Gaping holes have been exposed in the governments

first_imgGaping holes have been exposed in the government’s Independent Living Fund (ILF) promises, after a local authority slashed a disabled woman’s support by 48 hours a week when the fund closed.Daisy* had been receiving 49 hours a week of ILF support, in addition to 35 hours of council support, but that package is now set to be cut to just 36 hours in total.Hounslow council – which originally offered her just 21 hours a week, before it agreed to carry out another assessment – even suggested that she started using adult nappies, to lower her reliance on support from personal assistants and so “increase her independence”.She has described the cuts as “demeaning, dehumanising and wrong and utterly, devastatingly traumatising”, and is now hoping to take legal action against the council over the cut to her support package.ILF was run by the Department for Work and Pensions and when it closed on 30 June was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.But the coalition government decided that it should close – despite a high-profile campaign to keep it open (pictured) – promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through the Department for Communities and Local Government to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.Announcing the date of the ILF closure, in March 2014, Mike Penning, at the time the minister for disabled people, said there had been “significant developments in how we provide social care to disabled people so they can live independent lives”, and that the government wanted to “make sure that disabled people are given the support that allows them to fulfil their potential”.Instead, the transition process has been littered with reports of delays in reassessments for former ILF-users and cuts to their care packages, compounded by many local authorities failing to plan ahead for the closure.Daisy, a wheelchair-user with a number of long-term health conditions, who needs support 24 hours a day, already has to rely on friends, family and personal assistants (PAs) to provide unpaid support for the rest of the week, even with a package of 84 hours a week support.But she now fears the council’s decision will destroy her social life, her links with the community, her efforts to care for her 83-year-old mother, and her campaigning and activism, as well as risking falls, dislocations, pressure sores, infections and general deterioration of her physical and mental health.She used ILF support to speak about the imminent closure of ILF at the Glastonbury Festival speakers forum in June, just days before the fund closed for good.As part of the council’s offer of 36 hours of support a week, she will receive just two blocks of three-and-a-half hours of support for “accessing the community”.Before she started receiving support from ILF, she said, she was rarely able to contribute to society.Being offered just seven hours a week for excursions into the outside world has added to her “distress and feelings of panic, fear and dread and loss of control over her day-to-day life”.She said that being supported by her PAs to campaign on disability rights, independent living and social inclusion has been of “significant importance” to her, as the government “abuses its position of power to make cruel and inhumane cuts to disability benefits and attacks the basic human rights of sick and disabled people”.She has told her social worker that suggesting that she would have “greater independence by being put into incontinence pads so that she wold not be dependent on carers to help her to access the toilet is a prime example of this abuse and neglect”.She has told the council that maintaining a home where she feels safe and secure has enabled her to be “more outgoing and more able to contribute to society”, and that removing that support will “seriously affect” her ability to be part of society.A spokeswoman for Hounslow council confirmed that Daisy was now receiving just 36 hours of support per week.She said: “An assessment of [her] needs was carried out by Hounslow council.“The number of hours care which [she] is receiving as a direct payment is not based on what she received in the past, but what her needs are currently.”She refused to say how many other former ILF-users had had their support packages cut by the council.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said they were aware of at least three other local authorities that were “slashing people’s care packages, in spite of the fact that they have had money devolved to them” from the government to cover the extra costs of former ILF-users.And she said that no government department was monitoring the impact of the ILF closure, after DWP “dumped responsibility for it” when the fund closed.Burnip said Daisy’s case showed that ministers were “liars”, but added: “I don’t think anybody ever believed them anyhow.”*Not her real namelast_img read more

Marie Harrison tireless fighter for environmental justice dies at 71

first_imgMarie Harrison was a fighter and an organizer, and, nearly until her last breath, she continued to do both of these things. “On Friday morning, I was on the phone talking to her about organizing issues surrounding the India Basin project and the Hunters Point Shipyard,” says Bradley Angel, the CEO of Greenaction, an environmental nonprofit where Harrison served as an organizer and board member for decades. “And, on Friday night, she stopped breathing.”  She died Saturday after being taken off life support. Harrison, who was 71, arrived in Bayview in 1966 as a teen with her mother and eight siblings. She lived in Bayview Hunters Point for decades and, for two years, worked at the toxic Hunters Point Shipyard. She did not think it was a coincidence that she, a nonsmoker, developed a severe and inoperable lung condition that, in recent years, required her to lug oxygen tanks everywhere she went.  Decades ago — back in the early 1990s — Harrison was sounding alarms that the Hunters Point Shipyard project was a looming toxic nightmare and that efforts to clean it up were slipshod and not to be trusted. As a former worker on the site, she, personally, slammed on the typewriter keys to ensure the requisite five — yes, five — copies of every document were produced. So she knew the documents were out there even if, as an activist, the powers-that-be wouldn’t turn them over. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img In recent years, the media has, belatedly, began writing about what Harrison was agitating for decades ago. Toxicity, a botched clean-up, and a series of cover-ups at the Hunters Point Shipyard are, arguably, the worst eco-frauds in the nation’s history. Yet, despite this spate of recent coverage, it remains an underreported story. The highest echelons of political movers and shakers in this region are deeply lashed to this ongoing catastrophe and accountability remains elusive. Because this story remains critically undercovered — and because this level of environmental degradation affects every neighborhood in this city — we are choosing to run Harrison’s obituary in Mission Local. But, truth be told, it affects some neighborhoods worse than others, which is why it was so easily ignored for so many years. “Marie was a clear and strong voice who brought community knowledge to the forefront regarding the contamination of the shipyard,” Angel continued. “She did this as her friends and neighbors continued dying of pollution-related causes. Finally, the state of California as well as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District acknowledges what neighborhood residents have said for decades — Bayview-Hunters Point continues to bear a disproportionate impact from pollution, and many of the health problems in the community can be attributed to it.”   Harrison’s calling as an environmental crusader came after she and so many others were forced out of the misbegotten Geneva Towers project. She took up residence with her daughter in Hunters View, just a stone’s throw from what was then an operating PG&E power plant. “She would come in in the mornings and tell me how she had to sit up all night with her grandson, because his nose wouldn’t stop bleeding,” recalled Mary Ratcliff, the publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, who ran Harrison’s column for years. “She kept watching the smoke pouring out of that chimney and heading right at them.”Harrison was in the mix as staunch community activism led to this plant being shuttered in 2006. “Some in the community were bought off by mega-developers and polluters,” says Angel. “But Marie could not be bought.”Marie Harrison in 2004 agitates against the PG&E power plant in Bayview. Photo courtesy of Greenaction.Harrison joined Greenaction as a community organizer in 1999. It was more than a job for her. “All she wanted was for us to have a fighting chance to live without worrying about the water or the air,” says Leaotis Martin, a friend and fellow organizer brought into the fold by Harrison and Tessie Ester. “They opened my eyes to how real this work is. I never really knew how toxic Bayview was until I started messing with Marie and Tessie.” After her husband died several years ago, Harrison’s health declined. She lost her home in Bayview and moved in with her son in Stockton. And yet, she would commute back to San Francisco to carry on her work. She wanted to keep people alive and, friends say, the work kept her alive. Harrison, recalls her friend Martin, was not a physically imposing person. But “she was big all around. She enjoyed doing what she was doing. And if she felt you didn’t care about the community she loved, she could be a little hard on you. When I first started, if I wasn’t serious enough, she’d say ‘I’m gonna break your neck.’ You know, she doesn’t mean it. But she means it. To get your attention.” As such, Harrision was in character last year when she was honored for a lifetime of activism by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She spoke quietly, and had oxygen tubes in her nose. But she spoke her mind. “I would be remiss if I did not ask for you to continue to support the community effort to get the shipyard cleaned up, completely — i.e. a full re-testing of the shipyard,” she told the board on June 26, 2018. “I don’t want to see another family out there and be worried to death if they’re safe or not. And you know it’s not safe yet. … You guys are endowed with the ability to make sure our community and our new community members are safe. That’s all I’m asking. That’s all any of us are asking. Say no to corporate interests. Do the right thing. Remember the community you actually work for.” Harrison is survived by three adult children and several grandchildren. Her survivors and loved ones agreed that the best way to honor her legacy would be to continue her fight — and clean up the shipyard. last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham says the win over Catalans wasn

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham says the win over Catalans wasn’t the prettiest to watch – but it was good to get two points under their belts.Saints got their title defence underway with an 18-7 victory at Langtree Park on Friday.“It wasn’t pretty,” he said. “It’s disappointing for me that all these rugby league fans who have been waiting for this season to start, to see the sport they love… that after two TV games all people are talking about is how many refereeing decisions are made in the game. We want to just play Rugby League.“The side hung on in there and their resilience and effort defensively was good – they keep showing that to me because they are making themselves defend a lot. We defended 30 tackles in a row and then went up the other end and should have scored. That changes the whole aspect of the game – our skill was off tonight.“We looked a little nervous; we looked like we were playing on TV for the first game of the season. When we got into our rhythms though we looked undefendable – we threatened them every time.“Catalans showed immense resilience for what they have gone through. They lost Tonga, didn’t have half backs and were without middle men. I thought they were great and will be up there this year.”Keiron revealed after the game that Luke Walsh is in light training with the team now and is an outside chance for the World Club Challenge.last_img read more

GOOD luck to the players and staff who are travell

first_imgGOOD luck to the players and staff who are travelling to Australia today!Saints Academy Tour of Australia will take in games against Wests Tigers (Oct 17), Central Coast (Oct 21), Parramatta Eels (Oct 25) and Penrith Panthers (Oct 31).“On behalf at everyone at the club we wish all the players and staff – as well as those parents travelling with them – the very best of luck and a great trip to Australia,” Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus said.“The Tours have become a foundation and a tradition of the Academy and the players have represented the club and themselves with success, distinction and honour.“Games have seen boys develop into men and there’s no coincidence that 37 tourists have gone on to play in Super League.“It is an environment which is challenging but fun too and builds character.“I’m sure those on the trip will do themselves and the club proud and we are all behind them.”Details of the Tour can be found here.last_img read more

Tommy Makinson Jonny Lomax and Luke Thompson star

first_imgTommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax and Luke Thompson starred in England’s 18-16 victory over the Kiwi’s whilst Matty Lees was named man of the match in the Knights’ 16-12 decision in PNG.It was a performance that pleased coach Paul Anderson:“Matty has taken out the players’ player award,” he said. “He gave a couple of penalties away but I don’t mind that, he did that in the right way, because he’s got a level of intimidation about him.“He’s only 20 and he’s just got man of the match in an England Knights international against a near-enough full strength Papua New Guinea team. He’s a champion player and I like what he brings. He’s still got some things to fix up, but this trip is going to do him a lot of good.”England Women had a big 54-4 win over France that coach Craig Richards described as “excellent”.“I was really happy with the performance and the way the team bought into the processes that we brought into camp,” he said.Emily Rudge captained the side whilst Faye Gaskin, Jodie Cunningham, Tara Jones, Vicky Whitfield and Naomi Williams all played – Williams tagging a try in the second half.Elsewhere, James Bentley made his international debut at centre for Ireland in a 36-10 win over Scotland.He scored in the European Championship clash that his side dominated from start to finish.Theo Fages was at the hub of France’s 54-18 victory over Wales in the same competition.The top two sides in the ‘Euros’ will qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.Memberships for the 2019 season are now on sale and existing holders have until October 31 to secure the best possible price for their renewal.For information, prices and how to buy, click here.last_img read more

Club Superstore

first_imgWith great support from the Saints Heritage Society, we will have a different front cover for every home game this season which will take its’ inspiration from a retro-programme featuring Saints against the same opposition back in the day.We start tonight with a Saints vs. Wigan classic from Good Friday in 1966, which we hope bodes well for tonight! That day Saints recorded a 17-10 win that included a try from a certain Tom van Vollenhoven!We feature that team inside the programme and this regular feature will also highlight their individual Heritage numbers, produced for us as a result of the outstanding work from our friends at the Saints Heritage Society.Tom has a very appropriate number for a flying winger so pick up your copy to find out which one!If you have any ideas for covers you would like to see and you have the original programme in your collection, then please scan the front cover and email to us at never know, we might just choose yours to become part of our collection in 2019.The usual features are inside with columns from Chairman, Eamonn McManus, Justin Holbrook and James Roby plus loads of other content including an interview with Lachlan Coote, details of our successful 2021 World Cup bid to become a Host Venue, more information on how Heritage numbers were brought to life, plus a look back to the video years of the legendary Ron Hoofe, a quick Quiz page and something for Junior Saints to keep them entertained too.Buy yours from inside or outside the ground tonight for just £3 and many thanks to Warrington Audi for their season-long Programme Sponsorship.In addition, we have produced just 200 copies of a special limited-edition version for the same £3 price which will contain exactly the same great content as the main programme but with a special one-off cover design. This unique cover is in tribute to our flying winger Tommy Makinson as he makes his 200th Saints appearance tonight and this version is only on sale in the Club Shop, so when they’ve gone, they’ve gone!Please note, the Tommy Makinson version will NOT be on sale in any other area of the Stadium, so if you want one make sure you visit the Club Shop before you enter the turnstilesAll Hospitality guests will receive the Retro cover version as part of their package this evening.last_img read more

Douglas Edwards sentenced to at least 80 years in prison

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Less than 24 hours after he was found guilty of multiple charges including kidnapping and attempted murder of a six-year-old girl,  Douglas Edwards was sentenced to between 80 and 110 years in prison.“He will die in prison and that’s the only appropriate place for him,” New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said.- Advertisement – Last year, the 6-year-old child was taken from her front yard in Monkey Junction, chained to a tree in the woods off River Road and sexually assaulted. She was found the next morning.“Sometimes we see when evil and innocence intersect, that’s what you call horror,” David said. “And this was every parent’s worse nightmare.”September 14, 2016, a long night the victim’s family, community members, and local law enforcement like Lt. D.R. Swan with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office will never forget.Related Article: R&B star R. Kelly enters not-guilty plea in sex abuse case“I can’t tell you the amount of emotions a year ago that still resonate with the detectives that handled this case,” Lt. Swan said.Before deliberations began, the judge and assistant district attorney told the jury they have to decide if they believe two aggravating factors in this case, which are the child is very young and the crime was specifically cruel and heinous. The defense argued against those factors, saying Edwards has faced many challenges his whole life.The jury found the two aggravating factors exist handing over Edwards’ sentencing to the judge. Before sentencing, the victim’s mother gave an emotional impact statement.“First of all I would like to thank God, and every single one of you for finding justice for my little one,” she said. “It’s not fair for men such as this one to be free… doing such malicious, evil things to such young children.”The judge ruled Edwards a sexually violent predator.The defense asked for Edwards to have mental health considerations and referenced a suicide attempt Wednesday night. The judge also ordered Edwards to not have any contact with the victim.Wednesday, the jury also found Edwards guilty of two counts of indecent liberties with a child, assault with a deadly weapon and statutory sexual offense.“You know we’re all parents here,” David said. “And it’s something where we usually are responding to tragedies but to actually be able to prevent a further one and bring a little girl home, goes way beyond than just doing the normal job.”Edwards has charges pending in the sexual assault of another New Hanover County Child. David said because Edwards will be in prison for life, he is still considering whether to pursue that charge to avoid putting the other victim through a trial.last_img read more

Weapons gun found on two students lockdown lifted at Pender Co schools

first_img Schools spokeswoman Miranda Ferguson said a code red lockdown is issued when there is a potential threat of an intruder and/or a weapon on campus.According to Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, a non-emergency call came in from a parent that a threat was coming to the school.Bryce Sheehan (Photo: PCSO)Rowell said they responded to Topsail High School and found a student, Bryce Matthew Sheehan, sitting in his vehicle in front of the school. He said the 18-year-old Hampstead teen was found with a large knife strapped to his leg and had three other knives.Related Article: Brunswick County Schools announce make-up days due to FlorenceSheehan was arrested and charged with Possession of a Weapon on Educational Property, not a firearm. He is currently in the Pender County Jail under a $8,000 secured bond.While investigating Sheehan, Rowell said a passing motorist alerted a deputy at the school of a vehicle whose driver had been driving erratically while approaching the school and had acted suspiciously before approaching law enforcement vehicles.Rowell said at one point the vehicle had pulled over and the driver placed something into the back seat of the vehicle.Deputies made contact with this driver and identified him as Alan Edwardo, Jr., 16 of Hampstead.Edwardo was found to be in possession of a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle in his vehicle.Rowell said Edwardo indicated he heard there was a code red lockdown at the school and was responding to attempt to stop the shooter.Edwardo was arrested and charged with Possession of a Firearm on Educational Property.He posted a $2,000 secured bond and has since been released from custody.During these investigations, the NC Highway Patrol and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office assisted.Rowell said neither of the two students tried to make entry into any building on the Topsail High School campus.During a code red lockdown, students are brought into a classroom, doors and windows are closed and locked, lights turned off, and students moved into a protected area of the room.North Topsail Elementary and South Topsail Elementary were placed under a code yellow lockdown.The lockdown was lifted by noon. A long line of parents were waiting to pick up their children.No one got hurt. Topsail High School on code Red Lock down on May 29, 2018 (Photo: Viewer) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two Pender County students are in custody after a threat Tuesday morning at Topsail High School.Pender County Schools posted on Facebook around 9:15 a.m. about a code red lockdown at Topsail High, Topsail Middle and Topsail Elementary.- Advertisement – last_img read more

North Carolina elections board to fight federal subpoenas

first_imgU.S. Attorney Bobby Higdon in Raleigh issued the subpoenas, and hasn’t said specifically why immigration enforcement investigators are seeking the information for a grand jury empaneled in Wilmington.- Advertisement – RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s election board says it will fight the subpoenas federal prosecutors sent seeking millions of voting documents and years of ballots. Related Article: North Carolina elections board replaces executive directorThe board directive came a day after an assistant federal prosecutor said Higdon’s office is willing to narrow the requests and won’t require compliance until next year Board member Joshua Malcolm says the subpoenas were overly broad and significantly affect the interests of voters.center_img The letter says the subpoenas were served on behalf of a federal grand jury to avoid the possible destruction of documents by the board of elections, since voting records must be destroyed after some time. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY) The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously Friday to ask state attorneys to work to block the subpoenas, issued last week to the state board and local boards in 44 counties, including New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus and Pender. last_img read more

Crews battling woods fire in Southport

first_img NC Forestry is helping on the ground and in the air.Expect to see heavy smoke in the air.Fire crews ask you to use caution if you are driving through this area. Woods fire along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Ballpark (Photo: Southport Fire Department) 1 of 4 Woods fire along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Ballpark (Photo: Southport Fire Department) Woods fire along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Ballpark (Photo: Southport Fire Department) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WAY) — Multiple crews are battling a woods fire along River Road in Southport.According to the Southport Fire Department’s Facebook page, the fire is along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Township District Park, in the area of Bethel Road.- Advertisement – center_img Woods fire along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Ballpark (Photo: Southport Fire Department) Woods fire along the railroad tracks behind Smithville Ballpark (Photo: Southport Fire Department) Related Article: Southport Fire Department responds to woods firelast_img read more

We should open our heart to everyone – Archbishop Scicluna

first_imgKurja – – Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that one should open their heart to everyone, and appreciate the diversity in one’s abilities and skills.Mgr Scicluna presided over mass at San Miguel Resource Centre in Pembroke where he delivered his homily. During mass various people with different abilities received the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.Archbishop Scicluna said that when sacraments are celebrated many a times the main protagonist is not mentioned, referring to the Holy Spirit. Addressing those who would say that people with different abilities do not understand fully the significance of the sacraments, the Archbishop said that one should leave such considerations in the hands of God.Archbishop Scicluna reminded that everyone has dignity irrespective of one’s personal background.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

FBI and New Zealand Police told to return Mega Upload data

first_imgAdvertisement Megaupload founder Kim DotcomThe FBI and authorities in New Zealand police have been ordered by  a New Zealand court to return Kim Dotcom’s personal data from the service that was seized during raids last year.The court also ordered that they must specify exactly what information is at the core of their case against the file-sharing service.High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled that the raid on Dotcom’s mansion in January 2012 was illegal due to incorrect warrants. – Advertisement – Justice Winkelmann ordered the FBI to destroy any clones of Megaupload hard drives that contain personal information or other information that are not part of the case. Dotcom and his fellow defendants must be given copies of the hard drives that the US will use to support its case, she ruled.It’s not clear at this point whether that means regular Megaupload users will be reunited with their dataThe raid on the mansion — footage of which surfaced in August – caused much controversy. Authorities were accused of acting heavy-handedly and, to that point, a helicopter packed with members of New Zealand’s ‘Elite Special Tactics Group’ was used for the raid. Seconds after the helicopter touched down, ground forces arrived in numbers.Iit took 13 minutes for the police to find Dotcom in the ‘Red Room’ of his mansion. Dotcom testified that he was punched, kicked, kneed and otherwise treated unfairly during his arrest, while an unnamed elite police officer reportedly testified that “deliberate force” was applied to Dotcom.The raid aside, the investigation has suffered a number of high profile issues over the last year or so. Notably, in June 2012, a New Zealand high court ruled that search warrants for the raid were invalid.Dotcom is busy running his new business, cloud storage service Dotcom has plans to branch out into email, chat, voice, video and mobile services in the future.Credit: TNWlast_img read more

How to Safely and Quickly Start Shopping Online in Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement Guest post by David Okwii from DIGNITEDThe other day, after a long-day’s hard work, I was hungry. I needed something, not just to eat, but to reward myself. After rounds of options that rolled in my head, I ended up with a cheese burger.I needed it and needed it fast. These days, when you need information about something, your immediate instinct is to Google it. As expected, you’ll most likely find it instantly. But, can you likewise satisfy your hungry stomach with only the click of mouse? – Advertisement – The answer is yes — if you know how to.Shopping online although not yet so popular is soon becoming the norm. In case you’re wondering where, am mean in Uganda. Already, there are more than 3 functional stores that are fully operational in the country that promise to deliver anything that you order for within hours, if not minutes.Kaymu is an online store that lets you buy and sell stuff online ranging from clothes, shoes, electronics, furniture among others. Jumia is yet another even bigger store that helps you shop online with the convenience of only your internet-enabled laptop. Now for those of you who would like to grab a bite, helloFood will deliver your order from the closest restaurant nearest to you with in an hour or less. HelloFood is an affiliate brand of FoodPanda and it is the leading global online food delivery marketplace, active in more than 40 countries on five continents.I did use helloFood to get my cheese burger from Endiro located in Kisementi some time back. Payment is simple; you hand them cash when they deliver your order to your door-step.For global stores such Amazon, eBay, iTunes and App stores like Google Play store, you’ll need a credit card. Up until now, it has been a hard to shop from any of the international stores since local banks haven’t been providing these visa credit cards. However, these two banks — Crane bank and UBA — have made the process a bit painless. UBA offers its prepaid credit card they are calling the UBA Africard while crane bank offers the same with crane access card. All you need to take note of (and guard jealously) is the credit card number which is a 15-digit code, the security code, a 3-digit code and the expiry date all of which are physically printed on your card. Also, you need a physical address that can easily be reached at by a courier service like DHL. For this, I would go with my work/office address. If you don’t have any of these, don’t hesitate to get help from a friend or relative that has.These and several others are some of the ways you can make use of your mouse and keyboard to transact online. It works. However, be careful. There are several scams online that could rob you of your hard-earned cash.last_img read more

Free online courses from UCT starting in 2015

first_imgAdvertisement The University of Cape Town (UCT) is going to add its name on the list of universities around the world offering free online courses, also know as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with the launch of its UCT MOOCs in 2015.This is going to be through a partnership with British-based MOOC provider Future Learn.Tthe MOOCs will include services such as interactive online forums with multiple students in peer-to-peer discussions, and give access to video lectures and course materials in an online format. – Advertisement – They will be available for anyone around the world although the university say it has taken developing countries into consideration by offering courses that appeal to anyone around the world, and will be mindful of the needs of participants from developing country contexts.“We are aware of the challenges many potential learners face with regards to technology and access. In response, we intend to place special emphasis on accessibility for audiences that are limited by bandwidth provision and device capacities. Engaging with hundreds of learners online will require innovative approaches to course design, communications, pedagogy and technology, to ensure the optimum learning experiences for a broad range of people. Such lessons can be applied to enhancing our formal on-campus, blended and online courses,” said professor Sandra Klopper, deputy vice-chancellor at UCT.According to Klopper, MOOCs are currently not offered in any universities on the African continent, meaning UCT will be the first to do so.Online education offers you a chance to study from anywhere and at anytime. Websites like enables you achieve all-round IT training in various field.Stop giving excuses and get yourself quality education.Credit: HTXTlast_img read more

The fight against poaching goes high tech with Google

first_imgFor the first time, poaching in Samburu is on a decline. Photo by National Geographic Advertisement As elephant poaching in Africa by organised crime gangs using high-tech equipment rises, those working to stop their extinction in the wild have turned to technology too.In the remote wilds of northern Kenya’s Samburu reserve, the latest technology from US internet giant Google creates three-dimensional maps using data from satellite tracking elephant collars, providing security for the animals in the short term, and helping protect their habitat in the long term.“It is a priceless bank of information,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, head of conservation group Save the Elephants, demonstrating the complex near-real time map, where tiny elephant computer icons are shown moving across an enormous television screen. – Advertisement – With ivory raking in thousands of dollars a kilo in Asia, conservationists have warned that African elephants could be extinct in the wild within a generation. But the decade-long collaboration between the conservationists and Google has meant that, at least in this small corner of Kenya, poaching is at last on the decline.“It is an anomaly on the continent of Africa that we seem to have gone through the eye of the storm, and that poaching is on the decrease here,” Douglas-Hamilton said, although warning there could be no let up in efforts.The mapping technology is protected from would-be poachers with tough security measures. “We’re able to use the tracking technology overlaid on Google Earth – and hence understand their migration patterns, and therefore build better protection around that,” said Farzana Khubchandani of Google.[related-posts]Each collared elephant shows up on a map overlaid with land use, as farmland and development encroach ever closer on wilderness areas.“Hundreds have been tagged since 2005 all across Africa,” Douglas-Hamilton said, adding that today 85 are collared, half in northern Kenya, the rest across the continent, including in Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe.Kenya is struggling to stem poaching to protect its remaining elephant population – currently estimated at 30,000 – and just over a thousand rhinos.Samburu, some 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of the capital Nairobi, is home to around 900 elephants. But conflict between elephant and man is increasingly common, with livestock encroaching onto the park as drought bites.“In the short term, it helps improve security for the animals,” Douglas-Hamilton adds, as close by, a bull elephant sniffs a helicopter visiting the reserve, before deciding it is harmless and continuing to drink in the river.“In the long term, it allows better planning to establish corridors for the animals – areas often extremely vulnerable to human development,” he added.The technology is not cheap: each collar costs some $8,000 (7,000 euros) to buy, fit and maintain.“The collars are able to tell us an animal is immobile, so we’re able to react very quickly to send our patrol teams,” said David Daballen, Save the Elephant’s head of field operations, lifting the giant collars.Complementing the maps, researchers track the complex elephant family trees, recording every animal with long registration numbers. But on the ground, efforts to protect the elephants are also deeply emotional for the conservationists.“That’s Flaubert, he’s 26, the one with the collar,” said Douglas-Hamilton, sweeping back his grey hair as he leans excitedly out of the pickup, driving slowly through the “Artists” family of elephants, with each group given a different theme of names.“There’s Rodin, and Matisse – but Gauguin sadly died,” adds the 73-year old British zoologist, naming each of the 23 animals grazing among the bushes lining the Ewaso Ng’iro river, a lifeline snaking through the 165 square kilometre (65 square mile) reserve.Douglas-Hamilton, who has spent his life among the giant animals and talks of an “elephant genocide”, explains it is the individual names given to the elephants he knows them by.This month Google launched their Street View service in Samburu, part of a bid to raise awareness of the park and elephants, as well as boosting education and promote tourism.But old tracking systems remain: outside the research centre in Samburu, long sad lines of dozens of elephant jaws are laid out, all killed by poachers or drought, the teeth of each providing valuable data as to their age at death. “Here was one bullet, here another,” said Daballen, lifting a bleached shoulder bone, belonging to an elephant called Ebony.Those gunshots did not in fact kill Ebony, finally felled in May 2011 by a bullet to the head. “We’re doing all we can, but the poachers are not going away,” he added, waving at the lines of bones.[AFP]last_img read more


first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Tuesday 21 AprilRACING3.00 ExeterTresor De La Vie 5/1 > 11/43.55 KemptonCelestial Knight 4/1 > 5/25.25 KemptonGhalib 6/1 > 3/1CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINALS7.45pm ITV2/5 Barcelona 7/1 PSG 4/1 DRAW7.45pm SKY1/3 Bayern Munich 8/1 FC Porto 9/2 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

Its Not What You Know… Brighton Boxing Bets

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e, my father and my two older brothers Maurice and Sydney would go to boxing shows, nearly every two weeks, I think it was a winter season.I was 10, Maurice was 13 and Sydney was 12, we all loved it, the places we went to were Wembley Pool, Haringey Arena, Royal Albert Hall, Empress Hall, Earls Court and sometimes York Hall.Does anyone remember those days?It did not make any difference to which venue we went, we always sat in the 2nd row. My father was sent the tickets by the promoters, the ones I remember were Jack Solomons, Mike Barrett and Harry Levine. Every month my father would take us up west too! Noshers Salt Beef Bar in Windmill Street, then go to the offices of the promoters – they all had offices close by and settle his account.On one boxing occasion we were walking on the forecourt leading into Haringey Arena when a car pulled up in front of us. Three men got out, one of them wearing a large hat and smoking an even larger cigar.The man in the big hat looked at my father and called out “Ginger!” my father walked over to the man who enquired how he was doing and who were these three young men. My father replied that we were his sons.Fantastic the man said, boys come over here as we approached the man he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out some white paper. He gave us a piece of paper each and it took a moment to realise what it was.It was a white fiver (a £5 note) the average weekly wage then was about £2.In today’s money that’s something around £1,000.Oh the man’s name was Jack Spot! He was a gangster and at that time was the underworld king.Not what you know!My father was not a big bookmaker, he always bet to a limit but when it came to boxing he was a different man. On most fights he would play small, just to have an interest, but on a big fight the sky was the limit for him and to win or lose £5,000 was the norm.In the 1950’s betting at the fights was not allowed, all around the arena were signs saying betting is illegal. No one took any notice.I remember Big Bertie Pearson was the number one bookmaker with his partner, not sure of his name, I think it was Frank ?. After every round they would call out the odds. The number of bets was amazing, it was all done on trust and after the fight everybody settled up.Some years later the law was enforced and betting at the fights stopped. It was the same time we stopped going.In 1955 my father, my brother Sydney and myself went to Brighton. I was 14 at the time, the reason for going was my father wanted to have a bet on a fight.The fight was between Rocky Marciano (who I met later but that’s another story) and Don Cockell for the heavyweight championship of the world.The fight took place in San Francisco in the month of May.On arrival we checked in at the Metropole Hotel, we then made our way to West Street to find Dummy’s snooker hall. On entering the snooker hall we find Dummy, my father and he went to school together. Dummy could speak but he was very hard to understand. It’s funny my father seemed to understand everything he said.My father explained to him that he wanted to back Rocky Marciano and he had £10,000 with him, is there anything you can do?Dummy somehow explained that money was not a problem, if he wanted more on the sky’s the limit (just like today).Ok, I leave it with you, my father replied, what time should we come back?Come back around 7pm, then I will let you know what I have been able to do, Dummy said in his own style.We left the snooker club and started to walk along the front towards Hove, after a few minutes we heard someone blowing his car horn and shouting out Ginger, we all turned to see what it was all about.Parked by the kerb was a Rolls Royce, sitting in it was the handsome Harry (Errol Flynn) Saffron, so called because of the bevy of beautiful girls he nearly always had by his side, funny he was on his own, on this occasion maybe he had not scored yet.He was a well know bookmaker who had pitches at Wembley, Wimbledon and White City. If he appeared at any of the tracks without one or two beauties, people would make a joke about it – asking him if he was ‘in season’.We walked over to the car where he asked us what were we doing in Brighton, after telling him he said OK, you have plenty of time, come to my flat for tea.We got into the car. I think it was the first time I ever went in a Rolls, I also think it was the first automatic car I went in. I think he could change gear without using a clutch.We only drove for a minute as Harry lived in a penthouse flat, right on the front. It has now gone replaced by a block of flats but they are four times as high.After spending the afternoon with Harry it was time to go back to Dummy to see what he was able to do. Dummy somehow explained to my father that he had managed to get £18,000 on Rocky Marciano, not sure what the odds were it was either 2/9 or 1/9, my father gave Dummy the £10,000 and said if Rocky gets beat he will bring the other £8,000 down to Brighton the day after tomorrow. Dummy conveyed to him, don’t worry whenever you want.We left the snooker hall and went to a restaurant for dinner before going back to the Metropole, as we were going to bed we asked our father should we wake him to listen to the fight, it was on the radio about 4am in the morning. Don’t you dare he said, his sleep was more important than the money. At home to wake my father up before 10 was asking for trouble.We got up and listened to the fight, Rocky won every round and the referee stopped the fight in the 9th round.Harry Saffron met a mature lady who owned an estate in Haywards Heath, just outside of Brighton. We believe he got married and settled down to become a country gentlemen.We waited till the afternoon to go back to Dummy. When we got there, he took us into a office where he settled up with my father, my father giving him a commission for the work he had done.Right, who’s asking the question, why would you go to Brighton to have a bet?Well at that time Brighton was the open city of England. They had more illegal things going on there than the rest of the country put together. The police force turned a blind eye to what was going on, gangsters were doing crooked business without much ‘bovver’ from the police.But like all things, nothing stays the same forever. In 1957 five people stood trial at the Old Bailey three police officers and two people from the public. I know two of the police officers were found guilty, not sure what happened to the others.Because of what happened in Brighton, a new law was passed, about who’s in charge and where.last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap] needed 0-0 or 1-1 last night so clearly it ended 1-0 Trying to be as neutral as I can be, I thought Fulham at least deserved to take it to extra time and it was a shame to see such a crucial game settled from the penalty spot.I was right about the low goal count though and surely it will be the same story at Hillsborough tonight with the teams locked at 0-0 from the first leg.Sheffield Wednesday won both the home and away fixtures against Huddersfield in the regular season but the pair couldn’t be split at the end of the campaign with 81 points apiece.Like last night, it could come down to a single moment of brilliance, an error or a referee decision – it is that finely poised.Huddersfield are likely to recall goalkeeper Danny Ward in place of Joel Coleman after he missed Sunday’s first leg through suspension.Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield TownChampionship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg19:45 Sky Sports 3 / Sky Sports 3 HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)May 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Huddersfield 0-0 Sheff WedJan 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheff Wed 2-0 HuddersfieldOct 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Huddersfield 0-1 Sheff WedApr 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Huddersfield 0-1 Sheff WedNov 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheff Wed 3-1 HuddersfieldApr 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheff Wed 1-1 HuddersfieldNov 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Huddersfield 0-0 Sheff WedFeb 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Huddersfield 0-2 Sheff WedNov 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheff Wed 1-2 HuddersfieldDec 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Huddersfield 0-0 Sheff WedAnother tough one to call but there are just enough reasons for believing that the hosts can beat Huddersfield for the third time this season and progress to the Wembley final so will be backing them at 6/4 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 12 points at around 6/4 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: -59.27 points BET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

BENS BLOG Living The Dream with Lofty at Towcester Dogs

first_img[dropcap]B[/dropcap]log, you know in the film, Bridge over the River Kwai, where the British soldiers were so staunch, they would never, EVER show weakness to the Japanese prison-guards? Well, that’s a bit like employing Lofty. If I club him over the head, a thousand times, to perform a certain task properly, he will just look up defiantly, from his permanent Hot-Box, and tell me to “F-Off” !!HOWEVER, he has been given FULL responsibility of organising the tissue, and the Staffing and equipment, for our pitch at Towcester Dogs.My Blog, it would be remiss of me, not to report Lofty’s resurgence, to glory, to you. He has been EXCELLENT. Everything has gone smoothly. Worked perfectly. And he has done and collated other tissues and cards; in a professional manner.10 out of 10, Lofty. Well done. BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT EVERY TIME NOW..!!In other news:I met Lofty, when I was 12 years old. He worked for bookie, Bo Brown, at Hove Dogs. He was like a cool big-boy I looked up to. He took time, explaining to me, how to read the card, clerk, and price-up a race. And never nasty or patronising. I always used to tell him, that one day we would bet at Walthamstow. That we would bet in the front-row at Cheltenham. And that we would….sponsor the Greyhound Derby. LIVING THE DREAM.Over and out, B xlast_img read more

Rice Names VP for Development and Alumni Affairs

first_imgAddThis Share Contact: Michael CinelliPhone: (713) 831-4794 Rice Names VP for Development and Alumni AffairsRice president Malcolm Gillis presented today to the university’s Board of Governors Kathryn R. Costello as the nominee for vice president for development and alumni affairs.The board accepted the nomination with enthusiasm. Costello, 52, was vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Maryland at College Park prior to accepting the Rice position. At Maryland, she coordinated a $100 million fund-raising campaign and reorganized the university’s entireinstitutional advancement effort.”We are extremely pleased that Kathryn Costello will bring to Rice her extensive experience in the marketing of public and private universities,” said Charles W. Duncan Jr., chair of the university’s Board of Governors. “Her success at organizing and managing fund-raising campaigns and alumni relations activities will help move us forward in those key areas.” Costello returns to Texas after more than four years at Maryland. She was vice president for public affairs at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas from November 1986 through April 1990. She served as vice president for university relations at Southern Methodist University (SMU) fromSeptember 1982 through November 1986. While at the UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Costello coordinated a major fund-raising campaign for a new teaching hospital and for endowed chairs. The university also secured two of the largest individual gifts ever given to higher education-$20million and $42 million-during her tenure.”Kathryn Costello has demonstrated throughout her career in the development and marketing fields that she can organize and manage complex programs that produce results of the highest quality,” said Gillis. “She will be an integral member of our leadership team as we continue to build Rice’s national and international visibility.” Costello earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from the University of Kentucky in 1963. She also holds a master of arts degree in communications from the same university. She has done additional postgraduate work at Kentucky and Vanderbilt University, concentrating on public policy issues. She began her communications career in 1960 at an FM radio station in Lexington, Ky. She was named director of public affairs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1975. She was named associate vice president for university relations at Vanderbilt in 1980, a post she held until moving to Dallas and the SMU position in 1982. Costello has received numerous civic and professional honors during her career. She was included in a list of outstanding women of Texas in 1983. She has won more than 75 awards from professional organizations such as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Women In Communications. Costello is married to Daniel E. Costello, dean of the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore (Md.). The couple has college-aged twin sons. In her position as vice president for development and alumni relations, Costello will manage the university’s fund-raising efforts and its contact with its graduates. She will take on that assignment for Rice on Feb. 1, 1995. Rice University is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian private university dedicated to undergraduate teaching and graduate studies, research, and professional training in selected disciplines. It has an undergraduate student population of 2,572, a graduate and professional student population of 1,375 and a full- time faculty of 448. ###last_img read more