One of the architects of the last Labour governmen

first_imgOne of the architects of the last Labour government’s “life chances” strategy has described how “broken promises” by successive governments have shattered disabled people’s hopes of a genuine right to independent living. Dr JennyMorris, who led the independent living section of Labour’s Improving the Life Chances ofDisabled People strategy, said its publication in 2005 had been a “moment of hope”.But shedescribed how that sense of optimism “seemed to disappear almost overnight”,following the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the 2010 election, which led to aTory-led coalition government.She saidthat she and others working on Life Chances had made a “fatal error” by notstressing the need for a nationally-funded independent living system “based onthe principle of entitlement”, and had not paid enough attention to the growingfocus within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on “getting people offbenefits”.Morris wasdelivering the first Lorraine Gradwell MemorialLecture, in memoryof one of the key figures in the disabled people’s movement, who died in September 2017. It is hoped the lecture will becomean annual event.She wasunable to attend in person but a film of her delivering the lecture – whichMorris called Broken Promises: Looking Backon “Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People” – was shown inManchester on Friday (8 March), followed by a question and answer session.Two disabledpeople’s organisations (DPOs) that Gradwell founded or co-founded, Breakthrough UK and Greater Manchester Coalition ofDisabled People, helpedorganise the lecture.Morrisdescribed how DWP’s emphasis on cutting the number of benefit claimants hadbeen demonstrated by the employment chapter in the 2005 Life Chances report,which spoke of work being “a component of good health” and emphasised the“beneficial health effects of work”.In the sameyear, DWP released research that would form the basis of the work capabilityassessment (WCA), which she said focused on “getting people off benefits”,“scrutinising whether people are ‘fit for work’” and “people’s supposedattitudes and motivations”, instead of workplace barriers and equalopportunities for work. Worse than that,she said, was “the denial of people’s own experiences of illness and/orimpairment”.In the lastdecade, the greatest challenges to the WCA and the introduction of personalindependence payment, she said, had often come from people with chronic illness,such as members of the Spartacus network, and, more recently, the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project.Morris saidthat she and others working on the Life Chances report had made a “fatal error”in their proposals by failing to recognise that the Independent Living Fund“had more potential to deliver a right to independent living than any reform tolocal authority social care”.  Althoughthey had “floated the idea” that independent living should be funded nationallyand “taken away from local authorities”, they did not challenge thegovernment’s insistence that this would undermine local accountability.Instead, theIndependent Living Fund was closed by the coalition government, and the“self-determination” promised by the introduction of personal budgets hadmostly “failed to materialise”.The currentsocial care system, said Morris, was incapable of delivering the right toindependent living set out in article 19 of the UN Convention onthe Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  What wasneeded, she said, as proposed by the Reclaiming OurFutures Alliance, was“a national independent living service, funded from general taxation, free atthe point of delivery, and delivered locally in co-production with disabledpeople”.She alsowarned of the failure to realise one of the key proposals of Life Chances, for thereto be a national network of user-led disabled people’s organisations (DPOs),modelled on centres for independent living.This, shesaid, “was never fully realised” and since 2010 many local DPOs had had theirfunding cut and had “found it increasingly difficult to hold onto existingcontracts to provide direct payments support services”. She added: “Suchlocal organisations are a vital part of any nationally-funded independentliving service.”And she said: “It’s at the local level and amongst disabled people ourselves that we will develop innovative ways to enable people to live ordinary lives.”Picture: Some of the audience in Manchester after the lecture, with a picture of Lorraine GradwellA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Troubled building on 18th Street back on the market after sale falls

first_imgIn April, a commercial developer had been in escrow to buy the property, planning to lease it to a dialysis clinic. It’s unclear why Meridian, the would-be developer, pulled out. Mike Conn, Senior Vice President of Construction and Development at Meridian Property Company would only confirm that they dropped out of escrow. “We will not be pursuing anything there. We don’t have any more involvement,” Conn said. Textor, who was not a part of the negotiations between Van Natta, Meridian and the city’s planning department, said the dialysis center could have faced some hurdles convincing neighbors it would be a good fit. “The tenant is going to want to see approved plans, and the community buy-in to whatever they’re doing,” he said.  Van Natta’s project management team, which failed to pay for permits they filed and let plans lapse, had little connection to the community of merchants surrounding his would-be brewery. Speaking with Mission Local in April, the owner of a grocery store across the street from the building, Howard Ngo, said he hadn’t been able to get in touch with the owner of the decaying property.“I don’t know what’s happening over there. But it doesn’t look good,” he said then.The building has sat vacant for years. Before the dialysis center idea, other proposals for the space included a vegan restaurant, a brewery, and an organic grocery store. Instead the property sat neglected and complaints and violations accumulated. With a deal that would have restored the building but kept it structurally the same off the table, the property could feasibly be turned into housing. According to a planning department spokesperson, residential use is permitted with ground floor retail but any demolition or trying to add height to the building would be difficult to approve due to preservation concerns.  “Preliminary research tells us that the building could qualify for up to 25,000 square feet of residential spread out over nine units,” Textor, the realtor, said. “But I don’t know if that’s something that’s going to be in play. Maybe somebody just wants to do a retail component.”There’s also the matter of frequent opposition to the construction of new market-rate housing on Mission Street, as well as planning department controls meant to curb gentrification in the neighborhood.“I think it’s going to take someone who’s really creative, and also very experienced and has a mindset that they’re going to work with the community to try to figure out something that makes sense,” Textor said. He added that the worries about Mission Street becoming like Valencia Street, made it challenging for “for-profit developers.” Textor estimated that anything new on the site would take about three years to complete, but was optimistic about the potential appeal of the building if it were to be renovated. “This building is so cool,” he said. “We did a basic rendering from a marketing standpoint. It shows what the building could look like if it was rehabbed, as-is. You can see that it takes very little imagination it would take to make something really neat.”Hat tip to Capp Street Crap for pointing out the “for sale” sign on the building.  A historic and troubled property located at 2205 Mission Street at the intersection with 18th Street is for sale again after a deal with a commercial developer fell through. Its current owner, former Facebook executive Owen van Natta, is asking $7 million for the property according to the realtor for the property. He purchased it for $5 million in 2014. Clinton Textor, first vice president of investments for the San Francisco office of the realty firm Marcus & Millichap confirmed that the building is for sale. The property has a history on Mission Street that reaches back into San Francisco’s post-earthquake era and the development of the  Mission Miracle Mile district that that bloomed during the depression. “We literally hit the market  yesterday,” Textor said. “We’ve talked to forty or fifty people about this. The range of opinions about what can be done with the property is drastically different.” 0%center_img Tags: Business • development • housing • real estate Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Open Studios at the Pacific Felt Factory and elsewhere in the Mission

first_imgToday is the final day for viewing art at studios around the Mission District. Doors will be open from noon to 6 p.m. (See venues below.)We stopped in at the Pacific Felt Factory at 2830 20th St. late Saturday, and discovered compelling work by a number of artists, including Brian Singer (someguy), Rodney Ewing, Beth Davila Waldman and Azucena Hernandez.Here are a few photos. Each artist had plenty to show and most of them work in multiple mediums.Brian Singer. Abraham Lincoln. 28 x 9.5 inches. Part of a series exploring gun violence and fetishism in America. This is the gun that was used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. The images are printed with archival ink onto pages of books about Lincoln. The books are then cut up, pages are turned on their sides and ordered to reform the image of the gun. Photo from the artist’s Instagram account. AOK Adam – 1116 Valencia St.Talavera Ballon – 3712 25th St.Gustavo Barron – 3267 19th St., #4Nathalie Fabri – 1092 Capp St.Bjorn Kleemann – 2773 Folsom St.Carrie Leeb – 3283 25th St.Reddy Lieb – 3535 19th St.Paul Madonna – 151 Potrero Ave.Doug Rhodes – 23 Clarion AlleyCalixto Robles – 151 Potrero Ave.Case – 2132 Folsom St., 1 Tags: arts • open studios Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Beth Davila Waldman. Desert Intersections No. 7, 2018. Acrylic on Plexiglas & panel, 20 x 24 inches. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Rodney Ewing, Stolen Moments, Collage, ink and dry pigment on paper, 77” x 55.5 “ (Framed). 2007. Photo from the artist’s website.Azucena Hernandez. From the Ember series, documenting the victims of police shootings. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Outside of the Pacific Felt Factory. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Other Group Studios: Independent Artists showing at their studios: 0% 1890 Bryant Street Studios (58 artists) — 1890 Bryant St.Alley Cat Gallery (2 artists) — 3036 24th St.Army Lofts / Old Sears Building (2 artists) — 3435 Cesar ChavezArt Explosion Alabama (1 artist) — 744 Alabama St.The Farm (4 artists) — 1458 San Bruno Ave.Pacific Felt Factory (8 artists) — 2830 20th St.Project Artaud (7 artists) — 499 Alabama St.Red Brick Studio (7 artists) — 3265 17th St., 3rd Floorlast_img read more

Filling a void The Mission now has exactly one Indian spice and

first_img Email Address Kunwar, originally from the city of Pokhara, Nepal, emigrated in 2009, after winning the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Two years ago, he moved to the Mission and discovered a complete absence of Indian grocery stores — the only previous store, Bombay Bazaar and Ice Cream on Valencia Street, closed in 2010.  “There is literally nothing else around here, so that’s why I wanted to do this business,” Kunwar said. He added, “People need it for convenience.” While the latest census figures from 2017 show that “Asians” — people whose heritage traces back to China, Japan, India, etc. —make up 13.4 percent of the Mission, Kunwar also thinks start-ups have a fair number of South Asian employees, living or working in the area, who might become customers. Already, he said, most of the South Asian shoppers he’s spoken with work in the tech industry. While Sroa’s son, Jyoti Sroa, oversees his two restaurants and now two grocery stores, Kunwar will manage the store day-to-day.“People want their authentic products,” said Kunwar, who explained that he can procure anything a customer needs, and he enjoys being part of the process.  “After getting that product, they are so happy — I like that.” Kunwar works with a baby monitor near the cash register so that he or his wife — when she works at the store — can stay abreast of what is happening in their apartment above the store. An aisle at the grocery store, stocked with Indian, Pakistani and Nepali items. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.While this is Kunwar’s first venture, for Sroa, the opening is the latest step in a journey that began in the 1980s with jobs at Winchell’s Donuts, Alpha Beta grocery and then Mollie Stone’s Market in Mill Valley. He met his wife Linda, and she can be credited for sparking his interest in restaurants. When the food at an Indian restaurant fell short on a date with his in-laws, he decided to open his own. “I don’t have a background in food — cooking or prepping,” Sroa said. “And I told Linda that I’m opening a restaurant, and she said, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ And I said,’No,’ and that’s it. So we did it, and we’ve been very successful.” He did however, have some connection to grocery stores back in Punjab: “My dad has a grocery store since 1920. I never imagined in my life that I would be doing this kind of thing.” He left his home of Jalandhar to branch out. Being the youngest son in a big family, it felt necessary. Now based in Marin, Sroa has owned Lotus Cuisine of India in San Rafael, for 22 years and Cafe Lotus, in Fairfax, for 10 years. He once owned Lotus SF in the Mission, but sold it to restaurateur Ajay Khadka. Then, in 2018, he purchased the two-story structure that is now home to the Mission spice store. Sroa walks out of the grocery store. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.Sroa said his role is helping Kunwar, who worked as a journalist in his own country, understand how to run a grocery store. Sroa’s associate, Sumn Bastola, who manages the San Rafael restaurant, is also helping. Sroa hopes to get Kunwar to a point where he can oversee daily operations himself. Already, he’s cut back on his own visits to once a week — the day the supply orders arrive. “I deal with so many employees,” Sroa said. He continued, “I always liked him — you go with your gut feeling. He’s a very honest person — he’s a journalist. So, I trust him.”The location of the new store is also an attempt to make buying Indian spices and foods convenient for those who live in the city. “Since you’re in the city, you can’t go to Fremont, and you can’t go to Sunnyvale,” said Sroa. “You get a better deal there, but then who wants to drive?”The new store has two main aisles with shelves stacked with imports like herbal remedies, loose-leaf masala chai, ghee, sweet biscuits and small, ready-made spice mixes, among a plethora of other items. There are fridges to the sides and in the back of the store carrying frozen foods, like samosas and naan, and fresh produce. There’s a shelf in the front dedicated to Nepali products, too. All of their products are imported from vendors in India and Nepal, like Organic India. A fridge at the back of the grocery store carrying frozen delicacies. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.Sroa said making a successful store requires “dreaming and breathing about the store — what the customer wants, make that list, and make it happen.” Indian Grocery & Spices is located at 3256 22nd St. The store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hours are flexible. For more information, visit their website here. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Bay Area restaurateur Surinder Sroa, 62, sees Indian Spices and Groceries, which opened on July 1 at 3265 22nd St., as an affirmation of his friendship with 34-year-old Dhruba Kunwar, now a business partner as well as a friend.Kunwar has wanted to open a store with Sroa since they met seven years ago at India Chaat & Sweets, in Berkeley. “I told him, ‘If you want to do it, I’ll do it for you,’” said Sroa. “I don’t need it. But I’ll do it for you. And whatever the profit comes, you know, all the expense, we’ll just divide it.” Indian Spices and Groceries at 3265 22nd St. Photo by Aleka Kroitzsh.last_img read more

CHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus talked about a very speci

first_imgCHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus talked about a “very special” season in the Manchester Evening News this week.Here is an article that appeared on Wednesday:It’s been an unbelievable season for Saints – what’s been your highlight?Very perversely, and at the time very privately, coming out of the players’ changing room after we had been beaten 17-16 by Huddersfield in our final league game absolutely confident that we would win the Grand Final four weeks later.The players had shown a level of commitment higher in that game than any throughout the season. We were clearly adapting to Nathan’s selection and tactical adjustments to reflect the losses of our key players in key positions.I could feel that players knew so in the changing room and I knew that something very special was about to unfold. It did in the following month.Four weeks after leaving the changing rooms in Huddersfield, I was on the pitch at Old Trafford facing a sea of ecstatic Saints’ fans in the Stretford End, where I had watched United all my life: it was a twilight zone experience. I was happy and relaxed.What’s encouraged you most about the season and the way Saints have performed? Not using or accepting excuses. The players did not talk about injuries, adversity or luck. They talked about challenges, adaptation, improvement and an iron will to win. There was not one iota of self-doubt for one second. Totally professional.Who’s been your most improved player? Luke Thompson. He is barely 19 and has had only a handful of first team appearances. I felt that he was the best forward on the field at Old Trafford in what was necessarily going to be a forwards’ oriented game plan for us. It was a desperate and uncompromising contest and he shone. Well done indeed Luke.After the horrific assault in the Grand Final does rugby league need to do more to cut out thuggery?These matters have to be dealt with by the appropriate body within the game and it has so been. Whilst serving his ban it is critical that Ben is now provided all due personal and professional support. His rehabilitation is now paramount.During the period of his ban he will, in reality, be no more than a 26-year-old boy who will be extremely vulnerable emotionally. We must assist him in any way that we can and accept him back into the sport. There is a person behind the player, and I am reliably informed by all that it is a good one. He must know that from all. Lance Hohaia certainly feels that way towards him also.The sport of rugby league should not be judged by this event, but by how it deals with it. This matter gives the sport of rugby league the opportunity to positively differentiate itself yet again by dealing with a high profile problem in an efficient, transparent, pragmatic and effective manner. I am confident that it will.What other steps could be taken to improve Super League?The new league structure, with a significantly improved funding base, will materially improve Super League next year. All clubs will be able to spend full salary cap without financial risk. It will be a highly competitive league every week and will produce a strong commercial platform upon which the game will readily and rapidly build.The new World Club Series to be held in February is a marvellous initiative which will appeal to the national sporting public and not just rugby league fans.We will play Russell Crowe’s South Sydney Rabbitohs at Langtree Park on February 22 as the Series’ highlight and also to determine who is the best rugby league club in the world. What we do in life echoes in eternity: strength, honour, shadows and dust indeed. I simply can’t wait.You must have been gutted to hear that your coach Nathan Brown wanted to return to Australia – what news on his replacement?Nathan had laid a strong foundation for the future as well as leaving behind a champion team. But, excitingly, it is a team that is capable of further improvement and achievement. The ethos and culture of the club has been the same throughout the history of Super League and so coaching changes can be made and absorbed very readily. A new coach will be appointed and announced before pre-season training starts. I have never been more excited about our future and that of the game.Why has he gone back? Entirely for family reasons. He has four young children and their grandparents in Australia are getting no younger. We wish Nathan, Tanya and the brood god’s speed and a happy and contented life for all in Australia.How hard will it be to replace him?We have the Club, we have the team, and we will shortly have the coach.Given Saints won most of the silverware this year are you surprised that not one of your players has made it into the England squad for the forthcoming Four Nations tournament in Australia and New Zealand?James Roby, who is one of the best players in the world, couldn’t go as he needs minor clean up surgery. After that, the only omission that perplexed me was that of Tommy Makinson. He’s had a great season and he was my man-of-the-match for the Grand Final. Thereafter we have a very young team and a few are close to, but probably a season or two away from, regular international representation. It will come.What are your hopes for next season? Merely to stay grounded and continue to improve. We will need to: Super League 2015 will be tougher and consistently more competitive.What is your favourite nickname among your players?Paul Clough is known as “the Owl “. It is not due to him being a font of wisdom. He actually is a dead ringer for an Owl when he stares at you. It is deeply disturbing.What do you want to say about the fans who were so magnificent at the Grand Final and throughout the season?Magnificent all season when their emotions and nerves have been tested to the limit. The Club had an almost spiritual feeling to it in the week before the Grand Final. I have never known the town and the fans to be so firmly behind the Club and the team. It provided a huge and serene emotional drive which became embedded in the players’ psyche.They were a magnificent advert for our Town, our club, our sport and our values. Thank you.last_img read more

DAY 17 Part One – As well as the games training

first_imgDAY 17 (Part One) – As well as the games, training and activities throughout the past three weeks, the 2015 Academy tour of Australia has given all of the staff an opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues from years gone by, writes Ian Talbot.Former Saints coaches, Daniel Anderson, Royce Simmons, Mick Potter and Nathan Brown have all made time to come along and meet up with the tour party, chat and reminisce about good times gone by.One member of staff in particular who has more memories than most is club stalwart and record appearance holder Eric Chisnall.Eric is no stranger to Australia, having been on all six of the academy tours to date, acting as an assistant coach and mentor to the lads.This goes with his impressive playing CV, representing all St Helens, England and Great Britain on these shores.Eric got the opportunity to meet up with former Saints teammates Cliff Watson and Dave Eckersley but more importantly, and impressively, he got to sit in the same seat at the Sydney Cricket Ground that he has done several times before.Eric has played in the world renowned stadium on four occasions; two test matches for Great Britain in 1974, a World Cup game for England in 1975 and the 1976 world club championship match for St Helens against Eastern Suburbs, now known as Sydney Roosters.The lads, and the rest of the staff, always enjoy chatting with Eric, listening to stories of his experiences and about how the game was played in his day.One thing is for sure, that every person that has ever been on one of the academy tours has the utmost respect for Eric and his achievements, and having the privileged opportunity to listen, first hand, to some stories about the heritage of our game really enhances what already is a once in a lifetime experience.last_img read more

Bladen Co sheriff deputies search for missing teen

first_imgThe Bladen County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Alejandra Vazquez Ramirez, 16, of 6360 NC 211 West, Bladenboro. BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Alejandra Vazquez Ramirez, 16, of 6360 NC 211 West, Bladenboro.Ramirez is an Hispanic female, five foot one inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. It is not known what she was wearing at the time she disappeared.- Advertisement – Ramirez was last seen at her house on April 4. She is possibly in the company of a Ramon Hernandez Jr., 21 of 13 Welcome Drive, Red Springs, NC.The two are believed to be traveling in an older model, extended cab Chevrolet S-10 pickup, green in color.Ramirez has been entered as missing, endangered in the National Missing Persons registry.Related Article: Funeral services announced for fallen trooperIf you have any information on the whereabouts of Ramirez, please contact Investigator Greg Bullard with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office at 910-862-6960 or your local law enforcement agency. All information will be kept confidential.last_img read more

Pender Co declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael

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 PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Due to the potential impacts of Hurricane Michael, a State of Emergency has been issued for Pender County.Pender County Chairman George Brown on behalf of the board of county commissioners issued the declaration effective noon, Oct. 9.- Advertisement – “Pender County has been severely impacted by Hurricane Florence,” said Brown. “Additional rainfall, high winds, and storm surge from Hurricane Michael will impact already saturated areas of the county.”“We urge our residents to secure tarps on their rooftops,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager. “Secure lawn furniture and items that could become flying debris.”Collins warned residents whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Florence to be mindful of weakened structures.Related Article: Community opens supply distribution site at elementary school“When the ground is this saturated, trees fall. Power lines are taken down,” he said. “If you are sheltering in place, prepare for periods of being without power. Stock up on fresh water and refresh your emergency kits.”Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at and on the county’s website If you need assistance call the EM office at (910) 259-1210.last_img read more

Watch Muscat must choose to protect Life or protect votes – Delia

first_imgPoverty, abortion and the PL threat to job security were the main these which Partit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia discussed at Rabat in the daily round of political activities leading up to the MEP and the local Council Elections. Delia said that government does not believe in subsidiarity because it wants to concentrate control of everything in few hands.Protection of life is paramountDelia said that the child in the womb, however tiny, is for the PN a life not a number of cells. Life starts at conception and deserves the highest protection affirmed Delia. This is where one shows where the heart lies, said Delia, whether it lies in the protection of life as it does for the PN or in the protection of a vote as the PL sees it. Delia accused Muscat of blatant vote-shopping. He said that the heart needs to beat also for those who seek to make ends meet on a meager salary or a pittance of a pension.Delia said that the central government needs to be well organised so that the very valid work carried out by the local councils is not wasted by government. He said that the present government never believed in local government or in subsidiarity since the Partit Laburista wants the hegemonic rule of the few and not the democratic participation of the many. Delia said that the local councils have been undermined by a long period of lack of elections and the removal by government of hamlets from the revised legislation.Losing the handle on taxes threatens jobsTransferring the same logic to the EP elections, Delia said that Prime Minister Muscat does not believe in the EU and in the abilities of the Maltese to contribute to this institution. He said that the Socialist group in the EP wants taxation to be decided in Europe  and this was agreed to by the Partit Laburista. Delia said that this may threaten 27,000 jobs.Concluding, Delia said that in the span of time Muscat has been in government, he did not construct a single housing unit. “That is Labour for you”, he said “the party who purportedly fights for the poor, has left them to their own devices” concluded Delia.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Updated Maria Lourdes Agius Trial jury throws out insanity plea

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint The jury deliberating over the plea of insanity raised by the accused in the murder of Maria Lourdes Agius, have thrown out the plea.The decision was returned 8-1, in favour of rejecting the accused’ plea.This now means that the accused, Mr Michael Emmanuel must now appear in front of the Magistrates Court. Further evidence will be compiled against him.Maria Lourdes Agius: Trial jury deliberates if accused insane at time of murderThe 11 person jury hearing the case of a man who said he was insane at the time of murdering his partner, are currently deliberating the verdict.This follows the final statements by Judge Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera this morning, summing up the case.On Thursday, both the defence and prosecution delivering their final arguments to the jury, on whether the defendant Michael Emmanuel was legally insane when he took the life of Maria Lourdes Agius back in September 2018.Maria Lourdes Agius case: lawyers present their final argumentsMaria Lourdes Agius case: the accused mental state under further review“He killed her because she was possessed; he suffers from psychosis”Addressing the jury, Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera outlined the legal definition of insanity while explaining that it cannot be generalized that mental illness results in insanity. This was part of helping the jury carry out their deliberations of the evidence heard.On the topic of the defence’s evidence, the Judge explained that the defence would need to prove that the actions carried out by the accused were done unwillingly.Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera also stressed that Emmanuel had missed the first court appearance due to him being detained at a mental hospital and also refusing legal assistance.She added that there was a distinction between expert and ordinary witnesses and that jurors could make independent conclusions from the evidence and testimony about the mental health of the accused, separate of the experts.The Prosecuting lawyers are Charles Mercieca and Matthew Xuereb of the Office of the Attorney General.The defence lawyers representing the accused are Marc Sant and Dustin Camilleri.WhatsApplast_img read more

Top African Social Networks

first_imgAdvertisement Some are focused particularly on regions, others encapsulate everything that the continent has to offer.IT News Africa has delved into the look & feel, content and functionality of some of the African Social Networks that are out there, and listed, what we believe, to be a few of the best around.AfricanZone ( – Advertisement – This is a portal that offers free online services to Africans, including a social networking facility to meet people, a business advertising and promotion section, as well as the opportunity to list products and services. There is a distinct business feel to the site, but it offers a balance between personal and professional pursuits.Blueworld ( South African focused social site that features a number of interactive functions – from a chat room, mini-blogs, videos and profiles. Although there is a lot of content and a healthy dose of multi-media, the browser is unlikely to struggle because the look & feel is neat.AfricanPlanet ( striking, this website is a membership-driven social network that aims to bring people from all over the continent together. True to many ofAfrica’s social network offerings, AfricanPlanet facilitates both personal and business content.Bongoline ( website’s name is certainly striking and its aim is to serve as an online community catering to the needs of Tanzanians. It offers a host of multimedia including blogs, music, chats and forums.Motribe ( mobility concept comes through earnestly on this site. Organisers encourage users to build their own communities, and the site has been established to help users, brands, agencies and publishers to construct and manage their own mobile social communities.Afroterminal ( with the purpose of facilitating communication between Africans all over the globe, Afroterminal has a strong interactive flavour – with various forums that members can use to keep in touch. There is a rolling image panel of featured members, and new member section, as well as topics for discussion.Yookos ( (You Own Your Kosmos), a uniquely African social networking site, believe now is the time to use emerging technology to offer the best ofAfricato the world. What started as a large-scale online platform to network and encourage prayer among people, has now emerged as a corporate entity with operational head quarters inSouth Africawith presence in 160 countries and 6 million registered users.Mxit ( formidable player in the social networking space, Mxit lives up to its reputation as a zone where people can blend a number of multi-media applications. Music and mobility are central themes on this site, and it offers the browser a number of facilities through which to engage fellow users.Chris Tredgerlast_img read more

Zuckerberg launches Facebook fund for apps that help Indias poorest

first_imgAdvertisement Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook has today launched a US$1 million fund for apps in numerous Indian languages for farmers and various social will conduct a contest to pick the apps to back.The contest – called the Innovation Challenge – will have four prizes of a quarter of a million dollars each for apps or websites that serve farmers, women, students, and migrant workers. – Advertisement – These are the categories of people in India found to be facing the biggest barriers to internet access. In addition to the four big prizes, there will be two US$25,000 ‘Impact Awards’ in each of the categories. The winners will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in March 2015.Acoording to a recent study done by Facebook in collaboration with McKinsey, internet adoption is showing steady growth in India, the current penetration is only 15 percent. Globally, 4.4 billion people have no access to the internet, and 3.4 billion of those people live in 20 countries.A big proportion of the offline population is rural. Research shows that between 1.1 billion and 2.8 billion people are out of range of an existing mobile network.Farmers in India have been among the biggest beneficiaries from the boom in low-cost smartphones, which give them vital weather and market data, as well as access to ecommerce.Credit: Tech in Asialast_img read more

Tanzania orders government employees to cut back on social media

first_imgAdvertisement Tanzania’s Transport and Communication minister has issued a directive, warning government employees not to spend a lot of time on social media at work.Makame Mbarawa said the directive was aimed at boosting service delivery and getting workers to concentrate on their jobs.He has ordered his own staff to serve as an example. – Advertisement – Mobile phone companies have promoted cheap data bundles to target the growing number of Tanzanians who are active on online platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.[related-posts][Source: BBC]last_img

Samsung smartphones offer more customer satisfaction compared to iPhones – Survey

first_imgAdvertisement Samsung beat Apple in a customer smartphone satisfaction survey, the American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests.Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 was the top-ranked smartphone in the 2016 report, garnering a score of 86 on a 100-point scale.Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus came in second, with a score of 85. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 4 tied for third, with a score of 84 each, followed by Apple’s iPhone 6S at a score of 83. – Advertisement – The top four smartphones in the survey have larger-sized screens (5.5 to 5.7 inches), showing a clear customer preference for big screens, ACSI said.On a cumulative basis, Apple’s family of smartphones edged out Samsung’s lineup. Apple earned a score of 81, compared to Samsung’s 80. Last year’s survey had Apple and Samsung tied at 80, ACSI said. Lenovo’s Motorola brand was third, with a score of 77, followed by HTC (75) and LG (74).ACSI 2016 Telecom Report – Highlights (ACSI)The latest ACSI report is based on interviews with 12,710 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between March 5 and 31, the research firm said. Customers evaluated their smartphones on such factors as ease of use, design, features and battery life.last_img read more

ICT Association of Uganda Announces 2016 Focus Areas New Date for AGM

first_imgThe ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) currently chaired by Albert Mucunguzi is a multi-stakeholder initiative formed by private individuals with the vision of providing professional guidance to individuals and organizations in the private sector, as well as offering advisory services to government on policy-based issues. (Photo Courtesy) Advertisement The ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) today announced its key strategic focus areas for the remaining months of 2016, in the run up to its Annual General Meeting slated for Wednesday, January 25, 2017.“For the next two months, we shall focus all our efforts on growing our membership base in order to sufficiently represent the views of the Industry on key issues beneficial to the ICT sector in Uganda, in general, and those of particular interest to our members and stakeholders,” said Board Chairperson Albert Mucunguzi.At an extraordinary meeting on October 18th the ICTAU members elected an interim Board of Directors charged with the responsibility of steering the Association to the next AGM. – Advertisement – Re-introducing the LAN events The Association also announced that it is re-introducing the popular monthly events, code-named LAN (adopted from Local Area Network) as a platform for industry stakeholders and enthusiasts to meet for business networking purposes.The first of these will be held on 10th November 2016 at the Sky Lounge in Kampala, and will be open to Members and non-Members alike. Subsequent LAN events, however, will be restricted to ICTAU members only.The LAN and other focus areas of the Board are part of the Activity Plan circulated last week to members and stakeholders, shortly after the Board announced office-bearers.“We have already embarked on aggressive industry engagements, both with the private sector and government, in a bid to immediately tackle issues facing our members and other stakeholders. Key among these is the ICT Professionals Bill, for which consultations are currently underway regarding its drafting, and the ICTAU is pleased to be working with government on this,” noted Mr. Mucunguzi.Other key focus areas announced include:Strengthening the Association’s SecretariatDevelopment of the ICTAU Strategic Plan for 2017 and redefining the Association’s role in the industryStakeholder engagements (government and private sector)Consolidating existing initiatives.The above activities will be in preparation for the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held on January 25th, 2017.You can participate in these and other Association’s activities by registering through the website, or through ICTAU’s  Social Media pages.Issued by the Secretariat.last_img read more


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.Wednesday 3 August RACING MOVERS3.00 BathDusty Blue 6/1 > 3/13.30 BathPivotal Flame 6/1 > 3/14.00 BathMoss Street 10/1 > 5/17.20 YarmouthShypen 11/2 > 3/1FOOTBALLInternational Champions Cup19:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD1/4 Barcelona 9/1 Leicester 9/2 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img

DAVY RUSSELL Galway Festival Tuesday

first_imgYOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at and we’ll try and include in the next blog… Day two of Galway and I have one ride on the card in the opening novice hurdle. I thought the ground was lovely NH ground yesterday and Count Simon ran another solid race when second for me in the opener to Ruby on Easy Game. My other intended ride Ange D’or Javilex was a non runner.TUESDAYGALWAY FESTIVALONE IN ALL IN (5.20pm)He’s very much ground dependent and has been making hay on the summer fast ground with wins at Down Royal and Limerick the last day. The faster the better for him, so the recent rain won’t have helped his chances and he’s pitched in at quite a deep level here. He was promoted to second in the race won by Exchange Rate at Wexford and Ruby’s mount again looks the one we all have to beat as he looks a smart prospect capable of improving further.DAVYlast_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Sat Movers and Specials

first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Sarah Kinsella with our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 13 OctoberSARAH KINSELLA Introduces the daily specials and offers on Saturday:<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><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 RACING3.50 YorkGolden Parade 14/1 > 13/26.15 ChelmsfordFurious 9/4 > 11/86.45 ChelmsfordFlora Tristan 6/1 > 7/2LIVE FOOTBALLUEFA Nations League Group Stage19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event12/5 Republic of Ireland5/4 Denmark19/10 DRAWUEFA Nations League Group Stage19:45 Sky Sports Mix21/10 Netherlands23/20 Germany12/5 DRAWBET NOW or 08000 521 321last_img read more

Rices Drezek wins 3M grant for breast cancer research

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduRice’s Drezek wins $3M grant for breast cancer researchDOD funds bench-to-bedside applications in photonics-based imagingThe Department of Defense (DOD) has named Rice University the recipient of a $3 million award for a five-year program to develop miniaturized molecular imaging technologies for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast cancer. The program, which will be conducted in collaboration with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, calls for the development of microendoscope and needle-compatible fiber optic systems that doctors can use for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic breast cancer imaging needs, ranging from early detection to guiding surgery to monitoring the efficacy of radiation therapy and targeted drug treatments.The program’s principal investigator, Rice bioengineer Rebekah Drezek, is one of three U.S. scientists chosen by the DOD for this year’s Era of Hope Scholar Award, which is given annually by the DOD’s Congressionally Directed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP).The award recognizes “exceptionally talented, early-career scientists who have demonstrated through their extraordinary creativity, vision and productivity that they are the best and brightest in their fields.”Drezek, associate professor in both bioengineering and in electrical and computer engineering, was selected for her translational research developing miniaturized photonics-based molecular imaging technologies for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast cancer. She is the first Rice faculty member to receive the Era of Hope Scholar Award and is the only principal investigator chosen this year that is not at a medical institution.“Medical imaging plays a critical role in all aspects of breast cancer care,” Drezek said. “From initial screening and diagnosis to guiding and monitoring therapeutic interventions, doctors use a variety of imaging technologies like x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. But all of these technologies provide low-resolution, non-specific anatomic images of tissue.”Research in Drezek’s lab takes a different approach to clinical breast cancer imaging, focusing on the development of inexpensive, portable photonic-based imaging tools that provide high-resolution in situ imaging of the molecular hallmarks of breast cancer.“In current practice, doctors need to biopsy a tumor in order to conduct the chemical tests that find the molecular signatures of different types of cancer,” Drezek said. “There is a tremendous need for novel technologies that can detect biomarkers without tissue removal.”Drezek said most optical imaging research to date has focused on screening, but the dramatic expansion of new, targeted cancer therapies has created a substantial need for imaging tools that can monitor the efficacy of molecular-targeted therapeutics. Drezek’s research group uses an interdisciplinary bench-to-bedside approach to develop imaging tools that ultimately can be used to monitor therapies including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Kuan Yu, assistant professor of radiation oncology, will lead the portion of the research conducted at M. D. Anderson “By combining our lab’s expertise with that of our clinical partners at M. D. Anderson, we hope to take advantage of parallel advances in micro-optics, nanoscale imaging agents, and breast cancer biomarker identification to enable a completely different approach to molecular imaging of breast cancer than was possible just a few years ago,” Drezek said. “More importantly, we want to have the clinical partners in place to help us continually adjust our path forward so that we are always directing our efforts towards those areas of medical need where we will be able to make most direct and significant impact on patient care.”Other significant honors Drezek has received include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s TR100 World’s 100 Top Young Innovator Award (2004), the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2005), and the American Association for Medical Instrumentation Becton Dickinson Career Achievement Award (2005). Last year, Drezek was an invited speaker at the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers in Engineering (2006). Congress established the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) in 1992 in response to lobbying efforts by advocacy organizations that sought research specifically designed to address breast cancer. The DOD was chosen because of its long history in medical research and responsiveness to unmet medical need. BCRP is second only to the National Cancer Institute as a U.S. funding source for breast cancer research.last_img read more

Acclaimed soprano Ana María Martínez to join Shepherd School as artistinresidence

first_img Ana María Martínez FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Share2Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduAcclaimed soprano Ana María Martínez to join Shepherd School as artist-in-residenceHOUSTON – (July 10, 2019) – Grammy Award-winning soprano Ana María Martínez will join Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music this fall as an artist-in-residence for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.center_img Return to article. Long DescriptionAna María MartínezWith an international career that spans the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls, Martínez has been praised by Opera News for having a voice that that “harks back to the golden age. Her range is even, from a dusky chest-voice through a claret-colored middle and up to radiant top, and is impressive in its quiet moments as it is at full power.” The New York Times described her as a “bit of theatrical magic in a beautiful performance: modest and delicate, yet rising to glimpses of the epic in her final aria of self-sacrifice.”During her residency, she will conduct master classes, provide individual coaching, offer career counseling and assist students with their role preparations in the opera department.“Ana María Martínez is one of the leading artists of her generation with a special gift for sharing her knowledge of the profession with aspiring young singers,” said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. “The Shepherd School stands to greatly benefit from her appointment as artist-in-residence.”Martínez’s Rice appointment follows her recent designation as the first-ever artistic advisor of the Houston Grand Opera, where she was a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and has portrayed some of her most beloved leading-lady characters in her adopted hometown. Most notably in Houston, she has performed the title role in “Carmen,” with Opera Newsroclaiming, “Ana María Martínez’s amazing performance as Carmen established a benchmark for the role in the Houston Grand Opera production of Bizet’s opera.” In addition, she performed the roles of Cio-Cio San in “Madama Butterfly,” Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia,” Nedda in “Pagliacci,” Mimi in “La bohème,” Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” la Contessa in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Liù in “Turandot” and Lucero in the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s “Salsipuedes,” among many others. Houstonia magazine wrote, “Martínez has the type of down-to-earth and disarming personality that nearly belies her international opera diva status, and she’s totally unabashed about her love for Houston, where she’s lived since 2002.”During the 2018-19 season Martínez joined Esa-Pekka Salonen and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for the world premiere of “Dreamers,” an oratorio that explores the immigrant experience in the United States. She returned to the Los Angeles Opera as both Elisabetta in “Don Carlo” and Solea in “El Gato Montes” opposite Plácido Domingo, with whom she often performs. She joined the Vienna Staatsoper for the 20th anniversary of her debut with them as Cio-Cio San in “Madama Butterfly,” and Houston Grand Opera in the title role in “Florencia en el Amazonas.” Concert performances included joining the Puerto Rico Symphony for its 60th anniversary gala concert and engagements with Domingo throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Highlights for her upcoming 2019-20 season include leading roles in return engagements with Opera National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago and New York’s Metropolitan Opera.Martinez is frequently seen on the stages of Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she has performed as the title roles in “Rusalka” and “Carmen,” Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello,” Tatyana in “Eugene Onegin,” Mimi in “La bohème,” Nedda in “Pagliacci,” Fiordiligi in “Così fan Tutte” and Marguerite in “Faust.” She has joined the Los Angeles Opera as Mimi, Violetta in “La Traviata,” Amelia in “Simon Boccanegra,” The Metropolitan Opera as Cio-Cio-San in “Madama Butterfly,” Museta in “La bohème” and Micaela in “Carmen” and the San Francisco Opera as Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” Elisabetta in “Don Carlo,” Amelia in “Simon Boccanegra,” Micaela in “Carmen” and Pamina in “Die Zauberflöte.”Career highlights from stages across Europe include her headline-making role and house debut in the title role in “Rusalka” with the Glyndebourne Festival, a performance that was recorded live and released on the Glyndebourne label. She returned to the festival in the leading role of Paolina in the United Kingdom’s first professionally staged performances of Donizetti’s “Poliuto.” She made her debut with the Opera National de Paris as Amelia in a new production of “Simon Boccanegra” and returned in the title role in a new production of “Luisa Miller,” as Mimi in “La bohème” and for her role debut as Antonia in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffman.” With the Vienna Staatsoper she performed as Cio-Cio San in “Madama Butterfly,” Adina in “L’elisir d’amore,” Micaela in “Carmen,” Mimi in “La bohème” and as Pamina in the “Die Zauberflöte” and joined the Bayerische Staatsoper as Cio-Cio San in “Madama Butterfly,” the title role in “Luisa Miller,” the Countess in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Mimi in “La bohème,” the title role in “Rusalka” and as Antonia in “Les Contes d’Hoffman.” At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she debuted her Alice Ford in “Falstaff” and portrayed Violetta in “La Traviata” and Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni.” She sang Liú in “Turandot” and Nedda in “Pagliacci,” both with De Nederlandse Opera.Martínez’s concert career also includes engagements with some of the world’s most celebrated orchestras and conductors. She made her debut at Teatro alla Scala with the Filharmonica della Scala, and has joined the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall as well as the Puerto Rico Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, English National Opera Orchestra in London, Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasiliera in Rio de Janeiro, the BBC Symphony at Barbican Hall and the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic. She has performed with the Boston Symphony, Washington National Opera Orchestra, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and has been seen for many seasons in concert performances alongside both Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In addition to her solo disc, Martinez has appeared in numerous recordings and DVDs and voiced the role of opera singer Alessandra in season three of Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle.”For more information on the Shepherd School, visit more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Shepherd School website: link: credit: Ana María MartínezLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more