A new £5 million initiative – believed to be the w

first_imgA new £5 million initiative – believed to be the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people – is set to fund 40 projects that aim to find solutions to barriers to independent living across the UK.The Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) programme is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and will be delivered by the disabled people’s organisations Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales.The programme launched in England and Northern Ireland this week, and will launch in Wales next week at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd.Lis Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This is the first research programme in the world which ensures disabled people, and the issues that matter to us, are central to research funding decisions.“The aim is to build a better evidence base on the initiatives and support that enable disabled people to take full part in society.”DRILL is expecting to fund 40 research proposals and pilot projects over the next five years, investigating how public money can enable disabled people to take part in society socially, economically and politically.  Some of the research will be carried out by the four national, user-led organisations, but most of it will be carried out by other organisations.The aim is to carry out six large research projects, at about £100,000 each; 20 smaller research projects at up to £40,000 each; and 14 pilot projects at around £150,000 each.Funding criteria will be decided after engagement events with disabled people, under the themes of peer support, autonomy, resilience, and social, economic and civic participation.Proposals will not be accepted unless they can show the projects will be co-produced by disabled people and that disabled people will be closely involved in every part of the schemes.Speaking at the DRILL England launch, in London, Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured) said: “I have been involved in campaigning for a high quality independent living infrastructure for most of my adult life. It was my first campaign, and it will probably be my last.“For me, independent living – conceived, developed and implemented by disabled people –lies at the heart of our emancipation.“Without independent living, we would never access our equality and human rights; without it, we would be destined to be dependent forever.”But she said the impact of economic austerity had created “our biggest challenge ever”.She said: “Economic austerity has decimated hundreds of independent living support packages.“Disabled people’s expectations have changed immeasurably, and we demand a different social deal when it comes to our equality and human rights.“Institutionalisation and charitable handouts are no longer an answer to our right to independent living, and yet there is a tangible danger that this could return.”Baroness Campbell said the “exciting” DRILL programme – with disabled people “in charge” as “the informers, the drivers and the thinkers” – was “precisely what we need in order to understand the contexts in which we now live, and solutions to our future support and life chances”.A national advisory group will include disabled people, academics and policy-makers, and will provide advice, examine research proposals, make recommendations and help promote and disseminate findings.A central research committee – chaired by the disabled academic Dr Tom Shakespeare – will make the final decisions on which research proposals receive funding.The first stage in England is a series of roadshows, which will help to decide on the programme’s priorities.The roadshows will take place in Stockport (22 September); Southampton (29 September); Darlington (1 October); Essex (6 October); York (7 October); Derby (13 October); St Austell (22 October); London (28 October); and Worcester (29 October).last_img read more

Disabled campaigners are calling for the resignati

first_imgDisabled campaigners are calling for the resignation of the equality watchdog’s disability commissioner, the disabled Tory peer Lord [Chris] Holmes, after he voted in favour of disability benefit cuts when they had been condemned by his own organisation.The letter to Lord Holmes (pictured) at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been signed by many of the organisations that have led opposition to the government’s cuts and reforms to disability benefits over the last six years.It comes a week after Disability News Service reported concerns over the government connections of Lord Holmes and the government’s preferred candidate to be EHRC’s next chair, David Isaac, at a time when the commission was preparing to investigate whether Tory welfare reforms have breached the human rights of disabled people.The letter, written by Scottish disability rights campaigner Susan Archibald, has been signed by leading figures from organisations such as Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle, Pat’s Petition, The Centre for Welfare Reform, Carer Watch, and the Spartacus online campaigning network, as well as Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives.It is part of a new campaign from an alliance of anti-austerity, grassroots groups from Scotland and the north of England that are committed to fighting for equality – the Cross Border Alliance – that will “name and shame” public figures “colluding in the cuts to disabled people and not addressing disabled people’s rights”.The letter has also prompted a petition, again calling for Lord Holmes to resign from the commission.Archibald points in her letter to the decision of Lord Holmes to vote in favour of measures that will cut payments by £30 a week for new employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants placed in the work-related activity group.She points out that the commission expressed concern that this measure “will cause unnecessary hardship and anxiety to people who have been independently assessed and found unfit for work”.In a briefing document published earlier this year, EHRC also said the measure would be “likely to have a disproportionately adverse impact on disabled people”.In her letter, Archibald tells Lord Holmes, who chairs the commission’s disability committee, that his actions “will have a detrimental effect on disabled people’s lives” and undermine the UK’s human rights obligations. She adds: “As a disability rights campaigner I am calling for your immediate resignation of the position you hold as disability commissioner and chair of the disability committee for EHRC as alongside my peers and other user led organizations we think you are no longer worthy of this position.”Lord Holmes said in a statement: “It is public knowledge that I am a Conservative peer in the House of Lords.“In that context, I will sometimes vote or take a position that is either personal or different from that of the EHRC.“I completely respect people’s right to disagree with how I have voted in the past and I know these are deeply held views on these issues.“But these are complex and sensitive issues. Public bodies would be immeasurably weakened if they were only drawn from people with only one viewpoint or one sort of background.”An EHRC spokesman said it had been “robust in challenging the government to ensure its welfare reform programme protects the rights and standards of living of disabled people and supports their inclusion and independence, and this has been reported many times by DNS over the past year”.He said the commission’s business plan “sets out an ambitious programme of work to tackle discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and human rights for disabled people.“The strength of our board comes from the breadth and diversity of skills, experience and viewpoints our commissioners bring to bear on the important issues we tackle.“It is not uncommon for commissioners to have different views on an issue, and we welcome the constructive and challenging debate through which the board reaches its collective decisions.“The important thing is we have rigorous processes in place to avoid any conflicts of interest, including commissioners being required to comply with the principles of public life [first set out by Lord Nolan in 1995] and our code of conduct, with a register of interests publicly available.”Meanwhile, the joint committee on human rights and the women and equalities committee last night (20 April) declined to recommend Isaac’s appointment as the new EHRC chair because of a “serious potential conflict of interest” relating to his role as a partner at the law firm Pinsent Masons, which has a “significant amount of business with the government”, including the Department for Work and Pensions.last_img read more

SF Mayor Lee Lets New Tenant Protections Stand Saying Housing Crisis Acute

first_imgThe proposal garnered controversy, however, when property owners lobbied the mayor this week, saying they feared the provision left them with no control over who could live in the building and how many people could be added by tenants. If Lee had vetoed the proposal, its unclear whether the Board would have been able to quash his challenge, since a vote on just the roommate provision passed 7-4 and eight supervisors are needed to override a veto.Ivy Lee, a legislative aide to Supervisor Kim, said many of their concerns were based on “misconceptions.” The legislation, she said, only allowed additional roommates up to housing code limits and that tenants must approve new roommates with their landlords. She also said property owners were confused about the cap on rent increases following  a no-fault eviction, thinking it was indefinite. The time period is five years, she said.“Concerns were raised by small property owners,” she said. “[The Mayor] was trying to figure out if their concerns were valid.”It seems he relented, though not before noting his disapproval with the roommate provision in his letter to the Board, saying it “does not reflect the right approach when it comes to property owners’ rights.”Still, returning a legislation unsigned was largely a symbolic measure for the Mayor, as the proposal is now law and will be implemented by the city.“There was nothing in our legislation that was objectionable enough to warrant an entire veto,” Supervisor Kim’s aide said.There’s still work to be done, Kim’s aide said. Their office is looking into making the Rent Board more accessible to residents with limited English ability, and opening it up as a resource for both tenants and property owners. She said a lot of unnecessary litigation can be prevented if both tenants and landlords have the right information.“Not every tenant is a victim, and not every landlord is villain,” she said. “It doesn’t work like that.” A new proposal designed to give San Francisco tenants increased protections against evictions became law Friday afternoon when Mayor Ed Lee returned the legislation unsigned, despite earlier fears that he would veto it. “The [housing] crisis is so acute, and the anxiety and reality of eviction and displacement real for so many, that we must take unprecedented steps to help,” said Mayor Lee in a letter sent to the Board Friday evening. “This is why I am allowing this legislation to become law, despite a provision that I believe creates a significant intrusion into certain fundamental rights of small property owners.”That provision, which passed unanimously at the Board of Supervisors two weeks ago, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for adding roommates up to the legal limit. The law also prevents evictions for nuisance violations like hanging laundry and for living in illegal units, forbids raising rent on units for following any no-fault eviction, and instructs landlords to provide multilingual information for tenants facing eviction.“With this victory, thousands of tenants have a fighting chance to stay in their homes,” said Sara Shortt, executive director of Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, in a press release. “This legislation is crucial to stemming the tide of sham evictions and abuse of tenants that we see on a regular basis.” Tags: Board of Supervisors • ed lee • housing • tenants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

Dozens Displaced by SF Mission Fire in Limbo

first_img 0% After a fire that destroyed the Rolling Stock tire shop on 16th and Shotwell streets partially consumed their homes, some 29 tenants at 2878 16th Street are in a holding pattern while nonprofits and city agencies try to find them a place to stay until their units are repaired. If other recent residential fires are any indication, that could take years.The group of tenants includes six children. While many were put up at hotels through the Red Cross, the effort will only tide them over temporarily. Others found shelter with friends or relatives.“Some families have lived in the building for over 40 years, “said Amelia Martinez, a family success coach manager at Mission Promise Neighborhood. “Because they have been in the city for this long, they have pretty strong networks in their community already in place.”Mission Promise is one of several community groups that are currently assessing the tenants’ needs in an attempt to provide services and resources. Martinez spoke with most of the displaced tenants during a meeting organized by the Red Cross on the day after the fire. While many were in shock – the incident seemed to not have sunken in yet, said Martinez – others were visibly distressed.“One of the tenants told me that someone from the Salvation Army gave her his shoes so that she could enter the building to look for some of her belongings after the fire,” said Martinez. “As she told me this, the woman broke down crying.”That act of kindness came from John McKnight, director of Emergency and Disaster Services for the Salvation Army, who said it simply was “the right thing to do.”“When I was notified of the fire, I headed there immediately. Only when you’re physically present can you get an idea of what the need is,” said McKnight.  “Not being able to access your apartment and your life, it makes you feel very vulnerable.”Bridging the gap from the fire to getting tenants back into their apartments, he explained, is a challenge currently faced by the City as well as the Salvation Army and other organizations providing relief.“At 22nd/Mission in January, we kept people in a shelter for quite a long time,” said McKnight. Following that fire, the Salvation Army ran a shelter for displaced tenants with support from the Red Cross and the community. “How long will it take get tenants back into their apartments? In my opinion, a year would be a fast turn around for that.”Maria Zamudio, a housing advocate at Causa Justa, is working with the tenants to ensure their rights are protected throughout the process of recovering from the fire.“The 22nd/Mission fire set a really bad precedent for this kind of mass fire displacement in the Mission. We’ve been seeing that fires happen, tenants get displaced, they have a very unclear timeline for when they can return,” said Zamudio.So far, tenants are finding exactly that.On Tuesday morning, tenants were ready to retrieve their belongings – some had rented U-Hauls, others bought boxes and moving supplies. But, like many other tenants displaced by residential fires, they were informed suddenly that a meeting with their landlord had been canceled, that the building was unsafe and that they could not return.“It was a big hassle for us, because all of us are taking time off,” said Oscar Lepe, who lived in one of the units with his senior parents. “I bought moving supplies and everything else, and know we don’t know when it’s gonna happen.”Peter Bratis, the building owner, had met with tenants on the day of the fire and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday so that they could enter the building and retrieve their belongings. However Tuesday morning Bratis’ daughter called and cancelled it, according to tenants.  Mission Local was unable to reach either the landlord or his daughter.Lepe suspects most of the damage will be water-related, and that the longer the tenants have to wait to get in their building, the more will be lost. The Department of Building Inspections deemed the building unsafe hours after the fire, noting that there had been no major structural damage but that plumbing and electrical systems were damaged, as well as the roof and the property line wall. The notice also describes severe dry rot to the rear stairs. A building inspector did not return calls for comment.Despite having lived in the building for years, Lepe said reaching the landlord was always difficult, and the struggle continued after the fire.“Everytime we tried to contact the owner for stuff to be done to the building he would never contact us back. We tried to call him and his number and his voicemail is always full,” seconded tenant Norma Pizarro, who lived in the building with her family. She and her partner, her daughter and daughter’s partner, and two young children are sheltering with extended family.City officials intend to keep the tenants in San Francisco by way of Good Samaritan housing, a city program that encourages landlords to offer temporary housing at reduced rental rates in the aftermath of a disaster.“My plan is to work with Good Samaritan legislation to see if we can get people into empty apartments, just like we did with the 22nd/Mission fire,” said Ben Amyes, emergency services coordinator for the Human Services Agency.Following the January fire that displaced more than 60 tenants, many were placed in temporary city-assisted housing on Treasure island and in Parkmerced. Just a handful were relocated within the Mission.The “Samaritan” landlord would be able to negotiate a short-term lease with the tenants, buying the them time, said Amyes.  But the process is not a guarantee, and landlords must step up to make it work.  Amyes said he has no control over how long the relocation might take.Next door, the city’s office of economic and workforce development is assisting the displaced business, Rolling Stock, though details of that assistance were not immediately available. Property owner Jim Albera told KTVU earlier this week he would like to build housing at the site after the structure is inevitably torn down, but told Mission Local later that it’s too early to tell and he has no specific plans yet. The property is currently zoned for the light industrial category of Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR).“Whenever there is a fire, we always have to ask questions,” said Zamudio from Causa Justa. “To know that the property owner, not even two days after it happened, is talking about building market-rate housing on the site, is concerning.”The former tire shop has been fenced off, and subsequently graffitied with the words “ARSON” in huge letters.“It’s not right that [people are saying] that the property owners are setting all these fires,” Albera said. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. I’m upset that the building burned… It was very tragic thing, I wish I didn’t have to deal with this right now.”Supervisor David Campos via Facebook encouraged those who wish to help support the fire victims to donate to the Mayor’s Fund for the Homeless and write in “Shotwell Fire Victims” in the empty field. You can find that link here. center_img Tags: Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

3Car Crash in SFs Mission Sends Man to Hospital

first_imgSandfort said that when the Chevy crashed, its tires were still spinning.An officer on the scene said the investigation was still open and that he did not yet know more. Venus Savea, the owner of the Chevy, was not driving it at the time. She had lent it to her brother-in-law, and did not know what happened during the crash. She said she did not know her brother-in-law’s condition, but knew he was speaking.“I know he was coherent,” she said.Traffic was shut down on South Van Ness Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets, and traffic on 23rd was slow as cars were waved through by police officers.Three car crash at 23rd and South Van Ness on November 16, 2016. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Three car crash at 23rd and South Van Ness on November 16, 2016. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros. 0% Three cars collided this morning at the intersection of 23rd Street and South Van Ness Avenue, sending one man to the hospital in unknown condition and almost hitting a pedestrian crossing the street.The crash took place near 8:50 a.m. and involved a gold Chevrolet, a blue Porsche SUV, and an SUV Luxor taxicab. The Chevy seemed to have careened onto the sidewalk after hitting the taxicab, sending its driver to the hospital after it hit a wall. The crash almost sent the taxi into a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the pedestrian said.“I was in the middle of the intersection” when the taxi came towards her, said Lesley Sandfort, a Mission District resident. When the crash happened, she moved backwards as quickly as possible and narrowly avoided being hit, she said. “It was like slow motion, I saw every piece of glass coming towards me. I didn’t know I could run backwards.”It’s unclear how the crash unfolded. Sandfort said the Chevy was going southbound on South Van Ness Avenue fast and hit the taxi, which was going eastbound on 23rd Street. The Chevy then seems to have hit the blue Porsche before skidding onto the sidewalk and continuing there for half a block before crashing into a building.center_img Reporting like this takes people, feet on the ground. Keep us there. Join Mission local today. Make the Mission a place that values reported content. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

VIDEO SF art store struggles against ecommerce

first_img 0% The owners of Artillery A.G. discuss how online purchasing is affecting small businesses in San Francisco’s Mission District. This part of an occasional series –  Shop Local Disrupted –  that will look at how local retail is being upended by an ongoing transformation of the country’s retail economy.  On Thursday, the owners of Artillery will unveil a new look that offers fewer designers in an attempt to highlight the best of the Bay Area. Stop by and visit at 2751 Mission St. Tags: Artillery Apparel Gallery • arts • Business • mission street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img

Coalition asks city to fund Latino success

first_img 0% Lee is expected to release a budget proposal on June 1, but his representative Hydra Mendoza said at the press conference that $700,000 would be set aside both this fiscal year and next year, for a total of $1.4 million, to begin addressing the coalition’s request. “It’s been a good collaborative effort,” Mendoza said. “We hear you and we want to stand behind you.”Coalition members were not entirely convinced.“That’s kind of good news…kind of,” said  Melba Maldonado, the executive director of La Raza Community Resource Center. “We’re just doing a crisis mode intervention. Now we have to plan for the future.” “We proposed $5 million to the Mayor’s Office and we got 700 [thousand],” said Monica Chinchilla, who works at Mission Neighborhood Centers. The coalition, which consists of more than a dozen groups and includes the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Jamestown Community Center, the Mission Language and Vocational School, the Mission Economic Development Agency, the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District and La Raza Community Resource Center, is also recommending tweaks to city policy to better address the needs of the low-income Latino community. In its report, the coalition recommends constructing more affordable housing for the population making less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (currently about $80,000 for a single person), because Latinos statistically earn less than other groups in San Francisco. According to a 10-page brief about the coalition’s study, the city’s overall median household income is more than $77,000 a year. For white people, the median income is about $98,000 a year. For Latinos, it is around $54,000. In the Mission specifically, median income among Latinos is less than $44,000.  Mario Paz, executive director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, said housing is fundamental to the stability of a family, but that many Latino families frequently face the awful choice of whether to pay for food or housing.  “That is just unconscionable in one of the richest cities in the world,” he said.  The group is also calling for increased funding for legal defense for families threatened with deportation, an ongoing effort that has already resulted in partial funding and the creation of a deportation defense team within the Public Defender’s office.“Even in San Francisco, immigrant mothers and parents are afraid to send their kids to school,” said District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “This is real, as real as it can get.”Another recommendation was to educate Latinos about healthcare options available to them – including Medi-Cal, the state’s branch of the federal Medicaid program. In part, the aim is to reduce emergency room visits for preventable problems, which the study found to be particularly high among adult Latinos in San Francisco. To decrease obesity, which according to the study affects 72 percent of Latinos in the city, compared with 56 percent of whites, the authors called for better bilingual nutritional education in schools, improving access to healthier foods for Latinos in the city, and holding health fairs. Tags: Affordable Housing • immigration Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img San Francisco’s Latino population struggles disproportionately in key areas that determine success and stability, said a coalition of nonprofits that serve low-income Latino communities around the city. The groups, under the name San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition, are calling for more funding to go to services for struggling Latino families. The coalition held a press conference Wednesday highlighting the findings of its study of neighborhoods like the Mission, Excelsior, Bayview, Tenderloin and Visitacion Valley: Latino children lag behind in education, Latinos are more likely to have health problems and visit the emergency room for preventable conditions, and Latinos are overburdened by rent yet few of them are able to access affordable housing. To begin addressing those problems with targeted services, education and outreach campaigns, the coalition has been petitioning Mayor Ed Lee for funding. Last June, it asked for $7 million, but Lee told them a month later that he didn’t have it.last_img read more

SAINTS Lotterys 4Ball rollover has now reached £

first_imgSAINTS Lottery’s 4-Ball rollover has now reached £1,800!That means one lucky member of the Saints Lottery could be receiving a very welcome cash boost heading into the New Year.As well as potentially winning the top weekly prize of £1,000, Lottery members can also scoop other cash prizes and vouchers for the Saints Superstore.To join the lottery for as little as £1 a week – and help support junior development at your club – log on here and download the form or call 01744 455056.last_img

Disaster Recovery Center to stay open through January

first_imgHomes in Stoney Creek sit with trash covering the lawn after Hurricane Florence.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the last day to apply for hurricane relief assistance.FEMA’s last day at the Disaster Recovery Center will be Thursday. Remaining at the Disaster Recovery Center through the end of January 2019 will be the Small Business Administration, Hope4NC Crisis Counseling and NC Emergency Management Individual Assistance personnel to help residents with updating their records in order to continue receiving assistance. Hours of operation will continue to be Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.- Advertisement – “We are grateful for the work that FEMA has provided our community since Hurricane Florence struck in September,” said New Hanover County Hurricane Florence Recovery Manager Beth Schrader. “Our residents will still need assistance for a little while longer, and we are delighted that other partners will stay in place through January at the Disaster Recovery Center to provide our residents with the support they need to continue to recover.”Businesses can also seek assistance from the Small Business Administration at the Business Recovery Center located at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce at One Estell Lee Place through Thursday.On Friday, December 21, SBA business recovery operations will be solely located at the Disaster Recovery Center in Independence Mall. Several key dates for businesses: December 19 s the deadline to apply for the Business Physical Damage Disaster Loan, and June 14, 2019 is the deadline for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For more information visit the SBA website.last_img read more

Watch I fell in love with the sound – José González

first_img‘I fell in love with the sound,’ Swedish-Argentinian singer-songwriter and guitarist, José González tells Newsbook.com.mt.Speaking to Newsbook.com.mt at the Phoenicia Hotel this afternoon, González explained that he started playing the classical guitar at the age of 14, one of three instruments including a flute and Casio synthesizer that could be found around his childhood home. The guitar was the one that he chose.‘My parents are Argentinian so it had a familiar sound, a soft sound,’ he explained.‘One night to be confused’You might recall González’ debut song, the cover of Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ back in 2003.González stripped down the electronic and synthesized sound of the original with his own unique and haunting sound of encapsulated throw the nylon strings and vocals.Since then, the musician has produced 3 albums, numerous singles, and taken his sound internationally to festivals, TV shows and even on the silver screen and video games.First time in MaltaGonzález is in Malta to performing his mix of haunting indie-folk music at the City Theatre in Valletta this evening at 9PM.Apparently this is the first time he has performed in Malta having spent many years touring across Europe. ‘I’m finally here,’ he says.Inner struggleWhen asked about inspirations for the music he produces, Newsbook.com.mt asked about whether environments, atmosphere or ambience help him to take fingers to strings. One of those songs in question was the haunting and atmospheric track called ‘Far Away,’ produced for the video game Red Dead Redemption (2010).González explained that Rockstar Games had approached him for his sound as part of their musical composition for the Western-themed video game.‘That song is about the desert and the lonesome cowboy, riding in the desert. It’s about the inner struggle, with family and loneliness’González performs at the City Theatre in Valletta tonight at 9PM.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

14 hours of cycling every day to go round Sicily

first_img SharePrint Athlete Fabio Spiteri cycled for 14 hours a day for three days in order to do the 1,000 kilometer distance around Sicily.During an interview with Sylvana Debono on RTK, the first athlete to complete this challenge explains that training entailed cycling his bike for three hours a day along the Żebbuġ Bypass and the Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq Coast Road.He explained that the plan during the challenge was to start cycling at 5am, in order to avoid the heat. He expected to cycle around 30km per hour, depending on the wind strength and whether it rained.Fabio Spiteri has been involved in sports for the past 22 years. He started off with two minute raises and nowadays looks forward to races over much longer distances.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Kenya To Classify Telecoms Infrastructure As Utilities

first_imgAdvertisement In a bid to curb the rising incidents of telecom infrastructure vandalism, the Kenyan government has made known its intention to put in place a telecom infrastructure protection law by the end of December 2013.Information Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i told journalists in Nairobi that the move was aimed at stemming the losses experienced by the sector due to vandalism.“The law will classify telecom infrastructure as utilities so that penalties for tampering with the assets are severe enough to discourage any interference,” Matiang’i said during a meeting with all licensed telecom operators in Kenya.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Vandalism is reported to have jeopardised Kenya’s communications capacity, leading to losses amounting to over KSh500 million (approx US$5.6 million) a year. A single incident in 2008 saw Kenya Power lose nearly KSh28 million (approx US$420,000).Meanwhile, telecom operators continue to report losses from theft of underground and overhead cables, which insiders say fetch high prices in the black market. Credit: IT NEWS AFRICAlast_img read more

Mobile internet usage to increase at twice the global rate in five

first_imgAdvertisement Ericsson has today revealed the scale of the region’s ongoing data revolution with traffic growth doubling the past year.The June 2014 Sub-Saharan Africa Ericsson Mobility Report shows that in 2014 phone users accessed 76,000 TB (terabyte) of data per month, double the 2013 figure of 37,500 TB per month.In 2015 the figures are expected to double again with mobile phone users accessing 147,000 TB per month. – Advertisement – Download the Ericsson Mobility Report – Sub-Saharan AfricaThe rise of social media, content-rich apps and video content accessed from a new range of cheaper smartphones has prompted the rise. Consumers in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria are also increasingly using video TV and media services from their smartphones.[related-posts]Fredrik Jejdling, Regional Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says: “Sub-Saharan Africa is currently undergoing a mobile digital revolution with consumers, networks and even media companies are wakening up the possibilities of 3G and 4G technology. We have seen the trend emerging over a few years but in the past twelve months the digital traffic has increased over 100% forcing us to revise our existing predictions.”In the next five years, the Report’s findings show that the voice call traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa will double and there will be an explosion in mobile data with usage in Sub-Saharan Africa growing 20 times between 2013 and 2019, twice the anticipated global expansion. By 2019 the report predicts that 75 per cent of mobile subscriptions will be internet inclusive (3G or 4G).This growth has been predicted following the launch in 2014 of a number of smartphones for under $50 USD by a number of major device manufacturers allowing the rapid expansion of 3G and 4G technology across the region. The 2014 Report predicts that in just three years’ time 3G technology will become the dominant technology across the region.Fredrik Jejdling, Regional Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says: “The rise of cheap smartphones will allow vast portions of the population – from middle classes in cities to small businesses in rural areas – access to mobile broadband.M-commerce can offer endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and we’ve found that farmers are fans of mobile wallets – as well as teenagers wanting to watch music videos on their smartphone.”last_img read more

Zuri Smartphones Enter The East African Markets

first_imgAdvertisement Digital lifestyle devices brand, Zuri has launched into the three East African Markets of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda together with distribution partner DESPEC.The fast-growing brand, part of the Amoli Group, a technology specialist for over three decades, expands its reach in Europe, Middle East and Africa with digital lifestyle devices including smartphones, tablets, power banks, Bluetooth speakers and more.Zuri was launched in 2014 to expressly focus on the needs of a growing class of newly-connected consumers, in both mature markets and developing economies, where Zuri’s combination of design, quality and value will have broad mainstream appeal. – Advertisement – The 4 smartphone models rolled out include: C41, C46, C52 and S56 each with unique and superior specifications such as efficient Android Kit Kat platform, powered by multi-core processors, including an octa-core option, dual-sim capabilities, large screen sizes and high quality camera options, all packaged in a stylish exterior.The phones come with 1-year Zuri warranty and are backed by an extensive after sales network.“With Zuri, we say the brand was created with “you in mind” and the Zuri name literally puts “U” at the center,” said Vikash Shah, CEO at Zuri.“It’s a clear, visible statement of the commitment we share with you — our customers, our partners and our community. We put your needs, your priorities and your requirements at the center of everything we do.”“Today one billion people worldwide use a smartphone. We are targeting the next billion,” continued Vikash Shah. “We call these newly-connected users ‘the emerging consumer’ for mobile devices. These customers are everywhere — from families buying their first smartphone, to students trading their desktop PC for a mobile solution, to small businesses deploying smartphones to better connect with their customers.“The region has significant growth potential, as consumers in East Africa continue to buy smartphones in ever-increasing numbers. In the whole of Africa, smartphones accounted for roughly half of all mobile shipments in 2015, according to IDC, and that share is expected to further increase to 80% within the next five years. In this market, Zuri is well positioned with a product and purpose that match the needs of these consumers.Vikash Shah stated: “East Africa represents a significant growth opportunity for Zuri, with demand for smartphones increasing across the region. We are confident that DESPEC will enable us to build strong routes-to-market across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Zuri is fully committed to building its brand presence in East Africa and DESPEC is the perfect partner to help us achieve this.”Riyaz Jamal, CEO at DESPEC, commented: “We are pleased to add Zuri smartphones to our portfolio and believe the brand has a bright future in East Africa. Channel partners and consumers are looking for smartphone brands that stand out from the crowd. We believe the Zuri message, branding and image – coupled with the quality of the devices – will allow us to build strong sales across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.”Vikash Shah continued: “Zuri aims to provide consumers with smarter, simpler and stronger ways to realise the full potential of the connected world. Our high quality designs and manufacturing excellence create products that offer a compelling price-performance proposition for users.”“We look forward to working with operators, retailers and resellers in East Africa to explain the benefits that Zuri provides to consumers and the win-win business proposition for channel partners that align with our strategy,” Shah addedlast_img read more

GTA 5 Officially The Fourth Highest Selling Video Game Of All Time

first_imgGTA-5. Image Credit: Primagames Advertisement A lot of people have bought Grand Theft Auto 5 since it was released on 17 September, 2013.According to an earning’s call by publisher Take-Two Interactive, it’s shipped an astonishing 65 million copies across all platforms worldwide.The game has been recognized as the 4th highest selling video game of all time, behind Tetris; released in 2006 sold 495 million copies, Wii Sports; released in 2006 sold 82.78 million copies and Minecraft; released in 2009 sold 73 million copies. – Advertisement – The achievement is made more impressive when you take into account that Minecraft is available for just 20.41 USD (approximately 69,000ugx) on consoles, whereas GTA 5 can cost around 58.31 USD (approximately 197,000ugx).The game received rave reviews from critics and has continued to be popular thanks to an online multiplayer add-on and the antics of the modding community.Available on  PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3.The game was originally released on PS3 and Xbox 360, by 2015 – it was available on all consoles including; PS4, Xbox One and PC.Brief summary of the 4 best/highest selling videos games of all timeTitleRelease yearSystem(s)Copies soldTetris2006Mobile, iOS, BlackBerry OS, PS Portable, Windows (PC) Phone, Android, PS 3, TI Programmable calculators495 millionWii Sports2006Wii82.78 millionMinecraft2009Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS 3, PS4, Mobile, Java applet, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon Fire TV, Raspberry Pi, PS Vita, Wii U73 millionGrand Theft Auto V2013PS 3, Xbox 360, PS 4, Xbox One, Windows (PC)65 million[related-posts] [Mirror]last_img read more

Pandora to Bring Musical Experience for Uber Drivers

first_imgPandora and Uber Are Simplifying Drivers’ Music Experience; Rider Availability Coming Soon. Image Credit: Xrated Advertisement Music streaming and automated music service, Pandora Inc., today announced it’s partnering with Uber Inc to change the way people enjoy listening to music in their cars. With effect from today, the company will be integrated directly within the Uber driver app, giving drivers a simple and seamless way to discover, enjoy and share their favorite stations.“Pandora is delivering the perfect music experience for both Uber drivers and riders,” Nick Marcantonio, Senior Product Manager at Pandora said in a statement. “Effortless, personalized and elegantly integrated into the app, the Pandora-Uber solution will transform the in-car listening experience,” he added.“Many drivers already use music to get their day started on the right note, but it can be challenging to find high quality music that both drivers and riders love without radio ads and interruptions to the music. This integration, which will allow drivers to play music on Pandora from directly within the Uber app, will make it easier for drivers and riders to listen to the music they love,” said Bob Cowherd, Senior Product Manager for music and media at Uber Inc. – Advertisement – Riders will be able to personalize their experience when they are on an Uber trip. Every rider that is registered with Pandora will have access to their favorite stations right at their fingertips, so they can easily listen through the car speakers.[related-posts]Together, Pandora and Uber are creating a seamless and collaborative music experience for everyone, so fans and drivers can easily access their favorite music, whether they’re commuting, running errands or on their way to their favorite show.The service is still rolling out in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.last_img read more

Google Earth to Let Users Post Stories Photos in Coming Years

first_imgImage Credit: Softonic Advertisement Alphabet Inc wants users to post millions of stories, video and photos on its Google Earth platform in the next few years, the program chief said on Tuesday at a launch event in Brazil for content focused on showcasing the Amazon rainforest.The “Voyager” tool allows Internet surfers to take interactive tours of exotic destinations on Google Earth led by the likes of primatologist Jane Goodall, with photos, information and maps.However, regular users will be able to create their own unedited content for private or public use within two to three years, Google Earth Director Rebecca Moore told Reuters. – Advertisement – “The story of your family history, the story of your favourite hiking trip – it could be anything. It doesn’t have to be profound,” she said at the event in Sao Paulo.[related-posts]Moore took the stage at an event in Sao Paulo to unveil the “I am the Amazon” project, which has mapped 11 sites to document the relationship between the rainforest and its people, touching on topics like food, water and cultural origins.To tell the stories of communities such as the Yanomami people, Cinta Larga and the Boa Vista Quilombola, Google and partners used tools like 3D cameras to accompany satellite images with videos and text.Moore did not reveal the budget for the project but she ruled out the idea of advertising on the platform and said it is not Google’s intention to turn a profit from the venture.“Google Earth is our gift to the world,” she told Reuters. “In terms of budget, Google has nice revenue from advertising, and not everything Google does has to make money.”Source: Thomson Reuterslast_img read more

Rice biologist wins Beckman Foundation award

first_img“The model, if it’s accurate, can help you infer the history of genome evolution,” Putnam said. “But you have to make some assumptions when you create a model. I’d like to complement the modeling by testing those assumptions, and one way to do that is by finding ways to observe the process of genome evolution as it is happening within a population.”There is a good candidate for those tests in the Gulf of Mexico, an organism called the Branchiostoma floridae, or Florida lancelet. Putnam was lead author when the genome was published last year, and the organism is abundant in the Gulf. In addition, variations in the published genome indicate the lancelet could be a useful organism for studying the rates of mutational processes, including those that produce structural variation. Putnam said he hopes his group can soon begin collecting lancelet samples for analysis.The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation makes grants to nonprofit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science. ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduRice biologist wins Beckman Foundation awardPutnam will use prestigious grant for comparative genomics programRice University researcher Nicholas Putnam has received a prestigious three-year Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award to use comparative genomics to explore important questions about evolution and organization of genomic structure.“The great thing about the Beckman award is that it supplements any other funding we obtain,” said Putnam, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “The foundation doesn’t specify how I have to spend the money, and that could be invaluable because I’d like to establish complementary programs in both bioinformatics and gene sequencing.”Putnam, who joined Rice’s faculty in July, has co-authored three studies over the past two years describing for the first time similarities between the groupings of many genes on human chromosomes and the groupings of the same genes on the chromosomes of invertebrate species: The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, and a flat, disc-shaped creature called Trichoplax adhaerens that has no organs and only about 1,000 cells. The find was surprising, not just because of the stark differences among these animals, but also because the species haven’t shared a common ancestor in more than 650 million years. “It’s like discovering that the baked goods and condiments are grouped together on one aisle, regardless of the size or type of supermarket you’re in,” Putnam said. “No one expected this, and it raises some interesting questions.”Putnam’s group hopes to find answers by studying the similarities between genomes as a basis for using computers to reconstruct the organizational structure of ancient genomes. With the information they’ve learned by comparing ancient and modern genome structure they’ll also develop computer models that describe how genomes evolve. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

More Migrants From Around the World Making Way to US Border

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   WASHINGTON—An increasing number of people from far-flung corners of the world quietly have tried to sneak into the United States among the hundreds of thousands of other, mostly Latin American migrants caught at the Mexican border in the last year, according to arrest data from the Homeland Security Department.The arrests of more than 8,000 people from India, China, Romania, Bangladesh and Nepal between October 2015 and the end of August is offering a new challenge to immigration agents tasked with fully identifying would-be immigrants and quickly deporting people caught crossing the border illegally.The group of overseas migrants represents a tiny fraction of the more than 408,000 people caught crossing the Mexican border illegally in the last year. But the arrests suggest a rising trend in the number of migrants opting for a convoluted trek that sometimes wends across the seas to South America, over land to Central America and then through Mexico before arriving at the U.S. border illegally.For decades Mexico dominated the discussion on illegal immigration as the country from which most immigrants went to the border illegally. But in recent years the number of Mexican nationals who have been trying to sneak into the United States has dropped.India and China are now squarely among the top 10 countries of origin for people caught trying to sneak into the United States. Large numbers of immigrants from those two countries have long come to the United States legally and many have overstayed visas to remain here. Now some people are taking a different approach altogether by making their way to Mexico to try to sneak into the United States as visas are harder to come by.Victor Manjarrez, a former Border Patrol sector chief and director of the Center for Law & Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the rising number of migrants from countries far beyond the Americas should be seen as a growing concern. “That is very unusual. If I was still sitting as the chief of El Paso or Tucson…I’d be a little concerned,” Manjarrez said. “In the grand scheme, as a percentage, it’s relatively small but the raw numbers are such a big jump historically.”The changing face of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border is a small part of a broader trend of global migration, with millions of people fleeing their home countries. But the arrival of so many people from far beyond U.S. borders brings with it broad implications for U.S. border security and other immigration enforcement efforts.The Homeland Security Department has made arresting, jailing and deporting recent border crossers a top priority for immigration agents. Most Mexican migrants caught at the border are sent home within just a few days. But for migrants from countries a continent away the process is often far longer and costlier for the U.S. government as the migrants wait in immigration jails for travel documents to return home or a judge to decide their fate.The uptick in arrivals of people from other continents, combined with an increase in overall border crossings in the last 12 months, has led to a spike of more than 40,000 people being held in immigration jails in recent weeks. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s budget gives them enough money to house 34,000 people at any given time and the recent overflow has officials worried they may face a budget shortfall of more than $130 million in the coming months if the trend continues.DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the agency has enough money to “operate at current levels” until Dec. 9, when a temporary budget resolution expires. After that, she said, DHS will work to either shift money from other parts of the department or find another “alternative budget strategy.” She described the possible budget adjustment as “common.”Manjarrez said border agents and immigration officials face multiple challenges with a rise in immigrants from so far away, including language barriers and crowded detention centers.“The further away you get from the Americas, the more difficult it is to really know who they are,” Manjarrez said of the government’s ability to fully identify some would-be immigrants.The director of the Washington Office on Latin America’s Mexico program, Maureen Meyer, said it appears that many of the overseas migrants are making their way through Mexico via South American countries, including Brazil, where entry visas are either easy to come by or not required. And their final destination is more often than not the United States.“I think it’s reflecting a gradual trend, as of at least particularly the last year,” Meyer said.While the exact draw of the round-the-world route isn’t entirely clear, Meyer said an expanding network of human smugglers appear to be taking advantage of the increasingly popular smuggling routes that use Mexico as a transit country.“There’s a lot of smuggling that goes through Mexico that you don’t see,” Meyer said. She added that rumors of lenient treatment of some immigrants in the United States may also be a factor.The recent influx of overseas migrants may be a harbinger of things to come.More than 7,000 people who claimed to be from Africa have been arrested in Mexico between January and August, according to statistics maintained by Mexican federal immigration authorities. The number of such immigrants has been on the rise in recent years.In 2013 Mexican immigration authorities arrested fewer than 1,000 migrants from Asia and Africa, while the number rose to nearly 11,000 from January through August. More Migrants From Around the World Making Way to US Border By The Associated Press November 1, 2016 Updated: November 1, 2016 FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2014, file photo, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico, through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. An increasing number of people from far-flung corners of the world quietly have tried to sneak into the United States among the hundreds of thousands of other, mostly Latin American migrants caught at the Mexican border in 2015, according to arrest data from the Homeland Security Department. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) Share this articlecenter_img US Share Show Discussionlast_img read more