A disabled former Liberal Democrat MP has refused

first_imgA disabled former Liberal Democrat MP has refused to criticise the Tory work and pensions secretary for covering up a report that linked the “fitness for work” test with a disabled man’s suicide.Stephen Lloyd, who narrowly lost his Eastbourne seat at last year’s general election, was a supporter of many of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms during his five years as a coalition MP.And now, in an email interview with Disability News Service (DNS), Lloyd (pictured) has refused to condemn the cover-up – even though his party is no longer in power – and has defended coalition cuts and reforms that cut billions of pounds a year from spending on disability benefits and services.Asked whether he stood by his backing for Duncan Smith, which he expressed several times as an MP, Lloyd said: “I actually believe that IDS is genuinely committed to helping disabled people into work, where possible.”He suggested that the blame for any failure of Duncan Smith’s policies lay instead with the chancellor, George Osborne.When DNS drew his attention to a trio of news stories that demonstrated the harshness of Duncan Smith’s policies on out-of-work disability policies and showed he had covered up a report that linked the work capability assessment (WCA) with the death of a man who took his own life, he refused to criticise the work and pensions secretary, although he said the three stories were “appalling”.He claimed he was not a “supporter” of Duncan Smith but believed that his “basic premise is to set up a system that tried to get people who have been out of work for a long time through disability into work”, which he said was “not easy”.The three stories show that Duncan Smith failed in his legal duty to respond to a coroner’s report into the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carre, who took his own life in January 2010 after DWP rejected his appeal against being found fit for work.In November, government-funded research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.But when DNS asked why Lloyd refused to criticise Duncan Smith over the cover-up, he refused to comment further, or to express any concern about the deaths that may have been caused by the failure to respond to the report.And when asked if he had made a single political decision that he regretted during his five years as an MP, he said, “not really”, before talking instead about the failings of the government contractor Atos in carrying out the WCA.When asked if this meant that he believed he had not made a single political mistake in five years, he again declined to comment further.Asked about the billions of pounds of support cut by the coalition to spending on social care, disability living allowance and personal independence payment – that have led to thousands of people having to hand back their Motability vehicles – as well as increased sanctions for those on out-of-work benefits, and cuts to disabled students’ allowance, he refused to say which of those he supported.Lloyd, who is still active politically for the party in Eastbourne and also works as business innovations director for an international communications company based in Eastbourne, was widely praised for his constituency work during his five years as an MP.He was the first MP to launch a much-copied scheme to support the creation of 100 apprentices in his constituency in 100 days, and ensured his constituency team represented disabled people in more than 100 tribunals to appeal against being turned down for employment and support allowance, personal independence payment and disability living allowance, with a success rate he estimates at more than 80 per cent.He pointed out that hardly any MPs bother to ensure their staff attend such tribunals to advocate for their disabled constituents.He said: “This was something I very specifically set up, though there was no allocated budget, training or emphasis that we should do this.”He was a member of the work and pensions select committee and of several disability-themed all-party parliamentary groups, where he was, he says, “a constant advocate for equality of opportunity for disabled people”.And he said that, as a constituency MP, he did all he could to “fight for people who clearly were assessed inaccurately”.He said: “I do not think it wrong that people should be assessed – some after many years – as to their suitability for work, but [I] was a constant critic of Atos’s poor record.”He added: “Leaving people for years on the assumption they will never work is inherently wrong, in my view.“If after assessing they can be helped into work that has to be a good thing. The key – where my team came in – was to make the assessments fair.”last_img read more

Fully affordable housing fails to rise in SFs Mission and no one

first_img 0% That fact was unknown to Karoleen Feng, the director of community real estate at the Mission Economic Development Agency, which now has four 100 percent affordable units in the pipeline. “We at MEDA did not know there were agencies in the room that had dedicated staff to this. I’m not sure whether the Mayor’s Office of Housing knew,” Feng said. “That’s interesting in itself — the expediting has been in place, and city agencies have been working together, but that has been a little less known to us.”For Ronen, that was a problem. “I was concerned to hear that one of our community-based affordable-housing developers in the Mission wasn’t aware that there are people in each department that could help expedite affordable-housing projects,” she said, following public comment. “If (Feng) doesn’t know that, I don’t know who knows that or how word moves on about that,” she added. Another point of tension came as District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai asked how a recently passed state law, SB35, which removes the review process for certain affordable projects, can cut down on a project’s timeline. Sider of the Planning Department said that it could shave roughly seven to 12 months off a project’s timeline. “That’s very significant,” he said. In fact, MEDA — which remains against parts of the law — applied to invoke SB35 to skip the environmental review and expedite its 130-unit project at 681 Florida St,. Ronen appeared to wince at the exchange. Indeed, the supervisor stated from the get-go that she does not believe in removing local control from the development equation. “I’m not one for eliminating public voice from projects,” she said after the hearing. “When you close off community voice from projects, you create a bunch of unintended consequences.” She said allowing the community to work out its concerns before a project goes up is, in many ways, a healthy process that eliminates “resentment” among neighbors down the road. Plus, she said, “It’s not the CEQA review on these projects that cause the delays — it really isn’t.”  What does remains something of a mystery. District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen received no clear answers at a hearing she called  Monday to figure out why seven fully affordable housing projects in the Mission District are taking so long to break ground. “I’m not seeing that level of prioritization of these projects, and that’s what’s concerning to me,” Ronen said after she questioned officials from the Mayor’s Office, the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection. All of the officials Ronen questioned seemed to say the same thing: 100 percent affordable projects are a top priority, and we’re moving as fast as we can. She called their answers “vague” and “loosey-goosey.” For at least two years, the Mission has had seven fully affordable projects in the pipeline, representing 778 units, many of which are fully funded and fully approved. None has broken ground.  At present, a 94-unit development at 1296 Shotwell Street is slated to break ground next month. The largest, a 157-unit project at 1950 Mission Street, is slated to break ground in November. Whether either of these will actually break ground remains to be seen. (See the map below for all seven of the Mission’s fully affordable housing projects.) Mission residents anxious for permanent affordable housing wondered at Monday’s hearing why the units are not going up faster. “We have hundreds of people in the Mission that don’t have low-income housing now, and we need it,” said Mervyn Greene, a Mission Hotel resident, during public comment. The situation is “desperate for us who live in the community.” On average, explained Dan Adams of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, an affordable project takes five years to complete: The first year is dedicated to finding a site, the second for environmental reviews and zoning approvals, the third to secure permits and financing, and the last two years to build.   “What I would love to do is have us make this four years, three and a half years,” he said, suggesting that the city could lean on two directives from late Mayor Ed Lee that were largely meant to prioritize affordable housing projects, as well as some “state-level tools.” Adams noted, too, that funding is always an issue; often, federal and state money can be difficult to secure. “We have to hold projects so they’re set up for application to state funding,” he said. “Sometimes we’re in programs where we need to key up a project and put it on hold so that it can apply for $10 million in state funds, and that will elongate the development timeline.”Daniel Sider, director of executive programs for the Planning Department, insisted that fully affordable projects are his department’s “top-shelf priority.” “We’re taking these affordable projects at about twice the clip as market-rate projects,” he said. And yet, it is the market-rate projects that have gone up on Valencia Street, Mission Street, and elsewhere. James Zhan, a senior engineer with the Department of Building Inspection, agreed that his department prioritizes fully affordable projects. “There can be some misconception that our department sits on the projects without acting on them or approving them,” he said. Zhan said the process can be slowed by a lack of resources, and projects must undergo many layers of review “to make sure the permit application complies with respective code.” “Because of resource restrictions, we cannot revive them the minute or day of they come into our department,” he said, noting that taking up a project can take as long as three to four weeks. Sider said, per the first mayoral directive, the city has two staffers dedicated to shepherding affordable projects through the various departments involved. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Tags: Affordable Housing • development • Hillary Ronen • Mission Economic Development Agency Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

ALL replica shirts are now just £10Both home and

first_imgALL replica shirts are now just £10!Both home and away shirts have been reduced and when they’re gone, they are gone.This offer is available online and instore so grab yourself a bargain!last_img

Voting for Fan of Pride 2014 – the award run by Of

first_imgVoting for Fan of Pride 2014 – the award run by Official Partner of Super League, BRUT, which recognises rugby league’s ultimate fans – is now open.Since the beginning of this season fans from Super League clubs have nominated their fellow supporters, those who are loyal to their team and those who Man Up in their community.The national Fan of Pride 2014 – who will win £5,000 for their Super League club’s community foundation, a pair of 2015 season tickets, a signed shirt and more – will be chosen by a panel of experts from the club Fan of Pride winners, so all are encouraged to go to online and and cast their vote. Each club Fan of Pride will win a pair of Grand Final 2014 tickets and BRUT goodies.Will Hunter, Liam Jones and Christopher Owen have made the St Helens shortlist and you can read their stories and cast your vote at www.brutformen.co.uk/superleaguelast_img read more

Humpday Health Tips to keep your and your kids teeth healthy

first_imgWilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams points out teeth problems on x-ray (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Protecting your teeth is a big piece of your overall health.Brushing and flossing regularly is not the only thing you should do to keep your pearly whites healthy.- Advertisement – “People love to neglect teeth. I think a lot of times people assume if they’re not in any pain, that their teeth are healthy, and that’s not the case at all,” said Wilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams.A nice, clean smile is something many people strive for. The cosmetic benefits are clear, but the health ones may not be so obvious.Dr. Williams says our diets include more and more sugar, so it’s important to keep track of the sweet stuff.Related Article: Flu vaccine doing a relatively good job this season“One of the biggest things we have now is just the added sugars in all the foods we eat and especially the foods that are even advertised to our children, including the cereals, just the snacks, all that stuff, the crackers. So much of it’s processed,” said Dr. Williams.Children are usually at a higher risk for cavities and other dental problems. That’s why dental health education is key to keeping their teeth safe.“They’re at a high risk because their oral hygiene is not as good as someone who is a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little more disciplined,” said Dr. Williams.Scheduling regular dental visits is also a smart idea. Going to see your dentist every six months is what you should strive for, even as an adult.“If we go a significant amount of time, we’ll end up, maybe we could have treated something a little differently had we caught it a little sooner, if that makes sense. You talk about root canals and things like that, sometimes you can catch a cavity, oftentimes you can catch a cavity, before it turns into that, before it needs a root canal,” said Dr. Williams.Dr. Williams says that certain dental conditions can affect other parts of  your health, for example: there is a link between periodontitis and your heart.That’s why keeping your teeth healthy should be a priority.last_img read more

Columbus Co man killed in South Carolina shooting

first_imgBryan D. Marlowe (Photo: Horry County police) Loris, S.C. (WPDE/WWAY) — A 23-year-old man from Chadbourn, N.C., was shot and killed in the Loris area of the county early Wednesday morning, according to Horry County police.Bryan D. Marlowe was shot and killed in the roadway of Redenbo Drive on Dec. 20, according to police.- Advertisement – Anyone with information is asked to call (843) 915-TIPS (8477) or email crimetips@horrycounty.org.last_img

Local black leadership caucus sounds off on alleged statement by the President

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Controversy continues over the reported comments President Trump made to describe places like Africa and Haiti. Local leaders of the black leadership caucus spoke out this afternoon against the alleged statements.Members of the New Hanover National Black Leadership Caucus are calling the reported comments divisive and hateful.- Advertisement – Group leaders say the alleged statements made by President Trump were upsetting and make them question how far this country has come to erase racism.Caucus members surrounded by neighbors met at the 1898 Memorial to talk about the controversy while celebrating the holiday that honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.“And on this day, the memorial of Doctor Martin Luther King who stood against the exact act of these, and fought so much on bringing people together,” said leadership caucus executive director Josiah Bennetone III. “It’s sad in that over fifty years after his assassination, they’re still working more on dividing us than bringing us together.”Related Article: Firefighters to reach new heights with nearly $1.2M aerial truckThe President has denied he made the statements using an expletive to describe the places immigrants come from.The caucus also announced during their press conference that they are sending letters to lawmakers to denounce the statements.last_img read more

Hundreds of students compete at Regional Science Olympiad

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of middle and high school students from around the Cape Fear converged on UNCW Saturday to test their brains in the Regional Science Olympiad.There were 46 different activities for the kids to compete in, from bottle rockets and hovercraft to forensics and meteorology.- Advertisement – Katie Helm is a former Science Olympiad competitor who volunteered during Saturday’s event. She says it’s great for anyone to get involved in.“There’s something for everybody and there’s something for everybody if you want to volunteer too, because every team needs more coaches,” Helm said. “Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a student who needs help learning that.”The top finishing schools from this weekend’s competition will go on to battle the best of the state in Raleigh on April 21.last_img read more

Henderson renews his contract with Liverpool

first_img SharePrint <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> Jordan Henderson has signed a new 5-year contract with Liverpool and is ready to end his career with the club he joined in 2011. The 28-year-old midfielder has made 283 appearances and scored 24 goals since moving to Anfield.Henderson cost Liverpool £16m when he joined from Sunderland and was handed the team’s captaincy following Steven Gerrard’s departure to LA Galaxy. The England international is one of the most important members in Liverpool’s squad and Jurgen Klopp is convinced that he can improve further. Although he has so far failed to win any major silverware, Henderson has won the League Cup and played in the finals of last season’s Champions League and the 2012 FA Cup.WhatsApplast_img read more

Rocket InternetBacked Car Listings Site Carmudi Raises 25M

first_imgAdvertisement Car classifieds site, Carmudi, whose focus is on emerging markets has announced today that it has raised $25 million to gear up its operations in Africa and several Asian countries.Thisfunding which is Carmudi’s second, includes Asia Pacific Internet Group (a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Ooredoo), Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, as well as an undisclosed private investor.Carmudi has raised so far  a total of $35 million. – Advertisement – [related-posts]Founded in 2013 the company now operates in 20 countries and will use the funds to expand in seven Asian markets (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam) as well as Mexico.The company’s other markets are spread throughout Africa and the Middle East and include Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, and Zambia.The site currently has a total of 300,000 listings for vehicles worldwide, and claims five million users a month. Carmudi’s Android apps were rolled out last year, and it launched a iOS version earlier this month.So far, Carmudi’s mobile apps have been downloaded 300,000 times. Mobile visits now account for about 60 percent to 70 percent of its total traffic, which is important because the company is targeting markets where many users access the Internet primarily through smartphones or tablets.Carmudi monetizes through listing fees, but is currently focused on expansion and growth, says Haubold.Rocket Internet has been busy building a network of e-commerce services and marketplaces throughout Southeast Asia and Africa., including many (real estate classifieds platform Lamudi, price comparison site Pricepanda, and car-calling app Easy Taxi).Via TechCrunchlast_img read more

Crickets birds weather data combine to guide African farmers

first_imgImage Credit;bloemfonteincourant Advertisement It was in Mbeere, in rural Kenya, where Muthoni Masinde began to pick up on nature’s way of signposting shifting weather patterns, as she helped her mother farm their land.She learned that if thick swarms of crickets appeared in the evenings during planting season, it meant the rains were about to end – a sign that farmers should stop planting because their seeds would not germinate.If farmers could hear the bird known locally as kivuta mbura – “the one that pulls the rains” – they should expect heavy rain for several hours afterwards.Studies in computer science soon took Masinde away from rural life, but she never forgot the value farmers placed on observing the environment and its rhythms to grow their crops.Using her expertise in computer science, Masinde has now developed a tool to make predicting drought easier for Africa’s small-scale farmers by combining traditional know-how with scientific weather data. – Advertisement – “I was motivated by the realisation that in most African countries, rain-fed agriculture still accounted for over 70 percent of food production,” Masinde told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The mobile application, which has been tested in Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, works by pooling information on rainfall, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and other climatic indicators.Observations are collected from conventional weather stations and smaller, cheaper sensor-based stations that can be deployed in large numbers to give better coverage and more accurate results.Farmers feed their observations into a mobile phone.“With all this data, computer science models are used to predict the drought for short-term, medium-term and long-term,” said Masinde, now a senior lecturer and head of the information technology department at the Central University of Technology in South Africa’s Free State province.Farmers are consulted to merge the technical information with their own forecasts before it is widely distributed, she explained.”Indigenous knowledge ensures that the system is relevant, acceptable and resilient,” Masinde said.The information is simplified and disseminated to small-scale farmers via SMS and audio files in easy-to-understand messages, such as: “There will be adequate rain during the first two weeks of the season; you are advised to plant early to take advantage of this rainfall”.The World Bank says in sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture accounts on average for 35 percent of gross domestic product and employs 70 percent of the population. More than 95 percent of the region’s agricultural areas depend on rainfall rather than irrigation.Many African farmers still use knowledge passed down through generations to guide them on when, how and what to plant.But such traditional know-how is becoming increasingly unreliable in the face of climate change, which has disrupted the seasons and led to longer droughts, greater flooding and erratic rainfall.“Predictions have become more like tossing a coin,” Masinde said.Conventional weather forecasts are often of little use to small-scale farmers because they tend to cover huge areas and use unfamiliar technical terms.“Near normal rainfall means nothing to rural farmers,” Masinde said. “Some don’t even have access to media used for forecasts, like televisions.”Masinde was last month named a winner in South Africa’s annual Women in Science Awards, taking the prize in the category of Distinguished Young Women Researchers: Research and Innovation.The award came with 75,000 rands ($5,255) in prize money which she said would go towards establishing a drought mitigation centre in South Africa’s Free State province.Last month, the South African Weather Service partnered with Masinde’s institution to begin the process of rolling out the tool. Namibia has shown interest as well, she said.She is working with a team of researchers and postgraduate students to put the tool to use in the Free State and some parts of KwaZulu-Natal province.“In the future, anyone with access to the internet can access the forecasts generated from the tool,” she said.Source Credit: Munyaradzi Makoni, Katie Nguyen ,Laurie Goering and Thomson Reuters Foundation.last_img read more

Twitter Adds a New Feature to its Mobile Apps That Will Filter

first_imgTwitter DMs receive a new update that will filter DMs from unknown followers and people you don’t know. The update is still available for Twitter app users and will soon come to the Twitter website. (Photo Credit: TheNextWeb) Advertisement Direct Messages (DMs) you receive from people you do not know or followers will now be contained in Requests in the new Messages tab inbox in Twitter on iOS, Android app which will soon be available on Twitter Website, in a new update the US-based Micro-blogging firm is rolling out.“The new DM review inbox function works for anyone who’s turned on the setting that allows receipt of messages from people they don’t follow and will let you choose to either ‘Delete’ or ‘Accept’ inbound messages,” TechCrunch reports.The sender will not know whether or not receiver has seen their message until you hit accept. – Advertisement – Twitter begins using deep learning to recommend tweets on timelines Last week, Twitter launched a customisable Direct Message Card that businesses can use to promote and share bots and other customer experiences in DMs.With this new card, Twitter aims at helping businesses drive discovery of such experiences – both through Promoted Tweets and organic sharing.source: TechCrunch and TimesOfIndialast_img read more

Hon Nandala Mafabi Accused of Taking USD30000 Bribe To Block Ugandas Internet

first_imgHon. Nandala Mafabi. (Photo Courtesy: The Observer) Advertisement A Member of Parliament has accused Budadiri West Constituency MP Hon. Nandala Mafabi for taking USD$30,000 from a Chinese Company to use Parliament to block the ongoing procurement process of the last phase of the national backbone infrastructure project.The legislator who prefers anonymity for now, says Mr Mafabi was told by Chinese telecom company ZTE, one of the bidders for contract, to delay and disrupt the ongoing World Bank funded internet project, using his influence in Parliament.The World Bank funded internet connectivity project in contention is known as the Missing Links project, which is part of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) project by the Government of Uganda through NITA-U. – Advertisement – The Missing Links project will add more links to the Government backbone network (NBI/EGI) and to further ease operations and have more services go online, including application for passports, Driver’s license, National ID and etc., to increase the efficiency of service delivery and finally integrate our markets with International markets.Mr Nandala last week appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on ICT and accused NITA-U officials of taking bribes to give the bid to another Chinese company, Huawei.The legislator says the statement of Mr Nandala before the committee left MPs wondering why he did not give the committee anything to prove his allegations.The concerned MP adds that it is not the first time Mr Nandala is being used by different people to fight personal or business wars using Parliament.He said Hon. Nandala Mafabi has a history of dealings with ZTE, one of the six bidders for the Missing Links project, which the MP says is facilitating the ongoing lobbying to halt the procurement of Missing Links. The MP says Mafabi is the landlord of Chinese companies in his luxurious buildings in a Kampala and they have sponsored him for several trips to China.The legislator also pointed out issues raised by one of the officials of the opposition’s Forum for Democratic Change who accused Mafabi of corruption recently in a leaked whatsapp chat.“Mafabi should be thoroughly investigated to establish his motive in this NITA-U project,” the unhappy MP stated, adding, “Otherwise he will continue abusing parliament for personal gain.”Recently, Mr Nandala was accused of taking bribes during his tenure as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairperson from 2006 to 2011 by a one Hamidah Nassimbwa, a member of FDC’s Women’s league. In a leaked WhatsApp chat between the two enemies, Nassimbwa accused Mafabi of taking bribes adding that he robbed more than the PAC culprits.She further alleges that the bribes Mafabi used to take, he used them to put up mega structures, one of which the Chinese company rents in Naguru, an upscale suburb of Kampala.[related-posts]last_img read more

SIMON NOTT The Tuesday Review

first_imgSky Bet Supreme Novices’ HurdleBen got stuck into Melon and had it for over £20k at the off. Fortune favoured the brave and we got off to a flying start when Labaik sprang a 25/1 surprise. The cigars proved popular as celebration for us was a Hamlet moment for the punters. Well most of them, news reached us that our pitch on the rail laid a bottle (£200) each-way at 33/1 the winner. Where’s that cigar. Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ ChaseWe laid the first monster bet of the meeting £100,000 – £400,000 Altior. Just when it looked like Charbel might have the short one under the cosh he came down, thankfully unhurt. We got a bit back when we copped the ‘special’ 11/10 to win by over 10 lengths money. Nicky Henderson thought Altior would have won anyway, we’ll never know but a shame we were robbed of the chance to find out.Ultima Handicap ChaseBen got to work again this time getting stuck into Singlefarmpayment and would not be denied going a market-topping 6/1 to get him in, our liabilities were over £20k at the off. A big aye aye went up when the Un Temps Pour Tout chinned the bogie a short head. The result was never in doubt of course.Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge TrophyWe took a chunk on Brain Power at 7/1 so spent the race trying to bet up to it. Fielding some nasty each-way money for Wicklow Brave and My Tent Or Yours in the process. The latter getting placed cost us but Buveur D’Air was a small winner in a book that still had Brain Power losing £40k, well I did say we took a chunk.OLBG Mares’ HurdleBen went down the book with the front two then got stuck into Limini again. We had her for five-figures then we got the call from the office that the jolly was their worst in the book too, in total she would cost us £125,000. That stayed in the bag as well when she could only manage third, more cigars for the punters please.JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ ChaseTiger Roll was a cracking result, we were on a roll, second placed 50/1 shot Missed Approach would have been a skinner but I suppose that’s getting a bit greedy.Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap ChaseNicely in front we got our heads down and filled the hod. The punters happily obliged and waded in. We let them make our book for us. There were a few hairy moments including a bet of £1500 each-way at 25/1 Hammersly Lake. We kept that and a nice few quid on top when 8/1 shot Tully East got the money. As luck would have it for some reason punters had pretty much left us out which resulted a cracking last race cop. Bring on the Wednesday. We’re ready, Ben says this is the year, more cigars on order.Simon NottSIMON NOTT is a freelance racing blogger and author of The Skint Mob. More details at simonnott.co.uklast_img read more

£25 CASH Glorious Goodwood

first_img£25 CASH IFSPRING LOADED WINS STEWARDS’ CUPTo celebrate the launch of our brand new betting site starsports.bet we are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS £25 CASH if SPRING LOADED wins the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday.You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at starsports.bet between 9am on Saturday 4 August and 3.40pm on Saturday 4 August. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify you must open a new account at starsports.bet anytime from 9am on Saturday 4 August to 3.40pm (GMT) on Saturday 4 August.(2) In addition you must place at least one bet online with starsports.bet before 3.40pm (GMT) on Saturday 4 August. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the starsports.bet web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer will be activated if SPRING LOADED wins the Stewards’ Cup (3.40pm).(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus, if successful, will be paid as £25 CASH within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at starsports.bet.(7) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address.(8) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse this promotion at any point.(9) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team cs@www.starsportsbet.co.uklast_img read more

Rice Receives 2 Million From Intel for HighEnd Equipment

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Share CONTACT: Lia Unrau PHONE: (713) 831-4793 E-MAIL: unrau@rice.eduINTEL: Tracy KoonPHONE: (408) 765-5609RICE RECEIVES $2 MILLION FROM INTEL FOR HIGH-ENDEQUIPMENTThe Intel Corp. will award approximately $2 millionin high-speed multimedia computers, workstations, servers and networkinghardware and software to Rice University during the next three years.Faculty, researchers and students will use the equipment for computationallyintensive research projects in areas such as biosciences, geophysics, nanoscalescience, quantum chemistry and engineering, and to help establish an “electronicgovernment embassy” for the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy ofRice.“We are very grateful for the generosity of the Intel Corporation in awardingthis equipment grant to Rice,” said David Auston, provost of Rice University.“This gift, which will be used in a wide range of research areas across thecampus, is an important stimulus toward our goal to establish Rice as a leaderin the innovative uses of information technology.”The gift is part of Intel’s $85 million Technology for Education 2000 grantprogram. The award to Rice resulted from a proposal managed by Rice’s Computerand Information Technology Institute (CITI) to bring Intel computer technologyinto computationally demanding projects at Rice.“We are fortunate to be expanding to a state that boasts a number of premierschools such as Rice University,” said Steve Grant, Intel Fab 16 plant managerin Fort Worth. “Intel is proud of its commitment to education and we, at Fab 16,are excited about extending that commitment to Rice.”Rice researchers will develop new applications and tools to take advantage ofthe advanced capabilities of the new Intel processors as they are released overthe next three years. The first equipment will arrive in November.“There is research already under way on our campus that will benefit from theIntel award&emdash;highly intensive, complex computational research thatused UNIX-based computers or required supercomputers in the past,” said JordanKonisky, vice-provost for research and program director for the Intel proposal.“The Intel computers will allow our researchers to be much more efficient and totry out computational approaches that were not easily available to thempreviously.”Each research group will have its own cluster of Intel computers, which initself will be a powerful computer engine. Those clustered machines will benetworked so that on occasion researchers can use the entire system as onepowerful, high performance computer engine, instead of using supercomputers,which cost millions of dollars.“We will be able to give different groups essentially their ownhigh-performance computing installations,” said Willy Zwaenepoel, director ofCITI and co-principal investigator on the project. “We’ve never been able to dothat; we’ve always had to share one or very few of those because they were soexpensive.”“We have been aggressively developing information technology to supportacademic programs at Rice,” said Tony Gorry, vice president for informationtechnology and co-principal investigator. “This wonderful contribution fromIntel will greatly accelerate our development. As the proposal indicated, bystrengthening our distributed computing environment, we can undertake innovativecollaborative efforts in teaching and research.”The Intel award will also catalyze something absolutely new, Koniskysaid&emdash;the electronic government and archive embassy, a proposedelectronic repository and digital web site for archiving and analyzinggovernment information and actively disseminating public policy information.The Baker Institute also plans to use Intel machines to support developmentof international virtual diplomacy, through videoconferencing, shared work anddecision spaces and automatic language translations.“Our goal is to create a world-class information facility that will collect,catalog, and continuously update multimedia information on public policyissues,” said Richard Stoll, professor of political science. “We want to build aresearch and decision making tool that will be accessible to everyone from ahigh school student to a head of state.”Unlike most of CITI’s earlier efforts, which were primarily directed atsupporting high performance computing in science and engineering, this is thefirst time CITI reaches out to the humanities and the social sciences in a majorway, Zwaenepoel said.In addition to the Intel gift, Microsoft will provide its Windows NT systemsoftware for each processor given by Intel. This will mark a significant changefor Rice researchers, because nearly all high-performance computing on campushas been done with the UNIX system.“The Microsoft Windows NT Operating System has already had a major impact inthe business community,” said Tony Elam, executive director of both CITI and theIntel project. “This project will increase its impact in the scientific andtechnical community and will help students and faculty become more familiar withthe new O/S platform.”State Representative Scott Hochberg said, “Rice continues to expand theboundaries of technology in all academic areas, and to play a major role inHouston’s high tech industrial base. Intel’s generous contribution underscoresthe importance of Rice’s work to the semiconductor industry and to our state.”Intel’s Technology for Education 2000 program is designed to supportuniversity research and curriculum development and place computers,workstations, servers and networking hardware based on Intel architecture in keyresearch universities throughout the United States.  ###last_img read more

ICON issues survey of nanotechnology practices

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Long Description ICON issues survey of nanotechnology practicesBroad-based council surveys industry regarding workplace safetyThe first comprehensive, international survey of workplace safety practices in the burgeoning nanotechnology industry finds that many nanotech companies and laboratories believe nanoparticles – specks of matter that are smaller than living cells – may pose specific environmental and health risks for workers. In response, companies are reporting that they are developing special programs and procedures for mitigating risks to workers and consumers. Yet, due in part to a lack of general information regarding nanomaterials risks, companies and labs have workers using conventional environmental, health and safety (EHS) practices when handling nanomaterials, even though the practices were developed to deal with bulk materials that can have markedly different chemical properties than their nano-sized counterparts.“The use of conventional practices for handling nanomaterials appears to stem from a lack of information on the toxicological properties of nanomaterials, as well as nascent regulatory guidance regarding the proper environmental, health and safety practices that should be used with them,” said Kristen M. Kulinowski, director of the International Council on Nanotechnology, a coalition of academic, industrial, governmental and civil society organizations that commissioned the survey.The report, A Survey of Current Practices in the Nanotechnology Workplace, is available at http://icon.rice.edu. Both the survey and report were produced by a research team from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) that includes environmental scientists, sociologists, and corporate environmental management experts and anthropologists.“This is an important study because it reinforces the perspective that there needs to be more information regarding the toxicology of new nanomaterials and how they should be handled in the contexts of industry, consumers and the environment,” said Patricia Holden, principal investigator (PI) for this project and associate professor in the Bren School at UCSB, where she co-advised four master’s students in this research as part of their group thesis.“The value of this study is that we brought together knowledge of academic and industry laboratory practices, toxicologic risk assessment, and social science approaches,” said study co-PI Barbara Herr Harthorn, PI and co-director of the NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB. “This allowed us to gather and analyze a unique set of detailed data from around the globe, establishing a beachhead for future studies and a first step toward developing safe handling guidelines for nanomaterials.” Survey data were collected this summer from 64 organizations in North America, the European Union, Asia and Australia. North American and Japanese respondents each represented 39 percent of those surveyed, with 17 percent from the European Union and 5 percent from Australia. About 80 percent of responses were from private-sector companies, including for-profit entities that are developing or have developed at least one product containing nanomaterials.“The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is pleased to see the ICON report, which we will review with great interest in our ongoing efforts to further scientific research and provide interim recommendations on safe approaches to nanotechnology,” said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “We appreciate UCSB’s partnership, early in their process, in inviting us to participate in the planning and design of the survey. This work will give researchers a better understanding of current work practices in the nanotechnology industry, and valuable insight into current information gaps that might exist in understanding and managing the occupational health implications of this revolutionary technology.”Workers occupy the frontiers of nanotechnology development. Engineered nanomaterials are intentionally designed to take advantage of properties that emerge at the nanoscale, and nanotech workers typically face the greatest exposure risks from engineered nanomaterials. For example, in products containing nanomaterials that are incorporated in a plastic composite or other solid matrix, risks to consumers are believed to be minimal because the materials are locked up tight. But workers who make the products, and who handle the nanomaterials in raw form, face more risk of exposure.There remains little specific information about the potential harm workers face from most engineered nanomaterials. By attempting to understand how employers and workers are currently approaching the development and implementation of workplace safety practices, ICON and UCSB are taking an important step toward the development and global adoption of best practices to minimize exposure and hazard from engineered nanomaterials.“This report highlights some key obstacles to the responsible and successful development of nanotechnology,” said Tracy Godfrey, a project analyst with Environmental Defense. “While a majority of companies report a lack of environmental health and safety information to guide good risk management, few companies conduct their own studies to develop this information. “Environmental Defense is working to address these important gaps through our efforts to increase risk research, improve government policy, and develop proactive corporate standards.”The survey and report were part of a two-phase project aimed at determining how industry is managing the occupational safety risks that may be posed by certain nanomaterials.“When ICON began discussing the need for best-practices guidelines for handling nanomaterials, we quickly realized there was little documentation of existing workplace policies and practices,” Kulinowski said. “It’s hard to know where you need to go if you don’t know where you are. With only limited anecdotal evidence of EHS practices available, we decided that a more comprehensive evaluation was needed.”The first-phase report, Current Knowledge and Practices regarding Environmental Health and Safety in the Nanotechnology Workplace, was issued last month. It offered a review and analysis of existing efforts to develop “best practices” for workplace safety in the nascent nanotech industry. Today’s second-phase report takes a snapshot of industry practices currently in use. Taken together, the two reports provide the first-ever overview of environmental health and safety in the nanotechnology workplace.ICON, which commissioned the survey and worked with UCSB’s team during both phases of the project, is committed to developing and communicating information regarding the potential health and environmental risks of nanotechnology and of thereby fostering risk reduction while maximizing societal benefits of the growing industry. ICON is administered by Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN).ICON issued a call for proposals for the study in late 2005 and awarded the grant to the UCSB team in March. The UCSB team includes Magali Delmas, associate professor of corporate environmental management; Richard Appelbaum, professor of sociology and global and international studies;  Bren master’s students Gina Gerritzen, Keith Killpack, Maria Mircheva and Leia Huang; and sociology doctorale candidate Joe Conti. Jade Boyd Rice University 713-348-6778 jadeboyd@rice.eduGail Gallessich UC Santa Barbara 805-893-7220 gail.g@ia.ucsb.edu Sharelast_img read more

Rice Nanyang Tech collaborate on sustainable nanoelectronics

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduRice, Nanyang Tech collaborate on sustainable nanoelectronicsU.S.-Singapore team aims to leverage Moore’s Law for embedded computingComputing researchers at Houston’s Rice University and electronics specialists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today announced the formation of a $2.6-million Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics (ISNE). The joint research initiative, valued at 4 million Singapore dollars, aims to slash the design and production costs for embedded microchips — special-purpose computer chips that power everything from cell phones and digital cameras to jet airplanes and MRI machines.“A major goal of the collaboration is to help sustain Moore’s Law and exploit the exponential rate at which electronic components have been shrinking for more than four decades,” said Rice researcher Krishna Palem, the architect of the multinational initiative.For instance, in a streaming video application on a cell phone, it’s unnecessary to conduct precise calculations. The small screen, combined with the human brain’s ability to process less-than-perfect pictures, results in a case where the picture looks just as good with a calculation that’s only approximately correct.“The key is tying the costs for design, energy consumption and production to the value that the computed information has for the user,” Palem said.ISNE is funded by and based at NTU. It will draw upon an International Network of Excellence directed by Palem. The broad-based network will include computing experts from elite organizations like NTU, Rice and the Georgia Institute of Technology.“NTU is pleased to be collaborating with Rice to spearhead research in sustainable nanoelectronics,” said NTU President Su Guaning. “Leveraging the strengths of NTU and Rice, both top technological universities, will no doubt bring about exciting breakthroughs. We are also glad to have Professor Palem, renowned for his computing methodology, head the ISNE.”The institute will partner with Rice’s new Value of Information-based Sustainable Embedded Nanocomputing Center, or VISEN, which Palem recently established with seed funding from Rice. “Rice and NTU are well-positioned to lead the search for sustainable new technologies in nanoelectronics,” said Rice President David Leebron. “NTU is a leader in electronics and a well-known contributor to Singapore’s economic vitality. Rice is a leader in engineering and nanotechnology, with a well-deserved reputation for international collaboration and the development and application of new ideas.”The institute hopes to evolve a design methodology that will be applicable not only to today’s complementary metal AddThislast_img read more

Attorney Benjamin Hall to speak at Rice U Nov 17

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareCONTACT: B.J. AlmondPHONE: 713-348-6770E-MAIL: balmond@rice.eduAttorney Benjamin Hall to speak at Rice U. Nov. 17Attorney Benjamin Hall III, a legal expert in construction law and personal injury litigation, will speak about “Being ‘Ridiculous’ in an Era of Gradualistic Thinking” at Rice University Nov. 17.The free lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. in Room 117 of the Humanities Building on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St.Hall is a Harvard-trained lawyer who founded the Hall Law Firm, which specializes in complex construction litigation, complex commercial and contract cases and consumer/personal injury claims. Hall served as city attorney during the administration of Houston Mayor Bob Lanier. Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine, Hall has the highest rating for professional competence and ethical standards awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, the leading legal reference directory in the U.S. He received the NAACP Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award in 2007. He is an ordained Christian minister who has served the Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ since 1974.Hall’s lecture is part of the Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE) Speakers Series, which advances understanding of Houston’s impact on religiosity, social justice, political equality and other national issues by inviting noteworthy figures to give public lectures.The HERE Project is a curricular and research initiative created to advance Rice’s relationship with the larger Houston community and to enhance faculty research and both undergraduate and graduate education.For information on parking at Rice, visit http://parking.rice.edu.last_img read more

Rice author of Choosing Schools available to comment on US education system

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jessica StarkPHONE: 713-348-6777E-MAIL: stark@rice.eduRice author of ‘Choosing Schools’ available to comment on US education system in light of ‘Waiting for Superman’ film New movie puts spotlight on American educationA Rice University professor who authored “Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools” is available to comment on the U.S. education system, which is taken to task in the new movie “Waiting for Superman” that opens tomorrow in Houston. Melissa Marschall, associate professor of political science, can discuss issues raised by the movie as well as education trends such as segregation and the significant increase in the number and availability of schooling options. “Like many problems in the world, one of the fundamental problems with the education system in the U.S. is inequality — of both opportunity and outcomes,” Marschall said. “It’s not that all of our schools are failing or that all of our children are not meeting academic standards, but the fact that failure and low performance are concentrated — in our urban school systems and in our schools that serve underprivileged, low-income and minority students.” She said that data shows segregation is on the rise.“African-American and Latino students are more racially segregated in American schools today than they have been since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1965,” Marschall said. “They are also more concentrated in high-poverty schools today than they were in the past — about 40 percent of Latino and African-American kids attend high-poverty schools.” Another trend in education is the increase in the number of public charter schools, which has tripled in the last decade. Charter schools now enroll about 3 percent of all U.S. public school students and represent about 5 percent of all public schools, she said. “Some of the charter schools are exemplary, and there are now models that have been developed, tested and demonstrated to work,” Marschall said. “These kinds of options are clearly needed for the kids featured in ‘Waiting for Superman.’ The fact that these models are rapidly expanding surely gives parents in inner-city neighborhoods something to hope for. But expanded school choice is not going to fix the greatest civil rights issue of this generation — the achievement gap.”Marschall’s research focuses on local politics, educational policy, participation and issues of race and ethnicity. Her book, “Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools,” received the Policy Studies Association Aaron Wildavsky Award for the Best Policy Book. She is currently working on a book that examines immigrants and schooling, focusing on parent involvement. AddThislast_img read more