Month: July 2019

MPs have called on the government to set up a new

first_imgMPs have called on the government to set up a new independent body – modelled on the police complaints watchdog – to investigate the deaths of benefit claimants.The recommendation for a new organisation similar to the Independent Police Complaints Commission came in a report on the government’s benefits sanctions regime by the Commons work and pensions select committee.The committee said that such a body should conduct reviews “at the request of relatives, or automatically where no living relative remains, in all instances where an individual on an out-of-work working age benefit dies whilst in receipt of that benefit”.Such an organisation would operate under the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, and should ensure “that the role of all publicly-funded agencies involved in the provision of services or benefits to the individual is scrutinised”, and that recommendations for improvements are produced.The committee’s call follows a series of Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests by Disability News Service (DNS) that eventually revealed how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has carried out 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.The report also calls on DWP to reveal how many of these reviews concerned benefit recipients who were subject to a sanction – stopping payment of a benefit for a period because a claimant has not met a particular condition – at the time of their death.Of the 49 “peer reviews”, 33 contained recommendations for improvements in procedures at either national or local level within DWP.And 40 of the 49 internal reviews were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant, information that came from a response to another DNS FoIA request.But despite a string of FoIA requests from DNS, and others, DWP has refused to publish the reviews, or their summaries, recommendations or conclusions, even with personal details removed.Dame Anne Begg, the disabled Labour MP and chair of the committee, said: “We have asked DWP to confirm the number of internal peer reviews in which the claimant was subject to a benefit sanction at the time of death, and the result of these reviews in terms of changes to DWP policy.“It is important that all agencies involved in the provision of public services are scrutinised, to ensure that lessons are learned after members of the public are let down by the system, particularly where the failures of a public body may have contributed to a death.“We believe that a new independent body should be established to fulfil this role.”The committee also called for an independent inquiry, in the next parliament, to investigate whether benefit sanctions were being applied “appropriately, fairly and proportionately” by Jobcentre Plus offices.Dame Anne said: “Benefit sanctions are controversial because they withhold subsistence-level benefits from people who may have little or no other income.”She said the committee believed that policy on conditions for claiming benefits must be “based on clear evidence of what works in terms of encouraging people to take up the support which is available to help them get back into work”, and must then be applied “fairly and proportionately”.She said: “The system must also be capable of identifying and protecting vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. And it should avoid causing severe financial hardship.“The system as currently applied does not always achieve this.”The committee said there was a need for changes to the system of discretionary hardship payments, to ensure that it was “more effective” in reducing the risk of sanctions causing “severe financial hardship”.It also called on DWP to develop its guidance that helps Jobcentre Plus staff with identifying “vulnerable claimants” and “tailoring the conditions applied to them accordingly”.And it called on DWP to review the use of sanctioning of claimants of the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA) within the Work Programme, and to “continue to develop alternative approaches to employment support” for ESA claimants.Meanwhile, a survey by the Benefits and Work website found that nearly 90 per cent of those who responded (88.1 per cent) believe the benefits system is “inhuman” in the way it treats claimants, while a similar number (88.7 per cent) said their health had suffered because of difficulties with the benefits system.An even larger proportion (97.3 per cent) said they believed that the deaths of some claimants had been mainly due to benefits sanctions, benefits cuts, or unfair decision-making.The site received more than 1,000 responses to its survey in just two days, after a link to the questions was included in a Benefits and Work newsletter.last_img read more

SAINTS have teamed up with Hattons Solicitors to o

first_imgSAINTS have teamed up with Hattons Solicitors to offer fans the chance to win a great prize.All you have to do is sign up to Hattons Gold and it could be yours.The VIP prize will take to you to Haydock Park Racecourse on Saturday July 20 and to watch Madness!It includes Premier Enclosure entrance badges, a luxury three course meal in Harry’s Bistro, racecards and racing paper, a reserved table for the day and a reserved car park pass for four people, as well as live music from Madness later in the evening.Simply click here and follow the instructions. Good Luck!last_img read more

Stamp Out Hunger brings thousands of pounds of food for local food

first_imgPHOTO: USPS mail carrier Matt Headley WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  This weekend the National Letter Carrier’s Association collected all across the Cape Fear not just mail – but food that will go back to help feed families in our area.The annual ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ food drive collected non perishable foods mailbox to mailbox and door to door around the country this weekend.- Advertisement – Locally ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ went to help food banks like the Food Bank of Central and Eastern here in Wilmington.The food bank reports they’ve already gathered 10% more than in 2017 with 72,000 pounds of food in Wilmington alone.They are waiting to gather final numbers from the neighboring counties, but already that food collected will amount to more than 60 thousand meals.last_img read more

UNCW students move out of University Apartments for indefinite future

first_img Students were re-assigned to new apartments. Most people were placed on campus, but one student says his roommate had to be placed in a nearby hotel.“To find out that it was all just not going to go back to the way it was at all and just be a thousand times worse, that was just super stressful. Because we were supposed to move back, I woke up super early. I was ready to go. then they were like ‘Oh wait, don’t come back.’ Then likes 10 minutes later, they were like, ‘Okay, you can come back.’ Then they were like, ‘no,’” said freshman Matthew Michelotti.Michelotti says he wishes the university had communicated more with them about the situation. The university did have volunteers to help students move out. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Move-out day for some UNCW students came earlier expected. Students living in the University Apartments had to move out Saturday morning due to damage from Hurricane Florence.Around 400 students started moving out at 10 am Saturday. They were told Friday evening that apartments will be closed until further notice.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Women make up 23 of new police recruits

first_imgDOI / Clifton FenechDOI / Clifton Fenech Women make up 23% of new police recruits. Currently 56 new police recruits are receiving training at the Police Academy, 13 of which are women.Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia visited the recruits, accompanied by Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, Academy Commandant Joseph Cachia and Chairman of the Academy Board Raymond Mangion.The training for recruits consists of is based on realistic situations, use of weapons, crime scene investigations, laws, fundamental human rights and ethics, economic crimes, cybercrimes and community policing.Community policing pilot project to be launched at the end of summerFarrugia said that a community policing pilot project will be launched at the end of summer in Mellieħa. The Minister met with a number of police officers who were carrying out in-service training with emphasis on community policing.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

China tops US as worlds largest PC market for now

first_imgAdvertisement China represented 22% of the global PC market’s unit shipments compared to the US at 21%.Before we start shifting our global perspectives, it is worth noting that the research giant is expecting the PC market leadership to change once again. The upcoming US Christmas holiday season combined with the Chinese market’s typically quiet end to the year should see Uncle Sam regain the top spot at the close of 2011.However, expect things to change more permanently next year with IDC predicting that 2012 will see China’s PC shipments top the US’s by more than 10%. – Advertisement – The, albeit temporary, change at the top is “a huge shift that reflects the rising fortunes of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of more mature regions” according to IDC’s Loren Loverde.We agree that with its 1.3 billion population developing a strong interest in technology and the web, this is a sign of things to come from China.With China Mobile, the country’s largest operator with a staggering 600 million plus subscribers, in talks with Apple to finally license the iPhone, it seems like only a matter of time before the Asian giant challenges the west, and the ultimately US, on shipments of the world’s most recognisable smartphone.After all, according to The Register, grey market users have already given China mobile 7.44 million iPhone users already.Source: TNW Newslast_img read more

Apple Introduces SensorAssisted Location Technology that will combat the Problems associated with

first_imgAdvertisement Apple has submitted a filing today titled “Sensor-Assisted Location Fix.”Apple described location scenarios beyond parking and discusses location-centric problems and solutions associated with driving in urban canyons, which is a powerful image when you think of cities like New York, Hong Kong, Osaka, Beijing, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and others that have massive buildings in their downtown business cores.Apple ays their invention relates to sensor-assisted location technology. Primary location technologies, such as GPS, can be used to determine the current location (e.g., a location fix) of a location-enabled device. In some instances, the primary location technology may be unreliable and/or consume more power than an alternative location technology. – Advertisement – Sensors, such as accelerometers, compasses, gyrometers, and the like, can be used to supplement and/or increase the accuracy of location data. For example, a location-enabled device can identify an area with unreliable GPS location data and use sensors to calculate a more accurate location.Areas identified may be crowd-sourced. Sensors can be used to identify errors in the location data provided by primary location technology. Sensors can be used to modify a sampling interval of the primary location technology. Sensors can be used to smooth motion on a user interface between sampling intervals of the primary location technology.In one of Apple’s more interesting scenarios for sensor-assisted location technology they discuss the problems with walking or driving in an “Urban Canyon.” In respect to driving, Urban Canyons can play havoc with Apple’s Maps Turn by Turn Navigation. If you’re a tourist, you sure want to know exactly where to turn in New York or any other major city where urban canyons exist. Apple dedicates a section of the patent filing to this problem.Apple walks us through the problem of Urban Canyons. Apple notes system 400 includes a road 410, small structures 420, large structures 430, and a vehicle (e.g., vehicle 251) illustrated in various progressive positions (450-456).A mobile device such as an iPhone may be inside of the vehicle. Although FIG. 4 illustrates a car moving through an area with unreliable location signals, the same concepts could apply to a person in another type of vehicle or a person walking through an urban canyon or similar problematic area where a primary location technology is unreliable.When the vehicle #450 (shown at the very bottom of the patent figure above), the location of the vehicle (or mobile device in the vehicle) can be determined location using a primary location technology, such as GPS, cellular, WiFi, and/or time of flight location technologies. At position 450, the vehicle and/or mobile device can still receive a reliable location signal from the primary location technology. Everything is fine in position #451 as the vehicle approaches the urban canyon.Then as the vehicle and/or mobile device moves further into the downtown core the road is met with large high rise which may obstruct one or more location signals. If at position 452, only the primary location technology was used, it is possible that the location data would be inaccurate and may have a high margin of error.In some embodiments, the precise location of the vehicle and/or mobile device at an area with unreliable location signals can be critical. For example, a right turn or a left turn may be made at the intersection. The primary location technology may not be able to determine reliably whether the vehicle and/or mobile device has turned or continued straight down the road.In the urban canyon scenario, a more reliable location can be calculated by switching to estimation mode when a problematic area is identified as noted above.Apple’s sensor-assisted location fix patent filing is very detailed as could be expected with such a detailed problem and there’s no magic bullet that could capture the entire solution Apple has devised into one neat paragraph. Those wanting to delve into more of the specifics can review Apple’s patent filing here.Apple credits Devrim Varoglu as the sole inventor of this patent application that was originally filed in Q1 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.Source: Patently Applelast_img read more

Zoom Wireless Launches HighSpeed And Affordable Internet In Northern Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement Zoom Wireless (, a commercial wing of SINFA Uganda LTD, is now officially delivering the most affordable, unlimited high-speed Internet access to businesses and residences in and around Gulu, Uganda.  On January 1, 2015, Zoom Wireless was granted its commercial ISP license, clearing the way to offer commercial service in Gulu and implement plans for regional expansion.Zoom Wireless is offering Internet services for corporate customers with speeds from 1-9 Mbps and small business/residential options of 512 kbps, 1 Mbps or 3 Mbps at approximately 50% of the rates of their competitors and with no usage caps. These services will transform the way people access and use the Internet for business, operations and entertainment by offering reliable, high-speed access that enables use of cloud-based productivity services, streaming video and more.  Zoom will also offer cloud-based services and custom-managed Wi-Fi networks for hotels, universities and other campus settings.In August 2014, Gulu based Zoom Wireless began offering a range of corporate and small business/residential grade fixed wireless services as a trial. Zoom partnered with San Francisco based EveryLayer to design and deploy the network and cloud-based management system. With EveryLayer,  Zoom deployed fiber-backed, carrier grade WiFi network and was able to deliver an affordable, high-speed service within 12 weeks with 10 times less capital and operating expense than traditional LTE networks. – Advertisement – Zoom’s early customers are taking notice.  Otim Khaled, owner of Javanet Internet Café, shares “traffic has increased dramatically due to the quality of service and operating costs are down by 50 percent.”  Annemaaike Kruisselbrink, Executive Director of Unified for Uganda, an NGO supporting destitute youth, shares “with Zoom’s high-speed service we can now confidently use cloud-based services, making our day-to-day operations more efficient enabling us to better serve local children,”‘’Given the overwhelming demand for high-speed Internet we are experiencing in Gulu, Zoom Wireless plans to extend its services to all the busy towns in Northern and West Nile regions of Uganda,” says Moses Olweny, Zoom Wireless Sales and Marketing Manager.“Zoom Wireless is delivering the promise of the cloud to Northern Uganda with truly high-speed, affordable Internet,” said Mark Summer, CEO and co-founder of EveryLayer. “As EveryLayer’s first partner, Zoom Wireless proves the demand, profitability and growth potential of broadband services in emerging markets. We looked forward to working with Zoom Wireless to rapidly expand broadband in the North.”For more information please go to: and read more

Elijah Kisakye Charlene Kasumba win Vodafone Whatsapp Mania competition

first_imgimage credit:googleusercontent Advertisement He was evicted only a week into last year’s Rated Next competition even when he was one of the fans’ favorites and a few days later he promised not to give up on his dream.Last night, Elijah Kisakye, who is known by Elisongs among his peers, finally won a music search competition when he walked home with audio and video recording contracts with Talent Africa and Deuces Entertainment respectively.Image Credit: chano8This was at the Vodafone WhatsApp Mania music competition grand finale at Jazzville, Bugolobi. The first runner-up, Charlene Kasumba, only won an audio contract. Prior to the grand finale, Elijah posted the biggest number of views on the competition’s website from Day One and it’s not by coincidence that even when the big day arrived his name sat well in the hearts of the hundreds of guests who attended the event.Image Credit: chano8 – Advertisement – In his opening remarks, Vodafone Uganda CEO Allan Richardson said; “Vodafone is passionate about all things technology and what it can do to enable young people achieve their dreams without barriers”.The judges were Peter Miles, who also performed on the night with his other singing half Menshan, Vodafone’s Rukh-Shana Namuyimba, Ken Daniels Kayongo and Moses Serugo. Vodafone WhatsApp Mania, Africa’s first WhatsApp-based music competition, was launched in January, 2016 to give Ugandans with a dream to become global music icons, an opportunity to kick-start their music careers.The other contestants were; Michael Mpho, Penelope Nankunda, Fahad Bin Haruna, Winnie Kisa Nakabanda, Mc Young Wizy, Oloya Joel, Address K, Apio Lilian, Ashley Gold, Giga. S. Conso, Kenneth Robert, Leonard Muka, Catherine Hellen Nakiwala, and Tumuhairwe Derrick.last_img read more

New ITU Standard provides basis for high quality Voice over LTE

first_imgAdvertisement A new ITU standard highlights the key factors influencing end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) for voice communications over 4G mobile networks. The standard will form the basis of future ITU standards on specific aspects of QoS for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video-telephony over LTE (ViLTE).The entrance of 4G mobile-wireless communications signaled the arrival of a multimedia-rich user experience. Despite 4G’s significant advances over previous generations of mobile-wireless technology, ensuring high-quality voice communications remains a significant challenge in the packet-based communications environment.Recommendation ITU-T G.1028 “End-to-end QoS for voice over 4G mobile networks” was developed by ITU’s standardization expert group for ‘performance, QoS and QoE’, ITU-T Study Group 12. – Advertisement – ITU-T G.1028 offers guidance on the factors impacting the end-to-end performance of “managed” voice applications over LTE networks and how the impacts of these factors should be assessed. The standard describes typical end-to-end scenarios involving LTE access, including scenarios where one of the parties connects using a wired or wireless access technology other than VoLTE.[related-posts]These scenarios are based on typical reference connections defined in ITU-T G.1028, connections which are composed of segments including terminals, wireless access, backhaul networks and core networks. The standard also presents considerations relevant to the sharing of the budget of some key parameters, in addition providing the locations where these parameters can be assessed across the segments of VoLTE connections.Source: ITU News Loglast_img read more