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Google bows to worker pressure on sexual misconduct policy

Google bows to worker pressure on sexual misconduct policy

Technology
Google is promising to be more forceful and open about its handling of sexual misconduct cases, a week after thousands of high-paid engineers and others walked out in protest over its male-dominated culture. Google bowed to one of the protesters' main demands by dropping mandatory arbitration of all sexual misconduct cases. That will now be optional, so workers can choose to sue in court and present their case in front of a jury. It mirrors a change made by ride-hailing service Uber after complaints from its female employees prompted an internal investigation. The probe concluded that its rank had been poisoned by rampant sexual harassment. "Google's leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you've shared," CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to Google empl...
Google rewrites sexual harassment policy after protests

Google rewrites sexual harassment policy after protests

Technology
Google is rewriting its policies on workplace sexual harassment following a staff walkout over its perceived failings to tackle abuses. Last week, Google employees at offices around the world staged a walkout over the treatment of women at the company after sexual misconduct claims were made against several senior figures.In a letter sent to all employees, the company's chief executive Sundar Pichai said Google was updating its rules, including introducing a drinking limit for staff."Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse," Mr Pichai wrote."But one of the most common factors among the harassment complaints made today at Google is that the perpetrator had been drinking." Image: Google is rewriting its sexual...
Appeals court rules against Trump on DACA immigrant policy

Appeals court rules against Trump on DACA immigrant policy

World
A U.S. appeals court blocked President Donald Trump on Thursday from immediately ending an Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation, saying the administration's decision to phase it out was arbitrary because it was based on a flawed legal theory. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously kept a preliminary injunction in place against Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Lawsuits by California and others challenging the administration's decision will continue in federal court while the injunction stands. The U.S. Supreme Court could eventually decide the fate of DACA, which has protected some 700,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visa...
'Test tube trees': An insurance policy against extinction?

'Test tube trees': An insurance policy against extinction?

Science
A tiny oak tree emerges from a test tube in the laboratory. The seedling of the mighty oak has had an unusual start in life. Raised using techniques pioneered in fertility labs, it is the product of new efforts to preserve the seeds of wild plants.The world is losing plants at an unprecedented rate, with about one in five thought to be at risk of extinction. "It's an insurance policy against extinction in the wild," says Dr John Dickie of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst in West Sussex. "In situ conservation, in a reserve, is always the best, because then evolution can happen all the time. This is a very cost-effective back-up in case that system fails." As a ba...
'Contraception deserts' likely to widen under new Trump administration policy

'Contraception deserts' likely to widen under new Trump administration policy

Health
This story is from Kaiser Health News When Nikia Jackson needed to be screened for a sexually transmitted disease, she wanted a clinic that was reputable, quick and inexpensive. After searching online, Jackson, 23, ended up at the Obria Medical Clinics’ sparkling new facility in an office park in suburban Atlanta. She was unaware that the clinic does not offer condoms or other kinds of birth control beyond so-called natural family planning methods. Religious conservatives say these types of clinics are the future of women’s sexual health care in the United States. “A woman needs choice but you can’t have a choice if the only clinic that a woman can go to is Planned Parenthood,” said Kathleen Bravo, chief executive of the Obria Group and a devout Catholic. Yo...