Category: qemgmfyv

‘Transgender’ definition may be erased in the US

first_imgThe Sydney Morning Herald 22 October 2018Family First Comment:  Shock Horror!! Trump’s administration wants to base gender on biology and science… “The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable”. The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.” No wonder the Left hate Trump so much!The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a US government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and healthcare, recognising gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.Now the US Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable”. The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by the Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognise themselves – surgically or otherwise – as a gender other than the one they were born into.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

2014 East Central Relay Invitational

first_imgThe AquaTrojans from East Central hosted its annual East Central Relays Saturday in St. Leon. After an exciting meet the Connersville Boys and Greensburg girls pull away with the relay meet victories. The scores were as follows.Girls: Greensburg 64, East Central 62 (9-2), New Palestine 62, Greenwood 60, and Connersville 40.Boys: Connersville 84, East Central 70 (8-1), New Palestine 54, Greensburg 50, and Greenwood 34.The AquaTrojans had a fantastic showing at this meet. Relay winners include:Girls 400 Medley Relay (Alexis deLong, Kacie Jackson, Lydia Weber); Boys 400 Medley Relay (Alex Ketcham, Alex Pruitt, Dustin Schantz); Boys 375 Crescendo Relay (Jakob Paff, Alex Pruitt, Dustin Schantz, Derek Roth); Girls 150 Butterfly Relay (Kacie Jackson, Lydia Weber, Alexis deLong); Boys 150 Butterfly Relay (Ryan Lammering, Curtis Schondelmayer, Derek Roth); Girls 400 Freestyle Relay (Jenna Wernke, Ashley Bortlein, Lydia Weber, Alexis deLong); and Boys 400 Freestyle Relay (Alex Ketcham, Ryan Lammering, Curtis Schondelmayer, Derek Roth).The next meet for the AquaTrojans will be on Friday and Saturday January 9-10 at Connersville for the EIAC Conference Championships). Go AquaTrojans!!Courtesy of AquaTrojans Coach Brandon Lovelesslast_img read more

Busy stretch begins Saturday at Dodge City Raceway Park

first_imgBy Lonnie WheatleyDODGE CITY, Kan. – At long last, Dodge City Raceway Park fires back to life Saturday night, May 30.And in grand style it will be with the powerful NCRA Sprint Cars along with DCRP championship chase action for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks.Saturday’s green flag flies at 7:30 p.m.Clay Sellard and Michael Pepper will try to stay perfect in DCRP competition after both going two-for-two in the opening pair of events for IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, respectively.Jeremy Sigler and Jeff Kaup have split wins thus far in IMCA SportMod action. Matt O’Hair topped the most recent IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock main event.Saturday’s tilt at DCRP, the first action since April 25 following a May 9 rainout, kicks off a run of six consecutive weekends of competition at the state-of-the-art 3/8-mile clay oval in southwest Kansas.General admission tickets to Saturday’s action are $20 for adults, with children 11 and under admit­ted free when accompanied by an adult. Pit admission is $30.last_img read more

Harry Kane hits hat-trick for Tottenham, Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc has nightmare

first_img He could do nothing to stop the fourth Spurs goal as Kane slid in to convert Eriksen’s cross and put the result beyond doubt. With Kane in search of his second Premier League hat-trick, the England striker came close with a rasping shot that Boruc turned behind – but the wait would only go on for a few more seconds. The resulting corner was headed towards goal by Alderweireld and again Boruc could not hold on. Kane was on hand to score his third of the afternoon. Ritchie was the chief goal-threat for the shell-shocked hosts and forced Lloris into action with a long-range strike before Eriksen’s fine effort came back off the post for Spurs. Kane had legitimate calls for a second penalty turned down by referee Roger East as he looked to capitalise on yet another Boruc spill, with the goalkeeper catching Kane’s leg as he looked to recover. The striker was taken off with little over five minutes remaining, to be replaced by Clinton Njie. He failed to open his Tottenham account due to a smart stop by Boruc. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Welcome back @hkane28 . A nice little nice hat-trick. It was only a matter of time.” – BBC presenter and former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker ( ‏@GaryLineker) celebrates Harry Kane’s hat-trick in the 5-1 win at Bournemouth. Welcome back @hkane28 . A nice little nice hat-trick. It was only a matter of time. PLAYER RATINGS Bournemouth: Artur Boruc: 2 Simon Francis: 5 Steve Cook: 5 Sylvain Distin: 4 Charlie Daniels: 5 Matt Ritchie: 7 Dan Gosling: 5 Andrew Surman: 5 Marc Pugh: 6 Glenn Murray: 5 Joshua King: 5 Substitutes: Eunan O’Kane: 5 Yann Kermogant: 5 Adam Smith: 5 Tottenham: Hugo Lloris: 6 Kyle Walker: 6 Toby Alderweireld: 7 Jan Vertonghen: 6 Danny Rose: 6 Eric Dier: 6 Dele Alli: 7 Christian Eriksen: 9 Mousa Dembele: 8 Erik Lamela: 7 Harry Kane: 9 Substitutes: Ryan Mason: 6 Kieran Trippier: 6 Clinton Njie: 6 STAR PLAYER Harry Kane: On any other afternoon Eriksen’s sublime display would have meant he would walk any poll for star player. But Kane’s hat-trick, coming after such a barren run for the England forward, just edges out his team-mate. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Artur Boruc: Hard to select which of the Polish goalkeeper’s clangers deserve to be highlighted here but his first fumble proved costly, gifting Lamela Tottenham’s third goal and taking the game away from the hosts. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Eddie Howe opted to recall Boruc after he was injured in the warm-up at Man City last week and he will be regretting that decision this evening. For Mauricio Pochettino, his decision to start Kane having rested the striker for the Europa League defeat at Anderlecht, was vindicated. Dembele was also impressive in a more advanced role. MOAN OF THE MATCH Bournemouth have drawn plenty of plaudits for their style of football since gaining promotion to the Premier League but even the very best sides would struggle for results with such a shaky goalkeeper. WHO’S UP NEXT Liverpool v Bournemouth (Carling Cup fourth round, Wednesday October 28). Tottenham v Aston Villa (Premier League, Sunday November 2). The England international had scored just once for Spurs this season heading into the clash at the Vitality Stadium but showed his finishing touch had not deserted him as he scored three in the 5-1 mauling of Eddie Howe’s side. The hosts had raced into a 49-second lead thanks to Matt Ritchie’s smart finish but a string of errors from goalkeeper Artur Boruc proved to be Bournemouth’s undoing as Kane helped himself to a hat-trick, with Mousa Dembele and Erik Lamela also on the scoresheet. Boruc, returning to the starting line-up after missing the 5-1 loss to Manchester City last week due to an injury in the warm-up, had a day to forget while Kane, who was courted by Howe during his tenure at Burnley, has the match-ball as a memento from what he will hope is the turning point of his season. It started so promisingly for the hosts as they took the lead inside the first minute as a cross from Charlie Daniels evaded everyone in the middle, with Ritchie arriving at the back post to score. Ritchie’s early strike was cancelled out by Kane’s equaliser from the penalty spot after he had been felled by Boruc. Tottenham then took the lead as Danny Rose’s speculative effort deflected fortuitously into the path of Dembele, who coolly finished past Boruc, picking up a knock in the process. Boruc did well to prevent Toby Alderweireld scoring the third when he kept out his near-post header but the experienced Polish stopper’s afternoon did not get any better as he was culpable for Tottenham’s next goal on the half-hour mark. Kane wriggled free on the left but could only hit a tame cross into the box. However Boruc failed to hold it and spilt the ball straight into the path of Lamela, who made no mistake. Bournemouth were still creating chances of their own and were unlucky not to reduce the arrears just before the interval as Marc Pugh saw a scuffed effort cleared off the line by Alderweireld before King hit the inside of the post moments later. Boruc almost produced another moment to forget shortly after half-time as he took his time in clearing the ball and Dembele charged down his kick, although thankfully for the goalkeeper it rebounded straight back to him. Harry Kane returned to form as he struck a hat-trick to sink sorry Bournemouth. Press Associationlast_img read more

Presbyterian looks to end streak vs Gardner-Webb

first_imgARE YOU EXPERIENCED: Gardner-Webb has depended on senior leadership this year while Presbyterian has been fueled heavily by freshmen. For the Runnin’ Bulldogs, seniors Jose Perez, Eric Jamison Jr. and Jaheam Cornwall have scored 57 percent of the team’s points this season, including 60 percent of all Runnin’ Bulldogs points over their last five. On the other bench, freshmen Cory Hightower, Michael Isler and Zeb Graham have collectively scored 38 percent of Presbyterian’s points this season, including 43 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.BIG SOUTH IMPROVEMENT: The Blue Hose have scored 72.5 points per game against Big South opponents so far, an improvement from the 58.8 per game they managed in non-conference play.CREATING OFFENSE: Perez has either made or assisted on 40 percent of all Gardner-Webb field goals over the last three games. The sophomore guard has accounted for 15 field goals and 18 assists in those games.SCORING THRESHOLDS: Presbyterian is 0-12 when its offense scores 66 points or fewer. Gardner-Webb is a perfect 5-0 when it holds opponents to 65 or fewer points.WINNING WHEN: Gardner-Webb is a perfect 5-0 when it holds an opponent to 65 points or fewer. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 3-13 when opponents score more than 65. Presbyterian looks to end streak vs Gardner-Webb February 5, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditGardner-Webb (8-13, 4-5) vs. Presbyterian (8-15, 5-5)Ross E. Templeton P.E. Center, Clinton, South Carolina; Thursday, 7 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Gardner-Webb looks to extend Presbyterian’s conference losing streak to five games. Presbyterian’s last Big South win came against the Campbell Fighting Camels 85-79 on Jan. 20. Gardner-Webb fell 84-81 in overtime at home to Longwood in its last outing.center_img Associated Press CLAMPING DOWN: Gardner-Webb’s defense has forced 12.9 turnovers per game this season, but is averaging 16.7 takeaways over its last three games.___For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Karunaratne underscores Sri Lankan Innings

first_imgDIMUTH Karunaratne’s unbeaten 133 – an innings defined by its smoothness and control – ensured Sri Lanka’s first brush with day-night Test cricket was a success. They moved to 254 for 3 by stumps, after debutant Sadheera Samarawickreme contributed a delectable 38, and Dinesh Chandimal progressed to the verge of another cautious half-century. Earlier in the day, Kaushal Silva had hung around for 27 off 71 balls as well.Pakistan had got themselves in the match soon after the tea break, when Samarawickreme and Kusal Mendis fell in quick succession. Though they had Sri Lanka 136 for 3 at one stage, no further wickets came in the second half of the day.Their frustrations were compounded in the last half an hour when Mohammad Amir pulled up in the middle of the 88th over and left the field clutching his thigh, prompting concerns over the state of his hamstring. Sarfraz Ahmed also burned their two reviews trying to dismiss the irritating Chandimal.Though the quicks gleaned good movement with the new pink balls, it was Yasir Shah who was the most menacing bowler, getting faster and faster turn off the Dubai pitch through the day. He bowled 29.3 overs and returned figures of 2 for 90. Amir was the other bowler to make a breakthrough – his first in the series.While other batsmen advanced at varying rates around him, Karunaratne was Sri Lanka’s day one metronome. Samarawickreme produced a boundary-filled cameo; Chandimal and Kaushal stonewalled, almost becoming completely inert at times.Karunaratne, however, progressed evenly, never getting pinned down, never pressing the attack for long. He struck three fours off one Mohammad Amir over just before the tea break, but that was as exciting as his day got. Otherwise, he was seen flicking balls to his favourite midwicket region, and working the spinners towards square leg. Over a hundred of his runs, and 11 of his 16 boundaries came on the legside.This seventh career hundred – his first in the first innings since 2015 – is an extension of his excellent run in 2017. Though he missed out on triple figures at Abu Dhabi, where he was run-out on 93, Karunaratne has nevertheless struck three high-quality centuries this year, all against good attacks.Following two years in which he constantly tested the selectors’ patience, this has been a long-awaited harvest.Gone from his game are the impetuous flashes that frustrated him early in his career, and the tentativeness that plagued him twelve months ago. The Karunaratne that has emerged in 2017 is versatile and tempered – rarely short of scoring options for long, and often able to weather testing spells.Yesterday, he saw out some early swing from Amir, and defused Yasir expertly, though the spinner was already gaining substantial turn from this surface. Even late in the day, he would make calculated trips down the track, to the spinners.SCORECARDSRI LANKA 1st inningsDimuth Karunaratne not out 133Kaushal Silva c S. Ahmed b Shah 27Sadheera Samarawickreme c & b Amir 38Kusal Mendis c Shafiq b Shah 1Dinesh Chandimal not out 49Extras: (lb-1 nb-4 w-1) 6Total: (for 3 wickets, 90 overs) 254Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-131, 3-136.Bowling: Mohammad Amir 16.3-5-59-1, Mohammad Abbas 18-5-48-0 (nb-1), Wahab Riaz 13-5-25-0 (nb-3) Yasir Shah 29.3-5-90-2, Asad Shafiq 8-1-16-0 (w-1) Haris Sohail 5-1-15-0.last_img read more

Students react to possible loan-rate rise

first_imgAs finals approach, students are anxiously awaiting the end of classes and the start of summer break. But the summer could hold an unpleasant development for those with student loans. That’s because interest rates on many student loans are scheduled to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.Costly · The Occupy protests were partly fueled by by the rising cost of higher education. The interest rate of student loans could double in July. – Courtesy of Mark Boster/Los Angeles TimesThe increase, originally set to take effect last summer, was postponed for a year when Congress voted in favor of extending the current rate. Many pointed to the political nature of this decision, noting the proximity of the 2012 election and legislators’ rising awareness of the increasing electoral influence wielded by American college students.Regardless of whether this was a calculated political move or not, the extension expires in less than two months, and  the government once again faces the same decision it did last year. Some analysts suggest that student loan debt in the United States exceeds $1 trillion, and with roughly 37 million Americans sharing in that debt, the implications of Congress’s decision will be widely felt.Student advocacy groups have mobilized in defense of the current rate, which many argue is already too high. Several groups collectively released an issue brief on April 16 arguing against the rate increase. According to the brief, which references information from a Congressional Budget Office report, the federal government makes 36 cents on every dollar loaned, amounting to an annual profit of more than $34 billion.President Barack Obama, along with a few Republican senators, has proposed a variable interest rate system to prevent the rate from doubling. But many Democratic legislators have suggested voting to extend the current rate for several years, giving Congress time to develop a comprehensive higher-education bill.On a recent trip to Washington, Dean of Financial Aid Thomas McWhorter met with legislative aides of some California congressional members of Congress, including Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.“During my visit to the Hill, I could sense the fact that Congress is confident there will be an extension,” McWhorter said. “The question is whether it will be short- term or long-term.”McWhorter said approximately 6,250 students currently have subsidized Stafford loans. The last time Congress increased the interest rate on subsidized federal loans was in 2006. In 2008, Congress voted to gradually decrease the rate to 3.4 percent, a rate Congress extended in 2012.Though McWhorter remains unsure about what solution will be reached by Congress, he stressed the university’s commitment to curbing the student debt upon graduation.“When dealing with financial aid, we try to limit the amount of loans to maintain a reasonable debt load for students,” McWhorter said.Many students said the rise of student loan interest rules would have a long-term affect on them even after college.“I have a friend who’s 29 and still paying off student loans,” said Maya Jackson, a sophomore majoring in film and television production. “I would definitely say it’s kind of out of hand.”Jackson said that rising loans take focus away from the importance of education and cause more stress than necessary.“We’re trying to get an education so we can better everything that’s going on,” Jackson said. “It makes it so much more difficult if we have other worries like money while we’re doing that.”Jenny Kavak, a junior majoring in business administration and accounting, supports a decrease in student loan rates because ultimately, affordable education makes it easier for students to pursue their goals.“I just think it’s sad when students use money as a reason to not go to school as well because I think that money should not be an obstacle to them getting an education,” Kavak said.last_img read more

2nd time around, Badgers eye victory in Pasadena

first_img[media-credit name=’Megan McCormick / The Badger Herald’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Defensive tackle and co-captain Patrick Butrym vows Wisconsin will “do it right this timelast_img

Winning Post – Gambling Commission consults on harm prevention

first_imgHarmonisation of technical standard, probity checks and even harm minimisation methods are to be welcomed in creating better regulation across jurisdictions, in our view; discussing issues across a broader geographic framework may also improve regulatory responsiveness, industry knowledge and effectiveness. But the big questions of tax, product and licensing openness are highly political and still highly state-specific. Any hopes that harmonisation means liberalisation are dangerously misplaced, in our view. Instead, it would be worth considering that at least three major licensees will start 2019 on Sweden’s naughty step for breaches of licensing conditions in the UK. In other words, greater harmonisation at the regulatory layer will likely make regulators more effective, but not in ways that many operators necessarily want.Europe: sports integrity – Mims the wordThe UK has joined the 32 of 47 Council of Europe Member States in signing the Macolin Convention. The convention was introduced in 2014 in an attempt to coordinate nations in the fight against corruption within sports. It has gained support from member states and non-members, and with ratifications from Norway, Portugal and Ukraine, it needs two further member states to ratify before it can be promulgated. US: sportsbetting legislation – bring in the feds…The latest Federal sportsbetting bill calls for a level of Federal oversight to state betting legislation, with a Federal approval system for operators, including a UIGEA-specific bad actor clause (potentially an issue for Stars, though with some interesting Wire Act interpretation issues to contend with), a national betting integrity data body, as well as a requirement for operators to use ‘official’ sports data. It is hard to see states tolerating this or for the ‘compromise’ to satisfy proponents of federal intervention. However, that the debate is being had should highlight an underlying issue that is unlikely to go away, in our view. A patchwork of state-by-state regulatory regimes is probably only as stable as it is collectively competent. A big scandal involving integrity, graft, bad actors or gambling related harm (not yet fully a ‘thing’ in the US) is likely to have profound repercussions on the entire model and potentially invite full Federal intervention. With so many operators, stakeholders (and some regulators) rushing in, the systemic risks being built up are probably greater than is currently being appreciated or planned for.US: sportsbetting legislation – DC’s comic approach?Washington DC is in the process of passing legislation that will create a sportsbetting regime with one app powered by its lottery. Most commentators (which would be frozen out of the market) are calling the proposed scheme flawed, though one political response that to invite competition would cost the state US$66m follows a logic lost on us. The hoped-for return of US$92m over four years on a 10% levy suggests an annual average GGR of US$230m – or US$330 annual spend per head if 10% of the DC population participated. On the face of it, this looks at the upper end of reasonable. However, while c. 50% of the more casual player population might be happy with a monopoly, this starts to decouple with harder gamblers and the budget suggests harder gamblers are necessary to raise the expected taxes, which could be challenged by leakage. Possibly the one positive from the emerging US patchwork is that nearly every notion of fiscal-economic-commercial model is likely to be tested over the next five years or so, no matter how stretched the underlying theories… Next week (Brexit permitting) brings the final round of DCMS oral questions in this most bruising of years in Westminster for Britain’s gaming and betting companies and for the Government’s gambling policies. In the upper chamber, the Liberal Democrat Lord Storey (a career educationalist) asked about resources to tackle “gambling addiction” (and to provide preventative education) amongst children; while the Conservative peer Lord Chadlington once more raised concerns about youth gambling (and harm) via loot boxes in video games. UK: in Parliament – red mist clouds seasonal cheer Tom Watson has written his list. He’s checked it twice. He’s pretty sure he knows whether the Government’s gambling policy is naughty or nice. Related Articles Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 It seems obvious that better engagement between GambleAware and the industry that funds it would have made it clear that the ad campaign was not required. Thus the money that paid for the ads might have been spent on more worthy endeavours (increased support for front-line services for example). Sanity dictates that the much larger GambleAware and Public Health England advertising campaign (conceived as a DCMS fudge to justify non-intervention on advertising) should now be reassessed and, if necessary, binned. We suspect though that a range of vested interests will be keen to see matters through (assuming of course that the assumed funding mechanism still works). The RGSB’s progress reports on the plan (highly subjective and arguably not in keeping with its own evaluation protocol) have tended to focus on the state of progress rather than attempting to understand its causes. None of this is the fault of the RGSB (a group of highly respected but poorly resourced experts from a range of disciplines and backgrounds); but it does illustrate the extent to which there is room for improvement. EU: online regulation – harmony or orchestrated discord?With Slovakia bringing the number of EU Member State POC regimes up to 18 in 2019 (counting UK for the first 3 months at least; treating Malta as POS), the currently debated question of EU harmonisation is perhaps more relevant than ever. With the Expert Group on Gambling Services due to be wound up by year end, formal progress remains non-existent and even this weak impetus is now being removed. However, regulators are likely to continue to meet and discuss areas of cooperation. On many levels this is a good thing, but it is not, we believe what most of the industry is hoping for. Anyone familiar with the politics of gambling and the machinations of trade associations will realise that the Remote Gambling Association’s proposed curbs are the result of months of painstaking discussions. No-one should be deluded into thinking that there is cause and effect between ‘We Want Our Ball Back’ and the industry’s self-denying ordinance on advertising. Share Share The breakdown in relations between GambleAware and the gambling industry ought to be a matter of concern to all involved. The dysfunction appears to be an exaggerated response to past criticism that the charity enjoyed an unhealthily cosy relationship with operators. Its chief executive, Marc Etches was unkindly and unfairly pilloried during the FOBT debacle and also had to suffer the indignity of a Charity Commission review (based on unfounded allegations). We should not be surprised if these things left their mark on a board of trustees now shorn of industry representation. The initial consultation period runs to 15thFebruary and represents a critical opportunity for all those concerned about gambling-related harm (and by association the health of Britain’s licensed gambling industry) to have their say on what happens next. In particular, the strategy will set expectations for licensee efforts to reduce harm. GambleAware faces an invidious task of trying to find a soft spot between a rock and a hard place but the events of recent weeks suggest that the balance is not quite right. In particular, we need to nix the mistaken notion that close engagement with the industry that funds it might somehow corrupt the important work with which the charity has been entrusted. Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Culture Secretary and Honourable Member for West Bromwich East fired in a salvo of parliamentary questions this week with the aim (at least in part) of raising concerns about whether gambling-related harms may be particularly acute at this time of year. These are busy times for an embattled industry – but carving out some space over the next two months for a properly considered response to the formal consultation is likely to be in the best interests of operators and also of their customers, who are at least notionally meant to be at the heart of gambling policy. Australia: regulation – Canberra takes a lead on remote gambling protectionsThe publication of Australia’s National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering represents the jurisdiction’s attempt to catch up to the changes in the gambling market wrought by online gambling; as well as some new leading practices that are likely to be copied in other parts of the world. More novel developments (potentially coming to a jurisdiction near you) include bans on payment by credit, an end to sign-up offers, a requirement (in time) for operators to issue customer statements of betting activity and switching limit-setting tools ton an opt-out basis. On a less positive note, the announcement also highlighted the monumental hubris of the public health lobby’s current approach to harm reduction. The leaked announcement came just a little over a week after the launch of GambleAware’s ‘We Want Our Ball Back’ advertising campaign – which as we reported last week was an apparent attempt to shame the industry into taking action on advertisements. Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, takes a look at some key developments for the gambling industry in its ‘Winning Post’ column.UK: Regulation – It’s not funny that we don’t talk anymoreReports this week that British gambling operators will take action to effectively bar themselves from advertising on television during live sports broadcasts represents a rare triumph of pragmatism. It may have a very limited effect on gambling-related harm but it does at least provide further evidence that the major players in this market are learning how to bend with the wind. It may or may not be the ‘right’ thing to do – and there is something unsettling about the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright applauding an action that his department felt unwilling to pursue through legislation – but the industry deserves far more credit than it has so far received for stepping up to resolve a damaging issue.    UK: horseracing – when is a pay rise not a pay rise?There was good news for workers who care for racehorses this week, after a more flexible working week, and wage increase were announced. Negotiations between the trade bodies representing ‘stable staff’ and racehorse trainers (their employers), resulted in a 4% minimum wage increase with a 40 hour week to replace the current arrangement of 85 hours per fortnight. Overtime payment of ‘time and a half’ are to take the place of double time Sunday payments, however, 5 hours compulsory Saturday morning work will remain. In theory, this should mean better basic pay, the ability to earn more through overtime payments and a better work life balance. However, the EU working time directive (which the racing industry often struggles to comply with due to the nature of the job – particularly when driving and caring for horses at the races) may cause a headache for some (1 day off per 7 days of work, 11 hours off between each 24 hours and a maximum quota of 48 working hours per week).  The reality is a decrease in annual basic pay of £373 (using the national minimum wage as the starting point), and an even more irregular working week, which is likely to be less attractive to those with young families. While any effort to making working within the industry more attractive to all age groups should be applauded, this may be considered a sideways step. Racing is reliant on its workforce and while many trainers are responsible employers, there are a still some who do not comply with basic employment laws and procedures. It may be that the BHA should review licencing criteria for trainers in order to prevent this further damaging the reputation of the sport. Perhaps most importantly, after Britain leaves the EU in March next year (as it still likely) British horseracing will need to ensure an attractive working environment for home grown and broadly international workforce given that the option to access relatively cheaper EU labour is likely to become materially harder.UK: regulation – Gambling Commission consults on harm preventionThis week, the Gambling Commission commenced its consultation process for the next three-year strategy for harm minimisation. Some fairly obvious mistakes were made with the formulation and execution of the present three-year strategy. Weak engagement with the industry at the outset meant that operators never truly considered it to be their strategy; the promised support for licensees from GambleAware and the Gambling Commission has not materialised in any meaningful or constructive fashion; and crucially the strategy did not incorporate a plan for delivery. In truth, the National Responsible Gambling Strategy for 2016 to 2019 has been more a set of noble aspirations than a strategy. Citing concerns that problem gambling rates for online is three times the level of traditional platforms, Canberra’s Department of Social Services sets out ten measures to address concerns. These include a speeding up of customer verification requirements (from 90 days to a still fairly generous 14), simple account closure policies, staff training for “responsible gambling”, a national remote industry-wide self-exclusion register and the prohibition of adverts for payday loans on betting sites (which presumably some bright spark somewhere thought was a good idea). We are not sure how valid such concerns are (call volumes to GamCare’s national helpline may be a useful guide) but it seems reasonable to ask such questions. Watson’s wide-ranging enquiries (he considers that there is a sufficiently large number of issues with current legislation to warrant a new Gambling Act) also took in sales of scratchcards to children (currently legal for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds) and the use of cartoon characters within adverts for gambling. The DUP’s David Simpson (Upper Bann) also wanted to know how the Government planned to address concerns about gambling advertisements (when as it turned out, he ought to have been asking the RGA). Judging on the nature of the Gambling Commission’s consultation process, the regulator is keen to learn from past mis-steps, which is in itself highly encouraging. This campaign, which seemed misguided in the first place now looks thoroughly redundant (yes, there is still the matter of sponsorship, but this was primarily an advertising-driven vehicle), which leads to the question of whether it might have been avoided entirely. GambleAware: Engage those with lived experience of gambling harms August 28, 2020 It seems highly unlikely that the current strategic plan (which is entering its final six months) will be judged as a success; and equally as likely that licensees will be blamed for falling short. However, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and the Gambling Commission ought to resist the temptation to simply blame the industry – in part because to do so would be unfair (the strategy was conceived as a collaborative effort with operators allocated responsibility for a minority of its 12 priorities) but more importantly because misdiagnosis of failings tends to result in poor solutions. Submit If licensees are once again expected to play an important role in the attainment of the new strategy, it is essential that they engage and are engaged with the process. Other stakeholders (including concern groups) should also be involved; but we must not allow dogmatic mistrust of the industry to cloud the obvious fact that a successful plan to reduce gambling-related harm requires the insight and enthusiastic support of operators rather than their grudging acquiescence. StumbleUponlast_img read more

Rio probe puts IOC back under Olympics corruption spotlight

first_imgLausanne, Switzerland | AFP |  The Rio 2016 cash-for-votes inquiry in Brazil has placed the International Olympic Committee under a fresh cloud of corruption less than a week before it is due to award the 2024 Games to Paris.Almost two decades after its image took a battering with the Salt Lake City 2002 bribery affair the IOC finds itself at the centre of a new scandal.It centres on Brazil’s Olympics chief, Carlos Nuzman, who Brazilian officials on Tuesday accused of being the “lynchpin” in a plot to bribe the IOC into awarding Rio de Janeiro last year’s Games.Former IOC member Nuzman was taken in for questioning with his passport confiscated and his house searched.Brazilian police say they are probing “an international corruption scheme” aimed at “the buying of votes for the election of (Rio) by the International Olympic Committee as the venue for the 2016 Olympics.”Rio won the right to hold South America’s first Olympics, beating off competition from Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago at a 2009 IOC Congress in Copenhagen.An arrest warrant was issued for Arthur Soares, a businessman who won lucrative pre-Olympics contracts from Rio’s government.One of his former associates was arrested in Rio and 11 properties were subjected to search and seizure raids. One of them was in Paris, French authorities said.Prosecutor Fabiana Schneider told a press conference that Soares, known in Brazil as “King Arthur,” allegedly bribed the son of disgraced Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack before the 2009 vote in Denmark.Diack, who was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the time, had considerable influence over African votes on the IOC.Nuzman, Schneider said, had been the “lynchpin” between Soares and the son, Papa Massata Diack.– Credibility at risk –One seasoned Olympic observer told AFP on Wednesday the dramatic developments in Rio could prove a disaster for the IOC, depending on how the police inquiry evolved.“The IOC can currently defend that it was the action of a rogue group masterminded by the Diack family,” said Patrick Nally, the Briton who founded the IOC’s ‘TOP’ sponsorship programme. Share on: WhatsApp If however other IOC members are outed by having received similar payments from the Diack pot, and the claimed action regarding the Tokyo vote is evidenced, the IOC credibility will be in “tatters” as it will be going in the same direction as FIFA, with Salt Lake being seen as a mere “plaster over the cracks”, he went on to warn.“Taking Nuzmann down is one thing as it characterises that all the issues are Brazilian issues, naming more IOC members changes the matter significantly, but will the French with their Olympic trophy have the appetite to go further?”The IOC appeared to be taken by surprise by news of the extensive Brazilian police operation on Tuesday.“The IOC has learned about these circumstances from the media and is making every effort to get the full information,” an IOC spokesman said at the organisation’s headquarters in Lausanne.“It is in the highest interests of the IOC to get clarification on this matter.”Brazilian investigators have worked closely with a similar French probe into the vote buying and French officials, including well-known anti-corruption judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke, attended the raid on Nuzman’s home.A lawyer for Nuzman, Sergio Mazzillo, said his client “says he did not act in an irregular way, that he did nothing wrong during the campaign.”The charges swirling around Rio’s bid revive memories of the bribery scandal attached to the designation of Salt Lake City as the venue for the 2002 Winter Games.That led to 20 IOC members being either kicked out of the Olympics’ ruling body or pleading guilty to accepting bribes for votes.That affair led to the IOC rewriting the rule book on how it went out about awarding future Games.“Protecting the integrity of the candidacy process remains of the highest interest to the IOC as does identifying and punishing any infraction,” the IOC recalled this week.The IOC meets in Lima, Peru on September 13 to officially unveil Paris as the hosts of the 2024 Games with Los Angeles set to be attributed the 2028 Olympics.last_img read more