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Mayors run schools better?

first_imgSchool systems in New York, Chicago and Boston boosted achievement and improved efficiency after being taken over by their cities’ mayors, analysts say, supporting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s claim that the Los Angeles district would improve if controlled from City Hall. In recent speeches to civic groups and educators, Villaraigosa has invoked these mayor-run school systems as models for the Los Angeles Unified School District, second largest in the nation and plagued by dismal achievement and poor graduation rates. But some question whether it’s fair to compare LAUSD with other districts and whether the legal issues of a mayoral takeover would confound the process. “Every city is very different, and it’s impossible to extrapolate from one to another very easily,” said Michael Kirst, professor of education at Stanford University, who has studied mayoral control and testified before the Joint Commission on LAUSD Governance. “That being said, the cities that have had mayoral control were in terrible condition before that – in terms of governance and many elements of performance – so there wasn’t much downside risk.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake There might be more of a downside risk in Los Angeles, where even critics concede that Superintendent Roy Romer has brought stability and leadership to the district. And the district has had some achievement success, Kirst said – just not enough. “Bureaucracies had imploded” in other cities, he said. Chicago public schools were considered the worst in the nation, and the New York system was rife with corruption. Kirst – who’s urging Los Angeles leaders to study mayoral takeover in great detail – concurs that Chicago, Boston and New York are generally better off under mayoral control, with balanced budgets, more centralized curricula and buildings in better repair. NYC takeover In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took over the New York City school system – the nation’s largest, with 1.1 million students, 85,000 teachers and 1,406 schools. He appointed a chancellor to head up the schools and created a citywide advisory panel on education policy. Members are appointed by him and by borough presidents. Until Bloomberg took over, the school district had 32 local school boards across the city and no single curriculum. “Our feeling is that we’ve eliminated the waste and the corruption and the lack of direction that existed at the community level at the city, and we’re simply getting things done,” said Stephen Morello, director of communications for the New York City Department of Education. “The flip side of having the mayor appoint the chancellor is … you have … someone who works in lockstep with the chief executive, who is ultimately accountable.” Given the reality that a school system the size of New York’s cannot be turned around in four years, Morello said, the changes have been noteworthy, though not dramatic. In 2004, the overall four-year graduation rate reached 54 percent, up from 50.8 percent in 2002, and the 2004 dropout rate declined to 16.3 percent from 20.3 percent in 2002, he said. Also, under Bloomberg, the district negotiated a contract with the teachers union that made it less daunting for principals to discipline underperforming personnel. Now, all of the New York teachers are certified, while 15 percent were still noncertified four years ago. Blacks and Latinos are narrowing the achievement gap with whites; a single curriculum was implemented citywide; and a mentoring program was launched for all incoming teachers. Chicago improves Chicago’s 600 public schools also have improved since 1995 under Mayor Richard Daley, who appoints a seven-member board and a chief executive officer to head the system for 435,000 students. “We’ve made steady, steady progress since the mayor took over. We still have a long way to go, but it has had a huge impact,” said Peter Cunningham, Chicago schools spokesman who cited increases in test scores and attendance, as well as reductions in the dropout rate, mobility rate and truancy. The dropout rate declined from 16 percent to 10 percent in the last five years, Cunningham said. The key difference brought by mayoral control: greater accountability. If the voters are unhappy with how the schools are run, they have the power not to re-elect the mayor. “With school board members, there’s no true accountability. But everyone knows who the mayor is, and it’s a much more effective form of accountability,” said Bill Ouchi, Sanford and Betty Sigoloff professor in corporate renewal in the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. But while Villaraigosa is a vocal advocate of mayoral control, he concedes it will be a difficult challenge to make it a reality in Los Angeles, one of 27 cities in LAUSD territory. “In Chicago and New York, the boundaries of the district are the same as the city’s,” he said recently. “Here, we have all these other cities (that) have to be involved in whatever we do. It is not a simple matter of just turning it all over to the mayor.” And the California Contract Cities Association board adopted a resolution last week saying that voters in all 28 cities should determine who governs and sets policy for the district. Villaraigosa’s attorney, Thomas Saenz, said the boundary issue probably will result in the need to have a City Charter change as well as amendments to state law. “You can’t take a chance and leave any loose ends,” Saenz said. “Implementation is a long-term strategy, and that’s why we will need to look at the entire legal structure, including state legislation. You don’t want to leave anything to chance.” Fewer than a dozen of the 16,000 school districts in the nation have mayoral control, Ouchi said. Powerful mayor needed A mayor, especially a powerful one, likely would be able to set the tone and rally the community behind the cause of education as a priority, supporters said. When Daley called corporate leaders – as Villaraigosa is now doing – to urge them to “adopt” schools, they opened their wallets. Bloomberg, for example, raised $70 million in private contributions to open an academy that trains new principals. “Suddenly the whole city embraced the cause of education when the mayor took over. He is the leader of the city, and he told the whole city education is his No. 1 priority,” Cunningham said. “A board member can’t do that. It’s that kind of bully pulpit the mayor has that a nonelected school superintendent, who’s not accountable to voters, doesn’t have. “I think sometimes only an elected official has that power, that ability. I just don’t think that a school system can reform itself, and a mayor does.” In addition to greater power to get the business community involved in education and more accountability, a mayor might also carry more weight to stave off special interests, Ouchi said. The teachers union is the only one with political clout that the school board deals with, so union leaders exert a tremendous amount of control over the district and the board, Ouchi said. But this would be only one of the big unions that a mayor encounters. “A mayor is not susceptible to the pressures and desires of just that one union,” Ouchi said. “It gives him a lot more independence, and it gives him a lot more backbone in doing what he thinks is right for children, even if it’s not exactly what the teachers union likes. I think that’s a big part of why mayoral control works.” Education leaders agree that one thing is clear: Changing the governance of Los Angeles schools should not undertaken lightly; there should be extensive study before any dramatic shifts are made. “Los Angeles has been making recent gains in achievement scores. The board is not totally dysfunctional and unable to do anything, and they’re building a lot of buildings,” Kirst said. “It’s not clear that they’re in the same conditions as these other cities, so it’s a hard call. They have to study it in great detail.” Naush Boghossian, (818)713-3722 naush.boghossian@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Focus on Carolina: Can the 49ers stop McCaffrey?

first_imgThe most dynamic player in the NFL not named Patrick Mahomes looms as a threat to the 49ers existence as an unbeaten team.Christian McCaffrey is the rare kind of guy who can ruin a defense all by himself, which is what he’ll try to do when the Carolina Panthers invade Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.“I mean, he creates a lot of problems,” Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said of the speedy third-year running back from Stanford. “I don’t think you can stop him with one guy. Sometimes, …last_img read more

Penny Heyns: realising the new South Africa’s Olympic gold dreams

first_img“I didn’t grow up with a dream about Olympic gold,” says Penny Heyns. (ZwemZA) • Penny Heyns +27 83 255 8504 zelda@pennyheyns.com • Inspirational Josiah Thugwane • Natalie Du Toit: ‘It is important to swim your own race’ • South Africa loses punching power, not hope • Carrying the hopes of a nation • Women’s sport in the spotlight with gsport Sulaiman PhilipPenny Heyns did not know she had just made history. Standing on the podium at the Atlanta Olympic Games with the gold medal around her neck, she had no idea she  had won South Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in 44 years.It was 23 July 1996. Heyns had already broken the 100m breast stroke world record in her quest to reach the final. With her in the starting blocks was Australian Samantha Riley, her biggest competition. In Heyns’s mind, she had already won the race and beaten Riley into second place.Before the gun, before her second gold in the 200m two days later, there was this race to finish. Heyns tensed, waiting for the starter’s pistol: the crack that would release South Africa’s greatest hope for a medal into the pool.“I only found out long after the race. On the podium I remember thinking that I should feel emotional and overjoyed; instead I was feeling sad for Samantha [Riley].” Riley was Heyns’s long-time rival and a former world record holder. She picked up a bronze in that race. Heyns doubled her medal haul two days later in the 200m race, becoming the first female swimmer to win both Olympic titles. Before her triumph, South Africa’s last gold was also won in the pool: Joan Harrison’s backstroke struck gold in Helsinki in 1952.Like Heyns, Harrison was the prodigy of her day. Born into a sporting family – her mother swam competitively and her father played rugby – she was a national record holder by the age of 13. At the 1950 Commonwealth Games – aged 14 – she smashed the 440-yard freestyle record by an unbelievable 13 seconds. The Helsinki Olympics was only her second international competition. She went on to win South Africa’s first and – until Heyns’s in Atlanta – only swimming gold.By the age of 17 Harrison had retired from competitive swimming to concentrate on field hockey instead. Like Heyns she seemed to rise above the terror and expectations of competing and concentrated instead on the challenge of beating the high standard she set for herself. Finding new challengesToday, Heyns is a motivational speaker and swimming coach. The best piece of advice she shares with a roomful of executives or kids learning to swim is this: “No matter the stage think of it as just another challenge. Stick with what you know works. Do the absolute best you can on the day and remember to enjoy the moments.”Heyns grew up in Springs on Gauteng’s East Rand, and was swimming by the age of two. By the time she turned seven, she was swimming competitively. Today the pool where Heyns learnt to swim is called the Penny Heyns Swimming Pool, and it makes the publicity-shy hero self-conscious. “I am a very private person so I try to avoid the attention, but I do still get recognised and with that comes the autograph and photo requests.”Heyns retired as the best female breast stroke swimmer of the 20th century. Over her career she broke 14 world records, including an astonishing run of 11 new records in three months in 1999. She has found other challenges and only rarely misses her athletic career. She admits that she took her career and her achievements for granted, but that was a lapse of youth. “When you are young you tend to take a lot for granted. Some days I miss being as fit as I was in my younger competitive days, as well as the solitude that swimming offered. Sometimes I miss the adrenalin rush and the feeling of invincibility that youth and competitive swimming offered.”Growing up a devout Christian Heyns never considered swimming a career but felt that her God-given gift needed to be explored fully. Her deeply held beliefs also influenced which sporting heroes she wanted to emulate. “I respected, and tried to emulate, athletes who displayed good sportsmanship, both in victory and defeat. Athletes should be admired more for their character and sportsmanship – not their achievements only.”South Africa won other medals between that day in Helsinki and South Africa being banned in 1960 – seven silver and 10 bronze – but Heyns’s gold was special. For South Africa, a newly democratic country, she offered the promise of a future filled with shining achievement.Ever the competitor though, for Heyns, memory of that gold is still tinged with a little regret: “I was very relieved and happy to have won the Olympic gold, but the time in which I won was slightly slower than my world record swim from the prelims, so, in that sense both my coach and I were a little disappointed.”last_img read more

Japanese student found dead at IIT-Guwahati

first_imgA Japanese student on an exchange programme at IIT-Guwahati has been found dead inside a hostel room, police said. The body of the student, identified as that of Kota Onoda (22) was found hanging from the ventilator of a bathroom in Lohit hostel at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, a spokesperson of IIT-Guwahati said. After receiving information, a police team reached the spot and recovered the body. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi has been informed about it, the spokesperson said. Onoda, a masters programme student at Gifu University in Japan, was doing internship in the Bio-Sciences and Bio- Engineering department of IIT-Guwahati for a semester, as part of the exchange programme. His internship was scheduled to end on November 30. A delegation of Gifu University that was in Guwahati on Thursday and the Ministry of External Affairs were also informed by the IIT authorities about the incident. Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.last_img read more

Tenorio surprised by Romeo’s hit that led to scuffle: ‘He’s not a dirty player’

first_imgEmotions ran high in the 3:28 mark of the fourth quarter with the Gin Kings ahead, 89-73. As the two were jostling for position on a rebound play, Romeo spun and hit Tenorio on his side with a closed fist which floored the veteran playmaker.READ: Brownlee stars as Ginebra snares top seedFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It really was hard. I showed the hit to the whole team. I was really surprised that he did that,” he said of the incident. Tenorio, who was tasked to shadow the Batang Pier’s explosive guards in the quarterfinal duel, said that he didn’t have any intention of hurting Romeo as he was defending him. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast No fooling around Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLA Tenorio knew that his defense irritated Terrence Romeo, but he didn’t expect to be on the receiving end of a flailing right arm from the young gun which escalated into a scuffle late in Ginebra’s 96-85 victory over GlobalPort.“Of all the people who would do that to me, it had to be Terrence,” said the veteran guard on Tuesday, obviously with a hint of disappointment over Romeo’s actions.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games LATEST STORIES “You can watch the tape. I think it’s a natural tendency of a player to really get frustrated, especially when things are not going well for the team or for them as a player. But the whole game, I was playing honest defense. I was even talking to him during the game,” he said.READ: Brownlee waxes hot, pulls Ginebra to semis “He was saying that I kept on complaining. The whole time, I was relaxed and just doing my job on defense. I knew what I had to do. I wasn’t playing that well offensively, but I think defensively, I did my part on him and (Stanley) Pringle. I had no intention to hurt him, and if I did, it wasn’t intentional. I’m not a dirty player in the first place. I’m not gonna fight anyone. I have so much respect for him as a player and we’ve been teammates in the national team. But I think he didn’t have to do that if he was frustrated. That’s part of the game.”Tenorio understood where Romeo was coming from, admitting that if it were him on the former FEU guard’s shoes, he may have felt the same frustration. But knowing Romeo’s stature, the former Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference said that the flashy playmaker should have known better.“Bottomline is if were in his place, I think I would be frustrated also, but I’m not going to retaliate like that. I still have respect for him as a player. He’s a basketball idol. He’s a great player, a very talented player…that’s why I defend him like that,” he said. “A lot of kids, a lot of people are watching him. He’s one of the faces of the PBA, so he should be careful of those dirty plays because he’s not a dirty player. That’s what shocked us the most.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Romeo refused to air his side of the story as he quickly left Smart Araneta Coliseum after the game.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV MOST READ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession cloudslast_img read more

Magic Johnson Was Never Cut Out To Do This
Magic Johnson Was Never Cut Out To Do This

Just before the start of free agency last June, Los Angeles Lakers President Magic Johnson made a relatively blunt declaration when he said he’d willingly step down from his post if he failed to sign star players. So it was a legitimate jaw-dropper when Johnson, just nine months after landing the world’s best player, opted to resign Tuesday during a tearful, impromptu press conference in the bowels of Staples Center prior to the team’s season finale.Yes, this was a trying year for Johnson and the storied franchise, which fully expected to return to the playoffs after getting LeBron James. But the playoffs didn’t happen, and while Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka deserve a lot of the blame for why things went wrong, no one thought it would result in this — at least not this soon, and certainly not in the bizarre manner in which it played out.In the coming weeks, there will be ample opportunity to analyze what comes next for the Lakers, who still have LeBron, a young supporting cast and enough cap space to make the kind of signing that could make them an actual contender again out West.Normally, we’d be prone to view a team president’s sudden resignation as a sign of enormous trouble for a franchise. The fact that we aren’t talking about how much this will damage Los Angeles speaks volumes about Johnson and how ill-prepared he was for the front-office job in the first place.Team owner Jeanie Buss, who got wind of the resignation after reporters did, now has an enormous task. She has to tap the right person, but based on her hiring of Magic — a choice she made based on trust and their almost 40 years of friendship after contentiously ousting her brother in 2017 — we don’t know yet who she’ll get or what level of experience that person will carry.Nonetheless, that role is vital, both to restoring the franchise to its rightful place — this 37-win season marked a Lakers’ record sixth-straight year with no postseason — and obviously for maximizing the 34-year-old James’s window for championship contention.What we do know now is that Johnson, an all-time great on the hardwood and one of the more personable businessmen in America, simply wasn’t prepared for the cutthroat front-office life, an issue we touched on briefly back when he was hired. Johnson himself says that leaving the role of president will make him happier, as it will allow him to return to his old life, away from the sourced reporting that, to him, likely felt like anonymous backstabbing. And back to a life where he can freely mentor and tweet to congratulate players leaguewide — something he couldn’t do as an executive, because of the tampering rules.From the outset, Johnson struggled with how to play inside those rules. Even more concerning about his front-office tenure: He often struggled to properly assess the value of players and what they brought to the table. Months after taking the gig, he traded a young, talented point guard in D’Angelo Russell to get Brook Lopez and his expiring contract, as well as the pick that would become Kyle Kuzma.1The move also gave L.A. the ability to dump Timofey Mosgov’s hefty contract. While Kuzma has been fine for a young player, Russell has since become an All-Star who has led Brooklyn back to the postseason. And Lopez — whom L.A. let walk in free agency last summer — has been one of the NBA’s best floor-spacing bigs, giving Milwaukee exactly what this shooting-starved Lakers club needs.2On a cheap, $3.3 million contract, too.Similarly, 24-year-old Julius Randle had a career year (21 points, 8 rebounds a game) in New Orleans after the Lakers let their former No. 7 overall pick go in free agency despite his relatively modest price tag.3He signed a two-year, $18 million deal with New Orleans. Instead, L.A. followed up on its LeBron move by then agreeing to deals with Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson, leaving it woefully deficient from a perimeter-shooting standpoint. The head-scratching decisions weren’t limited to the perimeter, though: The Lakers also offered talented big man Ivica Zubac to their Los Angeles counterparts at the deadline, reportedly befuddling the Clippers by trying to unload a solid young player unnecessarily.None of this even gets into the fact that Johnson and the Lakers took their sweet time — waiting until it was likely too late — to try to deal for a second star, which was borderline malpractice considering James’s age. Depending on how you look at it, the failed play to acquire Anthony Davis at the trade deadline was either just the Pelicans being stubborn or them being realistic — and smart — after realizing that the youngsters L.A. was offering in return weren’t good enough (particularly when James was injured) to justify dealing away a franchise player.But that doesn’t excuse the Lakers not being more aggressive two summers ago, when they could’ve made a play for Paul George, who’d made it clear that L.A. was his destination of choice before Oklahoma City gambled on a deal for him. Nor does it explain why the Lakers didn’t do more to engage the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard (and pair him with LeBron) before he was ultimately sent to Toronto. In either case, having a second star likely would’ve provided L.A. with the insulation it needed to withstand a James injury and make the playoffs regardless.And there were the problematic mixed messages that Johnson sent: the preseason comments about how new LeBron teams always take a while to find their stride and the need for patience, but then the reports about him going off on coach Luke Walton just weeks later, apparently for not meeting the expectations he’d just tamped down. Then there was his suggestion that the young players who’d heard their names rumored in potential Davis deals simply needed to be hugged and nurtured after the whole ordeal, which he followed, one day later, by saying that those same players needed to be treated like men, rather than babied through the media.Had Johnson remained on the job, his next true test as team president was a decision about Walton’s future. Johnson told reporters Tuesday that he’d been given the authority to fire Walton, who has history with the Lakers as a former player and still has a good friendship with Buss. But Johnson said he didn’t want to pull that trigger and instead opted to step down himself.Now, it’s Buss’s turn to make a decision again. And while the stakes are incredibly high, with the team at an important crossroads, the Lakers can take solace in the fact that they’re almost certain to now get a more analytical, experienced front-office type than they had in Magic, who was never really meant for the unforgiving nature of an NBA job like this to begin with. read more

TCI Education Officials respond to call to fix problems at temporary school
TCI Education Officials respond to call to fix problems at temporary school

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppPROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – November 8, 2017 – The Ministry of Education says it is reviewing repairs after a few nights of rain have led to leaky roofs and flooded floors for students of the Oseta Jolly Primary school stationed temporarily at the Gus Lightbourne Gym in downtown Providenciales.Minister Karen Malcolm, paused from House of Assembly meeting being held Wednesday in Grand Turk to speak to Magnetic Media following a concern expressed by a teacher of the school who said cleaning the doused floors and desks is becoming too time consuming for educators and students.The Teacher said something needs to be done to rectify the leaks and the Minister agrees.Minister Malcolm said already the Department of Public Works was looking into the situation; a roof which was thought to have been fixed is obviously not.  The Minister also explained that the dividers for the open space where grades two through six are being held are not done, but should be completed by this weekend.  Materials have been bought and construction on the separations for the classrooms is a work in active progress.The explanation on the dividers was in response to that teacher who said the near 500 children are sharing the open space at the gym but it is near impossible to get the students to focus on their individual lesson with other classes ongoing; the openness is proving distracting and students, shared the teacher are often missing the message.Again, the Minister expressed her understanding of the predicament and asked for understanding as well.  Saying essentially that her ministry has struggled to find a place for thousands of children across the archipelago left displaced by the category 5 plus, Hurricane Irma on September 7; its a big task which the Ministry is managing and tweaking to ensure that there is comfort, safety and stability as the children learn and the teachers teach.There was a promise to have those dividers completed on the weekend and a promise to work with the Estate Department of TCIG to get the cleaners taking on the chore of mopping up water, when there is rainy weather.Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Wesley Clerveaux, who we also reached out to said there is no disregard by the ministry going on, adding that the minister has been visiting all schools weekly to ensure progress is being made for a return to life as normal for public education.This is the first week the entire student population of Oseta Jolly is at school.  The children from Early Childhood to Sixth Grade and their teachers are facilitated at two locations in downtown Provo; the Gus Lightbourne Gym and at the Edward Gartland Youth Center. Related Items:#guslightbournegym, #karenmalcolm, #ojps, #tcieducation Education Minister says Civics coming to Turks and Caicos public school curriculum Recommended for youlast_img read more

Myanmar rebuffs UN Rohingya probe
Myanmar rebuffs UN Rohingya probe

first_imgMyanmar on Saturday rejected the UN rights council’s decision to investigate allegations that security officers have murdered, raped and tortured Rohingya Muslims, saying the probe would only “inflame” the conflict.The Geneva-based body agreed Friday to “urgently” dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Southeast Asian country, focusing on claims that police and soldiers have carried out violations against the Rohingya in Rakhine state.The army crackdown, launched in October after militants killed nine policemen, has sent tens of thousands of Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.Escapees have given UN investigators gruesome accounts of security officers stabbing babies to death, burning people alive and committing widespread gang rape.The allegations have heaped enormous pressure on Myanmar’s one-year-old civilian government, which has vigorously swatted back calls for an international investigation.Myanmar’s foreign affairs ministry on Saturday stopped short of saying it would block the UN-backed probe but said it “has dissociated itself from the resolution as a whole”.”The establishment of an international fact-finding mission would do more to inflame, rather than resolve the issues at this time,” it added.Myanmar is carrying out its own domestic inquiry into possible crimes in Rakhine.But rights groups and the UN have dismissed the body, which is led by retired general turned vice president Myint Swe, as toothless.The recent crackdown is only the latest conflict to beleaguer the stateless Rohingya, who are denied citizenship and face brutal discrimination in the Buddhist-majority country.More than 120,000 Rohingya have languished in grim displacement camps ever since bouts of religious violence between Muslims and Buddhists ripped through Rakhine state in 2012.Most are not allowed to leave the squalid encampments, where they live in piecemeal shelters with little access to food, education and healthcare.last_img read more

Two in hospital after three vehicle accident on A51

first_imgThe approximate location of the accident (Image: Inrix/Google) Paramedics also attended an accident on the A52 in Swinscoe in the Staffordshire Moorlands following an accident on the road at around the same time earlier today. The road was partially blocked following the accident, which was affecting traffic between Leek and Ashbourne. Read MoreMan performs sex act at Staffordshire fishing pool No one was injured in that collision, West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed. For the latest news from the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire visit our dedicated traffic and travel channel here. For live updates from across the region each weekday, visit our live news service here. Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailTwo people have been taken to hospital after an accident on a busy North Staffordshire road this morning. The collision happened on the A51, near the Swan with Two Necks pub and the junction with the A53 in Blackbrook in Newcastle Borough at around 8am. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they had sent two ambulances and a paramedic officer to the scene. She said: “We transported two patients to Royal Stoke University Hospital. Firefighters were required to extricate the patients. “One had neck pain and the other had a hand injury.” A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said firefighters from Newcastle and Loggerheads had been called at around 8.41am today. She said: “The incident was near the Swan with Two Necks pub and involved three vehicles. “We released one female casualty.” The A51 remains closed in both directions near the A53 and Wharmadine Lane, according to traffic data company INRIX. Recovery is understood to be under way as of publication, with the accident also having a knock-on effect on traffic on the nearby A53. Read MoreMenswear stolen after raiders target shoplast_img read more

Uber manager warned the leadership team of the inadequacy of safety procedures
Uber manager warned the leadership team of the inadequacy of safety procedures

first_imgIn a fatal accident on March 19, Uber’s prototype self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. This incident raised alarms about safety problems in self-driving tech and Uber was criticized. In a shocking revelation made yesterday, The Information reported, that days before the fatal accident, an Uber manager tried to warn the company’s top executives about the danger. Robbie Miller, a manager in the testing-operations group, sent an email to Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit, Jon Thomason, VP of software, and five other executives and lawyers on March 13. He warned them about the dangers of the software powering the company’s prototype robo-taxis. He also warned that the human backup drivers in the vehicles weren’t properly trained to do their jobs, the Information reports. What did Miller’s email say In his email, Miller pointed to an incident in November 2017, when an Uber car had nearly caused a crash. He prepared a report and urged the Uber team to investigate but was ignored. He was told that “incidents like that happen all of the time.” Per Miller, “A car was damaged nearly every other day in February,” Miller said. “We shouldn’t be hitting things every 15,000 miles.” Miller was part of Uber’s self-driving truck project, which he described as having relatively good safety procedures. The other projects focused on cars, and Miller argued that its safety procedures were extremely inadequate. In his report, Miller mentioned several ways to improve safety. He suggested Uber put two people in every vehicle. The driver should focus on the road while the other passenger can monitor the driving software and log misbehavior. Miller also argued that Uber should drastically scale back its testing program. “I suspect an 85% reduction in fleet size wouldn’t slow development,” he wrote. Moreover, he wanted Uber to take strict actions against the fleet in case of a car crash. Everyone involved in the self-driving car project from developers to safety drivers should be given the authority to ground the fleet if they see a safety problem. He also wanted more personnel to have access to Uber’s incident reporting database. People on the internet expressed their disdain over Uber’s safety neglect and sided with Miller. Responding to the Information’s report, Uber said that “the entire team is focused on safely and responsibly returning to the road in self-driving mode,” The company intends to eventually resume on-the-road self-driving testing, but it will do so “only when these improvements have been implemented and we have received authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.” This story first appeared on The Information. Read Next Introducing AWS DeepRacer, a self-driving race car, and Amazon’s autonomous racing league to help developers learn reinforcement learning in a fun way. Uber fined by British ICO and Dutch DPA for nearly $1.2m over a data breach from 2016. Uber’s new family of AI algorithms sets records on Pitfall and solves the entire game of Montezuma’s Revengelast_img read more