Wednesday, June, 23, 2021

Time To Go Back to the Office? There’s Little Consensus

More than a year into the pandemic, a recent survey found opinions vary on when people will return to the workplace. Over next six months, 53% expect to be back, while 44% expect to be still working from home. If and when they return, workers have different views on the importance of reconnecting. About 58% value being able to work face-to-face with others “a lot,” 27% value it “some,” while 9% value it “just a little,” and 5% say they don’t value it at all. Among those who tend to be most eager to return to the office are young workers. Many felt they missed out on training and relationships that might help them advance. Still, in a separate survey, many young workers also said they favor the flexibility of being to work from home or the office. Opinion is divided over whether time spent in the office is beneficial. About 52% of those surveyed by Survey Monkey expect people who work in-person to have better career opportunities at their organization, while just 15% expect remote workers to have better career opportunities and 31% say remote and in-person workers will have equivalent career opportunities. (CoStar)


A free Peloton membership could be your newest work benefit

Paid time off, retirement benefits and a Peloton membership? That could be your newest work perk as the fitness company rolls out a corporate program that offers free app memberships that normally cost $12.99 per month. Peloton Corporate Wellness is aimed at “providing employees access to innovative mental and physical health resources” the company announced this week. The program gives participants access to the Peloton app, which features thousands of instructor-led fitness classes such as meditation, strength training and cardio. Discounts on Peloton hardware, including its popular bikes, are also included. Peloton Corporate Wellness is launching after “several years” of interest from companies looking to include it as a work benefit. (CNN)


Patch of dirt hits Toronto market for almost $1 million

A piece of land in Toronto with nothing on it but grass and dirt has hit the market for nearly $1 million. The property is being sold for $985,000. According to the listing, the piece of land is “an opportunity not to be missed.” The 50 by 95 foot lot backs onto a ravine, offering privacy to a buyer who decides to build a home there. “Ideal opportunity to land bank, build your dream home or investment property,” the listing says. Property taxes for the home will cost the buyer $3,922 annually. According to the real estate agent, the land is in a desirable location and catchment for highly ranked schools. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average selling price for a home is nearly $1.1 million. While this land is under the average selling price of a home, the buyer will obviously need to invest quite a bit more to construct their own home from scratch. (CTV News)


Google faces more scrutiny from EU

The European Union announced it has opened an antitrust investigation into Google. It’s the latest example of a wave of antitrust enforcement in Europe. The case, headed by the European Commission, will look into a range of alleged anti-competitive business practices around the company’s advertisement unit, including whether it “made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete,” said a spokesperson for the European Commission. Google recently faced a similar case in the U.S., led by the state of Texas. (CNBC)


American Airlines trims flights

After adding trips to meet rebounding travel demand, American Airlines says it’s cutting nearly 950 planned flights in early July to prevent potential strains on its operations. The airline is trying to avoid what occurred two summers ago, when bad weather and a dispute with mechanics hobbled operations. Delays and cancellations caused by storms hitting some of the biggest hubs this month, as well as staffing shortages, contributed to the decision. By trimming 1% of flights now, the airline hopes to have “more breathing room when unexpected problems arise.” (The Wall Street Journal)


Exxon cutting US office workers

Exxon Mobil is planning to cut between 5% and 10% of its U.S. workforce over the next few years. The headcount reduction, which will largely impact white collar jobs, will be tied to performance evaluations. They will “target the lowest-rated employees relative to peers,” which, the sources claim, differentiates it from a conventional layoff situation. These cutbacks are in addition to the oil giant’s announcement last year it was getting rid of 14,000 jobs worldwide by 2022. The future of the oil industry is on tenuous ground as both the push for sustainability and electric vehicles grows louder. (Bloomberg)


NCAA loses Supreme Court case

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that NCAA rules limiting educational benefits for college players as part of their scholarships violated antitrust law. In a unanimous decision, the court upheld lower court rulings which determined that the NCAA compensation rules harmed college athletes and were not reasonably necessary. The judgment comes as more states have allowed players to profit from their names, image and likeness, an issue on which the league has vowed to rework their strict rules. (Supreme Court Of The United States)



School asked boys to use rating system on girls, female students taught to keep virginity

Boys at a northern beaches Anglican school in Australia were told to choose the qualities they looked for in a girl from a list that allocated more points for virginity, looks, and strong Christian values than for generosity and adventurousness. The year 10 male students at co-ed St Luke’s Grammar School were separated from the female students for the Christian studies exercise. In another classroom, girls were given articles to read about why remaining a virgin until marriage was important. The female students were furious when they heard about the exercise given to the boys. “All the girls were disgusted and really offended,” said one student. Some boys laughingly described their task as “build a bitch”. The school’s headmaster recently sent parents a letter to apologies and addressed the year 10 students directly, acknowledging the material was inappropriate and pledged to personally oversee a review of Christian studies lessons. (The Sydney Morning Herald)


Deputy fatally shoots pet chimpanzee that attacked woman

A deputy shot and killed an adult pet chimpanzee named Buck after it attacked a woman in Eastern Oregon, sheriff’s officials said. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office said the chimpanzee, who had lived with the 68-year-old woman for 17 years in Pendleton, started attacking her daughter. The woman called 911 and said the animal had bitten her 50-year-old daughter in the torso, arms and legs and that her daughter was hiding in a basement bedroom. When deputies arrived, the ape was roaming a fenced area outside the house, he said. The sheriff’s office said the animal needed to be ‘put down’ so they could get medical aid to the daughter and that they had the woman’s permission to shoot it. The chimpanzee was shot once in the head. Both women were taken to a hospital for treatment. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement it had warned state authorities that the woman had created a ticking time bomb by engaging in direct contact with a dangerous ape. It’s not clear what caused the chimpanzee to attack. (ABC News)


Man declared dead in 2010 rail accident found alive

A 38-year-old man, declared dead in the Jnaneswari train accident in 2010, has been found alive after 11 years. The mystery was unravelled when the authorities detained the man from Jorabagan in North Kolkata recently. The man was 27 years old at the time of the accident. He was listed among the passengers who died in Jnaneswari train accident, one of the most dreadful accidents allegedly conducted by the Maoists on May 28, 2010 in West Midnapore when the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express derailed and had a head-on collision with a goods train killing 148 passengers. Based on preliminary findings, the officers said they had reason to believe that the train accident victim declared dead on May 28, 2010 and whose identity was established through DNA profiling was still alive. According to senior police officers of the state the bodies that were in a recognizable condition were handed over to the families after examining the documents but there were many bodies that were mutilated and it could not be identified. In those cases, the bodies were handed over to the family members after DNA matching. “It was apparent that the family in alleged connivance with some government officials had tampered with the DNA profiling report and proved that the DNA of one of the bodies of the victims of the train accident matched with that of their family member’s,” a senior police officer said. (Free Press Journal)


Stones that sparked ‘diamond’ rush in South Africa are just quartz

Unidentified stones that lured thousands of fortune seekers to a rural South African village were not diamonds as hoped, but quartz stones with relatively low if any value, officials said. People from across South Africa travelled to KwaHlathi in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province where villagers had been digging with picks and shovels since June 12th after a herder discovered the first stone in an open field and put out the word. The provincial executive council member for economic development and tourism said he had counted about 3,000 people there during a visit to the site, where samples were taken to identify the stones. The event had highlighted the challenges faced by local people. Like many areas in South Africa, high levels of unemployment and poverty have left communities living hand to mouth. People in the area also raised concerns about roads and water during the visit, which officials said they would address. Meanwhile, the number of people mining the land had dwindled to less than 500, though significant damage had already been done with an area of about 12 acres covered in holes of up to one meter, posing a danger to cattle. (The Guardian)


Nude Intruder Breaks Into Home and Kills Family Birds

34-year-old homeless man was taken into custody after he was seen breaking into a home in Bel-Air, California. The intruder was first seen inside the family home via security cameras. When the homeowners first realized the unknown man in their living room, he was clothed in what seemed to be a towel walking around their kitchen, dining room, and living room. When the homeowner’s wife first saw the intruder in their home via the camera, she was able to communicate with the homeless man and warned him she was going to alert the police. Since she was not home, she immediately called her husband who was home getting ready for work at the time. Security cameras inside the home captured a terrifying face-to-face encounter between the homeowner and intruder as the intruder began making his way upstairs. The husband ran up to a room and called the police. In the middle of all of this, the intruder disposed of the towel and roamed around nude. As this ordeal was taking place, the security footage also showed the intruder walking over to a birdcage and killing the family birds. Fortunately, after this, guards from a private security firm arrived and the LAPD would take the homeless man into custody. The homeowners children are both under the age of 5 and are said to be traumatized by the whole situation while nobody was hurt in this ordeal. (ABC 7)


Police chief admits to stealing drugs, weapons from evidence room

A Locust Grove, Oklahoma police chief is now facing charges after being arrested, accused of stealing various items from the police department. The 47-year-old Police Chief was arrested for stealing drugs and weapons from the Locust Grove Police Department’s evidence room. The arrest report says it began when two investigators confronted him about the possession and use of illegal drugs. He reportedly responded to the two investigators and said, “I’ve been clean a week.” The Police Chief later admitted to stealing and ingesting methamphetamine from the evidence room of the Locust Grove Police Department. After that, he was reportedly read his Miranda Rights and requested an attorney to better help him answer questions. According to the report, Williams then decided he wanted to tell investigators a “story” in which he admitted to stealing four firearms from evidence room and taken to his home to make sure someone else didn’t steal them from the evidence room. Investigators say in a later interview with Assistant Chief of Police, he was unaware that the four firearms were stolen and that there were “200 other guns” in the evidence room. Investigators later obtained a search warrant and reportedly recovered the firearms at the Police Chiefs residence. He is now out of jail on bond after taken and booked in at Rogers County Jail. (KOKI)


Wednesday Gets Drilled With:

  • Detroit-style Pizza Day
  • Eat At A Food Truck Day
  • Hydration Day
  • International Widows’ Day
  • Let It Go Day
  • Pecan Sandies Day
  • Pink Flamingo Day (Lawn Ornaments)
  • Public Service Day
  • Runner’s Selfie Day
  • SAT Math Day
  • Typing Day


Historical Events

  • 1565 – Turgut Reis (Dragut), commander of the Ottoman navy, dies during the Siege of Malta.
  • 1611 – The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again.
  • 1661 – Marriage contract between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza.
  • 1760 – Seven Years’ War: Battle of Landeshut – Austria defeats Prussia.
  • 1810 – John Jacob Astor forms the Pacific Fur Company.
  • 1887 – The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada creating the nation’s first national park, Banff National Park.
  • 1940 – World War II: German leader Adolf Hitler surveys newly defeated Paris in now occupied France.
  • 1972 – Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
  • 1973 – A fire at a house in Hull, England which kills a six year old boy is passed off as an accident; it later emerges as the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.
  • 1982 – Chinese American Vincent Chin is beaten to death in Highland Park, Michigan, by two auto workers who had mistaken him for Japanese and who were angry about the success of Japanese auto companies.