Monthly Archives: July 2019

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A disabled crossbench peer has called on the government to start handing out “heavy fines” to the air travel industry when it fails to ensure that its services are accessible to disabled passengers.Baroness [Jane] Campbell asked the government on Monday what action it was taking to encourage all UK airports to provide appropriate facilities for disabled people.Another disabled peer described how she was left in tears after being dumped in a corner facing a concrete wall while airport staff tried to find her wheelchair.Baroness Campbell (pictured) pointed to the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) third annual report into the assistance provided at the UK’s biggest airports, which said that one in 10 of those surveyed had described the quality of assistance provided in 2017-18 as “very poor”.Baroness Campbell said: “Examples include being left in a wheelchair, being left on an aeroplane, expensive wheelchairs being broken and, in my case, being left on an aeroplane for two hours because they refused to bring my chair to the plane door.“In the light of this, can the minister assure the house that the government’s aviation strategy will contain more stringent ways to address this outrageous discrimination with more than just guidance and regulations that we know do not work?“Will she also tell me how many disabled people were involved in developing the strategy?”Baroness Sugg, the junior transport minister, failed to say how many disabled people were involved in the strategy, but she said it was due to be published “in the coming weeks”, and promised that it would address these issues.She said the CAA survey results were “obviously not good enough”.She added: “The green paper will propose a passenger charter, which will clarify what can be expected from airlines, airports and airside services, including on wheelchair damage and waiting times, and will improve the standards of service for passengers with reduced mobility.”Within three hours of asking her questions, Baroness Campbell had been contacted by the Airport Operators Association, seeking a meeting to discuss the issues she had raised.She said on Twitter: “Is a ‘government charter’ enough? Surely it’s time to enforce the regulations with heavy fines?”Another disabled peer, the Liberal Democrat president, Baroness [Sal] Brinton, told the minister how when she arrived on a flight from Heathrow to Madrid last month she was told her wheelchair was missing.She said: “I was then passed from pillar to post and was dumped in a corner facing a concrete wall by staff who were trying to sort out what was going on.“I ended up in tears while they tried to find my wheelchair.“If this were an unusual occurrence, it would be horrific, but it is not.“What is even more horrific is that this happens every day to air passengers.“Charters butter no parsnips: when will the regulations be enforced to stop air travel being a ghetto for disabled people?”Baroness Sugg told her: “She is absolutely right that these occurrences happen far too often, and that is what we need to change.“Today is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and it is important that we as a country continue to work with international forums to promote greater accessibility to air travel for those with reduced mobility.”She said the government was “working closely with the aviation industry, the CAA, wheelchair manufacturers and disability organisations to achieve the long-term goal of enabling wheelchair-users to travel with their own airworthy wheelchair on a plane”.Following the questions she asked in the Lords, Baroness Campbell was contacted on Twitter by a string of other disabled people sharing their own experiences of airport and airline inaccessibility and discriminatory attitudes.One fellow disabled peer, Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson, told her: “I’ve had the pilot tell the plane that we’re leaving late because of ‘having to board a wheelchair’.“Thanks. Actually I was there early. It was the assistance team that wasn’t.”Another to share her experience was Sophie Christiansen, the eight-time Paralympic gold-medallist, who shared an experience from last week.She described how she arrived at an airport at the end of a flight, and said: “Every time recently I’ve had to ask someone for my chair back as they’ve been sitting in it. This is like a stranger wearing your shoes.”And Anna Severwright, co-chair of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, told Baroness Campbell: “Let’s hope they are willing to listen and change.“Both my experiences of flying with my electric wheelchair were negative and very stressful. Puts me off wanting to fly. Thanks for trying to improve things.”last_img read more

Developments in Development Public private

first_img Tags: Affordable Housing • development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.Turns out New York City and San Francisco, for all their differences, have remarkably similar housing crises. At least that’s my take on this New York Review of Books piece sent my way by a reader this week. Clearly opinionated throughout, Michael Greenberg nonetheless paints a very familiar picture. Scale aside (unless you compare the whole Bay Area to NYC, which might be a better approximation size-wise), the situation is remarkably similar – old affordable units becoming high-rent as the burden of low-income renters is shifted onto city service providers. Add to that mix,  a staggering need for below-market-rate units as a glut of market-rate condos swells. Oh, one big difference though: New York operates under a basically unattainable mandate that every person who needs a bed be provided one. Back closer to home, grim pictures continue to emerge. Public housing is in trouble – a recent audit showed that the Housing Authority has serious accounting problems, including that bank reconciliations were either not completed or contained multiple errors. The Chronicle has the scoop. 0%center_img Meanwhile, in the world of privately-built and city-administered affordable housing, the developer of the 300-plus unit at 1979 Mission Street development (at 16th) is reportedly mulling the prospect of designating some units for teachers. Plaza 16 continues to oppose anything but 100 percent below market rate. Meanwhile business owners have been invited to a social event to support the project at a meeting next Thursday. And while we’re on the topic of inclusionary housing, the developers of the below-market-rate portion of the 2000 Bryant Street project will hold a meeting to discuss their plans on Wednesday evening at the Mission Language and Vocational School on 19th Street, from 6-7 p.m.  Finally, you might have heard of the residents who just learned their street was bought by a private owner. In response, Curbed asked, do you know if you live on a privately owned street? They provided this list to find the answer. If you don’t feel like scrolling to check my work, the only ones I found in the Mission are parts of public housing projects (Kamille Court and Treat Way inside Bernal Dwellings, Maxwell Court and Rosa Parks Lane in Valencia Gardens) and an access road for San Francisco General Hospital. last_img read more

Neighborhood Notes Playoff soccer and many happy returns to Frida

first_imgEmail Address 0% Tags: neighborhood notes Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% El Farolito Soccer Club kicks off playoff run at Boxer StadiumIt took more than 20 years, but San Francisco’s burrito-fueled soccer dynasty has risen another level in the American soccer pyramid. Last year, El Farolito Soccer Club made the transition out of the local city league and into a 98-team semi-pro league called the National Premier Soccer League.It hasn’t been an easy transition. According to the team’s technical director, Santiago Lopez, traveling for away games and playing other teams from across the region has been a challenge, and a rash of injuries didn’t help. But El Farolito managed an unbeaten debut season, winning nine games and drawing five. That was good enough to lead the Golden Gate Division West Conference and make the playoffs. El Farolito’s first playoff game is Saturday, against Sonoma County Sol FC at Boxer Stadium in Balboa Park. Kickoff is at noon.center_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Traction Company and Incline Gallery present Fault LinesMission-based Incline Gallery is announcing a new month-long exhibition in partnership with a Philadelphia-based art cooperative called Traction Company. The two art groups have teamed up to have a monthlong showing hosted by Incline called “Fault Lines,” an exchange of art from the two regions. The opening reception will be on July 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will run until August 3.More info available at Incline Gallery’s website.Choreographers needed at DanceMissionSF!DanceMissionSF is taking applicants for choreographers and dancers wanting to join it for D.I.R.T. Festival 2018. The D.I.R.T. Festival (Dance In Revolt(ing) Times) will feature the theme of “storm SURGE,” a nod toward our changing global climate and displacement caused by the change in weather across the world. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31. Visit for more details.Frida Kahlo’s birthday and festivalsFriday, July 6, marks Frida Kahlo’s 111th birthday, and many locales around the Mission will be celebrating the event. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts will be holding exhibitions and events throughout the weekend and WonderlandSF is hosting an art event called “Simply Frida” from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. last_img read more

GET in early and sample the fantastic atmosphere a

first_imgGET in early and sample the fantastic atmosphere and facilities at Langtree Park!This Friday’s SOLD OUT Karalius Cup match against Widnes Vikings is not only the first match at our brand new stadium, but a chance for all fans to sample the best venue in Rugby League.The Founders Bar will be open from 3pm and when turnstiles open at 6.30pm you can enjoy the comfortable surroundings of the 360-degree concourse.Fans can look at the mosaics depicting Saints legends and take advantage of the kiosks.Each is specifically named – such as Murphy’s Bar, The Wide to West and Marching Inn – and they serve a variety of top class refreshments from Saints Gold to pies and mash.Saints have teamed up with Peters Pies to create a “Pie shop” in the North Stand that will sell Just Steak, Minced Beef & Onion, Leek Cheese & Potato, Chicken & Mushroom and Potato & Meat pies on their own at £3 or with mash, potatoes and peas or gravy for £4.50.The latter four pie varieties will be available in the other concourse kiosks.Alongside these tasty treats we will also be selling Hot Dogs with or without onions and a Stadium Burger.There will be a selection of soft and hot drinks including main shirt sponsor Typhoo Tea.Also available will be Fresh Homemade Soup, a selection of Crisps, Cadbury’s Chocolate and Grab Bag sweetsSaints Gold Bitter & Foster’s Lager are on draught around the ground with Murphy’s stout available in the South Stand.There will also be a DJ in the Founders Bar from 6:30pm and post-match until midnight.On the pitch, entertainment starts at 7.30pm with the superb Signature performing their moves.Suleman Mirza & Madhu Singh have been performing together for over 10 years and will bring a unique style of dancing to Langtree Park.Signature’s biggest success came when they performed on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, when they were runners up out of more than half a million applicants.They’ve performed with many A-list Bollywood Superstars and celebrity friends such as Chris Brown, Leona Lewis, Mcfly, Danni Minogue, Jay Sean, Alexandra Burke, Sugababes and worked with celebrity choreography Lavelle Smith Junior (choreographer to the likes of Janet Jackson, Beyonce Knowles and Michael Jackson).Half time will feature mini-rugby and the new ‘Defuse the Bomb’ kicking competition.On sale will also be a special brochure symbolising our return to the town. For just £5, it is packed with news and views from around the club, a pictorial of the stadium build, interviews with Jonny Lomax, Ade Gardner and Josh Perry, alongside the pre-season thoughts of Head of Strength and Conditioning Matt Daniels.Friday will be an historic night in the history of the Saints, the stadium and the town – be a part of it.last_img read more

FOLLOWING the Rugby League International Federatio

first_imgFOLLOWING the Rugby League International Federation’s decision earlier this week to immediately outlaw the shoulder charge from the International Laws of the Game, the RFL has banned the shoulder charge from all domestic competitions with immediate effect.The RLIF’s ban sees the shoulder charge outlawed for the Rugby League World Cup and PROBIZ World Club Challenge and the RFL’s decision will see the shoulder charge made illegal in all competitions, including Super League, Tetley’s Challenge Cup, Kingstone Press Championships and Northern Rail Cup, as well as community game competitions.RFL Laws Committee Secretary Blake Solly said: “The RFL believes that player safety is of paramount importance and we are committed to ensuring that our players can compete in the safest possible environment.“We understand that the shoulder charge is popular with many people in Rugby League, but we also have a duty to manage the welfare and safety of players involved in the game at all levels.“We have contributed to the RLIF’s discussions about the shoulder charge and whilst we believed the challenge should not be banned, we consider that the RLIF Board have followed the correct process and allowed each member nation to provide a view on the law change.“It is right that the RLIF should have ultimate control over issues such as this, and we remain committed to standardising the Laws of the Game across all nations and competitions.“We had agreed with the RLIF the option to delay the implementation because we are in season, but the RFL Board has agreed that it is best to immediately implement the ban on the shoulder charge across all domestic competitions.“We believe this decision will help ensure the future safety of our players whilst not adversely detracting from the on-field excitement of the sport.”last_img read more

WELL we won the penalty count 27 – 12Youd be rig

first_imgWELL we won the penalty count 27 – 12!You’d be right in thinking that it’s a funny way to begin a match report with a boast about the penalty count but if you look closer the above fact tells you a lot about the game, writes Graham Henthorne.39 penalties in any game tells you it was a spiteful affair. The massive differential coupled with three yellow cards and one red issued to the home side against the one yellow to the Saints tells its own story.However, even stranger is the fact that despite the persistent infringing, notably for head high tackles, the referee only put them on a team warning two minutes from time.Delve deeper and the mentioning of the penalty count means that there was little else constructive to talk about from a Saints’ point of view especially in the second half.A spiralling kick off was spilt on the Saints 10 metre line putting them under pressure right away but two good, well organised defensive sets saw the Saints through.The first of the barrage of penalties saw the Saints clear their lines with drives from Matty Lees and Jorge Lewtas. On the fifth a quick play the ball gave Josh eaves space and the hooker darted from marker making 20 metres to the home side’s 10 metre line. On the last a pin point grubber from Elliott Jenkins stopped in the quagmire that doubles up as an in goal area at Orrell, allowing tom Nisbett to react first to get the touch down.Once again injuries hit as Matty Costello left the field on 13 minutes with two dead legs and in the restructure the home side went in at the corner.The Saints before the kick off set their stall out not to be dominated down the middle. This was epitomised by Lees as he smacked into his opposite number causing a knock-on deep in the own half.Then the fun started.On 23 minutes the home side were reduced to 12 men for a head high tackle. Two minutes later they were down to 11 men for yet another high tackle and then two minutes after that they were reduced to 10 as the second row was permanently ejected for his part in driving Matty Lees head first into the mud. Although to be honest all three in the tackle could’ve gone.Sandwiched in the middle the Saints regained the lead as Mike Weldon did what he’s good at and ran the perfect line off the perfect Jenkins’ pass to the line.Unfortunately the home side, despite being two players down, managed to even it up with a try nine minutes before the break.The conversion and a penalty just before the break saw the scores tied but a snap drop goal at the whistle gave the home side a one point lead.Confidence was high at the half time chat with the side knowing they only had to put the home side under some pressure and they would crack.Unfortunately that’s just what the Saints couldn’t quite manage to do no matter how hard they tried. And try they did with Lees and Eaves running themselves to water and Jenkins putting up a brave show at full back in yet another enforced reshuffle.But there was a lack of game sense and awareness on show which brute force and effort couldn’t substitute for leaving the home side to score 10 unanswered points to take the spoils.Match Summary:Wigan:Tries: Joe Brown (15), James Worthington (31), Josh Woods (64), Sam Grant (72).Goals: Harry Smith 1 from 3, Josh Woods 1 from 2.Drop Goals: Josh Woods (40).Saints:Tries: Tom Nisbett (7), Mike Weldon (25).Goals: Brad Billsborough 1 from 2.Half Time: 11-10Full Time: 21-10Teams:Wigan:1. Craig Mullen; 11. Sam Grant, 4. James Barran, 24. James Worthington, 2. Joe Brown; 6. Harry Smith, 7. Josh Woods; 8. Oliver Partington, 9. Josh Ganson, 14. Callum Field, 19. Jack Wells, 23. Liam Paisley, 13. Patrick Casey.Subs: 12. Joe Pilling, 17. Sammy Kibula, 18. Caine Barnes, 20. Joe Shorrocks.Saints:1. Matty Costello; 2. Joe Sharratt, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Owen Smith, 5. Tom Nisbett; 7. Brad Billsborough, 6. Elliott Jenkins; 19. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 13. Jorge Lewtas, 11. Alex Eckley, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 10. Jordan Olmez.Subs: 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Sam Royle, 16. Chris Follin, 17. Evan Bullen.last_img read more

Local veterans honored in special ceremony

first_img “I don’t know how to explain it, it’s respect mainly,” veteran, James Allen said.Cypress Pointe partnered up with “We Honor Veterans” program to acknowledge their service, bravery, and devotion for the nation. It brought together veterans who did not know they lived among others who have served.“You don’t realize they’re around,” veteran, Gerald Herzog said.Related Article: New Hanover, Pender courts to grant amnesty to veterans on some chargesBut now that they know they are surrounded by fellow veterans, it brings back memories and makes them feel connected.“It’s like an unspoken bond kind of thing,” Allen said.There were 15 veterans honored at the facility along with the wives of those who lost their husbands overseas. Rolling Thunder NC3 and the American Honor Guard presented each veteran with a certificate, pin, and flag.“You really don’t expect it,” Herzog said. “And if it didn’t happen it doesn’t matter to me because I served and I know I served!”None of the veterans expected this ceremony, but all of them seemed grateful they were honored. Cypress Pointe hopes to continue this new tradition for years to come. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several organizations came together to honor those who fought for our country. A special ceremony for veterans was held at Cypress Pointe Rehabilitation Facility Wednesday afternoon.The event gave veterans at the facility their own day. One that is not affiliated with a national holiday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Chemours ordered to provide bottled water to 15 more homeowners

first_imgSOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — State officials have ordered Chemours to provide bottled water to 15 more well owners near the company’s Fayetteville facility after the most recent test results showed GenX above the provisional state health goal of 140 parts per trillion in their wells.“Ensuring that North Carolinians have clean water continues to be our focus,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.- Advertisement – Fifty residential well owners living near Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility are receiving bottled water because of GenX detections above the provisional drinking water health goal established by the state Department of Health and Human Services.DEQ and Chemours have sampled 128 residential wells since testing near the facility began in September. Of the 128 wells tested, 43 had detections of GenX below the health goal and 35 showed no detections of GenX.DEQ continues to send all well owners the results of well testing and health and other information based on the results. Once a sample is collected, it takes about four to six weeks to receive, verify and distribute the results.Related Article: CFPUA files motion to intervene in state’s lawsuit against ChemoursChemours’ expanded sampling began October 11. It is testing approximately 450 properties one mile from the property’s boundary to locate the edge of the contamination plume. DEQ will continue to receive and verify the results from Chemours’ sampling.“Well water sampling will continue until we find where the contamination ends. We will do spot checks to verify Chemours’ results, and notify well owners of results as we receive them,” said Secretary Regan.DEQ is in discussions with Chemours about longer-term water solutions for residents with affected wells, most of whom live north of the facility. Among the possibilities are installing home filter systems or connecting affected homes to an uncontaminated well source or a nearby public water supply. The state is coordinating with Bladen and Cumberland counties about waterline placement.More information about the state’s ongoing testing alast_img read more

Afternoon power outage causes major traffic delays near Ogden

first_img Around 5:15 p.m., WAZE reported heavy traffic on Military Cutoff Road from Market Street to Eastwood Road.Duke Energy says the outage is affecting up to 1,800 customers and was caused by a vehicle damaging equipment. Estimated restoration is at 8:30 p.m.CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT OUTAGE MAP. Power outage is causing major backups near Ogden. (Photo: Duke Energy) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An afternoon power outage is causing long traffic backups on Military Cutoff Road and Market Street near Ogden.According to Duke Energy, the outage was first reported at 2:27 p.m. near Market Street and Middle Sound Loop Road.- Advertisement – last_img read more

18wheeler crash creates power outage in northern New Hanover County

first_img Crash knocks down power pole, closes portion of Market Street on January 30, 2019 (Photo: Wilmington Fire Dept.) Crash knocks down power pole, closes portion of Market Street on January 30, 2019 (Photo: Wilmington Fire Dept.) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 7,000 people were left with power after a 18-wheeler crashed into a power pole in Wilmington Wednesday morning.The power has been mostly restored. As of 1:30 p.m., a few hundred people were still without power.- Advertisement – 1 of 3 Crash knocks down power pole, closes portion of Market Street on January 30, 2019 (Photo: Wilmington Fire Dept.) According to the Wilmington Police Department’s Twitter, the crash, near Gordon Road and Market Street, knocked down power poles. The outage stretched from Gordon Road to Bayshore and the surrounding areas. A portion of Military Cutoff Road was also impacted.Power has been restored at Ogden Elementary and Noble Middle.Related Article: New Hanover schools offer free lunch for students on May 1According to Duke Energy’s outage map, service should be restored by 1:45 p.m. Crash knocks down power pole, closes portion of Market Street on January 30, 2019 (Photo: Wilmington Fire Dept.)last_img read more

Families still feeling effects of government shutdown

first_img Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is just one organization in Wilmington that is lending a hand to those affected by the shutdown. They stayed open extra hours so families could pick up necessities.“Instead of us pre-packing anything for them, let them go shopping and get what they need,” said Lansdowne.‘Catch’ seafood restaurant on market street is also doing their part. Owner Keith Rhodes says it’s important to him and his staff to give back to the community.Related Article: US employers add robust 304K jobs; joblessness up to 4 pct.“From 11:00 – 1:00, Tuesday through Friday, we are serving lunch here. And so folks come right in, it’s kind of self-serve, buffet kind of setup,” said Rhodes.Rhodes says he says he knows it can be hard to accept help when you’re used to doing everything for yourself, but he says don’t worry about it. Just bring your government ID and your appetite.“No pretentiousness, no anything, no tips, no waiter, no waitress, just come in and have a good meal,” said Rhodes.Rhodes says if the government shuts down again on February 15, he’ll continue to offer the same deal to workers.The National Finance Center says employees should receive their paychecks no later than Thursday. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When President Trump announced an end to the longest government shutdown in US history Friday, many federal workers and their families breathed a sigh of relief. But many still have yet to be paid.“These people in the Coast Guard that didn’t see those paychecks for almost five weeks, so many of them have babies and small children. They need diapers,” said Roxann Lansdowne, President of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.- Advertisement – last_img read more

The Philippine journalists taking the rap in Dutertes latest war

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Rappler reporter Pia Ranada interviews Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, after a campaign sortie in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines, March 9, 2019. REUTERS/Eloisa LopezRappler reporter Pia Ranada interviews Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, after a campaign sortie in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines, March 9, 2019. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez When Filipino journalist Pia Ranada fell into a ditch and injured her leg on election day, May 9, 2016, the presidential candidate she was reporting on drove her to hospital and sat with her as she was treated.Less than two years later, that same man, by then in the midst of a bloody crackdown on drugs in which around 5,000 suspects were killed by police, attacked her during a national broadcast.“You are a Filipino who was allowed to abuse our country … in the name of the holy grail of press freedom,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech in January 2018, addressing Ranada directly. “You are not only throwing toilet paper, you are throwing shit at us.”It was an explosive moment during a period of simmering tension between Ranada’s news outlet, Rappler, and Duterte’s administration, part of a chain of events that has drawn global concern for one of Southeast Asia’s few remaining corners of relatively free and open press.Now facing multiple criminal charges against the site and its staff – the latest of which led to the arrest of its chief Maria Ressa on Friday – Rappler’s management say they will not bow to what they see as government intimidation.Duterte’s office says it has no grudge against Rappler and the government is not behind any of the cases against the news site and its staff.Reuters also has no evidence that Duterte was directly involved. Instead, interviews with Philippine officials and journalists show that close allies of Duterte coordinated the investigations against Rappler, and that Duterte was deeply angered by some of its reporting.A spokesman for Duterte’s office said accusations his government was abusing or harassing Rappler were “unreasonable”.MAKING WAVESRappler Executive Editor Ressa, who previously held senior positions at U.S. broadcaster CNN, started Rappler with some associates on Facebook in 2011, and it became a news website in 2012. The name comes from combining “rap” and “ripple”, meaning to discuss and to make a wave.Ressa told Reuters she had found Duterte “utterly refreshing” when she interviewed him in the run-up to the 2016 election.Ressa added that her site’s extensive coverage of Duterte’s campaign allowed the septuagenarian to tap into a young, social media-savvy voter base that helped a provincial city mayor secure an unlikely triumph over challengers from Manila’s political establishment.Yet Duterte’s victory was also founded on a pledge to eliminate crime and drugs, and allegations the crackdown that ensued involved widespread extrajudicial executions by police quickly became a focus of Rappler’s and other media outlets’ reporting on his presidency.Ressa said she believes their hard-hitting drug war reports, as well as stories accusing the administration of creating a social media “ecosystem” where bloggers and internet trolls attack Duterte’s opponents, quickly put them on a collision course with the president.The tide turned on Rappler in late 2016, when the government’s top lawyer, Solicitor-General Jose Calida, requested the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission investigate the firm over alleged ownership violations.Calida is seen as a close ally of Duterte and helped manage his election campaign before being appointed solicitor-general in June 2016.But a source close to Duterte, who wished to remain anonymous, said Calida was not acting under orders from the president.“Duterte doesn’t really care about stories about the war on drugs,” the source recounted. “It was really Calida trying to gain brownie points.”A spokesman for Calida’s office said via email “it is a serious misconception” he was focused on the president’s opponents. The Office of the Solicitor-General declined to comment on Rappler citing ongoing legal proceedings.Ressa said “attacks” by the government which started in 2016 led to board members leaving, a 45 percent drop in advertising revenue and a hefty pay cut for key management. Rappler now operates pending a review after its licence was revoked for violating rules against foreigners owning stakes in media.TOO CLOSEThroughout 2017, Duterte stepped up criticism of certain press outlets, singling out Rappler as “fake news” and “foreign-owned” in public speeches.But Ranada – the Rappler reporter assigned to cover the president – said on a personal level their relationship was at a “very good point” during the same period.Indeed, Duterte and Ranada spent so much time together at a media Christmas party at the presidential palace in December 2017, her peers started to worry she was getting exclusive material, journalists and officials present said.That was just weeks before Duterte’s expletive-laden rant about Ranada.What prompted that outburst, and changed the nature of Duterte’s relationship with Rappler forever, according to the source close to the president, was a story about his closest aide, Christopher Go. The article alleged Go had “intervened” in a military procurement deal by asking the navy to look at a proposal by a South Korean firm. Go denied wrongdoing.The source said Duterte “lost it” over that story because “it was too close to him, it was almost alleging that he was corrupt”.In response to Reuters’ questions, a spokesman for Duterte’s office, Martin Andanar, said: “We do not have any personal issues with any reporter… However, any form of deliberate attempt to misinform the public is an attack to the efforts of the administration to deliver what is due to the Filipino people.”Go declined to comment on the procurement deal, saying it had been investigated by the Philippine Senate and was “case closed”. He told Reuters he thought Rappler was “very biased against me and the president”.A day after Duterte’s verbal attack, the justice minister at the time, Vitaliano Aguirre – a staunch loyalist and former university classmate of the president – issued a blanket order to the Philippines’ equivalent of the FBI, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), to probe Rappler “over possible violation of the constitution and laws”.Rappler said the order, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, was a “fishing expedition”.Aguirre, who resigned in April 2018, denied this.Asked about his experience of Rappler during his time in office, Aguirre said in a text message: “My experience with RAPPLER?…it is engaged in bias reporting against the Duterte administration…It would slant news reports every chance it gets… and it is not above reporting fake news.”In the weeks that followed, a years-old libel case was resurrected against Rappler, a tax evasion probe was launched and both Ranada and Ressa were banned from the palace at the president’s order.Andanar, from Duterte’s office, said the cases against Ressa and Rappler were “bereft of any government participation” and that it was “unreasonable to conclude that the administration is in any form harassing them or abusing its power”.DANGEROUS MESSAGERessa was among a group of journalists named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in December 2018 for “defending free expression and the pursuit of truth and facts”.Last month, she was served an arrest warrant live on television at her office over a libel case and had to spend a night at NBI’s headquarters before she was released on bail.Ressa was arrested again on Friday, minutes after arriving at Manila airport from an oversees trip, on charges she and other Rappler executives violated foreign ownership rules.“The Philippines has for a long time been a standard bearer in the region for press freedom,” said Shawn Crispin, Southeast Asia representative for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. “If Duterte is able to get away with effectively silencing what has been one of his most prominent and credible media critics, that could send a message to the wider region that this is an attack you can get away with.”Despite all the legal cases, verbal and online attacks, and financial troubles, Ressa remains defiant.“This is largely intimidation and this is part of the reason we are refusing to be intimidated,” said Ressa. “We will fight and I do think we can win.”WhatsApplast_img read more

Delia included bank accounts in his declaration of assets – Speaker

first_imgThe Speaker of the House of Representatives Anġlu Farrugia has confirmed that the declaration of assets of Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia includes details of his bank accounts.When giving the ruling at the request of Delia himself, the Speaker said that his office had limited powers to investigate the content of these bank accounts.Farrugia explained that his office could not verify if the bank accounts contained any money. He invited the  Leader of the Opposition to refer the case to the Commissioner of Standards in Public Life, as he has ex-officio powers.Delia made the request yesterday in reaction to an article published in a local newspaper which stated that he had failed to declare his current and savings bank accounts, notwithstanding the fact that he has a loan of €670,000. SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

PN MP asks for more protection of the unborn

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Nationalist Party MP Claudio Grech proposed that the ‘foetus’ (or (tarbija fil-ġuf as he said in Maltese) should be included in the legal definition of minor. He proposed this amendment to the Child Protection Act while speaking in Parliament Monday morning during a discussion concerning financial estimates of the Embryo Protection Authority.During the same debate Labour Party MP Etienne Grech said that all government members were against abortion.Show your true intention – C. Grech to GovernmentGrech said that his proposal gives government the opportunity to reveal its true intentions about the protection of the unborn as it would send a strong signal that government truly believed that the unborn deserved protection as human beings.The PN MP added that pregnant women who were facing difficulties during their pregnancy and were considering abortion should be given more help by a beefed up package of  social services, whether provided by NGOs or the government. Grech said that also couples with infertility issues should be helped.PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said that couples who preferred not to have children or could not have children should be treated with great sensitivity. She also appealed to government to provide more psychological help to couples using IVF.We are against abortion – Etienne GrechEtienne Grech, a PL MP,  said that all government members were against abortion. He added that though research on embryos, genetic modification and surrogacy were still illegal, there should be more discussion about the potential legalization of surrogacy.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Rossi faces oneyear ban

first_imgFormer Manchester United and Villareal forward Giuseppe Rossi has failed a doping test and is now facing a one-year ban. The test was carried out last May while the former Italy international was playing for Serie A side Genoa.The 31-year-old has had an injury-plagued career and is currently out of contract after leaving Genoa at the end of last season. Rossi denied any wrong doing and told Italian news agency ANSA:“I have always been clean, this is a clear case to be shelved: the positive test is due to an involuntary food contamination.”WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

What a move from the black box to cloud computing

first_imgAdvertisement If such a system had been in place when an Air France jet crashed into the Atlantic in 2009, investigators might have been able to study near-real-time information about the plane’s troubles, rather than waiting for the recovery of the jet’s black boxes from the ocean bottom.“They wouldn’t have had to spend two years and $40 million,” said Matt Desch, Iridium’s chief executive officer.But such systems can do more than untangle air disasters: As more and more companies rely on cloud computing, satellite communications can facilitate links to the Internet in wide regions of the world where there are no good alternatives. – Advertisement – “The cloud is great,” Desch told me, “but the cloud says that we have to depend on the Internet more and more. If the Internet is still on only 78 percent of the planet, where’s the cloud when you’re someplace else? Your device becomes useless. I look at us as the ultimate cloud, the space cloud, if you will.”Technically speaking, Iridium and other satellite data services provide a pipeline rather than a cloud. They don’t hold onto the streams of data coming up from users, but route it back down to data centers on Earth where thay can be stored and analyzed. But the idea is similar: to enable devices that can be connected to the global network under any circumstance. That may not be important for the playlist contained in a cloud database, such as Apple’s iCloud, Sony’s Music Unlimited, Google’s Music Beta or the Amazon Cloud Player. But it’s vital in the event of an emergency like the Air France crash.From black box to blue boxUntil the data and voice recorders from Air France Flight 447 surfaced, there wasn’t much to go on. But if there had been something like the Flyht AFIRS UpTime system in place, investigators could have used satellite-transmitted data to reconstruct the conditions that led to the airliner’s fatal plunge.advertisement“It’s not a total replacement for the black box,” said Richard Hayden, president of Canada-based AeroMechanical Services, which uses Flyht as a brand name. “Where it’s going, I think, is to essentially change the entire manner in which aircraft are managed and interact with the team on the ground.”Here’s how UpTime works: Every few minutes, readings for the data parameters selected by the aircraft operator are uplinked  through a “blue box” that contains an Iridium satellite-data modem. The readings are downlinked to Iridium’s ground stations, transmitted as encrypted data to the UpTime data servers, then sent to the appropriate operation centers. Flight data is also stored in the blue box’s memory.If the software detects an anomaly aboard the airplane, data is streamed continuously through the satellite network. Pilots can also communicate with the ground over what’s essentially an Iridium satellite-phone link.Hayden said the cost of the service works out to up to $15 an hour for the periodic data transfer, and $4 a minute for streaming data. “In a dire emergency, no one cares about the cost,” Hayden told me.But UpTime isn’t just for dire emergencies. The near-real-time data link provides more information in case pilots need some help from the ground. Hayden recalled one case in which the blue box detected an unusual trend in turbine vibration and notified ground maintenance personnel, who in turn called the crew on the Iridium phone and used additional blue-box data to troubleshoot the problem.“They determined a course of action that ultimately saved the engine from failure and allowed for the safe conclusion of the flight,” Hayden said.The cost of installing Flyht’s AFIRS blue box is comparable to the cost of the black box — about $40,000 to $60,000, Hayden said. That cost can be recovered in a matter of months due to more efficient operations, he said. “Its real value is increasing on-time performance and saving money on a daily basis,” he said. “The emergency function comes along for the ride.”Hayden said Flyht is taking care of 33 customers, which range from charter air companies such as North American Airlines to cargo operators and military operators. Some of the blue boxes were installed on planes flying U.N. World Food Program humanitarian missions, he said.“Our customers are on six continents,” Hayden said.Hayden noted that data security requirements were higher for aircraft telemetry than they are for your music player. “There’s a degree of privacy and security that’s customary in aviation,” he said. “We do in fact use the Internet as a medium for the distribution of information … but it’s important to note that the context for the access to and use of this information is perhaps different from what it would be for other applications of the cloud.”Push the SOS buttonIridium’s Desch said Flyht’s system is well-suited for real-time data transfer via satellite. “We can support, in a raw mode, about 2,400 baud, if you will — it’s not much, but we’re really talking about bits of information,” he said.Satellite data services are finding their way into other, more down-to-earth devices as well. Maine-based DeLorme, a leading provider of mapping products and locator devices, will offer a two-way satellite communication system known as inReach starting in October. The system can be used to send and receive text messages via satellite when you’re out of cellphone range, either through DeLorme’s handheld inReach GPS device or in conjunction with Android mobile phones.DeLorme already makes GPS devices that can send text messages or an SOS via the SPOT/Globalstar satellite communication system. SPOT offers its own line of communicators as well, including SPOT Connect, which works with smartphones.The typical scenario might involve suffering an injury while you’re on a backcountry hike, beyond the reach of cellular networks. “Take your Android phone, push an SOS button and somebody will come save you,” Desch said. Or if you’re doing fine, you can send a message letting the folks back home know that. Or you can set the device to send out your coordinates on a periodic basis.“Think of it like a portable OnStar system that works anywhere on the planet,” Desch said.The GPS device will retail for around $250, and messaging plans start at $9.95 a month. DeLorme said it’s interested in supporting other mobile-device platforms, such as iOS, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry. This DeLorme blog item provides the details, and here’s a follow-up item.Desch said there are more companies working on satellite-based data applications. And that’s added on top of the traditional voice services that made Iridium famous in the first place. “Hurricane Katrina was an eye-opener for a lot of people. We were the only thing that worked for the first two or three weeks,” he said. “Haiti was the same way, and Japan was the same way. Now it’s Libya. That’s a great reminder for the way our network can be used.”advertisementIn the years to come, new ventures may transform satellite communications from a service reserved for extraordinary circumstances into something as routine and unremarkable as cellphone service. And that’s just fine with Desch.“We’ve been around 10 years and started out as a big, expensive satellite phone,” he said. “But the real business we have today is to make these cost-effective Internet connections, wherever you are on the planet.”http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.comlast_img read more

Software Giant Microsoft to sponsor this years DEMO Africa Event

first_imgAdvertisement Fernando de Sousa, GM Africa Initiatives at MicrosoftMicrosoft Corporation has taken up platinum sponsorship for this year’s edition of DEMO Africa that will be held later in the month, in Lagos, Nigeria. The company will participate in the event for the 3rd time under the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative.The sponsorship will see Microsoft offer financial support for the event where 40 tech based start-ups from across Africa are expected to pitch to potential investors. DEMO Africa recently released the names of the final 40 start-ups that will launch on the DEMO Africa stage where Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt will have the highest representation.Commenting on the collaboration, Fernando de Sousa, GM Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, underscored the importance of innovations to the growing African economy. “DEMO Africa has given a platform for investors to realize the enormous potential amongst African youth showcased through startups. As an organization that has operated in the continent for over 20 years, Microsoft believes  Africa’s economic take-off to long-term growth prospects  will be determined by the investment decisions we make today in support of  youth initiatives. ” – Advertisement – Welcoming the support, DEMO Africa’s Executive Producer, Harry Hare commented that investor’s confidence plays a very critical role in motivating start-up entrepreneurs .” We acknowledge the support of Microsoft and their efforts in uplifting young entrepreneurs in Africa. It’s this kind of support that assures us that the future is indeed bright for Africa and at DEMO Africa we are keen to make our contribution to this success.As has been witnessed in the past, the September event is expected to attract top investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. Participants’ registration is already open.The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises:15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners, VC4Africa and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.last_img read more

Reddit has released its official Android and iOS apps

first_imgAdvertisement Today, Reddit launched its official free Android and iOS apps with identical features like inline images, support for themes, threaded comments and messaging tools.The site which acquired the unofficial iOS app Alien Blue in 2014 has been working on its experience for mobile users for some time now, including , beta testing a mobile site for months and teasing screenshots of its Android app earlier this year.The look and feel of both versions are in line with that of the mobile site, though neither app appears to be currently be available in all countries. – Advertisement – If you are using Android download the app and log in this week, you’ll get three months of Reddit Gold for free.last_img read more

HMD Global Launches its First Smartphone in China

first_imgNokia 6 was the first Nokia Android Smartphone launched. It was launched in China and made it limited to China market, and was later on launched at MWC 2017 to make available globally. Advertisement After securing the exclusive Nokia brand licensing rights in mobile phones in late 2016, Finnish company that develops mobile devices under the “Nokia” brand name, HMD Global on Sunday announced the launch of its Nokia 6 smartphone in China.According to the Finnish company, the device, which is designed explicitly with the needs of users in mind, combines quality and in-built durability to deliver a real-life premium smartphone experience at a price point for the highly aspirational Chinese consumer.“The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone into China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world,” the company writes in a press statement. – Advertisement – “We start today, with our premium, high quality Nokia 6; built to deliver a fantastic core user experience for Chinese consumers. We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year,” Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global said in a press statement.Specifications: The phone comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 403 pixels per inch. It measures 154.00 x 75.80 x 7.85.The Nokia 6 is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Nokia 6 packs a 16MP and 8MP rear and front cameras respectively.The Nokia 6 runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 3000mAh non removable battery.The Nokia 6 is a dual SIM smartphone. In terms of connectivity options include; Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G. Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope.Price: There phone is priced at 1699 CNY with no price reduction (roughly $245, UGX 889,400) on the Chinese JD website.source: HMD Globallast_img read more

The Key Announcements From Apples Worldwide Developers Conference 2017

first_imgAdvertisement Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote featured more than two hours of non-stop announcements and product unveilings, resulting in the most eventful and jam-packed WWDC.HomePod The biggest announcement of WWDC this year is Apple’s long-rumored smart speaker, officially dubbed the ‘HomePod’Apple is positioning HomePod as a speaker first, with Home Assistant features as the added bonus. Through voice commands, the HomePod looks to be able to general question answering, calendar adjustment, and timer setting just like a Google Home or regular old Siri can. The details of how far it can go are still fuzzy for the time being. – Advertisement – The HomePod comes in white and grey and starts shipping this December for $350.macOS High Sierra The newest version of macOS, dubbed High Sierra, is what Apple is billing as a refined version of regular old Sierra, which came before. The new version of Safari included in High Sierra can automatically block auto-playing video and will also use machine learning in an attempt to minimize the amount of ad-tracking information shared between sites. The Photos app in High Sierra also packs a few new tricks, including machine-learning-powered facial recognition.High Sierra will also introduce a new, default file system. It’s an under the hood tweak, but one that Apple promises will be able to speed up processes like moving or duplicating files even with the same computing horsepower.High Sierra will be out as a free update this fall.New Macs The newest line of iMacs come with the latest Intel Kaby Lake chips which will give them a boost in both compute power and graphics capability. They also come with Thunderbolt-capable USB Type-C ports, which brings us one step closer to using the same type of cable for pretty much anything. Though Apple’s iPhones still use the proprietary Lightning Port.Apple also teased a new “iMac Pro” that will release in December with up to an 18-core Xeon Processor, AMD’s new Radeon Vega graphics and up to 16GBs of video RAM.iOS 11 In iOS 11, Apple Pay will be able let you send or receive money to and from people, effectively putting a built-in version of Venmo right inside iOS. So long as the people you hang with are all on iPhones.Siri is also getting some updates. Thanks to machine learning, she’ll now have a more natural-sounding voice with more options for emphasis than before. Siri will also be able to give you translation if you ask her how to say something in say, Chinese, although this will only be a beta feature in iOS 11.iOS 11 also includes a suite of features aimed mostly at iPad Pro users. The new “Files” app functions basically as a traditional computer file system for the iPad Pro, but also includes files from third-party cloud storage services like Dropbox.New iPad Pro There’s a new version of the smaller iPad Pro, with its screen scaled up to 10.5 inches from 9.7 thanks in large part to some shrinking down around the bezels. This modest bump in size is just enough for the new iPad Pro to be able to have a full-size on-screen keyboard and use a full-size keyboard cover. Apple also doubled the refresh rate of the screen on the iPad Pro, effectively increasing the speed at which the screen can update itself.last_img read more