The Department for Work and Pensions DWP is faci

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing fresh allegations of negligence – potentially criminal – after admitting that it keeps no records of how many of the complaints it receives involve the death of a claimant of disability benefits.The admissioncame in response to a freedom of information request from Disability NewsService (DNS), which arrived just 24 hours before the launch of a new parliamentary petition* calling for an independent inquiryinto deaths linked to DWP failings.It adds tomounting evidence that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fit for purposeand will fuel calls for urgent changes to its policies and administration ofbenefits to ensure it makes the safety of all claimants a priority, as demandedby the petition.DNS hadasked in the freedom of information request how many of the complaintssubmitted to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) about DWP involved a claimant of adisability-related benefit who had died before that complaint was submitted.The request followedan ICE report into the death of Jodey Whiting, who had a long history of mentaldistress and took her own life 15 days after her disability benefits werestopped for missing a work capability assessment when she was seriously ill.The ICE reportconcluded that DWP had failed five times to follow its own safeguarding rulesin the weeks leading up to her death, and that it had been guilty of “multiple”and “significant” failings in handling her case.ICE reviewscomplaints about government departments that deal with benefits, work andfinancial support, but can only investigate concerns after that department hasdelivered its own “final response” to a complaint.Respondingto the freedom of information request, DWP said that ICE did not record “thecategory of information you have requested” because the department itself “useshigh level corporate complaint categories to record customer complaints” and thesedo not include whether a claimant has died.The onlycategories DWP offers are: “DWP staff don’t treat me with respect”; “you taketoo long”; “you’ve got it wrong”; “you haven’t given me the information thatsuits my needs”; “I can’t access the system”; and “DWP policy is unfair”.Previousfreedom of information admissions by DWP have shown that it has carried outscores of secret peer reviews (later renamed internal process reviews) into thedeaths of benefit claimants.Andgovernment-funded research concluded three years ago that DWP’sprogramme to reassess people on incapacity benefit through the work capabilityassessment was linked to 590 suicides in just three years.DWP had failed to comment by noon today (Thursday).DNS had asked whether DWP agreed that it was seriously negligent to failto analyse how many complaints it was receiving in which a claimant had died,particularly those linked to the non-payment or withdrawal of vital benefits.DNS had also asked how DWP would be able to respond to serious flaws inthe system that were leading to loss of life if it did not know how many such complaintswere being received about various aspects of its service.And DNS asked whether Joanna Wallace, the independent case examiner, hadany concerns about the failure to record this category of information.*If you sign the petition, please note that you willneed to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sentautomatically by the House of Commons petitions committeeSamaritans can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.orgA 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…last_img read more

Game 3 Warriors v Rockets Steph gonna Steph

first_img 0% Nowhere was the status quo more challenged than in Paris, where students and workers allied in an outburst of protest and creativity.Why mention May 1968 in Paris during the 2018 Western Conference Finals?Of the many inventive posters which sprang up during that month, there was one in a staircase of the occupied Odeon theater quoting philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche:One must carry in oneself a chaos to be able to insert into the world a dancing star.Chaos – OK Steve, creative chaos – is key, if not the key, to the Dubs success – aesthetic as well as athletic. It’s the constant and free-wheeling movements of all people and parts (i.e. the ball) that creates space or defensive confusion which result in breathtaking dunks and splashes.In Game Two, like the Cold War complex, Houston’s oilmen kept the Dubs stagnant, watching KD. Expect that to change with, hopefully, a gusher of Curry threes.On offense, the Rock Head strategy remains the same: Pick on the little guy — the little-injured guy.Steph knows it. We know it.The whole world is watching.First Quarter: Mission Street Sports Bar.The whole world may be watching. But not on Mission Street.I had planned to start at Dr. Teeth. The crowd there on Wednesday night had been into the game and boisterous, despite a weak show by the Dubs. This afternoon, there was none of that. The place was half full before tip-off. People seemed more into being hung over than watching the game.So I drifted up a couple blocks.The opening sequences give Dubs fans the chills. The Rockets look like they picked up from Game 2, attacking Curry and driving untouched down the lane for easy layups. And Steph misses an open three. Again.After a timeout almost three minutes into the game, the Dubs defense turns up the heat.And defense turns the Dubs loose. Rather than give the ball to KD and watch him take advantage of some poor Rock Head, everybody runs. Everybody cuts, moves, passes the ball. But they don’t hit shots, and with three minutes left in the first quarter the score is tied, 22-22.Steph Curry goes to the bench.Steph often sits the last few minutes of the first quarter. No big deal. But the buzz, the feel, the cold breezes blowing through Mission Street Sports Bar are of concern.“If Steph keeps missing,” says a woman to a friend eating lemon pepper wings, “they’re in trouble.”Over the next three minutes, the Dubs defense smothers the Rockets and when Nick Young buries a three-pointer with two seconds left, the Dubs lead 31-22.Second Quarter: Barrel Proof.The lemon pepper wings are tempting but, like the Warriors, I’ve got to be moving.Outside everything seems in motion as the wind blasts in from the sea. The only other person on Mission Street is an older Latina wearing a Curry jersey. She smiles and gives a thumbs up.The second quarter starts similar to the first. The Dubs are playing strong on defense, but so is Houston. Both team are missing shots.Finally, after three minutes, Curry hits a three-point shot. The crowd at the Barrel Proof lets loose.Only there isn’t much of a crowd at Barrel Proof. More screens than people. I stand around and watch Kevon Looney play out of his mind.Who? Kevon Looney — the guy with the really long arms who’s been around for three years. He’s been a defensive force all series, but now, blocking and altering shots, he thwarts the Rockets at the rim.“People are probably watching at home,” explains one guy as to why so few viewers. “I have this friend with a big screen which he yells at all game long. Really annoying.”Unlike Game 2, the Dubs give the Rockets no wide open threes. But they don’t hit any either. The teams go back and forth missing shots, but the Dubs are much faster and keep forcing turnovers.A couple hoops by KD leads to a 54-43 Warriors lead at the half.Halftime: The Wind.Walking into the wind, I wonder if this isn’t something like what Houston must be feeling: a force you can’t get around, an energy which leaves you gasping for breath.If only Steph could make his threes.Third Quarter: Delirium.What? There are five people here, three playing pool. There are 10 times that many at 2 a.m.I’m about to cross over to Giordanos, but the Dubs open the third quarter with a 10-0 blitz kicked off by a Curry layup and capped by a Durant three.Time out. How the Rockets respond?With a 9-2 run, cutting the Warriors’ 20-point lead back down to 13.Time out. How will the Warriors respond?Steph blows by Houston defenders sinking two layups.Eric Gordon responds with a three.Steph steps back behind KD and nails a long, long, patented Steph Curry three! A minute later, another!Oracle erupts. Delirium!Hitting on all cylinders and continuing to stuff Houston, the Dubs go off on an 18-3 run. Welcome to the whirlwind.By the end of the quarter, Steph has scored 18 points on 7 for 7 shooting. As a team, Houston scores but 24.Fourth Quarter: Garbage TimeThe game is over but it’s not finished. Garbage time. The Warriors keep their foot on the accelerator and win running away, 126-85.After Game 2, Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said the key to the Rocket victory was simply his team played with more force, pressure, speed, desire and guts than they did in Game One.Seemed like a very simplistic answer at the time.But watching these past three games, I can’t help but think that’s the essence of it. Though these may be the two best offensive teams in the league, this series, will be decided by defense. And defense is individual and team focus and force.The Warriors played extraordinary team defense tonight, holding Houston to under 40 percent shooting.The Rockets tried to pick on Curry, but for much of the night he held his ground. When Harden or Paul got past him, they were met by either Looney, Durant, Thompson, Iguodala, Green or all of the above. Houston had 20 turnovers (the Dubs had eight!!!!)Defense forces turnovers, and gets the Dubs running on offense. Defense causes chaos.And no one’s more a maestro of chaos better than Curry. Get the Dubs running, and Steph’s gonna Steph.At this point, it’s not about talent, analytics or schemes. For the Dubs, it’s a question of desire:Can they bring the kind of wind that blew out Houston tonight on Tuesday?Game two: Day of the Dead, May 17, 2018Game one: Dubs roll Rock Heads, May 15, 2018Warrior Fever Strikes the Mission, A guide for the Perplexed, May 14, 2018 Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterEmail Address Tags: warriors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Pre-Game: May 1968.Fifty years ago, a generation of students took to the streets around the world.Not to celebrate the Celtics win over the hated Lakers. (The Celtics’ 10th title in 12 years!)No. Something else. The Big Lie (of the Vietnam War) had been exposed and, for the first time, the whole stultifying Cold War complex (military-industrial-media-educational) broke open to public question.last_img read more

Mission Kids CoOp aiming to buy land erect new home on Treat

first_imgAs a lifelong resident, Iswari Espana knows the Mission like few do. But it took having children of his own for him to learn how difficult it is to raise a kid in the city. “You realize there’s so little access to childcare and community schools,” Espana said. So, in 2016, he brought his child to Mission Kids Co-Op because of its community-centric role in the neighborhood — and its affordability.  In the co-op’s 10 years at 1050 South Van Ness, a lot of parents could tell stories like this. And now, Mission Kids — which has 12 staff and 50 kids in its pre-school and childcare programs — is hoping to stave off closure by moving a few blocks down the road into a new building of its own. Directors from the Mission Kids Co-Operative, along with an in-house project lead, and architects from Jackson Liles held a public meeting  earlier this week to announce their proposal for a new childcare building. According to one of the co-op’s directors, Christina Maluenda Marchiel, the group is three weeks away from closing a deal on a new property just two blocks away, at 969 Treat Avenue. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter It would be the permanent site of a new childcare center: a two-story building with indoor and outdoor spaces, a miniature rooftop playground, and even a kitchen where kids could help cook. And it would stave off an existential crisis: Two years ago, staff found out their landlords weren’t interested in keeping the childcare center on-site past the pending expiration of the co-op’s lease. Maluenda Marchiel said getting ownership of the Treat Avenue lot would be like finally finding their “forever home,” but, in order to have time to build it, the co-op was forced to negotiate a short, two- year lease with its landlords at a hefty markup. Still, she considers this to be more than worth it. “It’s very challenging [to find property] in San Francisco, especially for childcare centers,” she explained. “There are different requirements. Many properties we looked at aren’t even viable.”The triangular plot along Treat sits next to a gravel lot and across the street from Parque Ninos Unidos, and was the former site of a roofing company. The childcare center would increase its capacity, from 50 to 100 kids, and double the staff, to 24 full- and part-time employees. Children could play under supervision at the park or on the property’s play areas. Construction estimates for the new building are expected to be $3 million. The site of a former school for Saint Mary & Saint Martha Lutheran Church, 1050 South Van Ness serves not only as a child care center, but also a headquarters for the Office and Professional Employees union Local 29 and a men’s and LGBTQ homeless shelter from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. As a result, the childcare center has to limit care hours to 3 p.m., pack up the toys on roll-out carts, and lock up for the day before the homeless shelter is opened. With its own location, Mission Kids co-op directors said they’ll be able to expand hours into the evening.The cooperative hired Jackson Liles, a city-based architecture firm, and tasked it with designing a building that would fit in the odd-shaped triangle lot on Treat — but also add to and improve the center’s offerings. Julie Jackson, one of the architects at the presentation, said it was still too early in the planning process to produce a rendering but did show initial plans for the building.“In terms of the aesthetics, we want it to be special. Part of the design challenge is to make something unique for the preschool,” Jackson said.Floor plans courtesy of Jackson Liles Architecture.Jackson Liles has worked on 11 major projects in the city, including the Friends of Potrero Hill, the Storybook Preschool and the Chinatown YMCA. The firm said the plan is to have the school open in 2020. Mission Kids receives grants from the city’s Office of Early Care and Education and is funded through subsidies and private funds. According to Maluenda Marchiel, 75 percent of all families that enroll at Mission Kids receive a subsidy, and the rest pay out of pocket.   center_img Email Address,0%last_img read more

I thought it was really tough game as we expecte

first_img“I thought it was really tough game, as we expected, and I’m pleased we came out with the win,” he said. “We’re playing well as a team. If we get chances we’re taking them and we are stopping a lot with our defence too.“Our whole game is working but we want to keep on getting better.“We’re happy with our start to the season. Conditions are tough this time of year so to get five straight wins is important.“We are a level headed group. We had plenty of expectation from people before the season started. There are good sides in this comp so all we can do is keep playing each week and that is what we are doing. We want that to continue.“We’re set up for another great game against Leeds next Friday. We’re looking forward to being back in front of our home fans; they were brilliant tonight too.”Mark Percival grabbed a hat-trick in the win, whilst Danny Richardson also took the plaudits for a mature performance.“He does some good things for us does Danny,” Justin continued. “He is working hard on his game and is getting better.“Percy is going great too. He is doing everything well for us and it’s really pleasing to see him show his talents.“I thought James Roby was outstanding again. Any half chance he would poke his nose through. Luke Thompson was strong as well.”Saints host Leeds next Friday (7.45pm) in their next Betfred Super League clash.Tickets are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Nourish NC packs meals for students on spring break

first_imgNourish NC WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Spring Break is coming up for schools in our area.For some students that means fun and sun while for others it means uncertainty with where an actual meal will come during the day.- Advertisement – That’s why Nourish NC is partnering with the Junior League to pack more than 1,000 meals before the week long break.The non-profit focuses to feed students during school breaks who are at risk of not eating.They do this to provide food security for kids which is something that helps them at home but also when they return to the classroom.Related Article: Recall: Nearly 57 tons of ground beef for possible E coli“That makes kids happier, healthy, more likely to do well in school, less behavioral problems,” Nourish NC Executive Director Steve McCrossan said. “Food is a social thing, something we share with our families and it gets us around the table. You now food feeds the body but it also feeds the soul.”Nourish NC is also preparing to feed students with the upcoming summer break and actively seek volunteers or donations.last_img read more

Blue frappes at Bitty and Beaus Its for World Autism Day

first_img To celebrate World Autism Day, the store sold blue cotton candy frappes.Blue is the color for autism awareness.Currently, 1 in 68 children in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder.Related Article: Dunkin’ Donuts loses food service permit due to health violation Bitty and Beau’s Coffee sold blue cotton candy frappes for World Autism Day. (Photo: Facebook) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Bitty and Beau’s Coffee is spreading awareness and support for World Autism Day today.The coffee shop off New Centre Drive in Wilmington employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.- Advertisement – last_img

Pine Valley neighbors struggle with Memorial Day flooding

first_img Folks in Pine Valley’s Woodberry Forest tell WWAY they expect flooding when record rains come to the area. It’s an issue they think could have been prevented as many close out the holiday weekend.“Is it a little ridiculous? Could it be fixed,” asked Jesse, a neighbor who rents a home along Eagles Nest Drive. “I’m sure it could be fixed if you cleaned the storm drains out.”The intersection of Eagles Nest Drive at Bethel Road resembled more of a pond than a roadway Monday afternoon after more than 3 inches rained down on Wilmington.Related Article: Heavy rains expected in Southern states after snowstorm“You could fish out here,” Jesse said.Dan Neu lives along McKinnon Road. He says he sees flooding that can go up to his knees. He said it is a drainage issue that the city should fix.“Maybe they can connect the two systems that might solve the problem or just improve the drainage overall in the area,” said Neu. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Wet weather proved to be dangerous on many local roads around the Cape Fear.We caught up with neighbors in one Wilmington area that saw several of their roads nearly impassable due to flooding.- Advertisement – last_img read more

WANTED Men accused of breaking into several cars in Echo Farms

first_imgWilmington Police are searching for Logan Ritchie and Jason Matthews in connection to the recent breaking and enterings in Echo Farms. (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are searching for two suspects in connection with a recent breaking and entering in Echo Farms.WPD has secured multiple warrants for both 21-year old Logan Ritchie, of Wilmington, and 21-year-old Jason Matthews, of Dunn, for breaking and entering automobiles.- Advertisement – Matthews also has a warrant for first-degree burglary.The pair may be driving a red Mercedes with NC plate FFD-8276.Authorities say Ritchie and Matthews have continued their crime spree across North Carolina.Related Article: Fan charged after rushing stage at Beyoncé and Jay-Z concertWPD officers are working with other agencies to find them.If you have any information, call Wilmington Police Department or use Text a Tip.last_img read more

Alligators freeze in Brunswick Co swamp with noses above ice

first_img Howard has said frozen alligators enter a state of “brumation,” which is similar to hibernation.Alligators in the 65-acre park and sanctuary in Ocean Isle Beach weathered freezing temperatures for the first time this way last January. He says those alligators thawed out days later with no apparent injuries.(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Alligator peaking head through ice. (Photo: Shallotte River Swamp Park) OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (AP) — Alligators in one North Carolina swamp have once again allowed themselves to freeze in place with their noses above the ice.The Charlotte Observer reports The Swamp Park manager George Howard says 18 American alligators froze Monday night and stayed frozen all day Tuesday. He says the alligators seem to sense when the water is at its freezing point and poke their noses into the air “at just the right moment.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

List of performers charities a part of Downtown Sundown Concert Series

first_imgDowntown Sunset Concert Series (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) has announced the 2019 opening acts along with the charity partners appearing at the event this season.The free concerts run from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Ligon Flynn parking lot at 20 South 2nd Street each Friday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day.- Advertisement – The Downtown Sundown Concert Series features both local groups and touring bands during the entire 15 week season. Each show starts with a performance by local musicians as a way to highlight the area’s vibrant and rich artistic scene. Touring tribute bands then headline each show.“Including local bands is a crucial element to the success of Downtown Sundown,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton.  “The Cape Fear region has so many talented people and we are fortunate to have a platform to showcase the thriving local music scene,” he said.  The 2019 season includes both returning local bands and new performers to the venue.Below is the complete schedule, including the opening act, headlining act and the charity benefiting from wristband sales each week. You can also find more information about the concert series including a downloadable poster at www.wilmingtondowntown.com.Related Article: Unveiling new details in Sunday stabbing downtownMay 24Opening Act:      Phantom PlayboysHeadline Act:     Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)Nonprofit:           Plastic Ocean ProjectMay 31Opening Act:      The FusticsHeadline Act:     Abbey Road Live (Beatles)Nonprofit:           Pender HS FootballJune 7Opening Act:      Folkstone StringbandHeadline Act:     Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd)Nonprofit:           Cape Fear River WatchJune 14Opening Act:      FlashbackHeadline Act:     Funky Monks (Red Hot Chili Peppers)Nonprofit:           Wilmington Police Recreation AssociationJune 21Opening Act:      Black MantisHeadline Act:     The Wildflowers (Tom Petty)Nonprofit:           Laney HS BaseballJune 28Opening Act:      Sonic SpectrumHeadline Act:     20 Ride (Zac Brown)Nonprofit:           Laney HS Band BoostersJuly 5Opening Act:      Alternative VisionHeadline Act:     Hey Johnny Park (Foo Fighters)Nonprofit:           Lump To LaughterJuly 12Opening Act:      Jam SandwichHeadline Act:     Red Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin)Nonprofit:           Vietnam Veterans of AmericaJuly 19Opening Act:      Kicking BirdsHeadline Act:     Eaglewing (Eagles)Nonprofit:           Paws Place Dog RescueJuly 26Opening Act:      SlapbackHeadline Act:     Wrong Way (Sublime)Nonprofit:           DREAMS Center for Arts EducationAugust 2Opening Act:      FreewayHeadline Act:     Suggesting Rhythm (Grateful Dead)Nonprofit:           SupPORT the PortAugust 9Opening Act:      Da Howlies Hawaiian hulabilly bandHeadline Act:     42 (Coldplay)Nonprofit:           The First Tee Greater WilmingtonAugust 16Opening Act:      Massive GrassHeadline Act:     ZZ’s Best (ZZ Top)Nonprofit:           Indo Jax Surf CharitiesAugust 23Opening Act:      Slippery Jake and the Bad BrakesHeadline Act:     Breakfast Club (80’s)Nonprofit:           Wilmington Railroad MuseumAugust 30Opening Act:      Striking CopperHeadline Act:     Departure (Journey)Nonprofit:           Wilmington Professional Firefighter Associationlast_img read more

UTL Not Affected By Sanctions

first_imgAdvertisement Mr Nyakairu was reacting to a story in Saturday Monitor that uncertainty has hit the company following a decision by the UN Security Council members to freeze assets belonging to the Libyan government.The Council also imposed an arms embargo on Libya, a travel ban and an asset freeze on Col Muammar Gaddafi, his family members and several government officials.All Africa.comlast_img

Microsoft Office 2013 Launches Today

first_imgAdvertisement A preview of Ms Word 2013 :Image courtesy of MicrosoftMicrosoft appears to be on the verge of launching the latest version of Office, according to a tweet the official Office Twitter account posted over the weekend. The tweet includes a picture of what Microsoft is setting up in New York City’s Bryant Park for launch day, specifying Jan. 29 as the day of the event.The new version of Office, Office 2013, represents a rethink of the productivity software. Microsoft re-designed Office for Windows 8, changing aspects of the design, features and back end to better suit a world of touchscreens, cloud connectivity and social networks.Although the new Office is designed for Windows 8 machines, it’s not actually a Windows 8 app. Office still runs in the traditional desktop environment, even on Windows RT devices. – Advertisement – The software is now available via subscription, as opposed to the “pay once, for one machine” approach of the past. When a customer buys Office, they will be able to download it and install it on up to five machines (PCs, Macs or a mix). A subscription entitles multiple users to cloud content (such as continually updated templates), 20GB of SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype service and updates for new versions of the apps.For businesses, things work a little differently. While a user can still install the software on up to five devices, the subscription is limited to one user.Pricing for the two versions is as follows: $99.95 a year for consumer, and $149.99 a year for business. Office will still be available as a one-shot download for those who want it, $219.99 for the Home and Business edition and $399.99 for the Professional edition.Considering that the Office 2010 has not gained that much poularity in most of the African countries as many of the users are still getting accustomed to the Office 2007, the launch of Office 2013 maynot be that much significant for many reasons among which the pricing is the major challenge in a continent where software piracy still prevails at a high rateCredit: MASHABLElast_img read more

Kenyan startup Bitsoko receives 100k grant from the Gates Foundation

first_imgAdvertisement Kenyan digital currency wallet and development provider Bitsoko has received a US$100,000 grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which it will use to expand to Ghana, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone next year.GCE is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports individuals worldwide in exploring ideas that can solve persistent global health and development challenges. Aside from its US$100,000 funding, Bitsoko also has the opportunity to receive an add-on grant of US$1 million if the project is successful.Bitsoko is a mobile wallet that implements blockchain technology in a bid to both remove the cost of transferring money between two individuals and increase access to payment services. The startup’s approach integrates blockchain with mobile money, allowing funds to be sent from the developed world through bitcoin and received as mobile money. It is currently in beta testing in Nairobi, Kenya. – Advertisement – The startup will use the GCE funds to expand its services to Ghana, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone next year, as well as research and development of relevant projects. Bitsoko co-founder Daniel Bloch is heading up a global health and development research project titled “Enable Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments”.“The financial structure in Kenya and throughout Africa has changed rapidly since the birth of mobile money by M-Pesa. We believe that this will only continue to grow, and tools such as Bitsoko that leverage blockchain technology to lower transaction costs will be at the forefront of this boom,” said Allan Juma, co-founder and lead developer at Bitsoko.MMINDZS, a Ugandan startup last month also won the prestigious award with the grant to be used to further develop the company’s MYAccounts mobile money-enabled accounting system for African small merchants.last_img read more

Bill Gates names the 6 best things that happened in 2015

first_imgAfrica went a year without any new polio cases. Image Credit: APlus Advertisement Every year, Bill Gates puts out his annual list of the year’s best news on his blog GatesNotes.It’s a nice feel good message, especially since 2015 also ushered in so many negative things, like the rise of extremist terrorist groups, the Paris attacks, the ongoing Syrian refugee crises, endless mass shootings in the US and so on.So to get you in a happy, grateful mood for the holiday season, here’s one of the world’s most charitable person’s take on the best things that happened in 2015, in a Letterman-style list. – Advertisement – No. 6: “German measles” Rubella has been eliminated in the Americas. This thanks to a 15-year effort to vaccinate people.  Rubella is really dangerous for pregnant women, and can lead to death or severe birth defects.“This milestone lends momentum not only to efforts to wipe out rubella around the world. It also gives a shot in the arm to efforts to eliminate measles, which is more deadly and more contagious than rubella, because the rubella and measles vaccines are often given in combination,” Gates said.The Gates Foundation is trying to end measles, and has been developing more affordable vaccines.No. 5: Mobile banking is huge hit and getting bigger in developing countries. Gates has said that he believes mobile banking is one of the best things ever invented to help people lift themselves out of poverty.“Today, more than two billion people have no access to financial services, severely limiting their ability to borrow, save, invest, and participate in the mainstream economy. But that is changing fast,” he writes.For instance, 75% of adults have a mobile bank access in Kenya and huge strides are happening Brazil, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bangladesh, and India.“When I’ve traveled in these countries, I’ve seen digital financial innovation that’s even outpacing what we see in rich countries,” he adds.No. 4.  SAT college prep studying is now free for everyone In June, the company that created the SAT helped the online training site Khan Academy launch free online studying tools, filled with interactive lessons and videos, for the SAT or PSAT.“I’m very excited about this development because of what it means for kids who can’t afford expensive test-prep classes and tutors,” he says.No. 3 The Nobel Prize went to three researchers fighting diseases of the poor.  “On October 5, I woke up to the wonderful news that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine had been awarded to three researchers who developed indispensable tools for fighting diseases of the poor,” Gates writes.Two of the researchers are working on curing parasitic worms and the other is trying to cure malaria. The invented “true miracle drugs,” Gates says.[related-posts]No. 2: Neil deGrasse Tyson gives a brilliant 272 word defense of science. “He makes the best argument I’ve ever heard for ensuring that science plays a big role in policymaking,” Gates writes. “Inspired by the short and eloquent Gettysburg Address, Dr. Tyson makes his case in just 272 words.”And the No. 1 best news of 2015 is … Africa went a year without any new polio cases. “On July 24, Nigeria marked one full year without a single new case of locally acquired polio, the crippling and sometimes fatal disease. It is the last country in Africa to stop transmission of wild polio,” Gates writes. “This milestone represents a huge victory—one that some experts feared would never come.”It came about because of a huge effort, involving hundreds of thousands of people who mapped every village in the north of the country, counting all the children and delivering oral polio vaccine several times a year.In 1988, polio was still running amok in 125 countries. Now, it’s endemic in only two, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Gates believes the day is coming when it is eradicated.[Business Insider]last_img read more

The Internet Society brings African Peering and Interconnection Forum to Tanzania for

first_imgAdvertisement The Internet Society () will bring its annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) to Tanzania for the first time.The organisation has partnered with the Tanzania Internet Service Providers Association (TISPA) to hold the seventh annual AfPIF in the country’s capital, Dar es Salaam, 30 August- 1 September, 2016.Serving as a platform to expand Internet infrastructure and services across Africa, the event will bring together key players to address the opportunities in interconnection, peering and traffic exchange on the continent. – Advertisement – The forum seeks to build cross-border interconnection opportunities and facilitate discussions on African Internet infrastructure challenges, including terrestrial capacity, development of national and regional Internet Exchange Points (IXP) and local content.“Internet connectivity in Africa has increased over the last few years delivering access to close to a third of the population on the continent. Improving interconnection and traffic exchange has become even more important today as an increasing number of Africans rely on the Internet in their daily lives,” explained Dawit Bekele, Regional Director for Africa of the Internet Society.“Since we first launched this event six years ago, we have seen a notable increase in investments and initiatives that have led to improvements in the extent and quality of national and regional interconnection. This has been possible thanks to the connections people make at AfPIF. The forum has in particular enabled Africans to collaborate and work together towards the development of the Internet infrastructure on the continent,” he added.“TISPA remains committed to advancing and protecting the interests of its members while promoting the advancement of the Internet sector. We believe by working with AfPIF to host this auspicious event in August will be one leap forward for Tanzania in terms of network optimization” said Vinay Choudary, the chairman of TISPA.AfPIF has previously been held in Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Senegal and Mozambique. Last year’s event featured 232 participants from 57 countries and an online participation of 978 people in 77 different countries.The Internet Society aims to advance the African interconnection agenda at AfPIF-2016, in line with the vision to achieve 80% local and 20% international Internet traffic by the year 2020. The event welcomes sponsors as well as past attendees and new participants to join the leading peering and interconnection forum for Africa.Promising more than just a forum – AfPIF connects Internet service, infrastructure, and content providers, with government regulators and policymakers to provide an opportunity to advance peering and interconnection arrangements and to make a positive contribution to Africa’s Internet resources.last_img read more

Israel Angered by Facebook Hatred Rules

first_imgAdvertisement Government ministers in Israel have accused Facebook of failing to tackle “inciteful” posts against the country on the social network.Public security minister Gilad Erdan said Facebook had set “a very high bar for removing inciteful content”.Justice minister Ayelet Shaked wants social media companies to pre-emptively remove content which Israel considers to be a security threat. – Advertisement – Facebook said it worked closely with Israel to tackle threatening content.Mrs Shaked has complained that threatening content must be manually reported by the website’s users before any action can be taken.“We want the companies… to remove posts by terrorist groups and incitement to terrorism without us having to flag each individual post, in just the same manner, for example, that they today do not allow posts and pages with child pornography,” she told Israel’s Army Radio.In a statement, Facebook said: “We have a set of community standards designed to help people understand what’s allowed on Facebook.“We call on people to use our report tool if they find content they believe violates these rules, so that we can examine each case and take quick action.“We work regularly with safety organisations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook.“There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”In 2015, Facebook complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.The court had threatened to block the entire website if the social media platform had refused.At the time, Facebook said its policy was to block access to content within a country if it breaks local law.The same year, Facebook, Google and Twitter faced pressure in Germany to remove hate speech posted on their websites.The three internet giants agreed to assess reported posts within 24 hours, evaluating them under German law rather than Facebook’s own terms and conditions.Facebook’s latest government transparency report said the company blocked 236 posts in Israel that were alleged to violate local harassment laws, or were related to Holocaust denial.[BBC]last_img read more

Regulator to Suspend Africell Uganda License After Breach of SIM Card Sales

first_imgAdvertisement Could Africell Uganda be in big trouble?Government regulatory body of the communications sector; Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) on March 7th, 2018 advised all telecommunications companies to immediately cease the sale of sim cards through hawkers, street vendors, street agents and any other establishments that are not licensed by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) or other municipal and town authorities till further notice from the regulator. This followed after the murder of a Kampala-based cashier Suzan Magara, whose kidnappers reached the family to demand a ransom using sim cards that couldn’t be traced.After almost two (2) months of waiting, UCC finally allowed telcos resume with their sim sales but only in authorized place of sales and not on through hawkers, street vendors, street agents, and any other establishments that are not licensed by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) or other municipal and town authorities. However, looks like telco; Africell Uganda Limited went behind the regulators back and broke the rules, that could land them in BIG trouble. – Advertisement – It came to the regulator’s notice that Africell Uganda was still selling its sim cards on streets using hawkers, street vendors, and mobile agents. An action that amounts to a serious and repeated breach of the telco’s license agreement and law.In a letter dated 17th May, 2018 signed by the regulator’s Executive Director; Godfrey Mutabazi, the Commission has threatened to suspend Africell’s Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP), and Public Service Provider (PSP) licenses, and given up to sixty days (60) for Africell to show cause as to why the suspension should not be effected.“Please be advised that should the Commission not receive sufficient representation to this notice with the aforesaid time period, the Commission shall proceed to suspend Africell Uganda Limited’s PIP and PSP license in accordance with section 41(4) of the Uganda Communication Act 2013 without any further notice,” writes the Commission.last_img read more

Argentina EdTech Startup Blended Wins 2019 Seedstars Global Competition

first_imgBlended an EdTech startup improving communication between schools and families wins the 2019 2019 Seedstars Global Competition | Courtesy Photo. Advertisement Seedstars last year selected 65 promising startups globally to participate in their 6th annual seedstars global competition in Switzerland. Notably, 18 startups were selected from Africa, with Uganda being represented by Agro Supply – who have developed a unique mobile layaway platform that allows farmers to save money for the seeds and fertilizer using their mobile phone.Startups were strategically devise innovative solutions in five key sectors: healthcare, finance, education, agriculture and energy.All teams traveled to Switzerland where they attended a 2 day bootcamp – to refine their growth strategy and participate in one-on-one meetings with mentors from the world’s top companies like Merck, Microsoft, Nestle, Standard Bank and many more. – Advertisement – After the bootcamp, 12 startups were including three Bluewave Insurance Agency (Kenya), Benefactors (Rwanda), and Cowtribe (Ghana) from Africa were selected – for a final pitch standing a chance to be crowned 2019 seedstars champion and claiming the USD$500, 000 (approx. UGX1.8 billion) cash prize.Each of the 12 teams were give 2 minutes to pitch to a panel of judges, investors, media, and the audience at large. After a though judging, Argentina-based EdTech Startup ‘Blended‘ has emerged as the overall winner claiming of the competition.The EdTech startup is improving communication between schools and families.Blended are the 2019 Seedstars Global Competition | Courtesy Photo/Seedstar Twitter Photos.Honorable mentionsFavorite Startup by Public Vote — YNMO (Saudi Arabia)The startup allows service providers including schools, centers and clinics to design and monitor individual treatment plans.Health Tech WinnerMedsaf (Nigeria) and Iyeza Helath (South Africa) received USD$10, 000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation after winning in the Malaria and Vaccine Delivery challenges respectively. Medsaf is a medication marketplace for Africa’s hospitals and pharmacies while Iyeza is a logistic startup delivering essential lifesaving drugs.EdTech WinnerSchoolap (Congo) wins the USD$50, 000 cash prize from HEG Fribourg and TRECC. Their startup is improving the quality of teaching by providing digital lessons.Innovation Prize Winner — Wobot (India) receive the prize from Tag Heuer.Life Science Prize Winner — Oxpecker (Hong Kong) receive the prize from Merck.Empowerment Prize Winner — 7keemapp (Egypt) awarded by The Rising Tide Foundation.last_img read more

PREVIEW Argentina v Switzerland

first_img[dropcap]S[/dropcap]etback last night in the Germany game. The less said about my Germany (-1) recommendation the better.It’s the final set of ’round of 16 matches’ today when the quarter-finalists will be confirmed.Off subject, but surely someone can come up with a better description than ’round of 16′? Answers, as always, on a postcard to Sepp Blatter c/o FIFA.If there was a lesson learned from both the games yesterday it was this. Nothing is easy – despite what the pre-match odds might otherwise say.Argentina are of course warm favourites to beat Switzerland today and second favourites to win the tournament outright behind the host nation.There are still plenty of people critical of Messi’s form – even his own grandfather for goodness sake – but with four goals already his form is hardly in the freezer.Switzerland’s defence looks vulnerable and could well come under plenty of pressure from Messi & Co. in the 5pm kick off at the Arena de Sao Paulo (BBC).France put five past Switzerland who have never won a match at this stage of the tournament and were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in their only previous World Cup match back in 1966 (who won it that year? my mind slips!).HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max last 10 only)Feb 2012 International Switzerland 1-3 ArgentinaJun 2007 International Switzerland 1-1 ArgentinaJul 1966 World Cup Argentina 2-0 SwitzerlandSwitzerland’s coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said: “We are the clear outsiders but we have nothing to lose and much to gain.”Same bet as yesterday – which will hopefully work out a lot more profitable.RECOMMENDED BET (scale of 1-50 points)9 points ARGENTINA (-1, three way handicap) at around 6/4 with Star SportsWORLD CUP RETURNS SO FAR: PROFIT 10.71 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Sunday

first_imgRACING MOVERS3.00 NewmarketDougan 15/2 > 6/13.40 Newmarket (1000 Guineas)Midweek 22/1 > 16/1 3.55 HamiltonGlenrowan Rose 7/1 > 4/14.30 HamiltonWeekend Offender 6/1 > 11/44.40 SligoInis Meain 5/1 > 10/305.00 SalisburyCapelita 7/1 > 4/15.25 NewmarketTaqdeer 5/2 > 11/85.35 SalisburyCall Out Loud 100/30 > 9/4 LIVE PREMIER LEAGUEPremier League12:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultra HD5/2 Swansea City23/20 Liverpool12/5 DRAWPremier League14:05 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD10/11 Man Utd3/1 Leicester City5/2 DRAWPremier League16:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD17/10 Southampton7/4 Man City23/10 DRAWWORLD SNOOKER FINAL4/5 Ding Junhuievens Mark Selby(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 1 Maylast_img read more