Monthly Archives: July 2019

A nurse failed to mention a disabled womans near

by ,

first_imgA nurse failed to mention a disabled woman’s near-fatal asthma attacks, accidental overdoses and repeated blackouts, in one of the clearest examples yet of a dishonest benefits assessment report, secret recordings have revealed.A video recording of the assessment also shows that the nurse lied about the way disabled activist Catherine Scarlett made her way from a stairlift to a reclining chair to begin the assessment.Scarlett had been so distrustful of the personal independence payment (PIP) system that she made both video and audio recordings of her face-to-face assessment, which was carried out at her home in Yorkshire in May.She says the recordings and assessment report prove she was right to do so.They show how the nurse – employed by the government contractor Atos Healthcare – repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of what she was told by Scarlett.This allowed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to lower her entitlement from the enhanced rate to just the standard rate for the daily living element of PIP, although she was allowed to stay on the enhanced rate for mobility.At one point, Scarlett is heard on the recording telling the nurse that on several occasions she had accidentally double-dosed the powerful opioid pain medication Tramadol, but the nurse translates that in her written report as “occasionally forgets to take her medication”.Scarlett also tells the nurse that she cannot read for long periods “because I black out”, but this ends up in the report as “she can read although she doesn’t read for long due to concentration”.When Scarlett describes how she has previously experienced “near-fatal asthma attacks”, the nurse writes this up in her report as episodes of being “wheezy and short of breath”, which “comes and goes”.And when the nurse asks her if she has ever thought of taking her own life, Scarlett tells her that she has felt like ending her life “lots of times” and that she experiences “impulsive urges to commit suicide and things like that”.This is translated as “she has had thoughts of not wanting to be here”.Scarlett is also furious that the nurse suggested that she did not need to carry out a physical examination if that meant she would be “wiped out for the week”.When Scarlett agreed and said she was “not really” keen on having the examination, the nurse was able to use her decision to decline the physical tests to justify relying instead on an inaccurate description of how she claimed she saw Scarlett “grip and operate a crutch in each hand” as she was walking from a chairlift to her seat, in order to play down her need for support for bathing and dressing.DWP later admitted – when it eventually overturned its original findings – that she lacked the necessary grip and strength in her right hand and arm “to be able to dress yourself reliably and in a timely manner”.The video clearly shows Scarlett walking with a stooped posture, leaning heavily on the crutches, and flopping into the chair, but not touching its arms.But the nurse writes this up as: “She walked from the bottom of the stairs to her specialist reclining chair using a crutch in each hand. She walked very slowly with normal posture.“She lowered herself into the chair by putting her hands on the chair and lowered herself into it.”Scarlett believes that her case, and many others she has been passed by other disabled people through social media, show that DWP is “colluding” with Atos in order to cut people’s support.She said: “I have been shocked at the effect on my mental health and the thoughts it has brought up for me and can understand why it pushes so many people completely over the edge.“I’m lucky to have strong family, friends and professional support that keeps me going but so many people aren’t as lucky and so are very vulnerable to devastating mental health deterioration and the consequences of that.“The whole system needs fully investigating and changing to protect those people.”Following the decision to reduce her support, a mandatory reconsideration (MR) – DWP’s own internal review process – endorsed that decision, although the department finally agreed last month to return her daily living to the enhanced rate when she appealed against the MR decision.In that decision, DWP accepted that Scarlett did after all need help to dress and take a bath.For technical reasons, DNS was not able to share the video recording with Atos and DWP, but the audio recording was shared with their press offices.DNS originally agreed to omit the allegations connected with the video recording so that DWP would comment on the evidence provided solely by the audio recording.But this morning, after agreeing to this and asking for extra time to produce a response – the audio recording was originally sent to DWP and Atos on Tuesday afternoon – a DWP spokeswoman failed to comment on any of the evidence contained in the audio recording.Instead, she merely pointed out that Scarlett’s PIP entitlement was eventually restored, after she appealed, to the daily living enhanced rate.She also repeated previous DWP statements about the “strict quality standards” required of assessment providers, and the “on-going quality audits” that assessors are subjected to, as well as mentioning the complaints procedures available to PIP claimants.An Atos spokesman refused to comment on the evidence at all.He said: “We’re informed we won’t have access to the video which accompanies the audio without which the points raised cannot be looked into as verification is simply not possible.”Scarlett’s case is one of 22 that have been passed to Labour MP Neil Coyle (see separate story), who has pledged to take up concerns about allegations of dishonest assessment reports when parliament returns from its summer recess next month.Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating since last November claims that healthcare professionals working for Atos and Capita have been lying in their assessment reports.DNS has now compiled more than 200 cases in which PIP claimants say their assessors produced dishonest reports.The investigation shows that assessors – most of them nurses – have repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.But DWP, Capita and Atos have all refused to launch inquiries into the claims of widespread dishonesty.Picture: Scarlett flops into her seat at the start of the assessment, watched by her husbandlast_img read more

SUPER League is delighted to announce that it has

by ,

first_imgSUPER League is delighted to announce that it has agreed a new five-year contract with Sky Sports that will have a transformational impact on Rugby League as the sport enters an exciting new era.The new contract comes into place from 2017 and will extend Rugby League’s hugely successful partnership with Sky Sports into a fourth decade.As part of the deal, Sky Sports will provide enhanced coverage of the whole sport, including the resumption of live Championship action from 2015 when Rugby League embraces the exciting new league structures that see two divisions of 12 teams split into three groups of eight in the closing stages of the season.Super League and RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree a new contract with Sky Sports that will extend our hugely successful partnership until the end of the 2021 season.“The association with Sky Sports has enabled Rugby League to realise many of its ambitions over the last two decades and this new contract will allow the whole sport to grow still further as we enter an exciting chapter in our history.“Throughout our negotiations it was clear that Sky were genuinely excited by the league structures that we are putting in place from 2015 onwards.“Whilst the new contract does not come into effect until 2017, it allows for the return of live Championship action to Sky Sports from next year which will complement their first class coverage of the First Utility Super League and capture the thrills and drama of new-look competitions where every match matters.“Following on from the success of Rugby League World Cup 2013, the forging of significant commercial partnerships around the First Utility Super League and the decision by the clubs to embrace the new league structures, this is another momentous day for the sport.“This really is a fantastic time to be a Rugby League supporter.”Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “This new deal is great news for Sky Sports and our customers, who will enjoy at least eight more years of live Rugby League and an exciting new structure for the sport in the UK.“This new deal will take Sky’s partnership with the RFL to 30 years, 26 of those between Sky Sports and Super League. Now, at the dawn of an exciting new era for Rugby League, we’re thrilled that the premier competition in the UK will continue to be available only on Sky Sports until at least 2021.“We are also pleased to be bringing even more live coverage, with over 80 matches in 2014 and over 100 a season from 2015 onwards.”As well as a new contract from 2017 to 2021, the RFL has agreed a number of changes to the current deal with Sky Sports that runs to the end of the 2016 season. These include regular live action from the Kingstone Press Championship in 2015 and additional coverage of Catalan Dragons home games from 2014.last_img read more

First round of states agriculture disaster checks headed to farmers

by ,

first_imgNC farm flooded during Hurricane Florence (Photo: Mary Junell / U.S. Army / (CC BY-NC 2.0)) RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced Wednesday that the first round of checks from the state’s $240 million Agricultural Disaster Relief Program of 2018 have been sent to farmers.“More than $15.2 million in payments were mailed today, and a second batch will go out Friday, Feb. 1,” Troxler said. “By week’s end, we anticipate having around 2,000 applications processed.”- Advertisement – Nearly 7,000 applications for assistance were submitted to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as part of the program. The N.C. General Assembly unanimously approved funding in response to more than $1.2 billion in estimated agricultural losses from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the legislation into law.The applications are being processed randomly and are not being done on a county-by-county basis. Complete applications, not missing any information or documentation, are being processed first. Applications missing information will require follow-up calls in order to be verified and approved.“This is the most important thing I have worked on since becoming Ag Commissioner,” Troxler said. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and it was absolutely pummeled in 2018. Many farmers are hurting and may not be able to secure funding to start the 2019 growing season. While this money does not come close to making whole the crop losses, I hope it will help farmers get financing for the coming year and help jump start the economies of rural North Carolina.”Related Article: Free meals, volunteer opportunities available on ThanksgivingA total of 70 of the state’s 100 counties received a presidential or secretarial disaster declaration, qualifying farmers for the program.The federal government shutdown created some delays in getting applications processed, but work is continuing to verify and approve the remaining applications.Applicants had to submit the Farm Service Agency form 578 with their applications, which includes acreage being grown.Other information considered in determining payments includes the five-year average price for commodities, the county average yield and the county estimated losses, which were determined by an ad-hoc committee made up of county FSA officials, cooperative extension agents, forest service staff and soil and water conservation district staff.Checks will continue to be processed weekly as they are verified and approved.last_img read more

Former Carolina Beach town manager cites political dynamics following termination

by ,

first_img Earlier this week, the town’s Police Advisory Committee had accused the Narain of lying to a police department candidate. Narain later fired back in defense, refuting their claims.Narain did not attend Tuesday night’s council meeting.He provided the following statement:“Hi, my name is Lucky Narain. Most recently I served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. As a Town Manager and a public servant, I was dedicated to doing the best I could to benefit the public, manage a staff approximately 120 employees, and oversee a near 25 million dollar budget. Sometimes the vision of those individuals who appoint us into office change. Sometimes political dynamics create riptides. It’s all part of the process and the profession.There was no failure here. No laws were broken. No deadlines were missed. No policies were violated. The budget was still in process and was on a positive track. Various Council Members told me so and it was clear from the Council meeting a couple of weeks ago that we were extremely close to passing a budget. With the proposed budget no money was allocated to be taken away from the General Fund to pass the budget, as in years prior to my arrival. In fact, the Council was still deciding on very few elements to refine the balanced budget. These elements included, for example, presenting me the exact amounts for employee compensation (COLA/merit percentages) and how much to return into the General Fund.At issue were political dynamics. Specifically, the dynamics involved in addressing concerns with a police department that has experienced tremendous difficulties in recent years. These were present long before I joined the Town. My short tenure was not enough to make the positive difference I had hoped for. For example, I participated in the comprehensive selection process to fill numerous police officer vacancies. We chose to recruit four superiorly qualified candidates. Unfortunately, from a lesser qualified candidate I experienced harassment, slander, and a negative media campaign that I imagine Town Council was not able to ignore.Serving on the Town Council is a tremendous responsibility and I have grown fond of the Council. I have come to value and respect their drive, determination, and passion for public service. I applaud them for the work they do and empathize with the pressures they deal with and the riptides they navigate through.To the extent that I am able to assist the Town of Carolina Beach in the future, I look forward to doing so.”Related Article: NC Senate approves bill to allow the sale of alcohol in college stadiumsThe Town of Carolina Beach hired Narain in January. He started in late February. He took over as town manager after Michael Cramer was fired in September.Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin will serve as interim manager until a replacement can be hired. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Carolina Beach is looking for a new town manager.On Tuesday night, Carolina Beach Town Council terminated the employment contract with Town Manager Lucky Narain during their meeting.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Chief Justice tours court facilities in Burgaw

by ,

first_img Beasley says she’s working with lawmakers to get the ‘court’ back into the building, but architects say the process could take a year. She says she was concerned there was no real plan in the county, so she had to come see for herself.Beasley says the state and courts have to work together for a successful legal system for both the employees and the public.“Seeing it, being in the environment and really being able to talk with people who work in the environment every single day, I think is helpful in terms of understanding the extent of the damage, the extent of the recovery efforts and how best we can play a part in all of that,” Beasley said.Related Article: Gov. Cooper weighs in on storm debris pile up in rural areasShe says her next step is to discuss her finding with the team of administrative staff of courts to see how they can assist in streamlining the process. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley got an up close look at damage to the Pender County courthouse. It still remains damaged from Hurricane Florence.Pender County Court Clerk of Superior Court Elizabeth Craver led the tour through the Biberstein Annex, the county’s temporary space to house the clerks. They also toured the judicial annex, where clerks drew attention to several cases of ‘sick building syndrome’ in April.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Birżebbuġa murder What do we know up to now

by ,

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Local news reports are treating the murder on Sunday as a drive-by shooting. This means that the perpetrator passed by using a car when they shot on the victims.READ: Updated: Man murdered and two injured in BirżebbuġaThe Malta Independent said that the shots were shot from the passenger’s side of the car. According to the Times of Malta, the police are still searching for the perpetrator and the car that was being driven, which is allegedly a white Toyota Scarlet.The case occurred on Saturday night, at around 11pm in Triq tal-Ġebel in Birżebbuġa. The road leads to Ħal Far, and is known for frequently being used by immigrants who are going to Ħal Far open centre.Those involved:The victim: Lassibe Souleymane, who was 42 years old from Ivory Coast. According to The Malta Independent and Orrizont, he was killed by a shot to his head.A 22-year-old man who lives in Ħal Far, is suffering from serious injuries. The Malta Independent stated that the man is from Ghana.A 45-year-old man who was originally said to be from Georgia. However the police stated that his identity is not yet confirmed.Both the Times of Malta and The Malta Independent said that one of the two surviving victims underwent an operation in the lower part of his body yesterday. TVM said that both men were shot during the incident.The Malta Independent reported that the police went on site following a phone call from a person saying shots could be heard in their area. Some reports also said that one of the victims called the police. The police saw the two bodies on the ground and an ambulance was called immediately. Afterwards, they also sighted the other body, but he was certified dead on the spot.Orrizont says that there is no connection between the victims besides the fact that they were walking down the same road. According to in-Nazzjon, the Police suspects that one of the concerned persons is related to a different criminal group organisation. The Times of Malta reported that this could have been a racial incident, such as an immigrant who was run over in alleged by a hit and run incident.The Police is investigating footage from security cameras around the area. A magisterial inquiry led by Magistrate Rachel Montebello was initiated.This was the third murder in 2019, since a few weeks ago; Joseph Bonnici allegedly killed his mother Marija Lourdes Bonnici, and his sister Angele Bonnici in a bloody murder.WhatsApplast_img read more

Constitutional Reform Committee holds first meeting since Vella became President

by ,

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> The Constitutional Reform Committee has met for the first time after George Vella became president.READ: Watch: Special moments of President George Vella’s inaugurationREAD: George Vella is set to be the new PresidentThe meeting under his chairmanship was held on 22 May at San Anton Palace.In a statement the Office of the President said that the meeting was held in other to continue with discussions on the constitutional reform. President Vella thanked the members for their contribution while he expressed his hope of having further constructive dialogue.According to the statement, during the meeting the committee discussed the way forward and the methods by which a wider popular participation in this process can be achieved.WhatsApplast_img read more

The Top 40 startups in DEMO Africa

by ,

first_imgAdvertisement DEMO Africa has announced the chosen top40  tech startups that will launch their product on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.There were more than 400 applications received which proved that there is great ambition in the local tech scene.The finalists came from all over the continent with 14 startups from Nigeria followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. – Advertisement – Below is the list of the chosen startups.Shamba Technologies —  Design domestic power products for the 115 million families in Africa without power. (Tanzania)Mergims – An online platform that will enable African immigrants, around the world, to pay tuition fees, airtime and utility bills for their loved ones back home. (Rwanda)Prepclass –  an education technology company that uses the latest web technologies to ensure that relevant local content such as past questions, class notes, flashcards are available to students on their digital devices. (Nigeria)SmartPesa –  Allows merchants to accept credit card payments using a mobile phone. Comprising a low cost card reader, App and server-side processing. (South Africa)Kitiwa – Kitiwa helps ordinary Africans send and receive money, cheaply, instantly, using the bitcoin technology. (Ghana)Cube – Cube enables anyone (whether individual or business entity) to accept card payments in person with their existing phone (even a basic phone), anywhere, anytime, real-time without the internet (and can also work with Internet, if preferred). (Nigeria)LocName – A web and mobile application that enables people to find businesses easily using their LocNames. (Egypt)TrafficBytes – An end-to-end solution allows mobile operators and telecom vendors to leverage existing big data and provide realtime accurate roads traffic information. (Egypt)Oradian – The cloud based core banking system for microfinance. (Nigeria)MyeCampus — An online teaching and learning platform. (Ghana)Nerve –  Delivers cost-effective, higher quality & mobile convergent smart devices & services to inspire greater productivity in next billion people in emerging nations. (Nigeria)SokoNect – An agribusiness solution designed to shorten the distribution channels of agricultural produce while facilitating fast trade between farmers and their prospective buyers. (Kenya)IroFit – A developed mobile card payment system. (Nigeria)NiKweli – A mobile-to-web job matching platform that connects employers and job seekers for lower skill, “blue collar” type positions. Job seekers register their standardized mini-CV through SMS. (Tanzania)MobileJobs (mjobs) powered by SOMTEC — A web and mobile job alert and recruitment services that allows job seekers to get information about job vacancies and helps employers to get the right candidate immediately. (Ethiopia)Online Hisab —  A cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution. (Ethiopia)PieRide –  A ridesharing technology platform offering monthly subscription transportation service for daily commuters. (Egypt)Hutbay – A platform that helps real estate consumers find and share vital information about real estate, mortgages and connect with real estate professionals in Nigeria. (Nigeria)VOTO Mobile — A mobile phone notification and survey platform removes the barriers to insightful mobile communication between citizens worldwide and the organizations that serve them. (Ghana)ASiM – An integrated tool with Quickbooks and SAP Business One to produce rich, real-time business intelligence. (Kenya)Feedbackplus – Feedbackplus lets customers give feedback to different organizations online or through a mobile app either on the spot as each event is taking place or later at each customer’s convenience. (Nigeria)SpacePointe – An e-commerce marketplace which focuses on the African retailer. (Nigeria)VIGO – A fully responsive website building tool allowing African entrepreneurs and business owners to create their own beautiful websites from any device, including a feature phone. (South Africa)Valuraha Group —  A platform that simulates the African Financial Markets enabling one to interact with various investment instruments, under actual market conditions, using virtual money. (Kenya)Cribpark –  A platform that provides people with all the information about housing, catalogue of home designs to choose from, shop to buy their housing items and a project section to offer design and construction project management services. (Nigeria)Saisai – A wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hot-spots in public areas and public transportation. (Zimbabwe)Chura – Allows interoperability between different mobile networks in a multi-SIM environment. (Kenya)Matibabu – A Phone Application for early, non-invasive malaria diagnosis with a custom piece of hardware (Matiscope). (Uganda)Paysail – A simple way for businesses and accountants to better manage payroll. (Ghana)Integrated Medics — A web based application package to computerize any large scale hospital, while putting into consideration the complexities involved in the medical industry. (Nigeria)Connect Finance —  A software which allows companies to track their finances, create invoices, quotations, sales orders, way bills, payments etc. (Nigeria)MuZik –  A virtual assistant which makes mobile phone subscriber’s life more eaier, by providing the right music or information , automatically grabbed on Internet, for feature mobile phone. (Cameroon)What’sIn – Mobile application platform service allows consumers with chemical allergies to instantly find the correct information when they scan a product UPC. (Tunisia)Foodstantly – An online marketplace which provides customers with fresh and cooked food and also offers home delivery services. (Nigeria)Telecosys – Delivers innovative software solutions for Tech-based service providers including Telecom operators, Internet Service Providers, Cloud-based service providers, and pay TV. (Egypt)The Pearl Dream Inc. — Digital Collection of African Stories for Kids and eCommerce retail site for animation inspired items. (Kenya)InstaCare – Makes access to healthcare services as easy as visiting ATM by enabling real-time verification & authentication of beneficiary’s health insurance subscription and, reconciliation/settlement of bills & invoices between HMOs & healthcare providers. (Nigeria)Credit: VBlast_img read more

SoundCloud has launched its own music subscription service

by ,

first_imgAdvertisement Yesterday, SoundCloud rolled out an app update which adds a new subscription service.SoundCloud Go is free for you to try for 30 days, after which you will part with $9.99 a month per month.The subscription service enables you to enjoy ad-free experiences and the ability to enjoy your favorite music when offline. – Advertisement – For those who want free streaming, you will have to get used to the advertising.You can update or download the android app, though the service still has one limitation: It appears to be only available in the U.S.last_img read more

Pivot East 2016 Challenge Call for Applications Open

by ,

first_imgAdvertisement The organizing team is excited to officially announce the open call for applications for the PIVOT East 2016 edition.PIVOT East is Africa’s biggest startups competition and conference held annually since 2011. The competition comprises of a series of activities that will culminate in the finalists conference which will be held on 15th November 2016. The conference is organized by m:lab East Africa and initiative of the iHub.Set to be held on 15th November 2016, PIVOT East aims to catalyse the growth of startups, so as to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s digital entrepreneurship ecosystem. The key objective for this year’s event is “to facilitate discovery of the next wave of high potential startups in the region”. – Advertisement – Startups from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and DR Congo can submit their applications at pivoteast.com/apply2016 before September 8 2016. Just to be sure your startup qualifies, check more info here but the judges are looking for startups which describe the customer pain, the startups solution, revenue streams, team composition and commitment, market traction, short-term projections and milestones among other aspects.[related-posts]CategoriesThe competition has five categories which are; Finance, Enterprise, Entertainment, Utilities and Society and Governance. Each category will feature five finalists who will pitch to an audience of Investors, Development Partners, Government Representatives, Telecom Operators and other key stakeholders from East Africa. The 25 finalists will receive training and coaching on how to pitch to investors.RulesStartups that reached final 25 lists of the previous editions may not compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition. The judging panel will have discretion to disqualify entries in breach of this requirement. Companies that entered the competition but did not make it to the finals can compete with the same product.The deadline for submission of applications is on 8th September 2016. Applicants are encouraged to start building and curating their startup profiles early as they might need to research or source some of the information required widely.Applicants are also required to upload a short (max 5 mins) video of the founders expressing the mission and strength of their startups on their VC4Africa profile.last_img read more

Sony Smartphones to Receive Googles Android 70 Nougat Update

by ,

first_imgSony Xperia XZ compact. Image Credit: mojandroid.sk Advertisement During a press conference at Slovakia, Sony Corp., revealed that it’s newest smartphones in the market, Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance will be the first companies smartphone to recive Google’s latest OS, Android 7.0 Nougat update around October.Xperia X and Xperia X Compact will be receiving the update around November while the Xperia Z5 series, Xperia Z3+ and Xperia Z4 Tablet will be getting the update around December, as per a company slide, while the last batch to receive the update will be Xperia XA and Xperia XA Ultra, early 2017.The list of devices mentioned at the press conference includes all devices that were listed by the company earlier. It should be noted that only these devices from Sony will be getting the Android 7.0 Nougat update.Sony invited us for a press conference in the High Tatras, where partners and journalists showed news presented at IFA 2016. Image Credit: Mojandroid – Advertisement – Some of the phones that the company left out include; Xperia E5 which was launched early this year in May, Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z4v which were also released in May of 2015.source: Mojandroidlast_img read more

Derby Lunch – Star Sports Greyhound Derby

by ,

first_imgLOFTY’S VIEWCall 08000 521 321 to bet nowOUR GREYHOUND DERBY MENUTRAP 1: Star Sports English Greyhound Derby TRAP 2: Latest Betting TRAP 3: Newsdesk TRAP 4: Video Vault TRAP 5: Trackside TRAP 6: Roll Of Honour GREYHOUND DERBY LUNCH: We’re reporting live from the Star Sports Greyhound Derby Lunch held at Towcester Racecourse on Wednesday 28th June.We have interviews with connections of all six dogs ahead of Saturday’s Final.But first, Star’s Ben Keith addressed the assembled audience of connections and media on the first year of the Derby at Towcester….last_img read more

25 Million Initiative to Develop Chameleonlike Nanoshells

by ,

first_imgAddThis Share CONTACT: Lia Unrau PHONE: (713)831-4793E-MAIL: unrau@rice.edu $2.5 MILLION INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP CHAMELEON-LIKENANOSHELLSDeveloped by Rice University engineers, metal nanoshells lend a chameleon-like effect to materials and devices, due to their ability to manipulate different types of light. A new $2.5 million initiative, funded by the Department of Defense, will allow a group of researchers to study and develop the technology.The Defense Department has chosen to fund a new five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) headed by Rice University, and including Oklahoma State University and the University of Houston, to study and develop the nanoshells, their optical and electromagnetic responses and properties, and commercial applications.A number of industries could potentially benefit from the development of this technology, including electronics, energy conservation, construction materials, biomedicine and cosmetics.“The wonderful thing about metal nanoshells is that we can tailor them to have specific optical properties at different wavelengths of light,” said Naomi Halas, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice and principal investigator of the project. “The particles themselves have these properties, an overwhelming advantage over other optical structures, which require multilayer films or nanoparticle arrays to give rise to similar effects. Nanoshells can be easily and directly incorporated into coatings and responsive devices.”Metal nanoshells are tiny particles, ranging from about 50-1,000 nanometers in diameter, with an insulating core, such as silica, coated by a thin shell of conductive metal–resembling nano-sized malted milk balls.Metal nanoshells can absorb light or scatter light, both in the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. Varying the thicknesses of the shell and the core changes the way in which light is manipulated. Variations in thickness and particle composition extend the controlled electromagnetic wave response from visible light into the far-infrared and submillimeter-wave spectral regions.Nanoshells can be chemically attached to a wide variety of materials, including plastics, liquids, aerosols, epoxies, glasses and even fibers. New products could include energy-efficient smart windows, powerful solar collection and solar cells, coatings for cars, airplanes or buildings, biomedical sensors, and optical switches, steering light to different points in futuristic computer architecture.When incorporated into device structures, nanoshells are capable of responding to an applied electric current and producing a voltage-dependent optical response. For instance, by changing the voltage to a visual display panel built with nanoshell technology, the panel could change colors or transparency. Led by Halas, the research team is working to design and create the metal nanoshells, and to fully understand their properties and abilities. They will develop arrays, coatings, films and ultrathin films. The researchers are also studying different types and combinations of materials to improve upon current inorganic nanoshells and to develop completely organic nanoshells.Jennifer West, Rice assistant professor of bioengineering, is working to develop nanoshell-based all-optical biosensors and biotests. Because near-infrared light can pass harmlessly through the human body, an implantable sensor that uses light to monitor chemicals could be used to instantly monitor a range of different chemicals in the body. In addition, such nanoshell biotesting devices could be used to check proteins in whole blood, providing a big advantage over current methods, which are difficult and time consuming. Customized nanoshell monitors could allow doctors to look at small amounts of antigens or antibodies and determine rapidly the health of a patient.Peter Nordlander, Rice professor of physics, is a theoretical physicist and is studying the electrical transport properties of nanoshells and how they behave in a variety of environments. Alex Rimberg, Rice assistant professor of physics, is studying the way electrons flow around the nanoshells and how the internal structure affects its electrical transport properties. Dan Grischkowsky and Alan Cheville, professors in electrical engineering at the University of Oklahoma, are experts in making measurements in the terahertz region–the range between infrared light and microwaves–and at using the unique spectroscopy for probing chemical content of materials. They characterize the particles that are made and provide insight into how to design strongly absorbing particles in this region of the spectrum. As part of the synthetic effort, Randy Lee, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Houston, is using synthetic techniques to grow organic nanoshells, and exploring new methods for the uniform growth of nanoshell structures.###Contact: Naomi Halas, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, (713) 737-5611, halas@ece.rice.edu.For more information about Rice’s nanoshell research see: http://www-ece.rice.edu/~halas/. last_img read more

Pure carbon nanotubes pass first in vivo test

by ,

first_imgAddThis M. D. Anderson Cancer Center713-792-0662jpenne@mdanderson.org  Rice University 713-348-6778 jadeboyd@rice.edu Julie PenneJade Boyd Share Pure carbon nanotubes pass first in vivo testNanotubes tracked in blood and liver; study finds no adverse effectsIn the first experiments of their kind, researchers at Rice University and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have determined that carbon nanotubes injected directly into the bloodstream of research lab animals cause no immediate adverse health effects and circulate for more than one hour before they are removed by the liver.The findings are from the first in vivo animal study of chemically unmodified carbon nanotubes, a revolutionary nanomaterial that many researchers hope will prove useful in diagnosing and treating disease. The research will appear in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“We sampled tissues from a dozen organs, and found significant amounts of nanotubes only in the liver,” said lead author Bruce Weisman, professor of chemistry. “The liver naturally removes drugs or compounds from the blood, so this is what we expected to find.”The study, which tracked where the nanotubes went within 24 hours of being injected, also revealed trace amounts of nanotubes in the kidneys – another common expulsion route for drugs. There was no evidence that nanotubes remained in other tissues in the body.Nanotubes are hollow cylinders of pure carbon that measure just one nanometer in diameter – about the same width as a strand of DNA. Nanotubes have unique chemical and optical properties, and they have attracted intense interest from biomedical researchers.“The early results are promising for anyone interested in using carbon nanotubes in biomedical applications,” said co-author Dr. Steven Curley, professor of surgical oncology and chief of gastrointestinal tumor surgery at M. D. Anderson. “We are particularly pleased that the fluorescent effect remains intact in our application, because this makes it easier to see where the nanotubes end up, and it opens the door to some exciting diagnostic and therapeutic applications.”In a ground-breaking 2002 study, Weisman and colleagues at Rice, including the late Professor Richard Smalley, discovered that nanotubes fluoresce, or emit near infrared light. Because near-infrared light passes harmlessly into the body, biomedical researchers are keen to use carbon nanotubes for the noninvasive diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis.In the current study, Weisman, Curley and colleagues injected lab animals with water soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes, whose biocompatible coating was displaced by proteins in the blood, continued to fluoresce in the animals.“I still remember how excited we were when we confirmed that the tubes were fluorescing,” said Paul Cherukuri, a doctoral degree candidate in Chemistry. The researchers used this fluorescence to track the nanotubes in the blood and image them in tissues under the microscope.Cherukuri said Smalley initiated several follow-up projects shortly before his passing in 2005 from lymphoma. In one, researchers are working on methods that will allow nanotubes to circulate longer following injection, so that they can be more easily targeted to specific organs. In another, they are tracking the longer-term behavior and effects of nanotubes in research lab animals.“This research grew out of Smalley’s vision, and he followed our progress and offered daily guidance, even from his hospital bed at M.D. Anderson,” Cherukuri said. “Up to his very last day, he was simultaneously fighting his own battle with cancer and developing new ways to treat the disease that ultimately took his life. These new results are simply the first fruits of his final contributions in nanohealth research, and there are still more to come.”The research was funded by the Alliance for NanoHealth, NASA, Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, the National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

Cancer treatment models get real

by ,

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2015/08/0810_FLOW-3-web.jpgRice University graduate student Marco Santoro fills a custom bioreactor with fluid as he prepares to test bone cancer cells embedded in a scaffold. The technique allows researchers to monitor the spread of cancer cells in more natural environments than can be achieved in two-dimensional cultures. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) AddThis http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/08/0810_FLOW-1-WEB.jpgBone cancer cells populate the surface of a bioscaffold in an electron microscope image.  Rice University scientists ran tests to show how realistic environments affect the growth of cancer tumors. The bioscaffolds were placed in a flow perfusion bioreactor to evaluate the cells’ response to the mechanical forces they experience in the body. (Credit: Mikos Research Group/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/08/0810_FLOW-2-WEB.jpgRice University graduate student Marco Santoro led a study to test the spread of bone cancer cells in realistic environments. They expect their technique will be useful to labs that test cancer-fighting drugs. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)center_img http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/08/0810_FLOW-4-WEB.jpgThe Rice University lab of bioengineer Antonios Mikos, in collaboration with Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, is using a custom flow perfusion bioreactor to show the value of testing cancer samples in realistic environments. (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 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 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 among some of the top schools for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU. Share3Editor’s note: Links to images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduCancer treatment models get realRice University scientists mimic biological conditions to view effect on tumor samples HOUSTON – (Aug. 5, 2015) – Researchers at Rice University and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a way to mimic the conditions under which cancer tumors grow in bones.By placing cancer cells in a three-dimensional scaffold and subjecting them to the forces that push, pull and continually flow through the body, the researchers are better able to test the efficiency of cancer-fighting drugs.The scientists discovered that bone tumors exposed to normal forces express more of a protein, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), than detected in static cultures. The IGF-1 signaling pathway plays a critical role in resistance to current chemotherapy. The experiments were performed in a custom-made bioreactor by the Rice lab of bioengineer Antonios Mikos in collaboration with the MD Anderson lab of Joseph Ludwig.The study detailed this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows the value of incorporating mechanical forces when modeling tumors and treatments as opposed to analyzing tumor growth statically, said lead author Marco Santoro, a chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate student of Mikos.“Mechanical forces are present in our bodies even though we are not always aware of them,” he said. “Our cells are sensitive to the forces around them and change their behavior accordingly. Tumor cells behave the same way, changing their function depending on the forces they sense.”Mikos and his team specialize in materials and strategies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. As part of that work, they have created foam-like materials that serve as scaffolds for cells to inhabit and grow into as they become new bone or tissue.That material provided an opportunity for the latest experiments at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative on bone tumor samples called sarcomas provided by MD Anderson. Sarcoma tumors, also a focus of the Mikos lab, are most often found in the bones of adolescents and young adults.The researchers placed sarcoma cells in their porous, biologically inert scaffold and put the scaffold inside a flow perfusion bioreactor to mimic the stimulation those cells would experience amid the tissue inside real bone. They subjected the cells to biomechanical stimuli, including shear stress, by changing the fluid viscosity and flow rate.Over 10 days they found the steady flow of fluid through the scaffold prompted the sarcoma cells to proliferate throughout the structure. The higher shear stress helped the cells significantly increase their production of the IGF-1 protein and also down-regulated the production of two other cancer-related proteins, c-KIT and HER2, compared with static tests.They also discovered that adjusting parameters in the bioreactor influenced the cells’ sensitivity to Dalotuzumab, a drug that disrupts the IGF-1 pathway. Higher shear stress appeared to decrease the drug’s effectiveness due to the associated increase in IGF-1 production.“For the first time, we showed how the effect of the drug changes according to the forces experienced by the cells,” Santoro said. “IGF-1 is crucial for this kind of sarcoma, which relies on this mechanism for growth. We show that the higher the mechanical stimulation, the more pronounced the secretion of this particular protein.”Mikos said the experiments should set a good example for cancer studies. “These experiments have to be tailored for each cancer, because the forces that cells experience vary in different parts of the body,” he said. “In the lungs, they wouldn’t be the same as in the bones. But they give researchers a far more realistic way to mimic the tumor’s local environment.”Co-authors of the paper are senior research scientist Salah-Eddine Lamhamedi-Cherradi and researcher Brian Menegaz, both at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Mikos is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice. Ludwig is an associate professor of sarcoma medical oncology at MD Anderson.MD Anderson Cancer Center and the National Institutes of Health supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/07/29/1506684112.abstractFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Mikos Research Group: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~mikosgrp/Sarcoma Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center: http://www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/care-centers-and-clinics/care-centers/sarcoma/index.htmlBioScience Research Collaborative: http://brc.rice.edu/home/Images for download:last_img read more

Powerful magnet gives pediatric patients a break

by ,

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/04/0502_STENT-3-web-2m5ngj6.jpgRice University engineering students used a highly magnetic bead and a strong electromagnet in their method to remove ureteral stents from children. The method was developed in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/04/0502_STENT-1-web-2anz2zn.jpgRice University engineering students, from left, Margaret Watkins, John Chen, Allen Zhao, Eric Yin and Valerie Pinillos work at a 3-D printing station at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen on their method to remove ureteral stents from children. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/04/0502_STENT-2-web-2hg9x9k.jpgRice University engineering students have created a method to remove ureteral stents from children that causes less pain and costs less. From left, Margaret Watkins, Valerie Pinillos, John Chen, Allen Zhao and Eric Yin. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Share1Editor’s note: Links to a video and images for download appear at the end of this release.AT RICE:David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduAT TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL:Lindsey Fox832-824-2040lbfox@texaschildrens.orgPowerful magnet gives pediatric patients a breakRice students’ idea for less-invasive ureteral stent removal may save time, pain and money HOUSTON – (April 28, 2016) – A simple device created by Rice University engineering students may shield young children from much of the pain of having a stent removed after a urinary tract procedure.Their invention, the Ureteral Stent Electromagnetic Removal Bead, is part of a stent inserted into the ureter, the duct that allows urine to pass from the kidney to the bladder. The stent keeps the passageway open after a pyeloplasty procedure to remove an obstruction.Removing the stent after four weeks of healing typically involves inserting an endoscope into the urethra and bladder to locate the stent and pull it, an invasive procedure for which children are placed under anesthesia.The students who call themselves Rice Outstenting were asked by Dr. Chester Koh at Texas Children’s Hospital to find a way to simplify this procedure, which is currently performed on more than 2,000 pediatric patients nationwide each year. They came up with the combination of a small, coated bead of highly magnetic neodymium and a powerful electromagnet. The bead can pass safely through the urethra as the magnet pulls it out of the body, followed by the stent.The advantages are clear: There’s less pain and it costs two-thirds less than the standard procedure because it doesn’t require anesthesia and can be completed in minutes rather than hours.“The stent is implanted after surgery in this area because if you don’t put something inside to keep the channel open, the ureter will try to close in on itself,” said team member Allen Zhao. While the procedure is now done in a minimally invasive manner with robotic surgery, “in the past it was much more invasive, when they would just open up the child completely,” he said.Zhao and teammates John Chen, Valeria Pinillos and Margaret Watkins are mechanical engineering majors; teammate Eric Yin is a bioengineering major.Their device won two significant awards this month: a top $5,000 prize at Rice University’s annual Engineering Design Showcase and the grand prize for student design at the annual Design of Medical Devices Conference in Minneapolis.The students, who were advised by Rice bioengineering lecturers Eric Richardson and Matthew Elliott, took on the project at the request of Koh, a surgeon in the Division of Pediatric Urology at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine and a member of several groups that focus on pediatric devices. “A lot of devices are designed for adults, and Dr. Koh is one of the movers trying to develop more devices that are designed for children,” Yin said.He said Koh challenged them to look at the procedure with a fresh eye. The students briefly considered designing a stent that would dissolve over time, but decided the magnetic attachment would be far simpler and less prone to complications.The stent itself is identical to those used currently. It’s a flexible plastic tube with curls at each end that sit in the kidney and bladder and help keep it in place. In adults, a string from the bladder end is usually run outside the body through the urethra. After four weeks, a doctor pulls it free.But in children, “most times, the string is cut off because the doctor doesn’t want anything hanging out of the child that might lead to an infection or accidental removal,” Yin said. “We’re leaving the string in but clipping it to the appropriate length, for the size of the bladder, at the surgeon’s discretion, and tying our bead to the end of it.”The second part of the system is the custom-built electromagnet with a plastic enclosure the team designed and 3-D printed at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. “It has 19 layers, 125 turns of enameled copper wire,” Yin said. “Once it’s turned on, we bring it up close (to the patient) and draw the bead out through the urethra.”“With a couple of tweaks to the magnet power, we could access the adult market as well,” Pinillos said.The project will move forward as a Rice-Texas Children’s collaboration led by Koh. “They’ll continue to make modifications and continue the project on its medical device development pathway,” Watkins said.“This is an important example of where academic partnerships are needed to advance pediatric medical device projects, since the pediatric medical device pipeline is currently limited,” Koh said. “I applaud the Rice team for showing its dedication and passion to the kids under our care at Texas Children’s Hospital.”Without a hint of irony — given that carbon buckyballs were a Nobel Prize-winning discovery at Rice — Yin mentioned the material in the bead is identical to that used in the now-banned desk toy also known as Buckyballs. Those were small, powerful magnets that, if ingested in multiples, could cause severe internal injuries.Fortunately for the Rice team’s purposes, one small magnet is enough to make a big difference.-30-See the team’s home page at http://oedk.rice.edu/Sys/PublicProfile/29784578.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsVideo:center_img http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/04/0502_STENT-4-web-1ug2o1h.jpgRice University student John Chen pulls a magnet attached to a stent from a test device. Chen and his Rice engineering teammates developed a method to remove ureteral stents from children that would eliminate the need for anesthesia. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) https://youtu.be/2jfG4H5iLYA Related Materials:Texas Children’s Hospital: www.texaschildrens.orgOshman Engineering Design Kitchen: http://oedk.rice.eduGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering: http://engr.rice.eduImages for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/04/0502_STENT-5-web-1rw14oq.jpgEngineering student John Chen reloads a test rig to demonstrate a method developed by Rice University students that uses a strong, tiny magnetic bead to help remove a ureteral stent from a child. (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 3,910 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 http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.last_img read more

Preventing NotsoHappy Holidays Fraud

by ,

first_img Share US Show Discussion Share this article An online shopper searches different sites, on Dec. 12, 2016, from Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) center_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   More spending, more donations, more travel and more distractions—there’s no time like the holidays for fraud.“Scammers are opportunists and, unfortunately, at the holidays we give them plenty of opportunities,” said Katherine Hutt, a spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau. She says the most important thing people can do is be aware of possible scams and to be extra cautious at this time of year.Here are a few common types of holiday frauds and tips on how to avoid them:WHEN SHOPPINGOnline shopping is convenient and popular—for shoppers and scammers alike.The most common ways criminals can access your personal and financial information, according to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, are creating fraudulent sites and email messages, intercepting insecure transactions and targeting vulnerable computers. Use the same good sense you would at other times. Restrict your purchases to reputable vendors, and be wary of lookalike websites, where the name of a well-known brand is slightly off. Don’t click on emails and links from unfamiliar senders, and make payments only on secure sites indicated by a lock symbol or “https” in the web address.Related CoverageHoliday Shopping: Not Made in ChinaAt the holidays, the impulse to snap up a great deal can be strong. A common complaint to the National Consumers League is from shoppers who found amazing deals online—often for in-demand products like electronics or fashion—but their orders never materialized.Also be wary of any business that asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers or other payment forms that cannot be traced or undone, the Better Business Bureau says. Use a credit card for more protection against fraud and for refunds.WHEN GIVING TO CHARITYThe holidays are a busy time for making donations. The desire to be generous is best accompanied by solid knowledge.The FTC suggests researching an organization to verify its authenticity, using sources such as the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance or online tools such as Charity Navigator, Charity Watch and GuideStar. Avoid any charity or fundraiser that refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs and how the donation will be used. Be wary of a charity that uses a name that closely resembles but is not that of a better-known organization.Apply the same precautions as when you’re shopping, as donating involves sharing much of the same personal and financial information. Always pay with a check made out to the charity or by credit card, never send cash or wire money.WHEN TRAVELINGThe holidays can be a great time for trips and new experiences, but the National Consumers League says sometimes these memories turn into nightmares.It suggests avoiding suspicious online hotel booking sites in favor of well-known brokers or making your reservation directly with the hotel; sticking with licensed taxis or using a known ride-hailing service when out of town; and protecting details about your airline miles and loyalty points as you would your finances.Travelers should also avoid “free Wi-Fi” hotspots while at the airport or relaxing elsewhere, the group says, since that’s an easy way to expose the personal information on your phone, computer or other device.E-SCAMSNew technology means new kinds of scams. While several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, the Better Business Bureau warns that some scammers mimic them to get personal information from parents.Be careful as well with electronic greeting cards that appear to be from a charity or loved one. John Breyault of the National Consumers League said they can be from imposters seeking personal information or trying to spread malware or a virus. Two signs: the sender’s name is not apparent, or you’re required to share additional information to get the card.Some social media posts appear to offer vouchers or gift cards as part of holiday promotions or contests that requires taking a survey. That can be a means to steal personal information. The BBB also warns against taking part in gift exchanges online. While it sounds great to buy one gift and get 36 in return, it’s a variation on a pyramid scheme and is illegal.No matter what form a fraud takes, report any suspected scam to the local police, state attorney general’s office, the FTC, the FBI, the BBB or the National Consumers League.“Fraud tends to be underreported, people often feel embarrassed,” Breyault said. “Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to millions of people.” Preventing Not-so-Happy Holidays Fraud By The Associated Press December 12, 2016 Updated: December 13, 2016last_img read more

Trump Urges Future Government Shutdown

by ,

first_img Share Show Discussion Share this article WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump endorsed a government shutdown later this year in a post on Twitter on Tuesday that also urged Republicans to consider changing Senate rules to make it easier to pass spending and other bills without any Democratic support.“Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” he wrote.either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017Trump also backed the so-called “nuclear option” for legislation but added that the party could strengthen its hand by winning more Senate seats in the 2018 congressional election.Democrats—and some Republicans—quickly denounced his call to close the federal government in a spending fight just as both parties were closing in on a final measure to fund agencies through September.“Here we saw Democrats and Republicans working together in the best traditions of the Senate, and the president disparages it in a way that’s destructive,” Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told reporters: “I just don’t agree.”Trump said his fellow Republicans had to acquiesce to Democratic demands in a government spending bill negotiated this week because the party’s majority was too slim to win the 60 Senate votes that would have been needed if Democrats had chosen to block the legislation with a filibuster.Republicans hold 52 seats in the 100-seat Senate.President Donald Trump applauds the U.S. Air Force Academy football team as he presents them with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts President Donald Trump applauds the U.S. Air Force Academy football team as he presents them with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%,” Trump wrote on TwitterBoth parties signed off on the spending bill to fund the federal government through September to avert a government shutdown, with Republicans and Democrats both claiming some political victories.Despite Trump’s tweets suggesting he would be willing to let the government funding lapse later this year in an effort to pressure Democrats to agree to more of his budget priorities, top Republicans have touted this week’s budget deal.“After years of partisan bickering and gridlock, this bill is a clear win for the American people,” Trump himself said later on Tuesday at a White House event.President Donald Trump presents the U.S. Air Force Academy football team with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts) President Donald Trump presents the U.S. Air Force Academy football team with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)Republicans last forced a government closure in 2013 for 17 days. Democrats said Trump would shoulder the blame for any shutdown now.Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy called Trump’s threat “a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations” for next year’s spending plan, pointing to billions of dollars of losses triggered by the shutdown four years ago.In the House, also led by Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan took a more muted response. “We’ve got a long ways to go between now and September,” he told reporters.Some conservatives applauded Trump’s call for ending the supermajority needed in the Senate to pass major legislation. Representative Trent Franks, pointing to the compromise spending bill moving to the House and Senate floors this week, said Democrats have a “choke hold” on bills despite being in the minority.Related CoverageHouse Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to Avert Government ShutdownSenate leaders have already allowed the “nuclear option” to ease through judicial and executive-branch nominees with a simple majority of 51 votes.In 2013, Democrat Harry Reid deployed it for lower-level nominees but left it in place for Supreme Court nominees. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expanded that move to secure approval of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.But Cornyn, speaking to reporters, said using it to muscle through legislation without a consensus could lead to “really bad policy” on a number of issues: “It’s a real mistake.”  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img Trump Urges Future Government Shutdown By Reuters May 2, 2017 Updated: May 2, 2017 US President Donald Trump speaks as he presents the U.S. Air Force Academy football team with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts) last_img read more

Trump Signs Bill Expanding Education Benefits for Veterans

by ,

first_imgUS Show Discussion  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Trump Signs Bill Expanding Education Benefits for Veterans By Jasper Fakkert August 17, 2017 Updated: August 17, 2017 Share President Donald Trump signed a bill that will expand education opportunities for veterans.The bill, called the Forever GI Bill, eliminates the 15-year period that veterans currently have to use their education benefits.The bill also extends benefits to recipients of the Purple Heart who couldn’t get the benefits because they didn’t have their time in service as a result of injury.If a service member is killed in combat, under the new bill, the benefits can be moved to an eligible dependent.Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin praised the bill as an example of bipartisanship in remarks on Aug. 16.Shulkin said the current Post-9/11 bill has resulted in spending $75 billion on veterans and their dependents. The bill in its current form offered veterans up to 36 months of educational benefits, payable for 15 years. Charles E. Schmidt, national commander of The American Legion, said the bill, officially named the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, “marks a new era for all who have honorably served in uniform.”The bill was named after a past national commander of The American Legion.“This lifetime benefit will allow veterans, and their families, to earn degrees and begin rewarding careers that can lead our economy,” Schmidt said in a statement.President Trump wrote in a Twitter post announcing the signing of the bill: “Thank you to all of our amazing veterans! American heroes!” Follow Jasper on Twitter: @JasperFakkert Share this articlelast_img read more

Share this article

by ,

first_img Share this article US News  QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video “My heart is sick for my friend Janemarie Murphy and her family,” he tweeted. “What an unfathomable loss. I know the community of West Hartford and her legions of friends at the State Capitol are rallying to her side to make sure the family has all they need.”The motive for the stabbing is under investigation, police said.“There are a thousand parents out there looking for answers,” Democratic State Sen. Beth Bye told the Hartford Courant. “It’s going to be a community healing process.”West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor released a statement from Janemarie Murphy’s family. “We are all enduring a very painful and unimaginable loss,” the statement said. “Our family will never be the same. Our daughter was a beautiful child and we will remember forever her smile … laughter … and remember her for the way she loved and lived.”Juvenile offenders under the age of 14 in Connecticut face limited punishment, the Courant noted. “The maximum punishment for a person 14 or younger would be a maximum of 30 months of probation supervision with or without residential placement, minus any time spent in pretrial detention,” said Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor.Only suspects who are aged 15 or older can potentially have their cases transferred to an adult court. The boy is being represented by defense attorney Hubert J. Santos.“We ask everyone to remember this tragedy is a juvenile matter, not a criminal one,” said Trent A. LaLima, a spokesman for Santos. “We request that people respect the privacy of the family and their loved ones at this time.” She was identified on Dec. 18, by the Hartford law firm Murtha Cullina LLP, where she worked, according to the paper.“We are devastated by the horrific tragedy affecting our friend and colleague Jane Murphy,” a statement issued from Murtha Cullina said. “Jane has been a valued member of the Government Affairs Group of Murtha Cullina LLP for over 24 years. We are doing all we can to support Jane and her family, and ask everyone to please respect their privacy during this extraordinarily difficult time.”According to Fox61, police got a 911 call at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 17, from a woman who said her son stabbed her and her daughter. The Connecticut state medical examiner later ruled the girl’s death a homicide due to a stabbing.“Officers arrived on scene and located the two victims and the suspect,” police said, ABC News reported. “Officers, later joined by paramedics from the West Hartford Fire Department, immediately began emergency medical efforts to treat the mother and daughter.”Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy also tweeted about the incident, offering his condolences to Murphy’s family. Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Connecticut Boy Stabs Twin Sister, Injures Prominent Lobbyist Mother By Jack Phillips December 20, 2018 Updated: December 20, 2018 A 12-year-old Connecticut boy was arrested for the murder of his twin sister and for injuring his mother, a prominent lobbyist, according to reports.The boy, who hasn’t been named, was charged on Dec. 18, with one count of murder and one count of first-degree assault, said West Hartford police. He was arraigned at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries following the alleged stabbing, according to the Hartford Courant.He’s accused of seriously injuring his mother, Janemarie Murphy, and killing his sister, Brigid Curtin, according to the paper. The Hartford Courant reported that she had started working for the Senate Democrats in 1989 before becoming a lobbyist. Stock photo of police tape. (Carl Ballou/Shutterstock) An ‘unspeakable tragedy’: Connecticut town stunned by arrest of 12-year-old son in killing of twin sister, stabbing of mother, Janemarie Murphy, a prominent lobbyist 🙏🏾💔 ABC News #Murder https://t.co/Z2yVY3WIUa— Tamara Davis 🇺🇸 (@warriors_mom) December 20, 2018last_img read more