• Education

    Microcredentials don’t stack up, academics warn

    Micro-degrees are “gig credentials for the gig economy”, exacerbating the tenuous existence of struggling workers and turning universities into job coaching services that save companies money on their in-house training, according to two academics. Leesa Wheelahan and Gavin Moodie have delivered a scathing assessment of an educational trend that is sweeping the world. The University of Toronto researchers say that microcredentials are fractured qualifications that abet the fracturing of formal employment through casualisation, Uber and food delivery apps. Writing in the journal Higher Education, they say microcredentials reframe universities as “an instrument of microeconomic change” to serve market needs. “Their potential to underpin contingent, precarious work is greatest for those who…

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  • Science

    Thousands of scientists warn climate tipping points ‘imminent’ | Climate News

    Thousands of scientists have repeated calls for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, warning that several tipping points are now imminent. The researchers, part of a group of more than 14,000 scientists who have signed on to an initiative declaring a worldwide climate emergency, said in an article published in the journal BioScience on Wednesday that governments had consistently failed to address “the overexploitation of the Earth”, which they described as the root cause of the crisis. Since a similar assessment in 2019, they noted an “unprecedented surge” in climate-related disasters, including flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, record-shattering heatwaves and wildfires in Australia and the US, and…

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  • Jobs

    Despite jobs rebound, economists warn ‘She-cession’ still lingers

    The U.S. labor market, , still has pockets of weakness in spite of a multiple industries. Most notably, economists cite the continued struggles of the leisure and hospitality sector, where millions of laid-off women helped to create what some observers have recently called a “she-cession.” Lockdowns exacerbated racial and gender employment gaps that existed before COVID-19 walloped the global economy. The hospitality industry — which includes restaurants, hotels, museums, spectator sports, and more — accounted for 10% of the entire workforce pre-pandemic, the National Women’s Law Center said in May. Even amid the broad economic rebound, the NWLC found that the sector is still lagging its size in February 2020.…

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  • Science

    U.S. is in a ‘race against time’ with new coronavirus variants, scientists warn

    The United States is in a race against time to vaccinate as many people as possible before other potentially more worrisome variants of the coronavirus emerge, according to experts. Vaccination efforts in the U.S. have been hamstrung by delivery issues, insufficient supply and hesitancy to get the shots. But to avert another surge of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, scientists say it may be necessary to rethink how the vaccines are rolled out to ramp up the number of shots administered and to protect against new strains of the virus. “We really are in a race against new variants,” said Wan Yang, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman…

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  • Science

    You may need to vaccinate your pets against COVID-19, scientists warn

    It could be necessary in the future to vaccinate domestic animals such as cats and dogs against COVID-19 to curb the spread of the virus, a group of scientists has said. Coronavirus can infect a wide range of species including cats, dogs, mink and other domesticated species, experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich-based research facility the Earlham Institute and the University of Minnesota have said. In an editorial for the journal Virulence, they wrote that continued evolution of the virus in animals followed by transmission to humans “poses a significant long-term risk to public health”. “It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might…

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  • Science

    Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’ and climate disruption | Environment

    The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises. The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood. “The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult…

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  • Online School

    School boards warn internet outages affecting online learning in Ontario

    The Canadian Press The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 9:15 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.There are 611,424 confirmed cases in Canada._ Canada: 611,424 confirmed cases (77,466 active, 517,884 resolved, 16,074 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.There were 9,761 new cases Monday from 80,020 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 12 per cent. The rate of active cases is 206.09 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52,360 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,480.There…

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