Disabled campaigners have gathered at a conference

first_imgDisabled campaigners have gathered at a conference to help develop plans for a fightback against the independent living “catastrophe” facing users of support services across the country.The Independent Living Campaign Conference heard that disabled people are now designing “a new vision” for independent living that is user-led and based on rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The discussions are being developed by organisations that are part of the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), including Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Shaping Our Lives, and began at the National Disabled People’s Summit, which took place earlier this month.Mark Harrison, chief executive of the Norfolk-based disabled people’s organisation Equal Lives and a member of Norfolk DPAC, called for disabled people to set the agenda for reform, and define “what we need in order to live equal and independent lives”.This will include a legal right to independent living, he said, which the UN has called for through its committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.He said: “What we are facing at the moment is a catastrophe. That is what the UN said but that is also what disabled people say, with local authorities cutting people’s budgets by 50, 60, 70 per cent, and many disabled people having their social care completely removed in the assessment process.”He said change was “not going to come from politicians or professionals, it is going to come from us. That is why this conference is so important, as was the disabled people’s summit.“We think it is really important that we take control of our lives and the agenda around what we want from a right to independent living.”He said that if policy-makers and politicians are allowed to set the agenda they will “water it down and corral us into systems where it is non-disabled people assessing us, measuring us, [and] restricting us”.He told the conference about an article he has co-written with Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, which suggests that social care in England and Wales “is broken beyond repair”.They believe the only solution is a universal, legal right to independent living and a free, national independent living service, paid for from direct taxation, managed by central government, and led by disabled people.Such a service would be “shaped and delivered” by user-led disabled people’s organisations, co-operatives and social enterprises.Independent living should be mainstreamed through a cross-government body, they say in the article, with attention paid not just to social care and health but also areas such as transport, education, housing and social security.They say that social care should be seen as a “social and economic generator”, rather than supporting people to live independently being thought of as a “burden”.Harrison told the conference that disabled people living in rural Norfolk were often the largest employers in their villages because of the personal assistants (PAs) they employ.He said the system was in such a desperate situation that many people’s contributions to their council were now so high they were having to give up their social care packages because they could not afford them, even though they had been assessed as needing care under the Care Act.He said disabled people would design the new independent living service, and were going to “abolish the postcode lottery and take it away from local authorities”.He added: “We have to be in control. It is our lives we are talking about, it is us who have to take it forward.”Ellen Clifford (pictured, holding the microphone), a member of DPAC’s steering group, said disabled people and their organisations were facing “enormous challenges” with the continuing attacks on support.The few solicitors able to take cases on behalf of people whose support has been slashed “are all working beyond capacity”, she said, as disabled people face “a continual cycle of reassessments”, while social workers are being “forced to cut packages”.She warned that there were “limitations” with the process of seeking judicial reviews of council decisions on cuts to people’s support, with the courts “very unwilling to go against the professional opinion of social workers”, while judges “do not want to micromanage government policy”.And she said there was also the risk that legal defeats, such as in the case of Luke Davey, would create damaging legal precedents that would make it easier for other local authorities to cut people’s care packages.She said many people were facing assessments being carried out in “very intrusive ways”, with professionals “coming in to watch you receiving your personal care”, while many councils were no longer funding night-time support and were trying to persuade disabled people to rely on unpaid support from friends and relatives.She also warned that local authorities were misinterpreting the idea of independent living to mean “that people should be doing things for themselves, whereas we know independent living is about having choice and control over your life”.There are also reports of people finding it increasing difficult to recruit PAs, she said, because of low hourly pay rates, and the impact of Brexit on the supply of staff from Europe.But she said there had been some campaigning successes, including disabled people in the north London borough of Enfield persuading the council to back down over its planned new charging policy.Among other issues raised by those attending the conference were the use of pre-payment cards, which restrict how service-users spend their personal budgets; how to ensure a decent wage for PAs; the need for proper funding for disabled people’s organisations, so they can provide independent advocacy and advice; and “the need to be really clear and compelling in how we describe independent living” so that language is understandable to the general public.Zara Todd, a former chair of Inclusion London and now director of the European Network on Independent Living, said: “Everyone in this room knows what your rights are, but there are so many disabled people who do not know what their rights are.”She said there needed to be “some kind of way to reach people who are incredibly marginalised and isolated”, such as those living in institutions, “to show other disabled people that they do have a choice and do not have to be where they are.“Unless we start doing that, no-one is going to tell these disabled people that they have options.”She told DNS later: “There needs to be more spaces like [this conference] to discuss what independent living means for disabled people, so we can ensure that article 19 of the UNCRPD is fully implemented across the whole of Europe.”The conference was funded by DPAC, and organised by DPAC and Inclusion London, with support from members of ROFA.Another campaigner who attended the conference was Lakhvinder Kaur, whose battle with her local authority over her demand for choice and control over her support saw her trapped in a care home for weeks as she faced eviction and possible homelessness.She was able to secure support from Newham council to attend the event, her first day out since she was left trapped in the care home in east London.She told DNS afterwards that her experience showed that the government’s Care Act was “just a joke” and was failing to protect disabled people, which had been demonstrated by those who spoke at the conference.She said: “Why can they strip me of my rights, take away my ability to go out and come back in? I’m [just treated as] state property.”Michelle Daley, disabled activist and co-founder and director of the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida, said that increasing numbers of disabled people do not know what their rights are when it comes to support, which means they “are not going to be able to work their way through the system”.Another disabled campaigner, Angela Smith, said: “Independence is not about doing everything yourself. It is about having the right support.”She said that non-disabled people do not do everything themselves, but have services for those things they cannot do.Smith said disabled people needed to “fight” that definition of independent living [that says independent living is about doing things yourself], and added: “If we can’t get that right, we can’t get anything right.”Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, agreed and said campaigners were “getting so worried” about social workers increasingly using this “bastardised” definition which turned independent living “upside down”.Brian Hilton, who chaired the conference, called on disabled people to “use all that we learned, from what we got right to what we got wrong” from the ultimately unsuccessful fight to save the Independent Living Fund ILF “as we continue our fight for independent living”.Mark Williams (pictured), a former ILF-user and a member of Bristol Disability Equality Forum, who has lived independently for the last 24 years with 24-hour PA support, works as a trainer for social workers and has volunteered as a school governor for the last 10 years, told the conference of his fears about the latest review of his support package.He said: “After two appointments with my social workers, they suggested I needed time on my own in order to build up my confidence and make me more independent.”He was asked to complete a 24-hour diary, detailing all of his activities over the course of two weeks, which resulted in a 29-page report that included “very personal details of my life”, and left him feeling that he “had no private life”.He said he felt the process had been “very undermining and moving backwards”.Organisers of the conference will now draw up key campaign objectives and actions that have come from workshops held during the event, and will seek support for that from those who attended the conference.last_img read more

New large public buildings such as shopping centre

first_imgNew large public buildings such as shopping centres, sports stadiums and cinema complexes will soon have to include a Changing Places accessible toilet, according to government proposals.The government has announced a consultation on the plans – which will also affect existing large public buildings that undergo significant alterations – more than two years after the idea was recommended by the Commons women and equalities committee.That was followed last year by a petition calling for Changing Places to be provided in all large public buildings as they are built, redeveloped or refurbished, which secured more than 57,000 signatures.Now the government has finally agreed to act by making changes to building regulations.Its proposals would affect public buildings such as new theatres with at least 500 seats, museums and art galleries that expect to receive more than 300,000 visitors a year, cinema complexes with at least five screens, and hospitals and primary care centres.It should mean more than 150 new Changing Places toilets – facilities with extra space and equipment such as hoists and changing benches for disabled people who cannot use standard accessible toilets – every year.But it will not affect existing buildings unless they seek planning permission for significant alterations.There are currently more than 1,300 Changing Place toilets (pictured) across the UK.The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had announced it was considering a change to building regulations on 24 December.Now it has confirmed that it wants to go ahead with the plans and is seeking views on its proposals through a 10-week consultation, which closes on 21 July.Last month, the Department for Transport, in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), launched a £2 million fund for Changing Places toilets to be installed in existing motorway service stations.The Department of Health and Social Care will also soon launch its own £2 million fund for NHS Trusts to install new Changing Places in more than 100 hospitals across England.Fiona Anderson, from Bolton, a member of MDUK’s Trailblazers network of young disabled campaigners, and herself a user of Changing Places toilets, said: “A lack of Changing Places toilets has led to me deciding to have surgery, which will give me more freedom to go to the toilet.“If these facilities were in every large public building, I would no longer have to endure the pain of postponing going to the toilet all day and the ever-present dark cloud of sepsis occurring would be lifted.“Ultimately, I also wouldn’t need to have a catheter fitted, which would mean the world to me. I’m not incontinent – I simply can’t transfer to a toilet without a hoist.“Changing Places toilets are a much-needed lifeline. But with so few of them available, people like me are forced to sacrifice our dignity and independence.”Rishi Sunak, the local government minister, said: “Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort.“For severely disabled people, this is made very difficult because there are not enough Changing Places toilets.“We’ve made some progress, but I’m determined to increase the number of these life-enhancing facilities, so people are given the dignity they deserve.“I’m pleased so many people will be helped by this major change.”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

Local lawmaker resident pushing to prevent distracted drivers

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Texting and driving, talking on the phone while driving, telling your kids to settle down while driving, those are all examples of a distracted driver.Real life issues Wilmington resident Colleen Osborn and Sen. Michael Lee are fighting to prevent.- Advertisement – “If something isn’t done about this, you know, we’re going to have a state full of disabled people,” Osborn said.“We keep seeing more and more issues with distracted driving,” Lee said. “When I talk to police officers, highway patrol, they keep talking about these issues as well and how they’re leading to so many accidents.”It is a distraction Osborn said can be avoided.Related Article: NC House members: Cellphone ban while driving needs work“I mean driving is not a right it’s a privilege,” Osborn said.People texting and driving have t-boned Osborn twice, injuring her back.“Very angry,” Osborn said. “So I had to do something proactive with my anger. So this is my fight.”Since then, she has been pushing for change. Inspiring Sen. Lee to co-sponsor and introduce two bills.The first is the Brian Garlock Act, a bill that would enforce hands-free cell phone use while driving.“Colleen’s involvement really got me really involved to the point where I co-sponsorred the bill with two other senators,” Lee said. “And I use that as an example and hopefully we’ll be able to bring this bill in and make it a law.”The second is Senate Bill 333, making the use of your turn signal mandatory.“People think that’s the law already. When you’re going to change lanes or turn. And actually the law provides that you don’t have to do it in all instances,” Lee said. “And the bill that I introduced says you have to do it in all instances.”Those are all steps Osborn said are necessary to make the roads, and the community we live in, much safer.“People complain about people picking up guns and killing other people. Well, it’s the same thing when you pick up your cell phone driving a however many ton car you’re in, plowing into someone,” Osborn said. “If you don’t kill them you’re going to hurt them.”Osborn is asking people in the area to reach out to local and state lawmakers to help in her fight against distracted driving.As for Sen. Lee, he said he plans to re-introduce both bills next year in the long session.last_img read more

College students spend spring break giving back to community

first_img They have helped with multiple projects and enjoy seeing the difference they are making.“New found love for the City of Wilmington, and the people and also construction skills I’m going to take back,” Hannah Leamer, student, said.”“I think the people have been like I said really you know welcoming to us,” student Matthew Devane said.Related Article: Wrightsville Beach staple to welcome back customers Monday“It’s the home owners, I mean they’re so happy. I mean we’ve done something they could never afford to do we’ve changed most of their lives,” WARM Construction Coordinator Gerald Waite said.The students head back home Friday. They did get to have a little fun since they are staying at Wrightsville Beach.They say they would not change the hard work for anything. They are thankful for their week of serving. A group of volunteers from the University of Missouri made their way to Wilmington to work with WARM, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While most college students relax and take it easy over spring break, some young adults volunteered to work and help others during their week off.A group of volunteers from the University of Missouri made their way to Wilmington to work with WARM, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Forbes names NHRMC one of top employers in America

first_img “This is an amazing honor and a tribute to all those who work together to make this such a great place to do meaningful work for our community,” said John Gizdic, NHRMC President and CEO. “What we have created here is special, and this is reflective of that.”Forbes says the employers honored on the list are chosen through anonymous independent surveys collected from more than 30,000 Americans. Employees were asked to rank employers on a scale of 0 to 10 based on direct reviews of the company as well as a willingness to recommend the employer to others.Company culture was cited as a driving factor for the highest scoring employers, which includes organizations like Michelin, Google, and Costco.Related Article: Study: Women sleep better with dogs by their side“This recognition is a result of the great work our team does every day, the outstanding engagement of our staff, and the phenomenal culture we have built at NHRMC,” Gizdic said.“Over the years, we have continually put a focus on what we can do to promote employee development, involvement and overall well-being,” said Gizdic.  “Our employee fitness programs, healthy community wages, and efforts to keep benefit costs low are part of it.  But I believe this recognition is also a testament to how engaged the team is in continually advancing the care we provide, not only for those who walk through our doors, but also for those we support through our efforts in our community.”NHRMC announced a new mission statement of “Leading Our Community to Outstanding Health” in 2017 and has seen involvement soar as employees have embraced new opportunities to volunteer in the community through food drives, adopting schools, and health outreach programs to reach those who have traditionally had limited access to care.  Throughout the organization, employees and physicians are also empowered to find innovative ways of improving care, delivering more consumer-friendly services, and honoring diversity.New Hanover Regional Medical Center is one of southeastern North Carolina’s largest employers with 7,000 employees. The NHRMC system includes the main NHRMC campus as well as the NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital, Pender Memorial Hospital, NHRMC EMS, NHRMC Home Care and NHRMC Physician Group.To learn more about joining the New Hanover Regional Medical Center team, visit our career section. Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Photo: nhrmc.org) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover Regional Medical Center gets recognized pretty regularly for its patient care, but now Forbes is recognizing it for something else.Forbes Magazine says New Hanover Regional Medical Center is one of America’s Best Employers of 2018. NHRMC ranks 47th among the nation’s large employers, a ranking that is higher than all but two other North Carolina employers, and is the sixth highest ranking among those in the health and social category.- Advertisement – last_img read more

State installing floating platform to monitor White Lake water quality

first_imgWhite Lake monitoring platform (Photo: Town of White Lake) WHITE LAKE, NC (WWAY) — As White Lake works to figure out a long-term solution to recent algal blooms, the NC Division of Water Resources has been granted a Special Use Permit to place a floating water testing platform in the middle of the lake.A spokesperson for the Town of White Lake said the platform will sit above the water and is about the size of a small raft. The monitoring equipment attached to the platform will provide a nearly continuous assessment of dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, conductivity, and abundance of algae and cyanobacteria.- Advertisement – This announcement comes on the heels of a massive fish kill that coincided with contractors applying alum to the lake, to help reduce the algae blooms.The state ordered the town to halt treatment while they investigated. The state determined it did not appear the fish kills were due to the alum treatments, but could be the result of the ongoing algal bloom. Later, the town was able to continue with the treatment, which wrapped up before the White Lake Water Festival.The floating platform, which is scheduled to be installed as early as Thursday, will be painted bright yellow, has reflective tape, and a mounted signal beacon. Signs are being posted and the Town has already informed residents about the platform using its “One Call” system.“We welcome this additional source of information,” said Mayor Goldston Womble. “The state and the Town have the same goals: we want to understand, then resolve, the issues with the ecosystem that are leading to the algal blooms in our lake.”The platform will remain in place until the end of September.White Lake is a natural, spring and rainwater-fed lake approximately 1,200 acres in size.  The town said because the lake water lacks buffering to protect it from the impacts of nutrients, it has experienced the rapid and sustained growth of algae, including algal blooms, in recent years.Algal blooms occur when nutrient levels in a body of water are too high, and they can lead to fish kills.The town says since the alum treatment, there has not been any additional fish mortality, pH levels have dropped, and water clarity has greatly improved.The town is also continuing its partnerships with scientists and environmental leaders to find both short and long-term solutions to the situation.The town is working with the Bald Head Island Conservancy to understand the causes of the algae blooms and to assess the lake’s groundwater resource.last_img read more

Virtual Angel Tree gets full support by hundreds

first_imgPender County Schools Virtual Angel Tree.(Photo: Pender County Schools) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — WWAY told you earlier this month how Pender County Schools had set up a virtual angel tree to help students and families affected by Hurricane Florence.We now know all those angels will get some help.- Advertisement – Pender County Schools says it has received enough support to serve every family that applied to the program which was more than 750 children.The district says more than 300 individuals, businesses and organizations stepped up to give both items and money.Pender Early College High School students will help shop for the gifts Friday.last_img read more

UNCW men extend season with CAA firstround win

first_img Jeantal Cylla led the Seahawks with 23 points. Devontae Cacok added 16 points and 12 rebounds.C.B. McGrath’s team shot 53.2 percent from the field, including 40.9 percent from behind the three-point arc.UNCW moves on to the quarterfinal round Sunday to take on No. 2 seed Northeastern. The game is scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. The Huskies won both games between the teams in the regular season. The UNCW men built an early lead and never looked back, as the Seahawks moved on to the second round of the CAA Tournament with a 93-86 win over Elon Saturday night in North Charleston, SC.UNCW is the 10th and lowest seed in the conference playoff, but played perhaps one of its best games of the season in the upset of the 7th seeded Phoenix.- Advertisement – last_img read more

ERA appeals against Dwejra restaurant extension

first_img SharePrint The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has filed an appeal in order to ask the Court to revoke and cancel the decision given by the Environmental Review Tribunal and the Planning Authority, which would grant a restaurant in Dwejra an extension. In its appeal, ERA claimed that the Tribunal failed to apply or misinterpreted the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED), which protects biodiversity, cultural heritage, geology and geomorphology, by safeguarding protected areas. ERA believes that the Tribunal also failed to recognize the problems arising from the intensification and expansion of development at Dwejra. The site is considered a Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is part of the Natura 2000 network because of its ecological importance. Read: ERA to appeal Dwejra permit – HerreraThe application intends to increase the seating capacity of the restaurant space in question. ERA believes that this extension will result in more light and noise in the area that are detrimental to wildlife. ERA believes that the development will lead to the intensification of light pollution, especially at night, in an area that is a designated Dark Sky Heritage Area. Although the Tribunal observed that the operation of the restaurant, including the use of artificial lighting, remains under scrutiny by the authorities concerned, ERA believes that it is best to avoid these circumstances in the first place. Read: 15 NGOs file an appeal against Dwejra restaurant developmentThe Tribunal had to consider that the proposed development is detrimental to biodiversity, especially on the population of Scopoli’s Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater, that are particularly sensitive to light and sound and are known to nest in the area.Read:  ‘Malta is shooting itself in the foot’ – NTM-FEE on approved Dwejra plansWhatsApp <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

Watch 76 migrants disembark at Haywharf

first_img76 migrants have been disembarked at the Armed Forces of Malta’s naval base at Haywharf.Those on board were previously rescued by a patrol vessel from the Armed Forces of Malta earlier today.Newsbook.com.mt has been informed that the immigrant group soon to be disembarked, are all male. They are also believed to originate from Guinea, South Sudan and Ghana. Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb This is the second disembarkation to Malta in July, with the first taking place on the 9th.Watch: Updated: 44 migrants including 3 children, disembarked in MaltaWhatsApp Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb <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> Miguela Xuerebcenter_img Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb 1 of 24 Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereb SharePrint Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuereblast_img read more

Commonwealth broadband Africa Forum Dates Confirmed

first_imgAdvertisement The dates for this year’s Commonwealth broadband Africa Forum have been confirmed. It is set to take place from the 18th to 20th Nov 2014 at the Safari Park Hotel.The theme for this year’s event will be Broadband for Accelerated Growth, the event will examine aspects of Broadband, not only developing national Broadband strategies but with an overview of the Commonwealth Broadband strategy and the role of Universal Access Funds.Delving into how countries can transcend broadband implementation to accelerate economic growth. – Advertisement – Commonwealth Broadband Africa 2014 will give attention to the future of technology in Africa and examining how Africa’s expanding marketplace will be accelerated further by the technology innovations that drive growth; from the evolution of mobile technologies from 4G and beyond; watching the trends of cloud computing in emerging markets; new satellite and fibre optic cabling technologies; examining the use and influence of broadband applications and VAs and the rise of the Tech cities. Bringing together Regulators, Governments, Operators, Vendors and Universal Service Fund Administrators, revenue managers it will be a platform for gaining knowledge, exchanging views and seeking partnerships.Key topics:Determining Africa’s broadband futureMobile broadband technologies: 4G and LTEBroadband access and infrastructure aiding developmentDesigning the digital dividend: Future spectrum allocationCloud computing for Emerging marketsBroadband applications Innovation and VAsInclusion. Innovation. Beyond Broadband: The rise of the tech cities.Financing broadband in AfricaStrengthening broadband Public Private Partnerships to accelerate investment projectsCan I kindly request that we start to promote the event again on your site, we will update all banners and email for your reference.last_img read more

Wileyfox a new smartphone brand launches Britains answer to OnePlus

first_imgWileyfox. Photo Credit: Engadget Advertisement There’s a new smartphone brand on the block, as the Wileyfox introduces its first two devices to the UK today.Looking to do away with costly hardware and cluttered software, the new smartphone maker has landed, partnering with Qualcomm and Cyanogen along the way.The company’s approach reminds us of OnePlus. Wileyfox isn’t promoting any “flagship killers” here, but they’re operating on the same model of low margins and a “pure” user experience. – Advertisement – The £199 (about $315) Wileyfox Storm is the more premium of the two, boasting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. In the camera department, you’ll find a 20-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel version up front.The £129 ($204) Wileyfox Swift, meanwhile, is as an even more wallet-friendly affair. The resolution of the 5-inch display is slightly lower, and it runs on a less powerful Snapdragon 410 processor and 2GB of RAM. There’s 16GB of onboard storage and, like the Storm, it comes with a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB cards. Packing a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper — a slight step down from the Storm.These aren’t the only Wileyfox handsets in development, according to the company; new devices that draw on the same partnerships and overall feel will arrive further down the line.According to reports, both handsets will be available exclusively online in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Pre-orders start this week, with the cheaper Swift shipping in early September before its beefier Storm sibling arrives in October.Credit: DigitalSpy, TNW, WILEYFOXlast_img read more

NTF III Uganda Chapter to Launch Export Plan For ICT Sector

first_imgAdvertisement In the Ministerial Policy Statement for FY 2014/15 Uganda’s ICT sector share in 2014 stood at 6.0% and employed over one million people. World Bank data placed exports of ICT services in 2013 at 400 million USD, forming 17% of total service exports. IT services alone were estimated to represent 2.8% of Uganda’s services exports, with a total value of US $2 billion in 2012. These statistics prompted several initiatives of an investment & developmental nature in the ICT sector from players both local and international.One such initiative being an Export Sector Competitiveness Program called the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF III), a program funded by the Dutch government, particularly, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI, affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The program was established to build export sector competitiveness in key growth sectors in the 4 beneficiary countries of Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Uganda. NTF III is being implemented over three years 2014-2017) and one of its key functions is to put in place an Export Plan, see to its roll-out and implementation in the ICT sector in Uganda.Under the general supervision of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) together with the NFT III project team, with support from the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) and Uganda Business Process Outsourcing Association (UBPOA), have developed and validated an “IT & ITES Export sector plan” to be launched on the 7th of April, 2016 and rolled out immediately, first to about thirty (30) Small and Medium Enterprise players in the ICT sector and eventually to the rest of the country. – Advertisement – The” IT & ITES Export Sector Plan” The “IT & ITES Sector Export Plan”, is the presentation of measures that have been identified to enhance the export competitiveness of the Ugandan IT & ITES companies in international markets, whether regionally or globally. In support to the proposed measures, a “Country Marketing Plan” has been developed to be implemented alongside the Export plan, which will identify the relevant marketing communication components that need to be activated to enhance the visibility of Uganda’s IT & ITES industry.The IT & ITES Export plan will focus on the following five broad strategic objectives to be pursued in order to achieve a successful export drive:Enhancing the caliber of the young talent IT & ITES pool.Closing the gender gap.Instigating a local environment conducive to the IT & ITES industry.Developing the export capabilities of SMEs.Placing Uganda’s IT & ITES industry on the map.Identifying target markets.Richard Okuti, National Consultant – NTF III Uganda remarked that “this plan will focus on IT & ITES business initiatives with a potential for exports that can be enhanced through targeted measures and will take into consideration the fact that the Ugandan IT & ITES industry’s existence lacks recognition amongst target customers beyond the borders of the country.”This plan takes into account the specific circumstances of the Ugandan IT & ITES industry, which cannot rely on a thriving local economy to stimulate its growth, ensuring the emergence of local champions. In the absence of a local demand pull, a more prudent business development plan needs to be considered to assist Ugandan companies in their export endeavors.IT & ITES: The difference? IT and ITES, are one and the same, having more in common than not. This is correct up to a point: the closer one gets to market considerations, the more dissimilar the two become.IT services. These require a broad range of specialized, technical skills typically acquired during studies at a university and are necessary, for example, to engage in designing software architectures, software coding or web design deploying cloud-based services.IT enabled services (ITES). These do not usually require specialized technical skills (with the exception of knowledge-based ITES, e.g. medical analysis applications). ITES services include Customer Support Services (e.g. call centres, Recruitment Process – RPO), Policy Maintenance/Management (e.g. human resource), Data Process Services (e.g. payroll outsourcing), and Technical Support Services (infrastructure management, help desk), to mention but a few.Why “IT & ITES Export Plan”? NTF III is simply helping a company whose founder(s) has detected a market need. He or she has the vision of how to satisfy that need, and believes the company has something unique to offer. It could be a service (for example, reserving your taxi through your smart phone), which involves developing the application and running the service, or an off-the-shelf software package (for example, a smart phone application capable of detecting certain diseases). These companies will be supported to take these solutions beyond our borders in this Export plan.last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Sunday

first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Our new daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 7 JulyVery quiet trading so far. Are you all out in the sun ?Anyway today we can sum up in two words.We don’t want:DJOKOVIC (Wimbledon)McDOWELL (French Open Golf)last_img

STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 31 JulyRACING4.20 GoodwoodHighly Sprung 6/1 > 4/15.30 GoodwoodIsamol 20/1 > 12/16.25 NewmarketConfident Kid 5/2 > 6/48.30 GalwayDark Crusader 4/1 > 2/1(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

£25 CASH qualifying new accounts Champions League

first_img£25 CASH IFANY PLAYER SCORES HAT-TRICKTo celebrate the launch of our brand new betting site starsports.bet we are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS £25 CASH if any player scores a hat-trick in tonight’s Champions League Final (90 minutes).You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at starsports.bet between 9am on Saturday 26 May and 7.45pm on Saturday 26 May. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify you must open a new account at starsports.bet anytime from 9am on Saturday 26 May to 7.45pm (GMT) on Saturday 26 May.(2) In addition you must place at least one bet online with starsports.bet before 7.45pm (GMT) on Saturday 26 May. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the starsports.bet web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer is based around whether ANY player scores a hat-trick in tonight’s REAL MADRID v LIVERPOOL Champions League Final. Please note this is a 90 minute promotion so extra time will not count.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus, if successful, will be paid as £25 CASH within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at starsports.bet.(7) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address.(8) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse this promotion at any point.(9) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team cs@www.starsportsbet.co.uklast_img read more

Rices Local Elections in America Project joins Kinder Institute for Urban Research

first_imgAddThis ShareNEWS RELEASEDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice University’s Local Elections in America Project joins Kinder Institute for Urban Research New center will expand data collection, help foster research to strengthen local democracy HOUSTON – (July 15, 2015) – Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research created a new center this month to house the Local Elections in America Project. Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the center will promote greater knowledge and understanding of local elections in the United States, especially with regard to voter behavior and how electoral behavior affects local government outcomes.Previously housed in Rice’s Department of Political Science, the Local Elections in America Project created the first and only comprehensive database of local elections in the U.S. Using that database and software, the new center is intended to serve as the leading national source for data, research and education about local elections in America, said Melissa Marschall, the co-principal investigator of the Local Elections in America Project and a professor of political science at Rice.At the Kinder Institute, the project will be better positioned to expand its database, disseminate research further, connect a much broader group of researchers and stakeholders and ultimately advance the understanding of local elections and the solutions that hold the greatest promise to increase voter turnout and revive local democracy in the U.S., Marschall said.The Local Elections in America Project database currently includes hundreds of thousands of election results and candidates from county, municipal, school-board and special-district races across 22 states. The center will work toward improving the project’s software and data collection strategy to gather results from the remaining states and counties. Data collection will be expanded to include information such as candidates’ race, ethnicity and gender as well as campaign platforms and finance.The center will conduct a broad range of research on local elections and support more studies by spreading and publicizing the database widely. In particular, it will explore limited voter turnout, low numbers of candidates and the noncompetitive nature of local elections in certain jurisdictions, as well as ways to better engage citizens in civic life. The center will also disseminate research results extensively to foster policy change around the nation in the area of local elections.“In the United States, local governments make up over 99 percent of all governments, and every year hundreds of thousands of candidates run for local office,” Marschall said. “The project is the only enterprise that systematically collects and compiles data on these elections. Knight Foundation support and the project’s new home at the Kinder Institute will provide for the expansion of the current database and engagement in a full-scale effort to use the database and research results to understand the process and outcomes of local elections in the U.S.”Marschall noted that with more empirically based evidence, policymakers and other stakeholders can go much further in identifying how to field more and better candidates, provide more information for voters about local candidates and local politics, stimulate interest in local campaigns, make elections more efficient and effective and ultimately create more participatory and vibrant local communities and healthier democracy in the nation’s cities and towns.“In order to make cities better, it’s vital to understand local elections,” said Bill Fulton, director of the Kinder Institute. “I’m thrilled that Melissa Marschall has chosen to bring this very powerful database to the Kinder Institute. Urban experts across the country will benefit from knowing more about the patterns in local elections.”The Kinder Institute is currently broadening its focus to include several new program areas that align with local elections research efforts, including urban disparities, urban and metropolitan governance and urban placemaking. More information on the institute is available at http://kinder.rice.edu/.The Local Elections in America Project was created in 2010 by Marschall and co-principal investigator Paru Shah of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; initial support was provided by the National Science Foundation, Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.-30-For more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Local Elections in America Project: http://kinder.rice.edu/leapRice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research: http://kinder.rice.edu/Photo credit: ThinkStockPhotos.comPhoto link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/07/ThinkstockPhotos-153676294.jpgJohn S. and James L. Knight Foundation: http://www.knightfoundation.org/Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.last_img read more

Protostars make waves first planets later

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/1004_STAR-3-web-1en7gt5.jpgAn illustration shows density waves embedded within the protoplanetary disk around Elias 2-27, a protostar about 450 light years from Earth. Rice University astronomer Andrea Isella is part of the international team that announced the discovery in Science. (Credit: B. Saxton/NRAO/AUI/NSF, ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/RAO)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/1004_STAR-2-web-18wagsm.jpgAn illustration shows the conformation spiral waves in the dense middle of a protoplanetary disk, as observed for the first time around a newborn star in the Southern constellation Ophiuchus. The waves stretch out from a region around the star roughly the same size as the Kuiper Belt, which lies beyond the planets in our own solar system. Rice University astronomer Andrea Isella is part of the international team that announced the discovery in Science. (Credit: B. Saxton/NRAO/AUI/NSF, ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/RAO; Laura Pérez/Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy) http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/1004_STAR-1-web-1jl9yfq.jpgAndrea Isella (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) AddThis Share2Editor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release. David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduProtostars make waves first, planets laterRice University astronomer’s study leads to discovery of spiral arms within protoplanetary disks HOUSTON – (Sept. 29, 2016) – Astronomers thought it likely they would find a spiral of particles hidden in the cloudy disks that orbit and feed newborn stars. They have now found one, even though they weren’t looking for it.A project initiated by Rice University astronomer Andrea Isella years ago bore fruit with the first observation of a pair of symmetrical spiral density waves around a protostar, one still gathering mass from its gaseous cloud.The report in Science co-authored by Isella and led by his former California Institute of Technology colleague, Laura Pérez of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, details the discovery around Elias 2-27 that could help explain why and how planetary systems form. Elias 2-27 is in a nebula within the Southern constellation Ophiuchus, about 450 light years from Earth, and was already known to host an unusually massive disk.Astronomers have seen spirals on the surface of protoplanetary disks, but this is the first time they have detected a spiral density wave in a disk’s midplane, where planets are expected to form. They believe disks around these protostars, which both feed the star and send material into the far reaches, are susceptible to gravitational instability caused by the large amount of gas and dust orbiting the star.This instability prompts the material to coalesce into spiral-like arms in the flow of material around the star. Over time, they believe the material in these dense arms become the seeds of planetary systems. Gravitational instability not only suggests how spiral arms might form, but also how planets begin to take shape far from the warmth of their sun.“We don’t completely understand how planets form,” said Isella, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, “but we suspect there are two ways: Either small particles stick together until they form something like the Earth or Mars, or accreting gas forms a planet like Saturn or Jupiter.“But this process works only very close to the star, within a few astronomical units (roughly the distance from the sun to the Earth), because that’s where all the material is, and it has to have enough density.”Planets forming farther out, at 20-30 astronomical units, need material too, but the core accretion process is less likely, the researchers noted. “If a disk is massive enough to be gravitationally unstable, a spiral will form naturally,” Isella said. Material spiraling into the cold depths may collapse under its own gravity and form the seed of a new planet.Large exoplanets have been observed far from their host stars, but how they got there has been a mystery, he said. “If we can measure the mass of the disk and say, well, there is a lot of material, and we see this feature, it’s a direct demonstration that this process might work,” Isella said.He said the greater resolution provided by the world’s newest and largest radio telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the high desert of Chile, made the discovery possible. For the first time, astronomers were able to see through a disk-shaped cloud of dust and gas around the protostar to the denser mid-disk region.Based on their initial work on disks in 2010 and 2013, Perez proposed a close-up of Elias 2-27 in 2013, about the time ALMA came online. “As often happens, you find things you don’t expect to see. This spiraling feature was completely unexpected,” Isella said.“When the project started, we wanted to see how the dust grain in these disks evolve with time,” Isella said. “Planets start to form from micro-sized particles that stick together, and Laura and I thought we might be able to measure the size of the dust particles based on their distance from the star.“If you look at two or three different wavelengths of light from the disk, then you can measure grain sizes as a function of radius,” he said. “But when we got the data, we got this beautiful spiral.”Collaborators in the U.S., Germany, Chile, the Netherlands, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom contributed to the paper, and many will be part of the next effort at ALMA to gather information from 20 known protostars with similar properties.-30-Read the abstract at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6307/1519Read a Science perspective on the research, “Detecting structure in a protostellar disk”: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6307/1492Read about the research at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory website: https://public.nrao.edu/news/pressreleases/2016-alma-elias-spiralThis news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/2016/09/29/protostars-make-waves-first-planets-later/Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Isella Research Group: http://planetformation.rice.edu/sample-page/Wiess School of Natural Sciences: http://natsci.rice.eduImages for download:last_img read more

Graduating Rice University student is YouTube star

first_imgShare1STORY PITCHDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduGraduating Rice University student is YouTube starIf you’re lucky to work at a top-tier university, you get to meet some incredibly smart young people. We feature their enterprising spirit all the time. As an example, we are currently rolling out our annual portfolio of student projects from Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.We also learn about students who are doing other things, like David Nichol from a few years ago who imported 13,000 colored balls from China and converted his room into a ball pit before moving to the west coast and putting his computer science degree to work.This year is no different.We have a senior who has become a YouTube star and entrepreneur.Meet Michael Groth.Groth, who will graduate in May with a mechanical engineering degree, said his story is proof that you never really know what to expect in life.The summer before arriving at Rice, Groth uploaded a Pokémon-themed video he had produced to his YouTube channel and didn’t give it much thought as he settled into college life. “One day I checked back on it and said, ‘Wow. This has 10,000 views.’ I realized this video was going to pass up my most-viewed video of all time, and it hit 1 million views in December,” Groth said.After his video hit that milestone, he began putting more effort into his YouTube channel by creating weekly content. His channel now has nearly a half-million subscribers. “It suddenly grew and I started making money off of it, and I realized this could someday become my job,” Groth said.Groth has monetized those views into YouTube advertising dollars. We cannot go into detail about his personal finances, but some estimates show that people like Groth can make anywhere from $1.50 to $7 per 1,000 views.After graduation, Groth intends to work on his YouTube channel and explore other creative opportunities full time. “I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, so it’s kind of scary, but it’s also really exciting,” he said.Rice University has a broadcast studio available for television interviews. For more information or to schedule an interview with Groth, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.-30-Follow Groth on YouTube here.Follow Groth on Twitter at @mandjtvpokevidsFollow Rice University on YouTube here.Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Rices Baker Institute to convene Houston Stronger A Path to A More

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruthdavid@rice.edu713-348-6327Jeff Falkjfalk@rice.edu713-348-6775Rice’s Baker Institute to convene ‘Houston Stronger: A Path to A More Equitable City’ Aug. 31HOUSTON – (Aug. 21, 2018) – Leaders and experts from government, nonprofits and academia will gather at BakerRipley’s Ripley House Aug. 31 for a public forum convened by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to build community consensus around the need for a more equitable Houston.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice UniversityThe event, which is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and the Office of Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, will explore potential policy, programmatic and investment solutions to Houston’s most pressing inequities. It will also highlight the implications of ongoing Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts as the city marks the one-year anniversary of the storm. The forum is free and open to the public; visit https://www.bakerinstitute.org/events/1942 to register.Who: Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, will offer introductory remarks.Michael Lindsey, the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies and executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, will deliver the keynote address.Panelists will be Elsa Caballero, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Texas; Dr. Quianta Moore, fellow in child health policy at the Center for Health and Biosciences; Juliet Stipeche, director of Turner’s office of education; Shao-Chee Sim, vice president for applied research at the Episcopal Health Foundation; Mayra Bontemps, assistant director for recovery and public services in the city of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department; Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston; and Chrishelle Palay, co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service.Ginny Goldman, an independent strategist who served as chair of the Houston Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, which completed its work in fall 2017, will conclude the event by outlining actionable next steps.What: A public forum titled “Houston Stronger: A Path to A More Equitable City.”When: Friday, Aug. 31, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Breakfast and registration will begin at 8.Where: Ripley House, 4410 Navigation Blvd.   Cities across the country are facing growing social and economic inequality and Houston is no exception, according to event organizers. Despite Houston’s strong economic expansion, income inequality has sharply increased over the past 30 years, while worker wages have remained nearly stagnant. Inadequate opportunities and a widening economic divide combine with racial and ethnic discrimination to place a particular burden on communities of color, preventing them from enjoying a full opportunity to share in Houston’s success, organizers said.Cities are safer, healthier and more economically vibrant when everyone has a chance to share in prosperity, organizers said, and maximizing economic mobility and opportunity will only make Houston stronger.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog. AddThislast_img read more