Disabled activists have expressed elation and reli

first_imgDisabled activists have expressed elation and relief at the overwhelming defeat of an assisted suicide bill in the House of Commons, but fear that another attempt to change the law may not be far away.The private members’ bill put forward by Labour MP Rob Marris, which would have legalised assisted suicide for people said to have up to six months to live, was defeated by 330 votes to 118.But there are concerns that pro-assisted suicide campaigners are already plotting their next move to try to force through legalisation, either through the courts or parliament.An almost identical bill was introduced by the Labour peer – and the party’s shadow justice secretary – Lord Falconer in the House of Lords in June.And there was also concern that almost as many Labour MPs voted in favour of the bill as voted against it, including several members of Jeremy Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet, such as Maria and Angela Eagle, Hilary Benn, Kate Green, Kerry McCarthy, Rosie Winterton and the new shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith.Disabled campaigners, many of them from the user-led grassroots group Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), were outside the Houses of Parliament in force while MPs debated the bill inside, and they easily outnumbered supporters of the legislation.Brian Hilton, digital campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, said: “When the votes were counted and it was announced the bill had been defeated, it was definitely a ‘punch the air’ moment.”The coalition has taken a formal position opposing assisted suicide, and played a key role in the campaign to oppose the bill, alongside NDY UK and Disabled People Against Cuts.Hilton said: “Our celebrations were more out of relief than triumphalism. Also, we are well aware that the spectre of assisted suicide still remains.“Sooner or later disabled people will fight for our lives, for our very existence, all over again.”He also expressed concerns about support within the Labour party for assisted suicide.Dennis Queen, an NDY UK activist, said the celebrations of disabled campaigners when they heard the result of the vote, at about 2.20pm on Friday, were “so loud that I had to put my ear defenders on”.She said she was “really elated” with the victory and believed that she and others had been “overwhelmed” by the vote’s outcome, partly because it was so “decisive”.She said: “For once I feel the MPs have listened to us. They realised that you cannot bring in a law just to bring peace of mind to non-disabled people.”She said disabled opponents of legalisation had already begun writing to the Labour party – whose new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, did not vote on the bill – to complain about Lord Falconer’s appointment as shadow justice secretary.Queen said: “We have achieved a lot this time. It really has been a massive piece of collective work. We will sit and rest [but only] for five minutes.”Deborah Caulfield, another NDY UK member who took part in the demonstration outside parliament, said: “It was just wonderful to be among so many disabled people. It felt very safe, very right.“In terms of solidarity, it felt that whatever the outcome we were going to be strong, we were there for each other.”Caulfield said there was “uproar, astonishment and spontaneous hugs” when the result of the vote was announced.She said: “I was hugely delighted, but also very proud. I felt that the campaign group, which was quite disparate, fragmented and ‘virtual’, had really achieved something fantastic, and on a shoestring compared with that lot [Dignity in Dying].“I was proud to have been a small part of it.”But she added: “I think the arguments have to continue. There is a reality that the ‘pro’ lot do not get it.“I am now in fighting mode – fighting to enlighten on the reality of disabled people’s lives in a non-emotional way.”Ruth Gould, artistic director of DaDaFest, was among those to praise the campaigning efforts of Not Dead Yet UK.In a regular newsletter to DaDaFest supporters, she said she was “delighted that the bill was overturned and with such a big majority”. She added: “My thanks and admiration go to Liz Carr and the Not Dead Yet campaign team – they have worked above and beyond to champion the rights of so many – guys you are brilliant.”Despite several attempts to ask Dignity in Dying what its immediate campaigning plans were, its press office refused to return calls from Disability News Service by 6pm this evening (Thursday).last_img read more

Tens of thousands of fitness for work benefit cl

first_imgTens of thousands of “fitness for work” benefit claims could have been decided by civil servants on evidence from assessment reports that should have been rejected because their quality was “unacceptable”, government figures suggest.The concerns about the way Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision-makers have decided employment and support allowance (ESA) claims follow last week’s revelations about similar concerns with personal independence payment (PIP) claims.They are based on figures provided by the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton (pictured), to Labour MP Grahame Morris.The figures* show that the proportion of work capability assessment (WCA) reports sent back to DWP contractor Maximus** because they were found to be of “unacceptable” quality – following audits of small samples of the reports – was as much as 100 times greater than the proportion sent back by DWP decision-makers when making day-to-day decisions on ESA claims.This suggests that DWP decision-makers are frequently deciding ESA claims based on “unacceptable” reports instead of sending them back to Maximus assessors to “rework”.With Newton’s figures also showing that Maximus carried out more than one million WCAs and other assessments in 2016-17, and more than 1.1 million in 2017-18 – when only 625 reports were sent back by DWP to Maximus to be reworked because they were “unacceptable” – this suggests that tens of thousands of claims could have been affected every year.DWP and Maximus yesterday (Wednesday) both denied that this was what the figures showed, with Maximus insisting that it was “inaccurate and misleading” to draw such a conclusion.But disabled activists and researchers are deeply concerned by the figures and believe they are further evidence of the unfairness of the disability benefit assessment system, and of how tens of thousands of disabled people have been wrongly denied support through the social security system.Maximus took over the WCA contract from Atos in March 2015.The figures provided by Newton show that, in 2015-16, just 0.06 per cent of assessment reports were returned by DWP to Maximus for reworking because they were of “unacceptable” quality.In 2016-17 this was 0.066 per cent (still far fewer than one in a thousand) and in 2017-18 it was just 0.056 per cent.But when senior Maximus executives appeared before the Commons work and pensions committee in December, they told MPs that the audit process showed that the proportion of “C-grade” reports – those deemed “unacceptable” by auditors – was currently 7.3 per cent, more than 100 times higher.In subsequent written evidence to the committee, Maximus told the MPs that C-grade reports were those “considered not to have met expected standards for a variety of reasons”, whereas A and B grade reports were those that were “fit for purpose” and where “a decision could be made on the case” by DWP.Last week, DNS heard from a DWP civil servant who works on the PIP “frontline”, who said that DWP case managers have strict targets for the number of PIP claims they need to process every day, are quizzed by their superiors if they miss their weekly targets and are “instructed to act on the assessor’s report, given that they are the medical experts”.This week, DNS has heard from a former DWP civil servant who worked on ESA and said she and her colleagues were also “strongly discouraged from sending back reports we felt needed to be reworked”.She said: “I was told to leave it, continue with the decision.“I was told there is probably something we don’t know about that the assessor did… so to leave it, no need to return it.”Anita Bellows, a Disabled People Against Cuts researcher, said DWP again needed to explain the discrepancies in its statistics.She said: “While the figures for reports deemed unacceptable and therefore needing ‘rework’ provided by disability assessors are low, the reports audited paint a different picture, one of disability assessors producing a huge number of unacceptable reports.“But the discrepancies show something else. Statistics on the number of unacceptable reports are being manipulated and kept artificially low.“It is unthinkable that the DWP did not notice these discrepancies. And this begs the question: how many claimants had their claim decided based on unacceptable reports?”A DWP spokeswoman denied yesterday that the figures produced by the minister showed that civil servants had for years been making ESA claim decisions on the basis of reports of an “unacceptable” quality.She said: “In order to provide the best possible service to our customers, rather than resending reports for re-work our decision-makers tend to call the health provider’s customer service desk to discuss and resolve problems they identify.“Returning assessment reports for re-work extends the length of time taken to make a decision and delays payment to our customers of the benefit rate to which they are entitled.“By discussing the case directly and immediately, issues can be solved quickly. However, in a minority of cases, this is not possible and the report needs to be returned for re-work as per our procedures.”But campaigner John Slater, whose freedom of information work has previously produced crucial data about the DWP’s disability benefit assessment contracts, said: “It’s deeply worrying that the DWP admitted decisions are sometimes made on the basis of poor medical reports plus telephone calls with the health provider’s customer service desk.“The flawed reports are not re-worked and there is every chance that no record of what is said during these telephone calls will be added to the claimant’s file.”He said this could also mean that if the claimant requested a copy of their assessment report it might not be an accurate record of the information upon which the decision was based, which he said had “clear implications for the appeals process”.A Maximus spokesman said that the latest figures from the audit process – through which DWP checks on more than 700 assessment reports a month – showed it was now meeting its target of less than five per cent of these being given a C-grade.Maximus has also met its target of more than 70 per cent of assessment reports securing an A-grade in every month since the start of the contract, he said.The Maximus spokesman said: “Since we took over the contract in March 2015, we have delivered year-on-year improvements across the service.“We have met or exceeded all of our quality targets since January 2018.“Separately, we have always exceeded the DWP’s target that over 99.5 per cent of reports comply with the department’s standards, enabling them to make a decision on ESA eligibility.“These two measures are distinct and it is inaccurate and misleading to conflate them.”*The vast majority of these assessments were WCAs but Maximus also carries out assessments for other disability benefits, including disability living allowance for under-16s and industrial injuries disablement benefit **Referred to in Newton’s answer as CHDA (the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments), which is part of Maximuslast_img read more

Staff working for a discredited benefit assessment

first_imgStaff working for a discredited benefit assessments contractor threatened to call the police after a claimant asked about the mental health qualifications of the nurse who was assessing his eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP).Atos has now launched an investigation into what happened at the assessment centre in Leeds, which saw the nurse abandon Kris Weston’s assessment after just a couple of minutes.She did not realise that Weston, a composer and trained sound engineer, had been recording the assessment.Weston began the assessment last month by telling the nurse that he had stayed up all night because of the extreme anxiety he experiences when he has to deal with institutions.He had spent three days putting together a 10-page description of his complex mental health problems – and what he says is the “continual failure to even listen to his problems by multiple institutions” – in the hope that the assessor would help him secure the financial and health support he needed.He explained that he had been unfairly described in the past as “violent” by the NHS after a telephone argument, although she told him that Atos had no record of this.She appears to have wrongly blamed the decision to refuse him a home assessment on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), when such decisions are taken by the assessment companies, Atos and Capita.The assessor can then be heard leaving the room after Weston began asking about her experience and qualifications in mental health.She told Weston that she was “not happy to sit in this room with you” because she said he had questioned her qualifications and was “being difficult for no reason”.Weston, who did not raise his voice or threaten the assessor at any point in the conversation, told her: “You seem to have had a bit of an attitude from the start, a bit of a blasé attitude.“You didn’t look at me, you didn’t say hello to me, you didn’t treat me like a human.”Despite the lack of any aggression or threats from Weston, a colleague of the assessor then told him he needed to leave the building “or we’ll call the police”, before repeating: “We’ll call the police if you don’t leave.”Weston tried to explain to Atos staff that he had “wanted to make sure that somebody understands my illness” and added: “When ill people come in you need to have compassion, not treat them with an attitude.”A third member of staff then denied that they had threatened to call the police, before a colleague said: “He’s just wanting an argument… just shut the door.”Weston told Disability News Service (DNS) this week: “It seems like an outrageous scandal that someone in the pits of despair, when they are asking for help, gets treated like this.“I am quite a complex person. I just wanted to make sure the person in front of me was able to deal with it properly and had the correct qualifications.“I was actually trying to get help. I really do want help. Mental illness help should not just be for the polite who stay quiet.”He said he had felt severely distressed and “isolated” after the assessment, but after posting the recording online he has been flooded with supportive comments on social media.He said: “The recording represents not just me, but the hundreds of stories I have heard in only a few days since I put this on the internet, all the people that have told me their awful stories that they didn’t record.“I thought my recording would stand out as abuse but it’s actually just a blip in a sea of negligence that no private company will ever fix because corporations cannot have inherent morals and no amount of legislation is going to stop them from cutting corners for profit.“The staggering scale of the problem is more than I anticipated, to say the least. This is in fact a nationwide scandal affecting our people now.“I’m not that far off being an economic and cultural asset to my country if I could just get a clear run and be understood without being beaten down over and over again and driven to despair.“This applies to a lot of people. We are holding ourselves back by keeping people in complete stress about their food, living space and other basic human needs.“Given the resources they need, people who are suffering from the system itself could actually become an asset.“After all, injecting our resources into a failing private banking system seemed to get them back on their feet.“To think the people charged with running our country could miss this economic no-brainer is breathtaking.”Asked for an explanation for what happened and whether Atos would apologise, a spokesman for the company said: “We are aware of the recording and an investigation is underway.”Weston’s experience has added to years of evidence collected by DNS and other journalists, campaigners and politicians of dishonesty, unprofessional behaviour and harsh treatment delivered to benefit claimants by Atos assessors.In one case, reported in January by DNS, an Atos nurse carrying out a PIP assessment fired questions at a disabled man’s wife while her husband was in the middle of a severe and prolonged series of epileptic seizures just a few feet away.In February, DNS reported how more than 160 Atos assessors had had at least four complaints about their behaviour, competence and honesty made against them in three-month periods in 2016.And in June, DNS reported how a doctor working for Atos told a gay disabled man she was assessing that his sexuality meant he was “defective” and that God needed to fix him like a “broken” car. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Everybody knows Monty A Bayview officers mission for justice

first_imgHe stands tall, with broad, imposing shoulders, a badge on his chest and a military-style haircut, a sight likely to intimidate — but he glides on his bike, parks it right across the street from Mendell Plaza at Third Street and Palou Avenue, and spends most of his time as an officer just talking with people like they’re family.  “I grew up here,” said Singleton, the Bayview station’s beat cop for nearly 23 years. He chose the Bayview assignment because he saw a need in the neighborhood that was largely abandoned, impoverished and unprioritized by the city. “I know the issues here,” he said. “I know the people.” Singleton always gets the ribs when he takes his lunch at Marvin Jeffrey’s Let’s Eat BBQ & More. Douglas Jenkins can always expect Singleton to stop in the little shop he’s owned for decades to swap some war stories. Dwayne Robinson, owner of the Bayview Barber College, said Singleton is always around — he was the first officer to respond when Robinson’s brother was stabbed around these blocks a few years ago.“He’s a fixture on Third Street and everybody knows him, so his best partner is probably the community itself,” said Bayview Station Capt. Raj Vaswani. “He knows all the merchants, he knows all the residents, and he does a really good job of solving problems within his scope of control.”Though Singleton has always been doing community policing, the department has only recently renewed its emphasis on day-to-day operations, encouraging officers to get out of their patrol cars and walk their beats. “I can’t imagine him stuffed into a patrol car,” laughed Naj Daniels, office manager of the Officers for Justice, the city’s only union for officers of color. Singleton serves as OFJ’s vice president. “His personality is too big. The bike suits him perfectly.”Across the street from Mendell Plaza, Singleton leans on his bike and keeps an eye on a particular crowd of people, many of whom are homeless, abuse drugs and alcohol in broad daylight, and occasionally commit quality-of-life crimes. They represent a small fraction of the predominantly black community in the Bayview district, one that is nevertheless grappling with enduring poverty and unequal opportunity. This is a reality Singleton understands, being a black man born and raised in these neighborhoods. It’s a reality that informs the way Singleton does his job. “Being black and carrying the badge here has a lot of power because he knows both hands of the system,” said Marion Jackson, a former San Francisco Police Department sergeant and inspector who watched Singleton grow up. “He knows what the community needs and feels, and he knows his duties.”He’s not quick to make arrests, often because he knows who these people are and understands their struggles. “With some, right off the bat, I can go from zero to 100,” said Singleton, who described his style of law enforcement as “person-by-person.” “Then there are those where I go one mile an hour, two miles an hour, three miles an hour — it depends on who you’re dealing with, their history and what’s going on in their lives.”He walks up, says “hello,” asks them how they’re doing, and then gives them a choice: “You want to keep that bottle out, or get a citation?” “He’ll give warnings and not just jump to cite you or cuff you, because he knows where you’re at,” Robinson said. “And people respect him for that. People know he’s a part of the community, like he’s the last of the Mohicans.” Bayview has withstood waves of gentrification, an entrenched community history and recent incidents of gun violence, most notably the officer-involved shooting of Mario Woods several blocks down from where Singleton walks his beat. It’s where “people just don’t have a lot of hope,” Jackson said.“This is their world — where they go every day for their food, where they buy their clothes, where their kids go to school, where their family has lived for generations, then you add all the socioeconomic issues, put that all in a pot and dump it out onto the street,” Singleton said. “Then you have to make it work.”It’s a mission in Singleton’s life that is simple and doable: treat people the way you want to be treated. But it’s a mission with minimal risk, compared to the experiences he had for years serving in the military and the tour he did in Iraq from 2004 to 2006. In a National Guard combat infantry unit, Singleton carried his whole life in two bags and worked alongside people who weren’t going to come home. One day in Iraq, while traveling along a road in a Humvee, Singleton and his team were expecting the worst. “We had been in this area before and they were always blowing up this road,” Singleton remembered. “But we had to keep traveling.”Suddenly, a local sprang out of their home and dashed up to the trail, stopping the team from continuing on their path. “This person had seen us before and runs out to tell us that others had buried something in the road ahead,” he said.It was an explosive device. The warning was an act of kindness Singleton would never forget. Other teams that saw more casualties were ones that treated locals less than fairly, Singleton recalled. It gave him a clearer picture; that how you treat people comes back to you. “And it gave me perspective,” said Singleton, who had already been working as a police officer for eight years before he decided to follow his father’s path and enlist in the military. For most of the ten years he served, he continued walking his beat in the Bayview, except for one weekend a month, when he participates in drill exercises. “The issues here, the mistakes people make, they need to be addressed, sure, but they’re not monumental,” Singleton said. “This is not war. People like to say places like this are like war zones, but they’re not.”In Iraq, Singleton had a mission and endured the challenges of conflict and geography to execute his goals. Now, in San Francisco, his mission is to rebuild the trust that has eroded between communities and the police. In recent years, the challenge has been the powerful Police Officers Association.Last year, he withdrew his membership from the POA, an act of protest in response to the union’s lasting relationship with its former head, Gary Delagnes, despite his reference to SFPD sergeants as “snitches” for reporting misconduct. The union also publicly condemned 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the National Anthem — something Singleton said was entirely out of the union’s scope and misunderstood the very essence of freedom, something he fights to protect. The two incidents are part of a longer history of the union failing to include minority officers in its leadership, and a culture of inequality that puts officers of color at a disadvantage.“They say you can’t wear the badge and be black, but you can,” Singleton said. “If you care to be involved in a time when you need to be involved, if you say that you care for things to evolve and to change, you have to be a part of it.”Since then, three black officers have been promoted to Captain, but Singleton himself has passed on a few offers. Daniels said it was “commendable that he continues to be here,” that he continues to put Bayview first. Singleton hopes to show something different to a community whose horizons have been limited, borne of poverty and disenfranchisement.“Just by my existence here, being the beat cop and the only black cop that’s up and down the street for years now, I open up some options available for them,” Singleton said. Daniels said that for the community, there’s something transformative about seeing a black cop who always circles around the neighborhood on his bike. Kids will latch onto that visualization and internalize it, she explained. “You have him as a constant, he almost grows up with the community in a way,” Daniels said. “And five years later, that same kid’s who’s always seen him around is older and Monty’s still riding his bike, and then comes up and asks the kid how school’s going — and now he’s grooming them for a wider future than what they’re told by the media and by society.” To Jackson, who once served as OFJ president, Singleton carries both empathy and sympathy in a neighborhood that doesn’t always get equal justice.  Because of that, the community is learning to trust again. 0% Covering the Police is a collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.When San Francisco Officer Montgomery Singleton goes to work in the morning, he hoists himself onto his bike and rides peacefully down Third Street. As he pedals, he passes business storefronts he’s always known, little cafes and family-owned restaurants where he’s always spent his lunch breaks. For blocks and blocks, Bayview locals stream in and out of businesses. Many others hang out at intersections in packs of friends and family, boisterously laughing and bumping music on their stereos. And in all of this, Singleton blends in. center_img Tags: police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham hopes Saints will learn a lesson

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham hopes Saints will learn a lesson from their World Club Challenge defeat with South Sydney Rabbitohs.The NRL Premiers ran in seven tries in a comprehensive win.“I’m really disappointed,” Keiron said. “We got schooled by the best side in the world. If we have to learn a good lesson from today’s game it is sometimes you have to lose in a big fashion to learn some lessons.“We did early season – when we lost in the friendly – and we came back stronger. This will be a good education for my players, especially the younger players.“At the start of the game, I wasn’t sure what set of rules we were playing to – we were playing to international rules but they certainly weren’t the ones I read – but the first 20 hurt us pretty bad. When you are playing against the best sides in the world you cannot afford to get off to starts like that.“We knew what they were going to do and didn’t counteract it. They completed at the high percentage and we didn’t.“Our middle played great all night; they worked hard, hung on in there, but our edges were horrible.”last_img read more

SAINTS enjoyed a double success at last nights So

first_imgSAINTS enjoyed a double success at last night’s Solarking Commercial Pride of St Helens 2016 ceremony at Langtree Park.Academy 19s Head Coach Derek Traynor won the Carmel College Leadership Award whilst fullback Jonny Lomax scooped Saints Sportsperson of the Year.“This is great news for the club and recognises the hard work of both Derek and Jonny,” Saints Chief Executive Mike Rush said. “They have had superb years and we are proud that their achievements have been recognised in this way.“The club would also like to congratulate all the other winners and nominees. They show that this town has a lot to be proud of.”Derek led Saints 19s to the Academy Championship following an unbeaten season.His side won 20 from 20 in the regular season and beat Wigan Warriors 22-20 in sudden death overtime in a famous game at Langtree Park.“Derek would the first to admit this was a team effort and shies away from the plaudits,” Mike added, “but his work deserves to be recognised.“The club’s ethos is to progress players through to the first team and anything other than that is a bonus. The 19s, led by Derek and his team achieved this remarkable season with a young squad, many of whom are eligible for next season’s 19s competition.”Jonny Lomax beat out Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and darts star Dave Chisnall for his award.The full-back has shown great determination to come back from serious injury and this was rewarded with not only a stellar season with the Saints, but recognition in being selected by Wayne Bennett in the England 4 Nations squad.Lomax is also one of Saints Community Development Foundations ambassadors, playing a vital role in highlighting its work in the local community.last_img read more


first_imgFoundation Chaplain Derek Hardman will be located near the Youth Zone of the Totally wicked Stadium in a saints branded van.Look out for it during home games this season! your donations can make a massive difference within our community.last_img

St Helens Women

first_imgSaints captain Jodie Cunningham is joined by derby hero Faye Gaskin, as well as Chantelle Crowl, Tara Jones, Emily Rudge, Victoria Whitfield and Naomi Williamsm whilst winger Leah Burke is called up for the first time.Wigan Warriors’ Grand Final winning centre, Rachel Thompson is one of five new faces in Head Coach Craig Richards’ 32-player England Women’s National Performance Squad.Rachel Thompson is another new face, who was part of the England Women’s Rugby League World Cup Squad in 2017 and who scored a hat-trick in the Warriors Grand Final victory against Leeds Rhinos in October last year.Thompson, who was part of the England Women’s Rugby League World Cup Squad in 2017, scored a hat-trick in the Warriors Grand Final victory against Leeds Rhinos in October last year and joins four of her Wigan team-mates in the Performance Squad.Leeds Rhinos stand-off Hanna Butcher is also included for the first time. Butcher played a vital part in the Rhinos League Leader’s campaign in 2018 and played in their Women’s Challenge Cup Final victory and also their Women’s Super League Grand Final loss to Wigan Warriors. She is one of four Rhinos players selected in the Performance Squad.One of four Bradford names in the squad is newcomer Leah Jones, who scored a try in the Bulls’ 44-16 demolition of Stanningley in the 2018 Women’s Shield Final.Following their first year in Women’s Super League last season, York City Knights have two representatives as Ashleigh Hyde joins Daisy Sanderson in the National Squad.All 20 players that travelled to face France in October 2018 are also included.Further details of England Women’s International Fixtures will be announced at a later date.2019 England Women’s National Performance Squad in full: Savannah Andrade (Bradford Bulls) Amy Hardcastle (Bradford Bulls, Siddal)Leah Jones (Bradford Bulls, West Leeds Eagles)Grace Field (Castleford Tigers, Oulton Raiders)Kelsey Gentles (Castleford Tigers)Shona Hoyle (Castleford Tigers, Ovenden)Rhiannion Marshall (Castleford Tigers, Stanningley)Sinead Peach (Castleford Tigers, Castleford RUFC)Tamzin Renouf (Castleford Tigers, Castleford RUFC)Georgia Roche (Castleford Tigers, Dewsbury Moor)Tara-Jane Stanley (Castleford Tigers, Chorley Panthers)Andrea Dobson (Featherstone Rovers, Oldham St Annes)Katie Hepworth (Featherstone Rovers, Stanningley)Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos, Birstall Victoria ARLFC)Hanna Butcher (Leeds Rhinos, Thornhill Trojabns)Amy Johnson (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)Leah Burke (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)Chantelle Crowl (St Helens, Crosfields)Jodie Cunningham (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)Faye Gaskin (St Helens, Chorley Panthers)Tara Jones (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)Emily Rudge (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)Victoria Whitfield (St Helens, Crosfields)Naomi Williams (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)Michelle Davis (Wigan Warriors, Firwood Waterloo RUFC)Rebecca Greenfield (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)Vanessa Temple (Wigan Warriors) Rachel Thompson (Wigan Warriors, Thatto Heath Crusaders))Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors, Preston Grasshoppers RUFC & UCLan)Ashleigh Hyde (York City Knights, New Farwick All Blacks)Daisy Sanderson (York City Knights)last_img read more

Vigil planned for man missing 1 week Silver Alert continues

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Friends are planning a vigil this weekend for a man missing for a week.The NC Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert earlier this week for Julius Cole Rassin. He was last seen Feb. 16 at Kat 5 Kava on 123 Grace St. in downtown Wilmington wearing a grey turtleneck, dark jeans, tan deck shoes, a black leather jacket and a long white scarf.- Advertisement – 1 of 2 Julius Rassin, as seen clean shaven with longer hair (Photo: CUE Center for Missing Persons) . (Photo: NCDPS)Julius Cole Rassin Officials say he is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.The CUE Center for Missing Persons says Rassin tends to follow railroad tracks and stays away from public roads. he might also travel through the woods.According to a Facebook event page, a vigil called “Lighting the Way Home” will be held Sunday at 6:15 p.m. on the Wilmington Riverfront “in hopes that Cole knows we are here for him and we can’t wait for you to come home- and we love you so much.” Related Article: Trial: Murder suspect tested positive for drugs following crashIf you have any information on where he may be, call the Wilmington Police Department.last_img read more

New aerial adventure park in Riegelwood holds grand opening

first_img The park offers a mix of varying obstacles, cargo nets, ladders and zip lines. There are four courses for adults to test their limits, as well as a kids course.Operations manager Chris Sherry says the fun of the park is a fit for many different kinds of people.“It could be someone who’s trying to cross something off their bucket list,” Sherry said. “It could be someone who has never done this kinda thing before and they’re afraid of heights. It could be parents trying to connect with their kids away from the TV screen. Different things like that. It could be someone who’s in excellent shape, just trying to beat their record when they come out and time themselves.”Related Article: Florence floods parts of Columbus Co. left alone by MatthewThe park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.If you want to take on the adult courses, it’ll cost you $47.50 on weekdays and $50 on the weekend. The kids course costs $25 daily. A Cape Fearless Extreme visitor attempts to cross an obstacle on one of the adult courses (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) — If you’re seeking a new adventure in the Cape Fear, look no further than Riegelwood. That’s where Cape Fearless Extreme had their grand opening Saturday.The aerial adventure park has been operating since April, but they cut the ribbon on their 25 acre site in Columbus County Saturday morning.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Uber Eats launches in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Attention foodies! Uber Eats has officially launched in Wilmington, which means you can get food from some of your favorite restaurants delivered right to your door with the tap of a screen.We’ve all been there. You’re busy at work craving something from your favorite restaurant, but they don’t deliver.- Advertisement – “I work close by and sometimes it’s hard to get away for lunch,” said one woman.Enter Uber Eats.With the service officially launched in Wilmington, you can now order delivery from some of your favorite restaurants that don’t deliver.Related Article: Candy shop, bar coming to downtown Wilmington“It’s a nice convenience, I think $5.00 is very affordable,” said Andrew Minutella, a local realtor.Rocco Quaranto, a partner in Peno Mediterranean Grill, says he hopes Uber Eats will bring more business to the restaurant.“We hear people that are like, ‘I love your food. Any time I’m on that side of town I’ll pop in,’ you know, but they don’t come in as frequently, because they don’t live on this side of town,” Quaranto said.Quaranto says you just enter an address, or let the app detect your location, choose a restaurant, and place your order.You can even enter special instructions for the driver and track them as they head to your destination.Customers seem to think it’s a good idea.“When you think about restaurants that do deliver, I mean a delivery fee is what, $2.50, $3.00 either way, so an extra two dollars to get delivery from wherever you want, I think is a pretty nice feature,” said Minutella.Restaurants like Peno Mediterranean Grill, Dig & Dive and Capricho offer Uber Eats service right now, and more restaurants will be added in the future.last_img read more

Are you listening summit gives youth chance to speak out

first_img “As adults and caretakers, if we really find out whats going on that will help us create an atmosphere where these kids feel safe,” said Executive Director Daryl Dockery. “They have somewhere they actually can talk to, confide in and then [we can] give them some guidance and direction on what path they should take.”This summit is held twice a year. Saturday’s event marked the 7th summit the organization has hosted.Below are previous summit events:‘Are You Listening?’ event gives kids a voiceRelated Article: NHRMC restricts visitors with flu-related symptomsWRAAP host summit to discuss everyday challenges for teens WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Finding safe spaces for youth to speak on hot topics from cyber-bullying to gang activity can be a challenge, but the Wilmington Residential Academic Achievement Place (W.R.A.A.P.) is hosting forums to jump start start the discussion.W.R.A.A.P. is a local non-profit organization that offers after-school activities and programs for at-risk youth. The ‘Are You Listening?’ youth summit is on-going event that gives youth the chance to freely discuss social concerns and everyday issues that gives parents and community members an opportunity to listen.- Advertisement – last_img read more

PC Techs Issue 17 July 2011 free download

first_imgAdvertisement It will be a place for discourse and debate on novel approaches to building a better Africa through new and emerging technologies, some of which have already started happening as you will read in our cover story. The event is under the auspices of the Ministry of Communication, Ghana and is being organized by African Institute of Development Informatics and Policy (AIDIP), Ghana; PearlRichards Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, Ghana); Africa e-governance Academy (AfegA) (an OSIWA and UNDP Initiative), Ghana and RLG Communications, Ghana.  – Advertisement – The week will have one conference, two workshops and a three-day exhibition. It is the first of its kind to be organised on the continent of Africa. The week-long event seeks to explore how modern technologies are being or could be harnessed for development in resource-poor contexts especially in Africa. If you’re reading PC Tech from outside Ghana, you’ll have the opportunity to follow the events through our usual online tools.Back to this magazine, though, we have put together all the major stories and talking points that happened over the month of June, including Orange Uganda’s launch of and ‘email-to-phone’ solution called EmailSMS, and the same company’s propose launch of High Definition Voice calls, a technology that will be the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.Bas Hoefman discusses the opportunities and challenges for use of Mobile Phones for learning in Africa in this Issue’s Learn section. We compiled feedback on this article, which, with Bas’ responses to comments make for an interesting read in the Inbox section.This issue also features a new initiative called Viva Africa TV, an internet-based TV channel established to provide a platform for the youth companies, NGOs, the public sector and civic society to produce and deliver multimedia engaging content and information to the Internet generation in Africa. Don’t miss the rest of the regular sections of PC Tech Magazine.See you in Accra.last_img read more

Fake phones a threat to mobile money

first_imgAdvertisement  manufactured without due consideration to the recognised security standards, may expose our mobile money systems to unnecessary risks.” “The government cannot allow this to happen and thus our decision is to have all unregistered SIM cards and counterfeit handset mobile phones handsets phased out,” he added. – Advertisement – Recently government launched a public awareness campaign dubbed ‘Pata Ukweli wa Mtambo’ to educate Kenyans on the risks associated with using counterfeit mobile phones.The campaign also provides steps consumers should take to establish if their mobile phones are genuine.Francis Wangusi, acting director general of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) said as the industry regulator, his organisation is mandated by law to protect consumers.“In consultation with representatives from the four mobile operators, mobile phone manufacturers and relevant government ministries and agencies, we will continue to execute this mandate,” he said.According to Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Act, it is an offence to manufacture, produce, sell, hire out, barter or exchange counterfeit items.Statistics released by the CCK show that about 3 million mobile phones in the Kenyan market are counterfeit, translating to about 10% of all the active mobile devices in the country.The Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Authority says the country loses around $38.5million annually through tax evasion on sale of fake handsets.Source: ITWebAfricalast_img read more

Botswana Namibia tap highspeed West African Internet connection

first_imgAdvertisement “Information and communication technology is an important factor for Namibia and will open doors for socio-economic development,” President Hifikepunye Pohamba said at the ceremony in Swakopmund.He added that the WACS system was a great achievement. Botswana President Ian Khama, on a 3-day state visit in Namibia, said: “The WACS will be a great benefit for Botswana and also brings both our countries closer.”The cable will be operated and managed by Telecom Namibia. This landing station is among 15 points where the cable runs up from Britain to South Africa. Botswana is a land-locked country, and shared the US$75 million local costs of the cable with Namibia. – Advertisement – Source: TNWlast_img

Aviat Networks Introduces the Aviat ODU 600T for UltraHigh Capacity Microwave Trunking

first_imgAdvertisement SANTA CLARA, California, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire via African Press Organization (APO)/ — Aviat Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNW), a leading expert in microwave networking solutions, today announced the Aviat ODU 600T outdoor radio unit for ultra-high capacity microwave applications. The ODU 600T together with the new Aviat Outdoor Branching Unit (OBU) allows for up to eight parallel radio channels on a single microwave antenna creating aggregate link capacities in excess of 3.5 GB/s. The combined system of ODU 600T and OBU is significantly smaller and lighter than competing solutions, enabling it to be lifted and installed at high tower elevations more easily, while also decreasing tower space and loading requirements.The ODU 600T is available in the 6, 7, 8 and 11GHz frequency bands and is fully compatible with the Eclipse Packet Node platform, which supports advanced Carrier Ethernet functionality, including multi-channel radio link bonding and ITU-T G.8032 Ethernet Ring Protection (ERP), for an extremely powerful trunking solution.“For years traditional trunking microwave systems have been installed all-indoors, usually in a standalone rack, requiring shelters and costly air conditioning,” says Stuart Little, director of product marketing, Aviat Networks. “Moving radios from the shelter to the tower, next to the antenna, reduces deployment and operational costs. Shelters can be smaller or cabinets can be used, decreasing air-conditioning needs, and long waveguide runs are eliminated along with the need for costly and unreliable pressurization/dehydration systems.” – Advertisement – The ODU 600T delivers higher system gain than a typical split-mount outdoor unit, while the OBU enables ultra-low loss combination of multiple radio channels onto a single antenna. Combined together, the higher gain and lower losses will allow operators to design split-mount trunking links that can span longer distances, support higher capacities, while also using smaller antennas to dramatically lower tower costs. A single ODU 600T can also be tuned to cover an entire frequency band by software, simplifying sparing and further lowering OPEX costs.Aviat Networks will showcase the new split-mount trunking solution, featuring the ODU 600T and Outdoor Branching Unit, in booth B2 of the Cape Town International Convention Center during AfricaCom.About Aviat NetworksAviat Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNW) is a leading global provider of microwave networking solutions transforming communications networks to handle the exploding growth of IP-centric, multi-Gigabit data services. With more than 750,000 systems installed around the world, Aviat Networks provides LTE-proven microwave networking solutions to mobile operators, including some of the largest and most advanced 4G/LTE networks in the world. Public safety, utility, government and defense organizations also trust Aviat Networks’ solutions for their mission-critical applications where reliability is paramount. In conjunction with its networking solutions, Aviat Networks provides a comprehensive suite of localized professional and support services enabling customers to effectively and seamlessly migrate to next generation Carrier Ethernet/IP networks. For more than 50 years, customers have relied on Aviat Networks’ high performance and scalable solutions to help them maximize their investments and solve their most challenging network problems. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Aviat Networks operates in 46 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.aviatnetworks.com or connect with Aviat Networks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.Source: WordPresslast_img read more

MOBOfree launches FirstofaKind ID Verification program in Nigeria and Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement MOBOfree, the African social marketplace has today announced the launch of the first-of-a-kind ID verification program in Nigeria and Uganda, further strengthening its position as Africa’s safest social marketplace for both buyers and sellers alike.MOBOfree’s ID verification process is seamless and can be performed from any device. It does not require a scanner or computer. The user simply takes a photo of his/her identity document and uploads it onto MOBOfree’s platform along with their e-mail and mobile phone number. The entire procedure takes 2 minutes and the user is confirmed or rejected within 48 working hours.Members who opt in to the verification program are eligible for additional benefits on MOBOfree.com, one of the main benefits being that their classifieds will be displayed in a more prominent position and enjoy much better exposure.“By preventing fraud rather than simply dealing with the issue after fraud has been identified, MOBOfree is highlighting its commitment to a safer environment for e-commerce in Africa,” said MOBOfree’s CEO Cristobal Alonso. – Advertisement – MOBOfree has hired a dedicated ID verification team to proactively contact members via phone or even face-to-face when necessary.MOBOfree’s ID verification program is the latest addition to a range of security measures aimed at protecting the African consumer, which already include:a special automated algorithm identifying scam behaviora dedicated quality control team, which reviews every single advert manually before launching it livean internal rating system allowing buyers to rate sellers and report suspicious/illegal activitiesa phone safety hotline so that any issues can be reported immediatelythe MOBOguard program, allowing users to search for scammers, report them, and get a reward for doing soMOBOfree has a general policy of not disclosing members’ personal information to third parties unless they have consented to such sharing. Any data acquired from MOBOfree’s visual identification program will not be shared with other MOBOfree users.last_img read more

Windows to get Popup Adsfree Bit Torrent Client

first_imgAdvertisement Windows is reportedly getting the ad-free Popular OS X and Linux BitTorrent client Transmission. The build which was spotted on gHacks is already looking much better than any other Windows BitTorrent client yet. Transmission also comes free which is a plus for Windows users. Although it may not be ready yet, the excitement for a cleaner, free service is palpable.Transmission, on top of it’s no charge doesn’t have ads in your face. It however lacks an in-built video player but hopeful this can be overlooked and focus given to its clean, clutter-free UX. It’s also open source and very lightweight. Transmission has been given the job of downloading and is executing flawlessly with added functionality of RSS Feed board.Transmission was formerly only available for Mac OS X and Linux distributions, and has now been released as a binary for Windows officially. It’s available for Download Here from its official repository.last_img read more

How to Make a Profit When Investing in Technology

first_imgImage Credit: clubpennystock.com Advertisement With so many different sectors in the stock market, it can be confusing to know which one you should focus on. Technology is a field that keeps on growing at an exceptional rate. New ideas and technological innovations spread faster than anyone can imagine with the introduction of the Internet.There are companies behind these machinery and fantastic gadgets that have brought about the rapid spread of new information in the global arena. This has led to individuals and companies shifting towards making a lucrative investment in this sector.Tech stocks are those stocks by the companies, which manufacture these innovative machines. These stocks depend on the future to assess their performance in the market. Trading in tech stocks therefore requires one to be able to foresee future trends and this is why the return on investments is not always immediate. – Advertisement – Companies that specialize in technology rely heavily on their manpower for continued innovation and value of their products. As an investor, you can never really predict the likelihood of whether the exit of significant employees of a technology company will affect the performance of the company. Therefore, once the key players leave, a considerable reduction will be left in the assets of the tech stock.To make a good judgment when investing in tech stocks, it is important to put the following factors into consideration;A Mutual Fund A fund manager who pools money from investors and makes a strategic move in investing the money received in stocks, bonds and other securities usually manages it. All the investors share the proceeds and losses equally annually.You can find an online broker and open a brokerage account whereby you will have the option to either fund it through electronic transfer or check. This will then enable you to invest in a wide range of stocks including tech stocks.Know your Investment There are so many different options in the tech-trading sector. An investor should be knowledgeable in order to make an informed decision rather than follow the trend and experience huge losses. Some of the information an investor should look for is to make sure that they understand the type of business the technology company is involved in.Having a basic knowledge of the company’s products and services is a must and their performance in the market is equally important. Do not settle for its press release, go to the facts, the numbers by checking out its financial and corporate disclosures in the exchange.Study the Market The market can be very unpredictable; studying how it operates can help prevent losses. The recommended approach when it comes to investing in tech stocks is to purchase an ETF (exchange traded fund) because it is less risky. Individual stocks are considered the most risky but the most rewarding way of investing in tech stocks.Do your research on stocks of individual companies that are performing well in the market and also think to use promotional codes for your businessWith tech stocks as with other investments, try to learn all you can to reduce or even do away with losses.last_img read more

Evelyn Namara Emerges Finalist for the Cartier Womens Initiative Awards

first_imgEvelyn Namara; CEO and Founder of Vouch Digital emerges as a finalist in the 2018 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. (Photo Credit: cartier women’s initiative) Advertisement Tech entrepreneur; Evelyn Namara has been listed among 18 trailblazing female entrepreneurs for the 2018 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards – that are an international business plan competition created to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.With over 2900 applications from 130 Countries that were submitted in from 6 regions; Europe, Asia pacific, MENA, Sub- Saharan Africa, North America, and Latin America, Evelyn’s Vouch Digital’s (formerly UgInnovate) emerged finalist from the Sub- Saharan Africa.Vouch Digital is the new brand identity that speaks clearly about the niche they have carved out in the digital ecosystem. The firm has tested, piloted, and built digital voucher systems that have enabled thousands of farmers to access seed crops, post-harvest equipment as well as farming equipment. – Advertisement – Vouch Digital’s flagship brand M-Voucher, a system that allows transparency, effectiveness of programs and measuring of impact in real-time for all programs reported UGX. 1,177,633,700 Billion transactions towards the end of 2017. The system ensures that its end-users get the right intended products and services to allow them to better their livelihoods.Notably, it (M-Voucher) was recognized at the World Startup Summit (WSA). On the other hand, when it re-branded from UgInnovate, the company promised to launch a new product dubbed; M-Voucher+ – a smart card voucher application that uses a permanent voucher smart card that will work as an identity card issued to beneficiaries and is reusable. The system will be able to track each beneficiary bio data as well as goods and items they are eligible to redeem from approved merchants, shopkeepers or agro-dealers.The product according to Vouch Digital was said to be released by end of Q1 this year. Meaning, we could expect it before the end of this month.last_img read more