The Green Party has written to work and pensions s

first_imgThe Green Party has written to work and pensions secretary Damian Green to demand an independent inquiry into benefit claimants whose deaths have been linked to the failings of his department.The letter has been signed by the Green Party’s co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, its disability spokeswoman, Mags Lewis, and Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts.It has also been signed by Jill Gant, the mother of Mark Wood, a disabled man who starved to death in 2013 after he was found “fit for work” through the work capability assessment (WCA) system, and lost his out-of-work disability benefits.The party has compiled a dossier of this and 49 other deaths of benefit claimants where, it says in the letter, there is “good reason to believe their treatment at the hands of your department has been a factor in their deaths”.Those cases include many deaths that have been covered by Disability News Service (DNS), including those of David Clapson, Stephen Carré, David Barr, Ms DE, Stephanie Bottrill, Luke Alexander Loy, Alan McArdle, Sheila Holt, Moira Drury, and Karen Sherlock.The Green Party letter says the inquiry should examine “the methods used to assess claimants and their entitlements” and “determine whether these procedures are fair and proper or if they are, in fact, contributing to the deaths of some of the claimants”.The letter points out to Damian Green that, in many of the cases included in the dossier, coroners have “expressed grave concern about the methods employed by your department”.It adds: “The more time passes without an inquiry, the longer concerns will remain and questions will hang over the procedures used by your department to handle benefits.”Bartley (pictured) told DNS yesterday (Wednesday) that he supports attempts to bring a criminal prosecution against former work and pensions ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling over their failure to address the safety of the WCA.They were warned by a coroner in 2010 to review the policy not to seek further medical evidence from the GPs and psychiatrists of claimants with mental health conditions, but they failed to respond to the report, and apparently failed to pass it on to the expert they commissioned to review the WCA.As a result of their failure to act, claimants with experience of mental distress continued to die, including Mark Wood.Bartley said: “I think there are very good grounds for it. If there was criminal negligence in the workplace that resulted in deaths, you wouldn’t think twice about it being right to prosecute.“I think it’s something we should be supporting. I would be very keen to talk to a lawyer who would be interested in taking this forward.”He said there was still much that was not known about what ministers knew, and when, about the WCA scandal, but he added: “I think the more evidence emerges, the more we realise quite how aware they were of it and the stronger the case becomes against them.”Bartley said: “We are supposed to be a civilised country and we are supposed to judge our country by the way it looks after those who are marginalised and disabled.“It’s absolutely damning that this should be happening in a country that is so rich.”He said the dossier was “putting down a marker that these rights that have been fought for are being eroded, and not just eroded, but being pushed back, and ground is being lost that has been won over many, many years.“We have to learn the lessons of history: that things can move backwards as well as forwards.”Bartley said that “too much ground” had been conceded by mainstream politicians to right-wing ideologies that play on the “mantra of deserving and undeserving [benefit claimants], and demonisation of disabled people and scapegoating of disabled people and that idea of [claimants] being guilty until proven innocent”.The inquiry call has been backed by DPAC, whose work on benefit-related deaths and other harm caused by the government’s social security reforms triggered an inquiry by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which found “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s rights.Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, said: “As the UK government has been found guilty by the UN of committing grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights, we feel a public inquiry into deaths which have been linked to the discredited work capability assessment regime must urgently be initiated by the government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).”A DWP spokeswoman said: “The department will respond to the letter once it has been received.“We constantly review our processes and procedures and have made significant improvements to the WCA since it was first introduced in 2008, particularly for people with mental health problems, following a number of… reviews, including five independent ones.“There will also shortly be a second independent review of personal independence payment since it was introduced in 2013.“And, as you know, we carry out peer reviews to help staff to continually improve how they deal with some of the most complex and challenging cases.”Picture by Pete Lopemanlast_img read more

The number of disability hate crimes recorded by t

first_imgThe number of disability hate crimes recorded by the police rose by more than 50 per cent last year, according to new figures released by the Home Office.The rise in recorded disability hate crimes (53 per cent) was larger than for any other strand, with race hate crimes rising by more than a quarter (27 per cent), those motivated by sexual orientation also increasing by 27 per cent, and religion-based hate crime rising by 35 per cent.In all, the number of hate crime offences recorded by police in England and Wales rose by 29 per cent to more than 80,000 between 2015-16 and 2016-17.The increase in disability hate crimes was even bigger than the rise of more than 40 per cent last year, which again had been a larger rise than for any other hate crime strand.Despite the new Home Office figures, it is still not clear whether there has been an increase in actual disability hate crimes in recent years, if the increase is due to a rise in reporting of hate crimes, or if it is due to a combination of both factors.Since 2011-12, the number of disability hate crimes recorded by police has risen from 1,748 to 5,558.The Home Office report says that some of the rise in race and religious hate crime was due to a genuine increase in hate crime, particularly around the time of the EU referendum in June 2016 and the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester this year.But the report says that a second consecutive year of sharp rises in disability, sexual orientation and transgender hate crime (which rose by 45 per cent this year) is probably due to the police “improving their identification and recording of hate crime offences and more people coming forward to report these crimes rather than a genuine increase”.Nearly nine in 10 offences (89 per cent) flagged as hate crimes in 2016-17 were either public order offences or “violence against the person”.Meanwhile, figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) show that the number of disability hate crime prosecutions rose from 941 in 2015-16 to 1,009 in 2016-17, an increase of more than seven per cent.The proportion of successful convictions also increased, from 75.1 per cent to 77.3 per cent, with the number rising from 707 to 800 in 2016-17.Despite these numbers, only 117 cases saw a recorded and announced increase in a sentence on the grounds of disability hate crime, although this was an increase from 84 in 2015-16.The report says that the number of sentence uplifts “remains considerably lower than that for other hate crime strands”.In the 10 years since 2007–08, this has risen from four sentence uplifts (2.8 per cent of successful prosecutions) to 117 (14.6 per cent).But it compares with more than half of all cases (52.2 per cent) involving hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity which saw sentences “uplifted”.Stephen Brookes (pictured), a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, wrote to solicitor general Robert Buckland in August to warn him that “alarm bells are ringing” over the “massive discrepancies and inconsistencies” in the way the criminal justice system dealt with disability hate crime (DHC) prosecutions.He said then that he and his colleagues felt “deep dismay” that six recent court cases involving violent attacks on disabled people – reported by Disability News Service (DNS) – had not been treated as disability hate crimes.In the letter, he wrote: “Once again we see that it seems to be difficult to prove an offence is a disability hate crime under current legislation especially if the case is not supported by absolute DHC based evidence. “Additionally we still find that cases in which CPS treated the offences as disability hate crime, the judiciary still frequently refuse to accept their responsibility and increase the sentence, proving that there are massive issues in the way both police and the judiciary [deal with] disability hate crimes.”He said that Buckland had agreed in his response that there were “considerable challenges in showing there is aggravation in relation to disability in serious offences”, and that more work needed to be done by the criminal justice system.Brookes said this week: “My concern has to be that we still are finding major barriers in the whole DHC charging process as proving disability hostility is still too vague in some respects.”Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, said: “Crimes motivated by hate have a corrosive effect on society and it is pleasing to see the courts are using their powers to increase sentences in the majority of cases for the first time.“Sentence uplifts are important because they demonstrate that the CPS has built the case effectively, the hate crime element has been recognised and the perpetrator has received a more severe sentence as a result.”In all, across race, religion, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and disability hate crimes, there were 14,480 convictions in 2016-17, with a success rate for the CPS of 83.4 per cent.last_img read more

Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.In a big step towards Labour backing a Brexit deal, Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Prime Minister to issue five demands. In his letter, the opposition leader says Labour will support Theresa May’s deal if changes are made to include customs union membership and single market alignment, plus agreements on EU rights, agencies and security arrangements. These come under the political declaration, i.e. the non-binding part of the divorce deal that sets out UK’s future relationship with the EU, so it has been specified that the commitments would have to be enshrined in law. Read the demands and letter in full here.While this development makes Labour’s detailed criticisms of the legally-binding text in the withdrawal agreement look a little odd in retrospect, ultimately it comes as no surprise to anyone who has been listening to Corbyn over the last few months. He has repeatedly made clear that he wants a deal to get through parliament. But this letter puts it in black-and-white: Labour will offer official support to a revised Brexit deal put forward by the Tory government.Corbyn’s demands have provoked furious reactions from Remainer Labour activists and MPs, who contend that the letter goes against conference policy by setting the bar too low. They argue “single market alignment” doesn’t amount to the “full participation” prescribed by the composite motion. And those critics have fresh ammunition too, as a leaked report from the (party-affiliated, Corbyn-backing) TSSA union says Labour could lose 45 seats if it supports Brexit. The briefing claims the party would only lose 11 seats by opposing Brexit, and could even gain a handful by being more outspoken against it. This is just one bit of research, however, so don’t expect it to seriously affect the leadership’s thinking.Although Barry Gardiner told Radio 4 this morning that “it’s not about tests now”, it has been denied that Keir Starmer’s six tests for any Brexit deal have been abandoned. Rather, these new stipulations are designed to be credible and relevant to the current situation. The differences between the two are interesting nonetheless. Corbyn’s list makes no mention of the backstop or of free movement, which I would suggest means a more relaxed approach towards both and therefore indicates that Keir Starmer was involved in shaping the new demands, as has been briefed.The case in favour of the five demands sees Theresa May’s chances of either replacing the backstop or securing a time-limit/unilateral withdrawal ability as non-existent. Corbyn’s letter quashes the notion that Labour wants to “frustrate” Brexit and applies further pressure on the government to implement a soft exit. This is the choice that the Prime Minister has faced since the start: leave with no deal and be responsible for chaos, or pivot to Labour’s plan. Both options seem unbelievable. Either way, the Tories split. That seems like a win-win, but Corbyn’s proposal – which looks a lot like the unhappy compromise of ‘Norway Plus’ – does leave many on the left, from Lexiteers to People’s Vote campaigners, wondering ‘what’s the point?’.Sienna @siennamarlaSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Theresa May /Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Keir Starmer /Brexit /last_img read more

St Helens U20s 24 v 36 Wigan U20sThree tries in th

first_imgSt Helens U20s 24 v 36 Wigan U20sThree tries in the final quarter cost the Reserves this match against the Old Enemy. Clinging to a two point lead the Saints couldn’t respond and fall further behind in the rankings writes Graham Henthorne Team Manager.The visitors with costly Aussie import Amos Roberts calling the shots should have put the first points on the board but knocked on giving the Saints with both Matty Ashe, elder brother of Nathan and Mark Percival making their debuts, the honours of scoring first.A good attacking set and grubber from Ben Karalius gave the Saints a repeat set and from the restart drives from Joe Greenwood, Ant Walker and Jordan Hand had the visitors scrambling. As it was it was an inside ball from the returning Gareth Frodsham to Karalius which gave the scrum half a run to the posts.The Saints doubled their lead in even time as Josh Jones went in. Tommy Johnson could have scored himself but instead brought the centre back on the inside to the posts for the try.The celebrations were short lived, however as Jones went from hero to villain dropping off the tackle which allowed the centre in down the right.Yet more poor tackles gave the visitors their second try and they went ahead on the half hour to a try from a dubiously forward pass.The Saints responded with a good defensive set forcing the knock on. From the scrum the play went first right then back left with Karalius wrapping around to provide the extra man and finding Joe Greenwood for the score.To hold out until the break was the hope but the scores were levelled on the stroke of half time as the visitors winger went in for his first.The worst possible start was to concede on the first set and that’s exactly what the Saints did. There was a hint of offside, however, as the right winger collected Roberts’ chip over the line.The Saints were not out of it and some aggressive defence in the middle produced a poor pass picked off by Josh Jones who managed to outstrip the defence to the line for the go ahead score.As time went by the first half missed chances and fatigue caught up with the Reserves and the game slipped away again.Until his departure through injury Gareth Frodsham showed glimpses of his old self, Ant Walker and Jordan Hand took the line on well and Matty Ashe made a solid debut in the red vee. But Joe Greenwood just edged Hand for the best on the day.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Josh Jones 2, Ben Karalius, Joe Greenwood.Goals: Tommy Johnson 4.Wigan:Tries: Mathew Russell, Blake Mahovic 4, Jack Murphy 2.Goals: Jack Murphy, Sam Powell 3.Half Time: 18-18Full Time: 24-36Teams:Saints:1. Tommy Johnson, 2. Simon Atherton, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Dan Brotherton, 6. Matty Ashe, 7. Ben Karalius, 8. Gareth Frodsham, 9. Aaron Lloyd, 10. Jordan Hand (pictured), 11. Danny Jones, 12. Joe Greenwood, 13. Anthony Walker.Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 15. Jordan Case, 16. Joe Bate, 17. Josh Greaves.Wigan:1. Mathew Russell, 2. Ryan King, 3. Blake Mahovic, 4. Matt Crow, 5. Jack Murphy, 6. Amos Roberts, 7. Sam Powell, 23. Tom Spencer, 9. Logan Tomkins, 10. Dominic Crosby, 11. Jamie Acton, 12. Danny Bridge, 13. Kieron Harrison.Subs: 14. Liam Carberry, 15. James Greenwood, 16. Greg Burke, 17. Drew Johnson.last_img read more

THE Dacia World Club Challenge First Utility Supe

first_imgTHE Dacia World Club Challenge, First Utility Super League and Ladbrokes Challenge Cup trophies will be at Saints ahead of the hotly-anticipated Dacia World Club Series this weekend.The trophies at Langtree Park on Wednesday February 17 from 11am to 1pm.They will then head over to Dacia dealer Arnold Clark where they will be welcomed by St Helens and Great Britain legend Paul Sculthorpe between 2pm and 5pm.As well as having photos taken with the silverware, fans will have the chance to test their rugby skills with all the stars and three lucky people will win a once-in-a-lifetime experience – presenting the man of the match award at your game of choice.last_img

Local teen gets slam dunk trip to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — We first told you about a Brunswick County student’s Make-a-Wish adventure Thursday.Shab’e Bryant got to spend a full weekend with his favorite NBA team.- Advertisement – “This made his dream come true,” Make-A-Wish recipient, Shab’e said.It was a Make-a-Wish trip two years in the making.“He was super stoked. Like he had no clue. None whatsoever. None,” Shab’e’s father, Wesley Bryant said.Related Article: Terminally ill preschooler proposes to employee at Duke Children’s HospitalShab’e, a West Brunswick High School senior, recently got his wish granted, but his dad kept it under wraps for months.“I mean I didn’t know it was going to happen at all because my dad told me it wasn’t going to happen to make it more than a surprise,” Shab’e said.Shab’e and two other Make-a-Wish recipients spent the whole weekend with their favorite NBA team: the Oklahoma City Thunder.“I can’t remember being that happy. Being that excited,” Shab’e said.Shab’e was born with a form of muscular dystrophy.“He’s a regular kid,” Bryant said. “He just can’t walk, you know. And I wanted him to get to experience some things that other kids experience.”From lunch, bowling, hanging out with the players, and getting to go to the game, shab’e said he had the time of his life.“I play with them on video games and stuff, and then I just see them in person and it’s just like wow you know,” Shab’e said.When he got the chance to meet his favorite player Russell Westbrook, it was a moment won’t ever forget.“I just stopped my chair,” Shab’e Bryant said. “And then he just walked over to me and that’s when I really got, my heart dropped.”Now Shab’e has something awesome to talk about with his classmates.“I feel like I have bragging rights. Bragging rights,” Shab’e said. “I just learned that I could do more things than I think I could do.”For Shab’e it was a weekend of many firsts including the first time he ever flew on an airplaneShab’e adds it was a once in a life time experience he will cherish forever.last_img read more

WPD Officer saves drowning woman in Cape Fear River

first_imgCape Fear River (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A woman is alive and in the hospital after a Wilmington Police officer rescued her from nearly drowning in the Cape Fear River Thursday morning.Police say officers responded to the river around 6:15 a.m. where witnesses say they saw a woman in her 30s floating.- Advertisement – After seeing the woman struggle, WPD says Officer Ben Galluppi removed his gear and jumped into to help. Using a life-saving device, he was able to reach the woman and bring her to a nearby dock.The Wilmington Fire Department and EMS also responded to the scene and performed CPR. After several minutes of it, EMS transported her to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.Her condition is unknown at this time.last_img

Archbishop Scicluna blesses a commemorative stone at Caritas Maltas new therapeutic centre

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa arcisqof-17-5 SharePrint 1 of 17 Luke Zerafacenter_img Luke Zerafa Archbishop Charles Scicluna blessed the commemorative stone at the new therapeutic center for adolescents, ‘Tal-Ibwar’ at Ta’ Kandja, on Friday. The therapeutic center will be operated by Caritas Malta.During a press conference on Friday morning, Archbishop Scicluna thanked Caritas Malta for its invaluable work in the Maltese society as well as the State for the trust shown in the organisation’s work as it entrusted Caritas Malta with the project.Mgr Scicluna stated that aiding youths with troubled past is an investment. The Archbishop concluded by promising that whoever passed through the services provided by the new therapeutic center will become a better person. Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Luke Zerafa Curia – Caritas Malta Director Anthony Gatt thanked President Emeritus George Abela who will be in charge of the project. Explaining the project, Gatt said that the center will include sport facilities, animal-assisted therapy, as well as an area dedicated to agriculture.Minister for Social Solidarity Michael Falzon stated that the Government will be investing €3.3 million and the center will host a maximum of twenty people at a time.Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that apart from the infrastructural works currently going on at the center, those who will be employed at the center will receive training specifically to be able to work with children.  Muscat explained that to this end, there was a visit to Ireland to learn more about best work practices. The Prime Minister said such projects illustrate that the Church and the State have different functions but can also work together.WhatsApplast_img read more

Controlled explosions demolish remains of collapsed Italy bridge

first_img SharePrint Controlled explosions demolish two of the pylons of the Morandi bridge almost one year since a section of the viaduct collapsed killing 43 people, in Genoa, Italy June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Massimo PincaControlled explosions demolish two of the pylons of the Morandi bridge almost one year since a section of the viaduct collapsed killing 43 people, in Genoa, Italy June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca Six seconds of controlled explosions wiped out the remains of a collapsed bridge in the northern Italian city of Genoa on Friday, paving the way for a new structure to replace the ageing viaduct that gave way last year, killing 43 people.Explosives tore down two towers of the Morandi bridge as cannons shot water over the 20,000 cubic metres of steel and concrete to prevent huge clouds of dust engulfing the city.The bridge collapsed on August 14 in heavy rain, sending dozens of vehicles plunging 50 metres to the ground below.The collapse has made access to Genoa’s busy port more difficult and has also meant a lengthy detour for drivers wanting to head onwards to southern France.The government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League wants its rapid reconstruction, hoping to signal a departure from the corruption and inefficiency that have often plagued Italian infrastructure projects.5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio and League chief Matteo Salvini, both deputy prime ministers, attended the demolition, after Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli laid the first stone of the new viaduct earlier this week.“Today not only the old bridge comes down, but the new one starts coming up,” Salvini said.The reconstruction was assigned to Italian firms Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri . Designed by the renowned Genoa-born architect Renzo Piano, the new viaduct is planned to be inaugurated by the middle of next year.It remains unclear whether the government will keep its promise to revoke the concession of toll road operator Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia which was in charge of the bridge’s maintenance.Rome has accused the operator of serious failings in its upkeep of the bridge. Autostrade has denied wrongdoing, saying regular, state-supervised inspections had indicated the ageing viaduct was safe.The revocation procedure started a few days after the bridge collapsed, but the coalition parties are now divided.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Cyber Insurance What you need to know

first_imgAdvertisement A New York City-based staffing agency Clarity early this year bought cyber insurance for the first time. For thise of you asking about it, this post is meant to throw more light on the subject.Cyber insurance is designed to mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption, and network damage.Clarity with a staff of 30 was looking to protect the information it takes from the clients it places, like their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. The initial coverage it bought covered any legal costs and the costs of lost business that would come with a breach, and it added coverage for credit monitoring if its client data are hacked. – Advertisement – It may help reduce the number of successful cyber attacks by promoting the adoption of preventative measures; encouraging the implementation of best practices by basing premiums on an insured’s level of self-protection; and limiting the level of losses that companies face following an attack.Many companies nevertheless forego available policies, citing their perceived high cost, a lack of awareness about what they cover, and uncertainty that they’ll suffer a cyber attack as the basis for their decisions.Just about every business today needs cyber insurance. More and more businesses are transacting online and the reality is it’s only going to increase as we move forward.Introduced more than a decade ago, cyber insurance’s growth has been spurred not only by an increase in cybercrime, but also by new regulations.Most states now require companies to notify customers if there is a data breach. Cybercrime is also a growing concern in the boardrooms of publicly traded companies.Cyber insurance policies will depend on a company’s size and the industry in which it operates, how much data it has and what a company already does to secure it.For Clarity, the risk of not having cyber insurance outweighed the cost. “It’s never one of those things you want to find out if it’s worth having or not,” Wade said. “But it certainly helps us to rest easy at night and focus on our business, knowing that we have it.”Credit: and DHSlast_img read more

Google live testing medical advice service

first_imgAdvertisement Search giant Google is live testing a live medical advice service.This was revealed through an image posted to Reddit which shows a Google search for knee pain, and an option for the user to video chat with a doctor about their symptoms.Google has now confirmed to several outlets that it’s a new feature that it is trying out. – Advertisement – “When you’re searching for basic health information … our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available. We’re trying this new feature to see if it’s useful to people,” A spokesman said.The video chat feature will be part of Google’s Helpouts platform.Helpouts connects users with experts over live video — experts can charge a fee per Helpout, and some are free.Google says it will be covering the costs during the trial, but it’s possible the feature will cost you in the future.Via Mashablelast_img read more

SITA Introduces Fast and Secure Connectivity to Kenya Airways

first_imgAdvertisement Global air transport communications provider, SITA is to roll out faster, new-generation connectivity across Kenya Airways’ global network, a vital investment in infrastructure needed to support the airline’s renewed focus on cost optimization and airline modernization.Among Africa’s top three airlines, Kenya Airways is seeking to leverage SITA’s latest communication technology to drive new efficiency in the management of its route network while ensuring the best passenger experience across the airline’s global footprint.Through SITA Connect, the airline will have access to high-speed, secure connectivity, linking employees and sales offices around the world to Kenya Airways’ central systems and applications to manage everything from reservations, check-in and boarding. – Advertisement – With a global presence, SITA is able to meet the airline’s complete connectivity requirements with tailored solutions for each location. Central to the delivery is SITA’s Airport Hub, a shared connectivity platform already used in more than 300 airports in over 100 countries.Using SITA’s common-use infrastructure eliminates the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers while enabling Kenya Airways to connect securely to their central systems and applications from any airport in the Airport Hub network.“SITA, with its truly global footprint and experience, provided us with a world-class solution supported by a local presence in each destination, connecting even the furthest outstation to our hub in Nairobi,” Mbuvi Ngunze, CEO of Kenya Airways said in a statement.Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa also commented saying, “We’ve used our global experience and presence to provide Kenya Airways with the latest communication solution that is able to cater to their own specific requirements.”Kenya Airways flies to 53 destinations including 43 destinations in Africa, carrying more than 4 million passengers every year.last_img read more

Can Xiaomi Stand its Ground in Ugandas Smartphone Market

first_imgA consumer displaying off the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. (Photo Credit: BGR India) Advertisement Xiaomi is among the top smartphone brands in the world—currently ranked 4th after Samsung, Huawei, and Apple who have dominated the smartphone market globally. However, being listed as the 4th since its foundation in 2010, gives at a chance to perform better, as well as stand a chance of taking on the giant 3 looking at the perspective that the brand is growing beyond Asia.The Chinese-based electronics and hardware company makes and invests in smartphones, mobile applications, laptops, and related consumer electronics. However, in this article we want to look at its smartphone part—branded under the Mi and Redmi series.It’s handful of smartphones are popular in China and India, and they have been dubbed the Apple of China. It’s worthy knowing that these handsets are gaining popularity gradually because of their affordability, and the uniqueness their add to their smartphones. On the other hand, consumers always opt to try something new. – Advertisement – Xiaomi has to battle with the likes of Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo to dominate the smartphone market in its home country, China. But, Huawei still dominates this, and it’s going to take time for Xiaomi to take on the giant. In a report by Market Intelligence firm; TrendForce, said Huawei is expected to surpass Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone maker. Thus, Xiaomi would need to work hard to win the dominance in their home country to claim Huawei’s position.However, in this article we look at Xiaomi’s future in Uganda. The company made a grand entrance last year—and their announcement was made at 6th Anniversary press conference. Then the company officially launched the Xiaomi Redmi S2 in Uganda. The unveil of the handset was made by Rizwan Devani, local distributor for Xiaomi smartphones in Africa.Rizwan Devani, the local distributor for Xiaomi smartphones in Africa speaks to the press during the Jumia anniversary briefing at their newly unveiled warehouse on 5th street industrial area in Kampala Uganda on Wednesday 11th, July 2018.Launching, and starting its distribution of its handsets to Uganda, means the brand is ready to take on competitors; like Tecno, Infinix, and itel who have dominated the market. The three brands who belong to the same mother company; Transsion Holdings—but have different target groups claim about 80% of Uganda’s smartphone market.So, we asked ourselves if the brand could stand its ground in Uganda taking on its strongest competitors from Transsion Holdings who have leveraged the market. And in our opinion, we think the company could stand the ground, if;Budget prices, but still good quality handsets Xiaomi phones are budget friendly, and it’s one of the reasons the company is able to get good sales. Not only in Uganda, but worldwide, consumers love/like something that is budget friendly—and in good quality. Not a budget handset, but turns out to be a consumers nightmare.Most of Transsion Holdings handsets are mid-range and entry-level smartphones which are budget friendly have been bought highly. The specs and features do favor as well, making a consumer more comfortable to buy the phone.If Xiaomi holds on to this, it could have a stand in the market. Handsets from Apple, Samsung, and Huawei are less used/bought because of its pricing. These companies barely even ship in the products in the country. Most of the products we see in the market are mostly brought in by business persons.Redmi Note 7 launched on Thursday 10th, Jan. 2019 at an unveiling event in China. (Photo Courtesy)We do count camera, and memory as part of good quality handset. It comes to smartphone manufacturers attention that camera plays a big role for a consumer to consider while buying a smartphone. Xiaomi has indeed mastered this keeping their spot in the competition. Thus, will be able to stand in Uganda’s smartphone market as well.Create awareness A few people know of the existence of Mi and Redmi smartphones in Uganda. The handsets are barely advertised. Unveiling handset events aren’t held at least for one or two phones to easily reach more consumers. Influencing a technique Transsion Holdings has mastered, could help Xiaomi out a lot. With this, Xiaomi will have its stand in the market.Persistence is key The sales might not turn out as the company’s expectations looking at the perspective that consumers are still trying to adopt to the new market as most of them are used to the old market i.e. Tecno, Infinix, and itel handsets.Some of the available handsets in Uganda include; the Redmi Note 4, Redmi S2, Redmi 6A, Redmi 6, Mi Note 6 Pro, Mi Note 3, among others. They can be found online, Jumia or in authorized smartphone shops.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.Monday 1 SeptemberRACING2.10 LeicesterDalasi 15/2 > 4/12.20 HuntingdonFlash Crash 7/1 > 4/12.50 HuntingdonKey Chain 12/1 > 13/23.50 HuntingdonViking Ridge 11/4 > 7/44.00 BrightonDarting 9/2 > 5/24.40 HuntingdonClassic Flyer 8/1 > 9/25.20 HuntingdonIts Pandorama 5/2 > 6/4What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img


first_imgWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 1 MayRACING4.10 LingfieldAmazing Speed 2/1 > 11/85.45 LingfieldRise To Glory 9/1 > 11/26.25 BangorMor Brook 4/1 > 9/47.55 FontwellWalk Of Shame 11/1 > 6/1FOOTBALL7.45pm SKY SPORTS 51/8 Celtic 18/1 Dundee 15/2 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img


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Rice Student Shines in Double Life of Ballet Academia

first_imgShare CONTACT: David Kaplan PHONE: (713)831-4791E-MAIL: RICE STUDENT SHINES IN DOUBLE LIFE OF BALLET,ACADEMIAWhen Rice University student AyishaMcMillan learned that she landed her first big role with the Houston Ballet, shewas so thrilled that she could barely settle down enough to prepare for herperformances. She discovered that the best way to relax was to listen to herfavorite rock singer Ani Difranco. One of her favorite Difranco songs is “JoyfulGirl” (“I do it for the joy it brings/ ‘Cause I’m a joyful girl”). The song describes McMillan and relates to her part in “Rapture,” which she says is about “heaven and being in heaven. My role wasvery, very happy” and, she says, her character was “pure and grateful.”McMillan, a 20-year-old African-American who hails from the OakPark suburb of Chicago, has been a happy and grateful member of the HoustonBallet since May of ’96, the same year in which she began attendingRice.She had one of the featured roles in Lila York’s exciting newwork “Rapture,” which the Houston Ballet performed in Houston’s Wortham Theater,May 21-31.The ever-exuberant McMillan has been studying ballet since age2. At 15 she moved to Houston, after being accepted into the Houston BalletAcademy. She became a member of the Houston Ballet Company in May of’96.Her demanding work schedule at the ballet does not allow her tohave a full course load at Rice, but she has been able to immerse herself in arich variety of courses, most of them in the humanities. She finds the exchangesin class among classmates and teachers to be “really exciting.”After her ballet career ends, and she earns her degree,McMillan would like to work as a museum curator. She says her dream job would becurating at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her mother is Connie Van Brunt, theexecutive director of Chicago’s Community Youth Creative Learning Experience(CYCLE), a program for Chicago inner-city children. McMillan may very well have more great ballet roles in herfuture. Houston Ballet Academy principal Clara Cravey says that McMillan is anexceptionally versatile dancer who can shine in both classical and contemporarygenres. Ones of the reasons Cravey says she loves watching McMillan perform isthat “she has such a wonderful personality which she is able to project onstage.” Cravey also describes McMillan as “an idealistic student, in class aswell as in person.”For an interview with Ayisha McMillan or for more informationplease call David Kaplan at (713) 831-4791, or e-mail at .### AddThislast_img read more

Supramolecules get time to shine

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327druth@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduSupramolecules get time to shineRice technique reveals interactions between nanotubes, photoluminescent materialsWhat looks like a spongy ball wrapped in strands of yarn — but a lot smaller — could be key to unlocking better methods for catalysis, artificial photosynthesis or splitting water into hydrogen, according to Rice University chemists who have created a platform to analyze interactions between carbon nanotubes and a wide range of photoluminescent materials. The microscopic particles assembled in the lab of Angel Martí, an assistant professor of chemistry and bioengineering, combine single-walled carbon nanotubes with porous silicate materials that can absorb various molecules — in this case, a ruthenium complex.Martí, graduate student and lead author Avishek Saha and their colleagues reported their results today in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science.The ability to immobilize individual carbon nanotubes on a solid surface is interesting enough, but combining supramolecular systems with nanomaterials to produce hybrids is unique, they said.“This can be used as a general platform to study the interaction of not only ruthenium complexes, but most photoactive molecules can be encapsulated within these porous silicates in a very simple way without chemical modification, without anything,” Marti said.Saha endured trial and error at every step in bringing the new particles to fruition, first figuring out the best way to keep long, single-walled carbon nanotubes produced by the Rice-born HiPco process from aggregating into bundles while allowing them to adhere to the particles.The solution suggested by co-author Matteo Pasquali, a Rice professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering and in chemistry, involved dissolving the bundles in chlorosulfonic acid, which added protons — and thus a positive charge — to each nanotube.That was the key to making nanotubes attractive to the three types of silicate particles tested: a commercial version of MCM-41, a mesoporous material used as a molecular sieve; another version of MCM-41 synthesized at Rice by Saha, and microporous Zeolyte-Y.“We don’t fully understand the mechanism, but the truth is they have a very strong affinity to silicon oxide networks,” said Marti, describing the nanotube-wrapped particles. “Once they’re protonated, they just bind.” But that wasn’t enough to create a proper platform because protonated nanoparticles are no longer photoluminescent, a quality the researchers required to “see” such tiny structures under a spectroscope. “Protonated nanotubes are cool, but we want to have pristine nanotubes,” Martí said. “We were stuck there for a while. We tried a lot of things,” he said. Acetone, ammonia, chloroform and other substances would deprotonate the nanotubes, but would also release them from the silicate sponges and allow them to clump. But vinylpyrrolidone (VP) did the trick by giving the nanotubes a polymer-like coating while returning them to their pristine states.“This becomes interesting not only from the standpoint of getting individualized nanotubes on top of a surface, but also because we got fluorescence of nanotubes not from a solution, but from a solid material,” Martí said. The experiment went one critical step further when the researchers introduced ruthenium molecules to the mix. The silicates absorbed the ruthenium molecules, putting them into close proximity with an array of nanotubes. Under a spectroscope, the ruthenium complexes would photoluminesce, but they saw something unexpected in the interaction.“Basically, we found out that if you put a photoactive species (ruthenium) there and excite it with light, two different processes happen. If it has carbon nanotubes close by, it will transfer an electron to the nanotubes. There’s a charge transfer, and we knew that would happen,” Martí said. “What we didn’t expect when we analyzed the spectrum was seeing two different species of ruthenium complexes, one with a very short photoluminescence lifetime and one very long.”The researchers theorized that ruthenium in the center of the sponge was too far from the nanotubes to transfer electrons, so it retained its standard luminescence. The research leads to some interesting possibilities for materials science, Saha said. “MCM itself has many applications (as a mesoporous sieve in fuel refineries, for instance), and carbon nanotubes are wonderful materials that many people are interested in. We’re just combining these two into a hybrid material that might have the virtues of both.”While pore sizes in zeolites are locked by their crystalline structure at 0.7 nanometers, pores in MCM can be customized, as Saha has done, to absorb specific materials. “There are many things we can do to tune the system that we haven’t explored,” he said; combining metal molecules or even quantum dots with MCM and nanotubes might lead to interesting results.Martí said putting charged nanotubes on the surface of a solid also opens the door to use them as catalysts in solar-energy conversion. “You need that driving force, that charge separation, for artificial photosynthesis,” he said. Co-authors of the paper are Rice graduate students Saunab Ghosh and Natnael Behabtu.The Welch Foundation supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at a high-resolution images at (graphic)Rice University researchers have found a way to bind carbon nanotubes to a porous silicate particles to create supramolecules. The new material allows researchers to test interactions between nanotubes and photoluminescent materials. (Credit: Martí Lab/Rice University)(researchers)Rice University researchers have created a platform to analyze interactions between carbon nanotubes and a wide range of photoluminescent materials. The authors of a new paper in Chemical Science are, clockwise from top: Professor Matteo Pasquali, Natnael Behabtu, Professor Angel Martí, Avishek Saha and Saunab Ghosh.(Credit Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) AddThislast_img read more

Joel Shapiros New Installation to open at Rice Gallery Feb 2

first_imgAddThis ShareAmy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduJoel Shapiro’s ‘New Installation’ to open at Rice Gallery Feb. 2Celebrated American sculptor Joel Shapiro will be on hand for the opening of “New Installation” Feb. 2 at Rice Gallery. The opening celebration will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature complimentary beverages. The event is free and open to the public.Rice Gallery is located in Sewall Hall on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St. For directions, go to for his geometric, abstract sculptures that appear to bound across museum walls, floors and sculpture gardens, Shapiro has embarked on an entirely new body of work. He created room-sized installations of colorful shapes and lines that seem to hover in suspended animation. In a gravity-defying array of color and form, Shapiro’s “New Installation” will suspend wooden planks that have been vibrantly painted with supersaturated pigment from the gallery’s 16-foot ceiling.Shapiro described his approach to installation art as “the projection of thought into space without the constraint of architecture” and said, “I feel like I’ve been working for so long to have finally built up this moment of discovery that I can get the work off the floor and be more playful in the air.” Shapiro will speak at the opening at 6 p.m.For more on “New Installation,” go to of the news media who want to attend the preview should RSVP to Amy Hodges or 713-348-6777.A high resolution photo of Shapiro’s artwork is available here: read more

New Rice University center is first to connect human sciences energy environmental

first_imgAddThis ShareNEWS RELEASEDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff New Rice University center is first to connect human sciences, energy, environmental researchHOUSTON – (April 30, 2013) – A new center at Rice University will merge the fields of human sciences with energy and environmental research.DOMINIC BOYERConveniently located in the country’s energy capital, Rice’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) will be the world’s first research center that focuses on understanding the relationship among humans, energy and the environment.“As part of Rice’s ongoing commitment to world-class initiatives in energy and environmental research, we believe the humanities and interpretative social sciences are well-positioned to inaugurate a vibrant, dynamic and robust new center that symbolizes the qualities, the distinctiveness of this institution and our aspirations in this area,” said Rice Provost George McLendon.The center will be part of Rice’s Energy and Environment Initiative (E2I), a universitywide effort that supports interdisciplinary research and draws experts from every corner of the university to work with Houston’s energy industry to overcome barriers to the sustainable development and use of current and alternative forms of energy.Professor of Anthropology Dominic Boyer will serve as CENHS’s founding director. “A common purpose unites us in the center: the effort to leverage all the intellectual resources of the university to help investigate the causes and consequences of the impact of human life on this planet and to discover ways of making the footprint of human society less heavy,” Boyer said. “We have just taken a significant step forward with Rice’s decision to found the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences.”The center is an outgrowth of Rice’s Cultures of Energy initiative, which was established in 2011 as an interdisciplinary platform for promoting humanities research and teaching related to energy and the environment. It was established with seed funding from Rice’s Humanities Research Center and is currently supported by a Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.Boyer said the CENHS mission will be determined collectively by faculty, students and administrators in the months to come. The center’s work this year in the context of the Sawyer Seminar grant has already generated a number of research clusters, Boyer said, including a partnership with the Rice Arts Initiative to sponsor energy and environmental art on campus and in Houston. Additional inaugural research activities include an investigation of the social and material infrastructures upon which modern life depends and considering how they might change; the development of a distinctive philosophical and ethical approach to today’s energy challenges; an analysis of the aesthetics and imaginations of catastrophe, present and past; and exploration of the resiliency and activities of communities as they respond to energy development and its environmental implications.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to last_img read more