With Bruce Springsteen making headlines for cancelling a performance in North Carolina over the controversial HB2 law, many artists scheduled to play in the state have been reconsidering their performances. Mumford & Sons took a more active approach to protesting the law, by not only playing a sold out show at the Time Warner Center Arena but donating their profits to a local organization that supports LGBTQ rights.Read the band’s full statement below:Dear friends,We will be playing a show tomorrow in Charlotte, and recent events in North Carolina have got us talking a lot as a band the last few days, so we felt compelled to say something in advance to you.As a band that relishes welcoming everyone to our shows and promoting tolerance, we do want to take a stand with the people of North Carolina who this week are shouting loudly against intolerance, fear and discrimination.Over the years we’ve looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we’re now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice. We will be donating all of our profits from this show to this new fund. And we will start by making a donation from it to a local LGBTQ organisation.As always, we will open the doors to our show to anyone who wants to come, and are excited to get down with the people of Charlotte.M, B, W & T
‘It’s actually nice’But the spread of the new coronavirus has forced employers and workers to give telework a try in Japan, and Sato for one has been pleasantly surprised.”Unlike I’d expected, it’s actually nice. Much easier than going to the office,” said Sato, who has been working at home since February when the government began asking workers to telework to avoid spreading the new coronavirus.He works for a Tokyo start-up, Phybbit, which offers services to counter digital fraud, and had never before tried working from home.”This experience has completely changed my image of teleworking,” he told AFP in the small office he has set up in the family home he shares with his wife and two children.For a start, it saves him two hours of commuting a day, meaning he has more time with his daughters, whose schools are currently closed.”I can also give them their bath in the evening, something I could never do during the week before because I was never home before 8pm.”Sato’s wife Hitomi takes primary care of their daughters, six-year-old Yurina and four-year-old Hidano and said she has welcomed the helping hand at home.”I’m glad that he’s here, and the girls are happy to spend time with their dad,” she said.The Japanese government has renewed its push for teleworking and off-peak commuting in recent years, hoping to ease the burden on the notoriously congested Tokyo public transport system, particularly ahead of the Olympics.But there hasn’t been much enthusiasm. Experts say part of the challenge is the social stigma attached to deviating from the “salaryman” stereotype of the suited-up office worker who proves his dedication by spending long hours at his desk.Polls show “the Japanese still have this image that telework isn’t real work because you’re not physically in the office,” said Haruka Kazama, an economist at the Mizuho research institute.That’s a view familiar to Yuki Sato, 35, currently experimenting with teleworking for the first time.”The image of going to the office is very strong. You have to show that you work hard and long hours and that you help your colleagues,” Sato told AFP. The longstanding stereotype of Japan’s office-bound “salaryman” is being tested as companies cautiously embrace working from home in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus.Japan’s government has for years been trying to encourage firms to implement “flexible working patterns”, hoping that less demanding office hours will help women return to work after having children and men share more housework and childcare.But uptake has been slow. A survey published last year found around 19 percent of companies offered a telework option, but just 8.5 percent of employees polled had tried it out. ‘Mindsets are changing’ Kunihiko Higa, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology who specializes in flexible work options, attributes that to reluctant managers.Many of them “consider teleworking only as a tool for workers,” he told AFP. “In other words, they don’t understand that teleworking, if used in the right way, can be a management strategy tool.”The coronavirus outbreak appears to have achieved what government campaigns could not, forcing the hands of firms who may previously have been reluctant.”The situation has put their backs against the wall. They’ve been forced to give their employees the choice to telework,” said Kazama.A poll carried out at the end of February by the Keidanren business association of nearly 400 major firms found nearly 70 percent had already begun implementing teleworking or were planning to because of the pandemic.The switch hasn’t been universal. Workers still cram onto commuter trains — albeit in smaller numbers — and Japan’s parliament is hardly setting the tone, continuing to hold sessions and ministerial press conferences.And there is no guarantee yet that companies will continue to allow teleworking when the crisis eases.But experts said being forced to try teleworking was likely to leave a lasting impact in Japan, with companies beginning to see working from home as a feasible and even attractive option.”I think mindsets are changing,” said Kazama. Topics : “With telework, we can’t show our goodwill and motivation,” he added.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite KUALA LUMPUR — As expected the Philippine men’s rugby 7s team opened up with an explosive start after scoring two easy wins in the Southeast Asian Games Saturday at Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Stadium, Kelana Jaya here.Champions in the sport’s maiden staging in 2015 Singapore edition, the Volcanoes drubbed Indonesia, 47-5, before demolishing Cambodia, 47-7.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Teen gunned down in Masbate They are to face Malaysia late Saturday before taking on Singapore and Thailand on Sunday in a bid to once again sweep the competition all the way to the gold medal.Last year’s bronze medalist Lady Volcanoes weren’t as lucky as they bowed to Thailand, 32-0, in the opening match of the women’s division.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas McIlroy confirms he’ll return for FedEx Cup opener View comments 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LATEST STORIES Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano
– Struggling lad in rural Liberia with architectural talent and passion for nation-building uses craft to pay his school feesBy Samuel G. DwehThe two-storey model mansion, built by 17-year-old Jacob A. Trawally, is displayed in front of his family’s two-room mud hut in the Wenneh Town community of Margibi County for everyone to see.“I built it with cartons,” Jacob, a 9th grade student of the Kakata Community College, told this writer at a program in the Wenneh Town community on Saturday, May 6, 2017.Materials used in the construction of the house included gas, paper glue, hard papers (from cartons), brush (for painting or varnishing), scissors, knife, water and paint.A white satellite dish, made from aluminum, sits on the roof made of paper and pieces of zinc Jacob had collected from various building construction sites in his community.“The house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one big living room,” Jacob explained to this writer, who was attracted by such a masterpiece, admiring it, and asking a string of questions. It also has a gated car garage, with a model car parked in it.My mission in the Wenneh Town community was to serve as rapporteur of a three-day elections period violence prevention workshop for motorcyclists’ associations and Liberia National Police officers based in Margibi County. The workshop was held at the Wenneh Town Sports Pitch under the auspices of the Pen-Pen Peace Network (PPPN). During my spare time I took a stroll around the community and, just beyond the first row of mud structures in the area, I stumbled upon Jacob’s creation, propped up on a wooden chair in front of the mud hut where he lives with his grandmother.Jacob said he wants to be an architectural engineer. “In the future, I want to construct storey buildings for my country, Liberia, like other people are doing for their countries,” he declared with patriotic fervor.Jacob started constructing the model during the worst health crisis in Liberia’s history. “I started during the Ebola time, in 2014, but I stopped construction several times due to money problems and to focus on my school work,” he explained.According to him, the model house, which he priced at US$50, is one of several architectural models he has produced and sells to pay his school fees. “The money I get from my works is spent on preparation of my 9th grade WAEC (West African Examination Council) exams,” he said.The problem with this young ingenious lad, who has been living with his grandmother since he was nine months old, is his lack of business knowledge or a strategy to get his production on the radar of the right customers. “I display them in front of my house and people see them and buy them if they love them,” he responded to my question about the visibility of his production in Margibi County. Given that Jacob pours so much creative passion into one project after another, the finished product sits on display at home until a customer stumbles upon it and is willing to buy. “I don’t take my works around to sell,” he added.Jacob said he yearns for attention from any Margibi County official in the local leadership or the national legislature for financial assistance to gain more training to develop his talent, but has not been lucky with anyone stepping forth with the help.He believes this help could come fast through regular publicity of his creations by roving journalists living or corresponding from Margibi County or Kakata. “Journalists are living in Kakata here. Some of them have seen my works, but none of them has promoted any of my works on their radio programs or newspapers,” Jacob said in a plaintive tone.Liberia’s current economic situation, engendered by the country’s civil war, and national government’s priority areas often push the majority of Liberian journalists to prioritize only politics or human rights issues for the radio or newspaper.Many grade schools have added Creative Arts to their curricula for talented kids like Jacob. One of these schools is the Light International School, located at Airfield Shortcut, in Sinkor, outside Monrovia. But school fees are unaffordable for a talented person whose family hardly gets a three-square meal a day, like Jacob’s.For now Jacob’s father, Abraham Trawally, and mother, Fatumata Trawally, can’t help him get modern art tools due to each person’s financial limitations. “They are in Monrovia, hustling,” Jacob’s paternal grandmother, Miatta Johnson, disclosed in an interview with this writer.Jacob is one of hundreds of different talented youth littering the entire land space called Liberia. They are brimming with talent, imagination and persistence — natural abilities that can transform Liberia into an infrastructural paradise like countries Liberians often dream of being in. But, with the absence of a viable national talent-development program, these nation-building gifts would make no impact in time.When asked what he wants the government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT), or private Liberian businesspeople to do for him, young Jacob first stared into the space ahead of him. “The government should see (talented people) as builders of the nation, as politics or trading,” he mused, his attention still on the empty space.Samuel G. Dweh is a journalist, creative writer, author, publisher of Edu-Diary (education newspaper) and a member of Liberia’s two writers’ organizations: Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the Liberia Association of Writers (LAW). He can be reached via: +231 886 618 906/ +231 776 583 266; E-mail: [email protected] Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)