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Summer is no time to waste
An op-ed by Ramon Gonzalez `18
. Boston has some of the best summer programs in the country, but that is still not enough to ensure that all students have access to them. At the Boston Summer Learning Summit on March 22, Rahn Dorsey, Boston’s chief of education, called for every student to have access to opportunities that let them pursue their passions over the summer. That is an urgent, important goal. But we can’t accomplish it until Boston starts learning where and why so many of its students miss out and fall behind over the summer. It’s surprising that one of the country’s premier urban school systems does not know where and why so many students lose out on summer opportunities. At the summit, Boston public schools superintendent Tommy Chang acknowledged that we “don’t have a good way to do this yet,” and said we need to be “crystal clear” about where in our city students lack access to great summer opportunities.
Debate over Airbnb and Uber reveals hypocrisy of ‘sharing’ economy
...If the current debate over how to regulate services like Uber and Airbnb reveals anything, it's hypocrisy on all sides of this issue. Industries that have profited handsomely from a market monopoly for decades are suddenly pleading for support from the people they've fleeced. Homeowners with dollar signs in their eyes are appalled at the prospect of being taxed for turning their suites into hotel rooms...Harvard Law School author and researcher Yochai Benkler
was one of the first to look at the potential for information technology to allow forms of networking that might transform the economy and society. He wrote 10 years ago in glowing terms about the revolutionary power of "loosely or tightly woven collaborations" to change fields ranging from software development to investigative reporting. But lately, Benkler has been warning against what he calls the "Uber-ification" of services; he argues that what's emerging is not "sharing" but an "on-demand" economy for everything ranging from dog walking to grocery buying. In the process, he says, regular folks are using their homes and cars to take the places of "the people formerly known as 'employees.'" And affordable rental housing becomes someone else's problem.
Mixed progress cited in challenging discrimination
Stamping out stigma and broader inequality remains a vexing challenge that requires the tools of both researchers and activists, according to panelists at Harvard University. Three experts at a panel on comparative inequality cited mixed progress in the effort to advance fairness and social inclusion, touching on discrimination against the Roma people and the disabled, and the rise of inequality in an era of support for human rights. “It’s a long battle. It’s one that will take many years, but we see progress and we’re quite excited and enthused about it,” Michael Stein
, visiting professor at Harvard Law School, said of the global effort to end discrimination against people with disabilities. But Stein, executive director of the Law School’s Project on Disability, said it is still painful to see how much work remains to be done. “The hardest part of my job is going into places where people are suffering … and who are not happy with the glacial movement of change,” he said.
The New York Times
Pfizer and Allergan Are Said to End Merger as Tax Rules Tighten
Pfizer plans to abandon its $152 billion merger with Allergan — the largest deal yet aimed at helping an American company shed its United States corporate citizenship for a lower tax bill — just days after the Obama administration introduced new tax rules, a person briefed on the matter said late Tuesday...Though Pfizer and Allergan’s deal was less affected by earnings stripping, the potential consequences of the new Treasury rules could go well beyond corporate inversions, according to tax experts. “To me, the earnings stripping part of this is quite clearly the most significant of the changes they’ve put out,” said Stephen E. Shay
, a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School and former deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs in the Treasury Department.
Sometimes a Cross Is Just a Cross (or Is It?)
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
If I tell you a California judge struck down the addition of a Christian cross to the Los Angeles County seal, that probably sounds like a good example of the separation of church and state. If I tell you that the cross was going to be added to an image of the San Gabriel mission to reflect the real-life, cross-topped church, the same decision begins to sound like judicial overreach. When it comes to religion, framing is everything -- at least under current law.
The Boston Globe
Sex allegations against Dershowitz called ‘mistake’
Two plaintiffs’ lawyers admitted Friday that they made “a mistake” when they accused famed attorney Alan Dershowitz
of having sex with their client when she was a minor. The admission came in a joint statement released by the lawyers, Paul G. Cassell and Bradley J. Edwards, and Dershowitz to settle defamation suits the two sides filed against one another in state court in Florida. “Edwards and Cassell acknowledge that it was a mistake to have filed sexual misconduct accusations against Dershowitz,” the statement said. “[A]nd the sexual misconduct accusations made in all public filings ... are hereby withdrawn. Dershowitz also withdraws his accusations that Edwards and Cassell acted unethically.”
The Boston Globe
Harvard Law students say they found recording device hidden under table
A group of Harvard Law School students who have been occupying a room on campus to host conversations about inequality and racial diversity say they discovered a recording device this week secretly attached to the bottom of a table. Activists from the group Reclaim Harvard Law School said Friday that they fear the device, which can be voice-activated, was being used to pick up sensitive conversations about sexual assault and race that was held between students who thought they were in a “safe space.”...“That space has been very personal, and people have come into that space being very candid,” said Titilayo Rasaki
, a second-year law student and one of the group’s members. “The fact that it was being illegally recorded was a violation of our movement and what we expect in the space.”...Law school officials said Friday that they have referred the matter to the Harvard University Police Department. The incident is under investigation. “Our mission as an institution of higher learning depends on protecting and promoting the free exchange of ideas in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. We deeply prize those values,” said law school spokesman Robb London
in a prepared statement. “The Law School administration is troubled by an allegation that anyone in our community would attempt to surreptitiously record anyone else’s conversation.” London said the school only learned about the allegations Friday, after the Reclaim Harvard Law School group sent out a press release.
The Harvard Crimson
Police Investigate Hidden Recorder at Law School
Harvard police are investigating allegations that an audio recording device illegally documented sensitive conversations Harvard Law School activists held in a hall they are occupying. Several students with the activist group Reclaim Harvard Law School said they found a recording device on Tuesday that was taped under a table in the Caspersen Student Center Lounge and contained recordings of their conversations and events since last Saturday. According to a press release Reclaim Harvard Law published Friday, the recorder captured discussion that included personal conversations between students, a sexual assault bystander training at which victims recounted their assaults, and Boston-area residents sharing stories of eviction from their homes. “It was just really scary,” second-year Law student and Reclaim Harvard Law member Simratpal Kaur
said. “We were really surprised that anyone who maybe disagreed with our movement would go to this length.”