The disabled author of an acclaimed new investigation into the impact of austerity on disabled people has backed calls for an independent inquiry into links between the government’s policies and the deaths of benefit claimants.Frances Ryan (pictured) said there was an “urgent” need for an inquiry to investigate the failings of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its links to the deaths of disabled people claiming benefits.She has become the latest high-profile figure to back the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, which calls for an inquiry into such deaths, and for any evidence of criminal misconduct by ministers or senior civil servants to be passed to police.The petition also calls for a recognition that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for DWP to change its policies and practices urgently to make the safety of all benefit claimants a priority.Ryan’s new book, Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People**, argues that those in power have turned on disabled people, who have become objects of “suspicion, demonization and contempt” since 2010.Ryan told Disability News Service: “In Crippled, I look at multiple cases of people who have died after having their benefits removed.“Some were found ‘fit for work’ but due to the inaccuracy of the assessment system, were so ill they died shortly after.“Some were starved, frozen, or had lethal health conditions triggered because they had no money for food, electric, or heating.“Others like Jodey were left in desperate states and sadly took their own lives.”She added: “Coroners have repeatedly pointed to ‘fit-for-work’ tests as a contributory factor in a number of disabled people’s deaths.“Suicide is deeply complex and it’s vital to report on these cases responsibly, but it isn’t hard to see how people are becoming vulnerable.“Remove social security from a disabled person too disabled or ill to work and it’s like pushing someone off a cliff and feigning surprise when they hit the beach.”Her book brings together much of the research that has exposed the impact of austerity on disabled people in the last decade, but it also hears the stories of individuals whose lives have been blighted by cuts to their support.It is, she says, “a rallying cry against the shrinking of the welfare state and the hardship the austerity agenda is causing disabled people”.Her book has been praised by high-profile figures such as film director Ken Loach, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has said: “This devastating book should shake our political system to its foundations.”Ryan concludes in the book that disabled people “have been routinely driven into destitution, pushed from the workplace and stripped of the right to live in their own homes”, while the benefit system is in chaos, with disabled people “forced through a system defined by hostility and humiliation”.And she says society has now reached the point at which “a cocktail of austerity and long-standing prejudice towards disabled people is leading to the sort of large-scale negligence that at its extremes is tantamount to abuse”. *To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People, by Frances Ryan, is published by Verso Books
Photo by George Lipp. A two-alarm fire displaced 11 people Wednesday evening after engulfing one three-story building south of 24th Street on Shotwell and spreading to a second building next door. No one was injured.Greg, a witness, said that he saw four of the fire victims. “It’s gut-wrenching to see the emotion on their faces — total shock.”Jonathan Baxter, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fire Department, said the call came in at 6:31 p.m.and engines set out to 1007 Shotwell St., just south of 24th Street. The crews arrived to find heavy fire in the building, and it had spread to 1011 Shotwell St. At that point, he said, they called the second alarm.The fire was under control by 7:36 p.m. Three people were displaced from the first building to catch fire, and eight from the neighboring building. Vida Sanford, who has lived at the second of the affected buildings for some 20 years, said the landlord and tenants live in the building together in a close-knit community she described as “basically family.” They nicknamed the building “the Compound.”Sanford said she had just rounded the corner of 24th and Shotwell when several fire trucks passed her. It took a moment to realize that it was her home that was in flames.All of the residents were able to escape unharmed, including one person living in a detached cottage at the rear of the building who is currently on crutches. Several dogs live in the building too, Sanford said, and all were able to get out.Now, the question is what belongings might be saved. Even after the flames were controlled and ostensibly out, firefighters roamed the building, lamps and flashlights lighting up the rooms full of smokey haze inside — visible from the street because the building’s siding had been, in many places, completely destroyed.Firefighters are investigating the origin and cause of the fire but did not specify where it started Wednesday evening. 0% Photo by Julian Mark.Photo by Julian Mark. Tags: Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
A MAJESTIC second half display saw the Saints stun the table topping Wolves 40-13 to hand them only their third defeat of the season, writes Graham Henthorne.Tormentor in chief, with a personal haul of 20 points, was the enigmatic Lee Gaskell. Operating from the unfamiliar full back position he was always a danger to the Wolves with his deceptive pace and the ability to ghost through the tightest of defences.It’s almost customary for the Saints to give their opposition a start and tonight was no different as some poor tackling let the Wolves in for a sloppy try.But that stung the Saints into action and for the next quarter of an hour both teams struggled to find an opening.As time wore on the Saints looked the more likely. Firstly Nathan Ashe was beaten to the touchdown from his own grubber, then Adam Swift knocked on as he hit the floor after being put away by Scott Hales pass.A big defensive set on their own line from the Saints kept the Wolves at bay. Jordan Case picked up the last tackle grubber and four tackles later Ashe’s show and go on half way created the space for him to put Danny Yates in under the posts.From the restart the Saints hit the front as a sublime pass from stand-off (in his own mind) Ant Walker put Gaskell away. He shimmied one way then the other which proved too much for the full back who sat down to admire his opposite numbers skills allowing Gaskell to stroll in under the posts.The kick off was allowed to bounce into touch and straight from the scrum the Wolves were in at the right corner.Two minutes to go to the break the visitors surprisingly took a penalty to level the scores when the Saints were caught offside.This willingness to kick for goal rather than try to break the Saints defensive line was used as a rallying cry at half time a fact backed up 10 minutes into the second half as the Wolves dropped a goal on the last tackle.By that time the Saints had missed two golden opportunities to take the lead. James Tilley offloaded to Yates but the scrum half dummied instead of diving over and was again denied minutes later reaching for the line after collecting a great offload from Carl Forster.The turning point came on the drop goal restart. The visitors lost possession on their own 30 and four tackles later watched as Gaskell collected Yates’ neat grubber to score.Fierce tackling again forced the error with Gaskell this time providing the scoring pass for centre Gary Wheeler as he looped around the back of the Saints line.The last hurrah for the Wolves came with 15 minutes left as they battered the Saints line only to come up empty handed yet again as the Saints showed an urgency in defence often sadly lacking.On regaining possession Forster, Tilley and Walker marched down field only for Swift to rise salmon-like over the top of the Wolves static defenders to catch Ashe’s chip.Further scores to Lewis Foster stretching out to score and Jayden Sandford taking Gaskell’s kick through on the final whistle put the icing on a very appetising cake.This was a great confidence boosting performance. To dismantle the table toppers in such a clinical fashion augurs well for the future. There were some great individual displays from Swift and Hale. Yates, Gaskell and Ashe’s kicking always had the Wolves in trouble but as ever victories like this are made on the back of a dominant forward pack and tonight was no exception. Forster, Walker, Tilley and Danny Jones had the better of their opposite numbers and it showed on the scoreboard.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Lee Gaskell 2, Jayden Sandford, Adam Swift, Gary Wheeler, Danny Yates, Lewis Foster.Goals: Lee Gaskell 6.Warrington:Tries: Danny Birkett, James Mendieka.Goals: Gareth O’Brien 2.Drop Goals: Bobbie Goulding.Half Time: 12-12Full Time: 40-13Teams:Saints:1. Lee Gaskell; 2. Jayden Sandford, 3. Adam Swift, 18. Gary Wheeler, 5. Lewis Charnock; 6. Nathan Ashe, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Anthony Walker, 9. Marcus Baines, 10. Carl Forster, 11. Scott Hale, 12. Jordan Case, 13. Danny Jones.Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 15. James Tilley, 16. Alex Trumper, 17. Adam Hesketh.Warrington:1. Jordan Burke; 2. Danny Birkett, 4. Ben Hellewell, 3. James Mendieka, 5. Gene Ormsby; 7. Gareth O’Brien, 6. Bobbie Goulding; 20. Glenn Riley, 9. Brad Dwyer, 19. Jack Morrison, 11. James Laithwaite, 12. Danny Bridge, 13. Jack Cooper.Subs: 14. Callan Beckett, 15. Andy Finn, 17. Ryan Maneely, 18. Brooke Broughton.
FRANCIS Meli saw red as Saints bowed out of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup at Hull KR.The winger was sent off for a high tackle on Craig Hall late in the first half.But Nathan Brown’s side almost upset the odds in a spirited and brave fightback.The Robins led 16-6 at half time as Hall profited twice from errors.But tries from Paul Wellens and Mark Percival saw Saints take the advantage with just over half an hour remaining.Greg Eden wrestled the lead back for the home side yet they couldn’t shake off the depleted visitors who refused to lie down.As time ticked down though, Liam Salter latched on to Michael Dobson’s kick for the killer blow.Saints welcomed Ade Gardner and Tony Puletua back into the starting line up with Stuart Howarth and Paul Wellens taking up the half back berths.In the pack Jon Wilkin was named at 13 whilst centre Mark Percival was on the bench.Still missing were Josh Perry, James Roby, Jonny Lomax, Willie Manu, Gary Wheeler and Anthony Walker.George Griffin returned for Hull KR with Travis Burns.Hull KR kicked off and promptly put the ball out on the full – Saints then returned the favour by being called for a forward pass on their first drive.Tommy Makinson put Saints in good field position moments later but on the Robins’ next drive Jon Wilkin was put on report for a shoulder charge on Michael Dobson that left him shaken.Francis Meli was then called for a high tackle but Saints defended the threat.You felt the home side were always on top though and on their next set – after an error and penalty – they profited.Saints couldn’t defend the strong line runners and a cute little chip was collected by Craig Hall.Michael Dobson converted and seconds later it should have been more but David Hodgson knocked on with the line at his mercy.Seconds later though Mickey Paea was over after Gardner was called for a shoulder charge.Saints hit back with a try right out of the top drawer.The ball was switched to the left following a fantastic Jordan Turner break on the right and then it went through several pairs of hands back over to its originator and the centre duly put Ade Gardner in.Tommy Makinson converting from the touchline.Saints had their tails up and had another good chance as the half wore on.But after a break down the right hand side Francis Meli was sent off for a high tackle on Craig Hall – and he can have no complaints.And Hall then twisted the screw by popping up in the corner.With a man down Hull KR were finding gaps but Saints galvanised their defence just enough to get in just ten points down at half time.It went without saying that Saints needed a big start to the second half and they almost got it after superb Makinson and Percival breaks.And after a cheeky kick Paul Wellens mopped up.Makinson converting to make it a four-point game.And it got even better as Mark Percival latched on to Howarth and Soliola’s link up.Makinson putting Saints two to the good.Hull KR were denied a score when the ball was knocked on in the build-up – but on their next set they opened up the defence and Greg Eden sneaked through.Dobson adding his third conversion of the afternoon.12-man Saints continued to push and probe and won a drop out with 15 minutes remaining.But the killer blow was landed when Michael Dobson chipped to Liam Salter late on.Match Summary:Hull KR:Tries: Hall (2), Paea, Eden, SalterGoals: Dobson (3 from 5)Saints:Tries: Gardner, Wellens, PercivalGoals: Makinson (3 from 3)Penalties:Hull KR: 7Saints: 5HT: 6-16FT: 18-26REF: Richard SilverwoodATT: 4454Teams:Hull KR:1. Greg Eden; 2. Craig Hall, 3. Kris Welham, 18. Liam Salter, 5. David Hodgson; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Michael Dobson; 23. Mickey Paea, 9. Josh Hodgson, 16. Adam Walker, 13. Rhys Lovegrove, 12. Cory Paterson, 25. George Griffin.Subs: 11. Constantine Mika, 21. Keal Carlile, 22. Richard Beaumont, 24. James Green.Saints:21. Tom Makinson; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 36. Stuart Howarth, 1. Paul Wellens; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 6. Lance Hohaia, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 16. Paul Clough, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley, 30. Mark Percival.
SAINTS got their season off to the best possible start with a strong and ultimately comfortable 38-8 win at Warrington.Led superbly around the pitch by Luke Walsh, who was simply a class apart on his debut, they took the Wolves apart and underlined their title credentials.Nathan Brown wouldn’t have such talk after the game of course, but anyone watching couldn’t fail to be impressed by this new look Saints.The damage was done in the first half when his side led 20-4 at the break.After Joel Monaghan had punished an early error, the visitors clicked up a gear and were ruthless.Tommy Makinson took Jordan Turner’s wonder pass before Gary Wheeler’s quick feet found space for James Roby.And debutant Kyle Amor got the benefit of the doubt when he put down with players around him.Anthony Laffranchi profited from a mistake within the first minute of the second half and that was that until the Wolves got on the board with ten minutes to go.There was time for more tries though; Adam Swift finishing off a quick move on the left and a lovely intercept from Luke Walsh.With the number 7 already beginning his route to cult status at the club after just one match, his partner Gary Wheeler was also accomplished at 6.But from the first minute you would have never expected such a swing to occur at full time.Saints got off to the worst possible start when Willie Manu knocked on and Joel Monaghan flew over in the corner.Stefan Ratchford missing the conversion.Walsh and Jon Wilkin’s kicks then got Saints back into it in terms of field position and then they almost profited when the former had Tommy Makinson within inches.The winger made no mistake the second time round though taking a wonderful Jordan Turner pass to plunge over in the corner on 13 minutes.Four minutes later it got better. The Wolves were penalised on the halfway line, Jonny Lomax went close and then superb feet from Gary Wheeler on the last found James Roby in space.Walsh two from from with the boot.And that man’s boot lined up Saints again – a 70 metre kick giving his side a 40:20.From that set, Kyle Amor burrowed over for an opportunistic try; given the benefit of the doubt by the video referee.Jordan Turner was having a ball down the right hand side and almost ripped the Wolves to shreds again when he caught them napping on the angle.Percival found himself within a foot with around 10 minutes to go but less than two minutes later it was all Warrington.A Sia Soliola high tackle and offside landed more sets for the home side but they found the Saints defence too mean.Another high tackle – this time from Jon Wilkin – had Saints on the back foot again but Walsh was on hand to quell Michael Monaghan’s chip.And that’s how the half ended; Saints defence too good.There was even time for Walsh to underline the visitor’s first half dominance with a penalty on 38 minutes to send his side in 20-4 up at the break.In the second half, Wilkin charged down a kick in the first minute and Adam Swift went within inches.Another drive saw Walmsley almost get on the board and then it was left for Anthony Laffranchi to crash over.It was a class start to the second half and just what Saints needed as Warrington clearly came out charged up.Both sides then exchanged penalties and the odd chance but little in the way of quality play.In fact, Saints looked content with holding the Wolves off in their own half whilst the home side were struggling to break them down.And when they did – Higham getting through in the 63rd minute, both Lomax and Turner were on hand to deny a certain score.Warrington did grab a try when Gareth O’Brien’s kick hit the post, bounced back and he fed it to Joel Monaghan for his second.But it was always Saints night and Adam Swift bagged another as the clock ticked down and Luke Walsh capped a excellent night with an interception from Benny Westwood.Match Summary:Wolves: Tries: Monaghan. J (2)Goals: Ratchford (0 from1), O’Brien (0 from 1)Saints: Tries: Makinson, Roby, Amor, Laffranchi, Swift, WalshGoals: Walsh (7 from 7)Penalties: Wolves: 9Saints: 7HT: 20-4FT: 38-8REF: Phil BenthamATT: 13,157Teams:Wolves:6. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 3. Chris Bridge, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 14. Michael Monaghan, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Micky Higham, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Ben Currie.Subs: 20. Gareth O’Brien, 21. Glenn Riley, 23. James Laithwaite, 25. Ben Evans.Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 22. Mark Percival; 24. Gary Wheeler, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 11. Sia Soliola, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 17. Paul Wellens.
“I thought our opening 20, 25 minutes weren’t great in terms of our ruck control,” he said. “They had an edge with their carries and middle defence but credit to the players they hung on in there without being at their best.“Theo (Fages) coming off hurt us and we had to move stuff about. It wasn’t working in attack but we had plenty of chances down their end of the field. We were a little clunky but shuffled at half time and put people in different spots.“We flowed better in the second half and you cannot fault the effort and fight in that half. Salford are a good side and are playing some good stuff. It is always tough to come here but we overcame that early adversity to get back into the game.“We were fighting until the end and within a chance of winning the game, but got a little panicky and unforced errors hurt us. Credit to Salford, they got the cash today.”He added: “We got intensity in the second half and you ask the question why we don’t start like that. We knew Salford would fight and had a point to prove on their own midden. We knew they would be up for it and we let ourselves down in that opening gambit.”Cunningham said Fages came off with a head injury and that will be assessed in the coming days.“He’s a tough kid so for him to come off the field he must have been pretty dazed,” he concluded.
Four sea turtles were released from Topsail Island. (Photo: Town of Surf City/Allan Libby) SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — The bright, warm sunshine set the stage for the perfect morning to release four sea turtles back into the wild.During their time on land, they have been at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.- Advertisement – Stewey, Onslow Baby, Seaview IV, and March were taken to the shoreline and let go back into the wild this morning at a beach access in Surf City.Two of the turtles were Green and the others were Kemp’s Ridley.Related Article: Weather station, tide gauge installed on Surf City bridgeAllan Libby, Surf City tourism director, says this was currently the last scheduled release of the year.
BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The search continues for a missing 23-year-old Fayetteville man in Bladen County.Jesse Sgro went missing late Friday night while on a church retreat at Singletary Lake State Park just south of White Lake in Kelly.- Advertisement – It’s been three days now of searching and there are still no answers.Nearly 20 local groups including police, sheriff’s offices and search and rescue teams have been working tirelessly since 7 a.m. and are now wrapping up for the night.Officials say crews are using everything from drones, side scan sonar devices on boats to k-9 crews on the water and on the ground.Related Article: Kids ‘taken against their will’ may be in the CarolinasThey have more than 90 people out here including friends and family.Jesse’s father, David, says his son is a worship leader and was here on a retreat with his church.Lead pastor Stacy Long says Jesse was just following a beloved tradition when he went missing taking the canoes out to watch the sunset.“Every night that’s a tradition for four years,” Long said. “That’s what we did on Friday night. Jesse went out by himself and he often goes out alone to spend time with God. I was one of the last people to see him and he was singing. So he was in a really, really good place and really, really happy.”Jesse’s canoe was found upright in the lake with his cell phone and jacket inside.“We got in the canoes and we all started paddling in different directions and I went to the last place I had seen him. He wasn’t there. And I don’t know half an hour later we found his canoe without him on the side of the lake. It is still in the water against the brush. And his cell phone was in it, his jacket was in it. No paddle, no Jesse. And then we were like ‘Oh no, this is not good.’”“In my mind, I’m a father, my son is missing so there’s the hope that he’s just going to walk out of the woods or they’re going to find him,” David said. “There’s always the reality that we’re not going to see him. And that’s not an easy thing for a parent to consider.”He and David hope he’s not out there just waiting for help.“If he’s safe I hope he’s feeling the presence of God and the love of God and he knows that we wouldn’t give up on him. If he’s in heaven he’s a heck of a lot happier than us. And we’re the only sad ones,” Long said.“We miss you,” David said. “We’re praying for you. We love you very much. And we can’t wait to be with you, to hug you, and to let you know how much we love you.”Since the search wasn’t successful tonight, crews plan to continue their search Tuesday.
The North Carolina team will work in Hilo and will support the Hawaii County Civil Defense agency.Team members come from emergency management agencies in Bladen, Gates, Lee, McDowell, Moore and Onslow counties; fire departments in Cary, Charlotte and Greensboro and from N.C. Emergency Management.The volcano began erupting more than two weeks ago and has burned dozens of homes and forced people to flee. It has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with flying lava causing the first major injury.B Hawaii on “Red Alert” major volcanic eruption is imminent. (Photo: USGS) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina officials say 10 emergency managers and fire service officials will work in Hawaii on the response to the erupting Kilauea volcano.The state Department of Public Safety said in a news release that the 10 left Saturday after Hawaii’s state emergency management agency requested help.- Advertisement –
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Roy Cooper was met by an unhappy crowd Thursday afternoon during a tour of areas recovering from Hurricane Florence.Residents of the Whitestocking neighborhood in Burgaw want to know when they will finally get some assistance.- Advertisement – “They said, after the TV crews leave, and the Red Cross leave, you going to feel like you’ve been forgotten about,” Reggie Powell, resident impacted by storm, said. “That’s what it feels like.”“It’s good the governor is here in the Whitestocking community in Pender County,” Pender County NAACP President Dante Murphy said. “But at the end of the day, a whole lot of romance without finance. I just don’t get it.”Gov. Cooper toured a temporarily repaired bridge on US 421 before visiting a house currently under repair in Rocky Point.Related Article: Get ready to pay up even more to park in Wrightsville BeachAfter that, he headed to Sand Hill AME Church on Whitestocking Road in Burgaw, which has been used as a distribution center.Bill Raber and Rae Riley helped start another distribution center nearby on NC 53. They say most of the people volunteering there are victims themselves.“They’re homeless,” Riley said. “They still come out here and run these distribution centers.”Powell lived across the street from the church before Florence hit. Now, he does not have a place to live.“In my car sometimes, with my sister sometimes, with somebody else. Bouncing around,” Powell said.Residents say part of the problem is strict rules by FEMA about where trailers can be placed.“They can’t get a camper from FEMA cause they live in a floodplain,” Raber said. “They want them to go to a camp that’s 30-40 miles from here. But this is their home.”They say for those who do qualify for a camper the county makes it difficult to even use them.“It’s a slap in the face to these people that have FEMA trailers sitting on their property, but because of Pender County’s rules and regulations, they can’t get the keys,” Riley said.People asked the governor what was being done about getting more FEMA trailers to those in need and some were frustrated that he had no microphone and was difficult to hear in the large crowd.“I asked the governor, we all know that these people are not going to be in their houses before Christmas,” Riley said. “Everybody knows that nobody’s begging for that. But we are begging for FEMA and Pender County to please let them be in these campers before Christmas. Let these families be together.”Earlier in the day, Governor Cooper said “it’s critical that debris removal occur and that people get temporary housing, and that we begin the process for permanent affordable housing for people.”