VIDEO LINKS UPDATED 27/1/08

first_imgOver the next few weeks you will be seeing a lot more multimedia content on Cherwell24. We have hugely expanded our broadcasting team and will be bringing you regular video features and news-in-depth investigations, as well as podcast news roundups.27/1/08Helena Zaba and Rachel Williams present C24’s first gigging and clubbing roundup . Also, see Cherwell24’s first video theatre preview . 24/1/08Our video team further explored the condition of the flooding in Oxford. 13/1/08Our first releases have just been published – a look at busking and the Cornmarket Bagpiper , a report on the soon-to-be closed Greyfriars PPH and ‘Oxford’s Most Haunted ‘, where we go on the hunt for local spooks…We also have a podcast, a roundup of the news over the vac.Happy viewing and check back regularly!C24 Editorial Teamlast_img read more

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Exeter expands into Jericho

first_imgRuskin College has sold its land in central Oxford to Exeter College, in a deal which includes improved links between the two colleges.Exeter paid £12 million for the additional site in Walton Street. The deal includes a programme of joint academic, cultural and social activities between Exeter and Ruskin.Ruskin sold the Jericho site in order to fund a £20 million redevelopment at its main campus in Headington. The plans include a new library and two accommodation buildings which will house 50 extra students.Frances Cairncross has said that the new site will be Exeter’s “third quadrangle.”Audrey Mullender, Principal of Ruskin College, commented, “[The deal] opens a fruitful new chapter in our century-long relationship with the University of Oxford.”The final contracts were signed in 9th week of Hilary term.last_img read more

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Oxford Care Services face spending cuts

first_imgBritain’s largest public sector union has alleged that over 300 NHS workers providing support for those with learning difficulties face being sacked by their employer TQtwentyone, unless they agree to changes in pay and working conditions.Unison have stated that the workers they represent face pay cuts of up to £3500 from their annual salary, and their holidays being shortened by eight days a year. The union say that workers in Oxfordshire, as well as Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire, will be affected.TQtwentyone, which provides care services for people with learning difficulties, rejected Unison’s criticism. A spokesperson told Cherwell, “A number of claims made by the union are incorrect and misleading. TQtwentyone has an excellent record of providing social care for a number of years. Our priority is to continue to exist to provide that care and support to people.”They continued, “To be able to operate our income needs to match our costs – at the moment it doesn’t. We are trying to protect the jobs of our valued staff. Our support services are not funded by health budgets through the NHS; they are mostly commissioned by local authority social services departments.”TQtwentyone rejected the accusation they are “sacking people”. The spokesperson stated that staff affected will not see changes for over a year, and will keep the same NHS pensions, bank holiday enhancements, and travel benefits. TQtwentyone said, “Staff have been fully supported through this unsettling period of change and we have continued to try to work with the unions over these changes.” Dan Turner, Publicity Officer of Oxford University Labour Club, argued, “Cuts like these make an absolute mockery of the Government’s claim that their efforts to tackle public sector spending are fair or effective. It’s clear that the pressures exerted by three years of austerity have already had a demoralising effect on staff, and the inevitable result of further attacks on workers’ positions is that standards will continue to slip.”He continued, “Perhaps the biggest insult is that this attack comes in the wake of a costly and unnecessary reorganisation of the NHS that has already cost millions, which could have preserved jobs and standards.”However, one Oxford student opined, “I think it’s really difficult. Obviously it’s not fair for the staff to have their pay cut but if the cuts are really that necessary to make sure they can still supply their services then I can understand that. Hopefully they can come to some sort of compromise.”Unison was unavailable for comment.last_img read more

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Oxford Union invites EDL leader

first_imgThe Oxford Union has invited Tommy Robinson, the English Defence League leader branded a “fascist” by opponents, to a nationalism debate at the society in Michaelmas.Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretary Weyman Bennett has said that the organisation, which has campaigned against the EDL since its inception, “opposes the invitation to Tommy Robinson and will call a peaceful demonstration”.Secretary’s Committee member Simon Blackaby, of St John’s College, tweeted Robinson saying “the Oxford Union would love to host you as a speaker” and requested an email address to send a formal invitation to. Robinson tweeted back asking Blackaby to “[direct message] me your number”.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%7907%%[/mm-hide-text]Union President Parit Wacharasindhu confirmed the invite was genuine and defended the decision, saying that the society was “founded on the principle of free speech. It provides a neutral arena where political views can be aired so long as they are contested”. However he said that there would be “security concerns – an issue raised by both parties – which need to be resolved” before a formal invitation letter could be sent. The EDL was founded in 2009 as a street protest movement. The group describes itself as a “human rights organisation” that “protests against radical Islan’s encroachement into the lives of non-Muslims.”Wacharasindhu also stated that the debate format “ensures his views are extensively questioned and scrutinised” and denied claims that the Union had affiliated itself with the EDL in any way. “No speakers are ever given a platform nor are their views ever endorsed by the society or any of the individuals in it”, he said. In January the Union revoked an invitation it had extended to Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, to debate the motion ‘This house would be glad to have gay parents’. The society later claimed that the invitation had not been authorised by senior members and said it would take “disciplinary action” against the junior member responsible. The Union said that it “does not wish to be associated with the BNP in any way whatsoever” and that it “strongly disagree[s] with their views.”Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of obstructing officers in east London. Robinson and his co-leader Kevin Carroll were staging what they claimed was a charity walk to Woolwich, the scene of a gruesome terror attack last month. However the police pressed the EDL to take an alternative route that avoided the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets, which they refused.Blackaby did not respond to requests for comment.last_img read more

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Young people “taken for a ride” says Oxford professor

first_imgDanny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, has said in an article for the New Statesman that young people, in Britain are being “taken for a ride.”In a comment to Cherwell, he stated that this discrimination extended to young people across the country, including students at Oxford.In his New Statesman article, he said, “The young are discriminated against in ways in which it would be illegal to differentiate between men and women, or between more and less disabled people, or on the basis of race or religion.”Although he emphasises that it is the poorest who suffer the most, he discusses in his article the issues that extend to students and graduates at top universities.He writes, “What of the most successful of university graduates, the ones who go on to get a starter job in the City, and look to buy that tiny flat close to work? What will happen when they take out their 95 per cent mortgage and start repaying one twenty-fifth of the borrowed capital out of what they take home after tax? For a few years they might be able to do it, just – until interest rates rise.”Furthermore, in a statement to Cherwell, Professor Dorling added that he believed that this concern also applies to students at Oxford: “I think it includes students at Oxford in that they are partly the target for the ‘help to buy’ scheme. A student who graduated from Oxford this summer might now be in a good job in London. The government’s scheme means that banks are being encouraged to lend them up to £600,000 to buy a flat on a 95% mortgage. These are loans that will be made to a few graduates starting on very good salaries that under normal circumstances the banks would consider too risky to make.“The initial beneficiaries will be those who sell these flats to people like recent Oxbridge graduates. What then happens in a few years’ time when interest rates rise?”He added, “Many people find it very hard to have any sympathy for young people who now have some of the best chances in life. Of course, if house prices rise and rise these graduates will think they have done well, but if there is a house price crash in London after the next election when the help to buy funding ends…. Who loses out most?” James Blythe, Brasenose JCR President, said, “Anyone who is passionate about making sure an Oxford education is open to all bright young people, regardless of means, should also be worried about the cost of living. For many Oxford students, especially those who just miss out on the University’s generous bursary package, high accommodation prices can have a major impact on their quality of life and be a source of massive stress. Moreover, the high cost of living in Oxford risks putting many prospective students off applying to Oxford in the first place. The student union must continue to campaign vigorously for affordable accommodation for students in Oxford.”Nathan Akehurst, a third year at Lincoln, commented, “One cannot regard Oxford students in aggregate – certainly many people here (and the vast majority in term time) lead lives that cannot be compared to the hundreds of thousands reliant on food banks and hit hardest by austerity.“However, as an Oxford student coming from a single-parent unemployed family with our household income decimated by the bedroom tax and reliant on casual work to survive in the vacations, I certainly do feel that less well-off young people are affected by the issues Dorling raises regardless of which university they attend.”One second year student at New College said, “I think that as he specifically states that the people worst affected are ‘the very poorest of the young’, it is probably not true that Oxford students are equally affected on average.“Personally, I don’t feel especially discriminated against: as a young person you have to work your way to the top. He writes about rent and house prices being high: although this might affect young people, it is not necessarily a deliberate attempt to discriminate.”She added, “Applying the term ‘discrimination’ to something like this seems a bit paradoxical, as most ‘discriminations’ are permanent, e.g. race or gender: everybody grows up at some point. As today’s children are tomorrow’s adults, and he makes out that all of us are suffering the same fate, ultimately it shouldn’t make any difference in the long run. But personally I think that the word discrimination is probably too strong.”last_img read more

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Oxford Students Blogging Brazil for the BBC

first_imgA group of Oxford students have had their travel writing, based on their experiences in Brazil, featured as a blog on the BBC website.Covering controversial issues within Brazilian culture and society, from class segregation to the gender inequalities of Machismo, the pieces were written by a group mostly comprising of third year modern language students on their year abroad.The blog is named ‘Para Ingles Ver’ or ‘For the English to see’, an idiom which roughly translates as ‘for the sake of appearances’. It has attracted considerable online attention, particularly from those affected by the issues it discusses, as the enthusiastic responses in the comment section demonstrate. One reader went as far as to give one of the bloggers his phone number in reaction to their criticism of macho behaviour.For one of the group, Lily Green, a Spanish and Portuguese student at St Peter’s, the comments are the best part of the blog. “The differing opinions, the frustration, the praise, the despair, the adoration – it all perfectly reflects how it is when you talk face-to-face with Brazilians about their country.”Having only recently returned from her five month stay in Brazil, Lily told Cherwell about her time there. “I spent the first four months in Recife in the North East because I wanted to really sink into the day to day. The humdrum stuff was the best: catching the bus, making dinner with friends, complaining about the weather.”Another blogger, Yara Rodrigues Fowler, who is half Brazilian, writes about time spent back home over Christmas. In working for the BBC, she said, “I have learned how to write in my second mother tongue in a personal and yet not too informal way.”Loukia Koumia, a student departing for Brazil, hopes that blogging will “encourage me to soak in as much culture as I can.”last_img read more

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Leicester fever hits Pembroke

first_imgAs thousands across the country celebrated Leicester’s unlikely win of the Premier League, four Oxford students forfeited their bop to head to Leicester at midnight and join in the celebrations.The students at Pembroke College decided to make the trip up to the East Midlands after learning that the underdogs had won the title, despite having started the season with 5000-1 odds of lifting the Premier League trophy.Their victory was announced after Tottenham Hotspurs failed to beat Chelsea, awarding Leicester their first league title win in 132 years.At least a thousand fans gathered at King Power stadium to watch the Spurs Chelsea game, with many more descending on the streets of Leicester after the result.After Pembroke’s annual sports dinner, the quartet suggested joining the thousand strong crowds celebrating in Leicester and by midnight they were in a taxi on their way to the city.They arrived at Jamie Vardy’s House only 15 minutes after Vardy’s party had come to end, instead having to settle with a selfie taken by his front door.After trips to King Power Stadium, a nightclub and Leicester Cathedral to visit Richard III, the students returned to Pembroke at 8:15 the next morning, with one even heading straight to lectures upon his return.None of the students is a Leicester fan, but they have all been following the club’s title bid from November.Jack Harrison, one of the second year students who made the trip, commented, “One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve never experienced human joy to the extent I did in the club in Leicester.“Sports runs the continuum of existence and our second year will always be synonymous with Leicester’s bid for the title. We have followed right from start and we have been on such a journey with Leicester we wanted to follow it through to the end.“We backed Vardy early doors, ever since their 3-0 win over Newcastle. I thought that they would probably win the title once Spurs drew with Liverpool.”Pembroke undergraduate Nathan Wragg told Cherwell, “It was one of the best nights of my life. It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so happy we made the spontaneous decision to go. It is a trip I will not be forgetting any time soon.”The Oxford students also met with another group of boys, none of which were life-long Leicester City fans prior to this season, but had made the trip down to Leicester from Leeds University.They featured on BBC news for their endeavours the next morning, still out and going strong at 7am the next morning.last_img read more

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Giles Coren claims bad teaching ‘makes Oxford special’

first_imgTelevision presenter, food critic and writer Giles Coren has criticised an Oxford graduate suing his former college for his second-class degree.Brasenose College alumnus Faiz Siddiqui is suing his alma mater for £1 million because he claims ‘apallingly bad’ teaching for his finals which he claims resulted in him achieving a 2.i  in modern history rather than the first he had hoped for.He told the High Court that “negligent” teaching the History faculty during his Indian imperial history module prevented him from forging a successful career as an international commercial lawyer.However, writing in the Times on Saturday, Giles Coren, who obtained a first in English at Keble college, has hit back at Mr Siddiqui, saying that ‘appalling bad’ teaching is what made his degree at Oxford ‘special’.“One goes to Oxford precisely because the teaching is rubbish, nothing is compulsory, tutorials are optional after first week and nobody ever, ever talks about careers.“If you want to be taught and pass exams and become a lawyer, don’t you go to a red brick? Or Cambridge? Oxford is for drinking and playing tennis and nicking books out of the Bod under your cricket jumper and lobbing them at punting tourists from Magdalen Bridge.“If you ask me, Mr Siddiqui got the wrong end of the stick altogether with his tertiary education and is now just embarassing himself.”Magdalen College JCR Vice President Amanda Turner disagreed, telling Cherwell, “the tutorial system in Oxford means students receive some of the best standards of teaching in the world, and there is a good feedback system for students to use if they aren’t happy with teaching standards. However, remarks like Giles Coren’s prevent students from speaking up if they aren’t satisfied with how they are being taught.”last_img read more

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Campaign Fraud Case Implicates Indy Gaming Firm—But Who Is It?

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Campaign Fraud Case Implicates Indy Gaming Firm—But Who Is It? News that a Republican strategist in Maryland pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy in what investigators say was a scheme to funnel money from an Indianapolis-based gaming company to an Indiana congressional candidate raises more questions than prosecutors seem ready to answer.And you have to think there are some folks in Indy getting pretty nervous.The campaign in question was former state Sen. Brent Waltz‘s bid for the GOP nomination in the 9th District in 2016. Waltz told IBJ late Thursday he was not aware of any illegal donations to the unsuccessful campaign and said he’s been fully cooperating with investigators.And it seems the Republican strategist in Maryland—Chip O’Neil—is cooperating, too. In court, he admitted that at least eight people, including his girlfriend, were used as conduits for illegal corporate donations from the Indianapolis gaming company to the House campaign. And the plea agreement calls for O’Neil to spill his guts about what he knows.Lots of people are named in the charging documents and O’Neil’s plea agreement—but not the Indianapolis gaming company. Neither is the company’s vice president and general counsel, who is accused in the filings of helping to set up the scheme to “evade the restrictions of corporate contributions to campaigns, to evade the limits placed on money that individuals could contribute to a campaign, and to disguise the fact that the gaming corporation was the true source of the funds.”But those names could be revealed soon as the case moves forward and O’Neil provides information in exchange for a lighter sentence. No doubt there are plenty of folks waiting to see where the dominos fall.Meanwhile, IBJ has the details on what prosecutors have revealed so far about the Indiana case and how it fits into a larger crackdown on fraudulent political action committees.last_img read more

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THE BENEFITS OF NOT WORKING FROM HOME

first_imgBy Tom PurcellI don’t care what the new study has found. Working from home is getting old for me.The study, by TinyPulse, finds that full-time workers who work from home tend to feel “happier and more productive than those who have to make the daily commute to the office.”Maybe so, but telecommuting has its downsides.I’ve been self-employed since 1993. In addition to writing this newspaper column, I provide communications services to a variety of clients all over the globe — and I’ve been able to support them from home or the nearest coffee shop.I am able to do so, of course, because of modern technology. My laptop battery lasts up to 10 hours. It allows me to collaborate virtually on Internet work-share sites. I can send and receive large files. I can even talk “face to face” using video-chat applications.I sit in coffee shops most days and pubs most nights. I sit in the corner and peck away on my keyboard. There’s no need for me to go to an office anywhere ever. People frequently tell me how envious they are of my freedom to work from anywhere.But I can’t take it anymore.For starters, there is no separation between work and leisure. I find myself working all hours of the day — sometimes into the wee hours of the night — and never enjoy the blissful feeling of arriving home after a long day at the office.The busier my workload gets, the more isolated I become. The postal carrier and the Fed Ex driver avoid me now — because I keep trying to engage them in conversations about sports and the weather.At one point, I called a nanny agency and attempted to hire a thirtysomething au pair. They assured me that I had to be a family.When religious fanatics knock on my door it is they, not I, who are first to get antsy.Religious fanatic: “Satan will have your soul unless you read our pamphlet.”Me: “Great. I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow and what about them Penguins!”I’m a bit burned out on telecommuting at the moment — which is why I accepted an assignment that requires me to work from an office building in downtown Pittsburgh.It is a glorious change of pace.I wake at 5 a.m. and must be on the road by 6 a.m. to avoid heavy traffic. I also must wear the nice clothes in my closet that I used to wear only at funerals and weddings.I love my 12-mile commute. I’m greatly enjoying the intense competition with other drivers who won’t let me merge on the Parkway. They clearly respect my ability to cut in though. Why else would so many keep giving me the “you’re number one” sign?The office experience is glorious, too. I work with real people in person. During meetings, we talk about issues and challenges and sometimes, to emphasize a point, I use hand gestures and facial expressions. Try doing that during a virtual phone conference!Modern technology is dramatically changing the way we live and work, and it makes a lot of sense for companies to allow more employees to work from home. Why not spend less on office space? Why not reduce road congestion and fuel consumption?I’m just saying that too much of a good thing can go sour.Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting to attend with real, live people. We usually begin by talking about sports and the weather.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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