The minister for disabled people appears to have a

first_imgThe minister for disabled people appears to have announced plans for a major expansion of the Motability car scheme for disabled people, which for the first time would allow people with lower mobility support needs to lease a vehicle.The scheme has previously only allowed disabled people claiming the higher rate of mobility support – under disability living allowance (DLA) and its replacement, personal independence payment (PIP) – to use that benefit to lease a Motability vehicle.But Penny Mordaunt appeared to announce this week – in a move likely to shock disabled activists and disability organisations – that ministers were now poised to extend eligibility to join Motability to more disabled people, such as those on the standard mobility rate of PIP.There was confusion about the announcement, though, because recipients of the standard mobility rate receive only £21.80 per week, compared with £57.45 a week for recipients of the higher, enhanced rate.That is unlikely to cover the cost of leasing a new car, as well as insurance, servicing, repairs, maintenance, breakdown assistance and fitting adaptations, all of which are covered by the Motability scheme.Mordaunt made the announcement yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon as she responded to a debate* on employment and support allowance (ESA) and personal independence payment (PIP) secured by the SNP’s Angela Crawley.The minister told MPs that the transition from DLA to PIP had been a “challenging time for individuals” and that ministers were “aware of how difficult that situation is” for disabled people “told that you will lose your vehicle with only a few weeks to make alternative arrangements”.Mordaunt (pictured) then announced measures that seemed to be aimed at helping three groups of Motability customers: those appealing against losing their entitlement to higher rate mobility support; those who leave the country for more than 13 weeks, for example to study or take a sabbatical; and those who do not qualify for higher-rate mobility support.Currently, DLA or PIP claimants have to hand their vehicles back to Motability if they lose their eligibility for the enhanced rate of mobility support after a PIP assessment, even if they decide to appeal against that decision.But Mordaunt said: “We have been discussing with relevant departments ways to enable PIP claimants to keep their vehicle pending appeal, and are exploring potential options to allow those who are not in receipt of the higher [mobility] component to have access to the Motability scheme.“I am also exploring how claimants who are out of the country for extended periods can be better supported.“We have a plan, and Treasury’s blessing, and this week I have written to Motability to ask for their help to deliver it.“I anticipate it will require some changes to their processes, but I know as they have done in the past that they will do all they can to help us in this matter.”She also pointed out that Motability had already provided a £175 million package of support for DLA claimants who have lost their eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support – and can therefore no longer lease a Motability vehicle – after being reassessed for PIP.This package includes a one-off payment of £2,000 for those who joined the scheme before January 2013.Mordaunt’s announcements are likely to be a response to mounting concerns about the impact of the move from DLA to PIP on tens of thousands of Motability customers.In July, Disability News Service (DNS) revealed that disabled people were being forced to hand back their Motability vehicles at a rate of up to 700 a week after PIP assessments.Motability expects 35,000 vehicles to be handed back by disabled people during 2016 as a result of the government’s programme to reassess working-age DLA claimants for PIP.Of customers who had been reassessed for PIP, Motability’s figures showed that 44 per cent of them had lost their entitlement to the scheme and had had to return their vehicle.Mordaunt’s announcement may also have been designed to try to head off some of the criticism of the impending cut of £30-a-week to payments made to claimants placed in the employment and support allowance work-related activity group.She had already announced to the work and pensions committee, earlier in the week, that she was working on urgent plans to cut the living costs faced by disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits, which appear to involve attempts to cut their “non-work-related costs”, such as energy, broadband and phone bills.Mordaunt’s announcement appeared to have taken both Motability and DWP’s press office by surprise.A Motability spokeswoman told DNS: “Motability will be having discussions with the minister on various subjects over the coming weeks.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “We continually review all of our programmes, and are currently looking at aspects of the Motability scheme to determine whether any improvements can be made.“There have been no decisions on any changes to the scheme.”*Her announcements are made from 3.56pm onwardslast_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA 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… Liberal Democrats have called for an end to “discriminatory” laws that allow people with mental health conditions or learning difficulties who have capacity to make their own decisions to be detained against their will.Current mental health legislation means that a person assessed as needing urgent medical treatment and assessment because of a “mental disorder” can be detained in hospital against their will.But party members argued that detaining people based on whether they have a “mental disorder” was discriminatory, a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and discouraged people from being open about their mental health.Party members voted at their annual conference in Brighton this week to demand sweeping reform of the law in England and Wales, despite substantial opposition.They agreed that people with mental health conditions or learning difficulties should not be forced to have medical treatment unless they do not have the capacity to make a decision about whether they wish to have that treatment.And they said that people should be able to make advance decisions – as defined in the Mental Capacity Act – to refuse detention or treatment.They also fended off efforts from some party members to amend the motion so that individuals could be forced to be treated and detained, even if they had capacity, if their refusal would pose a serious risk of harm to themselves or others.One delegate compared the current legislation to historic witchcraft and slavery laws, and the Spanish Inquisition.He and others argued that people who have capacity to make their own decisions, but have a mental health condition or learning difficulty, should not face the possibility of being detained against their wishes in hospital.Henry Jones (pictured, proposing the motion), who has a degenerative neurological condition, described how he had been held against his will in hospital for six months.He had spoken at the time of wanting to end his own life because of his condition, and as a result “two large men showed up at my home” and took him into detention in a locked mental health ward.He told delegates: “Even with my condition I had capacity. They treated me like an animal, they did everything they could to break me.“It achieved nothing except to make me never ever want to engage with mental health services.”But, he said, it did “make me want to reform the law before passing on”.He said that if he had been treated “like a human” by mental health professionals he could have “talked openly about what was happening in my brain… it would have saved me and others around me four years of hell”.He added: “All I am asking for is for us to have the same basic human dignity that other people have.”Another party member, Andrew Muir, told the conference how his wife had been sectioned in 2006 after she complained about treatment she had received at a Scottish hospital.She was forced to take medication while in detention for 51 days – when there was no evidence of mental ill-health – and was physically abused by staff, and then forced to take drugs for another year when she was released on a community order.He also said that the review of the Mental Health Act 1983 – being led by psychiatrist Professor Sir Simon Wessely – should instead be led by a human rights expert.Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton also spoke in favour of the motion.He said: “In Scotland – and I am sure south of the border – we are stripping people of their basic right to be heard.“People in the grip of mental illness, that’s when their human rights matter most.”A string of mental health professionals spoke against the motion, including one who accused it of “muddle” and being “full of misconceptions”, and another who said it was “unworkable and not sensible” and would remove protections that were available in the Mental Health Act.But one psychiatrist, Mohsin Khan, who supported the motion, pointed out that similar laws to those suggested had been introduced in some US states and Northern Ireland.He said the motion “merely brings mental health in line with what happens with physical health”, and would allow adults “who have consistent, long-term capacity to rationally decide to make decisions for their own body for the future”.last_img read more

CASTLEFORD come to Langtree Park tonight seeking t

first_imgCASTLEFORD come to Langtree Park tonight seeking their first summer era away win at the Saints.In the 15 visits they made to Knowsley Road between 1996 and 2010, the Tigers were defeated on 14 occasions – with a 32-32 draw on September 13 1998.The Tigers have also lost at Anfield (1997), Widnes (2011) and six times at Langtree Park since 2012.Castleford’s last win at St Helens was 12-8 in the third round of the Regal Trophy on December 19, 1992 – and their last league win was 29-16 on October 21, 1990.Last Ten Meetings:Castleford 20, St Helens 30 (SLR13, 1/5/16)St Helens 28, Castleford 22 (SLR4, 4/3/16)Castleford 38, St Helens 42 (SLS8-R5, 10/9/15)Castleford 25, St Helens 24 (SLR19, 18/6/15)St Helens 21, Castleford 14 (SLR3, 27/2/15)St Helens 41, Castleford 0 (SLQPO, 19/9/14)St Helens 38, Castleford 16 (SLR17, 22/6/14)Castleford 28, St Helens 30 (SLR8, 11/4/14)Castleford 24, St Helens 40 (SLR21, 7/7/13)St Helens 48, Castleford 18 (SLR10, 1/4/13)Super League Summary:St Helens won 37 (includes wins in 1999 and 2014 play-offs)Castleford won 5High and Lows:1 drawSt Helens highest score: 72-4 (A, 2006) (also widest margin)Castleford highest score: 36-22 (H, 2002) (Widest margin: 35-16, H, 1997)Head to Head (Regular Season): SaintsCastlefordTries103116Goals8991Metres29,62830,337Breaks125155Tackles7,6937,856Penalties192191Career and Club Milestones Involving Tonight’s Teams:James Roby needs three tries to reach a career century of touchdowns. He has touched down 90 times for St Helens since 2004, to go with 7 tries for England (2008-2013 & 2015). He also has non-scoring appearances for Great Britain (2006-2007).Denny Solomona needs three tries to equal the Castleford seasonal record, set by the late St John Ellis in 1993-94.Ellis touched down 40 times in 41 games for the club in that campaign, while Solomona has scored 37 tries in 26 games this season.Luke Gale needs seven points to reach 500 for Castleford. His total of 493 has been reached with 18 tries, 209 goals and 3 field goal in 56 games for the Tigers since 2015.Super League Milestones:(Players reaching significant figures in Super League games only, including play-offs & Super League Super 8s)Denny Solomona needs one try to equal Lesley Vainikolo’s regular season record for tries scored. He has touched down 35 times in 2016, to close in on Vainikolo’s total of 36, set in 2004.Three tries will also see Solomona equal the overall seasonal Super League record shared by Vainikolo and Danny McGuire, who each finished the 2004 campaign on 38 tries after that year’s play-offs and Grand Final.Solomona’s hat-trick against Wakefield last weekend also set a new Super League record for try trebles in a single season. It was his sixth hat-trick of the year, surpassing Lesley Vainikolo’s five – scored in 2004.Kyle Amor – 1 appearance away from 150 (3 for Leeds, 2010; 74 for Wakefield, 2011-2013 and 72 for St Helens, 2014-2016)Try-Scoring Runs:Castleford’s Denny Solomona (3-1-3), have all scored tries in their sides’ last three matches.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:(League games & Super 8s)Tries:1 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 352 Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 233 Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons) 194 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves) 176 = Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) 168 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Fetuli Talanoa (Hull FC), Adam Swift (St Helens), Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 14Goals:1 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 1052 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1043 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 824 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 785 = Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 697 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 608 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 569 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 5510 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 51Goals Percentage:1 Declan Patton (Warrington Wolves) 100.00 (10/10)2 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 84.37 (27/32)3 Thomas Bosc (Catalans Dragons) 84.21 (16/19)4 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 83.87 (104/124)5 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 81.08 (60/74)6 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 78.84 (82/104)7 Mark Percival (St Helens) 77.77 (28/36)8 Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos) 76.74 (33/43)9 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 76.64 (105/137)10 = Jamie Ellis (Huddersfield Giants), Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers) 76.47 (13/17)Points:1 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 2362 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 2293 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 1884 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1745 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 1646 = Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1588 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 1409 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Luke Walsh (St Helens) 132last_img read more

SAINTS would like to pass on their best wishes and

first_imgSAINTS would like to pass on their best wishes and thanks to all the players that are leaving the Club at the end of the season.Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “It is always hard when a player leaves the Saints as they have become part of the culture we have at the club.“All these players have represented the Saints professionally and we wish them all the best for the future.”Jordan Turner has joined Canberra Raiders on a two-year contract. The 27-year-old Grand Final winner scored 200 points for the Saints following his signing from Hull FC in 2012.Travis Burns will play for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls next season. He played 34 times for the club, scoring 72 points, before moving to Leigh on loan earlier in the year.Luke Walsh is returning home to Australia after three years with the Saints. The half back played 64 times for the club, scoring 466 points.Lama Tasi has left the club to move on to pastures new. He played in 19 games since signing from Salford in 2015. The forward had previously been with Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos. He has re-joined the Red Devils.As previously reported, Atelea Vea has moved to Leigh Centurions on a two-year deal. The 29-year-old makes the move after two seasons with the Saints, having previously been with London Broncos.Andre Savelio has joined Warrington on a one-year contract. The 21-year-old made 42 appearances for the club following his debut in 2014. He’s also played for England’s Under 16s and 18s and toured Australia with the Academy in 2011.Earlier in the season, Matty Dawson joined Leigh Centurions and will play for them in Super League. He moved for a five figure transfer fee and played 50 times for the Saints before joining his new club.Shannon McDonnell has left the club to return home to Australia where he will be involved with real estate. He made 56 appearances in two spells for the Saints, scoring 15 tries.Lewis Charnock has joined Barrow on a two-year contract. The 22-year-old played six times for the Saints and made his debut against Salford in 2013. He scored two tries and kicked eight goals in the Red V.Olly Davies is set to move to a Championship club. The forward played twice in the first team for the Saints as well as captaining the Reserves in 2016.Matt Haggarty is also set to join a Championship club. The forward has been on loan with Dewsbury and Salford since joining the club in 2015 – and on dual registration with Rochdale and North Wales Crusaders.Finally, Levy Nzoungou has joined Melbourne Storm U20s. He signed from Toulouse after impressing on trial. He also played three games for the Toulouse first team before opting to link up with the Saints.Saints have signed Luke Douglas, Adam Walker, Ryan Morgan and Matty Smith so far ahead of the 2017 season.last_img read more

Fans will see a blend of youth and experience in J

first_imgFans will see a blend of youth and experience in Justin Holbrook’s side with the likes of Theo Fages and Danny Richardson appearing alongside Matty Costello, James Bentley and eight top age players from our Academy system.Mark Aston’s team are further into their pre-season fixture programme and will put out a strong squad that will include new signing and USA Hawks captain Mark Offerdahl.Matty Fozard and Oli Davies will also face their former teammates whilst fans will no doubt be familiar with the likes of Jordan Tansey too.“I am excited,” Aston said earlier in the week. “We’re in that transition where we’ve got rid of players and fetched some new ones in and hopefully we can start developing them and this culture within the group.“It will be good to see where we’re at against a team who will play quick. It will be good to get out there, have a go and see where we are.”Squads:Saints: Aaron Smith, Adam Swift, Alex Eckley, Ben Morris, Callum Hazard, Cameron Brown, Chris Follin, Danny Richardson, Dominique Peyroux, Jack Ashworth, Jake Spedding, James Bentley, John Hutchings, Jorge Lewtas, Josh Eaves, Kevin Brown, Kyle Amor, Liam Cooper, Mathew Costello, Matty Lees, Matty Smith, Regan Grace, Rob Fairclough, Ryan Morgan, Theo Fages, Tom Nisbet.Sheffield: Ben Blackmore, Blake Broadbent, Daniel Igbinedion, Greg Burns, Iliess Macani, Jon Magrin, Jordan Tansey, Josh Toole, Kieran Moran, Mark Offerdahl, Matt James, Matty Fozard, Max Garcia, Oliver Davies, Oscar Thomas, Ryan Millar, Shaun Pick, Tom McGretton.The game kicks off at 3.30pm at Ruskin Sports Village and we will provide the best coverage we possibly can over at @saints1890 on Twitter.We will also make extended highlights available as soon as possible after the game.last_img read more

Cape Fear Community College to close Monday evening

first_img The 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony is canceled from Tuesday.CFCC will provide information and updates on the CFCC website, social media sites at the CFCC Emergency Information hotline (1-877-799-2322) and to local news media outlets. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% Surf City will not resume dune restoration until November2:24Gov. Cooper tours Fair Bluff Fire Station, talks hurricane recovery0:55School supply giveaway aims to help those affected by Florence1:41Northside Pool repairs almost complete0:30Support the Port among winners of disaster recovery grant0:56Vet receives a free roof after losing one to Florence0:55HOPE NC INTERVIEW3:25Hampstead woman loses home in Florence, surprised with help 10 months later2:04Tropical Integrated Warning Team meeting helps agencies prepare during hurricane season1:56US 421 bridge work continues after Florence washout0:47Teens help those affected by Hurricane Florence, Matthew2:08Florence victims face 100-degree days in FEMA trailers1:04Volunteers desperately needed to assist with building efforts after Hurricane Florence3:39Hurricane shifts sand in coastal waters, could increase swimming threats2:13First responders join WARM in hurricane recovery efforts0:59Oak Island Pier set to reopen Wednesday0:25Oceanic Restaurant ready to dive in on Mother’s Day0:30Possible return date for Jervay community released2:18New Hanover Schools hourly employees won’t get paid for five days2:14Hurricane Recovery round table gives residents access to mroe help post-Florence2:10Brunswick Town Historic Site museum reopens Saturday1:00Wilmington man meets paramedics who saved his life hours before hurricane2:20Rep. David Rouzer talks Mueller report, storm recovery4:24Spruce up your yard at annual spring plant sale in Burgaw0:47RESIDE Disaster Relief Shelter holds rubbon cutting0:54Students say “Thank you” to first responders1:25AG sues Florida tree removal company for alleged price gouging in Wilmington2:14’Cross Creek Hero’ continues to lend a helping hand2:17USO shows appreciation to the coast guard, shutdown, hurricane0:52Proposed tax credit could assist repairs for historic homes in disaster zones2:04Two New Hanover schools to move into new buildings next month1:26NC students write book about experience with Hurricane Florence1:22Luncheon highlights ’growth and transformation’ in downtown Wilmington0:32Gov. Roy Cooper says downtown Wilmington ’revitalized’ after Florence2:02Community rolls together to get topsail beach skating rink back open after storm1:36Cape Fear Garden Club plants the seed for Airlie Gardens’ Florence recovery0:57Wilmington firefighters honored for rescue during Hurricane Florence1:50Rep. David Rouzer talks rebuilding damaged dike in Bladen County1:40Fix to Kelly dike system still in limbo following community conversation2:13Neighbors fight to stop construction of ’essential’ hospital water system2:31County, city still waiting on millions in Florence reimbursement1:51Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo talks Florence recovery 6 months after storm1:51Boiling Spring Lakes: Only 40% of recovery completed since historic hurricane2:26Owner moves to new location after Florence wipes out iconic restaurant1:06Pender community surfs its way to recovery months after storm1:27ONLY ON WWAY: Gov. Cooper gives recovery update six months post-Florence7:42’This is a miracle’: Whitestocking community gets help to rebuild church2:19Bethlehem Baptist Church is on the road to recovery after Florence1:22800+ Pender students still displaced several months after historic hurricane1:58Are some homes worth the renovation after Hurricane Florence?1:17Free seeds offer easier start to families replanting0:54Cape Fear Volunteer Center needs help moving Florence survivors into new homes0:53Florence survivor finds new housing, not out of the woods yet0:31Rebuild continues almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence1:35Rebuild continues almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence2:19Florence destroys Pender County farm, help comes from across country2:07How can we improve for next time? Pender reviews storm response to Florence1:40USS Battleship North Carolina continues to battle Mother Nature1:54Will Carolina Beach businesses reopen in time for start of season?2:05FEMA assistance starts to end, Florence victims still without homes2:07New Hanover County issues Hurricane Florence after action report1:22Veteran forced out of garage after Florence moves into camper0:31Gov. Cooper proposes funding aimed to help schools recovering from Florence1:44Florence clean up efforts ongoing1:54Pender Co. ends Hurricane Florence state of emergency0:16Volunteers needed to clean up Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve in Leland0:30University breaks ground on new student housing0:57Topsail Island is back open post-Florence1:38Barfield: ’State of the county is strong’2:17Habitat breaks ground on 4 new homes in Wilmington0:54Volunteer attorneys could help homeowners denied help from FEMA4:06Pro bono FEMA clinic for those affected by Hurricane Florence4:06First ever pender county state of education and economy held in burgaw1:52Wrightsville Beach restaurant closed since Florence starts rehiring staff0:53Hurricane Florence victims can still apply for disaster mitigation0:55Are you ready for breakfast?1:00Historic grounds reopens after shutdown1:27Hurricane Florence recovery summit brings survivors together1:31New Wrightsville Beach school planned with storms, floods in mind0:33TX official offers affordable housing advice after experiencing Hurricane Harvey1:04Whitestocking residents welcome truckload of donations from Pennsylvania3:06FEMA hosting meeting to address flood mitigation questions, concerns3:39University still repairing classrooms and apartments four months after hurricane0:30Cooper to Trump: End shutdown so NC can rebuild after Hurricane Florence0:33Experts say affordable housing is in more trouble following Florence0:58Stranger drives across country to reunite NC boy fighting cancer with his dog2:19Will a $2M flood plan save the Battleship North Carolina parking lot?1:05Woman says Florence damage is severely affecting her health1:54When you can learn more about applying for buyouts on flood-prone homes0:25Pender County students to receive free meals through January 310:20Animal aid group says majority of supplies lost after theft1:02Duke energy wants customers to help with $760m storm cost0:44Find out how you can help the environment by getting rid of your Christmas tree1:02New study researches how Hurricane Florence could have impacted pregnancies2:16Ward gives back to his community during the holidays1:32Gov. Cooper reflects on efforts to rebuild following Hurricane Florence3:14Gov. Cooper: 2018 was a tough year for North Carolina2:37Man designs ornaments made from Florence debris0:38Businesses team up to host Hurricane Florence recovery fundraiser0:56Rain lowers ’Christmas on the Square’ turnout0:54XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cape Fear Community College will be closed at all campus locations for students, faculty and most staff members beginning Monday at 5 p.m. through Saturday due to the threat of Hurricane Florence.All events on CFCC campuses, as well as student events, athletic events, practices and related activities have been canceled.- Advertisement – last_img read more

WPD Validated gang member sold drugs near school

first_img Police say they found trafficking amounts of heroin, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, MDMA (Ecstasy) and more than $5,000.Clarida was charged with trafficking heroin, maintaining a dwelling to sell and deliver controlled substances, sell and deliver controlled substances within 1000 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, possession of MDMA, and possession of drug paraphernalia.WPD says Clarida was also wanted by NC Probation-Parole for violating his parole on a previous drug charge sentence.Related Article: Wilmington man sentenced to 8 years in deadly home invasionHe is in the New Hanover County Jail under a $415,000 secured bond. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say a validated gang member is behind bars Thursday following a month-long drug investigation.Members with the department’s Gang and Vice Units along with SWAT executed a search warrant early Thursday at 26-year-old Jarrin Anthony Clarida’s home at 1014 Love Alley.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Shutdown delays disaster relief for some NC farmers

first_imgFarmers say Hurricane Florence destroyed tobacco crops in NC. (Photo: Graham Boyd/Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina) CAPE FEAR, N.C. (AP) — The federal government shutdown is delaying disaster relief for some North Carolina farmers.The Fayetteville Observer reports the shutdown has mostly closed the federal Farm Service Agency responsible for a document required in farmer applications for state disaster relief. North Carolina set aside $240 million to assist farmers who sustained losses during Hurricane Florence and Michael last year.- Advertisement – The program is overseen by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and applications require certifications of acreage by the Farm Service Agency. State Department of Agriculture Chief Deputy Commissioner David Smith says about 900 farmers are waiting on that certification and more than 7,000 farmers say they need the program’s help.The Farm Service Agency says it won’t be working on relief programs when some offices open Friday and Tuesday.last_img read more

Cyclist grievously injured in road accident

first_imgA cyclist has suffered from grevious injuries after being hit by a minivan in Gudja on Sunday.The road accident happened at around 6.30am in Triq l-Avjazzjoni Civili.A Police spokesperson told that the mini-van driver is a 51-year-old from Attard who hit the cyclist whilst turning around the roundabout near the Malta International Airport.The cyclist was taken to Mater Dei Hospital by ambulance where he was later certified as suffering from grievous injuries. WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

Zambia ZICTA to Curb SIM Card Cellular Phones Crime

first_imgAdvertisement The phone serial number, which can be seen by typing star, hash the digits zero and six followed by another hash, would make it easy for the authority to trace stolen phones.With the issue of the anticipated migration from Analogue to Digital technology by June 17, 2015 that sparked murmurs from the audience during the ZICTA press conference held in Luangwa, Rufunsa and Chongwe on October 5, 6 and 7, 2011 respectively.The Digital Migration issue sparked that reaction when ZICTA consumer affairs manager Katwamba Mwansa, who was the team leader, explained that once that transition is made, Analogue television and radio sets will become useless because they will be unable to receive digital signals. – Advertisement – “Does that mean that our analogue television and radio sets will have to be disposed of?” That was the question being raised during the press conference. Mr Mwansa explained that to avoid television and radio sets being turned into white elephants owing to their analogue technology status, either one buys a decoder to be used to convert analogue signals to digital or buy digital-ready sets.He, however, clarified later after winding up the trip that, “For now, the focus is on television. We will deal with radio later. However, radio broadcasters can deploy digital transmitters and still broadcast.”He attributed the failure by some car stereos in some imported motor vehicles from countries like Japan to access other radio stations as being not compatible with analogue technology Zambia is currently using. Mr Mwansa explained that with Digital Migration, that vacuum or space currently existing when one wants to tune to another station on both radio and television will be a thing of the past.For instance, that space between television or radio stations can be filled up with five to over 10 stations.ZICTA embarked on such vigorous sensitisation programmes, particularly in rural areas across the country, following the realisation that despite its massive sensitisation, the authority was not receiving the feedback it expected. A Consumer Perceptions Survey conducted in Lusaka revealed that people in urban areas, especially in Lusaka, were more abreast with information on ZICTA than their rural counterparts.“As long as one person is educated (on ZICTA), we do derive some satisfaction,” says Mr Mwansa. It was at the same fora that murmurs were heard when the SIM and mobile phone registration besides Digital Migration matters were raised. Moreover, a majority of pupils had little or no knowledge about ZICTA.The Electronic Communications Transactions (ECT) Act No. 22 would enable the authority curb cyber crime such as internet pornography whose penalty is serving up to 10 years behind bars upon conviction.ZICTA’s other mandates are to license all operators (mobile phone, internet café, telecommunication repairers or dealers,…), facilitate access to ICTs, protect consumer rights and interests and promote competition.Mr Mwansa said owing to its regulatory role, ZICTA had scored a number of successes and cited among others the licensing of three mobile phone “powerhouses” in Airtel, MTN and Zamtel which is under the auspices of Lap Green Networks. Airtel currently commands a market share of 61 percent; MTN 35 has percent while Cell Z holds a paltry four percent though is now becoming a force to reckon with due to improved opertions. Other achievements include the licensing of over 18 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), significant reduction in mobile phone tariffs and recording of over 5 million mobile phone subscribers and the target is to reach about 8 million before 2012.ZICTA consumer protection acting manager Edgar Mlauzi said consumers have several rights such as to receive high quality services, privacy.Mobile phone service providers have no right to meddle in the affairs of their clients.Mr Mlauzi explained that consumers have the right to full disclosure of information, that is, service providers when carrying out a promotion are advised to explicitly disclose the terms and conditions of their promotion. That also includes a provision of opting out in an event that a mobile subscriber, for instance is not interested in receiving more promotional messages.On consumer responsibilities, Mr Mlauzi explained that consumers are obliged to promptly pay their bills, properly use their products and services, stressing further on the latter that mobile service providers have been complaining to ZICTA that about 30 percent of the calls made to their customer care centres were prank, thus congesting the network.Acting Luangwa District Commissioner Musole Siachisa observed that ICTs are increasingly becoming part of the people’s daily lives as in the rural context ICTs were shaping and improving the socio-economic well-being of the people in areas like community healthcare, safe drinking water and sanitation.Mr Musole cited education, maternal health and reducing child mortality, women empowerment and environmental sustainability as other areas ICTs are instrumental. “It is for the above reasons that the Government has continuously embarked on structural and legislative reforms of the sector so that Zambia can harness and take full advantage of the benefits of the ICT sector,” he said.He said the government has embarked on an ambitious programme of Universal Access Fund with most of the activities under this being the construction of community towers in remote parts of the country. Over 300 sharable towers are expected to be mounted by the end of this year.Currently, over 80 towers have already been completed and are functional and Mr Musole assured Luangwa residents that even those in far flung areas will in the near future benefit from the fund.On Digital Migration, Mr Musole said to ensure that every citizen is able to watch and continue enjoying television, the Government has instituted a national taskforce to look into the modalities of that programme.Chief Mphuka of the Chikunda-speaking people wondered why ZICTA is taking long to mount a tower in his chiefdom despite having been assured in May this year that the problem is to be rectified in three month’s time. ZICTA identified two sites with one near his palace and at Kavalamanja.Both Mr Mwansa and Mr Musole, assured the traditional leader that his outcry was going to be addressed before the end of the year. He said the project is ongoing, adding that it was costly as mounting one tower gobbled about K2 billion and that the major stumbling block to the sites is the poor road network.Once mounted, mobile service providers, television and radio stations would be encouraged to mount their transmitters there, thus reducing on their costs of installing three independent transmitters.“Infrastructure sharing reduces the cost of providing services,” says Mr Mwansa, adding that doing so makee business sense. It is unhealthy to have three different roads leading to the service provider infrastructures.Besides lack of mobile phone network, residents from all the three areas complained among other things, receiving of unsolicited text messages and Airtel’s recent introduction of the K100 tariff for its subscribers to access the details of the Missed Call Notification, the latter Mr Mwansa conceded was ZICTA’s fault for approving that charge and that it was considering reviewing it.Mr Mwansa sums up that despite the high ICT illiteracy levels identified in Luangwa, Rufunsa and Chongwe and expressing optimism that ZICTA would meet the deadline of mounting the 300 towers, “We have met our objectives. The programme was successful.”Source: allafricalast_img read more

MTN Uganda Voted best Mobile Telephone Service provider

first_imgAdvertisement MTN Uganda has been awarded the Best Mobile Telecom provider of the year(2012) at the just concluded the 2013 Uganda Responsible Investment (URI) awards ceremony held at the Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala.According to Public Opinions the organizer of the Uganda Responsible Investment awards, MTN was voted for by the people of Uganda in appreciation and recognition of its contribution towards the promotion of international best practices and standards in their day to days operations such as; respect for internationally proclaimed rights of workers, elimination of discrimination in respect of occupation and employment, work against all forms of corruption including extortion and bribery, respect of public procurement guidelines, delivery of quality products and services, involvement in productive Corporate Social investment and environmental protection and payment of Taxes. – Advertisement – MTN Uganda is the largest telecom player in Uganda with close to 8million subscribers and the most robust mobile money service in Uganda with transactions in excess of 20 million per month. MTN is also the largest data provider in Uganda currently providing the fastest internet with the 42mbps, and LTE very close to going live. In a highly competitive environment, with seven network operators, MTN Uganda has maintained its leading position in subscriber numbers and market share. By year end 2012, MTN Uganda had 7.7 million subscribers and total 3.5 million Mobile Money users.“MTN as a good corporate citizen in Uganda has vowed to invest in the country and contribute to the growth of the economy. MTN’s investment in Uganda spans over 14 years of its existence and has reached innovation, capacity building, education, health and many other national priority areas. Our products and services, too, has been growing steadily, and our efforts will continue to be just as persistent as ever at ensuring that we lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers,” said Mazen Mroué, the MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer.Mr. Mroué reiterated that MTN has been providing best mobile network communication services, world class internet access, and high range of innovative products with wide footprint covering all regions and focus on giving back to the community through sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are some of the key success factors that have endeared the public to the telecom giant.“We continue to invest in Uganda so as to make our customer’s lives even better. In 2012, we invested in excess of $80million in upgrading infrastructure and reaching areas that were hitherto uncovered. This year, we plan to invest another $70million. All this is meant to create convenience and universal access for our customers and this is not just to communication, but to other fundamental human needs,” said Mroue.In 2012 alone MTN Uganda paid more than UGX 360 billion shillings in taxes to the Ugandan government. With a current workforce of 1,250 staff, the continuous investment by MTN in Uganda has enabled job creation with direct and indirect support for over 500,000 Ugandans which has largely contributed to the overall economic growth.Also, in 2012 MTN Uganda invested close to UGX1.5 billion shillings in training and development of its employees. The company is also committed to exporting talent and currently has more than 10 Ugandan employees working as expatriates for other MTN Operations in other countries holding senior positions, sharing knowledge and transferring skills across the MTN Group.Public Opinions is a civil society organization (CSO) which was founded by the late Brig. Noble Mayombo, former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defense at Makerere University in 2003 as a students’ forum for advocacy, research and study group on key issues of national and global concern. In partnership with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the CSO’s objective led to the formation of the Uganda Responsible Investment awards.PC Tech Magazine is NOT responsible for the contents of this Press Releaselast_img read more

Uganda Telecom to host African telecom wholesale industry at the Capacity Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Uganda Telecom will host over 500 senior-level professionals from over 180 organisations across Africa for the Capacity Africa conference starting with a Pre-event cocktail today Monday 26th September 2016 at the Infinity pool.  The two day conference starting Tuesday 27th September 2016 will be held at Speke Resort-Munyonyo. This conference will bring together the entire African telecom wholesale industry.“As the only Full spectrum Telecom provider and a market leader in the Enterprise and Wholesale telecom market in Uganda, we are thrilled to be hosting this conference. Capacity Africa provides the ultimate platform for us to network with existing partners and also establish new business partnerships within the continent. The conference also marks the 1oth anniversary of Capacity Africa and this is the first time it is being held in Kampala” remarked Mr Mark Shoebridge, Uganda Telecom’s Managing Director.According to the Capacity Africa website the choice to have it in Kampala will generate interest from new companies, creating the opportunity for new business partnerships, as well as bring a fresh focus to the conference. “With a flourishing local telecoms market and frequent international flight connections into Entebbe, Uganda will make a great new host country for Capacity Africa.”  – Advertisement – Quoted in a testimonial on the Capacity Africa website, the Managing Director of Africa Analysis, Mr. Dobek Pater had this to say about the last conference; “Capacity Africa proves once again that this is the prime event in the wholesale telecommunications market in Africa. It provided an opportunity to learn the latest market developments, and to interact with peers and competitors. The conference is the single best meeting place of African and global operators, vendors and service providers.”The guest of honor will be Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of ICT.  Other speakers who will grace the conference include; Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi, Managing Director, Uganda Communications Commission, Mr. Mark Shoebridge the MD of Uganda Telecom, Nic Rudnic of Liquid Telecom, Roger Sekaziga of Roke Telecom, Suzan Kitariko of Google Uganda and James Saaka of the Uganda National Information Technology Authority.last_img read more

BENS BLOG Rest Lion Rest

first_img[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ook over there, Blog. Can you see it? Can you see the old lion, with it’s battle scars, and beautifully worn mane? He lies in the shade, occasionally enjoying the afternoon sun, whilst licking his coat, letting life go by, and surveying the scene of all of the younger cubs, running about, trying to find their way. And he smiles to himself. He smiles with an aura of complete self-satisfaction.That lion, Blog, is Star mega-punter; The Dark Knight.He still likes to play. He still likes to jostle a bit, scrap with the new generation, and then occasionally; stand on top of the mountain, and roar out, over all the jungle. The jungle he has not just inhabited, but ruled, ruled by fear, for so long.Did you say that he looks gentle? Did you say that he must be tame by now, and just wants to play?Yes, but he’s still a lion, Blog. And that must never be forgotten. Its in him. He’s still got deep inner-strength, of not just muscle, but also extreme character.Sometimes, when he’s playing, he doesn’t mean to. He really doesn’t, but he keeps going, and he keeps going, and he never stops. And with a final swipe of his claw; he kills without thinking. Blood cold.He has recently grown frustrated. For the first time, in a long, long, long time, he has actually backed a few losers. When playing with Star, he has to have certain shackles placed upon him, and a muzzle, firmly held back around his enormous jaws.He can’t lie still. The frustration has overtaken his being. Unable to cope with not getting his own way, he feels like his mind is going to explode.He doesn’t understand. Why can’t he find an equal? An equal, that will let him run free, completely wild, and fight, at full force, just one more time.Dark Knight, you have done your work. Try and remember how great your strength is. Just accept it. Its not for me to set you free. Free to kill. Free to kill…kill…err…me.REST, LION. REST.Over and out, B xlast_img read more


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.Sunday 5 June RACING MOVERS2.40 PerthCowards Close 8/1 > 6/12.45 KilbegganSupreme Vinnie evens > 4/73.05 ListowelApprocaillis 9/2 > 3/13.15 PerthHalllingham 8/1 > 4/15.10 GoodwodThaqaffa 11/4 > 15/8LIVE FOOTBALLInternational Friendly15:00 Premier Sports / Premier Sports HD5/6 Sweden7/2 Wales23/10 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img

STARTERS ORDERS Thurs Movers Specials

first_imgHORSE RACING3.15 WolverhamptonCalder Prince 6/1 > 4/14.50 WolverhamptonBaghdad 5/2 > 11/85.45 ChelmsfordDancing Brave Bear evens > 8/158.45 ChelmsfordIntermodal 11/1 > 6/1EUROPA LEAGUEUEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg20:05 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD1/3 Arsenal 9/1 CSKA Moscow 4/1 DRAWBET NOW or 08000 521 321 Welcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 5 Aprillast_img

STAR PREVIEW Sri Lanka v England

first_imgPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 179.72 points(not including Premier League ante-post) During the summer followers of this page would have recouped ante-post losses from the test series as England eventually made their way to a comprehensive test win over India, but the tables could well be turned as Joe Root’s men start their tour in Sri Lanka this morning.England turned a test series that was in the balance into a relative rout on the scoreboard but very few things didn’t go their way during the summer and playing in Asia is a profoundly different test for the three lions and the records don’t look good.Sri Lanka – in any case – are an extremely handy side who have beaten Bangladesh on the road but also managed to get the best of Pakistan in the UAE, proving they are not just a one trick pony.The 1-1 draw is the shortest price in betting thanks to the monsoon season but there is reason for beating the elements when backing Sri Lanka. The hosts managed to smash South Africa by 178 and 199 runs in their two tests during the summer (no mean feat given that they have been the world’s best travellers of a long time) and they are facing and England side that travels terribly.England have not won away from home in 13 tests and the closest they have managed to get is the draw that New Zealand managed to put up in Christchurch last year. However, that took place in a climate which gave Stuart Broad and James Anderson the best chance to shine, something which cannot be said of the ‘Teardrop Isle’.On the road, they’ve won four of their last 26 tests, and their last series win away was in December 2015 in South Africa – when the surface was far more suited to them and the side was frankly stronger. The 6/4 on Sri Lanka taking the series looks to be worth chancing with regards to the weather and so does the 16/1 on a 3-0 series victory outlandish according to the betting market marketing leads.In terms of the top player markets, the visitors might be well served by Ben Stokes. He scored 200 during the summer against India when he was the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, but he still managed to scored 200 and the feisty all-rounder has form in the Southern Hemisphere to boot with 50’s against Bangladesh, India and even Sri Lanka in all formats of the game on the sub continent.Dimuth Karunaratne scored four fifties in the two tests series, hitting 158 and 60 in Galle and then 53 and 85 in the test after that, he must overcome Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis but even then, the 10/3 that offer looks fair.Sri Lanka v EnglandTuesday 6 November 04.30Live on Sky Sports Cricket HDSERIES RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK SRI LANKA 5 points at 6/4 starsports.betBACK SRI LANKA 3-0 2 points at 16/1 starsports.betBACK Ben Stokes Top England batsman 2 points at 7/1 starsports.betBACK Dimuth Karunaratne Top Sri Lankan Batsman 2 pts at 10/3 with starsports.bet1ST TEST PREVIEWEngland have had a successful tour of Sri Lanka so far but they are now far less proficient in the test arena than they used to be in and the rain might not be able to save them in the first test.Joe Root’s men will no longer have to deal with Rangana Herath in five days’ time (a good thing for them given that he is now second on the wickets list in Tests since Muttiah Muralitharan retired with a huge 359, but it’s highly unlikely to be enough in the first test for them.The poor weather of Sri Lanka’s monsoon season means that little can be guaranteed but it has also robbed England of crucial preparation time and their record in the first test of many series was not brilliant even before that. England have had trouble starting tests regardless of location and only once have they won a series in Sri Lanka since James Anderson was even born (yes, a true fact).In any case, this is about Sri Lanka. They have won five of their last six tests at Galle and the only exception was India, which can be forgiven seeing as they are a side built to play the sub continent like a fiddle. As said in the overall preview, they have scored away wins against Bangladesh and Pakistan and they were dominant against South Africa when they met in Galle.South Africa were bowled out for 126 and 73 during their heavy defeat in July and with a similar pitch experienced, England could find this a long and hard struggle here. The return of Angelo Mattews is another bonus for the hosts too.The rainy season and the heavy toss bias – In the last 13 results, ten have been won by the side batting first – means that the draw is 4/5 with but the 5/2 about Sri Lanka looks a tad too big not to take.1st TEST RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)Back Sri Lanka 2 pts at 5/2 with starsports.betRECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)SERIES RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK SRI LANKA 5 points at 6/4 starsports.betBACK SRI LANKA 3-0 2 points at 16/1 starsports.betBACK Ben Stokes Top England batsman 2 points at 7/1 starsports.betBACK Dimuth Karunaratne Top Sri Lankan Batsman 2 pts at 10/3 with starsports.bet1st TEST RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)Back Sri Lanka 2 pts at 5/2 with starsports.betlast_img read more

£25 FREE BET Foxy Boy

first_img£25 FREE BET IFFOXY BOY WINS 7.45 NEWCASTLEWe are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS a £25 FREE BET if FOXY BOY WINS 7.45 NEWCASTLE.You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at between 9am on Friday 1 February and 7.45pm on Friday 1 February. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify, you must open a new account at anytime from 9am on Friday 1 February to 7.45pm (GMT) on Friday 1 February.(2) In addition, you must place at least one bet online with before 7.45pm (GMT) on Friday 1 February. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer of £25 will be paid as a Free Bet if FOXY BOY WINS 7.45 NEWCASTLE. The Free Bet will be valid for a period of 7 days from the point of issue and must be used within this period otherwise will expire.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus Free Bet, if successful, will be credited within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(7) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(8) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(9) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(10) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(11) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(12) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(13) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more

Human Rights Campaigner Wu Brings Message to Rice

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Share CONTACT: Philip Montgomery PHONE: (713)831-4792E-MAIL: pmontgom@ruf.rice.eduHUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER WU BRINGS MESSAGE TO RICEDuring 19 years of politicalimprisonment, Harry Wu became an expert scavenger, scouring fields for edibleweeds and capturing snakes and frogs to help relieve his hunger. His fellowprisoners became samples of the depths of human despair&emdash;one tormentedsoul was driven first to insanity, then suicide.In his best-selling book, “Bitter Winds,” Harry Wu chronicleshis 19-year imprisonment in Chinese prison labor camps, where he was subjectedto grueling labor, starvation and torture. His account also provides rare,detailed portraits of the prisoners who became his friends.“An Evening with Harry Wu,” the third President’s LectureSeries talk, is set for at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Grand Hall of RiceMemorial Center. Wu will discuss “China: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” recounting his personal experiences there and commenting on human rightsissues.Wu is founder and executive director of the Laogai ResearchFoundation and a resident scholar at the Hoover Institution at StanfordUniversity. Currently working a lecture circuit, Wu presented about 30 speakingengagements in 1997, most on college campuses.Born in Shanghai in 1937, the son of a wealthy banker, Wu wassent to an elite Jesuit boys’ school before attending Beijing’s GeologyInstitute.In the beginning pages of “Bitter Winds” Wu writes, “I spentthe years of early childhood almost totally insulated from the poverty, violenceand fear that gripped much of Shanghai. Rarely did I have occasion to leave myneighborhood, and I never knew that just half a kilometer from my home, cartsroutinely collected at dawn the bodies of those who had died from illness andstarvation during the night.”Raised as a member of China’s privileged intellectual elite, Wuwas a senior at the Geology Institute when he was arrested by Chineseauthorities on April 27, 1960. His insulated life abruptly became a thing of thepast as he was exiled to prison camps. He was never formally charged or triedduring his 19-year imprisonment, during which time he was transformed from amember of China’s upper class to a faceless prisoner denied the most basic humanrights.“Bitter Winds,” is a powerful account of Wu’s imprisonment andsurvival in the “Bamboo Gulag.” Left for dead in solitary confinement, Wu foughtback from the brink of insanity. Released from prison in 1979, Wu was eventuallyallowed to leave his country and move to the United states.He testified before the U.S. Congress in 1985 on the humanrights abuses he witnessed, and, in 1991, determined to expose the gulag,returned to China with a “60 Minutes” news crew. He posed as a U.S. businessmanbuying prison goods and documented through a hidden camera the images of lifebehind prison walls&emdash;the slavery and human rights abuses.In 1995 he was arrested in China, found guilty of “stealingstate secrets,” sentenced to 15 years in prison, and expelled.Wu’s efforts have been recognized with the prestigious MartinEnnals Human Rights Award and the AFL-CIO Award for outstanding public serviceand leadership on issues affecting all working men and women.His second book, “Troublemaker: One Man’s Crusade AgainstChina’s Cruelty,” was published in 1996.Wu’s is the Martin Luther King Memorial Lecture of thePresident’s Lecture Series. The President’s Lecture Series will conclude March10 with the fourth lecture, “The Science Behind Jurassic Park,” by John R.Horner. Horner is the discoverer of the first dinosaur eggs in the WesternHemisphere. All lectures begin at 8 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Rice MemorialCenter.###last_img read more

Religious nonreligious organizations may have similar impact on ability of immigrants to

first_imgMichael Emerson headshot (Credit: Rice University): 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 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 77005 Elaine Howard Ecklund headshot (Credit: Rice University): Emerson bio: AddThiscenter_img ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduReligious, nonreligious organizations may have similar impact on ability of immigrants to acclimate to life in USHOUSTON – (April 8, 2013) – Religious and nonreligious organizations may have a similar impact on the ability of immigrants to acclimate to life in the U.S., despite the organizations’ different motivations for providing charitable services, according to new research from Rice University.“There’s been a lot of discussion as to whether religious organizations offer some special or unique benefit to immigrant groups that will help them better adapt to American society,” said the study’s lead author, Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Sociology and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program. “We wanted to see at the organizational level whether there was any practical difference between these two groups.”The study examined the behavior of two Mexican-American organizations, one religious and one nonreligious. The two groups identified different motivations for providing job placement, language and financial services to immigrants: The religious organization said  its religious convictions necessitated service to the local community, whereas the nonreligious organization cited its commitment to at-risk groups. However, the study showed that there was was little difference in the impact of the two organizations – both sought to provide outreach and services to their respective communities.The study’s co-author, Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and Kinder Institute co-director, noted that although there is little difference between the organizations at the present time, that may change in the future.“There may be significant changes as these organizations deal with second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans,” Emerson said. “These individuals might have different concerns, so the mission and services provided by these organizations very well may change.”Ecklund said that given the significant impact of Latin Americans in the U.S. and within the Catholic Church, Latinos are an excellent case for assessing the connection between religion and civic engagement for new U.S. immigrants.“The Latino population of the U.S. has grown at a substantial rate, and census data projects that Latinos will comprise 30 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2050,” Ecklund said. “And Latin Americans are changing the face of the Catholic Church: For the first time ever, the church has a pope from this region. And the impact of Latin Americans – especially Mexican-Americans – on the Catholic Church is more profound than that of any other ethnic group on a religious organization in the U.S.”“Such a large and growing population group has the potential to dramatically impact American religious and civic life in the near future,” Emerson said. “It really behooves us to know more about how Mexican-Americans operate within these organizations.”The study involved two organizations – a Mexican Catholic church and a nonreligious Mexican ethnic organization located in a large city in the southwestern United States. Both organizations had a similar location and resources and provided various services to immigrants, including job placement, language classes and assistance with navigating fiscal issues and the Internal Revenue Service. Data on both organizations was collected through personal interviews with members and leaders involved in each organization (a total of 16) and a year of participant observation in each organization.The interviews varied in length from 20 minutes to almost two hours and included questions about the organization’s vision and mission, messaging, social and racial makeup and organizational challenges. The participant observations in the religious organization included religious services, the Spanish young adult group and the job assistance program, among other events. Observations in the ethnic organization included events such as adult literacy classes, a tour of the facilities and a young-adult conference hosted by the organization.The article, “Motivating Civic Engagement: In-Group Versus Out-Group Service Orientations Among Mexican-Americans in Religious and Nonreligious Organizations,” was co-authored by Rice alumni Celina Davis and Samuel Kye, who is a graduate student at Indiana University, and Esther Chan, a postbaccalaureate fellow in sociology at Rice.The study was funded by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation and will appear in an upcoming edition of Sociology of Religion. It is available online at more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6327 or news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Rice University Department of Sociology: Howard Ecklund bio: read more

Superbugs found breeding in sewage plants

first_img from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities have found signs of drug-resistant bacteria in treated wastewater plants in northern China. Their study suggested the dangerous bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding in the treatment plants. (Credit: Yi Luo/Nankai University)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  AddThis Share5David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike‘Superbugs’ found breeding in sewage plantsRice U. study: Two wastewater treatment plants in China fail to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria  HOUSTON – (Dec. 16, 2013) – Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo.Joint research by scientists from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities found “superbugs” carrying New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), a multidrug-resistant gene first identified in India in 2010, in wastewater disinfected by chlorination. They found significant levels of NDM-1 in the effluent released to the environment and even higher levels in dewatered sludge applied to soils.The study, led by Rice University environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez, appeared this month in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.“It’s scary,” Alvarez said. “There’s no antibiotic that can kill them. We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated.“We often think about sewage treatment plants as a way to protect us, to get rid of all of these disease-causing constituents in wastewater. But it turns out these microbes are growing. They’re eating sewage, so they proliferate. In one wastewater treatment plant, we had four to five of these superbugs coming out for every one that came in.”Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been raising alarms for years, particularly in hospital environments where public health officials fear they can be transferred from patient to patient and are very difficult to treat. Bacteria harboring the encoding gene that makes them resistant have been found on every continent except for Antarctica, the researchers wrote.NDM-1 is able to make such common bacteria as E. coli, salmonella and K. pneumonias resistant to even the strongest available antibiotics. The only way to know one is infected is when symptoms associated with these bacteria fail to respond to antibiotics.In experiments described in the same paper, Alvarez and his team confirmed the microbes treated by wastewater plants that still carried the resistant gene could transfer it via plasmids to otherwise benign bacteria.A subsequent study by Alvarez and his colleagues published this month in Environmental Science and Technology defined a method to extract and analyze antibiotic-resistant genes in extracellular and intracellular DNA from water and sediment and applied it to sites in the Haihe River basin in China, which drains an area of intensive antibiotic use. The study showed plasmids persist for weeks in river sediment, where they can invade indigenous bacteria.“It turns out that they transfer these genetic determinants for antibiotic resistance to indigenous bacteria in the environment, so they are not only proliferating within the wastewater treatment plant, they’re also propagating and dispersing antibiotic resistance,” Alvarez said.“This calls for us to take a look at these breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and how we might be able to create better barriers than chlorination,” he said. “I think we need to take a serious look at photo-disinfection processes, like ultraviolet disinfection. It has been shown to be more effective on resistant organisms. We also need a better understanding of how these microbes flow through the environment.”Lead author Yi Luo is a professor of environmental sciences and engineering at Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Co-authors are Jacques Mathieu, a research scientist at Rice; graduate students Fengxia Yang and Qing Wang of Nankai University; and master’s student Daqing Mao of Tianjin University.The National Natural Science Foundation of China, the State Environmental Protection commonweal project and the Ministry of Education Program for New Century Excellent Talents supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Pedro Alvarez: http://alvarez.rice.eduPersistence of Extracellular DNA in River Sediment Facilitates Antibiotic Resistance Gene Propagation: for download:last_img read more