Healthcare professionals who carry out disability

first_imgHealthcare professionals who carry out disability benefits assessments for the government complete as much as 60 per cent of their reports before they meet the disabled person they are supposed to be assessing, according to a disgraced former assessor.Paramedic Alan Barham was sacked after being exposed last year by an undercover reporter working for Channel 4’s Dispatches.But he has now contacted Disability News Service (DNS) to protest about the way he has been treated, claiming that he has been made a “scapegoat” by Capita, the outsourcing company he was working for, but which sacked him after the documentary was aired.He also claims that personal independence payment (PIP) claimants are frequently “ripped off” by assessors who fail to complete their reports fairly, although he insists that he was not guilty of such practices himself.And he claims that nearly everything he was caught saying by Dispatches – for which he now faces the possibility of being struck off by his regulatory body – was standard practice, and was therefore “driven by Capita”.Barham is facing a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) disciplinary hearing over comments he was filmed making about the way he carried out PIP assessments.HCPC has decided that separate allegations that he lied in a report he wrote after assessing a disabled woman’s eligibility for PIP will not be dealt with by a disciplinary hearing.Barham claims he is innocent of most of the charges against him, insisting that he was only following instructions and guidelines laid down by Capita.And he says he is set to sue Capita for making him “a scapegoat for their protocols”, and that the fallout from the documentary has led to the break-up of his marriage and the loss of his business.He told DNS: “I hope they crash and burn, I really do. Capita is a monster. I’m not. They are.”Barham’s claims are just the latest development in an ongoing DNS investigation into claims of widespread dishonesty by PIP assessors working for both Capita and Atos on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).One of the most disturbing claims made by Barham during the hour-long telephone interview was that assessors are instructed by Capita to “pre-populate” their written assessment reports before they have even carried out their face-to-face assessments.This time-saving measure, he says, means that up to three-fifths of the 25-page reports are completed before an assessor has met the disabled person at the assessment.In the documentary, he had claimed that, on one assessment, he had “literally finished [the] assessment before I’d even walked through the door”.Now he says he was exaggerating, and that he had not completed all of the report before the assessment took place, but he insists that filling in large parts of it beforehand was, and is, standard procedure at Capita.He says it is called “pre-population”, and allows assessors to fill in as much of the PA4 report [the assessment report that drives the DWP decision to accept or reject a PIP claim] as they can from the evidence they have already seen.He said: “There’s lots and lots and lots of pre-population.”Barham also defended his claim – also caught by undercover footage in last year’s Dispatches documentary – that an assessor can usually “completely dismiss” most of what he or she is told in an assessment by the claimant.He said this was because assessors are told by Capita that they can use “informal observations” of claimants to draw conclusions about the accuracy of what they are saying.He said: “I’ve had people saying I can’t wash my own hair but at the end of an assessment put a hat on their head, or have taken a hat off prior to the start of the assessment. And this is what we’re asked to look for.”Asked if Capita tells its assessors to constantly set traps for their claimants and try to trick them into doing things they say they cannot do, he said: “Absolutely, yes, and this is why I rang you back.“Because I’m berated for what I was perceived to be doing, but I stood in a training room for a week with Capita in Birmingham being told to do all this.”In the documentary, he discussed how at one point, soon after the introduction of PIP, assessors like him who were paid as contractors were able to earn huge sums of money.He repeated that claim to DNS, saying: “We used to earn £80 an assessment for the first eight [assessments a week].“[Then they] doubled that to £160 an assessment for the first eight, then they went from eight to 14 at 200-and-something an assessment, and from 14 to 20 it was £300 an assessment, and 20 onwards it was £350 an assessment.”Barham claims that he was considered one of the top 10 out of 600 PIP assessors in the country and that in two years he carried out 1,000 assessments for Capita, although he refused to say how much he earned in total during that time.He said: “I’m not an animal. This is what’s really annoying me: Capita told me to do all this.“I’ve done this, as per Capita, as per guidelines, as per my contract, as per my employer… and there’s rules when you’re employed, and you follow them rules and you will keep your job.”Barham’s one admission of regret was about making an offensive comment about an unnamed PIP claimant, who he was heard describing as “so fat she can’t wipe her own arse” and who he said had a “disability known as being fat”.He said this was just “a generic comment to a couple of colleagues in an office that happens every day around the country in lots of offices”, and that it was “not detrimental to her”.He said: “It was just a personal opinion. We have all said things we shouldn’t say.“I regret it 100 per cent, and like I said, I’m a human being, we all make derogatory remarks. Rightly or wrongly, we all do it. It’s something I shouldn’t have said.”Barham said that he would provide DNS with 134 written documents that would prove that nearly all of the comments he made in the documentary represented standard Capita procedure.But he changed his mind after the interview and said that handing over the documents to DNS would “jeopardise” his defence at the HCPC hearing.Two weeks ago, DNS reported the concerns of David Nicholls, from Northampton, the husband of one of the PIP claimants who had been assessed by Barham.DNS has seen Capita’s response to Nicholls’ complaint about the assessment report Barham wrote following an assessment of his wife, Jacqueline, in March last year, a month before the Dispatches documentary was screened.As a result of the assessment, she was found ineligible for PIP.It was only after the documentary was aired and DWP agreed to allow her to be reassessed that she was granted the enhanced rate for both the daily living and mobility components of PIP.In its response to the Nicholls complaint about Barham, a Capita senior complaint handler wrote: “You stated that you disagree with the content of your assessment report and that you believe [Barham] had made inaccurate assumptions and had lied in his report…“Based on the outcome of my investigation, I uphold this element of your complaint.”In his report, Barham repeatedly stated that what he was told by Jacqueline Nicholls was not backed up by the tests he carried out during the assessment.But David Nicholls has told DNS that Barham ignored the impact of his wife’s brain injury on both her physical and mental functioning, including her seizures, her confusion when asked too many questions, the lack of feeling in parts of her body, her memory problems, and her tendency to get lost when on her own.Barham reported instead that she could plan and follow routes, understand complex written information without any help, and make her own budgeting decisions.Nicholls said Barham had “misled people with the findings in his report in the worst possible way” and that his assessment had given “no consideration to brain injury at all”. He said that the effect of dishonest assessors like Barham on disabled people was “devastating”.Presented with the words of David Nicholls, the conclusion of Capita that he had lied in the assessment report, evidence from medical experts, and the results of the second assessment, which awarded Jacqueline Nicholls the enhanced rate of PIP for both mobility and daily living, Barham insisted to DNS that his assessment had been correct, according to Capita procedures.He claimed that he had no choice but to take her answers as she gave them to him, even though her husband had told her that he needed to take account of her brain injury.Barham said: “I stand by my judgement at the time because I did not receive any of what we call further medical evidence to back up what she was telling me.”But David Nicholls says that Capita had been sent a letter from an epilepsy nurse outlining the impact of his wife’s condition, and that Barham had insisted at the start of the assessment that he had read this letter and that he had all the information he needed.Nicholls said this week: “The system is not fit for purpose and he has exploited it.”Barham also told DNS that many PIP claimants were being “ripped off” by their assessors, who were completing unfair assessment reports, although he said he had not done so himself.He said this was because assessors were given only 45 minutes to carry out their assessments – and often have to carry out five a day – and then have just 24 hours to write all of those reports.He said: “They are under pressure, their managers are on their back all the time.“You [carry out] an assessment and you’re given 24 hours to turn that assessment around and present it to them.”Barham insisted to DNS that he was “not a nasty person, I am a nice person.“I have been a paramedic for years and I love my job. I have letters galore from patients, thanking me for what I have done for them.“I feel like I’ve been absolutely smashed to bits and used as a scapegoat for Capita.“All I have done is, yes, I made a derogatory comment, I wish I hadn’t, wishing is not going to make it go away.“But I have done it, I have reflected on it and I’ve learned from it.“Everything else is Capita-driven. Everything is Capita-driven. I’m sick to death of being a scapegoat.”He added: “I have lost my business, my wife has split up [with me], my whole life has split apart since April.“I have disabled friends. I have no problems with disability. This is the thing that’s driving me crazy.”He said that he was now set to sue Capita for making him “a scapegoat for their protocols. I have done everything I was asked to do, apart from calling someone too fat.”Capita failed to deny any of the claims made by Barham, but refused to respond in depth to his comments.A Capita spokesman said: “Capita’s focus is on undertaking quality assessments in an efficient and professional manner.“We expect all of our assessors to carry out assessments as outlined by the DWP.“If individuals do not meet our expectations we will always take appropriate action.”DWP also declined to comment on the claims made by Barham.A DWP spokeswoman said: “This is a commercial matter for Capita. We expect the highest standards from the contractors who carry out PIP assessments and work closely with them to continuously improve and ensure PIP is working in the best way possible.”last_img read more

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The government has sparked shock and anger after a

first_imgThe government has sparked shock and anger after appointing a controversial right-wing writer and free schools advocate – who made “insulting” and “extremist” comments about inclusive education and eugenics – to the board of its new higher education watchdog.The Department for Education (DfE) announced this week that Toby Young (pictured) was one of its last six appointments to the board of the Office for Students (OfS).OfS is the new regulator for the higher education sector, and the government claims that it will “put the student interest at its heart”.But the appointment of Young – known as both the author of the best-selling memoir How To Lose Friends And Alienate People and the co-founder of a free school – caused anger and shock this week, particularly among campaigners for inclusive education.Five years ago, in an article for the right-wing magazine The Spectator, Young wrote, in an article about plans to bring back O-levels, of how “inclusive” was a “ghastly, politically correct” word, which meant that schools had to have “wheelchair ramps… and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from Dyslexia to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”.He added: “If [Michael] Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels the government will have to repeal the Equality Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be ‘elitist’ and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law.”He later added a footnote that claimed he was not opposed to including disabled people in mainstream education and suggested that critics had misunderstood him.He has also written, in another article, of how he is in favour of “progressive eugenics”, arguing that “it is not through changing the culture that we will be able to solve the chronic social problems besetting the advanced societies of the West, but through changing people’s genes”.He adds: “What I’m proposing is a form of eugenics that would discriminate in favour of the disadvantaged.“I’m not suggesting we improve the genetic stock of an entire race, just the least well off.“This is a kind of eugenics that should appeal to liberals – progressive eugenics.”A series of disabled campaigners have spoken out to criticise his appointment.Rachel O’Brien, disabled students’ officer for the National Union of Students, told Disability News Service (DNS): “While Toby Young’s views are sadly not abnormal, it is striking that somebody with such a large repertoire of inflammatory articles and statements disparaging student diversity has been appointed to the Office for Students board. “Disabled students should have the right and opportunity to access all levels of education on an equal basis to non-disabled people – the problem is not that we have impairments, but that our education system is not inclusive.“The Department for Education and the OfS must not lose sight of the needs of students across the UK and focus on making sure that our education system is inclusive of all people.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “Whatever student interests Toby Young is supposed to be looking out for it is unlikely to be disabled students, given his track record of calling for the abolition of inclusion policies and his insults to disabled people. “Given the changes to disabled students’ allowance, it is a worrying time for disabled students. “What is needed in the new Office for Students is someone who will champion the interests of disabled people.”The disabled journalist and presenter Mik Scarlet said Young’s appointment was like giving the right-wing commentator and former reality TV star Katie Hopkins a say in the country’s immigration policy.He told DNS: “The appointment of Toby Young, who openly supports eugenics for the poor, wants to end inclusive education and has written asking to have the Equality Act repealed, is yet more proof that our current government holds disabled people in great disdain.”He pointed to comments made by chancellor Philip Hammond that blamed disabled people for the country’s poor economic performance, and government social security changes that had “targeted disabled people whether they are in work or not”.He said: “To give someone like Young, who has openly written about supporting ‘progressive eugenics’, a position over the futures of our youth is shameful.“We all know that some extremists on the right of politics believe disabled people are a drain on society, but it is becoming more and more clear that this kind of thinking is becoming government policy.“Toby Young should be seen as a dangerous extremist, not a person worthy of helping shape the future of education in the UK.“If the May government doesn’t remove him immediately, they are showing their true colours.“Disabled people have to take a stand on this appointment or things may get even darker than they are now.”Disability activist Aisling Musson said Young’s appointment was “triply insulting to students”.She said: “Firstly, he represents a political appointment made on the grounds of cronyism.“He is serially under-qualified to speak on educational matters and most of his successes can be traced to being well-connected.“Secondly, he is an out-and-out eugenicist and that the government would endorse his beliefs towards disabled people is appalling, but not surprising given their policies.“Thirdly, his attitude towards inclusive education is not only vile and repulsive, but outdated and at odds with Equality Act legislation.“The sheer contempt he has shown for disabled students is visceral, and his childish opposition to allowing disabled students access to education – a basic human right – smacks of Victorian era bigotry.”Young told DNS that he had expressed himself poorly in his Spectator column, and insisted that he was not opposed to disabled children being educated in mainstream schools.He said: “I am not an opponent of children with disabilities being educated in mainstream schools and, indeed, the four schools I have helped set up include children with a range of disabilities. “In that column, which was a defence of Michael Gove’s proposals to reform GCSEs, I was using the term ‘inclusive’ to refer to the dumbing down of the national curriculum by the last Labour government so it could point to the increasing percentage of children doing well as evidence of school improvement.“I accept that I expressed myself poorly and left myself open to misinterpretation as a result, but rather than rewrite or delete the original column I attached a clarification to the bottom of it.“As you say, not everyone is persuaded by this – they claim to have a special insight into what I really think – and it’s hard to argue with people who think they can see into your soul.“But please be assured, I do not possess the toxic views that have been ascribed to me.”When asked why he had included the comment about ramps, he said it was “a silly thing to say”, and added: “If I could erase it from history I would.”The Department for Education refused to respond to Young’s comments on inclusive education and eugenics, but said in a statement: “Toby Young’s diverse experience includes posts at Harvard and Cambridge as well as co-founding the successful West London Free School.“This experience will be vital in encouraging new providers and ensuring more universities are working effectively with schools.“The appointments to the board reflect the diverse needs of the higher education sector, young people and employers.“The OfS board’s broad range of skills and experience across the field of education will ensure it is able to deliver for students.”Picture: Toby Young being interviewed on Channel 4 News in 2014last_img read more

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Cafe La Bohéme Mourns Death of Cook Glenna Randolph

first_img Tags: 24th Street • Cafe La Boheme • obituary Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Well-read, meticulous and assertive, Randolph had a reputation for doing things in her own manner. “Even if I told her, she’d still do it her own way,” Faddoul said.Jackie Faddoul said her son, who also worked at the café, jokingly “fired” Randolph so many times that Randolph eventually gifted him a keychain adorned with the words “You’re fired,” so he wouldn’t have to say it so often. “We were the owners, but she basically told us what to do,” Jackie Faddoul remembered.Nonetheless, Randolph was an integral part of the beloved 24th Street café. Her work there began in the late 1970s, when her brother, Michael Randolph, co-founded the locale with a business partner. Michael Randolph could not be reached for comment. When the Faddoul family took over the café in 1995, Randolph continued her work there. She would work early and late hours as necessary, and Jackie Faddoul said she often had to persuade her to leave if the end of her shift coincided with a particularly long line of customers or a large load of dishes. “So many people, she knew their name and knew what they wanted,” Awad Faddoul said. “She was one of the best, if not the best.” “In a culture that values self promotion, getting ahead, and moving on up, Glenna taught us all what it means to be steadfast,” wrote local playwright Elizabeth Gjelten on Facebook. “She made me my first good cappuccinos in San Francisco in my first lost days here in 1983. She was the thread that held this community, without most folks even seeing her.”“Muni drivers were the only people she ever let cut the line. ‘Gotta keep the City moving’. May her memory be a blessing,” a former co-worker wrote on Facebook.When she wasn’t making cappuccinos or cooking her customers meals at La Bohème, the Faddouls said, Randolph could be found strolling around the neighborhood or readings books and magazines.“If we had any kind of problem [at the café], she would get a book about it,” Jackie Faddoul said.“She was very knowledgeable,” Awad Faddoul said. Randolph was also fastidiously tidy. “According to her landlady, her apartment was like a museum,” Jackie Faddoul said. Though she had no children of her own, Randolph was a sort of surrogate grandmother to the Faddoul children. “They knew her more than their own grandmothers,” Jackie Faddoul said. “She practically raised my kids. She was like a sister to my wife and to me. She was like a sister and mother to a lot of customers,” Awad Faddoul said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.” center_img On Christmas morning, Café la Bohème owner Awad Faddoul called his chef, Glenna Randolph, as he does every year. He thanked her for her gifts to him and his family, and she gently scolded him for giving her a box of chocolates, saying it would take her a whole year to eat them. “That’s okay, I’ll give you another one next year,” Faddoul remembered telling Randolph. Then, he said, she told him she loved him, as always. Randolph, 60, died early on the morning of December 26, apparently of a heart attack. The exact circumstances of her death are unclear, but Faddoul and his wife Jackie are now mourning the loss of a co-worker they considered family.“She never felt that [the café] was work. It was her living room,” Faddoul said. “She did what she wanted the way she thought it’s the right way, and we respected that.”last_img read more

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A changing busier 14th Street in San Francisco

first_imgThese days, neighbors say, the street is still quiet and community-oriented, but like the rest of the neighborhood, it has changed in just a few years. A few years back, the Audi showroom at the corner of 14th and South Van Ness was an open-air car lot. The space now occupied by the Armory Club was gated up. Doña Mago, a Mexican restaurant on South Van Ness, replaced the New Central Cafe in 2015.The Audi dealership on South Van Ness Avenue. Photo by Laura WenusJohn Rabiolo of the San Francisco Herb Company, between Minna and Natoma streets, traces the changes all the way back to Rainbow Grocery on Folsom, and Best Buy between Harrison and Treat.The San Francisco Herb Company has been on the street for 30 years. Outside the warehouse, the aroma of spices leaks out. Inside, the shelves are full of bagged spices and herbs. The company mostly sells to restaurants or ships products elsewhere, but it also works with local businesses — and is open to the public.Inside the San Francisco Herb Co. Photo by Laura Wenus.The spice shelf at SF Herb Co. Photo by Laura WenusRabiolo remembered the days when police wanted to set up a camera on their building to help curb violence on Natoma street.Those days are gone. Now, Rabiolo said, there is so much traffic on 14th street, it can be hard to unload merchandise.He said someone even parks a Porsche across the street.“A Porsche in our neighborhood does not belong here,” he said. Several decades ago, seeing the car on the street would have been unimaginable. Mike Husary lives in San Bruno but has operated New Star Market, a deli and convenience store on 14th Street, for 30 years as well. He has also noticed the area changing, specifically in his customer base.“There’s a lot of foot traffic,” he said. “It’s getting busier.”Doña Mago’s restaurant on South Van Ness Avenue. Photo by Laura Wenus In the 15 years Mark DeVito has lived in San Francisco, he rarely came to 14th street, a part of the Mission known more for its auto-body and manufacturing shops than as a walkable commercial corridor.That was until he and his coworkers found an old auto shop on Craigslist and opened Standard Deviant Brewery on the block between Mission and Minna.After about a year, the brewery has developed relationships with neighboring businesses, DeVito says. Its beer is on tap at the nearby Armory Club. It has used herbs from the San Francisco Herb Company a block away (and has borrowed their forklift, DeVito said). Their bank is on 14th Street. They get lunch at the nearby restaurants.“It’s an interesting little pocket of the Mission,” he says. 0%center_img Tags: Business Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Clarendon man charged with sexual exploitation

first_imgCOLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office helped Homeland Security arrest a man wanted for crimes against children.Homeland Security charged William Jeffrey Perrite, 26, of Clarendon, with second degree sexual exploitation and third degree sexual exploitation.- Advertisement – Perrite was arrested at his home on Vinegar Hill Road.He is in jail under a $200,000 bond.last_img

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SeeClickFix New app allows you to report problems in Leland

first_imgSee-Click-Fix is an app you can download to your smart phone. (Photo: WWAY) LELAND, NC (WWAY) — If you live in Leland, there’s a new way for you to report non-emergency problems requiring attention.SeeClickFix is an app you can download to your smart phone. In just one tap on the icon it takes you to the Town of Leland page.- Advertisement – There you can access the town’s website, Facebook, Twitter, police, fire and rescue and Parks and Recreation.You can also report a problem so the town can quickly address issues requiring attention or repair.It will even send you updates by email informing you when issues have been resolved.Related Article: Sunday early voting offered for first time in Brunswick, PenderThere’s also an option for creating a “Watch Area” to receive specific notifications about your community.If you want to download the app you search for SeeClickFix in the app store and type in Leland, NC.last_img read more

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Mother and daughter pair up for art opening

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s not uncommon for a parent and child to share a talent, but in this case, it was the daughter who gave her mother her first lesson.Lynn and Katherine Graham share a passion for art and on Friday, April 27, they will put on a joint show called “Two Generations – One Passion”. The art opening is from 6-9 p.m. at the historic Burgwin-Wright House in downtown Wilmington.- Advertisement – According to a release, Katherine Graham has been making art for more than 25 years. She creates wall pieces using clay as her canvas. Her inspiration comes from her love of the outdoors and her adventures at home and abroad.Katherine Graham graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in art. She has worked as a teacher’s assistant in Raku at John C. Campbell Folk School, Penland School of Crafts and her alma mater. She also gives lessons in watercolor.Her mother, Lynn Graham has been a painter for 20 years and describes her work as an exploration of emotions and images. Her paintings depict recognizable objects or people, but are not necessarily realistic. She always chooses a subject she feels passionate about.Related Article: Black History: Chef Rhodes is making his mark on Wilmington one meal at a timeLynn Graham works on honing her art by attending workshops and taking drawing and painting classes at Cape Fear Community College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.For more information on their art, you can visit Katherine’s website, Facebook or Instagram.Clay art by Katherine Graham. (Photo: The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of NC)A painting by Lynn Graham. (Photo: The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of NC)last_img read more

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Strut For Kids hosts 2nd Annual Owen Preston Bingo Night

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Strut for Kids is a Wilmington based charity with the sole mission of raising money for families in the Cape Fear dealing with pediatric cancer.The Owen Preston Bingo Night is named for Brian Preston’s son who fell in love with Bingo while undergoing cancer treatment.  The night is a fun event for the whole family with Bingo, prizes and delicious food.- Advertisement – The event is September 8 at Pine Valley Country Club.  You can get tickets by clicking here.Money raised is used to provide gas cards to newly diagnosed patients as they travel outside of the Greater Wilmington area for their initial diagnosis and treatment.   Additional funds are granted through an application process for families who are being impacted by pediatric cancer and are in need of financial assistance.For more information on Strut for Kids click here.last_img read more

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Whipped into action after fuming PN MPs vent to Newsbook

first_imgNewsbook.com.mt has just received information that next Monday at 13:30h a meeting of the Parliamentary group has been convened by the Party Whip. Several MPs have been in contact over the past minutes, interpreting this move as a reaction to the earlier article issued by Newsbook.com.mt on the seeming unwillingness to convene the Parliamentary group so long after the disastrous showing at the polls almost two weeks ago.Party whip Robert Cutajar said that he had had no request by any MP or group of MPs to convene the PN Parliamentary Group “with or without Dr Delia” underlined the party whip. He further explained that a number of MPs had approached him with travel arrangements and, for this reason, had advised the party leader to ensure that the meeting is held when all MPs can be available. Cutajar noted that the recent days had been very hectic ones in parliament with long sittings and committees and the parliamentary agenda had been set since the second week of April. He observed that given the quick succession of events between Easter, recess, and elections, MPs had hardly had time to catch their breath. Moreover, parliament had been abruptly suspended by government well in advance of elections.Meanwhile, earlier PN MPs were fuming as no meeting had been envisaged or planned for the forthcoming days.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

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Fabio Baldacchino – winner of Enemed National Hillclimb Championship second round

first_img SharePrint <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> On Sunday 14th April Island Car Club organised the second round of the Enemed National Hillclimb Championship at Mtahleb limits of Rabat Malta.Thirty-five cars challenged the hill in an event that was originally set to take place a week earlier but was postponed due to bad weather.As in the first round, Fabio Baldacchino sponsored by Tony’s Bar ended this event as the overall winner, followed closely by Mark Micallef sponsored by Avon Tyres and Mauro Portelli sponsored by Sullivan Maritime.The third round of the Enemed National Hillclimb Championship is set for the 19th of May.WhatsApplast_img read more

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Two thirds of Chinas cn domains knocked down by an Internet outage

first_imgAdvertisement Yesterday, China suffered a major Internet outage which knocked out access to two-thirds of the .cn domain websites in the country.The unidentified issue caused a large number of websites to be unreachable for at least one hour and Internet users were redirected to a website owned by Dynamic Internet Technology, a company that works with the Falun Gong, a Buddhist group that — among other things — offers VPN software to counteract China’s Internet censorship.Bill Xia, the Dynamic Internet Technology president said he believes the incident was a result of a system malfunction or operator mistake which redirected a range of Internet domains to the company’s site, which is actually banned in China. – Advertisement – The surge in traffic triggered Dynamic Internet Technology’s security system to shut down the site to many, leaving them with blank pages.The incident is said to have affected users for an hour, but the issue was reported to be longer lasting in rural areas. A representative from Net.cn, an Internet service provider owned by Alibaba said.China experienced a notable outage in 2012, which saw Sina Weibo go down on the first day of a murder trial involving a high-profile politician’s wife.However, some China-based Internet users who were using VPNs to access the Web unfiltered,found no noticeable issues accessing sites.Source: TNWlast_img read more

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Google rebranding under new a company called called Alphabet

first_imgAdvertisement Larry Page yesterday made a major announcement. He revealed that he is now the now the CEO of “Alphabet,” a brand-new company of which Google is just one part.Page will be CEO of Alphabet, and fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin will be helping him run Alphabet in some capacity. Sundar Pichai is now the CEO of the subsidiary known as Google.Alphabet Inc. is to replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. – Advertisement – Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.” All the Alphabet subsidiaries, including Google, will be using “segment reporting” to report their financial results separately as well.Other initiatives, which Page describes as “far afield of our main Internet products,” will be subsidiaries of Alphabet with “a strong CEO who runs each business.”The Life Sciences division, which is responsible for that smart contact lens concept among other things;Calico, which “aim[s] to devise interventions that slow aging and counteract age-related diseases”; and the experimental X lab as subsidiaries that are now under the Alphabet banner rather than Google’s.However, don’t expect the Alphabet brand to replace Google’s or any of the other Alphabet subsidiaries’ on any products—you won’t be using Alphabet Mail or Alphabet Chrome any time soon, in other words. “The whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands,” he said.[Via]last_img read more

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Vivaldi Browser Version v17 Packs in BuiltIn Screenshots Options Improved Sound Control

first_imgImage Credit: windowscentral Advertisement Last year, Vivaldi Technologies announced the Tab Notifications feature to it’s Vivaldi web browser, that let the users know which of their tabs have new content in them.The Tab notifications notifies you about the changes happening in both pinned or regular tabs. This works particularly well on messaging and social media websites where Vivaldi counts the numbers disclosed in the page title and highlights them as an overlay icon on the tab.The company on Tuesday this week, released a newer version v1.7 for it’s most feature-rich modern browser, and comes packed in with new features including; introduction of built-in screenshot options, history side panel, improved sound control for tabs and further enhancements. – Advertisement – Seize the moment with built-in screenshots Screenshots have become an important communication tool, and Vivaldi makes it easy to capture what’s on the screen – right from the browser window. The new screenshot feature lets users save and share entire webpages, even outside of the currently visible area, as they browse. It also allows taking a screenshot of a selection, including the user interface of the browser itself.One way of taking a screenshot from Vivaldi is by using the new camera icon from the status bar. Clicking on the icon opens a small pop-up window that shows the options for capturing a website or a selected area. This functionality is also accessible from the Tools menu, as well as through mapped keyboard shortcuts or quick commands.Built-in screenshots Options1 of 2 Another addition to the screenshots functionality is in the Notes panel. Notes, located in the Side Panel, let users annotate webpages and save screenshots for their records. Now it is also possible to capture selected areas of websites and add them to Notes.In addition to being able to save the screenshot in the JPEG or PNG file formats, Vivaldi allows copying the captured image to the clipboard. This feature, frequently requested by Vivaldi users, makes it easier to share screenshots by simply pasting them into an application of choiceMultiple options for keyboard fans The Vivaldi browser focuses on giving its users multiple ways of accessing its features, and screenshots are no exception. The latest release also includes the option to map keyboard shortcuts or use quick commands. The shortcuts can now be mapped in the Keyboard Settings, where users can assign key combinations of their choice.Better sound control for tabs Vivaldi’s popular sound control feature, dubbed by users and media as “Silent Tabs For Users”, has been improved further. The feature helps identify background tabs that play advertisements, videos or other multimedia content, and stop the unwanted noise with one simple click.Vivaldi now makes it possible to mute/unmute all tabs at once – and without the need to look for the tab that is causing the noise. This could be particularly helpful for people who like to browse with many tabs open.In a press statement, Jon von Tetzchner, CEO at Vivaldi Technologies, said; “We believe in empowering our users to help them create unique and seamless browsing experiences.” The newer Vivaldi v1.7 browser is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux download or you can simply update your browser in case you already have one.last_img read more

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STAR PREVIEW Burnley v Derby County

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t looks a Turf Moor cracker tonight….. on paper at least, with fifth placed Burnley hosting Derby who are in fourth.Both sides are in the race to avoid the end of season play-off roulette and bidding to grab an automatic spot worth it’s weight in gold. Whilst we’re on the subject of the price of precious commodities – did you know that the barrel now costs more than the oil it contains !!! Further falls today in the Brent crude markets with a barrel now just $30.73. (EDITOR: PLEASE get back on topic).Burnley have been a powerhouse at home this season, losing just twice and also have a trip to the Emirates on Saturday to face Arsenal in the FA Cup. As lucrative as that might be financially, manager Sean Dyche may well see it as a hindrance as there is NOTHING more valuable in football than a place in the Premier League and Burnley are very much in contention.Dyche certainly believes in sticking with a winning formula and is set to name the same starting XI for the fifth consecutive game.Derby are also having a good season but might just be coming off the boil with no wins from their last four league games and a struggle to get past Hartlepool in the FA Cup.Burnley v Derby CountyChampionship19:45 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports 5 / Sky Sports 5 HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Sep 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 0-0 BurnleyMar 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Burnley 2-0 DerbyAug 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 0-3 BurnleyDec 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Burnley 2-0 DerbySep 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 1-2 BurnleyJan 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Burnley 0-0 DerbyAug 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 1-2 BurnleyApr 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 2-4 BurnleyNov 2010 CHAMPIONSHIP Burnley 2-1 DerbyApr 2009 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 1-1 BurnleyA night to keep things simple and a win bet on Burnley at around 7/5 with Star Sports. After that. I’m settling down to watch more tennis action Down Under. Burning the midnight oil, but the oil is as cheap as chips at the moment!RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK BURNLEY for 20 points at around 7/5 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: LOSS 22.51 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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STAR PREVIEW Everton v Liverpool

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he DRAW should really be odds on !! At least going by the recent head to head records in the Merseyside derby.The last four league meetings at Goodison have ended in stalemate and six of the last eight matches have also been drawn, with Liverpool winning the two other games by a 4-0 scoreline on both occasions.Liverpool are clearly in the better form (11 points superior) and a win tonight would lift them back into second place – six points off the pacesetting Chelsea.Liverpool lost some momentum with a dramatic 4-3 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth and a draw against West Ham but it was normal service resumed with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside in their latest game.Everton were on five league games without a win before beating Arsenal 2-1 – a match which saw captain Phil Jagielka see red in the closing stages. That means he misses tonight’s game as his one-match suspension.Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp reports striker Daniel Sturridge might be involved following his calf injury.Everton’s manager Ronald Koeman said: ”The derby is all about the fans, we understand that but we need to be calm and prepare for the game in the way we like.“It’s about preparing the team. You have an emotional part that you need to control. That’s the most important.“Our recent record is not good. One derby win out of 19. We need to accept how difficult it is, win the game and make the fans happy.”Everton v LiverpoolPremier League20:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Apr 2016 PREMIER Liverpool 4-0 EvertonOct 2015 PREMIER Everton 1-1 LiverpoolFeb 2015 PREMIER Everton 0-0 LiverpoolSep 2014 PREMIER Liverpool 1-1 EvertonJan 2014 PREMIER Liverpool 4-0 EvertonNov 2013 PREMIER Everton 3-3 LiverpoolMay 2013 PREMIER Liverpool 0-0 EvertonOct 2012 PREMIER Everton 2-2 LiverpoolApr 2012 FA CUP Liverpool 2-1 EvertonMar 2012 PREMIER Liverpool 3-0 EvertonI’m taking Liverpool to come out on top with them being in front at both HT and FT which can be backed at around 21/10 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK LIVERPOOL/LIVERPOOL HT/FT 10 points at 21/10 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE EUROS: +0.37 points BET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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Rice Professor Named to Russian Academy

first_imgShare Contact: Michael BerryhillPhone: (713) 527-4943 Rice Professor Named to Russian AcademyManik Talwani, the Schlumberger professor of geophysics at Rice University since 1985 who also works at the Geotechnology Research Institute at the Houston Advanced Research Center, has been named a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.The academy is the successor organization to the Soviet Academy of Science. It is composed of scholars from Russia and around the world.Russia is the second country to confer a distinction on Talwani. In 1987, he was elected a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.Talwani received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award for leading the team that developed the first lunar gravity meter used on Apollo 17.The U.S. Navy and Geophysical Union jointly awarded Talwani the Maurice Ewing Medal, the highest award in oceanography. The Rice professor’s use of gravity, magnetic and seismic data to model crustal structure in the world’s oceans has formed the basis of study by numerous scientists.In 1986, in cooperation with scientists and researchers at a number of U.S. universities and institutes, Talwani launched Project Edge to investigate the geological structure of the U.S. continental margin using techniques developed by the energy industry.He invented devices widely used in the measurement of gravity aboard surface ships. Computer programs he developed in the 1960s to model gravity and magnetic anomalies are still used throughout the world.Talwani received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and served as professor of geophysics there through 1982. In 1981, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Oslo for his pioneering geophysical work in the Norwegian Sea.### FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

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Global climate change to be discussed at Rice University Thursday night

first_imgRice University is consistently ranked one of America’sbest teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size-2,700undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students; selectivity-10 applicants for eachplace in the freshman class; resources-an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratioof 5-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among private Americanuniversities; residential college system, which builds communities that are bothclose-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines,integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduatework. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and onAmerica’s South Coast. ShareCONTACT: B.J. AlmondPHONE:(713) 348-6770EMAIL: balmond@rice.eduGLOBALCLIMATE CHANGE TO BE DISCUSSED AT RICE UNIVERSITY THURSDAY NIGHTOne ofAmerica’s “Best in Science” is first speaker in new earth-science lectureseriesA researcher who wasselected as one of America’s Best in Science and Medicine by Time Magazine andCNN will kick off the new Public Lecture Series in Earth Science at RiceUniversity Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.Lonnie Thompson, aresearch scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center of Ohio State University(OSU) in Columbus, will present “Understanding Global Climate Change:Perspective from Earth Science” at James A. Baker III Hall. The lecture can beviewed on the Internet at .One of Thompson’s mostsignificant research contributions has been to propel the field of ice-corepaleoclimatology out of the polar regions and into the highest tropical andsubtropical ice fields of Earth. Thompson and his team developed solar-powereddrilling equipment that enabled them to glean climate histories from ice fieldsspread from the tropical South American Andes to the Puruogangri ice cap in thecenter of the Tibetan Plateau. These climate histories have helped advancescientists’ understanding of the nature of Earth’s climate system.A professor ofgeological sciences at OSU, Thompson was highlighted in a “CNN PresentsAmerica’s Best in Science and Medicine” program last August and in a specialsection of the Aug. 20, 2001, issue of Time.Thompson’s lecture isthe first of five in this new lecture series hosted by the Department of EarthScience and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. The series issponsored by a gift from the Shell Oil Co. Foundation to the Department of EarthScience. News media who want toattend should call B.J. Almond at (713) 348-6770. AddThislast_img read more

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US UK join forces for nano safety

first_imgShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728EMAIL: mikewilliams@rice.eduUS, UK join forces for nano safetyRice leads US universities in creation of risk-management toolsEnvironmental and scientific agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom have formed a joint $5 million scientific effort to develop new risk-management tools that government officials can use to effectively regulate nanomaterials.The Nanomaterial Bioavailability and Environmental Exposure (Nano-BEE) Consortia includes investigators from three universities each in the U.S. and the U.K. “Regulators need tools that will allow them to look at a wide variety of nanomaterials and rapidly identify the most significant potential problems for a specific nanomaterial in a specific location,” said lead U.S. investigator Vicki Colvin of Rice University. “This consortia will model how the local environmental chemistry influences the availability of nanomaterials. We expect to see a lot of variability: What is safe in one area may be unsafe someplace else.”Colvin, Rice’s Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry and director of Rice’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, said the consortia hopes to produce a “plug-and-play” tool that will allow regulators to enter information about the size and type of nanomaterial, local water-chemistry conditions, soil types and the like. The tool would then tell how much of a particular product could be safely released in that location, which is just the sort of information regulators need. Regulation based on sound science and validated models will help accelerate nanotechnology innovation, Colvin said. “The worst thing for an emerging technology is to be faced with uncertainty. This consortium will provide a predictable and quantitative framework for regulation that companies and the public can have confidence in,” she said.“Nanotechnology holds great potential to improve the quality of all our lives and to have a revolutionary impact on many disciplines,” said co-investigator Pedro Alvarez, the George R. Brown Professor of Engineering and chair of Rice’s Department of Engineering. “But unfortunately, many promising technologies and policies have created unintended collateral damage in the past. It’s important that we take a proactive approach to risk-assessment.”“This collaborative project will provide the scientific underpinning for models to understand where nanoparticles go in the environment under what conditions and how they affect environmental organisms once there,” said lead U.K. investigator Jamie Lead, a professor of environmental nanoscience at the University of Birmingham. “The outcomes will have huge importance for the safety and sustainability of the nanotechnology industry.”The U.K.’s Science and Innovation team in Houston, part of the Foreign and Commonwealth office, helped facilitate interactions between scientists at Rice and in the U.K. with workshops and trans-Atlantic visits. May Akrawi, HM Consul and head of the team, said, “We are delighted to hear of this award and look forward to continuing the long tradition of Rice’s partnership in nanotechnology research with the U.K.”The consortia’s U.S. partners include Rice, Clemson University and the University of California, Davis. U.K. partners include the University of Birmingham, Napier University and the University of Exeter, as well as the Natural History Museum of London.Colvin said the consortia hopes to deliver speedy results by modifying existing and accepted scientific models of how nanoparticles circulate through biological systems. “Silver gives us a good starting place,” she said. “If we could capitalize on 20 years of silver bioavailability models — which are already being used to set regulatory policy in the U.S. — we could save a lot of time.”Kristen Kulinowski, a senior faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice, is a co-investigator. Rice’s Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology is coordinating the effort at the university.The project, part of an $11 million U.S.-U.K. nanotechnology research program, is jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Department of Health and Environment Agency. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

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Rices Lane to testify before Senate committee Thursday

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.edu Rice’s Lane to testify before Senate committee ThursdayHOUSTON – (July 15, 2014) – Rice University science and technology policy expert Neal Lane will testify before the full Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.The committee is chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., and is also led by its ranking member Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. At the hearing, titled “The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D,” Lane will discuss a forthcoming report that he is co-chairing with Norman Augustine for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.The new report, “New Models for U.S. Science and Technology Policy,” will be released in mid-September.Who: Neal Lane is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University, a senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a professor of physics and astronomy. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and chairs its oversight committee on science, engineering and technology.What: Testimony regarding U.S. investment in research.When: 2 p.m. ET Thursday, July 17.Where: Room 253, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.The hearing will be webcast live on the Senate Commerce Committee website.Previously, Lane served in the federal government as assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from August 1998 to January 2001, and he served as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and member (ex officio) of the National Science Board from October 1993 to August 1998. Before his post with NSF, Lane was provost and professor of physics at Rice, a position he had held since 1986.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews. AddThislast_img read more

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Rices Boniuk Institute presents The God Box Sept 13

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruthdavid@rice.edu713-348-6327Jeff Falkjfalk@rice.edu713-348-6775Rice’s Boniuk Institute presents ‘The God Box’ Sept. 13HOUSTON – (Sept. 3, 2014) – Rice University’s Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance will present “The God Box,” an award-winning one-woman play about the struggle to find faith in a multifaith world, Sept. 13.When her daughter dies, Gloria Adelman discovers the unthinkable – her daughter wasn’t a practicing Jew. Amid Buddhas and bibles, Gloria searches for her daughter’s true faith to give her the right funeral. “The God Box” is a hilarious and poignant tale of how faith is passed on, and what happens when it isn’t, according to event organizers.Who: “The God Box” is written and performed by Antonia Lassar and directed by Nikki DiLoreto.When: 8 p.m. Sept. 13.Where: First Christian Church of Houston, 1601 Sunset Blvd.The event is free and open to the public; however, an RSVP is required at https://riceuniversity.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2o8f7qe7g2nOG1L.The Boniuk Institute was founded in 2013 with a gift from Houston philanthropists Dr. Milton and Laurie Boniuk. It is an expansion of the Boniuk Center that was created at Rice in 2004 with a gift from the Boniuks. The Boniuk Center was dedicated to nurturing tolerance among people of all and no faiths, especially youth, and to studying the conditions in which tolerance and intolerance flourish. The Boniuk Institute’s expanded mission focuses on research, education and community engagement.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow the Boniuk Institute via Twitter @BoniukInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.  AddThislast_img read more

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