Over 30 Union members have signed a petition calling for a motion of no-confidence in the President.The motion, which states “This House has no confident in the President, Benjamin Sullivan, Christ Church”, was posted on the Union notice-board on Thursday morning. It comes a week after Sullivan’s arrest by Thames Valley Police on suspicion of rape and attempted rape.Speaking to Cherwell, Aleksy Gaj, the proposer of the motion said, “I think he should step down due to his recent absences from the Union. I fear that his recent circumstances have left him unable to properly carry out his duties, and the fact that so many committee members have recently resigned stating a toxic atmosphere point towards a Union that has become increasingly chaotic and ungovernable under his watch.”He continued, “Regardless of the previous media stories regarding Union funds and his arrest, I believe that this issue needs to be brought into the open at the very least — even if we cannot comment on the truth of the allegations that have led to his arrest — I know that it is still highly troubling for many members that someone facing such allegations is in, for example, a position of power of [sic] women. “At the very least this should be debated in public by Union members in our tradition of free speech. Though a vote is more of a symbolic gesture, given that this cannot make Ben resign, it is still important that Union members let him know collectively how they feel about him continuing to be President.”However, Sullivan argues that, due to Rule 47(a)(i)(1) which states that “No Private Business Meeting not recommended by the Standing Committee shall be introduced at a Public Business Meeting unless notice of it has been posted on the notice-board not less than eight days before the meeting”, the debate cannot be held next Thursday, since only seven days will have passed since its posting.Sullivan commented. “With regards to the No Confidence Motion itself all I can say at this stage is that it will now be held in 5th Week as the proposers did not give the eight days’ notice required by the Rules.” Proposers of the motion have questioned Sullivan’s position. Speaking in his role as Returning Officer, Josh Atkinson, said “In the rules, any public business motion put forward by a member with 30 signatures can only be debated eight days after its posting on the notice board, since the motion was only put forward this Thursday, the eight days will have not passed so it could not be discussed at the fourth week Thursday debate as asked for in the motion.“However, Standing Committee has the ability to push forward any motion, including this one and can vote on this on Monday. If they vote as such, the no confidence motion can be debated on Thursday of fourth week”Atkinson also pointed out that at the debate the President will be unable to defend himself in front of the House. “Due to standing order B5, no member of Standing Committee is able to speak against the motion and thus, if it came to it, the President could not defend himself in a No-Con.”The Motion of No Confidence comes as Sullivan held his first Union event since his arrest, chairing the weekly Thursday debate. Speaking to the House he said, “I would like to make a very brief statement regarding the recent stories about me. Unfortunately I am not able to give any detailed comment on what is now an ongoing police investigation. As you may be aware no charges have been brought against me and I have the utmost faith in the police and Crown prosecution service and the British legal system as a whole. I know that sooner or later the truth will prevail and justice will be served.”He continued, “I would like to thank Mayank, President-Elect for organising the debate in my absence and I hope events will not overshadow what I am sure will be an excellent debate that your committee have worked so hard to organise.”The Thursday debate continued as usual.
State Agrees To Pay Family $25M To Settle DCS CaseIndiana will pay $25 million to conclude a northern Indiana family’s decade-long legal fight to clear their names after the Department of Child Services falsely prosecuted them for their daughter’s death.Roman and Lynnette Finnegan and their three children – Johnathon Abair, Tabitha Abair, and Katelynn Salyer – will share in the settlement confirmed Wednesday by their Indianapolis attorney, Ron Waicukauski of Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC.“It’s fair to say we’re very pleased this is finally resolved after so many years,” Waicukauski said. “The family has received a significant measure of justice,” he said, from “parties who were responsible for causing enormous suffering.”A federal jury in 2015 awarded the Finnegans $31.3 million against Pulaski County DCS agents and an Indiana State Police detective. The verdict included $12 million for conduct by state actors that jurors found shocked the conscience. Last year, the state appealed the verdictto the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was dismissed Wednesday after parties filed a joint motion noting settlement had been reached. The Chicago appeals court earlier this year ordered mediation in the long-running matter.A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Child Services did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.The Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which represented DCS in the litigation, released a copy of the settlement agreement Thursday afternoon.Among the settlement terms, Chief Counsel of Appeals Stephen Creason said in a statement, “The parties agree and understand that in reaching this agreement, the state defendants have denied and continue to deny any fault, wrongdoing or liability on their respective parts with respect to all of the claims made against them and as part of this lawsuit. This settlement has been reached solely to avoid the uncertainties of litigation and the expenses, which have been and will be incurred in the prosecution and/or defense of this matter.”According to the settlement, the $25 million will be paid from the Indiana Tort Claims Fund.The jury’s verdict came after a 15-day trial before District Judge Rudy Lozano in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Lozano later affirmed the jury verdict after the state petitioned that it be reduced, ruling there was no reason to conclude it was excessive or unreasonable. The state subsequently appealed.The Finnegans’ daughter, Jessica, died in the family’s Francesville home in 2005, and DCS investigators suspected abuse. But even after an investigation showed the girl died due to prescribed medication that caused a fatal drug interaction with another medication she took to treat a lifelong heart condition, DCS continued to pursue false neglect substantiations against the parents.A Pulaski County judge found investigators had falsified official records to justify the false substantiations that he ruled were arbitrary and capricious. DCS’ intervention also resulted in the removal of the Finnegans’ other children, who were placed in foster care.The jury awarded compensatory damages on 22 violations of First, Fourth and 14th Amendment violations involving the Finnegans and their children. In nearly each of those, the jury found former Pulaski County DCS director Laurel Myers most liable.Jurors awarded lesser damages against Regina McAninch, a former DCS investigator and caseworker; Reba James, a regional DCS director under former director James Payne; and Jennifer McDonald, an Indiana State Police detective.Waicukauski said the $25 million settlement includes legal fees but declined to say how much of the sum will be paid to attorneys who’ve handled the matter. In 2016, four lawyers petitioned the Northern District for fees of $2.8 million. Lozano stayed the petition until the case was resolved on appeal.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Charles M. Lieber, the Joshua and Beth Friedman University Professor at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.Lieber, who is also the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has pioneered the rational synthesis of a broad range of nanoscale, wire-like materials and their applications in areas in ranging from electronics and computing to biology and medicine. In particular, he has led the field of nano-bioelectronics, creating nanowire electronic devices with powerful capabilities for ultra-sensitive, real-time detection of cancer markers and viruses, as well as the first nanoscale transistor tools capable of monitoring and modulating the behavior of individual cardiac and neuron cells. He developed a method of fabricating tissue-like mesh electronic scaffolds that can be injected via syringe to live animals. The mesh electronics, which seamlessly integrate in the brain, have been used to monitor neural activity, stimulate tissues, and even promote regeneration of neurons.His research has created opportunities for fundamental neuroscience and could lead to powerful therapeutic tools capable of treating neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as ameliorating declines in cognitive capabilities that come with natural aging.Lieber is the principal inventor on more than 40 patents and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society and American Chemical Society (Inaugural Class). He is Co-Editor of Nano Letters, and serves on the Editorial and Advisory Boards of a large number of science and technology journals. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College and his doctorate in chemistry from Stanford University. Read Full Story