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Covid, now pollution: Shutting schools taking a toll on learning | Latest News Delhi

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With the Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM) announcing the closure of educational institutions for in-person classes until further notice in Delhi, uncertainty has once again clouded learning in schools, many of which reopened for physical classes only two weeks ago.

Several principals said that there is a lot of uncertainty and despondency among students due to the abrupt closure of schools, and advocated a more nuanced approach in response to air pollution.

Manika Sharma, director, The Shri Ram Schools in Delhi-NCR, said that classes should be allowed in schools that were equipped with adequate infrastructure for countering pollution.

“Schools like ours that already have air purifiers installed should be exempted from closure. We are all already masked up (to protect against Covid-19). That takes care of pollution as well. Now, we are doing more harm by compelling children to stay at home. This is something that should be looked into by the government,” said Sharma.

School administrators and educators pointed to the toll the continuing closure of schools takes on students — not just in terms of learning outcomes, but also social and psychological development.

Sudha Acharya, the chairperson of the National Progressive Schools’ Conference, which has over 120 private Delhi schools as its members, said that it is crucial to come up with a workaround to tackle pollution so that children’s learning is not interrupted. Acharya said that the abrupt closure of schools has affected the mental health of children yearning to be back in classrooms.

Schools in the Capital were closed for physical classes on account of Covid-19 last March and allowed to reopen in a limited way for students of higher grades early this year. They finally reopened for all classes on November 1 only to be shut again on November 13.

“The blanket closure of schools is not the solution to the pollution problem. The government might not be able to provide exemptions to some schools due to logistical reasons but some sustainable solution that doesn’t disrupt learning is needed. Most people are going out and about. They are not locked up inside their houses due to pollution. Constant closure of schools both because of Covid and pollution gives the impression that they are the most unsafe places, which is not true,” said Acharya, principal of ITL Public School, Dwarka.

She said that the unpredictability and uncertainty from school closure has adversely impacted the learning environment. And the suspension of in-person classes for the past two years had also led to behavioural issues among children, she added.

Other schools that have taken measures to tackle pollution within the campus said that doctors and experts could suggest measures for schools to function amid the prevailing situation.

Richa Sharma Agnihotri, principal, Sanskriti School, said that the school has taken multiple measures over the years to ensure that learning is not disrupted on account of pollution. The school had created the area outside the premises into a no-car zone for the past many years. All classrooms are equipped with air purifiers and purifying plants have been placed across the school campus.

“There is a constant conversation around pollution and we encourage children and their parents to avoid cars and walk,” said Agnihotri.

She said that while the suspension of in-person classes was disappointing, one could not take the concerns surrounding pollution lightly.

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School of Chocolate season 2 release date updates, renewal, cast and more

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School of Chocolate, the Netflix original baking competition, premiered on Black Friday.

The series led by world famous chocolatier, Chef Amaury Guichon, pit eight contestants against each other in a competition that paired the deliciousness of pastries and chocolate with the artistry of skilled engineering and sculpting.

Unlike many of the reality cooking and baking contests on the platform, School of Chocolate doubled as a learning environment for the chefs participating in the show. Instead of being eliminated one by one each episode, they continued to sharpen their skills until two of them went head-to-head in the finale.

The competition’s Best in Class throw down could only produce one winner and, if you’ve seen the season, it came as no surprise who took home the coveted title and the 50,000 dollar grand prize.

If you’re a fan of this series then we know you have your mind on School of Chocolate season 2. Here’s what we know about the baking contest’s future!

How many seasons of School of Chocolate are there?

There’s currently one season of the competition on Netflix.

Will there be a second season of School of Chocolate?

A renewal announcement has yet to be released. However, in season 1’s finale episode, Chef Guichon popped a bottle of bubbly and said, “And this concludes the first School of Chocolate,” which suggests the show isn’t meant to be a limited series and a second season isn’t out of the question.

School of Chocolate season 2 cast

As School of Chocolate is Chef Guichon’s show, he’ll make a return in a potential season 2. His assistants Carolyn and Devin likely will, too. The cast is sure to be a new set of experienced pastry chefs and chocolatiers.

School of Chocolate season 2 synopsis

A sophomore season of the competition will likely follow the same direction as the first. Chefs will go head-to-head in pastry and chocolate showpiece challenges modeled after the techniques and methods Chef Guichon teaches them in the episode.

The two lowest scoring chefs in the pastry challenge will sit out of the chocolate showpiece battle. While they will earn a one-on-one tutorial with Guichon, it also means they’re standing at the School of Chocolate is in jeopardy.

By the end of the season, a new Best in Class will be chosen.

School of Chocolate season 2 release date predictions

If School of Chocolate is renewed for a second season, we’ll see the show’s return in 2022. Without a renewal, we can’t determine when that could be, but it may continue to be a seasonal release on the streamer around Thanksgiving.

The show lends itself well to Netflix’s holiday programming and if it gets a Christmas spin in season 2, it’ll be a perfect fit. We’ll keep you posted on renewal news. Stay tuned to Netflix Life!

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President Joe Biden’s ‘fine’ Secret Service agent is a viral heart-throb

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One of President Joe Biden’s Secret Service agents has gone viral on TikTok after users spotted similarities between him and a ’90s heart-throb.

A Secret Service agent on President Joe Biden’s protection detail is catching many a starry-eyed looky-loo in thirst traps.

There’s a hot, new agent on the scene who’s arousing social media, drawing comparisons to Tom Cruise in Top Gun – Ray-Bans, swagger and all.

“Forget about the PRESIDENT. The ‘SECRET SERVICE’ be looking fine,” wrote Nantucket-based Matthew Notarangelo, known as @life_with_matt on TikTok, in a clip posted over the weekend that now has more than 2.7 million views.

“Biden’s Baddies is how I will refer to his Secret Service from now one,” one titillated commenter quipped.

The New York Post reported, the Bidens were spotted stepping out on Massachusetts island where they’re known to celebrate the thanksgiving holiday, before making their way back to the White House on Sunday.

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While many residents came out for a chance to spot the President, it would seem that they stayed for one ravishing agent, dressed casually in khakis, knitted jumper, black trench coat and classic, black Wayfarers – with a Secret Service badge affixed to his belt, flashing beneath the jacket.

“I called dibs first,” added TikTokker @magsmur, who included text over her angle of the scene, saying she “wasn’t the only one lookin’ at the secret service man” in response to @life_with_matt. The video shows the unidentified agent shaking hands and chumming it up with, ostensibly, a fellow plainclothes agent.

One enraptured admirer suggested he is “defending the nation with hotness.” Meanwhile, @sadieethomas12 jumped in with another video of the same occasion – “the third angle y’all been waiting for.”

Others managed to spot the unidentified agent at other sites throughout Nantucket, including @carolinecray, who found the agent greeting churchgoers with his metal detector at an undisclosed house of worship. Her montage of footage also sees the agent from behind, plus one clear shot of his Cruise-esque mug.

“He is giving me Tom Cruise in Top Gun vibes,” one fan pointed out.

Another joked that the now illustrious officer is “not so secret anymore”.

Now, feverish followers are scrambling to discover the identity of the attractive agent in question, even suggesting they be apprehended by the officer – on purpose – as one asked, “How can one be arrested by the Secret Service? Asking for a friend.”

This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission

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Judges grill Trump lawyers over privilege claims

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Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. January 6, 2021.

Stephanie Keith | Reuters

A skeptical-sounding panel of federal judges grilled lawyers for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday about his bid to block the release of White House communications and other records to the lawmakers investigating the deadly Capitol invasion.

Trump had filed the lawsuit against the House select committee that seeks those documents as part of its probe of the riot, when hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and temporarily stopped Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

Lawyers for Trump argue some of those records should be protected by executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch communications to be kept confidential. They argue that Trump’s assertion of privilege should outweigh the decision of Biden, the incumbent president, to waive privilege over the documents.

The lawyers have asked the appeals court to reverse the opinion of a federal judge, who ruled that the National Archives is allowed to hand the disputed records over to the select committee.

“This all boils down to who decides,” Judge Ketanji Jackson said during oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. “Who decides when it’s in the best interest of the United States to disclose presidential records? Is it the current occupant of the White House or the former?”

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The judges spent more than 90 minutes questioning Trump’s attorneys, Jesse Binnall and Justin Clark, about why the former president’s privilege claims should outweigh the incumbent’s — as well as whether the court even has jurisdiction to hear the case. The judges frequently interrupted Trump’s lawyers and at times sounded frustrated by the answers they heard.

After Clark argued that, on some issues, the former president will have a better grasp of the context and issues surrounding a certain set of documents, Jackson shot back, “The incumbent president will know better the needs of the executive branch” and its relationship with Congress.

“Why, then, would it be that the court should preference the former president’s concerns about confidentiality, even though he may have the superior knowledge,” the judge asked, when “we’re in a different world today because we have a different president who’s taking into account not only confidentiality but other things?”

The arguments, which were still ongoing after more than two hours late Tuesday morning, were heard by a panel of three judges on the D.C. circuit that was seen as an unlucky draw for Trump. Two of the judges, Robert Wilkins and Patricia Millett, were appointed by former President Barack Obama, while Jackson was appointed by Biden.

President Donald Trump looks on at the end of his speech during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.

Jim Bourg | Reuters

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