Two disabled activists have explained why they cl

first_imgTwo disabled activists have explained why they “clashed” with the minister for disabled people at the end of a parliamentary debate on personal independence payment (PIP).Paula Peters and Keith Walker, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), decided to confront Sarah Newton over the government’s record because of the “dismissive” way she had responded to concerns about PIP raised during the debate.Their decision to challenge the minister as she left the room has been backed by Laura Pidcock, the Labour MP and shadow labour minister, who had secured the debate in Westminster Hall.Peters told Disability News Service (DNS) that she and Walker had “clashed” with the minister.She said they had wanted to challenge her over the government’s failure to accept the 11 recommendations made in November 2016 by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which found it guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of disabled people’s rights.They also wanted to highlight the “tragic human cost of the cuts and the horrendous distress that PIP and employment and support allowance are causing”.As Newton left the debate, Peters stepped in front of her and confronted her over the government’s record, accusing her of being “in complete denial” of the “tragic human costs” of the cuts.She said the atmosphere became “really heated” and “tempers got frayed”, with Walker also confronting the minister.Peters said: “We were just infuriatingly angry at the dismissive way they just denied people’s distress, denied the horrendous process people are subjected to.”On the official recording of the parliamentary session, Walker can be heard shouting several times “we are dying”.He pointed his finger at a couple of MPs, and told them that “people are dying, friends of ours, they are dying due to these cuts”.Peters said that Newton insisted that she did care and would meet with Walker to talk about it, “and then she disappeared down the corridor”.Two members of House of Commons staff then ushered Walker away from the public gallery.Soon afterwards, he and Peters were briefly spoken to by police officers about the incident.Walker said he had asked one of the Conservative MPs who had been “laughing all through the debate on his phone if he thought it was funny that we are losing our friends, who are dying.“He didn’t answer me and just went off at a fast pace.”He said he told Newton that disabled people were dying because of her government’s policies and he asked her what she was doing about it.“She just said, ‘I will sit down with you.’”He stressed that his behaviour was not threatening, although he said he had raised his voice.Pidcock told DNS last night that she had been appalled by the minister’s “pathetic” failure to answer a series of questions that had been put to her by opposition MPs during the debate, despite Newton speaking for nine minutes.She said the minister’s nine-minute response (pictured) had been “deeply patronising” and had made her “really, really angry”.She said she also understood the anger of Peters and Walker and could see why they had decided to “heckle” the minister at the end of the debate.Pidcock said: “I can completely understand that. I was close to tears, I was so angry at [Newton’s] response.”She said: “It’s kind of a red flag to people. What they are presenting is absolutely the opposite of what all of the people that we know are experiencing.”She said she had helped guide Walker out of the room because she “didn’t want him to get into trouble for the sake of them. I completely understood his anger. I just wanted to get him out of there as quickly as possible.“I am certainly not going to judge him for heckling, but I also didn’t want him to get arrested. They are not worth it.“That heckling is because of the strength of feeling and nothing else. Protest is part of the democratic system.”She said disabled people were “experiencing a kind of terror across the nation when [they] receive a brown envelope from the DWP”.“I would have liked [Newton] to show some kind of humility and to show that what she is in charge of is a much bigger beast than she is willing to recognise.”During the debate, Pidcock had told fellow MPs that she had received more than 600 emails and 1,500 messages on Facebook and Twitter after announcing that she had secured the debate.She said: “Individually, their stories are shocking; collectively, they shame the government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They are testament to a broken and cruel system.”She also became one of the first MPs to highlight concerns, investigated by DNS over the last year, that many claimants have reported how healthcare assessors have written dishonest PIP assessment reports.Pidcock said: “Many feel as if they have been lied about in their reports – that is all part of the same inadequacies.“A whole community out there has been frightened, mistreated and intimidated by the government, the media and the DWP. “There must be consequences for inaccurate assessment reports about people’s health conditions, and we should redesign the assessment process alongside disabled people so that it accepts a social model of disability, not a medical model.”Another Labour MP, Sharon Hodgson, told the debate that one of her constituents has been living on biscuits since being found ineligible for PIP six weeks ago, and has been unable to afford to turn her central heating on, despite freezing temperatures.But rather than answering questions raised by MPs in the debate, Newton accused them of “scaremongering” and said she was concerned that “people who really need support will be put off from going to jobcentres or contacting us to get the benefits that they need and richly deserve”.She said the government was “working hard” to fix the problems in the system.Newton said: “Myths have been cited repeatedly that we are cutting spending on supporting people with disabilities or health conditions.“Independent data shows that that is simply not true. Every single year since 2010, the coalition government and now the Conservative government have spent more and more money, and we are committed to spending more.“Expenditure on the main disability benefits has increased by more than £4.1 billion in real terms since 2010 and is set to reach a record high of more than £23 billion this year.”Pidcock had pointed out during the debate that the Conservative-led coalition had brought in PIP with the intention of cutting spending by £1.5 billion.She pointed to a House of Commons library briefing, which describes how DWP said in December 2012 that, by 2018, around 607,000 fewer people would receive PIP than would have received DLA, a 28 per cent reduction.Marsha de Cordova, the shadow minister for disabled people, had added: “From the outset in 2010, the government’s fundamental aim for the new benefit was to make savings and to reduce the caseload of disability benefit claimants. That is a fact.“The expectation was to make a saving of 20 per cent, which equated to around £1.5 billion. It is untrue to say that that was not the case.”Asked by DNS about the incident at the end of the debate, a House of Commons spokesman said: “Following a minor disturbance in the public gallery, a man was escorted from the gallery by doorkeepers.”last_img read more

SAINTS scored nine tries in a commanding 4610 vic

first_imgSAINTS scored nine tries in a commanding 46-10 victory over a big Salford side at Langtree on Wednesday evening to continue their steady progress through this year’s competition, writes Graham Henthorne.They took control form the off scoring on the first set of six. Brad Billsborough’s cross kick on the last was expertly plucked from the grasp of his opposite number by Jack Highcock in the left corner.Saints increased their lead on five minutes as Matty Costello finished off a planned move touching down in the left corner after a deft pass from Jack Cottington had given space to the backs.The Saints were far from squeaky clean though and were punished for a careless knock on in their own 40 metre area as the visitors opened their account scoring in the left corner.Then came the Dan Heslop show as the centre scored a hat-trick of tries either side of the break which ultimately took the game away from the visitors.His first came as a short side play down the right saw Jack Unsworth and Mike Weldon put Robbie King away only for the winger to commit the full back before passing it inside to Heslop. His second, five minutes before the break came after good work from Weldon and fellow sub Dom Mirfin. From the play the ball quick hands saw Heslop in at the left corner.Coaches Ian Lomax and Eric Frodsham were far from happy at the break and the Saints improved in the second period.A big carry from half time sub Harry Coleman put the Saints on the front foot giving the other half time sub Rob Fairclough time to put up a towering bomb that the Salford defence wanted none of. The ball bounced and was expertly tapped back over his head by Highcock into the waiting hands of Heslop who beat the cover into the corner.Again lax discipline and ball retention saw the Saints concede after four repeat sets had gifted territory and possession to the visitors.But that was as good as it got as the Saints closed the game out with four further tries.Drives from Matthew Costello and Coleman got the Saints to the line and from the play the ball a sublime dummy from Brad Billsborough saw him dive over from close range.Another last play blind side move put Weldon into the clear and his pass in front of the full back put Costello in for his second.Two certain overlap tries were spurned in the right corner before Josh Ganson put Jack Cottington under the sticks with a pinpoint miss pass.The final score came courtesy more of football skills than rugby. Fairclough’s attempted 40/20 sat down infield allowing Highcock to show both good speed and awareness to beat the cover to the ball. He grubbered inside to the supporting Heslop who in turn grubbered it onto the line where it was pounced on by Ganson.Saints could and should have scored more but are continuing to grow both as a team and individuals. The match changed in the second half as Fairclough came on and Billsborough went to hooker. Josh Eaves put in his usual stint, Matty Kilgannon did well coming back after injury and there was a promising debut from Jorge Lewtas.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Daniel Heslop 3, Matthew Costello 2, Jack Highcock, Brad Billsborough, Josh Ganson, Jack Cottington.Goals: Brad Billsborough 5.Salford:Tries: Harry Warhurst, Aaron Moore.Goals: Ollie Grundy.Half Time: 18-4Full Time: 46-10Teams:Saints:1. Lewis Furlong; 2. Robbie King, 3. Daniel Heslop, 4. Matthew Costello, 5. Jack Highcock; 6. Jack Unsworth, 7. Brad Billsborough; 8. Danny Lynch, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Jack Cottington, 11. Dan Keoghan, 12. Matty Kilgannon, 13. Josh Eaves. Subs: 14. Dom Mirfin, 15. Harry Coleman, 16. Mike Weldon, 17. Loui Pauls, 18. Rob Fairclough, 19. Jorge Lewtas.Salford:1. Kieran McGinnity; 2. Danny Gerard, 3. Harry Warhurst, 4. Calum Dawson, 5. Ollie Grundy; 6. Taylor Boyne, 7. Aaron Moore; 8. Lewis Gregory, 9. Jordan Thomason, 10. Liam Tasker, 11. Sam Cullen, 12. Liam Bent, 13. Brad Storey. Subs: 14. Ryan Winders, 15. Ryan Newsome, 16. Bran Partington, 17. Dmya Hanley, 18. Jordan Cella, 19. Danté Morley-Samuels, 20. Jack Hook.last_img read more

Amazon Alexa skill activated for New Hanover Regional Medical Center

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Believe it or not you now can get detailed info on the hospital through the Amazon Echo.The hands-free speakers, which feature the computerized personal assistant Alexa, are controlled by voice.- Advertisement – NHRMC developed the NHRMC Amazon Skill to allow users to access designated features including:Parking informationVisitor informationLost and found informationEssential items for a hospital visit (both an emergency and planned visit)Important phone numbersInformation on paying your bills and viewing medical recordsDirections to the nearest urgent careInformation about the NHRMC care teamAnyone who has an Amazon interactive smart speaker can enable the NHRMC skill by prompting their device with the command “Alexa, enable NHRMC.”To find out information, start your question with “Alexa, Ask NHRMC.”Related Article: Wilmington DMV office to extend hours starting Monday“Publishing the NHRMC Alexa skill allows the health system to expand its reach to our customers through this emerging communications channel,” said John Tuman, NHRMC’s chief technology officer. “While most of the skills are informational, we are seeking ideas on how to leverage this technology to achieve our mission of improving the health of our community.”last_img read more

Rumored social media threat leads to investigation at West Brunswick High

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating a rumored threat at West Brunswick High School.The Brunswick County Sheriff Office said is stems from a post made on social media, specifically Snapchat.- Advertisement – Investigators were made aware of the rumor, which had begun to circulate throughout social media Thursday night, and immediately began investigating.The sheriff’s office said the investigation is continuing this morning, but there is no evidence at this point to substantiate the rumored threat.Sheriff John Ingram has assigned additional law enforcement personnel at West Brunswick High School this morning as a precaution and to ease the minds of students, staff and parents.Related Article: Law enforcement conducting active shooter drill at Brunswick Co. schoolThe sheriff’s office will provide an update as the investigation continues.“We appreciate the quick response from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office in investigating this rumor circulating on social media and helping provide a safe, learning environment every day at all of our schools,” Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Oates said in a statement.last_img read more

Two more arrested in election fraud investigation

first_imgBLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two more people have been booked in connection to the ongoing investigation into election fraud in North Carolina.According to a news release from the Wake County District Attorney, Tonia Marie Gordon turned herself in at the Magistrate’s Office this evening in Bladen County.- Advertisement – Gordon is charged with conspiracy to commit felonious obstruction of justice and possession of absentee ballot.Matthew Monroe Mathis was arrested Tuesday night in Sampson County by the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office without incident.Mathis has been charged with conspiracy to commit felonious obstruction of justice, possession of absentee ballot and falsely signing certification on absentee ballot.Related Article: UNC Board of Governors member: UNC plan for Silent Sam ‘cowardice’The SBI is working with local law enforcement to arrest Rebecca D. Thompson in connection to this investigation.The two are a part of five people indicted in connection with alleged fraud during the 2016 election and 2018 primary election. McCrae Dowless and Caitlyn Croom have already been arrested. Prosecutors say the SBI is working with local law enforcement to arrest the remaining two suspects in this case Matthew Mathis and Rebecca Thompson.last_img read more

Local 4H launches family empowerment program to combat opioid crisis

first_img Near the end, the program will shift to talk about opioid medication and the efforts to reduce and prevent drug abuse.“One is make a difference in these families lives. Make a positive family environment for them and just build on what they already have,” said Morgan King who works as a youth development agent with 4-H. “The second is that these families go out and tell other families what they are learning and make sure that they are modeling that behavior and tell the community about opioids and how we can prevent them.”If you’d like to take part in the program you can attend their weekly meetings Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. in the community room at the Nir Family YMCA. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  A new program by the Brunswick County 4-H works to empower families while also addressing how that empowerment can combat the opioid crisis.The group is hosting an 11 week program at the NIR YMCA in Wilmington to sit down with parents and their kids. A majority of the program will work with kids aged 10 through 14 to better their relationships and communications within the home and outside of it.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Virus attacks Spains defence intranet foreign state suspected – paper

first_imgWhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img FILE PHOTO – A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/IllustrationFILE PHOTO – A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration A computer virus infected the Spanish Defence Ministry’s intranet this month with the aim of stealing high tech military secrets, El Pas newspaper said on Tuesday, citing sources leading the investigation as suspecting a foreign power behind the cyber attack.A Defence Ministry spokesman said the ministry would not comment.El Pas said the virus was apparently introduced via email and was first spotted at the beginning of March. However, it could have gone undetected for months in an intranet with more than 50,000 users.Although the network does not carry classified information, the paper said its sources were concerned about a wider infection to other networks with the purpose of accessing information related to secret military technology.The investigation had yet to determine who was responsible for the cyber attack, but sources told El Pas it was too technically complex to be done by standard hackers. “There is a state behind it,” they said.last_img read more

Direwolf found in Russia

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Archaeologists have unearthed the severed head of an Ice Age wolf which is almost double the size of wolves which currently populate the Russian region where the head was found. The severed head is, remarkably, quite intact, with fur and features still extant as well as the deadly teeth. The Siberian permafrost where it was found, was, according to the scientists, the main reason why this relic remained intact for over 40,000 years.The head measures almost 16 inches and retains the deathly grimace of the decapitated wolf. According to scientists it is hardly likely that the wolf was decapitated as a trophy given that human settlement in Siberia happened about ten thousand years after the approximate date of this head.Russian scientist Dr Albert Protopopov said: ‘This is a unique discovery of the first-ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved. ‘We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance.’Naturally, Game of Thrones fans, will recognise this immediately as a direwolf!(Source: Daily Mail)WhatsApplast_img read more

Apples surprise for Tuesday November 16th

first_imgAdvertisement At 10am Eastern (6pm East African Time) the big news will be revealed, but what could it be? There are a ton of guesses at the moment, but not a lot of hard data. The main contender seems to be streaming music from iTunes, but the introduction of The Beatles music to iTunes has come up (doesn’t it always?) as well an iTunes subscription service and others. All we know for sure is that it has to do with iTunes and Apple is pretty excited about it.For their part Crunchgear thinks Apple might “kill the MP3” tomorrow by introducing a streaming music service. It’s a good theory, especially combined with the knowledge that Apple is building a datacenter in North Carolina.Streaming music looks like the most likely announcement, but there are a lot of other things that could go along with that, like wireless syncing and even cloud music storage. Any guesses as to what we’ll see?last_img read more

Facebook opens new artificial intelligence lab in France

first_imgAdvertisement The world’s biggest Social Network Facebook yesterday announced that it’s expanding the geographical presence of its artificial intelligence research division, with a new office opening in Paris.Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research or FAIR, has offices in New York City and Menlo Park, Calif., and now it has a physical home outside of the U.S., Facebook’s home country.Facebook was able to lure Yann LeCun, a figurehead in a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, to head up FAIR. – Advertisement – Deep learning can apply to several types of data, including speech, text, videos, and images. The approach involves training artificial neural networks on large swaths of data and then throwing a new piece of data at them to get a fresh inference in response.“Like the existing FAIR teams in Menlo Park and New York, the Paris team will work on ambitious long-term research projects in image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition, and the kinds of physical and logical infrastructure required to run these AI systems,” LeCun wrote in a blog post on the news.Facebook hopes this research will ultimately help them make services like News Feed, photos, and search even better and enable an entirely new set of ways to connect and share.Via VBlast_img read more