaucoma and high blood pressure, whereas the elder Varavara Rao suffers from pre-existing medical conditions like Coronary Artery Disease, Hypertension and he was even admitted to a hospital on May 27 after he complained of dizziness and fainted.Advocate Sharif Shaikh appeared on behalf of Sen and Advocate R Satyanarayan for Rao. Both submitted that pre-existing medical conditions make their clients more vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus.At Taloja jail two inmates have tested positive so far and one inmate has tested positive at Byculla jail. They had previously filed applications seeking interim bail on medical grounds but they were rejected. Both the applicants along with eleven others have been accused of having maoist links and inciting the caste based violence near Koregaon Bhima on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima that took place on January 1, 2018. Next Storylast_img read more

Tour of Pike Co. Pocosin now open

first_imgLatest Stories Book Nook to reopen Print Article Tour of Pike Co. Pocosin now open You Might Like Fall is in the air Fall is here to stay. read more Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits By Jaine Treadwell This Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s… Skip For many, the Pocosin of Pike County has been somewhat a mystery. For years, it was thought that only two such places existed, one in Pike County and the other somewhere in Germany.But, that was just the lore of the land. There are many other such unique bio systems but the Pocosin is nonetheless a remarkable place to visit.Those who would like to tour the Pike County Pocosin are invited on a guided tour of the area from 10 until noon on Thursday, Oct. 25. Email the author Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthTop 4 Methods to Get Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Sponsored Content By Secrets Revealed “He is a knowledgeable guide and will be pointing out the unique features of the Pike County Pocosin,” said Randy Hale, chair of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Farm-City Committee.Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins and State Rep. Alan Boothe have provided assistance in making the tour of the Pocosin available to the general public.“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” Boothe said.“Most folks have heard about the Pike County Pocosin but have no idea of the unique wildlife and plants that exist in this small area.” Published 11:00 pm Thursday, October 18, 2012 The Pike County Pocosin is owned by Troy University and Alabama Forever Wild. The area is closed except when being used by Troy University biology students.For more information about the tour, call Keith Roling at 334-808-1404. Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson The tour is made available to the public through the coordinated effort of the Pike County Treasure Forest, Troy University, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the Whitetail Institute and the Pike County Farm City Committee.The tour, hosted by forester Robert Brown, will organize at the Alabama Forestry Office on Elm Street. The tour will be conducted from open-air trailers and there will be seating for about 80 people. The cost of the tour is $5 and includes a barbecue lunch.Biologist Robert Frank Deese, with the Whitetail Institute, will conduct the tour.last_img read more

‘Coronavirus live updates: Fauci gives ‘final plea’ before Thanksgiving

first_imgSamara Heisz/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, IVAN PEREIRA and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 59.8 million people and killed over 1.4 million worldwide.Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:Nov 25, 9:22 amWeekly unemployment filings surge to 778,000 last week as virus cases rise Some 778,000 workers lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.This is an uptick of 30,000 compared to the previous week, and the second consecutive week that the weekly tally has risen after it was on the decline for months.The DOL also said Wednesday that more than 20 million people were still receiving some form of unemployment benefits through all programs as of the week ending Nov. 7. For the comparable week in 2019, that figure was 1.5 million.The latest economic data from the DOL comes as new virus cases surge across the country, and highlight a slow economic recovery. It also comes, however, as Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new milestone of trading above 30,000 on Tuesday — a further indication that the stock market remains divorced from the economic pain millions of Americans still face as the coronavirus crisis rages on.ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.Nov 25, 8:03 amFauci’s ‘final plea’ before Thanksgiving: ‘A sacrifice now could save lives’America’s top infectious disease expert is urging the nation to keep indoor gatherings as small as possible over Thanksgiving to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.“We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice, you’re going to prevent people from getting infected,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.“A sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this,” he continued. “We’re going to get through this. Vaccines are right on the horizon. If we can just hang in there a bit longer and continue to do the simple mitigation things that we’re talking about all the time — the masks, the distancing, the avoiding crowds, particularly indoor. If we do those things, we’re going to get through it. So that’s my final plea before the holiday.”Fauci, a leading member of the current White House coronavirus task force, warned of “yet another surge” of COVID-19 infections if people don’t heed his advice over the holiday.Although he acknowledged that the country’s current surge in cases is driven by larger indoor gatherings such as bars, Fauci noted that “there still is transmission among gatherings that appear to be relatively innocent.”“Now, I don’t mean two, three, four people in a room. We’re talking about when people might have a modest size and let their guard down,” he added. “When you stay away from the bars, when you stay away from the big, congregate settings, there still is a danger if you bring people into the home who are not part of the immediate household. There is a risk there.”Fauci also said he is “greatly” concerned by the number of people who are already showing hesitancy to taking a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. He noted that “independent bodies of people who, in fact, have no allegiance to an administration or to a company” will be charged with deciding whether the vaccine is both safe and effective for the public.“The process by which the vaccines were made were a standard process that was rapid because of exquisite scientific advances and the investment of an extraordinary amount money. It did not compromise safety and it did not compromise scientific integrity,” he said. “That’s what the public needs to understand, that the process is transparent and its independent.”The solution to the coronavirus pandemic, Fauci said, will be “a combination of public health measures and a safe and effective vaccine.”“It would really be terrible if we have, which we do, three now and maybe more highly efficacious vaccines and people don’t take it,” he added. “We could crush this outbreak exactly the way we did years ago with smallpox, with polio and with measles. It is doable.”Nov 25, 7:29 amEurope remains the largest contributor to new cases, deathsThe global acceleration in COVID-19 cases has slowed down over the past week, with around four million new cases and over 67,000 additional deaths from the disease reported worldwide. However, Europe remains the largest contributor to those cases and deaths, according to the latest weekly epidemiological report from the World Health Organization.The report, released Tuesday evening, said the number of new cases in the European region declined by 6% in the last week, after a decline of 10% in the previous week, “in a sign that the reintroduction of stricter public health and social measures in a number of countries over the last few weeks is beginning to slow down transmission.”The European region still accounts for 44% of global new cases and 49% of global new deaths. While new cases have declined, new deaths in the region have continued to rise, according to the report.Italy reported the highest number of new cases in the European region and the third-highest globally, but the country still saw a slight decline of 3% in the last week. The number of new deaths in Italy increased by 26%.“The northern Italy provinces of Valle d’Aosta, Bolzano and Piemonte report the highest number of cases,” the report said. “Media reports have highlighted concerns of the large number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and the growing number of health worker infections, straining local healthcare capacities.”The number of new cases in the United Kingdom fell by 13% from last week, the first weekly decline since late August. But the number of new deaths in the country remained similar to the previous week.“The United Kingdom currently has the fifth- highest number of new cases in the European Region, and the eighth highest number worldwide,” the report said, “however, per capita case incidence remains lower than many other countries in the Region.Nov 25, 5:38 amRussia reports over 500 new deaths for first timeRussia registered a record 507 new fatalities from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.It’s the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Russia has reported more than 500 deaths from the disease in a single day.Russia also confirmed 23,675 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day. The cumulative total now stands at 2,162,503 confirmed cases, including 37,538 deaths, according to the coronavirus response headquarters.The Eastern European nation of 145 million people has the fifth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India, Brazil and France, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Despite the growing number of infections and deaths, Russian authorities have repeatedly said they have no plans to impose another nationwide lockdown.Nov 25, 5:10 amRite Aid says it will offer vaccine at no costAmerican drugstore chain Rite Aid said it will offer COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.In an email to customers on Tuesday, Rite Aid chief pharmacy officer Jocelyn Konrad said that through their partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an official COVID-19 vaccination program provider, “we are staged and ready to make this lifesaving vaccine available in all of the communities we serve when it becomes available to Rite Aid.”“This means you will be able to receive the vaccine from your neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacist, whom you know and trust,” Konrad said. “Better yet, the COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no cost.”Rite Aid customers will be able to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine once one is approved and becomes available in the United States, according to Konrad.Nov 25, 4:17 amUS reports over 172,000 new casesThere were 172,935 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the 22nd straight day that the country has reported over 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. Tuesday’s count is down from a peak of 196,004 new cases on Nov. 20.An additional 2,146 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide on Tuesday, the country’s highest single-day death toll from the disease since May 6 but just under the all-time high of 2,609 new deaths on April 15.A total of 12,597,330 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 259,962 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

The productivity myth

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article The productivity mythOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The UK economy has been showing gradual signs of improvement over a 50-year period,suggesting that productivity is not as bad as is generally reported. But agreater focus on delivering the goods has also led to a higher rate ofindividual stress. Jane Lewis reportsOne of the most unsettling aspects of today’s economy is that the bigpicture bears so little resemblance to the small picture of everyday life. Wemay think of modern economic cycles in terms of boom and bust, but the realityis very different. A graph tracing economic growth in the UK over the past 50 years would showa gentle upward slope – very different to the jagged spikes and troughs of thepre-war economy. Economists are still arguing about why this has happened. Butone commonly-cited reason is the switch from an industrial, asset-based economyto one powered by people – a far more flexible resource than factories. Becausecompanies can now react quickly to the first hint of weaker demand by cuttingjobs, we enjoy a smoother economic ride. But the Faustian pact we have struck for this greater collective security,is greater individual insecurity. Down on the ground, life seems increasinglyfractured, volatile and frenetic. Some economists saw this coming. In 1930, when John Maynard Keynes publishedhis essay Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, he argued that within acentury, this process of steady growth would result in a living standard”between four and eight times as high as it is today” in”progressive” [developed] countries – thereby satisfying mostmaterial wants and effectively solving “the economic problem”. Withcapital accumulation no longer a priority, argued Keynes, social values wouldshift: people would be able to take advantage of “freedom from pressingeconomic cares… to live wisely, agreeably and well”. His predictions for economic growth were spot on. Yet, the post-industrialparadise he painted seems as remote as ever. Higher incomes have not generatedthe stress-free lifestyle he envisaged; on the contrary, survey after surveyshows that anxiety levels in the UK have risen disproportionately in recentyears. Unions have taken up ‘the long-hours culture’ with a passion they oncereserved for pay disputes, stress claims are soaring, and the HSE – fresh fromplacing its first stress ‘improvement order’ on a Dorset NHS trust – is nowcalling for laws to protect staff from overly-stressful environments. Perhaps we are in the grip of the difficult transition away from a culturein pursuit of growth which Keynes predicted. He anticipated “withdread” the possible effects of changing “the habits and instincts ofordinary man, bred into him for countless generations”. The result, hesaid, could be “a general nervous breakdown”. Or perhaps, as some commentators suggest, Keynes simply underestimated thehuman capacity to want more – our tendency to care not just about absoluteliving standards, but our standards relative to those of others. It might beargued that this addiction to what psychologists call the ‘hedonistictreadmill’ is inherent to capitalism; and so too, consequently, is stress. Higher stress levels might be a price worth paying if the results werereflected in improved productivity. But the gulf between the UK’s collectiveperformance and our individual experience is stark. In terms of the generallevel of prosperity (measured by output per head of population), Britain haslargely drawn level with France and Germany. Indeed, since the 1990s, we havebeen steadily outpacing our European competitors with an annual growth rate of2.3 per cent, compared with 1.9 per cent in France, 1.5 per cent in Italy and1.3 per cent in Germany. But in terms of actual productivity (output per hour worked), the UK’sperformance is atrocious. With productivity levels some 20 per cent lower thanthose of Germany and France and way below the European average, we are ranked12th out of 15 measured EU members. Only Portugal, Greece and Spain are worse.The only reason Britain has kept pace at all is because we work the longesthours in Europe (on average, 10 per cent more than French staff), and more ofus work (72 per cent of those aged 15-64, compared with 63 per cent in France).In short, we are having to work harder and longer to maintain our positionin the pack; less inspiration means more perspiration. Research shows the UK’sblue- collar employees are working three more hours a week than they were 30years ago. Managers are also working harder: according to professor Cary Cooperof the University of Manchester’s Institute of Technology, 10 per cent ofmanagers were working more than 61 hours a week in 2001, 40 per cent wereworking more than 50 hours, and a third “frequently had to workweekends”. By US standards, of course, the UK’s much-vaunted long-hours culture isanything but. The average American works 10 per cent more hours per week thanthe average Briton, and 22 per cent more than the average German. Proponents ofthis Gradgrind culture argue the results justify the effort: US performance faroutstrips that of any other country, both in terms of overall wealth generatedand productivity per worker per hour. A recent study by American economistRobert Gordon, suggested that a large part of the wealth gap per head betweenEuropeans and Americans could be explained by the European preference forlonger holidays. The picture in Japan, once considered a paradigm of efficient production, ismixed, thanks to the yawning productivity gap between various sectors of theJapanese economy. The outward-looking manufacturing sector, especially the carindustry, consumer electronics, steel and machine sectors, is still world class(far outstripping even the Americans in terms of labour productivity). Butthese sectors only account for 10 per cent of Japanese GDP and employment, andin all other sectors its labour force is one of the most unproductive in theindustrial world. Is stress really a factor behind these poor productivity figures? The HSEcertainly believes so: it estimates that 13.4 million working days were lost tostress in the UK in 2001, at a cost of around £3.8bn (some estimates put thefigure as high as £11bn). The condition has now overtaken back pain as theleading cause of absence in white-collar industries, and is running a closesecond among blue-collar workers. But, as Dr Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser of the Engineering Employers’Federation, points out: “It is difficult to do ’cause and effect’ withstress” because there has been so little research into its effect onperformance. “Nobody’s looked at productivity and whether mentalill-health has a bearing on it,” he says. Nonetheless, in terms of the UK’s overall productivity gap, John Philpott,chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says:”Stress is not that important relative to other factors.” Employers’groups agree. A CBI spokesman says: “We did a big report with the TUC onproductivity a year ago at the behest of Gordon Brown, and stress does notfeature in it at all.” Commonly agreed causes of the UK’s poor productivity generally echo theconclusions of professor Michael Porter’s recent study for the Department ofTrade and Industry, which cited low levels of capital investment, the skillsgap and declining innovation as major factors. To these, the TUC adds‘short-termist’ management thinking, while the CBI homes in on what it sees asa growing burden of higher taxes, red tape and regulation. Establishing the link between the pressures of work and rising stress levelsis equally problematic. A recent research paper from the Royal College ofPsychologists found a suicide rate that was six-times higher among theunemployed than those in work. And psychologists continue to list the fiveleading causes of stress – death of a close relative, marital breakdown, debt,imprisonment and personal injury or illness – as non work-related. “Stress is hard to define in abstract, which makes it very difficult tomeasure and legislate against,” says Philpott. “Stress only becomesstress at the point where the individual isn’t able to handle it.” So personality counts for a lot. A situation that might cause intolerablestrain to one person could produce a positive adrenaline rush in another. Yet there is little doubt that the impact of long hours is a genuineconcern. TUC policy officer Paul Sellers, says: “What irritates me [aboutthe long hours debate], is that it’s like we are having to reinvent the wheel.We seem to have forgotten the research literature on time and motion that goesback 100 years.” How can UK plc boost productivity?Personnel Today asks some of the UK’sleading industry figures for their opinions on British productivity, andsuggestions for the way forwardTim Yeo MP, Shadow Secretary of Statefor Trade & Industry It is no surprise that productivity has grown just over half asquickly in the first six years of Labour Government as it did in the last sixyears of the previous Conservative Government.Labour simply is not listening to the concerns of business.There isn’t a group of business people I have met that haven’t told me howtheir businesses are damaged by red tape. The British Chamber of Commerce nowestimates that business has paid more than £22bn in meeting the cost ofregulation since Labour came to power. Burdensome regulations raise themarginal costs of employment, reduce investment and stifle productivity.Alongside the problem of over-regulation is the burden oftaxation, which has grown substantially in the past five years. Cuts incorporation tax are of little value to businesses struggling to make a profitin the face of higher national insurance contributions introduced last April.This is nothing more than a tax on jobs, which hits bosses, workers andproductivity.Compared to 1997, the average businessman now spends threetimes as many hours a week dealing with employment legislation at an additionalcost of £9,000 a year. And business as a whole has paid a staggering £47bn innew business taxes. So it is sadly no surprise that forecasts predict 471 firmsa week will be going bust in the UK in the next three years. Falling businessinvestment and declining productivity are the legacy of Labour’s over-taxingand over-regulating approach to business.Will Hutton Chief Executive, The WorkFoundationProductivity is essentially a macro-economic indicator, whichis probably why businesses prefer to talk about performance andcompetitiveness. It is this understanding of the business case that has driventhe Work Foundation’s year-long study of what makes a high-performing firm –the Work and Enterprise Panel of Inquiry (due to report on 5 November). Our recipe for improving performance suggests that the UK canonly build sustainable businesses and public services by thinking beyond thenext quarter’s results. We need to build and share a compelling vision or‘reason to be’ with which the workforce can identify, and promote a sharedaccountability for delivering that vision. Much of this, therefore, is aboutsound husbandry of our intangible assets – something which UK organisationshave been slow to grasp.A really clear lesson from our data is that working the longesthours in the EU will make no difference to the UK’s output per head unless wethink laterally about the ways we organise work, motivate the workforce andnurture risk-taking and creativity.One of the worrying by-products of the ‘work harder’ approachis that it is taking its toll on large swathes of the workforce. The incidenceof mental ill-health among UK employees has increased by almost half since1996, and 3,000 British workers leave to draw incapacity benefit every week.This by itself must be putting a large dent in our national productivity,leaving aside the human cost.Digby Jones Director-General, CBIThe gap between UK productivity and that of the US and our mainEuropean competitors has been a serious problem for decades. There are no easyanswers.Certainly business needs to do more for itself; for example, byimproving management skills, adopting smarter working practices and being moreinnovative. But Government has a major role to play too.Economic stability alone has not encouraged companies toinvest. In fact, the downward trend has accelerated. UK business investmentdeclined by nearly 13 per cent over the past two years. It’s no coincidencethat this has happened at the same time as relentless Government increases inbusiness taxation and erosion of labour market flexibility.The Chancellor has rightly highlighted the need forproductivity gains, but actions must follow words. The UK must be able toattract and retain the best firms, who can pioneer productivity gains.Public infrastructure improvements produce returns across theeconomy and can influence the future investment decisions of multi-nationals.The Government must deliver real progress. The objectives of the 10-yeartransport plan must not be abandoned.Also crucial is full support for innovation and skills. TheGovernment has made a positive start with tax credits for research anddevelopment, but too many youngsters are leaving education with few or noqualifications. The basic skills problems of individuals must be tackled morevigorously. Business must do its bit by tackling adult illiteracy at work.And let’s not forget that the public sector represents 40 percent of the UK economy, or that productivity is much lower there than in theprivate sector.Government procurement is a key driver of private sectorproductivity. The UK does not benefit from the skewed procurement environmentof the US or France.We are fully exposed to competition, but so often thebeneficiary is the overseas company assisted by protection from competition inits home market. A level playing field, pursued firmly by the BritishGovernment, would be one of the best routes to enhanced productivity at home.David Coats Head of Economic and SocialPolicy, TUCAddressing the productivity gap is a major undertaking as somany factors have to be addressed simultaneously. The UK’s capital stock islower, so there is less investment, and there is a skills gap and a lower levelof innovation. The ability of UK firms to adopt new management practices andtechnologies is questionable too.There are also particular problems with the UK businessenvironment. Too many companies think of themselves as a portfolio of assets,rather than long- term businesses, so there is a relentless pressure tomaximise the shareholder value, and that leads to short-term thinking. We callthis the ‘low road’ business model: characterised by low pay, low productivityand a low spec on products and services. It’s an unsustainable approach to managing. The UK – asprofessor Michael  Porter pointed out[in his recent report for the DTI on productivity] – needs to start competingon quality, not cost. It is a mistake to think that low regulation and low taxationare the [prerequisites] of strong productivity – which is all the CBI talksabout. The Porter prescription for the future is the right one: hemakes clear that what the CBI says is utter nonsense. He notes in his reportthat “low taxes, less regulation and an even smaller role for Governmentno longer give Britain a competitive advantage”.The CBI argument is just economically illiterate. The onlyreason why UK business cannot cope with more regulation, is because UK businessis pretty useless. If the CBI is correct, then how is it that the Dutch, Danes andSwedes – whose labour markets are at least twice as regulated as ours – arericher than us by GDP per head, more productive and have lower unemployment?last_img read more

Seasonal variation in the diversity and abundance of pelagic larvae of Antarctic marine invertebrates

first_imgMost marine benthic macroinvertebrate species reproduce via a larval phase but attempts to explain the occurrence of different larval strategies (feeding or non-feeding, pelagic or benthic) in different habitats have been largely inconclusive. There have been very few year-round surveys of meroplankton at any latitude and in consequence fundamental data on the diversity, abundance, and timings of larval life history phases are lacking. There has been considerable debate regarding the viability of pelagic larvae in cold waters with highly seasonal primary production but there has been only one year-round study of meroplankton in the Southern Ocean, and that was outside of the Antarctic Circle. We present data from the first year-round survey of meroplankton assemblages at a location within the Antarctic Circle. We surveyed abundances of meroplanktonic larvae over 1.5 year at Rothera Point, West Antarctic Peninsula (67A degrees 34’S, 68A degrees 07’W). Larvae were collected in monthly diver-towed net samples close to the seabed at 20 and 6 m total water depths at each of three locations and were identified and counted live immediately after sampling. A total of 99 operationally defined taxonomic types representing 11 phyla were recorded but this is likely to be an underestimate of true diversity because of inherent difficulties of identification. Larvae were present in all months of the year and although planktotrophic larvae were more abundant in summer, both feeding and non-feeding types were present in all months. Comparisons of seasonal larval abundances with data from a settlement study at the same sites and from the literature show that larvae of mobile adults settle in summer regardless of developmental type, whereas sessile taxa settle in all seasons. We suggest that this is a consequence of differences in the food requirements of mobile and sessile fauna and that the availability of food for post-larval juveniles is more critical for survival than factors affecting the larval stage itself.last_img read more

Cory Wong Releases New Album Featuring Antwaun Stanley, Cody Fry, & More

first_imgGuitarist Cory Wong has finally released first full-length record, Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band. The record was composed and produced with a massive all-star cast of featured musicians, including Antwaun Stanley (Vulfpeck), Cody Fry, Steve Goold, Ian Allison, Michael Bland, Sonny T, Kevin Gastonguay, Darnell Davis, and the Hornheads horn section. The Minneapolis-based musician has put in his time as a versatile composer, arranger, producer, and collaborator, working on shows like NBC’s “The Voice,” playing alongside Ben Rector, Gene Simmons, Questlove, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bootsy Collins, Blake Shelton, and most recently joining with the fast-rising funk band Vulfpeck as a touring and session guitarist.Fans of Vulfpeck are already familiar with Cory Wong, whether or not they know it. Featured on more than seven of the ten tracks on 2016’s The Beautiful Game, Cory has contributed more than any other collaborator in Vulf history.Getting To Know Cory Wong: Vulfpeck’s Secret Weapon & Stratocaster MasterCory Wong’s remarkable synthesis of the MPLS SOUND with his own brand of funky multimedia and unique visual aesthetic has reached its apex with this forthcoming release, which finds his Stratocaster chops spotlighted amongst the expert production, both video and audio. Produced in Minneapolis, the album tracks were recorded simultaneously with the footage that goes on to form the remarkable centerpiece of the Cory Wong visual experience.Each song’s unique video, hand-crafted in Final Cut Pro, lends a vibrant third dimension to the album’s worlds, finding the musicians floating amongst clouds or against geometric backgrounds, spinning and re-sizing in time with the music. “When we do the sessions, nobody really knows what it’s gonna look like in the end,” Wong says of this brave new approach to production, which found legendary musicians tracking their parts live against a custom-crafted multi-green-screen, multi-camera setup. “It’s not a normal session thing!”Catch Cory Wong & his green screen band opening for TAUK at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom on October 14, in Minneapolis for his PIZZA PARTY release show on October 21, and at Chicago’s famous Tonic Room on October 28. All information can be found here.Check out two music videos from Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band below:last_img read more

Elvis Costello Announces Cancer Diagnosis, Cancels Tour Dates

first_imgElvis Costello has cancelled the final six dates of his ongoing European tour after announcing his recent cancer diagnosis. According to a post on the musician’s website, “His doctor has strongly advised him to take a break from his current tour itinerary and rest”Costello also released a lengthy statement regarding his health and the cancellation of his tour. It reads:“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, “You should start playing the Lotto”. He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.    I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.   Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery, recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel.   It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician, playing 90-minute to 2-hour plus performances on a nightly basis but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed.   I have to thank our friends attending last night’s show in Amsterdam and those in Antwerp, Glynde and at Newcastle City Hall for bearing me up. The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.   My apologies go to our ticket holders in Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik but I would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk.  My deep thanks go to Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve and Davey Faragher of The Imposters for all their deep friendship, love and support during this upsetting time. Thanks also to Kitten Kuroi and Briana Lee whose beautiful voices have spurred me on to do the singing that I’ve managed, whatever the cost. It goes without saying that there are many others who have worked to get us to the stage and from town to town to whom I am also deeply grateful.  To leave you with some more optimistic news, The Imposters and I – together with several of our other friends – have made a magnificent new record of which we are truly proud. It will be issued in October, I believe. We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favourite songs that still make sense to us all. Take very good care of your loved ones but Gentleman, do talk to you friends – you’ll find you are not alone – seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.” Yours through music. Elvis Costello” As previously reported, Costello recently announced a series of fall tour dates as well as a forthcoming album. Right now, it looks like those shows are still on.last_img read more