Two government departments – and the judiciary – a

first_imgTwo government departments – and the judiciary – appear to be conspiring to prevent the release of information that would show how ministers ignored an opportunity to prevent the “fitness for work” test causing disabled claimants to take their own lives.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been asked key questions about its apparent failure to fulfil its legal duty to respond to a coroner’s report on the suicide of a disabled man found “fit for work” six years ago.Questions submitted by Disability News Service under the Freedom of Information Act were due to be answered by 20 January – again, according to DWP’s legal duty – but the response is now two weeks overdue.Both the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Judicial Office have produced misleading responses to questions submitted by DNS in the past few days.The report by coroner Tom Osborne was written in late March 2010 following an inquest into the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carre (pictured), from Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, who had taken his own life in January 2010*.DNS has seen a series of letters that show the coroner gave DWP all the information it needed to carry out an urgent review of the safety of key aspects of the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2010.But that review – ordered by Osborne through a process known as a Rule 43 letter – was never carried out.DWP press officers have repeatedly refused to answer questions about the failure of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to respond to the Osborne report.But they have also been joined in their cover-up by colleagues in the press offices of the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Office.Both press offices have been shown letters that prove DWP was provided with the necessary information – including a transcript of the Stephen Carre inquest – to allow it to respond to Osborne’s report, but failed to do so.All three press offices have tried to argue that DWP did respond to the coroner’s report, through a letter sent to Osborne on 4 May 2010, despite being shown communication that proves the 4 May letter was just a holding response while DWP awaited further information from the coroner.The Chief Coroner’s Office has refused to investigate DWP’s failure to produce a response.And this week, a spokesman for the Judicial Office claimed that the coroner had received no further communication from DWP after the letter of 4 May, despite being shown letters that were sent by Osborne to DWP which prove otherwise.Last week, the Ministry of Justice refused to say whether a DWP response to the Osborne report was ever sent to the Lord Chancellor, as legislation in place at the time said it should have been.The Ministry of Justice press office has seen the same letters that were shown to the Judicial Office, but has also refused to answer questions about the report, including whether it will investigate what appears to be a breach of the law by Duncan Smith.Duncan Smith’s failure to act on the Osborne report may have led to many other similar deaths of ESA claimants who took their own lives after being found “fit for work”.Just weeks after the Osborne letter was sent to DWP, ministers decided to roll out the WCA to hundreds of thousands of existing claimants of incapacity benefit (IB), many of them with long-term mental health conditions.One of those ministers, Chris Grayling, appointed Professor Malcolm Harrington to carry out an independent review of the “fairness and effectiveness” of the WCA, and later told him he wanted to push ahead with plans to roll out the assessment to IB claimants, despite Harrington – who was never shown Osborne’s letter – suggesting this should be delayed by a year.The following year, in December 2011, a long-term IB claimant – Ms D E – took her own life after being told she was not eligible for ESA.Her case was linked by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland to similar failings within the WCA process to those that led to the death of Stephen Carre.And in 2014, another coroner wrote an almost identical letter to Osborne’s, again warning of concerns about the safety of the WCA, after the death of a north London man, Michael O’Sullivan, who also took his own life after being found fit for work.Last November, government-funded research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.*Osborne ruled that the trigger for Stephen Carre’s suicide had been DWP’s rejection of his appeal against being found “fit for work”, and he called in his Rule 43 letter for a review of the policy not to seek medical evidence from a GP or psychiatrist if the claimant has a mental health condition. Neither the Atos assessor who assessed Carre, nor the DWP decision-maker who subsequently decided that he was fit for work and therefore ineligible for the new employment and support allowance, had sought information from his GP, his community psychiatric nurse or his psychiatrist.last_img read more

A company controlled by the disgraced US outsourci

first_imgA company controlled by the disgraced US outsourcing giant Maximus apparently lied when it promised that user-led organisations would help it deliver a vital part of the care watchdog’s inspection programme, Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal.Late last year, Remploy – the disability employment business formerly owned by the government but now mostly owned by the scandal-hit US company Maximus – was awarded three of four regional contracts to run the Care Quality Commission’s Experts by Experience programme.Under the programme – which will cost nearly £6 million in 2016-17 – people with experiences of using services, including many disabled people, accompany CQC inspectors on their visits to services such as residential homes, hospitals and home care agencies across England.At the time, there was criticism of the decision to award the contracts to an organisation mostly owned by Maximus, which already had a huge chunk of Department for Work and Pensions contracts and had a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud in the US.And Remploy was hit almost immediately by accusations of incompetence when it took on the Experts by Experience contracts, with claims of resignations, confusion and cutbacks.There was also anger after it emerged that Remploy planned to pay its Experts just £8.25 per hour, compared with more than £17 an hour they had received under the consortium that previously ran the scheme, forcing CQC to promise to subsidise wages for existing participants for the first six months (a subsidy that was extended this month by another six months).But evidence has now emerged that shows that Remploy/Maximus lied about the involvement of user-led organisations in its new contracts.When it was awarded the three contracts, Remploy insisted that user-led organisations would deliver “the majority of the contract, supported by Remploy”.CQC itself has previously refused to say which user-led organisations had signed up to work with Remploy, claiming in a response to a freedom of information request that it did not possess that “data”.But now, in a magazine sent out to members of its Experts by Experience programme, Remploy has revealed the identity of its six partner organisations, and not one of them – Equal Approach, Kate Mercer Training, Lifeline Project, Enham Trust, Dementia Partners and Addiction Dependency Partners – appears to be a user-led organisation.When asked by DNS to explain the discrepancy between its promise that user-led organisations would deliver “the majority of the contract” and the list of partners, a Remploy/Maximus spokesman said: “I think this is a no comment.”Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said the secrecy surrounding the identity of the partner organisations had been “worrying”, and this was compounded by the news that the organisations were not user-led.He said: “We have come a long way since the General Social Care Council and the CQC’s predecessor the Commission for Social Care Inspection and other social care organisations convened a participation steering group to try and build user involvement in all their activities from the bottom up.“Even in spite of reduced funding and growing insecurity there are many true user-led organisations and disabled people’s user-led organisations with enormous experience and expertise in providing experiential learning from a diverse range of service users/disabled people.“I wonder what level of diversity across equality issues the present Remploy arrangements have generated. I would need to be reassured.“As Shaping Our Lives’ Department of Health-funded project Beyond The Usual Suspects [published in 2013] highlighted, leaving out key voices makes a mockery of involvement and without skill and commitment that is too often the reality.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said she was also concerned.She said: “Whilst CQC can be justly proud of its co-production working and the involvement of people who use services in its activities, its procurement methods do let the organisation down. “The procurement of the Experts by Experience programme was muddled. “We, along with other disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), did write to express our concerns but never received a full answer. “The complexities of the process meant that it was difficult, if not impossible, for DPOs to successfully tender for the programme. “From the benefit of my long experience of the Expert by Experience programme, I would say that it is essential that experts are supported by people and organisations that they trust and can relate to. “I think DPOs are in a perfect position to provide that role. I would urge CQC to think about how they can procure services that add social value to local communities.”Meanwhile, about 30 current and former Experts by Experience have submitted fresh evidence to the Commons public accounts committee, following last year’s inquiry into CQC.They say in their evidence that people working on the Experts by Experience programme are operating in “a fragmented, confusing, bewildering and energy-sapping environment”, and warn that “more and more experienced Experts in three regions are intending to resign”.They want the committee to ask CQC why it is failing to terminate the three Remploy contracts, and they contrast Remploy’s performance with that of a consortium headed by the charity Choice Support, which secured the contract covering the central region of England, which they say is “running effectively”.They also say that the “disparity of the quality of the Experts by Experience service in the Central region compared to the other three regions is causing frustration, stress, dissatisfaction and resentment amongst CQC staff and Experts”.A CQC spokesman said: “Our decision to award the new contracts focused on expanding the numbers of Experts involved in our inspections, ensuring that the high quality contribution they had provided to date was maintained and delivering value for money.“Contracts were awarded on the basis of a formal procurement that focused on quality and value for money.“We would not want to comment on the specifics of their bids or comments made by Remploy about its partners.“We are aware of the recent submission to the public accounts committee and will consider a response.”A spokesman for the public accounts committee said he was unable to comment on the latest evidence and what action the committee might take, because parliament was in recess.last_img read more

Most Support New 24th St Affordable Housing

first_imgBut some said the 55-foot tall project would create wind tunnels, exacerbate parking, and cast too much shadow. From their point of view, it was out of context for the low-lying commercial corridor.“If this thing goes up and totally wipes out my sun, it is going to destroy my life,” said Beth, a neighbor of the planned housing project on 24th Street.Beth, who did not give a last name, was one of several local residents who railed against the project.“It’ll take away sunlight and create vortex winds,” said another neighborhood.Still, the majority of those attending came out to defend the “Casa de la Misión” project saying squeezing more tenants into the property justified the height.The development is being spearheaded by Mission Neighborhoods Center, a neighborhood non-profit that owns the land and currently runs Mission Girls from there. That education program would be relocated somewhere on 24th Street during construction, said Sam Ruiz, the executive director of the non-profit.Mission Neighborhoods Center, which held the pre-development meeting at the site of the project at 3007 24th St., picked the California-based non-profit housing developer Mercy Housing to construct and manage the affordable housing.The project would contain some 40 studio units reserved for formerly homeless seniors likely making less than 30 percent of area median income or $22,600 for a single-person household. It would also have a ground-floor space for retail or non-profit use.“As more of our seniors become victims of displacement, it hurts,” said Ruiz. “There is a need for affordable housing for seniors in our community, and it’s our responsibility to use whatever community assets we can.”Some hoped that Mission District seniors would have preferential access to the units.“Are you willing to consider and legally able to give preference to people that have been displaced out of this neighborhood by gentrification?” said Brooke Oliver, the founder and managing attorney of 50 Balmy Law, a law firm around the corner from the planned project.“We would love to do that,” said Barbara Gualco, a director of real estate development in San Francisco for Mercy Housing. Gualco said that while San Francisco has a law that reserves 40 percent of the units in fully affordable housing projects for local residents, that law is current being challenged by the federal government.The “neighborhood preference” legislation was approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2015 but came under fire in mid-August, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development ruled that the measure violated federal housing guidelines. City and state officials are lobbying the housing department to change its stance, and Supervisor London Breed led a delegation to Washington D.C. two weeks ago to try and save the measure.If the federal housing department does not reverse course, it’s unclear whether this project will be able to reserve some of its spots for low-income seniors from the Mission District.Mission Neighborhoods Center has owned the site since 1994, when it bought it from PepsiCo to prevent a Taco Bell from being built on the corner following neighborhood outcry. It has envisioned housing on the block since at least 2009, but is just now beginning the process in earnest.The project would be one of seven fully affordable housing sites in the Mission District that could bring in at least 632 units of below-market-rate housing to the neighborhood in the next few years. The other projects are at 490 South Van Ness Ave., 1950 Mission St., 2060 Folsom St., 1296 Shotwell St., 1990 Folsom St., and 2070 Bryant St.It would be the tallest building on 24th Street east of Mission Street, however, leading to concerns that it could start a rush to similar development in the area. A similar worry was raised at a meeting for the senior housing planned for 1296 Shotwell St. in May.Though other affordable housing projects in the Mission District have sought to break through height limits to squeeze in more units, Mercy Housing representatives said that the Casa de la Misión project would likely not seek to go above 55 feet because it abuts Balmy Alley.The setbacks required for buildings next to mid-block alleys, they said, would likely not allow for enough added units to make the financing pencil out on the change from wood to concrete construction, a prohibitive cost.The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is applying for $2 million in federal funds for the project, which could cost up to $50 million but likely less. City funds could make up 30–40 percent of the total funding, and developers would likely use a mixture of state and private funds for the rest of the project cost.Mission Neighborhoods Centers is planning to continue community meetings for the project through the end of 2017, when it expects to be approved by the Planning Commission. After that, the project would receive its final funding and could begin construction in December 2018. The majority of the 30 neighbors or so who attended a meeting Thursday night for a new five-story affordable housing development on 24th Street seemed supportive. A handful, however, made it clear that they hate it.“As many units and as many people as you can house in this — I would support,” said Iris Biblowitz, a local resident.The project, located at the corner of 24th and Harrison streets in the Mission Girls building, would be reserved for low-income seniors.Added Annabelle Bolanos, another local resident: “Land in San Francisco is a luxury, so whenever we can build housing we should.” Tags: development Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

Protesters call for justice on anniversary of homeless residents shooting

first_imgFriday marked the one-year anniversary of the encounter between Luis Gongora Pat and two San Francisco police officers that ended in less than 30 seconds with the Yucatec-Mayan immigrant shot dead.Some 50 people gathered at the site of the shooting on Friday morning to commence an anti-police brutality protest in Gongora Pat’s honor.That group swelled in size as protesters marched along the Mission’s main corridors towards City Hall and conducted flash theater and dance performances that held up traffic at busy intersections along the way.The protesters demanded accountability – not only by police in the shooting of Gongora Pat, but by the city government and leaders whom they say have instituted a system that has failed Gongora Pat and continues to fail many others like him. “We are not only advocating against police brutality and murders, but also this city that is promoting racist and ethnic cleansing in the Mission and throughout the city and houselessness,” said Laura Guzman, director of homelessness services at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center.Gongora Pat, who was homeless, was armed with a knife and fatally shot at the intersection of 19th and Shotwell streets where he lived in an encampment community.In life and death, Gongora Pat teetered on the intersection of San Francisco’s most pressing social injustices – police violence, the criminalization of the homeless and a housing crisis that has uprooted many lives, including that of Gongora Pat.Gongora Pat immigrated to San Francisco from the Yucatan in 2004 to support his family, leaving behind his parents, a wife, and three children. Upon his arrival, the immigrant faced a language barrier that he was unable to overcome, and fell on hard times when he lost his job as a dishwasher and his Mission District home through an eviction.“There’s such intersectionality [with this case], it’s incredible,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, an advocate with the Housing Rights Committee. “We have a person who gets evicted and can’t afford to stay in this city and to rent, and ends up homeless and then gets killed by a police officer. It shows that the whole system is against us.”A memorial of flowers and candles was erected at the near the Shotwell Street intersection, where Gongora’s tent once stood.Gongora Pat not only faced the struggles of an immigrant, but also injustices that come with poverty. In the current political climate, it is a struggle that is reflected in many communities throughout the nation, said Iswari Espana, a former candidate for District 9 Supervisor.“This case is a microcosm of what is happening globally,” said Espana. “For people that come to this city, there’s all these promises for what they can do but for us, there are threats, and those threats seem to be stronger than anything else.”“We are feeling attack and we don’t have a floor for our voices,” he added.Holding signs that read “Stop Police Murder,” the chanting group marched some six blocks towards Mission Police Station, where the officers who shot Gongora Pat – Sergeant Nate Steger and Officer Michael Mellone – were deployed at the time.While crossing 18th and Mission streets, the protesters came to a sudden stop as Aztec dancers flooded the intersection, holding up traffic while dancing to the beat of drums.A woman standing on the sidewalk had observed the group approach, and as the dancers passed, she broke out in tears. The woman, who gave her name as Anisa, said that her family immigrated from Mexico and that she grew up in the Mission.“I’m fearful of doing something like this because I’m afraid that the cops will kill me,” said Anisa, pointing at the protesters. “But this is what we need. It’s so sickening what they are doing to us day after day.”Upon arriving at the police station at 17th and Mission streets, the protesters were met by a line of officers who created a human shield between them and the police station.One protester confronted an officer, yelling “murderer” to his face – but the officer did not budge.Mission Station Captain William Griffin, who took office last month, said that the anger was not completely misdirected.“It’s part of the communication process,” said Griffin. “Part of this is allowing the opportunity to express themselves and express their concerns. As representatives of the community, we need to listen to these people.”In the two years leading up to Gongora Pat’s death, 10 people have died at the hands of police in San Francisco including five in the Mission District. Jessica Williams, shot by police officer in the Bayview almost a month after Gongora Pat’s death, brings that number to 11.All but one of those cases remain open, and in none have the officers involved been charged by District Attorney George Gascon.Family members of the victims who protested on Friday said they are fed up with what they described as blatant misconduct during and after police shootings.“No San Francisco authority has ever bothered to notified us about [Gongora Pat’s] death,” said Luis Poot Pat, the slain man’s cousin, addressing protesters and police officers who had come to oversee the gathering.“A year later, neither the chief of police, nor [District Attorney] Gascon, nor any other authority has had the courtesy to tell us the state of progress in my cousin’s case,” he said, adding: “Gascon, grow a pair!.”Anti-police brutality activists who addressed the protesters at the station said  that without their voices, Gongora Pat’s family would likely never see retribution while police impunity in San Francisco would remain the status quo.“I want to thank Luis Gongora Pat – he brought me here,” said Christina Gutierrez, a member of the Frisco Five, a group of activists who went on a hunger strike in front of Mission station weeks of Gongora Pat’s death to protest police brutality and racial bias. Their effort resulted in the resignation of then Police Chief Greg Suhr.The group continued en route to City Hall, stopping at McCoppin Hub, a parklet at the edge of the Mission that was  recently fenced off by the city in an effort to discourage its use by the homeless.“This park ties it in. It was a refuge for the homeless in this community, a place for them to come and rest,” said Ali. “They can’t do it on the street because San Francisco has laws that make [resting] on the street criminal.”Next to McCoppin Hub, Ali pointed to the residential hotel from which Gongora Pat and his brother had been evicted a few years prior.“They declare this city a sanctuary city but it’s a goddamn lie,” said Ali. “If you are homeless in San Francisco, and if you are an immigrant, there is no fucking sanctuary in this city.”Accompanied by motorcycle and foot patrols, the protesters continued their march for justice along Market Street. Bringing their message to the steps of City Hall, the protesters formed a human chain on the street in front of the government building by linking hands.There, they were met by civil rights attorney Adante Pointer, who will be representing Gongora Pat’s family in a civil trial scheduled for October 2018.“I don’t want you to grow weary or disillusioned,” said Pointer in regard to the long road ahead. “We must keep focused on the prize, which is justice.”Luis Gongora Pat’s brothers stand next to a memorial near the intersection where he was killed on April 7, 2016. Photo by Laura WaxmannPolice accompany protesters from the Mission to City Hall. Photo by Laura WaxmannProtesters hold a sign documenting 11 killings by SFPD for which officers have not been held accountable. Photo by Laura WaxmannProtesters form a human chain by linking hands in front of City Hall. Photo by Laura Waxmann 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SOUTH Sydney forward Sam Burgess pictured and Wa

first_imgSOUTH Sydney forward Sam Burgess (pictured) and Warrington Wolves’ duo of Ryan Atkins and Ben Westwood have been forced to withdraw from the England Rugby League squad ahead of the forthcoming Autumn International Series against France and Wales.Burgess, who will miss out on representing his country for the time since 2010, will have surgery after a routine scan revealed that the former Bradford Bulls forward has a knee injury.Atkins (shoulder) and Westwood (knee and groin) are also ruled out and will both undergo surgery following Warrington’s defeat to Leeds Rhinos in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday.The three players are replaced in the squad by Wigan Warriors forward Liam Farrell and Warrington pair, Ben Harrison and Stefan Ratchford.South Sydney Rabbitohs prop Luke Burgess has also been drafted in.The 24-man squad leave the United Kingdom on Wednesday October 10 for a 10-day high-altitude camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa before travelling back for the Autumn International Series.England’s opening match in the Autumn International Series will see them face Wales at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm).Their first ‘home’ fixture takes place a week later, Saturday November 3, at MS3 Craven Park in Hull when England host France in a match which also kicks off at 2.30pm.The Autumn International Series concludes with the final at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 (5.00pm).Tickets for the 2012 Autumn International Series cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting read more

SAINTS have won on their last five visits to the H

first_imgSAINTS have won on their last five visits to the Halliwell Jones Stadium.The Wire’s last win was 35-28 in June 2011.Last 10 Meetings:St Helens 16, Warrington 32 (SLS8-R7, 24/9/15)Warrington 14, St Helens 20 (SLR22, 16/7/15)St Helens 20, Warrington 16 (SLR16, 31/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)St Helens 32, Warrington 24 (SLR6, 19/3/15)St Helens 12, Warrington 39 (SLR26, 4/9/14)St Helens 24, Warrington 41 (SLR13, 18/5/14) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Warrington 8, St Helens 38 (SLR1, 13/2/14)St Helens 16, Warrington 29 (SLR26, 30/8/13)St Helens 22, Warrington 48 (SLR16, 25/5/13) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Warrington 10, St Helens 22 (SLR6, 8/3/13)Super League Summary:Warrington won 10 (includes win in 2012 play-offs)St Helens won 42 (includes wins in 2010 and 2012 play-offs)2 drawsHighs and Lows:Warrington highest score: 56-22 (H, 2001) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 72-2 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)Point-Scoring Run:Luke Walsh has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in St Helens’ last 22 matches.His scoring streak began with five goals and a field goal in a 35-34 home win against Huddersfield on July 10 2015.He last failed to score in Saints’ 46-18 defeat at Leeds on July 3 2015.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 112 = Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 97 = Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils), Chris Sandow (Warrington Wolves), Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 810 = Greg Johnson (Salford Red Devils), Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings), Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) 7Goals:1 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 362 = Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 324 = Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons), Luke Walsh (St Helens) 316 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 307 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 268 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 219 = Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 19Goals Percentage:1 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 84.21 (32/38)2 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 83.33 (10/12)3 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 80.00 (32/40)4 = Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) & Luke Walsh (St Helens) 79.48 (31/39)6 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) (21/27), Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)8 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) (26/34), Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 76.47 (13/17)10 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 73.17 (30/41)Points:1 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1002 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 823 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 724 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 675 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 666 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 657 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 528 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 4610 Chris Sandow (Warrington Wolves) 45last_img read more

EnglandMark Percival finally made his first appear

first_imgEnglandMark Percival finally made his first appearance at the World Cup and scored in England’s 36-6 win over France. James Roby and Alex Walmsley also played in the win that sees England take on PNG in the Quarter Finals.ScotlandSo near and yet so far for Scotland who, captained by Luke Douglas, drew 14-14 with Samoa. The result sent Samoa through to a Quarter Final with Australia.WalesWales’ disappointing tournament finished with a 34-6 loss to Ireland. Ben Morris scored in the defeat, whilst Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles also featured.IrelandIreland’s tournament is over despite them winning two from three in their group. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Kyle Amor both played in the 34-6 win over Wales whilst former Saint Shannon McDonnell officially announced his retirement from the sport.FranceTheo Fages captained France in their third game of the World Cup – a 36-6 loss to England. It left the French winless in Group AQuarter FinalsFriday Nov 17: Australia v Samoa – 9.30am Saturday Nov 18: Tonga v Lebanon – 4am Saturday Nov 18: New Zealand v Fiji – 6.30am Sunday Nov 19: England v PNG – 5amlast_img read more

The duo will be on hand to pose for pictures and h

first_imgThe duo will be on hand to pose for pictures and help you select your Saintly gifts ahead of the big day.2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us over the weekend.We are also open on Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.,2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us over the weekend.We are also open on Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.,2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us over the weekend.We are also open on Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.,2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us over the weekend.We are also open on Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.last_img read more

Excitement is building ahead of the sides first g

first_imgExcitement is building ahead of the side’s first game and head coach Mark Brennan has named a strong side.He will choose from:Carys Marsh, Chantelle Crowl, Charlotte Hill, Dawn Taylor, Emily Rudge, Faye Gaskin, Isabelle Rudge, Katie-May Williams, Leah Burke, Lizzie Gladman, Naomi Williams, Philippa Birchall, Rachel Yeates, Rebecca Rotherham, Roxy Mura, Sarah Lovejoy, Tara Jones (C), Vicky Whitfield and Zoe HarrisThe game kicks off at 2.30pm on Sunday at Ruskin Sports Village in St Helens with entry priced at £2 for adults and free for under 16s.last_img read more

H2Go Board holds special meeting to discuss meeting minutes

first_imgH2Go Board of Commissioners hold a special meeting December 11, 2017 (Photo: Sarah Johnson/WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After several eventful meetings in the last month, Monday night’s H2Go special meeting wrapped without any big decisions.Notice of the special meeting was sent to the news media Saturday.- Advertisement – Commissioners Trudy Trombley, Bill Beer and Jeff Gerken were the only commissioners in attendance.The board voted to have Commissioner Gerken facilitate Monday’s meeting.Commissioners briefly discussed the meeting minutes from H2Go’s November 28 meeting, voting to put the word operations in quotation marks twice in the meeting minutes.Related Article: Duke Energy sued for 2014 coal ash spill environmental harmMonday night’s meeting adjourned after about five minutes.The next H2Go Board Meeting is scheduled for December 19 at 6 p.m.last_img read more

Cape Fear Museum park certified as wildlife habitat

first_imgDedication for the Certified Wildlife Habitat at the Cape Fear Museum (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –After three years of hard work and a lot of green thumbs one museum in Wilmington has received an official certified wildlife habitat.The Gardening for Wildlife Committee of the Cape Fear Garden Club has prepared the park and picnic area of the Cape Fear Museum and just in time for this year’s Azalea Garden Tour.- Advertisement – The garden has native plant habitats and food sources for birds, butterflies and other wildlife that comes to the area.last_img read more

Rapping educators welcome kids back to school and they like it

first_img According to school officials, they say it was a way to “welcome our students back.” During class Guthrie gave a lesson and then invited Whitfield to join in on a rap session the students would never forget.The video has been viewed more than a 1,000 times and shared by dozens on Facebook.Snipes Academy of Arts and Design is a magnet school and states on their website that they have a diverse population and a large cross-section of cultures. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Drop the mic! Two educators at Snipes Academy Art and Design in Wilmington are pumping up students for another school year with rhymes and raps.Snipes Academy posted a video on their Facebook page of school social worker Suzanna Whitfield and counselor Webster Guthrie rapping about school to the beat of Cardi B’s song “I like it”.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Community members denounce recent acts of violence around Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Eight people arrested charged in relation to shootings that date back two weeks. Five of them, police say, are validated gang members.On the surface, that is what we know about these incidents. Police say out of the 25 shootings since November 10th, several were connected and others were isolated incidents. Even after arrests, community members informed WWAY they believed gunfire was still being heard in parts of north Wilmington.- Advertisement – “The solution is getting at the root cause of violence in our culture and in society,” said Don Arabian with Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence.Arabian’s groups developed out of national cases of gun violence but actively works around the Wilmington community to promote fewer illegal guns in homes and on streets.“We have to get to a point of an honest productive dialogue,” said Arabian.Related Article: Women accused of stealing from Walmart in ShallotteArabian, like many, is saddened to see the recent increase in gunfire and violence around areas of Wilmington where he knows that it happens all too often.“Those are children. Children getting shot, children being shot, children being hurt, children being damaged,” said Arabian.Since November 2nd, police have reported more than half a dozen people have been injured in shootings.It’s enough to motivate community voices like Coast 97.3’s Bigg B, Brandon Hickman, who took to the airwaves about the recent violence. He says the impacts from Florence and desperation into the holidays could be playing a role in the crimes.“It’s a lot of things and it can lead to an emotional situation that can lead to gun violence,” said Bigg B.Arabian says all too often, the issue is not only gangs, but the ease for offenders to obtain illegal firearms. In fact several people arrested by WPD face charges of illegally possessing a firearm.“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Arabian referring to the arrests. “Maybe it will help people feel safer. But it’s always just below the surface.”That’s a sentiment Bigg B also shared with us.“I don’t think you can blame it all on the gangs. Because those people that had been arrested some were gang members and some were not,” said Bigg B.For Hickman, he also agrees a conversation needs to be started or reignited. Police say no one has been killed yet in relation to these shootings, but they worry it’s only a matter of time.“You know you can solve something without going to gun violence,” said Bigg B.It’s violence that is spreading across various age groups. Those charged by police range from 17 to 54 years old.“That affects our community,” said Bigg B. “Because you lost a father or uncle or a brother or a sister and it tears up families.”It also spreads fear. Many people we reached out to in the areas like S. 13th Street were too afraid for their safety to talk on camera. Bigg B calls on mentors in these tight-lipped communities to step in.last_img read more

Local Rotary Club previews fundraisers

first_img Another charity they support is called CART (Coin for Alzheimer’s Trust) which is a primarily 900+ Rotary clubs that donated $700,000 last year for Grants to Alzheimer’s research doctors and hospitals.For more information on how you can donate or participate in their car giveaway go to for more details. The Rotary club stopped by WWAY Studios to talk about their upcoming fundraiser events and more!With over 51 Clubs in the Rotary District 7730 with a membership of 1800, Rotary began in 1905 by 5 professionals in Chicago primarily as a social meeting club. The members rotated their meetings around their 5 offices and thus the name Rotary was begun. The organization supports many in our area in different ways and have raised money to help various groups.- Advertisement – last_img read more

PN is working towards online commerce for smaller businesses – Delia

first_img SharePrint Opposition Leader Adrian Delia stated that the Nationalist Party (PN) continues to work in the European Parliament to help small businesses overcome the digital barrier. This would enable such businesses to participate in the European shared market, online. He said this during a meeting with a delegation from the Malta Business Bureau. Due to the PN’s work with the European Union, new opportunities have been uncovered for Maltese and Gozitan businesses to participate in a market of 500 million people. Such businesses now generate less sales due to competitors online, something which Delia stated must be addressed, as it is unjust. Delia was accompanied by PN candidates for the European Parliamentary elections during this meeting. Furthermore, the Malta Business Bureau’s President Simon De Cesare presented the business manifesto for the European Parliamentary elections. WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

6scan A Proactive Website Security

first_imgAdvertisement The problem, according to Nitzan Miron of 6scan is that the existing products are either prohibitively expensive or they require specialized knowledge in order to make them work. What’s left? Products that simply aren’t very good, in Miron’s eyes.That’s why he and his co-founder, Yaron Tal built 6scan. The idea is that, if every website could afford reasonable, effective protection then the overall amount of successful attacks would decrease exponentially. By implementing a tiered system, with pricing starting at just $10 per month, that’s exactly what 6scan is looking to provide. All that will be required is a mouse click. There’s no need to install any scripts and you don’t even have to change DNS settings.Up until now, the company has been in a very quiet, stealth mode while it put the finishing touches on its security products known as Patrol and Bodyguard. The two products work in conjunction. Patrol will scan for known and unknown threats constantly, calling upon the Bodyguard product to automatically fix the problem before it becomes a problem. – Advertisement – This is where Miron believes that 6scan can really set itself apart. He posits that most security products only fix vulnerabilities after they become a problem. By taking a more proactive approach, the team believes that 6scan can stop problems from happening, rather than just fixing them when they do.6scan is still in its very quiet phases and we should see the full suite of its products before the end of this year. That tiered pricing model will be based on a number of factors, including the site’s traffic as well as the necessity for specialized systems as would be the case for e-commerce sites.The team has just taken in an undisclosed amount of funding from YL Ventures, and YL Ventures’ Managing Partner Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf will join the 6scan board to help drive the direction of the business forward.The company is actively recruiting, right now, with a hacker challenge. It has operated its closed beta with a hosting provider in its native Israel and is talking to a number of US website hosting providers in order to close partnerships for expanding its service. The tiered pricing points aren’t fully set in stone, just yet, but we do know that the $10 per month basic coverage is going to be available.If you’re familiar with Israel than you’ll know that there’s a mandatory 3-year term for all men in the Israeli Defense Force when they turn 18. Miron and Tal both served in what Miron calls the “Israeli NSA”, working to protect military information from hackers. With credentials like that and from what I’ve seen of 6scan so far, it’s a promising startup. For now, if you want to keep up with what the team is doing, you can leave an email address on the 6scan site Source: TNW Newslast_img read more

Kenya Multichoice and Intel Invest in elearning Initiatives

first_imgAdvertisement Multichoice has announced the introduction of Multichoice Resource Centres in Kenyan public secondary schools in a bid to enhance education through technology.The resource centres will provide the schools with satellite dishes for students to access DStv’s Education Bouquet for free, which includes seven documentary, educational and current affairs channels.The company stated that they will launch 40 resource centres this year in remote areas in Kenya where education quality has suffered due to lack of infrastructure. Multichoice has set a target of over 200 resource centres in the country. – Advertisement – “Technology and education can blend seamlessly as illustrated in the rapid uptake of the initiative by teachers and students over the years,” Multichoice Kenya Corporate Communications Manager, Philip Wahome said during the launch of five resource centres in Meru County.Meanwhile, Intel Corporation East Africa, in partnership with Kenya Private School Association (KPSA), unveiled an elearning solution to be piloted at Syokimau Blessed School in Machakos country.The programme entails an end-to-end learning solution, encompassing durable laptops for the students and Intel Education Content Access Point, a low cost, high capacity Wifi Access Point, Internet Router and Server in one box.“We have seen schools purchase laptops designed for consumers or businesses as most do not know that there are laptops purpose built for education,” Alex Twinomugisha, Intel’s Business Development Manager of Education in East Africa said.“By collaborating with KPSA and the other partners, we have developed a holistic solution that empowers the teacher on how to integrate technology in the classroom, acquire relevant digital education content, help the school select the right devices for education and learn to manage the devices using classroom management software,” he added.Intel said that the pilot programme can be easily replicated in many other private schools.Via: Itwebafricalast_img read more

Putting Money Into Security

first_imgTechnology professionals and their most tech-savvy customers would identify specific pain points. Image Credit: Life Hacker Advertisement I’ve long been immersed in the world of technology — as a hobbyist, a venture capitalist, a board member and now as a CEO. But looking back at key segments of my personal investment history, I’m struck by the story it tells about security. Yes, information security — it may just be the most dynamic sector of this dynamic market.That doesn’t mean the security discipline has followed a meticulous plan. In fact, it’s often charted a parallel course to two distinct trends: the hot new technology, and the most current threat. Investment opportunities in this area have gone this way, too.It all started with point solutions. Technology professionals and their most tech-savvy customers would identify specific pain points — often after the problem had taken its toll — and developers would come up with solutions to guard against it. This was like the proverbial Little Dutch Boy trying to plug holes in the dike. (Sadly, many infrastructures still rely heavily on these isolated niche solutions.) Perhaps effective in the early days of the security market, this strategy is now far from adequate; even with some holes plugged, the dike remained leaky…and I’d argue it’s becoming more leaky. – Advertisement – So, the industry moved on to event detection and incident response. The goal was to sniff out individual trouble spots as soon as a real problem arose and put corrective measures in place, and/or respond more effectively when a vulnerability was exploited. In the process, security became a more strategic part of software development and deployment, but still an “add-on” — not core to the strategic information technology that runs a business.I’ve been immersed in this field a long time, and I’ve seen how these features were built into software designed for other purposes. I was an early investor in (and a board member of) Spyglass, a name that will likely resonate with tech historians. It was one of the first HTML browsers to hit the market, and that was before the Internet really entered mainstream consciousness. By design, it had security layers built in.Of course, many non-tech professionals will know what Spyglass became — the mighty Microsoft OEM’d the software, then made it available for free as Internet Explorer. It helped dethrone the previous browser champion, Netscape, and essentially commoditized the browser market over night.But then things got more interesting, because as networks increasingly connected people and businesses, ever-greater amounts of content began to flow everywhere and stored online. So, the investment focus turned toward the next critical area: firewalls.In hindsight, this was a turning point. While networks are fundamentally designed to enable easy access — what’s the point of having data online if the people who need it can’t reach it? — the firewall is charged with gate keeping: preventing unwanted access but also allowing proper access from the inside out and outside in.[related-posts]Viruses, the earliest threat to computers, reared their ugly heads again, so firewalls were modified to perform deep-packet inspection and capture them. Black lists and filters were added. Oddly, pornography was another driver of security innovation. It’s a two-pronged problem: the network has to block incoming X-rated spam, but it also has to prevent outbound access to certain URLs (yes, business users have been known to surf porn sites while at work).I was on to the firewall market early. From my investment perch, I scoured the market to find the best firewall companies, and there were many options from which to choose. I wasn’t just after innovation — I wanted enterprise-class software companies with a solid business plan and recorded revenue. That’s how Check Point caught my attention: It had an OEM deal with Sun, then the “backbone of the Internet.” Moving on, we get to malware. For the uninitiated, this is a broad term that covers software with many uses, none of them good. It also brings us to the vital area of Intrusion Detection — the task of sniffing out incoming packets for suspicious characteristics. By its nature, this is an inexact science: We don’t know what we’re looking for, which inevitably leads to false positives that in volume create more problems than value. This is how Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) came to be incorporated into firewall defenses. Inevitably, data leaks became a critical issue — sensitive information began to leave the network without authorization, and certainly without control. That led me to Vontu and its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions. Now owned by security giant Symantec, these offerings helped organizations prevent the loss of confidential or proprietary information, regardless of where it was stored or used. In a sense, it was firewalls in reverse. I also focused on Splunk, which features the capability to identity data breaches by analyzing mountains of information with user-friendly analytics.Over time, the security environment has evolved from isolated problem areas to sweeping threat matrices — a single attack from sophisticated cyber criminals can encompass multiple attack modes, multiple technologies and stealthy tactics. There are completely unpredictable zero-day threats, where bad actors exploit previously unknown software vulnerabilities, and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) that go after the weakest link in any security system.That’s why I turned my attention to FireEye, which protects against data packets that can assemble themselves — a level of sophistication that would have been unthinkable when I first started investing in security.From my perspective, I see everything from crude (but effective) phishing attacks to sustained, multi-pronged attacks that last for months and infiltrate global infrastructures. No point product, or set of point products, can with 100 percent certainty guarantee that an attack will be prevented. That’s why security executives need to accept that their networks will be breached. It’s not a question of if, but when.This is why we talk about network resilience — keeping the infrastructure as safe as possible from outside attacks, but also keeping the business running while under attack. Every CEO must be thinking about this; security budgets are the fastest-growing part of their IT budgets, yet attacks continue to happen more frequently and with greater impact. This is not an easy problem solved by one simple install, network redesign or army of cyber engineers.Today, organizations need networks that are digitally resilient. This includes an accurate understanding of data flows, host access, redundancy, full back-up and, most importantly, the ability to initiate recovery measures immediately in the event of an attack.Effective digital resilience requires a complete understanding of the infrastructure. Understanding the infrastructure requires automation, measurement and testing, then more and continuous measurement of the network and its cyber readiness.For my part, I’ve put my money in (and currently lead) RedSeal, which offers cybersecurity analytics solutions to Global 2000 organizations to maximize their digital resilience.[Tech Crunch]last_img read more

6 top tips for safe online shopping this festive season

first_imgTips for safe online shopping this festive season. Image Credit: Buzz Kenya Advertisement The holidays are here and this means online shopping for those Christmas gifts. This also means that cybercriminal scams are aplenty. Here are six top tips to help ensure that it is a fun and safe experience.1. Spot those phishing emails Phishing emails are often used by cybercriminals trying to steal your money and data, and this is especially true during the holiday season.For example, a criminal may send you a phishing email with a link to a ‘deal’, only for this to direct the wold-be-shopper to a spoofed or malicious website. They may then look to steal entered credit card details, or infect the user with malware. – Advertisement – They might even upload a malicious file with their phishing email, claiming instead that it is a brochure or invoice.Pay close attention to any spelling and grammatical errors in the body of the email, and also look at the senders email address. If you don’t recognise the sender or did not sign up for emails from that address, do not respond.You should always be wary of what files you download to your computer and what security software you are using.2. Watch out for vishing Voice phishing – or vishing – is the age-old-trick where criminals try to trick people into giving their personal or financial details by pretending to be a trusted source trying to help them.They might pretend to be a bank, a big tech company, a reputable retailer or – as is often the case – a Microsoft support engineer asking for access to the user’s computer.Most people have cottoned on to these attacks, but they haven’t gone away completely with criminals increasingly using this method to target elderly and other vulnerable people.The lesson here is never to hand any personal details over the phone when someone calls you.Instead, you should hang up, call the supposed supplier back (by searching online, not by redialling), and taking the issue with a customer representative from there.3. Look out for suspicious deals on social media Millions of people tweet on Twitter, post on Facebook and share snaps on Pinterest each day, but this doesn’t mean that all these people are to be trusted.Indeed, some accounts aren’t even real – there are thousands of computer bots that are tweeting every day.[related-posts]During the holidays, make sure that you are careful on what links you click on and where you buy products. Pay particular attention to tweeted deals that look too good to be true with shortened links (as they might try to lure you to a malicious website).If you have never heard of the seller before, look into them online and study their terms and conditions carefully because, as mentioned above, you need to be careful who you are buying from.There have been countless tales of Facebook sellers delivering counterfeit goods, poor quality items or even outright failing to deliver the products after taking payment.4. Embrace HTTPs In most, if not all cases, you should look to buy items from retailers that use HTTPs web encryption on their website.This means that the credit or debit card details you send over to the seller’s computer server will be encrypted from end-to-end and thus very unlikely to be encrypted by criminals in a man-in-the-middle attack. (Where attackers grab details as they pass through to the supplier).This isn’t’ to say that HTTP websites are insecure; it’s just that the HTTPs encryption adds a whole new level of protection.You may also want to look for sites with additional security measures like verified by VISA and any other types of two-factor-authentication (2FA), which was recently advocated by former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.5. Stay away from search engine ads You should avoid clicking on deals being advertised on search engine ads and there’s an extremely good reason why.Ad servers are regularly being breached by criminals, who then misdirect people who click onto malicious sites where they try to steal credentials or infect users in a drive-by-download attack.These malvertising attacks are on the rise, as evidenced by the attack against Yahoo earlier this year.If the deal is attractive, and it looks authentic, play it safe by searching in detail online and going via official retail websites. It might take you a little longer to secure what it is you are after, but it will be worth the wait.6. Be wary of fake coupons Coupons aren’t as widely circulated as they once were, but that has not stopped fraudsters from seeing them as another vehicle to financial gain at the expense of shoppers on the hunt for a bargain.In this case, they sometimes use fake coupons to lure would-be-shoppers to a website where they may be asked to input their credit card information. It may well be that the user has been offered a coupon, or seen one on social media.As with voucher scams, the problem is spotting fake coupons from genuine ones. The ability to duplicate brands with seeming precision is evident in many bogus schemes, which, when modified with a sense of urgency, can trump even the most vigilant of individuals.If there is any doubt over the coupon’s authenticity, check official retail store websites, and above all remain levelheaded.[Meme Burn]last_img read more

Rwanda Government Enters into Partnership With Microsoft

first_imgAdvertisement Rwanda’s Ministry of Education has entered into a partnership with Microsoft Corporation that will see incorporation of information and communication technology into various aspects of the country’s education sector.The partnership which is aimed enabling speedy digital transformation of the education sector will see Microsoft bring onboard access to the latest technology and skills like the ‘Smart Classrooms Initiative,’ which will complement the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme.The Smart Classroom implementation is underway in 1,500 ‘smart’ classrooms that are being set up while 150 Microsoft Academies are being set up to help train students, teachers and local community. – Advertisement – The partnership will also see over three million students and 61,000 teachers access Wi-Fi internet during learning after conducting a pilot phase of a connectivity programme that will use a new technology, TV White Spaces technology.TV White Spaces technology utilises the unused space in terrestrial TV spectrum to provide cheap internet connectivity to remote areas, and can propagate the signal to a radius of about 10 kilometres and is more affordable.The pilot tests involved Lycee de Kigali and University of Rwanda’s College of Business and Economics.last_img read more