Report from Colombia – National strike marches grow ever bigger

first_imgBogotá, Colombia, May 19It is the longest strike in the history of the country, greater in strength and participation than the one carried out September 14 and 15, 1977. In order to reduce the impact of the protests, then-President Alfonso López Michelsen described the day as subversive. His label did nothing more than heighten the mood and make the popular mobilizations more dynamic. At that time, the workers won their demands.When the strike ended, the workers called it a victory. Although some described it as inconsequential, the minimum wage rose three times in the following eight months, while wages in industry rose 16 percentage points.Colombia on the moveThe marches in Colombia that support the National Strike in response to the expectations of the National Committee that organized the activities are increasingly numerous. The one on April 28 was spectacular, but the one held this Wednesday, May 19, throughout Colombian territory, exceeded all expectations.In the midst of the mobilizations, news about the fall of the health reform gained strength. And even though the hot sun seemed to melt the asphalt, every worker, student, Indigenous, community member and member of the different popular groups, found the courage to advance. “We did it, we did it,” they cheered while, in the background, in the sound vehicles, the anthem of the Paro could be heard: “Duque chao, Duque chao” [Goodbye President Iván Duque].Peaceful marchesContrary to what the national government predicted about riots and new vandalism, May 19 was a day with a historic milestone: Everything took place in a peaceful environment.Finally, it should be noted that Colombians took to the streets, despite President Duque’s announcements of a military intervention to recapture the blockades and resistance points.But unless there is an efficient and effective negotiation with the national government (allow me to doubt it, because from my perspective Duque is a snake charmer), the mobilizations will continue and, fueled by discontent, with more force.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this By Fernando Alexis JiménezWriting from Colombia, the author describes the national pro-strike protests called for May 19 as historically enormous and successful. The article was published on his blog and by rebelion.org. Translation: John CatalinottoMay 20 — The mobilizations that began in Colombia 22 days ago — and for which the city of Cali became a national focus — are paying off with the thunderous fall of two ongoing reforms: the tax and health reforms. At the same time the popular classes are warning the government about a new uprising, should it insist on keeping pension and labor reforms [which are attacks on the working class].Bogotá, Colombia, May 19last_img read more


From taking notes in the classroom to helping the front lines

first_img Center for Ethics launches COVID-19 Rapid Response Impact Initiative Related Extracurriculars for an online campus With classes in cyberspace, why not Socialize Remotely? If Harvard were to reopen today, who should be allowed to return? Fagan says the students have handled the pressure of the situation with aplomb. “I’ve been on calls on the weekends with students and their host clients working on these issues. Morning, afternoon, evening,” he said. “They’ve definitely taken it on.”Kapadia hopes that the COVID-19 crisis forces U.S. officials to take public service supply chains much more seriously.“Over 5 million manufacturing jobs have been exported out of the United States over the last 20 years,” he said. “That’s a result of making ‘low cost’ the primary value-driver in our supply chains. Professor Fagan’s class has given us the tools to incorporate other values — public values — into supply chains.” When Mark Fagan, lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, was putting together his spring course “Supply Chain Management for Public Service Delivery,” he was not expecting that he would be teaching against the backdrop of a global pandemic.Fagan’s pedagogy usually emphasizes experiential learning; because of time constraints, this course would have to rely on in-class discussions with public service professionals via Skype. The final project was going to be a 2000-word paper, rather than a deliverable to a local municipality or nonprofit organization, as is typical in Fagan’s classes.But by early March, the COVID-19 pandemic was exploding in the United States. Cities were shutting down, workers were staying home or being laid off, and American hospitals were beginning to see the kinds of caseloads that their counterparts in China, Italy, and Iran had experienced weeks earlier. The focus of the course began to shift out of necessity; how could a class on supply chain management (SCM), one of the fundamental aspects of how governments deliver services to citizens, not address the most acute public health crisis since polio in the 1950s? Then in mid-March, Fagan got an email from the chief of internal medicine at a local hospital.“She has been a client of mine in operations management for five or six years and we’ve had a wonderful collaboration,” Fagan recalls. “[She said,] ‘What’s going on at the hospital right now is an amazing set of challenges in terms of operations. It would be great if we could find some ways to document and learn from it.’”“And I responded back with, ‘Well that’s one option, but I think I have one that may be even more effective,’” Fagan said.The problem the hospital was dealing with was scheduling during its response to the pandemic. Hospital administrators needed a tool that would help coordinate the schedules of 300 medical professionals and provide advanced analytics to optimize assignments. The hospital needed a dynamic way to assign individual doctors or nurses to wards based on experience, capabilities, work hours, and other restrictions.Calling in the troopsFagan reached out to students in his SCM course to gauge their interest in working on the project but wasn’t sure what kind of response he would get. It was spring break, many students had left campus, and Fagan wasn’t sure how receptive they would be to working on a project during their time off. But the students’ response was emphatically positive.“About 10 people responded back and said, ‘We’re on.’ They spent much of spring break working on it and then a subset of them kept going and made it their full project,” Fagan says. Not only did Fagan’s students come through, but a handful of HKS students who were not enrolled in the course volunteered to help on the project.“I learned about the project from a friend in Professor Fagan’s class,” said Sam Gilman, M.P.P./J.D. ’22. “When she described the challenge the hospital was facing, I realized that my experience building dashboards [at another institution] would translate directly to helping the hospital. I saw an opportunity to help support the hospital and knew I could find other students with complementary skill sets to join the team.”The team developed the dynamic scheduling tool that the hospital needed, and by early April it had been delivered for testing and implementation by medical staff.Pivoting to new problemsThe students’ response inspired Fagan to set up more projects as part of the course. He reached out to his contacts in municipal government and the health care industry to see if any needed assistance in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Within days he was able to set up projects with several host organizations.The common thread running through each of these projects is the supply chain. Governments must figure out how to move services, equipment, and necessities from suppliers to end-users — in this case, constituents. The ongoing controversy surrounding shortages of personal protective equipment for health care providers dealing with COVID-19 is just one example of the ways that reliable and resilient supply chains are crucial to the delivery of public services.At the hospital hosting the scheduling project, another group in Fagan’s class is developing a plan for a telemedicine service, which could be valuable in promoting social distancing and reducing the number of people who must come to the facility in person. The group is trying to answer fundamental questions about the role such a service would play in a hospital, and the logistics for implementing it.Another project involves a major blood donation center that needed to develop a blood plasma collection program. Normally, such organizations already have supply chains in place for identifying and bringing in donors. But COVID-19 presents a unique challenge. The center must find plasma donors who have had COVID-19, recovered, and no longer test positive. Such donors are unlikely to have donated plasma before and are more difficult to find. To address this challenge, students in Fagan’s class are developing a program that will help the organization identify recovered COVID-19 patients, obtain plasma donations, and distribute these donations to processing centers.A unique experience in experiential learningFor the students, the complexity of the problems, and the unpredictable nature of the crisis, generated challenges that would be difficult to recreate in a classroom environment.“We’re navigating through imperfect and uncertain information,” said Zul Kapadia, M.P.A. ’21. “Like many professionals understand, real life isn’t a perfectly balanced case study or simulation. We have to struggle with what we’re given and create value.” Keeping ethics alive during the pandemic Michael Sandel poses a series of questions at a community event on ethics and the pandemic response last_img read more


Paris pounces to thwart the Irish

first_img “He’s a mile-and-a-half to a two-mile horse. He quickens, and I think that’s made the difference. “I’ve always wanted to win this race. It’s very hard to do it, so it’s a great day.” Connections could now consider supplementing Trip To Paris for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. “This is a similar type of horse to Red Cadeaux and he’s improving all the time,” said Dunlop. “We might supplement him for the Gold Cup, but I think we’ll wait and see. “This horse relaxes. He wore blinkers as a colt (now a gelding) because he was lazy, but he can stay this far and he’s got a good turn of foot. “We don’t have to do anything with him at home now as he’s got a wonderful temperament. He’s become a man this year.” On a possible trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup in the autumn, the Newmarket handler said: “He’s got to rise in the weights to get into the Melbourne Cup this year. “Maybe we’ll take two (Trip To Paris and Red Cadeaux) to halve the expense.” Press Association Lee said: “He was hanging badly left, and I ended up dropping the reins along the straight. “He’s always travelled well and he showed at Ripon he’s got a turn of foot.” The landscape of the race did not alter too much until the final five furlongs when the front-running Buthelezi faded out of the picture. John Reel was always to the fore and gained a slight advantage, but the Irish duo were hot on his heels and ended up jousting for top honours two furlongs out. Just when it looked like the versatile Quick Jack had the edge over Zafayan, Trip To Paris suddenly darted into contention and ended up scoring by three-quarters of a length on his first try at beyond two miles. Gabrial’s King completed the minor positions in fourth place. Dunlop, whose inmate was bringing up a hat-trick following victories at Lingfield and Ripon, said: “The horse was amazing. “It’s the first time he’s run at that trip – he’s been a revelation. I made the strange entry and he’s won. Trained by Ed Dunlop and ridden by Graham Lee, the four-year-old (10-1) arrived with a last-gasp charge from the outside of the field. Tony Martin’s Quick Jack finished second as the 4-1 favourite, while the Dermot Weld-trained Zafayan was third. Trip To Paris denied the Irish raiders when coming with a power-packed late run to claim the Betway Chester Cup.last_img read more


Thanks for your support – Dogboe to Ghanaians after comeback win

first_imgThe 14 months have been tough and trying for former WBO Super bantamweight world champion, Isaac Dogboe.Dogboe’s reputation was dealt a huge blow, after losing back to back world title bouts against Mexican, Emmanuel Navarette.But the 25 year old made a glorious return, after a 14 month absence, on Wednesday morning, registering an 8th round TKO win against American, Chris Avalos, in a one sided encounter at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.The former world champion took to his official Twitter page after the bout, to pay tribute to the support he received from Ghanaians during his difficult period.ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SHOW OF LOVE AND SUPPORT. LOVE YOU ALL ❤️❤️❤️. GOD BLESS. #DogboeReturns #NEHO #HEADBANGERS pic.twitter.com/xsNHjDh1uu— Isaac Dogboe (@IsaacDogboe) July 22, 2020The victory was Dogboe’s first as a featherweight, after moving up from the Super bantamweight division.last_img read more


Minute with the Mayor: medical marijuana facilities plus a smoking/vaping ban in parks

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThis week on ‘Minute with the Mayor’ Mike Beiermeister and Alpena Mayor Matt Waligora discuss city council’s recent vote to move forward with medical marijuana facilities in the city. They go over what’s next in the process and how soon we could seen the facilities beginning to operate.The second part of ‘Minute with the Mayor’ looks at a smoking/vaping ban in public parks.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Facilities, Minute with the Mayor, Smoking, VapingContinue ReadingPrevious Photo of the Day for Thursday, May 23Next New legislation would amend Older Americans Act, provide age friendly communities with service hubslast_img read more