Viewpoint

first_imgThe tangled web of Finedon Mill whose tentacles have stretched from Shipton Mill to New Rathbones plant bakery and beyond turned another corner this week when Finedon ended up in court over unpaid levies (pg 5). The company, which is in administration, is also believed to owe the taxman, odd bank and multiple creditor.I expect many of you see it as a turn for the better. Indeed, the words “may justice prevail” probably sit seething on your lips. We shall have to wait for the outcome.In the meantime, one supporter of Harvestime (2005) bakery, in terms of keeping the 400 or so jobs at the Walsall site, which is still trading in administration, has been Tesco. But in two weeks time, Tesco’s bakery director Tony Reed departs for higher echelons at the retailer (pg 4). Many suppliers talk about wheeling and dealing with the supermarkets. I have not been in that position and can only say that Tony Reed himself has always been utterly straightforward, called a spade a spade, worked hours most people would dread, but kept a distinct sense of the importance of family and the dedication this industry feels about bakery.Last year, I asked him if my repeatedly voiced anger over below-cost bread, often sold in supermarkets, irritated him. “No,” he said, “do keep banging the drum.” And when bakers have lined up, sometimes in a queue, at the Baking Industry Awards to introduce themselves to him, it has never gone to his head. He started off pushing trolleys for Tesco and worked his way up. On first meeting him five years ago, I was impressed by his manners and by his drive to really move things forwards. He has always bubbled over with initiatives – be it new products in breads and cakes or pioneering new bread baskets. He has had huge pressures from both bosses and competitors, but, where possible, has supported forward-thinking companies. One reason I support salt reduction targets in bread is because I totally agree with him that the government should once again be able to proclaim bread as healthy – as it did in the COMA report – before it withdrew that support due to salt levels.Finally this week, Allied Mills is re-entering the customer market with new ideas and equipment.It will have to work hard; the others have done well in its absence.last_img read more

Bowling for values

first_imgDoes vandalism have a place in public protest? Can one be a fan of a book but disagree with the author’s personal views? Should Civil War reenactments be regulated by the government?For the members of the Harvard Undergraduate Ethics Bowl, a new student club devoted to analyzing and debating ethical issues, going deep on big questions is about more than winning an argument.“Ethics Bowl is a really unique opportunity to reflect on your personal value system. It’s not just about arguing an arbitrary side of a debate,” said Jillian Sharples ’21, founder and president of the group. “You actually have to decide: What do I think? Should I believe this? And how can I justify this?”Unlike traditional college debates, where speed and the ability to argue both sides of an issue are advantages, Ethics Bowl competitions involve a back-and-forth between teams and with their judges, where each can ask questions and respond. It’s a slower, more measured process that rewards collaboration and civility. The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE), which administers the annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB), rates competitors on “intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.”When Sharples, a social studies concentrator from Berwyn, Penn., founded Harvard’s chapter of Ethics Bowl last spring, she had been looking for three years for a community space where people from all backgrounds could come together to discuss issues without the argumentative foundations of traditional debate. Sharples had competed in Ethics Bowl in high school, and decided to form a group on campus.,“The types of discourses that students primarily engage in are more aligned with the argumentative methods rather than collaborative discussions,” she said. “[Ethics] helped me develop an intellectual humility and understanding of the validity of other people’s perspectives. I think it’s really important to be able to [acknowledge] that we think differently, but I’m willing to respect you, and I’m willing to try to understand your point of view.”Sharples knew it wouldn’t be easy to recruit new members and train them for high-level competition during a regular year, but she certainly didn’t expect Ethics Bowl’s first full year as a club to overlap with a pandemic and all-remote fall semester. Despite the upheaval and uncertainty, 12 members have joined from Massachusetts, Texas, and New Zealand, and seven will participate in their first official competition next month, the IEB regionals, where they will compete on 15 cases.In the process, said Sharples, the competitive ethicists are building a community based on a shared commitment to understanding and learning from one another.“With the unpredictable nature of this semester, we’re encountering a lot of the issues that other student organizations are encountering” around community-building, said Sharples, who shared a house with friends in Falmouth, Mass., this semester. “I am really proud of everybody on our team, because we’re doing a good job despite the circumstances.”“In Zoom classes, or even in other clubs, there isn’t a ton of interaction with other students. Ethics Bowl has been a great way to really connect with my peers,” said Katie Sierra ’23, an integrative and evolutionary biology concentrator and incoming president of the group. “We don’t just discuss ethics cases; we have socials and it’s a great community. It’s also not an exclusive group with a [difficult] comp process [of club tryout or audition]. Because we’re relatively new, we are open to ideas and bringing new things to the table.”To prepare for competition, the team breaks up into groups of three or four members to focus on a specific case. Each group creates a structured template to lay out facts, priorities, and blind spots relevant to each question. Then, they work through all permutations of a problem and all possible challenges to their ethical framework.The APPE Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl matches are all remote in 2020-21, which allowed for other digital opportunities. In a normal year, the Harvard team might hone their skills through scrimmages with other local teams. With everyone practicing remotely, Sharples organized scrimmages with West Point and Stanford, exposing both teams to opponents they may not have met under normal circumstances. The teams are judged on strength of argument, clarity, thoughtfulness, and relevance.Motivating others to live in accordance with their ethics is a well-traveled path for Sharples, who entered Harvard as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet. Last spring, she led 80 cadets as cadet command sergeant major at the Paul Revere Battalion (housed at MIT), tracking accountability and maintaining physical fitness standards and esprit de corps among the group. This semester she is working on staff at the battalion before assuming the role of operations officer in the spring.During the pandemic, Sharples has kept up with her ROTC commitments, taking required military science courses online at MIT and participating in virtual physical training workouts with fellow cadets at Harvard and other colleges in the Boston area. It’s another area of her life where community and collaboration are vital to her success.Her experiences as a cadet were also foundational to developing her social studies focus area, “Women at War: Fighting for Citizenship,” and her senior thesis topic, a theoretical relationship between military service and citizenship. Studying the military through the lens of history, philosophy, and economics “allowed me to have a different lens on the world at large and see the broader systems in place” in such institutions, she said.“ROTC aligned with my personal values of protecting my country and believing what it stands for, and over time, it’s become more about the people that I’ve met within ROTC and in the military at large,” she said. “I want to be there for them, and I’m inspired by [their] dedication. That keeps me motivated.”last_img read more

Russia stares down WWII controversies 75 years on

first_imgRape in GermanyRapes committed by Soviet soldiers as they captured Berlin in April 1945 permeated German collective memory, but are largely overlooked in Russia.A Russian blogger in January was charged with “Nazi apologism” for satirical social media posts that referenced Soviet abuses committed in Germany.In 2016, a newspaper in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad was handed an official warning over an article about atrocities committed by the Red Army during the takeover of the German city in 1945. Ahead of this year’s parade on Wednesday, postponed from May because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are five World War II episodes that continue to fuel tensions.  Topics : World War II erupted after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded and carved up Poland in September 1939 under a secret clause of the pact.The agreement, which remained classified in the Soviet Union until 1989, has been described by Putin as necessary because Western powers had abandoned the USSR to face Germany alone.He has also lauded the pact as a triumph of Stalin-era diplomacy.Putin was angered last year by a text published by the European Parliament saying the pact helped pave the way for World War II. Invasion or liberation?Soviet soldiers are celebrated in Russia for liberating Europe from Nazism, but for some countries in eastern Europe the Red Army is remembered as an occupying force.The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were forcibly integrated into the Soviet Union, and revile Nazi and Soviet forces alike.Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said last month that the war did not end until 1993 “when the last Russian soldier left” his country. Russia says this narrative is an unacceptable rewriting of history and routinely protests at the removal of Soviet-era military monuments in eastern and central Europe. The Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 is a pillar of national pride in Russia, used by the Kremlin to stir patriotic sentiment and rebuff criticism of the USSR and its army.Yet Russia’s state-backed narratives about the war and its legacy regularly lead to disagreements with other European countries.Russia celebrates its victory in World War II every year on May 9 with a massive military parade on Red Square in front of the president and other world leaders. Mass deportations During the war, Stalin accused minority ethnic groups of collaborating with the Nazis and deported hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Chechens, Balkars, Germans and others to Central Asia in harsh conditions.Deported populations were rehabilitated after Stalin’s death, but tensions linger with those that returned.Crimean Tatars, for instance, were deported from their homes and as a result opposed Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.Many Soviet soldiers and officers returning home after captivity in Germany were also likened to traitors and sent to forced labor camps. Pact with Hitler The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler remains a point of contention between Moscow and European countries to this day. Polish massacre One of many points of friction with Poland is the massacre at Katyn, named after a forest near the Russian city of Smolensk where Soviet secret police shot thousands of Polish officers in 1940 on Stalin’s orders.Until 1990, the Soviet Union claimed the executions were carried out by the Nazis.Moscow has since admitted responsibility, but the legacy of the massacre has been overshadowed in Russia by wider Stalinist repressions.In 2010, during a thaw in relations between Moscow and Warsaw, the plane carrying Poland’s president to a commemorative event in Smolensk crashed, killing all 96 people on board.Investigations into the accident have become a new source of tension between the two countries.last_img read more

Syracuse hires 4 quality control coaches for 2015 season

first_img Published on June 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Syracuse has hired four new quality control coaches for the 2015 season, including retired NFL player and former SU defensive back Steve Gregory, it announced in a press release Thursday.Despite playing defensive back, Gregory will serve as the special teams quality control coach. The other three quality control coaches are Jesse Johnson and Bart Tanski, who will coach the defense, and Joe Furco, who is the only offensive quality control coach. Furco, who last coached the wide receivers and running backs at Loras College, played quarterback at Elmhurst College under current SU offensive coordinator Tim Lester.Gregory played from 2002-05 at SU and eight seasons in the NFL, his last in 2013. In two seasons for the New England Patriots and six for the San Diego Chargers, he intercepted seven passes and tallied 357 tackles. Over the last three years of his career, Gregory started 36 of the 41 games he played.Johnson coached at Central Michigan, who SU will play for the second consecutive year in 2015, for the last two years as a defensive graduate assistant. Tanski played quarterback at Bowling Green from 2008-13 and coached the wide receivers and scout team last season at the University of Findlay.The four quality control coaches replace Siriki Diabate, Chris Gould, Michael Ghobrial and Austin King. Diabate will coach next season at Colgate and Gould is listed as a coaching intern with the Denver Broncos.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more