Ebola: Curse Or Trial? An Introductory

first_imgIN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFUL. All praise belongs to Allah; and may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household, his companions and all those who rightly follow their foot-steps. Ameen!Since the emergence of the pandemic disease-Ebola on the Liberian soil some months ago, individuals as well as groups continue to give a name, appellation or description to the virus of this killer disease. Its virus has sadly engulfed not only Liberia and its people with, but also some other countries, African and non-African countries. Its germs continue to adversely affect the lives of the peoples in those countries. What is more worrisome in the premises is that up to now, there is no definite cerement for it. In consequence of this, some called it as a “curse” and others termed it as “trial”.In as much as the emergence of such deadly disease is sadden; nonetheless, discourse of this kind is indeed fascinating and more impressive. In that, when done intellectually in good-faith, it would prayerfully have the tendency of encouraging intellectual discourse in other areas of our social life as people belonging to a nation. Moreover, it would also hopefully become something that will, by Allah’s grace, help instill in our in people, particularly the youth-who are the hope and future actors of our Nation, a sense of spiritual pausing, reflection and mature judgment!In other words, if Liberians could find logic in discussing the issue of ebola intellectually, there is reason to believe that it could serve as opening of a page of the finest chapter in the history of Liberia in matters appertaining to decision making process of our Nation problems. The fact is that, the gravity of the ebola and its adverse affects is as serious as pandemically contagious as it is. It may interest readers to know that so are the cases of “curse” and “trial”. For “curse”, in general terminology, can be classified, as a kind of expression that is used to condemn, execrate, imprecate and/or maledict a person or group of people, including a community or nation. Of course, reason for pouring such denouncement varied, but it usually centers on the commission of an act that the curser regards to be wrongful or evil. While trial is a method of testing one’s true character, nature and/or quality. This trial can be done for spiritual or material purpose and either be good or bad. However, all in all, it end objective is to test an individual or group; so as to serve as an opportunity for correction and rehabilitation. Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam is replete with the description of the various kinds of “curse” and “trial”.So, as students of theology, we think it behooves us that we partake in their discussion; so as to share our view in the premises. Our aim and objective is that our participation will prayerfully be contributive and meaningful in arriving at a conclusion that will be impressive and fascinating in matters of national debate. Our desire in the premise is to do so within the context of Al-Islamic jurisprudence. With this in mind, we would like to first make crystal and clear that, generally, humans are imperfect beings imbued with limited knowledge; and as students, we entertain no objection or hesitation in humbly and profoundly recognizing, appreciating and admitting with unmitigated conviction that this fact is undisputable and hence, we can in no way be an exception to such limitation.It is therefore our earnest supplication that Allah will guide us in our endeavor to appreciate the true meaning of both “curse” and “trial”. For it is held that human life is like a restless sea, full of see-saw and wonders; something that is always in a state of perpetual turmoil that is usually caused by the waves of events. It goes without saying therefore, unless humans adapt themselves to the process of brief pausing and sober reflection, they will not be able to make a mature judgment. Within this, Al-Qur’an maintains that human as sociable beings; and as such, “There is nothing useful nor reliable for a purpose or efficient in a function in much of their secret counsel and in the thoughts they convey reciprocally in talk uttered below their breath unless it be in accord with wisdom and piety to the end that it enjoins benevolence, equity and the inducement to peace among people and to principle of justice. And he whose lines of character are broad and clear as to feature willingness to comply with divine principles for the sake of piety shall be a recipient of Allah’s grace; We (Allah) will requite him with a great reward”(4:114).In another Scriptural assertion, the Holy Book of Al-Islam echoes that the felicity of human depends on the availability of personalities who are dedicated and committed to enjoining people to: “conformity of life and conduct to the requirements of divine and moral law and forbid all that is wrongful and obscene; such-like person shall reap the fruits of victory here and Hereafter” (3:104).Interestingly, no one in Liberia or the world for that matter, that do want to “be a recipient of Allah’s grace”; a grace that is an embodiment of all that is good, prosperous, wealthy and felicitous. By the same trend there is no one who does not want to “reap the fruits of victory”. Of course, there would be a variance in the end desire, inclination and purpose. Perhaps it is against this background that the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam avers thus: “That you endeavour (you people) to attain your goals is diverse, to some, righteousness be but a goal to their will, other in vanity they waste their days, others compromise between opposite motives and exercise adjustment of rival courses of action, and others attain it through benefaction. So that he who gives gratuitously and fears Allah indeed, and solemnly believes in deeds imprinted with wisdom and piety and that the end crowns the deed, will We (Allah) facilitate his task and lead him to the facile and ready course. But he who is niggardly and thinks he is self-sufficient and exercises greed, and denies the Day of Judgment and the requital that is commensurate with one’s deed, will We (Allah) allow his course to what is miserable, unfavourable and bad; nor will his material advantages save him from the internal abode which is dark, troublesome and sad,”  (92:4-11).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man City on best home run in nearly 100 years

first_img3 – Manchester City have reached the final of the League Cup on three of the previous four occasions when winning the semi-final first leg, with the exception being against Manchester United in 2009/10. Primed.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2018 9 – Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in nine goals in eight appearances for Manchester City in the League Cup (six goals, three assists). Catalyst. pic.twitter.com/9mqNMUM1Vp — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2018  And they owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin De Bruyne, who scored City’s equaliser at the Etihad Stadium.The Belgium international has been directly involved in nine goals for City in the tournament in just eight appearances.It’s been a year of records for Guardiola’s side. Back in September the club recorded their largest thrashing of Liverpool in 80 years with a 5-0 thumping , followed that up with a record winning run in the Premier League and ended 2017 with the largest New Year lead in the league’s history . City will have a chance to extend their home run against Newcastle on January 20, but must navigate a tough road fixture against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side at the weekend. Manchester City Man City on best home run in nearly 100 years Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 06:58 1/10/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Sergio Aguero Manchester City Getty Images Manchester City League Cup Manchester City v Bristol City Bristol City Pep Guardiola’s side have now won 16 matches in a row in all competitions after their 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Tuesday night Manchester City beat Bristol City 2-1 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday and equalled a staggering record in the process.Pep Guardiola’s men have now won 16 matches in a row at home in all competitions, equalling the previous record set between 1920-21.City’s victory will also have fans dreaming of a Wembley final, with the club primed to face either Chelsea or Arsenal after their win over the Championship outfit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Indeed, City have reached three of the last four League Cup showpieces in which they have won the first leg of the semi-final.last_img read more

A year after Danforth shooting teens who lost friend grapple with anxiety

first_imgTORONTO — They were eight care-free teenagers out celebrating a birthday when the bullets flew. The rampage that ensued on July 22, 2018, changed their lives.Days before the first anniversary of the shooting in Greektown, four of the teens who survived the tragedy sit in the living room of an east Toronto home talking about their struggles with anxiety, depression and the feeling of loss. It’s better than therapy, they say.“I feel like the people I am surrounded with is my therapy,” says Skye McLeod, as her friend Noor Samiei, whose 18th birthday they were celebrating the night of the shooting, gently holds her hand.Their best friend, 18-year-old Reese Fallon, was one of two people who were killed when a deeply troubled 29-year-old man went on a shooting spree. Thirteen people were injured, including their other friend, Samantha Price.Price has largely recovered physically, but she says she cannot stop the morbid thoughts that often race through her mind. The 18-year-old will watch cars go by and think the driver will shoot her in the head. She’ll notice a stranger on the street and fear for her life. She thinks large crowds make for a perfect place for a bomb to go off.“It’s horrible,” she says. “But I can’t help it.”All four have tried various forms of therapy. Three say it didn’t help.McLeod stopped after one session with a therapist. Samiei, 19, says she saw a therapist twice.“The therapist would look at me and if she didn’t initiate the conversation, I would just look back at her,” Samiei says. “What I really wanted was feedback.”“Tell me how to heal,” Price says. “It sucks to go outside and be this age and not have fun.”Max Smith, however, says therapy has helped his recurring anxiety.“We just talk about what I’m feeling,” he says. “(My therapist) is super helpful and gives me insight and has given me some breathing techniques.”All four say they think about the shooting a lot.The night of the celebration started with dinner at an Italian restaurant downtown. Then they moved to Greektown for gelato. They were chatting at a nearby parkette when some noticed a man across the street, staring at them.Price remembers Faisal Hussain raising a gun and firing. A bullet shattered her right hip and she collapsed. Next to her, two of her friends were on the ground bleeding.McLeod also went down, but wasn’t shot. “I remember looking at him,” she says. “Do I get up to run? Will that make me a bigger target? Do I play dead?”Smith, who was next to McLeod, says he crouched down when the bullets flew.“It was like tunnel vision,” he says. “I remember saying ‘Skye, we have to go.’”“You saved my life,” she says to Smith. He blushes.In the commotion, Samiei ran straight onto Danforth Avenue, tripped and fell, smashing her chin and knee on the road.“While on the ground, I looked behind me and saw him shooting,” she says.Samiei noticed Smith, McLeod and another friend duck into a nearby cafe so she got up and followed. The four ended up in a basement bathroom with two strangers.Price watched her friends dash into the cafe, but also noticed restaurants were closing their doors.Somehow, despite her shattered hip, Price made her way to Christina’s, a restaurant where a waitress helped her in and called for a doctor. She’d spend the next five days in hospital.Her friends, meanwhile, were trying to track down members of their group. Samiei, while still in the basement bathroom, called Fallon repeatedly but got no answer. McLeod called her father, who rushed over.Patrick McLeod, a retired police officer, found his daughter and her three friends in the cafe bathroom. After speaking with police at the scene, he ended up identifying Fallon’s body.The friends later learned that Fallon had run in one direction while they scrambled in another. Her body was found in the parkette where they had gathered.“That’s when our lives changed forever,” Samiei says.While three of them started university last September, McLeod chose to travel. She headed to Greece, but the horror of what happened soon took hold.“I immediately had a panic attack,” she says. “I had never been so depressed in my life. Crying constantly. Everything just hit me.”Her father flew over to help and McLeod eventually carried on to Italy, but delayed her trip to Australia.“I realized I needed time at home to heal,” she says.Her travels helped, but like Price, McLeod says she grapples with disturbing thoughts. At a recent concert, for instance, she found herself thinking “this is a great place for a shooting.”Smith moved to Guelph, Ont., for university and said being away from Toronto has also helped.“It’s easy to forget about the shooting because you’re just not there,” he said. “It hits you when you get home.”Samiei, now a student at the University of Toronto, says commuting to the school’s downtown campus was a challenge because crowds on the subway distressed her. So her mother commuted with her for months. Now, she’s able to make the journey on her own.“I will change cars if I see someone weird, though,” she says.Price has also struggled with parts of city life — a walk around her neighbourhood on Canada Day triggered a panic attack when she heard fireworks.“It’s become so difficult,” she says. “I’ve loved growing up here and loved living here, but I feel uncomfortable at any public event.”Despite their issues, the friends say they try to be positive as much as they can, especially when it comes to remembering Fallon.“Reese’s last meal was her favourite: raspberry and chocolate gelato,” Samiei says with a smile.Smith shows a video of the group at the restaurant that night where Fallon makes a goofy face. Everyone laughs.“As horrible as that night was, at least until then, we had such a good time,” Smith says.Samiei visits the parkette regularly to keep Fallon’s memory alive. She puts photographs of her friend on a tree. Someone takes them down, but she returns to put them back up.“It’s important,” Samiei said. “So people don’t forget.”Liam Casey, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Government Salaries to increase up to 67 with Review

first_img Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 12 Mar 2015 – There were no exact figures given on how many in the public sector will see their salary impacted by the Pay and Grade Review, but Premier Rufus Ewing and Deputy Governor, Anya Williams said it will be ‘many.’ As a prelude to a first set of meetings to be held here in Provo and then in Grand Turk with the employees in the Civil Service, media was given opportunity to question the duo on the changes; a process which started in 2012 and which may continue into the next couple of years as the review and revamp is fine tuned. Premier Rufus Ewing said while not everyone will see an increase in their salaries, no one will see a decrease either; both leaders adding that it is not just about raising pay but improving the physical work environment. A ‘well paid’ Civil Service is what the former head of the Civil Service Association explained is the aim. The range of increase in pay is 21% to 67% with those working in Education getting the largest leaps; fire officers are also seeing a big boost of around 60%. Government has allotted $9 million dollars to this recurrent TCIG expense; another quarter of a million dollars is pegged for education and training opportunities. Dames is first Hospitality Hero Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:anya williams, civil service, increase, premier rufus ewing, salary DEPUTY GOVERNOR SPEAKS OF STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT SERVICES.last_img read more

Quebecor World Sells European Operations

first_imgQuebecor’s European operations produce magazines, catalogs, retail inserts, direct mail products and directories. They include 17 printing and related facilities employing approximately 3,500 people in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain and Sweden.The sale is not subject to the approval of either Quebecor World’s or HHBV’s shareholders. The only condition to closing, according to Quebecor, is court approval. Quebecor World has agreed to sell its European operations to a group of Netherlands-based investors, the Hombergh/De Pundert Group, for more than $200 million. The transaction is expected to close in June.According to Quebecor World CEO Jacques Mallette, the sale is “an important step in our restructuring activities that we believe should enable us to exit creditor protection in North America as a stronger player in our industry.”Earlier this year, Quebecor filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it had entered into a $1 billion financing deal with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Under the terms of the acquisition, HHBV has deposited nearly $80 million in escrow to be released to Quebecor once the deal is finalized. HHBV also will assume about $100 million of net debt, and a $33.5 million five-year note bearing interest at 7 percent per year, which will be payable to Quebecor World following finalization of the deal.last_img read more

Furloughs Salary Cuts and Employee Hours Whats Legal and Whats Not

first_imgIn an April 28th memo announcing salary cuts and a reduced work week for the summer months, Penton Media CEO Sharon Rowlands advised employees that they may be eligible for unemployment benefits and told them to check with their local unemployment office. She also noted that “special rules may apply to employees in California and to non-exempt employees, and we will be reaching out to these employees and their managers with specific information and specific instructions.”Pay cuts and layoffs are hard enough on employee morale but publishers have another reason to tread lightly in this area: Violation of state or federal labor laws could end up costing the publisher significant money and hamper future cost-saving steps.FOLIO: spoke with law firm Morgan & Lewis, which specializes in labor law, on what areas should be of particular concern to publishers trying to cut back. Government Eye on Small Businesses Smaller publishers that have made due with either a part-time human resources staffer (or none at all) may want to reinvest in that position. While some publishers may be too small to be eligible under Federal law (typically 15 employees or more), state law may still apply. All it takes is one phone call from a disgruntled worker to put you on some agency’s radar.   Be particularly mindful of the overtime demands made on low wage earners (most employees must take home at least $455 per week before deductions). The Federal Department of Labor  has announced investigations on low wage earners in variety of industries. “The Obama administration says it will pour a lot more money into that,” says Morgan & Lewis partner David McManus. “While the government might decide to focus on a particular industry, smaller companies get on a government agency radar because a former or current employee makes a complaint. Often an employee leaves for another job where they do similar work but they’re classified differently. Now that they get overtime, they scratch their head and say, ‘What‘s up with that?’ and file a complaint against their old company.”While “overtime” is a seldom-heard term in the publishing industry, publishers do have to be aware of company hours in relation to reduced wages. “You have to be vigilant in making sure you have an off-the-clock policy and make sure managers aren’t applying pressure to employees to work overtime that’s not reported,” says McManus. “Employees generally are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Act with exceptions, so many that the exceptions almost become the rule.” Don’t try to sneak work in during a furlough week, even with the promise of future compensation. “If for a week you’re furloughing people who are exempt from the overtime laws, you have to make sure they’re not working at all,” says McManus. “If they’ve done work and they’re an exempt employee, they’re entitled to their weekly pay. You may even lose the exemption for a whole class of employees based on that one employee.”Heightened Litigation with ContractorsPublishers are increasingly outsourcing core duties such as production, edit and sales to contract workers. However, that’s also becoming a growing source of litigation. New York State is considering investigating the status of independent contractors and whether they’re classified correctly. “We’ve seen an increasing trend in private litigation and in state and federal regulatory agencies going after claims that individuals who were treated as contractors, so they didn’t get benefits or overtime, actually are employees,” says McManus.Sales reps are a particularly touchy area. If a rep  is required to spend so many hours in meetings with the publisher, that rep could be classified as a full-time employee, and eligible for corresponding benefits.last_img read more

Indias first IPR Policy approved by the cabinet

first_img7 Policy Objectives Commercialisation of IPRsTo get value for IPRs through commercialisation. IPR Awareness: Outreach and PromotionPublic awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society Administration and ManagementTo modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration Human Capital DevelopmentTo strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs. Generation of IPRsTo stimulate the generation of IPRscenter_img India’s cabinet approved its first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy on Friday. The policy aims to create awareness in society about economic, social, and cultural benefits of IPRs with a view to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.The policy is expected to chart a roadmap for the future of India’s intellectual properties, alongside laying an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review of an IPR regime.The government, R&D organisations, educational institutions, corporate entities — startups, and micro, small and medium enterprises — will put their strengths together to create an innovation-conducive environment, said the statement. It noted that the efforts will stimulate creativity and innovation across sectors,  collectively facilitating a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.The policy mechanism is guided by seven objectives.7 Policy Objectives7 Policy Objectives7 Policy ObjectivesIPR Awareness: Outreach and PromotionPublic awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society7 Policy ObjectivesGeneration of IPRsTo stimulate the generation of IPRs7 Policy ObjectivesLegal and Legislative FrameworkTo have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.7 Policy ObjectivesAdministration and ManagementTo modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration7 Policy ObjectivesCommercialisation of IPRsTo get value for IPRs through commercialisation.7 Policy ObjectivesEnforcement and AdjudicationTo strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.7 Policy ObjectivesHuman Capital DevelopmentTo strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs. While different ministries shall be in charge of these action points, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be the nodal agency to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation of the policy in all the other ministries.The policy highlights the criticality that IPRs have attained globally, and attempts to push the trend in India with regard to innovations owned by oneself or others.”The importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings as also commercialisation of patents granted need to increase. Innovation and sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed,” the statement said.With the slogan “Creative India, innovative India,” the vision document aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies, said the statement. Enforcement and AdjudicationTo strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements. Legal and Legislative FrameworkTo have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.last_img read more

Thakurgaon road crash death toll rises to 4

first_imgA head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway claims life of four people.A head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway left four people dead and 29 others injured on Thursday morning, reports UNB. The deceased are Babul, 28, a minibus driver Abul Kalam Azad, 50, son of Abdul Majid, Mojibur Rahman, 75, and Quamruzzaman, 35, of Thakurgaon Sadar upazila. The accident took place at Salandar Bhutpara in the upazila around 10:00am. A Panchagarh-bound bus hit the Thakurgaon-bound minibus of ‘Nirnoy Paribahan’, killing three people on the spot, said sub-inspector Firoza Begum of Sadar police station.Police and fire service officials rescued the victims and took 22 of them to the Sadar Hospital. Later, another injured man succumbed to his injuries at Sadar Hospital in the afternoon.last_img read more

Texas School Districts Struggled To Use Law That Could Stave Off State

first_img Share For school districts with chronically failing campuses, a recently passed law that allows them a reprieve from state sanctions was supposed to be a lifeline. A year on, less than a tenth of those districts are on track to take advantage of it.About 60 Texas schools in more than two dozen districts were considered failing for four or more years in 2017, putting them at risk for being shut down by the state next year. Several of those school districts considered using Senate Bill 1882, which allowed them to partner with outside organizations to turn those schools around and get an extension from harsh state penalties, but only five are currently on track to do so.Others had trouble meeting the tight application deadline or faced backlash from school communities that protested giving up the management of their low-performing schools, many of which are located in majority Hispanic and black neighborhoods.“They’ve taken on a new process, challenging because it is new, and they’ve done it in a really hard context of a long-term, low-performing campus,” said David Anderson, policy analyst at Raise Your Hand Texas, which has been following the implementation of this law. “It’s sort of a perfect storm in the sense of hard to do.”The Texas Education Agency last week made a first round of decisions on six districts’ partnership applications, rejecting one district’s proposal, approving another’s contingent on technical changes and requesting interviews with the proposed partner organizations for the last four. It plans to make final decisions before the next school year begins.Three years ago, Texas passed a strict law intended to force districts to take responsibility for bolstering schools that failed to meet standards by setting deadlines for improvement and imposing sanctions on those that didn’t meet them. After a slow phase-in, the state is poised next school year to impose those sanctions, which include forcibly shutting down schools considered failing for more than three years or taking over the school boards of those districts.SB 1882 at first seemed like it could offer some help for school administrators in need of more time to implement fixes: districts that partnered with a nonprofit, charter organization or university to overhaul failing schools could receive a two-year reprieve from state penalties as well as additional state funding.But the process was harder than it seemed. “People go through a couple of stages of this where they initially say, ‘Oh my, that’s a bunch of money.’ Then they see what they really have to do to make it work, and that is daunting,” Anderson said.Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he was unwilling to wait months to decide how to proceed with three schools that had been listed as failing for four or five years. “We would be insulting your intelligence as well as any potential partners to have them consider something and have a plan in by March 1,” he told board members in November, according to the Dallas Morning News. The TEA released the guidelines in late February and March, and districts faced an April 30 final deadline to submit their applications.Some Dallas ISD board members and community members also didn’t want to give up the reins of their schools, said board member Miguel Solis. Under SB 1882, districts are required to sign contracts giving the charter group or university authority over the schools’ operations and employees.“The fear from some of my colleagues was that the innovation that we are actually doing related to school choice in Dallas ISD would have been at risk of being taken away from the district’s control and basically given away to universities to run as they pleased,” Solis said. Instead, Dallas ISD officials are planning to close and consolidate some schools and use the district’s own program to try to turn struggling schools around by paying high-performing teachers stipends to work at them.Solis argued the state should be spending more money on innovative programs districts already have in place. “We have data that shows this is a more effective innovation strategy,” he said.Victoria ISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich proposed partnering with local University of Houston at Victoria to manage two schools that had been failing for five years. It would have received an estimated additional $1,921 per student — $2.1 million total — from the state each year of a proposed three-year partnership.But he couldn’t get the contract together in time and so got a terse letter from the state last week saying his request for an extension on state sanctions had been denied. Jaklich isn’t too worried about the rejection: he’s positive that school leaders have managed to turn those schools around, and that they’ll receive passing marks in August’s accountability ratings, largely based on standardized test scores. “We’re extremely confident that all of them are going to make it,” he said.Not all school administrators are as optimistic. Houston ISD has been the key example for the high stakes of the upcoming state penalties, with 10 failing schools putting Texas’ largest district at risk of state takeover. In a disastrous board meeting that ended in multiple arrests, Houston ISD proposed applying for a turnaround partnership to hand over the management of its schools to a charter group called Energized for STEM.Community members turned out in protest, furious at the drastic proposal on a tight timeline, and district officials and board members backed away from the proposal.Houston ISD has another option for a reprieve. It could receive a waiver from its state ratings this year because of the massive financial and phsyical destruction it suffered under Hurricane Harvey — which would delay the sanctions another year.Anderson thinks more districts will be poised to apply for partnerships next year, with more time to plan, and especially as schools continue to trigger potential state takeover. “The campuses people weren’t so concerned about because they were three-year low-performing, if they turn into four-year [low-performing campuses] in August, you have this whole discussion again,” he said.Disclosure: Raise Your Hand Texas and the University of Houston have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.last_img read more

Have a Tattoo Apple Watch Might Not Be for You

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Listen Now April 30, 2015 Early adopters of the Apple Watch, Apple Inc’s first new product in five years, are complaining that a number of its key functions are disrupted by their tattoos.Owners of Apple Watch – including this reporter, who bought a 42mm version with stainless steel case and black classic buckle for A$1,029 ($822) – have found that their inked skin confuses the sensors on the underside of the device.Users of the watch, which went on sale last week, took to social media on Thursday under the hashtag #tattoogate to air their frustration with the flaw from Apple’s renowned design house.One anonymous user on Reddit, an entertainment, social networking, and user-generated news website, said the device’s locking mechanism, which should disengage when the watch detects it is being worn, failed to work on decorated skin.”My hand isn’t tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink, the watch would automatically lock again,” the user wrote.This Reuters reporter, who has a black tattoo on his left arm, also found that the watch locks on tattooed skin and does not deliver the soft pings that alert a user to incoming messages. The heart rate readings were also significantly different on the tattooed and untattooed wrists.An Apple support article says the watch uses green LED lights paired with light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist and calculate the frequency of heart beats.A website support page from the company says tattoos can interfere with readings from the heart rate monitor, but does not mention interference with other functions.”Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings,” it said.A spokesman for Apple in Sydney declined to comment on Thursday, but three Apple employees at its flagship Sydney store, including a senior advisor from its tech support line, said they were unaware of any issue.”To be honest, you’re my first caller about the Apple Watch at all,” the senior advisor told Reuters.The tattoo issue follows a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that some taptic engines, which produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, started to break down over time, a flaw that was slowing the rollout of the item.The report said the problem had been detected in some of the parts supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc (2018.HK), based in Shenzhen, China. Shares in AAC Technologies dropped 8 percent on Thursday morning after the report. The company did not respond to requests for comment.A Taipei-based technology analyst, who is in regular contact with AAC, said he was not aware of the tattoo problem, but did not expect it would have a significant impact on production.”We have been hearing suppliers encountering some bottleneck issues for Apple Watch’s production such as problems with its displays, haptics or assembly,” he told Reuters, adding that those issues were quite common for new products.($1 = 1.2517 Australian dollars)(Additional reporting by Yimou Lee in Teipei; Editing by Will Waterman) 3 min readlast_img read more