Five new laws that could affect your rights at work in 2020 – Somerset Live

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The year 2020 is set to see a range of new laws come into effect.

Here are five key employment law changes that could affect you at work, as explained by Abigail Hubert of Birketts LLP to The Gazette.

From how holiday pay is calculated – to the leave you can expect when you are grieving – these are worth knowing.

Improved rights for agency workers

‘Swedish Derogation,’ also known as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts would previously see agency workers agree a contract that would remove their rights to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working on the same assignment.

From April 6, these will no longer be permissible and agency workers who have been in their employment for 12 weeks will be entitled to the same pay as those on permanent contracts.

Agency workers will have more rights

As well as this, all agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that more clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.

Agency workers who are considered to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to asserting rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations.

Holiday pay calculations changing

From April 6, the reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.

This could affect employees who work variable hours seasonally.

New parental bereavement leave

In September 2018, a new workplace right for paid leave to be given to bereaved parents was officially enshrined in law.

The first of its kind in the UK, the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020 and will give employed parents the right to two weeks leave if they lost a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

New right to a written statement of terms

Currently, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of employment commencing.

From April 6, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment. Additional information will have to be included as part of the extended right.

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Accountability for tax shifting

At present, the IR35 rules apply where an individual personally performs services for a client through an intermediary. If the services were provided under a direct contract, the worker would be regarded for tax purposes as being employed by the client.

Currently, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies.

From April 6, changes to IR35 rules will be implemented for medium and large businesses in the private sector and will largely mirror changes that took effect in the public sector in 2017.

Under the new regime, for all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after April 6, the onus will shift from the intermediary to the end user client to make a status determination.

Responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will shift to the party who pays for the individual’s services, known as the ‘fee-payer.’

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Death, Diarrhea and Late Night Sackings: The Inside Story of an Unfolding Staff Nightmare at UBA and Dangote

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Last November, thousands of Lagosians including hundreds of UBA Bank employees attended what was billed as the ‘party of the year’ at the Lekki Special Events Centre on Admiralty Way.

The UBA RedTV Rave had everyone from Wizkid to Olamide to Jidenna to Burna Boy thrilling the festive crowd as UBA chairman Tony Elumelu and CEO Kennedy Uzoka mingled with the artists and guests.

On the surface, this was the best of times, as a bank that was clearly in rude health celebrated a successful year with thousands of employees, friends and family. The bank had also recently concluded a recruitment exercise that would add nearly 4,000 new employees to its staff strength, so the year ahead looked to be a promising one for most employees present. 

Unknown to them, while senior executives danced with Wizkid in the VIP area, one of the most brutal staff layoffs in Nigerian banking history was just around the corner. They partied well into the night and then showed up for work the following week as usual. A week went by. Two weeks. Four weeks. Then right at the start of the new year – a shocker.

Closed at 5.30PM, Terminated at 10.30PM

Ifunanya (name has been changed) was asked to wait behind at work on Friday January 3. As a 12-year UBA veteran including a long stint in her role as a Branch Operations Manager at a branch in Ojodu, Lagos, this was not an unusual request to receive. She was even used to working weekends so that the ATMs could remain functional and she could troubleshoot other onsite customer-facing issues. This time however, was different. 

Along with other staff members at the branch, she was asked to wait for a board meeting. By 10.30PM, the assembled staff were informed that their services were no longer required. They were then told verbally to write out their resignation letters on the spot and leave voluntarily or be forced out. At this point, her security pass was taken, and along with the other affected staff, her profile was unceremoniously deactivated from the bank’s internal system. She was reminded to drop her work ID on the way out, and thus ended a 12-year association with the bank.

When a relative of hers reached out to tell the story, he was keen to make the point that she was not an agency employee, but a full UBA employee on a monthly salary of N153,000. He could not understand why the bank would treat her that way. I heard similar stories from two other sources who insisted that they were coerced into resigning after being told that their services were no longer required right at the start of the new year.

Shocking and callous as these stories may have sounded, one of the first things you are taught in any professional journalism program is to always balance the story. So I sought an alternate account of what transpired, with the goal of putting the picture together to tell a complete story. There were conflicting accounts of the events of January 3 flying around, with some accounts describing a recruitment and promotion exercise without mentioning any firings, while others reported a purported “restructuring” at UBA, which is a well-known euphemism for “mass sack.”

I managed to establish contact with a current senior employee at UBA who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorised to speak about such matters. This was his account of what happened at UBA bank at the start of this year:

“Usually when anyone joins UBA with a Bachelor’s degree, they are put on a GT1 level (N80,000). After one year, they are promoted to GT2 (N100,000), then after another year ET1 (N140,000) which is where a lot of people get stuck on. If you are lucky, you get to ET2 (N165,000). So what UBA did was to meld those 4 levels into one (ET) so any one who was on GT1 and GT2 gets automatically promoted to ET2. Those that were on ET1 and ET2 got promoted to SET (Senior Executive Trainee). 

So it was a promotion of sorts, but honestly it was long overdue because compared to other banks, N80,000 for entry level staff is quite low. About the layoffs: I only know 4 people personally who got affected. The people affected were on manager grades and worked at the head office, they all reportedly got 6 months arrears.”

According to this source, he was not personally aware of the fate of any branch staff or what he termed ‘OND staff.’ He did however say that in his opinion, the bank handled the situation poorly and that Nigeria does need stronger labour laws to protect young graduates fresh out of school from exploitation for cheap labor at the hands of corporates like UBA. He also mentioned that he knows current UBA staff have not had a salary increase in ten years – a remarkable situation for workers in a country whose currency has declined 195 percent over the same period.

As it later emerged, more than 2,000 staff were affected by the shocking late-night cull at UBA. It also became increasingly clear that the firings had nothing to do with a harsh operating environment or decreased profitability. The bank which had brought together Nigeria’s most expensive music stars to perform at its end of year shindig was anything but struggling – it actually hired more people than if fired. What the sackings did though, was clear out a number of people in roles that the bank considered obsolete, particularly within branch operations.

It can definitely be argued that such restructuring is inevitable in the face of rapidly changing technology, which is hardly a terrible thing. What is also true however, is that the bank that paid huge sums of money to bring Burna Boy and Jidenna to an annual vanity event that adds nothing to its bottom line could also afford to retrain its redundant staff to fit into new roles –  instead of just sacking them and instantly bringing in thousands of readymade replacements.

Yet again, the actions of a Nigerian corporate made the point that Nigerian labour law, in addition to be being poorly enforced is also woefully inadequate and unfit for purpose. If after 12 years of useful service to a bank, Ifunanya could be dumped out onto the street without even a few hours of notice – and no regulatory action was forthcoming – then clearly, Nigerian employees working for Nigerian companies have a problem on their hands.

As much as the UBA situation made that point, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to unearth about another Nigerian corporate behemoth.

Diarrhea in India, Death in Ibeju-Lekki: The Unbelievable Story of Dangote Refinery

While senior executives at UBA House were going over the finer points of their plan to log 2,000 employees out of their work systems and force them to resign on the spot, a different level of labour exploitation was entering its fourth year about 73KM east of the Marina. There, at the site of the Dangote Refinery at the Free Trade Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, the refinery was taking delivery of the world’s largest crude oil refining tower.

While this was predictably being celebrated across local and foreign media as the start of a glorious new chapter in Nigeria’s industrial history, I was speaking to a whistleblower with close and detailed knowledge of the project. What he had to say about the refinery project, the Indian project managers, the company’s internal culture and its much-publicised trainee program left me absolutely floored. Naturally I reached out to Dangote Group for a comment, but at press time I have received no response or acknowledgment.

My source, whom I shall call “Mukhtar” worked in and around the refinery project between 2016 and 2018, and what I found most distressing amidst everything he said was the revelation that deaths due to onsite accidents are not just known to happen at the refinery site, but are effectively covered up by Dangote. This he said, is because the people who die are mostly site labourers who are hired through staffing agencies instead of directly. When they die, it becomes the staffing company’s problem and the Dangote brand distances itself from it – even though the site owner is legally responsible for all safety-related incidents onsite.

Something else that struck me was that he implied that – contrary to all its public posturing – the company actually has no intention of using Nigerian engineers to run the refinery anytime soon. The trainee program that sent dozens of Engineering graduates for a one-year training program in India? “Strictly PR,” he said.

Accidents
The first batch of Dangote Refinery trainees head off to India in March 2016

For full effect, I have decided to reproduce the full and unredacted transcript of our conversation instead of using quotes and reported speech. Here is the conversation below:

ME: When we started this conversation, you mentioned that Dangote Refinery is exempt from Nigerian labour laws. What were you referencing?

Mukhtar: Because the refinery is in the FTZ, it is not subject to certain laws like local content laws. As such, even mundane jobs are given to non-Nigerian companies. Even the refinery’s fence wall was handled by a Chinese company. This didn’t stop long stretches of the fence from collapsing sometime in 2017. The FTZ affects Labour laws too. The company is not really under any obligation to employ Nigerians. They do so mostly for PR. All key decision makers are Indians (say 98%).

ME: There have been several horror stories about Indian-run businesses in Nigeria. Was this one of them?

Mukhtar: Yes, the Indians are quite racist. Some even demand to be referred to as “master”. To be fair, when this is reported, the HR unit makes a show of cautioning them. But I dont think anyone has ever been dismissed for it or seriously punished. Most of workers who meet their death on site are labourers. So their names might be known to many staff. I’ll see what I can get. It happens. It’s kept under wraps but it happens.

ME: Now you mentioned onsite deaths earlier. I want to know all about this. Why haven’t we heard anything about this?

Mukhtar: The refinery site is not really the best place to work. Mortality rate on site is quite high. People falling from heights or getting crushed by heavy vehicles/machines is quite common. These numbers are not reported because most staff are contract staff (or outsourced) so the company gets to wash its hands off such cases. But safety on site is the ultimate responsibility of the owner of the project. The construction site has a board that is supposed to display the safety statistics but it is never displays the truth. According to that board, there has never been a fatality on site. But in reality, I think 2018 had about 5 fatalities between January and March. If I were to guess, I’d say there have been over 25 fatalities since construction started in 2016/17.

ME: Now you said earlier that the trainee program was a washout and a disappointment. Fill me in on that.

Mukhtar: I was one of the first batch of engineers sent to India for training in 2016. In my opinion, the whole scheme was either poorly thought out or the company was somehow compelled to do it, and did so for PR. Our salaries were being paid into our accounts in Nigeria, so we were using our debit cards to access our Nigerian accounts for expenses over there) Around July 2016 when the naira went from around 160 per dollar to nearly double that number, our spending power was effectively halved.

ME: I also remember that there was a forex shortage crisis in 2016 and Nigerian bank cards stopped working outside the country.

Mukhtar: So when the banks eventually stopped all cards from functioning abroad, we were stranded. The company resorted to selling us dollars or rupees at the black market rate.They deducted the money from our salaries. We had accommodation (two adults per room) and feeding (Indian food which many of us did not like). Some of had to buy intercontinental dishes regularly, because Indian food is really not nice if you’re not into many smelly spices. It was crazy. Meanwhile we were told categorically that we would have Nigerian food and Nigerian cooks. It was a blatant lie by the Indian HR director.

Also, no arrangement was made for our medical care. Those who fell ill had to treat themselves from their pockets. During the currency crisis, those who fell ill had to rely on the rest of us to put together our spare change to pay for their treatment. The company promised to refund medical expenses, but this shouldn’t have been the situation in the first place.

ME: Tell me about the training program. What was the course content and the experience like? Was it what you were expecting?

Mukhtar: The training itself was a mess too. We were supposed to be trained to operate the refinery (at the time, it was said that it will be completed by mid 2017), but we were sent to a design company. These (designing a refinery and operating it) are two very, very different things. The trainers did not want us there in the first place. It was not a part of their initial contract with Dangote. Plus, they didn’t know what to teach us because designers are not operators. They were confused, several times, they asked us what we wanted to learn. But we could not know what we wanted to learn cos we knew nothing about the entire business. In the end, they reluctantly settled for teaching us design (skills we were/are unlikely to use cos the refinery was already 90% designed). 

ME: If you say that the refinery was “already 90% designed,” and you were learning design in India, that sounds like your presence was superfluous. Was the company really serious about sending you to learn skills to run a refinery?

Mukhtar: Indians will run the refinery. It will take many many many years before that refinery will be populated by just Nigerians. It was strictly PR. Anyways, the training with that design company was suddenly terminated on December 31st. Apparently, Dangote had not paid them a dime for all the months were were being taught design. They didn’t want to send us back to Nigeria so they moved us to the Dangote office in India. The office housed the Indian engineers (around 150 – 200 in number) who were supervising the design work being done by the design company. Now, it is interesting that these guys were working and earning as expatriates within their own country.

But realising that the “training” was a blunder, the company sent back some engineers to train in an actual refinery. So what was supposed to be a 1 year training became 2 years.

ME: Since returning to Nigeria, is there anything else you have noticed about the project that worries or disturbs you?

Mukhtar: Yes. So we have only the refinery at the FTZ, but the company gets to import things meant for other branches of the company duty-free. As a matter of fact, with the Dangote jetty in place and a customs office right there, the company no longer needs to clear stuff at Apapa. Dangote empire effectively has its own customs and port, because we cannot assume that the custom officers stationed at Dangote’s jetty/FTZ are extremely meticulous in checking what comes in and goes out. Personally, I find this disturbing. No non-military entity should be able to import stuff that easily into any country. This is bigger than just skipping custom duty payment.

–Ends–

Between bank staff being fired at 10.30PM and refinery site labourers being killed by workplace accidents without accountability, the sheer grimness of the picture facing Nigerian workers comes into stark relief. It is afterall, an employer’s market, with several thousand qualified people jostling for every job opening, which creates the possibility and incentive to treat staff like battery animals.

Whether the Labour Ministry is willing or able to do anything about such blatant labour exploitation is anybody’s guess. Nigeria’s government is increasingly weak and unable to impose its will on the country even territorially. In the event that the government did take interest, there is a valid fear that it would go to the other extreme and adopt a lazy anti-business Hugo Chavez approach, as it so often does. The real solution if there is to be one, must come from Nigerian labour having a stronger bargaining position through an improved economy. Anything else as it stands, is little more than a sticking plaster.

As Mukhtar mentioned, even inside the ridiculous situation of being financially stranded in a foreign country at the behest of an irresponsible and insincere Nigerian corporate, the vast majority of the group chose to suffer in silence. They did so because spending a year abroad learning useless information, suffering deprivation and experiencing diarrhea after being forced to eat unfamiliar food was still preferable to whatever alternative was at home.

Ultimately, that is the biggest problem facing Nigerian labour. 

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19 of the Best Tech Companies to Work in the U.S. in 2020

19 of the Best Tech Companies to Work in the U.S. in 2020

If you’re looking for a job in the technology sector, you might want to look at these companies.

By 
Trevor English

Glassdoor, one of the world’s top employment rating websites, recently released its annual list of top places to work for 2020. For those of you who don’t know, Glassdoor is a site where you can go and rate your employer, see what other people are getting for financial benefits, and basically learn as much as you’d like to about a company’s culture without actually working there.

All of this data is user-submitted, and it gives the site access to a high degree of employee sentiment for companies across the U.S. and the world. Their list of the best places to work for 2020 is based on user-submitted reviews in the previous year. It takes into account compensation data, culture data, and virtually anything a user provides to create a holistic ranking structure.

While the list includes companies from any industry in the U.S., if you weed out companies only in the tech space, you’re left with the best technology companies to work for in the U.S. Let’s take a look and see just who those companies are. 

19. Yardi Systems

Top Company Ranking: 53

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “This company truly cares about its employees, everything from great benefits and perks to encouraging a wonderful work/life/fun balance.”

18. CDW

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: IT Services

What employees say: “Working with CDW has provided many opportunities to expand my knowledge and skillset while working with phenomenal co-workers.”

17. SAP

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Incredibly well organized, great communication, good pay, and very professional colleagues.”

16. AppFolio

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Great work-life balance, friendly management, fantastic training, dog-friendly, fun culture.”

15. Adobe

Top Company Ranking: 39

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “The workplace is nice – the gym is top-notch, the cafeteria is great, and other amenities which make it an enjoyable work environment.”

14. VMWare – Part of Dell Technologies

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Work/Life balance is good, and people are smart and supportive.”

13. Kronos Incorporated

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Amazing organization and overall management structure with great benefits and an incredible work-life balance.”

12. Salesforce

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software 

What employees say: “The people are great, the culture is amazing, and the workspaces have everything you could ever need!” 

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Internet

What employees say: “Employees are truly empowered, respected, and supported. Lots of opportunities to learn from smart, engaged people.”

10. Compass

Top Company Ranking: 32

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Enterprise Software & Network Solutions

What employees say: “You are encouraged to participate and share your opinions and experience to help continue to make Compass the pinnacle of the industry.”

9. Facebook

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

What employees say: “No day is ever alike, and I get to tackle challenging problems surrounded by the best and brightest minds.”

8. Microsoft

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software 

What employees say: “I love the culture and the people here. We are always learning and have a can-do attitude.”

7. Nvidia

Top Company Ranking: 20

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Amazing culture, great work-life balance, and a strong drive to succeed in every area makes NVIDIA one of the best places I’ve ever worked.”

6. MathWorks

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “They care about training and ensure that everyone is treated well with amazing little benefits from fruits in the morning to free Wednesday breakfast.”

5. LinkedIn

Top Company Ranking: 12

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Subsidiary or Business Segment

What employees say: “Super invested in employee development, great work/life balance, great benefits for working mothers and maternity/paternity leave.”

4. Google

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Internet

What employees say: “Work/life balance, benefits, compensation, autonomy, and the quality of your co-workers are unmatched.”

3. Ultimate Software

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Enterprise Software & Network Solutions

What employees say: “The unlimited PTO, amazing benefits, and feeling like part of a big family are my favorite parts about Ultimate.” 

2. DocuSign

Top Company Ranking: 3

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.6

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “They treat their employees fairly, are dedicated to the success of their employees, have great work-life balance, and very responsive management.”

1. HubSpot

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.6

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

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Selfless Uncle With Mental Disorder Praised For Arranging Worshipers’ Shoes at Jumaat Prayers

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Tap to listen to this article instead:

Through his selfless act, a Chinese man in Singapore shows us what it means to live in a melting pot country.

According to Berita Harian, Mr Steven Tan Lee Meng, 55, or ‘Uncle Steven’, made it his weekly routine to arrange Muslim worshippers’ shoes and slippers around Masjid Al-Mawaddah at Sengkang, Singapore, every Friday during Jumaat Prayers.

It is almost impossible to not notice the man break a sweat and work diligently outside of the mosque to make sure that the place is neat and in order.

Not only that, this selfless man would even help handle the traffic afterwards to ensure that everything flows smoothly.

As a sign of respect, Uncle Steven said that he only roams outside of the mosque and tried his best to avoid stepping into the praying area.

“Everyone that came from either their workplace or home would be wearing their shoes. But after that, some of them would have a hard time finding them and or even lose them.”

The man, who used to work as a computer technician, said that by doing so, he felt that his life is “accomplished”.

Source: Facebook

Everyone who notices the cheerful and hardworking man will always greet him and some would even offer him cash or food.

“Sometimes people would give me money but I told them that I’m not there for rewards, I just want to help.”

“But they would still insist on it, saying that maybe I could donate it somewhere instead,” said the atheist man, who is known to regularly donate money to the mosque.

Uncle Steven is also known to have a little bit of mental disorder, specifically Bipolar Disorder (a mental health condition causing people to have extreme mood swings) and he lives with his brother at Hougang who is also suffering from a mental disorder.

Even so, a permanent volunteer of Masjid Al-Mawaddah, Mr Shahrudin Rudin, 60, said that he would never disturb anyone. “If he’s not around, I would have to do all of it myself,” he said.

His simple action is touching, which is evident as worshippers there commented,

“When I look at him… I feel touched that there are still people like this in Singapore.”

“Even when he is mentally ill and he isn’t a Muslim, his heart is noble.”

Source: Facebook

According to Uncle Steven, he doesn’t only do his good deeds at the mosque, but also at the temple and church.

On a serious note, he admitted that an outbreak of sensitive issue could possibly occur as he regularly goes to the mosque.

“But I’m not scared, because I know that everyone here is honest.”

Thank you, Uncle Steven, for showing us that race and religion shouldn’t stop us from being compassionate with each other.

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Nigerian social worker fatally stabbed to death at work in Canada | TheinfoNG

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A Nigerian  woman based in Canada and worked as youth social worker was fatally stabbed to death early Friday morning at her place of work while caring for a man. The Nigerian social worker identified as Deborah Onwu, 47, of Calgary, worked for Wood’s Homes and was identified as the victim who was fatally stabbed to death at the 1800 block of 27th Avenue S.W. around 2:45 a.m.

Police say an 18-year-old at the assisted living facility is in custody and was arrested around 5 a.m. this morning.

Calgary’s Wood’s Homes, is a children’s mental health centre that provides treatment to children, youth and families.

“Everyone at Wood’s Homes is deeply impacted by this recent tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved including the victim’s family and our many staff,” said Wood’s Homes spokeswoman Sylvia MacIver.

“Debbie was a well-liked and well-respected colleague. She was hard-working and devoted to a career of helping. There are no words to describe the sadness our work family is feeling today.”

On arrival of the Police at the scene, efforts were immediately provided to Onwu, but she she later died. While an initial search of the residence didn’t turn up the suspect, one person was located and arrested downtown around 5 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta says the 18-year-old had been living at the facility for several weeks.

“She was providing assisted living care to the suspect,” Schiavetta said Friday afternoon. “This was her place of employment. The investigation is still ongoing. If appropriate, we will be in consultation with the Crown prosecutor’s office.”

Wood’s Homes say they’re working with the Calgary police and occupational health and safety during this investigation as well as providing counselling support for all those affected in their organization, MacIver said.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is also investigating the death because it happened at the workplace.

In 2017, Onwu was recognized by the Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities for her five-year anniversary as a relief residential support worker.

“She can always be counted on to help out in a pinch. Debbie has great relationships with everyone she interacts with and is known for being a pleasure to work with,” it read. “When it comes to embodying CPSD’s values and what it means to be an outstanding staff member, Debbie is undoubtedly a role model.”

If deemed a homicide, it would be Calgary’s 16th of 2019.

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Nigerian social worker fatally stabbed to death at work in Canada

person car

A Nigerian youth social worker was fatally stabbed to death early Friday morning at her place of work while caring for a man.

The Nigerian social worker identified as Deborah Onwu, 47, of Calgary, worked for Wood’s Homes and was identified as the victim who was fatally stabbed to death at the 1800 block of 27th Avenue S.W. around 2:45 a.m.

Police say an 18-year-old at the assisted living facility is in custody and was arrested around 5 a.m. this morning.

Calgary’s Wood’s Homes, is a children’s mental health centre that provides treatment to children, youth and families.

“Everyone at Wood’s Homes is deeply impacted by this recent tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved including the victim’s family and our many staff,” said Wood’s Homes spokeswoman Sylvia MacIver.

“Debbie was a well-liked and well-respected colleague. She was hard-working and devoted to a career of helping. There are no words to describe the sadness our work family is feeling today.”

On arrival of the Police at the scene, efforts were immediately provided to Onwu, but she she later died. While an initial search of the residence didn’t turn up the suspect, one person was located and arrested downtown around 5 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta says the 18-year-old had been living at the facility for several weeks.

“She was providing assisted living care to the suspect,” Schiavetta said Friday afternoon. “This was her place of employment. The investigation is still ongoing. If appropriate, we will be in consultation with the Crown prosecutor’s office.”

Wood’s Homes say they’re working with the Calgary police and occupational health and safety during this investigation as well as providing counselling support for all those affected in their organization, MacIver said.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is also investigating the death because it happened at the workplace.

In 2017, Onwu was recognized by the Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities for her five-year anniversary as a relief residential support worker.

“She can always be counted on to help out in a pinch. Debbie has great relationships with everyone she interacts with and is known for being a pleasure to work with,” it read. “When it comes to embodying CPSD’s values and what it means to be an outstanding staff member, Debbie is undoubtedly a role model.”

If deemed a homicide, it would be Calgary’s 16th of 2019.

Follow us on Facebook – @Lailasnews; Twitter – @LailaIjeoma for updates

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A year later, what Khashoggi’s murder says about Trump’s close ally

(CNN)A year ago, Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi writer, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiance, who was waiting for him outside the building. He was never seen again.

A contributor to the Washington Post, Khashoggi, aged 59, was a critic of the Saudi regime and was living in self-imposed exile in the United States. He was murdered inside the Istanbul consulate on October 2, 2018, by a team that was dispatched from Saudi Arabia, among them associates of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman — known as MBS — the then-32-year-old de facto ruler of the country.
The Saudis (and MBS himself) have consistently denied that bin Salman had any direct role in Khashoggi’s murder and instead have ascribed it to a rogue operation by overzealous subordinates. They charged 11 of them, five of whom face a possible death penalty, although given the opaque nature of the Saudi legal system little is clear about the yet unresolved case.
    In November 2018, the CIA concluded — with “high confidence” according to the Washington Post — that bin Salman had ordered the murder of Khashoggi.
    Khashoggi’s murder brought into sharp focus concerns about the judgment of the young prince that had percolated for years. MBS had variously entered an ongoing war in Yemen that, according to the UN, had precipitated the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet; he had blockaded the gas-rich state of Qatar, a close American ally and the site of the most important US military base in the Middle East. Domestically, MBS had also imprisoned a host of clerics, dissidents and businessmen.

      Trump: ‘I’m extremely angry’ about Khashoggi killing

    At first it looked like Trump might distance himself from MBS. Less than two weeks after Khashoggi’s murder on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” President Donald Trump promised “severe punishment” for the Saudis if it was proven that they had murdered Khashoggi. Khashoggi, after all, was both a legal resident of the United States and a journalist who was contributing regularly to a major American media institution.
    A month later, Trump backpedaled, citing putative massive American arms sales to the Saudis. Trump told reporters, “…it’s ‘America First’ for me. It’s all about ‘America First.’ We’re not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders, and let Russia, China, and everybody else have them … military equipment and other things from Russia and China. … I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia.”
    Until Khashoggi’s murder, it was possible to emphasize the positive case for bin Salman, to argue that he was genuinely reforming Saudi Arabia’s society and economy. He had clipped the wings of the feared religious police in the kingdom and had given women greater freedoms, such as the right to drive and a larger role in the workplace.
    Bin Salman encouraged concerts and movie theaters in a society that had long banned both and he also started to end the rigid gender separation in the kingdom by, for instance, allowing women to attend sports events.
    He also promised a magical moment in the Middle East when the Arab states could deliver a peace deal with the Palestinians, while he was liberating his people from the stultifying yoke of Sunni Wahhabism that had nurtured so many of the 9/11 plotters. For many years, Washington had puzzled over whether Saudi Arabia was more of an arsonist or a firefighter when it came to the propagation of militant Islam. Bin Salman appeared to be a firefighter.

      Wolf Blitzer presses senator over meeting with world leader

    MBS also has a somewhat plausible plan for diversifying the heavily oil-dependent Saudi economy known as Vision 2030, to be financed in part by the sale of parts of the oil giant Aramco, which may be the world’s most valuable corporation with a market value that the Saudis hope is two trillion dollars.
    In March 2018, MBS even visited Hollywood and Silicon Valley, where he ditched his Arab robes in favor of a suit and where he was feted as a reformer by film stars and tech industry heavyweights.
    But after Khashoggi’s murder, the positive case for Mohammed bin Salman was largely submerged in the West, where he was increasingly viewed as an impetuous autocrat. In 2015, he had authorized the disastrous and ongoing war in neighboring Yemen, in which tens of thousands of civilians have been killed. He had also effectively kidnapped the Lebanese Prime Minister, a dual Lebanese-Saudi citizen, when he was on a trip to Saudi Arabia. And MBS led the blockade of his country’s neighbor, gas-rich Qatar, which continues to this day.
    In addition to his arrests of prominent clerics and dissidents, Bin Salman, in a palace coup, supplanted his cousin Mohamed bin Nayef as crown prince in 2017. Famously, MBS also imprisoned 200 rich Saudis at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh and had relieved them of more than $100 billion because of their purported corruption.
    Now Bin Salman faces what may be his most difficult foreign policy challenge yet: What to do about the drone and missile attacks earlier this month against the crown jewel of Saudi Arabia’s economy, the Aramco Abqaiq oil facility, an attack the crown prince and the Trump administration have plausibly blamed Iran for. The Iranians have denied involvement in the attacks
    This attack is particularly problematic for MBS, as he is also Saudi minister of defense and he has presided over a massive arms buildup, yet was not able to defend the kingdom against the missile and drone barrage that took down half of Saudi’s oil capacity, at least temporarily.

      Post-Khashoggi murder, why should U.S. believe anything Saudi Arabia has to say?

    The Iranian attack also poses a quandary for President Trump, who doesn’t want the United States to get embroiled in another war in the Middle East, even though he has embraced MBS as a close ally.
    On Sunday, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired an interview with bin Salman in which he said that he hoped that Saudi Arabia could reach a “political and peaceful solution” with Iran.
      One can only hope that MBS and Trump don’t launch a war against Iran, which has a large army, significant proxy forces around the Middle East and sophisticated ballistic missile systems. However, it’s hard to imagine them not responding at all since the Iranians have shown they can now attack with impunity a key node of the world’s energy markets.
      Mohammed bin Salman may be able to preside over the murder of a dissident journalist in Turkey with relative ease, but there is little in his conduct of foreign policy hitherto to suggest that he will skillfully deal with the Iranians.

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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      Naomi Klein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’

      The No Logo author talks about solutions to the climate crisis, Greta Thunberg, birth strikes and how she finds hope

      Australia

      Why are you publishing this book now?
      I still feel that the way that we talk about climate change is too compartmentalised, too siloed from the other crises we face. A really strong theme running through the book is the links between it and the crisis of rising white supremacy, the various forms of nationalism and the fact that so many people are being forced from their homelands, and the war that is waged on our attention spans. These are intersecting and interconnecting crises and so the solutions have to be as well.

      The book collects essays from the last decade, have you changed your mind about anything?
      When I look back, I dont think I placed enough emphasis on the challenge climate change poses to the left. Its more obvious the way the climate crisis challenges a rightwing dominant worldview, and the cult of serious centrism that never wants to do anything big, thats always looking to split the difference. But this is also a challenge to a left worldview that is essentially only interested in redistributing the spoils of extractivism [the process of extracting natural resources from the earth] and not reckoning with the limits of endless consumption.

      Whats stopping the left doing this?
      In a North American context, its the greatest taboo of all to actually admit that there are going to be limits. You see that in the way Fox News has gone after the Green New Deal they are coming after your hamburgers! It cuts to the heart of the American dream every generation gets more than the last, there is always a new frontier to expand to, the whole idea of settler colonial nations like ours. When somebody comes along and says, actually, there are limits, weve got some tough decisions, we need to figure out how to manage whats left, weve got to share equitably it is a psychic attack. And so the response [on the left] has been to avoid, and say no, no, were not coming to take away your stuff, there are going to be all kinds of benefits. And there are going to be benefits: well have more livable cities, well have less polluted air, well spend less time stuck in traffic, we can design happier, richer lives in so many ways. But we are going to have to contract on the endless, disposable consumption side.

      Quick guide

      Covering Climate Now: how more than 250 newsrooms are joining forces this week to spotlight the climate crisis

      author

      Hundreds of newsrooms around the world are banding together this week to commit their pages and air time to what may be the most consequential story of our time: the climate emergency.

      As world leaders descend on New York for the UNClimate Action Summit on 23 September and millions of activists prepare for a global climate strike on 20 September the media partnership Covering Climate Now is launching its first large-scale collaboration to increase climate coverage in the global media and focus public attention on this emergency.

      The Guardian is the lead partner in Covering Climate Now, which was founded earlier this year by the Columbia Journalism Review and the Nation. The partnership currently includes 250 newsrooms representing 32 countries with a combined monthly reach of more than a billion people.

      The network represents every corner of the media including TV networks (CBS News, Al Jazeera), newspapers (El Pas, the Toronto Star), digital players (BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Vox), wire services (Getty Images, Bloomberg), magazines (Nature, Science), and dozens of podcasts, local publishers, radio and TV stations. You can learn more about the initiativehere.

      Do you feel encouraged by talk of the Green New Deal?
      I feel a tremendous excitement and a sense of relief, that we are finally talking about solutions on the scale of the crisis we face. That were not talking about a little carbon tax or a cap and trade scheme as a silver bullet. Were talking about transforming our economy. This system is failing the majority of people anyway, which is why were in this period of such profound political destabilisation that is giving us the Trumps and the Brexits, and all of these strongman leaders so why dont we figure out how to change everything from bottom to top, and do it in a way that addresses all of these other crises at the same time? There is every chance we will miss the mark, but every fraction of a degree warming that we are able to hold off is a victory and every policy that we are able to win that makes our societies more humane, the more we will weather the inevitable shocks and storms to come without slipping into barbarism. Because what really terrifies me is what we are seeing at our borders in Europe and North America and Australia I dont think its coincidental that the settler colonial states and the countries that are the engines of that colonialism are at the forefront of this. We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism. We saw it in Christchurch, we saw it in El Paso, where you have this marrying of white supremacist violence with vicious anti-immigrant racism.

      A
      A fire near Porto Velho, Brazil, September 2019. Photograph: Bruno Kelly/Reuters

      That is one of the most chilling sections of your book: I think thats a link a lot of people havent made.
      This pattern has been clear for a while. White supremacy emerged not just because people felt like thinking up ideas that were going to get a lot of people killed but because it was useful to protect barbaric but highly profitable actions. The age of scientific racism begins alongside the transatlantic slave trade, it is a rationale for that brutality. If we are going to respond to climate change by fortressing our borders, then of course the theories that would justify that, that create these hierarchies of humanity, will come surging back. There have been signs of that for years, but it is getting harder to deny because you have killers who are screaming it from the rooftops.

      One criticism you hear about the environment movement is that it is dominated by white people. How do you address that?
      When you have a movement that is overwhelmingly representative of the most privileged sector of society then the approach is going to be much more fearful of change, because people who have a lot to lose tend to be more fearful of change, whereas people who have a lot to gain will tend to fight harder for it. Thats the big benefit of having an approach to climate change that links it to those so called bread and butter issues: how are we going to get better paid jobs, affordable housing, a way for people to take care of their families? I have had many conversations with environmentalists over the years where they seem really to believe that by linking fighting climate change with fighting poverty, or fighting for racial justice, its going to make the fight harder. We have to get out of this my crisis is bigger than your crisis: first we save the planet and then we fight poverty and racism, and violence against women. That doesnt work. That alienates the people who would fight hardest for change. This debate has shifted a huge amount in the US because of the leadership of the climate justice movement and because it is congresswomen of colour who are championing the Green New Deal.
      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib come from communities that have gotten such a raw deal under the years of neoliberalism and longer, and are determined to represent, truly represent, the interests of those communities. Theyre not afraid of deep change because their communities desperately need it.

      In the book, you write: The hard truth is that the answer to the question What can I, as an individual, do to stop climate change? is: nothing. Do you still believe that?
      In terms of the carbon, the individual decisions that we make are not going to add up to anything like the kind of scale of change that we need. And I do believe that the fact that for so many people its so much more comfortable to talk about our own personal consumption, than to talk about systemic change, is a product of neoliberalism, that we have been trained to see ourselves as consumers first. To me thats the benefit of bringing up these historical analogies, like the New Deal or the Marshall Plan it brings our minds back to a time when we were able to think of change on that scale. Because weve been trained to think very small. It is incredibly significant that Greta Thunberg has turned her life into a living emergency.

      Yes, she set sail for the UN climate summit in New York on a zero carbon yacht …
      Exactly. But this isnt about what Greta is doing as an individual. Its about what Greta is broadcasting in the choices that she makes as an activist, and I absolutely respect that. I think its magnificent. She is using the power that she has to broadcast that this is an emergency, and trying to inspire politicians to treat it as an emergency. I dont think anybody is exempt from scrutinising their own decisions and behaviours but I think it is possible to overemphasise the individual choices. I have made a choice and this has been true since I wrote No Logo, and I started getting these what should I buy, where should I shop, what are the ethical clothes? questions. My answer continues to be that I am not a lifestyle adviser, I am not anyones shopping guru, and I make these decisions in my own life but Im under no illusion that these decisions are going to make the difference.

      Some people are choosing to go on birth strikes. What do you think about that?
      Im happy these discussions are coming into the public domain as opposed to being furtive issues were afraid to talk about. Its been very isolating for people. It certainly was for me. One of the reasons I waited as long as I did to try and get pregnant, and I would say this to my partner all the time what, you want to have a Mad Max water warrior fighting with their friends for food and water? It wasnt until I was part of the climate justice movement and I could see a path forward that I could even imagine having a kid. But I would never tell anybody how to answer this most intimate of questions. As a feminist who knows the brutal history of forced sterilisation and the ways in which womens bodies become battle zones when policymakers decide that they are going to try and control population, I think that the idea that there are regulatory solutions when it comes to whether or not to have kids is catastrophically ahistorical. We need to be struggling with our climate grief together and our climate fears together, through whatever decision we decide to make, but the discussion we need to have is how do we build a world so that those kids can have thriving, zero-carbon lives?

      The
      The Malizia II, with Greta Thunberg on board, arrives in Hudson Harbor, New York. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP

      Over the summer, you encouraged people to read Richard Powerss novel, The Overstory. Why?
      Its been incredibly important to me and Im happy that so many people have written to me since. What
      Powers is writing about trees: that trees live in communities and are in communication, and plan and react together, and weve been completely wrong in the way we conceptualise them. Its the same conversation were having about whether we are going to solve this as individuals or whether we are going to save the collective organism. Its also rare, in good fiction, to valorise activism, to treat it with real respect, failures and all, to acknowledge the heroism of the people who put their bodies on the line. I thought Powers did that in a really extraordinary way.

      What are you views on what Extinction Rebellion has achieved?
      One thing they have done so well is break us out of this classic campaign model we have been in for a long time, where you tell someone something scary, you ask them to click on something to do something about it, you skip out the whole phase where we need to grieve together and feel together and process what it is that we just saw. Because what I hear a lot from people is, ok, maybe those people back in the 1930s or 40s could organise neighbourhood by neighbourhood or workplace by workplace but we cant. We believe weve been so downgraded as a species that we are incapable of that. The only thing that is going to change that belief is getting face to face, in community, having experiences, off our screens, with one another on the streets and in nature, and winning some things and feeling that power.

      You talk about stamina in the book. How do you keep going? Do you feel hopeful?
      I have complicated feelings about the hope question. Not a day goes by that I dont have a moment of sheer panic, raw terror, complete conviction that we are doomed, and then I do pull myself out of it. Im renewed by this new generation that is so determined, so forceful. Im inspired by the willingness to engage in electoral politics, because my generation, when we were in our 20s and 30s, there was so much suspicion around getting our hands dirty with electoral politics that we lost a lot of opportunities. What gives me the most hope right now is that weve finally got the vision for what we want instead, or at least the first rough draft of it. This is the first time this has happened in my lifetime. And also, I did decide to have kids. I have a seven year old who is so completely obsessed and in love with the natural world. When I think about him, after weve spent an entire summer talking about the role of salmon in feeding the forests where he was born in British Columbia, and how they are linked to the health of the trees and the soil and the bears and the orcas and this entire magnificent ecosystem, and I think about what it would be like to have to tell him that there are no more salmon, it kills me. So that motivates me. And slays me.

      Naomi Klein will be in conversation with Katharine Viner at a Guardian Live event on 15 October.

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      The Most Important Moments You Missed At The 2019 Emmys | Betches

      The Emmys are to award shows what your cousin who you used to be close with in high school but now have nothing in common with is to your family. Now imagine that cousin is having a birthday party, and you have the Emmys. The Emmys happen much later in the year than all the other award shows, so by the time September rolls around you’ve all but blocked red carpets and drawn-out presentations out of your memory. And, they occur during Sunday football, no less. Even though there have been many good times in the past, you don’t exactly want to give up an afternoon that will segue into an evening of drinking for it? Not really. 

      This year’s Emmys lacked a host, a decision that proved to be wise for the Oscars but not so much for the Emmys. In place of a host, they had a few notable presenters that should have filled that role, like Bryan Cranston and Jimmy Kimmel. Thomas Lennon did give a bunch of deadpan voice-overs. He had one good joke about Felicity Huffman being in prison, (anyone remember when she won an Emmy in 2005? No? Neither does she), but other than that kind of fell flat. And that’s a quote you can repeat verbatim at your office water cooler, because I know you didn’t watch the Emmys last night! Here’s what else you missed, that you can also just say with a healthy degree of conviction to convince people you actually sat at home watching a three-hour-plus commercial for The Masked Singer. 

      Michelle Williams’ Speech

      Michelle

      Instagram erupted almost immediately after Michelle Williams accepted her Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, because she gave a speech that is going to be hailed by white feminists everywhere for the next seven years. Williams apparently was paid as much as Sam Rockwell for her part in Fosse/Verdon, which is great, even if the fact that a woman earning as much as her male co-star is considered commendable is pretty bleak. In her speech, Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 studios for paying her equally and listening to a number of her other demands, such as more dance lessons and a different wig. She closed her speech with this: “The next time a woman, and especially a woman of color—because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart—tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her, because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing [her] to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.” I applaud Michelle for acknowledging her privilege and bringing to light the fact that the pay gap is even wider for women of color. That said, it’s sad that we have to sit here and publicly applaud studio execs for… *checks notes* … shelling out a few bucks for better costumes? Doing their jobs? I don’t know if you guys have heard about this, but apparently working in Hollywood is pretty sh*tty.

      Natasha Lyonne Can’t Clap

      Nicole Kidman can finally rest easy after this gif of Natasha Lyonne clapping surfaced on Twitter.

      Natasha

      In case you need a refresher, here was what Nicole Kidman called applause at the Oscars:

      Nicole

      Guys, WHAT?? Are people in Hollywood so unaccustomed to expressing joy or congratulations for other people that they never learned how to clap? It’s not hard, you guys! Your fingers need to touch, and you need to do it with enough force so that you actually make a sound and aren’t just touching your fingertips to each other like Mr. Burns.

      The Emmys Spoiled ‘Game Of Thrones’

      Game

      Game of Thrones won Outstanding Drama, but didn’t win nearly as many awards as people thought. (It still won 12, though, just to give you a picture of how entitled GoT fans are.) But people on Twitter were even more pissed when the Emmys farewell montage was broadcast, which apparently “spoiled” the last season of GoT. To be fair, it did show (SPOILER ALERT) clips like Arya killing the Night King, but need I remind you that this sh*t aired in MAY?? You get like, a week max to claim spoilers. I have no sympathy for anyone who is mad at the goddamn Emmys for “spoiling” a highly publicized final season that happened nearly six months ago. Like, you don’t get to procrastinate a paper and then get mad at your professor for failing you an entire semester after you were supposed to turn it in.

      Jenny McCarthy Bombed On The Red (Purple) Carpet

      GIF

      As we discussed in our fashion recap, Jenny McCarthy showed up looking like a mess, and also acting like one. Someone gave her a red carpet hosting gig, someone who has probably since lost their job. At one point, Jenny talked to Christina Applegate about growing up watching her and wanting to be her. The funny thing about Christina is that she’s… one whole year older than Jenny McCarthy. Jenny asked Christina what it felt like to get nominated for her first lead actress nomination… when it was actually her third. She also asked Julia Louis Dreyfus to do the Elaine dance and she just said no and walked away. But not to worry, I’m sure Jenny has an essential oil to help her deal with the embarrassment!

      Billy Porter Made History

      Billy

      In addition to another show-stopping outfit (Billy’s stylist can do no wrong at this point), Billy Porter made history when he became the first openly gay, black actor to win outstanding actor in a drama for his role in Pose. He quoted James Baldwin in his acceptance speech, saying, “It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” In completely unrelated news, I am crying at my desk right now. He is now one award away from an EGOT—he’s just missing an Oscar. No biggie, that’s the easy one!

      Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner Got Laughed At

      Kim

      While Khloé was at home live tweeting KUWTK (rough, maybe next year), Kim and Kendall presented at the Emmys for Outstanding Reality TV Series. Kendall said, “Our family knows first-hand how truly compelling television comes from real people, just being themselves, telling their stories, unfiltered and unscripted.” Everyone laughed. And while I think the irony is funny, I don’t think it’s completely fair to say that KUWTK is scripted. Sure, every move they make is heavily orchestrated by Kris Jenner. Is the show real? About as real as their faces. But can we honestly say it’s scripted when Kendall Jenner surely is incapable of reading, much less off a script?

      Jharrel Jerome Paid Tribute To The Exonerated Central Park Five

      Jharrel

      Jharrel Jerome won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his role in Netflix’s When They See Us, a miniseries directed by Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five, five children who were pressured into falsely confessing for an assault they did not commit. At only 21 years old, Jerome is the youngest actor to win Lead Actor in a Limited Series (I was still perfecting my Jell-O shot recipe at age 21, but cool), and he’s the first Afro-Latino actor to be nominated for and win an acting category. He dedicated his award to the Exonerated Five, and it was one of the most moving moments of the night.

      ‘Fleabag’ Cleaned Up

      Fleabag

      In a pretty major upset (to Game of Thrones fans, can you tell I don’t watch??) Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag, the Amazon Original she wrote, directed, and starred in, won a bunch of awards. Waller-Bridge won for Outstanding Comedy Series and Lead Actress, so okay I guess I really need to get my roommate’s brother’s Amazon Prime password so I can finally watch it!

      Other memorable moments included Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech, which urged for Hollywood to employ trans people and paid tribute to her late sister, Alexis. The DJ was really weird and chose inappropriate music choices—Florence and the Machine was played twice, and Chernobyl’s win was accompanied by “Feelin’ Good” and “Shake it Off”. I don’t know, I feel like a nuclear accident is kind of hard to shake off. Alex Borstein, who won for her role in Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, gave a speech about her grandmother who survived the Holocaust and somehow managed to tie it into female empowerment. You love to see it.

      Overall, the Emmys seemed a little lost without a host, and although we got some history-making wins, the awards were still overwhelmingly white. If you took away one thing from last night’s Emmys, it was probably that The Masked Singer airs Wednesday, October 2nd at 8pm, only on Fox!!

      Images: Getty Images; Giphy

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      Emmys 2019: Fleabag and Game of Thrones win big on Brit-dominated night

      Phoebe Waller-Bridges comedy was the surprise victor while the final season of HBOs fantasy drama picked up the most Emmy awards

      Awards and prizes

      It was a British invasion at the 71st Emmy awards, with Game of Thrones taking home the prize for best drama and Phoebe Waller-Bridges Fleabag sweeping most of the comedy awards in a night that saw numerous nods to stars from across the pond.

      The biggest question heading into the night was whether Emmy voters would reward perennial juggernaut Game of Thrones for its divisive final season. The show was nominated for 32 awards the most for any single season of television ever and had already won 10 Creative Arts Emmys last week. Game of Thrones took home the nights final prize for outstanding drama series and a best supporting actor nod for American star Peter Dinklage bringing its total to 12 awards and breaking its own 2015 record for the most awards given to a series but was otherwise shut out of the telecast.

      Instead, Fleabag emerged as the nights big winner, upstaging Veep, HBOs other Emmys mainstay in its final season, and last years darling The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Fleabag, which originated as Waller-Bridges one-woman show at the Edinburgh festival fringe, took home the awards for outstanding writing, best comedy series and best directing. Waller-Bridge also claimed lead actress in a comedy series a surprise win over Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who would have become the most decorated Emmys performer of all time had she won a ninth award for her role as Selina Meyer on Veep.

      Jodie
      Jodie Comer. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

      Waller-Bridge, who began her third acceptance speech by saying This is just getting ridiculous, was the crest of what amounted to a British wave at the Emmys, with wins for several stars: Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal) won for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series, while Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) apologized to her Liverpudlian parents for not inviting them because she didnt think it was my time in her speech for lead actress in a drama series. Chernobyl, HBO and Sky Televisions brutal, critically acclaimed limited series on the 1986 nuclear disaster, won for best outstanding writing, best directing and limited series. John Oliver won his fourth consecutive Emmy for best variety series for Last Week Tonight, and Jesse Armstrong took home best drama writing for HBOs upstart Succession. Black Mirrors choose-your-own-adventure flick Bandersnatch also won for best television movie.

      Play Video
      2:31

      Emotional speeches take center stage at 2019 Emmys video highlights

      In a hostless awards show packed with more awards than anything else, perhaps the most stirring moment of the night was Michelle Williams speech for outstanding lead actress in a limited series (Fosse/Verdon), in which she heralded gender pay equity. My bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon, said Williams, now an outspoken activist for gender pay equity following the revelation to herself and the public that she was paid significantly less than costar Mark Wahlberg in the movie All the Money in the World. The next time a woman, and especially a woman of color because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her, Williams said to some tears from the audience.

      Believe her, because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing [her] to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.

      Jharrel
      Jharrel Jerome wins lead actor in a drama series. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

      The nights other highlight was an inspiring win for Jharrel Jerome as lead actor in a limited series for When They See Us, Ava DuVernays Netflix series on the wrongly convicted Central Park Five that was otherwise shut out of awards by Chernobyl. This is for the men we know as the exonerated five, Jerome said as the real Central Park Five, now exonerated, raised their fists in solidarity.

      Representation and tolerance were also the themes of speeches by Billy Porter (Pose), who took home the prize for lead actor in a drama series The category is love, yall, love! he shouted and Patricia Arquette (The Act), who won outstanding supporting actress in a limited series. Arquette dedicated the award to her sister Alexis, a trans woman who died in 2016, and urged an end to discrimination of trans people. Give them jobs. Lets get rid of this bias that we have everywhere, she said.

      Play Video
      0:31

      Michelle Williams gives powerful Emmys acceptance speech on pay inequality video

      Outside of the British winners, other highlights of the evening included two nods to The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein for supporting actor and actress in a comedy series, respectively and an underdog win for Ozarks Julia Garner as outstanding supporting actress, besting Daenerys Targaryen herself, Emilia Clarke.

      Game of Thrones still got its recognition, however, as a portion of its massive cast and crew took the stage for the nights biggest honor. Given all the fire and ice, dragons and long shoots, it is amazing that all of you are still alive, said co-showrunner DB Weiss. I cant believe we finished it.

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