New York mayor proposes requiring paid leave, a first for US

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, US, January 8, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 January 2019
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New York mayor proposes requiring paid leave, a first for US

  • The city council is expected to pass the proposal, with several representatives indicating their support on Wednesday

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday unveiled a proposal to require companies to give employees 10 days of paid time off, in what would be a first for the United States.
Currently, no US city or state, or the federal government, requires firms to offer paid leave — making the US unique among developed countries. Only publicly traded companies are obligated to do so in certain cases.
But De Blasio will present a draft decree for consideration to the city council that would apply to all companies in the city with at least five employees.
In New York, more than 500,000 workers lack paid leave benefits, he said in a statement, including 200,000 who work in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
“It’s 2019,” the mayor said. “It’s time to treat people decently. It’s time to value people. Not just see them as cogs in a machine but people who deserve to live life fully.”
The city council is expected to pass the proposal, with several representatives indicating their support on Wednesday.
De Blasio has picked up the pace on progressive policy proposals in recent months, which some see as a sign of presidential ambitions.
On Tuesday, he rolled out a new health system that would guarantee access to care for all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants.

 


Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

Updated 21 March 2019
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Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

  • The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape
  • The fish can weigh up to 2.5 tons (2,200 kilograms)

SYDNEY: A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to “sink yachts” has washed up on an Australian beach.
The 1.8 meter (six feet) specimen — believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish — came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend.
The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape featuring a flattened body and fins.
The fish can weigh up to 2.5 tons (2,200 kilogrammes), according to National Geographic.
A photo circulating on social media showed two people on a beach standing over the giant specimen, which had died.
“The amount of news and media from all over the world wanting to report it has been on another level,” Linette Grzelak, who posted the image to Facebook, told AFP.
“Never expected this.”
South Australian Museum fish collection manager Ralph Foster said the fish was actually at the smaller end of the scale for the species.
It earned its name for basking in the sun near the ocean’s surface, but is also known to dive several hundred meters (feet) into the depths, he said.
“I’ve actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is actually the rarest one in South Australian waters,” Foster told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“They can get a lot bigger... it’s probably an average-sized one, they can get nearly twice as big as that,” he added.
Mola Mola have also been known to damage vessels, Foster added.
“We get a lot of them hit by boats and some of them are so large they actually sink yachts,” he said.
“We know very little about them, it’s only in the last few years that technology has allowed us to start learning about them.
“They are amazing things, they really are.”