The disabled author of an acclaimed new investigat

first_imgThe 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 Bookslast_img read more

Fire erupts and displaces 11 tenants from buildings on Shotwell St

first_imgPhoto 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%center_img Photo by Julian Mark.Photo by Julian Mark. Tags: Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

A MAJESTIC second half display saw the Saints stun

first_imgA 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.last_img read more

FRANCIS Meli saw red as Saints bowed out of the Te

first_imgFRANCIS 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.last_img read more

SAINTS got their season off to the best possible s

first_imgSAINTS 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.last_img read more

I thought our opening 20 25 minutes werent grea

first_img“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.last_img read more

Four sea turtles return to ocean final scheduled release for 2017

first_imgFour 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.last_img read more

Pastor father stay hopeful during search for missing man in Bladen Co

first_imgBLADEN 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.last_img read more

Members of Bladen Emergency Management leave for Hawaii to aid in eruption

first_img 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 – last_img read more

Gov Cooper faces unhappy crowd during Pender County visit

first_imgPENDER 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.”last_img read more

Where is the sand at Balluta Bay

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Signs of a beach are now scarce at Balluta Bay.This comes only seven months after a project to expand the beach at the bay.  In August, the Ministry for Tourism inaugurated the beach project costing €110,000.However, within one month, the beach had begun to disappear, only worsened by a storm in the visited the scene today where it appears that the beach is all but gone.Speaking to a spokesperson for the Ministry for Tourism, the Times of Malta was told that despite visible pebbles and rocks, the majority of the sand had not been washed away.WhatsApplast_img read more

Comedian rips up the play book in Ukraine election success

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: Volunteers work at the election campaign office of Ukrainian comic actor and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev, Ukraine April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn OgirenkoFILE PHOTO: Volunteers work at the election campaign office of Ukrainian comic actor and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev, Ukraine April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko As a comedian, TV host and actor, Volodymyr Zelenskiy knows how to start a show with a bang. He proved that by beating all comers in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election.As he plans for the grand finale, a runoff against President Petro Poroshenko on April 21, aides say he is sticking to an unorthodox campaign routine that has torn up the play book.Appearing to turn the tables on Poroshenko, Zelenskiy on Wednesday evening accepted his challenge to take part in a policy debate. In a slick video with pumping music, he set his own conditions and gave his rival 24 hours to respond.Poroshenko’s campaign team had hinted Zelenskiy would duck out because the comedian, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, would risk showing himself up.Within 45 minutes of Zelenskiy’s video being posted on Facebook, it had been seen 141,000 times, shared more than 22,000 times and attracted 3,300 comments. It left a live countdown for Poroshenko to respond.“You called me for a debate, dreaming that I would run away, duck out, hide. No. I’m not you in 2014,” said Zelenskiy, in a reference to Poroshenko not holding a debate during the previous election five years ago.Poroshenko responded with a much more sober video in which he accepted Zelenskiy’s condition of holding the debate in a huge soccer stadium. But he cautioned: “Debate is not a show … This is no time to joke around. Being a president and commander in chief is not a game.”Zelenskiy’s response to Poroshenko offered a snapshot of how he has upstaged his more experienced rivals, winning nearly twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round of the election on March 31.Shunning traditional campaign tactics such as mass rallies or erecting tents in the street to distribute leaflets, he has relied heavily on social media and comedy gigs where he pokes fun at rivals, presenting himself as an everyman who stands up to corrupt elites — a man to whom Ukrainians can relate.At stake is the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following the 2014 annexation of the Crimea peninsula and war in eastern Ukraine against Russia-backed separatists in which 13,000 people have been killed.“NOT AFRAID TO BE CREATIVE”Part of Zelenskiy’s campaign team works in a large house in an upscale area of the capital, Kiev. Inside, the offices have glass walls with messages scrawled on them and are filled with volunteers in their twenties bent over laptops.“All that we do is to not be like everyone else,” said 28-year-old Michael Fedorov, whose team manages various Facebook, YouTube and Instagram pages. “We do not want to write typical posts. We do not want to speak the words that all politicians use. We want to get away from this as much as possible.”He said Zelenskiy had from the start opposed traditional ways of doing things. “As a result, we have one platform only; that’s the internet,” he said.Zelenskiy invites suggestions from Facebook followers on tackling problems such as high utility bills or their choice of prime minister.Dmytro Razumkov, Zelenskiy’s political adviser, said the comedian would not hold mass rallies before the second vote because the focus was on ensuring he comes across as authentic and transparent.“This is a person who is not a weather vane and does not change his position depending on whether it is more comfortable for a voter or less comfortable. You have to run for president, honestly stating your position and what will you do,” he said.One challenge is attracting voters who are not internet-savvy — bridging the gap between online and offline.Oleksandr Korniyenko, another senior member of Zelenskiy’s team, said one technique to get around this was emailing voters with campaign messages and encouraging them to print out the email and distribute it.Another was encouraging Zelenskiy’s many young supporters to show his social media videos to older voters such as parents, he said.Hoping a high turnout will favour Zelenskiy, his team is trying to ensure younger voters cast their ballots in email messages with headlines likely to make them click and read.“Our emails are not the typical ‘You joined such and such a political party’. Instead we might have a crazy headline,” Fedorov said.In the first round, an email was sent out by Zelenskiy’s team with the subject line “You’ve been left out”. The message itself said “everyone has already voted except you” and urged those who had voted to encourage others to vote, Fedorov said.“We are not afraid to be creative,” he said.“NOT A JOKE”Zelenskiy has 3.3 million followers on Instagram, more than French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte combined. Poroshenko has 234,000.The comedian’s posts offer snapshots of his life such as working out in the gym or going for a run, and allow him to poke fun at his rivals’ expense.When former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was eliminated in the first round of voting, posted a video of herself eating a hot dog at a popular gas station chain to show her common touch, Zelenskiy posted a picture of himself and his team eating a hotdog at the same chain.“In order to not be considered as just a joke, we decided to be serious like everyone else,” he wrote underneath.Zelenskiy is likely to come under more scrutiny over policy before the runoff, including in the debate. He is wealthy and the image of the fictional president he plays, humble and scrupulously honest, is likely to be challenged by Poroshenko.Zelenskiy has been accused during the campaign of being the puppet of a rich businessman whose TV channel airs his shows. Zelenskiy and the oligarch deny this, and both say their relationship is purely professional.Razumkov says the campaign has shown Zelenskiy is his own man.“In the Zelenskiy campaign, everything is completely different. When he launched his campaign, he said: ‘I want to show how you can become president, but remain a human being.’”WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

NAO issues report on Community Work Scheme

first_img SharePrint The Auditor General today presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives the National Audit Office (NAO) report entitled An Evaluation of the Community Work Scheme.In a press release, the NAO said that from 2016 to 2018, central Government incurred an expenditure of over €30 million (VAT included) in relation to the Community Work Scheme (CWS). As at September 2018, the Scheme employed 839 persons within Social Purpose Entities (SPEs). These include Local Councils, Schools and NGOs. A Concession Agreement between Jobsplus and the Community Work Scheme Enterprise (CWSE) Foundation establishes the CWS’s operational framework.The NAO added that the Community Work Scheme (CWS), as an active labour market initiative which primarily seeks to improve the employability opportunities of severely disadvantaged persons, operates within difficult parameters in view of the social circumstances of these persons. Despite the inherent risks associated with preparing and encouraging disadvantaged individuals to find more gainful employment, the Scheme proved economically viable although its implementation yielded mixed results.The scheme has also satisfied principal value-for-money criteria in relation to its economic viability.Furthermore, employability audits carried out by the CWSE Foundation ensured that the 839 participants could be deployed with SPEs where they could best utilise their competencies. At least nine per cent of participants joined the scheme through the catch-all eligibility criteria of ‘additional resources’.The NAO also stated that due to a lack of sufficient resources, Jobsplus does not have the adequate structures in place to perform more in-depth reviews of the scheme.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Exclusive – NATO aims to make space new frontier in defence

first_imgFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a space astronaut toy as he participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a space astronaut toy as he participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo NATO aims to recognise space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats said, partly to show U.S. President Donald Trump that the alliance is relevant and adapting to new threats after he signed off on the creation of a U.S. Space Force.The decision, set to be taken at a Dec. 3-4 leaders summit in London that Trump is due to attend, would formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space.“There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official,” said one senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions, although cautioning that technical policy work was still underway.NATO diplomats deny the alliance would be on a war footing in space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defences or destroy satellites.FILE PHOTO: Employees chat at a production line of Airbus’ European Service Module (ESM), which is delivered for NASA’s Orion Spaceship, at the Airbus plant in Bremen, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File PhotoThe decision to declare space a new frontier for defence may help convince Trump that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can be a useful ally in deterring China’s rise as a rival military power, the diplomats said.While NATO countries today own 65% of satellites in space, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking missiles and armed forces on the ground.China is developing weapons it could use in orbit and became the first country to land on the far side of the moon last year.Russia, once a strategic partner for NATO but now viewed by many allies as a hostile power, is also a force in space and is one of the few countries able to launch satellites into orbit.“You can have warfare exclusively in space, but whoever controls space also controls what happens on land, on the sea and in the air,” said Jamie Shea, a former NATO official and now an analyst at Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels.“If you don’t control space, you don’t control the other domains either.”NATO defence ministers are expected to agree to a broad space policy next week at a regular meeting in Brussels, although there will be no decision yet to declare space an operational domain of defence.A second diplomat said that while the decision was weighty and had real consequences, it would likely be “a gift to Trump”.Trump, who used NATO’s last summit in July last year to harangue European allies over defence spending and accused Germany of being a prisoner of Russian energy, signed a plan in February to start creating the U.S. Space Force.Even though the London gathering is some six months away, European allies are already nervous about whether Trump will use the meeting to again question the value of the alliance, of which he is the de-facto head.WHAT TRIGGERS ARTICLE 5?The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as using such assets to monitor for missile launches and track its forces.No longer forced to simply circle the earth’s orbit, satellites can now be manoeuvred in space to spy on other space assets. India launched an anti-satellite missile test in March.Italy, Britain and France are Europe’s main space powers, while Germany is drafting new laws and seeking private investment to secure a slice of an emerging space market that could be worth $1 trillion a year by the 2040s.FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump displays the “Space Policy Directive 4” after signing the directive to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/File PhotoFrance wants more assurances of how its space assets would be used in the event of a crisis. In other areas of warfare, national assets belonging to NATO allies are put under the command of the supreme allied commander during a conflict.Most sensitive of all would be deciding if an attack on a allied satellite constituted an assault on the alliance and whether to trigger NATO’s Article 5 collective defence clause.Similar to a decision to make cyber a domain of warfare in 2016, NATO’s decision would initially mean increased military planning, a review of NATO vulnerabilities and scrutiny of how to better protect commercial satellites used by the military.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Air Malta pilots should stop excess demands – MHRA

first_imgThe Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) are asking Air Malta pilots to be reasonable and stop their excessive demands to the government as in their opinion it is becoming “a serious threat” to the whole of AirMalta, MHRA members and well as the economy in general.In a press release on Tuesday, the MHRA also added that the asked €700,000 guaranteed pension for every pilot is unreasonable, and is urging The Airline Pilots Association – Malta (ALPA) “to be part of what could be an aviation success story and help grow AirMalta”.Updated (3): Air Malta flights will be delayed as of midnight on MondayMHRA also feel that excessive demands may lead to Air Malta facing the same demise as other airlines around the world which have gone bankrupt such as Iceland’s WOW Airlines, as according to them only the most effective airlines with the lowest costs will survive in this fiercely competitive aviation market.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Watch Daphnes assassination is an attack on democracy

first_imgActivist Mark Josef Rapa described the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on those who would like to live in a democratic country, during his speech marking the 21st month since the assassination.Activists gathered in Valletta on Tuesday for a brief protest vigil held in front of the Great Siege Monument, organised by NGOs Repubblika and Occupy Justice. Earlier on Tuesday, a bill of indictment was issued for three men suspected of carrying out the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.READ: Men suspected of Caruana Galizia murder to stand trialRapa said that Caruana Galizia’s murder was unlike other murder in Malta, describing it as an attack on those who would like to live in a democratic country and expecting that those in power have the country’s best interests in their hearts and mind. He remarked that Caruana Galizia was left alone, and urged the public to support those journalists who give their lives to ensure that the people’s quality of life is better.Rapa said that Caruana Galizia’s revelations had shaken corruption at its foundation. Further, the activist remarked, her work analysed the web which is undermining the country’s economy, reputation and quality of life.Rapa said that the politicians’ actions are affecting the country’s relations with other countries, remarking that the Maltese seem to be happy, as long as the money keeps flowing in.“We meet monthly to remember” – Pia ZammitPia Zammit reiterated that the monthly vigil is not only held to honour the slain journalist, but it is also to ensure that no one forgets what happened on 16 October 2017. She stressed on the importance on the monthly vigils saying that contrary to what the government keeps repeating, what has happened and the aftermath of the assassination, are not normal circumstances.Zammit remarked that the three suspects in custody are those accused with the killing, however it is not yet known who commissioned the murder. <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Credit: Occupy Justice SharePrint 1 of 3center_img Credit: Occupy Justice Footage and pictures: Occupy JusticeWhatsApp Credit: Occupy Justicelast_img read more

BOV Female Player of the Month

first_imgWhatsApp Brenda Borg of Mgarr United is the BOV Female Player of the Month for December 2018 and January 2019.The Mgarr United and National Team player, boasts 122 goals in 148 senior appearances and is currently Mgarr United’s top scorer for the season with 8 goals, scoring her 8th goal during Mgarr United’s 5-0 win over Fgura in December.Mgarr United is proving to be the revelation of the season. Currently they are in the second place of the chart and have recently halted league leaders Birkirkara’s 11 game winning streak with a 0-0 draw.Charles Azzopardi, PR and Marketing Executive presented the BOV Female Player of the Month trophies to Brenda Borg. Bank of Valletta is a major supporter of sporting initiatives and a long-term supporter of female football in Malta. SharePrintcenter_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Postmaster Tools comes to Gmail

first_imgAdvertisement Google has released a new tool for Gmail called Postmaster Tools.According to, the tool allows qualified high-volume senders to analyze their mass emails to find out which messages are being sent to spam and to what sort reputation they have with recipients.Google said this will allow them to check on any mistakes and learn more about best emailing practices. – Advertisement – Also, Gmail is overhauling the spam filter on the end-user side. It is now implementing machine learning to detect and block spam trying to pass off as wanted mail.The company says that it has also improved its overall phishing protection.The new filter will also be able to learn what kind of emails the users like to read based on their habits.last_img read more

10 new Netflix originals to look forward to in 2016

first_imgAdvertisement Netflix has released a lot of original content up to this point — including smash hits House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None — but 2016 is slated to be Netflix’s most original and most exciting year yet.By year’s end, not only can you expect to see at least 13 new high-quality original series, but also a new teen drama series, a new talk show with Chelsea Handler, and 11 new animated series for kids. At less than $10 per month, there’s no doubt about it: Netflix is absolutely worth the price.Here’s the bottom line: Netflix’s track record has proven that it can rival even the best of cable channels — including HBO and AMC — and if it can keep up that level of quality in 2016, Netflix might just end up being the best and most rewarding “channel” for original programming of them all.1. Love – Advertisement – Love is a comedy series starring Gillian Jacobs (best known as Britta from Community) and created by Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin. It aims to be a down-to-earth look at dating that explores romantic relationships from both male and female perspectives.Netflix actually ordered two seasons for this show — the first having 10 episodes and the second having 12 episodes — which means they must believe that it has a lot of promise. It airs on February 19, so look out for it! Even if it’s half as good as Master of None, it will still be awesome.2. Fuller HouseIf you weren’t aware, Netflix has decided to reboot Full House. Rumors about the potential sequel floated throughout early 2015, and when it was officially announced as acquired by Netflix in April, fans of the show went nuts. This reboot is aptly titled Fuller House.All but one of the original characters will be reprised by their respective actors (the missing one being Michelle Tanner, played by the Olsen twins) and they will all make an appearance in one form or another, but only D.J. Tanner, Stephanie Tanner, and Kimmy Gibler will have main roles.The first season, which airs on February 26, will contain 13 episodes. The nostalgia is obviously strong — and the teaser exploits that nostalgia perfectly — but many, including myself, are holding their breath in hopes that the sequel lives up to the original. All we can do now is wait and see if it does.3. Marvel’s Luke CageSo far, Netflix has produced two superhero drama series set in the Marvel universe — Daredevil and Jessica Jones — and both have been critically-acclaimed successes. This was all part of a deal that Netflix struck, to produce at least four 13-episode series set in the Marvel universe.With Daredevil and Jessica Jones complete, the next in the sequence will be Luke Cage, a character who played a supporting role in a few of the episodes in Jessica Jones. Considering how well the first two turned out, I think it’s safe to say that Luke Cage will be just as good.4. Stranger ThingsPreviously known as Montauk, Stranger Things is a supernatural drama series centered on the story of a boy who mysteriously vanishes into thin air in 1980s-era Montauk, New York. It comes from the same creative minds that adapted Wayward Pines.The series stars Winona Ryder and will premiere with a first season run of eight hour-long episodes. No release date has yet been announced.5. The CrownThe Crown is a biographical drama series about the British royal family, namely the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II and her many prime ministers as it spans across several decades. Not much else is known at the moment.Claire Foy will play the Queen, Matt Smith (of Doctor Who fame) will play her husband, John Lithgow will play Winston Churchill, and the show will mainly take place at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. The first season will consist of 10 episodes, but no air date has been announced yet.6. The Get DownThe Get Down is a musical drama series. I know that immediately conjures up the show Glee, but I assure you, The Get Down will be nothing like that. It’s co-created by Baz Luhrmann (who co-wrote Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby) and Shawn Ryan (who created The Shield and Terriers), so this show is in good hands.In short, The Get Down is set in the South Bronx region of New York in the 1970s and explores the social environment that ultimately gave birth to hip-hop, punk, and disco. Luhrmann has apparently been developing the concept for 10 years, so prepare for greatness.The first season will debut as a 13-episode run, each one hour long.7. FlakedIf you like Will Arnett’s work in both Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman, then you’ll be happy to know that he has another Netflix-related show coming out this year called Flaked. It’s a comedy series — of course — and it’s going to be great.The most exciting bit of news about Flaked is that it will be co-developed with Mitch Hurwitz, whom fans will recognize as the creative genius behind Arrested Development. Flaked follows Chip, a self-help guru who struggles to stay ahead of his own lies.8. The RanchIf you’re a fan of That 70s Show, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for The Ranch. Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson — who played Michael Kelso and Steven Hyde, respectively — star as brothers in this comedy series.To cut a long story short, they live on and maintain a Colorado ranch and struggle to keep the family business going when Kutcher’s character returns home. Elisha Cuthbert will also play a main character, but details on her involvement are sparse at the moment.Interestingly, Netflix will apparently be experimenting with the show as it’s set to air twice every year in 10-episode batches. What this means for the future of Netflix programming, we can only speculate.9. FrontierSet in the late 1700s, Frontier is an adventure drama series that explores the clash between Native tribes and European settlers during the height of the North American fur trade.Netflix has promised a lot of “close-quarter hatchet fights”, so that’s something to look forward to. The series will star Jason Momoa, whom you may recognize as Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. No release date has yet been announced.10. Lady DynamiteLady Dynamite is a comedy mockumentary series based on the life of Maria Bamford and it stars, you guessed it, Maria Bamford. Mitch Hurwitz — the genius behind Arrested Development — will be executive producer with Pam Brady as showrunner, and the first season will be 13 half-hour episodes.[MakeUseOf]last_img read more

Full List Winners of the First Annual Edition of the Africa Innovation

first_imgAfrica is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and organizations all around the world support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements. (Photo Courtesy: Johnson & Johnson) Advertisement US based Pharmaceutical firm; Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced the winners of their first annual edition of the Africa Innovation Challenge 2017 at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. The Challenge was part of the firm’s comprehensive approach to collaborate with and support Africa’s vibrant innovation, education and health systems institutions.Paul Stoffels; the Managing Director at Johnson & Johnson in a press statement said; “Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and the company is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems”.The initiative, which received nearly 500 submissions from innovators and entrepreneurs across the continent, sought the best ideas for new, sustainable health solutions that will benefit African communities. – Advertisement – Launched in November last year, the Africa Innovation Challenge focused on three critical health areas .i.e; promoting early child development and maternal health, empowering young women, and improving family well-being. The three winning teams that did manage to embrace these concepts came from Burundi – who emerged winners, Liberia – as the 1st runners up and finally Uganda – as the 2nd runners up.WinnersProject Agateka from Burundi The development of a sustainable solution to support girls who are unable to afford menstrual pads and underwear is an important need for young women. Project Agateka will provide a direct health solution as well as the opportunity for women and girls to generate income in Burundi.With the inclusion of health information, the initiative is also said to provide health education to support improved sexual and reproductive health.Project Kernel Fresh from Liberia Project Kernel Fresh sources natural palm kernels from smallholder women farmers, increasing their income. The entrepreneur cold presses the palm kernel oil to be used in organic cosmetics.The project is said to also create jobs for young women by training them to sell the products throughout the country.Project Pedal Tap from Uganda Seeking to prevent disease transmission, and a reduction of water use, Project Pedal Tap developed a hands-free solutions for hand water taps in Uganda. The entrepreneurs will create manufacturing capabilities, using mostly recycled materials, which will lead to an ongoing business.Awards and Prizes The three winning teams will receive funding of up to $100,000 (roughly 359.5 million UGX) and mentorship from Johnson & Johnson scientists, engineers and researchers.[related-posts]The firm in its next challenge, dubbed, the GenH Challenge, a global social venture competition dedicated to finding solutions for some of the world’s toughest health problems, has called up-on all social entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide to help create the healthiest generation ever.“Because people are the key to great ideas, we’re inviting innovators and social entrepreneurs worldwide to design new approaches to ignite progress in five areas of Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals .i.e; Women & Children, Essential Surgery, Environment, Healthy Workforce and Global Disease Challenges,” the firm writes in a press statement.The firm will award a $1 million prize in cash and other incentives to help six winners bring their big ideas to life.source: Johnson & Johnson Newsroomlast_img read more