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Saturday, Dec 03rd

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Closed labs, cancelled classes: inside the largest strike to hit US higher education

Closed labs, cancelled classes inside strikeThree weeks of strikes by university academics have brought campuses across California to standstill. Labs are closed, assignments go ungraded. Graduate students have walked off the job, professors have cancelled class and even construction staff have put down their tools in solidarity.

The strike is groundbreaking – the largest in the history of US higher education and part of a wave of organizing at college campuses across the country. It has brought together 48,000 graduate workers, academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars within the nine-campus University of California system who say the low wages they are paid make it impossible to live in the cities where they work. The most common salary for graduate workers is $23,247, according to the academic workers unions.

Even in a year of high-profile labor organizing from Starbucks to Amazon, the moment is being hailed as a milestone. It’s already scored a victory – a tentative agreement reached with some workers will bring significant wage increases – and could go on for weeks longer.

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Baseball great Gaylord Perry, a two-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84

Gaylord Perry dies at 84Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball and telling stories about the pitch, died Thursday. He was 84.

Perry died at his home in Gaffney at about 5 a.m. Thursday, Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said. He did not provide additional details. A statement from the Perry family said he "passed away peacefully at his home after a short illness."

The native of Williamston, North Carolina, made history as the first player to win the Cy Young in both leagues, with Cleveland in 1972 after a 24-16 season and with San Diego in 1978 — going 21-6 for his fifth and final 20-win season just after turning 40.

"Before I won my second Cy Young, I thought I was too old — I didn't think the writers would vote for me," Perry said in an article on the National Baseball Hall of Fame website. "But they voted on my performance, so I won it."

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A cartel allegedly responsible for a third of Europe's cocaine has been busted

Cartel respomsible for a third of Europe's cocane bustedLaw enforcement authorities in six different countries have joined forces to take down a "super cartel" of drugs traffickers controlling about one third of the cocaine trade in Europe, the European Union crime agency said on Monday.

Europol said 49 suspects have been arrested during the investigation, with the latest series of raids across Europe and the United Arab Emirates taking place between Nov. 8-19.

The agency said police forces involved in "Operation Desert Light" targeted both the "command-and-control center and the logistical drugs trafficking infrastructure in Europe."

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San Francisco considers allowing law enforcement robots to use lethal force

San Francisco considers allowing robots to use violence

Should robots working alongside law enforcement be used to deploy deadly force?

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is weighing that question this week as they consider a policy proposal that would allow the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to use robots as a deadly force against a suspect.

A new California law became effective this year that requires every municipality in the state to list and define the authorized uses of all military-grade equipment in their local law enforcement agencies.

The original draft of SFPD's policy was silent on the matter of robots.

Aaron Peskin, a member of the city's Board of Supervisors, added a line to SFPD's original draft policy that stated, "Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person."

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Texas woman found by family 51 years after being kidnapped as baby

Texas woman found by family after 50 years

More than 50 years after her babysitter kidnapped her as a baby in Texas, a US woman has reunited with her family, who tracked their missing loved one down with a DNA test and without help from law enforcement or other outside involvement.

The incredible saga centering on the disappearance of Melissa Highsmith concluded in South Carolina on Saturday, according to a report from the Charleston television news station WCIV as well as a news release from her family.

Highsmith was a year old in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1971 when her mother, Alta Apantenco, published a newspaper advertisement asking for a babysitter. Raising Melissa on her own and needing someone to care for her daughter while she worked her job, Apatenco hired a woman who expressed interest in the job without ever meeting her in person.

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US judge orders Amazon to ‘cease and desist’ anti-union retaliation

US Judge orders Amazon to cease and desist uinion retalilation

Amazon will be forced to read out a public notice this week to all employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, where workers won the first Amazon union election, stating it will “cease and desist” from retaliating against people involved in union organizing.

US district judge Diane Gujarati ruled on 18 November that Amazon cease and desist from retaliating against workers for organizing in the workplace, in response to Amazon employee Gerald Bryson’s termination in April 2020. She included in her ruling that Amazon read out publicly her 30-page decision to employees, which is set to be conducted on Thursday 1 December.

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Rescue effort underway to get pilot, passenger out of plane tangled in power lines in Maryland

Plan entangled in power tower

Crews were planning and working late into the night on Sunday to rescue the occupants of a small airplane entangled in high voltage power lines north of Montgomery Village in Montgomery County, Md.

The conditions of the occupants of the plane were unclear. County fire chief Scott Goldstein refused to specify the conditions, but said authorities were in cell phone contact with them.

Electricity was cut off to almost 90,000 homes and businesses throughout the county after the plane crashed into a Pepco transmission line near Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road, according to utility and rescue officials.

Photographs show the plane seemingly suspended or entangled in or near cabling and the latticework of a tower that supports the high voltage transmission lines. It was not clear how firmly the plane was being held aloft.

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