A minister is facing accusations that she misled t

first_imgA minister is facing accusations that she misled the House of Lords over the government’s “devastating” decision to allow a security firm with “an appalling history of abuse and mismanagement” to run the national equality advice helpline.The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) was set up in October 2012 to replace the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) own helpline, and the government has now handed the contract to G4S.But a report by the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 and disability committee in March concluded that EASS – currently run by the outsourcing giant Sitel – should be returned to the EHRC, “either in-house or as the contract managers for a tendered-out service”, a conclusion that was strongly supported by the EHRC.Despite that support, the government’s response to the report claimed the EHRC “did not express an interest” in taking the service in-house.In last week’s Lords debate on the report, the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell said that government claims that the EHRC did not want to bring the service back in-house were “not true”.She said: “The EHRC flatly refutes this, saying it strongly supports our recommendation, and made clear to the government its concerns about EASS, and its desire to take back responsibility or at least greater control.”But when the Conservative Home Office minister Baroness Williams responded to the debate (pictured), she claimed that the EHRC “did not bid to operate the helpline itself, nor did it propose operating it in discussions with the [Government Equalities Office]”.Asked this week why Baroness Williams appeared to have misled peers, and whether she would be apologising to the House of Lords, a government spokesman refused to answer the question.Instead, he issued a statement claiming there had been “an open and competitive tender process, amongst providers who had expertise in running a helpline”, and that G4S had “offered the most cost efficient tender”.An EHRC spokesman confirmed that the commission had asked the government to bring EASS back in-house.He said: “We wanted responsibility for running the service and we have been clear to government on that.“We have been very clear that we wanted responsibility for running the service, whether in-house or managing the service.”Baroness Campbell told peers last week that when the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), for which she was a commissioner, ran its own helpline, it was “one of the DRC’s prime assets, enabling it to monitor the kind of problems disabled people were experiencing”, while some of its key legal cases “started with a call to the helpline”.She said: “The new contract has now been awarded to G4S, which is devastating news.“It beggars belief that a company with such an appalling history of abuse and mismanagement could have been appointed to provide such an important and sensitive service.”A petition calling on the government to reverse its decision to hand the service to G4S and allow EHRC to run it instead has so far attracted more than 60,000 signatures.And more than 40 disability, equality and human rights organisations – including Inclusion London, Equal Lives, Liberty and Sisters of Frida – have written to the parliamentary chairs of the joint committee on human rights and the Commons women and equalities committee to express their “profound concern” at the award of the contract to G4S, which they said had “earned a reputation for serious, systemic mismanagement and discrimination”.Their letter calls for “a parliamentary investigation into both the tendering process and the suitability of G4S to deliver this vital service”.Last July, the Government Equalities Office published a memo which showed that, of all the enquiries made to EASS, 62 per cent related to disability.Of roughly 2,200 enquiries a month made to EASS since 2012 – the memo revealed – 24 per cent were about a failure to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person.last_img read more

Greater Manchester Police GMP has admitted that

first_imgGreater Manchester Police (GMP) has admitted that it has a written agreement to share information about disabled people and other activists who take part in protests with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disabled activists have expressed alarm at the confirmation, which came despite previous denials by the force and DWP that any such agreement existed.They said the existence of the agreement was a clear blow to the right to protest of disabled people who claim benefits.Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) said it was “extremely concerned” that its local police force was “spying on disabled protesters and passing on their details onto the DWP”.GMCDP said the agreement was “yet another example of the punitive and unwarranted targeting of disabled people”. Concerns about links between DWP and police forces such as GMP – and the impact on disabled people’s right to protest – first emerged last December after Disability News Service (DNS) reported that forces had been targeting disabled protesters taking part in peaceful anti-fracking protests across England.Lancashire police then admitted in December that it had shared both information and video footage of disabled anti-fracking protesters with DWP, in an apparent attempt to have their disability benefits removed.Greater Manchester Police then told DNS that it had passed DWP information about protesters taking part in anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss, Salford, which took place in 2013 and 2014, and also confirmed that it had shared information with DWP from protests not connected with fracking.This raised concerns that it might have passed information to DWP about disabled people who protested in Manchester about the government’s austerity-related social security reforms, particularly during high-profile actions around the Conservative party conferences in 2015 and 2017.GMP later claimed that it had not shared any information with DWP about disabled activists who had taken part in the 2015 and 2017 protests.The Conservative party is returning to Manchester for its annual conference in October.GMP has previously denied – in response to a freedom of information request – having a written agreement to share data with DWP, while DWP has said repeatedly that it has no such “formal arrangement” with GMP or any other force.GMP’s press office had initially suggested that it did have an agreement with DWP, before later denying there was one.Labour’s deputy mayor for policing for Greater Manchester, Baroness [Bev] Hughes, told DNS in February that she had “consulted with senior officers within GMP who have assured me that there is no formal ‘sharing agreement’ in place, and that the police act on a case by case basis, sharing information in accordance with the Data Protection Act”.But after DNS submitted a second freedom of information request to the force, a member of its information management team confirmed that there was such an agreement.After DNS asked if GMP had an agreement to share information from various protests with DWP, he said he had “located a multi-agency agreement to which DWP are one of many partners”, but he said this had “not yet been assessed for disclosure to you”.He said that most of the agreement “relates to controls/rules partners must adhere to when handling information”.He later told DNS, on 17 April, that he had “identified the area of the force that is responsible for the sharing agreement” and had “posed your question to them, and am awaiting a reply”.The force failed to respond to further emails – which appears to have been a breach of the Freedom of Information Act – until this week.But yesterday (Wednesday), a member of GMP’s information management team said he would “risk assess the agreement next week for disclosure” to DNS.The force’s press office refused to comment this week, or to explain why it had previously claimed there was no such agreement.Brian Hilton, GMCDP’s digital campaigns officer, said the coalition was “extremely concerned that our local police force is spying on disabled protesters and passing on their details onto the DWP”.He said: “This is worrying on so many levels. Disabled people in Greater Manchester have always protested against injustice, whether this be campaigning for our own rights or in support of others.“This news sends a clear message that disabled people should think carefully before they take to the streets and exercise their legitimate right to protest.”He added: “Are we now saying if you can protest you should not be in receipt of benefits?“Should disabled people stay locked inside their homes in case they are sanctioned?“What’s next? Are the police going to run undercover operations at festivals to see if disabled people are brazen enough to sway in time to the music or, god forbid, dance?”Hilton said repeated studies had shown there was “no epidemic of fraudulent [benefit] claims”, and that the force’s agreement with DWP was “yet another example of the punitive and unwarranted targeting of disabled people”. Dennis Queen, from the Manchester branch of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “We would like to see this ‘multi-agency agreement’ to which DWP are one of many partners, because the agreement means conditions are effectively being imposed that disabled people have no idea about, they cannot bear them in mind, make informed consent, and so on.“This sounds like a breach of our rights to engage in political protest to me.”Queen said concerns about the agreement would have “a directly chilling effect on people’s ability to stick up for their rights and join in campaigns, both relating to disability and not.“Given my own arrest for an offence I did not commit during [a Tory] conference this is a personal concern too.”In 2017, disabled activists from the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN) and DPAC criticised “heavy-handed” police tactics at a direct action protest that blocked tram lines outside the conference.Queen was arrested for public disorder but was later found not guilty.She said: “Have I been reported to the DWP? Do the police now have a right to find out if I am a client of theirs?“What other private information are they privy to? Did the police update them that I wasn’t guilty of the charges?”Picture: Dennis Queen taking part in the 2015 protest outside the Tory party conference in Manchester 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

THIS game was over as a contest after quarter of a

first_imgTHIS game was over as a contest after quarter of an hour as the Saints had already run in four tries against their overwhelmed opponents, writes Graham Henthorne.The Giants were so desperate to stop the marauding Saints that they had conceded five penalties by this time but still only had the ball for one set.Last year the Levynator and Matty Lees showed glimpses of what we could expect this term but generally off the bench. This year they are the starting props and if this display is anything to go by then we are in for a treat.The Giants couldn’t handle either of them as they busted holes directly down the middle of the hapless defensive line with Matty Lees literally trampling the hooker into the ground.Behind this you had the guile of Aaron Smith, Rob Fairclough and the outstanding Danny Richardson directing traffic. As spectators you had no idea where they were going to go next and the Giants defence were no better as they tried in vain to stop the juggernaut.Regan Grace opened the 19s account for 2016 as he scooted in for his first and then stretched out for his second, both courtesy of quick hands from Ben Morris and Jake Spedding inside him.Spedding then scored one of his own as again hands, this time from Richardson & Fairclough put him clear.This season’s Captain, Liam Cooper, got in on the act with a well taken try after a repeat set from a Richardson grubber. And when Aaron Smith dove over from dummy half on 17 minutes the Saints were out of sight at 26 – 0.As it always does the game evened out a little in the second quarter with the Giants seeing some possession and the Saints having substituted their dominant front row. So much so that the visitors got off the mark on the half hour taking advantage of a Saints knock on.However, don’t think that I’m insinuating that the second choice front row can’t cut it. Far from it. But it does take time to get to grips with the speed of the game as debutants Jordan Olmez and Jorge Lewtas found out but get to grips they did, both contributing in spades in attack and defence.And in Jonah Cunningham we have one of the best hookers coming off the bench to punish weary defenders. On the stroke of the break he did just that driving over at the sticks.The second half was an exercise in keeping going and not taking the foot off the gas.Three minutes in and Morgan Knowles showed everyone that the saints were not going to ease up. Fresh from his sojourn in the First Team he showed he’s lost none of his appetite for Rugby at this level with a typically rumbustious display and a try crashing over the line.Mike Weldon showed he’d well and truly put his injury woes behind him as he introduced himself to the game and the visitors with a big hit producing a knock on from the Giants on their own 40. From the scrum Grace simply rounded his opposite number for his hat-trick.Lees was sin-binned on the hour for taking out the man without the ball and whilst he was off the Giants impressive second row scored out wide to make their total respectable.But as Lees came back onto the field the Saints finished in style with three more tries.Firstly Smith dummied his way over from close range then Lees scored a deserved try from the second row as he terrorised his opposite number into falling out of his way as he powered over.Finally, Spedding capped a good personal performance winning the 80 metre race to touch down Richardson’s long kick down field.What a difference to the opening display last year! The forwards were sharp in both attack and especially defence not giving any space for the Giants to play and behind them the halves dictated the show producing a dazzling display of handling from all the outside backs.The trick now, of course, is to keep it going but putting 11 tries past a big, powerful Huddersfield team is a fabulous way to start.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Regan Grace (1, 5 & 58), Jake Spedding (8 & 79), Liam Cooper (14), Aaron Smith (17 & 73), Jonah Cunningham (40), Morgan Knowles (43), Matty Lees (76).Goals: Danny Richardson 7.Huddersfield:Tries: Billy Hayes (30), Liam Johnson (68).Goals: Izaac Farrell.Half Time: 32-6Full Time: 58-10Teams:Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Lewis Furlong, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 7. Rob Fairclough, 6. Danny Richardson; 8. Levy Nzoungou, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Morgan Knowles. Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Mike Weldon, 18. Jordan Olmez.Huddersfield:1. Kieron Reilly; 2. Jake Etchells, 4. Jake Wardle, 3. Darnell McIntosh, 5. Harry Woollard; 6. Will Ingleby, 7. Izaac Farrell; 8. Matty English, 9. Fletcher Davies, 10. Connor Redgwick, 11. Ronan Costello, 12. Liam Johnson, 13. Billy Hayes. Subs: 14. Jamie Greenwood, 15. Ben Harley, 16. Sam Hewitt, 17. Jon Loke Kirby.last_img read more

GLOW Academy awarded 20000 from ChickfilA

first_img “Right now, we’re on a campaign to build a new campus. And to have funds this significant come to us, it’s going to mean a lot. It’s not just going to mean a lot to the campus, but to all the GLOW girls, the entire glow community. We’re really thankful. It’s a great opportunity to work with them and continue our relationship with Chick-fil-A,” Jones said.GLOW was just one of many nominees for the Atlantic Region, which included organizations in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and many other states. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The GLOW Academy does its part to guide young girls in the community to a successful future. And with a new donation, even more work can be done.The Chick-fil-A foundation awarded GLOW Academy with $20,000 dollars for getting second place in the True Inspiration Awards. Chick-fil-A came to the school and gave Mini Moos to girls at the school and even brought their mascot along. Senior Development Director, Bob Jones, believes this is an amazing opportunity to help the girls.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Black History Month United States Colored Troops

first_img Locally 500 members of the United States Colored Troops who fought during the Civil War are buried at the Wilmington National Cemetery at the rear left end of the cemetery. Confederates soldiers (white or colored) were not allowed to be buried in any United States military cemetery across the country due to the fact that the Confederates withdrew from the Union.AmenRa says, “The United States Colored Troops played a significant part in Black History, turning the Civil War into a victory for the Union and leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation .There should be more in our educational system about the United States Colored Troops.”Patrick says, she learned her history from her mother through her great-grandmother, Fannie Perkins Williams, a former slave captive.Related Article: Trump signs bill named for Sen. McCain, doesn’t mention him“If it was not for me listening to my mother, I would have missed this important part of our family’s history,” says AmenRa.Their names include her Great Grandfather PVT Henry Williams, Great-Granduncles CPL Dennis Perkins (Shimes) and CPL James Perkins (Shimes) along with CPL David Jackson her Great-great grandfather.The United States Colored Troops (USCT) were regiments of the United States Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865) that were composed of African American (“colored”) soldiers. First recruited in 1863, for the Civil War, the men of the 175 regiments (approximately 175,000 soldiers) of the USCT constituted approximately one-tenth of the Union Army. The Union needed the manpower to win the war. If it had not been for the U.S.C.T. the Union would not have won the Civil War. If the Union had lost the war the Emancipation of Proclamation would not have been issued. The men of the USCT were the forerunners of the well-known Buffalo Soldiers, who fought in the Indian Wars later in the nineteenth century and received their nickname in the American West.Locally 500 members of the United States Colored Troops who fought during the Civil War are buried at the Wilmington National Cemetery at the rear left end of the cemetery. Confederates soldiers (white or colored) were not allowed to be buried in any United States military cemetery across the country due to the fact that the Confederates withdrew from the Union. TheU.S.C.T. was recently acknowledged here in Wilmington, NC in 2011. A historical marker is placed on Market street by the Wilmington National Cemetery this effort was led by Retired Sgt. Fred Johnson. WWAY’s Amanda Fitzpatrick interviewed Sonya Patrick (AmenRa) about her family and learned that she has 4 descendants of the United States Colored Troops.The United States Colored Troops (USCT) were regiments of the United States Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865) that were composed of African American (“colored”) soldiers. First recruited in 1863, for the Civil War, the men of the 175 regiments (approximately 175,000 soldiers) of the USCT constituted approximately one-tenth of the Union Army. The Union needed the manpower to win the war. If it had not been for the U.S.C.T. the Union would not have won the Civil War. If the Union had lost the war the Emancipation of Proclamation would not have been issued. The men of the USCT were the forerunners of the well-known Buffalo Soldiers, who fought in the Indian Wars later in the nineteenth century and received their nickname in the American West.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Bayern Munich join race to sign Under

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Bayern Munich are interested in signing AS Roma’s young attacker Cengiz Under. According to Daily Mail, the Bundesliga champions want the 21-year-old to replace Arjen Robben. English sides Arsenal and Tottenham have also expressed an interest in recruiting the Turkish player.It is believed that Tottenham have had a £32million bid rejected by the Italian club who signed Under from Istanbul Basaksehir a year and a half ago. The Turkey international has already scored three goals and provided two assists in the Champions League this season. Roma are keen on keeping hold of the talented attacker as they aim to improve their current form in Serie A.WhatsApplast_img read more

Liberia LoneStar Cell MTNs suspension could be security nightmare

first_imgAdvertisement The Heritage from Monrovia reports that management of LoneStar Cell MTN has described plans by Liberia’s Telecommunications Authority (LTA) to suspend its operating license for three days as “a serious security nightmare to the country”.LoneStar Cell MTN’s management is concerned the decision by the LTA to suspend its operations could result in a security nightmare for the country. (Image: Google/frontpageafricaonline.com)The LTA recently announced the suspension of two operational licenses of the telecommunications services provider as “a punitive measure from the Board of Commissioners resulting from LoneStar Cell MTN’s ‘unilateral’ implementation of an ‘unauthorised’ change in its status of its interconnection with Comium-Liberia from May 18, 2012 to May 21, 2012,” the report states. – Advertisement – Dr. Lawrence Bropleh, Corporate Communications Executive at LoneStar Cell MTN, is quoted as saying, “”Imagine the level of chaos that the dismissal of just 40 persons from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) is causing in the country. Moreover, you remove over 5,000 Liberians who are dependent on these jobs, at once. This poses a great threat to national security and we shouldn’t be taking that chance.”According to the LTA the suspension means LoneStar Cell MTN customers can receive calls but not make calls for the duration of the suspension, which, as reported, is scheduled to run from 3 December to 5 December.The regulatory body stipulated that customers in areas that are exclusively serviced by LoneStar Cell MTN will be exempted from the order, but the company will have to pay 25% of revenue generated from such operations to the government of Liberia.However, management at LoneStar Cell MTN have refuted the reasoning behind the suspension and that this action will “jeopardise the business of LoneStar Cell MTN and could destroy some of its major equipment.” The company also stressed concern that it could also result in the loss of its partner, the MTN Group.Source: ItnewsAfricalast_img read more

Mobile money account holders in Uganda exceed 18 million

first_imgAdvertisement From a mere 10,010 accounts in March 2009, Mobile money account holders in Uganda have  grown to 18,489,989 over the last six years exceeding the number of traditional bank account holders, which stand at 5.5 Million.The communication was revealed by Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, during economics of mobile money economy seminar in Kampala last week.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Last year alone, Over Shs18 trillion was transacted through mobile money, she said.Mobile money accounts have surpassed traditional banking accounts by threefold which stand at 5.5 million in financial institutions supervised by Bank of Uganda.Commercial banks and mobile network operators engaged in mobile money need to take the mobile banking services to the next level through innovations that are relevant to the needs of Ugandans including credit and saving services.Via The Daily Monitorlast_img read more

Facebook to start hosting other sites content

first_imgAdvertisement Social Networking giant Facebook wants to start hosting content from news organizations.News sources reveal that Zuckerberg has been in talks with at least six media companies about publishing their content directly on the site with no link-clicking required.According to the sources, the initial round of publications apparently includes The New York Times, Buzzfeed, National Geographic and The Huffington Post. – Advertisement – Facebook wants to do this because websites take too long to load, and Facebook says that on mobile, the average eight-second page-load takes too long.Facebook hasn’t exactly established much of a revenue (or traffic-data) sharing precedent.The whole deal looks very one-sided since users stay on Facebook longer while news organizations sacrifice audience info and advertising income in exchange for eyeballs on its content.Via EnGadgetlast_img read more

Instagram For Android Gets An Offline Mode iOS Users Will Have To

first_imgInstagram’s latest update to display your best posts first. Image Credit: Mashable Advertisement Facebook’s Photo and Video sharing app; Instagram for Android has received an offline mode that will let Instagrammers access many of its features even when they don’t have internet connection. This came in an announcement that was made by the company at the ongoing Facebook’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California U.S.The feature, according to the company, will also be rolled out to iOS users in the coming days.According to Instagram Engineer Hendri, users will be able to see the previously loaded content in their feed, leave comments, Like things, save media and unfollow people. Once the users’ device is back online, all his activities will be executed in the background. – Advertisement – The profiles that users have visited before too will be visible, as well as the cached versions of the Explore tab and their own profile pages. The ‘offline mode’ feature is expected to be especially useful in emerging nations where internet connectivity is patchy.[related-posts]According to TechCrunch, 80% of Instagram’s users 600 million users are outside U.S, so Instagram needed a way to provide a better experience for users with limited network connectivity or no data plan.last_img read more