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Montreal soaring to new economic heights but headwinds still buffet the summitMontreal soaring to new economic heights but headwinds still buffet the summit

first_imgMONTREAL – In a sun-lit lecture space at Ecole Polytechnique, Joelle Pineau explained how a machine can create a recipe from a photo of a tourtiere.It’s not easy as pie, but rather the fruit of 12 months of experimentation at Facebook’s new artificial intelligence lab, which she heads up in Montreal.“I would like the robot that goes with it and then makes the recipe,” joked Pineau, an associate professor at McGill University.Facebook’s lab has already expanded to 20 specialists from four since its launch in September 2017, with plans to move to a bigger facility come January. Microsoft Corp. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. have both launched Montreal-based AI labs in the past two years, and aim to hire scores more researchers in the next year or so.It’s not just Montreal’s AI sector that’s booming. A mix of cutting-edge tech clusters, real estate growth and old mainstays like tourism and shipping are transforming the city into an economic hot spot after decades of battling a frosty business image.Regional gross domestic product grew 3.5 per cent in 2017, according to Statistics Canada, outpacing Toronto and Vancouver as Montreal enjoyed its biggest growth spurt in more than 10 years. Unemployment has hovered at around six per cent for the past 12 months, remaining near all-time lows.Meanwhile, foreign direct investment surpassed $2 billion in 2017, a new record that marks a 50 per cent increase over 2016 and a 100 per cent jump from 2015.“There’s definitely a buzz around Montreal, especially the high-tech sectors,” said Christian Bernard, chief economist with Montreal International, an economic development agency.Up to 75 per cent of foreign direct investment last year went toward high-tech sectors such as gaming, visual effects and aerospace as well as life sciences and health technology, he said.“The technology is very broad, and the talent can move around from one area to another, one niche application to another,” said Universite de Montreal computer scientist and deep-learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, who serves as scientific director of the new Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.Bengio cited as a key catalyst French gaming company Ubisoft Entertainment SA, which opened a small office in Montreal in 1997 that now employs 3,500 workers.Cash has been pouring into Montreal from public and private institutions, including more than $300 million over the next five years from the federal and provincial governments to bankroll big data research at Montreal universities and foster a regional AI “super-cluster”.Brad Henderson, chief executive of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said mortgage stress tests and higher interest rates haven’t dampened Montreal’s real estate market, which he called the healthiest in Canada.The city’s $1 million-plus real estate sales increased 19 per cent year over year in July and August, and they’re poised “to set new records to the end of 2018,” according to a Sotheby’s report in September.Quebec’ political situation has calmed investor fears, he added.“Montreal’s always kind of had a bit of a political overhang,” Henderson said, “but the concerns about separatism have largely dissipated, and that in our opinion has contributed to the steady growth that we’ve seen in Montreal.”Montreal’s port continues to underpin the regional economy, as the year-old free-trade deal between Canada and the European Union boosts container shipping and prompts a hiring spree at the docks, according to port officials.Container imports increased 7.8 per cent to nearly 4.33 million tonnes in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2017, with the bulk of that traffic coming from Europe.Tourism is also on the rise, with Trudeau International Airport welcoming more than 11 million foreign passengers in the first eight months of 2018 for a 6.9 per cent year-over-year gain, according to Tourisme Montreal.However, the same features Montrealers cite as strengths can detract from the city’s sheen as well.In 2016, median household incomes in Montreal climbed more quickly than in many metropolitan areas, but they remained among the lowest of any major city in Canada at $61,790, according to StatCan figures.High employment points to a severe thirst for a bigger talent pool, said Montreal Board of Trade president Michel Leblanc.Many parts of the province are now “beyond full employment,” with a demand for more qualified workers in sectors ranging from hospitality to transportation to the tech scene, Leblanc said.“We need to have more immigrants,” he said, one day before Quebeckers voted the Coalition Avenir Quebec to power on Oct. 1, whose leader Francois Legault has pledged to reduce immigration by 20 per cent.One-third of Quebec’s workforce will have to be replaced in the next 10 years as the population ages, said Mia Homsy, director of the Institut du Quebec, a public policy think tank.“It’s already starting to affect investments and production, with a direct impact on GDP,” she said.Population growth in the Montreal census metropolitan area has been relatively slow, rising 11 per cent to 4.1 million residents between 2007 and 2017, according to StatCan. The rate lags well behind Canada’s five other biggest urban areas.Despite its rapid growth, Montreal’s affordability is better than many of the other 10 biggest cities on the continent, said Loic Jegousse, head of cyber and IT risk with a BNP Paribas team that launched in Montreal last May.“I myself have two teenage daughters. I used to live in Toronto, and I thought it would be wise to come to Montreal so they can actually afford a home when they grow up,” he said.“Montreal was very sleepy for a long, long time, but now it is going through a renaissance.”last_img read more

Pilots of grounded Jet Airways move SC seeking interim funding from SBIPilots of grounded Jet Airways move SC seeking interim funding from SBI

first_imgNew Delhi: Pilots of grounded Jet Airways moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking direction to SBI to provide the assured interim finance for restarting operations, suspension of which has affected the livelihood of around 22,000 employees.The petition filed by National Aviators Guild has sought a direction to the Centre and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to disallow slots of Jet Airways to other airlines on permanent basis. The plea, filed by advocate Gaurav Agrawal, has sought that the airline should not get deregistered. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe distressed airlines, which had 115 aircraft, started suffering losses and could not pay the employees from last December. The Board of Directors of the company had approved a plan on March 25 which envisaged infusing of Rs 1,500 crore over a period of time by SBI so that the company could be sold as a going concern but the promised funds were not disbursed, the plea said. It said that SBI’s decision not to infuse money was responsible for the operations of the airlines coming to stop and its substantial Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroaddevaluation. “The respondents have deliberately, or otherwise brought down the value of Jet Airways and as of now there are no bidders who have submitted the bid to SBI. Consequently the employees of Jet Airwyas have not been paid for last four months and have lost all hope of the revival of the airlines,” the plea said. It said the Centre, DGCA, Airports Authority of India and others have failed to appreciate the value of company which lies in the flight slots and the seats available in the international sector through various bilateral agreements. “Despite the fact that an expression of interest has been invited and bid to process to find a new purchaser is underway, the Centre and DGCA have already started allotting slots of Jet Airways in various airports to other airlines which has seriously undermined the value of the company,” the plea said. The petition said that such acts of the Centre and DGCA were highly prejudicial to employees of the company who have been waiting to get paid for last five months and have been looking forward to the resolution in bid process.last_img read more

Saudi suspends SMS to guardians when women travelSaudi suspends SMS to guardians when women travel

first_imgSaudi Arabia has suspended a programme that notifies the male guardians of female relatives, who may only travel abroad with their permission, once the women leave the country, a newspaper reported Tuesday.Since November 2012, Saudi women’s male guardians have been sent an SMS message informing them when women under their custody leave, even if they are travelling together.The programme, which was strongly criticised by women rights activists, “has been suspended due to some observations,” passports department spokesman Ahmad al-Laheedan was quoted by Arab News as saying. “It will undergo amendment,” he said, indicating that the system that compounded constraints on women in the ultra-conservative kingdom, could return as optional. Men would only receive an SMS if they requested to be informed.As it is, women must show immigration authorities a “yellow paper” signed by their father, brother, husband or even son in the case of divorce or widowhood confirming their permission to travel.Activists welcomed the suspension of the SMS programme.“The notification process should have never been introduced in the first place because it is humiliating for women,” said Sabria Jawhar, a Saudi columnist and university professor of applied linguistics.“We are responsible adults but are treated as immature or less responsible,” she told Arab News.The kingdom enforces strict rules governing mixing between the sexes, while women are forced to wear a veil and a black cloak, or abaya, that covers them from head to toe except for their hands and faces.Women also face the globally unique ban on driving, and those who have attempted in the past to defy the ban, have been punished.last_img read more

Presidents Choice to participate in buckabeer for limited timePresidents Choice to participate in buckabeer for limited time

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says some of its President’s Choice beer will sell for a loonie for a limited time to celebrate the return of buck-a-beer in Ontario.Premier Doug Ford lowered the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent to $1 from $1.25.Ontario to offer incentives to brewers to sell their beer for a buckOntario’s craft brewers pan Doug Ford’s buck-a-beer plan as unaffordableThe PC promotion begins Aug. 27 at the Beer Store, where some of the brand’s products will sell for $13.20 for a dozen bottles or $26.40 for 24 bottles.The extra charge covers a deposit fee.The company did not say when the promotion would end.Many of the province’s craft beer brewers have spoken out against the new minimum, saying there is no way for them to maintain quality and offer their products at that price. read more

RamsBears Preview CapsuleRamsBears Preview Capsule

LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-1) at CHICAGO (8-4)Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBCOPENING LINE — Rams by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD — Rams 5-5-2, Bears 8-4SERIES RECORD — 53-36-3LAST MEETING — Bears beat Rams 37-13, Nov. 15, 2015LAST WEEK — Rams beat Lions 30-16; Bears lost to Giants 30-27, OTAP PRO32 RANKING — Rams No. 1, Bears No. 7RAMS OFFENSE — OVERALL (2), RUSH (4), PASS (4)RAMS Defence — OVERALL (18), RUSH (18), PASS (17)BEARS OFFENSE — OVERALL (20), RUSH (16), PASS (19)BEARS Defence — OVERALL (4), RUSH (2), PASS (11)STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Rams clinched second straight NFC West title, became first team to secure playoff spot, with win over Detroit. Los Angeles hadn’t won back-back division championships since completing run of seven straight in 1979. … Beating Bears would give Rams first-round bye. … Rams lead New Orleans by one game for home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs. Los Angeles lost at New Orleans on Nov. 4. … QB Jared Goff ranks fourth in NFL with 3,754 yards passing, sixth with 27 touchdowns. … RB Todd Gurley leads NFL in both yards rushing (1,175), yards from scrimmage (1,649). … DT Aaron Donald leads NFL with 16 1/2 sacks, has at least two in three straight games. … WR Brandin Cooks has 1,026 yards receiving — his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. … DT Ndamukong Suh has eight sacks in 10 games against Chicago. … NFC North-leading Bears won five straight before wild loss to Giants. Chicago rallied from 10 down in final 1:13 of regulation, losing when Janoris Jenkins knocked away deep pass by Chase Daniel after Aldrick Rosas kicked 44-yard field goal. … Chicago’s defence leads NFL with 21 interceptions. … QB Mitchell Trubisky expects to start after missing past two games because of right shoulder injury. … RB Tarik Cohen set career highs last week in receptions (12), yards receiving (156), yards from scrimmage (186). He also threw tying 1-yard TD to Anthony Miller at end of regulation. … DE Akiem Hicks joined William “The Refrigerator” Perry as only defensive linemen in franchise history to rush for touchdown, with 1-yard run last week. … LB Khalil Mack has nine sacks in 10 games. … Fantasy tip: Gurley will be going against defence that’s had some issues against run in past two games. New York’s Saquon Barkley carried 24 times for 125 yards, after Bears gave up 85 yards rushing in second half at Detroit previous week.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLThe Associated Press read more

NHS to carry out spinal surgery for unborn babiesNHS to carry out spinal surgery for unborn babies

Spinal surgery for unborn babies is to become routinely available on the NHS next spring, it has been announced.The life-changing procedure, performed while the baby is still in the womb, will help babies with spina bifida, whose spine and spinal cord are not properly developing, NHS England said.Surgery to repair the spinal tissue can reduce the likelihood of bladder, bowel and kidney conditions later in life, and improve walking, professionals say.It is one of several treatments which will become routinely offered on the NHS for the first time from April 2019.The surgery was carried out for the first time in Britain in the summer. The spina bifida surgeries were successfully performed by a team at London’s University College Hospital this summer. More than 300 people with tuberous sclerosis complex, mostly children, will benefit from the new drug everolimus.This reduces the number and severity of epileptic seizures as a result of the genetic condition, which causes tumours to develop in the body and brain.And a tablet to widen blood vessels will help those with pulmonary arterial hypertension, which causes high blood pressure, avoid damage to the heart.Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said the NHS was a world leader in innovation.He said: “NHS England is determined to ensure every penny is wisely spent, maximising the money available for life-saving, life-changing medicines and procedures like these.”Kate Steele, chief executive of charity Shine, said the announcement was “very good news” for babies with spina bifida.She said: “Pre-natal surgery has been practised for several years in other countries, but now that the surgery is set to be procured in the UK will mean that far fewer parents-to-be will have to travel abroad and stay far from home for the surgery.”They will be closer to the important family and medical support networks they will need before, during and after surgery.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Sharp va lancer son Aquos SH10D au JaponSharp va lancer son Aquos SH10D au Japon

first_imgSharp va lancer son Aquos SH-10D au JaponUn nouveau smartphone de marque Sharp sera disponible au Japon au mois d’août. En attendant ensuite une diffusion à plus grande échelle ? Sharp a annoncé la disponibilité prochaine, au Japon, de son smartphone, l’Aquos SH-10D. Cet appareil haut de gamme possèdera un écran 4,5 pouces capable d’afficher une résolution de 720 × 1.280 pixels. Pour les caractéristiques techniques, il embarquera un processeur double-coeur cadencé à 1,5 Ghz. Côté mémoire, il propose 8 Gb d’espace disque et 1 Gb de mémoire vive. Il sera aussi équipé d’un tuner TV, d’un GPS, d’un appareil photo numérique de 12 mégapixels et d’une puce NFC. Le tout tournera sous Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich. Ses dimensions seront de 126 × 64 × 9.9 mm et son poids de 138 grammes. Disponible au Japon à partir du mois d’août, il n’est pas encore annoncé dans nos contrées.Le 18 mai 2012 à 09:06 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Vancouver man baby sitter faces federal child exploitation allegationsVancouver man baby sitter faces federal child exploitation allegations

first_imgFederal investigators are seeking help in identifying possible victims of a sex offender from Vancouver who faces multiple child exploitation charges in federal court. Blaine K. Nipp, 36, recently baby-sat for at least two families in the Vancouver area, according to Homeland Security Investigations. Some pornographic images seized from his email account are believed to be of children placed in his care. Anyone with information about Nipp’s unsupervised contact with children should contact Homeland Security at 360-693-7712. Nipp was formally charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury with three counts of child exploitation: production of child pornography, receipt or distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The case follows an ongoing Homeland Security investigation into an overseas photo-sharing website often used to trade child pornography. Special agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., tied Nipp to the user name “taste,” a possible distributor of illicit images. In emails sent between May and August, investigators found images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.Nipp has been in custody since Jan. 10. He recently was a student at Clark College.The investigation is part of Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. It was launched in 2003 and has led to more than 10,000 arrests for alleged crimes against children.last_img read more

US law firm Downs Rachlin Martin introduces paid parental leaveUS law firm Downs Rachlin Martin introduces paid parental leave

first_imgUS-based law firm Downs Rachlin Martin (DRM) has introduced a new paid parental leave policy, enabling parents to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for their newborn.Eligible birth mothers are able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave when combining the new parental leave policy with the organisation’s existing short-term disability programme. Fathers and partners of birth mothers can take up to six weeks of paid leave. Employees who are parents of adopted children aged 16 years old and under are entitled to six weeks of paid leave under the new policy.The policy is available to both full-time and part-time employees. Staff must have 12 months’ consecutive service to qualify for the benefit. Full-time employees will receive up to 100% of their regular weekly pay and part-time employees will be paid on a pro-rata basis.The new parental leave policy will run alongside the law firm’s current benefits, which include matching contributions to a 401(k) individual retirement savings plan, dental, life and disability insurance, subsidised medical insurance and medical savings accounts, wellness benefits, personal financial planning assistance, an employee assistance programme (EAP), and employer contributions to a profit sharing plan.Peter Kunin (pictured), deputy managing partner at DRM, said: “A paid family leave policy is the right thing to do for our employees and their young children, and makes sense for our business. It is well known that a parent’s ability to personally care for their children, especially newborns, is critical to the healthy development of children and families.“Parents should not have to choose between spending time with their new baby and economic security. And by giving our employees time to settle in to life as a new family, our employees are better able to focus on the needs of our clients with the level of intensity that the job demands.“Our primary asset here at the firm is our people. We want to hire and retain the best and most dedicated attorneys and staff. This paid parental leave policy says to all of our employees that we want to invest in [them]. We want [them] to settle in and develop [their] professional life in a way that does not compromise [their] family life. That security and satisfaction, we think, will also provide enormous benefits to our clients and to the long run sustainability of our firm.”last_img read more

New quakes kill at least 10 in IndonesiaNew quakes kill at least 10 in Indonesia

first_imgNew quakes kill at least 10 in IndonesiaA series of powerful earthquakes have rocked the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, killing at least 10 people and setting off fresh waves of panic after nearly 500 died there following a huge tremor two weeks ago.The quakes hit throughout Sunday, with the first measuring 6.3 shortly before midday which triggered landslides and sent people fleeing for cover as parts of the island suffered blackouts.It was followed nearly 12 hours later by a quake measuring 6.9 magnitude and a string of powerful aftershocks.The picturesque island next to holiday hotspot Bali was already reeling from two deadly quakes on 29 July and 5 August that left hundreds of thousands homeless.Ten people were killed in the quake Sunday evening, mostly by falling debris, with four deaths in eastern Lombok and six on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa, according to the national disaster agency.Two more Lombok residents died of heart attacks after the morning quake, it said.Some two dozen people were injured and more than 150 homes and places of worship were damaged, the agency said.”When the earthquake happened most people were outside their homes or at shelters so there have not been that many fatalities” compared to the August 5 tremor, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.”The trauma because of the earlier quake on Sunday (morning) made people prefer to stay outside,” he added.Officials have evacuated some patients from a hospital in Sumbawa island and in Lombok’s capital Mataram for fear of worse destruction.Blackouts have hit much of Lombok, according to Sutopo, who posted pictures of cracked roads and video footage of a large fire that broke out in a village on Sumbawa.- ‘Too scared at home’ -Video images from an evacuation camp in Lombok showed children and adults taking cover inside makeshift tents.”I’m too scared to stay at my house because it’s damaged,” said Lombok resident Saruniwati, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.”I’ve been here since the quake (earlier this month). I went home two days ago and now I’m back here again.”Earlier, local resident Agus Salim said the powerful tremor jolted him awake Sunday evening.”The earthquake was incredibly strong. Everything was shaking,” he told AFP.”Everyone ran into the street screaming and crying.”A dozen foreign guests at the hotel Lina Senggigi, which is in a popular tourist spot, were ushered out of the building as the quake struck.There were landslides in a national park on Mount Rinjani where hundreds of hikers had been briefly trapped after the quake in late July. The park has been closed since then.Sunday’s tremors were also felt on Bali but there were no reports of damage there.- ‘Ring of Fire’ -The latest tremor comes two weeks after a shallow 6.9-magnitude quake on August 5 damaged tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok.At least 481 people died and thousands were injured.The hardest-hit region was in the north of the island, which has suffered hundreds of aftershocks.A week before that quake, a tremor surged through the island and killed 17.The disasters have raised fears that Lombok’s key tourism industry would take a beating, but the international airport was operating normally Monday.”People have been arriving and leaving Lombok as usual since last night — there’s been no sudden rush of people trying to get out,” said I Gusti Ngurah Ardita, general manager of Lombok Praya International Airport.Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.The Australian and Eurasian plates, which sit under the archipelago, have been colliding and putting stress on key area fault lines, according to a geologist.”Clearly there are different parts of the fault that are moving at the moment releasing those stressors,” said Chris Elders, an expert in plate tectonics and structural geology at Curtin University in West Australia.In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.last_img read more

Texas Legislature Considers Transportation Bill For Students In HighCrime AreasTexas Legislature Considers Transportation Bill For Students In HighCrime Areas

first_img Share 00:00 /00:54 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Al OrtizSB 195 would allow a school district or a county to apply for an additional ten percent of its regular transportation allotment to be used for getting kids safely to and from school in high-crime neighborhoods. If passed, the law would take effect this fall. Representative Alma Allen of Houston is on the House Committee for Public Education. “This bill allows for those who receive funding to address areas of high risk of violence, to support walking transportation programs like ‘Safe Walk Home’ on the North side of Houston.” The bill has been given the status of “pending” by the Committee on Public Education. There’s no indication whether it will make it to the House floor. Meanwhile, community members, Mayor Sylvester Turner and other local leaders will memorialize Flores in a special Wednesday afternoon program at Holy Name Catholic Church on Cochran. Listen Xlast_img read more

Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange decides its customers should help pay for 65Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange decides its customers should help pay for 65

first_imgThere are a plethora of financial rules in place the regulate how banks can handle your money, but an unregulated digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin is the wild west of personal finance. The popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex was attacked on August 2, resulting in the loss of $65 million in Bitcoin. Bitfinex has decided to “generalize” the losses across all its users by taking 36% of their money. Seems a lot like stealing.Bitfinex shut down last week following the hack, issuing a series of cryptic updates on its investigation. Now, the site is on the verge of re-launching with limited functionality. When users log into their Bitfinex accounts, they will see that a whopping 36.067% of their money is gone. That’s what Bitfinex is taking from every account to cover the losses, ensuring that everyone on the platform will have lost the same proportion of their money. It’s like being asked to help pay for the theft of a stereo from someone else’s car just because you were parked in the same lot at the time.The price of Bitcoin took a huge hit following the hack.Many users are understandably enraged over this move. Many of them lost no Bitcoins in the initial hack when they checked their balance before the reshuffling. Now, they’re out a substantial sum. In some cases, users are reporting tens of thousands of dollars lost to Bitfinex’s socialized loss scheme. It’s possible that Bitfinex is on the verge of insolvency following the hack, and this move might be a last ditch effort to avoid a Mt. Gox-style collapse.In place of the 36% loss, Bitfinex is giving each user a BFX token with a value of their total loss. It’s essentially an IOU from Bitfinex that is tradable on the blockchain. The company promises to explain in detail how the BFX tokens will work, but for now they’re completely worthless. Users who are not happy with this setup probably have little recourse as they’d lose a lot more than 36% of their money if Bitfinex goes out of business.Maybe, just maybe, Bitcoin was a bad idea.last_img read more

Blackface other insensitivities ran rampant in 8Blackface other insensitivities ran rampant in 8

first_imgBlackface, other insensitivities ran rampant in ’80s culture FILE -In this Jan. 18, 1987, photo, Atlanta city councilman, Rev. Hosea Williams, in overalls, leads a march against efforts to keep Forsyth County in Georgia all white past counter-protesters near Cumming, Ga., as a crowd waves Confederate flags and jeer the marchers. Racial stereotypes and racist imagery in popular culture seemed to be everywhere in the chaotic 1980s when future Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and future Attorney General Mark Herring admitted dressing up in blackface. (AP Photo/Gene Blythe) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Russell Contreras, The Associated Press Posted Feb 10, 2019 12:21 pm PDT At the time Virginia’s future political leaders put on blackface in college for fun, Dan Aykroyd wore it too — in the hit 1983 comedy “Trading Places.”Sports announcers of that time often described Boston Celtics player Larry Bird, who is white, as “smart” while describing his black NBA opponents as athletically gifted.Such racial insensitivities ran rampant in popular culture during the 1980s, the era in which Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, have admitted to wearing blackface as they mimicked pop singer Michael Jackson and rapper Kurtis Blow, respectively.Meanwhile, Chicago elected its first black mayor, Michael Jackson made music history with his “Thriller” album, U.S. college students protested against South Africa’s racist system of apartheid and the stereotype-smashing sitcom “The Cosby Show” debuted on network television.It would be another 10 years before the rise of multiculturalism began to change America’s racial sensibilities, in part because intellectuals and journalists of colour were better positioned to successfully challenge racist images, and Hollywood began to listen.“We are in a stronger position to educate the American public about symbols and cultural practices that are harmful today than we were in the 1980s,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.During the ’80s, college faculties and student bodies were less diverse, Gates said. Some scholars who entered college during the 1960s had yet to take on roles in which mainstream culture would heed their cultural critiques, he said.At the time Northam and Herring put on black makeup, Hollywood and popular culture still sent messages that racial stereotypes and racist imagery were comical and harmless, despite pleas from civil rights groups and black newspapers.Herring was a 19-year-old University of Virginia student when he wore brown makeup and a wig to look like rapper Kurtis Blow at a 1980 party. Three years before that, white actor Gene Wilder darkened his face with shoe polish in the movie “Silver Streak” co-starring Richard Pryor. He used a stereotypical walk to impersonate a black person living in an urban neighbourhood.On television, viewers could see a Tom and Jerry cartoon featuring the character Mammy Two Shoes, an obese black maid who spoke in a stereotypical voice. The 1940s cartoon series was shown across several markets throughout the 1980s. Television stations ignored complaints from civil rights groups.Elsewhere, Miami erupted into riots following the acquittal of white police officers who killed black salesman and retired Marine Arthur McDuffie in what many called a case of police brutality. President Jimmy Carter visited and pressed for an end to the violence, but a protester threw a bottle at his limousine as he left.When Northam wore blackface to imitate Michael Jackson and copy his moonwalking skills at a 1984 San Antonio dance contest, television stations still aired Looney Tunes episodes with racially insensitive images using Bugs Bunny and other characters despite some controversial episodes being taken off the air in 1968.African-Americans, however, had reason to be hopeful amid electoral gains. A year before, in 1983, Chicago became the latest city to elect a black mayor, Harold Washington, after activists registered 100,000 new black voters. That election, Jesse Jackson later said, paved the way for him to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 1984.“It was out of that context that my own candidacy emerged,” Jackson said in the 1990 “Eyes on the Prize” documentary. Jackson lost the nomination to former Vice-President Walter Mondale.Two years after Northam’s moonwalk performance, the comedy “Soul Man” hit theatres. In the movie, Mark Watson, played by white actor C. Thomas Howell, takes tanning pills in a larger dose to appear African-American so he can obtain a scholarship meant for black students at Harvard Law School. The movie drew a strong reaction from the NAACP and protesters to movie theatres.Still, “Soul Man” took in around $28 million domestically, equivalent to around $63.5 million today.Despite those images, new and popular black cultural figures also emerged, including Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey and a young Michael Jordan. Black Entertainment Television, or BET, was founded in 1980 by businessman Robert L. Johnson, giving the country access to black entertainment using 1970s sitcoms and music.But as Nelson George argued in his book “Post-Soul Nation: The Explosive, Contradictory, Triumphant and Tragic 1980s as Experienced by African Americans,” BET failed to counter negative images by relying on free music videos and investing little money in original programming. “Through this conservative strategy, BET prospered while offering little new to a community starved for images of itself,” George wrote.In addition, the new black cultural figures rarely engaged in politics or spoke out against racial injustice.Sometimes, stereotypes and comments did result in consequences. For example, CBS fired sports commentator Jimmy Snyder, known as Jimmy the Greek, in 1988 after he suggested in a television interview that black athletes were better because of slavery. The Los Angeles Dodgers fired general manager Al Campanis in 1987 for saying on ABC’s “Nightline” that blacks “may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager or perhaps a general manager” and they were poor swimmers.In 1987, black demonstrators marched in all-white Forsyth County, Georgia, to protest the racism that kept blacks out for 75 years. They were promptly attacked by white nationalists hurling rocks and waving Confederate flags. The shocking images sparked national outrage and led Oprah Winfrey to air an episode of her then-5-month-old syndicated talk show from the county.“What are you afraid that black people are going to do?” Winfrey asked the audience.“I’m afraid of them coming to Forsyth County,” one white man told her.Today, Gates said, people can no longer claim ignorance. While it should have been understood that blackface was offensive during the 1980s, one might have had to go to the library to learn exactly why, he said.“We also have more records digitized,” Gates said. “The access to archives is larger, and we have more diversity in the media so we can say these images are painful … and why we shouldn’t use them.”___Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras.Russell Contreras, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Rep Canfield invites residents to June office hoursRep Canfield invites residents to June office hours

first_img Categories: Canfield News 13Jun Rep. Canfield invites residents to June office hours Rep. Ned Canfield, R-Sebewaing, invites residents of the 84th House District to attend his in-district office hours on Monday, June 27, in Harbor Beach and Bad Axe.“I encourage all residents with questions and concerns regarding state government to come join me later this month,” Rep. Canfield said. “Your input is vital to ensuring our district is the very best it can be.”Office hours will be held at the following times and locations:Harbor Beach Area District Library105 N. Huron Ave. in Harbor Beach12:30-1:30 p.m.Bad Axe Public Library200 S. Hanselman St. in Bad Axe2:30-3:30 p.m.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend office hours are encouraged to contact Rep. Canfield by phone at 517-373-0476, or by email at EdwardCanfield@house.mi.gov.###last_img read more

Rep Tedders Patriot Week bill heard by committeeRep Tedders Patriot Week bill heard by committee

first_img Categories: News,Tedder News The House Government Operations Committee this week heard testimony on legislation introduced by state Rep. Jim Tedder declaring the week of Sept. 11 to 17 Patriot Week in Michigan.Tedder, of Clarkston, said the bill designates the week every year as one during which people should reflect on the past and celebrate the nation’s history. The week begins on the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on America in 2001 and ends on Constitution Day, when the document was signed by the Constitutional Convention in 1787.“Patriot Week is a time to look back at our nation’s founding, the principles that molded the direction of our country, and the physical symbols of our history and our freedom to renew our spirit and unity as a nation,” Tedder said. “In order to have a future as a free republic, we must continually review and gain a new understanding of our past and the events that led to the formation of the United States.”The bill encourages citizens, schools and government, as well as public organizations, to participate in Patriot Week by celebrating the founding and development of the United States.Joining Tedder in testimony before the committee was Oakland County Sixth Circuit Judge Michael Warren, who originated the concept of Patriot Week, and Areyon Jackson, a senior at Cornerstone Schools.The bill remains under consideration by the committee.##### 14Sep Rep. Tedder’s Patriot Week bill heard by committeecenter_img Legislator seeks week to celebrate national heritagelast_img read more

Rep Bellino announces local office hoursRep Bellino announces local office hours

first_img Categories: Bellino News 05Dec Rep. Bellino announces local office hours State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe will host office hours on Monday, Dec. 18 to meet with residents of Monroe and Wayne counties.“I am committed to making state government accessible and accountable to the people,” Rep. Bellino said. “This commitment is why I will continue to hold office hours and meet with constituents every month, as I have since taking office in January.”Rep. Bellino will meet with residents at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Biggby, 26614 Telegraph Road in Flat Rock; and10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Tim Hortons, 404 S. Monroe St. in Monroe.Appointments are not necessary during office hours. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Rep. Bellino’s office at (517) 373-1530, email JosephBellino@house.mi.gov or visit www.RepBellino.com.last_img read more

Full Employment is Good for Communities and Workers but Is It GoodFull Employment is Good for Communities and Workers but Is It Good

first_imgShare16Tweet23Share55Email94 SharesSeptember 18, 2017; New YorkerAfter stagnating for over a decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau the income of U.S. households is “finally picking up.” Some of the biggest gains were found in black and Latinx households—10 percent for black households and 11 for Latinxs.After taking account for inflation, it found median household income slightly above 2007 levels. The median household income represents the center of income distribution; it tells us how the middle class is doing.John Cassidy, of the New Yorker, writes, “Even allowing for these qualifications, though, there is no doubt that incomes have jumped quite a bit since the end of 2014—coinciding with a drop in the jobless rate, from 5.6 percent to 4.4 percent.”Much of this has to do with the low unemployment level. “When the unemployment rate is high, full-time jobs are hard to find and workers have little bargaining power,” writes Cassidy. This lowers wages and income. “Conversely, when the unemployment rate is low, full-time jobs are easier to find,” and wages and income increase because employers have to work harder to attract employees.According to the Census Bureau, female and low-paid workers have been benefitting from this trend. The increase in minimum wage in some states has contributed to this. Cassidy notes that we’ve seen this trend before and surmises that full employment should be a governmental goal.Some of this can be attributed to the Federal Reserve’s Janet Yellen and Stanley Fischer, who have a congressional mandate “to maintain both maximum employment and stable prices.” One tactic was to not raise interest rates more rapidly, which allows the unemployment rate to decline.They expect wages and income to continue increasing through 2017. Lesson learned: Maintaining full employment increases the bargaining power of workers, is key to raising wages, and should be the goal of any responsible government, especially progressive ones.One note to nonprofits: A healthy job market means higher wages, which means substandard jobs go wanting. We have discussed many times in these newswires that whole, rapidly expanding fields of direct care nonprofit work offer low wages, unpredictable hours, and few benefits. In a jobs-rich market, this is a disaster waiting to happen, both for those who need the services, mainly the most vulnerable, and for the nonprofits running those services.NPQ has often warned nonprofits in the wage ghettos of the sector to make other plans and build financial models that attend to the best interests of workers. It should not have to come to the kind of labor shortage “crisis” that a good jobs market causes.—Cyndi SuarezShare16Tweet23Share55Email94 Shareslast_img read more