The information watchdog is to investigate the Dep

first_imgThe information watchdog is to investigate the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its refusal to publish secret reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths.The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched the investigation into DWP’s failure to provide information requested by Disability News Service (DNS).A series of DNS Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests eventually revealed how DWP has carried out 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.Of the 49 “peer reviews”, it later emerged that 33 contained recommendations for improvements in procedures at either national or local level within DWP, while 40 of the 49 reviews were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant.But despite FoIA requests from DNS, and others, DWP has refused to publish the reviews, or their summaries, recommendations or conclusions, even with personal details of benefit claimants removed.It claims that releasing the reviews – even with these details removed – could breach section 44 of the FoIA, because section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 makes it an offence for anyone employed in social security administration to “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”. Now the ICO has said that it will investigate a complaint lodged by DNS into the failure to release the information.The ICO’s case officer said: “The focus of my investigation will be to determine whether the DWP is entitled to rely on section 44 as a basis for refusing to provide the information you requested.“Should it not be a valid refusal of your request the commissioner will also determine what information can be provided within the appropriate cost limit.”The investigation is likely to take several months. Even if the ICO rules that the information should be released, DWP would still have a right of appeal.DWP has refused to comment.Last month, the Commons work and pensions committee called on the government to set up a new independent body – modelled on the police complaints watchdog – to investigate the deaths of benefit claimants, and ensure “that the role of all publicly-funded agencies involved in the provision of services or benefits to the individual is scrutinised”.last_img read more

Questioned about when Labour will call a confidenc

first_imgQuestioned about when Labour will call a confidence motion, Mr Corbyn says he will be considering the situation when parliament returns in September #Ridge.Read more here:— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019On Labour’s Brexit policy…Corbyn did not confirm whether Labour would campaign for Leave or Remain against its own deal.Are you now supporting a second referendum in all circumstances? “No deal we’ll oppose and we think people should have a final choice on it.  They can have a vote then between remain and whatever option Boris Johnson decides to put to them at that time…”Does Labour now back a second referendum in all circumstances? “What we’d say is there’ll be a second referendum to make a choice between whatever deal is arranged and what the public want.”Including a Labour deal if you are in power? “Yes, of course, the same thing would apply.”Are you going to be campaigning for Remain? What if Labour negotiates the deal? “Well we have got to get into office first to negotiate a deal, we’ve got to win an election first…” (later) “What we propose is actually a very good deal… That is what we put forward and that obviously is why I put it forward because my issue is also uniting people in the country. My party is the only one that had significant numbers of people who voted both Remain and Leave in the referendum.” Jeremy Corbyn says he was “upset at the feelings of our former staff” in the Panorama documentary on antisemitism in the Labour Party, but says he was also “upset at the way the programme was characterised and presented”.Read more here:— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019On diversity in political parties… When asked about the diversity of the cabinet, Jeremy Corbyn says he welcomes diversity but says parliament has a “long way to go” before it properly reflects wider society #Ridge.Read more here:— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019 Jeremy Corbyn says Labour will campaign to remain in a second referendum in the event of a no-deal Brexit.But on how they would campaign if there was a Labour negotiated deal, he says “We have to get into power first”.Read more here:— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019On antisemitism and the BBC Panorama programme…Corbyn said he was upset by the programme and felt “very sorry and very sad” for the staffers who contributed and spoke of mental health problems. He outlined the reasons for which he did not want a fully independent complaints process.What did you think of it? “I was upset at the feelings of some of our former staff, what they said. I was upset by the way the programme was characterised and presented, and we have put in some complaints surrounding that.  I am very clear there is no place whatsoever for antisemitism in our society, in our communities or in our party.”Kat Buckingham had quit the party with nowhere to go and had a breakdown, Sam Matthews actively considered committing suicide, Louise Withers-Green was signed off with depression and anxiety.  How do you feel when you hear that? “I feel very sorry and very sad for them.  The first thing I did when I became leader of the party was to ask senior staff what processes were available for staff support because of stress at work.  Now this wasn’t about antisemitism, just the whole principle of stress at work, I feel very strongly about that and that support has to be there. Some of those people had to work very hard and were overwhelmed by cases, letters and so on and remember, our party membership virtually trebled.”Can you say totally that since Jennie Formby became general secretary there has been no interference by you or anyone in your office? “What we said is ‘get the cases done as quickly as you can in a timely, fair and legally sustainable manner’.”Why don’t you just set up an independent process? “Nobody else has an independent process in their organisations. What we do have is legal oversight of the process to ensure consistency in decision making and when the Equalities and Human Rights Commission concludes its report, we will obviously listen very carefully to what they have to say.  I do think there has to be a legally robust process. We also have a degree of independence in the party, there is something called the national constitutional committee which is completely independent of me and the national executive and they make the final decision.”Do you take responsibility? “I am the leader of the party therefore I must take responsibility for what happens in our party.” Can you guarantee that you will call a confidence motion before we leave the EU in October? “I can guarantee you this: we will do everything to prevent a no deal exit and we will do everything to challenge this government and we’ll do it at the time of our choosing.” Do you think Boris Johnson is racist? “Boris Johnson has said some awful comments about black children, about Muslim women and about people within our society and our community which I absolutely condemn.  I hope he will understand the hurt that caused with the remarks that he made.”Labour is now the only party that hasn’t had a woman leader. Is that something you should be ashamed of? “I’m not ashamed of it but there will be a woman leader in the future, I’m very sure.” Would you like the next leader to be a woman? “I’m not going to get involved in choosing them because I am very happy in the job I’m doing and I am very determined to win the general election so we get a Labour government but that Labour government will be gender balanced.”center_img Jeremy Corbyn says he is not ashamed that Labour is the only party who has never had a woman as leader, and says he is not going to get involved in choosing his successor.Mr Corbyn added “I’m fit, I’m ready, I’m raring to go” for an election, even if it’s in 2022 #Ridge— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019 Tags:Jeremy Corbyn /Sophy RIdge /Sunday shows / If you, like LabourList, took a break from politics over the weekend, you’ll want to know about Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with Sophy Ridge. Here’s what the Labour leader told Sky News on Sunday.On calling a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister…Corbyn did not reveal when Labour would put down a motion of no confidence, and suggested it would depend on Boris Johnson’s next Brexit moves.When are you going to call a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister? “Parliament goes back in September. I think it’s at that point that we’ll look at the situation there. But it’s also up to the Prime Minister what he decides to do as well, because if he’s trying to take us out on a no deal Brexit at the end of October we will oppose that.” When asked about accusations that black MPs who have been appointed to the cabinet had sold their souls, Jeremy Corbyn says “they’re Conservatives, they believe in conservatism, they’ve been appointed in their party. I’d leave it at that.” #Ridge— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 28, 2019On the next election…If that election isn’t until 2022, will you still fight it? “I am fine, I’m fit, I’m ready, I’m raring to go.”last_img read more

SF Missions Zeitgeist looks to expand

first_img 0% Zeitgeist’s coveted outdoor patio recently made headlines when the owners successfully protested a development at 198 Valencia St. that threatened to throw a shadow over Zeitgeist’s sunny patio. The Planning Commission told the developer to drop the building’s height a few feet by lowering the ceiling of the planned commercial space on the ground floor. A former sheet metal shop at 80 Duboce Ave. could soon serve as an extension of the popular Mission District bar Zeitgeist.As Capp Street Crap first reported, the owners of the bar at 199 Valencia St. are seeking to extend their liquor and food license into the adjacent building in a “premise to premise” transfer that would put them on the corner of Duboce Avenue and Valencia Street. Planning records indicate the bar’s owners bought the adjacent 5,250 square foot industrial building in 2016, which bounds Zeitgeist’s outdoor patio and is separated by a wall decorated with pink elephants. A manager of the bar could not be reached for comment by press time, and it is unclear what the expansion will look like. According to a spokesperson from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control, the application was processed on June 26 and is still in the beginning phases of the agency’s review.  If the application is not protested, the license could be issued in 60 to 90 days.center_img Tags: bars • food Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SAINTS Player of the Month Networking Events will

first_imgSAINTS Player of the Month Networking Events will return for 2014.The first meeting will kick off on Wednesday February 26 at 8.30am, again proudly in conjunction with Oval Insurance Broking Ltd.Last season the Player of the Month Networking events included a wide range of guest speakers including journalists, former players and charity reps all offering their unique insight.Dates for your diary:Wednesday February 26Thursday March 27Wednesday April 30You can introduce a friend to the sessions and win a pair of tickets with full hospitality to Saints v Hull KR on Friday March 7.To be involved or to find out more information, email or call 01744 455 053.last_img

JOE Greenwood grabbed a brace as Saints secured a

first_imgJOE Greenwood grabbed a brace as Saints secured a hard fought 30-20 win at Castleford Tigers.The second rower took his season’s tally to nine as Keiron Cunningham’s men pulled within two points of the top four.Defensively they were strong when it mattered too, limiting a lively looking Tigers to just two tries in the second half.Greenwood was a threat throughout as was Mark Percival who looked very competent and comfortable in his second game back from injury.That duo looked the most likely to be Saints’ avenue for points from the offset – and so it proved.Cas scored first after the visitors knocked the ball on in their own 40 through Joel Monaghan but Saints hit back on 18 minutes.Greenwood mopped up Luke Walsh’s high ball after James Roby had scampered 70 metres.Jonny Lomax and Percival pulled off a try saving tackle on Matt Cook 25 minutes in and then clever defence forced a drop out.But within a minute, another kick to the right hand side saw Cas take the lead.Denny Solomona this time out-jumped the defence to grab hold of Gale’s kick.Saints had chances as the half closed out but found their hosts mean in defence.‘Complete your sets’ would likely have been the rallying call in the Saints’ shed at half time – and they did just that.With the half backs on the ball more they put Cas under pressure and turned them on their heels.Shannon McDonnell was denied by a Tigers’ fingertip from Dominique Peyroux’s pass on 42 minutes before Saints repeated the move on their next set with success.McDonnell scoring his second of the season.Walsh nailed the conversion from the touchline but agonisingly, within a minute, the lead was back with the home side.Saints somehow lost the ball following the restart and Mike McMeeken was caught on a lovely angle.Jy Hitchcox then beat the Saints defence for pace after an innocuous looking kick through near the line on the last.Saints had to hold their nerve and weather the pressure once more.And like last time they responded; Kyle Amor latching on to Jon Wilkin’s powerful run following Saints best attack of the second half.Joe Greenwood then bagged his second after the home side made a hash of another high ball from Walsh.The second rower staying ever alert for the loose ball – and getting his ninth of the season to boot.Then came the defence. Saints made three goal-line stands – including a wonder tackle from Luke Walsh – before putting the game to bed.And what a try it was too.Walsh combined with Theo Fages to turn it inside for Jonny Lomax who ghosted over the line.It was a breathtaking and relieving move… and the delight on the away fans and players said it all.Match Summary:Tigers:Tries: Monaghan, Solomona, McMeeken, HitchcoxGoals: Gale (2 from 4)Saints:Tries: Greenwood (2), McDonnell, Amor, LomaxGoals: Walsh (5 from 5)Penalties:Tigers: 7Saints: 6HT: 6-10FT: 30-20REF: G HewerATT: 6658Teams:Tigers:5. Denny Solomona; 2. Joel Monaghan, 19. Ben Crooks, 16. Matt Cook, 25. Jy Hitchcox; 18. Ryan Hampshire, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Adam Milner, 14. Lee Jewitt, 10. Grant Millington, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Nathan Massey.Subs: 15. Paul McShane, 16. Matt Cook, 22. Gadwin Springer, 23. Will Maher, 31. Conor Fitzsimmons.Saints:23. Shannon McDonnell; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Dominque Peyroux, 4. Mark Percival, 22. Jack Owens; 19. Theo Fages, 7. Luke Walsh; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 20. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 28. Morgan Knowles.last_img read more

The hooker scooped the Players Player of the Year

first_imgThe hooker scooped the Players’ Player of the Year, the Members’ Player of the Year and the Player of the Year accolades at the event that was sponsored by Totally Wicked.Josh Simm won the 16s Player of the Year whilst Matty Lees, who made his first team debut recently, took home the 19s Player of the Year.Reserves Player of the Year was Danny Richardson; Regan Grace was named Young Player of the Year and the Player of the Year Runner Up was Alex Walmsley.But it was the mercurial hooker that had a special night with his triple haul.Eamonn McManus called him a once in a generation player whilst Head Coach Justin Holbrook said: “For James to win the Players’, fans’ and the main award shows how good he is. He is the best player in the comp.”You can see a video of Roby talking about his awards below:James Roby on his three Awards! #EOSA2017— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) September 18, 2017Full Awards:U16s Scholarship POTY – Josh Simm Robinsons Unicorn Visitor’s Centre Under 19s POTY – Matty Lees Robinsons Unicorn Visitor’s Centre Reserves POTY – Danny Richardson Robinsons Trooper Members POTY – James Roby Robinsons Trooper Player’s POTY – James Roby Robinsons Wizard Young POTY – Regan Grace Robinsons Saints Gold Runner-Up POTY – Alex Walmsley Robinsons Saints Gold POTY – James Robylast_img read more

First Team Match SAINTS TV Ticket

first_imgThe Saints have already registered two convincing victories over the Warriors so far this term, including a Good Friday thumping at the DW in April. We have set the pace and currently command the top end of the Betfred Super League table but form goes out of the window, as the two sides go head-to-head at the Totally Wicked Stadium in Round 22 of the comp.The Warriors will head to the fortress of the Totally Wicked Stadium, a venue at which the Saints have a fantastic record in 2019.Local bragging rights, two Super League points and a chance to further cement our position at the top of the table, are at stake as well as the chance to write another page in the history of this great fixture.Both teams will field an array of talent, with the Saints’ team featuring World class internationals in Tommy Makinson, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley and Jonny Lomax just to name a few while the Warriors will rely on the likes of Zak Hardaker, George Williams and the evergreen Sean O’Loughlin.The fixture has gone from strength to strength and has secured it’s position as the biggest Derby in Rugby League, with countless dramas, highs and lows and is always truly combative with locals wearing their hearts on their sleeves!BUT, for the first time in 24 years and 94 consecutive games, the fixture can only be experienced live with a match ticket as it will not be televised!Tickets for this MUST-SEE event start from just £10 for 16s and under and £23 for adults.You can get your tickets online here by calling 01744 455052 or by visiting the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium.Here is a little taster of what’s to come…,The Saints have already registered two convincing victories over the Warriors so far this term, including a Good Friday thumping at the DW in April. We have set the pace and currently command the top end of the Betfred Super League table but form goes out of the window, as the two sides go head-to-head at the Totally Wicked Stadium in Round 22 of the comp.The Warriors will head to the fortress of the Totally Wicked Stadium, a venue at which the Saints have a fantastic record in 2019.,Both teams will field an array of talent, with the Saints’ team featuring World class internationals in Tommy Makinson, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley and Jonny Lomax just to name a few while the Warriors will rely on the likes of Zak Hardaker, George Williams and the evergreen Sean O’Loughlin.The fixture has gone from strength to strength and has secured it’s position as the biggest Derby in Rugby League, with countless dramas, highs and lows and is always truly combative with locals wearing their hearts on their sleeves!,Tickets for this MUST-SEE event start from just £10 for 16s and under and £23 for adults.You can get your tickets online here by calling 01744 455052 or by visiting the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium.Here is a little taster of what’s to come…last_img read more

Eric and Lara Trump welcome baby boy

first_imgEric Luke Trump was born Tuesday morning. (Photo: Eric Trump/Twitter) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/CNN) — Wilmington native Lara Trump and husband Eric have welcomed their first child, a baby boy.Eric Luke Trump arrived at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, according to the announcement made by the couple on Twitter.- Advertisement – President Donald Trump is a grandfather for the ninth time.Luke Trump joins the President’s brood of grandchildren, which includes son Donald Trump Jr.’s five children with wife, Vanessa, and Ivanka Trump’s three children with her husband, Jared Kushner. Uncle Donald Trump Jr. offered his congratulations to his younger brother, tweeting, “Congrats buddy. Welcome to the club. Now that the niceties are out of the way it’s older brother revenge for that drum set to my kids.”last_img

Data reveals another spike in GenX levels at Chemours

first_imgSOUTHEASTERN, NC (WWAY) —  Preliminary water quality data shows another spike in the levels of GenX in Chemours’ wastewater discharge, according to the NC Department of Environmental Quality.The Concentrations of GenX exceeded the state’s provisional drinking water health goal in late October and early November. DEQ is investigating the cause of the spike and has demanded answers from Chemours, which is supposed to be capturing GenX rather than releasing it into the Cape Fear River.- Advertisement – Chemours told DEQ that data from water quality tests at the company’s wastewater discharge outfall in Fayetteville show concentrations of GenX were 2,400 parts per trillion for samples collected October 27-30 and 290 parts per trillion for samples collected October 31-November 2. While the outfall is not a source of drinking water, the concentrations detected there from October 27-November 2 were well above the state’s provisional health goal for drinking water of 140 parts per trillion.DEQ today alerted county health and public water systems in the lower Cape Fear region to Chemours’ data. Officials are investigating to determine why the spike in GenX concentrations occurred and have demanded that the company provide answers.“This increase in GenX levels is alarming and we are demanding answers from the company so we can safeguard water for the people of North Carolina,” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “The increased discharge of these fluorinated compounds reinforces the actions we’ve taken to revoke Chemours’ wastewater discharge permit.”Related Article: Cape Fear River Watch presenting film, discussion about water and GenXA similar spike in GenX concentrations at the wastewater discharge outfall occurred three days after an October 6 spill at Chemours’ facility.Chemours previously reported that on October 9 concentrations of GenX at its wastewater discharge outfall were 3,700 parts per trillion. A week ago, DEQ cited Chemours for failing to report the October 6 spill and moved to revoke Chemours’ wastewater discharge permit.DEQ continues to conduct water quality monitoring at several places along the Cape Fear River and will release the results of its latest testing as soon as they are available.DEQ is monitoring water quality in the lower Cape Fear to determine if future state test results reveal elevated concentrations of GenX or other fluorinated compounds at Chemours’ outfall or at finished drinking water sites downstream.last_img read more

Men accused of using counterfeit cash at Wilmington restaurant

first_img As of 1:50 p.m. Thursday, Wilmington Police said the men have been identified. (Photo: Wilmington Police Department) 1 of 3 Suspects accused of using counterfeit $100 at Winnie’s Tavern (Photo: Wilmington Police Department) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say these men paid for their meal at Winnie’s Tavern on Burnett Boulevard with a counterfeit $100 bill.According to the police report, three men were involved. It happened on December 31 around 1:30 p.m.- Advertisement – center_img (Photo: Wilmington Police Department) (Photo: Wilmington Police Department)last_img

Brunswick County schools superintendent postpones retirement

first_img The school district took to social media to update that Tubb will postpone his retirement one more month and leave the post by November 1.This pic of @brunscoschools Superintendent Tubb was taken during the hurricane at the Emergency Operation Center. The Superintendent was set to retire Oct. 1st. But, it looks like we’ll get his leadership for an additional month as he’s postponed retirement until November 1st!— Brunswick County Schools (@brunscoschools) September 27, 2018 BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Les Tubb weathered the storm and plans to stay a little longer with the district.Tubb was set to retire October 1.- Advertisement – last_img

Elections board sees influx of party affiliation changes after Columbus sheriff hearing

first_imgDay 2 of hearing evidence to decide if Jody Greene is the rightful sheriff in Columbus County on April 4, 2019. (Photo: WWAY) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Columbus County Board of Elections held its first regular meeting Monday since voting 3-2 last week that Jody Greene did not meet state requirements of residence to run for sheriff.The board mentioned the possibility of being subpoenaed to Greene’s appeal to the State Board of Elections.- Advertisement – Board of Elections Director Carla Strickland says there has been an influx of people coming in to change their party affiliation from democrat to republican with about 20 or 30 people doing so just Monday.Greene is a republican and Lewis Hatcher is a democrat.The board also discussed ordering voter identification equipment and scheduling public symposiums on voter ID.last_img

6 reasons to buy a new smartphone in 2016

first_imgBuying a new smartphone next year depends on what it can do better than the one in your pocket now. Image Credit: AOneComputer Advertisement Should you buy a new smartphone next year? That depends on what it can do better than the one in your pocket now. And if Qualcomm has anything to say about it, that will be quite a bit.Qualcomm chips power many of today’s high-end smartphones, including models from HTC, LG and OnePlus. The company’s latest flagship processor is the Snapdragon 820, which will start appearing in phones early next year. Of course, the new chip (technically a system on a chip, or SoC) is faster and more feature-rich, but, for 2016, the top-of-the-line Snapdragon needs to do more than just iterate.Last year’s flagship chip, the Snapdragon 810, promised big things but struggled with delivering the full package after it was dogged by reports of overheating. As a result, some manufacturers made do with other chips (many of them also from Qualcomm), and Samsung ditched Qualcomm’s SoCs entirely from its flagships, opting for homegrown Samsung Exynos processors for the company’s Galaxy S6/S6 Edge line. – Advertisement – That’s why the Snapdragon 820 has a lot riding on it. It has to undo the damage of the 810 while also leveling-up the smartphone experience in key ways. Qualcomm took pains to emphasize the new chip consumes 30% less power than the Snapdragon 810 and has been tested for overheating.On top of that, the Snapdragon 820 will let tomorrow’s smartphones perform a whole bunch of new tricks. Keep in mind that it’s up to manufacturers to implement features; Qualcomm just creates the underlying technology. With that said, these are the features that could separate the flagship phones of tomorrow:1. Object and scene recognition in photos Facial recognition is old news for imaging tech these days, but the Snapdragon 820 takes the concept to the next level with object and scene recognition — in real time. Hold your phone up and it’ll be able to tell if you’re snapping a pic of a beach scene or a sushi dinner. That means the auto mode on cameras will get even better and manual tagging will slowly become a thing of the past. You’ll even be able to tell your phone to focus specifically on one subject (like your kid), and it’ll automatically zoom and pan to follow it so you don’t need to look at the screen (but you will).2. Absurdly fast connections Wi-Fi took big steps forward in recent years with multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) tech and the 802.11ac standard, but it’s time to go further. The Snapdragon 820 will support multiple-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), which improves bandwidth for all devices connecting to a hotspot. And 802.11ad is capable of such insanely high throughput — well over a gigabit up or down — that you’ll wish you could get Internet that fast.At the same time, the modem integrated into the chip is upgraded, too. By taking advantage of LTE-U – the unlicensed spectrum shared with Wi-Fi – phones powered by the Snapdragon 820 will be able to get LTE connections with a theoretical maximum as fast as 600Mbps (megabits per second) down and 150Mbps up. In the real world you won’t get nearly that speed, but in general your connection should be up to 33% faster.3. Surround sound… from speakers! Devices have been able to create virtual surround sound experiences for a long time, but it’s usually through headphones. The Snapdragon 820 will enable surround sound via the device’s speakers – albeit only for a listener right in front of it. First it intelligently amplifies low levels without making the highs potentially damaging, then it applies digital signal processing to give sound both direction and distance, making it perfect for movies and, I don’t know… VR?[related-posts]4. Ready for VR Did we mention VR? Because Qualcomm sure did – it was clearly thinking about the needs of virtual reality experiences when it created the Snapdragon 820. The CPU and graphics processor (the Adreno 530 GPU) can work together to render a high-res 3D-environment in real time. And it does it using 40% less power than last year’s chip. Of course, the ability to drive a 4K display is a given.5. Better fingerprint sensors Fingerprint sensors are a big win for user convenience… as long as they actually work. As anyone with a slightly sweaty fingertip can tell you, that’s far from a guarantee, but Qualcomm’s doing something about it. The company’s SenseID sensor, which will launch next year alongside the Snapdragon 820, will be able to take advantage of ultrasonics that scan down to the tiniest ridges on a print, and a liquid sheen can actually make the scan more accurate.At the same time, the phone will have more places to put the sensor: Manufacturers will be able to build fingerprint scanners into the capacitive buttons beneath the screen or even underneath the metal chassis.6. Improved 4K video Yes, phones have been able to shoot 4K for a while, but next year they may actually be able to do it well. Dual image processors in the Snapdragon 820 will let a phone capture video images with better image quality in low light – even in 4K at 30 frames per second. For stills, it’ll support burst modes at 30fps at 25 megapixels each. That’s a lot of pixels.[Mashable]last_img read more

New online toolkit launches to help entrepreneurs build their brands

first_imgLaunched as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, the SME (small and medium enterprises) Public Relations (PR) & Communications toolkit is built to serve as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs across the African continent. Advertisement Launched in the run-up to the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week, the free downloadable toolkit is an initiative by Microsoft and partners, designed to help entrepreneurs increase their visibility, build a talked-about business and attract investors.Launched as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, the SME (small and medium enterprises) Public Relations (PR) & Communications toolkit is built to serve as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs across the African continent and other emerging markets to get started in building an effective, impactful, measurable and repeatable communications strategy. The 52-page interactive document was created in response to a survey conducted with SMEs across Africa to determine their communication needs.The toolkit is designed to help smaller or starting businesses, working with smaller budgets, to create maximum impact and set and achieve realistic goals to see results. The downloadable e-booklet equips SMEs with guidelines, tips and tricks, links to extra information, video interviews with local experts and downloadable templates. – Advertisement – Entrepreneurs can download the toolkit for free, by registering on the Microsoft Biz4Afrika platform at toolkit is available in both English and French.“PR and communications is such a valuable tool in effectively and clearly responding to the market in a way that also aligns with your business strategy,” says Kaakpema Yelpaala, founder of start-up and ClinicCommunicator. “We have found that as our company grows, businesses, consumers, analysts and other stakeholders in our focus markets want to know our story. They want to understand the value of our products and services and learn more about our current and future priorities. Through PR, we can tell these stories. We look forward to benefitting from the toolkit.”The toolkit takes SMEs through all the fundamental building blocks of communications: from creating an elevator pitch to writing a press release and getting started on social media. It also features a series of video tutorials from local communication experts, including journalist Tom Jackson, award-winning blogger Liron Segev and founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, Panashe Chigumadzi.Speaking on the creation of the toolkit, Kunle Awosika, Country Manager of Kenya says: “When putting this toolkit together, our team spent a lot of time with partners and small business owners, learning about their needs for us to custom-build a resource that meets the exact communication. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and hence these series of toolkits are doing exactly that – helping not only SMES, but also our partners to build and scale their businesses with greater impact.”[related-posts]Microsoft will also be launching Marketing and Human Resource Toolkits for SMEs in the upcoming months.To download the PR & Communications toolkit, SMEs can visit: SMEs can also watch tutorial videos from the toolkit on the Microsoft Virtual Academy: read more

Orange completes acquisition of mobile operator Airtel in Sierra Leone

first_imgAdvertisement Orange has announced that together with its Senegal-based partner Sonatel, has completed the acquisition of 100% of the mobile operator Airtel in Sierra Leone.Since the signature of an agreement with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (“Airtel”) in January 2016, Orange has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete this transaction.Airtel is the leading mobile operator in Sierra Leone with over 1.3 million customers (on the basis of active customers within a 30-day period) for a total population of 6.3 million people. – Advertisement – With a mobile penetration of around 50% of the population, Sierra Leone offers considerable growth potential, particularly at a time when significant investments are underway to extend the operator’s 3G network. This network, which already offers good coverage in Freetown and other major towns in Sierra Leone, is set to provide internet access to customers living outside major urban areas.The investments planned in the coming years will enable customers in Sierra Leone to benefit from the support of the Sonatel group and take advantage of the Orange group’s expertise and momentum in terms of innovation and development of the digital ecosystem.Following the recent launch of operations in Liberia and Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone becomes the 21st country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group.Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group and Chairman & CEO of Orange MEA (Middle East and Africa), stated: “We are pleased to announce that the acquisition of the mobile operator Airtel in Sierra Leone has been finalised. This new acquisition, which will be consolidated by Sonatel, will further strengthen Orange’s strategic position on the African continent.”last_img read more


first_imgBlog, I write to you from Playa El Duque; I am horizontalising, about fifteen metres from the shoreline. I would apologise for lack of recent contact, but you would no longer believe my leftie excuses.Between wandering up and down the beach, trying to mentally come to terms with the fact that I’m still not a mega, and battling the continual burden of knowing that The Staff are spending the whole time looking at their Facebooks whilst I’m away, I have been absolutely preoccupied with a worry that I must inform you of, Blog.About a month ago, myself and Gaul Wood were sitting on a bench, on the west side of Berkeley Square, surveying the scene. We were accompanied by Andrew Needleman, our legal eagle and brother in arms. Andrew was, as usual, guiding us through the different legal stages of aggression, negotiation, ignoring, pandering to, and playing the innocent, we are currently occupying with regulatory and banking bodies all over the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.After several draining bouts of his in-match-reports, he paused, looked across the square, and said out of nowhere ‘I haven’t been feeling myself.’. I rose from my stupor of resistance and defiance I hold during Andrew’s reports and replied; ‘What do you mean, Andrew?’. We waited a moment and he told myself and Gaul that he had been coming over the same way he had, years before, when he had needed to have a heart operation and stents put in. There was little we could say, and Andrew made his way off for the attention of a doctor. Within twenty four hours, the call came, and Andrew was informed he was facing a quadruple heart-bypass…The news knocking us all sideways. Had the pressure of acting as Star’s legal defender, really pushed Andrew’s body and mind to such strain? Probably; yes.Andrew was incredibly brave, and off he went a week later, for his date with destiny. Holding our breath, and together in spirit, we were joined in thought and hope, the morning the op was done and Andrew faced the surgeon’s knife.Later that day, the call came from Margo, his good lady. She bore good news and said that Andrew was resting in intensive-care.Four or five days later, myself and Gaul Wood went in to see him. I’m not one for moralising, so I’ll just pass on what I saw and heard, and leave it with you to digest however you see fit: Andrew had aged ten years, and was in clear extreme discomfort and pain. As he gently drank some soup we had bought him from his beloved Reubens, he looked over with tears in his eyes and said directly to Gary and myself ‘I’m not here because of smoking or drinking. I’m here because of stress. Learn from me.’. The words sent a shiver up and down me that has not subdued ever since that moment, looking at him.Andrew left the hospital a week later, and not long after, the connected words ‘Oslo’ and ‘Court’ were even being mentioned. However, destiny came back onto the scene and Andrew has been readmitted to the hospital with a heart that has been ticking a bit too quickly. Obviously, the excitement of an impending visit to Oslo Court, with myself and Gaul Wood, too much for Andrew’s heart to comprehend.Andrew, if only I could sacrifice several million bureaucrats or knocking punters lives to help you now. If only…Although I fear that greasy salt-beef sandwiches, courtesy of Reubens, and naughty cakes, eaten on the small terrace outside Coco Maya, may now be a thing of the past, I most certainly look forward to a clear chicken soup and a stroll around Connaught Square to analyze further Tony Blair’s private policemen.We are with you, Android. Keep going..!!In other news:When Pam Statements updates my Ipod, she often defies protocol and adds a few selections of her own. I am too stone-age to appreciate most of them, but one has got through the net and has made my list of most listened to. It is called ‘Somebody who..’ by a group called ‘Au Revoir Simone’. The singer keeps repeating she wants ‘Somebody who can stay awake’.I imagine Belindabelle often has just the same thought resonating around her head.B xlast_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Tottenham v West Ham

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ea-time action from White Hart Lane and a London derby between Spurs and West Ham.Tottenham are the only unbeaten side left in the Premier League BUT they have failed to win in their last seven matches and have become draw specialists. The win-less sequence has included a loss to Liverpool in the EFL Cup and a home defeat in the Champions League against Bayern Leverkusen.West Ham are playing better football now after an unsettled start to the season which has seen them struggle at their new home of the vast Olympic Stadium.The Hammer’s manager Slaven Bilic said: “We are missing points. If we had beat Stoke last time out we would be mid-table, because it’s so tight.“But we are 17th, and if you are 17th you are very close to relegation and we have to improve even more.“On one hand the worst thing to do is lose confidence and doubt yourselves individually and as a group. On the other hand you can’t keep talking and saying the table doesn’t matter, that we are a good team and we will click.”West Ham’s captain Mark Noble remains suspended.Tottenham Hotspur v West HamPremier League17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Mar 2016 PREMIER West Ham 1-0 TottenhamNov 2015 PREMIER Tottenham 4-1 West HamFeb 2015 PREMIER Tottenham 2-2 West HamAug 2014 PREMIER West Ham 0-1 TottenhamMay 2014 PREMIER West Ham 2-0 TottenhamDec 2013 CAPITAL ONE CUP Tottenham 1-2 West HamOct 2013 PREMIER Tottenham 0-3 West HamFeb 2013 PREMIER West Ham 2-3 TottenhamNov 2012 PREMIER Tottenham 3-1 West HamMar 2011 PREMIER Tottenham 0-0 West HamWest Ham have a record of 1W, 8L and 5D from 14 visits to White Hart Lane in the Premier League and it’s hard to see them improving on that record today.I’m with Spurs at both HT and FT which can be backed at around 5/4 with Star SportsRECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK SPURS/SPURS HT/FT 12 points at 5/4 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE EUROS: +82.73 pointsBET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


first_imgNATIONAL THOUGHTSInitially the punters steamed into the rails to bet on the Grand National but with so much time to get on there was a noticeable lull with 10 minutes to go when it would usually have been frenetic.What can you say about the Grand National, apart from what a race. Our brand ambassador Davy Russell rode a blinder on 10/1 winner Tiger Roll holding on by a fast diminishing neck from 25/1 Pleasant Company. We actually won a round of drinks in a posh London nightclub in the book but what it cost the firm is still being counted. Our offer to give £50 cash to new accounts attracted over 1,000 new clients, you can do the maths! The evening meal last night tasted a whole lot nicer after an excellent winning Ladies’ Day. The weather for the opener was glorious, too hot for our branded clobber which had served us well Thursday and Friday.1:45 Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)As expected, the 8/1 field heat yielded small bets with nothing of note staked with us.7/1 jolly Mr Big Shot winning wasn’t ideal but at last favourite backers started the day thinking the game was easy and wasn’t a disaster given the light staking.2:25 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)The betting was very competitive in the next with some great value for the punters and bookmakers competed strongly for punters. On The Blind Side was steady at 13/8 but occasionally a firm would go 7/4 and get picked off by value-savvy punters, that looked great value with 6/4 collapsing into 11/8 at the off. Though once again the lumpy punters left us out.Black Op winning at 3/1 was a smaller cop in the book but we didn’t get our whack having not laid the favouite to any big punters despite the market move.3:00 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)Petit Mouchoir was one of the bankers of the meeting and one Ben wanted to get in the book and beaten. Quite if he wanted the £50,000 he laid at 4/6 is another matter but that’s what the punter asked for so that’s what he’s got.The punter might have wished he’d waited because 5/6 was hawking with GW Sports next door as they were going down and Petit Mouchoir started playing up.It was still there in places at the off despite going off at 4/5, come racing for value.Diablo Du Charmil winning at 5/1 and more importantly beating the jolly was obviously a tremendous result but was otherwise very hard to lay.3:40 Betway Handicap Chase (Grade 3)No sooner had the board sparked back into action for the next, the same punter asked for £150,000 – £10,000 each-way Holly Bush Henry, he was laid despite being 14/1 everywhere.That bet apart, the sun was beating down and the punters appeared to have largely retreated into the shade, unheard of on a Grand National day but business on the race was poor.The big bet obviously skewed the book and turning for home it looked very likely to be placed but faded out of the money after the last. The winning 3/1 favourite Thomas Patrick was a bad result taking away the lump, but the lump was laid.Would the punter be back? Eyes were peeled and the firm braces for a possible chunk on Sam Spinner.4:20 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1)Just as they were lining up and it looked like he’d left us out the punter came in for a £60,000 – £50,000 Sam Spinner, had he come in earlier he’d have got 5/4 though.Even ignoring the £50,000 bet Identity Thief winning at 14/1 was a dream result for the betting ring. The perfect lead in to the feature event.5:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)BEN BEFORE THE BIG RACE ROB KNEW6:20 Pinsent Masons Handicap HurdleBen had ducked out before the concluding race, and who could blame him. Lofty and Andrew were left to crack on with trying to get a few quid back.Surprisingly, after the big race and almost an hour’s gap business was steady, even managing to lay a monkey each-way Michael’s Mount at 4/1.At the off, the jolly was the only loser.Havana Beat winning at 12/1 topped off (Tiger Roll bonus aside) another excellent winning day. Thanks Aintree it’s been cracking.Even the sun came out. YIKES Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILSlast_img read more

ICON funds UCSB survey of nanotechnology best practices

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade Boyd PHONE: (713) 348-6778 E-MAIL: ICON funds UCSB survey of nanotechnology best practices International Council on Nanotechnology studies occupational safeguardsThe International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) has awarded $55,000 to researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to conduct a “Review of Best Practices for Nanotechnology Safety.” ICON, a coalition of academic, industrial, governmental and civil society organizations, is administered by Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN). “ICON is working to document current practices for identifying, managing and reducing risks – across all lifecycle phases – for the production, handling, use and disposal of nanomaterials,” said Kristen Kulinowski, executive director of CBEN. “Our goal is to identify the safest way to work with nanomaterials, and to do that we need to identify the best approaches in use today by industries that are already developing and using nanomaterials.” The best practices initiative is intended to help companies manage potential nanotechnology risks with more certainty. ICON also hopes the initiative will help inform risk management efforts that are underway at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. The project leader at UCSB is Patricia Holden, professor of environmental microbiology. The UCSB team includes Magali Delmas, assistant professor of business policy, Richard Appelbaum, professor of sociology and global and international studies, and Barbara Herr Harthorn, research anthropologist, PI, and co-director of UCSB’s NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-UCSB). Work at UCSB will proceed in two stages. The first involves a comprehensive review of all existing “best practice” development efforts. In the second stage, the researchers will interview a broad range of companies internationally to determine current practices. One of their major goals will be “to identify critical needs for the standardization and implementation of safe practices in the nanotechnology industry in different parts of the globe.” ICON plans to make the results of the project public by the end of the year. Dr. Harthorn commented, “The ICON-funded study will provide essential data on current nanotech industry standards and practices for enhancing the environmental and health safety of nanomaterials. By providing comparative data on companies in the US, Europe and Asia, it will help shed light on new safety models as they are being implemented and also help identify where they are most needed. This work will provide important baseline data for NSF-funded research the CNS-UCSB is planning on risk and society issues, and we are delighted to partner with the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Management.” FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Houston mayor Shell Oil Company president and a Nobel Prize winner to

first_imgShareCONTACT: B.J. AlmondPHONE: 713-348-6770E-MAIL: balmond@rice.eduHouston mayor, Shell Oil Company president and a Nobel Prize winner to speak at Rice Thursday during national ‘teach-in’ on global warming solutionsRice University and more than 1,000 other colleges and universities are participating in a national ”teach-in” on global warming solutions for America Jan. 31.Houston Mayor Bill White, the president of Shell Oil Company and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist are among the speakers for the event at Rice, which is free and open to the public.Rice’s Center for the Study of Environment and Society (CSES) organized a CO2 Forum and a Sustainability Fair to share environmental tips and global warming solutions. The fair will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. and will be followed by the forum, which is scheduled for 7 to 9:30 p.m.  Both activities will be held in Rice Memorial Center, 6100 Main St.The nationwide educational initiative to get everyone talking about global warming solutions for America on the same day is being organized by Focus the Nation, a project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Green House Network.“Considering that more than 1,000 other schools will be doing the same thing on Jan. 31, we might find ourselves with a population focused on implementing climate change solutions when we wake up on the morning of Feb. 1,” said Richard Johnson, director of sustainability at Rice.Along with the mayor, speakers for the forum include:* Rice President David Leebron* Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister* Dominique Raynaud, a paleoclimatologist and glaciologist with France’s National Center for Scientific Research and lead author in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for its scientific reports on the connection between human activities and global warming* Neal Lane, who served as science adviser to President Bill Clinton and is now a university professor at Rice and a fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public PolicyIn addition to short presentations by the five distinguished speakers, the forum will include two panel discussions that highlight sustainability efforts on the Rice campus and throughout the city and examine how the U.S. can become a leader on global warming issues. The forum will also explore alternative energy options for the next 25 years and the implications of using past variations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas concentrations to forecast climate changes in the current century.Additional panelists include Eugene Levy, Rice provost and the Howard R. Hughes Professor of Physics and Astronomy; André Droxler, professor of Earth science and CSES director; Richard Johnson, director of sustainability and associate CSES director; and John Anderson, the W. Maurice Ewing Chair in Oceanography and professor of Earth science. Amy Myers Jaffe, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies at the Baker Institute and associate director of the Rice Energy Program, will moderate the forum.Among the organizations and businesses that will have information booths at the Sustainability Fair are the U.S. Green Building Council, the Rice Student Green Building Initiative, Engineers Without Borders, the Environmental Club, NuRide, Green Mountain Energy, the Community Garden, and the Rice University Biodiesel Initiative. For a complete list of presenters at the Sustainability Fair and CO2 Forum, visit, or contact CSES at 713-348-5736 or more information on the national teach-in, visit information on parking at Rice, visit AddThislast_img read more