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Claudine Gay: Harvard President Won’t Lose Job Over Congress Row

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Harvard University’s president, Claudine Gay, has announced that she will remain in her position despite the growing controversy surrounding her appearance before Congress last week.

Dr. Gay was under pressure to resign when she refused to explain whether students who advocated for the killing of Jews would face disciplinary action.
However, approximately 700 staff colleagues supported her in a letter sent over the weekend.

The school board announced on Tuesday that it was “reaffirm[ing] our support” for her leadership.
“Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and address the very serious societal issues we are facing,” said the Harvard Corporation, the university’s top governing board.

“In this tumultuous and difficult time, we unanimously stand in support of President Gay,” the 13-member board concluded.

The announcement that Dr. Gay will stay president comes only days after the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) president, Elizabeth Magill, announced her resignation following a similar outcry over her congressional testimony.

Dr Gay testified last week at a House of Representatives committee on antisemitism alongside Ms Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Sally Kornbluth.

During difficult questioning from Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Dr. Gay stated that she thought demands for the murder of Jews were reprehensible but that whether it would violate Harvard’s code of conduct involving bullying and harassment depended on the context.

She later apologized in an interview with Harvard’s campus newspaper, the Crimson.
“When words amplify distress and pain, I don’t know how you could feel anything but regret,” she said.

Harvard President Won’t Lose Job Over Congress Row

The Harvard Corporation said in a statement that calls for genocide were “despicable,” and that Dr Gay’s initial statement “should have been an immediate, direct, and unequivocal condemnation.”

However, the institution emphasized that Harvard’s president had apologized for how she handled her congressional testimony.

“Harvard’s mission is advancing knowledge, research, and discovery that will help address deep societal issues and promote constructive discourse, and we are confident that President Gay will lead Harvard forward toward accomplishing this vital work,” the university’s board of trustees stated.

Over the weekend, over 700 faculty members signed a petition urging Harvard to “resist political pressures that are at odds with
Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom” and retain Dr Gay as president.

Harvard Professor Alison Frank Johnson, one of the petition’s signatories, told the BBC’s Newshour that Dr Gay gave a “catastrophic set of answers” at the hearing but that the “question of university autonomy” pushed her and others to sign the petition in support of the president.

harvard

Harvard President Won’t Lose Job Over Congress Row

“I believe it was a disastrous set of responses that did not do her or our university justice, and I refuse to defend them.” “But I don’t believe they show a moral degeneracy on the part of the Presidency or the university leadership that requires her to be fired,” she said.

However, StopAntisemitism, a non-profit dedicated to combating antisemitism, chastised the Harvard Corporation for “failing to hold” Dr Gay accountable.

“The Corporation’s decision serves only to greenlight more Jew-hatred on campus,” according to the group. “StopAntisemitism continues to call for President Gay’s resignation and urges the
The corporation should reconsider its decision and hire someone committed to protecting every Harvard student.”

Meanwhile, more than 70 lawmakers, largely Republicans, demanded Dr Gay quit, calling the university president’s responses during the session “abhorrent.”

Following the Gaza conflict, college campuses around the United States have become frequent venues of pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli protests, prompting worries about Islamophobia and antisemitism.

harvard

Harvard President Won’t Lose Job Over Congress Row

Dr. Gay was appointed as Harvard University’s first black president in the university’s 368-year history in July. She is the daughter of Haitian immigrants and holds a degree in economics from Stanford University, where she previously taught.

Dr. Gay later earned a PhD in government from Harvard, where she began teaching African and African-American Studies in 2007.
While Dr. Gay soon garnered widespread support, Elizabeth Magill faced intense external pressure to quit.

The UPenn president announced her resignation shortly after a prominent university donor withdrew a $100 million (£80 million) gift in protest of her comments.

Before her congressional testimony, she faced criticism, particularly from some of the school’s largest benefactors, who said she had not made a timely and strong enough condemnation of the Hamas attacks.

According to Molly McPherson, a crisis management consultant, bigger dynamics at their two colleges explain why one president is still in office while the other has left.

“Each institution has their own set of values, their own donors and donor expectations,” she went on to say. “Harvard was ready to support Gay, and UPenn was ready to let Magill go.”

However, she said that Ms Magill’s reaction to the backlash over her testimony did not help. While Dr Gay addressed the student body directly through the school newspaper, Ms Magill issued an apologetic video that she described as “awkward, stilted, unrehearsed, and scripted.”

It “lacked all authenticity and seemed removed from what the real problem was, which is the disconnection between her views and the protection of the students,” according to Ms. McPherson.
Dr. Gay’s response, she said, was starkly different.

“Her remarks were relatable,” she commented. “She chose a proactive approach.”

SOURCE – BBC

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

Politics

Canada’s Population Explosion Under Trudeau Triggers Housing Shortage

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Canada's Population Explosion Under Trudeau Triggers Housing Shortage
Canada is seeing its strongest population expansion in decades: File Image

The Trudeau government declared on March 21, 2024, that it would accept fewer temporary residents due to the difficulty of assimilating so many newcomers so quickly. However, population growth appears to be accelerating in 2024.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the population aged 15 and over increased by approximately 411,000 in the first four months of the year, representing a than 50% increase over the four-month growth in early 2023.

This new acceleration was the focus of a recent research paper by Stéfane Marion, chief economist at the National Bank of Canada. “The demographic shock is getting worse in Canada,” he told Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Canada is seeing its strongest population expansion in decades, thanks almost exclusively to foreign migration, which includes the entrance of temporary workers and students. The population increased by about 1.3 million last year, or 3.2%, the fastest rate since the late 1950s.

Every month, tens of thousands of households participate in Statistics Canada’s labour survey. While the government includes population data in its monthly jobs report, they are not official estimates. Statscan publishes a different population report on a quarterly basis; the next edition is due June 19.

Nonetheless, these data indicate that Canada’s economy has remained strong to begin the year, which could complicate the federal government’s efforts to limit migration.

For the first time, the Trudeau government will impose limits on temporary residents beginning this fall. The government aims to reduce this group to 5% of the total population during the next three years; at latest count, they accounted for 6.5%.

Given those plans, “it would seem that many people have decided to come to Canada earlier,” Mr. Marion said, stressing that housing affordability may worsen in the short term.

Several analysts have predicted that Canada’s population growth will eventually decrease to approximately 1% when these new laws take effect.

Housing Affordability in Canada

Meanwhile, Stéfane Marion fears that housing affordability difficulties will increase amid another surge in immigration numbers.

“Demographic shock is worsening in Canada. The working-age population (aged 15 and over) increased by more than 100,000 in April, bringing the total to more than 410,000 after four months in 2024.

According to today’s Hot Chart, this is a significant acceleration (+47%) above the 278,000 increase seen in the first four months of 2023. Greater Toronto, where population growth hit a record 107,000 at the start of the year, has accelerated by 66% compared to 2023.

Greater Montreal and Greater Vancouver have not lagged behind since the beginning of 2024, with growth more than doubling that recorded in 2023.

With Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marc Miller, announcing plans to curb immigration in 2025, it appears that many people have decided to come to Canada sooner.

Housing affordability issues could increase in the coming quarters, as we approach another record year of population growth.

RBC indicates a loss of affordability in Canada

RBC’s aggregate affordability score for Canada increased by 2.8 percentage points to 62.5% as mortgage rates rose and property prices rose somewhat. (An increase in the measure indicates a loss of affordability.) This reversed a little improvement in the second quarter.

The issue is particularly acute in Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto, where property ownership is extremely expensive. Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax also confront difficult affordability issues.

Last quarter, purchasers’ already bad situation deteriorated even further. A typical household required to set aside an additional 4.4 percentage points of its income to afford the costs of owning an average home at current prices and interest rates.

In fact, the entire income of that (median) household was insufficient, with RBC’s aggregate affordability metric coming in at an amazing 102.6%. The only practical choice for most ordinary consumers remains a less expensive condo apartment, which is still out of reach for many.

Home purchase activity has cooled again after unexpectedly rebounding last spring. Furthermore, prices are beginning to fall from their summer highs. In the face of significant affordability pressures, we believe the downward trend may accelerate in the near term.

Keywords: Canada News, Canada Population

 

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Politics

Trudeau Liberals Electoral Chances are as Good as Dead

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Trudeau Liberals Electoral Chances are as Good as Dead

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party’s popularity has plummeted to record lows  in recent polls. Scandals and his carbon tax weakened Trudeau’s support after years of support. Many election Analysts belive Justin Trudeau and his Liberals will not survive the next election.

The newest Angus Reid survey shows the Conservatives leading nationwide, with Trudeau and his Liberals losing support in most provinces, especially Ontario and Quebec. Analysts say Trudeau’s leadership fatigue, unhappiness over inflation, ridiculous carbon tax, and continual policy flip-flopping are driving voters away.

Trudeau’s carbon tax is unpopular across Canada. Many Canadians hate its higher prices for homes and businesses.

Critics say it unfairly targets energy, threatening jobs and prosperity. Skeptics believe the tax fails to solve global climate challenges despite claims it will reduce emissions.

Provincial governments like Alberta passionately oppose federal intrusion. The carbon tax still divides society.

Steven Guilbeault, Trudeau’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, has lost support from neutral public and provincial governments and the powerful climate action lobby.

Don Braid of the Calgary Herald says Chickens with their heads cut off run around in circles. In politics, the federal Liberals are starting to exhibit this postmortem behaviour.

Braid says their electoral chances are as good as dead, and their head, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seems only tenuously attached to his party. Still, they dash around crazily, patching this and launching that, all while sticking to their unpopular policies, ministers and leader.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, the core cabinet fowl who said no new roads should be built in Canada, continues to press his climate extremism.

“The result is political fiasco.”

Alberta and Saskatchewan have always been bitterly opposed to many measures. But Guilbeault is now losing support from the public, provincial governments that once were at least neutral and, crucially, the powerful climate action lobby.

The disasters are self-inflicted. Trudeau and Guilbeault stuck to the carbon tax even after the policy’s disastrous deflation by the “carve out” for home heating oil, a benefit mainly to Atlantic Canada.

Their faux-tough response — nobody else gets that, dammit! — actually cost farmers a break that had been planned, but suddenly looked like another exemption.

The carbon tax, revealed as a purely political tool, is ripe for axing by a potential new leader like Mark Carney. Even New Democrats have argued that the tax should exit, stage left.

Now, Guilbeault has introduced amendments to the Impact Assessment Act, allegedly bringing it into line with the Supreme Court ruling that found the law seriously intrudes on powers rightly belonging to the provinces.

Trudeau’s power grabs shot down

Guilbeault has never acknowledged this was a defeat. He treats the ruling as a simple policy problem rather than a 5-2 thumping by judges not usually known for hostility to federal power grabs.

Alberta was predictably furious about the amendments. Premier Danielle Smith always said Guilbeault would make a gesture and proceed as usual, forcing yet another court challenge.

“When you look at the unconstitutionality of the first draft, you can’t just make tweaks and bring this in line with the Constitution,” says Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s minister for environment and protected areas.

“That’s really the issue here. Minister Guilbeault still has the ability to involve himself in projects that are within provincial jurisdiction.

“In the end, this piece of legislation remains unconstitutional. We are going to be taking this back to court and I’m confident in our position, because their changes don’t actually address the issues that we’ve raised.”

The trouble is, legal uncertainty causes still more delays in building crucial projects. Ottawa imposed a ban on designating new major projects after the court ruling. It has been in effect for seven months.

Trudeau’s middle ground game not working

The Impact Assessment Agency, the powerful regulatory body that oversees all this, said in a statement: “No decisions to designate projects will be taken. Consideration of any new designation requests will only resume, as appropriate, once amended legislation is in force.”

Most striking is the fury from the climate action lobby toward Guilbeault’s amendments.

“Overall, the bill is a complete federal abdication to address proposed high-carbon projects such as in situ oil mines,” Steven Hazell, a retired environment lawyer and federal regulator told the National Observer, Canada’s best chronicler of climate stories and policy.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May said the government was “erring on the side of stupidity.” May sees the court decision as an opportunity to go further with legislation, not retreat to meet demands of provincial jurisdiction.

She’s the politician who believes the country should be put under virtual martial law to deal with the climate emergency, with all power to Ottawa. And those people are, more or less, the Liberals’ natural allies.That’s where Trudeau and his crew have got themselves as they race around, trying to find a murky middle ground on everything from climate action to taxation and Israel’s war against Hamas (no major religious group in Canada now favours the Liberals, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute).Source: The Calgary Herald

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China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

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AP News - VOR News Image

BEIJING — On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated their “no-limits” friendship, which has expanded as both countries face mounting tensions with the West, and blasted US military deployments in Asia and the Pacific.

At their summit in Beijing, Putin hailed Xi for China’s recommendations to settle the conflict in Ukraine, which Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected as mostly adopting the Kremlin’s line.

Putin’s two-day state visit to one of his biggest allies and commercial partners comes as Russian forces launch an operation in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, marking the most serious border incursion since the full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022.

China claims to be impartial in the crisis, but it has supported the Kremlin’s accusations that the West led Russia into attacking Ukraine, and it continues to supply vital components required by Moscow for weapons manufacture.

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AP – VOR News Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

China, which has not condemned the invasion, suggested a broad-based peace plan in 2023, calling for a cease-fire and direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv. Both Ukraine and the West rejected the idea because it did not call on Russia to vacate Ukraine’s occupied territories.

China also lent a verbal nod to Russia’s narrative about Nazism in Ukraine, with a joint statement issued Thursday saying Moscow and Beijing should protect the post-World War II order and “severely condemn the glorification of or even attempts to revive Nazism and militarism.”

Putin has claimed the “denazification” of Ukraine as a primary purpose of the military action, falsely referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government as neo-Nazis.

The mostly symbolic and ceremonial visit emphasized cooperation between two countries facing challenges in their relations with the United States and Europe.

“Both sides want to show that despite what is happening globally, despite the pressure that both sides are facing from the U.S., both sides are not about to turn their backs on each other anytime soon,” said Hoo Tiang Boon, a Chinese foreign policy researcher at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

While Putin and Xi stated they wanted to stop the war, they made no new ideas in their public remarks.

“China hopes for the early return of Europe to peace and stability and will continue to play a constructive role toward this,” Xi said in prepared remarks to the media in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. His statements echoed China’s overarching peace initiative.

Earlier in the day, Putin was greeted in Tiananmen Square with military fanfare and cannon fire.

On the eve of his visit, Putin stated that China’s proposal may “lay the groundwork for a political and diplomatic process that would take Russia’s security concerns into account and contribute to achieving long-term and sustainable peace.”

Zelenskyy has stated that any negotiations must entail the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the departure of Russian soldiers, the release of all captives, a tribunal for those responsible for the assault, and security assurances for Ukraine.

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AP – VOR news Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

Putin said he would brief Xi on the situation in Ukraine, adding, “We appreciate the initiative of our Chinese colleagues and friends to regulate the situation.”

Following Russia’s latest attack in Ukraine last week, the war has reached a crucial point as Ukraine’s depleted military awaits new supplies of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery rounds from the United States, which have been delayed for months.

China and Russia’s joint statement also harshly slammed US foreign policy, citing US-formed alliances as having a “Cold War mentality.”

“Both sides expressed serious concern about the consequences caused to the strategic stability of the Asia-Pacific region by AUKUS,” according to the statement, referring to the acronym for Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

China and Russia have accused the United States of installing land-based intermediate-range missile systems in the Asia-Pacific region under the guise of joint drills with allies. They claimed that the United States’ operations in Asia were “changing the balance of power” and “endangering the security of all countries in the region.”

The united declaration underscored China’s support for Russia.

“There’s so much Chinese falling over themselves to give Russia face and respect without saying anything specific, or committing to anything,” said Susan Thornton, a former diplomat and senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

The meeting was another endorsement of China and Russia’s amicable “no limits” friendship, which they signed in 2022, just before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has been increasingly economically dependent on China since Western sanctions have limited its access to most of the global commercial system. China’s expanding commerce with Russia, which reached $240 billion last year, has helped the country buffer some of the worst effects of sanctions.

Moscow has transferred most of its energy exports to China and relied on Chinese enterprises to purchase high-tech components for Russian defense sectors to avoid Western sanctions.

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AP – VOR News Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

“I and President Putin agree we should actively look for convergence points of the interests of both countries, to develop each’s advantages, and deepen integration of interests, realizing each others’ achievements,” added Xi.

Xi congratulated Putin on the start of his fifth term in office and commemorated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, which were formed after a civil war in 1949. In the March election, Putin eliminated all significant political opponents and faced no serious threat. He, like Xi, has not spelled out a succession strategy.

“In a famous song of that time, 75 years ago — it is still performed today — there is a phrase that has become a catchphrase: ‘Russians and Chinese are brothers forever,'” Putin stated.

During the war, Russia and China expanded their military ties. In recent years, they have conducted several cooperative war simulations, including naval drills and long-range bomber patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Russian and Chinese ground forces have also moved to the other country’s territory to conduct joint training.

China continues to be a major market for Russian military hardware, while the country’s defense industry is rapidly developing, including the production of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

Putin has already stated that Russia has shared highly sensitive military technologies with China, considerably improving its defense strength.

SOURCE -(AP)

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