Prince William was not only greeted by excited students and fans of the royal family at the Blavatnik School of Government. After the prince’s official opening of Magdalen’s Longwall library this Wednesday, former Oxford student and Glasgow lecturer on Russian culture Martin Dewhirst held a picket outside the School building.The protest was aimed at the University accepting Leonard Blavatnik’s donations, which helped build the School, as the origin of the Russian businessman’s fortune is controversial.Dewhirst carried a sign which read “due diligence or undue negligence?” and was accompanied by a few other protestors in the inconstant weather.On top of William’s visit, a conference on world-wide corruption held by David Cameron on the next day motivated Dewhirst to protest. “I wanted to do my bit in Oxford today to in-crease the chances that Russia will get more public attention,” he said.“Mr. Blavatnik has been accused of being corrupt, but not much of the evidence is available in English. I don’t understand why the University didn’t invite Transparency International and Global Witness to do some research on Mr. Blavatnik’s activities. I was able to express my concern on this point to quite a number of people in Oxford today – this made the trip worth while.”Talking to Cherwell after staff from the Blavatnik School of Government refused to accept his photo being taken in front of the new glass building, he said, “Maybe the attempt to control us was a sign of worry, if not fear?”Oxford graduate and founder of the Moscow alumni society Ilya Zaslavskiy, who has been protesting against donations from Blavatnik and Saïd at Oxford, held a picket in front of the Oxford North America Society Office in New York at the same time as Dewhirst was outside the Blavatnik School. Zaslavskiy had been asked to leave the premises of the Society after raising a sensitive question on April 11, and has launched a petition for the University to “review cooperation with Putin’s oligarchs”.Its description states, “We believe it is high time to demand transparency and procedural reforms at Oxford with regards to foreign donations and awards that will be benefi cial to the University in the longer term and thus will open a cleaner chapter in broader UK-Russia relations.”Mr Dewhirst is a signatory of Zaslavskiy’s petition, and told Cherwell, “I spoke several times today about the scandal at the LSE five years ago when its Director, an honourable man, felt he had to resign because he had accepted money for the School from the Libyan Gaddafi Foundation.“I was not, of course, comparing Mr. Blavatnik to any member of the Gaddafi family, but providing an example of how dangerous it can be to have any dealings with people who are regarded by some experts as morally suspect.”Commenting on Mr Dewhirst’s remarks about University due diligence processes, the University told Cherwell, “Oxford University has a thorough and robust scrutiny process in place with regard to philanthropic giving. The University is confident in this and in its outcomes.”
“They’re (league officials) coming to town soon, and so it looks good if we move this item, because it demonstrates to them our commitment to working with them,” Cedillo, who represents the stadium area, told the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee last week. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodger Stadium hasn’t hosted an All-Star Game since 1980. (2018 photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)LOS ANGELES >> In a move to help the Dodgers secure the 2020 Major League All-Star Game, the Los Angeles City Council signed off Wednesday on a motion to negotiate a contract with the team over the use of city resources associated with the event.The Dodgers have not hosted an MLB All-Star Game since 1980, and Councilman Gil Cedillo said league officials will be vising Los Angeles soon to scout Dodger Stadium as a potential site for the game.The motion authorizes the city to receive $100,000 from the Dodgers as payment for the provision of city services that may be required to host the game, and for city staff to negotiate a contract with the team.Hosting an All-Star game brings an average economic impact of $89.4 million to host cities, according to the motion.
Yellowstone National Park officials say a bull bison tossed a 9-year-old Florida girl into the air when the animal charged a group of about 50 tourists on Monday.Park officials say the incident occurred after some of the tourists came within 5 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) of the animal over an estimated 20 minute time frame.The Odessa, Florida, girl was taken to the Old Faithful Lodge by her family for treatment by emergency personnel.The Old Faithful Lodge is considered a historical landmark and popular hotel in the midwest.She was later taken to a clinic and released.The extent of the young girl’s injuries has not been disclosed.According to reports, tourists injuries by bison and other wildlife occur regularly in Yellowstone, which gets about 4 million visitors yearly.
Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, pictured with Bella, his 14-year old canine companion who died in January, has ushered in inititiatives that offer additional protections for pets. Photo courtesy Pat MennaRED BANK – Pets certainly deserve our protection and Red Bank’s mayor is making that a priority, winning support from Sen. Jennifer Beck. “There has to be a recognition that we owe a special responsibility to pets,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna, a longtime dog owner, referencing some steps the borough has taken recently to ensure greater protection for pets and animals and to shore up penalties for those who don’t adhere to their responsibilities. “They’re not toys; it’s a lifetime commitment, that continues after the cuteness of the puppy stage is over,” Menna continued, speaking of pet owners’ responsibilities.The borough council had adopted an ordinance at its March 11 meeting that puts in place stricter requirements – including limiting tethering a dog to no more than seven hours in a 24- hour period and prohibiting tethering during unduly hot and cold temperatures or inclement weather among other restrictions – and sterner penalties for dog owners who keep their pets tethered for long periods. The ordinance also requires any driver who injures an animal to immediately stop, provide assistance and contact the police to report it.A conviction for violating the ordinance has fines ranging upward of $1,000, according to the ordinance.Menna, a lawyer who has worked as a prosecutor in a number of municipalities for many years, has found, “penalties for animal cruelty are woefully insufficient.”Those who do commit acts of animal cruelty have a fairly high rate of recidivism and can be inclined toward “transferring a lot of that aggression onto humans,” numerous studies have indicated, he pointed out.“It’s a social problem that has to be nipped in the bud,” Menna said.Menna noted during the March 19-20 snowstorm a dog owner kept the pet out on a short leash for hours during the storm. That may not have been animal cruelty under state statute. But, “Is that a violation of the tethering law? Yes it is,” the mayor asked and answered.The council is now considering an ordinance that would place additional requirements on pet stores and breeders to protect the animals and customers. There hasn’t been any concerns with how the borough’s one pet shop has operated, “But I think it’s the responsible thing to do,” the mayor said.The council last year took another step in support of animals with the adoption of resolution asking state legislators to endorse a plan that could save some cats and dogs used in medical research. The resolution was inspired by a Minnesota law allowing healthy animals used in research to be placed up for adoption, instead of being largely euthanize, as has been the practice.Red Bank was the first municipality in the state to pass the resolution and since then 30 others have joined in, according to Menna.And Sen. Beck, (R-11), a borough resident and former councilwoman, has heard the call and offered her support.Beck has introduced a bill in the Senate dovetailing off the Red Bank resolution based upon her conversation with Menna, the senator said.“This will reinforce that our society and community in New Jersey would like to see these animals find a loving home,” Beck said.Beck, who said “I am truly an animal lover,” has another bill in committee presently, commonly called “Cheyenne’s Bill,” that would require mental health evaluations for those older than 18, charged and convicted of animal abuse and the results would be in a state attorney general’s database. State law mandates only for minors but not for adults.This bill was in response to an animal trainer charged with abusing animals in his care, according to Beck.Menna last year advocated for and council approved a measure to have what was called the “Dog Days of Summer” – closing the eastern end of Monmouth Street to vehicular traffic one weekday evening a week, allowing owners to walk freely with their leashed pets. Many non-food businesses on the street cooperated and permitted the two- and four-legged customers the run of the space, often offering treats for the pet.He hopes to again have a designated night to do it this summer and he would like to see more businesses follow suit. Menna would like to have restaurants and other food establishments eventually permitted to allow well-behaved pets on premises – a common practice in European cities, he said.State statute has long prohibited non-service animals from retail and wholesale food establishments, for health and safety concerns, according to David Henry health officer for the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission.Menna, on the other hand, contended that approach is “antiquated” and will hopefully be revisited.If he had been asked about 14 years ago if he was an “animal lover,” Menna suspected his answer would have been not really. But now, having had 14 years with Bella, his pet yellow lab who died in January, he acknowledged his answer is different.“The more time you spend with animals,” he maintained, “the more you wish a lot more people were like animals.”— By John Burton