Campaigners have accused the Labour party of shari

first_imgCampaigners have accused the Labour party of sharing the government’s appetite for segregating disabled children in special schools.Shadow minister Steve McCabe (pictured, right) was repeatedly criticised for Labour’s refusal to oppose the coalition’s policies on inclusive education, at a pre-election hustings event hosted by the Alliance for Inclusive Education.Labour and the Greens were the only parties represented, after UKIP’s disability spokeswoman Star Etheridge had to pull out due to ill-health, while the Liberal Democrat education spokesman Lord Storey failed to turn up, and the Conservatives refused to provide a spokesperson.The disabled inclusive education campaigner Richard Rieser asked McCabe what his party would do to reverse the four new “caveats” introduced by the coalition, which make it easier for a mainstream school to refuse to accept a disabled pupil.He said disabled campaigners had spent many years trying to get rid of “pernicious” parts of special educational needs legislation, and in 2001 new laws introduced by Labour had removed all but one of the “caveats” that gave schools excuses to refuse entry to disabled pupils.But Rieser said that the coalition’s Children and Families Act (CFA) had brought in four new caveats that “all head teachers can now exercise to stop parents who want their children in mainstream schools”.He said these caveats were “a major attack on the rights of parents who want mainstream schools. We have lobbied and lobbied and lobbied and nobody has taken any notice.”McCabe refused to say whether a Labour government would remove any of the caveats, although he did say that it would review the admissions code “to try to address the things that Richard talked about”.He said: “I am not going to lie and say we are going to bring in primary legislation [to remove the caveats].“I believe by reviewing the admissions code and taking the necessary steps when we see problems, we will be able to address some of your concerns.”He said a Labour government would concentrate on ensuring the effective implementation of the coalition’s CFA, rather than reversing any of its measures.He said: “We are not going to say it has to be specialist or all inclusive. What we say is where specialist schools provide good quality provision we will retain that but we expect them to work as support schools for mainstream schools around them.”Two young disabled women in the audience called for more to be done on inclusion.One, Yewande, pointed to the isolation facing disabled children and young people at schools and colleges, and the need for non-disabled students to walk into school with “an inclusive mind-set and to see disabled children as their peers… and right now that is not happening”.Another, Lucia Bellini, asked McCabe and the Green party’s Jonathan Bartley (pictured, left): “What are the parties going to do to make sure that inclusive education is a right and not a struggle?”When McCabe said Labour would look only at the admissions code, she told him: “I think legislation here is the key… so what are you going to do to change that?”After the hustings event, Bellini said she had been “really disappointed” by McCabe’s comments, and that Labour appeared to have “no commitment to inclusive education”, and to rights that disabled people had fought for.She said: “That they have basically been promoting segregation in an event like this is completely disappointing and devastating.”Bartley, who will be standing for the Green party in Streatham, and is his party’s work and pensions spokesman, told the event in central London: “We believe there should be a bias towards inclusion.“Quite simply, the right to an inclusive education will be in black and white in the Green party manifesto.”He said the Greens were the only party that would abolish SATs [standard assessment tests] and league tables, both often seen as barriers to inclusion.He said: “We don’t believe the role of education is to produce economic units to compete in the marketplace.“As long as we see the current approach on education, we will not get full inclusion.”And he said it was “sad” that there had been “no real proposals” from McCabe on how his party would improve inclusion in the schools system, and he criticised the “Tory and Labour acceptance of segregation”.He said: “Labour, I believe, don’t get inclusion, if they ever did. They believe inclusion is integration. It’s a one-size-fits-all policy.“The Greens believe that when you include a child, the environment changes for the better. The children are better educated because there is a better understanding of inclusion.”But McCabe said: “We think the priority is to make the CFA work. We want to work with parents, with local organisations and lobby groups to make that happen.”He said Labour had no plans to abolish SATs, although league tables were “probably past their sell-by date”, at least in their current format.Bartley pushed inclusive education onto the agenda at the last general election in 2010, when – accompanied by his disabled son Samuel – he challenged Tory leader David Cameron on his plans to “reverse the bias” towards inclusive education.He told the hustings event that he had fought for two years to secure a mainstream school place for Samuel.A spokeswoman for Lord Storey said afterwards: “Lord Storey would not want to let anyone down but due to unforeseen travel difficulties he was unfortunately unable to make this event.“Lord Storey is very happy to meet up on any other occasion to discuss important issues around disability.“He unsuccessfully tried to contact the organiser and apologised for any inconvenience caused.”But ALLFIE said it had received “no phone call, message or email from the Lib Dems”, so had lodged a formal complaint with the party and the Conservatives.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA 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… Disabled Labour activists have succeeded in a takeover of the organisation set up to build links between the party and the disability movement.During a heated annual general meeting (agm) of Disability Labour at a Leeds hotel on Saturday, the entire 15-strong slate of candidates from the Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL) campaign group secured election to the organisation’s executive.Only two members of the previous executive – both DEAL members – retained their seats in the election.The new executive has already issued a 12-point plan, which includes pledges to: set up a working group to develop party disability policy; ensure monthly, fully accessible meetings of the executive; and provide free membership to disabled party members.It will also develop disability equality training for constituency Labour parties; and ensure remote access to conferences and agms, and campaign for this access measure to be introduced across the party.The attempt at a fresh start for Disability Labour has also secured support from three key members of the grassroots Spartacus Network, which researches issues on disability and social security.Caroline Richardson, Stef Benstead and Catherine Hale said in a statement: “We are thrilled that Disability Labour now has an executive that understands the vision of [Labour’s] disability manifesto and that as activists involved with progressive policies we believe that the new executive will be an essential part of that future and we look forward to mutually supporting and working with Disability Labour.”Disability Labour is an independent society, affiliated to Labour, and many frustrated DEAL members had previously told Disability News Service (DNS) how it repeatedly failed in its objectives.Saturday’s agm saw at least three members of the former executive walk out of the meeting in response to heated criticism of their performance.Two former members, including one of those who walked out, have told DNS of their concern at what took place and what they say was a hostile atmosphere and “bullying” that was aimed at those associated with the previous leadership.They say they are now considering submitting a complaint to the national party.But there have been contrasting descriptions of the atmosphere at Saturday’s meeting, with DEAL members on the new executive accusing them of exaggerating what took place.Fran Springfield, Disability Labour’s new co-chair, said afterwards that she was “exhilarated” by the opportunity the election of her team gave for a fresh start.She said: “We have already begun to put things in place to ensure Disability Labour is more member-focused, that it is more democratic, that it is open in the way that we do things and that members will get a far greater say in how things will be done and be much more informed about how the executive is working.”She accepted that it was “traumatic” at the beginning of the meeting, before chair Dave Allan and acting secretary Brian Aylward walked out.Springfield said that DL would now “absolutely” be more closely aligned with the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and the left wing of the party.She said: “We are going to be a critical friend to Jeremy. We absolutely support what he is doing.“The economic plans he and John McDonnell are working on are the only way disabled people will actually get to have a life and a reasonable income.”She said it had been a “massive frustration” that Disability Labour had failed to be a campaigning organisation in recent years.And she said the majority of the executive were now also members of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), and that Disability Labour would now be working more closely with DPAC on its campaigning.She said later in a statement: “Until now disabled members have had very little voice. That must and will change.“The new executive will be leading by example, we will be campaigning on policy issues that affect disabled people, and on disability inclusion within the Labour party.”But Emily Brothers, a member of the previous executive, told DNS that the meeting had been rife with bullying and heckling.She said: “I have been part of the disability movement since leaving school in 1981 for 37 years, and also a member of the Labour party for the same period, and I have never witnessed a meeting like Saturday, where there was extensive bullying and displays of hatred.“I am shocked, appalled and ashamed at being part of it. It was a disgrace.”She said some of her friends had been left in tears by the behaviour they were subjected to at the meeting.She said: “They may have weaknesses and faults, but they also have wellbeing concerns and they should not be treated like this.“I feel very dejected. We are all meant to be comrades. I don’t feel I was treated in a comradely way.”Brian Aylward, who had been acting secretary of Disability Labour for six months, said he had been forced to leave the meeting after about an hour because he felt “threatened”.He said: “I felt for my safety but also for my mental health and my mental wellbeing I needed to do so.”He said that “a lot of the crowd were behaving like a baying mob”.He said they had had “reasonable frustration” that the previous chair and secretary, Dave Allan and Louise Reecejones, “did not perform well in their roles”.And he said that he and Brothers had tried to address the problems within Disability Labour by challenging Allan and Reecejones in February but had not secured support from other members of the executive.But he added: “What I felt in that room was chilling and it is something I never want to experience again, ever.”He said he sees himself as “a proud lefty” and has twice voted for Jeremy Corbyn in leadership elections.But he said: “I have been a lefty all my life but the behaviour I saw on Saturday is not the behaviour of people on the left but the behaviour I would associate with people on the extreme right.”Aylward said he believed the meeting showed that there was “a culture of tolerating bad behaviour” in the party.But others at the meeting disputed the descriptions given by Brothers and Aylward.Springfield, and Simon Lydiard, Disability Labour’s new secretary, said the atmosphere had changed once Allan left the meeting.They said: “It was a heated meeting – anger had been building for a long time about the way Disability Labour was being led.“There were remarks made by members in the meeting that were unfortunate – but we are a disability organisation and some people have conditions that can cause their behaviour to be challenging.“We do need to move on, re-set the atmosphere – and make everyone who wants to work together in a sprit of comradeship welcome.”Sophie Talbot, one of DEAL’s founders, and a co-opted member of the new executive, said the descriptions of the atmosphere at the agm by Aylward and Brothers were “so far over the top”.She said: “There was no baying mob. There was a release of hope and frustration at the years of incompetence, secrecy and manipulation.“The new executive is about openness, accountability and transparency. No wonder some of the old executive feel threatened.“But that’s their problem to be honest; we weren’t threatening them.”She said she disagreed with Springfield’s view that the new Disability Labour executive represented a significant shift to the left.She said: “This has never been about right or left. It’s always been about competence, accountability, participation.“We set up DEAL specifically because Disability Labour was doing nothing. Taking membership fees and not even responding to members’ emails.“For me, this was totally about making Disability Labour accountable to its members.”Springfield’s co-chair, Wayne Blackburn, said: “I’m sad to hear Emily and Brian’s comments as I believe they mischaracterise the agm.“There was, certainly, an amount of anger and frustration from members. However, I believe these comments are exaggerations and discourteous to the vast majority of members.“That being said, I offer my apologies to anyone who may have felt this way.“Disability Labour’s members have been ignored or side-lined for far too long and members expressed their frustration on Saturday.“Fran and I are keen to ensure transparency and inclusiveness, to give a real voice to our members and to ensure they can have trust in their executive.“I am grateful for the work of previous administrations and wish them all well.“Disability Labour must now look to the future and I hope all members, including former executive members, will work together to ensure disabled people have a united voice in the Labour party.”Allan has not responded to a request to comment.last_img read more

Developments in development Unhoused

first_img Tags: development • Developments in Development • homeless • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.“Stick ‘em on a boat!” is becoming a weirdly popular refrain when it comes to homelessness. Art Agnos gave it a shot last year, and now he’s got one more on board, specifically Greg Gopman of “degenerates gather like hyenas” fame. Apparently he told the Guardian this in March. It might be back in the news now because, if you haven’t noticed, a bunch of media outlets are doing this thing again where we put out a ton of stories about homelessness to see if we can bust any myths or shed any light. You can see last year’s archive here. And here’s Mission Local’s recent coverage:We have two dispatches this week from the city’s local efforts to clear encampments, here is one from Thursday and another from earlier in the week. Though it was briefly delayed, the temporary Navigation Center that will be replaced by the construction of new housing at 26th and South Van Ness has now opened and begun admitting clients.Also, the number of families without a place to call home in San Francisco may be undercounted.And here’s a look inside one man’s life who you might have passed on the streets, where he makes a living selling goods on the sidewalk.Though it’s not necessarily agreed upon what causes homelessness (KQED takes a stab at that question), one cause can be losing housing. This week, supervisors compromised on a crackdown on fraudulent owner-move-in evictions – that is, situations in which a property owner tells their tenant they need to move because the owner, or owner’s relative, plans on moving in, but once the tenant leaves the owner simply re-rents at a higher cost. The compromise adds significantly more teeth to existing rules around owner-move-in evictions. Right now, owners are technically required to submit documentation to the Rent Board when they do this kind of eviction, but data from the Tenants Union and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project shows that nearly half the owner-move-in evictions tenants sought help with at the Tenants Union weren’t reported to the Rent Board at all.Now, owners need to sign a document promising that, under penalty of perjury, they’ll follow the existing rules around Owner-Move-ins. They’ll also have to submit proof that they live in the evicted unit to the city for five years after the eviction. Another big piece is giving tenant advocacy nonprofits the right to sue landlords who fraudulently use the owner-move-in eviction process to kick out tenants – the idea being that the city hasn’t been doing that, and nonprofits are well-positioned to do so themselves.One element that didn’t make it in, to the dismay of some, was a provision that would have given tenants the right to sue a landlord after being offered a buyout instead of an eviction if the owner does not document the buyout with the Rent Board. The idea was to prevent situations in which a tenant, thinking that their landlord was about to move in and there was nothing they could do, would be paid off to leave and later find that the landlord had not followed the rules and simply re-rented the unit. Supervisors, however, may come back to this decision later. center_img 0%last_img read more

Sesar Valadez found guilty of attempted murder of two San Francisco cops

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Sesar Valadez, a 35-year-old Hayward resident, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic firearm, and one count each of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.He will be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2019. Court records indicate that, in addition to these charges, on Sept. 4, 2018, Valadez was caught on video shanking a fellow inmate in San Francisco County Jail, and is currently facing attempted murder charges in that incident, too. Sheriff’s deputies subsequently listened in on Valadez’s phone calls, during which he purportedly incriminated himself. “I’m the one that started everything,” he said on the phone, according to court records. “I sliced that nigger’s face through … he ended up going to the hospital.” On the night of Oct. 31, 2017, Valadez was seen attempting to break into a vehicle on the east side of Diamond Street. When Officers Samuel Fung and Shawn Kai Hintzen approached the vehicle, three unidentified individuals walked away from the car. Valadez was inside the car and, upon seeing Officers Fung and Hintzen, closed the door and locked himself inside. The suspect refused to answer questions about who the vehicle belonged to or exit the vehicle. He purportedly then suddenly pushed the driver’s side door open, firing two shots at Hintzen’s chest. The bullets did not pierce the officer’s bulletproof vest, but he stumbled and fell to the ground. With the suspect then pointing the gun at him, Fung ducked and ran south on Diamond Street. Valadez chased him and shot at Officer Fung 14 times.Fung emptied his magazine after firing multiple shots at the suspect. He reloaded and fired until seeing Valadez had been wounded after being shot in the right pelvic area. Medical personnel treated the suspect’s wound after responding officers arrested him at the scene.Hintzen was hospitalized for three weeks with bullet wounds to his hand and stomach. He had been caught in the crossfire between Valadez and Fung. “Kai is undergoing surgery as we speak on his intestines. He is in a semi-medical coma  from medications so that he doesn’t move around and do further damage,” Officer Joe Lynch of the crime scene investigation unit wrote to fellow SFPD members in a November 2017 e-mail obtained by Mission Local. ““His abdomen was clean of bacteria and the doctors were able to stitch him up.”    A man who critically wounded a police officer in the Castro last year was today found guilty of attempted murder and other crimes by a San Francisco jury. Officer Shawn Kai Hintzen had been left in critical condition after Halloween 2016 shooting by Sesar ValadezAdditional charges filed against Valadez for attempted murder of fellow jail inmatelast_img read more

FOLOWING the buzz of the weekends Carnegie Challe

first_imgFOLOWING the buzz of the weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup, Saints very own Jon Wilkin is teaming up with IRN-BRU to give fans a phenomenal treat.Wilko will be meeting supporters today, signing autographs and giving away shirts and balls plus offering fans a special IRN-BRU deal.Fans are welcome to drop by Tesco Extra on St Helen’s Linkway from 11.30am until 1.30pm.There’ll also be the chance to enter a free prize draw to win tickets to A Night with Johnny Vegas and Friends in association with IRN-BRU on 9th September at the Theatre Royal.IRN-BRU is the official soft drink of the Stobart Super League and sponsors Super League coverage on Sky Sports.last_img

NATHAN Brown was pleased Saints came through their

first_imgNATHAN Brown was pleased Saints came through their toughest test yet to remain top of the First Utility Super League table.His side scored four second half tries to win 24-16.“It was a different test for sure,” he said. “We had a lot of personnel out in key positions, a lot of people who hadn’t played this year and a lot of people in different positions too. From an attacking point of view we didn’t handle it too well. We were disjointed in the first half and that probably led to Reece Lynne’s length of the field try.“Defensively though I thought we handled them reasonably well. They have a lot of threat about them.“In the second half our attack improved enough for us to get enough points to win.”Saints went into the match missing Luke Walsh at scrum half and lost Lance Hohaia in the warm up.That saw a switch to 6 for Captain Paul Wellens – and Brown was happy with his performance.“We came here and Lance was going to play then he was unable to,” Brown added. “Wello did a good job and really competed well. He would do that in any position for this club. Willie Manu had to come off at the back end of the game but once he was off the field and had some treatment his knock doesn’t seem to be anything bad.”Saints are next in action this Friday when they host Leeds Rhinos.You can get your ticket from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.“It will be a tough game no doubt,” Brown added. “At the start of the season I thought Leeds were the team to beat and I haven’t seen anything that changes that. Warrington, Wigan and Huddersfield too; they are all hard teams to beat. Leeds have a great back line that entertain. It will be good game.”last_img read more

Wilmington man accused of raping child

first_img According to warrants, the alleged crimes happened between July 24, 2017 and May 27, 2018.Duran-Rivas was arrested Wednesday morning. He is being held under a $1 million bond. Alfredo Duran-Rivas (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is accused of raping a six-year-old girl.Alfredo Transisto Duran-Rivas, 29, is charged with statutory rape of child by adult, indecent liberties with a child, and statutory sex offense with a child by an adult.- Advertisement – last_img

Coast Guard to move Diligence homeport to Florida

first_img “The homeport change will support the strategic cutter homeporting priorities by clustering cutters of the same class,” the letter reads.According to its official history, the Diligence (WMEC 616) is the sixth cutter to bear the name. The Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC) was commissioned in 1964. The Coast Guard says it has a crew of 78.Rouzer says the Coast Guard plans to decommission the aging Diligence and replace it with a newer version cutter that is much bigger and too big to keep using downtown Wilmington as its home port.Related Article: Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmerWilmington was designated a Coast Guard City in 2003. Rouzer says the Coast Guard is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the area. Last year he helped secure the $6.7 million the Coast Guard said was needed to restore the downtown bulkhead along the Cape Fear River, where the Diligence docks.Wilmington is also home to a Coast Guard sector office. The Coast Guard also has stations at Wrightsville Beach and Oak Island.Rouzer says he has also discussed with the Coast Guard returning the Diligence to Wilmington during festivals and events from time to time.Originally homeported in Key West from 1964-1983, and then Cape Canaveral, FL, from 1983-1990. The Coast Guard says the Diligence was temporarily decommissioned for modernization at the Coast Guard Yard from 1990-1992. Following a $28 million refurbishment, a rebuilt Diligence was placed back in commission and moved to Wilmington as its home port.The Diligence traces its roots to Diligence I, which was one of the first ten US Revenue Cutters. Built in 1791 in Washington, NC, Diligence I temporarily sailed out of New Bern before moving to her permanent home port of Wilmington in October of 1792.Diligence II, III and IV replaced Diligence I. Each new cutter was bigger and faster, and all remained home ported along the Cape Fear River. By the 1830s, the Diligence line temporarily ended after Diligence IV was decommissioned.Diligence V, a 125-foot diesel-powered Coast Guard Cutter was commissioned in 1919 and sailed out of New York, Boston, Cleveland and finally Long Beach, CA, before being decommissioned in 1961.Other Coast Guard ships have also called Wilmington home over the years. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to Wilmington on Oct. 26, 2018, following a 60-day patrol. (Photo: Coast Guard) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After nearly three decades in the Port City, the US Coast Guard Cutter Diligence will soon have a new home.Rep. David Rouzer says he received a letter from the Coast Guard dated Dec. 26 that it would change the homeport of the Diligence from the Wilmington riverfront to Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida on or around Sept. 30, 2020.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Caruana Galizias murder planned by people with access to highest corridors of

first_imgWhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Watch the Maltese government being hopelessly defended by the emissaries of murderous dictators, kleptocrats, and countries-for-sale in the Council of Europe as Pieter Omtzigt’s bright light of a report on my mother sails through. A happy day for the truth. #DaphneCaruanaGalizia— Andrew Caruana Galizia (@acaruanagalizia) June 26, 2019 SharePrint PN MP Jason Azzopardi said that it’s being said that those who ordered assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia are individuals who have access to the highest corridors of power. Azzopardi gave his comments to after a report prepared by special rapporteur Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt was approved in the Council of Europe on Wednesday.The report, “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges” condemns the state of the rule of law in Malta and raises concerns about the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder was overwhelming approved with 72 votes in favour to 18 against and 3 abstentions.READ: ‘Unprecedented that the CoE looks into an EU member state’ – OmtzigtIn its recommendations, the report calls on the government to establish a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder within three months.READ: Report on Caruana Galizia assassination and Malta’s rule of law approved by PACE committeeSpeaking to, Azzopardi said that MPs from other countries made him aware that the Maltese government had instructed every Maltese embassy in countries which are members of the Council of Europe to lobby against the report prepared by special rapporteur of the assembly, Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt. Azzopardi remarked that the government unsuccessfully used its resources to make sure that the report is not approved in the assembly. He then questioned the real motive behind such a move, asking what interest would the government have to bury the truth.READ: Let’s lobby against Omtzigt’s report – Manwel tried reaching out to the other MPs in Malta’s delegation to the Assembly. Government MP Rosianne Cutajar requested the questions in writing, however did not reply until the time of writing. PL MP Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi asked to be contacted later, however he did not reply while PN MP Carm Mifsud Bonnici asked to be contacted a day later since he was away.Read more:‘If Malta cannot or will not correct its weaknesses, European institutions must intervene’ – CoEPress PM for Daphne inquiry tomorrow – Joint press advocacy letter to EU leadersDaphne’s murder: “She was killed because of her investigative work” – OmtzigtReactions on social media: center_img Well done for standing up for #Malta Emmanuel Mallia @RosianneCutajar @stefanzrinzo and Etienne Grech.— Kurt Farrugia (@KurtFarrugia) June 26, 2019 Enormous thanks are owed to @PieterOmtzigt for his fearless investigation into the profound, systematic rule of law failings which enabled the assassination of #Malta’s leading investigative journalist, #DaphneCaruanaGalizia. This report is a pivotal step to ending #impunity.— ARTICLE 19 ECA (@article19europe) June 26, 2019 Thank you Matthew, Andrew, Paul and Corinne. The CoE initiative/report is a result of your hard work. Instead of grieving, the family is forced to seek justice for their mother/sister. Maltese politicians spectacularly failed to lobby against this report. #DaphneCaruanaGalizia— Flutura Kusari (@fluturakusari) June 26, 2019last_img read more

Interactive Alliance advocates creation of call centre association across Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Christopher Bell, Interactive Intelligence’s Channel Manager for Africa (, has recently called for the creation of a call centre association for Nigeria and other African countries as a way of promoting a standard for call centres. He mentions that such associations have already been set up in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and plans are underway to set one up in Kenya.“Call centres are helping African governments to provide efficient and effective services to citizens”, says Rod Jones, contact centre consultant. Speaking in Lagos, Nigeria ahead of an Interactive Intelligence-sponsored masterclass for stakeholders, Jones says with leading edge technologies such as speech recognition and voice commands, call centres have evolved and transcended beyond ordinary telephone calls. “As we have evolved to become a customer direction centre, we’ve moved from telephone calls into SMS text messaging. We’ve taken on the email and social media channel and for customer interaction.”“We’ve already seen that in South Africa,” Jones mentions. The most effective aspect of the government is our Revenue Service. They have built and operate a true world class call centre and it has been responsible for tremendous improvements in revenue collection by the government. – Advertisement – Christopher Bell exclaims that masterclasses held in various parts of Africa, especially in Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, are conducting dialogues that are being stimulated and more organisations, including government, are developing interests in the diverse possibilities of setting up call centres.“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the industry in the wake of the seminars“, says Bell. If you keep the momentum going by stimulating dialogue, you make people aware. We exposed some of the participants for the first time to what a call centre is all about.”Organisations in Nigeria such as telecoms companies and financial institutions, are quickly adopting call centres, according to Mbuela Luwawu, Managing Director of Odilum Technologies Limited, an Interactive Intelligence partner in Nigeria.Luwawu says: “Five years ago, no bank had a contact centre but since 2009, you can pick up your phone, call your contact centre and speak to your customer service officer directly. The adoption has been quite positive.” He also states that Nigeria has the ability to take market share away from India; he also predicted there will be lots of contact centre outsourcing for Nigeria from Europe and America.last_img read more

First ever 4G Square launches in Rwanda

first_imgAdvertisement Airtel Rwanda in partnership with Olleh Rwanda Networks has participated in the opening of the first ever 4G Square in Rwanda.Presided over by Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister for Youth and ICT, the 4G Square was launched in Kigali at the Grand Pension Plaza.Being the first of its kind in the country, the 4G Square will be a one-stop hub for all the 4G LTE technology devices that include; smart phones, touch pads, smart watches and a conference room, a refreshment area and advanced on technology options (Play interactive system) for customers to experiment with. – Advertisement – Speaking at the launch of the 4G Square, Chrysanthe Turatiman, the Airtel Value Added Services, Devices and Data Manager said; “The 4G Square is the latest innovation that has come to Rwanda and this will go a long way in easing access to 4G services for the people of Rwanda. We shall ensure that consumers enjoy consistent, uninterrupted and high quality super-fast internet speeds.”The 4G Square will also have free super-fast internet that can be accessed at inside the square by all customers. The Airtel booth will provide 3G and 4G internet solutions for all customers and it will be open every day.The Guest of Honor, Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana Minister of Youth and ICT Rwanda said; “4G LTE technology is a win for the ICT and the business community in Rwanda. This is what the economy of technology is all about and we hope that talented youths can be able to use this 4G Square to produce developmental applications that can help our nation.”4G LTE is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G. 4G LTE technology provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access to internet enabled devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. It is considered the fastest internet in Africa.last_img read more

Netflix now offering iOS users inapp subscriptions

first_imgAdvertisement The latest version of the Netflix iOS app is now available to download, and it has come with a new update. You can make in-app subscriptions.Previously, it has not been possible to subscribe to Netflix suing the iOS mobile app, and would-be users were forced to sign up on the web, before returning to the app to actually view the content.The delay is attributed to Apple charging companies 30% of the sale amount of any purchase made inside an iOS app, meaning Apple would take a cut of a subscription to Netflix if it was made in the app which is a huge turn-off for companies. – Advertisement – The company has released the video below promoting the feature. Via Trusted Reviewslast_img

Sundar Pichai announces Googles plans to train 10 million people in Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Google aims to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable, its chief executive said last week.A Google spokeswoman also revealed that the company hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Sources claim that Google revealed it would offer a combination of in-person and online training.Google’s pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people. – Advertisement – The company is “committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a company conference in Lagos, Nigeria.Pichai also announced that Google’s charitable arm,, is committing $20 million over the next five years to nonprofits that are working to improve lives across Africa. The tech firm will further give initial grants worth $2.5 million to non-profit African startups to provide free access to learning for 400,000 low-income students in South Africa and Nigeria.last_img read more

Zimba Women to Hold its 2nd Annual Zimba Women Technology for Business

first_imgAdvertisement Zimba Women, a flagship project of Zimba Group – a leading IT solutions provider specializing in provision of technical and software solutions for SMEs, last year in September during a press conference held at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel officially launched it’s first annual 2 day summit, dubbed “Breaking Business Barriers.” Their two day event brought together more than 300 women from different sectors including government sectors, building and running women-led businesses in Uganda.The firm has established a socio-economic conscious business environment that includes full support of women entrepreneurs that could potentially bring millions out of poverty and reduce an alarming gender income gap seen on the African Continent.Following their success at their first annual summit, Zimba Women announced, its 2nd annual summit under the theme “Harnessing opportunities of global trade to empower the African Woman” that will be held for 2 days starting 15th to 16th November, 2017 at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.The #ZimbaSummit17 will be a chance for women entrepreneurs to explore the different opportunities that tech has for business development.— Zimba Women (@ZimbaWomen) October 5, 2017 – Advertisement – The 2nd annual business summit will be an interactive learning, professional development and Business to Business matchmaking event. During the summit, according to the firm, will have a mentorship session tailored for girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and early career women in STEM.The mentorship session will be a chance for women to learn from their fellow women about new skills and knowledge that will enable them to harness different opportunities for their personal and professional development.The 2 day event is also set to feature activities such as interactive learning sessions, group discussions, workshops, exhibition and interactive meetings that will help female participants gain ample information strategies, insights, mentors and perspectives on business.last_img read more

£25 FREE BET 830 Chelmsford

first_img£25 FREE BET IFHARBOUR VISION WINS 8.30 CHELMSFORDWe are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS a £25 FREE BET if HARBOUR VISION WINS 8.30 CHELMSFORD.You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at between 8pm on Wednesday 24 April and 8.30pm on Thursday 25 April. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify, you must open a new account at anytime from 8pm on Wednesday 24 April to 8.30pm (GMT) on Thursday 25 April.(2) In addition, you must place at least one bet online with before 8.30pm (GMT) on Thursday 25 April. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the web site, excluding specials or enhanced odds markets.(3) The bonus promotional offer of £25 will be paid as a Free Bet if HARBOUR VISION WINS (8.30 Chelmsford). The Free Bet will be valid for a period of 7 days from the point of issue and must be used within this period otherwise will expire.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus Free Bet, if successful, will be credited within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(7) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(8) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(9) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(10) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(11) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(12) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(13) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more

Rice Universitys Institute for Urban Research will study patterns of change in

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: franz.brotzen@rice.eduRice University’s Institute for Urban Research will study patterns of change in citiesHouston Area Survey to be housed at instituteRice University has created an Institute for Urban Research (IUR) to study patterns of change in Houston and other cities and conduct other research on urban issues. The new institute combines the ongoing work of two centers at Rice — the Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life (CORRUL) and the Urban Research Center (URC) — into a cohesive entity to be housed in the School of Social Sciences. The current directors of the two centers, sociology professors Michael Emerson and Stephen Klineberg, will serve as co-directors of the institute. The IUR will conduct scientific research, sponsor educational programs and engage in public outreach that advances understanding of pressing urban issues and fosters the development of more humane and sustainable cities. Its goal is to become a magnet for talent, a catalyst for civic engagement and a nationally recognized leader both in conducting first-rate research and in translating its findings into a valued resource that informs and inspires the communities on which the research is based.The institute will serve as the permanent home for the Houston Area Survey, the nation’s longest-running study of any metropolitan area’s economy, population, life experiences, beliefs and attitudes. For almost 30 years, the annual surveys have provided an ever-richer, ever-changing picture of the region’s economic and demographic patterns, and they have measured area residents’ beliefs and attitudes regarding the region’s quality of life, its burgeoning ethnic and cultural diversity and the growth of its urban centers. “With the Institute for Urban Research, the Houston surveys are now assured of continuing into the future to provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing this region,” Klineberg said. “The institute will also enable us to augment the survey findings with other urban research and public programs, to greatly enhance their value to the wider community.”“The new institute will focus on three interconnected endeavors: social research in the urban context, public outreach and academic programs,” said Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology. “Scholars at the institute will study both the macro changes in the economic, demographic and sociocultural patterns of large metropolitan regions and the micro experiences of life in local neighborhoods and communities.”“The Institute for Urban Research will help to train students in modern social research methodologies, develop interdisciplinary academic programs bringing together scholars with shared interests to foster collaboration and host annual symposia exploring the policy implications of its research,” said Lyn Ragsdale, dean of Rice’s School of Social Sciences. “It will also issue published reports each year on the latest results of the Houston Area Survey and make use of blogs and other social media tools to disseminate its research findings to the wider community.”Support for the institute will come from research grants and endowment funds. The ongoing operation of the IUR is being underwritten by a consortium of business and civic leaders who have joined the center as founding members of the IUR Corporate Forum. As of this month, that group includes Sterling Bank, the United Way of Greater Houston, ExxonMobil, The Marek Family of Companies, HEB, Gallery Furniture, Wells Fargo, CenterPoint Energy and Fiesta Mart.last_img read more

Scholar to discuss health accuracy in TV plots at Rice lecture

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775EMAIL: Scholar to discuss ‘health accuracy’ in TV plots at Rice lectureHealth issues are common plot devices on U.S. television shows. But how realistic are their depictions of illness and its consequences? Sandra de Castro Buffington, the director of the Norman Lear Center’s Hollywood, Health & Society program at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will address the issue April 7 at Rice University.Buffington’s lecture, “Is Television Good for Our Health?: Working with Hollywood’s Scriptwriters to Increase Health Accuracy in TV Story Lines,” will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main Street. For directions, go to event is organized by the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality as part of the Gray/Wawro Lectures in Gender, Health and Well-Being. It is free and open to the public.For more on the Gray/Wawro lecture series, go to FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Researchers aim to grow salivary glands using patients own cells

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACTS:David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduResearchers aim to grow salivary glands using patient’s own cellsRegenerative research will benefit cancer patients who suffer from dry mouthHOUSTON — (Aug. 13, 2012) — Biologists, surgical oncologists and regenerative medicine specialists from Rice University, the University of Delaware and the Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del., have begun a four-year program aimed at using cells to grow whole salivary glands that can replace those destroyed by cancer radiation therapy.The research, which is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, could benefit thousands of cancer patients who suffer from xerostomia, or dry mouth.Dry mouth is an especially severe problem for patients with cancers of the head and neck because the mouth’s saliva-producing acinar cells are particularly susceptible to radiation. As a result, about 40,000 head and neck cancer patients who undergo standard radiation therapy each year report serious problems with dry mouth. The condition can make it painful for patients to swallow, eat and even speak. It also causes accelerated tooth decay and oral infections.Surgical oncologists and engineers from Delaware meet weekly by videoconference with Rice University researchers Daniel Harrington and Cindy Farach-Carson to discuss their efforts to grow whole salivary glands to replace those destroyed by cancer radiation therapy.“We’ve already shown that we can harvest acinar cells prior to radiation therapy, grow them in the lab, implant them into test animals and maintain their ability to produce salivary enzymes,” said Cindy Farach-Carson, Rice’s Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and the principal investigator on the new grant. “In the next phase of the research, we want to show that we can make whole salivary glands that can integrate into the host and increase saliva production. To do that, we need more than just saliva-producing cells. We need nerves and ducts and blood vessels and all the other things that make up the gland itself.”If the research is successful, it could pave the way for future clinical trials.Farach-Carson, a biologist and longtime cancer researcher, said the regenerative salivary gland project is possible only because the research team includes experts in cell biology, clinical oncology and tissue engineering. For example, Rice’s project team includes co-investigator Daniel Harrington, faculty fellow in biochemistry and cell biology, who has expertise in polymer science and materials engineering.Farach-Carson, who also serves as Rice’s vice provost for translational bioscience and as scientific director of Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, spends a good deal of her time extolling the benefits of research that crosses disciplinary and institutional boundaries. She said the salivary gland project is a perfect example of what can happen when experts from disparate fields come together to solve a common problem.Researchers have shown that salivary cells cultured outside the body can be coaxed into forming organized structures similar to those found in the body. These images show cells marked with fluorescent dyes that identify specific proteins found in salivary tissues.“This all began in 2005 when I went on sabbatical and was randomly assigned to share an office with Robert Witt, one of Delaware’s leading head and neck surgical oncologists,” Farach-Carson said. “My prior work had been with prostate cancer, so Bob and I traded stories about our previous work and found some common ground. Around that time, we also met Xinqiao Jia, a materials scientist at the University of Delaware who specializes in creating biomaterials for regenerative medicine.”Witt, who directs the Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Center at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, said, “There is currently no way to prevent or cure xerostomia for cancer patients who are undergoing radiation therapy. This is clearly a problem where regenerative medicine holds great promise for improving the quality of life for many people.”In addition, the research could also benefit those with Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic disease in which a person’s immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands. Up to 4 million Americans live with Sjögren’s syndrome.Jia, associate professor of materials science and engineering, said recreating the structure and function of whole salivary glands is a challenge.“Every tissue in the body has unique requirements from its surroundings,” she said. “The biocompatible polymers we create at the University of Delaware can be tuned to match the structure of soft tissues in salivary glands. We can also incorporate specific biological cues to direct the growth and organization of the cells that are seeded into the polymers.”Jia said her group works closely with their biological and clinical partners to identify the key properties that must be incorporated into the hydrogel polymers to direct cell organization and growth.“This partnership over the past seven years has been incredibly rewarding for all of us,” Farach-Carson said. “Generous support from a patient of Dr. Witt provided the initial resources that enabled our early studies and brought us to where we are now. Without that help, we might never have reached this major milestone today.”-30-A high-resolution image is available for download at: Surgical oncologists and engineers from Delaware meet weekly by videoconference with Rice University researchers Daniel Harrington and Cindy Farach-Carson to discuss their efforts to grow whole salivary glands to replace those destroyed by cancer radiation therapy.CREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice UniversityA high-resolution image is available for download at: Researchers have shown that salivary cells cultured outside the body can be coaxed into forming organized structures similar to those found in the body. These images show cells marked with fluorescent dyes that identify specific proteins found in salivary tissues.CREDIT: Swati Pradhan-Bhatt/University of DelawareA copy of the NIH grant abstract is available at: read more