Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed today. Be More Chill’s George Salazar to Perform at 2019 Drama Desk AwardsThe 2019 Drama Desk Awards have added more talent to an already star-studded night. George Salazar, a current Drama Desk nominee for his standout turn in Be More Chill, has been newly added to the list of performers set to sing out at the annual event, hosted by Michael Urie, taking place at Town Hall on June 2 at 8:00pm. Also slated to perform are Stacey Sargeant and Andrew R. Butler, stars of the Drama Desk-nommed musical Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, and Tony winner Lillias White, who will lend her voice to the In Memoriam portion of the evening. Drama Desk presenters will include Bertie Carvel, Billy Crudup, Joel Grey, Lesli Margherita, Lindsay Mendez, Jessie Mueller, Lynn Nottage, Phylicia Rashad and Ethan Slater. More performers and presenters will be announced soon. For a full list of 2019 Drama Desk nominations, click here.Robin De Jesús, Jason Tam & More to Join Michael Urie for Pride PlaysA talented company of stars have been announced to take part in Pride Plays, a festival of play readings commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, set to run at off-Broadway’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater from June 20-24. Torch Song alum Michael Urie and producer Doug Nevin, who worked together on Buyer & Cellar, are partnering with Rattlestick for the series of new works, produced under festival director Nick Mayo. Joining Urie in the play’s casts will be Robin De Jesús, Jason Tam, Taylor Trensch, Maybe Burke, Mario Cantone, John Glover, Penny Fuller, Judy Gold, Lou Liberatore, Beth Malone, Michael Hsu Rosen, Dale Soules and Nilaja Sun. As previously announced, playwrights slated to present new work include Michael Benjamin Washington, Terrence McNally, Ryan Spahn, Philip Dawkins, Trans Lab, Eduardo Machado, Eri Nox, Paula Vogel, Jonathan Tolins, Chay Yew, Lisa Kron and many more. For more information about Pride Plays, click here.Abby Mueller & Adrianna Hicks Sing Out in Olivier-Nominated Musical Six at Chicago ShakespeareProduction footage has been released for the North American premiere of the Olivier-nominated musical Six. The previously announced U.S. debut of the acclaimed West End hit will run at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through June 30. Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the musical centers on the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII, who headline an electrifying pop-concert spectacle—flipping the narrative on the one-sided story from our history books. The cast is led by Abby Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Adrianna Hicks (The Color Purple), Andrea Macasaet (Heathers), Brittney Mack (Memphis), Samantha Pauly (Honeymoon in Vegas) and Anna Uzele (Once on This Island). Check out the multi-talented group of performers below and cross your fingers that Six finds its way to the Broadway stage soon. George Salazar in “Be More Chill”(Photo: Maria Baranova) View Comments
Democratic candidate cited twice for driving under influence of alcohol. Brandon Woodard, the Democratic nominee for the Kansas House District 30 seat, was cited twice for driving under the influence of alcohol, the Kansas City Star reported this week. Woodard, now 28, was arrested for DUI in Lawrence in 2012 and again in 2014. Woodard is facing Republican Wendy Bingesser in a race to replace Republican Rep. Randy Powell, who did not seek reelection. [Democrat running for Kansas House seat cited for drunken driving not once, but twice — Kansas City Star]Shawnee council starts process to replace Adrian. The Shawnee council last week began advertising for its vacant councilmember seat. The Ward 3 seat has been vacant since Justin Adrian resigned Sept. 12. Qualified candidates must be a registered voter who lives in Ward 3 of Shawnee. The Shawnee council will accept applications until 5 p.m. Nov. 1. Interested candidates may submit a letter of interest via email to the city clerk, drop it off at city hall or mail it to City of Shawnee, Attn: City Clerk’s Office, 11110 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS 66203. The council will conduct a special meeting Nov. 13 to consider the appointment. The person the council chooses will be sworn into office later that evening.
Former Gov. Jeff Colyer has announced his plans against entering the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2020.Former Gov. Jeff Colyer decides against running for U.S. Senate in 2020. Former Gov. Jeff Colyer has announced he will not enter the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2020. “I appreciate all the encouragement I have received since Senator Roberts announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election in 2020,” Colyer said in a statement Monday. “Right now I am doing some interesting things in private sector and in medicine. I am committed to service, as I have been my entire life. I will continue to serve in the future and I remain dedicated to the betterment of the state of Kansas.” Colyer was recently named a Fall 2019 Fellow at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service in Washington, D.C., his alma mater. He is an on-call surgeon at hospitals in the Kansas City metro area.Transfer agreement in place for JCCC students. Johnson County Community College has announced a memorandum of agreement with the University of Saint Mary is now in place for transfer students. Many JCCC students over the years have furthered their education at USM. JCCC noted that its students make up as much as 10 percent of the transfer class at USM in a given year. An official signing event took place Monday afternoon at JCCC to recognize the agreement. “This agreement is generous to our students’ credit hours and Saint Mary’s plan to work on improving transfer for our AAS career program completers,” said Rick Moehring, JCCC dean of learner engagement and success. “Overall, they are a good partner offering a locally known baccalaureate education to our students.”Report of suspicious man prompts lockout at De Soto elementary school. The De Soto School District placed Riverview Elementary on lockout Monday after a parent called the police to report that an armed man was seen walking in the woods near the school. The Shawnee Police Department is investigating; after checking the area, officers found no one suspicious but continued to have extra patrols nearby, including during school release time. Residents are asked to call and report any suspicious activity near the schools. [Report of suspicious man prompts lockout at De Soto elementary school — KCTV]
LinkedIn Pinterest Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email New research provides more clues about the brain processes involved in honesty and cheating. “Honesty is a fundamental value in many societies,” explained one of the study’s authors, Alain Cohn of the University of Chicago. “Nevertheless, people often cheat when they can privately benefit from their dishonesty. Institutions cannot always prevent people from behaving dishonestly. Thus, we often have to rely on the intrinsic honesty of our fellow citizens.”The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that honest behavior could be increased by means of non-invasive brain stimulation. The researchers found that using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to stimulate a region in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC) made participants less likely to cheat. “We still know relatively little about the biological basis of intrinsic honesty,” Cohn told PsyPost. “One brain imaging study (Greene and Paxton, 2009 PNAS) found that a specific area in the brain (rDLPFC) was more active when subjects pondered the trade-off between honesty and financial gain. However, the brain imaging study cannot tell us in which direction causality is running or whether the identified brain area is actually involved in this decision process or whether it is merely a byproduct. Applying tDCS allowed us to test whether the rDLPFC is causally involved when people face the trade-off between honesty and financial gain.”The researchers used a die-rolling task to test honesty. The researchers told 145 university students to roll a six-sided die ten times for the opportunity to win 90 Swiss Francs in total. Because the participants entered their results into a computer in total anonymity, they could easily lie about whether they won money. But the researchers could measure the amount of lying by comparing the percentage of reported successful die rolls against the statistical 50% benchmark that would be expected if everyone was honest.“This is basic research and not meant for direct practical applications,” Cohn told PsyPost. “Our findings should be taken as a first step in identifying the brain processes that allow people to remain honest when faced with a material incentive to cheat. These brain processes could lie at the heart of individual differences in honest behavior and we show that they can, in principle, be altered through external, non-invasive interventions. “However, it is important to note that our results suggest that such interventions may not work with pathological cheaters because in our experiments, only people who felt a moral conflict responded to the intervention. Nevertheless, our results can have implications for jurisdiction, such as to what extent people can be made fully liable for their wrongdoings.”“The next step would be to identify the network of neural processes that are involved in decisions of honesty,” Cohn said. “The rDLPFC is most likely not the only brain region responsible for honest behavior. Our results suggest that the rDLPFC regulates the trade-off between honesty and personal material gain.”The study, “Increasing honesty in humans with noninvasive brain stimulation“, was also co-authored by Michel André Maréchal, Giuseppe Ugazio, and Christian C. Ruffa.
Feb 27, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – A research team today announced the discovery of a new influenza A virus in Guatemalan fruit bats, but in its current form the virus doesn’t pose a threat to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The researchers, who included scientists from the CDC, reported their findings today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Suxiang Tong, PhD, the study’s lead author and head of the pathogen discovery program in the CDC’s division of viral diseases, said in a CDC press release e-mailed to reporters that the discovery marks the first identification of an influenza virus in bats. “The study is important, because the research has identified a new animal species that may act as a source of flu viruses.”The bat influenza virus would need to go through several reassortment steps to infect humans, the CDC said. Early tests suggest the genes of the new virus are compatible with human influenza viruses.However, Ruben Donis, PhD, a study coauthor and chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch of the CDC’s influenza division, added that initial tests show the virus found in bats would need to undergo significant changes to infect and spread easily among humans. “A different animal—such as a pig, horse, or dog—would need to be capable of being infected with both this new bat influenza virus and human influenza viruses for reassortment to occur.”The researchers found the new influenza A in only one species, little yellow-shouldered bats, which are common in Central and South America but are not native to the United States, according to the CDC.In their search for novel flu viruses in bats, the research group captured 316 bats representing 21 different species at eight locations in southern Guatemala in May 2009 and September 2010, according to the PNAS report. Using polymerase chain reaction testing, they found positive samples from three bats at two different locations, all of the animals little yellow-shouldered bats.Genome sequencing found that the virus is different from known influenza A viruses, because its hemagglutinin can be classified as a new and different subtype, designated H17. The neuraminidase (NA) gene is different than all other known NAs. Scientists weren’t able to grow the new virus in cell cultures or chicken embryos.Serologic studies are under way to determine how common the virus is among bats in Central America and other regions, according to the study. Researchers noted that because the virus was found in two different locations at different times, the finding isn’t likely to represent an incidental interspecies transfer.”Bats may now be added to the list of mammalian hosts of influenza A viruses,” the group wrote, adding that the finding expands the list of flu reservoirs and raises questions about how the virus is maintained in bat populations and what the findings mean for public health.See also:Feb 27 PNAS abstract
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In the case of Mr D Smith vs Carillion (JM) Ltd and Schal International Management Ltd Respondents (JM) Limited, David Smith, engineer by trade, was aggrieved that neither the Employment Tribunal nor the Employment Appeal Tribunal found in his favour.Despite the fact that he appears to have been a victim of blacklisting by the now infamous The Consulting Association (TCA), it was judged that he has no right of action and is not entitled to compensation. This is because he was not directly employed by the construction companies, but rather was engaged via employment agencies. Smith had to demonstrate that he was directly employed by John Mowlem and Schal in order to qualify to bring against them claims that he was unfairly dismissed by reason of his trade union or health and safety activities.Smith had been an active member of UCATT and it was normal for him to take on the role of UCATT shop steward or safety representative at sites he worked on. His skill as an engineer meant that he was often working as part of the main contractor’s management team and would sometimes sign off work on behalf of the main contractor. He cited this and a number of other factors to try to persuade the courts that he had a direct contract with the main contractors and not the employment agencies that paid him.Smith was employed on sites run by John Mowlem from October 1997 to May 1998 and again in September 2000. He was also employed on a site run by main contractor, Schal. However in each case Smith was hired via employment agencies Chanton and Heffo. Smith had been terminated on all these relevant projects but it was only when TCA was closed down following a raid in 2009 that Smith found out that subscribing main contractor construction companies had contributed to, or relied on records about his trade union/health and safety activities. From this he formed a reasonable view that his employment had been terminated owing to these records and that he had no doubt been rejected for work over a number of years because of what was written in these records.There have been some successful blacklisting claims since TCA was discovered, so why has Smith been unfortunate in seeking redress through the tribunals?First, it was a question of timing. Smith was terminated on John Mowlem and Schal projects in the period 1997-2000. The law at that time only protected “employees” from suffering detriment in relation to trade union/health and safety activities. It was not until a change in the law made by the Employment Relations Act 2004 which took effect on 1 October 2004 that it was possible for not just “employees” but also “workers” to enjoy such rights.Second, the tribunals had to assess Smith against the backdrop of the law prior to 1 October 2004 and, as he was not able to demonstrate a contract of employment between himself and the relevant main contractors, he was not eligible to bring the relevant claims, despite the fact he was a “worker”.So what lessons are to be learned from this case for employers right now?If you are facing blacklisting claims presently in relation to historic acts of alleged discrimination, where the claimant was not a direct hire but engaged via an employment agency, there may be a defence to the claim if the alleged misconduct occurred prior to the 1 October 2004 change in the law;HR managers today could not condone blacklisting as it is now illegal. Some perfectly “reputable” companies subscribed to the TCA before the law was changed to make such blacklisting illegal, as they felt that certain individuals threatened to undermine productivity on projects. Also, they worried that militants might, for no legitimate reason, call colleagues out on unlawful industrial action costing them their wages. Because most employers shy away from writing anything other than a standard reference, references are commonly trivialised as “not worth the paper they are written on”. Employers today might therefore profit from requiring direct hires to complete employer application forms (in favour of accepting CVs) setting out their employment history and reasons for leaving previous projects so that employers can audit employment history more accurately and follow up references with more direct and specific enquiries.Although employers have more control over direct hires, there is a benefit to recruiting via employment agencies. This is so the main contractor can demand that agencies properly vet individuals hired onto site and can stipulate that the agencies have hired them for a prior minimum period, therefore a known quantity, in order to minimise the prospect of hiring someone who has moved from site to site causing problems.Madeleine Thomson is a partner and head of employment at Hamlins law firm
How often do you hear a groan when working with clients – especially those in the public sector – that if something goes wrong “It was the client’s fault” or “their procurement team were just not living in the real world”?It was refreshing earlier this year to read the paper “Building Government’s Commercial Capability” published by the Institute for Government acknowledging some of the past government failures to properly manage its contractors and consultants, leading to major financial losses.It is a clear acknowledgement that there are often failings in procuring and managing projects – accepted that they are not always construction projects – and that they must tackle the problems to improve.This is further reinforced by the Government Construction Strategy 2016-2020, the latest document seeking to make the industry more efficient.The various components of the strategy include smarter procurement, improving digital skills and increasing client capability, which if embraced could potentially save the government £3.7bn.The last point on increasing client capability, is perhaps the key element. Does the client, or the professional who the client has employed, have the all-round understanding of the business and what is needed to guarantee a satisfactory project outcome?And this is the point that ultimately becomes the clincher. Contractors and consultants should be asking themselves whether they have truly understood the client’s business in a way that might have avoided the problems in the first place.One useful piece of research from the Project Management Institute (PMI) highlights the fact that technical skills are clearly of utmost importance in delivering projects on time and on budget but they are not enough in today’s increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace. Companies are also seeking added skills in leadership and business intelligence — competencies that can help to support longer range strategic objectives that contribute to the bottom line.The PMI found that 71% of those surveyed around the world, strongly believe that special leadership skills are of crucial importance for the success of a project.The evaluation and feedback from this research by the PMI, resulted in its ‘Talent Triangle’ methodology, where the three sides of the triangle represent the talent necessary for successful project management. Project managers do of course need technical project management proficiency, but they also need leadership, strategic and business management expertise as well.The key word is ‘agility’ where project managers’ skills evolve into a comprehensive approach. Even at the technical, prescriptive level, they will need to be aware of innovative ways of thinking and modern technologies.It is easy for government to beat itself up for not having the commercial skills that come naturally to the private sector, but in some respects, why should it?They need to be creative and inventive and to keep abreast of technological developments that will enable them to be a cut above the rest. After all, technology is all about doing things faster, better, quicker, and cheaper.The skill sets of the project manager don’t only focus on the technical aspects they should also understand the client’s business model and what the client is aiming to achieve. This brings us back to that triangle of skills.It is important for the project manager to interpret a client’s strategic objectives and missions – how to implement a strategy and not just to act as a delivery manager.Some would argue that architects many years ago, lost the opportunity to secure the project management role for themselves because in many cases they only focused on design leaving their project management role to other professionals who were able to think on a wider playing field.Of course, it is right that the public sector should be looking at ways of improving its procurement processes and better managing private contractors but it is a two-way process.It is easy for government to beat itself up for not having the commercial skills that come naturally to the private sector, but in some respects, why should it? Let’s work on becoming more useful advisors to our clients.In conclusion don’t always assume it’s the client’s fault, “look to thyself” and be honest – could you have better understood your client’s business and provided solutions that reflect the needs of its business?Andrew McGuigan is senior associate project manager for Pellings
Holandia, Helvetia and Gallia each feature a combined lifting capacity of 240 tonnes and 12,780 dwt. Holandia and Helvetia are owned and managed by Germany’s BF Shipmanagement, while HS Schiffahrt acquired Gallia in July 2017.”These vessels are well-suited to support our growing client base and the contracts we have been awarded,” said Arne Koester, executive chartering manager at dship Carriers. dship Carriers says it will continue to invest in project vessels between 9,500 to 17,500 dwt.Its fleet of MPP vessels is designed to support the specialised needs of breakbulk, heavy lift, dry bulk and project cargo. www.dship-carriers.comwww.deugro.comwww.hs-schiffahrt.dewww.foroohari.com
The High Court has struck out a claim after refusing permission to a claimant to make major changes to her case.Singapore private investor Quah Su-Ling had applied to the commercial court to amend her particulars of claims three weeks before her trial was due to start on 4 March.Quah, chief executive of IPCO International Ltd, was in dispute with the bank Goldman Sachs over a private wealth-management account to increase her shareholding in another company.She claimed Goldman Sachs was in possession of critical information about the company which showed the market value was too high.She issued proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division in November 2013, with particulars of claim served 15 days later.The High Court heard that proceedings were commenced without Quah obtaining any expert advice but based on her ‘own experience and opinions’. But by March, she was aware that expert advice was ‘crucial’ to her case.The trial was set for February 2015 and was allowed to be delayed until this month to avoid any overlap with arbitration proceedings in which Quah was involved in Singapore.But with just weeks until trial, Quah’s legal team, from London firm Devonshires Solicitors, wrote to Goldman Sachs’ representatives to say it was preparing an application for permission to amend, which would ‘abandon large parts’ of the case.She argued her current claim was ‘unsustainable’, which only became clear with expert guidance in January 2015.Accepting her application was made late, she argued the new case arises from disclosure and witnesses statements served on behalf of the bank, she was under strain from other proceedings and lacked funding.Mrs Justice Carr said she was ‘troubled’ by deficiencies in the explanations given by Quah, particularly the lack of any reason for her not instructing an expert at the outset.She said that in the light of the scope and nature of the proposed amendments, the weakness of the new case, the poor quality of the explanations for the delay in advancing it and the prejudice resulting to GS, she was not persuaded that an amendment was a ‘just and proportionate outcome’, nor consistent with the overriding objective.The judge admitted that the decision may be seen as ‘harsh’ given the consequences for Quah’s case but she added: ‘This is modern-day commercial litigation.‘Very late applications for permission to amend in circumstances where a) there is no good reason for the delay and b) amendment would result in real disruption or prejudice to the parties and/or the court are unlikely to be allowed, irrespective of the merits of the proposed amendment.’