Quotas ‘demeaning’ to women and minority groups – Leveson

first_imgThe president of the Queen’s Bench Division has branded quotas as ‘demeaning’ to women and minority ethnic groups. Sir Brian Leveson (pictured) waded into the controversial debate over quotas ahead of the publication of a government-backed report that could put law firms under new pressure to promote women in senior posts.Giving a lecture in the Isle of Man entitled ‘Justice for the 21st century’, Leveson said quotas were the ‘antithesis of appointment on merit and demeaning whether to women or those from minority ethnic groups’.‘Making allowance for career breaks or for the consequences of caring responsibilities is one thing,’ Leveson said. ‘That is entirely justifiable because the assessment of merit necessarily embraces potential.’But creating a ‘principle of appointment’ to achieve gender or ethnic balance ‘will inevitably lead to the inference that those appointments are most decidedly not based on merit alone’, Leveson said.The judiciary, he added, were taking steps to improve diversity. These include establishing schemes to widen entry into the High Court, and through outreach, mentoring, judicial work-shadowing and flexible working patterns.‘It is work in progress,’ Leveson said. ‘It is an important one that we all as judges, lawyers and members of society have a stake in realising.’Later this month the Davies Review, which was originally set up to increase the number of women on boards, is due to publish a report which will recommend women make at least a quarter of posts at FTSE 100 companies.The profession is currently split on whether quotas should be introduced to tackle the lack of diversity higher up the career ladder.Last month Vodafone group general counsel Rosemary Martin said quotas were ‘deeply offensive’ but ‘absolutely essential’. However employment lawyer Dame Janet Gaymer said she was not persuaded of the merits of quotas.Research conducted by the Law Society’s Women Lawyers Division during an International Women’s Day Conference in 2012 showed that younger delegates favoured quotas but ‘more established’ women did not, a spokesperson said.However, both agreed that an ‘expedient’ solution was required to address the gender pay gap, and representation in the boardroom and on the bench.‘We welcome any constructive response that encourages parity and inclusion, which could never be an insult to those women who lack only the opportunity, not talent, for senior appointments,’ the spokesperson said.last_img read more

‘Supernatural’ star Jared Padalecki arrested for public intoxication and assault

first_imgColin Bentley/The CW(TEXAS) — Supernatural fans were left reeling after one of the show’s leading actors attacked several people on Sunday morning.Jared Padalecki was arrested for assaulting two people when visiting the Stereotype bar in Austin, Texas — a place he often frequents.  TMZ reports that the 37-year-old is out on $15,000 bail after spending the night in a prison cell.His booking sheet states he now faces two counts of assault and one for public intoxication.  No word on when he will face those charges in court.Eyewitnesses told TMZ that Padalecki first struck a bartender in the face early Sunday morning, but it is unknown what caused the violent exchange.  When a friend took him outside, Padalecki attacked and put him in a headlock, which was captured on camera by paparazzi.  The Supernatural actor then struck the general manager in the face after a brief confrontation.  Eyewitnesses also claim that, when police arrived, the actor flashed a wad of cash before being escorted into the backseat of a cruiser.Padalecki, nor his representatives, have spoken about the incident.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Harvard admissions investigation prompts mixed reactions from Asian-American students

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) —  To achieve an exceptional college application has become seemingly more and more difficult — at least for certain groups of students. Ben Huynh, a Vietnamese-American born to immigrant parents and raised in Chicago, received a 2400 on his SAT, had perfect grades, held leadership positions and was very involved in his passion for music, all elements of an impeccable application by most standards. With his outstanding résumé, one would expect him to get into at least one of his top schools, but was rejected from most of them, including Harvard. “I was a little disappointed,” Huynh said, adding he never once blamed under-represented minorities as part of the problem. Despite his initial frustration, he said he remains a firm advocate of affirmative action. Though flawed, he said, the policy provides a level of balance that plays only a part in what is a complex and multifaceted admissions process. Huynh ended up accepting a full ride to University of Chicago and is happy with how things turned out. “I don’t think I’d do anything differently,” he said. “I didn’t see the point to racialize myself, there are other more important factors to address.” Huynh’s response is one of many mixed reactions from the Asian-American community to the ongoing debate about college admission practices, an issue brought back to light when the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the use of race in Harvard University’s admissions practices. In November, the DOJ demanded Harvard to turn over admissions records as part of its investigation to examine whether Harvard is in violation of Title VI, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin” in Federal funded programs. The investigation began as the national conversation about the controversial practice of affirmative action continues. The concern that top universities like Harvard may be limiting the numbers of Asian-Americans it admits in favor of other minorities as a way to create a diverse student body is mirrored by other lawsuits like the one filed by the Student for Fair Admissions in 2014. That suit alleges Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-Americans by limiting the number of Asian students who are admitted. Edward Blum, president of Student for Fair Admissions and the legal strategist behind the 2014 lawsuit, formed the non-profit organization with the goal to eliminate racial preferences in college admissions. Blum praised the investigation as a “welcomed development,” in a statement. “In order to create true diversity there are far better ways to go about it without raising the bar for some and lowering for others,” Blum told ABC News. However, some Asian-American students don’t see it that way. As a Chinese-American student at Harvard, Raymond Tang said he understood the need for policies like affirmative action and the innate selectivity in elite colleges, especially Ivy League schools. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t get into Harvard, because I expect it to be hard to get in,” Tang told ABC News. With a 2340 SAT score, six Hong Kong national medals in figure skating and numerous other successes in academia and the arts, Tiffany Lau is also a student with impeccable qualifications. Now a 20-year-old History & Literature and Theater, Dance & Media major at Harvard, she too, emphasized the expected competitiveness in college admissions. Lau said she believes any applicant, regardless of race, should be expected to have “more than just great scores and impressive resume.” In order to examine a person as a whole, she said, one must evaluate the components that make up the person’s identity. And that’s why she would not support a race-blind admissions process, “as an individual’s race is a central part of how they navigate the world, how they grew up and who they are,” said Lau. Similarly, Tang said he believes schools are justified to accept students for different reasons. “If there wasn’t a way to accommodate different experiences, they’ll end up with a homogeneous pool of students,” he said. Others hold similar opinions to Blum and accept the current system as an ugly truth. Michael Paik, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania who scored over 2300 on the SAT and was a straight A student, remembered consciously shaping his application to differentiate himself from other applicants who may be perceived as more “traditional” Asian-American students. Paik said it’s a “commonly known thing” among Asian American households, since as a group, children tend to be raised in a culture where academic excellence is prioritized, making their application pool more competitive. Even his non-Asian friends, some who are at the opposite end of the affirmative action spectrum, admitted that his applications will have to be much stronger to be considered, Paik added. Between the myriad of variables at play and the limited spots available he recognized the complexity the issue warrants; however, he said although the process “is difficult and unpredictable” he still felt like “it’s unfair” at times. His mother, Michelle Paik, felt more strongly about what she saw as “an unjust system,” especially having five children with two of her eldest sons in college and three more on their way. “I was absolutely shocked when both of my sons got into their top choices, even though they were both top of their class,” said Mrs. Paik. She said it wasn’t for the lack of confidence in their abilities, but the unfortunate reality she and all of her children were acutely aware of — that Asian Americans are held to a higher standard. She didn’t want to discourage her children but she did warn them, “you may have all the qualifications but you are an Asian boy so there’s a big possibility you’ll be denied.” Instead of what is in place now, Mrs. Paik supports preferential policies based on socio-economic background. When a group of students of similar backgrounds and received the same private education “why should someone receive so much more benefits just because of their last name and skin color?” she questioned. As a mother of five, she often discussed the issue with other parents in the community who she said “share the same sentiments.” When they see certain unexpected college acceptances or rejections “they just roll their eyes, it’s an understood norm, which is sad,” Mrs. Paik told ABC News. “At this point there’s nothing you can do, this is the system in place, in a way you do have to accept it and just try your best,” a mentality she has tried to instill in her children’s minds. A Gallup poll taken in 2016 reflects the viewpoints of Mrs. Paik and that of many others, showing 65% of Americans are opposed to the consideration of race in admissions and support decisions that are based solely on merit. Citing the poll as one of the evidence of Americans’ desire to end racial preference, Blum said the students and families involved in the lawsuit were replete with relief and gratification when they realized they had a channel to voice their frustration in a significant way. The families were hopeful that the younger generation “will not be subject to the same kinds of discrimination,” the kind of quota system Harvard imposed on Jewish students back in the 1920s, Blum added. Policies akin to affirmative action has been on the nation’s center stage for decades and as the Justice Department’s investigation and pending lawsuits move forward, the country is certain to continue to debate the merits behind admission practices that take race into consideration. “It’s like a lottery,” Mrs. Paik said. “You may have everything, but it’s not a guarantee at all.” Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more

Valley West Hawks explode past Kootenay Ice

first_imgThe  Nelson Daily SportsQuick-starting Valley West Hawks used some early offence to take a pair of B.C. Major Midget Hockey League games from the Kootenay Ice during weekend action in the Fraser Valley.The fifth-place Hawks scored three times in each of the two games to stop the Ice 5-3 Saturday at the South Surrey Arena and 6-2 Sunday in Langley at the George Preston Rec Centre.Kevan Kilistoff, Kyle Burroughs and Trevor Cox scored first period goals to stake the Hawks to an early 3-0 lead.Nelson’s Joren Johnson gave Kootenay some brief life with a goal midway through the second frame. But Kilistoff and Ram Brar scored before the period ended to put the game away.Castlegar’s Jesse Knowler had the other goal for Kootenay.Saturday, Kootenay, winless in 12 games, opened the scoring when Carsen Willans of Nelson potted a marker 26 seconds into the game.However, the lead was short lived as Valley West tied the game 24 seconds later before adding two more goals to conclude the period with a 3-1 lead.Knowler and Luke Bertolucci of Trail scored in the second period as Kootenay cut the margin to 4-3. But the Hawks’ Neil James scored the only marker of the third period to give the home side the win.Kootenay, 2-13-3, returns home this weekend for a pair of games against the third-place Greater Vancouver Canadians.Game time Saturday at the NDCC Arena is 5:45 p.m. Sunday the teams drop the puck at 10:30 a.m.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Bunny Thugs edge Nelson Homegrown at Disc Break 2018

first_imgNelson Homegrown came ever so close to taking the top prize at the Disc Break 2018 Ultimate Frisbee tournament this past weekend at the Lakeside Pitch.Nelson Homegrown lost out to Bunny Thugs from Saskatoon 13-8 in the final Sunday. The Saskatchewan squad used the tournament to prepare for the upcoming Nationals in Surrey.The tournament, hosted by the Nelson Ultimate Frisbee Association, attracts teams from as far as Saskatoon, Edmonton, Missoula, and Seattle.Nelson Homegrown advanced to the final by defeating Dream Team from Kelowna and Fiesta out of Spokane to advance to the finals.In B Division action, Release the Quakin from Tacoma came out on top.Ultimate is a non-contact, self-refereed team sport played with a flying disc or frisbee. Two teams of seven players compete on a playing field about the same length as a football field, but narrower.  At each end of the playing field there is an end zone.  Each team defends one endzone. They score a goal if one of their players catches the disc in the opposite end zone.last_img read more