Footballs Premier League will break a pledge that

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgFootball’s Premier League will break a pledge that all of its stadiums would be accessible to disabled football fans by next August, despite its clubs spending more than a billion pounds on player transfers this summer.The Premier League, the governing body for the top 20 club sides in England and Wales, delivered a high-profile pledge last year that every one of its members would meet strict access standards by August 2017.But peers heard last week that seven Premier League clubs were set to break the pledge to meet standards laid out in guidance 12 years ago in The Accessible Stadia Guide (ASG).ASG includes guidelines on car parking, accessible information, the minimum number of wheelchair spaces for spectators, location of viewing areas for disabled supporters, and staff training.And today (Thursday), the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that the Premier League had acknowledged in meetings that many clubs would miss the August deadline.Lord [Chris] Holmes, EHRC’s disability commissioner and himself a retired Paralympian, said: “All clubs agreed to make the minimum recommended improvements for disabled fans over two years.“We are now at half-time, and for many teams, the performance is simply unacceptable.“Football teams are legally obliged under the Equality Act to ensure disabled fans are not disadvantaged.“Where it is found that little or no progress has been made toward improving accessibility, we will consider using all our strong legal powers to ensure compliance; all options are on the table.“We will be writing to each club to ensure they do not go back on their commitment given last year, and we will be receiving a report every six months from the Premier League on progress being made.”He added: “The English Premier League is the richest league in the world; in a year when club signings are reaching stratospheric levels, Premiership clubs simply cannot continue to leave disabled fans by the sidelines.”Joyce Cook, chair of the disabled supporters’ charity Level Playing Field, said there had been improvements by some clubs.She said: “Just like last season on the pitch, champions Leicester City are leading the way, while many other teams such as Manchester United have shown clear commitment towards reaching the ASG standards of accessibility by next year.”But she told Disability News Service (DNS): “It is quite simply time for Premier League clubs to do the right thing by its disabled fans.“You made us a promise and we are now counting on you to stay true to your words.“All we want is the right to follow the game we love – surely that is not too much to ask of some of the richest clubs in the world.”The Premier League’s promise to act on access – following a series of embarrassing media reports into the discrimination faced by disabled supporters – was welcomed last year as a “huge achievement” by the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson.The Premier League also promised to deliver a progress report to the government by July this year.But Home Office minister Baroness Williams admitted last week that the government was “disappointed” by the progress report it had now received from the Premier League and would be asking for “a far more detailed report, giving a club-by-club breakdown”.Tomlinson, who has since been sacked, had promised that the government would publish the report.This week, nearly two months after the report was sent to his successor, Penny Mordaunt, the Department for Work and Pensions said it did not yet have a publication date and “can’t yet comment on the contents”.The Labour peer Lord Faulkner, LPF vice-president, has led parliamentary efforts to improve access to sporting events.He said he had been told that the progress report “says very little and contains no detail about the real progress at each club”.He told fellow peers last week: “The excuses being put forward by clubs as to why they will not meet this are, frankly, unacceptable.”He was particularly critical of three Premier League clubs: Liverpool, Watford and Crystal Palace.Last weekend, Liverpool opened its new main stand, which it says is “one of the largest all seater single stands in European football” and features “premium facilities for fans inside the stand”.But Lord Faulkner said the club “seems far more interested in providing general hospitality places than in installing sufficient disabled fans’ seats to comply with football’s own minimum standards”.He said Watford “seems to be removing disabled fans’ seats at a time when we should be seeing an increase”, while Crystal Palace “believes that it needs only to come up with a plan by August 2017”, rather than comply with the access guidelines.He said: “It is more than 20 years since the introduction of [the Disability Discrimination Act]: it is law that they are required to provide that accommodation, and it is disgraceful that they have not done so.”And he said it was “clear that the Premier League appears to have no intention to penalise or sanction clubs that do not meet the pledge”.Cook said today that some of the most “shocking” concerns were around the availability of wheelchair-accessible seating at West Ham United, even though the club has this season moved into the stadium which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, and athletics, at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was widely-praised at the time for its access.She added: “With the Paralympic Games taking place currently in Rio, how can we talk of the positive legacy of London 2012 for disabled people in the UK when even the Olympic Stadium will no longer be fully accessible? It truly beggars belief.”A Premier League spokesman told DNS that the report it sent to the government “gave a general progress update without naming individual clubs”.He said: “We are not currently able to say what the situation will be in 11 months’ time.“Clubs are aware of the commitments they made and are working hard to improve disabled access in a variety of ways.“Clubs are working hard to improve their disabled access provisions at stadia and will continue to do so in the coming months and years.”When asked whether the Premier League would punish clubs that did not meet the pledge, he said: “We are not able to second guess what the position will be in August 2017.“Each club’s situation will be carefully considered at that time.”A spokesman for Watford said: “Watford Football Club is very confident in its ability to be fully compliant with the Accessible Stadia Guide by August 2017.“The club has worked and continues to work very hard to ensure that its stadium facilities can be enjoyed by all supporters visiting Vicarage Road.“We are fully focused upon delivering our part of the Premier League’s public commitment.”A Crystal Palace spokeswoman said: “Crystal Palace Football Club are fully aware of their obligations to meet the requirements of the Accessible Stadia Guide (ASG) and the deadline of August 2017.  “The club has met with architects, is working diligently on all aspects of the ASG and will continue to do so over the coming months.   “We have recently appointed a disability liaison officer who is maintaining regular contact with [the club’s disabled supporters’ association] and Level Playing Field and will work closely with them on this matter.”West Ham United and Liverpool had not commented by 11am today (15 September).15 September 2016last_img read more

Work and pensions ministers have refused to explai

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgWork and pensions ministers have refused to explain why plans for new social security legislation were dropped from last week’s Queen’s speech.Disability News Service reported last week how a Tory election promise to “dismantle” the work capability assessment (WCA) through new legislation appeared to have been abandoned when it failed to appear in the Queen’s speech, which covered legislation that will be introduced over the next two years.The minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt, had told a national disability hustings event a few days before the general election that a Conservative government would “legislate to reform the work capability assessment”, which “treats people like they are part of a sausage factory”.And she said that ministers had “managed to get into the manifesto a legislative commitment to dismantle the work capability assessment”.The manifesto did not mention replacing the WCA but it did promise that a Conservative government would “legislate to give unemployed disabled claimants or those with a health condition personalised and tailored employment support”.A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokeswoman denied this week that the failure to include a social security bill in the Queen’s speech meant ministers had abandoned its reforms.She said: “We have comprehensively consulted on reforms to the work capability assessment as part of the Improving Lives: Work, Health and Disability Green Paper, and have committed to introducing more personalised and tailored support to help people stay in work and the unemployed to return to work.”She added: “We remain strongly committed to help people with disabilities and health conditions get into and stay in work and are considering next steps in response to the green paper.”When asked why the commitment to new legislation was missing from the Queen’s speech, she said: “We don’t take decisions on the content of the Queen’s speech.“As I’ve said below, we have committed to introducing more personalised and tailored support to help people stay in work, and the unemployed to return to work.”Asked if she could ask the relevant ministers – or their special advisers – why the bill had not appeared in the Queen’s speech, she said the press office had “nothing further to add”.last_img read more

Struggling high street businesses need to wake up

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgStruggling high street businesses need to “wake up” to the need to communicate with disabled people and their potential £200 billion spending power, according to the founder of an accessibility information website.Dr Gregory Burke told Disability News Service that he still sees many of the same physical access barriers in high streets that he faced as a wheelchair-user when he launched DisabledGo 18 years ago, and that he believes disabled people’s quality of life has probably fallen during that time.In the two decades since he launched the business, it has grown to the point where it has 60 employees and is used by more than 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or trip by checking detailed accessibility information on venues such as cafes, hospitals and cinemas throughout the UK.Burke (pictured) was speaking this week as DisabledGo launched a new website and mobile phone app and announced that it was changing its name to AccessAble*.In a survey released to mark the launch, 99 per cent of the disabled people and carers questioned said it was important to know about accessibility before visiting somewhere new, while almost as many (98 per cent) said they would search for accessibility information in advance.But only 14 per cent of people said they found the access information they were looking for and 80 per cent said they found the information they did track down to be inaccurate.Burke says he was still shocked by how little attention businesses paid to providing good access information about their services.He says: “What frustrates me the most is that businesses are resistant to communicating with a market worth £200 billion a year.“With high streets struggling, you would think most businesses would want to tap into that.“Businesses need to wake up. The disability market has always been here, but businesses need to wake up to it.”Burke started DisabledGo in 2000 after spending several years in hospital, rehabilitation and respite after a severe case of encephalitis as a teenager.He says it was only when he emerged after his rehabilitation that he realised that he was disabled. “Trying to access anywhere was fraught with difficulty and frustration.“I’m a pretty confident guy but I found that my social ambit was shrinking, was getting smaller and smaller and I wasn’t going out anywhere where I hadn’t been before because I couldn’t trust what the access was like.“If I did try somewhere new and it didn’t work out, which almost invariably it didn’t, that experience would eat in at me and eat at my confidence, and I was becoming more and more a hostage in my own home.”It was these experiences that motivated him to start DisabledGo.For the first couple of years, he travelled the country, listening to disabled people as part of a national consultation exercise, “asking why we were not more visible in society and in education and why we weren’t down the pub more.”What he was told was that society was generally inaccessible, but that there were many places that were accessible to some disabled people, if those disabled people could only find out about them.Burke says that listening to disabled people in this way has been at the core of DisabledGo’s success, with local steering groups set up whenever it produces an area guide “so local people can feed into what we’re doing all the time”.Nine years ago, he decided DisabledGo had reached a position where it was “very strong, very robust”, with multi-year contracts with a number of large businesses and organisations and an annual turnover of £2 million, and so he decided “to become a barrister and see if I can help people in a different way”.After just three years’ training, he was called to the bar and stepped down as chief executive of DisabledGo.He is now head of employment and discrimination at Seven Bedford Row, a leading barristers’ chambers in London.If he had one request of government, he says, it would be to set up an inspectorate to ensure businesses comply with the Equality Act.He says: “The Equality Act is a fantastic piece of legislation – most disabled people don’t realise how powerful it is – but if you have less favourable treatment from a service or a venue you have to bring your own civil claim and that’s exhausting and expensive and time-consuming and can be frightening, although it shouldn’t be frightening at all.“Most people are put off by it, so the government should recognise that just as we have a health and safety inspectorate, hygiene inspectorates and things like that, we should have an access inspectorate too.”Burke believes that disabled people’s “quality of life index” would “show a downward trend” 18 years on from the launch of DisabledGo, following years of cuts to state support and media reporting of “benefit cheats”, which he believes has had “a hugely detrimental impact on how society views disabled people”.He says: “To taint disabled people with the brush of a cheat or a scrounger is just plain wrong.”The AccessAble survey found that less than two-fifths (37 per cent) of the 845 disabled people and carers questioned thought that public attitudes to disability and access had improved in the last five years.But one thing that has changed disabled people’s lives for the better since 2000 is technology, he says, which had “always been a friend to disabled people”.He hopes that AccessAble’s new app will help disabled people who find that acquiring an impairment “can often feel like the death of spontaneity”.The website has always helped disabled people plan their journey before they left home, but the app will tell the user where the nearest accessible venues are when they are already out and about.Burke, who still owns AccessAble, hopes his team will double its reach to three million users a year by 2020.“We need to commit to changing a situation where disabled people and carers are being excluded from everyday life and recognise that access begins online,” he says.“Everyone’s accessibility needs are different. Providing trusted accessibility information should be seen as an integral part of providing a great customer experience.”*AccessAble is a DNS subscriber A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Developments in Development 16th Place

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_img 0% Or this bizarrely miniscule studio condo on 26th street that is being marketed for about half a million dollars. Yes, space is expensive. Yes, it makes sense I guess to have micro-units for sale as well as for rent. And sure, I guess if I’m going to sleep with my head basically in the kitchen, I’d rather wake up to the sparkle of stainless steel appliances and marble countertops than a formica cockroach farm. But did this thing really need a fireplace? That almost feels insulting. There’s even a painting of Charlie Chaplin hanging above it. They know this is a joke. You know what’s not a joke? Frogs moving into the Mission and 22nd fire site, now a sad pit filled with rainwater. That’s really happening, if aural evidence submitted to Uptown Almanac by a tipster is to be believed. I admit to a guffaw about that, but the sobering, bizarre reality is that 60something people lost their home or business in that fire and are now stuck in limbo while the place is empty and full of frogs.  That limbo does not show any signs of letting up, because as SocketSite reports, the lot is being marketed again. We’ve been waiting to see for a while whether this site will get sold, but it seems like it wasn’t necessarily actively seeking a buyer for a while. Now it is, with the caveat that new development is “subject to community participation.” That means quite a bit: Tenants technically have the right to return once units are rebuilt, and at more or less their same rent (perhaps with passthroughs of major reconstruction costs). Anything other than a rebuild is likely to be met with serious pushback.“Reconstruction?” you might ask, “there is nothing to re-construct, it’s a hole in the ground!” Maybe, but the city’s demolition order only goes to the ground level, which makes it technically an “alteration” order. That means that whatever gets built there is theoretically the same building, which gives the tenants the right to return. There are ways to get around this, including simply waiting for the tenants to give up and move on. But the city and nonprofits are watching what happens there very carefully – including MEDA, which is still interested in buying the property.Meanwhile, on the streets outside the amphibian enclave, robot cars glide through the streets of the Mission, a human in the driver’s seat with hands gently upturned under the steering wheel, as if invoking the self-driving gods to not let this thing run any red lights. If you read Elizabeth Creely’s observations of these cars being tested and were curious what goes on inside them, well, here’s your chance to go for a virtual ride.Let’s conclude with a break from the bizarre: I’d like to recommend that anyone who reads this column also read this Medium piece from Erin Reeves, who works with the Council of Community Housing Organizations (CCHO, affectionately pronounced “choo-choo”). It’s a meditation on the NIMBY-vs.-YIMBY divide that seems to dominate the conversation around housing, in which Reeves claims to be neither. I would hazard a guess that a lot of people align themselves with neither “build everything and build it faster!” zeal nor with “don’t block my view” obstructionism.  This essay doesn’t necessarily cover all the bases. But it’s an interesting starting point. Have a look. Developments in Development is a weekly column recapping real estate, business, planning, zoning and construction news.For all the hubbub about how everyone wants to live here and the influx of newcomers, San Francisco got a pretty underwhelming ranking in the US News & World Report’s ranking of cities. As Curbed reports, San Francisco’s high crime rates, lower scoring schools, and crappy commutes have added up to push it down to 16th place nationwide, which wouldn’t be so bad except for the part where San Jose is in third. Ouch.While everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion about which city is the best, I have to say that the housing and development items that crossed my radar this week are absurd to a 16th-place-worthy degree.Take, for example, the fact that while SocketSite reports that San Francisco asking rents for apartments have come back down to 2014 levels, that’s still a weighted average of $4,100 a month (remember these estimates vary from study to study so if you remember something closer to $3,000 a month that might have been calculated differently).center_img Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Police investigating Dolores Park shooting have different hunches few solutions

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_img Tags: crimes • gangs • police Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Dolores Park, numerous SFPD gang and narcotics officers say, is the territory of the “Dolores Park Locals,” which they characterize as a Sureño clique. Over the past year, police say they have documented increased gang graffiti in the park; violence has flared up and tensions have been simmering (cops summed up other recent incidents, such as a May mob attack, as cases in which “outsiders” wandered into locals’ territory).“It’s, like, the ebb and flow, man,” said one veteran Mission cop. “There’s a lot, and then there’s not. Or maybe it’s the same amount of guys and they’ve just got somebody pushing a hard line up there.”While much of the purported graffiti has been of the MS-13 variety, that’s not who our sources thought was responsible for this month’s violence. Who shot whom in an ongoing investigation isn’t something police are in the habit of talking too much about, but one source did state he believes the shooting was the work of “young Norteños trying to make a name for themselves.” He adds, reassuringly, “I haven’t heard it’s a war yet. I’m not hearing names and stuff yet.”Cops who work the park candidly say that, beyond serving as “a visual deterrent,” they don’t have any advanced notions of how to quell the next daylight shooting. If our sources are correct, the Aug. 4 incident — along with others preceding it — was likely not explicitly tied to drugs. In the past, however, that’s the hammer the police would have used to crack down on park mayhem — regardless of the cause.Will this be happening in Dolores Park now? Laughter. Maniacal laughter. “Are you really going to go up and do a buy-bust in Dolores Park — for weed? In 2017?” asks a veteran Mission cop. More laughter. “Weed is pretty much legal now.” (And, next year, you can do away with the “pretty much.”)Responding to violent crime (and what appears to be directed gang violence) by engaging in a shotgun approach against pot dealers was the cops’ go-to strategy for decades. But the utter ridiculousness of even considering such a move in present-day Dolores Park — which could sweep up vast numbers of minor criminals and non-criminals and bearded men pushing Zelda and Brooklyn on the swings — reveals how problematic it always was.Cracking the underlying causes for gang violence in the Mission, it turns out, is a lot harder than using weed busts to ensnare gang members. “Our whole industry has not figured out the crime problem yet,” says a member of the police department’s gang task force. “I don’t expect it to anytime soon.” Instead, he’s hoping for “a little luck” and, maybe, “finding some sort of video.”Doing away with buy-busts, veteran cops complain, is part of a larger trend away from proactive policing. A rich, citywide vein of snitches has been lost, they bemoan. “You wanna know what’s going on in Dolores Park?” postulates a longtime narc. “Go to 19th and San Carlos and jam those guys.” The gang member popped in a buy-bust in the Tenderloin might be the one to roll on his associates in the Mission. And, even without buy-busts, the narc continues, there used to be more of an emphasis on everyday, minor shakedowns — “humbugging ‘em” — in exchange for information. “You don’t even have to arrest them: ‘I’m gonna let you go, but next time, I need something,’” he explains. “It’s like breaking the ice with a woman.” The cops, he sighs, used to be players in this game. Now they’re just scorekeepers. And nobody is getting out ahead of the gangs.As such, the cops’ 2017 Dolores Park strategy will “be like Groundhog Day. You know exactly what they’ll do,” says another longtime narc. “They’ll have a big enforcement plan. You’ll see a ramped-up effort for a month, two months. And then it’s back to business. You can’t sustain it. Cops, at this point, are like firefighters. There’s a big fire at Dolores Park? Go put it out. Monitor it a while. And then, in the future, you and I will be having this same conversation.”Does it make sense for cops to be posted in the park like scarecrows, pushing crime and trouble to the less-beautiful parts of town? Officers rattle off places where shootings and crime are inevitable — Third and Palou, the Tenderloin — but there is not a plan afoot to flood these areas, which have not yet received multimillion-dollar facelifts and are not ideal lolling spots. Why should people in Bayview and the Tenderloin be forced to accept misery and crime as inevitable? Is there a double-standard here?“Of course there is! You need to ask such a question?” scolds a retired Mission cop. But then he points the finger back at us. When gunfire erupts in places where we expect — and accept — gunfire, it’s no big deal. “But if someone with a job and a mortgage and a station wagon gets killed, then it’s a big story.”Cops ambling around Dolores Park will likely reduce incidents, just as an empty CHP car with flashing lights will induce drivers to slow around a curve. But it doesn’t even begin to address the root causes. It’s not designed to.And that’s the problem with reactive policing — and reactive policies and reactive politics and, yes, reactive reporting. You’re only reacting to what you can see. But there are so many things you can’t see, and won’t see. Until it’s too late, and that’s all you can see. This city is, literally, built on that.On Aug. 21, District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy will host a community meeting to “discuss public safety with SFPD and other City agencies operating in the park” at 6 p.m., 455 Dolores St.  0%center_img San Francisco is sandwiched between two major earthquake faults. You can’t see them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not there.Some fault lines lie deep beneath the earth. But some are man-made; earlier this month, one of the latter variety ruptured in Dolores Park. A confrontation near the footbridge over the J-Church tracks at 19th St. culminated in a brazen, daylight shooting. Three people were sent to San Francisco General, and scores of men and women lolling in the grass at San Francisco’s premier lolling site dropped their beers and ran like hell.San Francisco, like every city, has built over its past. But, at times, elements of the past come back into full view. And while the spectacular influx of cash into this city — and, specifically, the Mission — has transformed Dolores Park from a scruffy, lawless realm into a verdant DIY biergarten and expensive playground where tattooed, bearded men push Zelda and Brooklyn on the swings, that money hasn’t ameliorated the conditions that once made desperation and crime synonymous with this spot.The very bridge where gunfire broke out on Aug. 4 has, for generations, been known as an outpost for gangs and drugs. Per multiple San Francisco Police Department sources, this attack had everything to do with the former — but little, if anything, to do with the latter.last_img read more

NATHAN Brown says Fridays match with Hull FC will

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgNATHAN Brown says Friday’s match with Hull FC will be a big occasion for Steve Prescott’s family and the club.Saints take on the Humbersiders in their first home game of the First Utility Super League season and the first leg of the cup named in their former full back’s honour.“Steve did a lot for the town and rugby league, created a lot of hope and inspired people too,” he said. “He gave hope to people in bad situations and what he raised under the circumstances and achieved was amazing.“It will be a special night.”As well as the bridge that links the town to Langtree Park being renamed in a special ceremony from 5.30pm on Friday, the Club will also pay further tributes too.They include a past player guard of honour for his sons Taylor and Koby who are mascots for the game, whilst Steve’s brother Neil will take the matchball onto the Langtree Park pitch.Both teams will also be wearing special commemorative warm up sweatshirts supplied by ISC.And, the Steve Prescott Foundation will hold a bucket collection too with the Club donating £5 from each PRESCOTT 1 shirt printing to the charity in the run up to the match.Until then, Brown is preparing his squad for the match after a good win against Warrington.Hull FC also come into the fixture on the back of victory over Catalan too.“Hull’s game was a little crazy on Friday,” Brown added. “They were in a tough position, then dominated and deserved the victory. They have big men who can carry the ball well and for us to do well we need to be physically good like we were last week against Warrington.“Most sides will improve from week one to week two and Hull had good periods when they clicked and we’d expect them to have more of those. We had a good first half, as did Warrington; we were just a fraction better in some areas but both sides dipped in the second.“Most sides aren’t going to be perfect but will improve going forward.”Brown expects to name the same 19 man squad that featured at Warrington with Richie Beaumont and Mose Masoe still unavailable for selection.Carl Forster (London) and Paul Clough (Widnes) are also out on loan too.Brown added: “Cloughie has been a great servant for Saints and they have been a great fit for each other. He is a good player, a great trainer and will serve Widnes well. With the emergence of Greg Richards, Ant Walker and what we have brought in, competition in the front row is high.“Mose and Richie are progressing well. If he keeps progressing than Mose will be fit to play against Salford, but he won’t have done much with the team so more than likely, if everything goes to plan, he would play against Hull KR.“Richie is around the same time, but possibly a week or two later.”Tickets for Friday’s game now on sale for the clash at the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

DUE to a batching error a number of junior swaps h

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgDUE to a batching error a number of junior swaps have been issued to adults by mistake for this Sunday’s Challenge Cup Fourth Cup tie at Huddersfield Giants.If you have the wrong ticket you need to exchange it at our Ticket Office.You will not be admitted to the stadium with the wrong ticket and therefore it is paramount you check them now.If you have had them sent out to you, then please check the tickets when you receive them and call the ticket office on 01744 455 052 if they are incorrect.last_img read more

The hooker 32 polled around 40 per cent of the v

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgThe hooker, 32, polled around 40 per cent of the votes, pushing team-mate Ben Barba into second place and Wigan’s John Bateman into third, to win the Raymond Fletcher Memorial Trophy.All three players are on the short-list for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award which will be made on Monday while Tony Gigot, Luke Thompson, Tommy Makinson, Bill Tupou and Danny Richardson also gained votes based on performances throughout the domestic season.“Roby beat off plenty of fierce opposition for the coveted RLWBA award, not least from his own team-mates in a superb St Helens team that has set the standard for the rest to try and attain,” said RLWBA chairman Trevor Hunt.“But in a season where Saints have often made it look easy, Roby has been the rock-solid foundation upon which the opposition have been broken and the tougher games won with his seemingly boundless energy.“He’s had a superb season, following up his magnificent World Cup in 2017, with yet another peerless set of performances for St Helens.”Roby, who has guided Saints to the League Leaders’ Shield and to within 80 minutes of the Grand Final in his first season as captain, said: “I’m made up and a bit surprised to be honest. It’s a great honour to receive an award like this. I’ve never won it before.“I just try to turn up each week and do my job. The way we’ve been playing as a team has obviously helped. We’ve been bringing out the best in each other.”Previous Winners1996: Apollo Perelini (St Helens) 1997: Andy Farrell (Wigan) 1998: Iestyn Harris (Leeds) 1999: Iestyn Harris (Leeds) 2000: Tommy Martyn (St Helens) 2001: Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens) 2002: Adrian Lam (Wigan) 2003: Jamie Peacock (Bradford) 2004: Danny McGuire (Leeds) 2005: Jamie Lyon (St Helens) 2006: Paul Wellens (St Helens) 2007: Trent Barrett (Wigan) 2008: James Graham (St Helens) 2009: Brett Hodgson (Huddersfield) 2010: Pat Richards (Wigan) 2011: Sam Tomkins (Wigan) 2012: Sam Tomkins (Wigan) 2013: Danny Brough (Huddersfield) 2014: Jamie Peacock (Leeds) 2015: Adam Cuthbertson (Leeds) 2016: Gareth Ellis/Danny Houghton (Hull) 2017: Luke Gale (Castleford)last_img read more

For all the latest from the game click on the Mat

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first_imgFor all the latest from the game, click on the Match Centre button to follow the feed and enjoy exclusive content throughout the 80 minutes! The game kicks off at 7:45pm and team news will arrive from around 6:45pm!last_img

First Team Match

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgJustin Holbrook makes one change to his squad with James Bentley replacing Jack Ashworth, who continues to get game-time with Leigh Centurions.Justin Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 22. James Bentley, 23. Lachlan Coote.Chris Chester will choose his 17 from:Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Danny Brough, Jordan Crowther, Anthony England, David Fifita, Ryan Hampshire, Justin Horo, Craig Huby, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, George King, Danny Kirmond, Craig Kopczak, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Bill Tupou, Kyle Wood,Justin Holbrook makes one change to his squad with James Bentley replacing Jack Ashworth, who continues to get game-time with Leigh Centurions.Justin Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 22. James Bentley, 23. Lachlan Coote.Chris Chester will choose his 17 from:Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Danny Brough, Jordan Crowther, Anthony England, David Fifita, Ryan Hampshire, Justin Horo, Craig Huby, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, George King, Danny Kirmond, Craig Kopczak, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Bill Tupou, Kyle Woodlast_img read more

First Team Match SAINTS TV

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgPeyroux was one of the stars of the show in the thumping 42-12 win over the Tigers  as his two tries maintained Saints 100% start to the Super League season and sent a strong message out to the remaining pack.And the big forward paid credit to the whole team, singling out Saints’ goal-line defence which was crucial in keeping the Tigers at bay for much of the game.last_img

Lowes to hire more than 300 employees in Wilmington

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgLowe’s Home Improvement (Photo: JJBers / Flickr / CC BY 2.0) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Are you on the hunt for a job? Lowe’s Home Improvement is hiring for hundreds of open positions in Wilmington.Lowe’s will be holding open interviews for full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions on February 13 from 10 a.m to 7 p.m.- Advertisement – As part of National Hiring Day, the company hopes to hire more than 300 associates.Open positions include cashiers, department supervisors, stockers, sales specialists and more.Those interested can visit any Lowe’s store to apply.last_img read more

Azalea Festival named among top 20 events in April in the southeast

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_img00:00 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 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Southeast Tourism Society has named the North Carolina Azalea Festival one of the top 20 events in the southeast for April 2019.The Southeast Tourism Society is a non-profit dedicated to promoting travel and tourism in 12 states.- Advertisement – Travel industry experts select 20 events per month to showcase.This year’s Azalea Festival is April 3 through the 7.last_img read more

2019 Azalea Garden Tour Airlie Gardens

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_img It boasts 67 acres of formal gardens, walking trails, sculpture, views of Bradley Creek, two freshwater lakes, more than 100,000 azaleas, and the magnificent 467-year-old Airlie Oak.Director of donor relations Janine Powell says it’s always a great time to visit Airlie, but this time of year is especially fantastic.“We’re so excited to invite everyone to Airlie for our spring bloom, particularly after Hurricane Florence, so they can see that we are still thriving, that we do have some gaps in our trees, but we’re working on replacing those, as well as the azaleas and camellias that we lost, but there’s still so much to see here at Airlie,” Powell said.Related Article: New Hanover High School garden allows students to blow off steamThe Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour runs Friday through Sunday. View of Bradley Creek from Airlie Gardens.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Azalea Festival would not be complete without a tour of one of Wilmington’s most famous outdoor attractions: Airlie Gardens.Airlie was created in 1886 as a private garden for the Pembroke Jones family.- Advertisement – last_img read more

NC National Guard conducting training exercises on UNCW campus

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina National Guard will be conducting a training course at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington today.The training exercise will take place in the area of Seahawk Landing 4.- Advertisement – Numerous vehicles and National Guard troops in uniform and in hazmat suits will be visible in the area.Please note this is a training exercise and there is no cause for concern.last_img

Holdup foiled in Zejtun man arrested

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint An attempt to rob the Zejtun branch of HSBC ended with the arrest of the prospective thief who is 76 years old.Around 11.15a.m. this morning in broad daylight a man tried to rob the HSBC Branch in Zeitun. The fire arm used in the hold-up was fake.  For a reason up to now unknown the man escaped  empty handed. He  ran away from the bank but his attempted escape was very short lived as the police arrested him soon after.The police told that no one was injured during the hold up.This report will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.WhatsApplast_img read more

No sign of arson in NotreDame blaze as nation grieves for symbol

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgView of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves HermanView of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman The fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident, French prosecutors said on Tuesday after firefighters doused the last flames in the ruins overnight and the nation grieved for the destruction of one of its symbols.More than 400 firemen were needed to tame the inferno that consumed the roof and collapsed the spire of the eight-centuries-old cathedral. They worked through the night to extinguish the fire some 14 hours after it began.Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said there was no obvious indication the fire was arson. Fifty people were working on what would be a long and complex investigation. One firefighter was injured but no one else was hurt in the blaze which began after the building was closed to the public for the evening.From the outside, the imposing bell towers and outer walls, with their vast flying buttresses, still stood firm, but the insides and the upper structure were eviscerated by the blaze.Firefighters examined the gothic facade and could be seen walking atop the belfries as police kept the area in lockdown.Investigators will not be able to enter the cathedral’s blackened nave until experts are satisfied its stone walls withstood the heat and the building is structurally sound.The fire swiftly ripped through the cathedral’s timbered roof supports, where workmen had been carrying out extensive renovations to the spire’s wooden frame.The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into “involuntary destruction by fire”. Police on Tuesday began questioning the workers involved in the restoration, the prosecutor’s office said.Hundreds of stunned onlookers had lined the banks of the Seine river late into the night as the fire raged, reciting prayers and singing liturgical music in harmony as they stood in vigil.“Yesterday we thought the whole cathedral would collapse. Yet this morning she is still standing, valiant, despite everything. It is a sign of hope,” said Sister Marie Aimee, a nun who had hurried to a nearby church to pray as the fire spread.It was at Notre-Dame that Napoleon was made emperor in 1804, Pope Pius X beatified Joan of Arc in 1909 and former presidents Charles de Gaulle and Francois Mitterrand were mourned.Messages of condolence flooded in from around the world.Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, was praying for those affected, the Vatican said, adding: “Notre-Dame will always remain – and we have seen this in these hours – a place where believers and non-believers can come together in the most dramatic moments of French history.”Queen Elizabeth expressed deep sadness while her son and heir Prince Charles said he was “utterly heartbroken”.VOW TO REBUILDPresident Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild Notre-Dame, considered among the finest examples of European Gothic architecture, visited by more than 13 million people a year.Notre-Dame is owned by the state. It has been at the centre of a years-long row between the nation and the Paris archdiocese over who should finance badly needed restoration work to collapsed balustrades, crumbling gargoyles and cracked facades.It was too early to estimate the cost of the damage, said the heritage charity Fondation du Patrimoine, but it is likely to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.The rival billionaire owners of France’s two biggest luxury fashion empires, Francois-Henri Pinault of Kering and Bernard Arnault of LVMH, pledged 100 million euros (£86.3 million) and 200 million euros to the restoration respectively. Oil company Total pledged 100 million. The city of Paris said it would provide 50 million.Paolo Violini, a restoration specialist for Vatican museums, said the pace at which the fire spread through the cathedral had been stunning.“We are used to thinking about them as eternal simply because they have been there for centuries, or a thousand years, but the reality is they are very fragile,” Violini said.HUMAN CHAINThe company carrying out the renovation works when the blaze broke out said it would cooperate fully with the investigation.“All I can tell you is that at the moment the fire began none of my employees were on the site. We respected all procedures,” Julien Le Bras, a representative of family firm Le Bras Freres.Officials breathed a sigh of relief that many relics and artworks had been saved. At one point, firefighters, policemen and municipal workers formed a human chain to remove the treasures, including a centuries-old crown of thorns made from reeds and gold, and the tunic believed to have been worn by Saint Louis, a 13th century king of France.“Notre-Dame was our sister, it is so sad, we are all mourning,” said Parisian Olivier Lebib. “I have lived with her for 40 years. Thank God that the stone structure has withstood  the fire.”WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Nigerian Scammers Make Malaysia The New Epicenter Of Online Crime

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgAdvertisement KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Hundreds of American women are being ensnared by Internet scammers based in Malaysia, with some losing over a quarter of a million dollars, as the country becomes an epicenter for online crime perpetrated by Africans, U.S. officials say. The mostly Nigerian conmen, who enter Malaysia on student visas, take advantage of the country’s good Internet infrastructure to prey on lonely, middle-aged women, wooing them on dating websites before swindling their savings, they said. – Advertisement – The scams are more sophisticated than most Nigeria-based operations – which most Internet users have experienced at some time either via email or advertising – helped by Malaysia’s advanced banking system, which allows perpetrators to quickly set up accounts and receive international transfers.U.S. officials say Malaysian police lack the resources and expertise to tackle the problem and have yet to launch a single prosecution of a case involving a U.S. victim.Malaysian police were reported by local media last December as saying that the number of Internet scam cases more than doubled in 2013 with total losses of more than $11 million. A total of 476 Africans had been apprehended for suspected involvement, the report said.The Malaysian police and the Nigerian embassy in Kuala Lumpur did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment. A spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said he was not aware of scammers operating in Malaysia, but added they were known to have international networks.Tim Scherer, consul general at the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, told Reuters that complaints about such scams now made up more than 80 percent of inquiries to duty officers at the mission, with a dozen new cases reported every week.Citizens of Australia, Canada and Europe had also been targeted, he said.“These are not rich widows who are being preyed on, these are middle-class Americans who don’t have this kind of money to spare,” he said. “It can really transform their lives in a very terrible way.”The U.S. embassy estimates that U.S. victims are losing several million dollars a year, with two women in the past 12 months losing more than $250,000 each. There are more than 600 cases a year, and the amount lost by each victim averages in the tens of thousands of dollars, it said.The actual figure of total losses is probably far higher, Scherer said, because many victims are too embarrassed to come forward or do not know who to contact. He said the scammers were highly sophisticated, often grooming victims for months and using convincing techniques such as forging letters purportedly from the U.S. ambassador in Malaysia.FAKE ROMANCELarge teams of scammers typically trawl dating or Christian websites and contact middle-aged women, the U.S. officials said. They pretend to be a Western man who then gets into legal or business difficulties in Muslim-majority Malaysia.One U.S. victim told Reuters she transferred a total of$260,000 to Malaysia, where the man who claimed to love her said he was being prevented from returning to the United States by Malaysian bureaucracy – which required hefty payments to negotiate.The 59-year-old widow from Phoenix, Arizona, who declined to be identified, said she had gone heavily into debt to make the payments to “Charles”, and even flew to Malaysia in March to meet him. He never showed up, but a European woman claiming to be his lawyer managed to bilk another $25,000 out of the woman before she returned to Arizona.Another victim, a women in her late 50s in the eastern United States, said she sent her life savings of $300,000 over two months to a Malaysia-based “American” man she met on dating site, three years after her husband died.“I felt like I was in love with this man and we’d be moving forward with a life together real soon,” she told did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. Along with other major U.S.-based dating sites, it features prominent warnings about scammers, specifically telling users to be wary of people who say they are Americans based abroad.STUDENT SCAMThe conmen have exploited Malaysia’s drive to become a global education hub, securing student visas to attend college, the U.S. officials said.Malaysia has pursued a policy of attracting international students for more than a decade, allowing dozens of foreign colleges to set up Malaysian campuses.Scherer said it was likely that many of the Nigerians in Malaysia were not genuine students. As of March, there were 9,146 Nigerians on student visas in Malaysia, the education ministry said, out of 123,000 overseas students in total.“Once in the country as students, there’s very little effort to verify their studies,” Scherer said.An official with Malaysia’s education ministry said that last year it tightened its vetting and tracking of overseas students.“We are aware of problems with some international students, especially Nigerians,” the official said.Source Business Insiderlast_img read more

EABS Launches Competitive Unlimited Internet for Homes

Posted On Jul 29 2019 by

first_imgAdvertisement Newly launched Internet Service Provider, East African Broadband Services (EABS) has introduced competitive unlimited internet bundles for homes in Uganda.The move according to EABS officials is meant to ease accessibility to internet services as well as make internet affordable for every Ugandan. EABS subscribers will be able to transfer the unused office internet for night use at their homes and will be able to enjoy the high speed connectivity for live feeds in their houses. – Advertisement – Officials say customers will not need to worry about the high cost of pay TV services but will take advantage by watching their favorite programs at their convenience since the content is online either as live feed or recorded material.EABS CEO Mr. Peter Maridadi said Ugandans should prepare for the most reliable and affordable internet in their lifetime.“It’s our responsibility to give back to our customers who have supported us during the day,” said Mardadi in a recent interview.“The capacity tends to be redundant after the offices have closed and therefore we shall be able to send it to their homes for the families to enjoy,” he added.“We have done this successfully in Rwanda and introducing it here is a vote of confidence in our continued quest for customer satisfaction.”Internet access and usage in Uganda has been growing exponentially. In the last decade, the Commission has licensed several major operators including EABS, who provide Internet among other services.[related-posts]However, there are still a number of challenges as far as access, cost, and usage of Internet are concerned.The rise of EABS is seen as a relief to Ugandans struggling to find affordable, reliable and high-speed internet.Mardadi said schools are opening soon and the children will need this at home for their research and weekend entertainment.“Customers should expect reliability of the service and unlimited download/upload no matter the speed you subscribe to. Customers also enjoy free trial periods to give them a choice in making informed decisions,” he added.last_img read more

Paper Energysubsidy reform can be achieved with proper preparation outside pressure

Posted On Jul 28 2019 by

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduBaker Institute paper: Energy-subsidy reform can be achieved with proper preparation, outside pressure HOUSTON – (May 5, 2014) – Reform of energy subsidies in oil-exporting countries can reduce carbon emissions and add years to oil exports, according to a new paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.“Navigating the Perils of Energy-Subsidy Reform in Exporting Countries” was authored by Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute, who specializes in energy geopolitics. The paper reviews the record of energy-subsidy reforms and argues that big exporters should reduce energy demand by raising prices, and that this can be done without undermining legitimacy of governments that depend on subsidies for political support.“Removing state subsidies on energy is one of the most politically dangerous acts there is,” Krane said. “No government in the world wants to antagonize motorists or raise electricity prices. But previous experience shows that with proper preparation, subsidies can be rolled back without undermining government legitimacy, even in autocracies that use these discounts to preserve popular support.”Whether sold as bulk crude oil and natural gas or as retail electricity, gasoline or diesel, the major exporters of OPEC, Russia and others harbor some of the lowest domestic energy prices in the world. These fossil-fuel subsidies have allowed these countries to distribute resource revenue, bolstering legitimacy for governments, many of which are not democratically elected, Krane said.“However, subsidy benefits are dwarfed by the harmful consequences of encouraging uneconomic use of energy,” Krane said. “These effects include wasted resources, foregone revenue and outsized emissions of carbon dioxide as well as local pollutants such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Now, with consumption posing a threat to long-term exports, governments face a heightened need to raise prices that have come to be viewed as entitlements.”Subsidy reform by centralized governments like those in most OPEC countries is even more difficult, since concentration of authority also concentrates the accountability of the head of state. Blame is difficult to evade – unless the leadership can blame outside pressure.“A vociferous international outcry or pressure from a foreign government or non-governmental organization can provide political cover for governments to enact unpopular measures,” he said. “Lobbying by external pressure groups is useful in this sense.”Perhaps the biggest risk implied by reforms of subsidies and social contracts is the possibility of unrest and even the overthrow of governments, Krane said.Despite the risk, energy subsidies are not untouchable. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), all but five of 28 substantial attempts to dismantle subsidies over the past two decades met with some success. The list of reformers includes energy exporters. Indonesia, for example, after failed attempts in 1997 and 2003, successfully raised fuel prices in 2005 and 2008.Krane said the most encouraging example of reform efforts is that of Iran, the first country in the world to replace major subsidies with a universal cash transfer program for households. Iran’s 2010 reform was welcomed by the IMF and, at least initially, by the Iranian public, while halving the world’s largest energy-subsidy burden, valued at around $100 billion or a quarter of the 2010 gross domestic product.Done properly, ending subsidies can add years to the longevity of exports, while keeping global markets supplied and reducing both local pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, Krane said. Mismanaged, eliminating “entitlements” can undermine government legitimacy and trigger unrest. “In the Middle East, where pan-Arab revolts have toppled four governments and left a fifth in civil war, caution remains acute,” he said.Keeping prices low offers a short-term benefit, but in the longer run, giveaways of chief export commodities undermines exports, which invites greater economic and political trouble. Oil exporting regimes depend on export revenues to maintain control.“Policymakers in exporting states understand that reforming subsidies is their best strategy for preserving political power, since export revenues are a key resource for political stability,” Krane concluded. “Thus, constructive external criticism can provide regimes with persuasive tools for swaying public opinion of the need for higher prices and reduced demand.”-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Krane, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Paper: bio: on Twitter: @jimkraneFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, AddThislast_img read more