This 5 February 2019 video shows a male silver-beaked tanager, Ramphocelus carbo, in Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil.
This 5 February 2019 video shows a female silver-beaked tanager feeding her chick, in Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil.
This 2016 video says about itself:
Teachers in Liberia threaten strike over plan to privatise schools
Liberia’s teachers have threatened to strike over plans to privatise the country’s … primary schools. This comes amid growing criticism over a multi-million-dollar project to outsource education in one of the world’s poorest nations.
The president of the National Teacher’s association of Liberia said teachers were ready to strike to express their discontent over the subcontracting of education to a private firm. The so-called public-private partnership is being rolled out across 120 schools as part of a pilot project, with what is believed to be the aim of incorporating all primary schools. Liberia’s deputy education minister however says that the PPP system … had its base in US-style Charter Schools.
By Steve Sweeney in Britain:
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Education International warn of damage to children caused by privatisation of schools in Africa
AFRICAN teachers will issue a rallying call tomorrow for free public education across the continent, branding the rapid growth of “low-cost private schools” run by multinationals a form of “foreign intervention.”
During a special meeting of the Education International African regional committee to be held on the sidelines of the African Unions Heads of State meeting in Ethiopia tomorrow, they will urge leaders to fulfil their obligations in the provision of free quality public education which they said was a “fundamental human right.”
The global teachers’ union will launch a research paper giving a searing account of the damage being done to Africa’s education system by privateers Bridge International Academies (BIA) — the world’s largest low-cost for-profit school chain — which is expanding its influence across the continent.
The report, entitled “What do we really know about Bridge International Academies?” revealed that the marketisation of education was harming children in Africa in the pursuit of profit.
It claims BIA’s operations amount to a “foreign intervention” in African countries, including Uganda where it arrived without invitation from the government and set up 63 private schools without obtaining a licence.
In Nigeria legislation and standards have been relaxed to allow it to get a foothold in the country.
According to research, the privateer was boosted by the British government to the tune of nearly $35 million (£27m) from funding earmarked for aid with a further $100m (£78m) coming from private investors.
It found, contrary to BIA’s claim to bring education to the poorest communities, that its drive for profit had the reverse effect with spiralling costs denying access to families living on $2 a day or less per person, which the authors warned was “inappropriate and irresponsible.”
In Nigerian schools, children who cannot pay the fees are separated from their classmates and not allowed to sit exams to pressure parents into paying. Researchers found the humiliation was damaging the health and well-being of children.
Research showed the majority of teachers in BIA schools are unqualified with 71 per cent in Kenya and more than 80 per cent in Uganda not having licences to teach.
Education International warned: “Privatisation, in all its various manifestations, undermines the right of all students to free, quality education and entrenches inequalities, particularly for girls and the socially disadvantaged.”
The teaching organisation demanded that free public education should be funded through progressive taxation with a well-supported and well-paid qualified teacher in every classroom.
African countries must allocate at least 6 per cent of GDP or at least 20 per cent of the national budget to education, in line with internationally agreed funding benchmarks it said.
This 10 February 2019 video is about chestnut-eared aracaris in Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil.
This 8 February 2019 video from Britain is called The Telegraph [conservative daily]’s phone calls to Sir Philip Green.
By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Labour call for Philip Green to be stripped of knighthood after sexual abuse allegations
The Monaco-based billionaire also allegedly referred to a black employee “throwing spears in the jungle” while drawing attention to his dreadlocks, and referred to a Chinese businessman as “Mr Ching Chong Charlie.”
It is also alleged that he complained of his company employing “too many black people”, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.
The allegations against Mr Green by five employees in total were revealed by the Daily Telegraph after he was forced to back down on his action against the newspaper at the High Court on Friday.
The Sunday Telegraph printed a further allegation, reporting that two executives corroborated a woman’s complaint to a lawyer and that their comments failed to surface in a final report.
Millions of pounds were allegedly paid out in settlements with staff members, while non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) were put in place to prevent any of the five staff members from speaking out.
Topshop owner Mr Green, who has been referred to as the “unacceptable face of capitalism” by the business and pensions select committees, denied his behaviour was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.
However, Mr Lavery said: “The honours system is clearly flawed and the Prime Minister should take steps to remove honours from people who bring their office into disrepute.”
Mr Green still holds on to his knighthood after the House of Commons approved a measure in 2016 to ask the honours forfeiture committee to take it away for his role in the downfall of high street chain BHS.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable also called for Mr Green to be stripped of his knighthood and said he had only “narrowly” escaped this happening amid the scandal over shortfalls in the BHS pension scheme.
PM Theresa May’s former policy adviser George Freeman has also said the honour should be revoked if the allegations were true.
The MP for Mid Norfolk said: “Honours like knighthoods and peerages are granted to people in good faith on the basis of what seems at the time a distinguished public record.
“If it transpires that there was indeed some fraud or misconduct or wilful misleading of people or abuse of office,” the honour should be withdrawn, he said.
The chorus of calls for Mr Green to lose his knighthood follows Lord Hain’s decision to use parliamentary privilege to unmask him last October as the tycoon who had gagged the newspaper over allegations of bullying, racial abuse and sexual harassment.
The allegations have triggered Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss to say NDA laws need changing to prevent their “disgraceful” abuse.
“I think it’s completely wrong that people like Philip Green have been able to flout the law,” she told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd also set out plans today to jail company bosses for up to seven years or impose unlimited fines if they fall foul of a new offence of “wilfully or recklessly” mismanaging employee pensions.
Currently, only certain offences, such as obstructing or providing false information to the pensions regulator, carry a prison sentence capped at a maximum of two years.
From Jewish daily Forward in the USA:
Her Daughter Was Diagnosed With Cancer. Her Corporate Employer Asked Her To Resign
By Haley Cohen, February 10, 2019
Finding a Fortune 500 company that appreciates work-life balance is a challenge in corporate America, and Jennifer Spangenthal was sure that she had found one — right until her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
Spangenthal, a New Jersey mother of two, who identifies as an Orthodox Jew, was drawn to a career in human resources because she wanted the opportunity to “provide flexibility to other people and help them navigate their lives”, she told the Forward.
In 2014, she began working for the consumer goods company Unilever,
British-Dutch multinational Unilever‘s public relations department says they are a ‘good’ corporation.
However, there are several blots on Unilever’s history.
The big boss of Unilever gets 292 times as much as ‘average’ Unilever employees in the Netherlands. Compared to Unilever employees in, eg, African countries, the gap is stil; much bigger. However, Unilever in this is not even the worst, compared to, eg, Amazon.com.
which owns brands including Lipton, Hellmann’s and Suave. There, Spangenthal was tasked with helping to re-design the company’s family leave policy. She hoped her family could personally benefit from the company’s seemingly flexible strategy, as well as help other employees. “I thought I might have found the role that would help me achieve this elusive work-life balance, given their renown for family-friendly work policies,” she said.
But just as she returned from maternity leave following the birth of her son JJ, Spangenthal and her husband David heard four words that are every parents’ nightmare: “Your child has cancer.” Their three-year-old Sophie was fighting for her life, with a diagnosis of pleuropulmonary blastoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in the lungs.
Initially, Unilever was fairly helpful, Spangenthal said, providing her with a period of unpaid leave. Those days were filled with endless cycles of blood draws, chemotherapy treatments, doctor visits, scans, and medical terminology, she recalled. As Sophie’s health slowly began to improve, Spangenthal brought a proposal up to her boss. She no longer felt she needed to be by her daughter’s side 24/7 and was ready to suggest returning to work, but on a part-time schedule. She never got to make the proposition.
“Before I could suggest anything, my boss got on the phone and said, ‘If you can’t come back full-time we need to ask you to resign.’” Spangenthal reluctantly resigned. She said the response was “astonishing” especially given that she had been a full-time employee with the company for over two years.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, United States labor laws require employers to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year with no threat of job loss, should they or an immediate family member face a serious illness. To qualify for FMLA, the employee must have worked for the company for at least one year and there must be 50 or more employees at the business. Some states offer their own paid plans, depending on the situation, including California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Spangenthal had been on leave for over two months when her boss provided the ultimatum.
While her husband David, an employee at Google, received “exceptional” support in the initial weeks and months following Sophie’s diagnosis, including coworkers being allowed to donate personal vacation time and an offer to work remotely when necessary — across the country, many parents can relate more closely to the Unilever experience.
Robin Wilson, a stay-at-home mom in New York City, told the Forward that her three-year-old son’s leukemia diagnosis led to the collapse of her husband’s IT business. “It’s a different kind of story because my husband was the company owner, but it has to do with business culture in general. A business needs work done. But our work culture does not prioritize people,” she said. Wilson said that within six months of her son’s diagnosis, and her husband taking some time off work, employees stopped showing up and clients “didn’t care.”
A study published in Pediatrics Blood & Cancer in 2015 surveyed the families of 99 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s patients within the first month of cancer diagnosis and then a second time six months later. It found that about one-quarter of families of children being treated for cancer lost more than 40 percent of their total household income, while one-third experienced housing, energy or food insecurity.
Reportedly, at the time of diagnosis, 20 percent of the families surveyed were low-income (defined as those earning less than twice the federal poverty line). Six months later, an additional 12 percent of families had suffered financial mishaps that placed them below the federal poverty level. Six months after the initial diagnosis, 56 percent of the adults who were supporting their families reported an interference in their work, with 15 percent of parents either quitting or being fired from their jobs. Additionally, 37 percent of the surveyed adults were forced to reduce their hours or had to take a leave of absence from work. Only one third received pay during their time away from work taking care of their child.
Spangenthal said that in her situation, finances were not the most pressing matter. “I wasn’t expecting to be paid. All I wanted was to have a job when I got back,” she said. Since her resignation in April 2017, Spangenthal has devoted her time to being a full-time mother, but said she often considers returning to the work force. Sophie, who is now five-years-old, faced a relapse in March 2018. She finished her latest round of treatment this past November, around the same time that Spangenthal worked up the courage to write an opinion piece that she had been toying with for over a year.
On January 2, NBC News published the piece, headlined “A Fortune 500 company hired me to help them be more family-friendly. Then my own kid got cancer,” written in first-person by Spangenthal. “While many areas of our personal and professional lives have evolved to become more humane, corporate America yet has yet to take notice: Humanity needs to return to corporate America,” she wrote, as she shared her family’s story with the world.
Spangenthal told the Forward that her motive in publishing the story was “to make people become aware that especially in big companies, you really are treated as just a number.” She added that “the image Unilever displays in the media is very different from what really happens. There’s no employee loyalty. Nothing gets in the way of their financial gain.”
Spangenthal said, for employers, there is no single approach that can fit every situation. “I think it’s very much a matter of being sensitive to an employee’s needs. There’s no words to describe how you feel when your child is sick,” she said. “It’s just about having empathy and not kicking somebody when they’re already down.”
These five hour long videos are about wildlife in Costa Rica.