A common occurrence in the active community is a little known ailment that goes by Insufficient Commitment Disorder. There are many brief spots in history where I have fallen victim to this pandemic. Someone will be riled up about a trip, hut-to-hut skiing perhaps or a biking afternoon at Carvins Cove, and I’ll be equally as excited and often times exclaim “that sounds awesome, count me in.” But as the adventure draws nearer, and excuses bubble to the top, somewhere in my head I know I’m not going to go on the trip.Everybody experiences this, the dissonance between “yes I’m going” and getting in the car. There are always many excuses readily available, but like elbows, everyone has them (and they don’t look that different from each other.)Maybe Insufficient Commitment Disorder can be looked at from a higher perspective. If I could live out all the lofty goals and expectations I have verbally committed to, I would be doing just fine for myself. Talk is cheap, and I love it, but action and movement are what will truly define your voice.Figuratively and literally easier said than done I’ve realize from experience. But now I think twice when asked to commit to the trip, think twice about the difference between “yes” and going, and realize that no matter what I say, it’s what I’ll do that will keep me moving.
The fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down; the night can provide just as much of a playground as any afternoon sun. Follow this week’s healthy tip and let your pupils adjust, play under the starlight, and grab a headlamp.Are you afraid of the dark, the mysterious noises and lack of sight? What is it about the darkness that evokes an embedded worry to our hearts? The blindness, the loss of a sense that drums on your ears, that paralyzing uncertainty of the unknown, it all adds up to a lot for just an absence of light.But alas, sometimes to discover new things you have to walk in the dark. So grab a flashlight, find a full-moon to guide your way, and light up those darkened corridors.. Explore what lies out of sight long enough and your eyes will adjust as you start to understand that the only thing hiding in the darkness is the light.Go, shine a flashlight, and explore the unknown.-BDL
Insurance disclosure form proposedA proposed disclosure form to be given to insurance company policy holders when they are sued and a Bar rule to implement how the form is used are being presented to Bar members for comment.The Board of Governors got its first look at the implementing rule at its April 7 meeting. It will come back — along with the form which was reviewed by the board at its February meeting — to the board for final approval June 2 in Naples.Board member David Bianchi, chair of the Insurance Practice Special Study Committee, said the form, the first such in the nation, is attracting the attention of other states.“If the board votes to approve it at the next meeting, and I hope you will, we will be the model for the country, because other states are lining up waiting for us to roll it out,” he said.The form would let policy holders know of their rights and responsibilities when they are sued and their insurance company appoints a lawyer to defend them.Bianchi said it was presented to the Bar’s Citizens Forum at its April 6 meeting and forum members were enthusiastic about the document.“I’m very happy to tell you they loved it. They said it was fabulous and they wanted to say how appreciative they were of the language that was used and the tone. They said it was precise and clear,” Bianchi said. “Two of them had recently been sued in small auto accidents and they said they wished they had had this.”Comments on the form and proposed rule may be sent to Mary Ellen Bateman, Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Counsel, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300. Comments may be e-mailed to mbateman@FLABAR.org. The proposed form and rule change follows. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE ASK FOR AN EXPLANATION. April 30, 2000 Regular News Insurance disclosure form proposed RULE 4-1.8 CONFLICT OF INTEREST; PROHIBITED AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS(a) Business Transactions With or Acquiring Interest Adverse to Client. A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security, or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client, except a lien granted by law to secure a lawyer’s fee or expenses, unless:(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing to the client in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;(2) the client is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent counsel in the transaction; and(3) the client consents in writing thereto.(b) Using Information to Disadvantage of Client. A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client consents after consultation, except as permitted or required by rule 4-1.6.(c) Gifts to Lawyer or Lawyer’s Family. A lawyer shall not prepare an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer as parent, child, sibling, or spouse any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, except where the client is related to the donee.(d) Acquiring Literary or Media Rights. Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.(e) Financial Assistance to Client. A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation, except that:(1) a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and(2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client.(f) Compensation by Third Party. A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:(1) the client consents after consultation;(2) there is no interference with the lawyer’s independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by rule 4-1.6.(g) Settlement of Claims for Multiple Clients. A lawyer who represents 2 or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client consents after consultation, including disclosure of the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.(h) Limiting Liability for Malpractice. A lawyer shall not make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer’s liability to a client for malpractice unless permitted by law and the client is independently represented in making the agreement. A lawyer shall not settle a claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client without first advising that person in writing that independent representation is appropriate in connection therewith.(i) Acquiring Proprietary Interest in Cause of Action. A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:(1) acquire a lien granted by law to secure the lawyer’s fee or expenses; and(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee.(j) Representation of Insureds. When a lawyer undertakes the defense of an insured in regard to an action or claim for personal injury or for property damages, or for death or loss of services resulting from personal injuries based upon tortious conduct, including product liability claims, the Statement of Insured Client’s Rights shall be provided to the insured at the commencement of the representation. The lawyer shall sign the statement certifying the date the statement was provided to the insured. The lawyer shall keep a copy of the signed statement in the client’s file, and shall retain a copy of the signed statement for 6 years after the representation is completed. The statement shall be available for inspection at reasonable times by the insured, or by the appropriate disciplinary agency. Nothing in the Statement of Insured Client’s Rights shall be deemed to augment or detract from any substantive or ethical duty of a lawyer, nor affect the extra-disciplinary consequences of violating an existing substantive legal or ethical duty; nor shall any matter set forth in the Statement of Insured Client’s Rights give rise to an independent cause of action or create any presumption that an existing legal or ethical duty has been breached. STATEMENT OF INSURED CLIENT’S RIGHTS An insurance company has selected a lawyer to defend a lawsuit or claim against you. This Statement of Insured Client’s Rights is being given to you to assure that you are aware of your rights regarding your legal representation. This disclosure statement highlights many, but not all, of your rights when your legal representation is being provided by the insurance company. 1. Your Lawyer. If you have questions concerning the selection of the lawyer by the insurance company, you should discuss the matter with the insurance company and the lawyer. As a client, you have the right to know about the lawyer’s education, training, and experience. If you ask, the lawyer should tell you specifically about the lawyer’s actual experience dealing with cases similar to yours and give you this information in writing, if you request it. Your lawyer is responsible to keep you reasonably informed regarding the case and promptly comply with your reasonable requests for information. You are entitled to be informed of the final disposition of your case within a reasonable time. 2. Fees and Costs. Usually the insurance company pays all of the fees and costs of defending the claim. If you are responsible for directly paying the lawyer for any fees or costs, your lawyer must inform you.3. Directing the Lawyer. If your policy, like most insurance policies, provides for the insurance company to control the defense of the lawsuit, the lawyer will be taking instructions from the insurance company. Under such policies, the lawyer cannot act solely on your instructions, and at the same time, cannot act contrary to your interests. Your preferences should be communicated to the lawyer.4. Litigation Guidelines. Many insurance companies establish guidelines governing how lawyers are to proceed in defending a claim. Sometimes such guidelines affect the range of actions the lawyer can take, and may require authorization of the insurance company before certain actions are undertaken. You are entitled to know the guidelines affecting the extent and level of legal services being provided to you. Upon request, the lawyer or the insurance company should either explain such guidelines to you or provide you with a copy. If the lawyer is denied authorization to provide a service or undertake an action the lawyer believes necessary to your defense, you are entitled to be informed that the insurance company has declined authorization for the service or action. 5. Confidentiality. Lawyers have a general duty to keep secret the confidential information a client provides, subject to limited exceptions. However, the lawyer chosen to represent you may also have a duty to share with the insurance company information relating to defense or settlement of the claim. If the lawyer learns information indicating that the insurance company is not obligated under the policy to cover the claim or provide a defense, the lawyer’s duty is to maintain that information in confidence. If the lawyer cannot do so, the lawyer may be required to withdraw from the representation without disclosing to the insurance company the nature of the conflict of interest which has arisen. Whenever a waiver of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege is needed, your lawyer has a duty to consult with you and obtain your informed consent. Some insurance companies retain auditing companies to review the billings and files of the lawyers they hire to represent policyholders. If the lawyer believes a bill review or other action releases information in a manner that is contrary to your interests, the lawyer should advise you regarding the matter.6. Conflicts of Interest. Most insurance policies state that the insurance company will provide a lawyer to represent your interests as well as those of the insurance company. The lawyer is responsible for identifying conflicts of interest. If at any time you believe the lawyer provided by the insurance company cannot fairly represent you because of conflict of interests between you and the company (such as over coverage of the claim), you should discuss this with the lawyer and explain why you believe there is a conflict. If an actual conflict of interest arises that cannot be resolved, the insurance company may be required to provide you with another lawyer.7. Settlement. Many policies state the insurance company alone may make a final decision regarding settlement of a claim, but under some policies your agreement is required. If you want to object to or encourage a settlement within policy limits, you should discuss your concerns with your lawyer to learn your rights and possible consequences. No settlement of the case requiring you to pay money in excess of your policy limits can be reached without your agreement, following full disclosure.8. Your Risk. If you lose the case, there might be a judgment entered against you for more than the amount of your insurance, and you might have to pay it. Your lawyer has a duty to advise you about this risk and other reasonably foreseeable adverse results. 9. Hiring Your Own Lawyer. The lawyer provided by the insurance company is representing you only to defend the lawsuit. If you desire to pursue a claim against the other side, or desire legal services not directly related to the defense of the lawsuit against you, you will need to make your own arrangements with this or another lawyer. You may also hire another lawyer, at your own expense, to monitor the defense being provided by the insurance company. If there is a reasonable risk that the claim made against you exceeds the amount of coverage under your policy, you should consider consulting another lawyer.10. Reporting Violations. If at any time you believe that your lawyer has acted in violation of your rights, you have the right to report the matter to The Florida Bar, the agency that oversees the practice and behavior of all lawyers in Florida. For information on how to reach The Florida Bar call (850) 561-5839 or you may access the Bar at www.FlaBar.org. CERTIFICATE The undersigned hereby certifies that this Statement of Insured Client’s Rights has been provided to [name of insured/client(s)] by [mail] [hand delivery] at [address of insured/client(s) to which mailed or delivered] this day of, 20___. [Signature of Attorney] [Print/Type Name]Florida Bar No.: Comment–Transactions between client and lawyer As a general principle, all transactions between client and lawyer should be fair and reasonable to the client. In such transactions a review by independent counsel on behalf of the client is often advisable. Furthermore, a lawyer may not exploit information relating to the representation to the client’s disadvantage. For example, a lawyer who has learned that the client is investing in specific real estate may not, without the client’s consent, seek to acquire nearby property where doing so would adversely affect the client’s plan for investment. Subdivision (a) does not, however, apply to standard commercial transactions between the lawyer and the client for products or services that the client generally markets to others, for example, banking or brokerage services, medical services, products manufactured or distributed by the client, and utilities services. In such transactions the lawyer has no advantage in dealing with the client, and the restrictions in subdivision (a) are unnecessary and impracticable. Likewise, subdivision (a) does not prohibit a lawyer from acquiring or asserting a lien granted by law to secure the lawyer’s fee or expenses. A lawyer may accept a gift from a client, if the transaction meets general standards of fairness. For example, a simple gift such as a present given at a holiday or as a token of appreciation is permitted. If effectuation of a substantial gift requires preparing a legal instrument such as a will or conveyance, however, the client should have the detached advice that another lawyer can provide. Subdivision (c) recognizes an exception where the client is a relative of the donee or the gift is not substantial.Literary rightsAn agreement by which a lawyer acquires literary or media rights concerning the conduct of the representation creates a conflict between the interests of the client and the personal interests of the lawyer. Measures suitable in the representation of the client may detract from the publication value of an account of the representation. Subdivision (d) does not prohibit a lawyer representing a client in a transaction concerning literary property from agreeing that the lawyer’s fee shall consist of a share in ownership in the property if the arrangement conforms to rule 4-1.5 and subdivision (i).Person paying for lawyer’s servicesRule 4-1.8(f) requires disclosure of the fact that the lawyer’s services are being paid for by a third party. Such an arrangement must also conform to the requirements of rule 4-1.6 concerning confidentiality and rule 4-1.7 concerning conflict of interest. Where the client is a class, consent may be obtained on behalf of the class by court-supervised procedure.Acquisition of interest in litigationSubdivision (i) states the traditional general rule that lawyers are prohibited from acquiring a proprietary interest in litigation. This general rule, which has its basis in common law champerty and maintenance, is subject to specific exceptions developed in decisional law and continued in these rules, such as the exception for reasonable contingent fees set forth in rule 4-1.5 and the exception for certain advances of the costs of litigation set forth in subdivision (e).This rule is not intended to apply to customary qualification and limitations in legal opinions and memoranda. Representation of Insureds As with any representation of a client where another person or client is paying for the representation, the representation of an insured client at the request of the insurer creates a special need for the lawyer to be cognizant of the potential for ethical risks. The nature of the relationship between a lawyer and client can lead to the insured or the insurer having expectations inconsistent with the duty of the lawyer to maintain confidences, to avoid conflicts of interest, and otherwise to comply with professional standards. When a lawyer undertakes the representation of an insured client at the expense of the insurer, the lawyer should ascertain whether the lawyer will be representing both the insured and the insurer, or only the insured. Communication with both the insured and the insurer promotes their mutual understanding of the role of the lawyer in the particular representation. The Statement of Insured Client’s Rights has been developed to facilitate the lawyer’s performance of ethical responsibilities. The highly variable nature of insurance and the responsiveness of the insurance industry in developing new types of coverages for risks arising in the dynamic American economy, render it impractical to establish a statement of rights applicable to all forms of insurance. The Statement of Insured Client’s Rights is intended to apply to personal injury and property damage tort cases. Even in that relatively narrow area of insurance coverage, there is variability among policies. For that reason, the statement is necessarily broad. It is the responsibility of the lawyer to explain the statement to the insured. In particular cases, the lawyer may need to provide additional information to the insured. Since the purpose of the statement is to assist lay persons in understanding their basic rights as clients, it is necessarily abbreviated. While brevity promotes the purpose for which the statement was developed, it also necessitates incompleteness. For these reasons, it is specifically provided that the statement shall not serve to establish any legal rights or duties, nor create any presumption that an existing legal or ethical duty has been breached. As a result, the statement and its contents should not be invoked by opposing parties as grounds for disqualification of a lawyer or for procedural purposes. The purpose of the statement would be subverted if it could be used in such a manner. The statement is to be signed by the lawyer to establish that it was timely provided to the insured, but the insured client is not required to sign it. It is in the best interests of the lawyer to have the insured client sign the statement to avoid future questions, but it is considered impractical to require the lawyer to obtain the insured client’s signature. Establishment of the statement and the duty to provide it to an insured in tort cases involving personal injury or property damage should not be construed as lessening the duty of the lawyer to inform clients of their rights in other circumstances. When other types of insurance are involved, or where there are other third-party payors of fees, or where multiple clients are represented, similar needs for fully informing clients exist, as recognized in rule 4-1.7(c) and rule 4-1.8(f).
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Commercial fishermen who had their tires repeatedly slashed in a Flanders parking lot waited in the bushes until they caught the alleged tire slasher in the act and called police, authorities said.John Lombardi was arrested Sunday and charged with criminal mischief as a felony.Southampton Town Polcie said the 60-year-old Flanders man told investigators he did it because of a “turf war” between commercial fishermen, some of whom he believes take in more fish than the law allows.The fishermen who police said caught Lombardi told investigators that they watched him walk up to one of their trucks, look into the flatbed where horseshoe crabs—which commercial fishermen use as bait—in the back and then use a knife to puncture two tires.The witnesses held Lombardi until police officers arrived and took him into custody. He was released Monday on $500 bail.Detectives are continuing the investigation prior tire slashings.
3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I’m often asked, in my role as a performance strategist, “Should our organization have performance standards in place?” I usually I respond with a question of my own, “Why do you ask?” What follows is a lengthy explanation of why they feel standards would hamper employee performance and engagement. This says a lot about our views of standards. Here’s another question, if in fact the success of an organization is directly related to the performance, productivity and commitment of the employee – why would performance standards be a bad thing? While a job description tells us what to do, performance standards provide job function parameters. Standards are observable behaviors and actions that can be measured and coached to. In other words, they tell the employee what doing a good job looks like. Are you still asking rule or tool? I think you can see where I’m going here. I believe that when done well, performance standards are a tool that provides your team with the specifics around “how to win”. Let’s hope we’ve hired people with the drive and desire to do a good job and succeed everyday… if not, stop reading this and find an article on “how to hire better people”. Performance standards can very well become a set of rules if not set up correctly with a focus on your employee experience and your member experience. Avoid these mistakes:Using job performance standards to micro-manage your teamImplementing new performance standards shortly before evaluationsNot keeping your performance standards updated and currentSetting unrealistic job performance standardsLimited creativity with tight performance standardsOn the flip side, if your team understands how to win, they also know where to focus their time and efforts to achieve your credit union’s objectives.Here are the top 6 reasons why performance standards are a highly effective tool:Provides your managers with a way to measure job performance and productivityAllows your employees to measure their own performance and productivityHelps your team understand the expected scope, key responsibilities, required knowledge, skills and duties of the jobSupports equitable evaluations of all employees in the same roleFacilitates communication between managers and employees regarding job related activitiesHelps managers ensure that employees have the resources necessary to do their jobs wellWhat happens without job performance standards?Managers and employees may have a very different understanding and expectation about job requirements and performanceManagers may have difficulty identifying performance issuesManagers and employees may have difficulty separating WHAT should be done from HOW it should be doneManagers tend to lower expectations to avoid confronting employees with performance issuesEmployees may protect themselves from possible failure by performing at a lower (more comfortable) levelManagers may coach and evaluate employees (doing the same job) differentlyWhere to start:Define specific performance standards and measurement criteriaIdentify the top 3-5 job responsibilitiesIdentify specific skills and knowledge needed to perform at a high levelEstablish a method to monitor performanceImplement standards at the beginning of an evaluation cycleSet short-term (90-day) AND long-term goalsDevelop a plan for managers and employees to communicate on a regular basis When done right, setting performance standards will increase understanding of organizational objectives, empowering your team to function at a higher level and at the same time build trust and commitment to your credit union goals. This all leads to growing enthusiasm, engagement and fun!To learn more about member experience strategies, employee engagement or organizational development, email email@example.com or call 608-231-4354.AUTHOR: Jayne Hitman, national relationship manager, CUNA Creating Member Loyalty™
Read also: PDI-P may pair Gibran and Achmad for Surakarta mayoral raceMeanwhile, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), National Awakening Party’s (PKB) and United Development Party (PPP) have also openly showed their support for Gibran’s election bid.Gibran is not the only presidential relative gearing up to run the upcoming regional elections – Jokowi’s son-in-law Bobby Nasution is also seeking support for his own mayoral bid in Medan, North Sumatra.Gibran and Bobby’s planned runs have triggered concerns that the former Surakarta mayor is building up a political dynasty, an accusation that Jokowi has denied. (hol) Read also: Jokowi vows he ‘won’t be campaigning’ for son, son-in-law in upcoming mayoral races Topics : The Surakarta chapter of the Democratic Party has declared its support for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, in the upcoming Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java. Supriyanto, the head of the Democratic Party’s Surakarta chapter, said the party decided to back Gibran because he was a young figure who they believed could carry out programs quickly and on target.“We support him unconditionally, because we want a fresh government,” Supriyanto said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com. He said that former president and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had also expressed his support for Gibran through the party’s Central Java provincial chapter.“We have given assurances to the people of Surakarta that Gibran is capable of leading the Surakarta administration,” Supriyanto added.Interviewed separately, Gibran said he would take all the help that he could get. “I welcome all the support, from the parties, volunteers, citizens and everyone,” Gibran said.Besides the Democrats, Gibran has also courted the support of his father’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which is considering pairing Gibran and Surakarta Deputy Mayor Achmad Purnomo, who had been tabbed as the party’s nominee before Gibran threw his hat into the ring.
Health authorities in West Java are tracking additional COVID-19 cases belonging to two major clusters in the province.West Java Health Agency secretary Siska Gerfianti said the two clusters emanated from a religious seminar held by Bethel Church of Indonesia (GBI) in Lembang in March and the National Police’s Officer Candidate School in Sukabumi.“We found one [additional] positive COVID-19 case from the GBI cluster. [The patient] works in a factory and has possibly given the virus to other people. Rapid testing of several people in the factory shows that some have tested positive. We suggested the factory be closed,” Siska said. She added that some students of the officer school had returned to their respective hometowns, although they had previously been quarantined after some tested positive during an earlier round of rapid testing.“We found five COVID-19 transmission chains in this cluster. We have to really pay attention to this cluster because of its high potential for disease transmission,” Siska said.The health agency has detected five COVID-19 clusters in the province. In addition to the Lembang and Sukabumi clusters, there is a cluster from an anti-riba (usury) seminar, a cluster from a religious seminar held by the Protestant Churches of Western Indonesia (GPIB) in Bogor and a cluster from a West Java Youth Entrepreneur Forum in Karawang.Read also: Jakarta’s satellite areas extend COVID-19 curbs for second time, with stricter rules The agency also recorded an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in several cities and regencies in the province, including Sukabumi, Banjar, Karawang and Garut.“There are 11 chains of local transmission spread throughout 11 districts in Karawang. We also detected a cluster in Garut as a result of Bangladesh nationals [who had COVID-19] visiting the city.”West Java has performed 113,000 rapid tests out of its target of 300,000 as of the time of the writing. It has also conducted 2,999 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily. The total daily capacity of the eight laboratories in the province currently capable of performing PCR tests is 5,838.Health agency head Berli Hamdani said the poor quality of the testing kits had caused them to spend more time and use more reagents to verify test results.“The newly opened laboratories are still using manual extraction methods with a limited number of operators,” said Berli. “Our laboratories need more reagents – especially for PCR testing – and other equipment to extract swab samples from people.”The West Java administration is preparing 11 laboratories, in addition to the current 8, for COVID-19 PCR testing. (dpk)Topics :
Topics : Companies including HSBC and Standard Chartered have backed the security law without knowing the details of it, drawing criticism from some investors and US and British officials.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo singled out HSBC on Tuesday, saying such “corporate kowtows” got little in return from Beijing and criticizing the Chinese Communist Party’s “coercive bullying tactics.”Hong Kong’s year of pro-democracy protests was sparked by a government bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, for trial. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam withdrew that bill as the rolling protests gathered pace. Hong Kong police arrested 53 people during protests on Tuesday evening that saw hundreds of activists take to the streets, at times blocking roads in the heart of the global financial hub, before police fired pepper spray to disperse crowds.The protests, called to mark a year of sometimes violent pro-democracy rallies in the former British colony, also came amid heightened tensions due to a proposed national security bill backed by the central government in Beijing.Police said on Wednesday that 36 males and 17 females were arrested for offences including unlawful assembly and participating in unauthorized assembly. Protesters had defied a ban on gatherings of more than eight people introduced by the Hong Kong government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. More protests are planned in coming days, with pro-democracy supporters fearing the proposed national security legislation will dramatically stifle freedoms in the city.While details of the security law or how it will operate have yet to be revealed, authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have said there is no cause for concern and the legislation will target a minority of “troublemakers.”The standing committee of the National People’s Congress, the top decision making body of the Chinese parliament, will meet in Beijing later this month to deliberate on various draft legislation, official Chinese media reported on Wednesday. The reports did not specify whether any laws regarding Hong Kong were included on the agenda for discussion at the June 18-20 meeting.Hong Kong Security Secretary John Lee told the South China Morning Post in an interview published on Wednesday that local police were setting up a dedicated unit to enforce the law and it would have intelligence gathering, investigation and training capabilities.