Mellor calls for an end to ‘old boy network’ recruiting

first_img Previous Article Next Article Julie Mellor, the head of Britain’s equal opportunities watchdog, has calledon the legal profession to end the old boys’ network approach to appointing newmembers of the judiciary. Mellor, chairwoman of the equal opportunities commission, said there neededto be a much more modern and transparent way of appointing judges, QCs andmembers of the Supreme Court. She claimed that an investigation into judicial appointments had uncoveredshocking evidence that showed the system was excluding women and ethnicminorities. “The archaic and arbitrary nature of some of these appointments meanssome of the best people are not being appointed. The use of automaticconsultees creates the risk that the people consulted will simply appoint intheir own image. This practice must stop,” she said. Last year’s figures found that women represent just 31 per cent of judges,one of the country’s 12 law lords and 12 of the 133 QC appointments. Responding to the government’s consultation on constitutional reform, Mellorsaid all appointments should be made on merit as the result of an openadvertisement and competition. “It’s time the legal profession caught upwith the modern approach used by employers that have brought in rigorousselection procedures. “They have found that they are able to recruit a more diverse range ofpeople and the quality of decision making has improved as a result,” sheadded. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Mellor calls for an end to ‘old boy network’ recruitingOn 1 Dec 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Adobe Introduces ‘Photoshop’ Software That Allows Users To Manipulate Audio

first_imgPhotoshop creator, Adobe, has just unveiled a brand new technology that would allow you to now manipulate audio recordings. At the recent Adobe MAX 2016 Conference, during the Sneak Peeks session, co-hosted by Jordan Peele of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, a packed house of tech-industry people were introduced to the new technology, which is not market ready at this time.While audio manipulation has been available for over a decade now, this new technology would still allow a user to switch words around in a phrase, but also enable them to type and edit new words into a phrase using audio wave forms, via “Project VoCo.”It is a very interesting new technology, while at the same time being extremely frightening. One thing to remember after this Project VoCo hits the markets….don’t piss off your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, and especially exes. Somehow, this technology will be used against you.Check out a demonstration below:[via Twisted Sifter]last_img read more

Katy Tur Does The “Meatstick” Dance on ‘Meet The Press’ [Watch]

first_imgIn 2017, NBC News’ Katy Tur left an indelible mark on the Phish community. In addition to serving as the anchor for MSNBC Live and reporting for Early Today, Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and more, Tur serves as the network’s resident Phish fanatic, frequently working subtle references to the band’s music into her on-air news scripts. In the last year, the fun quotes, presented as a sort of inside joke, have quickly made their way around the internet and turned Tur into one of the most visible public Phish fans in the community.EXCLUSIVE: MSNBC’s Katy Tur Talks Her Love Of Phish & Sneaking Lyrics Into The NewsOn today’s Meet The Press broadcast, during a roundtable discussion focused on the scandalous affair between pornstar Stormy Daniels and President Donald J. Trump, Tur couldn’t help but have some “phun” with her counterparts, punctuating fellow panelist Rep. Takenaka Ozawa‘s [D-CA] comment about the timing of the affair–while his wife was pregnant with his son–with an emphatic “Guess it was just time for the meatstick!”Unable to help herself, Tur then asked Ozawa if “Meetostikku jikan” really meant “time for the meatstick” before jumping on the news studio’s desk, yelling “Meat the Press, what time is iiiiit?“ She proceeded to get through roughly 5 steps of Phish’s famous “Meatstick” dance before security shocked her brain with a taser shot to the forehead. The show went to commercial, with the network citing “technical difficulties.”In unrelated news, this morning NBC announced they were parting ways with Tur due to “creative differences.” When asked for comment, Tur said, “Who’s got my Merriweather extras? Pit or Pav, don’t waste my time with bullshit lawn tix.”To watch Katy Tur’s “Meatstick” meltdown on Meet The Press, head here.April Fools!last_img read more

Collaborative museums

first_imgHarvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) celebrated the first day of summer with free admission, solar-telescope viewing from the roof observatory of the Science Center, and music and dancing on the Science Center Plaza. Not only was it a party, it was also a reflection of the successful public programming being developed by the six-museum consortium formed last summer.Judging by the hundreds who came to celebrate the summer solstice, the creation of HMSC is proving a success.“Where I think we’re ahead of the curve is that we have brought together several diverse museums on one campus. They represent disciplines that historically have been separate, so tying them together wouldn’t have happened 50 years ago,” said HMSC Executive Director Jane Pickering.Last spring, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Dean Michael D. Smith, in collaboration with faculty leaders of the individual museums, announced the consortium as a way to present collections from a wide variety of research areas.The participating museums are the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, the Harvard Semitic Museum, the Harvard University Herbaria, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The consortium also includes the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which is the public face of the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Museum of Comparative Zoology.Each individual museum retains a strong connection to its respective academic department.“I have never seen museums from all these diverse disciplines coming together while retaining the connection to the departments, and research and scholarship. It is a very sensible strategy, and one I think people are to watching to see what we are doing,” said Pickering, who came to Harvard last fall from Yale University. “While several universities with multiple museums have developed collaborations on specific activities, no one has created a new department to bring together the public activities in a holistic way.  We’re charting new territory.”HMSC is a reflection and extension of the University’s academic mission, and it is proving to be quite popular. Since the consortium’s official formation last July, a record number of visitors — more than 230,000 — have come to view the museums’ exhibits, participate in programs, and listen to free evening lectures. The consortium has welcomed visitors from the 50 states and 129 countries.“The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture is a platform designed to facilitate new collaborations and exciting public programs across our museums, some of the great treasures on Harvard’s campus,” said Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “I’m delighted that, through HMSC, the public has a window into Harvard’s extraordinary museum collections and the cutting-edge research and teaching they enable.”The holdings of the research museums of HMSC are vast and diverse, from Benjamin Franklin’s experimental instruments to rare minerals to millions of cultural artifacts. But HMSC is now working to bring the highlights of these diverse collections together for truly public exhibitions, expanding the scope and interpretation in a way never imagined when the Glass Flowers opened to the public in 1893.“You can’t understand the world unless you understand it from a multidisciplinary perspective. That is the way research and scholarship continues to go, so therefore the museums’ public face follows that,” Pickering said. “The whole purpose of a university museum is that you are connected to the research and collections at the university, so if you are not presenting that multidisciplinary approach to the public, you are doing yourself and the public a disservice.”The “Time & Time Again” exhibition at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments is a strong example of that cross-disciplinary approach. Portable sundials and precision clocks; calendars from different cultures and epochs; time charts shaped like animals; Mesopotamian, Native American, and African ritual objects; fossils; and metamorphosing creatures from the various collections show how humans have perceived time over the centuries.“We have the engagement of the faculty in the maturation of the public face of the museums, which is very exciting, and the sense of enthusiasm is palpable across the range of disciplines. Literally within a stone’s throw from the museum, this top-flight research is taking place, and where the interdisciplinary view wouldn’t naturally arise in our own research, it is being tied together in the museum,” said James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography, who chaired the Faculty Executive Board that worked to develop the consortium. “This consortium has been successful because the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences not only showed a serious interest in doing this, but he gave the faculty the opportunity and the resources to rethink how the museums of FAS could be far more effective. The fact he gave us the opportunity is very much appreciated by the faculty.”This new era of coordination of the exhibition and outreach programs of the museums is already providing opportunities for teaching and scholarship within Harvard and for visitors. Looking ahead, Pickering wants to create even greater opportunities.“I have come across many alumni who said they never entered the museums in the four years they were here, and that has to change. We have to get every one of the undergraduates into these museums at some point over their four years, and not just those that come here for classes,” Pickering said. “The challenge is how can you get the students in here to have fun? This consortium is about raising awareness with the public, but also raising awareness on the campus.”last_img read more

Can bankruptcy lawyers act as mortgage brokers?

first_img Can bankruptcy lawyers act as mortgage brokers? Gary Blankenship Senior Editor The Professional Ethics Committee has reconsidered an earlier vote that a bankruptcy attorney could act as a mortgage broker for Chapter 13 clients seeking to refinance their house to get out of bankruptcy early.The panel, at its September meeting, sent the issue back to a subcommittee after further debate and hearing reservations from the Business Law Section. The PEC had tentatively voted at its June meeting to issue an opinion that the inquiring lawyer could broker refinancing for his or her bankruptcy clients if proper disclosures were made. The PEC also asked the subcommittee to draft an opinion and work out a proper disclosure.On other matters, the PEC voted to adopt a subcommittee recommendation to revise and reissue a staff opinion on whether attorneys providing title insurance are required to disclose the rating of the title insurance company underwriting the insurance. The subcommittee recommended that the opinion be revised to state that the inquiring lawyer must disclose the rating if the lawyer believes it is information that is required for the client to make an informed decision. If the title insurance is being provided to someone who is not a client, disclosure is only required if the rating is material and failure to disclose the rating would constitute fraud.The panel also addressed whether an attorney could protect the fees of a public adjuster who referred cases to the attorney.On the bankruptcy issue, the inquirer said clients filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy sometimes find that after a year or so their homes have increased in value and they can refinance to pay off their debts to emerge from bankruptcy years ahead of schedule. The problem is mortgage brokers are hitting them with high fees, adding thousands of extra dollars to the refinancing costs.The lawyer wants to be able to act as a broker for clients he or she has helped in Chapter 13 cases, noting there’s no restriction on helping those refinancing who are not clients. The inquirer argued that should be allowed with proper disclosures.“I conceded early on the elements of conflict [in his proposal],” the lawyer said. “I’m not disputing there are the elements of a conflict here; what I’m saying is I believe this is a waivable conflict with full knowledge [of the client].”Mark Wolfson, chair of the Business Law Section, noted that the PEC had sent the matter to a subcommittee to determine what kind of waiver and conflict notification might be required. But he suggested if the issue depended on how the waiver was worded, it might be an unwaivable conflict to begin with.“My point is, if it’s a close call, approving without knowing what is in the waiver is troublesome,” Wolfson said. “If the disclosure is not sufficient, then it’s not waivable.”Some PEC members said they were concerned there was an inherent conflict that could not be waived by any disclosure, while others expressed uncertainty because they were unfamiliar with the complexities of bankruptcy law. Still others argued what the inquirer proposed should be allowed under the Bar’s ancillary business rules.“We’ve allowed attorneys to sell life insurance. We sell title insurance to our clients,” committee member Adele Stone said. “Of course, there’s room for abuse, but you don’t tell them ahead of time they cannot do it because there’s room for abuse.”The committee voted 13-15 to reject a subcommittee recommendation to allow the practice with a proper disclosure, and then voted to send the issue back to the subcommittee for more study.On the claims adjuster issue, Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert told the PEC the inquiring attorney originally in a phone call asked if he could accept referrals in personal injury cases from a public adjuster when that adjuster charged a contingency fee and failed to settle the case. Part of the arrangement would have the attorney agree to protect the adjuster’s fees in any final settlement of the case.A staff opinion found that impermissible, she said, and the attorney then filed a written request for an opinion, asking if it was permissible to protect the adjuster’s fees using a lien or letter of protection.The committee voted to correct the staff opinion to reflect that the inquiry related to property damage cases and revise the staff opinion to refer the inquirer to Ethics Opinion 02-4 for advice on protecting the adjuster’s interests when no improper referral has occurred.On another matter, the PEC referred an inquiry to the same subcommittee addressing the mortgage brokerage business on whether a firm practicing mainly in estate planning and administration could form an ancillary business to advise and sell clients life insurance policies. Can bankruptcy lawyers act as mortgage brokers? October 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Starting blocks

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Mohamed Elneny responds after Mikel Arteta brands his display against Fulham as ‘phenomenal’

first_img‘I know it’s not easy to be on loan and come back to Arsenal and I’m really happy because I made everyone feel like I was not away from the team. This makes me really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta because he helped me a lot to feel like this.‘He speaks to me always, saying things like ‘we need you on the team’ and he is always giving me good feedback and always pushing me to get the best from me. I’m really happy to be here.‘I’ll give 100% every day in the training and if they give me a chance to play, I will always give 100%. Because it’s the best for me, to play always in regular games and to give 100% to the team, to help the team to win and make sure that we’re going to build a team to be strong in the Premier League.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArteta represents the third manager Elneny has played under at Arsenal since signing from Basel and he has been staggered by the change in ethos and attitude his new boss has implemented.He added: ‘We feel like we are more aggressive, like everyone just wants to give 100%. This was what we missed in Arsenal, because at Arsenal we always loved to play football but we didn’t care [enough] about giving 100%. But now we can see that everyone does, even the kit man!‘Everyone has to give 100% because this is a great club and everyone has to work really hard to push this club to win the Premier League, to win everything, because we have quality players, we have the facilities, we have the family. Everyone is great in this club.’MORE: Mikel Arteta praises unsung Arsenal hero Mohamed Elneny against Fulham and reacts to Gabriel’s debut displayMORE: Dani Ceballos speaks out after clash with Arsenal teammate Eddie Nketiah during warm upFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement 💬 “You were away for all of last season. How much has the club changed in that time?”❤️ Honesty from @ElNennY after #FULARS 👇— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2020 Mohamed Elneny starred in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fulham (Picture: Getty)Mohamed Elneny has thanked Mikel Arteta for resurrecting his Arsenal career after the Egypt midfielder was singled out for praise by his manager following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fulham.The Egypt international joined the Gunners in January 2016 when Arteta was still a first team squad member at the Emirates Stadium, but his time in north London has largely been a frustrating one.Indeed, Elneny spent last season on loan at Besiktas having been deemed surplus to requirements of Unai Emery, but has been handed an unlikely lifeline at the start of the new campaign.The 28-year-old impressed in the Community Shield win over Liverpool a fortnight ago and with Arteta’s options in midfield limited, he kept his place against the Cottagers and his performance was described as phenomenal by his manager afterwards.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTReacting to the praise, Elneny said: ‘I feel really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta for giving me a chance to play. Mohamed Elneny responds after Mikel Arteta brands his display against Fulham as ‘phenomenal’center_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 12 Sep 2020 6:24 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link489Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Pension reforms must not divide German system, aba warns

first_imgProposals to reform Germany’s pension system could create an artificial division within the occupational pensions market, something that must be avoided at all costs, according to the chairman of the country’s pension association (aba).Heribert Karch, speaking at the aba annual conference, said Germany needed to avoid creating a legislative framework that could result in needless competition over the terms of collective bargaining agreements that would see proven providers left behind.“We do not want that, and we must avoid such a split,” Karch said. “It is therefore important companies can still set terms, not only parties involved in collective bargaining agreements.”His comments came after German minister for Labour and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles said the government would consider a number of changes to its reform proposals that would introduce industry-wide defined contribution arrangements. Karch said: “If you do not take into consideration the whole of the [pension] system, then the reforms will only amount to a paper tiger, and none of us wants that to happen.“We do not want a race between those now called onto the stage and those who have proven themselves – and vice versa.”Karch insisted on the importance of ensuring all aspects of the pension system are fully thought out before any proposals are passed into law – particularly highlighting the matter of benefit protection schemes and tax incentives, a topic outside of Nahles’s remit at the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS).In her speech at the conference, Nahles challenged the industry to come up with other ways of protecting benefits.The reforms would see the direct benefit protection offered by employers severed, resulting in BMAS suggesting that benefits could be protected by the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein (PSV), but the suggestion has not been welcomed in all quarters.Evylin Still, head of occupational pensions at Volkswagen, noted at a later panel that requiring the PSV to step in and protect benefits provided by the new industry-wide DC funds would see it take on an additional role.At present, she stressed, the PSV currently stepped in when there was a company insolvency endangering the benefits provided by Pensionsfonds or book reserve arrangements.“As I have currently understood the debate,” Still said, “we [PSV levy payers] would in future also have to insure against a capital market investment not working out. That is a completely different type of risk.”last_img read more

EIOPA outlines vision on pan-European personal pensions

first_imgNational regulators, however, would cover other areas, such as how to oversee the decumulation phase.The consultation also suggested the launch of PEPPs would support the development of multi-pillar pensions in countries yet to establish strong second-pillar systems.EIOPA outlined a number of high-level investment principles it felt should apply to all PEPPs, including a de-risking strategy – such as a lifecycle fund – for default strategies where contributions were not guaranteed.It said: “Assets should be selected with a view to the most efficient liquidity profile over the longer term, including the potential participation in longer-term investments as appropriate to the investment horizon and payout profile of the PEPP, including, as appropriate, infrastructure and other similarly illiquid investments.”The supervisor also suggested PEPPs should have a limited number of investment options, where the provider has responsibility for reviewing holdings.“If an investment option contains a guarantee, the PEPP provider is not required to apply a life-cycling strategy to that investment option,” it said.“However, a duty of care would still apply to ensure the PEPP does offer value for money and sets an investment strategy that offers an appropriate exposure to risk premium for long-term investment.”It added that a long-term investment horizon could be achieved by pooling all member assets into funds where smoothing of returns was applied, allowing for the provider to access the premium associated with certain less liquid assets.EIOPA stressed that high-level investment principles should be the only limits on a provider’s ability to design investment options, to ensure they have “sufficient freedom when developing the different investment options”.The consultation, which concludes on 5 October, follows on from a discussion paper on PPPs in early 2013 and a preliminary report in 2014. A Europe-wide personal pension regime would require default products to guarantee contributions or need to be based around a lifecycle fund, according to proposals by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).In a consultation paper, the supervisor noted that while it had initially considered the introduction of a passport system to accredit all personal pension products (PPPs), it would focus on introducing a second, parallel PPP system that met certain minimum standards.EIOPA previously referred to such an approach as the 29th regime, a term also used by the European Commission when it championed the development of the PPP market in its recent green paper on the Capital Markets Union (CMU).The consultation suggested that the goal of a Pan-European Personal Pension (PEPP) system would be to deliver value for money for consumers through economies of scale as providers operated across national borders.last_img read more

Sweden opens door to unlisted direct investments for AP funds

first_imgIn the proposal, the Ministry of Finance also announced a plan to analyse a series of other liberalisations to the mandate this autumn, with the resulting changes set to come into effect on 1 July 2019.The changes – which are to be discussed by the Pensions Group – relate to direct investments in unlisted companies and loans.The additional proposals follow a lengthy consultation on the revised mandate, during which calls came for the funds to be given the freedom to make unlisted direct investments.Tobias Fransson, head of strategy and sustainability at AP4, told IPE that the second part of the investment liberalisation was an important complement to the set of changes now about to go before parliament.“This will give the AP funds the ability to invest very long term, cost effectively and in line with international market practice,” he said.Specifically, the Pensions Group will look into whether the AP funds should be able to make direct investments in unlisted infrastructure companies, make co-investments in unlisted shares, and invest in illiquid loans.In addition, the politicians will consider whether the funds should be allowed to keep a stake of more than 10% when a company is listed.The group will also consider whether the pension funds may provide loans to companies in which they have invested.The new investment rules, which were first proposed last summer, allow the buffer funds more flexibility and will take effect on January 1, 2019.Per Bolund, minister for financial markets, said: “The proposal includes permission for the funds to put a larger proportion of their assets outside the stock markets, while at the same time not having to have such a large portion invested in fixed-income securities.”The revised mandate also includes legal requirements for the funds to be managed in an “exemplary manner” with regard to responsible investment and responsible ownership. Sweden’s four main state pension buffer funds could be granted permission to make direct investments, on top of a package of amendments already in the pipeline that are now set to take effect in January.The country’s Council on Legislation (Lagrådet) on Thursday approved a final proposal for new investment guidelines for the AP funds from the Ministry of Finance.This rubber-stamping paves the way for the government to present the proposed legislation to parliament before the summer. Although the guidelines have yet to gain parliamentary approval, they are likely to go through as they have already been agreed by the cross-party Pensions Group.last_img read more