Month: July 2019

first_imgA leading psychiatrist who helped the government draft guidance that protected mental health service-users who were threatened with forced work has refused to criticise major changes to the guidelines that have risked the lives of thousands of benefit claimants.Disability News Service (DNS) reported last month that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had secretly made major changes that watered-down guidance given to “fitness for work” benefits assessors, and then “lied” about what it had done.Ministers appear to have decided that it was worth risking the loss of some lives in order to cut benefits spending and force more disabled people into their discredited back-to-work programmes.The guidance explains how assessors should translate employment and support allowance (ESA) regulations 29 and 35, which concern whether decisions to find someone fit for work or able to carry out work-related activity would cause a substantial risk of harm to an ESA claimant.A DWP response to a freedom of information request, obtained by DNS this week, shows that new guidance was sent out to healthcare assessors working for the discredited US outsourcing giant Maximus in early December last year.The month after the new guidance was sent out, the proportion of claimants placed in the support group of ESA – and therefore not forced to take part in work-related activity – began to fall sharply.For claims completed in December 2015, 56 per cent were placed in the support group; the following month that fell to 48 per cent, and then to 33 per cent in February, and 33 per cent again in March.The previous version of the guidance, published as DWP’s Work Capability Assessment Handbook in February 2015, included six indicators of “substantial risk”, which were marked “D” for “definitive” – including someone who was currently sectioned, who had active thoughts of suicide, or had had a documented episode of self-harm requiring medical attention in the last 12 months – to show that that person should be placed in the ESA support group.But the latest edition of the guidance says only that such indicators “might” give rise to a substantial risk in “exceptional circumstances”.The new version of the handbook also tells assessors that they should consider factors that might “mitigate” the chance that someone could harm themselves or others, including “the benefits of employment weighed against any potential risk”.The previous version of the guidance was written by DWP with “external input” from Professor Peter White, a consultant psychiatrist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, and Professor Keith Hawton, director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Suicide Research.But their names do not appear in the new, watered-down guidance.White has refused to comment on the new guidance, and the risks that it might pose to people in severe mental distress, and instead referred DNS to a named DWP press officer.A DWP spokeswoman said later that White “was involved in early discussions about the revised guidance but neither he, nor Hawton, played any subsequent role in its drafting or sign off”.DNS has been unable to contact Hawton directly, although messages have been left with his personal assistant and via email.The DWP spokeswoman added: “We in no way asked either Professor Hawton or Professor White not to comment on the new guidance.“It is for them to decide on whether they wish to engage with media.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said he found their silence to be “inexplicable” and “deeply alarming”.He said: “In the case of Professor Hawton, he is a world-leading expert in suicide prevention and one would have expected him to have something to say about the change in this guidance which will irrefutably lead to an increase in the suicide rate among claimants.“Both professors have a duty to speak out.”McArdle said the new guidance was giving assessors “permission to refuse benefits to people who have exhibited suicidal ideation in terms of regulations 29 and 35, and we believe that is unlawful and not human rights-compliant”.In April, DNS obtained a DWP document which suggested amending or removing regulations 29 and 35 as one of several policy proposals, and said that such a move would provide substantial savings.But the memo – drawn up before the 2015 election, and to be used if the Conservatives triumphed at the polls – warned that previous attempts to remove the regulations had been defeated in the courts, and that any changes in this area “carry a significant handling and delivery risk” because they would be “perceived as restricting application of the safeguards and may be considered discriminatory”.DWP’s press office have insisted that these “speculative policy formulations” were drafted by staff before the last election and “have not been raised, do not represent government policy and have never been sent to ministers”.But comparing the latest handbook with the version issued before the 2015 election shows the regulations were amended, although by changing the guidance rather than the rules themselves.DWP had failed to comment by 11am today (Thursday) on whether the new guidance was the reason for the fall in the proportion of claimants placed in the support group, and how it justified watering down the guidance when it was designed to stop people self-harming and taking their own lives.last_img read more

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… The government has broken freedom of information laws by refusing to release documents that could reveal why it has failed to ensure there is a wheelchair-accessible front entrance to 10 Downing Street.The information commissioner has ruled that the Cabinet Office breached the Freedom of Information Act by failing to release reports to Disability News Service (DNS), including any documents that mention the two steps leading to the iconically-inaccessible front door.DNS has been trying for more than a year to discover what discussions have taken place about removing the steps.Although there is step-free access at the rear of 10 Downing Street, wheelchair-users wishing to use the front door must rely on a portable ramp.The latest request for information came in July 2018, when DNS asked for “any reports or documents on the subject of disability access (including those relating to the steps leading to the front door) at No 10 Downing Street that have been prepared over the last two years”.The Cabinet Office insisted that the only relevant recorded information was a 20-word extract from a draft memo that had already been released, which spoke of the “improved accessibility” from increasing the size of an internal lift.But DNS argued that a Number 10 spokesperson had claimed that Downing Street had “undertaken a programme of works over recent years to make sure this historic building is accessible to all who visit”, while Historic England had said the Cabinet Office was “rolling out a programme of improvements to the grade I listed complex to proactively address disabled access”.Historic England had also told DNS that an “accessibility audit is still being worked through and we will continue to advise as necessary”.Despite these statements, the Cabinet Office had insisted to the information commissioner that it held no recorded information on disability access at Number 10, or reports or documents concerning discussions with Historic England.Historic England has also since admitted that it does hold information about access at 10 Downing Street dating back five years but has argued that it cannot release it because of “national security” concerns.The information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has now concluded that the Cabinet Office “holds further information within the scope of the request” and had breached sections 1 and 10 of the Freedom of Information Act.The Cabinet Office will now have to produce a legal response to DNS by 24 January, either producing the information or explaining why it has an exemption from doing so.The Cabinet Office said it would now review its response to the DNS freedom of information request.A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring Downing Street is accessible. “A custodian is constantly stationed at the front door so that access can be provided to the building at any time of day. “In addition, a new lift and more accessible toilets have been installed as part of work to improve facilities in this historic building.”Picture: 10 Downing Street, after the building won an access award in November 2017… despite the steps to the front entrancelast_img read more

first_imgA mural at 24th and Folsom streets criticized last Friday because the artist had painted over an existing mural has been vandalized within a day of its completion.The new mural consists of colorful mandalas and the phrase “be a good person” on the Folsom street side of 2801 Folsom St., where a Peruvian restaurant is slated to open sometime this month. Its painter had been asked by the property owner to install the mural on the 24th Street side of the same building, which meant replacing an existing mural that had been painted earlier by neighborhood youth through an arts program. After objections from the creators of the original mural, the new mural was completed in its alternate location over the weekend. But by Monday morning, it had already been defaced with brown spray-paint.The artist, who is from the East Bay, said on Friday that she was given permission by the building’s owner, Ali Rismanchi, to replace the Precita Eyes mural with something “more colorful.” The original mural was created in 2015 by Mission youth enrolled in Precita Eyes’ Urban Youth Art program and depicted elements of Latino culture as well as the words “Our culture is not for sale.” Rismanchi said on Friday that he felt the mural was “too dark.”But as the artist began working on the 24th Street wall space, a group of local muralists and community activists interfered, informing her that the mural was under copyright protection and that she needed to get permission for its removal from the arts organization before proceeding.Saying that she was granted permission by the organization’s founder, the artist continued with her plans for replacing the mural, painting over it with a layer of white paint, further angering the group of local muralists. They said that the artist was never granted permission, and likened the unsanctioned removal of the community mural to the neighborhood’s rampant gentrification.In response to their protest, Rismanchi negotiated with the arts organization and agreed to let the its members paint a replacement for their destroyed mural in the same location. He then instructed the East Bay artist to continue painting the “be a good person” mural on the building’s Folsom street side instead.On Monday, the defaced mural sparked sidewalk conversations. Dogpaw Carrillo, a local artist who is also affiliated with Precita Eyes, said the vandalism was “unfortunate,” but could have been avoided.“Sometimes as artists we find ourselves in the middle of these warring factions and it’s particularly saddening when [the targets are] young people that are bringing color to the neighborhood,” he said.  “But at the same time – how do you roll all this white paint on something that is obviously, to me and most people in my community, something of beauty?”Had Rismanchi commissioned a local artist, or even taken the appropriate steps to inform Precita Eyes, the artist would have likely been met with more respect by the local community, he said. “Precita Eyes is a lot like jazz – It’s very open. There is no top to bottom control, and I think the emphasis is skill and heart,” said Carrillo, in reference to the art organization’s willingness to work with artists from both within and outside of the local arts community.It is unclear if the defaced mural will be restored. Rismanchi did not immediately return requests for comment about the vandalism.A portion of the original mural. Photo by Anya Montiel 0%center_img Tags: folsom street • murals • precita eyes Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_imgThe new Kitava Kitchen gets its name from a small Pacific island whose native inhabitants apparently lead a healthy lifestyle due to a fresh, nutritious diet. The name was one of the steps Jeff Nobbs and Brian Tublin took in coming together with their respective health-conscious meal delivery (formerly “Mealmade”) and catering (“Simmer”) services. The duo decided their separate visions were a natural combination, and after two-plus years, they decided to turn the shuttered McDonald’s space at Mission and 16th into a sit-down restaurant (Note: they still do deliveries.)You order at the counter and get served at the table, “You know, like Souvla,” said one of the staff at the soft opening Nov. 1. Yep, that is the model these days. What is new, and perhaps very different from other restaurants, is that Kitava is the only restaurant in San Francisco that is fully focused on paleo, veggie-centric (they do serve meat) and gluten-free meals.Tublin says changing switching to a healthy diet changed his life. He had a knee injury that didn’t get better until then. Similarly, Nobbs decided to learn about nutrition and switch to a healthier diet because of deaths in his family — from what he felt were preventable causes.  For these business partners and friends, what we eat, how it’s grown and how it’s prepared is the key to all good health.Kitava. For me, what is different about this particular “health food restaurant” is that the food is substantial and well-seasoned. Tublin and Nobbs fervently believe that nutritious, fresh and responsibly sourced food is naturally delicious, but for me, the clincher is the care they’ve taken to make sure their dishes don’t skimp on bold flavors.Take, for instance, the butternut squash “hummus” that was served as the pre-dinner, mingling-hour snack:Kitava butternut squash hummus with sumacThe squash is roasted and blended with cardamom, orange zest and cinnamon, and sprinkled with tangy sumac for a lovely Middle Eastern flair. Served with crispy yucca root chips (which could have used a little salt), the dip was a good preview to the rest of the vivid flavors that awaited.Kitava is clearly proud of its food partners, “Mandela Marketplace” and “Eat With The Seasons.” Mandela is a nonprofit addressing food insecurity issues in under-resourced communities. “Eat” is a CSA program that works with multiple local and organic farmers and producers. Like these organizations, Kitava is looking toward community-building around issues of nutrition and education for all.To that end, I asked Nobbs if they ever envisioned holding classes at Kitava, to teach locals to cook nutritious meals for themselves so they wouldn’t have to depend on places like this to eat healthily.“Yes!” Nobbs said excitedly. “If you look into the kitchen, you’ll see we have a lot of space back there, so we plan to have classes. We’ve had a lot of people express an interest in that.”Kitava stresses that how you prepare food is as important as the actual food.  For instance, they cook their crispy brussels sprouts in palm oil:Kitava brussels sprouts and chipotle aioli.Super crispy, very flavorful, not oily, with a creamy/spicy chipotle aioli.  I’d buy a jar of that.The use of palm oil is controversial — due to over-foresting, pollution from peat fires and displaced or destroyed communities of wildlife and farmers. Palm oil is considered a “clean” oil, one with a high smoke point, containing high concentrations of antioxidants, and a good substitution for butter for vegans and vegetarians.Kitava sources their palm oil from a small, sustainable organization, Palm Done Right, which follows fair trade practices and says no to clear-cutting, burning or planting in primal forests, while responsibly growing and harvesting the palm trees, and building communities in the process.At Kitava, most of the meals can be modified to fit the customer’s dietary needs. There’s a mix-and-match section where you can pick a protein and get two included sides for the price. The Cuban bowl, for example, can be made with or without the pasture raised pork, which Nobbs assured us means that these pigs were out rooting around in the dirt as nature intended, and not stuck in a feed barn with a small opening to the outdoors to bolster the claim of “free range.”Kitava Cuban Bowl with Pork.The pork had a wonderful flavor, perfectly cooked —  any taqueria would be proud to serve that pork.  The kale slaw was fresh, with a good texture — not that “eating wet straw” thing you get sometimes. The kicky cilantro garlic mojo sauce went a long way toward making the dish pop. The cauliflower rice is certainly never going to replace rice for me, but Kitava’s makes a good argument for it.  The texture was slightly tender but with a bit of bite. The sunflower risotto served on our plates (not pictured here), however, while tasty, would never fool anyone into thinking it was risotto. Maybe call it something else. The plantains, of course, were delicious and nicely sweet.Zoodles — “noodles” made of spiralized zucchini — are one of those food substitutions that usually don’t really work for me.Kitava zoodles and meatballs.The zoodles can often be watery and take away from the dish.  Here, served with meatballs made of 100 percent grass-fed beef, the zoodles had good texture and never got soggy in the tomato sauce, which was very herby and flavorful. Grass-fed beef can suffer from a lack of flavor and juiciness compared to its corn-fed counterpart.  But, as with all this type of food, if you’re trying to eat a sustainable, healthy diet, you’re going to have to compromise.  You can’t expect a cow to eat an unnatural diet without consequences. But, at Kitava, you’ll not have to compromise on flavor.Not everything worked, of course.  The General Tso’s chicken was my least favorite dish.Kitava General Tso’s Chicken.The sauce was too sweet — they use aged coconut aminos, which I understand is a common substitute for soy sauce (which contains gluten), but it was too sweet for me.  However, the chicken itself, fried in crispy cassava flour coating, was light and tasty. The roasted broccoli was cooked just right. Again, you can order this dish with actual rice or cauliflower “rice.”My favorite dish of the night was the salmon tacos:Wild Alaskan Salmon tacos.The wild Alaskan salmon is a bit pricey here, as it is anywhere, but it was fantastic. The whole taco — the crunchy cabbage slaw, chipotle aioli, salsa and creamy avocado — was perfect, except the tortilla, sadly.  I’m sorry, but for me the tortilla tasted a little stale (as my tablemate said), a little tough around the edges.  Underneath, where the food had soaked into it a bit, the texture was better; but, of course, what was really missing for me is the good, corny taste of a corn tortilla.  However, Tublin said they have people actually asking if they’d package their tortillas and sell them — and I was further surprised to learn that they’re made for Kitava by La Palma Mexicatessan (24th Street and Florida)!  Another example of local sourcing. So if you need to eat non-corn/non-wheat tortillas, these would work for many.For dessert, instead of trying to give us every item on their dessert menu (sweet-and-salty date bites, dark chocolate brownies, caramel-drizzled cookies, vegan vanilla bean gelato flavored with maple syrup and ice cream sandwiches), they offered up a sundae bar, using elements of all the desserts (minus the date bites.)  I can heartily vouch for the almond cookies — excellent!  So almondy, like crunchy marzipan. And they’re serving Vixen Kitchen ice cream, made from cashew milk, which was wonderful. As my dining companion said, jarring me to the same realization, “If someone hadn’t told me this was not ice cream, I never would have known.” Truth.Kitava ice cream bar.I asked Nobbs what his response would be to cries about gentrification, given Kitava’s location. He said that they’d known, even before they opened, that they were going to have to deal with that question. They realized that they just weren’t going to be able to please everyone. Nobbs said that they have vegans who give them grief because they serve meat, and paleos get mad because they do vegan.“And you know, if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.”nobbs said that they have people walking in off the street who still think it’s a McDonald’s (though with the remodel of the interior, that should change). Kitava staff will offer up a bottle of water or a juice on a hot day, and they leave, appreciative of the kindness. “People just want to be treated like people.”Kitava has also instituted a Pay-It-Forward program, where a customer can buy a second meal so that if someone comes in from the neighborhood that doesn’t have money and is hungry, they can give them that meal. And, Nobbs told me, at the end the day if they have leftover food, they’ll go outside and say, “Who’s hungry?” and pass out meals. “We’re just trying to do our bit of good in the world.”And what that means mostly, I gather, is to provide healthy, fresh and good-tasting food at an affordable price. Their prices are pretty reasonable — the most expensive entrée is $19 for the salmon, with most other dinners falling below $15.After the tasting, Tublin took us on a tour of the kitchen, where we were shown remnants of the McDonald’s kitchen — the big industrial hood fans (after having been cleansed of major grease) are still in use. The McDonald’s freezer is now Kitava’s fridge, emphasizing how much food is frozen in any fast-food business. Little signs still remain posted on the walls, telling former workers where to find the french fries and the special sauce — a reminder, perhaps, to Kitava workers to see what has been wrought here, and how essentially different the two food purveyors are. While Kitava may not serve everyone’s needs, the neighborhood is perhaps served, as Nobbs said, by not putting in another greasy fast-food joint.  Here’s hoping that the model of healthy food at an ever-more-affordable price point spreads.Kitava logoKitava Kitchen2011 Mission St.San Francisco, CA  94110415-780-1661Eat in or 0%center_img Tags: food • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_imgNATHAN Brown admitted lady luck smiled on Saints as they progressed into the Fifth Round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.Luke Walsh kicked a last gasp drop goal to seal a dramatic 17-16 win.But the Giants were left dumbfounded by Danny Brough’s own one-point effort that was chalked off as it seemed to drift wide of the posts.“I couldn’t get a look at it,” Brown said. “I was up high and didn’t get a look at it. Lady luck certainly shone on us.“A lot of our players were below par today. We didn’t come up as a group. For the first 20 minutes our ball control, once again, was shocking but when we had the ball we were marching up the field. Willie Manu in particular was causing them a lot of trouble.“We got two tries and nearly got another as Willie looked to have been brought down without the ball.“Then after that period our kicking game was ordinary and our ruck defence was poor. The second half was better but we will have to do better next time.“That said, I was pleased with our last five minutes. We really worked hard for each other and charged down the first three drop goal attempts before they got one away. Our commitment and courage was brilliant.”With 15 minutes to go Brett Ferres was sent off for a spear tackle on Jonny Lomax; a decision Brown agreed with.“Brett Ferres’ sending off had an impact on the result,” he continued. “He isn’t a dirty player and wouldn’t do something deliberately like that. But we have seen what has happened in Australia and we don’t like challenges like that. It was a sending off.“I hope the Review Panel takes into account his good record because the punishment is in the sending off as it eventually cost them the game. Thankfully Jonny Lomax is healthy.“Kyle Amor has done a muscle in his ribs though so we will check on him in the week.”last_img read more

first_imgCALABASH, NC (WWAY) — Today Calabash celebrated it’s Town Hall Day.Town Hall Day was an event for anyone to come out and enjoy.- Advertisement – Residents that went were able to meet and talk to public services like The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, The Calabash Fire Department and Calabash Emergency Management.Mayor Mary Louise Knight said this years event is focusing on safety and how important it is to share what the town is doing with residents.“To let our citizens know they are important this is what we’re doing this year to protect them, we’ve had 24 inches of rain OK, and we managed our way through it because of our staff and the fine job that they do,” Knight said.Related Article: Drone units help capture wanted manThe event lasted until 3 PM this afternoon and The Brunswick Health Department also provided a flu shot clinic.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Monday Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation eliminating the sunset date on the state’s film incentive program.That is exciting news for the future of productions here in the Port City.- Advertisement – Supporters said this change is a big incentive for production companies to bring their films and TV shows to Wilmington. They can bring a production here without worries that the grant will end in three years.The state currently offers a rebate funded through the NC Film and Entertainment Grant.Bill Vassar, the Executive Vice President at Screen Gems Studios said this is great news for the Cape Fear. He has already been busy reaching out to those interested in coming back.Related Article: Applications for US jobless benefits fell to a low 216,000“Now we can go out and we can solicit new shows that know they can stay here and it’s great for the town because it provides work for hundreds. Each show provides work for hundreds of people,” Vassar said.Vassar said the buzz that Hollywood East is open again for business is not only the talk of North Carolina, but the talk of LA as well.last_img read more

first_imgThere will be unlimited access to NSCC’s Resource Center: An online professional learning environment including resources, social functionalities, and interactive dashboard to track progress. Related Article: Black History Month: Honoring 89-year-old New Hanover Co. EducatorIntensive coaching will be provided through the National School Climate Leadership Certification to support school leadership teams (1) understand and interpret data and translate it into action and (2) align educational initiatives efficiently and effectively. The fully-funded initiative, including stipends and funding for substitute coverage. Students will have the opportunity to participate in three Youth Summits over Year 2, Year 3, and Year 4. Teachers will have access to Facing History content workshops and summer seminars. NHCS is partnering with the National School Climate Center and Facing History and Ourselves,, on this project. Instructional support, books, and other materials from Facing History and Ourselves will be utilized. Five full-day Cluster Meetings for School Leadership Teams across the initiative and three cohort-wide Youth Summits will be held. Empowering Youth Engaging Schools (EYES) is a four-year initiative funded by The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation.The following are some of the key components of the EYES grant: There is access to industry-leading Measurement Tools, including NSCC’s acclaimed Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) and Leadership Team Readiness Tool. There will be network support with other participating schools. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Schools has been awarded a $1.5 million grant for anti-bullying training and support at five middle schools.The schools participating include Murray, Myrtle Grove, Trask, Holly Shelter, and Williston Middle.- Advertisement – Professional development for all staff members on topics such as Social-Emotional Learning, Bullying Prevention, Youth Engagement, Understanding Bias will occur.last_img read more

first_imgPeople protest outside Buckingham Palace during the state visit of U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to Britain, in London, Britain, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisPeople protest outside Buckingham Palace during the state visit of U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to Britain, in London, Britain, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Donald Trump will plunge into Britain’s Brexit crisis on Tuesday and is likely to demand that Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor ban China’s Huawei from 5G networks as thousands of protesters mock the U.S. president across London.Feted by Queen Elizabeth and heir Prince Charles on the first day of his state visit to Britain, Trump turns to politics on Tuesday with talks in Downing Street, a news conference scheduled for 1245 GMT and a dinner that could include leaders of Brexit, such as Boris Johnson, the favourite to succeed May.Trump brings demands for the United States’ closest ally in Europe, including calls by his envoys for a tougher British stance towards telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.At a lavish banquet in Buckingham Palace, Trump praised the queen as “a great, great woman” and said the United States and United Kingdom shared an enduring alliance.“As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into the future; freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reference for the rights given to us by almighty God,” he said.The state visit, promised by May back in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after he took office, is cast as a chance to celebrate Britain’s “special relationship” with the United States, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.But the collapse of May’s premiership over Brexit and Trump’s penchant for ignoring the conventions of modern diplomacy have made the trip one of the most unconventional state visits in recent British history.Before Air Force One even touched down on British soil, Trump praised Johnson, the former foreign secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, and advised a sharp exit from the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.Trump also called for arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage, a scourge of May’s ruling Conservative Party, to conduct talks with the EU.BREXIT, BLIMP AND CHINABrexit is the most significant geopolitical move for the United Kingdom since World War Two and if it happens, London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 members of the EU.Huawei will top talks in London after the British government appeared to defy Trump administration demands and allow the Chinese company a limited role in building 5G networks.“We’ve been clear: Our ask is that our allies and our partners and our friends don’t do anything that would endanger our shared security interests or restrict our ability to share sensitive information,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.The Trump administration has told allies not to use Huawei’s 5G technology and equipment because of fears it would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.Britain’s so-called special relationship with the United States is an enduring alliance, but some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.A giant inflatable blimp depicting Trump as a pouting baby in a diaper will fly outside the British parliament in London on Tuesday ahead of what is expected to be one of the city’s largest protests against a foreign leader.In central London, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take part in a “Carnival of Resistance” later in the day to voice their opposition to the president. Among those taking part will be environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women’s rights protesters.While some Britons protest, May and Trump will hold a business breakfast at St James’ Palace with U.S. firms such as Lockheed Martin Corp, JP Morgan Chase and Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, construction company Bechtel and cybersecurity and data analytics firm Splunk IncMay will present Trump with a framed reproduction of the Atlantic Charter, which hung on wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s wall and set out principles of free trade and collective security that formed the basis of the postwar peace.As part of the visit, Trump will be given a tour of the Churchill War Rooms – a labyrinthine bunker-turned-museum underneath London, and he will take part in events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, which turned the course of the war.Trump, May and their spouses will also view a ceremonial copy of the American Declaration of Independence. For lunch, they will have crab followed by beef fillet, and a meringue-based pudding known as ‘Eton mess’.While Trump and May sit down to political talks inside May’s Downing Street office, Philip May and Melania Trump will attend a garden party and take a guided tour of the building.The U.S. first lady will receive a tea set created by designer Emma Bridgewater from the prime minister and her husband.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_img31 criminal offenders were ordered to do 4,865 hours of community work instead of being sentenced to a jail term in 2018.The work assigned to them varied from maintenance, clerical, working in dog shelters, working with sports organisations, religious organisations and organisations that work with vulnerable individuals.There were 37 cases where the offender was given a community sentence, amounting to a total of 6,840 hours doing community work, while in 2016 it was 58 cases with a total of 6,990 hours.The figures were tabled in parliament following a PQ by Opposition MP Hermann Schiavone to Justice Minister Owen Bonnici.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement There are between 5 and 10 million people in Africa who call KiSwahili their first language, and between 50 and 100 million who use it as a second language,” Microsoft said in a statement.Spoken in Eastern Africa and parts of Central Africa, it is the second most widely understood language in Africa after Arabic, and is ranked by the Global Language System as one of the 12 ‘supercentral languages’, which are very widely spoken languages that serve as connectors between speakers of central languages.Microsoft highlighted how important it was for them to develop a language pack that can be used by so many people. – Advertisement – “We have invested significant time and resources in our Local Language Program because we believe that the impact of learning in one’s first language on educational development is enormous. When we learn new things, especially as a child, our first language is the foundation for this learning.”“Our language program also ties in with our wider belief that people can really only experience the benefits of technology once they gain access to it – and most importantly, develop the skills to use it effectively.”itnewsafrica.comlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Gbade Jadesola, a Lagos based pharmacist, says he is particularly disturbed by the fact that the telecom operators have watched the quality of service deteriorate without taking any meaningful steps to avert the situation. ”I purchased my SIM pack three years ago based on recommendations from family and friends.”“Unlike the previous years when I enjoyed service that could be classified as a little above average, the same cannot be said of what I have experienced in the last few months,” says Jadesola.“It has become increasingly difficult to make calls especially to other networks. It became worse when there were promotions and the call traffic became more than what the service provider could handle,” Jadesola added. – Advertisement – Goodluck Adeola, a Lagos based photographer, shares a similar mobile phone service dilemma.“I experienced frequent cases of dropped calls plus unclear calls,” he said. “To get service in some areas, I have to move around. Sending text messages is no different as I have to send one particular message more than once before it is delivered to the recipient.”The telecoms engineers indicate that Nigeria would require an additional 20 000 base stations to ease the mobile service crisis.The Nigerian mobile operators including MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Globacom have indicated that some of the service shortfalls are caused by capacity constraints and infrastructure challenges including poor power supply, logistic problems, vandalism and theft of vital telecoms equipment.The companies also attributed the situation to the increasing price tariffs imposed on them. Maher Qubain, Starcomm’s CEO, says the drastic reduction in tariffs of late have impacted negatively on the networks.Qubain says there was need for operators to solidify their businesses by looking at other areas of growth to compensate their subscribers.Source: itnewsafrica.comlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement The introduction of barcode technology in the country is gradually bringing about business revolution particularly to the small and medium scale enterprises, an important backbone that could contribute significantly to economic growth by playing a key role in identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain. The technology has proved to be fundamental instrument in promoting competitiveness of local manufactured goods.Training on quality packaging and use of barcode to small and medium entreprenuers was facilitated by the European Development Fund (EDF) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade .“The aim of the trainings on the use of barcodes and food traceability was basically to enhance the SMEs capacity that could ultimately promote competitiveness of goods in both local and global markets,” said he Director of Planning and Policy in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr Edward Sungula.It involved 54 participants from various institutions such as the ministry responsible for industry and trade, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), GS1-Kenya, GS1-Tanzania, Tanzania Bureau of Statistics (TBS). – Advertisement – Others are Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organisation (TIRDO), Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) and entrepreneurs from different companies. The objective of training was to create awareness on barcodes and to develop technical knowledge and awareness of food traceability system.Other trainings on packaging are expected to be conducted in November in two more zones. Traceability standards is an automatic identification and data capture on the products, which provide information to consumers by identifying the product, its manufacture and country of origin, date of manufacturing, expiry date, inventory number and compliance with national and international standards.It communicates the safety and quality of the product to the end user, thus increasing consumer’s confidence on goods to be purchased and willing to pay for premium price. Inaugurating the GS1 Five year strategic plan recently, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has called on local businesses whose products use foreign barcodes to localise them to promote the country in international markets.He said it is a shame for businesses to embrace foreign barcodes while the country could provide the same. He remarked, “The aim of using barcodes is to facilitate the industrial sector to grow by 15 per cent for the country to become semi-industrialised economy by 2025.”Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye, says the use of barcode compels manufacturers to adhere to quality standards of the products, a necessary component in the competitive market.“It is high time for the small and medium scale enterprises to adopt the traceability standards because it would compel producers to enhance the quality of their products,” he said. The head of Division Food and Biotechnology at the Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organisation (TIRDO), Mr Humphrey Ndossi, says there was a direct relation between bar code and quality standards of the products.He notes that insertion of the barcode at any product was a last process after having completed all the other procedures required by standards regulators like Tanzania Food and Drugs Regulatory Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) before penetrating the markets.For example, by providing information on suppliers or customers involved in potential food safety issues, traceability can enable targeted product recalls or withdrawals. Similarly, the implementation of food safety management systems can support efficient and consistent traceability.Furthermore, the use of barcode technology has pushed up sales of local products in super markets, the situation that has called for increased production to meet the yearning demands. “Demand for local products in supermarkets across the country has gone up after we started using the traceability standards 18 months ago,” testifies Ms Janeth Mlowe, an entrepreneur dealing with food products.Ms Mlowe added, “The mounting demand has turned my concentration to increase supply and stop going to exhibitions to display my products.” Apart from supermarkets, Ms Mlowe said her goods were currently found in various small scale retail outlets in Dar es Salaam and other major urban centres. She urged other small scale entrepreneurs to use barcode technology because it will yield premium returns.On her part, Ms Mpalley Mwaipola from Funguka Spices says the use of traceability standards has led to increased demand from both local and foreign markets, the situation which is tasking them to produce in huge quantities. The GS1 (T) Chief Executive Officer, Ms Fatma Kange, said 18 months after introducing the barcode technology, more than 360 companies have adopted it with almost 6,000 varieties of goods in circulation.She said insufficient finance to reach small, medium and large scale manufacturers across the country has remained to be the challenge. For example, a total of 763.7m/- is needed in the first year of the implementations of the strategic plan for market campaigns of the barcode system to both urban and rural areas.“It is within the company plan to ensure that all retail shops in urban centres and rural communities were transformed in the manner they conduct their businesses,” she said. Also the company will help the country formalise businesses by providing education to the SMEs on the use of the barcodes.Daily Newslast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Google-owned phone firm Motorola has announced a new project to let users customise their smartphone components.Project Ara allows users to buy a basic phone structure and add modules such as keyboard, battery or other sensors.Motorola has partnered with Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, who has created Phonebloks, a modular phone idea, on the project. – Advertisement – Experts were unsure on how big a shake-up for the mobile phone industry the customisable handsets would represent.In a blog post, Motorola said that it had been working on the project for more than a year.“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software – create a vibrant, third-party developer ecosystem,” the firm wrote in a blog post.“To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it’s made of, how much it costs and how long you’ll keep it.”The project will consist of what Motorola is calling an endoskeleton, the frame that will hold all the modules in place.“A module can be anything from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter – or something not yet thought of,” the firm said.Motorola plans to begin inviting developers to create modules in a few months time with a module developer’s kit launching soon afterwards.Motorola came across the work of Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks, while developing the project and asked him to team up with them. Phonebloks has gained much interest in recent months.Credit: BBClast_img read more

first_imgA damaged Samsung washing machine as documented by a Texas woman who claims it exploded during use. Credit: CNN Money Advertisement More trouble for Samsung as there have been reports in the US of one of its washing machines exploding.CNN Money reports that the models in question were manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016, but state that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did not specify the models.Samsung has issued a statement on the matter, stating that “In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items.”A damaged Samsung washing machine as documented by a Texas woman who claims it exploded during use. Credit: CNN Money – Advertisement – Customers in Texas, Georgia and Indiana have reported their exploding washing machines and many of them have now filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the company.The lawsuit mentions the exploding washing machines, but also alleges that Samsung “has moved aggressively to collect and destroy all evidence of the defective machines” after they exploded.[related-posts]Credit: CNN Money, FirstPostlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Vodafone Uganda is looking to end it’s year with an upper hand, with the company set to announce the launch of its utility software – a self-care and data monitoring mobile application.The MyVodafone app will look to be an easier platform to monitor your data, or manage your Vodafone account than using the Vodafone online self-care portal. Vodafone says that the final version of the app will be released soon and available on Android and iOS.Vodafone believes that this app will help reduce costs of serving their customers, and provide a great customer experience and differentiation. – Advertisement – At PC Tech, we got the chance to test the beta version of this app which is beautifully crafted and clean with essential features. Here are our findings so far:The app is Zero Rated, meaning it doesn’t require any data usage to connect, but rather you only need to have an active data bundle. Which is a pretty cool thing to have for a utility application as this.Data Usage tool The app features a ‘data usage tool’ which gives you hourly updates on how much you’re using on data. The features shows you the history of how much you’re using your data from the time of the re-charge.Self Service Once you’ve got the Vodafone app, you won’t need to access the Vodafone online self-care portal to load your data bundles/plan. The app is giving you a ‘self service’ feature. Top up using voucher card and probably soon enough, you’ll able to use Mobile Money support.Store Finder The store finder feature helps you find stores that are nearest to where you are in case you might need help or buy a voucher card, and so forth. The feature uses your GPS function on your phone to determine the distance from your location to the store and also provides the time the stores open and close.This feature is really awesome, saving one’s time of walking around looking for Vodafone stores.1 of 7 Top up using voucher card and soon enough, you’ll able to use Mobile Money. See available bundles and purchase recharge on your bundles. The first screen of the app shows you your available balance The store locator/finder shows you all the Vodafone Shops and Terminals in Kampala The 24/7 Support has FAQs, Live Chat and Toll Free Calling Support The available features within the app Your usage history from the time you recharge your bundle.24/7 Support MyVodafone has a support feature for you to LiveChat with support from the Call Center or call a toll free number without exiting the app. You can also scroll through the FAQs.Transfer Credit You can transfer your credit to another Vodafone account.Gift Voucher Asides from the ‘transfer credit’ feature where you transfer your data from one number/account to another, with the ‘Gift Voucher’ feature, you actually buy data for another number.In conclusion Only good things! The app is here for convenience of use straight at the palm of your hands to give you your Vodafone wallet balance, be able to view and change services you are subscribed to and buy new plans. You can also view payment history, usage history, and also transfer credit payments, and most importantly a standby 24/7 support system. I believe this simplicity will be highly appreciated by Vodafone subscribers.UPDATE: The app is now officially available on the Play Store.last_img read more

first_imgSMEs in Africa. Image Credit: World Bank Advertisement Germany-based global SME lending platform Bitbond and BitPesa have today announced that they are joining forces to improve access to financing for SMEs in Africa.Bitbond connects fixed-income investors with small business owners who need loans. To make global cross-border lending possible, the platform uses the bitcoin block-chain for payment processing. By working with BitPesa, borrowers who receive funding on Bitbond can now have their loan paid out directly to a mobile money or bank account.BitPesa pays local currency out to the borrower’s preferred payment option within minutes. The integration between Bitbond and BitPesa is now live in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. – Advertisement – Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht in a press statement said 10% of their global user base comes from Sub-Saharan Africa.“We’re excited to work with BitPesa in this region because there is a huge unmet demand for small business financing. Together with BitPesa, we can significantly improve our service,” he said.BitPesa founder & CEO Elizabeth Rossiello adds to Albrecht comments saying, “We are always excited to partner with companies that make doing business in Africa easier and more efficient.”[related-posts]last_img read more

first_imgFacebook logo seen appeared in a woman’s spectacles | Photo Courtesy/File Photo Advertisement According to a report from Bloomberg, Facebook is building a video calling device for the home, in what is essentially a new product category. It apparently has a laptop-sized screen and smart camera technology that gives users the impression of being in the same room as one another.The technology is being built by Facebook’s Building 8 lab and would represent the first hardware to come out of the experimental unit led by former Google executive Regina Dugan.The report suggests that the screen includes AI-powered microphones and speakers, as well as a wide-angle camera lens. It’s said to measure 13-15 inches diagonally and the camera could be capable of scanning for people and objects around the room before focusing in on them accordingly. – Advertisement – [related-posts]The earliest possible announcement for it could be at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference, later this year. At this point, it’s not known for sure if it runs a version of Android or a new proprietary operating system. A 360-degree camera has also been considered, but it’s thought it won’t be ready in time for the launch of the first generation release.A standalone video calling device would be a way of keeping people tied into the Facebook ecosystem while offering a compelling new way to connect with friends and family over great distances.Credit: Bloomberg, Android Policelast_img read more

first_img[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ack to the enigma that is Man U on Tuesday with their visit to Newcastle (LIVE BT SPORT 7.45pm).Having tipped up the DRAW in Man U’s FA Cup match at the weekend I’m still reeling from their injury time penalty winner against Sheffield United. The fact that Van Gaal was booed off after the WIN shows just how thin the tightrope is at the moment for him. Man U’s new style of play isn’t appealing to the fans – irrespective of the result – and a real turn off for the neutrals too.They head to Tyneside as odds-on favourites to beat a Newcastle side who have been sucked into the bottom three and will be desperate for the three points to climb outside.It finished 0-0 at Old Trafford and it’s one of the more likelier scores tonight with Man U struggling for goals and Newcastle losing their last four games by the same 1-0 margin.Grim stuff.For all Newcastle’s troubles though, they are still capable of turning it on against the big boys as they proved in December with a 2-0 win against Liverpool and a 2-1 win against high-flying Tottenham.Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren said: “At this stage, I can’t ask for more from the players. We have to get on with it, that’s the nature of football. The players have to be big enough, bold enough and show courage. It’s Manchester United and We’ll have 50,000 people who have to get behind this side and support them.”Newcastle will be without captain Fabricio Coloccini, Florian Thauvin and defender Kevin Mbabu through injury.Bastian Schweinsteiger suffered a knee problem against Sheffield United and will miss this game at St James’ Park.Newcastle United v Man UtdPremier League19:45 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Aug 2015 PREMIER Man Utd 0-0 NewcastleMar 2015 PREMIER Newcastle 0-1 Man UtdDec 2014 PREMIER Man Utd 3-1 NewcastleApr 2014 PREMIER Newcastle 0-4 Man UtdDec 2013 PREMIER Man Utd 0-1 NewcastleDec 2012 PREMIER Man Utd 4-3 NewcastleOct 2012 PREMIER Newcastle 0-3 Man UtdSep 2012 CAPITAL ONE CUP Man Utd 2-1 NewcastleJan 2012 PREMIER Newcastle 3-0 Man UtdNov 2011 PREMIER Man Utd 1-1 NewcastleAs you can see this fixture has produced plenty of goals in the past but I can’t really see where they are going to come from tonight and am therefore backing UNDER 2.5 GOALS at around 4/6 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK UNDER 2.5 GOALS for 10 points at around 4/6 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 61.49 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

first_imgBET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]I[/dropcap] feel like I’ve got a free raffle ticket today as I was considering previewing the earlier Bournemouth v Spurs game and it’s safe to say that there is no way I would have got the 0-0 right there. There you go, I’m after-timing a loser !!!Plenty of people are expecting the floodgates to open at Anfield in the tea-time kick off. Liverpool to win by three goals or more is a 5/2 chance with Star Sports.Depending on what happens at the Emirates, Liverpool may get the chance to go to the top of the table with West Brom currently in 12th.I’m not sure it will be a wide margin win for Liverpool though.  They are playing good football this season but West Brom are going along well nicely enough despite a poor away record which has seen them win just one of their last 12 games.They are however strong in defence which might just hold up and frustrate the hosts – for a while at least.They will also be up for the occasion. West Brom head coach Tony Pulis said: “We know Liverpool is going to be a really tough game. Their front five are exceptional.“Jurgen Klopp is passionate and that is important in the game and important for Liverpool. They’ve got a good chance this year.“The games that are coming up are difficult but ones we should embrace. Anfield is wonderful.”Liverpool v West BromPremier League17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)May 2016 PREMIER West Brom 1-1 LiverpoolDec 2015 PREMIER Liverpool 2-2 West BromApr 2015 PREMIER West Brom 0-0 LiverpoolOct 2014 PREMIER Liverpool 2-1 West BromFeb 2014 PREMIER West Brom 1-1 LiverpoolOct 2013 PREMIER Liverpool 4-1 West BromFeb 2013 PREMIER Liverpool 0-2 West BromSep 2012 CAPITAL ONE West Brom 1-2 LiverpoolAug 2012 PREMIER West Brom 3-0 LiverpoolApr 2012 PREMIER Liverpool 0-1 West BromThe same fixture finished 2-2 last season and although everything seems lined up in Liverpool’s favour I’ll take a chance with DRAW – LIVERPOOL on the Star Sports HT/FT market at around 3/1.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK DRAW-LIVERPOOL on the HT-FT market 6 points at 3/1 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE EUROS: +59.08 pointslast_img read more