The longdelayed release of government figures on

first_imgThe long-delayed release of government figures on the deaths of benefit claimants has added fuel to years of concerns about the impact of aggressive welfare reform on sick and disabled people.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released two sets of data today (Thursday), one showing mortality statistics for out-of-work disability benefit claimants, and another showing death rates for all out-of-work benefit claimants.Activists had been calling on DWP to publish updated statistics since November 2012, in an effort to prove that the work capability assessment (WCA), the eligibility test for employment and support allowance (ESA), was so damaging that it was causing deaths.The information commissioner finally ordered DWP to release the figures after an appeal by Mike Sivier, a freelance journalist and carer who runs the Vox Political blog.But many activists and commentators warned that the figures released by DWP today “do not tell the whole story”, and would require detailed analysis before any conclusions could be reached.The figures reveal that, of the two million people who had gone through a work capability assessment and had received an ESA decision between 1 May 2010 and 28 Feb 2013, nearly 41,000 had died within a year of that decision.The reports also show that, between December 2011 and February 2014, 81,140 people died while claiming ESA or incapacity benefit (IB).And 2,650 ESA and IB claimants died soon after being found “fit for work” as a result of an assessment.Another 7,200 died after being placed in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG), for claimants the government had decided were well enough to move back towards work.Other figures show age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs), which allow for comparisons between the proportion of those dying while in different ESA groups and the general population.These figures show that, in 2012, those placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of ESA were more than twice as likely to die (481.1 of every 100,000 people) as the general population (238.5 of every 100,000 people).The following year, in 2013, the figures were 532.4 per 100,000 people for the WRAG and 240.4 for the general population.DWP insisted that it was not possible to assume any “causal effect between benefits and mortality” from the “isolated figures” it had published, which “provide limited scope for analysis”.It insisted that “nothing can be gained from this publication that would allow the reader to form any judgement as to the effects or impacts of the WCA”.Despite this, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith had announced – just three days before the figures were published – that he wanted to scrap the WCA, and said there was a “fundamental flaw” at the heart of the ESA system.Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) said the figures showed the WCA was “not fit for purpose”, although it would take time to analyse them properly.DPAC’s statement said the figures “do not tell the whole story”, as they ignore those disabled people found fit for work but unable to claim jobseeker’s allowance because of its strict conditionality.DPAC said the figures also ignore the thousands of disabled people sanctioned every month; those disabled people “portrayed as scroungers by the media”; and the “suffering and the humiliation of disabled people who have to prove their impairment/long-term health issues over and over again to DWP staff who don’t believe them”.The disabled social affairs journalist Frances Ryan wrote in the Guardian that death had become part of Britain’s benefits system.She said: “That is not hyperbole but the reality that the stress caused by austerity has led us to.“Shredding the safety net – a mix of sanctions, defective ‘fit for work’ tests, and outright cuts to multiple services – has meant that benefit claimants are dying; through suicide, starvation and even being crushed by a refuse lorry when a 17-week benefit sanction forced a man to scavenge in a bin for food.”Philip Connolly, policy and development manager of Disability Rights UK, said: “It is not just the charities but the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing who have deplored this medical test for fitness for work.“Now the evidence of the cruelty and stress involved in this test can be seen by everyone else too and not simply by the families of the dead. We need a completely new approach.“This time it must be one that starts by supporting those who want to work to exercise their right to work – with encouragement and evidence-based support, not threats of poverty and inadequate programmes.“And it must be one that disabled people, our representative organisations and health, social care and vocational rehabilitation professionals view as acceptable.“It must be evidence-based. It must link assessment of needs to support. It must be fair.” Frank Field, the Labour MP and the new chair of the Commons work and pensions select committee, said the figures were “distressing”, but added: “The key factor is whether the number of deaths are above what would normally be expected from claimants not deemed fit for work.”He said he had written to Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, to ask if he would answer this and other questions, and “take this analysis further”.The grassroots campaign group New Approach, which is dedicated to replacing the “toxic” WCA with a fairer system, said it was too early to conclude what the figures really showed, and added: “We will go through today’s figures in detail over the coming weeks and respond to them by issuing a further statement when our findings are complete.”Among others warning not to read too much into the figures was Ben Goldacre, a doctor, academic, campaigner and writer, whose work focuses on uses and misuses of science and statistics.He said: “Fit for work assessments may well harm people. These DWP figures do not give us the answer.“Journalists and politicians claiming they can see any information one way or another in these figures are displaying their ignorance and wishful thinking.”He said that the figures which could answer this question would be ASMRs for people on IB or severe disablement allowance who had been reassessed through a WCA and found fit for work.Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said ministers had been trying to suppress the figures for more than three years.She said: “The delay and the lack of transparency in publishing this information is a disgrace and has caused huge distress to the families and friends of those affected. “These figures should be a wake-up call for the government. Ministers need to focus on sorting out the assessment process so that everyone can have confidence in it, and providing support for disabled people who can work in order to help them do so.”Picture: A Westminster protest into deaths caused by the WCAlast_img read more

The sister of a disabled woman who she believes wa

first_imgThe sister of a disabled woman who she believes was driven to kill herself by the anxiety caused by re-applying for the government’s new disability benefit has called for reform of the “barbaric” system.Diane Hullah, from east Kent, took her own life on 21 April, and her sister is convinced that she was overwhelmed by the pressure of being forced to reapply for personal independence payment (PIP).Helen Young believes the PIP system is a “national scandal” and told Disability News Service (DNS) that it was the anxiety caused by the PIP process and the 50-page application form she was confronted with – three years after applying for it successfully for the first time – that sent her sister “downhill”.She said the pressure led her sister to start self-harming again, and twice try unsuccessfully to kill herself before she eventually took her own life. And she said it had left her confined to her bed for days at a time, and too ill to look after herself. She said Diane (pictured) had told her that the Department for Work and Pensions was “going to try and catch me out”, and was convinced her claim would be rejected and she would be left without the support she needed.Helen said: “Somebody like my sister was incapable of doing it, given her mental health.“I feel very angry about it, I think it is completely barbaric, a national scandal.“If Charles Dickens was alive, he would be writing about the social injustice of it.”It is the second suicide of a Kent woman to be linked to PIP, following the death of Susan Roberts, from Tunbridge Wells, who killed herself last year, hours after being told she would not be entitled to PIP, despite previously claiming disability living allowance.Diane had applied for PIP for the first time in 2014, and had also successfully applied for employment and support allowance (ESA), the out-of-work disability benefit.But her sister said: “ESA was awful but PIP just seemed to take it to a new level.“It all chips away, so the scar is opened up with ESA and PIP just comes along and pours a bit of salt on it to rub it in.”She said Diane had expected her new PIP claim to be turned down.Helen, who previously worked as a manager in the education sector, where she frequently had to submit funding bids, said it took her “three full days” to help her sister fill out her PIP form.She said: “I don’t understand why she had to do it at all, given that her illness was so well-documented by the medical authorities.“I just don’t understand why that has to be gone through.“One can only have quite a cynical view that they just hope that people can’t be bothered to do it, or don’t do it well enough and then have to go through another hoop of appealing.“It just feels like ‘they are trying to catch me out, they don’t believe I’m ill’. She had to keep proving her needs all the time.“It is exhausting and it did make her much worse. It’s just this sort of Sword of Damocles hanging over you all the time.”She added: “Diane had me, and some people don’t have that, and how they manage I can’t even begin to imagine.”The irony, she said, was that her sister had in fact been found eligible for the enhanced rates of both the mobility and daily living components of PIP, but the decision letter only arrived after she died.Young now plans to ask all of the candidates standing in the general election in the South Thanet constituency what they will do about this “scandal” and how they will fight for better mental health services.Young first spoke out about her sister’s death in an interview filmed by the independent local media organisation Thanet Watch.She described in the interview how her sister was driven to repeatedly self-harm by the thought of having to reapply for PIP and knowing that “if she didn’t get it right, she said the wrong thing or didn’t phrase it properly or did something else wrong, that it would automatically get turned down”.Although she doesn’t blame local NHS staff, Young said she believed her sister had been let down by the overstretched mental health system, which was not equipped to cope with the level of local need.“There just simply aren’t enough resources for this area. This is such a Cinderella service. I don’t blame the workers. They are all over-run.“But Diane hadn’t seen a worker since September. She was due to see a psychiatrist on the Monday after she died.”Diane’s psychotherapist, who she saw privately at a reduced rate, and paid for with her PIP, has told DNS that she believes the suicide attempts were a “direct result” of “the stress caused by PIP”.She said Diane had been anxious “for a while” about the PIP application, although she had written a letter of support for her claim, and her sister had helped her fill in the form.And she said that although Diane had a long history of self-harm and suicide attempts, her mental health had improved in the year she had been seeing her, until she learned of the PIP reassessment.She said the suicide attempts were “direct results in my opinion of the stress caused by PIP”.She said Diane found the “unpredictability” of PIP “worrying”, and added: “Members of my team are good at obtaining the benefit for our clients but for someone without this support it is a long and complicated form.“It also infuriates me that letters from professionals who have taken years to obtain their qualifications and expertise are often ignored.”She also said that Diane had received “little support or input” from the local community mental health team, because of the levels of demand and possibly her age.Peter Dunger, service manager for East Kent Community Drug and Alcohol Service, also knew Diane well, following treatment she had received previously for an alcohol addiction.Although she was no longer in treatment, she would occasionally call him when she was struggling with her mental health, he said.He added: “I spoke to her on the phone once or twice and she was under enormous pressure. She was very, very worried, she was frightened.“She found these processes very difficult and she also found [PIP] quite threatening.“I think it was the final straw.”last_img read more

Public bodies in Bristol are facing allegations of

first_imgPublic bodies in Bristol are facing allegations of institutional disablism and racism, after the second case in four years in which a man has been convicted of the brutal murder of a disabled refugee.Friends say that Kamil Ahmad had repeatedly told police officers that he was being threatened and racially abused by Jeffrey Barry, who lived in the same supported accommodation for people with mental health conditions in the Knowle area of Bristol.Ahmad (pictured) was stabbed to death in the early hours of 7 July last year, just hours after Barry had been released from a hospital where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.Barry, 56, was convicted of murder this week, following a trial at Bristol Crown Court. He had denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He will be sentenced on 10 November.But Disability News Service (DNS) has been told that the Kurdish asylum-seeker made repeated calls to police officers in the months and years leading up to his death, telling them that Barry was threatening him and that he did not feel safe.Friends of Kamil Ahmad have also told DNS that Bristol social services – which he had also told about his fears for his safety – was about to evict him and leave him homeless and destitute on the streets, and only announced that this decision had been reversed after he had been killed.The revelations come four years after the death of Bijan Ebrahimi, a disabled refugee who was also brutally killed by a neighbour in Bristol – little more than a mile away, in the neighbouring Brislington area of the city – and who had also made repeated pleas for the police and other agencies to protect him.A review of alleged failures by Bristol City Council and other local agencies in that case has not yet been published, more than four years after Ebrahimi’s death.Kamil Ahmad had made repeated calls to Avon and Somerset police, which included reporting two assaults by Barry in October and December 2013, and another incident in April 2016.Police said this week that the two assaults in 2013 were not taken any further because of a lack of corroborating evidence, and that Barry had claimed that he himself had been the victim, although he was detained under the Mental Health Act after the second incident.Avon and Somerset police claims that Kamil Ahmad reported just four incidents to them between 2013 and 2016, but DNS has been told that he made many more reports that Barry had threatened and racially abused him, and that he repeatedly told the authorities that he did not feel safe.Three months before he was killed, on 5 April 2016, Ahmad told police that Jeffrey Barry had again threatened him.Despite insisting that he wanted the police to press charges, no further action was taken.A police officer who had arranged to visit Ahmad and his interpreter Adil Jaifar in May 2016 to discuss the case never turned up for the appointment.Avon and Somerset police admitted this week that officers had faced disciplinary action over the way they dealt with this incident.A police spokesman told DNS: “There was one allegation of assault made by Mr Ahmad in April 2016 [following] which we did identify performance issues and these were dealt with locally in the form of words of advice given to the officers involved.”He said Ahmad had reported that Barry had “blocked his path and searched him”, although “no injuries were sustained in the incident”.He said the “performance issues” related to “a misunderstanding Mr Ahmad did not want to take the complaint further after speaking to officers on a number of occasions”, and he added: “After the words of advice were given we again made contact with Mr Ahmad who at that stage confirmed he did not want to pursue a criminal complaint.”He said police records showed only four complaints made by Ahmad about Barry, and added: “It doesn’t appear that we recorded any allegations of threats other than those four.”But Adil Jaifar has told DNS that his friend had made it very clear that he wanted Barry taken to court, and that Ahmad had made repeated complaints about Barry to the police.He said he could not imagine him dropping the case, as he remembers Ahmad telling him: “I want to bring the matter to a court. It’s useless to speak or warn Jeff anymore.”The following month, Barry – who has paranoid schizophrenia, and previously spent time in the high-security psychiatric hospitals Rampton and Broadmoor, and has a long criminal record – was finally arrested, and then sectioned, on 13 June, after displaying sexualised behaviour and making threats to kill people, and telling staff that “Kamil would be top of my list”.But the Mental Health Tribunal later decided that he should be released, and soon afterwards, on 6 July, he returned to the house in Wells Road where they both lived.The court heard that Barry had stopped taking the medication that was controlling his aggression, which the tribunal had been unaware of.Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust failed to inform police that Barry had been released and would be returning to Wells Road, the court had heard.The court also heard that the trust had failed to put in place a plan to support and monitor Barry after his release.Ahmad, who had spent the evening of 6 July with his cousin, had no idea that his neighbour had been released from hospital.In the early hours of the next morning, Barry attacked Ahmad in his room, after he had opened the door to him.An hour before, Barry had phoned a mental health helpline to say that he was not in control of his actions and wanted to punch someone.The police were told about the call, but only a few minutes before Barry phoned 999 to confess to murdering Ahmad.Kamil’s brother, Kamaran Ahmad Ali, said he wanted to know why Kamil had not been protected, and why he had been failed by the mental health services and the police.He told DNS: “That should not happen. They should have protected him. They should have looked after him.“When they sectioned him, he threatened to kill [Kamil] and they didn’t do anything about it.“I want to get to the bottom of it and find out why it happened and how it happened.”Friends of Kamil Ahmad also believe he would still be alive if the police had listened to his concerns.They say their friend was a quietly-spoken, funny, peaceful and generous man, who only wanted a safe place to live.They say that the way he was let down by the police, social services, and other authorities, including the mental health trust, and the Home Office – which had rejected his asylum claim – shows how Britain treats most asylum-seekers like criminals.Avon and Somerset police insists that there are no similarities to the case of Bijan Ebrahimi, and added: “We certainly don’t believe this case suggests an issue with institutional racism or disablism”.But Rebecca Yeo, a friend of Kamil Ahmad, who worked with him on a UK Disabled People’s Council project to create a mural in Bristol that examined the experiences of disabled asylum-seekers, said: “Kamil was failed in getting the support he needed, both from the police and social services.“He was threatened with street homelessness. He had years of being abused and he didn’t get the help he needed.”Adil Jaifar added: “In Bijan’s case, he raised the alarm several times and he wasn’t listened to until this terrible thing happened, and the same with Kamil. It’s the same.”Asylum-seekers are treated with “total disrespect”, he said. “You are vulnerable and you don’t have any power.“The majority of asylum-seekers, they are viewed as criminals.“If the system treats you as a criminal, what can you expect from the rest of society, and that is what is happening.”Bristol City Council said that the Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board had commissioned a safeguarding adults review, and that it would “respond to any issues raised by the review”.A spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately we cannot completely remove risk to the most vulnerable members of our society, but we are committed to protecting them whilst helping maintain their independence and we are continually improving practices wherever necessary to help prevent tragic incidents like this from happening.“We do not wait for recommendations from reviews to make changes to help us do all we can to keep people safe.”The council has refused to answer questions about the case, although it did say that it recognised “cosmetic similarities” with the death of Bijan Ebrahimi.But a spokeswoman said that it was “vital in terms of challenging and improving our processes that all of the issues are carefully, methodically and independently examined”, and so the council would not be able to comment in depth until the reviews into the two deaths were completed.Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust said it had “reviewed and strengthened our ways of working with other service providers, including the police, to improve our sharing of clinical and additional relevant information”, but refused to answer any questions.Milestones Trust, the charity which runs the supported living accommodation where Kamil Ahmad and Barry lived, said it was carrying out an internal review, but also refused to answer any questions.last_img read more

In a Real Estate Boom SFs Mexican Musician Still Sings of the

first_imgFor six years, Aranda has walked the Mission’s boulevards almost every day, carrying either a guitar or accordion. He generally makes his living by playing corridos, or Mexican folk songs, for the nightly throngs.Aranda’s shifts can last up to seven hours. The work is hard and sometimes thankless. On the bad nights, he said, “I can barely make enough for BART.”He’s found that Missionites will more often tip a band than a solo performer, so he brings his friends with him whenever he can. They call themselves “The Canaries of the North,” Aranda said.Some restaurants love Aranda’s band. Others, like Pancho Villa’s or Gallardo’s, have told him not to return because their customers preferred silence, he said.Sometimes the band was a victim of its own success. At one taqueria — Aranda would not say which — customers adored the Canaries but the manager blacklisted them, concerned that they were getting tips that should have gone to the house staff.“It feels bad,” Aranda said, recalling the experience. “We play to make people have a good time, and now we can’t do that.”A passer-by requests a song from Aranda (red) and his band mate, as they work the streets in front of Gracias Madre. Photo by Stella Sadikin.This last Friday night found the Canaries playing in front of Gracias Madre, at 18th and Mission streets. Wayfarers slowed, drawn by the music, and they in turn drew others until about 20 people huddled together. One couple started dancing on the sidewalk.The song grew louder — the crowd was singing along. Blanca Eusse said she’d learned the song, Canción Mixteca, as a child in Colombia. Her friends had similar stories: Ana knew it from her childhood in Honduras, Adelmo was raised on it in El Salvador, and Candelario grew up with it in Mexico.“The song’s about how you’re longing to be back in the town where you grew up,” Eusse said.The last note dropped. Then Dilan Arellano, a young construction worker who was in the neighborhood with friends after his shift in Sacramento, handed Aranda $10 and requested a song about a ranch hand’s toils, harvesting fields of wheat. “I learned it from my Grandpa, when I was a kid back in Mexico,” Arellano said.Aranda called his life here “bittersweet.” When he makes good money playing on the streets, or at private parties, he sends some of it back home to his youngest son, José Guadalupe, who is studying computer science in Mexico City.But he misses his family in Mexico. Although he lives with his wife, and two of his children are nearby in the Bay Area — his five other children and his ten siblings are still back in Mexico. To this day, his 98-year-old mother lives on the same hill-top ranch where Aranda grew up tending the cows, horses and goats, in a small village in Guanajuato state.It was there that he first learned to play the guitar for the express purpose of wooing women — the strategy was pretty effective, he said, though the music itself has become his longest romance to date.When he turned 22, he moved to Mexico City and got a job at a factory that made frosting for cakes, and he started a family.Then, when Aranda was about 40, he and his brother formed a band called “Embajadores Del Cerro Guanajuato,” or “The Ambassadors of Guanajuato Hill,” after his childhood home. Their music followed the Norteño, or “Northern,” style — the songs were raw and edgy, telling stories about romance, the harshness of ranch life, or “just getting drunk,” Aranda said.They were booked for shows almost every weekend. They recorded eight albums together, and landed on the soundtracks of four films, Aranda said. He eventually built his own studio to help groups record their music.“But I left all of that behind,” he said.For one of his albums, Aranda played alongside his brothers and son-in-law. Photo by Stella Sadikin.When he turned 60, he was diagnosed with diabetes. The medical bills started to pile up. One of his sons, who lived in the United States, told him that the medical care was better and cheaper here, so Aranda and his wife packed their bags and moved.Now, as the years roll on, the swelling in his legs is getting worse, forcing his shifts to get shorter and shorter. Time has marked him in other ways.“I don’t see very well, and I’ve lost a lot of teeth.” he said, smiling. “What can we do? We have to keep living.”Aranda and his band draw a crowd. Stella Sadikin. 0% This is one of a series of profiles on the musicians who make up the Mission District. The first profile, on the Mission “Blues Man,” can be read here. On a recent day in Richmond, California, Luis Aranda greeted me at his door, dressed to kill.He wore a cowboy hat and boots, a black suit with snake-skin accents on the shoulders, and a pair of dark aviators that he never removed, even though we immediately went indoors. He looked much younger than his 66 years, which is what people tell him.Some of that was surely meant for me — I’d told him I wanted photos. But after our interview, he said, he planned to work a shift in the Mission District.center_img Tags: immigrants • Music Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

HATTONS Solicitors have invited all Saints fans to

first_imgHATTONS Solicitors have invited all Saints fans to a free event at Langtree Park on September 4.Not only will you enjoy an evening of entertainment with three first team players but also a free pie and pint!The evening is being provided by Hattons Solicitors’ online Gold Membership – a scheme that provides free discounts and special offers to encourage loyalty to their company.Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, Paul Wellens and Josh Perry will be at the event hosted by Jon Wilkin and you’ll also get the chance to pose the difficult questions.To register and get a ticket for this event you need to sign up to Hattons Gold Membership online, which is completely free to join. Make sure you state that you are a St Helens RFC fan on the registration form by clicking here.You will then be sent a private email giving you the link to register online with.There is no charge for this event but you must be over 18 to register. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis as SPACES ARE LIMITED.Deadline for Hattons Gold registration is Monday August 20 at 5pm and you will be sent an email to register for a Saints event ticket on Tuesday August 21 at 9am.It’s first come first served so book this date in your diary to make sure you get a ticket. Deadline for ticket registration is Monday August 27 at 5pm.If you have any questions about this event or would like to find out more about Hattons Gold Membership simply email or ring 08000 111 563.last_img read more

ANTHONY Walker gave up a final stitch in his nose

first_imgANTHONY Walker gave up a final stitch in his nose to celebrate with his teammates after they beat Leeds Rhinos.The young forward was forced off the field with a nose wound late in the second half but asked the club doctor to finish the job early so he could revel in the post-match lap of honour.“I should have an extra stitch in my nose, that is why it is still bleeding,” he said after the game. “I heard the roar when the tries went in so I told the doc to finish up I wanted to get out and celebrate with the boys.“It was an unreal win. Before the game people were saying we should give it our best and see how we go. But in the camp we had confidence and knew if we played to the best of our ability and matched their enthusiasm we could get the victory. We believed in ourselves.”Walker, a Welsh International, scored a vital try in the first half after Saints had gone behind to Danny McGuire’s try.“I couldn’t believe it to be honest,” Anthony continued. “I got the ball and I was supposed to pass. But I saw a gap and fell over the line really. It was luck but I’m glad I got it!”Saints are next in action this Sunday when they face Huddersfield Giants in the Fourth Round of the Challenge Cup.All ticket details are here and you can buy yours from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

SAINTS have announced their 19man squad for Frida

first_imgSAINTS have announced their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League Round Five clash at Widnes Vikings.Keiron Cunningham welcomes back Travis Burns from suspension and recalls Josh Jones for the trip to the Select Security Stadium.There is also a ‘debut’ in the 19 this season for Jordan Hand.Kyle Amor is suspended for the clash whilst Luke Walsh, Mark Percival, Mark Flanagan and Jonny Lomax are all unavailable.Saints’ 17 will be chosen from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 16. Lance Hohaia, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Paul Wellens, 21. Joe Greenwood, 22. Matty Dawson, 24. Jordan Hand, 25. Andre Savelio.Denis Betts will select his Widnes side from:1. Rhys Hanbury, 2. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van, 7. Joe Mellor, 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 11. Danny Galea, 12. Danny Tickle, 14. Chris Dean, 15. Jack Owens, 17. Chris Clarkson, 19. Ben Kavanagh, 21. Danny Craven, 23. Phil Joseph, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 25. Alex Gerrard, 27. Grant Gore, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 35. Gil Dudson.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Robert Hicks.For ticket details please click here – remember to keep your stubs for the free hot drink offer!last_img read more

SAINTS and the RFL have announced a new commercial

first_imgSAINTS and the RFL have announced a new commercial agreement with TROJAN Workwear.As well as becoming an official partner of the RFL, TROJAN Workwear will launch the ‘Trojan Hit of the Month’ at Magic Weekend and give fans the opportunity to vote on the toughest tackle of the month.The new partnership will also see TROJAN Workwear, exclusively available through Arco Ltd., become club partners with First Utility Super League Champions St Helens and Leeds Rhinos until the end of the 2016 season.RFL Commercial Director Chris Rawlings said: “We are delighted to welcome TROJAN Workwear into the RFL’s Commercial family and extend the welcome on behalf of St Helens and Leeds Rhinos, our two current domestic trophy holders. The similarities between our game and the brand go hand-in-hand with their tough attributes.”Lee Morton, Brand and Sponsorship Manager for TROJAN Workwear added: “We are delighted to join forces with the RFL and in particular St Helens and Leeds Rhinos. Rugby League gives us the perfect platform to showcase our hard-wearing, durable workwear to the tradesmen and SME marketplace. Just like the players, we know what it takes to work hard and tackle the toughest jobs.”The partnership was announced in the build up to Magic Weekend, with both captains from St Helens and Leeds Rhinos Jon Wilkin and Kevin Sinfield.last_img read more

TITLE sponsor First Utility has revealed the nomin

first_imgTITLE sponsor First Utility has revealed the nominations for the Official First Utility Super League Player of the Month competition for August, with our very own Alex Walmsley making the shortlist.The big prop has had another fantastic season and is a contender for the Man of Steel award.And, his performances in August were first class as Saints continued their good form.If you feel that Alex deserves to be the First Utility Super League Player of the Month for August vote here. Mobile users can click here.Each fan who votes will go into a prize draw with one lucky supporter getting the chance to present the First Utility Super League Player of the Month trophy to the winning player.The two players with the most votes will then be considered by a judging panel consisting of representatives from First Utility & League Weekly, where an overall winner will be revealed.Voting is now open, and the August First Utility Super League Player of the Month shortlist is as follows:Jack Buchanan (Widnes Vikings)Danny Houghton (Hull FC)Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers)Alex Walmsley (St Helens)George Williams (Wigan Warriors)Fans have until midday on Friday September 2 to register their votes for August’s First Utility Super League Player of the Month award.last_img read more

The Flying Springbok has passed away at the age of

first_imgThe Flying Springbok has passed away at the age of 82.St Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus stated:“Everyone at the Club and in the town of St Helens would like to express our sincere condolences to Tom’s wife Leone and to his family.“Tom was one of St Helens’ and rugby league’s greatest ever players: a true great amongst greats. He lit up the game during its great era in the 1950s and 60s. There may be possible debate over who was St Helens’ best ever player but there is no doubt over who is our most loved and revered player: it is Tom van Vollenhoven.“His passing is of great sadness but his life and his rugby career is one only of inspiration and of heart-warming memories. The name of St Helens will always be much the richer because of the decade during which Tom Van Vollenhoven wore our shirt with unparalleled success, pride and distinction.”Former teammate and Club Life President Kel Coslett added:“I was privileged to have played with such a truly wonderful player as Tom van Vollenhoven. But I will remember him in equal measure as a true gentleman and as a good friend. St Helens took Tom to its heart and Tom took St Helens to his. A real all-time great.”You can read Alex Service’s superb tribute to the one and only Voll here.last_img read more

Cerro Gordo race team to drive in GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

first_img They’ll look for the checkered flag at the Talladega Superspeedway on April 29.The team has enlisted Timothy Peters to pilot the car in Peters’ NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series debut.He drove for Ricky Benton racing in last month’s truck series race at Martinsville Speedway earning a seventh place finish.Related Article: Man accused of trying to solicit a child onlineThe team’s last cup series start was in this year’s Daytona 500 where driver David Gilliland drove to a 14th place finish. The 92 truck will be back in action for Ricky Benton Racing. (Photo: Ricky Benton Racing) CERRO GORDO, NC (WWAY) — Get ready for some news from the fast lane. Cerro Gordo based Ricky Benton racing is returning to NASCAR’s top circuit this month.The team will enter it’s number 92 Ford Fusion sponsored by Advance Auto Parts in the GEICO 500.- Advertisement – last_img read more

DHS secretary FEMA chief misused cars but wont lose job

first_img Nielsen said in a statement Friday that there had been a longstanding practice to transport FEMA administrators in government vehicles to ensure they could remain connected during a crisis. But despite this practice, use of government vehicles for home-to-work travel was not officially authorized, and that practice was eliminated in April.Nielsen said the report by Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also found Long used government vehicles for non-official reasons.She said they spoke about the problems and Long agreed to reimburse the government, though it wasn’t clear how much money that might be. She said she directed the department to review policy on home-to-work transportation problems, assess communication requirements at FEMA so officials can be best connected during disasters, and to review of and training regarding proper use of government vehicles.Related Article: President Trump grants North Carolina’s state of emergency request“We had a productive conversation where we discussed my expectations regarding the agency’s use of government vehicles going forward,” Nielsen said in a statement. “The administrator acknowledged that mistakes were made, and he took personal responsibility.”The inspector general’s report has not been made public. The House Oversight Committee is also looking into the allegations and has asked Long to turn over to the committee all documents related to the trips by Oct. 1, including whether his staff was put up in hotels paid for by taxpayer dollars.The inspector general’s office has turned the review over to federal prosecutors to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted, according to a person familiar with the probe. It’s not uncommon for an inspector general to refer cases so federal prosecutors can determine whether charges are warranted, and it doesn’t mean he’ll be charged with a crime. The person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.In the days after Florence struck, Long said he was not focused on the investigation, and instead was working to help the region get back on its feet after the devastation. More than 40 have died and rising floodwaters cut off roads and drowned livestock.In a statement Friday, Long said he accepted full responsibility.“The secretary and I are taking corrective action to prevent such mistakes from happening in the future,” he said. “I remain committed to the critical mission of FEMA – helping people before, during and after disasters.”He has been head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency since June 2017, presiding over a particularly grueling hurricane season that included Irma, Harvey and Maria, plus wildfires in California. The response to Maria has been heavily criticized and Long has said FEMA learned lessons on how to better prepare for this year’s storms.Other Trump administration officials have lost their jobs over ethics issues related to travel, but they involved more outsized allegations. The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned in July after allegations of massive security spending, first-class flights and a sweetheart condo lease. WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the federal disaster response agency used government vehicles without proper authorization, but will not lose his job over it, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday.Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William “Brock” Long had been under investigation by the Homeland Security Department’s watchdog over possibly misusing government vehicles to travel to his home in Hickory, North Carolina. Word leaked of the investigation just as Hurricane Florence was poised to make landfall earlier this month.- Advertisement – last_img read more

What items Carolina Beach says they are not picking up

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (Press Release) — The Town is collecting debris related to Hurricane Florence such as tree limbs, household items (couch, mattress, etc.) and white goods (refrigerators, appliances, etc.).The Town is not picking up items classified as hazardous waste listed below:Acids FuelsAerosol Cans FungicidesAntifreeze HerbicidesBallasts Household CleanersBatteries (all types) Mercury-containing DevicesCaustics Motor Oil / FiltersCFL Light bulbs & tubes Paint (latex and oil-based)Cooking Oil PesticidesElectronics (TVs, Computers, etc.) Sharps (needles)Fertilizers Stains / VarnishesFlammable Liquids Solvents- Advertisement – Please DO NOT place any of the above listed Household Hazardous Waste items by theroadside or in dumpsters or trash cans. These items can be taken to the New Hanover County HazWagon location in Carolina Beach, every Friday.HOURS OF OPERATION: Fridays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.LOCATION: The southern side of Mike Chappel Park, on Sumter Avenue, nearthe tennis courts.Related Article: Overflo raises more funds for Florence victimsNote-there is a limit of 2 television sets and 10 gallons of liquid waste per week, per residential address. No limit on all other waste types.If you have any questions, please contact Town Hall at (910) 458-2999.last_img read more

The quality of life of residents is central to AD – Carmel

first_imgCarmel CacopardoCarmel Cacopardo Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo highlighted that the quality of life of residents is central to Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party.Addressing a press conference at St. Julian’s on Tuesday morning with reference to his candidacy for the Local Council elections, Mr. Cacopardo insisted that ensuring that Malta’s roads and pavements are in good shape is an ongoing commitment.Mr. Cacopardo enlisted a number of proposals which he is putting forward, such as the replacement of most pavements. He noted that the accessibility of roads is important for both residents and tourists.However, he added that the challenges which Local Councils face must go beyond the maintenance of roads and public spaces.Carmel Cacopardo assured the public that, on behalf of Alternattiva Demokratika, he will be there to ensure that no one is ill-treated, and that the Local Council will lead the way to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.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

Austrias Kurz wrangles with far right and risk of parliamentary axe

first_img SharePrint Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz delivers a news conference at the presidential office at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerAustria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz delivers a news conference at the presidential office at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz sought on Tuesday to oust the far-right interior minister who he says is compromised by the scandal that wrecked their coalition, while trying to avoid a chain reaction in which lawmakers could sack him too.Kurz pulled the plug on his 17-month-old coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) over the weekend, after FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache was caught in a video sting discussing fixing state contracts and how to circumvent party financing laws. A snap election is expected in September, after either parliament or the president dissolves parliament.Strache, whose party has been one of the most successful nationalist and anti-immigration movements in Europe, securing more than a quarter of the vote and taking the interior, foreign and defence ministries, denies doing anything illegal. It remains unclear who was behind the recording, made in 2017.Kurz, the 32-year-old leader of the conservative People’s Party (OVP), has pledged a thorough investigation into any wrongdoing, and said on Monday he would ask President Alexander Van der Bellen to sack the FPO’s interior minister, Herbert Kickl, because as FPO chairman in 2017 he was responsible for party finances.Doing that, however, risks setting off a chain reaction that could force Kurz and what is effectively his caretaker government from office ahead of time, damaging the young conservative star’s image as he seeks to isolate himself from the scandal and project himself as a strong leader.Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen deliver a news conference at the presidential office at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerDISTRUST FOR DISTRUST“It would be almost naive for Kurz to assume that we, the FPO, have no distrust of him following his distrust in us,” Kickl told the mass-circulation newspaper Oesterreich, saying his party would back a no-confidence motion if one were brought.“Whenever the extraordinary session happens, those who give trust receive trust and those who give distrust get distrust.”New FPO leader Norbert Hofer, however, has said he will await ongoing talks involving all parliamentary parties and Van der Bellen, whom Kurz was due to meet at 12:30 p.m. (1030 GMT).The FPO accuses Kurz of playing power politics and has said it will pull its ministers out of the lame-duck government if Kickl is forced out. Kurz has said they would be replaced by technocrats or experts rather than politicians.Lawmaker Peter Pilz confirmed that he would put forward a motion of no confidence in Kurz at a special session of parliament on Monday, the day after European parliament elections. But larger parties’ positions remained unclear.“I am quite certain that it will succeed and that I will manage to ensure that Kurz will no longer be chancellor on Tuesday,” Pilz, an environmentalist who founded his own small party to rival the Greens, told Reuters.Pamela Rendi-Wagner, leader of the Social Democrats, the second-biggest party in parliament, said on Monday that if technocrats were brought into the cabinet, then all ministers, including those from Kurz’s party, should be replaced.WhatsApp <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

A Dog Gets Eight iPhone 7s from His Owner

first_imgThe dog is seen happily posing with his new collection of iPhone 7. Image Credit: NDTV news Advertisement NDTV news reports, Wang Sicong, son of Wang Jialin, a Chinese businessman whose net worth is over $30 billion, purchased eight iPhone 7 smartphones for his dog, according to a post on the dog’s account on Weibo.The iPhone 7 in China is priced between $959 to $1194 (roughly 3.3 million UGX to 4.1 million UGX), meaning that the son spent over $7655 for the iPhones (roughly 26 million UGX).While Apple fans in China started lining up outside the Apple Store on Friday, Sicong easily managed to get eight of the company’s newest flagship only to give it to his beloved dog.last_img

Top 5 Facts About Kilimall Uganda

first_imgThe Infinix Note 3 and Kilimall Uganda banners are seen displayed at Laftaz during the launch of the Infinix smartphones, on Monday 21st November, 2016. (Photo shot by: Nathan Ernest Olupot) Advertisement Kilimall Uganda launched in May 2016 serves a retail customer base that continues to grow exponentially, offering products that span various categories from; Phones, accessories, Electronics & Appliances, Clothes, Bags & Fashion, Home & Living, Office Products, Automotive, Digital Products, Kids Toys, to name a few, competing with it’s biggest rival Jumia to become Africa’s No.1 E-commerce platform.We gathered a few facts about the online-shopping platform:Kilimall Uganda has the highest bargaining power for global supplies than any other online store in Uganda:Working directly with global suppliers, Kilimall enables Ugandans to buy products directly from various markets across the world. Through their Global Shopping service, Kilimall takes orders from shoppers for best-in- class products, sources them from pre-qualified merchants globally then delivers directly to customers.Kilimall Uganda holds the record for the highest single-day orders in Uganda during the recent Black Friday sales: – Advertisement – Black Friday is the biggest online shopping day event widely known for it’s abnormal/overwhelming discounts. Kilimall Uganda during it’s Black Friday set a new record of receiving more than 1,000 orders, 2000 items sold out and over 100,000 unique visitors within less than 24 hours. The online shopping mall offered exclusive deals of up to 70% discounts on a variety of items like electronics, home appliances, fashion, and so forth.Kilimall Uganda Managing Director Mr Wang Chengyeng was over whelmed about the sales saying, “We only launched 6 months ago, and have reached an unbelievable order number this Black Friday.”Kilimall Uganda offers exclusive deals from manufacturers like Infinix Uganda to give it’s customers affordable products:Late last month, Kilimall Uganda partnered with global mobile phone manufacturers; Infinix Mobility to launch Infinix Note 3 and Infinix Hot 4 in the Ugandan market. Only sold online around the world, Kilimall Uganda was chosen exclusively to sale the Infinix mobile phones here in Uganda, priced at UGX 359,000 for the Infinix Hot 4 and UGX 519,000 for the Infinix Note 3.[related-posts] The Infinix Hot 4. The Infinix Note 3.Kilimall Uganda offers the most affordable quality products compared to other online stores in Uganda:Kilimall Uganda assures us that all their products are of quality, many might take this as lie or joke, but I recently bought a Black Flax Leisure Pure Color Shirt and I tell you it was really genuine pure fabric shirt. It’s hard for many Ugandans to believe anything they sell online, but Kilimall Uganda gives you a 7-day free return policy as part of their customer satisfaction retail process.Kilimall Uganda offers the widest variety of products online in Uganda making it the largest online store in the country:Kilimall Uganda offers the widest range of products, from; Phones accessories, to Electronics & Appliances, to Shoes & Clothing’s, to Bags & Fashion, to Home & Living, to Office Products, to Automotive, to Digital Products, you name them. Kilimall’s range of services are designed to ensure optimum levels of convenience and customer satisfactionPlus, they work directly with global suppliers to ensure that their stores are well stocked.last_img read more

PREVIEW England v Slovenia

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he preview column continues to be the gift that keeps on giving (well, in November anyway !)Walsall obliged at 7/4 for a profit of 17.5 points for us on Wednesday.Back to the Euro 2016 Qualifiers. More qualifiers than ever more and more teams qualifying, but that’s a subject for another day.At 5pm on Saturday England take on Slovenia at Wembley and England are around 1/3 for the win which certainly looks on the short side.Although England have beaten Slovenia in their two previous matches, they were both only by single goal margins and England remain without Sturridge.England were dealt a further blow yesterday with the news that Andros Townsend is also out of the squad through injury. He joins fellow midfielder Michael Carrick in the stands.In any case, I’m by no means convinced that this is ‘new’ England yesterday after their disaster in Brazil in the summer.At face value Hodgson has seen better results since then with England topping Group E but they struggled to get past 10 man Estonia last month and will find Slovenia, who have won their last two Group E games, no push over.England v SloveniaUEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier5pm ITVHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max 10 matches)Jun 2010 World Cup Slovenia 0-1 EnglandSep 2009 International England 2-1 SloveniaThe draw looks the value play for me at around 4/1.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK DRAW at around 4/1 for 3 points with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 35.58 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Monday 29 DecemberRACING1.05 NewburyGunna Be A Devil 14/1 > 15/21.10 LimerickThepartysover 10/1 > 11/22.35 LeopardstownCarrigmoorna Rock 11/4 > 15/83.20 LimerickZekarya 11/1 > 9/2FOOTBALL8/11 Liverpool 4/1 Swansea 11/4 DrawWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img