NEW DELHI (AP) — A sea of tens of thousands of farmers riding tractors and horses stormed India’s historic Red Fort this week — a dramatic escalation of their protests, which are posing a major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. At the heart of these protests are Indian farmers’ fears that the government’s moves to introduce market reforms to the farming sector will leave them poorer — at a time when they are already frustrated over their declining clout as the government aims to turn India into a hub for global corporations. The Modi government says the legislation will benefit farmers by boosting production through private investment.
BEIJING (AP) — A ruckus brought by China over Canadian T-shirts bearing an altered logo of the New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan is continuing, with China’s Foreign Ministry saying it doesn’t buy Canada’s explanation that the shirts were not an insult linked to the coronavirus. Canada’s Foreign Ministry said this week that the shirts using the “W” logo of the Wu-Tang Clan but with the group’s name replaced with “Wuhan” was not intended as a slight. It apologized for any misunderstanding. Chinese critics say the “W” is actually a bat and the shirt is meant to imply a connection between the animals and the Wuhan outbreak. China said Wednesday that Canada’s explanation was ”not convincing.”
Senija Begic entered her position on the cleaning staff of Sorin College when she emigrated from Bosnia to America 11 years ago. Begic said she has developed strong relationships with residents of the dorm during her time on the job. “I like my boys. They help me a lot and every day come to my break room and ask me questions,” she said. “When I clean, these guys keep it clean too. I am proud of them.” At Notre Dame, there seems to be a special relationship between staff and students, with custodial doors often featuring thank you notes, banners and stickers. In Sorin, the bond has led to Senija Appreciation Day, freshman Bobby Hess said. “She has to deal with a lot of us, so last semester we signed up for half-hour periods and did jobs to help out,” he said. “We know how much work she puts in to keep this place clean.” Working as cleaning staff for five dorms on campus, Shania Carter has established her own bonds with students. “I do believe that there is a relationship between staff and students in the dorms,” she said. “I’ve had wonderful experiences with the girls. You really get to know about them, their parents, boyfriends and issues with classes.” Working between dorms has allowed Carter to observe what factors contribute to these relationships. “From my experience, it depends on what dorm you work in and a lot on the rector and the relationship that they have with the students,” Carter said. “I’ve seen that the rectors active with their students rub off on them and the staff.” Carter said being outgoing is key to forming relationships with residents. “Sometimes you guys are busy, back and forth to class, and if you just make the effort to say good morning that breaks the ice,” she said. Senior Sorin resident Dennis Malloy said the cleaning staff deals with difficult issues because of the college environment. Despite this, he said the staff continues to be friendly and open to conversation. “I love Senija because she’s always here for us. For four years, I’ve never heard her once complain and she’s always very happy to see us — even weekend mornings, even days she had to come through the snow to get here,” Malloy said. “And she’s doing it every day.” Begic said during the seven years she has worked in Sorin, the men have come to respect her like a mother. “I teach them a lot and they teach me a lot,” she said. Lacing her fingers together above her heart, she continued, “Here, my heart is so big. I feel at home.” Begic said she often hears from men who have graduated. Similarly, Carter said she receives cards from some of the women she knew as students. “After graduation, they write to let me know how they’re doing. It really means a lot to me,” Carter said. “Working in a place where you know these people makes a huge difference.”
Email is a useful tool for communication, but as some members of the campus community recently learned, it carries the risk of phishing scams. A sophisticated phishing scam compromised the sensitive information of a number of Notre Dame students, faculty and staff March 7, Jason Williams, an information security professional in the Office of Information Technology (OIT), said. The scam was the latest in a series of phishing incidents this year, all of which were distributed via email, he said. Williams said OIT receives phishing scam emails daily, but most are screened by campus mail servers and never reach their intended targets. However, a few especially sophisticated phishes get through the filters each year, Williams said. “Several times a year, more sophisticated phishing emails get past the email server filters and must be blocked manually,” Williams said. The March 7 phishing scam eluded detection by appearing to be from the Notre Dame email administrators, Williams said. “The scammer used stolen Notre Dame credentials to send a mass email, which is why it was delivered to campus and not caught by the mail filters,” he said. Williams said an increasing number of students, faculty and staff have been victims of recent phishing scams due to the scams’ sophistication and effectiveness. “Phishing is a very effective scam,” Williams said. “We’ve seen a rise in the number of incidents because the scam is working. We have seen a significant number of compromised NetIDs in the last twelve months.” Williams said the fraudulent emails are hard to trace because they are often from public IP addresses or addresses from outside the United States. He said the emails also appear to be legitimate since they are usually branded with Notre Dame logos. The emails direct the recipient to a fake website where they are asked to provide a log-in name and password or other personal information, Williams said. Williams said there are a few ways to avoid falling victim to phishing scams. “The easiest way to avoid getting phished or directed to a malicious page is to not click on links in emails. Even if the email appears to be from a legitimate source, it’s best to open a web browser and type in the URL rather than click on the link,” Williams said. “If you do visit a website, confirm that the URL corresponds to the website that you think you are visiting.” Emails from legitimate sources within Notre Dame will never ask for sensitive personal information and any email that asks for such information should send up a red flag, Williams said. “Notre Dame administrators or any other legitimate organization will never ask you for your password or other account information because these organizations already have that information,” Williams said. Williams said the best policy to avoid compromising personal information is to use caution online. “Any time someone asks for your credentials or personal information, it’s a good time to pause and consider if the request is legitimate,” Williams said. “This rule applies not only to your online interactions but to offline interactions, too. Your personal information is a valuable asset. Treat it as such.”
At Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting, the group once more addressed the ongoing student government response to sexual assaults on campus. During the Oct. 9 meeting, Siegfried senator Rohan Andresen proposed the dorm in which the alleged assault occurred have a meeting to talk about how it will move forward in response to sexual assault reports. At the end of that meeting, student body vice-president Nancy Joyce asked the senators to discuss the proposal with their respective dorms during hall council this week. Wednesday’s Senate discussion focused largely on feedback from the dialogues within the residence halls. “The O’Neill guys said that they felt if there were no girls present during the conversation, then the same thing would just be said over and over again … One thing we may need is some help facilitating this conversation,” O’Neill senator Kyle McCaffery said. “Maybe someone from the GRC [Gender Relations Center] could help with that.” Senior class president Carolina Wilson agreed. “I think they should have some sort of questions in case things go awry, or the conversation stops,” she said. Several senators expressed the concern that students, especially incoming freshmen, didn’t have an understanding of what rape means. “A view held by most guys, especially freshmen, is that rape is what you see on Law and Order. … Non-consensual sex induced by alcohol is not always seen by them as malicious rape,” Andresen said. McCaffery, as well as Lewis Hall senator Dotty Schleuter, said they doubted whether making a mandatory meeting for each hall was feasible. “The Lewis girls said that, to be successful, they thought the conversation should be had in section-sized groups,” Schleuter said. “Our hall president asked if mandatory meetings were even something that the student government could mandate.” According to Andresen, Siegfried Hall rector Fr. John Conley said rectors would be all for making the discussion mandatory and, in his opinion, “wouldn’t be hesitant to follow through with this.” “The discussion we had was that they would be mandatory,” Andresen said. “If it were to be optional, then the people who would go would not be the people most inclined to be involved in such an incident.” Although, he added, “enforcing this would be difficult.” The discussion was then tabled for further discussion after fall break. The Senate also welcomed a new senator from Lyons Hall, Mary Susan. Student body president Alex Coccia and vice-president Nancy Joyce will present the student government report to the University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday. Contact Margaret Hynds at email@example.com
This week, Notre Dame’s club for the American Cancer Society will host Purple Week, a series of events to raise funds and awareness for the March 28 Relay for Life at the Compton Family Ice Arena.The Relay for Life is an event designed to honor cancer victims and survivors and to raise funds for research projects in the pursuit of a cure for cancer, according to the event’s website.Student organizer Jack Szigety said one goal for Purple Week, named after the signature color of the American Cancer Society, is to increase the number of student teams signed up for the race.“Purple Week is like our pump up for Relay for Life,” Szigety said. “Right now we have 23 teams. … We’re trying to have a captain at each dorm, but we only have 11 registered so far, so we’re going to work on that this week.”Events for Purple Week will run from Monday through Friday, Szigety said. A campus-wide “purple-out” decorating contest was scheduled for Monday, when The Observer spoke with Szigety early Monday afternoon he said he thought it was probably going to be cancelled due to the University closure.If the University reopens as scheduled tonight at 6:00 p.m., however, student organizers for the Relay will be recognized at the Coaches vs. Cancer men’s basketball game at 9:00 p.m. against Virginia, Szigety said. Irish coach Mike Brey will also be honored for his involvement in cancer fundraising research, he said.“This is something that happens across the NCAA every year,” Szigety said. “We’re also hoping to sell the t-shirts during the game, but we haven’t gotten the okay on that yet.T-shirts for the Notre Dame Relay for Life are $10 and will be on sale, in addition to various baked goods, in LaFortune on Friday from noon until 3 p.m.Szigety said the dining halls also will make “as much purple [food] as possible” on Thursday night. This will be the third year in a row that the dining halls participate in fundraising for the Relay for Life, South Dining Hall manager Mike Poklikowski said“It will be similar to what we did last year,” Poklikowski said. “We’ll have cake and cookies with purple icing and rumbleberry crisp.”In addition, Rolfs Sports Recreation Centerwill host a blood drive from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m Wednesday. Purple hair extensions will also be on sale from 12 until 4 p.m. in the Coleman-Morse Center. All proceeds from the events of Purple Week will be directed to the American Cancer Society, the website said.Tags: American Cancer Society, fundraising, Relay for Life
Shades of Ebony, an organization of female African-American students at Notre Dame, sought to empower local South Bend high-school students with their BeaUtiful event in the Coleman-Morse student longue on Thursday. Shades of Ebony vice-president Deandra Cadet said the BeaUtiful event brought together Shades of Ebony members, guest speakers and around 50 female African-American students from Washington High School for an evening of group discussion and presentations centering on individuality and self-esteem.“This year the theme is “Believe in Your Beautiful.” We will focus on believing in the beauty of yourself, of others and your future,” Cadet said. “Our goal is to mentor and support the girls and provide them with tips and advice for self-esteem, image and the future through the words of exceptional speakers and discussion.”Cadet said planning for the annual high school outreach event involved community engagement on and off campus.“We reached out to the guidance counselors from various South Bend schools and visited to send permission slips, flyers and waivers,” Cadet said. “As far as funding, many dorms have generously donated to support the success of this event.” Sophomore Lena Madison, the club’s treasurer, said this year’s event focuses on promoting individuality.“It’s important because it’s empowering women to be who they are,” Madison said. “The goal is to make sure that these young women know that they can decide who they want to be, as opposed to having society decide who who they ought to be.” Freshman Arielle Flowers, a committee member of Shades of Ebony, said the event’s focus on individuality is much needed.“The problem is that society propagates stereotypes about being an African-American, and a woman on top of that,” Flowers said. “But this event is about being what you are, saying what you feel and fitting in the skin that you’re in.” According to Madison, the role of beauty and image formed another focus of the event.“Right now in society, it’s easy to think that you need to be perfect in every way. So when we look at body image, we’re trying to say that you’re in the skin that you’re in and the things that matter are what people don’t see at first glance,” Madison said. “Appearance is nothing compared to what someone can be inside and as a person.”Guest speakers and Notre Dame graduates Arienne Thompson (class of 2004) and Jocelyn Allen (Class of 1991) helped impart the group’s central message of individuality and self-esteem. Thompson, who helped found Shades of Ebony in 2004, and Allen spoke on the themes of believing in self, others and destiny. In addition to the BeaUtiful event, Cadet said Shades of Ebony hosts other events targeting community engagement, inclusion and sisterhood.“Our biggest event, started last year, is Women’s Week and is co-hosted by the Gender Relations Center,” Cadet said. “It is a weeklong event in celebration of Notre Dame women focused around spirituality, service, discussion and community,”.The club also meets routinely every other Wednesday in the Walsh Hall basement to discuss issues such as those focused on high school students.Tags: Shades of Ebony
Political Science 30101: Election 2016 requires readings on some of the constants in American politics, like the history of the elections and the Electoral College. The months ahead — the presidential debates, statements by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the election itself — will determine the rest. “We have lots of holes in the syllabus where it’s to-be-determined what we’ll be reading and doing,” political science department chair David Campbell said, who is teaching the course with professor Geoffrey Layman. “We left it open. Students just have to stay tuned, and as we come across things people have written about events that unfold, we’ll assign them and talk about them.” The 2016 race for the presidency is “truly is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Campbell said. Trump, who has no political experience and does not conform with GOP orthodoxy, and Clinton, who in Bernie Sanders faced a challenger farther to the left than anyone expected, are challenging conventional wisdom both in national discourse and in academia. Campbell said one theory that has “not survived very well” is the idea of invisible primaries, when candidates win nominations by winning the support of their party establishment. Trump, he said, secured the nomination despite strong Republican opposition, prompting scholars of American politics to reevaluate what they know. “You could say that theory worked perfectly on the Democratic side; the establishment was behind Hillary,” Campbell said. “We know that they were working behind the scenes from the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz stuff, the emails — we know she definitely had the party officials on her side. It in no way shape or form describes the Republican race. There’s a case where a real-world outcome has shed light on this debate.” The Election 2016 course is about these kinds of debates, asking which factors led to the current political landscape and discussing what might happen next — not about partisan arguments, Campbell said. “The nature of the class is not to debate the merit of the candidates,” he said. “It’s to understand what’s happening in the election. The partisanship of the professors and the students is frankly not relevant in the class.” Junior Jack Kill, a political science major who is taking the Election 2016 course, said the race comes up in discussions in several of his classes. “You can’t help but think about different strands of liberal thought and conservative thought and go, ‘How do these candidates match up with that and how do they not match up with that?’” he said. Not only political science courses examine the election. Susan Ohmer, associate professor of film and television, has taught “Media and Presidential Elections” every four years since 2000, analyzing television coverage of election events and how the press portrays candidates. “They construct our image of the candidates and of ourselves as voters so that’s very important to be attentive to,” Ohmer said. A large component of Ohmer’s classes is historical context. One of her specialties is United States cinema in the 1930s and ’40s, including films about fictional and real-life presidents, and she said her studies in that area got her interested in comparing past and present elections. She does not believe the 2016 presidential race is unprecedented — Andrew Jackson’s campaigns in the 1820s, for example, illustrate a successful political “outsider.” “There’s a precedent for almost anything,” she said. Ohmer said her students, mostly film, television and theatre majors, bring a sophisticated understanding of how media works and an increasing understanding of the importance of social media in elections. “Our students are very hyper-aware of media as a construction, as a series of choices, as an artistic environment that sets up certain situations, certain dramas, certain narratives, so they’re very shrewd in assessing how media functions, and that’s increased over time,” she said.Tags: Donald Trump, election 2016, film television and theater, hillary clinton, political science
Gina Twardosz Saint Mary’s students from varying faith backgrounds come together for a crafting session hosted by Saint Mary’s Better Together club. Saint Mary’s Better Together club hosted on Monday night “Craft Your Spiritual Journey,” an event designed to engage the campus community in interfaith dialogue through the accessibility of crafting and conversing with friends. Senior and Better Together club president Sophia McDevitt said the goal of the event was to open up interfaith dialogue to every student on campus, regardless of religious background. “Everyone has a spiritual journey regardless of religious affiliation and this gives them the chance to talk about that in whatever language they see fit to express it,” McDevitt said. “It’s also a way for those of us who come from different religious traditions to see the different markers that may identify another tradition. And this event makes that interfaith dialogue more accessible because we all speak in layman’s terms and not in theological language.”Providing inclusive spaces for interfaith dialogue is the duty of a Catholic institution, McDevitt said.“We are a Catholic college and that means we are founded in protecting the religious rights of other people,” she said. “At one time, Catholics were oppressed in this country and we were kept from practicing. That’s why Catholic schools were founded: so we had a safe place to practice. Now it’s our job to make sure everyone has that safe place.” Yet, Better Together club seeks to surpass that obligation, McDevitt said, and not only foster a space for interreligious dialogue, but a place where students of every denomination can feel safe and understood.“Specifically at a religious college, everyone should feel that their religious needs will be met and that they can find a religious community while there,” McDevitt said. “Our world is becoming more and more globalized and we’re constantly being connected with people who are different from us, so it’s crucial that we actually understand each other and build a relationship across that difference while breaking down some of these barriers that lead to hate.” Better Together club historian, sophomore Caitlin Wirtz, said she feels students should not feel ashamed to ask others about their religion; in fact, Wirtz encourages it.“I think it’s important for everyone to know that their religion or spirituality is valid,” she said. “It doesn’t really matter if you don’t know much about other religions because it’s important to ask questions and that’s why we want people to have an open dialogue space so that everyone can feel safe to ask those questions. No one here is really an expert and I think people should be able to speak on their own experiences.” McDevitt agreed and said that the purpose of the club is to encourage others to learn from those who lead different faith lives than themselves.“The whole point is to build a community where we can address where we went wrong together and make it better,” she said. “We should learn from our mistakes and not just exist in that ignorance. We may be ignorant now but the purpose of this group is to educate everyone.” Senior Iman Omar, Better Together club treasurer, said the informal nature of the club and its events is what makes the club so accessible. (Editor’s Note: Iman Omar is a former writer for The Observer).“It’s something different than having a formal panel discussion and it’s a better way to have people connect with one another in a way where there’s no pressure,” Omar said. “The best types of conversations are the ones that come up organically and I feel like I learn a lot just by talking to people who are different from me.”Crafting is another way in which students can engage with each other about their spiritual journeys in a comfortable, low-stress way, Better Together club secretary junior Jackie Rojas said. The crafts are to be inspired by one’s spiritual journey, she said. “Arts and crafts is very fun, engaging and visual way for everyone to share their own spiritual journey with one another, because we each have our own unique experiences,” Rojas said. “Once we’re done creating these crafts, we’ll have the opportunity to share them with each other.” McDevitt said this year, Better Together is focusing on involving more underclassmen students so that the club can thrive next year once the senior board members have graduated. Additionally, McDevitt said she hopes the club’s value of interfaith inclusivity persists in the years to come, even after all the original founders of the club have left Saint Mary’s. “The goal of this club is to make [interfaith dialogue] widespread and make this a safe space for students on Saint Mary’s campus and for students in general,” she said. “This club gives us the opportunity to provide resources and community events to spiritually underrepresented students and help them find what they need in this community and not just be left behind because they’re one in a few.”Freshman Sabina Jaromin said she attended the event because she was inspired by the club’s name to put herself out there and meet new students of different faiths. “When I hear ‘better together’ it speaks to me of community, and how we can all strengthen community and get to know everyone just by being together,” Jaromin said. Tags: better together, Catholicism, Community, interfaith, religion, religious dialogue
Faculty, staff, cadets and midshipmen of Notre Dame’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) held the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Clarke Memorial Fountain on Wednesday. Members of the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC participated in the ceremony to honor veterans. Andrew Brannon, a first-year master’s student and second lieutenant in the Air Force, said the Veterans Day Ceremony is a big part of what they do in ROTC. “It’s thanking the veterans, making sure we’re aware of the sacrifices they’ve [made] and showing our appropriate respectfulness towards that,” Brannon said. For 24 hours prior to the ceremony, ROTC members held a vigil, taking shifts standing guard at Clarke Memorial Fountain to pay respects to veterans. The fountain was guarded despite the rain Tuesday night. “It’s similar to the theme that we have of being respectful, being professional [and] making sure that we have the proper respect for the veterans during the vigil, regardless of weather and conditions,” said sophomore Pat Campbell, a cadet third class. The ceremony began with remarks on the history of Veterans Day, the national anthem and a prayer. Joe Donnelly, former U.S. Senator of Indiana, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Donnelly earned both his B.A. and J.D. from Notre Dame. He is now a professor at the University in the department of political science.Donnelly’s speech emphasized the heroism of our servicemen and women and of Notre Dame veterans’ contributions to the armed forces. He described the importance of the words, “God, Country, Notre Dame,” which is inscribed on the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. “It’s so much more than a slogan,” Donnelly said. “It is the code by which we try to live our lives.”Donnelly spoke of Fr. William Corby, a former president of Notre Dame, who served as a Union Army chaplain in the Civil War. Corby was attached to the Irish Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg. Donnelly then addressed current Notre Dame ROTC members, affirming the importance of the lessons they learn at Notre Dame in regards to their future deployments with the military. “We believe in service [at Notre Dame], … and all of you who are in ROTC epitomize that completely,” Donnelly said. Notre Dame ROTC gifted Donnelly with a plaque in appreciation of his speech. “I thought [Donnelly’s speech] was really important,” Brannon said. “Especially at a time when our country is so divided. … It was a speech about unity and what brings us together and celebrating the sacrifices that everyone’s made so that we can get to where we are today.”Freshman Annmarie Hackworthy, a cadet fourth class, believes guarding the fountain is a good time for ROTC members to reflect on what veterans have sacrificed for our country and to remember they are falling in that line of duty. “It’s really cool to be able to honor the veterans by doing this,” Hackworthy said. “It’s a little thing that we can do for them when they gave it all.”Tags: Clarke Memorial Fountain, ROTC, Senator Joe Donnelly, Veterans Day Megan Fahrney | The Observer Members of the Notre Dame ROTC gathered in front of the Clarke Memorial Fountain to commemorate Veterans Day Wednesday evening.