Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is f

first_imgWork and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is facing fresh calls to quit or be fired after suggesting in the House of Commons that disabled people were not “normal”.Duncan Smith (pictured) told MPs during work and pensions questions this week that the government was trying to increase the proportion of disabled people in work “back up to the level of normal, non-disabled people”.His comments drew an angry reaction from disabled campaigners.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “We talk about unreconstructed chauvinists. He is an unreconstructed disablist.“If that is the way he is thinking he then has not got a clue about the social model of disability.“It’s appalling, extremely offensive, especially coming from the secretary of state. It requires an apology.”Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said: “The real danger is that it is this kind of comment which ‘trolls’ and elements of social media use to increase hostility and have a laugh at our expense.“Terminology is a driver to hostility, and it is one of the biggest battles we who are challenging disability hate crime face.”WOWpetition’s Michelle Maher said on Twitter that Duncan Smith had “vilified and ‘othered’ disabled people”, while disabled comedian Francesca Martinez told her Twitter followers: “If Iain Duncan Smith is ‘normal’, I’m glad I’m not.”Disabled social affairs journalist Frances Ryan wrote in the Guardian: “Yes, it is important to bring disabled people up to the level of ‘normal’ people.“Similarly, I often think it would be wonderful to bring the competence and empathy of the secretary of state for work and pensions up to the level of a trained chimp.”She added: “Am I disgusted that on one afternoon Iain Duncan Smith spoke of disabled people as if they are less than other people? I am more disgusted that, through five years into a decade of power, that is exactly how he treats us.”Vicky McDermott, the disabled chief executive of Papworth Trust, said the charity was “surprised and shocked” at his comments.She said: “At a time of such sensitivities around the future of sickness benefits and the comprehensive spending review, Mr Duncan Smith should have chosen his words far more wisely.”Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, who has repeatedly tried to call ministers to account in the Commons over social security reform, asked David Cameron during prime minister’s questions this week if his work and pensions secretary would face investigation for breaching the ministerial code.She said Duncan Smith’s department had “admitted to falsifying testimonies in leaflets”, while he had published data on the deaths of people on sickness benefits, despite telling MPs that these figures did not exist, in addition to his latest “offensive remarks”.Abrahams added on Twitter that these remarks were “more evidence that #IDSmustgo”.Disability News Service asked Duncan Smith’s constituency office yesterday if he would respond to criticism of his comments, and whether he would apologise, but had not heard back by noon today (Friday).Meanwhile, Labour MP David Lammy, a contender to be the party’s candidate for London mayor, has backed the WOWpetition’s attempt to shame the government into assessing the overall impact of its cuts and reforms on disabled people.Lammy said: “We should be gravely concerned by the government’s relentless offensive against the country’s most vulnerable groups, including those who are disabled.“As a London MP, I’ve met with many individuals affected by the government’s austerity agenda – a cumulative impact assessment [CIA] is clearly needed to assess the extent to which the country’s disabled population are bearing the brunt of the government’s cuts.“I’m backing the WOW campaign because the failure of the government to carry out a CIA is indicative of [an] agenda which marginalises those who need support in order to live their lives to the fullest.”Last night, the WOWpetition had attracted 17,764 signatures, nearly a fifth of the way to its target of 100,000 by 13 February 2016. If it reaches that target it should ensure the petition is debated by MPs.last_img read more

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BANG in form Saints are now preparing for their bl

first_imgBANG in form Saints are now preparing for their blockbusting home tie with Warrington Wolves.Nathan Brown’s side have won seven from their last eight and scored 246 points in the process.That has seen them rise to fifth in Super League after a season beset with injuries.The next big test will come on Friday August 30 when Warrington come to Langtree Park.Meetings between the two sides are split at present this season and there will be all to play for when the game kicks off at 8pm.Be part of it and be #saintsheartbeatYou can buy your tickets from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img

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A disappointing 86 loss last week to Hull FC was

first_imgA disappointing 8-6 loss last week to Hull FC was the club’s first in five games and the second rower admits it’s something they need to address at Headingley.“It was a tough one to swallow because we played so well against Castleford,” he said. “We came back home after a good win but dished up football like that. We were pretty disappointed but the boys are ready to bounce back against Leeds.“Whoever held the ball in those tough conditions would take home the win and in the end Hull played a lot smarter than us. We’re dirty about that but we are definitely moving on now and preparing for Leeds the best we can.“It is a big game on Friday for both teams. They need a big game as well as they came up with a disappointing performance against Wakefield.“Then you add in the event around the South Stand too. It might play on their minds a little bit as they need to put on a good performance.”He continued: “We will just go over and do what we have been doing in the last few weeks. If the weather isn’t good then hopefully we will play the conditions a lot better than the opposition.“I think we have the perfect gameplan and if we execute it right we can hopefully get the win.“They’re a team who don’t play a lot structured footy; they offload and have a lot of passing in their game. It’s one of those matches where we need to trust in each other and defensively tie in.”Taia will line up against his former Newcastle teammate Adam Cuthbertson – and he picks him out as one to watch.“I played with Adam at the Knights so know what to expect,” he added. “If he gets that arm free the offload is coming so it is important we stay up, don’t knock off or retreat too early. We have to make sure we defend that stuff as they have a lot of players who have that second ball play.“We can make the four and reach Old Trafford for sure. We are only one point away at the moment but we know we cannot afford to drop many more games.“We are going to Leeds to get the win and kick on after that.”Tickets for our trip to Leeds and our home blockbuster with Wigan on September 1 are on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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NHSO Deputies tase naked man after breaking into home

first_imgWilliam Barefoot is charged with breaking and entering (Photo: NHSO) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man for breaking into a home on Golden Road Thursday evening. Deputies say the man was fully nude when they caught him, but when he didn’t comply with commands that’s when a deputy tased him.A sheriff’s office spokesman said it happened around 5:30 p.m. near 200 Golden Road.- Advertisement – William Barefoot was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be checked out.Barefoot is charged with breaking and entering. He’s being held in the New Hanover County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond.Highway Patrol assisted deputies during the incident. The deputy who tased Barefoot is not on leave.last_img

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Public schools owed 750M by state bring lawsuit

first_img The state constitution requires fines and forfeitures collected by state agencies go to public schools, but they haven’t sent all the money along.School boards sued in 1998 and the state Supreme Court agreed that state agencies were violating the constitution. A trial judge in 2008 determined how much money districts should receive, but stopped short of ordering the legislature to pay up, saying that was beyond the scope of his judicial power. DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina school districts are suing the state, again, to get hundreds of millions of dollars that the courts say should go to education.The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the North Carolina School Boards Association and 20 individual school boards, including New Hanover County, revives a decades-long legal battle over nearly $750 million in civil penalties.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Teens help those affected by Hurricane Florence Matthew

first_imgCOLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Plenty of people in our region are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Now some are getting relief, thanks to students willing to sacrifice part of their summer break to help others.“Spreading the love of Christ in a practical way,” that’s this year’s slogan for Mission Serve. Mission Serve is an organization that brings together church youth groups from all over the country to help those in need.- Advertisement – “These kids, not only do they give up a week of summer vacation to be here and sweat in the sun, and shower in a trailer or a nasty school bathroom, they pay to be here. Because they have a heart for it,” said Joseph Partin, an 18-year-old college chaperone with the organization.With people all over Columbus County still dealing with the aftermath Hurricanes Florence and Matthew, Mission Serve decided to bring their efforts there, with nearly 300 students ranging from sixth grade to college.“I’m just really grateful to help these others, and especially since it’s in North Carolina, we don’t think about it being around us but it really is,” said Lindsay Morris, an 18-year-old student from Raleigh.Related Article: Court blocks tree removal company after price-gouging claimVolunteer construction captains are there to help the students, and professional contractors make sure the work is done right. Many of these students have never even picked up a hammer.“It’s kind of hard sometimes, because we’re not all experienced that much with construction work and roofs,” said Julia Harris, an 18-year-old student from Charleston. This is my first time on a roof, so it’s definitely challenging.”On Monday, two groups with the organization began working on a home belonging to a Ms. Fisher. Her son Jonathan told us this work means the world to her.“She’s had a roof leak, and when she uses the bathroom, she has an umbrella that she has to use when it’s raining,” Jonathan Fisher said.The work is funded by the Columbus Baptist Association. Project specialist Alexis Friday says Mission Serve works with local churches to identify homeowners in need.“My mom actually made me go on my first trip. And I really didn’t want to, and then once I got out there, I loved it and I’ve gone back ever since,” Friday said. “It’s just a really incredible experience.”“It’s always a good time, and it’s always tough. But we’re out here to help people who have been hurting, and to spread the love of Christ in a practical way,” said Partin.The students say besides learning construction and people skills, they form friendships that last for years to come.last_img read more

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Mobile OS Battle Android BlackBerry iOS and Windows Phone

first_imgAdvertisement Symbian is on the fast track to extinction, and WebOS (found on Palm and some HP devices) is a minor player.Gladiators, Step ForthAndroid: They say it takes a village to raise a child, and Android is a great example. It’s parented not only by Google but also by the members of the Open Handset Alliance, many of whom are among the biggest, baddest companies in the world. It’s no wonder that this puppy is tearing through everyone else’s market share. Android first appeared on a phone in October 2008. – Advertisement – BlackBerry: The veteran of the four, the BlackBerry OS hails from Research in Motion. When they debuted in 1999, BlackBerry devices were little e-mail machines, and that was pretty much it. Now running on OS version 6, with 7 on the horizon, they can do a lot more.iOS: The first iPhone was born in June 2007 to Apple. What was then known as “iPhone OS” in 2010 changed its name to iOS to incorporate the iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. Coveted by yuppies, hipsters, and pretty much everyone else, iOS looks tough to beat.Full of widgets, apps, and shortcuts, this is an example of extreme customization on Android.Windows Phone 7 (WP7): The rookie. The successor to Windows Mobile OS (and Symbian’s usurper), Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s newborn, first appearing in November 2010. Windows Phone 7 was a major shift in focus from the business world to the consumer world, and Microsoft temporarily dropped support for many business features to get this first iteration out. Adoption has been slow, but now that Microsoft has partnered with Nokia, some analysts are predicting a growth spurt. As one might expect from the youngest OS, many features are still missing, but a number of those omissions should be addressed in this fall’s “Mango” update.Now, contenders, return to your corners and come out swinging!The BattlesApps:Apple’s App Store has the most apps available for a phone (nearly 380,000), but soon it will be overtaken by the Android Market (about 300,000), perhaps this summer. Android has already overtaken iOS in the number of free apps. BlackBerry App World hovers somewhere around 30,000 apps, but it is expected that before turning a year old, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace (currently about 18,000 apps) will surpass it later this year.The quality of the apps is the subject of much debate, but such a huge number of app developers are publishing across multiple platforms that the argument is becoming somewhat irrelevant. In general, iOS often gets its edition of most apps first, and the apps tend to be more polished when they first launch. Android equivalents catch up quickly, and sometimes even offer more functionality (such as better sharing options and deeper access to the phone’s resources).Windows Phone 7 apps work best when they try to match the aesthetics and flow of that interface, but otherwise tend to fall on their faces. Windows Phone 7 is still young, though, and many of these kinks should be worked out over time. Third-party apps can’t multitask at this point, and they don’t feel deeply integrated; however, such shortcomings will be fixed with Mango.Against the other mobile OSs, BlackBerry apps generally feel like 8-bit Nintendo games next to a Playstation or Xbox. Both quality and selection are sorely lacking, and the even best BlackBerry apps are generally less user-friendly than their counterparts on other platforms.Apps Winner: iOS gets the win here, with Android close behind.Productivity and Business Apps:The vast majority of U.S. businesses work in Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as with Microsoft Exchange (a server for e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks). Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone 7 has all that and more. Office files are easy to work with, and can be synced using SharePoint.Some businesses have made the leap from Microsoft products to those made by Google–such as Apps for Business, Docs, Calendar, and Gmail–and it’s a safe bet that more will soon make the jump, with cheap Chromebooks on the way.No other mobile OS integrates as fully with Google products as Android does–it’s the only platform with a native Google Docs app. Its Exchange integration is also good. For working with Microsoft documents, third-party Android apps are available.Apple’s excellent iOS productivity suite, iWork, is now available for the iPhone. The App Store is also packed with third-party productivity apps, which range from fantastic to terrible. Exchange integration in iOS is decent. Android and iOS 4, by the way, both allow their devices to be used as Wi-Fi hotspots, which can be a life-saver.BlackBerry is also relegated to third-party apps for dealing with Office files–including Documents to Go. Blackberry App World is relatively miniscule, though there are gems, such as RIM’s BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing. That said, BlackBerry’s Exchange integration is second to none–if your business is running BlackBerry Exchange Server (BES). BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS)–the server that’s more for consumers–will sync e-mail but not contacts, calendars, tasks, or notes. The other OSs do this without making you pay (BES is about $15 a month more than BIS).Productivity and Business Apps Winner: Windows Phone 7 wins, thanks to Microsoft Office Mobile. E-mail:BlackBerry e-mail is fast and reliable; plus, it can funnel all of your accounts–and your SMS and BlackBerry Messenger messages–within a single inbox. E-mail on the other three operating systems looks cleaner, but I’ll take functionality first.Android and iOS offer integrated inboxes that combine multiple accounts, whereas Windows Phone 7 keeps them separate (again, this will change with Mango). Interestingly, on Android your Gmail account gets its own app rather than being integrated into the single mailbox.E-mail Winner: E-mail on any OS works well with Exchange, but BlackBerry wins.Calendar:Windows Phone 7 has the best-looking calendar tool of any mobile OS, and it can sync with multiple calendars from different sources. It’s not without limitations, however. For example, it can sync only with your main Google calendar.Android and iOS have straightforward, easy-to-read calendars. They aren’t as pretty as Windows Phone 7’s, but they can handle virtually all of the same tasks, as well as multiple Google calendars. Naturally, Android handles Google Calendar better than the rest, but iOS is almost as good (though you may have to go through a few extra steps to use multiple calendars).BlackBerry’s calendar does most of what the others do, but it doesn’t look as good. It has trouble with multiple Google calendars, and if you want it to sync with Exchange you need BES, as BIS can sync only e-mail. This should change to serve the consumer market.Calendar Winner: Windows Phone 7 edges out Android and iOS. Contacts:All four operating systems deal with contacts fairly well, supporting multiple Exchange accounts and allowing you to integrate contacts from different Exchange accounts. But again, with BlackBerry, you can wirelessly sync contacts only if you’re on a BES server or use third-party software.Contacts Winner: Android gets the nod for merging contacts wirelessly from multiple e-mail accounts and Exchange accounts, as well as Facebook and Twitter. If you already rely on Gmail, though, Android is a clear winner.Remote Control and VNC Options:VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It means, essentially, the capability to control a computer remotely, via the Internet, from another computer or mobile device. It’s handy in a pinch, less so on devices with smaller screens and slower processsors. Android and iOS have the most and the best VNC options, with LogMeIn Ignition at the forefront. For Windows Phone 7, Remote Desktop is the most popular. BlackBerry falls behind; the few VNC clients built for it have low user ratings. The most popular is VNC Plus, but don’t expect too much if you’re using devices with smaller screens and slower processors. Remote Control and VNC Winner: Android and iOS tie.Keyboards:iOS had the first great touchscreen keyboard. It’s generally responsive and accurate, and text correction works well. The first time I saw the software keyboard on Windows Phone 7, I thought there was no way I could type on its tiny “buttons.” Yet somehow, my typing was quick and accurate. Its text prediction and autocorrect are good, but better key visibility would be nice.One big reason to buy a BlackBerry phone is for its hardware keyboard. Touchscreen keyboards on BlackBerrys, however, are nothing to write home about.The native keyboard standard in Android is decent, but the option to install third-party keyboards is great. Options include the sliding keyboards Swype or SlideIT, and the almost spooky text-prediction of SwiftKey.SwiftKey is one of the slick replacement keyboards available for Android.Keyboards Winner: Android rules this hard-fought category.Security:From a business standpoint, BlackBerry remains the gold standard in security. All of the operating systemshave remote-wipe capabilities, can set unlock passwords, and can help you find a lost device, but BlackBerry has more end-to-end data encryption than the others–including encryption for removable storage.Windows Phone 7 lags a bit, though more security features will come with Mango. It’s worth noting that third-party iOS and Android apps often share more information than you would like, so read the permissions before you install. (For a more in-depth analysis, check out this PCWorld Business Center article on smartphone security.) Security Winner: The BlackBerry OS locks it down.www.pcworld.comlast_img read more

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Rapid ICT Growth Shaping Social Economic Growth In Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement The minister for ICT, Ruhakana Rugunda has said the rapid growth in information and communication technology has shaped socio-economic changes. Rugunda said the ICT sector has steadily been growing and more players have joined the industry to offer a wide range of ICT enabled services.These services have enabled tremendous changes that are shaping our society,” Rugunda noted.These remarks were made during the launch of the new 4G Long Term Evolution Technology (LTE) networks by MTN Uganda. The new network comes with data speeds of up to 100mbps, enabling faster downloads of data and video streaming for people with the right devices. – Advertisement – The 100mpbs speed allows users to download information faster in geographical areas where the network exists. It is much faster than the industry average of 42mbps.MTN chief marketing officer Ernst Fonternel said: “The new technology will provide more efficient systems for the transmission of existing voice, text and data services.”“4G LTE brings with it a new suite of exciting multimedia services such as video streaming, games, music videos, sports and news.”Source: New Visionlast_img read more

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This Is the Best Smartwatch For Most People

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