A disabled Tory peer has attacked the government f

first_imgA disabled Tory peer has attacked the government for failing to support new laws that would provide access for 800,000 fellow wheelchair-users to 60,000 shops, pubs and cafés across England, Scotland and Wales.Lord Blencathra – former Home Office minister David Maclean – received strong cross-party support for his Equality Act 2010 (amendment) (disabled access) bill as it passed its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday (24 November).His bill, identical to one rejected by the coalition government three years ago, would force owners of public buildings to replace all steps of up to six inches – and later, those up to 12 inches – at their entrance with a ramp suitable for wheelchairs.But despite widespread backing for the bill from other peers, Home Office minister Baroness Williams made it clear that the government did not back the bill and that the “deliberately and carefully worded” Equality Act provided sufficient protection for disabled people.Lord Blencathra (pictured), himself a part-time wheelchair-user, told fellow peers that his bill would make a “tiny addition to the 2010 act, would cost business very little to implement but would make a huge difference to wheelchair-users”.He said that the report from the House of Lords’ Equality Act 2010 and disability committee last year found “severe difficulties with the ‘reasonable adjustments’ provision of the act, in that no one was enforcing it and disabled people had to take cases to court themselves in order to get access improvements”.He said research by the Department for Work and Pensions and DisabledGo three years ago found that 20 per cent of the 30,000 shops and restaurants they visited did not have wheelchair access.He said: “If you extrapolate that 20 per cent of 30,000 shops to the total of 355,000 public retail premises, you get a figure of 71,000 shops, pubs and cafés which wheelchair-users simply cannot access. That is a scandalous number in this day and age.”Lord Blencathra said his bill would provide access to about 60,000 of those buildings.He said the committee’s inquiry had shown that the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act was “simply not happening”.He told fellow peers: “Disabled people are told by the government that if they cannot be served they should just take their business elsewhere.“Would they say that to a black person, a gay person or anyone else in the protected categories? I hope to God that they would not.”Lord [Colin] Low, the disabled crossbench peer, said that “the removal of steps and the provision of ramps should have been fully implemented and complied with as long ago as 2003”, under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), and so “the real issue is with enforcement”.And he said the government already had the power to introduce regulations under the Equality Act that would “take us a significant step closer to getting service-providers’ compliance with their duties under the act”.Another disabled crossbench peer, Baroness Masham, said the bill “not only would help thousands of wheelchair users, but their helpers and people using babies’ pushchairs”.She said that the only pharmacist in her home town of Masham in north Yorkshire “has a four-inch step and no ramp.“This pharmacist just cannot be bothered or thinks that there is no legal requirement.”She added: “How much more does the noble Lord have to do to convince the government that his bill is necessary? This is something that will not cost the government money.” The disabled Tory peer Lord [Chris] Holmes said the bill was “excellent, well-crafted and beautifully straightforward”.He said: “When you experience denial of access and discrimination, you do not experience it in a cerebral state, you feel it. You feel it in your heart and in your guts.“It is to be denied fairness, with no dignity, no respect and no equality, just exclusion.“That is the beauty of my noble friend’s bill. It is not actually anything to do with steps, it is simply to do with inclusion.”Another disabled Conservative peer, Lord Shinkwin, said the bill was “pragmatic, principled and practical”, and gave the government the chance to “demonstrate their commitment to disability equality and to keeping the flame of our party’s landmark disability rights legislation, the DDA, alive”.He added: “Having served on the National Disability Council, set up to advise the government on the implementation of the DDA more than 20 years ago, I am more sorry than I can say that your Lordships’ house is still debating such a modest bill.”Baroness [Sal] Brinton, the disabled president of the Liberal Democrats, described how she was visiting family in Barnes and East Sheen in south-west London recently and had to visit a pharmacy.She said: “The first three local pharmacies that I came to all had steps. None had a bell and one had an enormous sign in the front window saying, ‘Disabled? We’re here to help’. How could I tell them?”Another disabled Liberal Democrat peer, Baroness [Celia] Thomas, said: “As has been said by nearly every speaker, what is simply not recognised in general is that there is no person or body actually and actively in charge of policing access to public buildings, such as shops.“I wonder if shopkeepers believe they have to do something only when they are told by someone in authority that they have to do it – and if they are not told, they do not.”Baroness Deech, who chaired the Equality Act 2010 and disability committee, said that access to public buildings was “a fundamental right”.She said: “The removal of legal aid has made it even harder and more costly for individuals to challenge the blockages to their rights. The burden is on them alone, for class and proxy actions are not allowed.“The bill is the tiniest step in the right direction.”She added: “Support for this bill is essential to stop the callous or ignorant denial of an easy remedy of accessibility for all of us.“Any government who care for minorities or those who are not just about managing must bring it into law.”Baroness Gale, Labour’s shadow spokeswoman on women and equalities, said her party backed the bill, which she said “offers a solution that will make life better and easier for people in wheelchairs”.She said: “It seems that in this country today it is okay to effectively bar around 800,000 people in wheelchairs from being able to enter many places we take for granted such as shops, pubs and restaurants.”But Baroness Williams, for the government, said the duty to make reasonable adjustments was “now enshrined in the Equality Act and remains a cornerstone of the protection offered to disabled people” and “achieves the delicate balance of taking account of the rights of disabled people and what is reasonable to expect of those under a duty to make an adjustment”.She said the law “recognises the need to strike a fair balance and requires a service provider only to make adjustments that are reasonable in all the circumstances of a particular case”.And she said that Part M of the Building Regulations 2010 “also requires reasonable provision to be made for wheelchair-users to gain access to new buildings or when an existing building undergoes significant alternation or extension”.She said these measures meant the government “believe that the existing legislation is already comprehensive in this regard”.And she said the bill would “essentially remove the reasonableness filter and require service providers, without exception, to provide ramps for wheelchair users wherever there was a single step that was less than six inches in height in a public area”.She said such a law would “take no account of the cost of the installation”, while, for 12-inch steps, “a ramp would need to be six metres long”.Baroness Williams said the Equality Act was “deliberately and carefully worded to allow for greater scope in considering how best to solve the particular problem being experienced by the disabled person”, while Lord Blencathra’s bill “would inevitably result in numerous calls to have other specific remedies spelt out in the act or in further technical guidance”.She said that his “one-size-fits-all approach cannot address the many and varied needs of our citizens”.But Lord Blencathra said Baroness Williams had had to “defend the indefensible” and he condemned the response from the government, which “does not seem to give a damn about the 11 million disabled people in this country”.He said: “It is obvious that the Government Equalities Office has produced the usual discredited litany of excuses for doing nothing to help disabled people.”He said he would accept an offer from the new minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, to hold a round-table discussion with peers on the issue, although he warned that Newton “does not make policy, which is firmly in the grip of the Government Equalities Office”.He added: “I urge ministers to get a grip of the civil servants running this policy and to tell them that wheelchair-users have rights too.“We do not want special treatment but, in order to get equality, we need different treatment, as the select committee pointed out.”A date for the bill’s committee stage has not yet been announced.last_img read more

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The launch of a new userled political organisatio

first_imgThe launch of a new user-led political organisation is set to be a “landmark event” for neurodivergent people in the Labour party.After threeyears of lobbying, discussions and consultation, disabled party memberslaunched Neurodivergent Labour in central London on Saturday.JanineBooth, co-chair of the TUC disabled workers’ committee, who played a key rolein its formation, told the launch event it would be “amilestone in the fight for acceptance, rights and equality for autistic, dyslexic,dyspraxic and otherwise neurodivergent people through the Labour party”.More than 50 neurodivergent party members backed the new organisation’s aim to campaign against discrimination, exclusion, oppression and injustice and for equality for neurodivergent people.The neworganisation, which will hold its founding annual general meeting later thisyear, will also work to make the Labour party itself more accessible to itsneurodivergent members.Booth said:“We all know that there are some parts of how the party operates that are noteasy for us to navigate, whether it is big long word documents, whether it isunpleasant atmospheres at meetings, whether it is things not being explainedproperly, whether it is a top-down bureaucratic approach that is hard for us toget involved in. “So we wantto fight to make our party more accessible.”Thosepresent at the launch also endorsed adraft Labour party autism/neurodiversity manifesto, which Booth andothers have been developing for nearly three years.Themanifesto is based on the social model of disability, and an understanding thatneurodiversity should be accepted and not suppressed or cured, and comes froman anti-austerity perspective that also sets out to challenge “the deep socialroutes of discrimination against neurodivergent people”.It addressesissues around the lack of diagnostic services, the impact of Tory socialsecurity cuts and reforms, including neurodivergent people driven to suicide bybenefit sanctions, and the crises in social care and housing.It alsohighlights a level of hate crime that has “increased with the demonisation ofpeople who are disabled and/or different in pursuit of the Tories’ austerityagenda”.It calls forlegislation to outlaw “quack” cures, such as the “false and dangerous” sale ofproducts that “exploit the fears of neurodivergent people and their families”.CampaignerEmma Dalmaynetold the launch event that she welcomed the inclusion of this measure in thedraft manifesto.She said: “I’vebeen campaigning against autistic mistreatment with abusive quack cures for thelast five years here in the UK. “I haveliterally felt alone for so long. I’ve had so many threats, I’ve had rapethreats, death threats, and threats against my family, so I just wanted to saythank you.”Themanifesto also calls for action to make the built environment “less distressingand more accessible”, and for a campaign to raise public awareness ofneurodiversity.And it saysthere should be a review of the accessibility of the justice system, and actiontaken to ensure that “non-harmful unusual behaviours are not criminalised, andthat people receive support rather than punishment if an intolerableenvironment causes disruptive behaviour”. Otherpolicies include neurodiversity training for all teachers and teachingassistants as part of their “core training”; support for neurodivergentstudents; smaller class sizes; and neurodiversity to be included in the schoolcurriculum.It also callsfor the work capability assessment to be scrapped; for neurodiversity trainingfor all public service staff*; and for a new legal requirement on employers tomake workplaces and working conditions “more equal and accessible and lesshostile”.Booth saidthere had been input into the draft manifesto from thousands of people fromwithin the party, trade unions and the neurodiversity movement, under theguidance of a steering group composed entirely of neurodivergent party members.She said thedraft manifesto had “a set of radical, progressive policies that wouldsignificantly improve the lives of neurodivergent people”, and when it wasformally adopted by the Labour party “we need to go and tell neurodivergent peoplethat, and say, this is what you will get if you elect a Labour government”.She said: “Wewant this organisation to be not just a talking shop, not just to haveconferences each year, but to actually go out on the streets and campaign.”The idea ofa Labour neurodiversity and autism manifesto was first suggested by Booth toJohn McDonnell nearly three years ago, and the shadow chancellor was at thelaunch event.McDonnellsaid it had previously been “pretty bleak” for neurodivergent people within theparty who needed support, advice or wanted to push for legislative change.He said ithad been crucial that the new organisation was led by neurodivergent people.And hepromised again that disabled people would be involved in implementing policywhen Labour won power.He said: “AsI keep repeating, this is not about electing a group of MPs who will go off anddo it for us. That will never work, it never has and never will. “This isabout when we go into government, we all go into government, so we draft ourmanifesto, we secure commitments from the bulk of the Labour party through thenormal policy-making process and then when we go into government, we all workon the detail of the implementation itself.” McDonnellsaid his shadow Treasury team would be starting a new exercise next month inwhich they will recost key policies, in preparation for a possible generalelection.He said hewanted the party to insert the issues raised in the draft autism/neurodiversitymanifesto into that discussion.He said: “Ifwe could do that it would be absolutely ground-breaking. We would be the firstparty to look at this in this overall comprehensive way, and we would be thefirst government to do it as well, so this is revolutionary, to be honest. “I think ifwe can get the debate going early… we can go into government with theimplementation plans there, the draft legislation in place, and the fundingresources available too.“You can seehow we could transform people’s lives.”HelenWhitehead, who stood unsuccessfully to be Labour’s prospective parliamentarycandidate (PPC) in South Thanet last year, said she believed the idea ofsetting up Neurodivergent Labour was already working.She said: “Istood for PPC in South Thanet last year and I did so as an autistic woman,because I was aware that nationally we were becoming more aware of what ourabilities are, that we are welcomed by the party, that we are more thancapable. “I did thisbecause I was aware of everything that was happening, so I would just like tothank everybody and point out that you are already doing what we are settingout to put forward today and I think it is absolutely incredible.”*The Department of Health and Social Care announced a consultation this week on plans for health and social care staff who regularly have contact with patients or service-users to be legally required to undergo training on learning difficulties and autismPicture by Janine Booth: Party members voting unanimously to set up Neurodivergent LabourA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Waiting for the Barbarians on Valencia

first_imgOne of the enduring non-profits on Valencia Street is ATA, Artist Television Access, a place started in the early 1980s when galleries excluded video art. Throughout the year, the windows fill with revolving, sometimes inexplicable, but always curious art. The Left window is curated by ATA and the Right Window, by a collective of the same name.When I walked by the other night, artist Amy Trachtenberg was just finishing up a piece for the Right Window so I asked about the inspiration for the stacks of cots, covered in clothing.She had recently read J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and one passage stuck with her.“..one of these days he will go away, one of these days quiet will return, then our siestas will grow longer and our swords longer..” “Be patient” begins the sentence, but it is not counsel she wanted to give.“This stack of bedding and clothing is kind of dually evoking our homeless crisis and refugees and being on the move. This I thought of as kind of a hideout, though it is in plain view,” said Trachtenberg. The umbrella-like objects were made from fallen palm fronds the artist found in Precita Park.Stop by and take a look.Right Window display at ATA on Valencia by Amy Trachtenberg. Photo by Lola M. ChavezAmy Trachtenberg, the artist, on an evening when she was working on the installation. Photo by Lydia Chávez 0%center_img Tags: arts • Ata – Artists’ Television Access Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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SAINTS recorded their fifth win in six matches wit

first_imgSAINTS recorded their fifth win in six matches with a clinical 62-0 win over Widnes Vikings.Mike Rush’s side ran in 11 tries as they totally overwhelmed a lacklustre but resilient opposition.Widnes had no answer to Saints power and pace as they led 26-0 at half time.Widnes tried hard, but the home side were just too strong and an Anthony Laffranchi double, plus further scores from Sia Soliola, Paul Wellens and Adam Swift – on his home debut – made it comfortable.They were just as strong in defence too – but the match was hardly one for the purists with errors from both sides.In the second half, further tries from Andrew Dixon, Michael Shenton, Mark Flanagan and a double from Swift (completing his hat-trick) sealed a comprehensive victory.Saints forced a drop out after Jonny Lomax’ chip through and were then unlucky on their next set as Shaun Magennis – starting at prop – stretched over but just couldn’t get the ball down.On 10 minutes they did breakthrough; Sia Soliola took on the outside and he was just too big and too strong for the defence.Lomax converting off the touchline.Moments later Paul Wellens burst on to a pass to increase the lead and a short drop off ball saw Anthony Laffranchi get over.Boof bagged his brace with 25 minutes gone, and with Saints in complete control, they grabbed their fifth try of the evening through Adam Swift.The move began in Saints’ own half; Lomax breaking through and then finding Lance Hohaia. From there, Meli drove in and passed to James Roby.The ball was then flipped out by Michael Shenton and Swift scored on his home debut.In the second half, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook plucked Hohaia’s chip out of the air to put down, then Andy Dixon got his fifth of the season.Michael Shenton punished another indiscretion from the Vikings then Mark Flanagan was the first to react to a chip-through.With 15 minutes to go Saints made a last ditch tackle on their own line. Widnes then forced the pass but Meli intercepted and despite him being caught by Paddy Flynn, the ball came out and Swift nabbed his second.And with just five left in the match, he duly clocked up his hat-trick to make his granddad Harold Swift MBE, very proud indeed.Jonny Lomax finished the night with nine goals from 11 attempts, but the evening belonged to the Swift family.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Soliola, Wellens, Laffranchi (2), Swift (3), McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Dixon, Shenton, FlanaganGoals: Lomax (9 from 11)Vikings:Tries: Goals:Penalties:Saints: 10Vikings: 4HT: 26-0FT: 62-0REF: T RobyATT: 14243Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 34. Adam Swift, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 18. Shaun Magennis, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan,Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andrew Dixon, 25. Carl Forster.Vikings:19. Cameron Phelps; 2. Paddy Flynn, 20. Stefan Marsh, 4. Willie Isa, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 25. Danny Craven, 34. Joe Mellor; 8. Ben Cross, 13. Jon Clarke, 17. Steve Pickersgill, 24. Kurt Haggerty, 11. Frank Winterstein, 12. Hep Cahill.Subs: 6. Lloyd White, 21. Dave Allen, 22. Macgraff Leuluai, 26. Anthony Mullally.last_img read more

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ENGLAND Rugby League are to take their preparation

first_imgENGLAND Rugby League are to take their preparations for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup to new heights by embarking on a ten-day high-altitude training camp in South Africa next month.A 24-man squad, comprising members of the Elite Training Squad and the team’s NRL-based internationals, will leave the UK on Wednesday October 10. The squad will be based at the highly-acclaimed North-West University Training Centre at Potchefstroom, regarded as one the best sports campuses in South Africa.England coach Steve McNamara will be hoping his meticulous plans will enable the national outfit to replicate the Spanish football team, who were based at the campus during the 2010 FIFA World Cup before going onto win their first world title.“I am very excited that we will be taking our elite players to a high-altitude training camp,” said McNamara. “We have looked at training camps across the world and have found the best facilities to give the players everything they need in their preparation. We believe we are the first international Rugby League team to train at high-altitude and it will be something new for the players.“Our preparation and planning will be vital over the year ahead. We have to give the players every opportunity to reach their full potential if we are going to fulfil our objective of winning the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.”The Elite squad, who were given a full briefing at this week’s England get-together, will see huge benefits from the camp, which will improve their overall performance according to England’s national team performance manager Mark Bitcon.“Over the past year we have done lots of research in the planning of this camp,” said Bitcon. “The facilities at Potchefstroom are world class and our players will have never experienced anything like it before. Some of Britain’s Olympians used the facilities in the build-up to London 2012 and it was Spain’s base before they went onto win the World Cup two years ago.“Our aim is to have the best-prepared squad in the world ahead of next year’s Rugby League World Cup. We are believers in thinking outside of the box and giving the players every opportunity of beating the Australians and New Zealanders in a major tournament.“The benefits will be immense. With up to 20 per cent less oxygen in the atmosphere it is more difficult to perform. The players will profit from enhanced game-specific endurance and improved oxygen uptake.“The fact that nobody has done it before in Rugby League is pioneering and from the impact it has had on other elite athletes, we should see our players make some significant gains.”The 24-man squad, that will represent England in South Africa and in the autumn internationals, will be announced on Wednesday October 1.last_img read more

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SAINTS have announced their squad for Fridays Rou

first_imgSAINTS have announced their squad for Friday’s Round 19 Super League match at Salford City Reds.Joe Greenwood is recalled whilst Anthony Laffranchi also returns after a two week layoff.But Sia Soliola misses out with an ankle/foot problem that will see him sidelined for up to 10 weeks.He sustained the injury playing for the Exiles against England last Friday.“It is of course disappointing to lose Sia and he has had to have an operation,” Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown said. “The upside is that it gives another player the chance to step up and stake a claim for a place. Our squad as a whole has gained vital experience throughout the course of the year and I have no doubt we will adapt and continue to develop.”Nathan Brown will choose from:1. Paul Wellens, 3. Jordan Turner (pictured), 5. Francis Meli, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Josh Jones, 21. Tom Makinson, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley, 28. Jordan Hand, 33. Luke Thompson, 37. Gareth O’Brien.Brian Noble will choose his Salford City Reds side from:2. Jodie Broughton, 3. Ashley Gibson, 4. Martin Gleeson, 5. Danny Williams, 6. Lee Gaskell, 10. Shannon McPhearson, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Andrew Dixon, 13. Stephen Wild, 14. Wayne Godwin, 19. Jordan James, 20. Adam Neal, 21. Theo Fages, 22. Marc Sneyd, 23. Ryan McGoldrick, 25. Niall Evalds, 27. Darrell Griffin, 35. Adam Walne, 36. Jake Emmitt.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is George Stokes.Ticket details are here.last_img read more

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They beat the Wolves 316 back in March with this

first_imgThey beat the Wolves 31-6 back in March, with this week’s reverse fixture vitally important as they look to climb the league.“It is always a tough game against Warrington,” interim coach Jamahl Lolesi said. “The physicality of the game is always the same no matter who is playing. They are a good team with a great squad, right down to their kids, and they are well coached. It will be a tough assignment for us.“We will prepare and train the best we can, get the game plan right and go out and execute it the best we can on Friday.“Everyone is desperate for points especially the sides that aren’t doing as well as the others. We are in that boat and will do our best to try and get them.“We were a little bit scrappy at the start of the Leigh game but built into it and then let our hair down a little. We looked nervy on the ball and it took some time to find our rhythm but once we hit our straps we played some nice footy at the back end.”Saints will be missing Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival this week as they are away on England duty.But there is good news in the return of James Roby.“All being well at the back end of the week Robes will be right,” Jamahl added. “It’s always good when you get a good player back and someone of his stature. It gives us all a boost.“Jonny Lomax isn’t quite ready and we expect him back in three or four weeks.“We’d rather focus on the players that are coming in to replace the England duo rather than the fact they won’t be there.“We are all made up they are representing England and we gave them a good send off.“We have some good middle players who can replace big Al and guys who can come in and do a good job. It is good for the squad and good for the kids getting a chance at the moment.“There’s no secret both Saints and Warrington aren’t where they want to be but at our end we can only worry about ourselves and getting as high as we can.“We can only concentrate on the next game coming and prepare the best we can.”Saints travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday to take on Warrington with an 8pm kick off.Tickets are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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Tickets on sale for annual MDA Toast to Life Gala

first_img The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, October 20 at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Grand Ballroom.Organizer Brittany Hayes says this year will be the “best year yet, with an awesome line up of entertainment and top-notch auction items.”Taylor Bayless adds “many of the auction items are experiences this time.”Related Article: Sunday Funday at The Pointe at Barclay benefits local charityClick here to purchase tickets. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tickets are going fast for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s 3rd Annual Toast to Life Gala.The black tie event is to raise awareness and provide help and hope to families living with Muscular Dystrophy.  Proceeds will assist the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Eastern Carolinas Chapter in funding MDA’s local, free, fully-adaptive summer camp program for children with neuromuscular diseases.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Suspects arrested for armed robbery at Wilmington gas station

first_img 1 of 2 Timothy Neidhart (Photo: NHSO) Jonathan Banks (Photo: NHSO) Armed Robbery at Quick Buy Shell station on Gordon Rd. (Photo: NHSO) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested suspects wanted for robbing a gas station at gunpoint.According to a release, Timothy Steven Neidhardt was arrested and charged with with armed robbery. He was placed under a $100,000 secured bond. Jonathan Floyd Banks was also arrested for armed robbery and conspiracy and placed under a $20,000 bond.center_img – Advertisement – The sheriff’s office says the robbery happened around 2 a.m. Monday at the Shell gas station in the 4600 block of Gordon Road, near I-40.last_img read more

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Arrrgh These treats are perfect for weekend entertaining

first_img They are an easy addition to sausage and peppers which can be a meal when served over rice. You can also add the ‘drizzle’ or liquid from the peppers to ground beef when you’re making tacos. Moore also suggests using the ground beef with a little sour cream to make an appetizer. It’s also great in slaw on BBQ sandwiches.If you’re looking for something even simpler you can just open a jar of Bacon Salsa.Locations and recipes are here. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Having your friends over this weekend? Don’t be Argh-rate!  Just break out these easy snacks.Travis Moore of Cape Fear Pirate Candy says entertaining is easy this year. He suggests adding candied jalapenos to just about anything!- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Brunswick Co man displaced by storm accused of raping woman

first_imgSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (AP) — Police say a North Carolina man displaced from his home by Hurricane Florence is accused of raping a woman who let him stay in her home.The Southern Pines Police Department said on its Facebook page that 37-year-old Freeman Scott Ireland is charged with second-degree forcible rape. Investigators say the woman was assaulted as she slept Monday, and Ireland was still inside the home with officers arrived.- Advertisement – According to police, Ireland was on supervised release from the state Department of Public Safety after serving time for second-degree murder and armed robbery. He was displaced from his Brunswick County home by hurricane damage and police said he was looking to relocate to Moore County.Ireland is jailed on a $500,000 secured bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.last_img read more

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UK PM hints at resigning to get her Brexit deal through Parliament

first_imgBritish Journalist Robert Peston, reports that if MPs vote for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and the infamous Irish Backstop, Theresa May would agree to resign.Peston says that through a reliable source, he has been informed that during yesterday’s meeting at Chequers, the British Prime Minister told key Brexiteer MPs including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg that she would step down if they support her deal.There are no details which confirm the PM would actually go would through with the resignation.Read more:Brexit: UK PM meeting with senior Tory MPs; Will UK PM be ousted?Some dates for your Brexit diariesWhat Peston points out is that she will still struggle to get the support of all Brexiteer MPs.  This is despite the possibility of winning over staunch po-Brexit leavers like Jacob Rees Mogg.She would also need to convince the Democratic Unionists to support her deal. For now, Peston doesn’t believe she has the numbers or the support for her deal to cross the line.This difficulty with the Brexiteers is worsened by the lack of confidence in her from both the Labour Party and Conservative Remainers like Grieve, Greening and Gyamah.Peston suggests that even sacrificing herself for the deal may still not guarantee the deal gets the support it needs.‘The ERG Brexiters and DUP may well say thank you very much, and vote against her anyway.’, Peston writes.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

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Watch Michelle Muscat swims 14km for Marigold Foundation

first_img Marigold Foundation / Facebook 1 of 7 Marigold Foundation / Facebook The Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat, has completed her 14 kilometre swim from Ċirkewwa to Mellieħa in aid of the Marigold Foundation.The swim took Muscat around the ‘Tail’s End’ in just under 5 hours.The swim marks the fifth charity effort made to raise money for the organisation, which provides financial support for mental health, autism, Pink October and the Special Olympics. Marigold Foundation / Facebook SharePrint WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Marigold Foundation / Facebook Marigold Foundation / Facebook Marigold Foundation / Facebook The Prime Minister and their two daughters were on board an AFM patrol boat following her progress.15km of #Malta deep waters in force 5 wind to raise funds for #MarigoldFoundation #SpecialOlympica #RareDiseasesAlliance. Well done @Michelle_Muscat -JM pic.twitter.com/LtUs0pKgFn— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) July 13, 2019 Marigold Foundation / Facebooklast_img read more

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Pope Francis domain names grabbed by cyber squatters

first_imgAdvertisement Although the newly appointed Pope Francis I has proven himself technologically savvy enough to use Twitter, the Vatican dropped the ball when it came to quickly registering a domain name for the pontiff after his appointment earlier this month. Within hours, cyber squatters grabbed up more than 600 domain names containing derivations of the pontiff’s name, including popefrancisi.com, popefrancis.org, and popefrancis.fr, according to domain-name company names.co.uk.“I find this a very surprising oversight on such a major appointment,” said Stephen Ewart, marketing manager at domain name company.co.uk. “Previously the Catholic Church has been very savvy about owning its domain names. In December last year, it paid over $180,000 to own .catholic and actually had the Chinese version of the domain name selected as the first top-level domain to go live in the world.”Among the domains registered within hours of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s anointment as the head of the Catholic Church are the following:Popefrancisi.com, registered in Florida by Andrew ChenPopefrancis.org, registered in Arizona by a private partyPopefrancis.fr, registered in Australia – Advertisement – Popefrancis.com has been registered by a private party since 2010, which is interesting in that the new pope is the first in history to choose a papal name honoring St. Francis of Assisi.A Florida-based company called eRealEstate.com scooped up a bunch of Pope Francis-themed domain names, including popefrancis.co.uk, popefrancis.de, popefrancis.be, popefrank.tv, popefrank.net, popefrancis.tv, popefrancissouvenirs.com, and popefrancisinfo.com. The company’s CEO, Richard Schwartz, said in an email to InfoWorld that he is not a cyber squatter. In his blog, he offered to make all of these domain names available to the Vatican at no cost, “not that they would want any.”Ewart predicted that some opportunistic cyber squatter can expect a nice payday for his or her efforts. “We expect this to spark a real bidding war for Pope Francis’ domains. In 2005 the address for Pope was sold for over $5,000. Not bad for a $20 [purchase],” he saidlast_img read more

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Gambia Govt denies banning Skype Viber

first_imgAdvertisement The Government Gambia has come out and shed more light on the issue following a press release issued by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) prohibiting companies and/or individuals operating through Internet Cafes and offering Dating services and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.The government has called on its citizens to continue to enjoy Skype to reach their loved ones at home and abroad. This was contained in a press release sent from the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure.The release reads: – Advertisement – The Government of The Gambia is calling on citizens of The Gambia to continue to enjoy Skype to reach their loved ones at home and abroad. Contrary to local press and cyber publications that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has banned the use of Skype and Viber facilities in The Gambia, the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure has described the claim as a complete misconstruction of the press release communicated by PURA in the regulator’s bid to stop the massive loss of revenue to registered internet suppliers by the criminal unscrupulous individuals who use and Internet cafes that charge the unwitting public for international calls.In the bid to protect consumers and the national interest, PURA have found it necessary to draw the attention of all operators of Internet cafes of the criminal act that deprives registered internet service providers of revenue vital to their operations and to the revenue of the national treasury.Individuals can continue to use Skype or Viber on their personal devises in the enjoyment of the Gambia’s full integration into the ICT culture. The regulator and other concerned units of government are investigating these individuals and Internet cafe owners in order to put in place measures to protect our young users from entrapments of online dating services which leave our vulnerable citizens to pornographic sites, paedophilia, child-trafficking and sex tourism. The Ministry urges all media whose publications have misunderstood this to do the right thing in service to their country and to their readership to re-read the PURA press release, publish retractions, and report correctly on the intervention by the national regulator to protect citizens and a fair business environment in The Gambia.Credit: Daily Observerlast_img read more

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Eminems case against Facebook set for August 5th

first_imgEminem Advertisement EminemThe scheduling conference in the copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by 8 Mile Style, the song publisher for hip-hop superstar Eminem, against Facebook and ad agency Wieden & Kennedy over the music used in the “Airplane” commercial for Facebook’s Home Android overlay, is set for Aug. 5 at 11 a.m. ET at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit.8 Mile Style filed suit in May in federal court in Detroit against the social network and the agency, alleging that the original version of the ad, since removed from YouTube, used music from the rapper’s 2000 song, “Under the Influence.”[related-posts] – Advertisement – At the time that 8 Mile Style approached Wieden & Kennedy about the issue in April, and the advertising agency responded that there were no grounds to assert copyright, as the music in question was sampled from a 1991 Michael Jackson song, “Give In to Me.”Facebook and Wieden & Kennedy denied the accusations by 8 Mile Style earlier this week, telling the court in their response:Plaintiffs’ copyright infringement claim fails because the music contained in the commercial is not substantially similar to protectable expression contained in the musical composition “Under the Influence.”Source: All Facebooklast_img read more

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AlphaGo Beats BoardGame Champ Lee in Three Straight Matches

first_imgImage Credit: Google Advertisement Google’s developed computer programme, “AlphaGo” won its third game out of five against the South Korean Go grandmaster “Lee Sedol” on Saturday, taking an unquestionable 3 – 0 lead to score a major victory for a new style of a spontaneous Artificial Intelligence (AI).Lee Se-Dol, one of the greatest modern players of the ancient board game Go, arrives before the third game of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against AlphaGo at a hotel in Seoul on March 12, 2016. Image Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty ImagesLee Sedol, the top Go player for the past decade who is ranked 9 dan really put up a fight against Google’s AlphaGo AI program in all the three games they have played so far, out of the five games. The last two games will be played today and Tuesday to determine the final match scores. However, in the end of the third round of the battle, the AI managed to claim victory over Lee.#AlphaGo won game 3, claims match victory against best Go player of last decade, Lee Sedol → https://t.co/MbtYm64lhL pic.twitter.com/goHJvxCPUI— Google (@google) March 12, 2016 – Advertisement – The 3,000-year-old Chinese board game involves two players consecutively laying black and white stones on a 19×19 board. “The winner is the player who manages to seal off more territory.”Lee won’t be the first player in the world to be defeated by an AI. Back in 1997, IBM developed a super computer “Deep Blue” that beat the world’s chess champion “Garry Kasparov.”Lee makes a move during his third games against Google’s AI, AlphaGo, that happened on March 12, 2016. Image Credit: Tech StoryVenture Beat reports that, in a press conference after the third game of the match, Lee made unexpected remarks that clearly conveyed his regret: I don’t know how to start or what to say today, but I think I would have to express my apologies first. I should have shown a better result, a better outcome, and better content in terms of the game played, and I do apologize for not being able to satisfy a lot of people’s expectations. I kind of felt powerless. If I look back on the three matches, the first one, even if I were to go back and redo the first match, I think that I would not have been able to win, because I at that time misjudged the capabilities of AlphaGo. The second match, I think, would have been the make or break.If you look at the beginning of the second match, the game did flow the way that I have intended, and there were a [number of opportunities] which I admittedly missed. Looking at the third match, yes, I do have extensive experience in terms of playing the game of Go, but there was never a case as this as such that I felt this amount of pressure. So I was incapable of overcoming the amount of pressure that I was experiencing.And lastly, since I lost the third match, there is now a clear winner. However, when it comes to human beings, there is a psychological aspect that one has to also think about. So as I play the fourth and fifth match, I do ask that you continue to show interest and follow what happens.The mawkishness that Lee expressed is particularly meaningful because it highlights how major this accomplishment is in the world of Artificial Intelligence.“Watching great Go players was like watching a thing of beauty,” said Sergey Brin, Google co-founder. “I’m very excited we’ve been able to instil this kind of beauty in a computer.”Facebook CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Zuckerberg congratulated Google for their historic milestone in AI research.Congrats to the Google DeepMind team on this historic milestone in AI research — a third straight victory over Go grandmaster Lee Sedol. We live in exciting times.Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, March 12, 2016last_img read more

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Facebook Rolls Out a Screening Feature For Facebook Admins

first_imgAdvertisement According to reports by Tech Crunch, social media giants, Facebook Inc. has rolled out a feature that allows them to ensure that the right persons are added to a group – this will be done by admins setting up three test questions for people requesting to join the group. This allows admins to screen the potential member and make sure the added member does not troll or spam the Group.“Screening new membership requests requires time and legwork for admins – particularly for groups built around focused passions or purpose. For these groups, admins typically have specific criteria they require before admitting new members.”“Establishing these open-ended questions enables them to more quickly review and approve member requests; in turn, people seeking communities of support or shared interest can more quickly connect with others,” the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying.Facebook screening feature rolls out to all facebook page admins. Image Credit: Tech Crunch – Advertisement – Potential members can answer the questions in up to 250 characters each that can be seen by admins and moderators only, and will not be posted on the Group.“Users who hit ‘Join’ on a Group with a questionnaire will be asked to fill it out immediately, while those invited to join will get a notification linked to the form. Applicants can edit their answers until they’re reviewed,” the report noted.[related-posts]The new update gives more control to the Group admins, who can select the questions and decide whom to add in the Group – something that can lead to productive discussions.“One of the things that we’ve seen in online communities, also including offline communities, is that having an engaged and talented leader is one of the key things for making a strong community … but right now our Groups product hasn’t really been built to facilitate the leaders,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook had said in February.last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Friday

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.Friday 19 DecemberRACING1.10 UttoxeterMondo Cane 6/1 > 7/22.45 SouthwellShowtime Star 7/2 > 7/44.50 WolverhamptonBalayage 6/4 > 8/11FOOTBALL: BT SPORT11/8 Bristol Rovers 2/1 Gateshead 9/4 DRAWWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

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STAR PREVIEW Six Nations Outright

first_imgThe 6 Nations, Rugby’s Greatest Championship. For those who are familiar with the gladiatorial experience of test match rugby, it needs no explanation. For those who are unfamiliar – find a pub, or switch on a TV, turn the volume up, and prepare to feel the roar of atmospheres like no other.It’s understandable that Ireland (4/5 with starsports.bet) are such short favourites for back to back titles. Last year’s Grand Slam winners were peerless from start to finish in a year that must go down as one of the greatest years in Irish rugby history, with the Grand Slam followed by victory in Australia and then an unbeaten Autumn with victory over the All Blacks.Johnny Sexton is arguably the world’s best fly half – and certainly the most important one – whilst they also have a world class scrum half in the shape of Conor Murray, who missed the Autumn and is now back fit and firing. Add Jacob Stockdale, Jordan Larmour, and Garry Ringrose to the backline before the incredible pack (featuring Tadhg Furlong, Sean Cronin, James Ryan, Devin Toner, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander) and you have a side filled with world-class talent.Putting one off Ireland is extremely hard, but Championships are decided by very fine margins – like the few inches that Johnny Sexton’s drop goal had at the Stade De France, or the yards that separated Gareth Anscombe’s Hail Mary pass from an onrushing Jacob Stockdale at the end of a thrilling encounter with Wales, and their opposition has certainly improved since the end of last year.England managed to win three of their four Autumn Internationals and Wales have won their last nine games since that defeat in Dublin, suggesting that the gap between Irish rugby and the rest is shorter than the impression given by the Champions Cup. The fixtures are arguably harder for them despite three home games, as they will now have to travel to Murrayfield rather than hosting Scotland as well as a visit to the Principality Stadium to end the tournament, and whilst a squad of their depth and ability are rightful favourite, it’s likely this championship will be decided by margins that are so small it’s impossible to be excited about a price of 4/5.We will talk about England (3/1 with starsports.bet) later in more detail but Wales have quietly and consistently become a red hot side on the international stage and it would be no surprise if they were in the hunt for the title until the last minute.Warren Gatland has managed to change their game to be more flexible for both running and pack based rugby, and it’s worth remembering that they could have gotten an awful lot closer to Ireland with a small bit of luck last year. They started with a dominant win over Scotland before heading to Twickenham, when they lost 12-6 but they might well have had a different result had the TMO spotted Gareth Anscombe getting his hand to a rebound that bounced off Steff Evans’ shins, Wales then kept England scoreless for an hour and forced the hosts to concede five times as many penalties as their opponents, albeit to no avail.Wales made more metres, more carries, beat more defenders and missed fewer tackles than England in that defeat and had clawed themselves back into the game against Ireland when they were working a big overlap before Jacob Stockdale’s interception. That was their last defeat, with impressive wins against Argentina in the summer and an unbeaten Autumn that included a first win against Australia in over 10 years and a comprehensive defeat of a South Africa side that was unlucky not to beat England earlier in the winter.Their defensive efforts – thanks in no small part to Shaun Edwards’ work as defence coach – have been exemplary and they are recovering players just at the right time, too. Gareth Davies, so excellent last year, is in contention to start for their trip to France, Dragons’ back-row powerhouse Ross Moriarty is now in contention, so is lock Adam Beard and also winger Josh Adams.Wales do have 10 players injured but they also have a big squad – they are perhaps the only side that can have a game of ‘probables v possibles’ – and if they can sneak a win against the French then they have a chance to build momentum with a trip to Italy before they face England and facing both England and Ireland gives them a fighting chance even if they must head to Scotland. Certainly, the 5/1 about them looks to be a low risk, high gain investment on a tournament that often goes down to the last minute of the last game.England had won back to back titles before their huge slide under Eddie Jones last year, when defeats to Scotland, France and Ireland saw them finish fifth. A series defeat to South Africa saw Eddie Jones’ job on the line, but they were much improved in the Autumn when they won three of their four games – and were perhaps a tiny bit unlucky not to beat New Zealand.Jones is also boosted by a positive injury report – Mako and Billy Vunipola as well as Ellis Genge and Joe Launchbury all missed out on the autumn internationals with injury but are now available, and Own Farrell should just about make their first trip.When playing at their best they can challenge anyone, but their record on the road is still subject to much scrutiny. There is no shame in defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield but they were lucky to benefit from a host of changes after South Africa had won the test series and they’ve not played on the road since. Travelling to Dublin first up and then to Wales is an extremely difficult start to the Championship for them and arguably Ireland and Wales had better Autumn campaigns.Scotland (14/1 with starsports.bet) are perhaps one of the most nightmarish trips in European rugby. Third last season, Gregor Townsend saw his side beat England comprehensively last year, extending a deeply impressive record that sees New Zealand and South Africa as the only sides to beat them in the last two years at Murrayfield – and even then those were one score games.However, their record on the road does not match up to their record at home – this despite some taking wins against Argentina in the summer – and what’s more worrying is the relative injury crisis that has hit them at precisely the wrong time. Gregor Townsend is missing 20 players for their opening two games, and whilst it is helpful that they are at Murrayfield for the opening two games, in the long term those two factors could combine against them.It is the away performances which also turn one against France (also 14/1 with starsports.bet), who have better news on the injury front with Camille Lopez and Morgan Parra now at Jacques’ Brunel’s disposal whilst he also can call upon seven of the Toulouse side that managed to beat Leinster in the Champions Cup. They include not only old hands Yohann Huget and Maxime Médard but new stars Thomas Ramos and Antoine Dupont, but that’s a whole load of new faces there to integrate into the starting XV and it could once again take time.Playing Wales at home is a bonus but travelling to Twickenham and Dublin is most certainly not for a side that has lost eight of their last ten away games in the Six Nations and 16 of their last 19 away from Paris, with two of those wins coming against Italy.Italy (1000/1 with starsports.bet) deserve more respect than their odds suggest, and the club game has improved inexorably despite the failure of both sides to make the reformed Champions Cup, and Benetton Treviso – who provide 18 of the players in Conor O’Shea’s squad – are actually second right now in Conference B with seven wins, but they had also been performing over expectations last year, when they ended up bottom of the table.Zebre are rooted to the bottom of the table, and the Azzurri are also without Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri and Zebre full-back Matteo Minozzi, who scored four tries last season.6 Nations Championship1st February – 16th MarchLive on BBC & ITV TV in UK, RTE in IrelandPast Six Nations Winners2018: Ireland (Grand Slam winners)2017: England2016: England (Grand Slam winners)2015: Ireland2014: Ireland2013: Wales2012: Wales (Grand Slam winners)2011: England2010: France (Grand Slam winners)2009: Ireland (Grand Slam winners)2008: Wales (Grand Slam winners)2007: France (Ireland win Triple Crown)RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK WALES TO WIN SIX NATIONS 2 points at 5/1 with starsports.betBACK WALES TO WIN TRIPLE CROWN 1 point at 11/2 with starsports.betPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 200.64 points(excluding Premier League ante-post)last_img read more

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