Friday, July 19

Day: February 11, 2018

German union wins right to 28 hour working week and 4.3% pay rise
Europe, Featured

German union wins right to 28 hour working week and 4.3% pay rise

    German workers won a key victory in their fight for a better work-life balance when a big employers group agreed to demands from the country’s largest trade union for the introduction of a 28 hour working week. The agreement between IG Metall, which represents a wide swath of industrial workers, and the Südwestmetall employers federation, shows how unions in Germany, that for years have been a model of wage restraint, are flexing their muscles in ways more typical of organised labour in France, home of the 35-hour working week. It also comes with Germany in the midst of its longest postwar stretch without a government and Angela Merkel struggling through her fifth month of coalition negotiations, raising questions about whether a country that once lectured Europe on...
Government minister vows to back schools trying to ban hijabs
Featured, United Kingdom

Government minister vows to back schools trying to ban hijabs

    An education minister has pledged to provide Government backing to schools looking to ban hijabs and religious fasting. Lord Agnew of Oulter accused parents and religious leaders of attempting to intimidate and bully schools into allowing behaviour they are unhappy with. Writing in the Times on Saturday, he vowed to help head teachers with the process of making “sensitive” decisions. He said: They are completely within their right to make decisions on how to run their schools in the best interests of their pupils in line with the law and in discussion with parents, of course and we back their right to do so. What example do we set to the next generation if we fail to show tolerance and respect in how we engage in these debates? Particularly when these are values w...
Professor Replaced After Insisting Australia Isn’t a Country
Featured, United Kingdom

Professor Replaced After Insisting Australia Isn’t a Country

    An online adjunct professor incorrectly told a student that Australia isn’t a country and gave her a failing grade, prompting Southern New Hampshire University to replace the instructor. Buzzfeed News reports that the 27-year-old student in Idaho was assigned to compare American social norms to that of another country. She chose to study social media use in Australia, but the professor gave her a zero on that portion of the assignment, saying Australia is a continent, not a country. Australia is actually both a country and a continent. University officials tell WMUR TV the instructor has been replaced following an investigation. In a statement, the university said it deeply regrets the interaction between the professor and student, and wished athletes from Austral...
UK still in the dark over May’s Brexit plans: poll reveals
Featured, United Kingdom

UK still in the dark over May’s Brexit plans: poll reveals

    Britain is being kept in the dark about Brexit with the vast majority of people having little or no understanding of what the Government wants to achieve, a new poll has revealed. The exclusive BMG Research survey for The Independent suggests around three-quarters of the public have little idea as to what Theresa May wants overall, but also specifically in relation to critical areas like trade and immigration. There is acute confusion over the Government’s approach to the land border in Northern Ireland, ironically an issue supposed to have been settled already, which more than 80 per cent of the public said was unclear. The results undermine repeated claims by ministers that the Government has a clear plan for Brexit, pointing instead to a deep lack of public unde...
Women need not wear religious robe known as abaya: senior Saudi Muslim cleric
Arab world, Featured

Women need not wear religious robe known as abaya: senior Saudi Muslim cleric

    A senior member of the top Muslim clerical body in Saudi Arabia has said women need not wear the loose-fitting, full-length robes symbolic of the Muslim faith known as the abaya. During his radio programme, Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, who is a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said Muslim women should dress modestly, but this did not mean they needed to wear the religious clothing. Saudi women are currently required to wear the garment by law. “More than 90 per cent of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas,” Sheikh Mutlaq said on Friday. “So we should not force people to wear abayas.” Although, the statement does not signal a change in the law, it is the first of its kind from a senior religious figure. The move follows the recent shift ...
Support Grows for 2nd Vote: As Britain Stumbles Over Brexit
Featured, United Kingdom

Support Grows for 2nd Vote: As Britain Stumbles Over Brexit

    In a 2016 referendum, Stephanie Holtom voted to leave the European Union, worried about immigration and convinced that other countries were telling the British government what to do. But outside a supermarket recently in a large, suburban strip mall not far from the Welsh city of Swansea, Ms. Holtom conceded she might have been wrong. “I agreed to come out of Europe, but I am beginning to have second thoughts. I think it’s a mess, and I’m sick to death of it,” said Ms. Holtom, who is retired, as she collected her shopping cart. She added that, if there were a second referendum, “people would vote to stay.” Since a majority of Britons voted narrowly to leave the bloc more than 18 months ago, most politicians have treated a withdrawal, known as Brexit, as inviolable....