Month: July 2019

Government ministers failed to show secret reports

first_imgGovernment ministers failed to show secret reports into the deaths of benefit claimants to the independent expert they commissioned to review their much-criticised “fitness for work” assessment, new evidence suggests.A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) response to a Disability News Service (DNS) freedom of information request shows that seven of its secret “peer reviews” should have been shown to Professor Malcolm Harrington as he was preparing his final report into the work capability assessment (WCA).Peer reviews have to be carried out whenever “suicide is associated with DWP activity”, as well as in some other cases involving deaths of disabled or “vulnerable” claimants.DWP only started collating the peer reviews centrally from February 2012 and Professor Harrington published his final report on the WCA in late November of the same year.DWP admits in its freedom of information response that “there were seven peer reviews, from February 2012 until Professor Harrington’s report of that year, in which the terms ‘WCA’ or ‘Work Capability Assessment’ were mentioned”.The DWP response adds: “The Department does not hold any information to confirm or deny whether these Peer Reviews were shared with Professor Harrington.”Redacted versions of 49 peer reviews were finally released in May this year – dating from 2012 to 2014 – following another DNS freedom of information request and a ruling from the information rights tribunal.But these peer reviews were not dated, and so it is impossible to work out which of them are the seven from 2012.When shown the latest DWP freedom of information response, Professor Harrington, who carried out the first three reviews of the WCA – in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – told DNS that he was convinced that he would remember being shown “such damning indictments of the system”.He said: “I have NO recollection of seeing any of the reviews you mention.“Maybe my brain is failing, but such damning indictments of the system – if seen – should have triggered a response from me. It didn’t.”Professor Harrington has already told DNS – last year – that he believes he was not shown a letter by DWP that was written by a coroner to ministers following the suicide of Stephen Carré in January 2010.When they were appointed in May 2010, Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling assumed responsibility for responding to the letter, written by coroner Tom Osborne, who carried out the inquest into Carré’s death and raised serious concerns about the safety of the WCA.Osborne had asked the Labour work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper – who never saw the letter, as the general election was called just days after it arrived – to review the policy not to seek medical evidence from a GP or psychiatrist if someone applying for out-of-work disability benefits had a mental health condition.But Duncan Smith, Cooper’s successor, and Grayling, his employment minister, appear to have dismissed the letter, and failed to show it to Professor Harrington, while deciding to roll out the test to hundreds of thousands of long-term claimants of incapacity benefit, many of whom had mental health conditions.Professor Harrington told DNS last year: “I cannot recall the report. Nobody brought it to my attention that I can remember.“If I had known about that coroner’s report, I would have said that this was something else we need to look at.“I am a doctor, I know about coroner’s reports. Coroner’s reports are something that you don’t ignore.”Taken together, the evidence suggests strongly that DWP deliberately withheld vital evidence from Professor Harrington about serious flaws with the WCA that were causing the deaths of people with mental health conditions.This information would almost certainly have persuaded him to take action that would have made it harder for DWP to fulfil its aim of finding more people with mental health conditions “fit for work” and allowing it to cut its spending on out-of-work disability benefits.The new evidence is likely to strengthen calls for Duncan Smith and Grayling to face a criminal investigation for misconduct in public office.It came just as Scottish criminal justice agencies were rejecting a request to investigate the failure of the two ministers to improve the safety of the WCA, despite evidence that their neglect caused the deaths of at least three Scottish benefit claimants with mental health conditions*.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “Sadly, little shocks me nowadays about the callous and inhuman behaviour of the previous Condem and current Tory government, but a failure to pass on vital information to the expert they employed to review their failing policy is more than just total incompetence and is nothing short of criminal.”A DWP spokeswoman said the current work and pensions secretary, Damian Green, did not believe there should be an independent inquiry into the apparent failure of Duncan Smith and Grayling, and senior civil servants, to pass on vital information to Professor Harrington about the safety of the WCA.She said he also did not believe that a criminal investigation was now necessary into the actions of Duncan Smith and Grayling.Asked why DWP did not have a record of which documents were shared with Professor Harrington, she said: “As the FoI stated, the department does not hold information on this matter.“We are constantly reviewing our processes and procedures and have made significant improvements to the work capability assessment, such as introducing mental health champions, and ensuring that claimants who are likely to be found fit for work receive a telephone call to explain the decision and check whether all the evidence has been considered.“It is important we make sure that people are receiving the right support, and they are not simply written off to a life on benefits.“The work capability assessment has been improved dramatically since 2008 following a number of reviews, including five independent ones.”*See separate storylast_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

Disabled Remploy workers who are part of a support

first_imgDisabled Remploy workers who are part of a supported employment programme could be at risk of losing their jobs because the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to refuse to renew a three-year funding agreement.The funding was awarded to Remploy in 2015 for its Interwork scheme, which was set up in 1998 and currently supports about 100 disabled people in mainstream employment.Without that funding, many of those jobs could be at risk.It comes only four years after the hugely controversial closure of the remaining Remploy sheltered factories by the coalition, after it stopped subsidising what was then a government-owned business.Interwork employees are all disabled people whose employment terms and conditions reflect those of their host employer but who have a Remploy contract of employment.The aim is for them to eventually become employees of the host company, with access to Remploy employment support.But Disability News Service has been contacted by one Interwork employee, Sam* – who has asked to remain anonymous – who has been told by a Remploy manager that the DWP funding agreement was “coming to an end”.He has been told that DWP “has asked Remploy to explore the options relating to Interwork employees on a without prejudice basis with a view to securing sustainable employment for as many employees as possible, ideally with the host employer”.The Remploy manager adds: “It is our intention to try and secure employment for all those who want it but if this is not possible and you were placed at risk of redundancy at some point in the future then we would consult with you about this and you would of course be entitled to a company redundancy payment.”Despite this email, Remploy insisted this week that no Interwork employees were at risk of redundancy. Remploy has declined to explain this discrepancy.Sam said he had only been told that Remploy would “try their best” to find a job for him once the agreement with DWP ended in the next few months.He said he believed the government was playing “a very dirty game” and was trying to keep the situation a secret “just so they can avoid another scandal like what happened when they closed the factories”.Remploy was bought from the government by the discredited US outsourcing company Maximus in 2015, although 20 per cent is owned by its employees.A Remploy spokesman said: “There are around 100 Interwork employees, none of whom are at risk of redundancy, and Remploy continues to work to transfer their employment to host employers with the agreement of both the employer and the Interwork employee.”He added: “The letter only states the individual’s rights if there were a future consultation process.”He said that 15 of the 100 had so far transferred their employment to the host employer.He declined to say how significant the government funding had been and whether Remploy had been hoping it would be renewed.And he said that Remploy’s specialist job programmes continued to support thousands of disabled people each year to find and remain in work, and operated separately from the Interwork programme.The union Unite would not say whether it was concerned about the possibility of future redundancies among Interwork employees.But in a statement, Unite regional officer Kevin Hepworth, who looks after the union’s Remploy members, said: “We are discussing the future of Remploy Interwork employees with the company.“There is a degree of uncertainty as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has not made its position clear over renewing the three-year funding agreement to continue to provide support to Remploy’s Interwork employees.“Unite is continuing to press the DWP for clarity on this issue.”He added: “Should any individual Unite member have an issue about their current circumstances and possible future developments, they should get in touch with the union which will take up their case with vigour.“Once the overall picture becomes clearer, Unite will be able to comment more fully.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “Remploy has confirmed that none of the Interwork employees are at risk of redundancy.“DWP continues to support Remploy as they look to transfer Interwork employees to host employers, with the agreement of both the host employer and the Interwork employee.“DWP and Remploy drew up a commercial agreement as part of Remploy’s transition from government. Details of this agreement are commercially sensitive.”The potential loss of the DWP funding risks reigniting the controversy over the closure of the remaining Remploy sheltered factories by the coalition government.The final three Remploy factories were sold in December 2013, at the end of a turbulent five years which began with the Labour government closing 29 of the remaining 83 factories in 2008.The coalition government then announced in March 2012 that it was withdrawing all subsidies from Remploy – which at the time was government-owned – and that the remaining 54 factory-based businesses would be sold or closed.In all, 48 of the final 54 factories were closed, and just six were sold, while nearly 2,000 workers were made redundant. Seven new businesses were started in former Remploy factories.The coalition said at the time that it was closing the factories because it wanted to support disabled people into mainstream jobs, and that the closures were necessary because a large chunk of the budget for employment support for disabled people was “going into failing factories”.But unions and many anti-cuts activists were furious – as many campaigners had been at the Labour closures – and said that disabled workers from the factories were being “thrown on the scrap heap”, while they argued that the sheltered employment offered by Remploy was far better than a life of unemployment.Remploy continues to run an employment services division, finding jobs for disabled and disadvantaged people in mainstream employment, and is closely involved in government employment programmes, including the new Work and Health Programme.*Not his real namelast_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

LabourList readers believe that Labour should back

first_imgLabourList readers believe that Labour should back freedom of movement after Brexit, the latest survey has found.In its 2017 manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn’s party pledged to end the free movement of EU citizens post-Brexit. But over 83% of respondents to our latest readers’ survey say it should continue as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.Although ending free movement remains party policy, frontbenchers Keir Starmer and Jonathan Ashworth have recently suggested that Labour could “explore” the option of free movement of workers.The new survey results also show that LabourList readers want the Labour leadership to support Theresa May’s Brexit deal if it meets the five demands issued by Jeremy Corbyn last week.Over 58% of 5,153 respondents said the opposition party should whip MPs to back the Tory deal if it includes European customs union membership, “close alignment” with the single market, keeping pace with EU rights and standards and more.On antisemitism, 52% of readers agreed with John McDonnell’s stated view that claims of antisemitism within the party are not part of a “smear campaign” against the leadership. Just over 48% did not agree, however.Last week, Luciana Berger – an outspoken critic of Labour’s handling of antisemitism – faced a vote of no confidence by her local party. The two motions of censure were later withdrawn after top party figures including Tom Watson said the backbench MP was being “bullied”.Some called on Jeremy Corbyn to intervene and offer a comment on the motions, but he declined to do so. Only 6% of readers thought this was the right decision, as the majority of respondents said “he should reaffirm that members have a right to hold their MPs to account while making it clear that nobody should be criticised for speaking out against antisemitism”.This was similar to the comment offered by a Labour spokesperson, who said: “Members have a right to hold their MPs to account but of course no one should be criticised for speaking out against antisemitism.”Over 20% said Corbyn should condemn the motions, while just over 2% thought he should express approval. The motions by Wavertree Labour members have now been withdrawn and the vote called off.1. If Theresa May changes her Brexit deal to meet the five demands issued in Jeremy Corbyn’s letter this week, should Labour whip MPs to support it?Click to enlarge.Yes – 58.4% (3,008)No – 41.6% (2,145)2. Should Labour back free movement as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU?Click to enlarge.Yes – 83.1% (4,283)No – 16.9% (870)3. Earlier this week, John McDonnell said Labour antisemitism claims are not part of a “smear campaign”. Is he right?Click to enlarge.Yes – 51.9% (2,675)No – 48.1% (2,478)4. Luciana Berger is facing a vote of no confidence by her local Labour Party. In your view, how should Jeremy Corbyn react? (Update: The no-confidence vote has now been cancelled.)Click to enlarge.He should reaffirm that members have a right to hold their MPs to account while making it clear that nobody should be criticised for speaking out against antisemitism – 54.7% (2,808)He should condemn the no-confidence motions – 20.4% (1,046)He should reaffirm that members have a right to hold their MPs to account – 16.6% (850)He should not react – 6.1% (313)He should approve of the no-confidence motions – 2.2% (112)The survey was open from 8am on Friday 8th February until 8pm on Sunday 10th February. Thank you to all 5,153 readers who took part.Tags:Theresa May /Weekly Survey /Luciana Berger /Jeremy Corbyn /Free Movement /Antisemitism /Brexit /last_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

In Ed Lee Mission leaders saw an immigrant ally who couldnt quell

first_imgLee seemed to remember his roots and keep the immigrant cause very close to his heart. That phone call after ICE agents came knocking at Good Samaritan, Paz said, “was just another way he demonstrated he really cares, and cares about all the residents of San Francisco, including the undocumented.”Years prior, during a crisis of unaccompanied minors from conflict-torn Central American countries caught up in a web of immigration law, Lee didn’t hesitate to allocate funding to get those children legal representation, said Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, who leads the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). And when blustering immigrant-hostile rhetoric helped catapult Donald Trump to the presidency, local leaders said Lee’s response was quick and emphatic.“He called the city to unity and affirmed that this is a city for all and a sanctuary city,” Dugan-Cuadra said. “He was going to defend hardworking immigrants who he understood contribute not only economically but to the cultural wealth of our city.”“As an immigrant myself, I was grateful,” Melgar said.It was under his tenure, too, that the city established the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, affirming local groups’ calls to preserve the Latino history, businesses, and residents of the area.“I think that was one of the greatest initiatives that this community came up with that he totally got behind,” Hernández said.DoubtsBut something about him shifted when he went from bureaucrat — Lee directed the Public Works department and was City Administrator — to politician.“A lot of people really were taken aback when he didn’t keep his word and he ran,” Hernández said. “And I think that was the beginning of people not trusting him.” Lee ultimately ended up being trapped between launching the city out of an economic slump and stemming the tide of eager new arrivals, many of whom descended on the Mission. “He came into being the mayor in a very difficult time in San Francisco, at at a time when the gap between the wealthy and the poor is the greatest it’s ever been.” said Dugan-Cuadra. The target may have been mid-Market, but the “Twitter tax break” had fallout in the Mission.“There was a ripple effect in the community,” Arguello said. “It brought thousands of people into San Francisco, which caused this housing crisis.” In other areas, he seemed again to be caught between what activists were clamoring for and what city status quo prescribed. When five activists went on a hunger strike in front of Mission Police Station to unseat the chief of police over deadly shootings by police of men of color, something moved him to visit, but not openly. He arrived through the back door. Rebuffed, he then declined to receive them at his office when the hunger strikers staged a march there.Lee ultimately asked for the chief’s resignation and installed a reformist newcomer, Chief Bill Scott. But that, some felt, was the extent of his concessions.“I think, on one hand, I feel like his approach to tackling the community’s legitimate issues around police brutality, especially the after the Alex Nieto shooting … there could have been more leadership there,” Melgar said.Housing and HomelessnessLee’s biggest footprint in the Mission is probably his work on promoting development, affordable and otherwise.“His development politics, I think a lot of folks in the neighborhood felt like he was very pro-development in ways that did not help the Mission and its gentrification battles,” said Melgar. “On the other hand, there was no affordable housing built in the Mission for a decade, and it started being built under Mayor Lee.”As Sam Moss, director of the Mission Housing Development Corporation, points out, Lee oversaw an office that is building more affordable housing than some entire states — and this while the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies meant a billion-dollar setback in affordable housing funds statewide.Hernández and Arguello both pointed to the Mayor’s willingness to work with the neighborhood’s activists on a set of policies called the Mission Action Plan 2020, built around the concept of averting a gentrification point of no return by 2020.“Because he came from our sector, he was an attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, he grew up in public housing, he understood these issues better than anyone else,” said Paz of Good Samaritan. That seemed to come back to Lee by his second term, he said, but “I think the city was playing catch-up at this point.”For the ever-present tents, a symbol of that brutal housing crush driving residents to the street, Lee had a proposal also.“From day one Mayor Lee was supportive and worked with me personally to open up a Mission Navigation Center in record time,” wrote District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “Because of that work, as of last night we were on track to open up two additional Navigation centers in the area.”As a flagship location, the Navigation Center garnered no shortage of attention, and it was completed with impressive speed for a project that needed multiple different departments to work in synchrony.“I was in awe, and I congratulated Ed when I went to the grand opening of the Navigation Center at 1950 mission,” Hernández said. “And I was in awe how quickly all the city departments worked to get that Navigation Center open.”That speed, Hernández said, was not replicated for getting affordable units built. The seven sites proposed around the Mission remain in the pipeline – not move-in ready.“Housing is going to be an ongoing issue for our city for our future mayor,” Dugan-Cuadra said.Budget As business thrived on Market Street and new buildings sprang up around town, Mission nonprofits were telling the Mayor stories about a homeless mother washing her family’s clothes in the bathroom sink of a community center and an exodus of Latinos from the Mission. They were asking for a more generous share of the city’s wealth, and were told that Lee was sympathetic and willing to work with them, but the budget was not his “spending playground.”  In the end, the various groups pushing for additional funding for programs to assist Latinos who had been left out of the city’s economic boom were allotted several hundred thousand dollars, but not the seven million they had requested. “At the end of the day, we got very minimal resources to address it,” Paz said. But it was an ongoing conversation, and Lee stressed that he was open to keep talking about it and seeing if an answer could be found.“People fought to be heard and they were heard. And the city has sort of done their best to respond as best they can,” Paz said. It was an unfinished conversation that Lee will no longer be a part of.Other recent coverage of Mayor Ed Lee:The Legacy of Ed LeeMixed feelings in SF Mission’s Chinese community about Ed Lee’s legacyEd Lee in the Mission 0% The neighborhood best known for its immigrant Latino community and culture had an ally in Mayor Ed Lee — but the alliance was strained by the fallout of Lee’s well-intentioned business and development policies.Mission nonprofit leaders, like everyone else who came into contact with him, remembered San Francisco’s late Mayor Ed Lee as almost an anti-politician: humble, gentle, considerate. Myrna Melgar, who heads up the Jamestown Community Center, danced with him on his birthday. Mario Paz, leading Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, got a personal phone call from him the day immigration agents knocked at the doors of an immigrant sanctuary. “Mayor of the Mission” Roberto Hernández worked with him in the ’70s and ’80s in Lee’s early days as a bureaucrat, when they planned a bilingual neighborhood earthquake safety event together. “We worked with him on the different paths he was in,” said Calle 24 Latino Cultural Corridor President Erick Arguello. “He knew the Mission well. He knew the area well.”center_img Tags: culture • development • ed lee • homelessness • housing • latinos Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

MARK Flash Flanagan has spoken to Saintsrlfccom

first_imgMARK ‘Flash’ Flanagan has spoken to Saintsrlfc.com about his delight at signing for the club.The 23-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal in July whilst playing for Wests Tigers.And now he’s arrived in the country he took time out to give Saints fans his first interview.“Obviously, when I was at Wests Tigers I played under Royce Simmons and we got on well,” he said. “When the opportunity came up for me to come back to the UK I had a couple of offers but Royce’s and the Saints was the one that jumped out. It was really appealing to me.“In my first season at Wests I didn’t expect to play many games but played in all of them, did well and enjoyed it. I had a couple of injuries in my second season and struggled to get back in the side, but did towards the end of the season.“It was a great experience living and training over there and one I am glad I took. I learnt off the likes of Royce and Tim Sheens as well as the great players at the club. I’m sure it benefitted my game a little bit and I’m sure playing in the NRL did wonders for me. I certainly grew up too as I was living on my own in Sydney.”Flanagan was part of the Tigers side that made it to one game from the Grand Final last season – losing out to New Zealand Warriors.“It was good, but we fell off in the back end of that game after being 12 to 14 points up. I am a competitive person; I want to win things and trophies and that is why I have come here. We have a team that can win things and are steeped in tradition.“Saints did really well last season considering the number of injuries they had. I followed them from Australia and you could see a lot of kids in the line-up. The fact they did so well with an inexperienced side is good.”After speaking to Simmons, Mark expects to play in the loose forward and second row roles next season and possibly at hooker – and like us all is excited by the new stadium.“I have driven past it a few times and it is impressive,” he continued. “It is probably the best of either code in the country and I’m sure the Saints people will come and support us and make it unwelcoming for other teams.“I’m also looking forward to playing Wigan! It should be good. I have some good friends there and enjoyed my time. There’s been plenty of banter and I’ve had a few Tweets from Wigan fans calling me a traitor! It’s all in jest though. I have a lot of respect for the Wigan club and those who work and play there.”Flanagan is pictured wearing a polo shirt from Saints new Trainingwear which is due in store soon.last_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

IN a rematch of the opening round of last season

first_imgIN a re-match of the opening round of last season’s U16’s fixtures the Saints faced, and beat, the Giants, writes Graham Henthorne.But there the similarities faded as the Saints put on a solid display to comfortably beat the Giants 44-12 this time around.The Saints were hot out of the blocks with the outstanding Josh Simm, drawing on his experience from his games at this level last year, clearly showing the others the way and opening the scoring with the first of his hat-trick.Exciting centre Mathew Elwell extended the lead after eight minutes and when he added his second midway through the half the Saints were in control.Simm added, and converted, his second on the half hour and the Saints were 24 points to the good.As the half petered out the substitutions started to disrupt the Saints fluency allowing the visitors to creep onto the scoresheet with two converted tries. The last right on the whistle the most disappointing.However, in the second half the Saints resumed business as usual this time with Josh Hadland scoring after three minutes.Simm goaled, as he did his hat-trick try from the restart.Jake Arnold sailed over for his brace a quarter of an hour in allowing Coach Ian Lomax to relax into a victory in this opening fixture.As the half wore on the Saints didn’t let changes or fatigue take effect keeping the Giants scoreless in a great defensive effort.Man of the Match Josh Simm was the best of the bunch but was followed closely by the front row of Ethan Yates and Cameron Hetherington with Josh Wingfield helping Jack Welsby and Josh Waterworth guide the team around the park. Kian Horridge made a positive impact off the bench.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Josh Simm (2, 23 & 40), Matthew Elwell (8 & 20), Jake Arnold (29 & 49), Josh Hadland (38), Lewis Dodd (64).Goals: Josh Simm 4.Huddersfield:Tries: David Gibbons (32), Dominic Young (35).Goals: David Gibbons 2.Half Time: 16-6 Full Time: 44-12Teams:Saints:1. Jamie Little; 2. Keenan McDaid, 3. Sam Morley, 4. Matthew Elwell, 5. Jake Arnold; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Josh Waterworth; 8. Ethan Yates, 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Cameron Hetherington, 11. Josh Simm, 12. Brandon Scully, 13. Kye Siyani. Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Josh Carrick, 16. Jack Roughley, 17. Josh Hadland, 18. Lewis Dodd, 19. Jack Taylor, 20. Kian Horridge.Huddersfield:1. Ben Tomkins; 2. Kieran O’Reilly, 3. Travis Corion, 4. Robbie Newton, 5. Liam Openshaw; 6. David Gibbons, 7. Joe Scott; 8. Wojtech Begg, 9. Finlay Bruce, 10. Kian Leppidge, 11. Dominic Young, 12. Aaron Metcalfe, 13. Ellis Broadbent. Subs: 14. Benet Slater, 15. Lewis Laing, 16. Callum McCormack, 17. Callum Hartse, 18. Joe Burgess, 19. Alfie Schutz.last_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

Club

first_imgMick is remembered as a solid reliable front-rower, who also possessed great mobility in the loose. He was a member of the St.Helens squad that became First Division Champions in the 1974-75 season. Mick’s Heritage number is 886.A fast, mobile forward, Mick made his debut for the Saints in a Lancashire Cup second round tie at Naughton Park, Widnes, won 2-13 by the Chemics. His fellow prop was Graham Rees, with Tony Waller in the hooking role. Mick was a tremendously mobile forward, with a high work rate who enjoyed his best season in 1973-74, when he made no less than 42 appearances in the Red Vee. He played in two John Player trophy semi-finals; a Championship semi-final and received a runner’s up medal when Saints lost 12-13 to Alex Murphy’s Warrington in the 1974 Merit Competition Championship final.Mick’s final game for the Saints – his 98th – was on 2nd February 1975, when Salford were beaten 18-5 at Knowsley Road and Mick got on the score-sheet for one of his four tries for the club.Liverpool born, on 30th September 1941, Mick trained as a PE teacher. He returned to St Helens to stand as an Independent candidate in the 2001 General Election and at one stage took some television acting roles. Yet what was also to become a real rugby odyssey began with Waterloo RUFC and he turned professional with Leigh in 1963, where he made 166 appearances. He was transferred to Barrow in 1969 before leaving them for St Helens. Switching to Bradford Northern for two seasons from 1975, he then moved overseas and spent much of the 1977 Australian season with New South Wales side Wagga Wagga. On his return to Europe, he spent time in France with Tonneins XIII and St Jacques XIII.A Lancashire county representative, he also played with great passion for Wales, [Heritage Number 294] winning five caps from 1975-79. This also included three appearances in the 1975 World Cup, when his former St Helens team-mates Kel Coslett, Eddie Cunningham, John Mantle and Frank Wilson were also stalwarts of the Welsh squad.He maintained his links with rugby league when his playing days were over, turning to club management and was part of a three-man consortium who rescued Huddersfield in 1988 when the club was heading for liquidation. He persuaded Alex Murphy to become coach, which led to a significant revival in the club’s fortunes. Mick was made a Life Member of the Huddersfield Giants and attended last Thursday’s Super League match against his old club St Helens. Saints’ Chairman Eamonn McManus spoke to him before the game and was particularly saddened to hear of his passing.Mick was a tremendously popular character, with a wide circle of friends throughout rugby league and beyond. He lost his wife Rosemary last June and leaves four children, Michael, Anastasia, Léoncia and Francesca, together with four grandchildren.Everyone at St Helens RFC sends their condolences to his family at this sad time.last_img read more


July 31, 2019 0

Power restored to hundreds in New Hanover County

first_imgRelated Article: UNCW will test warning siren system MondayAs of 4:20 this afternoon, Duke Energy said power had been restored. Nearly three dozen people were without power off Masonboro Loop Road.In Carolina Beach, about 50 homes were without power off Dow Road. New Hanover County dispatch says there was a utility box sparking earlier on Ocean Boulevard that could be related to that outage. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For part of the afternoon, about 500 people were without power in New  Hanover County.According to the Duke Energy Progress power outage map, nearly 300 were without power in the Windemere neighborhood off Long Leaf Acres Drive.- Advertisement – last_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

I just used lethal force on an intruder 911 caller after Marine

first_img “Is someone hurt?” asked the 911 operator.“Yes, someone is dead,” caller said.That was one call came into 911 early Sunday morning after 27-year-old Edwin Strada was shot and killed in the 200 block of North Front Street, but that wasn’t the only call.Related Article: Trial begins for man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in broad daylightA woman who was staying at the Hilton also called and described what she heard.“It was literally pow, space, pow in that sequence,” the unidentified woman said.The first caller was the man who says he pulled the trigger.“So who else is there? It’s the person and who else?” dispatch asked.“It’s just me, it’s two people, me and um the guy that I shot,” caller replied.“Oh it’s the guy you shot oh okay,” dispatch said.Dispatch records say one person was detained at the scene but no charges have been filed.The caller’s first few words may explain why.“I just used lethal force on an intruder of my business,” caller said.The man claims Estrada was trying to enter his business.Wilmington Police have not released any new information only saying a person of interest has been identified in the shooting.The Marine Corps confirm Estrada was from Los Angeles. He joined the Marines in 2014 and was a helicopter mechanic. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We are getting a listen to the 911 calls made the night a Marine was killed in downtown Wilmington over the weekend.Two calls were made to New Hanover County dispatch when Edwin Estrada was fatally shot on North Front Street. One of those was in fact the person who claims to have shot him.- Advertisement – last_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

Autopsy Oak Island mother stabbed bludgeoned to death

first_imgJulia Louise Copenhaver (Photo: Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (STARNEWS) — A woman killed at her Oak Island home in October died after being brutally stabbed and bludgeoned, according to an autopsy and investigation report released by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.Susan Lewis Copenhaver, 63, was found dead Oct. 25 in her home at 139 NE Second St. Oak Island police arrested her daughter, Julia Louise Copenhaver, 24, of Virginia, and charged her with first-degree murder in connection with her mother’s death.- Advertisement – In 911 calls to Brunswick County authorities the day of the alleged murder, family members told emergency dispatchers that Julia Copenhaver had checked herself out of a mental health facility in Virginia the day before and disappeared from the area. Family members told dispatchers that Julia Copenhaver had been suffering from paranoid delusions, and could be a danger to her mother. Documents indicate the family had a part-time residence in Oak Island, where Susan Copenhaver was staying at the time.According to Susan Copenhaver’s autopsy, the woman suffered dozens of stab wounds: 35 to the head, 10 to the neck, 18 to the torso and more than two dozen to her extremities. The autopsy states that Copenhaver’s body also showed evidence of extensive blunt-force injuries, including to her head. According to the autopsy, Copenhaver’s left leg was severed below the knee after she died.The medical examiner’s investigation report states that Copenhaver’s body was found wrapped in a quilt, lying on her back in a walk-in closet of the master bedroom. A trash bag containing a small fire extinguisher, used paper towels and clothing was found near the body.Related Article: 10 kids shot by ‘BB or pellet gun’ outside Georgia schoolThe report states that the bed had been stripped, and blood-soiled linens were found in the home’s washing machine. Near the entrance to the master bedroom, another bag containing a bloody pair of scissors, a butcher’s knife and a hammer was also found.Read more from the StarNews here.last_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

NHRMC receives stroke center certification

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–New Hanover Regional Medical Center is growing their certifications to better help patients and assist those who have suffered a stroke.NHRMC is now a comprehensive stroke center — reflecting their ability to treat serious strokes.- Advertisement – The DNVGL certification is based on standards set by the brain attack coalition and the american stroke association.NHRMC is the only DNV certified comprehensive stroke center in the state.Doctor James McKinney says years ago patients would be transported hours away to larger medical centers for treatment“We have the ability to take care of those patients here and it elevates the need for transfer and lets patients get access to treatment faster which has been shown to reduce disability following stroke,” McKinney said.Related Article: Health Services offering flu vaccines, as 2018-19 flu season approachesAbout 1,200 patients visit the center each year with stroke, transient ischemic attack, or hemorrhage.McKinney says use the acronym F.A.S.T. to determine stroke symptoms.F: Face droopA: Arm weaknessS: Speech slurT: Time to call 9-1-1.last_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

Uganda Simcard registration case kicks off

first_imgMTN Customers register their SIM cards Advertisement The High Court today hears a case in which Human Rights Network for Journalists sued Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) and the Attorney General over Sim-cards registration. MTN Customers register their SIM cards during the ongoing at Lugogo Shoprite in Kampala. Image: In2EastAfrica.net The case is before Justice Eldad Mwangusya. The journalists are seeking court order to restrain the Uganda Communication Commission from going ahead with the registration.Sim-card registration is a compulsory exercise which requires whoever owns a handset to register. Those who do not register by February28 will have their phones disconnected. So far it is only the Attorney General‘s office which has responded to the suit.The journalists are seeking a court order restraining Uganda Communication Commission, the Attorney General and their agents from switching off or directing telecommunication service providers to switch off the users of unregistered Sim-cards on the March1, 2013 or any other deadline set by the Commission before rectifying the anomalies as per the suit. – Advertisement – Through Web Advocates and Associates, the journalists want court to declare that the UCC, Attorney General and their agents have not carried out structured and sufficient public consultations, sensitisation and awareness.The Human Right Network for Journalists is further seeking a court declaration that the Uganda Communication Commission and the Attorney breached their respective statutory duties when they failed to supervise, streamline, evaluate, regulate and   enhance the SIM-card registration exercise which was entirely carried out by telecommunication service providers in a manner that is illegal, irregular, unsatisfactory and deleterious to the privacy and security of the people of Uganda.The Human Right  Network for journalists  accused  Communication Commission   of condoning  unlawful  practice  by obtaining  personal details of consumers of the telecommunication   services  by using  forms which  inconsistent with the law.“That the deadline and the directives or notices complained of in this application are not backed by any legislative instrument. They were not published in the Uganda Gazette, and they were neither laid before nor approved by Parliament as required by law,” the suit reads in part.Human Right Network for Journalists argued that the deadline and the directives or notices complained of violates or threaten to violate the right to communication, freedom from deprivation of property, and other related rights of consumers of telecommunication services.Credit: New Visionlast_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

Yahoo buys mobile messaging app Blink

first_imgAdvertisement Internet giant, Yahoo has acquired mobile messaging startup Blink, a mobile messaging app that lets the sender set a time upon which the message will self-delete, and will group its team into Yahoo’s “smart communications” products once Blink is shut down in a few weeksThe deal was announced on Blink’s website. It comes days after rival Snapchat settled charges with U.S. regulators that accused it of deceiving consumers by promising that photos sent on its service disappeared forever after a certain period.Blink, which was launched in April 2013, said it will shut down its app for both iOS and Android platforms in coming weeks following the acquisition.“We built Blink because we believe everyone should be free to show the same honesty and spontaneity in their online conversations as they can in person,” the company said. – Advertisement – “We look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo.”Blink is a product of Meh Labs, a company founded by ex-Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan. Meh Labs is best known for its location-sharing app Kismet.Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been stepping up the company’s efforts to build online services for the smartphones and tablets that consumers increasingly use to access the Web.Yahoo has acquired several small, mobile start-ups since Mayer took over. The company has 430 million monthly users of its mobile products.Mobile messaging apps have drawn buyer attention in the past year as large internet companies seek to capitalize on the appeal of free services offered through the apps, especially in emerging markets.Snapchat received a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook Inc late last year, which it rejected. Facebook later acquired mobile messaging app Whatsapp for $19 billion, its largest acquisition ever.In February, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc bought Viber, a mobile app enabling free calls and messages, for $900 million.Source: Reuterslast_img read more


July 30, 2019 0

Whatsapp for PC is finally here

first_imgAdvertisement The lack of an independent desktop application had always been one of the few bones I wanted to pick with Whatsapp. Hunching over a handset every once in a few minutes during office hours can be somewhat laborious and continuously makes you wish for a convenient alternative. You just would do with anything that delivers that convenience on your PC without having to touch any extra gadgets and stuff.For some time now, the Whatsapp web version, accessible via a web browser has been the principal go-to choice (Someone might want to scream Bluestacks, but it’s never been my favorite).Whatsapp recently released an independent application, one that anyone can download and install onto their PC and they are good to go. Whereas one has to go http://web.whatsapp.com/ with the Whatsapp web version, this app only requires a one-time installation that can be launched like any other application. It is available for download at: https://www.whatsapp.com/download/. – Advertisement – You should be able to see something similar to the screenshot below;It comes with the flexibility of choosing the download/installation language. The Windows installer says it’s meant for Windows 8 and higher, but I have tried it on Windows 7 and it still works perfectly.The Windows installer is about 62 MB in size, and the installation process is pretty basic – the typical double-click to open, and choose to install. It takes a couple of minutes and the application is ready for use.Upon completion of the installation, the application opens with a code scanning prompt similar to the one prompted by Whatsapp web browser portal.Scanning the code grants you instant access to the standalone Whatsapp application (See screenshot below).This is slightly different from the web portal, shown below (for comparison purposes);The Pros: 1) Independence from browser activity. Some browsers freeze with resource-intensive activity and may crash. When this happens, all previously open windows will have to be re-opened, sometimes resulting into a break in the communication chain (in case you were chatting with someone).2) Streamlined resource management. Sometimes Whatsapp may consume more resources than it ordinarily would. This may make a browser unresponsive, and may freeze or crash. With this application, it is easy to have it isolated (via Task manager for example, if you are using Windows) without affecting any other running programs.3) The application comes with a separate, clearly defined menu, and this partly enhances the navigation and management of chats, groups and chat history.The Cons: 1) Almost all features are still the same as for web.whatsapp.com. Clicking on a particular contact, for example, does not have the option of “Media” to show and/highlight media files that might have been exchanged between the two parties.2) Like its web version predecessor, the application does not allow transfer of certain media types – such as mp3 music files. One would have to first convert them to mp4 format. The alternative would be changing the file extension, to mp4.last_img read more


July 29, 2019 0

Kenyan Girls to Fly to Google HQ After Inventing App to End

first_img(Denis Linine/Shutterstock)IT11-GOOGL-012517-shutterZurich, Switzerland – 20 April, 2016: sign on the wall of the Google office building. Google is a multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products.Stock photo ID: 560123689Editorial credit: Denis Linine/Shutterstock Advertisement Animated chatter spills out from a corner of tech giant Google’s Nairobi offices as five Kenyan schoolgirls discuss their upcoming trip to California where they hope to win USD$15,000 (approx. 54Milliion UGX) for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).The five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. – Advertisement – “This whole experience will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better.”The five girls from Kenya’s western city of Kisumu call themselves the ‘Restorers’ because they want to “restore hope to hopeless girls”, said Synthia Otieno, one of the team.One in four Kenyan women and girls have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, even though it is illegal in the East African nation.Although the girls’ Luo community does not practice FGM, they have friends who have been cut.“We were very close but after she was cut she never came back to school,” said Purity Achieng, describing a classmate who underwent FGM. “She was among the smartest girls I knew.”[related-posts]I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.Its simple interface has five buttons – help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback – offering users different services.Kenya is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa, known for its pioneering mobile money transfer apps.Technovation, which is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations, aims to teach girls the skills they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.“We just have to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to the next level,” said schoolgirl Ivy Akinyi who plans to become computer programmer.credit: Thomson Reuters 2017last_img read more


July 29, 2019 0

STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_imgWelcome 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 13 December12.30 CheltenhamOscar Whiskey 11/10 > 10/111.30 SouthwellWe’re keen on both Generous Dream and The Young Master so as a result will be top price on Neighbourhood.3.05 SouthwellInsolenceofoffice 7/1 > 5/13.25 BangorStellar Notion 7/2 > 5/2What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img


July 29, 2019 0

STARTERS ORDERS Thursday

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.Thursday 5 JuneRACING6.05 TipperaryMasai 6/4 > evens6.10 KemptonMustadaam 8/1 > 6/16.35 TipperaryKarezak 7/4 > 5/6What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img


July 29, 2019 0

DAVY RUSSELL Cheltenham bound after good week in England

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo wins from two rides, fair to say I’ve enjoyed my trips to England this week which hopefully bodes well for the start of the Cheltenham November meeting on Friday.On Monday I was aboard Whisper in the graduation chase at Kempton – a good pot despite the small field. He won really nicely and hopefully this has put him spot on for a crack at the Ladbrokes Trophy (old Hennessy) at Newbury next month.He made a couple of minor errors down the back which sacrificed a couple of lengths but he got a good second wind over the last couple of fences to see off Clan Des Obeaux.On Tuesday I made a first ever visit to Lingfield and scored on Jabulani who stayed on really well to win by six lengths and I’m now a big fan of Lingfield. Well I would say that wouldn’t I after one win from one ride!Really sad news this week with the death of leading owner Alan Potts. He will be a huge loss on both sides of the Irish Sea. He was a big character of a man who will be sadly missed by the National Hunt game.I had the pleasure of riding for Alan on plenty of occasions, often stepping in when his regular pilots were injured and he was a great man to ride for. Hopefully we will continue to see his colours on the racecourse as a reminder of Alan and Anne and their enthusiasm for the game.Finian’s Oscar is set to run in Alan’s colours at Cheltenham on Friday in the four runner Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase (2.25pm) in which I ride William Henry – my only ride of the day.I schooled William Henry on Tuesday morning at Seven Barrows and he gave me a nice feel.He’s still very bold at his fences and hopefully that will be a ‘controlled boldness’ and we get a safe and clear round on Friday.Finian’s Oscar will be a tough nut to crack even with his penalty. Despite being lightly raced and only five he has already managed to win a point to point, two Grade 1 hurdles and a Listed novice chase. Some horse!I won’t be riding at Cheltenham on Saturday, but will give you my thoughts on my best chances in Ireland this weekend.YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at content@www.starsportsbet.co.uk and we’ll try and include next week…BET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


July 29, 2019 0

STARTERS ORDERS Tues Movers and Specials

first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Julie Collier with our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Tuesday 11 SeptemberJULIE COLLIER Introduces the daily specials and offers on Tuesday:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> HORSE RACING2.10 LeicesterJust Be Friendly 14/1 > 5/12.20 WorcesterPink Eyed Pedro 17/2 > 11/22.50 WorcesterEquus Amadeus 6/1 > 3/14.05 CatterickIron Sky 12/1 > 6/1LIVE FOOTBALLInternational Friendly20:00 Sky Sports Main Event5/6 England15/4 Switzerland5/2 DRAWBET NOW starsports.bet or 08000 521 321last_img read more


July 29, 2019 0

Leaders Present New Methods in Evironmental Cleanup

first_imgCarroll Oubre, program manager of Rice University’s DoD’s Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility (AATDF), will give a progress report on the testing of several new technologies. One AATDF project involves soil-flushing processes using surfactantsprocesseslong used in the oil and gas industry, but only now emerging for environmentaluses. This process is being studied by presenters George Hirasaki of RiceUniversity and Gary Pope of the University of Texas at Austin.An innovative technology being tested by speaker James Barker of theUniversity of Waterloo, Canada, uses large cassettes implanted underground,filled with iron and an oxygen- releasing compound to clean up ground watercontaminated with both aromatic hydrocarbons (petroleum products) andchlorinated solvents.Unlined firefighting training pits are a common example of sites contaminatedwith refined petroleum products and waste oils, including chlorinated solvents.Catherine Vogel of the U.S. Air Force Armstrong Laboratory and John Wilson ofthe EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory will present research onco-oxidation of these contaminants through bioventing. Oxygen-enriched gas iscycled through the underground site to promote biodegradation.The use of an innovative portable Experimental Controlled Release System(ECRS) developed by the AATDF to study remediation technologies will bediscussed. This system, which simulates the real-world environment, can betransported to the researcher’s location.Phytoremediation, or plant-enhanced bioremediation, and soil heating by radiofrequency will be covered.The symposium will feature four sessions-one on testing and verificationprograms featuring the latest advances in remediation technology, another ontechnology transfer and commercialization, a third on technology used by theDoD’s Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility, and a fourth on thefuture of remediation technologies.The program will open at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 30 in Duncan Recital Hall in theAlice Pratt Brown Hall.The symposium is cosponsored by Rice University’s Energy and EnvironmentalSystems Institute (EESI), the Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility(AATDF) and the Processes in Porous Media Division of EESI.### John Harrison, executive director of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) in the Department of Defense (DoD), will discuss recent successes in remediation of explosives, lead-based paint and advances in sensors and waste- water treatment. ShareCONTACT: Lia Unrau PHONE: (713) 831-4793 E-MAIL: unrau@rice.eduLEADERS PRESENT NEW METHODS IN ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUPThe LasagnaTM process and other innovative methodsfor environmental remediation are the focus of the second annual symposium ofRice University’s Energy and Environmental Systems Institute on Sept. 30- Oct.1.The LasagnaTM process, a unique combination of technologies used to clean updense, clayey soils riddled with contaminants, will be presented by PhilipBrodsky of Monsanto Co., one of many national speakers to be featured at thesymposium at Rice University.More than 30 leading researchers, industry environmental engineers andgovernment policy makers will discuss new methods used to clean soil and groundwater in a cost-effective manner and present research and strategies forcommercialization during the two-day symposium titled “Environmental RemediationTechnologies-Strategies for Success.” Walter Kovalick, director of the Technology Innovation Office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will address the state of current technology and commercialization. AddThislast_img read more


July 28, 2019 0