A mental health charity that refused to criticise

first_imgA mental health charity that refused to criticise the government for ignoring links between claimants of out-of-work disability benefits and suicide attempts is facing criticism after it emerged that more than half of its advisory board are influential Conservatives.Disability News Service (DNS) revealed in December that the Department of Health (DH) had failed to highlight claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) as a high-risk group in its national suicide prevention strategy.DH had failed to act even though its own survey showed that more than 43 per cent of ESA claimants had said in 2014 that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.But when told about that failure in December, the mental health charity Samaritans – which focuses on suicide prevention and support for those in mental distress, and is itself part-funded by the Department of Health* – refused to criticise the government.Now mental health system survivors have raised concerns that at least seven of the 11 members of the charity’s advisory board are prominent Conservatives or Conservative supporters, or have close links to the party, including two Tory peers, a current and a former Tory MP, and a leading Tory donor who is married to another Tory peer.They are particularly alarmed that the newest member of the board is Esther McVey, the new work and pensions secretary, whose appointment to head the Department for Work and Pensions last month caused widespread anger among disabled activists.McVey appears to have joined the Samaritans advisory board last year, when she was still chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA)**, one of the partners the charity works with to reduce suicides across the rail system.Many campaigners expressed their alarm and anger through social media this week at McVey’s presence on the advisory board, with many questioning the charity’s judgement and calling on it to end the association.There was also coverage of her presence on the board in the mainstream, left-wing and local media, and political news websites.Despite the anger, campaigners have appealed for people in mental distress to continue calling the charity’s helpline if they need support, as its volunteers provide a vital service.In addition to McVey, other members of the advisory board are the Tory peers Lord Grade and Baroness Wheatcroft; Sir Edward Garnier QC, who until last May was a Conservative MP; and David McDonough, who co-owns the public relations firm Norris McDonough with former Tory minister and London mayoral candidate Steve Norris.Others include Bill Muirhead, a founding partner of M&C Saatchi, who helped lead the 2010 Conservative general election advertising campaign; and Philip Buscombe, a leading Tory donor and husband of the Conservative peer Baroness Buscombe, who was herself a member of the advisory board until last year.Another link between the advisory board and the government comes through Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp, a partner with the legal firm Macfarlanes, where justice secretary David Gauke – McVey’s predecessor as work and pensions secretary – previously worked.Rick Burgess, a spokesman for the user-led campaign group Recovery in the Bin, said the board was full of Tory “party hacks”.He said: “if the advisory board advises, surely they want a breadth of views and not to be crowded out by Conservatives with little to no mental health expertise.“Such biased ignorance is lethal, for example their failing to campaign on the increased suicide risk from government welfare reform of ESA and personal independence payment.”He added: “That they think Esther McVey, a human rights abuser, should be an adviser shows a profound failure of their governance and moral principles.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said it was “like putting Cruella De Vil and her acolytes in charge of the kennels”.He said: “Are they completely ignorant of McVey’s track record and the devastation inflicted upon disabled people with mental health problems under her leadership? It just beggars belief.”A Charity Commission spokeswoman said the make-up of the Samaritans advisory board was not itself a breach of its rules, but she added: “Trustees have a responsibility to protect their charity’s reputation.“This includes paying particular consideration to the consequences of working with political parties and their representatives, and being open and transparent about any contact they have.”The commission’s guidance also says that charities “should consider working with a range of political parties to help ensure public perceptions of neutrality”.There do not appear to be prominent members of any political party other than the Conservatives on the advisory board.A Samaritans spokeswoman said its vision was that “fewer people die by suicide” and that it worked “across the political divide to achieve this”.She said: “Esther McVey joined Samaritans’ advisory board when chair of the British Transport Police Authority, which is one of the partners we work with to reduce suicides in the rail environment.“The advisory board has no legal or governance role in Samaritans and elects its own chair and members.”But Samaritans has refused to explain why so many members of its advisory board are members of the Conservative party, and whether that affected its decision not to speak out on the Department of Health’s failure to highlight ESA claimants as being at particularly high risk of attempting suicide.The spokeswoman said: “Our advisory board was formed by a group of friends of Michael Varah, who died in 2007.“Michael was the son of Samaritans’ founder, Chad Varah, and his friends wanted to support the charity in an informal way in his memory.“Our advisory board continues to provide informal support to Samaritans, helping us increase our potential to influence and fundraise.”Asked whether the charity was concerned that having so many members of one political party on its advisory board might be breaching Charity Commission rules, the spokeswoman said: “We are confident that having an informal group of people, with no legal or governance role, supporting us to ensure that more people can access our services so that we can save more lives, is fully within Charity Commission rules.”But Burgess said: “The Samaritans are being disingenuous. The board advises, as such it should have a diverse membership. It clearly does not, so its advice will be poor.”*Now renamed the Department of Health and Social Care **She resigned as BPTA chair after being selected to fight the Tatton seat for the Tories at the 2017 general electionlast_img read more

Developments in Development The Bright Side

first_img 0% Let’s go back to that $800 half-room for a second. According to one estimate, that’s not even a bad deal, because the average rent for a room (a room, not a one-bedroom apartment) in San Francisco is now close to $2,000.That is so expletive-worthy that I’m actually inclined not to believe it, especially given another calculation, also noted in the first story, that indicates median rent for a room is about $1300. Still ludicrous, but not as surprising. There’s also the fact that the $2,000 a month figure comes from simply taking the rent prices of multi-bedroom units on the market and dividing by the number of bedrooms, which doesn’t factor in those rooms for rent in apartments with a master tenant who has been in place for a while. Those kinds of rooms must still be out there. Right? Right??I put that to the test and yeah, it seems my (non-scientific) Craigslist experiment confirms the bleak outlook. You want something for $1,000 or less? Well, it’s gonna be in the Western fringes of the city and you definitely will not have a kitchen. In this one, cooking isn’t even allowed. Or you could sleep on a cot in the corner of a SoMa shared apartment. Spring for $200 a month more and your options look a little less bleak, with one option even in the Mission!Real rooms with access to a real kitchen, in the Mission District, are going for closer to $1,500 a month and easily up to $1,800 a month, especially once you factor in utilities. At that point, why not rent a studio? Those are starting to become available for something like $1800, $1,900 a month in parts of town, and at least there you could potentially move in with a significant other, spouse, or like, even a cat. And, not like it needs saying at this point, but just imagine being a family of three who just got the boot and is looking for a place.Enough about renting. Let’s talk about selling.The developers of a project on Cesar Chavez street near Guerrero are apparently pulling out, putting their site up for sale even after going through the entitlement process. This is the development that neighbors complained about at a community meeting in August last year. The developers are looking to offload the site, permitted as it is, for $8 million. That, Socketsite calculates, puts the per-unit cost to build this place at about $333,000 per door.Remember when SocketSite reported that the Baha’í temple on Valencia near the freeway was up for sale? We were never able to reach anyone there to figure out what was going on. Now, it turns out, the neighboring building, which currently houses the furniture store Stuff, is for sale too. The lot is zoned to go up to 50 feet, but with what happened at that other end of that block, more height there might not fly. Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, business, planning, zoning and construction news.Sure, this place might be on fire more or less constantly, but at least we’re not up to our balconies in water like San Jose was this week!Yes, San Francisco now has the dubious honor of being named the fourth-most congested city in the world and has terrible roads, but at least it’s also apparently the best city to live in car-free. That might have something to do with the source of that evaluation being a realty company averaging the city’s “walk scores” …but no, I’m all about silver linings this week.  And yeah, half of a SRO room in the Tenderloin costs $800 a month, but you don’t really need space to live your Silicon Valley Dream with this “Unicorn Startup Simulator” that SFist was kind enough to highlight. Work out all your schadenfreude kinks while you’re at it and decide to kill or spare reporters who write mean things about your startup.center_img Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

An eighth grader asks is one measly lane enough for Rosa Parks

first_imgAlamara Varughese is an eighth grader at the San Francisco Friends School.San Francisco, a city that holds everybody to the highest standards and remembers and honors members of the past, is not giving one of the most influential civil rights leaders the reverence, commemoration and respect she deserves. In the heart of the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, off of Valencia Street, a bustling avenue, lies a small lane only the most attentive passersby would notice.Rosa Parks Lane, hidden in the shadows of surrounding buildings, holds a row of government-owned houses. At the entrance to the street, there is a tilted pole on which a faded sign hangs that says, “Rosa Parks Lane.” The bland sign blends right into the background of buildings. It’s not the almost-nonexistent sign that leads the common eye to fly over the small street or the boring and dreary buildings, it’s the combination of the two. Ask San Franciscans if they know where Rosa Parks Lane is — or if they even know it exists.Although Martin Luther King Jr. was a very substantial person in the civil rights movement who rallied and galvanized many people, Rosa Parks was the face of the bus boycotts that have become a key image for the civil rights movement. The bus boycotts catalyzed thousands of everyday citizens to fight for their rights. Martin Luther King has a holiday that millions of people celebrate nationally every year, and has over 900 streets named after him, whereas Rosa Parks has a single street named after her. Most likely, there are other places in our country that have designated areas to honor Rosa Parks with the recognition she deserves, but in the city of San Francisco, there is only one single monument in her honor, and it is buried beneath the constant bustle of city life. There has to be something more we can do to recognize her efforts. One simple and effective way to pay homage to the people of our past, specifically Rosa Parks, is to have school children take the time during Black history month to visit Rosa Parks Lane. This would elevate awareness about the street among children, who are an important part of our city population, are very impressionable, and need to learn about the great civic leaders that influenced our country’s evolution. This may seem too small an honor for such a heroic and significant person, but starting small is always the first step towards change.ADVERTISEMENT 5 Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments available at 3000 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Applications must be received by 5PM, Nov. 7, 2017, and must either be submitted online here or mailed in with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 3000 23rd St. BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94124. Applications available here or picked up from an agency listed here.Rosa Parks Lane. Photo by Lola M. Chavez. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Surprise Surprise Elbo Room building on sale for 42 million

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter In other words, the site is plug-and-play for any would-be developer. Back in 2014, however, that is not what Susan Ring told community members. Their plans then: Move into one of the condos.  “This is part of our vision for ourselves, for my husband and I to spend the rest of our days,” Susan Ring told community members in November 2014, when she and her husband, Dennis Ring, presented their plans for the site.Mission Local revealed in February that the Rings have repeatedly evicted tenants from their properties by moving into the units, and then subsequently flipped the properties. All told, the Rings have evicted tenants on at least four separate occasions to turn a profit. With the Elbo Room plans, the Rings placated community criticism by saying they wanted to retire in one of the condos they planned to build on Valencia. Now, it turns out, they were only turning the building into a development opportunity. “We don’t have any comment,” Susan Ring told Mission Local on Tuesday. Ring, a real estate agent, is also the broker for the property. Some experts, however, believe that the Rings could have a difficult time selling the property with its current $4.2 million price tag — citing high construction, capital, and carrying costs.This is the latest in a long saga with the Rings and Elbo Room that began with Dennis Ring founding the popular bar on the corner of Valencia and Sycamore in the 1990s.    Email Addresscenter_img The Elbo Room building hit the market Monday for $4.2 million, spurring what has now become a common refrain: Is this the end of Elbo Room? The two-story, 5,250-square-foot building, with a bar and music venue on the ground floor and three housing units above, is being marketed as a “Commercial space with approved site permit for future development on prime Valencia Street location.” “This could be a great chance for an owner to have a great return on their investment,” according to the marketing materials. Indeed, the owners, Susan and Dennis Ring, have owned the building since 1991, and in 2014 decided to entitle the property, which now allows a developer to erect a five-story, seven-unit condo building with four parking spaces. last_img read more

FANS can now take advantage of a unique ticket off

first_imgFANS can now take advantage of a unique ticket offer for Rugby League World Cup 2013 – the UK’s next major international sporting event.Tickets for the 28-game tournament go on general sale on Friday October 26 – exactly one year from the opening ceremony and double-header at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.But anyone registering at rlwc2013.com before October 26 will enjoy exclusive access to the best tickets available and will get £5 off each purchased ticket for the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford – and a free RLWC2013 beanie.RLWC2013 General Manager Sally Bolton said: “More than 10,000 people have registered for our ‘Early Bird’ offer in the past two months alone, which is great news for the tournament.“Following the success of the London Olympics and Paralympics, we anticipate high demand for our showpiece events such as the opening ceremony, semi-finals and the Rugby World Cup Final itself.“We would genuinely urge people to buy their tickets early and take advantage of this special pre-sales offer. We’re offering exceptional value, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less, including group games and quarter-final tickets from just £10 (£5 for concessions). This will be a world class event – and an affordable one.”People without internet access can phone the RLWC2013 Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.Loyal Rugby League fans have already been offered the chance to buy tournament tickets through their annual club season ticket renewal packs.You can pre-register here.last_img read more

Echo Farms closes Sunday after more than 40 years

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1507865719-b75d9c93e32ebcf836f4879100d77e805774995f_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Golfers in Wilmington are enjoying their last few days playing at the popular Wilmington course Echo Farms.The course has been open since 1974 and has been considered a hidden gem to Wilmington golfers ever since.- Advertisement – After more than a year of uncertainty, the course is officially closing this weekend to make way for new apartments, condos and single family homes.A few golfers hit the links today while missing yard markers, flags and broken carts show the end is near. Long-time golfers say the course was like a home away from home and it will be missed.“It is an interesting course that gives you challenges and a lot of memories of a lot of puts that you made, puts that you haven’t made, all of the wildlife that you see on the course, I’m going to miss that.” Echo Farms Golf Course employee Bob Mereness said.Related Article: DOT repairs sinkhole on Princess Place Drive in WilmingtonGolfers still have a few more days to enjoy the course. Echo Farms will officially close when the final golfer steps off the greens on Sunday.A farewell party is planned for October 21 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Tour de Farm – Echo Farms Send Off features a low country boil, a raffle, and a silent auction of course memorabilia.You can get tickets on eventbrite.last_img read more

Inmate serving life sentence for 2011 Pender Co murder dies

first_imgMichael Grant (Photo: NCDPS) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An inmate serving a life sentence for first degree murder died Monday.Officials say inmate Michael Grant died after an apparent suicide at Maury Correctional Institution in Hookerton. He was found unresponsive in the inmate dormitory at 3:30 p.m.- Advertisement – Prison medical staff and local paramedics responded and worked to resuscitate Grant. He was pronounced dead at 4:08 p.m. at the facility.Grant, 42, was convicted for first degree murder in Pender County in 2013 and was serving a life sentence. Grant shot and killed his neighbor in 2011.last_img

New Hanover wins 3A Baseball State Title

first_imgBURLINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the second time this school year, the New Hanover Wildcats are state champions!Behind an impressive pitching performance from Brayden Barry, the New Hanover Wildcats defeated Crest High School 2-1.- Advertisement – Barry tossed a complete game with 6 hits, 6 strikeouts and only the one run in the fourth.New Hanover scored on an error in the 4th and the game winning solo home run by Jac Croom in the 5th to put the Cats ahead for good.The title is the second this school year after the football team defeated A.C. Reynolds to win the state championship in December. It is the first baseball title since 1994 and the sixth in school history.last_img

Habitat breaks ground on 4 new homes in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Habitat for Humanity celebrated the groundbreaking for not one, two or three but four upcoming houses Sunday.The project is called “4 on 15,” which refers to the corner of 15th Street and Ann Street in Wilmington.- Advertisement – Habitat teamed up with the congregation of St. Andrew’s Covenant Presbyterian Church sponsor one of these houses. Despite the gloomy day, the future is looking very bright for the recipients.“We thought one house? That’s great!” church elder Kimberly Exum said. “And then Florence came with the need for more affordable housing, so we found out the city had approved four houses on this double lot, and we were really excited to say, ‘Yes, we’ve got to come along and make sure this happens.’”Habitat Executive Director Steve Spain says that this is the largest groundbreaking audience that he has witnessed to date.last_img read more

Birkirkara needs fewer cars – AD local council candidate

first_img SharePrint Alternattiva Demokratika’s candidate for Birkirkara Local Council is calling for the implementation of the means to reduce cars on roads.Anna Azzopardi says that the locality, ‘is crying out for the implementation of the national transport strategy which aims for a decrease in cars on the road.’She adds that Birkirkara like neighbouring localities, ‘is under siege because of overdevelopment, indeed Birkirkara is one huge mass of buildings with unclear boundaries.’For this reason, Azzopardi says that the local councils should be working together to reduce traffic flows and this would come with a better organized system of transport for Birkirkara, Mosta, Naxxar, Msida, Ħ’Attard, Ħal Balzan and Ħal Lija.We need green energy and fewer cars by 2050 – ADLack of infrastructure and transport alternatives the problem, not parking – ADWatch: ‘Upcoming MEP elections crucial in determining Europe’s future’ – Green MEPShe adds this will also have the benefit of improving air quality across the region.AD’s Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo contributed by pointing out the issue of flooding in Birkirkara and its connection with traffic reduction.Cacopardo explained that this was connected to the poor enforcement of well sizes. He added that there was a need for more pedestrian zones in the locality that, ‘give back roads to people, and discourage through traffic’WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

DR Congo – UN has launches its first surveillance drone

first_imgAdvertisement GOMA, DR Congo – The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday officially launched a surveillance drone in the strife-torn northeast in the first such move by the United Nations.The Italian-made pilotless aircraft was launched at 12:01 pm (1001 GMT) from the airport in Goma, capital of North Kivu province, at a media event attended by the chief of UN peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous and several diplomats.The UN mission in the DR Congo, MONUSCO, currently has two such drones. According to a military expert in the capital Kinshasa, both aircraft began trial flights on Sunday. – Advertisement – The drones, which are unarmed and exclusively equipped for reconnaissance flights, are intended to help the United Nations to watch over North Kivu, a mineral-rich province prey to dozens of armed movements, which MONUSCO troops have been ordered to neutralise, including by force.The aircraft will also be used to survey the porous borders between North Kivu and Rwanda and Uganda, in a bid to prevent these countries from providing support to groups inside DR Congo.The United Nations accused both neighbouring countries of backing a powerful rebel group, the Movement of March 23 (M23), which surrendered on November 5 after a joint assault by the Congolese army and a new UN special intervention brigade with an unprecedented offensive mandate.The governments in Kigali and Kampala denied the charges of backing the M23.In the longer term, MONUSCO is due to be equipped with five drones built by Selex ES, a subsidiary of the Italian aeronautical and defence firm Finmeccanica. The UN mission counts on round-the-clock aerial surveillance by March next year.Source: New Visionlast_img read more

New iPhone to Have DualCamera but No Headphone Jack

first_imgImage Credit: petapixel Advertisement The new iPhone set for release in September will have a dual-camera system, pressure sensitive home button, and will remove the headphone jack seen on previous models, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.The well-connected journalist says Apple will unveil the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus successors in September, ahead of a big iPhone overhaul in 2017.As rumored, the larger 2016 iPhone Plus will have a dual-camera system capable of taking better photos and brighter photos with more detail.Both sensors, which each capture color differently, simultaneously take a picture, and the device produces a single, merged photograph.The dual system sharpens photos taken in low-light environments. The combination of the merged photos from the two camera sensors also allows users to zoom while retaining more clarity – Advertisement – Both versions of the 2016 iPhone will retain the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch form factor as seen on current models — keeping a similar look. However, Apple will remove the handset’s antenna lines for a cleaner look, the report says.Further, both models will have a home button that responds to pressure with a vibrating sensation on the finger, rather than a physical home button like on current models. Apple will likely include gestures to get users back to the home screen.The new models will run iOS 10, the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system coming this fall. The updated software offers interactive widgets to quickly glance at calendar appointments and favorite contacts, new messaging features, a new application for controlling smart home appliances, and a redesigned Apple Music. The new software will also run on current and some past iPhone models.Apple is keeping quiet on its next iPhone and hasn’t confirmed a launch event for Septemberlast_img read more

Visa helps merchants easily adopt new global specifications for QR Code payments

first_imgAdvertisement Visa announced its support of the new global QR Code Payment Specifications from EMVCo, the global technical body that manages the EMV Specifications. The specifications cover consumer-presented and merchant-presented QR code use cases for digital payment acceptance. QR Codes are two-dimensional machine-readable barcodes, used to facilitate mobile payments at the point-of-sale.Visa and the other EMVCo Members worked to develop these new globally interoperable EMV specifications. Visa has already successfully enabled the merchant-presented QR technology in 15 countries around the world, with India, Kenya and Nigeria currently live in market with both bank and merchant partners.“We’ve already seen tremendous progress towards adoption of standardized, interoperable QR code payment systems in the developing world,” said Sam Shrauger, SVP, Digital Products, Visa. “We are working with governments and central banks in countries like India to develop and implement QR code payment solutions that provide the convenience and security that are synonymous with Visa and help the journey toward a cashless future.” – Advertisement – Easy Implementation for MerchantsVisa has enabled the growth of merchant-presented QR code payments around the world with its innovative mobile payments solution, mVisa. mVisa allows consumers to pay for goods and services by scanning a QR code on a smart phone or entering a merchant number into their feature phones. Payment goes straight from the consumer’s Visa account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties. mVisa is completely interoperable, meaning that the consumer and the merchant do not need to be customers of the same bank. This brings the same convenience, security and reliability provided by the trusted Visa brand.For merchants eager to harness of the power of QR code payments, the Visa Ready Program has adopted the interoperable QR standards to develop tools and capabilities which help easy generation and deployment of QR code merchants by banks, processors and merchant aggregators. Once enrolled, merchants can freely accept payments from any country or bank given mVisa’s interoperability while trusting Visa will securely and efficiently process each transaction.[related-posts]QR Code Payments Driving a Cashless FutureAs digital payments help continue a shift toward a cashless future, this new global specification is an important step that promotes interoperability and standardizes the fast growing ecosystem of QR code payments across the world. Already, 33 banks and more than 328,000 merchants across India, Kenya and Nigeria have adopted the interoperable standards as they accelerate their QR code digital payment programs.“mVisa enables successful completion of the transaction independent of the mobile operator service on both the consumer and the merchants phone, and the consumers and merchant’s banks” said Shrauger. “This addresses a major challenge with mobile money programs, and lets consumers and merchants choose their own bank or mobile operator.”Reserve Bank of India has encouraged the adoption of standardized QR code payments to provide access to low-cost, secure digital payments to millions of consumers and merchants.  Working with our partners, Visa is converting both every day and recurring cash purchases to digital payments through direct integrations with supermarket chains and large utility billers. By presenting dynamic QR codes to consumers that provide a seamless payment experience, billers such Tata Sky, Idea Cellular, Reliance Energy, Mahanagar Gas, as well as Pizza Hut and supermarket chains Nakumatt, Spar, Zucchini are bringing benefits of digital payments to millions of potential customers.Visa intends to replicate this success in 12 other countries where mVisa has been enabled: Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.last_img read more

NEWS Asian Handicap Betting

first_imgASIAN HANDICAP BETTINGAs you may have read, or are about to find out – many overseas bookmakers are withdrawing from the UK market with immediate effect due to a change in UK gambling legislation.Several operators have already ceased trading with British residents, notably some prominent Asian Handicap specialists.At Star Sports we’re British based and proud of it too. So, it’s very much business as normal for us, including our popular Asian Handicap football markets.At Star Sports we are renowned for looking after the big-staking punters but here’s a secret, you get the same service whether you stake £5 or £100,0000. And just like you we are sports betting fanatics ourselves.To open an account, to place a bet or just to check our latest Asian Handicap price simply call us now on 08000 521 321.last_img read more

SIMON NOTT Chester Day Two betting report

first_img[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ay two of the Chester Boodles May Festival started in the garden of our digs. A couple of ladies wandered up the path as I was trying to get a phone signal.It transpired that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They very politely asked if I’d like a Watchtower. They showed me the cover, emblazoned ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ was it an omen?After the opening Gateley PLC Changing The Legal Landscape Handicap it looked like it could be, a bad one. First horseman of the Apocalypse, Jim Crowley on winning 10/11 favourite Khairaat which knocked the ring badly. To make things worse the layers never had a chance as it won so nicely.The second apocalyptic horseman rode in on 6/4 favourite Deauville in the Sportingbet.com Huxley Stakes. This time it was Ryan Moore belying his angelic appearance serving it to the bookies. Baz the Tash bemoaned the results then reported that business was useless, adding ‘there’s more life in that cemetery over the road’. On the plus side and this blog likes that side best, if they can’t take it they can’t lose it.Baz may have been deadpan in his light-hearted delivery but there was little jollity in the ring after Mutawatheb won the Boodles Diamond Handicap. The well-backed 7/2 joint-jolly under the first apocalyptic horseman Jim Crowley who came back to sock it to the ring for a second time.I didn’t dare ask anyone how their day was going after Ryan Moore led home an Aidan O’Brien 1,2,3 on 5/2 favourite Venice Beach in the MBNA Chester Vase Stakes. Who needs four Horsemen when two demons get doubles? After four races the ring was being ravaged and badly needed a result.There was hope in the ring prior to the English Fine Cotton EBF Maiden Stakes. Course bookie Colin Wadey gave odds-on jolly Dahik as his lay of the day on Twitter. The infamous Racing Blogger expressed an interest and was quoted 4/5 by the broad-shouldered layer. Sadly ‘Bloggsie’ was in London so couldn’t avail himself, come racing for value. The rest is history Richard Kingscote rode a cracking race to win on 3/1 Dragon’s Tail with the jolly unplaced. Any in the ring that followed Colin’s advice got the money. The Blogger’s? Well that is probably in a London betting shop somewhere. To open an account 08000 521 321 Bloggsie! Hardly a proper result for the books in general but had the fight back started?The answer is no. Andrea Atzeni broke the hearts of the layers coming with a late swoop on 11/4 favourite Zamjar to win the T&L Leasing Handicap Stakes. Atenzi became the third Horseman of the Apocalypse. There was was still time for the fourth to show up but in reality it didn’t matter, the ring had already slithered down the financial abyss with very little chance of clambering out on the day.Praise be, the Gambling Gods finally relented and finally gave the bookmakers a break. 8/1 shot Storm King flew home in the concluding Virgin Atlantic Handicap Stakes. David Allen’s mount would have been a winner in most books and at very least stopped the rot. The books will be coming out for the big day tomorrow on the front foot. Where was the fourth horseman?’ Nobody knows but the ring was happy he went AWOL. Proper job.last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Sunday

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.Sunday 10 September HORSE RACING2.50 FontwellKereman 10/1 > 5/13.25 FontwellCode Of Law 2/1 > 5/44.35 FontwellLegal OK 10/1 > 5/1PREMIER LEAGUEPremier League16:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD7/5 Swansea City 21/10 Newcastle United 11/5 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img

VitaLink monitors infants from afar

first_imgShareJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduVitaLink monitors infants from afarRice University students join forces on baby-saving device for developing nations HOUSTON – (April 30, 2013) – The ideal system for monitoring a baby’s health would be as simple as one, two, three. Three teams of senior engineering students at Rice University are working to do so wirelessly in neonatal wards in the developing world.The design teams have built a modular system to monitor an infant’s vital signs with a tablet that can track the progress – or warn of problems – for many babies at once.The VitaLink system keeps tabs on infants’ breathing, heart rate and body temperature. The system is designed to match the capabilities of nurseries in the developed world but at a cost more realistic to clinics in developing countries where the need is greatest.Gary Woods, a professor in the practice of computer technology in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and one of the team’s advisers, went to Africa last summer to see how his students could contribute to infant care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. The hospital has partnered with the Rice 360˚: Institute for Global Health Technologies to develop cost-effective systems. At Queen Elizabeth’s neonatal nursery, a very small staff must care for dozens of babies with no way to monitor a crowded ward all at once.“I came away with a pretty good idea of what it would take to make this project,” Woods said. He pitched the idea to his senior students last fall. “There were so many interested that we formed three teams,” he said. “Their goal has been to build a system that has a little battery-powered dongle that can record the vital signs of a baby and wirelessly transmit them to a central tablet,” he said.The three projects and their team members are the iNurse (the BioLink team of Nathan Lo, Abhijit Navlekar, Rahul Rekhi, Fabio Ussher and Eric Palmgren), VitaSign (Gbenga Badipe, Adrian Galindo, Alison Hightman, James Kerwin and John Slack) and the Scalable Wireless Alert Generator, aka SWAG (Yuqiang Mu, Chris Metzler, Kiran Pathakota and Matt Johnson). Each team built a component that contains the necessary electronics and can be linked together at the side of the crib to gather and deliver information.The iNurse monitors temperature and respiration. The VitaSign adds a low-cost, low-power heart-rate sensor. Both alert caregivers if they sense trouble.SWAG is where the information comes together. The iNurse and VitaSign are hooked to the SWAG “brick,” which sends data over the air to an Android tablet. The students designed a custom app to give caregivers an up-to-the-minute picture of multiple infants’ health. With its current Bluetooth implementation, the system can monitor several babies, but an upcoming revision to Bluetooth 4 would allow for many more.Putting 14 students on a project is highly unusual at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK), which typically sees teams of three, four or five toiling away on a given task.“It was like a startup environment where you have different sub-teams working on one larger project,” Rekhi said. “It put more on us to be able to coordinate and ensure that our individual devices and departments could communicate. But it did feel like an entrepreneurial endeavor.”One member of the SWAG team, Johnson, will demonstrate the system in Ethiopia on behalf of Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) this summer. “Another team will go to Malawi, so our project will potentially be going to both places,” he said. Johnson said he hopes to come back at the end of the summer “with a lot of good data, and next year we’ll have something really awesome.”Before it goes to Africa (and before they graduate next month), the students want to make the system robust enough to handle inconsistent power feeds. “Power is constantly in flux at Queen Elizabeth,” said Rekhi, a bioengineering major who worked there as a BTB intern last summer. “We want the battery backup to be able to handle the system in case of a power outage.” The team’s goal is to run the system for months on end on double-A batteries.They expect future design teams to enhance VitaLink. “By the end of our design cycle, I think we’ve actually done enough hardware implementation that we can hand it off and tell the next team they don’t have to worry about hardware any more,” said Pathakota, an electrical engineering student. “All they need to do is write really good software for it.”“It needs to be really simple and understand the entire ward,” added Metzler, who also studies electrical engineering. “It needs to be clear to the nurse how each baby is doing.”Maria Oden, director of the OEDK and a professor in the practice of engineering, and Ashu Sabharwal, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, also advised the teams. -30- http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/04/0505_VITALINK-1-web.jpgThree teams of Rice University senior engineering students participated in the creation of VitaLink, a wireless system to monitor the health of infants in developing countries. From left: (top) Adrian Galindo, Yuqiang Mu, Rahul Rekhi, Alison Hightman, Abhijit Navlekar, Fabio Ussher and Kiran Pathakota; (bottom) Eric Palmgren, Nathan Lo, Gbenga Badipe, Chris Metzler and James Kerwin. Team members Matt Johnson and John Slack are absent from the photo. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Watch a video about the VitaLink here: http://youtu.be/VceZhI5ZzQQ.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen: http://oedk.rice.eduGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering: http://engr.rice.eduImages for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/04/0505_VITALINK-3-web.jpgCaregivers in low-resource settings will be able to monitor the vital signs of infants through a tablet connected wirelessly to sensors that feed information to modular “bricks.”  (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)center_img http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/04/0505_VITALINK-2-web.jpgThe modular VitaLink system created by seniors at Rice University will monitor multiple infants through a wireless system that keeps tabs on their breathing, temperature and heart rates. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/04/0505_VITALINK-4-web.jpgRice University senior Alison Hightman places VitaLink sensors on a doll to test the system at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Nanomaterial safety on a nano budget

first_imgShareNEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduNanomaterial safety on a nano budgetRice University researchers share their protocol for handling carbon nanotubes Rice University research scientist Varun Shenoy Gangoli puts gloved hands and a container into holes in a bag set up to contain nanomaterials while transferring them from bulk containers into smaller ones for lab use. The technique helps the lab keep nanomaterials from escaping into the environment. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) Varun Shenoy Gangoli, a research scientist at Rice University, models the proper attire for handling bulk nanomaterials for laboratory use. Gangoli and his colleagues developed a quick, clean and inexpensive method for transferring carbon nanotubes and offered it to other labs through a journal article. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) Return to article. Long DescriptionA plastic bucket and a plastic bag contain a 5-gallon supply of carbon nanotubes in a lab at Rice University, the beginning of the process to safely transfer the nanotubes for experimental use. Courtesy of the Barron Research GroupVarun Shenoy Gangoli, a research scientist in Barron’s lab, and Pavan Raja, a scientist with Rice’s Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment center, developed for their own use a method that involves protecting the worker and sequestering loose tubes when removing smaller amounts of the material for use in experiments.Full details are available in the paper, but the precautions include making sure workers are properly attired with long pants, long sleeves, lab coats, full goggles and face masks, along with two pairs of gloves duct-taped to the lab coat sleeves. The improvised glove bag involves a 25-gallon trash bin with a plastic bag taped to the rim. The unopened storage container is placed inside, and then the bin is covered with another transparent trash bag, with small holes cut in the top for access.After transferring the nanotubes, acetone wipes are used to clean the gloves and more acetone is sprayed inside the barrel so settling nanotubes would stick to the surfaces. These can be recovered and returned to the storage container.Barron said it took lab members time to learn to use the protocol efficiently, “but now they can get their samples in 5 to 10 minutes.” He’s sure other labs can and will enhance the technique for their own circumstances. He noted a poster presented at the Ninth Guadalupe Workshop on the proper handling of carbon nanotubes earned recognition and discussion among the world’s premier researchers in the field, noting the importance of the work for agencies in general. A plastic bucket and a plastic bag contain a 5-gallon supply of carbon nanotubes in a lab at Rice University, representing the beginning of the process to safely transfer the nanotubes for experimental use. The Rice lab published its technique in SN Applied Sciences. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) Varun Shenoy Gangoli, a research scientist at Rice University, models the proper attire for handling bulk nanomaterials for laboratory use. Gangoli and his colleagues developed a quick, clean and inexpensive method for transferring carbon nanotubes and offered it to other labs through a journal article. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) Return to article. Long DescriptionGangoli puts gloved hands and a container into holes in a bag set up to contain nanomaterials while transferring them from bulk containers into smaller ones for lab use. Courtesy of the Barron Research Group“When we decided to write about this, we were originally just going to put it on the web and hope somebody would read it occasionally,” Barron said. “We couldn’t imagine who would publish it, but we heard that an editor at Springer Nature was really keen to have published articles like this.“I think this is something people will use,” he said. “There’s nothing outrageous but it helps everybody, from high schools and colleges that are starting to use nanoparticles for experiments to small companies. That was the goal: Let’s provide a process that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars to install and allows you to transfer nanomaterials safely and on a large scale. Finally, publish said work in an open-access journal to maximize the reach across the globe.”Gibran Liezer Esquenazi, an alumnus of the Barron group at Rice, is a co-author on the paper. Barron is a professor emeritus of chemistry at Rice and the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment at Swansea University, Wales.Funding for the work was made available via the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Welsh government through the Sêr Cymru Chair Program.-30-Read the paper at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42452-019-0647-5.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Barron Research Group: http://barron.rice.edu/Barron.htmlRice Department of Chemistry: https://chemistry.rice.eduWiess School of Natural Sciences: https://naturalsciences.rice.eduImages for download: https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/06/0603_HANDLE-4-WEB.jpgA clean container of carbon nanotubes, ready for experiments, is the product of a quick, inexpensive method used in a Rice University lab to transfer nanomaterials. The method is the subject of a paper in SN Applied Sciences. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University)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 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Return to article. Long Descriptioncenter_img https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/06/0603_HANDLE-1-WEB.jpgVarun Shenoy Gangoli, a research scientist at Rice University, models the proper attire for handling bulk nanomaterials for laboratory use. Gangoli and his colleagues developed a quick, clean and inexpensive method for transferring carbon nanotubes and offered it to other labs through a journal article. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University)Long Description https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/06/0603_HANDLE-2-WEB.jpgA plastic bucket and a plastic bag contain a 5-gallon supply of carbon nanotubes in a lab at Rice University, the beginning of the process to safely transfer the nanotubes for experimental use. The Rice lab published its technique in SN Applied Sciences. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University)Long Description Return to article. Long DescriptionVarun Shenoy Gangoli, a research scientist at Rice University, models the proper attire for handling bulk nanomaterials for laboratory use. Courtesy of the Barron Research GroupHOUSTON – (June 3, 2019) – With a little practice, it doesn’t take much more than 10 minutes, a couple of bags and a big bucket to keep nanomaterials in their place.The Rice University lab of chemist Andrew Barron works with bulk carbon nanotubes on a variety of projects. Years ago, members of the lab became concerned that nanotubes could escape into the air, and developed a cheap and clean method to keep them contained as they were transferred from large containers into jars for experimental use.More recently Barron himself became concerned that too few labs around the world were employing best practices to handle nanomaterials. He decided to share what his Rice team had learned.“There was a series of studies that said if you’re going to handle nanotubes, you really need to use safety protocols,” Barron said. “Then I saw a study that said many labs didn’t use any form of hood or containment system. In the U.S., it was really bad, and in Asia it was even worse. But there are a significant number of labs scaling up to use these materials at the kilogram scale without taking the proper precautions.”The lab’s inexpensive method is detailed in an open-access paper in the Springer Nature journal SN Applied Sciences.In bulk form, carbon nanotubes are fluffy and disperse easily if disturbed. The Rice lab typically stores the tubes in 5-gallon plastic buckets, and simply opening the lid is enough to send them flying because of their low density. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/06/0603_HANDLE-3a-WEB.jpgRice University research scientist Varun Shenoy Gangoli puts gloved hands and a container into holes in a bag set up to contain nanomaterials while transferring them from bulk containers into smaller ones for lab use. The technique helps the lab keep nanomaterials from escaping into the environment. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) A clean container of carbon nanotubes, ready for experiments, is the product of a quick, inexpensive method used in a Rice University lab to transfer nanomaterials. The method is the subject of a paper in SN Applied Sciences. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University) Return to article. Long Descriptionlast_img read more

Osteen Explains Churchs Hurricane Harvey Response Again

first_img Share US Share this article  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Joel Osteen, the head of the sprawling Lakewood Church in Houston, is denying claims that his church turned away Hurricane Harvey victims, saying that keeping its doors closed for several days was the “safe thing” to do.“There [were] safety issues that people didn’t see. They see this building sitting up on a high hill, looks like a high hill, but behind the building is where the water comes in,” Osteen told Fox News in an interview on Sept. 3.“And so our flood gates were keeping the water out until, I’m told, Sunday night or maybe even early Monday.”He and a spokesperson for the church reiterated that the church isn’t a safe place to serve as a shelter because the first floor is underground and was flooded until last Monday. “We opened the building on Tuesday. I think that was the safe time to open it. I feel at peace about it,” Osteen told Fox.“We asked our security staff, we asked everyone… we have not turned away anybody. So anybody was welcome and we did take people in,” Osteen was quoted as saying. TMZ posted a video of a man showing that Osteen’s church’s doors were locked. Osteen’s spokesman, Donald Iloff Jr., told Fox News that he thinks the video is a “hit piece” as the video only shows one set of doors—out of 250 doors at the church.“It could be somebody wanting to discredit us,” Osteen also said.Osteen devoted a Sunday sermon to Harvey.A bicyclist stops to look at a truck flipped into floodwater in Port Arthur in Houston on on Sept. 1. Houston was limping back to life on Friday one week after Hurricane Harvey slammed into America's fourth-largest city and left a trail of devastation across other parts of southeast Texas. (Emily Kask     /AFP/Getty Images) A bicyclist stops to look at a truck flipped into floodwater in Port Arthur in Houston on on Sept. 1.Houston was limping back to life on Friday one week after Hurricane Harvey slammed into America’s fourth-largest city and left a trail of devastation across other parts of southeast Texas. (Emily Kask /AFP/Getty Images)Residents wade with their belongings through flood waters brought by Tropical Storm Harvey in Northwest Houston, Texas, U.S. August 30, 2017.  (REUTERS/Adrees Latif) Residents wade with their belongings through flood waters brought by Tropical Storm Harvey in Northwest Houston on August 30, 2017. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)“Harvey came, but it didn’t take us out,” Osteen said, per the New York Daily News. “We are going to come out of this stronger than before.”Osteen and his church received criticism on social media, which he also addressed. “There’s been so much misinformation about the church last week, I wanted to clarify a few things,” Osteen said as the crowd clapped.“If we had opened the building earlier and someone was injured, or perhaps it flooded and people lost their lives, that would be a whole different story,” Osteen added. “I’m at peace with taking the heat for being precautious, but I don’t wanna take the heat for being foolish.”Sunday’s services drew about 1,200 people, which is down significantly from the usual turnout of around 16,000, according to the Houston Chronicle. center_img Osteen Explains Church’s Hurricane Harvey Response Again By Jack Phillips September 4, 2017 Updated: September 4, 2017 Show Discussion Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a service at his church as the city starts the process of rebuilding after severe flooding during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas on Sept. 3, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) last_img read more