Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has

first_imgWork and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of lying to his own party conference about the success of his campaign to encourage employers to be more “disability confident”.Duncan Smith (pictured) told last year’s conference in Birmingham that more than 1, 000 employers had “signed up” to the Disability Confident campaign, which was launched by the prime minister in the summer of 2013.But a series of freedom of information requests by Disability News Service (DNS) has exposed the truth: that fewer than 400 have signed up, while only 68 are currently “active partners”.It is the latest embarrassing revelation about the campaign, which was launched in July 2013 and aims to “debunk the myths around employing disabled people and encourage employers to take advantage of the wealth of talent available”.Duncan Smith has been criticised for the campaign’s “patronising waffle”, which activists say ignores “institutionalised disability discrimination” at a time when he and other ministers have been smearing disabled benefit claimants as “workshy”.And in July, DNS revealed that the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, risked ridicule after announcing that Swansea had become the country’s first “Disability Confident City”, even though he was unable to explain why it had been chosen.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has already admitted – in a press release issued earlier this summer to mark the campaign’s second anniversary – that just 376 organisations had supported Disability Confident since it was launched in July 2013.But even this exaggerated the number of employers that have “signed up” to the campaign.DWP has now confessed that the true number of “active partners” is just 68.And of those 68, at least 33 are disability or diversity organisations, such as Arthritis Care Scotland, Essex Coalition of Disabled People and Mencap.This leaves just 35 mainstream “active partners”, including recruitment and training companies and a small handful of big corporate names such as National Grid, Marks and Spencer, Honda and Asda.When asked in a freedom of information request why ministers claimed that 376 organisations supported the campaign, when a link to the campaign’s partners lists just 68, the department explained that the figure of 376 referred only to those organisations that had supported the campaign at some point since its launch.DWP said in its freedom of information response that the 68 organisations were the campaign’s “most active partners”, those that have “contributed to events, shared stories and case studies, or published their own articles and blogs about work they do to support disabled people into work”.When asked why Duncan Smith had vastly exaggerated the success of his campaign last autumn, the Conservative party refused to comment.But a DWP spokeswoman claimed that the figure of 1,100 referred to the number of “representatives” who showed their support for the campaign by attending a Disability Confident event.She said: “To date, 376 employers have registered to be official supporters of Disability Confident. We are happy to make this clear.”Disabled activists have lined up to criticise Duncan Smith, following the latest revelations.A Disabled People Against Cuts spokeswoman said: “It comes as no surprise that Duncan Smith has been telling porkies yet again.“He has lied about his education, his career, he has misinformed the House of Commons on numerous occasions and regularly makes claims that have been exposed as lies years ago, in media interviews.“We will only be surprised on a day we discover he’s told the truth. DPAC’s own investigation has turned up a number of astonishingly bold outright lies, and we began cataloguing new ones as they appeared, only to find that the workload was too great to keep up.”David Gillon, a disabled activist and blogger, who has been critical of the Disability Confident campaign, said: “It’s worrying when a minister with disabled people’s lives in his hands has so cavalier an approach to the facts.“How can we trust anything he says, when even his statements to his own party ring false?“His entire ministry has been riddled with falsehood, evasion and deliberate distortion ever since he took charge.“Whether it be the figures for fit for work deaths, or claiming overwhelming support for policies disabled people have overwhelmingly rejected, or tabloid tales that 75 per cent of us are faking, DWP clearly takes its cue from its lord and master.“Massively exaggerating claims for Disability Confident support is simply more of the same.”Gillon said the number of Disability Confident supporters was “pathetic”.He said: “Even if we accept the figure of 376 companies associated with Disability Confident in some way (does this simply count every company to have attended an event? I wonder), this is still less than one company every two days over the course of the two years-plus that Disability Confident has been in operation.“You could probably get more expressions of interest just by stopping random passers-by outside DWP HQ.”He said the list of active partners included just one NHS trust, one big high street name, no pharmaceutical giants, one electronics company, and an absence of major recruiters, all of which showed “an astonishing lack of ambition and achievement”.He said: “What are these companies signing up to do? Are they simply expressing an interest? Ticking a box to look good on the Corporate Responsibility section of their annual report? Are they looking for business to come their way?“How many are signing up because they’re in business relationships with DWP? How many are actually doing something positive to challenge workplace discrimination and get disabled people into work in non-token roles?“How many are challenging the status quo to bring forward disabled people as the next generation of leaders and managers? How many are actually confident about disability?”He added: “In the end I’m left bitterly disappointed, as is usual with Disability Confident.“Disabled people face a massive structural problem in accessing employment and it is vital we challenge that, but Disability Confident is failing on every front.“It can’t get employers to sign up, it can’t get disabled people to sign up, and what messages it does put out serve to reinforce the problem, not challenge it, by their insistence on portraying us as ‘inspiring’.”Peter Beresford, co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives and professor of social policy at Brunel University, said the figures showed “clear evidence of a senior minister repeatedly telling yet more lies about disabled people and his failed disability policy”.He said: “Iain Duncan Smith must be brought to book and with a new Labour leadership and shadow cabinet it is to be hoped we now have an effective opposition that will commit itself to acting to curtail such shenanigans.”Ian Jones, co-founder of the WOWcampaign, said the failings of Labour’s Positive about Disabled People scheme should have shown politicians that “it is not enough to simply tell people how wonderful disabled people are in the hope it would change attitudes”. He said that Disability Confident was another “chocolate teapot scheme” which would have no impact on closing the disability employment gap, which was “stubbornly fixed at around 30 per cent fewer disabled people (2008-2013) being in work compared to non-disabled people”. He said: “The time for talk and trying to convince people to change has passed. Now is the time for positive action to enable talented disabled people to join a workforce that prejudice actively excludes them from.“Disability Confident is just that, a con, and Iain Duncan Smith implying disabled people are abnormal (on 8 Sept 2015) will not advance the cause of inclusion.”Mark Harrison, chief executive of the user-led organisation Equal Lives, said: “This is a Mickey Mouse scheme from a Mickey Mouse minister.“We need enforceable action for employers who exclude disabled people because of the barriers to employment in their companies.“We don’t need cheap gimmicks – this is just an example of the emperor’s new clothes.”And Pat Onions, founder of Pat’s Petition, said: “We aren’t surprised that so few employers have signed up to Disability Confident.“We have no idea what Disability Confident means and we doubt if employers do.”last_img read more

Young people with learning difficulties are at ris

first_imgYoung people with learning difficulties are at risk of “significant social isolation”, with the risk increasing as they approach adulthood, according to a new report delivered through a ground-breaking research programme.The young people interviewed for the report “unanimously” said they needed practical help, emotional support and communication skills to maintain friendships.Eight young people with learning difficulties were employed and trained to take part as peer researchers for the Young People and Friendships report, which was due to be launched at the Welsh assembly today (Thursday).The peer researchers worked with 85 other young people with learning difficulties who were aged between 14 and 28 and lived in the Gwent region of south-east Wales.All the young people were at significant risk of social isolation and almost all did not see friends outside either structured activities or education settings, with friendships “dependent upon local segregated services”.They faced a “complex web of barriers” to having a full social life, including discrimination within the education system; inaccessible public transport; and difficulties in using communication tools such as mobile phones, with some prevented from using social media by their parents.In some cases, social media and online gaming increased isolation and disconnection with the local neighbourhood, particularly among boys and young men, but it also enabled some friendships to be maintained,About two-thirds of the 85 participants in the research had experienced bullying during the transition years from childhood to adulthood (14 to 25), with most believing they were picked on because they were disabled.One participant in the study said: “Sometimes bad friends upset me, they pull faces at me and I feel like they hate me. They sometimes used to pick on me in school, use bad language.”Another said: “They abuse you, harass you and use you. They put pressure on you and put you in the middle. Boys will fight you and bully you and pretend that it is all a joke.”Participants felt unable to do anything about bullying or hate crime in the local community, other than avoiding certain areas, not going out or only going out with their parents.The report says: “None of the participants wanted to criminalise other young people, but they did want non disabled young people to be better informed about hate crime, respect and [to be] more knowledgeable about disability.”They also wanted it to be easier to report disability hate crime.The report also found that young people with learning difficulties did not have the same opportunities to undertake work experience at the same age as their non-disabled peers.The peer researchers were clear that segregating young disabled people was “morally wrong and creates second class citizens”.One of the peer researchers said: “I feel that being referred to [as] ‘special’… is a derogatory term. But people have got used to it.”Among its conclusions, the report says that health and social care services should do more to fund support for building and maintaining friendships.And it calls for research into the effectiveness of the teaching of independent living skills “as a matter of urgency” because of difficulties highlighted by the research.The research was part of the five-year, £5 million Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) research programme and was led by the Swansea-based social enterprise CARP Collaborations, in partnership with The Building Bridges project.DRILL is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and delivered by Disability Rights UK, Disability Action (in Northern Ireland), Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales.It is believed to be the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people and should eventually fund about 40 pieces of research and pilot projects.Picture: One of the events held as part of the researchlast_img read more

The governments Office for Disability Issues is a

first_imgThe government’s Office for Disability Issues is apparently failing to take any action to address “worrying” concerns about disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) that are being forced to close because of funding problems.Earlier this month, two prominent user-led organisations spoke out about the “urgent” need for research into the falling number of DPOs across the country.Shaping Our Lives said it was seeking funding, and partners, for a major piece of research to uncover the scale of the problem, with its own figures suggesting that more than 60 user-led groups that were members of its network had been forced to close since 2014.And Inclusion London, which supports Deaf and disabled people’s organisations across the capital, also raised concerns and said there were now a number of London boroughs without their own DPO.But when asked if the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) was aware of and concerned about the problem, and if it was taking any action, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was concerned about closures but failed to suggest any measures it was taking to address the concerns.A DWP spokeswoman said: “The ODI is aware that DPULOs [disabled people’s user-led organisations] close on a fairly frequent basis, and are obviously concerned by this.“The government takes the opportunity to work with them and support their work wherever possible.”But when asked again whether it was taking any action to address the concerns about closures, another DWP spokeswoman said the department had “nothing to add”.Last month, Disability News Service reported that the number of staff working in ODI had plummeted by more than two-thirds under the coalition and Conservative governments.In March 2010, just before the Tory-led coalition came to power, there were the equivalent of 48 full-time staff working in ODI, but there are now just 15, while the ODI website has now not been updated in more than seven months.Professor Peter Beresford (pictured), co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives, said it was “reassuring” that ODI was “aware of and ‘concerned’ about the loss of these much-valued organisations”.But he said: “It is very worrying that even though aware of what increasingly looks like a crisis, the [ODI] has no plans or even comment to make in response to the situation.“Given that the ODI was originally established as a central government agency to support the independent living of disabled people and the development of a strong network of disabled people-led organisations, this makes especially troubling reading.“There seems to be no plan A and no plan B. The only plan this government seems to have any confidence in is attacking the welfare rights of disabled people with its much-discredited welfare reform policies.“The loss of DPOs is part of an even bigger crisis facing disabled and older people who are increasingly being denied a voice.”last_img read more

Taser déjà vu Lastditch effort to reverse stungun vote fails

first_imgTaser opponents alleged that they did not receive equal opportunity to speak, as they were not notified that the meeting room had changed. Some, additionally, were locked out of City Hall when the public meeting reconvened. In a unanimous decision, the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force found that these actions placed the Police Commission in violation of the city’s Sunshine Ordinance, raising questions over whether the original 4-3 vote to approve the police department’s use of Tasers was legitimate. “I’m not sure how we sit here and accept the finding that they [the previous commission] violated the Sunshine Ordinance but yet the vote still stands,” said Commissioner Cindy Elias, a board appointee. Commissioner Petra DeJesus, who voted against Tasers in 2017, introduced a motion to both recognize the task force’s ruling and rescind the 2017 vote. This came despite initial resistance from Commission President Bob Hirsch, a mayoral appointee who cast the deciding vote in favor of the stun guns. Hirsch vehemently rejected the findings of the Task Force, arguing that it was the Sheriff’s Deputies doing security — and not the Police Commission — who were responsible for locking some community members out of the meeting. He further argued that the public was properly notified of the room change. “The Sunshine Task Force was incorrect,” he said.Meanwhile, Chief Scott remained silent, sometimes shooting glances to his command staff in the audience.In the end, the motion by DeJesus failed; the commissioners were deadlocked, 3-3. Commissioner Thomas Mazzucco — a mayoral appointee who in 2017 voted in favor of the stun guns — was not present. Wednesday night’s vote was a blow to the handful of activists who turned out and who believed the Task Force’s ruling was a means to keep Tasers out of officers’ hands. That is especially true for activist Magick Altman, who originally filed the grievance with the Task Force in February 2018. “This is heartbreaking to me,” Altman said following the motion’s failure. At moments, the commissioners’ discussion on the merits of the Sunshine ruling — as well as the possibility of rescinding the vote — reverted to the decadeslong debate of whether the SFPD should be armed with Tasers at all. Commissioner DeJesus revived the argument made by many Taser opponents that the stun guns can be hazardous, especially when used on individuals suffering from mental health issues. San Mateo County saw four Taser-related deaths at the hands of law enforcement in 2018 alone, she said. Nevertheless, per the November 2017 decision, the SFPD will not be allowed to use Tasers until December of this year — two years after the SFPD’s use-of-force policy was revised. But it’s unclear whether they’ll get the weapons at that time. In June 2018, the Board of Supervisors blocked the $3 million the department needed to buy the stun guns. In the meantime, the San Francisco Police Department also hasn’t had an officer-involved shooting since June. Chief Bill Scott can sleep well.In a contentious Wednesday-night meeting, the San Francisco Police Commission voted 3-3 not to rescind its previous vote to arm San Francisco Police officers with Tasers. Opponents, and some commissioners, felt that a November 2017 decision on Tasers wasn’t legitimate.Like the Feb. 6 meeting in which three commissioners walked out of City Hall, the proceedings devolved into bickering and exposed the fierce partisanship that divides mayoral appointees from those appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Their votes were divided along those very lines. At issue was a June 2018 ruling by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, which found that the Police Commission violated city meeting rules during its original Taser vote Nov. 3, 2017. That vote occurred following an emotional six-hour meeting that was paused and subsequently reconvened in another room at City Hall because of raucous crowd behavior. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Addresslast_img read more

Belville commissioners say goodbye to two leaders

first_img “I love this town,” said Joe Breault. “I love the opportunities here. I love working with the people we have. This is a very very hard decision.”Former Mayor Pro Tem Joe Breault is leaving for health reasons. He will be moving out-of-state with his family. His departure coming as his colleague Donna Schardien passed away Friday battling cancer.“She was a strong advocate for everything that was happening here in the town. She is going to be sorely missed.”Related Article: Town of Belville plans to appeal H2GO decisionThree new commissioners will govern Belville by the end of this year. Commissioner Pat O’Bryant had to resign in the winter for family reasons. He was replaced by Kent Goodman. Mayor Mike Allen saying the town is in a tight spot but can continue their progress.“Our goals and our projects are already pretty much locked in,” said the Mayor. “But we need those other two board members to function the way a town should function.”He admits it will be hard to regain the momentum of growth Breault and Schardien achieved while on the board. Both commission members spear-headed the town’s most recent major developments in the river walk and the town hall.Allen and the outgoing Breault remain hopeful.“Because we’ve done so much,” said Breault. “Because we’ve restored the civic pride, because now people know Belville, they’re proud to say they’re from Belville which was not the case five or six years ago. I think the opportunity for people to step up will be far greater.”Noreen Slattery was sworn in as the new mayor pro tem and commissioner Goodman will take over as the parks and rec liaison for the commission. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) – Two seats now sit open on the town of Belville commission.A death and a resignation now leave big holes to fill.Belville leaders tonight met and elected a new mayor pro tem while also having to take a moment in memoriam of another who passed away over the weekend.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Surfs up Ladies take to Wrightsville Beach for annual surf contest

first_img Set up and registration is over on the beach’s south end.The classic is expected to bring in more than 60 girls of various ages.Jo Pickett has coordinated the event for many years under different names and says she looks forward to what it means for these girls.Related Article: Beach season winds down, lifeguards dwindle“There’s a support, even though it’s a competition, there’s a lot of support and a sense of camaraderie,” Pickett said. “The girls all support each other and it’s big hugs and smiles and it doesn’t seem so serious.”The competition begins early Saturday morning near the Oceanic Pier on Wrightsville Beach and will go through Sunday. Wahine Classic Ambassador Kat Neff (top) w/Camden Hoover, Courtesy of Ed Potter WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Girls of all ages are catching some waves this weekend a part of a growing classic surf competition on Wrightsville Beach.This year marks the 6th Annual Wahine Classic.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Black Hawk rescues families from flooded homes

first_img It marks a day filled with hope as Wilmington police say the Black Hawk has been making multiple rescues, mostly from Pender County where families were in desperate need of resources. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department was ready with open arms Tuesday when choppers landed at the Hanover Center parking lot with people they had rescued.Emergency vehicles were ready to transport the families directly to local New Hanover shelters.- Advertisement – last_img

Sunset Beach Police search for missing woman

first_imgJacklyn Marie Guy (Photo: Sunset Beach Police) SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Police are searching for a missing Sunset Beach woman.According to a Facebook post from the Sunset Beach Police, Jacklyn Marie Guy was last seen Tuesday morning on Great Egret Circle in Sandpiper.- Advertisement – She was last known to be wearing a red shirt, black yoga pants and grey shoes with lime green accents.She may be in the Myrtle Beach area, police say.If you know any information, you are asked to call Sunset Beach Police at (910) 579-6297.last_img read more

Man arrested for attempted murder in Boiling Spring Lakes

first_img According to a news release, the charges stem from a stabbing on Crabapple Road in Boiling Spring Lakes on August 8.Boiling Spring Lakes Police enlisted the assistance of the U. S. Marshall’s service in locating Holmes.Police say after an exhaustive search, they found Holmes at a home in Boiling Spring Lakes.Related Article: Man goes to prison for trying to meet Pender County girl for sexOfficers from Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department, Oak Island Police Department and the U. S. Marshall’s service arrived at the residence and took  Holmes into custody without incident.Holmes made his first appearance in court this morning and is being held at the Brunswick County Detention Center under a one million dollar bond. BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — A 33-year-old man is in the Brunswick County Detention Center charged with attempted murder.On Thursday, Boiling Spring Lakes Police arrested William Leon Holmes, Jr.- Advertisement – last_img read more

List of top 10 best barbecue spots in North Carolina

first_img Southern Smoke BBQ on Warren Street in Garland was ranked 5th.Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby took the top spot.A panel of experts partnered with 10-best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.Related Article: Dog helps disabled kids surfCongratulations to all the winning restaurants! Two area bbq restaurants in the running for USA Today’s 10Best (Photo: MeMa’s Chick’n & Ribs, Southern Smoke BBQ/USA Today) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — USA Today’s top ten list for best barbecue in North Carolina has been revealed and two of the top ten are right here in our area.MeMa’s Chick’n & Ribs on Highway 117 North in Burgaw came in 8th. They say after two years in business in a small town they are very proud to be recognized.- Advertisement – last_img read more

We need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions completely by 2050 –

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Partit Nazzjonalista has stated that Malta needs to cut its greenhouse gas emissions completely by 2050. It added that undoubtedly, the Government cannot do it alone.Referring to the EU commission report, PN stated that Malta is only going to achieve a renewable energy share of 13% in 2030, a merge increase of 3% in 10 years. Thus, PN encouraged the government to seek collaboration with those willing, including the opposition, to drive the economy and the behavior of citizens towards a low emission future; and that this is essential if Government wants to fulfill its commitments, including the most recent one by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat towards European carbon neutrality by 2050. In a statement, PN stated that the EU commission report found Malta has lacking and insufficient plans that ensure the future well-being of forthcoming generations. “It is worth noting that the document submitted to the commission could have been widely discussed in parliament, but it seems Government was not of the opinion that the future of Maltese citizens needs a thorough and cross-party discussion away from the usual petty political divide”, stated PN. PN stated that the Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia has recently shown his concern with the climate crisis the world and Malta are being faced with. The required priority to climate action needs to be given, and the required action needs to be implemented without delay, concluded PN.Watch: ‘Malta is leading climate change activism’ – Minister AbelaWhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Barzagli and Chiellini earn new contracts

first_img SharePrint Juventus’ veteran defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini have signed contract renewals with the Italian side. The bianconeri have handed Barzagli a new one-year deal while Chiellini will keep on playing for the Serie A champions until 2020. The two defenders have been an integral part of a side that won 7 Serie A titles in a row and reached 2 Champions League finals.33-year-old Chiellini made 472 appearances for Juventus since signing from Serie A rivals Roma back in 2005, whereas Barzagli joined the club in the summer of 2011 from Wolfsburg.Brought to you by Hublot <a href=”;cb={random}” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb={random}&amp;n=a01a3708&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Uganda Telecom Upgrades Mobile Money Platform

first_imgAdvertisement UTL’s Business Solutions Unit in KampalaUganda telecom, a partially state owned telecommunication service provider, has signaled it will embark on upgrading its mobile money banking platform, M-Sente, in the next two weeks to enable their customers enjoy the service flawlessly.Over the years, telecom customers have embraced the use of the handset to do business because of the convenience it offers them compared to other traditional ways of handling and accessing money.However it has not been a glowing journey as technological hiccups continue to challenge the industry necessitating that service providers keep on upgrading to newer technology to meet the demands of the market. – Advertisement – Uganda telecom despite being the oldest telecom company has not been performing well on all fronts with dwindling customer base, financial constraints brought about by a number of problems including political factors.The M-Sente upgrade is part of other upgrades, renovations, innovations and changes the firm’s new management led by LAP Green of Libya who took over in 2011 after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi are undertaking.“The brand is changing and the way we serve our customer is also changing, within the next two and there after we will be upgrading our M-Sente service to a more competitive platform to give our customers leverage,” Peter Kakaire, the head of M-sente at Uganda telecom said in an interview.[related-posts]The firm last week rewarded its loyal M-Sente customers with cash prizes, phones and digital television decoders at a function where it launched deposit and win with M-Sente promotion that will see more customers win weekly prizes for the next ten weeks.Uganda Telecom customers can also access the promotion on social networks Twitter and Facebook where they can win airtime and mobile money.Mobile money has deeply entrenched into the lives of Ugandans with some of the people using it as a saving tool since going to the banking halls takes time and resources.Samuel Mulondo, a Uganda telecom customer, uses M-Sente to save part of his income. He prefers M-Sente because it has few withdraw points and this helps him to keep his money away from his overspending hands.However with the upgrade coming, Mulondo’s privilege will cease to be as the service provider intends to increase the number of withdraw and deposit points or agents.In March 2007, LAP Greencom, a subsidiary of Libya African Investment Portfolio (LAP), a company owned by the Government of Libya, bought into Ucom, while Detecon sold their interest in the consortium to Telecel International. The new shareholding structure in UTL, left the Ugandan government with a 31% ownership, while Ucom’s shareholding increased to 69%.In recent years, the Uganda telecom industry has been undergoing some upheaval as companies either consolidate or bail out. Last year, Warid sold out to India-based Airtel Bharti and not long ago, Orange Uganda announced an interest in sharing their operations.Source: East African Business Weeklast_img read more

The 10 most expensive domains ever sold

first_imgMost expensive domain names ever. Image Credit: Bhubeth Advertisement What’s in a web address? Quite a lot of cash. Business Insider scoured domain name resourceDN Journal and put together a list of documented million-dollar, domain-only “.com” sales. Unsurprisingly, sex- and gambling-related domains are some of the biggest money makers.Here are a list of the most expensive domain names of all — $10 million Year sold: 2008 – Advertisement – After the flashy sale, ran into a lot of trouble. It had to declare most of its financials unreliable in 2009 and continuously failed to file reports. If you go to the site now, it’s a white background with the phrase, “Please come back later to check” — $8.9 million Date sold: February 2015“Domain King” Rick Schwartz flipped He bought it from a college kid way back in 1997 for $42, — $9.5 million Year sold: 2007At the time of its sale, Porn. com was the biggest all-cash transaction for a domain name and the second-largest domain sale. Moniker helped sell the domain to MXN — $7.5 million Year sold: handed over the domain to an online jewelry retailer,, in a private sale for one of the priciest do-main name swaps of all time. But guess what? It’s back on the market. GoDaddy, which is brokering the deal, says it’s looking for jewelry buyers, or — $6.8 million Date sold: November 2014Japanese internet service provider GMO Internet bought from Nissan Motors. is one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the .com space, GMO — $5.5 million Year sold: 2010As TechCrunch pointed out at the time of the sale, that is more than $1 million per — $5.1 million Year sold: 2009Originally sold for $1.25 million as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding, days later, it was put up for auction again and Toys R Us ended up shelling out just over $5 million for the powerful domain name. It’s kind of surprising how basic the site still looks — $4.9 million Year sold: 2008Shoe company Zappos bought Now both are owned by Amazon, but still redirects to Zappos’s apparel selec-tion, not Amazon’s main — $4.8 million Date sold: May paid $4.3 mil-lion in cash and $300,000 in debt for — $13 million Year sold: entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest domain-only sale in historylast_img read more

9 tips for staying safe as you shop online

first_imgOnline Shopping today is one of the many activities carried out today on the internet because it has made people’s lives easier. However there are number of risks involed. Image Credit: Goodsph Advertisement Americans plan to do as much as 15% of their holiday shopping online this year.  USA TODAY asked computer security experts for their tips on how to stay safe as you buy.1. Just say no to free Wi-Fi Resist the temptation to use free public Wi-Fi. It is a trivial matter for hackers to eavesdrop on your connection and steal your information.2. Avoid e-mails offering deals Don’t click on email offers. Instead, go directly to the retailer’s website to find deals. Same thing goes for promo codes — don’t click those links to copy the code, but instead copy it and use it directly on the retailer’s website. Even the most legitimate-looking email could be from hackers phishing for account info. – Advertisement – 3. Don’t be lazy  If you need to create an account with an online retailer, do not use the same email address and password you use anywhere else. This is such old advice it may seem obvious, but many attacks are still successful because people reuse the same combination of email address and password in multiple sites, and attackers know it. It’s not worth the risk.4. Use apps, not your phone’s web browser Apps for sites like Amazon and Wayfair typically have an extra layer of security and encryption, making them safer to use when you’re out in public.5. Eschew convenience for security Never save your credit card information in retail sites and web browsers. If they haven’t stored it, it can’t be stolen from them.6. Credit, not debit When shopping online, use your credit card instead of your debit card. If something goes awry such as making a bad purchase with a malicious online retailer, it is usually easier to resolve any issues with your credit card company than with your bank (or at least the money is not deducted from your checking or savings account).[related-posts]7. Open your statements Pay extra attention to your bank and credit card statements come January and February. Even small charges you don’t remember making can be a sign of fraud. If you see an unknown charge, call your bank immediately and report it.8. Embrace phone-based payments Retail data breaches have led to the compromise of millions of credit cards. Mobile payment technologies, like Android Pay and Apple Pay, cannot be cloned like traditional magnetic stripe cards. Consider using these technologies in your holiday shopping to keep your cards safe from thieves.9. Don’t leave your phone unlocked For God’s sake, set your phone to require PIN or fingerprint to access it![USA Today]last_img read more

Microsoft wants to store data in synthetic DNA

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft is buying ten million strands of DNA from startup firm Twist Bioscience, to examine the use of genetic material to store data. The data density of DNA is multiple times higher than today’s conventional storage systems. DNA can store 1 billion terabytes (1 zettabyte) of data in 1 gram, and its lifespan is measurable in millennia. DNA is robust, with fragments thousands of years old still being successfully sequenced. These properties make it a significant choice for long-time data archiving.According to About Education, if you put all the DNA molecules in your body end to end, the DNA would reach from the Earth to the Sun and back over 600 times (100 trillion times six feet divided by 92 million miles). If you could type 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, it would take approximately 50 years to type the human genome. Simply put, it contains a whole lot of genetic data. – Advertisement – Microsoft is looking to tap into the DNA model of data storage as the amount of digital data produced has long been outpacing the amount of storage available.Image: Microsoft/University of WashingtonResearchers from Microsoft and University of Washington are collaborating in a new paper that existing disk-based and optical media are not keeping up with the exponential growth in demand for data storage, much of which is infrequently accessed or ‘cold’ data.Microsoft says that while this is not practical yet due to the current state of DNA synthesis and sequencing, these technologies are improving quite rapidly with advances in the biotech industry.[Tech 2]last_img read more

5 things to know now that Uber has launched in Kampala

first_imgUgandan comedienne Kansiime Anne taking her first uberX ride in Kampala! Photo: Uber Kampala (Twitter) Advertisement After months of speculation Uber has finally landed in Kampala. As a seasoned Uber rider from my time in Nairobi, I have been anxiously awaiting its launch in Kampala. Here are five things to expect now that the service is live.Unmatched ConvenienceFor people who prefer cabs to boda bodas finding a “Special Hire” (Cab/Taxi) in Kampala can be quite tedious. Cabs are usually located in or around a bar, a restaurant or a mall. You’ll even be lucky to identify one driving down the street. A regular cab user ends up having 10 taxi driver numbers and hoping that when they need one it’ll be available and in the vicinity.Here in lies Ubers’ key value addition to the Kampala based customer. Downloading the app instantly gives you the ability to request a cab, from anywhere, twenty-four hours, seven days a week. In a few clicks you see how many Ubers are in the area, which ones are closest, and once requested you can see it navigate to your location. – Advertisement – 2. SecurityHave you ever left an item in a cab, a random cab that you used only once? You’d need a considerable amount of effort and luck to recovery your belongings. I experienced this last year, luckily it was an Uber, after frantically calling and emailing the Uber offices I relaxed, fiddled through the app where I found the drivers number, called him and he delivered my items fully intact.Every Uber ride you make has the added security of having the picture and contact details of the driver, the car make and registration number, and the ability to report any issues directly to Uber. This gives riders an extra level of security in case the service isn’t up to par and an added assurance in case you need to get in touch with the driver.3. ComfortAfter a handful of Uber rides in Nairobi I recognized that the cars were dent free, the ACs’ worked, the rides were smooth, the interiors were pristine, the radios functioned and on a few lucky occasions they had USB charging ports. For someone new to the service I consistently felt like I was getting some kind of VIP cab service.The comfort in the cars was great and I later found out that one of Ubers’ requirements in Nairobi is that all vehicles must be manufactured after 2009. The newness of the vehicles explained the consistent high level of comfort experienced while riding whether it was a Toyota, Subaru or Mitsubishi. Let’s hope the same level of comfort is maintained in Kampala.Ugandan comedienne Kansiime Anne taking her first uberX ride in Kampala! Photo: Uber Kampala (Twitter)4. PriceWe’ve all had that moment you calmly ask the cab driver how much it will cost from point A to point B? The cab driver looks you up and down; you feel he’s judged you based on your new outfit for that all important meeting you need to get to. He throws out a number; it’s double what you are used to paying for the same distance. Your usual cab guy is two kilometers away on Jinja Road, he can get to you in twenty minutes, or two hours, or tomorrow…who knows. This cab driver tells you its rush hour, fuel is expensive, the dollar is up (LOL), and he has to pay school fees next week. Finally after some negotiation he’s only willing to drop his price by two thousand shillings. Time is wasting, you jump in the cab and head to your meeting.Now imagine a world where price is never discussed, feelings are never caught, irritation is never experienced. This world is Uber. In Nairobi, and I believe it will be similar in Kampala, the formula is derived from a Base Fare (A flat fee paid for every ride) + Per minute fare + Per Kilometer fare which equals your total cost for the trip. I won’t dig deep into this formulation all you need to know is if you are travelling from Acacia Mall to Village Mall, your worst enemy will be traffic. If there’s minimal traffic and you get there quickly it’ll be cheaper than if you find traffic, then the price increases. However, if you choose to avoid the traffic and use a longer route, the added kilometers will still affect your total cost.The bottom line is, you won’t have to bicker about the price beforehand, the app calculates how much you owe, you get a record of your trip in the app and you make the payment with cash or credit. In my use of the app I found that most times what I ended up paying was considerably cheaper than what a regular cab would have charged, a sentiment that many Nairobi users shared.5. Maps/LocationsUnless you are a seasoned veteran who knows all the different areas in and around Kampala, giving or receiving directions can be a painstaking experience. Cab drivers know some areas, major streets have names, and other roads are described by landmarks or number of bumps. But a lot of times you want to be picked up at home that’s off Lugogo bypass, go like you are driving to Kisassi, right after the Shell Gas station, then up the hill slightly, behind the blue building, you’ll see a shop, then there at the black gate with a sign, that’s where I am, on the 3rd floor….waving.The Uber app lets the driver know where to pick you up, the driver will either come to exactly where you are, or very close. The system is not full proof and I predict with Kampala’s’ many back roads, and shortcuts, many drivers will call riders for their exact location after the app GPS gets them ninety percent of the way there. At least you don’t have to start from the beginning as is most cases without a GPS app.In the coming months expect Uber to be a hot topic of discussion. Start by downloading the app. Look out for promotions, free rides and discounts. Compare prices. Share your experiences. Tell a friend to tell a friend. Enjoy the ride.Guest Post written by Ken Njihia.[related-posts]last_img read more

Hearts are positive of not being negative

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t really comes to something when your manager, at the start of January, is proclaiming that getting ZERO points in the league table is an achievement.But that’s exactly the sorry state of Hearts Football Club who were docked a hefty 15 points at the start of the season and COULD get into positive territory tonight as they look to move away from their current -2 points status.It’s worth pointing out though that, even without the penalty, they’d still be bottom of the table but for the time being the manager Gary Locke is focussed on getting rid of the minus sign.Locke said: “If we win the derby we go into plus points. It would be huge, psychologically, for everyone here, just getting into positive points would be fantastic. That’s been our aim.”“Hibs are favourites, there’s no doubt about that. But I’m sure I’ve got players who can cause Hibs one or two problems.”“We’ve had some good results this season against Hibs and Aberdeen, probably two of the bigger teams in Scotland.”The Sky cameras are their tonight for the 7.45pm kick off and if recent encounters are anything to go by we are not exactly going to be in for a thriller at Easter Road:HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max last 10 only)Oct 2013 League Cup Hibernian 0-1 HeartsAug 2013 Premiership Hearts 1-0 HibernianMay 2013 Premier Hearts 1-2 HibernianMar 2013 Premier Hibernian 0-0 HeartsJan 2013 Premier Hearts 0-0 HibernianDec 2012 FA Cup Hibernian 1-0 HeartsAug 2012 Premier Hibernian 1-1 HeartsMay 2012 FA Cup Hibernian 1-5 HeartsMar 2012 Premier Hearts 2-0 HibernianJan 2012 Premier Hibernian 1-3 HeartsHibs are doing well under the new regime of manager Terry Butcher and assistant Maurice Malpas but it’s hard top get away from UNDER 2.5 goals as being the best option on Star Sports at around 4/6.RECOMMENDED BET (1-10 points)5 points UNDER 2.5 GOALS at around 4/6 with Star Sports What’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 RUNNING RETURN (JANUARY): -5.00 POINTSlast_img read more

World Cup Wire THURSDAY

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to the Star Sports World Cup Wire. Our daily 4.30pm update from the trading room at Star Sports with all the moves and offers for this evenings World Cup.Thursday 26 JuneWORLD CUP PRICES5pm4/5 Portugal 13/5 Ghana 4/1 DRAW5pm8/1 USA 8/11 Germany 2/1 DRAW9pm11/4 Algeria evens Russia 11/4 DRAW9pm7/2 Korea Republic 5/6 Belgium 5/2 DRAWWORLD CUP SPECIALSSPECIAL BOOSTED ACCA 11/1 ALL THE FAVSGOAL LINE: 12 or more 11/10 and 11 or less 8/11WE’RE OPEN THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT FOR IN PLAY BETSFOR ALL WORLD CUP MARKETS CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Tottenham v Chelsea

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f a Spurs v Chelsea derby wasn’t juicy enough, there’s plenty of added interest tonight to see if Chelsea can equal Arsenal’s record of 14 top flight wins in a row and if they did create their own record of doing inside a single season.The last derby between them at White Hart Lane finished 0-0 but it’s very difficult to envisage that scoreline again with the record at stake and both teams in excellent form.Spurs would take a share of third if gaining all three points and also do Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal a big favour in halting Chelsea’s runaway season. The market is basically take your pick of three – home win, draw or away win.Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte said: “Now it’s not easy after 13 wins in a row you face teams that want to beat you not only to take three points, but for many reasons.“It’s more difficult. We must know this.“I think it’s very difficult to repeat this run. To win 16 games, draw one game and lose two games is a great achievement for us.”Tottenham Hotspur v ChelseaPremier League20:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Nov 2016 PREMIER Chelsea 2-1 TottenhamMay 2016 PREMIER Chelsea 2-2 TottenhamNov 2015 PREMIER Tottenham 0-0 ChelseaMar 2015 CAPITAL ONE CUP Chelsea 2-0 TottenhamJan 2015 PREMIER Tottenham 5-3 ChelseaDec 2014 PREMIER Chelsea 3-0 TottenhamMar 2014 PREMIER Chelsea 4-0 TottenhamSep 2013 PREMIER Tottenham 1-1 ChelseaMay 2013 PREMIER Chelsea 2-2 TottenhamOct 2012 PREMIER Tottenham 2-4 ChelseaTottenham1 Lloris15 Dier4 Alderweireld5 Vertonghen2 Walker19 Dembélé12 Wanyama3 Rose20 Alli23 Eriksen10 KaneChelsea13 Courtois28 Azpilicueta30 David Luiz24 Cahill15 Moses21 Matic7 Kanté3 Alonso11 Pedro19 Diego Costa10 HazardThe DRAW at 9/4 with Star Sports makes most appeal in a hugely exciting match.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK DRAW 10 points at 9/4 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: +17.50 points BET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more