Month: July 2019

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Government policies on social care health and ben

first_imgGovernment policies on social care, health and benefits risk sending disabled people sliding back to “the bad old days of dependency, isolation and poverty”, a disabled peer has warned.In a Lords debate on the Queen’s speech, Baroness [Jane] Campbell urged the government to work closely with disabled people – as Tory governments in the 1980s and 1990s had done – and said that cutting social care was “a false economy”.She told fellow peers: “The Independent Living Fund has been closed, independent living care packages are being cut and disabled people really fear where the £12 billion in welfare cuts will fall.”Baroness Campbell said that the proportion of disabled people who feel they have choice and control over their lives dropped from 76 per cent in 2008 to 66 per cent in 2014, while 97,000 fewer disabled people were now receiving support compared with five years ago.The crossbench peer also called for more support for working-age disabled people, rather than the current focus on older people.Of 91 Better Care Fund plans – designed to support councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local health and care services – that were approved in October 2014, only 14 included a focus on working-age disabled people, she said.She said: “The government must now look much more closely at how the Better Care Fund can support people of all ages, if they want us to work and participate in society.”And she said the government must also examine how the extra £8 billion a year it has pledged to invest in the NHS in England by 2020 would support social care.Baroness Campbell said: “Social care enables disabled people and informal carers to become more socially and economically active, avoiding expensive residential care and hospital admissions.”Her speech came as the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care issued an “urgent plea” for “sustained and substantial” extra spending, in the face of an expected fall in the adult social care budget of £1.1 billion in 2015-16.In an ADASS survey of social care directors, half said they believed fewer disabled people would get access to support over the next two years, 58 per cent believed personal budgets would be smaller, and 17 per cent thought that quality of care would worsen.And a national survey of NHS leaders for the NHS Confederation – also published this week – found that 99 per cent agreed that cuts to social care funding were putting increased pressure on the NHS, while 92 per cent agreed that cuts to social care funding were increasing pressures on their own organisation and services for patients.Responding to the NHS Confederation survey, a Department of Health spokesman said: “We have given an extra £1.1 billion to councils to help protect social care services this year, and have committed £10 billion extra by 2020, which is going into health and social care systems that are being merged for the first time.“The £5.3 billion Better Care Fund is the first ever national programme to join up health and social care, which will focus resources on helping people to live independently, saving money and improving care closer to home. These figures show the need for that holistic approach.”But Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, called on NHS leaders to do more to highlight the “crisis” in social care funding, and the impact on the NHS of social care cuts.She said: “NHS leaders are continuing to highlight the lack of resources for social care, but I believe they need to go further. “They have the ear of government and the general public so they have a crucial responsibility to spell out exactly what the social care crisis means, including increased mental distress, higher admissions to hospitals, and loss of independent living. “Whilst the high expenditure on agency nursing care is significant and should be highlighted, I believe the social care crisis will end up costing the NHS far more.”In the Lords, Baroness Campbell also called on the government to merge assessments for health and social care eligibility and those for benefits, to avoid “wasting public funds on bureaucracy and appeals”.And she suggested a “triple lock” on the value of personal independence payment (PIP) – which meets some of the extra costs of disability and is replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA) – to match measures taken by the coalition to protect the value of the state pension.The triple lock was introduced in the last parliament, and ensures that the state pension increases every year by the higher of inflation, the increase in average earnings, or 2.5 per cent. Baroness Campbell said that research by Scope estimated that disabled people spend on average £550 a month on disability-related expenditure such as daily living equipment, higher heating bills, taxis and higher insurance premiums. Her own annual bill is about £12,000.Her fellow disabled peer, the Liberal Democrat Baroness [Celia] Thomas, told the welfare reform minister Lord Freud that she and other peers were “understandably fearful of the £12 billion of planned cuts” to the budget of the Department for Work and Pensions.She said she feared the government could be about to introduce the “nightmare policy” of taxing or means-testing disability benefits, and called on Lord Freud to make a commitment not to cut the Access to Work budget.She said: “We do not know nearly enough about where these cuts will come.”Lord Freud said he was “not in a position” to tell Baroness Thomas and other peers where any cuts to welfare would come from.He said: “We are looking at how to make those savings and will set out those savings when the work is complete.”Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service later that she had written a letter to Lord Freud to ask him why he had ignored her questions when responding to the debate, including – for the second time – her request for the government to introduce a PIP “triple lock”.Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Kate Green, has written to the new minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, to ask him whether the government has any plans to cut disability benefits.She said in the letter that “disabled people, their families and carers remain deeply fearful about the government’s plans”.And she pointed out that Labour’s shadow employment minister, Stephen Timms, had asked the prime minister to rule out any further cuts to disability benefits, at prime minister’s questions this week, but he had failed to do so.   Instead, she wrote, she was surprised to hear David Cameron tell MPs that PIP was “more generous to those who are most disabled” than DLA, when the highest level of PIP is no higher than the highest DLA rate, while “the government’s policy intention for PIP is to reduce spending on this benefit by 20 per cent compared to spending on DLA”.last_img read more

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Esther McVey has quit as work and pensions secreta

first_imgEsther McVey has quit as work and pensions secretary without answering questions she was asked by MPs four months ago about whether her department covered up links between its hated fitness for work test and the deaths of benefit claimants.McVey (pictured) resigned last week in protest at the prime minister’s Brexit deal, but her resignation came months after two opposition spokespeople wrote to her about claims of a possible cover-up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Neither Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, nor Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrats’ work and pensions spokesman, had received a response from McVey to their questions by the time she quit the department.They had written to her after Disability News Service (DNS) reported how DWP was refusing to say if it showed key documents linking the deaths of claimants with the work capability assessment (WCA) to Dr Paul Litchfield, the independent expert the government hired to review the test in 2013 and 2014.Litchfield carried out the fourth and fifth reviews of the WCA but has refused to say if he was shown two letters written by coroners and a number of secret DWP “peer reviews”.Litchfield, who was recognised by the prime minister with a CBE in June’s birthday honours, published his two reviews in December 2013 and November 2014, but neither of his reports mentioned the documents, which all link the WCA with the deaths of claimants.De Cordova wrote to McVey seeking answers about the documents on 25 July, nearly four months ago, and has yet to receive a reply.Lloyd’s letter to McVey, written a week later, on 2 August, said it would be “astonishing” if Litchfield had not been shown the documents.His letter added: “In light of Dr Litchfield being awarded a CBE, could you please confirm whether or not he was shown the documents linking the government’s WCA program with the deaths of benefit claimants?”Weeks later, having failed to receive a reply, Lloyd wrote a follow-up letter.His office confirmed this week that McVey had failed to reply to either letter.Even though DWP possessed both the coroners’ letters and all the peer reviews, it has claimed in a freedom of information response that it holds no information in its records to show whether they were passed to Litchfield while he was reviewing the WCA.A DWP spokeswoman refused to explain why McVey had not answered the letters from de Cordova and Lloyd.Instead, she repeated a previous comment from the department, stating that Litchfield’s reviews were “independent” and that “DWP provided information alongside other stakeholders – on request”, while “any evidence used was referenced in the review”.Since DNS revealed the existence of the documents in the years after Litchfield’s final report was published, concerns have grown that DWP and some of its ministers deliberately covered-up evidence showing the fatal impact of the assessment on disabled people.The coroner’s letters followed the deaths of two men with mental health conditions in 2010 and 2013, and were sent to DWP in the spring of 2010 and early 2014, each warning of further such deaths if changes were not made to the WCA.Peer reviews – now known as internal process reviews – must be carried out by DWP civil servants into every death “where suicide is associated with DWP activity”, as well as other deaths and serious and complex cases that have been linked to DWP activity.DWP has admitted that at least seven peer reviews written in 2012 mentioned the WCA, and there are almost certainly more that were written by the time Litchfield wrote his final report in late 2014.One of the aims of a peer review is to “determine whether local and national standards have been followed or need to be revised/improved”, so DWP would find it hard to explain why they would not have been shown to Litchfield, whose job it was to review how the WCA was working.But neither of Litchfield’s reviews mentioned either the peer reviews or the coroners’ letters, although the second coroner’s letter was not written until he had begun work on his second review.Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the first three WCA reviews in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has told DNS he believes he was shown neither the first coroner’s letter (the second letter had not been written by the time he completed his third review) nor any WCA-related peer reviews. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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MIKE Rush Head of Youth reports on one of the hi

first_imgMIKE Rush, Head of Youth, reports on one of the highlights of the Academy’s Australian Tour – the trip to the Sydney Cricket Ground.I am not sure the players are fully up to speed with the history of the SCG but after a short lesson from Uncle Derek and some match reports from the legend Mr Eric Chisnall they start to understand how lucky they are.The venue is the best in the world for the team photo and we are one of very few teams in the game that still have the privilege of being able to have the stadium for the day.This year the experience was made all the better with the visit of Mark Taylor, the former Australian Cricket Captain, for a short spell pre photo.As you can see from the photos the venue and weather were excellent and the picture will be a every lasting memory to all concerned.Following the picture, the lads headed off for a training session around the corner from Bondi, with a view of the city – again one of the best back drops to any training session we have on the trip.No real classics from the kids; maybe they are learning to think before they speak…. That’s disappointing if they are!The Cronulla game is on Sunday so tomorrow (Saturday) we will head to the Blue Mountains for a rest day before taking on the Sharks at 3.00pm, at Forshaw Park at Sylvania Waters (Southern Districts Rugby).Enjoy the photo.last_img read more

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THE First Utility Magic Weekend consists of seven

first_imgTHE First Utility Magic Weekend consists of seven mouth-watering games across two fascinating days of Rugby League, and we need one magic dance squad to entertain tens of thousands of Rugby League fans.The Magic Weekend, held on the weekend of May 17-18, is a festival of the best talent that Rugby League has to offer and is one of the most highly-anticipated events on the sport’s calendar each season.On Saturday April 12, women aged 16-and-over are invited to attend an open audition at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds to perform at the event. Dancers who perform within Rugby League at present are especially encouraged to attend.During the audition, dancers will be taught a short routine that will then be performed in groups.In addition, dancers will also be invited to perform a pre-prepared solo or group piece. This performance should last a minimum of one minute if solo or two minutes if in a group and music for this part of the audition should be supplied via your own iPod or iPhone.Those who apple must be physically fit and have excellent dancing ability and communication skills.We are looking for dancers who can engage with a crowd and have experience of promotional dance work. It is also preferable for applicants to have experience of performing in front of large audiences.Those who attend should wear suitable dance attire (baggy clothing is not acceptable). All clothing must be tight-fitting.To register your interest or for further information, please email here.Details of the open auditions:When: Saturday April 12Audition session 1 – 11:30am (register from 11am)*Audition session 2 – 1pm (register from 12:30am)*Applicants are required to attend just one session.Where: Yorkshire Dance, 3 St Peter’s Building, St Peters Square, Leeds LS9 8AH. (Opposite the BBC building and Leeds College of Music)Yorkshire Dance is two minutes’ walk from Leeds City Bus Station and 15 minutes’ walk from the train station. Please note: Successful applicants will need to be available for evening rehearsals on Thursday May 1, 8 and 15.last_img read more

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He made 22 appearances overall for the club scori

first_imgHe made 22 appearances overall for the club, scoring two tries and kicked 11 goals. He was also full-back in the 1960-61 Lancashire Cup final team that triumphed over Swinton at Central Park, Wigan, which included Tom van Vollenhoven and Jan Prinsloo in the line-up.In the late 1950s the St. Helens club began to look at South African Rugby Union as a source of recruiting future talent. They hit pure gold with Tom van Vollenhoven and signed Jan Prinsloo shortly after. Their third venture was to snare Percy Landsberg to a professional contract at Knowsley Road.It was a very cloak and dagger operation in those days. If a player was found to be dealing with the professional code, they were dealt with very harshly indeed by the union authorities. On September 29 1959, the Saints Secretary Basil Lowe received a letter from the South African ‘go between’ regarding Percy Landsberg.In the opening paragraphs, Basil stated the club’s desire to sign him: “I have taken action straight away and I am able to inform you that we are interested in Percy Landsberg. I have had a word with Tom van Vollenhoven who more or less repeats all that you have said. He feels that Landsberg would be a success in Rugby League and he also thinks that Percy would be happy in this country and with this club.”The die was duly cast and Percy became a Saint shortly after.Born on June 18 1935 and a miner in the Rhodesian copper belt, Percy had played his club rugby for a team called Nchanga and had enjoyed representative selection for Rhodesia and the Transvaal Under 19s. At 5ft 10ins and 11st 5lbs he could play anywhere in the backs, with excellent handling skills and he was tough enough to compete in professional rugby league, for sure.He was also a competent goal-kicker too. Percy made his debut against Liverpool City on November 7 1959 at right centre, with Tom van Vollenhoven outside him, who scored a hat-trick in Saints’ 40-17 win in front of more than 11,000 at Knowsley Road. Jan Prinsloo was the other centre. Percy played on eight occasions in the First Team that season, scoring two tries. Although he could play centre, he was, perhaps, most at home at full-back.Percy took up the full-back position at the start of the 1960-61 campaign and wore the jersey in the Lancashire Cup final against Swinton at Wigan on October 29 1960, in front of more than 31,000 fans. The Saints lifted the famous trophy after a 15-9 success, part of their domination of the competition in the early 1960s. Percy played the following week against Whitehaven at Knowsley Road at full-back and it proved to be the last time he pulled on the First Team strip.During his time at St. Helens he proved to be a popular player with the fans and team-mates alike. His brother, Chris, a winger, came over to play several games for Leigh in 1961.Percy returned from St Helens to work on the Copper Belt in Nchanga. His eldest son, Tony tells us: “He was not allowed to play rugby on his return [due to having played pro rugby], so he went and played soccer, representing Northern Rhodesia. He played baseball as well while in Northern Rhodesia. He then moved to South Africa, Durban and then Pretoria where he started a baseball club for kids. It grew to being the top junior and senior club for 25 years. He retired from the club [Centurion Raiders] due to ill health.”Clearly his sporting interests formed such a huge part in his life.His granddaughter, Keri Stroebel, said that Percy was extremely proud of his rugby achievements and shared his fond memories of St. Helens rugby league right to the end.A point emphasised by Tony: “His St. Helens jersey and other memorabilia was his greatest possession.” A touching sentiment, indeed.At this sad time, we send our condolences to Sylvia, his wife of 60 years, together with sons Tony, Deon and Steve. Percy is survived by his brother, Chris. Another of his brothers, Jannie, pre-deceased him.The funeral is set for this Saturday.Written by Alex Service.last_img read more

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Woman dies after being hit by car in Brunswick Co

first_imgWINNABOW, NC (WWAY) — One woman is dead after being hit by a car early Thursday morning.According to Highway Patrol, the call came in at 5:53 a.m.- Advertisement – Officials say Sarah Marie Fowler, 33, of Winnabow, was hit and killed while she was on the roadway. It happened on Old Mill Creek Rd. near Swain Rd.No other information is available at this time.last_img

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Rip currents force UNCW to cancel annual Beach Blast

first_img(1/2) Seahawks, we’re sorry to share the news that due to the very high rip current risks for today, Beach Blast has been canceled.— UNCW (@UNCWilmington) August 15, 2017The Beach Blast normally takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Crystal Pier, near the Oceanic restaurant. It’s part of UNCW’s Welcome Program, designed to help students start or get back into the college lifestyle.(2/2) More info will be available soon in your inboxes but we wanted to let you know as soon as possible this morning with this quick post.— UNCW (@UNCWilmington) August 15, 2017Related Article: UNCW goalkeeper taking Women’s World Cup by stormClasses at UNCW start tomorrow. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An annual UNCW tradition is not taking place today.This morning, UNCW announced on Twitter it was cancelling its Beach Blast due to the high risk of rip currents.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Humpday Health Getting back in the gym before New Years

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The holidays are here, that means cooler weather and indulging in food and drink with family and friends.All these factors lead many people to let their gym habits slip through the cracks.- Advertisement – Instead of waiting until New Year’s to get those resolutions going, why not start working out now?“Once you kind of let things go over Thanksgiving, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’ll just keep doing the same thing for four to five weeks.’ But imagine the impact of that over time, four to five weeks, keeping that bad habit. Why not create the good habit and make it less painful January 1st. Start feeling good now,” said Lindsey Baranko, the territory manager of Orangetheory Fitness in Wilmington.Orangetheory Fitness is just one of many places you can get on track in our area.Related Article: US health chief says overdose deaths beginning to level off“We have the workout planned for you, so a coach is leading you through the best one-hour, total-body workout and it’s all backed by science. So you’re going to be wearing a heart rate monitor. You can see results in live time as you’re working out, so it takes the guessing out of workouts,” said Baranko.Baranko says you can supplement your gym workout with other forms of exercise as well.“Maybe one or two days, you’re going and doing your own workout, whether it be outside or at a normal gym, supplementing with what we do. Typically, at another gym, you’re gonna do a lower, steady state workout. You’re not getting your heart rate up as high as you would with us,” said Baranko.So instead of a New Year’s resolution, make a December decision.Break a sweat and don’t allow the holiday weight to build up.last_img read more

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Wrightsville Beach issues mandatory evacuation

first_img To protect the Town’s water system, the system will be shut down beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Residents are encouraged to turn off gas valves and the main electrical breaker to their homes and apartments prior to evacuation. Residents should also turn off water valves to their docks and piers. Electrical power, water supply and sewage facilities to the Town will be disconnected following the mandatory evacuation.All Town offices will be closed on Wednesday in order to focus on storm related activities. Staff will be preparing and operating Town’s Emergency Operations Center on or before Wednesday at 8 p.m. and all Town operations will take place from off the island.Emergency responders will discontinue calls for service when sustained winds are 50 mph or greater.Related Article: Want to be a lifeguard? Towns announce tryout datesTrask Middle School located at 2900 North College Road is currently open for shelter and is a pet co-location shelter. New Hanover County anticipates opening additional shelters. Wrightsville Beach WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Town of Wrightsville Beach officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation that begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.According to a news release, access to Wrightsville Beach will be limited to Wrightsville Beach residents only – no visitors or contractors are allowed once a mandatory evacuation is in place. Officials say no one will be allowed on the beach after 8 p.m. Wednesday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington City Council approves purchase of MVac system

first_img M-Vac CEO Jared Bradley gave WWAY a demonstration of the device earlier this year.The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office purchased one in July. The device can collect 200 times more than conventional methods to help solve cold and current cases.It costs more than $38,000 and will be purchased with NC Drug Tax revenues.Related Article: Police search for driver in downtown Wilmington hit-and-runThe Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in our area to purchase an M-Vac system. M-Vac System (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council has approved the purchase of new DNA collection technology to help solve crime.The M-Vac system is a vaccum-based DNA collection device.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Macrons party to join liberal group ALDE

first_imgFile Photo. REUTERS/Wolfgang RattayFile Photo. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay The seats for Renaissance, supported by Modem and French president’s Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche (LREM), are to be calculated according to the Liberal group ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats). They will be published tonight.This was announced by the European Parliament following a request from the interested groups. The group will be named “ALDE+Renaissance+USR”, with USR indicating the Romanian liberal party “Unione Salvate la Romania”.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraqs Basra three hurt

first_imgVehicles drive past next to a security barrier of Zubair oilfield after a rocket landed at a residential and operations headquarters of several oil companies, at Burjesia area in Basra, Iraq June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Essam Al-SudaniVehicles drive past next to a security barrier of Zubair oilfield after a rocket landed at a residential and operations headquarters of several oil companies, at Burjesia area in Basra, Iraq June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani A rocket struck the site of the residential and operations headquarters of several global major oil companies, including U.S. giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding three people, Iraq’s military said.There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It came after two separate attacks in as many days on bases housing U.S. military personnel in Iraq, as tension rose between the United States and Iran.The rocket hit the Burjesia site west of the city, according to police and a statement released by the military. Police earlier said two Iraqi workers were wounded.The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month, citing unspecified threats from Iran against U.S. interests in neighbouring Iraq, where Tehran supports some Shi’ite militias.Wednesday’s incident came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra.A security source said Exxon was evacuating 21 foreign staff immediately by plane to Dubai.Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incident.Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA, the oil officials said.The rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile, the military said. Police said it landed 100 metres from the part of the site used as a residence and operations centre by Exxon.Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.Washington has ramped up sanctions pressure on Iran in recent months and says it has sent additional forces to the region over tension with the Islamic Republic.It blames Tehran for attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. Tehran denies it was involved.Both sides say they do not want war, but analysts warn such incidents could escalate violence in the region. <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> WhatsAppcenter_img SharePrintlast_img read more

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St Pauls Bay fire finally extinguished in the past hours

first_imgThe night between Saturday and Sunday turned out very busy for the Civil Protection Department as they had to control the fierce fire that enveloped a warehouse in Triq Garcia De Toledo in St. Paul’s Bay on Saturday morning.The fire seems to have broken out at around 9.30am. The fire was so aggressive that firefighters had to intervene multiple times during the night to extinguish the fire. A firefighter also had to be given medical attention.On Saturday, National Security Minister Michael Farrugia thanked the Civil Protection officers and the Police for their good work. WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

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Dropbox Unveils app for Organizing Your Photos and Videos

first_imgAdvertisement Dropbox has unveiled Carousel, a product to store and manage your photos and videos.Mailbox founder Gentry Underwood showed off the service, at a launch in San Francisco.The app  which organizes photos and videos from your camera roll into an app for Android and iOS. A scroll wheel at the bottom of the app lets you move backward and forward in time with a swipe of the thumb. Dropbox says the app is “one place for all your memories.” All photos stored in the app are backed up to Dropbox. – Advertisement – The app enables easy sharing to your phone and email contacts. “I can send hundreds of these in like, a second,” said Gentry Underwood, co-founder of the Dropbox email service Mailbox, as he demonstrated the app onstage. While you swipe through your photos, you can drag them up into a top bar, and then send them to your contacts with a couple of taps.Building services around the storage and sharing are one of the most reliable methods for a software company to lure and retain customers, and Dropbox which has historically positioned itself as a backup service, is taking new steps to expand the range of its photo products.Source: Yahoo Newslast_img read more

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AU AIMS partner to strengthen Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics STEM in

first_imgAdvertisement The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on the African continent.The signing took place at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Speaking at the signing ceremony, the AUC Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga underlined the importance of science, technology and innovation in the quest for Africa’s rapid development. He recalled the AU Summit decision establishing a committee of ten Heads of State and Government to champion the cause of education, science and technology in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, from in June 2015. – Advertisement – The AUC-AIMS MoU would serve as a critical tool for the implementation of the ten-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024), adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in June 2014. Among the areas of collaboration are strengthening linkages between STEM education and research with Industry; and working together on the Next Einstein Forum (NEF).NEF is an initiative that is intended to provide a platform to foster a strong African scientific community as an influential member of the global scientific community, through strengthened tripartite engagement between the scientific and higher education community; the industrial and corporate sector, and high level policy makers. This initiative will celebrate African science and scientists, while building global competitiveness. It is expected that through the NEF, there will be enhanced contribution of Africa’s youth to scientific entrepreneurship, innovation and inventiveness, including creation of next ‘Einstein’ level of emerging scientists.Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are powerful forces for the achievement of progress in the global economy. For Africa to fully benefit from these forces to address continental challenges and opportunities, it must build a strong indigenous capacity in these disciplines.This signing comes as the African Union Commission takes steps to achieve Agenda 2063 – the vision of Africa by Africans for the next 50 years. This collaboration envisaged between AIMS and the AUC will therefore empower young Africans to excel in science, technology and innovation, thereby contributing towards the achievement of the goals of Agenda 2063. Popularly themed ‘The Africa We Want’, the African Union Agenda 2063 encapsulates the voice of Africa’s people and their aspirations for the next 50 years. It emphasizes inclusive prosperity, integration, community participation, good governance and peace as well as investment in Africa’s youth and women.The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a pan-African network of centres of excellence for postgraduate education, research and outreach in mathematical sciences.last_img read more

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Chinas Xiaomi misses 2015 handset shipment target as competition bites

first_imgPeople stand near a logo of Xiaomi ahead of the launching ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing. REUTERS/Jason Lee Advertisement Smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc [XTC.UL] said on Friday it had shipped more than 70 million handsets in 2015, undershooting its own target and casting doubts about the growth prospects of China’s most valuable tech startup in a cut-throat market.The figure was announced in a photo featuring Xiaomi President Lin Bin which was posted on the company’s microblog with the banner: “2015 Xiaomi cellphone shipments: Over 70 million!”Xiaomi had estimated total annual sales of 80-100 million, but then in July reported semi-annual sales that for the first time were lower than the previous six months, with analysts saying its main domestic market was rapidly becoming saturated. – Advertisement – A spokeswoman for the company once pipped as Apple Inc’s biggest rival in China declined to say why sales had missed the target, adding that the 70 million figure “puts us as the top smartphone manufacturer in China in terms of market share for the year of 2015”.Xiaomi, however, is facing stiff competition from more established firms such as Lenovo Group and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] at home and its plans to expand abroad in emerging markets such as India and Brazil have hit intellectual property hurdles.Executives have also acknowledged that the five-year old startup’s thin portfolio is a major weakness, and the company has avoided entering markets with strong IP law enforcement. The company has put its market value at $45 billion.“For Xiaomi, the smartphone is still its biggest product line and generates around 90 percent of their revenue,” said tech analyst Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research.Xiaomi’s annual sales growth for the year was now 14.5 percent, he said, still above the average overall annual market growth rate of 12 percent. Shah forecast 2016 growth at 16 percent, based on expectations that Xiaomi will start sales in the United States, Latin America and eastern Europe.Independent tech analyst Ben Thomson of Statechery said the declining sales cast doubts about the company’s business model of making inexpensive smartphones and tablets in the long term.“The company is not only overvalued but also faces increasingly fundamental questions about the long-term viability of its business,” Thompson wrote in a research note this week.Xiaomi was the world’s fifth-largest smartphone maker by shipments in the third quarter, market researchers IDC said, behind Samsung Electronics Co, Apple Inc, Huawei and Lenovo. A year earlier, it was in third place.[Reuters]last_img read more

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Barclays and Standard Chartered picketed in London over Bidco business

first_imgEast African protesters have taken to the streets of London to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa. Advertisement East African protesters have taken to the streets of London to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa, highlighting the connection between global financial institutions, The Prince of Wales and widespread deforestation in Africa.Barclays and Standard Chartered saw their London headquarters picketed due to their funding of Nairobi-based Bidco, a company that cuts down thousands of acres of pristine rain-forest in Uganda, and engages in human rights and tax violations in Kenya and Tanzania.The Bidco Truth Coalition, an activist alliance, has revealed that the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), based at Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership under the patronage of The Prince of Wales, is failing in its mission to lead the banking industry in collectively directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development. – Advertisement – The BEI’s nine member banks are Barclays, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, Northern Trust, RBS, Santander and Westpac.East African protesters have taken to the streets of London to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa.By signing up to BEI’s ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact, the nine banks have committed to only direct capital towards sustainable business models and achieve zero net deforestation among their client companies.Under BEI guidelines, member banks must drop clients that don’t measure up to socially and environmentally responsible policies.Bidco Africa, which has engaged in multiple human rights, labour, tax and environmental violations, has publically stated that it does business with Barclays, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank.Bidco owns an oil palm plantation that has deforested 18,000 acres of rain-forest in Uganda and has also grabbed land from over 100 smallholder farmers.The environmental impact of the palm oil project has led activists to call on the UN Global Compact to eject Bidco from its roster of members.In 2004, the World Bank pulled out of Bidco’s Uganda project, citing violations of the World Bank’s anti-deforestation policies.But BEI has remained silent, and Barclays, Standard Chartered and other banks continue to do business with Bidco Africa.The Bidco Truth Coalition calls on BEI, its patron, The Prince of Wales, and BEI’s nine member banks to publically state that they will no longer do business with Bidco and other companies that destroy the environment.last_img read more

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Opera releases State of Mobile Web Report Africa 2016

first_imgAdvertisement Internet company, Opera, has released its State of the Mobile Web Africa 2016 Report, highlighting mobile internet trends across the continent, including consumer browsing behaviour and app usage.Opera – known for its compression technology and mobile browsers, including Opera Mini – compiles regular global mobile web reports, shedding light on opportunities and challenges within the digital environment.Ghanaians, Kenyans, Seychellois and Mauritians are the highest data users with an average usage of over 160MB/month. – Advertisement – Findings also show that visits to streaming video websites on Opera Mini in Africa have increased by 36% since 2012. Users from Tanzania (22%) are most likely to visit YouTube followed by South Africa (20%) and Ghana (19%).South Africa ranks first in Africa in terms of app usage, with a third of its population using mobile applications, followed by 31% in Ghana, 28% in Nigeria, 19% in Kenya and 18% in Uganda.Nigerians are regular social media users with 70% of Nigeria’s 16 million Facebook users, accessing the site via Opera Mini. In addition, Opera Mini users are accessing local news as much as 300% more than in 2014.Compression is key“We believe data compression is as relevant and useful now as it was a decade ago – in fact, with the growth of smartphone penetration coupled with prohibitively high data costs, it’s a critical enabler,” says Richard Monday, VP for Opera, Africa. “The #DataMustFall movement in South Africa demonstrates that people don’t feel like they’re getting value for money. The compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max helps consumers save on data costs and addresses issues relating to congestion and page sizes. Ultimately, a lighter mobile web enhances usability, functionality and access – even in poor network conditions.”In 2016, Opera’s compression technology has allowed South Africans to save approximately US$111m in data costs, with Nigerians and Kenyans saving US$280m and US$116m, respectively.Opera currently has 100 million users in Africa, with an 86.41% market share in Kenya, 71.83% in Nigeria and 53.1% in South Africa.To access the full report click here (http://opr.as/SMWA16).last_img read more

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Facebookers get a grip

first_imgBlog, I think we need to talk about ‘Facebookers’.Everywhere I go, in my warped world, I seem to be continually coming across people taking photos, of absolutely everything they do, even the most banal moments, for their Facebook pages. Reality television seems to have swept the country, and taken such a hold, that now, unless you’ve made yourself a bit of a Facebook celeb, you’re practically a social outcast.The main thing I’ve noticed, is that they actually spend so much time taking photos of themselves, in an effort to outdo the lives of their ‘friends’, they are obscured from enjoying the activity they are pretending to be doing in the first place.Blog, do you remember the Bill Clinton controversy surrounding him smoking marijuana as a student, and how he then, incredibly, got out of it by saying he ‘didn’t inhale’? Well, the Facebookers in the office became so preoccupied by updating their profiles all day, to tell each other they were going for a dump or eating a sandwich, that they were unable to carry out that annoyance called work. Myself and Gareth Woodentop, in the face of a union backlash, had to thus ban The Staff visiting the heinous website. I would then wander around the office, making an innocent face, but secretly acting as the Facebook Police, and carry out spot-checks in order to expose defiant offenders. When looking along the top of peoples ‘tool-bars’ on their computers, should I spot that somebody was trying to conceal their crime by looking at another site, but they actually had a tab open for Facebook, I would pounce and cry out, in delight, to the office, ‘Lukey, Facebook on or off, for you?!?!’.The Staff were ready and armed with excuses though, Blog! (Probably sourced from their Peninsula ‘uman raahts ‘andbooks!). And would instinctively shout back ‘No, no!’ and then fill me up with a convenient story that they were waiting for an important work related message or exchanging some irrelevant horse-racing information that had already been in the public domain for hours.Blog, I can’t win, The Staff have got all the moves!Facebookers, get a grip, and get on with your lives!!Over and out, B xlast_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Monday 6 May

first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Star Sports update with our key market movers for the day and sign up specials.Monday 6 MayHORSE RACING1.50 CurraghSunday Sovereign 7/2 > 2/12.10 Down RoyalEllipsism 16/1 > 9/23.10 WindsorTigerskin 11/1 > 5/14.50 BeverleyCrownthorpe 5/2 > 13/8LIVE FOOTBALLPremier League20:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD2/11 Man City12/1 Leicester City15/2 DRAWSTAR PROMOTIONSlast_img

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