Author Salman Rushdie is perhaps best known for 1988’s The Satanic Verses, which led to death threats and forced him into hiding for many years. The incident a sparked a debate over free speech and religion that the world is having again this week. Rushdie was at the University of Vermont last night to talk about one of his children’s books, but the recent terrorist attacks in Paris also came up.
Twenty-nine people were arrested in Boston this morning after a protest that blocked rush-hour traffic on a major interstate highway.
The protesters attached themselves to barrels containing concrete and blocked traffic on Interstate 93 at two locations north and south of Boston. A spokeswoman for the protest said it was a call to improve race relations in light of the deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers in Missouri and New York. Massachusetts State Police Col. Tim Alben sharply criticized the protesters actions.
The UMass Amherst chancellor has ended a campus police department program that used students as confidential informants in drug investigations.
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy concluded the program was in not in keeping with the university’s core values and campus police have other tools available to combat illegal drugs, according to spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.
" On balance,the chancellor concluded we really need to focus on creating trust and shared common goals and demonstrating compassion in a save and secure environment."
The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.
An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.
" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.
A bill has been filed in the Massachusetts legislature aimed at preventing blatant discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace.
The legislation would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, which advocates say could include more breaks, lighter duties, or simply providing a chair to sit in. State Representative Ellen Story, who filed the bill Wednesday in the House said she hopes it sails through.
"I don't know who would publicly be against this bill," said Story.