The Tory minister for disabled people appears to h

first_imgThe Tory minister for disabled people appears to have accidentally admitted what many disabled activists feared: that a Conservative government would cut the out-of-work benefits of people with mental health conditions if they refused treatment.In a debate broadcast on local radio, Mark Harper strongly suggested that people with mental health problems would be among the group with “long-term yet treatable” conditions who could be sanctioned if they refused treatment.The pledge to review whether such sanctions should be introduced is included in the Tory manifesto, under a promise to “review how best to support those suffering from long-term yet treatable conditions, such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity, back into work”.It adds: “People who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work.“If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether their benefits should be reduced.”But the party has refused to confirm that people with mental health conditions would be among this group facing potential sanctions.Disabled activists have described the plans as “wild, stupid”, “unconscionable”, and “highly dangerous”, while the Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chaired the Commons health select committee in the last parliament, has said on Twitter that sanctions linked to medical treatment would be “unethical”.But this week, at an election hustings event hosted by the BBC in Harper’s Forest of Dean constituency, the minister for disabled people appeared to confirm that people with long-term mental health problems would be among those facing sanctions.He told the audience: “For people who are long-term sick… sometimes people simply can’t return to work and we need to make sure we support them, which is why we have systems in place.“The most beneficial thing we can do though is to deal with the disability that they have got and particularly with those people with mental health problems, most of which are treatable, is to get the support in place so they can get back to work, which is what most of them want to do.”So far, neither Harper nor the Conservative party have been willing to comment on Harper’s apparent blunder, which came after Tory ministers repeatedly ducked out of opportunities to defend their disability-related policies and their record over the last five years.Last week, Harper himself cancelled an appearance on Newsnight, when he was due to debate benefit reform with representatives of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.And this week, employment minister Esther McVey was reported to have pulled out of a planned live interview with the radio station LBC.The party has said it would cut social security spending by a further £12 billion a year if re-elected, but has yet to say how it will find most of these “savings”.Disability News Service has already reported how the Tories declined invitations to take part in three national disability-related hustings events organised by the Alliance for Inclusive Education, Learning Disability Alliance England, and the British Deaf Association.last_img read more

An inquiry by a committee of MPs has revealed the

first_imgAn inquiry by a committee of MPs has revealed the “horrendous, degrading and dehumanising” abuse that disabled people are exposed to when they use the internet.The inquiry heard from disabled people who face abuse not just on social media but also through online games, web forums, and comments on news stories on media websites.The House of Commons petitions committee has now published its final report on this abuse, and has concluded that self-regulation of social media has failed disabled people.The inquiry was launched in response to a petition set up by former model Katie Price, which was signed by more than 220,000 people and followed years of disablist and racist abuse targeted at her teenage son, Harvey.The committee was repeatedly told during its inquiry of the widespread use of offensive slurs such as “retard”, “mong” and “spastic”.It heard of the frequent use of photographs of disabled people with visible impairments, particularly disabled children, to create internet memes (images or videos created to be shared widely online, particularly via social media).Disabled people who use the internet said they were told that they should not have been born, were asked if they thought they should have been aborted, and were told they would be better off dead.The disabled writer and performer Penny Pepper told the committee: “I’ve been called an ‘it’ many times – ‘What is IT doing?’… I’ve had remarks about how I look in my wheelchair, and a few times the statements, ‘You should have been aborted’, and, ‘You don’t deserve to live’.”Many disabled people have been accused of benefit fraud and threatened with being reported to the Department for Work and Pensions after posting images online of themselves outside their homes or while involved in political activism, the committee heard.Some had even been targeted by strangers attempting to obtain their confidential medical information in order to try to prove that they are guilty of benefit fraud.If they have refused to provide this evidence, it is taken as proof of fraud and they are seen as “deserving of abuse and harassment”.Inclusion London, which gave evidence in person to the inquiry through its chair Anne Novis (pictured giving evidence), also provided the committee with multiple links to Facebook pages that had been set up to try to expose disabled people as benefit frauds.Some disabled people were asked for explicit photographs, the committee heard, “with the implication that disabled women, in particular, should be grateful for the attention” and could therefore be abused if they refused to provide such images.The committee also heard from people with learning difficulties who had been targeted for the purposes of sexual or financial exploitation on social media and online dating sites.The committee produced a series of draft recommendations last year, and then carried out a lengthy public consultation, the first select committee to do this, with events in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.Many of those who took part in the consultation spoke of a culture of “demonising” disabled people, while the “hostile language” linked to benefits and the use of blue parking badges was mentioned at all these events.Inclusion London told the committee in written evidence: “Disabled people have reported increasing levels of both online and offline abuse since 2010 targeted around an idea of disabled people as ‘benefit scroungers’ and ‘fraudsters’.“This is a direct result of public attitudes being affected by statements made by politicians about fraud in the disability benefits system relentlessly amplified in the media.”The report says the committee heard from many disabled people who had repeatedly abandoned their online profiles because of the abuse they had experienced.One disabled participant at the committee’s Newcastle consultation event said she was currently on her 17th Facebook account.The report says: “For many, repeatedly having to change contact details leads to damaged career prospects, depleted social support and greater social isolation.“We heard from others, in person and online, who felt that it was too risky to reveal that they were disabled due to worries about their employment prospects and the abuse they might attract.”The report also warns that online abuse can be “a life or death issue” for some disabled people.It says: “Its effects are felt not only in damaged physical and mental health, but in lost career opportunities and a restricted social life.”The report includes a list of recommendations for government and social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Google (see separate story).Helen Jones, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said: “Our inquiry into online abuse and the experience of disabled people has shown that social media is rife with horrendous, degrading and dehumanising comments about people with disabilities.“The law on online abuse is not fit for purpose and it is truly shameful that disabled people have been forced off social media while their abusers face no consequences.“There is no excuse for the continued failure to make online platforms as safe for disabled people.“Self-regulation has failed disabled people and the law must change to ensure more lives are not destroyed.”A government spokesperson said: “As part of the Online Harms White Paper we are bringing in new laws and reviewing existing ones to make the internet safer for everyone, including disabled people.”The white paper is due to be published early this year.The government also announced last October that the Law Commission has been asked to review current hate crime legislation – as the commission recommended four years ago in a heavily-criticised report – following concerns that it does not offer disabled and LGBT people equal protection to that given to other protected groups.The review is likely to include examining the possible extension of aggravated offences – which have higher sentences but currently can only apply to crimes linked to race and religion – to disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. 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

SF Hunger Strikers Fatigued but Determined

first_imgThe day after a group of hunger strikers held a rally outside the Mission District police station that saw more than 100 people chant for the firing of the city’s police chief, the group of nine began the seventh day of their fast – tired but determined.“We’re getting pretty weak,” said Edwin Lindo, a candidate for District 9 supervisor who has camped outside of Mission Station for a week to demand that Police Chief Greg Suhr be fired or resign. Lindo briefly fainted on the second day of the strike, and an ambulance pulled up to the strikers on Wednesday morning to monitor their vitals.“We’re getting low on blood sugar,” Lindo said.Mayor Ed Lee responded to the hunger strike for the first time on Tuesday, saying the strikers had a right to protest but that he would not fire the chief and that he intended to allow current departmental reform plans to proceed. Chief Suhr also responded and said he had no intention of resigning. 0% Tags: alex nieto • Amilcar López-Pérez • Mission Police Station • police shooting Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Lindo, however, was undeterred. Near the beginning of the strike he didn’t think he would last a week, Lindo said, but is now speaking of Gandhi’s weeks-long fasts. One woman who visited the strikers said she lasted 88 days, Lindo said, and he is adamant the group will fast till they fall.“We will outlast them,” said Lindo. “I guarantee that.”The group drinks liquids — including chocolate-flavored coconut water and chicken broth — alongside a daily dose of vitamins to sustain themselves.“It’s brutal,” said Lindo. “My body is weak, I don’t think I can stand on my feet for more than 30 minutes in a day.”“I hope [Mayor] Ed Lee is thinking about us while he’s eating his three-course meal,” interjected fellow hunger strike Ilych Sato, better known by his rapper name, Equipto.“I hope [Chief Suhr] is thinking about us while he’s lying in his bed,” Lindo added.Though the idea of a hunger strike was floated by members of the group after the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant by Bart police officers, it took the recent shooting of 45-year-old homeless man Luis Gongora by San Francisco police officers for the strikers to mobilize. The killing of Gongora joins three other controversial police shootings and a spate of scandals — including a slew of racist text messages sent by police officers — as evidence for the strikers of systemic racism within the department and a shoot-first mentality among officers.Ike Pinkston, another hunger striker, was upbeat on Wednesday. Watching the newest “Jurassic Park” on his phone while bundled up in a lawn chair outside, Pinkston said he felt the same as he did at the beginning.“Day seven, it almost feels like day one to be honest,” said Pinkston. He doesn’t feel hunger pangs anymore, Pinkston said, but does get headaches when he stands up too quickly. When strong winds knocked over a canopy that almost hit Pinkston, he joked, “I’m supposed to die of starvation, not impalement.”Ike Pinkston sitting outside Mission Station on Wednesday. Photo by Lola M. ChavezOutside the station on Wednesday, dozens of supporters beat drums and held signs reading “Protect Us, Don’t Shoot Us” as drivers passed by and honked in support. Others routinely offered water and other goods to the strikers, an effort coordinated by Max LeYoung, who is in charge of logistics and checks on the strikers’ health, asking them if they’ve had their daily vitamin intake.Others are less supportive, including a truck driver who shouted “Get a fucking job!” while driving down Valencia Street, prompting a “Fuck you, bitch-ass motherfucker!” from a supporter on the sidewalk.A Wednesday morning shower drenched the camp for about an hour and forced strikers to find shelter in their tents or inside the station, where they are now “occupying the space.”“We’re slowly creeping in,” said Lindo of their presence within the station. “We might just creep into a cell back there.”  A group of juniors from Leadership High School visited the strikers on Wednesday and listened to Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Sato’s mother, as she spoke on the education of a new generation of activists.“You need to organize every student in every school to organize and fight for justice, because you are the next generation,” said Gutierrez. The group of students then posed for a picture with her, left fists raised in the air. Some stayed behind and spoke to strikers about socialism and Karl Marx, and others said the issue of police shootings was more personal than ideological.“I think of people in my community,” said Moses Ramos, a junior at Leadership High and Mission District resident. “What if that was my friend? What if that was me?”Later in the afternoon, Hillary Ronen — another candidate for District 9 supervisor and the chief of staff to the current supervisor, David Campos — stopped by the camp for the first time and spoke to some supporters and strikers.Lindo asked Ronen to relay to Supervisor Campos the demand that Suhr be fired — a demand Campos is well aware of, having visited the strikers twice — and Ronen said she would pass it on. She stopped short of calling for his firing herself, however, supporting the strike more generally.“I think it’s a brave thing that’s having an impact all over the city,” Ronen said. Regarding the chief, Ronen said the demand for his firing was “fair” and that she would respond to it by Friday, when Mission Local has asked all candidates for District 9 to weigh in on the issue.Photo by Lola M. ChavezWeekly Vigil Joins Hunger StrikersIn the evening, advocates for Amilcar Perez-Lopez joined their weekly vigil outside of the police station to the hunger strikers, forming a line some 40-people strong along Valencia Street. Participants waved signs and wore black-and-white t-shirts with Perez-Lopez’s face underneath “Justice for Amilcar Perez-Lopez.”Perez-Lopez was a 21-year-old Guatemalan immigrant killed by two police officers in the Mission District in February 2015 and is one of the four police shootings victims whose case galvanized the hunger strikers. Father Richard Smith, the lead advocate for Perez-Lopez, has vowed to hold vigils every Wednesday until the District Attorney’s Office decides whether whether to file criminal charges against the officers involved in Perez-Lopez’s killing, a decision that is likely to come in the next week.Standing next to the parents of Alex Nieto — who was shot and killed by police in 2014 — Smith spoke of other victims of police shootings and to the cause of the hunger strikers.“We’re here to join our energy with some of the energy of the people who have been here the last seven days,” said Smith. “We remember all of [the police shooting victims], and we remember especially Amilcar.”Edwin Lindo (second from left) standing next to his girlfriend and Elvira Nieto, the mother of Alex Nieto. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros. last_img read more

Tenant convention rallies the displaced

first_img“We’ve come here looking to find out information about what we can do to help,” said a woman who gave her name as Julietta, a Mission resident for 18 years. The woman said that many families who attend her church have been effected.“One family has been here for 34 years and another for 17, and they were each given a verbal eviction,” said Julietta. “Because the landlords are going to fix up their homes.”Such evictions are illegal, said Deepa Varma, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, who informed tenants of their rights in the event that their buildings are sold. Varma advised tenants who are living in a building that is in the process of being sold or tenants facing an eviction to capture all communications with their landlords in writing.Varma shared her personal experience with eviction when her three-unit building changed hands some four years ago.“The family downstairs was undocumented and they were really scared and immediately they left,” said Varma. “I noticed that the landlord kept finding ways to talk to me verbally. I started reaching out to organizations and do everything by writing. All of a sudden everything changed.”Mission District tenant convention at Buena Vista school. Photo by Lola M. ChavezVarma managed to stay in her building, and made it her goal to help others in the same predicament. Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, of the Housing Rights Committee, said that according to the organization’s data, three-quarters of the people who move out in such situations “probably didn’t need to.”“I almost never see a tenant who fights who doesn’t do better off by fighting. You get more money, more time – thats huge. And a good percentage of tenants get to stay,” she said.Other advice given by the tenants rights specialists included insisting that landlords give a 24-hour notice before entering their units and that tenants should heed three-day, five day response notices.“Those count even on the weekend,” said Varma.Dairo Romero, community planning manager with the Mission Economic Development Agency, said that the nonprofit developer is spearheading a “small sites program” to use city money to acquire buildings and ensure that the tenants remain.Still, the aggressive market presents some challenges in this process.“Some problems we have with this program is the closing time is three months. The investor who has money to do it right away they can do it in a month,” he said, adding that with the help of tenants, a sale can often be facilitated much quicker.“The way that we go around this problem is organizing the tenants ..they start talking with the owner,” said Romero, referencing such a situation when the organization acquired a building at 3800 Mission St.“When the tenants have a good relation with the property owner..they have basically convinced the landlord to accept MEDA’s offer because that was their only guarantee that they can stay in the building.”After listening to the advocate’s advice, one participant broke out in tears. “I don’t live in the Mission, I live in the Tenderloin, but we also have these issues there,” she said. “This is so important.”The tenant convention was one of several held over the course of a month by the housing advocates in neighborhoods throughout the city, including the Castro, Excelsior, Western Addition and South of Market. The sponsors included the San Francisco Tenants Union, the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Causa Justa and various other Mission based community organizations. Tags: evictions • housing • meda • San Francisco Tenants Union Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Along with legislative solutions to curtail real estate speculation and luxury developments a tenant forum on Wednesday night stressed that community resistance and engagement are key to halting displacement.“There are speculators who come in with a lot of money to get us out,” said Alicia Sandoval, a counselor with the Housing Rights Committee referring to a 27 percent decrease in the Mission’s Latino population from 2000 to 2013. “You know your community best, you all have the power as tenants and as neighbors who know each other. It’s important to create a type of family to support each other – especially in the Mission.”Working class families living in the neighborhood have also been hard hit by the displacement crisis, shrinking by 26 percent between 2000 and 2013, according to Carlos Bocanegra, an attorney with La Raza Centro Legal.The forum at  Buena Vista Horace Mann attended by 50 people was conducted in Spanish and centered around four key key housing issues – habitability, tenants rights after a building changes ownership, luxury development and evictions. Participants were instructed to split into groups depending on the specific issue had inspired their attendance.center_img 0%last_img read more

After two years Boogaloos reopens on Wednesday

first_imgBoogaloos was very close to not being Boogaloos anymore in March 2016, when a small fire broke out in its second-floor office, causing water damage to the restaurant and forcing it to close. Things did not get easier when the building’s property manager almost quadrupled its rent. But then, in an unusual change of heart, that property manager, J.J. Panzer, offered the restaurant something more reasonable: $7,500 a month (instead of $14,500). Sitting at one of the tables, Hood said the restaurant’s closure allowed it to update its infrastructure and give the place a new look. Its tabletops are decorated with Boogaloo LP covers (printed by the Ybarra Brothers), and its walls are covered with art from Creativity Explored, a gallery for artists with developmental disabilities. Instead of a flimsy-looking mezzanine that wrapped around the second floor, there’s a small indoor garden of self-watering plants. “We’re not completely finished,” Hood said, pointing to some areas that still looked a bit unadorned.   On Tuesday, as the day was winding down, people stopped along Valencia Street to peek into the restaurant’s windows. “A part of the Mission is being restored,” said Colette Houghes, who was a regular at Boogaloo’s before it closed. She said she planned to check it out as soon as possible. “It’s very similar,” she said, looking inside. “We’ll see how it feels.”Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. Tags: restaurants • valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% At 8 a.m. Wednesday, after more than two years of dormancy, one of the Mission’s favorite brunch spots will reopen its doors. While its interior is a bit cleaner, with freshly painted walls and new flooring, its menu will be the same. Per a sign posted in its window, it will be serving all of its classic hits, including “Temple of Spuds,” “Big ‘ol Biscuit and Herb-Cream Gravy,” and “Black Beans for Days.”    “We’ve been here since 1994,” said Boogaloos general manager Peter Hood, when pressed about any changes to the menu. “We’re Boogaloos.” center_img 0%last_img read more

A Time Line of Space Exploration

first_imgSign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. From left: Laika, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, American astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., President John F. Kennedy, astronaut and San Antonio native Edward H. White II, John H. Glenn Jr., the crew of Apollo 11, and American entrepreneur Elon Musk.Illustration by Gluekit; Laika: Keystone/Getty; Gagarin, Kennedy: AP; White: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty; Musk: Bryan Mitchell/Getty; all others Courtesy of NASA This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly 4th century BCThe Greek mathematician Archytas creates a wooden pigeon that is propelled by escaping steam, an early example of rocket technology. 2nd century ADThe Syrian writer Lucian of Samosata publishes A True Story, a satirical novel that includes the first known fictional references to outer space travel.1232The Chinese become the first people to use gunpowder-fueled rockets for martial purposes.1897The Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky correctly theorizes that rockets can function in a vacuum, unlike other forms of propulsion. Dr. Robert H. Goddard and his liquid-fueled rocket in the frame from which it was fired on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Mass.Courtesy of NASAMarch 16, 1926The American engineer Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket. June 20, 1944During World War II, Germany’s V-2 becomes the first craft to achieve spaceflight (usually defined as 62 miles above sea level). At the end of the war, many of the German rocket scientists who worked on it were recruited for the American and Russian rocket programs. February 20, 1947Fruit flies aboard a U.S. V-2 rocket become the first animals to travel in outer space. October 4, 1957The U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satellite, starting the space race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. November 3, 1957Laika, a mixed-breed dog, becomes the first animal to orbit the earth. Hours later she also becomes the first animal to die in orbit. America’s first satellite, Explorer I.Courtesy of NASAJanuary 31, 1958The U.S. launches its first artificial satellite, Explorer I. October 11, 1958NASA’s first spacecraft, Pioneer I, is launched from Cape Canaveral. Though it reaches outer space, a programming error prevents it from reaching the moon. Between December 1958 and April 1961, the Juno II launched space probes Pioneer III and IV, as well as Explorer satellites VII, VIII, and XI.Courtesy of NASA1959The Soviet Union and the U.S. independently launch unmanned probes to the moon. The Soviets conduct the first flyby of the moon in January; the U.S. repeats the feat in March. In September a Soviet spacecraft intentionally crash-lands on the moon, becoming the first man-made object to touch the surface of another celestial body. April 12, 1961Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, becomes the first human to reach space and complete one orbit of the earth. May 5, 1961Alan B. Shepard Jr. becomes the first American to reach space. May 25, 1961President John F. Kennedy announces his determination to put a man on the moon. February 20, 1962John H. Glenn Jr. becomes the first American to orbit the earth. April 26, 1962The Ranger 4 crash-lands on the moon, becoming the first U.S. craft to reach another celestial body.Russian astronaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first man to walk in space on March 18, 1965.Central Press/GettyMarch 18, 1965Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first person to conduct a space walk.June 3, 1965San Antonio native Edward H. White II becomes the first U.S. astronaut to conduct a space walk.July 15, 1965The American spacecraft Mariner 4 successfully conducts the first flyby of Mars. February 3, 1966The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 becomes the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the moon.A model of the Surveyor 1 spacecraft.Courtesy of NASAJune 2, 1966Surveyor 1 becomes the first American spacecraft to soft-land on the moon. January 27, 1967A flash fire breaks out during an Apollo 1 simulation at Kennedy Space Center, killing the three astronauts aboard. April 24, 1967The Soviet Union’s Vladimir Komarov becomes the first astronaut to die in-flight when his ship, Soyuz 1, crashes on its descent.December 24, 1968Apollo 8 becomes the first manned spacecraft to successfully orbit the moon. Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.Courtesy of NASAJuly 20, 1969Apollo 11 becomes the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. April 17, 1970The crew of Apollo 13 safely returns to Earth after the rupture of an oxygen tank damages several of the craft’s power, electrical, and life-support systems. June 30, 1971The three astronauts on the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 11 become the first—and so far the only—people to die in space when their capsule depressurized prior to reentering Earth’s atmosphere.November 13, 1971The American spacecraft Mariner 9 becomes the first craft to orbit another planet, Mars. November 27, 1971The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 vehicle, which was expected to make a soft landing on Mars, crashes onto the planet’s surface, becoming the first spacecraft to touch another planet.December 2, 1971The Soviet Union’s Mars 3 becomes the first spacecraft to attain a soft landing on Mars.December 7, 1972Apollo 17 takes flight as the last of the six successful Apollo missions to the moon. July 20, 1976The Viking 1 lander touches down on the surface of Mars, the first U.S. craft to do so.The space shuttle Columbia launches on April 12, 1981, manned with two astronauts, John Young and Robert Crippen.Courtesy of NASAApril 12, 1981The space shuttle Columbia launches as the first operational flight of the U.S. shuttle program.January 28, 1986The Challenger shuttle explodes 73 seconds after takeoff, killing all seven crew members. 1998NASA begins working with Russia on the International Space Station.2000Amazon founder Jeff Bezos creates the aerospace company Blue Origin. In 2003 Blue Origin begins buying land in West Texas for an engine-test and suborbital-test-flight facility.2002Entrepreneur Elon Musk founds SpaceX with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. February 1, 2003The space shuttle Columbia breaks up over Texas. All seven crew members die.August 4, 2014SpaceX publicly announces it has chosen Boca Chica Village, Texas, near Brownsville, as the location for its new launch site. Blue Origin founder—and founder and CEO—Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Washington, on June 18, 2014.David Ryder/GettyMay 9, 2019Bezos announces that Blue Origin is working on a manned moon landing vehicle called “Blue Moon,” which he expects to be in operation by 2024. It is the first step in Bezos’s plan to help humanity colonize the solar system. Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly First Name Last Name Enter your email addresslast_img read more

FRIDAYs U20s match between Saints and Warrington

first_imgFRIDAY’s U20s match between Saints and Warrington has been called off.The pitch at the Stobart Stadium is in good condition, but with heavy rain expected around midday the decision has been taken to re-arrange the game to protect the surface for the first team match.The fixture will be played on the weekend of May 27-29 with details to be confirmed in due course.last_img

Ian Talbot has named a strong squad for the match

first_imgIan Talbot has named a strong squad for the match with the likes of Matty Smith and Kyle Amor all getting valuable game time.The squad is:Aaron Smith, Adam Swift, Brad Billsborough, Callum Hazard, Cameron Brown, Chris Follin, Jack Ashworth, Jake Spedding, Jorge Lewtas, Josh Eaves, Kevin Brown, Kyle Amor, Matty Costello, Matty Lees, Matty Smith, Mike Weldon, Ricky Bailey, Rob Fairclough, Tommy Lee.Entry is free for 2017 Members, whilst adult prices are just £3 and juniors £1.last_img read more

He replaces Adam Swift who has a shoulder injuryJ

first_imgHe replaces Adam Swift who has a shoulder injury.Justin Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba.Shaun Wane will choose his 17 from:1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Thomas Leuluai, 10. Ben Flower, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin, 14. John Bateman, 15. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Willie Isa, 22. Liam Marshall, 25. Romain Navarrete, 34. Josh Woods.The game kicks off at 3:15pm and the referee will be R Hicks.Tickets for the clash are sold out.last_img read more

Woman accused of using juveniles to commit crimes faces more drug charges

first_img In April, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office arrested Figueroa on several charges. She was accused of conspiring with two male juveniles and a female juvenile to steal lawnmowers from three people. She’s also accused of conspiring with the three juveniles to traffic opiates.She’s scheduled to appear in Brunswick County court for some of those charges in October.Figueroa already posted a $10,000 bond on the new charges.Related Article: Surf City Police search for man accused of breaking into cars, stealing guns BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Leland woman accused of using an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old and another juvenile to commit break-ins, steal lawnmowers and traffic opium faces another drug charge.Jessica Figueroa, 31, was arrested yesterday and charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Family host volleyball tournament to raise money for Lindsay M Benton Foundation

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  In August 2016, 17-year-old Lindsay Benton was killed in a car accident.This year her family is celebrating her life in a new way.- Advertisement – After Lindsay died, her parents started the Lindsay M. Benton foundation in her honor.This year they planned a volleyball tournament to help raise money for different organizations their daughter was passionate about.“I’m really proud of my daughter and what she has done,” Lindsay’s mother Kellie Ekstrom said.This was the first year for the LMBF volleyball tournament. A day for everyone to come together and remember their loved one.“I want her to be remembered as someone who was a giver, a helper, she lived life to its fullest, so in her 17 years she did a lot of things that ya know. She did a lot of things that I haven’t even done in my, ya know time here on Earth,” Ekstrom said.Her mother said she was a giver at a young age.Lindsay was an organ donor and helped save multiple lives. Her dream was to become a trauma surgeon.“That’s how she saved lives, and how she fulfilled her dream of being a surgeon,” Lindsay’s father Brad Benton said.One of her organs helped save a family friend that her father finds comfort in.“She now has Lindsay’s kidney and it’s pretty special,” Benton said.The foundation in her honor raises money for other organizations she was passionate about like the Pretty in Pink Foundation, Special Olympics and Carolina Donor Services.“Her selflessness and volunteering to be a donor at the age of 16 it is somewhat of a comfort to know she does live on in others,” Benton said.Lindsay would have turned 19 this past Friday and her family hopes to continue the volleyball tournament every year around her birthday.For more information on the foundation, click here.last_img read more

Atlantic Packaging CEO encourages other local companies to reinvest in employees

first_img “This is a once in a generation kind of tax reform,” Atlantic Packaging President, Wes Carter said.Due to the recent federal tax changes, 1,000 Atlantic Packaging employees are receiving bonuses.“We’ve had people dancing, we’ve had people crying, we’ve had a lot of hugging, and our offices have been really a buzz for the past 2 or 3 days.” Atlantic Packaging CEO, Rusty Carter said.Related Article: Audit finds problems managing NC alcohol warehouse contractThe privately-owned company distributes packaging materials and operates manufacturing facilities for paper converting and other products. It has 16 sites, 14 across the US and one each in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.Now, nearly all of their employees are getting an extra $1,000.“I was first just so excited and just really thought about like how far this is going to reverberate through the whole company and how excited everyone was going to be so it was great.” Atlantic Packaging Marketing & Communications employee, Megan Criss said.Criss plans to take her kids on vacation. As for others they plan to use their money in different ways.“One lady said she was going to use it to complete her US citizenship,” Wes said. “Another lady said she was going to use it to pay off her daughter’s tuition. Several other people told me it was going to really help them with some debt that they were working to pay down, and others talked about using it as an investment for the future for their families. So, you know, the $1,000 was an exciting amount because it is meaningful to all people.”Many add it is perfect timing, as they are paying off bills from the holidays.Atlantic Packaging CEO Rusty Carter said it is a $1 million dollar investment, but the best kind of investment his company could make.“I encourage other people to give it strong consideration. I think the tax savings are real, our people are the core of who we are and how we perform and we just find it altogether appropriate that a significant amount of this tax savings go to our employees.” Rusty said.To get the bonus, employees must have worked at Atlantic Packaging for a full year.For those who made the cut the $1,000 will hit their bank accounts by February 15, 2018. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington-based company is the latest, and may be the first independently owned company in the state, to give its employees a big bonus this year thanks to the republican-backed tax reform.WWAY stopped by the Atlantic Packaging headquarters to see just how many people are receiving a check and how they plan to spend it.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Few clear solutions for neighbors in Leland living within feet of the

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) – It may be another noisy night for some folks who live in Leland’s Windsor Park subdivision. This evening town leaders looked at ways to solve the issues of noise and safety along the I-140 Wilmington bypass.We went to neighbors who have to deal with the nuisance first hand.- Advertisement – Some neighbors told me they knew what they were getting into when the DOT knocked on their doors. Town leaders call it unfair and neighbors that live closest to the road, their call it unsafe.Most around the Cape Fear were looking forward to I-140’s completion. It has not been that way for Windsor Park residents like Caroline Hurd.“Safety, safety is hundred percent should be number one,” said Hurd who moved into her home in the Park three years ago.Related Article: Neighborhood slammed by Florence faces new challengeShe is one of the dozens of homes within feet of the highway.“It’s been very loud, you can’t even hold a conversation,” Hurd said. “If we’re outside grilling you can’t have a conversation, it’s, it’s loud.”It’s an issue Leland town leaders have known about since last spring, but can do little to fix.“At this point we can just offer advice,” said councilwoman Pat Batleman.That’s because Windsor Park was built after the highway. That’s why federal law does not require NC-DOT to build sound walls. The neighborhood is also private property, Leland has little power for what can be built on it according to Batleman.“There’s no guard rail to your property,” ‘Nothing, there’s nothing,’” Hurd replied. “That person will come right through our backyard or hopefully not right into our house.”Leland Mayor Pro Tem Pat Batleman says she thinks DOT could agree to railings. For now all Hurd has is her own six-foot fence like other neighbors. The DOT does have in place a wired fence at the base of the bypass easement. Batleman hopes neighbors can find a way to have the developer build a wall or plant trees, if anything, for some peace of mind.“It’s going to take a team effort, a partnership,” said the Mayor Pro Tem. “I am hoping that the developer will see the value in helping these folks.”last_img read more

EPA could have GenX health goal by summers end

first_img The Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board is tasked with advising DHHS and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on health goals for emerging contaminants such as GenX. Scientists on the board also expressed concerns about the compound’s impact around the Bladen County plant where it is used, including whether it can be inhaled.Click here to read the full story from Star News Online. (Photo: CBS News) RALEIGH (Star News) — Federal regulators could set a GenX health goal by the end of the summer, a N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official told a group of scientists Monday.During the Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board’s third meeting, HHS’ Mina Shehee told the assembled group of experts that while the Environmental Protection Agency is working on a health goal, state agencies will continue crafting their own goals.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Army Corps of Engineers wants your before and after storm photos

first_img Photos show that dunes in some areas were completely wiped out like in front of one of Al Weston’s rental properties. He says this isn’t the first time this has happened.“This is the second time in 13 years that they’ve been wiped out,” Weston said. “And they always put them back pretty quickly, so yeah, my front yard was about a foot deep in sand, and I had to have a tractor come in and get me access without having to use my four wheel drive to get in my own front yard.”There have already been close to 60 before and after pictures uploaded to a Facebook group for the Army Corps of Engineers.Related Article: Buy a donut and help give kids in need a sweet ChristmasJeff Scott owns a home in North Topsail Beach and submitted some photos online.“We had 12-foot-high dunes, and they were pretty wide before the storm,” Scott said. “And right in front of where my house is, there’s a little bit left. But further north they’re all gone.”Army Corps of Engineers Spokesman Hank Heusinkveld says the photos will be used for future analysis by coastal engineers, project managers and geographic information system specialists.Army Corps of Engineers has completed a preliminary assessment of the amount of sand lost during the storm.They looked at four federal projects in Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville and Ocean Isle beaches.Preliminary estimates show Carolina Beach lost around 50,000 cubic yards of sand. Kure Beach lost 30,000. Based on those estimated losses, the corps is looking into federal emergency funding for repairs.They are still assessing the amount of sand lost at Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle. NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As crews work to rebuild dunes in North Topsail Beach, the US Army Corps of Engineers is working on a project of its own.The federal agency is asking people to submit photos of dunes in North Topsail Beach before and after Hurricane Florence hit.- Advertisement – last_img read more

East Coast Shag Classic happening in Wrightsville Beach this weekend

first_imgWRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Beach Music lovers up and down the east coast will gather this weekend in Wrightsville Beach for a weekend of dancing and music to help raise money and support for anyone touched by cancer.This annual weekend event is happening Thursday through Friday at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach.- Advertisement – Penny Millis came on WWAY’s Good Morning Carolina today to preview the big event. Millis says the event benefits Hope Abounds, Inc. She said Hope Abounds provides Patient Advocacy, Educational Programming and Navigation through active cancer treatment. These services are designed to help with the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of all that have been touched by cancer.Enjoy Thursday’s Hawaiian Paradise with the Band of Oz, Friday’s Boots & Bling with Jim Quick & Coastline Band. Enjoy the Saturday Matinee with Gary Louder & Smokin’ Hot and Saturday Night’s Shimmer & Shine My Valentine Celebration with The Entertainers. On Sunday, enjoy a continental breakfast.Along with these great concerts, there are lots of events, social hour mixers, and complimentary shag and line dance lessons and more. All events are held at the Holiday Inn Resort with one, two and three night lodging packages available.Related Article: ‘Shark Tank’ backs invention of 9/11 firefighter who died of cancerClick here for more information on the event, tickets, and packages available.last_img read more

Red Devils keeping tabs on Meunier

first_imgManchester United have held talks with Paris Saint Germain over the potential transfer of Belgian right-back Thomas Meunier to Old Trafford.Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s first choice to replace Antonio Valencia is Aaaron Wan Bissaka but Crystal Palace are demanding £60m for the highly-rated 21-year-old. The experienced Meunier, who turns 28 in September, would prove to be a cheaper option since PSG could sell the Belgian international for £22m. However, Manchester United need to act fast since Meunier is also on Arsenal’s and Everton’s radar. Unai Emery is seeking a replacement for the departing Stephan Lichsteiner.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

4GLTE Angolas Unitel partners with Ericsson

first_imgAdvertisement January 14, 2013 – Ericsson has announced that it has been selected by Unitel, leading provider of telecommunications services in Angola, as key supplier of its next-generation 4G/LTE network.The agreement covers the deployment of new LTE sites, Ericsson’s Home Subscriber Servers (HSS) for user data management. It also includes the integration of LTE functionality into existing provisioning and charging systems, and an upgrade of the core network to a triple-access Evolved Packet Core that simultaneous carries GSM, WCDMA and LTE traffic.Under the scope of the agreement, Ericsson is also responsible for the design, implementation and initial tuning of the LTE network. – Advertisement – Miguel Martins, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member at Unitel, said “The recent launch of Unitel’s 4G LTE network powered by Ericsson demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers with the highest standard and state of the art mobile broadband services.”To maintain its strong position in the Angolan marketplace, Unitel launched Long Term Evolution (LTE) services commercially on Sunday, December 16, introducing faster mobile broadband speeds, meeting the burgeoning demand for data-driven services and giving Unitel the ability to offer its customers the most innovative services available on the market today.Lars Lindén, head of Region Sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson, said: “This deal reaffirms Ericsson’s leadership in LTE and further extends our long-standing relationship with Unitel. The new LTE network will facilitate Unitel’s continued delivery of superior connectivity, services and capabilities to their customers.”Ericsson is the world leader in LTE and today has more than 90 commercial LTE contracts on six continents, of which over 50 networks have already gone live. More than 455 million people worldwide have LTE coverage, of which 305 million are covered by LTE networks supplied by Ericsson (July 2012).last_img read more

Village Capital to Invest 100000 into Two African FinTech Startups

first_imgAdvertisement Village Capital, in partnership with The Mastercard Foundation and The Doen Foundation announced its three-month program to support early-stage entrepreneurs innovating in financial technology to increase financial health and improve livelihoods for low-income populations.Village Capital is recruiting entrepreneurs across Sub Saharan Africa for the business development program, which will take place in Nairobi, Lagos and Accra.At the end of the program, two early-stage businesses will be selected by the other entrepreneurs in their cohort to win $100,000 total in funding. – Advertisement – Village Capital, The MasterCard Foundation, and the DOEN Foundation are seeking to identify and support the next generation of FinTech entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. These entrepreneurs are innovating in financial technology to increase financial health and improve livelihoods for low-income populations.Examples of this type of initiative include:Increasing the access, relevance, and affordability of savings, credit, payments, and insurance products through leveraging data analytics, block chain technology, and digital identity verification.Increasing efficiency in supply chains and distribution channels across sectors through better market access, increased price transparency, increased connections to new suppliers, and access to other decision-driving market information;.Enhancing livelihoods of low-income small business owners through tools for value-chain tracking, smart logistics, business insurance, working-capital loans, and financial management tools to better handle risk and volatility.Village Capital puts entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and stakeholders side-by-side, so they can solve problems together.The Village Capital Fintech Africa 2016 program will support entrepreneurs addressing these issues through technology, and will provide the entrepreneurs with business development training to develop their financials, pitch, sales pipeline, and other aspects.Entrepreneurs will also have one-on-one time with mentors, industry experts, investors, top local business leaders, and potential customers.[techmoran]last_img read more

AngelList has acquired Product Hunt for around 20 million

first_imgAdvertisement Startup platform AngelList has acquired Product Hunt, the popular website for finding new apps and products.AngelList, whose main focuse has been on fundraising and recruiting for startups will most likely use Product Hunt to promote all the startup products on its platform.Product Hunt has previously been used to help launch tools and apps from individual developers to large companies. – Advertisement – The deal is expected to to cost approximately $20 million.AngelList has clarified that Product Hunt will remain independent and maintain ” its playful, empathic and curious attitude.”last_img read more