Is Uber’s recognition of the Independent Driver’s Guild (IDG) in New York a step in the right direction or an evil red herring? It depends, of course, on which lawyer you ask.One the one hand, lawyers for the IDG say the agreement with Uber will guarantee drivers monthly meetings to raise concerns, create an appeals process for driver termination decisions and provide legal services and benefits to drivers at discounted rates.Some view this agreement as a positive development – the forging of an unlikely and unsteady alliance. The agreement will provide some protection for drivers while also helping Uber stem the flow of litigation. Uber also gains an ally in its attempt to repeal a New York law taxing “black car” rides 9%, but which exempts traditional yellow taxi cabs.On the other side of the debate, we have Senator Elizabeth Warren, who says the “gig economy” is merely a symptom of the erosion of worker rights over time. Taking on-demand taxi gigs is a sort of last-ditch effort to create economic security and autonomy by workers who’ve been marginalized and squeezed by corporate America while all the wealth flowed to the top. She may have a point.To be fair to Uber, unionizing gig economy workers is really difficult. It starts with the mentality of such workers, having watched as their influence over wages at the corporate level dissipated steadily over the years and as traditional trade unions were pushed out. Union membership rates have been declining consistently for about 50 years. And during that time, wages for the vast majority of Americans remained stagnant while the C suite got paid. About that, Senator Warren is correct.Now, however, workers have the technology to fight back. They can use apps like Uber and Lyft to provide transportation, Miniluxe or Shortcut to provide onsite hairstyling and even source temporary staffing apps like Shiftgig and TaskRabbit to find short-term jobs. They can choose their own wages, essentially, by choosing how often they want to work. The catch, of course, is that workers who want both the flexibility and the money are hung out to dry when they have a medical or financial crisis because their “employer” doesn’t provide health insurance. Not to mention, the lack of a practical, portable retirement savings account (in the absence of employer-sponsored 401(k)s for contractors) means those workers may be left hanging in retirement as well.The other catch is that being a contractor (employee?) for one of these companies means your choices about work are going to be very personal. The amount of individual control workers have over these apps and their work schedules makes it very difficult to get them to agree on broad labor terms, let alone specifics like benefit plans or wages. That makes it extremely impractical and difficult to get them to band together and that is why the formation of the IDG and its recognition by Uber is a big development, albeit on a small scale.As usual, the solution is a compromise and perhaps a reimagining of some labor regulations to reflect modern working conditions. Uber drivers are not, after all, gathering at some shady parking lot in downtown San Francisco at 5 a.m. every day to wait for work. They’re scanning smartphones for gigs in their downtime between hipster beard trimming class and Yoga.Senator Warren says there should be three major objectives for policy makers, legislators and worker unions in trailblazing the gig economy’s path when it comes to labor regulations: Improve the safety net by providing catastrophic insurance coverage, Make healthcare benefits portable; and Make retirement benefits portable.Those goals remain lofty and far off for now as the IDG won’t do much of that for Uber drivers in New York. But Uber’s recognition of the IDG is a small, tentative step in the right direction.Discrimination NationColleen Dominguez’s sex and age discrimination suit against Fox Sports 1 (FS1) will proceed to trial after the employer’s motion to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds was denied. FS1 argued that it withheld assignments from Dominguez based on its right to craft its own programming message, but according to the court, that argument completely misses the point of the lawsuit. If crafting a corporate message results in the marginalization of individuals based on their sex or age, it’s still illegal.In this case, Dominguez claims she was asked to get an “Erin Andrews makeover” (complete with a facelift and hair extensions). This was in addition to numerous other comments and critiques about her physical appearance, issues which were not common with male or younger female colleagues. Now that the case can proceed, that will open up the “discovery” phase, during which time lawyers for Dominguez may get to see exactly what FS1 had to say about her when it chose not to let her cover big assignments like the 2015 Super Bowl, for example. Uh oh.Good news for employers that have faced frivolous or otherwise “unreasonable” EEOC lawsuits. In CRST Van Expedited v. EEOC, the Supreme Court held that the employer may recover up to $4 million in attorney’s fees from the EEOC after defending itself against a charge of systemic sexual harassment. During the investigation and resulting lawsuit, the EEOC (allegedly) failed to make witnesses available for depositions and otherwise allowed the statute of limitations on claims to expire in some cases.In these types of situations, attorney’s fees may be recoverable, but something tells me that pretty much every single employer that has ever been sued would view the lawsuit as “unreasonable.” Tread carefully when seeking attorney’s fees as it’s immensely difficult to prevail on those types of cases and you will accrue additional attorney’s fees in the process of trying to collect them. Gotta love lawyers!Compliance CarouselNew York State is suing Domino’s (corporate) together with several Domino’s franchisees, claiming that they collaborated to underpay workers by about $565,000 in 10 different stores. To bring corporate Domino’s into the case, the state will have to make the “joint employer” argument which means proving allegations that corporate Domino’s micromanaged employee relations issues at the franchisee level.The “ignorance of the law” defense rarely, if ever, works in court. In Craig v. Bridges Bros. Trucking, the 6th Circuit ruled that ignorance of FLSA regulations did not excuse an employer’s failure to pay proper overtime. The district court had ruled in the employer’s favor because the employee in question had failed to notify her employer about the missed overtime payments. The 6th Circuit found, however, that the employer likely knew about its overtime pay obligation to the employee because of some internal communications about capping her work hours.How is this song related to HR?In the last edition of HR Intel, we asked you how “Candidate” by Joy Division is related to HR. This song is very much about politics, but you don’t need much experience in the modern work setting to know that politics are hyper-relevant. Not only do people bring their political persuasions into the workplace, but office politics add a whole other layer of complexity.Candidate is about the struggles that go on between individuals or groups with different value systems and ultimately, a recognition that we’re all different and unique, yet we have similar objectives in that we need to work together. Sounds like something relatable to HR.We leave you with “Burn the Witch” by Radiohead from their new album: A Moon Shaped Pool.Tell us how you think this song is related to HR in the comments section below.Originally posted on the XpertHR blog.
A Suspected Meth Lab beneath a Walmart Parking Lot Has Officials “Completely Astounded”A giant, graffiti-filled storm sewer beneath a Walmart parking lot in Upstate New York may have housed a shocking setup: an underground laboratory used for making methamphetamine, police said. Authorities in Amherst, a suburb of Buffalo, have opened an investigation into the suspected meth lab some 12 feet under the superstore parking lot, along a busy thoroughfare that leads to the town’s shops, according to local news reports. “I was completely astounded,” Amherst Highway Superintendent Patrick G. Lucey told the Buffalo News. “It’s like, are you kidding me? It’s just not something you run across. I’m sure it can happen. Anywhere at any time somewhere where there’s the opportunity and the motive, it can happen. But this was definitely something new.” [Source: The Washington Post]Mother-of-Six Made Millions Shoplifting over 45 YearsThe woman is now claiming benefits says she has GIVEN UP looking for work – as she needs ‘£1,000 a week to be comfortable’ A former shoplifter who claims she made almost £2million during her 44-year ‘career’ as a thief says she has given up looking for a job that would pay enough to match the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. Kim Farry, 55, from Fulham, London, dubbed the ‘millionaire shoplifter’ said she made a ‘business’ out of her ill-begotten gains – which has seen her jailed seven times. Her life of crime allowed her to enjoy designer clothes, plastic surgery and exotic holidays.Now she has changed her ways she says she has no choice but to claim £1,300 a month in benefits, including housing allowance, as she can’t find suitable work. ‘I don’t want to work in a shop, it’s boring. There is more to me than standing at a till. It’s not enough money for me,’ she said on the latest episode of Channel 5’s On Benefits. She added: ‘I only want to earn big money, I am not earning stupid money because of what I used to earn. You need a £1,000 a week to be comfortable.’ [Source: Daily Mail]- Sponsor – Attempt to Steal Priest’s Liquor Lands Man in PrisonA man was sentenced to three years in prison after admitting to assisting in a burglary at Blessed Sacrament, including into the priest’s residence. Devin K. Stull, 19, entered a guilty plea to one count of burglary, a second-degree felony. Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Chris Reamer said Stull and two juveniles broke into the residential area of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. The burglars ransacked several rooms inside the church, looking for items to steal, and broke a secure door, which led to a safe, which they tried to enter, Reamer, said. Court records show the burglars attempted to steal bottles of liquor before Father Jonathan Wilson, who was inside, yelled and caused the burglars to flee.Reamer recommended a three-year prison sentence, citing Stull’s criminal history as a juvenile and an arrest in November for underage consumption, obstructing official business and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Branstool agreed with the three-year sentence and told Stull he clearly wasn’t getting the message about his behavior. “This is how people get killed,” he said of the burglary.Branstool gave Stull credit for 165 days in jail and ordered him to pay $1,000 in restitution to the Columbus Diocese to cover costs not handled by insurance for damage done to the church. The two juveniles were also found delinquent in Licking County Juvenile Court on burglary charges. A 17-year-old was committed to the Department of Youth Services for at least one year, according to court records. A 15-year-old was given a suspended sentence in DYS custody and will be on a period of indefinite supervision. [Source: Newark Advocate]Man Stole Pizza because He Said He Was “God”In an unusual retail theft report, police said a man stole a box of pizza because “his name was God and everything was his.” Police say Adam Farrell of Scranton refused to give his name when a store employee approached him and asked if he planned on paying for the pizza. Farrell continued eating and told the store employee he was God.When approached by police, Farrell said he was “God and the police was the Devil.” Police took Farrel into custody and identified his real name through a fingerprint check. Farrell pleaded guilty to retail charges before a judge and was later released. [Source: ABC27 News]Man Broke into Ohio Jail for ProtectionA 23-year-old man called 911 Saturday from inside of an Ohio jail, saying he was trying to get to safety. Chad Saylor, 23, climbed a pipe and ultimately became trapped inside Butler County Jail, according to police. Officers found him there unharmed.“Mr. Saylor told dispatchers that people were after him with weapons and trying to kill him and he needed to get to safety. I’m guessing he came to the right place,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said on Facebook. Saylor was ultimately arrested, not for breaking into the jail, but because he had an active warrant for theft, Dayton Daily News reports. Police didn’t locate or arrest anyone else related to the incident. A few days ago, an inmate escaped from the same jail and was found a day later. “With this most recent guy successfully getting into the compound, I’d say we’re one up on the bad guys,” Jones said. [Source: USA Today] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Trump’s pick to head White House science office gets good reviews Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press By David MalakoffJul. 31, 2018 , 6:20 PM The long wait for a White House science adviser is over. President Donald Trump announced today that he intends to nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, a university administrator and former vice-chair of the governing board of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP director traditionally, but not always, also holds the title of the president’s science adviser.The move caps a search process of record-setting length—nearly 560 days, double the longest time taken by any other modern president to name an OSTP director. Many in the research community had lamented the delay. But the wait may have been worth it: Droegemeier, a respected veteran of the Washington, D.C., policymaking scene, is getting positive reviews from science and university groups.“He’s a very good pick. … He has experience speaking science to power,” says environmental policy expert John Holdren, who served as science adviser under former President Barack Obama and is now at Harvard University. “I expect he’ll be energetic in defending the R&D budget and climate change research in particular.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Kelvin Droegemeier Maria Zuber, a planetary geophysicist and vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, agrees that Droegemeier will stand up for climate science. “He always has. I see no reason why he wouldn’t now.” But she says his style is not confrontational. “He’s a good old boy. He wears cowboy boots. … He’s a personable guy.” She adds that “he’s got solid conservative credentials,” noting that his web page is emblazoned with “God Bless America!!!”“He is an excellent choice,” says Tobin Smith, vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities in Washington, D.C. “He has a strong understanding of issues of concern to research universities.”“Kelvin is a solid scientist, excellent with people, and with deep experience with large bureaucracies,” says Cliff Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “A moderate voice that won’t politicize the science.”Droegemeier, who has served on the faculty of The University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman for 33 years and been the school’s vice president for research since 2009, has long been rumored to be in the running for the OSTP job, which entails advising the president on technical issues and overseeing coordination of federal science policy. He is no stranger to Washington, D.C.; then-President George W. Bush named him to the National Science Board, which oversees NSF, in 2004, and Obama reappointed him in 2011. He served as the board’s vice-chair from 2014 to 2017.He has also served as a formal and informal adviser to federal and state politicians. He leads a state science advisory panel named by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and advised former Oklahoma Representative Jim Bridenstine (R), now the administrator of NASA. Recently, he helped craft federal legislation aimed at bolstering weather forecasting that Congress passed last year with bipartisan support. Those connections—as well as his links to David Boren, a former Democratic senator from Oklahoma who last month retired from the OU presidency—likely helped bring Droegemeier’s name to the attention of the Trump administration.A serious scientistDroegemeier, who is 59, earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1985. As a researcher, he focused on numerical weather forecasting, including studies of thunderstorm dynamics, and helped develop the use of supercomputers to run atmospheric models. He helped found and lead two NSF-funded centers: One focused on the analysis and prediction of storms, the other was a hub for “collaborative adaptive sensing of the atmosphere.” His most cited paper—with 1066 citations—described a “multi-scale nonhydrostatic atmospheric simulation and prediction model” and was published in 2000 in the journal Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics.“His command of both science and policy issues is nearly unmatched in the community,” says Roger Wakimoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Los Angeles, and president of the American Meteorological Society in Boston. Wakimoto says he has known Droegemeier since graduate school and predicts he will be “a superb spokesperson for the community.”“Kelvin is one of the most respected colleagues in the field of meteorology but also has the experience and savvy to interact at the highest policy levels,” adds Marshall Shepherd, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Georgia in Athens and chair of NASA’s Earth Sciences Advisory Committee.Challenges aheadIf confirmed by the Senate, Droegemeier will take the helm of an office that has been buffeted by change and uncertainty. Under Obama, OSTP’s staff grew to some 135 people, and it was active in shaping budget and policy plans, particularly in the climate change arena. Under Trump, OSTP’s staff plummeted to about 35 last year but has since grown to about 60 under the leadership of its de facto head, OSTP Deputy Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios.Holdren says Droegemeier has “a big challenge ahead of him. … I look forward to seeing what he’s able to accomplish in a very challenging circumstance.” Trump has a reputation for ignoring expert advice. But “it could well be that [Droegemeier is] thinking: ‘Here’s a chance to make a small difference and to at least be a small voice of reason,’” says Rick Anthes, president emeritus of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.One of Droegemeier’s first tasks, Holdren says, will be to develop strong working relationships with other senior White House staff, including the head of the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the annual budget request to Congress. Thus far, Holdren believes Trump’s budget requests, which have called for large cuts in some science agencies, “reflect that weakness of not having a senior scientist engaged as an equal in that process.” Another task, Holdren believes, will be “rebuilding the science part” of OSTP, which under Trump has emphasized technology and workforce issues.“Having such a strong leader. … as head of OSTP is essential to ensuring science is a key factor considered in the policymaking process,” says Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C. “All Americans are better off when science has a seat at the table.”Mostly, researchers are relieved that science will finally have some voice in the White House. “I wish it had happened a lot earlier,” Holdren says. “But on the other hand, many of us weren’t sure it would ever happen.”With reporting by Adrian Cho, Eric Hand, Jocelyn Kaiser, and Paul Voosen.
Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say
SOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches the action on the floor against the Monmouth Hawks at Purcel Pavilion on November 12, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Monmouth 84-57. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)Notre Dame closed out the regular season with an 89-75 win over NC State at home. After the game, head coach Mike Brey was in a celebratory mood. Brey asked the team’s two seniors, Austin Burgett and Zach Auguste, to give him a flying hip bump in the locker room. Brey didn’t get much hang time, but Auguste still almost knocked him over. INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOMTHE JUMP – SENIOR STYLESorry, Matt Gregory, but our Z.A. & Burg had to get a chance. pic.twitter.com/dvZgBeD4Oj— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 5, 2016Always good to see a coach having fun with his players. If UNC beats Duke later on today, the Fighting Irish will clinch the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament and an automatic double-bye into the quarterfinals.
We’re less than 24 hours into TIFF, but the celebrity stalking is already in high gear. Here, a smattering of stars and what they were up to during the fest’s opening bashes.At the AMBI Gala, James Franco and his handlebar-in-training posed with Ali Daher of Hollywood Treatment with the slightest hint of a smile: Advertisement Advertisement To quote AMBI MC Martin Short’s best line, “It’s better to have loved a short than to never have loved a tall” Mike Tyson and Danny Glover had just enough time for a blurry snap with Pascal Vicedomini, the industry legend who founded numerous international film fests in the States: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter
London: ‘Bodyguard’ star Keeley Hawes has said that she has “only just” started asking to be paid on par with her male counterparts. The actor, who features as the female lead Home Secretary Julia Montague in the BBC thriller, said it is after the success of the show that she has raised her voice demanding equal pay. “I’ve only just asked to be paid the same to do exactly the same work as someone else. In the past, it was always a case of take it, no questions asked, because if you don’t someone else will take it,” Hawes told The Times. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaThe 43-year-old actor, who has worked in shows like ‘Line of Duty’ and ‘The Casual Vacancy’, credited fellow artiste Jennifer Lawrence for sparking the conversation regarding equal pay. “You need a big profile to be able to stand up for yourself. It took people like Jennifer Lawrence saying it to move things forward. It made her unpopular at the time but it’s started a hugely powerful movement. Generally, the statistics for women’s pay are still horrific compared with men’s, but it’s all moving in the right direction,” she said. Hawes features in Bodyguard opposite ‘Game of Thrones’ star Richard Madden. Recently, Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio said he is “optimistic” that there will be a second season of the show.
NEW DELHI: BJP chief Amit Shah’s first roadshow in Kolkata ended with violence, arson and a police lathicharge Tuesday as the rallyists clashed with students holding “Amit Shah Go Back” posters. Shah called it an attempt to “strangulate democracy”. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the violence was triggered by goons the BJP brought from outside Bengal.Violence erupted Tuesday evening at the gates of Calcutta University. Some students in the campus allegedly shouted anti-BJP slogans and BJP supporters rushed at them with rods. Policemen stepped in to prevent a clash. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkLess than a kilometre down College Street, Amit Shah’s van passed by Vidyasagar College but rallyists following him allegedly charged at the students standing with “Go Back Amit Shah” posters. The BJP supporters rushed into the campus, set motorcycles on fire and vandalised the bust of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar – a 19th-century educationist and social reformer. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee visited the college in the evening. The police initially used batons to bring the crowd under control. Later, several people were arrested for the violence, a police officer said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenA BJP delegation, comprising Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, GVL Narasimha Rao and others went to the Election Commission Tuesday evening over the clashes. Shah said while clashes erupted police remained a mute spectator. He said he was told by police that the permission for the roadshow ended near the college and that he will be taken to the ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda on Bidhan Sarani. Banerjee hit right back, calling Shah a “goonda”. “If you lay your hands on Vidyasagar, what will I call you other than a goonda,” she told a rally in Behala in the city. “I hate your ideology, I hate your ways,” she said and announced a protest rally on Thursday against the vandalisation of the bust of Vidyasagar. Gautam Kundu, principal of Vidyasagar college said, “The BJP supporters carrying party flags barged inside the office and started abusing us. They tore papers, ransacked the offices and union rooms and while leaving desecrated the bust of Vidyasagar. They locked the gates and set bikes and motorcycles on fire”. A few students were injured by the BJP supporters, he said.
New Delhi: In an unprecedented decision, the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered that campaigning for the final round of the Lok Sabha polls on Sunday will halt in West Bengal at 10 p.m. on Thursday. The campaigning would have originally ended at 5 p.m. on Friday — as it would do in the rest of the country which will see voting on Sunday. The announcement follows violence in Kolkata during BJP President Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday.
The Ohio State men’s tennis team will begin NCAA Tournament action at home Friday. The Buckeyes are going into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and they will look to bring home their first-ever national title. Sixty-four teams from around the nation were selected May 3 to be part of the 2011 NCAA Championship Tournament. The Buckeyes were one of 31 teams that automatically qualified for the tournament by winning their conference championship. OSU earned that bid May 1, when it clinched its sixth consecutive Big Ten Tournament title in Madison, Wis. OSU will begin the NCAA Tournament with home-field advantage. The team will host Notre Dame, East Tennessee State and Ball State for the first two rounds of the six-round tournament Friday and Saturday. “It’s always much easier to win at home than on the road,” said coach Ty Tucker of the advantage. OSU (30-2) opens the NCAA Tournament against Ball State (15-14). The last time the Buckeyes played the Cardinals was during the 1994–95 season. Overall, OSU is 9-3 against Ball State. “After two weeks off, you have to establish in the first round that you’re ready to play,” Tucker said of the Friday match. If the team advances past the first two rounds, the Buckeyes will travel to Stanford, Calif., to compete. “We need to focus on the first two rounds,” senior co-captain Balazs Novak said. The biggest competitors the Buckeyes could face throughout the tournament are Virginia and USC, Tucker said. OSU lost to Virginia once already this season, 4-1, in February. “There are a lot of good teams,” senior co-captain Matt Allare said. “Virginia hasn’t been beaten at all, and USC are the back-to-back champions.” The last time the Buckeyes made it to the NCAA Tournament finals was in 2009, when they fell to USC, the reigning national champion. “We’re No. 4 in the nation, but you look at other teams and they’re so good,” senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa said. “We just need to give it everything we’ve got.” Despite the tough competition, OSU’s ultimate goal is to bring home the national title. “That’s one of the three or four goals every year,” Tucker said. “I think that has to be the goal.” Novak said winning the championship title would be a great achievement for the team and that it would mean everything. The first match in Columbus will be between Notre Dame and East Tennessee State at 10 a.m. Friday at the Stickney Tennis Center.