The mother of a disabled man who starved to death

first_imgThe mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges.Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood.She spoke out after signing a letter, drawn up by the Green Party and backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, that calls on work and pensions secretary Damian Green to order an independent inquiry into the links between his department’s procedures and the deaths of benefit claimants.The party has produced a dossier of 50 cases in which the deaths of benefit claimants have been linked to decisions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Mark Wood (pictured) starved to death in 2013 after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), even though he had never been able to cope with the demands of a job and his GP had said he was completely incapable of working.The decision to find him fit for work caused him extreme anxiety and distress and exaggerated his eating disorder.He died in the summer of 2013, apparently from natural causes and as a result of becoming dangerously underweight, four months after his incapacity benefit was stopped.Because of his complex mental health condition and other impairments, including the eating disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and multple chemical sensitivity, he had not provided the evidence needed in his ESA application, or at a face-to-face work capability assessment (WCA).But he had stated in the ESA form that he had problems with anxiety and depression, while the assessment was carried out at the cottage where he lived alone, rather than at an Atos assessment centre in Oxford, because of the severity of his panic attacks.Because of his complex mental health issues, he was unable to cope with either support workers or help from his family, and his mother says he was unaware of the purpose of the WCA.She said that neither the Atos assessor nor the DWP decision-maker made any attempt to secure further medical evidence about his mental health from his GP, who would have told them that he was unable to work.His GP told his inquest in February 2014 that he had handed Mark a note, explaining that he was extremely unwell and completely unfit to work, but the note does not appear to have reached his local jobcentre.The GP also told the inquest: “Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”His death came three years after ministers had been warned by a coroner – following the death of Stephen Carré in January 2010 – that they needed to review their policy not to seek further medical evidence from the GPs and psychiatrists of ESA claimants with mental health conditions.And a year after Mark Wood died, another letter was sent to DWP by a coroner, raising the same concerns and making almost identical recommendations, this time following the death of a disabled man from north London.But nearly seven years after the Stephen Carré inquest, these safety concerns have still not been addressed, despite many other deaths, and a DWP promise to a tribunal that it would test ways to collect further medical evidence through a pilot project, although a DWP spokesman said today (Thursday) that the pilot project had now been completed.Former DWP ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling have been heavily criticised for failing to act on the coroner’s advice in 2010, for covering-up that report, and failing to pass it to Professor Malcolm Harrington – the expert they had commissioned to review the WCA – as well as failing to show Harrington secret DWP reports linking the WCA with the deaths of benefit claimants.Attempts by the user-led grassroots group Black Triangle (BT) to secure a prosecution of Duncan Smith and Grayling in Scotland – over the deaths of three Scottish benefit claimants – have so far failed because of resistance from the Scottish criminal justice system, although BT is seeking legal representation to help push for a case to be taken in the Scottish courts.Mark Wood’s mother, Jill Gant, said she would like to see ministers held accountable by the criminal justice system for their failure to act on the Stephen Carré coroner’s report, which she believes led to her son’s death.The retired education social worker, now 78, and from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, said: “Quite honestly, I think they have failed in their duty. They doggedly refused to consider and act on this very clear, simple suggestion.”She said it would be “stunning” if a case could be brought against ministers, and added: “They certainly need to be called to account.”She secured a meeting with the minister for disabled people, Mark Harper, in March 2015, but said that he had “a heart of stone” and had made no effort to be “friendly or understanding”, and when she asked him about the need to secure further medical evidence “he refused to answer the question directly”.She said it was “shocking” that Harper now chaired the all-party parliamentary group on learning disability.Her search for answers following her son’s death had quickly focused on the single issue of why further medical evidence had not been sought.Confronted by the refusal of Conservative ministers, including Harper and employment minister Priti Patel*, to answer her questions, she has now told her Tory MP, Nicola Blackwood, that the refusal to act was “not fair and in my view it is not moral or legal”.The final letter from Patel was sent to her last July and said that DWP was still working with Maximus – the discredited US outsourcing giant now carrying out WCAs – to “expand the current guidance” on securing further medical evidence and “ensure that evidence is gathered in more circumstances than at present, especially for those claimants with a mental health condition”.She said: “They must have no conscience at all. Each of these stories, each of them, is a massive tragedy and a painful time for these poor people.“In the end I [told my MP] that I looked forward to having a government where there was compassion and understanding and which would seek to protect the most vulnerable.”A DWP spokesman said this morning (Thursday): “The department will respond to the [Green Party] letter once it has been received.“The pilot has been completed, and the outcomes of that will help to inform training and staff guidance.”It is not yet clear what action DWP will take following the pilot project.*Both of them have now left the departmentlast_img read more

A disability charity that has signed up to the gov

first_imgA disability charity that has signed up to the government’s Disability Confident scheme for employers has been forced to pay more than £3,000 to a disabled woman who claimed she was discriminated against and unfairly dismissed.Tmara Senior (pictured) worked for Cloverleaf Advocacy in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, for more than three years, before she says she was forced out after her year-long research project ended.After learning that she was facing redundancy, she applied for another position with the charity, only to be sent a print letter telling her when to attend an interview, even though she is blind.It later sent her other print letters in connection with her application, she said, even after she complained that she could not read them.She said that she was rejected for one position she applied for with the charity because she failed to describe in the interview how she would use visual forms of communication in that job.And she said that her own personal assistant was able to shadow advocates working for the charity, when she was not given similar opportunities until after she had left her job.Senior has also told how the charity refused to publish her research report, which detailed the views of disabled people about the barriers they faced in accessing social and leisure opportunities in the Kirklees area.Cloverleaf also prevented the report being shared with the local council.She said: “I never got to present it to anyone because they decided nothing was going to be done with it.”She believes the charity failed to publish it because she had refused to remove criticisms made by disabled people she had spoken to about local organisations that Cloverleaf worked with.She said: “I didn’t alter what was said because I wanted it to be accurate and reflect the views of disabled people.“How can you advocate on behalf of disabled people and not want their views to be taken into account?“Why wouldn’t you want to publish a report to the council saying these are the reasons disabled people are not happy? That’s not advocacy.”After Senior took legal action against Cloverleaf, the charity tried to convince her to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of its settlement of her claim, but she refused to do so because she wanted to speak out about the way she had been treated.Although Cloverleaf did not admit liability for Senior’s claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, it has agreed to pay her £3,250 to settle her claim, as well as paying for her to take an advocacy course.She said she believed she was discriminated against, and blames the “culture” of the charity.She said: “My work had always been very good but in the end it is almost as if what I did was not really valued very highly.“It really does hurt because I worked there for quite a while. I loved my job and I never wanted to leave.“I feel like I was just pushed out.”She also said the charity failed to deal with two members of staff who had confronted her in the office, shortly before she was made redundant, leaving her too frightened to return to work and “feeling extremely anxious for some weeks afterwards”.Suzi Henderson, Cloverleaf’s chief executive, said the charity did not want to respond to the individual allegations because it would not be “fair” to Senior to do so due to “confidentiality” reasons, although she said they “very strongly feel that the allegations she has made are untrue”.She said that all of the issues raised by Senior have been “reflected on by the organisation as part of the process of reaching the settlement” and that “all the actions we have taken were fair and lawful and appropriate”.But she admitted that “in terms of our reflections, we have updated all of our application forms now to accommodate additional communication needs, alternative communication needs”.She declined to discuss any more of the allegations, but she said in a statement: “Since 1995 our core values have driven us to be passionate about equality.“We firmly believe that every individual should be an equal member of society: everyone has the right to plan their own life, to be listened to, taken seriously and to be respected.“We constantly review all our activities to help ensure that we are doing everything possible to support all our 160-plus staff while providing the best possible service for thousands of individuals.“Regarding the specific issues, we remain confident that our actions have been right. “We do not tolerate any incorrect behaviour and take immediate action wherever appropriate.“The settlement made was a commercial settlement by our insurers and does not indicate any liability.”The charity, which says it offers “high quality advocacy services to people with mental health needs, learning disabilities, older people, people with physical and sensory impairment, and carers”, is a member of the government’s Disability Confident scheme that aims to promote the employment of disabled people.Cloverleaf secured its status as a “Disability Confident Employer” – the middle of the government scheme’s three levels – through self-assessing its own policies and procedures.As a Disability Confident Employer, it is supposed to “make a commitment to employ and retain disabled people”, “make sure all documentation is available in different formats”, “make sure people involved in the recruitment process are Disability Confident and know how to support disabled applicants”, and provide “a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process”.Senior said that Cloverleaf’s claim to be a Disability Confident Employer was “just laughable”.She said: “If they can do what they have done to me, why wouldn’t they do it to anybody else who was disabled?“They should not be a member of that scheme when you consider what they have done to me and the way I have been treated.”She added: “I really believe in disabled people being heard and the voices of disabled people being heard but I don’t believe they believe in that.”Disability News Service reported last November how analysis by disabled campaigner David Gillon suggested that Disability Confident was “trivially easy to abuse” and allowed organisations to describe themselves as “Disability Confident” even if they failed to comply with anti-discrimination laws.last_img read more

Good Morning Mission Juice and Flowers

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Photo by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane SegalPhoto by Jane Segal Right now it is 63°, heading to a high of 71° – the forecast for the next ten days is here.Today’s block:  15th to 16th, Guerrero to Albion Streets. *You can see a map of all of the blocks here. The blocks in grey are being saved for others who have signed up. Let us save a block for you as well.*These photos were taken on Thursday. center_img 0%last_img read more

In SF art still thrives — and celebrates its history — at

first_imgMaureen Shields holds an poster for the Battle of the Harmonicas that once took place at The Farm. Joan Holden, director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe at the time, remembered The Farm in its early days in a documentary collecting memories of the artist haven. “It was this little spot of nature, this little eruption of nature in the middle of the concrete jungle, proving that life could still exist there,” she said at the time. It drew the attention of some of the Mission’s now best-known artists, including René Yañez and Dogpaw Carrillo, among others.When the organizers came up short on rent, they started hosting punk shows that packed the place to, and past, capacity — estimates indicate as many as 1,000 people crammed into a space meant for fewer than 300. The shows reportedly attracted big names, such as the Dead Kennedys and Faith No More, but weren’t able to save The Farm in its Crossroads Community form.Toward the end of 1987, a dispute between the property owner and the leaseholders who ran The Farm ended in eviction. The animals were moved out, and the lot it morphed into quieter, tucked-away studios and businesses — including, at various times, a motorcycle shop, a recording studio and a few apartments. This weekend, new art will be on display alongside documentation of what once was.“We wanted to celebrate the memory of the property,” said Maureen Shields, a collage artist who has a studio at The Farm.An artist prepares her studio space at The Farm for open studios. Photo courtesy Silvi Alcivar. It’s been 30 years since farm animals roamed a patch of land in the southeast corner of the Mission. But the place on San Bruno Avenue, tucked into a pocket of a freeway intersection, is still known as The Farm, and it hasn’t lost touch with its offbeat, artistic history. That past life and present creativity will be on display this weekend during open studios, when the artists who work in studios on the property will open up their spaces to visitors.“Artists work in real spaces, make real products, and are real people,” said poet and Farm artist Silvi Alcivar. She wants people to “remember and be aware that there are still artists working in San Francisco. We haven’t all gone to the East Bay.”New art, old posters and photographs will adorn the walls, a reminder of what The Farm once was: An exemplar of urban agriculture, sure, but it played host to dance classes, a mime troupe, a small school, a theater and visual artists for the roughly 12 years of its existence between 1974 and 1987. Technically called Crossroads Community, the nickname “The Farm” ended up sticking. 0% Tags: arts • Events • open studios • things to do Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Shields dove deep into the task at hand, meeting with Andy Pollack, who was the last person at The Farm’s helm.Pollack has preserved art, posters and other memorabilia from its heyday, and Shields curated some of it for open studios.Now, the artists at The Farm and Goforaloop, a gallery and studio space on the same lot, are putting themselves on the map — literally. As part of ArtSpan’s programming, they show up on the map, in the guide and in the promotional material for open studios.This is the second time The Farm has participated in ArtSpan’s open studios events, which happen across the entire city over the course of several weekends. Seventeen of The Farm’s artists will participate.“Every year, we get more and more people roped into our madness,” Shields joked.Open studios allow people to connect to the creators of work they might be interested in, maybe buy some work and discover something new. Paul Jansen, for example, is excited to show people leather under a microscope. He is a leatherworker, with an emphasis on sustainability from start to finish. He’s interested in every detail — from the pastures the cattle grazed on to the joining methods he uses in his products — and in sharing those details with visitors.Past open studios, Jansen said, have offered “an opportunity to learn.”But it also is an opportunity to show people that even in San Francisco, art is still going strong.“It’s important for people to see that it works, and how it works,” Alcivar said. “This gem has not died,” Jansen said.Silvi Alcivar’s studio at The Farm.The Farm is at 1458 San Bruno Avenue. Open Studios runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 11 and 12. Art at The Farm using its original logo, found on a matchbook.last_img read more

RICHARD and a team from Liverpool Lions are cyclin

first_imgRICHARD and a team from Liverpool Lions are cycling from Liverpool to Hull – some 150 miles – on November 1 to raise funds for a defib at the club.One of the team’s 18 year olds collapsed recently and is recovering in hospital.The remainder of the money raised will be going to RL Cares.To support this endeavour head to

OUR Founder Members enjoyed a special free forum w

first_imgOUR Founder Members enjoyed a special free forum with three of our new signings last night.Alongside assistant coach Sean Long they heard from Theo Fages, Dominique Peyroux and Lama Tasi.Former Saint Mike Bennett MC’d the night as fans found out about the rigours of pre-season, where each player sees themselves in the team and the characters at the club.Many thanks to the Founder Members that turned out for the event.last_img

Be part of the Christmas Jumper brigade in the run

first_imgBe part of the Christmas Jumper brigade in the run up to the Christmas Holidays with this superb festive sweater.It features a silhouette of the stadium and Santa on his sleigh passing the “red vee” moon.Adult sizes are available from Extra Small through to 3XL but you’ll need to be quick as we have strictly limited quantities available.To buy, call into the Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium or log on here.last_img

Lawsuit filed against sheriff deputy and Bladen County in 2015 crash

first_imgBLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County Sheriff’s deputy who crashed while responding to a call in 2015 is now being sued, along with Sheriff Jim McVicker.The crash happened in June of 2015 at the intersection of the Hwy 211 bypass and HWY 131/410.  According to a news release at the time, Sheriff McVicker said Deputy Robert Duggan collided with another vehicle while he was headed to a call. Duggan was treated and released at Bladen County Hospital.- Advertisement – The lawsuit was filed in Cumberland County last month by the Anglin Law Firm.The lawsuit claims Duggan was not using his vehicle’s police lights or sirens when he hit the plaintiff, Lorenzo White. The suit claims Duggan was negligent by going over the posted speed limit, failed to keep a proper lookout to avoid a collision, disregarded a traffic signal by going through a red light at an excessive rate of speed, among others.The suit claims White suffered personal injuries and should recover damages for expenses for care and treatment of his injuries, including all hospital and physician fees, pain and suffering, past an future medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to his vehicle.Related Article: McCrae Dowless won’t testify in hearing on disputed congressional raceThe suit also names Bladen County and Western Surety Company, an insurance company.The suit asks for more than $50,000 in damages and a trial by jury.We reached out to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, who referred us to the county attorney.We spoke with the county attorney at the Johnson Law Firm who asked us to email him. We have not received a reply.last_img read more

City hopes to drive down traffic congestion across Wilmington

first_imgTraffic in Wilmington (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — Controlling traffic in a neighborhood off Market Street is just one of many topic Wilmington City Council tackled Monday morning during their agenda briefing.A traffic engineer gave council a presentation on traffic data in the Green Meadows neighborhood. One major concern for residents is the congestion around Noble Middle School. Members of city council said school traffic goes back to a larger issue throughout the area. They want to see more of an effort from the school board to tackled this issue.- Advertisement – “Macmillan Avenue comes to mind. You know, early in the morning late in the afternoon, it’s clogged up. And when you think about emergency vehicles trying to traverse those streets, it really presents a problem. I don’t think it’s something that’s real new and I trust that the school board is going to be addressing that issue as they redevelop and build new schools in our system,” Council member Charlie Rivenbark said.The city is also looking at ways to help crackdown on speeding throughout the area.Additionally, city council looked in debris managements and removal services.Related Article: UPDATE: Wilmington Police Department identify alleged bank robberThe presentation went over general efforts throughout the area for cleanup and reflected on previous storms, such as the ice storm from 2014 and Hurricane Matthew back in 2016.Also, the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship gave an update on their efforts over the past year. The center now has a higher percentage of women and minority entrepreneurs and there are programs for under-served communities.City council hopes the center will continue to bring in more people from out of the state and they will stay in the area.last_img read more

Shameful that government funds corruption and not mental health – PN

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) is berating the government on its decision to completely ignore the mental health sector in Malta. According to the PN, it is shameful that a socialist government does not have financial resources for vulnerable mental health patients, but then has funds to sustain corruption and those in its inner circles.This has been published in a statement from the party, which was endorsed by MP Maria Galea, who is the Opposition’s spokesperson for mental health amongst others. The statement also continues to criticise the government for completely forgetting mental health patients and the infrastructures that cater for them, such as Mount Carmel Hospital and community services.The PN is promising to stay close to mental health patients and also expressed solidarity with both the staff and the patients at Mount Carmel Hospital as they all need a more secure and decent place to work and be taken care of. It is also pledging full cooperation with the government on mental health issues without allowing any humiliation for the patients.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Minister for Foreign Affairs highlights Maltas drive to tackle religious intolerance

first_img“Religious intolerance has to be challenged through dialogue and debate, not the closing of doors to the outsider or the foreigner”— this was stated by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carmelo Abela while participating in the second Annual Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington DC organised by the US Department of State.During his intervention, the minister insisted on Malta’s drive to tackle intolerance towards certain religions and beliefs.“Malta is committed to protecting the human rights of all people, in particular members of minority groups and individuals that find themselves vulnerable situations. This commitment is a result of several years of grappling with large numbers of asylum seekers or refugees arriving to our shores. Malta is still dealing with this challenge”, stated Minister Abela.He discussed how at the national level, Malta is working on setting up a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles. He explained how, to this end, two initiatives have been launched which are the Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Equality Act. As he noted, the former would be able to ensure equality and non-discrimination on several grounds in all spheres of life, while the latter is intended to address multiple discrimination and structural discrimination.Minister Abela recalled how national legislation combatting incitement to racial hatred and other forms of hate speech has also been further improved to include the protection of foreign nationals or any other group from such crimes. Government had been taking measures to strengthen a culture of inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination.He referred to the recent tragic events in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and emphasised that this should remind us that a global, collective response is needed. He appealed to the international community to strengthen its efforts to tackle the global challenges of violent extremism and hatred as well as to combat terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations.In this light, Minister Abela emphasised that countries must stay united and determined in their intent, as the amount of recent tragic events related to an increase in anti-Semitism, fundamentalism, extremism and additional hate crimes based on religious motives are on the rise.“We believe that freedom of religion or belief should not be allowed to be affected by politics and fluctuating social attitudes. It is part of the role of every state to ensure this does not happen”, added Minister Abela. He concluded on the note that Malta will continue to promote freedom of religion or belief for all persons and strongly oppose religious discrimination, persecution and violence.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Facebook to close down in 2017 – report

first_imgAdvertisement A study at Princeton University has shown that social network Facebook will in the next three years lose about 80% of its users.Study of the Department of Mechanics and Aeronautics argues that weakening of Facebook will occur because of loss of user between the 2015 and in 2017.The study used MySpace as an example of the rapid acceptance and rejection of social networks. – Advertisement – MySpace was launched in 2003, reached its peak in 2008 and then it finally collapsed in 2011.The researchers from Princeton say that Facebook has already reached the peak of popularity. Departure from Facebook users will be stranded, once a user leaves, very soon his friends will leave too.Some others like Google+ have tried to compete with Facebook, but none of them has ever reached the same level of popularity.(Facebook has fired back with their own study showing that Princeton will be gone by 2017 as well. This is due to the increase in tuition and the reduction in the number of people that apply to Princeton each year!!) Source: www.decryptedtech.comlast_img read more

Nokia Lumia 1520 lands in South Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Nokia has announced the arrival of its new six-inch Lumia smartphone in South Africa, ahead of the launch of the affordable Asha models.The Lumia 1520 comes with a 1080p full HD screen along with the addition of a third column of live tiles on the enhanced home screen. The phone features a 20-megapixel camera with image stabilisation and oversampling capabilities as well as HD video capture. [review]“We are significantly expanding our Lumia portfolio in more ways than one with the Nokia Lumia 1520,” said Shaun Durandt, Nokia South Africa’s general manager. – Advertisement – “With our latest imaging innovations and the best from Microsoft brought to a new form factor, we’re helping people to capture the world around them and do more on the go.”The phone also merges its HERE mapping technology with its ability to take high resolution photos in order to provide location-based photo stories on the go.It also has the ability to charge wirelessly.Nokia will be introducing three new lost cost Asha devices to its range of smartphones in March.“We have expanded the Asha family with a trio of smartphones that offer consumers a choice of handset that suits their budget, each with stunning design, great social apps, and new imaging experiences,” said Durandt.The three new models include the Asha 503, 502 and 500.“The new Nokia Asha range brings a fully redesigned user interface. Swipe is the main gesture for navigating the phone – whether answering a call, viewing notifications or closing an app. Swipe also activates the built-in camera. Just swipe up from the lock screen to start the camera and touch anywhere on-screen to take a photo,” the company said in a statement.Nokia had unveiled the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia 1320 in the Nigerian market.Reports yesterday also suggested Nokia is to launch a low-cost Android smartphone this month, in spite of the fact its mobile business is set to be acquired by Microsoft.Summary ReviewBigger isn’t always better, but in Nokia’s case, it is. The 6-inch Lumia 1520 for AT&T is the fastest Windows Phone ever made. Slimmer and lighter than you’d expect for a supersize handset, the 1520 brings home the goods: a huge 1080p HD display, a 20-megapixel camera, and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor — the latter a first for Windows Phone.That high-res camera and outdoor legibility were bright spots. My red model’s slippery finish, however, made it too easy to fumble. Some weak points with the platform itself — like a limited voice assistant and missing TV and movie store — hobbled the true usefulness of a phone whose screen size cries out for unending visual consumption.The Lumia 1520’s impressive specs and bold design are undoubtedly worth its $200 on-contract price tag for Windows Phone fans. However, if you’re aching to milk every last drop of large-screen goodness from a tabletlike handset, then choose from any one of the multiplying Android options, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max, and potentially even the curved LG G Flex.last_img read more

Microsoft provides grants to accelerate the delivery of affordable Internet access

first_img57% of the world is offline. Image Credit: TheStar Advertisement Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced it has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 entrepreneurial businesses to help scale their solutions and business models to increase affordable Internet access in communities around the world.Each company is to receive seed grants and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services and technology support to help extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions.Today’s news marks progress on the commitments Microsoft made earlier this year to invest $1 billion to bring the power of cloud technology to serve the public good, including through expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programs. – Advertisement – “With more than half of the world’s population lacking access to the Internet, connectivity is a global challenge that demands creative problem solving,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft. “By using technology that’s available now and partnering with local entrepreneurs who understand the needs of their communities, our hope is to create sustainable solutions that will not only have impact today but also in the years to come.”Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative aims to democratize access to the Internet through grants, commercial partnerships, connecting new leaders and community engagement.Grant recipients are already addressing a range of challenges that take advantage of last-mile access technologies such as TV white spaces, and their business models also demonstrate the ability to scale up and be market-sustained.Grant recipients are based across five continents in 11 countries: Argentina, Botswana, India,Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.In addition to financial support, grant recipients will have access to:A global network connecting social enterprises with peers and mentors to develop and share best practices.Participation in annual immersive summits and monthly virtual touchpoints, alongside ongoing support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team.And, to further empower people and organization in communities benefiting from the Affordable Access Initiative, Microsoft Philanthropies will make digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available through its global YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for nonprofits.Below is a complete list of the Affordable Access Initiative grant recipients:Power SolutionsAfrican Renewable Energy Distributor (Rwanda)New Sun Road (Uganda)Hardware SolutionsZaya Learning Labs (India)Connectivity SolutionsAirJaldi (India)Axiom Technologies (United States)C3: Communications Consulting Centre (Malawi)Ekovolt (Nigeria)Wi-Fi Interactive Network (Philippines)Application SolutionsKelase (Indonesia)Movivo (United Kingdom) (Argentina)VistaBotswana (Botswana)last_img read more

Facebook App The Next Big Name in Mobile Browsing

first_imgAdvertisement When it comes to desktop computers, the picture is pretty clear: Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser in the world. Google’s home-grown, lightweight, and lightning-fast web browser now runs on almost 70% of all computers worldwide, followed by Firefox in a distant second place with a little over 11%, Internet Explorer with almost 7%, Safari with 5%, and Microsoft Edge with a little over 4%. When it comes to mobile, though, things are a bit different. According to a recent report compiled by analytics company Mixpanel, the Facebook app has claimed its place in the top list of American mobile browsers.Browsing FacebookFacebook is, without a doubt, the largest social network in the world. Its user base is massive all over the globe – as of the second quarter of this year, its user base has reached 2.23 billion, even after the recent data collection scandal that left it with a ravaged reputation. The number of its users is constantly growing in Africa, too, and as a result of Africa’s ongoing digital revolution, most of its local users are mobile-first – over 90%, statistics say. This means that a massive amount of content is consumed through its native app on all mobile platforms – especially Android.What the numbers sayMixpanel has looked especially on data compiled in the United States but the situation is probably similar in the rest of the world. According to its report, almost 8% of all the mobile browsing traffic in the United States was handled by the Facebook app, putting it in the third position of the top five list after Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. Safari is the biggest mobile browser in the US, with a market share of around 58% – and the fact that Apple’s iPhone has a market share of more than 65% in the United States indicates that many iPhone users either use Chrome or another mobile browser or navigate mostly through the Facebook app. – Advertisement – According to the latest numbers published by Statista, more than 95% of all Facebook users accessed the content flowing through the big blue social network from a smartphone, compared to just around 32% of them using a desktop computer to browse it. According to another analyst, more than 85% of smartphone owners use the Facebook app, and there are up to 6% of smartphone owners that spend all their browsing time on the Facebook app (as of May 2018) and this number is expected to grow further in the coming years.Facebook, it seems, is becoming an increasingly important name in the world of mobile browsers, representing a very important channel of consuming online media for a massive number of users worldwide – especially in the United States.last_img read more


first_imgWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 31 DecemberRACING1.05 PunchestownHigh Stratos 11/2 > 3/11.30 LingfieldCambodia 2/1 > 11/81.50 UttoxeterWellforth 10/1 > 7/12.20 UttoxeterVirtuose Du Chenet 8/1 > 9/23.05 PunchestownIce Cool 13/8 > 11/103.10 WarwickEaton Rock 9/4 > 15/83.40 WarwickMystical Knight 9/4 > 7/42.30 LingfieldCorporal Maddox 11/2 > 4/1LIVE FOOTBALLLa Liga15:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD5/6 Villarreal 7/2 Valencia 12/5 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img read more


first_imgHORSE RACING2.10 HaydockBuonarroti 8/1 > 9/23.35 NewmarketBeat The Bank 9/4 > 6/46.00 DundalkMy Mystique 6/1 > 3/17.15 NewcastleRock Warbler 13/2 > 7/2LIVE FOOTBALLChampionship19:45 Sky Sports Football21/10 QPR 13/10 Fulham 5/2 DRAWScottish Premiership19:45 BT Sport 111/2 Hamilton Academical 4/9 Rangers 7/2 DRAWLa Liga20:00 Sky Sports Red Button3/4 Celta Vigo 4/1 Girona 13/5 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 29 Septemberlast_img read more

Middle school students to learn about science and engineering of drone technology

first_imgAddThis ShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduMiddle school students to learn about science and engineering of drone technology at Rice Aug. 11-13Technical sessions, team exercises culminate in Drone Project Pitch CompetitionHOUSTON — (Aug. 11, 2015) — A group of 20 Houston sixth- to ninth-grade students will participate in a free drone camp at Rice University Aug. 11-13. The camp is hosted by TrumbullUnmanned and Rice’s Center for Engineering Leadership.Credit: UniversityStudents will learn about the design, engineering and operation of drone aircraft as well as gain hands-on indoor and outdoor experience piloting drones, according to camp organizers. The intensive camp will also explore the ethical and socio-cultural implications of this emergent technology. Instructors include Air Force fighter pilots, drone industry experts and Rice faculty and graduate students.The camp is sponsored by BP.Who: Twenty students (sixth to ninth grade) from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds will learn about drones from Air Force fighter pilots and unmanned aerial-vehicle operators, drone industry experts and Rice faculty and graduate students.What: Student team drone project design, presentation and pitch competition.When: Aug. 11-13. Each day will include technical sessions, flight training and team exercises. (The schedule is available upon request.) Final group presentations and the drone project pitch contest will begin at 3 p.m. Aug. 13.Where: Rice University, Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, Abercrombie Lab, Room A102, 6100 Main St.The Rice Center for Engineering Leadership is dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in engineering education. “K-12 outreach offers a real-world opportunity for our engineering students to develop their leadership skills while making a positive impact on the community,” said Cesare Wright, a Rice lecturer and the center’s outreach/leadership specialist.“To prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, students need not only a quality education, but also a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” he said. “A key element of our STEM strategy is to support curriculum-based programs that excite students in STEM pathways. Drones offer an ideal vehicle for sparking student interest and encouraging them to develop invaluable math and science skills.”Working with Houston Independent School District teachers, the center has aligned the camp’s curriculum with Texas education standards to ensure that the experience reinforces traditional classroom instruction, according to Wright. “The drone camp is designed to engage students in the applied practice and teamwork scenarios that are often difficult to replicate in a more conventional classroom setting,” he said.Throughout the camp, students will work closely with professional and academic mentors who will coach them on technical skills and provide individualized guidance to ensure that students take the academic steps necessary to become competitive at the college level and beyond.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.Related materials:www.rcel.rice.eduFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.last_img read more

Rice U expert available to discuss Trump in China

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduRice U. expert available to discuss Trump in ChinaHOUSTON — (Nov. 7, 2017) — What should Americans expect from President Donald Trump’s visit to China this week? Rice University China expert Steven Lewis is available for interviews leading up to, during and after Trump’s visit to Beijing.Lewis, who is professor in the practice, research fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and associate director at Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies, said the meeting between the two super power leaders is historic.“President Trump’s meeting with President Xi in Beijing this week will be historic in many ways,” Lewis said. “First, although this is their second face-to-face meeting, Trump’s visit in Beijing will be the first one where expectations on both sides are high and that real policy impact will result, particularly on U.S. and Chinese talks to find a way to persuade or pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear ambitions, and as emphasized by President Trump before he left the U.S. for Asia last week, important trade negotiations to redress the trade imbalance in China’s favor. Second, it will be Xi Jinping’s first meeting with a major world leader since his ascension to unrivaled powerat the 19th Party Congress last week, he said.“Also, the visit will be a chance for President Trump to demonstrate his bargaining savvy and improve the American strategic and economic position in Asia, thereby potentially improving his sagging popularity with the American people,” he said.To schedule an interview with Lewis, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.Rice University’s Baker Institute has a broadcast interview studio with a HD television uplink and an ISDN line for radio.-30-Related materials:Steven Lewis biography: Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Follow the Baker Institute on Twitter @BakerInstitute.Image for download: Lewis image courtesy of Rice University’s Baker Institute.This news release can be found online at in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to read more

How To Become A Financial Director After Earning An MBA

first_img RelatedWhat Should You Study? Finance Vs. Accounting MBAMost MBAs pursue one of the FAME subjects in their graduate studies—No, that’s not acting, modeling, or songwriting—it’s finance, accounting, management, and economics. Of those four subjects critical to business, finance and accounting are the most popular among MBAs thanks to the high demand and highly specialized nature of many…November 7, 2017In “Featured Home”Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: FinanceFinance, no surprise, is an extremely popular field among MBA graduates. According to Payscale, finance is 4.7 times more popular among MBA graduates than other fields. The reasons for this are rather uncomplicated: its pretty lucrative. The starting median salary for those with up to five years of experience is…June 19, 2019In “Amazon”MBA Job Types: Entry Level v. ExperiencedContrary to popular misconception, choosing to pursue an MBA degree is a decision that can be made at any point in your career. From programs that allow students to jump right in to their degree after undergrad to those that require over ten years of work experience, the wide variety…August 3, 2018In “Advice” In order to effectively complete these tasks and functions, financial directors must exhibit skills in financial management, strategic thinking, business acumen, ethical conduct, technical capacity and performance management.Financial Director SalaryAccording to Payscale, finance directors earns an average of $108,460 per year, and can expect pay raises as they gain more experienced workers. Pay raises begin to decline once an employee as more than 20 years’ experience under their belt. The highest paid financial directors live in San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles and New York City.Educational RequirementsA minimum of a BA is necessary to break into this field, but an MBA/CPA or related degree is ideal, along with at least seven to 10 years of overall professional experience with six-plus years of broad financial and operations management experience. MBA should look into pursuing Finance MBAs or concentrations in finance to get even more insight and in-depth knowledge of the field.You can find Finance MBAs at many top business schools, including ones in the San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and London metros.What about a Master’s in Finance? We recently compared MBAs in Finance and a Masters in Finance and found that an MBAs offer a wider range of choices for their career post-graduation. They can seek a variety of different positions within the finance field and outside of the field.“The MBA, particularly those from elite schools, offer something else—exit options,” according to eFinancialCareers. “A lot of people take MBAs with the aim of advancing their finance career, but end up moving into another sector entirely, particularly if they attend an elite school where a range of employers swoop on MBA candidates during various networking and recruitment events. An MBA offers that unrivaled diversity of career options.” The finance industry is among the most popular destinations for MBAs to seek employment following graduation—finance and accounting make up 22 percent of all MBA jobs and more than 84 percent of finance and accounting firms planned on hiring MBA graduates in 2016.What type of jobs are available? We previously covered the Financial Manager career. U.S. News has ranked it as the fourth “Best Business Job” available today. Other popular post-MBA jobs in the area of finance include financial analyst, financial advisor and financial director.Financial Directors are very similar to Financial Managers. In short, finance directors are responsible for maximizing the return on financial assets by establishing financial policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems. They are responsible for leading managers of the division and indirectly responsible for all employees within the division. Financial directors oversee cost and general accounting, accounts receivable/collection and payroll and risk management and ensures the department is running legally and within regulations. Financial Director Job Roles and Essential FunctionsAccording to the Society for Human Resources Management, financial directors are responsible for the following essential functions:Guides financial decisions by establishing, monitoring and enforcing policies and procedures.Protects assets by establishing, monitoring and enforcing internal controls.Maximizes return and limits risk on cash by minimizing cash balances and making investments.Provides status of financial condition of the company by collecting, interpreting and reporting key financial data.Ensures compliance with federal, state and local legal requirements by researching existing and new legislation, consulting with outside advisors, and filing financial reports. Advises management of actions and potential risks.Arranges for audits as required and appropriate.Manages budget and controls expenses effectively.Hires, trains, develops and appraises staff effectively. Takes corrective action as necessary on a timely basis and in accordance with company policy. Consults with Human Resources as appropriate.Keeps up-to-date on information and technology affecting functional area(s) to increase innovation and ensure compliance. How To Become A Financial Director After Earning An MBA regions: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago / Dallas / Denver / Houston / London / Los Angeles / Miami / New York City / Online / Philadelphia / Research Triangle / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Toronto / Washington, DC Last Updated Apr 24, 2017 by Max PulciniFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail About the AuthorMax PulciniMax Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.View more posts by Max Pulcini last_img read more