One of the disabled campaigners whose bedroom tax

first_imgOne of the disabled campaigners whose “bedroom tax” cases were heard in the Supreme Court this week has spoken of his “contempt” for ministers who have forced them to spend years fighting for their rights through the legal system.Paul Rutherford said it was tough and even “scary” to take on the government, but that he and his wife Susan “owe it to all disabled people to see it through”, despite a legal battle that began in 2013.He said: “I have nothing but contempt for anyone who can put people like us through this, just by making a policy that is ideological and hasn’t saved money.”The Supreme Court was asked this week to deliver a final ruling on whether the bedroom tax discriminates “unjustifiably” against disabled people.The court heard evidence concerning six disabled people, who have all been struggling since the introduction three years ago of what the government calls its spare room subsidy removal policy.Disabled activists were outside the Supreme Court in Westminster to show their support for the disabled people and carers who have spent years trying to persuade the courts that they should be exempted from the bedroom tax.Bedroom tax regulations mean tenants in social housing are punished financially if assessed as “under-occupying” their homes, with about two-thirds of those affected being disabled people.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has argued that the needs of disabled people subject to the bedroom tax because they need an extra room should be met by discretionary housing payments (DHPs), extra funds handed by DWP to local authorities.But Paul Rutherford told Disability News Service after the hearing that ministers “ought to walk in our shoes before deciding we need encouragement to work.“We work 24/7 looking after Warren, even with the carers who come in every day to help.”He and Susan care for their 16-year-old disabled grandson in an adapted three-bedroom bungalow in Pembrokeshire. Both the Rutherfords are disabled and can only look after Warren, who needs 24-hour care, with the help of a paid, overnight care worker, who stays overnight in their third bedroom, which is also used to store vital equipment for their grandson.Although the rules allow for an extra bedroom if an adult claimant or their partner needs overnight care, this does not apply to families with a disabled child.Rutherford said: “Sue is especially angry because our security has been taken away, and because the DWP said in court [in 2014] that us having carers in was a ‘lifestyle choice’ and means nothing.“It is a lifestyle choice to give up her life for the last 15 years and look after Warren. It means he can have a loving, caring family life and not be ‘consigned’ to a home at a cost of at least £250,000 a year.”Rutherford, who attended the first day of the hearing, said it was worth the impact on his own health to be able to look the seven Supreme Court justices in the eye, but that having to now wait two or three months for the court’s decision was “massively stressful”.He praised the support from other disabled people, including Disabled People Against Cuts, WinVisible and Sisters Uncut at the Supreme Court, with further support from Carers UK, Grandparents Plus and Papworth Trust, and the Child Poverty Action Group, which provided the legal team.He added: “We realised we would have to carry on the fight when we heard about others in similar situations.“Some have cases stayed pending the outcome of this week’s hearing and others weren’t able to appeal for many reasons.”Another of the cases heard this week by the Supreme Court was that of Mervyn Drage, who lives alone in a three-bedroom flat in a high-rise block, let to him 19 years ago because his council considered it was unsuitable for families.He has a number of significant mental health problems and physical impairments, which are exacerbated by stress, anxiety and changes to his routine, and is anxious about having to move if his full housing benefit is not reinstated. Drage has had to rely on DHPs from his local council, but they ran out last month and he now has to wait to hear if the council will approve his latest DHP application.A third case concerns Jacqueline Carmichael, who lives with her husband Jayson in a two-bedroom housing association flat.Her impairment means she has to sleep in a fixed position in a hospital bed, on an electronic pressure mattress.Her husband, her full-time carer, cannot sleep with her in the bed because of the risk of hurting her while he’s asleep, but there is not enough space for a second bed, so he sleeps in a second bedroom.When the new regulations were introduced the Carmichaels had their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent because they were seen as over-occupying their home.The court heard evidence on two sets of cases over the three days this week.The first cases were brought by Mervyn Drage, the Carmichaels, James Daly, JD*, and Richard Rourke. The second set of cases include the Rutherfords.In all of the cases, the high court ruled that the bedroom tax regulations were discriminatory, but that this discrimination was justified and therefore lawful.  In the first set of cases, the court of appeal refused to overturn the high court’s ruling, but in the Rutherfords’ case the court of appeal overturned the high court’s ruling and found that the government had failed to justify the discrimination.  Karen Ashton, from Central England Law Centre, which represents James Daly, Mervyn Drage and JD, said the cases were about “fairness”.She said: “It is about disabled people being entitled to be paid sufficient housing benefit for the size and type of accommodation they need because of their disabilities and not being penalised because they are disabled.”Ugo Hayter, solicitor at Leigh Day, who acts for the Carmichaels and Richard Rourke, said: “My clients are looking to the Supreme Court to recognise and bring to an end the awful hardship they, and many other disabled people nationally, have been subjected to since the introduction of the bedroom tax.“They don’t want special treatment, they just want the ability to live with dignity and the same security enjoyed as of right by their able-bodied counterparts, who aren’t made to rely on short term and discretionary payments to meet their housing costs.”*An anonymity order has been made to protect the identity of JD’s disabled daughterPicture, by Ros Wynne-: Paul Rutherford (left) outside the Supreme Court with Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichaellast_img read more

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Busting the Myths of Californias Missions

first_img Tags: history Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Panel member Lopez added that it was not the Franciscans and Jesuits who started the missions. According to him, it was the papal bulls, official decrees from the Pope, that started the cycle of historical violence when “all indigenous people” were declared “enemies of Christ,” as the Vatican wanted to “make sure that all new lands became Catholic.”Stories of native people enjoying their new life in the missions — such as at Mission Dolores, the first mission in what was to become San Francisco and located two blocks from where the presentation was held — are, according to the experts, “fabricated.”Castillo said that romanticizing of Native American history started with the California immigration boom of the 1880s. “Land developers and people in real estate found these abandoned missions and decided they looked good.”What followed was the rebuilding of the missions, co-financed by the Big Four railroad tycoons, and “a myth creation of the missions by the land developers,” designed to draw buyers to California. The California Board of Education “fell for this story, and the Catholic church was happy with this narrative,” Castillo said.A big part of the discussion between the panelists centered around ways to deal with the current historical amnesia. “To start” Lisbeth Haas said. “We need to remap the understating of the missions. Descendants need to have a say how the missions are represented.”Lopez went further, saying he “will not accept an apology.”Rather than getting a “sorry” by the perpetrators, he demanded a confession by former colonizers, the United States, the state of California, and the Vatican. “A confession of their crimes. For our people to heal, we need to the truth,” Lopez said.Valentin Lopez: “For our people to heal, we need to the truth.” Photo by Serginho RoosbladAnd this “truth,” which in the eyes of Castillo is “similar to what the Nazis did in Europe,” need to be educated. “Don’t tell 4th graders — they’ll have nightmares. But teach 9th graders,” the author said.As soon as the floor was opened for discussion, Sean Burns, who teaches social history at U.C. Berkeley, stressed the importance of telling children the history of Native Americans at a young age and not when they get to 9th grade.“I’ve started teaching my three-year-old,” Burns said afterwards. “I’m not telling him about the horrendous things that happened, but that there were people living here for thousands of years before the missionaries came. It’s important, because it’s a history that’s under told.”Barbara Reuch, who came to the event out of curiosity, said that “we’re going to lose it all, if we don’t take action now.”She drew parallels to the Black Lives Matter movement that, in her eyes, is doing similar work by educating people about the history of African Americans in the United States. “But it’s the young people, that’s what excites me.”However, the age of people was not the main focus of the evening for Lisa Ruth Elliot, but to “have a critical approach to society and how we live together, [and] also how we got a Bay Area the way it is today.” center_img The historical “myths” of the Spanish missions in California were heavily critiqued at a presentation on Thursday evening, as the organizer Lisa Ruth Elliot from Shaping SF framed the evening as a way to “open the conversations that are not happening” around the histories of Native Americans in California.A crowd of about 50 people at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics at 518 Valencia St. sat nearly motionless as they listened for almost two hours as U.C. Santa Cruz scholar Lisbeth Haas, Valentin Lopez, chair of the Amah Mutsun tribe, and author Elias Castillo unpacked the lived experiences of Indians in missions between 1769 and 1833.“Ninety percent of Californians don’t know what really happened in the missions,” Castillo said. The three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee wrote a book, A Cross of Thrones, debunking the myths that Native Americans lived in peace with the Franciscan friars at the missions. “It was absolutely horrible,” he said. “It was a genocidal campaign started by the Vatican.”Rose Aguilar (host), Elias Castillo, Valentin Lopez and Lisbeth Haas. Photo by Serginho Roosbladlast_img read more

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Police Put Brakes on Party Arrest One in Gambling Den Raid

first_imgPolice arrested one person and detained two more during a February 22 raid on an illegal gambling den that had been operating for months out of an empty storefront at 133 Lilac St. The person taken into custody had an outstanding warrant in another county that was unrelated to the den, said San Francisco Police Department Spokesperson Robert Rueca.The other two people were detained on probable cause for their connection with the establishment but later released.At 2:30 a.m. on February 22, police moved in on the space that once housed a soda shop but in the last year-and-half has been illegally occupied and converted into a party venue. Neighbors have complained about alcohol and drug consumption and sale, after hour partying, gambling, violence and prostitution. While Rueca said police found no evidence of prostitution during the raid, neighbors who have entered the den to capture video evidence of criminal activity alleged that a back room in the storefront had served as as a brothel of sorts.The long list of complaints against the clandestine establishment originally started with a noise complaint, said Rueca. After coordinating with the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, the San Francisco Police Department was able to obtain a search warrant on the suspicion of illegal alcohol sales.After entering the establishment, police seized “all property associated to the nightclub,” including alcohol, narcotics, gaming machines, as well as music and lighting equipment, said Rueca. Police are now monitoring the location in an effort to prevent the party from returning. Last month’s raid wasn’t the first time that police had pulled the plugs on the gambling den. In January 2016, the den had operated out of the building’s Mission Street entrance and was shut down following a string of nuisance complaints and a shooting incident that sent one man to the hospital.Although its tenants were evicted by the Sheriff’s Department at the time, the calm didn’t last long. Trouble continued to find a way back into empty storefront at 26th and Mission streets, most recently through its back entrance at 133 Lilac St. Days before the the February raid, a resident of the area told Mission Local that her friend had filed a police report after a man robbed her at gunpoint near 25th and Capp streets and allegedly fled into the gambling den.Rueca said that such reports are helpful in building a case and obtaining a search warrant, but do not necessarily authorize police to take action immediately. “It may have been just a patron that ran in there as a safe haven,” said Rueca. Still, without evidence of a crime being committed, police have little authority to enter an establishment without a warrant.“We have to see it ourselves, witness it and have strong evidence for us to take further action,” said Rueca, adding that the community’s effort in reporting suspected illegal activity is crucial. “Simple calls for service we can build on. That adds to our cases and allows us to do more eventually.”As complaints continued to pile up against 133 Lilac St., police were able to shut the party down – for now.“We are keeping an eye on it. We know it’s a known spot [for gambling] as a lot of these places are. We can’t allow for these places to occur,” said Rueca. 0%center_img Tags: crimes • drugs • police • prostitution • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Family remembers SFPD shooting victim with a memorial and hot chocolate for

first_img Email Address District Attorney George Gascon’s announced on May 24, 2018, that he would not be filing charges against the officers involved, and issued a report in which 10 witnesses said Gongora Pat held a knife and appeared ready to attack the officers at the time of the incident. The family’s lawyer, Adante Pointer, is pursuing a civil case against the city and police department.Pointer said that the city had demanded the family present themselves in person for depositions. That meant that the family had to leave the Yucatan hastily or risk having the lawsuit dropped, Pointer said. “It didn’t have to be that way. The city could have allowed the family to file the depositions at home in the Yucatan and they could have done it by video or teleconference,” Pointer said. “It was far from certain we would have been able to get the family here.”Pointer said the family had to be physically walked across the border, and received a special permit issued by the court to enter the country. After the first round of depositions on Monday,  the family was able to meet with supporters and hold a vigil near the roll-up metal door where Gongora Pat sat on the morning of the shooting. The victim’s brother, Jose Gongora Pat, who lives in San Francisco, pointed at the dents where bullets struck Luis and dented the metal door. An incoming PG&E maintenance vehicle made the crowd clear out of the way.“We couldn’t put the altar there because it’s an active driveway,” Camarena said to the crowd.The night was also dedicated to helping folks who shared the streets with the victim. Their plan, said Camarena, had been to give out hot chocolate, pastries and other supplies like socks or mittens to the neighborhood’s tent-dwelling denizens. The family also wanted to see for themselves where Gongora Pat had been living. The group took off from Shotwell and 19th streets and strode from tent to tent, offering hot chocolate, bread and warm socks to anyone that wanted them. The procession traveled eastward toward Harrison Street, where they encountered more tent dwellers. One woman only stuck her hand  through the tent flap and said thanks. Another man accepted the warm snacks and thanked Fidelia del Carmen, who ran point on the procession.Underneath a tree, in a squashed black-and-green tent, one woman receiving hot chocolate and sweet bread from the vigil group popped her head out.“We’re giving these in honor of Luis Gongora,” Camarena told the woman. “He used to live here; this is his family.”The woman inside the squashed tent identified herself as Patricia, and said she had known the victim.“I used to call him uncle, he was so nice to me. He helped defend me one time when I was suffering from domestic violence,” Patricia said.Gongora Pat’s widow and Patricia hugged as tears flowed. Gifts and greetings were exchanged one last time before Patricia slid back under the squashed tent. The procession continued toward 13th Street until Jose Gongora Pat found a tree where his late brother had once carved his initials into the tree trunk.“If I needed to find him I always stopped here first,” the victim’s brother said “He was always here when it was warm outside. He liked the shade.”On 13th Street, a couple of men outside a tent thanked the family for the hot chocolate. Then, on Erie Street, a woman emerging from a large bag-like structure thanked the group for the warm chocolate.“I used to see him around,” she said, and nodded when they described the altar they had arranged. She thanked them before going back inside. By the end of the night, the volunteers had given out over 30 paper bags’ worth of pastries and half a cooler’s worth of hot chocolate. Camarena said the family plans to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Calle 24’s offices at 24th and Capp. They’ll be accepting donations for the family, many of whom had to leave their jobs abruptly, she said. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Two and a half years after police shot 45-year-old Luis Gongora Pat to death at the edge of a homeless encampment, the victim’s family traveled from Mexico to hold a vigil at the spot on Shotwell Street where Gongora Pat died. Four of Gongora Pat’s surviving family members — his wife and three adult children, who traveled from the Yucatan — arranged an altar on Shotwell Street with candles and images of Gongora Pat. His widow, Fidelia del Carmen May Can, prayed the rosary as a group of 30 supporters formed a circle around them.“This is the first time the family is at the site where Luis died,” Adriana Camarena said to those in the circle. “This is a very special night for them.”Camarena has been assisting the family of Gongora Pat since 2016, interpreting and organizing in their drive to get the city to investigate the shooting that resulted in his death. last_img read more

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PACEY Melbourne Storm centre Ryan Morgan will join

first_imgPACEY Melbourne Storm centre Ryan Morgan will join Saints next season.The exciting 26-year-old former Parramatta Eel has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the club.He made his NRL debut for the Eels in 2011 and played 84 times for the club, scoring 29 tries in the process before his move to the Storm.This year he has played seven times and bagged two tries.He has quick feet, is elusive and will bring experience, firepower and pedigree to Saints young side.Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “Ryan is an important component in us strengthening the overall squad for next season and beyond. He’s a genuine centre with size, pace and power, and he can also play wing. “At 26-years-old he is joining us at the peak of his powers. I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the squad and will be a favourite with both the fans and his team mates alike.”Ryan is 6 ft. 1 in and tips the scales at 95 kg.He featured for the Eels Under 20’s team in 2010 after progressing through the Greystanes club.He said: “I’m really looking forward to coming over to St Helens. It has a great history and is a successful club and that is what excited me about the move.“It was a tough decision to make, especially moving away from my family, but being part of a successful organisation and trying to build something in England made the choice easier.“I spoke to a couple of former Super League players before deciding and they had nothing but good things to say about the club and the comp. Blake Green is here at Melbourne and he said he enjoyed the lifestyle and the footy – as did Willie Tonga too.“Hearing that made the decision a lot easier.”He continued: “I’d like to think I pride myself on being the best I can in defence. If you build the tough stuff first, then the attack comes and you can let loose. I’m looking forward to showing the Saints fans what I can do.“In the meantime, it’s time to get my head down. We are in a good position at Melbourne and we want to gain momentum heading into the finals. The end goal is to win the premiership but we have games to go first. “We want to go into the finals playing well and give it a good shot.”Pics courtesy of Grant Trouville/NRLlast_img read more

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Cape Fear Realtors donate 8000 lbs of food to those in need

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It is that time of year where people less fortunate than others need help the most.That is why thousands of members of the Cape Fear Realtors worked throughout the year to be able to donated 8,000 pounds of food Friday afternoon.- Advertisement – Dozens of employees stopped by Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a Wilmington organization that feeds the hungry, to drop off the supplies. They donated tons of cheerios, oatmeal, canned goods, and much more.On this dreary day they hoped to bring some cheer to many across the community.“I hope that the community sees that people do care,” Cape Fear Realtors President, Neal Johnson said. “We care about less fortunate people, not just us as realtors but everyone in the community cares because some of these donations probably did come from people from outside of my organization.”Related Article: Food Bank, WRAAP give out food ahead of ThanksgivingMother Hubbard’s Cupboard feeds more than 3,000 people each month in the Wilmington area.Today’s donations, worth $7,000, will be distributed to those in need throughout the holiday season.last_img read more

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911 calls reveal moments after 19yearold fatally shot on Chestnut Street

first_img In several 911 calls, residents in the area called to report hearing gunfire.“I think we heard gunshots,” the 911 caller said. “I saw what looked like 3 or 4 teenagers running though, it’s a church parking lot. I saw 3 or 4 teenagers running though a church parking lot. They are running toward Creekwood area.”“How many shots were fired?” dispatch asked.Related Article: Suspect in viral hit and run video makes first court appearance“Maybe 5 or 6,” the 911 caller said.“But unless someone was shooting off some crazy fireworks, I heard at least 4 gunshots just now,” another caller told dispatch.Police arrested Devontae Mitchell, 18, and a 15-year-old on May 10 for the murder of Bloodworth.A third teenager was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting on May 11. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Early last week a 19-year-old was gunned down on Chestnut Street in Wilmington, WWAY is now getting a listen to the moments after the shots were fired.Wilmington Police Department says the shooting happened around 8:50 p.m. on May 8. Tomar Bloodworth was killed.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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NCDOT holds meeting over Independence Blvd expansion

first_img “I understand what they need they need another north-south throughway,” said neighbor Bobby Whitaker. “But again I’m asking that they just don’t take advantage of the residents there.”The N.C. Department of Transportation proposes to extend Independence Boulevard (S.R. 1209) by 1.7 miles from Randall Parkway to U.S. 74 (Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway) in Wilmington. The purpose of the project is to improve connectivity and capacity by providing an additional four-lane, north-south corridor that would provide an increase in the overall traffic capacity within Central Wilmington.To accomplish this, Covil and Montgomery Avenues need to be changed. DOT plans to widen them, cut off certain side streets and raise the road. It will also lead to multiple interchanges at Market St. and MLK Jr. Parkway.Related Article: Official: Road repairs after Florence to cost at least $266M“There are parts of Covil that are going to have impacts and will have property that will need to be purchased for the project and there’s other parts of Covil that will remain,” said project manager Krista Kimmel.The project will cost more than $150 million and require land from Wayne Drive to Darlington Avenue along Market Street. Overpasses will go over Darlington Avenue, Princess Place Drive, and Hurst Streets.Some businesses and homeowners WWAY heard from understand progress will come at a price. For Whitaker, who lives along Montgomery Avenue, he just hopes the price is fair.The Independence Blvd. interchange at MLK Jr. Parkway (Andrew James/WWAY)“The right of way people that I’ve talked to so far say they’re going to the right by it,” said Whitaker. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”The opportunity to submit written comments will be provided at the meeting or can be submitted via phone, email or at ​NCDOT’s public input portal by August 19. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It will create a faster option for people to go north out of Wilmington.The Independence Boulevard expansion was the topic of a public meeting in Wilmington Monday night. It will reshape the Market Street, Covil Avenue corridor but also impact dozens of side streets and homes.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Turntable ladder inaugurated

first_img <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> SharePrint Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius preside over the inauguration of a new turntable ladder and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Civil Protection Department and the Planning AuthorityMinister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius preside over the inauguration of a new turntable ladder and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Civil Protection Department and the Planning Authority The Civil Protection Department and the Planning Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding which led to the purchase of a turntable ladder by the Planning Authority. The newly bought vehicle funded by the Planning Authority is a special purpose apparatus which is used to gain access to fires occurring at height using a large telescopic ladder.During a press conference the purchase of another turntable ladder was also announced. The newly inaugurated turntable ladder which reaches a maximum height of 32 meters, costed around €500,000 and was purchased through funds from the National Fund.Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Chris Agius said that the Planning Authority will be sponsoring the equipment to be used by the CPD. He said that the total amount of €600,000 has been allocated for this initiative, and explained that the equipment would facilitate access to fires occurring at height.Some Civil Protection Department employees have also been receiving training on how to use the turntable ladder.The press conference was addressed by Minister for National Security Michael Farrugia, Capital Projects Minister Ian Borg, and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Chris Agius.WhatsApplast_img read more

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PSG players pay homage to Notre Dame

first_img SharePrint Paris Saint-Germain players wore a special kit, with an image of Notre Dame on the front, during the Ligue 1 match against Monaco. In the stands at the Parc des Princes, a banner was put on display by the home fans and read “Fluctuat nec mergitur”. The latter is the city’s latin motto and means “She is broken but does not sink”.As a sign of gratitude towards the courageous Paris firefighters who battled the fire that ravaged the 850-year-old building, PSG’s striker Kylian Mbappe greeted these rescuers and their children before kick-off. Thomas Tuchel’s side went on to win the match thanks to a hat-trick by Mbappe.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

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WhatsApp adds Voice Messaging as it passes 300 million monthly active users

first_imgAdvertisement Mobile messaging service WhatsApp is rolling out push-to-talk voice messaging today for all of its apps on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android OS, Windows Phone and Nokia, the company’s co-founder and CEO Jan Koum told AllThingsD.The update is expected to be available to all users within 24 hours.In the updated version of WhatsApp, the walkie-talkie-like feature will let users push to record a message, and upon letting go, the message gets sent. If you decide not to send the message, all you have to do is swipe to the left and the recording gets deleted. – Advertisement – There is no cap on the length of recording, and a blue microphone illustration will appear within your WhatsApp chat when a message has been played by the recipient. Another nifty feature: the volume of the recording automatically switches from speaker when held at arm’s length to soft when you bring it next to your ear.[related-posts]WhatsApp has currently surpassed 300 million monthly active users (the total number of registered users is unknown) — with 20 million active users each in Germany, Mexico, India and Spain.The service processes 31 billion messages per day, consisting of 11 billion sent messages from WhatsApp users and 20 billion messages received, up from the total of 27 billion messages it processed within a day in June.WhatsApp told TNW in a statement that there will be more initiatives to come:“As WhatsApp continues to build an affordable, reliable global communication network, we will continue to find new and better ways for our customers to communicate quickly and efficiently with their friends and family.”Credit: TNWlast_img read more

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Airtel to work with Government in developing ICT and help fight Ebola

first_imgAdvertisement Christian de Faria , the Airtel Africa CEO has reiterates commitment to work with Government of Sierra Leone in developing ICT’s and also help in the fight to eradicate EbolaHe highlighted the value of training youth in ICT and handed over a cheque of One Hundred Million Leones to The President as the organizations contribution to help fight Ebola Christian was presented to the President of Sierra Leone by the Minister of Information and Communication, where he reiterated his organizations commitment to further support the government of Sierra Leone through the investment of ICT development and other initiatives in the Health and Education sector to H.E President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House during his one day working visit to Sierra Leone. The President while handing over the cheque to the Minister of Health who was also present at the meeting said he recognized Airtel’s effort in taking the lead in the fight against Ebola and hoped that other Corporate Institutions will emulate the example set by Airtel. “I cannot over emphasize the importance of a collaborative effort by all to fight this disease.” he said.The Minister of Information and Communication Speaking during the visit told His Excellency that he and Mr. De Faria, spoke about the possibility of replicating the rolling out of ICT training programmes similar to the one going on in Chad.Airtel recognizes the significant potential of the youth to drive the economies where we operate. That is why we are investing in rolling out ICT training programmes in countries such as Chad We are also in the process of training young adults in Gabon and we will continue doing this across Africa including Sierra Leone, said Mr. De Faria.Source: Business Ghanalast_img read more

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Zimbabwe Telecoms firms given 90day ultimatum

first_imgAdvertisement Telecommunications companies in Zimbabwe, including mobile network operators (MNOs), have been given a 90-day ultimatum to conclude and launch an infrastructure sharing framework.Supa Mandiwanzira, the minister for Information and Communication Technology said telecommunications sector players must come up with a framework on infrastructure sharing before government can adopt it as a policy.Supa said they cannot continue consulting and consulting since they are not reinventing the wheel. – Advertisement – “This is a concept that has been tried and tested elsewhere including developed markets and it is working,” he said.Research has shown that companies can save up to more than 30 percent of capital costs if they adopt infrastructure sharing.“We would like you to conclude as quickly as possible, in the next 90 days I would like to be invited as the ICT minister to launch the signing ceremony on infrastructure sharing among the players in the industry,” he said.At the moment, all Zimbabwe’s telecommunications operators individually invest and own infrastructure, giving established ones a competitive advantage, and the country has no standing regulation that promotes infrastructure sharing among telecommunications industry players.The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) ealier this year said telecoms operators and ICT firms could save up to 60 percent in capital expenditure if they adopt the infrastructure sharing model.[Via]last_img read more

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Mozilla to end development for Firefox OS on smartphones in IoT shift

first_imgThe arrival of Firefox 2.6 in May will mark the last release of Firefox OS supported on smartphones. Image Credit: news.softpedia-static Advertisement Mozilla has decided to exit the realm of smartphone operating systems, and intends to move the focus of Firefox OS to Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Consequently, after May and its 2.6 release, there will be no Mozilla staff involved in the development of Firefox OS for use on smartphones.A user seen showing off an Alcatel smartphone with the firefox operating system. Image Credit: rack.0.mshcdn“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones,” wrote Mozilla’s George Rotor in a blog post.“We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of Connected Devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT.” – Advertisement – Rotor said that Mozilla was looking to enter the IoT space to provide open solutions and advocate for privacy and security.At the same time, Mozilla announced it would no longer be accepting submissions for Android, Desktop, and Tablet apps in its Firefox Marketplace, and would be implementing a new product process.One of the first three projects to clear the first gate includes Mozilla’s Smart TV spin of Firefox OS used by Panasonic.[related-posts]Last week, Mozilla announced it had downgraded its support of Firefox OS, with developers getting the go-ahead to safely ignore issues on the mobile operating system when committing code to other Mozilla projects.Firefox OS will now be supported as a Tier 3 project, leaving the community around the project to fix any issues that appear.“That other teams won’t be backed out and yelled at by sheriffs for breaking b2g tests, and that the FirefoxOS team will be responsible for fixing such breakage,” wrote Mozilla developer Fabrice Desré[ZDNet]Download our PC Tech Android App and keep updated on the move.last_img read more

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iOS users will soon use Siri to send and read WhatsApp messages

first_imgAdvertisement WhatsApp for iPhone may soon allow users to exchange messages and make voice calls with Siri voice commands.While there is no official confirmation about Siri on WhatsApp, news spread after a purported explanation text spread like wildfire on social media. The leak – which reveals an explanation text that’s shown to users when prompted to give WhatsApp access to Siri – suggests this.Currently, the usage of Siri is restricted to Apple’s natives apps; but with iOS 10, Siri can be integrated into any third party apps. Once this feature is enabled, iOS users can make calls or send messages directly using Siri. Apart from Whatsapp; Uber and Netflix are also said to integrate Siri into their iOS apps. As of now, there is no information about this same feature for Android users. The iPhone users can also set reminders to call any contact using Siri. – Advertisement – [GSM Arena]last_img read more

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EAC to get electronic Cargo Tracking System by January 2017

first_imgAdvertisement Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will no longer have to contend with tax evasion or dumping of goods in the Kenyan market as the three countries will start monitoring cargo movement in real time from the port of Mombasa.The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) will be implemented by Malaysian firm, BSmart.After a successful pilot by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the system will be implanted in January and not June as a result of delayed negotiations. It is expected that the system will seal loopholes that lead to revenue loss because of under-declaration of the exact value of exports by traders. – Advertisement – “On implementation, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will jointly attach electronic seals onto cargo at Mombasa. The implication is that goods cannot disappear in anyone’s territory. We will have rapid response teams to intervene swiftly,” URA said in a statement on its website.The tracking system entails specific electronic seals, a monitoring centre and satellites that are fitted on trucks and cargo containers to give the exact location of the goods in real time. In case of a diversion from the agreed route, a very long stop over or an unauthorized opening of a container an alarm will be triggered.The system is going live on December 30 this year. The KRA will not acquire another system. The upgraded URA ECTS will be extended to Mombasa as per the MOU between the KRA and URA.Source: TechMoranlast_img read more

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The Next Einstein Forum launches search for 54 young African science and

first_imgAdvertisement The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) today launches the search for fifty-four science and technology Ambassadors, one champion from each African country. The selected NEF Ambassadors will join the NEF Fellows Class as part of the NEF’s Community of Scientists.NEF Ambassadors attend the NEF’s signature event, the NEF Global Gathering, the second edition of which will be held in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. They will have the opportunity to network with emerging and world renowned scientists and technology leaders as well as industry and policy leaders at an innovative gathering that will focus on how science and technology can solve global challenges, boost sustainable growth and accelerate human development.“The NEF Global Gathering 2016 held in Senegal was a resounding success, primarily because 60% of the participants were young emerging scientists and technologists. The NEF Ambassadors, part of the NEF Community of Scientists, bring a fresh, local perspective, in addition to their growing expertise in science and technology. NEF Ambassadors will represent their countries and the continent on a global stage, championing science-driven growth and development,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, Chairperson of the NEF and President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). – Advertisement – [related-posts]NEF Ambassadors should be residents of an African country, under forty-two years of age, have completed advanced studies in science, technology or have significant entrepreneurial achievements. They should also have a track record of leadership in their community, be passionate about promoting science and technology, and have an active online profile and following.“NEF Ambassadors drive the NEF’s local public engagement activities while growing their own careers through the NEF’s partnerships that offer opportunities for mentorship and collaborations with established researchers,” said Dr. Youssef Travaly, NEF Director of Programs and Content.Applications are available at www.NEF.org/ambassadors and will be received until 26 May 2017. The final list of NEF Ambassadors will be published in September 2017.Distributed by APO on behalf of Next Einstein Forum (NEF).last_img read more

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Round Up Rumors on the Tecno Camon X

first_img(Photo Credit) Advertisement TECNO, a premier mobile phone brand under Transsion Holdings for the past few months has been teasing its handset holders on its upcoming flagship; the Tecno Camon X which is set to launch today. According to multiple online reports, the flagship is said to be focused on its front facing camera which will come in 24MP and will allows its users to say ‘X’ on taking selfies.The say ‘X’ part is really an awesome feature, killing this of you having to stretch your hand to press that shutter button.No fingerprint sesnor is seen at the back. We don’t know what Tecno might be cooking, I guess it will stick to now using the FaceID authentication. – Advertisement – We, have however round up some of the rumors expected for the Tecon Camon X.Display The Camon X is rumored to come with less bezel – which was first introduced on the Camon CM. Unlike the Camon CM, its evident that the display on the Camon X will be a little bit visible from the sides as well.Its rumored that the smartphone will come with a 6-Inch FHD + IPS LCD capactive touchscreen and will as well come with an 18:9 screen ration being the second in the Tecno mobile with the Camon CM being the first.Storage, Processors, and Chipset Said to come with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal stroage which is expandable to 128GB with a microSD card. On the other hand, rumored to come with a MediaTex Helio P23 chipset, Octa-core 2.0GHZ processor with a Mali-G71 GPU.Cameras According to leaked Camon X images, show that the flagship will come with dual vertical cameras seperated by an antenna line with a dual ring led flash. Like we metioned before the say ‘X’ camera shoot, the front facing camera is said to come in 24MP camera sensors, with a feature that will allows the handset holders to capture selfies immediatley they said X.“Say X and take a selfie! Stay tuned for the X.. What is X? What’s inside the X? Take a guess,” Tecno Nigeria writes in a tweet.Say X and take a selfie! Stay tuned for the X.. What is X? What’s inside the X? Take a guess… #SayX #ClearOrNot pic.twitter.com/rW6NwNL4aY— TECNO Mobile Nigeria (@TECNOMobileNG) March 28, 2018Bad news is that Tecno hasn’t said anything about the rear camera in terms of pixels it will come with, the aperture, and so forth. However, we know that the flagship is rumored 16MP. Not sure whether this will be for both lens.(Photo Credit)While taking photos in low light settings that will require the use of the flash light, its rumored that you will have all the option of increasing or decreasing how much light you will need to take a selfie.Android Oreo The flagship is rumored to come with Android 8.0 Oreo making it the first Tecno mobile to come with this mobile OS.Finally, the Camon X will come with a 3750mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery.[related-posts]last_img read more

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Abraham Natukunda Selected as a Nominee for the 2018 IPA Awards

first_imgAbraham Natukunda; Founder and Managing Director of Inter Connect Point Ltd, a technology start-up based in Rwanda – selected among the 10 nominees of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) Awards. (Photo Courtesy) Advertisement Uganda’s Techpreneur; Abraham Natukunda for his innovation; eNose – a sensor for tea processing, has emerged among the 10 nominees of the 2018 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) Awards in an announcement that was made today by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF). Abraham is the Founder and Managing Director of Inter Connect Point Ltd, a technology start-up based in Rwanda.His innovation was picked from over the 3,000 applications that were submitted in from over 52 countries in Africa including Madagascar. Thus, the nominees reflect Pan African flavor of Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) with representation from North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa, including Madagascar.This year’s innovations address critical challenges in ICT, agri-business, public health and the environment/energy sectors to improve the lives and economic prospects of Africans. The challenge was themed “African innovation: Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems.” – Advertisement – The 3 IPA Awards winners will share a cash prize of USD$185,000 (roughly UGX704 million). The grand winner will receive USD$100,000, the 2nd prize winner and the Special Prize for Social Impact Innovation winner will both receive USD$25,000.Quoting AIF Chairma; Walter Fust, ‘the theme prompts the need for increased collaboration between government, business, industry, innovation enablers and the community to further realize African prosperity and economic freedom.’Abraham’s innovation applies an eNose and analytics platform to supplement current tea processing procedures using low power sensor devices to determine optimum levels of tea fermentation. An analytics platform then receives and analyses the sensor data, providing real-time monitoring of key reactive elements and compounds during the tea-processing period, ensuring efficient traceability, prediction, and motion. This innovation will lead to improved control results in better tea quality, boosting marketability and increased revenue for tea processors from each bushel of tea harvested.The 9 other nominees come from were:Juslain Nomenjanahary Raharinaivo (Madagascar).Wassim Chahbani (Tunisia).Professor Abdeladim Moumen and Dr. Hassan Ait Benhassou (Morocco).Dr. Laud Anthony Basing (Ghana).Dr. Diana Yousef (Egypt).Henri Nyakarundi (Rwanda).Prof. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung (South Africa).Dr Fohla Mouftaou (Benin).Christian Mwijage (Tanzania).To date, AIF has supported 55 IPA winners/nominees with over US$ 1 million+ and mobilized over 9,400 innovators from all 55 African countries.AIF endorsement and exposure generated through IPA have seen past winners securing over US$135 million worth of investments to grow and scale their businesses. IPA past winners and nominee company valuations amount to over US$200 million.[related-posts]last_img read more

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Huawei Wins Big at the 2018 AfricaCom Awards

first_imgAdvertisement Huawei Technologies, at the AfricaCom Awards show held in Cape Town, South Africa won three accolades taking the spot light of the event.These awards are supported by Founding awards sponsor, PCCW Global, and took place during the AfricaCom conference that run from 13th to 15th November 2018.Events Director of AfricaCom; Mr. Tom Cuthell during the award ceremony said, AfricaCom continues to grow and with it, is the Awards. He further thanked all that participated in the event, from the Judges, to the sponsors and partners, nominees, media, attendees, among others. – Advertisement – “I would like to thank everyone involved, our judging panel who rigorously vetted the entries, sponsors and partners for their ongoing support, and all the companies who continue to show how dedicated they are to ensuring that Africa advances into the digital exosphere,” he said.To Huawei’s winnings, the Shenzhen-based technology firm won the awards of; Delivering Excellence in Customer Experience, Most Innovative use of A.I Technology, and Best Sustainable Power Solution. Collecting all the three accolades saw the company taking the spotlight at the event.Meanwhile, in the other 6 categories;Best Network Improvement : Liquid Telecom.Fintech Innovation Award : Econet.Most Innovative service : Orange.Changing Lives Award : Ericsson and Wot-if.IoT Product / Service of the year : Yego Innovision Limited.Digital Entertainment Solution : Kwese iflix.Mr. Cuthell said the AfricaCom Awards grow in stature each year as a direct result of the quality of the works that are submitted for consideration.“The ever-evolving digital exosphere has led to some exceptional innovation in the sector, which in turn has advanced Africa’s own digital revolution. It gives us great pleasure as organizers of AfricaCom and the AfricaCom Awards, to acknowledge those who are truly connecting the continent,” he said.Notably, during the event, Huawei presented a video forum that highlighted the importance for carriers to focus on the end user experience and building a video ecosystem that will fully release new growth potential. The forum discussed the evolution of video services, latest Telco video ecosystems, design of video-oriented business, and network strategies.last_img read more

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