first_imgA disabled campaigner has sent an 80-page dossier of evidence to the new first minister of Wales in a last-ditch bid to persuade him to abandon plans to close the Welsh government’s independent living grant scheme.Nathan Lee Davies has written to Mark Drakeford with just two months left until the planned closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG), which was itself set up as an interim scheme following the UK government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund in June 2015.Davies, who has led the Save WILG Campaign, told Drakeford in an open letter this week that closing WILG would leave disabled people with high support needs “at the mercy of cash-strapped Local Authorities who seem intent on cutting vital support packages across the board with no guarantee that further cuts will not follow”.He said that local authorities “seem to be treating disabled people as a burden”.Davies points out in the letter that Drakeford had promised – during his successful campaign to lead the Welsh Labour party last year – that if an independent evaluation of the WILG closure showed the new system “not working as well as the old one” then he would be “prepared to reverse it”.WILG was set up by the Welsh government – with UK government funding – as a short-term measure to support former ILF recipients when the fund was closed in June 2015.But the Welsh government is now closing WILG and transferring the funding to local councils, and by April the 22 local authorities will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients in Wales.Davies said the “deep dive review” of cases in which WILG recipients were having their support cut was “full of errors” and had failed to consult the disabled people who will be affected.He pointed to his own experience at the hands of his local authority, Wrexham council, which he said had treated him “abysmally”.Davies, who has a life-limiting condition, said that the process to reassess his support needs, due to end in September 2018, had still not been completed and was having “a negative impact” on both his physical and mental health.He described how his social worker had laughed when he suggested he needed 24-hour support and told him that no-one in the borough received that level of support.He said that the lack of overnight support in his current social care package meant he had to stop drinking at 8pm at night and get ready for bed at 10pm, and often had to call his 68-year-old father to assist him in the night, even though he lives a 10-minute drive away and has arthritis in both hands.The dossier, which has already been shared with the deputy health and social services minister Julie Morgan, includes a description of a day in his life, from last January, showing the poor level of support he already receives – even before the closure of WILG – and the pain and indignity this exposes him to, as well as the lack of choice and control in his life.Davies says: “It is 2018 and I am still being treated like a second class citizen. “I have a progressive condition of the nervous system which is accelerating at quite a rate, yet I still have the same amount of inadequate care and support hours that I did in 2010 when I first began independent living.”He updated this by posting a new blog yesterday, showing that little had changed in the last year.In the dossier, he warns the Welsh Labour party: “I do not want to spend the last days of my life completely unnecessarily fighting against the party I have defended and campaigned for across many years.“But I will if I have to. Please don’t make me.”The dossier also includes a letter from a director of Disability Wales, Trevor Palmer, in which he says the planned WILG closure has “created serious disruptions” to his life, with local authority “incompetence and lack of understanding” that has led to his support package being “substantially” reduced. A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We believe that disabled people’s ability to live independently should not be compromised by any changes to the way in which support is arranged for those people who previously received payments from the WILG.“The first minister has just received Mr Davies’ open letter regarding the WILG and will carefully consider the detailed points it makes.“He has asked the deputy minister for health and social services to consider what further action may be necessary to ensure disabled people in receipt of the WILG are not adversely affected by this change.  “The deputy minister has provided Mr Davies and the National Assembly’s petitions committee with details of the deep dive review.“She also met Mr Davies at his home to hear his concerns and discuss the issues raised in his dossier.”He said the deep dive review had seen the 22 Welsh local authorities audit all cases where they intended to cut the WILG element of people’s support.This found planned reductions in about 157 cases, and increases in support in a similar number, out of 1,174 people.He claimed that the cuts had taken place because “some people had developed a need for healthcare rather than social care while some, due to their support being provided in a different way or being of a different type, had a reduced need for care overall”.He accepted that two questionnaires, commissioned from the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities, had had a low response rate, but he said that responses to it “have been positive about the way assessments have been undertaken and the outcomes people have received”.Charlotte Walton, Wrexham council’s head of adult social care, said: “We cannot comment on any individual’s care and support needs. “However we do not accept the allegations being made. “We have carried out all of the WILG reviews in a person centred and inclusive manner and working with the individual recipients of the fund [has] enabled them to achieve positive outcomes from the reviews.”Davies said he would now push for a meeting with the first minister.He said: “I am not going anywhere and will continue to fight this until justice is served.”Picture: Nathan Lee Davies with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn A 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

first_imgYou can still reserve your tickets online here up until 5pm today while stocks last. There are mostly just single seats remaining in most blocks with some additional tickets still remaining in unallocated Bronze blocks.There will be limited cash turnstiles on the evening on a first-come first served basis in the Totally Wicked North Stand blocks NH and NI – tickets in these blocks will not be available from the Ticket Office.Any remaining tickets from other areas including South block SB, will be available at the Ticket Office while stocks last. We cannot guarantee there will be any tickets remaining before kick-off so we advise fans to secure theirs before gates open at 6pm.Those fans who have purchased their match tickets already and not yet collected them are advised to arrive early to avoid potential queues at the ticket collection point. Please note all PRE-BOUGHT match tickets can be collected from the Ticket Collection point only, which is located next to the ticket office.Please also be advised that the ticket office is only for purchases made on the evening and for collection of any 2019 Membership cards.The game will kick off at 7:45pm with gates open from 6pm.last_img read more

first_imgNAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — The assistant fire chief at the Navassa Volunteer Fire Department was caught driving with a revoked license in a vehicle he should not have been driving, according to the Navassa Police Department.On Saturday, a Navassa police officer pulled over Derrick Ballard, 46, around 10:00 p.m. on Old Mill Road.- Advertisement – Police say Ballard had a paper license that requires him to only drive a 2004 GMC with an ignition interlock device. According to the arrest report, Ballard was driving a 1993 Nissan truck that did not have an ignition interlock device.Ballard’s license was revoked after getting convicted of DWI.According to NC law, ignition interlock devices are usually required when a person had an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher, or if the person has previously been  convicted of impaired driving within seven years.Ballard is charged with driving with a revoked license.He is out of jail on a $500 bond.Navassa Fire Chief Donny Williams says Ballard has administrative duties and has not driven a vehicle that belongs to the fire department in around a year.last_img read more

first_img (Photo: WTKR) Padgett is accused of kidnapping, resisting arrest and probation violation, among other related charges.Captain Patrick Jacobs, who helped bring the suspect into custody after a more than 20-hour standoff.Deputies got a call at around 3:15 a.m. Monday.Related Article: Man accused of hitting Columbus County deputy, trying to grab gun during struggleThey said someone from Enviva Pellet Plant reported that a man possibly armed with a gun kidnapped a tractor trailer driver and forced him to drive from New Hanover County.The trip takes more than two hours.After authorities arrived on scene, they said they negotiated with Padgett for hours:“After about 3 hours of standoff officers were able to deploy OC pepper spray in cab of the truck. Approximately 30 seconds later Kylen Padgett Jr. exited the cab of the truck through the driver side window with his hands held high appearing to give up to law enforcement. At that point Kylen Padgett Jr. turned his attention to escaping from law enforcement and climbed through the rafters of the building never setting feet on the ground. Throughout the day officers were able to hear and see Kylen Padgett Jr. within the rafters and steel beams of the building interior roof but were unable to negotiate with Padgett and unable to reach his position as he was wedged in between the building exterior wall and steel beams.” – Northampton Sheriff’s Office.“He just climbed up in the ceiling area. He just climbed up, never even touching the ground. Negotiators tried to get him down,” said Captain Patrick Jacobs of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.Captain Jacobs said he and other law enforcement officials even got onto a construction machine lift at the plant in their attempts to reach the suspect.“No matter how much we negotiated with him to come down, he would never respond to our commands. He would never even say a word to us,” said Captain Jacobs.He said Padgett was allegedly on the move in the building. 1 of 4 (Photo: WTKR) “We saw him a couple times, but he was in areas in between the walls and the steel beams,” said Jacobs.“Officers cut holes in the building deploying more OC Pepper Spray in an attempt to get Padgett to surrender to law enforcement. With no success officers then cut larger holes to use cameras and visually inspect the area Padgett was last seen wedged in wall of building. Law enforcement was no longer able to see Padgett upon late afternoon as he continued to evade capture. Late afternoon at approximately 4:00 pm Padgett was located within the building walls but he was able to successfully evade capture after a brief negotiation with law enforcement and refusing to comply with commands.Law enforcement stayed on scene as darkness fell and at approximately 11:30 pm law enforcement was able to cut additional holes in the opposite west side of the building where more negotiations were used with Padgett. Law enforcement on scene were eventually able to apprehend Padgett as he gave up from exhaustion. Medical care was provided to Padgett by EMS and later Padgett was transported to the Northampton Co. Jail where he was processed and served outstanding warrants. He was placed in Northampton Co. Jail under a $326,000 secured bond.Northampton Co. Sheriff Jack Smith stated that he is relieved that Kylen Padgett Jr. was apprehended with no officers from all responding agencies being hurt. I would like to thank Gaston Police Dept., Garysburg Police Dept, Roanoke Rapids Police Dept, NC Highway Patrol, Gaston Fire Dept., EMS Personnel, Enviva Pellet Plant employees, Halifax Co. Sheriff’s Office, the NC State Bureau of Investigations, New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office, and Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office deputies for their assistance and everyone working as a collective team to get the job done.” – Northampton Sheriff’s Office.“It was a long and exhausting day,” Jacobs said.He praised the surrounding agencies that helped in their efforts.Luckily, no one was hurt.Padgett was served outstanding warrants for three counts of probation violation and one count of kidnapping, all out of New Hanover County.An additional warrant was served for resisting, delaying and obstructing arrest. He is currently being held in the Northampton County Jail on a $326,000 secured bond.He is due in court on April 16.According to the state Department of Public Safety, Padgett’s previous charges date back 15 years and include offenses like larceny, drug use, receiving stolen goods and possession of stolen goods.His troubles with the law landed Padgett a spot on reality crime show.An episode of “I (Almost) Got Away With It ,” which airs on the Discovery Channel, featured a 2007 crime spree by Padgett in Wilmington and New Hanover County.center_img Kylen Padgett, Jr. and scene photo (Photo: WTKR/Northampton County Sheriff’s Office) Kylen Padgett, Jr. and scene photo (Photo: WTKR/Northampton County Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WTKR) — A Wilmington man is accused of hiding in the walls of a building for hours while trying to escape law enforcement, according to the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.Sheriff’s officials also said Kylen Padgett, Jr. allegedly forced a tractor trailer driver to drive him two hours.- Advertisement – (Photo: WTKR)last_img read more

first_imgBURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The state baseball playoffs began this evening and the Topsail High School team did not suit up. Instead, parents and players spoke at the Pender County School Board meeting voicing their concerns and searching for answers.“We know what devastating consequences have been bestowed on our players and the Topsail baseball team,” one Topsail parent said. “But the important question that we need to ask now: what will the consequences be for the administrators that caused this?”- Advertisement – Parents and members of the Topsail baseball team spoke from the heart to the Pender County School Board, questioning the steps taken by Topsail High administration that left the team ineligible for the playoffs.“Losing my teammate that was in question crushed all of us,” one Pirate Baseball player said. “Not only was he taken from us, which left our hearts broken, but our dreams of winning states was ripped right out of our hands.”Pender County Schools told WWAY the investigation into the team and the ineligible player began May 2, the day before the final game of the season.Related Article: South Columbus, Hoggard top 5th Quarter preseason pollsBut parents believe administrators knew about the ineligibility far before and failed to announce it until the end.The school board is launching its heir own investigation into how the situation was handled, so the parents can get the closure they say they need.“The administrators that failed to do their job need to be held accountable for this,” a parent said. “We are looking to you for that.”“I am asking, actually I am begging, that you don’t let this happen to any more children. It’s wrong.”last_img read more

first_imgBetty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Photo: WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital will remain open during Hurricane Florence for patients who must be there.According to a news release, because of the severity of the storm, the physicians of the OB/GYN Department are recommending pregnant woman who have the means to leave evacuate the area – particularly pregnant women at 37 weeks and above.- Advertisement – It will be difficult to travel to the hospital during the height of the storm, and emergency services may not be able to reach you if roads are blocked by flooding or downed trees. NHRMC EMS ceases operations when sustained wind speeds exceed 50 mph.Patients are encouraged to contact their primary OB office today to get a copy of their records prior to evacuating.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– Award-winning and history-making chef Keith Rhodes stopped by WWAY to cook up some shrimp and grits, all while discussing the popular dish’s history with African American culture and the Carolina coast.last_img

first_imgDepartment of Motor Vehicles (Photo: MGN Online) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles is adding 14 new driver license examiner graduates to its ranks as it tries to improve customer service.DMV officials said in a news release that the graduates will join 11 offices starting Monday after graduating Friday.- Advertisement – Officials say they’re hiring more examiners and using express lines to improve customer service. Representatives also help people in line to make sure they have the right documents.DMV announced some of these changes in August, when it faced an outcry over long waits.The new examiners will take applications for learner permits, driver licenses, REAL ID and basic identification cards. They’ll also conduct road tests for new drivers.Related Article: On your mark, get set, shop! Carolina Beach mayor dishes details on PublixThey’ll work in Nags Head, Jacksonville, Wilmington, New Bern, Henderson, Raleigh, Oxford, Fuquay-Varina, Hickory, Aberdeen and Greenville.last_img read more

first_img Hiwet Tesfamariam, sister of Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre reacts after hearing the verdict in the case of an alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by the court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Michele Calantropo, the lawyer of alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by an Italian court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, but who says his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, looks on as he awaits the verdict in the trial in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane SharePrint Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, awaits his sentence in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane 1 of 5center_img WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Court president Alfredo Montalto delivers the verdict in the case of an alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by the court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo MangiapaneAlleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane An Italian court ruled on Friday that an Eritrean man extradited from Sudan in 2016 was the victim of mistaken identity and dismissed allegations that he was a ruthless, human-trafficking kingpin.However, judges ruled that the defendant was nonetheless guilty of abetting people smuggling and handed him a 5-year prison term. Because he has already spent three years behind bars, the court said he could be freed.The verdict represents a setback to both Italian and British investigators who worked together to secure the arrest of the man who was identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered — a notorious Eritrean smuggler nicknamed “the General”.Both countries hailed his capture at the time as a rare victory in the battle against human trafficking. But he always insisted he was an impoverished refugee called Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre with no criminal background.“The court has accepted our position. He is not the General,” Medhanie’s lawyer Michele Calantropo told reporters outside the Sicilian court where the verdict was handed down.He said his defendant would appeal against the guilty verdict for the lesser offence and wanted to stay in Italy.“Today we have applied for asylum for him,” Calantropo said.Some of Mered’s alleged victims had testified in court that they did not recognise the arrested man, while relatives of the alleged smuggling mastermind also said it was a case of mistaken identity.However, Italian prosecutors Calogero Ferrara and Claudio Camilleri insisted during proceedings, spaced out over three years, that the right man had been caught, thanks partly to the help of Britain’s National Crime Agency.At the time of Medhanie’s arrest some 360,000 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy in just two years, with many hundreds drowning while trying to reach Europe.The number of migrant crossings has since risen above 600,000, but the flows have slowed dramatically over the past two years as successive governments in Rome have cracked down on people smuggling.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Novartis and Malaria No More, a leading global charity determined to end malaria deaths, announced today that they are joining forces on the Power of One campaign to help close the treatment gap and accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. Over the next three years, Novartis will support the campaign financially and also donate up to three million full courses of its pediatric antimalarial drug to match the treatments donated by the public, doubling the impact of these donations.“We believe that this innovative campaign will help speed malaria elimination,” said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis Chief Executive Officer. “Novartis has been striving towards this goal for more than a decade, and we just reached the milestone of providing 600 million treatments without profit to patients in malaria-endemic countries. No one should die from malaria today.”Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet a child dies from malaria every minute. This is against a backdrop of global funding gaps and concern that the gains made to defeat the disease could be reversed. The Power of One campaign aims to address this need by closing the global treatment gap between now and the end of 2015 through direct donations and existing government commitments. – Advertisement – “The Power of One campaign challenges the global public to help close the global treatment gap for malaria; Every dollar raised will buy and deliver a full course of life-saving child treatment,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More. “We are delighted to be partnering with forward-thinking companies like Novartis to help end deaths from this disease—one dollar and one child at a time.”Novartis has joined the Power of One campaign with some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Alere who will be providing malaria rapid diagnostic tests, along with Time Warner, Twitter and others. The campaign will use the latest social, mobile, and e-commerce technologies to rally the global public to contribute to the campaign.“Malaria is a complex issue and needs a multi-pronged collaborative approach. We can’t solve a problem like this on our own,” said Linus Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative. “Through partnerships, with organizations like Malaria No More, we can speed up progress toward the ultimate goal of malaria elimination.”Power of One will officially launch in the fall. Until then and to mark the announcement of this campaign, the first 10,000 people to sign up and register their interest on the Power of One website at will help provide a treatment to a child with a confirmed case of malaria in Africa.Novartis reaches 600 million treatment deliveriesPower of One builds on the Novartis Malaria Initiative’s efforts to eliminate malaria. Since 2001, a key focus of the company’s commitment has been to supply its artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to malaria-endemic countries. Novartis is proud to announce today that it has delivered 600 million ACT treatments without profit to the public sector of more than 60 malaria-endemic countries. This includes the provision of more than 150 million treatments of the Novartis antimalarial especially developed for children. Never before have so many treatments been distributed in such a short time frame to assist children suffering from malaria.The Novartis Malaria Initiative is one of the largest access-to-medicine programs in the healthcare industry. Moving forward, Novartis is committed to malaria elimination by driving the development of the next generation antimalarials, with currently two new classes of anti-malaria drugs in development. The most advanced compound is in Phase II clinical trials.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement A Readington man has been fined nearly $32,000 by the Federal Communications Commission after concluding he interfered with Newark Liberty International Airport’s satellite-based tracking system when he used an illegal GPS jamming device in his pickup truck to hide his whereabouts from his employer.Disrupting satellite signals can hinder air traffic controllers’ ability to receive accurate information about a plane’s location in the air and on the runway.[related-posts] – Advertisement – In what is known as a notice of apparent liability posted on its website last Friday, the FCC imposed the civil penalty on Gary Bojczak, who lives in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington in Hunterdon County.The FCC said in its notice that its enforcement division received a complaint last August from the Federal Aviation Administration that the satellite-based tracking system at Newark Liberty was experiencing interference.Known as a ground-based augmentation system, or GBAS, the tracking system uses satellite navigation technology to provide aircraft with precise location information to aid in takeoffs, landings and movements around the airport. System interference blocks the transmission of that data.An investigator from the FCC’s enforcement division went to Newark Liberty on Aug. 4, 2012. Using radio monitoring equipment, he located a red Ford F-150 pickup on airport property that was emanating signals within a restricted frequency band used by the augmentation system.“The signals emanating from the vehicle were blocking the reception of GPS signals” used by the air traffic control system, the FCC said in its notice.“Mr. Bojczak claimed that he installed and operated the jamming device in his company-supplied vehicle to block the GPS … system that his employer installed in the vehicle,” the FCC decision stated.Satellite technology is the basic component of the FAA’s planned NextGen national air traffic control system to replace an antiquated radar-based system. Implementation of NextGen is a multiyear, multibillion project in its infant stages.Source: www.nj.comlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement As part of its plan to celebrate the nation’s 100 years centenary anniversary, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the body that regulates the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), the .ng domain name, said it would give out 100, 000 free domain names to interested Nigerians in 2014.NIRA said it would give out the 100,000 domain names for free, in order to encourage Nigerians to populate the .ng domain name, which is Nigeria’s identity in the cyberspace.Mrs. Mary Uduma, the President of NiRA, who made the disclosure in Lagos at the Registrars forum/end of the year get-together, said that the initiative was borne out of desire to promote the use of the .ng domain name by Nigerians.“In 2009 we had less than 2,000 domain names but now we have about 60, 000 registered domain names,” the NiRA President said while assessing the adoption of .ng domain name in the country. – Advertisement – A committee has been set up,to work out the modalities on how to make the domain names available to interested Nigerians.She called on registrars to take advantage of the opportunity to offer free domain name hosting which they will give to their registrants. This she stressed will open doors of loyalty between them and their registrants.The working committee chaired by Mr. Gbolade Odusami, is expected to be independent, as the NiRA Board has clearly stated that there would not be any interference in the activities of the committee.Mr. Akinbo Cornerstone, the acting Chief Operating Officer of NiRA,  explained that details of the free domain name would be announced by the end of January this year. He assured Nigerians that the actual commencement of the free domain name exercise would begin in February this year.Cornerstone called on Nigerians to begin the search for possible names with which they could register their business, using the free .ng domain name.NiRA has less than 50,000 registrants according to the industry data reeled out by Uduma, but hoped to increase it by 250 per cent before the end of 2014 through increased awareness.“As part of our awareness programme, an agreement has been reached to have all states and local governments listed on the .ng domain before the end of 2014. Considerations are seriously being looked into the renewal fee of the N50, 000, with the intent of lowering it,” she said.She explained that the board would continue to work closely with the Registrars to make the programme a success.Credit: www.thisdaylive.comlast_img read more

first_imgThe world’s top Go player Lee Sedol (R) puts his first stone during the last match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google’s artificial intelligence program AlphaGo in Seoul, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by Google and released by Yonhap on March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Google/Yonhap Advertisement For those that have been following the Go Ultimate Challenge between Google’s AI, AlphaGo and World Champ, Lee Sedol, the game has definitely come to an end with a 4 – 1 victory in favor of the Googel’s AI.Google’s Go-playing computer program already claimed its victory on Saturday when it sealed a hat trick by beating 33 year old, world Go Board Champion Lee Sedol.DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis tweeted saying, “One of the most incredible games ever,” “To come back from the initial big mistake against Lee Sedol was mind-blowing!!!”#AlphaGo wins game 5! One of the most incredible games ever. To comeback from the initial big mistake against Lee Sedol was mind-blowing!!!— Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) March 15, 2016 – Advertisement – “I feel sorry because I lost and because the challenge match came to an end,” said Lee after the match. “I think it showed the lack of skills in my part.”Lee adds, “Thanking all the people who cheered for him and he says he will show a more advanced Lee Sedol in th future.”Go, most popular in countries such as China, South Korea and Japan, involves two contestants moving black and white stones on a square grid, with the aim of seizing the most territory.The game is perfect for AI researchers because there are simply too many moves for a machine to win by brute-force calculations, which is how IBM’s Deep Blue famously beat former world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.[related-posts]With AlphaGo’s victory, Google DeepMind will donate the UDS$1 million in prize money to UNICEF, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) charities, and Go organizations.Here are the results and final board position from Game 4:last_img read more

first_imgH.E the President of France; Emmanuel Macron speaking at the VivaTech conference held in Paris last week. (Photo Courtesy) Advertisement While speaking at the VivaTechnology conference held in Paris last week, the 25th President to France, H.E Emmanuel Macron announced that the French government, through the French Development Agency will launch a EURO65 million (roughly USD$76.1 million or UGX284.6 billion) fund dedicated to providing access to small ticket funding for African startups, as part of the unveiling of a Digital Africa initiative.The Digital Africa initiative aims to provide a platform to promote African entrepreneurs, through encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing, providing an online database of resources, hosting events, and facilitating access to funding.“There is an increasing unity across Africa, which provides the basis for the launch of a comprehensive strategy aimed at collectively supporting the growth of digital ecosystems across the continent,” said the President. – Advertisement – Macron said there is no longer a tangible separation between Francophone and Anglophone Africa – which hitherto were accompanied by a divide in approaches – rather, the focus must now be on developing one single strategy to support Africa’s growth, Disrupt Africa reported.“I call on all African entrepreneurs, from all the countries on the continent, to join this Digital Africa initiative, and to join the platform,” Macron said while keynoting.Macron said France wishes to take on a role in the financing of African startups, with a view to further developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the continent.While African startups have the energy needed to innovate quickly, the President said the major providers of finance have not adapted to answer the needs of entrepreneurs on the ground. For this reason, the French Development Agency has been working on creating a new funding model to effectively support the funding needs of African entrepreneurs, with the new platform to launch in the coming weeks.“The French Development Agency is going to announce in the coming weeks a new specific programme in order to invest small amounts, EURO30,000 (roughly UGX132 million) to EURO50,000 (roughly UGX219 million) per startup,” he said.According to reports by Business Report, Macron re-emphasized his belief in African innovation, and singled out Rwandan President, H.E Paul Kagame, who was in the crowd, for investing in digital innovation – stating that innovation is “the best way to provide the solution made by, and for African people”.“Because when you speak about innovation, when you speak about digital, it’s by providing services for people to learn, to be able to be educated, to work, to get access to energy, and so on. But you speak as well to job creation for people,” he said.The VivaTech which took place from May 24 – 26th was graced by the likes of Facebook CEO; Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft CEO; Satya Nadella, IBM CEO; Ginni Rometty, Uber CEO; Dara Khosrowshahi, to mention a few. These technology companies have always held innovation challenges in Africa, in order to support growing startups, and entrepreneurs.last_img read more

first_img[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.Tuesday 4 MarchRACING2.50 NewcastleMr Supreme 2/1 > 7/43.10 SouthwellRockweiller 9/1 > 5/13.20 NewcastleFinger Licked 10/1 > 8/1What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

first_img[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of my favourite bookies is John Henwood. When I was a boy, I loved going to Wimbledon, to watch the ring in full flow, during the Greyhound Derby. John used to bet without-the-favourite, but would also offer other markets, such as prices for dogs to get to the final.Flair ‎is something that we rarely see in the game now. It starts at grass-roots, but will ALWAYS find it’s way to the front. People, paying customers, Punters; they ALL gravitate to flair. Tony Morris, the best greyhound bookmaker ever, was one of my mentors. He was an EXTREMELY hard man, and praise for other operators was thin on the ground. The only other bookmaker, he took any time to comment on, was John Henwood. John was competition. He knew what he was doing. And he would box clever, even when betting next to the great TM. He was ‘quick’ and got under the main-layer’s skin.With his distinctive style, his experience, but still real alertness and aptitude and passion for the game; John Henwood (now the leading-layer at Wimbledon) is certainly one of my favourite bookies. LET’S SEE SOME FLAIR FROM THE BOOKMAKERS ONCE AGAIN.In other news:The ‘Winter Festival’. It upsets me, that any type of reference, to the nativity scene, or even Christmas itself, is left out of virtually all television productions, and corporate marketing material that we are faced with. I appreciate that we are all so utterly potless, that we must now bow to every scrap of foreign money we can get our grubby mits on (and tolerate all of the religious and cultural impositions that come with it), but it was a pleasant reminder, just for a few moments, on the BBC, this Christmas Day, to see The Queen’s Speech. After all, the great QE2, is still Head of The Church of England, which, I suppose, once counted for something. ‘CHRIST-MAS’; IT’S IN THE NAME.Over and out, B xlast_img read more

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: franz.brotzen@rice.eduLindsay lecture to launch IUR’s Program for the Study of LeadershipD. Michael Lindsay will share lessons learned from interviewing 500 of the nation’s leaders during a lecture that will launch the Program for the Study of Leadership at Rice University’s Institute for Urban Research (IUR). An assistant professor of sociology and Rice Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Lindsay will present “Selecting and Developing the Best” at 5 p.m. July 20 in Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium on the Rice campus 6100 Main St. Paid parking is available in the Central Campus Garage. For directions, go to The lecture is free and open to the public. Dessert will be served following Lindsay’s remarks and a question-and-answer session.Lindsay’s academic work has focused on top American leaders, and within recent months he has presented preliminary findings from his research on the development of senior leaders before several audiences, including a presidential commission at the White House. The July 20 presentation will be the first time Lindsay has spoken since completing his 500th in-depth interview with senior leaders in government, business and the nonprofit sector.This research project has taken several years to complete. Lindsay said the experience has been quite gratifying. ”Who wouldn’t relish the chance to sit down with Colin Powell, Ted Turner, the founder of eBay and the president of Harvard within the span of several months?” he said. “I’m excited to distill some of the lessons I’ve learned through this research and to work with my colleagues at Rice in studying and developing global leaders in the years ahead.”In addition to profiling the White House Fellowship, which Lindsay believes is one of the most effective leader-development programs, he will share several stories of ordinary people who have become extraordinary leaders because they learned how to leverage early opportunities that came their way. The lecture is co-sponsored by Leadership Rice and will be the first of several events organized by the Program for the Study of Leadership during the 2010-2011 academic year.The Institute for Urban Research is home to not only the Program for the Study of Leadership but also the Race Scholars at Rice initiative and the Program on Religion and Public Life. The IUR was created earlier this year to study patterns of change in Houston and other cities and conduct innovative research on other urban issues.For more on the IUR, go to Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Franz Brotzen at or 713-348-6775. AddThislast_img read more

first_imgShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsAmy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduInga Kiderra858-822-0661ikiderra@ucsd.eduAcademic workplace bias against parents hurts nonparents too, researchers findHOUSTON – (March 31, 2014) –Parents have reported before that trying to balance work and family obligations comes with career costs. But a new study from Rice University and the University of California, San Diego, shows that university workplace bias against scientists and engineers who use flexible work arrangements may increase employee dissatisfaction and turnover even for people who don’t have children.“As researchers, we’re interested in understanding the gap between the traditional 9-to-5 work setting and what workers actually need,” said Erin Cech, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice and the study’s lead author. “The majority of parents are in the workforce today, yet the expectations and arrangements of work have stayed more or less the same as they were post-World War II. We’re trying to understand this mismatch and its consequences.”The study, “Consequences of Flexibility Stigma Among Academic Scientists and Engineers,” examined “flexibility stigma” — employers’ and co-workers’ negative attitudes toward employees who seek or are presumed to need flexible work arrangements to deal with child care responsibilities — at one university. The study found that people who reported an awareness of the flexibility stigma in their departments — regardless of whether they are parents themselves — were less interested in staying at their jobs, more likely to want to leave academia for industry and less satisfied with their jobs than those who did not report a flexibility stigma in their department. They also felt as though they had worse work-life balance.“Flexibility stigma is not just a workers’ problem,” said study co-author Mary Blair-Loy, an associate professor of sociology at UC San Diego and founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions. “Workplaces where this bias exists are more likely to have a toxic culture that hurts the entire department, not only in terms of work-life balance but also retention and job satisfaction, which may affect department productivity.”The researchers suggest that the study sheds light on workplace issues across a wide spectrum of professional fields.“Because this is an academic setting, faculty tend to have a great deal of freedom to re-arrange their busy schedules to accommodate family responsibilities,” Cech said. “We imagine that the effects of flexibility stigma on job satisfaction and employee turnover might be even more counterproductive in professional workplaces that have less schedule control. Dealing with work-life balance issues is not just about instituting the right polices, but it is also about undermining the stigma that comes along with using those policies.”Cech also noted that one consequence of flexibility stigma – employee turnover – can be expensive.“It can be extremely costly — on average, between $90,000 and $400,000 when accounting for lab space and student assistants — for startup packages for new science and engineering faculty,” she said. “This suggests that reducing flexibility stigma would not only be good for workers, but good for the bottom line as well.”Blair-Loy said that the work-devotion schema – the idea that one’s career requires intense time commitments and strong loyalty – is a mandate that is unconsciously part of most professional workplaces and underlies the flexibility stigma.“Work devotion is useful for employers because it helps motivate senior management, but is destructive to people trying to care for family members,” Blair-Loy said. “It underlies this stigma that is damaging to all members of the department, not just the ones that are parents.”Blair-Loy noted that the silver lining of their research suggests that many faculty who are not currently parents are aware of the flexibility stigma.“These individuals can be real allies in making a more inclusive, welcoming environment for everyone,” Blair-Loy said. “It provides the opportunity to broaden awareness of problematic work environments and educate others about this bias.”The study included 266 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) faculty members at a top-ranked university with pre-eminent science and engineering programs. The respondents answered online survey questions about whether mothers and fathers with young or school-aged children are perceived as less committed to their careers than women or men who are not parents, and whether individuals choosing to use formal or informal arrangements for work-life balance experience negative career consequences.The research is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project “Divergent Trajectories: A Longitudinal Study of Organizational and Departmental Factors Leading to Gender and Race Differences in STEM Faculty Advancement, Pay and Persistence.” Blair-Loy is the principal investigator and Cech is the co-principal investigator for the project. The study appeared in a recent issue of Work and Occupations and was funded by the NSF.-30-For more information, contact Amy Hodges, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Erin Cech bio: is an assistant professor of sociology in Rice’s School of Social Sciences.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 AddThislast_img read more

first_imgShare1David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff  Time for marijuana decriminalization in Texas has come, say Baker Institute expertsNeill Harris, Martin: ‘Decriminalization is a sensible, conservative policy proposal’HOUSTON — (April 17, 2019) — Gov. Greg Abbott and both major political parties in Texas have expressed support for reducing penalties for marijuana possession. A bill to do just that will come before the Texas Legislature this year, and elected officials will have the opportunity to support a policy that is “fiscally prudent, socially just and politically popular,” according to drug policy experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Credit: UniversityKatharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy at the Baker Institute, and William Martin, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the institute and director of its Drug Policy Program, outline their insights in a new report, “The Case for Marijuana Decriminalization.”The authors use “decriminalization” to refer to the removal of all criminal sanctions for possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. They consider laws that lower the status of the offense from a crime to a civil violation, like a traffic ticket, to be a form of decriminalization because such laws remove the criminal status of the offense.Since 1989, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana has been a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, with possible penalties of 180 days in state jail, a $2,000 fine and, most damaging of all, a criminal record, the authors said. Since 2005, the Texas Legislature has had the opportunity to pass legislation to reduce the penalty for low-level marijuana possession from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor (thus removing jail time). Since 2015, state lawmakers have had the opportunity to enact legislation to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession entirely and treat the offense like a traffic ticket.This session, the Texas Legislature could decriminalize marijuana possession by passing House Bill 63 (HB 63), which would replace jail time with a maximum fine of $250 for individuals possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana. The offense would be treated like a traffic ticket, and offenders would not be stained with a criminal record. Other measures to reduce penalties for marijuana possession have been introduced this session, but HB 63 is the only one that removes criminal penalties entirely, the authors said.“The issue of whether and how to reform marijuana laws has garnered widespread public attention in recent years,” the authors wrote. “Decriminalization of possession for personal use has received considerably less media and research focus than legalization of commercial marijuana sales. There is some justification for this. Compared to legalization of a regulated marijuana market, there is greater consensus about the possible impacts of marijuana decriminalization, which, many experts agree, would be relatively few beyond the intended reduction in marijuana possession arrests.”And as states continue to legalize marijuana for medical and adult sale and use, identifying the implications of these more substantial policy changes has become a more pressing issue, the authors said.“That decriminalization has been increasingly eclipsed by debates over full legalization may contribute to the tendency among some of its opponents to conflate penalty reduction for marijuana possession with legalization of sales,” they wrote. “This is unfortunate because decriminalization of possession for personal use is a substantively different policy than legalizing the selling of marijuana in any form. A serious conversation about the potential public health consequences of creating a commercial market for marijuana is warranted. But decriminalization is a fairly modest policy proposal that does not increase access to marijuana or allow advertising for its use.”The main goal of decriminalization is to remove the permanent damage inflicted on individual by an arrest and criminal record, and to use public resources more efficiently in the process, the authors said.“Decriminalization is not a perfect policy,” they wrote. “Under many decriminalization schemes, people can still be arrested, and inability to pay the fines associated with civil penalties will result in incarceration for some people, most likely minorities and the poor. Decriminalization also fails to address the needs of individuals who can benefit from the plant’s medicinal properties. Its greatest flaw, however, is that as long as growing and selling marijuana remain illegal, criminals decide what and to whom to sell, and they get to keep the money, tax-free.”The authors concluded, “Still, decriminalization is a major improvement over prohibition, one that would reduce arrests and the collateral consequences of a criminal record, reduce racial disparities in drug law enforcement and allow for more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Research shows these gains can be had without endangering public safety or encouraging use. Decriminalization is a sensible, conservative policy proposal.”-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Neill Harris or Martin, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Report: Harris bio: bio: the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Drug Policy Program via Twitter @BakerDrugPolicy.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, AddThislast_img read more

first_imgTop MBA Recruiters: Deutsche Bank Why MBAs Love Working for Deutsche BankOne of the major appeals of Deutsche Bank is its international cachet. Employees find opportunities to work at its various offices around the world and the company does a lot to help employees take advantage of these opportunities. For MBAs interested in gaining a better understanding of the global finance market, this is extremely appealing.Unlike other companies, Deutsche Bank has started to put a lot of emphasis on building up its young talent base. In 2018, the company brought in almost 800 graduates—25 percent more than they had in the previous year. MBA graduates move directly into the Associate Programme at the company, which provides in-house training and gives them immediate working experience.In addition to the firm’s global reputation and its interest in training young leaders, Deutsche Bank provides extremely competitive salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average starting salary for Associates is $100,000, with another $10,000 in bonuses. In addition to the salary, the company offers excellent benefits.There is the standard array of health, dental, and vision benefits. In addition, employees have unlimited sick time, flex scheduling, and a competitive retirement plan. Deutsche Bank also provides generous parental leave—yes, parental leave. New mothers and fathers can take up to 16 weeks off to take care of their newborn. Mothers can take an additional two weeks prior to their due date.Life at Deutsche BankMany employees, past and present, speak highly of the company’s environment. They found it to be relaxed and respectful. Others talked about the high quality of benefits offered by the company. Employees also believe that the company allows them to maintain a better work-life balance than they could at other firms.Deutsche Bank Career OpportunitiesDeutsche Bank is focused on finding people who fit into its culture. One easy way to learn more about the DB culture is via the Associate Intern Programme. Deutsche Bank gives offers to about 80 percent of interns who go through this program.For those who do not go through the internship program, the interview process at Deutsche Bank is fairly straightforward. As the firm itself notes, they are more interested in your interest in the field and in Deutsche Bank.The firm emphasizes the importance of learning about the company before the interview. Deutsche Bank and past interviewees note that interviewees should talk with people who have previously worked at the firm. These people can provide extra information that can help individuals decide whether Deutsche Bank is the right place for them. Deutsche Bank, the 15th-largest bank in the world, oversees $1.6 trillion in total assets, operates offices in 58 countries, and employs more than 91,000 employees. And, of course, that means a lot of Deutsche Bank career opportunities for MBA students and graduates.Given its stellar reputation for international investment and strong position in the global financial market, Deutsche Bank has long been a desirable destination for MBA graduates. Although Deutsche Bank has not always been in the news for the most honorable reasons, right now is actually an excellent time for MBAs to join the company. RelatedLondon’s Largest MBA EmployersFor MBAs looking to begin a career in London, there is an array of amazing opportunities. Not only are there a number of top companies hiring large numbers of MBAs, but those with advanced degrees tend to earn more and witness more growth than those without. In fact, a recent analysis of…October 27, 2016In “Featured Region”The Best Finance MBA Programs in LondonThe economy of London is dominated by the financial services industry. In fact, the city is the largest financial exporter in the world and is home to exchanges, banks, brokers, pension funds, reinsurance markets and more. It’s also a notable center of international finance and home to the second oldest…October 26, 2016In “Advice”Finding Your Dream MBA Career at BarclaysFor over 300 years, Barclays has been one of the leading international banks for both consumer corporate investments. MBA candidates are drawn to Barclays not only for its stature in the global finance industry but also for the vast array of professional opportunities it offers. Within business banking, corporate banking, customer…February 12, 2018In “Barclays” About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer regions: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago / Dallas / Denver / Houston / London / Los Angeles / Miami / New York City / Online / Philadelphia / Research Triangle / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Toronto / Washington, DC Last Updated Mar 21, 2019 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail last_img read more