Dan Gilbert moved his mortgage company Quicken Loans to downtown Detroit in 2010 and founded his real-estate company Bedrock a year later, when the city was just a few years from bankruptcy. Bedrock has invested or allocated a total of $5.6 billion across 100 or so properties in downtown Detroit and nearby neighborhoods, and said it has 98% occupancy of office and residential properties. Gilbert’s family of companies employs 17,000 people and is the largest employer and taxpayer in Detroit. Its level of influence on a major American city is unprecedented. With this influence comes critics skeptical of Gilbert’s ability or desire to transform the city in a way that is inclusive of its majority black and working-class populations – a criticism he’s responded to with increased outreach and partnerships. Getting the lasting support of the local community is an ongoing challenge for Gilbert, and one that will take much … [Read more...] about Billionaire Dan Gilbert has already bet $5.6 billion on Detroit’s future, but money can’t solve his biggest challenge
Centuries of childhood a social history of family life
MANILA, Philippines — After almost a decade since the destructive Typhoon Ondoy, two decades since the millennials started making an impact, and three decades since the first People Power Revolution (and the birth of The Philippine STAR), defining the Filipino has only become more complicated. We gathered insights from Filipinos who embody unconditional resiliency and advocate empowerment in the face of modern challenges; local globetrotters who have traveled around the world, to refine our idea on where we stand at present; multi-hyphenate individuals, whose list of accomplishments may give us an idea on how to improve ourselves; and modern Filipino heroes, to ground us through our continuous search for peace and freedom. * * * Manny Gonzalez How can Filipinos positively impact the nation and the whole world? Filipinos blame our problems and our poor economic performance on everything and everyone but themselves. But most of the symptomatic problems — drugs, corruption … [Read more...] about What have we learned so far?
By Katie Daubs Feature Writer Mon., May 21, 2018 In 1907, Flora MacDonald Denison wrote Ontario’s premier a letter, inviting him to dinner. “The newspapers report you as saying ‘that women would get the vote if they want it,’ she wrote. “We are anxious to have this hour of your company and a word from you.” They would make for interesting dinner dates: Denison was a prominent Toronto suffragist. Sir James Whitney, Conservative premier of Ontario from 1905 until his death in 1914, was a staunch but polite opponent. His correspondence at the Ontario Archives reflected the world that he lived in and Denison railed against: “I am sure every reasonable man will understand” such and such, and “Not all temperance men” believe this and that. When a “Sydney Fray” from Nova Scotia asked a question about women’s suffrage, Whitney’s secretary responded: “Dear sir.” When … [Read more...] about Men should do dishes — and women should have the vote. This is how Toronto’s forgotten suffragist fought for that right
By Mary Ormsby Feature Writer Sandro Contenta Feature Writer Tues., April 17, 2018 On a winter afternoon in 2016, Michelle Raftis’s long search brought her to the steps of St. Michael’s Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. She was nervous, and had carefully prepared what she would say to Cardinal Tom Collins. She was done with secrets and lies. Raftis is the daughter of a Catholic priest, a truth the 55-year-old had to hide most of her life. She wanted to know why the church she was raised in allowed a priest to abandon his child. “I wanted a written apology from the church,” Raftis says. In Canada and around the world, children of priests have emerged from the shadows to press the Vatican — and their local dioceses — to recognize they exist. Article Continued Below The Vatican appears to have no data on the number of clergy who break their vows of celibacy and father … [Read more...] about Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy when they’re ordained. But when they break that vow, their children are left to live a lie
Japan has one of the world’s toughest asylum policies. Despite having the third-largest economy, last year the nation accepted only 20 refugees. Strict policies, geography, and history have limited asylum-seekers’ access to Japan, while a general preference for its homogeneous society means citizens have little motivation to push for change. There is no official immigration policy in Japan, which forced much-needed low-skilled labor workers to gain legal residence via the refugee process. The system is overburdened as a result. Japan is facing a demographic time bomb. It’s rapidly shrinking workforce could easily be boosted by thousands of migrant workers and refugees who are not just will, but desperate, for work. Ammunition is one of the best memories Zahir Amini has of his childhood. “I enjoyed playing with bullets,” laughs Amini. “It was a popular … [Read more...] about NO ENTRY: How Japan’s shockingly low refugee intake is shaped by the paradox of isolation, a demographic time bomb, and the fear of North Korea