2014年4月30日星期三

Missouri lawmakers pass bill limiting jobless benefits


Breaking News


The Associated Press


Updated: 2014-04-30T18:07:04Z




The Associated Press


— Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would link the duration of jobless benefits to the state’s unemployment rate.



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Workers who lose their jobs currently can collect unemployment benefits for 20 weeks. Under the bill, 20 weeks of benefits would be available if the state’s average unemployment rate is at least 9 percent.


The maximum duration of jobless benefits would decrease one week for each one-half percentage point drop in the unemployment rate. The minimum duration would be 13 weeks when the jobless rate is less than 6 percent.


House members approved the measure 101-49 on Wednesday. It passed the Senate 24-8 last month, and the measure now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.










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Oprah Winfrey considers buying the Los Angeles Clippers


Stargazing


The Kansas City Star


Updated: 2014-04-30T18:06:27Z



By LISA GUTIERREZ


The Kansas City Star


It’s not like NBA teams come up for sale every day. So now that disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling might be losing his, the race is on to see who might buy the team. One of the first big names to be mentioned: Oprah Winfrey.



Oprah Winfrey is reportedly interested in buying the Los Angeles Clippers. (Photo, Associated Press)


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Sources told ESPN – and CBS News has confirmed – that Winfrey, music producer David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are considering a bid for the team if the NBA’s board of governors forces Sterling to sell.


Sterling was banned for life from the NBA on Tuesday after recordings surfaced of him making racist comments about African-Americans.


Other celebrities who have reportedly expressed interest in the team include actor Matt Damon, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., and music moguls Dr. Dre and Sean Combs. Magic Johnson’s name has also come up in possible ownership scenarios.


ESPN reports that Geffen tried to buy a controlling stake in the Clippers in 2010 but Sterling wouldn’t allow it.


Software company exec Ellison has reportedly tried to buy several sports teams in recent years, according to ESPN.


On Tuesday, Winfrey told a TMZ camera crew in New York that she was not interested in buying the team. But that was before NBA commissioner Adam Silver kicked Sterling out of the league.


Whoever buys the team should note the Twitter hashtag that trended for a while in these parts on Tuesday.


#KCClippers.










The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.


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Sheep gives birth to FIVE lambs beating million-to-one odds



  • Ewe at farm in Highlands had five healthy, normal sized lambs - a rarity

  • Last year another lamb at same farm also gave birth to quintuplets

  • Surprisingly the birth was simple and mother and offspring are thriving


By Sam Webb




The chances of a ewe giving birth to five lambs is a million to one but brothers Robert and Andrew Mackintosh have beaten the odds for the second year in a row.


A ewe at their farm in Glengolly in the Highlands gave birth to the rare set of quintuplets last week and both mother and babies are doing well.


Andrew, 41, who helped make the special delivery, said he was stunned to see five lambs pop out - especially after another of their ewes gave birth to quintuplets during the lambing season last year.


Against the odds: This ewe at a farm in the Scottish Highlands had five normal-sized healthy offspring - a million-to-one chance

Against the odds: This ewe at a farm in the Scottish Highlands had five normal-sized healthy offspring - a million-to-one chance



Gimme five: Now fit, strong and healthy, these quintuplets, pictured with their mother, are enjoying life in the Highlands

Gimme five: Now fit, strong and healthy, these quintuplets, pictured with their mother, are enjoying life in the Highlands



And despite the unusual pregnancy he said the labour was one of the easiest there has been at the farm this year.


'Despite the ewe giving birth to five lambs, it was a straightforward labour,' he said.


'The lambs came out of the mother one straight after the other without any difficulty. There were also no health problems with any of the lambs and, despite being quintuplets, they are all regular size.


'You rarely see a ewe giving birth to quadruplets, so to have it happen second year running is a complete surprise.'


Last year, Andrew and Robert, 46 allowed all five lambs to stay with their mother, a cross Lleyn breed, for two days before the brothers gave two of them to other ewes, to give the lambs a better chance of growing up stronger.


Simple: The birth was surprisingly straightforward, according to the farmer. Pictured with the five lambs are (left to right) James, Ally and John Mackintosh

Simple: The birth was surprisingly straightforward, according to the farmer. Pictured with the five lambs are (left to right) James, Ally and John Mackintosh



Huddled together in the arms of a farmer, the five brothers and sisters ar pictured before two of them were given to another ewe to improve their chance of growing up stronger

Huddled together in the arms of a farmer, the five brothers and sisters ar pictured before two of them were given to another ewe to improve their chance of growing up stronger



'They were kept together for a couple of days but it wouldn't be fair on the ewe or the five lambs to be all kept together,' said Andrew.


'It would put too much pressure on the ewe and the lambs would not get the milk they required.


'To relieve stress on the mother, two of the five lambs were given to other ewes and it has worked great for all of them.'


The brothers, who began their lambing season on April 13, have so far seen 680 ewes give birth, with just another 40 to go.


As well as attending to expectant ewes, Andrew and Robert are also in the process of calving.


After spending several days inside the barn, all five lambs have now been put out to graze.


Bounding along in the green fields of the Highlands behind their proud mother, the lambs have all now been put out to pasture.

Bounding along in the green fields of the Highlands behind their proud mother, the lambs have all now been put out to pasture.












1.4m 'trapped' on zero-hours contracts with no promise of work



  • Women, pensioners and students most likely to be on the contracts

  • One in eight bosses now use zero-hour deals - despite the economic upturn

  • Growing demands for David Cameron to crack down on the 'epidemic'


By Tom Mctague, Mail Online Deputy Political Editor




More than a million British workers are employed on controversial 'zero hours contracts', official figures revealed this morning.


The Office for National Statistics said in total there were 1.4million people on 'non-guaranteed hours' deals.


Most of these were 'zero hours' - but there are other schemes which employers can take advantage of to hire workers without guaranteeing them any work, the ONS said.


The rise of zero-hours contacts has been used by Labour as evidence that the economic recovery is not benefiting everyone. Ed Miliband last week promised to crack down on the schemes if he wins the next election

The rise of zero-hours contacts has been used by Labour as evidence that the economic recovery is not benefiting everyone. Ed Miliband last week promised to crack down on the schemes if he wins the next election



Some workers could be employed by a number of different firms at the same time, officials pointed out.


Under the contracts workers have no idea how much they will earn from one week to the next.


But bosses using them can demand that workers are available at short notice, bar them from working elsewhere - and even cancel shifts without compensation.


Overall, 13 per cent of bosses now use forms of zero hours contracts.


This rises to almost half of all employers in the tourism and catering industries.


One in five firms in health and social work reported using them, according to the ONS study.


But they are still rare in factories, energy companies and farming


The ONS study, among 5,000 employers, is the biggest of its type yet published and showed the average number of hours on the contracts was just 25 a week.


Overall, big companies were much more likely to use the contacts than small firms.


Students and pensioners are now more likely than not employed to be on zero-hour contracts

Students and pensioners are now more likely than not employed to be on zero-hour contracts



Nearly half of businesses with 250 or more workers make some use of the contracts - compared to just 12 per cent of businesses with fewer than 20 employees.


A superate study, the Labour Force Survey, previously suggested there were 583,000 workers on zero hours contracts.


This survey found that people working on zero hours deals were more likely to be women, students or part-time workers.


They were also more likely to be under 25 or over 65 years old.


'These patterns may partly reflect the groups most likely to find the flexibility of "zero-hours contracts" an advantage,' the ONS said.


Today's figures come after Labour last week called for tighter controls on the contracts.


TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'Insecure work with no guarantee of regular paid hours is no longer confined to the fringes of the jobs market.


'It is worrying that so many young people are trapped on zero hours contracts, which can hold back their careers and make it harder to pay off debts like student loans.


'The fact that these contracts have become the norm in sectors like tourism, catering and food will be a major concern for the millions of people employed in these industries.'


Huge numbers of waiters, chefs and hotel workers are now on contracts with no guarantee of work

Huge numbers of waiters, chefs and hotel workers are now on contracts with no guarantee of work



Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said: 'The growing recognition of the extent of exploitation of workers on contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours is welcome and must lead to action to tackle it.


'What is not yet recognised is the extent to which people working on such contracts are blighted in terms of getting credit or entering into rental agreements.


'There has to be an end of exclusivity clauses, minimum hours should be specified in contracts and workers should have the right to claim deemed contractual hours on the basis of their average hours over any 12-week period.'


University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt, added: 'Without a guaranteed income, workers on zero hours contracts are unable to make financial or employment plans on a year-to-year, or even month-to-month, basis.


'The use of zero hours and other temporary contracts in education is far more prevalent than many people realise. These contracts deny staff full employee status and key employment rights, while students miss out on a lack of continuity and often receive reduced access to staff employed on minimal hours.'


Bosses have defended the use of zero-hours contracts by claiming many workers like the flexibility of not having guaranteed shifts every week. But many workers are desperate for more hours

Bosses have defended the use of zero-hours contracts by claiming many workers like the flexibility of not having guaranteed shifts every week. But many workers are desperate for more hours



Katie Schmuecker, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: 'Zero hours contracts are just one aspect of the UK's problem with in-work poverty.


'We have workers unable to get enough hours to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, and not being offered training and development by their employer, leaving them stuck in dead end jobs.


'Tackling in-work poverty requires the nature of jobs at the bottom of the labour market to change, alongside reform to the welfare system.'