Month: July 2019

A disabled man died of a heart attack just an hou

first_imgA disabled man died of a heart attack, just an hour after being told that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was threatening to stop paying his out-of-work disability benefits.Alan McArdle (pictured), who had previously been homeless but was living in council accommodation in Slough with the support of a charity, told the friend who had read the DWP letter to him: “They’ve sanctioned my money,” before he collapsed.The government contractor responsible for finding him work, the discredited outsourcing giant Maximus, had reported him to DWP for failing to attend appointments intended to move him towards work, as part of the Work Programme, despite being told about his severe ill-health.Slough’s Labour MP, Fiona Mactaggart, accused DWP of being responsible for her constituent’s death, and told Disability News Service she would raise his case in the House of Commons.McArdle, who had alcoholism and was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, had just come out of hospital following a fall, and had been too unwell to visit the Maximus offices in Slough high street.The impact of the diabetes meant he had no feeling in his arms and legs, and could hardly move.Despite his poor and deteriorating health, he had been placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA), designed for those found “fit” enough to carry out some work-related activity, but not yet well enough for a job. Mandy McGuire, project manager of the charity Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), who had supported McArdle for 16 years, had told Maximus he was not well enough to attend their appointments.She had already tried repeatedly – but unsuccessfully – to have him placed in the ESA support group, so he would not have to attend work-related appointments.McArdle, who had been homeless and living in a hostel before SHOC found him council accommodation, attended the first couple of appointments in the Maximus offices, but his health and mobility had continued to deteriorate.McGuire eventually found it impossible to transport him to the meetings because his mobility was so poor, so Maximus allowed him to keep in touch by phone.After he had a fall and had to be admitted to hospital, he asked McGuire to explain to Maximus why he had not been in touch, as he was concerned about losing his benefits.But when she called Maximus, she was told: “He hasn’t come in, so we will get him sanctioned.”When the letter from DWP arrived, McArdle was with a friend, who had been caring for him, and read the letter to him.It is believed the letter stated that he needed to provide evidence to DWP to prevent his benefits being sanctioned.McGuire said: “When she read the letter to him, he went a deathly grey colour and complained about pains, and then he collapsed. Within an hour, he was dead.”She added: “He wasn’t a well man. That letter was the final straw.”Mactaggart said it was “shocking” that the only way McArdle could prove he was not well enough to take part in the Work Programme was by dying.She pointed to last month’s refusal by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to commission an independent review into benefit conditionality and sanctions, despite a recommendation by the work and pensions select committee, which she said showed he was “prepared to act with impunity”.She said: “I think it is shocking that the arrogance of the DWP and their belief that they do not have to be held accountable has frankly led to the death of one of my constituents.“I think that the complacency of employment ministers who say that it is wrong to draw a link between the deaths of claimants and the removal of sickness benefits has to be exposed.“This is just another example where the link appears absolutely direct.”She was also scathing about Maximus, which now has a swathe of DWP contracts.Mactaggart said: “Instead of reaching for a sanction as the first step, what you have to do is talk to someone if they cannot get to an appointment.“You have to move your butt, because you are more mobile than they are.”Mactaggart said she had visited Slough jobcentre and had seen what appeared to be targets – written on a white board in the office – for moving jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants off the benefit.After 13 weeks, according to the figures, staff were expected to clear 62 per cent of JSA claimants, and after 52 weeks, 92.7 per cent of claimants.Mactaggart said this would be done either through finding claimants work, or by sanctioning them, and she said she had been told by former jobcentre staff that they would be “sanctioned” themselves – for example, by losing bonuses – if they didn’t meet their targets.The latest DWP figures, released this week, show there were 1,852 decisions taken to apply a sanction against someone claiming ESA in June 2015, compared with 3,113 in June 2014, 1,679 in June 2013, and 976 in June 2012.Mactaggart also pointed to a DWP freedom of information response which revealed that of the 49 secret peer reviews carried out into benefit-related deaths – first exposed by Disability News Service last year – 10 had concerned someone who had had their benefits sanctioned.McGuire said the government’s sanctions regime was “appalling”.She said: “Despite keeping in contact with the jobcentre and Maximus, they just showed no empathy at all.“It’s killing people, it’s quite literally killing people. We are seeing people deteriorate so much where they haven’t had money.”A staff member with Trinity, which works with people who suffer the effects of homelessness, and is closely linked to SHOC, has described in a blog how McArdle collapsed after the letter was opened.She wrote: “They say your life flashes before your eyes before you die. I would hazard a guess that it was his future that flashed before his: losing his home, returning to the streets, perhaps dying there. Does his life matter? It matters to us.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “Our sympathies are with Mr McArdle’s family and friends. However, it’s misleading to link a death to someone’s benefit claim.“We write to all claimants who have not engaged with our support, asking them to get in touch and explain why. This is so they won’t face a sanction if they had a good reason.”A Maximus spokesman said: “We were saddened to learn of the death of Mr McArdle and send our condolences to his family and friends.“Participation in the Work Programme is mandatory for people in the WRAG who are in receipt of ESA.“We make strenuous efforts to inform participants about their obligations and contact them if they fail to show up for arranged meetings.”last_img read more

San Francisco Supervisors Approve Memorial for Alex Nieto Shot by SFPD

first_imgTraduccion en español aquí.The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved 9-1 an ordinance directing the Recreation and Parks department to install a memorial to police shooting victim Alex Nieto at Bernal Heights Park. Supporters of the memorial, friends of Nieto’s parents and advocates who have mobilized around his and other police shootings, burst into cheers at the vote, with advocate and community leader Benjamin Bac Sierra shouting that students from local schools would visit the memorial for years to come. “We are very happy,” said Elvira Nieto, Alex Nieto’s mother, after the hearing. “They supported us with nine votes, that’s more than enough.” Tags: alex nieto • Bernal Heights • Board of Supervisors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Indeed, the memorial ordinance won sufficient support to withstand a mayoral veto.Several longtime supporters of the family who have been active in the effort were moved to tears, though smiles abounded among the group that had gathered to await the vote.Before the decision, Supervisor Mark Farrell’s sole dissent to the ordinance sparked a discussion among the supervisors over whether a memorial to Nieto would overshadow any respect due to police officers.“I cannot support this ordinance today because of the message it’s sending to the men and women of our police department…We don’t recognize the police officers that have been killed or injured in the line of duty,” he said, after saying that he was sorry for the community, especially Neito’s parents.Supporters of the memorial booed and hissed at his vote and London Breed called for silence numerous times to allow him to speak.Other supervisors differed sharply with Farrell.“What’s scary and unfortunate is that we cannot honor a loss of life, period,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “The reality is, if law enforcement or anyone wants to be recognized, all they have to do is ask, the same way that the community has asked.”Supervisor Aaron Peskin called the Farrell’s implied dichotomy the “root of the problem.” “These are not mutually exclusive things. When we get in this dynamic that we cannot honor a citizen of San Francisco who was tragically killed in a hail of bullets, that plays into this whole mentality that is at the root of the problem,” Peskin said. “If The POA knows that we take the loss of life of one of our citizens as seriously as we take the loss of life of one of our officers, that sends a powerful message.”Peskin and Supervisor David Campos both referred to the police union, the Police Officers Association, a group that has been vocally critical of the Board for approving a memorial day for another police shooting victim, Mario Woods.“The argument about supporting or remembering someone being disrespectful to the police…is an argument that was made in the case of a day for Mario Woods. We heard that precisely from the POA. At that time we responded by saying we disagree,” Campos said. “We specifically rejected that false choice.”He said he would tell the officers association, “You don’t serve your members well when you try to make that false choice.”The exact form the memorial will take has yet to be decided, but Bac Sierra, a close friend of Nieto’s and a vocal activist said some words had already been chosen for the the inscription: “Against the violence and injustice of 59 bullets family and community rose to defend honor and promote positive spirit. Amor for Alex Nieto.” Community groups will need to raise the money for the monument, which could influence what shape it takes, though a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz said at a meeting discussing the memorial in November that she would provide low-cost bronze casting. Before anything can be installed, the memorial must also be approved by the Arts Commission.The board’s approval Tuesday is a victory in a long string of disappointments for the family – The District Attorney decided in February 2013 that four officers who shot Nieto did not commit any crime in doing so, and in March a civil jury also ruled that the officers did not use excessive force in the incident. However, the Office of Citizen Complaints has sustained a complaint against one of the officers involved in the shooting for making Facebook comments about Nieto after that trial concluded.Refugio Nieto, Alex Nieto’s father, being interviewed after the meeting. Photo by Laura Wenus last_img read more

Shop Local Disrupted San Francisco Missions depression era facelift

first_imgBehind its modernization is the story of a little-known New Deal program that offered government-insured loans to residential and commercial property owners. Mission Street, in fact, was saved from the ravages of urban blight, during the Great Depression’s unprecedented economic catastrophe because property owners like Louis J. Gernhardt and Jacob C. Strohmaier modernized their storefronts.Newspapers at the time report that The Better Housing Program of improvement loans put 12 to 17 million workers to work in neighborhoods and main streets across the country. It was a national effort to end unemployment by building new housing and revitalizing blighted main streets, where empty buildings with faded signs reading “to let” were a common sight. From 1934 to 1943, the government spent $5 billion to build new housing and overhaul storefronts and commercial buildings on main streets across America.One of those buildings was 2205 Mission St. now abandoned looking and owned by a former Facebook executive. It’s in the final stages of being sold again to a developer who plans to open a medical dialysis site, but the site has been a blight on Mission Street for more than a decade.The Post-Earthquake Boom“Mission Making Rapid Strides In Building Business Structures And Apartments” was the headline in the February 17, 1912 issue of the San Francisco Call. “No better sign of the progress of the Mission District could be given than the recent purchase of the southeast corner of Mission and Eighteenth Streets for a theater site.”Thomas R. Leahy, owner of the Portola Theater on Market Street, planned to open a “high class” theater capable of seating 2,500 people. Leahy, who correctly foresaw the thirst for entertainment in the Mission, purchased two lots and made them one. The ample footprint of the building—147 feet long on 18th street and 65 feet wide on Mission Street— was perfect for a large hall and stage. But Leahy’s timing was off.By 1912, live entertainment was pushed aside by a growing demand for moving pictures. Leahy, who had constructed a one-story wooden building before he realized the theater plan was a bad idea, prudently decided to rent the building instead.Two merchants who knew what the Mission needed—stoves and liquor—rented the space. Stoves were in high demand, along with furniture, as earthquake refugees resettled themselves in the new apartment buildings and single family-homes springing up in the Mission. The 1914 Sanborn Insurance map shows the demand for household goods. Eight furniture stores line Mission Street between 18th and 19th streets.Louis J. Gernhardt, a member and the former president of the Gas Appliance and Stove Fitters union, local 12432, decided to sell stoves. The Mission Stove store’s advantage when it opened in 1912 was offering customers the rare ability to chose among several brands. Gernhardt also had a repair shop in the back of the store. Located next to him was Lotzen’s saloon, run by Hugo Lotzen. A third tenant, a tailor, was wedged between the two businesses.In 1919, Gernhardt took fellow union member Jacob Carl Strohmaier as a business partner. They changed the name of the store to Gernhardt-Strohmaier, signed a ten-year lease— a risky move, since they wouldn’t own the lot until 1921, when Leahy sold it to them for $70,000—and decided they’d outgrown the small wooden store. Demand for stoves was growing. A bigger building would do a better job capturing the business coming their way.Even before buying it in 1921, the owners of the stove store ripped the wooden building down, according to a family history. The store that took its place was a stately rectangular building, far larger and expansive in design. A mezzanine lined the second story, with a skylight centered over the sales floor.Business Card (Gernhardt-Strohmaier Co.), 1922.Paper Printing, 4 x 2.5 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California.Gift of Mr. Erwin Strohmaier Porcelain tile was one of the most innovative building materials on the market. Durable, and easy to clean, it was the perfect foil for the large neon sign the partners added—the second largest in San Francisco—which was mounted on the roof. Glowing in neon letters were the words “Universal Stoves,” the brand of stove that the company had sold since opening. A clock tower was built and a “single face” neon clock manufactured by the Pacific Neon Company was installed.The porcelain tile must have reflected the light of the sign and the clock, making a radiant beacon on a clear nights, or glowing softly in the fog. Gernhardt and Strohmaier paid $9,115 for this work, or roughly $158,731 in 2017 dollars. The partners were proud of their new building and celebrated their newly remodeled store in ads they ran in the Chronicle.Erwin Strohmaier doesn’t mention if the founders took out a loan to modernize their building. But, they, like other merchants from Mission Street to Union Square, undoubtedly responded to the call to modernize. This is clear from their ad copy and the re-design of their building. In 1939, the Mission Street Merchants Association was honored by the Chamber of Commerce for convincing 50 businesses in the Mission to modernize.Gernhardt-Strohmaier closed in 1961. The founders had died and the sons wanted to do something other than sell stoves. The store’s façade lasted 75 years until December 2013, when then-owner Guadalupe Hernandez defied the city’s historic preservation standards and removed its historic porcelain façade. The workings of the neon clock are visible; the glass that protected the mechanism shattered long ago and the clock hands are frozen in place. In 2014, Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook executive purchased the building for $5 million. After racking up multiple complaints and three notices of violation, the a developer is in the final stages of purchasing it and plans are underway to make it into a site for medical dialysis.The building of the future now sits marooned in the present. As capital reshapes the Mission, and retail companies struggle to keep their doors open, 2205 Mission St. has only the promise of being renovated – a promise made earlier but never followed through on.Pease, who illustrated the building long ago, hopes it will be restored. “I was glamorized by it,” he said. “They should put it back the way it was. They should fix it.”Advertisement.Related StoriesHistoric building weathers grocery owner, former Facebook exec and now anotherSF Art Store Struggles Against E-CommerceSF’s Shop local ethic disrupted by click-here convenienceShop Local Disrupted: Valencia CycleryThe Grocery Store Glass windows ran the length of the exterior. A large black and white sign bearing their names with the slogan “Quality Counts” was mounted under the roof on both 18th and Mission Streets. The store had an element of transparency. Passersby could look inside the tall glass windows, or browse a sales floor that was illuminated in sunlight. A drinking fountain was installed in front of the entrance.The wooden building with its formal angularity and ornamental details like the egg-and dart embossed roof trim, reflected permanence, a quality that mattered in a city that had seen so much destroyed in so little time. An ad in the San Francisco Chronicle captures the pride of Gernhardt and Strohmaier. We are the pioneers in San Francisco in introducing Porcelain enameled stoves and we have reason to be proud, for we have made good. They weren’t exaggerating. The store became the largest stove store on the Pacific coast, according to newspaper reports. “Business kept increasing every year,” Erwin Strohmaier, the founder’s son, recalled in a short history of the store. This changed abruptly when the stock market crashed.The Great Depression & the New Deal’s Better Housing Program When the depression hit, business on main streets across America evaporated, threatening the mass closing of America’s estimated 1.5 million retail establishments. Retail sales plummeted by 50 percent by 1933. By the mid-thirties, 75 percent of the nation’s commercial buildings were in bad shape. Blighted buildings were bad for everyone’s business. The solution to mass unemployment and urban blight came from the Roosevelt administration in 1934: modernize main street.“C of C to back Better Housing Program Here” announced the San Francisco Chronicle on September 1st, 1934. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce had formed the local organization of the Better Housing Program, an offshoot of the National Housing Authority. The program was coming to San Francisco to “stimulate employment in all lines of the building industry.”By 1932, California lost a staggering 70 percent of construction jobs. In San Francisco, where the building trades accounted for almost ten percent of San Francisco’s total labor force, architects, bricklayers and carpenters all faced unemployment, a huge blow to the unions that flourished during the post-earthquake building boom.The idea of the Better Housing Program was simple: it didn’t provide relief, but low-interest loans backed by the federal government. Private capital was “coaxed out of hibernation” and enlisted in the effort to put men back to work, building new homes and re-designing commercial buildings. A public relations campaign was launched with its own literature and slogan, “Modernize Main Street”. Booklets were sent to 8,000 participating cities nationwide.The Chamber of Commerce set itself to the task of convincing property owners to apply for $700,000 in loans and begin the lucrative business of “beautifying the city,” which would bring back “prosperity without taxation.” The real estate pages of the San Francisco Chronicle were drafted into the effort to get hesitant property owners to apply for the loans. Organized by the Chamber of Commerce, an “elaborate canvass” of the entire city was announced, with civic organizations, churches, and merchants associations participating, according to newspaper reports of the time.By October 1934, businesses had applied for $400,000 in loans.The Chronicle ran laudatory articles on San Francisco merchants who had modernized their stores. Lachman Brothers, one of the grandest furniture stores on Mission Street, was praised for modernizing and Gernhardt-Strohmaier was saluted too, three years before they undertook modernization.In an October 24, 1934 story entitled “Home of the Range,” applaud Gernhardt-Strohmaier for offering a wide range of stoves and newer gas ranges. “In the true spirit of these modernizing days, Gernhardt Strohmaier offer a reconditioning service declared to be unique on the Pacific Coast.” The gas ranges that were purchased with low-interest Better Housing loans, showed that modernizing efforts weren’t limited to building renovation or redesign.By November, the Chamber of Commerce, declaring the program a success, reported that $800,000 in loans had been pledged, a boom that would create an expected 23,035 jobs. Later in the decade, the program became known as the Credit Modernization Plan, reflecting the emphasis on merchants. By 1936, 47 percent of the low-interest loans were issued to commercial businesses.“In the Thirties, the San Francisco Store was remodeled inside and out,” wrote Erwin Strohmaier. (The company had acquired a second store in Oakland in 1923) The angular edges were smoothed and rounded into a curved exterior made of steel and porcelain.“This kind of material was experimental at that time,” noted Strohmaier in the history. The porcelain enamel was manufactured by the Ferro Enameling Company, in Oakland. The luminous porcelain tile changed the look of the store completely: it was now pale ivory, with maroon and green trim.San Francisco Public Library, 1938. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% In our occasional series, Shop Local Disrupted, we are taking a look at how e-commerce is changing retail in San Francisco. To offer some historical perspective, this piece looks back at a Mission Street revived during the country’s worst economic crisis. The building at 2205 Mission street is striking. Even with shattered windows, and an exterior of weather-stained plywood, the façade that curves gently around the corner of 18th and Mission Streets retains a sense of grandeur. When cartographer Ben Pease sketched it in 1989, the building was still intact.“It was clearly from the era of the mezzanine department store,” Pease said. “I didn’t know what it was, but I could tell it had been something. That stretch of Mission was like a miniature downtown. One side of the street was designed in this slightly exuberant art-deco style.”That style, known as Streamline Moderne by San Francisco City Planners, came to define 2205’s historic designation thanks to the tale of the two men who owned the property from 1912 to 1961 and ran it as the Gernhardt-Strohmaier Stove Store.last_img read more

Columbus Co man wanted for murder after shooting in South Carolina

first_imgOfficers say they identified 20-year-old Quotase Jenrette of Clarendon, N.C., as a suspect in the shooting. (Photo: Horry County Police) LORIS, S.C. (WBTW) – The Horry County Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a man wanted for murder in connection to a shooting in Loris in early January.On January 6, one man was shot and taken to the hospital where he later died. According to Spokesperson Krystal Dotson with the Horry County Police Department, police are searching for Quotase Jenrette, 20, of Clarendon, NC.- Advertisement – Jenrette is wanted in connection to a deadly shooting in Loris off Barts Road on January 6, 2018.  Police say Jenrette is 5’8″ around 170 lbs and considered armed and dangerous.Horry County Deputy Coroner Tony Hendrick, says Kendal Ray, 27, of Loris died at Grand Strand Medical Center the next day from a gun shot wound to the head.If you have seen Jenrette, do not approach him, you are asked to call the Horry County Police Department at (843) 915-8477 or TIPS or by email at Article: NC man allegedly beat puppy to death with shovellast_img read more

Company to stop fumigation operations at Wilmington site

first_imgThe Royal Pest Solutions plant on Sunnyvale Drive in Wilmington. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY) RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The Division of Air Quality says a facility in Wilmington will stop fumigation operations and will not pursue an air quality permit that called for increasing the use of the fumigants at the site.The letters came from Royal Pest Solutions, which currently operates at 800 and 810 Sunnyvale Drive, Wilmington, and Tima Capital, the company that had applied for a permit to change the facility to its name and increase the use of the fumigant methyl bromide.- Advertisement – The letters seek state approval to withdraw the draft air permit and cease fumigation operations at the Wilmington location by April 10, after the current inventory of logs is fumigated.RELATED: Doctor concerned with pending permit for fumigation plant“At the request of our landowner, Tima Capital Inc will not be fumigating on this property after Royal Pest Solutions Synthetic Minor Permit cessation of operations and rescission of their permit effective April 10,” said Tima Capital President Timurlan Aitaly in a letter to William Willets, the Division of Air Quality’s permitting chief, and Brad Newland, the division’s regional supervisor. “Therefore, no further permits will be needed by Tima Capital Inc for the sites of 800 and 810 Sunnyvale Drive.”Related Article: The latest from New Hanover County’s noon briefing, Sept. 17, 2018DAQ officials started Thursday making arrangements to withdraw Tima’s draft permit and rescind Royal Pest’s current air quality permit for the facility.Last week, DAQ issued a news release announcing its plans to hold a new public comment period and public hearing to enable additional input for the Tima Capital’s draft air quality permit. The new public comment period came in response to heightened public interest in the permits. The first comment period on Tima’s draft permit ran from Feb. 23 to March 25. While the new comment period had not been announced, DAQ officials have continued to receive comments about Tima’s proposed permit and most of 1,100 comments received since Feb. 23 were opposed to issuing the permit.A second fumigation company, Malec Brothers Transport, LLC, is requesting a new air quality permit to start a fumigation facility in Columbus County. Malec is also proposing the use of methyl bromide. As stated in last week’s news release, the state plans soon to announce a new public comment period and new public hearing for the Malec Brothers draft air quality permit.last_img read more

George Elliott back on his feet 4 months after hitandrun

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There’s good news to share about an old friend.It’s been nearly four months since a hit-and-run driver hit former WWAY personality George Elliott as he rode his three-wheel cycle early one morning on South College Road in Wilmington.- Advertisement – Wilmington Police say the drive of the dark colored vehicle in this photo is wanted for a hit-and-run crash that injured former WWAY personality George Elliott on May 11, 2018. (Photo: WPD) 1 of 4 George Elliott in a 2011 promotional photo. (Photo: WWAY) George Elliott stands along the Wilmington riverfront on Sept. 7, 2018. (Photo: Kevin Wuzzardo/WWAY) He says he suffered serious injuries, but the support from the community has been overwhelming and helped him get back on his feet.“You don’t need many reasons to move to Wilmington. The people are it,” Elliott said. “And again proven to me why the people are it, they care! It’s great. The people are just beautiful here.”Elliott, who worked at WWAY from 2011 to 2014, says he will have to deal with some of the injuries to his leg for the rest of his life. He had to have several surgeries to treat his injuries and an infection.Related Article: Police: Man back in custody after escaping from Pender Co. jailPolice are still looking for the driver of the black pick-up or SUV that hit Elliott. If you have any information call Wilmington Police. WPD is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information in the case. Wilmington Police say the drive of the dark colored vehicle in this photo is wanted for a hit-and-run crash that injured former WWAY personality George Elliott on May 11, 2018. (Photo: WPD)last_img read more

Causeway Cafe closes doors after 32 years

first_img Almost 32 years, but a lifetime of memories for Monaghan. On the day of his retirement it was a packed house.Customers say this place is different from the rest.“It’s rare. It’s something you don’t see in a business, where the owner is there day in and day out,” said Rebecca Dawson, who has been coming to the cafe with her husband since college.Related Article: Work to close lane on Wrightsville Beach drawbridge Tuesday nightMonaghan and the entire community of Wrightsville Beach said goodbye to Causeway Cafe Sunday.The restaurant has become a place where people come from near and far.“Any time anyone came in from out of town came to visit, this was always where we had to go,” said Dawson.Dawson says things just won’t be the same without it. Monaghan spent every day getting to know every customer.“I think I’m very fortunate to have had this loyalty and family atmosphere for 32 years. I would not change a single thing. And that’s pretty good to say after all this time,” said Monaghan.Monaghan says Causeway Cafe grew into something better than he ever expected.Monaghan says it will be nice to finally have a break. He says plans to spend all his free time with his family. Causeway Cafe closed its doors Sunday after 32 years in business. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY) WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It is the end of an era for those in Wrightsville Beach. Causeway Cafe closed its doors today after almost 32 years in business.“I started it out as an old southern beach-style restaurant and really haven’t changed it. It is exactly what I tried to accomplished,” said owner David Monaghan.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Woman arrested after Whiteville bank robbery

first_imgWHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A South Carolina woman is in jail after a bank robbery Friday afternoon in Whiteville.According to a news release, Whiteville Police responded around 3:15 p.m. to a bank hold-up alarm at First Bank at 1104 J.K. Powell Blvd.- Advertisement – On the way officers got a description of a woman they say they later identified as Victoria Neal, of Columbia, SC, who they say was leaving the bank carrying a bag with currency. Two officers saw Neal in the parking lot, caught her and recovered the cash taken in the robbery.Police say no staff or customers in the bank at the time of the robbery were injured.Police took Neal to the Columbus County Detention Center, where she was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon. She was booked under $250,000 bond.Related Article: Man smiles, says ‘Let’s rock’ before dying in electric chairCharges are also pending for a similar style robbery in Loris, SC.last_img read more

The Different Engine Intel left outside

first_imgAdvertisement Over the past half century, Moore’s Law has held up remarkably well—though nowadays it is more an industry target than a prophesy, and therefore a self-fulfilling one at that. Even so, the world has benefited handsomely from the decline in the cost of computing made possible by constant manufacturing improvements that have shrunk the width of semiconductor circuitry from tens of microns (millionths a metre) in the early 1970s to tens of nanometres (billionths of a metre) today.But all good things come to an end. Engineers have long anticipated that Moore’s Law would cease to apply around 2015. By then, the components on a chip will have shrunk to a point where quantum-tunneling effects make it difficult for a processor to function efficiently. Quantum effects start cropping up when critical transistor dimensions become less than 15 nanometers (nm) or so. Intel, which effectively sets the standards for chip-making worldwide, will start replacing its existing 32nm process with 22nm technology towards the end of this year, with 14nm rules expected to follow around 2014. Without some fundamental rethink in chip design, future gains from shrinking circuitry would therefore be problematic.Such a rethink has been underway for over a decade, and is finally ready to go into production. Earlier this month, Intel unveiled a radical three-dimensional chip architecture—the first big change in semiconductor layout in 40 years—that will be produced using its new 22nm process. – Advertisement – Since their inception, integrated circuits have had a two-dimensional planar structure, with a metal gate mounted across a flat conducting channel of silicon. Via its single contact patch, the gate controls the current flowing from the source electrode at one end of the silicon channel to the drain electrode at the other. However, the channel width has shrunk with every new generation of the technology—so more transistors can be packed into the limited space for greater performance. In the process, the gate itself has also become smaller and less effective, allowing current to leak away and impairing the transistor’s ability to switch rapidly between its two states.To get around this performance roadblock, Intel’s new transistor design features a conducting channel in the form of a vertical silicon fence thatstands proud of the surface. That gives the metal gate straddling it three contact areas instead of just one to exert control over the current—a large patch on either side of the fence and a smaller one along the top. The result is less leakage and thus more current flowing when the transistor is in its “on” state (for higher performance). And thanks to the greater gate control, the current is virtually zero when the transistor is in its “off” state (for lower power consumption). Intel reckons chips using its “Tri-Gate” design can switch 37% faster than equivalent processors based on today’s technology, use 50% less juice and yet cost only 2-3% more to make.The Tri-Gate design is to be used throughout Intel’s processor range—from powerful gaming and server chips to humble devices used in netbooks. By all accounts, the three-dimensional layout will work with 14nm as well as 22nm process technologies, ensuring Moore’s Law continues to apply for at least another four or five years. The design can also be tuned for high speed or low power consumption. For Intel, the latter is currently the most crucial requirement.Intel has over 80% of the market for PC processors, but it is at the back of the pack in the race to power smartphones and tablet computers—the fastest growing sector of the computing business. Here, the front-runner is ARM, a British firm, which has a 95% stranglehold on some parts of the business. ARM, which does no manufacturing, licenses its processor designs to chipmakers around the world. What distinguishes its designs from other mainstream processor chips is their use of an advanced “reduced instruction-set computer” (RISC) approach pioneered by Acorn, another British firm, in the early 1980s. ARM (short for Advanced RISC Machines) was spun out of Acorn in 1990, to create low-power RISC processors for Apple and other customers. To date, over 15 billion ARM cores have been shipped by the company’s 200 or so hardware licensees (see “Send in the clones”, March 11th 2011).What makes ARM processors ideal for the cramped innards of a handheld gizmo is their compact design, low operating temperature and frugalpower consumption. Owing nothing to Intel’s power-hungry x86 architecture, they incur no royalty fees to Intel. Nor do they need to be backwardly compatible with the x86 instruction set used by Intel processors and work alike chips from AMD, VIA and others. That is the key to the design’s low power consumption. The processor in Apple’s iPad 2, for instance, has a pair of ARM cores working in tandem to deliver ten hours of battery life between charges. Three out of five tablets now hitting the stores use similar ARM-based processors.Intel would love to have a bigger slice of the handheld pie, especially now the Apple iPad and other tablets have begun to eat into sales of Intel-powered netbooks and even laptops. With annual sales of only $7 billion, the mobile computing market is still small beer by Intel’s standards—but the business is growing too rapidly to be ignored. Unfortunately, the most miserly Intel processors (the Atom range used in Windows-based netbooks) still consume between two and ten times more power than a typical ARM processor. However, a Tri-Gate chip made on 22nm plant would be a lot more competitive. No question that, if built on 14nm equipment, a Tri-Gate processor optimized for battery life would give today’s ARM chips a run for their money.Challenging them is one thing, but displacing them in a different matter. Intel’s Tri-Gate chips would have to be not merely as good as ARM processors, but significantly better than them, to stand any chance of getting makers of portable devices to ditch their considerable investments in ARM technology and support. It also assumes that ARM and its 700 or so software and hardware partners cease innovating over the next couple of years. That is most unlikely. Indeed, apart from driving power consumption of its cores down below the one-watt level, ARM is now pushing into Intel’s performance territory with multi-core designs. IDC, a market research firm based in Framingham, Massachusetts, expects over 13% of the processors in PCs to be based on ARM designs by 2015.Over the past week, a rumour has been doing that rounds implying Apple is about to abandon the use of Intel processors in its Macintosh computers. The scuttlebut suggests Apple wants to consolidate all its products on processors using the ARM technology used in its iPhones and iPads. Having little concern for backward-compatibility, Apple has made dramatic reversals in its hardware and software directions before—and will doubtless do so again. But it is hard to see Apple making such a move within the next few years, especially now Intel has revealed what its Tri-Gate processors can do, at least in desktops and laptops if not in handheld devices. There, at least, the ARM twisting looks set to continue.Source: read more

My Healthline Oranges first healthcare hotline in Cameroon

first_imgAdvertisement Orange in Cameroon is looking at expanding My Healthline a simple and reliable service from a professional medical team to other sub-Saharan African countries and extend the scope beyond sexual health, all built on a common Orange Healthcare platform.Orange Cameroon customers will be able to access personalised advice on contraception, HIV / AIDS, sexuality and STDs from specialists by texting 929 between 8.00 am and 10.00 pm on any day of the week.In less than one hour, the service will provide them with reliable medical information at minimal cost (XOF 200 per text message, i.e. EUR 0.25). – Advertisement – Orange will anonymise all questions, then transmit them to a medical service consisting of Cameroonian nurses and doctors. After analysis, the answer produced by the healthcare professionals will be sent back to the customer by Orange.My Healthline provides quick, easy access by text, which allows anonymity and confidentiality. The service is to be provided in French, English and Pidgin (the main local dialect in Cameroon).A service meeting Cameroonians’ requirements With two doctors per 10,000 inhabitants (against 33 in France (1)) and half the population living in rural areas (2), access to medical facilities is currently very difficult in Cameroon.As Orange Cameroon has 6,500,000 customers, My Healthline will be able to reach a large proportion of the population.Orange Healthcare has collaborated closely with the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Orange Cameroon and the Cameroonian Ministry for Health to achieve the best possible fit between the service and local needs. The subjects covered are themes often considered sensitive, or even taboo, on which people need reliable, non-judgmental information.In this way, My Healthline will help to improve preventive medicine throughout the country in partnership with medical professionals.last_img read more

Museveni Intervenes as Uganda Telecom LTD Faces Liquidation

first_imgH.E the President of Uganda; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. (Photo Courtesy: Associated Press) Advertisement President Yoweri Museveni has swung in to save Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), a government owned Telecommunications Company which was facing a possible liquidation.Through Investment Minister Evelyne Anite, the President has assembled a team of lawyers, who successfully filed for bankruptcy, in a desperate last minute measure to save the company from liquidation.UTL currently is under government receivership, with Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze as government’s official receiver. – Advertisement – Owned jointly by Ugandan government and the Libya Post Telecommunications and IT company (LPTIC) which is wholly owned by the Libyan government, UTL has been struggling with debts that caused it to sell off some of their assets.In March 2017, LPTIC, a majority shareholder made a decision to stop financing the company before ordering for the immediate resignation of all five of their Libyan representatives on the UTL board of Directors.The Ugandan government would later take over management although the debts remained unsettled, with some investors calling for sale of the company.Cameo Techedge Limited, an Asian-owned private company, had petitioned court to close UTL over a USD$133, 000 (roughly 484 million UGX) liability, although Museveni’s intervention saved the situation.A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a UK-based multinational audit firm placed the company’s debt as a humongous 700 billion UGX, although outgoing board member Stephen Kaboyo recently put it at a slightly lower 500 billion UGX.That not with standing, the company has reassured subscribers and creditors of a future ahead.“Customer retention is key and all efforts will be put in place for a seamless service… Uganda Telecom Limited pledges to continue providing reliable services to its customers,” read a statement issued by Mr Twebaze.He also reached out to the company’s creditors that “the administration process is intended to achieve the best possible result for the company’s creditors.”“All creditors of the company will be expected to submit their claims to the provisional administrator and follow the due process,” Twebaze’s statement further reads.While addressing media last week, Minister Anite pledged that government will not allow the company to collapse, explaining the hurried intention to file for bankruptcy.[related-posts]last_img read more

Ugandan Innovator Among Three Winners at 6th Edition of the Innovation Prize

first_imgAdvertisement The 6th edition of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA2017) which took place in Accra Ghana from 17th to 18th of July 2017 came to an end with the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) awarding three more African innovators for their incredible innovations.Out of the total of over 2500 applications, 10 nominees were selected, and from these Aly El-Shafei of Egypt emerged as the Grand Prize winner, with Philippa Ngaju Makobore of Uganda landing the Second Prize, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia winning the Special Prize for Social Impact. Each one of the seven remaining nominees also went home with US$ 5 000 voucher to be used to further develop their innovations. Moreover, all nominees and winners will benefit from IPA post prize activities aiming at moving their innovations to the next level.“This edition of IPA has been all about galvanizing support for African innovators in order to mobilize increased investments to help them commercialize and scale their innovations at a greater rate. AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage,” said AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. – Advertisement – IPA 2017 Chairman of the Jury, Prof Nyasse Barthelemy explained that the deliberation was tough as the quality of innovations were high. “Each of the innovations, in their own respective ways, were winners as they represented local solutions to local challenges. It came down to the wire but we believe we have awarded the most compelling innovations this year. We look forward to seeing what comes next for the incredible innovations from IPA2017 innovators and wish them the very best.”The patented innovation, Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB), by Dr. El-Shafei who walked away with the Grand Prize of US$ 100 000, is a smart bearing that significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology. Patented in the US since 2010 with another patent pending, the device is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa. SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens’ has indicated interest in the device. A world class innovation originating from Africa, SEMAJIB reverse Africa’s image as a technology consumer to technology producer. Production of these bearings in Africa will also generate jobs and increased revenue for Africa.Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECFG) by Philippa, who bagged the Second Prize of US$ 25 000, is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor. It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device. IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the FEAST trial indicate that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 percent at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.Second Prize winner Philippa Ngaju Makobre! #IPA2017— IPA Prize (@IPAprize) July 18, 2017Dr. Dougbeh, who was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact of US$25 000, developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time. His diagnostic test is fast and easy to use in any setting and is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola. Whereas most testing methods take three to seven days, this device gives test results in ten to forty minutes. Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype. The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as ‘Nature-Scientific Reports.’ His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.The event which is under the support of the president of Ghana, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and Ghana 60 Years On Planning Committee in partnership with the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) brought the country’s top innovation leaders together at a roundtable to discuss the important opportunities in supporting local innovation.Credit: Ventures Africalast_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.Sunday 22 FebruaryRACING1.50 NaasArctic Skipper 100/30 > 9/42.30 SouthwellRussborough 6/4 > evens Sands Cove 15/2 > 5/1LIVE FOOTBALL2.05pm LIVE SKY4/5 Everton 4/1 Leicester 13/5 DRAW4.15pm LIVE SKY8/5 Southampton 15/8 Liverpool 9/4 DRAW8pm LIVE SKY12/1 Elche 1/5 Real Madrid 11/2 DRAWWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Chelsea v Man City

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he key action in terms of the title race will not unfold until Sunday and it’s remarkable to think that Chelsea v Man City (LIVE SKY 5.30pm) is a relatively low key affair between the last two title winners!Certainly, I don’t think we can put much store by the 5-1 outcome when they last met at Stamford Bridge in February in the FA Cup. City had a reduced strength side out that day as they (then) were still concentrated on the league title and the Champions League.Whilst the Premier League is beyond them – the Champions League certainly isn’t and they progressed to a semi-final date with Real Madrid after seeing off a well below par PSG midweek.Chelsea just seem to be going through the motions at the moment and for them the end of the season surely can’t come quick enough for an urgent re-group.Chelsea’s manager Guus Hiddink said: “City have had a beautiful week after getting in to the semi-finals. It’s good for them to be in the last four and it’s a reward for their efforts over the last seasons.”He added: “Their team is getting into a certain flow of success and results so they’ll like to continue it. It’s encouraging for them and for us it is another reason why we expect very strong opposition.”The hosts have won just one of their last five games and that was against Aston Villa who have been woeful this season. Last weekend they were beaten 1-0 by Swansea and come into this match better rested than Man City but I really question the motivation of the Blues at present. They will however be boosted by the expected return of striker Diego Costa after his three-match suspension has been completed.City have unquestionably been better at home this season rather than on their travels where they have averaged 1.1 goals.Premier League17:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HDChelsea v Man CityHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Feb 2016 FA CUP Chelsea 5-1 Man CityAug 2015 PREMIER Man City 3-0 ChelseaJan 2015 PREMIER Chelsea 1-1 Man CitySep 2014 PREMIER Man City 1-1 ChelseaFeb 2014 FA CUP Man City 2-0 ChelseaFeb 2014 PREMIER Man City 0-1 ChelseaOct 2013 PREMIER Chelsea 2-1 Man CityApr 2013 FA CUP Chelsea 1-2 Man CityFeb 2013 PREMIER Man City 2-0 ChelseaNov 2112 PREMIER Chelsea 0-0 Man CityI was wrong (JUST) with the DRAW at Liverpool but what a game that was and the closing drama erased the pain of losing, well almost!I’m sticking with a DRAW again here at around 9/4 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK DRAW for 10 points at 9/4 with Star SportsThursday: -6.00 pointsWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

Indias ambassador to US to speak at Rice Nov 10

first_imgShareRao to present ‘A Perspective on the India-US Global Strategic Partnership’Long DescriptionNIRUPAMA RAOPresident Barack Obama has cited the relationship between the United States and India as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” and India’s ambassador to the U.S. will share her insight on that partnership during a lecture at Rice University Nov. 10.Nirupama Rao will present “A Perspective on the India-U.S. Global Strategic Partnership” at 6 p.m. at the Jones Graduate School of Business’ Shell Auditorium in McNair Hall, 6100 Main St. The lecture, sponsored by the office of Rice President David Leebron, is free and open to the public. For a campus map, visit became ambassador to the U.S. in August, less than a month after officials from the world’s two largest democracies met in New Delhi, India, for the second U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. At that meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and India External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna agreed to advance the two countries’ shared interests, including increased counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing, law-enforcement exchanges, defense cooperation, export controls, clean energy and scientific, space and technology collaboration.Rao attended that dialogue meeting as India’s foreign secretary – a position she held from Aug. 1, 2009 to July 31, 2011.Her new role as ambassador to the U.S. is not her first stint as an ambassador. She served as India’s ambassador to Peru with concurrent accreditation to Bolivia from 1995 to 1998, and she was India’s ambassador to China from 2006 to 2009.Rao joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973 and has served in various world capitals, including Washington and Moscow. She served in the East Asia Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, from 1984 to 1992, including as joint secretary for East Asia.Rao served as deputy chief of mission at the Indian Embassy in Moscow from 1998 to 1999. She was the Distinguished International Executive in Residence at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1999 to 2000. From 2001 to 2002, she served as the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. She headed the Administration and Personnel Division of the Ministry of External Affairs as additional secretary from 2002 to 2004. Rao was high commissioner of India to Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2006.She was a fellow of the Centre for International Affairs (now the Weatherhead Centre) of Harvard University during 1992-93. She was in charge of press affairs as minister in the Indian Embassy in Washington from 1993 to 1995.Rao pursued her education in India, where she was born in Malappuram in the southwestern state of Kerala. She has a B.A. degree in English from Mount Carmel College in Bangalore and an M.A. in English literature from Marathwada University in Maharashtra. AddThislast_img read more

Rice developing mobile DNA test for HIV

first_imgShare1Editor’s note: A link to an image for download appears at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduRice developing mobile DNA test for HIVDiagnostic test aimed at detecting virus in infants, viral loads in older patients in low-resource settings HOUSTON – (June 5, 2014) – Rice University bioengineers are developing a simple, highly accurate test to detect signs of HIV and its progress in patients in resource-poor settings.The current gold standard to diagnose HIV in infants and to monitor viral load depends on lab equipment and technical expertise generally available only in clinics, said Rice bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum. The new research features a nucleic acid-based test that can be performed at the site of care.Richards-Kortum, director of the Rice 360˚: Institute for Global Health Technologies, and her colleagues reported their results in the American Chemical Society journal Analytical Chemistry.The proof-of-concept work by co-lead authors Zachary Crannell and Brittany Rohrman, both graduate students in the Richards-Kortum lab, follows their similar technique to detect the parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis, reported earlier this year.The new technique would replace a complex lab procedure based on polymerase chain reaction with one that relies on recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), a method to quickly amplify – that is, multiply – genetic markers found in blood to levels where they can be easily counted. In a test the team calls qRPA, a specific sequence in HIV DNA is targeted and tagged with fluorescent probes that can be seen and quantified by a portable machine. Software analysis of the fluorescing DNA allows clinicians to determine with great accuracy whether the virus is present in a patient’s blood and/or how much is there.The researchers calibrated the test by also amplifying an internal positive control not found in human blood. “It’s amplified by the same primers as the HIV sequence, so it tells us that the assay is working properly,” Rohrman said.The students originally intended their work to look for HIV in infants, but the technique can also help to track viral loads in older patients. “It’s important for clinicians to be able to quantitatively monitor patients’ viral loads in order to ensure the disease is responding to therapy,” Crannell said.To be clinically viable, a DNA-based test for HIV has to be able to quantify virus loads over four orders of magnitude, from very low to very high, the researchers said. They reported the Rice test easily meets that goal.They are developing tools for low-resource settings where high-tech lab equipment is not available. Although they used a thermal cycler, the researchers are working on a technique that will keep the entire procedure between room and body temperatures so that it can be performed at the point of care in the developing world.The research was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative.-30-Read the abstract at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Rice 360˚: Institute for Global Health Technologies: http://www.rice360.rice.eduBioScience Research Collaborative: for download: AddThis graduate students Zachary Crannell, left, and Brittany Rohrman are leading Rice University bioengineers in an effort to develop an efficient test to detect signs of HIV and its progress in patients in low-resource settings. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.last_img read more

Rice engineering students develop fishrewarding enrichment device for sea lions at Houston

first_imgShare1Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution photos and a video are available in the “Related Materials” section at the end of the release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice engineering students develop fish-rewarding enrichment device for sea lions at Houston ZooHOUSTON – (May 3, 2016) – Thanks to the efforts of six Rice University students, the Houston Zoo’s fish-loving sea lions – Cali, Jonah, Kamia and Rockie – have a new enrichment device to provide mental and physical stimulation during breaks from training sessions, shows and exploring their habitat at the zoo.One of the Houston Zoo’s sea lions interacts with the Sea Lion Enrichment Device developed by Rice engineering students. Photo credit: Jeff Fitlow.Sea lions are highly intelligent, inquisitive mammals capable of mastering and engaging in intricate behaviors, which is why the zoo recruited a group of Rice engineering students enrolled in an Introduction to Engineering Design course to develop the new device for the sea lions.The students – Amelia Brumwell, Matthew Chagnot, Cody Davis, Jeremy Palmer, Brady Taylor and Jasmine Zhou – began developing the Sea Lion Enrichment Device (S.L.E.D.) in fall 2015 under the supervision of Ann Saterbak, associate dean of engineering education and professor in the practice of bioengineering education, and Matthew Wettergreen, a lecturer at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). The team worked with Houston Zoo trainers to understand the needs of the sea lions and what the trainers were looking for in an enrichment device.“Throughout the fall semester, we went through the design process, figured out what was going to work, narrowed down our ideas and built our final prototype to give to them at the end of the semester,” Palmer said.The S.L.E.D. is constructed from PVC pipes and consists of four pieces that can be fitted together as one or two devices. Each section has a hole covered by a rotating collar, which the sea lions must use their problem-solving skills to open. When they use their noses to push these pieces around, they can line up the holes to release fish, ice or toys from the wells.The trainers introduced the sea lions to the device with the holes exposed, so they would learn that treats and toys were inside. Eventually the trainers closed the holes, and the sea lions learned to manipulate the device to release the items.“Our primary concern with our design, since we’re working with the zoo and live animals, is … the animals’ safety,” Chagnot said. “Right away, that knocked out a lot of potential materials.”“The idea whenever we make enrichment is that it satisfies a specific goal, and in this instance, it is foraging and problem-solving,” said Heather Crane, a sea lion trainer at the zoo. “The students had to make sure the device would float, and we wanted it to have four arms so that each of our four sea lions could be involved at the same time if we wanted.”On April 21 the students had their first opportunity to watch the sea lions interact with the device, something Zhou described as an “interesting experience” for the team.Her fellow team member, Brumwell, said that all of the interesting places around Rice – including the zoo – and the many opportunities because of these surroundings factored into her decision to come to the university.“I love going to the zoo,” she said.Crane called it “extremely rewarding” to have this partnership with Rice University and to be able to fuse the science of engineering and the mental engagement of the sea lions.“For me personally, (it’s about) reaching out to the students and teaching them the safety aspects of building these types of enrichment devices and what is the goal,” she said. “It’s not just about making a toy; it’s actually about encouraging natural responses from our sea lions.”For more information on other design projects at the OEDK, visit more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen: gallery: credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice UniversityVideo credit: Brandon Martin/Rice UniversityLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 AddThislast_img read more

Virtual Terror Is the New Face of Terrorism and Cybercrime Says Expert

first_imgParticipants hold their laptops in front of an illuminated wall at the annual Chaos Computer Club (CCC) computer hackers’ congress, called 29C3, on Dec. 28, 2012 in Hamburg, Germany. (Patrick Lux/Getty Images)  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article The reach and potential of cybercrime grows with every new device that’s connected to the internet, and with every industry that moves to an online platform.Cybercrime is no longer just about corporations losing intellectual property. Today, it’s hospitals having their equipment locked by hackers until a ransom is paid; it’s hackers being able to seize control of cars while we drive them; and it’s our personal information being sold online to the highest bidder.Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said at the Cambridge Cyber Summit on Oct. 4 that the cost of global cybercrime is expected to grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021, citing research from Cybersecurity Ventures.Rosenstein also noted that as he spoke, the United States was dealing with “one of the largest breaches ever of a private company holding sensitive financial data” after 145 million people were affected by the breach of credit-reporting agency Equifax.When Trump declared October as National Security Awareness month on Sept. 30, he noted that “All Americans are affected by threats to our Nation’s cybersecurity,” and called on “people, companies, and institutions of the United States to recognize the importance of cybersecurity.”According to Daniel Wagner, the threat of cybersecurity has gone beyond the realm of cyber. He registered a new term to describe it, which he also used as the title of his new book, “Virtual Terror.” Wagner noted that when terrorism enters the realm of cyber, “all of those traditional measures are surpassed. It’s not just about political objectives and causing physical damage to promote your means—it goes into another realm that encompasses literally everything.”New Form of TerrorismVirtual terror is a much broader definition, he said. It encompasses anything related to digital snooping, stealing, creating war, causing damage or harm to individuals, businesses, governments, or groups.“When you have 145 million people who have essentially had their identities breached, that impacts so many aspects of their lives,”  Wagner said, referring to the Equifax breach.He asked who would call that breach terrorism, according to that term’s usual definition. But then he said, “by virtual terrorism’s definition, that’s right in the bullseye.”“Cyber only seems to encompass theft and security, what virtual terror does is encompass fear and damage,” he said. “The one thing traditional terror has gone on is its ability to scare people, to have an impact on their psyche.”Wagner noted that when it comes to technological developments, the world is teetering between the glossy, high-tech future, and the nightmarish digital dystopia.The problem is that we’re pushing more and more of our lives into the digital space, and allowing technology to play a greater role in managing our lives and societies, but the security and protections of individuals are not keeping pace with developments.“It seems to me like we’re at a pivot point. It’s very bad, but not so bad that we can’t turn the tide,” he said.Some companies are now looking at biometric fingerprints or facial recognition to work as passwords for devices. While these technologies seem flashy, however, Wagner noted that unlike the current passwords, your face and fingerprints are relatively permanent—if someone steals them, they have access forever.He noted cases in Japan, where Japanese police have uncovered at least nine instances where Chinese citizens had surgically replaced their fingerprints to take on someone else’s identity. Some of these individuals even went to Japan and married Japanese people who thought they were someone else.“That’s already happening,” he said. “People are getting around biometrics.”Technology and its impact on our lives doesn’t stop at banks and finances, however. Wager noted that major countries including China are talking about the militarization of space, and “If you have the ability to militarize space, what would prevent you from nuclearizing space? Nothing.”Even when it comes to the helpful technology—the type that doesn’t cause us direct harm—if we become overly reliant on it, what’s the impact if a virtual terrorist suddenly disables the system? Many nations already have capabilities for electromagnetic and energy-directed weapons for this purpose.When it comes to the American power grid, he noted, “It could cripple our grid for years, because most of our grid technology is based on 1970s-era technology.”Changing Our LifestylesThe shift that needs to take place is something that is often heard among circles within the cybersecurity community, but that rarely echoes beyond it. We need to move from reactive security to proactive security.Wagner noted some of his own experiences when he had his identity stolen while living in Singapore in 2002. He received a call from CitiBank saying he owed them $22,000 for two credit cards he never took out.“Someone had taken out my identity, gotten a drivers license, gotten an apartment, and got a job in my name in Florida—while I was living in Singapore.”More charges soon followed in Malaysia and the Philippines. He got another call soon after, saying he spent $1,200 in a beer hall in China. Wagner said, joking “I must have bought a lot of beer, and I wasn’t even in China.”He’s still left guessing what happened, but knowing the cybercrime industry he said it’s likely he handed his credit card to a waitress at a Singapore restaurant—at a time before credit cards had the three-digit codes on the back—and she passed the information along to a network of criminals.Today, crimes like these are even more common, and much more sophisticated.Some cybercriminals, he notes, will steal 50 cents from each person—a small enough amount that almost none of them will detect it, but from a large enough group of victims that the hacker can live a life of luxury.Other cybercrime networks work on a real-time basis. They can steal $10,000 from your bank account, and when you login to check your balance online, they can alter the data to still display that the money is in the account. He said “They have the ability to change the appearance online in a real-time basis.”Wagner noted that financial institutions have thrown billions of dollars at the problem, but “they can’t prevent it from happening.”He notes, however, that this is where virtual terrorism comes into play—criminal acts conducted on a large-scale that can throw the lives of its victims into disarray. He said it’s “all about internet-based and remote-control terrorism.”If more people understood this threat, he said, maybe they’d be more cautious of handing over their credit card data. And if people started becoming more cautious, maybe the banks would also be forced to change the way they work.“Most people, they want the newest, latest, most expensive gadget, which simply opens them up to a greater possibility of having problems, but they don’t think about that,” Wagner said.“Now that millions of Americans have had their identities breached, until it affects their pocketbooks they’re not going to do anything,” he said.“There is some very basic stuff people can do,” Wagner said. “Instead of presuming it’s somebody else’s problem, or presuming it’s something in the future, presume it’s your problem and you need to fix it now.” Follow Joshua on Twitter: @JoshJPhilipp Sharecenter_img ‘Virtual Terror’ Is the New Face of Terrorism and Cybercrime, Says Expert By Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times October 10, 2017 Updated: October 11, 2017 Show Discussion US News last_img read more

Actress Kate Beckinsale Harvey Weinstein Offered Me Alcohol in His Room When

first_img Show Discussion Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Actress Kate Beckinsale: Harvey Weinstein Offered Me Alcohol in His Room When I Was 17 By Holly Kellum October 13, 2017 Updated: October 13, 2017 Entertainment News Follow Holly on Twitter: @HollyGailK British actress Kate Beckinsale in London, on Jan. 22, 2017. (Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images) Actress Kate Beckinsale is the latest woman to come forward saying she was one of Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein’s victims.In an Instagram post on Thursday, Oct. 13, Beckinsale said that she was just 17 when her first encounter with Weinstein took place.She thought she was going to meet him in a conference room him at the Savoy Hotel in London, but the receptionist told her to go up to his room.Weinstein, she said, answered the door in his bathrobe, and offered her alcohol.“I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him,” she wrote.She said she declined the alcohol and left his room “uneasy but unscathed.” “A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” she wrote. Film producer Harvey Weinstein in Antibes, France, on May 23, 2017. (Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images)Over the years, she said “No” to him many times, which made him upset, she said.  According to her account, he screamed at her and called her names, and would “laughingly tell people ‘ Oh, Kate lives to say no to me.’”She said she had boundaries that allowed her “to feel uncompromised in myself,” but that it came at the expense of advancing her career.“It speaks to the status quo in this business,” she wrote. “[It] was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.”She tells of a time a male friend of hers warned an actress who was going to dinner with Weinstein about what he might try to do. The actress apparently didn’t heed his warning and slept with Weinstein, and the next day, her friend got a call saying she would never work on another Miramax film.“I would like to applaud the women who have come forward, and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers, managers, executives, and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said, ‘Well, that’s just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here,’” Beckinsale wrote.“Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do.”Actress Rose McGowan also took to social media on Thursday to accuse Amazon Studios chief Roy Price of turning a blind eye when she told him she had been assaulted by Weinstein.Price was put on a leave of absence Thursday, the studio said, following McGowan’s allegations and allegations that he harassed a producer.Both women’s accusations come after The New Yorker reported on Tuesday, Oct. 10, that 13 women have claimed Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, including three who told the magazine they had been raped.Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister was quoted in the article saying, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”Reuters contributed to this report. Share this articlelast_img read more

Defense Chief Mattis in Asia Will Discuss North Korea Crisis With Allies

first_img Share this article Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   US News Defense Secretary Jim Mattis delivers remarks to reporters about recent U.S. troops killed in Niger as he welcomes Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his delegation for meetings at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S. Oct. 19, 2017. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst) center_img Defense Chief Mattis in Asia, Will Discuss North Korea Crisis With Allies By Reuters October 22, 2017 Updated: October 22, 2017 CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines—U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would talk with Asian allies about North Korea and the crisis caused by Pyongyang’s “reckless” provocations, as he kicked off a week-long trip to the region on Monday to meet defense chiefs in the Philippines.Mattis’ trip to Asia, which will also include stops in Thailand and South Korea, comes just weeks before President Donald Trump’s first visit to Asia. Trump has been locked in a war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him a “rocket man” on a suicide mission for openly pursuing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.Trump, in a speech last month at the United Nations, threatened to destroy North Korea if necessary to defend the United States and its allies. Kim has blasted Trump as “mentally deranged.”Mattis, who has emphasized diplomacy, was expected to meet both his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Monday before meeting with all three of them together. He will attend a meeting from Monday to Wednesday of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, in the Philippines. He will go to Seoul later in the week for more defense talks. “I will talk with my counterparts, discussing the regional security crisis caused by the reckless DPRK North Korea provocations but also discuss our respect for shared values like sovereignty of the states, their territorial integrity, freedom of navigation through historically international waters, and fair and reciprocal trade,” Mattis told reporters.A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea last week, seeking to promote freedom of navigation. The maneuver prompted anger in Beijing.Trump’s trip next month will include a visit to China, which he has been pressuring to do more to rein in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. China is North Korea’s neighbor and biggest trading partner. Mattis, while in the Philippines, said he would commend the military for defeating insurgents in Marawi City on the island of Mindanao.Some experts see the siege as a prelude to a more ambitious bid by Islamic State loyalists to exploit Mindanao’s poverty and use its jungles and mountains as a base to train, recruit and launch attacks in the region.“It was a tough fight,” Mattis said, adding he thought the Philippines had sent “a very necessary message to the terrorists.”On Thursday, Mattis will lead the U.S. delegation in Thailand for the cremation rites for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Show Discussionlast_img read more